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Title: Ten Years Near the German Frontier: A Retrospect and a Warning
Author: Egan, Maurice Francis, 1852-1924
Language: English
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project.)



Transcriber's notes: The author's incorrect spellings of Danish and
other foreign names and words have been retained. An incorrect
reference to the Danish King Christian IV. has been corrected in "as
all the children of King Christian IV.[IX.] were".



 TEN YEARS NEAR THE
 GERMAN FRONTIER



 TEN YEARS
 NEAR THE
 GERMAN FRONTIER

 A RETROSPECT AND A WARNING

 BY

 MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN
 FORMER UNITED STATES MINISTER TO DENMARK

 HODDER AND STOUGHTON

 LONDON · NEW YORK · TORONTO


 _Copyright, 1918,
 By George H. Doran Company_



PREFACE


The purpose of this book is to show the reflections of Prussian
policy and activity in a little country which was indispensable to
Prussia in the founding of the German Empire, and which, in spite of
its heroic struggle in 1864, was forced to serve as the very
foundation of that power; for, if Prussia had not unrighteously
seized Slesvig, the Kiel Canal and the formation of the great German
fleet would have been almost impossible.

The rape of Slesvig and the acquisition of Heligoland--that despised
'trouser button' which kept up the 'indispensables' of the German
Navy--are facts that ought to illuminate, for those who would be
wise, the past as a warning to the future. There is no doubt that
the assimilation of Slesvig by Prussia led to the Franco-Prussian
war, and liberated modern Germany from the difficulties that would
have hampered her intention to become the dominant power in the
world. The further acquisition of Denmark would have been only a
question of time, had not the march of the Despot through Belgium
aroused the civilised world to the reality of the German imperial
aggression--until then, unhappily, not taken seriously. Had Germany
followed the policy which induced her to hold Slesvig, in spite of
the promise that the Slesvigers, passionately Danish, might by vote
decide their own fate--and seize Denmark, the Virgin Islands, not
American, would have been German possessions. The change of policy
which sent the German army into Belgium and Northern France, instead
of into Denmark, was, in a measure, due to the belief in Germany,
that the war would be short; and, with France helpless, Russia
terrorised and England torn by political factions, she could control
the Danish Belts that lead from the North Sea to the Baltic and treat
these waters as German lakes.

She reckoned as erroneously on that as she reckoned on controlling
the Mediterranean and on smashing the Monroe Doctrine by practically
possessing Argentine and Brazil. She built well, however, when she
made Kiel the pride of the Emperor and the Empire. Europe watched the
process, and hardly gave a thought to the outrage on humanity and
liberty it involved. The world is suffering for this indifference.
The retention of Danish Slesvig created the German sea power and the
constant threat to Denmark concerns us all. It is a world question;
and it must be answered in the interest of Democracy.

Denmark is geographically part of Germany. In normal times you
reached Berlin from Copenhagen in a night. In a few short hours you
may see German sentinels on the Slesvig frontier, and hear the field
practice of German guns. A Zeppelin might have reached Copenhagen
from Berlin in eight hours, and an army corps might land in Jutland
in about double that time.

Copenhagen is so near what was that centre of world politics--the
German court--its royal family is so closely allied with all the
reigning and non-reigning royal families of Europe, and its
diplomatic life so tense and comprehensive,--that it has been well
named the whispering gallery of Europe.

I have not attempted to keep out of this sketch of my diplomatic
experiences and deductions all traces of amusement; but, as to the
terrible seriousness of the greater part of this record, I may
appropriately quote the answer of Bismarck's tailor, when that genius
of blood and iron accused him of asking an enormous price for a fur
coat, of 'joking.' 'No,' answered the tailor, 'never in business!'

And, in spite of the fact that there are lights and even laughs in
the diplomatic career, it is a serious business; and the sooner my
fellow countrymen recognise this, the fewer international errors they
will have to regret.

                                        MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN.



CONTENTS


                                                   PAGE

 CHAPTER I

 A Scrap of Paper and the Danes
                                                      1

 CHAPTER II

 The Menace of 'Our Neighbour to the South'
                                                     35

 CHAPTER III

 The Kaiser and the King of England
                                                     46

 CHAPTER IV

 Some Details the Germans Knew
                                                     61

 CHAPTER V

 Glimpses of the German Point of View in Relation
 to the United States
                                                     79

 CHAPTER VI

 German Designs in Sweden and Norway
                                                     98

 CHAPTER VII

 The Religious Propaganda
                                                    124

 CHAPTER VIII

 The Prussian Holy Ghost
                                                    154

 CHAPTER IX

 1910, 1911, 1912
                                                    169

 CHAPTER X

 A Portent in the Air
                                                    189

 CHAPTER XI

 The Preliminaries to the Purchase of the Danish
 Antilles
                                                    203

 CHAPTER XII

 The Beginning of 1917 and the End
                                                    259



CHAPTER I

A SCRAP OF PAPER AND THE DANES


Let us trace deliberately, with as much calmness as possible, the
beginning of that policy, of 'blood and iron' which made the German
Empire, as we knew it yesterday, possible. It began with the tearing
up of 'a scrap of paper' in 1864. It began in perfidy, treachery, and
the forcible suppression of the rights of a free people. It began in
Denmark; and nothing could make a normal American more in love with
freedom, as we know it, than to live under the shadow of a tyrannical
power, cynically opposed to the legitimate desire of a little nation
to develop its own capabilities in its own way.

The Hanoverian on the throne of England in '76,--that 'snuffy old
drone from a German hive'--never dared to suggest that the colonies
should be crushed out of all semblance of freedom; but, suppose our
language had been different from that which his environment compelled
him to speak, and that he had resolved to force his tongue on our own
English-speaking people; suppose that he and his counsellors had
resolved that German should be the language spoken in sermons and
prayers from Washington's old church in Alexandria to Faneuil Hall;
suppose that all the colleges and schools of the country, as well as
the law courts, were forced to use this alien tongue; that a
German-speaking Empire existed to the south of us, and the minority
in this German domain, arrogant, closely connected with the
Hanoverian régime, ruled us with the mailed fist, would we submit
without constant efforts to obtain justice?

And yet Denmark, in the province of Slesvig, has endured these things
since 1864. She alone of all the world resisted the beginning of
German tyranny, of German arrogant evolution; and her resistance was
useless because the rest of Europe saw in the future neither the
German Empire nor the Kiel Canal.

Denmark is, as every schoolboy knows, geographically part of Germany;
and the Pan-Germans spoke of it benevolently as 'our Northern
province.' It might long ago have been their Northern province if
England and Russia had not been powers in the world and if the great
Queen Louise of Denmark, a beautiful and fragile little woman, with a
heart of gold and a will of steel, had not used all her wits to keep
her country free by the only means of diplomacy she knew--the ties of
family.

Queen Louise, the wife of Christian IX., new king of an old line, was
not born in the purple, though her blood was the bluest in Europe.
The beautiful princesses, her three daughters, later the Empress of
Russia, Dagmar, the Queen of England, Alexandra, and the Duchess of
Cumberland, Thyra, made their frocks and were taught all the
household arts--for their father, royal by blood as he was, was a
poor officer.

These princesses hold lovingly in remembrance the time of their
poverty; these princesses love the old times. There is a villa on the
Strandvej (the beach way) called Hvidhöre, white as befits the name,
with sculptured sea-nymphs and pretty gardens and a path under the
strand to the Sound. Here, until 1914, the Empress Dowager of Russia
and the Queen of England regularly spent part of the summer and
autumn. The Russian yacht, _The Polar Star_, and the English
_Victoria and Albert_ appeared regularly in the Sound, the officers
added to the gaiety of Copenhagen and the royal ladies went to
Hvidhöre, 'where,' as the Widow Queen of England said to my wife,
smiling, 'we can make our own beds, as we did when we were girls.'

The servants might drop a plate or two during luncheon or stumble
over a chair; but the Empresses of Russia and of India made no
objections--'the dear old people were a little blind, perhaps, but
then they had served our father, King Christian.' And anything that
relates to their father is sacred to these ladies; and everything
concerning Denmark very dear.

In 1907 the small parties at Hvidhöre went on as usual, though the
great royal gatherings at the palace of Fredensborg had ceased. Here,
in the time of the old Queen Louise, from sixty to eighty scions of
royalty, young and old, had often gathered under the high blue
ceiling, from which looked down beautiful white gods and goddesses.

In 1907-8 King Frederick VIII. gave occasionally a dinner on Sunday
night at the country house not far from Copenhagen, Charlottenlund,
when it was hard to keep from turning one's back to a royalty,--there
were so many crowned heads present. There, if Queen Alexandra made it
plain that she wanted to speak to you, you, approaching her, found
yourself with your back to the King of Greece or to King Haakon of
Norway, or to the Queen of Denmark herself!

Times have changed; the circumstances which made the late mother of
King Frederick so powerful in keeping 'the family' together can never
occur again.

Of the four daughters of the late King Frederick, two married, one
in Sweden and the other in Germany. The Danish princess, Louise, who
became the wife of His Serene Highness, Prince Friedrich Georg
Wilhelm Bruno of Lippe-Schaumbourg, is to the Danes a lovely and
pathetic memory. They say that he treated her badly, that the bride
fled from him to the protection of her parents, whom they censured
for not taking her home before her death. The criticism--which even
found expression in public disapproval--was unreasonable, but the
mass of the Danes is always more generous than just in the treatment
of its children. In 1908-9, to mention the name of Prince Friedrich
was to commit a social error; he was taboo; every mother in Denmark
was furious at the stories told of his injuries to their dead
Princess Louise.

Princess Ingeborg, born in 1878, married the 'blue Prince,' Charles
of Sweden, Duke of Westgothia. King Frederick VIII., after the
failure of the German marriage, kept his two other daughters, Thyra
and Dagmar, in the background. He was a very sympathetic king, and he
liked to talk of ordinary affairs; he was truly much interested in
the life immediately around him. 'I do not encourage princes in
search of wives,' he said; 'I shall keep my daughters with me.'
Princess Thyra--one cannot conceal the age of princesses, while there
is an _Almanach de Gotha_--was born on March 14th, 1880, and Princess
Dagmar on May 23rd, 1890. The Princess Thyra is of the type of her
beautiful aunt, the Queen Mother of England; like her aunt, she
looks much younger than her age; the Princess Dagmar has the quality
of this royal family, of always seeming to be ten years, in
appearance, younger than they are. They were our near neighbours for
ten years, and my wife often threatened to marry them to nice
'Americans';--King Frederick, considering this impossible, gave his
consent at once! He often brought them in to tea, and they met 'nice
Americans,' and seemed to like them very much.

The Emperor William--who wanted to be called the Emperor of Germany
rather than the German, or Prussian Emperor, as we always called
him--showed no affection for his Danish relatives; but, nevertheless,
he did not underrate the value of Denmark as the 'whispering gallery'
of Europe.

In the old palace of Rosenborg, in Copenhagen, there is a room so
arranged that, by means of a narrow tunnel in the wall, Christian
IV., a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth, could hear what his guards
said, in their cabinet, at all hours of the day and night. 'There is
a similar room at Potsdam,' a Dane said to me; 'William always
listens when he is not speaking!' William knew what the Danes said of
the German marriage; his plans did not lie in the way of annexing
either of the Danish princesses, whose sympathies were not with the
despoilers of the country; he had his eyes on the son of their aunt,
the Duchess of Cumberland, who was later to marry his daughter. But
royal marriages had ceased to strengthen or weaken Denmark; the
Archduke Michael of Russia 'hung around' for a time; others came; but
King Frederick walked out with his daughter, Princess Thyra, both
evidently content. Princesses are expected to make marriages of
'convenience,' but Princess Thyra, like her aunt, Princess Victoria
of England, does not seem inclined to make a marriage of that kind.
Princess Dagmar was too young to be permitted to expect suitors, when
her father lived; and the Princess Margaret, daughter of Prince
Valdemar, brother of King Frederick, for whom, it was said, overtures
had already been made on behalf of the growing Prince of the House
of Saxony, was younger still. Denmark had ceased to be a marriage
market of kings; the futility of attempting to cement international
relations by royal alliances was becoming only too evident. Prince
Valdemar, brother of King Frederick, had refused more than once a
Balkan kingdom, and, when consulted by very great personages as to a
marriage of his oldest son to the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, had
answered, like his brother Frederick, that he preferred 'to keep his
children at home.'

Nevertheless, the previous royal marriages and the fact that nearly
every diplomat at Copenhagen was a favourite with his sovereign, sent
by a relative of the court at home to please the court at Copenhagen,
gave the post unusual prestige, and made 'conversations' possible
there which could not have taken place elsewhere. The court circle,
when one had the entrance, but not until then, was like that of an
agreeable family. Nearly every minister at Copenhagen was destined
for an embassy. When my predecessor, Mr. O'Brien, was translated to
Tokyo, our prestige was enhanced; the Danes believed that our country
but followed the usual precedent, according to which their French M.
Jusserand had been made ambassador at Washington. Even the United
States had begun to understand the importance of the post; and it was
in the line of diplomatic usage when it was rumoured that I had been
offered Vienna. I met, too, ministers to Copenhagen who considered
themselves, because of royal patronage, ambassadors by brevet, and
who exacted 'Excellency,' not as a courtesy but a right!

Mr. Whitelaw Reid wrote to me, speaking of my post as a 'delightful,
little Dresden china court'; the epithet was pretty, and there were
times, when the young princesses and their friends thronged the
rococo rooms of the Amalieborg Palace, that it seemed appropriate.
When the processions of guests moved up the white stairs between the
line of liveried servants, some of them with quaint artificial
flowers in their caps, the sight was very like a bit out of Watteau.

Bismarck had not looked on Denmark as a negligible country; he knew
its importance; there was a legend that one of the few persons he
really respected and feared in Europe was the old Queen Louise.
Besides, he knew the history of Denmark so well, that he chose to
correct the supposed taint in the blood of the Hohenzollerns by
choosing an Empress for William II. of 'the blood of Struense.' This
Struense, the German physician who, through the degeneracy of
Christian VII., had in 1770 become the guide, the philosopher,
and--it was said--the more than friend of his Queen, Caroline
Matilda, tried to be the Bismarck of Denmark; but he was of too soft
a mould,--the disciple of Rousseau and Voltaire rather than of
Machiavelli and Cæsar Borgia. He was drawn and quartered, after
having confessed, in the most ungentlemanly way, his relations with
the queen, sister of King George III. of England.

It is probable that part of the Emperor's dislike to Bismarck
was due to that '_mot_' of the Iron Chancellor about the royal
marriage he had helped to make. It was the kind of '_mot_' that
William would not be likely to forget. It is an axiom of courts
that the child of a Queen cannot be illegitimate. Even the
Duke de Morny, son of Queen Hortense of Holland, bore proudly
'Hortensias' in the panels of his carriage during the Third
Empire in France. Nevertheless, though Queen Caroline Matilda had
died, in her exile at Celle, protesting her innocence, it was
understood that Struense was the father of the supposed daughter
of Christian VII., the daughter who married into the House of
Slesvig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. Her descendant, the
Princess Augusta Victoria Frederika-Louisa-Feodora-Jenny married
the Emperor William II., on February 27th, 1881, at Berlin. It was
a love match--at least on the side of the empress. One of the ladies
in waiting at the German court once told my wife that the famous
Augusta Victoria rose--the magnolia rose of our youth--was always
cherished by her imperial majesty because of its association with her
courtship--'the emperor knew how to make love!' the empress said.

The appearance of Struense among the ancestors of the empress, to
which Bismarck is said to have so brutally alluded, was not agreeable
to the proudest monarch in Europe. Queen Caroline Matilda, sister of
the second George of England, was only fifteen years of age when she
came to Denmark to become the wife of Christian VII. in 1766. And, if
anything could have excused her later relations with Struense (her
son, Frederick VII., was undoubtedly legitimate)--it was the attitude
of her degenerate husband and her mother-in-law, Julianna Maria.
Having been dragged one bitter cold morning to the castle of
Elsinore, she confessed her guilt; but under such circumstances of
cruel oppression that the confession goes for little; circumstances,
however, were against her, and the courts of Europe only remember
that she was the daughter of a king, of blood sufficiently royal, to
make up for her declension.

In Copenhagen, in 1908, the echoes of public opinion in London, among
the higher classes at least, showed that the momentary insecurity
caused by the reverses in the Boer war had passed. People had
forgotten the emperor's telegram to Oom Paul. Nobody wanted war;
therefore, there would be no war. 'If we have no property,' St.
Francis of Assisi, pleading for his Order to the Pope, said, 'we
shall need no soldiers to protect it.' It was forgotten that,
reversely, if we have property, we must always have armies and fleets
to protect it. It was not war that anybody wanted; but there was
property to be had, which could only be had by the use of armies and
fleets.

In Paris (for reasons which secret history will one day disclose, and
for other reasons only too plain), the German designs were apparently
not understood by high officials who directed the course of France.
France made the mistake, as we are always likely to do, of reading
its own psychology into the minds of its opponents. Paris believed,
to use Voltaire's opinion of the prophet Habakkuk, that Germany was
capable of everything, except the very thing that Germany was
preparing without rest, without haste, and without shame to do--to
bleed her white!

From echoes in Copenhagen, we learned, too, that in Petrograd,
Germany was better understood because the Russian spies were real
spies; they knew what they were about, and, being half oriental, they
understood how to use the scimitar of Saladin. There were other spies
who knew only the use of the battle-axe of Coeur-de-Lion; but they
were often deceived though very well paid; in fact, the ordinary paid
spy is a bad investment. In Belgium the Internationals talked
universal peace; indeed, among others than the Internationals, the
army was disliked. As in Holland, German commercial aggression was
feared. The most amazing thing is that Internationalism did not
weaken the _morale_ of the heroic Belgians when the test came.

In Copenhagen, the idea of a permanent peace seemed untenable, and
war meant ruin to Denmark. This was not a pleasant state of mind; but
it did not induce subserviency. In the vaults of Hamlet's castle of
Elsinore on the delectable Sound, Holger Dansker sits, waiting to
save Denmark from the ruthless invader. There are brave Danes to-day
who would follow Holger, the Dane, to the death, who believe that
their country never can be enslaved; but, though the conquering
Germans spared Denmark, they did not need the knowledge of the fate
of Belgium to convince them of what they might expect as soon as it
pleased the Kaiser to act against them. The fate of Belgium had
confirmed the fears they had inherited. There is no doubt where their
hearts were, but a movement--a slight movement--against Germany would
have meant for the King of Denmark the fate of the King of Belgium or
the King of Serbia. That he is married to a princess half German by
blood would not shield him. Belgium was not spared because its queen
was of German birth.

Copenhagen, as I have said, was not only a city of rumours, but a
city of news. The pulse of Europe could be felt there because
Europeans of distinction were passing and repassing continually, and
the Danes, like the Athenians of St. Paul's time, love to hear new
things. But there was and is one old query which all Denmark never
forgets to ask: Will Danish Slesvig come back to its motherland?
Slesvig-Holstein is the Alsace-Lorraine question in Denmark. For
Slesvig Denmark would dare much. She could not court certain
destruction but, in her heart, 'Slesvig' is written as indelibly as
'Calais' was written in the heart of the dying queen, Mary Tudor.

She had forgiven and forgotten the loss of her fleet and the
bombardment of Copenhagen by the English in 1807 and 1814. She then
stood for France and new ideas, and Tory England made her suffer for
it. She lost Norway in 1814; she was reduced almost to bankruptcy;
and, until 1880, she could only devote her attention to the revival
of her economic life. Holstein was German; Slesvig, Danish. They
could not be united unless the language of one was made dominant over
the language of the other. The imperial law of Germany governed
Holstein; all Slesvig legislation had since 1241 been based upon the
laws of the Danish King Valdemar. To force the German law and
language on Slesvig was to wipe out all Danish ideas and ideals in
the most Danish of the provinces of Denmark. The attempt to Germanise
Slesvig took concrete form in 1830. Desiring to bring it under German
domination, Uve Lornsen, a Frisian lawyer, proposed to make the
Duchies of Slesvig and Holstein self-governing states, separated from
Denmark, and entirely under German influence. As, according to him,
only royal persons of the male lineage could govern the united
Duchies, the King of Denmark might have the title of Duke until the
male line should become extinct. Uve Lornsen met remonstrances based
on the laws and traditions of the Danes with the arrogant assertion,
uttered in German:

'Ancient history is not to be considered; we will have it our own way
now.'

Kristian Poulsen, a Dane, who knew both the German and the Danish
views, opposed the beginning of a process which meant the imposition
of autocratic methods on a people who were resolved to develop their
own national spirit in freedom.

In Slesvig there are 3613 square miles. In the greater part of this
territory, consisting of 2190 square miles, Danish was the
vernacular, while 1423 square miles were populated by speakers of
German. German power had secured German teaching for 220,000 people
in churches and schools. The injustice of this will be seen when it
is understood that only 110,000 were given opportunities, religious
and educational, of hearing Danish. Danish could not be used in the
courts of law. It was required that the clergy should be educated at
the University of Kiel, and other officials of the state could have
no chance of advancement unless they used German constantly and
fluently. The teachers in the communal schools were all trained in
Germany. The Danish speech was not used in a single college. In a
word, the German influence, under the eyes of a Danish king and
government, was driving out all the safeguards of Danish national
life in Slesvig.

King Christian VIII., partly awakened to the wrongs of the
Slesvigers, issued in 1840 a rescript insisting on the introduction
of Danish into the law courts. The German partisans were outraged by
this insult to German Kultur; no tongue but the German should be used
even in Danish Slesvig. The king, the Danish court, for over two
hundred years had been Germanised; the king did not dare to announce
himself as a nationalist; but, against the German partisans, he
decided that the Danish kings had always possessed the right of
succession in Denmark, that the succession was not confined to the
male line in Slesvig.

In Holstein the position was different. If the Danish line should
become extinct, the succession might fall to the Russian Emperor; but
Slesvig must be Danish. On the death of King Christian VIII. in 1848,
feeling ran high in Denmark and in Slesvig-Holstein. In truth, all
Europe was in a ferment. The results of the French revolt in 1830
were still leavening Europe. The Assembly of Holstein and Slesvig was
divided in opinion. The desire of the Germans in the provinces to
control the majority became more and more apparent. Danish interests
must disappear, the beginning of the German 'Kultur,' not yet
developed by Bismarck, must take its place. Five deputies were sent
to Copenhagen, with, among other demands, a demand that the Danish
part of the country be incorporated into the German confederation.

The citizens of Copenhagen had reason to believe that the Holstein
counts, Moltke and Reventlow-Criminel, potent ministers and men of
strong wills, might influence King Frederick VII. to give way to the
Germans. The king determined to dismiss these ministers; the demands
of the Town Council of Copenhagen and the people of Denmark were
answered before they were made. His Majesty had 'neither the will nor
the power to allow Slesvig to be incorporated in the German
Confederation; Holstein could pursue her own course.'[1]

 [1] H. Rosendal, _The Problem of Danish Slesvig_.

But the German opposition in the provinces had not been idle. Berlin
had shown itself favourable to the Duke of Augustenburg, and the
Prince of Noer had headed a band of rebels against Denmark and
instigated the garrison of Rendsborg to mutiny on the plea that the
Danes had imprisoned their king. A contest of arms took place between
the two parties. Prussia interfered; but Prussia was not then what it
is now. At the conclusion of a three years' war, the rebels were
defeated and the King of Denmark decreed that Slesvig should be a
separate duchy, governed by its own assembly. The German party so
juggled the election--'Fatherland Over All' governed their point of
view, the end justified the means--that the Assembly shamefully
misrepresented the Danes. It was Prussianised.

The Danes did not lose heart--Slesvig must be Danish; but if they
allowed their language to disappear, there could be no hope for their
nationality. On the other hand, the Germans held, as they hold
to-day, that all languages must yield to theirs. The German press
would have extirpated the Danish language; it was seditious; the
Danes were rebels. From the Danish side to Tönder-Flensborg, the
official speech and that of the people was Danish. Between the two
Belts--the space can easily be traced on the map--Danish was spoken
in the churches every second Sunday. In the schools both Danish and
German was permitted; in the courts of law both languages were used.
You made your choice! The world was deceived by an unscrupulous
Assembly and the German press into the belief that Slesvig was
German, lovingly German, and that the Danes were merely restless
malcontents, hating the beneficent Prussian rule simply from a
perverted sense of their own importance.

The crucial moment came in 1864. Denmark had no real friends in
Europe. The United States, if her people had understood the matter,
would have been sympathetic; but, at the moment, she was fighting for
her own existence as a nation. The European powers, in spite of all
their statecraft, allowed themselves to be blinded. Austria,
apparently proud and noble, allowed herself, as usual, to be made the
tool of Prussia. The two powers, on the false pretence that the right
of Christian IX. to the succession to the duchies was involved,
forced Denmark, which stood alone, to surrender Slesvig-Holstein and
Lauenburg. This was the beginning of the mighty German Empire; it
made the Kiel Canal possible, and laid the foundation of the German
Navy. Slesvig, too, supplied the best sailors in the world. Bismarck,
when he cynically treated Slesvig as a pawn in his game, had his eye
on a future navy--a navy which would one day force the British from
the dominion of the sea.

He had his way. He became master of the Baltic and the North Sea.
Prussia, in forcing the Danish king to cede Slesvig, admitted his
right to the Duchies; yet the pretext for war on Denmark had been
that no such right existed. Prussia soon threw off her ally, Austria.
She did not want a half owner in the Holstein Canal or in the coming
fleet at Kiel.

It must be remembered that, when Christian IX. had ascended the
throne of Denmark, it had been with the consent of all the great
European powers. They had practically guaranteed him the right to
rule Slesvig-Holstein, and yet England and France and Russia stood by
and allowed the outrage to take place. France made an attempt to
satisfy her conscience. In the treaty of peace France had this clause
inserted:

  'H.M. the Emperor of Austria hereby transfers to H.M. the King of
  Prussia all the right which according to the Treaty of Peace of
  Vienna of October 30, 1864, he had acquired in respect to the
  Duchies of Slesvig and Holstein, provided that the northern
  districts of Slesvig shall be united to Denmark, if the
  inhabitants by a free vote declare their desire to that effect.'

This was a 'scrap of paper'--nothing more! Nevertheless a scrap of
paper may be inconvenient. Austria, never scrupulous when the
acquisition of new territory was expedient, was willing to help
Prussia to tear it up. Bosnia and Herzogovina raised their heads.
Austria wanted help from Prussia. Here was the Prussian chance to
induce her to abrogate her part in clause fifty of the peace treaty.
What matter? Denmark, in time, must be German, as Slesvig was German,
in spite of all right. Austria would play the same game with the
Slavs as Prussia had played with the Danes. Individuals might have
consciences, but nations had no system of ethics, and therefore no
canons (except those of expediency), to rule such consciences as they
had. Prussia treated the right of the Danes in Slesvig, guaranteed by
a 'scrap of paper,' to a free vote as to their fate, with contempt.
It had amused Bismarck to deceive France, the exponent of the new
democracy in Europe, but that was all. Slesvig was to be crushed
until it became quiescently Prussian. Prussia needed it, therefore it
must be Prussian. Fiat!

This is a plain, unvarnished tale. Few of my fellow-countrymen have
known it. Some who knew it hazily concluded that Slesvig had become
German of its own free will that it might belong to a prosperous and
great empire. Others, who remembered that, even in their struggle for
freedom in 1864, the Danes paused for a moment to give us their aid
at the request of President Lincoln, had a vague idea that wrong had
been done somehow; but how great the wrong, and how terrible the
effect of the wrong was to be on the history of the world, none of
them even dreamed; and yet it was plain enough to those who watched
the policy of blood and iron of this, the new Germany.

People who believed that Prussia had any respect for an engagement
that might seem to work against her own designs ought to have been
warned by the experience of Denmark. But there were those who
believed that the acquisition of Heligoland from the British was a
mere trifle, in which Germany had the worse of the bargain, as there
are people who held that the Danish West Indies were of no manner of
importance to us. They classed these acquisitions with that of
Alaska--'Seward's folly!'

And, in 1864, the old powers of Europe were so satisfied with their
own methods, or so engaged with internal questions, that they let the
monstrous tyranny of the conquest of Slesvig pass almost in silence.
Prussia alone kept her eyes on one thing--the increase of her
military power. In 1878 she induced Austria to abrogate her part in
the treaty of Vienna of October 30, 1864. Austria agreed to give up
any rights acquired by her in Slesvig-Holstein under the fifth clause
of that treaty. This withdrawal (not to be irreverent, it was like
the washing of the hands of Pontius Pilate) left Slesvig naked to her
enemy. The Prussian autocrats chuckled when they found themselves
bound by a 'scrap of paper' to the restoration of the northern
districts of Slesvig to Denmark, 'if the inhabitants by a free vote
declare their desire to that effect.'

The Imperial German statesmen, astute and unscrupulous, have always
taken religion into consideration in making their propaganda. The
German Crown Prince's sympathy with the same methods as used by
Napoleon Bonaparte was perhaps inherited from his ancestors, as
Napoleon, too, knew the political value of religion. The Church, an
enslaved Church in a despotic state,--the reverse of Cavour's famous
maxim--has always been one of statesmen's tools. They have never
hesitated to use religion as the means of accomplishing the ends of
the state. In fact, the Catholic Church in Germany was in great
danger of being enslaved. The old wars of the popes and the
emperors--so little understood in modern times--would be very
possible, had the victory of Germany been a probability.

Let us see what happened in Slesvig. Since '64, Prussia has governed
Slesvig. This rule has been a prolonged and constant attempt to force
the Danes from their homes. A very distinguished and rather liberal
German diplomatist, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, once asked me, 'As an
American, tell me frankly what is wrong with our position in
Slesvig?'

'Everything,' I said. 'You seem even to assume that the religion of
the people should be the religion of the state.'

'The state religion in Slesvig is as the state religion in Denmark,
Lutheranism.'

'But not Germanised Lutheranism. I have the testimony of a Lutheran
pastor himself, the Reverend D. Troensegaard-Hansen, to the effect
that the authorities in Slesvig prefer German materialistic teaching
to Danish Christianity, and that all kinds of influence is brought to
bear on the clergy to make them German in their point of view. If, in
the Philippines, we attempted to do the things you do in Slesvig,
there would be no end of trouble.'

He laughed. 'But democrats as you are, you will never keep your
promise to grant those people self-government.'

'We will.'

'Your democracy is not statesmanlike. It would be fatal for us to let
the Slesvigers defy our power. They must be part of Germany; there is
no way out.'

'Either you want difficulties with them or you are worrying them just
as a great mastiff worries a small dog.'

'But suddenly a gymnast raises the Danish flag, or somebody utters a
seditious speech in Danish, or school books are circulated in which
ultra-Danish views of history are given. If a country is to be ruled
by us, it must be a German country. We can tolerate no difference
that tends to denationalise our population. It is a dream--the Danish
idea that we shall give up what we have taken or, rather, what has
been ceded to us.'

'Without the consent of the people?'

'Who are the people? When you answer that I will tell what is truth.
Come, you are a democrat; by and by, when you Americans are older,
you will see democracy from a more practical point of view.'

       *       *       *       *       *

The practical point of view in Slesvig was squeezing out gradually
the independence of the Slesvigers. The Dane loves passionately his
home, his language, his literature. He may be sceptical about many
things, but it would be difficult to persuade him to deny that the
red and white flag, the Danish flag, did not come down from heaven
borne by angels! His culture is Danish, and part of his life. He
keeps it up wistfully even when he swears allegiance to another
nation. The Danes in Denmark will never cease to regard Slesvig as
their own. It is one flesh with them; but Prussia has torn this one
body asunder. Fancy a 'free election' being permitted in a country
ruled by Prussian autocrats or a 'free election' in Alsace-Lorraine
under German rule!

The geographical position of Denmark is unfortunate. There are
imperialists of all countries who hold that the little countries have
no right to live; Junkerism is not confined to Germany. The
geographical position of most of the little countries is unfortunate,
but none is so unfortunate as that of Denmark. When the war broke
out, it seemed to her people that the road to German conquest lay
through her borders. The Powers That Were in Germany decided to
attack Belgium, and for the moment Denmark escaped.

Do you think that it was an easy thing for a proud people to be in
the position of old King Canute before the advancing ocean? The waves
came on, but nobody in his wildest imaginings ever dreamed that the
modern Danish Canute could stem the tide. The Danes have their army
and their navy; officers and men expected to die defending Denmark.
What else could they do? Death would be preferable to slavery. The
Dane does his best to forget; but always the echo of the words of the
sentinel in _Hamlet_ recurs:

''Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart.'

No number of royal alliances counts as against a bad geographical
place in the world and the evil disposition of a strong neighbour. A
change of heart has come over the world since Germany induced Austria
to be her catspaw in 1914. The example of a country which
deliberately asserted that might makes right, and followed this
assertion with deeds that make the angels weep, has shocked the
world, and forced other nations to examine their consciences. After
all, we are a long time after Machiavelli. After the great breakdown
in Russia there was a feeling among some of the conservatives in
Denmark that the cousin of the Tsar of Russia, King George of
England, might have laid a restraining hand on the Russian parties
that forced the Tsar to abdicate. But the very mention of this seemed
utterly futile. The King of Spain, though married to an English
princess, could expect little help in any difficulty, were the
interests of the English Ministry not entirely his. The contemplation
of these alliances offers much material for the man who thinks in the
terms of history.

When President Fallières visited Copenhagen in 1908, there was a gala
concert given at the Palace of Amalieborg in his honour. The
President was accompanied by a 'bloc' of black-coated gentlemen, some
of them journalists of distinction.

There was no display of gold lace, and the representatives of the
French Republic were really republican in their simplicity. The
Danish court and the diplomatic corps were splendid, decorations
glittered, and the white and gold rococo setting of the concert room
was worthy of it all. The Queen of Denmark--now the Dowager
Queen--was magnificent, as she always is at gala entertainments,
possessing, as she does in her own right, some of the finest jewels
in Europe.

Fallières represented the new order. His hostess, the Queen, is the
daughter of Charles XV., a descendant of Bernadotte. Representing the
lines of both St. Louis and Louis Philippe was the Princess Valdemar,
now dead, who, as Marie of Orleans, came of the royal blood of the
families of Bourbon and Orleans.

It was interesting to watch this gracious princess, whose father, the
Duc de Chartres, had been with General McLellan during our Civil War.
She adapted herself to the circumstances, as she always did, and
seemed very proud of the honours shown to France. The Countess
Moltke-Huitfeldt, Louise Bonaparte, was not in Denmark at the time.
It would have added interest to the occasion, had this descendant of
the youngest brother of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte been there.

Count Moltke-Huitfeldt, married to Louise Eugénie Bonaparte, is
almost as French in his sentiments as his wife, and, for her, when
the United States joined hands with France, it was a very happy day.
One of the events that made the fine castle of Glorup, the seat of
the Moltke-Huitfeldts, interesting was the visit of the ex-Empress
Eugénie.

The Empress Eugénie, like all the Bonapartes, acknowledged the
validity of the Patterson-Bonaparte marriage. She has always shown a
special affection and esteem for the Countess Moltke-Huitfeldt.

The estate of Glorup, with its artificial lake and garden, in which
Hans Christian Andersen often walked, was copied by an ancestor of
the present count's from a part of Versailles. It was at its best
during the visit of the empress, who was the most considerate of
guests. The American Bonapartes were not ranked as royal highnesses
for fear, on the part of Napoleon III. and Prince Napoleon,
'Plon-plon,' of raising unpleasant questions as to the succession.

Jerome himself, for a short time King of Westphalia, never pretended
that his American marriage was not valid. Meeting Madame
Patterson-Bonaparte by accident in the Pitti Palace, he whispered to
the Princess of Würtemburg--she had then ceased to be Queen of
Westphalia--'There is my American wife.' Mr. Jerome Bonaparte was
offered the title of 'Duke of Sartine' by Napoleon III. if he would
give up the name of his family, which, of course, he declined to do.
Under the French laws, as well as the American, he was the
legitimate son of Jerome Bonaparte. The presence of the Countess
Moltke-Huitfeldt would have added another interesting touch to the
assemblage in Amalieborg Palace, a touch which would have served for
a footnote to history. In spite of the name 'Moltke,' Count Adam and
his wife are as French as the French themselves. Names in Denmark are
very deceptive.

The question of war was even then, in 1908, in the air. The German
diplomatists were polite to Fallières, but they considered him heavy
and _bourgeois_, and believed that he represented the undying dislike
for Germany which the French system of education was inculcating.

'If the French schools teach the rising generation to hate Germany,
what is the attitude of the German educators?' I asked.

'We know that we are hated, and we teach our young to be ready for an
attack from wherever it comes; but we love peace, of course.'

In 1908, it was generally thought that the Kaiser himself was
inclined to keep the peace. Now and then an isolated Englishman would
declare that he had his doubts, when a German traveller seemed to
know _too_ much about his country, or when amiable German guests
asked too many intimate questions.

It was the custom for the older colleagues to offer the newer ones a
history of the Slesvig-Holstein dispute, which dated from the
fifteenth century. On my arrival, Sir Alan Johnston had presented me
with a volume on the subject by Herr Neergaard, considered the 'last
word' on the subject. The pages, I noticed, were uncut, so I felt
justified in passing it on to the newest colleagues, taking care, in
order to give him perfect freedom, not to autograph it!

It was, as a French secretary often said, 'a complication most
complicated'; but one fact was clear--the deplorable position of a
liberty-loving people, deprived of the essentials that make life
worth living!

The great barrier to the entire domination of Prussian ideals in this
area between the Baltic and the North Sea is the existence of the
Danish national spirit in Slesvig. 'If the other nations of Europe
had looked ahead, the power of Prussia might have been held within
reasonable bounds; the war in 1870 would have been impossible; this
last awful world-conflict would not have occurred. Germany would have
been taught her place long ago.' How often was this repeated!

The relations between the Emperor William and the Emperor of Russia
were supposed to be unusually friendly then, after the practical
defeat of Russia by Japan. In older days, Queen Louise of Denmark
thought she had laid the foundation for a certain friendliness; but,
nevertheless, the Tsar, though closely related to the Kaiser and
dominated largely by his very beautiful German wife, was never free
to ignore the Slavic genius of his people. Kings and emperors--all
royal folk--made up a family society of their own until this war. We
have changed all that, as the man in Molière's comedy said; and yet,
as a rule, German royal princesses remained Prussian in spite of all
temptation, while other women seemed naturally to adopt the
nationalities of their husbands. The princesses connected with the
Prussian royal house seem immutably Prussian.

The Tsar, then, like the Kaiser, cousin of the King of England, the
son of a mother who remembered Slesvig-Holstein and never liked the
Prussians, had second thoughts. (They were nearly always wrong when
his wife influenced them.) It was one thing to call the mighty
Prussian 'Willie'--all royalties have little domestic names--another
to break with France and to bow the Slavic head to German benevolent
assimilation. The Tsar might call the Emperor by any endearing
epithet, but that did not imply political friendship; King George of
Greece and Queen Alexandra were very fond of each other, but the
queen would never have attempted to give her brotherly Majesty the
Island of Crete which he badly wanted. With the death of the queen
of Christian IX., assemblies of royalties ceased in Denmark; the old
order had changed.

There was no neutral ground where the royalties and their scions
could meet and soften asperities by the simplicity of family contact.

The point of view in Europe had become more democratic and more keen.

Even if there had been a Queen Louise to try to make her family, even
to the remotest grandchild, a unit, it could not have been done.
Reverence for royalty had passed out with Queen Victoria; the idols
were dissolving, and restless ideals became visible in their places.

Prussia had drawn her states into a united empire; tributary kings
were at the chariot wheel of the Prussian Emperor, not because the
kings so willed, but because the subjects of the kings--the
commercial people, the landowners, the military caste, the
capitalists, the increasingly prosperous farmers--discovered it to be
to their advantage.

Bismarck's policy of blood and iron meant more money and more worldly
success for the Germans. Although the smaller Teutonic states had
lost their freedom, Bismarck began to pay each of them its price in
good gold with the stamp of the empire upon it. To take and to hold
was the motto of the empire:--'We take our own wherever we find it!'

The old Germans disappeared; the Germans who were frugal and
philosophical, poor and poetical, were emerging from the simplicity
of the past to the luxury of the present.

As a rule, I found the Russian diplomatists very well informed and
clever. Their foreign office seemed to have no confidants outside
the bureaucratic circle. The Russian journalist, like most other
journalists, was not better or earlier informed of events than the
diplomatists. As Copenhagen was the place where every diplomat in the
world went at some time or other, one was sure to discover
interesting rumours or real news without much trouble.

While the newspapers or magazines of nearly every other nation gave
indications in advance of the public opinion that might govern the
cabinets or the foreign offices, the Russian periodicals gave no such
clues. There was no use in keeping a Russian translator; real Russian
opinion was seldom evident, except when a royalty or a diplomatist
might, being bored by his silence, or with a patriotic object, tell
the truth.

'What prevents war?' I asked in 1909 of one of my colleagues.

'Lack of money,' he answered promptly, repeating the words of Prince
Koudacheff. 'Germany and Russia will fly at each other's throats as
soon as the financiers approve of it. You will not report this to
your Foreign Office,' he said, laughing, 'because America looks on
war, a general European war, as unthinkable. It would seem absurd!
Nobody in America and only ten per cent. of the thinking people in
England will believe it! As for France, she is wise to make friends
with my country, but she would be wiser if she did not believe that
Germany will wait until she is ready to make her _revanche_. There
are those in her government who hold that the _revanche_ is a
dream--that France would do well to accept solid gains for the
national dream. They are fools!'

'Iswolsky is of the same opinion, I hear,' I said, for we had all a
great respect for Iswolsky. But when the London _National Review_
repeated the same sentiments over and over again, it seemed
unbelievable that the Kaiser's professions of peace were not honest.
Yet individual Pan-Germans were extremely frank. 'We must have our
place in the East,' they said; 'we must cut the heart out of Slavic
ambitions, and deal with English arrogance.' In a general way, we
were always waiting for war.

In 1909, Count Aehrenthal, then a very great Austrian, told a
celebrated financial promoter who visited our Legation, that war was
inevitable. The Austrians and the Russians feared it and believed
it--feared it so much that when I was enabled to contradict the
rumour, there was a happy sigh as the news was well documented.
Austria did not want war; Russia did not want war.

'But the Emperor of Germany?' I asked of one of the most honourable
and keenest diplomatists in Berlin.

'He is surrounded by a military clique; he desires to preserve the
rights and prerogatives of the German Empire, above all, the
hereditary and absolute principle without a long war. A war will do
it for him--if it is short. He himself would prefer to avoid it. Yet
he must justify the Army and the Navy; but the war must be short.'

'But does he _want_ war?'

'He is not bloodthirsty; he knows what war means, but he will want
what his _clique_ wants.'

These two diplomatists are both alive--one in exile--but I shall not
mention their names. My colleagues were sometimes very frank. It
would not be fair to tell secrets which would embarrass them--for a
harmless phrase over a glass of Tokai is a different thing read
over a glass of cold water! And, in the old days, before 1914,
good dinners and good wines were very useful in diplomatic
'conversations.' Things began to change somewhat when after-dinner
bridge came in. But, dinner or no dinner, bridge or no bridge, the
diplomatic view was always serious.

In Denmark the thoughtful citizen often said, 'We are doomed; Germany
can absorb us.' Count Holstein-Ledreborg once said, 'But Providence
may save us yet.'

'By a miracle.'

It seemed absurd in 1908 that any great power should be allowed to
think of conquering a smaller nation, simply because it was small.
'You don't reckon with public opinion--in the United States, for
instance,--or the view of the Hague Conference,' I said.

'Public opinion in your country or anywhere else will count little
against Krupp and his cannon. Public opinion will not save Denmark,
for even Russia might have reason to look the other way. That would
depend on England.'

It seemed impossible, for, like most Americans, I was almost an
idealist. The world was being made a vestibule of heaven, and the
pessimist was anathema! Was not science doing wonderful things? It
had made life longer; it had put luxuries in the hands of the poor.
The bad old days, when Madame du Barry could blind the eyes of Louis
XV. to the horrors of the partition of Poland, and when the proud
Maria Theresa could, in the same cause, subordinate her private
conscience to the temptations of national expediency, were over. No
man could be enslaved since Lincoln had lived! The Hague Conference
would save Poland in due time, the democratic majority in Great
Britain and Ireland was undoing the wrongs of centuries by granting
Home Rule for Ireland, and, as for the Little Nations, public
opinion would take care of them!

'What beautiful language you use, Mr. Minister,' said Count
Holstein-Ledreborg; 'but you Americans live in a world of your own.
Nobody knows what the military party in Germany will do. Go to
Germany yourself. It is no longer the Germany of Canon Schmid, of
Auerbach, of Heyse, of the Lorelei and the simple musical concert and
the happy family life. Why, as many cannons as candles are hung on
the Christmas trees!'

I repeated this speech to one of the most kindly of my colleagues,
Count Henckel-Donnersmarck, who was really a sane human creature, too
bored with artificiality to wear his honours with comfort.

'Oh, for your dress coat,' he would say. 'Look at my gold lace; I am
loaded down like a camel. The old Germany, _cher collègue_, it is
gone. I long for it; I am not of blood and iron; the old Germany, you
will not find it, though you search even Bavaria and Silesia. And I
believe, with the great Frederick, that your great country and mine
may possess the future, if we are friends; therefore,' he smiled, 'I
will not deceive you. The Germany of the American imagination, our
old Germany, is gone.' He hated court ceremonies, whereas I rather
like them; they were beautiful and stately symbols, sanctified by
tradition. He ought to have danced at the court balls, but he never
would. He was lazy. He was grateful to my wife, because she ordered
me to dance the cotillions with Countess Henckel, who must dance with
somebody who 'ranked,' or sit for five or six hours on a crimson
bench.

The Danes had no belief that we could or would help them in a
conflict for salvation, but they liked us. In 1909, when Dr. Cook
suddenly came, they declared that they would take 'the word of an
American gentleman' for his story of the North Pole. Sweden accepted
him at once, England was divided--King Edward against Cook; Queen
Alexandra for him! When Admiral Peary made his claim, the Queen of
England said,--'Thank heaven! it is American against American, and
not Englishman against American.'

We were all glad of that; and I was very grateful to the Danes for
showing respect for the honour of an American, in whom none of us had
any reason to disbelieve. There was no warning from the scientists in
the United States. The German savants accepted Dr. Cook at once. In
fact, until Admiral Peary sent his message, there seemed to be no
doubt as to Cook's claims, except on the part of the Royal British
Geographical Society. I joined the Danish Royal Geographical Society
at his reception; it was not my duty to cast aspersions on the honour
of an American, of whom I only knew that he had written _The Voyage
of the Belgic_, had been the associate of Admiral Peary, and was a
member of very good clubs. Even if I had been scientific enough to
have doubts, I should have been polite to him all the same.

As it was, Denmark was delighted to welcome Cook because he was an
American; he had apparently accomplished a great thing, and besides,
he directed attention from politics at a tremendous public crisis.
The great question for the Danish Government was as usual: Shall we
defend ourselves? Shall we build ships and keep a large army and
erect fortresses, or simply say 'Kismet' when Germany comes? The
Conservatives were for defence; the Radicals and Socialists against
it. Mr. J. C. Christensen, one of the most powerful of Danish
politicians, of the Moderate School, holding the balance of power,
was in a tight place. Alberti, the clever Radical, had been supported
by Christensen, who had been innocently involved in his fall. Alberti
languished in jail, and Christensen was being horribly assailed when
Dr. Cook came and Denmark forgot Christensen and went wild with
delight!

In 1907-8, Denmark trembled for fear that she would lose her freedom.
When would the Germans attack? The disorder in Slesvig was perennial.
A bill for a reasonable defence had been proposed to the Danish
Parliament. King Frederick had had great difficulty in forming a
ministry. Count Morgen Friis, capable, distinguished, experienced,
but with some of the indolence of the old grand seigneur, had
refused. Richelieu could not see his way clear; nobody wanted the
responsibility. The Socialists and the Radicals, practical, if you
like, did not believe in building forts in the hope of saving the
national honour.

King Frederick VIII. was at his wit's end for a premier, for, as I
have said, even Count Morgen Friis, a man of undoubted ability and
great influence, failed him. King Frederick, because of his desire to
stand well with his people, was never popular. His glove was too
velvety, and he treated his political enemies as well as he did his
friends. Count Friis was known to lean towards England, and he was
very popular; he would have stood for a strong defence.

Admiral de Richelieu was a man of great influence, a devoted
Slesviger, and the greatest 'industrial,' with the exception of
State-Councillor Andersen, in Denmark; he was not keen for the
premiership, and his friends did not care that he should compromise
their business interests; for, in Denmark, business and politics do
not mix well.

Finally, King Frederick called on Count Holstein-Ledreborg, without
doubt, with perhaps the exception of--but I must not mention living
men--the cleverest man in Denmark. Count Holstein-Ledreborg was a
recluse; he had been practically exiled by the scornful attitude
taken by the aristocracy on account of his Radicalism, but had
returned to his Renascence castle near the old dwelling-place of
Beowulf. Count Holstein-Ledreborg was the last resource, he had been
out of politics for many years. Although he was a pessimist, he was a
furious patriot. He had a great respect for the abilities of the
Radicals, like Edward Brandès, but very little for those--'if they
existed,' he said--of his own class in the aristocracy. He was one of
the few Catholics among the aristocracy, and he had a burning
grievance against the existing order of churchly things. The State
church in Denmark is, like that of Sweden and Norway, Lutheran. Until
1848, except in one or two commercial towns where there was a
constant influx of merchants, no Catholic church was permitted. The
chapel of Count Holstein in his castle of Ledreborg, was still
Lutheran. He was not permitted to have Mass said in it, as it was a
church of the commune. This made the Lord of Ledreborg furious. There
must be Lutheran worship in his own chapel, or no worship; this was
the law!

There was something else that added to his indignation. One day, very
silently, he opened the doors that concealed a panel in the wall.
There was a very Lutheran picture indeed! It was done in glaring
colours, even realistic colours. It represented various devils,
horned and tailed and pitch-forked, poking into the fire in the lower
regions a pope and several cardinals, who were turning to crimson
like lobsters, while some pious Lutheran prelates gave great thanks
for this agreeable proceeding. 'In my own chapel,' said Count
Holstein, 'almost facing the altar; and the law will not permit me to
remove it!'

Being an American, I smiled; thereby, I almost lost a really valued
friendship.

'I shall arrange with the king to give a substitute for the chapel to
the commune--a school-house or a library--and have the chapel
consecrated,' he said. 'I think I see my way.'

'"All things come to him who knows how to wait,"' I quoted.

