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Title: Spies and Secret Service - The story of espionage, its main systems and chief exponents
Author: Grant, Hamil
Language: English
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SPIES AND SECRET SERVICE

[Illustration: Fouché

_From an engraving after Girardet_]



 SPIES AND SECRET
 SERVICE

 THE STORY OF ESPIONAGE, ITS MAIN
 SYSTEMS AND CHIEF EXPONENTS

 BY
 HAMIL GRANT


 LONDON
 GRANT RICHARDS LTD.
 ST MARTIN'S STREET
 LEICESTER SQUARE
 MDCCCCXV



PRINTED BY THE RIVERSIDE PRESS LIMITED

EDINBURGH



CONTENTS


CHAPTER I

      PAGE

THE ETHOS OF THE SPY      17

The Pragmatical Age—Spies always with us—Prehistoric
Ages—Antiquity—Jurists and Spying—Morin's
Views—Napoleon and Spies—Modern Spy's
Characteristics—The Aristocrat as Spy—Teutons inferior
to Latins—Women as Spies—The Salic Law—Mentality
of Efficient Spy—Degeneracy of Spy—Good
Education and Presence essential—Audacious rather
than Courageous—Napoleon's Leniency towards Spies


CHAPTER II

THE SPY THROUGH THE AGES      29

Spies and the Bible—The Jew as Spy—Polyænus and
his Work—Mithridates his own Spy—Frontinus and
_Stratagems_—Ruses of Lelius—Tarquin's Son—Military
"Psychologising"—Alexander's Black Cabinet—Histiæus
and Ionia—Carrier-Pigeons used by Ancients—Hannibal
and his Spies—Cæsar's Use of Spies—Rome
and Church Spies—Continental School Spies—Frederick
the Great real Founder of Modern Espionage—His
Ambition for Prussia—Napoleon and Spies


CHAPTER III

LE CARON      39

Piggott and Le Caron—How the Major adopted his
Alias—Birth and Bringing-up—Puritanical Surroundings—Works
in Paris—Volunteers in American Civil
War—His Religion—Fenian Movement—Employed by
British Government to spy on Fenians—Joins Irish Republican
Army as Organiser—An Impromptu Speech—Fenian
Movement's Growth—General O'Neill's invasion
of Canada—A Generous Cheque from Ottawa—The
Clan-na-gael Movement—Le Caron an Active Spirit—_The
Irish World_—Influence of the Clan—A Russo-Irish
Alliance—Le Caron and Parnell—The Major's real
Status—How he won his quasi-Heroic Reputation


CHAPTER IV

SCHULMEISTER      58

Schulmeister a Master Spy—His Value to Napoleon—A
Claimant to Lofty Origin—Birth and Early Life—Smuggling
as a Trade—Meets Savary—His Capture of
Duc d'Enghien—Is presented to Napoleon—His Rôle
in Austerlitz Campaign—Becomes Mack's Confidant—Supplies
False Information to the Austrian—Personal
Description of the Spy—The Capitulation of Ulm—His
Advice to the Allies—Austerlitz—His Political Sense—His
Social Ambition—Employed at Congress of Erfurt—Spies
on Emperor Alexander, Queen Louise and
Goethe—His Request to General Lasalle—The Legion
of Honour—Retires from Paris—Fortunes crippled—Poverty
in Old Age—Meets Napoleon III.—Death


CHAPTER V

NATHAN HALE      79

Nathan Hale's Fanaticism—Compared with André—Puritanism
of Hale's Family and Education—At Yale
University—His Splendid Appearance—A Schoolmaster—Battle
of Lexington—Hale wins a Captaincy—The
Military Situation—Hale volunteers as Spy on
British—He justifies his Action—Enters British Lines
in Disguise—Mission serves little Purpose—A Fatal
Rencontre—Is captured by the British—Sentenced to
Death by Howe—His Last Words


CHAPTER VI

MACK AND THE MOLLY MAGUIRES      90

M'Parlan a North-of-Ireland Man—The Rush to Pennsylvania
Coal-fields—The Irish Adventurers—Growth
of New Ireland—Erin a Land of Political Unrest—A
Nursery of Political Agitation—The Four Provinces—Irish
Hatred of Traitors—The "Molly Maguire" Dispatch—Frequency
of Murders—Franklin Goven intervenes—Mack
enters the Field of Investigation—His
Qualifications for the Business—Picking up the Lines—A
Narrow Shave—Becomes an accepted Molly—His
Strenuous Task—Becomes a Suspect—Is sentenced to
Death—Eludes his appointed Slayers—Whisky saves
him—His Escape from the Coal Zones


CHAPTER VII

MAJOR ANDRÉ      104

Mongrel Breed of Spy—Marcus Crassus and his Spies—Birth
of André—Geneva University—His Precociousness
in Love Affairs—Buys a Commission in the Royal
Fusiliers—Learns his Trade in Berlin—His Charming
Personality—Leaves for Quebec via Philadelphia—Captured
after Lexington—His Value to Howe—Promotion—Mr
W. Seargent's Picture of André—Relations
with Benedict Arnold—His Correspondence with the
American Traitor—Importance of West Point—André's
Bright Hopes—Interview with Arnold—His Adventures
in Hostile Lines—Capture by an American Farmer—Bribery
of no Avail—Colonel Jameson's Mistake—André's
Letter to General Washington—What Tallmadge
thought—Is sentenced by Court Martial—His
Execution at Tappan—A Last Request


CHAPTER VIII

BRITISH SECRET SERVICE      123

Little or no Espionage in Britain—Beginnings of Secret
Service—Henry VII. and the Monastic Estates—The
Intelligencer in Elizabeth's Time—Statesmen employ
his Services—Some Expensive Intelligencers—Cromwell
well served by Spies—Charles II. and Duchess of
Portsmouth—Many German Spies in Georgian Times—Pitt
organises Foreign Spy System—Fox and the First
Consul—Canning's famous Tilsit Coup—Pre-Union
Espionage in Ireland—Le Caron's Indictment of British
Paymasters—The Trench-Brandon Trial at Leipsic—Germany's
Fear of Foreign Spies—Her Traitors seek
English Gold—The Cost of Espionage to England,
France, Germany and Russia—Home Office Alertness in
August 1914—Measures of Counter-Espionage


CHAPTER IX

FRENCH SECRET SERVICE      147

Frenchmen Unwilling Spies—Paris Centre of vast Police
Network of Spies—Colonel Henry's Fate—The Prevalence
of the _Dossier_—Fame and the _Dossier_—The _Agent
Provocateur_—Divisions of French Secret Service—Esterhazy's
Seventeen _Poursuivants_—M. Bertillon's
Bureau—Lower Orders of Spies—Forced Espionage—Newspaper
and Bankers' Spies—The French War
Office well informed—Renan's Views


CHAPTER X

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE      161

Germans are Natural Spies—The Principles of Frederick
the Great—_Matinées du Roi de Prusse_—Royal Views on
War, Religion, Policy, Justice—Essential Militarism of
Social Germany—Price Collier's Opinion—Stieber the
Organiser of German Espionage—His Origin, Character,
Unscrupulousness—Employed by his Sovereign—His
Importance in Official Circles—His Activity in all Classes
of Society—His Decorations of Honour—Bismarck
meets a Kindred Soul—Stieber "fixes" Bohemia—Downfall
of Austria at Sadowa—Stieber promoted


CHAPTER XI

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_      179

Bismarck's Faith in Stieber—Red Eagle for the Sleuth—Stieber's
Preparation to _invade_ France—His Requisitions
of Female Agents—An Attempted Assassination—Bismarck's
Far-sightedness—Stieber precedes the Army
of 1870—His Duties in the Field—A Pen Picture of
De Gallifet—Stieber's Ferocity and Boastfulness—The
Reptile Press—Bismarck and the Sleuth—Shooting a
Bridegroom—German Gold wins Friends—Importance
of Stieber in Berlin—His Wealth and Social Pretensions—Fears
the Theatre and Literature—Meeting
with Mommsen—Berlin a new _Urbs Sacra_


CHAPTER XII

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_      195

German Strategic Railways—Their Military _Personnel_
and Character—Stieber's Railway Spies in France—His
Foreign Agents of Domestic Unrest—England also
"covered"—Stieberism and the Dreyfus Case—Economic
Unrest and Berlin Gold—An Appeal to Irishmen—The
Mesnard Pamphlet—Who financed the Suffragettes?
(_Note_)—Death of Stieber—His Decorations of
_Honour_—German Lecturers and Teutonic Ambitions—Jewish
Eugenics copied—Prussia's National Missionaries—Creation
of "Sympathetic" Areas—Stieberism
a Sink of Immorality—"All is Justifiable"—How
France was overrun—German Sleuths at Work—The
Residential Spy


CHAPTER XIII

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_      214

Berlin and Polyænus—What the Spy has to find out—Lanoir's
Tales in Point—Buying a Subaltern—£8000 to
a Lieutenant—Berlin pays £10,000 for False Information—A
Pole _does_ the Bureau for £4000—German Spies
in 1914—The War Lord's _Un_acted Drama—Germanising
Influences in Belgium—Rhodes Scholarships
objected to—Ex-Priests in German Army—Cipher and
Red Man's Signals


CHAPTER XIV

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_      229

Steinhauer in Stieber's Chair—His Work at Headquarters—Scare
Policies—Elme Caro quoted—The
Zeppelin Programme—Hermann Turr's Revelations—Windell
the "valet"—"Number Seventy, Berlin"—The
Personal Qualifications of German Agents—No
Pretenders need apply—Salaries of Secret Agents—A
Hard Curriculum—Berlin's Tireless Quest of Intelligence—Mr
Graves and his Experience—Generous Pay for
Good Work—Game not worth the Candle


CHAPTER XV

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_concluded_      242

Impotence of German Espionage—Berlin's Sleuths and
Diplomats equally bad—Training Secret-Service Men—Insistence
on Facts—Naval Agents and their Knowledge—The
Fatuity of German Ambitions—Practice
_versus_ Theory—A Bismarck Touch—"Dirty Little
Lieutenants"—An American War Correspondent in
the Field


CHAPTER XVI

DIPLOMATIC, SOCIAL, CHURCH SPIES      255

No Sex Mystery about D'Eon—The Chevalier's Great
Courage—His Trip to Russia in Woman's Dress—Empress
rewards him—Spies for Louis XV.—Proves an Apt
Soldier—Minister in London—Is removed and recalled—Receives
Fat Pension—His Return to France—Resumes
Female Attire—Disappoints the Curious—Death
in 1810—Comte d'Antraigues—Napoleon's Opinion of—His
Real Importance—Murdered in London—Diplomatic
Secrets rarely divulged—Popular Misconceptions of
Diplomatic Spies—Napoleon's _Cabinet Noir_—Prussian
Spies at every Court—The "Posen" Case—Social Spies
ubiquitous—The Lower Types—The Tausch Bureau—London's
Peer Spy—A Self-constituted Social Cerberus—His
Courage in Action—Rise and Fall of the "Prince"—Sainfoin's
Derby—The Meyerling Tragedy—Church
Espionage—The Spanish Inquisition—Its Terrors and
Tortures—Congregational and School Spies


CHAPTER XVII

AMERICAN SECRET SERVICE      282

Few Spies in America—Political Spies active—Charles
I. and his Spies—Louis XVI. and De Kalb—Washington
and his Spies—James Rivington's Work—Secession
Dreams in 1812—The Mexican and Civil Wars—Southern
Female Spies—Their Cleverness and Exploits—Belle
Boyd and her Corps—The Whisky Ring Spies—Custom
House Spies—American Newspaper Spies


CHAPTER XVIII

NAPOLEON, HIS MISTRESS AND—A SPY      298

The Long Arm of British Diplomacy—Its fateful
World Rôle—Spying on Bonaparte—Romance of a
Captain's Wife—Madame Fourès and Bonaparte—Getting
rid of a Husband—John H. Barnett, British
Agent—Bonaparte's Unscrupulousness—The Harem of
Elfi Bey—Thrashing an Unfaithful Wife—Self-sacrifice
of Fourès—Napoleon's Narrow Escape


CHAPTER XIX

CONCLUSION—BIBLIOGRAPHY      309

INDEX      317



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


Fouché                              _Frontispiece_

Henri Le Caron              _To face page_      40

The Duchess of Portsmouth        "     "       128

Frederick the Great              "     "       162

The Chevalier d'Eon              "     "       256



I

THE ETHOS OF THE SPY


The worldly philosophy of the current age bears the name of Pragmatism,
the principles of which, so far as they are susceptible of being
weighed, constitute a more or less modified view of the doctrine that
the end justifies the means, a teaching which has become familiar to
us through the pages of Nietzsche and Stendhal, and which is based
mainly on the idea that might is the proper measure of right. Taking
it, then, that pragmatical notions of this sort have become almost
an implicit condition of individual progress, it would seem to serve
little purpose seriously to go into the question of the wrongfulness
or the rightfulness of spying as a factor in the struggle for complete
self-expression—itself the real aim of all ordered and prearranged
lives. It is sufficient for us to reflect that the successful spy
flourishes to-day, as he has flourished since the beginnings of
recorded time, and as in all probability he will continue to flourish
till the day of doom. Indeed, it is not an unreasonable presumption
that in the very earliest ages of the world, espionage must have been
an entirely necessary condition of the struggle for existence among the
infra-men who then peopled the caves of the earth and who succeeded in
successfully surviving only by virtue of predatory acts and excursions
in which the spoils and the plunder went to the strongest, who had
also made themselves the best-informed as to sources of supply. Bible
history, too, has told us about the Spy. The story of Joshua, the
leader of Israel's hosts and the excellent organisation of informers
which he controlled, remain like other tales of common human interest
in the Scriptures among those that linger always in the minds of the
least Biblical of students. Babylon, we are told, was overrun with
informers of all kinds, Memphis and Thebes in their turn became what
Alexandria proved to be in the time of Tiberius, and what the great
capitals of our own day have become—namely, recruiting centres for
criminal adventurers of all types, nationalities and classes, and
consequently happy hunting-grounds for all in rapid quest of the agents
of intrigue, iniquity and maleficence. Those, too, who have read the
classical writers will remember that great leaders like Alexander,
Mithridates, Scipio, Hannibal, Pompey and Cæsar, laid the foundations
of successful campaigns and political achievement upon information
previously supplied them by commissioned spies.

According to the Roman idea, spying was accounted a fair stratagem in
both war and politics and was, in theory at least, distinguishable
from treachery. Between the two acts there is, of course, a real
difference, although in works dealing with international law the terms
are often confused, some writers treating them as interchangeable,
whilst others but loosely differentiate between the act of spying and
that of betrayal, the presumption always remaining that the man who
is capable of being a successful and voluntary spy also possesses
talents which are common to the elemental traitor. The penalty of
death, says Bluntschli, should be such as to terrify all spies, and it
is the custom accordingly to execute them ignominiously by hanging.
Technically the spy has been defined as one who clandestinely goes in
quest of information, whilst a traitor is one who spies within his
own community and to its undoing. Although most authorities agree
in considering espionage as lawful among the ruses of warfare, all,
with one exception, concur in determining that death remains the
only logical desert of the man who has possessed himself of secrets
upon which the common safety depends. Certain international jurists
have objected to the employment, in any cause, of spies, as being
immoral, or as condoning acts which are of themselves immoral, and
the French writer Morin looks upon espionage with particular horror
on the ground that it is "usually malice aforethought and is never
voluntary," a peculiar enough view. It is especially blameable, he
holds, because a premium is placed upon essentially dishonest dealing,
although he admits, with some inconsistency, that it may sometimes
become lawful—when it is unsoiled by perfidy, as he puts it. Only the
last emergency can at all justify it, says Morin, who is singular
in declaring that a spy should not be put to death unless caught in
the act. Napoleon himself displayed an unexpected leniency wherever
possible towards captured spies, and this on the ground, as he said,
that the spy is, by his nature, a base character. In the opinion of
the great soldier the best spy is the half-breed who is a natural
cosmopolitan and is consequently unaffected by ideas of patriotism. His
greatest spy, Schulmeister, was a man of decidedly mongrel antecedents
and began life as a smuggler. Pedlars he also declared to be invaluable
in espionage, and for the reason that they are naturally disposed to
vagabondage, itself a trait of degeneracy. It is well known that he
would only employ in such work men whose past had been soiled by some
act of a disgraceful or criminal kind, and like the great Frederick,
it was his custom to propose to actually convicted criminals their
enlargement as the reward of a successful piece of spying.

Modern spies of the professional type, more especially those employed
by Germany, fully meet the specifications of Napoleon's idea of the
race. The accomplished spy of to-day is invariably a man of at least
quasi-criminal proclivities, a being entirely lacking in a moral
sense, a degenerate briefly; and indeed experts in the secret history
of the German special-information departments all agree in declaring
that a "white man," to use an Americanism, is worse than useless to
the experts at the chief bureau of the Berlin Secret Service. As a
consequence, their _corps d'élite_ is mostly made up of men who, if
they have not known the inside of prisons, have at least earned an
unequivocal right to such knowledge. One of the profoundest technicians
in the business of organising spy campaigns, the late Karl Stieber,
has stated that the most valuable spy is your born aristocrat with
a bad record and a worse reputation. Proof of the soundness of this
view would seem to have been fully advanced by the noble interveners
in the Dreyfus case, and, in any event, it is known that among the
names of the organising staff of Berlin's school for spies, a large
number are those who bear the names of famous families, while the
remainder, if not all gentlemen by birth, are at least gentlemen by act
of parliament, as the saying is. Courage, _aplomb_, the possession of
what Americans so aptly term "a good front," easy manners and a genial
temperament—of any or all of these qualifications, a man of good birth
is only in rare cases devoid. Heredity alone has given him many of the
psychic requirements that go to make up the most valuable of actors in
a desperate situation, including, perhaps, that philosophy of absolute
_insouciance_ which makes of him the most sinister and cold-blooded of
all criminal agents.

It would be unfair, however, to accuse the Germans of monopolising
all those vicious characteristics which go to form the complete spy.
Indeed, it would probably be nearer the mark to declare that it is only
because of the elaborate excellence of the German organisation that
the Teuton has signalised himself so prominently these later times in
espionage. For, in truth, the Teutonic mind is fundamentally lacking,
it is well known, in those qualities of craft and imagination which
produce the best kind of secret service agent. Perseverance and the
philosophy which knows how to wait on circumstances, these conventional
enough qualities he undoubtedly possesses in a marked degree above his
fellows. Nevertheless, they are not the most important requirements of
the master-spy, whose base diplomacy and its results must depend to
a great extent upon the exercise of constructive imagination and the
forcing of circumstances to suit his particular strategy. The German
has excelled his congeners at the business in the opinion of modern men
solely for the reason that among the Germans the trade of the spy is
not accounted more dishonourable than any other. In all probability,
however, the Italian, the Greek, the Kelt, given a highly systematised
school and an equal ethical standpoint, would prove abler executants
in any mission which called for the employment of deep-set guile, the
power of divining motives and the ability to calculate the effect of
moves. The essential arts of the diplomatist—has not an ambassador
been described as an official spy?—underlie, in respect of the mental
operations required, the work of your successful secret service agent,
and although men like Bismarck, whose mentality was not of a positively
Teutonic cast, may be cited in disproof of the statement, it is
certain that the German mind is less adapted and less adaptable to the
fine processes of the arts of political negotiation than that of either
the Kelt or the Italian.

Women, it is interesting to learn, from high authorities on the arts
of espionage, are rarely effective or satisfactory agents in secret
service. Not, it must be understood, that woman is incapable of the
requisite baseness that is, in the successful spy, an indispensable
quality. Far from it. Goethe, who was a competent judge of the sex,
has placed on record his view that woman, when intent on turpitude, is
capable of sounding lower depths than the vilest of the male species.
German experts are, however, unanimous in eliminating to a minimum
point the services of women as spies, and that too on the ground that
they are rarely to be relied upon if once romantic sentiment becomes
engaged in their operations—an ever-present possibility. "Any woman
but a German woman" was a common cry of Karl Stieber who may be
trusted to have well understood the character of his fair compatriot,
for whom love and romance—the purer the better—constitute the only
things worth living for in this drab enough world. Indeed, the famous
Salic Law is said to have owed its first enacting mainly to the fact
that German women were as a rule found to be unreliable, shall we
say? where their intimate feelings were apt to become involved, and
those who have resided in Germany will not require to be told that
a handsome face and a brave air, added to a romantic bent, go very
much further with women in the land of beer, love and song than with
their sisters in perhaps any other country in the world. The work
of the efficient spy involves, it is clear, a peculiar but none the
less specific proportioning of analytical and synthetical qualities
of brain-work, and while the feminine mind, which works mainly on its
intuitions, may be described as wholly of a synthetic calibre, it has,
except in the rarest cases, of analytical faculties—the ability for
properly appraising and forecasting causes and effects—the very poorest
provision.

The elaborate calculations of your Schulmeisters and Stiebers may be
said, in nearly all cases, to have worked out with the smoothness of
algebraic equations, and it is extremely rare that women display either
the self-restraint or the reasoning power which carry to successful
solution dragging intrigues with anything like the patient routine
and regularity which a series of really unromantic situations calls
for. Obviously, the work of the spy, no matter how dramatic it may
appear in its co-ordinated whole, must, in respect of its various
separate acts and phases, be bared of all dramatic or arresting
incident. Were the opposite the case, woman, a natural actor, would
find herself in the most congenial of elements. Anything more sordid,
however, or more commonplace than the general phase-work of the spy,
it would be difficult to imagine, and it is precisely for this reason
that woman as a rule fails as a secret service agent. In matters of
love or revenge, where her deepest feelings are concerned, she is
capable of a sustained effort calling for the application of whatever
analytical powers she may possess, but seldom in other cases; for an
appeal to, say, her patriotism leaves her almost invariably cold and
unenthusiastic, since love of country is a quality which depends too
largely on an essentially platonic and impersonal principle to attract
and hold for long her undivided interest and attention.

On the whole, a study of the spy, however interesting it may prove in
respect of the undoubted variety of its actors and dramatic aspects,
must be held to be a criminological study. Even in the cases of Hale
and André, whose careers owe much of the halo which invests them to
their tragic fate, one is suspicious of fanaticism in the former and
pronounced megalomania in the latter, both symptoms of unsoundness
of mind. However much the spy may plead disinterestedness in the
pecuniary sense, or point to present poverty as a token of his claim
to have worked for an implicit moral principle, one is conscious in
studying the life of any one of the species in more modern times, that
he contained within him all the necessary elements which go to make
up the character and personality of that class of degenerate who is
prepared to travel any path provided he be given the means to play
a more or less spectacular rôle. He is invariably to be found among
that type of men who advance the peculiar claim that "the world owes
every wight a living," strangely forgetful of the historic retort in
point. The application of this principle to all the length to which it
is capable of being extended would, of course, justify the struggle
for existence of the summer burglar, the swell mobsman, the sand-bag
artist and the lead-pipe assassin, to mention but a few members of the
big brotherhood which lives by crime. It is undoubtedly true that many
successful spies lay claim to be scions of splendid families, and,
as we have said, German authorities will not employ men on important
missions in espionage who have not at least had the education of
gentlemen. The boastful claim of pedigree—obviously untenable in the
majority of cases—provides for the writer, at any rate, something of
a key to the psychology of the spy. Pride of mythical ancestry is
undoubtedly a capital symptom of megalomania, among the conditions of
which is the obsession of self-importance, and this would seem to be
a widely prevalent disease among the sons of men. The desire to be
near important people, to be engaged in no matter how lowly a capacity
with men who direct important affairs, to associate in more or less
familiar fashion with celebrities, or people highly placed, to count
for even an infinitesimal part in the conduct of big events, to have
the tips of one's fingers in the particular pie of the moment, to have
been "not altogether out of it," as the cant phrase goes, in any given
episode, but above all to be known to integral outsiders as having
played the rôle of a fractional insider in any cause—this is an acute
mania with a larger part of the human race than is commonly suspected.
Megalomania of this kind goes a far way to explain the reason why men
fitted for success in the unspectacular and prosaic careers of life
will deliberately devote themselves to what must ever be considered as
among the most disreputable of trades.

It may be objected that at least it is a business which requires
courage and that all successful exponents of the metier of spying have
been men of undoubted courage. While admitting the boldness of men like
Le Caron and Schulmeister, it may be said that they displayed audacity
rather than courage, and the two qualities spring from entirely
distinct motives. Often the audacity which passes for courage arises
either from a lack of imagination, or else from a blind fatalism, and
in neither case is there any display of real courage. Duty, presumably,
is the fundamental motive of courage, and until your spy can be shown
to have engaged in the perilous business of espionage out of purely
conscientious devotion to task and principle—Le Caron, it is only
right to say, claims all of this—he must be classed with that type of
individual who enters into the business of unrighteousness "for all
there is in it," to use an American phrase, and well knowing the tolls
and penalties which failure will inevitably exact. It is impossible, in
perusing the private correspondence of the loud and boastful Stieber,
not to divine the presence of a spirit of active maleficence, the
measure of whose humanity is to be found in the number of cold-blooded
executions for which he was responsible in his capacity as an agent
of Bismarck's lust for conquest. And Stieber's congeners were as a
rule no worse and no better than himself, the only difference being
that the German held a larger stage on which to enact his rôle and had
correspondingly greater opportunities. The most charitable argument
that one can employ to excuse the existence of the spy is that by
which Napoleon sought to explain his leniency towards them: They are a
species of humanity which is by nature base, and to that extent only
are not responsible for their characteristics.



II

THE SPY THROUGH THE AGES


The spy, as we have seen, has been given mention in the Old Testament,
Joshua, David and Absalom having employed their services, and most of
us remember that passage in Genesis in which his brothers answer Joseph
saying: "We are true men, thy servants are not spies." The protracted
peregrinations of the Israelites necessarily called for the employment
of emissaries who should learn the qualities and dispositions of the
many peoples whom they encountered on their way to the Promised Land,
and your anthropologist might possibly not be far wrong in concluding
that it was the experience gained in the course of his ever-perilous
wanderings which made the Jew so apt an exponent of the arts of spying
as he most certainly proved himself to be in the days of consular and
early imperial Rome. In the New Testament, too, we hear of the spy
when the high priests, having Christ under suspicion, sent forth spies
who should feign friendship with Him for the purposes of extracting
information. Every commander of antiquity was accustomed to employ the
services of spies, as the Greek historian Polyænus tells us in the
course of that marvellous compilation of his in which he gives details
of some nine hundred stratagems, serviceable, it is noteworthy, not
only in war, but also in civil and political life. If we are to judge
by what the Romans say of themselves, their character was incapable of
stooping to the baseness of common spying or studied treachery of any
sort. The view is, of course, open to criticism, and when we reflect
upon the treatment which triumphing generals were wont to accord to
their most illustrious captives, not easily acceptable. One of the most
formidable spirits of antiquity, Mithridates, King of Pontus, a prince
regarding whose exploits writers have been strangely neglectful, was
himself the chief spy of his army, and for the purposes of this work
had made himself master, Pliny tells, of some five and twenty languages
and dialects, by means of which, as well as fitting disguises, he was
enabled to penetrate every region of Asia Minor. It is written that
from the time of his succession to the throne of Pontus at the age of
fourteen, he spent seven years wandering through and spying out the
countries which he eventually conquered, and for the possession of
which he waged a lifelong war against the power of Rome.

