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Title: The Assault - Germany Before the Outbreak and England in War-Time
Author: Wile, Frederic William
Language: English
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[Illustration: Cover]



[Illustration: Ambassador Gerard.]



                              THE ASSAULT

                    Germany Before the Outbreak and
                          England in War-Time


                         _A Personal Narrative_


                                   By
                         FREDERIC WILLIAM WILE

                   Author of "Men Around the Kaiser"



             ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AND FACSIMILES OF
                         DOCUMENTS AND CARTOONS



                              INDIANAPOLIS
                       THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY
                               PUBLISHERS



                             COPYRIGHT 1916
                       THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY


                                PRESS OF
                            BRAUNWORTH & CO.
                           BOOK MANUFACTURERS
                            BROOKLYN, N. Y.



                                  _To_
                       AMBASSADOR AND MRS. GERARD

                              LIFE-SAVERS

                              IN GRATITUDE



                              INTRODUCTION


This is not a "war book."  It has not been my privilege at any stage of
the Great Blood-Letting to come into close contact with the spectacular
clash and din of the fray.  Abler pens than mine, many of them wielded
by the "neutral" hands of American colleagues, are immortalizing the
terrible, yet irresistibly fascinating, scenes of this most stupendous
drama.  But every drama has its scenario and its prologue and its
behind-the-curtain scenes--none ever written was so rich in these
preliminaries and accessories as is Europe’s epic. To have witnessed and
lived through some of these was vouchsafed me; and to take American
readers with me down the line of the past year’s recollections and
impressions is the sole object of this unpretentious effort.  History,
Carlyle said, was some one’s record of personal experiences.  To such
experiences, as far as possible, the pages of this book are confined.

For thirteen years to the week--I have always had a respectful horror of
thirteen--I was a resident of Berlin.  During the first five years of
that period my identity was clear: I was the representative in Germany
of an American newspaper, the _Chicago Daily News_.  But in 1906 I
became an international complication, for it was then I joined the staff
of the _London Daily Mail_, which converted my status into that of an
_American_ serving _British_ journalistic interests in _Germany_.  It
was not long afterward that welcome opportunity presented itself to
renew home professional ties in connection with my British work, and for
several years prior to the outbreak of the war I carried the credentials
of Berlin correspondent of the _New York Times_ and the _Chicago
Tribune_.  They were on my person, with my United States passport, the
night of August 4, 1914, when the Kaiser’s police arrested me as an
"English spy."

I feel it necessary to introduce so highly personal a narrative with
these details in order to make plain, at the outset, that it is the
narrative of an American born and bred.  My proudest boast during ten
years’ association with Great Britain’s premier newspaper organization
was that I never lost my Americanism. My English editor, on the occasion
of my earliest physical conflict with the Mailed Fist in Berlin,
doubtless recalls taking me to task for invoking the protection of the
United States Embassy, just as my British colleagues, concerned in the
same imbroglio, had invoked the aid of their Embassy.  Of the reams I
have written for the _Daily Mail_ in my day, I never sent it anything
which sprang more sincerely from the heart than the message to its
editor that I had not renounced allegiance to my country when I pledged
my professional services to a British newspaper.

I have no higher aspiration, as far as this volume is concerned, than
that critics of it, hostile or friendly, may pronounce it "pro-Ally"
from start to finish.  I shall survive even the charge that it is
"pro-English."  I mean it to be all of that, as I have tried to breathe
sincerity into every line of it.  But I shall not feel inclined to
accept without protest an accusation that the book is "anti-German."  It
is true that I regard this essentially a German-made, or rather a
Prussian-made, war, and that I hold Prussian militarism and militarists
solely responsible for plunging the world into this unending bath of
blood and tears.  It is true that I wish to see Germany beaten.  I wish
her beaten for the Allies’ sake and for my own country’s sake.  A
victorious Germany would be a menace to international liberty and become
automatically a threat to the happiness and freedom of the United
States.  My years in Germany taught me that.  But I cherish no scintilla
of hatred or animosity toward the German people as individuals, who will
be the real victims of the war.  I saw them with my own eyes literally
dragged into the fight against their will, fears and judgment.  I know
from their own lips that they considered it a cruelly unnecessary war
and did not want it.  They were joyful and prosperous a year and a half
ago--never more so. They craved a continuance of the simple blessings of
peace, unless their tearful protestations in the fateful month preceding
the drawing of their mighty sword were the plaints of a race of
hypocrites, and I do not think the percentage of hypocrisy higher in
Germany, man for man, than elsewhere in the world.  The German’s _Gott
strafe England_ cult, for example, is no revelation to any man who has
lived among them. Their hatred for Perfidious Albion has long been
vigorous and purposeful.

During the war I have lived in Germany, England and the United States--a
week of it in Berlin, three months at different periods in America, and
the rest of the time in London.  My observations of Germany have not
been confined to the six and a half days the Prussian police permitted
me to tarry in their midst, for my work in London has dealt almost
exclusively with day-by-day examination of that weird production which
will be known to history as the German war-time Press.  I am quite sure
the perspective of the life and times of the Kaiser’s people in their
"great hour" was clearer from the vantage-ground of a newspaper desk
near the Thames embankment than it could possibly have been had it been
my lot to view the Fatherland at war as an observer writing, under the
hypnotic influence of mass-suggestion, of Germany from within.

Though I deal with Britain in war-time, no pretense is made of treating
so vast a subject except by way of fleeting impressions.  Indeed,
nothing but snap-shots of British life are possible at the moment, so
kaleidoscopic are its developments and vagaries.  I am conscious that
the pictures I have drawn are, therefore, superficial, but no portrayal
of a people in a state of flux could well be otherwise.  Although the
concluding chapters were written in October, conditions now (in
mid-December) have altered vitally in many directions.  Sir John French
no longer commands the British Army in France and Flanders.  Serbia has
gone the way of Belgium.  Gallipoli has been abandoned. The Coalition
Government, established at the end of May, is widely considered a
failure at the end of December.  The Man in the Street, that oracle of
all-wisdom in these Isles, is asking whether the war can be won without
still another, and more sweeping, change of National leadership.

I hope my British friends, and particularly my professional colleagues
of ten years’ standing, will not find my snap-shots too under-exposed.
The camera was in pro-British hands every minute of the time.  If the
pictures appear indistinct, I trust the photography will at least not be
criticized as in any respect due to lack of sympathy with the British
cause.

F. W. W.
London, December 20, 1915.



                                CONTENTS


CHAPTER

      I. The Curtain Raiser
     II. The First Act
    III. The Plot Develops
     IV. The Stage Managers
      V. Slow Music
     VI. The Climax
    VII. War
   VIII. The Americans
     IX. August Fourth
      X. The War Reaches Me
     XI. The Last Farewell
    XII. Safe Conduct
   XIII. Complacency Rules The Waves
    XIV. Pro-Ally Uncle Sam
     XV. The Helmsmen
    XVI. The General, The Admiral and the King
   XVII. "Your King And Country Want You"
  XVIII. War in the Dark
    XIX. The Internal Foe
     XX. The Empire of Hate
    XXI. The New England
   XXII. Quo Vadis?



                        New Introductory Chapter


                 HOW EUROPE VIEWS AMERICAN INTERVENTION


It will hardly be possible for any faithful chronicler of that
transcendent event to record that America’s entry into the war set
embattled Europe by the ears. The most such a historian can say of the
impression created in Allied countries is that the abandonment of our
neutrality toward the "natural foe to liberty" produced profound
satisfaction but nothing in the way of a staggering sensation.  Even in
Germany and among her vassals, declaration of war by the United States
failed to provoke consternation, although it was received in a spirit of
nonchalance which was more studied than real.  The Damoclean sword of
Washington had hung so long in the mid-air of indecision that when the
blow fell its effect was to a large extent lost upon beneficiary and
victim alike.  The peoples who became our Allies were gratified; the
Germans mortified.  But our leap into the arena stained with nearly
three years of combatant blood was so belated that it seemed bereft of
the power to plunge either our friends into paroxysms of enthusiasm or
our enemies into the depths of despair.

I am speaking exclusively of the first impressions generated by
President Wilson’s call to arms.  In Allied Europe, as well as Germanic
Europe, opinion is changing, now that the words of April are merging
into the deeds of midsummer.  Still different emotions will fire the
breasts of both our comrades-in-arms and of the common foe when the full
magnitude of American intervention dawns upon their reluctant
consciousness.  As yet the illimitable import of America’s "coming in"
is only faintly realized.  Europe’s attitude toward the new belligerent
is too strongly intrenched in decade-old disbelief in the existence of
American idealism and in gross ignorance of our actual potentialities
for war, spiritual as well as physical, to be lightly abandoned.  We
shall have to win our spurs.  There is at this writing no inclination
whatever to present them to us on trust.

In the introduction to the original edition of _The Assault_, which was
completed at the end of 1915, I was un-neutral enough to utter the pious
hope that Germany would be beaten.  I confessed to the creed that "a
victorious Germany would be a menace to international liberty and become
automatically a threat to the happiness and freedom of the United
States."  I said that "my years in Germany taught me that"--years lived
in closest contact with Prussian militarism long before it had taken the
concrete form of savagery at sea.  With that passion for corroboration
of his own prejudices and predictions, which is inherent in the average
man, and which dominates most writers, I rejoice to feel that our
government and country have at length joined in liberty’s fray from the
identical motives which induced me at the outset to take the only side
that it seemed possible for an American to espouse.

Properly to analyze Europe’s mentality in respect of the United States’
entry into the war we need to bear in mind that for the thirty-two
preceding months President Wilson was the riddle of the political
universe.  Europe had been assured ceaselessly since August, 1914, that
America was overwhelmingly and irretrievably pro-Ally, though its
confidence in such assertions was shipwrecked when we failed to go to
war over the _Lusitania_ incident and was never fully restored.  Not
even Berlin could reconcile the Washington government’s invincible
neutrality with the alleged existence of universal counter-sentiment.
Europeans are educated to believe that public opinion is the only
monarch to whom the American citizenry owns allegiance.  They were
unable to comprehend a president who so resolutely refused to bow to the
people’s sovereign will.  In its myopic misconception of American
conditions, Allied Europe indulged in grotesque misinterpretation of Mr.
Wilson’s hesitancy and mystic diplomacy.  He had been "re-elected by
German votes."  In London Americans were solemnly asked if the true
explanation of his policy did not lie in the fact that he had "a German
wife!"  It was also mooted that he had "a secret understanding" with
Count Bernstorff.  The president was this, that and the other
thing--everything, in fact, except what he ought to be.  No American
chief magistrate since Lincoln was ever so magnificently misunderstood,
none so incorrigibly maligned.

Thus it was that although the United States’ action under President
Wilson’s sagacious leadership did not fill Europe with either animation
or excitement, it nevertheless came as a full-fledged surprise to both
sets of belligerents.  Briton, Frenchman, Russian and Italian, as well
as German, Austrian and Hungarian, each in his own dogmatic way, had
long since and definitely made up their minds that America did not mean
to fight.  Their cocksureness on this cardinal point was not unnaturally
supported by the circumstances of President Wilson’s re-election on what
was commonly understood to be the democratic candidate’s paramount
campaign issue--his success in keeping the country out of the war.  In
the two or three days in which Mr. Wilson’s fate trembled in the balance
of the Electoral College, a London newspaper, venting splenitic feelings
long pent up, gratefully acclaimed the premature announcement of Mr.
Hughes’ triumph as an historic and deserved rebuke of the statesman who
was "too proud to fight."

Within a month President Wilson, in his first public utterance since
election day, made his "peace-without-victory" address to the Senate.
This cryptic deliverance was interpreted in Allied Europe as not only
obliterating all possibility of America’s entering the war against
Germany, but as actually promoting Germany’s efforts, launched about the
same time, to secure a premature, or "German," peace.  There was
probably no time during the entire war when feeling against the
president and the United States in general ran higher in England and
France than during the ensuing weeks.  It was not so much what one read
in the public prints, for press utterances were restrained if not
unqualifiedly friendly, that impelled many an American in London and
Paris to seek cover from the withering blast of criticism and impatience
to which he now found his country subjected.  It was rather the
sentiments encountered among Englishmen and Frenchmen in private that
supplied the real index to, and revealed the full intensity of, the
disappointment and indignation now aroused in Allied lands.

Indelibly impressed upon my memory is the passionate outburst of a
dear--and, of course, temperamental--French friend in London.  He is a
gentleman, a scholar and sincere lover of America, where he found the
charming lady who is now his wife.  He had retired to a bed of illness
in consequence of the climatic iniquities which will forever make it
impossible for a Frenchman ever really to like England, and I was paying
him a neighborly visit of inquiry.  Though I had hoped and intended that
the acrimonious topic of America would for once be eliminated from our
conversation, I was not to be spared what turned out to be almost the
most violent castigation of the United States and all its works under
which I could ever remember to have winced.  I was left in no doubt that
his outpouring of righteous Gallic wrath, though it sprang to a certain
degree from temperature as well as temperament, was the voice of France
crying out in holy anger with the great but recreant sister republic.
Wilson had "surrendered to the Germans and pro-Germans."  They were now
getting their reward.  The president was "playing the Kaiser’s peace
game."  He may not have meant to do so, but that is what his Senate
manifesto amounted to, in French estimation. "The Americans care only
for their money."  So be it. France would not forget.  _Jamais_!
Americans would rue the day they had sent back to the White House the
man who was now stabbing crucified democracy in the back!

The essential difference between the French and the English is that
Frenchmen usually say what they feel, and Englishmen feel what they do
not say.  Emotions were given to Frenchmen to be expressed; to
Englishmen, to be suppressed.  Almost identically the same emotions
which fired the French soul, as typified by the instance I have just
cited, filled British breasts, but owing to the psychic machinery with
which his organism is equipped the Englishman was able more successfully
to stifle them.  The public tone toward the latest manifestation of our
"war policy" was punctiliously correct.  It was discussed by the great
newspapers in terms of polite dismay but almost invariably in good
temper.  Yet millions of Britons were boiling within, and if wearing
their hearts on their sleeves had been "good form," there is little
reason to doubt that their ebullitions would have been no less
articulate or meaningful than those of my distinguished French friend
herein narrated.

It was about at this time, the end of 1916, that an American colleague,
Edward Price Bell, of _The Chicago Daily News_, set forth in the columns
of _The Times_ upon a bold adventure--an attempt to persuade captious
Britons that, far from desiring to "play the Kaiser’s game," President
Wilson was actually anxious to make war on Germany, and, indeed, was
deliberately, as was his way, proceeding in that direction. It was a
risky throw for the doyen of the American press in London, who enjoyed a
reputation for sanity and sagacity and who had good reason for desiring
to preserve the respect of a community in which his professional lot had
been cast for sixteen years.  I purpose summarizing the course of Bell’s
effort to scale the walls of British prejudice because of its immensely
symptomatic and psychological interest.

"I believe that Wilson wants to go to war," Bell wrote to _The Times_ on
December 23.  "I believe that he wants to fight Germany.  I believe that
he wants Germany to commit herself to a program that would warrant him
in asking the American people to enter the conflict."  In every allied
quarter in Europe, practically without exception, Bell’s letter produced
a prodigious and contemptuous guffaw.  Americans in Europe, any number
of them, joined in the gibes. Undismayed, Bell returned to the attack
within three days. "America can not keep out of this war unless Germany
gives way," he wrote on December 26.  "The time may come very soon when
President Wilson will be under the necessity of making his appeal to the
American nation."  The thunderer did not consign Bell’s letters to the
editorial waste-basket, where most Englishmen believed they belonged,
yet it declined, in its scrupulously courteous way, to associate itself
with its correspondent’s manifestly fantastic and fanatical sophistry.
In an editorial comment _The Times_ expressed its reluctance to place
any trust in Bell’s exposition of the policy "which Mr. Wilson so
carefully wraps up."  Bell had by this time become a laughing-stock far
beyond the confines of the metropolitan area of London.  Paris,
Petrograd and Rome read his letters and shook with incredulous mirth.
The feelings of fellow-Americans toward him began to be tinged with
pity.

Yet Bell broke forth afresh on New Year’s Day with his third letter to
Printing House Square, asserting, roundly, that "America will and can
support no peace but an Entente peace."  On January 25 _The Times_
printed Bell’s fourth letter within five weeks, in which he this time
declared unequivocally that "Mr. Wilson’s purpose is solely to inform
the world what America stands for and what he is willing to ask America,
if need be, to fight for."

Germany now proclaimed her new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
Mr. Gerard was recalled from Berlin and Count Bernstorff received his
passports in Washington.  Yet Allied faith in America, momentarily
revived by these events, took wings once more when it became known that
Mr. Wilson’s next "step" would be armed neutrality.  The editor of _The
Times_, who had been exceptionally tolerant of the pestiferous Bell,
imagined now, I fancy, that events had at length put a timely end to the
letter-writing energies of the Chicago scribe; for Englishmen, with
notably few exceptions, had by this time pretty well "eliminated"
America from their calculations.  But on February 22, inspired perhaps
by the rugged traditions clinging to that date, Bell cleared for action
for the fifth time and next day _The Times_ printed him for the fifth
time.  He wrote: "I will risk the view that we are on the edge of great
things in America--things worthy of the country of Washington and
Lincoln. America, I feel, is about to fructify internationally--about to
make her real contribution to humanity and history."  _The Times_ now
went so far as to suggest, with characteristic prudence, that Bell’s
"sagacious and racy letter deserves careful consideration by all who are
trying to understand the situation in Washington."  Unhappily, there was
little evidence in the continued British mistrust of America that _The
Times’_ counsel was being taken widely to heart.

On February 27 Bell craved the indulgence of _The Times_ for his sixth,
and final, epistle to the skeptics. With what was destined to turn out
to be rare prescience and penetration, he now said that Mr. Wilson’s
delay in coming to grips with Hohenzollernism meant only that "the
president wants the public temper so hot throughout America that it will
instantly burn to ash any revolutionary unrest or any opposition by the
pacifist diehards."  Five weeks later the United States and Germany were
at war, with the American nation united in fervent support of the
president’s pronunciamento that the task which demanded the renunciation
of our neutrality was one to which "we can dedicate our lives, our
fortunes, everything we are and everything we have."  The hour of
Europe’s awakening from its scornful dreams had come.

For several days after Congress, at the president’s instigation, voted
to "accept the gage of battle," there lay neatly folded up in a certain
front room of the American Embassy in London a fine, new American flag.
It had been put there for a special purpose--to be hoisted at a
psychological moment believed to be imminent.  Our people in Grosvenor
Gardens, in their hearty, imaginative American way, considered that
there might possibly be a "demonstration" in welcome of Britain’s latest
comrade-in-arms.  There were visions of a procession, brass bands and
cheering crowds; and the spick and span stars and stripes were to be
flung to the glad breeze when the "demonstrators" reached the scene and
called for a speech from Ambassador Page on the Embassy balcony.  Such
things happened when Italy and Roumania "came in."  Surely history would
not fail to repeat itself in the case of "daughter America."  But
neither procession, bands, cheers nor crowds ever materialized.  After
all, we could not expect Englishmen to celebrate in honor of the
greatest mistake they had ever made in their lives. That would be
something more than un-English.  It would be a violation of all the laws
of human nature.

Yet I suppose there was not an American in Great Britain who was not
keenly disappointed at the conspicuously undemonstrative character of
our welcome into the Allied fold.  I must not be understood as
minimizing the warmth of either governmental or press utterances evoked
by President Wilson’s Lincolnesque speech to Congress and the action
which so promptly ensued.  The sentiments expressed by Mr. Lloyd George,
Mr. Asquith, Mr. Bonar Law, Lord Robert Cecil and Lord Bryce, in and out
of Parliament, and the thoughts which found vivid expression in the
columns of the newspapers of London and the provinces left little to be
desired; but eloquent and hearty as they were, their effect upon that
all-powerful molder of British public opinion known as the Man in the
Street was strangely negligible.  I am sure I am not the only American
in England who, waiting for words of greeting from British friends and
not getting them, was irresistibly constrained to search for the reason.
Our chagrin was not lessened by assurances from Paris that "France was
going wild with joy"; that the president’s speech was being read aloud
in the schools and officially placarded on all the hoardings of the
republic; that the government buildings were flying the tricolor and
"Old Glory" side by side; and that American men were being publicly
embraced in the boulevards.

Many Americans found themselves, for reasons never entirely clear to
them, the objects of "congratulation."  I know of at least one instance
in which a very estimable American lady, showered with "congratulations"
by British friends on the action of her country, preserved sufficient
presence of mind to suggest that she thought "congratulations" were due
to the Allies. Another favorite view advanced by _vox populi_ was that
America had only "come in" at this late stage of the sanguinary game
because "the war was won" and intervention now was "safe" and "cheap."
It was not uncommon to be told that our determination to "spend the
whole force of the nation" was due to commercial acumen and our desire
to safeguard the heavy "investment" we had already made in the Allied
cause. Last-ditchers--their name was legion: the Englishmen who refused
to believe even yet that America "meant business"--declined to throw
their hats into the air and shout until "big words" had become "big
deeds."  Much more impressive in my own ears seemed the explanation that
Britons were not tumultuous in our honor because these days of endless
sacrifice--the spring offensive in France was at its height and the
nation’s best were falling in thousands--were not days for cheering and
flag-waving.  And, finally, there was that extensive school of thought
which had always and sincerely opposed American intervention on the
ground that America, as a neutral granary and arsenal, was a more
effective Allied asset than a belligerent America which would naturally
and necessarily husband its vast resources for its own military
requirements.

The story of Germany’s state of mind toward America’s entry into the
lists against her is soon told. The German government and German people
looked upon us as all but declared enemies throughout the war.  They
felt, and repeatedly said, that we were doing them quite as much damage
as neutrals as we could possibly inflict in the guise of belligerents.
That, indeed, was the argument on which Hindenburg and his
fellow-strategists based the "safety" of inaugurating unrestricted
submarine warfare and the moral certainty of war with the United States
as a result.  Not all Germans blithely relegated the prospect of a
formally hostile America to the realm of inconsequence. Hindenburg and
Ludendorff know nothing about America.  But men like Ballin, Gwinner,
Rathenau and Dernburg know that the United States, in a famous German
idiom, is, indeed, "the land of unlimited possibilities."  There can be
no manner of doubt that the vision of America’s limitless resources
harnessed to those of the nations already at war with their country
always filled the business giants of the Fatherland with all the terror
of a nightmare.  But as those elements, both before and during the war,
were as a voice crying in the wilderness of Prussian militarism, they
were condemned to silence when the dreaded thing became a reality; and
the only note that issued forth from Berlin was the "inspired" croak in
the government-controlled press that only the expected had happened;
that Hindenburg’s plans had been made with exact regard for that which
had now supervened, and that Germany’s irresistible march to victory
would not and could not be arrested by anything the Americans could do.

Doubts were universally expressed in America and in Allied Europe as to
whether the Kaiser’s government would permit President Wilson’s crushing
indictment of Prussianism to be published in Germany.  One heard of
picturesque schemes to drop millions of copies of the speech over the
German trenches and towns from aeroplanes.  In at least one widely-read
German newspaper, the _Berliner Tageblatt_, a Radical-Liberal journal
which has not entirely surrendered its old-time independence, the
president’s speech was printed almost verbatim.  In nearly every paper
there were adequate extracts.  But such effect as they may have been
designed to create upon the German body politic--particularly the
president’s insistence that America’s war is with "the Imperial German
Government" and not with "the German people"--was nullified by the press
bureau’s imperious orders to editors to reject Mr. Wilson’s "moral
clap-trap" as impudent and insolent interference with Germany’s domestic
concerns. Under the leadership of the celebrated Berlin theologian,
Professor Doctor Adolf Harnack, meetings of German scholars and
_savants_ were organized for the purpose of giving public expression to
the "unanimity and indignation with which the German nation protests
against the American president’s officious intrusion upon matters which
are the affair of the German people and themselves alone."  Or words to
that effect.

Meantime the so-called comic press of Germany, which to an extent
probably unknown in any other country of the world gives the keynote for
popular sentiment, engaged in an orgy of unbridled abuse of President
Wilson, the United States and Americans in general.  The _leitmotif_ of
hundreds of cartoons, caricatures and jokes was that the "American money
power" had "dragged" us into the war.  _Simplicissimus_ epitomized
German thoughts of the moment in a full-page drawing entitled "High
Finance Crowning Wilson Autocrat of America by the Grace of Mammon."
The president was depicted enthroned upon a dais resting on bulging
money-bags and surmounted by a canopy fringed with gold dollars.  A
crown of shells and cartridges is being placed upon his head by the
grinning shade of the late J. Pierpont Morgan.  In the background is the
filmy outline of George Washington, delivering the farewell address.

Then, of a sudden, German press policy toward the United States
underwent a radical change.  Silence supplanted abuse.  It became so
oppressive and so profound as to be eloquent.  The purpose of this
organized indifference soon became crystal-clear: on the one hand to
bolster up German confidence in the innocuousness of American enmity,
and, on the other, to slacken the United States’ war preparations by
committing no "overt act" of word or deed designed to stimulate them.
Bernstorff had by this time reached Berlin and there is reason to
suspect that his was the crafty hand directing the new policy of
ostensible disinterestedness in American belligerency.  The arrival of
American naval forces in European waters; the inauguration of
conscription; the far-reaching preparations for succoring our Allies
with money, food and ships; the splendid success of the Liberty Loan;
the presence of General Pershing and the headquarters staff of the
United States Army in France; the enrollment of nearly ten million young
men for military service; our ambitious plans for the air war; the
girding up of our loins in every conceivable direction, that we may play
a worthy part in the war--all these things have been either deliberately
ignored in Germany, by imperious government order, or, when not
altogether suppressed from public knowledge, been slurred or glossed
over in a way designed to make them appear as harmless or "bluff."
Finally, in an "inspired" article which offered sheer affront to the
large body of truly patriotic American citizens of German extraction,
the _Cologne Gazette_ bade Germans to continue to pin their faith in
"our best allies," _i.e._, the German-Americans, who might be relied
upon (quoth the semi-official Watch on the Rhine) to "inject into
American public opinion an element of restraint and circumspection which
has already often been a cause of embarrassment to Herr Wilson and his
English friends."  "We may be sure," concluded this impudent homily,
"that our compatriots are still at their post."

Events have marched fast since America "came in."  In Great Britain and
France men of perspicacity are not quite so jubilant over the effects of
the Russian revolution as they were three months ago.  They realize that
the amazing cataclysm which began in Petrograd on March 13 warded off a
treacherous peace between Romanoff and Hohenzollern, but also, alas!
that it has effectually eliminated Russia as a fighting factor for the
purposes of this year’s campaign. Englishmen and Frenchmen are only now
beginning to comprehend the immeasurable task that confronts New Russia
in the erection of a democratic state on the ruins of autocracy while
faced by the simultaneous necessity of warring against an enemy in
occupation of vast Russian territory.

To-day there is little inclination in London or Paris to underestimate
the providential importance of American intervention.  The specter of
dwindling manpower in both countries is of itself sufficient to cause
them to gaze gratefully and longingly toward our untapped reservoir of
human sinews.  _What is happening in chaotic and liberty-dazed Russia
forces Englishmen and Frenchmen, however disconcerting to their pride,
to acknowledge the absolute indispensability of American support_.
There are many among them candid enough to admit that democracy’s
horizon might now be perilously beclouded if the United States had
refrained from playing a man’s part in the battle of the nations.  In
Berlin, too, the true import of America’s decision is dawning upon
government and governed alike.

Our Allies expect us to justify our world-wide reputation for speed and
organizing capacity and to transfer our activities from the forum of
Demosthenes to the field of Mars.  They are impressed by what we have
already accomplished--I write on the day when the arrival of the first
American army in France, well within three months of our entering the
war, is officially announced.  But amid our remote isolation from the
scene of the conflict, safeguarded by geographical guarantees that its
consuming fires can hardly ever sear our own soil, Englishmen and
Frenchmen wonder whether we are able to estimate the magnitude of the
effort required of us if we are to rise to the majestic zenith of our
potentialities.  Some of them, seemingly no wiser for their myopia of
recent times, are frankly skeptical on that point.

It is our bounden duty, as I am sure it is our unconquerable resolve, to
disillusion our Allies.  To us has fallen the privilege of proving that
our mighty sword has been drawn in earnest and that we shall not sheathe
it until America’s plighted word is gloriously made good.  "Make Good!"
Leaping to the tasks which await us on land and sea with that indigenous
idiom on their lips, our soldiers and sailors need crave for no more
inspiring slogan.  Allied Europe expects us--expects us almost
anxiously--to "make good."

London, June 28, 1917.



                              THE ASSAULT



                               CHAPTER I

                           THE CURTAIN RAISER


Countess Hannah von Bismarck missed her aim.  The beribboned bottle of
"German champagne" with which she meant truly well to baptize the newest
Hamburg-American leviathan of sixty thousand-odd tons on the placid
Saturday afternoon of June 20, 1914, went far wide of its mark.  The
Kaiser, impetuous and resourceful, came gallantly and instantaneously to
the rescue.  Grabbing the bottle while it still swung unbroken in midair
by the black-white-red silken cord which suspended it from the launching
pavilion, Imperial William crashed it with accuracy and propelling power
a Marathon javelin-thrower might have envied squarely against the vast
bow.  The granddaughter of the Iron Chancellor, a bit crestfallen
because she had only thrown like any woman exclaimed: "I christen thee,
great ship, _Bismarck_!" and the milky foam of the _Schaumwein_ trickled
in rivulets down the nine- or ten-story side of the most Brobdingnagian
product which ever sprang from shipwrights’ hands.  Then, with ten
thousand awestruck others gathered there on the Elbe side, I watched the
huge steel carcass, released at last from the stocks which had so long
held it prisoner, glide and creak majestically down the greasy ways
midst our chanting of _Deutschland, Deutschland, über Alles_.  Half a
minute later the _Bismarck_ was resting serenely, house-high, on the
surface of the murky river five hundred yards away.  The Kaiser and Herr
Ballin shook hands feelingly, the royal monarch smiling benignly on the
shipping king.  The military band blared forth _Heil Dir im
Siegeskranz_, and the last fête Hamburg was destined to know for many a
troublous month had passed into history.

Countess von Bismarck had missed her aim!  I wonder if there are not
many, like myself, who witnessed the ill-omened launch and who endow it
now with a meaning which events of the intervening year have borne out?
For, surely, when the Great General Staff at Berlin reviews
dispassionately the beginnings of the war, as it some day will do, there
will be an absorbingly interesting explanation of how the machine which
Moltke, the Organizer of Victory, handed down to an incompetent namesake
and nephew missed _its_ aim, too--the winning of the war by a series of
short, sharp and staggering blows which should decide the issue in favor
of the Germans before the next snow. The argument has been advanced, in
vindication of Germany’s innocent intentions, that the Hamburg-American
line would never have launched the mighty _Bismarck_ if the Fatherland
was planning or contemplating war.  But the ship was not to have made
her maiden transatlantic voyage until April 1, 1915, the centenary of
her great patronym’s birth.  The German Staff expected to dictate a
glorious peace long before that time, and might have done so but for
Belgium, Joffre, "that contemptible little British army," and other
miscalculations.  If the Staff, like Countess von Bismarck, had not
missed its aim, the _Bismarck_ would have poked her gigantic nose into
New York harbor on scheduled time, a mammoth symbol of Germany, the
World Power indeed, and fitting incarnation of the new Mistress of the
Seas.  Who knows but what perhaps grandiose visions of that sort were in
the far-seeing Herr Ballin’s card-index mind?

The Kaiser customarily visits the Venice of the North on his way to Kiel
Week, the yachting festival invented by him to outrival England’s Cowes,
and the launch of the _Bismarck_ was timed accordingly. From Hamburg the
Emperor proceeds aboard the Imperial yacht _Hohenzollern_ up the Elbe to
Brunsbüttel for the annual regatta of the North German Yacht Squadron, a
club consisting for the most part of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck
patricians with the love of the sea inborn in their Hanseatic veins.
There was no variation from the time-honored programme in 1914.  William
II even adhered to his unfailing practice of delivering an apotheosis of
the marine profession at the regatta-dinner of the N.G.Y.S. aboard the
Hamburg-American steamer on which Herr Ballin is wont to entertain for
Kiel Week a party of two or three hundred German and foreign notables.
There was no glimmer of coming events in the guest-list of S.S.
_Victoria Luise_, for it included Mr. John Walter, one of the hereditary
proprietors of _The Times_, and several other distinguished Englishmen
soon to be Germany’s hated foes.

By that occult agency which determines with diabolical delight the irony
of fate, it was ordained that Kiel, 1914, should be the occasion of a
spectacular Anglo-German love-feast, with a squadron of British
super-dreadnoughts anchored in the midst of the peaceful German Armada
as a sign to all the world of the non-explosive warmth of English-German
"relations."  That, at any rate, was the design of that unfortunately
nebulous element in Berlin, headed by Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, known
as the Peace Party; for had certain highly-placed Germans acting under
the Imperial Chancellor’s inspiration had their way, the British
Admiralty yacht _Enchantress_, the official craft of the First Lord of
the Admiralty and actually bearing that dignitary, Mr. Winston
Churchill, M.P., would have been convoyed to Kiel by Vice-Admiral Sir
George Warrender’s ironclads.  The Kaiser’s approval of the Churchill
project--as I happen to know--had been sought and secured.  Eminent
friends of an Anglo-German rapprochement in London had done the
necessary log-rolling in England. Matters were regarded in Germany so
much of a _fait accompli_ that an anchorage diagram issued by the naval
authorities at Kiel only a fortnight before the "Week" indicated the
precise spot at which Mr. Churchill and the _Enchantress_ would make
fast in the harbor of Kiel Bay.

[Illustration: Watching for the Kaiser’s Armada.]

But Mr. Churchill did not come.  I know why. Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz,
to whom the half-American _enfant terrible_ of British politics was a
pet aversion, did not want him at Kiel.  Mr. Churchill’s visit might
have resulted in some sort of an Anglo-German naval _modus vivendi_, or
otherwise postponed "the Day."  The German War Party’s plans, so soon to
materialize, would have been sadly thrown out of gear by such an
untimely event, and von Tirpitz is not the man to brook interference
with his programmes.  Had not the German Government, under the
Grand-Admiral’s invincible leadership, persistently rejected the hand of
naval peace stretched out by the British Cabinet?  Was it not Mr.
Churchill’s own proposals to which Berlin had repeatedly returned an
imperious No?  Could Germany afford to run the risk of being cajoled,
amid the festive atmosphere of Kiel Week, into concessions which she had
hitherto successively withheld?  Von Tirpitz said No again.  For years
he had been saying the same thing on the subject of an armaments
understanding with Britain.  He said No to Prince Bülow when the fourth
Chancellor suggested the advisability of moderating a German naval
policy certain to lead to conflict with Great Britain.  He said No to
Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg when Bülow’s successor timorously suggested
from time to time, as he did, the foolhardiness of a programme which
meant, in an historic phrase of Bülow’s, "pressure and
counter-pressure."  Von Tirpitz had had his way with two German
Chancellors, his nominal superiors, in succession.  He never dreamt of
allowing himself to be bowled over now by an amateur sailor from London,
who, if he came to Kiel, would only come armed with a fresh bait
designed to rob the Fatherland of its "future upon the water."

Until a bare two weeks before the date of the arrival of the British
Squadron in German waters, nothing was publicly known either in London
or Berlin of the projected trip of Mr. Churchill to Kiel.  Von Tirpitz
thereupon had resort to the weapon he wields almost as dexterously as
the submarine--publicity--to depopularize the scheme of the misguided
friends of Anglo-German peace.  It was not the first time, of course,
that the Grand-Admiral had deliberately crossed the avowed policy of the
German Foreign Office.  Von Tirpitz now caused the Churchill-Kiel
enterprise to be "exposed" in the press, in the confident hope that
premature announcement would effectually kill the entire plan.  It did.
Tirpitz diplomacy scored again, as it was wont to do.  Whereof I speak
in this highly pertinent connection I know, on the authority of one of
von Tirpitz’s most subtle and trusted henchmen.  To the latter’s eyes, I
hope, these reminiscences may some day come.  He, at least, will know
that history, not fiction, is recited here.



                               CHAPTER II

                             THE FIRST ACT


"I am simply in my element here!" exclaimed the Kaiser ecstatically to
Vice-Admiral Sir George Warrender, as the twain stood surveying the
glittering array of steel-blue German and British men-of-war facing one
another amicably on the unruffled bosom of Kiel harbor at high noon of
June 25.  From my perch of vantage abaft the forward
thirteen-and-one-half-inch guns of His Britannic Majesty’s
superdreadnought battleship _King George V_, whither the quartette of
London correspondents had been banished during William II’s sojourn in
the flagship, I could "see" him talking on the quarter-deck below,
speaking with those nervous, jerky right-arm gestures which are as
important a part of his staccato conversation as uttered words.

The Kaiser was inspecting _his_ flagship, for when he boarded us, almost
without notice, in accordance with his irrepressible love of a surprise,
Sir George Warrender’s flag came down and the emblem of the German
Emperor’s British naval rank, an Admiral of the Fleet, was hoisted atop
all the British vessels in the port.  For the nonce the Hohenzollern War
Lord was Britannia’s senior in command.  Aboard the four great
twenty-three-thousand-ton battleships, _King George V, Audacious,
Centurion_ and _Ajax_ and the three fast "light cruisers" _Birmingham,
Southampton_ and _Nottingham_ there was, for the better part of an hour,
no man to say him nay.  I wonder if he, or any of us at Kiel during that
amazing week, let our imaginations run riot and conjure up the vision of
the _Birmingham_ in action against German warships off Heligoland within
ten short weeks, or of the _Audacious_ at the bottom of the Irish Sea,
victim of a German mine, five months later?

Warrender’s squadron had come to Kiel two days before.  Another British
squadron was at the same moment paying a similar visit of courtesy and
friendship to the Russian Navy at Riga.  The English said then, and
insist now, that their ships were dispatched to greet the Kaiser and the
Czar as sincere messengers of peace and good-will.  The Germans, in the
myopic view they have taken of all things since the war began, are
convinced that the White Ensign which floated at Kiel six weeks before
Great Britain and Germany went to war was the emblem of deceit and
hypocrisy, sent there to flap in the Fatherland’s guileless face while
Perfidious Albion was crouching for the attack.  They say that to-day,
even in presence of the incongruous fact that Serajevo, which applied
the match to the European powder-barrel, wrote its red name across
history’s page while the British squadron was still riding at anchor in
Germany’s war harbor.

It was exactly ten years to the week since British warships had last
been to Kiel.  I happened to be there on that occasion, too, when King
Edward VII, convoyed by a cruiser squadron, shed the luster of his
vivacious presence on the gayest "Week" Kiel ever knew.  Meantime the
Anglo-German political atmosphere had remained too stubbornly clouded to
make an interchange of naval amenities, of all things, either logical or
possible.  It was the era in which Germania was preparing her grim
battle-toilet for "the Day"--for all the world to see, as she, justly
enough, always insisted.  They were the years in which her new
dreadnought fleet sprang into being.  It was the period in which offer
after offer from England for an "understanding" on the question of naval
armaments met nothing but the cold shoulder in Tirpitz-ruled Berlin.
Not until the summer of 1914 had it seemed feasible for British and
German warships to mingle in friendly contact.  Doctor von Bethmann
Hollweg quite legitimately accounted the arrangement of the Kiel
love-feast as an achievement of no mean magnitude, viewed in the light
of the ten acrimonious years which preceded it.  The War Party,
realizing its harmlessness, and, indeed, recognizing its value for the
party’s stealthy purposes, blandly tolerated it.  Even Grand-Admiral von
Tirpitz was on hand to do the honors, and no one performs them more
suavely than Germany’s fork-bearded sailor-statesman.

The day after Sir George Warrender’s vessels crept majestically out of
the Baltic past Friedrichsort, at the mouth of Kiel harbor, to be
welcomed by twenty-one German guns from shore batteries, the symptomatic
event of the "Week" was enacted--the formal opening of the reconstructed
Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. I place that day, June 24, not far behind the
sanguinary 28th of June, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand fell, in its
direct relationship to the outbreak of the war.  When the giant locks of
Holtenau swung free, ready henceforth for the passage of William II’s
greatest warships, the moment of Germany’s up-to-the-minute preparedness
for Armageddon was signalized.

For ten plodding years tens of thousands of hands had been at work
converting the waterway which links Baltic Germany with North Sea
Germany (Kiel with Wilhelmshaven) into a channel wide and deep enough
for navigation by battleships of the largest bulk.  After an expenditure
of more than fifty million dollars the canal, dedicated with pomp and
ceremony in 1892 to the peaceful requirements of European shipping, was
now become a war canal, pure and simple, raised to the war dimension and
destined, as the German War Party knew, to play the role for which it
was rebuilt almost before its newly-banked stone sides had settled in
their foundations.  When I watched proud William II, standing solemn and
statue-like on the bridge of his Imperial yacht _Hohenzollern_, as her
gleaming golden bow broke through the black-white-red strand of ribbon
stretched across the locks, I recall distinctly an invincible feeling
that I was witness of an historic moment.  Germany’s army, I said to
myself, had long been ready.  Now her fleet was ready, too.  With an
inland avenue of safe retreat, invulnerably fortified at either end,
Teuton sea strategists had always insisted that the Fatherland’s naval
position would be well-nigh impregnable.  That hour had arrived.  There
was the Kaiser, before my very eyes, leading the way through the War
Canal for his twenty-seven-thousand-five-hundred-ton battleships and
battle cruisers, and even for his thirty-five-thousand-ton or
fifty-thousand-ton creations of some later day, for the War Canal was
made over for to-morrow, as well as for to-day.  The German war machine
tightened up the last bolt when William of Hohenzollern emerged from
Holtenau locks into the harbor of Kiel, spectacular symbol of the fact
that German ironclads of any dimensions were now able to sally back and
forth from the Baltic to the North Sea and hide for a year, as the world
has meantime seen, even from the Mistress of the Seas. No wonder a
British bluejacket, forming the link of an endless chain of his fellows
dressing ship round the rail of the _Centurion_ in honor of the War
Lord, whispered audibly to a mate, as the _Hohenzollern_ steamed down
the line to her anchorage, "Say, Bill, don’t he look jest like Gawd!"
Perhaps the Divinely-Anointed felt that way, too.

When the Kaiser had left the _King George V_ after a politely cursory
"inspection"--the only real "understanding" effected between England and
Germany at Kiel was a tacit agreement on the part of officers and men to
do no amateur spying in one another’s ships--Sir George Warrender
summoned us from the turret and told us some details of the All-Highest
visitation. The Emperor had been "delighted to make his first call in a
British dreadnought aboard so magnificent a specimen as the _King George
V_" (she and her sisters being at the time the most powerful battleships
flying the Union Jack).  He wanted the Vice-Admiral to assure the
British Government what pleasure it had done the German Navy "in sending
these fine ships to Kiel."  He hoped nothing was being left undone to
"complete the English sailors’ happiness" in German waters.  That
extorted from Sir George Warrender the exclamation that German
hospitality, like all else Teutonic, was seemingly thoroughness
personified, for somebody had even been thoughtful enough to lay a
submarine telephone cable from the Seebade-Anstalt Hotel to the
Vice-Admiral’s flagship, so that Lady Maude Warrender might talk from
her apartments on shore directly to her husband’s quarters afloat.

"Yes," continued the Kaiser, who is a genial conversationalist and
_raconteur_, "I am in my element in surroundings like these.  I love the
sea.  I like to go to launchings of ships.  I am passionately fond of
yachting.  You must sail with me to-morrow, Admiral, in my newest
_Meteor_, the fifth of the name.  I race only with German crews now.
Time was when I had to have British skippers and British sailors.  You
see, my aim is to breed a race of German yachtsmen.  As fast as I’ve
trained a good crew in the _Meteor_, I let it go to the new owner of the
boat.  I am the loser by that system, but I have the satisfaction of
knowing that I am promoting a good cause."  The confab was approaching
its end.  "Oh, Admiral, before I forget, how is Lady ........ and the
Duchess of ........? I know so many of your handsome Englishwomen."

Sir George Warrender’s captains and the officers of the flagship were
now grouped around him for a farewell salute to their Imperial senior
officer.  The Kaiser spied the _King George V’s_ chaplain, and leaning
over to him inquired, gaily, "Chaplain, is there any swearing in this
ship?"  "Oh, never, Your Majesty, never any swearing in a British
dreadnought!"  The War Lord liked that, for we who had been in the
Olympian heights for’d remembered his laughing aloud at this veracious
tribute to Jack Tar’s world-famed purity of diction.

Kiel Week thenceforward was an endless round of Anglo-German
pleasantries.  A Zeppelin, harbinger of coming events, hovered over the
British squadron at intervals, her crew wagging cheery greetings to the
ships while acquainting themselves at close range with the looks of
English dreadnoughts from the sky. British sailormen paid fraternal
visits to German dreadnoughts and German sailormen returned their calls.
The crew of the _Ajax_ gave a music-hall smoker in honor of the crew of
the big battle-cruiser _Seydlitz_, the Teuton tars being no little
awestruck by the complacency with which two heavyweight British boxers
pummeled each other a sea-green for six rounds and then smilingly shook
hands when it was all over.  Germans never punch one another except in
gory hate, and they seldom fight with their fists.  The Kaiser was host
nightly at splendid State dinners in the _Hohenzollern_ and Vice-Admiral
Warrender returned the fire with state banquets aboard the _King George
V_.  The atmosphere was fairly thick with brotherly love.  It was not so
much as ruffled even when the octogenarian Earl of Brassey, who wards
off rheumatism by an early morning pull in his row-boat, was arrested by
a German harbor-policeman as an "English spy" for approaching the
forbidden waters of Kiel dockyard.  German diplomacy was typically
represented by Lord Brassey’s zealous captor, for the master of the
famous _Sunbeam_ brought that venerable craft to Kiel to demonstrate
that Englishmen of his class sincerely favored peace, and, if possible,
friendship with Germany.  Wilhelmstrasse tact was exemplified again
when, by way of apology to Lord Brassey, the Kiel police explained that
there was, of course, no intention of charging him with espionage.  The
policeman who arrested him merely thought he was nabbing a smuggler!  At
dinner that night in the _Hohenzollern_, the Kaiser chuckled jovially at
Lord Brassey’s expense.  England’s greatest living marine historian
stole away from Kiel with the _Sunbeam_ in the gray dawn of the next
day, with new ideas of German courtesy to the stranger within the gate.
He had intended to stay longer.

[Illustration: A naval Zeppelin cruising over the British squadron at
Kiel.]

Of all the billing and cooing at Kiel there is photographed most
indelibly on my memory the glorious jamboree of the sailors of the
British and German squadrons in the big assembly hall at the Imperial
dockyard on the Saturday night of the "Week."  There were free beer,
free tobacco, free provender for everybody, in typical German plenty.  A
ship’s band blared rag-time and horn-pipes all night long. Only the
supply of Kiel girls fell short of the demand, but that only made
merrier fun for the bluejackets, who, lacking fair partners, danced with
one another, and when the hour had become really hilarious, they tripped
across the floor, when they were not rolling over it, embracing in
threes, bunny-hugging, grotesquely tangoing, turkey-trotting and
fish-walking more joyously than men ever reveled before.

There, I thought, was Anglo-German friendship in being--not an ideal,
but an actuality.  I am sure the British and German tars at Kiel that
boisterous Saturday night which melted into the Sunday of Serajevo
little dreamt that when next they would be locked in one another’s arms,
it would be at grips for life or death.



                              CHAPTER III

                           THE PLOT DEVELOPS


Von G. is a Junker.  He is also Germany’s ablest special correspondent.
A Junker, let the uninitiated understand, is a Prussian land baron, or
one of his descendants, who considers dominion over the earth and all
its worms his by Divine Right.  If, like von G., a Junker is an army
officer besides, active or _ausser Dienst_, and had a grandfather who
belonged to Moltke’s headquarters in 1870-71, he is the superlatively
real thing.  So, as my mission in Germany was study of the Fatherland in
its characteristic ramifications, I always felt myself richly favored by
the friendship and professional comradeship of von G. He was Junkerism
incarnate.  Several years’ residence in the United States had signally
failed to corrode von G.’s Junker instincts.  Indeed, it intensified
them, for he was ever after a confirmed believer in the ignominious
failure of Democracy.  It was he who popularized "Dollarica" as a German
nickname for "God’s country."

Von G. and I roomed together at Kiel, sharing apartments and a bath in
the harbormaster’s flat above the Imperial Yacht Club postoffice, whose
two stories of brick and stucco serve as "annex" to the always
overcrowded and palatial Krupp hotel, the Seebade-Anstalt, at the other
end of the flowered club grounds. That bath, which I mention in no
spirit of ablutionary arrogance, has to do with the story of von G., for
it was to bring me on a day destined to be historic in violent conflict
with Junkerism.  Von G. and I regulated the bath situation at Kiel by
leaving word on our landlady’s slate the night before which of us would
bathe first next morning and at what hour. The bath happened to adjoin
my sleeping quarters and von G. could not reach it except by crossing my
bedroom, which he always entered without knocking. On Sunday, June 28,
fateful day, von G. was timed to bathe at eight A.M., I at nine--so read
the schedule inscribed by our respective hands on the good _Frau
Hafenmcistcr’s_ tablet.  At seven-thirty I was roused from my feathered
slumbers by her soft footsteps--the softest steps of German
harbormasters’ wives are quite audible--as she trundled across the room
to arrange Herr von G.’s eight o’clock dip.  Junkers are punctual
people, but that morning mine was late.  Eight, eight-thirty,
eighty-forty-five passed, and there was no sign of him.  When nine
o’clock came, I thought I might reasonably conclude, in my rude,
inconsiderate American way, that von G. had overslept or postponed his
bath, so I made for the tub at the hour I had intended to.  I was just
stepping one foot into it when--it was nine-ten now--von G., rubbing his
eyes, bolted in.

"What do you mean by taking my bath?" he yelled at me.  "That’s some of
your damned American impudence!"

Whereupon, imperturbably pouring the rest of me into the bath, I
ventured to suggest to Field-Marshal von G., that if he would drop the
barrack-yard tone and remember that I was neither a _Dachshund_ nor a
Pomeranian recruit, I would deign to hold converse on the point under
debate.  I am not sure I spoke as calmly as that sounds, for to gain a
conversational lap on a German you must outshout him.  At any rate, von
G., abandoning abuse, stalked whimperingly from the room, fired some
rearguard shrapnel about "just like an American’s ’nerve’," and bathed
later in the day.

I did not see him again until about five o’clock that afternoon.  He
bolted into my room this time, too, but in excitement, not anger.

"The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife have been assassinated," he
exclaimed.

"Good God!" I rejoined, stupefied.

"It’s a good thing," said von G. quietly.

For many days and nights I wondered what the Junker meant.  I think I
know now.  He meant that the War Party (of which he was a very potent
and zealous member) had at length found a pretext for forcing upon
Europe the struggle for which the German War Lords regarded themselves
vastly more ready than any possible combination of foes.  The first year
of the war has amply demonstrated the accuracy of their calculations.
Germany’s triumphs in the opening twelvemonth of Armageddon were the
triumphs of the superlatively prepared.  If Serajevo had not come along
when it did--with the German military establishment just built up to a
peace-footing of nearly one million officers and men and re-armed at a
cost of two hundred and fifty million dollars; with von Tirpitz’s Fleet
at the acme of its efficiency; with the Kiel Canal reconstructed for the
passage of super-dreadnought ironclads--Germany’s readiness for war
might have been fatally inferior to that of her enemies-to-be.  The
Fatherland was ready, armed to the teeth, as nation never was before.
The psychological moment had dawned.

This was the reassuring state of affairs at home. What did the War Party
see when it put its mailed hand to the vizor and looked abroad, across
to England, west over the Rhine to France, and toward Russia?  It saw
Great Britain on what truly enough looked to most of the world like the
brink of revolution in Ireland.  It saw a France, of which a great
Senator had only a few days before said that her forts were defective,
her guns short of ammunition and her army lacking in even such
rudimentary war sinews as sufficient boots for the troops.  It saw a
Russia stirred by industrial strife which seemed to need only the threat
of grave foreign complications to inflame her always rebellious
proletariat into revolt.  Serajevo had all the earmarks of providential
timeliness.

"It’s a good thing," said the sententious von G.

The "trippers" from Hamburg and nearer-by points in Schleswig-Holstein,
whom the Sunday of Kiel Week attracts by the thousand, were far more
stunned than von G. by the news from Bosnia, which put so tragic an end
to their seaside holiday.  The esplanade, which had been throbbing with
bustle and glittering with color, did not know at first why all the
ships in the harbor, British as well as German, had suddenly lowered
their pennants to half-mast, or why the Austrian royal standard had
suddenly broken out, also at the mourning altitude.  The Kaiser was
racing in the Baltic.  "Old Franz Josef," some said, "has died.  He’s
been going for many a day."  Presently the truth percolated through the
awestruck crowds. The sleek white naval dispatch-boat _Sleipner_ tore
through the Bay, Baltic-bound.  She carries news to William II when he
governs Germany from the quarter-deck of the _Hohenzollern_.  _Sleipner_
dodged eel-like, through the lines of British and German men-of-war,
ocean liners, pleasure-craft and racing-yachts anchored here, there and
everywhere.  In fifteen minutes she was alongside the Emperor’s fleet
schooner, _Meteor V_, which had broken off her race on receipt of
wireless tidings of the Archducal couple’s murderous fate.  The
_Hohenzollern_ had already "wirelessed" for the fastest torpedo-boat in
port to fetch the Kaiser and his staff off the _Meteor_, and the
destroyer and _Sleipner_ snorted up, foam-bespattered, almost
simultaneously.  The Emperor clambered into the torpedo-boat and started
for the harbor.

It was the face of a William II, blanched ashen-gray, which turned from
the bridge of the destroyer to acknowledge, in solemn gravity, the
salutes of the officers and crew of the British flagship, as the
Kaiser’s craft raced past the _King George V_.  Always stern of mien,
the Emperor now looked severity personified. His staff stood apart.  He
seemed to wish to be alone, absolutely, with the overwhelming thoughts
of the moment.  Three minutes later, and he stepped aboard the
_Hohenzollern_.  Now another pennant showed at the mainmast of the
Imperial yacht--the blue and yellow signal flag which means: "His
Majesty is aboard, but preoccupied."  I wonder if posterity will ever
know what monumental reflections flitted through the Kaiser’s mind in
that first hour after Serajevo? Did he, like von G., think it was "a
good thing," too? I suppose the first stars and stripes to be
half-masted anywhere in the world that dread sundown were those which
drooped from the stern of _Utowana_, Mr. Allison Vincent Armour’s
steam-yacht, anchored in the Bay off Kiel Naval Academy.  A puffing
little launch took me out to the _Utowana_ as soon as I had gathered
some coherent facts, which I wanted to present to Mr. Armour and his
guests, American Ambassador and Mrs. James W. Gerard, of Berlin, who had
motored to Kiel the day before.  Mrs. Gerard’s sister, Countess Sigray,
is the wife of a Hungarian nobleman, and the Ambassador’s wife, if my
memory serves me correctly, once told me of her sister’s acquaintance
with both of the assassinated Royalties.  We Americans discussed the
immediate consequences of the day’s event--how the Kaiser would take it,
how it would affect poor old Emperor Francis Joseph.  William II and
Admiral von Tirpitz had been the Archduke’s guests at Konopischt in
Bohemia only a few weeks before.  The Kaiser and the future ruler of
Austria-Hungary had become great friends.  They were not always that.
There had been a good deal of the William II in Franz Ferdinand himself.
People often said it was a case of Greek meet Greek, and that two such
insistent personalities were inevitably bound to clash. Others said that
the Archduke, inspired by his brilliantly clever consort, always
insisted that German overlordship in Vienna would cease when he came to
the throne.  Still others knew that despite antipathies and antagonisms,
the two men had at length come to be genuinely fond of each other, and
that their ideas and ideals for the greater glory of Germanic Europe
coincided.

These things we chatted and canvassed, irresponsibly, on _Utowana’s_
immaculate deck.  All of us were persuaded of the imminency of a crisis
in Austrian-Serbian relations in consequence of Princip’s crime. But I
am quite sure not a soul of us held himself capable of imagining that,
because of that remote felony, Great Britain and Germany would be at war
five weeks later.  Beyond us spread the peaceful panorama of British and
German war-craft, anchored side by side, and the thought would have
perished at birth.

Returned to the terrace of the Seebade-Anstalt, one found the atmosphere
heavily charged with suppressed excitement.  Immaculately-groomed young
diplomats, down from Berlin for the Sunday, were twirling their
walking-sticks and yellow gloves which were not, after all, to accompany
them to Grand-Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia’s garden-party.  That,
like everything else connected with Kiel Week, had suddenly been called
off.

A party of Americans flocked together at the entrance to the hotel to
exchange low-spoken views on the all-pervading topic.  There was big
Lieutenant-Commander Walter R. Gherardi, our wide-awake Berlin Naval
Attaché, resplendent in gala gold-braided uniform, and Mrs. Gherardi,
who had motored me around the environs of Kiel that morning; Albert
Billings Ruddock, Third Secretary of the Embassy, and his pretty and
clever wife; and Lanier Winslow, Ambassador Gerard’s private secretary,
his effervescent good nature repressed for the first time I ever
remembered observing it in that unbecoming and unnatural condition.
Secretary Ruddock’s father, Mr. Charles H. Ruddock, of New York,
completed the group.

I met Mr. Ruddock, Sr., six months later in New York.  "Do you remember
what you told me that afternoon at Kiel, when we were discussing
Serajevo?" he asked.  I pleaded a lapse of recollection. "You said," he
reminded me, "’this means war.’"

The aspect of Kiel became in the twinkling of an eye as funereal as
Serajevo and Vienna themselves must have been in that blood-bespattered
hour.  Bands stopped playing, flags not lowered to half-mast were hauled
down altogether, and beer-gardens emptied. "Hohenzollern weather,"
Teuton synonym for invincible sunshine, vanished in keeping with the
drooping spirits of everybody and everything, and bleak thunder-showers
intermingled with flashes of heat-lightning to complete the _mise en
scène_.  A week of gaiety unsurpassed evaporated into gloom and
foreboding.

For myself it had been a week crowded with great recollections.  Special
correspondents telegraphing to influential foreign newspapers,
particularly if they were English and American newspapers, were always
_persona gratissima_ with German dignitaries, even of the blood royal.
The group of us on duty at what, alas! was to be the last Kiel Week, at
least of the old sort, for many a year, were the recipients, as usual,
of that scientific hospitality which foreign newspapermen always receive
at German official hands.  Before we were at Kiel twenty-four hours we
were deluged with invitations to garden-parties at the Commanding
Admiral’s, to _soirees_ innumerable ashore and afloat, to luncheons at
the Town Hall, to the grand balls at the Naval Academy, and to functions
of lesser magnitude for the bluejackets. Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz had
left his card at my lodgings and so had Admiral von Rebeur-Paschwitz,
the Chief of Staff of the Baltic Station, who will be pleasantly
remembered by friends of Washington days when he was German Naval
Attaché there.  Captain Lohlein, the courteous chief of the Press Bureau
of the Navy Department at Berlin, had equipped me with credentials which
practically made me a freeman of Kiel harbor for the time being.  In no
single direction was effort lacking, on the part of the authorities who
have the most practical conception of any Government in the world of the
value of advertising, to enable special correspondents at Kiel to
practise their profession comfortably and successfully.  I must not
forget to mention the visit paid me by Baron von Stumm, chief of the
Anglo-American division of the German Foreign Office; for Stumm’s
opinion of me underwent a kaleidoscopic and mysterious change a few
weeks later.  Treasured conspicuously in my memories of Kiel, too, will
long remain the call I received from Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach’s
private secretary, and the message he brought me from the Master of
Essen.  It seems less cryptic to me now than then.  I sought an
interview from the Cannon Queen’s consort about the visit he and his
staff of experts had just paid to the great arsenals and dockyards of
Great Britain.

"Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach presents his compliments," said the
secretary, "and asks me to say how much he regrets he can not grant an
interview, as the matters which took him to England are not such as he
cares to discuss in public."

I wonder how many American newspaper readers, in the hurly-burly of the
fast-marching events which preceded and ushered in the war, ever knew of
the little army of eminent and expert "investigators" who honored
England with their company on the very threshold of hostilities?  June
saw the presence in London, ostensibly for "the season," of Herr Krupp
von Bohlen und Halbach, accompanied not only by his plutocratic wife,
but by his chief technical expert, Doctor Ehrensberger of Essen, an
old-time friend of American steel men like Mr. Schwab and ex-Ambassador
Leishman, and by Herr von Bülow, a kinsman of the ex-Imperial
Chancellor, who was the Krupp general representative in England.  With a
_naïveté_ which Britons themselves now regard almost incomprehensible,
the Krupp party was shown over practically all of England’s greatest
weapons-of-war works at Birkenhead, Barrow-in-Furness, Glasgow,
Newcastle-on-Tyne and Sheffield.  They saw the world-famed plants of
Firth, Cammell-Laird, Vickers-Maxim, Brown, Armstrong-Whitworth and
Hadfield.  Not with the eyes of Cook tourists, but with the practised
gaze of specialists, they were privileged to look upon sights which must
have sent them away with a vivid, up-to-date and accurate impression of
Britain’s capabilities in the all-vital realm of production of war
materials for both army and navy.  It was from this personally conducted
junket through the zone of British war industry that Herr Krupp von
Bohlen und Halbach returned--not to Essen, but to Kiel (where he has his
summer home) and to the Kaiser and von Tirpitz. It was to them his
report was made.  I think I understand better now why he could not see
his way to letting me tell the British public what he saw and learned in
England.  I was guileless when I sought the interview.  Let this be my
apology to Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach for attempting to penetrate
into matters obviously not fit "to discuss in public."

During July England entertained three other important German emissaries,
each a specialist, as befitted the country of his origin and the object
of his mission.  Doctor Dernburg came over.  He spent ten strenuous days
"in touch" with financial and economic circles and subjects.  No man
could be relied upon to bring back to Berlin a shrewder estimate of the
British commercial situation.  A few days later Herr Ballin, the German
shipping king, crossed the channel. I recall telegraphing a Berlin
newspaper notice which explained that the astute managing director of
the Hamburg-American line went to England to "look into the question of
fuel-oil supplies."  Herr Ballin, like Doctor Dernburg, also kept "in
touch" with the British circles most important and interesting to
himself and the Fatherland.  He must have dabbled in high politics a
bit, too, for only the other day Lord Haldane revealed that he arranged
for Herr Ballin to "meet a few friends" at his lordship’s hospitable
home at Queen Anne’s Gate.  Germans always felt a proprietary right to
seek the hospitality of the Scotch statesman who acknowledged that his
spiritual domicile was in the Fatherland.

Then, finally, came another German, far more august than Krupp von
Bohlen und Halbach, Dernburg and Ballin--Grand-Admiral Prince Henry of
Prussia.  His visit fell within a week of Germany’s declaration of war
against France and Russia.  The Prince, who enjoyed many warm
friendships in England and visited the country at frequent intervals,
also spent a busy week in London.  He saw the King, called on with
Prince Louis of Battenberg, the then First Sea Lord, and paid his
respects to Mr. Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty.
Englishmen only conjecture how he put in the rest of his time.

Perhaps an episode in the trial of Karl Lody, the German naval spy who
was executed at the Tower of London on November 6, has its place in the
unrecorded history of Prince Henry of Prussia’s epochal visit to the
British Isles.  Lody confessed to his military judges at Middlesex
Guildhall that he received his orders to report on British naval
preparations from "a distinguished personage."

"Give us his name," commanded Lord Cheylesmore, presiding officer of the
court.

"I would rather not tell it in open court," pleaded the prisoner, whom
Scotland Yard, the day before, had asked me to look at, with a view to
possible identification with certain Berlin affiliations.

"I will write his name on a piece of paper for the court’s confidential
information," Lody added.  His request was granted.

When we were officially notified that the Kaiser would proceed next
morning by special train to Berlin, we made our own preparations to
depart.  The British squadron had still a day and a half of its
scheduled visit to complete, and Vice-Admiral Warrender told us he would
remain accordingly.  The German Admiralty had extended him the
hospitality of the new War Canal for the cruise of his fleet into the
North Sea, but he decided to send only the light cruisers by that route
and take his battleships home, as they had come, by the roundabout route
of the Baltic.

On Monday noon, June 29, I went back to Berlin, to live through five
weeks of finishing touches for the grand world blood-bath.



                               CHAPTER IV

                           THE STAGE MANAGERS


Armageddon was plotted, prepared for and precipitated by the German War
Party.  It was not the work of the German people.  What is the "War
Party"?  Let me begin by explaining what it is _not_.  It is not a party
in the sense of President Wilson’s organization or Colonel Roosevelt’s
Bull Moosers.  It maintains no permanent headquarters or National
Committee, and holds no conventions.  The only barbecue it ever
organized is the one which plunged the world into gore and tears in
August, 1914, though its attempts to drench Europe with blood are
decade-old.  You would search the German city directories in vain for
the War Party’s address or telephone number.  No German would ever
acknowledge that he belonged to Europe’s largest Black Hand league.  You
could, indeed, hardly find anybody in Germany willing even to
acknowledge that the War Party even existed.  Yet, unseen and sinister,
its grip was fastened so heavily upon the machinery of State that when
it deemed the moment for its sanguinary purposes at length ripe, the War
Party was able to tear the whole nation from its peaceful pursuits and
fling it, armed to the teeth, against a Europe so flagrantly unready
that more than a year of strife finds Germany not only unbeaten but at a
zenith of fighting efficiency which her foes have only begun to
approach.

When the German War Party pressed the button for the Great Massacre, the
Fatherland had, roundly, sixty-seven million five hundred thousand
inhabitants within its thriving walls.  At a liberal estimate, no one
can ever convince me that more than one million five hundred thousand
Germans really wanted war. _They_ were the "War Party."  Sixty-six
millions of the Kaiser’s subjects, immersed in the most abundant
prosperity any European country of modern times had been vouchsafed,
longed only for the continuance of the conditions which had brought
about this state of unparalleled national weal.  I do not believe that
William II, deep down in his heart, craved for war.  I can vouch for the
literal accuracy of a hitherto unrecorded piece of ante-bellum history
which bears out my doubts of the Kaiser’s immediate responsibility for
the war, though it does not acquit him of supine acquiescence in, and to
that extent abetting, the War Party’s plot.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 1, 1914, the wife of
Lieutenant-General Helmuth von Moltke, then Chief of the Great German
General Staff, paid a visit to a certain home in Berlin, which shall be
nameless. The _Frau Generalstabschef_ was in a state of obvious mental
excitement.

"_Ach_, what a day I’ve been through, _Kinder_!" she began.  "My husband
came home just before I left. Dog-tired, he threw himself on to the
couch, a total wreck, explaining to me that he had finally accomplished
the three days’ hardest work he had ever done in his whole life--he had
helped to induce the Kaiser to sign the mobilization order!"

There is the evidence, disclosed in the homeliest, yet the most direct,
fashion, of the German War Party’s unescapable culpability for the
supreme crime against humanity.  The "sword" had, indeed, been "forced"
into the Kaiser’s hand.  This is no brief for the Kaiser’s innocence.
No man did more than William II himself, during twenty-six years of
explosive reign, to stimulate the military clique in the belief that
when the dread hour came the Supreme War Lord would be "with my Army."
Yet German officers, in those occasional moments when conviviality bred
loquacity, were fond of averring, as more than one of them has averred
to me, that "the Kaiser lacked the moral courage to sign a mobilization
order."  _Die Post_, a leading War Party organ, said as much during the
Morocco imbroglio in 1911.  Perhaps that is why General von Moltke had
to force the pen, which for the nonce was mightier than the sword, into
the reluctant hand of William II.