In 1909, at the time of the crisis, he accepted the task of forming a
cabinet to get the defence bill through Parliament, but he made one
condition with the king--that he should have his own chapel to do as
he liked with. He carried the defence bill through triumphantly and
then, having made his point, and finding Parliament unreasonable,
from his point of view, on some question or other, he told its
members to go where Orpheus sought Eurydice, and retired! He died too
soon; he would have been a great help to us in the troubled days when
we were trying to buy the Virgin Islands. He was my mentor in
European politics, and a most distinguished man; and what is better,
a good friend. At times he was sardonic. 'I would make,' he said, 'if
I had the power, Edward Brandès (Brandès is of the famous Brandès
family) minister of Public Worship!' (As Brandès is a Jew and a Greek
pagan both at once, it would have been one of those ironies of
statecraft like that which made the Duke of Norfolk patron of some
Anglican livings.) Count Holstein disliked state churches. He was a
strange mixture of the wit of Voltaire with the faith of Pascal, and
one of the most inflexible of Radicals.

The party for the defence and for the integrity of the army and navy
had its way; but, owing to the attitude of the Socialists, a very
moderate way. 'If Germany comes, she will take us,' the Radicals said
with the Socialists; 'why waste public money on soldiers and military
bands and submarines?'

But there are enough stalwarts, including the king, Christian, to
believe that a country worth living in is worth fighting for!



CHAPTER II

THE MENACE OF 'OUR NEIGHBOUR TO THE SOUTH'


In 1907, Russia seemed to me to be, for Americans, the most important
country in Europe. Our Department of State was no doubt informed as
to what the other countries would do in certain contingencies, for
none of our diplomatic representatives, although always working under
disadvantages not experienced by their European colleagues, had been
idle persons. But all of us who had even cursorily studied European
conditions knew that the actions of Germany would depend largely on
the attitude of Russia. It was to the interest of Emperor William to
keep Nicholas II. and the Romanoffs on the throne. He saw no other
way of dividing and conquering a country which he at once hated and
longed to control.

The Balkan situation was always burning; it was the Etna and Vesuvius
of the diplomatic world; wise men might predict eruptions, but they
were always unexpected. To most people in the United States the
Balkans seemed very far off; Bulgaria with her eyes on Macedonia, the
Tsar Ferdinand and his attempt to put his son, Boris, under the
greater Tsar, him of Russia; Rumania and her ambitions for more
freedom and more territory; Serbia, with her fears and aspirations,
appeared to be of no importance--of less interest, perhaps, than
other petty kingdoms. But at one fatal moment Austria refused to
allow Serbia to export her pigs, and we came to pay about two million
dollars an hour and to sacrifice most precious lives, much greater
things, because of the ferocious growth of this little germ of
tyranny and avarice.

Most of us have fixed ideas; if they are the result of prejudice,
they are generally bad; if they are the result of principle, that is
another question. When I went to Denmark at the request of President
Roosevelt, I had several fixed ideas, whether of prejudice or
principle I could not always distinguish. I had been brought up in a
sentiment of gratitude to Russia--she had behaved well to us in the
Civil War--and in a firm belief that her people only needed a fair
chance to become our firm friends. We must seek European markets for
our capital and our investments, and Russia offered us a free way.

Towards the end of the year 1908, the signs in Russia were more
ominous than usual. It had always seemed to me--and the impression
had come probably from long and intimate association with some very
clever diplomatists--that Russian problems, industrially and
economically, were very similar to our own, and that, in the future,
her interests would be our interests. She was in evil hands--that was
evident; Nicholas II., after the peace of Portsmouth, was not so
pleased with the action of President Roosevelt as he ought to have
been, and the arrogant clique, the bureaucrats who controlled the
Tsar, regarded us with suspicion and dislike.

At the same time, it was plain that a great part of the landed
nobility looked with hope to the United States as a nation which
ought to understand their problems and assist, with technical advice
and capital, in the solving of them. The Baltic Barons, many with
German names and not of the orthodox faith, preferred that the United
States, by the investments of her citizens in Russia, should hold a
balance between the French and the German financial influences, for
Germany was slowly beginning to control Russia financially, and
French capital meant a competition with the German interests which
might eventually mean a conflict and war. The well instructed among
the Russian people, including the estate owners whose interests were
not bureaucratic, feared war above all things. The Japanese war had
given them reason for their fears.

To my mind there were three questions of great importance for us: How
could we, with self-respect, keep on good terms with Russia? How
could we discover what Germany's intentions were? And how could we
strengthen the force of the Monroe Doctrine by acquiring, through
legitimate means, certain islands on our coasts, especially the
Gallapagos, the Danish West Indies and others which, perhaps, it
might not be discreet to mention.

While the United States seemed fixed in her policy of keeping out of
foreign entanglements, it seemed to me that the rule of conduct of a
nation, like that of an individual, cannot always be consistent with
its theories, since all intentions put into action by the party of
the first part must depend on the action and point of view of the
party of the second part. I had been largely influenced in my views
of the value of the Monroe Doctrine by the speeches and writings of
ex-President Roosevelt and Senator Lodge. It was a self-evident
truth, too, that, for the sake of democracy, for the sake of the
future of our country, the autonomy of the small nations must be
preserved. This attitude I made plain during my ten years in
Denmark; perhaps I over-accentuated it, but to this attitude I owe
the regard of the majority of the Danish people and of some of the
folk of the other Scandinavian nations.

The position taken by Germany, under Prussian influence, in Brazil
and Argentine, certain indications in our own country, which I shall
emphasise later, the intrigues as to the Bagdad Railway, and the
threats as to what Germany might do in Scandinavia in case Russia
attempted to interfere with German plans in the East, were alarming.
Then again was the hint that Denmark might be seized if Germany found
Russia in an alliance against England.

From my earliest youth, I knew many Germans whom I esteemed and
admired; but they were generally descendants of the men of 1848,
that year which saw the Hungarians defeated and the German lovers
of liberty exiled. There were others of a later time who believed,
with the Kaiser, that a German emigrant was simply a German
colonist--waiting! These people were so naïve in their Prussianism,
in their disdain for everything American, that they scarcely seemed
real! When a German waiter looked out of the hotel window in
Trafalgar Square and said, waving his napkin at the spectacle of the
congested traffic, 'When the day comes, we shall change all this,' we
Americans laughed. This was in the eighties. Yet he meant it; and
'we' have not changed all this even for the day!

The alarm was sounded in South America, but few North Americans took
it seriously, and we knew how the English accepted the German
invasions to the very doors of their homes. However, when I went to
Denmark in August 1907, deeply honoured by President Roosevelt's
outspoken confidence in me, I became aware that Prussianised Germany
might at any moment seize that little country, and that, in that
case, the Danish West Indies would be German. A pleasant prospect
when we knew that Germany regarded the Monroe Doctrine as the silly
figment of a democratic brain unversed in the real meaning of world
politics.

Again, I saw exemplified the fact that _in the eyes of the Kaiser, a
German emigrant was a German colonist_. Once a German always a
German; the ideas of the Fatherland must follow the blood, and these
ideas are one and indivisible. Consequently, no place could have been
more interesting than the capital of Denmark. Here diplomatists were
taught, made, or unmade.

Until we were forced to join in the European concert by the
acquirement of the Philippines, the post did not seem to be
important. 'You always send your diplomatists here to learn their
art,' the clever queen of Christian IX. had said to an American. It
may not have been intended as a compliment!

In the second place, Copenhagen was the centre of those new social
and political movements that are affecting the world; Denmark was
rapidly becoming Socialistic.

She, one of the oldest kingdoms in the world, presented the paradox
of being the spot in which all tendencies supposed to be
anti-monarchical were working out. She had already solved problems
incidental to the evolution of democratic ideals, which in our own
country we have only begun timidly to consider.

In the third place, Copenhagen was near the most potent country in
the world--Germany under Prussian domination. I make the distinction
between 'potency' and 'greatness.'

And, in the fourth place, it gave anybody who wanted to be 'on his
job' a good opportunity of studying the effect of German propinquity
on a small nation. Unfortunately, in 1907-8-9-10-11, no experience in
watching German methods seemed of much value to our own people or to
the English. The English who watched them critically, like Maxse, the
editor of the _National Review_ of London, were not listened to.
Perhaps these persons were too Radical and intemperate. The English
Foreign Office had, after the Vatican, the reputation of having the
best system for obtaining information in Europe, but both the English
Foreign Office and the Vatican Secretariat seemed to have suddenly
become deaf. We Americans were too much taken up with the German
_gemütlichkeit_, or scientific efficiency, to treat the Prussian
movements with anything but tolerance. The Germans had won the hearts
of some of our best men of science, who believed in them until belief
was impossible; and, with most of my countrymen, I held that a breach
of the peace in Europe seemed improbable. There was always The Hague!
The only thing left for me was to let the Germans be as _gemütlich_
as they liked, and to watch their attitude in Denmark, for on this
depended the ownership of the West Indies.

My German colleagues, Henckel-Donnersmarck, von Waldhausen, and
Brockdorff-Rantzau, were able men; and, I think, they looked on me as
a madman with a fixed idea. Count Rantzau, if he lives, will be heard
of later; he is one of the well-balanced among diplomatists. I
realised early in the game that my work must be limited to watching
Germany in her relations with Denmark. I knew what was expected of
me. I had no doubt that the United States was the greatest country in
the world in its potentialities, but I had no belief, then, in its
power to enforce its high ideals on the politics of the European
world.

In fact, it never occurred to me that our country would be called
upon to enforce them, for, unless the Imperial German Government
should take it into its head to lay hands on a country or two in
South America, it seemed to me that we might keep entirely out of
such foreign entanglements as concerned Western Europe and
Constantinople and the Balkans. If, however, there should be such
interference by France and England with the interests of Germany as
would warrant her and her active ally in attacking these countries,
Denmark and, automatically, her islands would be German. Then, we, in
self-defence, must have something to say. Secret diplomacy was
flourishing in Europe, and nothing was really clear. After the event
it is very easy to take up the rôle of the prophet, but that is not
in my line. If a man is not a genius, he cannot have the intuition of
a genius, and, while I accepted the opinions of my more experienced
colleagues, I imagined that their fears of a probable war were
exaggerated. Besides, I had been impressed by the constantly
emphasised opinion--part of the German propaganda, I now
believe--that our great enemy was Japan.

Since the year 1874, when I had been well introduced into diplomatic
circles in Washington, I had known many representatives of foreign
powers. Since those days, so well described in Madame de
Hegermann-Lindencrone's _Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life_, the German
point of view had greatly changed. It was a far cry from the days of
the easy-going Herr von Schlözer to Speck von Sternberg and efficient
Count Bernstorff, a far cry from the amicable point of view of Mr.
Poultney Bigelow taken of the young Kaiser in the eighties, and his
revised point of view in 1915. Mr. Poultney Bigelow's change from a
certain attitude of admiration, in his case with no taint of
snobbishness, was typical of that of many of my own people. I must
confess that no instructions from the State Department had prepared
me for the German echoes I heard in Denmark; but even if Treitschke
had come to the United States to air his views at the University of
Chicago, I should probably have considered them merely academic, and
have treated them as cavalierly as I had treated the speech of the
waiter in the Trafalgar Square hotel about 'changing all that.'

Nietzsche's philosophy seemed so atrocious as to be ineffective. But
we Americans, as a rule, take no system of philosophy as having any
real connection with the conduct of life, and, except in very learned
circles, his was looked on as no more part of the national life of
Germany than William James is of ours. In a little while, I
discovered that the Kaiser had imposed on the Prussians, at least, a
most practical system of philosophy, which our universities had come
to admire. I had not been long in Denmark when I realised that
Germany, in the three Scandinavian countries, was looked on either as
a powerful enemy or as a potential friend, and that she tried, above
all, to control the learned classes.

The United States hardly counted; she was too far off and seemed to
be hopelessly ignorant of the essential conditions of foreign
affairs. Her diplomacy, if it existed at all, was determined by
existing political conditions at home.

I visited Holland and Belgium; Germany loomed larger. She was bent on
commercial supremacy everywhere. One could not avoid admitting that
fact.

As to Denmark, it was piteous to see how the Danes feared the power
that never ceased to threaten them. Prussia has made her empire
possible by establishing the beginnings, in 1864, of her naval power
at the expense of Denmark. The longer I lived in Denmark the more
strongly I felt that Germany was getting ready for a short, sharp war
in which the United States of America, it seemed to me (as I was no
prophet), was not to be a factor, but Russia was.

The members of the German Legation were very sympathetic, especially
the Minister, Count Henckel-Donnersmarck. He loved Weimar; he loved
the old Germany. It was a delight to hear him talk of the real
glories of his country. His family, in the opinion of the Germans,
was so great that he could afford to do as he pleased; I rather think
he looked on the Hohenzollerns as rather _parvenus_. He was of the
school of Frederick the Noble rather than of William the Conqueror.

'Do you mind talking politics?' I asked him one day.

'It bores me,' he said, 'because there is nothing stable. My country
feels that it is being isolated. Since Algeria, in 1906, she stands
against Europe, with Austria.'

'Stands against the United States?'

'No, no; we shall always be at peace,' he said. 'Our interests are
not dissimilar; our military organisation is almost perfect. Yes, we
learned some lessons even from your Civil War, though you are not a
military people. Your country is full of our citizens.'

'_Your_ citizens, Count!'

'Ah, yes,--in Brazil and Argentine, everywhere, a German citizen is
like a Roman citizen, proud and unchanging, that is the German
citizen who understands the aims of modern Germany. _Civis Romanus
sum!_ The older ones are different; it is a question of sentiment
and memories with them. Your great German population will always keep
you out of conflict with us, though even you, who know our
literature, are at heart English--I mean politically. You cannot help
it. Your Irish blood may count, but the point of view is made by
literature. It gets into the blood. See what Homer has done for those
old savages of his. Our bankers can always manage the finances of New
York, as they manage those of London. It would be a sad day for
Germany if we should break with you; some of us know that Frederick
the Great saw your future, and believed that we always ought to be
friends. But do not imagine that your nation, great as it is, can do
anything your people wills to do. Great power, I understand, is
hidden in your country; but, as the actors say, you cannot get it
across the footlights. It is not, as Gambetta spoke of the Catholic
religion in France, a matter for export.'

'Our education,' Count Henckel-Donnersmarck resumed, 'is practical;
Goethe and Schiller mean little now to us. Bismarck has made new men
of us. I shall not live long, and I cannot say I regret it,' he said;
'and, as the lust of power becomes the rule of the world, my son must
be a new German or suffer.'

'Count Henckel,' as he preferred to be called, did not remain long in
Copenhagen; he was recalled because, it was reported, he did not
provide the Kaiser, who carefully read his ministers' reports, with a
sufficient number of details of life in Denmark.

When I took his hint and went to Germany, at Christmas--Christmas was
a divine time in the old Germany!--I found that Count Henckel was
right. Berlin was hygienic, ugly, and more offensively immoral than
Paris was once said to be.

There was an artificial rule of life. Even the lives of the boys and
girls seemed to be ordered by some unseen law. You could breathe, but
it was necessary not to consume too much oxygen at a time. That was
_verboten_; and there were cannons on the Christmas trees!



CHAPTER III

THE KAISER AND THE KING OF ENGLAND


It was pleasant to renew old memories among diplomatists and
ex-diplomatists in Copenhagen. I remembered the old days in
Washington, when Sir Edward Thornton's house was far up-town, when
the rows between the Chileans and Peruvians--I forget to which party
the amiable Ibañez belonged--convulsed the coteries that gathered at
Mrs. Dahlgren's, when Bodisco and Aristarchi Bey and Baron de Santa
Ana were more than names, and the Hegermann-Lindencrones[2] were the
handsomest couple in Washington. So it was agreeable to find some
colleagues with whom one had reminiscences in common. Then there were
the Americans married to members of the corps. Lady Johnston, wife of
Sir Alan; Madame de Riaño, married to one of the most well-balanced
and efficient diplomatists in Europe. These ladies made the way of my
wife and my daughters very easy.

 [2] Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone is the author of _In the Court of
 Memory_ and _The Sunny Side of Diplomacy_.

An envoy arriving at a new post has one consolation, not an
unmitigatedly agreeable one. He is sure of knowing what his
colleagues think of him. And for a while they weigh him very
carefully. The American can seldom shirk the direct question: 'Is
this your first post?' It required great strength of mind not to say:
'I had a special mission to the Indian Reservations, and I have
always been, more or less, you know----'

'Ah, I see! Calcutta, Bombay----!'

'Not exactly--Red Lake, you know--the Reservations, wards of our
Government.'

'Oh, red Indians! I was not aware that you had diplomatic relations
with the old red Indian princes. But this is your first post in
Europe?'

You cannot avoid that. However, the longer one is at a post, the more
he enjoys it. In the course of nearly eleven years, I never knew one
of my colleagues who did not show _esprit de corps_. They become more
and more kindly. You know that they know your faults and your
virtues. In the diplomatic service you are like Wolsey, naked, not to
your enemies, but to your colleagues. They can help you greatly if
they will.

After the peace of Portsmouth, which in the opinion of certain
Russians gave all the advantages to Japan, the Emperor of Germany
spoke of President Roosevelt with added respect, we were told. The
attitude toward Americans on the part of Germans seemed always the
reflection of the point of view of the Kaiser. From their point of
view, it was only the President who counted; our nation, from the
Pan-German point of view seemed not to be of importance.

It was rather hard to find out exactly what the Kaiser's attitude
towards us was. Some of the court circle--there were always visitors
from Berlin--announced that the Kaiser was greatly pleased by the
result of the Portsmouth conference. He knew the weakness of Russia,
and though he believed that German interests required that she should
not be strong, he feared, above all things, the preponderance of the
Yellow Races. I discovered one thing early, that the Pan-German
party propagated the idea that the Japanese alliance with England
could be used against the United States.

It was vain to argue about this. 'Japan is your enemy; the
Philippines will be Japanese, unless you strengthen yourselves by a
quasi-alliance with us; then England, tied to Japan, can not oppose
you.' One could discover very little from the Kaiser's public
utterances; but he indemnified himself for his conventionality in
public by his frankness in private.

He described the Danish as the most 'indiscreet of courts.' He forgot
that his own indiscretions had become proverbial in Copenhagen.
Whether this 'indiscretion' was first submitted to the Foreign Office
is a question. His diplomatists were usually miracles of discretion;
but the city was full of 'echoes' from Berlin which did not come from
the diplomatists or the court. The truth was, the Kaiser looked on
the courts of Denmark and Stockholm as dependencies, and he was
'hurt' when any of the court circle seemed to forget this.

In his eyes, a German princess, no matter whom she married, was to
remain a German. The present Queen of Denmark, the most discreet of
princesses, never forgot that she was a Danish princess and would be
in time a Danish queen.

Every German princess was looked upon as a propagator of the views of
the Kaiser;--the Queen of the Belgians was a sore disappointment to
him; but, then, she was not a Prussian princess. When one of the
princesses joined the Catholic Church, there was an explosion of rage
on his part.

As far as I could gather, in 1908-9-10, he was _chambré_, as liberal
Germany said, surrounded by people who echoed his opinions, or who,
while pretending to accept them, coloured them with their own.

It was surmised that he despised his uncle, King Edward. Evidences of
this would leak out.

He admired our material progress, and he was determined to imitate
our methods. The loquacity of some of our compatriots amused him.

He understood President Roosevelt so little as to imagine that he
could influence him. There was one American he especially disliked,
and that was Archbishop Ireland; but the reason for that will form
almost a chapter by itself.

As I have said, it seemed to me most important that good feeling in
the little countries of Europe should be founded on respect for us.

Somebody, a cynic, once said that the only mortal sin among Americans
is to be poor. That may or may not be so. It was, however, the
impression in Europe. It was difficult in Denmark to make it
understood that we were interested in literature and art, or had any
desire to do anything but make money. The attempt to buy the Danish
West Indies, made in 1902, was looked on by many of the Danes as the
manifestation of a desire on the part of an arrogant and
imperial-minded people to take advantage of the poverty of a little
country. 'You did not dare to propose to buy an island near your
coast from England or France, or even Holland,' they said. This
prejudice was encouraged by the German press whenever an opportunity
arose. And against this prejudice it was my business to fight.

Until after the war with Spain--unfortunate as it was in some
aspects--we were disdained; after that we were supposed to have crude
possibilities.

German propagandists took advantage of our seeming 'newness,'
forgetting that the new Germany was a _parvenu_ among the nations.
Our people _en tour_ in Europe spent money freely and gave opinions
with an infallible air almost as freely. They too frequently assumed
the air of folk who had 'come abroad' to complete an education never
begun at home; or, if they were persons who had 'advantages,' they
were too anxious for a court _entrée_, asking their representative
for it as a right, and then acting at court as if it were a divine
privilege.

It was necessary in Denmark to accentuate the little things. The
Danes love elegant simplicity; they are, above all, aesthetic. My
predecessor, who did not remain long enough in Denmark to please
his Danish admirers, called the Danes 'the most civilised of
peoples.' I found that he was right; but they were full of
misconceptions concerning us. We used toothpicks constantly! We did
not know how to give a dinner! The values of the wine list (before
the war, most important) would always remain a mystery to us. In a
word, we were 'Yankees!' To make propaganda--the first duty of a
diplomatist--requires thought, time and money. The Germans used all
three intelligently.

One cannot travel in the provinces without money. One cannot reach
the minds of the people without the distribution of literature.
Unhappily, Governments before the war, with the exception of the
German Government, took little account of this.

One of the best examples of an effective propaganda, of the most
practicable and far-sighted methods, was that of the French
Ambassador to the United States, Jusserand. He did not wait to be
taught anything by the Germans.

We have two bad habits: we read our psychology as well as our
temperament--the result of a unique kind of experience and
education--into the minds of other people, and we despise the opinion
of nations which are small. The first defect we have suffered from,
and the latter we shall suffer from if we are not careful. Who cares
whether Bulgaria respects us or not? And yet a diplomatist soon
learns that it counts. It is a grave question whether the little
countries look with hope towards democracy, or with helpless respect
towards autocracy. We see that Bulgaria counted; we shall see that
Denmark counted, too, when the moment came for our buying the Virgin
Islands.

The German propaganda was incessant. Denmark was in close business
relations with England. Denmark furnished the English breakfast
table--the inevitable butter, bacon and eggs. But the trade relations
between England and Denmark were not cultivated as were those between
Denmark and Germany. The German 'drummer' was the rule, the English
commercial traveller the exception.

As to the American, he seldom appeared, and when he came he spoke no
language but his own. In literature the Germans did all they could to
cultivate the interest of the Danish author. He was petted and
praised when he went to Berlin--that is, after his books had been
translated. Berlin never allowed herself to praise any Scandinavian
books in the original. As to music, the best German musicians came to
Denmark. Richard Strauss led the _Rosenkavalier_ in person; the
Berlin symphony and Rheinhart's plays were announced. Every
opportunity was taken to show Denmark Germany's best in music, art
and science. 'If you speak the word culture, you must add the word
German.' This was a Berlin proverb. 'All good American singers must
have my stamp before America will hear them,' the Kaiser said. Danish
scientists were always sure of recognition in Germany, but they must
be read in German or speak in German when they visited Berlin.

In 1908 King Edward came to Copenhagen. He was regarded principally
as the husband of the beloved Princess Alexandra. He did not conceal
the fact that Copenhagen bored him, and the Copenhageners knew it.
However, they received him with an appearance of amiability they had
not shown to the Kaiser on the occasion of his visit.

No Dane who remembered Bismarck and Slesvig and who saw at Kiel the
growing German fleet could admire the Emperor William II. Even the
most ferocious propagandists demanded too much when they asked that.
They looked on the visits of King Frederick VIII. to Germany with
suspicion.

When the Crown Prince, the present Christian X., married the daughter
of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, they were not altogether
pleased. They were reconciled, however, by the fact that the Crown
Princess was the daughter of a Russian mother. Besides, the Crown
Princess, now Queen Alexandrina, was chosen by Prince Christian
because he loved her. 'She is the only woman I will marry,' he had
said. And when she married him, she became Danish, unlike her
sister-in-law, the Princess Harald, who has always remained German,
much to the embarrassment of her husband, and the rumoured annoyance
of the present king, who holds that a Danish princess must be a Dane
and nothing else.

The Danish queen's mother is the clever Grand Duchess Anastasia
Michaelovna,[3] who was Russian and Parisian, who loved the Riviera,
above all Cannes, and who was the most brilliant of widows. When the
sister of Queen Alexandrina married the German Crown Prince in 1905,
the Danes were relieved, but not altogether pleased. Those of them
who believed that royal alliance counted, hoped that a future German
Empress, so nearly akin to their queen, might ward off the
ever-threatening danger of Prussian conquest.

 [3] On the outbreak of the war, the Grand Duchess threw off her
 allegiance to Germany, and resumed her Russian citizenship.

The Crown Princess Cecilia became a favourite in Germany; it was
rumoured that she was not sufficient of a German housewife to suit
the Kaiser.

'The Crown Princess Cecilia is adorable, but she will not permit her
august father-in-law to choose her hats,' said a visiting lady of the
German autocratic circle; 'she might, at least, follow the example of
her mother-in-law, for the Emperor's taste is unimpeachable!' My wife
remembered that this serene, well-born lady wore a hat of mustard
yellow, then a favourite colour in Berlin!

In April 1908, King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra made a visit to
Copenhagen. It was the custom in Denmark that, when a reigning
sovereign came on a gala visit, the Court and the diplomatists were
expected to go to the station to meet him. The waiting-room of the
station was decorated with palms which had not felt the patter of
rain for years, and with rugs evidently trodden to shabbiness by many
royal feet. Amid these splendours a _cercle_ was held.

The visiting monarch, fresh from his journey, spoke to each of the
diplomatists in turn. He dropped pearls of thought for which one gave
equally valuable gems.

'The American Minister, Your Majesty,' said the Chamberlain. 'Glad to
see you; where are you from?' 'Washington, the capital.' 'There are
more Washingtons?' 'Many, sir.' 'How do you like Copenhagen?'
'Greatly--almost as well as London' (insert Stockholm, Christiania,
The Hague, to suit the occasion).

And then came the voice of the Chamberlain--'The Austrian Minister,
Your Majesty.' 'How do you like Copenhagen?' The same formula was
used until the _chargés d'affaires_, who always ended the list, were
reached: 'How long have you been in Copenhagen?'

King Edward was accompanied by a staff of the handsomest and most
soldierly courtiers imaginable; they were the veritable splendid
captains of Kipling's _Recessional_. Queen Alexandra was attended by
the Hon. Charlotte Knollys and Miss Vivian. It was a great pleasure
to see Miss Knollys again. To those who knew her all the tiresome
waiting was worth while; she seemed like an old friend.

The police surveillance was not so strict when the King and Queen of
England were in Copenhagen; but when any of the Russian royalties
arrived, the police had a time of anxiety though they were reinforced
by hundreds of detectives.

In Copenhagen it was always said that the Empress Dowager, the Grand
Duke Michael, the Archduchess Olga, and others of the Romanoff
family, were only safe when in the company of some of the English
royal people. The Empress Dowager of Russia, formerly the Princess
Dagmar of Denmark, never went out without her sister. They were
inseparable, devoted to each other, as all the children of King
Christian IX. were. It was not the beauty and charm of Queen
Alexandra that saved her from attack; it was the fact that England
was tolerant of all kinds of political exiles, as a visit to Soho, in
London, will show.

At the station, just as the King and Queen of England entered, there
was an explosion. 'A bomb,' whispered one of the uninitiated. It
happened to be the result of the sudden opening of a _Chapeau claque_
in the unaccustomed hands of a Radical member of the Cabinet who,
against his principles, had been obliged to come in evening dress.

We, of the Legation, always wore evening dress in daylight on gala
occasions. One soon became used to it. Our American citizens of
Danish descent always deplored this, and some of our secretaries
would have worn the uniform of a captain of militia or the court
dress of the Danish chamberlains, which, they said, under the
regulations we were permitted to wear. Not being English, I found
evening dress in the morning not more uncomfortable than the
regulation frock coat. I permitted a white waistcoat, which the Danes
never wore in the morning, but refused to allow a velvet collar and
golden buttons because this was too much like the _petit uniforme_ of
other Legations.

There was one inconvenience, however--the same as irked James Russell
Lowell in Spain--the officers on grand occasions could not recognise
a minister without gold lace, and so our country did not get the
proper salute. On the occasion of the arrival of the King of England,
I remedied this by putting on the coachmen rather large red, white
and blue cockades. Arthur and Hans were really resplendent!

Later, when my younger daughter appeared in society after the
marriage of the elder, there was no difficulty. All the officers who
loved parties recognised the father of the most indefatigable dancer
in court circles. A cotillion or two at the Legation amply made up
for the absence of uniforms. Our country, in the person of its
representative, after that had tremendously resounding salutes.

Prince Hans, the brother of the late King Christian IX., who has
since died, was especially friendly with us. He was beloved of the
whole royal family. His kindliness and politeness were proverbial.
When he was regent in Greece, he had been warned that the Greeks
would soon hate him if he continued to be so courteous. His equerry,
Chamberlain de Rothe, told me that he answered: 'I cannot change; I
_must_ be courteous.' He is the only man on record who seems to have
entirely pleased a people who have the reputation of being the most
difficult in Europe.

Prince Hans came in to call, at a reasonable time, after the arrival
of the King and Queen of England; we were always glad to see him; he
was so really kind, so full of pleasant reminiscences; he had had a
very long and full life; he was the 'uncle' of all the royalties in
Europe. He especially loved the King of England. Having lived through
the invasion of Slesvig, he was most patriotically Danish; he looked
on the Prussians as an 'uneasy' people.

'The King of England is much interested in the condition of your
ex-President, Grover Cleveland,' he said. 'If you will have him, he
will come to tea with you; I will bring him. He is engaged to dine
with the Count Raben-Levitzau and, I think, to go to the Zoological
Gardens and to dine with the Count Friis; but he will make you a
visit, to ask personally for ex-President Cleveland and to talk of
him after, of course, he has lunched at the British Legation.'

I said that the Legation would be deeply honoured. Informal as the
visit would be, it would be a great compliment to my country.

'The German Legation will be surprised; but it can give no offence; I
am _sure_ that it can give no offence. King Edward is not pleased
altogether with his nephew. When the emperor came to Copenhagen in
1905 he was not so friendly to us as he is now. Poor little Denmark.
It has escaped a great danger through Bertie's cleverness,' Prince
Hans murmured. From this I gathered that Prince Hans felt that the
king's coming to the American Legation would be noticed by all the
Legations as unusual, but especially by the German Legation. From
this I judged that some danger to Denmark might have been
threatening.

'The Kaiser dined in this room,' Prince Hans said, 'when he was here
in 1905--no, no, he took coffee in this room, and not in the
dining-room. However, as Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone has told, the
German Minister, von Schoen, who gave so many parties that all the
young Danish people loved him, and his wife could not decide where
coffee was to be taken; the Kaiser settled it himself. It is an
amusing story; it has made King Frederick laugh. If the King of
England comes to tea, you will not be expected to have boiled eggs,
as we have for the Empress Dowager of Russia and Queen Alexandra and
King George of Greece, some champagne, perhaps, and the big cigars,
of course.'

'And, as to guests?'

'Only the Americans of your staff, I think, who have been already
presented to the king.'

The announcement that the King of England would take tea with us did
not cause a ripple in the household; the servants were used to kings.
King Frederick had a pleasant way of dropping in to tea without
ceremony, and the princesses liked our cakes. Besides, Hans, the
indispensable Hans, had waited on King Edward frequently, so he knew
his tastes. But the king did not come; Prince Hans said that he was
tired. He sent an equerry, with a most gracious message for Grover
Cleveland, and another inquiry as to his health. The royal cigars
lasted a long time as few guests were brave enough to smoke them. The
king at the _Cercle_ at court was most gracious. 'I hope to see you
in London,' he said. My colleagues seemed to think that his word was
law, and that I would be the next ambassador at the Court of St.
James's. I knew very well that his politeness was only to show that
he was in a special mood to manifest his regard for the country I
represented.

The King of England was failing at the time as far as his bodily
health was concerned, but he had what a German observer called 'a
good head' in more senses than one. He still took his favourite
champagne; his cigars were too big and strong for most men, but not
too big and strong for him. He showed symptoms of asthma, but he was
alert, and firmly resolved to keep the peace in Europe, and, it was
evident--he made it very evident--he was determined to keep on the
best terms with the United States. During the pause between the parts
of the performance at the Royal Opera House, where we witnessed Queen
Alexandra's favourite ballet, _Napoli_, and heard excerpts from _I
Poliacci_ and _Cavalleria_, the king renewed the questions about
Grover Cleveland's health. Prince Hans suddenly announced that he was
dead. As every minister is quite accustomed to having all kinds of
news announced before he receives it, I could only conclude that it
was true. Several ladies of American birth came and asked me; I could
only say, 'Prince Hans says so.' Countess Raben-Levitzau, whose
husband was then Minister of Foreign Affairs, seemed to be much
amused that I should receive a bit of information of that kind
through Prince Hans. Late that night, after the gala was over, a
cable came telling me that the ex-President was well. I was glad that
I was not obliged to put out the flag at half-mast for the loss of a
President whom the whole country honoured, and who had shown great
confidence in me at one time.

Prince Hans was full of the sayings and doings of the King of England
after his departure. He called him 'Bertie' when absent-minded,
recovering to the 'King of England' when he remembered that he was
speaking to a stranger. Once, quoting the German Emperor, he said
'Uncle Albert.'

'Denmark will not become part of Germany in the Kaiser's time--"Uncle
Albert" will see to that. England will not fight Germany in his time
on any question; therefore Russia will not go against us.'

'But the Crown Prince. What of him?'

'"Uncle Albert" will see to that if the Kaiser should die--but life
is long. The King of England will cease to smoke so much, and, after
that, his health will be good; he has saved us, I will tell you, by
defeating at Berlin the designs of the Pan-Germans against Denmark.'

The late King of England had new issues to face, and he knew it. The
cause of sane democracy would have been better served had he lived
longer. Perhaps he had been, like his brother-in-law, King Frederick
of Denmark, crown prince too long. Nevertheless, he had observed, and
he was wise. He may have been too tolerant, but he was not weak. In
Denmark, one might easily get a fair view of the characters of the
royal people. The Danes are keen judges of persons--perhaps too keen,
and the members of their aristocracy had been constantly on intimate
terms with European kings and princes. 'As for Queen Alexandra,' Miss
Knollys once said, 'she will go down in history as the most
beautiful of England's queens, but also as the most devoted of wives
and mothers. The king makes us all work, but she works most
cheerfully and is never bored.'

The visit of the King of England caused more conjectures. What did it
mean? A pledge on the part of England that Denmark would be protected
both against Germany and Russia? Notwithstanding the opinion that the
Foreign Office in England did all the work, the diplomatists held
that kings, especially King Edward and the Kaiser, had much to do
with it.



CHAPTER IV

SOME DETAILS THE GERMANS KNEW


I gathered that Germany, in 1908, 1909, 1910, was growing more and
more furiously jealous of England. To make a financial wilderness of
London and reconstruct the money centre of the world in Berlin was
the ambition of some of her great financiers.

Our time had not come yet; we might grow in peace. It depended on our
attitude whether we should be plucked when ripe or not. If we could
be led, I gathered, into an attitude inimical to England, all would
be well; but that might safely be left 'to the Irish and the great
German population of the Middle West.' It was 'known that English
money prevented the development of our merchant marine'; but this,
after all, was not to the disadvantage of Germany since, if we
developed our marine, it might mean state subsidies to American ocean
steamer lines. This would not have pleased Herr Ballin.

Count Henckel-Donnersmarck held no such opinions, but the members of
the Berlin _haute bourgeoisie_, who occasionally came to Copenhagen,
were firmly convinced that English money was largely distributed in
the United States to prejudice our people against the beneficent
German Kultur, which, as yet, we were too crude to receive. I
gathered, too, that many of the important, the rich business
representatives of Germany in our country reported that we were 'only
fit to be bled.' We were unmusical, unliterary, unintellectual. We
knew not what a gentleman should eat or drink. Our cooking was vile,
our taste in amusement only a reflection of the English music halls.
We bluffed. We were not virile. The aristocrat did not express these
opinions; but the middle class, or higher middle class, sojourners in
our land did. 'Good Heavens!' exclaimed one American at one of our
receptions to a German-American guest; 'you eat that grouse from your
fists like an animal.'

'I am a male,' answered Fritz proudly; 'we must devour our food--we
of the virile race!'

The pretensions of this kind of German were intolerable. He was the
most brutal of snobs. He arrogated to himself a rank, when one met
him, that he was not allowed to assume in his own country. It was
often amusing to receive a call from a spurious 'von,' representing
German interests in Milwaukee, Chicago, or Cincinnati, who patronised
us until he discovered that we knew that he would be in the seventh
heaven if he could, by any chance, marry his half-American daughter
to the most shop-worn little lieutenant in the German army! To see
him shrivel when a veritable Junker came in, was humiliating. I often
wondered whether the well-to-do German burghers of St. Louis or
Cincinnati were really imposed upon by men of this kind.

The Nobles' Club in Copenhagen is not a club as we know clubs. There
are chairs, newspapers from all parts of the world, and bridge
tables, if you wish to use them. You may even play the honoured game
of _l'ombre_--after the manner of Christian IV., or, perhaps, His
Lordship, the High Chamberlain Polonius, of the court of his late
Majesty, King Claudius. People seldom go there. It is the one place
in Denmark where the members of the club are never found.

The country gentlemen have rooms there when they come to town. It is
in an annex of the Hotel Phoenix. A few of the best bridge players in
Copenhagen meet there occasionally; the rest is silence; therefore it
is a safe place for diplomatic conversations.

A very distinguished German came to me with a letter of introduction
from Munich, in 1909--late in the year. His position was settled. He
was not in the class of the spurious 'vons.' He was, however, high in
the confidence of the Kings of Saxony and Bavaria, both of whom, he
confessed, were displeased because the United States had no
diplomatic representatives at their courts. He had been _persona non
grata_ with Bismarck because of his father's liberalism; he had been
friendly with Windthorst, the Centre leader, and he had been in some
remote way connected with the German Legation at the Vatican. We
talked of Washington in the older days, of Speck von Sternberg[4] and
of his charming wife, then a widow in Berlin; of the cleverness of
Secretary Radowitz, who had been at the German Embassy at Washington;
of the point of view of von Schoen, who had been Minister to
Copenhagen. He spoke of the Kaiser's having dined in our apartment,
which von Schoen had then occupied; and then he came to the point.

 [4] Baron Speck von Sternberg died on May 23rd, 1908.

'Is the United States serious about the Monroe Doctrine--really?' he
asked.

'It is an integral part of our policy of defence.'

'We, in Germany, do not take it seriously. I understand from my
friends you have lived in Washington a long time. We are familiar
with your relations with President Cleveland and of your attitude
towards President McKinley. We know,' he said, 'that President
McKinley offered you a secret mission to Rome. We know other things;
therefore, we are inclined to take you more seriously than most of
the political appointees who are here to-day and gone to-morrow. Your
position in the affair of the Philippines is well known to us. It
would be well for you to ask your ambassador at Berlin to introduce
you to the Emperor; he was much pleased with your predecessor, Mr.
O'Brien. There is, no doubt, some information you could give his
Imperial Majesty. You have friends in Munich, too, and in Dresden
there is the Count von Seebach whom you admire, I know.'

'I admire Count von Seebach, but I am paid not to talk,' I said; 'but
about the secret mission to Rome in the Philippine matter--you knew
of that?'

It was more than I knew, though President McKinley, through Senator
Carter, had suggested, when the Friars' difficulty had been seething
in the Philippines, a solution which had seemed to me out of the
question. But how did this man know of it? I had not spoken of it to
the Count von Seebach, or to anybody in Germany. No word of politics
had ever escaped my lips to the Count von Seebach, who was His
Excellency the Director of the Royal Opera at Dresden.

'Yes; we know all the secrets of the Philippine affair, even that
Domingo Merry del Val came to Washington to confer with Mr. Taft. I
want to know two facts,--facts, not guesses. Your ministers who
come from provincial places, after a few months' instruction in
Washington, cannot know much except local politics. They are
like Pomeranian squires or Jutland farmers. We know that
Henckel-Donnersmarck and you are on good terms, and we are prepared
to treat you from a confidential point of view.'

This was interesting; it showed how closely even unimportant persons
like myself were observed; it was flattering, too; for one grows
tired of the foreign assumption that every American envoy has come
abroad because, as De Tocqueville says in _Democracy in America_ he
has failed at home.

'Mr. Poultney Bigelow, whom you doubtless know, once said in
conversation with the Kaiser, that his father would rather see him
dead than a member of your diplomatic corps, and he was unusually
well equipped for work of that kind. With few exceptions, as I have
remarked, your service is _pour rire_. What can a man from one of
your provincial towns know of anything but local politics and
business?'

I laughed: 'But you are businesslike, too; I hear that, when the
Kaiser speaks to Americans--at least they have told me so--it is
generally on commercial subjects. He likes to know even how many
vessels pass the locks every year at Sault Sainte Marie, and the
amount of grain that can be stored in the Chicago elevators.'

'It is useful to us,' my acquaintance said. 'You would scarcely
expect him to talk about things that do not exist in your
country--music, art, literature, high diplomacy----'

My reply shall be buried in oblivion; it might sound too much like
_éloquence de l'escalier_.

After an interval, not without words, I said:

'It is not necessary for a man to have lived in Washington or New
York in order to have a grasp on American politics in relation to the
foreign problem at the moment occupying the attention of the American
people or the Department of State. Every country boy at home is a
potential statesman and a politician. I recall the impression made on
two visiting foreigners some years ago by the interest of our very
young folk in politics. "Good heavens!" said the Marquis Moustier de
Merinville, "these children of ten and twelve are monsters! They
argue about Bryan and free silver! Such will make revolutions." "I
cannot understand it," said Prince Adam Saphia. "Children ask one
whether one is a Republican or Democrat."'

'That may be so,' he said. 'Your Presidents are not as a rule chosen
from men who live in the great cities.'

'You forget that, while Paris is France, Berlin, Germany----'

'No, Berlin is Prussia,' he said, smiling; 'but London is England;
Paris, France; and Vienna would be Austria if it were not for
Budapest.'

'New York or Washington is not, as you seem to think, the United
States.'

'That may be,' he said, 'nevertheless it is difficult for a European
to understand. It may be,' he added thoughtfully, 'there are some
things about your country we shall never come to understand
thoroughly.'

'You will have to die first--like the man of your own country who,
crossing a crowded street, was injured mortally and cried: "Now I
shall know it _all_." You will never understand us in this world.'

'That is _blague_,' he said. 'We Germans know all countries. Besides,
you know the German language.'

'Who told you that? It's nonsense!' I asked, aghast.

'The other day, I have heard that the Austrians were talking in
German to the First Secretary of the German Legation at the Foreign
Office, when you suddenly forgot yourself and asked a question in
good German!' he said triumphantly.

This was true. Count Zichy, secretary of the Austrian-Hungarian
Legation, had dropped from French into German. Now, I had read Heine
and Goethe when I was young, and I had written the German script;
but that was long ago. There were great arid spaces in my knowledge
of the German language, but something that Count Zichy had said about
an arbitration treaty had vaguely caught my attention, and I had
blundered out, 'Was ist das, Herr Graf?' or something equally elegant
and scholarly. This was really amusing. My friends had always accused
me of turning all German conversation toward _Wilhelm Meister_ and
_Der Erlkönig_, since I could quote from both!

'You can _finesse_,' continued the great nobleman. 'You are not
usual. Your Government has sent you here for a special mission; it is
well to pose as a poet and a man of letters, but you have been
reported to our Government as having a _mission secrète_. You are
allied with the Russians; we know that you are not rich.' This very
charming person, who always laid himself at 'the feet of the ladies'
and clicked his heels like castanets, did not apologise for
discussing my private affairs without permission, and for insinuating
that I was paid by the Russian Government.

'Do you mean----?'

'Nothing,' he said hastily, 'nothing; but the Russians use money
freely; they would not dare to approach _you_. Nevertheless, I warn
you that their marked regard for you must have some motive, and yours
for them may excite suspicions.'

'Surely my friend Henckel-Donnersmarck has not reported me to the
Kaiser?'

'Our ministers are expected to report everything to the Kaiser,
especially from Copenhagen; but Henckel-Donnersmarck does not report
enough. He is either too haughty or too lazy. My master will send him
to Weimar, if he is not more alert; but we have others!'

'I like him.'

'It is evident. Why?' asked the Count, with great interest.

'I sent him a case of Lemp's beer. He says it is better than anything
of the kind made in Germany--polite but unpatriotic.'

'You jest,' said the Count. 'You have the reputation of being
apparently never in earnest, but----'

'You shall have a case too,' I said, 'and then you can judge whether
his truthfulness got the better of his politeness, or his politeness
of his truthfulness.' He rose and bowed, he seated himself again.

'Remember, we shall always be interested in you,' he said; 'but there
is one thing I should like to ask--are you interested in potash?'

'I have no business interests. If you wish to talk business, Count,
you must go to the Consul General.'

That was the beginning. Henckel and I continued to be friends. He
seldom spoke of diplomatic matters. He assured me (over and over
again) that, if the ideas of Frederick the Great were to be followed,
Germany and the United States must remain friends. I told him that
Count von X. had said that 'if the United States could arrange to
oust England from control of the Atlantic and make an alliance with
Germany, these two countries would rule the world.'

'You will never do that,' he said. 'You are safer with England on the
Atlantic than you would be with any other nation. I am not sure what
our ultra Pan-Germans mean by "ruling the world." You may be sure
that your Monroe Doctrine would go to splinters if our Pan-Germans
ruled the world. As for me, I am sick of diplomacy. Why do you enter
it? It either bores or degrades one. I am not curious or unscrupulous
enough to be a spy. As to Slesvig, I have little concern with it. If
Germany should find it to her interest, she might return Northern
Slesvig; but there would be danger in that for Denmark. She must live
in peace with us, or take the consequences.'

'The consequences!'

'Dear colleague, you know as well as I do that all the nations of the
earth want territory or a new adjustment of territory. In the Middle
Ages, nations had many other questions, and there was a universal
Christendom; but, since the Renascence, the great questions are land
and commerce. Germany must look, in self-defence, on Slesvig and
Denmark as pawns in her game. She is not alone in this. You know how
tired I am of it all. No man is more loyal to his country than I am;
but I should like to see Germany on entirely sympathetic terms with
the kingdoms that compose it and reasonably friendly to the rest of
the world; but we could not give up Slesvig, even if the Danish
Government would take it, except for a _quid pro quo_.'

'What?'

'Well, let us say a place in the Pacific, on friendly terms with you.
Your country can hardly police the Philippines against Japan. Germany
is great in what I fear is the New Materialism. As to Slesvig, in
which you seem particularly interested, ask Prince Koudacheff, the
Russian Minister; write to Iswolsky, the Russian Minister, or talk to
Michel Bibikoff, who is a Russian patriot never bored in the pursuit
of information. These Russians may not exaggerate the consequences as
they know what absolute power means.

'There is one thing, Germany will not tolerate sedition in any of her
provinces, and, since we took Slesvig from Denmark in 1864, she is
one of our provinces. The Danes may tolerate a hint of secession on
the part of Iceland, which is amusing, but the beginning of sedition
in Slesvig would mean an attitude on our part such as you took
towards secession in the South. But it is unthinkable. The
demonstrations against us in Slesvig have no importance.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Michel Bibikoff, Secretary of the Russian Legation, was most
intelligent and most alert. Wherever he is now, he deserves well of
his country. As a diplomatist he had only one fault--he underrated
the experience and the knowledge of his opponents; but this was the
error of his youth. I say 'opponents,' because at one time or other
Bibikoff's opponents were everybody who was not Russian. A truer
patriot never lived. He was devoted to my predecessor, Mr. O'Brien,
who was, in his opinion, the only American gentleman he had ever met.
He compared me very unfavourably with my courteous predecessor, who
has filled two embassies with satisfaction to his own country and to
those to whom he was accredited.

At first Bibikoff distrusted me; and I was delighted. If he thought
that you were concealing things he would tell you something in order
to find out what he wanted to know. For me, I was especially
interested in discovering what the Tsar's state of mind was
concerning the Portsmouth peace arrangements. Bibikoff had means of
knowing. Indeed, he found means of knowing much that might have been
useful to all of us, his colleagues. A long stay in the United States
would have 'made' Bibikoff. He was one of the few men in Europe who
understood what Germany was aiming at. He predicted the present
war--but of that later. He had been in Washington only a few months.
I suffered as to prestige in the beginning only, as every American
minister and ambassador suffers from our present system of appointing
envoys. No representative of the United States is at first taken
seriously by a foreign country. He must earn his spurs, and, by the
time he earns them, they are, as a rule, ruthlessly hacked off!

Each ambassador is supposed by the Foreign Offices to be appointed
for the same reason that so many peerages have been conferred by the
British Government. Every minister, it is presumed, has given a _quid
pro quo_ for being distinguished from the millions of his countrymen.

'If you have the price, you can choose your embassy,' is a speech
often quoted in Europe. I cannot imagine who made it--possibly the
famous Flannigan, of Texas. It is notorious that peerages are sold
for contributions to the campaign fund in England; but places in the
diplomatic service, though governed sometimes by political influence,
cannot be said to be sold.

I had one advantage; nobody suspected me of paying anything for my
place; and, then, I had come from Washington, the capital of the
country.

As I said, my eyes were fixed on Russia. I found, however, that the
main business of my colleagues seemed to be to watch Germany, and
that attitude for a time left me cold. Denmark had reason to fear
Germany; but then, at that time, every other European nation was on
its guard against possible aggressions on the part of its neighbours.
I had hope that a Scandinavian Confederacy or the swelling rise of
the Social Democracy in Germany would put an end to the fears of all
the little countries. There seemed to be no hope that the attitude of
the German nation towards the world could change unless the Social
Democrats and the Moderate Liberals should gain power.

But why should we watch Germany, the powerful, the self-satisfied,
the splendid country whose Kaiser professed the greatest devotion to
our President, and had sent his brother, Prince Henry, over to show
his regard for our nation? I was most anxious to find the reason.

In my time, good Americans--say in 1880--when they died, went to
Paris, never to Berlin. The Emperor of Germany had determined to
change this. He tried to make his capital a glittering imitation of
Paris; he received Americans with every show of cordiality.

Berlin was to be made a paradise for Americans and for the world;
but nearly every American is half French at heart. Nevertheless, I
do not think that we took the French attitude of revenge against
Germany seriously; we thought that the French were beginning to
forget the _revanche_; their Government had apparently become so
'international.' Many of us had been brought up with the Germans and
the sons of Germans. We read German literature; we began with Grimm
and went on to Goethe and, to descend somewhat, Heyse and Auerbach.
Without asking too many questions, we even accepted Frederick the
Great as a hero. He was easier to swallow than Cromwell, and more
amusing.