In the course of a work entitled _Stratagems_, Frontinus, a military
writer in the time of Vespasian, records how Cornelius Lelius, having
been sent by Scipio Africanus in the capacity of envoy to Syphax, King
of Numidia, but in reality for the purposes of espionage, took with
him several officers of high rank in the Roman army, all disguised. A
general in the camp of Syphax, recognising one of these companions,
Manlius, as having studied with him at Corinth, and well knowing him
to be an officer in the Roman army, began to put awkward questions.
Thereupon Lelius fell upon Manlius and thrashed him, declaring the
fellow to be a pushful valet and nothing better. On the same occasion,
the envoy allowed a high-spirited and richly caparisoned horse to
escape from his suite in order to be given the opportunity of going
through the camp to recover it. Again there was Tarquin the Proud
who, failing to capture the city of Gabii to which he was laying
siege, had his son flogged till the blood ran from his body and then
sent him a refugee into the midst of the enemy, with instructions
to procure by bribery the surrender of the place, all of which the
youth accomplished. Polyænus tells how Sertorius, the Roman general
in Spain, was the owner of a white fawn that he had trained to follow
him everywhere, even to the steps of the tribunal which the animal had
been taught, at a given signal, to approach as Sertorius was about to
deliver sentence in judicial cases. The commander allowed it to be
made known that he derived much information from this fawn. Meanwhile
his spies were very active all over the country and the tribes all
marvelled at the knowledge of the general, who attributed it to the
little beast for which he claimed supernatural powers.

Polyænus also teaches the necessity of "psychologising"—a term not
unknown to American experts in that form of police torture which is
known as the Third Degree—the leader to whom one may be opposed.
"One must exert oneself," says the Greek, "to find out the character
of one's enemy as well as his disposition; whether he is impetuous
and spirited at the first shock, or patient and apt to await the
onslaught." Every general should know all there is to be known about
the business of opponents, and he goes on to tell the tale in point,
showing that what we know to-day as the Black Cabinet—that is, the
spying of private correspondence in the post—was practised by Alexander
the Great who lived some three hundred years before Christ. "Being
in Carmania, he was informed that the Macedonians and Greeks in his
army were speaking badly about him. Alexander thereupon assembled his
friends and told them that as he intended writing home they should do
likewise. Accordingly, they all wrote home and Alexander saw to it
that the couriers were recalled with the mails before they had gone
very far on their journey." Recurring to the same authority, we learn
that cipher was well known to the Greeks under the name _skutate_ and
to the Romans as _scutula_, meaning a wooden cylinder around which an
inscribed papyrus was rolled. He also records the story of Histiæus, a
tyrant of Miletus who wished to incite Ionia to rebel against Darius;
fearing however to send letters to the Ionians in those perilous times,
he thought out the ruse of having the head of a trusted slave clean
shaved and a message written on the scalp, addressed to Aristagoras in
the simple words: "Rouse Ionia to revolt." The slave was then sent on
his way to Ionia, and, his hair having grown over the fateful message
by the time hostile camps were reached, he passed safely through to
Aristagoras, who had the poll shaved once more and so learned his
general's design. Altogether it would seem that during antiquity, ruse
rather than real ability was the cause of many loud-famed successes
and victories. Frontinus tells how the Consul Hirtius used to send
carrier-pigeons to his friend Decimus Brutus, and Justus Lipsius is
responsible for the statement that swallows were trained for purposes
of military and other espionage, the same authority informing us that
it was the custom among Eastern nations for birds to be trained as
long-distance messengers, more especially between lovers. It may be
certain, too, that postal communications were not all entrusted to the
famous relay runners, regarding whose marvellous stamina the Roman
records tell us.

Hannibal, it is certain, could never have performed that wondrous march
from the edge of Andalusia right up through Spain, over the Pyrenees,
across France and beyond the Alps into the plains of Piedmont, where he
fought his most artistic battle in 218 B.C., at the Trebia, had it not
been for an organisation of spies and informers who prepared the way
by ruse and diplomacy for the advance of his hordes. Of him Polybius
writes: "For years before he undertook his campaign against Rome, he
had sent his agents into Italy and they were observing everyone and
everything. He charged them with transmitting to him exact and positive
information regarding the fertility of the trans-Alpine plains and
the valley of the Po, their populations, their military spirit and
preparations and, above all, their disposition towards the government
at Rome. There was nothing too large in promises that the Carthaginian
was not ready to make in return for their support against the hated
City." Cæsar too employed spies to the undoing of his adversaries in
Egypt, in Gaul and also in Britain, and although in his Commentaries
he records his employment of emissaries of this kind, history remains
generally blank as to special details, leaving us to conclude that,
like Napoleon, he relied mainly on the exigencies of the moment to
produce the required information through the bribery of individuals in
the opposite camp. In his early political career, especially during his
tenure of the office of Pontifex Maximus, it seems clear that he then
laid the leading lines, through the employment of many informers, of
that vast political network of which he subsequently became the master,
while his later association with Marcus Crassus, who mainly owed both
wealth and power to the army of spies which he controlled, was in every
way to Cæsar's advantage in respect of the means of procuring important
information. Had he employed the services of a spy system on his
attainment to supreme power, it is unlikely that he would have come to
his destruction at the hands of a group of the best-known men in Rome,
the fact leaving us to infer that he had ceased to use a secret service
after the Civil War.

On the passing of Constantine to the Bosporus in the fourth century,
Rome, in the process of the ages, became the centre of a vast
ecclesiastical power. The work of the spy then reached the honours of
a kind of consecration. Writers like Lachesnaie and Deville emphasise
the view that ecclesiastics are especially fitted for the business
of spying. Fouché and Talleyrand had been clerics in their early
days and certainly both were masters in the business of organising
special-information corps. In his works, too, the Prussian General,
Karl von Decker, declares that "a secret which cannot be penetrated
by a woman or a priest will never be penetrated." To tell the story
of Church espionage would exhaust the capacity of a large library,
and in this connection it may be said that adversaries of the Church
of Rome have ever held that the Confessional was a purely political
invention, the object of which was to spy upon the community. Whether
this be so or not, it is fortunately not our business to decide; it
is fair, however, to mention the prevalence of the view. In any case,
clerics have ever proved themselves apt for the work of espionage, and
in a collection of ordinances issued and signed by Louis XIV. in 1652,
a certain Father Berthoud, "although an ecclesiastic, is authorised
to disguise himself in any way he likes in Paris, Bordeaux, Blaye and
elsewhere," for the purposes of spy work among the political and
social enemies of the Crown. Cardinal Richelieu and his understudy,
Père Joseph, practically inaugurated in France the system of opening
private communications, a practice which was carried to its extreme
under Napoleon, of whose daily budget of private letters, his fourth
secretary, Fain, has told us much.

That the system of espionage persists to our own day in Continental
colleges and convents under the control of congregational clerics, is
a fact which is well known. Each division of a school is invariably
placed under the chronic vigilance of a "surveillant," or watcher,
who in his turn employs his own corps of spies, privileged boys
moving among the masses of their congeners, marking their intentions,
noting the relations of the younger boys with the older, getting
information as to unlawful programmes to be carried out, ferreting
out secret testimony as to the habits of suspect characters and, if
possible, intercepting amorous billets which pass between elder boys
in other divisions and the younger fry. In regard to these unwholesome
_liaisons_ the vigilance of the spies is certainly justified; but the
system goes much deeper than this in foreign schools, its objects
being to inquire into the most intimate details regarding the private
character of a boy—heaven only knows why, if it is not for the pure
love of finding out. Indeed, it must be allowed that the baser
tendencies which are to be noted in the case of all spies, here display
themselves in the form of a pruriency which often touches the indecent
and always the unwholesome.

The real founder of the business of organised spying in modern times
was Frederick the Great, who was wont to boast that his spies exceeded
his cooks in the proportion of a hundred to one. It is impossible
closely to read the story of Frederick, or even to study minutely his
face as pictured, say, by Meyn, without becoming conscious of the
fact that here was a being who realised in his personality the claim
of the psychologists that great ability and criminal tendencies are
often closely affiliated. Apart from what we know of his perverse
eccentricities, it is certain that his deliberate elimination of all
the higher ideals of humanity from a place in his political philosophy
had the effect of making him as impersonal as an automaton where his
material ambitions were concerned, and he knew no other. Like the true
pragmatist he was, Frederick considered all things good in themselves
which served his ends, and his policies were invariably conceived on
his pet principle: "If honesty fails us, we have always dishonesty to
fall back upon." He it was who laid the foundations of that policy
of Prussianisation of which our story of Stieber tells in its turn,
and in which no measure was to be considered too extreme or base, nor
turpitude too abhorrent, provided it advanced the interests of his
House and furthered its ambition to play in Europe that rôle which had
passed to the Habsburgs by inheritance from the Cæsars. For Prussia
Frederick sought a permanent predominance in Europe equal to all which
Louis XIV. had exercised between 1661 and 1715. An understanding of
these facts is really the condition of grasping the significance of the
elaborate Prussian spy system of our own time.

Lastly comes the age of Napoleon, in which we find that, for all the
essential militarism of the imperial regime, the spy really played a
more prominent rôle in the social and political drama than in that of
the camp, the great soldier, except in extraordinary cases of long-laid
plans, as in the Austerlitz campaign, relying mainly on human cupidity
touched by the magic of his gold, to find, as the occasion demanded,
willing perverts to provide him with the information necessary to the
success of his combinations.



III

LE CARON


Away back in the later eighties, when Ireland was in the throes of her
penultimate fight for the principle of self-government, all true sons
of Erin had marked out for their particular obloquy two individuals who
have since become notorious—namely, Piggott, the forger, and Major Le
Caron, the spy. Those whose memories travel back easily to the famous
_Times_ Commission will recollect how offensively both names stunk
in the nostrils of all who supported the late Irish leader. Among
Nationalists, it will be remembered, the spy was invariably spoken of
under the name "Le Carrion," and even those who gave him the benefit
of a proper pronunciation of his pseudonym were wont to utter it
with that peculiarly hissing emphasis with which Irishmen, among all
men, seem able to invest the names of those who run counter to their
political bias. The positive venom which certain eloquent Nationalists
seem actually to instil into the pronunciation of names like "Dublin
Castle," "Major Trant," "Lord Clanricarde" lingers long afterwards in
the memory of English listeners, just as the rattle of certain snakes
is said ever afterwards to linger in the ears of those who have escaped
them in the jungle. To hear the late Mr Biggar, for instance, utter
the _nom de guerre_ of the famous British spy was a real lesson in the
onomatopœic art, and on his lips the name, otherwise inoffensive and,
indeed, on English tongues a liquid enough quantity, was made to attain
a sibilancy which was truly weird in its effect.

[Illustration: Henri Le Caron

_By permission of Mr. William Heinemann_]

How came the Major by his adopted name, and was it really meant to
portend anything? It was humorously said at the time that the spy had
taken his pseudonym from the French form of the name of that mythical
boatman of classic memory who was wont for a few halfpence to ferry the
souls of the damned across the river Styx, Charon, to wit. Le Caron
is, however, a common enough French name, and the Major had lived some
years in France previously to migrating to the United States, in which
country Thomas Beach first became Henri Le Caron. Born at Colchester,
Essex, in 1841, Beach belonged to a type of family which was clearly
of old-fashioned puritanical stock, and the point is important enough
in view of his later claim to have acted the rôle of traitor purely
on the ground of moral principle. In his autobiography he tells how
from his earliest days he had been brought up to cherish the Bible
and to loathe all forms and quantities of alcoholic liquor. His home
life was altogether not a very bright one and dull domestic repression
soon began to exert its own particular reaction on a character which
was already bursting with the spirit of adventure and derring-do. He
records it that the routine of his existence grew too monotonous
for the larger soul within him, and how he ran away from home and a
Quaker's shop at least three times before his sixteenth year, breaking
his apprentice bonds and travelling far and wide, yet managing, at
whatever town he made a halt, to earn what he calls a respectable
living. Like most characters of his obviously crude and untutored kind,
in whom the spirit of romance is a considerable, if a somewhat jumbled,
equation, there was not a little of the megalomaniac in the boy, and
even in those early days his soul thirsted after the big things of
life. In young Beach, too, there was a bit of artistry of sorts, and
just as it was a chief ambition of Spy Schulmeister to dance like a
marquis of the old regime, and a foible of Spy Stieber to accumulate
pectoral decorations testifying to his honour, so also the youthful Le
Caron discovered a precocious passion for hymns and the music of the
church organ. At Colchester he became a leading and decorous choir lad,
and according to himself it was his love for psalmody rather than any
regard for his puritanical parents which invariably brought about his
return, prodigal-wise, to the paternal roof. One is obliged in that
spirit of fairness which gives the devil all that is due to him, to
insist on what are otherwise prosaic enough details, and all the more
so because, to the man's admirers, his piety provides an argument for
the rôle he afterwards adopted in life.

Having spent some years in Paris, where he worked as an agent for that
now-extinct old worthy, John Arthur, earning a living which enabled
him to present a highly respectable figure, he clearly felt a call,
he tells us, to join the North in 1861, when the kindling American
Civil War made the States a kind of promised land for all sorts of
adventurous spirits, most of whom, it may be supposed, were still
feeling the influences of the comparatively fresh Napoleonic legend.
Taking out a passport in the name of Henri Le Caron, young Beach
shipped on the _Great Eastern_, then about to take her maiden trip
across the Atlantic, and landed duly in New York, where the military
authorities enlisted him as a private in the Pennsylvania Reserves. Le
Caron—he was never after 1861 known by the name of Beach—passes over
his military career with unexpected haste in his autobiography, it must
be said. He was present, he tells, at important engagements during
the course of the war, first as an infantry soldier, subsequently as
a cavalryman, receiving promotion and being especially detailed for
scouting operations. In 1864 he was gazetted second lieutenant and by
1865 had attained the rank of regimental adjutant with the title of
Major—a rank which became, it may be said in passing, at the close of
the war, so common throughout the States, that humorists were wont
to tell how in 1866 it was impossible to throw a brick in any given
direction where men happened to assemble without hitting an officer of
that standing.

Le Caron, it is interesting to note, records his act of religious faith
in the following words:—"We are impelled by some unknown force to carry
out, not of our own volition or possible design, the work of this life,
indicated by a combination of circumstances to which unconsciously
we adapt ourselves." This, it may be remembered, was the religion of
the late Prince Bismarck, and it must be allowed that it is a highly
convenient and elastic hypothesis of life. It goes far to explain how
he came to be associated with Fenianism. Le Caron declares, however,
that he was far from having gone in search of the Fenians; on the
contrary, he insists, the Fenians came in search of Le Caron. The Major
disappoints us rather badly, nevertheless, by failing to show how it
was that the Irish in America, even in those days a powerful community,
should have sought out the psalmodical soldier who abhorred alcohol in
all its forms and possible quantities, and why he, a Briton, of all
men, should have been singled out to put life into the Irish-American
movement for the emancipation of the Sister Isle. At the head of that
movement in 1865 was James Stephens, who directed the organisation both
in Ireland and America, while his agents on American soil included
some of the shrewdest Irishmen of that age and, indeed, some of the
most prosperous. Le Caron explains briefly how he first entered the
movement as a spy. A fellow-officer had informed him quite casually
that the main object of the Irish-American agitation of that date
was the invasion of Canada. This startling bit of news proved more
than sufficient to call out the fires of the old puritanical moralist
dormant in the Major, who proceeds to inform us in the language of
tragic passion which one applies to a tailor who has omitted a minor
detail, that he "felt quite indignant at learning what was being done
against the interests of my native country." Accordingly, and in order
to unload his chest of the perilous secret, he addressed a letter
to his father, a local tradesman, at Colchester, informing the sire
that an attack was contemplated on the Dominion by a group of bold
bad Irishmen. Evidently there was in the Beach tribe a congenital
incapacity for holding a secret, for no sooner had the old man read his
son's letter than, "startled and dismayed at the tidings it conveyed,
he, true Briton that he was," made over the letter to the then sitting
member for Colchester, a Mr Rebow. It was this gentleman who was
instrumental in procuring Le Caron his salaried commission to act in
America as a spy for the British police authorities.

In 1867, Major Le Caron, freed from military service, was looking
around him for the means of maintaining his family, and in the course
of a visit to England, was instructed by the British Government to
ally himself with the Fenian organisation in America, "in order," as
he frankly admits, "to play the rôle of spy in the rebel ranks." His
adventurous nature welcomed the work as congenial, he says, while his
British instincts made him a willing worker from a sense of right.
Accordingly, on his return to America, he offered his services as a
military man to General O'Neill, who was to lead the anti-British
forces in the event of another uprising. On his cordial acceptance by
O'Neill, as well as initiation, on his solemn oath, into the Fenian
Brotherhood under that soldier's sponsorship, Le Caron returned to his
Western home and lost no time "in commencing to lead my double life,"
as he puts it. At Lockport, Illinois, he set about the organisation of
a Fenian "circle" in which he took the position officially known by the
title of "center," or commander, a post which entitled him to receive
all official reports and communications issued by O'Neill. These
reports were duly transmitted to London by the Major and one pauses
here to reflect that in this supplementary office Le Caron might not
inappropriately have borne the subsidiary title of "scenter." The soul
of the Major was clearly one of no ordinary beauty and versatility, for
in order to supplement his gains as a secret-service agent, he accepted
about this time a comfortable post as hospital steward in a vast gaol
in Illinois. Here, he naïvely admits, he felt at home, because, as
he writes, "in such a vast assembly of criminals, there were many
whose characters and careers formed subjects for very interesting
study to me. I was fortunate in being connected with the prison at a
time when some more than usually clever and facile scoundrels were
temporarily resident there." O'Neill was, however, on the look-out for
energetic agents, and Le Caron was not suffered to remain long in
the comparatively inactive life of an Illinois gaol. In response to
a telegram from headquarters, he proceeded hurriedly—and apparently
without giving due notice to his employers—to New York, where he was
engaged as "major and military organiser of the Irish Republican Army,"
at a salary equivalent to £650 a year, a rare exchange for the few
pounds he was being paid weekly as a prison official in Illinois. With
his commission he received instructions to proceed on an organising
tour, in the course of which, the Major learned, to his deep disgust,
that he was expected to address public meetings as a sworn advocate of
the Irish cause. He knew nothing whatever about Irish politics and was
well aware that ignorance of Irish aspirations meant, in the opinion
of most Irishmen, wholesale indifference, which was hardly worse than
active hostility itself. Once, indeed, he found himself in a tight
fix which called for all the undoubted nerve the spy possessed. The
occasion was a Convention of the Fenian Brotherhood at Williamsburg.
The Major tells the story in the course of his autobiography in the
following words:—

 "The evening came and with it our trip to Williamsburg. On arrival
 there in the company of O'Neill and some brother officers, I found
 several thousands of persons assembled. We were greeted with the
 greatest enthusiasm and given the seats of honour to the right and
 left of the chairman. My position was a very unhappy one. I was in a
 state of excessive excitement, for I feared greatly what was coming.
 Seated as I was next to O'Neill, I could hear him tell the chairman on
 whom to call and how to describe the speakers; and as each pause took
 place between the speeches, I hung with nervous dread on O'Neill's
 words, fearing my name would be next. The meeting proceeded apace,
 some four or five of my companions had already spoken and I was
 beginning to think that after all the evil was postponed and that for
 this night at least I was safe. Not so, however. All but O'Neill and
 myself had spoken when to my painful surprise I heard the General call
 upon the chairman to announce Major Le Caron. The moment was fraught
 with danger; my pulses throbbed with a maddening sensation; my heart
 seemed to stop its beating; my brain was on fire and failure stared me
 in the face. With an almost superhuman effort, I collected myself, and
 as the chairman announced me as Major M'Caron, tickled by the error
 into which he had fallen and the vast cheat I was playing on the whole
 of them, I rose equal to the occasion, to be received with the most
 enthusiastic of plaudits.

 "The hour was very late and I took advantage of the circumstance.
 Proud and happy as I was at being with them that evening, and taking
 part in such a magnificent demonstration, they could not, I said,
 expect me to detain them long at so advanced an hour. All had been
 said upon the subject nearest and dearest to their hearts. (Applause.)
 If what I had experienced that night was indicative of the spirit of
 patriotism of the Irish in America (tremendous cheering), then indeed
 there could be no fears for the result. (Renewed plaudits.) And now
 I would sit down. They were all impatiently waiting, I knew, to hear
 the stirring words of the gallant hero of Ridgeway, General O'Neill
 (thunders of applause), and I would, in conclusion, simply beg of them
 as lovers of liberty and motherland (excited cheering) to place at the
 disposal of the General the cash necessary to carry out the great work
 on which he was engaged. This work, I was confident, would result in
 the success of our holy cause and the liberation of dear old Ireland
 from the thraldom of the tyrant's rule which had blighted and ruined
 her for seven hundred years. These last words worked my hearers up to
 the highest pitch of enthusiasm, and amidst their excited shouts and
 cheers I resumed my seat, with the comforting reflection that if it
 took so little as this to arouse the Irish people, I could play my
 rôle with little difficulty."

Fenian Conventions came and passed; the organisation had grown to
extraordinary proportions, as is shown by the fact that in 1868,
when the Brotherhood made a demonstration at Philadelphia, not fewer
than 6000 armed and uniformed Fenian soldiers paraded the city,
with General O'Neill at their head and Le Caron among the staff.
In the course of his work in the Eastern States, the Major had
already distributed, he tells, 15,000 stands of arms and 3,000,000
rounds of ammunition for the prospective raid which promised shortly
to be undertaken, on the prime condition, however, that the funds
should be forthcoming to finance the adventure. In the spring of
1870 it was decided to make the projected move upon Canada, O'Neill
declaring with a Kelt's enthusiasm that "no power on earth could
stop it." Le Caron, who was, of course, already in active touch with
the Ottawa authorities, met the British agents at Buffalo, giving
them full particulars and details as to the Raid which was about to
take place. On their departure to make complete preparations for all
eventualities, O'Neill arrived at Buffalo, whence, and accompanied by
Le Caron, he left for the Front. "O'Neill," writes the Major, "was
full of enthusiasm and firmly believed that the Canadians would be
taken entirely by surprise, while I myself was laughing at his coming
discomfiture." Arrived at the frontier, O'Neill, who expected to find
at least 1000 Fenians under arms—the nucleus of an army which was to
attract another 500,000 Irishmen from all parts of America—discovered
to his dismay that only 250 men had assembled; this number was swelled
by the arrival of 250 more on the morrow, when the General, fearful
of the effects of hesitation and delay, ordered his force to cross
the border from Vermont into Canadian territory. The simple Irishman
addressed his troops in early-Bonapartian fashion as follows:—
"Soldiers! This is the advance guard of the Irish-American army for
the liberation of Ireland from the yoke of the oppressor. For your own
country's sake you enter that of the enemy. The eyes of your countrymen
are upon you. Forward—March!"

The spy himself, from the crest of a slope, watched the advance of the
little band of invaders as it crossed the border-line into British
territory, some in Fenian uniform of green and gold, others in ordinary
"Sunday" garb. Not a soul was in sight, nor anything like a force
to oppose their progress. Le Caron well knew, however, that behind
the ridge towards which the Fenian army advanced deployed, cheering
wildly and with bayonets fixed, at least 1000 Canadian volunteers were
lying in wait. As the invaders touched the slope, the Canadian rifles
opened fire, the Army of Liberation ceased forthwith to exist, and
the last the Major saw of General O'Neill was that officer's passing
in a hackney-coach seated between the two policemen who had arrested
him. Le Caron of course fled with the rest of the invaders, and
immediately made his way to Ottawa for the purpose, he says somewhat
unconvincingly, of personally "reporting" to the authorities as to the
raid, the result of which had in all probability been telegraphed to
Government House ten minutes after the fiasco. Duly he arrived at the
political capital, where he was, he says, received with the honours
that usually fall to the carriers of military dispatches. Here a
significant enough incident occurred. Wishing to return home at once,
Le Caron prepared for the journey only to find at the last moment
that he was without funds for the ticket; he thereupon applied to a
certain Judge, who wrote him a cheque for the unusually generous sum of
£70—generous seeing that the sum was at least ten times the amount of
his fare supposing him still to have lived in the West, while the fare
from Ottawa to New York State does not exceed fifteen dollars at the
farthest. With his usual dispatch in regard to matters in which one's
curiosity not unnaturally looks for relief, Le Caron passes from the
episode without volunteering any explanation of a satisfactory kind.

In the intervening time between the failure of O'Neill's rising and the
advent of the society of United Irish Brothers, the Clan-na-gael, in
1873, Le Caron spent his time studying medicine. As a practitioner he
claims to have had successes. His taste for spying seems nevertheless
to have exceeded his love for medicine, for in 1873, with the coming
of the Clan, we find him laying his plans to deal with that important
body, which, it may be said, differed from all other Irish-American
societies in the technical excellence of its organisation. Its primary
object was to unite throughout America and the world all Irishmen
who loved their country. Naturally the Major, although supposedly
French, presented himself as a candidate for membership in the new
organisation, and having improvised an Irish grandmother to fortify
his candidacy, was in due course admitted to the Brotherhood on his
sworn oath to be loyal to its covenants. From the very first, however,
he became an object of suspicion to several prominent leaders of the
movement, and it was only after a pressing fight for recognition that
he was eventually appointed to such a position as should enable him
to penetrate the arcana of the society's inner shrines. As with the
Fenian body, he became in the Clan a member of the Military Board.
Every document of value which afforded evidence of the Brotherhood's
dynamite propaganda directed against English cities was, as in the
F.B. days, transmitted to the British Home Office, the correspondence
being actually carried on between Le Caron's wife and another member of
her sex in London. Accordingly, one may readily believe the spy's own
statement that while he was a member of the military councils of the
Clan, he was also shaking hands with danger and discovery at every turn
and only saved his skin by a miracle. In the course of his association
with the Brotherhood Le Caron of course made the acquaintance of some
of the most prominent Irishmen in America's anti-British movements
of the past generation, among them Messrs Egan, O'Donovan Rossa and
the late Patrick Ford. The last of this trio was never, he says, a
member of the Clan nor any other secret society, however much he may
have supported in his early days the physical-force views which were
advocated by extremists of all kinds. Mr Ford owed his prominence, says
the Major, to the wide influence of his paper, _The Irish World_, in
the conduct of which was also associated his brother, Mr Austin Brendan
Ford, as a business director. It was undoubtedly the force which kept
together the various elements of the Irish community in the States;
edited with great ability, it had a vast circulation, which went well
into the hundreds of thousands and had its readers among Irishmen
in every quarter of the globe. Mr Ford, though not a member of the
Brotherhood, allowed himself, says Le Caron, to voice its policies
through his paper.