The Kaiser was constitutionally addicted to swaggering war talk, but, in
my judgment, he preferred the bark to the bite.  He likes his job.  Like
our Roosevelt, he has a "perfectly corking time" wielding the scepter.
Raised in the belief that the Hohenzollerns were divinely appointed to
their Royal estate, William II dearly loves his trade.  He does not want
to lose his throne.  In peace there was little danger of its ever
slipping from under him, thanks to a Socialist "movement" which was
noisy but never really menacing.  In war Hohenzollern rule is in
perpetual peril.  Hostile armies, if they ever battered their way to
Potsdam, would almost surely wreck the dynasty, even if the mob had not
already saved them that trouble.  The Kaiser, sagacious like every man
when his livelihood is at stake, always had these dread eventualities in
mind.  His personal interests, the fortunes of his House, all lay along
the path of manifest safety--peace.  Meantime his concessions to the War
Party were generous and frequent.  He rattled the saber on its demand.
He donned his "shining armor" at Austria’s side when the Germanic Powers
coerced Russia into recognition of the Bosnian annexation in 1909. He
sent the _Panther_ to Agadir harbor in 1911 because the War Party howled
for "deeds" in Morocco. It hoped that history in Northwestern Africa
would repeat itself--that the Triple Entente would yield to German bluff
as it yielded in Southeastern Europe two years previous.  It did not,
and it was then that the German War Party swore a solemn vow of "Never
Again!"  The days of the Kaiser who merely threatened war were numbered.
Next time the sword would be "forced" into his hand.  "Before God and
history my conscience is clear.  _I did not will this war_.  One year
has elapsed since I was _obliged_ to call the German people to arms."
Thus William of Hohenzollern’s manifesto to his people from Main
Headquarters on the first anniversary of the war, August 1, 1915.
Herewith I place _Frau Generalstabschef_ von Moltke on the stand as
chief witness in the Kaiser’s defense.

I have said that sixty-six million Germans wanted peace and one million
five hundred thousand demanded war.  But in Germany _minority_ rules.
It rules supreme when the issue is war or peace, and when the German War
Party _insisted_ upon deeds instead of speeches the nation, Kaiser and
all, Reichstag and Socialist, Prince and peasant, had but one
alternative--to yield.  In July, 1914, the War Party imperiously asked
for war, and war ensued.  That is the ineffaceable long and short of
Armageddon.  I am persuaded that William II on July 31 was confronted
with something strangely like an abrupt alternative of mobilization or
abdication.

Assertions of the German people’s consecration to peace may strike the
reader as incongruous in face of the magnificent unanimity with which
the entire Fatherland has waged and is still waging the war. But such a
view leaves wholly out of account the most prodigious and amazing of all
the German War Party’s preparations--the skilful manipulation of public
opinion for "the Day."  In ten brief days--those fateful hours between
July 23, when Austria launched her brutal ultimatum at Serbia, and
August 1, when mobilization of the German Army and Navy made a European
conflagration a certainty--Germany’s vast peace majority, by deception
which I shall outline in a subsequent chapter, was converted into a
multitudinous mob mad for war.

I count the merely material preparations of the War Party--the steady
expansion of Krupps, the development of the Fleet, the invention of the
forty-two centimeter gun, the vast secret storage of arms and
ammunition, the 1913 increase of the Army, the accumulation of a
war-chest of gold, the stealthy organization of every conceivable
instrument and resource of war down to details too minute for the
ordinary mind to grasp; all these, I count as nothing compared to the
hypnotization of the German national mind extending over many years.

In England and America the name of Bernhardi was on everybody’s lips as
the archpriest of the war. I doubt if one man in ten thousand in Germany
ever heard of Bernhardi before August, 1914.  He became an international
personality mainly through the graces of foreign newspaper
correspondents in Berlin, who, recognizing his book, _Germany’s Next
War_, as classic proclamation of the War Party’s designs on the world,
dignified it with commensurate attention, not because of its authorship,
but because of its innate _authoritativeness_.  The result was the
translation of _Germany’s Next War_ into the English language, and
subsequently, I suppose, into every other civilized language in the
world.  Perhaps I am myself to some extent responsible for Bernhardi’s
vogue in the United States.  He was going to cross our country en route
back to Europe from the Far East, and wrote to ask me to suggest to him
the name of an American translator and publisher for his books.
Bernhardi, a mere retired general of cavalry with a gift for incisive
writing, woke up to find himself famous.  But nothing could be more
beyond the mark than to imagine that he was the pioneer of German
war-aggression.  He was merely its most plain-spoken prophet.  The way
had been blazed for decades before he appeared upon the scene.  After
Bernhardi had been successfully launched on the bookshelves of the
world, the German War Party took him up, and it was not long before _Die
Post_, the _Deutsche Tageszeitung_ and other organs of blood-and-iron
were able to make "the highly gratifying" announcement that Bernhardi’s
manual had been compressed into a fifty-pfennig popular edition, so that
the German masses might be educated in the inspiring doctrine of
manifest Teuton destiny, as Bernhardi so unblushingly set it forth.

The German War Party’s certificate of incorporation is dated Versailles,
January 18, 1871, when, on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of
the creation of the Kingdom of Prussia, Bismarck and Moltke crowned
victorious William I of Prussia German Emperor.  Cradled in Prussianism,
the German War Party has always been Prussian, rather than German.  To
the credit of Bavaria, Saxony, Baden and Wurttemberg be that forever
remembered.  Denmark and Austria, during the seven years preceding
Versailles, had had their lessons.  Now France lay prostrate, despoiled
of her fairest provinces and financially bled white, as the conqueror
imagined.  From that moment the Prussian head began swelling with
invincible self-esteem, to emerge in the succeeding generation in an
insensate and megalomaniac conviction that to the race which had
accomplished what the Germans had achieved nothing was impossible.
"World Power"--Rule or Ruin--became the national slogan.

In the reconstruction years following the 1870-71 campaign non-military
Germany was bent on laying the foundations of Teuton industrial
greatness.  The project was vouchsafed no support from the military
hotspurs who, within ten years of Sedan and Paris, did their utmost to
force Bismarck into giving humbled France a fresh drubbing, that her
power to rise from the dust might be crushed for all time.  Then the
Prussian War Party demanded that the scalp of Russia be added to its
insatiable belt.  Bismarck propitiated the Bernhardis of that day by
thundering in the Reichstag that "We Germans fear God, and nothing else
in this world!"  When the Chancellor of Iron burnt that piece of bombast
into the German soul in 1887, a year before William the Speechmaker was
enthroned, he wrote the German War Party’s "platform."  Since then it
has had many planks added to it, but all of them have rested squarely
and firmly on the concrete upon which they were imbedded, viz., that
_Furor Teutonicus_ was a power which, when it went forth to slay and
conquer, was invincible because it was filled with naught but the fear
of God. _Nouveau riche_ Germany, with France’s one billion two hundred
and fifty million dollars of gold indemnity in its pocket, ceased to be
the Fatherland of homely virtues, celebrated in song and story, and
became the plethoric Fatherland, drunk with power and wealth won by
arms, the Fatherland which was to adopt the gospel of political
brutality as a new national _Leit-motif_.  "We, not the Jews, are God’s
chosen people. Our military prowess and our intellectual superiority
make German _Weltmacht_ manifest destiny.  Full steam ahead!"  Thus it
was, a generation ago, that the German War Party was launched on its mad
career.

During the war the English-reading world has heard much of Treitschke
and Nietzsche, just as it has had its ears dinned full of Bernhardi.
Germans with scars on their faces and other marks of a college
education--a gentry numbering several millions--know and venerate their
Treitschke and Nietzsche, and to their pernicious dogma is due in large
degree the war lust of so-called cultured Germany; yet to the German
masses these renowned apostles of Might is Right are little more than
names.  Of far more importance for the purpose of tracing the origin of
the Armageddon are the living captains of the "War Party," not its
deceased intellectual sponsors.  Historians of the present era will gain
the really illuminating perspective by relegating Nietzsche, "that
half-inspired, half-crazy poet-philosopher," and Treitschke, his more
modern kindred spirit, to the dead past and elevating Tirpitz and the
Crown Prince, Koester of the German Navy League and Keim of the German
Army League to their places.  It is men like them, politicians like
Heydebrand, literary firebrands like Reventlow and Frobenius, and
press-pensioners like Hammann who were the real pioneers of Armageddon.
These are names with which the English-reading world, enchanted by the
myopic prominence given to the writings of Nietzsche, Treitschke and
Bernhardi, are not familiar.  But they are the real stage managers of
the war tragedy, and it is with them I shall deal before narrating the
culminating effects of their devilry.

Prince Bülow, fourth Imperial Chancellor and most urbane of statesmen,
will live in German history as a man who resembled Bismarck in but one
important particular--the gift of phrase-making.  Bismarck’s aphorisms
are quoted by Germans with the awesome regard in which Anglo-Saxons cite
Shakespeare. Bülow’s name will be enshrined in Teuton memory for an
epigram which had as direct a psychic influence on the German War
Party’s demand for the present war as any other one thing said, written
or done in Germany in the last fifteen years.  When he proclaimed that
Germany demanded her "place in the sun," he flung into the fire fat
which was to go sizzling down the age.  It was worth its weight in
precious gems to the blood-and-iron brigade.  As Bismarck’s blasphemous
bluster in 1887 gave the War Party of that day its fillip, Bülow in 1907
supplied the spurred and helmeted zealots of his era with a flamboyancy
no less vicious.  They snatched it up with alacrity, and, being Germans,
proceeded to exploit it with masterly efficiency and deadly
thoroughness.  A "place in the sun" forthwith inspired an entirely new
German literature.  It became the spiritual mother of this war.

Like all the War Party’s dogma, the "place in the sun" doctrine is sheer
cant.  Germany has occupied an increasingly expansive "place in the sun"
for forty-four years without interruption.  In 1913, Doctor Karl
Helfferich, a director of the Deutsche Bank, who is now Secretary of the
Imperial Treasury, in a pamphlet spread broadcast throughout the world,
thus summarized Germany’s "place in the sun":

"The German National Income amounts today to ten thousand seven hundred
fifty million dollars annually as against from five thousand seven
hundred fifty to six thousand two hundred fifty million dollars in 1895.
The annual increase in wealth is about two thousand five hundred million
dollars, as against a sum of from one thousand one hundred twenty-five
to one thousand two hundred fifty million dollars fifteen years ago.

"The wealth of the German people amounts today to more than seventy-five
thousand million dollars, as against about fifty thousand million
dollars toward the middle of the nineties.  These solid figures
summarize, expressed in money, the result of the enormous economic labor
which Germany has achieved during the reign of our present Emperor."

Doctor Helfferich continued the story of the incessant widening of the
Fatherland’s "place in the sun."  He told of the steady rise of the
population at the rate of eight hundred thousand a year; of the
development of German industry at so miraculous a pace that while
Germany in the middle eighties was losing emigrated citizens at the rate
of one hundred thirty-five thousand a year, the total had sunk in 1912
to eighteen thousand five hundred, and that Germany had become, many
years before that date, an _importer_ of men, instead of an exporter;
that the net tonnage of the German mercantile fleet increased from
1,240,182 in 1888 to 3,153,724 in 1913; that German imports and exports,
during the rich years immediately prior to 1910, increased from one
thousand five hundred million dollars to nearly four thousand million
dollars, and in 1912 exceeded five thousand millions.

By a "place in the sun" Prince Bülow meant, primarily, territorial
expansion for Germany’s "surplus population."  Yet even in this respect
German aggrandizement kept pace with her fabulous economic development.
When war broke out in 1914, the German colonial empire oversea was
hundreds of thousands of square miles more extensive than Germany in
Europe. It is true that the Germans went in for colonial land-grabbing
late in the game, after England, particularly, had acquired the best
territory in both hemispheres, and many years after the Monroe Doctrine
had effectually checked European expansion in the Americas. As the
result of "colonial empire" in inferior regions of the earth, the total
white population of German colonies in 1913 was less than twenty-eight
thousand, or roundly, three and one-half per cent. of the _annual_
growth of German population.  Although acquired nominally for "trade,"
Germany’s commerce with her colonies in imports and exports totaled in
1914 a fraction more than twenty-five million dollars, or about
_one-half of one per cent._ of Germany’s total trade of five thousand
million dollars in 1912.  Germany’s lust for a larger "place in the
sun," as it has been aptly described by the author of _J’Accuse_, is
"square-mile greed," pure and simple, and as the same frank and
brilliant writer points out, Germany not only demands a "place in the
sun," but claims it for herself alone, insisting that the rest of the
world shall content itself with "a place in the shade."

To popularize the "place in the sun" theory two great German national
organizations went valiantly to work--the Pan-German League and the
German Navy League.  The Pan-Germans, whose efforts were seconded by a
subsidiary society called the Association for the Perpetuation of
Germanism Abroad, set themselves the task of educating German public
opinion in regard to "the bitter need" of a "Greater Germany," to be
achieved by hook or crook.  The German Navy League dedicated itself to
fomenting agitation designed to meet the Kaiser’s expressed "bitter
need" of vast German sea power.  Ostensibly private in character, both
of these militant propaganda organizations enjoyed more or less official
countenance and support.  On occasion, when their activities appeared
too pernicious or threatened to obstruct the subtle machinations of
German diplomacy, the Government would convincingly "disavow" the
leagues.  But all the time they were working for Germany’s "place in the
sun."  Under their auspices, the country for years was drenched with
belligerent and provocative literature, which harped ceaselessly on the
theme that what Germany could not secure by diplomacy she must prepare
to extort by the sword.

As the Pan-Germans and the Navy League cherished twin aspirations, it
was not surprising that two men, General Keim, a retired officer of the
army, and Count Ernst zu Reventlow, a retired officer of the navy,
should be moving spirits in both organizations. General Keim, in his
zeal to support Admiral von Tirpitz’s big navy schemes, eventually went
to such extremes in the pursuit of his duties as president of the Navy
League that the organization’s existence as a national association was
momentarily threatened.  It was giving the game away.  Keim was
thereupon removed from his position, to be succeeded by the Grand Old
Man of the German Fleet, Grand-Admiral von Koester.  Koester was
_suaviter in modo_, but no less _fortiter in re_ than Keim.  Entering
the presidency of the Navy League in the midst of the Dreadnought era,
when Germany’s dream of her "future upon the water" was sweetest, his
systematic fanning of the public temper, especially against England,
left nothing to be desired.

General Keim, deposed from the leadership of the Navy League, was
presently kicked up-stairs by the German War Party and made president of
the newly-formed "German Defense League."  This association was
organized to launch a national agitation in favor of increasing the
German military establishment.

The methods which had caused Keim’s "downfall" from the presidency of
the Navy League were promptly employed by him in the new army league.
With a host of influential newspapers and "war industry" interests at
their back, plus the benevolent patronage of the Imperial family and
Government, Koester and Keim carried out for six years preceding August,
1914, the most prodigious and audacious propaganda crusade in European
history.  Germany’s need for "a place in the sun," on whatever
particular chord they harped, was always their keynote.  The "Defense
League" scored its crowning triumph in 1913 by accomplishing the passage
of the celebrated Army Bill whereby the land forces of the Empire were
augmented at an expense of two hundred fifty million dollars--the
immediate preliminary step to the assault of Europe by the Kaiser’s
legions.

Count Reventlow, a Jingo of Jingoes, rendered both the navy and army
leagues valiant support in the columns of his newspaper, the _Deutsche
Tageszeitung_, and in a regular grist of pamphlets and books which his
facile pen from time to time reeled off.  Reventlow was one of the
archpriests of the War Party.  A champion hater of everything foreign,
he was temperamentally fitted to advocate the doctrine of Force and
Germany’s right to world-conquest by fire and sword.  Count Reventlow,
whom it was my pleasure to know intimately, hated England, France and
Russia with a ferocity delightful to behold.  His Francophobism was
little diminished by his marriage to a charming French noblewoman.  He
hated America, too.  I could never quite divine the gallant Count’s
reason for eating an American alive, in his mind, every morning for
breakfast, and for despising us as cordially as he detested Mr. Winston
Churchill, Monsieur Delcassé or the Czar, until he confessed to me one
day that he lost a fortune through unfortunate speculation in a Florida
fruit plantation.  Thenceforth, apparently, Reventlow’s anti-Americanism
knew no bounds. It was more explosive than usual during his discussion
of the _Lusitania_ massacre, but it was pathological.

A pillar of the German War Party, whose name is almost entirely unknown
abroad, is Doctor Hammann, chief of the notorious Press Bureau of the
German Foreign Office and Imperial Chancellery.  Hammann for twenty
years, because one of the craftiest, has been one of the most powerful
men in German politics.  For two decades he survived the incessant
vicissitudes and intrigues of the Foreign Office, which indeed were more
than once of his own making.  He was frequently credited with being "the
real Chancellor" in Bülow’s days because of his sinister influence over
that suave statesman.  Hammann’s nominal duties were confined to
manipulating the German press for the Government’s purposes and to
exercising such "control" over the Berlin correspondents of foreign
newspapers as might from time to time appear feasible or possible.
Himself a retired journalist of unsavory reputation--he was a few years
ago under indictment for perjury in an unlovely domestic scandal--he
seemed to his superiors an ideal personage to deal with the Fourth
Estate, which Bismarck trained Germans to look upon as "the reptile
press."  Hammann’s function, for the War Party’s purposes, was to
mislead public opinion, at home and abroad, as to the real intentions
and machinations of _Weltpolitik_.  Under his shrewd direction German
newspapers, restlessly propagating the Fatherland’s need for "a place in
the sun," systematically distorted the international situation so as to
represent Germany as the innocent lamb and all other nations as ravenous
wolves howling for her immaculate blood.  That Hammann is regarded as
having rendered "our just cause" priceless service was proved only a few
months ago by his promotion to a full division-directorship in the
Foreign Office.  He had hitherto ranked merely as a _Wirklicher
Geheimrat_, or sub-official of the department, although as a matter of
fact five Foreign Secretaries, "under" whom he nominally served, were
mere putty in the hands of Germany’s Imperial Press Agent-in-Chief.

Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, of course, has for years been one of the
super-pillars of the German War Party.  The Kaiser’s Fleet is the
creation of von Tirpitz, though William II receives popular credit for
the achievement, and von Tirpitz created it essentially for war.  Von
Tirpitz once honored me with a heart-to-heart confab on Anglo-German
naval rivalry.  He rebuked me in a paternal way for specializing in
German naval news.  Germany had no ulterior motive, he said.  She was
building a defensive fleet primarily, though one that would be strong
enough, on occasion, to "throw into the balance of international
politics a weight commensurate with Germany’s status as a World Power."
Von Tirpitz was the incarnation of the naval spirit which longed for the
chance to show the world that Germany at sea was as "glorious" as
centuries of martial history had proved her on land.  German sailors
chafed under the corroding restraint of peace.  They hankered for
laurels.  They were tired of manning a dress-parade fleet, whose
functions seemed to be confined to holding spectacular reviews for the
Kaiser’s glorification at Kiel.  They hungered for "the Day."  Von
Tirpitz has denied passionately that they ever drank to "the Day" in
their battleship messes.  But it was the unspoken prayer which lulled
them to well-earned sleep, for in consequence of the iron discipline and
remorseless labor which von Tirpitz imposed on his officers and men in
anticipation of "Germany’s Trafalgar," the Kaiser’s Fleet was the
hardest worked navy in the world.  No Armada in history was ever so
perpetually "battle-ready" as the German High Seas Fleet.  It was the
Fleet which made its very own that other hypocritical German battle-cry,
"The Freedom of the Sea," which means, of course, a German-ruled sea.

Von Tirpitz’s task was not only to build the fleet but to agitate German
public opinion uninterruptedly in favor of its constant expansion.  To
him and the Navy League, which he controlled, and to his Press Bureau
and its swarm of journalistic and literary parasites, were due the
remarkable Anglophobe campaigns which resulted in the desired periodical
additions to the Fleet.  A politician of consummate talent, von Tirpitz
held successive Reichstags in the palm of his hand.  No Imperial
Chancellor, though nominally his chief, was ever able to override the
imperious will of von Tirpitz the Eternal.  Repeatedly in the years
preceding the war England held out the hand of a naval _entente_.  The
War Party and von Tirpitz said "No!"  And Armageddon became as
inevitable as the setting sun.

I have enumerated only the outstanding figures of the German War Party.
They could be supplemented at will--there are the men like Professor von
Schmoller, of the University of Berlin, who foresees the day when "a
nation of two hundred million Germans oversea would rise in Southern
Brazil"; or Professor Adolf Lasson, also of Berlin, who proclaimed the
doctrine that Germans’ "cultural paramountcy over all other nations"
entitles them to hegemony over the earth; or Professor Adolf Wagner, the
Berlin economist, who excoriates compulsory arbitration as the refuge of
the politically impotent and a dogma beneath the dignity of the Germany
of the Hohenzollerns; or the whole dynasty of politician-professors like
Delbrück, Zorn, Liszt, Edward and Kuno Meyer, Eucken, Haeckel, Harnack,
or minor theorists like Münsterberg, who year in and year out preached
the doctrine of Teutonic superiority, Teutonic invincibility and
Teutonic "world destiny."  These intellectual auxiliaries of the War
Party in their day have sent tens of thousands of young men out of
German universities with politically polluted minds.  Their class-rooms
have been the real breeding ground and recruiting camps of the German
War Party.

And then, of course, in addition to the admirals who wanted war, and the
professors who glorified war, and the editors, pamphleteers, Navy and
Army League leaders and paid agitators who wrote and talked war, there
was the German Army, represented by its corps of fifty thousand or sixty
thousand officers, which was the living, ineradicable incarnation of war
and with every breath it drew sighed impatiently for its coming.  I
suppose armies in all countries more or less constitute "war parties."
But never in our time has an army tingled and spoiled for battle as
sleeplessly as the legions of the Kaiser.  It was written in the stars
that it was only a question of time when they would realize their
aspiration to prove that the German war machine of the day was not only
the peer, but incomparably the superior, of the Juggernauts with the aid
of which Frederick the Great and Moltke remapped Europe.

But the Grand Mogul of the German War Party, its pet, darling and patron
saint, was Crown Prince William, the Kaiser’s ebullient heir who
contributed so conspicuously to Germany’s loss of Paris in September,
1914.  For ten years he was the apple of the army’s eye.  William II’s
oratorical peace palaverings long ago convinced his military paladins
that their hopes could no longer with safety be pinned on the monarch
who would do nothing but _rattle_ his saber.  "A place in the sun" could
never be achieved by such tactics, they argued, so they transferred
their affections and their expectations to the "young man" who cheered
in the Reichstag when his father’s Government was accused of cowardice
in Morocco.  They placed their destinies in the keeping of the Imperial
hotspur who wrote in his book, _Germany in Arms_, that "visionary dreams
of everlasting peace throughout the world are un-German."  Their real
allegiance was sworn henceforth to the swashbuckling young buffoon, who,
taking leave of the Death’s Head Hussars after two years’ colonelcy,
admonished them to "think of him whose most ardent desire it has always
been to be allowed to share at your side the supreme moment of a
soldier’s happiness--when the King calls to arms and the bugle sounds
the charge!"  It was an open secret that when the Crown Prince was
exiled to the command of a cavalry regiment in dreamy Danzig, far away
from the frenzied plaudits of the multitude in Berlin, the Kaiser’s
action was inspired by the disquieting realisation that his heir was
acquiring a popularity, both in and out of the army, which boded ill for
the security of the monarch’s own status with his subjects.

These, then, are the men, and these their principal methods, which
provided the scenario for the impending clash.  As with every great
"production," preliminary plans were well and truly laid.  Rehearsals,
in the form of stupendous maneuvers on "a strictly warlike basis," had
brought the chief actors, scene shifters and other accessories to
first-night pitch.  The stage managers’ work was done.  They had now
only to take their appointed places in the flies and wings and let the
tragedy proceed.  The rest could be left to the puppets on both sides of
the footlights.  A month of slow music, and then the grand _finale_.



                               CHAPTER V

                               SLOW MUSIC


July in Berlin of the red summer of 1914 began as placidly as a feast
day in Utopia.  The electric shock of Serajevo soon spent its force.
Germans seemed to be vastly more concerned over the effect of the
Archduke’s assassination on the health of the old Austrian Emperor than
over resultant international complications.  It was Sir Edward Goschen,
British Ambassador in Berlin, previously accredited to the Vienna court,
who recalled to me Francis Joseph’s once-expressed determination to
outlive his heir.  The doddering octogenarian had realized his grim
ambition.

The German Emperor returned to Berlin from Kiel on Monday, the 30th of
June.  Ties of deep affection united him to his aged Austrian ally.  It
was universally assumed that the Kaiser, with characteristic
impetuosity, would rush to Vienna to comfort Francis Joseph and attend
the Archduke’s funeral. So, as events developed, he ardently desired to
do; but intimations speedily arrived from the _Hofburg_ that "Kaiser
Franz" had chosen to carry his newest cross unmolested by the flummery
and circumstance of State obsequies, and William II remained in Berlin
for honorary funeral services in his own cathedral in memory of the
august departed.  Some day a historian, who will have great things to
tell, may relate the real reason for the baffling of the Kaiser’s desire
to play the rôle of chief mourner at spectacular death-rites in the
other German capital.  He had telegraphed the orphans of the murdered
Archduke and Duchess that his "heart was bleeding for them."  Men who
have an X-ray knowledge of Imperial William’s psychology were unkind
enough to suggest that he longed to parade himself before the mourning
populace of the Austrian metropolis as Lohengrin in the hour of its woe,
an Emperor on whom it were safer to lean than on the decrepit figurehead
now bowed in impotent grief, with a beardless grand-nephew of an heir
apparent as the sole hope of the trembling future.

Until the late Archduke Francis Ferdinand began to assert himself,
William II’s influence at Vienna had been profound.  Francis Joseph
liked and trusted him. Austria was frequently governed from Potsdam.
With the great bar to his ascendency removed from the scene, the German
Emperor may well have thought the hour at length arrived for the virile
Hohenzollerns to save the crumbling Hapsburgs from themselves, and
invertebrate Austria-Hungary from the Hapsburgs. But Vienna decided it
was better the Kaiser should stay at home.  His political physicians, on
the evening of July 1, suddenly discovered that His Majesty was
suffering from that famous German malady known as "diplomatic illness,"
whereupon the court M.D. dutifully announced, through the obliging
official news-agency, that "owing to a slight attack of lumbago" the
Kaiser would not attend the funeral of the murdered Archduke, "as had
been arranged."  Forty-eight hours later other "face-saving" procedure
was carried out--the Viennese court proclaimed that by the express wish
of the Emperor Francis Joseph, no foreign guests of any nationality were
expected to attend the Royal obsequies.

On Monday, July 6, William’s "lumbago" having yielded to treatment,
there was sprung one of the most dramatic of all the _coups_ which
preceded the fructification of the German War Party’s now
fast-completing conspiracy.  Although martial law was being ruthlessly
enforced in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all Austria-Hungary was in a
state of rising ferment over the "expiation" which public opinion
insisted "the Serbian murderers" must render, the Kaiser’s mind was made
up for him that the international situation was sufficiently placid for
him to start on his annual holiday cruise to the North Cape.  Four days
previous, July 2, though the world was not to know it till many weeks
afterward, the military governor of German Southwest Africa unexpectedly
informed a number of German officers in the colony that they might go
home on special leave if they could catch the outgoing steamer.  These
officers reached Germany during the first week in August, to find orders
awaiting them to join their regiments in the field.  Notifications
issued to Austrian subjects in distant countries were subsequently found
also to bear date of July 2.  Things were moving.

The _Hohenzollern_ steamed away to the fjords of Norway with the Kaiser
and his customary company of congenial spirits.  The
Government-controlled _Lokal-Anzeiger_ and other journalistic handmaids
of officialdom forthwith proclaimed that "with his old-time tact our
Emperor, by pursuing the even tenor of his way, gives us and the world
this gratifying and convincing sign that however menacing the
storm-clouds in the Southeast may seem, _lieb’ Vaterland mag ruhig
sein_.  All is well with Germany."  Or words to that effect.  Germany
and Europe were thus effectually lulled into a false sense of security,
for, as one read further in other "inspired" German newspapers, "our
patriotic Emperor is not the man to withdraw his hand from the helm of
State if peril were in the air."  So off went the Kaiser to his beloved
Bergen, Trondhjem and Tromsö to flatter the Norwegians as he had done
for twenty summers previous and to shake hands with the tourists who
always "booked" cabins in the Hamburg-American North Cape steamers in
anticipation of the distinction the Kaiser never failed to bestow upon
Herr Ballin’s patrons.

The Kaiser’s departure from Germany was particularly well timed to
bolster up the fiction subsequently so insistently propagated, that
Austria’s impending coercion of Serbia was none of Germany’s doing.  The
_Hohenzollern_ had hardly slipped out of Baltic waters when Vienna’s
"diplomatic _demarche_" at Belgrade began.  It was specifically asserted
that these "representations" would be "friendly."  Europe must under no
circumstances, thus early in the game, be roused from its midsummer
siesta.  The official bulletin from the _Hohenzollern_ read: "All’s well
on board.  His Majesty listened to-day to a learned treatise on Slav
archeology by Professor Theodor Schiemann.  To-morrow the Kaiser will
inspect the Fridthjof statue which he presented to the Norwegian people
three years ago."

Austria-Hungary has a press bureau, too, and doubtless a Hammann of its
own; now it cleared for action.  While Vienna’s "friendly
representations" were in progress at Belgrade, the papers of Vienna and
Budapest began sounding the tocsin for "vigorous" prosecution of the
Dual Monarchy’s case against the Serbian assassins and their
accessories.  The Serbian Government meantime remained imperturbable.
Princip and Cabrinovitch, the takers of the Archduke and Duchess’ lives,
after all were Austrian-Hungarian subjects, and their crime was
committed on Austrian-Hungarian soil.  Serbia, said Belgrade, must be
proved guilty of responsibility for Serajevo before she could be
expected to accept it.  Then the Berlin press bureau took the field.
The _Lokal-Anzeiger_ "admitted" that things were beginning to look as if
"Germany will again have to prove her Nibelung loyalty," _i.e._, in
support of Austria, as during the other Bosnian crisis, in 1909.

By the end of the second week of July the world’s most sensitive
recording instruments, the stock exchanges, commenced to vibrate with
the tremors of brewing unrest.  The Bourse at Vienna was disturbingly
weak.  Berlin responded with sympathetic slumps.  To the _Daily Mail_ in
London and the _New York Times_ I was able, on the night of July 10, to
cable the significant message that the German Imperial Bank was now
putting pressure on all German banks to induce them to keep ten per
cent. of their deposits and assets on hand in money.  On the same day an
unexplained tragedy occurred in Belgrade: the Russian minister to the
Serbian court, Monsieur de Hartwig, Germanism’s arch-foe in the Balkans,
died suddenly while taking tea with his Austrian diplomatic colleague,
Baron Giesling.

Germany the while was going about its business, which at mid-July
consists principally in slowing down the strenuous life and extending
mere nocturnal "bummeling" in home haunts to seashore, forests and
mountains for protracted sojourns of weeks and months. The "cure"
resorts were crowded.  In the _al fresco_ restaurants in the cities, one
could hear the Germans eating and drinking as of peaceful yore.  The
schools were closed and Stettiner Bahnhof, which leads to the Baltic,
and Lehrter Bahnhof, the gateway to the North Sea, were choked from
early morning till late at night with excited and perspiring Berliners
off for their prized _Sommerfrische_.  _Herr Bankdirektor_ Meyer and
_Herr_ and _Frau Rechtsanwalt_ Salzmann were a good deal more interested
in the food at the _Logierhaus_ they had selected for themselves and the
_kinder_ at Heringsdorf or Westerland-Sylt than they were in Austria’s
avenging diplomatic moves in Belgrade.  Stock-brokers were only
moderately nervous over the gyrations of the Bourse.  Germans who had
not yet made off for the seaside or the Tyrol felt surer than ever that
war was a chimera when they read that Monsieur Humbert had just revealed
to the French Senate the criminal unpreparedness of the Republic’s
military establishment.

Strain between Austria and Serbia was now increasing.  Canadian Pacific,
German stock-dabblers’ favorite "flyer," tumbled on the Vienna and
Berlin Bourses to the lowest level reached since 1910.  Real war rumors
now cropped up.  Austria was reported to have "partially mobilized" two
army corps.  Canadian Pacifics continued to be "unloaded" by nervous
Germans in quantities unprecedented.  Now Serbia was "reported" to be
mobilizing.  It was July 17.  England, we gathered in Berlin, was
thinking only of Ireland. Berlin correspondents of great London dailies
who were trying to impress the British public with the gravity of the
European situation had their dispatches edited down to back-page
dimensions--if they were printed at all.  One colleague, who represented
a famous English Liberal newspaper, had arranged, weeks before, to start
on his holidays at the end of July. He telegraphed his editor that he
thought it advisable to abandon his preparations and to remain in
Berlin. "See no occasion for any alteration of your arrangements," was
wired back from Fleet Street.

The German War Party, acting through Hammann, now perpetrated another
grim little witticism.  It was solemnly announced in the Berlin
press--on July 18--that the third squadron of the German High Seas Fleet
was to be "sent to an English port in August (!) to return the visit
lately paid to Kiel by a British squadron."  Britain’s Grand Armada the
while was assembled off Spithead for the mightiest naval review in
history--two hundred and thirty vessels manned by seventy thousand
officers and men.  King George spent Sunday, July 19, quietly at sea,
steaming up and down the endless lines of dreadnoughts and lesser
ironclads.  The Lord Mayor of London opened a new golf course at
Croydon.  And Ulster was smoldering.

Highly instructive now were the recriminations going on in the German,
Austrian and Serbian press. Belgrade denied that reserves had been
called up.  The _North German Gazette_, the official mouthpiece of the
Kaiser’s Government, no longer seeking to minimize the seriousness of
the Austrian-Serbian quarrel, expressed the pious hope that the
"discussion" would at least be "localized."  Canadian Pacifics still
clattered downward.  Acerbities between Vienna and Belgrade were growing
more acrimonious and menacing from hour to hour.  Diplomatic
correspondence of historic magnitude, as the impending avalanche of
White Papers, Blue Books, Yellow Books and Red Papers was soon to show,
was already (July 20) in uninterrupted progress, though the quarreling
Irishmen and militant suffragettes of Great Britain knew it not, any
more than the summer resort merrymakers and "cure-takers" of Germany.
The foreign offices, stock exchanges, embassies, legations and newspaper
offices of the Continent were fairly alive to the imminence of
transcendent events, but the great European public, though within ten
days of Armageddon, was magnificently immersed in the ignorance which
the poet has so truly called bliss.

Her "friendly representations" at Belgrade having proved abortive,
Austria now prepared for more forceful measures.  On July 21 Berlin
learned that Count Berchtold, the Viennese foreign minister, had
proceeded to Ischl to submit to the Emperor Francis Joseph the note he
had drawn up for presentation to Serbia.  As the world was about to
learn, this was the fateful ultimatum which poured oil on the European
embers and set them aglare, to splutter, burn and devastate in a
long-enduring and all-engulfing conflagration.  Simultaneously--though
this, too, was not known till months later--the Austrian minister at
Belgrade sent off a dispatch to his Government, declaring that a
"reckoning" with Serbia could not be "permanently avoided," that "half
measures were useless," and that the time had come to put forward
"far-reaching requirements joined to effective control."  That, as
events were soon to develop, was an example of the diplomatic rhetoric
which masters of statecraft employ for concealment of thought.  It meant
that nothing less than the abject surrender of Serbian sovereignty would
appease Vienna’s desire for vengeance for Serajevo.

During all these hours, so pregnant with the fate of Europe, the German
Foreign Office was stormed by foreign newspaper correspondents in quest
of light on Germany’s attitude.  Was she counseling moderation in
Vienna, or fishing in troubled waters?  Was she reminding her ally that
while Serajevo was primarily an Austrian question, it was in its broad
aspects essentially a European issue?  Was the Kaiser really playing his
vaunted rôle as the bulwark of _European_ peace, or was Herr von
Tschirschky, his Ambassador in Vienna, adjuring the Ballplatz that it
was Austria’s duty to "stand firm" in the presence of the crowning Slav
infamy, and that William of Hohenzollern was ready once again to don
"shining armor" for the defense of "Germanic honor"?

These are the questions we representatives of British and American
newspapers persistently launched at the veracious Berlin Press Bureau.
What did Hammann and his minions tell us?  That Germany regarded the
Austrian-Serbian controversy a purely private affair between those two
countries; that Germany had at no stage of the imbroglio been consulted
by her Austrian ally, and that the last thing in the world which
occurred to the tactful Wilhelmstrasse was to proffer unasked-for
counsel to Count Berchtold, Emperor Francis Joseph’s Foreign Minister,
at so delicate and critical a moment.  Vienna would properly resent such
unwarranted interference with her sovereign prerogatives as a Great
Power--we were assured. Germany’s attitude was that of an innocent
bystander and interested witness, and nothing more.  That was the
version of the Fatherland’s attitude sedulously peddled out for both
home and foreign consumption.

Behind us lay a week of tremor and unrest unknown since the days,
exactly forty-four years previous, preceding the Franco-Prussian War.
The money universe, most susceptible and prescient of all worlds, rocked
with nervous alarm.  Its instinctive apprehension of imminent crisis was
fanned into panic on the night of July 23, when word came that Austria
had presented Serbia an ultimatum with a time limit of forty-eight
hours.  My own information of Vienna’s crucial step was prompt and
unequivocal.  It was on its way to London and New York before seven
o’clock Thursday evening, Berlin time.  I was gratified to learn at the
_Daily Mail_ office in London three weeks later that I had given England
her first news of the match which had at last been applied to the
European powder barrel.  It was five or six hours later before general
announcement of the Austrian ultimatum arrived in Fleet Street.

I was not surprised to learn that my startling telegram had aroused no
little skepticism.  During many days preceding it was the despair of the
Berlin correspondents of British newspapers that they seemed utterly
unable to impress their home publics with the fast-gathering gravity of
the European situation. London was no less nonchalant than Paris and St.
Petersburg.  England was immersed to the exclusion of everything else in
the throes of the Irish-Ulster crisis.  Mr. Redmond and Sir Edward
Carson loomed immeasurably bigger on the horizon than all Austria and
Serbia put together.  In the boulevards, cafés and government-offices of
Paris the salacious details of the Caillaux trial absorbed all thought.
In St. Petersburg one hundred sixty thousand working men threatened an
upheaval which bore an uncomfortable resemblance to the revolutionary
conditions of 1905. But it was the invincible indifference of London, as
it seemed in Berlin, which appealed to us most.

The newspapers of July 21, 22 and 23 came in and indicated that for
England Ulster had become Europe. There was obviously little space for,
and less interest in, dispatches from Berlin or Vienna describing the
"undisguised concern" prevalent in those capitals.  On July 21 I quoted
"high diplomatic authority" for the statement that the pistol would be
at Serbia’s breast before the end of the week.  But London remained
impervious.  More than one of my British colleagues, equally
unsuccessful in stirring the emotions of his people, threw up his hands
in resignation, muttering things about "British complacency," which
would have come with poor grace from a mere American.

Since then it has occurred to me that England’s sublime unconcern in the
approach of Armageddon may have been more apparent than real.  Sir
Edward Grey’s strenuous days and nights of telegraphing to his
Continental ambassadors, as England’s White Paper revealed, had set in
as early as July 20, when he wired Sir Edward Goschen to Berlin that "I
asked the German Ambassador today if he had any news of what was going
on in Vienna with regard to Serbia."  That was No. 1 in the series of
historic dispatches comprising the official British record of the
genesis of the war, which shows that there was no lack of anticipation
of coming events, as far as Downing Street was concerned.  So I am
impelled to think that there may have been method in Fleet Street’s
"splashing" (_Anglice_ for "featuring") pretty Miss Gabrielle Ray’s
entangled love affairs and minimizing the determination of Austria to
plunge Europe into war. There is a fine spirit of solidarity in England
concerning foreign affairs.  British editors in particular traditionally
refrain from crossing the policy of the Foreign Office, no matter what
the party complexion of the minister in charge.  They are accustomed to
supporting it unequivocally either by omission or commission, as the
interests of Great Britain from hour to hour suggest.  Whenever an
attitude of debonair detachment toward a given "foreign affair" is best
designed to promote the country’s diplomatic programme, Fleet Street can
be insensibility incarnate, national _esprit de corps_ effectually
fulfilling the function of a censor.  No one has ever told me that that
is why the appointment of a new principal for Dulwich College received
almost as much prominence on the morning of July 24 as news from Berlin,
Vienna or Belgrade. My suggestion of the reason is a diffident surmise,
pure and simple.  It contributed materially, no doubt, toward making
Germany believe that England was too "preoccupied" with Irishmen and
suffragettes to think of going to war for her political honor.

But in Berlin things were now (July 24) moving toward the climax with
impetuous momentum.  On that day, summing up events and opinion in
official and military quarters, I telegraphed the following message to
London:


"’We are ready!’  This was the sententious reply given today by a high
official of the General Staff to an inquiry with regard to Germany’s
state of preparedness in the event that an Austro-Serbian conflict
precipitates a European war.

"I am able to state authoritatively that the _casus foederis_ which
binds Austria, Germany and Italy in alliance would come into effect
automatically the instant Austria is attacked from any quarter other
than Servia.[1]


[1] The "assurances" given me by Foreign Office spokesmen, as reproduced
in the foregoing telegram, were, of course, made at a moment when the
German Government, no doubt quite sincerely, felt surer than it did ten
days hence that the _casus foederis_ which obligated Italy to join
Germany and Austria in war would be recognized by her without quibble.
Germany, as the world was so soon to find out, had convinced her own
people that her war was a holy war of defense, but Italy, visiting upon
her Triple Alliance partners the supreme condemnation of contemporary
political history, deserted them on the palpable ground that their war
was war of aggression, pure and unalloyed.


"I am further able to say that while Germany expects that war between
Austria and Serbia is possible, owing to the admittedly unprecedented
severity of the Austrian demands, this Government confidently hopes that
hostilities will be confined to them.

"It would be going too far to say that ’war fever’ prevails in Berlin to
the extent it is reported to be rampant in Vienna.  I find, however,
even in circles to which the thought of war is ordinarily repugnant,
that the imminent possibility of a European conflict is contemplated
with equanimity.  They say that Austria’s resolute action has already
cleared the atmosphere of long-prevailing ’uncertainty’ which was
gradually becoming insufferable.  They declare in accents of relief that
a situation has finally been reached where there can be no retreat.  Far
worse things, it is declared, are conceivable than the conflagration
which Europe for years has half dreaded and half prepared for.

"Official Germany, nevertheless, does not believe that Russia will force
the issue.  It is argued that the matter at stake is entirely a domestic
quarrel between Austria and Serbia and involves Pan-Slavism only
indirectly.  If Russia makes the controversy a pretext for assisting the
Serbians, it is pointed out that ’the world’s strongest bulwark of the
monarchial principle would practically place the stamp of approval on
regicide.’  As suppression of regicide propaganda, root and branch, is
the mainspring of the Austrian action, the German Government holds it is
inconceivable that Russia could in such circumstances align herself with
Serbia.  If she does, and I am permitted to underline this phase of the
crisis with all possible emphasis, the full strength of Germany’s and
Italy’s armed forces are ready to be mercilessly hurled against her, and
will be.

"A war against Russia would never be more popular in Germany than at the
present moment.  For months past the country has been educated by its
most distinguished leaders to believe that an attack from Russia is
imminent.  During the past week Professor Hans Delbrück has been giving
wide publicity to an ’open letter’ received from a Russian colleague,
Professor Mitrosanoff, containing the following passage:

"’It must not be forgotten that Russian public opinion plays a vastly
different rôle than it did a decade ago.  It has now grown into a full
political force. Animosity toward Germans is in everybody’s heart and
mouth.  Seldom was public opinion more unanimous.’

"Almost simultaneously Professor Schiemann, the Kaiser’s confidential
adviser on world politics, has heaped fresh fuel on the anti-Russian
fire by declaring: ’We have reason to think that the underlying purpose
of President Poincaré’s visit to the Czar was to expand the Triple
Entente into a Quadruple Alliance by the inclusion of Rumania against
Germany.’

"The Bourse closed amid undisguised alarm and the wildest fears for what
the week-end may bring forth.  The public is inclined to remain
reassured as long as the Kaiser consents to remain afloat in the
_Hohenzollern_ in the fjords of Norway, but he can reach German waters
in twenty-four hours aboard the speedy dispatch-boat _Sleipner_, which
is attached to the Imperial squadron.

"I asked a military man today what show of force Germany would make at
the outbreak of hostilities involving her.  He said: ’She could easily
mobilize one million five hundred thousand men within forty-eight hours
on each of her frontiers, east and west.  That gigantic total of three
million would represent only the active war establishment and
reserves.’"



                               CHAPTER VI

                               THE CLIMAX


My long-standing preconceptions of Berlin as the phlegmatic capital of a
phlegmatic people were obliterated for all time at eight-thirty o’clock
on Saturday evening, July 25, 1914.  Along with them went equally
well-founded beliefs that, however incorrigible their War Party’s lust
for international strife, the German masses were pacific by temperament
and conviction.  When the news of Serbia’s alleged rejection of
Austria’s ultimatum was hoisted in _Unter den Linden_, and Berlin gave
way in a flash to a babel and pandemonium of sheer war fever probably
never equaled in a civilized community, I knew that all my "psychology"
of the Germans was as myopic as if I had learned it in Professor
Münsterberg’s laboratory at Harvard.  Instantaneously I realized that
the stage managers had done their work with deadly precision and
all-devouring thoroughness.  If the mere suggestion of gunpowder could
distend the nostrils of the "peaceful Germans" and cause their capital
to vibrate in every fiber of its being as that first real hint of war
did, I was forced to conclude that the cataclysm now impending would
find a Germany animated to its innermost depths by primeval fighting
passions. Events have not belied the new and disquieting impressions
with which Berlin’s war delirium inspired me.

On the evening of July 25, after cabling to England and the United
States accounts of the blackest Saturday in Berlin bourse history, I
made my way to _Unter den Linden_ in anticipation of demonstrations
certain to be provoked by the result of the Austrian ultimatum, no
matter whether Serbia had yielded or defied.  I reached the
Wilhelmstrasse corner, where the British Embassy stood, only a moment
after the fateful bulletin had been put up in the _Lokal-Anzeiger’s_
windows.  It read: "Serbia Rejects the Austrian Ultimatum!"  That was
not quite true--to put it mildly--as the world was soon to know that far
from "rejecting" Count Berchtold’s cavalier demands, Serbia bent the
knee to every single one of them except that which called for abject
surrender of her sovereign independence.  But the huge crowds which had
been gathered in _Unter den Linden_ since sundown--it was now a little
past eight-thirty o’clock and still quite light--knew nothing of this.
All they knew and all they cared about was that "Serbien hat abgelehnt!"
War, the intuition of the mob assured it, was now inevitable.

"_Krieg!  Krieg!_" (War!  War!) it thundered. "_Nieder mit Serbien!
Hoch, Oesterreich!_" (Down with Serbia!  Hurrah for Austria!) rang from
thousands of frenzied throats.  Processions formed. Men and youths, here
and there women and girls, lined up, military fashion, four abreast.
One cavalcade, the larger, headed toward Pariser Platz and the
Brandenburg Gate.  Another eastward, down the Linden.  A mighty song now
rent the air--_Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser_ (God Save Emperor
Francis), the Austrian national anthem.  Then shouts, yelled in the
accents of imprecation--"_Nieder mit Russland!_" (Down with Russia).
The bigger procession’s destination was soon known.  It was marching to
the Austrian Embassy in the Moltke-strasse.  The smaller parade was
headed for the Russian Embassy in _Unter den Linden_.  In my taxi I
decided to follow on to Moltke-strasse, and, crossing to the far side of
the Linden, I came up with the rearguard of the demonstrators just
opposite the château-like Embassy of France in the Pariser Platz.
Gathered on the portico servants were clustered watching the
"_manifestation_."  At their hapless heads the processionists were
shaking their German fists as much as to say that France, too, was
included in the orgy of patriotic wrath now surging up in the Teutonic
soul.  It was a touch of humor in an otherwise overwhelmingly grim
spectacle.

Through the entrance to the leafy Tiergarten, down the pompous and
sepulchral Avenue of Victory, across the Königs-Platz with its
Gulliverian statue of the Iron Chancellor and the Column of Victory,
through the district whose street nomenclature breathes of Germany’s
martial glory--Roon-strasse, Bismarck-strasse and Moltke-strasse--the
parade, now swelled to many times its original proportions, halted in
front of the Austrian Embassy.  Some self-appointed cheer-leader called
for _Hochs_ for the ally, for another stanza of the Austrian national
anthem, for more "Down with Serbia," and for more yells of defiance to
Russia.  Opposite the embassy-palace towered the massive block-square
General Staff building. From it there emerged, while the demonstration
was at its zenith, three young subalterns.  The mob seized them
joyously, shouldered them and acclaimed them--the brass-buttoned and
epauletted embodiment of the army on whom Germany’s hopes were presently
to be pinned.  "_Krieg!  Krieg!_" the war mongers chanted in ecstatic
shrieks.  Then "_Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_," twin of the
Austrian anthem as far as the melody is concerned, was sung with
tremendous fervor.  The crowd yelled for Emperor Francis Joseph’s
ambassador, the Hungarian Count von Szögeny-Marich, but, if he was at
home, he preferred not to face the multitude.  Presently a beardless
young embassy attaché appeared at an open window--the physical
personification of the allied Empire--and he almost reeled from the
shock of the tumultuous shout hurtled in his monocled countenance.

For nearly an hour delirium reigned unbridled.  Then the demonstrators
betook themselves back to the Linden district, where they met up with
more processions. Throughout the night, far into Sunday morning, Berlin
reverberated with their tramp and clamor.  My doubts as to the capital’s
temper toward war were resolved, my cherished confidence in the average
German’s fundamental love of peace shattered.  Berlin is the tuning-fork
of the Empire.  As she was shrieking "War!  War!" so, I felt sure,
Hamburg and Munich, Dresden and Stuttgart, Cologne and Breslau,
Königsberg and Metz, would be shrieking before the world was many hours
older.  And when the Sunday papers reported that "fervent patriotic
demonstrations" had broken out everywhere the night before, as soon as
"Serbia’s insolent action" was communicated to the public, something
within me said that only a miracle could now restrain war-mad Germany
from herself plunging into the fray.

I have said that Armageddon was instigated by the German War Party.  In
substantiation of that charge let me narrate a bit of unrecorded
history.  About four o’clock of the afternoon of July 25--the day of
orgy in Berlin above described--the Austrian Foreign Office in Vienna
issued a confidential intimation to various persons accustomed to be
favored with such communications that the Serbian reply to the ultimatum
had arrived and was satisfactory.  It did not succumb in respect of
every demand put forth by Austria, but it was sufficiently groveling to
insure peace.  Foreign newspaper correspondents, to several of whom the
information was supplied, learned, when they applied at their own
Embassies for confirmation, that the latter, too, had been formally
acquainted with the fact that Serbia’s concessions were far-reaching
enough to guarantee a bloodless settlement of the ugly crisis.

Vienna breathed a long, sincere sigh of relief.  She had feared the
worst from the moment Count Berchtold dispatched _the Berlin-dictated
ultimatum_ to Belgrade; but the worst was over now.  Serbian penitence
had saved Austrian face.

While correspondents were busily preparing their telegrams, which were
to flash all over the world the welcome tidings that war had been
averted, though only by a hair’s breadth, the Austrian Foreign Office
was telephoning to the Foreign Office in Berlin the text of Serbia’s
reply.

A certain journalist was on his way to the telegraph office to "file"
his "story."  The editor of a great Vienna newspaper, a friend,
intercepted him.

"Well, what are you saying?" the editor inquired. "That it’s peace,
after all," replied the correspondent.

"It _was_ peace," said the editor sadly, "but meantime Berlin has
spoken."


                     *      *      *      *      *


The week of fate opened on Monday, July 27, amid general expectations
that the worst had become inevitable. Popular alarm was not assuaged by
the impulsive action of the Kaiser, contrary to the preferences of the
Government, in breaking off his Norwegian cruise when Serbia’s defiance
was wirelessed to the _Hohenzollern_ and rushing back to Kiel under full
steam. "The Foreign Office regrets this step," reported Sir Horace
Rumbold, acting British Ambassador at Berlin, to Sir Edwin Grey.  "It
was taken on His Majesty’s own initiative and the Foreign Office fears
that the Emperor’s sudden return may cause speculation and excitement."
It was, of course, characteristic of the monarch whom Paul Singer, the
late Socialist chieftain, once described to me as "William the Sudden."
"Speculation and excitement" are precisely what the Kaiser’s dramatic
return did precipitate.  He did not come into Berlin, but retired to the
comparative privacy of the New Palace in Potsdam, to engage forthwith in
protracted council with his political, diplomatic, military and naval
advisers.  Meantime Berlin throbbed with forebodings and unrest.  The
Stock Exchange almost collapsed.  Values tumbled by the millions of
marks.  Fortunes vanished between breakfast and lunch.  Financiers
suicided.  Savings banks were besieged by battalions of nervous
depositors. Gold began to disappear from circulation.

At the Foreign Office, newspaper correspondents were informed that the
situation was undoubtedly aggravated, but not "hopeless."  Germany’s aim
was to "localize" the Austrian-Serbian war, which was now an actuality.
"All depends on Russia," Herr Hammann’s automatons assured us when we
asked who held the key to the situation.  Germany remained, as she had
been from the beginning of the crisis, merely "an interested bystander."
Austria had not sought her counsel, and "none had been offered."  It
would have been an insufferable offense (said the Hammannites) for
Berlin to intrude upon Vienna with "advice" at such an hour.  Austria
was a great sovereign Power, Count Berchtold a diplomat of sagacity and
courage, and Germany’s rôle was obviously that of a silent friend.  She
had very particularly "not been concerned" with the admittedly stiff
terms the rejection of which had now, unhappily, resulted in war.  All
this we were told at Wilhelmstrasse 76 in accents of touching sincerity.

The attitude of the German public was now one of amazing resignation to
the possibility of war.  Men of affairs, who had during the preceding
forty-eight hours in many cases seen great fortunes irresistibly
slipping from their grasp, contemplated a European conflagration with
incredible equanimity.  I recall with especial distinctness the views
expressed by my old friend, Geheimrat L., the head of an important
provincial bank.  "We have not sought war," he said, "but we are ready
for it--far readier than any of our possible antagonists.  Our
preparedness, military, naval, financial and economic, is in the most
complete state it has ever attained.  Confidence in the army and navy is
unbounded, and it is justified.  For years the political atmosphere has
been growing more and more uncomfortable for Germany (Geheimrat L.
evidently longed for "a place in the sun," too), and we have felt that
war was inevitable, sooner or later.  It is better that it comes now,
when our strength is at the zenith, than later when our enemies have had
time to discount our superiority."  Geheimrat L. and I were standing in
_Unter den Linden_ while he talked.  Another procession of war-zealots
tramped by, singing _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_.  "You see,"
he said, pointing to the demonstrators and waving his own hat as the
crowd shrieked "_Hoch der Kaiser!_", "we all feel the same way."
Germany, in other words, while not exactly spoiling for war, was
something more than ready for it and would leap into the ring, stripped
for the combat, almost before the gong had called time.  Events did not
belie that fantasy, either.

Sir Edward Grey was now making eleventh-hour efforts to stave off fate.
He was constrained to have Vienna view the Serbian imbroglio from the
broad standpoint of a European question, which the Germanic Powers, of
course, knew that it was.  He proposed a conference in London between
himself and the ambassadors of Germany, Russia, France and Italy, in the
hope of settling the Austrian-Serbian dispute on the basis of Serbia’s
reply to Count Berchtold’s ultimatum. "It has become only too apparent,"
the British Foreign Secretary wrote a year later in a crushing rejoinder
to the German Chancellor’s revamped and distorted version of the war’s
beginnings, "that in the proposal we made, which Russia, France and
Italy agreed to, and which Germany vetoed, lay the only hope of peace.
And it was such a good hope!  Serbia had accepted nearly all of the
Austrian ultimatum, severe and violent as it was."  Herr Hammann’s
minions told us with pleasing plausibility of the reasons why Germany
declined the conference proposal.  "We can not recommend Austria," they
said, "to submit questions affecting her national honor to a tribunal of
outsiders. It would not be consistent with our obligations as an ally."
That was subterfuge unalloyed, as was amply proved by Germany’s
subsequent refusal even to suggest any other method of mediation, in
which Sir Edward Grey had promised acquiescence in advance. The War
Party’s plans were plainly too far progressed to tolerate so tame and
inglorious a retreat.  It was thirsting for blood, and was in no humor
to content itself with milk and water.  It was like asking a champion
runner, trained to the second and poised on the starting tape in an
attitude of trembling expectation of the "Go" pistol, to rise, return to
the dressing-room, get into street clothes and cool his ardor for
victory and laurels by taking a leisurely walk around the block. The
Tirpitzes, the Falkehhayns, the Reventlows, the Bernhardis and the Crown
Princes, lurking Mephistopheles-like in the background, leaned over
Bethmann Hollweg and the Kaiser on July 28, while Sir Edward Grey’s
proposal was undergoing final consideration, and whispered in their ear
an imperious "No!" Germany, as "evidence of good faith," the
Wilhelmstrasse told us next day, was continuing to exercise friendly
pressure "in the direction of peace" at both St. Petersburg and Vienna.
But, as the Colonel said of Mr. Taft, Berlin meant well feebly.  The
mills of the war gods were grinding remorselessly, and they were not to
be clogged.

Early in the evening of Wednesday, July 29, the Kaiser summoned a
council of war at Potsdam.  The council lasted far into the night.  Dawn
of Thursday was approaching before it ended.  All the great paladins of
State, civilian, military and naval, were present.  Prince Henry of
Prussia, freshly arrived from London, brought the latest tidings of
sentiment prevailing in England.  The Imperial Chancellor and Foreign
Secretary von Jagow were armed with up-to-the-minute news of the
diplomatic situation in Paris and St. Petersburg.  Russia’s plans and
movements were the all-dominating issue.  General von Falkenhayn,
Minister of War, was prepared with confidential information that,
despite the Czar’s ostensible desire for peace and his still pending
communication with the Kaiser to that end, "military measures and
dispositions" of unmistakably menacing character were in progress on
both the German and Austrian frontiers.  Lieutenant-General von Moltke,
Chief of the General Staff, was supplied not only with corroborative
information of the imminency of "danger" from Russia, but with
reassuring details of Germany’s power to meet and check it.
Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, Secretary of the Navy, and Admiral von Pohl,
Chief of the Admiralty Staff, were ready to convince the Supreme War
Lord that the fleet was no less prepared than the army for any and all
emergencies. There was absolutely nothing, from a military and naval
standpoint, so the generals and admirals were eager to demonstrate, to
justify Germany in assuming and maintaining anything but "a strong
position."

Some day, perhaps, the history of that fateful night at Potsdam will be
written, for there was Armageddon born.  Its full details have never
leaked out.  So much I believe can be here set down with certainty--it
was not quite a harmonious council which finally plumped for war.  At
the outset, at any rate, it was divided into camps which found
themselves in diametrical opposition.  The "peace party," or what was
left of it, is said, loath as the world is to believe it, to have been
headed by the Kaiser himself.  Bethmann Hollweg supported his Imperial
Master’s view that war should only be resorted to as a last desperate
emergency.  Von Jagow, the innocuous Foreign Secretary, dancing as usual
to his superiors’ whistle, "sided" with the Emperor and the Chancellor.
Von Falkenhayn and von Tirpitz demanded war.  Germany was ready; her
adversaries were not; the issue was plain. Von Moltke was non-committal.
He is a Christian Scientist, and otherwise pacific by temperament.
Prince Henry of Prussia did not at least violently insist upon peace.  I
could never verify whether the German Crown Prince was permitted to
participate in the war council or not.  If he was, posterity may be sure
that his influence was not exercised unduly in the direction of a
bloodless solution of the crisis.  Herr Kühn, the Secretary of the
Treasury, submitted satisfying figures to prove that, if war must be,
Germany was financially caparisoned.  From Herr Ballin came word that if
war should unhappily be forced upon the Fatherland by the bear, the
present positions of German liners were such that few, if any, of them
would fall certain prey to enemy cruisers.  Those which could not reach
home ports would be able to take refuge in snug neutral harbors.

The next day, Thursday, July 30, I was able to telegraph my chiefs in
London and New York that the fat was now almost irrevocably in the fire.
The War Party’s views had prevailed.  The fiction that "Russian
mobilization" was an intolerable peril which Germany could no longer
face in inactivity had been so assiduously maintained that any
reluctance to go to war, which may have lingered in the Kaiser’s soul,
was now overcome.  The sword had literally been "forced" into his hand.
Russia, it was decided, was to be notified that demobilization or German
"counter-mobilization" within twenty-four hours was the choice she had
to make.  My information went considerably beyond this so-called "last
German effort on behalf of peace."  It was to the effect that while
Germany had taken "one more final step" in the direction of an amicable
solution of the crisis, _she did not really expect it to be successful,
and had, indeed, resorted to it merely in order to be able to say that
she had "left no stone unturned to prevent war_."

Germany was now in everything except a formally proclaimed state of war.
Mobilization was not actually "ordered," but all the multitudinous
preliminaries for it were well under way.  As later developed, German
reservists from far-off Southwest Africa were at that very moment en
route to Europe on suddenly granted "leaves of absence."  The terrible
button at whose signal the German war machine would move was all but
pressed.  To prove it the super-patriotic, Government-controlled
_Lokal-Anzeiger_ let a woefully tell-tale cat out of the bag.  It issued
a lurid "Extra" at two-thirty P.M., categorically announcing that "the
entire German army and navy had been ordered to mobilize."  After the
news had spread through Berlin like wildfire and sent prices on the
Bourse tobogganing toward the bottom at the dizziest pace of all the
week, the _Lokal-Anzeiger_ twenty minutes later blandly issued another
"Extra," explaining that through "a gross misdemeanor in its circulating
department" the public had been furnished with "inaccurate news" about
mobilization!

The good "_Lokal’s_" news was not "inaccurate."  It was only premature,
for twenty-four hours later, on Friday, July 31, it was permitted, along
with other papers, to flood the metropolis with another "Extra,"
officially proclaiming that Emperor William had declared Germany to be
in a "state of war."  The "Extras" added that the Kaiser would himself
shortly arrive in Berlin from Potsdam.  No one doubted now that the
Fatherland was on the brink of grim and portentous events.  War might
only be a matter of hours, perhaps minutes.  Instantaneously all roads
led to _Unter den Linden_.  Through it, now _Oberster Kriegsherr_
indeed--Supreme War Lord is not an ironical sobriquet foisted upon the
German Emperor by detractors, as many people think, but an actual,
formal title--the Kaiser would soon be passing. History was to be made
to repeat itself.  Old King William I, returning to Berlin from Ems on
the eve of the Franco-Prussian War made a spectacular entrance into
Berlin under identical circumstances.  The welcome to his grandson must
be no less imposing and immortal.

I was fortunate enough to secure a reserved seat in the grandstand--a
table on the balcony of the Café Kranzler at the intersection of
Friedrichstrasse and the Linden.  The boulevard was jammed.  All Berlin
seemed gathered in it.  Presently the triple-toned motor horn of the
Imperial automobile tooted from afar the signal that the Kaiser was
approaching.  A tornado of cheers and _Hochs_ greeted him all along the
_Via Triumphalis_.  The Empress, at his side, smiled in token of the
most spontaneous welcome the Kaiser ever received at the hands of his
never overfond Berliners.  The brass-helmeted War Lord himself was the
personification of gravity.  His favorite pose in public is
uncompromising sternness; to-day it was the last word in severity.  He
did not seem a happy man, nor even so haughty as I always imagined he
would be in the midst of war delirium.  It was an unmistakably anxious
Kaiser who entered his capital on that afternoon of deathless memory.

The Imperial show, smacking strongly of William’s own stage management,
had only begun, for now the Crown Prince’s familiar motor signal,
_Ta-tee, Ta-ta_, sounded from the direction of Brandenburg Gate, and
presently he came along, with the beauteous and all-captivating Crown
Princess Cecelie at his side. Squatting between them, saluting solemnly
in sailor-suit, was their eldest son, the eight-year-old Kaiser-to-be.
The ebullition of the crowd in _Unter den Linden_ knew no bounds at the
sight of the Crown Prince, for years Berlin’s darling.  In striking
contrast to the Kaiser’s solemnity was his heir’s smile-wreathed face,
which, in the picturesque German idiom, was literally _freudestrahlend_
(radiant of joy).  The specter of war was obviously not depressing the
Colonel of the Death’s Head Hussars.  He beamed and grinned in boyish
happiness as the mob surged round his car so insistently that for a
minute it could not proceed.  Right and left he stretched out his arm to
shake hands with the frenzied demonstrators nearest him.  The Crown
Princess shared her consort’s manifest pleasure, while the princeling
saluted tirelessly.  Then other cars whirled by, containing Prince and
Princess August Wilhelm of Prussia and the remaining Princes, the sailor
Adalbert, and Eitel Friedrich, Joachim and Oscar.  The Hohenzollern
soldier-family picture was to be complete at this immortal hour.  Now
there was a fresh outburst of acclamation almost as volcanic as that
which greeted the Crown Prince.  Admiral Prince Henry, in navy blue and
steering his own automobile, was passing.  The Kaiser’s brother is very
dear to the popular heart in Germany.  As the Crown Prince typifies the
army, so Prince Henry stands for the navy. The procession was brought up
by the funereal Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg.  For him the cheering was
only desultory, as he is not a familiar figure, and many of the crowd
obviously had no notion who the worried-looking old gentleman in silk
hat and frock coat might be.

[Illustration: Soldiers in the making--aiming practice]

The throngs now streamed toward the Royal Castle in the confident hope
that William the Speechmaker would not disappoint them.  About six
o’clock in the evening their patience and _Hochs_ were rewarded.
Surrounded by the members of his family, the Kaiser appeared at the
balcony window facing the Cathedral across the _Lustgarten_ (this was
more of the 1870 precedent) and, looking down upon the densest and most
fervent crowd of his subjects he ever faced, addressed to them in the
guttural, jerky, but wonderfully far-reaching tones which are his
oratorical style, the following homily:

"A fateful hour has fallen upon Germany.  Envious people on all sides
are compelling us to resort to just defense.  The sword is being forced
into our hand.  If at the last hour my efforts do not succeed in
maintaining peace, I hope that with God’s help we shall so wield the
sword that we shall be able to sheathe it with honor.

"War would demand of us enormous sacrifices in blood and treasure, but
we shall show our foes what it means to provoke Germany, and now I
commend you all to God.  Go to church, kneel before God, and pray to Him
to help our gallant army."


Berlin went to bed on the night of July 31 hoarse with _Hoching_ and
footsore from standing and marching, but now indubitably certain that
events were impending which would try the Fatherland’s soul as it had
never been tried before.



                              CHAPTER VII

                                  WAR


"The Russian mobilization menace!"  That was the great myth now
irrevocably fastened on the German mind.  "The Cossacks at our gate!"
Thus was the Fatherland gulled by its war zealots into the belief that
the tide of blood sweeping down from the East could no longer be
stemmed.  German war history was repeating itself.  As 1870 was born in
deceit, so was 1914.  Bismarck doctored the Ems telegram forty-four
years previous to extenuate the assault on France, and now the "Russian
mobilization menace," the Cossack bogy, was invented as justification
for precipitating and popularizing the conflict on which the Prussian
War Party’s heart was set.  A "state of war" had been decreed by the
Kaiser in accordance with the paragraph of the Imperial Constitution
which authorizes him to declare martial law whenever the domains of the
Empire or any part of them are in jeopardy.  The Czar’s hordes were
gathered on the Eastern frontier, preparing to launch a murderous,
burglarious attack on innocent, defenseless, peace-loving Germany.  They
had done more than that--and here was another Hohenzollern 1870 analogy;
the Emperor of all the Russias had "insulted" the Kaiser by feloniously
massing his legions on the German border while William II, at Nicholas’
own request, was "working for peace."  It was a pretty story, and German
public opinion, shrewdly prepared, swallowed it whole.  Germans, their
Emperor’s "honor" and their own safety now at stake, approved fervidly
the ultimatum which they were told had been presented at St. Petersburg,
demanding abandonment of the Czar’s "provocative" military measures.