In fact, most of us did not think much of foreign complications, the
charm of the Deutscher Club in Milwaukee, the warmth of the singing
of German _lieder_ by returned students from Freiburg or Bonn or
Heidelberg; the lavish hospitality of the opulent German in this
country, the German love for family life, and, for me personally, the
survival of the robust virtues, seemingly of German origin, among the
descendants of the Germans in Pennsylvania, impressed me.

As far as education was concerned, I had hated to see the German
methods and ideas _servilely_ applied. I belonged to the Alliance
Française and preferred the French system as more efficient in the
training of the mind than the German. Besides, the importation of the
German basis for the doctorate of philosophy into our universities
seemed to me to be dangerous. It led young men to waste time, since
there was no governmental stamp on their work and no concrete
recognition of the results of their studies as there was in Germany;
and, this being so, it meant that the dignified degree, from the
old-fashioned point of view, would become degraded, or, at its best,
merely a degree for the decoration of teachers. It would be sought
for only as a means of earning a living, not as a preparation for
research.

'Of course I know Spain,' said a flippant attaché in Copenhagen. 'I
have seen _Carmen_, eaten _olla podrida_, and adored the Russian
ballet in the _cachuca_!' None of my friends who thought they knew
Germany was as bad as this. Some of the professors of my
acquaintance, who had seen only one side of German life, loved the
Fatherland for its support to civilisation. _Nous avons changé--tout
cela!_

Other gentlemen, who had started out to love Germany, hated
everything German because they had been compelled to stand up in an
exclusive club when anybody of superior rank entered its sacred
precincts or when something of the kind happened. The man with whom I
had read Heine and worked out jokes in _Kladdertasch_ was devoted to
everything German because he had once lived in a small German town
where there was good opera! Personally, I had hated Bismarck and all
his works and pomps for several reasons:--one was because of Busch's
glorifying book about him; another for the Kulturkampf; another for
his attitude toward Hanover, and because one of my closest German
friends was a Hanoverian.

Brought up, as most Philadelphians of my generation were, in
admiration for Karl Schurz and the men of '48, I could not tolerate
anything that was Prussian or Bismarckian; but, as Windthorst, the
creator of the Centrum party in the Reichstag, was one of my heroes,
I counted myself as the admirer of the best in Germany.

The position of the great power, evident by its attitude to us in the
beginning of the Spanish-American war, was disquieting; but Germany
had shown a similar sensitiveness under similar circumstances many
times without affecting international relations. And German world
dominion? What, in the Twentieth Century?--the best of all possible
centuries? Civilised public opinion would not tolerate it!

In the Balkans, of course, there would always be rows. The German
propaganda? It existed everywhere, naturally. One could see signs
of that; these signs were not even concealed. It seemed to be
reasonable enough that any country should not depend entirely on
the press or diplomatic notes to avoid misunderstanding; and a
certain attention to propaganda was the duty of all diplomatists.
Still, my observations in my own country, even before the Chicago
Exposition--when the Kaiser had done his best to impress us with the
mental and material value of everything German--had made me more than
suspicious. I had reason to be suspicious, as you will presently see.
But war? Never!

It was Cardinal Falconio who, I think, made me feel a little chilly,
when he wrote: 'War is not improbable in Europe; you are too
optimistic. Let us pray that it may not come; but, as a diplomatist
you must not be misled into believing it impossible.' It seemed to
me that such talk was pessimistic. Other voices, from the
diplomatists of the Vatican--even the ex-diplomatists--confirmed
this. 'If the Kaiser says he wants peace, it is true--but only on his
own terms. Believe me, if the Kaiser can control Russia, and draw a
straight line to the Persian Gulf, he will close his fist on
England.'

The people at the Vatican, if you can get them to talk, are more
valuable to an inquiring mind than any other class of men; but they
are so wretchedly discreet just when their indiscretions might be
most useful. Some of them are like King James I., who 'never said a
foolish thing and never did a wise one.' Those who helped me with
counsel were both wise in speech and prudent action but, unhappily,
hampered by circumstances. Among the wise and the prudent I do not
include the diplomatic representative of the Vatican in Paris just
before the break with Rome!

The Russians in Copenhagen kept their eyes well on Germany; and it
was evident that, while the position of France gave the Germans no
uneasiness--they seemed to look on France with a certain
contempt--any move of Russia was regarded as important. Prince
Koudacheff, late the Russian Ambassador at Madrid, in 1907 Minister
at Copenhagen, who seldom talked politics, again returned to the
great question.

'My brother, who is in Washington, and an admirer of your country,
says that you Americans believe that war is unthinkable. Is this your
opinion?'

'It is--almost.'

'Well, I will say that as soon as the bankers feel that there is
enough money, there will be a war in Europe.'

'I wonder if your husband meant that?' I asked the Princess
Koudacheff; it was well to have corroboration occasionally, and she
was a sister-in-law of Iswolsky's; Iswolsky was a synonym for
diplomatic knowledge.

'If he did not mean it he would not have said it. When he does not
mean to say a thing he remains silent. As soon as there is money
enough, there will be war. Germany will go into no war that will
impoverish her,' she said. Her opinion was worth much; she was a
woman who knew well the inside of European politics.

'And who will fight, the Slavs and Teutons?'

'You have said it! It will come.'

I knew a Russian who, while a nobleman, was not an official. In fact,
he hated bureaucrats. He could endure no one in the Russian court
circle except the Empress Dowager, Marie, because she was
sympathetic, and the late Grand Duke Constantine, because he had
translated Shakespeare.

'If Prince Valdemar of Denmark had been the son instead of the
brother of the Dowager Empress, Russia would have a future. As it is,
I will quote from Father Gapon for you. You know his _Life_?'

'No,' I said.

'Well, he has attempted to give the working-men in Russia a chance;
he has tried to gain for them one-tenth of the place which
working-men in your country have, and, in 1905, he was answered by
the massacre of the Narva gate. The Tsar is a fool, with an
imperialistic _hausfrau_ for a wife. If you will read the last words
of Father Gapon's _Life_, you will find these words:

'"I may say, with certainty, that the struggle is quickly approaching
its inevitable climax: that Nicholas II. is preparing for himself the
fate which befell a certain English King and a certain French King
long ago, and that such members of his dynasty as escape unhurt from
the throes of the Revolution, will some day, in a not very distant
future, find themselves exiles upon some Western shore." I may live
to see this; but I hope that the Empress Marie may not. She knows
where the policy of her daughter-in-law, who has all the stupidity of
Marie Antoinette, without her charm, would lead; she says of her
son,--"he was on the right road before he married that narrow-minded
woman!"'

This, remember, was in 1908. It was whispered even then in Copenhagen
that Russia was beginning to break up. The Dean of the Diplomatic
Corps was Count Calvi di Bergolo, honest, brave, opinionated, who
would teach you everything, from how to jump a hurdle to the gaseous
compositions in the moon. He was of the _haute école_ at the riding
school and of the _vielle école_ of diplomacy. He was very frank. He
had a great social vogue because of a charming wife and a most
exquisite daughter, now the Princess Aage. He would never speak
English; French was the diplomatic language; it gave a diplomatist
too much of an advantage, if one spoke in his native tongue. He
believed in the protocol to the letter; he was a martinet of a Dean.

'Public opinion,' he said scornfully, 'public opinion in the United
States is for peace. In Europe, if we could all have what we want, we
should all keep the peace; but what chance of peace can there be
until Italy has the Trentino or France Alsace-Lorraine, or until
Germany gets to her place by controlling the Slavs. You are of a new
country, where they believe things because they are impossible.'

He was a wise gentleman and he, too, watched Germany. It was plain
that he disliked the Triple Alliance. Suddenly it dawned on me 'like
thunder' that we had an interest in watching Germany, too.

It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Germany would one day
absorb Denmark. 'And then the Danish West Indies would automatically
become German!' This was my one thought. The 'fixed idea'!

It is pleasanter to be Dean of the Diplomatic Corps than a new-comer.
It must be extremely difficult for a diplomatic representative to be
comfortable at once, coming from American localities where etiquette
is a matter of gentlemanly feeling only, and where artificial
conventionalities hardly count. In a monarchical country, the outward
relations are changed. Socially, rank counts for much, and the rules
of precedence are as necessary as the use of a napkin. To have lived
in Washington--not the changed Washington of 1918-19--was a great
help. After long observation of the niceties of official etiquette in
the official society of our own Capital, Copenhagen had no terrors.



CHAPTER V

GLIMPSES OF THE GERMAN POINT OF VIEW IN RELATION TO THE UNITED STATES


Time passed. There were alarms, and rumours that German money was
corrupting France, that the distrust aroused by the Morocco incident
was growing, that the French patriot believed that his opponent, the
French pacifist, was using religious differences to weaken the
_morale_ of the French army and navy, to convince Germany that the
'revenge' for 1870 was forgotten.

One day, a very clever English attaché came to luncheon; he always
kept his eyes open, and he was allowed by me to take liberties in
conversation which his chief would never have permitted; it is a
great mistake to bottle up the young, or to try to do it.

'You are determined to be friends with Germany,' he said, 'and
Germany seems to be determined to be friends with you. Your Foreign
Office has evidently instructed you to be very sympathetic with the
German minister. He seldom sees anybody but you; but, at the same
time you have recalled Mr. Tower, whom the Kaiser likes, to give him
Mr. Hill, whom he seems not to want.'

'It is not a question as to whom the Kaiser wants exactly; we
ostensibly sent an ambassador to the German Emperor, but really to
the German people. Mr. Hill is one of the most experienced of our
diplomatists.'

'The Kaiser does not want that. Mr. Tower habituated him to
splendour, and he likes Americans to be splendid. Rich people ought
to spend their money in Berlin. Besides, he had been accustomed to
Mr. Tower, who, he thinks, will oil the wheels of diplomatic
intercourse. Just at this moment, when the Kaiser has lost prestige
because of his double-dealing with the Boers and his apparent deceit
on the Morocco question, he does not want a man of such devotion to
the principles of The Hague convention and so constitutional as Mr.
Hill, who may acknowledge the charm of the emperor, but who, even in
spite of himself, will not be influenced by it.'

'How do you know this?'

'Everybody about the court in Berlin knows it, but I hear it from
Munich. But Speck von Sternberg would have balanced Hill, if he had
lived. They think he would have influenced President Roosevelt. Tell
us the secrets of the White House--you ought to know--it was an awful
competition between Speck and Jusserand, I hear.'

'President Roosevelt is not easily influenced,' I said.

Persons whom I knew in Berlin wrote to me, informing me how charmed
the Kaiser was with the new ambassador; but, in Copenhagen, we
learned that what the Kaiser wanted was not a great international
lawyer, but a rich American of less intensity.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was worth while to get Russian opinions.

'The Kaiser is having a bad time,' I remarked to a Russian of my
acquaintance--a most brilliant man, now almost, as he said himself,
_homme sans patrie_.

'Temporarily,' he answered; 'those indiscreet pronouncements of his
on the Boers and the reversion of his attitude against England in the
affair of Morocco have shown him that he cannot clothe inconsistency
in the robes of infallibility. He is a personal monarch and he sinks
all his personality in his character as a monarch. He is made to the
likeness of God, and there is an almost hypostatic union between God
and him! Our Tsar is by no means so absolute, though you Americans
all persist in thinking so. I have given you some documents on that
point; I trust that you have sent them to your President. I am sure,
however, that he knew _that_. Do not imagine that the emperor will be
deposed, because he has made a row in Germany. He has only discovered
how far he can go by personal methods, that is all; he has learned
his lesson--_reculer pour mieux sauter_. He has played a clever game
with you. Bernstorff, his new ambassador, will offset Hill. Your
investments in Russia will now come through German hands, and you
will get a bad blow in the matter of potash.'

'What do you mean?' I asked. I had regarded Count Bernstorff as a
Liberal. His English experience seemed to have singled him out as
one of the diplomatists of the Central Powers--there were
several--inclined to admit that other nations had rights which
Germany was bound to respect. In private conversations, he had shown
himself very favourable to the United States, and had even
disapproved of German attacks on the Monroe Doctrine in Brazil.
'Count Bernstorff is not likely to offend Washington, or to reopen
the wound that was made at Manila.'

'You talk as if diplomatists were not, first of all, instructed to
look after the business interests of their countries. Do you think
Bernstorff has been chosen to dance cotillions with your 'cave
dwellers' in Washington or to compliment Senators' wives? First, his
appointment is meant to flatter you. Second, he will easily flatter
you because he really likes America and it is his business to flatter
you. Third, he will do his best to induce you to assist England in
strangling Russia in favour of Turkey. Fourth, he will grip hard,
without offending you, the German monopoly of potash. He doesn't want
trouble between the United States and Germany. He knows that any
difficulty of that kind would be disastrous; he is as anxious to
avoid that as is Ballin. Under the glimmer of rank, of which you
think so much in America, commercialism is the secret of Germany's
spirit to-day. In Berlin, I heard an American, one of your
denaturalised, trying to curry favour with Prince von Bülow by saying
that the national genius of Germany demanded that Alsace-Lorraine
should be kept by Germany to avenge the insolence of Louis XIV. and
Napoleon. Prince von Bülow smiled. He knew that your compatriot was
working for an invitation to an exclusive something or other for his
wife. Bernstorff is just the man to neutralise Hill. It's iron ore
and potash in Alsace-Lorraine that the emperor cares about.'

'And yet I know, at first hand, that the Pan-German hates Bernstorff.
If anything approaching to a Liberal Government came in Germany,
Bernstorff will be Minister of Foreign Affairs.'

My Russian friend smiled sardonically. 'We Russians feel that our one
salvation is to oust the Turk and get to the Mediterranean. My party
would provoke a war with Germany to-morrow, if we could afford it,
and Germany knows it. Count Bernstorff, the most sympathetic of all
German diplomatists, knows this, too, and you may be sure that he
will persuade your Government that he loves you, give the Russian
programme a nasty stroke when he can, and keep the price of potash
high. I, desirous as I am of being an Excellency, would refuse to go
to Berlin to-morrow, if I had Bernstorff against me on the other
side. See what will happen to Hill! Germany may offend you, but
Bernstorff will persuade you that it is the simple _gaucherie_ of a
rustic youth who assumes the antics of a playful bear[5]--a hug or
two; it may hurt, but the jovial bear means well! If Hill should
leave Berlin, you will need a clever man who has political power with
your Government. Bernstorff will contrive to put any other kind of
man in the wrong--I tell you that.'

 [5] 'We can say without hesitation that during the last century the
 United States have nowhere found better understanding or juster
 recognition than in this country. More than any one else the
 Emperor William II. manifested this understanding and appreciation
 of the United States of America.'--Von Bülow's _Imperial Germany_,
 p. 51.

The Russian who predicted this is in exile, penniless, a man _sans
patrie_, as he says himself. When I took these notes he seemed to be
above the blows of fate!

If the hand of Germany was everywhere, everybody was watching the
movements of the fingers. Among the English there were two parties:
One that could tolerate nothing German, the other that hated
everything Russian, but both united in one belief, that the alliance
with Japan would not hold under the influence of German intrigue and
that Italy could not long remain a member of the Triple Alliance.

The gossip from Berlin was always full of pleasant things for an
American to hear. The Kaiser treated our compatriots with unusual
courtesy.

In Copenhagen we were deluged with letters announcing that Count
Bernstorff's coming meant a new era; he even excelled 'Speck' in his
charm, sympathy, and everything that ought to endear him to us; in
him showed that true desire for peace of which his august master was,
of all the world, the best representative. It was even rumoured that
the German Foreign Office had begun to coquette with the Danish
Social Democrats.

The exchange of professors between the United States and Germany was
becoming an institution. Sometimes the American professors found
themselves in awkward positions; they did not 'rank'; they had no
fixed position from the German point of view. As mere American
commoners, unrecognised by their Government, undecorated, they could
not expect attentions from the court as a right. However, the Germans
studied them and rather liked some of them, but, not being _raths_,
they were poor creatures without standing. Even if they should make
reputations approved by the great German universities, they had no
future. How green were the lawns and how pleasant the sweet waters in
the enclosed gardens of autocracy, of which the Emperor, Fountain of
Honours, kept the key!

It was amusing to note the German attitude toward democracy, in spite
of all the pleasant things said by the High, Well-Born citizens of
the Fatherland in favour of the American brand. At the same time, one
could not help seeing that the children of the Kaiser were wiser than
the children of--let us say modestly--Light. 'If the President asked
me,' said one of the most distinguished of lawyers and the most loyal
of Philadelphians to me, 'I should be willing to live all my life in
Germany.' This was the result of the impression the charm of the
Kaiser made on the best of us.

He has changed his opinion now; he swears by the works of his
compatriot, Mr. Beck. Even then, in 1908-9, my distinguished
Philadelphia friend could not have endured life in Germany. He forgot
that even the emperor could not give him rank, and that no matter how
cosmopolitan, how learned, how tactful he was, he would at once be a
commoner, and very much of a commoner on the day he settled there as
a resident.

A Prussian Serene Highness, who came with letters from an Irish
relative in Hungary dropped in; he was mostly Bavarian in blood; he
had cousins in England and Italy. He liked a good luncheon, and, as
Miss Knollys always said (I quote this without shame), 'The best food
in Europe is at the American Legation!' He smoked, too, and Rafael
Estrada, of Havana, had chosen the cigars.

'France is difficult,' said my acquaintance, His Serene Highness. 'It
is not really democratic; and England will go to pieces before it
becomes democratic.

'You Americans have freedom with order, and you respect rank and
titles, though you do not covet them. That is why the Kaiser would
not send any ambassador not of a great family to you. All Americans
who come to Berlin desire to be presented at court. It is a sign that
you will come to our way of thinking some day. We are not so far
apart. You who write must tell your people that we are calumniated,
we are not despots. That woman, the author of _Elizabeth and Her
German Garden_, married to a friend of mine, does us harm. But most
Americans see Germany in a mellow light. We are akin in our
aspirations--Frederick the Great understood that.

'Bismarck, great as he was, became ambitious only for his family. His
son, the coming chancellor, would have used our young emperor as a
puppet, if our emperor had not put him into his place. This is the
truth, and I am telling it to you confidentially. The British
Government will come to anarchy if it weakens the House of Lords. The
House of Commons is already weak. There is no barrier between honest
rule and the demagogues. With your magnificent Senate there will
always be a wall between the will of the _canaille_ and good
government. We Germans understand you!'

'But suppose,' it was Mr. Alexander Weddell, then connected with the
Legation, now Consul General at Athens, who broke in, 'you should
differ from us on the Monroe Doctrine. I have recently read an
article by Mr. Frederick Wile in an English magazine on your
management of your people in Brazil.'

'"Our people!" The Serene Highness seemed startled. 'A German is
always a German. It is the call of the blood.'

'And something more,' Mr. Weddell said, 'a German citizen is always a
German citizen; you never admit that a German can become a Brazilian.
Suppose you should want to join your Germans in Brazil with your
Germans at home. What would become of our Monroe Doctrine?'

'There are Germans in your country who have ceased to be Germans, and
your upper classes are Anglicised, except when they marry into one of
our great families; nevertheless, our own people would still see that
you don't go too far with your Monroe Doctrine. It has not yet been
drastically interpreted. The Monroe Doctrine is a method of defence.
To interfere with the call of the German blood from one country to
another would be offensive to us, and I cannot conceive of your
country so far forgetting itself!'

His Serene Highness was of a mediatised house--a gentleman who had
much experience in diplomacy. He had, I think, visited Newport, and
been almost engaged to an American girl. The legend ran that, when
this lady saw him without his uniform, she broke the engagement. He
was splendid in his uniform. He thought he knew the United States; he
even quoted Bryce and De Tocqueville; he had the impression that the
Kaiser's propaganda of education was Germanising us for our good.
'The most eminent professors at your most important universities are
Germans. Your newest university, that of Chicago, would have no
reputation in Europe if it were not for the Germans. Wundt has
revolutionised your conception of psychology; your scientific and
historical methods are borrowed from us. Even your orthodox
Protestants quote Harnack. Virchow long ago put out the lights of
Huxley and Spencer. And the Catholic German in America, whom Bismarck
almost alienated from us, revolts against the false Americanism of
Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland, whom the Kaiser rates as a
son of the Revolution. Your Catholic University has begun to be
moulded in the German way. Mgr. Schroeder, highly considered, was one
of the most energetic of the professors----'

'Was,' I said. 'I happen to know that he was relieved of his
professorship because of those very dominating qualities you value so
much.'

'That is regrettable; but, you see, in Germany we follow the train of
events in your country. Who has a larger audience than Münsterberg?
In the things of the mind we Germans must lead.'

In my opinion, it is best for a diplomatist--at least for a man who
is in the avocation of diplomacy--to be satisfied with _l'eloquence
de l'éscalier_. If he writes memoirs he can always put in the
repartee he intended to make; and, if he does not, he can always
think, too, with satisfaction of what he was almost clever enough to
say! It was enough to have discovered one thing--that, with a large
number of the ruling classes in the Fatherland, the Monroe Doctrine
was looked on as an iridescent bubble. Many times afterwards this
fact was emphasised.

The Austrians were not always so careful as the Germans to save, when
it came to democracy, American susceptibilities. They were always
easy to get on with, provided one remembered that even to the most
discerning among them, the United States, 'America' as they always
called it, was an unknown land.

As for Count Dionys Szechenyi, the Minister of Austria-Hungary, he
was the most genial of colleagues, and he had no sympathy with
tyranny of any kind; he had no illusions as to America.

His wife is a Belgian born, Countess Madeleine Chimay de Caraman. He
was always careful not to touch on 'Prussianism,' as the Danes called
the principle of German domination. He had many subjects of
conversation, from portrait buying to transactions in American steel
and, what had its importance in those days, a good dinner. At his
house one met occasionally men who liked to be frank, and then these
Austro-Hungarians were a delightful group. 'If we should be involved
in a war with England--which is unthinkable, since King Edward and
our Ambassador, Count Mensdorff would never allow it--I could not buy
my clothes in London,' said one very regretfully.

This Austrian magnate heard with unconcealed amusement the German
talk of 'democracy.' 'Max Harden is sincere, but a puppet; he helps
the malcontents to let off steam; the German Government will never
allow another _émeute_ like that of 1848. Bismarck taught the
Government how to be really imperial. In Austria we are frankly
autocratic, but not so new as the Prussian. We wear feudalism like an
old glove. There are holes in it, of course, and Hungary is making
the holes larger. If the Hungarians should have their way, there
would be no more _majorats_, no more estates that can be kept in
families; and that will be the end of our feudalism.

'As it is, things are uncomfortable enough, but a war would mean a
break-up. What do you Americans expect for Max Harden and his
_Zukunft_--exile and suppression as soon as he reaches the limit. All
the influences of the Centre could not keep the Jesuits from being
exiled! Why? They would not admit the superiority of the state.
Harden will never have the real power of the Jesuits, for the reason
that he founds his appeal on principles that vary with the occasion.
But he will go! As for the Social Democrats, they can be played with
as a cat plays with a mouse. Democracy! If the Kaiser gets into a
tight place he can always declare war!

'Is the Imperial Chancellor responsible to the German people? No. He
is imperial because he wears the imperial livery. Can the Reichstag
appoint a chancellor? The idea is _pour rire_! My dear Mr. Minister,
you and your countrymen do not understand Prussian rule in Germany!
And the Federal Council, what chance has it against the will of our
emperor? And what have the people to do with the Federal Council?
The members are appointed by the rulers by right divine. There is
the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He rules his little duchy with
a firm hand. There is the Duke of Brunswick, the Prince of
Lippe-Schaumbourg--not to speak of the Grand Duke of Baden and a
whole nest of rulers responsible only to the Head of the House.'

'But the people _must_ count,' I said. 'Prince von Bülow has shown
himself to be nervous about the growing power of the Social
Democrats.'

'Oh, yes, they are very amusing. They may caterwaul in the Reichstag;
they may wrangle over the credits and the budget; but the emperor can
prorogue them at any time. The Pan-Germans could easily, if the
Reichstag were too independent, counsel the Kaiser to prorogue that
debating club altogether.

'Who can prevent his forcing despotic military rule on the nation,
for the nation's good, of course? Everything in Germany must come
from the top--you know that. Again, the power of the rich, as far as
suffrage is concerned, is unlimited. The members of the Reichstag are
elected by open ballot. Woe be to the working man who defies his
emperor. Fortunately the rich German is not socially powerful until
he ranks. You may be as rich as Krupp, but if the Fountain of Honour
has not dashed a spray of the sacred water on you, you are as nobody.

'The greatest American plutocrat may visit Germany and spend money
like water, and he remains a mere commoner. The Kaiser may invite him
on his yacht and say polite things, but, until he _ranks_, he is
nobody. His wife may manage to be presented at court under the wing
of the American ambassadress, but that is nothing! The poorest and
most unimportant of the little provincial baronesses outranks her.
She will always be an outsider, no matter how long she may live in
Germany.

'With us, in Austria, an American woman, no matter whom she marries,
is never received at court. She is never "born,"' and he laughed.
'Americans can have no heraldic quarterings; but, then, we do not
pretend to be democratic. If I loved an American girl, I would marry
her, of course; but if I went to court, I should go alone. It is the
rule, and going to court is not such a rare treat to people who are
used to it. It becomes a bore.'

To do my German diplomatic colleagues justice, they never attempted
masquerades in the guise of democrats. There were other Germans, whom
one met in society. These people were always loyal to the Fatherland.
Their attitude was that the German world was the best of all possible
worlds.

If my own countrymen and countrywomen abroad were as solidly American
as these people were German, our politeness would not be so
frequently stretched to the breaking point. The most loyal of Germans
were American people of leisure who had lived long in Germany with
titled relatives. They enjoyed themselves; they lived for a time in
the glory of rank.

With those who had to earn their own living in Germany, it was
another story. They did not 'rank'; they were ordinary mortals; they
had not the _entrée_ to some little provincial court, and so they saw
the Prussian point of view as it really was. The American women,
strangely enough, who had married ranking Germans loved everything
German. 'But how do you endure the interference with your daily
life?' my wife asked an American girl married to a Baron.

'I like it; it makes one so safe, so protected; your servants are
under the law, and give you no trouble. Order is not an idea, but a
method. I know just how my children shall be educated. That is the
province of my husband. I have no fault to find.' She laughed. 'I do
not have to explain myself; I do not have to say, "I am a Daughter of
the Revolution, my uncle was Senator so-and-so"--my place is fixed,
and I like it!'

It was a distinguished German professor who assumed the task of
convincing American University men that the German Army was
democratic, and the conclusion of his syllogism was: 'No officer is
ever admitted to a club of officers who has not been voted for by the
members.' Would you believe it? It seems incredible that democracy
should seem to depend on the votes of an aristocracy and not on
principles. But later, just at the beginning of the war, this
professor and a half dozen others signed a circular in which the same
argument was used. In 1907-8-9-10, the propaganda for convincing
Americans that Germany--that is that the Kaiser--loved us was part of
the daily life in the best society in the neutral countries.

The Norwegians openly laughed at it. They knew only too well what the
Kaiser's opinion of them and their king, Haakon, was. Amazed by the
frequent allusions of the admirers of the Kaiser to his love for
democracy, especially the American kind, I had a talk one day with
one of the most frank and sincere of Germans, the late Baron von der
Quettenburg, the father of the present vicar of the Church of St.
Ansgar's in Copenhagen. He was a Hanoverian. He was at least seventy
years of age when I knew him, but he walked miles; he rode; he liked
a good dinner; he enjoyed life in a reasonable way; but he was
frequently depressed. Hanover, his proud, his noble, his beautiful
Hanover, was a vassal to the arrogant Prussian!

'But, if there were a war you would fight for the Kaiser?' I asked,
after a little dinner of which any man might be proud.

'Fight? Naturally. (I did not know that you knew so well how to eat
in America.) Fight! Yes! It would be our duty. Russia or France or
the Yellow Nations might threaten us;--yes, all my family, except the
priest, would fight. But, because one is loyal to the Kaiser through
duty, it does not mean that we Hanoverians are Prussians through
pleasure. We shall never be content until we are Hanoverians
again--nor will Bavaria.'

'A break up of the empire by force?'

'Oh, no!' he said. 'Not by force; but if the Government does not
distract public attention, Hanover will demand more freedom; so will
Bavaria. None of us would embarrass the Kaiser by raising the
question of--let us say--greater autonomy for our countries, if there
were question of a foreign war; but we must raise them soon.'

'Do you think the emperor would make war to avoid the raising
of these questions, which might mean a tendency toward the
disintegration of the German monarchy?'

'The emperor would be incapable of that; he is for peace, but the
raising of the question of a certain independence among the states
that form the German Empire can only be prevented now by a war or
some affliction equally great. Hanover can never remain the abject
vassal of Prussia.'

'You would, then, like to see the German Emperor more democratic--a
President, like ours, only hereditary, governing quasi-independent
States?'

'That would not suit us at all,' he laughed. 'We are quite willing
that the Reichstag should be in the power of the emperor, as it is a
mere association for talk; but we want the tributary kings to have
more power in their own states. Hanover a republic! How absurd!
Republics may be good on your continent, but, then, you know no
better; you began that way. Whoever tells us that we are democratic
in Germany, deceives you. We Hanoverians want more power for Hanover,
all the reasonable rights of our kings restored and less power for
Prussia; but that we want republicanism, oh, no! A liberal
constitution--yes; but no republic!'

       *       *       *       *       *

An old friend, a Swedish Social Democrat, brought in to tea a German
Social Democrat; they came to meet an Icelandic composer, in whom I
was interested. The Icelander was a good composer, but filled with
curious ideas about Icelandic independence. He was not content that
Iceland should have the power of a State in the Federal Union. A
separate flag meant to him complete independence of Denmark. He
wanted to know the German Social Democrat's opinion of government.

'It is,' said the German, 'that Hohenzollerns shall go, and people
have equality.'

'With us it is,' said the Swede, 'that the King of Sweden shall go,
and the people have equality.'

'But, if Germany goes to war?' I asked.

'For a short war, we will be as one people; but after----' and he
shook his head gravely.

In the meantime, we were told constantly of the Kaiser's charm. 'You
once said,' remarked a débutante at the German court, who had been
presented under the wing of our ambassadress, 'that if one wanted to
dislike Mr. Roosevelt, one must keep away from him! I assure you, it
is the same with the Kaiser. He is charming. For instance, notice
this: he presented a lovely cigarette case, with imperial monogram in
diamonds or something of that kind, to Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone,
the wife of the Danish Minister, when her husband was leaving. "But
my husband does not smoke," said Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone, later
in the day. "That is the reason I gave it to him," said the Kaiser;
"I knew that you like a cigarette, Madame!" _Isn't_ he charming?'

We were told that the Kaiser loved Mark Twain. To love Mark Twain was
to be American. To be sure he turned his back very pointedly on Mark
on one occasion because Mark had dared to criticise the pension
system of the United States. Pensions for the army should not be
criticised, even if their administration were defective. All soldiers
must be taken care of. This was the first duty of a nation, and Mark
Twain forgot himself when he censured any system that put money into
the pockets of the old soldiers, even of the wives of the soldiers of
1812! And this to the War Lord, the emperor of more than a Prætorian
Guard! And as for President Roosevelt, if the Kaiser could only see
this first of republicans! This meeting had been the great joy of his
brother Prince Henry of Prussia's life.

The Kaiser had learned much from Americans--our great capitalists,
for example. No American who was doing things was alien to him. Other
monarchs might pretend to have an interest in the United States; his
was genuine, for Germany, youngest among the nations, had so much to
learn from the giant Republic of the West which possessed everything,
except potash, the science of making use of by-products, and German
Kultur!

President Roosevelt had just gone out of office, and President Taft
was in. He wrote to me: 'You shall remain in your post as long as I
remain in mine.'

I was pleased and grateful. The chance that President Roosevelt had
given me, President Taft continued to give me. I was the slave of a
fixed idea, that the validity not the legality, of the Monroe
Doctrine was somewhat dependent on our acquiring by fair bargains all
the territory we needed to interpret it!

As to Denmark in 1910, it was much more French than anything else.
And, whatever might be done in the way of propaganda by Germany,
France always remained beloved; while the English way of living
might be imitated, nobody ever thought of imitating Germany's
ways. Besides, the Danes are not good at keeping secrets, and
the whisperings of German intentions, desires, likes, and
dislikes disseminated in that city were generally supposed to be
heart-to-heart talks with the world and received by the Danes with
shrewd annotations. This the Kaiser did not approve of. It was
curious that neither he nor his uncle, the King of England, liked
Copenhagen--for different reasons!

It was understood that the King of England disliked it because he
found it dull--the simplicity of Hvidhöre had no charms for him. He
could not join in the liking of his Queen for everything Danish, from
the ballets of De Bournonville to the red-coloured herring salad.
_Napoli_, a ballet which Queen Alexandra especially recommended to my
wife and myself, frankly bored him, and the _mise-en-scène_ of the
Royal Theatre was not equal to Covent Garden.

The Kaiser disliked Copenhagen because he had no regard for his
Danish relatives, who took no trouble to bring out those charming
boyish qualities he could display at times: the influence of the
Princess Valdemar in Denmark displeased him; she was too French, too
democratic, and too popular, and she had something of the quality
for command of her late mother-in-law, Queen Louise. Altogether, the
Danes were not amenable to German Kultur, or subservient to the
continual threat of being absorbed in it, as the good Buddhist is
absorbed in the golden lotus!



CHAPTER VI

GERMAN DESIGNS IN SWEDEN AND NORWAY


As far as insinuating, mental propaganda was concerned, Germany, as I
have said, had the advantage over 'Die dumme Schweden,' as the
Prussians always called them. 'The stupid Swedes' were the easiest
pupils of German world politics, but even the most German of the
Swedes never realised, until lately, what the Prussian dream of world
politics meant.

Before 1914, the Swedes had been led to believe that any general
European difficulty would throw them into the hands of Russia. The
constantly recurring difficulty of the Aaland Islands was before
their eyes. Look at the map of Northern Europe and observe what the
fortifying of the Aaland Islands by a foreign power means to Sweden.
We Americans do not realise that the small nations of Europe have
neither a Monroe Doctrine nor the power of enforcing one. And, so far
as Sweden was concerned, her only refuge against the power of Russia
seemed to be Germany.

When Austria made her ultimatum to Serbia, Sweden believed that her
moment for sacrifice or triumph had come. In August 1914, all
Scandinavia felt that the fate of the northern nations was at stake.
For Sweden the defeat of Germany meant the conquest of Sweden by the
Russians, for, sad to say, no little nation believed absolutely in
the good faith of a great one.

The United States, where so many Scandinavians had found a home,
what of her? Too far off, and the Swedish leaders of public opinion
knew too well what had been the fate of the attempts at the Hague
conference to abrogate the Machiavellian doctrines that have been the
basis of diplomacy almost since diplomacy became a recognised science
and art.

As for diplomacy, what had it to do with the fate of the little
nations? Scandinavia, among the rest of Europe, looked on it as a
purely commercial machine dominated essentially by local political
issues. Our State Department had a few fixed principles, but all
Europe believed that we were too ignorant of European conditions and,
more than that, too indifferent to them to be effective. The
slightest political whisper in Russia or the smallest hint from court
circles in Germany was enough to upset the equilibrium of
Scandinavian statesmen. American opinion really never counted,
because American opinion was looked on as insular. A diplomacy
labelled as 'shirt sleeve' or 'dollar' might delight those members of
Congress who had come to Washington to complete an education not yet
begun at home, but, from the European point of view, it was beneath
notice. It cannot be said that the United States was not looked on,
because of her riches and her size, with respect; but her apparent
indifference to the problem on which the peace of the world seemed,
to Europe, to depend, and her policy of changing her diplomatic
ministers or keeping them in such a condition of doubt that they kept
their eyes on home political conditions, had combined to deprive her
of importance in matters most vital to every European. This is not
written in the spirit of censure, but simply as a statement of fact.

The Swedes, the Norwegians, the Danes had flocked to our country. In
parts of the West, during some of the political campaigns, my old
and witty friend, Senator Carter, chuckling, used to quote:

    'The Irish and the Dutch,
     They don't amount to much,
     But give me the Scan-di-na-vi-an.'

These people are a power in our political life; but they knew in
Minnesota, in Nebraska, wherever they lived in the United States,
that our country would not forcibly interfere with the designs either
of Russia or of Germany. And, in Sweden, while King Gustav and the
Conservatives saw with alarm the constant depletion of the
agricultural element in the nation by emigration to the United
States, their feeling towards our country was one of amiable
indulgence for the follies of youth. King Oscar showed this
constantly, and King Gustav went out of his way to show attentions to
our present minister, Mr. Ira Nelson Morris. Nevertheless, until
lately, American diplomacy was not taken seriously, and, when the war
opened, it was taken less seriously than ever.

Sweden, then, fearing Russia, doubtful of England, full of German
propagandists, her ruling classes looking on France as an unhappy
country governed by _roturiers_ and pedagogues, and, except in a
commercial way, where we never made the most of our opportunities,
regarding our country as negligible, Sweden, divided violently
between almost autocratic ideas and exceedingly radical ones, was in
a perilous position from 1914 to 1918. Frankly, there are no people
more delightful than the Swedes of the upper classes whom one meets
at their country houses. Kronoval, the seat of the Count and Countess
Sparre, is one of the places where the voices of both parties may be
heard. And, when one thinks of the Swedish aristocrat, one almost
says, as Talleyrand said of the _talons rouges_, 'when the old order
changes, much of the charm of life will disappear.' Under a monarchy,
life is very delightful--for the upper classes. It is no wonder that
they do not want to let go of it. It must be remembered, in dealing
with European questions, that the Swede and the Spaniard are probably
the proudest people on the earth. Another thing must not be
forgotten: the educated classes are imperial-minded. And of this
quality German intrigue makes the most.

A Scandinavian Confederacy, like the Grecian one, of which King
George of Greece dreamed, was not looked on with yearning by the
Pan-Germans. It must be remembered to the credit of King Gustav,
that, overcoming the rancour born of the separation, he made the
first move towards the meeting of the three kings at Malmö,[6] in the
beginning of the war.

 [6] Malmö is a town on the Swedish side of the Sound, an hour and a
 half by steamboat from Copenhagen. Lord Bothwell was imprisoned
 there.

When Finland was annexed by Germany, the terror of Russia in Sweden
became less intense. Before that Sven Hedin, suspected of being a
tool of Germany, did his best to raise the threatening phantom of the
Russian terror whenever he could. The hatred and fear of Russia
revived. It was not in vain that sane-minded persons urged that
Russia would have enough to do to manage the Eastern question, to
watch Japan, to keep her designs fixed on Constantinople. The German
propaganda constantly raised the question of the fortification of the
Aaland Islands. Denmark and Norway were intensely interested in it;
it gave Count Raben-Levitzau much thought when he was Minister of
Foreign Affairs in Denmark, especially after the separation of
Norway from Sweden; and since then, it has been a burning question,
and the Foreign Office in Christiania was not untroubled. On the
question of the Aaland Islands neither the Russian nor the Swedish
diplomatists would ever speak except in conventional terms; but, when
I wanted light, I went to the cleverest man in Denmark, Count
Holstein-Ledreborg.

'De l'esprit?' he said, laughing, 'mais oui, j'ai de l'esprit. Tout
le monde le dit; but other things are said, too. Fortunately, a bad
temper does not drive out l'esprit. You are wrong; the cleverest man
in Denmark is Edward Brandès.' But this is a digression.

'The Swedes,' Count Holstein-Ledreborg said, 'are at heart
individualists. They would no more bear the German rule of living
than they would commit national suicide by throwing themselves into
the arms of Germany. England met with no success in Sweden in spite
of the tact of her envoys, because her ideas of Sweden are insular.
She scorns effective propaganda; she has never even attempted to
understand the Swedes. The bulk of the Swedes do not vote (1909). The
destinies of Sweden are in the hands of the Court. A king is still a
king in Sweden; but that will pass, and the movement of the Swedish
nation will be further and further away from the political ideas of
Germany.'

In 1911 modified liberal suffrage became a Swedish institution.
Still, the State and Church remain united. Religion is not free;
nobody can hold office but a Lutheran. The 'Young Sweden' party is
governed very largely by the ideas of the German historian,
Treitschke. The philosophy of his history is reflected in the pages
of Harald von Hjarne. He is patriotic to the core, but, whether
consciously or not, he played into the hands of the Prussian
propagandist. His history, a chronicle of the lives of Kings Charles
XII. and Gustavus Adolphus, displayed in apotheosis; and the
imperialistic idea, which carries with it militarist tendencies, is
illuminated with all the radiance of Hjarne's magic pen. Sweden must
have an adequate army.

When Norway threatened to secede, its attitude very largely due to
the bad management of the very charming and indolent King Oscar, the
Swedish army began to mobilise. The Swedes--that is the minority of
Swedes, the governing body--would not brook the thought that Norway
might become a real nation. 'We must fight!' Young Sweden said. The
Young Sweden, intolerant and imperious, did not realise that it had
Old and Young Norwegians to contend with. Now, if the Spaniard and
the Swede are the proudest folk in Europe, the Norwegian and the
Icelandic are the most stiff-necked. The Swedish pride and the
Norwegian firmness, which contains a great proportion of obstinacy,
met, and Norway became a separate monarchy with such democratic
tendencies as make American democracy seem almost despotism.

After the success of the Liberals in 1911, there was a reaction. The
German propaganda fanned the excited patriotism of the Swedish
people; 'their army was too small, their navy inefficient'; the force
of arms must be used against Russia. In fact, Russia had her Eastern
problems; the best-informed of the Swedish diplomatists admitted
this; but the propaganda was successful; the people were tricked;
nearly forty thousand farming folk and labourers marched to the
palace of King Gustav. They had made great contributions in money for
the increase of the fleet. 'That cruiser,' said a cynical naval
attaché, 'will one day fight for Germany--when the Yellow Peoples
attack us,' he added to ward off further questions.

Nevertheless the German influence made no points against the 'yellow
peoples.' It was against Russia all their bullets were aimed. The
Russians understood secret diplomacy well; but, either because they
despised the common people too much or because the writers on Russia
were too self-centred, nothing was done to meet this propaganda
effectively. The Swede was taught to believe that Germany was the
best-governed nation on the face of the earth, and Russia the worst;
that Germany would benevolently protect, while Russia was ready to
pounce malignantly. Russian literature gave no glimpse of light. It
was grey or black, and the language in which the Russian papers were
printed was an effectual barrier to the understanding of the Swedes,
who, as a matter of course, nearly all read German.

Young Sweden believed that the first step on the road to greatness
was a declaration of war with Russia. Nothing could have suited the
plans of the Pan-Germans better than this, for it meant for Sweden an
alliance with Germany. The Swedish literary man and university
professors voiced, as a rule, the pro-German opinions of Young
Sweden. There were some exceptions; but there were not many. And the
worst of all this was that these men were sincere. They were not
bribed with money. They were flattered, if you like, by German
commendations. Every historical work, every scientific treatise,
every volume of poetry of any value, found publishers and even kindly
critics in Germany. Russia was the enemy, and, from the point of view
of the intellectual Swede, illiterate.

Russia had nothing to offer except commercial opportunities at great
risks. Swedish capital might easily be invested at home or, if
necessary, there was the United States or Germany for their surplus.
The pictures of Russian life given out by the great writers who ought
to know it, were not inspiring of hope in the future of Russia. There
was no special need for the Swedish scholar to complain of the German
influence in his country since it was all in his favour. The
Government honoured him--following the German examples--and made him
part of the State. Even the English intellectuals, who, as every
Scandinavian knew, ought to have distrusted Germany, acknowledged the
superiority of German 'Kultur' without understanding that it meant,
not culture, but the worship of a Prussian apotheosis.

One of the most agreeable of Swedish professors whom I met in
Christiania at the centennial of the Christiania University, went
over the situation with me. I had come in contact with him especially
as I had been honoured by being asked to represent Georgetown
University and further honoured by being elected dean of all the
American representatives, including the Mexican and South American.
This was in 1911.

'Frankly,' I said, 'are not you Swedes putting all your eggs into one
basket? What have you to do with the Teuton and Slavic quarrel? Do
you believe for a moment that the ultra-Bismarckian policy which
controls Germany will consider you anything but a pawn in the
diplomatic game? I think that, as Swedes, you ought to help to
consolidate Scandinavia, and your diplomatists, instead of playing
into Germany's hands, ought to make it worth her while to support
her, as far as you choose. You are selling yourself too cheap.'

His eyes flashed. 'You do not talk like an American,' he said. Then
he remembered himself and became polite, even 'mannered.' 'I mean
that you talk too much like diplomatists of the old school of secret
diplomacy.'

'I believe that there are secrets in diplomacy which no diplomatist
ever tells.'

'But you would have us attempt to disintegrate Russia, and, at the
same time, play with Germany in order to make ourselves stronger.'

'I did not say so. For some reason or other, the Germans call you
"stupid Swedes."'

'Not now. That has passed. The Germans recognise our qualities,' he
added proudly. 'The English do not. The Russians look on us only as
their prey. You, being an American, are pro-Russian. I have heard
that you were particularly pro-Russian. Not,' he added hastily, 'that
you are anti-German. The German vote counts greatly in the United
States, and you could not afford to be; you might lose your "job," as
one of your ministers at Stockholm called it; but you, confess
it!--have a regard for the Russians.'

'They are interesting. We of the North owe them gratitude for their
conduct during our Civil War. Anti-German? I love the old Germany; I
love Weimar and the Tyrol; but, speaking personally, I do not love
the Prussianisation of Germany. I have written against the
_Kulturkampf_. I dislike the "Prussian Holy Ghost" who tried to rule
us back in the '80's, but my German colleagues recognise the fact
that I see good in the German people, and love many of their
qualities.'

'Still,' laughed the professor, who knows one of my best friends in
Rome, 'they say that you came abroad to live down your attacks in the
_Freeman's Journal_ on the German Holy Ghost.'

I changed the subject; that was not one of the things I had to live
down.

'Germany is our only friend, our only equal intellectually, our only
sympathetic relative by blood. The Norwegians hate us, the Danes
dislike us. We have the same ideas as the Germans, namely, that the
elect, not the merely elected, must govern. It was Martin Luther's
idea, and his idea has made Germany great.'

'But there is nothing contrary to that idea in the Northern League,
which Count Carl Carlson Bonde and other Swedes dreamed about, is
there? You Swedes seem to believe that Martin Luther was infallible
in everything but religion. He would probably like to see most of you
burned, although you are all "confirmed."'

The Professor laughed: 'Paris vaut une messe,' he quoted. 'I admit
that Luther would not approve of the religious point of view of our
educated classes; but, at least, we have a semblance of unity, while
you, like the English, have a hundred religions and only one sauce.
Our Lutheranism is a great bond with Germany, as well as our love of
science and our belief in authority. As to the Northern League, Count
Bonde was a dreamer.'

'Everybody is a dreamer in Sweden who is not affected by the
Pan-German idea. Is that it?'

'You are badly informed,' he said. 'Your Danish environment has
affected you. As long as we can control our people, we shall be
great. We have only to fear the Socialist. The decision in essential
matters must always rest with the king and the governing classes. Our
army and navy will be supported by popular vote, as in Germany; they
are the guarantees of our greatness.'

This was the opinion of most of the autocratic and military--and to
be military was to be autocratic--classes in 1911.

Later I spoke with one of the most distinguished of the Norwegians,
Professor Morgenstjern. He seemed to be an exception to the general
idolatry of German Kultur.

It was impossible to get the Swede of traditions to see that
Germany's policy was to keep the three Northern nations apart--not
only the Northern nations but the other small nations. When, just
before the war, Christian X. and Queen Alexandrina visited Belgium on
their accession the German propagandists in Scandinavia were shocked;
it was _infra dig_. It was 'French.' 'The King and Queen of Denmark
will be visiting Alsace-Lorraine and wearing the tricolour!' a
disappointed hanger-on in the German Legation said.

It was my business to find out what various Foreign Offices meant,
not what they said they meant. 'Of open diplomacy in the full sun,
there are few modern examples. Secrecy in diplomacy has become
gradually greater than it was a quarter of a century ago, not from
mere reticence on the part of ministers, but to a large extent from
the decline of interest in foreign affairs.'

The writer of this sentence in the _Contemporary Review_ alluded to
England. This lack of interest existed even more in the United
States. And then as militarism grew in Europe, one's business was to
discover what the Admiralty thought, for in Germany and Austria, even
in France, after the Dreyfus scandal, one must be able to know what
the military dictators were about. The newspapers had a way of
discovering certain facts that Foreign Offices preferred to hide. But
the most astute newspaper owing to the necessity of having a fixed
political policy and the difficulty of finding men foolish enough or
courageous enough to risk life for money, could rarely predict with
certainty what Foreign Offices really intended to do. Besides
Foreign Offices, outside of Germany, were generally 'opportunists.'

Few diplomatists of my acquaintance were deceived by the Kaiser's
professions of peace. That he wanted war seemed incredible, for he
had the reputation of counting the cost. He was indiscreet at times,
but his 'indiscretions' never led him to the extent of giving away
the intentions of the General Staff. That he wanted to turn the
Baltic into a German sea was evident. The Swedish 'activist' would
calmly inform you that, if this were true, Germany would treat
Sweden, and perhaps the other Scandinavian countries, as Great
Britain treated the United States--the Atlantic, as everybody knew,
being a 'British lake' and yet free to the United States!

There was no missing link in the German propaganda in Sweden. Prussia
used the Lutheran Church as she had tried to use the German Jesuits
and failed. The good commonsense of the Swedish common people alone
saved them from making German Kultur an integral part of their
religion. When it filtered out that, notwithstanding the close
relationship of the Tsaritza of Russia with the German Emperor, the
Prussian Camorra had determined to control Russia, to humiliate her,
to control her, there were those among the leaders who saw what this
meant. They saw Finland and the Aaland Islands Germanised, and their
resources, the product of their mines and of their factories, as much
Germany's as Krupp's output. The bourgeoisie and the common people
saw no future glory or profit in this.

The knowledge of it filtered through; the Lutheran pastor, with his
dislike of democracy, his love for the autocratic monarchy, 'all
power comes from God,' I heard him quote, without adding that St.
Paul did not say that 'All rulers come from God,'--could not
convince the hard-thinking, hard-working Swede that religion meant
subjugation to a foreign power. The Lutheran Church, which, like all
national churches, was hampered by the State, could give no
intelligent answer to his doubts, so he turned to the Social
Democrats. The governing class in Sweden seemed to take no cognisance
of the growth of democracy in the hearts of the people. Germany was
alive to it and feared it; but, in Sweden, rather than admit it and
its practical effects, the rulers ignored it, were shocked by the
great tide of emigration to the United States, yet careless of its
effects on Swedish popular opinion.