Some idea of the influence of the Clan may be formed when one realises
that between 1876 and 1880, Russian revolutionary societies were
treating with the American organisation to carry out any part of the
propaganda in which a common co-operation was possible. In return for
Irish-American financial aid, in the event of an Anglo-Russian war, the
Muscovite revolutionaries pledged assistance to the Irish in the cause
of complete emancipation from the English bond. Two extremely wealthy
Irish-Americans were prepared, it was understood, to support this
strange Russo-Irish alliance with many millions of dollars. Included in
a somewhat lengthy programme were the three items, assassination of
Queen Victoria, the kidnapping of the Prince of Wales and the killing
of the Tsar. All of these intentions Le Caron ferreted out, conveying
due information to Scotland Yard. The late Mr Parnell the Major also
met in America, becoming instrumental in "promoting" the Irish leader's
Land League ideas in the States. Of Parnell Le Caron expressed the view
that he was out wholly and solely for what financial rewards there were
to be found in political agitation. Davitt he regarded as a simple
soul, but a born conspirator and one who could not long be induced
to tread a constitutional path. It is clear that Major Le Caron made
the acquaintance of all who were prominently engaged in the Parnell
movement, and it is a remarkable tribute to his powers of deception
that until he returned to England for good and proved his real quality
before the Commission, not one of the actors in the last phase of that
memorable struggle ever suspected him of being a secret-service man.

It is not the purpose of this story to follow the Major throughout
the whole of his career as a spy. His work, which differed but little
in regard to its methods at any time or in any undertaking, cannot at
all be said to have been of a class which required a very high type
of mentality or any diplomacy worthy of that description. For all his
prominence in the profession, it cannot be said that Le Caron, at any
point in his career, ever rose above the status of a common informer.
He himself admits that he owed much of his success to the fact that,
finding himself among a hard-drinking society, he was one of the rare
men who never allowed a taste for fire-water to endanger the operation
of his business. Nor can we suppose that the Clan-na-gael men, whom he
deceived so long, were at all adept in the deeper arts of political
intrigue, or that they possessed any of that finesse which marked
the type of men with whom Schulmeister had on nearly every occasion
to measure his nimble wits. Le Caron claimed to be considered on a
different level from all other spies and for the reason that he adopted
the profession purely in the interests of his patriotism. A close study
of his confessions discloses, however, a positive disposition towards
the mercenary aspect of things and the Major's art—in literature, at
least—is far too feeble to conceal the fact. There is in many of his
reflections upon the parsimony of British secret-service paymasters
the suggestion of a whimper in regard to the small pecuniary rewards
he obtained for services which he himself naturally appraised very
highly, but which really only provided results which were certain to
have been arrived at even if the British Government had never employed
an official spy upon the Irish-American brotherhoods.

Le Caron owed much of that quasi-heroic reputation which grew up around
him and his career to the fact that he appeared on a drab enough stage
as the only figure with melodramatic possibilities inherent in it at
a time when the Americanised type of journalism was creeping into
England and when journalists were being gradually initiated into the
mysteries of writing up what is technically known among newspaper men
as the "human interest" side of all persons and things. In the personal
cast of the Parnell Commission and its long-drawn sessions, there was
nothing of picturesque interest outside the occasional appearance in
the witness-box of Irish peasants who were called upon to bear witness,
in Doric accents, to the truth. Apart from these, the individuals who
gave testimony were a bunch of frock-coated, plug-hatted Philistines
of the most "orn'ery" description, as they say out West, men who used
unfailingly to put the special writers to sleep. In Parnell there was
nothing, externally at least, which could be said to be in any way
picturesque, and Biggar only came up to the specifications of a very
curious picture. Along, then, came Le Caron, a veritable godsend to
the correspondents who were gaping for a bit of decent colour. The
Major may be trusted, as a man who had touched hands with the American
journalist, to have realised and seized his opportunity. The obvious
Napoleon pose, the arms folded across the breast, the sharp sibilant
tones, the Westerner's "yus, yus" and "no, siree," the Machiavellian
suggestion of knowing all there was to be known about mystic shrines
and tangled intrigues, the obvious consciousness of being the apparent
villain of the piece who was finally, he thought, to issue as its real
hero, the glacial fixity of the stare, the pose of long-suffering
righteousness—yes, the spy in the witness-box was exactly what the New
Journalists were looking for, and in making Le Caron they were helping
to make themselves.



IV

SCHULMEISTER


Of all modern spies, Karl Schulmeister, Napoleon's chief secret-service
agent, appears to have possessed mental and temperamental qualities
of so high an order as to justify one's belief that in the business
of _haute politique_ he might have played a prominent rôle, had his
destiny lain that way. As it was, he played in the Napoleonic drama a
part which, although practically unknown even to well-informed students
of history, may be said to have contributed an important quota not only
to the Corsican's achievement of his lofty position in the world, but
also in some measure to its retention. And although Napoleon made his
chief spy a rich man and allowed him to hold in his time many positions
of consideration if not of honour, such as the organisation of the
_corps d'espions_ and the headship of the imperial secret police, it is
a matter of definite record that he consistently and to the end refused
to bestow on Schulmeister any decoration of honour. In what degree and
to what extent the work of the spy was less dignified or honourable
than that of Fouché, the high-placed minister of police, is not
easily apparent and it seems hard to find any real justification for
Napoleon's refusal to Schulmeister of a pectoral certificate of worth
when we reflect on the personal and public character of the heavily
bedizened Duc d'Otranto who, apart from his long career of duplicity
and intrigue, was eventually to prove the agent of the Emperor's final
undoing and betrayal. In view of our expressed opinion that megalomania
largely underlies the psychology of the spy, it is interesting to
note that Schulmeister also laid claim to the honour of lofty birth.
His grandfather, he told the world of his time, had been a Hungarian
refugee noble of the family of Biersky, who settled in Baden, about
1730, where he adopted the profession of schoolmaster, taking at the
same time a name descriptive of his occupation—hence Schulmeister.

What we know for a certainty is that the spy's father was a kind of
unattached or nonconforming Lutheran minister at Neu-Freistett in
1760, and that Karl Schulmeister was born here on 5th August 1770,
when Napoleon was about one year old. The meagre accounts which remain
extant give us the picture of a village boy of respectable position
whose character bore a striking resemblance to that which Robert Clive
earned among the townspeople of Market Drayton in his early years.
Schulmeister, at the age of twelve, was the acknowledged leader of the
local band of youthful marauders and scapegraces—hooligans we would
call them in these days. At the age of seventeen he had already become
known as one of the most accomplished smugglers on the Franco-German
frontier, a business, it is noteworthy, in which he engaged, either
personally or by proxy, to the closing years of his life. At the age of
twenty-two he married an Alsatian maid called Unger, and established
himself in two distinct trades which his considerable smuggling
operations were likely to render lucrative at the time. In after years,
however, when he had become the lord of a château and large pleasance,
and preferred to be known as Monsieur de Meinau, the spy was prone to
overlook the fact that he had at one time kept a provision shop and an
ironmongery at Neu-Freistett. Smuggling he was always willing to admit,
and for the reason that in Revolutionary times, when life was accounted
cheap, it required much courage and resource, he said, to become a
successful smuggler. Undoubtedly the experience he acquired in this
dangerous trade had called for many of the mental qualities which were
to serve him so well in his after-career.

About 1799 he was introduced to Colonel Savary, afterwards to become
the Duc de Rovigo, who was then engaged on a minor commissarial mission
for the Directory in Alsatian countries. Savary was evidently one of
those fortunate individuals on whom the gift of sensing great events
to come appears to be bestowed, and, like all of his kind, he had both
the eye for useful men and the talent for attaching them. An acuminous
judge of character, he was first attracted to Schulmeister by the
latter's cool audacity and splendid resource in the conduct of perilous
smuggling enterprises, though whether, as it is said, Savary was
himself anxious to share in the very liberal profits of the smuggler's
trade, is not so clear. It is certain, however, that the rising soldier
and the prosperous contrabandist continued to meet and to correspond,
so that in 1804, being commissioned to allure a princely _emigré_
across the French frontier, in accordance with Napoleon's resolve to
put a term to conspiracies against his power by sacrificing the blood
of a Bourbon, Savary at once remembered his friend Karl Schulmeister.
The man who had so long and successfully eluded the excise officials at
the frontier would in all probability, he argued, prove easily equal to
the task of trapping a royalist on the wrong side of the international
boundary-line.

Entrusting the conduct of his business operations to his wife,
Schulmeister visited Savary at Besançon early in March 1804. Here
he was definitely instructed by the French General—Savary had been
promoted to this rank in 1803—in the details of the intrigue which was
to bring about the capture of the young Duc d'Enghien, whose murder
had been resolved upon by the authority in Paris, its object being
to strike terror into the royalist camp and clear the way towards a
larger rôle for Bonaparte. Enghien was at that time a young man of
thirty-two resident in the territory of the Grand Duke of Baden close
to the French frontier. Proscribed like all the members of his House,
he was admittedly a man in whom a taste for political intrigue counted
for little, too far removed from possible succession to the throne of
France to be seriously suspected of ambitious designs and, from what
his contemporaries assure us, one who represented the best type of his
royal race. That harshness of lot which was common to the _emigré_ of
every rank in those times did not spare the young Duc, who lived in
very unpretending fashion at Ettenheim, a harmless dependent on the
bounty of England. Historical inquiry into details connected with the
residence of the young Bourbon in Baden has entirely removed from him
all suspicion of having been in any way privy to a conspiracy against
the First Consul. It was the Duc's custom often to visit Strassburg,
where lived a lady friend who was to prove a cruelly unconscious agent
in the intrigue which brought about her lover's destruction.

In accordance with the plans which Schulmeister laid down for the
trapping of Enghien, this lady, to whom the Bourbon was passionately
attached, was taken one morning by emissaries of the spy, conveyed to
Belfort across the French border and interned at a country house near
the frontier, the reasons given for her detention being that she had
become an object of suspicion to the omnipotent French authority. In
the lady's name, a letter was then forged by Schulmeister, purporting
to come from her to Enghien at Ettenheim, retailing the misadventure
and asking her lover to use whatever means he could to procure her
release from the country house. This implicit appeal to his chivalry
was sufficient for the Duc, who, on 14th March, decided to see if by
bribery he could not himself effect the release of his mistress. Acting
just as the astute Schulmeister had foreseen, Enghien left Ettenheim
with two attendants before midnight of the 14th, and it was at a hamlet
in Baden territory close to the frontier and near Lorrach, that the
spy's emissaries, all on the alert and noting the opportunity of an
easy capture, seized upon his person. Thence the prince was conveyed to
Strassburg, from which city he was taken to Vincennes, where, having
undergone a mock-trial, he was executed on 20th March at dawn, his
gaolers forcing him to hold a lantern so that the bullets might find
their mark. It may be remembered that one of Enghien's last requests
was for permission to send a letter to his lady friend, who, as soon as
she had ceased to serve any further purpose, was quickly released by
Schulmeister. This letter, it may be presumed, would have conveyed the
Duc's explanation for the reasons which had prevented him from coming
to his mistress's aid as she had requested. It is said that Savary, for
whom the capture of Enghien meant the certain continuance of Napoleon's
favour, paid the spy blood-money equal to £6000 for his successful
entrapping of the Bourbon prince.

Schulmeister was presented to the notice of Napoleon by his patron
Savary in 1805. "Here is a man who is all brain and no heart, Sire,"
said the General. Our spy has left a short description of Napoleon of
those days, which contains, as far as the writer knows, the only record
of the quality of the great soldier's voice, a more important index
of personality than is generally supposed. According to Schulmeister,
Napoleon's voice was high-pitched, but crisp and with a certain
stridency, while his habit of speaking through the teeth seemed also
to give his utterances a peculiarly hissing sound. For the rest, the
spy does not appear to have carried away a marked impression of the
conqueror's personal appearance. The great soldier seems to have
treated the spy with a playful interest and kindliness, and by the
spring of 1805 we find that Schulmeister had received a commission
from him to report upon the coastal towns of the south of England.
It is also said that the spy visited Ireland, where he made it his
business to become acquainted with the remnants of the rebels of 1798,
who still placed a somewhat simple trust in Napoleon's vague promise,
expressed, if at all, through third parties, that he would some day
consider the question of attacking England through Ireland, granting
her independence to the latter. Whether or not the English and Irish
visits were ever paid, it is certain that Napoleon, in thinking out
the campaign of 1805, especially remembered the existence of Karl
Schulmeister—in itself a rare tribute to the spy's ability from a
master-judge of clever and useful agents. Napoleon, as we gather
from historical writers like Paul Muller, did not place an absolute
confidence in the reliability of non-military spies. "The spy is a
natural traitor" was his expressed view of the species. As a rule the
Emperor trusted to his military intelligence department to supply him
with all that information upon which he based his complex strategic and
tactical calculations. The Austerlitz campaign in view, not so much
of the momentous political contingencies inherent in the whole event,
differed from others, however, as to the character of some of the most
prominent actors engaged. It was on this account that an apparently
insignificant person like Schulmeister came to play, in the stirring
political drama of 1805, a rôle which in its way was almost as helpful
to Napoleon as his own genius in elaborating that memorable episode.

It is well known that the Emperor, more than all other generals, and
true to the maxims of Polyænus, made it invariably his business to
learn all he could about the personality and character of any commander
with whom he was about to measure himself. With Alvinzy, Wurmser,
Beaulieu, the Archduke Charles and Mélas, Napoleon had fought different
types of battles based to a large extent on the personal qualities
and disposition of the general whom he happened to be opposing.
In the early months of 1805, Napoleon, always well served by his
regular diplomatic agents, may be trusted to have known the names and
characters of most of the commanders to whom Austria and Russia were
about to entrust the command of their armies in the campaign which all
Europe knew to be inevitable. As to the attributes of Field-Marshal
Mack, then a man of fifty-three, he can have had but few illusions
and well knew that family influence, rather than the possession of
real ability, had given the Austrian his high position in the military
councils of his country. In Mack was a dull simplicity of mind, unusual
to a man of his class, added to the fatal quality of allowing himself
easily to be influenced by others. Conditions in the Austrian army,
which had within recent years suffered a series of reverses at the
hands of both Bonaparte and Moreau, lent themselves easily to irregular
influences, a fact which had not escaped the penetration of Napoleon.
Mack, again, was anxious to atone for his defeat by the French in 1797
and was prepared to take advantage of any opportunity which should
give him in the conflict a superiority over the conqueror of Italy and
Austria.

In the summer of 1805 that opportunity presented itself in the form of
a letter which was addressed to him from one Karl Schulmeister, who,
like many well-educated Alsatians, spoke and wrote French and German
equally well. The writer in the course of a lengthy communication
informed the Field-Marshal that he had been removed across the French
frontier by Napoleon's orders, on the ground that he was an Austrian
spy. Schulmeister admitted the facts. He had been moved, he wrote, out
of pure love of his country and hatred of Napoleon, to act the spy
through the imperial armies of France, as to the equipment, plans,
intentions and organisation of which he was perfectly well acquainted.
All this information he was willing to give up on the condition of
being allowed to serve on the staff of the Austrian army. Then followed
an account of his Hungarian ancestry and many other details which need
not be particularised here. It is sufficient to say that Mack eagerly
seized the opportunity of possessing himself of the services of a man
who knew all about the French army, and engaged him as secret-service
agent on his own particular account. The spy, who had visited Vienna in
order to meet the Field-Marshal, was furthermore given military rank,
and Mack procured him—on the ground of his noble Hungarian descent,
with forged attestations as to which Napoleon's agents had supplied him
at his own request—membership of some of the most exclusive military
clubs in the Austrian capital. As his supply of money, coming as it did
from Napoleon's long purse, was practically unlimited, Schulmeister,
the ex-smuggler and actual spy, became an easy favourite in some of the
most exclusive circles in the proudest society in Europe.

A description of the chief spy is given by M. de Gassicourt, a
member of the medical suite of Napoleon: "Schulmeister is a man of
rare courage and imperturbable presence of mind. He is made for
great activities, his shoulders being broad, his chest deep, his
body not tall, but capable of sustained exertions. His face is
like an impenetrable mask." A German writer—an anonymous journalist
in the _Courier du Bas-Rhin_, who has written much about the spy's
career—describes Schulmeister as "one who ever seemed to affect the air
of a man on whom the safety of the State depended." While absolutely
incapable of the commonest feelings of humanity where strict business
was concerned, as in the murder of Enghien, the spy appears to have
considered it an indispensable part of his social equipment to waltz
like a gentleman of the old court of Versailles, and with this
momentous object in view employed the services of the most eminent
dancing masters. His manners were said to be excellent by men who were
sufficiently good judges, and, in any case, he must have acquired
considerable polish to have passed muster in Austrian society of that
age. He had not been long in Vienna, at all events, before he had
attached to his own service, and of course for cash considerations,
two well-known military men, who, when Mack took command of his army
in the autumn of 1805, accompanied him to the Front, Schulmeister also
proceeding thither as head of the military intelligence department
attached to Mack's forces. During all this time he successfully
contrived to keep closely in touch with Napoleon, from whom he was
now taking sums of money for necessary expenditure and salary which,
according to documents in the National Archives of France, containing
much of the spy's correspondence, amounted to a sum equal to at least
£20,000 per annum of our own money. Like most of the spy species,
Schulmeister was a high liver, although Napoleon, a hard enough critic
of accounts of all kinds, never laid any complaint to his charge on the
ground of unnecessary extravagance.

Mack, as we have seen, was one of those men who easily surrender their
will-power to bolder spirits. Accordingly, Schulmeister, who possessed
the Austrian's complete confidence and who was well assisted by his
Austrian fellow-spies, Wend and Rulski, acting on the instructions
transmitted to him by Napoleon's headquarters, kept the Field-Marshal,
by means of forged communications purporting to come from traitors
in the French camp, falsely informed as to the movements of the
three advancing imperial armies. As an aristocrat and a convinced
supporter of all feudalistic forms and ideals, Mack was easily led to
believe that the newly established throne of the Corsican received
but half-hearted adherence from the French people. Napoleon even had
newspapers especially printed which were to be shown to Mack in order
to strengthen this impression. According, also, to letters supplied by
the spy, Napoleon, who had left Paris with Vienna as his objective,
had been forced to return with the greater part of his armies in order
to quell a revolution which had broken out against his throne on his
departure from the French capital. Coincident reports, supplied by
Schulmeister's paid collaborants, seemed to point to the truth of the
Alsatian's startling intelligence, and acting upon it, the Austrian
Field-Marshal, with an army of 30,000 men, issued from the city of
Ulm in pursuit of what he thought to be the retreating French armies
only to find himself surrounded by a ring of steel, or what Napoleon
was wont to term his "necklace" manœuvre, Soult, Marmont, Lannes,
Ney, Dupont and Murat closing him in on all sides. The memorable
capitulation of the city, a pivotal point in the set strategy of
Austria's military plans for the campaign of 1805, followed at once,
Mack paying the penalty of what was for long thought to be an act of
treachery, by being deprived of his rank, with a further punishment
of two years in a military fortress. As for Schulmeister himself, his
audacity never showed itself more conspicuously than in the immediate
sequel. Not content with having practically assured to Napoleon the
success of what is known as the Austerlitz campaign, admittedly the
most spectacular of all the Emperor's military exploits, the spy,
after Mack's disgrace, repaired to Vienna, where in the chief military
councils, which were attended by the Emperor Francis and the Emperor
of Russia, he is said to have counselled plans which were sure, he
said, to enable the Allies to offset the disaster of Ulm and redeem
the situation. Strange though it appears, his views, supported as
usual by forged letters of intelligence, were applauded by the
military commanders present, and the result was the shattering of
the Austro-Russian armies at Austerlitz on 2nd December 1805. On the
morrow of that memorable conflict, the spy was arrested at the instance
of highly placed persons in Vienna who had long suspected him. The
timely arrival of the French saved him, however, from a felon's fate,
and it is said that by January 1806 he was back in Paris, boasting to
his friends of the large amounts of money he had accumulated out of
payments made to him not only by the French but also by the—Austrians!

It is impossible to trace Schulmeister in anything like recordful
fashion between 1806 and 1809. His name is occasionally mentioned in
connection with the missions of Savary, who always gave his confidence
to the spy and entrusted him on occasion with rendering military and
political reports in hostile territory, and experts agree in the
opinion that these reports were drawn up with the skill and precision
of an exceptionally well-endowed critic of strategic and diplomatic
values. On Napoleon's second visit to Vienna, the spy was appointed
censor over theatres, publishing houses, religious establishments and
newspapers, and as indicating his possession of a large political
sense, it may be pointed out that he had the works of Voltaire,
Diderot, Helvetius, Montesquieu and Holbach translated and scattered
broadcast among the various races of Austria-Hungary, in furtherance
of the liberal ideas of the Revolution which Napoleon claimed to
represent. All these productions had up till that time been included
on the _Index_, political as well as religious. In 1809, for a short
season, he occupied the important position of commissary-general of the
imperial armies in the field. At Landshut he distinguished himself by
leading a troop of hussars in person and capturing several important
positions. In the same year he reappeared in Strassburg, still under
Savary's orders, and in the course of a revolt which he was called upon
to quell, distinguished himself by blowing out the brains of one of the
most violent agitators, the trouble ceasing forthwith. At Strassburg he
was always at home and to the very end held his popularity among all
classes.

Some years previously he had purchased in the neighbourhood of his old
home the important Château Le Meinau and in 1807 had become also the
proprietor of an estate called De Piple, not far from Paris. In that
year, too, he began to use the territorial distinction—Monsieur de
Meinau. At both mansions people knew him for his lavish hospitalities,
the magnificence of his receptions and routs, his unfailing generosity
to the poor of his districts and, above all, for his love of little
children—this last trait an easily comprehensible transition, it may
be supposed, from the vicious intrigues of his complex trade, to the
confiding simplicity of guileless minds. His property was said in those
years to be worth the equivalent of £200,000, some said much more,
and it is quite certain that Napoleon rewarded him generously for his
undoubted services to the imperial throne.

His last important work in an official capacity was executed also
in 1809 when, through the influence of the ever-obliging Savary,
Schulmeister was appointed by Napoleon to act as chief of the secret
police during that famous Congress of Erfurt to which the Corsican
commanded the presence of nearly all the sovereign princes of
Continental Europe. In the voluminous correspondence which the spy
conducted—his particular Atticus being Savary—Schulmeister, whose
pen was clearly as fluent as his wits were nimble, keeps his patron,
who, it will be remembered, afterwards succeeded Fouché as head of
the French ministry of police, in full touch with the intrigues of
that historic gathering of European celebrities. None was too low or
unweighty, nor any too highly placed to escape the often hypercritical
and always interesting comments of the all-observing spy. The result is
that apart from details bearing on the political significance of the
Congress we are also regaled with tittle-tattle concerning the often
far from dignified relations of the Tsar Alexander, as well as other
august personages, with the subsidiary grand army of _demi-mondaines_
who had taken advantage of the opportunity afforded them by the afflux
of wealthy princes and nobles from every capital, to accumulate
profit during the process of the congressional sun. The Corsican,
with his omnivorous sense of intrigue, laid particular emphasis on
the necessity of closely watching the movements of Russia's Emperor,
whose taste in venal characters of the _hetaira_ type was often in the
inverse ratio of his exalted station. Napoleon, indeed, found himself
more than once under the necessity of reproving the Imperial Muscovite
whose attentions to a celebrated French actress with whom the Corsican
himself had once been on the best of terms, very much perturbed him.
"Visit that woman," he said, with the coarseness of the soldier, "and
to-morrow all Europe will know what your physical proportions are from
the ground up." Schulmeister had even explicit orders to note the
movements of the fair Queen Louise of Prussia, her personal attractions
for the Tsar also providing a source of much soul-burning to the
French Emperor, who, whether he were well informed or not, allowed no
opportunity to escape him of aspersing the much-humiliated Queen to
Alexander. Goethe himself, despite all the admiration the Corsican
professed for the Sage of Weimar, was not sacred from Napoleon's
agent. The insistent "ce Monsieur de Goet'—qui voit-il?" was hardly
less frequent on imperial lips than that other demand: "Et l'Empereur
Alexandre—où a-t-il passé la nuit dernière?" These were types of
implicit instructions which were daily issued to his spy by the
sometimes least dignified of sovereigns.

Readers of the Imperial legend will remember well the young General
Lasalle, Napoleon's most famous leader of light cavalry. This soldier
was also the possessor of many of those characteristics which we are
accustomed to associate with that harmless enough social type which is
described by the term, "funny man." The General's peculiar aptitude
for cutting strange and grotesque figures, his talent for distorting
his features into the most singular of grimaces, his capacity for
assimilating strong drinks, as well as his unfailing geniality with all
sorts of men, were traits as well known to the Army as the theatrical
dress-manias of Murat, or the boastfulness of General Rapp. It is not
surprising to learn, therefore, that Schulmeister, between 1800 and
1809—Lasalle was killed at Wagram, in the latter year—was on terms of
great intimacy with the young General. Well aware of the high favour
with which Napoleon regarded his cavalry leader, Schulmeister confided
to the latter the secret of his great ambition. He had riches, he
said, far beyond his needs and everything, indeed, which was capable
of satisfying the heart of ambitious man. He lacked, however, the one
especial decoration on which his aspirations were set. That was—of
all things—the Legion of Honour! The bestowal of that distinction
would, he declared, cap his noblest and most honourable ambitions.
Would Lasalle use his undoubted influence with the Emperor to procure
him that supreme testimony of Imperial good will? The General,
accordingly, informed Napoleon of his chief spy's aspiration only (a
writer says) to draw from the great soldier what was probably the only
horse-laugh in which the conqueror had ever indulged. "Schulmeister,"
said the Emperor, "may have all the money he wants, but the Legion of
Honour—never!" With the Emperor himself the spy was, nevertheless, on
terms which were cordial enough. It was Napoleon's custom to address
him by his Christian name "Karl," and, in the presence of others
particularly, to twit him, often in the most cruel terms, on the
despicable nature of his trade. The Emperor's refusal to include him
among the wearers of the famous Order which he founded is not to be
explained on very logical grounds, seeing that the decoration was worn
by soldiers like Radet, whose chief business in the Army seemed to be
the execution of, frankly, dirty jobs, from the performance of which
the far from squeamish officers of the Corsican shrank with wholesome
aversion. Such, for example, was the invasion of the Vatican and the
arrest of a harmless old Bishop like Pius VII., or the supervision of
the incarcerated Black Cardinals who had refused in 1810, on religious
grounds, to attend the church ceremony which gave Napoleon a second
wife in the person of Marie Louise.

On the advent of this Austrian Archduchess to share the Imperial
throne, Viennese influence at the Court of Napoleon began to count in
Paris as an important enough factor. Sufficiently important, at any
rate, to put a term to the activities of the man who had been to a
great extent responsible for the debâcle of Austria's military and
political schemes in 1805. Schulmeister accordingly disappeared from
Paris, selling his estate near Paris and retiring to his splendid
property at Meinau, where his popularity with the Alsatians was so
great as to justify the belief that the spy was generously endowed with
many qualities other than those which had led him to adopt the trade
of espionage. "He is a spy," his countrymen used to say, "but surely
also a gallant man." In 1814, during the invasion of France, a regiment
of Austrian artillery was especially detailed to demolish his mansion
and to destroy as much of his personal property as possible. The spy
returned to Paris during the Hundred Days, only to be arrested when
Napoleon left for Belgium. He was released on paying over so large a
ransom that his fortune was permanently crippled. On the return of
the Bourbons, all his attempts to play a social rôle were severely
frowned down by the friends of his prosperous days, and with the small
remnants of a fortune which unfortunate speculations had now reduced
to the vanishing point, he returned to Alsace, there to live a life of
lean days and pathetic obscurity. As late as 1840 he was the keeper of
a _bureau de tabac_, one of those tobacco stalls which are given to
Frenchmen as a solatium for public services in the lower grades. He
was alive in 1850 when the Prince-President toured through Alsace, but
refused to bring himself to the notice of the nephew of Napoleon. The
President called on him, however, vouchsafing him an honour which he
had never received from the great Captain—namely, a handshake. He died
in 1853 and was buried near his wife and parents in the cemetery of
Saint Urbain in Strassburg.