I have too much respect for the perfected might of the Teutonic
war-machine to believe that any German soldier worthy of the name ever
considered Russian military movements along the Prussian and Austrian
frontiers at the end of July, 1914, a "menace."  It was only a fortnight
previous that the _German Military Gazette_, the official army organ,
had laughed the whole Russian army out of court as an organization
hardly worthy of Prussian steel.  Now the transfer of half a dozen
Russian corps had become so vast a peril as to necessitate plunging the
whole German Empire into a "state of war!"  Everybody who had eyes to
see and ears to hear in Germany, native and foreigner alike, always knew
that actual mobilization in that country was the merest formality.  The
Germans were always ready for war.  It was their commonest boast.  A
high officer of the General Staff, twenty-four hours after Serbia’s
rejection of the Austrian ultimatum, when asked _how_ ready Germany was
for eventualities, said, sententiously, "_All_ ready."  My Junker
friend, Von G., of Kiel, himself a Prussian officer, would have snorted
with scornful glee if I had ever suggested to him that _any_ Russian
military measures could really "menace" Germany.  He knew what I knew,
and what anybody with sense in Germany always understood, that, compared
to what the Fatherland with its comprehensive system of
military-controlled state railways could achieve in the way of final
"mobilization," Russia would require weeks where Germany would need only
days, or even hours. Germany would be like Texas, criss-crossed in every
direction with faultless means of communication and crammed with troops
and munitions, mobilizing against the rest of the United States, with
the latter having to concentrate armies on the Rio Grande from Florida,
Maine, Oregon and Lower California, and a shoe-string railway system
with which to do it.  The "Russian mobilization menace" was Germany’s
supreme bluff.

St. Petersburg had been given until twelve o’clock noon of Saturday,
August 1, to "demobilize."  Failing to do so, Germany would be
"compelled to resort to a counter-mobilization."  France had been called
upon to indicate what her attitude would be in case of a Russo-German
conflict, but the ultimatum to Paris, we understood, had no time limit
attached.  All knew that the great decision rested essentially in
Russia’s hands; that war with the Czar meant war with the French, too.
Twelve o’clock Berlin time came and went without word of any kind from
Count Pourtales, the Kaiser’s ambassador in St. Petersburg.  The Emperor
and his civil, military and naval advisers were closeted in a Crown
council at the Castle.  Pourtales’ message, if there was one, the
Foreign Office told us, would doubtless reach the Kaiser in the midst of
the council, which was a continuous one.  Berlin waited in excruciating
impatience.  The Bourse writhed in panic.  Bankers met to consider
closing it altogether, but decided that the worst might be avoided by
limiting transactions to spot-cash deals.  The air was electric with
rumor.  Russia had asked for a further period of grace, one heard.
Hope, report said, while slender, was not yet utterly vanished.

The afternoon passed in almost insufferable anxiety.  _Unter den Linden_
and the _Lustgarten_, the sprawling area around the Castle, were choked
with people tense with expectancy.  Dread, rather than war fervor,
inspired them.  About five-twenty o’clock, after one of the daily
heart-to-heart war talks I had been privileged to hold over the teacups
with Mrs. Gerard, I drove through the Wilhelmstrasse toward the Linden,
accompanied by my English colleague, Charles Tower, Berlin
representative of the _New York World_ and _London Daily News_.  I do
not suppose the historic little spectacle was specially arranged in our
honor, but as a matter of fact we happened to pass the Foreign Office at
the very instant that Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, grave with
inconcealable worry, was entering a plebeian taxicab.  He was evidently
starting out on a transcendent mission, for he held in his hand a
document of such absorbing interest that he hardly raised his eyes from
it as he clambered into the cab. Accompanying him were Foreign Secretary
von Jagow and a military _aide-de-camp_.  I blush to confess that Tower
and I were filled with such overweening curiosity to find out what that
ominous parchment contained, and where the Chancellor was taking it,
that we ordered our chauffeur to follow at not too respectful a
distance.  I never saw a Berlin taxi tear through the heart of the
down-town district so madly as Bethmann Hollweg scorched down the
Behren-strasse, past the banks which line Germany’s Wall Street and the
back of the Opera, into Französische-strasse, over the little bridge
which spans the canal, and into the southern esplanade of the castle.
Only small crowds were gathered at this point, and the Chancellor’s cab
swung past the sentries and through the big Neptune Gate of the
_Schloss_ almost unnoticed.  Now instinctively certain of the nature of
Bethmann Hollweg’s errand, Tower and I made our way to the _Lustgarten_,
since early morning an endless vista of faces stretching nearly all the
way from the Dom to the Brandenburg Gate end of _Unter den Linden_, a
mile to the west.  We felt sure that the universally awaited Order of
Mobilization might be momentarily expected.  As events developed, that
was the document which we had seen the Chancellor taking to the Kaiser.
It was six o’clock. The doleful chimes of the Cathedral across from the
Castle were summoning the people to the service of intercession ordained
by the Emperor earlier in the day.  Solemnity hung over the multitude
like a pall. Men and women knew now that Russia’s answer, or lack of
answer, whichever it might be, meant war, not peace.  They had not long
to wait for confirmatory news.  As soon as word was telephoned to the
Wolff Agency, the official news bureau, that the Imperial signature had
at length been officially given--that the sword was now, literally and
beyond recall, "forced" into William II’s hands--the newspapers, which
had had sufficient advance information for their purposes, drenched the
capital with _Extrablätter_ containing the fateful tidings:

    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+
    |                                  |
    |  "UNIVERSAL MOBILIZATION OF THE  |
    |      GERMAN ARMY AND NAVY!"      |
    |                                  |
    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+

Another two lines explained, breathlessly, that an order to that effect
had just been promulgated by the Supreme War Lord.  The twelve-hour
period which Germany had granted to Russia for "the making of a loyal
declaration" had been ignored.  To-morrow, added the chief announcement
in the most portentous _Extrablatt_ a German newspaper ever issued,
would be the first mobilization day.  All Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the
_Furor Teutonicus_ would be busy donning shining armor.  The deed was
done.  "Gentlemen," the Kaiser is said to have remarked to Moltke,
Falkenhayn and the rest of the military clique, after affixing his
signature to the document which meant not only mobilization, but war,
"you will live to regret this."

In the midst of our exclusively German environment in those immortal
hours--we could now neither telegraph nor telephone in anything except
German, nor even read in anything except that language, for foreign
newspapers were no longer arriving--I must confess I was filled with no
little prepossession in Germany’s favor.  The Kaiser’s case seemed not
only good.  On the biased evidence available--we had, of course, no
other--it even seemed strong.  Such fragmentary dispatches from abroad
as the Military Censor, already enthroned, permitted to be printed were
naturally only those which resolutely bolstered up the fiction of "our
just cause."  Of the stealthy plot to violate Belgium we had no glimmer
of an inkling.  We knew only of the "Russian mobilization menace," of
the Kaiser’s wrecked efforts in the direction of "peace," and of the
reluctance with which impeccable Germany was stripping for the fray in
defense of her honor, rights and imperiled territorial integrity.
Convinced as I had long been of the War Party’s lust for "the Day," a
setting appeared to have been contrived which put Germany in a
plausible, if not altogether blameless, light.  It was mass-suggestion,
as a Berlin psychologist would describe it, all-hypnotizing in its
effects.  It was not until five days afterward, when I had crossed the
German frontier, reached Dutch territory and come up with the truth that
the curtain was lifted and I could look out upon what seemed, after ten
days of "inspired" information in Berlin, like country which my eyes had
never seen before....

[Illustration: In front of the Royal Castle, Berlin, waiting for
announcement of mobilization, August 1st, 1914.]

The Mobilization Order tore through the capital with the velocity and
the shock of a shell.  Expected, it yet stunned.  The throng before the
Castle still sang _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ and cheered for
the Kaiser, and desultory processions of young men and boys still
marched hither and thither across the town.  But an atmosphere of
soberness and grim reality now descended upon Berlin.  The street-corner
pillars which serve as bill-boards in Germany were already splashed red
with the official decree, gazetting August 2, 3 and 4 as the days when
the Kaiser’s subjects, liable for military service with the first line
(Reserve), must report at long-appointed assembly depots, don long-ready
uniforms, and march each to his long-designated place in the
long-prepared war.  Almost simultaneously the telegraph, now like the
railway and postal services automatically passed into military control,
brought every reservist in the realm definite information as to where
and when he was expected to present himself.  The magic system which
Roon devised for hurling Germany’s legions across the Rhine in ’70 was
once again in mechanical, yet noiseless, motion.  Sheer jubilation, the
grand-stand patriotism with which Berlin had reverberated for a week,
died out. There were good-bys to be said now, long good-bys, and affairs
to be wound up.  The iron business of war was waiting to be attended to.
The crowds in _Unter den Linden_ and the _Lustgarten_ melted homeward,
silently, immersed in anxious reflection.  Before they waked from their
next sleep, the first shot might be fired.  On what new paths had the
Fatherland entered? Would they lead to death or glory?  Never before, I
imagine, was the modern German, in his inimitable idiom, given so
furiously to think.

The war began early Sunday morning, August 2. Before nine o’clock
"Extras" were in the streets with the following official news, the very
first bulletin of the war:


"Up to 4 o’clock this morning the Great General Staff has received the
following reports:

"1. During the night Russian patrols made an attack on the railway
bridge over the Warthe near Eichenried (East Prussia).  The attack was
repulsed.  On the German side, two slightly wounded.  Russian losses
unknown. An attempted attack by the Russians on the railway station at
Miloslaw was frustrated.

"2. The station master at Johannisburg and the forestry authorities at
Bialla report that during last night (1st to 2nd) Russian columns in
considerable strength, with guns, crossed the frontier near Schwidden
(southeast of Bialla) and that two squadrons of Cossacks are riding in
the direction of Johannisburg.  The telephone communication between Lyck
and Bialla is broken down.

"According to the above, Russia has attacked German Imperial territory
and begun the war."


The "Russian mobilization menace" was now an accomplished fact, and the
Cossack bogy, too, converted into an officially hall-marked actuality!

Modern war, from the newspaperman’s standpoint, consists principally of
two things--censorship and rumors.  Both had now set in with a
vengeance.  The first day in Berlin swarmed with irresponsible report.
People believed anything.  Official news was scarce and "far between."
The second General Staff bulletin to be issued was a laconic
announcement that troops of the VIII (Rhenish) army corps had occupied
Luxemburg "for the protection of German railways in the Grand Duchy."
Eydtkuhnen, the famous German frontier station opposite the Russian
border town of Wirballen, was now reported occupied by Russian cavalry
detachments.  A Russian had been caught in the act of trying to blow up
the Thorn railway bridge. Now France--like Russia, "without declaration
of war"--had violated the sacredness of German territory.  French
aviators had flown into Bavaria and dropped bombs in the neighborhood of
Nuremberg, evidently with the intent of destroying military railway
lines.  Canard succeeded canard.  The famed "German war on two fronts"
was no longer a figment of the imagination.  It had become immutable
fact. Monsieur Sverbieff, the Czar’s ambassador, we heard, had already
received his passports.  He would leave Berlin in the evening in a
special train to the Russian frontier.  When would Monsieur Cambon, the
French ambassador, the Republic’s accomplished representative in
Washington during our war with Spain, be given _his_ walking-papers?  So
far rowdies had yelled _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ only in
front of the Russian Embassy.  Now that French airmen had shelled
Bavaria, how long would it be before the chateau in Pariser Platz would
be stormed?

The British Embassy was wrapped in Sabbath calm. Was not Berlin reading
with intensest gratification the Wolff Agency’s carefully selected
London dispatches saying that "powerful influences are at work to
prevent England becoming involved in the war"?  Mr. Norman Angell had
written in that sense to _The Times_--the _Lokal-Anzeiger_ reported with
undisguised satisfaction.  A large number of British professors, it
added, had launched a "protest" against war with Germany, "the leader in
art and science and against whom a war for Russia and Serbia would be a
crime against civilization."  A "great and influential meeting of
Liberals in the Reform Club" had adopted resolutions commending Sir
Edward Grey’s efforts on behalf of peace and "energetically demanding
the strict preservation of English neutrality."  The Germans took heart.
Blandly ignorant of their Government’s secret diplomatic schemings, now
in frantic progress, to keep Great Britain out of the fray, they were
lulled by their rulers and doctored press reports into thinking that the
danger of interference from the other side of the North Sea was as good
as non-existent.  The German Imperial Government practised this
deception on their own people till the last possible moment.  German
newspaper readers, in those fitful hours, were being led to believe that
the voice of Britain was the pacifist, pro-German voice of Radicalism as
represented by journals like _The Daily News, Westminster Gazette_ and
_The Nation_.  No intimation was permitted to reach the German public
that voices like _The Times, The Observer, The Daily Mail, The Morning
Post_ and _Daily Telegraph_ were calling for the only action by the
Government consonant with British honor and British rights.  The
outburst of fanatical rage against the "perfidious sister nation" so
soon to ensue was mainly due, I shall always remain convinced, to the
diabolical swindle of which the German nation was the victim at the
hands of its dark-lantern diplomatists.  In that far-off day when the
scales have fallen from Teutonic eyes, I predict that the Germans will
call for vengeance on their deceivers.  As they were duped about Russia,
so were they deliberately misled about England.

Before the war was half a day old the spy mania, which was destined to
be one of the most amazing symptoms of the war’s early hours, was raging
madly from one end of the country to the other.  It was directly
inspired and encouraged by the Government. The authorities caused it to
be known that "according to reliable news" Russian officers and secret
agents infested the Fatherland "in great numbers."  "The security of the
German Empire," the people were informed, "demands absolutely that in
addition to the regular official organs, _the entire population_ should
give vent to its patriotic sentiments by co-operating in the
apprehension of such dangerous persons."  "By active and restless
vigilance," continued this official incitement to lynch law, "everybody
can in his own way contribute toward a successful result of the war."
It was not to be expected that a nation so idolatrous of officialdom as
the Germans could possibly resist this _carte-blanche_ permit to every
man to play the rôle of an avenging sleuth.  The inevitable result was
that Germany became in a flash the scene of a nation-wide "drive" for
spies, real or imaginary. Anybody who was either known to be a Russian
or remotely suspected of being one, or who even looked like a Russian,
was in imminent danger of his life. Now the notorious story of
"poisoning of wells in Alsace by French army surgeons" was circulated.
"Hunt for French spies!" promptly read the newest invitation to mob
violence.  Weird "news" began to fill the _Extrablätter_.  A "Russian
spy" had been caught in _Unter den Linden_, masquerading as a German
naval officer.  After being beaten into insensibility, he was dragged to
Spandau and shot.  In another part of town a couple of Russian "secret
agents," disguised as women, were caught with "basketfuls of bombs."
They, too, we learned, were riddled with bullets an hour later at
Spandau.  Everywhere, in and out of Berlin, the spy-hunt was now in full
cry.  An automobile, in which women were traveling, was "reported" to be
crossing the country, en route to Russia with "millions of francs of
gold."  The whole rural population of Prussia turned out to intercept
it.

One of the earliest victims of the espionage epidemic was an American
newspaperman, Seymour Beach Conger, the chief Berlin correspondent of
the Associated Press, who had started for St. Petersburg, where he was
formerly stationed, as soon as war became imminent, only to be arrested
by the spy-hunting Prussian police at Gumbinnen on the charge of being
"a Russian grand-duke."  Conger’s United States passport, unmistakable
journalistic credentials, well-known official status in Berlin and
convincingly American exterior availed him not.  He had plenty of money
and a kodak, and that was enough.  He must be a spy.  For three days and
nights he was locked in a cell, and, even after he had contrived to
establish communication with the American Embassy in Berlin, he had
great difficulty in securing his release.  It was eventually granted on
the understanding that he should ignore the Associated Press’ orders to
proceed to Russia and remain in Berlin for the rest of the war, where, I
believe, he still is.  I was told, but could never verify, that one of
the conditions of Conger’s liberation was that he should not "talk
about" the affair.

How many hapless persons, Russians, French or unfortunates suspected of
being such, with nothing in the world against them more incriminating
than their real or imagined nationality, were put out of the way either
by German mob savagery, police brutality or fortress firing-squads in
those opening forty-eight hours of Armageddon will probably never be
known.  I do not suppose the Germans themselves know.  But this _I_
know--that even at that earliest stage of their sanguinary game they
conducted themselves in a manner which, had they done no other single
thing during the war to stagger humanity, would brand them as a race of
semi-barbarians.  _Kultur_ gave a sorry account of itself in the
Hottentot days between August 2 and 5, of which I shall have more to
say, of a peculiarly personal nature, in a succeeding chapter.

War Sunday in Berlin, midst rumor and spy-chasing, was marked by an
impressive open-air divine service on the Konigs-Platz, that vast
quadrangle of spread-eagle statuary and gingerbread architecture in
which the sepulchral "Avenue of Victory" culminates. In the great area
between the Column of Victory and the bulky Bismarck memorial at the
foot of the gilt-domed Reichstag building a concourse of many thousands
gathered to hear a court chaplain, Doctor Dohring, sermonize eloquently
on a text from the Revelation of St. John, chapter II, verse 10: "Be
thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."  It was
a singularly appropriate theme, for hundreds of reservists, their last
day in citizens’ clothes, were in the throng.  There was a moment of
indescribable pathos, as the chaplain, from a dais which raised him high
above the heads of the multitude, invoked the huge congregation to
recite with him the Lord’s Prayer.  Strong men and women were in tears
when the Amen was reached.  The service was brought to a close with a
beautiful rendition by that mighty chorus of the _Niederländisches
Dankgebet_, the famous hymn which proclaimed at Waterloo a century
before the end of the Napoleonic terror.

Nightfall found those seemingly immobile Berlin thousands still
clustered, now almost beseechingly, round the Royal Castle.  They
hungered for an opportunity to show the Supreme War Lord that Kaiser and
Empire were dearer than ever to German hearts in the hour of imminent
trial.  Just before dark, while his outlines could still be plainly
distinguished even by the rearmost ranks of the crowd, William II,
thunderously greeted, stepped out once more to the balcony from which he
had told the populace two nights previous that the sword was being
"forced" into his hand. He beckoned for silence.  Men reverently removed
their hats, and leaned forward on tiptoes, the better to hear the
Imperial message.  This is what the Kaiser said:


"From the bottom of my heart I thank you for the expression of your love
and your loyalty.  In the struggle now impending I know no more parties
among my people.  There are now only Germans among us. Whichever
parties, in the heat of political differences, may have turned against
me, I now forgive from the depths of my heart.  The thing now is that
all should stand together, shoulder to shoulder, like brothers, and then
God will help the German sword to victory!"


No historian of Germany in war-time will be able to say that his people
did not take the Kaiser’s stirring admonition to heart.



                              CHAPTER VIII

                             THE AMERICANS


On the occasion, nine or ten years ago, when it was my privilege to be
presented for the first time to that most sane and suave of German
statesmen, Prince Bülow--it was at one of his so-called "parliamentary
evenings" at the Imperial Chancellor’s Palace during the political
season,--he inquired, pleasantly:

"How long are you remaining in Germany?"

"Just as long as Your Serene Highness will permit," I responded, half
facetiously and half seriously, for foreign correspondents are
occasionally expelled from Germany for pernicious professional activity.

For the ten days preceding August 1, 1914, while the European cloudburst
was gathering momentum, such time as I could spare from the chase for
the nimble item was devoted to patching up my journalistic fences in
Berlin, with a view to remaining there throughout the war.  There was at
that time no conclusive indication that England would be involved.
Having seen Germany in full and magnificent stride in peace, I was
overwhelmingly anxious to watch her in the practise of her real
profession.  As an American citizen and special correspondent of three
great American newspapers--the _New York Times, Philadelphia Public
Ledger_ and _Chicago Tribune_--and fully accredited as such in German
official quarters, I had every reason to hope that, even if England were
drawn into the war (as to which I, myself, was never in doubt), my
previous status as Berlin correspondent of Lord Northcliffe’s _Daily
Mail_ would not interfere with my remaining in Germany as an American
writing exclusively for American papers.  It was, of course, obvious
that if this permission were granted me, my connection with the British
news organization, which for years was Germany’s _bête noire_, would
have automatically to cease.

In Ambassador Gerard, as ever, I found a ready supporter of my plans.
He recognized, as I did, that a "_Daily Mail_ man," particularly one who
had specialized, as I did for eight years, in publishing as much as I
dared about Germany’s palpable preparations for war, would perhaps be on
thin ice in asking favors of the Kaiser’s Government at such an hour.
But Judge Gerard also knew that, while persistently doing my duty in
reporting the sleepless machinations of the German War Party to attain
"a place in the sun," I had written copiously in England and with equal
faithfulness of the many attractive and favorable aspects of German life
and institutions.  In 1913 I produced a little book, _Men Around the
Kaiser_, which from cover to cover was a sincere hymn of praise of
almost everything Teutonic.  This foreigner’s tribute to the real source
of modern German greatness--the Fatherland’s captains of science, art,
letters, commerce, finance and industry--was considered so fair and
flattering to the Germans that _Männer um den Kaiser_, a German
translation, went through eight editions to the two of the English
original.  During the Zabern army upheaval in Alsace-Lorraine in the
winter of 1913-14 an article of mine in _The Daily Mail_ entitled "What
the Colonel Said" was the only presentation of the German military
attitude published in England.  Even the War Party newspapers in Berlin
honored me with a reproduction of that attempt to interpret the Prussian
point of view that, where the sacredness of the King’s tunic is at
stake, all other considerations vanish into insignificance.

The Ambassador suggested, in the always practical way of American
diplomacy, that I should assemble for him a _dossier_ of some of my
newspaper work in Berlin showing that I had consistently attempted to
show the bright, as well as the dark side, of the German picture.  Judge
Gerard promised to submit my desire to remain in Germany during war, if
war came, to Foreign Secretary von Jagow and to recommend that my
aspiration should be gratified.  It was welcome news which the
Ambassador was finally enabled to give me on August 1, that the Foreign
Secretary had considered my application and granted it.  I rejoiced that
a long-cherished ambition seemed on the brink of realization--to see the
terrible German war-machine at work, to report its sanguinary operations
from the inside, and perhaps some day to record in a book, which would
have been incomparably more vital than this bloodless narrative, my
close-range impressions of man-killing as an applied art.

I was not the only American appealing to our Embassy for amelioration of
my troubles about this time. In fact there were so many others--hundreds
and hundreds of them--that the Ambassador and his small staff ceased
altogether to be diplomats and became merely comforters of distracted
compatriots plunged suddenly into the abyss of terror and helplessness
in a strange land by the specter of war.  From early morning till long
past midnight Wilhelms Platz 7, the dignified home maintained by the
Gerards as American headquarters in Germany, was besieged by a mob of
stranded or semi-stranded fellow citizens who flocked to the Embassy
like chicks running to cover beneath the protecting wing of a mother
hen.  Never even in the history of Cook’s was so frantic a conclave of
the personally conducted assembled.  They wanted two things and wanted
them at once--money and facilities to get out of Germany with the least
possible delay.  That bespectacled school-marm from Paducah, Kentucky,
had not come to Berlin to eat war bread and spend her spare time proving
her identity at the police station--she moaned in tearful accents.  That
aldermanic committee of Battle Creek, Michigan, was not getting what it
bargained for--study of Berlin’s sewage farms and municipal labor
exchanges.  Its main concern now was to reach Dutch or Scandinavian
territory, with the minimum of procrastination.  That portly Chicago
millionaire’s wife yonder, when she bought a letter of credit on the
Dresdner Bank, had not figured even on the remote possibility of its
refusing to hand her over all the money she might care to draw.  The
moment had come, she was vociferating, to see what "American citizenship
amounts to, anyhow," and what she demanded was a special train to
warless frontiers, and then a ship to take her "home."  These were just
a few of the plaints and claims which issued in a crescendo of
insistence and panic from these neurotic tourist folk, who, in tones
often more imperious than appealing, wanted to know what "Our
Government" intended to do with its war refugees and refugettes cruelly
trapped in Armageddonland.

Americans who come to Europe proverbially feel a proprietary interest in
their Embassies, Legations and Consulates.  The Berlin Ambassador for
years put in much valuable time assuaging the grief and disappointment
of brother patriots who felt a God-given right to gratify such trifling
ambitions as an audience with the Kaiser, an inspection of the German
army or minor favors like exploration of the German educational system
under the personal chaperonage of the Minister for Culture.  Then, of
course, there was the ever-present "German-Americans," who, having
slipped away from their beloved Fatherland in youth without performing
military service, would risk a visit to native haunts in later life,
only to fall victim to the German military police system which has a
long memory and a still longer arm for such transgressors. On many such
an occasion, even when, like a Chicago man I know, the "German-American"
stole back under an assumed name, the paternal diplomatic intervention
of the United States has saved the "deserter" from a felon’s cell in his
"Fatherland."

By the morning of August 4, the American panic in Berlin began to assume
truly disastrous dimensions. The Embassy was literally jammed with
fretting men, and weepy women and children.  Every room overflowed with
them.  The cry was now for passports.  It was coming from all parts of
the country.  All foreigners were suspect, English-speaking ones in
particular, and the German police were demanding in martial tone that
_Ausländer_ should "legitimatize" themselves.

The railways were available now only for troops. The Hamburg-American
and North German Lloyd had canceled all their west-bound sailings, and
our Consular officials in Hamburg and Bremen were telegraphing the
Berlin Embassy that they, too, were stormed by throngs of Americans in
various stages of anxiety, fear and financial embarrassment.  From
Frankfort-on-the-Main came a similar tale of woe.  All around that
delightful city are famous German watering places--Bad Nauheim, Homburg,
Wiesbaden, Langen-Schwalbach, Baden-Baden, Kissingen and the like--and
American "cure-guests," regardless of their rheumatism, heart troubles,
gout and other frailties for which German waters are a panacea, forgot
such insignificant woes in the now crowning anguish to own a passport
which would designate them as peaceable and peace-loving children of the
Stars and Stripes.

The Embassy rapidly and patiently mastered the situation.  Mrs. Gerard
converted herself into the adopted mother of every lachrymose American
woman and child squatted on her broad marble staircase. Mrs. Gherardi,
the wife of our Naval Attaché, and Mrs. Ruddock, the wife of the Third
Secretary, who were at the time the only feminine members of the Embassy
family, resourcefully seconded the Ambassadress’ efforts to soothe the
emotions of the sobbing sisters and youngsters from Iowa and Maine, from
Pennsylvania and Texas, from Montana and Florida, and from nearly all
the other States of the Union, who refused to view qualmless the
prospect of remaining shut up for Heaven knew how long in war-mad
Germany, already effectually isolated from the rest of the world behind
an impenetrable ring of steel.  As for the men of the Embassy, from the
Ambassador down to "Wilhelm," the old German doorkeeper who has
initiated two generations of American diplomats into the mysteries of
their profession in Berlin, no faithful servants of an ungrateful
Republic ever came so valiantly to the rescue of fellow taxpayers.  The
Embassy apartments, including the Ambassador’s own sanctuary, were
turned into offices which looked for all the world like a Census Bureau.
Every available space for a desk was usurped by somebody taking
applications for passports or filling up the passports themselves, to be
turned over to Judge Gerard in an unceasing stream for his signature and
seal.  Uncle Sam surely never raked in so many two-dollar fees at one
killing in all the history of his Berlin office.  Nor did American
citizens, I fancy, ever part with money which they considered half so
good an investment.

The Embassy itself, hopelessly understaffed for such an emergency, was,
of course, quite unequal to the enormous strain suddenly imposed upon
it, so volunteer attachés and clerks were gladly pressed into service.
There, for instance, sat a Guggenheim copper magnate, who probably never
lifts a pen except to sign a million-dollar check, at work with a
mantel-piece as a desk, recording the vital statistics of a Vermont
grocery-man who wanted a passport.  In another corner sat Henry White,
ex-Ambassador in Rome and Paris, scribbling away at breakneck pace, in
order that the age, complexion and height of that trembling Vassar
graduate might be quickly and accurately inscribed in an application for
a Yankee parchment.  There, with the arm of a chair as his desk, was
Professor Jeremiah W. Jenks, great authority on political economy,
currency and trusts, patiently extorting the story of his life from the
coroner of the Minnesota county who had been caught in the German war
maelstrom in the midst of an investigation of municipal morgues.  What a
vast practical experience of inquests he might have reaped had he
remained in Europe!  And over there, looking out on the Wilhelms Platz,
with a window-sill as a writing-board, the Titian-haired belle of
Berlin’s American colony, in daintiest of midsummer frocks and saucy
turbans, who had never in years done anything more strenuous than
organize a tea-party, was in harness as a volunteer in the impromptu
army of Uncle Sam’s clerks, doing her bit for her country and
country-folk. It was all very typically and very delightfully American,
a composite of true Democracy in which one is for all, and all for one.
I like to doubt if there are any other people on earth who turn in and
help one another in a spirit of all-engulfing national comradeship so
readily, so unconventionally and so good-naturedly as Americans.  That
drama of companionship in misery and adaptability to emergency
conditions, which held the boards at the American Embassy in Berlin
during the first week of the Great War, will live long in the memory of
those who witnessed it as one of the striking impressions of a
Brobdingnagian moment.

Obviously things would have been different if the crisis had not found
two real Americans in command of the Embassy in the persons of Mr. and
Mrs. Gerard. When the typical New Yorker whom President Wilson sent to
Berlin less than a year previous was first presented to his compatriots
at a little function at which it was my honor to preside, the man whom
political detractors contemptuously referred to as "a Tammany Judge"
made a "keynote speech," which he meant to be interpreted as his
"policy" in Germany, as far as Americans were concerned.  He said: "When
the time comes for me to retire from Berlin, if you will call me the
most American Ambassador who ever represented you in Germany, you can
call me after that anything you please."

Two years--what years--have elapsed since "Jimmy" Gerard made public
avowal of his conception of what United States diplomatic
representatives abroad ought to be--Americans, first, last and all the
time.  As these lines are written German-American official relations
seem on the verge of rupture and our embassy’s remaining days in Berlin
appear to be calculable in hours.  Whether it shall turn out that the
_Arabic_ insult was after all swallowed as the _Lusitania_ infamy was
stomached, or whether Judge Gerard is finally recalled from Berlin as a
protest extracted at length from the most patient, reluctant and
long-suffering Government on record, he will richly have realized his
ambition--to be "the most American Ambassador" ever accredited to the
German court.  In my time in Berlin I knew four American ambassadors.
Each one was a credit to his nation.  But "Jimmy" Gerard was "the most
American," and I count that, in a citizen of the United States called to
_represent_ his country abroad, the superlative quality.  The seductive
atmosphere of a Court in which adulation was obsequiously practised,
especially toward Americans, never turned the head of Judge Gerard or
his wife.  They had far more than the share of hobnobbing with Royalty
which falls to the lot of diplomatic newcomers in Berlin.  Princes and
princesses came with unwonted freedom to Wilhelms Platz 7.  They found
the former Miss Daly, of Anaconda, Montana, being a natural young
American woman, as much at ease in their gilded presence as she was the
day before when presiding over the tempestuous deliberations of the
American Woman’s Club out on Prager Platz.

To me the Gerards, apart from their personal charm, unaffected dignity
and joyous Americanism, always were psychologically interesting because
they typified so splendidly that greatest of our national
traits--adaptability.  To be dropped into the vortex of European
political life, with its gaping pitfalls and brilliant opportunities for
mistakes, is not child’s play even for the most experienced of men and
women.  France, for example, regarded no name in its diplomatic register
less eminent than that of a Cambon fit to head its mission to Berlin.
England kept at the Hohenzollern court the most gifted ambassador on the
Foreign Office’s active list--Sir Edward Goschen.  Unthinking Americans,
by which I mean those who underestimate our inherent capacity to land on
our feet, may have had their misgivings when a mere Justice of the
Supreme Court of the State of New York and the daughter of a Montana
copper king were sent to represent America among professional diplomats
of the highest European rank.  But "Jimmy" and "Molly" Gerard made good.
It is the American way, and because it is that, it is their way.  As for
the Ambassador, he has demonstrated, to my way of thinking, that a
graduate course in the university of American politics is ideal training
for diplomacy.  Intelligence, tact, resourcefulness and courage, the
rudiments of the diplomatic career, are qualities which surely nothing
can develop in a man more thoroughly than the hurly-burly,
rough-and-tumble, give-and-take of an American electioneering campaign.
It is amid its storms and tribulations that a man learns to be something
more than an inhabited dress-suit.  It is there he acquires the art of
being human.  It is there that he comes to appreciate the priceless
value of loyalty. United States Presidents do not err seriously when
they hunt for ambassadors among men who have been through the
preparatory school from which "Jimmy" Gerard holds a _magnum cum laude_.

My personal observations of Judge Gerard’s ambassadorial methods are
based for the most part on his career before the war.  But he has not
departed from them during the war.  Bismarck laid it down as a maxim
that an ambassador should not be "too popular" at the court to which he
was accredited.  From all one can gather, "Jimmy" Gerard has not laid
himself open to that charge in Berlin since August, 1914.  Nobody who
knows him ever suspected for a moment that he would.  Toadying is not in
his lexicon, and aggressively pro-American ambassadors are condemned in
advance to be disliked in Germany.  They do not fit into the Teutonic
diplomatic scheme.  If they are inspired by such unconventional
aspirations as those to which Judge Gerard gave utterance in his
"keynote speech" to the American Luncheon Club of Berlin, it is morally
certain that their usefulness--to Germany--is limited.

[Illustration: Mrs. Gerard.]

The American Ambassador had been acting for Great Britain in the enemy’s
country barely thirty-six hours, when Sir Edward Goschen, Great
Britain’s retiring Ambassador in Berlin, in his official report on the
knightly treatment accorded him and his staff during their last hours on
German soil, wrote:


"I should also like to mention the great assistance rendered to us all
by my American colleague, Mr. Gerard, and his staff.  Undeterred by the
hooting and hisses with which he was often greeted by the mob on
entering and leaving the Embassy, His Excellency came repeatedly to see
me, to ask how he could help us and to make arrangements for the safety
of stranded British subjects.  He extricated many of these from
extremely difficult situations at some personal risk to himself and his
calmness and _savoir faire_ and his firmness in dealing with the
Imperial authorities gave full assurance that the protection of British
subjects and interests could not have been left in more efficient and
able hands."


Nobody who ever knew "Jimmy" Gerard--that is the affectionate way in
which old friends and even acquaintances of brief duration almost
invariably speak of him--would expect him to be anything in the world
except "undeterred" by the cowardly onslaughts of the Berlin barbarians.
An expert swimmer, clever amateur boxer, crack shot, volunteer soldier
and veteran of New York politics, "Jimmy" Gerard never knew the meaning
of the word fear, and the unfailing courage with which he has "stood up"
to the Kaiser’s Government throughout the various crises of the war has
been in full keeping with his virile temperament.

It is sometimes said that our diplomatic system, or such as it is,
reduces American ambassadors and ministers to the status of
messenger-boys, who have little to do but to carry back and forth
between their offices and the foreign ministries to which they are
accredited the communications and instructions which Washington sends
them.  There could, of course, be no more obtuse misconception.  Berlin,
the capital of _Macht-politik_, is particularly a capital in which
everything depends on the manner in which a foreign Government’s views
are expressed or its wishes conveyed. It has not been my privilege to be
behind the innocuous von Jagow’s screen when "Jimmy" Gerard strolled
across the Wilhelms Platz to the ramshackle old _Auswärtiges Amt_, to
tell the German Government what Washington thought of this, that or the
other of her recurring acts of lawlessness, but I vow that von Jagow has
got to know Gerard for just what he is--an American from the top of his
extraordinarily well-shaped head to the soles of his feet.  The war has
brought us many blessings.  Among them we may count high the fact that
at the capital of the enemy of all mankind we had, ready to speak up and
to stand up for us, in gladness or vicissitude, a real man.

No story of our Berlin war Embassy would be complete without a reference
to the Ambassador’s lieutenants, who, inspired by his own example of
unruffled good nature and limitless patience, capably played their own
trying parts.  At Judge Gerard’s right hand was Joseph Clark Grew, First
Secretary, Harvard ’02, who, having shot wild beasts in the jungles of
Asia, would naturally not quail before Germans, no matter how stormy the
conditions.  Grew is one of the exceptional young men in our diplomatic
service, because, he has weathered its snares unspoiled.  A
distinguished secretarial career at such important posts as Cairo,
Mexico City, Vienna, Petrograd and Berlin, in the course of which he
frequently acted as Ambassador or Minister in charge, has left him, at
thirty-five, as natural, human and American as no doubt many Harvard men
are while still beneath the democratizing influence of the campus elms.
I mention the preservation of these qualities in Grew because they have
been known to disappear in many of our worthy young fellow countrymen,
jumped precipitately from college into representative positions abroad,
and who thenceforth refused to brush shoulders with anything beneath the
rank of royalty.

In Roland B. Harvey and Albert Billings Ruddock, respectively Second and
Third Secretaries, Judge Gerard was also the fortunate possessor of a
couple of adjutants who, in the presence of emergency, showed that
hustle and _bonhomie_, besides being American talents, are diplomatic
traits of no mean order.  To preserve calm during the passport stampede
of the first week of August, 1914, was to exhibit the _finesse_ of a
Disraeli.  Harvey and Ruddock are types of the younger generation of
American diplomatists who go in for the career with a view to devoting
themselves to its serious side and from among whom, some day, we ought
to evolve a professional service worthy of the name.  Neither of them
ever struck me as being afflicted by such emotions as filled the breast
of a certain well-known young man when promoted from a European
first-secretaryship to one of our important ministerships in South
America.  "Well, old boy," I asked him, "what do you think about going
to ----?" "Oh," he rejoined, "I suppose it’s all right, but it’s a h--
of a way from Paris!"

I must not end this chapter, which I hope is recognizable as a poor
expression of gratitude to all concerned for many kindnesses rendered,
without a mention of the youngest, but by no means the least meritorious
member, of the Berlin war Embassy family--Lanier Winslow, the
Ambassador’s ever-ebullient private secretary.  War sobered Winslow so
rapidly that he committed matrimony before it was six months old. I can
hear him now, in the midst of the passport panic, still imitating Frank
Tinney or humming _Get Out and Get Under_, just as Nero might have done
if Rome had known what rag-time was.  At an hour when it was most
needed, Lanier Winslow was a paragon of good humor, and altogether, by
common consent, a thing of beauty and a joy forever.



                               CHAPTER IX

                             AUGUST FOURTH


Germany’s war Juggernaut by the morning of Monday, August 3, was in
full, but incredibly noiseless, motion.  I always knew it was a
magnificently well greased machine, geared for the maximum of silence,
but I felt sure it could not swing into action without some
reverberating creaks.  Yet Berlin externally had been far more
feverishly agitated on Spring Parade days at recurring ends of May than
it was now, with "enemies all around" and that "war on two fronts,"
which most Germans used to talk about as something, _Gott sei Dank_,
they would never live to see.  One’s male friends of military age--it
was now the second day of mobilization--kept on melting away from hour
to hour, but amid a complete lack of fuss and bustle.  It almost seemed
as if the army had orders to rush to the fighting-line in gum-shoes and
that everything on wheels had rubber tires.  As the Fatherland for years
had armed in silence, so she was going to battle.  We saw no
seventeen-inch guns rumbling to the front.  Those were Germany’s
best-concealed weapons.  A military attaché of one of the chief
belligerents, who lived in Berlin for four years preceding the war, has
since confessed that he never even knew of the "Big Berthas’" existence!

Germany girding for Armageddon was distinctly a disappointment.  I
entirely agreed with a portly dowager from the Middle West, who, between
frettings about when she could get a train to the Dutch frontier,
continually expressed her chagrin at such "a poor show."  She imagined,
like a good many of the rest of us, that mobilization in Germany would
at the very least see the Supreme War Lord bolting madly up and down
_Unter den Linden_, plunging silver spurs into a foaming white charger
and brandishing a glistening sword in martial gestures as Caruso does
when he plays Radames in the finale of the second act of Aida. Verdi’s
Egyptian epic is the Kaiser’s favorite opera, and he ought to have
remembered, we thought, how a conquering hero should demean himself at
such a blood-stirring hour.  At least Berlin, we hoped, would rise to
the occasion, and thunder and rock with the pomp and circumstance of
war’s alarums.

There was amazingly little of anything of that sort. The Kaiser instead
automobiled around town in a prosaic six-cylinder Mercedes, as he long
was wont to do, just keeping some rather important professional
engagements with the Chief of the General Staff, the Imperial Chancellor
and the Secretary of the Navy.  As he flitted by, the huge crowds lined
up on the curbstone stiffened into attitudes, clicked heels, doffed hats
and "_hoched_."  The atmosphere was _stimmungsvoller_ than usual, for
German phlegm had vanished along with high prices on the Bourse, but the
paroxysm of electric excitement which I always fancied would usher in a
German war was unaccountably missing.  When you mentioned that
phenomenon to German friends, their bosoms swelled with visible pride.
They were immeasurably flattered by your indirect compliment that the
Kaiser’s war establishment was so perfect a mechanism that it could
clear for action almost imperceptibly.

I had now deserted my home in suburban Wilmersdorf, which I nicknamed
the "District of Columbia," for in and all around it Berlin’s American
colony was domiciled, and taken a room for the opening scenes of the war
drama in the Hotel Adlon.  With its broad fronts on the Linden and
Pariser Platz, and the French, British and Russian Embassies within a
stone’s throw to the right and left, the Adlon was an ideal vantage
point.  If there were to be "demonstrations," I could feel sure, at so
strategic a point, of being in the thick of them.  Events of the
succeeding thirty-six hours were to show that I did not reckon without
my host on that score.

From window and balcony overlooking the Linden I could now see or hear
at intervals detachments of Berlin regiments, Uhlans or Infantry of the
Guard, or a battery of light artillery, swinging along to railway
stations to entrain for the front.  Occasionally battalions of
provincial regiments, distinguishable because the men did not tower into
space like Berlin’s guardsmen, crossed town en route from one train to
another.  The men seemed happier than I had ever before seen German
soldiers.  That was the only difference, or at least the principal one.
The prospect of soon becoming cannon-fodder was evidently far from
depressing.  Most of them carried flowers entwined round the rifle
barrel or protruding from its mouth.  Here and there a bouquet dangled
rakishly from a helmet.  Now and then a flaxen-haired Prussian girl
would step into the street and press a posey into some trooper’s grimy
hand.  Yet, except for the fact that the soldiers were all in field
gray, (I wonder when the Kaiser’s military tailors began making those
millions of gray uniforms!) with even their familiar spiked headpiece
masked in canvas of the same hue, the Kaiser’s fighting men marching off
to battle might have been carrying out a workaday route-march.  Then,
suddenly, a company or a whole battalion would break into song, and the
crowd, trailing alongside the bass-drum of the band, just as in peace
times, would take up the refrain, and presently half-a-mile of _Unter
den Linden_ was echoing with _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_, and
I knew that the Fatherland was at war.

At the railway stations of Berlin and countless other German towns and
cities at that hour heart-rending little tragedies were being enacted,
as fathers, mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts bade a long farewell
to the beloved in gray.  Only rarely did some man in uniform himself
surrender to the emotions of the moment.  These swarthy young Germans,
with fifty or sixty pounds of impedimenta strapped round them, were
endowed with Spartan stolidity now, and smilingly buoyed up the drooping
spirits of the kith and kin they were leaving behind.  "_Es wird schon
gut, Mütterchen!  Es wird schon gut!_" (It will be all right, mother
dear!  It will be all right!)  Thus they returned comfort for tears.
_"Nicht unterliegen! Besser nicht zurückkehren!_" (Don’t be beaten!
Better not come back at all!) was the good-by greeting blown with the
final kisses as many a trainload of embryonic heroes faded slowly from
sight beneath the station’s gaping archway.  Germany was now indubitably
convinced that its war was war in a holy cause.  The time had come for
the Fatherland to rise to the majesty of a great hour.  "_Auf
wiedersehen!_" sang the country to the army.  But if there was to be no
reunion, the army must go down fighting to the last gasp for _unsere
gerechte Sache_, manfully, tirelessly, ruthlessly, till victory was
enforced.  Such were the inspiring thoughts amid which the boys in field
gray trooped off to die for Kaiser and Empire.

The outstanding event of August 3 was the publication of the German
Government’s famous apologia for the war, the so-called "White Paper"
officially described as "Memorandum and Documents in Relation to the
Outbreak of the War."  Early in the afternoon a telephone message
arrived for me at the Adlon to the effect that if I would call at the
Press Bureau of the Foreign Office at five o’clock, _Legationsrat_
Heilbron, one of Hammann’s lieutenants whom I had known for many years,
would be glad to deliver me an advance copy for special transmission to
London and New York.  I lay great stress on the fact that up to sun-down
of August 3, 1914, I continued to be _persona gratissima_ with the
Imperial German Government.  It was true that one of the young Foreign
Office cubs told off to censor press cablegrams at the Main Telegraph
Office had, during the preceding three days, expressed annoyance with
what he considered my eagerness to "go into details," but _Legationsrat_
Heilbron’s invitation to fetch the "White Paper" was gratifying evidence
that my relations with the powers-that-be were still "correct," even if
not cordial.  I was glad of that, because there was constantly in my
mind the desire to remain in Germany, whatever happened, with a
front-row seat for the big show.  At the appointed hour I presented
myself in Herr Heilbron’s room on the ground floor of the Wilhelmstrasse
front of the Foreign Office.  He greeted me with old-time courtesy,
though I found his demeanor perceptibly depressed.  He handed me a copy
of the _Denkschrift_, and, when I begged him for a second one, he
complied with a gracious _bitte sehr_.

A London colleague had already intimated to me that the Imperial
Chancellor, desiring to place the German case promptly and fully before
the British and American publics, would "do his best" with the military
authorities who were now in supreme control of the postal telegraph and
cable lines to induce them to allow London and New York correspondents
to file exhaustive "stories" on the White Paper.  As I was sure,
however, that Reuter’s Agency for England and the Associated Press for
America would be handling the affair at great length, my treatment of it
was confined, as was usual under such circumstances, to telegraphing a
brief introductory summary.

What struck me instantly as the hall-marks of the German publication
were its treatment of the war as an exclusively Russian-provoked
Russo-German affair and its brazenly _ex-parté_ character--how
_ex-parté_ I did not fully realize till I read England’s White Paper a
week later.  Sir Edward Grey laid his cards on the table, without
marginal notes or comment of any kind, and asked the world to pass
judgment.  Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg’s White Paper began with a
lengthy plea of justification and ended with quotation of such
communications between the Kaiser’s Government and its ambassadors and
between the German Emperor and the Czar as would most plausibly support
the Fatherland’s case for war.  It was manifestly a biased and
incomplete record.  It was in fact a doctored record, and suggested that
its authors had Bismarck’s mutilation of the Ems telegram in mind as a
precedent, in emulation of which no German Government could possibly go
wrong.

Although compiled to include events up to August 1, the German White
Paper was silent as the grave in regard to Belgium and the negotiations
with the Government of Great Britain.  Issued on the night of August 3,
when hundreds of thousands of German troops were waiting at
Aix-la-Chapelle for the great assault on Liége--if, indeed, at that hour
they were not already across the Belgian frontier--this sacred brief
designed to establish the Fatherland’s case at the bar of world opinion
had no single word to say on what was destined to be almost the supreme
issue of the war.  It was the last word in Imperial German deception.
If the German public had known that Sir Edward Grey on July 30 had
already "warned Prince Lichnowsky that Germany must not count upon our
standing aside in all circumstances," I imagine its bitterness a few
nights later, when the fable of England’s "treacherous intervention" was
sprung upon the deluded Fatherland, might have been less barbaric in its
intensity.

Next to the omission of all reference to what Sir Edward Grey called
Germany’s "infamous proposal" for the purchase of British neutrality--a
pledge not to despoil France of European territory if England would
stand with folded arms while Germany violated Belgium and ravished the
French Colonial Empire--the striking feature of the Berlin White Paper
was the admission of German-Austrian complicity in the humiliation of
Serbia.  The Foreign Office, as I have previously explained, had
zealously affirmed Germany’s entire detachment from Austria’s programme
for avenging Serajevo.  What did the White Paper now tell us?  That


"Austria had to admit that it would not be consistent either with the
dignity or the self-preservation of the Monarchy to look on longer at
the operations on the other side of the border without taking action....
_We were able to assure our ally most heartily of our agreement with her
view of the situation, and to assure her that any action she might
consider it necessary to take in order to put an end to the movement in
Servia directed against the existence of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
would receive our approval_.  We were fully aware, in this connection,
that warlike moves on the part of Austria-Hungary against Servia would
bring Russia into the question, and might draw us into a war in
accordance with our duties as an ally."


The historic and ineffaceable fact is that Austria--wabbly, invertebrate
Austria, which would even to-day, but for Germany, lay prostrate and
vanquished--never made a solitary move in the whole plot to coerce
Serbia without the full concurrence of the big brother at Berlin.  It
would be an insult to the intelligence of German diplomacy, stupid as it
is, to imagine that the Kaiser’s Government sat mute, unconsulted and
nonchalant, while Austria worked out a scheme certain, as the Germans
themselves admit in their White Paper, to plunge Europe into war.

It was my privilege on arriving in the United States on August 22, to
furnish the _New York Times_ with the first copy of the German White
Paper to reach the American public.  In preparing a prefatory note to
accompany the verbatim translation published in next day’s paper, I
selected the paragraph above quoted as _primâ-facie_ evidence that the
German claim of non-collusion with Austria is subterfuge--to give it the
longer and less unparliamentary term.

The German White Paper was prepared formally for the information of the
Reichstag, which was summoned to meet on Tuesday, August 4 of
imperishable memory, for the purpose of voting $325,000,000 of initial
war credits.  Paris was not won in the expected six weeks, and the
Reichstag has voted $7,500,000,000 of war credits up to this writing
(September 1, 1915), with melancholy promise of still more to come.  The
twenty-four hours preceding the war sitting had not been eventless.
Monsieur Sverbieff and the staff of the Russian Embassy were the victims
of gross insults from the mob in _Unter den Linden_, as they left their
headquarters in automobiles for the railway station. Mounted police were
present to "keep order," but their "vigilance" did not deter German men
and youths from spitting in the faces of the Czar’s representatives,
belaboring them with walking-sticks and umbrellas, and offering rowdy
indignities to the women of the ambassadorial party.  In front of the
French Embassy menacing crowds stood throughout the day and night,
waiting for a chance to exhibit German patriotism at Monsieur Cambon’s
expense.  When Señor Polê de Bernábe, the Spanish Ambassador, who was
calling to arrange to take over the representation of France during the
war, made his appearance, the mob mistook him for Cambon and was just
prevented in the nick of time from assaulting the Spaniard.  How the
French Embassy finally got away from Germany, under circumstances which
would have shamed a Fiji Island government, was later related for the
benefit of posterity in the French _Yellow Book_.  When I read it months
later, I remembered my first German teacher in Berlin, a noblewoman,
once telling me, when I asked her how to say "gentleman" in German:
"There is no such thing as a ’gentleman’ in the German language."  That
was paraphrased to me by another German on a later occasion, when,
discussing the ability of German science, so well demonstrated during
this war, to devise a substitute for almost anything, he remarked: "The
only thing we can’t make is a gentleman, because we never had a proper
analysis of the necessary ingredients."  The Germans, in their
communicative moments, always used to acknowledge that Bismarck was
right when he called them "a nation of house-servants."  It is
impressively exemplified on their stage, which boasts the finest
character actors imaginable; but when a German player essays to portray
the gentleman, he is grotesque.  He gropes helplessly in a strange and
unexplored realm.

On the day before the war session of the Reichstag, the Kaiser, more
conscious than ever now of his partnership with Deity, ordained
Wednesday, August 5, as a day of universal prayer for the success of
German arms.  Soon after its proclamation, William II, thunderously
acclaimed, appeared in _Unter den Linden_ intermittently, en route to
conference with high officers of state.  He was clad, like every German
soldier one now saw, in field-gray, and ready, one heard, to leave for
the front at a moment’s notice, to take up his post, assigned him by
Hohenzollern warrior traditions, on the battlefield in the midst of his
loyal legions. Mobilization was now in full swing, and more and more
troops were in evidence, crossing town to railway stations from which
they were to be transported east or west, as the Staff’s emergencies
required.  A week before, all these soldiers were in Prussian blue.
They were gray now, from head to foot, millions of them. Obviously the
clothing department of the army had not been taken by "surprise" by the
cruel war "forced" on pacific Germany.  Three million uniforms can not
be turned out in a whole summer--even in Germany. I thought of this, as
gray streams, far into the evening, kept pouring through Berlin, and I
thought what a marvelously happy selection that peculiar shade of
drab-gray, of almost dust-like invisibility from afar, was for field
purposes.  To shoot at lines no more colorful than that, it seemed to
me, would be like banging away at the horizon itself....

History, I suppose, will date Armageddon from August 1, when the German
army and navy were mobilized, or perhaps from August 2, when Germany
claims that Russia and France fired the first miscreant shots.  But the
red-letter day of the World Massacre’s opening week was beyond all
question Tuesday, August 4, which began with the war sitting of the
Reichstag and ended with England’s declaration of war on Germany.  It
was destined to be especially big with import for me--of vital import,
as events hanging over my unsuspecting head were speedily to reveal.

At midday, two hours before the session of the Reichstag in its own
chamber, Parliament was "opened" by the Kaiser personally in the
celebrated White Hall of the Royal Castle.  I had applied for admission
after the few available press tickets were already exhausted, but it was
not difficult for me to visualize the scene.  I had been in the White
Hall on several memorable occasions in the past--during the visit of
King Edward VII in February, 1909, at a brilliant State banquet and at
the ball which followed; at the wedding of the Emperor’s daughter, "the
sunshine of my House," Princess Victoria Luise, and Duke Ernest August
of Brunswick, in May, 1913; and a month later during the Silver Jubilee
celebration of the Kaiser’s reign, when our own Mr. Carnegie showered
plaudits on the Prince of the world’s peace. Tower, of _The World_ and
_Daily News_, was lucky enough to secure a ticket to the Castle
ceremonial, and he was bubbling over with excitement at having been
privileged to participate in so memorable a function. My old friend,
Günther Thomas, late of the _Newyorker-Staatszeitung_, now joyous in the
prospect of joining the German Press Bureau’s war staff, came back from
the Castle almost pitying me for not having been there.  "Wile, I tell
you," I can hear him saying now, "it was beautiful, simply beautiful!
You missed it!  It was enough to make one cry!"  Thomas lived in New
York seventeen years, but he returned to Germany a more devout Prussian
than ever, as a man ought to be whose father fell gloriously at
Königgrätz.

The description furnished by my English and Prussian colleagues
evidently did not exaggerate the splendor and impressiveness of the
scene at the White Hall. The Kaiser, in field-general’s gray, entered,
escorting the Empress.  He was solemn, but not anxious-looking. Around
the marble-pillared chamber, where only fifteen months before I had seen
the Czar and George V of England tripping the minuet with German
princesses as the Kaiser’s honored guests, were grouped the first men of
the Empire.  In the places of distinction, closest to the canopied
throne, each according to his Court rank, stood the Imperial Chancellor,
General von Moltke, Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz and a score of other
eminent officers of the civil, naval and military governments.  Among
the foreign ambassadors only the representatives of Russia and France
were missing from their old-time places.  Mr. Gerard, modest and
retiring as always, amid the glitter of gold lace and brass buttons
flashing on all sides, cut a more than ever self-effacing figure in his
diplomatic uniform--the plain evening dress of an American gentleman.

The Kaiser read his War Speech, which he held in his right hand, while
the left firmly gripped his sword-hilt.  Beginning in a quiet tone, His
Majesty’s voice appreciably rose in intensity and volume as he
approached the kernel of his message which told how "with a heavy heart
I have been compelled to mobilize my army against a neighbor with whom
it has fought side by side on so many fields of battle."  The Imperial
Russian Government, William II went on to say, "yielding to the pressure
of an insatiable nationalism, has taken sides with a State which by
encouraging criminal attacks has brought on the evil of war."  That
France, also, the Kaiser continued, "placed herself on the side of our
enemies could not surprise us.  Too often have our efforts to arrive at
friendlier relations with the French Republic come in collision with old
hopes and ancient malice."  And when the Kaiser had ended, with an
invitation to "the leaders of the different parties of the Reichstag"
(there were no Socialists present) "to come forward and lay their hands
in mine as a pledge," the White Hall reverberated with applause which
must have seemed almost indecorous in so august an apartment, but which,
no doubt, rang true.  It was then, I suppose, that Thomas felt like
weeping, and so should I, perhaps, had I been there. The Kaiser, his
handshaking-bee over, strode from the scene amid an awesome silence, and
the statesmen, the generals and the admirals went their respective ways.
All was now in readiness for the real Reichstag session, in which words
of deathless significance were to fall from the Chancellor’s lips.

We were accustomed to sardine-box conditions in the always overcrowded
press gallery of the Reichstag on "great days," but to-day we were piled
on top of one another in closer formation even than a Prussian infantry
platoon in the charge.  Familiar faces were missing.  Comert, of _Le
Temps_, Caro, of _Le Matin_, and Bonnefon, of _Le Figaro_, were not
there.  They had escaped, we were glad to hear, by one of the very last
trains across the French frontier.  Löwenton (a brother of Madame
Nazimoff), Grossmann, Markoff and Melnikoff, our long-time Russian
colleagues, were absent, too.  Had they gained Wirballen in time, we
wondered, or were they languishing in Spandau?

Doctor Paul Goldmann, _doyén_ of our Berlin corps, was in his accustomed
seat, beaming consciously, as became, at such an hour, the
correspondent-in-chief of the great allied Vienna _Neue Freie Presse_.
The British and American contingents were on hand in force. Never had we
waited for a _Kanzlerrede_ in such electric expectancy.  "Copy" in
plenty, such as none of us had ever telegraphed before, was about to be
made. Goldmann, a Foreign Office favorite, as well as the all-around
most popular foreign journalist in Berlin, may have had an advance hint
what was coming, as he frequently did, but to the vast majority of
us--British, American, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Swiss, Spanish and
Danish, sandwiched there in the _Pressloge_ so closely that we could
hear, but not move--I am certain that the momentous words and
extraordinary scenes about to ensue came as a staggering revelation.

Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg, who is flattered when told that he looks
like Abraham Lincoln--the resemblance ends there--began speaking at
three-fifteen o’clock.  Gaunt and fatigued, he tugged nervously at the
portfolio of documents on the desk in front of him during the brief
introductory remarks of the President of the House, the patriarchal,
white-bearded Doctor Kaempf.  The Chancellor’s manner gave no indication
that before he resumed his seat he would rise to heights of oratorical
fire of which no one ever thought that "incarnation of passionate
doctrinarianism" capable.  What he said is known to all the world now;
how, in Bismarckian accents, he thundered that "we are in a state of
self-defense and necessity knows no law!"  How he confessed that "our
troops, which have already occupied Luxemburg, may perhaps already have
set foot on Belgian territory."  How he acknowledged, in a succeeding
phrase, to Germany’s eternal guilt, that "that violates international
law."  How he proclaimed the amazing doctrine that, confronted by such
emergencies as Germany now was, she had but one duty--"to hack her way
through, even though--I say it quite frankly--we are doing wrong!"  Our
heads, I think, fairly swam as the terrible portent of these words sank
into our consciousness.  "Our troops may perhaps already have set foot
on Belgian soil."  That meant one thing, with absolute certainty. It
denoted war with England.  Trifles have a habit at such moments of
lodging themselves firmly in one’s mind; and I remember distinctly how,
when I heard Bethmann Hollweg fling that challenge forth, I leaned over
impulsively to my Swedish friend, Siosteen, of the _Goteborg Tidningen_,
and whispered: "That settles it.  England’s in it now, too."  Siosteen
nods an excited assent.  It is in the midst of one of the frequent
intervals in which the House, floor and galleries alike, is now venting
its impassioned approval of the Chancellor’s words.  I had heard Bülow
and Bebel and Bethmann Hollweg himself, times innumerable, set the
Reichstag rocking with fervid demonstrations of approval or hostility,
but never has it throbbed with such life as to-day.  It is the
incarnation of the inflamed war spirit of the land.  The more defiant
the Chancellor’s diction, the more fervid the applause it evokes.
"_Sehr richtig!  Sehr richtig!_" the House shrieks back at him in chorus
as he details, step by step, how Germany has been "forced" to draw her
terrible sword to beat back the "Russian mobilization menace," how she
has tried and failed to bargain with England and Belgium, how she has
kept the dogs of war chained to the last, and only released them now
when destruction, imminent and certain, is upon her.

All eyes in the Press Gallery are riveted on the broad left arc of the
floor usurped by the one hundred and eleven Social Democratic deputies
of the House of three hundred and ninety-seven members.  For the first
time in German history their cheers are mingling with those of other
parties in support of a Government policy.  That, after the Belgian
revelation, is beyond all question the dominating feature of a scene
tremendous with meaning in countless respects. There is nothing
perfunctory about the "Reds’" enthusiasm; that is plain.  It is real,
spontaneous, universal.  No man of them keeps his seat.  All are on
their feet, succumbing to the engulfing magnitude of the moment.  That,
it instantly occurs to us, means much to Germany at such an hour.  It
means that the hope which more than one of the Fatherland’s prospective
foes in years gone by has fondly cherished, of Socialist revolt in the
hour of Germany’s peril, was illusory hope.  The Chancellor knows what
it means.  "Our army is in the field!" he declares, trembling with
emotion.  "Our fleet is ready for battle!  The whole German nation
stands behind them!"  As one man, the entire Reichstag now rises,
shouting its approval of these historic words in tones of frenzied
exaltation.  For two full minutes pandemonium reigns unchecked.
Bethmann Hollweg is turning to the Social Democrats.  His fist is
clenched and he brandishes it in their direction--not in anger this
time, but in triumph--and, as if he were proclaiming the proud sentiment
for all the world to hear, he exclaims, at the top of his voice, "Yea,
the whole nation!"  Thus was Armageddon born.  Germany, all present
knew, would be at war before another sun had gone down, not only with
Russia and France, but with England, and, of course, with Belgium, too.

"Supposing the Belgians resist?" I asked Schmidt, of the _B. Z. am
Mittag_, a German colleague whom I once christened Berlin’s "star"
reporter, as we wandered, thinking hard, back to _Unter den Linden_.

"Resist?" he replied, half pitying the feeble-mindedness which prompted
such a question.  "We shall simply spill them into the ocean."



                               CHAPTER X

                           THE WAR REACHES ME


"We are not barbarians, my dear Wile!" exclaimed Günther Thomas, when we
met in the Adlon after the Reichstag sitting, in reply to my query about
the safety of correspondents of English newspapers, now that Germany was
about to annex Great Britain as an enemy in addition to Russia and
France. I had found Thomas during ten years of acquaintance the
best-informed German journalist I ever knew.  His long residence in Park
Row had grafted a "news nose" on him, which, coupled with a profound
knowledge of the history and present-day undercurrents of his own
country, made him an ideal and valuable colleague.  I treasure my
relations with him in grateful recollection.  One required occasionally
to dilute both his news and views with a strong solution of skepticism,
for Thomas was both a Prussian patriot and representative of Mr.
Ridder’s _New-Yorker Staatszeitung_. But nine times out of ten his
counsel and information were like Cæsar’s wife.  His assurance to me on
the evening of August 4, 1914, that his countrymen "were not barbarians"
was the most misleading piece of news he ever supplied me.

The imminence of hostilities with England revived irresistibly in my
mind the qualms which had filled the Germans for a week previous on this
very point. "What will the English do?" was the question they constantly
flung at any one they thought likely to be able to answer it
intelligently.  It was the thing which gave themselves the most anxious
heart-searching. The "war on two fronts," the purely Continental affair
with the Dual Alliance, filled the average German with no concern.  The
Kaiser’s military machine had been constructed to deal with France and
Russia combined, and no German ever for a moment doubted its ability to
do so.  Events of the past year, I think it may fairly be said, have
justified that confidence, for I suppose no expert anywhere in the world
doubts but that for the presence of British sea power on France and
Russia’s side, the German eagle would in all probability now be
screaming in triumph over Paris and Petrograd.  But with the British
"in," dozens of Germans confessed, as my own ears can bear testimony,
their case was "hopeless."  Few of them were persuaded that Germany
could, in Bismarck’s picturesque phrase, "deal with the British Navy in
Paris."  While the prospect of having to fight France and Russia did not
disturb the Germans, the possibility of having to battle with Britain
simultaneously filled them with undisguised alarm.  They would not admit
it now, but in the fading hours of July, 1914, and the opening days of
August, it was a nightmare which pressed down so heavily upon their
consciousness that they never spoke of it except in accents of dread.
The Hate cult had not yet toppled their reason.  Lissauer’s demoniacal
ballad was still unwritten.  In those anguished moments they talked of
England, when not in terms of outright fear, as the "brother nation" of
kindred blood and ideals with whom war was unthinkable because it would
be nothing short of "civil war."  Doctor Hecksher, a well-known National
Liberal member of the Reichstag and _Stimmungsmacher_ (henchman) of the
Foreign Office, busily assured English newspaper correspondents of the
"horror" with which the mere idea of conflict with England filled the
German soul.  I thought it queer that one of my last dispatches to
London, before Anglo-German telegraphic communication snapped,
containing Doctor Hecksher’s views and mentioning him by name, was
ruthlessly censored in Berlin and returned to me as untransmissible.
That meant one of two things--that Doctor Hecksher was wrong in
attributing to Germany overweening desires of peace with England, or
that it was unwise to let me indicate that Teuton knees were quaking at
the prospect of war with her. Certainly lachrymose expressions of hope
that England would not feel called upon to "intervene" in Germany’s
"just quarrel" with her neighbors were common to the point of
universality in Berlin on the eve of the clash. They were born of
inherent conviction that German aspirations of imposing Hohenzollern
hegemony on the Continent must and would be wrecked by England’s
adherence to her century-old policy of opposing so vital a disturbance
in the balance of European power.

Uppermost in my mind just now was how to transmit at least the vital
passages of the Chancellor’s "Necessity knows no law speech" to _The
Daily Mail_. A merely informative bulletin about it to the editor had
just been brought back from the Main Telegraph Office by my faithful
young German secretary, Arthur Schrape, with the message that "no more
dispatches to England are being accepted."  That was about six o’clock
P.M., at least three hours before Berlin or the world generally had any
knowledge that England and Germany were actually at grips.
Communication with the United States, Schrape had been told, was still
open, so the most natural thing in the world was to attempt to get
Bethmann Hollweg’s crucial statements to London by way of New York.
Then followed a decision on my part which was to prove my undoing--I
committed the diabolical and treasonable crime of calling up my friend
and colleague, Mackenzie, the able correspondent of the _London Times_
(like my own paper, _The Daily Mail_, the property of Lord Northcliffe),
and discussing with him the feasibility of cabling the New York
representatives of our respective papers to relay to London the news
which we were unable to send directly from Berlin.  We were telephoning
in German, of course, as every one for three days past had been required
to do, and we realized that practically every conversation, especially
between highly suspicious characters like long-accredited Berlin
newspaper correspondents, was being overheard by some spy with an ear
glued to a receiver.  Knowing all this perfectly well, we talked with
entire freedom of our nefarious scheme for undermining the safety of the
German Empire.  Finally it was agreed that Mackenzie should come to my
rooms in the Adlon and arrange with me there the text of a cablegram to
New York which should bottle up the German fleet, encircle the Crown
Prince’s army and generally wreck the Kaiser’s plans for subjugating
Europe, even before the ink on the General Staff’s plans was dry.  We
agreed that the surest way of striking this blow for England was to
cable to New York a message whose veiled language would disclose to even
the most stupid eye that it concealed a plot of heinous proportions.  It
was decided that we should concoct in cable language a cablegram reading
like this:


"Chancellor just delivered importantest speech Reichstag.  As
communication England unlonger possible suggest your cabling Newyorks
news."


Mackenzie, accompanied by his assistant, Jelf, now a volunteer-officer
in Kitchener’s army, arrived at the Adlon; we canvassed the New York
suggestion in detail--amid such secrecy that Schrape, a very keen-eared
German of twenty-two and a patriot, who is also serving his Kaiser and
Empire in field-gray, was permitted to participate in our deliberations.
Then we came to the most treacherous decision of all, viz., not to carry
out our grandiose project for confounding the German War Party’s plot.
But we had gone far enough.  We were discovered.  Our machinations,
though we knew it not, were seen through, our guns were spiked, and all
that remained was to put us, as soon as possible, where we could do no
further harm. Any number of Frenchmen and Russians were already in the
same place.