On one occasion in Copenhagen, King Gustav asked me why so many of
his people emigrated to my country. The King of Sweden is a very
serious man, not easily influenced or distracted from any subject
that interests him, and the good of his people interested him very
much. It was a difficult question to answer, for comparisons were
always odious.

'I can better tell you, sir, why your subjects prefer to remain at
home:--when they get good land cheap, and when they see the chance of
rising beyond their fathers' position in the social scale.'

He began to speak, but etiquette demanded a move. When I met him
again he returned to the subject. It was better that he should talk,
and he talked well. It became evident to me that there was little
good agricultural land in Sweden to give away, and the division
between the classes was not so impassable as I had believed. He made
that clear.

The Social Democrat in Sweden wants an equal opportunity, no wars to
be declared by the governing classes, and the abolition of the
monarchy. He is not concerned greatly with the Central Powers or the
Entente. He was glad to see the Hohenzollerns displaced, but he is
German in the sense that he is affiliated with the German Social
Democrats who, he believes, were forced to deny their principles
temporarily or they would have been thrown to the lions; and as,
above all things, he prizes a moderate amount of material comfort for
himself and his family, he will not go out of his way to be martyred;
but even he was the victim of modified German propaganda; he was too
patriotic to accept it all.

Of late, as we know, the Liberal Party has gained strength, and the
designs of a small activist military coterie were frustrated by a
series of circumstances, of which the Luxburg revelations were not
the least; but the main reason was the coquetting of the Government
with Germany, one of the signs of which was that the Allied blockade
was not treated as a fact, while the mythical blockade by Germany was
accepted as really existing.

Personally, I had respect for Dr. Hammarskjold, the Premier of the
conservative cabinet that ruled Sweden in the beginning of the war.
He was formerly a colleague in Copenhagen, and, with the exception of
Francis Hagerup, now Norwegian Minister at Stockholm, he is the
greatest jurist in Northern Europe. He is a Swede of Swedes, with all
the traditions of the over-educated Swede. Neutrality he desired
above all things--that is, as long as it could be preserved with
honour; but he evidently believed that, for the preservation of this
neutrality, it was most necessary to keep on very good terms with
Germany. Hammarskjold's point of view was more complicated, more
technical than that of Herr Branting, and it is to Herr Branting's
raising of the voice of the Swedish nation that a serious difficulty
with the Entente was avoided. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to put
down Hammarskjold as pro-German, for he is, first of all,
pro-Swedish.

Edwin Bjorkman, an expert in Swedish affairs, says, after he has paid
the compliments of an honest man to the wretched Prussian
conspiracies in Sweden:--

  'For this German intriguing against supposedly friendly nations
  there can be no defence. For the more constructive side of
  Germany's effort to win Sweden, there is a good deal to be said,
  not only in defence, but in praise. It was not wholly selfish or
  hypocritical, and it was directed with an intelligence worthy of
  emulation. All the best German qualities played a conspicuous and
  successful part in that effort,--enthusiasm, thoroughness,
  systematic thinking and acting, intellectual curiosity,
  adaptability, and a constant linking of national and personal
  interests.'[7]

   [7] _Scribner's Magazine._

Men, like Hammarskjold, were naturally affected by an influence which
no other nation condescended to counteract. Besides, as a good Swede,
Hammarskjold knew that, in a possible conflict with Germany, Sweden
had nothing to expect, in the way of help, from the Allies. The
German propaganda had convinced many Swedes that it was England that
deprived King Oscar of Norway with the view of isolating Sweden and
assisting Russia's move to the sea.

The late Minister of Foreign Affairs, Herr Wallenberg, was regarded
as a friend of the Entente, and was less criticised than any other
member of the Government. Many of his financial interests were
supposed to be in France, and he has many warm friends in all social
circles in that country. He is a man of cosmopolitan experience. He
has the reputation of being the best-informed man in Europe on
European affairs.

Dr. E. F. Dillon, in one of his very valuable articles said: 'As
far back as March 1914, he gave it as his opinion that the friction
in the Near East would in a brief space of time culminate in a
European war.' To Dr. Dillon the English-speaking world owes the
knowledge of the points of view of certain activists, entirely
under German influence, as expressed in _Schwedische Stimmen zum
Weltkrieg--Uebersetzt mit einem Vorwart verschen von Dr. Friedrich
Steve_. The real title is best translated _Sweden's Foreign Policy in
the Light of the World War_. It was a plea for war in the interests
of Germany, representing those of Germany and Sweden as one. They
were anonymous--now that some of them have had a change of mind it is
well that their names were withheld. They were evidently pro-Germans
of all Swedish political parties. It may not be out of place to say
that the papers of Dr. Dillon, such as those printed in the
_Contemporary Review_, are documents of inestimable diplomatic-social
value.

It was the leader of the Socialists, Herr Branting, who helped to
make evident that a change had been slowly taking place among the
Swedish people. Herr Branting is of a very different type from the
generally received idea of what a Socialist is. He would not do on
the stage. In fact, like many of the constructive Socialists in
Scandinavia, he is rather more like a modern disciple of Thomas
Jefferson than of Marx or Bakounine. He knows Europe, and he brings
to the cause of democracy in Europe great power, well-digested
knowledge, and a tolerance not common in Sweden, where religious
sectarianism among the bulk of the people was as great an enemy to
political progress as the Prussian propaganda.

The most influential man in Sweden, Herr Branting, was obliged to
renew his formal adhesion to the Lutheran Church, which he had
renounced, to hold office. The strength of Herr Branting's position,
which has lately immensely increased, may be surmised from the fact
that, in 1914, the Radicals gave 462,621 votes as against 268,631.
The Government would have been wise to have heeded this warning in
time; but the men who had engineered the Activist movement, who had
worked the Swedish folk up to their demand for stronger defences and
a greater army and navy, seemed to think that Sweden was still to be
governed from the top.

The Swedes are not the kind of people who can be led hither and
thither by bread and the circus. They know how to amuse themselves
without the assistance of their Government and to earn their bread,
too; but when the Government, through its presumably pro-German
policy, seemed to be responsible for the curtailment of the
necessities of life, they turned on their leaders and read the riot
act to them. Sweden boldly defied Pan-Germanism.

A great day in Sweden was April 21st, 1917. It was a turning point in
the nation's destiny. The people took matters in their own hands.
Hjalmar Branting had forced the Swartz-Lindman Cabinet into a corner;
no more secret understandings, no more disregard of the feelings of
the voters who felt that, to help their nation intelligently, they
must know what was going on. Appeals to Charles XII. or the shade of
Gustavus Adolphus no longer counted. What Germany liked or disliked
was of no moment to Branting.

On the first of May we were all anxious in Denmark. Our Minister at
Stockholm, Mr. Ira Nelson Morris, understood the situation; he
expected no great outbreak as a result of Branting's action in the
Rigstag, revealing the existence of a secret intrigue to raise, on
the part of the Government, a guard of civilians to protect the
'privileged classes,' as the Socialists called them, against
disturbances on the part of the proletariat. Branting gave a
guarantee that no tumult among the people should take place.
Nevertheless, the German propaganda kept at work; the people were not
to be trusted. On May 1st, the party in power protected the palace
with machine guns and packed its environs with troops. It was a
rather indiscreet thing to do, since Branting had given his word for
peace, providing that the pro-German protectorate did not make war.
On May 1st at least fifty thousand of the working classes, 'the
unprivileged classes,' made their demonstration in procession quietly
and solemnly. In the provinces, on the same day, half a million
Swedes sympathetically joined in this protest against the pro-German
attitude of the Government.

When we entered the war the ruling classes declared, either privately
or publicly, that we had made a 'mistake'; they hinted that Germany
would make us see this mistake--this out of no malevolence to America
as America, but simply from a complete lack of sympathy with our
ideals. It must be remembered that an aristocracy, a bureaucracy
without privileges is as anomalous as a British Duke without estate.
The French Revolution was a protest, as we all know, against vested
privileges. When Madame Roland, the intellectual representative of a
great class, was expected to dine with the servants at a noble
woman's house, a long nail was driven into the coffin of privilege.

In Sweden the fight is on against the privileges which the higher
classes in Sweden have expected Germany to help them conserve.

On October 19th a new cabinet was formed; the people demanded a
Government which would be neutral. This was the result of the
election in September. On this result--the first real step in the
Swedish nation toward political democracy--they stand to-day.
Unrestrained or uninfluenced by Prussia, the classes of Sweden who
love their privileges, will accept the situation. The death-blow to
the landed aristocracy will doubtless be the suppression of the
majorats and the conversion of the entailed estates into cash. This
seems to be one of the fundamental intentions of the new order. The
classes who look to Germany as their model and mentor are now
non-existent--naturally!

Germany allowed to the upper classes in Sweden no intellectual
contact with the democracies of the world. The world news dripped
into Sweden carefully expurgated. Her suspicions of Russia were kept
alive as we have seen; the good feeling which existed in Denmark
towards Sweden (due to the help the Swedish troops had given when
they were quartered at Glorup, near Odense, in readiness to meet the
Prussian attack in 1848) had been gradually undermined. While Sweden
owed much of her suspicions of the other two countries to German
influence as well as her fears of Russia, Denmark was confronted with
a real danger.

Whatever progress Sweden has made towards democracy is not due to
intelligent propaganda on the part of America or England. It needed a
war to teach the Foreign Offices that diplomatic representatives have
greater duties than to be merely 'correct' and obey technical orders.

German propaganda had little influence in Norway, but German methods
have been used to an almost unbelievable extent in the attempt to
lower the morale of this self-respecting and independent people. The
German propaganda could get little hold on a nation that cared only
to be sufficient for itself in an entirely legitimate way. The
Norwegian can neither be laughed, argued, nor coerced out of an
opinion that he believes to be founded on a principle, and he looks
on all questions from the point of view of a free man thinking his
own thoughts.

German propaganda, during the war, took the form of coercion. The
ordinary influences brought to bear on Sweden would not be effective
in Norway. Socialism seemed to be less destructive to the existing
order of things in Norway than it was in Sweden, because it had fewer
obstacles to overcome. It was against the Pan-German idea that the
three Scandinavian countries should form the Northern Confederation
dreamed of by Baron Carlson Bonde and others. When the late King
Oscar of Sweden came under German influence--through all the
traditions of his family he should have been French--he began to give
the Norwegian causes of offence, and his attitude intensified their
growing hatred of all privileges founded on birth, hereditary office,
or assumption of superiority founded on extraneous circumstances. As
we know, the form of Lutheranism accepted in Norway has little effect
on the political life of the people, who, as a rule, are attached to
their special form of Protestantism because of traditions (part of
this tradition is hatred of Rome, as it is supposed to represent
imperial principles) and because it leaves them free to choose from
the Bible what suits them best. It is a mistake to imagine, as some
sociologists have, that the Lutheran Church in Norway inclined the
Norwegians to sympathy with German ideas. I have never, as yet, met a
Norwegian who seemed to associate his religion with Germany or to
imagine that he owed any regard to that country because 'the light,'
as he sometimes calls it, came to him through that German of
Germans, Martin Luther. In his mind, as far as I could see, there
seemed to be two kinds of Lutheranism--the German kind and the
Norwegian kind. I am speaking now of the people of average
education--who would dare to use the phrase 'lower classes' in
speaking of the Norwegians as we use it of the Swedes or the English?
An 'average education' means in Norway a high degree of knowledge of
what the Norwegian considers essential.

This shows that racial differences are much more potent than
religious beliefs; and yet, in considering the problems of the world
to-day, it would be vain to leave religious affairs out of the
question, worse than vain--foolish. The Crown Prince of Germany,
having studied the Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, knew this; the Kaiser,
knowing Machiavelli, understood it too well. Lutheranism in Norway is
not a political factor owing to the peculiar temperament of the
people; therefore, Germany could not make use of it. With the
intellectual classes, the independent thinkers, it has ceased to be a
factor at all. Ibsen, who was in soul a mystic, is accused of leaning
towards German philosophies even by some of his own countrymen; but
there was never a more individualistic man than he.

In my conversation with learned and intellectual Norwegians, I
discovered no leaning whatever to autocratic ideals. They were only
aristocrats in the intellectual sense.

'Even our upper classes,' said a Swede, an ardent admirer of the
ideas of the Liberal Swede, Count Hamilton, 'are changing. You ought
to know our people as you know the Danes. A nation as plastic as
ours, capable of breaking its traditions by making a king of Marshal
Bernadotte, a person not "born" has great capacities for adaptation;
and this is the reason why my country will not be divided between
Germanised aristocrats and a Socialistic proletariat.'

This, after all, represents the essential attitude of the best in
Sweden. That German ideals were propagated and well received by the
ruling classes is true, but, to generalise about any country, simply
because of the attitude of the persons one meets in society, is a
mistake that would lead a diplomatic representative into all manner
of difficulties.

To assume that Sweden could have been governed as Germany was
governed, because German is the fashionable language among the
aristocracy and the intellectuals, or because Sweden is Lutheran, or
because the university and military education is founded on German
methods, is too misleading. The Swedish folk are not the kind that
would tamely submit to the drastic rule of the autocratic
Hohenzollern.

The German attitude toward Norway was frankly antagonistic. There was
no power there to persuade the citizens of that country that all
kultur should come from above. The Norwegian is a democrat at heart.
He believes, with reason, in the industrial future of his country; he
understands what may be done with his inexhaustible supply of 'white
coal'; he knows the value of the process for seizing the nitrates
from the air. When he heard that supplies of potash had been
discovered in Spain, a distinguished Norwegian said: 'Poor Spain! The
Prussians will seize it now; but we should be willing to meet all the
Prussian fury if we could discover potash in Norway!'

It is an open secret that Norway, at the time of her separation from
Sweden, would have preferred a republican form of government. The
Powers, England and Russia and Germany, would not hear of this, and
the Norwegians consented to a very limited monarchy. German or
Russian princes were out of the question, and Prince Charles of
Denmark, now King Haakon, who had married the Princess Maud of Great
Britain and Ireland, was chosen. King Edward VII. was pleased with
this arrangement; he had no special objection to the cutting down of
monarchical prerogatives, provided the hereditary principle was
maintained, and the marriage strengthened the English influence in
Norway. As King Haakon and Queen Maud have a son--Prince Olav--the
Norwegians are content, especially as King Haakon knows well how to
hold his place with tact, sympathy, and discretion.

Norway is naturally friendly to the United States and England, and,
in spite of the Kaiser's regular summer visits, it was never at all
friendly to him. The treatment of Norway, when the Germans found that
the Norwegians were openly against their methods, was ruthless. The
plot of the German military party against the capital of Norway,
which meant the blowing up of a part of the city, has been hinted at,
but not yet fully revealed. The reports of the attempt to introduce
bombs in the shape of coals into the holds of Norwegian ships bound
to America were well founded, and the misery and wretchedness
inflicted on the families of Norwegian sailors by the U-boat
'horribleness' has made the German name detested in Norway. After the
crime of the _Lusitania_, the German Minister was publicly hissed in
Christiania.

Remaining neutral, Norwegian business men kept up such trade with the
belligerents as the U-boat on one side and the embargo on the other
permitted. War and business seem to have no scruples, and the
Norwegian merchant, like most of ours, before we joined the Allies,
felt it his duty to try to send what he could into Germany. The
British Minister at Christiania, the British Admiralty, and a
patriotic group of Norwegians did their utmost in limiting this, and,
when the United States entered the war, they were ably seconded by
the American Minister, Mr. Schmedeman. The Norwegians, in spite of
all dangers, kept their boats running, and they were shocked when the
United States tightened the embargo, with a strangle grip.

The Norwegian press openly said that we, the friend of the little
nations, had proved faithless, and pointed to their record as friends
of democracy. The American Minister, in the midst of the storm, did
an unusual thing; he published the text of the prepared agreement,
which Nansen had sent to Washington to negotiate. There was a time,
before this, when the name of our country, formerly so beloved and
revered, was execrated among the Norwegians. Mr. Schmedeman's quick
insight calmed a storm which arose from disappointment at the
stringent demands of a nation they had hitherto considered as their
best friend. This constant friendship for us was shown on all
occasions in Copenhagen by Dr. Francis Hagerup and Dr. John Irgens,
two of the most respected diplomatists in Europe. Dr. Hagerup's
reputation is widely spread in this country.

No human being could be imagined as a greater antithesis to the
Prussians than the Norwegians; the Norwegian is in love with liberty;
he is an idealistic individual; it is difficult, too, to believe that
the Norwegian, the Swede and the Dane are of the same race. The
Norwegian is as obstinate as a Lowland Scot and as practical; he is a
born politician; he calls a spade a spade, and he is not noted for
that great exterior polish which distinguishes the Swede and the
Dane of the educated classes. A Norwegian gentleman will have good
manners, but he is never 'mannered.' For frankness, which sometimes
passes for honesty, the Norwegian of the lower classes is unequalled.
This has given the Norwegian a reputation for rudeness which he
really does not deserve. He is no more rude than a child who looks
you in the eye and gives his opinion of your personal appearance
without fear or favour; it does not imply that he is unkind. There is
a story of a Norwegian shipowner, who, asked to dine with King
Haakon, found that a business engagement was more attractive, so he
telephoned: 'Hello, Mr. King, I can't come to dinner!'

A Norwegian told me, with withering scorn, the 'stupid comment' of an
'ignorant Swede' on the Norwegian character: 'You have no Niagara
Falls in Sweden, no great city like Chicago, no Red Indians!' He had
said, 'We have finer cataracts than your Niagara Falls, a magnificent
city, Stockholm, the Paris of Scandinavia, and many Red Indians, but
_we_ call them Norwegians!'

One summer day, two well-mounted German officers, probably attending
the Kaiser or making arrangements for his usual yachting trip to
Norway, came along a country road. They were splendid looking
creatures, voluminously cloaked--a wind was blowing--helmets
glittering. Our car had stopped on a side road; something was wrong.
A peasant, manipulating two great pine stems on a low, two-wheeled
cart, had barred the main road, and, as the noontide had come, sat
down to eat his breakfast. One of the officers haughtily commanded
him to clear the way, expecting evidently a frightened obedience. The
peasant put his hands in his pockets and said,--'Mr. Man, I will
move my logs when I can. First, I must eat my breakfast, you can jump
your horses over my logs; why not? Jump!'

The officer made a movement to draw his revolver; the Norwegian only
laughed.

'Besides,' he said, 'there is a wheel half off my cart; I cannot move
it quickly.'

The language of the officers was terrifying. Finally, they were
compelled to jump. Neither the sun glittering on the fierce eagles
nor the curses of the officers moved this amiable man; he drank
peacefully from his bottle of schnapps and munched his black bread
and sausage as if their great persons had never crossed his path, or,
rather, he theirs.

Neither art, literature nor music has been Germanised in Norway. Art,
of later years, has been touched by the French ultra-impressionists.
There is no humble home in the mountains that does not know Grieg.
And why? When you know Grieg and know Norway, you know that Grieg is
Norway.

Norway is the land of the free and the home of the brave. There was
no fear that German ideas would control it, and the Prussians knew
this. What is good in German methods of education the Norwegians
adopt, but they first make them Norwegian.



CHAPTER VII

THE RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDA


Machiavelli, in _The Prince_, instructs rulers in the use of religion
as a means of obtaining absolute power; and from the point of view of
monarchs of the Renaissance and after, he would have been a fool, if
he had neglected this important bond in uniting the nations he
governed. It was not a question as to the internal faith of the
ruler; that was a personal matter; but outwardly he must conform to
the creed which gave him the greatest political advantages. There is
a pretty picture of Napoleon's teaching the rudiments of Christianity
to a little child at Saint Helena; but who imagines that he would
have hesitated to make the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca or to prostrate
himself before the idols of any powerful Pagan nation, if he could
have fulfilled his plans in the East? 'Paris vaut une Messe,' said
Henry IV. of Navarre and France with the cynicism of his tribe. Queen
Catherine di Medici and Queen Elizabeth had their superstitions. They
probably believed that all clever people have the same religion, but
never tell what it is--the religion to which Lord Beaconsfield
thought he belonged. It is against the subversion of religion, of
spirituality, to the State that democracy protests. Frankly, it is as
much against the despotism of Socialism as it is against the
Machiavellianism of His late Imperial Majesty, the German Emperor. He
hoped to become Emperor of Germany and the world, and to speak from
Berlin _urbi et ubi_. To be German Emperor did not content him.

The Kaiser's use of religion as an adjunct to the possession of
absolute power began very early in his reign. Bismarck could teach
him nothing, though Bismarck was as decided a Hegelian as he was a
Prussian in his idea of the function of the ruler.

Hegel, the learned author of the _Philosophy of Right_, was Prussian
to the core. He was on the side of the rulers, and he hated reforms,
or rather, feared reformers, because they might disturb the divinely
ordered authority. There must be a dot to the 'i' or it meant nothing
in the alphabet. This dot was the King. He was the darling of the
Prussian Government and the spokesman of Frederick William III. He
loathed the movement in Germany towards democratic reforms, and
watched England with distrustful eyes. The teaching of most Hegelians
in the Universities of the United States--and the Hegelian idea of
the State had made much progress here--was to minimise somewhat the
arbitrary and despotic ideas of their favourite Prussian philosopher.
No man living has yet understood the full meaning of all parts of his
philosophical teachings, but one thing was clear to all men who, like
myself, watched the application of Hegelianism to Prussia and to
Germany. The State must be supreme.

The Catholics in Germany saw the errors of Hegelianism as applied to
the State, but they were not sufficiently enlightened or clever, and
they neglected to oppose its progress efficiently. There are various
opinions about the activities of the Fathers of the Congregation of
Jesus (founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola as a _corps d'élite_ of the
counter-reformation) in Germany and in the world in general. Bismarck
heartily disapproved of them for the same reasons as Hegel
disapproved of them. They taught that Cæsar is not omnipotent, that
the human creature has rights which must be respected, and are above
the claims of the State. In a word, in Germany, they stood for the
one thing that the Prussian monarchs detested--dissent on the part of
any subject to their growing assertion of the divine right of kings.

Windthorst formed the Centrum, and opposed Bismarck valiantly, but
political considerations Prussianised the Centre, or Catholic party,
as they moved 'the enemies of Prussianism,' the Socialists, when the
crucial moment arrived, and burned incense to absolute Cæsar. It was
not a question of Lutheranism against Catholicism in Germany in 1872,
not a question of an enlightened philosophy, founded on modern
research against obscurantism, as most of my compatriots have until
lately thought, but a clean-cut issue between the doctrine of the
entire supremacy of the State and the inherent rights of the citizen
to the pursuit of happiness, provided he rendered what he owed to
Cæsar legitimately. That the victims of the oppression were Jesuits
blinded many of us to the motive of the attack. The educational
system of the Jesuits had enemies among the Catholics of Germany,
too, so that they lost sight of the principle underneath the Falk
laws, so dear to Bismarck. Frederick the Great and Catherine of
Russia protected the Jesuits, it is true, but they were too absolute
to fear them. Besides, as Intellectuals, they were bound to approve
of a society, which in the eighteenth century had not lost its
reputation for being the most scientific of religious bodies.

The Falk laws were, in the opinion of Bismarck and the disciples of
the _Kulturkampf_, the beginning of the moulding of the Catholic
Church in Germany as a subordinate part of the autocratic scheme of
government. They had nothing to fear from the Lutherans--they were
already under control--and nothing to fear from the unbelieving
Intellectuals, of the Universities, for they had already accepted
Hegel and his corollaries. The main enemies of the ultra-Kaiserism
were the Catholic Church and Socialism--Socialism gradually drawing
within its circle those men who, under the name of Social Democrats,
believed that the Hohenzollern rule meant obscurantist autocracy.

The Socialists, pure and simple, are as great an enemy to democracy
as the Pan-Germans. The varying shades of opinion among the Social
Democrats,--there are liberals among them of the school of Asquith,
and even of the school of Lloyd George, constitutional monarchists
with Jeffersonian leanings, Lutherans, Catholics, non-believers, men
of various shades of religious opinion are all bent on one
thing,--the destruction of the ideals of Government advocated by
Hegel and put into practice by the Emperor and his coterie.

Both the Socialist and the Social Democrat came to Copenhagen. They
talked; they argued. They were on neutral soil. It was impossible to
believe, on their own evidence, that the Socialism of Marx, of Bebel,
of the real Socialists in Germany, could remedy any of the evils
which existed under imperialistic régime in that country.

The Socialist or the Social Democrat was feared in Germany, until he
applied the razor to his throat, or, rather, attempted hari-kari when
he voted for war. The Socialists can never explain this away. His
prestige, as the apostle of peace and good-will, is gone; he is no
longer international; he is out of count as an altruist. The Social
Democrat is in a better position; he never claimed all the attributes
of universal benignity; he was still feared in Germany, but in that
harmless debating society, the Reichstag, with the flower of the
German manhood made dumb in the trenches, he could only threaten in
vain.

In our country, pure Socialism is misunderstood. It is either cursed
with ignorant fury or looked on as merely democracy, a little
advanced, and perhaps too individualistic. It ought to be better
understood. Socialism means the negation of the individual will; the
deprivations of the individual of all the rights our countrymen are
fighting for. It is a false Christianity with Christian precepts of
good-will, of love of the poor, of equality, fraternity,
liberty,--phrases which have, on the lips of the pure Socialist, the
value of the same phrases uttered by Robespierre and Marat.

'I find,' said a Berlin Socialist, whom I had invited to meet Ben
Tillett, the English Labour Agitator, 'that Danish Socialism is
merely Social Democracy. Given a fair amount of good food and
comfort, schools, and cheap admittance to the theatres, the
Copenhagen Socialists seem to be contented. You may call it
"constructive Socialism," but I call it Social Degeneracy. We,
following the sacred principles of Marx and Bakounine, different as
they were, must destroy before we can construct. In the future, every
honest man will drive in his own car, and the best hospitals will not
be for those that pay, but for those who cannot pay. Cagliostro said
we must crush the lily, meaning the Bourbons; we must crush all that
stands in the way of the perfect rule which will make all men equal.
We must destroy all governments as they are conducted at present; we
have suffered; all restrictive laws must go!'

Ben Tillett could not come to luncheon that day, so we missed a tilt
and much instruction. The European Socialist's only excuse for
existence is that he has suffered, and he has suffered so much that
his sufferings must cry to God for justice. As to his methods, they
are not detestable. They are so reasonable, so Christian, that some
of us lose sight of his principles in admiring them. The Kaiser has
borrowed some of the best of the Socialistic methods in the
organisation of his superbly organised Empire, and that makes Germany
strong. But sympathy with the Socialists anywhere is misplaced. Their
principles are as destructive as their methods are admirable. Their
essential article of faith is that the State, named the Socialistic
aggregation, shall be supreme and absolute.

As to the other enemies of despotism in Germany, the Jesuits, they
were downed simply because Bismarck and the Hegelian Ideal would not
tolerate them. They exalted, as Hegel said, the virtue of
resignation, of continency, of obedience, above the great old Pagan
virtues, which ought to distinguish a Teuton. The Jesuits, German
citizens, few in number, apparently having no powerful friends in
Europe or the world, were cast out, as the War Lord would have cast
out the Socialist if he had dared. But the Socialists were a growing
power; they had shown that they, like the unjust steward in the
parable, know how to make friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness.

The Jesuits went; the Catholic party, the Centre was placated by the
request of Germany to have the Pope arbitrate the affair of the
Caroline Islands and by the colonial policy of Bismarck in 1888 in
supporting the work of Cardinal Lavigerie in Africa. The Catholic
population of Germany, more than one-third of the whole, accepted
the dictum that the State had the right to exile German citizens
because they disagreed with the Government as to the freedom of the
human conscience. However, as the Catholic Germans were divided in
sentiment as to the value of the Jesuit system of education, which in
this country seems to be very plastic, they were at last fooled by
the Centrum, their party, into the acceptance of a compromise.

To Copenhagen, there came, after the opening of the war, an old
priest, who had been caught in the net in Belgium; 'That Christians
should forgive such horrors as the Germans commit! Why do not the
Christian Germans protest? I confessed a German Colonel, a Catholic,
who had lain a day and a night in a field outside a Belgian town. He
was dying when some of your Americans found him, and brought him to
me. "I suffered horrors during the night," he said, "horrors almost
unbearable. I groaned many times; I heard the voices of men passing;
these men heard me." "There is a wounded man," one said, and they
came to me. "He's a German," the other said, "qu'il crève" (let him
die). And they passed on. "This," I thought, in my agony, "this, in a
Christian land where the story of the Good Samaritan is read from the
pulpits; yet they leave me to die. But when I remembered, Father, the
atrocities for which I had been obliged to shoot ten of my own
soldiers, I understood why they had passed me by."' The good priest,
who had many friends in Germany, repeated over and over again: 'Whom
the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad; the Catholics in
Germany must be mad!'

Bismarck had used Falk and the Liberals to divide and control. He
later found it necessary to placate Windthorst and the Centrum, then
a 'confessional,' or religious party. It has changed since that
time; it is now, like the Social Democratic block, made up of persons
of various shades of religious opinion, but having similar political
ideas. It represents a determination not to allow the State to be
absolute, and, no doubt, if the United States had realised its
position, it might have been strengthened by intelligent propaganda
to be of use in breaking the Prussian autocracy. But hitherto even
travelled Americans have regarded it as a remnant of the Middle Ages,
and hopelessly reactionary. It was part of the Kaiser's policy to
make the rest of the world think so, for he had adopted and adapted
this Bismarckian chart while throwing the pilot of many stormy seas
overboard. Bismarck lived to see the heritage of despotism, which he
had destined for his oldest son, seized by a young monarch, whose
capabilities he had underrated. Then, the Danes say, he uttered the
sneer, 'I will freshen the Hohenzollern blood with that of Struense!'

The German propaganda for controlling the Church in the United States
had been well thought out in 1866. The emigrants from Germany, just
after 1848, were not open to the influence of Prussian ideas; they
had had more than sufficient of them, but when the great crowd of
Germans came in later, it was time to inject the proper spirit of
Prussianism into their veins.

It is well known that the Emperor William had his eyes on the
Vatican. He was wise enough to see that if the Catholic Church lost
in one place, she was certain to gain in another; it was not
necessary for him to read Macaulay's eloquent passage on the Papacy,
as most statesmen who speak English do. But his indiscretions in
speech and writing, whether premeditated or not, for the _Zeitgeist_
and the orthodox Lutherans must be propitiated--were constantly
nullifying his plans.

As to the spiritual essence of the Catholic Church, the emperor did
not recognise it. Papal Rome was dangerous to him as long as it
remained independent; he coquetted with Harnack and with the most
advanced of the higher critics who whittled the Bible into a
pipestem. How he squared himself with the orthodox Lutherans,
apparently nearly two-thirds of the population, can only be shown by
his constant allusions to the Prussian God. As a State Church,
yielding obedience almost entirely to the governing power of the
country, he had little fear of Lutheranism in its varying shades of
opinion. The Jews he evidently always distrusted. He regarded them as
Internationalists and not to be recognised until they became of the
State Church; then they might aspire, for certain considerations, to
be _rath_ and even to wear the precious _von_.

The emperor wanted control of the Vatican. He knows history (at least
we thought so in Copenhagen), and he was sympathetic with his
ancestors in all their quarrels with the Holy See on the subject of
the investitures; the emperor had wisely foreseen that difficulties
of the same kind between the Vatican and himself might easily break
out, were not the Vatican modernised or controlled. He knew that the
claims of the Popes to dethrone rulers could never be revived since
they were not inherent in the Papacy, but only admitted by the
consent of Christendom, which had ceased to exist as a political
entity; but the question of the right of a lay emperor to control the
policy of the Holy Father in matters of the religious education,
marriage, church discipline of Catholics might at any time arise. He
knew the _non possumus_ of Rome too well to believe that in a
spiritual crisis she could be moved by the threats of any ruler. If
His Imperial Majesty could have forced the principle of some of his
ancestors that the religion of a sovereign must be that of his
subjects, the question might be settled. If he could have arranged
the religion of his subjects as easily as he settled the question as
to the authenticity of the Flora of Lucas in Berlin in favour of
Director Bode, how clear the way would have been! As it was, he knew
too well what he might expect from Rome in a crisis where he,
following the Prussian _Zeitgeist_, might wish to infringe on the
spiritual prerogatives. To understand the world every European
diplomatist of experience knows the Vatican must not be ignored, and,
while the War Lord, the future emperor of the world, hated to
acknowledge this, he was compelled to do it. The Vatican, that had
nullified the May laws and defeated Falk, their sponsor, might give
the emperor trouble at any time. Catholics of the higher classes all
over Europe were ceasing to be Royalists. The Pope, Leo XIII., had
even accepted the French Republic, and for the part of Cardinal
Rampolla and of Archbishop Ireland in this the Kaiser hid his
rancour. He must be absolute as far as the right of his family and
those of the hereditary succession went, and quite as absolute in his
control over such laws as were for the increase of the Kultur of his
people.

At one time, since the present war opened, it was rumoured at
Copenhagen that plural marriages were to be allowed, to increase the
population of a nation so rapidly being depleted. I was astonished to
hear a German Lutheran pastor--he was speaking personally, and not
for his church--say that there was nothing against this in the
teachings of Luther or Melanchthon. He quoted the affair of a
Landgraf of Hesse in the sixteenth century.

'But the Kaiser would not consent to this,' I said. 'Why not?'
responded the pastor. 'He knows his Old Testament; he has the right
of private interpretation especially when the good of the State is to
be considered.'

'Over a third of the Germans are Catholics; the Pope would never
consent to that.'

'There would be an obstacle,' he admitted; 'but the Kaiser, in the
interests of the nation, would have his way. Our nation must have
soldiers. You Americans,' he added, bitterly, 'are killing our
prospective fathers in the name of Bethlehem. We must make up the
deficit by turning to the Hebraic practice.'

'You cannot bring the Catholics to that, and I doubt whether any
decent people would consent to it, in spite of your quotation from
Luther's precedent. No Pope could allow it.'

'A Pope can do anything--whom you shall forgive,' he laughed, 'is
forgiven.'

'A Pope cannot do anything; the moment he approved of plural
marriages in the interest of any nation, he would cease to be Pope.
He cannot abrogate a law both divine and natural, and I doubt----'

'Do not doubt the power of the head of the German people, the
Shepherd of his Church. The German people are the religious, the
spiritual counterparts of the true Israelites, were begotten by the
spirit, mystical Jehovah who made Israel the prophet-nation;
mystically He has designated the German tribes as their successors.
He lives in us. This war is His doing; our Kultur, which is saturated
with our religion, is inspired by Him. He must destroy that the elect
may live.'

'Again, I repeat, Germany can no more accept such debasing of the
moral currency than she can encourage the production of illegitimate
children at the present moment. I do not believe that there is a
hospital in Berlin, especially arranged for the caring for the
offspring of army nurses and soldiers. It is a calumny.'

'We must have boy children,' said the pastor, 'but that is going too
far. Still, _Deutschland über alles_. We may one day have a German
Pope with modern ideas.'

My friend of St. Peter's Lutheran German Church was out of town. I
asked another friend to report the conversation to him. Our mutual
friend said that Pastor Lampe smiled and said, 'There are extremists
in every country. Tell the American Minister to read Dr. Preuss in
the _Allgemeine Evangelische_, _Lutherische Kirchenzeitung_.'

But I am out of due time; Dr. Preuss's famous _Passion of Germany_,
in full, appeared later, in 1915.

It is true that Austria's vote at the Conclave had defeated Cardinal
Rampolla as a candidate for the Papacy. The Emperor of Austria had
permitted himself to be used as a tool of the German Emperor, not
willingly, perhaps, for Rampolla stood for many things political
which the Absolutists hated. Nevertheless, he had done it, to the
disgust of the College of Cardinals, who thus saw a forgotten weapon
of the lay power used against themselves. They abolished the right of
veto, which Austria as a Catholic Power had retained. But the
Conclave elected a Pope who did not please the Kaiser. He was a
kindly man of great religious fervour, impossible to be moved by
German cajoling or threats. The knowledge of the crime of Germany
killed him. Nevertheless, the Emperor William had curbed the power
of Rampolla, as he hoped to destroy that of Archbishop Ireland in the
Great Republic of the West. A powerful Church with a tendency to
democracy was what he feared, and Archbishop Ireland, a frankly
democratic prelate, the friend of France, the admirer of Lafayette,
had dared to raise his powerful hand against the religious propaganda
of the All Highest in the United States of America, where one day
German Kultur was to have a home. The great Napoleon had thought of
his sister, the Princess Pauline, as Empress of the Western
hemisphere. Why not one of our imperial sons for the crude Republic
which had helped Mexico in the old, blind days to eject Maximilian?
Napoleon had made his son, later the Duke of Reichstadt, King of
Rome. Why should not one of the sons of our Napoleonic Crown Prince
be even greater, a German Pope--at least a German Prince of the
Church expounding Harnack with references to Strauss's _Life of
Jesus_? Why not? The vicegerent of the Teutonic God?

From many sources it leaked out that the Kaiser looked on the Most
Reverend John Ireland as an enemy of his projects both in Europe and
the United States. The Archbishop of St. Paul was known to be the
friend of Cardinal Rampolla. All who knew the inside of recent
history were aware that he had been consulted by Leo XIII. on vital
matters pertaining to France, in which country the ultra-Royalists,
who had managed to wrap a large part of the mantle of the Church
around them, were making every possible mistake and opposing the
Pope's determination to recognise the Republic. Archbishop Ireland
had been educated in France; he had served in the Civil War as
chaplain; he knew his own country as few ecclesiastics knew it. He,
growing up with the West, in the most American part of the West, had
brought all the resources of European culture, of an unusual
experience in world affairs, to a country at that time not rich in
men of his type. In the East, the Catholic Church had had prelates
like Cardinal Cheverus, Archbishop of Boston, a number of them, but
St. Paul was little better than a trading station when John Ireland
finished the first part of his education in France. The tide of
emigration had not yet begun to raise questions on the answers to
which the future of the country depended. It required far-sighted men
to consider them sanely. From the beginning Archbishop Ireland
reflected on them. He saw the danger of rooting in new soil the bad,
old weeds, the seeds of which were poisoning Europe. He was familiar
with the _coulisses du Vatican_, knew that Rome ecclesiastically
would try to do the right thing. But Rome ecclesiastically depends
very largely on the information it receives from the countries under
consideration.

The attitude of the opponents of the Catholic Church is due, as a
rule, to their ignorance of anything worth knowing about the Church
and their utter disregard of its real history. Their narrow attitude
is illustrated by the story that President Roosevelt, in a Cabinet
Meeting was once considering the form of a document which official
etiquette required, should be addressed to the Pope. 'Your Holiness,'
said the President. A member of the Cabinet objected. This title from
a Protestant President! 'Do you want me to call the Pope the Son of
the Scarlet Lady?' asked the President. The objection was as valid as
that of the Puritan who objected to sign a letter 'Yours faithfully'
because he was not _his_ faithfully!

In the celebrated _Century_ article of 1908, the handling of which
showed that the editors of the _Century_ held their honour higher
than any other possession, an allusion to Archbishop Ireland
appeared. I have been informed that it showed the animus of the
Kaiser against the Archbishop, who with Cardinal Gibbons, the Bishops
Keane, Spalding, O'Gorman, and Archbishop Riordan seconded by the
present Bishop of Richmond, Denis O'Connell, had defeated, after a
frightful struggle, the attempt of Kaiserism to govern the Catholic
Church in this country. Its beginnings seemed harmless enough.

A merchant named Peter Paul Cahensly of Limburg, Prussia, suggested
at the Catholic Congress of Trier, the establishment of a society for
protecting German emigrants to the United States, both at the port of
leaving and the port of arriving. Another Catholic Congress met in
Bamburg, Bavaria, three years later. Connection was made with the
Central Verein, which at its convention took up the matter zealously.
But the zeal waned, and in 1888, Herr Cahensly came to New York in
the steerage so that he could know how the German emigrant lived at
sea. He arranged that the German emigrants should be looked after in
New York and then left for home. It was reasonable enough that
Cahensly should interest himself in the welfare of the Germans at the
point of departure, but entirely out of order that he should attempt
any control of the methods for taking care of the emigrants on this
side.

It was suspected that Cahensly had talked over a plan for retaining
the Catholic Germans, especially in the West, where they formed large
groups, as still part of their native country. This had already been
tried among the Lutherans, and had for a time succeeded. The Swedish
Lutherans, segregated under the direction of German-educated
pastors, were considered to have been well taken care of. The war has
shown that the Americans of Swedish birth in the West showed
independence.

The suspicions entertained by the watchful were corroborated when, in
1891, Cahensly presented a memorial to the Papal Secretary of State,
Cardinal Rampolla, making the plea that the 'losses' to the Church
were so great, owing to the lack of teaching and preaching in German,
that a measure ought to be taken to remedy this evil by appointing
foreign Bishops and priests, imported naturally, so that each
nationality would use the language of its own country.

The object aimed at was to put the English language in the
background, to have the most tender relations, those between God and
little children, between the growing youths and Christianity,
dominated by a mode of thought and expression which would alienate
them from their fellows. In business, a man might speak such English
as he could; but English was not good enough for him in the higher
relations of life. He might earn money in 'this crude America,' but
all the finenesses of life must be German. I think I pointed out in
the New York _Freeman's Journal_ at the time, that, if there were a
special German Holy Ghost, as some of these Germanophiles seemed to
believe, he had failed to observe that there was little in the
'heretical' English language so devoid of all morality as the dogmas
proposed to govern the conduct of life in some of the Wisconsin
papers, printed in German.

Some clear-sighted Americans, Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland
at their head, saw what this meant. Kaiserism was concealed in the
glow of piety. The proceedings of the Priester Verein Convention, in
Newark, September 26, 1892, is on record. The Ordinary of the
Diocese, Bishop Wigger, had protested against the stand the German
Priests' Society proposed to take; he had announced his disapproval
in advance of 'Cahenslyism'; he was stolidly against the appointment
of 'national,' that is, trans-Atlantic Bishops selected because they
spoke no language but their own.

The choice of the 'Germanisers' was the Reverend Dr. P. J.
Schroeder--Monseigneur Schroeder, rather; he had been imported by
Bishop Keane, afterwards Archbishop, to lecture at the Catholic
University. Bishop Keane, like most Americans before the war,
believed that Germany held many persons of genius who honoured us by
coming over. When Dr. Schroeder's name was mentioned, a caustic
English prelate had remarked: 'I thought the Americans had enough
mediocrities in their own country without going abroad for them.' But
Mgr. Schroeder had a very high opinion of himself. American Catholics
were heretical persons, of no metaphysical knowledge; they could not
count accurately the number of angels who could dance on the point of
a needle! He arrogantly upheld the German idea. English-speaking
priests were neither willing nor capable. The emigrants in the United
States would be Germans or nothing--_aut Kaiser aut nullus_.

The German priests in the West claimed the right to exclude from the
Sacraments all children and their parents who did not attend their
schools, no matter how inefficient they were. The controversy became
international.

In Germany, to deny the premises of Mgr. Schroeder was to be
heretical, worthy of excommunication; in this country there was a
camp of Kaiserites who held the same opinion. It is true that
Bismarck had opened the _Kulturkampf_ in the name of the unity of
the Fatherland. It is true that the Kaiser would gladly have claimed
the right his ancestors had struggled for--of investing Bishops with
the badges of authority--and that he gave his hearty approbation to
the exile of the Jesuits. Nevertheless, he was the Kaiser! Compared
with him, the President of the United States was an upstart, and
Cardinal Gibbons was to the ultra-Germans almost an anathema as
Cardinal Mercier is! There was a fierce struggle for several years.
Bombs, more or less ecclesiastical, were dropped on Archbishop
Ireland's diocese.

To hear some of these bigots talk, we would have thought that this
brave American was Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun. But the right won.
Cahenslyism was stamped out, and here was another reason why the
Kaiser did not love Archbishop Ireland, and another reason why
Bavaria and Austria, backed up by Prussia, protested against every
attempt on the part of Rome to give him the Cardinal's hat. This
would have meant the highest approval of a prelate who stood for
everything the Kaiser and the Bavarian and Austrian courts detested.

The _curia_ is made up of the councillors of the Pope; a layman might
be created Cardinal--it is not a sacerdotal office in itself--and
while the Pope would reject with scorn the request that a temporal
Government should nominate a bishop, he might accept graciously a
request that a certain prelate be made a cardinal from the ruler of
any nation.

If President Roosevelt had been willing to make such a request to Leo
XIII.--he was urged to do it by many influential Protestants who saw
what Archbishop Ireland had done in the interest of this
country--there is no doubt that his request would have been granted.
The Cardinals are 'created' for distinguished learning. One might
quote the comparatively modern example of Cardinals Newman and
Gasquet; for traditional reasons, because of the importance of their
countries in the life of the Church; and they might be created, in
older days, for political reasons. But the wide-spread belief that a
Cardinal was necessarily a priest leads to misconceptions of the
quality of the office.

If the French Republic were to follow the example of England and
China, send an envoy to the Holy See, and make a 'diplomatic'
_rapprochement_, neither Rome nor any nation in Europe would be
shocked if His Holiness should consent to a suggestion from the
President of the French Republic and 'create,' let us say, Abbé Klein
a Cardinal.

Archbishop Ireland with his group of Americans saved us from the
insults of the propaganda of Kaiserism. This name was synonymous with
all things political and much that is social, loathed by the
absolutes in Austria, Bavaria and, of course, Germany. The creation
of Archbishop Ireland as a Cardinal would have been looked on by
these powers as a deadly insult to them, on the part of the Pope.
They made this plain.

The failure of the Cahensly plan caused much disappointment in
Germany. The Kaiser, in spite of his flings at the Catholic
Church--witness a part of the suppressed _Century_ article and the
letter to an aunt 'who went over to Rome'--was quite willing to
appear as her benefactor. Much has been made of his interest in the
restoration of the Cathedral of Cologne. This, after all, was simply
a national duty. A monarch with over one-third of his subjects
Catholics, taking his revenues from the taxes levied on them, could
scarcely do less than assist in the preservation of this most
precious historical monument.

He seemed to have become regardless of the opinion of his subjects.
He had heart-to-heart talks with the world; one of these talks was
with Mr. William Bayard Hale; the _Century Magazine_ bought it for
$1,000.00. It was to appear in December 1908. That its value as a
'sensation' was not its main value may be inferred from the character
of the editors, Richard Watson Gilder, Robert Underwood Johnson and
Clarence Clough Buel--a group of scrupulously honourable gentlemen.
This conversation with Mr. Hale took place on the Kaiser's yacht. It
was evidently intended for publication, for the most indiscreet of
sovereigns do not talk to professional writers without one eye on the
public.

Speaking of his _Impressions of the Kaiser_, the Hon. David Jayne
Hill says: 'It seemed like a real personal contact, frank, sincere,
earnest and honest. One could not question that, and it was the
beginning of other contacts more intimate and prolonged; especially
at Kiel, where the sportsman put aside all forms of court etiquette,
lying flat on the deck of the _Meteor_ as she scudded under heavy
sail with one rail under water; at Eckernforde, where the old tars
came into the ancient inn in the evening to meet their Kaiser and
drink to his Majesty's health a glass of beer.'

'Did you ever see anything more democratic in America?' the Kaiser
asked, gleefully, one time. 'What would Roosevelt think of this?' he
inquired at another.

'Hating him, as many millions no doubt do,' Mr. Hill continues, 'it
would soften their hearts to hear him laugh like a child at a good
story, or tell one himself. Can it be? Yes, it can be. There is such
a wide difference between the gentler impulses of a man and the rude
part ambition causes him to play in life! A rôle partly self-chosen,
it is true, and not wholly thrust upon him. A soul accursed by one,
great, wrong idea, and the purposes, passions, and resolutions
generated by it. A mind distorted, led into captivity, and condemned
to crime by the obsession that God has but one people, and they are
his people; that the people have but one will, and that is his will;
that God has but one purpose, and that is his purpose; and being
responsible only to the God of his own imagination, a purely tribal
divinity, the reflection of his own power-loving nature, that he has
no definite responsibility to men.'

Nevertheless, in Copenhagen, we understood from those who knew him
well that he was a capital actor, that he never forgot the footlights
except in the bosom of his family, and even there, as the young
princes grew older, there were times when he had to hide his real
feelings and assume a part. In 1908, he was determined that the
United States should be with him; he never lost an opportunity of
praising President Roosevelt or of expressing his pleasure in the
conversation of Americans. I think I have said that he boasted that
he knew Russia better than any other man in Germany, and it seemed as
if he wanted to know the United States to the minutest particular.

It is a maxim among diplomatists that kings have no friends, and that
the only safe rule in conducting one's self towards them are the
rules prescribed by court etiquette. It is likewise a rule that
politeness and all social courtesies shall be the more regarded by
their representatives as relations are on the point of becoming
strained between two countries. How little the Kaiser regarded this
rule is obvious in the case of Judge Gerard, who however frank he
was at the Foreign Office--and the outspoken methods he used in
treating with the German Bureaucrats were the despair of the lovers
of protocol--was always most discreet in meetings with the Kaiser. I
was asked quietly from Berlin to interpret some of his American
'parables,' which were supposed to have an occult meaning. There was
a tale of a one-armed man, with an inimitable Broadway flavour, that
'intrigued' a high German official. I did my best to interpret it
diplomatically. But, though our Ambassador, the most 'American' of
Ambassadors, as my German friends called him, gave out stories at the
Foreign Office that seemed irreverent to the Great, there was no
assertion that he was not most correct in his relations with the
German Emperor. Yet, one had only to hear the rumours current in
Copenhagen from the Berlin Court just after the war began, to know
that the emperor had dared to show his claws in a manner that
revealed his real character. Judge Gerard's book has corroborated
these rumours.

The fact that I had served under three administrations gave me an
unusual position in the diplomatic corps, irrespective entirely of
any personal qualities, and--this is a digression--I was supposed to
be able to find in Ambassador Gerard's parables in slang their real
menace. A very severe Bavarian count, who deplored the war
principally because it prevented him from writing to his relations in
France, from paying his tailor's bill in London, and from going for
the winter to Rome, where he had once been Chamberlain at the
Vatican, said that he had heard a story repeated by an attaché of the
Foreign Office and attributed to Ambassador Gerard, a story which
contained a disparaging allusion to the Holy Father. As a Catholic,
I would perhaps protest to Ambassador Gerard against this
irreverence which he understood had given the Foreign Minister great
pain, as, I must know, the German Government is most desirous of
respecting the feelings of Catholics.