V

NATHAN HALE


On studying the career of Nathan Hale, who, with Major André, owes his
historicity to the American War of Independence, one is conscious of
being in touch with a character at once dangerous and difficult, to
quote the words in which an eminent English statesman has described
the mystic who is at the same time a practical man. In Hale, as his
private correspondence clearly shows, there was every indication that
an otherwise reasonable and lovable disposition was supplemented by a
deep-running current of that hard fanaticism which has ever marked your
descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers. Like his fellow-spy André, Hale was
a man whose social and intellectual gifts were of an important order,
while the admitted excellence of the man's private character, as well
as his high sense of personal honour, go a long way to justify the
opinion generally held by Americans regarding the motives which induced
Hale to enter into the business of spying—according to that view, a
pure love of the principle of liberty, which prompted him to risk his
life in the service of his country. "Spies," says Vattel, "are usually
condemned to capital punishment and not unjustly, there being hardly
any other way of preventing the mischief which they do. For this
reason a man of honour who would not expose himself to die by the hand
of a common executioner, ever declines serving as a spy. He considers
such work disgraceful, as it can seldom be done without some kind of
treachery." Hale himself gave recorded expression, however, to his view
of the matter when he said that, "every kind of service necessary for
the public good becomes honourable by being necessary"—a view which
is quite in keeping with that mysticism which ever characterises the
fanatic who claims the support of spiritual principles for his acts.
Again, Hale declared: "I wish to be useful. If the exigencies of my
country demand a peculiar service, its claims to the performance of
that service are imperious." André, on the other hand, stated that
in the ill-starred enterprise into which he threw himself, he was
mainly "actuated by a thirst for military glory, the applause of his
countrymen and perhaps a brigadiership"—clearly a true megalomaniac.
Indeed, André's last words gave the key to the large personal vanity
which underlay his undoubtedly interesting character: "I call upon
you all, gentlemen, to bear witness that I die like a brave man."
Hale indicated a purely ethical or religious attachment to the ideas
inherent in Independence doctrines of liberty, when he made his last
utterance: "I only regret that I have but one life to sacrifice for my
country"—the true spirit of the Coliseum martyr. The young American
was willing to give up life itself for his idea of liberty.

The Hale family, originally of the Kentish family of that name, had
been settled since 1635 in various parts of the New England States, the
country of the Puritan settlers. The parents of Richard and Elizabeth
Hale were, it is on record, of the strictest sect of Puritans of their
day. The Bible was to them the speaking voice of the Almighty, says a
friend of the family; their admirable civic virtues were also based
upon the religion that was in them and they respected the Law because
they recognised its divine origin. Records still extant emphasise the
important fact that the domestic life of the Hale family was one in
which practical religion played a leading part. Nathan Hale was born
in 1755, the sixth of twelve children, and from his earliest days was
destined for the ministry. With this object he was entered at Yale
College in 1771, after an uneventful village life in the course of
which he gave evidence of a more than usually studious nature. Of the
famous American University he became a graduate in 1773, leaving there
in that year to take up the profession of teaching. All contemporary
writers agree in attributing to young Hale a singularly engaging
personality as well as a presence which was conspicuous among men
whose physical excellence was of a splendid type. "Six feet high,
perfectly proportioned, in figure and deportment, he was the most
manly man I ever saw," wrote an enthusiastic college friend, who
added the interesting fact that "all the girls in New Haven fell in
love with him and wept tears of real sorrow when they heard of his
sad fate. Ever willing to lend a helping hand to a being in distress,
brute or human, he was overflowing with good humour and the idol of
his acquaintances." During his university days Hale had made a mark
in the debating society and his political speeches were remarkable,
it is recorded, for a strong advocacy of those principles of personal
liberty which had reached America by way of France, then in the final
stage of that academic propaganda which was so soon to precipitate
the catastrophe of the Revolution. Determined to devote his life to
teaching, and with a view to obtaining ultimately a professorship at
his old university, Hale settled down to the prosaic enough life of a
New England schoolmaster, devoting his extra-professional hours to the
study of science, ethics and literature.

The outbreak of the War of Independence with the battle of Lexington,
19th April 1775, upset the philosophic dreams of the Connecticut
teacher. Throughout the New England States, action was at once and
almost unanimously called for, and among those who became earnest
advocates of patriotic endeavour, young Hale began to take a prominent
place. "Let us march at once," he cried, "nor ever lay down our arms
till we have obtained our independence." Hale was, indeed, the first
speaker to voice the popular notion of freedom from the union with
Great Britain. In co-operation with kindred spirits, he set about
the forming of a local regiment for immediate service at the Front.
He himself eventually enlisted in Webb's corps, a kind of territorial
organisation for local defence. In 1775 Hale was present with his
regiment at the siege of Boston, where his conspicuous activities won
him a captaincy. The British were driven from that city in March 1776
and sailed for Halifax, the American forces in their turn moving on New
York. That Hale's patriotism was of a purely disinterested kind would
seem to be shown by the fact that he himself paid for the services of
many of his enlisted men. At New York Hale distinguished himself at
once by capturing a British vessel carrying large supplies, a midnight
raid of much danger which secured for his regiment provisions for a
lengthy subsistence and to himself the notice of General Washington,
by whom he was presently to be entrusted with the carrying out of a
mission the successful results of which must react decisively on the
whole war. The commission entrusted to Hale was nothing less than the
penetration of the enemy's plan of campaign, an absolutely necessary
condition of success for the Revolutionary commanders and for the
following reasons:—

After the various actions which compelled the retreat of the insurgents
from Long Island, the main American army in Manhattan, owing to the
demoralised state of its men, ill-clad, half-starved and unpaid as
they were, seemed to be on the point of dissolution. In a force which
on paper totalled 20,000 men, desertion and disease had discounted
one-third of the numbers. Opposed to them was a British army of 25,000
strong, supported by a powerful naval force. Its soldiers were veterans
who had already tasted success and were magnificently equipped with
artillery, stores and war-munitions of every sort. The military crux
which confronted Washington was the defence or the abandonment of New
York, the strategic key of the existing military situation. Unable,
owing to inaction to which his topographical position as well as the
hesitations of Congress condemned him, to divine the real intentions
of the British, Washington instructed his lieutenants to obtain at all
hazards correct information as to the designs of the enemy's generals.
"Leave no stone unturned," he wrote to General Heath, "nor do not stick
at expense to bring this to pass, as I was never more uneasy than on
account of my want of knowledge on this score." The vital matter was
to find out at which point, if at all, the British intended to attack
New York. Such being the situation, it was decided to send a competent
observer in disguise into the British lines on Long Island, in order
to penetrate the momentous secret, and Nathan Hale volunteered for the
execution of the perilous undertaking.

It is recorded that when Colonel Knowlton, on calling the insurgent
officers together, suggested that one of them should volunteer his
services for what was undoubtedly the work of a spy, a murmur of
indignation went round the room. Many of the officers in bitter terms
reproached the Colonel for having dared to carry such a suggestion to
men of honour, even from Washington himself. Knowlton replied that he
was only carrying out his General's instructions, but nevertheless
managed to insinuate in his reply that the reward in the way of
promotion for the successful achievement of the mission would be
proportioned to the danger with which it was undoubtedly fraught. His
fellow-officers, to whom Hale's high spirit and probity were well-known
characteristics, little expected that the Captain would prove the very
first to undertake the work of a common spy. Nevertheless Hale was
the only man, among a band of men of undoubted courage, who could be
found to respond to the suggestion. His friends, in no way deterred,
indeed, rather encouraged, by the presence of Knowlton, whose proposal
they considered as an insult, used all the arts of persuasion at their
command to turn him from his purpose, but without success. Hale in
accepting the perilous commission addressed them as follows:—

"Gentlemen, I think I owe to my country the accomplishment of an object
so important and so much desired by the commander of her armies,
and I know no mode of obtaining the information but by assuming a
disguise and passing into the enemy's camp. I am fully sensible of
the consequences of discovery and capture in such a situation. But
for a year I have been attached to the Army and have not rendered
any material service while receiving a compensation for which I make
no return. Yet am I not influenced by any expectation of promotion
or pecuniary reward. I wish to be useful, and every kind of service
necessary for the public good becomes honourable by being necessary. If
the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service its claims to
the performance of that service become imperious."

On the same afternoon Hale met Washington for the second time,
receiving from the General instructions with regard to the perilous
task he had undertaken. He was also given a general order addressed to
American shipmasters to convey Captain Hale to any part of Long Island
on which he might desire to land. Sundown already saw him on his way,
accompanied by a sergeant and a boatman, to a point fifty miles north
of New York, Norwalk, where there was a safe crossing of the Sound into
territory occupied by British forces. Dismissing his companions at
dawn on 15th September, and exchanging into the brown civilian dress
and Quaker hat common to that period, Hale ferried across the narrow
water, instructing his retainers at the last moment to await him at
the same spot with a boat on 20th September. Reaching Huntington Bay
on the other side, he assumed the character of a schoolmaster who,
disgusted with the course of the Revolutionary cause, had come to
pursue his profession in surroundings more congenial to his political
and social tastes. His appearance and speech both carried conviction
to all with whom he conversed; he was made free of the British lines,
visited all the camps on Long Island, making observations openly
and drawing up memoranda, written in Latin, as well as plans, in
the privacy of his room. In the meantime, the British had invaded
Manhattan and captured New York, so that as far as the penetration of
the designs of English commanders was concerned, Hale had really made
his excursion to little purpose beyond what he had achieved in the
gathering of military information on Long Island. Having heard of the
British success, he retraced his steps in the direction of Norwalk, and
on 18th September, at sundown, found himself again at Huntington Bay,
where he had first landed on his mission. Wearing coarse shoes with
loose inner soles, under which he was able comfortably to conceal his
drawings and memoranda, and still in the plain dress of a middle-class
citizen, he felt secure in the disguise which had already carried him
so happily through the perils of many British camps. Accordingly he
entered a famous tavern "The Cedars" and asked for a night's lodging.
At his entrance, a number of persons were in the lounge, and one of
them, a man whose face he seemed to recollect, suddenly rose and left
the place. Hale spent the night at the hostelry and at dawn left for
the waterside in quest of the boat which he had ordered to be ready.
Agreeably surprised to find his supposed boatman so punctual, he gaily
saluted an approaching skiff which was carrying several men. Hastening
to the beach in expectation of meeting his friends, he discovered to
his dismay that the boat was manned by British marines. Flight was
impossible; he was seized, taken aboard and conveyed to the British
guard-ship _Halifax_. His capture, it is said, had been brought about
by the stranger whom he had recognised the previous night at "The
Cedars," a distant cousin of disreputable habits, who had betrayed him
to the British. Proper warrant is, however, lacking for this part of
the story. Inevitably his captors found full proofs of the purport of
his adventure and he was conveyed to the headquarters of General Howe
who, on the evidence of the concealed papers, summarily condemned him
to death by hanging.

In the presence of Howe Hale frankly admitted his rank and mission. "I
was present," wrote a British officer who was an eye-witness of the
closing scenes, "and observed that the frankness, the manly bearing and
the evidently disinterested patriotism of the handsome young prisoner
sensibly touched a tender chord of General Howe's nature; but the stern
rule of war concerning such offences would not allow him to exercise
even pity."

As might be expected from such a man, Hale met his doom with the iron
firmness of one who is convinced of the righteousness of his purpose.
His last requests to Cunningham, the provost-marshal who supervised the
execution, were refused, and even his poor, hurriedly written letters
to his mother, his sisters and his youthful betrothed, Alice Adams,
were ruthlessly destroyed before his face. There was, indeed, a real
nobility about the whole person and demeanour of Hale which, as is
commonly enough the case, called forth the brutality and coarseness of
the completely opposite nature of Cunningham, who jeeringly requested
the doomed youth to make his dying speech. And Hale replied, in words
which still ring in the spirit of the Independence Fathers:

"I only regret that I have but one life to give to my country."



VI

MACK AND THE MOLLY MAGUIRES


James M'Parlan, a North-of-Ireland man, must be ranked among the most
successful spies in modern times and for the good reason that he was
mainly instrumental in breaking up one of the most lawless and terrible
conspiracies against public order and private liberty which any state
has yet been called upon to suppress. Its home was Pennsylvania, its
name the "Molly Maguires," and to find a parallel to its iniquitous
arts and methods one must go to the Klux Klan, the Corsican Vendetta or
the White Veil society of the Middle Ages in Italy. As the discovery
of gold in Australia and California in the middle of the nineteenth
century led to the commission of a vast amount of crime by reason of
the peculiar character of the masses of adventurers who soon overran
the gold-bearing regions, so also the discovery of anthracite coal in
Pennsylvania led to the assembling of great camps of speculators and
prospectors, wealthy capitalists and common labourers for whom the
word Law meant next to nothing at all. The comparatively unorganised
condition of new towns which had sprung up as if by magic in the
anthracite zones made Pennsylvania in those days a likely jumping-off
ground for any man who possessed good physique, a brutal bearing, a
disregard of private rights and the ability to impose his ideas upon
a band of men of his own kind and kidney. Knowing what we know of
the enterprising courage of many types of Irishmen and their talent
for the business of pioneering, it is not difficult to imagine that
they swarmed to the valuable coal regions of the Quaker State in
legions proportionate to the vast immigrant hordes of their countrymen
that were then flowing into every port of the United States. Great
settlements consisting only of Irishmen sprang up at once in the
mining districts of Pennsylvania and this new Irish colony separated
automatically into as many divisions as there were counties in Ireland
itself, each section carrying with it all the local pride, prejudice
and other characteristics which had marked it within its geographical
bounds in the old home. In fact a New Ireland sprang up in Quaker State
hardly differentiable from the Old.

Most people who have read the story of Ireland divested of that halo
of cloistral romance, sentiment and song, which presents Erin in the
mellow light of a land of untroubled repose, are well aware that in
all its recorded ages, paying due credit to its title to religiosity,
it has been a country which for inter-racial animosities and political
divisions is comparable only with that aggregation of states which
until historical research and record had presented them as they truly
were, once bore the half-sacred name of Greece. In Ireland the man
of the North differs from the man of the South and rarely likes him,
the people of the West do not understand the masses of the East and do
not want to; we have the stout Men of Munster who scorn the Scottish
Huguenots of the North as alien intruders, while the Gentleman of
Leinster affects to despise his hard-working and thrifty countryman
from Connaught. In a land like this it is not hard to imagine that
those who possess a talent for prospering by the promotion of political
intrigue and secret societies find themselves at once in an element
which is entirely congenial to themselves and their schemes, as well as
fruitful of profit in every sense of the word. Their objects, too, are
made all the more easily attainable by reason of that peculiar trait
in the Irishman's temper which makes him regard an act of treachery
to the covenants of any secret organisation, no matter what its
objects, as the most hateful of all traitorous acts. It has been well
said, indeed, that in Ireland "to inform of a crime is nearly always
considered as bad as the crime itself, and to such an extent has this
feeling developed that it has become a part of the Irish character
and is universal in its application." In a large measure owing to
this contempt of the informer by Irishmen, all manner of crime has
at all times and in all places gone undetected in every part of the
world where Irishmen have developed large Irish settlements, and it
was precisely for the foregoing reasons that the great Molly Maguire
Conspiracy was, in the first place, able to come into existence and,
in the second, able by the black secrecy attending upon its criminal
operations, to mystify the authorities of a great State of the Union
for more than a generation. The long series of murders committed by
this infamous body in the Pennsylvania coal regions were revolting
and brutal to the most cold-blooded degree, were entirely without
the barest elements of justification, and for the most part were
perpetrated for grievances of a wholly childish and imaginary kind,
based mainly on mere personal dislike or other trivial reasons of the
sort.

The iniquitous exploits of "Boycott" propagandism in Land League days,
which possessed at least a semblance of political motive underlying
them, were respectable when compared with the foul and wanton killings
of the Molly Maguires in America—a body, it may here be said, which
derived its peculiar name from the fact that to every warning its
agents addressed to an intended victim there was invariably attached
the generic signature "Molly Maguire." An unfriendly attitude towards
the Mollies, the least suspicion of being anxious to uproot them,
common race feeling, and, as we have said, simple personal dislike
were each and all sufficient to bring upon any man visitation from
the band in the form of a card bearing the fateful name. Private and
public denunciation and the dispatch of threatening letters invariably
preceded the killing which was not only not to be denounced, but which
was to be treated by all who knew of its commission as if it had never
taken place. The mangled Molly Maguire corpse came, accordingly, to
rank in a class by itself among all other corpses, enshrouded as it
usually was with a general and sacrosanct mystery regarding the manner
in which life had come to leave it. Murders were commonly committed
during the dinner-hour of the miners who, so frequent was a crime,
would go on calmly eating their meal while a fellow-man was being
dispatched to a happier world than this not fifty yards away; and if
his bloody passing called up a feeling of pity in the breast of one
of the diners, it was only to be squelched at once with the chorus
"Shure wasn't the man war-rned"—meaning that a man might be warned of
possessing too ambitious a wife, or the fact that he was "putting on
th'airs iv a jintleman," or that he may have been trying to ingratiate
himself into the favour of a capitalist who happened not to be in
sympathy with Irishmen, or, indeed, perhaps that he had been seen "iv
a Sunda' wearin' peg-top throusers, no less." On receipt of a card
bearing the signature of doom, if the recipient did not desist from
"anny of the said coorses," he had only himself to blame if a band
of Mollies visited him one fine night and bludgeoned his body into
releasing the soul.

One of the chief shareholders of a great coal-bearing area, Franklin
Goven by name, decided, to his lasting credit and with the support
of all right-minded Irishmen in America, to subsidise from his own
pocket a movement to destroy this band of chartered assassins. Acting
in concert with important public men in Philadelphia, he applied to
the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency for the assistance of an expert
in tracking the organisation to its original sources and destroying
it for good and all. After full preliminary inquiries, the Agency
decided that the ramifications of the secret organisation were so
complex and so comprehensive that the real truth as to the operation
of its methods could only be reached by planting a spy amidst the
very band itself. To this end were enlisted the services of M'Parlan,
who under the name of M'Kenna set about the destruction of one of
the foulest criminal societies yet known to the world. Mack, as he
became known ever afterwards, accordingly began, in 1873, his almost
hopeless task of tracing the source of the perpetration of some hundred
murders which had taken place within a few years preceding, to make
no mention of hundreds of maimings, mutilations and other horrors
which were to be attributed to the same propagandism. From the outset
it was discovered by Mack, in the course of preliminary goings and
comings in the coal country, that connected with the Ancient Order
of Hibernians, a well-established benefit society chartered by the
Legislature of the State, there was an inner movement composed of
members of the Hibernians who were subsidising a criminal organisation
of wide-reaching power and influence, not unlike the Italian Black
Hand society of our own day. It was clear that at the head of the
society was an open and properly constituted body, and connected with
it was a secret and criminal movement. Mack began his subsequent sleuth
work in approved Irish fashion by becoming a regular customer at one of
those low-class Pennsylvania coal-town drinking shops—"speak-easies"
they are called by the police, who are well aware that many men who
visit them are not the sort loudly to advertise the methods by which
they make their living. Here he entered on friendly terms with the
landlord, Patrick Dormer by name. Mack, it was certain, was a gifted
soul and in every sense what your American so expressively terms "a
good mixer"; could sing a rowdy song, foot it to the moving music and
"cough up" the ready yarn when it came to his turn. Moreover, he could
"keep his end up" when it meant replenishing the convivial glasses,
while his passion for what is known as being in the thick of a purely
personal mix-up soon made him the most popular Irishman in the coal
zones. Most important of all, in view of his especial business, he was
what is known among Americans as "a cold soak"—that is to say, he could
saturate his system with fire-water and still command his intellect.
While his boon companions washed their sodden brains publicly in their
beer, Mack, always affecting to be easily susceptible to the effects of
Old Crow, was quietly taking mental notes. Accordingly it was not long
before he discovered that his friends, when under the influence of
Bacchus, were apt to give up certain secret pass-words. Having listened
to one of these several times, he carefully learned the exact phrase,
and soon after, finding the landlord alone, he invited him to take a
drink. Leaning mysteriously over the counter he repeated the mystic
pass-word.

"What," cried the astonished landlord, "are _you_ one of them
things?"—meaning a Molly Maguire.

"Troth, that's what they call me," replied the North-of-Ireland man.

Dormer unsuspectingly began from that day to treat Mack as one of the
insiders, taking his word that he had been in the Hibernian Order at
Buffalo, but had been obliged to leave on account of a serious crime.
He was now, he confessed, in hiding, and consequently became an object
of sympathy and solicitude to the Irishmen. When it came, however, to
introducing Mack to genuine Hibernians, matters advanced less smoothly,
since the self-styled Molly did not understand the "grip" and had
only one single pass-word to back his claim. And so it happened that
on the occasion of his being presented to one Cooney, a Molly of note
and standing, the latter, having made certain signs which remained
unanswered, jumped from his toady-chair declaring that Mack was an
elemental liar. The spy brazened the matter out, boldly called the bar
for drinks and pretending to have drunk too deeply fell in a stupor
to the floor. His enemy thereupon proposed to disintegrate the spy
by jumping on him, but the "bunch" vetoed this proposal, Mack being
admittedly a good fellow. Again Cooney took up the frenzied word,
crying:

"I wouldn't take his oath to it acrast his mother's corp. No—not till
he brung me a card from his body-master."

To Mack, still prone upon his vertebræ, this was good enough
information. He was getting into it by degrees. The Mollies, then, had
grips, pass-words, toasts, likewise body-masters; and as he snored, he
also registered the facts. Cooney then "quit," and strangely enough
Mack, so far from being molested by anyone, was actually taken to the
hearts of the Mollies as one of themselves. Thereafter there remained
but the inner ring to conquer and Mack, plentifully supplied with
money—the result, he pretended, of nefarious tradings and misdoings—set
about improving his position. By violent and reckless talk he soon won
the confidence of his fellows and as he boasted of having borne a hand
in crimes which had actually been perpetrated in years gone by, and
of which, as a detective, he must have known the details, the local
Mollies began to reflect that in Mack they possessed a "hunch"—that is
to say, a man over whom they held a sword and who was at the same time
in intelligence, intrepidity and means incomparably above his fellows.
He was described about this time: five feet eight inches high, broad
forehead, chestnut hair and of very genial aspect. Accordingly Mack
was chosen to be an active Molly. Subsequently and in the course of
the judicial proceedings which finally broke up the Brotherhood, Mack
was able to show that he had never once engaged in the commission of a
planned crime and that by cipher and especially prearranged telegrams
he was able in many cases to prevent the further commission of murders
in the coal regions.

That the double-dealing duties which fell to Mack were of a perilous
nature may be realised from the fact that after a few months in
residence among the Mollies all his hair had fallen off, he had lost
his eyebrows and his sight had become impaired. During this time his
duties compelled him to make unwilling love—the lady was _exigeante_,
worse luck—to the sister of a high-placed Molly in order to extract
special information. And as for the quantities of vile whisky he had
found himself forced to swallow round the low bars he frequented,
Mack, commonly a sober soul, declared afterwards that this was in many
ways the hardest part of his business. A period came, however, when
suspicion began to throw its red eye upon him and his death, on general
principles and as a possible spy, was finally decided upon. Other men
might have excusably enough fled the place, but this was too brave a
man to fail his employers just as he was on the point of penetrating to
the mystic shrine of the organisation and finding out where "killing
orders" came from. One Kehoe, it was, who suspecting Mack for a spy,
called a number of Mollies together and advocated the summary murder of
the man. Evidently Kehoe knew something, for at this meeting he adjured
his brethren to take rapid action. "For God's sake," he cried, "have
him killed this very night that ever was, or half the countryside will
hang."

Accordingly it was decided to put Mack to death and men were detailed
to do the deed. On that evening, it was known, the spy was to arrive
at the Shenandoah railway station, whence a long stretch of lonely
roadway led to the townlet of that name. Mack arrived, the sole
passenger, and, to his surprise, was met by none of the Brotherhood.
This was a bad omen; but he decided to go on, and made his way to the
hotel of one M'Andrew, whom he still considered to be his friend.
Affecting the usual cordiality, he entered the house and parlour;
but conversation becoming at once strained, he realised that serious
business was in contemplation; two sentinels were placed outside the
house, one Sweeny remaining in the room; he too got up dreamily and
left, telling the landlord he was going home. Presently, however, he
returned with a piece of snow which he carelessly threw at M'Andrew's
feet, where it melted. This meant that time was short and nothing was
being done—an established sign. M'Andrew looked at the spy, gave a
groan and said: "My feet are sore, I must take off my boots," another
sign which conveyed that as men were not coming in sufficient numbers,
the business of murdering Mack would have to be postponed. Mack,
who, like all Mollies, was well armed, accordingly left the place,
making for his lodgings by the highway. Once at home he spent the
night in self-defensive vigil and on the morrow, early, two Mollies
from a local camp called upon him. With true Irish trust to chance and
the possible ignorance of the other man, they declared they had come
from Scranton by rail and Mack was well aware that no train arrived
at such an hour from that town. These were, however, the men who had
been chosen overnight, and after the last failure, to remove him. The
spy, always on his guard, told the men boldly he was going straight to
Kehoe's house to ask why they had placed him under suspicion. Marching
from the house, he made for the hotel of M'Andrew, whom he induced to
accompany him to Kehoe's by sleigh. The other two men decided also that
they would accompany Mack to Kehoe's and hired a second sleigh. On the
journey several stops were made at intervening pot-houses, where the
victim-to-be treated his would-be murderers to all they desired in the
way of drink—and then some. At Kehoe's the master of the house was
preparing to celebrate the slaying of Mack with a dinner to a score
of Mollies, and when the man who was already supposed to be a "corp"
walked up to the house with a front of brass, followed by his appointed
murderers, both sorely besotted, Kehoe began to pinch himself to see if
he might be dreaming. In the front parlour, where the spy knew they
would not dare to murder him, were a dozen Mollies all celebrating his
slaughter in Old Crow, most of them already on the blink. Mack entered
the room after Kehoe and did a bold thing: "Boys," he said, "you are a
band of foul murderers to seek to take the life of the truest Molly in
the whole bunch. Give me the whisky." They handed him a glass filled to
the brim and the spy drained it. "Kehoe," he demanded, "what is it you
have against me and why do you want my life?" "Father O'Connor knows
all about you," retorted Kehoe. "He knows you for a spy." Mack looked
at his watch and brazened it out. "Well then," says he, "'tis Father
O'Connor himself I will have here, and by God I'll go and fetch him."
Passing from the house he met Mrs Kehoe, with whom he was a favourite,
and telling her how her husband and his friends had put him on the
mortuary list, Mack reached his sleigh, M'Andrew following him. At
the priest's house, he was informed that Father O'Connor had gone to
a neighbouring town. Under pretext of sending him a wire the spy then
drove to the station, reflecting wisely at this somewhat overdrawn
point that his mission was now really at an end. He had timed his
arrival well but still had a few minutes to wait for the noon train.
In the short interval Mack feigned to be busy drawing up his telegram
to the priest. The train arrived to the minute, and Mack, waiting till
the moment of its departure, threw down the prepared message as the
cars were drawing clear of the platform, boarded the last carriage and
vanished for good from the coal regions. His next appearance was made
in the witness-box at Philadelphia, where his evidence incriminated
the leading spirits of the Conspiracy, who were sentenced to long
imprisonment, the Molly Maguires passing thereafter into the history of
evils that had been.