Carelessly leaving behind me my typewriting-machine, fifty-pfennig map
of the North Sea, copies of my preceding week’s cablegrams, scissors,
paste-pot, carbon-paper, the latest Berlin newspapers, and other
telltale emblems of my infamy, I went to the American Embassy to discuss
the latest and obviously greatest turn of the war kaleidoscope with
Judge Gerard. There were a thousand and one questions to level at him.
Was it true that Sir Edward Goschen had already asked him to take charge
of Great Britain’s interests?  What would panic-stricken American war
refugees do now, with British warships blockading the German coasts?
Would it any longer be safe in Berlin for our people to talk their own
language in public? Would the United States Government be making any
declaration of neutrality, or something of that sort, to the German
Government?  Was the Embassy still in direct communication with
Washington?  Could it facilitate the transmission of our news-cablegrams
to New York or Chicago?  These were the things the journalistic brethren
_en masse_ were anxious to know--and I recall vividly that the
Ambassador and his staff, despite a week of worries unprecedented, were
still smiling and managing to reply to every question, however abstract
or unanswerable, with invincible equanimity.  I have since heard that
there were fellow citizens who found Gerard, Grew, Harvey and Ruddock
"inattentive."  I suppose they were the patriots who couldn’t understand
why local checks on the First National Bank of Roaring Branch,
Pennsylvania, "weren’t good" at the Embassy, and who were "peeved"
because the Ambassador couldn’t tell them why Uncle Sam hadn’t already
started a fleet of dreadnoughts and liners-_de-luxe_ to Hamburg and
Bremen to rescue his stranded tourist family.  Or one of the
complainants, who was "going to write to Bryan" about our "inefficient
diplomatic service," may have been that plutocratic dame from Boston who
demanded that Gerard should at least be able to commandeer "a special
train" for the Americans, even if every military line in all Germany was
at that hour choked with troop-transports.  And yet we Yankees rank in
effete Europe as a cool-headed and common-sense race!

What dominated my thoughts, of course, was whether, after all, I was now
to be allowed to remain in Germany.  My desire to do so was never
stronger--to sit on the edge of history in the making at such a moment.
Judge Gerard resolved my doubts.  I should "cheer up" and hope for the
best.  I tarried for a moment longer, to chat over the day’s
overwhelming developments with Mrs. Gerard, with whom I had not had my
usual daily cup of tea and war conference. We wondered how long it would
be before a formal declaration of war between England and Germany would
be declared.  I spoke of my pleasurable anticipation at being permitted
to live through the mighty days ahead of us in Berlin with herself and
the Ambassador.  They would be experiences worthy of transmission to
grandchildren.  We agreed we should be privileged mortals, in a way, to
be vouchsafed so tremendous an opportunity.  I commented on Mrs.
Gerard’s amazing lack of fatigue after four days and nights of trials
and tribulations with terror-stricken compatriots.  She spoke of the
lively satisfaction it had given her to be of service of so homely and
homespun a character, and remarked that young Mrs. Ruddock had been "a
perfect brick" through it all, an _aide-de-camp_ whom a field-marshal
might have envied....

Eight o’clock.  Dusk had just fallen as I quitted the Embassy.  A trio
of servants clustered at the entrance was examining in the dim light a
_Tageblatt_ "Extra" which, they said, was just out.  I fairly snatched
at it. This is what it said:

    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+
    |                                                |
    |  ENGLAND BREAKS OFF DIPLOMATIC                 |
    |  RELATIONS WITH GERMANY                        |
    |                                                |
    |  The English Ambassador in Berlin, Sir         |
    |  Edward Goschen, appeared this evening in      |
    |  the German Foreign Office and demanded his    |
    |  passports.  That denotes, in all probability, |
    |  war with England!                             |
    |                                                |
    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+

I ought not to have been surprised, yet I was shocked. So England now,
at last and really, was "in it."  The realization was almost numbing.  I
stood reading and reading the _Extrablatt_, over and over again. "Joe"
Grew came hurrying up in his automobile.  He, too, had the _Tageblatt_
in his hand.  He was hastening to tell the Ambassador the news.  It was
true, Grew said, beyond any doubt.  Ye Gods!  What next?  The world’s
coming to an end, one thought, was about all there was left.  And that
seemed nearer at hand than any of us ever felt it before.

[Illustration: Berlin Mob Attacking British Embassy on the night of Aug.
4, 1914. (Drawn for the Illustrated London News from a description by
the author.)]

I started now for the English Embassy, across the Wilhelms Platz and
down the Wilhelmstrasse four or five blocks to the north.  From afar I
heard the rumble of a mob, not a singing cheering mob such as had been
turning Berlin into bedlam for a week before, but a mob obviously bent
on more serious business.  I reached the Behrenstrasse, two hundred feet
away from the English Embassy.  Though quite dark, I could see plainly
what was happening.  The Embassy was besieged by a shouting throng,
yelling so savagely that its words were not distinguishable.  They were
not chanting _Rule, Britannia!_  I was sure of that. It was
imprecations, inarticulate but ferocious beyond description, which they
were muttering.  I saw things hurtling toward the windows.  From the
crash of glass which presently ensued, I knew they were hitting their
mark.  The fusillade increased in violence. When there would be a
particularly loud crash, it would be followed by a fiendish roar of
glee.  The street was crammed from curb to curb.  Many women were among
the demonstrators.  A mounted policeman or two could be seen making no
very vigorous effort to interfere with the riot.  It was no place for an
Englishman, or anybody who, being smooth-shaven, was usually mistaken
for one in Berlin.  I did not dream of trying to run the blockade.  The
rear, or Wilhelmstrasse, entrance of the Adlon adjoins the Embassy. It
would be easy to gain access to the hotel that way. I tried the door.
It was locked.  I rang.  One of the light-blue uniformed page-boys came,
peered through the glass, recognized me and fled without letting me in.
I rang again.  No one came.  Wilhelmstrasse now was roaring with the
mob’s rage.  Ambassador Goschen’s subsequent report on this classic
manifestation of _Kultur_ described how he and his staff, seated in the
front drawing-room of the Embassy, narrowly escaped being stoned to
death by missiles which now flew thick and fast through every paneless
window of the building.

[Illustration: Extra Edition of _Berliner Tageblatt_ Announcing War With
England]

I hailed a passing horse-cab and told the driver to make for the Adlon
by the circuitous route of the Voss-strasse, Königgrätzer-strasse and
Brandenburg Gate.  Ten minutes later I reached the hotel.  I stepped to
the desk and asked for Herr Adlon, Sr., or Louis Adlon, his son; said
the Wilhelmstrasse mob might soon decide to hold an overflow meeting and
attack the hotel premises, and that certain precautionary measures might
be useful.  The lobby of the hotel, I noticed, was rapidly filling up
with American war refugees, of whom there was to be a meeting.  I
recognized a dozen or more anxious compatriots whom I had seen encamped
at the Embassy during the preceding two or three days.  The Ambassador
was expected, they said, and they were hoping and praying to hear from
him that the Government had at last effected adequate rescue
arrangements.  The frock-coated menial at the hotel desk, only a few
hours previous servility itself, was unusually curt when I asked where
the Adlons were.  I did not think of it at the time, but his rudeness
assumed its proper importance in the scheme of things as they later
developed.  I stopped to chat with Ambassador Gerard, who had just
strolled in.  Then I met another acquaintance, Count von Oppersdorff,
the urbane Silesian Roman Catholic political leader, a familiar and
welcome figure on our Berlin golf links.  "So England has come in,"
remarked the Count.  "Yes," I rejoined, "you hardly expected her to keep
out, did you?"  "Well," said Oppersdorff, with a meaningful look in his
mild blue eye, "there will be many surprises--many surprises."  That was
a war prophecy which has come true.

I dashed up to my room to write a dispatch to _The Times_ in New York
and _The Tribune_ in Chicago, which should tell briefly of the outbreak
of war between England and Germany, and of the extraordinary scenes in
front of His Britannic Majesty’s embassy. A _Lokal-Anzeiger_ "extra" was
now available, with this "cooked" summary of the events which had
precipitated the climacteric decision:

    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+
    |                                                    |
    |  ENGLAND HAS DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY!              |
    |                                                    |
    |  OFFICIAL REPORT.                                  |
    |                                                    |
    |  This afternoon, shortly after the speech of       |
    |  the Imperial Chancellor, in which the offense     |
    |  against international law involved in our         |
    |  setting foot on Belgian territory was frankly     |
    |  acknowledged and the will of the German Empire    |
    |  to make good the consequences was affirmed,       |
    |  the British Ambassador, Sir Edward Goschen,       |
    |  appeared in the Reichstag to convey to            |
    |  Foreign Secretary von Jagow a communication       |
    |  from his Government.  In this communication       |
    |  the German Government was asked to make an        |
    |  immediate reply to the question whether it could  |
    |  give the assurance that no violation of Belgian   |
    |  neutrality would take place.  The Foreign         |
    |  Secretary forthwith replied that this was not     |
    |  possible, and again explained the reasons which   |
    |  compel Germany to secure herself against an       |
    |  attack by the French army across Belgian soil.    |
    |  Shortly after seven o'clock the British           |
    |  Ambassador appeared at the Foreign Office to      |
    |  declare war and demand his passports.             |
    |                                                    |
    |  We are informed that the German Government        |
    |  has placed military necessities before all        |
    |  other considerations, notwithstanding that it     |
    |  had, in consequence thereof, to reckon that       |
    |  either ground or pretext for intervention would   |
    |  be given to the English Government.               |
    |                                                    |
    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+


It was this news--reiterating by the printed word what the Chancellor
had unblushingly announced in the Reichstag: that military necessities
had taken precedence of "all other considerations," including
honor--which aroused the ferocity of the mob and incited it, amid mad
maledictions on "perfidious Albion," to vent its fury by attempting to
wreck the English Embassy. This German "official report," moreover,
besides distorting the facts so as to place the onus for the outbreak of
hostilities exclusively upon England, deliberately misstated the object
of Sir Edward Goschen’s visit to the Foreign Office.  As we know from
his famous dispatch on the last phase, he did not "appear" there "to
declare war."  England’s declaration of war, as a matter of historical
record, was not made until eleven P.M., or midnight Berlin time.  The
assault on the Embassy by _Kultur’s_ knife-throwing, stone-hurling and
window-breaking cohorts was in full progress by nine o’clock.  It began
almost immediately after Sir Edward Goschen’s return from his celebrated
farewell interview with the Imperial Chancellor--the torrid quarter of
an hour in which von Bethmann Hollweg, incapable of concealing Germany’s
rage over the wrecking of her war scheme, blackened the Teutonic
escutcheon for all time by branding the Belgian treaty of neutrality as
a "scrap of paper."  Of all egregious words which have fallen from the
lips of German "diplomats," von Bethmann Hollweg’s immortal
indiscretions of that day will live longest, to his own and his
country’s ineffaceable shame.

While at work on my dispatches in my hotel room--it was now about nine
o’clock--I could hear _Unter den Linden_ below my windows roaring with
mob fury against Britain.  "_Krämer-volk!_" (Peddler nation!)
"_Rassen-Verrat!_" (Race treachery!) "_Nieder mit England!_" (Down with
England!) "_Tod den Engländer!_" (Death to the English!) were the shouts
which burst forth in mad chorus.  I have never hunted beasts in the
jungle.  Never have my ears been smitten with the snarl and growl of
wild animals at bay. I never heard the horizon ring with the tumult of
howling dervishes plunging fanatically to the attack. But the populace
of Berlin seemed to me at that moment to be giving a vivid composite
imitation of them all.  Certainly no civilized community on earth ever
surrendered so completely to all-obsessing brute fury as the war mob
which thirsted for British blood in "Athens-on-the-Spree" on the night
of August 4, 1914. It gave vent to all the animal passions and breathed
the murder instinct said to be inherent in the average human when
unreasoning rage temporarily supplants sanity.  If it had caught sight
of or could have laid hands on Sir Edward Goschen, or any one else
identifiable as an Engländer, it would undoubtedly have torn him limb
from limb.  The Germans may not be the modern personification of the
Huns, but the savagery to which their Imperial capital ruthlessly
resigned itself on the threshold of war with England justifies the
belief that they have inherited some of the characteristics of Attila’s
fiends.  Next morning’s Berlin papers explained in all seriousness, on
police authority, that the mob "infuriated" because persons in the
English Embassy had thrown "beggars’ pennies" from the windows--a
ludicrous falsehood.

Half an hour later I came down-stairs to motor to the Main Telegraph
Office with my American cables. No sooner had I stepped to the threshold
of the hotel than three policemen grabbed me--one pinioning my right
arm, another my left, and the third gripping me by the back of the neck.
All around the hotel entrance stood gesticulating Germans yelling, like
Comanche Indians, "_Englischer Spion!  Nach Spandau mit ihm!_" (English
spy!  To Spandau with him!)  In far less time than it takes me to tell
it, my captors, who had now drawn their sabers to "protect" me, as they
explained, from the murderous intentions of the mob, tossed me into the
rear seat of an open taxicab waiting at the curb.  They allowed
sufficient time to elapse for the mob, which now encircled the cab
shouting "_Englischer Hund!_" (English dog!) "_Schiesst den Spion!_"
(Shoot the spy!) and other cheery greetings, to cool its passions on my
hapless head and body with fisticuffs and canes, while a misdirected
upper-cut from a youth, aimed squarely at my jaw, did nothing but knock
my hat into the bottom of the car and send my eye-glasses splintered and
spinning to the same destination.  The police, still covering me with
their sabers, shoved me to the floor of the car and gave orders to the
driver to make post-haste for the Mittel-strasse police station, half a
dozen blocks away.  The power of speech having temporarily returned--I
wonder if my readers will regard it a humiliating confession if I
acknowledge that cold chills were now chasing up and down my spine?--I
ventured to ask the policemen to whom or to what I was indebted for this
"striking" token of their solicitude.

"You know perfectly well why you’re here," replied the giant who was
gripping me by the right arm as if I might be contemplating escape from
the lower regions of the taxi by falling through or flying away. "The
mob heard the Adlon was full of English spies, and they were waiting for
you to come out.  They’d have killed you on the spot if we hadn’t been
there to rescue you."  That was, of course, simply an absurd lie, as
fast-crowding events of the succeeding night were to demonstrate.  I was
arrested because I had been denounced, in all formality, as a spy. If
the German authorities are inclined to assert the contrary, I refer
them, without permission, to the document reproduced opposite this
page--the official and original denunciation obligingly slipped by
mistake into my handbag of personal belongings at the Police-Presidency
later in the night, when, on the demand of the American Ambassador, I
was precipitately released from custody.  Doctor Otto Sprenger, of
Bremen, was one of the police spies stationed either in the Hotel Adlon,
or at a wire therewith connected, to overhear conversations, and who, in
the hour of his country’s extremities, struck a herculean blow for
Kaiser and Empire by catching Mackenzie (Kingsley is as near as he could
get the name) and myself in our telephonic plot to frustrate Germany’s
war plans.

I was still remonstrating with the police about the absurdity of my
arrest when the taxi pulled up in front of Mittel-strasse station.
Evidently news of our impending arrival had preceded us, for another
gang of shouting patriots was assembled in front of the station and
proceeded to bestow upon me the same sort of a welcome as I received at
the hands of the mob in Unter den Linden.  Still "protecting" me with
their drawn sabers, my guardians contrived to push and drag me into the
station-house and up one flight of stairs to headquarters before the
crowd had done anything more serious than crack me over the head and
shoulders half a dozen times.  I was then led into the back room of the
station, where, as I soon saw, pickpockets and other criminals are taken
to be stripped and searched, and was ordered to sit down in the midst of
a group of twenty policemen, who eyed me with glances mingling contempt
and murderous intent.

[Illustration: Facsimile of Original Denunciation of the Author as an
"English Spy"]

I had partially recovered my equilibrium after my somewhat exciting
experiences of the previous ten minutes and found myself able to talk
dispassionately to a courteous young lieutenant of police who was in
charge of the station.  I told him I was not only an American, but a
long-time resident of Berlin, with a home of my own in Wilmersdorf, and
that if he would communicate with his superior, Doctor Henninger, chief
of the political police, who had known me for years, he would soon be
able to convince himself that a grotesque mistake had been made in
arresting me as an "English spy."  The lieutenant, who, I should think,
was the only man in all Berlin who had not yet entirely lost his reason,
asked me politely for my papers and other credentials.  I handed him my
American passport, newly-issued at the Embassy a few days before, a
visiting-card bearing my Berlin home address, one or two copies of my
most recent news telegrams to London and New York, which I happened to
have with me, my correspondent’s identification card stamped by the
Berlin police department, and finally a letter which I had been carrying
with me during the war crisis for precisely some such emergency--a
communication sent me from the Imperial yacht in the summer of 1913,
acknowledging in gracious terms a copy of _Men Around the Kaiser_, which
William II had deigned to accept at my hands. The police lieutenant
almost clicked heels and came to the salute when he saw that his
prisoner was the possessor of so priceless a document.  He asked me to
"calm" myself and await developments.  "_Es wird schon gut sein._"
Which in real language means that "everything will be all right."

As their superior officer had not lopped off my head on sight, and even
condescended to hold courteous converse with the "spy," the group of
policemen in whose midst I found myself now warmed up to me perceptibly.

"You are an American, eh?" ejaculated one of them.  "I wonder if you
know my brother in Minnesota?  His name is Paul Richter."

I was genuinely sorry I had never met Herr Richter--probably he did not
live in the Red River Valley, which was the only part of Minnesota I
knew, I explained.  I knew some Richters in my native county of La
Porte, Indiana, but they had never claimed the honor, to my knowledge,
of having a brother in the Kaiser’s police.  While _Schutzmann_ Richter
and I were doing our best to discover that the world is small, noise of
fresh commotion, such as had greeted my own arrival at the station,
ascended from the street. Apparently a fresh "bag" had come in.  A
second later, of all people on earth, who should be pushed into the
room, with three policemen at his neck and arms, but my very disheveled
friend, Tower.  He was hatless, his collar and tie were awry, every hair
of his Goethe-like blond head was on end, and he cut altogether the
figure of a very much perturbed young man.  There were no mirrors about,
so I can not say with certainty how I myself looked, but I am sure I
could have easily been mistaken for Tower’s twin at that moment.
Partners in misery and anxiety we certainly were. Tower, it appeared,
was denounced to the spy-hunters at the Adlon by a chauffeur he had
engaged to drive him a day or two before--the man who piloted the
machine which was hired out to Adlon guests at fancy rates per hour.
Presently the chauffeur himself bounded into the room, shouting like a
madman. "Now we’ve got him--the damned English cur!" he snarled, shaking
his fist, first in Tower’s face, and then, recognizing me, in mine, with
an oath and a "You, too, pig-dog!" The chauffeur now ranted his reasons
for denouncing both Tower and me.  "I’m an old African soldier!" he
yelled.  "I know these contemptible _Engländer_.  This Tower (he called
it Toever, which was the way Germans used phonetically to pronounce a
former American ambassador’s name) is the notorious _Times_
correspondent!"  Tower impetuously denied this soft impeachment, and
pointed out that instead of being the Thunderer’s representative, he was
the correspondent of the _Daily News_, "the only Germanophile English
newspaper."  Tower himself was never Germanophile, but it was grasping
at a legitimate straw so to describe his London paper.  I could not
conscientiously identify _The Daily Mail_ as _deutschfreundlich_, or, I
regretfully mused, it might be the means of saving my neck.

Now there was more noise from the lower regions.  Whom had they nabbed
this time.  Astonished as I was to see Tower marched in, I fairly gasped
when the newest batch of prisoners was shoved into the room, for it was
headed by my young secretary, Schrape, and included Mrs. Hensel, a
gray-haired German-American lady and an old Berlin friend of my family,
and Miles Bouton, of the local staff of the Associated Press.  Schrape
and Mrs. Hensel had been denounced at the Adlon as my accomplices in
espionage--Schrape for obvious reasons, and Mrs. Hensel because she had
called to see me at the hotel a few minutes after my arrest,
undoubtedly, of course, to bring me illicit information or receive her
"orders."  She had come, as a matter of fact, as countless acquaintances
of mine had been doing throughout the week, to ask for advice or
assistance in the midst of the topsy-turvy conditions into which life in
Berlin had been so suddenly plunged.  Schrape was remarkably cool.  So
was Bouton, who insisted upon expressing himself with such freedom about
the indignities heaped upon him that I momentarily expected to witness
his decapitation.  Mrs. Hensel, poor soul, was frightened speechless and
between her tears could only incoherently make me understand that she
had no sooner asked for my name at the Adlon desk than the clerks handed
her over to the police.  Bouton seemed to owe his arrest to the fact
that he was in Tower’s company in the Adlon lobby, attending the meeting
of American war refugees.  Tower had been savagely cracked over the head
by an Adlon waiter armed with a tray while being hustled out of the
hotel by the police.  Mrs. Bouton, tearfully protesting against her
husband’s arrest, had herself been threatened with arrest or something
worse if she did not instantly "hold her mouth."  Just what part the
Adlon staff of clerks, porters, waiters and page-boys played in our
arrest was not made clear to me until the next day; of which more in the
succeeding chapter.

As soon as the "gang of spies," as the policemen in the room now
pleasantly called us, was complete, Tower, Schrape and Bouton were lined
up against the wall and ordered to raise their hands above their heads,
while their clothes were searched for concealed weapons or incriminating
espionage evidence.  While my fellow prisoners (except Mrs. Hensel) were
undergoing examination, a typical young Berlin thug, evidently a thief,
was brought in, and took his place adjacent to my colleagues, also to be
searched.  The room was now resounding with encouraging shouts from
overwrought policemen that "the English dogs ought to be hanged."
Others suggested that "Spandau," the spy-shooting gallery, was a more
appropriate place for us than the gallows.  For some God-willed or other
mysterious reason I was not searched.  That gave me only temporary
relief, for we were presently informed that we would be taken to the
Police-Presidency (central station) for the night and "dealt with
there."  That meant searching of everybody, I felt morally sure, and it
was then that the tongue of me began cleaving to the roof of my mouth,
while my throat parched with terror.  For in a leather card-case in my
inside pocket I carried a telegraph code, utterly innocuous in itself--a
make-shift affair got up during the preceding forty-eight hours and of
which I posted a duplicate to London, with a view to explaining to my
editor in cipher my movements and whereabouts if I had suddenly to leave
Berlin.  It was a quite harmless string of phrases reading like this:


"My wife’s condition has become critical, and physicians recommend
immediate departure if catastrophe is to be avoided."


All this was, of course, in German, and meant (as the code explained)
that I was proceeding to the Hotel Angleterre in Copenhagen.  Another
phrase substituted "boy’s" for "wife’s" and meant that I was leaving for
the Hotel Amstel in Amsterdam, etc., etc.  It dawned instantly upon me
that if the Berlin political police, at such a witching hour, discovered
on a suspected spy a telegraphic code of so "incriminating" a character,
he could hardly look forward to anything beyond the regulation thrill at
sunrise.  I might have been able to explain in prosaic peace-times, I
soliloquized, that many newspaper correspondents use private codes in
communicating with their editors, but to convince a Berlin police
official at that moment that my code was of innocent import struck me as
the quintessence of physical impossibility.

I was undergoing, I think, all the emotions of fear and trembling when
our quintette of prisoners was now marched down to the street and piled
into taxis for transportation to the _Polizei-Präsidium_ in
Alexander-Platz, two miles across town.  An enormous throng filled the
Mittel-strasse, snarling with rage.  The sight of us maddened them into
a fiendish scream. Tower and I were pushed into the first car, which
happened to be the Adlon machine he had hired and was doubtless still
paying for, and which was driven by his infuriated chauffeur.  The
"covering" sabers of the police, one each of whom guarded Tower and
myself, respectively in the front and back seats, did not prevent the
mob from belaboring us once more with fists and sticks, to the
accompaniment of unprintable epithets and curses.  My mind, however, was
occupied completely with how to get rid of that code nestling in my
inside pocket.  Nothing short of entire insensibility could have
deflected my thoughts from that all-absorbing issue.  I was thinking
hard and quickly.

Tower’s chauffeur, proud to be serving the Kaiser on so historic an
occasion, did not drive us, as he would naturally and ordinarily have
done, through the darkened side streets leading from Mittel-strasse to
Alexander-Platz, but decided to drag us in triumph like the victims
chained to Nero’s chariots, down the brilliantly illuminated _Unter den
Linden_, which, though it was now nearly eleven o’clock, was packed with
war demonstrators.  Crossing to the more crowded southern side, at a
point near the Hotel Bristol, the driver threw on his top-speed and
whirled us down the glittering boulevard at breakneck pace.  As for
himself, with a policeman at his side, and two behind him pinioning
Tower and myself, he was frantic with super-patriotic joy.  Now steering
with his left hand, he waved his right madly through space at the gaping
curb crowds, and yelled, so that they might know what it all meant:
"English spies!  Now we’ve got ’em!  Now we’ve got ’em!  Hurrah!
Hurrah!"  It was a great moment in that illustrious Kraftwagenführer’s
career.  Nothing in his greasy past had ever approached it in
tremendousness.  He saw the Iron Cross dangling in certain outlines
before his ecstatic vision--the reward for valor in the hour of his
Fatherland’s need.

I was still brooding over that code, but even while being paraded past
the Berliners, I was actively at work on a scheme for its removal.
Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention, and to this hour I do not
fully comprehend how I came to find the courage or ingenuity to do what
I was now successfully accomplishing.  We had reached the Opera, were
approaching the Castle, and Alexander-Platz was less than five minutes
away.  The need for quick work was growing more urgent from second to
second.  My policeman held me firmly by the right arm.  My left was
entirely free.  With it I was able easily to reach the right-hand inside
pocket of my coat, wherein the card-case containing the code was lodged.
I contrived to finger my way into the case without attracting the
attention of my jailer, who, Allah be praised, was still too fascinated
by the plaudits of the crowds to be more than mildly interested in me.
I could "feel" the code now.  It was of flimsy tissue paper and could be
easily torn into shreds.  A sufficiently long interval had elapsed since
my last visit to the manicure to make my finger-nails highly effective
for the purpose, and by degrees which seemed infinitely slow I managed
to crumple and dessicate the "guilty" document and by "palming" and
working the bits into the spaces between my fingers the whole thing was
effectually destroyed.  I withdrew my hand, stuck it into the outside
left-hand pocket of my coat to withdraw a handkerchief, blew my nose
and, while in that unforbidden act, let I don’t know how many hundreds
of tissue paper particles fly back of me into the wind of Berlin’s
bristling night air.  I was saved.  They could search me now to their
hearts’ content.  I found that, somehow or other, the power of speech
had suddenly returned, and a moment later I was saying cheerily to my
_Schutzmann_ friend, "Well, we’re here now."

The details of what happened in the big room of the Police-Presidency
into which we were now ushered--my friend Simons, of the _Amsterdam
Telegraaf_, and Nevinson, special correspondent of _The Daily News_, who
were found in Tower’s room at the Adlon and arrested on that "evidence,"
had arrived there before us--are brief and unessential.  What had been
taking place during the preceding two hours is vastly more to the point.
Ambassador Gerard, who was at the Adlon when we were arrested, seems to
have cleared for action in his typically shirt-sleeves diplomatic
fashion.  He dispatched First Secretary Grew to the Foreign Office to
demand our instantaneous release.  Grew informed Under-Secretary
Zimmermann that if Germany continued to treat American citizens and
newspaper correspondents in accordance with the practises of the Middle
Ages (Conger was still languishing in jail at Gumbinnen) the Fatherland
was dangerously likely to lose the esteem of the only first-class Power
in the world which seemed still to be on speaking terms with her.  Herr
Zimmermann, who understands plain English when it is spoken to him, was
apologetic in the extreme.  He told Grew that immediate steps would be
taken to liberate me and my friends and that the Foreign Office
"regretted" that such indignities should have been heaped upon innocent
persons.  Mr. Gerard evidently determined to take no chances, for the
first secretary was dispatched to the Police-Presidency with the embassy
automobile, and with instructions to demand our delivery in the flesh
and stay there till it was made.  Meantime the Foreign Office had sent
urgent telephonic instructions to the police to let us out.  We were
asked to fill up certain identification forms and exhibit some more
papers, and then, in accents of courteous explanation, were assured that
an "error" had unfortunately been made.  We should "not hesitate, if
anybody molested us again," to call up Police Headquarters, and matters
would be speedily set right.  It was not probable, we were assured, that
we would have any more trouble. If we desired, a police escort was at
our service, so that we might return to the hotel or to the Embassy in
certain safety.

We had just been bowed out of the place of our brief detention when the
familiar outlines of "Joe" Grew loomed into view, down the corridor, and
with him "Fritz," the German "life-guard" of the Embassy. It is not
customary for American men to kiss each other, but I confess here to
having been momentarily inspired with a strong temptation to lavish some
form of osculatory gratitude upon Grew.  Certainly I felt that there was
nothing quite so good on God’s footstool just then as to be an American
citizen.  When Grew insisted on packing all five of us--Tower, Mrs.
Hensel, Bouton, Schrape and myself--into the car and driving us back to
the Embassy (it was now the romantic hour of one A.M.) behind the
protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes flapping defiantly at the
windshield, I vowed a solemn, silent oath--to aspire in such days as
might still be left to me for an opportunity some day to reciprocate in
kind the service the Ambassador and Grew had that night rendered me, the
supreme service men can render a fellow man--to save his life.

They were to be called upon, though I did not then know it, to rescue me
once again before either they or I were twenty-four hours older.



                               CHAPTER XI

                           THE LAST FAREWELL


Such sleep as I enjoyed in what remained of the night between August 4
and 5 was secured, for the first time in a week, beneath my own roof.  I
had finished with the "hospitality" of the Hotel Adlon for all time to
come.  After a brief visit at the Embassy, to assure the Ambassador of
my everlasting gratitude for having thrown out the life-line, and seeing
Mrs. Hensel safely started for her home in Charlottenburg under trusted
escort, I betook myself to Wilmersdorf, where our faithful little German
governess, Anna Kranz, had been holding the fort all summer during the
absence of my family in the United States.  I telephoned Fräulein from
the Embassy a summary of the night’s events, fearing that police minions
might be paying me a domiciliary visit and cause the poor girl
unnecessary alarm.  I told her Schrape was coming home with me for the
night and that as neither of us had had a bite since the preceding noon,
we could do full justice to anything, however frugal, which might at
that romantic hour still be discoverable in the larder. It was a
wide-eyed, then tearful and always sympathetic Thuringian damsel, who
listened to our story over bread and cheese at the romantic hour of
two-thirty A.M.  I can hear her now interrupting with a characteristic
and condoling "_Aber, Herr Wile!_"

Having dispatched Schrape to the Adlon early next day to pay my bill and
fetch the belongings I had had so abruptly to leave behind me there the
night before, I proceeded to town.  At the Embassy was a host of friends
anxious for news of me.  The most absurd rumors, it seemed, were in
circulation.  There was a detailed version of my last moments in front
of a firing-squad at Spandau, and somebody "who had a friend at the
Police Presidency" had told somebody else that I was in shackles which
would probably not be removed till the war was over--if then.  Still
another tale related circumstantially of how I had been "hurried" from
Berlin at the dead of night, under military guard, to the Dutch
frontier, across which, by this time, I was unceremoniously "expelled."

When I was able to gain the ear of the Ambassador--the American
war-refugee panic was now at tempestuous zenith, with the Embassy like a
place besieged--I represented to him that I feared my hopes of remaining
in Germany, after what had happened, were slender in the extreme.
Scouts had brought in the intelligence, I informed him, that a miniature
mob of evident purpose was waiting in front of the Equitable Building,
where _The Daily Mail_ office was, now and then knowingly pointing to
our big gilt window-sign, in order that passers-by might understand why
traffic was being blocked in front of No. 59 Friedrichstrasse. If the
crowd waited long enough, it probably saw at work the sign men whom I
had ordered to take down the red rag.  Discretion is ever the better
part of valor, and I felt no compelling desire to superintend the job in
person.

The Ambassador thought I was unduly disturbed. He was convinced that my
arrest was purely an unfortunate blunder, due to a combination of
officious patriotism and excessive zeal, and meant nothing.  I was
inclined to agree with him.  Berlin and the Berliners had suddenly lost
their minds, and nothing which occurs when a community of men are in a
state of mental aberration ought in reason to be charged against them.
I had obviously fallen victim to the mass _dementia_ which robbed
Germans of their senses when their lingering fears of war with England
became terrifying actuality.  I certainly did not overestimate the
importance of the episode.

I now ran across von Wiegand of the _United Press_ (as he then was) and
Swing, of the _Chicago Daily News_.  Being Americans, like myself, they
had just taken the precaution of applying to the Foreign Office for
credentials which would protect them from such delicate attentions as
the police had shown me.  They suggested that I should see
_Legationsrat_ Heilbron and get an _Ausweiskarte_.  Swing was in
jubilant mood. He had a scheme under promising way to accompany Major
Langhorne, our military attaché, to the front as a "secretary."  My
heart pumped with envy.  Von Wiegand had not yet worked out his
forthcoming campaign for interviewing the German Empire and the Vatican,
but all of us felt sure that his German noble origin, plus his nose for
news and excellent official connections, would land Karl Heinrich on his
feet, as far as reporting the war was concerned, if any one was going to
be favored at all.  The Anglo-American newspaper fraternity was already
a rather decimated body.  Conger, of the Associated Press, was still
jailed at Gumbinnen.  Wilcox, of _The Daily Telegraph_, had been
fortunate enough, only a few days previous, to get to Russia.  Ford, of
_The Morning Post_, had not waited for the crash and left for England on
one of the last peace-time trains.  Tower, my night’s partner in woe,
had slept in the porter’s basement of the American Embassy and was now a
refugee in the British Embassy, where, I understood, all the other
purely English correspondents were being rounded up during the day, to
accompany Sir Edward Goschen and his staff out of Germany next morning
on the safe-conduct train provided by the German government.  Mackenzie,
of _The Times_, with whom I had plotted by telephone, was still
unarrested, for some miraculous reason; I had not yet seen the original
"denunciation" of our espionage operations, from which I later knew that
he had only been identified as "Kingsley."  He can blame that
circumstance, no doubt, for having been denied the privilege of my own
experiences.

At five o’clock, the customary hour for newspaper men to visit the
Foreign Office, I went to call on _Legationsrat_ Heilbron.  He had not
yet come in, so I sent my card to his colleague, _Legationsrat_
Esternaux, with whom I had enjoyed professional acquaintance ever since
the hour of my arrival in Germany, thirteen years previous to the week.
I assured Esternaux that I cherished no particular animosity toward the
police authorities for my silly arrest, being convinced that a grotesque
mistake alone was responsible.  Mildly apologetic, he acquiesced in this
view.

"You were a victim," Esternaux then began, "of our just and universal
rage over the treacherous and treasonable action of England in stabbing
us in the back.  Never, as long as they live, will Germans forgive the
perfidy of the British Government in betraying the common blood in favor
of uncivilized Pan-Slavism.  It is the most criminal faithlessness in
the world’s history--this taking advantage of our difficulties to vent
long pent-up spite against the merely dangerous German commercial
rival."  Herr Esternaux did not mention Belgium, though the flow of his
righteous indignation was increasing from phrase to phrase.  "Race
treason!  That is what has fired the German soul to its depths!  That is
what caused last night’s unseemly demonstrations.  Nobody condones mob
fury less than the German Government, but it is explained, if not
justified, by what has happened. Of one thing the world may be
sure--with whatever bitterness we make war on our Russian and French
foes, it will be nothing--it will be child’s-play--compared to the
spirit of revengeful rancor and holy wrath in which we shall fight the
English race-traitors. That was the temper of the Berlin mob last night.
It is the temper in which we are going to war with Great Britain.  It is
the temper in which we shall wage the struggle with her to the bitter
end.  Make no mistake about that."  I had listened, on the authoritative
premises of the Imperial German Government, to perhaps the first
official proclamation of the hate and frightfulness programme so far
uttered.  _Gott strafe England_! How graphically succeeding events were
to bear it out!

After _Legationsrat_ Esternaux had fired this high-explosive, he ushered
me out, and I knocked on _Legationsrat_ Heilbron’s door, fifteen yards
farther down the passageway.  Fur-mittens and ear-muffs are not _de
rigueur_ in northern Germany in midsummer, but I should have worn them
that afternoon of August 5, for the reception awaiting me at Heilbron’s
hands was of arctic frigidity.  It was a vastly changed Heilbron from
the obliging functionary who had pressed upon me, forty-eight hours
previous, copies of the German White Paper, in order that I might spread
the official truth about "how the Fatherland had worked to prevent the
war" broadcast in England and the United States.  It was also a
strangely less courteous _Legationsrat_ than the one (Esternaux) whose
presence I had just quitted.

"_Herr Legationsrat_," I began, "I have come to ask you for an
_Ausweiskarte_.  You know, I suppose, of my little experience last
night.  I am quite willing to take my chances with the mob, but I ought
to have something to protect me from the excesses of the police."

"Mobs are mobs," he rejoined.  "I can do nothing for you."

"That is strange," I interposed.  "Surely you know that the American
Ambassador has arranged for my remaining in Germany?"

"I know nothing about that whatever," said Heilbron.

"Well, _Legationsrat_ Esternaux does," I retorted, "because he told me
so not five minutes ago, and he said you would issue the necessary
credentials."

Heilbron, who like all German bureaucrats has the backbone of a crushed
worm in the presence of superior authority, or the mere suggestion of
it, now reached for his telephone-receiver and asked to be connected
with somebody in the Foreign Office.  He repeated the object of my call
to whomever was at the other end of the line, nodded in assent to
something apparently said to him, then turned to me:

"It is just as I thought.  The Foreign Office can do nothing for you.
If you want credentials, you must apply to the police."

"But, _Herr Legationsrat_," I persisted, "there can be no objection to
your giving me something which will insure me ordinary safety at such a
time as this.  After all, I’m an American."

With a shrug of the shoulders and outflung arms, a German gesture
expressing indifference or helplessness, or both, Heilbron observed,
sardonically: "For us you are a _Daily Mail_ man--nothing else.  You are
known everywhere as such.  Certainly if you remain here, your position
will undoubtedly be a precarious one."

It was plain that the ethics which impelled Von Bethmann Hollweg to tear
up the Belgian "scrap of paper"--brazen disregard of pledges--were now
being pursued in my very insignificant case.  The German Foreign
Secretary had given a formal undertaking, as I understood it, as to the
inviolability of my personal and professional status as an American
newspaper man.  Not five minutes before, I had been assured by an
official of the German Foreign Office in the Foreign Office that the
latter was fully aware of the arrangements which Mr. Gerard had effected
in my favor.  And now another official calmly denied its existence, and,
moreover, declared in substance that a United States passport calling
upon the friendly German Government "to permit Frederic William Wile
safely and freely to pass, and, in case of need, to give him all lawful
aid and protection," was not worth the parchment on which it was
engraved.  International law was being refashioned in Berlin in a hurry.

Once again I was compelled to flee to the American Ambassador for
protection--reluctantly enough, for I had already usurped far more of
his time than one citizen is entitled to.  I told him that the German
Foreign Office was trying to convert me into a man without a country;
not only that, but that its cheerful intimation as to my "position"
being "undoubtedly precarious" rang clearly ominous in my ears.  The
Ambassador shared that view.  He was of the opinion, when he saw me
earlier in the day, that my alarm was unwarranted.  From what other
American newspaper men had meantime reported, my fears seemed to be
justified.  He agreed that it was best that I should go--but how?  The
town was already choked with Americans waiting to "go."  If it were
impossible to move any of them across the frontier, what possible chance
was there of exporting me?  There was, of course, just one chance that I
could think of--to leave next day with the British Embassy.  The
Ambassador suggested that I should ask Sir Edward Goschen if he would
take me, along with the purely British correspondents, who, I learned,
were going in his train.

So now, the United States having obviously exhausted its powers on my
behalf, I threw myself on the mercies of His Britannic Majesty.  I found
Sir Edward Goschen unhesitatingly responsive to my request, on the
important condition that the German authorities would permit a
non-Englishman to accompany a safe-conduct party of British subjects of
highly official character!  Once again the gates leading out of Germany
seemed barred to me, for my status at the German Foreign Office, as the
afternoon had established, was not exactly that of a _persona grata_ who
had but to ask a favor to have it granted.  But, by an act of
Providence, as it then and always since has seemed to me, Ambassador
Gerard strolled into the lobby of the British Embassy while I was in the
midst of conversation with Sir Edward Goschen.  The British Ambassador
repeated the conditions on which he would gladly rescue me--the assent
of the German Government--whereupon Mr. Gerard quietly remarked that he
would "look after that."  He had little notion, I suppose, of the
herculean effort which would be necessary to give effect to his words.

It was now past six o’clock.  The British Embassy train was timed to
leave Berlin at seven next morning, Thursday, August 6.  If anything was
going to be done for me, all concerned realized that it would have to be
done soon.  "Go home, pack up all you can jam into two suit-cases, and
turn up at the American Embassy at nine o’clock," said Gerard.

No home was ever deserted, I am sure, more reluctantly or so
precipitately as my little _ménage_ in Wilmersdorf.  It seemed a
woefully inglorious ending to thirteen very happy and fruitful years in
Berlin.  I thanked Heaven that my wife and little boy were not there to
be evicted with me.  A woman’s attachment to the things which have
spelled home--the books, the pictures, the thousand and one household
trinkets, enshrined with priceless value to those who have accumulated
them--is far stronger than a man’s.  The wrench of separation would have
been correspondingly harder to bear.  In the midst of such reveries,
sandwiched between selecting the most essential contents for the two
suit-cases to which I was limited, I had a caller.

"_Herr Direktor_ Kretschmar, of the Hotel Adlon, has come to see you,"
announced _Fräulein_.

Kretschmar is probably known to more American travelers to Europe than
any other hotel man on the Continent.  The Adlon had been Yankee
headquarters in Berlin ever since its opening in the autumn of 1907.
Old man Adlon, its genial founder and proprietor, he of the arc-light
face at midnight, after a liberal evening’s libations o’er the flowing
bowl, used to be fond of assuring people that "_mein lieber Freund
Wile_" had "made" the Adlon.  If telling people that the Adlon was the
best hotel in Berlin, and reporting in my American dispatches, as
necessity required, that Governor Herrick, Mr. Carnegie, Mr. Schwab,
Doctor David Jayne Hill, Vice-President Fairbanks, Theodore P. Shonts,
John Hays Hammond, Otto H. Kahn or some other famous fellow citizen was
lodged in the marble and bronze caravansary at the head of _Unter den
Linden_--if this "made" the Adlon--I plead guilty to Herr Adlon’s
charge.  I shall never do it again.  I divined at once the object of the
curly-haired Kretschmar’s visit.  Having graduated, I believe, like many
eminent German hotel keepers, from the humble ranks of hall-porters and
head waiters, he was a past master in obsequious servility.  Many a time
I had seen him bow and scrape like a grinning flunky as he welcomed the
arriving or sped the parting guest at the Adlon, but never was he so
cringing a Kretschmar as he stood before me now.  He got down to
business without delay.

There had been a "terrible mistake" at the hotel the night before.  He
was there to offer the "deepest regret" of both the elder and junior
_Herren Adlon_ that their "best friend" should have been the victim of
"such an outrage" on their premises.  They had dismissed no less than
ten members of the hotel staff for complicity in my arrest.  The Adlon
hoped, from the bottom of its unoffending heart, that I would "forgive
and forget."  Kretschmar, at this point in his _peccavi_, almost broke
down.  He was in tears, and, if I had let him, he would probably have
gone down on his knees.  If I had known what I was told next day as to
his own connection with my experience at the Adlon, he would not only
have gone down on his knees, but down the stairs of my flat-building as
well. Whether it was he who incited the page-boys, desk-clerks,
elevator-men, chambermaids and waiters to regard me as an "English spy"
I can not say, but, in light of the experience which a colleague,
Alexander Muirhead, a London newspaper-photographer, had in the Adlon
shortly after my arrest, there is at least ground to fear that
Kretschmar may have been something more than an innocent bystander.

"When I asked for you at the desk," Muirhead told me, "a supercilious
clerk, eying me fiercely, referred me to the manager, whereupon I was
escorted into Kretschmar’s room.  ’I’ve come to see my friend Wile,’ I
explained.  ’Your friend Wile’s a spy!’ snarled Kretschmar, who seemed
beside himself with fury. ’And he’s now where he ought to be!  As for
you, _mein Herr_, stand there against the wall, hold up your arms, and
be searched for weapons.  For all we know, you’re a spy, too!’  The mere
thought of your name appeared to fill Kretschmar with incontrollable
rage.  Having satisfied himself that I had nothing more explosive about
me than some undeveloped films, he allowed me to go my way amid
incoherent mutterings and imprecations about that ’---- of a ---- spy,
Wile.’  I was, of course, completely mystified by this extraordinary
episode, as I was at that time entirely ignorant of your fate."

Muirhead is a plain-spoken Scotchman, as well as one of Europe’s bravest
and most famous "camera men," and although the lachrymose Kretschmar
indignantly repudiates the occurrence, I hope he will not mind if I
prefer to believe Muirhead.  The manager of the Adlon still keeps my
memory green.  Periodically during the war, whenever some German paper
has outdone itself in dignifying me with vile abuse, Kretschmar has
faithfully marked it in blue pencil and sent it to me by two
routes--Switzerland and Holland--to make sure that it reached me.  As I
have not taken the trouble to acknowledge these little tokens of his
abiding interest, I hope he may learn from these pages that they have
been duly received and fill not the least conspicuous niche in my
chamber of German war horrors.

A weepy good-by scene with _Fräulein_, a parting, lingering look around
my beloved _Arbeitszimmer_--so soon to be ransacked by the German
police--an undying vow from the little woman to guard our Lares and
Penates as if they were her own last earthly possessions, and all was at
an end, so far as my habitat in Berlin was concerned.  It has not been
my privilege to say farewell to fireside and dear ones and then leave
for the front in field-gray or khaki, but no soldier-man anywhere in
this war has torn himself away from home ties more sorrowfully than I
turned my back in the gathering dusk of August 5, 1914, on dear old
Helmstedter-strasse.  Instinctively I felt that I should never see it
again, and my heart was heavy.


"What’s Baron von Stumm got against you?" asked Second Secretary Harvey,
smilingly, at the American Embassy, when I arrived, bag and baggage, at
nine o’clock.  "He says you’re not an American."  Stumm was the chief of
the Anglo-American section of the German Foreign Office.  He knew
perfectly well that I am an American.  He had entertained me at his own
table in May, 1910, when he gave a luncheon-party in honor of the
American newspaper correspondents stationed in Berlin and those
traveling with Mr. Roosevelt on the occasion of the Colonel’s visit to
the Kaiser. Stumm had "nothing against me" in June, I explained to
Harvey, because of his own sweet volition he distinguished me with a
call at my hotel during Kiel Regatta.  I could not imagine what had
suddenly come over the scion of the humble Westphalian blacksmith’s
house, which was one of the first of the _nouveau riche_ German
industrial tribes to be ennobled.  I could only think that, like the
Berlin police, _Legationsrat_ Heilbron, _Herr Direktor_ Kretschmar and
nearly all other Germans, Stumm had temporarily gone mad.  If I was "not
an American," it had taken the Imperial German Foreign Office thirteen
years to make the discovery.  Some day I am going to send Stumm a
Christmas card.  It will be embellished with a gilded birth-certificate
attested by the clerk of the County of La Porte, Indiana.

No one supplied me with the details of the final negotiations which were
necessary to induce the German Government graciously to consent to
permit me to leave Germany alive.  I have since learned that my pass was
not secured without some extremely forcible remonstrances and
representations.  Stumm had denounced me as a "scoundrel" and in other
knightly terms.  Why the German Foreign Office so ardently desired to
prevent my departure, after having earlier in the same day declined to
promise me immunity from physical harm, is a mystery which I trust it
may some day elucidate.  To fathom it is beyond my own feeble powers of
divination, and in this narrative of farewell tribulations in the
Fatherland, I have confined myself strictly to facts.  I have resolutely
not yielded to the temptation to surmise.  But as the official Genesis
of Armageddon is not likely to honor me with mention, I have presumed to
set forth my own diminutive part in it with perhaps a tiring superfluity
of detail.  I have the more eagerly ventured to do so because grotesque
versions of the "terms" on which I, an American citizen, if you please,
"secured permission to leave Germany," have been, and still are, for all
I know, in circulation in Berlin. They are believed--and that is the one
saddening thought they inspire in me--by people who were once my
friends, among them Americans who place bread-and-butter business
necessities and social expediency in Germany above the elementary
dictates of gratitude and personal loyalty, which are traits one
encounters even in a _Dachshund_.  It is these insufferable lickers of
German bootheels who "have heard" that I "gave my word of honor" to seal
my lips forever "about Germany," to "go back to the United States at
once" (perhaps as press-agent to Dernburg, who was also leaving
Germany), to "renounce all connection with English journalism," and
other pledges of equally imbecilic character.  The only "broken pledge"
which the rumor-mongers did not foist upon me was an outright agreement
to join Germany’s army of kept journalists.  I should have been better
off, financially no doubt, if I had enlisted in that immaculate service,
which is one of the best paid in the world.


My permit to leave Germany, Harvey said, would be issued during the
night and be handed me next morning at the British Embassy.  Meantime,
evidently to make assurance doubly sure, Ambassador Gerard gave me in
his own handwriting an attest that I was leaving the country with Sir
Edward Goschen.  He affixed to it the great seal of the Embassy, handed
me the note with a merry "Good luck," I wrung his hand in a last grip of
gratitude and good-by, and we parted company.

[Illustration: Ambassador Gerard’s Note]

Meantime I had opened negotiations with the Embassy porter to pass the
night on a cot in his lodge, where Tower had bunked after our arrest,
and arranged with him to call me at four-thirty, so that I could be at
the British Embassy well before six o’clock.  While I was chatting in
the hallway, Mrs. Gerard came along. "Where are you going to sleep
to-night?" she inquired, solicitously.  I told her.  She would not hear
of my lodging plans in the porter’s basement.  There were half-a-dozen
bedrooms in the Embassy, and I must use one of them.  Then she hustled
away, in the most motherly fashion, to prepare for me what turned out to
be a _suite-de-luxe_.  My last night in Germany was slept on "American
soil."  It was not the most restful night I have spent in my life, but
it lingers as the sweetest memory I cherish among a myriad of
recollections which crowded thick one upon another in that great wild
week in Berlin.  "And do you like your breakfast eggs boiled three or
four minutes?" was the cheery "Good night" and _Auf Wiedersehen_ I had
from "Molly" Gerard.

At least one German, in addition to my secretary and governess, who were
models of devotion to the last, took the trouble to show me a parting
mark of esteem.  He was a colleague, Paul R. Krause, of the
_Lokal-Anzeiger_ staff, a son-in-law of Field Marshal von der Goltz, and
one of the best of fellows.  Krause lived abroad so long--his life has
been spent mostly in Turkey, South Africa and South America--that he
will perhaps not mind my saying that he always struck me as effectually
de-Germanized.  At any rate, having heard of my plight, he came to the
Embassy late at night to offer me not only fraternal sympathy, but
physical assistance in the form of readiness to become my "body-guard,"
if I really considered myself in personal danger!  He could hardly be
made to believe that Heilbron had been "such an ass," when I told of my
parting interview in the Foreign Office.  Krause and I exchanged _Auf
Wiedersehen_ in the "American bar" of the Hotel Kaiserhof, round the
corner from the Embassy, where I noticed Doctor Dernburg, August Stein,
of the _Frankfurter Zeitung_, and Doctor Fuchs, of the Deutsche Bank,
gathered dolefully round a beer-table, and amazed, no doubt, to find
Krause in such doubtful company.

I did not seek my downy couch in the Embassy until I had had a farewell
promenade and visit with two very dear newspaper pals, Swing, of the
_Chicago Daily News_, and Feibelman, of the _New York Tribune_ and
_London Express_.  Feibelman was still in the throes of the anxiety from
which I was about to be relieved, as the Foreign Office had also refused
him credentials owing to his connection with an English journal.  He
sincerely envied my good fortune in being able to escape with the
British Ambassador.  I was glad to hear a week later that he too had
eventually contrived, with the American Embassy’s assistance, to reach
Holland, where he has done excellent work for his paper during the war.
Swing, Feibelman and I, arm-locked, walked the silent streets around and
about the Embassy until long past midnight, speculating as to what the
red-clotted future had in store for each of us, embittered at Fate for
so ruthlessly disrupting friendships of affectionate intimacy, and
wondering, when all was over, if it ever would be, whether Berlin or
Kamchatka would be the scene of our next reunion....

Something told me that even a twelfth-hour attempt might be made to
hamper my get-away, so, as a "positively last farewell" favor I asked
"Joe" Grew, my rescuer from the police, to escort me to the train.
Though it meant his tumbling out of bed at the unromantic hour of five,
his breezy "Sure, I will" set my mind completely at rest.  He arrived at
the appointed minute.  The sight of the Stars and Stripes flapping at
the front of his car was a reassuring little picture. They had meant
much to me during the preceding forty-eight hours.  At the British
Embassy, which looked more like a baggage-room or express-office struck
by lightning, with the floors littered indiscriminately with
hastily-packed boxes of documents and records, trunks, suit-cases,
golf-bags and batches of clothing hastily slung or strapped into or
around traveling-rugs--and all the other indescribable impedimenta of a
suddenly-retreating army or an evicted family--I found my German pass
awaiting me.  It had been delivered to Godfrey Thomas, one of Sir Edward
Goschen’s able young attachés, all of whom, like the Ambassador himself,
had given so characteristic an exhibition of British imperturbability
during the final hours of crisis.  The pass described me as "the English
newspaper correspondent, Wile."  It is reproduced opposite this page.  I
treasure it with the same pride which probably inspires a reprieved man
to cherish the document which cheats the hangman.

[Illustration: Facsimile of the Pass]

There was no guard of honor to bid Sir Edward Goschen and his staff
Godspeed from the Wilhelmstrasse. No single German was so poor as to do
them reverence except a couple of sleepy policemen and half-a-dozen
blear-eyed, early-rising Berliners on their way to work.  None of them
had yet learned to say _Gott strafe England_, so the lonely cavalcade of
luggage-laden taxis, which were hauling Great Britain’s official
representatives on the first stage of their journey out of the enemy’s
capital, proceeded on its way without molestation or demonstration.

The very day the Kaiser’s ambassador to England, Prince Lichnowsky, was
accorded a departure from London amid honors customarily reserved for a
ruling sovereign.  Great Britain’s ambassador to Germany was leaving
like a thief in the night, the Imperial Government having requested him,
when shaking the dust of Berlin from his miscreant feet, to slink to the
railway station as inconspicuously as possible and long before the
righteous metropolis waked.  Otherwise, it was solicitously suggested,
_Kultur_, giving vent to the holy venom which now filled the Teutonic
soul, might feel constrained to stone the Ambassador afresh. Thus, I,
too, chaperoned by Grew, sneaked out of Berlin.

My old German teacher was right.  She said there was no word for
"gentleman" in the Kaiser’s language. The fashion in which his people
went to war with England proved it.



                              CHAPTER XII

                              SAFE CONDUCT


Lehrter Bahnhof, the gateway through which so many American tourists
have passed out of Berlin en route to Hamburg or Bremen steamers, was
not _en fête_ in honor of the departing _Engländer_.  My memory traveled
back irresistibly to the last time the British Embassy in force was
assembled there--to greet King George and Queen Mary when they arrived
to visit the German Court in May, 1913. The rafters rang on that
occasion with the blare of a Prussian Guards band thundering _God Save
the King_, cousins George and William embraced fondly and kissed, and
the station was swathed in the entwined colors of Germany and England.
It was a different and forbidding aspect which the old brick and steel
barn of a train-shed presented this muggy August morning.  At every
entrance sentries in gray and policemen with Brownings at the belt stood
guard, for railways and stations were now as integral a part of the
war-machine as fortresses and guns.  Inside, infantrymen in gray from
head to foot--all Germany had now grown gray--carrying rifles with fixed
bayonets patrolled the platforms, searching each Englishman, as he came
along, with glances mingling watchfulness and contempt.

Our band of pilgrims, who were to be some forty or fifty in all, arrived
in detachments, having, as Sir Edward Goschen himself officially
described it, "been smuggled away from the Embassy in taxicabs by side
streets."  The Ambassador himself was one of the last to turn up.  No
Imperial emissary came to wish him a happy journey and _Auf
Wiedersehen_, though the Foreign Secretary deputized young Count Wedel
to say good-by in his name.  The Kaiser’s farewell greeting to Sir
Edward was conveyed the day before, when the All-Highest sent an
adjutant with majestic regrets for the sacking of the Embassy premises
on the night the war broke out.  Of markedly less apologetic tenor was
the adjutant’s message that William II, "now that Great Britain had
taken sides with other nations against her old allies of Waterloo, must
at once divest himself of the titles of British Field Marshal and
British Admiral."  The uniforms, orders and decorations conferred on him
by Perfidious Albion had desecrated the exalted person of the supreme
Hohenzollern for the last time.  In the memorable dispatch in which he
so dispassionately narrated his final hours in Berlin, Sir Edward
Goschen sufficiently indicated the true character of the Kaiser’s
_adieu_ by mentioning that "the message lost none of its acerbity by the
manner of its delivery."  As a Prussian officer was firing it at the
official incarnation of Great Britain, it is not difficult to imagine
the mien and tone of the proud functionary on whom had been conferred
the historic distinction of breathing Hate in the face of the foe at
that cataclysmic hour.

I shall always hold it a privilege to have been in contact with Sir
Edward Goschen during the days which preceded the war and in the hours
of its beginning. He was throughout an object-lesson in
imperturbability. In the midst of his holidays in England when the
crisis arose, having left Kiel early in July with the British squadron,
he returned hurriedly to his post in Berlin just before the match was
applied to the powder-barrel.  I recall distinctly the invincible state
of his good humor when I visited him at the Embassy on July 31, only an
hour or two before the Kaiser declared Germany to be in "a state of
war."

"Wile," he remarked, fastening upon me a gaze which very successfully
simulated vexation, "what did you mean by libeling me in that dispatch
of yours from Kiel on the Kaiser’s visit to our flagship?  You had the
effrontery to suggest that I was lolling about the quarter-deck in a
tweed suit.  I would have you understand that my costume afloat is
always the regulation navy-blue!"

I pleaded color-blindness.  I said that from our perch behind the
thirteen-and-one-half-inch gun turret for’d, it looked to me as if His
Excellency had actually worn tweed.

"Well, I didn’t," he insisted, "and you caused me to be twitted not a
little in London for my apparent ignorance of battleship etiquette."

Sir Edward Goschen, unlike other British Ambassadors I knew in Berlin,
was never at any moment of his career there under any delusions as to
the _leitmotif_ of German policy toward Great Britain.  No Teutonic wool
was ever pulled over his eyes.  During the week of tension which ended
with war, he bore himself with tact and firmness characteristic of the
highest diplomatic traditions.  Though never surrendering a position in
the trying negotiations with the Kaiser’s Government, the Ambassador did
not cease, up to the hour when he asked for his passports, to labor for
such peace as would be consistent with British interests.  It is not
customary in the British service, I believe, to send a diplomatic
official back to a country with which England has meantime been at war,
but Sir Edward Goschen could return to Berlin with his head high,
enjoying not only, I am sure, the limitless confidence of his own
Government, but the unalloyed respect of Germany, as well.

Our party having been politely herded into the royal waiting-room of the
station, a couple of silk-hatted and frock-coated young Foreign Office
officials now buzzed busily about us, checking off our respective names
and identities on their duplicate lists, lest no unauthorized
_Engländer_ should escape through the ring of steel drawn tight around
Germany’s frontiers.  Our safe-conduct train had now pulled in.  We
found ourselves a somewhat indiscriminate collection of refugees.
Besides Sir Edward Goschen, there was, of course, the full embassy
family of secretaries, attachés, clerks, the wives of one or two of
them, and one bonnie group of babes with their blue-and-white "nannies."
Sir Horace Rumbold, the Counselor of the Embassy, who had conducted the
initial negotiations with Germany, monocled and unruffled, was as calm
as if he were starting off for a week-end in the country.  Captain
Henderson, the Naval Attaché, and a prince of sailormen, had no inkling
of the undying discomfiture soon to be his, as an ingloriously interned
captive in neutral Holland, for his first assignment from the Admiralty
was to command a detachment of the ill-starred naval expedition to
Antwerp. Colonel Russell, the Military Attaché, was quitting German soil
with emotions a little different from those of the rest of us, for he
had seen the light of day at Potsdam in 1874, while his late father,
Lord Ampthill, was British Ambassador to Germany. It was only a few
weeks previous that the colonel’s own Berlin-born son had been
christened "William" under the august Godfatherhood of the Kaiser, who
sent the babe a golden cup emblazoned with the Hohenzollern arms.  With
us, too, were Messrs. Gurney, Rattigan, Monck, Thomas and Astell, Sir
Edward Goschen’s able staff of secretaries and young attachés, who had
all "sat tight," in their British way, so splendidly during the
preceding forty-eight hours.  The official party also included the
British Minister to Saxony, Mr. Grant-Duff, and Lady Grant-Duff, whose
windows in Dresden had been broken, too, and Messrs. Charlton and Turner
of the Berlin and Leipzig consulates, respectively.

The journalist-refugees consisted of Mackenzie and Jelf of _The Times_,
Tower and Nevinson of _The Daily News_, Long of _The Westminster
Gazette_, Lawrence of Reuter’s Agency, Byles of _The Standard_, Dudley
Ward, of the _Manchester Guardian_ and his newly-wed German wife, and
Muirhead, the "camera man" of _The Daily Chronicle_.  Poor Jelf, who
enlisted within a week after his arrival in England, was killed in
action during the great offensive fighting in Artois, in September,
1915.  Among the others whom Sir Edward Goschen had rescued from the
maws of Hate was a little Australian woman, Mrs. Gunderson, trapped in
Germany with her husband at the outbreak of war. They had journeyed
around the world on their honeymoon to enable him to participate in an
international chess match at Mannheim.  He has been stalemated ever
since at the British concentration camp at Ruhleben--Berlin.  Then there
was an estimable old English couple who had spent a night in jail on the
charge of being "spies" prowling about the German countryside in their
touring-car.  They were not bemoaning the loss of their automobile in
the presence of their own escape and that of their chauffeur.  One of
the luckiest of our traveling companions was Captain Deedes, a British
army officer who was passing through Germany on his way home from
service in Turkey, and just gained the precincts of the British Embassy
before being nabbed by the police.  We shuddered to think of the fate of
Captain Holland of the British navy, also en route from Constantinople,
who had not been so fortunate, and was now locked up at Spandau. I was
the sole and lonely American member of the caravan.

The Germans provided Sir Edward Goschen with a "corridor train" of
first-class cars, including "saloon carriages," which are a combination
of parlor and sleeping cars, for himself and his immediate entourage,
and for Baron Beyens, the Belgian Minister to Berlin, and his staff,
who, appropriately enough, were conducted to the frontier along with the
British.  Baron Beyens has contributed to the genesis of the war not the
least noteworthy evidence of Germany’s felonious designs on European
liberties and peace.  As has been revealed by a Belgian Grey Book, the
Baron was able to report to his government as early as July 26 that "the
German General Staff regarded war as inevitable and near, and expected
success on account of Germany’s superiority in heavy guns and the
unpreparedness of Russia."  Baron Beyens also described his final and
dramatic conversation with the German Foreign Secretary, who "announced
with pain" Germany’s determination to violate Belgian neutrality, and
asked to be allowed to occupy Liége.  The request was refused, Herr von
Jagow admitting to the Minister that no other answer was possible.  The
Belgians had another "answer" up their sleeve, though von Jagow knew it
not.  It was the shambles into which the flower of the German Guard
plunged at Liége a week later.

[Illustration: Berlin newspaper refugees on S. S. St. Petersburg. From
left to right, standing: Muirhead; Wile; Jelf; Lawrence; Nevinson;
Captain Deedes; Dudley Ward.  Seated, Mackenzie.]

Lieutenant-Colonel von Buttlar, a dapper little gray-haired Prussian
officer with a Kaiser mustache and a heel-clicking manner, presently
approached Sir Edward Goschen, saluted, introduced himself as the
military chaperon of the party, and invited us to troop into the train.
An armed guard, a strapping infantryman with glistening bayonet affixed
to his shouldered rifle, was already aboard.  He turned out, as did the
lieutenant-colonel himself, to be a very harmless warden.  When the
_Oberstleutnant_, gloved and helmeted as if on dress parade, was not
snoozing or reading during the journey, he merely hovered about,
mother-like, to see that his charges were comfortable, as well as not up
to mischief.  In addition to the ordinary train-crew, we were shepherded
by seven or eight plain-clothes Prussian detectives, whom even the ruse
of regulation railway-caps could not disguise.  You can tell a German
"secret policeman," as he is idiomatically called, at least a mile off.
He is the last word in palpability.

Our destination, we learned, was the Hook of Holland, where either a
Great Eastern steamer or a British cruiser would pick us up.  We were to
travel via Hanover-Osnabrück to Amsterdam and thence to the sea.
Mackenzie, Jelf and I, having preempted a compartment, settled down at
the windows for a last long look at Berlin as the train now tugged
slowly out of the station, a few minutes past eight o’clock.  Speaking
for myself, I am quite sure that railway trucks never rattled with such
sweet melody as those beneath us were producing, for with every chug
they were bringing us nearer to liberty.  I remember a distinct feeling
of consciousness that I should not consider myself an utterly freed
felon until German territory was actually no longer under my feet.  It
was an indescribably gratifying sensation, all sufficient for the
moment, to realize that Berlin at least was fading into oblivion.
Whether any of my British colleagues were throbbing with similar
emotions, I never knew.  It is un-English, I believe, to reveal emotions
even if one is battling with them.  Whatever thoughts were in their
minds, I myself was obsessed with a distinct desire, at that moment, to
blot Berlin from my mind for all eternity. Perhaps, as I thus
soliloquized, I was giving way unconsciously to a passing spell of that
unreasoning malice which infested hate-maddened Berlin.  I suppose I
ought to have shed briny tears, as we skirted Spandau and sped across
the dreary plain of the Mark of Brandenburg, and familiar landmarks
passed from view.  Certainly in the long ago, I had firmly made up my
mind that when my time to leave Germany came I should go away with
genuine regret.  Life in the Fatherland had meant much to me and mine.
Although I never adopted it, like Lord Haldane, as my "spiritual home,"
a man can not spend thirteen years of middle life in the same community,
however alien to its spirit and institutions, without forming
deep-rooted attachments.  But the circumstances which precipitated me
out of Germany conspired, I fear, to quench old-time affection.  So,
ungrateful as it may appear, my handkerchief was not brought into play
and my eyes were uncommonly dry as the sand-wastes of Brandenburg
vanished from our vision....

It was evident that we were in for a tedious journey and that our trek
across Western Germany was to be agony long drawn out.  Berlin to
Hanover, the first leg of the trip, was one I had accomplished times
innumerable under three hours, and even a _Bummelzug_ hardly took
longer.  It was to take us nearly three times as long to-day.
Mobilization was technically complete, but every railway track in the
country, especially if it fed the great trunk-line to the west along
which we were traveling, was still choked with troop trains.  In
consequence, though ours was a "special," we had to halt, back up,
sidetrack and perform every other gyration of which a train is capable,
whenever we came up with battalions en route toward one of the three
frontiers on which German blood was now being spilled.  At every station
we encountered trainloads of men in gray, singing, cheering and laughing
as if bound for a picnic instead of slaughter.  It was always they who
had the right of way, for it was soon borne in upon us that the meanest
detachment of reservists bulked larger in Germany’s eye just then than
"the whole bally British diplomatic service put together," as Jelf
irreverently expressed it.  Never at any time were we doing anything
dizzier than twenty miles an hour, and we figured that if we reached
Hanover by dinner-time, we should be fortunate.  As to London, which we
used to reach twenty hours after leaving Berlin, it became painfully
obvious that it would be nearer forty this trip.

But there was much to see, and to think and talk about.  As we were
being held up everywhere along the line by seemingly the entire male
population of the Empire in uniform, it was not surprising, for one
thing, to find the fields on either side of us as denuded of men as if
Adam had never lived.  None but women was discoverable at work on this
eve of harvest, excepting here and there an old man, while children,
too, were being pressed into service.  At bridges, culverts and
crossings, instead of the customary railway guards, who used to stand at
salute with a flag as a train whirled past, there were now soldiers with
rifles.  No restrictions were placed upon our reconnoitering the
adjacent country as long as we were in motion; but Lieutenant-Colonel
von Buttlar, always heel-clicking and saluting beforehand, intimated to
_Mein Herren_ that the curtains of their compartment-windows must be
drawn as the train approached or halted at stations.  There was no
suspicion, he begged to assure us, that we might attempt to practise
espionage about troop movements.  On the contrary, the suggestion was a
precaution recommended in our own interests.  Unfortunately, quoth the
apologetic colonel, it had not been feasible to conceal the identity of
our train.  Western Germany was bursting with patriotic frenzy, and it
was just within the range of possibilities that their exuberance might
beat itself into disagreeable "demonstrations."  Therefore, discretion
was obviously our cue.