'Impossible,' I said. 'Our Ambassador is a special friend of Cardinal
Farley's and he has just sent several thousand prayer-books to the
English Catholic prisoners in Germany.' Thus the story was told.[8]

 [8] I regret that I cannot give the story in the rhyme, which was
 Bavarian French.

It seemed that among the evil New Yorkers with whom the Ambassador
consorted, there was an American, named Michael, whose wife went to
the priest and complained that Michael had acquired the habits of
drinking and paying attention to other ladies. 'Very well,' said the
priest, 'I will call on Thursday night, if he is at home, and I'll
take the first chance of remonstrating with him.'

The evening came; the priest presented himself, and entered into a
learned conversation on the topics of the hour, while Michael hid
himself behind his paper, giving no opportunity for the pastor to
address him. However, he knew that his time would come if he did not
make a move into the enemy's country.

'Father,' he said, lowering his paper, 'you seem to know the reason
for everything that's goin' on to-day; maybe you'll tell me the
meanin' of the word "diabetes"?'

'It is the name of a frightful disease that attacks men who beat
their wives and spend their money on other women, Mike.'

'I'm surprised, Father,' said Michael, 'because I'm readin' here that
the Pope has it.'

It was necessary for me to explain that this was one of our folklore
stories, and could be traced back to _Gesta Romanorum_--merely one of
the merry jests of which the German literature itself of the Middle
Ages was so full, of the character, perhaps, of Rheinhard the Fox!
This is an example of the way our Ambassador played on the Germans'
sense of humour, as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tried to play on
Hamlet's pipe!

       *       *       *       *       *

The German propaganda went on in the United States. Look at France,
look at Italy, in comparison with Germany's respect for religion! The
Falk laws were no longer of importance; Catholics were to be
encouraged to go into the political service, having hitherto been
'rather discouraged' and even under suspicion, as von Bülow admitted.

The German was obsessed by the one idea--the preponderance of the
Fatherland.[9] He was conscientious, he had for years cultivated a
false conscience which judged everything by one standard: Is this
good for the spread of German Kultur?

 [9] The Army Bill of 1913 'met with such a willing reception from
 all parties as has never before been accorded to any requisition
 for armaments on land or at sea.'--Von Bülow's _Imperial Germany_,
 p. 201.

'What do you think of all this?' I asked one of the most
distinguished diplomatists in Europe, now resident in Berlin, the
representative of a neutral country. 'There will be no peace in
Europe until Germany gets what she wants. She knows what she wants,
and since 1870 she has used every possible method to attain it.'

To return to the indiscretions of the Kaiser--indiscretions that were
not always uncalculated. Mr. Clarence Clough Buel, one of the editors
of _The Century_, felt obliged, in justice, to give an authoritative
explanation of Dr. Hale's suppressed 'interview.' His account was
printed in _The New York World_ for December 26, 1917: 'The proof of
this interview had been passed by the German Foreign Office, with not
more than half a dozen simple verbal changes. They were made in a
bold, ready hand, but as there was no letter, we could not be sure
that the proofs had been revised by the Emperor. The usual
hair-splitting of great men and officialdom had been anticipated, so
with considerable glee, the trifling plate changes were rushed, and
the big "sixty-four" press was started to toss off 100,000 copies.'

The London _Daily Telegraph_ 'interview' of October 28, 1908, was a
thunderbolt, and the editors of _The Century_, at the urgent request
of the German Government, suppressed the edition. I had been informed
by Mr. Gilder of the facts. I was very glad of it, as I was enabled
to explain this very interesting episode at the Danish Foreign
Office. Mr. Clarence Buel writes (it was his duty to read the last
galley proofs):--'But in the last cold reading I had grave suspicion
that the Kaiser's reference to the Virgin Mary might be construed by
devout Catholics as a slur on an important tenet of their faith. So
the sacred name was deleted, and the Kaiser's diction slightly
assisted in the kindly spirit for which editors are not so often
thanked by the writing fraternity as they should be. This incident is
mentioned to show the protective attitude of the magazine, and also
to indicate that the original "leak" as to the contents of the
interview came from an employee of the printing office. Only some one
familiar with the galley proofs could have known that the Virgin Mary
had figured in the manuscript, for the name did not appear in the
printed pages and consequently could not have reached the public
except for the killing of the interview. Let it be said, with
emphasis, that there was nothing in the Kaiser's references to the
part taken by the Vatican in looking out for the interests of the
Church in world politics which could have caused serious irritation
in any part of Europe. As a student at the Berlin University, I had
attended some of the debates in the Landtag during the famous
_Kulturkampf_ over the clerical laws devised by bold Bismarck to
loosen the Catholic grip on the cultural life of Prussian Poland.
Knowing the nature of that controversy, and the usual, familiar
attitude of (Protestant) Europeans toward religious topics, I could
believe that everything in the article bearing on Church and State,
from the over-lord of most Lutherans, was offered in a respectful
spirit, and would hardly make a ripple across the sea.'

Mr. Buel admits that the Kaiser criticised the action of the Pope and
spoke slurringly of the Virgin Mary. Mr. Buel evidently means that
the Foreign Offices of the world would not have been stirred by the
censure of the Kaiser or by even some frivolous comments on the
Blessed Virgin. Mr. Buel, who is discretion itself, having been one
of those who practically gave his word of honour that the 'interview'
should be suppressed, was evidently desirous that public curiosity
should not be too greatly excited as to its tenor. He does not excuse
the Kaiser, but as he is a very liberal Protestant himself, speeches
coming from a ruler, that would excite indignation even among
Catholics in Europe, naturally do not strike him as insulting. It
leaked out long ago that in the 'interview' His Imperial Majesty
alluded to Archbishop Ireland in rather disrespectful terms.

Only the staunch Americanism of the Catholics of this country saved
them from this insidious propaganda. If this spirit did not exist
among them, they would have been led to believe that the Central
Powers were the only European countries in the world where a Catholic
was free to practise his religion.

We know what the German propaganda working on politicians did in
Canada among the French-speaking population. We saw, in the beginning
of the war, how the Protestants of Ulster were used. There is a
passage in Mr. Wells's _Mr. Britling Sees It Through_ which
illuminates this.

'England will grant Home Rule,' said a Prussian closely connected
with the Berlin Foreign Office, 'and then Sir Edward Carson and his
Ulsterites will, with his mutineering British army, keep England too
busy to fight us.' They believed this in very high quarters in
Germany.

But when the British Government did not put the Home Rule Bill in
force, the propagandists turned to certain Irish Intellectuals. 'You
had better be governed by Germany than England,' said the followers
of Sir Roger Casement, and the sentiment, whether uttered
academically or not, found a hundred echoes.

But first had been heard the German-inspired cry of the Ulsterites,
'We had rather be governed by Germany than the Irish, by the Kaiser
rather than the Irish Roman Catholic Bishops.' Most of us knew that
there was no such danger, for Home Rule would have naturally cut into
the political power of the Irish Bishops by strengthening the secular
element forced into the background by the unfortunate conditions in
Ireland, which had prevented the Catholic laymen from acquiring
higher education, and obliging the clergy to become political
leaders. It made no difference. The fermenters of religious
dissension in Ireland played into the hands of the Prussians; there
was laughter in Hell.

We knew that the slogan, 'Better be governed by Germany than by
Ulster,' was not echoed in our own country among men of Irish blood.
But when Germany, through her agents, began to suggest an Irish
Republic, protected by the Imperial Eagle, a small party formed in
the United States, not pro-German, but anti-English. This was before
we went into the war. 'Every defeat of the English is a gain for
Ireland,' the German propagandist repeated over and over again. It
sank in; the Ulsterites thundered, and Sinn Fein, which had been
non-political, became suddenly revolutionary.

In our country the effect of all this was marked. Every sentiment of
religion and patriotism was played upon. Only those who received the
confidences of some of those deceived Revolutionists of the unhappy
Easter Day know how bitter was the feeling against England generated
by the conspiracies in the interest of Prussian domination. Then we
gloriously took our stand and went in. The practical answer came. The
Swedish Lutherans and the Sinn Fein Catholics took up their arms
without waiting to be drafted; Ireland must look after herself until
the invaders were driven out of France and Belgium!

If the Secret Service is ever permitted to take the American public
and the world into its confidence, the strength, the cleverness, and
the permeativeness of the propaganda, especially religious, in the
United States, will be shown to be astounding. 'What, son of Luther,
strikes at the German breast of your forefathers!' To use a phrase
that would not be understood at the Berlin Foreign Office, the
Prussian propagandist had us 'coming and going.'

One could not help admiring the skill of these people. We, in our
honest shirt sleeves were left gaping. Shirt sleeves and dollar
diplomacy were beautiful things in the opinion of people who believed
that the little red schoolhouse and the international Hague
Conference were all that were needed to keep us free and make the
world safe for democracy! There are no such beautiful things now. If
we are to fight the devil with fire, we ought to know previously what
kind of fire the devil uses. That requires the use of chemical
experts, and the German experts, before this war, were not employed
on the side of the angels. We have won; but do not let us imagine
that we have killed the devil.

The propaganda still went on, and honest people were influenced by
it. 'The Pope belongs to us,' the German propagandists said. 'He has
not reprimanded Cardinal Mercier,' replies some logical person, 'and
Cardinal Mercier has done more harm to German claims even in Germany
than any other living man.' 'The Pope sympathises with our claims; he
is the friend of law and order, consequently, he is with us.' Easily
impressed folk among the Allies accepted this. They believed the tale
that the Italian rout in the autumn of 1917 was due to Catholic
officers, who were paraded through every city in Europe with
'traitor' placarded on each back! A foolish story to direct attention
from the efforts of the paid conspirators who did the mischief. They
saw only the surface of things. They seemed to think that the theorem
of Euclid that a straight line is the shortest distance from one
point to another holds in the political underworld. The Pope was
attacked, which pleased the propagandists. 'O Holy Father, see how I,
Head of the German Lutheran Church, love you, and see! your wicked
enemies are my enemies.' And so the German propagandist divided and
discouraged!



CHAPTER VIII

THE PRUSSIAN HOLY GHOST


The Prussic acid had permeated every vein and artery of the Lutheran
Church in Germany. Whatever religious influence that could be brought
to bear on the Danes was used; but they look with suspicion on any
mixture of religion and politics. Besides, their kind of Lutheranism
is more liberal than the German. With the proper apologies I must
admit that they are not, at present, easily accessible to any
religious considerations that will interfere with their individual
comfort. The union between the Lutherans in Denmark and the Lutherans
in Germany is not close. The Danes will not accept the doctrine,
preached in Germany, that Martin Luther was the glorious author of
the war, and that victory for Germany must be in his name! I had many
friends in Germany. One, a Lutheran pastor, wrote in 1914:

'Your country, though pretending to be neutral, is against us, and
you, once dear friend, are against us. You are no longer a child of
light.'

The effect of the religious propaganda has been too greatly
underrated for the simple and illogical reason that religion, in the
opinion of the people of the outside world, moulded for long years by
the German school of philosophy, had concluded that religion had
ceased to be an influence in men's lives.

The Pope, because he had lost his temporal power, was effete,
reduced to the position of John Bunyan's impotent giant! Lutheranism,
in fact, all Protestant sects, were giving up the ghost, under the
blows of Hæckel, Virchow, Rudolf Harnack and the rest of the school
of higher critics! These men laid the foundation stones for the
acceptance of Nietzsche--Schopenhauer being outworn--and the learned
as well as the more ignorant of the cultured seemed to think that, as
German scholars had settled the matter, faith in Christianity was
only the prejudice of the weak.

The Kaiser knew human nature better than this. While he believed in
his Prussian Holy Ghost--Napoleon had his star--he was not averse to
seeing the spiritual foundations of the world, especially the
dogmatic part, which supported Christianity, disintegrated.
Discussing the effect of this, I was forced, in March of 1918, to say
publicly, 'The Kaiser is the greatest enemy to Christianity in
Europe.' The reception of many protests from apparently sincere
persons confirmed me in my belief that the propaganda had been more
insidious than most of us believed. Let us turn now to the effect of
the ruthless propaganda in Germany itself. Note this letter:

  'You, I can almost forgive, because, as I have told you often,
  you dwell religiously in darkness; but your Protestant country,
  which owes its best to us, I cannot forgive. In the name of
  Bethlehem, you kill our sons, and corrupt our cousins, Karl and
  Bernhard, whom you know in America. Karl, when he was in my house
  last week, was insolent; he dared to say that the Germans in
  America were Americans, that, if Martin Luther sympathised with
  our glorious struggle, he was in hell! This is wild American
  talk; but I fear that too many of our good people in America have
  been "Yankeefied" and lost their religion. However, our glorious
  Kaiser has not been idle all these years; the good Germans in
  your misled country, not bought by English gold, will arise
  shortly and demand that no more ammunition shall be sent to be
  used against their relatives. I saw your relation, Lagos, in
  Fiume; he cares nothing for Luther or the Prussian cause, but he
  is only a Hungarian, with Irish blood, and he will only speak of
  his Emperor respectfully, and say nothing against our enemies in
  America; his son has been killed in Russia; it is a judgment upon
  a man who is so lukewarm. The Austrian Emperor is forced to help
  us; he, too, is tainted with the blood of anti-Christ. I have
  heard that, when the war broke out, and they told him, he said:
  "I suppose we shall fight those damned Prussians again!" Was this
  jocose? Lagos laughed; it is no time to laugh; Karl and Bernhard
  will go back to where they belong, in Pennsylvania, accursed for
  their treachery,--vipers we have cherished, false to the
  principles of Luther.'

An honest man, sincere enough, with no sense of humour, and a very
good friend until one contradicted his Pan-Germanism. One might
differ from him, with impunity, on any other question! 'Our pulpits
are thundering for the Lord, Luther, and a German victory!'

There had been a movement in England for a union of the Anglican
Church with the Lutheran branch of Protestantism in Denmark. It may
have been extended to Norway and Sweden as well, but I do not know.
There was much opposition on the part of the Germanised Lutherans:
'It would be giving up the central principle of Lutheranism to submit
to re-consecration and reordination by the Anglican Bishops. It would
be as bad as going to Rome or Russia or Abyssinia for Holy Orders. In
Denmark, especially, Luther, through Bergenhagen, had cut off the
falsely-claimed Apostolical succession. How could a national Church
remain national and become English?'

If I remember rightly, Pastor Storm, a clergyman greatly
distinguished for his character, learning, and breadth of view, was
in favour of such a union; he did not think it meant the
Anglicanising of the Lutheran Church. Men like Pastor Storm were
placed in the minority. The Germans were against it. Bishop Rördam,
the primate, Bishop of Zeeland, told me that German influence could
have had nothing to do with the decision; he said, 'It is true that,
if we wanted the Apostolical succession we could go either to Rome or
Russia. We are well enough as we are.'

When the attempt at the union failed, those pastors in Germany who
had watched the progress of the undertaking, rejoiced greatly. My
former friend, the Lutheran pastor, wrote:

  'The Anglican Church is a great enemy to our German Kultur,
  though German influence among its divines is becoming greater and
  greater. I am obliged to you for the American books on St. Paul.
  I read them slowly. I observe with joy that all the authorities
  quoted are from German sources; surely such good men as the
  authors of these books must see that your country is recreant to
  the memories of the great Liberator, Martin Luther, in not
  preaching against the export of arms from your country to the
  Entente and the starving of our children! I thank you for the
  books, and also for the one by the French priest, which is, of
  course, worthless, as he sneers at Harnack. Later, these French
  will know our Kultur with a vengeance! I gather from the volumes
  of Canon Sheehan, as you call him, that the influence on clerical
  education in Ireland is German. We have driven the French
  influence from your universities, too, and the theological
  schools of Harvard and Yale, thanks to the great Dr. Münsterberg,
  who is opposed by a creature called Schofield, are German. The
  power of our cultural Lutheranism is spreading against the errors
  of Calvin in the College of Princeton, and the Roman Catholic
  colleges in the States are becoming more enlightened by the
  presence of men like the late Magistrate Schroeder, who may be
  tolerated by us as the entering wedge of our Kultur. You have
  been frank; I am frank with you. I have received your translation
  of Goethe's _Knowest Thou the Land_ and _The Parish Priest's
  Work_. As your ancient preceptor, I will say that both are bad.'

He is, after all, an honest man. Of course, I do not hear from him.
His two sons are dead, in Russia; he probably talks less of
'judgments' now, poor soul! He was only part of the machine of which
the Kaiser was the god!

The perverted state of mind of these honest men in whom a false
conscience has been carefully cultivated was amazing. On December
23rd, 1915, a Danish Bishop wrote a letter of good-will to a
colleague of his in Germany, saying, among other things, 'Even the
victor must now bear so many burdens that for a generation he must
lament and sigh under them.' The German pastor answered on December
27th:

  'Do you remember, at the beginning of the war, you answered, to
  my well-grounded words, "We must, we will, and we shall win,"
  "How can that ever be?" The question has been answered; from
  Vilna to Salonica, from Antwerp to the Euphrates, in Courland and
  Poland, our armies are triumphant; we take our own wherever we
  find it, and we hold it! I pity you,' the amiable pastor
  continued; 'I have the deepest commiseration for you neutrals,
  that you should remain outside of this wonderfully great
  experience of God's glory, you, above all, who call yourselves
  Scandinavians and are of the stock of the German Martin Luther.
  You hold nought of the mighty things that God has now for a year
  and a half been bestowing on the Fatherland. He who has little,
  from him shall be taken away what he has. This war is not a
  _kaffeeklarch_, and the work of a soldier is not embroidery. Our
  Lord God, who let His son die on the Cross is not the Chairman of
  a tea party, and He who came to bring, not peace, but a sword, is
  not a town messenger. He lives, He reigns, He triumphs! The chant
  of the Bethlehem angels, "peace on earth" is as veritable as
  when it was for the first time heard. There lay on the manger the
  Infant who as a Man was to conquer, that He might give peace to
  earth. Our Germans, who in 1870 bled, died and conquered, won for
  their own country and Scandinavia and Central Europe forty-four
  years of peace. For these nations and for a more permanent peace
  in this world our country is battling to-day. Gloria! Victoria!
  We will throw down our arms only when we have conquered, that
  this peace may reign.'

Bishop Koch, of Ribe--Jacob Riis's old town in Denmark--was the
writer of the first letter. It is not necessary to name the writer of
the second; his name is legion! It is not for the right, for the
defence of the poor, the helpless, the forsaken, for the old woman,
pitifully weeping, in the hands of the bloody supermen, to whom,
according to this pious pastor, Christ sent the sword, that Germany
may rule, and force her dyes, and her 'by-products,' and her
ruthless, selfish brutality on the world. If John the Baptist lived
to-day, and had asked these good pastors to follow him in the real
spirit of Christianity, one may be sure that they would have found
some excuses for the energetic Salome, who gloated over the
precursor's head.

Frequently the German pastors made flying visits to Copenhagen--after
the war began--not in the old way, when in the summer they came, with
hundreds of their countrymen, bearing frugal meals, and wearing long
cloaks and cocks' feathers in their hats. The day of the very cheap
excursion had passed. Now, they came to 'talk over' things, to assure
their Danish brethren of the stock 'of Luther' that it was a crime to
be neutral.

I had gone to the house of a very distinguished Lutheran clergyman,
Professor Valdemar Ammundsen, to listen to a 'talk' by Pasteur
Soulnier, of the Lutheran Church in Paris: Mr. Cyril Brown, the keen
observer and clever writer, accompanied me. We were struck with the
evidences of Christian charity and breadth of kindness shown by
Pasteur Soulnier. He had only words of praise for his Catholic
brethren in France; there was no word of bitterness or hatred in his
discourse; but his voice broke a little when he spoke of Rheims, and
he seemed like old Canon Luçon, the guardian of that beloved
cathedral, who cannot understand that men can be such demons as the
destroyers have shown themselves to be. We were late for dinner, and
Mr. Brown and I stepped into a restaurant of a position sufficiently
proper for diplomatic patronage, to dine.

The day after, as I was taking my walk, accompanied by my private
secretary, a man took off his hat and addressed me. He spoke English
with an accent.

'Pardon me; I do not know your name; but I know your friend, Pastor
Lampe, one of the most learned of our young divines; I have seen you
talking to him; I likewise recognised your companion at dinner last
night, Mr. Cyril Brown; he is an American well known in Berlin. My
name is Pastor X. I was formerly of Bremen. May I have a few words
with you?'

'Certainly,' I said, interested, 'if you will walk to
Friedericksberg.'

'Part of the way, sir,' he said.

My secretary whispered,--'Another spy? Shall I pump him?'

We had been frequently followed. Only a short time before, when I had
escorted my wife and Frau Frederika Hagerup, lady-in-waiting to Queen
Maud of Norway, for a short walk, we had been closely followed, by
eavesdroppers. At the corner of the Amaliegade and Saint Anna's
place, just opposite the Hotel King of Denmark, men had crawled up
within earshot, and one had accompanied us the whole distance. Was
this a similar case?

'Spy?' I said in French. 'Well let him talk!'

My young secretary shook his head; his way of dealing with suspected
spies was to wring their necks, if possible. From a long experience
with spies, it is my conclusion that much money is wasted on them.
Some are very agreeable, and give the party of the second part much
amusement. The German pastor, in his rusty black, looked so
respectable, too! He took the right, which showed that he did not
understand that I was a Minister. A well brought up German, who knew
my rank, would have taken my left side even if he were about to
strangle me!

'Bitte,' I said, 'but speak English!'

'I must beg pardon,' he answered; 'I could not forbear to tell you
what I thought of your conversation at the restaurant last night. I
should have interrupted you, but I was in the middle of my dinner.'

_His_ sacred dinner; ours did not count.

'I heard you say to Mr. Cyril Brown that the German nation at present
is the greatest enemy to Christianity in the world.'

'No, no, Herr Pastor,' I interrupted; 'I said that the Emperor
William is the worst enemy of Christianity in the world.'

'Ah, it is the same thing. You Americans call yourselves Christians,'
he broke out, 'and yet your bombs from Bethlehem have shattered my
son's leg and they killed thousands of our children. Your nation is
Protestant. You ought to be with us against impious France and
idolatrous Italy--I spit on Italy--the _cocotte_ of the nations, the
handmaid of the Papish prostitute of Rome! And yet you say that our
most Christian nation is not Christian! How can you say it? We are
not at war, yet you treat us as enemies!'

'We shall soon be at war. The Ambassador of the United States at
Berlin is sending Americans out of that city. He feels, evidently,
that, in spite of his influence with the Chancellor, you will begin
your U-boat outrages, and then we must be at war! That is plain. But
I think you have said enough. Herr Pastor, good-bye!'

'No, no,' he said. 'Answer me one question: why do you say that we
Germans are un-Christian? Our Christianity is the most beautiful, the
most learned, the most cultured!'

The young are relentless critics; I knew that my secretary was
calling me names for 'picking up' this strange German clergyman in
the street. Moreover, the secretary was beautifully attired; his
morning coat was perfect; his tall hat tilted back at the right
degree, and the triple white carnation in his buttonhole was a sight
to see. (Dear chap! he is in the greasy automobile service in
Flanders now!) And his cane! (If you walk out without a cane in
polite Copenhagen, you are looked on as worse than nude.) Fancy! To
be seen walking with a threadbare German pastor with a bulbous
umbrella! He groaned; he knew that I would pause on the brink of an
abyss for a little refreshing theological conversation!

'You cannot deny, Herr Pastor,' I said, 'that you people in Germany
swear by Harnack, that Strauss's _Life of Jesus_ is a book that you
look on with great admiration, that much of the foolish "higher
criticism" like the attacks on Saint Luke,[10] which Sir William
Ramsay has so carefully refuted, and all the sneering at the
fundamentals of Christianity have come from Germany, with the
approval of the Emperor.'

 [10] _The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the
 New Testament_, by Sir William M. Ramsay. Hodder and Stoughton.

'There are no English scientific theologians. I do not know your
Ramsay. We are learned; we study; we see many of the Christian myths
in an allegorical sense, but yet we adore the German God, who is with
us, and we believe in Christ, though our learned ones may dissipate
much that the populace hold. There must be a broad law for the
Christian divine; a narrow one for the humble believer. We may not
accept miracles, we of the learned, but we may not disturb the belief
of the people in them. Culture must come from the top. The Catholics
among us still accept the miracles, but they are most retrograde of
the Germans. We are gaining upon them. It is the _Zeitgeist_; when we
have conquered, with their help, we shall teach them the real lesson
of Christianity! The German God will not brook idolatry. Our
scientists disprove myths, but we work in the line of Luther still.
He disproved myths!'

'I do not hold a brief for Martin Luther,' I said, 'but I think that
he would have cursed any man who denied the divinity of Christ. You
talk of a German God. He is not a Christian God, and I repeat to you
what you heard me say to my friend in the restaurant.'

'It is well, sir,' he said, 'to hear this coming from an American who
defends the starving of our children and the supplying of arms to
slaughter us. We have God on our side--the German God. We only!'

'Good day, sir,' I said; 'you corroborate my impression about your
Christianity!'

I took off my hat, and crossed the street. He stood still; 'These
Americans are rude!' my secretary heard him say.

This would seem impossible to me--if I had not been a part of the
episode; if it seems impossible to you--the result probably of some
misunderstanding on my part--let me quote a few examples of the
result of the Prussian propaganda among a people whom we considered,
at least, honest and not un-Christian. But, first: on the Long Line
for my usual walk with Mr. Myron Hofer, one of the first Americans to
rush from his post at the Legation and join the Aviation Corps, I saw
the pastor again. Mr. Hofer saw him coming towards us, and said:

'You ought not to stand in the wind, if that man speaks to you; let
us go on.'

'Go on,' I said, 'but come back to rescue me in a minute or two.'

'Excellency,' the pastor said, 'I have heard from Pastor Lampe who
you are. Forgive me for addressing you!' And he passed on, hat in
hand.

What can one make of this bigotry and Phariseeism? Have these
qualities developed only since the war? Will they disappear after the
war? 'And the devils besought him, saying: If thou cast us out hence,
send us unto the herd of swine. And he said to them: Go. But they
going out went into the swine, and behold the whole herd ran
violently down a steep place into the sea: and they perished in the
waters.'

We all know that London was an unfortified city. Read this, from the
_Evangelische-lutherische Kirchenzeitung_, written in 1915. It is an
answer to the truthful charge that children, helpless women, old men,
civilians going quietly about their business, had been slaughtered by
the pitiless rain of death from the skies. The Danish Lutherans,
among whom this pious sheet had been circulated with a view to
exciting their sympathies, did not accept this.

  'London has ceased to be a city without the defence of
  fortifications; it is filled with such numbers of aeroplanes and
  anti-aircraft guns, that, as we are all aware, the Zeppelins can
  attack it at night only. To attack London is to make an offensive
  on a den of murderers.'

'If you ask me,' says the _Protestenblatt_, Number 18, 'how shall I
build up the kingdom of God,' my answer is: 'Be a good German! Stand
fast by the Fatherland. Do your duty and fill your mission. _Seek to
submerge yourself in German spirit, in German mind._ Be German in
piety and will, which simply means, be true, faithful, and valiant.
Help as best you can towards our victory; help to make our Fatherland
grow and wax mighty.'[11]

 [11] Dr. J. P. Bang's translation. Doctor Bang deserves well of all
 lovers of freedom for his translation into Danish of typical
 sermons from German pastors possessed of the spirit of hatred. Dr.
 Bang is a professor of theology in the University of Copenhagen. It
 ought to be remembered that the University of Copenhagen, in a
 neutral country geographically part of Germany, made no protest
 against the audacious volume.

It is true that there are Protestants in Germany who will not accept
the 'Fatherland' as God and eternal life or as a life continued in
the memories of later generations, as a Hessian peasant put it in a
letter written from the Front. His attitude shows how barren all this
rhetoric seems to the unhappy soldier who must obey. Those who knew
the lives of truly religious Germans before the war must believe that
these arrogant, feverish, diabolical utterances do not represent
them. The Lutheran households where the fear of God and the love of
one's neighbour reigned cannot have entirely disappeared; the old
Christian spirit must fill some hearts. But here is a man, a Lutheran
divine, whose pious books have 'circulated in the Army in millions of
copies.' He is a very great clergyman; if you saw him in the streets
of Lübeck, or Hamburg, or Berlin, many hats would be raised; even
officers in the Army would greet him with respect. He is
Geheimkonsistorialrath! 'Likewise,' he writes, in his book, _Strong
in the Lord_--'the blessings of the Reformation are at stake. Shall
French ungodliness, shall Russian superstition, shall English
hypocrisy rule the world? Never! For the blessing of our faith, for
the freedom of our conscience, for our Germanism and for our Gospel,
we shall fight and struggle and make every sacrifice. _Ein' feste
Burg ist unser Gott._ And, if the world were full of devils, we shall
maintain our Empire!'

According to Dr. Conrad, Germany is a great surgeon. She must cut;
she must even kill, if necessary, the nation that stands in the way
of her beneficient Kultur!

So strenuously has the name of Martin Luther been made use of by
these fanatics, that the fact is lost sight of in Germany, that the
question is not one of religion. There is scarcely a war even in
modern times with which religion had so little to do as this; but to
hear these shriekers from the pulpit, one would think that Martin
Luther was the instigator of the war and that the Kaiser is his
prophet! What the Catholic population in Germany--in Bavaria, in
Silesia--what the Jews in Berlin and Munich think of all this, we
have not yet discovered. A Cardinal holding the standard of Luther,
with two Rabbis gracefully toying with its gilded tassels is a sight
the preachers offer to us when they appeal to Luther as the
representative of Germany. Luther was no democrat; he would scarcely
have approved of President Wilson's speeches; but yet he would not
have worshipped the trinity of the Kaiser, the Crown Prince and the
Prussian Holy Ghost as the Godhead!

Think of the tremendous force that must have perverted these 'men of
God!' Who can help believing in the miracle of the swine driven into
the sea after this, or in the old Latin adage, 'Whom the Gods wish to
destroy, they first make mad,' or in Shakespeare's 'Lilies that
fester smell far worse than weeds?' Religion is made a mark to cover
avarice and arrogant ambition, Christianity, to veil a god more
material than the Golden Calf.

The learned Danes answered the shrieks of the preachers, and the
specious reasonings of such scientists as Wilhelm von Bode, Wundt,
Richard Dehmel, Wilhelm Röntgen, Ernest Haeckel, Sudermann, etc.,
with dead silence, erudition and art had been corrupted. 'In Italy,'
Christopher Nyrop,[12] the Dane, says, 'which, when the manifesto of
the German learned appeared, was not among the belligerent States,
the amazement and the disappointment were so great that the
ninety-three signers, "representatives of German Kultur," were named
_Verräter der deutschen Kultur_, traitors to German Kultur.' It was
only necessary to change 'Vertreter' to 'Verräter.' And among them
were Max Reinhart, Harnack, Gerhard Hauptmann, Siegfried Wagner!

 [12] Devoted to France, the friend of M. Jusserand; a great romance
 philologer.

The wonder and amazement were even greater when there was no protest
from the Catholics or the Lutherans of Germany against the
inexcusable outrage on Louvain or Rheims. The remonstrances of the
Pope were unheeded. It was the policy of the German Government to
suppress them as far as possible. It wanted to give the impression
that the Holy Father was theirs, and too many thoughtless persons
fell in with this idea. That the German Catholics were misinformed
by Bethmann-Hollweg and the War Office makes their position worse.

The proofs offered by the Dean of the Cathedral of Rheims proved that
this horror, the destruction of the sacred symbol of the French
nation, was not 'a military necessity.'



CHAPTER IX

1910-1911-1912


The visits of Mr. John R. Mott to the Scandinavian countries were
events; his was a name to conjure with. When an intimation of his
coming appeared in the papers, our Legation was bombarded with
requests for the opportunity of meeting him. 'We must,' my wife often
said, 'make it understood that every American of good repute shall be
welcome in our house; and it is our mission to give our Danish
friends an opportunity to meet him.'

The Danes came to know this and, whenever there was an American in
Copenhagen worth while--I do not mean merely having what is called
'social position'--we were always glad to arrange that the right
persons should meet. We were not socially indiscriminate, but we were
certainly eclectic. We wanted Mr. Mott for three meals a day, but he
was always, like Martha, so busy about many things, that we could
only secure him for a short breakfast or something like that, with
one of his warmest admirers, Count Joachim Moltke, who is devoted to
the moral improvement of young men, and Chamberlain and Madame Oscar
O'Neill Oxholm. The only rift in the lute of the affection of certain
Danish ladies for my wife was that she allowed Mr. Mott to leave
Copenhagen on various occasions without 'making an occasion' for them
to meet him. Among these ladies were Mademoiselle Wedel-Hainan, one
of the ladies in-waiting to the Queen Dowager, and others interested
in the cultivation of reverence for Christianity among their
compatriots. The result of Mr. Mott's masterly work was shown when
the war broke out. The 'red-blooded' who formerly looked at the Young
Men's Christian Association as rather effeminate and effete must, in
view of what it has done in Europe, forever close their lips.

At this time, in 1909, we had expectations of another visitor.
Cardinal Gibbons almost promised to make the Northern trip; he would
come to Copenhagen, it was intimated in a Baltimore newspaper. Great
interest was shown among these agreeable Athenians, the cosmopolitan
Danes. The question of etiquette bothered me; Sweden had still remote
relations with the Holy See, though the Catholic religion is still
practically proscribed in that country. At least, the King of Sweden
writes, I think, a letter once a year to his 'cousin,' the Pope, or
is it to his 'cousins,' the Cardinals; but Denmark, though very
liberal since 1848 in its religious attitude, has not such vaguely
official relations. I was informed that no Cardinal had visited
Denmark since the Reformation. I made inquiries in the proper
quarters at once. Of course, I might give Cardinal Gibbons his rank
as a Prince of the Church, and even the most exalted who should go in
after him at our dinner would be pleased. He could not come. His one
hasty trip to Europe, after his friends had raised my hopes of his
visiting us, was to be present at the Conclave that elected Benedict
XV. Pius X. had died of a broken heart, and the heart of the
Cardinal was sore and troubled at the horrors thrust upon the world.
What he has done to fill our army and navy with courageous men
contemporaneous history shows.

But the great visit, the epoch, which dulled even the glories of the
coming of the Atlantic Squadron, was that of ex-President Roosevelt.
To the Danes it was almost as if Holger Dansker, who, as everybody
knows, is waiting in the vaults of Hamlet's castle at Elsinore to
protect Denmark, had burst into the light.

From the European point of view, which took no account of our home
politics, ex-President Roosevelt was not only the most important
figure in America, but in the world, and the most picturesque. Even
under the New Democracy, men will probably count more than nations
in the minds of our brethren across the sea. However large
collectiveness may loom in the future, there will be some man or
other who will show above it, who will be a part greater than the
whole. Mr. Roosevelt had made the Panama Canal possible; he had
succeeded when De Lesseps had failed; he had forced, more than any
other President before him, the respect of Europe; the Radicals
wanted to greet him because he had curbed the power of the
capitalists; kings and prime ministers welcomed him because
they--even the Kaiser--feared his potentialities. That he would be
the next President of the United States nobody in Europe doubted.
These people were not welcoming, as they thought, a man like General
Grant, who had merely done a great thing. The American who was coming
was not only a man of splendid past, but one with a future that was
rising up like thunder. You can imagine the excitement in Copenhagen
when it was announced that he would pay that city a short visit. From
Copenhagen he was to go to Christiania to make a Nobel Prize speech.
The death of Björnson occurred just at this time; it was mourned in
both Norway and Denmark as a national loss; but even this did not
affect the reception of the ex-President.

'We would have rejoiced in our sorrow for nobody else,' the Norwegian
Minister said.

King Frederick VIII. had made all his arrangements to go to the
Riviera; his health was not good. He sent for me; he was doubtful
whether the rumours of Mr. Roosevelt's visit were well founded or
not.

'If he comes, this most distinguished citizen of yours, I will see
that he is received with the greatest courtesy; I will do as much for
him as if he were an Emperor. He and his family shall be given the
Palace of Christian VII. during their stay. My son, the Crown Prince,
will go to greet him; I regret, above all things, that I cannot be
here.'

Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt came; he saw; he conquered, but Mrs. Roosevelt
won all hearts. The young folks, Kermit and Ethel, fled from all
gaieties and ceremonies and explored the town; if I remember they
courted not the smiles of kings and princes; but they searched
intensively for specimens of old pewter.

Mr. Roosevelt's trunks did not arrive in time; he and Mrs. Roosevelt
were obliged to wear their travelling clothes. In the long history of
court life in Denmark this had occurred only once on a gala occasion,
and the guest had been Her Majesty the Queen of England, when she was
Princess of Wales. She had accepted the result with the utmost
simplicity. Mrs. Roosevelt, the ladies of the court said, was 'royal'
in the charming way in which she accepted this unpleasant accident;
she has contradicted practically the stories that American ladies
have the plebeian habit of 'fussiness.' The Crown Princess declared
that Mrs. Roosevelt was 'adorable,' and the Crown Prince referred to
the pleasure of this visit nearly every time, during the last eight
years, I met him. 'He is a Man,' he said.

The Marshal of the Court arranged the etiquette admirably, and there
was not the slightest hitch. Some of my colleagues who knew that Mr.
Roosevelt, as an ex-President, had no official rank, wondered how the
technical details of the reception of a 'commoner' had been arranged.
The Court and the Foreign Office offered all the courtesies usually
bestowed on royal highnesses. The Legation and the Consulate were
particularly proud of the decorations of the railway station, and
grateful to the Minister of Commerce who was responsible for them.

As usual, Admiral de Richelieu was both thoughtful and generous. The
best part of the programme, the voyage and breakfast on the _Queen
Maud_--we went to Elsinore--and a hundred other agreeable details
were arranged perfectly by him and Commander Cold, director of the
Scandinavian-American Line.

A great dinner, such as only Danes can manage to perfect at short
notice, was offered to him by the Mayor and the Municipality of
Copenhagen. His speech was eagerly looked for. It charmed the
Moderates; the extreme Socialists, who had claimed him for their own,
were disappointed. 'Your Radicalism is our Conservatism,' said
Chamberlain Carl O'Neill Oxholm.

Later, we heard that the Kaiser was disappointed in Mr. Roosevelt.
This was from one of the Berlin court circles. Mr. Roosevelt (this
was said _sub rosa_) had not been too Radical, but too frank. After
all, there was no reason why a man who had represented the people of
one of the greatest nations on earth should be too reverential to the
All Highest!

When Mr. Roosevelt left Denmark, he left an impression of force, of
virility, of dignity, of honesty that became part of the history of
the country.

In 1911 Loubet, the French ex-President, came with his son Paul and a
staff of delegates to the International Congress of Public and
Private Charities. He was very genial and frank--qualities inherited
by his son. His conversation was directed to the rapid reconstruction
of France after 1870. 'A country that can do that has little to
fear,' he said, 'if we can avoid the pitfalls of professional
politicians. That may be our difficulty. Our enemies are glad that
there should be dissensions among us, vital dissensions, not the
healthy differences of opinion you have in your country.'

'Et "la revanche?"'

'Ah, Monsieur le Ministre,' answered one of his staff, 'how can he
speak of that, with the German Minister, Mr. Waldhausen, so near us?
He is beckoning to you now. It is not "revanche" we want, but the
return of our territory. If that could be done without war! Paul, his
son, will talk international politics with you, if you like. As to
local politics, the Royalists do wrong in mixing religion and
politics; it forces the hand of the Opposition, and makes the
attitude of us Republicans misunderstood. In spite of all
dissensions, France is one at heart; but the voice of the country is
not for war. Of course, we may have to fight in our colonies.'

'Tripoli?' I asked.

'No,' he answered smiling. 'That's the leading question. We must
fight as you fought the Red Indians. We have no fear of war at
present--our ways are the ways of peace.'

'Naturally,' I answered, 'since the German Minister tells me that
Germany will never fight France unless attacked, and he sees no signs
of that.'

'The Belgians are growing restless because Hamburg is taking all the
Brazilian coffee trade,' he said, absent-mindedly.

'Which means, interpreted,' I answered, 'that we might well look
after our interests in Brazil.'

'Like all Frenchmen,' he said, 'I am ignorant of foreign geography,
but our Ambassador in Washington is different; he knows the world,
and the United States.'

I thanked him; I was always glad to hear Frenchmen speak well of Mr.
Jusserand. He deserved all the praise they could give him.

'My friend,' said Paul Loubet, 'says the world and the United States,
which means, I suppose, that Europe is one world and the United
States another.' 'It almost seems so in Europe; but your acquisition
of the Philippines will probably make you more and more a part of the
European world.' 'I am afraid that George Washington and Lafayette
would not have liked this,' said the ex-President.

One of the French delegates asked me whether it was true that the
Germans would try to make terms with us for a cession of some foreign
territory for one of the Philippine Islands. Waldhausen was at my
elbow; I, smiling, put the question to him.

'It is Arcadian,' he said.

'Germany never gives up what she holds,' said the Frenchman, also
smiling. 'Otherwise, you might induce her to surrender Heligoland to
England, for a consideration, with the understanding that England
should give it back to Denmark.'

Waldhausen laughed.

'Such generosity is too far in advance of our time. I am afraid
Admiral von Tirpitz might object.'

Von Tirpitz, for those behind the scenes in German politics, was much
in the public eye. It was well understood that as far as the naval
programme was concerned, he was Germany. If the seizing of Slesvig
and the completion of the Kiel canal made the German Fleet possible,
with the acquiring of Heligoland, the efforts of Admiral von Tirpitz
had made it a Navy. Through all the financial difficulties of the
German Government, difficulties that alone prevented it from
attacking France, von Tirpitz had held fast to the axiom that
Germany's future was on the ocean. He was not the kind of marine
minister who sticks fast to his desk and 'never goes to sea.' He had
become the 'captain of the King's navee' by knowing his business,
and, more than that, by studying the caprices of his Imperial
Master's mind, as well as its fixed determination. Many times I had
been told by candid friends in the diplomatic corps that the German
Emperor had no respect for our navy, that he knew every ship by
heart, that nevertheless, he examined as far as possible any new
inventions adopted by our naval experts who were most kind in
permitting German naval attachés and experts to examine them. In 1911
the coming of the Atlantic Squadron had excited interest in the naval
position of our country. One scarcely ever saw an American flag on
the ocean. Whatever Columbia did or wanted to do, she did not rule
the seas; so our flag on the ships of the Atlantic Squadron was a
delight to all Americans and somewhat of a surprise to foreigners.

At Kiel the general impression seemed to be that the Atlantic
Squadron represented our whole navy! The Kaiser and von Tirpitz knew
better, of course. Privately the Kaiser expressed his amusement at
our attempt to build warships--he and von Tirpitz had secrets of
their own. However, America was important enough to be given a
sedative until his designs on France and Russia were completed. One
might suspect this, then; but who could believe it!

My correspondents in Germany--people who know are wonderful helps to
a man in the diplomatic service--concerned themselves largely with
von Tirpitz and General von Freytag-Loringhoven. Von Tirpitz was the
German Navy and the very intelligent writings of General the Baron
von Freytag-Loringhoven made us almost think that he was the Army.

'Is he related to Freytag?' I had asked.

'What, the novelist?'

'The author of _Debit and Credit_?' I added.

'Certainly not; he is one of the greatest of the Baltic baronial
families.'

If I had asked a Bourbon, in the reign of Louis XIV., whether he was
related to Crébillon, he could not have been more shocked. Von
Freytag-Loringhoven cut a great figure in Berlin. He had Russian
affiliations, being of a Baltic family; his father had been well
known in diplomacy. He knew Russia as well as he knew Germany; he was
technical and experienced, and his writings were supposed to give
indications of the ideas of the General Staff. The Russians in
Copenhagen talked much of von Freytag-Loringhoven. I must repeat
that, in interesting myself in German personalities, I was not
considering them in relation to the future of my own country. There
were some among my friends, like James Brown Scott--men of
foresight--who seemed to have a wider vision. I was interested
because I feared that the autonomy of a little nation was at stake,
and because the absorption of that little nation would mean the
assumption of the Danish Antilles.

That Germany had consulted Russia about a question to make war with
England a pretext for seizing Denmark, we suspected. The end of the
Japanese War had curbed Russia's eastern ambition for a time. How
were we to be sure that the Baltic and the North Sea might not,
under German tutelage, attract her?

If von Freytag-Loringhoven's utterances were to be taken seriously,
it was evident that war was in the air; and why was von Tirpitz
building up the German Navy? The distributors of rumours in Denmark
said that all hopes of a Scandinavian confederacy were to be ended by
a quarrel with England, a move on France, and the division of
Scandinavia into two parts, one nominally Russian, the other,
Denmark, to be actually German, while Norway should gradually be
terrorised into submission. This shows how excited public opinion
was. The German propaganda spread pleasant reports of the peaceful
intentions of the Kaiser, the Crown Prince, and the personages in
power in Germany. Above all, we were told how charming the Crown
Princess Cecilia was, and how potent her influence would be in
warding off any attempts of the Pan-Germans on Denmark, even if
Germany and England should fly at each other's throats.

People in the court circle, who knew how little royal family
alliances count to-day in actual politics, admitted that the Crown
Princess was most charming and sympathetic; she is the sister of the
Queen of Denmark, and she had become as German as it was possible for
the daughter of a Russian mother to be. Her sister, Queen
Alexandrina, had become thoroughly Danish, but then her tendencies
had always been towards democracy and the simplicities of life.

The German news vendors alternately praised the Crown Prince and
depreciated him. If he were violent, it was against the wishes of his
father--he was a second Prince Hal trying on the imperial crown. As a
rule, however, he was brought out of the background to show his
virtues. On several occasions he had evinced more knowledge of what
was going on than his father. This was notable in the Eulenberg
scandal, when he fearlessly laid bare a horrible ulcer which was
beginning to eat into the heart of the army. On this subject he and
Max Harden, of the _Zukunft_, were in amazing alliance. Whatever may
be said of the Crown Prince's political ambitions--and we believed
and do believe that they meant world conquest--he is very much of a
man. In 1911, it was understood that he would not condescend to wear
the peace-mask that seemed to conceal his father's face. Dr. von
Bethmann-Hollweg, the Chancellor, was temporising as usual. The
Moroccan affair led to nothing because Germany's financial backers
were not ready for war. The Chancellor was attacked by von
Heydebrand; the Danish press gave graphic accounts of the scene when
the Crown Prince, from the royal box, applauded every insult that the
powerful Junker heaped on the Chancellor, who was merely the tool of
the Kaiser. It was the time of the Emperor to temporise; the time had
not come to strike; Germany was not rich enough. Russia was still
doubtful. France, in the imperial opinion, was not sufficiently
corrupted, and the dissensions between Ulster and the rest of Ireland
had not yet reached that poisonous growth which, in that opinion,
would force mutiny and sedition to poison the English. The Crown
Prince probably, in his frankness, voiced more than his own inner
sentiments. At any rate, to us near the frontier, it seemed so.
However, the incident was used to the credit of the Crown Prince.
Fair and open dealing for him! England might interfere in Morocco and
other places to prevent his country from taking a place 'in the sun';
but let us have it out!

In the secret councils of the Social Democrats was the hope that, if
a Hohenzollern must succeed the Kaiser, it would not be the Crown
Prince. In spite of his amiabilities and his apparently youthful
point of view of life--though there were fewer indiscretions to his
credit than are generally attributed to Crown Princes--it was known
that he was military to the core, and that in his time the soldier of
the world would never lack employment. While the Kaiser was
constantly insisting that more soldiers and more sailors and Krupp
von Bohlen's newest instruments of destruction were pawns in the game
of peace, his son made no pretence of agreeing with him. Clever or
not, he had held that a straight line was the shortest way from one
given point to another. And the Zabern incident and several others
showed that the Crown Prince meant, when his chance came, to make war
after the Napoleonic method and to exalt the sword above the pen and
the ploughshare.

The Social Democrats in Denmark were not flattered when he said that
'one day the Social Democrats would go to court!' But he was right;
they went to court as their old Emperor went to Carrossa, when they
accepted the war! The German writers said, too, that in France his
admiration for Napoleon endeared him to the French. If he appeared in
Paris, he would be as popular as King Edward of England was when he
was Prince of Wales! 'Who knows,' one of their writers said, 'he may
make the hopes of the Duke de Reichstadt his own, and live to see
them fulfilled'? I called the attention of an Austrian friend to
this. This gentleman, high in favour in 1909, but somewhat gloomed in
1914, owing to a _bon mot_, said: 'But the French remember that the
heir of Napoleon, who might have completed his father's conquests,
was the son of an Austrian mother.' He was _gemütlich_, like his
grandfather, they said, and how sweetly amiable to the American
ladies who had married into the superior race! More than one titled
American hoped to be saved from the position of morganaticism in the
future through the kindness of His Imperial Highness. But the fixity
of will has been underrated. Napoleon tried to conquer Europe; his
eyes were on the kingdoms of Solomon and of the jewelled monarchs of
the East. Why he failed, the Crown Prince believed he had discovered.
There was no reason, therefore, why a Prussian Napoleon might not
succeed, and no necessity to repeat the defeats of Moscow and
Waterloo. The Prince would begin by fighting Waterloo first and then
putting Russia out of commission!

In 1913 Mr. Frederick Wile, then correspondent of the London _Daily
Mail_, wrote: 'He is the idol of the German Army almost to a greater
degree than his father. His _Hunting Diary_ is amusing. He writes of
his sympathy with his 'sainted' ancestor Frederick the Great, in the
dictum that everybody should be allowed to pursue happiness and
salvation in his own sweet way.' Holy Moses!

       *       *       *       *       *

It was not difficult to get near to the characters of the
important men in power in Germany. A night's run took one to Berlin,
and at Flensberg, a few hours from our Legation, one could see the
German war vessels. There were constant visits of Germans of
distinction; Prince Eitel Friedrich often came in his yacht, and the
Waldhausens--Madame Waldhausen was a Belgian--were constantly
entertaining guests of all countries. Princess Harald, the wife of
Prince Harold, brother of the King of Denmark, attracted many
Germans, with whom she was in sympathy.

At court very few Germans appeared, unless they were of high official
rank. Both King Christian X. and the Queen seemed to prefer to speak
English, and nothing irritated the King, who speaks English and
French and German well, more than any attempt on the part of a
diplomatist to speak to him in Danish. It is best, I think, for
diplomatists at court to use French. One is always more guarded in
speaking a foreign language, but every member of the Danish Court
spoke English and seemed to like it. Prince Valdemar and the Princess
Marie always spoke English in their family. Prince Valdemar's French
was not so good as his English, and, in the beginning, the Princess
Marie found the learning of Danish slow work, and she had, during the
exile of her family in England, become entirely at home in the
English language. Prince Axel, their son, who recently visited
America as the guest of the American Navy, spoke English admirably.
Like all his family, he is in love with freedom.