VII

MAJOR ANDRÉ


When the psychology of the Spy comes to be expounded by some master
thinker, one wonders if he will emphasise the fact that, more often
than not, there is that in the pedigree and antecedents of the
agent of stealth which clearly suggests a mongrel breed. Was it not
Tacitus who wrote of the half-caste races who swarmed the Roman
Suburra, describing them in the memorable words: "Despectissima pars
servientium"—the most despicable of the slave tribe? It was among this
class that Marcus Crassus was wont to go in quest of recruits for that
grand army of touts, quidnuncs and informers who, by bringing him
first-hand intelligence of fires, burglaries, murders and kindred daily
occurrences in Rome, most of which were pregnant with the possibilities
of profit of some sort, helped to build up the monster fortune that
made him one of the most important men of antiquity. Your Stiebers and
Schulmeisters, too, all in some vague way convey an impression that
they are beings who are not quite human, although not wholly brute;
living things which seem to come from an unracial stock without stamp
or tradition. To a man who has been accorded the honour of a monument
in Westminster Abbey these reflections do not, of course, apply.
Nevertheless they suggest themselves, and when one reads in the life
of John André that "it was not known whether the place of his birth
was London or elsewhere in England," one feels disposed not to care
particularly whether or not he ever had a father, or if his mother
ever changed her name. André, too, was by origin a Swiss, and there
is invariably lacking in the inhabitants of Switzerland a specific
national cachet or clear racial type. His sire had been born in Geneva,
while his mother was a Frenchwoman called Girardot, who in 1751 gave
birth to the unfortunate British spy.

To add to the complexities of André's particular case, no one seems
to be very certain where he passed the early years of his education,
though it seems correct that the best part of his academic training
was obtained in that always very cosmopolitan University of Geneva. We
are assured that there he mastered several European tongues, that he
became an adept in the social arts and possessed an acquaintance with
the best classical literatures. It is only, however, in 1769, the year
of his father's death, that we really begin to locate him, and then we
find him living at Clapton, where his father, a merchant, resided in
the local manor-house. At the time of this gentleman's death, André was
eighteen years of age and his precociousness seems to be established
by the fact that in those days he was paying his addresses to the
daughter of a clergyman named Seward, the lady being several years
older than himself. Not only that, but Anna Seward was, it appears,
a poet and the leader of a _salon_ of sorts at Lichfield, where many
well-known literary lights of the day were wont to assemble and discuss
the trends of literary and artistic thought and action. Evidently Miss
Seward did not take her gallant too seriously, for we hear of him
shortly afterwards as a worshipper at the shrine of Honoria Sneyd, who
was afterwards to become the mother of Maria Edgeworth. Romance, it is
certain, entered generously into the youth of André.

It is clear also that the counting-house of a London merchant's
establishment was not at all to the taste of the young man. He had
always thirsted for military adventure, and it is not surprising
to hear that in his twentieth year, he purchased a commission as
under-lieutenant in the Royal English Fusiliers. It may be noted in
passing that this was a period in which commissions in the Army—since
become an easy enough achievement—were practically the monopoly of men
who were far superior by birth and social position to the sons of even
the most princely merchants, and there is nothing to indicate that
André's father was at all a man of more than moderate means. The point
is interesting, however, inasmuch as it points to the psychological
tendencies of the young man's mind. His commission duly obtained, André
repaired at once to Berlin, where he received considerable insight
into the military arts. Berlin, it may be parenthetically observed,
was in those days probably the best-organised centre of a vast system
of spies, for had not the collector of the famous giant-regiment
of Potsdam Guards passed that way a generation before, and was not
Frederick the Great still boasting that he had only one cook and a
hundred spies? Some authorities incline to the belief that young André,
while in Berlin, was already an active spy of the British Government.
It is clear at any rate that when after a few years' residence in
Germany he returned to England, he became known to prominent officers
as a man not only more than usually well informed on all matters of a
military kind, but also as a soldier who had fitted himself by very
special study for the business of probing the military secrets and
plans of other countries.

To the man's personality justice must, however, be done, for it is
agreed on all hands that a more captivating or picturesque officer
had never worn King George's uniform. Unlike Wolfe, also a man of
literary parts, though a somewhat dark and silent person, André was a
conversationalist of such fascination and sparkle that his presence
in a drawing-room proved sufficient to attract the larger portion of
both sexes to its immediate vicinity. Even his male contemporaries
all declare that a more lovable being had rarely crossed the social
stage, while the number of women of note and fashion with whom the
young officer was said to be on that footing which the French so
expressively describe by the term _au mieux_, can hardly have been
inferior to that which favoured handsome John Churchill in a former
age. Great facial beauty, a splendid presence, romantic courage,
a reputation for brilliancy in an age which was far from being a
superficial one—all these were qualities which we expect in the pages
of fiction, but which are only occasionally to be met with in actual
experience. They are qualities, nevertheless, which have been the
possession of most of the distinguished adventurers of history and it
is obviously the consciousness of possessing such gifts that turns your
born adventurer towards a life to which he has no definite social or
traditional right.

It is often pointed out in the way of evidence of André's particular
mission as a spy having been officially forecast for him, that on
leaving England for Quebec, where his regiment was stationed, the
young officer travelled thither by the very roundabout route via
Philadelphia. Here he arrived in September 1774. His experience as a
man who had seen much of the military spy system of Frederick and who
was in any case an acute observer of all things were facts of which
General Carleton, the Governor-General of Canada, was well aware. That
officer, coincidently enough, left England about the same time as
André, the twain travelling however by different ways. It is assumed,
by Americans generally, that Carleton, who foresaw the imminence of
the Revolutionary conflict, had directed his subordinate to visit
Philadelphia in the capacity of a commissioned spy, in order to learn
all he might regarding the condition of public affairs, the temper
of the people and, above all, to obtain some clear idea as to the
intentions of the leaders of the American forces. Halting a short while
and for the accomplishment of his purpose in the old Quaker City,
André subsequently passed to New York and Boston, ever observant,
everywhere transcribing, always on the alert. At Quebec he arrived
early in November 1774. On the outbreak of the war André was one of the
first British officers to be captured by the enemy and for over a year
remained a prisoner in several Pennsylvania cities, where his charming
personality and accomplishments gave him among the enemy the footing of
a privileged guest rather than a captive. He was exchanged at the close
of 1776 and rejoined the Army at New York, then commanded by Howe. To
that officer André came like some visitor from Fortune herself, for
during his late captivity, in the course of which he held practically
_carte blanche_ to move about the outlying country, the young soldier
had always done so with his professional instincts set and with the
result that he was able immediately to present Howe with more accurate
information as to the military effective, disposition and plans of
Washington than the regular Intelligence service could have procured
him in three years. A vacancy falling due on the staff of General Grey,
Howe procured its reversion to André, giving him the rank of Captain.
At this time the British Army was moving on Philadelphia.

Literature dealing with the story of Philadelphia in that age presents
us with the picture of a city of perennial pageant. The British Army
was in occupation in the winter and spring of 1778 and revelry ran
long and high in every phase of the social life of Quaker City. Our
André was here in his very element and among the acquaintances he
formed was that of Margaret Shippen, who afterwards became the wife
of Benedict Arnold. "No one," wrote Mr Winthropp Sergeant in 1861,
"seems to have created such a pleasing impression or to have been so
long admiringly remembered as André. His name in our own days lingers
on the lips of every aged woman whose youth had seen her a belle in
the royal lines.... He is described as of five feet nine inches in
height and of singularly handsome person—well made, slender, graceful
and very active, a dark complexion with a serious and somewhat tender
expression; his manners easy and insinuating.... If the serious
business of life was a part of his lot, there was yet ample scope
for the exercise of those elegant arts in which he excelled. His
infirmities, if any there were, sprang like Charles Townshend's from
a noble cause—that lust of fame which is the instinct of all great
souls; and his comely person, his winning speech, his graceful manners
procured him universal acceptance, while his freedom from the grosser
passions of his fellows was especially observed." The universal gaiety
which prevailed throughout Philadelphia was not without its effect on
the Army as a whole and the inevitable demoralisation of all classes of
society followed. It remains a lasting tribute to the attractions of
the fair maids of Philadelphia that the number of irregular marriages
which took place among the lower ranks of the Army alone was so large
as to necessitate the organisation of special pickets with the object
of preventing the wholesale depletion of regiments through long absence
or desertion. As Benjamin Franklin declared at the time: "Howe has not
taken Philadelphia, Philadelphia has taken Howe," and it is written
that on the evacuation of the city by the British forces, 18,000
strong, at least 1000 privates deserted, returning to their sweethearts
and lately married wives in Quaker Town. General Howe himself proved
far from a shining example to his subordinates or soldiery, indolence
and sensuality being his chief characteristics, while there were not
wanting those who accused him of malversation of military funds. "He
returned to England richer in money than laurels," while Americans are
wont to thank him for having given them America, as they put it. His
relations with André hardly seem consistent with what we know of that
officer's usual discernment. In his honour, André, now a major, had
composed and stage-managed a kind of allegorical tourney entitled the
_Mischianza_, which was enacted to honour a general who was already
under sentence of recall to England. Howe was in due course succeeded
by Sir Henry Clinton, to whom André, on the departure of General Grey
in 1778, became chief aide and secretary, a position in which he
so clearly proved his ability that in 1779 he was appointed deputy
adjutant-general to the British forces in America with headquarters in
New York.

We have seen that during his earlier stay in Philadelphia the young
officer had formed a close friendship with Margaret Shippen, daughter
of a wealthy resident. By 1779 this lady had become the wife of
Benedict Arnold, one of the leading Revolutionary generals who was
appointed military governor of Philadelphia on its evacuation by the
British. Arnold, it was well known, maintained a sumptuous style of
living which was wholly out of keeping with his means or position.
A princely retinue, a lavish table, extravagance in all things were
sufficient, once the British ascendancy had given way to the staid
Quaker rule and custom of Philadelphia, to make him an object of
distrust among a naturally suspicious community. Nor was Arnold at all
a man of high character, whether domestic or public. Already in 1780 he
was formally accused of peculation and, though exonerated on inquiry,
was reprimanded by Washington for "imprudent and improper conduct."
Arnold, who fully expected a complete vindication by his superiors,
never forgave them the last implied stigma on his character. He was
suspected even then of disloyal conversation with the enemy under
adopted names, and his present wrath was not calculated to weaken
any predisposition he may have felt towards the commission of an act
of supreme treachery. It seems clear that André, an unusually astute
judge of character, had fully taken the measure of Arnold and perhaps
had already learned something when, on 16th August 1779, he wrote to
the General's wife at Philadelphia a rather whimsical letter offering
to do some "shopping" for her in New York—a somewhat inconsequent kind
of offer if its object was not to discover the condition of the lady's
purse. Shortly afterwards a communication was addressed from the Tory
side—the Whigs were the Revolutionaries—sounding Arnold and his general
disposition, and it is now well established that the correspondence,
which ensued thereafter between Clinton and himself, partook of a
treasonable character on the part of the American General, who wrote
in a disguised hand and assumed the name of "Gustavus" for the purpose
of his communications, Clinton not then being aware of the identity
or the importance of his correspondent. It seems clear, however, that
André, as Clinton's secretary, was well aware of that identity and we
may suppose the Major to have suggested the transference to himself of
the duty of keeping up communication with the traitor, a transference
which accordingly took place. Major André continued therefore to keep
in touch with Arnold, himself writing under the name "John Anderson" in
a slightly disguised hand. It is not implausibly maintained by some
that in the "shopping" letter which André had addressed to Mrs Arnold
in August 1779 he had used a disguised handwriting with the object of
making clear to her husband—reasonably certain to see the letter—the
identity of John Anderson. Shortly after André had taken a hand in
the intrigue, Arnold began to importune his superiors to give him the
command of West Point near New York, urging the costliness of keeping
up his position in Philadelphia. The request seemed reasonable and
was granted by Washington, Arnold assuming the command at West Point,
already, it is certain, resolved to surrender that strong fort to the
British who were lying some fifty miles below in New York, and for whom
the possession of the Point meant a free communication with Canada.

Up till the contemplated treachery of Arnold, the ascendancy of the
British had been well maintained on the American Continent. Charleston
had fallen and here André had twice risked his life disguised as a
spy; the South was in British possession; Gates had been beaten at
Camden and Manhattan was in their army's occupation. Arnold astutely
chose the proper moment for his act of treachery, certain in that dark
hour to produce a strong moral reaction upon the Revolutionaries. In
September 1780 the American General forwarded to André a letter asking
for a personal interview within the American lines, the Major to
disguise himself as John Anderson. André refused to enter the danger
zone and the meeting was arranged to take place at Haverstraw—neutral
ground—on 21st September. Thereafter it became a matter of somewhat
dangerous rumour that André, whose daring men well knew, was about
to undertake a perilous enterprise, a successful execution of which
must swiftly end the war. A baronetcy, a brigadiership, a large sum
of money—these were the rewards Clinton is said to have promised his
young Adjutant. It is generally agreed that André faced his present
mission with anything but that imperturbability which had marked his
departure on similar expeditions. He was saddened, it was said, by an
indefinable presentiment of death and impending disaster, and left
New York to keep his appointment with Arnold, sailing up the Hudson
in the British sloop _Vulture_. Arnold had agreed to send a boat to
the sloop at midnight, 21st September, in order to take off the Major,
who, on his landing, was led by a friend of the former to the secret
tryst on neutral ground. The interview was long, Arnold haggling
desperately over the terms of settlement; dawn had already begun to
shadow the eastern hill-tops and still the bargain was not square.
By five o'clock, however, the men had come to terms, and Arnold, who
had horses in waiting, suggested the completion of the details in
documentary form at the house of a local farmer, Smith his name. André
consented reluctantly, well knowing the house in question to be within
the American lines. By ten o'clock the deeds were drawn up and signed;
André was in possession of all necessary information concerning the
post to be surrendered. Arnold was to make a show of resistance on the
arrival of the British on 25th September, while Washington himself was
to be delivered into the hands of the enemy on his return that way on
September 27th. Benedict Arnold was to receive some £6500 as a reward
for his treachery, a sum which was eventually paid though the surrender
of West Point never took place.

On leaving Smith's residence and bidding adieu to Arnold, the Major
discovered to his surprise that the _Vulture_ had disappeared. The
sloop had been cannonaded during the night and compelled to drop down
the river. As the Major considered his difficult position, the vessel
returned to its previous moorings and André requested Smith to convey
him aboard. Smith refused, pleading reasonably enough that he was
afraid of the consequences to himself of rendering such a service.
No bribe being sufficient apparently to move the farmer, André found
himself forced to remain where he was and to his undoubted peril,
until nightfall. Smith offered to provide the Major with an American
uniform, but finding it impossible to procure one, gave him instead
an old-fashioned coat of the cavalier style, purple in colour, with
faded gold lace. A melancholy beaver hat completed the strange attire
of the British officer who covered the whole with an ordinary surtout.
Contrary to express instructions from Clinton, André took away the
papers which Arnold had given him at the farmhouse, concealing them in
his top-boots—an entirely senseless as well as purposeless proceeding,
which eventually led to his undoing. Accompanied by Smith and a negro,
André crossed the Hudson at King's Ferry on 22nd September, rode boldly
into the American lines, spending, indeed, a night at another farmhouse
in the midst of the enemy. On the 23rd, bidding his companions adieu,
the Major, following directions given him by Smith, made for so-called
neutral ground which swarmed with Tories and where he might feel
reasonably safe. Mistaking a turn, however, in the old Tarrytown Road,
along which he rode his horse slowly and with some hesitation, he came
suddenly upon a group of farmers who were ranging the countryside in
quest of suspicious persons. One of them, Paulding by name, wore a
Hessian surtout given him by a friend. When André came in sight the
company was playing cards, and on the Major's approach, Paulding,
the master spirit of the gang, stepped to the front, musket in hand,
commanding the traveller to halt and account for himself. Seeing the
Hessian coat—a garment peculiar to King George's troops—André stopped
his horse.

"My lads," he said, "you belong to our side, I see."

"What side?" asked Paulding.

"The British side," André replied.

"We do," answered Paulding.

André was momentarily taken off his guard. "Thank God!" he exclaimed.
"I am a British officer out on particular business. I am glad to be
among friends once more and I hope you will not detain me."

"We are Americans," cried Paulding, "and you are our prisoner."

Assuming as much composure as he could, André drew Arnold's passports
from his pocket permitting "Mr John Anderson to pass the guards to
the White Plains," only, of course, to confirm the suspicions of the
farmers, who thereupon dragged him from his horse, searching him from
head to foot, duly to find the incriminating documents which clearly
proved their captive a first-class spy. The Major began by offering
them in turn, cash, his gold watch, one hundred guineas, and finally
made a promise of one thousand guineas, saying he would remain a
hostage in their hands till one of the party should return with the
money. "We would not let you go for ten thousand guineas," shouted
Paulding, and André's doom was spoken. He was taken to the nearest
American post and delivered to the commandant, Colonel Jameson, under
his name John Anderson. André at once requested that General Arnold
should be notified that his friend "Anderson" was in custody, and the
Colonel, an unsuspicious soul, concluded that he could best serve his
superior officer by returning the captive to Arnold, under a guard of
four troopers in charge of Lieutenant Allen, who was also entrusted
with a letter in which the Colonel mentioned that he was "forwarding
certain documents found on Anderson forthwith to Washington," and this
was accordingly done. André, to his joy, set out with his escort on
the return journey to Arnold's lines. Before the party had progressed
many miles towards West Point, a messenger arrived with orders for
their return, and André found himself a captive once more in Jameson's
lines, the Colonel, on a subordinate's advice, having decided to refer
the whole matter to General Washington. In the meanwhile Allen, of his
own initiative, had proceeded to Arnold's headquarters with the private
letter and report from Jameson to the commander at West Point. For this
blunder your true American has never forgiven the simple-minded Colonel.

On 24th September, the day following his capture, Major André, of
whose real name and rank the American officers were still ignorant,
indited his famous letter to Washington, full of rhetoric and
self-justification, in which he advanced several considerations for
his release from captivity. Mentioning his name and military rank,
he only wrote, he said, to vindicate his good fame, not to solicit
security. He was not, he vowed with a strange distortion of actuality,
accustomed to duplicity. He justified his negotiations with "a person"
(Arnold, unnamed) who was to give him intelligence which should
prove serviceable to British arms, a fair ruse of war, he thought.
Having concluded these negotiations, he proceeded, he was conducted
without his knowledge into the American lines. He had thus become a
prisoner and was justified in his endeavour to escape by all means
available, and having reached neutral ground, through a disguise, he
had been arrested by irregulars. There were gentlemen at Charleston,
he concluded, in a half-menacing and highly impolitic phrase, whose
rank might be set in exchange for his; in any case they were persons
whom the treatment he received could not fail to affect. Washington
received this communication after the flight of Arnold who, learning
from Jameson's letter, duly delivered by Allen, how perilously matters
stood for him, had taken refuge on board the British vessel _Vulture_.
The American commander-in-chief gave immediate orders for the transfer
of André to West Point, where he arrived on 26th September, under the
care of a strong escort commanded by Major Tallmadge, the officer who
had advised Jameson to countermand the first order sending the prisoner
to Arnold. It was to Tallmadge that André made the memorable confession
that he had engaged in the adventure "for military glory, the applause
of his King and country and perhaps a brigadiership." The Major asked
the American in what light General Washington was likely to regard him.

"He will regard you," replied Tallmadge simply, "just as the British
regarded my old comrade and schoolfellow, Nathan Hale. Your fate will
be the same as Hale's."

It is not difficult to understand the fierce indignation of the
Americans at this critical time, when the black treachery of a
commander on their own side is considered, and it was, from the very
first, written in the stars that André should receive no mercy,
although, indeed, a strong effort was made to exchange him for Arnold
whom, in all probability, the Americans would have preferred. In
General Washington, above all, there was an elemental severity of the
early Roman type which would leave nothing to chance, although the plot
had, happily for his own arms, totally miscarried. Nevertheless, with
that ideal sense of justice which was found later in his illustrious
successor, Lincoln, he convened a military board with the object of
making careful inquiries and reporting their "opinion of the light in
which the prisoner ought to be considered and what punishment ought
to be inflicted." The court consisted of six major-generals and eight
brigadier-generals. It was held at Tappan, where Washington had his
headquarters. Inevitably André was held to be "a spy from the enemy and
only death could satisfy his crime." Washington stood by the verdict
and sentenced Major André to be hanged as a spy on the second day of
October at four in the afternoon.

At four accordingly on the second day of October 1780, Major André
was executed upon an eminence near Tappan village, in the presence of
a vast concourse of people. He was dressed in full military costume
and white top-boots. A large procession of officers preceded him to
the gallows—a cross-piece between two trees. The prisoner's step was
firm nor did he falter until he saw the gallows, realising then that,
despite his appeal to Washington, he was to die as a felon and not as a
soldier. His hesitation was only momentary, however. A baggage-wagon,
in which was laid a plain pine coffin, had been driven under the
gallows, a grave being dug near by. Into this wagon the prisoner
stepped, and taking the rope from the hangman adjusted it to his neck,
tying also a white silk handkerchief over his eyes. The Major was then
told that he might speak if he wished. Lifting the fold lightly from
his eyes and bowing courteously, André replied in a firm voice: "All I
request of you, gentlemen, is that while I acknowledge the propriety of
my sentence, you will bear me witness that I die like a brave man." And
taking his last look at the sky, he replaced the bandage on his eyes.
The wagon was driven swiftly from under him, and in a few minutes he
was no more.



VIII

BRITISH SECRET SERVICE


Under the euphemism Secret Service, we describe in England our system
of espionage. In common with other countries, espionage has always
prevailed in England as essential in some degree to most conditions of
our political, social, diplomatic and commercial life, all of which are
conducted on the most comprehensive and complex lines. The story of
England has, however, revealed but little of the spy in any class and,
indeed, next to nothing at all when considered in proportion to the
vastness of its national and international relations and commitments,
a happy state of affairs which is attributable to the fact that our
constitutional liberties represent the nearest approach to the ideal in
respect of the completeness of their guarantees. Going back to early
periods, it is only in the case of prominent figures like Alfred—who
did his own spying, it will be remembered—or the seventh Henry, or
Wolsey, that we find there was anything like the beginnings of an
organised secret service system. The father of King Harry, through the
agency of his lawyers Empson and Dudley, undoubtedly spied out the
financial conditions of the territorial nobles as well as the monastic
properties, and by doing so, certainly facilitated the seizure of the
Abbey possessions when the Reformation took place in the next reign.
The agents employed in the case of the wealthy landowners were usually
chaplains who also exercised secretarial functions for their patrons,
while in the monasteries renegade monks were always to be found willing
at a price to put Henry's financial sleuths in the way of obtaining
correct information. The Lord Cardinal, there is no doubt, spied on
the goings and comings of Campeggio when that legate was in England,
and neither is there any doubt of his having spied successfully, and
much to the irritation of the monarch, on King Henry himself who
retaliated, however, more than once by informing the Chancellor as
to certain romantic but very unpriestly trysts of the Cardinal which
had come within the royal cognisance. In royal circles, of course, we
may be sure that spying has always been the custom, all the more so
since household officers justify their persistent attentions on the
ground that the safety of the royal person requires that it should
be perennially shadowed. Did not Fouché once surprise Napoleon, who
was boasting of the superiority of service rendered by his own _corps
d'espions_, when he informed the Emperor regarding every detail of a
nocturnal outing which Majesty had made through Paris in company with
Murat, and in the course of which visits were paid, in turn, to a low
music-hall, a lower night-house and a cheap restaurant?

To find the first definite shapings of organised secret service we
must come to the time of Elizabeth when the Intelligencer and the
Spy were well-known characters in the society of the period. The
Intelligencer proves highly interesting as a study of the purely
parasitical life. In general, he started in life as a man who made it
his business to learn what was going on at all the main centres of
public and private life, trading off the items to men of business,
politicians and diplomatists for the best price he could obtain. He
corresponded very closely to the Roman quidnunc with whom the Satires
of Horace made us all familiar in our schooldays. Who can forget
the picture of that oily Nasidienus—what a nose for news the name
holds!—whose chief title to dine with Mæcenas depended on the fact that
he constituted in his own person a kind of central news agency upon
which all the gossip and intelligence of Rome was sure to converge.
For indeed, the famous quidnunc had his own corps of reporters whom he
employed to scour the City in quest of tittle-tattle for his patron.
The Intelligencer or private newsmonger of Elizabeth's age was, it is
recorded, looked upon as a highly respectable member of the workaday
classes until, to use a journalistic Americanism, he began to "put
it over" on his patrons—meaning to say, when he began to supply them
with the news that was not, drawing good money in exchange for false
intelligence. Like the free-lance of our own day, the Intelligencer
had first of all to build up a connection, as the phrase goes, the
same being remunerative, or the reverse, in proportion to the man's
energy and reliability. Since in those days he invariably dealt with
principals, it happened not so seldom that he effected a permanent
way into the good graces of a wealthy patron, rising afterwards to
positions of honourable importance. It is, nevertheless, a fact that
the majority of these men deteriorated, and for the simple reason that,
deeply versed as they became in the sordid architectonics of life of
all kinds, social, political and commercial, they quickly shed their
ideals. Their previous experience and knowledge of ways and means had,
however, fitted them in a peculiar manner for the business of watching
other men and they were invariably sought out by personages of wealth
and position to exercise the trade of spy, or common informer. And,
accordingly, when Burleigh and his congeners were looking around for
plausible excuses for killing off Mary of Scotland, they fell back on
the services of an informer who had originally made his bow before the
public as an Intelligencer. It is not necessary to go into the story
of the mysterious "J. B.," whom one Delbena, an Italian adventurer,
had introduced to the English Ambassador in Paris, Poulet, as a man of
good birth, but desperate in all enterprises and a traitor to the last
fibre of his spinal column. The records of Elizabethan days would seem
to indicate either that Burleigh and Walsingham were not very astute
judges of the common spy, or else that "J. B." was devilishly apt in
extracting large sums out of credulous statesmen and diplomats, for
it is written that having raised many thousands from Poulet on his
simple promise to capture an agent of Mary Stuart, whose papers were
certain to incriminate that Queen—why, the rascal failed to deliver
goods, to use another expressive newspaper Americanism. Then there was
the informer Gifford whose early training as a priest enabled him, in
his clerical capacity and with forged credentials, to spy on the great
Catholic families of his time, in all cases transmitting false yet
incriminating information to Burleigh. His nefarious activities brought
at least a dozen men to the execution block in those days. In two years
another of the species, one Thomas Phillips, also an ex-Intelligencer,
had contracted to the Crown a debt equal to the large sum of £60,000
of our own money on account of infamous work done for its ministers,
mostly political, be it said. Indeed, the record of the Elizabethan spy
constitutes one long chronicle of the bloodiest treachery in the whole
history of secret service, since the Tower, if not Tyburn, invariably
figured as the last scene in the life of the unfortunate who fell into
the hands of the Queen's sleuths. Treachery seems, for all the halo
which surrounds our notion of the "good old days," to have played a
part in the whole social fabric as universal as it was sinister, nor
can the fact be wondered at, seeing that the promiscuous distribution
of the confiscated estates of murdered men, which often in a day
rewarded poor men with vast lands, was an ever-present incentive to the
cupidity of the adventurer.