But what we could not see at Nauen, Rathenow, Stendal, Gardelegen,
Obisfelde and Lehrte, we could hear, for all the inhabitants of every
hamlet and town in Central Germany appeared to have orders from
somewhere to assemble at their railway-stations and sing themselves red
in the face for Kaiser and Empire.  Manifestly the Supreme War Lord had
not only called up his armed legions, but mobilized the country’s
_Singvereine_ besides, and man, woman and child of them were now in the
trenches with their throats bared to the foe.  I suppose they were
chanting _Die Wacht am Rhein_ and _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_
in other parts of Germany, too, but I have often thought that the
country’s most vociferous and tireless choral artists were concentrated
on that day on the strategic line of the British safe-conduct train’s
route.  If the Great General Staff at Berlin, with that incomparable
attention to detail which is one of its vaunted accomplishments, schemed
to send us out of Germany convinced, by the evidence of our own ears,
that the Kaiser’s people were sallying forth to war like Wagnerian
heroes with music and triumphant cheers on their lips, the plan
succeeded.  My own indelible recollection of that farewell ride across
Germany, at any rate, is the memory of song.  For many days and nights
afterward, _Die Wacht am Rhein_ and _Deutschland, Deutschland über
Alles_, would ring and ring through my head.  At the time it all seemed
beautifully spontaneous, for the Germans are a singing folk, who put
soul into their anthems, but reflection makes me wonder if that
continuous song-service which so mercilessly accompanied us from Berlin
to the Netherlands was not a stage-managed extravaganza with a motive.
The Germans are a thorough race, and in war they overlook no
opportunity.

It was only at times that the singing was anything else than merely
monotonous--the periodical occasions when, if we halted longer than
usual at a station, the singers would line up alongside the train so
closely that they could fairly shout in our ears.  Then there would be a
note of ill-mannered defiance in their song. At Hanover we happened to
be drawn up in the station at the very moment when the British
Ambassador and the Belgian Minister were in the dining-car, and there
was a particularly vehement vocal endurance competition outside of the
window at which they were sitting. But from my own table on the opposite
side of the car I observed that Sir Edward Goschen was not visibly
diverted from his _Wiener-Schnitzel_, for, while the _Deutschland,
Deutschland über Alles_ was doing its worst, he remarked, cheerily, to
his Belgian colleague: "Rather fine singing, isn’t it?"

Next to the songs which knew no ending the most conspicuous
manifestation of _Furor Teutonicus_ was the chalking of troop-trains
with exuberant inscriptions symbolical of expected great German
victories to come. "Special to St. Petersburg" was a prime favorite.
"Excursion to Paris" was extremely popular.  That, we know, is exactly
what the War Party expected the campaign to be.  "Through Train to
Moscow" ran a particularly sanguine sentiment and "Death to the
Blood-Czar," a more sanguinary one.  Then there would be rude
caricatures of Nicholas II or President Poincaré either at the end of a
noose or of the boot of an equally rudely-cartooned Kaiser.  And, of
course, there were plenty of jests at Great Britain.  "We’ll soon be
chewing roast-beef in London" was the way one artist epitomized his
hopes.  "Special Train to the Peddler-City"--a shaft at London, the home
of the "shopkeeper nation" which "organized war against Germany" in
order to "crush an unpleasant commercial rival."  "Death to our
enviers!" was the language in which another Anglophobe thought found
expression. Beneath the British Ambassador’s car-windows, I was told,
some one had chalked a John Bull drooping ignominiously from the
gallows, with "Race-Traitor" for an epitaph!

The night was fitful for us all.  Curled up on the seats of our
compartments, such attempts at sleep as we ventured were effectually
defeated by _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ and _Die Wacht am
Rhein_.  All through the night they were hurled at us. At every town,
regardless of the hour, the choristers were on the job.  We welcomed our
arrival at Bentheim, the final station in Prussia, at seven next
morning, not half so eagerly because it was the last of Germany as
because it was the last of _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ and
_Die Wacht am Rhein_.  For any sins we ever committed in the Fatherland,
we felt we had been richly chastised.  I understood now why General
Sherman once crossed the Atlantic to escape _Marching through
Georgia_--only to be bombarded with it beneath his windows before
breakfast by an Irish band in Queenstown before he had been in Europe
twelve hours.  I am morally certain that when old Tecumseh said that
"War is hell," he was thinking about _Marching through Georgia_.  That
is what _Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ made me think about
Armageddon.

None of us experienced any special difficulty in restraining our
emotions when Lieutenant-Colonel von Buttlar and our other German
chaperons handed us over at Bentheim to a Dutch train crew awaiting our
arrival there with a Dutch locomotive.  The colonel clicked and bowed
his farewell respects to Sir Edward Goschen and Baron Beyens, accepted
their appreciations of his courtesy and helpfulness, saluted for the
last time, and then formally transferred us to Queen Wilhelmina’s tender
mercies.  The hour of our liberation was at hand.  And for the first
time in a week a score of Englishmen and at least one American thought
out aloud their opinions about Germany and all her works.  What some of
us said about the Hohenzollerns has been put by Colonel Watterson in far
more immortal diction than my poor pen could epitomize it.

[Illustration: Sir Edward Goschen, late British Ambassador in Berlin,
boarding S. S. St. Petersburg, en route to London, August 7th, 1914.]

At Rozendaal, the first station in Holland, there was a wild scramble
from the newspaper coach for the railway telegraph-office.  All of us
had reams of "copy" to release, after having been muzzled for five days.
German money, we were distressed to observe, was already at a discount
in the Netherlands, and those of us who did not hand in Dutch or British
gold had to put our "stuff" on the wire after more fortunate colleagues
had beaten us to it with legal tender.  A couple of hours later found us
at Amsterdam, where representatives of the British Legation at The Hague
and the local Consulate-General were on hand to greet Sir Edward
Goschen’s party and furnish us with the first news of actual war
operations which we had had. Fighting at sea had begun.  England had
drawn first blood.  The German mine-layer _Konigin Luise_, within
eighteen hours of the declaration of hostilities, _i.e._, on Wednesday,
August 5, was overtaken by the British destroyer _Lance_ and sunk in six
minutes.  There was reason to fear that a fleet of enemy mine-layers,
masquerading as fishing-boats and in other pacific disguises, had been
occupied for the better part of a week strewing mines through an area
reaching from a point off Harwich--which we were soon to approach--along
the east coast far up into Scottish waters.  On the next day, Thursday,
August 6, the British light cruiser _Amphion_ struck a mine planted by
the _Konigin Luise_ and went down with heavy loss of life. Much more
cheering was the news that gallant Belgium was giving the Germans a
welcome they had not bargained for.  The Meuse was being gloriously
defended.  Liége was menaced, but still untaken. Germans had been mown
down by the regiment--if reports could be believed--and we devoured them
eagerly.  No news is ever so welcome as that which one longs to
hear--even before it is confirmed.

The Hook was ready for us, we were told.  The Great Eastern steamer _St.
Petersburg_ was there awaiting our arrival, having the night before
landed Prince Lichnowsky and the other members of the German Embassy in
London.  The Kaiser’s emissary had passed to the ship through a British
guard of honor, while shore batteries fired an ambassador’s salute. How
like Sir Edward Goschen’s slinking departure from Berlin, we thought!
Shortly after two o’clock the _St. Petersburg_ lifted anchor and amid
typical North Sea weather, raw, rainy and misty, got under way.  Few
thought of German submarines at that time, but the Berlin Government, we
pondered, had not guaranteed Sir Edward Goschen "safe conduct" through
an indiscriminately sown field of floating mines.  Quite obviously, we
had now to pass through a zone bristling with uncertainty, to put it
mildly.  But we had not steamed far into the open sea before the sight
of a British torpedo-boat flotilla on patrol convinced us that we were
in a well-shepherded course. Then we had our first ocular demonstration
of Jellicoe’s unremitting vigilance, for the crescent of destroyers far
forward now began rapidly to close in upon us.  Our identity was
apparently not known to them, and they were taking no chances.  "They
sent a shot across our bow yesterday, with the Germans on board,"
explained the skipper of the _St. Petersburg_ to Captain Henderson, the
Naval Attaché, who was with him on the bridge.  Captain Henderson was
not disturbed by the possibility of our getting an innocuous
three-pounder in our wireless rigging or some other harmless token of
the destroyers’ solicitude, but he _was_ concerned lest so innocent a
craft should cause British destroyer captains to burn up valuable oil
fuel needlessly at such an hour.  So the next I saw of Henderson he was
wig-wagging mysterious messages with signal-flags from the bridge of the
_St. Petersburg_, which told the destroyers, I suppose, that we weren’t
in the slightest respect worthy of their attention or shell.  They
wig-wagged something back which must have pleased Henderson, for
presently he clambered down smilingly from the upper regions, and said:
"_That’s_ all right!"

Harwich hove into view at what should have been sundown.  By six o’clock
we were at the pier, boarded by the naval authorities of the port and
the customs-men.  Sir Edward Goschen’s party, after the Ambassador
himself had vouched for the identity of each and every one of us, was
disembarked without formalities, and at six-forty-five P.M. of Friday,
August 7, we found ourselves treading British soil.  There were
policemen, soldiers, reporters and photographers on the dock, but no
formal welcoming delegation for the Ambassador.  Somebody whispered to
him that a special train would convey him and his refugees to London,
and to it he took his way as undemonstratively as if he were a Cook’s
tourist back from a "tripper’s" jaunt to the Continent.  I remarked to
Tower that I was afraid Americans would have made a real fuss over
Goschen if he were _our_ Ambassador home from the enemy’s country;
whereupon _The Daily News_ man ejaculated something which was to ring in
my ears for a year or more, whenever I presumed to comment on that
strange phenomenon with which it is now my task to deal--England and the
English in war-time: "Wile, you Americans can not understand the English
character."  Tower was right.

An American is general manager of the Great Eastern Railway.  I strongly
suspect that he must have had an alien hand in even the semblance of a
"demonstration" of greeting which Sir Edward Goschen encountered when
our train pulled into Liverpool Street Station a little after eleven
o’clock. I did not wait to watch it, nor even to claim my baggage, for
there was a hungry first edition waiting for my "story" at _The Daily
Mail_ office, and to Carmelite House I flew in the first taxi into which
I could leap. By midnight Beattie, the night editor, was tearing "copy"
from my hands as fast as an Underwood could reel it off, and it was
rapidly approaching breakfast-time when I called it a night’s work and
went to bed--in England at last.



                              CHAPTER XIII

                      COMPLACENCY RULES THE WAVES


More than once during the last phase of our exciting journey to England,
across the mine-strewn waters between the Hook and Harwich, I reflected
that I seemed doomed to take up my residence on British soil in
war-time.  It was in the spring of 1900, in the anxious days between
Ladysmith and Mafeking, when the tide of victory was still running in
favor of the Boers, that I first arrived in London, and my lot was cast
there for the succeeding year and a half of the South African struggle.
I felt certain that the feverish interest with which even the sluggish
British temperament had followed every detail of a campaign ten thousand
miles away, and which engrossed only a fraction of the Empire’s
strength, would pale into tepid insignificance compared to the concern
which would be generated by a tremendous European war only a
channel-crossing distant.  But I had time for only one breakfast and one
morning’s papers before I realized that John Bull had donned, even for
Armageddon, the garment in which his bosom swells the proudest--the
armor of invincible inexcitability.

Actually the only wrought-up people in the British Isles during the
first week of the war appeared to be the frantic American tourist
refugees, who, of course, heavily outnumbered their brothers and sisters
in wretchedness whom I had left behind in Germany. If it had not been
for the frantic transatlantic sob and worry fraternity storming the
steamship and express companies’ offices in Cockspur Street and the
Haymarket on the morning of Saturday, August 8, when I went out to look
for the war in London, no one could possibly have made me believe that
such a thing existed.  Such portions of the community as had not started
for the links, the ocean, the river or the country "as usual" were
demeaning themselves as self-respecting, imperturbable Britons
customarily do on the edge of a "week-end."  The seaside holiday season
was at its zenith.  The immortal "Twelfth," when grouse-shooting begins,
was approaching.  Everybody who was anybody was "out of town," and
stayed there.  It was only those fussy, fretting Americans who insisted
upon losing their equilibrium and converting the most placid metropolis
in the universe into a bedlam of unseemly agitation and alarm.  It was
"extraordinary," Englishmen said, how they resolutely declined to take a
lesson from the composite stolidity of Britain, preferring to give their
emotions unrestrained rein and to keep the cables hot in imperious
demands for ships, gold and other panaceas for the scared and stranded.
Which reminds me to say that traditional British hospitality to the
stranger within the gate was never showered more graciously on American
friends than in that trying hour.

The British had worried a whole week about the war already.  That was a
departure and a concession of no mean magnitude, for it is their boast
and pride that they _never_ "worry."  Having, however, yielded to such
un-British instincts in the earliest hours of the crisis, they pulled
themselves together and swore a solemn resolve, come what may, not soon
again to succumb to indecorous habits which the world associated
exclusively with the explosive French or the irresponsibly impulsive
"Yankees."  I felt instinctively that an effectual rebuke was being
administered to me personally by the writer of the following newspaper
review of London after three days of war:


"A new metal has come into the London crowd out of the crucible of these
last few days.  The froth and fume of flag-wagging have evaporated; so,
too, have lifted bone-quaking mists of dread and suspense. Exultation
and depression are alike unhealthy.  It is good that we are now free
from them.

"The faces in the street are the barometers of the souls that men hide.
It does one’s heart good to walk London and to behold that very notable
rise--apparent to every one and swift in its example--of the mercury of
the people.  The great war took all our comprehensions unawares.
Although it has boded for years, it walked at last like an unbelievable
spectre into a warm and lighted room.  What wonder that we were shaken?
What wonder at a creeping ague of the spirit in front of the unknown?

"The dizziness has gone.  The trial before us, black as it is, is not so
black as our anticipation of it.  We have already surprised ourselves no
less than we have confounded our enemies by our rally and our readiness.
The financial situation is saved, the banks re-open, the food supplies
are safeguarded, and prices controlled.

"A tremendous accession of calmness and reliance has come to the nation
by the appointment of Lord Kitchener to the War Office.  The news that
the Army is in his hands, a rock of a man, has swept through London like
a vivifying breeze.

"London is swinging back to as much of its normal life as possible.  She
has found herself.  She is bravely being the usual London--the great
city serene."


Far more profitable, obviously, than hunting war excitement was
examination of the causes which accounted for its absence, and to that I
forthwith devoted myself.  In the first place, there was the navy,
"England’s All in All."  By a fortuitous circumstance, for which, with
all his faults, the Empire must render imperishable gratitude to its
young half-American First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, the
Fleet was instantly at its "war stations," fully mobilized, and in a
state of battle-readiness and general efficiency unparalleled in British
history.  War maneuvers on an unapproached scale had been in progress
for the preceding fortnight or three weeks.  Only the merest word of
command was wanting to convert the Grand Fleet into the battering-ram
and shield, to constitute which in the hour of emergency it had been
created.  "Ringed by her leaden seas," which were held, moreover, by a
"supreme" armada, there seemed every justification for equanimity, for
the United Kingdom has no frontiers which an invading army can violate
as long as Britannia rules the waves.

The domestic political situation, more menacingly turbulent than at any
time within the memory of living Englishmen, had been resolved with
miraculous rapidity and completeness.  "Revolution" in Ulster, on which
the Germans had so fondly banked, vanished as effectually as if it had
never raised its head.  "We will ourselves defend the coasts of
Ireland," declared John Redmond in the House of Commons in a speech
which will never die, "and I say to the Government that they may
to-morrow withdraw every one of their troops from Ireland."  Mrs.
Pankhurst, freshly released from a periodical hunger-striking sojourn in
Brixton jail, announced that the suffragettes had stacked arms and now
knew only womankind’s duty to England.  That sent another Berlin dream
careening into oblivion. "His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition" proclaimed in
Parliament through the mouth of the Conservative leader, Bonar Law, that
the Government’s political opponents were prepared to accord it
"unhesitating support."  In the Government itself the "Potsdam Party,"
as that relentless iconoclast, Leo Maxse, long termed the coterie which
was for peace with Germany at almost any price, was either weeded out or
suppressed.  Lord Morley, the Lord President of the Council; "Honest
John" Burns, still true to convictions, President of the Local
Government Board, and Charles P. Trevelyan, Parliamentary Secretary of
the Board of Education, unobtrusively retired from Mr. Asquith’s
official family in consequence of their inability to sanction the war.
They have played their parts meantime with honorable consistency--by
maintaining an hermetical silence on questions of the war.  And finally,
though primarily in popular judgment, Lord Haldane, the graduate of
Göttingen, the translator of Schopenhauer and the admirer of German
_Geist_, was driven by scandalized public opinion from the War Office,
whither he had just come as an "assistant" to the Prime Minister, whose
cabinet portfolio was the Secretaryship for War.  Most of England sighed
with thankful relief when the able Scotch lawyer and philosopher whom
contemporary history accuses of responsibility for Britain’s military
unpreparedness, beat an ignominious retreat back to his regular post,
the wool-sack, which, as Lord Chancellor, he by general consent
conspicuously adorned.  The country’s relief became enthusiastic
assurance when the lawyer, Asquith, himself retired from the War Office,
to make way for the soldier, Kitchener, who was recalled by telegram the
day before from Dover, just as he was about to board ship for Cairo, to
resume his duties as the ruler of Egypt.  With the "Potsdam Party"
banished or made harmless, the Cabinet was now regarded as
satisfactorily purged.  The public heard with boundless gratification
that the "strong men" of the Government--Grey, Lloyd-George and
Churchill--had been uncompromisingly for war from the start as the only
recourse compatible with British honor, to say nothing of the elementary
dictates of self-preservation.  It was at length possible for Mr.
Asquith to assure the country that he presided over an administration of
whose unity of view and determination there was no shadow of a doubt--a
Government which was resolved, as Sir Edward Grey’s great speech in the
House of Commons on August 3 set forth, to accomplish three cardinal
purposes:


1. To protect the defenseless French coast against attack by the German
navy;

  2. To defend the integrity of Belgium; and

3. To put forth all Britain’s strength and not run away from the
obligations of honor and interest.


When the events of the Great War, and perhaps the chief actors in it
themselves, have passed away, some British historian will almost
certainly arise to tell the world the story--the "inside story"--of how
Mr. Asquith’s cabinet, through three days and nights of doubts,
uncertainties, trials and tribulations, crossed the Rubicon to the shore
of unanimity on the subject of British participation.  There were
moments, beyond all question, when that issue hung perilously in the
balance.  The French Government’s frantic eleventh-hour appeals for a
decision in Downing Street are mute evidence of the vacillation which
prevailed--a species of tentativeness which has never been missing from
the British conduct of the purely diplomatic affairs of the war.  The
ministerial debates during which the die was cast in favor of war will
make immortal reading, even if only a digest of them is all that is
vouchsafed posterity.  The "strong men" of the Government, if report is
reliable, were called upon to fight valiantly and ceaselessly to avoid
England’s "running away from the obligations of honor and interest."
The tense interval which ensued while they were battering down the
trenches of skepticism, chicken-heartedness and nonchalance among their
Cabinet colleagues caused a delay which might easily have proved of
fatal import; for the decision to throw the strength of the British
army, as well as the navy, into the scales was under discussion, and it
is conceivable that the Expeditionary Force, which it was eventually
determined to send, might have been kept back for weeks, or even
altogether, instead of the mere days its dispatch was actually retarded.
Disaster incalculable would almost inevitably have resulted in that
event.

The indispensable and all-governing preliminary measures for war in
respect of domestic politics, the Government and the naval and military
administration having thus been taken, equally radical precautions were
invoked to put the nation’s economic house in order.  The Stock
Exchange, following the lead of New York, Paris and Berlin, had shut
down as early as July 31, in order that mere insensate panic on the part
of the speculative and investing world might not degenerate into
irretrievable rout.  War having descended with irresistible suddenness
during the "week-end" preceding the traditional August Bank Holiday
(Monday, the 3rd), a meeting of great financiers in the Bank of England
on the holiday itself decided to prolong it, as far as banks and bankers
were concerned, for three days, _i.e._, until Friday, the 7th, in what
turned out to be the well-grounded hope that public excitement would
meantime subside and prevent "runs" ruinous alike to banks and
depositors.  A moratorium was established.  The Bank discount-rate,
which had already vaulted from four to eight per cent., was now raised
to ten, an unheard-of figure, which effectually curbed the lust of
persons anxious to profit from war abnormalities or otherwise indulge in
operations not consistent with the gravity of the hour.

[Illustration: Germans Anxious to Fly from England. Remarkable scenes
were witnessed outside the American Consulate, thousands of Germans
clamoring for passage back to Germany.]

It was mainly these things--wholesome, substantial proofs that their
rulers had grappled with the situation with bold initiative that
inspired the people of London with reassurance, which, diluted with the
stoicism of the British character, became calm confidence Gibraltar-like
in its inflexibility.  She had "the men," England was saying; she had
"the ships," and, Parliament having voted an initial war fund of one
hundred million pounds as unconcernedly as if it were a thousand-pounds
grant for a new switch-track at Woolwich arsenal, she unmistakably had
"the money," too.

But even more self-comforting, if possible, than this iron trust in her
own inexhaustible resources was England’s conviction in the
invincibility of her Allies. Was not even little Belgium holding back
the flower of the German army before Liége?  Even in the unlikely event
of Liége’s fall, would not the impregnable fortress of Namur provide
Krupp guns with a still tougher nut to crack?  Those were, alas! the
hours in which the existence of the forty-two-centimeter siege gun was
not even mooted in ostrich England.  France? The Germans would find a
vastly different antagonist awaiting them this time in the Ardennes, the
Vosges passes and along the Meuse and the Sambre.  There was a "New
France," a France of _élan_ and iron.  It was the virile Republic of
Poincaré, Delcassé, Joffre, Bleriot, Pegoud and Carpentier, with which
the Prussian hosts must this time measure lances, not the degenerate
Empire of the third Napoleon, which crumbled at Sedan and Metz and
surrendered Paris. Russia?  "Can’t you just hear the steam-roller
rumbling across East Prussia and thundering at the gates of Berlin?" a
great English peer asked me, in all seriousness, during my first week in
London.  "Isn’t the tread of the Czar’s countless millions, pounding
remorselessly toward the west, almost audible?" he persisted. Millions
of Englishmen were thinking and saying the same thing.  As for the
German army, almost as many of them were convinced that that
"over-organized, peace-stale" military establishment, which was a
magnificent spectacle on parade, but lacked leaders experienced in
modern campaigning, would crash to pieces not only against "superior
numbers" but against Allied troops and commanders who had been fighting
great wars this past quarter of a century in Africa and Asia.  London’s
feelings toward Germany seemed, indeed, almost compassionate.  Many
people, otherwise sane, talked about the war being over by Christmas.
The Kaiser’s navy would come out and be smashed, they calculated, and
such work as had not already been accomplished by the Allied armies
within the Fatherland’s eastern and western frontiers would soon be
completed by "internal collapse," industrial stagnation, national
impoverishment and universal starvation.  Poor Germany!  She had brought
it on herself.  Her end, after a peace soon to be dictated in Berlin,
would manifestly be speedy and annihilating. The Social Democrats, it
was true, were bamboozled into support of the war by fictitious
assurances that the sword had been "forced" into Germany’s unwilling and
blameless hand, but the scales would presently fall from their eyes, and
then woe betide whatever remained of the Hohenzollerns’ ravished,
defenseless realm!  Street-hawkers in the Strand were selling blatant
copies--a penny each--of _The Kaiser’s Last Will and Testament_.  Would
William II be sent to St. Helena, like the other Napoleon, or be
interned in some more accessible point in the British Empire, to pass
the remaining days of his humiliation and remorse?  And the "Crown
Prince" with him, of course. These were the reveries of Britain in the
early days of August, 1914.  Nothing disturbed them except the creaking
and the rumbling of the Russian steam-roller. Those being dulcet
reverberations, John Bull paused eagerly in the midst of his musings to
let them lull him into a still deeper siesta of optimism....

Serene and imperturbable as the vast majority of Englishmen were, the
responsible leaders of the nation were under no delusions as to the
magnitude of the task now confronting them.  To the country’s intense
astonishment, though Lord Roberts had been dinning it in their ears
incessantly for at least five years previous, England found itself in a
state of practical impotence as far as effective participation in modern
large-scale military operations was concerned.  In the same five minutes
during which Parliament voted one hundred million pounds as a first war
credit, it also sanctioned an increase of the British army by five
hundred thousand men.  At that moment the Home military establishment,
which was immediately mobilized as "The British Army Expeditionary
Force" when England decided to enter the war with her soldiers as well
as her sailors, consisted of eight divisions of all arms--roundly, one
hundred fifty thousand men. An organization of another half-million
troops, officered and equipped for a great Continental campaign, could
not be stamped out of the ground.  Its production, even in a country
with the glorious military traditions of England, was manifestly fraught
with stupendous difficulties.  There was no mistrust of British
patriotism; but when men recalled the futility of Lord Roberts’ efforts
to implant in England’s conscience the necessity of some form of
National Service--how he not only failed, but was ridiculed and vilified
for pursuing his sagacious crusade in the face of merciless rebuff--and
when inherent British repugnance to "soldiering" and even to wearing
uniforms was remembered, there were widespread misgivings.

Prussian militarism long filled me with abhorrence. I had learned to
detest it not as an institution, but for its numerous disgusting
manifestations, principally the arrogance of its gilded popinjays and
the brutal and overweening contempt in which their traditions and
training taught them to hold mere civilian microbes.  Yet in those
frantic hours when hopelessly unready military England was compelled to
patch up an army for battle against the world’s most scientific
war-machine, I pondered what a blessing a little "militarism" would have
been for the British democracy. I had seen Germany trooping off to war,
singing, cheering and flower-garnished; and I knew that her debonair
demeanor was due less to lust for the fray--the great mass of the nation
was animated by no such sentiment as that--than to the realization,
which sprang from immutable facts and numbers, that her citizen army was
equal to almost any emergencies it would be called upon to meet.
Germany was a nation in arms.  England was a nation in difficulties.
How grotesquely unprepared to play a commensurate part in a military
war, compared to her Continental allies and foes, this table showing the
size of the various armies indicates:

                                 Peace footing    War footing    Guns

    Great Britain ...............    234,000         380,000    1,000
    Austria−Hungary .............    500,000       2,200,000    2,500
    France (including Algeria) ..    790,000       4,000,000    4,200
    Germany .....................    850,000       6,000,000    5,500
    Russia ......................  1,700,000       7,000,000    6,000


Lord Kitchener was obviously the man of the hour. An organizer
primarily, rather than a strategist, tactician or field-marshal, his
appointment to the War Secretaryship demonstrated that whoever was
responsible for it--men say it was Lord Northcliffe--recognized
instantly the all-overshadowing requirement: a recruiting sergeant.
Joffre, the French Commander-in-Chief, would necessarily retain the
supreme direction of the Allied forces operating against the German
front in France and Belgium.  England’s part was to send him men.  And
the one to find, drill and equip them was unmistakably Kitchener of
Khartum, South Africa, India and Egypt, the "organizer" of victory
against the fuzzy-wuzzies and the Boers, the disciplinarian who had
galvanized the Indian army into new life, and the administrator who was
licking Egypt into Imperial shape.  There would be time enough for the
war itself to produce another Wellington or Roberts. What was needed now
was men, rifles and guns, cartridges, shells and uniforms, war-planes,
motor-lorries and hospital-trains and all the other innumerable
impedimenta of modern man-killing.  The summoning to the task of the big
bluff soldier who first saw the light in County Kerry, who was looked
upon as the incarnation of initiative and relentless efficiency, and who
had proved his right so to be considered, was elementary and inevitable.
It was work for a "sergeant-major" and a "drill-sergeant" rather than
for a Napoleonic genius; and when England learned that "K.," as he is
affectionately known in the army, was on the prodigious job, England
took heart.  She responded with a will to his first appeal for men.  The
hoardings of the Kingdom were plastered with it on the morning of August
8.  It read as follows:

    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+
    |                                                                  |
    |                     YOUR KING AND COUNTRY                        |
    |                          NEED YOU.                               |
    |                                                                  |
    |                        A CALL TO ARMS                            |
    |                                                                  |
    |  An addition of 100,000 men to his Majesty's Regular Army        |
    |  is immediately necessary in the present grave National          |
    |  Emergency.                                                      |
    |                                                                  |
    |  Lord Kitchener is confident that this appeal will be at once    |
    |  responded to by all those who have the safety of our            |
    |  Empire at heart.                                                |
    |                                                                  |
    |                      TERMS OF SERVICE                            |
    |                                                                  |
    |  General Service for a period of 3 years or until the war is     |
    |  concluded.                                                      |
    |                                                                  |
    |            Age of Enlistment between 19 and 30.                  |
    |                                                                  |
    |                        HOW TO JOIN                               |
    |                                                                  |
    |  Full information can be obtained at any Post Office in the      |
    |  Kingdom or at any Military depot.                               |
    |                                                                  |
    |                      GOD SAVE THE KING!                          |
    |                                                                  |
    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+


In the past England’s volunteer army had been maintained by a recruiting
system which produced, on the average, about thirty-five thousand new
men a year.  They did not come easily, even in halcyon peace times, and
the gaily-caparisoned recruiting-sergeant in Trafalgar Square, who would
buttonhole a hundred likely "Tommies" in a day, earned well his fee if
he succeeded in inducing ten of them to "take the shilling."  It
remained to be seen if "the present grave National Emergency" would find
dormant in Britain military talent and inclination hitherto undreamt of.
In the opening flush of the excitement and enthusiasm which the war
engendered, Lord Kitchener’s hopes were satisfactorily realized.
Recruiting-offices in numerous districts were literally stormed.  The
response from the middle, "upper-middle" and upper classes was
particularly buoyant.  Duke, peer, aristocrat, nobleman, "nut," banker,
lawyer, doctor, merchant, teacher and clerk came forward splendidly.
But artisan, docker and miner lagged.  The lower class revealed an
inclination to continue to throng the public-houses rather than the
recruiting-offices.  It seemed evident at the outset that it was not
they who were bent on saving England. They gave disquieting indication
that their sort of patriotism was primarily individual
self-preservation, that for them, love of country began at home.  A
waking-up process in their unenlightened ranks was destined to come to
pass, thanks mainly to "separation allowances" for missus and the kids,
but it was never to attain the dimensions of a rousing which extorted
from their atrophied intelligence even an approximate appreciation of
their obligations or their country’s peril. Britain’s war is being
waged, as it will be won--speaking broadly--by the patriotism and blood
of the excoriated upper ten thousand.  The struggle had been in progress
for more than a year, at a cost of nearly five hundred thousand British
casualties, when it was still necessary for Lloyd-George to remind
working-class England, in as unqualified language as a politician dare
speak to the nation’s electoral masters, that it was not doing its full
duty.

While Britain at large still hugged the delusion of easy victory, in
grotesque underestimation of the enemy’s power, and while Kitchener’s
recruit-finding machinery was being put in vigorous motion, the War
Office, in co-operation with the navy, was accomplishing as magnificent
a piece of military work as army annals hold--the silent landing of the
British Expeditionary Force of one hundred and sixty thousand men, with
its full complement of horses, guns and stores, on the shores of France.
That feat will live as immortal disproof of the charge popular in the
United States that "hustle" is a word which is conspicuously missing
from the British lexicon.  Compared to it, our "hustle" in landing an
army in Cuba in 1898 was the quintessence of procrastination and muddle.
The British railways had been taken over by the Government coincident
with the arrival of war, an "Executive Committee" consisting of the
General Managers of the main companies having been established more than
a year previous as an advisory council for such an emergency as had now
supervened.  Embarkation of the Expeditionary Force commenced on the
night of August 7th.  Admiral Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand
Fleet, assured Lord Kitchener that the channel passage was as safe as
the Thames itself.  The British public, receiving its first lesson in
relentless censorship of war news, was kept so effectually in the dark
as to the dispatch of the largest army which ever left English shores
that it knew nothing whatever of it till the host was at its
destination, with breasts bared to the foe.  The landing of Sir John
French’s legions on the soil of France was accomplished, complete in
every detail, by August 17th.

British railways, when the record of that marvel of transportation is
compiled, will share the honors with the ironclads of Britain’s navy and
the liners of her mercantile marine.  Southampton being the main port of
departure, the performance of the London and Southwestern Railway, which
has carried so many thousand Americans in pacific days from Waterloo
Station to the ship’s side, is a case in point.  I heard Sir H. A.
Walker, the "Southwestern’s" general manager make before the American
Luncheon Club in London the first announcement of the railways’ part in
England’s military mobilization.  With his subsequent permission, I was
privileged to give the British public its first information on that
subject.  The L. & S. W. had been assigned the task of making ready for
dispatch to Southampton within sixty hours three hundred and fifty
trains of thirty cars each.  It did the trick in forty-five hours.
During the first three weeks of war there were dispatched to and
unloaded at the ships’ sides seventy-three of such trains every fourteen
hours.  They arrived from the four quarters of the kingdom, and none of
them was late.  "I come from the land of ’big railway stunts,’" said
Henry W. Thornton, the American general manager of the Great Eastern
railway when Sir H. A. Walker had told this convincing story of British
"hustle."  "We think we are ’pulling off’ some feat when we handle
G.A.R. encampments and national conventions, but what British railways
accomplished in the ten days between August 7 and 17 last may fairly be
claimed as a unique record in railway history."  What Mr. Thornton
modestly failed to add was that he himself, as a colleague presently
bore testimony, had played a conspicuous rôle in the drama of British
military mobilization.  Certain inanimate things, almost as well known
to Americans as Mr. Thornton, played big parts, too. The palatial
_Mauretania_, with her _suites de-luxe_ battered into cargo-room for
Tommy Atkins, and her big new sister, _Aquitania_, with only a maiden
crossing or two to her credit, similarly knocked to pieces, made
incessant trips back and forth between Southampton and other channel
ports to Dieppe, Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk, landing in France on each
occasion no less than five thousand British fighting-men, ready for
death and glory.

Each mother’s son of them carried with him this little personal message
from Lord Kitchener:


"You are ordered abroad as a soldier of the King to help our French
comrades against the invasion of a common enemy.  You have to perform a
task which will need your courage, your energy, your patience.

"Remember that the honour of the British army depends on your individual
conduct.  It will be your duty, not only to set an example of discipline
and perfect steadiness under fire, but also to maintain the most
friendly relations with those whom you are helping in this struggle.
The operations in which you are engaged will, for the most part, take
place in a friendly country, and you can do your own country no better
service than in showing yourself in France and Belgium in the true
character of a British soldier.

"Be invariably courteous, considerate, and kind. Never do anything
likely to injure or destroy property, and always look upon looting as a
disgraceful act.  You are sure to meet with a welcome, and to be
trusted; your conduct must justify that welcome and that trust. Your
duty can not be done unless your health is sound. So keep constantly on
your guard against any excesses. In this new experience you may find
temptations in wine and women.  You must entirely resist both
temptations, and, while treating all women with perfect courtesy, you
should avoid any intimacy.

"Do your duty bravely.
"Fear God.
"Honour the King.
"KITCHENER, Field-Marshal."


I remained in England only a week after my arrival from Germany.  Part
of the time had been pleasantly spent editing a special "American
edition" of _The Times_ for Lord Northcliffe, who placed the full
machinery of his journalistic organization at the disposal of the
"Yankee War Refugees."  He was only prevented from extending them the
hospitality of Sutton Place, his lovely estate in Surrey, now a
hospital, for a "week-end" outing by the inability of the railways to
guarantee the necessary special train facilities.  To my astonishment
but unalloyed delight Lord Northcliffe "ordered" me to take a month’s
vacation in the United States.  He thought my family and kinsmen would
like to have a look at an "English spy," fresh from Germany, before the
earmarks of his nefarious trade had entirely evaporated, and so, having
obtained the last bunk left on that veteran Cunard hulk, _S.S.
Campania_, which had brought my wife and me to Europe on our honeymoon
voyage, I sailed away from Liverpool on Saturday, August 15th, along
with twelve hundred or fifteen hundred other sardines packed in an
eighteen-knot steel box.



                              CHAPTER XIV

                           PRO-ALLY UNCLE SAM


Somewhere in E. W. Hornung’s _Raffles_, there is this homely bit of
epigrammatic philosophy:

"Money lost, little lost.  Honor lost, much lost. Pluckiest, all lost!"

The aphorism was paraphrased by my fellow war refugees in the
_Campania_, tucked away in couples, trios, quintettes and baker’s dozens
into cabins which the Cunarder’s designers back in the dim mid-Victorian
past built for a half or a third as many passengers.

They made it read like this:

"Baggage lost, all lost!"

Now and then some particularly sentimental soul would spare a
humanitarian thought for the minor horrors of the calamity which had
fallen upon Europe and civilization.  But his heart would not throb for
long when somebody would break in upon his maudlin reflections with a
really harrowing tale of trunks left behind in Berlin, Hamburg or
Cologne, in Carlsbad, Lucerne or Ostend, at the Gare du Nord in Paris,
or the quayside in Boulogne or Calais; or of suit-cases and
"innovations" lost, strayed or stolen in the maelstrom of military
traffic in Germany, Belgium or France; or of Packards, Peerlesses,
Studebakers or Overlands summarily abandoned somewhere in the war zone.
What were Europe’s travails to these genuine disasters?  It was all
right for the war-mad Continent to deck itself in battle-paint if
sanguinarily inclined, but ruthlessly and without notice to break up
Americans’ traveling plans, knock Cook tours into a cocked hat,
interrupt "cures," and on top of that, if you please, actually to play
ducks and drakes with the personal effects of free-born American
citizens--all because, forsooth, eight or ten million troops required
the right of way and insisted upon getting it--that was manifestly the
last word in inconsiderateness. Incidentally, of course, it denoted how
hopelessly inefficient Europe was, anyway, in the presence of a sudden
emergency.  Why, the general manager of a cross-town transfer company in
New York would have tackled the job without turning a hair.  Bah!  It
served Americans right--quoth a promenade-deck psychologist.  Year in
and year out they’d been lavishing "good United States dollars" on
Europe, and this was her gratitude to her best paying guests.  There was
no dissent from the view, which prevailed from rudder to bow, that it
was the ragged edge of what Bostonians call "the limit."  "See America
first!" ceasing to be mere admonition, was burnt there and then into the
hearts of our baggage-bereft ship’s company with all the force of a
fervid national aspiration. "Never again!" was the way my Chicago
millionairess deck-chair neighbor, who looted the Rue de la Paix
annually, sententiously epitomized not only her aggrieved sentiments,
but those of nearly everybody else. All swore a virtuous vow henceforth
to practise the stay-at-home habit and for the rest of eternity let
man-killing Europe wallow in its savagery.

The story of the exodus which the Second Book of Moses records will
probably outlive the flight of the children of Columbia across the
Atlantic in the summer of 1914.  But that hegira will outrank its
Egyptian prototype in one gleaming respect--its atmosphere of
indomitable good humor, once the Campanians surmounted the initial stage
of "grouch," groaning and gnashing of teeth.

Bank presidents and college professors willing to be buffeted across the
ocean in the steerage; society women who bunked contentedly on sofas in
the "ladies’ saloon" of the stuffy second cabin; Pittsburgh plutocrats
game enough to sleep six in a stateroom built for four; pampered folk
with French _chefs_ at home, who sat uncomplainingly through the
interminable and usually refrigerated "second serving" in the
_Campania’s_ old-fashioned dining-room; corporation lawyers with incomes
the size of a King’s civil list, who considered themselves lucky to have
captured the hammocks of the fourth engineer or the hospital attendant
in the odoriferous hold; all these compatriots, grinning and bearing,
proved that after all we are the most adaptable people on earth.  After
each and all of us had exchanged tales of woe--everybody had one, even
Doctor Ella Flagg Young, the septuagenarian Superintendent of Chicago’s
public schools, who was chased out of the war-zone across Scandinavia
into England--and swapped stories of arrest or less thrilling
inconveniences, and abused the incompetent authorities of the
belligerent governments to our hearts’ content, with a slap now and
then, to vary the monotony, at our own United States--the _Campania’s_
passengers soon shook down to what turned out to be as jolly a crossing
as any of us, I dare say, ever had.  Between thrills about imaginary
"German cruisers" and equally fantastic "rumbling of naval artillery,"
and our amusing discomforts, the week passed almost before we knew it,
and more quickly than some of us even wished. There was, of course, that
irrepressible Illinois State Senator who circulated a petition to
"censure" the Cunard line for not sending us all home in the
_Aquitania_, even though the British Government had requisitioned her
for transport work; but a much more popular note was struck by my young
friend, Miss Marjorie Rice, a typical New York belle, who collected a
couple of hundred dollars with which to present Captain Anderson with a
souvenir of our gratitude for having so gallantly brought us through
invisible dangers.  German cruisers were still roaming in the Atlantic,
and, though we traveled at night with masked lights and took various
other precautions like an occasional zigzag course, one never could
tell, though I think most of us banished all thought of peril once we
heard that British ironclads were keeping a lane of safety for Uncle
Sam’s fretting sons and daughters all the way from Fastnet to the Fire
Island lightship. Asked by the ship’s officers to tell "How the Germans
Went to War" at the last-night-out concert, to which the Cunard Line
with British reverence for tradition still religiously adheres, I could
confidently interpret the sentiment of every American aboard in voicing
deep thankfulness for the fact that Britannia ruled the waves.  Going
back with us to the United States was a batch of three or four young
Germans, evidently of university education, because their jowls were
embellished with saber-cuts.  They had been stopped in England on their
way home to fight, but were graciously permitted to return whence they
came. Timorous friends beseeched me to beware of "saying too much" about
the Germans in the hearing of these would-be soldiers of the Kaiser; but
I escaped molestation and even heard next day that I had been "most
fair."

Not till many days after we landed in New York did I know that two very
eminent representatives of Allied Powers were sandwiched among the
_Campania’s_ home-fleeing American passengers--Sir Cecil Spring-Rice,
British Ambassador at Washington, and his colleague of France, the
cultured Monsieur Jusserand. They had crossed in impenetrable incognito.
Not only were their names missing from the passenger-list, but if they
had ever promenaded or eaten or smoked, they must have done it in
solitary enjoyment of their own exclusive society, as nobody during
seven whole days and nights ever heard of them or saw them, or, what is
vastly more miraculous aboard-ship, ever even talked about them.
American newspapermen afloat in a liner like to flatter themselves that
nothing with even the remotest odor of news ever escapes their
insatiable quest.  I had myself bored with strenuous pertinacity into
every news-well in the _Campania_, and there were many.  But Spring-Rice
and Jusserand eluded me as thoroughly as if they had been contraband
stored away in the hold, or stokers who only come to life out of the
black hole of Calcutta once or twice a trip, when everybody with a white
face is tight asleep.  Bernstorff came in two days later like a brass
band.  The British and French Ambassadors broke into the United States,
apparently, in felt-slippers through a back door on a dark night.  The
manner of the respective arrivals of the German and the Allied
Ambassadors was to be characteristic of their conduct in the country
throughout the war.

On Monday, August 24, I was lunching at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Bernstorff had landed that forenoon in the Dutch liner, _Noordam_.  To
my astonishment, the Ambassador, whom I had noticed lunching a few
tables away with James Speyer, arose and advanced across the restaurant
to where I was sitting. Bernstorff and I were old acquaintances.  I
liked him. Most newspapermen did.  Through long residence in Washington,
he had acquired an almost Rooseveltian art in dealing with us.  I used
to see him regularly during his periodical official visits to Berlin,
having known him professionally from the days he was Councillor of the
German Embassy in London during the Boer War.  Few Americans are aware
that Count Bernstorff was born in England while his father was serving
as Prussian Minister to the Court of St. James. History was destined to
repeat itself in the case of the son, who not only adopted the career of
his father, but when he became an ambassador to a neutral country during
one of Germany’s wars was called upon to occupy himself just as the
elder Count Bernstorff had done in London in 1870-71.  The father put in
most of his time in England in a vain endeavor to persuade Queen
Victoria’s Government to place an embargo on shipment of British arms
and ammunition to the French.  He failed as lamentably in that effort as
his son and heir was destined to do in the United States under almost
identical circumstances forty-four years later.

Smiling his most persuasive diplomatic grimace, Count Bernstorff went
straight to the object of his luncheon-table call on me.

"Wile," he began, "you’ve gone back on us!  I can see your hand at work
in the attitude the _New York Times_ has taken up."

I could not imagine at what the genial Count was driving.  Perhaps he
had read in the preceding day’s _Times_ my long account of the
beginnings of the war as I observed them in Berlin, or my introduction
to _The Times’_ exclusive publication of the German White Paper, printed
that day.

"Your Excellency flatters me," I ventured to rejoin. "I have only been
in the country since Saturday night, and my activities at _The Times_
office have been limited to the very prosaic duty of handing in several
wads of ’copy’ written aboard-ship."

But Bernstorff knew better.  I had poisoned the atmosphere of Times
Square against Germany’s holy cause.  He insisted upon thrusting upon me
some occult influence over Mr. Ochs, _The Times’_ able proprietor, and
Mr. Miller, its brilliant editor, and said he was going to see somebody
or other at _The Times_ later in the day and "fix things up."  Judging
by the rivers of interviews which thenceforth flowed in an unceasing
torrent from the Ambassador’s headquarters in the Ritz-Carlton, he must
have seen not only some _Times_ men, but nearly all the journalists in
Greater New York.  How satisfactorily he "fixed things up" with the
great newspaper which has proved to be the Allies’ most consistent and
effective supporter in the United States could be judged from next
morning’s edition, which was about as anti-Bernstorffian as could be
imagined.  The Imperial German Press-Agent’s palaver about his ability
to "fix things up" was bombast, pure and unalloyed.  There was never the
slightest possibility that he could "fix" anything in the _New York
Times_ office or in any American newspaper office where self-respect,
journalistic honor and rugged independence are enthroned.  There are
American newspapers which lay no claim to these virtues, and their names
are undoubtedly, and long have been, carefully card-indexed at 1435
Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C.  Some of their owners have
decorations bestowed by the Kaiser.

It proved to be a rare stroke of Fate which took me to the Ritz-Carlton,
for I was destined to be an eyewitness of the assemblage of the Kaiser’s
Great General Staff for the Germanization of American public opinion on
the war.  Doctor Dernburg had arrived in the _Noordam_ with Count
Bernstorff, and along with them came Captain Boy-Ed, the Naval Attaché
at Washington.  I knew personally, from Berlin days, both the
ex-Colonial Secretary and the sailor.  Dernburg, before he was
pitchforked into Government office from the comparatively humble station
of a bank director in 1906, was the most approachable of men.  His
command of the American language was remarkable--an inheritance from his
youth, part of which was spent as a volunteer clerk in a Wall Street
bank.  I never forgot my first call on him in Germany.  I assumed him to
be a Jew, as his father was.  Some Semitic question of public interest
was the news of the moment, and I regarded Dernburg an ideal man to
interview.  With a smile I recall how, insistently disavowing his
origin, he told me I had come to "the wrong address."  Later I watched
his tempestuous career as administrator of the barren sand-wastes known
as German colonies, saw him give electioneering in the Fatherland a new
phase with his shirt-sleeves campaigning methods, and observed his
meteoric rise to Imperial grace and political power, so soon to be
followed by his equally precipitate fall from those dizzy heights.
Dernburg’s lack of manners and tact was commonly said in Berlin to have
led to his official demise after less than four years of Cabinet glory.
No one ever questioned his eminent ability.  But his reputation as a
banker rested on cold-blooded ruthlessness, and when he attempted to
carry those methods into a bureaucratic government department, he struck
snags which wrecked his bark.  Neither he nor I supposed on August 24,
1914, when we chatted in the palm-court of the Ritz-Carlton, that his
attempt to transplant Berlin ruthlessness into the United States would
eventually prove his undoing there, too.

Captain Boy-Ed, as subsequent history was also to show, was bent on
practising in America the tactics which won him renown and promotion in
Germany. Prior to coming to Washington as Count Bernstorff’s Naval
Attaché--the Kaiser had decided that the United States navy was
attaining dimensions which required watching by a shrewd observer--the
captain was von Tirpitz’ right-hand man at the Imperial Admiralty in
Berlin.  He had charge of the so-called News Division, nominally
entrusted with the duty of informing the German public of "routine naval
intelligence, such as accidents, transfers of ships and officers, etc.,
etc.," as I once heard von Tirpitz persuasively and naïvely describe the
functions of the _Nachrichten-Abteilung_ during a periodical plea to the
Reichstag for more dreadnoughts.  Boy-Ed, the son of a Turkish father
and a German mother, devoted himself chiefly in the years between 1906
and 1912 to conducting von Tirpitz’ astute propaganda for naval
expansion.  It was the era in which the Kaiser’s fleet was being
converted by leaps and bounds from a navy of obsolete
thirteen-thousand-ton ships of the _Deutschland_ and _Braunschweig_
class into an armada of dreadnoughts and battle cruisers of the
eighteen-thousand to twenty-four-thousand-ton "all-big-gun"
_Ost-Friesland_ and _Seydlitz_ class.  German public opinion required to
be carefully manipulated in order to secure parliamentary sanction for
"supplementary" appropriations which rose by stealthy degrees from
$60,000,000 to $115,000,000 a year.  Boy-Ed was assigned the responsible
duty of organizing and carrying out the necessary campaign of education,
and right well and thoroughly he did it.  The shoals of pamphlets,
books, newspaper-articles, public-lectures, Navy League speeches and
other "educational" matter with which the Fatherland was flooded--always
with "England, the Foe" as the _leitmotif_,--were to a large extent the
child of Boy-Ed’s resourceful brain.  He did not write them all, of
course, but he was their inspirer-in-chief.  I account him one of the
real creators of the modern German navy, second only to von Tirpitz
himself.  It was "the chief’s" idea, but Boy-Ed made its materialization
a practical possibility.

Knowing his methods, no revelations of his pernicious activities in the
United States ever surprised me. He was only up to his old tricks,
altering them to suit the American climate and character, but adhering
always to certain basic principles which had stood him in such good
stead in the Fatherland.  It would be ungrateful of me not to
acknowledge numerous professional courtesies received at Boy-Ed’s hands
when he was misleading the press of Germany and the world at the
News-Division in Leipziger-Platz, Berlin.  He nearly had me arrested at
the Imperial dockyard in Wilhelmshaven in March, 1907, for gaining
access, despite thoroughgoing preventive measures, to the launch of
Germany’s first dreadnought, the _Nassau_, but during his career at the
Admiralty he more than made up for that by enabling me, in the columns
of _The Daily Mail_, to be the medium of a formal discussion between von
Tirpitz and the British naval authorities on the endlessly controversial
question of Anglo-German sea rivalry.  For the best "copy" it was ever
my good fortune to send across the North Sea, my unwithering gratitude
is due and is hereby expressed to the shifty chieftain of Germany’s
war-time "intelligence service" in the United States.

Who else besides Bernstorff, Dernburg, Boy-Ed and Speyer attended the
opening council of war of the German field-marshals in the United States
that broiling August day at the Ritz-Carlton, I never learned with
certainty.  Dernburg assured me that as far as he was concerned, purely
humanitarian business had brought him to our generous shores; he had
come to collect funds for the German Red Cross, and he once wrote me a
letter on paper emblazoned with that worthy organization’s innocuous
trade-mark.  I suspect that before the day was over, Professor
Münsterberg of Harvard, Poet Viereck of _The Fatherland_, and Herman
Ridder paid their respects to the propaganda-chieftains, and received
their orders; and probably Julius P. Mayer, the New York manager of the
Hamburg-American Line, and Claussen, his expert "publicity manager,"
left their cards, too.  Evidently James Speyer thought his sequestered
and palatial home at Rhinebeck-on-the-Hudson, far from the madding
sleuths of the New York press, was a more ideal retreat for so momentous
a pow-wow, for it was to that idyllic refuge that Count Bernstorff told
me he was immediately repairing.  Purely diplomatic affairs at
Washington could obviously wait on the more transcendent business the
Imperial German Ambassador now had in hand; and before he quit the banks
of the Hudson for the shores of the Potomac, the Fatherland’s marvelous
attack on the natural sympathies of the American Republic in the great
war was launched with all the force, skill and impudence of a German
assault on the frontier of a foe.

New York was clearly more feverishly interested in the war than London.
Nowhere in Fleet Street had I seen such vibrant throngs in front of
newspaper-offices, as stood eager and transfixed by day and far into the
night in Times and Herald Squares, Columbus Circle and Park Row.
America might have been in the fray herself, to judge by the one
absorbing topic which dominated men and women’s talk and obsessed their
thoughts.  Detached as we were, it was unmistakable that Europe’s agony
had eaten deep into our souls, for even the baseball bulletin-boards
were now deserted in favor of those which were telling in breathless
telegrams of the German cannon-ball plunge through Belgium toward the
fatal Marne and of Russia’s seemingly irresistible advance into East
Prussia. I had heard no Englishman arguing about the issues of
Armageddon or the kaleidoscopic events of the battlefield with half the
flaming ardor of those Broadway war experts.  In fact there were no
blackboards at all around which the British could hold curbstone
parliaments, for Lord Kitchener’s censorship was not parting with news
enough, apparently, to make even the chalk worth while.  In London I had
observed the inexplicable phenomenon that at the moment when hell had
broken loose for the British Empire, great journals, instead of deluging
the public with news, actually reduced their ordinary size in some cases
to four pages, though I believe that fear of a print-paper famine and
disappearance of advertising had something to do with those atrophied
dimensions.  All in all, however, there was no doubt that isolated
neutral America was excited about the war to a degree which reduced
British interest almost to nonchalance by comparison.

Though I tarried in the East but forty-eight hours, I was conscious of
breathing almost exclusively pro-Ally air.  President Wilson’s
neutrality proclamation was being respected in letter, as far as
restraining our people from actual breaches in favor of either
belligerent group was concerned, but every minute of the day,
everywhere, it was being vociferously violated in spirit.  Before the
war was a month old, Americans already were confessing freely that they
were so "neutral" that they didn’t care who won as long as Germany was
"licked."  They resigned themselves to the Chief Magistrate’s dictum
that the country as such must be guilty of no "un-neutral" acts, but it
failed lamentably to still the natural instincts of American hearts
which were beating fervently, irresistibly, for the Allies.
Bernstorff’s hour-by-hour interviews, apologies and explanations,
Münsterberg’s homilies, _The Fatherland’s_ vituperations, the
_New-Yorker Staatszeitung’s_ editorials in English signed by Ridder and
"boiler-plated" to any newspapers which would give them space, "fair
play" appeals from obsequious ex-Berlin exchange-professors like Dean
Burgess of Columbia--all these things fell on deaf ears.  None of them
could obliterate the crime of Germany, which loomed ineradicable on the
war horizon as Americans scanned it--Belgium.  All the instincts of
American justice, liberty, humanity and regard for treaty obligations
rebelled against "Necessity-knows-no-law" and "scrap of paper" ethics.
We had gone to war ourselves, in 1898, to defend the rights of a small
nation. The spectacle of Military Germany trampling little Belgium under
foot, causelessly, mercilessly, was enough, had there been no other
single issue to enlist our sympathy, to vouchsafe it, whole-heartedly,
to the nations which were leagued in support of the old-fashioned
principle that Right is nobler than Might. Thus was America’s mind
attuned in August, 1914, and at least in the opinion-molding area of the
country which lies between the seaboard and the line where the Middle
West begins, that mind was, with American predilection for reaching
right conclusions spontaneously, irrevocably made up.  The attempts of
the Propaganda Steam-Roller to flatten out the anti-German prejudices
provoked by the rape of Belgium were frantic, but fruitless.  The
pre-digested baby food which pedagogues and demagogues, ambassadors,
brewers and rabbis now began to ladle out for American consumption did
not temper those prejudices. Indeed, it was manifest that it was but
aggravating them. Our own General Brooke, attending the German army
maneuvers in Silesia eight or nine years ago, was asked by the Kaiser if
he had ever been in Germany before.  "Never in this part," remarked
Brooke. "Where, then?" persisted William II.  "In Cincinnati, Chicago
and Milwaukee," replied the general.  I was about to enter "that part"
of Germany now.  I was not there long before realizing that pro-Ally
sentiment was immeasurably less assertive, at any rate, than in the
outspokenly pro-Ally East.  Chicago, of course, has more Germans than
Düsseldorf, and Cincinnati and Milwaukee, in spots, are as Teutonic as
Hamburg or Bremen, so it was natural to find _Deutschland, Deutschland
über Alles_ more than disputing supremacy with _Rule Britannia_.  In
Chicago pro-Germanism was rampant and articulate.  An article written by
me for the _Chicago Tribune_ in the first fortnight of September, in
which I ventured to express my opinion as to where the responsibility
for the war lay, how long it would last and who would win it, brought
down on me as violent a torrent of abuse as if it had been published in
the _Berliner Tageblatt_.  For saying that, in my judgment, the German
War Party had made the war; that it would go on till Germany was beaten
to her knees, and that eventual exhaustion of the Germanic Powers and
the longer resources of the Allies would win the war for the latter, I
became forthwith the target of all the forty-two-centimeter guns in the
Windy City.



                               CHAPTER XV

                              THE HELMSMEN

    "We don’t want to fight,
    But, by Jingo! if we do,
    We’ve got the men,
    We’ve got the ships,
    And we’ve got the money, too!"


When during the dark hours of the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 a London
music-hall comedian named McDermott popularized the chorus of a ditty
which has rung down the ages, he not only enriched the English language
with a new synonym for a war zealot--Jingo--but he epitomized British
faith in British invincibility and the basis on which it is founded.
McDermott’s blustering ballad, the _Tipperary_ of its day, interpreted,
by a fate which seems strangely ironical in the light of current events,
Britain’s determination to go to war to prevent the Bear from grabbing
Constantinople.

The song applied precisely to conditions in this country in midsummer,
1914.  Englishmen "didn’t want to fight"--abroad, at least, for they
were looking forward to cooling their belligerent ardor nearer home, in
Ireland.  But when the violation of Belgium resolved all dissension in
the British Government on the question of intervention in a conflict
which, up to then, concerned purely the Dual and Triple Alliances, and
literally dragged Britain into the vortex in the name of both her honor
and interest, Englishmen did want to fight.  Taking quick stock of their
resources, they felt assured, in McDermott’s immortal words, that they
had "got the men, the ships, and the money, too."  But men, ships and
money, vital as they are, are useless without leaders, and it was
natural that Britons’ first thoughts, in the dawn of the Empire’s
supreme emergency, should be concerned with the personnel of the
helmsmen.  A super-crisis calls insistently for super-men, and in the
midst of an era which cynics call the age of mediocrities doubts were
not few that England might find herself fatally lacking in a plight as
stupendous as any Pitt, Nelson and Wellington had ever faced.

With their astonishing capacity to stifle domestic controversy and party
bickerings on the threshold of a foreign crisis, Englishmen decided that
the first essential was to repose implicit confidence in the existing
Government.  Ireland, Labor, Suffragettes, Opposition, the four thorns
in the Asquith Administration’s side, withdrew, leaving the cleavage
they once made so completely healed that hardly a scar remained.  The
Liberal Cabinet, admittedly stale with nearly a decade of uninterrupted
power, might not contain all the talents of statesmanship essential for
the conduct of a struggle on whose issue hung Imperial existence.  It
was a Government overweighted with "tired lawyers," consisting (with the
exception of Lord Kitchener) of exclusively professional politicians,
and even tinged in important directions (like Lord Haldane) with
confessed Germanophilism.  It was a Government long and openly charged
by its foes with desiring office at any cost and placing the
perpetuation of its hold on the fleshpots before any other interest.  It
was a Government which had avowedly temporized with the Irish yesterday
and the Labor Party to-day as the price of maintaining its Parliamentary
existence.  It was finally a Government notoriously consisting of rival
internal factions best typified by the aristocratic Imperialism of Sir
Edward Grey on the one hand and on the other by the rugged and radical
Democracy of Mr. Lloyd-George. Yet the nation, in the presence of peril
palpably incalculable, relegated its criticisms, its doubts and its
carpings, and with one voice agreed that "Trust the Government!" must be
the slogan of the hour.  The Anglo-Saxon spirit of Fair Play asserted
itself.  The country said that the Asquith Administration must be given
a chance to exhibit its mettle.  If it failed, there was always time for
a reckoning.  The British Government of August, 1914, entered upon the
war clothed with a mandate as sweeping in its powers as formal
conferment of a Dictatorship could have been--a woof of national
confidence amounting to little short of _carte blanche_.  John Bright
once said that a British Government is always annihilated by the war
which it is called upon to wage.  But Englishmen wished Mr. Asquith’s
Cabinet Godspeed, and by their unquestioning support of every measure it
proposed showed that their loyalty and trust were real and sincere.

Although the British Government (by which is meant only the Premier’s
Administration) consists of twenty-one ministers of Cabinet rank, the
war régime, it was manifest from the start, would be confined to five
outstanding men combining the motive forces of the entire organization.
These five were the Prime Minister himself, the Foreign Secretary (Sir
Edward Grey), the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Lloyd-George), the
First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Winston Churchill), and the Secretary
for War (Lord Kitchener).  Although the highest-salaried member of the
Cabinet, the Lord High Chancellor (Lord Haldane) drew ten thousand
pounds a year, and there were half-a-dozen others like the Home
Secretary, the Colonial Secretary, the Secretary for India and the
Presidents of the Board of Trade and Local Government Board whose
financial status (five thousand pounds a year), outranked the four
thousand five hundred pounds which Mr. Churchill received, the quintette
named, by reason of their posts and personalities, was the logical inner
Government to deal with the war. That brilliant English essayist and
biographer, Mr. A. G. Gardiner, even further delimited the numerical
dimensions of the _real_ War Government when he said that "if Mr.
Asquith is the brain of the Cabinet, Sir Edward Grey is its character
and Mr. Lloyd-George is its inspiration."

[Illustration: Herbert Henry Asquith.]

Herbert Henry Asquith, Yorkshireman by birth and barrister by
profession, has been Prime Minister for seven years, succeeding his late
Liberal chieftain, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in 1908.  Asquith, whom
Bannerman used to call "the sledge-hammer," because of his lucidity of
thought and expression, was sixty-three years old in September, 1915.
Although not a Pitt, nor even a Disraeli or Palmerston, the statesman
who looks like a Roman senator and is gifted with eloquence in keeping
was considered in many respects a Heaven-sent blessing in the
melting-pot era of British history, for as a purely steadying influence
he is probably without a peer in contemporary politics.  As a politician
in the narrower sense of a party disciplinarian, manager and leader he
will rank with the craftiest names in his country’s tortuous history.
British Liberalism has skated on perilous ice following the reaction
which swept the Conservative Party from power after the Boer War and
throughout the era of Democratic radicalism in which Great Britain has
meantime had its being.  That Mr. Asquith’s party is enabled to
celebrate ten years of sovereignty still strongly intrenched is by
general consent due to the astute generalship of its commander-in-chief.
Asquith is not commonly accused of imaginativeness.  He is too typical a
British statesman for that.  His temperament is devoid of the
adventurous, like that of the true intellectual, and he is
pathologically fonder of harking to public opinion than boldly leading
it.  When he coined the "Wait and See" epigram during the Ulster crisis,
he gave utterance to a phrase which accurately epitomizes the
tentativeness so preponderant in his political career.  British
procrastination and vacillation at vital periods of the war were
undoubtedly the reflex action of the Prime Minister’s own low-speed
mental processes.  Yet in the revolt of the Curragh Camp officers, that
strange curtain-raiser of the impending Ulster crisis, which threatened
to embroil these fair isles in another Cromwellian trial of strength
between Parliament and the army, Mr. Asquith, by a courageous stroke of
positive genius--his own assumption of the Secretaryship for War in
succession to the compromised Colonel Seely--resolved into tranquillity
and hope a situation more menacing to civil peace in England than living
Britons had ever before lived through.  Beneath Mr. Asquith’s polished
exterior, unemotional mask and sweet reasonableness Germany, mistaking
his for a peace-at-any-price nature, made one of the most egregious of
her numerous and glaring miscalculations.

Only the results of the Peace Conference will determine the true
ramifications of Sir Edward Grey’s reputation.  It was deservedly high
when the war began. No Foreign Secretary in Europe approached him in
stature, with the possible exception of Delcassé.  He had long been
Germany’s _bête noire_, being looked upon as the incarnation of the
British diplomatic policy of blocking German ambitions for a "place in
the sun" wherever and whenever they manifested themselves. As long
before as December, 1912, Professor Hans Delbrück, the sanest of German
political professors, told me in a prophetic interview for _The Daily
Mail_ on "What Germany Wants" that unless England abandoned her policy
of "arbitrary opposition to legitimate German political aspirations; if
she had no inclination to meet us on that ground; if her interests
rather pointed to a perpetuation of the anything-to-beat-Germany policy,
so let it be.  The Armageddon which must then, some day, ensue will not
be of our making."  That was a fairly plain warning of coming events.
The Germans, as I have said, considered Sir Edward Grey anti-Germanism
personified.  They regard him to-day as the "organizer of the war."
Taking an obviously short-sighted view, I used sometimes to think that
it would have been good politics for Britain to buy off Germany with a
_Trinkgeld_ (tip) of some sort. If Bismarck was right when he called the
Germans "a nation of house-servants," they could obviously have been
bribed.  Delbrück himself once confessed to me that Germany did not
_need_ more oversea territory; she only _hankered_ for it for
window-dressing purposes.  She wanted as expensive millinery and
high-powered a car as her rich neighbor across the way. Colonies were
fashionable, and she had to have them. I occasionally thought that
England would be staving off trouble for herself by bribing avaricious
Germany with a coaling-station on some inconsequential trade-route or
even shutting the eye to some burglarious descent on territory or
concessions in Asia Minor or Central Africa.  But such notions left the
German character, the Oliver Twist in it, fatally out of account. The
German is the most eager person in the world to covet a mile if given an
inch.  Concessions to his rapacity would have meant purchasing turmoil
for the conceding party not eliminating it.  British opposition to
Pan-Germanic designs, typified by Sir Edward Grey, was based on
thoroughgoing insight into the German nature and German ambitions,
epitomized for all time by Bernhardi when he said that nothing would
appease the Fatherland except World Power or downfall. Hush-money to
Germany in the shape of periodically new "places in the sun" would have
kept her quiet for spells.  But the blackmailing process would have been
resumed.  It is the German way.  "Mr. Balfour tells us we must not
expect Englishmen to support our aims in the direction of territorial
expansion," said Delbrück.  "What remains then for us, except to enforce
the accomplishment of our purposes by strengthened armaments?"  Could
avowal be plainer-spoken?

Sir Edward Grey is fifty-three years old and has been a childless
widower since 1906.  He has been a Member of Parliament continuously
since he was twenty-three years of age.  Though an Oxford graduate and
successful barrister, he is in no sense a scholar, and his experience of
foreign affairs up to his becoming Foreign Secretary in the
Campbell-Bannerman ministry in 1905 was confined to an
under-secretaryship of the Foreign Office in the preceding (Rosebery)
Government.  Grey, who is also of the smooth-shaven Romanesque type of
statesman in external appearance, is an amazing example of natural
British aptitude for the higher politics, for he is not a linguist (he
speaks nothing but English) and except for a visit to France with the
present King a couple of years ago was said never to have been abroad in
his life.  His hobbies are tennis, fly-fishing and birds.  The only book
he ever wrote was a treatise on the piscatory art and he tramped through
the New Forest with Colonel Roosevelt talking ornithology all the way.
Yet a man has only to read the British White Paper--he need not, indeed,
do much except read Sir Edward Grey’s dispatches to his ambassadors on
July 29, 1914--to realize that the Foreign Secretary is a statesman of
marvelous force and capacity to grapple with the essentials of a
situation.  No state papers of modern times outrival Grey’s diplomatic
correspondence on the eve of the war.  They ought to insure him, as I
believe they will, immortality, no matter how the war ends.  Sir Edward
Grey’s speeches are like his dispatches--devoid of irrelevancy or
rhetorical claptrap and incisive in the highest degree.  They ring
conviction and sincerity and their argument is usually unanswerable.
Doctor von Bethmann Hollweg’s clumsy attempts to parry Grey’s mid-bellum
dialectics have only brought out the latter in bolder relief.  The war
has notoriously eaten into Grey’s soul.  Germany calls it guilty
remorse.  Men who know are conscious that he labored for peace to the
last minute with unflagging enthusiasm.  His industry during the war has
been intense, and his insistence upon looking at things for himself has
threatened more than once to cost him his eyesight.  As it is,
intermittent relaxation has to be forced upon him by his colleagues and
his medical advisers.  Sir Edward Grey’s permanent disappearance from
Downing Street would rejoice Germany like a victorious battle.  Grey has
been violently blamed for the failure of Britain’s mid-war diplomacy,
especially in the Balkans.  His own defense against charges of failure
in that region is likely to seem plausible in the light of history,
viz., that, unaccompanied by commensurate military successes, the
efforts of Allied diplomacy in the Near East were almost hopelessly
handicapped.