Nevertheless, German was much spoken in Denmark, and the intercourse
between the two countries close. The point of view of Germany, or,
rather, the Germans, was better understood in Denmark than perhaps in
any other country, the more so because the Danes, naturally satirical
and entirely disillusioned as to the altruism of great European
nations, looked with clear eyes at the progress, or, rather, the
evolution of Germany. Whatever progress Germany had made, many of
them, like the learned Dr. Gudmund Schütte, who reluctantly agreed
that the reconquest of Slesvig would be 'to commit suicide in order
to escape death,' never seemed to utter a word of German without
remembering the loss of their provinces.

The most astonishing things were the intellectual greatness and
exact training of the German thinkers and doers, and, at the same
time, their lack of independence. With the outside world, as far as
one could gather from the press and conversations with the English,
French and Americans--though my fellow countrymen, as a rule, showed
little interest in foreign affairs--it was plain that the German
political parties were supposed to be static: the Conservatives
Junkerish, the Centrists intensely Catholic, following the slightest
signal of the Pope, the Socialists devoted to the ideas of Bebel, and
the Liberal-Nationalists fixed in their opinion that a moderate
constitutional monarchy was to be, in Germany, the solution of all
problems.

We knew better than that in Denmark. Through the whole Catholic world
the German propagandists spread the opinion that the Centre party was
strictly 'denominational.' Nothing could be more untrue. The
traditions of Windthorst, who had boldly defined to Bismarck the
difference between what was due to Christ and what to Cæsar, were
rapidly disappearing. The fiction remained that the Centre was
constantly opposing the policy of the emperor, when at every session
of the Reichstag, the Centre became more and more 'political' and
more subservient to the designs of the Government. One could see the
changing policy in the pages of the _Social Democrat_, the Socialist
organ in Denmark. The Danish Socialists were always influenced by
their German brethren; but destructive Socialism finds, up to the
present time, no place in the Social Democratic scheme, and this is
due, not only to the Danish temperament, but to the dislike on the
part of Social Democrats to the growing power of Syndicalism.

The leaders of the Socialists and of the Centrists are not great men.
Of the Centre, which had rightfully boasted of Windthorst and
Mallinkrot as the opponents of ultra-Imperialism, Hertling and
Erzberger were the most important. All Germany recognised the
intellectual ability of Hertling. Baron von Hertling, Professor of
the University of Munich, represented apparently everything that the
fashionable Prussian philosophical system did not. 'Glory is the only
religion of great men' is a doctrine he abhors; philosophically, he
is the direct enemy of Kant and Hegel, above all, of Nietzsche and
Schopenhauer. Nobody denies those qualities of mind that had made his
name as well known philosophically in learned circles as that of
Cardinal Mercier. He had been prime minister of Bavaria, and he, of
all men, might have been expected to see the abyss to which
Imperialism was tending. It was easy, in Denmark, to perceive that,
in the Reichstag, all parties--there were some individual exceptions,
like Liebknecht--had begun to be slaves of the emperor as represented
by his subservient grand-viziers, the Chancellors. Both the Centre,
from which much was expected, and the mixed party, called the Social
Democrats, from which stronger resistance to Imperialism had been
hoped, gradually became the upholders of the doctrine of conquest.

Erzberger, of the Centre, is a later development of the change that
took place in the attitude of Hertling. With Lieber and Spahn,
veteran politicians, the Centre position became one of compromise.

The Centre had managed to grow stronger and stronger after the
_Kulturkampf_, against which it had started as a party of defence.
Matthias Erzberger, who had begun as a school teacher, wisely chose
the Centre Party as a road to power. He has gained step by step by
his unconquerable audacity. In 1911 even the Chancellor seemed to
fear him. He is a bold speculator, and his rivals, even in his own
party, predicted that he would come to grief through his Napoleonic
idea of finance. From 1911 the parties in the Reichstag became more
and more Imperialistic, the Prussian tone more and more insolent as
regards foreign countries. The _cameraderie_ of the Kaiser at times,
his fits of arrogant indiscretion--checked suddenly after the
'interviews' of 1908--continued to give us 'lookers-on in Vienna'
grave concern. In spite of the encomiums made by nearly all my best
European friends--many of them English--and all my compatriots who
had been received at court, we in Denmark distrusted the Kaiser. I
must say that my Danish friends, except the Chamberlain and Madame de
Hegermann-Lindencrone, seldom praised him. To them he had been most
courteous. I remembered that the most chivalrous of men,
Hegermann-Lindencrone, never would speak ill of a sovereign to whose
court he had been accredited. Count Carl Moltke, a good Dane, never,
even in confidence, allowed a word of censure to pass his lips when
the Kaiser was mentioned by his critics; I often wondered what he
thought!

As to the Emperor Francis Joseph, I had reason to have a great
respect and affection for him--even of gratitude. It is the fashion
to tear his reputation to pieces now, a fashion that will pass.

At any rate, even his detractors will be glad to hear the story that,
when the war broke out and he was ill and very drowsy, one of his
Chamberlains said, 'Our army is in the field, sire!' 'Fighting those
damned Prussians again!' he said, contentedly; and went to sleep
again! He liked France, but he disliked the French Government. 'Your
President,' he said to a distinguished French sailor, with a touch
of contempt, 'is a bourgeois!' He did not mean a 'commoner'--with him
'bourgeois' implied a man who was not a soldier; and the emperor
could not understand that a European country should be well ruled by
a man who could not himself take the field; at any time, the Emperor
would have gladly taken it against these 'Prussian parvenus,' I am
sure.

More and more, the representatives of the stolen provinces, like
Slesvig and Alsace-Lorraine, became disheartened by their weakness in
the Reichstag. The representatives of Poland received no political
support from the Centre; yet these Poles were ardent Catholics, and
their representative, Prince Radziwell, made eloquent speeches. The
delegates from Alsace-Lorraine, the Abbé Wetterlé being the most
audacious, were as little regarded as 'Hans Peter,' H. P. Hanssen,
the one Danish representative in the Reichstag. If the Centre had not
posed as Catholic, which implied, if not an unusual regard for the
liberties of the oppressed, at least a certain Christian charity for
the persecuted, censure might have been silent. If the Socialists had
not been the open and apparently unrelenting opponents of political
oppression, the good Samaritan might have tried to succour their
victims, while reflecting that the robbers who had inflicted the
wound were at least not hypocrites; but here were von Hertling and
Martin Spahn and Groeber and the rest of the Centre, who knew what
the tyranny of Bismarck had meant; here were the followers of the
later Bebel--willing to join the Centrists on many political
questions, the friends of the Imperial autocracy! Here were two
groups, antagonistic and irreconcilable in principle, but both united
when it was expedient to support plans of world conquest!

The Centre still used religion as a tool to uphold the Government.
The Pope and the Kaiser were as antagonistic on many questions as
Popes and Kaisers have ever been since Christianity was imperfectly
accepted by the Teutons. Windthorst, a great man of the type of
O'Connell, but greater, had forced Bismarck to revoke some of the
infamous May laws in 1888. Still, certain German citizens, the
members of the congregation of the Redemptionists, were exiled. The
Centre protested--for effect. The Jesuits were at last admitted on
condition that they were not allowed to speak in the churches, and
that under no circumstances should they be permitted to speak in
public on religious subjects. Prince von Bülow publicly admitted that
there was a lack of toleration shown to Catholics, and there were
certain parts of Germany in which professors of the Catholic faith
were still under disabilities. The question of the admission of the
Jesuits and the other religious congregations ought to have been
considered as justly as it would have been in the United States. The
Centrists' representatives gave the impression of being violently
interested in the preservation of the rights of German citizens to
preach and teach any doctrines that were not immoral or seditious,
and then, at a breath from the Government, allowed these priests to
be treated as the Danish Lutheran pastors were treated in
Slesvig.[13]

 [13] 'My old commander, the late General Field-Marshal Freiheer von
 Loë, a good Prussian and a good Catholic, once said to me that, in
 this respect, matters would not improve until the well-known
 principle of French law "_que la recherche de la paternité était
 interdite_" is changed to "_la recherche du confessional était
 interdite_."'--Von Bülow: _Imperial Germany_, p. 185.

I am not writing from the point of view of any creed at this moment,
but only from that of a democracy which encourages reasonable
freedom of speech, the use of equal opportunities, and preserves to
everybody alike the free exercise of his religion. The Centre has
shown as little sympathy with democracy of this kind as the
Socialists. The latter party deserve no sympathy from any class of
Americans. Their methods are, as worked out in Denmark and Germany,
admirable. Religious bodies, interested in actively loving their
neighbours as themselves, have much to learn from them, but the
German Socialists played a worse part during the war than Benedict
Arnold in our Revolution. They did not act the part of Judas only
because they never acknowledged Christ.

The bane of every civilised country seems to be party politics. After
theological hatreds, the ordinary variety of political hatreds and
compromises is the worst. The Centre has become corrupt and
time-serving, the Socialists expedient and slavish, all because the
Imperial Head, the Chancellor, could scatter the spoils!



CHAPTER X

A PORTENT IN THE AIR


'This is the first page of my diary and the last,' wrote William H.
Seward. 'One day's record satisfies me that, if I should every day
set down my hasty impressions, based on half information, I should do
injustice to everybody around me and to none more than my intimate
friends.'

This is true; and, when suspicion seemed to reign everywhere, after
August 1914, and one's private papers were never safe, in spite of
the fidelity of our servants--and no strangers were ever blessed with
better servants than my wife and I--it became all the more necessary
not to put down explicitly the day's talk. And the colleagues were
very frank--except when their Foreign Officers instructed them to say
something for export. If we were at the end of the world, I might
give daily conversations that would have a certain interest, but
probably some persons whom I have the honour to call friends, and
even intimate friends, might be misunderstood. A diplomatic corps in
a city like Copenhagen is one large family, and in Copenhagen the
court treats its members, who are sympathetic, with unusual courtesy,
and, at every fitting opportunity, makes them of the royal circle,
which is a very cosy and cheerful one.

The years 1910, 1911, and 1912 were eventful ones, not because things
happened, but because things were about to happen. It was a period of
unrest. The diplomatic conversations at this time occupied themselves
with the position of Germany.

Henckel-Donnersmarck had gone to Weimar, much to my regret. He was
supposed to have retired to private life because the Kaiser did not
find his reports minute enough, but, knowing him, it seemed to me
that he was glad to be out of a position which bored him thoroughly,
and which exacted of him duties that he did not care to fulfil.
Denmark was becoming more and more Socialistic, and even the
Conservatives were so extremely 'advanced,' that Count Henckel found
himself rather out of place. He made no country-house visits in the
summer, and gave dinners in the winter only when he could not help
it. Beyond certain conversations with me on political subjects
already mentioned, he did not go. Literature and the simpler aspects
of life interested him--children especially. We amused ourselves by
mapping out the career of his son, Leo, a very young person of marked
individualistic qualities.

For impressions of Germany and Austria, one had to go to other
sources. The upheaval in Germany caused by the Kaiser's disregard of
public opinion in 1908 had caused most of my colleagues some concern.
Nobody wanted war. The Austrians and the Russians alike were
horrified at the thought of it.

In 1909 there had been rumours of grave events; Count Ehrenthal had
announced privately to some bankers that 'war was evitable.' Count
Szechenyi, the Austrian-Hungarian, a lover of peace, if there ever
was one, met me one day on the steps of the Foreign Office, in a
state of trepidation. Mr. Michel Bibikoff, of the Russian Legation,
had seen me several times on the subject of the possible conflict,
academically and personally, of course, as our Government was
supposed to have no great interest in war in Europe. A speech made by
Mr. Alexander Konta, whose son, Geoffrey, was one of the best private
secretaries I ever had, put me on the track (Mr. Konta, an American
of Hungarian birth, had been conducting some financial affairs in his
native country). I suspected there would be no war since Count
Ehrenthal had announced to the financiers that there would be war. In
my opinion, it was a question of the fall or rise of stocks. Count de
Beaucaire, the French Minister, was intensely interested; a flame lit
in the Balkans might involve France. The English Minister, Sir Alan
Johnstone, seemed to take matters more calmly; we all expected his
Foreign Office to send him to Vienna, and his calmness was a
sedative. He, a prospective ambassador, was supposed to know
something of conditions, but Count Szechenyi discovered that he was
nervous, too. It struck me that it was rather absurd for me not to
know something definite.

There was an old friend, deep in the diplomatic secrets of the
Vatican, who knew the Balkans well, who disliked Russia as much as he
suspected Germany. It was easy to get an opinion from him because he
knew I would use it with discretion. There was a clever old
Hanoverian noble, much in the secrets of the court at Berlin, and
there was Frederick Wile in Berlin, who knew many things. When Count
Szechenyi, rather pale, came up the stairs of the Foreign Office, and
said, 'My God! There will be war!'

'No,' I answered, 'it is settled--there will be no war. I give you my
word of honour.'

'You are sure?'

'I have just told Bibikoff, and he is delighted.'

I have been grateful many times to Frederick Wile, who was once a
student of mine, but that day I was more grateful than ever, for war
_is_ hell and I was glad to relieve my friends' minds.

That night there was a _cercle_ at court. King Frederick VIII., the
most affable of kings, greatly interested in the Danes in America,
had been praising Count Carl Moltke, who had shown a great interest
in the Americans of Danish blood; it was an interesting subject. To
speak well of Count Moltke, who had the good taste to marry an
American, is always a genuine pleasure, though, I believe, he would
have left Washington if the sale of the Danish West Indies had been
mooted in his time. Then the king said, 'Your country is fortunate
not to be entangled in European affairs. There is talk of war. As the
American Minister, you have no interest, except a humanitarian one,
in a European war; you do not trouble yourself about the question
seriously.' I bowed, being discreet, I hope. Suddenly a deep voice,
audible everywhere, called out: 'But Egan told Szechenyi that the
propositions had been accepted, and there will be no war.' The king
turned to me; I was not especially desirous of admitting that I had
been making investigations, and still less desirous of revealing my
sources of information.

Before the king could ask a question, Sir Alan Johnstone cut in, just
behind me, 'From whom did you hear it?'

'From a journalist,' I answered, remembering Frederick Wile.

'It will be in the papers to-morrow, then,' said the king.

I was relieved. I should have hesitated to appear to have shown such
interest to the king as my mention of the other authorities might
have revealed.

It was announced later, but not in the next day's papers. However,
the apprehension still remained. The Kaiser was for peace--yes!--but
on his own terms.

The one objection to Mr. Seward's dictum on the exact keeping of
journals is that the writer, after the facts--unrelated and distorted
as they are each day--are seen in the light of experience, the
diarist finds it only too easy to prophesy for the public, because
now he _knows_. This is a temptation; but, as I look back, I must
confess that in 1910, in spite of the anxiety of my colleagues,
Germany seemed mainly important as regards her attitude to the sale
of the Danish East Indies to us. Lord Salisbury's trade of Zanzibar
for Heligoland was always in my mind. The correspondence of Mr. John
Hay and other investigations had led me to believe that the failure
of the proposed sale in 1901-1902 had been caused by German
opposition. I was, I must confess, glad to see the friendliness
between Germany and the United States. I knew rather well that it
could never grow very deep; the German point of view of the Monroe
Doctrine was too fixed for that. I knew, too, that if the very
Radical and Socialistic parties in Denmark continued to grow, the
island must be sold, and likewise that, if the United States and
Germany were unfriendly, the Social Democrats, who were too near
their German brethren not to be in sympathy with their brethren,
might turn the scale in favour of retaining the Islands. The eyes of
my colleagues were on Germany; mine were also, but for different
reasons. While they feared that Germany might want some of their
territory--we knew that, in spite of the Triple Alliance Germany and
Austria were one, Italy always being an 'outsider'--I was anxious to
save from Germany islands that might be hers if she should absorb
Denmark. I confess, with repentant tears, if you will, I had not the
slightest belief in the disinterestedness, when it came to a question
of territory, of any nation, except our own--and that might have its
limitations!

In August 1910, I was very glad to go to visit the Raben-Levitzaus.
One reason was that the Count and Countess Raben-Levitzau are among
the most cosmopolitan and interesting people in Europe; another was,
that Chamberlain and Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone were to be at the
castle of Aalholm. Raben-Levitzau had been Minister of Foreign
Affairs. He had married Miss Moulton, one of the most beautiful
ladies in Europe and the daughter of Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone by
her first marriage. Hegermann-Lindencrone had been minister to
Washington when I was at Georgetown College doing some philosophical
work under Father Guida and Father Carroll; but I had been permitted
to go into society occasionally and the fame of Hegermann-Lindencrone
was just beginning. Mutual acquaintances and memories established a
friendship, and I came to know him as one of the cleverest, most
farseeing and kind of diplomatists. If he has an enemy in the world,
that enemy must be one of the few human beings worthy of eternal
damnation!

The conversation is always good at Aalholm. Raben-Levitzau was rather
depressed; he was out of public life, which he loved. He had gone out
in 1908 with the J. C. Christensen ministry, owing to the fact that
Alberti, the Minister of Justice, had been found guilty of some
inexcusable manipulation of the public money. Alberti, with the rest
of the reigning ministry had been invited to the wedding of my
daughter Patricia, in September 1908. He very courteously declined,
giving as a reason that he was 'engaged'; he went to jail on that
day. He was a polite man. Raben-Levitzau resigned through the most
delicate sentiment of honour, in spite of the remonstrances of his
friends.

I found him not against the sale, though he seemed to regards it as
very improbable. He felt that the Danes had ceased to practise the
art--if they ever had it--of ruling colonies, and, I think, that the
tremendous expenses of the Socialistic régime in Denmark, where the
poor are practically supported in all difficulties by State funds,
would render improvements in distant possessions almost impossible.
Sentimentally he would hate to see the red and the white of the
Dannebrog cease to fly amid the flags of Holland, of England, of
France, on the other side of the Atlantic. Hegermann-Lindencrone was
frankly for the sale, though it was not then in question. I asked
about Germany's design on Denmark, rumours of which were in
everybody's mouth. He--he was still Danish Minister in Berlin--said
that, since the completion of the Kiel Canal, Germany had no reason
for assuming Denmark. This was reassuring.

Nevertheless, when one caught the reflections of German opinion in
Denmark, one became surer than ever that the new Empire was not
inclined to accept the isolation which European politicians were
apparently forcing on her. Hegermann-Lindencrone and his wife were
favourites at the German Court; the Kaiser made a point of
signalising his regard for them. Madame Hegermann was by birth an
American, a Greenough of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and never for a
moment does she forget it, though she has borrowed from the best
European society all the cultivation it could give her, in addition
to her natural talent and charm. The Kaiser showed his best side to
the Hegermann-Lindencrones, and they believed that personally he had
no evil designs on the peace of the world.

As a Dane, Hegermann-Lindencrone's task at Berlin had not been easy,
with discontent in Slesvig always threatening to break out, although
for a time he had, as secretary of Legation, Eric de Scavenius, who
knew Germany as well as Denmark, who was as patriotically firm as he
was humanly genial. He seemed to think that the sale of the Islands
in 1902 had failed because the sum offered was comparatively small,
others because of the governmental scandals, and of the opposition of
the Princess Marie and the East Asiatic Company.

This was interesting; he did not believe that either the German
Government of that time or the industrials, like Herr Ballin, were
against it--in fact, German interests on the Islands, especially
those of the Hamburg-American Line, were deemed as safe in the hands
of the Americans as those of the Danes. The time was, however, not
ripe for taking up the question; national opinion was against it, and
the great Danish industrials, like Etatsraad Andersen, Admiral de
Richelieu, Commander Cold, Holger Petersen and others had not yet had
their opportunity of testing the national feeling. As far as I could
see in 1910, England and France gave the matter no consideration,
though, to his horror, I occasionally informed the Count de Beaucaire
that an attempt on our part might be made to buy Martinique and
Jamaica and Curaçoa, unless the Danish Islands could be linked into
our belt. 'If I thought you were serious, I should oppose you with
all my might!' he said.

The South American representatives showed indifference when I
mentioned the Gallapagos Islands. The buying of islands was a fixed
idea with me, and I liked to talk about it. Diplomatic opinion was
inclined to treat the prospect as chimerical, but it was evident that
neither Sweden nor Norway liked it. However, as I have said, the time
had not come.

I discovered that, when it came to the matter of patent laws, etc.,
Denmark could not act without the example of Germany, and I gathered
from this, that, when the time should come, Germany might expect to
have something to say. In the meantime, there were other questions to
study, but somehow or other all of them seemed to hinge on Germany's
attitude. She was the sphinx of Europe.

It was in June, 1911, that the Atlantic Squadron stopped at Denmark
on its way to Germany. Admiral Badger, suave and sympathetic, was in
command. The four war vessels made a great effect, but the officers
and sailors a greater. Before they left for Kiel--it was a visit of
courtesy to the German Navy--the officers gave various dances on
board, and the decorum, the elegance, and, above all, the good
manners and good dancing of these gentlemen were praised even by
those who had been led to believe that most 'Yankees' were crude and
unpolished.

King Frederick expressed to me most cordially the honour done his
nation by the visit, and was very much amused by the flattering
attentions paid by the American sailors at Tivoli to the Danish
girls. 'I saw them myself!' he said. He was delighted by the 'tenue'
of the officers, and complimented by the enthusiasm of the sailors,
who had apparently taken a great fancy to him.

After one of the receptions given by the American officers, the
equerry who had been appointed to look after the Admiral and his
immediate suite, came to me in great perplexity. He held in his hand
a little box. 'I am in difficulty,' he said, 'and I have come to ask
you to help me out of it. His Majesty has received several letters
from the American sailors, and there is one which especially amused
him. It seems that he pleased the men by asking for the Scandinavians
in your navy. A sailor thanks him for this, addressing him as 'dear
King,' declaring that the men like Copenhagen so much that they beg
His Majesty to induce the Admiral to stay a few days longer. Of
course, His Majesty cannot do that, but he has asked me to give the
little medal in this box to the sailor. I am told that is against the
rules, which seem to be very strict. I really cannot tell the King
that I have not given the medal to the worthy sailor; you know the
King's kindness of heart. I am at my wit's end, so I appeal to you.
It seems so difficult to arrange without infringing upon the
discipline.'

'It is easy enough,' I said. 'When in a quandary of this kind, call
in the Church.'

We found the chaplain, and the amiable Frederick VIII. received a
note of gratitude, addressed 'Dear King.'

The French and the Russians were especially interested in the coming
of the squadron, but it was made rather evident that the Germans
would have preferred that the warships might have gone directly to
Kiel. To stop at Copenhagen and Stockholm was looked on as rather
tarnishing the compliment to the Imperial Master. There were several
private intimations that I had arranged it with a view to making the
Danes feel that the United States admired their qualities and desired
to stimulate their national ambition. 'It was as if the Magi had
concluded to visit a lesser monarch on their way to Bethlehem,' said
a sarcastic Dane I met at Oxholm's château of Rosenfeldt; 'the
ultra-Imperialists hold you responsible for it.' I replied that it
was a great honour to be mistaken for Providence!

The few pro-German writers on the Danish press rejoiced at the
compliment the United States was showing Germany; the press itself
was delighted. There were always some sarcastic paragraphs in the
Danish papers, the result of a German propaganda which allowed
nothing good in any other nation. These took the form of slight
sneers at the gaiety of our sailors and their open-handedness. The
response was indignantly made that American sailors were the only
sailors in the world who had too much to spend--and they spent this
largely in racing about in taxi-cabs, the cheapness of which amazed
them. There were rumours of depredation made by our men among the
beautiful flower beds in the Kongens Nytor. I investigated them.
There was not one valid case.

What did the visit of the squadron to Kiel mean? Germany again! Were
we afraid of the Kaiser? Was an alliance to be made between the two
great nations? Where did England come in? It was an arrangement,
offensive and defensive, against Japan? The United States would cede
the Philippines to Germany, to save those islands from the Yellow
Peril? 'Germany and the United States would drive the English from
the Atlantic, control the Pacific, and rule the world'--this was part
of a toast drunk by some enthusiastic German-Americans at a dinner in
the Hotel Bristol, which, fortunately, I had refused to attend. From
a diplomatic point of view, when in doubt, one always ought to refuse
a public dinner. Dinners are more dangerous to diplomatists than
bombs!

My son, Gerald, now in France, arranged a glorious game of baseball
between two of the crews of the squadron. Some of the American Colony
said it was 'educational.' The Danes, although Mr. Cavling, editor of
_Politiken_, gave a valuable silver vase to the winner, seemed to
look on it that way rather than as an amusement. The visit of the
_North Carolina_, the _Louisiana_, the _Kansas_ and the _New
Hampshire_ made an epoch, to which Americans could always allude with
justifiable pride.

Prince Hans, the 'uncle of Europe,' the elder brother of Frederick
VIII., our neighbour, was very ill at the time of the visit. The
dances put on the programme of a cotillion, to be directed by
Mr. William Kay Wallace, then Secretary of Legation, were, of course,
cancelled. Prince Hans, dying as he was, sent an attendant to the
Legation, to thank my wife for her courtesy. There was great fear
that His Highness would die, and thus force us to cancel our own gala
dinner, and naturally put an end to all festivities on the part of
the court and the navy. 'My uncle will not die until everything is
over,' said Prince Gustav; 'he is too polite!' He was. He died just
before the dinner given by King Frederick and Queen Louise, but the
news of his death was kept back by his own request, until the dinner
was over and the 'cercle' had begun; then the sad news began to be
whispered.

In 1912 the English and Russian squadrons appeared in the Sound. This
occasioned uneasiness. Some of the Danes asked 'did it mean a protest
against the presumed alliance between the United States and Germany?
Or was it an intimation to Germany that England and Russia had their
eyes on Germany? As to the second question, I had no answer; as to
the first, I laughed, and translated into my best Danish that such an
alliance would come when 'the sea gives up its dead.' It was a
curious allusion to make, in the light of horrible events that had
not yet occurred; I think I got it out of one of Jean Ingelow's
poems. By comparison with the glitter and gaiety of the Americans,
both the English and Russians seemed sad, and their officers rather
bored, too. Tea and cakes and conversation were no compensation in
the eyes of the Danes, who love to dance, for the American naval
bands and the claret punch of Admiral Badger's men--the navy was
'wet' then! I have no doubt, however, that the English chargé
d'affaires and the Russian Minister, were not obliged to see so many
lovelorn damsels, asking for the addresses or for news of various
sailor men, to whom they were engaged or expected to be. _Calypso ne
pouvait pas consoler_--for a time; but one or two marriages did
actually occur! The dancing of the American officers, and the weather
had been so 'marvellous'! How these enterprising sailor men managed
to engage themselves to young persons who spoke no English and
understood no language but Danish it was difficult to understand.
They had lost no time, however, but I left the problem to the
Consulate. The officers had been more discreet.

Many times before the English and Russian ships left the Sound, the
question, What will the Germans do now? was asked. The Copenhageners,
as I have said, like the old Athenians, are much given to the
repeating of new things. 'Now all the Athenians and strangers that
were there' (the Danes call diplomatists 'strangers') 'employed
themselves in nothing else but either in telling or in hearing some
new things,' says St. Luke. This makes Copenhagen a most amusing
place, though, unlike the Athenians, the Danes only talk of new
things in their moments of leisure.

One day just before the English and Russian vessels left, the
question as to what Germany would do was answered. A Zeppelin from
Berlin sailed over the masts of the English and Russian ships.
Copenhagen was indignant, but amused. We were invited to take the
trip back to Berlin in the Zeppelin--the fare was one hundred
kroner, or rather marks. What could be more pacific? But the Zeppelin
continued to float majestically, by preference over that space in the
Sound occupied by the English and Russians. Was it a threat? Was it a
notice served to these possible enemies that Germany had more
powerful instruments, more insidious, more deadly, than even the
great gun of the _Lion_ which we had admired so much?

It was a portent in the sky! I reported it to my Government. It
seemed significant enough.



CHAPTER XI

THE PRELIMINARIES TO THE PURCHASE OF THE DANISH ANTILLES


The more I studied the relations of Germany to Denmark, the more
important it seemed to me that a great nation like ours, bound by the
most solemn oaths to the vindication of the cause of liberty and even
to the protection of the little nations, should have a special
interest in a country which deserved our respect and sympathy.

As I have said, the Danes never for a moment forgot the loss of
Slesvig, and never ceased to fear the mightily growing power of which
that loss had been the foundation. If Germany, whose future was on
the sea, had not acquired Slesvig, would Kiel and the good Danish
sailors she acquired with Slesvig, have been possible as a means of
her aggrandisement?

Danish diplomatists seemed to think that Germany, now that she had
created the Kiel Canal, had no further designs on Denmark, whom the
Pan-Germans continued, however, to call, 'our Northern province.'
This was the opinion of Hegermann-Lindencrone, of Raben-Levitzau, and
I have heard a similar opinion credited to the present Danish
Minister at Berlin, Count Carl Moltke, though he did not express it
to me. My old friend, Count Holstein-Ledreborg, was not altogether of
that opinion. 'In case of war with England, Denmark would be seized
by our neighbour, naturally,' he said; 'unless we go carefully we
are doomed to absorption.' Count Holstein-Ledreborg knew Germany
well. He had lived in that country for many years, having shaken the
dust of his native land from his soles because many of his friends
and relatives--in fact, nearly all the aristocratic class in
Denmark--had practically turned their backs on him on account of his
political Liberalism. This he told me. He had returned, with his
family, to his beautiful estate at Ledreborg, and, for a short time,
became prime minister, in order to do what seemed impossible--to
unite the factions in Parliament in favour of a bill for the defence
of the kingdom. Against England? England had no designs. Against
Russia? Russia was allied to France, and she could hardly join hands
with Germany. The intentions of the Kaiser? But the Kaiser seemed to
be a peaceful opportunist. Even the acute Lord Morley had more than
once, in conversation, put him down as a lover of peace; but--There
was always a 'but' and the General Staff of the German Army!

Study the personality of the important personages as one might, there
were always these things to be considered as obstacles to clear
vision:--the growing corruption of principle in the Reichstag and
among the German people, if Hamburg represented them, and the point
of view of the military caste. In 1911 the increasing riches--the
thirst for money had become a veritable passion--of the German people
seemed to indicate that one of the principal obstacles to aggression
which would involve war was being rapidly removed. The difference
between the American desire for money and the German was, as I was
often compelled to point out, that, while the German desired great
possessions to have and to hold, the American wanted them in order to
use them; and, in spite of the industrious 'muck rakers,' it was
evident that our enormously rich men were not hoarding their wealth
for the sake of greed and selfish power as the German rich were
doing. Possibly, as our Government does nothing for art or for music
or for the people in need, there is a greater necessity for private
benevolence than in countries where the Government subsidises even
the opera. Nevertheless, the fact remains; the European rich man
hoarded more than the American. And Germany, in spite of the
extravagance of Berlin and the great cities, was hoarding. It was a
bad sign for the world.

Of Slesvig, Prince Bismarck said in 1864, 'Dat möt wi hebben.' He
was terribly in earnest, and he spoke in his own Low German. At any
moment, the Kaiser might say of Denmark, 'Her must we have.' But how
foolish this statement must seem to the Pacifists and all the more
foolish in the mind of a Minister who ought not to be carried away by
rumour or guesses or to be determined by anything but the exact
truth!

It would have been foolish if, in 1911, a serious man behind the
scenes could have trusted any country in the European concert to act
in any way that was not for its own national ends. A damaging
confession this, but the truth is the truth. We all know how amazed
some statesmen were when President Roosevelt refused the Chinese
spoil, when Cuba was restored, and promises to the Filipinos began to
be kept. If Denmark should be 'assumed,' the Danish Antilles would be
the property of the nation that 'assumed' it. As it was apparently to
the interest of the Pan-Germans to keep the Danes in suspense, and,
as most of the Danes distrusted the intentions of their neighbours,
it was not well to assume that there was smoke and no fire.

Besides, were there not other powers who might find it to their
advantage to prevent the Danish West Indies from falling into our
hands? We were not, from 1907 to 1914, in such a state of security as
we imagined, in spite of our system of peace treaties. _Dans les
coulisses_ of all countries, there was a certain amount of cynicism
as to the effect of these peace treaties, and very little belief,
except among the international lawyers, that anything binding or
serious had been accomplished by them. After all, my business was to
hoe my own row, but I listened with great respect to such men as my
colleague, now the Norwegian Minister at Stockholm, Mr. Francis
Hagerup, and other legal-minded men. However, I determined to make
the task of saving the Islands from 'assimilation' as easy as
possible for my successor or his successor. I hoped, of course, for
the chance of doing something worth while for the country seemed to
be mine, and President Wilson--I shall always be most grateful to
him--gave me the happiness of doing humbly what I could.

In 1907 I found that the irritation caused by the attitude of our
Government in the matter of the Islands had not worn away. The
majority of the Danes had really never wanted to sell the Islands.
'Why should a great country like yours want to force us to sell the
Danish Antilles? You pretend to be democratic, but you are really
imperialists. It is not a question of money with us; it is a question
of honour. Your country has approached us only on the side of
money--and when you knew that our poverty consented.'

This was the substance of conservative opinion. There was a
widespread distrust, especially among the upper classes in Denmark,
as to our intentions. The title of a brochure written by James Parton
in 1869 was often quoted against us, for the Danes have long
memories. It was entitled _The Danish West Indies: Are we Bound in
Honour to pay for Them?_ 'An arrogant nation, no longer democratic'
because we had seized the Philippines! It must be said that a
minister desiring to make a good impression on the people had little
help from the press at home. Foreign affairs were treated as of no
real importance in the organs of what is called our popular opinion.
The American point of view, as so well understood over all the world
now, was not explained; but sensational stories describing the
exaggerated splendours of our millionaires, frightful tales of
lynching in the South, the creation of an American Versailles on
Staten Island, which would make the Sun King in the Shades grow pale
with envy, the luxuries of American ladies, were invariably
reproduced in the Danish papers. President Roosevelt was looked upon
as the one idealist in a nation mad for money, and even he had a
tremendous fall in the estimation of the Radicals when he spoke of a
Conservative democracy in Copenhagen. It was necessary to overcome a
number of prejudices which were constantly being fostered, partly by
our own estimate of ourselves as presented by the Scandinavian papers
in extracts from our own.

Then, again, the real wealth of our people, our art and
literature--which count greatly in Denmark--were practically unknown.
Everything seemed to be against us. The press was either contemptuous
or condescending; we were not understood.

It is true that nearly every family in Denmark had some
representative in the United States, but their representatives were,
as a rule, hard-working people, who had no time to give to the study
of the things of the mind among us. In spite of all their
misconceptions, which I proposed to dissipate to the best of my
ability, I found the Danes the most interesting people I had ever
come in contact with, except the French, and, I think the most
civilised. There was one thing certain:--if the Danish West India
Islands were so dear to Denmark that it would be a wound to her
national pride to suggest the sale of them to us, no such suggestion
ought to be made by an American Minister. First, national pride is a
precious thing to a nation, and the more precious when that nation
has been great in power, and remains great in heart in spite of its
apparently dwindling importance. It was necessary, then, to discover
whether the Danes could, in deference to their natural desire to see
their flag still floating in the Atlantic Ocean, retain the Islands,
and rule them in accordance with their ideals. Their ideals were very
high. They hoped that they could so govern them that the inhabitants
of the Islands might be fairly prosperous and happy under their rule.
They were not averse to expending large sums annually to make up the
deficit occasioned by the possession of them. The Colonial Lottery
was depended upon to assist in making up this budget. The Danes have
no moral objections to lotteries, and the most important have
governmental sanction.

Under the administrations of Presidents Roosevelt and Taft it was
useless to attempt to reopen the question. All negotiations, since
the first in 1865, had failed. That of 1902, and the accompanying
scandals, the Danes preferred to forget. President Roosevelt's
opinion as to the necessity of our possessing the Islands was well
known. In 1902 the project for the sale had been defeated in the
Danish Upper House by one vote. Mr. John Hay attributed this to
German influence, though the Princess Marie, wife of Prince
Valdemar, a remarkably clever woman, had much to do with it, and she
could not be reasonably accused of being under German domination. The
East-Asiatic Company was against the sale and likewise a great number
of Danes whose association with the Islands had been traditional.
Herr Ballin denied that the German opposition existed; he seemed to
think that both France and England looked on the proposition coldly.
At any rate, he said that Denmark gave no concessions to German
maritime trade that the United States would not give, and that the
property of the Hamburg-American Line would be quite as safe in the
hands of the United States as in those of Denmark. In 1867 Denmark
had declined to sell the Islands for $5,000,000, but offered to
accept $10,000,000 for St. John and St. Thomas, or $15,000,000 for
the three. Secretary Seward raised the price to $7,500,000 in gold
for St. Thomas, St. John and Santa Cruz. Denmark was willing to
accept $7,500,000 for St. Thomas and St. John; Santa Cruz, in which
the French had some rights, might be had for $3,750,000 additional.
Secretary Seward, after some delay, agreed to give $7,500,000 for the
two islands, St. Thomas and St. John. The people of St. John and St.
Thomas voted in favour of the cession. In 1902 $5,000,000 was offered
by the United States. Diligent inquiries into the failure of the
sale, although the Hon. Henry White, well and favourably known in
Denmark, was sent over in its interest, received the answer from
those who had been behind the scenes, '$5,000,000 was not enough,
unaccompanied by a concession that might have deprived the
transaction of a merely mercenary character.'

At that time Germany might have preferred to see the Islands in the
hands of the United States rather than in those of any other
European power. It was apparently to the interest of the United
States to encourage the activities of that great artery of
emigration, the Hamburg-American Line. She did not believe that the
United States would fail to raise the spectre of the Monroe Doctrine
against either of the nations who owned Bermuda or Mauritius, if one
of them proposed to place her flag over St. Thomas.

In 1892 the question of Spain's buying St. Thomas, in order to defend
Puerto Rico, thrown out by an obscure journalist, was a theory to
laugh at. Germany was practically indifferent to our acquisition of
islands on the Atlantic coast that might possibly bring us one day in
collision with either England or France. As to the Pacific, her point
of view was different.

Her politicians even then cherished the sweet hope that the Irish in
the United States and Canada might force the hand of our Government
against 'perfidious Albion' if the slightest provocation was given.
Besides, in 1868, Germany had done her worst to the Danes. She had
taken Slesvig, and had ruined Denmark financially; she had made Kiel
the centre of her naval hopes; she could neither assume Denmark nor
borrow the $7,500,000--then a much greater sum than now--for her own
purposes. I have never had reason to believe that Germany prevented
the sale of the Danish Antilles in 1902.

The Congressional Examination of the scandalous rumours that might
have reflected on the honour of certain Danish gentlemen and of some
of our own Congressmen are a matter of record, and show no traces of
any such domination. Curiously enough, there was a persistent rumour
of a secret treaty with Denmark which gave the United States an
option on the Islands. No such treaty existed, and no Danish Minister
of Foreign Affairs of my acquaintance would have dreamed of
proposing such an arrangement.

It is hardly necessary to dwell here on the value of these Islands to
the United States. President Roosevelt, President Wilson, Senator
Lodge, most persistently, made the necessity of possessing these
islands, through legitimate purchase, very plain.

The completion of the Panama Canal increased their already great
importance. If such men as Seward, Foster, Olney, Root, Hay, and our
foremost naval experts considered them worth buying before the issues
raised by the creation of the Panama Canal were practical, how much
more valuable had they become when that marvellous work was
completed! Many interests contributed to the desirability of our
acquiring islands in the West Indies--every additional island being
of value to us--but the great public seemed to see this as through a
glass--darkly.

Puerto Rico was of little value in a strategic way without the Danish
Antilles. A cursory examination of the map will show that Puerto
Rico, with no harbours for large vessels and its long coast line,
would offer no defences against alien forces. Naval experts had
clearly seen the hopelessness of defending San Juan. Major Glassford,
of the Signal Corps, in a report often quoted and carefully studied
by people intelligently interested in the active enforcement of the
Monroe Doctrine rather than its mere statement as a method of defence
on paper, said that 'St. Thomas might be converted into a second
Gibraltar.' He was right. The frightful menace of the cession of
Heligoland to Germany was an example of what might happen if we
failed to look carefully to the future. Besides, even those advocates
of peace, right or wrong, who infested our country before the war,
who were not sympathetic with the acquisition of territory, ought to
have remembered that one of the best guarantees of peace was to leave
nothing to fight about as far as these islands of value in our
relations 'to the region of the Orinoco and the Amazon' and the
Windward Passages were concerned. The German occupation of
Brazil--increasing so greatly that the Brazilians were alarmed, the
European prejudices, made evident during the Spanish-American War as
existing in South and Central America--were all occasions for
thought.

'The harbour of Charlotte Amalie,' wrote Major Glassford, writing of
St. Thomas, 'and the numerous sheltered places about the island offer
six and seven fathoms of water. Besides, this harbour and the
roadsteads are on the southern side of the island, completely
protected from the prevailing strong winds. If this place were
strongly fortified and provisioned'--the number of inhabitants are
small compared with Puerto Rico--'it would be necessary for an enemy
contemplating a descent upon Puerto Rico to take it into account
first. The location on the north-east side of the Antilles is in
close proximity to many of the passages into the Caribbean Sea, and
affords an excellent point of observation near the European
possessions in the archipelago. It is also a centre of the West
Indian submarine cable systems, being about midway between the
Windward Passage and the Trinidad entrance into the Caribbean Sea.'

Other interests distracted attention from the essential value of
these islands for local reasons, party reasons, which are the curse
of all modern systems of government. The failure to purchase the
Islands in 1892 did not discourage Senator Lodge. On March 31st,
1898, the Committee on Foreign Affairs reported a bill authorising
the President to buy the Danish West India Islands for a naval and
coal station. On this bill, Senator Lodge made a most interesting and
valuable report, in which he said, after stating that the fine
harbour of St. Thomas possessed all the required naval and military
conditions--'It has been pointed out by Captain Mahan, as one of the
great strategic points in the West Indies.' 'The Danish Islands,' he
concluded, 'could easily be governed as a territory, could be readily
defended from attack, occupy a commanding strategic position, and are
of incalculable value to the United States, not only as part of the
national defences, but as removing by their possession a very
probable cause of foreign complications.'

My predecessors in Denmark, Messrs. Risley, Carr, Svendsen, were of
this opinion. The arguments of Mr. Carr, expressed in his despatches,
are invincible. Mr. O'Brien, who was minister plenipotentiary to
Denmark until he was sent as ambassador to Japan, saw, as I did, in
1907, that the Danes and their Government were in no mood to accept
any suggestions on the subject. However, I discussed the matter
academically with each minister of Foreign Affairs, saying that the
United States would make no proposition at any time which might
offend the national self-respect of the Danes, that in fact, as
valuable as the Islands would be to us and as expedient as it might
be for the Danes to sell them to us, their Government must give some
unequivocal sign that it was willing to part with them before we
should seriously take up the question again. Neither Count
Raben-Levitzau nor Count William Ahlefeldt-Laurvig gave me any
official encouragement, though I hardly expected it as I had taken
means to sound public opinion on my own account. Both Count
Raben-Levitzau and Count Ahlefeldt were Liberal Ministers of Foreign
Affairs, and I knew that, if there was any hope that a sale might be
made, they would give me reasonable encouragement. Besides, I was
doubtful whether the price--which might probably be asked--reasonable
enough in my eyes and in the eyes of those European diplomatists who
knew what Heligoland and Gibraltar meant to Germany and to
England--would not have raised such an outcry among voters at home,
who had not yet learned to weigh any transaction with a foreign
Government--except commercially, in terms of dollars and cents, that
another failure might have followed. It was out of the question to
risk that.

Many of my friends among the more conservative of the Danes scorned
the idea of the sale on any terms. Among these was Admiral de
Richelieu, whose father is buried in St. Thomas, and who is the most
intense of Danish patriots. If objections to the sale on the part of
my best friends in Denmark had governed me, I should have despaired
of it. However, my friends, like de Richelieu, felt that our
Government would be glad to see the Danish West India Islands
improved as far as the Danes could improve them. De Richelieu,
Etatsraad Andersen--Etatsraad meaning Councillor of State--Holger
Petersen, Director Cold, formerly Governor of the Islands, Hegemann,
who bore the high title of _Geheimekonferensraad_, were among those
most interested in the Islands.

Hegemann, since dead, was the only one of the group who thought that
the Danish Government could never either improve the Islands socially
or make them pay commercially. 'The Danes are bad colonisers,' he
said. He was a man of great common-sense, of wide experience, and a
philanthropist who never let his head run away with his heart. He did
a great deal for technical education in Denmark. In fact, there was
scarcely any movement for the betterment of the country economically
in which he was not interested. He had great properties in the island
of Santa Cruz; but he looked on the Danish possession of the Islands
as bad for the reputation of his native country and worse for the
progress of the Islands and the Islanders. 'The present Government is
too mild in its treatment of the blacks,' he said; 'equality, liberty
and fraternity, the motto of the ruling party, is excellent, but it
will not work in the Islands.' Besides, the construction of the
Panama Canal was drawing the best labourers from them. He was
interested in sugar and even in sea cotton; he thought that, the
tariff restrictions being removed and a market for labour made,
something might be done by us towards making the Islands a profitable
investment. I was entirely indifferent as to that--our great need of
the Islands was not for commercial uses.

The prevailing opinion in Court circles was against the sale, based
on no antagonism to the United States, but on the desire that Denmark
should not lose more of its territory. The Faroe Islands, Greenland
and Iceland were still appendages; but Iceland was always restive,
and Greenland seemed, in the eyes of the Danes, to have only the
value of remotely useful territory. They had been shorn of territory
by England, by Sweden, and, last of all, by Germany.

Our Government, knowing well how strong the national pride was, and
how reasonable, permitted me to show it the greatest consideration.
When the East-Asiatic Company, which had important holdings in St.
Thomas, proposed that the national sentiment should be tested, and
each Danish citizen asked to make a pecuniary sacrifice for the
retention of the Islands, I was permitted to express sympathy with
the movement, and to assist it in every way compatible with my
position.

The attempt failed. It was evident that the majority of the people,
whatever were their sentiments, knew that it was impracticable to
attempt to govern the Islands from such a distance. If it had been
possible to retain them with honour, with justice to the inhabitants,
who for a long time had been desirous of union with the United
States, no amount of money would have induced Denmark to part with
the last of her colonial possessions. As it was, the prospect was not
at all clear.

In modern times, a man who aspires to do his duty in diplomacy must
be honest and reasonably frank. To pretend to admire the institutions
of a nation, to affect a sympathy one does not feel, with a view to
obtaining something of advantage to one's own country, was no doubt
possible when foxes were preternaturally cunning and crows
unbelievingly vain, but not now. The whole question of the Islands
was a matter which must be settled by the commonsense of the Danes at
the expense of their sentiment; no pressure on our part could be
used, short of such arguments as might point to the forcible
possession of the Islands temporarily in case of war; but the fact
that the United States preferred to give what seemed to be an
enormous sum--(though $25,000,000 have to-day scarcely the purchasing
power of the $15,000,000 demanded for the three Islands from
Secretary Seward in 1867)--rather than run the risk of future
unpleasant complications with a small and friendly State, showed that
the intentions of our Government were on a par with its professions.

When the proposed sale of the Islands stopped, largely because
Senator Sumner disliked President Johnson, and the treaty lapsed in
1870 in spite of the support of Secretary Fish, King Christian IX.
wrote, in a proclamation to the people of the Danish Islands--a
majority of whom had consented to the proposed sale,--'The American
Senate has not shown itself willing to maintain the treaty made,
although the initiative came from the United States themselves.' The
king had only consented to the sale to lighten the terrible financial
burdens imposed on his country by the unjust war which Germany and
Austria had forced upon Denmark with a view to the theft of Slesvig;
and his consent would never have been given had not Secretary Seward,
the predecessor of Secretary Fish, reluctantly agreed that the vote
of the inhabitants should be taken. He was more democratic than Mr.
Seward.

King Christian would not sign the treaty, which gave $7,500,000 to
Denmark for the two Islands of St. Thomas and St. John, until Mr.
Seward consented to 'concede the vote.' The Danes were frank in
admitting that their 'poverty, but not their will,' consented. 'Ready
as We were to subdue the feelings of Our heart, when We thought that
duty bade Us so to do,' continued the king in his proclamation, 'yet
We cannot otherwise than feel a satisfaction that circumstances have
relieved Us from making a sacrifice which, notwithstanding the
advantages held out, would always have been painful to Us. We are
convinced that You share these sentiments, and that it is with a
lightened heart You are relieved from the consent which only at Our
request You gave for a separation from the Danish crown.'

The king added that he entertained the firm belief that his
Government, supported by the Islanders, would succeed in making real
progress, and end by effacing all remembrances of the disasters that
had come upon them, his overseas dominions. Affairs in the mother
country did look up; the Danes developed their country, in spite of
the worst climatic conditions, into a land famous for its scientific
farming. A wit has said that Denmark, after the loss of Slesvig, was
divided like old Gaul, itself, into three parts,--butter, eggs and
bacon. The Danes, cast into a condition of moral despondency and
temporal poverty, with their national pride stricken, and their soil
outworn, seized the things of the spirit and made material things
subservient. Religion and patriotism, developed by Bishop Grundtvig,
saved the mother country; but the Islands continued to go through
various stages of hope and fear. The United States was too near and
Denmark too far off. Home politics were generally paramount, and each
new governor was always obliged to consider the sensitiveness of his
Government to the amount of expenditure allowed. There were persons
in power at home who seemed to see the Islands from the point of view
of Bernardin de Saint Pierre--sentimentally. The happy black men were
to dance under spreading palms, gently guided by Danish Pauls and
Virginias! The black men were only too willing to dance under palms,
whether spreading or not, and to be guided by any idyllic persons
who, leaving them the pleasures of existence, would take the trials.
All the governors suffered more or less from the Rousseau-like point
of view taken by the Government. Mr. Helvig Larsen was the last who
was expected to be 'idyllic.' One of the fears often expressed to me
was that 'the Americans would treat the blacks badly--we have all
read _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, you know.'

Even Her Majesty, the Dowager Queen Louise, one of the best-informed
women in Europe, had her doubts about our attitude to the negroes.
'You have black nurses,' Her Majesty said to me; 'why are your
people, especially in the South, not more kind to their race?' Queen
Louise, who was sincerely interested in the welfare of her coloured
subjects, would listen to reason. I sent her the _Soul of the Black_,
which shows unconsciously why social equality in this case would be
undesirable, but not until Booker Washington's visit did Her Majesty
understand the attitude that sensible Americans, who know the South,
take on the subject of the social equality of our coloured
fellow-citizens. During my stay in Europe this matter was frequently
discussed.