Cromwell, if we may judge by diaries and records of his day, was the
best-informed man in England. He had an undoubted faith in the value
of secret service and was ably served by the many agents he employed,
not only at home, but also abroad, where their activities helped to lay
the broad foundations of that foreign policy which is based upon the
principle known as the Balance of Power. It was the Protector's custom
to invite to his table men whom he well knew to be what the current
vernacular of the time termed "trimmers" and what the American calls a
"mugwump"; these men he invariably surprised with the correctness of
his information regarding the variety of their political friends and
relations, as well as of the dangerous company which they frequented,
advising them always in a friendly way to beware. The Protector was
one of the few statesmen in Europe who remained a perennial puzzle
to Mazarin, during whose large ascendancy on the Continent, Cromwell
strengthened the foundations of that naval power which has given
England for so long a paramount voice in Europe's councils. His
successor Charles II. distinguished himself above all other English
monarchs by receiving into his intimate court circle a paid spy of
Louis XIV. in the person of Louise de Kérouaille, on whom he conferred
the title of Duchess of Portsmouth. This lady, as Duchesse d'Aubigny
in France, was at the same time drawing a ducal revenue from the
coffers of Louis XIV., while it remains a matter of statistical record
that in the year 1681 she took in perquisite from the English Exchequer
the sum of £136,000—equal to more than half-a-million sterling of
our time. There can be little doubt that the capacity for political
intrigue of the Duchess, as well as her complete ascendancy over
Charles and her own greed of money, contributed at a later stage to
swell the indictment which ultimately led to the banishment of the
Stuarts. In her Life of the Duchess, Mrs Colquhoun Grant takes a view
generally accepted by historical writers, to wit, that the favourite's
character was neither vicious nor depraved, that her conduct was not
immoral according to the notions of the age, that she was a woman of
immense political capacity, while of a tender and affectionate heart.
Her political correspondence, in which she exercised her specific
rôle as informer to the French court, was carried on with Madame de
Montespan, who is memorable as one of the splendid favourites of Louis.

[Illustration: The Duchess of Portsmouth]

Passing over to Georgian times we find that the employment of spies was
common in all departments of life, and there can be little doubt that
the Hanoverians brought to England many men and women who had learned
the arts of espionage at the best of all possible schools—namely,
Berlin. The history of England of those days shows us nothing in the
way of pre-eminent exponents of the business, nor can espionage be
said, in its political aspects, to have reached to that excellence of
organisation which it attained later in the times of Pitt, whom the
ever-present activities of Bonaparte compelled in the interests of our
security to develop a secret-service system the operations of which
were inferior to none in Europe. It remains a matter of record that in
the days of the French Revolution certain political leaders in England
were in the pay of the Committee of Public Safety presided over by
Robespierre. This fact was communicated to Pitt through his own spy, a
professedly violent Jacobin, who by means of cipher and anagrammatic
correspondence, carried on with a relative in Italy, was transmitting
by that roundabout route the most minute and accurate accounts of the
Committee's proceedings to the English Premier. The sums paid for such
dangerous work, while never, of course, disclosed, were undoubtedly
very large, seeing that the all-observant Saint-Just was moving at
the time through Revolutionary circles. The failure of the French
invasion of Ireland in December 1796 is also set down to an act of paid
treachery on the part of the captain of one of the French vessels,
the story being that he took advantage of prevailing foul weather to
decline approaching the Irish coast for several days, and since the
general commanding the expedition was on board, the brave venture
became a foregone failure. Charles Lever, who, it will be remembered,
acted as British Consul at Spezzia and Trieste, introduces us on
more than one occasion to a kind of consular or ambassadorial spy, an
individual who in those days was as regular a member of a chancellery
as its archivist is in our own.

In the time of Napoleon, Charles James Fox, an admirer and friend
of the First Consul, found himself, all unconsciously, caught in
the vast woof of the Fouché-Talleyrand system of intelligence, thus
becoming an unwitting agent in communicating to the French Government
certain of the designs of the British Government for the destruction
of Bonaparte's Continental policy. The fact that Fox was a desperate
gambler, and ever in debt, was not of course allowed to escape
the notice of his few, but bitter, enemies, who in this case were
obviously moved by malice rather than by anything they really knew. The
cleverness of Canning in procuring private information regarding the
secret clauses of the Treaty of Tilsit between Alexander of Russia and
Napoleon is commonly regarded as among the greatest achievements of
diplomacy in all time. How the British foreign minister obtained this
information will probably remain a secret for ever; but the momentous
results of his cleverness are indisputable, since they led to the
seizure of the Danish fleet and broke up the northern confederation
of powers by which Napoleon still hoped to invade England, and some
analogy to which is found at our own time in the occupation of
Belgium by the Germans, England having been the main objective in
both cases. Conjecture is, of course, not wanting as to the means
which placed this intelligence in the hands of Canning. According to
one writer, a certain Lady Sarah Spencer, in a letter addressed to
her father at Althorp, declared at the time that "Lord G. L. Gower
had got possession, for £20,000, of the original treaty of Tilsit
and that one of the secret articles stipulated that the Danish fleet
should be employed against us, which induced Ministers to adopt such
measures." It is declared by a member of the Mackenzie clan that one
Colin Mackenzie, who perfectly understood and spoke French, disguised
himself as a Cossack and was one of the attendants chosen to accompany
the Russian Emperor to the raft on which the interview with Napoleon
was held—a story which does not, it must be said, meet with very
cordial acceptance. Again it is asserted that the famous Launay, Count
d'Antraigues, obtained the treaty from a friend in Russia, a version
which seems disproved by the fact that the Count was at that time in
disgrace in England. On Sir Robert Wilson has also been conferred
the distinction of discovering the secret understandings of Tilsit,
while the tradition of the Foreign Office is that the information came
indirectly from the Emperor Alexander and was given publicity through
some blunder on the part of the Russian Ambassador in London—most
probably the correct facts.

The enactment of the Union between England and Ireland led in its
time to the commission of untold treacheries. Until within a score
of years ago there stood in the private offices of Dublin Castle two
iron-clamped chests filled to the top with papers relating to pre-Union
days. These chests bore the Government seal and on them was inscribed
the legend: "Secret and confidential—not to be opened." For close upon
a century, these chests remained unexplored until, leave having been
given for their examination, hundreds of betrayals and treacheries
leapt to light. Men of the highest names, says Dr Fitzpatrick, in
effect, were found to have been spies of the Government and practically
_agents provocateurs_, although to the outer world they bore themselves
as high-souled patriots of unimpeachable honour. The various causes
in which these men served were not less filled with the foulness of
secret crime than outwardly they proved to be fraught with deliberately
constructed outrage and injustice to a whole nation. Coming down
to more modern days, we seize upon the story of Major Le Caron.
This man's adventure among the open and admitted enemies of England
shows us the meagre extent to which our Government is prepared to
subsidise its agents abroad. Le Caron is not singular in his criticism
of the British authorities who, by a consistent policy of paying
starvation pay, have reduced the secret service to the proportions of
a vanishing quantity. Le Caron warned the authorities of their fatal
and improvident parsimony in his time. "Some day," he said, "a big
thing will happen about which there will be no leakage beforehand
and then the affrighted and indignant British citizen will turn on
his band of thirty secret-service men and rant and rave at them for
their want of capacity and performance. The fault will be the want of
a perfect system of secret service, properly financed. If plots are to
be discovered in time, they can only be discovered through information
coming from men associated with them. If it is to be made worth their
while to speak, then the price offered by the British Government must
be higher than that of the other paymasters." Le Caron's words are
clearly based on the assumption that men enter into revolutionary
movements rather for what there is in them, than from any spiritual or
ethical motives. Until far more evidence than we possess is afforded
us, we fear that the spy must be held to be right, for the tortuous
path of political agitation is a path which is ever crowded with
self-seekers and one on which the altruist is always the loneliest of
pilgrims.

In the course of the trials of Captains Trench and Brandon at Leipsic
in 1910, the public prosecutor emphasised his view that British gold
had bought up the services of hundreds of agents scattered throughout
Germany, all of them engaged in the business of transmitting important
information to the British Admiralty and War Office. Visitors to what
is known as the Black Country of Westphalia will recollect, too, how
ordinary English tourists who arrive at towns in the neighbourhood
of Essen, the home of Krupp, such as Bochum, or Wesel, or Elberfeld
invariably become the objects of police attention from the moment of
their arrival at local hotels. It is certain that espionage on the
part of the foreigner excites more real concern in Germany than is
the case in England, a fact that we must put down to her geographical
position which leaves her, despite vast armaments and preparations, an
ever-possible object of attack to heavily armed nations which surround
her on all sides. Even, however, if it be the fact that England has
held her spies within Germany itself, few will be found to argue that
it is not a legitimate use of secret service funds, as well as a
matter altogether apart from the infamy which attaches to the person
who accepts money in return for the betrayal of fatherland. It is,
nevertheless, very questionable if any information really worth having,
in the military sense, ever escapes the record of duly appointed
military attachés, whose official existence dates from 1864 and whose
admitted business it is to keep themselves professionally posted as
to the resources of a possible enemy. In regard to Germany, it may be
said that in the business of spying, she occupies a class by herself,
since professional espionage is not looked upon by the people as in
any way degrading or underhand. An easy tolerance of this kind towards
a trade which is in itself intrinsically base cannot, it must follow,
be without a corresponding reaction on the common mind in regard to
spying for the benefit of foreign powers, and we may reasonably assume
it to be the fact that in such cases the British authorities go far
less frequently in quest of native spies, than the native spies come
in quest of British gold. A sum of less than £40,000 is annually set
aside for the purposes of the British Secret Service, according to
official books. The smallness of the sum must clearly be some index of
the limits of our secret-service operations, although no one is asked
to suppose that the amount in question covers the entire expenditure
made on account of useful information given up. Germany, it is known,
makes a public appropriation of, roughly, £1,000,000 sterling for the
secret-service system. Russia's budget for the same object amounts to
£500,000, while that of France is less than £200,000, as far, in all
cases, as public figures are available. The public appropriations do
not, of course, reveal anything like the entire sums expended, the
facts as to which could be realised only by a survey of the various
accounts of consular offices and embassies throughout Europe.

Much ink has been spilt and many public utterances have been made
with the object of showing that the British Government had taken
but perfunctory measures in order to fight the system of espionage
which was preparing England for invasion, even as France had been
prepared for invasion in 1870. Writers in the daily Press and
members of Parliament had declared, by the end of August 1914, that
anything more inadequate than the British system of what is known as
counter-espionage—that is to say, the organising of spies to watch
and report on Germans who were obviously overrunning the country in
quest of information of military value—was inconceivable. After all,
results afford the best test of the precautions taken, and it is on
record that the ease and rapidity with which the authorities rounded up
over 14,000 German and Austrian potential spies, within a few weeks of
the outbreak of the war, came as an illuminating shock to the German
Secret Service authorities themselves who had based their warlike
decisions largely upon the hypothesis that England was still asleep.
A well-known authority on such matters at the Home Office informed
the writer in September 1914 that even the so-called "incendiary
points"—that is to say, localities which had been marked out as
suitable for the setting fire to houses, in the event of aerial raids
on London—were being gradually and completely scheduled by vigilant
officers of our Secret Service, and in such a way that nothing was
left to assist the operations of possible spies who have succeeded
in eluding enumeration by our somewhat silent and unofficious, but
nevertheless eternally wakeful police. As we have said in another
place, the German organisation of spies, internal and external, had
been raised to a point under Stieber, beyond which, given the present
conditions of the world and mankind, it was practically impossible
to go, and since for the past twenty years and more, we have been in
possession of the technical details of Stieberism, we may rely on it
that the authorities, on their side, have not read in vain. Shortly
after the outbreak of the Great War, and in order to allay the anxiety
created by critics of such departments as are charged with the duty of
watching the enemy in our midst, the Home Office issued the following
statement dealing with measures which had been undertaken with a view
to counteracting the operations of foreign spies scattered throughout
the Islands:—

 "In view of the anxiety naturally felt by the public with regard to
 the system of espionage on which Germany has placed so much reliance,
 and to which attention has been directed by recent reports from the
 seat of war, it may be well to state briefly the steps which the Home
 Office, acting on behalf of the Admiralty and War Office, has taken
 to deal with the matter in this country. The secrecy which it has
 hitherto been desirable in the public interest to observe on certain
 points cannot any longer be maintained, owing to the evidence which it
 is necessary to produce in cases against spies that are now pending.

 "It was clearly ascertained five or six years ago that the Germans
 were making great efforts to establish a system of espionage in this
 country, and in order to trace and thwart these efforts a Special
 Intelligence Department was established by the Admiralty and the War
 Office which has ever since acted in the closest co-operation with
 the Home Office and Metropolitan Police and the principal provincial
 Police Forces. In 1911, by the passing of the Official Secrets Act,
 1911, the law with regard to espionage, which had hitherto been
 confused and defective, was put on a clear basis and extended so as to
 embrace every possible mode of obtaining and conveying to the enemy
 information which might be useful in war.

 "The Special Intelligence Department, supported by all the means which
 could be placed at its disposal by the Home Secretary, was able in
 three years, from 1911 to 1914, to discover the ramifications of the
 German secret service in England. In spite of enormous efforts and
 lavish expenditure of money by the enemy, little valuable information
 passed into their hands. The agents, of whose identity knowledge was
 obtained by the Special Intelligence Department, were watched and
 shadowed without in general taking any hostile action or allowing
 them to know that their movements were watched. When, however, any
 actual step was taken to convey plans or documents of importance
 from this country to Germany the spy was arrested, and in such case
 evidence sufficient to secure his conviction was usually found in his
 possession. Proceedings under the Official Secrets Acts were taken by
 the Director of Public Prosecutions, and in six cases sentences were
 passed varying from eighteen months to six years' penal servitude.
 At the same time steps were taken to mark down and keep under
 observation all the agents known to be engaged in this traffic, so
 that when any necessity arose the Police might lay hands on them at
 once, and accordingly on August 4, before the declaration of war,
 instructions were given by the Home Secretary for the arrest of twenty
 known spies, and all were arrested. This figure does not cover a large
 number (upwards of two hundred) who were noted as under suspicion or
 to be kept under special observation. The great majority of these were
 interned at or soon after the declaration of war.

 "None of the men arrested in pursuance of the orders issued on August
 4 has yet been brought to trial, partly because the officers whose
 evidence would have been required were engaged in urgent duties in
 the early days of the war, but mainly because the prosecution, by
 disclosing the means adopted to track out the spies and prove their
 guilt, would have hampered the Intelligence Department in its further
 efforts. They were, and still are, held as prisoners under the powers
 given to the Secretary of State by the Aliens Restriction Act. One of
 them, however, who established a claim to British nationality, has now
 been formally charged, and, the reasons for delay no longer existing,
 it is a matter for consideration whether the same course should now be
 taken with regard to some of the other known spies.

 "Although this action taken on August 4 is believed to have broken
 up the spy organisation which had been established before the
 war, it is still necessary to take the most rigorous measures to
 prevent the establishment of any fresh organisation and to deal with
 individual spies who might previously have been working in this
 country outside the organisation, or who might be sent here under
 the guise of neutrals after the declaration of war. In carrying
 this out the Home Office and War Office have now the assistance of
 the Cable Censorship, and also of the Postal Censorship, which,
 established originally to deal with correspondence with Germany
 and Austria, has been gradually extended (as the necessary staff
 could be obtained) so as to cover communications with those neutral
 countries through which correspondence might readily pass to Germany
 or Austria. The censorship has been extremely effective in stopping
 secret communications by cable or letter with the enemy; but, as its
 existence was necessarily known to them, it has not, except in a few
 instances, produced materials for the detection of espionage.

 "On August 5 the Aliens Restriction Act was passed, and within an
 hour of its passing an Order-in-Council was made which gave the
 Home Office and the Police stringent powers to deal with aliens,
 and especially enemy aliens, who under this Act could be stopped
 from entering or leaving the United Kingdom, and were prohibited
 while residing in this country from having in their possession any
 wireless or signalling apparatus of any kind, or any carrier or homing
 pigeons. Under this Order all those districts where the Admiralty
 or War Office considered it undesirable that enemy aliens should
 reside have been cleared by the Police of Germans and Austrians, with
 the exception of a few persons, chiefly women and children, whose
 character and antecedents are such that the local Chief Constable, in
 whose discretion the matter is vested by the Order, considered that
 all ground for suspicion was precluded. At the same time the Post
 Office, acting under the powers given them by the Wireless Telegraphy
 Acts, dismantled all private wireless stations; and they established
 a special system of wireless detection by which any station actually
 used for the transmission of messages from this country could be
 discovered. The Police have co-operated successfully in this matter
 with the Post Office.

 "New and still more stringent powers for dealing with espionage were
 given by the Defence of the Realm Act, which was passed by the Home
 Secretary through the House of Commons and received the Royal Assent
 on August 8. Orders-in-Council have been made under this Act which
 prohibit, in the widest terms, any attempt on the part either of
 aliens or of British subjects to communicate any information which
 'is calculated to be or might be directly or indirectly useful to an
 enemy'; and any person offending against this prohibition is liable to
 be tried by court martial and sentenced to penal servitude for life.
 The effect of these Orders is to make espionage a military offence.
 Power is given both to the police and to the military authorities to
 arrest without a warrant any person whose behaviour is such as to give
 rise to suspicion, and any person so arrested by the police would be
 handed over to the military authorities for trial by court martial.
 Only in the event of the military authorities holding that there is no
 prima facie case of espionage or any other offence triable by military
 law is a prisoner handed back to the civil authorities to consider
 whether he should be charged with failing to register or with any
 other offence under the Aliens Restriction Act.

 "The present position is, therefore, that espionage has been made
 by statute a military offence triable by court martial. If tried
 under the Defence of the Realm Act, the maximum punishment is penal
 servitude for life; but if dealt with outside that Act as a war crime
 the punishment of death can be inflicted.

 "At the present moment one case is pending in which a person charged
 with attempting to convey information to the enemy is now awaiting
 his trial by court martial, but in no other case has any clear trace
 been discovered of any attempt to convey information to the enemy, and
 there is good reason to believe that the spy organisation crushed at
 the outbreak of the war has not been re-established.

 "How completely that system had been suppressed in the early days of
 the war is clear from the fact—disclosed in a German Army Order—that
 on August 21 the German Military Commanders were still ignorant
 of the despatch and movements of the British Expeditionary Force,
 although these had been known for many days to a large number of
 people in this country.

 "The fact, however, of this initial success does not prevent the
 possibility of fresh attempts at espionage being made, and there is no
 relaxation in the efforts of the Intelligence Department and of the
 Police to watch and detect any attempts in this direction. In carrying
 out their duties, the military and police authorities would expect
 that persons having information of cases of suspected espionage would
 communicate the grounds of the suspicion to local military authority
 or to the local police, who are in direct communication with the
 Special Intelligence Department, instead of causing unnecessary public
 alarm, and possibly giving warning to the spies by public speeches
 and letters to the Press. In cases in which the Director of Public
 Prosecutions has appealed to the authors of such letters and speeches
 to supply him with the evidence upon which their statements were
 founded in order that he might consider the question of prosecuting
 the offender, no evidence of any value has as yet been forthcoming.

 "Among other measures which have been taken has been the registration,
 by Order of the Secretary of State, made under the Defence of the
 Realm Act, of all persons keeping carrier or homing pigeons. The
 importation and the conveyance by rail of these birds have been
 prohibited; and, with the valuable assistance of the National Homing
 Union, a system of registration has been extended to the whole of the
 United Kingdom, and measures have been taken which it is believed will
 be effective to prevent the possibility of any birds being kept in
 this country which would fly to the Continent.

 "Another matter which has engaged the closest attention of the police
 has been the possibility of conspiracies to commit outrage. No trace
 whatever has been discovered of any such conspiracy, and no outrage of
 any sort has yet been committed by any alien—not even telegraph-wires
 having been maliciously cut since the beginning of the war.
 Nevertheless, it has been necessary to bear in mind the possibility
 that such a secret conspiracy might exist or might be formed among
 alien enemies resident in this country.

 "Accordingly, immediately after the commencement of hostilities,
 rigorous search was made by the police in the houses of Germans and
 Austrians, in their clubs and in all places where they were likely to
 resort. In a few cases individuals were found who were in possession
 of a gun or pistol which they had not declared, and in one or two
 cases there were small collections of ancient firearms, and in such
 cases the offenders have been prosecuted and punished; but no store of
 effective arms—still less any bombs or instruments of destruction—have
 so far been discovered.

 "From the beginning, any Germans or Austrians who were deemed by the
 police to be likely to be dangerous were apprehended, handed over
 to the military authorities, and detained as prisoners of war; and,
 as soon as the military authorities desired it, general action was
 taken to arrest and hand over to military custody Germans of military
 age, subject to exceptions which have properly been made on grounds
 of policy. About 9000 Germans and Austrians of military age have been
 so arrested, and are held as prisoners of war in detention camps, and
 among them are included those who are regarded by the police as likely
 in any possible event to take part in any outbreak of disorder or
 incendiarism."



IX

FRENCH SECRET SERVICE


Napoleon it was who once expressed the view that if not impossible,
it was rare to find a Frenchman who could really put his heart into
the business of spying, whether military or civil, and it was his
custom, as far as possible, to employ in either capacity men of that
cosmopolitan or unnational type of which we have spoken. The Emperor's
view would hardly seem, however, to fit in with the preconceived
notion entertained by most of us. Regaled as we have long been with
the fantasies and fictions of modern French writers and their inspired
master detectives, we find ourselves almost invariably crediting
the French system of secret service with being, in respect of its
excellence, an exemplar to all other kindred bodies. No satire, so
far as we know, of the stolen-white-elephant type has ever yet been
written with the object of pointing out the futility of its processes
or the imbecility of its methods, and in any case, it is a matter of
statistical record that the amount of undiscovered crime in France is
twenty per cent. lower than that of any other country in the world.
Here, it must be admitted, we seem to be confusing the business of
the detector of crime with that of the secret-service agent; in
most countries, nevertheless, the two departments work largely in
conjunction, and it may be, in general, fairly presumed that a service
which is likely to provide a good corps of detectives is also capable
of producing an able body of spies. It would seem that in no age in
French history was the system of organised spying so complete as during
the ascendancy of Richelieu, when clerical influences, supported
by a vast network of espionage, were everywhere overwhelming, and
again during the times of Napoleon's military empire, a contrast in
conditions which suggests the idea that governments which are based
on autocratic or non-representative principles invariably require the
help of intrinsically corrupt and vicious influences to enable them to
maintain their existence. For all the lauded excellence of the imperial
German organisation of spies, that of France may be said, when we take
into consideration the lighter political and social machinery of a
Republican country, to be hardly less comprehensive, as well as quite
as effective in its results.

Paris is, of course, the centre of the French organisation. Here it
works craftily and silently and though rarely coming into contact with
the work of the President or his Cabinet, is permanently in touch with
departmental officials in all the great public offices. It is declared
on the authority of a now-retired divisional chief of the French secret
service, Saint-Just, that even the Prefect of Police in Paris only
rarely hears of the business details of his own department, though it
is very doubtful if such a statement could be made about M. Méline,
whose omnivorous activities and private information during his tenure
of that office are said on more than one occasion to have extricated
the Republic from a difficult international impasse. As a rule the
divisional chiefs of the system only invite the attention of the
titular head of the service in the event of a _cause célèbre_ in which
great names are mentioned, or else in cases in which international
complications, as in the Dreyfus drama, are to be feared. The French
Secretary for Foreign Affairs can alone be said, in regard to the work
and the results of the French spy system, to be in close touch with it;
and in all certainty this was true about M. Delcassé in the perilous
period of the Moroccan imbroglio of 1906. Other Ministers, all of whom,
like the Prefect of Police himself, hold office by virtue of their
being party men, know as a rule less about what is taking place in the
underground of political movements than much humbler civil servants.
The divisional chiefs without doubt are the real controllers of the
police organisation; these men are practically irremovable and they are
invariably so well acquainted with inside working of state affairs that
no Government dares dismiss one of them without grave reason. Colonel
Henry, whose momentous knowledge of the real motives which underlay
the Dreyfus affair made his own removal by suicide or murder—who can
tell which?—an insistent necessity, had acted as a go-between from
a divisional chief to an important political personage in France and
consequently learned, in the course of his dealings with them both,
that formidable secret which eventually cost the Colonel his life.

The spy system of France is largely based nowadays, as in the time
of Fouché, on the _Dossier_. In France any person who has had, or
even who is likely to have, anything like a career which is of a
public nature is duly taken cognisance of by the police, and all and
everything in the way of private information or gossip or documentary
evidence and the like is collated against all possible eventuality
and upshot, the result being forthwith archived in the offices of the
chief of police. The merest novice who enters in any capacity into the
limelight of publicity, even artists, literary men, frail queans of
the _demi-monde_, financiers, politicians, social fancy-men, jockeys,
actors, clerics, opulent mistresses, editors—all these in point of
personal "pedigree," to cull an expression from the American police
vocabulary, are better known to the secret service than to their own
parents. And so it happens, when a man attains to high political power
and is courted by ministers, he invariably makes it his business to
become as intimate as possible with the Chief of the Police, his object
being to recover and destroy all incriminating documents concerning
his past life. In former times, we have all read, kings were wont on
occasion to ask useful retainers if they had anything to solicit in
the way of favours. If a French President were nowadays to invite a
rising or, better still, a risen politician who had served the party
well, to make his particular request, it is certain that first, and
before all things, the politician would ask to be put in possession
of his _dossier_, since no man, great or small, cares that the world
should know by what arts he taught himself to rise, as Pope puts it.
It is an undoubted fact that the _dossier_ is frequently asked for by
arrivals at high political position, and the police, of course, make
a pretence at surrendering it. But do not think for a moment that
they actually surrender each and all of the documentary proofs and
tit-bits of private intelligence which have come into their possession
regarding the person most concerned. The great man is, of course, given
a _dossier_ of sorts. Yet a year or so later, when the politician has
fallen from his high office, the "pedigree" is replaced in the police
archives, often fatter and more succulent than ever. Since the days
of Fouché, who was the inventor of the _dossier secret_, this has
been a fixed official custom of the French Police and the cost of its
maintenance is charged on the municipal rates. It is also certain that
no constant visitor to Paris, no matter whence he comes or what his
nationality, provided he possesses high political or social importance,
or even notoriety, in his own country, all unconsciously goes through
the ordeal of having his pedigree taken, as they say in New York. And
again, since the art of police photography has become common, as
often as not, and unknown to himself, the visitor has to submit to the
official process of having his portrait taken, or being "mugged," as
the American police so expressively describe it.