One night during the South African War a Radical M.P., advocating the
downtrodden brother Boer’s cause at a mass-meeting in Birmingham,
received such a warm reception from the crowd that he had to flee for
his life through a back-door, disguised as a policeman.  His name was
David Lloyd-George, whose present occupation is that of England’s man of
the hour. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer when war broke out and
introduced the initial war budgets, earning thereby encomiums from the
financial community which for years before looked upon him as capital’s
demagogic arch-foe.  To-day, Minister of Munitions--the circumstances
under which he became such are treated in a subsequent
chapter--Lloyd-George comes far nearer being Britain’s national hero
than any of his contemporaries.  He is charged by his detractors with
the design to make himself Dictator.  England could have a worse one.

If Lloyd-George were an American instead of a Welshman, he would have
been President of the United States by this time, or at least as close
to it as Bryan has ever been.  There is in fact very little typically
British about him.  He is emotional, for example, and he has an
imagination.  His whole make-up is trans-atlantic, which is _Anglice_
for sensational.  Picture, if you can, a strong solution of Booker
Washington (I mean, of course, only his eloquence), of flamboyant and
appealing Billy Sunday, of the Boy Orator of the Platte at his
silver-tongued best, and of our inimitable T. R. in his most rampageous
form, and you will have Lloyd-George in composite.  It was because he is
all this that he was chosen for the "shells portfolio" in the
reconstructed Asquith cabinet.

[Illustration: Lloyd-George.]

He knew very little--probably nothing--about munitions seven months ago.
It could not have been very much before that when he probably thought
that guncotton was raw material for pajamas.  But he is the prize
"enthuser" of the Kingdom, a master of the tedious art of welding drowsy
Britons into a race of real war-makers.  All the ingredients for
supplying the army with the shells it needed were in existence; but they
needed organization.  The manufacturers and their works needed
organization.  The workmen needed organization.  The public spirit
needed organization; and the whole business needed a Lloyd-George.  It
got him ten months after it ought to have had him, but not too late.
Obviously the diminutive Welsh country lawyer who had brought about the
disestablishment of the State Church of Wales, imposed State Insurance
and Old Age Pensions on a reluctant Kingdom, assailed the vested
interests of the House of Lords and demolished them, was the man to
impress the country with the true meaning of the shells tragedy.  He
took the stump, his natural element, for the purpose.  He went to the
people, especially in the great industrial centers, and told them the
truth.  He burned into their conscience--that was the only way to get
the stolid British to wake up to a real peril--that shells, shells, and
then shells, and nothing but shells, were required if Britain meant to
win the war.

The people listened to Lloyd-George.  He has a way of making them listen
to him.  They gave him their ear even in his pro-Boer days.  They
listened to him when he (an ardent Baptist) cleared for action against
the Welsh Church.  They listened to him even when he went down to
Limehouse and coined a new word, "to limehouse," meaning violent
political spell-binding, second cousin to demagogism, by the nature of
his impassioned appeals to the people to rise and slay the Lords.  It
was inevitable that the country would listen to him in his newest and
greatest rôle as organizer of victory.

Lloyd-George’s goal is undoubtedly the Premiership--the ambition of
every British politician.  He has plenty of time to wait--he is only
fifty-two--and unfailing week-end golf keeps him as "fit" as a man
fifteen years his junior.  Of Napoleonic stockiness of build, with a
wealth of wavy gray hair worn long, he is a figure which radiates
strength and power, though unimpressive of itself.  He is a capital
"mixer."  It is, indeed, his principal political asset.  He is as much
at home laboring with a gang of recalcitrant miners at the pit-mouth--he
always goes straight to headquarters when he essays to settle a
strike--as he is on the floor of the House of Commons or as moderator at
a Baptist convention.  He likes Americans and specializes in extending
hospitality to interesting ones. Unquestionably he has a strong hold on
our imaginations, as a man of his temperament, career and talent is
bound to have.  An eminent Chicagoan visited London last summer, with
introductions which would have easily paved his way to the throne or any
other exalted British quarter.  "Whom would you like to meet most of
all?" he was asked.  "Lloyd-George," he said, with the intuitive sense
of a Yankee who only has time for the things worth while.

Winston Churchill, the son of an English father and an American mother,
is the Peck’s Bad Boy of the British Government.  His popularity has
been sadly dimmed since the war began, for he was looked upon as not
only the author of the grotesque naval "relief" expedition to
Antwerp--now either prisoners of war in Germany or interned in
Holland--but the culprit who was chiefly responsible for the far more
disastrous Dardanelles adventure.  Another crime is charged against him,
hardly less serious than the two just named: his imperious
administration of the Admiralty drove from the First Sea Lordship the
man universally considered Britain’s greatest sailor, Lord Fisher.  All
agree, friend and foe, that to "Winston" was due in a very marked
degree, England’s superb readiness at sea when war broke out, but it is
a matter of grave doubt whether even that superlative service to the
country will be looked upon as great enough to blanket his subsequent
and costly incompetencies. When the upheaval in the Asquith Cabinet came
about, in the spring of 1915, Churchill was nominally squelched by
interment in the harmless berth of the Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster, most of whose official time is spent in licensing Justices of
the Peace and Notaries Public.  That ennui hung heavily on his hands was
manifested by the announcement during the summer that Churchill had
taken up painting as a pastime.

I have said that "Winston" was nominally subjugated, for a petrel of his
peculiarly irrepressible storminess can only be wholly curbed by
annihilation.  Asquith is far too sagacious a politician to risk
Churchill’s complete eclipse in the Government of which he has always
been the most picturesque constituent. Churchill, too, aspires to the
Premier’s toga, though a good many people fear that the defects of his
qualities will keep him, just as they kept his distinguished father,
Lord Randolph Churchill, from No. 10 Downing Street.  But "Winston" is
far less dangerous to the Government as a friend than as a foe.  His
chameleon political career justifies the fear that he would turn on his
old associates and party cronies the moment he conceived that advantage
to self was thereby obtainable.  Obviously such a man is better in the
Cabinet than out of it, especially if he is of Winston Churchill’s
undoubted personal charm, magnetism and resistless force.

Combining the best qualities of his dual ancestry, he makes a lively
appeal to the average heart. Aristocratic to the core, with the blood of
the Marlboroughs in his veins, and a snob of snobs in his personal
relations, it is an anomalous fact that Churchill is an endlessly
popular figure with the crowd.  Whether it is his youth--he is only
forty-one, was a soldier of no mean renown at twenty-three, a Member of
Parliament at twenty-six, a Cabinet Minister at thirty-two and a force
in Imperial politics long before he was forty--or his impetuous
devil-may-care make-up, or his bombastic platform style, the masses like
him.  He has only one serious rival, indeed, in their affections, and
that is Lloyd-George.  He is remembered in war thus far not only for his
Antwerp and Dardanelles indiscretions, but for his equally unhappy
oratorical excesses, which are doomed, apparently, always to precede
some untoward naval or military event.  Within thirty-six hours of
proclaiming at Liverpool (in September, 1914) that "if the German navy
does not come out and fight, we shall dig it out like rats from a hole,"
_U9_ sent the _Cressy, Hague_ and _Aboukir_ to the bottom.  In the
spring of 1915, discussing the Dardanelles, Churchill blustered that "we
are within a very few miles of the greatest victory this war has seen,"
and a few weeks later Kitchener announced that twelve miles of
precarious front in Gallipoli were all there was to show for a campaign
which had already cost eighty-seven thousand casualties. When Churchill
prognosticates nowadays, the country trembles for what the next day will
bring forth.  Yet he is a rash prophet who would predict that "Winston"
has run his course in British politics.  He took manfully the
discomfiture of the Coalition reshuffle, and although his picture is no
longer cheered when it is flashed on the cinematograph screen the
shrewdest seers are certain that he will "come back."[1]


[1] Churchill resigned from the Cabinet in November, 1915, declaring
that he was a soldier--"and my regiment is in France." To it he said he
preferred to go rather than continue in a position of "well-paid
inactivity" at home.  In a dramatic speech in the House of Commons, he
took political farewell of the country and, having pleaded "Not Guilty"
to the capital charges of responsibility for Antwerp and the
Dardanelles, left England unostentatiously for the trenches, as a major
of cavalry.


Lord Kitchener has always boasted that he scorned popularity.  He has
need for his philosophical temperament to-day, for there is no manner of
doubt that his hold on the imaginations of his countrymen is less firm
than it was when the war began.  "K.’s" dramatic appointment to the War
Office, in the earliest hours of the conflict, heartened the nation to
an extraordinary degree.  Britain had no army, Englishmen said, but it
had Kitchener, who was a host in himself.  His name alone was an asset
which bred indescribable confidence. Men recalled his dominant
traits--iron determination, strenuous application to duty, imperious
disregard of hide-bound methods and red tape, and, above all, his genius
for organization.  They rejoiced to hear that he had accepted the War
Office, long cob-webbed with circumlocutory traditions and petticoat
influence, on the strict understanding that he was to be monarch of all
he surveyed--that he would not tolerate such party interference as
intrudes itself on departmental affairs in general.  Immensely to the
popular taste, because it confirmed the masses’ conception of "K.," was
the story that when he arrived at the War Office for the first time and
was told there was "no bed here, Sir," he commanded the affrighted and
astonished caretaker, then, "to put one in, as I am going to sleep
here." Britain said to herself that she indubitably possessed a match
for German Efficiency in her new Secretary for War, and all thought of
"losing" with such a man as the supreme chief of the military
establishment vanished from her mind.

[Illustration: Kitchener.]

Kitchener was never one of the war-will-be-over-by-Christmas crew.  His
maiden speech as War Minister in the House of Lords informed the
country, bluntly, that he expected a three years’ struggle.  During the
winter an anecdote ascribed to the taciturn War Secretary’s loquacious
sister gained currency, and passed from mouth to mouth.  "When is the
war going to end?" she asked him.  "I don’t know when it’s going to
end," he was said to have replied, "but it is going to begin in May."
It was in May, by the pitiless irony of Fate, that the War Office’s
muddle of the ammunition supply was exposed.

Like all else in Britain--men, measures and institutions--the
arbitrament of time will be required to pass final judgment on
Kitchener’s part in the war.  In the principal field he was called upon
to plow--the raising of a huge army from out of the earth--he
accomplished marvels.  No nation within fourteen months evolved from
practically nothing an organization of, roundly, three million soldiers.
It is not enough, for the actual requirements of the war call
insistently for more and more, yet "K.’s" recruiting achievement stands
forth without parallel in military history. It is certainly without
precedent of even approximate magnitude in the annals of a non-conscript
democracy.  Lord Kitchener’s accomplishments in other directions have
notoriously not kept pace with his successes as a recruiting-sergeant.
The shells affair can hardly fail to dim his reputation.  The
deficiencies of the voluntary system can not be called a failure
directly chargeable to him, in that it has not brought forward men in
quantity commensurate with the developed necessities of the campaign.
Kitchener has hinted, but only that, that he is prepared to resort to
Conscription the moment he is convinced that Voluntaryism has collapsed.
But it does not seem unlikely that history may condemn him for clinging
to the voluntary principle too long and hesitating to make Englishmen do
their duty, instead of relying endlessly on their casual inclination to
perform it. Kitchener has ruled the British War Office practically as an
autocrat.  He brooked no interference, even from the Cabinet.  Viewed
from that standpoint, "K." can hardly be absolved from cardinal
responsibility for British military failures.  Before the end of 1915
General Sir Ian Hamilton had disappeared from Gallipoli, Sir John French
returned from France, General Townshend retreated from Baghdad, and the
Allied "Relief" Expedition to Serbia had retired to Salonica, whence it
had set out less than ten weeks previous.



                              CHAPTER XVI

                 THE GENERAL, THE ADMIRAL AND THE KING


That Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in France
and Flanders, an army which reduces to comparative insignificance the
largest host ever marshaled by Napoleon, comes from fighting stock is
plain enough from the fact that his only sister, Mrs. Despard, is a
militant suffragette. She herself provides homely evidence that the
appointment of her brother (whom she practically "brought up") to lead
the British fight against the Germans on land realized a boyhood
aspiration.  "When we were children," Mrs. Despard relates, "the great
province of Schleswig-Holstein was taken from Denmark by what was then
Prussia.  We were discussing the disgraceful incident of poor little
Denmark losing the province, and a certain little boy, then ten or
twelve years of age, strutted about and said: ’If I was only a man, I
know what I’d do to them.’  He was very indignant.  That little boy is
now commander of Britain’s great army."

It has been said that South Africa is the grave of British military
reputations.  Sir Redvers Buller’s was buried there, and though those of
Roberts and Kitchener emerged from the Boer War, the renown of Botha and
Dewet admittedly outshone them.  One British General at least was "made"
by the three years’ conflict with the Dutch Republics--Sir John French,
the cavalryman who relieved Kimberley, and whose escutcheon during the
sorry South African campaign was alone untarnished by blunder or
reverse.  As Kitchener was the logical choice for organizer of Britain’s
new armies, Sir John French was the natural selection for their
field-commandership.  French, following in paternal footsteps, began his
fighting career in the navy, but he has been a soldier for the past
forty-one years--he was sixty-three in September, 1915.  A man whose
entire manhood has been lived in the army, who knows it through and
through, loves it passionately, has devoted himself to it with the zeal
of a student, and fought in all its campaigns for nearly half a century,
had an ideal claim upon its supreme honor in the hour of superlative
crisis.  Doubtless in the Government’s mind when it entrusted "Jack"
French with the command of the British Expeditionary Force was the
reputation he had won in South Africa as a fighting field-general.
Unquestionably the broad sweeping movements his cavalry divisions
executed at Elandslaagte, Lombard’s Kop, Bloemfontein, Pretoria and
Barberton were operations which contributed, perhaps, more than any
other scheme of the brilliantly mismanaged Boer campaign finally to
bring it to a victorious end.  Neither the British nor the German
General Staff realized in August, 1914, that Armageddon was going to
develop into a trench or "positional" war, with little or no latitude
for those grandiose tactical maneuvers which delighted the heart of
Moltke and made a Sedan the ambition of every modern tactician.  Yet Sir
John French, whose military virtues include adaptability, if not
imaginativeness, which is oftener born, than acquired, turned out to be
ideally fitted for "spade warfare," in which the qualities of endurance,
steadfastness and patience have displaced the more spectacular talents
of daring and recklessness and those bold strokes of magnificent
vastness known as Napoleonic. Bonaparte’s scintillating genius, his
predilection for the stupendous, would probably have counted for little
amid such immobile conditions as the Allied armies have had to face in
the West, just as the Germans’ prized Moltke traditions in the same
region have come to naught.

[Illustration: Sir John French.]

Military history will unquestionably accord the retreat of the British
army from Mons a place among the finest achievements of all times.  It
was due to Sir John French’s strategy that Berlin was cheated of that
fiendishly coveted orgy of gloating over the "annihilation" of what the
Kaiser is said to have called "the contemptible little British army."
Since Mons and the Marne the British Field-Marshal’s task has been to
"hold" the enemy and to inspire his men to fulfil, unflinchingly, that
prodigious, but comparatively inglorious, task.  In the circumstances it
was fortunate that a man of Sir John French’s temperament was in charge.
He knew how to "sit tight."  Kinship with his soldiers has been his
lifetime specialty.  He is fond of sharing their joys and sorrows not in
any stereotyped, dress-parade sense, but actually.  He likes to move
among them, and does so.  His jaunty fighting bearing and unfailing good
humor are a constant inspiration.  Short and stocky, straight and
energetic of movement, he looks every inch a soldier, and he has a
soldier’s habit of saying what he means, direct from the shoulder,
whether it is a corporal, a staff officer, a brigadier or a Cabinet
Minister to whom he is addressing himself.

The Allied military arrangement conferred supreme authority on General
Joffre, but the British Field Marshal’s character and career were
considered a joint guarantee that Sir John French would not be found
lacking when called upon to do and dare greatly on his own account.  It
would be going too far to say that the war has covered French with
glory.  He would be the first to banish such a thought.  Though Britons
have fallen laurel-crowned on a score of fields in France and Flanders
and irrigated the cock-pit which lies between the Alps and the Channel
with as heroic blood as was ever spilled, the British offensives in the
West have been little more than brilliant failures.  Neuve Chapelle is
an undying story of Anglo-Saxon gallantry, as was Ypres before it; but
it was nothing else.  The "big push" which England hoped had at last
begun with the fighting in Artois and the Champagne at the end of
September, 1915, turned out to be a victory of distressingly short life
and little real effectiveness.  Yet when Germany lost the war--when she
failed to take Paris--the British army under Sir John French wrote
history of which Englishmen will never be ashamed. Who it was that most
effectually parried von Kluck and the Crown Prince’s thrust at the
French capital will probably, among generations of schoolboys yet
unborn, be as fruitful a theme of argument as is the question who won
Waterloo--Wellington or Blücher--but whatever the verdict of posterity
the smashing of the Germans on the Marne reeked glory for all concerned,
and Britain’s share of it is a heritage which will survive with
Blenheim, Balaclava, Kandahar and Khartoum.[1]


[1] Sir John French returned to England in December, 1915, relinquishing
(at his own request, it was officially stated) the
commandership-in-chief in France for the command of the Home Defense
forces.  King George conferred the dignity of a Viscountcy on the
Field-Marshal.


Another Sir John--Admiral Jellicoe--is commander-in-chief of the British
navy.  Events still to come must determine whether Anglo-Saxon history
is to be enriched with another Nelson.  But as far as human prescience
could foretell, "Jack" Jellicoe was of all men in the British Fleet
preordained by talent, temperament and training to be the admiral in
whose keeping could safely be entrusted British destinies more priceless
than those which were safeguarded at Trafalgar.

Jellicoe was one of the godfathers of the dreadnought, having been
summoned by Lord Fisher, the real author of that revolution in naval
science, to support and carry into execution the all-big-gun ship idea.
Fisher had years before associated young Captain Jellicoe with him as
assistant director of naval ordnance, whereupon there ensued an intimacy
which friends say will link their names together much as history
associated St. Vincent and Nelson as the twin victors of Trafalgar--the
one, the far-sighted planner of preparatory reforms; the other, the
faithful executor of their purpose.

Jellicoe resembles Sir John French in more than given name.  Like him,
he is of quite markedly small stature.  Neither the Generalissimo or
Admiralissimo of Britain in the Great War at all corresponds,
physically, to the popular notion that the English are "big" men.  Like
French, again, Jellicoe is mild and gentle, a pair of conspicuously
tight lips indicating poise, reserve force and self-confidence.  The
chieftain of the Grand Fleet--that is its official title and not an
effusive expletive--did not make his first acquaintance with danger
afloat when von Tirpitz’ submarines began to make life a burden for
British sailors.  He has been snatched from the jaws of death on three
separate occasions.  In 1893 Jellicoe was commander of Sir George
Tryon’s _Victoria_, when it was sent to its doom in the Mediterranean,
and, although "below" in the ship-hospital with fever at the moment of
the disaster, was miraculously rescued by a midshipman when he came to
the surface more dead than alive after the vessel foundered.  Seven
years previous, as if Fate was keeping a protecting hand over him for
some great hour, Jellicoe had an equally marvelous escape from drowning
when a gig he was commanding off Gibraltar capsized and he was washed
ashore.  In the Boxer war of 1900, Jellicoe was flag captain to Admiral
Seymour, the commander of the Allied expedition which marched from
Tien-tsin to the relief of the Powers’ legations in Pekin, and at the
battle of Peitsang Jellicoe was struck by a Chinese bullet, incurring
wounds which the flagship-surgeon considered fatal. Again Jellicoe was
spared.  A brother-officer tells a story of Jellicoe’s agony on that
occasion, which illuminates his capacity for facing the music, however
doleful.  He had asked how the advance to Pekin was proceeding.  Told
that everything was going satisfactorily, Jellicoe flashed back: "Tell
me the truth, damn it.  Don’t lie!"

The triumvirate which has accomplished that amazing, silent victory of
the British Fleet in the war--the complete conquest of sea power without
anything savoring of a decisive action in the open--consists of Lord
Fisher, the creator of the dreadnought; Admiral Sir Percy Scott, the
inventor of the central "fire control" system, and Sir John Jellicoe, to
whose gunnery science and innovations in that all-important branch of
naval warfare are ascribed, in large measure, the acknowledged
preeminence of the British Fleet as a striking force.  He had not been
director of ordnance a year when the percentage of the navy’s hits out
of rounds fired increased from forty-two to more than seventy.  "In
other words," as a critic describes it, "Jellicoe enhanced by more than
a third the fighting value of the British Fleet, and that without a keel
being added to its composition."

Jellicoe, who is fifty-six years old, has nothing but sailor blood in
his veins.  His father was a captain in the Fleet before him, and one of
his kinsmen, Admiral Philip Patton, was Second Sea Lord in Nelson’s
time. Jellicoe is the incarnation of the spirit, traditions, practises
and brain-force of the British navy of to-day. He has the not
inconsiderable advantage of having had opportunity personally to take
the measure of his German antagonists, for he has visited their country,
where he made the acquaintance of von Tirpitz, Ingenohl, Pohl, Behncke,
Holtzendorff, Prince Henry and all the other naval men of the
Fatherland, and was even privileged to cruise over Berlin in a Zeppelin.

England has heard little and seen nothing of Jellicoe during the war.
The veil of mystery which envelops the Grand Fleet is seldom lifted.
Not one Englishman in a million knows where the Fleet is, though all
know that it is where it ought to be.  A ten days’ visit paid to the
officers and men of the Armada by the Archbishop of York in the late
summer of 1915 resulted in imparting to the nation the first glimmer of
their life, of their indomitable watch and wait, which had been
forthcoming.


"It is difficult for our sailormen," wrote the Archbishop, "to realize
the value of their long-drawn vigil. Their one longing is to meet the
German ships and sink them; and yet month after month the German ships
decline the challenge.  The men have little time or chance or perhaps
inclination to read accounts in serious journals of the invaluable
service which the Navy is fulfilling by simply keeping its watch; and
naval officers do not make speeches to their men.  I think, indeed I
know, that it was a real encouragement to them to hear a voice from the
land of their homes telling them of the debt their country owes them for
the command of the seas--the safety of the ships carrying food and means
of work to the people, supplies of men and munitions to the fields of
battle--which is secured to us by the patient watching of the Fleet."

Speaking of Admiral Jellicoe, the Archbishop said:

"It was refreshing and exhilarating beyond words to find oneself in a
world governed by a great tradition so strong that it has become an
instinct of unity and mutual trust.  But to the influence of this great
tradition must be added the influence of a great personality.  I can not
refrain from saying here that I left the Grand Fleet sharing to the full
the admiration, affection, and confidence which every officer and man
within it feels for its Commander-in-Chief, Sir John Jellicoe.  He
reassuredly is the right man in the right place at the right time.  His
officers give him the most absolute trust and loyalty.  When I spoke of
him to his men I always felt that quick response which to a speaker is
the sure sign that he has reached and touched the hearts of his hearers.
The Commander-in-Chief--quiet, modest, courteous, alert, resolute,
holding in firm control every part of his great fighting engine--has
under his command not only the ships but the heart of his Fleet.  He
embodies and strengthens that comradeship of single-minded service which
is the crowning honor of the Navy."


More than once the criticism has been uttered in England itself that the
Fleet has been conspicuously lacking in the "Nelson touch."  Even
Americans, friendly observers, have ventured to suggest that there
seemed to be an absence of the Farragut or Dewey "to-hell-with-mines"
spirit.  Up to the end of the first year of war, Britons faced the fact
that their "supreme navy" had lost seven battleships aggregating 97,600
tons (not counting a super-dreadnought reported by the foreign press to
have been lost in the early months of the war, but which was a loss
never "officially confirmed" in England), and ten cruisers aggregating
81,365 tons.  Submarines, in that nerve-racking and troublous day before
Scott and Jellicoe solved the problem of sinking "U boats" almost faster
than German dockyards could launch substitutes, accomplished terrific
havoc among the British merchant fleet, even though the sea commerce of
these islands was never remotely in danger of being "paralyzed," as von
Tirpitz and the minions of Frightfulness fondly planned.

[Illustration: Sir J. R. Jellicoe.]

Yet all this while, the British Fleet was tightening its grip upon the
command of the sea to an extent which may now be described as absolute.
The German flag, war ensign and merchant pennant, has been swept from
the oceans as if it had never flown.  Hamburg and Bremen, the
Fatherland’s prides, are as completely demolished, as far as their
usefulness to Germany for war is concerned, as if they had been battered
into smoking ruins.  German mercantile trade simply no longer exists,
except such of it as can be smuggled in tramps and ferries across the
narrow reach of the Baltic between Pomerania and the Scandinavian ports.
The Germanic Allies can import and export nothing oversea except by the
grace of Jellicoe.  Their deported propaganda chieftains or compromised
ambassadors and attachés can not return to their homes in Europe from
the United States without gracious "safe conduct" by the British Fleet.
The toymakers of Nuremberg can not deliver a solitary tin soldier to an
American Christmas tree unless Jellicoe says yes.  Two score proud
German liners, including the queen of them all, the _Vaterland_, are
rotting and rusting in United States harbors, ingloriously imprisoned by
British naval power.  In a dozen other ports throughout the world
Hamburg and Bremen vessels tug at anchor--greyhounds enchained.  Germany
is banned from the oceans like an outlaw.  Her people can eat and drink
only on the ration basis.  The British Fleet has done something else of
which, it seemed to me, an American Presidential message might
legitimately have made mention.  It has enabled the people of the United
States for many months to traverse the oceans in security.

These are the immediate effects of British sea supremacy on the enemy,
but even they are incommensurate with the advantages which accrue to
Britain herself.  A navy has three cardinal functions: to preserve its
own shores from invasion; to maintain inviolate its country’s oversea
communications, including cables, food supply, passenger traffic and
postal transportation; and, finally, to destroy the sea forces of the
enemy.  The first two of these functions have been fulfilled by the
Grand Fleet, and at a cost in men and material, though not
inconsiderable, which is infinitesimal, measured by the results
attained.  To absolve the third, and, of course, climacteric, function,
Jellicoe and his men and his ironclads stand ready when the opportunity
is given them--readier, by far, than when the war began.  They have not
lost a really vital fighting unit (supposing unconfirmed reports to the
contrary to be unfounded).  They have had a priceless experience of sea
warfare under almost every conceivable condition.  They are veterans of
every essential contingency.  There is hardly a terror, military or
atmospheric, which they have not faced and surmounted.  They have added
to their battle efficiency by a great many new and powerful ships.
Their _morale_ is unbroken.

When the Kaiser’s Canal Armada finally makes up its mind, as I believe
that German public opinion will some day compel it to, to forsake the
snug harbors of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven and the screen of Heligoland for
the high sea, it will find that Jellicoe has up his iron sleeve a
welcome, as to the issue of which no one in these islands is capable of
cherishing the remotest doubt.  History is barren of an instance of a
Power defeated in war, who retained command of the sea. Were there no
other considerations which spell the eventual, though probably not the
early, frustration of Germany’s ambition to master Europe and, as
William II once sighed, to snatch the trident from Britannia’s grasp,
the vise-like grip of naval power which Jellicoe has wrested alone
denotes that Armageddon can have but one ending, however long it be
deferred.

In this cursory review of the men at Britain’s helm, the Sovereign is
deliberately put at the end instead of the beginning.  I mean to cast no
impious slur upon George V in thus classifying his relative importance
in the scheme of British war life, yet to rank him at the front of the
captains of the State would be hyperbole as unpardonable in a chronicler
as gratuitous defamation would be.

To discuss the figure cut by England’s King during the past year is a
task which a foreigner approaches with diffidence.  I should not dream
of taking such liberties with their Britannic Majesties, for example, as
my gifted friend and colleague, Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb, who recently
diagnosed the Royal situation in England thus: "I have seen the King and
Queen, and I know now why they call him George the Fifth; Mary’s the
other four-fifths."  Whether this subtle tribute to the undoubtedly
potent influence of the gracious Queen explains it or not, the
indisputable fact remains that the part played by King George in the day
of supreme British national trial has been a keen disappointment to a
great many of his subjects.  It is not a topic which they discuss at all
in public, nor one upon which it is easy to extract their views even in
private.  But when an inquiring alien even of unmistakably sympathetic
sentiment accomplishes the miracle of inducing a Briton to pour out his
heart, he will secure evidence corroborative of an impression the
foreigner has had from the start, if he has lived in England since
August, 1914--that the monarchy, as such, has not given a wholly
satisfactory account of itself.  Men who are so utterly un-English as to
be "quite" frank even suggest that King George’s insistence not only
upon enacting the "constitutional monarch," but _overplaying_ that rôle,
has not inconsiderably undermined the solidity of the Royal principle in
numerous British hearts.  They will tell you, if in communicative mood,
that George has failed to rise to the majestic opportunities of the
moment.  They contrast his incorrigibly "constitutional" behavior with
what they feel assured is the red-blooded lead King Edward would have
given.  They assert that the hour of Imperial peril, when national
existence itself is at stake, has caused so many cherished shibboleths
to go by the board, that the strait-jacket of "constitutional monarchy,"
which is another name for Irresponsibility, ought to go with them.  In
times of peace, say Englishmen, a conscientious figurehead on the throne
is good enough.  In times of war, they want a King.  He need not be the
blatant, ubiquitous limelight-chaser that the Kaiser is, but some of
that royal dynamo’s attributes, diluted with English seasoning, would
not have been unwelcome to his people during the past year and a half.
Britons, though, I repeat, they do not cry it out for the multitude to
hear, are not edified by the spectacle of a sovereign who has sojourned
with his army and fleet only in the most formal manner, whose war-time
activities are confined to peripatetic visits to hospitals and
convalescent homes, to inspections and reviews, and to distribution of
Victoria Crosses and Distinguished Service medals at Buckingham Palace.

"The King," to whom Englishmen, before 10 P.M., still drink in
reverential sincerity, and who rise in devout respect when they hear the
anthem which beseeches Divine salvation for him, is an institution from
which Britain felt it had a right to expect both lead and deed in a
great war.  She did not demand, or at least no conspicuous section of
her has, that the King should take the field or the sea, and prance
about in the saddle or on the quarter-deck, but they did hope, I think,
for something more inspiring than nebulous constitutionalism. It was
many months after thousands of other British mothers had sent their sons
to death and glory that Queen Mary consented to the dispatch of the
twenty-one-year-old Prince of Wales to the trenches. And Prince Albert,
who is twenty, and was in the navy before the war, was never, as far as
the public is informed, able to gratify his desire to return to active
service afloat, but must cool his martial ardor in the inglorious
capacity of an Admiralty messenger in London.  Britons look across to
Germany, Russia and Italy, even to Belgium and Serbia, and, contrasting
the spectacle with "constitutionalism" in their own Royal household,
acknowledge that theirs is not a thrilling picture.

If you attempt to penetrate into what may strike you as a mystery, you
will be told that the cause as far as King George is concerned, is
twofold: first, his high-minded, even slavish, devotion to his
conception of his constitutional limitations, and, secondly, his equally
incorrigible shyness.  Sarah Bernhardt, when King George and Queen Mary
were in Paris a couple of years ago, was once summoned to the royal box
of the Comédie Franchise for presentation to the British sovereigns.
She explained to friends afterward that the King’s modesty positively
unnerved her.  He was as bashful as a schoolgirl.  I have been told that
his manner in the presence even of his Ministers is almost deferential.
He does not know the meaning of "mixing," an art in which his late
father excelled.  "The King and Queen are fond of lunching alone, and
usually take their tea together," I read the other day in a
"well-informed" society paper. Edward VII was fond of lunching with men
of affairs. He did not heed the hoots of the aristocratic set, which was
scandalized by his intimacy with tea-merchants and money kings, because
through them he was accustomed to keep in touch with the human currents
of his people’s life and times.  Edward would hardly have allowed even
the Empire’s greatest soldier (Englishmen explain) to call the new army
"Kitchener’s Army."  It would have been called the "King’s Army" and the
King would have thrown his incalculably great moral influence into the
breach in some more practical way than lending his photograph for
recruiting advertisements.  George V could have been England’s finest
recruiting sergeant.  He preferred to remain a constitutional monarch.

[Illustration: King George V.]

Englishmen excuse, rather than blame, the King. They point out, in his
extenuation, that George’s is a gentle, self-effacing nature little
fitted for the soul-stirring era in the midst of which Fate decreed that
his reign should fall.  They cast no aspersions on his rugged patriotism
or even on his kingly zeal.  They believe that, according to his lights,
he exercises faithfully what he considers to be his prerogatives.  They
feel, they tell you, that it is not his fault that he remains the only
man in the Kingdom who still wears a Prince Albert coat.  His is,
somehow, not the magnetic influence which, if it were that of Edward
VII, would still be condemning Englishmen to cling to that ancient robe.
They explain that it is his psychic misfortune, rather than a failing,
that nobody thinks it worth while to emulate him by taking the pledge
"for the duration of the war" and drinking barley-water. Edward VII’s
abstemious decree would have blotted the liquor trade out of existence,
because in the lap of his example sat militant loyalty.  The "old
King’s" wish was law.

Perhaps--I do not know--George V is wiser than men think.  Perhaps he is
not being kept in cotton-wool by his Victorian private secretary.
Perhaps he is not yielding as supinely as many people imagine to the
inflexible mandates of constitutionalism.  Perhaps he has his ear closer
to the ground than his contemporaries realize, and with it hears the
far-off but unmistakable rumbles of the limitlessly democratized Britain
which is already emerging from the crucible of war.  Perhaps injustice
is done to him by those who accuse him of not rising more vigorously to
the opportunities of his Empire’s hour of destiny.  May he not be
fitting himself still to sit the throne in that coming day when Britain
will perhaps want even a more constitutional ruler than ermine and the
crown now rest upon?



                              CHAPTER XVII

                     YOUR KING AND COUNTRY WANT YOU


"Luna Park," in Berlin, once had an English manager and an American
"publicity agent."  In pursuit of his lime-light duties the
transatlantic hustler, who had been engaged because he was such,
reported to the manager one day that he had accomplished a feat on which
he had been plodding for weeks.  The owners of a building which
commanded the most prominent view in Berlin had finally consented to let
"Luna Park" affix a gigantic electric flash-light sign to the roof.

"It will be the greatest thing of the kind ever seen in Germany,"
exclaimed the enthusiast from the U.S.A.  "They’ll allow us to have
’Luna Park’ in letters twenty feet high across a
one-hundred-and-fifty-foot front, and you’ll be able to see ’em a mile
away!"

He expected his British superior fairly to jump for joy.  But this is
what he said:

"Quite so.  But don’t you think that will be a bit conspicuous?"

When I returned to London on September 24, after four short, strenuous
weeks in the United States, I found Englishmen dominated seemingly by a
genuine fear that the war might become "a bit conspicuous."  It was true
that stupendous things had happened in the interval.  Namur, "the
impregnable," had melted before the merciless German 42’s like the other
Belgian fortresses.  Brussels was in the enemy’s hands, unscotched,
thanks to the intervention of the American Minister, Brand Whitlock, and
through it were passing apparently endless streams of gray-clad Germans
bound for Antwerp and the sea.  France had been overrun, regardless of
the cost in Teuton blood, Lille and the industrial provinces were
securely held, and, although the Crown Prince and von Kluck had been
gloriously repulsed in their frenzied dash on Paris, the capital had all
but resounded to the clatter of Uhlan hoofs, and Bordeaux was still
regarded a far safer seat of Government.  England herself had lived
through hours of anxious crisis blacker than any within the memory of
the living generation.  At Mons, as official reports disclosed, the
gallant little British army narrowly escaped annihilation.  As it was,
it lost hideously in killed and wounded.  Gaping holes had been ripped
in the ranks of famous regiments, and the Expeditionary Force, within
six weeks of its landing, was already sadly mangled.  Sir John French
stirred the nation with his dispatch on the retreat from Mons and told
how his army, though hurriedly concentrated by rail only two days
before, had tenaciously withstood, in the dogged British way, the
combined attack of five crack German corps.  In the subsequent fighting
which beat the Germans on the Marne and saved Paris, British soldiers,
battered and battle-scarred as they were, had done even more than their
share.  Two days before arrival in Liverpool the _Campania_ wireless--I
returned to England in the same veteran hulk which had taken me to
America in August--brought the dread tidings of the submarining of
cruisers _Aboukir, Cressy_ and _Hogue_ in the Channel by the _U9_ and
_Weddigen_, with cruelly heavy sacrifice of British lives.

All these things had happened, and yet London was unshaken.  She had
been "a bit uneasy," my English friends conceded, in the days and nights
when the fate of Paris and Sir John French’s army seemed to be in doubt,
and the _U9’s_ feat had "cost us three obsolete boats," but the Germans
were checked now, and the worst was over.  Churchill was sending a
British naval expedition to Belgium to save Antwerp, and what was the
use of worrying, anyhow?  Kitchener’s army was filling up with recruits
by the thousand, and England’s motto was "Business as Usual."

Yea, verily, Britain was pursuing the even tenor of her imperturbable
way.  The Savoy, at supper after theater, glittered with all its
old-time flare.  The tables were thronged in the same old way with
gaily-clad women, romping chorus-girls, monocled "nuts" with hair
plastered straight back, opulent stock-brokers, theatrical celebrities
and all the other familiar people about town.  The band interpolated
_Tipperary_ a little oftener between rag-time one-steps and fox-trots,
and lordlings and other bloods in khaki gave a new tinge to the picture,
but otherwise it was night-time London "as usual."  The theaters and
music-halls were full.  At Murray’s and the Four Hundred--those dens of
revelry called "night clubs," invented for law-respecting English who
can afford five guineas a year for the privilege of wining, supping and
dancing after the Acts of Parliament send ordinary people to bed--you
could hardly wedge your way in.  At the Carlton or the Piccadilly, or
for the matter of that at any other popular resort in all London, you
found yourself lucky to locate a single unpreempted place. Wherever you
went or turned, whomever you saw, it was dear old London "as usual."  If
you were an impulsive, excitable, sentimental American and thought you
were mildly rebuking your British friends when you ventured to wonder at
the extraordinary naturalness of life in the West End, or at Walton
Heath golf links, or at Chelsea football grounds, or at the Newmarket
race-course, you found yourself unconsciously paying a tribute to
"British character."  For John Bull, far from being ashamed of adhering
religiously to peace-time activities, was positively proud of the
exhibition of "reserve" and "poise" and "calmness" which he was now
giving.  People talked about the war, of course. They hardly mentioned
anything else.  But if you had the patience to listen to their airy,
fairy converse, you soon gathered that they spoke of it exclusively as
something about which no self-respecting Englishman or woman purposed
for a solitary moment to get indecorously agitated.  There were even
people who confessed that the war was beginning to "bore" them.

As for myself, I had a go at British acquaintances from two entirely
different standpoints.  In the first place, fresh from America, where
the war had burnt into people’s minds as deeply almost as if it were
their own destiny which was at stake, I was still filled with the
energizing atmosphere omnipresent there.  I remembered how even our puny
war with Spain had gripped the nation’s thought and concentrated it to
the exclusion of all else.  I could not, for the life of me, understand
how Englishmen, with the history of the preceding eight weeks before
them, could still look upon "business as usual" as the desideratum for
which the moment insistently called.  I knew, I thought, how Americans
would feel and act at such an hour; and as I had in my time dozed
through many after-dinner speeches about the "kindred ideals" and
"identical habits of thought" which so indissolubly bound the
English-speaking nations, I ventured to marvel, and even at times to
swear, at the spectacle of national nonchalance which Britain at the
beginning of October, 1914, so resolutely presented.  It was
magnificent, but it was not war.

In the second place, I was conscious, with the knowledge and conviction
of a long-time eye-witness, of both the visible and the dormant strength
of Germany. I had written literally reams, during the preceding eight
years, about Teuton preparations on land, in the air and on the sea.  I
had discussed the German War Party, its leaders and its literature, its
aspirations and its plans, till I often grew weary of the task, not so
much because pacifist critics in England pilloried me as a war-monger
and an alarmist, but because there was a monotony in that sort of news
about Germany which strained even the patience of those whose duty it
was to report it.  When Englishmen now told me, as so many of them did,
that they would "muddle through this show," as they had "muddled
through" in South Africa and on all the other occasions in Britain’s
martial past, I grew sick at heart.  I knew, as everybody who had lived
in Germany between 1904 and 1914 and kept his ears and eyes open knew,
that "muddling through" would never beat the Germans, even if it had
finally overcome the Boers.  I knew, and anybody really acquainted with
the Germans knew, that they would not be vanquished so long as there was
a man or a mark with which to fight.  I knew that nothing short of the
supreme effort which the British Empire and its Allies could put forth
would suffice to overcome the most highly-organized and efficiently
patriotic people which had ever gone to war.  I knew that the German
General Staff and the other war-makers of the Fatherland had long
reckoned, in the emergency of a struggle with England, on the very thing
of which my eyes were now witness--British reluctance to shake off the
shackles of ease and comfort and buckle down, a nation in arms, to the
inconvenient and grim realities of war.  Of these things I thought, and
the reflection was disquieting, as I saw the mad whirl of light,
frivolity and care-free joy which the Savoy at supper-time, plainly
epitomizing London life at the moment, presented night after night.
"Business as usual!"  It was small comfort my English friends provided,
when, remonstrating with me for my foolish solicitude, they assured me
that my misgivings were misplaced because I was hopelessly ignorant of
"the British character."

England, it was obvious, was like the manager of "Luna Park" in Berlin.
She was afraid the war might become "a bit conspicuous," and was,
moreover, determined that it should not.  I remember well the crushing
rebuke administered to me by a Britisher of international renown when I
intruded my view of all these things.  I had offered, in a desire to
hold the mirror up to Nature and let Londoners see how they looked to
foreigners at so transcendent a moment in their national existence, to
produce a little article entitled "What an American Thinks of the
English in War-Time."  I even went to the length of putting my thoughts
on paper and submitting the manuscript.  I did so with considerable
confidence, because the celebrity in question is a notorious "Wake Up,
England!" man.  But he returned my masterpiece with a look and gesture
mingling pity and contempt for my wretched unfamiliarity with "the
British character."

"My dear Wile," he explained, "you do not understand us.  You forget
that this war is not an American World’s Championship baseball series.
You mustn’t try to foist transatlantic brass-band methods on us. It is
not the British way."

Lest I convey the impression that I had advocated rousing the British
lion from his slumbers by wild and woolly western methods palpably
unsuited to his stoical temperament, let me make haste to explain that I
was pleading for nothing but a system which would, spectacularly if
necessary, do something to let the British public at least know that
they had a war on their hands, and popularize it.  A great contingent of
Indian troops, led by Maharajahs and Rajputs, Maliks, Rajahs and Jams,
had arrived in Europe, tarried in England and been slipped, in the dead
of a Channel night, across to France.  An entire army from Canada was
encamped on Salisbury Plain, and no one had seen a sign of it except an
occasional detachment of boisterous subalterns, many with a pronounced
"American accent," who had kicked up a row in some Leicester Square
music-hall the night before.  The Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square
was desecrated with recruiting circus-bills which would have delighted
the heart of Barnum, and every taxicab wind-shield in town beseeched
passers-by to "enlist for the duration of the war."  But why, I had had
the temerity to inquire in my little "Wake Up, England!" homily, which
was rejected because it revealed no insight into "British character,"
were not the turbaned Gurkhas and the swarthy Sikhs and the brown men
from Punjab and Beluchistan brought to London-town and paraded up and
down the Strand and the Embankment, for all the metropolis to have a
priceless object-lesson in Imperial patriotism?  Why was Kitchener
allowed to intern the young giants in khaki from Ontario, Quebec,
Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in the hidden recesses of the
provinces, instead of giving Londoners a glimpse of Colonial love of
mother country in the flesh?  It was due to the Indians and to the
Canadians themselves, no less than to London, I argued, that opportunity
should be provided to pay homage to the men who had crossed the seas to
fight for Motherland. Non-British though I am, I felt morally certain
that even my Hoosier bosom would swell with emotion in the presence of
so ocular a demonstration of Britain’s Imperial solidarity in the day of
trial.  But my suggestions were rejected as unbecomingly boisterous in
their intent, good enough for the Polo Grounds or Madison Square Garden,
but grotesquely out of place in England.  If carried out, you see, they
would inevitably have made the war "a bit conspicuous."

[Illustration: Kitchener’s army]

That the war was almost invisibly hidden, as far as the daily life of
the people was concerned, was primarily due to the bureaucratic and
autocratic methods of the censorship.  Bureaucracy and autocracy in
Germany, for instance, have their redeeming qualities. They are usually
highly efficient, and their arrogance and high-handedness are tolerated
because accompanied by a maximum of practical effectiveness.  When
England established her war censorship, she went over to bureaucracy and
autocracy, as made in Germany, but lamentably lacking in the saving
graces of the system as there exemplified.  In vain the Press, now
muzzled almost as effectually as if the Magna Charta and free speech had
never existed, stormed and fumed against the tyranny of the "Press
Bureau," the innocuous title chosen for the Juggernaut which, before six
months had passed, was to grind British journalistic liberties into the
dust.  It was discovered that the "Bureau" was staffed for the most part
by amiable gentlemen no longer fit for active duty in the army and navy,
who, having patriotically offered their services to King and country,
had been pitchforked indiscriminately into billets which clothed them
with more real influence on the war than if they had commanded armies or
fleets. It became painfully apparent that news of the war was being
suppressed, mutilated and generally mismanaged either by military men
who knew nothing of journalism, or by journalists who were profoundly
ignorant of military matters--for the official censor caused it to be
announced, in self-defense, that he had associated with the Bureau in an
advisory capacity a couple of eminent ex-editors.

Just who was responsible for annihilating the elementary rights of the
British Press never became quite clear.  Some blamed Kitchener.  His
hostility to journalists and journalism was notorious, though "With
Kitchener to Khartoum," by the most distinguished special correspondent
of our time, the late G. W. Steevens, who died in _The Daily Mail’s_
service during the South African war, probably did as much to give "K."
a reputation as anything which England’s War Minister ever did in the
field.  Others said Joffre was the man who had put the lid on. Whoever
laid down the law saw that it was relentlessly enforced.  Petitions,
protests, cajolings, threats, complaints, abuse--all were in vain.  The
antics of the "Press Bureau" became more exasperating and inexplicable
from day to day.  Also more domineering, if common report could be
believed, for presently Fleet Street heard that "K." had intimated to a
mighty newspaper magnate that if the latter did not mend his ways, and
abate his insistence, "K." had the power, and would not shrink from
using it, to incarcerate even a peer of the realm in the Tower and turn
his entire "plant" into junk.  That dire threat, I imagine, was just one
of the myriad of chatterbox rumors with which the air in England, all
through the war, fairly sizzled.  At any rate, it failed utterly to curb
the stormy petrel to terrorize whom it was said to have been uttered,
for his onslaughts on the censorship grew, instead of diminishing, in
intensity as the "war in the dark" proceeded.

But it was in its treatment of news destined for the United States that
the Press Bureau most convincingly revealed its lack of imagination.
Here was Germany leaving no stone unturned to take American sympathy by
storm.  The Bernstorff-Dernburg-Münsterberg campaign was in full blast.
Von Wiegand in Berlin was interviewing the Crown Prince and Princess,
von Tirpitz and von Bernhardi, Zeppelin, Hindenburg and Falkenhayn, and
only narrowly escaped interviewing the Kaiser himself.  American
correspondents arriving in Germany were received with open arms, and had
but to ask, in order to receive.  Sometimes they received without
asking.  They could see anybody and go anywhere.  That was German
efficiency--and imagination--at work.  The Germans realized that we are
a newspaper-reading community.  They knew that the best way in the world
to win American newspapers’ and American newspapermen’s sympathy is to
give them news.  So they did it.  When the German Crown Prince told the
correspondent of the United Press that he would "love" to see American
baseball, that he longed to hunt big game in Alaska, and that Jack
London was his favorite author, he broke a lance for the Fatherland’s
cause in the United States that a four-hundred-fifty-paged "unhuman"
British White Paper could never hope to equal.  Somebody with an
imagination--probably Bernstorff--had put a flea in Berlin’s ear, and
the result was open-house for American journalists for the duration of
the war.

What was happening in London?  There were plenty of American
newspapermen on the ground, not only special correspondents who had come
over to join the British army in the field, like Will Irwin, "Bell"
Shepherd, Alexander Powell, Arthur Ruhl, or Frederick Palmer, to name
only a few of them, but resident London correspondents who had lived in
England a dozen years, like Edward Price Bell of the _Chicago Daily
News_, Ernest Marshall of the _New York Times_, or James M. Tuohy of the
_New York World_, who were well known to the British authorities as men
of judgment, integrity and responsibility.  But resident or newcomer,
nothing but inconsequential facilities or the cold shoulder awaited them
when they went to the Press Bureau, cap in hand, to ask even the most
rudimentary professional courtesies for themselves or their papers.
Quite apart from the indignities thus heaped on American correspondents,
the Press Bureau, when it suppressed or butchered their dispatches, left
pitiably out of account the susceptibilities of the great neutral
news-devouring community which these men represented.  Therein lay the
real infamy.  Think of it. Here was Great Britain and her Government
confessedly anxious for American moral support in the war, and something
more than that, and yet a subordinate department seemed clothed with
authority to flout, exasperate and bully the agency directly responsible
for the production of public sentiment in the United States.  I call it
a tremendous tribute to the sincerity and depth of our loyalty to the
Allies’ cause that we never for a moment allowed it to waver, even in
the face of the British Press Bureau’s arrant provocation. The American
Press, asking for bread in England, received a stone.  That it accepted
it, and went on playing the Allies’ game, has been one of the miracles
of the war, for which these British Isles have reason to be profoundly
grateful.

[Illustration: 5 Questions to those who employ male servants]

Inherent imperturbability and unimaginative censorship thus combined in
the early weeks of the war, on the one hand to minimize popular
conceptions of the struggle’s magnitude in England, and on the other to
smother enthusiasm for it.  You can not fully realize the immensity of
the task if you are not permitted by your overlords to see it in its
true proportions.  You can certainly not become ecstatic about it if
they insist on having it painted in exclusively drab, routine and
joy-killing tints, when they are not covering it up altogether.  Yet
British patriotism was triumphing over all these natural and artificial
handicaps.  Kitchener was not only calling for five hundred thousand
volunteers, but intimated that he would soon be asking for another five
hundred thousand.  He was getting them. London and the provinces were
now plastered with recruiting posters, calling in compelling language
for soldiers.  "Your King and Country Need You!"  Thus ran the most
direct and frank appeal.  By the tens of thousands men answered it.  The
desecrating bill-board which we know in America is an unknown
excrescence in the British Isles, but, for the purposes of advertising
for men for "Kitchener’s Army," practically every vacant space in the
Kingdom was now turned into a hoarding.  The base of Nelson’s Column in
Trafalgar Square was splashed red, white and blue, black and yellow,
green and orange, and every other shade capable of lending distinction
to an eye-arresting poster.  The great hotels and theaters, banks,
government offices, and even churches, turned their walls and windows
over to Kitchener’s advertising department for recruiting-bills, and
occasionally themselves put up huge signs across their most imposing
facades with such legends as:

TO ARMS!  RALLY ROUND THE FLAG!
TO ARMS!  YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!
TO ARMS!  ENLIST AT ONCE FOR THE WAR ONLY!


or


TO-DAY, YOUNG MAN, YOU ARE NEEDED
TO FIGHT FOR YOUR COUNTRY’S DEFENSE!
FALL IN!  JOIN THE ARMY AT ONCE!


or


MEN OF BRITAIN, UPHOLD YOUR COUNTRY’S
HONOR AND LIBERTY!  SERVE WITH
YOUR FRIENDS!


or you would read what the King had said:


"NO PRICE CAN BE TOO HIGH WHEN
HONOR AND LIBERTY ARE AT STAKE."


Even the fences of the parks, the windows and sides of the omnibuses and
the wind-shields of the taxicabs reminded men every hour of the day and
night that "Your King and Country Need You."

I recall, with amusement, how "scandalized" some Americans were at
England’s resort to "circus methods" to manufacture an army.  I remember
that pert (and extremely pretty) young Chicago newspaper-woman who,
having come over from Paris which had not needed to advertise for an
army, because France had one, was mortified beyond words to find London
screaming with "Your-King-and-Country-Need-You" sign literature.  She
was so stirred by this "undignified exhibition" that she sat down before
she had been in town forty-eight hours and dashed off to her paper just
what she thought about "degenerate Britain."  She was convinced that a
nation so "hopelessly unpatriotic" that it had to advertise for
defenders was "doomed."  Her erudite observations made a deep impression
on her editors, who, in a learned editorial asked gravely whether the
British Empire was "reaching the Diocletian period of the Romans."

[Illustration: 4 Questions to the Women of England]

As a matter of fact, Kitchener’s project to advertise for an army was
the one ray of imagination, and a boundlessly encouraging one, which the
War Office had so far revealed.  It showed even more imagination in
entrusting the technique of the scheme to a professional, Mr. Hedley F.
Le Bas, who, besides bringing to the task the expert knowledge of a
publisher, had once been a trooper in the 15th Hussars, and knew and
loved the army.  Mr. Le Bas modestly disclaims credit for originating
the plan to create an army of millions by advertisement.  He says that
the Duke of Wellington beat him to it.  A hundred years ago, when
England was at grips with the oppressor of that day, a poster appeal for
soldiers was issued, which is _prima facie_ evidence that advertising is
not a modern invention.  Only a few Englishmen, and probably still fewer
Americans, are aware that even in Napoleonic times advertising for an
army was _de rigueur_, and as the invitation to "The Warriors of
Manchester" was, to a certain extent, the spiritual inspiration of
Kitchener’s remarkable recruit-getting campaign, I make no apologies,
despite its raciness, for reproducing on the following page a document
of genuinely historical value.

The methods to which the American Democracy has resorted to secure
soldiers for her wars were also in the minds of Lord Kitchener and Mr.
Le Bas. Indeed, the practises of President Lincoln, in respect of
raising armies, were the model to which the British Government from the
start determined to adhere.  It was discovered that Lincoln and Seward
had not shrunk from appealing to the men of the North from the hoardings
and through the newspapers, while the advertisements of the United
States army and navy during the Spanish-American War were a modern
example of recruiting measures in a country where the absence of
conscription compels a Government, in the hour of emergency, to scrape
an army together by hook or crook.  Then the constant advertising by our
War and Navy departments, even in peace-times, proved that there must be
efficacy in asking men to serve their country in posters, magazines or
newspaper-columns in which they were also being persuasively urged to
buy automobiles, "quality" clothes or shaving-sticks.  Kitchener’s
"advertising campaign" was destined, before the war was old, to be the
target of bitter attack, but the skill, persistence and
comprehensiveness with which it was prosecuted played an immense rôle in
the creation of the greatest volunteer army in history.  It opened a new
epoch in advertising and clothed that art with a distinction which will
never be taken from it.  The seal of an Empire has been placed on the
maxim that it pays to advertise.

[Illustration: To the Warriors of Manchester.]

By the end of October, after three months of war, the muster of the
British Empire was in full progress.  Complacency and nonchalance in
London were still wretchedly wide-spread, but the call of the Motherland
for soldiers was echoing around the world. Wherever Britons were
domiciled, it was answered.  It penetrated into far-off British
Columbia, where young Englishmen, comfortably settled in new existences,
abandoned them unhesitatingly.  It was heard in even more distant
climes, like Australia, New Zealand and Africa, where adventurous
spirits who had crossed the seas to seek their fortunes in lands of
promise were now dominated by no other ambition than to "do their bit"
for King and country.  Even emigrated Irishmen, long irreconcilable,
were electrified by John Redmond’s clarion message, and they, too,
turned their faces homeward.  By the ides of November whole shiploads of
repatriated Britons, returning from the four points of the compass,
reached the island shores, fired by one consuming purpose.

These home-coming patriots were not only rendering valiant service by
placing their lives at the King’s disposal, but they were demonstrating,
along with native-born Canadians, South Africans, New Zealanders,
Australians and Indians, that one of Germany’s fondest dreams was the
hollowest of fantasies.  I had been familiar for years with a German
political literature based on the roseate theory that, once Great
Britain was embroiled in a great European war, her world-wide Empire
would crack and tumble like a house of cards in a holocaust.  Had not
Sir Wilfred Laurier on a famous occasion declared that Canada would
never be "drawn into the vortex of European militarism"?  Were not the
Boers thirsting restlessly for revenge and the hour of deliverance from
the British yoke? Were not Republican sentiments notoriously rife in
Australia and New Zealand, and would not Labor Governments in those
remote regions seize eagerly on coveted opportunity to snap the silken
cords which bound them to England, and declare their independence? Would
not India, the enslaved Empire of the vassal Rajahs, leap at the throat
of an England preoccupied in Europe and drive the tyrant into the sea?
These were the thoughts which were discussed by Teuton political seers
as something more than things which Germany merely desired and hoped
for.  They were treated as axiomatic certainties.  The rally round the
Union Jack by the Britons of Australia and New Zealand, Canada and South
Africa, Nova Scotia and Jamaica, Barbadoes and Ceylon, British Guiana
and Mauritius, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, was Germany’s great
illusion.  When the "conquered Boers" under Botha, the "alienated Irish"
under Redmond, the "rebellious Indians" under maharajahs and princes,
even the "downtrodden" black Basutos, Barotses, Masai and Maoris of
Africa and Australasia under their native chieftains, announced that
they, too, were ready to bleed for the Empire, Germany’s awakening was
rude and complete.  London might be callous, pleasure-loving and
unperturbed.  But the Empire was alive both to the peril and the duty of
the hour, and when it vowed to face the one and absolve the other an
oath was sworn which spelled British invincibility.



                             CHAPTER XVIII

                            WAR IN THE DARK


It is November, 1914.  Britain is waking, but is far from awake.  Nearly
everybody and everything are proud to be "as usual."  The Fleet has been
able to secure but one action with the Germans--Beatty’s smashing blow
at the Kaiser’s cruiser squadron in the bight of Heligoland.  A great
trophy of the engagement is in hand--Admiral von Tirpitz’ son,
watch-officer in the Mainz, a prisoner in Wales.  For a month and more
the war has been raging furiously in the west all the way from the Alps
to the North Sea.  Antwerp is taken, after a farce-comedy attempt at
relief by levies of raw British naval reserves.  Joffre is at sanguinary
grips with the "Boches" in the Aisne country.  The twelve or fifteen
miles of British front in the northernmost corner of France and that
patch of Flanders not yet in the enemy’s hands is the scene of
ceaseless, desperate combat.  Jellicoe’s dreadnoughts and destroyers
take part at intervals in the grim battle for the channel coast. Ostend
has fallen.

The German objective farthest west is now clear. The Berlin newspapers
head-line the tidings from Flanders "the Road to Calais."  Major Moraht
in the _Tageblatt_ acknowledges that the campaign for the base from
which Napoleon essayed to invade England is "a matter of life or death"
for the Germans.  Sir John French and the remnant of Belgium’s little
army steel themselves for a stone-wall defense.  Again and again they
keep the frenzied enemy at bay.  Have you ever seen Harvard holding the
Yale eleven on the five-yard line three minutes before the call of time
in the last half, with dark gathering so fast that you could hardly
distinguish crimson from blue?  Do you remember Yale’s ferocious first,
second, third, yet always vain, attempts to batter and plunge her way
through Harvard’s concrete, immobile phalanx?  If you do, and if your
red-blooded heart has tingled at some such spectacle of young American
bulldoggedness, which can be seen West as well as East, in the North and
in the South, just as commonly as in the New Haven bowl, you will be
able to visualize, infinitesimally, the titanic grapple around Dixmude,
Ypres and the Yser in the bloody days and hellish nights of October and
November, 1914.  "The Watch in the Mud" was the way German military
critics paraphrased their national anthem, to describe the situation in
Flanders, for the Belgians had now flooded the region contiguous to the
Yser Canal, and the Kaiser’s legions, in their breathless thrust for
Calais, were fighting in mire and slush to their boot-tops.  More than
one company of _Feldgrauer_ was ingloriously drowned.

The British were engaged in precisely the operation for which their
temperament best fits them--"holding."  The German attack rocked against
them remorselessly, giving neither assailant nor defender rest or
quarter.  But the bulldog "held."  He was mauled unconscionably and bled
profusely.  Thousands upon thousands of his teeth were knocked out, and
he was half-blind, and limped.  Yet he "held."  Winter had come.  Men
lived in trenches which had been merely water-logged ditches, but were
now frozen into rock. The German eagle, hammered, of course, no less
cruelly than the bulldog, was still screaming and clawing, in his mad
desire to cleave a way to Calais.  But, mangled and scarred as he was,
the bulldog barked "No!"  He had set his squatty bow-legs, disjointed
though they were, squarely across "the Road to Calais."  There he
intended to stay.  It could be traversed, that road, only through a
welter of blood which, regardless as German commanders are of the cost
when they set themselves an objective, gave the General Staff at Berlin
furiously to ponder.

I have already intimated that Britain all this tempestuous while was
rubbing her eyes, but was only partially open-eyed.  It was not
altogether Britain’s fault. The immutable Censorship still gave the
public no real glimmer of the history-making struggle going on almost
within ear-shot of the chalk-cliffs of Dover. Throughout the entire
month of October, four weeks as crammed with death and glory as in all
England’s martial history, Sir John French was permitted to take the
public into his confidence but on one single occasion--and that, a
dispatch dealing with operations six weeks old!  For its news of the
heroic deeds and Spartan sufferings of the greatest army it ever sent
abroad, the British Empire was compelled to depend on stilted French
_communiques_ and the fantastic or irrelevant narratives of an official
"eye-witness at British Headquarters," who was allowed to bamboozle the
nation for months before his flow of mediocrity and piffle was choked
off by disgruntled public opinion. England was fighting her greatest war
in Cimmerian darkness.  Casualty lists, terrible in their regularity and
magnitude, kept on coming, but of the coincident imperishable triumphs
of British sacrifice and courage, not a word.  One’s _Illustrated London
News_ and _Sphere_ printed depressing double-pages weekly, filled with
pictures of England’s masculine flower killed in action "somewhere in
France" or "somewhere in Flanders."  But of the manner in which their
precious lives had been laid down, of the price they had made the
Germans pay for them, not a syllable.  If by accident some correspondent
or newspaper secured the account of an engagement, which ventured so
much as to hint with some picturesqueness of detail how Englishmen were
dying, the Press Bureau guillotine came down on the narrative with a
crash which taught the offender to mend his ways for the future.

Under the circumstances it was not surprising to hear well-founded
reports that recruiting was falling off.  In the clubs men said that
Kitchener’s "first half-million" was in hand, but that men for the
second five hundred thousand, for which the War Office had now called,
were holding back to a disappointing, and even disquieting, degree.
Meantime the popular ballad of the hour was, appropriately, Paul Rubens’
"Your King and Country Want You"--"a women’s recruiting song," as its
sub-title runs.  Its opening verse and chorus tell their own story:

    We’ve watched you playing cricket
      And every kind of game.
    At football, golf and polo,
      You men have made your name.
    But now your country calls you
      To play your part in war,
    And no matter what befalls you,
      We shall love you all the more.
    So, come and join the forces
      As your fathers did before.

    CHORUS

    Oh!  We don’t want to lose you,
      But we think you ought to go.
    For your King and your Country
      Both need you so!
    We shall want you, and miss you,
      But with all our might and main
    We shall cheer you, thank you, kiss you,
      When you come back again!

These words, in prosaic type, look banal.  Their appeal seems trite.
Yet rendered to plaintive melody by such an operatic artist as little
Maggie Teyte, they went straight to men’s hearts.  They must have sent
thousands upon thousands of cricketers, footballers, golfers and
poloists--that is a classification which takes in pretty nearly all
Englishmen--into khaki and training-camps.  But the growing insistence
with which the walls and windows of Old England were plastered with
recruiting posters--even entire front pages of newspapers were now
employed to advertise that "Your King and Country Need You"--indicated
that Kitchener’s army was not being built up yet by the desired leaps
and bounds.  Obviously the war needed some other kind of advertising
than even the accomplished Mr. Le Bas could give it.  It was not strange
that the enthusiasm of Englishmen, cheated of the chance to know what
was really going on at the front, was beginning to find expression in
other directions.

[Illustration: Greeting the Kaiser (in helmet) the day he declared
Germany "in a state of war," July 31st, 1914.]

It was not magnificent, for example, but it was natural, that Englishmen
should, in all the circumstances, reveal a very materialistic passion to
"capture Germany’s trade."  Denied the opportunity of "enthusing" over
events at the seat of war, they proceeded to dedicate themselves
energetically to the task of eliminating the Germans as a factor in the
markets of the world.  A profound book on the subject appeared--_The War
on German Trade_, with the sub-titles of "Ammunition for Civilians" and
"Hints for a Plan of Campaign."  My old friend, Sidney Whitman, the
distinguished author of _Imperial Germany_, dignified it with a preface.
England had not entered upon the war "in a commercial spirit or with a
commercial purpose," he said, "yet it behooves her to seize and hold
fast the ripe fruit which has dropped into Englishmen’s lap--as a first
incident in the clash of nations."  The volume had frankly been
published, explained Whitman, "with the purpose of stimulating the
English manufacturer and the English trader to seize the opportunities
thrust upon them by the war."

Then, as the Censorship, as callous to criticism and abuse as if it were
a sphinx, still insisted that Englishmen must fight and die in the dark,
as far as their kith and kin were concerned, patriotism at home found
vent in a crusade against the Germans still at large on British soil.
They numbered thousands.  They were a distinct and undeniable danger.
In days of peace they spied patriotically and flagrantly, thanks to John
Bull’s easy-going, guileless toleration of the stranger within his gate.
Personally I never believed that the German waiters and barbers in the
Savoy or the Carlton, and their myriad of _confrères_ elsewhere in the
country, were the advance guard of the German army of invasion in
disguise.  Nor did I imagine (as I actually made a very British friend
once seriously believe) that Appenrodt’s restaurants in the Strand and
Piccadilly were in reality masked commissariat-stations of the Kaiser’s
General Staff.  Nor could even so persuasive an authority as William Le
Queux, author of _German Spies in England_, convince me that every
German resident who kept homing-pigeons, owned a country-place near the
East Coast suitable for wireless, or got drunk on the Kaiser’s birthday
in the Gambrinus restaurant in Glasshouse Street, was a paid member of
the Berlin secret-service.  Most of these stories made me smile as
broadly as the "star" rumor of the war--the story that seventy thousand
armed Russians had been "actually seen" by Heaven knows how many
veracious Britons sneaking across England from Newcastle to Southampton,
on their stealthy way from Archangel to the Western allied front.