Some of my German colleagues politely insinuated that 'democracy' was
little practised in a country where a President could be severely
censured for inviting a coloured man of distinction to lunch. And
nearly all the Danes of the modern school took this point of view.
The naval officers, who are always better informed as to foreign
conditions than most other men, readily understood that social
equality assumes a meaning in the United States which would imply the
probability of what is known as 'amalgamation.' While the German
critic of our conditions might very well understand the impossible
barrier of caste in his own country and object to 'permanent
marriages' with women of the inferior 'yellow' races, he seemed to
think that the laws in some of the United States against the
marriages of blacks and whites were un-Christian and illogical.

'But you would not encourage such marriages?' I asked of one of the
most distinguished Danes at the Copenhagen University.

'Why not?' he asked.

From my point of view, the case was hopeless. And every now and then
an extract from an American paper, containing the account of a
lynching with all the gruesome details described, would be translated
into Danish. I never believed in censoring the press until I came to
occupy a responsible position in Denmark. I confess, _mea
culpa_!--that I wanted many times to have the right to say what
should or should not be reprinted for foreign consumption! The
newspapers seemed to have no regard for the plans of the
diplomatists, believing news is news! There will always be the
irrepressible conflict!

One of my wife's friends in Denmark, the late Countess Rantzau, born
of the famous theatrical family of the Poulsens, who was well-read,
and who knew her Europe well, produced one day an old embroidered
screen for my benefit. There were the palms; there was an ancient
African with a turban on his very woolly head; there was a complacent
young person in stiff skirts seated at his feet, looking up to him
with adoring eyes. 'Antique?' I asked, preparing to admire the work
of art; the tropical foliage of acanthus leaves was so flourishing in
the tapestry, and the luncheon had been so good!

'It is not as a work of art that I show it to the American Minister,
but to let him know that we Danes love the virtues of the blacks.
This is Uncle Tom and Little Eva!'

It was intended to soften a hard heart!

In October 1910 Mr. Andrew Carnegie telegraphed that Mr. Booker
Washington would pay a visit to Denmark. I had met Mr. Booker
Washington with Mr. Richard Watson Gilder in New York, and I admired
him very greatly. However, I felt that I should be embarrassed by
his visit, as I knew both King Frederick and Queen Louise were
interested in him and would not only expect me to present him, but
likewise--they were the fine flowers of courtesy--wish my wife and
myself to dine at Amalieborg Palace with him. When Admiral
Bardenfleth, the queen's chamberlain, came to inquire as to when Mr.
Booker Washington should arrive, I suggested that Her Majesty, who
had often shown her high appreciation of Mr. Washington's work, might
like to talk with him informally, as I knew that she had many
questions to ask, and that he himself would be more at his ease if I
were not present. The Admiral thanked me. I said the same thing to
the Master of Ceremonies of the Court when he came on behalf of the
king.

For charm of manner, ease, the simplicity that conceals the
perfection of social art, and at least apparent sympathy with one's
difficulties, let the high officials of the Court of Denmark be
commended! The Master of Ceremonies was delighted. Their Majesties
would miss me from the introduction and regret that Mrs. Egan and I
would not be present at the dinner, which, however, would be earlier
than usual, as I had said that Mr. Booker Washington must catch a
train; it would also be very unceremonious. His Majesty would ask
only his immediate _entourage_.

I was pleased with myself (a fatal sign by the way!); Mr. Washington
would have all the honour due him. I arranged to attend his lecture,
with all the Americans I could collect. I sent the landau with two
men on the box, including the magnificent Arthur and the largest
cockades, to meet Mr. Washington. In 1910, King Frederick used only
carriages and the diplomatists followed his example, though some of a
more advanced temperament had taken to motor cars. Mr. Washington
was pleased. He loved the landau and the cockades, and Arthur, our
first man, who had been 'in diplomacy twenty-five years,' treated him
with distinction.

'You have honoured my people and my work most delicately,' he said to
me. 'I thank you for sending me the king's invitation to dinner to
the Hôtel d'Angleterre. Too much public talk of this honour in the
United States would do my people and myself much harm. I will make,
in print, an acknowledgment of your courtesy, so effective and so
agreeable. To have my work recognised in this manner by the most
advanced Court in Europe is indeed worth while, and to have this
honour without too much publicity is indeed agreeable.'

Mr. Washington's lecture had been a great success. It had helped,
too, to do away with the impression that lynching is to the Americans
of North America what bull fights are to those of South America. The
most awkward question constantly put to me at Court and in society
was, 'But why do you lynch the black men?'

Filled with satisfaction at the result of my machinations (a bad
state of mind, as I have said), I was bending over my desk one
morning when two correspondents of American newspapers were
announced. They came from London; I had met them both before.

'Cigars?'

'Yes. We do not want to give you trouble, Mr. Minister; you were very
decent to us all in the Cook affair, but we shall make a good story
out of this Booker Washington visit, and we think it is only fair to
say that we are going to 'feature' you. There is nothing much doing
now, and we've been asked to work this thing up. We know on the best
authority that the king will give a dinner to Booker Washington; you
will respond with a reception; Mrs. Egan will be taken in to dinner
by Mr. Washington; there will be lots of ladies there--in a word,
we'll get as big a sensation out of it as the newspapers did out of
the Roosevelt-Booker Washington incident. It will do you good in the
North, and, as you're a Philadelphian, you need not care what the
South thinks.'

These gentlemen meant to be kind; they were dropping me into a hole
kindly, but they _were_ letting me into a hole!

'It is not a question as to _how_ I feel,' I said; 'it is a question
of raising unpleasant discussions, of injuring the coloured people by
holding out false hopes, which, hurried into action, excite new
prejudices against them. President Roosevelt, when he invited Booker
Washington to lunch, acted as I should like to act now, but I would
regret the ill-feeling raised by discussions of such an incident as
greatly as he regretted it; but,' I added, 'you have your duty to
your papers, which must have news, although the heavens fall. If my
wife is taken in to dinner by Mr. Booker Washington at Court, if I
give the reception you speak of----'

'You will,' said the elder newspaper man, joyously; 'it is a matter
of rigid etiquette. We have a private tip!'

'Very well, when I do these things, I shall not complain if you
headline them.'

'Sensation in Denmark,' he read, from a slip. 'Wife of American
Minister is taken in to Dinner by Representative Coloured Man.
Perfect Social Equality Exemplified by Reception to Mr. Booker
Washington at American Legation! London will like you all the better
for that,' he said, laughing.

'As "tout Paris" liked President Roosevelt,' I answered.

I shivered a little. 'Come to lunch to-morrow, but do not let us talk
on this subject. If I am compelled by etiquette, as you insist I
shall, I'll swallow the headlines. I shall ask Mr. Hartvig of some
London papers and the _New York World_ to meet you.' And off they
went!

If I were a Spartan person and really loved to perform my duties in
the most idealistic way, I should have treated the situation greatly,
nobly, and unselfishly; I should not have been pleased at the
prospect of cheating my journalistic friends out of a good story;
but, not being Spartan and really not loving difficult duties, I felt
that I had done enough in giving them a luncheon worthy of the
reputation of our Legation, with _sole à la Bernaise_ and the best
Sauterne.

Mr. Washington called before he went to the king's dinner; he was all
smiles, and his evening suit was perfect. He said 'good-bye,' and I
was thankful that the event of his visit was over; he was not only
satisfied, but radiant and grateful.

Consul-General Bond and his wife, Dr. Brochardt, of the Library of
Congress, and several other interesting people were to come in, to
dine and to play bridge this evening. I fancied the disappointment of
the newspaper men when they should arrive, to find no reception in
progress and no Booker Washington. I think I told my guests of the
remarkably clever way--I hope I did not use that phrase--by which
they had been outwitted.

We were about to go into the drawing-room for coffee when a card was
brought in. 'Mr. Booker Washington.' Some of the guests, those from
the South especially, wanted to see him; but I trembled when I
imagined the scene that would meet the reporters, who were, I knew,
sure to come about nine o'clock. The drawing-room would be
brilliantly lighted, half a dozen charming ladies in evening gowns
would be there, surrounding the eminent apostle! Enter the writers,
and then would follow an elaborate sketch of the social function to
be described as a New Step in Social Evolution, the Dawn of a New
Day, a Symbol of Entire Social Equality. I knew that the elder
newspaper man, a friend of Stead's, was quite capable of all this!

'Coffee will be served in my study,' I said, not waiting to consult
my wife. 'I will see Mr. Washington, at least for a moment, _alone_.'

The group of guests moved off reluctantly. Mr. Washington waited in
the back drawing-room, where both the Kaiser and Colonel Roosevelt
had once stood, though at different times. His train would be late;
he came in the fulness of his heart, to tell me that King Frederick
and Queen Louise had been most sympathetic. He was enthusiastic about
the discernment and commonsense of Queen Louise, who had read his
book and followed every step of his work with great interest. 'I was
glad to have Her Majesty know that the best men of my race are with
me, that the opposition to me comes, not from the whites, but from
that element in my own race which wants to enjoy the luxuries of life
and its leisure without working! I thank you again, Mr. Minister, for
arranging this affair in such a way as to preserve my dignity and to
prevent me from appearing as if I were vain; yet I am legitimately
proud of the great honour I have received. I shall now go to my
hotel, and arrange for my departure.'

'I have ordered the carriage,' I said.

Just then, the footman threw the doors open, and in came the two
newspaper men, resplendent as a starry night, one wearing a Russian
decoration.

'Alone?' he said.

'With Dr. Booker Washington.'

'The reception?'

'Dr. Booker Washington has just come to describe his dinner at the
Court. Let me present you two gentlemen. Dr. Washington has little
time; if you will accompany him to the hotel, he will, I am sure,
give you an interview. Mr. Hartvig of the _New York World_ will be
present, too.'

'Stung!' said the younger newspaper man.

'Lunch with me to-morrow,' I said; 'I have some white Bordeaux.'

Dr. Washington gave a prudent interview and the incident was closed.
May he rest in peace. He was a great man, a modest, intelligent and
humble man, and no calumny can lessen his greatness.

This is a digression to show that the social question in the United
States, much as it might have seemed to people who looked on Denmark
as entirely out of our orbit, had its importance in the affair of the
purchase of the Islands, which then interested me more than anything
else in the world.

Pastor Bast was the only Methodist clergyman in Copenhagen. His good
works are proverbial and not confined to his own denomination. The
Methodists were few; indeed, I think that even Pastor Bast's children
were Lutherans. Having recommended one of his charities, I was asked
by a very benevolent Dane:

'Are the Methodists really Christians in America?'

'Why do you ask that question?'

'I have read that there is a division in their ranks because most of
them refuse to admit black people on equal terms. If that is so, I
cannot help Pastor Bast's project, although I can see that it has
value.'

It was in vain to explain the difference of opinion on the
'Afro-American question' which separated the Northern and Southern
Methodists; he could not understand it. I hope, however, that Pastor
Bast received his donation.

       *       *       *       *       *

In August 1910, the unrest in Europe, reflected in Denmark, was
becoming more and more evident. The diplomatic correspondents during
the succeeding years--some of it has been made public--showed this.

Japan, it was understood, would, with the Mexican difficulty, keep
the United States out of any entanglements in Europe. So sure were
some of the distinguished Danes of our neutrality in case of war--a
contingency in which nobody in the United States seemed to
believe--that I was asked to submit to my Government, not
officially, a proposal to Denmark for the surrender of Greenland to
us, we to give, in return, the most important island in the
Philippines--Mindanao. Denmark was to have the right to transfer to
Germany this island for Northern Slesvig. The Danish Government had
no knowledge of this plan, which was, however, presented in detail to
me.

Against it was urged the necessity of Denmark's remaining on good
terms with Germany. 'We could never be on good terms with our
Southern Neighbour, if we possessed Slesvig; besides, the younger
Danes in Slesvig are so tied up with Germany economically that their
position would be more complicated. 'In fact,' this Slesviger said,
'though I hate the Prussian tyranny, I fear that our last state would
be worse than our first. Germany might accept the Philippine Island,
and retake Slesvig afterwards. Unless we could be protected by the
Powers, we should regard the bargain as a bad one. Besides, England
would never allow you to take Greenland.' It was an interesting
discussion _in camera_.

These discussions were always informal--generally after luncheon--and
very enlightening. Admiral de Richelieu, who will never die content
until Slesvig is returned to Denmark, looked on the arrangement as
possible.

'Germany wants peace with you; she could help you to police the
Philippines; Greenland would be more valuable to you than to us,--and
Slesvig would be again Danish.'

'But suppose we should propose to take the Danish Antilles for
Mindanao?' I asked.

'Out of the question,' he said, firmly. 'You will never induce us to
part with the West Indies. We can make them an honourable appendage
to our nation; but Greenland, with your resources, might become
another Alaska.'

De Richelieu is one of the best friends I have in the world; but,
when it came to the sale of the Islands, he saw, not only red, but
scarlet, vermilion, crimson and all the tints and shades of red!

In 1915, it seemed to me that my time had come to make an attempt to
do what nearly every American statesman of discernment had, since
Seward's time, wanted done. It must be remembered that, if I seem
egoistical, I am telling the story from the point of view of a
minister who had no arbitrary instructions from his Government, and
very little information as to what was going on in the minds of his
countrymen as to the expediency of the purchase. It is seldom
possible to explain exactly the daily varying aspect of foreign
politics in a European country to the State Department; if one keeps
one's ear to the ground, one often discovers the beginning of social
and political vibrations in the evening which have quite vanished
when one makes a report to one's Government in the morning. Again,
mails are slow; we had no pouch; any document, even when closed by
the august seal of the United States might be opened 'by mistake.'
Long cables, filled with minutiæ, were too expensive to be
encouraged. Besides, they might be deciphered and filed by
under-clerks, who probably thought that 'Dr. Cook had put Denmark on
the Map,'--only that, and nothing more! I knew one thing--that my
colleague, Constantin Brun, was for the sale; another, that Erik de
Scavenius, the youngest Minister of Foreign Affairs in Europe, was as
clever as he was patriotic and honourable, and as resourceful as
audacious. He had an Irish grandfather. That explained much. Another
thing I assumed--that my Government trusted me, and had given me,
without explicitly stating the fact, _carte blanche_. However, I
prepared myself to be disavowed by the State Department if I went too
far. I knew that, provided I was strictly honourable, such a
disavowal would mean a promotion on the part of the President. I had
done my best to accentuate the good reasons given by my predecessors,
especially Carr and Risley, for they were beyond denial, for our
buying the Islands. One despatch I had sent off in May or June 1915,
almost in despair, a despatch in which I repeated the fear of German
aggression and quoted Heligoland, which had become as much a part of
my thoughts and talk in private as the appearance of the head of
Charles I. in that of Dickens's eccentric character.

In June 1915, no nation had the time or the leisure or the means of
interfering with the project, for war means concentration, and I had
found means of knowing that Germany would not coerce Denmark in the
matter. I hoped and prayed that our Government would take action. I
knew, not directly, but through trusted friends like Robert Underwood
Johnson, lately Editor of _The Century Magazine_, what point of view
nearly every important journal in the United States would take.
Senator Lodge's views were well known; in fact, he had first inflamed
my zeal. President Wilson had put himself on record in this momentous
matter. Unless public opinion should balk at the price--$50,000,000
would not have been too much--the purchase would be approved of by
the Senate and the House. This seemed sure.

Against these arguments was the insinuation made and widely but
insidiously spread, that Germany approved the sale because she
expected to borrow the amount of money paid! In June 1915, it was
plain to all who read the signs of the times, that we could not long
keep out of the war. 'I did not raise my boy to be a soldier' was
neither really popular in the United States nor convincing, for, sad
as it may seem, disheartening as it is to those who believe in that
universal peace which Christ never promised, the American of the
United States is a born fighter!

If the Islands were to be ours, now was the acceptable time. In
Denmark, the prospect looked like a landscape set for a forlorn hope.
Erik de Scavenius, democrat, even radical, though of one of the most
aristocratic families in Denmark, would consider only the good of his
own country. He was neither pro-German, pro-English nor pro-American.
Young as he was, his diplomatic experience had led him to look with a
certain cynicism on the altruistic professions of any great European
nation. He relied, I think, as little as I did on the academic
results of the Hague conferences.

Denmark needed money; the Government, pledged to the betterment of
the poor, to the advancement of funds to small farmers, to the
support of a co-operative banking system in the interest of the
agriculturists, to old-age pensions, to the insurance of the working
man and his support when involuntarily idle, to all those Socialistic
plans that aim at the material benefit of the proletariat,[14] and in
addition to this, to the keeping up of a standing army as large as
our regular army before the war, now 'quasi-mobilised,'--could ill
afford to sink the State's income in making up the deficit caused by
the expenses of the Islands.

 [14] In Rome, 'the proletariat' meant the people who had children.

The Radicals, like Edward Brandès, despaired of righteously ruling
their Islands on the broad, humanitarian principles they had
established in Denmark. The position of the Government was so
precarious that to raise the question might have serious
consequences. This we all knew, and none better than Erik de
Scavenius. It will be seen that the difficulties on the Danish side
were greater than on ours. The price, which, reasonably enough, would
be greater than that offered in previous times, would hardly be a
very grave objection from the American point of view, since the war
had made us more clear-minded, for our people are most generous in
spending money when they see good reasons for it.

It would take much time to unravel the intricacies of Danish
politics. 'Happy,' said my friend, Mr. Thomas P. Gill,[15] visiting
Denmark in 1908, 'is that land which is ruled by farmers!' I have
sometimes doubted this. The Conservatives naturally hated the Social
Democrats, and the Government was kept in power by the help of the
Social Democrats. The Conservatives would have gladly pitched the
Government to Hades, if they had not had a great fear that Erik de
Scavenius and perhaps Edward Brandès, the Minister of Justice, were
too useful to lose during the war when the position of Denmark was so
delicate. The recent elections have shown how weak the present
Government is.

 [15] Mr. Thomas P. Gill is the permanent Secretary of the Irish
 Agricultural and Technical Board.

The Danes, as I have said, are probably the most civilised people in
Europe, but an average American high school boy thinks more logically
on political questions. A union of such intellectual clearness with
such a paralysis of the logical, political qualities of the mind as
one finds in Denmark, is almost incredible. They seem to feel in
matters of politics but not to think. After a large acquaintance
among the best of the young minds in Denmark, I could only conclude
that this was the result of unhappy circumstances: the pessimism
engendered by the nearness to Germany, the fact that the Dane was
not allowed to vote until he became almost middle-aged, and the
absence, in the higher schools, of any education that would
cultivate self-analysis, and which would force the production of
mental initiative. Sentiment was against the sale of the
Islands,--therefore, the cause already seemed lost!

The press, as a rule, would be against it, but the press in Denmark,
though everybody reads, has not a very potent influence. I was sure
of _Politiken_, a journal which most persons said was 'yellow,' but
which appealed to people who liked cleverness. The press, I was sure,
would be against the sale largely for reasons of internal politics.
The farmers would not oppose the sale as a sale--in itself--the
possession of a great sum of money, even while it remained in the
United States, meant increased facilities for the import of fodder,
etc., but J. C. Christensen, their leader, must be reckoned with.
There were local questions. Politics is everywhere a slippery game,
but in Denmark it is more slippery than anywhere else in the world,
not even excepting in, let us say, Kansas.

J. C. Christensen had stubbed his toe over Alberti, who had, until
1908, been a power in Denmark, and who, in 1915, was still in the
Copenhagen jail. He had been prime minister from 1905 until Alberti's
manipulation of funds had been discovered in 1908. Under the short
administration of Holstein-Ledreborg, he had been Minister of
Worship, but he smarted over the accident which had driven him
undeservedly out of office. Socialism, curious as it may seem to
Americans, is not confined to the cities in Denmark. It thrives in
the farmlands. In the country, the Socialists are more moderate than
in the cities. In the country, Socialism is a method of securing to
the peasant population the privileges which it thinks it ought to
have. It is a pale pink compared with the intense red of the extreme
urban Internationalists. J. C. Christensen represented the Moderates
as against the various shades of Left, Radical and Socialistic
opinions. Besides J. C. Christensen, though his reputation was beyond
reproach, needed, perhaps, a certain rehabilitation, and he had a
great following. A further complication was the sudden rise of
violent opposition to the Government because of the decision made by
the secular authorities in favour of retaining in his pulpit Arboe
Rasmussen, a clergyman who had gone even further towards Modernism in
his preaching than Harnack. However, as the Bishops of the Danish
Lutheran Church had accepted this decision, it seemed remarkable
that an opposition of this kind should have developed so
unexpectedly.

In June 1915, my wife and I were at Aalholm, the principal castle of
Count Raben-Levitzau. I was hoping for a favourable answer to my
latest despatch as to the purchase of the Islands. A visit to Aalholm
was an event. The Count and Countess Raben-Levitzau know how to make
their house thoroughly agreeable. Talleyrand said that 'no one knew
the real delights of social intercourse who had not lived before the
French Revolution.' One might easily imitate this, and say, that if
one has never paid a visit to Aalholm, one knows little of the
delights of good conversation. Count Raben's guests were always
chosen for their special qualities. With Mr. and Mrs. Francis
Hagerup, Señor and Señora de Riaño, Count and Countess Szchenyi,[16]
Chamberlain and Madame Hegermann-Lindencrone, Mrs. Ripka, and the
necessary additional element of young folk, one must forget the cares
of life. During this visit, there was one care that rode behind me in
all the pleasant exclusions about the estate. It constantly asked me:
What is your Government thinking about? Will the President's
preoccupations prevent him from considering the question of the
purchase? Does Mr. Brun, the Danish Minister, fear a political crisis
in his own country? It is difficult to an American at home to realise
how much in the dark a man feels away from the centre of diplomacy,
Washington, especially when he has once lived there for years and
been in touch with all the tremulous movements of the wires.

 [16] Dr. Francis Hagerup, Norwegian Minister to Copenhagen, now at
 Stockholm. Count Szchenyi, Austro-Hungarian Minister, Señor de
 Riaño, now Spanish Minister at Washington.

One day at Aalholm, the telephone rang; it was a message from the
Clerk of the Legation, Mr. Joseph G. Groeninger of Baltimore. I put
Clerk with a capital letter because Mr. Groeninger deserved
diplomatically a much higher title. During all my anxieties on the
question of the purchase, he had been my confidant and encourager;
the secretaries had other things to do. The message, discreetly
voiced in symbols we had agreed upon, told me that the way was clear.
Our Government was willing,--secrecy and discretion were paramount
necessities in the transaction.

Returning to Copenhagen, I saw the Foreign Minister. The most direct
way was the best. I said, 'Excellency, will you sell your West Indian
Islands?'

'You know I am for the sale, Mr. Minister,' he said, 'but--' he
paused, 'it will require some courage.'

'Nobody doubts your courage.'

'The susceptibilities of our neighbour to the South----'

'Let us risk offending any susceptibilities. France had rights.'

'France gave up her rights in Santa Cruz long ago; but I was not
thinking of France. Besides the price would have to be dazzling.
Otherwise the project could never be carried.'

'Not only dazzling,' I said, 'but you should have more than
money--our rights in Greenland; His Majesty might hesitate if it were
made a mere question of money. He is like his grandfather, Christian
IX. You know how he hated, crippled as Denmark was in 1864, to sell
the Islands.'

'You would never pay the price.'

'Excellency,' I said, 'this is not a commercial transaction. If it
were a commercial transaction, a matter of material profit, my
Government would not have entrusted the matter to me, nor would I
have accepted the task, without the counsel of men of business.
Besides, commercially, at present, the Islands are of comparatively
small value. I know that my country is as rich as it is generous. It
is dealing with a small nation of similar principles to its own, and
with an equal pride. Unless the price is preposterous, as there is no
ordinary way of gauging the military value of these Islands to us, I
shall not object. My Government does not wish me to haggle. And I am
sure that you will not force me to do so by demanding an absurd
price. You would not wish to shock a people prepared to be generous.'

He will ask $50,000,000, I thought; he knows better than anybody that
we shall be at war with Germany in less than a year. I felt dizzy at
the thought of losing the Gibraltar of the Caribbean! However, I
consoled myself, while Mr. de Scavenius looked thoughtfully, pencil
in hand, at a slip of paper. After all, _I_ thought, the President,
knowing what the Islands mean to us, will not balk at even
$50,000,000. While Mr. De Scavenius wrote, I tried to feel like a man
to whom a billion was of no importance.

He pushed the slip towards me, and I read:

'$30,000,000 dollars, expressed in Danish crowns.'

The crown was then equal to about twenty-six cents.

I said, 'There will be little difficulty about that; I consider it
not unreasonable; but naturally, it may frighten some of my
compatriots, who have not felt the necessity of considering
international questions. You will give me a day or two?'

'The price is dazzling, I know,' he said.

'My country is more generous even than she is rich. The transaction
must be completed before----'

Mr. de Scavenius understood. My country was neutral _then_; it was
never necessary to over-explain to him; he knew that I understood the
difficulties in the way.

It was agreed that there should be no intermediaries; Denmark had
learned the necessity of dealing without them by the experience in
1902. I was doubtful as to the possibility of complete secrecy. What
the newspapers cannot find out does not exist. 'There are very many
persons connected with the Foreign Office,' he said thoughtfully.

'I may say a similar thing of our State Department. I wish the
necessity for complete secrecy did not exist,' I said. 'The press
_will_ have news.'

A short time after this I was empowered to offer $25,000,000 with our
rights in Greenland. As far as the Foreign Office and our Legation
were concerned, the utmost secrecy was preserved. There were no
formal calls; after dinners, a word or two, an apparently chance
meeting on the promenade (the Long Line) by the Sound. Rumours,
however, leaked out on the Bourse. The newspapers became alert.
_Politiken_, the Government organ, was bound to be discreet, even if
its editor had his suspicions. There were no evidences from the
United States that the secret was out. In fact, the growing war
excitement left what in ordinary times would have been an event for
the 'spot' light in a secondary place.

In Denmark, as the whispers of a possible 'deal' increased in number,
the opponents of the Government were principally occupied in thinking
out a way by which it could be used for the extinction of the
Council--President (Prime Minister) Zahle, the utter crushing of the
Minister of War, Peter Munch, who hated war and looked on the army as
an unnecessary excrescence, and the driving out of the whole
ministry, with the exception of Erik de Scavenius and, perhaps,
Edward Brandès, the Minister of Finance, into a sea worthy to engulf
the devil-possessed swine of the New Testament. There are, by the
way, two Zahles--one the Minister, Theodore, a bluff and robust man
of the people, and Herluf Zahle, of the Foreign Office, chamberlain,
and a diplomatist of great tact, polish and experience.

Mr. Edward Brandès and Mr. Erik de Scavenius, interviewed, denied
that there was any question of the sale. 'Had I ever spoken to Edward
Brandès on the subject of the sale?' I was asked point-blank. As I
had while in Copenhagen, only formal relations with the members of
the Government, except those connected with the Foreign Office, I was
enabled to say No quite honestly. It was unnecessary for me to deny
the possession of a secret not my own, too, because, when asked if I
had spoken to the Foreign Minister on the subject of the sale, I
always said that I was always hoping for such an event, I had spoken
on the subject to Count Raben-Levitzau, Count Ahlefeldt-Laurvig and
Erik de Scavenius whenever I had a chance. I felt like the boy who
avoided Sunday School because his father was a Presbyterian and his
mother a Jewess; this left me out. I trembled for the fate of Mr. de
Scavenius and Mr. Edward Brandès when their political opponents (some
of them the most imaginative folk in Denmark) should learn the facts.
A lie, in my opinion, is the denying of the truth to those who have a
moral right to know it. The press had no right whatever to know the
truth, but even the direct diplomatic denial of a fact to persons who
have no right to know it is bound to be--uncomfortable! I was
astonished that both Mr. Brandès and Mr. Scavenius had been so
direct; political opponents are so easily shocked and so loud in
their pious appeals to Providence! For myself, I was sorry that I
could not give Mr. Albert Thorup, of the Associated Press, a 'tip.'
He is such a decent man, and I shall always be grateful to him, but I
was forced to connive at his losing a great 'scoop.'

The breakers began to roar; anybody but the Foreign Minister would
have lost his nerve. Two visiting American journalists, who had an
inkling of possibilities of the truth, behaved like gentlemen and
patriots, as they are, and agreed to keep silent until the State
Department should give them permission to release it. These were Mr.
William C. Bullitt, of the Philadelphia _Ledger_, and Mr. Montgomery
Schuyler, of the New York _Times_. The newspaper, _Copenhagen_, was
the first to hint at the secret, which, by this time, had become a
_secret de Polichinelle_. Various persons were blamed; the Parliament
afterwards appointed a committee of examination. On August 1st, 1916,
I find in my diary,--'Thank heaven! the secret is out in the United
States, but not through us.' 'Secret diplomacy' is difficult in this
era of newspapers. If we are to have a Secretary of Education in the
cabinet of the future, why not a Secretary of the Press?

A happy interlude in the summer of 1916 was the visit of Henry Van
Dyke and his wife and daughter. It was a red letter night when he
came to dinner. We forgot politics, and talked of Stedman, Gilder and
the elder days.

The first inkling that the _secret de Polichinelle_ was out came from
a cable in _Le Temps_ of Paris. Mr. Bapst, the French Minister, who
had very unjustly been accused of being against the sale, came to
tell me he knew that the Treaty had been signed by Secretary Lansing
and Mr. Brun in Washington. I was not at liberty to commit myself
yet, so I denied that the Treaty had been signed in Washington. Mr.
Bapst sighed; I knew what he thought of me; but I had told the truth;
the Treaty had been signed in New York.

Sir Henry Lowther, the British Minister, was frankly delighted that
the question of the Islands was about to be opened. Irgens, formerly
Minister of Foreign Affairs in Norway, and a good friend to the
United States, shook his head. 'If Norway owned islands, we would
never give them up,' he said; but he was glad that they were going to
us. The other colleagues, including Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, the
German Minister, were occupied with other things. Count Rantzau was
desirous of keeping peace with the United States. I think that he
regarded war with us as so dangerous as to be almost unthinkable. I
found Count Rantzau a very clever man; he played his game fairly. It
was a game, and he was a colleague worth any man's respect. He is one
of the most cynical, brilliant, forcible diplomatists in Europe, with
liberal tendencies in politics. If he lives, he ought to go far, as
he is plastic and sees the signs of the times. I found him
delightful; but he infuriated other people. One day, when he is
utterly tired of life, he will consciously exasperate somebody to
fury, in order to escape the trouble of committing suicide himself.

The plot thickened. The ideas of the Foreign Office were, as a rule,
mine--but here there was sometimes an honest difference. I was
willing to work with the Foreign Office, but not under it. De
Scavenius never expected this, but I think it was sometimes hard for
him to see that I could not, in all details, follow his plans.
Nothing is so agreeable as to have men of talent to deal with; and I
never came from an interview with de Scavenius or Chamberlain Clan,
even when, perhaps, de Scavenius did not see my difficulties
clearly, without an added respect for these gentlemen.

The air was full of a rumour that the United States, suspected in
Europe, in spite of the fair treatment of Cuba and the Philippines,
of imperialism, had made threats against Denmark, involving what was
called 'pressure.' Whether it was due to enemy propaganda or not, the
insinuation that the Danish West Indies would be taken by force,
because Denmark was helpless, underlay many polite conversations.

'The United States would not dare to oblige France or England or a
South American Republic to give up an island. She does not attempt to
coerce Holland; but in spite of the pretensions to altruism, she
threatens Denmark.'

This was an assertion constantly heard. The charges of imperialism
made in our newspapers against some of the 'stalwart' politicians who
were supposed to have influenced President McKinley in older days,
were not forgotten. Letters poured in, asking if it were possible
that I had used threats to the Danish Government.

The Danish politicians were turning their ploughshares into swords.
On August 4th the Rigstag went into 'executive session.' Chamberlain
Hegermann-Lindencrone still heartily approved of the sale. He had, he
said, tried to arrange it, under President McKinley's administration,
through a hint from Major Cortelyon when he was in Paris. The
attitude of the press became more and more evident. Mr. Holger
Angelo, one of the best 'interviewers' in the Danish press, and very
loyal to his paper, the _National News_ (_National Tidende_), came to
see me. Personally, he was desirous not to wound me or to criticise
the conduct of my Government; but he was strongly against the sale,
yet he could find no valid arguments against it. He was obliged to
admit reluctantly that the only ground on which his paper could make
an attack was the denial of the Cabinet Ministers that any
negotiations had existed. This was the line all the opposition papers
would follow.

Nobody would say that the purchase had been negotiated on any grounds
unfavourable to the national sensibilities of the Danes. Even Admiral
de Richelieu admitted that neither my Government nor myself had
failed to give what help could be given to his plans for improving
the economic conditions of the Islands.

On August 10th the debate in the Rigstag showed, as had been
expected, that Mr. J. C. Christensen, who held the balance of power,
would demand a new election under the New Constitution. A furious
attack was made on Messrs. Brandès and de Scavenius for having denied
the existence of negotiations. All this was expected. Nobody really
wanted a new election. It was too risky under war conditions.

Suddenly the rumour was revived that the British Fleet would break
the neutrality of Denmark by moving through the Great Belt, and that
the United States was secretly preparing to send its fleet through
the Belt to help the British. The reason of this was apparent: every
rumour that corroborated the impression that the United States would
become a belligerent injured the chances of the sale. Such delay, to
my knowledge, was an evil, since the continued U-boat horror made a
war imminent. In spite of all optimism, advice from the American
Embassy at Berlin, direct and indirect, pointed that way. The crisis
would no doubt be delayed--this was our impression--but it must come.
Count Brockdorff-Rantzau hoped to the last that it might be avoided,
and Prince Wittgenstein of his Legation, who knew all sides, seemed
to believe that a conflict with the United States might yet be
avoided. And there was still a dim hope, but it became dimmer every
day, so that my desire to expedite matters became an obsession.

On August 12th, J. C. Christensen seemed to hold the Folkerting (the
Lower House) in the hollow of his hand. He moved to appeal to the
country, and to leave the question of a sale to a new Rigstag. This
meant more complications, more delay, and perhaps defeat through the
threatening of the war clouds. J. C. Christensen's motion was
defeated by eleven votes.

On August 14th it was concluded that the quickest and least dangerous
way of securing assent to the sale was by an appeal to the people,
not through a general election, but through a plebiscite, in which
every man and woman of twenty-nine would vote, under the provisions
of the New Constitution.

The Landsting (the Upper House) held a secret meeting. If a coalition
ministry should not be arranged and the motion for a plebiscite
should fail, there would certainly be a general election. This would,
I thought, be fatal, as it would probably mean a postponement of the
sale until after the close of the war. In the meantime, we heard the
German representatives of the Hamburg-American Line at St. Thomas
were carrying on 'some unusual improvements.' These activities, begun
without the knowledge of the Governor, who was then in Denmark, were
stopped by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Edward Brandès, when the
knowledge of them was brought to the Danish Government. On August
15th I was convinced that one of the most important men in Denmark,
indeed in Europe, Etatsraad H. N. Andersen, of the East Asiatic
Company, approved of the sale. This I had believed, but I was
delighted to hear it from his own lips.

Political confusion became worse. In some circumstances the Danes are
as excitable as the French used to be. It looked, towards the end of
August, as if the project of the sale was to be a means of making of
Denmark, then placid and smiling under a summer sun, a veritable
seething cauldron. The gentlemen of the press enjoyed themselves. I,
who had the reputation of having on all occasions a _bonne presse_,
fell from grace. I had not, it is true, concealed the truth by
diplomatic means, as had Mr. Edward Brandès and Mr. Erik de
Scavenius, but I had talked 'so much and so ingenuously' to the
newspaper men, as one of them angrily remarked, that they were sure a
man, hitherto so frank, had nothing to conceal; and yet there had
been much concealed.

The Opposition, which would have been pleasantly horrified to
discover any evidence of bribery, or, indeed, any evidence of the
methods by which our Legation had managed its side of the affair
(they hoped for the worst), could discover very little; when they
called on de Scavenius to show all the incriminating documents in the
case, they found there was nothing incriminating, and the documents
were the slightest scraps of paper.

Knowing how far away our Department of State was, how busy and how
undermanned, owing to the attitude which Congress has hitherto
assumed towards it, I acted as I thought best as each delicate
situation arose, always arranging as well as I could not to
compromise my Government, and to give it a chance to disavow any
action of mine should it be necessary. I had found this a wise course
in the Cook affair. I had resolved to take no notice of Dr. Cook,
until the Royal Danish Geographical Society determined to recognise
him as a scientist of reputation.

When Commander Hovgaard, who had been captain of the king's yacht,
asked me to go with the Crown Prince, President of the Geographical
Society, to meet the American explorer, I went; but my Government was
in no way committed. In fact, President Taft understood the situation
well; receiving no approval of Dr. Cook from me, he merely answered
Dr. Cook's telegram, congratulating him on 'his statement.' I must
say that, when the Royal Geographical Society received Cook, no word
of disapproval from any American expert had reached our Legation or
the Geographical Society itself. The Society, with no knowledge of
the Mount McKinley incident, behaved most courteously to an American
citizen who appeared to have accomplished a great thing. The only
indication that made me suspect that Dr. Cook was not scientific was
that he spoke most kindly of all his--may I say it?--step-brother
scientists! But, as I had accompanied the Crown Prince, in gratitude
for his kind attention to a compatriot, I felt sure that a wise
Department would only, at the most, reprimand me for exceeding the
bounds of courtesy.

Suddenly a crashing blow struck us; Edward Brandès, in the midst of a
hot debate, in which he and de Scavenius were fiercely attacked,
announced that the United States was prepared to exert 'friendly
pressure.' Brandès is too clever a man to be driven into such a
statement through inadvertence; he must have had some object in
making it. What the object was I did not know--nobody seemed to know.
Even de Scavenius seemed to think he had gone too far, for whatever
were the contents of Minister Brun's despatches, it was quite certain
that neither he nor our Government would have allowed a threat made
to Denmark involving the possession of her legitimately held
territory to become public.

Something had to be done to avoid the assumption that we were no more
democratic than Germany. 'We wanted the territory from a weaker
nation; we were prepared to seize it, if we could not buy it! We
Americans were all talking of the rights of the little nations.
Germany wanted to bleed France, and she took Belgium after having
insolently demanded that she should give up her freedom. We, the most
democratic of nations, prepared to pay for certain Islands; but if it
was not convenient for a friendly power to sell her territory, we
would take it.' This was the inference drawn from Mr. Edward Brandès'
words in Parliament. I could not contradict a member of the
Government, and yet I was called on, especially by Danes who had
lived in the United States, to explain what this 'pressure' meant.

Many Danish women who approved of the social freedom of American
women, but mistrusted our Government's refusing them the suffrage,
took the question up with me. 'Pressure _et tu Brute_!' The women
were to vote in the plebiscite. Some of their leaders balked at the
word 'pressure,' but a country which had hitherto refused the
suffrage to American women was capable of anything. Mr. Edward
Brandès had performed a great service to his country in letting out
some of the horrors of our secret diplomacy. Mr. Constantin Brun,
whose loyalty to his own country I invoked in these interviews, was,
they said, 'corrupted' in the United States; he was more American
than the Americans! I should have much preferred to be put in the
'Ananias Society' so suddenly formed of Mr. Brandès and Mr. de
Scavenius than to have myself set down as an imperialist of a country
as arrogant as it was grasping, which not only threatened to seize
Danish territory, but which, while pretending to hold the banner of
democracy in the war of nations, deprived the best educated women in
the world (Mrs. Chapman Catt had said so) of their inalienable right
to vote!

Fortunately, I had once lectured at the request of some of the
leading suffragists. Bread cast upon the waters is often returned,
toasted and buttered, by grateful hands. Madame de Münter--wife of
the Chamberlain--and Madame Gad, wife of the Admiral, were great
lights in the Feminist movement.

Madame Gad is a most active, distinguished and benevolent woman of
letters. There were others, too, who felt that there must be some
redeeming features in a condition of society which produced a
Minister who was so devoted to woman suffrage as I was (as my wife
gave some of the best dinners in Denmark, nobody expected _her_ to go
beyond that!). To Madame de Münter I owed much good counsel and a
circle of defenders; to Madame Gad (if we had an Order of Valiant
Women, I should ask that she be decorated), I am told I owe the
chance that helped to turn the women's vote in our favour, and
induced many ladies, who were patriotic traditionalists, to abstain
from voting. The general opinion, as far as I could gauge it--and I
tried to get expert testimony--was that the women's vote would be
against us.

The _National News_ (_National Tidende_) had never been favourable to
the United States, though personally I had no reason to complain of
it. It was moderate in politics, not brilliant, but very well
written. The virtue of its editor was outraged by the denial of the
two Ministers that negotiations for the sale of the Islands had been
in process. This position in defence of the truth edified the
community. 'Truth, though the heavens fall!' was his motto; he kept
up a fusillade against the sale. Except that one of my interviews had
been unintentionally misquoted, I had hitherto been out of the
newspapers--though I was no longer, in the opinion of the whole
press, the sweet and promising young poet of sixty-five who had
written sonnets--now I was forced in.

An interview appeared triumphantly in the _National News_. It was
attributed to one of the most discreet officials of the State
Department. It denied 'pressure,' which would have pleased me, if it
had not also contradicted my repeated statement that the Senate of
the United States would not adjourn without ratifying the treaty. It
was a blow. I questioned at once the authenticity of the interview.
The Senate, I had said, would ratify the treaty before the end of the
session. The Danish Foreign Office and the public took my word for
it. Unless I could get a disavowal of the interview by cable, it
would seem that the Department of State was not supporting me. The
Foreign Office itself, with the problem of our entering the war
before it, was beginning to be disheartened. The authenticity of the
interview meant failure, the triumph of the enemies of the sale!
After a brief interval, a denial of the interview, which had been
fabricated in London, came to our Legation. There was joy in
Nazareth, but it did not last long.

With the permission of the Foreign Office, I prepared to give this
very definite denial from our State Department to the press. It was
a busy evening. The staff of the Legation was small, and the
necessity of sending men to the Rigstag to watch the debate in the
Landsting, where the treaty was being considered, of gathering
information, and of translating and copying important documents
relating to the Islands for transmission to the United States,
strained our energies. Moreover, the Secretary of Legation, Mr.
Alexander Richardson Magruder, had just been transferred to
Stockholm. Mr. Joseph G. Groeninger, the Clerk, who knew all the
details relating to the affair of the Islands, was up to his eyes in
work. Mr. Cleveland Perkins, the honorary attaché, was struggling
heroically with Danish reports, and I was at the telephone receiving
information, seeing people, and endeavouring to discover just where
we stood. A most trustworthy--but inexperienced--young man was in
charge of the downstairs office, where Mr. Groeninger, the
omniscient, usually reigned. I telephoned to him a memorandum on the
subject of 'pressure' which the bogus interview had denied. It was a
quotation from the 'interview,' to be made the subject of comment,
and then the denial. Both of these were sent up on the same piece of
typewritten paper, and O.K.ed by me, as a matter of routine. It was
not until late in the night that the young man discovered that a
mistake had been made. He was most contrite, though the mistake was
my fault and due to thoughtlessly following the usual routine. He
telephoned at once to the _National News_ and to the other newspapers
explaining that he had made a mistake. The _National News_ preferred
to ignore his explanation. The opportunity of accusing the Ministry
of further duplicity was too tempting. De Scavenius had lied again,
and I had connived at it. The denial of the Washington telegram was
'faked' by the American Minister in collusion with the Minister of
Foreign Affairs! It must be admitted that _Politiken_, edited by the
terribly clever Cavling, had driven the slower-witted _National
Tidende_ to desperation. I had a bad morning; then I resolved to draw
the full fire of the _National News_ on myself. I owed it to de
Scavenius, who had become rather tired of being called a liar in all
the varieties of rhetoric of which Copenhagen slang is capable. From
the American point of view, after I had made my plan, it was
amusing--all the more amusing, since, after the first regret that I
had unwittingly added to the _opera bouffe_ colour of the occasion, I
saw that the _National Tidende_ would become so abusive against me,
that I should soon be an interesting victim of vituperative
persecution. I repeated calmly the truth that the 'interview' was a
fabrication, adding that I had no intention to attack the honour of
the _National Tidende_; it had been deceived; I merely wanted it
understood that my Government was not in the habit of contradicting
its responsible representatives (_Politiken_ kindly added that the
_National Tidende_ had received its information from the 'coloured
door-keeper at the White House'). More fire and fury signifying
nothing! The most elaborate frightfulness in print missed its mark,
as nobody at the Legation had time to translate the rhetoric of the
Furies, and besides, the _National Tidende_ had no case. As I hoped,
the diplomatic sins of the Foreign Office in keeping the secret were
forgotten in the flood of invective directed against me. The result
was expressed in my diary:--'The row has proved a help to the treaty;
I did not know I had so many friends in Denmark. My hour of
desolation was when I feared that somebody in the State Department
had permitted himself to be interviewed. It was a dark hour!' After
this tempest in a tea-pot, all talk about 'pressure' ceased; the air
was, at least, clear of that--and I thanked heaven.

September came in; the debates in the Rigstag continued.
Various papers were accused of having prematurely divulged the
secret--especially _Copenhagen_. It was amusing--the secret among
business men had long before the revelation of _Copenhagen_ become an
open secret. In fact, one of these gentlemen had come to me and
informed me of the various attitudes of people on the Bourse; at the
Legation, we never lacked secret information. The debate, as
everybody knew, and the threat of an investigation of the
responsibility for letting out the secret was a bit of comedy,
probably invented for the provinces, for a Copenhagener is about as
easily fooled as a Parisian.

On September 9th, I had one of the greatest pleasures I have ever
experienced. I announced to the Foreign Office that the treaty had
been ratified, without change, by the Senate. Still the Opposition
made delays. The Foreign Minister did all in his power to expedite
matters. It was hoped that charges of 'graft' could be developed
against the Ministers. 'If you had had a _bonne presse_, as usual,' a
candid friend said to me, 'you might have been accused of bribing. As
it is, the _National Tidende_ attitude showed that you never offered
that paper any money!'

'As much as I regret the attitude of the _National Tidende_,' I said,
'I could as soon imagine myself taking a bribe as of the editor's
accepting one. The attack was a great advantage to me.'

'You Yankees turn everything to your advantage,' the candid friend
said.

On September 27th, Ambassador and Mrs. Gerard arrived. It was a red
letter day. Mr. Gerard showed the strain of his work, but, like all
good New Yorkers, was disposed 'to take the goods the gods provided'
him--one of them was a dinner at the Legation of which he approved.
Praise from Brillat-Savarin would not have delighted us more than
this. The Legation, to use the diplomatic phrase, threw themselves
at the feet of Mrs. Gerard. Gerard deserved the title, given him by
the Germans, of 'the most American of American Ambassadors.' Mrs.
Gerard was cosmopolitan, with an American charm, but also with a
touch of the older world that always adds to the social value of
an ambassadress. I had arranged, in advance of Judge Gerard's
coming, a luncheon with my colleague across the street, Count
Brockdorff-Rantzau. It was interesting. Mr. and Mrs. Swope were
present, Their Serene Highnesses the Prince and Princess Sayn
Wittgenstein-Sayn, Count Wedel, and, I think, Dr. Toepffer. Judge
Gerard told me that he spoke little French, but he got on immensely
well with Count Rantzau, who spoke no English. Count Wedel, with his
love for Old Germany, of the Weimar of Goethe, of the best in
literature, will, I trust, live to see a happier new order of things
in his native country. The Wittgensteins were charming young people.
The Prince was connected with almost every great Russian, French and
Italian family. If ambassadors are not put out of fashion by the new
order of things, the Princess, closely connected with important
families of England, would be a fortunate ambassadress to an
English-speaking country. Peace ought to come to men of good-will,
and I am persuaded that there are men of good-will in Germany.

September, October, even December came in, and the political
factions still fought, ostensibly about the sale, but really for
control, Copenhageners said, of the $25,000,000! Every chance was
taken to delay the matter until after the war. German propaganda and
bribing was talked of, but there was no evidence of it. In my
opinion, it was largely a question as to who should spend the
$25,000,000. In a Monarchy such a horror was to be expected
naturally! In a Republic like ours, the patriotic Republicans would
cheerfully see the equally patriotic Democrats control the funds,
but, then, Republics are all Utopias, the lands of the Hope
fulfilled! All this was amusing to many observers--embarrassing and
humiliating to Danes who respected reasonable public opinion and the
dignity of their country. It was terrible to me who saw the war
coming, for Mr. Gerard and my private informants in Germany left me
in no doubt about that. Even Count Szchenyi, always for peace, and
with us in sympathy, declared that 'the U-boat war would go on, not
to crush England, but as part of the Germanic League to enforce
Peace.' And the use of the U-boat meant war for us!

On all sides, I was told that the women's votes would be against the
sale. It was not unreasonable to believe that ladies, just
emancipated, would vote against their late lords and masters, at
least for the first time. Besides, as Mrs. Chapman Catt had made very
clear during her fateful visit to Denmark, the liveliest, the most
reasonable, the most intellectual women in the world were deprived by
the unjust laws of the country that wanted the Islands of the right
to vote. Even the fact that Mr. Edward Brandès, a noted ladies' man,
was on the side of the angels, might have no effect. He began to be
tired of the whole thing. He hoped, I really believe, that the
Islands would settle the question and sink into the sea! We _must_
have the women's vote. Madame Gad helped to save the day.

'You will, in your annual _conférence_,' she said to me, 'explain the
position of the American women, and your words will be reprinted, not
only all over Denmark, but throughout Sweden and Norway. The editor
of _Politiken_ will give you his famous "_Politiken Hus_," and your
words will make good feeling.'

'I can honestly say,' I answered, 'that I want the women to vote. In
fact, in my country, they have only to want the suffrage badly enough
to have it! It is the fault of their own sex, not of ours, if they do
not get it!'

It was agreed that I should speak on 'The American Woman and her
Aspirations,' at _Politiken Hus_, on the evening of December 5th. The
proceeds were to go to charity. And I never knew, until I began to
prepare my lecture, how firmly I believed that Woman Suffrage was to
be the salvation of the world. Without exaggeration, I believe it
will be, since men have made such an almost irremediable mess of
worldly affairs. My friend, the late Archbishop Spalding, once said
that women had, since the deluge, been engaged in spoiling the
stomach of man, and now they prepared to spoil his politics! I have
some reason to believe that a report of my lecture might have
converted him to higher ideals. I was told by some ladies that it had
a great effect on their husbands.

In the meantime, the tardy delegates, summoned from St. Thomas and
Santa Cruz, arrived. They were called simply to delay action. The
Foreign Minister was heartily ashamed of the transaction on the part
of his opponents; it was palpably childish. The plebiscite must be
delayed as long as possible. The United States had done its part in
a most prompt and generous manner. The press could give only
sentimental reasons against the sale; Denmark found the Islands a
burden; she wanted our rights in Greenland; she needed the
$25,000,000, but her politicians were willing to risk anything rather
than give the control of the money to a Ministry they were afraid to
turn out. A coalition Ministry, that is, the addition of new members
without portfolios to the present Ministry, was agreed to, J. C.
Christensen representing the Moderate Left, Theodore Stauning, a
Socialist, and two others. Nobody really wanted a general election
until after the war.