Years back, in the time of Napoleon the Third, there existed a system
of spying throughout France, known as that of the "White Blouses,"
these being a ubiquitous band of _agents provocateurs_ who were paid to
incite the people to riots and so furnish the police with pretexts for
incarcerating leading popular spirits who were likely, if allowed their
freedom, to become dangerous to the stability of the Empire. The fall
of that fabric in 1870 led to the partial break-up of this monstrous
organisation, and many who were known to be its paid agents were very
deservedly shot in the days of the Commune. After the establishment of
the Republic the spy police was reorganised and a special brigade of
secret-service agents was formed whose object was—and still is—to spy
upon all those political sects at the head of which stand pretenders
like the Duke of Orleans, or Prince Napoleon, or the late General
Boulanger. At any grave political crisis in France these political
sects display more than their usual energies, trusting more or less, as
they do, in the star of their particular candidate, and at such times
the corps of spies become correspondingly active. This especial body is
said to have constituted far more than any other force to the permanent
stability of the present Republican regime. Most of its special spies
are recruited, it is known, among the newspaper reporters and writers
of Paris and the larger towns of France, and for the reason that their
business affords them better opportunities than are given to most men
of coming in touch with people who are anxious to "move the public
mind" in regard to pet principles, or in simpler words, who have an axe
to grind. This service was the invention of the celebrated Prefect of
Police Andrieux, who also organised a system of fractional divisions
of his police which still exists, and which is also associated with
the body that spies upon the movements of anarchist societies in
France, Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Holland
and the United States, with all the chief bureaux of which countries
it continues to remain in permanent affiliation. Its magnificent work
undoubtedly accounts for the chronic failure of the militant anarchists
to do serious damage or outrage in anything like proportion to the
fiery sentiments which they profess to entertain towards all reasoned
systems of government, or even in proportion to their numbers.

The real chief of the French Secret Service is, as we have told,
not the Prefect of Police, who is a politician and a party man. The
traditions of a generation will it that the active headship of that
service be taken over generally by the chief of what is officially
known as the Third Division of the Police. Under this functionary's
control are the head of the First Bureau in which the _dossiers_ are
kept, and the head of the Second Bureau which deals with the reports
of political agents and which also directs the notorious Black Cabinet
having charge of the opening of all private letters passing between
suspected persons; when read these letters are photographed and
archived. The Third Bureau has been made famous in recent times by
the Panama, Dreyfus and Humbert scandals in which its large corps of
handwriting experts and interpreters came on the scene. In the First
Division the various bureaux are made up as follows: (_A_) Spies upon
persons of note; thus Esterhazy during the Dreyfus case had seventeen
members of this division following him in all places and at all hours.
(_B_) The corps of men who are detailed to watch women frequently
visited by prominent politicians, and who are, when it is found
necessary, instructed to "engage the sentiments" of the ladies at their
dwelling places, cash-expenses being allowed the spies in proportion
to the cubicular tariff of any given lady who may be suspected of
knowing anything. (_C_) The body of spies who are detailed to spy upon
the actions and movements of notable foreigners. This body includes
those spies who are available for hire by great bankers, the heads of
large business houses, the chiefs of great newspapers, or any other
private individuals of great wealth and position who for reasons of
their own, wish to have their employees, their acquaintances, or their
mistresses followed and their movements reported upon. Foreigners
and others whose presence is not considered desirable in France are
invariably tracked down by the spies of this department. (_D_) The
service of spies whose qualifications enable them to look out for
traits of insanity or eccentricity, especially in persons of wealth
and "in the interests of public health and security," it is officially
stated. There is then the Second Division, which is composed mainly of
a bureau the agents of which are stationed at the different ports of
France and who watch all suspicious characters landing in or leaving
France, or who, as occasion requires, visit foreign ports in quest of
criminal evidence; a subsidiary body of its spies are detailed to watch
malefactors and politicians of the municipal order. Finally there is
the "laboratory" to which the late M. Bertillon, the anthropometrician,
has given celebrity as chief of its Identification department, in
which criminals are measured or identified. In this department, should
the police be very anxious to possess the "identification dossier" of
any person who is suspected of criminal relations, the chiefs have
the suspect arrested on some pretext or other. He is at once haled to
the Identification bureau, where the officials go through the mock
process of recording his measures. Subsequently it is discovered that,
after all, he is not the person required, and he is released with much
apology. The bureau authorities nevertheless retain his card and when,
if ever, the suspect is caught in the act, he is sure to be confronted
with his record in measurements even though he have never so many
aliases.

As in Germany, so in France, that type of inferior spy who is known
by the term _mouchard_ is generally to be found among the municipal
inspectors of lodging-houses, the supervisors of night-houses, those
detectives whose business is the watching of the street-police, all of
which individuals have opportunities for picking up clues to more or
less important crime. There is also an inferior corps of _mouchards_
who are known by the expressive term _remueurs de casseroles_—that is
to say, persons whose business it is to stir up the social saucepan
in any district in order to bring minor details to light. As may be
supposed from their name, they move in the very lowest circles of the
unchosen races of evil and are generally to be hired, for a franc or
two the job, among waiters, money-lenders' touts, race-course "narks"
and such gentry. Spies are also, it is well known, sent in the guise
of convicted offenders among those already undergoing imprisonment,
with the object of bringing to the knowledge of the police further
details as to crimes already committed. Such a person is usually known
among French professional criminals by the name "_mouton_." All these
classes of spies may be said to come under the supervision of the chief
of the Third Division, who also takes charge of that portion of the
system which is detailed to watch the mining, the manufacturing and the
wine districts for the purposes of reporting on anything in the way
of "syndicalist" disaffection. The political _corps d'espionnage_ in
France numbers, it may be said, some 1000 paid agents of all grades of
society, men and women. They are expected to earn their living among
the class of people upon whom they report to the police, so that being
in regular employment their movements shall not be open to suspicion.
When the chief-of-division requires the service of a particular spy
at an established point, the individual chosen is requested formally
to present himself at district headquarters. Here he is informed by
the presiding chief that some details have been gathered concerning
his relations with a dishonest and punishable piece of business
which had taken place perhaps ten years before in, perhaps, another
neighbourhood, or even a different town. The visitor admits the fact,
but pleads that the occurrence is really statute-barred. The police
official declares himself ready to forget the matter provided his
visitor will consent to work on his behalf among the people of his
factory, or store, or municipality, as the case may be. There will be
a little money in it—according to the man's standing, and all he is
required to do is to forward once or twice weekly a letter detailing
conversations, opinions expressed by others, various acts, trysts and
so on of any or all of those with whom he works and consorts. The
prospective spy does not know, nor will he ever know, what object the
police have ultimately in view, or how important it is, or for what
stakes they are playing. He is in reality on the outside rim of some
gigantic movement the penetration of the inmost workings of which is
being sought. Naturally he consents and enters the public service as an
"agent of record."

In France, it is well established, each great newspaper has a spy who
is in receipt of occasional tips from the proprietor. His duty is to
watch editors, writers and reporters, their movements, the quality
of the people they visit and how they spend their spare hours. These
newspapers also employ their agents in other offices in order that
items of special interest in the way of news shall not be omitted by
their own papers. In the great banking-houses of Paris there are spies
paid from inside to spy upon employees and spies paid from outside
to spy on the especial details of the business, its investments, its
intentions and plans, and even these men are spied upon in their turn
to prevent their abusing their information on the Bourse. Politicians,
senators—all these are watched by colleagues who draw salaries from
the secret-service funds. Going back many years, it will be recalled
that at a critical moment in his political career, General Boulanger
fled from Paris because, as he explained to the reporters in Brussels,
his enemies had decided upon his seizure and imprisonment. It was
afterwards shown that the General's valet, one Georget, was a paid spy
in the service of the police, and Boulanger had taken him to Brussels.
Furthermore, the maid who waited upon Madame de Bonnemain, Boulanger's
mistress, was the sweetheart of Georget, and she also was a paid police
spy, the result being that the movements of both were perfectly well
known to the secret-service agents, who could have arrested the General
at any one of the twenty stations between Paris and Brussels. The
police were fully aware, indeed, as Boulanger himself was, that, his
cause being discredited, he no longer counted in politics or society.

The French War Office is now as well informed as any war office in
Europe and the war of 1914 may be held to have disproved the opposite
view. Into its secret intelligence bureau flows information from
every part of Europe. The military attaché of the present day is
responsible for much that is pigeon-holed in its offices—services
of transportation, war material, armaments, railroads, mobilisation
plans, finances—and there is little of moment in any other country
upon which French emissaries cannot throw all necessary light in the
way of special information. From the General Staff down every military
official collects his quota. He is trained what to observe, what to ask
about, what to look for and what to expect—plans of fortifications, new
guns, or parts of guns and so forth. Accordingly it is not surprising
to hear that France, which had neglected to watch, or who more probably
despised the internal enemy in 1870, had by 1914 perfected a system
of counter-espionage which totally neutralised that of Germany in
all directions. Since 1895 the French Code has been increased by
practically only one item of importance in regard to spies. The clause
in question states that "all dealings with the enemy, by private French
citizens, which shall have the effect of conveying knowledge that
hostile armies can make use of in war shall entail penal servitude
for life. In the case of officers or officials who are found to be
transmitting information to the enemy the penalty shall be death."

Renan has declared that, to the honour of France, it has ever been
found impossible to discover a traitor in her hour of trial. On the
whole this statement may be taken as representing the truth, and in
flagrant cases in which French citizens have been proved to have
betrayed their country, it has almost invariably been proved that the
offenders were of German origin.



X

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE


In order properly and fully to understand the nature of the German
system of spying, it is essential that we go down to fundamentals. The
principles on which it is based may be said to have their roots in the
character of the Germans themselves and that character has been largely
developed by a special type of ethical education, the lines of which
were to a great extent conceived by Frederick the Great as especially
applicable to the qualities of his people, and subsequently elaborated
into a kind of national philosophy by writers like Nietzsche,
Treitschke, Bernhardi and others, all of whom were the leaders of that
extreme pragmatical school of which we have spoken. Frederick, it may
be said, was like his descendant[1] of to-day, William the Second, a
man who outwardly professed religious principles and held the view
that Religion is absolutely necessary in a State government. In the
famous _Matinées du Roi de Prusse_, published in 1784, the Prussian
monarch is made, however, to say that the value of religion for the
people consists mainly in the fact that it enables their rulers to
hold them more completely in subjection. For a King to have any
religion whatsoever is, he is also said to have declared, a very unwise
policy, and for the reason, he adds, that "if a King fears God, or
more exactly, if he fears a future punishment, he becomes a greater
bigot than any monk. If a favourable opportunity presents itself of
taking forcible possession of a neighbouring province, immediately
an army of demons seems to him ready to defend it; he is weak-minded
enough to think he is going to commit an injustice and he proportions
the punishment of his crime to the extent of his evil designs. When he
is about to conclude a treaty with some foreign power, all is lost if
he stops to remember that he is a Christian, for by doing so, he will
always suffer himself to be duped and imposed upon."

It is only right to state here that the _Matinées_ have been disavowed
as the work of Frederick himself, and in the British Museum catalogue
are placed among the "doubtful and spurious" works relating to the
King of Prussia. It may be pointed out, however, that the "Testament
of Peter the Great" was also in its time disavowed, although the
policies it lays down for the Russianisation of the Near East have
always been followed to the letter by successive Tsars. It is certain,
too, that the successors of Frederick the Great on the Prussian
throne have followed in every sense the spirit of their ancestor's
alleged teachings and counsels, as far as indicated by the work under
consideration, and since the policies in regard to the conduct of war
and government, which were counselled as far back as 1784, are
to-day being followed and improved upon by German commanders, we make
no apology for assuming that the _Matinées_ fully represent the mind of
the monarch to whom they are attributed. As regards war, for example,
here is the alleged opinion of Frederick:

[Illustration: Frederick the Great

The founder of modern organised espionage]

"War is a business in which the slightest scruple is detrimental to
one's arms and policies. It may be said that no sovereign can seriously
enter into the business of war, if he feels he has not the right to
justify pillage, incendiarism and carnage," a declaration which allows
us to assume that at least _one_ Hohenzollern heart would never have
bled for the fate of Louvain, or Arras, or Rheims, in 1914.

Continuing to voice his opinions on religion, the King is made to say:
"Whatever we may think inwardly, impiety is never to be displayed at
any time, although we must adapt our sentiments and opinions to our
rank and standing in the world. It would be the height of folly, if a
monarch's attention was diverted by trifles of religion which are fit
only for the common people. Besides, the most complete indifference
for religious matters is the best means which a King can hold to
prevent his subjects from becoming fanatics. My ancestors acted in a
most sensible manner in dealing with religion, undertaking a religious
Reformation which, while it gave them a glorious apostolic halo, at
the same time filled their treasuries with money. The Hohenzollerns
began by being pagans, of course, but became Christians in the ninth
century in order to please the Emperors; in the fifteenth century they
became Lutherans in order to have an excuse to rob the Church, and
Reformers again in the sixteenth, in order to placate the Dutch over
the succession of Cleves."

In regard to Justice, Frederick declared that justice is due to the
subjects of a State, although it is especially necessary that rulers
should not be brought so far within the scope of justice that they
become themselves subject to it. "I am too ambitious and autocratic by
nature to suffer willingly the existence of another order within my
States which should restrict my action. It was for this reason that
I drew up a new code of laws. I am fully aware that I did away with
the real spirit of justice, but the truth was, I had become rather
afraid of the influence such notions exert among the common people.
A King must not allow himself to be dazzled by the word Justice: it
is only a relative term, and one which is susceptible of application
and explanation in different ways. Everyone likes to be just in his
own fashion, and as I early realised this, I decided to undermine the
foundations of that great power Justice. And so it has only been by
simplifying it as much as possible that I have been able to reduce it
to the point where I wanted it to be—that is, to a minimum. I could
never have accomplished anything had I been restrained by legal ideals.
I might have passed for a just monarch, but I should never have won the
title of a hero."

Of the value of a set policy in the world and as the only means of
achieving any success, Frederick had very decided notions: "As it has
been agreed among men that to cheat our fellow-creatures is a base and
criminal act, it has been necessary to find a word which should modify
the conception, and accordingly the term _policy_ was adopted. By the
word policy, I mean that we must always try to dupe other people. This
is the only sure means of getting, not necessarily an advantage, but
a fair chance of remaining on an equal footing. I am, therefore, not
ashamed of making alliances from which only myself can derive entire
advantage; but I am never so foolish as not to break faith when my
interests require it, since I uphold the rectitude of the maxim that to
despoil one's neighbours is to deprive them of the means of injuring
one. Statesmanship can be reduced to three principles or maxims: the
first is to maintain your power and, according to circumstances, to
increase and extend it, just as I doubled my army on reaching the
throne for the sole purposes of conquest. Make sure of your army; have
plenty of money and bide a favourable time; you can then be certain,
not only of preserving your States, but of adding to them. The term
'balance of power' is one which has subjugated the whole world; in
reality, however, it is nothing but a mere phrase. Europe is a family
in which there are too many bad brothers and relatives, and it is only
by despising the whole system that vast projects can be formed. The
second principle is to make your allies serve you, and to throw them
off when they have ceased to be useful. The third principle is to make
yourself feared—this is the height of great statesmanship. All your
neighbours must be led to believe that you are a dangerous monarch who
is moved by no principle except martial glory. If they are convinced
that you would rather lose two kingdoms than not occupy a prominent
place in history, you are certain to succeed. Above all, let no one
within your kingdom write anything except to extol your actions and
efforts."

Given a political philosophy of this kind as the inspiration of the
Prussian idea—"Kultur," they call it—it is not hard to realise that the
essentially evil qualities of the government of Prussia were certain
ultimately to react upon the character of the people themselves. If
anyone should doubt the correctness of our view that non-constitutional
systems of government invariably require the support of vicious
subsidiary systems in order to assure their stability, as in the
militaristic regime of Napoleon, or the quasi-ecclesiastical rule of
Richelieu, a study of Prussian autocracy will soon put him in the way
of settled conviction. Since the day of Frederick, some one hundred
and twenty-eight years ago, the people of Prussia have only known such
liberty as is consistent with a bureaucracy the underlying conditions
of which are conceived on entirely military ideas—that is to say, the
type of individual freedom which we are accustomed to associate with a
feudalistic regime or rule by martial law. People who travelled much
on the Continent before the outbreak of the Great War may recollect how
on crossing the frontier of Belgium into Germany—at Herbesthal, if we
remember—one invariably seemed to experience much the same sensation
as that of exchanging the atmosphere of some warm and comfortable
sitting-room for the cold and formal conditions of a public office.
Once across the border, the military spirit seemed to predominate
everywhere, while among the friendly enough natives of the unofficial
classes there was a subdued not to say cowed demeanour which was in
saddening contrast with the free-and-easy cheeriness of the people just
left behind. Everywhere was there evidence of set discipline and on all
hands the spectre of officialism appeared to darken the daily lives of
men with some sort of unexpressed threat. Even fair and open dealings
seemed among the townsmen to be undertaken with the consciousness
that at any moment some furtive official might come upon the scene
and utter the irrevocable _verboten_—forbidden. Later in the noisy
gaieties of the beer-garden or music-hall, one ever seemed to note
that fear of the boisterous schoolboy who under the watchful eye of a
forbidding master never ceases even in the fullness of his frolic to
wonder just how far he is allowed to go. "Germany," says the admirable
Price Collier, "has shown us that the short-cut to the government of a
people by suppression and strangulation results in a dreary development
of mediocrity." In our opinion the American might have added that a
nation which is ruled as if it were a country of convicts, actual or
potential, cannot fail inevitably to develop in a pronounced degree
those symptoms of character and predisposition which land your convict
in the correctional institutions where he is most commonly to be found.
"Prussia and Germany," again says Collier, "are still ruled socially
and politically by a small group of, roughly, fifty thousand men, eight
thousand of them in the frock-coat of the civilian official and the
rest in military uniforms."

It is the fashion to say that Doctor Stieber was the organiser of the
modern spy system of Germany, for the conduct of which some million
pounds sterling are annually appropriated. The truth is, however,
that the organisation goes much farther back, a well-known statesman
of the Napoleonic period, Baron Stein, having been responsible for
the practical application of the theories which lie implicit in the
philosophy of Frederick the Great. In his turn, Stieber assumed control
of the lines and developed them to a point at which improvement became
almost impossible. Stieber was a typical adventurer of the middle
class, a man who, it is clear enough, had in him all those elements
of character which we associate with the criminal who operates along
the higher lines. It is said that he qualified as a barrister, not so
much with the object of practising law, as to discover its limitations,
or in other words, to know for a certainty how far scheming and
the exploitation of simpler natures can be made a lawful trade. He
was born in Prussia in 1818, and having been called to the Prussian
Bar, sought to apply his knowledge of legal matters as a kind of
counsellor in a Silesian factory, Silesia being in those days, 1847,
the nursery of that vast school of Socialism which has since gained
over twenty millions of adherents throughout Germany—indeed, one-third
of the empire's entire population. By far the larger percentage of
the workmen attached to the factory at which he was employed were
Socialists, and Stieber realised that if he could only penetrate the
secrets and methods of this important socialistic nucleus, he might
prove undoubtedly serviceable to the central government in Berlin.
Accordingly he joined the Socialist brotherhood, professing to be
entirely in sympathy with their aims and aspirations, and in a short
while became an acknowledged leader of the Silesian movement. As a man
of superior education, Stieber gained admittance to the family of the
firm which employed him, won the heart of his employer's daughter and
married her.

It is certain that by 1848 he was already in touch with officials at
the chief police bureau in Berlin, and traitor that he was, in order
further to ingratiate himself with the Berlin authorities, Stieber
persuaded his wife's uncle to enter into the Socialistic movement,
the new recruit compromising himself so deeply by the violence of his
radical opinions and utterances that, with Stieber's complicity,
he was denounced, arrested and imprisoned on the ground that he was
inciting the Silesians to revolt against the government. To have been
a Socialist about 1850 was, it may be said, as bad as to have been
an Anarchist in the last years of the nineteenth century, when that
movement was at its height. The arrest of a relative through Stieber's
instrumentality was accordingly a real earnest of his good disposition
towards existing authority, and it was readily realised that in this
recruit there was all the baseness and treachery which Berlin looked
for in its officials. Stieber was summoned to Berlin, where he was
given a commission in the secret police, with the duty of allying
himself to the Socialist movement and reporting as to its progress,
designs and machinations to headquarters in Berlin. Parenthetically,
it may be observed, the German word _stieber_ is equivalent to our own
term sleuth-hound, so that the spy was happy in his patronymic as well
as mentally adapted for his traitorous trade. A writer has described
him in the following terms:—"Herr Stieber is a man whose head, nose and
ears suggest a Hebrew strain, although it is known that his father was
a Gentile. There is in the general aspect of the face, and especially
in the drawn lines of the mouth, much of that self-justifying hardness
which is associated with the ideas given us of the Inquisition Fathers;
his eyes are almost white in their colourlessness. With subordinates
he adopts the loud airs of a master towards his slaves, and when in
the presence of high authorities he is self-abasing and quiet of voice,
wearing a smile of perennial oiliness and acquiescence, with much
rubbing of the hands, a Jewish characteristic."

His work in Silesia was so ably performed and so many arrests and
imprisonments followed as the result of his services, that the Berlin
authorities decided to employ their sleuth in the capital, where
already the Socialists were becoming an important enough body. Armed
with letters of introduction from his committees in Silesia, Stieber
arrived in Berlin and forthwith became a member of the principal
revolutionary clubs in the metropolis. The spy himself describes his
presentation to King Frederick William: "My duties required me as a
Socialist leader to head a procession of revolutionaries through the
capital. At a point in the progress of our bands, the King appeared
on the scene, and naturally felt but little at his ease, seeing
that the Socialists were the avowed enemies of all existing forms
of government and their representatives. Noting his trepidation, I
approached his majesty near enough to say: 'Sire, have no fear. I am of
your majesty's side and have taken every precaution for your safety.
In the meanwhile I must proceed with my rôle of leading these poor
deluded people.'" Notwithstanding that Stieber from this day became an
object of suspicion to men of the Socialist clubs who had known him in
Silesia, the influence of the King protected him and eventually took
him into the monarch's service with the title of "police-counsellor,"
a position which allowed him virtually to act on his own initiative and
independently of the minister of police. Stieber's real business in his
new post was to keep a close watch upon the ministerial or official
police, and that he did so with particular satisfaction to the Prussian
monarch, the latter one day admitted to the official chief of police
who was complaining of the officious activities and energies of the
police-counsellor, and suggested his removal on the ground that since
the man was a traitor to those with whom he professed to adhere, he
must necessarily be suspect in any cause in which he engaged. The King
replied:

"Stieber is more devoted to his King than to any cause and I reward
him well. He used to come to me from time to time and tell me what the
Socialists were doing, what their plans and intentions were and how on
one occasion they had debated the question of seizing the royal family
and establishing a Commune."

The minister of police was accordingly forced to realise that Stieber
had for several years been engaged in the double game of working for
the secret service as an agent and at the same time of spying upon
them at the instance of the King. A few days later he was appointed by
his royal patron chief of the Prussian secret service with a salary
of £1200 per annum. In his new capacity, as the confidential man of
the sovereign and the head of a system which operated almost as much
against the official police as against revolutionary bodies, the spy
had not only to organise the nucleus of that army corps of espionage
which by 1912 was said to number 45,000 active agents, but had also to
fight strong and influential enemies who saw with dismay the promotion
of this unknown intruder. In order to effect the complete independence
of his own body from all others which exercised kindred functions,
Stieber suggested the entire modernisation and specialisation of
his service with proper subsidies and adequate appropriations from
parliament, the department to enjoy autonomy under its presiding chief.
He undertook himself to organise an "internal" and an "external"
service, and here it may be said that the Russian dual system of
espionage has been based entirely on Stieber's ideas and, in so far,
differs not at all from the secret service of Prussia, except possibly
in that the almost entire absence of ideas of personal liberty renders
illegal acts and outrages far more frequent in Russia than in Germany.
It was Stieber also who inaugurated the well-established system of
court-spying which is known to exist at all the German capitals; he was
responsible for the corps of spies within government offices who spy
upon departmental bureaux, while a highly efficient body of clerks who
were employed in banking and commercial houses and all institutions
which possessed large internal and foreign relations were also paid in
proportion to tit-bits of information which they were able to place at
the disposal of his cabinet. To the King—clearly a worthy descendant
of Frederick II.—Stieber, by virtue of his office, had free access and
presented a daily report in person in which all and everything of any
import concerning the public and private life of men and women was made
known to the sovereign. On one occasion the King jokingly reproved his
spy, saying: "You give me all the information I require regarding the
private lives of my courtiers; but what about my brothers? They are
certainly not angels."

"Your Majesty had not authorised me to spy upon the Princes," replied
Stieber, "but in the meantime I had prepared myself against the
possibilities of your Majesty doing so. Here are three sealed documents
containing all there is to be known about their Royal Highnesses since
I have had the honour of serving."

By 1854 the chief agent had become a personage in Berlin, and although
the nobility of the higher rank would not receive him, Stieber found
many valuable acquaintances among the wealthy "climbers" of the capital
who were eager to be associated with the powerful chief confidant of
the King. When the special-service department was in full running,
Stieber was given orders to apply its methods to foreign countries and
accordingly by 1860 Austria, Bohemia, Saxony, Luxembourg and France
were under the observation of his employees. In 1855 the Reichstag
voted an appropriation of about £15,000 in order to "secure for the
State the benefits of useful intelligence," the secret-service agent
himself drawing some £1800 yearly from the fund. At this time, says a
writer of the period, Stieber was the most prominent official in the
kingdom. All were conscious of being closely watched by himself and
his agents and everyone was aware that ruin and dismissal could be
brought about at the nod of the chief, and accordingly Stieber effected
the entrance of himself and his wife into some of the best houses in
Berlin under veiled threats of disclosing secrets of moment unless his
advances were respectfully received. About this time, too, Stieber
began that collection of decorations which were to testify to the high
honour and esteem in which his King and country held him. He had no
proper military uniform and that which on official occasions he was
wont to wear resembled not a little the quasi-regimental garb of the
commissionaire. By 1860 it had become heavily covered with medals and
decorations.