Yet it was palpably not the hour for German subjects, any number of them
of military age and ardor, to be at large in England.  So Britain, in a
tardy manifestation of self-preservation, began to arrest and intern the
Kaiser’s hapless subjects, who hitherto had suffered no impairment of
their liberties except detention in the country, compulsory visits to
the police, and restriction of movement (except by special permission)
to an area five miles from their domicile. The German is far too much of
a patriot to be trusted to do as he pleases in a country with which his
Fatherland is at war.  He never forgets that he is a German _first_, and
a stock-broker earning commissions in London, a barber taking English
tips, or a waiter spilling English soup, afterward.  It is always
_Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles_ with him.  He may not have made a
profession or habit of writing home to Berlin or Hamburg, Cologne or
Breslau, Kiel or Wilhelmshaven, what he noted of interest at Aldershot,
Portsmouth, Dover, Woolwich, or Sheerness, or what his English friends
might from time to time tell him of interest at the Admiralty or the War
Office.  But it was "bomb-sure," as the Teuton idiom rather
appropriately puts it, that if ever a British state secret fell into
Herr Apfelbaum’s hands on the Stock Exchange, or into Johann’s in the
"hair-dressing saloon" of the Ritz, or into Gustav’s at the grillroom of
the Piccadilly, that morsel would sooner or later find its way to
Germany.  When one considered that Englishmen of the highest class--one
even said the King had a German valet!--were attended night and day, in
their homes, their clubs, their offices and their favorite "American
bars," hotels, grillrooms, cafés and restaurants by Germans, with eyes
to see and ears to hear, it was small wonder that an irresistible cry
was sent up before the winter of war had advanced very far, that these
"enemy aliens" should not be merely ticketed, labeled and superficially
watched, but placed behind barbed-wire, with British sentries on guard.
And so it came to pass that Mr. McKenna, Home Secretary, whose
reluctance to intern the Germans gossip absurdly ascribed to his "German
connections," finally ordered "the enemy in our midst" to be rounded up.
Not all of them were at first taken.  Thousands remained at liberty.
The British are a patient and a trusting clan.

It was not only the acknowledged German subject in Great Britain who was
the object of the anti-Teuton crusade.  The naturalized German, in many
cases the holder for years of a certificate of British citizenship, was
made to feel the blight of the wave of passion sweeping over the
country.  Naturalized Germans have won in England wealth and eminence
outstripping even the heights to which they have climbed in the United
States.  In the preceding reign they were the bosom companions of the
Sovereign. King Edward’s intimate circle contained the Cologne
financier, Sir Ernest Cassel, and another Prussian native, Sir Felix
Semon, was His Majesty’s Physician Extraordinary.  In the "City,"
London’s Wall Street, German financiers almost dominated the picture.
Baron Schroeder (naturalized only within a few hours of the outbreak of
the war) was so great a power that citizenship was practically thrust
upon him as a measure of vital British self-protection.  Sir Edgar
Speyer, like Cassel a member of the King’s Privy Council, and a Baronet
besides, was not only a City magnate, but controlled London’s vast
system of surface and underground traction lines, including the omnibus
service; yet his English counting-house was a branch of a parent
establishment in Frankfort-On-Main.  These were a few of the outstanding
names among the "Germans" in high place in England.  They by no means
exhausted the list.  Domiciled in this country for years, they had,
while openly maintaining sentimental relations with their Fatherland,
played no inconspicuous rôle in British affairs, economic and political.
Any number of naturalized Germans were married to British women and were
fathers of British-born families. Scores of their sons were already
wearing King George’s khaki in Kitchener’s army.  Sir Ernest Cassel had
given five thousand pounds to the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund.
Yet rumor shortly afterward had him locked up in a traitor’s cell in the
Tower of London!  No matter how acclimatized these naturalized Germans
had become, no matter how long they had been British subjects--in many
cases their title to that distinction was half a century old--they found
themselves under a ban.  They were not physically maltreated.  Their
windows were not broken.  Men did not spit in their faces.  They were
permitted (like the rest of the British) to do "business as usual,"
except the stock-brokers, who were invited to keep off ’Change. But they
were a marked class.  If they ventured to visit clubs in Pall Mall or
St. James Street, to which they had paid dues for years, they were
confronted with notices reading:

    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+
    |                                                 |
    |  Members of German or Austrian nationality      |
    |  are requested, in their own interests, not     |
    |  to frequent the club premises during the war,  |
    |  and British members are asked not to           |
    |  bring to the club any guests of enemy          |
    |  nationality.                                   |
    |                                                 |
    +−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−+

Or, if the naturalized German, no matter whether his boy had just fallen
at Ypres or not, went to his favorite golf-club of a Saturday or Sunday,
he received a greeting to the same effect.  The virtue of tolerance, a
prized British quality, was vanishing from the face of these war-ridden
isles.

The anti-German fury in England claimed an early victim and a shining
mark--His Serene Highness Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, who,
as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, was practically in supreme control
of British strategy at sea.  Prince Louis is a native-born Austrian, and
although he had been a naturalized British subject and attached to the
Royal Navy since 1868, and in 1884 married into the British Royal Family
by wedding his own cousin, Princess Victoria of Hesse, a grand-daughter
of Queen Victoria, a campaign inaugurated and mercilessly prosecuted by
the aristocratic _Morning Post_, led, on October 29, to the Prince’s
resignation.  Public opinion unreservedly approved the disappearance
from a post, from which it was not too much to say the destinies of the
Empire were controlled, of a man who was brother-in-law of Prince Henry
of Prussia, the Inspector-General of the German Navy, and of the Grand
Duke of Hesse, one of the Kaiser’s federated allies.  The same spirit of
"Safety First" which sent the German barbers and waiters to camps in
Frith Hill and the Isle of Man dispatched Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of
Battenberg into official oblivion.  Nobody actually distrusted his
patriotism.  But England was in no humor to run even remote risks.  He
had to go. Satisfaction over Battenberg’s retirement was only slightly
modified by a later revelation that it was Prince Louis himself, and not
Mr. Churchill, as universally supposed, who was chiefly responsible for
the mobilization of the British Fleet just before the outbreak of war in
consequence of having "commanded the ships to stand fast, instead of
demobilizing as ordered."

November was a month of kaleidoscopic sorrow and joy for the British.
It began in gloom, with Turkey’s entry into the war and the inherent
menace to Egypt which that event denoted.  Then came the great naval
action off Chili, with first blood to the Kaiser in the only regulation
stand-up battle in which British and German warships had so far met.
The sinking of Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock’s flagship, the cruiser
_Good Hope_, and her companion, the _Monmouth_, by Admiral Count von
Spee’s cruiser squadron, with the loss of one thousand four hundred
precious lives, was a bitter blow.  Lord Charles Beresford, under whom
Cradock had once served, told me that his death was a more serious loss
to the British Fleet than a squadron of cruisers.

It was a depressing beginning for the First Sea Lordship of Lord
"Jackie" Fisher, who succeeded Prince Louis of Battenberg.  Churchill
was still First Lord of the Admiralty--what we in the United States
should call Secretary of the Navy--but Fisher, as First Sea Lord, was in
practical control of everything connected with the actual activities of
the Fleet.  The First Lord of the Admiralty’s business is to get ships
for the navy.  The First Sea Lord’s task is to man, arm and fight them.
Fisher lost no time in angry remorse over Cradock’s disaster.  He set
about to repair it.  He applied forthwith the "Fisher touch."  He
ascertained that it was Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Doveton Sturdee,
Chief of the War Staff, who had been chiefly responsible for dispatching
Cradock’s squadron to waters in which it would have to meet a German
force superior in both tonnage and gun-power.  Whereupon Fisher ordered
Sturdee to place himself at the head of a squadron which was to find and
destroy von Spee, and not come back until it had done so.  Sturdee
"delivered the goods" with neatness and dispatch. Almost a month later
to the day--it is a fortnight’s journey from British waters to the
Southern Atlantic even for twenty-seven-knot battle-cruisers--he carried
out Fisher’s imperious orders.  On December 8 Cradock was gloriously
avenged.  Von Spee in his flagship, the _Scharnhorst_, together with the
sister cruiser _Gneisenau_ and the smaller _Leipzig_, was sent to the
bottom off the Falkland Islands, and the remaining units in the German
squadron, the _Dresden_ and _Nürnberg_, were accounted for later.
Britain breathed easier.  The bulldog breed in her navy was still to be
relied upon. Everybody instinctively felt that there was any number of
more Sturdees and ships and guns and sailors ready to do equally
invincible service for England if the Germans would but give them the
chance von Spee had offered at the Falklands.

Spirits which had drooped when Cradock was lost were revived ten days
later by the most welcome piece of naval news the British people had had
since the war began--the destruction of the Kaiser’s champion
commerce-raider _Emden_ by the Australian cruiser _Sydney_ off the Cocos
Islands and the capture of her intrepid commander, Captain von Müller,
and many of his crew.  The _Emden_ sank seventeen ships and cargoes
worth eleven million dollars before her career was ended.  But von
Müller won universal renown and even popularity in Great Britain for his
daring, "sportsmanship" and gallantry to vanquished merchantmen. Germans
do not appreciate such a spirit, and do not deserve to be its
beneficiary--the utter lack of the sporting instinct in the Fatherland
is responsible for that unfortunate fact--yet if von Müller had been
landed a prisoner of war in England and could have been paraded down
Pall Mall, he might have counted confidently on a welcome which
Englishmen customarily reserve for their own heroes.  Here and there in
London protests were raised against the encomiums which almost every
newspaper, and for the matter of that almost every Englishman, uttered
in praise of von Muller’s vindication of the nobility of the sea, but
the overwhelmingly prevalent opinion was that he had "played the game"
and, pirate though he was, deserved well of a race which still holds
high the traditions of the naval service.

Ever-changing and stirring were November’s events--the capitulation of
Germany’s prized Chinese colony of Kiau-Chau to the besieging Japanese;
Lord Roberts’ tragic death in the field among the soldiers he loved so
well, the Indians who had come to Europe to fight Britain’s battles; the
still victorious advance of the Russians in East Prussia, though
Hindenburg’s smashing blow in the Tannenberg swamps had been delivered
many weeks before; the honorable acquittal of Rear-Admiral E. C. T.
Troubridge, commanding the Mediterranean cruiser squadron, on the charge
of having allowed the German cruisers _Goeben_ and _Breslau_ to slip
through his meshes into Constantinople--the Admiral had applied for a
court-martial, to clear himself of a grotesque accusation that a
relationship with the captain of the _Goeben_ had induced him to let the
Germans through.  But all these things combined left no such indelible
impression on my mind as the Lord Mayor’s dinner at the Guildhall in the
city of London on the night of November 9.  That function, the
inauguration of the new chief magistrate, is celebrated in British
history as the annual occasion on which leaders of the State promulgate
some great new line of Governmental policy--a national keynote for the
year to come.  The Guildhall dinner in the midst of Britain’s greatest
war was sure to be of immemorial significance, and my heart beat high
with anticipation when Lord Northcliffe assigned me to attend it and
record an American’s impressions of England’s most august feast.

Guildhall was the scene of a famous flamboyancy by the Kaiser not so
many years ago, when he had talked about the comparatively firmer
consistency of blood compared to water and consecrated himself to the
cause of Anglo-German peace and friendship.  I was keenly anxious to
hear what sort of sentiments would echo through the century-old
sanctuary of the City to-night, with men like Asquith, Balfour,
Kitchener, Churchill and Cambon, the French Ambassador, as the speakers.
I looked forward to an evening sure to be crowded with imperishable
memories.  I was not disappointed.  At midnight when it was all over, I
sat down to write "an American’s impressions" for _The Daily Mail_, and
as they were exuberant with the freshness of mental sensations just
experienced and have not cooled in the sincerity of their utterance in
the long interval which has supervened, I make no apology for repeating
them herewith verbatim:

"When I became the joyful recipient of an invitation to attend last
night’s Guildhall banquet I reveled in the prospect of a feast of
Bacchanalian pomp and pageantry.  I expected to witness nothing much
except a Lord Mayor’s ’show,’ translated into Lucullian environment, a
riot of food, drink, cardinal robes, gold braid, gold chains, gold
sticks, wigs and the other trappings of mayoral magnificence.  I came
away utterly disillusioned, for I had spent three hours in what will
live in my recollection as the Temple of British Dignity.

"Those stately Gothic walls, whose simple groups of statuary which tell
of Wellington and Nelson and Beckford; those amazingly non-panicky war
speeches of your Romanesque premier, your grim Kitchener, your--and
our--Winston Spencer Churchill, and your polished Balfour, all made me
feel that I was tarrying for the nonce within four walls which, if they
did not envelop all the great qualities of the British race, at least
typified and epitomized them.

"Guildhall is dignified by itself beyond my feeble hours of description.
I have never trod its historic floors before, but I have the
unmistakable impression that it has taken on fresh dignity to-day for
the words which were spoken in it yestereve.  I was about to say, in the
idiom which springs more naturally to the lips of an American, ’for the
words which rang through it.’  Words were not made to ’ring’ through
Guildhall.  They would be ludicrously out of place. An American
political spellbinder, no matter how silver-tongued, would pollute the
atmosphere of London’s civic shrine.  Its acoustic qualities, which I
should think were not faultless, are intended for exclusively such
oratory as put them to the test last night.

"Guildhall’s tone is the tone of Mr. Asquith--’practicing the equanimity
of our forefathers, the fluctuating fortunes of a great war will drive
us neither into exaltation nor despondency.’  I thought that striking
phrase of a brilliant peroration British character in composite.  It was
more than that.  It was Guildhallian. The cheers for the Premier, like
those for Balfour, Churchill and Kitchener, would have been more
vociferous in my country.  But my country is not British.  We are not
devoid of dignity, I hope, but we have no Guildhall."


It was left to other hands to report in detail the speeches of the Prime
Minister, the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of War.
Each uttered phrases of golden significance.  Mr. Churchill was
evidently still his ebullient self, although he had not yet fulfilled
his promise of September that the German navy, if it remained in port
and refused to come out, would be "dug out like a rat from a hole," nor
had his now acknowledged personal responsibility for the fiasco of the
Antwerp naval expedition perceptibly staled his infinite buoyancy.
"Six, nine, twelve months hence," he declared, "you will begin to see
the results that will spell the doom of Germany."  I had never heard
"Winston" speak before, but I understood now the charm of his
personality and the attractiveness of an oratorical style made even more
magnetic by the suggestion of a combined stammer and lisp.  "In spite of
its losses," he continued, "our Navy is now stronger, and stronger
relatively to the foe, than it was on the declaration of war."  Asquith
read his speech, and Kitchener was about to do the same, but Churchill,
youthful, vibrant, tense, spoke extemporaneously, and the consequent
effect was indubitably the most striking of all the oratory of the
night.

Lord Kitchener, in khaki and with a mourning band on his arm, was
redolent of strength and impressiveness, but when he rose, clumsily
adjusted a pair of huge horn-rimmed reading glasses, and began to chant
his carefully-prepared "speech" in monotone from manuscript, he was far
less convincing, and certainly not approximately so electrifying as
Churchill.  But he had messages of no less magnitude and cheer.  "We may
confidently rely on the ultimate success of the Allies in the west," he
said simply.  "But we want more men and still more men.  We have now a
million and a quarter in training."

But it was Asquith’s peroration, at which my impressionistic sketch in
_The Daily Mail_ only hinted, which was the nugget of the night.
Englishmen still repeat it as something which puts in more terse and
concrete words than anybody else has clothed it the solemn spirit in
which they have consecrated themselves to the task now trying the
Empire’s soul:


"It is going to be a long, drawn-out struggle.  But we shall not sheathe
the sword until Belgium recovers all, and more than all, she has
sacrificed; until France is adequately secured against the menace of
aggression; until the rights of smaller nations are placed on an
unassailable foundation; until the military domination of Prussia is
finally destroyed."

It was in that incorrigible resolve that Britain entered upon the second
calendar year of war, bleeding uncomplainingly, losing stoically, taking
what came and ruing it not; determined as she lived, to keep on until
her vow to herself was vindicated and her duty to civilization
performed.



                              CHAPTER XIX

                            THE INTERNAL FOE


Britain’s autumn of complacency faded unruffled into a winter and spring
of lassitude and bungle.  Nothing, no matter how ominous or
catastrophic, seemed capable of rousing the nation to the immensity of
its emergency.  The Kingdom was aflame with recruiting posters, in ever
increasingly lurid hues and language, but with amazingly little
red-blooded interest in or enthusiasm for the war.  If one commented on
the oppressive and disconcerting nonchalance of the populace, one was
called a "Dismal Jimmy," or a "professional whimperer" whose mind was
poisoned by the "Northcliffe Press."  If you remarked that indications
were countless that the enemy was vastly more alive to the
stupendousness of the moment than England seemed to be, you were set
down for a "pro-German," and the patriot whose guest you were when you
ventured that suggestion never invited you to dinner again.  If you were
an Englishman, you were simply snubbed henceforth.  If you were a
foreigner, your name may have been handed in to Scotland Yard as that of
an "alien" worth watching.  Whoever you were, or whatever your views,
unless they represented unadulterated admiration of unshakable British
calm, you were headed straight for a crushing rebuke.  Retribution took
the form of branding you either as pitiably ignorant of "British
character" or not knowing history well enough to realize that the
British are "slow starters" and "always muddle through somehow."  You
were advised to squander your qualms on a needier cause. The "boys of
the bulldog breed" were "all right."

You wondered, if you were a blithering, neurotic American, for example,
what _would_ stir the British temperament into something faintly
resembling ardor and emotion.  Zeppelins came, despite Mr. Churchill’s
swagger that a horde of "aeroplane hornets" was ready to greet and sting
them.  They came periodically, leaving destruction in their wake, but
the coast towns are one hundred fifty miles away from London, and nobody
cared.  They had demonstrated, it was true, that England was no longer
an island, but "they can’t reach London--that’s one sure thing," and,
"anyway, the time to worry about that was when they tried it."  Was not
the metropolis magnificently equipped with searchlights, even if the
sky-pirates should attempt the impossible and try to pick their way up
the Thames in the dark?  Then, always, there were those "hornets," and
"British coolness."

"Scarborough Shelled by German Cruisers!"  So ran the newspaper posters
in the streets at midday of December 16th, 1914, an announcement grim
with historical import.  For the first time in centuries the sacred
shores of these sea-girt isles had felt the impact of bombardment.  The
raid extended far along the Yorkshire coast.  Whitby and Hartlepool had
been attacked--there were a hundred deaths in the latter alone.
Material damage was extensive; homes, shops, hotels, churches, hospitals
were struck and shattered.  Yet England was "calm."  It did not matter
in the least that there was a list of seven hundred Britons dead and
injured, or that the Kaiser’s "Canal Fleet" apparently _was_ able to
risk a sortie in the North Sea.  What mattered most was that the
islanders still alive were _unmoved and immovable_.  That the
"baby-killers" by air and water had signally failed to "excite" or
"frighten" the country was the circumstance which made incomparably the
liveliest appeal to the imagination. Kitchener’s astute recruiting
advertisers shrieked "Remember Yarmouth!" (where the Zeppelins had been)
and "Avenge Scarborough!" across the top of their newest posters, but
West End London, where the seats of the mighty are, and where the
opinion which gives tone to national thought is molded, remained
Gibraltarian.  A flock of British aeroplanes assailed Cuxhaven on
Christmas Day by way of "reprisal" for the intermittent Zeppelin raids
over English territory. The attack was not noteworthy in its results,
but it gave a fresh fillip to British confidence that "everything was
all right."

As a matter of fact, "everything" was about as all wrong as it could be.
Beneath the surface of national life a volcano was boiling and
sputtering, and though it gave early and unmistakable evidence of its
presence, British calm with invincible indifference tossed it off as a
sporadic manifestation unworthy of serious consideration.  I refer to
the Labor question--to trade-unionism’s revolt against reorganization of
industry for the purposes of war, and to its stubborn opposition to the
introduction of compulsory military service. As long ago as January, the
Labor controversy raised its hydra-head, and yet, in October, despite
nine months of subsequent turmoil, it only began to be recognized for
what it is--the peril which threatens these isles with danger hardly
less gigantic than invasion itself.  It is the decade-old British story
of temporizing with impending menace, oblivious of its portent, serenely
conscious only that it, too, can be "muddled through," like everything
else in Britain’s glorious past.  It is the spirit in which Britain
almost _invited_ war with Germany, the flaming warnings of which the
islands had for years.

The workmen on the Clyde, the engineers, mechanics and artisans
responsible for the maintenance of British life itself--for in their
hands rests the creation of the ironclads to preserve England from
invasion and the merchantmen to bring food to her shores--were the first
to cause the volcano to rumble.  They objected to "overtime."  The
process of "speeding up" in every department, due to the iron
necessities of war, was violating the most sacred traditions of
trade-unionism. If not forcibly checked, practises tolerated in the name
of emergency were in imminent peril of becoming fixed rules.  The Clyde
workmen struck.  They paid no heed to Sir George Askwith, the Chief
Industrial Commissioner, when he declared that "the requirements of the
nation were being seriously endangered."  Jellicoe urgently needed those
six new destroyers waiting to be riveted.  But the Clyde engineers
wanted the overtime question settled, and settled in their way; and
until it was, the navy could go hang.  Englishmen were disappointed when
they read the news from Glasgow and Greenock, but they were not upset.
Matters would "right themselves."  Trade-unionists were an "unreasonable
lot."  But they always "came around."  At any rate, there was no cause
to "worry."

One man, a big man, was "worrying."  He was Lloyd-George, whose
specialty is taking bulls by their horns.  Being Welsh, it was not
"un-English" for him to dignify an emergency with its intrinsic
importance and act accordingly.  He grasped instantly the menace which
the situation on the Clyde conjured up. With decision of Napoleonic
boldness in a politician to whom report ascribed the ambition to hoist
himself into a dictatorship on the shoulders of the "masses,"
Lloyd-George determined to "speed up" industrial England for war by Act
of Parliament.  If labor would not voluntarily throw trade-union dogma
to the wind when national existence was at stake, the possibility of
imperiling it should simply be taken from them.  Thereupon he introduced
in the House of Commons an amendment to the "Defense of the Realm Act,"
which provided for nothing short of Industrial Conscription.  Emerged
later as the Munitions Act, it conferred enormous powers upon the
Government. Reduced to essentials, it robbed Labor of the right to
strike.  It forbade lockouts, as well.  It provided for compulsory
arbitration of all disputes.  It withheld from a workman the right to
leave one employment and take another.  It obliterated primarily and
absolutely that holiest of holy trade-union regulations, by which output
is restricted.  On the other hand, it provided for the limitation of
employers’ profit by establishing a system of "controlled
establishments," _i.e._, works engaged exclusively in the production of
munitions for the Government and whose financial operations could,
therefore, be exactly checked.

The Munitions of War Act was Great Britain’s longest step in the
direction of Industrial Socialism. It emanated with singular
appropriateness from Lloyd-George, the father of the German-imported
system of old age pensions and workmen’s insurance introduced six years
previous.  Trade-unionism was aghast at the radicalism of the new
proposals, which Mr. Balfour rightly described as the "most drastic" for
which British Parliamentary sanction had ever been sought. Lloyd-George
only partially subdued Labor’s misgivings by pledging the Government’s
word that the scheme applied for the duration of the war only, and that
with peace the old order of things would be automatically reestablished.

The men on the Clyde had no sooner gone back to work, reluctantly and
sullen after a "compromise" settlement, when the dockers of Manchester,
Birkenhead and Liverpool struck on the overtime issue.  Lord Kitchener,
while reviewing troops in the district, formally notified the Dock
Laborers’ Union that if they "did not do all in their power to help
carry the war to a successful conclusion," he would have to "consider
what steps would be necessary" to hammer patriotism into their souls.
"K.’s" unambiguous language signally failed to impress the dockers.
They remained on strike.  A deputation of shipbuilding and shipowning
firms now waited on Lloyd-George.  They told him that drink, more truly
the curse of the British working classes than of any other in the world,
was at the bottom of the rebellious, lazy spirit of the men. They urged
prohibition for the period of the war.  The deputation declared that
eighty per cent. of avoidable loss of time could be ascribed to drink.
Lloyd-George sympathized with that view.  "We are, plainly," he said,
"fighting Germany, Austria and drink, and as far as I can see, the
greatest of these three deadly foes is drink."

Now the miners became restless.  They demanded a revision of the wage
scale in accordance with the mine-owners’ notoriously swollen war
profits.  Their Federation decided that notice should be given on April
1st to terminate all existing agreements at the end of June.  There were
hints that the miners intended pressing not only for a "war bonus," but
for an advance of twenty per cent. on current wages.  From the pits of
South Wales comes the coal which is the navy’s black breath of life.  A
week’s idleness meant one million tons unproduced.  The Government
summoned the Miners’ Federation for conference.  Coal prices were
already soaring.  Here and there there was a shortage of supply.
Germany was jubilant.  Labor’s temper in the Clyde country, the docker
districts and in the colliery regions was far from improved by
Lloyd-George’s support of the suggestion that drink was the root of the
industrial evil.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer essayed to play a
trump card.  He announced that King George, "deeply concerned over a
state of affairs which must inevitably result in the prolongation of the
horrors and burdens of this terrible war," was himself prepared to set
an august example to Labor by giving up all alcoholic liquor, "so that
no difference should be made as far as His Majesty is concerned between
the treatment of rich and poor in this question."  Working-class Britain
committed wholesale _lèse-majesté_ by paying no attention to the King’s
decree of self-denial.

The sequel, though not, of course, the immediate result of King George’s
total abstinence proclamation, was the outbreak of the South Wales
miners’ dispute in full fury a few weeks later.  Joint conference
between the Federation, the owners and the Government ended in hopeless
deadlock.  The miners stubbornly refused to accept the principle of
compulsory arbitration provided by Lloyd-George’s now enacted Munitions
Law.  Two hundred thousand men stopped work. Threats to enforce the
punitive provisions of the law did not terrify them.  The establishment
in Wales and Monmouthshire of a "Munitions Tribunal," before which they
could be haled, only made them more defiant.  In London one heard
irresponsible mutterings that "a few leaders of the Federation" might
usefully be shot, and it was suggested that if England were Germany,
they would be.  More than one voice advocated lynching "a few owners,"
too.  The country waited dutifully for the Government to employ the
"drastic powers" it had arrogated to itself only a few short weeks
before.  Instead of anything so heroic, it flung Lloyd-George into the
breach.  It sent him to South Wales, and in his entourage went Arthur
Henderson, the new Labor member of the Cabinet, and Mr. Runciman, the
President of the Board of Trade (the government department which deals
with industry).  The little Welshman drew forth from his inexhaustible
arsenal the weapon he seldom unsheathes in vain--his persuasively silver
tongue.  New terms were drawn up between the miners and the colliery
owners.  The men got about everything they wanted. "Fill the bunkers,"
Lloyd-George cried to them amid their cheers in a farewell speech at
Cardiff.  "It means defense.  It means protection.  It means an
inviolate Britain."  The miners went back to work.  But peace had been
dearly bought by the Government.  It had not dared to enforce the
coercive paragraphs of the vaunted Munitions Law.  The Act, it was now
painfully evident, might do very well to discipline a handful of
"shirking-men" at some shell works or shipyard, but to invoke its
machinery to browbeat two hundred thousand organized miners was
manifestly a horse of a different color.  And one which the British
Government was not prepared to back.  Industrial Conscription was
magnificent in theory.  In its first great test in practise it had
proved to be fire with which the authorities preferred not to play.
Some one (I think it was Price Collier) called England the Land of
Compromise.  The Welsh miners seem to have shown that he was right.

Events were not long in forthcoming to demonstrate that neither forceful
persuasion by a popular Cabinet Minister nor "drastic" Acts of
Parliament were in themselves capable of regenerating the British
working man or inspiring him with full and patriotic realization of the
national emergency.  Shortly after becoming Minister of Munitions in
May, Lloyd-George began a speech-making tour of the industrial
districts.  He pleaded eloquently to Labor to forget its "isms" and its
"rules" and throw the full weight of its Titan strength into the balance
for the winning of the war.  He addressed his appeal alike to masters
and men.  Passionately he begged both to relegate traditions, suspicions
and prejudices and join hands for the common cause.  He did not mince
words as to the national consequences if either of them permitted
ancient antagonisms to restrict their producing power at a moment when
nothing short of the Empire’s existence was trembling in the balance.
"Pile up the shells!" was the burden of his plea.  Bristol, Birmingham,
Sheffield, Coventry, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, all the great
industrial centers of the Kingdom, listened, and promised.  By the
beginning of autumn Lloyd-George had pledged nearly one thousand
establishments, hitherto engaged in the peaceful arts, to devote their
plants exclusively to the manufacture of sinews of war, and employers
and workmen passed automatically under the "control" of the Ministry of
Munitions.  The country seemed to be yielding effectively to
Lloyd-George’s project for "speeding up" war industry.

Yet, as sporadic announcements in the newspapers presently indicated,
the system was by no means producing desired results.  Dogmatic
trade-unionism was dying hard.  The Government’s call to men and women
to do their "bit" for the war, either by enlisting in the fighting
forces or engaging in munitions work, naturally sent tens of thousands
of people to the factories who never possessed a "union card" in their
lives.  Organized Labor was horrified by the deluge of "scabs" thus
created.  It saw the results of decades of crusade for "union shops" and
for privilege for skilled hands swept away like chaff in the wind.
Another phenomenon of no less disagreeable omen was making its
appearance.  Marvelous American automatic lathes for shell-making were
being installed on a prodigious scale--machinery so simple in
construction that one man, or even a woman or girl, might learn to keep
five lathes running at one time.  This conjured up disquieting visions
for the devotees of a system which looks upon arbitrary limitation of
output and minimum employment of maximum numbers of skilled men as an
inalienable heritage of Organized Labor.  War might be war, national
existence might be at stake, nothing else might count except victory, to
say nothing of a dozen other shibboleths dinned incessantly into their
ears, but trade-unionists had "rights" and "necessities," too.  It had
cost them years of blood and tears, and strikes and lockouts galore, to
enforce them.  Was Labor supinely to permit them to be snatched away
bodily under cover of war, which Labor had always opposed?  Were sainted
rules about Sunday work and other "overtime," about apprentices, about
female labor, and a dozen other trophies of triumphant trade-unionism to
be renounced?  Could Governments, from which hard-won prerogatives had
had to be extorted almost by violence, be trusted voluntarily to restore
them, once Labor had been cowed into surrendering them, and comfortable
precedents established?  Was the British proletariat, now only on the
threshold of its liberties, to be hurled back at one fell swoop into the
abyss of inglorious mid-Victorian "slavery"?  Let the nation rant itself
blue in the face over Labor’s "disgraceful lack of patriotism."  Let
Germany find comfort, if it could, in the spectacle of British working
men refusing to relinquish their holiest privileges on the blood-smeared
altar of Militarism.  "Patriotism begins at home," said the
trade-unionist.  "The Government is looking after its own interests.  I
am looking after mine," he explained.

With such recalcitrant and explosive conditions prevailing, the public
was not surprised, though profoundly chagrined, to learn at the end of
September--I choose the case as typical, and by no means because it was
an isolated instance--that the Liverpool Munitions Tribunal had fined
hundreds of workmen employed by Messrs. Cammell, Laird & Company, one of
the most important firms of armament manufacturers in the country.  It
was testified that owing to shirking during the period of the preceding
twenty weeks, there had been a loss of 1,500,000 hours’ time.  The
evidence is so characteristic that I reproduce it textually:


"The average daily number of men employed was 10,349, and the average
number of men out on each day of the week was: Monday, first quarter,
2,135, and the whole day, 1,156; Tuesday, 1,421 and 1,030; Wednesday,
1,439 and 1,231; Thursday, 1,764 and 1,126; Friday, 1,492 and 984; and
Saturday, 1,057 and 1,015.  The average number out per day for the whole
period was 1,552 who lost a quarter, and 1,090 losing the whole day.  In
other words, fifteen per cent. lost a quarter, and about ten and
one-half per cent. did not go into work at all on every day of the whole
twenty weeks.  The loss of working hours on ordinary working days was a
million and a half, and represented a full week’s work for nearly thirty
thousand men; or, alternatively, the time lost practically represented a
complete shutting down of the whole establishment for three working
weeks.  Neither the men themselves nor their societies could plead
ignorance of what was going on.  Frequent appeals had been made to
representative deputations of the men in the works by the managing
director of the company, also to the local representatives of the men’s
unions, pointing out this most discreditable state of affairs. Seeing
that the men had proved deaf to all persuasion, and had shown no
improvement in response to appeals either from Ministers of the Crown,
their own trade unions, or their employers, the only course was to
prosecute them before that tribunal."


The announcement of the sentences on the shirkers caused an outbreak of
dissatisfaction, and the chairman of the Tribunal was interrupted
several times by the men as he was giving the judgments.  Half a dozen
or more of the men all attempting to speak at once caused great
confusion.  "There’ll be a revolution in this country," cried one, and
such phrases as, "It’s time the Germans were here if we are to be
treated like this," "What did South Wales do?  Defy them!" "We are not
here as slaves" were shouted from various quarters.  The disturbers were
asked to leave the Court.  "Let’s all go," called one of the men--and
they all went, giving "three cheers for the British workman."

Labor pleads in extenuation of its seemingly treasonable disregard of
national interests that it is not merely reluctance to yield ground on
fixed trade-union principles which inspires a spirit of revolt in the
"munition areas."  It is only fair to record that the attitude of Union
leaders throughout has generally been above reproach.  Their counsel to
the men to forget "rules" and give the best that is in them has in many
cases fallen on deaf ears.  What particularly gnawed at the men’s hearts
was a conviction that they were not getting even an approximately
"square deal" under the abnormal conditions of "war industry."  They
insisted that while employers’ profits had risen inordinately in almost
every branch--shipping, collieries, the steel and iron trades, and
primarily, of course, in the armaments industries--the wages of the men
who were doing the actual producing lamentably failed to keep step with
the masters’ swollen revenue.  The men assert, indeed, that such advance
in wages as has taken place does not remotely correspond to the
increased cost of living, which averaged forty per cent. up to the end
of the summer of 1915, with a further rise in almost inevitable
prospect.  Labor, in other words, so the working classes claimed, was
being "sweated" in order that the coffers of the "profiteers" might
continue to overflow.  If British trade-unionism had an epigrammatist as
inventive as Mr. Bryan, it would no doubt have adopted as its war-time
slogan the aphorism that Capital was determined to press down a crown of
thorns upon Labor’s brow, and crucify working mankind upon a cross of
gold.  Those, at any rate, were precisely the sentiments which fired
British Labor’s soul.

But if revolt on the old-time issues of output, overtime and Unionism
was bitter and menacing, it was destined to be a mere whisper compared
to Labor’s rebellious hostility to Conscription.  The "controlled
establishment" system evoked more or less continuous opposition.  Almost
every day batches of workmen, ranging from twos and threes to troops of
fifty or a hundred, were dragged before Munition Tribunals, and fined a
week’s pay for shirking.  In one or two cases they preferred the
martyrdom of imprisonment to money punishment.  But on the whole,
notwithstanding the ceaseless howl of Ramsay Macdonald’s _Labor Leader_
and George Lansbury’s Socialist _Herald_ against the "tyranny" and
"slavery" of the Munitions Act and the "unchecked piracy of the
employer-profiters," the ambitions of Lloyd-George to "speed up" war
industry were satisfactorily realized.  He was able to state that
"taking the figure one as representing the output of shells in
September, 1914, the figure for July, 1915, was fifty times greater.  It
was a hundred times greater in August, and thenceforward production
would continue to rise in a surprisingly rapid crescendo."

By midsummer of 1915 Britain was faced by an emergency not a whit less
urgent than shells.  She had effectively organized her facilities for
turning out a maximum of high-explosives.  She had now to confront and
solve the insistent problem of manning her decimated armies.  Kitchener
and the voluntary system had worked wonders.  The actual figures, for
some unaccountably censorious reason, were never disclosed, except in
the case of Ireland, which up to October 1 had furnished 81,000
recruits; but the authorities allowed to pass uncontradicted the
statement that the United Kingdom and the Colonies between them had
raised a volunteer army of approximately 3,000,000 men.  Had it turned
out to be anything except a War of Miscalculations, this gigantic
contribution of British military force might have sufficed, but with
500,000 British casualties after fourteen months of fighting--roundly,
400,000 in France and Flanders and 100,000 in the Dardanelles--and with
the Germans not only not yet expelled from Belgium or France, but in
undisputed possession of Poland and about to pound through Serbia on
"the road to Constantinople, Egypt and India," it was apparent that
probably twice 3,000,000 British soldiers would be required.  Two
spectacular attempts to "break through" the wall of concrete and iron
Germany had erected in the West had been made.  Both failed, however
gloriously.  Neuve Chapelle and Artois inscribed fresh and imperishable
deeds of valor on the scroll of the British army, but each was
strategically valueless.  Results attained were frightfully out of
proportion to the price they cost in blood and treasure.

Succeeding events of the war of stalemate in the West and fiasco in the
Dardanelles--dreary and weary months of fighting accounted "victorious"
if it took three hundred yards of trenches, or a hill, or a cemetery, or
a sugar-factory, or a strip of beach, or if it advanced the British line
a mile and a half over a front of twelve miles--every "gain" entailing a
terrible toll in killed and maimed and fabulous expenditure of
shells--all demonstrated one outstanding, immutable fact: that nothing
but sheer preponderance of man-power weight would or could "cleave the
way to victory."  If it cost 25,000 or 30,000 young British lives to win
Neuve Chapelle, probably twice that many to carry out the trial push of
the great offensive at the end of September, and 100,000 casualties to
fail in Gallipoli, what rivers of blood would not have to be spilled
along that once-vaunted "march to Berlin"?

Britain’s volunteers had done nobly.  But they manifestly did not do
enough.  Mighty as was their response, Britons must yet come, or be
brought, forward in their millions if the Empire was to be saved.  The
specter of Conscription became more of a tangible reality from day to
day.  Voluntaryism had received a fair and a long and patient trial.  It
accomplished far more, probably, than its most sanguine supporters hoped
for.  It outstripped any record approximated by Lincoln in our Civil
War, but now, like him, England was plainly compelled to resort to more
heroic measures if the overthrow of Germany was to be anything more than
a pious aspiration.  "Mahanism" had given Britannia control of the sea,
but "Moltkeism" was still unbeaten on the Continent.

[Illustration: Soldiers in the making--11th Battalion cook-house.]

Now Organized Labor revolted afresh.  It would not hear of the
"Prussianization" of England by Conscription.  It had already
"surrendered" its "industrial liberty."  It did not propose to part with
whatever vestige of "personal freedom" remained.  It pilloried
Conscription as "Compulsion" and, as brazenly as they dared, certain
leaders threatened any Government which essayed to fasten it upon the
"British Democracy" with political ruin for itself and gory revolution
for the country.  The Conscriptionists were accused of wanting, instead
of an army of volunteer freemen, "a servile, cheap and sweated army."
They aspired to "something which would imperil the civic basis of
British liberty and degrade the nation."  Conscription was "desired for
the war and for after the war, in order that its advocates might better
be able to promote their Imperialistic schemes abroad and their class
vanity and political interests at home."  In the midst of a war to
"crush militarism," it was now plotted to impose that monster on
Englishmen themselves. Shrieked Bruce Glasier, for example, a paladin of
the Socialist-Labor phalanx:


"Compulsion, especially with regard to personal service, to one’s choice
of occupation and way of life, is of the essence of slavery and
oppression.  Nothing but actual extremity of life and death ought to
justify us in resorting to it even temporarily.  No such extremity has
arisen, or is, happily, likely to arise.  The voluntary principle has
not failed either in the Army or any other profession.  What has failed,
what does fail, is the political policy and administration of the
Government.

"_Since the days of Feudal slavery in Great Britain no man or woman,
except he be a criminal, a lunatic, or a pauper, has been compelled
personally to serve any master or Government, or engage in any
occupation or task by legal compulsion_.

"Shall we allow the old-world tyranny to return?"


Glasier, unwittingly, tapped the very root of the problem, as far as his
own particular cohorts, "downtrodden labor," are concerned.  _The
British masses, in their preponderant majority, have not been brought to
comprehend what Germany’s war is--that it involves for Britain "nothing
but actual extremity of life and death._"  Although leaders of public
opinion, from the highest to the lowest, never ceased to emphasize the
true inwardness of the struggle, Organized Labor was not convinced that
Voluntary Service was unequal to the emergency.  At Bristol, in the
first week of September, 610 delegates to the annual Trade Union
Congress, representing nearly 3,000,000 workers, placed themselves on
record flat-footedly against Conscription.  With British military
failure in the war crying to Heaven, the following "anti-Compulsion"
resolutions were adopted:


"We, the delegates to this congress, representing nearly three millions
organized workers, record our hearty appreciation of the magnificent
response made to the call for volunteers to fight against the tyranny of
militarism.  We emphatically protest against the sinister efforts of a
section of the reactionary press in formulating newspaper policies for
party purposes and attempting to foist on this country Conscription,
which always proves a burden to workers and will divide the nation at a
time when absolute unanimity is essential.

"No reliable evidence has been produced to show that the voluntary
system of enlistment is not adequate to meet all the empire’s
requirements.  We believe that all the men necessary can and will be
obtained through a voluntary system properly organized, and we heartily
support and will give every aid to the Government in its present efforts
to secure the men necessary to prosecute the war to a successful issue."

When the cheers following the unanimous adoption of these resolutions
subsided, Robert Smillie, the miners’ leader and one of the most
respected Labor chieftains in Britain, received the heartiest applause
of the whole debate when he rapped out: "Now that this congress has
declared, on behalf of organized labor, that it is against Conscription,
it will be the duty of organized labor to prevent Conscription taking
place."

It was not long after the Bristol Trade Union Congress defied the
Government to establish Conscription that Vernon Hartshorn, the
Socialist miners’ leader, declaimed in the _Christian Commonwealth_ that
"a golden opportunity for Labor" had arrived, asked "whether
trade-unions shall now not be successfully recognized as the controlling
authority in a new industrial democracy," and set up "the irresistible
claim of Labor to control its own destinies and those of the country."
The Bristol and Hartshorn manifestoes were followed by the most
extraordinary outburst of all--the formal declaration on the official
premises of the British House of Commons by J. H. Thomas, a Member of
Parliament for Derby and Organizing Secretary of the Amalgamated Society
of Railway Workmen, that if the Government attempted to enforce
Conscription, 3,000,000 employees of the national transportation lines
of the country would not shrink from precipitating "industrial
revolution!"

Interesting to the foreign observer as are all these manifestations of
the British masses’ opposition to war-time "control" and universal
military service, the pathological causes of it are no less absorbing.
They are not, in my judgment, far to seek.  I thought I gained a
composite glimpse of them one day at Shepherd’s Bush, by no means the
most squalid section of London, for it lies in the west, far from the
putrid east. I had gone to watch a great "recruiting-rally"--an attempt
to inject some patriotism into regions where it was sadly lacking.  I
found myself in the midst of a huge typically lower-class and lower
middle-class multitude. Scattered throughout it were countless hundreds
of what should have been young men fit for military service.  It was for
the most part a motley throng of blear-eyed men and women of all sorts,
sizes and conditions of mental and physical deterioration.  Nearly
everybody, particularly children, was unkempt and seemed underfed.  In
the wide-open doors of odoriferous saloons stood hatless, slovenly
females, balancing with one hand a half-emptied mug of beer, while the
other shepherded a cluster of wretched youngsters with dirty faces,
tattered clothing and shredded shoes.  Collarless men slouched along,
filthy of attire and language alike. The remarks one overheard, as the
troops trudged by and the bands blared _Rule, Britannia_, were usually
purely ribald, and the cheering, when a taxi full of wounded Tommies,
shoved into the procession to lend corroborative detail to what Sir W.
S. Gilbert would have called an otherwise bald and unconvincing
spectacle, was desultory and short-lived.  The parade had been assigned
a line of march through several miles of district precisely like
Shepherd’s Bush.  I could hardly imagine that the scenes anywhere were
considerably different from those of which I was an astonished and
chagrined witness.  There were very few recruits.

I could not resist a reminiscent soliloquy.  I had stood in the midst of
German crowds in Berlin and elsewhere times without number.  But I was
quite sure that nowhere in the Fatherland had I ever been in contact
with such concentrated, omnipresent, apparently inconquerable squalor
and proletarian apathy. It was manifestly not this stratum of English
society which was to perpetuate Britannia’s rule of the waves.
Lamentably little of the "bulldog breed" was visible here.  It was more
like the starved cur type.  Starved! That was the word.  Starved for
generations of the nourishment on which health, education, ideals and
patriotism must be developed, if they are to stand the test in the hour
of supreme trial!  Why, I asked myself, was such a disheartening picture
as good as physically impossible in Berlin or Hamburg or Düsseldorf or
Breslau?  I may be wrong, but the answer seemed to me to be that
paternalistic Government in Germany had produced a race of men and women
who, because better educated, better housed, better fed and generally
better cared for--even under the relentless jackboot of
Militarism--looked upon a war for national existence through entirely
different-colored spectacles than this slipshod composite of British
illiteracy and nonchalance.  I seriously doubted if Shepherd’s Bush
understood the meaning of Patriotism as the Germans know it; understood
that _Service_ and _Sacrifice_ are necessary in the hour of the nation’s
jeopardy, and, because necessary, must be lavishly, unquestioningly
rendered.  I found myself excusing the British proletariat.  I felt that
they were what they were, and acting as they were, or, rather, failing
to act as they ought, because _they knew no better_.  Patriotism is not
altogether instinct.  It is largely a cultivated virtue. That is why we
teach immigrant children from Russia and Italy and Hungary to sing "My
Country, ’Tis of Thee" as the rudiment of their American schooling.
Education has been compulsory in Britain for many years, but drink has
been traditionally universal, and housing of the poor and the working
classes was only in comparatively recent years deemed a subject worthy
of vast national effort.  Public hygiene is no longer a neglected theme,
and playgrounds and parks are numerous.  But illiteracy, intemperance
and disease can not be eradicated in a generation.  Masses which have
for decades been neglected and held in subjection and contempt by an
unrelenting class-distinction system heavily charged with arrant
snobbishness can not be churned, by the turning of a crank, into a
community of enlightened, high-minded or able-bodied patriots and
war-makers.  Britain has sown the wind.  She is reaping the whirlwind.
That has been said before, but never has it applied with such grim
significance as at this hour.

Recruiting "rallies," recruiting advertisements, reproaches of the
"slacker" and the "shirker" in the press, on the platform, in the parks
and from the pulpit, have signally failed to shame lower-class Britain
into doing its duty as the upper and middle classes have so gloriously
done.  In consequence, the Voluntary system is on its last legs.  Early
in October Lord Kitchener appointed Lord Derby "Director of Recruiting."
In assuming the thankless job, Derby said he felt like taking over the
receivership of a bankrupt concern.  He proposed granting Voluntaryism a
six weeks’ respite.  He would give the stay-at-homes one more chance.
The Government (which enacted the National Register for the
purpose--hated Prussian system which card-indexed every male and female
in the realm between fifteen and fifty-five!) knew exactly who and where
they were.  "Push and Go," said one of the last-ditch poster appeals,
"But It’s Better to Go than Be Pushed."  Lord Derby intimated that
"pushing" would set in on December 1.  It was estimated that, by hook or
crook, not less than thirty thousand fresh men a week would be needed to
keep the British armies in Europe and Africa at effective strength in
1916, and, if they did not come forward voluntarily, Kitchener was
determined to "fetch" them.  That means Conscription.  Northcliffe calls
it National Service.  Shepherd’s Bush calls it National Servility.  If
Labor means what it says, "Compulsion" will not be established until
Trafalgar Square and Whitechapel, Clydebank and South Wales, have run
red with the organized proletariat’s "freeman" blood.  On Britain’s
recreant past, then, rather than on her embattled present, will lie, in
my judgment, the real responsibility for that dread triumph of ignorance
and indolence over the elementary dictates of patriotism and
self-preservation.

If I have emphasized British Labor’s influence in blocking National
Service, I must, in all fairness, point out that brows not accustomed to
sweat and hands never grimy from toil have joined their frowns and their
strength with Trade-Unionism and Socialism against Conscription.  The
professional pacifists, the "anti-militarists," the statesmen and the
newspapers which for years prior to 1914, and even during the weeks
immediately preceding August of that year, ridiculed the idea of "war
with Germany," were all mobilized against the revolutionary idea of
converting able-bodied Britons by law into defenders of the realm.  From
these quarters the men who have dared to advocate Conscription have been
besmirched with abuse no less torrential than that which was heaped upon
them at the Trade-Union Congress in Bristol or from week to week in the
columns of Socialist-Labor organs.  It will not be only certain famous
proletariat leaders who prevented Britain from rising in the great war
to her full military stature--if prevented she be--but the party-hack
editors, authors and anything-for-office politicians who preferred the
fetish of "our unenslaved Democracy" and "Voluntaryism" to the system
under which _every other single one of Britain’s Allies_ is fighting and
under which, if the opinion of professional soldiers is to be trusted,
victory alone can be made to perch on the Union Jack.



                               CHAPTER XX

                           THE EMPIRE OF HATE


Though the end of the carnage is not even approximately in sight, a
synoptic view of Germany in war-time is feasible to a more comprehensive
extent than is possible in Britain.  Armageddon found the Fatherland
completely caparisoned for war, with her people so steeped in discipline
that it was the merest formality to harness their peace-time habits to
Mars’ Juggernaut and drive the entire nation to battle as one would a
well-trained team.  "Team-work," in fact, exactly describes Germany’s
war-time performances.  They are achievements in national unison without
parallel in history.  Britain, on the other hand, having been overtaken
by war, except for her navy, in a state of naked unpreparedness, was
plunged forthwith into the melting-pot.  Traditions, customs,
institutions, hobbies, prejudices, fetishes, even cherished laws, had to
be abandoned, upset or reconstructed to fit a world of iron conditions
unsuited to a dreamland of comfortable theories.  The remaking of
Britain, after sixteen months of war, is not yet ended.  It has, indeed,
hardly commenced.  The time to write an accurate history of these isles
during the Great Test will come not when peace is signed, but perhaps a
decade later, when the New England will have begun to assume, in misty
outline at least, the physical, moral and intellectual dimensions in
which war, with its scars and its cleansings, left her.

Organized for war, body and soul, as Germany has been for generation
upon generation, and never more so, of course, than in the living
generation, the country slid into the bloody groove as neatly as if it
had never had its being elsewhere.  The prospect of "starvation," for
instance, quite apart from the fact that it was a German-invented bogy
trotted out to deceive the enemy and extort the commiseration of
neutrals, never seriously disturbed the Germans’ equanimity, for from
the cradle up frugality has been instilled in them as a virtue sister to
patriotism.  No people in the world could overnight descend to a war
standard of living so rapidly as the Germans.  Accustomed to the
affluence of sudden prosperity as the nation, as a whole, was, it had
yet only to return to familiar inculcated habits, when the Kaiser
called.  The grand German bluff of the first year of the war was the
introduction of the bread-ticket ration system.  How the grain-shippers
of Chicago and Duluth must have chuckled over it, when they recalled the
gigantic advance purchases of wheat made for German and Austrian account
in May, 1914--_three full months before_ "the Russian mobilization
menace!"  Germany can never be starved, and she knows it.  Von Tirpitz
knew it when he proclaimed submarine piracy as a "reprisal" for British
"attempts to starve us out."  The grip of the British Fleet around
Germany’s neck has inconvenienced the Germans, but it can never cause
them to famish.  The "starvation" myth which the German propagandists in
the United States so assiduously circulated was devised, purely and
simply, for the purpose of arousing the compassion of the
generous-hearted American people, in the hope that our most sentimental
of governments would intervene, in humanity’s name, to lift from
Germany’s throat a yoke which she herself was powerless to remove.  That
is the long and short of the "starvation" story.

As inborn and cultivated habits of frugality and thrift enabled the
introduction of the bread-ticket without marked disturbance to normal
German life, so the nation resorted willingly and easily to all the
other new conditions which war imposed.  A people goose-stepped and
policed from the nursery to the grave, bred in docility, with wills of
their own eternally broken before they have left the _Kinderstube_, with
initiative and self-reliance knocked out of them with the rod at home
and in school, and with blind unyielding subordination to discipline
literally pounded into their bones in barracks, provides no astonishing
spectacle in making war, when war comes, as one man obeying one supreme
will.  War is the _ultima ratio_, indeed, which this national system of
self-suppression has in mind.  The surprising thing is not that the
world has witnessed so colossal an exhibition of team-work in Germany.
The unexpected would have been if Germany had given any other account of
herself.  When we speak, as we all do, and especially the English, of
"Germany’s years of preparation," we should eliminate the notion that
these preparations were confined to shells, guns, fortifications,
battleships and legions.  No single other "preparation" of the German
war gods measured up, in my judgment, to the unseen and unnoticed, yet
all-engulfing, decade-old, national scheme of molding the minds of men,
women, children and babes along the line of unresisting, complete
slavery to Superiority, uniformed as the State. When you dilute this
super-subjugation with the wine of true patriotism which, despite their
Socialism, their police, their burdensome taxes, their goose-step, their
powerless parliaments and all the other concomitants of an autocratic
monarchy, flows red and joyously through the soul of the Germans, you
secure a spiritual admixture which approaches invincibility.  You
discover the ingredients of what Lloyd-George christened the
"potato-bread spirit," which he truly described as a greater danger for
Germany’s enemies than Hindenburg’s strategy.  The former will survive
long after the latter has broken down.

For a full year, interrupted only by six weeks in the United States at
the end of the winter of 1914-15, I have kept in as close touch with
Germany in war-time as if I were at my old lookout in the
Friedrichstrasse. My professional task in London all that time has been
to study the German Press.  Day in and day out I have done so.  I have
read the Government-controlled _Lokal-Anzeiger_, the radical _Berliner
Tageblatt_, the venerable _Vossische Zeitung_, Count Reventlow’s organ
of Frightfulness, the _Deutsche Tageszeitung_, the Pan-German _Tägliche
Rundschau_, the Thunderer of Prussian conservatism, the _Kreuz-Zeitung_,
and Maximilian Harden’s vitriolic _Zukunft_.  The voice of paralyzed
Hamburg has come to me morning and night through the malevolent
_Hamburger Nachrichten_ and _Fremdenblatt_.  _Vorwärts_ has kept me
informed of German Socialism’s invertebrate vagaries.  The cultured
_Cologne Gazette_, the property of Doctor Neven-Dumont, whose wife is
half-English and whose son is proud of his Oxford degree, and yet has
almost led the German Press in the violence of its Anglophobism, has
told me what semi-official Germany wanted the world to believe was its
views from hour to hour.  In the _Frankfurter Zeitung_ I have been able
to glean the news and opinion of the great German financial and
commercial classes for which it speaks. Catholic Bavaria, the land of
Crown Prince "Rupprecht, the Bloody," has been interpreted to me by the
_Munich Neueste Nachrichten_.  The _Dresdner Anzeiger_ has mirrored
Saxony day by day.  And, as the _Stimmung_ of no country in the world is
so faithfully reproduced by its comic press as is opinion in Germany, my
readings have been amplified, as well as lightened, by heartlessly
ironic _Simplicissimus_, artistic _Jugend, Fliegende Blätter_ and
_Lustige Blätter_.  My German literary diet, which was ruining my
eye-sight, has been almost more opulent than when in Berlin, has finally
been enriched from week to week by the incessant grist of pamphlets and
booklets which has poured from the German mill even in more copious and
overwhelming measure than in peace-times.  If the printed word is the
index of a nation’s thought, little of moment in Germany since August,
1914, has escaped me.  I have had the inestimable advantage of being
able to absorb it in the light of its relationship to the situation
outside of Germany--an opportunity of which the Germans themselves,
though I would not try to make them believe it, have been cruelly
deprived.

Telescopic observation of Germany, as reflected by its press, a little
knowledge of what Doctor Münsterberg would call the Fatherland’s
"psychology," and the actual deeds of the German army, navy and
Government have provided me, I think I may make so bold as to say, with
a fairly complete and accurate picture.  Germany, thus visualized,
stands out to me in bold, clear-cut relief.  It is a strange and
terrible composite of forces generally considered incongruous and
mutually destructive--Efficiency, Malice and Intolerance.  The world
ought to have known that in war Germany would reveal titanic powers of
scientific organization.  It did not expect to find her an Empire of
Hate.  It hardly imagined that the land of Goethe and Wagner, Koch,
Behring and Ehrlich, Siemens, Rathenau and Ballin, Hauptmann, Strauss
and Reinhardt, Eucken, Haeckel and Harnack, could be turned even by the
devouring blasts of war into a community capable of elevating to the
dignity of a national anthem such a ferocious song as Lissauer’s _Hymn
of Hate Against England_, whose soul is best breathed by its closing
stanza:

    "Take you the folk of the Earth in pay,
    With bars of gold your ramparts lay,
    Bedeck the ocean with bow on bow,
    Ye reckon well, but not well enough now.
    French and Russian, they matter not,
    A blow for a blow, a shot for a shot,
    We fight the battle with bronze and steel,
    And the time that is coming Peace will seal.
    You will we hate with a lasting hate,
    We will never forego our hate,
    Hate by water and hate by land,
    Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
    Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
    Hate of seventy millions, choking down.
    We love as one, we hate as one,
    We have one foe, and one alone--
    ENGLAND!"


Even Barbara Henderson’s brilliant translation of this epic of spleen,
the first version of which to be published in Great Britain it was my
privilege to reprint in _The Daily Mail_ from the columns of the _New
York Times_, fails to do justice to the innate rancor and gall of
Lissauer’s original verses.  Americans who visited Germany during the
war were unanimous in agreeing that no rendering of the _Hymn of Hate_
in English could possibly interpret its consuming spirit.  You had to
hear it rasped with the ferocity of snarling, guttural German, they
would say, to gain even an approximate idea of its power.  You had to
watch a man or woman recitationist or singer, for it was set to music,
too, bawl it out, in a crescendo of passionate fury as the final word of
each stanza, _England!_ was reached.  You had to sit in the midst of a
theater, café or music-hall audience, or even in a drawing-room, and
note all around you the frenzied countenances, the clenched fists, the
whole enraged being, of men, women and children, to know how Lissauer’s
ballad of gall had burnt itself into a people’s soul.  There have been
more or less sincere efforts in Germany to banish the _Hymn of Hate_.
Lissauer having previously received the Iron Cross for poetic gallantry,
and from the pulpit and the school rostrum the unrighteousness of hate
had been sanctimoniously proclaimed.  But Lissauer only put into verse
the spirit which maddened Berlin on the night of August 4, 1914, which
grew in intensity as the magnitude of British intervention in the war
slowly dawned, and which, surface manifestations to the contrary
notwithstanding, lingers deep and ineffaceable in the German breast, and
will remain there, barring a miracle, for generations after the war is
over.

While the _Hymn of Hate_ was at the zenith of its glory, some genius
whose name, unfortunately, will be lost to posterity, invented _Gott
strafe England!_ (God punish England) as the most patriotic form of
greeting which one German could exchange with another. Friends meeting
in the suburban trains or street-cars, or in the streets, no longer
lifted their hats as usual and said _Guten Morgen_.  They shook hands
solemnly and exclaimed _Gott strafe England_!  When they parted at
night, it was not _Guten Abend_, but _Gott strafe England_!  Then they
began stamping it--with a rubber-stamp which was sold by the thousand
for the purpose--on their letters to correspondents at home and abroad.
It was even adopted, now and then, as an epitaph for a fallen soldier,
whose relatives would end up the customary obituary in the advertising
columns of the newspapers with _Gott strafe England_.  Now postcards
blossomed forth with the new national motto. Scarf-pins made their
appearance in the windows of cheap-jewelry stores, inscribed _Gott
strafe England_! The legend was reproduced in a score of different
designs on cuff-links, brooches, and even wedding-rings, while hardly a
schoolchild was without a badge or button emblazoned with the
Fatherland’s holiest war prayer.  Handkerchiefs were embroidered with
it, pocket-knives had it enameled on their handles, and many a
_Liebesgabe_ to a dear one in the trenches went forth with a pair of
black-white-red braces imprinted _Gott strafe England_!  On a medal
which doubtless decorated thousands of German breasts--a sample reached
England--was engraved:


"Give us this day our daily bread; England
would take it from us.  God punish her!"


Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, who was beaten by Sir John French’s
"contemptible little army" at Neuve Chapelle and Artois, placed Royal
approval on the _Gott strafe England_ cult in his notorious battle-order
in the winter campaign to "annihilate the British arch-foe in front of
us at any and all cost."

Englishmen, and especially English soldiers, perhaps measured the _Gott
strafe England_ sentiment at below its real value as a German fighting
asset when they decided to treat it as a joke.  That was the spirit, at
any rate, which animated a group of young Eton men at the front, who
sent a postcard to the Headmaster of their historic school rival
reading: _Gott strafe Harrow_! And on April Fool’s day British Tommies
across a certain meadow of death in Flanders expelled from a
mine-thrower something which looked murderously like a bomb.  When it
bounced in front of the German lines, and bounced again, without
exploding, a "Boche" ventured out of the trenches and picked it up.  He
found it was a football, and on it was inscribed:

      April Fool!
    _Gott strafe England!_


[Illustration: "A PRUSSIAN HOUSEHOLD AT THEIR MORNING HATE--From _London
Punch_"]

Mr. Punch and his lesser _confrères_ in British humor have almost lived
through the war on _Gott strafe England_!  The sentiment has not struck
terror into John Bull’s heart, but it has very materially added to his
war-time gaiety.

Next to the Hate epidemic, the mystifying account of themselves which
the German Social Democrats have given during the war stands out as the
main phenomenon.  I have asked myself more than once what might have
been if Bebel, the brains, or Singer, the fists, of the old-time
Socialistic movement had been alive in August, 1914.  Certainly the
utter failure of the Socialists to hamper the operation of the German
war-machine will remain forever one of the amazing episodes of the war.
It will rank, of course, also, as one of the blazing miscalculations of
the Fatherland’s enemies.  It is true that Bebel, the long-time autocrat
of the German "Reds," proclaimed often enough that when Germany was in
peril, he and his Genossen would shoulder the musket with a will.  Yet
the suspicion always lurked that when the German War Party’s time came
and it essayed to drag the German people across the Rubicon, the Social
Democracy, with 4,250,000 voters, 111 members of parliament and German
trades-unionism almost solidly behind it, would be found standing like
an insuperable barrier against the powers of aggression.  There had been
more than one hint that working-class Germany, in that hour, would not
shrink from utilizing the potent weapon of the General Strike to stay
the hand of the war zealots. Opinion on that score amounted to almost
positive conviction in non-Socialistic Germany and throughout Europe, in
case the test were to be forced by a German war of manifestly
provocative character.  It therefore was of prime importance to the
clique which engineered the war that the Social Democracy be made to
believe, forthwith and implicitly, that the impending conflict was a
"defensive war," to which Socialist leaders had always pledged the
proletariat’s unswerving support.  Categorical and lachrymose assurances
to that effect were accordingly given to the Social Democratic group of
the Reichstag by the Imperial Chancellor in the confidential conferences
with the parties, which preceded the public session of the House on
August 4, 1914.  The once-despised "Reds," so often denounced by William
II as "men without a country," but whose votes in the national
legislature were now so essential to the show of Imperial unity with
which Germany desired to go to war, were supplied with ample "evidence"
that Germany’s cause was "just."  She had been "fallen upon" by
ruthless, envious enemies, the struggle about to begin would be waged by
the Fatherland in "defense" of its holiest national interests, and the
support of all classes was essential to the waging of the fight with
which nothing short of "the Empire’s existence" was was bound up.  The
Socialists listened, patriotically, to this siren song.  They believed
its tale of woe.  They bade the Chancellor to be assured that they would
not be found wanting in Germany’s moment of peril.  And a few hours
later Herr Haase, the chairman of the party, was on his feet in the
Reichstag, uttering glittering platitudes about Socialism’s
constitutional abhorrence of war and all its works, but proclaiming that
the party’s full strength and support were at the Government’s disposal
for the purpose of repelling the invader!  _Sic transit gloria mundi!_
August Bebel might well have remarked, could his shade have hovered over
this abject surrender to Mars by his supine heirs of the fundamental
principles to which he had consecrated a life-time.

From that moment forth the Kaiser needed to give himself no concern as
to "the internal foe," the nickname of reproach always saddled on the
Social Democracy by the Military Autocracy.  The wing-clipped "Reds"
were even allowed a certain latitude of free speech and thought about
the war.  They were permitted to indulge in their favorite academic
discussions about the propriety of Socialist votes for war credits, and
even Haase himself, having gradually come to realize that the Kaiser and
Bethmann Hollweg had sold the Social Democracy a political gold brick,
was not locked up for sedition for issuing, together with two
fellow-leaders, Bernstein and Kautsky, a courageous manifesto against
support of limitless war grants. _Vorwärts_, the Socialist organ, and
other party newspapers were from time to time suppressed by the military
censor for airing war opinions too freely, but as successive war
measures were presented for the approval of the Reichstag, a safe
majority of Socialist votes was on each occasion cast in their favor.
The myth of a "war of defense" was never broken down.  The King of
Bavaria and the National Liberal Party gave the game away during the
spring and summer of 1915, by blustering about the necessity for
sweeping "rectifications of our frontiers," or, in other words,
wholesale annexation of conquered territory, but Germany’s war was well
into its second year finding the Social Democracy, for the purposes and
needs of the Government at least, entirely harmless.  Food shortage and
high prices churned proletariat Germany into growing discontent, as the
war proceeded.  Butter and meat riots have occurred in Berlin, and there
have been ominous suggestions that the military authorities are alive to
the possibility of "revolutionary" manifestations. But the day of
Germany’s Commune is not yet. No better evidence of the completeness
with which the Socialist party was hypnotized from the outset could have
been supplied than by the action of Doctor Ludwig Frank, one of its
brilliant young leaders, in volunteering for military service.  Frank
fell in the earliest fighting in France, in August, 1914, and now fills
a hero’s grave.  A Jewish lawyer in Baden, he was commonly looked upon
as the future chieftain of Social Democracy.  The war interfered with a
cherished plan of his--to visit and lecture in the United States--and I
suppose the last interview he ever gave was one I had with him, in which
he spoke with enthusiasm of the American impressions he hoped to gather.
He was keenly interested in the corporation problem, recognized that it
contained evils with which Germany before long would have to cope, and
wanted to equip himself with first-hand knowledge of its ramifications
in the home of its highest development.  Frank was not a fire-eating
German Social Democrat.  He belonged to the moderate or "revisionist"
wing of the party.  He was obsessed with no illusions as to the future
possibilities of Socialism in Germany and acknowledged that sane
democrats had long since abandoned hope of accomplishing anything more
than the establishment of a truly constitutional monarchy and
Parliamentary government.  It is a thousand pities that Ludwig Frank has
not been spared to play his capable part in the political reconstruction
of Germany which, win or lose, is almost inevitably certain to follow
the war.  Doctor Karl Liebknecht, that stormy petrel of German
Socialism, remained the one man to utter anti-war sentiment day in and
day out.  Even the Government’s action in sticking him into field-gray
and dispatching him to the front for intermittent service failed to
check the flow of his invective.  Liebknecht represents the Imperial
borough of Potsdam, of all places in the world, in the German
Parliament, but, though he has talked incessantly and voted
rebelliously, the voice of the representative of the Kaiser’s
congressional district was destined to remain as one crying in the
wilderness.

I have said that the triumphs of Germany behind the firing-line--the
fortitude with which she has borne her hideous losses in life, the
magnificently effective demonstration of unity, economy, self-sacrifice,
industrial and financial organization, and adaptability to all the
domestic conditions of war--were only things which those of us who knew
the Germans expected to come to pass.  They were as inevitable, in their
paternalized State, the Empire of System, as were the early cannon-ball
successes of the German army.  We who were aware, as eye-witnesses, of
Germany’s prodigious preparations for "the Day," never doubted that,
having chosen her own moment for launching her thunderbolts, they would
accomplish precisely the staggering blows and strangle-holds which
August and September, 1914, brought forth.  Although (including myself)
there was not one man in ten thousand in Berlin who knew who Hindenburg
was--I have merely a faint recollection of having once read his name as
an army commander in _Kaiser Maneuvers_--a good many of us had an
abiding impression that the Russian army was no match for the German war
machine, however easily the Czar might roll up the Austrians.  The
victories of the German armies in the war are no surprise to the German
people.  They have been raised in the belief that their military power
was invincible, even against a world of foes.  Events in the first year
and a half of the war, even though Paris and Calais remained untaken,
were certainly such as to convince Germans that their traditional and
child-like confidence in their armed prowess was justified.

But in addition to Hate and Socialist impotence, two things which
astounded those who knew and admired the German people, were their
callousness toward the deeds which have been committed by their army and
navy and their savage intolerance of any other point of view except
their own.  I am not one of those who believe that all Germans have
cloven hoofs.  Bitterly as I oppose their cause in this war and fully as
I hold their War Party responsible for the war, I am not prepared to
believe that the Germans are either a decadent or a lost race.  What I
do believe is that the war has, temporarily at least, annihilated the
moral qualities of the Germans and dragged them from the high estate of
ethical and discriminating intelligence in which they lived in
antebellum times.  The Germans of Louvain, of the _Lusitania_,
asphyxiating gas, liquid fire, submarine piracy, airship assassination
and General Frightfulness are not the Germans among whom I spent
thirteen happy, fruitful years.  They are not the Germans whose main
concern, as it is that of the average run of men and women in other
climes, was to prosper, raise families, educate children, live
comfortably, acquire a competence and enjoy life generally.  These
Germans no longer exist.  They have been succeeded by a race of
war-maddened Germans, who were told by their Imperial Chancellor that
"necessity knows no law," that treaties are "scraps of paper," and who
have been made to believe that, in war, there is but one thing to
do--"to hack our way through"--and that, as Bismarck and the German War
Book said, the enemy must be left with nothing except eyes to weep with.
The Germans have been steeped in all this by their overlords, living and
dead, and, being children of discipline, they have looked with
unmoistened eye upon all and sundry done in the holy name of these
bedrock German principles.