On the evening of December 5th, I drove to _Politiken Hus_. There was
a red light over the door. This meant _alt udsolgt_, 'standing room
only.' What balm for long anxieties this! Mr. William Jennings Bryan
looking at the crowded seats of a Chautauqua Meeting could not have
felt prouder.

I recalled the night on which King Christian X. had asked me if I
always delivered the same lecture during a season's tour in the
provinces. I said, 'Yes, sir.' 'But if people come a second time?'
'Oh, they never come a second time, sir.' At least, for the first
time, the red light was lit,--who cared for a second time?

The hall was crowded. Sir Ralph Paget, who seldom went out, had come,
and, at some distance--Sir Ralph was of all men the most
anti-Prussian--were the Prince and Princess Wittgenstein. 'All
Copenhagen,' Madame Gad said, which was equivalent to 'Tout Paris.' I
did my best.

At the reception afterwards at Admiral Urban Gad's, the ladies--some
of them of great influence in politics--told me I had said the right
things. I had the next day a _bonne presse_. The provincial papers
all over Scandinavia reprinted the most important parts of the
discourse with approval, and letters of commendation from all parts
of Denmark--from ladies--came pouring in. One from a constant
correspondent in Falster, a 'demoiselle,' which is a much better word
than 'old maid,' who was sometimes in very bad humour with 'America,'
wrote that, after what I said of the American women's position, she
would like to marry an American, and that, though opposed to the
sale, she and her club would refrain from voting. Her offer to marry
an American has not been withdrawn. A few days after this, an
American paper containing an account of a lynching in the South, with
the most terrible details graphically described, reached Copenhagen.
The newspaper man who brought it to me consented, after some
argument, for old friendship's sake, not to release it at this
inauspicious moment.

Time dragged; but the news from the provinces was consoling. The
Foreign Office seemed still to be discouraged, and I am sure that
Edward Brandès again wished that the Danish Antilles had suffered
extinction. Even the enamelled surface of de Scavenius began to crack
a little. Dilatory motions of all kinds were in order. The
examination by the Parliamentary committees at which the delegates
from the West Indies were present, had ceased to be even amusing. It
was a farce without fun. The plebiscite could be put off no longer;
on December 15th, the vote was taken. For the sale, 283,694; against
the sale, 157,596. A comparatively small vote was cast. Many voters
abstained. These were mostly Conservatives and Moderates. At last, it
had come, but after what anxiety, doubts, fears, efforts,--but always
hopes!

The Opposition proposed to continue objections to the sale of all the
Islands. This would mean more appalling delays, and, with the U-boat
menace increasing, failure. On December 16th, I entered the Foreign
Office just as Djeved Bey, the Turkish Minister, was taking his
leave; he had not been very sympathetic with the Turkish-German
alliance; he was very French. After a few minutes' talk, I saw the
Minister of Foreign Affairs. He looked unhappy and harassed, which
was unusual. In the midst of alarms, he had always retained a certain
calm, which gave everybody confidence. When the petrels flew about
his head and the storms dashed, he was astonishingly courageous.
To-day, he sighed. In spite of the plebiscite, he seemed to think
that we were beaten. I was astonished. I had always thought that we
had one quality, at least, in common--we liked embarrassing
situations. I soon discovered the reason for this apparent loss of
nerve.

'Would our Government agree to take less than the three Islands?'

It was plain that the Opposition, not always fair, was tiring him and
Brandès out; I could understand their position, and sympathise with
their discouragement, but not feel it.

'To admit a new proposition on our part would be to interfere in the
interior politics of Denmark,' I said. 'The plebiscite was arranged
on the question of the treaty; it meant the cession of all the Danish
Islands or nothing.' The Rigstag should not prepare such a change
without making a new appeal to the country. I knew it was in the
power of the Rigstag to refuse to ratify the vote of the people. It
would simply mean a delay of the decision if it did so. I would make
no proposition to my Government for a change in the treaty; if such
a proposition was seriously made, I must step down and out at once.

De Scavenius approved of what I said. I believed that we would win,
in spite of dire prophecies. On Wednesday, December 20th, 1916, the
vote in the Folkstag was taken; it stood,--90 for the sale; 19
against it. On December 21st, it stood, in the Landstag, 40 votes for
the sale, and 19 against it.

Ambassador Gerard who had come to Copenhagen again, was among the
first to offer his congratulations. He was most cordial. The sale was
a fact. 'Just in time,' de Scavenius said. Just in time! The War
Cloud was about to burst, and the Legation must prepare for it. The
Islands had hitherto cut off my view; I now saw a New World.



CHAPTER XII

THE BEGINNING OF 1917 AND THE END


At the end of 1916, the affair of the Islands was practically
settled. Every now and then a newspaper put forth a rumour that
brought up the question again. _Copenhagen_, a journal which was very
well written, announced as a secret just discovered, that the United
States, even after Congress had appropriated the $25,000,000 for the
sale of the Islands, would not agree to accept them at once. This
excited much discussion which, however, was soon stopped. It was
remarkable how the fury and fire of the controversy disappeared.
People seemed to forget all the hard names they had called one
another. I forgave the _National News_, and later even attempted to
get printing material for the paper from the United States. The need
of printing material had become so great, that an attempt was made to
print one edition in coal tar! The embargo was drastic. If the
_National News_ had had a good case against me and interfered with
the sale, perhaps I might not have been so forgiving; one's motives
are always mixed.

New difficulties were coming upon us, and I think that most of our
diplomatic representatives knew that we were unprepared for them.
Since the opening of the war, we had been adjured to be neutral. That
was sometimes hard enough. But, as it seemed inevitable that our
country must be drawn into the war (though we were told that the
popular air at home was 'I Did not Raise My Boy to be a Soldier') it
seemed necessary to be prepared. Captain Totten--now Colonel--our
military attaché, urged 'preparedness' in season and out of season.
The position of a Minister who wants to be prepared for a coming
conflict, but is obliged to act as if no contest were possible, is
not an easy one. Besides, through the departure of Mr. Francis
Hagerup, the Norwegian Minister, to Stockholm, I had become Dean of
the Diplomatic Corps. I represented, when I went to Court officially,
the Central Powers as well as their enemies. 'You are Atlas,' the
king said, when I presented myself as Dean for the first time; 'you
bear all the Powers of the world on your shoulders!'

He regretted that the Foreign Ministers could not meet at a neutral
Court on occasions of ceremony. I think His Majesty believed that the
members of the diplomatic corps were in the position of the heralds
of the elder time--exempt, at least outwardly, from all the hatreds
developed by the war, and ready to look on the enemy of to-day as
their friend of to-morrow. This is good diplomacy; I agreed with His
Majesty, but wondered whether, if His Majesty's country was in the
position of Belgium, he would have instructed his Minister to be
polite to the representative of the invader. I had my doubts, for if
there were ever a king passionately devoted to his country, it is
King Christian X. After the sinking of the _Lusitania_, my position
would have been terribly difficult, if my German and Austrian
colleagues had not acted in a way that made it possible for me to
forget that I had said, on hearing of Bernstorff's warning, 'The day
after an American is killed without warning at sea, we will declare
war!' It was undiplomatic; but I had said it to Count Rantzau, to
Prince Wittgenstein, to Count Raben-Levitzau, to Prince Waldemar, to
the Princes, to other persons, and, I think, at the Foreign Office. A
very distinguished German had replied, in the true Junker spirit,
'But your great Government would not bring a war on itself for the
sake of the lives of a few hundred _bourgeoisie_.' And, when I stood,
foolish and confounded, recognising that the time had not come for
our Government to act, he said: 'You see you were wrong. Your
Government is not so altruistic as you thought, nor so ready to bring
new disasters on the world.'

Count Rantzau always took a moderate tone. When in difficulty he
could switch the conversation to a passage in the _Memoirs_ of St.
Simon, or some other chronicle--a little frivolous--of the past.
Count Szchenyi was hard hit--his brother-in-law, Mr. Vanderbilt, had
perished among the _bourgeoisie_ on the _Lusitania_; it was a subject
to be avoided. Prince von Wittgenstein simply said that it was a pity
that the _Lusitania_ carried munitions of war, though they were not
high explosives, but he made no excuses. It was evident that these
gentlemen regretted the horrible crime.

The few Germans one met in society were inclined to blame what they
called the stupidity of the captain of the steamship; they had the
testimony of the hearing taken from the London _Times_, at their
finger ends, and they knew 'the name of the firm in Lowell,
Massachusetts, whose ammunition had been exported on the
_Lusitania_.' Their opinions I always heard at second-hand. A great
Danish lady, whose family the King of Prussia and the present Emperor
had honoured, sent me from the country all the signed portraits of
the Kaiser, torn to pieces. 'I could not write,' she said afterwards
at dinner, 'I could not say what I thought,--I had promised my
husband to be silent,--but you know what I meant,' and she added in
Danish, 'damn little Willie!'

The only place in which representatives of the warring nations saw
one another was in church, that is, in the church of St. Ansgar; but
Count Szchenyi and Prince von Wittgenstein were always so deeply
engaged in prayer that they could not see the French Minister or the
Belgian. The English church--one of the most beautiful in
Copenhagen--was frequented only by the English and a few Americans,
so the Rector, the Rev. Dr. Kennedy, was never troubled about the
position of his pews, nor was the Russian pope across the street from
St. Ansgar's.

Mr. Francis Hagerup had been a model Dean. Everybody trusted and
respected him; it seemed a pity that he should go away from
Copenhagen, after such good service, without the usual testimonial
from the diplomatic corps; but there were difficulties in the way.
Would Sir Henry Lowther, the English, and Baron de Buxhoevenden, the
Russian Minister, permit their names to go on a piece of plate with
those of Count Brockdorff-Rantzau and Count Szchenyi? Count Szchenyi,
always kindness itself, had his eye on two silver vegetable dishes of
the true Danish-Rosenborg type. He consulted me as the Dean. I wanted
Mr. Hagerup to have these beautiful things, and Szchenyi seemed to
think that the matter could be arranged. I agreed to get the
signatures to the proposition, expressed in French, that the dishes
should be bought from the court jeweller, the famous Carl Michelsen,
who had designed them. I doubt whether any of the Tiffanys have more
foreign decorations than Michelsen; it is worth while being a
jeweller and an artist in Denmark.

The gift was to show the unusual honour to an unusual Dean, offered
by all the diplomatic corps in time of war. I had the opinion of the
ladies sounded; they were all against it, especially one of the most
intellectual ladies of the diplomatic corps, Madame de Buxhoevenden.
She warned me that my attempt would be a failure. However, I sent the
paper out, done in the most diplomatic French. Hans, our messenger,
asked for the ladies first. If they were at home, he waited for
another day. After I had all the signatures and they were engraved on
the dishes, the Baroness de Buxhoevenden bore down on me, warlike.

'Quelle horreur,' she said. 'How did you get my husband's name?'

'When you were out!' I said.

'I think it disgraceful all the same, that my husband's name should
appear on the same plate with those of the enemies of my country.'

'On the second plate, Madame, the enemies' appear,' I
answered,--'there are two!'

Hagerup was so touched when I took the plates to him that I saw tears
in his eyes. The Baroness de Buxhoevenden remained very friendly to
me, 'because,' she said, 'she loved my wife so much.' Not long after,
she died in Russia, heartbroken. She had faced the inclemencies of
the weather and the first outbreak of the Revolution (she was a sane
woman, an imperialist, but one who would have had imperialism reform
itself, well-read and deeply religious) to see her daughter, the
young Baroness Sophie, who was one of the maids of honour to the late
Czarina. This young lady was ill and imprisoned with the imperial
family. She was the only child of the Buxhoevendens--their son, a
brave soldier, having died some years before. You can imagine the
anxiety of the Buxhoevendens when the unrestrained ferocity of the
mob in Petrograd broke out. Madame de Buxhoevenden could not see her
daughter, though, thanks to the American Ambassador, who never failed
to do a kind thing for us in Copenhagen, she managed to have a
message from her. A lover of Russia, like her husband, of order, of
reason in Government, she died.

With all the Russians I knew, love of country was a passion. They
might differ among themselves. Meyendorff might look on Bibikoff as a
'clever boy' and smile amicably at his vagaries; Bibikoff might
declare that 'Baron Meyendorff had, as St. Simon said of the Regent
d'Orleans, all the talents, but the talent of using them'; but they
were fervently devoted to Russia. They were in a labyrinth, and, as
at the time of the French Revolution, everybody differed in opinion
as to the best way out. It was from the Russians I first heard of
Prince Karl Lichnowsky. I think it was Meyendorff, who once said:
'The Austrian Ambassador to London and Prince Lichnowsky are such
honest men that the Prussians find it easy to deceive them into
deceiving the English as to the designs of Germany!'

One great difficulty would have stood in the way, had I, as Dean,
been willing to accept the kindly hint of the king and attempt to
arrange that all the corps should go as usual together at New Years
and on birthdays to Court. There was the conduct of the German
Government to the French Ambassador at the opening of the war. It was
frightfully rude, even savage, and unprecedented. It shocked
everybody. It will be difficult to explain it when relations between
the belligerents are resumed again. It seems to be a minor matter,
but it corroborated the variation of the old proverb,--'Scratch a
Prussian and you find a Hun.' The tale of the insults heaped on the
French Ambassador is a matter of record for all time.

Judge Gerard has told his own story.

The Russian ladies coming out of Berlin were treated no better than a
group of cocottes driven from a city might have been. The condition
of the Russian ladies when they reached Copenhagen was deplorable.
They all possessed the inevitable string of pearls, which every
Russian young girl of the higher class receives before her marriage.
These and the clothes they wore were all they were allowed to bring
out of the super-civilised city of Berlin. It did not prevent them
from smiling a little at the plight of the old Princess de ----, one
of the haughtiest and richest of the noble ladies, who loved the
baths of Germany more than her compatriots approved of. Her carefully
dressed wig--never touched before except by the tender fingers of her
two maids--was lifted off her head, while the German soldiers looked
underneath it for secret documents!

From all this it will be seen that, notwithstanding the politeness of
the representatives of the Central Powers in Copenhagen, it would
have been impossible for the diplomatic corps to unite itself in the
same room, even for a moment.

Everybody went to see Mr. Francis Hagerup off; but this was at the
railway station, where people were not obliged to seem conscious of
one another's presence. This would have been impossible at Court.

Social life in Copenhagen has fixed traditions (very fixed, in spite
of the democracy of the people); they make it delightful. Society is
all the better for fixed, artificial rules. They enable everybody to
know his place and produce that ease that cannot exist where there
is a constant expectancy of the unexpected; but they were not proof
against the savagery which Germany's action had indicated.

When Count Szchenyi's mother died, his colleagues, disliking the
action of his country as they did, sent messages of condolence
privately, through me, then a 'neutral.' When Madame de Buxhoevenden
died, deep sympathy was expressed by the diplomatists on the other
side, but the utter disregard, on the part of the Germans in Berlin
for the ordinary decencies of social life caused society in
Copenhagen to become resentful and cold and suspicious whenever a
German appeared in a 'neutral' house. It seemed incredible that
hatred should have so carried away those around the German Emperor,
who had formerly seemed only too anxious to observe the smallest
social decencies, that the civilised world was willing to retort in
kind.

Even in the convents, the German Sisters were 'suspect,' and it took
all the tact of the Superiors to emphasise the fact that these ladies
by their vows were bound to look on all with the eyes of Christ.
'Yes,' a Belgian Sister had answered, 'with the eyes He turned to the
impenitent thief!'

However, religious discipline is strong, and it is the business of
those set apart from the world to overcome even their righteous
anger. Still, when I saw the expression on the face of the Abbé de
Noë, who had been a Papal Zouave and was still at heart a French
soldier, on a great festival, as he gave the kiss of peace to two
German priests on the altar steps, I felt that the grace of God is
compelled sometimes to run uphill!

Commercial transactions formed a great part of the work of the
Legation when Great Britain began seriously to restrain alien foreign
trade and to put a firm hand on such neutrals as adopted the motto
of some of the English merchants, before they were awakened,
'Business as usual.' I am afraid that I gave little satisfaction; our
instructions were not precise. That some of our great business people
should have fallen into a panic after August 1914,--men of the
highest ability, of the most scientific imagination, who foresaw
contingencies to the verge of the impossible--seemed amazing. In
conversation with some of these gentlemen as late as the spring of
1914, when I had come home to deliver some lectures at Harvard
University, I was convinced that they knew what Germany's aims were
in the East. They were aware of the negotiations regarding the Bagdad
Railway and the opposition which existed between German and Russian
claims. How long would Germany be satisfied with the English and
Russian predominance?

They discussed this. Some of them had travelled much in Germany; they
were willing to admit that the Balkan question could be settled only
by war. In 1914, Secretary Bryan seemed to be sure that no war cloud
threatened. When I saw him early in that year, he was entirely
absorbed in the Mexican question and in extending the knowledge of
the minutiæ of the Sacred Scriptures among American travellers in
Palestine. I had just opened my lips (having silently listened to the
most delectable eloquence I have ever heard) to say that Russia had
begun to mobilise and that Germany would be ready to pounce by
September, when Mr. John Lind came in, and the Secretary had
attention for no other man. The affairs of Europe faded.

The Germans, as far as I could see, had great hopes of a breakdown of
the Allies through treachery in the French Government itself. From
such private information as we could get, it seemed that they relied
on treachery among the Italians--especially among the 'Reds.' There
is a French lady who wore the pearls of the Deutsche Bank, whose
husband they had bought, and there were others it was said.

Our means of getting private information was not great. We had no
money for secret service or for organisation. When we went into the
war, our Legation had neither the offices nor the staff to meet the
event. This was not the fault of the State Department, but of the
system on which it rests. It was necessary to have a decent official
place in which to receive people, a place which was elegant and
simple at the same time. This we had, but barely room enough for
ordinary work.

If a distinguished visitor came, he was ushered into the salon or the
dining-room. If Sir Ralph Paget, the British Minister, came hurriedly
on business a moment after Count Szchenyi arrived, he was shown into
the dining-room, as the three offices were always full of people.
After the war opened, the Legation--a very elegant apartment, which I
secured through the foresight of my predecessor, Mr. T. I.
O'Brien--was often like a bit of scenery in a modern French farce,
where people disappear behind all kinds of screens and curtains in
order to avoid embarrassments. Mr. Allard, the Belgian, to whom we
were devoted, came one day by appointment, and almost met Prince
Wittgenstein in the salon, while the Turkish Minister held the
dining-room, confronted by Lady Paget, who was led off to Mrs. Egan's
rooms on pretence of hearing a Victrola which happened to have been
lent to somebody a few days before.

The State Department would have permitted me to rent, on urgent
request, a satisfactory place, but the coal bill would have amounted
to three thousand dollars a year. As I had not recovered from the
expenses of the entertainment of the Atlantic Squadron (they were
small enough considering the pleasure the gentlemen of that squadron
gave us) and other outlays, I felt that the coal bill would be too
great, and even with the war cloud on the horizon, the State
Department was not in a position to give us a reasonable amount of
money or the necessary rooms for a staff such as the British had been
obliged to collect. The British Government owned its own house, which
answered the demands made on it. The fiery Captain Totten gave the
Legation no peace. We were not prepared; we knew it. It would have
absorbed twenty thousand dollars to put us on an efficient basis. And
our staff for the very delicate work must be specialists; one cannot
pick up specialists for the salary paid to a secretary of Legation or
even to a Minister.

It is different to-day; the old system has broken down now. Money is
supplied, even to that most starved of all the branches of the
service, the State Department, where men, like ten I could name, work
for salaries which a third rate bank clerk in New York would
refuse--and poor men too! As things were, the Legation did the best
it could.

The greatest difficulty was to get trustworthy information. What were
the German military plans? What were the social conditions in
Germany? As to financial conditions, it was comparatively easy to
secure information. The German financiers would never have consented
to the war had they not scientifically analysed the situation.
Industrials, like Herr Ballin, counted on a short war; they had
provided. We knew, too, that the military authorities, which overrode
the civil, believed that the Foreign Office could manage to
ameliorate the consequences of their insolence and arrogance. It was
strange that these very military authorities thought that the United
States would not fight under any circumstances, for they had
voluminous reports in their archives on the details of our military
position. Our Government had always been generous in giving
information to foreign military attachés. In fact, a German officer
once boasted to me that his war office had filed the secrets of every
military establishment in the world, except the Japanese.

That we were despised for our inaction was plain; Americans were
treated with contempt by certain Austrian officials, until some
enterprising newspaper announced that a great army of American
students had made a hostile demonstration in New York against
Germany! A change took place at once; even in France, it was believed
that the United States would make only a commercial war. I remember
that the Vicomte de Faramond, who deserves the credit of having
unveiled Prussian schemes before many of his brother diplomatists
even guessed at them, asked me anxiously, 'You _must_ fight, but is
it true that it will be only a commercial war? I think, if I know
America, that you will fight with bayonets.' He has an American wife.

Ambassador Gerard was quietly warning Americans to leave Berlin; and
yet we were 'neutral,' and the German Government believed that we
would remain neutral at least in appearance. No German seemed to
believe that we were neutral at heart, though there were those among
the expatriated who held that we ought to be, in spite of the
_Lusitania_ and our traditions. One of the puzzles of this was (every
American in Copenhagen tried to solve it) the effect that a long
residence in Germany had on Americans. 'I sometimes read the English
papers,' said one of these; 'I try to be fair, but I am shocked by
their calumnies. The Kaiser loves the United States; he has said it
over and over again to Americans, and yet you will not believe it.'

'Belgium!'

'Oh, the Germans have made a fruitful and orderly country out of
Belgium.'

This kind of American helped to deceive the Germans into the belief
that our patience would endure all the insults of Cataline. There was
very little opportunity to compare notes with my colleagues in Sweden
and Norway. They were busy men. I fancy Mr. Morris's real martyrdom
did not begin in Sweden until after Easter Sunday, 1917. Mr.
Schmedeman doubtless had his when the rigours of the embargo struck
Norway; but for me, the worst time was when we were 'neutral'!

As to the German Foreign Office, why should it listen to the warnings
of our Ambassador, in November, who might be recalled by a change of
administration in March?

Six months before election, no American envoy has any real influence
at the Foreign Office with which he deals. The chances are that the
policy of the last four years will be reversed by the election in
November. Up to the last moment, as far as I could see, the Foreign
Office in Berlin believed that the growing warlike democratic
attitude would be softened by the new Administration, which, it was
informed, would not dare to make Colonel Roosevelt Secretary of
State.

'Secretary of State,' an Austrian said, 'how could an ex-President
condescend to become Secretary of State. One might as well expect a
deposed Pope to become Grand Electeur!'

Previous to November 7th, 1916, the day of the Presidential election,
our situation was looked on by all the diplomatists and all the
Foreign Offices as fluid. It might run one way or the other. There
was a widely diffused opinion in Denmark that, as President Wilson
had been elected on a peace platform for his first term, Germany
might go as far as she liked without drawing the United States into
the conflict.

In Berlin, in high circles, the election of Mr. Hughes was considered
certain. He was supposed to represent capital, and capital would
think twice before burning up values. The Kaiser had given Colonel
Roosevelt up; 'Sa conduite est une grande illusion pour notre
Empereur,' Count Brockdorff-Rantzau had said. I learned from Berlin
that the ex-President had been approached by a representative of
the Kaiser of sufficient rank, who had reminded Colonel Roosevelt of
the honours the Kaiser had showered upon him during his European
tour. 'I was also well received by the King of the Belgians,'
Colonel Roosevelt answered. 'C'est une grande illusion,' Count
Brockdorff-Rantzau repeated, more in sorrow than in anger. 'The
Emperor did not think that the ex-President would turn against him!'

Until election day, every American diplomatist in Europe merely
marked time. He represented a Government which was without power for
the time being.

An expatriated Irish-American came in to sound us as to the
prospects. 'President Wilson will have a second term,' I said; 'the
West is with him, and Mr. Hughes's speeches are not striking at the
heart of the people.'

'He is pro-English, God forbid!' he said. 'Wilson means war!'

'We may have, on the other hand, Colonel Roosevelt as Secretary of
State for War.'

'God forbid!' he said. He had stepped between two stools; he still
lives in Germany--a man without a country.

We were still 'neutral,' and the election was some months off. Count
Rantzau saw the danger which the military party was courting. He was
too discreet to make confidential remarks which I would at once
repeat to my Government; he knew, of course, that I would not repeat
them to my colleagues, who never, however, asked me what he said to
me. He was equally tactful, but we saw that he was exceedingly
nervous about the outcome of the U-boat aggression. It was worth
while to know his attitude, for he represented much that was really
important in Germany. He began to be more nervous, and many things he
said, which I cannot repeat, indicated that the military party was
running amuck. He was always decent to Americans, and he was shocked
when he found that his _laissez passer_, which I obtained from him
for the Hon. D. I. Murphy and his wife to pursue their journey to
Holland, was treated as 'a scrap of paper.' Mr. Murphy had not
received the corroborative military pass, which one of my secretaries
had obtained at the proper office, consequently Mrs. Murphy was
treated shamefully at the German frontier. I remonstrated, of course,
but it was evident that the military authorities had orders to treat
all civil officials as inferiors.

Miss Boyle O'Reilly had a much worse experience at the frontier. Her
papers had been taken from her boxes at a hotel in Copenhagen,
carefully examined, and put back. Miss O'Reilly had had many
thrilling experiences (people imitated Desdemona--and loved her for
the dangers she had passed through) but like most of her compatriots
she could not be induced to disguise her opinions or to really
believe that there were spies everywhere. Being a Bostonian, she
could not say 'damn,' but she never used the name of the Kaiser
without attaching to it, with an air of perfect neutrality, the Back
Bay equivalent for that dreadful adjective. She made a great success
in Copenhagen. Her magnificent lace, presented to her by an uncle who
had been a chamberlain to Cardinal Rampolla, was extravagantly
admired at the dinner Mrs. Egan gave for her. Miss O'Reilly,
according to some of the experts present, had reason to be proud of
it. After the adventure of the note books at the hotel, it was almost
hopeless to imagine that Miss Boyle O'Reilly would be allowed to
cross the frontier, in spite of her passport and the courtesy of the
German Legation. She was undaunted as any other daughter of the gods.
She tried it, and came back, not very gently propelled, but with the
calm contentment of one who had said what she thought to various
official persons on the frontier. We were glad to get her back on any
terms. People asked for invitations to meet her; we were compelled to
adopt her as a daughter of the house to retain her. The experts in
lace were horrified to find that the vulgar creatures at the
frontier--smelling of sausage and beer--had injured the precious
texture. They seemed to have thought that its threads were barbed
wire. We protested; Miss Boyle O'Reilly demanded damages. Ambassador
Gerard seemed to be impressed by the fact that the lace had been part
of a surplice of the late Cardinal Rampolla's. We made this very
plain, but the German authorities took it very lightly; they were so
frivolous, so lacking in tact and justice, that Miss Boyle O'Reilly
became more 'neutral' than ever.

In spite of Count Rantzau's courtesy, we were having constant trouble
at the frontier. Every Dane who had relatives in the United States
expected us to protest against the rigidity of the search. 'I did not
mind when they took all my letters; but when they rubbed me with
lemon juice to bring out secret writing, I said it was too much';
said one of these ladies, who had to be escorted to her own Foreign
Office.

Mrs. William C. Bullitt, just married, had to be coached into
'neutrality.' 'Good gracious! I always say what I think,' she
remarked, declaring that, of course, the German, His Serene Highness
she was to go into dinner with, must see how wrong the Belgian
business was! Mr. and Mrs. Bullitt had some trouble at the frontier,
but her diary, uncensored, came over safe for our delight.

The Spanish Minister, Aguera, who had lately been superseded by his
brother, had his own troubles, which, however, he wore very lightly.
He was as neutral as his temperament, which was rather positive,
allowed him to be. When he left to be promoted, the pro-Germans
enthusiastically announced that the German Government had complained
of him to Madrid.

The cause of the war, it was generally conceded, was the question of
the way to the Near East and the control of the East. Now that
Germany had practically all of the Bagdad Railway and more than that,
a clear way to the Persian Gulf, would she cut short the war, if she
could? Count Rantzau, without explicitly admitting that his country's
chief aim had been accomplished, said Yes. The great desire of his
nation was for peace. The U-boat war was only a means of forcing
peace. 'We do not want to crush England! Heaven forbid!' said Count
Szchenyi, 'but we tolerate the U-boat war only as an instrument for
obliging England to make peace. Peace,' he said, 'we must have peace
or all the world will be in anarchy,' I do not think he 'accepted'
the U-boat war, except diplomatically. Another distinguished
representative of one of the Central Powers, making a flying visit,
said, first assuming that the 'North American' and English interests
were identical--'Peace may bring Germany and England close together.
We are too powerful to be kept apart. With Germany ruler of the land
of the world, and England of the sea,--what glory might we not
expect!'

'If the Allies do not accept the Chancellor's peace note, I give them
up!' cried Szchenyi. 'People talk democracy and the need of it among
us! Why, Hungary is verging on a democracy of which you Americans,
with your growing social distinctions, have no conception of. What we
want is peace, to save the world!'

When the new Emperor Karl ascended the Austro-Hungarian throne,
Szchenyi, whose ideas were more liberal than some of the old régime
liked, became a prime favourite at court, and was removed to the
Foreign Office.

Before the fall of Russia, it was generally conceded that Germany, in
holding Turkey and Bulgaria, had gained her main purpose. Both of
these countries hated her in their hearts. We had proof of this. What
more did she want? Only peace on her own terms, perhaps slightly
modified, owing to the hardness of the hearts of the English; if she
could gain England, she could deal with France and easily with
Russia. Before the Czar abdicated, it was understood in diplomatic
circles that Germany believed it was time to stop. While there was no
immediate danger of starvation in Germany, there was great
inconvenience. Moreover, the great commercial position of Germany was
each day that prolonged the war melting like ice on summer seas; and
a short war had been promised to the German nation. Parties in
Germany were divided as to indemnities and the retention of Belgium.
Antwerp was as a cannon levelled at the breast of England (Hamburg
had good reason for not wanting Antwerp retained as a rival city in
German territory); but the way to the Persian Gulf, the submission of
Bulgaria and Turkey, the possession of the key to the Balkans, the
Near East, meant the confusion of the English in India. The Germans
were ready to oust the English from their place in the sun! It was
plain that the diplomatists, at least, looked on the Alsace-Lorraine
question as of small importance in comparison. Alsace-Lorraine, as
Bismarck admitted, had nothing to do with national glory. It was a
proposition of iron and potash. As to Italy, 'We must always live on
good terms with such a dangerous neighbour,' said the Austrians.
'Prussia would throw us over to-morrow for any advantage in the East.
If she could hamstring the Slavs, we might appeal in vain against her
destroying our scraps of paper!'

We knew that the Austrian distrust of Prussia never slept. But
Austria and Germany were absolute monarchies--against the world.

It was the general belief that Rumania would not be drawn into the
war. The Swedish Legation at Rome seemed to be of a different
opinion. It was noted for the accuracy of its information, but this
time we doubted. As observers, it seemed incredible to us in
Copenhagen, that she should be allowed to sacrifice herself; but the
rumours from Rome persisted. One well-known British diplomatist, Sir
Henry Lowther, formerly the British Minister at Copenhagen, had never
wavered in his doubts as to the solidarity of Russia. At the
beginning of the war, he had said, to my astonishment, 'Our great
weakness is Russia; if you do not come in and offset it, I fear
greatly.' Events proved that he was right.

For those of the diplomatic corps who came in contact with people
from the Near East, or with the Turkish diplomatists, the great
question was--the designs of Germany in the East. One of the
advantages of diplomatic life is that one comes in contact with the
most interesting people. In spite of a determination to follow all
the rules of the protocol as closely as possible Terence's
announcement, through the lips of Chremes, was good enough for
me,--'Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto,' and consequently, I
made profit out of good talk wherever I found it. I saw too little of
Dr. Morris Jastrow, of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1908, when
he came to Copenhagen with a group of distinguished orientalists; but
one of his sentences remained in my mind (I quote from memory), 'The
crucial question, and a terrible answer it may be when Germany gives
it to the world, is, Who shall control Bulgaria and Serbia and
Constantinople. Settle the matter of the road to the East, so that
Germany and Austria may not join in monopolising it, and then, we can
begin to talk of a tranquil Europe.'

Much later, I had a long talk with Rudolph Slatin, who had been a
close friend of King Edward's, and who knew the East. He had had too
many favours from England to be willing to take arms against her; he
was Austrian, but not pro-Prussian. His views were not exactly those
of Dr. Jastrow's, as Dr. Jastrow afterwards expressed them,[17] but
one could read between the lines. The Eastern route was the real core
of the war. Russia knew this when she began to make preparations for
mobilisation in the early spring of 1914. All the Turks I met,
including the two ministers, confirmed this.

 [17] In _The War and the Bagdad Railway_. J. B. Lippincott & Co.

Lady Paget, the wife of the British Minister, who came to Copenhagen
in 1916, knew more of the inside history of the war in the Balkans
than the _soi-disant_ experts who talked. She seldom talked; but the
Serbians, who adored her, did not hesitate to sing the praises of her
knowledge and of her efforts to save them. To her very few intimates
it was plain that she, as well as her husband, looked on the Balkans
as the key to the cause of the war. The Serbians that I knew, men of
all classes, said that, if Lady Paget had been listened to, Serbia
would have been saved to herself and the Allies. Whether this was
true or not, the Serbians believed it.

The missionaries driven out of Turkey who came to the Legation were
full of the Eastern situation, and the wrongs of the Armenians. The
stories of the missionaries, driven out, made one feel that Germany
was paying--even from the point of view of her longed-for
conquest--too high a price for the possession of Turkey. The Turkish
Ministers were more French than German in their sympathies, but to
them the Armenians were deadly parasites. They looked on them as the
Russian Yunker looked on the lower class of Jews.

Miss Patrick of Roberts College, passed our way. She was ardent,
sincere, naturally diplomatic,--discreet is a better word. But one
could see that the Turks and the Balkan peoples, whatever might be
their difference of opinion, or their own desire for territory, felt
that the German control meant the closing of the steel fist upon
them. The young Turks believed that they could hold the Dardanelles,
when they once turned the Germans out, and that Turkey might be the
land of the Turks. To attain this, they did not fail to appeal to
all the bigotry of the Moslem. One could see that Serbia despaired of
the Allies, that the Bulgarians believed that their untenable
position was due to the intrigues of Czar Ferdinand and to the
blundering of these same Allies. America was a land of promise, the
hope of freedom; but America seemed too far off. The Balkans peoples
felt that even America, had, while conserving her democracy at home,
cared little for the rights of the people abroad. This feeling
existed in all the neutral nations. A graduate of Roberts College
with whom I had talked of our interest in the small nations, smiled.
'The attitude of your country to the smaller nations reminds me of a
famous speech of the author of _Utopia_ when one of his household
congratulated him on Henry VIII.'s putting his arms about the
Chancellor's neck. 'If the King's Grace could gain a castle in France
by giving up my head, off it would go.' I did not dream, in January
1916, how soon we should begin to 'make the world safe for
democracy.' Mr. Vopika, our Minister to Rumania, came on the way home
from Bucharest about this time. He was full of interesting
information, and very cheerful, though practically imprisoned in
Copenhagen, as no boats were running. More and more it became plain
that Russia was breaking, and that Germany would soon be lifted from
that doubt which had begun to worry her statesmen. There was talk of
the Grand Rabbi going to Washington as Ambassador, which seemed to
infuriate the young Turkish Party.

Aaronshon, the expert for the Jewish Agricultural Society in
Palestine, came; a wonderful man, capable of great things, and shrewd
beyond the power of words to express. He did not deny that the
Turkish Crown Prince had been shot, having first fired at Enver
Pasha. Harold al Raschid is a novice to him in his knowledge of
Eastern things that Western diplomatists ought to know. From all
sources came the corroboration of the fact that, once sure of Russia,
with the Slavs in her grasp, Germany held, in her own opinion, the
keys to the world.

Opinions differed as to whether she was starving or not. Rumania had
helped her with oil and perhaps coal. The Chinese Minister at Berlin
said that she could hold out longer than China could in similar
circumstances, as his citizens would be compelled to reduce
themselves to less than two meals, and the Germans were coming down
from four! We know on the authority of the actor in the episode that
he had paid twenty marks in a restaurant in Berlin for a portion of
roast fowl; it was tough, and he laid down his knife and fork in
despair, when two ladies, at a table near him, politely asked if they
might take it!

Rumours, very disturbing, as to the conditions of Russia, came to us
from all sides. Our neighbour, Prince Valdemar, looked disturbed when
one asked as to the health of the Empress Dowager, who had been most
kind to my daughter, Carmel. He seemed to think that she would be
safe, though I heard him say that a revolution seemed inevitable. The
forcible and insolent 'conversations' on the part of Germany with
Norway--shortly before October 16th, 1916, she had actually
threatened war--had ceased for the moment.

Mr. Angel Carot, the French journalist, who was correspondent of the
Petrograd press, had reported on good authority that the Germans were
preparing a descent on Jutland. Vicomte de Faramond seemed to think
that the rumour was well founded. 'We know the point of view that
the Berlin Foreign Office has; Count Rantzau represents it,' said Mr.
de Scavenius, 'but who can not tell from day to day what the General
Staff will do?' The General Staff kept its secrets.

Poland was in a frightful condition. The Germans were not only
impoverishing the landed proprietors, but seizing their cattle and
forcing their farm people into the army. A Pole fighting for German
autocracy was in as pitiable position as a Slesviger fighting for the
enslaving of his own land. The Poles were not inclined toward a
republic, but there was not one of their noble families from whom
they would draw a constitutional king. A son of the Austrian Grand
Duke Stefan, who was popular in Poland, was much spoken of. I felt
that I ought to be flattered when a Polish prince and princess came,
well introduced, to lay the plan before me, as a diplomatist who
might assist in making a royal marriage! I concealed my surprise; but
it was delightful to hear of my 'relations avec des grandes personnes
dans toutes les chancelleries du monde.' And what a pleasure to hear,
'we know that even the Quirinal and the Vatican, etc. You who are
three times minister of the United States.' The 'three times minister
of the United States' puzzled me at first; then I remembered that one
of the German papers, I think it was _Die Woche_, had said the same
thing, meaning that I had served under three Presidents.

Our Polish guests were willing, under the circumstances, to approve
of the marriage with Archduke Stefan's son, provided a Catholic
princess, of liberal political views, could be found. To have a
German princess forced on them would mean new disturbances,--revolts,
dissatisfaction. There was perhaps the Princess Margaret of Denmark,
who had every quality, they understood, to make an ideal Queen of
Poland. 'Every quality,' I agreed, 'to make a man happy--but it must
be the right man.' I knew that Prince Valdemar, who had refused
Balkan thrones, was not desirous of marrying his daughter to a prince
'simply because he was a prince.' Would I sound His Royal Highness?
'I know,' I answered, 'that Prince Valdemar believes in happy
marriages, not in brilliant ones. In fact, I had heard him say that
he did not want Denmark to be looked on only as an arsenal for the
making of crowns.'

The prince and princess went on their way, to consult more
influential persons. They would not have welcomed a republic; in
February 1916 the German grip was strong in Poland, and a Danish
princess, the daughter of a French mother, seemed to offer them hope
in the gloom.

The fears of the Austrians, of the Russians, of the Poles, of the
Bulgarians that, if the war continued, anarchy must ensue, were not
concealed. The Polish prince and princess believed that Russia would
have a change of Government, but this change, they thought, would be
brought about by a 'palace revolution,' for Petrograd was the centre
of intrigues. The British Minister was accused of working in the
interests of the Grand Duke Nicholas; the German propaganda, as far
as we could discover, was for the practical application of 'divide
and conquer.' Baron de Meyendorff, whose cheerfulness was as
proverbial as his discretion, was uneasy; but as, unlike his chief,
Baron de Buxhoevenden, he belonged to the more liberal party, this
was taken as a sign that he was uncertain whether the new elements in
Russian political life would develop in an orderly way or not.

Baron de Buxhoevenden, the most calm, the most self-controlled of all
my colleagues, was unusually silent; his wife, than whom Russia had
no more intelligent and patriotic woman in her borders, had said that
the war would either break or make Russia. 'The Russian people,' she
said, 'since the beginning of the war, are better fed than they ever
were. The suppression of _vodka_ has enabled them to pay their taxes
and to begin to get rid of the parasites who prey on thoughtless
drunkards. Their prosperity will either induce them to rebel against
their rulers, or to accept the government because of their improved
conditions.'

'But why are they better fed?' I had asked.

'We are exporting nothing. The Russian peasant eats the food he
raises. Butter is no longer a luxury. I have hopes for Russia--and
fears.'

Her fears were justified. The murder of Rasputin called attention to
the dissensions in the Russian court. Admiring the Empress Dowager,
as everybody in the court circle did, it seemed amazing that her son,
of whom we knew little, should have permitted this peasant to acquire
such influence over his wife. There were fashionable ladies who knelt
to this strange apostle of the occult, who kissed his hands with
fervour. But murder was murder, and coming not so long after the
killing of the Crown Prince of Turkey, it gave the impression that
the oriental point of view as to the value of human life existed in
both countries. As time went on, Russia occupied our vision more and
more.

In spite of the revelations that have been made, revelations which
show that the only secrets are those buried with men who have found
it to their honour or interest to keep them--the details of the
reasons which caused Russia to mobilise in July are not fully known.
How the Russians gained their information of the intentions of
Germany in their regard is very well known. The most clever of
Russian spies was always in the confidence of the Kaiser; he paid for
his knowledge with his life.

As days passed, it became evident that the Royal Couple in Russia
were being gradually isolated. Calumnies almost as evil and quite as
baseless against the Tsarina as those published about Marie
Antoinette were freely circulated. To review here this campaign of
malice is not necessary. There were no chivalrous swords ready to
leap from the scabbards for her. The age of chivalry seemed indeed
dead. The poor lady was not even picturesque, whereas her brilliant
mother-in-law, Dagmar of Denmark, was still beautiful and
picturesque; she was imperial, but then she understood what democracy
meant. It is said that she believed that, if her son had appeared in
his uniform on horseback, surrounded by a staff of men who
represented traditions, the revolution would not have begun. Neither
the Tsar not the Tsarina understood what tradition meant to the
Russian mind. The empress was a German at heart,--an overfond and
superstitious mother. Good women have never made successful rulers,
as a rather cynical Russian said to me, _à propos_ of the Empress
Catherine. The nobility disliked her because she kept aloof from
them. The glitter and the pomp of court life which the Russian
aristocracy loved, the consideration which monarchs are expected to
show for the social predilections of their subjects were disregarded
by her. Living in perpetual fear, her nerves were shattered. All her
interests centred in her family and in the unbending conviction of a
German princess that the divine right of kings is a dogma. She was as
incapable of understanding that there were powers in the nation which
could destroy as was Marie Antoinette before she met destruction. We
understood at Copenhagen that she looked on all the acts of the
emperor that were not autocratic as weak; members of the Duma must be
subservient and grateful; otherwise, it was the duty of the Tsar to
treat them with the severity they deserved. The concessions, which,
if granted earlier would have saved the emperor, were very
moderate--merely a responsible ministry and a constitution. The Tsar,
under the influence of the empress, the reactionary Protopopoff and
the little clique of exclusives, who had forgotten everything
valuable and learned nothing new, refused to grasp these ropes of
salvation. The strength of the Grand Duke Nicholas-Michailovitch
amazed and disconcerted this clique. 'If,' said one of the elderly
Russian gentlemen we knew, 'he is not exiled, he will try to be
President of all the Russias one day!' The emperess dowager was
distrusted by the party around the empress. The empress dowager
believed in prosecuting the war, for she knew that Russia could only
follow her destiny happily freed from German control.

From February until March, 1917, Russia continued to be the one
subject of discussion in diplomatic circles. It was the general
opinion that the empress was the great obstacle to the emperor's
giving a liberal constitution to his people. The Danish court, though
the Emperor William had accused it of indiscretion, was silent.
Prince Valdemar, who was, like all the sons and daughters of King
Christian IX., devoted to the dowager empress, was plainly uneasy. We
all knew that his sympathies were with the Liberal Party and against
the pro-German and absolutist clique. 'The Russian people have
endured much,' he said on March 10th, the day on which the news of
the Tsar's abdication arrived; and, afterwards,--'Thank God--so far
it has been almost a bloodless Revolution.'

'Why,' asked the devout Danish Conservative, who believed that kings
were still all-powerful, 'why does not King George of England help
his cousin?'

It was only too plain that in spite of all warnings, 'his cousin' had
put himself beyond all human help.

The Russian soldiers calmly doffed their caps and said 'I will go
home for my part of the land!' The condition of Petrograd was such
that chaos had come again. To save the lives of the Tsar and Tsarina,
Kerensky insisted that capital punishment should be abolished. Count
Christian Holstein-Ledreborg, fresh from Russia, reported that at the
soldiers' meeting in the banquet room of the Winter Palace, speakers
imposed silence by shooting at the ceiling! There was an attempt on
the part of the new democrats to have prostitution, hitherto the
luxury of the rich, put within the reach of all.

Russia had gone out of the war; it was surely time for us to go in.
On April 7, 1917, I informed the Foreign Office that the President at
Congress had declared us in a state of war with Germany. Further
patience would have been a crime.

From that day the Legation took on a new aspect. Our decks were
cleared for observation and action. Mr. Cleveland Perkins, who had
courageously assumed the duties of the Secretary of Legation although
relieved by a secretary, had new and difficult duties thrust upon
him, to which he was fully equal. Mr. Seymour Beach Conger and Mr.
John Covington Knapp were invaluable. No words of mine can express my
sense of their self-sacrificing patriotism. Mr. Groeninger did three
men's work and Captain Totten kept us all up to the mark by his
fiery and persistent enthusiasm. No great dinners now! Even if we had
been in the mood, fire and food had become too scarce. Mr. Conger did
a most important service; he looked after the crowds of late comers
from Germany, and discovered what light they could throw on German
conditions. The State Department came to the rescue of our staff,
which was few but fit; Mr. Grant-Smith was sent from Washington, with
instructions to spend all the money that was necessary. He made a
complete organisation, and I, struck heavily in health, laid down my
task regretfully, leaving it in hands more competent under the
changed circumstances.

There is no use in hiding the fact that, even before Russia broke, we
who feared the triumph of Germany had many dark days; but there was
never a time when my colleagues of the Allies despaired. How Mr.
Allart, our Belgian colleague, lived through it, I do not know! The
Danes stood by him manfully, and he never lacked the sympathy of his
colleagues; but he suffered.

'The moment that England is seriously inconvenienced,' a German
Professor of Psychology had said, 'she will give in.' We know how
false this was. The race, pronounced degenerate, whose fibre was
supposed to be eaten up with an inordinate love of sport, showed
bravery to the backbone when it awakened to the real issues of the
war. The upper classes of the English were splendid beyond words.
Their sacrifices were terrible in the beginning, but their example
told; and long before the crash of Russia came, there was no question
of 'business as usual.' The British nation had realised that it was
fighting, not only for its life, but for the principle on which its
life is based. Yet the victory was by no means sure. 'The Empire may
go down under the assaults of the Huns--let it go rather than that
we should make a single compromise,' said Sir Ralph Paget. Mr.
Gurney, Colonel Wade, and all the staunch men connected with his
Legation, echoed his words.

Mr. Wells, the novelist preacher, may say what he will of the failure
of English education, but it has produced men of a quality which all
the men can understand and admire.[18] As to the French, they, too,
had their sober hours, and the saddest was caused, perhaps, by the
dread that we had forgotten what the war was for; such soldiers as
they were!--Captain de Courcel and Baron Taylor, suffering from
wounds, and yet counting every hour with pain that kept them from
their duty. But we came in none too soon; from my point of view, it
is unreasonable to believe that the apparent disintegration of
Germany and Austria was the cause of our victory. The cause of it was
the increase of man power on the Western Front. In Copenhagen, our
best military experts said, 'If the United States can be ready in
time to supply the losses of the French and English; if your aviators
can get to work, victory is assured.' These experts feared that we
would be too slow, and there were dark, very dark, days in 1916 and
1917.

 [18] Of all the many young men I knew in England and Ireland, most
 of them the sons or grandsons of old friends, there are only three
 alive; two of them, the sons of Mr. Thomas P. Gill, of the Irish
 Technical and Agricultural Board, have been made invalids in the
 war.

President Wilson's ideals were, in the beginning, looked on as
doctrinaire--breezes from the groves of the Academies. Some of the
elders and scribes of Europe, adept in the methods that nullified the
good intentions of the Hague conferences, looked on his explanation
of the aims of the conflict as the courtiers of Louis XIV. might have
contemplated the pages of Chateaubriand's _Genius of Christianity_,
if Chateaubriand had lived at Port Royal in the time of those cynics;
but the people in all the Scandinavian countries took to them as the
expression of their aspirations. The chancelleries of Europe heard a
new voice with a new note, but the people did not find it new.
President Wilson found himself, when he gave the reasons of our
country for entering the war, interpreting the meaning of the people.
Until he spoke the war seemed to mean the saving of the territory of
one nation, or the regaining it for another, or the existence of a
nation's life. Standing out of the European miasma, with nothing to
gain except the fulfilment of our ideals, and all to lose if there
were to be losses of life and material, we gave a meaning to the
war,--a new meaning which had been obscured.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that Germany has not changed her
ideals; all the forces of the civilised world have not succeeded in
changing them. Of democracy, in the American sense of the word, she
has no more understanding than Russia--nor at present does she really
want to have.

To a certain extent she conquered us. She obliged us to adopt her
methods of warfare; to imitate her system of espionage; to
co-ordinate, for the moment at least, all the functions of national
life under a system as centralised as her own. If she gave temperance
to Russia, an army to England, religion to France, she almost
succeeded in depriving our Western hemisphere of its faith in God.

Her efficiency was so expensive that it was making her bankrupt; she
was paying too much for her perfection of method. To justify it in
the eyes of her own people she went to war. France was to pay her
debts and Russia to be the way of an inexpensive road to the East.
Her methods in peace cost her too much; a short war would save her
credit. To our regret, perhaps remorse, we have been forced by her to
fight her Devil with his own fire; and now we hope for a process of
reconstruction in this great and populous country based on our own
ideals; but we cannot change the aspirations or the hearts of the
Germans. We can only take care that they keep the laws made by
nations who have well-directed consciences,--this lesson I have
learned near to their border.

                            THE END

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty at the
Edinburgh University Press





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