The Fatherland’s heartlessness toward such events as the rape of Belgium
becomes less inexplicable when one recalls the cult of brutality which
pursues the German from the nursery upward.  As a child in swaddling
clothes, he is taught that he has no right to a will of his own, and if
he attempts to cultivate one, it is promptly beaten out of him.  I
recall, with more amusement than the episode inspired in me at the time,
the struggle we had with our beloved family physician in Berlin, Doctor
Keiler, to allow us to bring up our three or four-year-old son as a boy
and not as a machine.  "_Das Kind darf keinen Willen hoben!_"  I
remember dear old Keiler shrieking in Wilmersdorf more than once, as he
labored in vain to convince us that if Frightfulness was necessary to
break the youngster’s inborn initiative and self-reliance, we must not
shrink from resorting to it.  And when the German escapes the
_Kinderstube_ with its unfailing rod and enters _Gymnasium_, he is once
more under the cruel lash of Efficiency, which drives scores of lads to
suicide at each recurring Easter-time because they have failed in
examinations for the higher grade, notwithstanding a term’s unceasing
hounding by their drill-sergeant of a teacher and class-room and home
cramming which have kept his frame thin and his cheek pallid.  A whole
literature has come into existence in opposition to the intellectual
brutality to which German schoolboys between the ages of eight and
sixteen are subjected, but the consensus of opinion is that the system’s
advantages outweigh its deficiencies, and that youthful suicides are
part of the price the Fatherland must pay for what Professor Lasson of
Berlin calls its "cultural superiority" over the rest of mankind.

Thrashed in the nursery, tormented in school, the German lad must then
face a period of bullying in barracks, for, if he has managed to survive
his _Gymnasia_ years in health, he will enter the army.  It is not
necessary in this narrative to dilate upon the cruelties committed in
German barracks in the sacrosanct name of Discipline and Thoroughness.
There is a literature in Germany on that subject, too, and the penal
records of the military and civil courts comprise the bulk of it.  It is
only with the lesson of the system with which we need to concern
ourselves here; and that is, that the German man who emerges from the
army comes out with notions about the efficacy and justifiability of
brute force and brutality which are certain, under the red license which
war confers, to find expression in terrible deeds.  In other words, a
German who has himself perhaps been assaulted by his regimental sergeant
on scores of occasions (such cases are plentiful), who has seen the
bloody saber-duel elevated in his university days to the level of the
manliest art, who has throughout his life been a supine victim of police
violence, who holds womankind in semi-contempt, who thinks it
sportsmanlike to shoot birds alight, who rejoices in his prowess as a
slaughterer of wild game, who beats his horses, who is as unfamiliar
with the ethics of sport and play as he is with the lingo of a Choctaw
dialect--such a man, I say, is bound, when he is sent forth with his
Kaiser’s mandate to "hack his way through," to stagger humanity as the
Germans have never ceased to stagger it on land, on sea and in the air
since August, 1914.  Given a nation of non-combatants who have been
instructed to believe that these things _must_ be because otherwise
their existence will be imperiled, and you have to do with a community
which, however delightful its qualities as individuals, is no longer
capable of measuring right and wrong, by normal standards and which is
ready to tolerate any and everything, as long as it is part and parcel
of the general scheme to "preserve the Fatherland."  If one considers
all these things, which I set down in no spirit of venom, but purely in
an attempt to diagnose German war callousness, one will begin to be able
to understand why German sensibilities remain unshocked in the presence
of things which have horrified civilization.  One’s understanding will
be complete if it is remembered that not one in a million Germans
believes that these things have happened at all!

Philosophy, logic, metaphysics and psychology are cultivated sciences in
Germany.  It is even sometimes claimed--in Berlin and in certain regions
of Harvard--that they were "made in Germany."  Yet as applied sciences
they have given a woefully sorry exhibition of themselves in the
Fatherland during the war.  They have, as a matter of fact, entirely
disappeared.  They have been supplanted by a new doctrine, for which the
Germans themselves have an old and incomparable word--_Rechthaberei_.  I
learned that precious term from an American colleague in Berlin, a South
Carolinian and profound student of German character named William C.
Dreher.  Dreher, who is an able journalist specializing in economics,
has held forth to me on countless occasions about "Prussian
_Rechthaberei_"--the unquenchable conviction of the average Teuton that
he not only is "right" about everything, but that everybody else whom he
permits to have a thought or a word on the same subject is essentially,
inherently and incorrigibly "wrong."  I can hardly credit the report
that Dreher himself has fallen a victim to the insidious influence of
_Rechthaberei_.  It is something that presupposes omniscience and mental
aristocracy on the part of the propounder of a given theory, and
senility or utterly misguided stubbornness on the part of the opponent.
Germany has wallowed in _Rechthaberei_ since August 1, 1914.  It has
sucked into the mire of intolerance everybody who has dared to cherish a
contrary view.  It has refused the right of independence of thought to
every living soul, unless that thought is pro-German.  It has swallowed
whole anything the German Government and its muzzled press have said,
and it has condemned as criminal falsehood anything published in enemy
countries. It allows British, French and Russian newspapers, in a lordly
way, to circulate freely in Germany, as of yore, thumping its chest and
saying "We are not afraid of the truth"--but only after having drilled
the country into believing that _nothing_ printed abroad about the war
is or can be true!  So the German who finds _The Daily Mail_ or the _New
York Times_ on its accustomed file at his favorite café, just as he used
to do in peace days, _knows in advance_ that he is to read "lies," and
he digests them, leaving his patriotism unpolluted.

"Mass-suggestion" has thus worked wonders in War Germany.  It has driven
me for example--I hope not forever--from the ranks of my oldest and best
friends in Germany--Americans, as well as Germans. It impelled my wife’s
dearest friend, the Philadelphia-born wife of a German, to write a
letter early in the war, formally "canceling" the friendship, because
"your husband, instead of choosing to identify himself with an honest
cause, has thrown in his lot with England, and, with her, will share the
downfall toward which that nation is headed."  That would be funny, if
it were not so tragically pathetic.  I hear that a great many good
people in Berlin, wasting upon me breath and choleric energy which
deserved to be spent on a far worthier object, fairly splutter when they
hear or read my name.  I have been the target of absurd and filthy
personal abuse in the German press.  I have won undying execration, for
I have dared, in a most un-German way, to have a view of my own on the
question which is agitating men’s minds and searching their hearts as
never was done before.

Yet all the millstones of hate and intolerance are not preventing the
Germans from conducting a fight which challenges, in its efficiency,
barring its inhuman aspects, the admiration of foe and neutral the world
over. They are, indeed, a nation in arms.  Their Spartan qualities
behind the front, their contempt of death in the enemy’s fire, will not
easily be conquered. Exhaustion, economic and human, must tell against
them in the long run, though the process of attrition will be vastly
slower, I fancy, than armchair war critics in England think.  The
Germans will fight to the last man and the last pfennig, as I know them,
and when they are beaten, they will furl their tattered standards after
a combat which, stripped of its horrors, will yet have been marked by
deeds of patriotism, courage and glory fit to take their place alongside
the heroic traditions of mankind.



                              CHAPTER XXI

                            THE NEW ENGLAND


Rome was not built in a day, but England has been made over in a year.
Personal liberty is gone.  A free press no longer exists.  Extravagance
is "bad form."  Economy has become respectable. Dukes’ sons and cooks’
sons are "pals."  Drunkenness is disappearing.  Conscription looms on
the horizon. The Irish are loyal.  Suffragettes are making shells and
bandaging wounds instead of smashing windows and going to jail.  Pride
is humbled, though not crushed.  Still ringed by Kipling’s "leaden
seas," Britain is no longer an island, for Zeppelins have maimed and
killed and wrecked in the heart of London.  Tolerance is a lost art.
British have learned to hate.  The link-boy has come back into his own;
the streets at night, that Admiral Sir Percy Scott, defender of London
by air, may blind the "sky-Huns," recall the gloom of the Cimmerian
Regency.  Though Waterloo was won a hundred years ago, a terror worse
than the Napoleonic scourge has overtaken the descendants of Nelson and
Wellington.  Britannia rules the waves, but the blood of a half million
of her best sons fertilizes the soil of France, Belgium, Turkey, Serbia
and Africa; and the flow is far from checked. The "shopkeeper of the
world" has become a nation in arms.  Only one phase of its multifarious
life, immutable as the sphinx, has survived the crucible of war in
pristine glory--British calm.  Ships may sink, men may fall, bombs may
annihilate and treasure be sapped, but British imperturbability, like
Time itself, pursues the even tenor of its way, Himalayan in its
imperviousness.

Assuredly it has been for no lack of cause that England has ridden the
sea of Armageddon without capsizing.  Squalls, typhoons, storms and
barometric disturbances of every form of violence have beset her from
the outset of the voyage.  But though there has been tempest, there is
no shipwreck.  She enters upon another lap of a seemingly endless
journey, battered indeed, but keel down and full steam ahead.  It is
still night.  Stokers and crew, nor even the captains and commodores,
are not a completely united band, but their differences concern only the
methods of cleaving through darkness to the port, to gain which, at any
cost, all are grimly determined.  Failure to reach the waters of their
desire as soon as the unthinking majority hoped and believed would be
possible has sobered the vision and intensified the resolve of crew and
commanders alike.  It has not reconciled their antagonisms, but it is
making surer than ever that they will land their craft in the appointed
harbor, though the damnations of all the powers of destruction are
buffeted against her in the attempt.

My name for Armageddon is the War of Miscalculations, for it is a title
which indicts every belligerent without exception.  The Germans expected
their army to be in Paris by the end of September, 1914. The English and
the French reckoned that Russian Cossacks would be hacking souvenirs
from the sepulchral statues in the Berlin _Sieges-Allee_ about the same
time.  The British thought that Jellicoe would starve the Germans.  Von
Tirpitz imagined that U-boats would paralyze Britain’s life-line.  The
British pounded vainly at the Dardanelles for nine months, and when they
couldn’t get Calais the Germans started out to crush Serbia.  Sir Edward
Grey thought Bulgaria and Greece were only waiting like ripe fruit to
drop into the Allies’ lap and cry for marching orders.  He was about as
near right as the German political professors who always assured William
II that India, Egypt, Canada, South Africa and Australia were itching to
revolt when the Motherland was immersed in a vast European war.  The
great war has been a rude awakening for all concerned.  In addition to
killing its millions of men and squandering its billions of money, it
has annihilated theories, expectations, plans and aspirations so cruelly
that the "war expert" has become a deathless laughing-stock. If
"experts" have learned anything from the war, they will henceforth
prefer history to prophecy.

"Business as Usual"--life generally in the old rut, in other words--was
adopted by Britons as their war motto.  Truly did a politician of renown
exclaim a year later that no unhappier, because no more unfortunate,
maxim was ever foisted upon or accepted by a patriotic people.  The
nation made no inconsiderable attempt to convert "Business as Usual"
from an aphorism into an actuality.  Seven or eight months of unrealized
objectives had to pass over English men and women’s resolute heads
before they began even to doubt the efficacy of the complacent principle
they had laid down for themselves.  But the mills of Mars, like those of
his colleagues, keep on grinding, and England was to learn that, while
invasion had not seared her soil as it had scotched that of all her
European allies, war yet had terrors capable of burning into the soul,
saddening the homes and despoiling the pockets of even an unravished
land.

I fix the date when Great Britain began to face the iron logic of events
with sterner realization and to doubt the efficacy of "muddle" for
purposes of war as May, 1915.  In the two preceding months there had
been a series of episodes of more climacteric magnitude than was
apparent at the moment of their occurrence. In March Sir John French’s
army made a vigorous attempt to break through the German lines, and the
much-heralded "victory" of Neuve Chapelle resulted. Thousands of British
soldiers, and half a hundred Americans fighting in the Canadian
contingent, died gallantly in an action which, when its terrible cost
was eventually counted, could not be catalogued as anything but a
glorious failure.  In April two affairs of purely German origin were
recorded, each predestined to leave a deep impress on the British public
mind: the employment of poison gas by the enemy in sanguinary
engagements around Ypres, and the flinging of thirty-nine British
officers, captives in Germany, into felons’ cells by way of "reprisal"
for the segregation in England of captured German submarine crews.

Because the truth about Neuve Chapelle remained suppressed for many
weeks, attention was bestowed to an overshadowing degree on the gas and
officer-imprisonment episodes.  Hitherto the universal demand in England
was that, no matter how the Germans waged war, Englishmen must continue
to fight "like gentlemen."  Suggestions that the hour had long since
arrived for an eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth warfare were
rejected in almost every quarter as "un-English" and, therefore,
undebatable.  The Kaiser’s soldateska might rape, pillage, loot and
murder, but British troops must battle "in the old-fashioned way"--with
clean hands.  Tirpitz’s bluejackets might practise the tactics of
pirates, but Britannia’s sailors would continue to respect the high
traditions of their calling. Men went so far as to asseverate that it
were better that Britain should be beaten than win by "German methods."
Sir Edward Clarke, the leader of the bar, protesting against Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle’s proposal that Zeppelin murders could only be checked by
British air reprisals against defenseless German communities, wrote to
_The Times_: "It may be our misfortune to be defeated in this war, but
it will be our own fault if we are disgraced."  Yet British "fighting
blood" seemed at length stirred to a boil by asphyxiating-gas and "Hate"
measures against British officer-captives. A wave of holy rage swept
over the country.  Those who had advocated the use of kid gloves against
an enemy which fought with brass knuckles and poison found their views
sensibly less popular.  Britain was waking at last to the realization
which even the Belgian atrocities, "Zeppelin murder" and the
"Scarborough baby-killers" had not fully aroused--that her high-minded
"sporting ethics" were lamentably out of place in war with a foe which
believed in ruthless "Frightfulness."  The Tommies who died horrible
deaths from the effects of German poison gas and the officers who
languished in burglars’ cells because martyrs in a worthy cause--their
anguish convinced England almost against her will that the German was
the most ferocious, pitiless and unconscionable enemy who had ever
engaged in the noble calling of arms.

While this healthy conviction was soaking into Britain’s sluggish
consciousness, the crowning infamy of the _Lusitania_ massacre was
committed.  The cup of indignation, already full to the brim, now
overflowed. Demand for vengeance, in the form of a campaign against the
Germans to be waged with resolution and force more destructive than any
previous effort, was universal.  There must be no more temporizing, no
more half measures, no more vacillation and procrastination. Recruiting
enjoyed a fresh spurt, a response to the lurid posters headed "Remember
the _Lusitania_!" and reproducing the verdict of the Queenstown
coroner’s jury


"that this appalling crime was contrary to international law and the
conventions of all civilized nations, and we therefore charge the
officers of the said submarine, the Emperor and Government of Germany,
under whose orders they acted, with the crime of wilful and wholesale
murder before the tribunal of the civilized world."

"It is your duty," the poster added, "to take up the Sword of Justice to
avenge this devil’s work.  ENLIST TO-DAY!"


The _Lusitania_ horror unchained the mob spirit from Land’s End to John
o’ Groat.  Uninterned Germans, who were still at large in their
thousands, were the victims of rioters’ fury in London and the big
provincial towns, and the Home Office was forced by irate public opinion
to place barbed-wire around all the "enemy aliens" not already in
captivity.  Simultaneously the demand went forth that the pampering of
German prisoners of war in palatial manor-houses like Dorington Hall
should give way to rigor more suitable for men condemned henceforth to
be known as Huns.  The _Lusitania’s_ aftermath was accompanied by ample
proof that the bulldog was no longer curled up on the hearth-rug as
unconcernedly as he had been throughout the winter and spring.  He was
showing his teeth, and he was snarling.  He meant business now.  There
had been enough of Queensbury rules, Hurlingham ethics and Crystal
Palace niceties in dealing with the Germans.  They had served notice to
Humanity that it had no laws which the German army and navy felt bound
to respect.  Englishmen said to themselves: "So be it."  Then they
rolled up their sleeves.

Thus was Britain ringing with righteous wrath in the middle of May,
1915, when what I venture to dignify as _the turning-point of the war_
arrived: the exposure by Lord Northcliffe’s newspapers of what was
henceforth to be known as "the shells tragedy." Northcliffe himself had
recently been the guest of Sir John French at the front.  Still more
lately the military critic of _The Times_, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles
Repington, had visited British Field Headquarters under the same
auspices.  There they were told the truth about Neuve Chapelle.  It was
a simple story.  The British army had essayed to smash through the
German lines, hopelessly short of the right kind of ammunition--high
explosive shells.  Batteries of artillery, often on the threshold of
decisive victory, found themselves suddenly starved of the only sort of
shell which could possibly blast a way through the concrete and
barbed-wire of the enemy’s entrenchments.  What happened at Neuve
Chapelle--a terribly heavy loss of British life with nothing like
compensatory results--would inevitably happen again when the British
army was called upon to attack.  It would simply be sentenced to death
and defeat.  Sir John French had been provided with shrapnel which was
good enough to smash the Boers, but he was criminally ill-equipped with
the shells which alone were capable of demolishing the elaborate German
defensive arrangements and enabling the British infantry to advance with
a fighting chance of success.  If the army was not to be condemned to
inglorious impotence or annihilation, it had to be provided forthwith
with high-explosive ammunition on an immense and unceasing scale.  The
British Commander-in-Chief declined, in effect, to assume further
responsibility for the fate of the campaign in Flanders unless there was
sweeping and instant remedial action by the War Office.

On May 14 Lieutenant-Colonel Repington, in a dispatch to _The Times_
from "Northern France," which, like other news from the field, passed
the Censor at Headquarters before transmission to England, declared that
"the want of an unlimited supply of high explosive was a fatal bar to
our success."  Describing an attack which had collapsed for the same
reason that the offensive at Neuve Chapelle had failed, Repington wrote:


"We found the enemy much more strongly posted than we expected.  We had
not sufficient high explosive to level his parapets to the ground after
the French practice, and when our infantry gallantly stormed the
trenches, as they did in both attacks, they found a garrison undismayed,
many entanglements still intact, and maxims on all sides ready to pour
in streams of bullets.  We could not maintain ourselves in the trenches
won, and our reserves were not thrown in because the conditions for
success in an assault were not present.

"The attacks were well planned and valiantly conducted.  The infantry
did splendidly, but the conditions were too hard.

"On our side we have easily defeated all attacks on Ypres.  The value of
German troops in the attack has greatly deteriorated, and we can deal
easily with them in the open.  But until we are thoroughly equipped for
this trench warfare, we attack under grave disadvantages.  The men are
in high spirits, taking their cue from the ever-confident and resolute
attitude of the Commander-in-Chief.

"If we can break through this hard outer crust of the German defenses,
we believe that we can scatter the German Armies, whose offensive causes
us no concern at all.  But to break this hard crust we need more high
explosive, more heavy howitzers, and more men.  This special form of
warfare has no precedent in history.

"It is certain that we can smash the German crust if we have the means.
So the means we must have, and as quickly as possible."


By way of illustrating what British guns could do, if sufficiently
numerous and adequately fed, Repington told how the French "by dint of
the expenditure of 276 rounds of high explosive per gun in one day,
leveled with the ground all the German defenses, except the villages."
He left no doubt that until Sir John French’s artillery could attack
under similar conditions, British hopes of effective cooperation with
Joffre’s army were futile.  _The Times_ critic’s plain-spoken
observations, which bore the unmistakable imprint of "inspiration" from
British Headquarters, startled the nation.  They could hardly have been
more suggestive if the Commander-in-Chief himself had gone to the
country and proclaimed the facts.  Indeed, if others had not promptly
done so, I have reason to believe that Sir John French would not have
shrunk from that very task.  No one had so direct and personal a reason
for taking the bull by the horns, for if the British campaign were to
degenerate from futility into fiasco, the odium would necessarily fall
upon its field chieftain.  History will hardly condemn him for resolving
that the blame should be placed where it belonged, if, as may well have
been the case, inspiration of the impending public exposure emanated
from him.

On May 21 Lord Northcliffe’s _Daily Mail_--his critics are fond of
calling _The Times_ the "penny edition" of _The Daily Mail_--opened a
ruthless fire on Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, as the
man directly responsible for the high-explosive famine which was
paralyzing British military effort.  England was plastered with flaming
placards reading: "Kitchener’s Tragic Blunder."  With the journalistic
instinct for a catch-phrase, Northcliffe christened the situation "The
Shells Tragedy."  He hammered home mercilessly the theory that England
must hold to accountability the man whom the country had entrusted with
practically autocratic control of the War Office.  He insisted that
Kitchener could not take shelter behind a brilliant past.  It was a bold
throw for the Bonaparte of British newspaperdom.  He was not only
assailing the man whom he himself had helped to elevate to the War
Secretaryship; he was attacking the national idol.  To the overwhelming
majority of Englishmen, as I have already pointed out, the name of
Kitchener spelled confidence.  Next to the Fleet, he represented the
country’s greatest war asset.  Whenever Britons doubted whether the
course of events was leading to victory, they thought of the navy and of
Kitchener, and were of stout heart.  Northcliffe knew and understood all
this--none better.  But he said to himself that the relief of the shells
crisis was of vastly more moment than the prestige of a national idol;
that if the vital interests of the country demanded the dragging of
Kitchener from his pedestal, there must be no hesitation in performing
that unpleasant task.  In an editorial article which stirred Great
Britain to its uttermost foundations, _The Daily Mail_ went full tilt to
the issue.  It reminded Englishmen that Lord Kitchener loomed large in
the public eye primarily as an organizer of victory against the Sudanese
and as a man who had "helped" Lord Roberts in South Africa, though (it
recalled) there were men who knew Roberts’ private opinions of
Kitchener’s achievements in the Boer campaign. Kitchener had also been
Commander-in-Chief in India and, until the outbreak of war, was engaged
in the comparatively easy task of running the Egyptian machine, whose
wheels had been so well oiled by Lord Cromer.  Northcliffe was well
aware that Kitchener, owing to his long absence in the East, where he
had spent the greater part of his life, was not in touch with the
democracy at home, nor had Lord Kitchener ever pretended to any such
knowledge.  _The Daily Mail_ admitted all these things and declared
moreover that it was fair to Kitchener to say that he had been thrust at
a moment’s notice into a position of immense difficulty. No longer in
his first youth, and more than twice the age of successful military
commanders of one hundred years ago, Kitchener had been put in charge of
the raising, drilling, clothing, equipping, arming, feeding and
_fighting_ of an army which had to be manufactured at a speed
unprecedented in the history of the world. Kitchener, though not
essentially a good organizer, was a man of enormous driving-power.  His
talents in that respect had stood him in good stead so far in the war.
With the aid of a gigantic advertising campaign, he had accomplished
marvels in the direction of raising a volunteer army; but "the shells
tragedy" was thunderous proof that the Secretary for War had bitten off
more than he could chew.  Unless things were to go from bad to worse,
the all-important question of providing munitions must be taken from
Kitchener’s overburdened shoulders and transferred to those of men
better equipped in respect of time, temperament and training, to deal
with it.  The Northcliffe revelations lost none of their sensationalism
in presence of Mr. Asquith’s solemn assurances at Newcastle, barely
three weeks previous, that Britain’s munition supply, as well as that of
her Allies, was entirely adequate.

If Northcliffe had suddenly proposed the abdication of the Sovereign, or
the demolition of St. Paul’s Cathedral, or the proclamation of a
Republic, nothing could have been more cyclonic in its effect than _The
Daily Mail’s_ imperious demand for the curtailment of Kitchener’s
supreme authority at the War Office, because he had "blundered" with the
army’s ammunition. At the Stock Exchange and on the Baltic (the shipping
mart) copies of all the Northcliffe papers were ceremoniously burnt.
Town councils held indignation meetings, to discuss the advisability of
banning them from the public reading-rooms.  Super-patriots and
Hide-the-Truth zealots rushed to their newsdealers and canceled their
subscriptions to _The Times, The Daily Mail_ and other Northcliffe
organs.  Rival publishers went so far as to suggest that Northcliffe and
his editorial staff should be lined up in front of a firing-squad and
shot for high treason.  Wherever one went, one encountered the most
violent abuse of the journalist who had dared to sling mud at the great
soldier who was the incarnation of the nation’s hopes and to write
"Failure" next to his magic name.  _Punch_ epitomized national sentiment
in a cartoon showing John Bull patting Kitchener on the shoulder,
trampling a _Daily Mail_ under foot, and saying:


"If you need assurance, Sir, you may like to know that you have the
loyal support of all decent people in this country."


But Northcliffe, who possesses those valuable twin assets of the true
journalist, an elephantine hide and utter fearlessness, returned to the
attack, day after day.  He never let up.  The "shells tragedy," though
Liberal organs were reluctant to admit it, dealt the Asquith Liberal
Government a body blow.  It was reeling from the effects of still
another revelation. Lord Fisher, "Fighting Jack," the First Lord of the
Admiralty, tendered his resignation.  He refused longer to hold office
under the temperamental Mr. Winston Churchill or even under a government
to which that impetuous young statesman belonged.  The public learned
that Fisher had not acquiesced whole-heartedly in Mr. Churchill’s
schemes for limiting the Dardanelles campaign to a purely naval
operation. England was now seething with unrest.  The political position
was chaotic.  Acrimonious debate in Parliament on the shells question
was inevitable.  For weeks previous there had been demands from many
quarters that the conduct of the war should be transferred from a purely
Party Government to the hands of a "National Cabinet" of all political
complexions.  Mr. Asquith yielded to the inevitable.  Before _The Daily
Mail’s_ exposure of "Kitchener’s Tragic Blunder" was a week old, the
reconstruction of the Cabinet into a "Coalition" Administration was in
full progress. Northcliffe’s papers were still being burnt in public
places, but he had won a victory for England for which, as she lives,
she will yet come to acclaim his name.  The completion of the Coalition
Ministry was announced on June 11.  Lord Kitchener remained Secretary of
War, but a "Ministry of Munitions," which took shells and other sinews
of war out of Kitchener’s hands, was created, and the "hustler" of the
Cabinet, Lloyd-George, was entrusted with its organization and
administration.  Northcliffe had carried his point.

The war has not been prolific in England of "big men."  Barring,
perhaps, Joffre and Hindenburg, it has produced none anywhere.  But I
venture that far into the realm of prophecy to predict that the recorder
of the life and times of Great Britain in the crucible which was 1915
will pay no mean tribute to the newspaper proprietor who risked prestige
and power for the sake of that most prodigious of all tasks--stuffing
unpalatable truth down British throats.  Northcliffe’s actual methods in
the performance of the deed may have been debatable.  His motives were
certainly beyond question, and they will, undoubtedly, appear in true
perspective in the impartial light of history.  He is not offended when
people detect Napoleonic flashes in his impetuous eccentricities, and he
would be the last man in the world to deny that his brand of genius is
entirely devoid of defects, as it assuredly is not. Northcliffe has been
held up to public obloquy as hardly any man of his generation ever was
before him and has even been charged with being in "German pay."  But he
has lived to see the ripening of the fruits of his sensational crusade:
the British munitions output has been quadrupled since the Stock
Exchange first burnt _The Daily Mail_.  Lloyd-George, at the Ministry of
Munitions, has gathered round him the strongest company of business and
scientific brains that was ever applied to any Government department in
England.  One million men and women, in more than two thousand
"controlled" establishments, are turning out days, nights and Sundays
the shells with which the British army, early or late, is going to
cleave its way to victory.  In the great fighting around Loos at the end
of September, when the French and the British between them fired
65,000,000 shells in seventy-two hours, there was no shortage of the
wherewithal, the lack of which turned Neuve Chapelle into a "victory"
which Britain had been better without. A prodigious amount of high
explosive was necessary to wreck the Germans’ first defensive lines in
Artois, but still the supply was not exhausted.  When the cease-fire was
sounded, the British commanders found that they had on hand a great deal
more ammunition than they expected, and in certain departments there was
actually a greater quantity ready for the gunners at the end of the
struggle than at the beginning. Mr. Lloyd-George received and was
entitled to the chief glory for that splendid assurance that there would
be no more Neuve Chapelles.  But I am sure that the little Welshman who
has accomplished the miracle of "speeding up" Britain would be the first
to acknowledge that _The Daily Mail_, though its circulation is 150,000
less than it was in May, can not be robbed of the honor that belongs to
it for having torn the scales from England’s eyes on the "shells
tragedy."

Previous to the "shells tragedy," I do not think it will be possible for
even the friendliest chroniclers to record that, with the single
exception of the magnificent rush to arms of her upper and middle
classes, Great Britain had given a particularly flattering account of
herself in the searching test of war.  I do not refer, of course, to the
accomplishments of the army and navy.  British soldiers and sailors need
no encomium at my hands.  The Trojan heroism of the army, despite its
lack of sweeping victory, will enrich military history for all time.
The silent effectiveness of the navy, with its vindication of Admiral
Mahan’s theories, is the marvel of the war.  I am referring to the
conduct of the British who have not been in the war as combatants--to
the moral psychic aspect of life in this country during the year of
travail.  That is why I call the _Lusitania_ a blessing in disguise,
just as I sometimes felt that a landing of a German force on the British
coasts, had it only taken place soon enough, might have proved the most
practically beneficial tonic to the British war spirit which could have
been conceived.  Something was needed to _bring the war home_ to
Englishmen.  The _Lusitania_ partially served the purpose.

The renaissance set in with the dawn of summer. Events did not give
recruiting quite that "boom" which was expected, but the national
sobering process which ensued was more than a compensating factor.
Lloyd-George, inevitable and irrepressible, invented the doctrine that
"silver bullets" (money) and Germany’s "potato-bread spirit" (economy)
were now as urgently necessary for Britain to win as high-explosives
with which to kill Germans.  Only a few weeks before becoming "Shells
Minister" and while still Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd-George
introduced the second War Budget, which gave Britons a staggering idea
of what killing Germans meant in mere lucre. It was costing $15,000,000
a day then--in May--and the scale was crescendo, not diminuendo.
Lloyd-George declared that the nation’s bills could not be met unless
the country went over, horse, foot and dragoon, to the Simple Life.  The
Prime Minister seconded his appeal for the radical regeneration of
British life--a conversion from recklessness to Spartanism--with some
eloquent figures.  In a "keynote speech" at Guildhall, Mr. Asquith
declared that "waste, on the part either of individuals or of classes,
which is always foolish and shortsighted, is in these times nothing
short of a national danger."  The United Kingdom’s annual income, the
Premier explained, was between $11,250,000,000 and $12,000,000,000.
Annual expenditure aggregated about $10,000,000,000.  The country,
therefore, saved under normal conditions between $1,250,000,000 and
$2,000,000,000.  But the necessities of "our seven wars" (in different
parts of the hemisphere) required Britons to save about two and a half
times what they customarily put away.  They needed to store up
$5,000,000,000 instead of $2,000,000,000 a year.  In other words, they
must reorganize their scheme and standards of living--and of
spending--so that they saved $50 for every $20 saved in the past.  In no
other conceivable way, said the Prime Minister, could Great Britain
shoulder the burden of a struggle already costing her at the rate of
$5,475,000,000 a year.  To ask the notoriously most extravagant people
in Europe--the returns from the United States are not in yet--to
"economize" on the Brobdingnagian lines which these figures conjured up
was a very tall order, indeed.

But the gassed Tommies back from the trenches and the widows and the
orphans manufactured by the _Lusitania_ and the impregnability of the
German lines were uppermost in England’s mind, and she set her jaw to
the inevitable.  The Simple Life did not find itself among friends in
the midst of a race which believes in a maximum of servants on a minimum
of income; whose very homes and kitchens are the paradise of wasters;
which venerates leisure, week-ends, "good addresses" and "parties";
which left the omnibuses to the crowd and scorned anything beneath the
rank of a taxi for the truly well-born; which would gladly go poor for a
week for the sake of a Saturday lunch at the Piccadilly grill and a
supper at the Savoy, with a theater and a music-hall between, and
Murray’s afterward till dawn; which, while never ostentatious, was
addicted to luxury; which worshiped golf, football, bridge and
horse-racing like liberty itself, and which drank like sailors all.

But the ax of retrenchment was infinitely preferable to the sword of
Damocles.  Lords and ladies, "gentry" and common folk, prepared to make
the best of it. Prohibition, mainly to enforce sobriety on the working
classes, was considered by the Government, but not for long, for there
was a mighty howl from the "trade" and from its bibulous votaries, who
in England include both sexes, all classes and nearly every age.
Restriction, not prohibition, was adopted as a compromise.  In the
"munition areas" the saloons were closed at the hours when, in former
times, working men were most inclined to squander their wages on
debilitating ale and alcohol.  Everywhere a "No-drinks-before-10-A.-M."
decree was promulgated, and, simultaneously, it became a misdemeanor for
a restaurant, saloon, hotel, bar or even a private club to dispense
liquor after ten o’clock at night.  Clubland in Pall Mall, St. James’s
and Piccadilly groaned, and there was gnashing of teeth among the "nuts"
(young bloods) and the ladies of the chorus.  But people found they had
more money for bread and butter, potatoes, vegetables and meat, which
were costing semi-famine prices as it was, and there were fewer besot
wrecks of women in the Strand, and almost no intoxicated men in khaki.
War manifestly had its blessings, too.  One met unfamiliar people in the
plebeian motor-buses, who at first wrapped their evening-coats
exclusively and close around them, for contact with the common clay was
still new and strange.  It became positively fashionable to be a
cheese-parer.  You were no longer considered "bad form" if you went
straight home from the theater, and confessed why.  If my lady of
Mayfair did not close up her house in South Audley Street or Park Lane
altogether, to live in "chambers" or some cozy country cottage, which
was also cheap, she at least shut up the drawing-rooms, dispensed with a
maid or two, cut out the most expensive courses at her dinners, when she
gave any at all, and didn’t mind if her guests turned up in day clothes.

The plutocratic peer who ordinarily maintained a "place" at the
seashore, an estate in Middlesex or Devon, and a town-house in Berkeley
Square had probably long ago handed over the "place" and the estate for
military hospital purposes--hardly a mansion or manor-house in England
to-day is devoted to any other use--and now retrenchment became for him
the order of the day in London, too.  His stable of thoroughbreds almost
vanished in the early days of the war, for the needs of the cavalry and
the artillery were insatiable and undiscriminating, and now his _garage_
was down to a war basis--the most plebeian car he ever drove; the others
were in army service either in England or "somewhere in France."
Sackville Street and Albemarle Street, Bond Street and Regent Street,
where smart clothes and other expensive trinkets for men and women were
formerly sold, became deserted. Men’s tailors displayed nothing but
khaki in their windows, and Paquin’s, Redfern’s and Worth’s languished
as if England were famine-blighted.  Society faded away as if pestilence
had swept Uppertendom into oblivion.  Women of Britain’s first families
were almost ashamed to be seen in anything more chic than the livery of
mourning, and by midsummer of 1915 black was pitiably fashionable and
omnipresent. "Entertaining" had been a lost art for months.  "Going in
for it" now seemed and was sacrilege.  Indulged at all, it was excusable
only if it had the extenuating excuse of having been arranged, and then
in the most modest of ways, for one’s wounded or recuperating officer
friends, back from Hell or on the eve of going there--"somewhere in
France."  It was war-time in England at last.

If I have seemed to emphasize that the reconstruction of British life,
after bitterly hard knocks on land and sea pounded some realization of
their task’s magnitude into Englishmen’s heads, went on chiefly in the
upper and upper-middle classes, it is precisely the impression I seek to
convey.  It is they alone, to date, who have taken the full measure of
Britain’s terrible emergency and acted accordingly.  Even that statement
requires qualification, for the fools’ paradise is not even to-day
inhabited exclusively by the benighted lower strata of the population.
Neuve Chapelle, asphyxiating gas and the _Lusitania_ had passed into
history a full month before, yet there lingers painfully in my memory
the recollection of a country-house week-end party broken up because
Englishwomen of "class" objected to hearing a fellow-guest venture the
opinion that dear old England would better "wake up" to the fact that
calm alone, mighty an asset as it was, could not "march to Berlin"
against an enemy like the Germans.  These ladies were interesting as
types.  Their name was legion, and many of them, as an Irishman might
say, were men. Common sense, prized of Anglo-Saxon virtues, and
tolerance, its twin sister, lost their old-time hold on many millions in
these isles during the war.  The "Anti-German Union," which was founded
by well-meaning noblemen and noblewomen for the purpose of organizing
hate of the Teuton and all his works, perhaps set itself an unethical
goal, but the psychology at the bottom of the movement was wholesome; it
was all to the good, because it was sharpening the bulldog’s teeth. It
committed uncouth excesses like sending interrupters to the German
Church service in Montpelier Place, forgetting that my esteemed friend,
the Reverend Mr. Williams, the Anglican chaplain in Berlin, was never
prevented from assembling his uninterned flock for worship at St.
George’s in Montbijou-Platz.  Far less excusable than the "Anti-German
Union’s" super-patriotic eccentricities was the smug intolerance of
enormous numbers of British toward elementary questions of the war.
They would hear nothing of the Germans unless it was discreditable.  I
would write in my "Germany Day by Day" column in _The Daily Mail_ that
there were growing indications (let us say) that the enemy was still at
fighting zenith--his stock of men, materials and provisions still far
from exhausted.  The next day’s post would invariably bring me
denunciatory letters from anonymous members of the public.  I was
"pro-German."  I was "a German agent."  I was "playing the enemy’s
game."  Englishmen didn’t "care to read the twaddle of a man who was
still so enamored of the Hun capital where he so long lived."  And when
I wrote of American exasperation with British shipping practises in war,
an English patriot induced my editor to print a letter in retort,
"praying passionately for preservation from the candid friend."  Other
correspondents did not confine their observations to supplication.  They
were the high privates, these human ostriches, of the Grand Army of
Truth-Hiders, who, commanded by great editors in Fleet Street and ably
abetted by the Censorship, preferred palatable fiction to iron facts.
It is they who kept John Bull lulled in complacent slumber for most of
the first year of the war and are doing their diabolical best to
administer sleeping-powder even now.

Yet, by and large, the section of the British public which does its
thinking above its gaiter-tops was effectually roused from its dreams as
Armageddon’s initial twelvemonth approached its finish.  It was the
sub-stratum which could not be roused from the stupor of indifference.
The war had brought mourning and desolation to the upper-class homes of
England.  The havoc wrought in the ranks of the peerage and other
dignities is poignantly summarized in the new _Debrett_. Ten per cent.
of the British officers who have died in the war were in the pages of
_Debrett’s Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage_, and in the
issue for 1916, just published, the War Roll of Honor of the dead
comprises eight hundred names.  In it appear one member of the Royal
Family--Prince Maurice of Battenberg; six peers, sixteen baronets, six
knights, and seven members of Parliament, one hundred sixty-four knights
companion, ninety-five sons of peers, eighty-two sons of baronets, and
eighty-four sons of knights.  Two successive heirs to the earldom of
Loudoun fell, and the death of Lord Worsdey affected the succession to
three separate peerages, the earldom of Yarborough and the baronies of
Fauconberg and Conyers.  Succession has been unduly precipitated, or the
normal descent changed, in over one hundred instances by the casualties
of the war. The peer, the professional man, or the merchant, had had an
almost annihilating blow struck at his fortune.  Things during the past
year had dealt these classes a vicious thrust.  But working-class and
lower-class Britain were actually profiting from the war.  Wages were
inordinately high--despite trade-unionism’s unceasing clamor.
Unemployment no longer existed.  There were no soup-kitchens along the
Embankment.  The Salvation Army’s poor-relief system was almost without
an excuse.  Families of clerks and working men--many thousands of whom
were volunteers in Kitchener’s armies--were, thanks to generous
separation allowances paid by the War Office, almost better off than in
the days when the bread-winner was at home.  For the British proletariat
Mars seemed almost a savior.  He had brought it unwonted prosperity.
The temper in which a vast portion of the "downtrodden" looked upon
their new-born affluence was that self-preservation, being the first law
of nature, insistently demanded nothing from them which would
precipitately evict them from Easy Street.  The Grand Fleet protected
lower-class England from the only blow which could conceivably have
knocked sense into it--invasion.  As that did not and could not occur,
Shepherd’s Bush envisaged war not as an unmixed evil, but as something
better, somehow, than peace had ever been.  It is all woefully at
loggerheads with Norman Angell’s theories of the "devastating economic
influence of war."  But the immutable fact is that working-class
Britain, despite the havoc the war has played with trade, incomes and
high finance generally, finds itself, despite even the higher cost of
living, at least on as prosperous a level as at any time in its
contemporary history.  It may be a myopic view, but it explains, in my
judgment, much of the proletariat’s amazing apathy toward the crucial
national emergency.

The building of the New England is still in progress. The melting-pot is
full.  Years will elapse before the finished product leaves the
crucible.  The process of transition, however, has made enormous
strides. Adversity is a wonderful reorganizer.  The physiognomy of
things long held unchangeable is altered almost beyond recognition.  It
is a better England already, as well as a new one.  Above all, Democracy
has not failed in the supreme test.  The spectacle of three million men,
uncoerced, responsive and responsible to no law but their own
conscience, marching out to death and glory that England may live, is a
sublime picture, which will blot out and overshadow much of the bungling
and many of the disasters and excrescences of the past.

If I have seemed to dwell with insistence and even cynicism upon
"British calm" amid the thunders, let me here and now subscribe
unqualifiedly to the view that it remains, when all is said and done, a
magnificent achievement second only to the demonstration of Voluntaryism
as a Democracy’s first line of defense. Britannia will continue to rule
the waves mainly because she was calm when they surged about her most
angrily.



                              CHAPTER XXII

                               QUO VADIS?


October, 1915.  The eighty-third day of the second year of war.  A
woman, writing in _The Times_, suggests that England adopt as her
national prayer, "God help us win this war."  King George V, emerging at
length from the No Man’s Land of Constitutional Irresponsibility,
appeals, stirringly, "to my people" to save the sinking bark of
Voluntary military service.  It is the calm before the Conscription
storm.  The Sovereign discourses upon "the grave moment in the struggle"
and calls for "men of all classes to come forward and take their share
in the fight in order that another may not inherit the free Empire which
their ancestors and mine have built."  The King hints at "the darkest
moment" which, from time immemorial, "has ever produced in men of our
race the sternest resolve."

Britain’s horizon is clouded, wherever one looks. No forced optimism can
blink iron facts.  In the East, Russia is paralyzed for months to come,
even if not "crushed."  Her fortresses, "deemed impregnable," writes
Lloyd-George in the preface of his compiled war speeches, "are falling
like sand castles before the resistless tide of Teutonic invasion."  The
"steam-roller" must go into winter quarters.  In the West, the great
Anglo-French offensive in Artois and the Champagne punctures the German
front and advances the Allied lines two or three miles.  The German
losses are her severest of the war--140,000, so the French say,
including vast heaps of dead, whole regiments of maimed and at least
25,000 prisoners and 145 field-guns. But the victory, substantial and
promising as it is, has been dearly bought.  The Germans claim that the
preliminary seventy-two-hour bombardment represented an expenditure of
65,000,000 shells--mostly of American production, so allege the
"inspired" war-correspondents at German headquarters, with sneering
references to "blood-smeared dollars."  The Allies’ casualties are not
tabulated.  They are only known to be cruelly heavy.  Englishmen fear
there has been another Neuve Chapelle.  Joffre and French have
demonstrated that the German front is not quite impenetrable.  But the
enemy, on his part, has shown that for the Allies to "break through" in
the West is a task fraught with peril and toll sickening to contemplate.

General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief at the Dardanelles, has
been recalled "to report."  Another British general, unnamed, is
dismissed for having led an army into a shambles at Suvla Bay.  The
campaign in Gallipoli is a tacitly acknowledged failure. General Sir
Charles Monro is hurried to Turkey to succeed Hamilton and retrieve the
fortunes of an expedition which has already cost 100,000 casualties, a
trio of battleships, a transport full of troops, and heart-breaking
incalculable.  There are ugly rumors that the Allies, facing the
inevitable, are about to abandon the ill-starred Dardanelles venture,
and try their luck elsewhere.  Against the German-led Turks twelve miles
of precarious "front" with a back to the sea is all
Anglo-Colonial-French valor has been able to achieve. But misfortune has
dogged the Allies in fields remote from the actual theaters of war.
While Germanic-Turko armies have been wrecking their military hopes
East, West and Near East, Allied diplomacy has been disastrously foiled
in the pivotal Balkans.  Bulgaria, deemed friendly, though venal, openly
goes over to the enemy.  Sir Edward Grey, like his fellow-idol,
Kitchener, is under withering fire.  He is charged with permitting
Berlin to score a victory which might have been London’s if British
diplomacy had been characterized by less tentativeness of policy and
greater impetuosity of deed.  It seems the old story--"too late."  "Have
we a Foreign Office?" bitterly asks Fleet Street.  But the cup of
disappointment is not full even yet.  Greece, too, is recreant.  She
mobilizes, supposedly as a pro-Ally counterstroke to the pro-German
Bulgarian menace, for is not the King of the Hellenes bound by solemn
treaty to join Peter of Serbia in the eventuality of attack by Ferdinand
of Sofia?  But Downing Street failed to reckon with King "Tino" of
Athens and his Hohenzollern consort, the Kaiser’s favorite sister,
Sophia.  Premier Venizelos, the Allies’ hope, is forced to resign.
Greece remains "neutral," between German Charybdis and English Scylla,
as King Constantine himself describes his plight.  She shuts her eyes to
the nebulous Allied expeditionary force landed at Salonica and "rushed"
precipitately at the eleventh hour to the relief of the Serbs, who are
even now threatened with annihilation between the German-Austrians on
the north and west, and the back-stabbing Bulgars on the east.  Belgrade
falls.  Uskub is captured.  The Salonica line to Nish is cut. Germany’s
"road to Constantinople" is open.  The Kaiser can get there now before
the Allies.  Diplomacy grasps at a last straw.  Cyprus, annexed from
Turkey by Britain early in the war, is offered to Greece if she will
fling her army into the breach.  In Athens, it appears, dictates of
self-preservation govern.  Revealing a highly-developed Missourian
trait, Greece asks to be "shown."  By active operations against the
Germanic Powers and Bulgaria, assisted by mere promises of more Allied
reinforcements via Salonica or the driblets already sent, Greece fears
to share Belgium and Serbia’s fate.  If the Allies will send 400,000
troops to the Balkans--or about twice as many as have been pounding
fruitlessly at the Dardanelles--Greece might change her mind.  The
suggestion inspires little enthusiasm in England.  Kitchener and French
can doubtless spare the men.  But the equipment of another huge British
army for operations in the Near East in time to turn the tables is a
taller order. Meantime Mackensen and Gallwitz batter their way across
the Serbian ranges.  In London there are anxious doubts whether there
will even be any Serbian army to "relieve" by the time the Allies place
an effective rescuing expedition in the decisive theater.  Serbia begins
to look uncomfortably like another Belgium--Salonica like ill-starred
Antwerp.  Blunder and procrastination were ever the parents of disaster.

So much for the military and political situation, which even the
Truth-Hiders begin to see in its true colors.  But if things were
"messed" abroad--in the West and in the Near East--muddle and bungle
were even more rampant at home.  Take the Zeppelins. They first visited
these shores in January, 1915.  In October Press and Parliament
commenced for the first time seriously to investigate the adequacy of
Britain’s "aerial defenses," with the result that chaotic demoralization
and systemless go-as-you-please were found to prevail.  Sir Percy Scott,
the country’s greatest gunnery expert, had been in charge of London’s
defenses against the sky-pirates, but it appeared that his guns were
ineffective, his gunners untrained for the highly specialized feat of
hitting mile-high targets flying in the dark, and things in general
unorganized and more or less futile.  The Press Bureau condescendingly
parted with an abstract story of the latest and most disastrous raid of
all over "the London area."  People derived lively satisfaction from its
disclosure that the metropolis was "cool" and unafraid under fire.  Only
a few courageous "alarmists" read the signs of the times aright and
demand that some life and efficiency forthwith be injected into the
"anti-aircraft" department, lest, when Count Zeppelin’s range-finding
practise cruises across London are finished, an armada of German
airships sail across the Channel and reduce the heart of the Empire,
ever calm, to a smoking ash-heap before Sir Percy Scotts’ defense is
perfected.  There was anxious talk of bringing over "expert gunners"
from France--in October, after nearly ten months and after twenty-five
Zeppelin raids over English territory!

The while the elephant-hided Censorship, as if Britannia’s troubles were
not all-sufficient, insisted upon making itself more of an international
laughing-stock and object of world contempt than ever.  It censored
Kipling’s _Recessional_ in a battle-story from France. It deleted a
quotation from Browning in another narrative from the front.  It cut out
a famous war correspondent’s tribute to the bravery of the enemy.  It
eliminated a reference to Chatham, England’s greatest War Minister,
because it confused him with the famous British naval base from which he
took his title.  It refused to let out a single notch in the muzzle it
has attached even to the benevolently neutral American Press, as
represented by its accredited and notoriously Anglophile correspondents
in England.  It reveled in concealment, deception and grotesqueness,
though concealing nothing from the enemy and everything from England,
deceiving exclusively the British public, and making nobody grotesque
except its egregious self. Calls for the light at home, ridicule and
criticism from abroad, alike left the Censor unmoved.  The sparrows
cried from the housetops in ever more insistent accents that all was not
well with England, but the Censorship, magnificently blind even to the
Royal pronouncement that Britons unfailingly respond when the hour is
dark, maintained imperiously that what it was well for the country to
know was for it, and it alone, to decide.  If the British public were a
transgressor, its way could not have been harder.

Came Mr. Montagu, the Financial Secretary of the Treasury, the reputed
"budget genius" of the Government. Britons must be prepared, he told
them, "during the year ahead, to disgorge to the State _not less than
one-half of their entire income_, either in the form of taxes or loans."
Lord Reading’s borrowing commission to America was still on the water,
the ink on its $500,000,000 "credit loan" in New York not yet dry. "I
estimate our expenditure for the year," said Mr. McKenna, the Finance
Minister, in the House of Commons, at "seven billions, nine hundred
fifty million dollars" (only he spoke in pounds).  "As our total
estimated revenue, inclusive of new taxes, is one billion, five hundred
twenty-five million dollars, the deficit for the year will be six
billion, four hundred twenty-five million dollars.  We have now to
contemplate a Navy costing for the current year $950,000,000, an Army
costing $3,575,000,000, and external advances to our Allies (Russia,
France, Italy, Serbia and Belgium) amounting to $2,115,000,000."

Then the merciless Chancellor of the Exchequer acquainted Parliament
with his scheme for raising a part of this Brobdingnagian revenue.  Free
trade must be partially shelved.  There will be a revenue tariff on
"luxury" imports.  Income-tax in 1916 will be forty per cent. higher and
will amount altogether to about fifty cents on every five dollars
earned.  Even the man with $650 a year will pay, while "plutocrats" with
incomes above that figure will be mulcted even more relentlessly.  He of
$25,000 will pay $5,150, and nabobs with $50,000, $100,000 and $500,000
per annum (England has several in the latter category) will contribute,
respectively, $12,650, $30,150 and $170,150.  War is hell.  No wonder a
parliamentary wag, on the day Mr. McKenna introduced "Conscription of
Wealth," interrupted with a merry "Why don’t you take it all?"

Up to December, 1915, the Government had asked Parliamentary sanction
for war credits aggregating $6,500,000,000.  But even this staggering
total (the war was now costing $25,000,000 a day) was planned to carry
the campaign only up to the middle of November.  The $500,000,000 loan
transaction in the United States only produced funds to be spent there,
and it was but half of what was asked.  It only indirectly relieves the
situation at home.  Allowing for the deficit carried over from last
year, the latest budget proposes taxes amounting to $1,525,000,000 and
loans aggregating $6,425,000,000 for the fiscal year 1915-16.  But even
the most patriotic experts in Threadneedle Street acknowledge the utter
impossibility of raising $6,425,000,000 of genuine money by public loan
in Britain per year.  They reluctantly predict that the Government will
soon be driven to extend its use of fictitious money and paper--on the
excoriated German model. The war has already eaten toward the bottom of
the stockings and the strong-boxes of Britain where American securities
are stored.

As the financier not only of her own colossal requirements in the war,
but as banker for her allies, England’s money necessities are thus seen
to be no less urgent than her need of men and munitions.  They comprise,
these three M’s, the trilogy on which the existence of the Empire now
depends.  British performances in respect to the cash sinews of war have
truly been on a monumental scale.  History shows no parallel for the
achievement of raising at home in loans and Treasury bills over
$5,500,000,000 without abandonment of the gold standard and without
resort to inconvertible paper, and yet keeping British credit at an
altitude which gives hard-headed Uncle Sam no pause in taking John
Bull’s I-O-U for another half billion.  It is an imperishable tribute to
the stamina, prestige, wealth and commercial fabric of the British
Empire and to the enterprise and ingenuity of the merchants,
manufacturers, shippers, bankers and traders who have made their islands
the center of the world’s exchanges and London the money-market of the
universe.

[Illustration: Lord Northcliffe]

But magnificent as has been the past, the financial future can not be
viewed except with anxiety. Indebtedness has been piled up sky-high--out
of every twenty-five dollars spent since the war began, at least twenty
dollars has been borrowed.  That was possible because of the superlative
excellence of British credit. "Our credit is now almost everything,"
explains _The Economist_.  "It comes next to the Navy, and the two can
not be dissociated.  For if either suffer, our food supplies would be in
danger.  In one sense, credit is at the mercy of the Government and of
the Treasury, for a great false step of policy or continuance in a false
course would bring disaster.  The responsibility of the Prime Minister
and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and of the Cabinet, as a whole,
is prodigious. Whatever else we do, we must maintain our financial
equilibrium.  With that and the command of the seas, we can not be
defeated."

Manifestly Britain’s economic problem is almost the darkest spot on her
overclouded war horizon--the problem of meeting rising obligations out
of falling revenue.  The Empire suffers from no lack of men; its
physical resources are well-nigh inexhaustible.  If patriotism does not
send them to the trenches of their own free will in adequate numbers,
they will be "fetched."  There is no longer any question of shortage of
munitions.  England’s own vast industrial plant, as well as that of
France, is now occupied almost exclusively in the production of
man-killing merchandise for the Allies and is turning it out at high
pressure.  To the manufacturing equipment of England and France are
harnessed, in addition, German bombs and German-incited strikes to the
contrary notwithstanding, the limitless productive facilities of the
United States and Canada.  Britain’s one and only nightmare is money,
and its corollary aspects, exchange and credit.

No estimate has so far appeared which fixes the 1916 deficit which
England will have to meet at less than $7,000,000,000, based on a total
war cost for the calendar year of $9,000,000,000.  How to grapple with
the gigantic task conjured up by such a prospect is not engaging popular
attention to any marked degree, though upon its solution depends,
primarily, Britain’s ability to conquer in this war of exhaustion. With
the palpable impossibility of raising the wind at home by successive new
public loans; with the necessity to invoke such heroic measures as
borrowing $500,000,000 in America to bolster up sterling exchange and
keep British credit "intact"; with Englishmen sacrificing their enormous
holdings of American securities for the same pious purpose; with the
British industrial plant so preoccupied with munitions that it can
neither, in accordance with tradition, pay for British imports with
British exports nor increase British revenue by the same token; with
national expenditure advancing by gigantic leaps and national income
restricted as it never was before; with all these immutable conditions
staring at Englishmen, it is no wonder that those of them who think, as
distinguished from those who merely hurrah, contemplate what looms ahead
with anxious concern.

But admittedly grave as the future is, it is by no means hopeless.
Britain’s plight is not "desperate," as the Germans, seeking to hide
their own, are so fond of making believe.  Even the misgivings of
Englishmen themselves regarding their economic situation would be
promptly and legitimately resolved into confidence if the community as a
whole could be induced to pull itself together and look facts in the
face.  In its incorrigible disinclination to do so alone lies danger.
The British Empire is not bankrupt.  It can hardly ever become so.  A
recent estimate assessed the income of the Empire, including India, at
something over the fabulous sum of $20,000,000,000!  It may be
embarrassed--it is unquestionably that already--just as the richest of
men frequently are, in the midst of titanic transactions which have
outrun their calculations.  But embarrassment seldom eventuates in ruin,
either for men or nations, if they come to grips with it betimes.  Thus,
disaster can only follow tribulation in the case of Britain if her
people, preferring to wallow in happy-go-lucky nonchalance and drift,
postpone until too late those sagacious, clean-sweep measures of
reorganization and retrenchment which alone, in the opinion of competent
judges, can save the situation.

In the preceding chapter I told of the introduction of the Simple Life,
of the dawn of the Economy Era in war-time England; but it would be
hyperbole to intimate that it has been inaugurated on anything but a
superficial scale.  Luxury and self-indulgence are still rife.  To vast
numbers of people, in the classes as well as the masses, the war, far
from oppressing them, has brought positive affluence, and with their new
riches they have gone in for spending instead of saving. Spartanism in
Britain remains a good deal of a theory; it has not become a condition.
While Germany, shut off by land and sea, contrives to remain at fighting
zenith without her customary imports of $2,500,000,000 a year (she calls
Jellicoe’s blockade a blessing in disguise because it has compelled her
to spend at home what she used to pay out abroad), England’s imports of
such articles as oranges, cocoa, tea, coffee, tobacco, cheese, rice,
meats, pepper and onions have heavily exceeded her importations of the
same articles in corresponding peace periods.[1]  The Prime Minister
tells the country that "victory seems likely to incline to the side
which can arm itself the best and stay the longest."  Mr. Asquith
declares that "that is what we meant to do."  But until, for instance,
Englishmen realize that by abstaining from tobacco for a year,
$40,000,000 of money would be available for the smoke of battle; that if
every man, woman and child in the Kingdom puts away 25 cents a week, a
new treasure of $600,000,000 could be piled up for war; and that unless
waste, extravagance and slothful habits generally are banished, by duke
and by docker, as if they were leprous disease, Mr. Asquith’s brave
words will remain a hollow aspiration.  They alone will not enable
England to "stay the longest" in the world’s most destructive endurance
competition.


[1] There are ugly rumors that Produce Exchange patriots who burnt _The
Daily Mail_ for exposing the "shells tragedy" are the importers of these
excessively large stores and are selling them to "Holland"--and other
"neutrals" adjacent to Germany at exorbitant profits.


It is not change of governments, but ruthless change of system, which
England requires.  She has relegated a vast deal since the cleansing
process set in, in August a year ago, but the scrap-heap clamors for
more.  It cries most insistently of all for obliteration of the fetish
that politicians, lawyers and other amateurs are fit to conduct a
government engaged in the most terrible combat of human history.
Napoleon once said that a nation of lions led by a stag would be beaten
by a nation of stags led by a lion.  Britons claim to be a nation of
lions.  They contemplate the first year of the war and ask if they are
to continue to be led along the path of disaster by stags.  The
Truth-Hiders quote Lincoln and deprecate "swapping horses while crossing
a stream."  Lord Willoughy de Broke effectually disposes of this "plea
for incompetence in office" by telling the House of Lords that "whether
such a course should be adopted depends on what sort of a horse a man
has beneath him.  If the horse is standing in the middle of the stream
and seems as if he were going to lie down, the best thing is to get
another."  Englishmen admit that war like this demands wholesale
reconstruction of national life, yet their government has substituted
spasmodic patchwork for reconstruction.  Instead of bold tearing-down
and rebuilding, there has been nibbling and tinkering, and even then,
too late.  The people have waited for marching orders in countless
directions, but the Government band has played nothing but a hesitation
waltz. Take the drink evil, Britain’s most malignant ulcer. Russia is
not commonly looked to for economic or social inspiration, yet even she
has wrestled with drink in a manner which puts England to shame.  While
the Czar was banishing vodka absolutely for the pestilence that it was,
England’s governors, fearful of Labor and "the trade" alike, temporized
and enacted makeshifts which materially ameliorated the liquor menace
without throttling its power for evil.  They have made "treating" a
misdemeanor, closed the saloons, both public and private, at 10 P.M.,
and restricted the hours when drink may be sold in London and the
industrial districts.  But clubmen, artisans and soldiers can get drunk
to their heart’s content as of yore.  They have had only to rearrange
their bibulous hours.  Take the air defense muddle.  "I, for one," wrote
a Briton in October, protesting against the prevailing theory that the
call of the hour, in the midst of the Zeppelin peril was "coolness," "am
tired of being complimented on the calmness with which I behave in the
presence of danger. It is no comfort to me that my death, if it occurs,
will have no military importance.  I want to be congratulated not on the
stoicism with which I go to my funeral, but on my share in a system of
government which affords effective protection to my country."

Nothing could better stigmatize the epidemic of Self-Sufficiency which,
in the writer’s deliberate judgment, is primarily responsible for
British failures in the war thus far.  _There has been too much
congratulation and self-congratulation on the sang-froid with which John
Bull can take punishment_.  He is a mighty gladiator, but cheery comfort
from his seconds between rounds has failed on many an occasion to
prevent a champion pugilist from being knocked out.  It is not that
England is _incapable_ of defeating Germany.  It is that she seems
_unwilling_ to do so by throwing into the balance every atom of strength
for which that prodigious task calls.  For at least a decade before 1914
Britain’s political ostriches, disarmament-mongers, professional
pacifists and pro-Germans declined to recognize the German danger even
when it was approaching with strides so brazen that almost the blind
could see.  They preferred the "valor of ignorance," thought Ballin and
Harnack instead of Tirpitz and Bernhardi typified Modern Germany,
continued to revel in the bliss of contemptuous self-confidence, and
attempted to parley with a tiger which was crouching for the attack.  I
enter a modest claim to have done my own little share for eight years in
the futile work of arousing Britain to the Teuton peril.  I refer merely
to my work at Berlin, in reporting military and naval
developments--"Germany laid all her cards on the table," as Admiral von
Tirpitz once said to me.  When the crash came, Englishmen pinned their
faith to their history.  They were no match for "forty years of
preparations," of course; but they always "started late" and "muddled
through" their wars.  The Crimea began in terror and ended in triumph.
The South African affair was the same sort of thing.  War with Germany
would be no different.  The race which had finished off Napoleon need
have no qualms in tackling his pinchbeck successor.  Britons admit that
a year of war has dissipated nearly all their comfortable illusions, but
signs are still wanting that there is nation-wide, deep-seated
realization of the immensity of the ordeal and the dimensions of the
sacrifices yet to be faced.  On December 8, 1915, when the war was
sixteen months old, Admiral Lord Charles Beresford wrote this letter to
_The Times_:


"We are at present in a complex tangle of muddle and mismanagement.  Our
military campaigns are being conducted without any objective or plan.
Policy only has been considered.

"In war a policy has to be enforced by the Navy and Army.  The War
Staffs have not been consulted as to whether they had the means in men
and material for enforcing the different policies inaugurated by the
Cabinet.  Individuals have been consulted; combined opinion of War
Staffs has not been sought.  The result is disaster in nearly every
direction.

"We have not taken full advantage of our mastery of the sea.  In every
department we observe doubt, hesitation, and procrastination.  War
requires quick decisions and prompt actions.  The question of supplying
recruits for the Army has been postponed once, and apparently may be
postponed again.  Unless a decision is come to immediately we shall be a
year before the recruits joined under any new scheme can possibly be
ready to take the field.

"The public is sick of the policy conveyed in the sentence ’Wait and
see.’  The danger to the Empire becomes more apparent every day.  The
country is waiting for a strong, clear lead.  Our present methods will
prolong the war indefinitely.  If we continue hesitating without making
up our minds on any single question connected with the war, we shall
plunge straight into disaster."


I, too, shall be a pessimist about England’s chances to win the war only
so long as she neglects to _go to war_. Mere command of the sea, it has
been amply demonstrated, can not crush Germany.  It can sorely
inconvenience her and compel her to live on the ration basis, but it can
not force what King George has called "a highly organized enemy"
prematurely to make peace. When England has staked her all, I shall turn
blithe optimist, for I believe that nothing else in the world can
overthrow her savagely efficient antagonist. Germany has staked her
_all_.  Until England does likewise, they will not fight on even terms.
When England, like Germany, has relentlessly marshaled every tithe of
her national strength for war, subordinated all else to that purpose,
harnessed to the chariot of Mars every conceivable resource at her
command, pulverized caste distinctions, banned politics and politicians,
and made the war and the winning of it the only thing the nation eats
for, works for, dreams of, or wastes thought upon--then I shall feel
constrained to feel assured that victory will perch, however distant the
hour, on Liberty’s and not on Tyranny’s banners.  The Anglo-German
endurance test--into which the war will eventually resolve itself--can
have but one issue.  Germans know that. Their analytical mind long ago
taught them that the dormant resources of the British Empire, _once
mobilized_, would be invincible.  But what is happening is precisely
what the Germans counted upon: the irresolute British habit of mind, the
"too late" system, the century-old cult of comfort and ease, the
"Splendid Isolation" school of thought, which, when the hour of trial
came, might be relied upon to cripple the effort to convert latent
potentialities into an inconquerable organism.  History will have names
for all these things.  It will call them Belgium, Serbia, Dardanelles
and Salonica.

The British people must triumph over themselves before they can break
the Germans.  Their inexhaustible moral and material assets must be
commandeered and husbanded, if they are to accomplish their manifest
destiny, and not merely be bragged about in the clubs of Pall Mall and
the ostrich-farms of Fleet Street.  If the world-wide realm on which the
sun never sets can produce armies calculable only in millions, as it
most assuredly is able to do, let them come forth, or be brought forth.
If the wealth of the United Kingdom, India and the dominions oversea
represents riches unmatched, as it does, let it be lavished exclusively
on war, and not squandered in any other single direction. If common
sense is the proudest of Anglo-Saxon virtues, let it prevail and sweep
away governments which value votes more than men’s lives and abolish a
Censorship which treats Britons as if they were half-witted.  If there
must be calm at all costs, let it be the calm of high-pressure effort,
and not the coolness of impotent resignation or casual performance.  If
faith must be placed in the efficacy of "attrition," let the process of
"bleeding Germany white" be hastened by British achievements afield,
lest "attrition," when the flags are furled, find the victor as
emaciated as the vanquished.

I forget neither Germany’s wrecked military hopes and economic
disintegration, nor the magnitude of Britain’s service and
accomplishment thus far.  I regret only, along with England’s other
well-wishers, that her sacrifices have not resulted, as they so richly
deserved to, in advancing the British cause farther toward the goal.  I
can not help thinking that, in many respects, it is wasted achievement,
for the object which England and her Allies have set themselves is not
merely the pinioning of Germany to fronts in Russia, France, Belgium and
Greece beyond which she can not thrust herself.  I am not unmindful of
the glorious response of Britain’s noblest sons, who sleep by their
gallant thousands in the blood-manured soil of France, Belgium, Turkey
and the Balkans, nor of the Trojan spirit in which the women of the
Empire are giving their best and bravest, and weeping not.  I mourn only
because death and suffering leave triumph still so remote.  The
remorselessness with which the Reaper has stalked through the great
families and homes of England is saddening, yet inspiring, evidence that
the heart of Britain is sound.  The immortal deeds of the Grenfells and
the O’Learys and of all the one hundred thirty who have won Victoria
Crosses are only the outstanding tokens of undying British heroism.  But
if sacrifice is not to continue to be cruelly in vain, there must be
relentless regeneration of the purely material governance of British
life, even more destructible of tradition and institutions than anything
which has gone before.  Of bulldog British determination to fight to a
finish and to win there is no shadow of doubt.  There is no Briton
worthy of the name not ready to be beggared to that end.  The sublimity
of the cause for which England is bleeding is a more ennobling incentive
than ever, for it has come to comprehend life or death for herself, as
well as the liberation of Belgium.  Spirituality has forfeited none of
its pristine efficacy as an asset in war and bulwark in stress, but in
our machine-gun era it must be backed by scientific efficiency and
patriotism of deed before there can be imposed upon Germany that peace
which is essential not only to British security, but to the world’s
happiness.



                                 FINIS





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