Stieber's activities had enabled him to learn so much as to the inner
workings of the whole political and social fabric of Prussia and the
Germanic nations that an attempt to abolish the private police system,
undertaken by the Reichstag in 1855, had no practical result, although
Stieber disappeared for a short while from official life in that
year. It was certain, however, that the very extent of his private
information had made him a man who was no less dangerous than important
and who, in any case, was an individual who had to be calculated
with. Bismarck, an already-established figure in national politics,
was the first to realise this in 1864, when he was president of the
council of ministers and when Stieber was reinstated in active public
life. In the previous couple of years he had occupied his comparative
leisure by organising the Russian secret police, by discovering the
manœuvres and designs of a certain French _intrigante_ whose services
were being used by diplomats, the Tsar conferring on him the order of
Stanislaus and making him a large grant of money. Bismarck was well
aware of the splendid services Stieber had rendered to Russia and it
was with a view to making use of the chief's universal information
that he attached him to the foreign office as a secret-mission agent,
with instructions to proceed into Bohemia. It was already Bismarck's
intention to strike down Austria, even as he had struck down Denmark
in 1864 and as again he was to strike down France in 1870. Stieber's
mission was to prepare the invasion of Bohemia by supplying Bismarck
with all kinds of topographical information which must prove of the
first importance to German military commanders. It was information
which could only be acquired by a most minute inspection of the various
military routes available into Austria, and Stieber felt that this
could best be accomplished by disguising himself as a pedlar. His
stock-in-trade consisted of religious statues and indecent pictures.
During 1864, 1865 and 1866, the supposed pedlar, travelling with a
small wagon, mapped out in the completest detail the country through
which the Prussian armies marched in the last-named year to the victory
of Sadowa by which Austria finally surrendered any possible claim
she may still have entertained to hold the headship of the Germanic
States in Europe. Even Moltke, the Prussian organiser of victory, was
astonished at the vast amount of valuable military information by which
the spy had facilitated the rapid advance of his armies. "A man with a
genius for military combinations could not have done better for his own
purposes," declared the old Field-Marshal to Bismarck. King William,
too, while occupying Brunn as his headquarters after Sadowa, requested
the ex-pedlar to administer the town, explaining to both Bismarck and
the commander-in-chief his reasons in the following words:—

"One must not confine oneself to giving money to spies. One must also
know how to show them honour when they deserve it."

Stieber was Governor of Brunn, the capital of Moravia, for several
months, a position which Napoleon had also allowed his spy Schulmeister
to hold at several towns in his time. It has to be remembered,
however, that in both cases the spies were in districts about which
they were far better acquainted than any members of the military or
political _personnels_. Expediency also counted for something in each
appointment. At the close of the war he was appointed a Prussian
privy-councillor and minister of the national police. Asked afterwards
how much he had expended on his network of strategic spies and
traitors who practically sold Austria to Prussia in 1866, Stieber
replied:

"One cannot set down in dollars the value of bloodshed which has been
avoided, nor of victories which have been secured."



XI

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_


That Stieber was admitted to the more intimate confidences of Bismarck
would seem indicated by the fact that in the year after Sadowa, the
chief of police suggested, he tells in his Memoirs, that he should be
entrusted with the task of doing in France what he had done in Bohemia.
This was in June 1867, when he asked Bismarck for eighteen months' time
in which to supply the Chancellor with all the military and regional
intelligence of the French frontiers and invasion zones, which it was
necessary to possess for a successful campaign. Prussia was then paying
some £52,000 a year for the secret-intelligence service, and Bismarck
was not slow to perceive that Stieber in his own way was making the
path of victory more smooth for von Moltke's commanders. In the month
of June the Chancellor had induced King William to confer on his
police-minister the order of the Red Eagle, and in the course of the
evening which followed the conferring of that decoration Bismarck and
Stieber were for long engaged in conversation, the momentous nature of
which was soon shown by the departure of Stieber, accompanied by his
aides, Zernicki and Kaltenbach, into France with the object of laying
down base-lines, as the surveyors put it. Among the various results of
that journey was the appointment of over 1000 spies within the invasion
zones with "head-centres" at Brussels, Lausanne and Geneva. Another
result of this journey, he himself tells, was his handing over to
Bismarck some 1650 reports of fixed local spies, in the pay of Prussia,
90 per cent. of them Prussians, which called for (_a_) the drafting of
large bodies of German agriculturists into districts which lay along
the possible routes of advancing German armies, and (_b_) the sending
of several thousands of female employees for service in public places
as barmaids or cashiers. It was emphasised that these women should
be "as pretty as possible." Several hundred retired non-commissioned
officers were to be sent to France, where local "fixed spies"
guaranteed them employment of a commercial kind. Furthermore in the
garrison towns in the eastern departments some fifty young and pretty
girls to act as servants in canteens were requisitioned by Stieber,
who laid stress on the fact that women of a "high type of morality"
would hardly serve his purpose, which was to extract information from
drinking soldiers. Several hundred more domestic servants were to be
placed among the homes of middle-class people such as doctors, lawyers,
merchants. From the year 1867, and in pursuance of Stieber's plans,
some 13,000 German spies of the minor order were asked for, itself a
sufficiently large body of immigrants, one would imagine, to awaken
the suspicions of alert French people. Between that year and 1870,
Stieber had added at least 20,000 more, all of them scattered in
various kinds of capacities along the routes of intended invasion from
Berlin and Belgium to Paris. There was one important interlude, however.

In 1867 an attempt was made on the life of Alexander II. of Russia by
a Pole, when that Emperor was paying an important political visit to
Napoleon III. Stieber was then in Paris with Bismarck, also attached
to the staff of the King of Prussia, who was a participator in this
meeting of sovereigns. Information had come to the Prussian minister
of police that an attempt was to be made on the life of Alexander.
Accordingly Stieber called on Bismarck, imparting to him this important
information. Bismarck assured his police-minister that he was already
acquainted with the plot to assassinate the Tsar.

"But," added the Chancellor, "we must allow this act to be attempted
and for political reasons. Nevertheless, we can assure the safety of
the Emperor by having the conspirators shadowed and arrested once
they have fired their revolvers. You, Stieber, must have your men on
the spot, and when the attempt is made, the assailant's aim must be
deflected. The very fact that an attack is made upon the Tsar while in
Paris will prevent the arranging of a Franco-Russian alliance which is
not just now to the interests of Prussia, and if the would-be assassin
is not condemned to death, a period of estrangement must follow
between France and Russia and this is just as I would have things to
be."

As it fell out, a young Pole actually made the attempt on the next day.
Stieber's men had shadowed him all through the night, till the very
moment in which he fired at the Tsar, the outrage taking place, but
without harmful results to the object of the attack. All had fallen
out as Bismarck had foretold, and with the subsequent failure of a
Paris jury to convict the youthful Pole, France was prevented, by the
estrangement which succeeded, from assuring herself the friendship
of an ally whose support might have changed the history of the
Franco-German War of 1870. The story is told in detail in Stieber's own
Memoirs, and we confess that, having read it several times with care,
we are ourselves forced to the conclusion that Bismarck's supposition
that a French jury would fail to convict the Pole was based upon
something much more tangible than the arts and processes of divination.
In other words, the impression left upon the mind is that Bismarck's
gold had subsidised the conspirators in the plot as well as the Paris
jurymen, in order to bring about a political situation which should not
interfere with his plans. Bismarck had already more than once proved
himself an expert in preparing his schemes far in advance, as the
Danish and Austrian wars had already proved, and as the Franco-German
War was even more fully to demonstrate.

When, in due course, and as a result of Bismarck's plan of forcing
a fight on the French at the psychological moment, war was declared
against France in July 1870, Stieber and his two lieutenants, Zernicki
and Kaltenbach, left for the Front with the headquarters staff. His
title was Chief of the Active-Service Police and his duties, drawn up
by himself, were as follows:—

1. To provide information to the Staff regarding the situation,
strength and movements of each of the French armies in the field.

2. To provide all possible details with regard to the age, the
disposition and character and the personal and military reputation
of each commander, his possible successor in the command and other
superior officers. In respect of this provision, it is interesting to
learn that part of the report regarding the late General de Gallifet,
the cavalry leader and hero of Sedan, was given in approximately the
following terms:—"This officer is one who under Napoleon the First
would have held the highest rank. A real Frenchman, with his heart
in the war and a hater of all things Prussian. A fighter for the
initiative, by every instinct, a dangerous adversary and, for us,
better dead. Should be watched; has no thought for anything in the
present war but the success of the French arms."

3. Reports as to the political dispositions and temper of all districts
for twenty miles ahead of the advancing Prussian armies, as well as
the capacity of each district for supplying the commissariat.

4. To have available at every point of importance traversed by our
armies several persons of intelligence who can give directions as to
routes, sources of supplies and so forth. In other words, the purchase
of traitors.

5. To arrange that suitable persons shall be in residence at each
important point who are willing to accommodate such persons as the
Staff may designate.

When questioned by von Roon as to the likelihood of his being able
to facilitate their armies' progress by supplying commanders with so
much information, Stieber boastfully replied: "All this information
is not only ready; it is already printed. Remember, my army has been
entrenched in France for nearly two years." It was also at this time
that Stieber informed von Roon that _his_ army counted nearly 40,000
persons of both sexes—an army corps, almost. In the first three months
of the campaign the chief of police held a position which was as much
a puzzle to German generals themselves as to departmental officials
connected with the army. Stieber, when Bismarck and the King of Prussia
were not present, exercised a power which no general durst override,
since his own department was officially independent and in war-time
the existence of martial law added to his summary powers. It is not
surprising, therefore, to hear that the boastful sleuth displayed
a ferocity of disposition to the conquered populations which one
always suspects to be part of his base and treacherous character. As
an exponent of the arts of terrorism, he must have regaled the heart
of the bloodiest of Hohenzollerns. Children, old men and invalids
were flogged, spread-eagle fashion, and in the presence of their
parents and relatives, with the object of forcing the elders of
municipalities to reveal information. Women and girls were violated in
the same interests, while summary executions became the order of the
police-minister's passing. "Oppose me," he would cry to cowering mayors
and magistrates who begged mercy for their townsmen, "and I will hang
a hundred of your people." The successful mongrel was clearly in his
element in those days; nor did he omit any opportunity of adding to his
collection of orders and medals with all of which he was accustomed
to adorn his breast on every possible and impossible occasion. Not at
all a welcome guest at mess-tables, the spy was nevertheless invited
on more than one occasion to dine with Bismarck and his staff. We may
easily suppose that the diplomatic corps gave the man the cold shoulder
at all times. An official at one of these field banquets having just
observed that the German army was invincible, Stieber, on his own
record, jumped up brusquely and declared that the speaker should have
said that the German _armies_ were invincible. "My army," continued the
braggart, "has already preceded your army by six months." Bismarck,
who had noted throughout the evening the many slights put upon the
spy, thereupon rose from his seat and passed round to Stieber's, when
"without a word, but looking straight into my eyes, he held out to me
his left hand wide open, which I clasped tightly in both of mine," to
quote the Memoirs.

What Bismarck was wont to term "action on the Press" was undertaken
also by Stieber during the course of the war of 1870. For this purpose
the sleuth had in 1868 requested Bismarck for an appropriation of
£15,000 annually, in return for which he promised the Chancellor to
make many of the important provincial and other French papers "talk
Prussian," as he put it. In a large measure he may be said to have
contributed to the modern importance which has grown up around the
Press, and by 1870 he declared that he could control the opinions of
some eighty-five writers in the French daily and weekly newspapers.
He had divided his corps of writers into _home_ and _foreign_ bodies.
Writers, for example, who were able to influence the insertion of
articles favourable to Prussia and Prussian policies were paid several
times the amount which they commonly received for their articles
through the ordinary channels of remuneration. These foreign writers
were not confined to France, but were active also in Austria, Italy
and England. Well-known bankers, business men and the heads of news
agencies—many of them German Hebrews—were the instruments through
whom Stieber worked. Most of these individuals were able, through
acquaintanceship with professional leader-writers and journalists,
to procure the insertion into articles of views held by the Prussian
Government; such gentry were themselves receiving Prussian Orders and
decorations, while their particular private scribes were rewarded
in cash. It was by means of Germans occupying high positions in the
public life of European countries that in 1864 the world was prepared
intellectually for the partition of Denmark, in 1866 for the war with
Austria and thenceforth for the federation of the Germanic States under
the ægis of Prussia. It must not be imagined that this propaganda
ceased with Prussia's attainment of the headship of the Teutonic Bond.
Indeed, it may be said only to have been inaugurated with its early
successes under Bismarck, whose control of a venal Press in Vienna,
Rome and even London was hardly less effective in its day than that
which he exploited and subsidised all over Germany. By 1870 Stieber
had, he himself tells, assured himself of a Press in Lyons, Marseilles
and Bordeaux, which kept the Prussian view openly and permanently
before the inhabitants of those important cities.

There is a _naïveté_ about Stieber's autobiography which recalls Le
Caron. During a memorable evening spent in the company of Bismarck,
"the most beautiful of my life," says the spy, conversation turned upon
the question of opportunity as the condition of success in life. The
Chancellor sought to point the moral of his philosophy in the matter
by the following words:—"Just consider, Stieber," he said, "how far and
high destiny has led a tramp like yourself who was hated by everybody."
That conversation, writes the spy, may become historic; and he rejoices
to think of the good fortune which has enabled him to serve Bismarck,
"assuredly the greatest of modern men." Again, he is frankness itself
when he declares that his aide-de-camp Zernicki represented the
elements of courtesy and kindliness, while he himself had no thought
for anything but action and results and certainly no time to expend
upon formalities. In all his remarks upon his records and successes
we inevitably get the true note of the upstart who has achieved the
power of making other men fear him. Thus, at Versailles, the police
agent, for some minor offence, threatened to "hang ten members of the
municipal committee as sure as my name is Stieber," and wrote to his
wife recording the fact with much self-glory and glee. His part in the
execution of a young gentleman, Monsieur de Raynal, was especially
characteristic. This resident of Versailles, who had just recently
returned from his honeymoon, had been in the habit of keeping a diary
recording the daily occurrences of the German occupation. Stieber
could easily have settled the matter with a reprimand. "No," he said,
"I must have an example. M. de Raynal is a young man who writes very
interesting matter. I am sorry for him, but he will have to face the
rifles. If he escapes, I will allow him to go free." When told that the
young man had just recently been married, he replied with mock feeling,
"That makes my duty all the more painful," and Raynal was accordingly
shot. In truth the Prussian sleuth was an ideal type of the official
who would "hang the guiltless rather than eat his mutton cold," and
though there is no statistical record of the number of lives which he
sacrificed in the interests of his policy of terrorism, there can be no
doubt that it could only have been expressed in terms of scores.

On his arrival with the headquarters staff and the King of Prussia
at Versailles in September 1870, Stieber took up his lodgings at an
important hotel belonging to the Duc de Persigny and here he also
housed his corps of active-service agents, numbering altogether 120.
It is hard to credit the statement, but the authority, M. Paul Lanoir,
declares that the police-minister was successful in enlisting the
services of some 10,000 persons in Versailles who, in consideration
of the payment of one franc daily, agreed to "acclaim with cheers and
hurrahs the Prussian monarch and princes whenever they made their
excursions into the neighbourhood." Another first-class authority, M.
Victor Tissot, seems by his remarks to disprove the statement of Renan
to the effect that it is well-nigh impossible to find a traitor among
Frenchmen. Tissot assures us that Stieber's work in France was much
facilitated by the fact that the Prussian secret service was paying
large salaries to important men in French public life, in return for
information supplied. The same Paul Lanoir whom we have quoted above
also states that Prussian gold has been active in French political
life up till within quite recent times. He has met and still knows
men, he says, who entered politics without a decent coat to their
names who have become as if by magic possessed of splendid mansions,
and whose wives, formerly milliners or washerwomen, have now taken to
giving receptions on a lavish scale. These politicians would seem to
be political only to the extent that they represent a purely personal
policy of their own, for, says Lanoir, they continue to "champion the
cause of the people," the assumption being that they are paid _agents
provocateurs_ in the service of Germany whose duty it is to keep the
Republic in a state of such unrest that it must fall an easy prey to an
attack from outside. M. Lanoir's statements apply, it is only right to
add, to that period of grave unrest in France which succeeded upon the
Church crisis and the Moroccan difficulties, and which may be said to
have closed by 1911.

It is necessary unfortunately to follow this man Stieber to the close
of his career and for the reason that the modern system of espionage
in Germany, in regard to both its home and foreign relations, is based
wholly on the methods which he laid down after the Franco-German War
of 1870. He returned to Berlin a more important man than ever, with
several more decorations to add to his already heavily bestarred
chest. At this period he possessed a house in the neighbourhood of
the Hallesches Thor and was credited with the possession of about
1,000,000 marks or £50,000 sterling. His womenfolk proved a source
of some anxiety to him in a social sense, and not even the patronage
of the omnipotent Chancellor von Bismarck could induce the exclusive
classes of Berlin to look upon them with favour. Prussian vulgarity
possesses a brand entirely its own, and the House of Stieber appeared
to be afflicted with all its worst symptoms, including the inability
to realise that position, even supported by wealth, which owed its
existence to a talent for exploiting the basest characteristics of
human nature, must ever, except among the most servile and venal,
remain isolated and practically ostracised during at least the life of
its founders. We are therefore not surprised to learn that in order
to maintain some outward semblance of an important rôle in society
for his family, Stieber was forced to resort to a kind of blackmail,
in which he threatened persons of high social worth, who consistently
refused to meet his relatives, with the revelation of domestic secrets
of the most intimate nature. In this way, he effected some progress,
though it is also well known that he became instrumental in driving
several notable personages permanently back to their country estates.
Stieber himself made no secret of his philosophy in such matters. "To
hold a certain power over men who are my superiors, is the sweetest
power I have known, and accounts in many ways for my success," is a
remark attributed to the sleuth. Like many another well-known _nouveau
riche_ of modern days, whose rise to vast wealth has served only to
emphasise an elemental ineptitude for the wielding of public power,
Stieber feared the Theatre as a potential flagellant of his ignoble
self, and to this end exercised, through subsidiary agents, a veritable
censorship upon the German drama. In order to provide against this
possibility of seeing himself burlesqued upon the stage by some rising
Molière, he was at great pains to procure the position of censors for
members of his personal acquaintance, and even in the literary world
his secret influence was always at work. His ambition to possess
the "particle of nobility," _von_, the old Emperor William firmly
withstood, nor could the Chancellor move his master to include Stieber
in any list promoting the sleuth to Adelstand, as the Germans term the
condition of noble rank.

It was perhaps with some remorseful consciousness of the sorry tenor
of his whole career that Stieber, about 1875, decided to exercise his
talents in a more important branch of high politics than had been
possible up to that time. Perhaps, too, it was with his pathetic quest
of a patent of nobility in view that the sleuth thought out a plan
for the consolidation of imperial Germany, which in his opinion must
recommend itself to his omnipotent friend Bismarck. We do not, of
course, rely implicitly on all he says in his Memoirs; but there is
little doubt that his intimacy with the Chancellor was of the closest
kind and that Bismarck encouraged his police-minister's counsels to
every possible furtherance of imperial plans. It used credibly to
be said that Stieber, who was, of course, a man of good education,
especially sought out the historian Mommsen with a view to discussing
with that luminary something about the secret of Rome's predominance
in the world and of her hold upon her conquests. No records remain of
any such conversations if they ever really took place, but we may be
sure that if they did take place, Stieber was put in full possession
of those principles of "dividing in order to govern"; of the strategic
value of roads; of the garrisoning of subject countries by the troops
of races mutually antipathetic; of the value of blood-letting in
political combinations, to quote a memorable phrase of Napoleon. In
any case by the year 1880, Stieber had presented a memorial to Prince
Bismarck the political effects arising from which have been seen down
to the most recent times and have mainly contributed to the costly
militarism of the past generation. The railway systems of Germany
were to be developed in the main with regard to their strategic
military values, a consideration which had only been partly realised
in the earlier construction of lines. In the second place, large
appropriations for German Secret Service funds were annually to be set
aside with the object of buying, or placing, traitors in every great
country in Europe with which the German Empire, in accordance with its
plan of dominating the Western World, was likely ever to come into
conflict. As will be seen later, no country in Europe became exempt
from the operations of German emissaries whether as spies or else
as the agents of domestic unrest and revolution and all to the end
that the new _urbs sacra_, Berlin, should be to the modern world all
that Rome was to that of antiquity. It is not difficult therefore to
understand that the secret-service fund sanctioned by the Reichstag had
grown from £52,000 in 1867 to the sum of £800,000 in 1910.



XII

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_


The German railway system radiates from Berlin, not according to the
concessional plans of other countries, but in accordance with the
definite warlike designs and conceptions of the military authorities
whose ulterior aim is a confederation of all European States governed
from Berlin. Thus, the great network of railways is divided into
military divisions, the most familiar of which to us are Berlin,
Magdeburg, Hanover and Cologne, the first of the strategic lines of
attack which is directed like a pistol at the French frontier and
which co-operates with parallel systems with depôts at Coblentz and
Elberfeld. Along these lines German military authorities profess
to be able to transport, within twenty-four hours of the order to
mobilise, a number not far short of 1,000,000 men, together with
full equipment, commissariat and war material. At the head of each
of the railway divisions is a military officer whose functions are
much similar to those of a general commanding an army; under him is a
staff of officers, non-commissioned officers and men who in reality
"run" the system and are responsible for its working in regard to
freights, passenger transportation and time-schedules. And since
the railway systems are designed primarily for military purposes—as
were the old Roman roads—little if any consideration has been paid
in their construction to commercial or industrial requirements. In
every respect the systems are regarded as, first of all, the means
of military transportation, and accordingly, wherever any portion or
portions of a given line may appear to be exposed to hostile attack,
principles of ordinary fortification are adopted. The depôts are
mainly built with commissarial objects in view. The personnel of the
systems, guards, ticket collectors, engine-drivers, are all military
in every sense (including the worst) of that term, as no one who has
ever travelled over the German-Belgian boundaries at Herbesthal and
met the dictatorial German railway guard for the first time will
require to be told. Along these lines, which radiate from Berlin to the
French frontier, it has been laid down as one of the most stringent of
official German regulations that:

"No native of Alsace or Lorraine, even if performing his military
service in Germany, shall, under any circumstances whatever, be
recruited or admitted in any capacity, no matter how minor, for
employment on German divisional railroads."

On the other hand Stieber had seen to it that as many hundreds of
Alsatians and Lorrainers who were willing to enter his service should
be employed by the French railway systems at the other side of the
Frontier as _soi-disant_ Frenchmen. In accordance with their engagement
to serve Stieber, they were paid at the rate of twenty-five per cent.
of the wages they were drawing from their French employers, and until
1884 there were at least 1500 of them so serving both the French system
and the German espionage bureau. In 1884 the French Government was
roused to a realisation of the peril of allowing these men to work on
their railroads, and they were rapidly removed. It is on record that
in 1880 Stieber had promised the old Emperor William that on the day
on which Germany should again mobilise her armies, he himself could
guarantee for the railways of France over 1000 trusted agents who
were prepared, by destroying locomotives and other railroad stock, to
paralyse the French mobilisation to the Frontier in such a way that
German armies should have fairly approached the capital before the
Republic had got her forces decisively in hand.

In regard to the second part of his programme—namely, that which was
to create factions, unrest and revolutionary conditions in countries
which were to become the objects of German military aggression—Stieber
developed the ideas which still hold good in the plans of the German
Secret Service. The main principle underlying his plan of campaign
was the fomenting of industrial disorders. In each case a literary
propaganda was to precede action, which was first to be undertaken
by trained spies and _agents provocateurs_ who were capable, by the
common methods of political and industrial agitators, of promoting
class antipathies. German enterprise in this respect has not been
confined to France, but has been active in every country in Europe,
including England. In 1893 the successor of Bismarck, Count Caprivi,
signed an appropriation of £4000 for the purposes of "providing foreign
pamphlets and publications useful to the policy of the Empire." In
later years the sum was increased to £20,000, while a number of paid
agitators, inciting the great industrial centres of France, of Belgium,
of Russia and (it is recorded) of England, is said to have drawn
large sums from the German funds. The recent epidemic of industrial
strikes in France, Russia and England is declared to have been fomented
by paid agitators working on behalf of German authorities—some of
them unconsciously, and as a result of the influence exerted by
publications which had been subsidised by German gold. There are
French writers who still maintain that the Dreyfus agitation was
initiated and supported with the connivance of the highest military
authorities in Berlin for the purpose of destroying one of the most
potent forces in France—namely, belief and trust in the Army. Most
of us, at all events, will recollect how towards the close of the
momentous _Affaire_, when the Republic was already weakened by the
series of national and international crises attending on the entire
event, ominous threats of mobilisation were more than once made from
Berlin. Again, the memorable Associations Bill, which enacted the
disestablishment of the Church in France, was said to have owed its
conception to German secret-service agents. To this movement—bound
in any case to awaken the cupidity of venal politicians, in view of
the vast Congregational possessions involved—succeeded the era of
Syndicalist unrest, and finally the outbreak of the war of 1914. Nor
can Englishmen forget that the so-called Agadir incident of the spring
of 1911 coincided with one of the most devastating strikes Britain
has yet known. In view of what we now know, there can hardly be a
doubt that German plans and policies had meditated the paralysing of
our transport system and our coal-supplies. Nor is there, again, the
least possible doubt that for many years past German "philosophers,"
drawing pay from the secret-service funds, have been instructing
British as well as French and Russian workmen in the art of combining
"in defence of their rights" against the privileged classes. In Germany
such revolutionary doctrines never leave the theoretical stage, nor
could they do so, given the system of government which is in principle
and practice hardly different from martial law. Most people who have
been resident for any time in Germany will, in this regard, recollect
an old piece of advice which friendly elders are accustomed to give
their juniors—namely, that in the Fatherland every good citizen is
required to "pay taxes, build barracks and shut his mouth." When one
considers this pearl of civic wisdom in conjunction with the unwritten
law which requires that even the public portraits of all royal and
princely personages shall be criticised favourably, or not at all, one
is bound to admit that anything like Anglo-Saxon liberty of opinion
or outspokenness is still far removed from the ordinary life of your
German of to-day.

In order to indicate the operation of the German secret service in
regard to the spreading of revolutionary unrest among neighbouring
countries, we cannot do better than cite the publication which was
addressed to Ireland, the supposedly "revolted province," in the early
days of August 1914. Here are the terms of that historic manifesto
which moved all Ireland to mirth for many a day:


 "IRISH FOOLS!

 "Have you forgotten that England is your only enemy?

 "Have you forgotten, Kathleen, that you are willing to shed your blood
 to win England's battles?

 "Have you lost your wits that you believe all the ridiculous lies
 published against the Germans in the Jingo papers?

 "Have you forgotten how the English treated the Boers?

 "Have you forgotten Ninety-Eight?

 "Have you forgotten the Manchester Martyrs?

 "Have you forgotten the K.O.S.B. murders?

 "Have you forgotten that the Future lies in your hands?

 "Have you forgotten that England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity?

    "GOD SAVE IRELAND."

It is hardly necessary to say that so obviously crude and inartistic
an appeal had no effect upon an essentially acute and artistic race;
and its positive inartisticity bears the hall-mark of your Prussian's
incapacity for entering into the more intimate feelings of men of other
nations, a point which need hardly be laboured, having in view recent
and current bovine misconceptions on the part of German diplomatic
agents both in Europe and America.

A more serious attempt to "revolutionise" French railway systems was
made in 1893 some few months after the granting of £4000 from the
secret-service funds for the purposes of international pamphleteering.
In August of that year the Mesnard pamphlet made its appearance
containing an appeal to all workers connected with the railroad
systems of France and urging them to take advantage of their country's
dependence upon them in order to wring concessions in money from the
Government, failing which a general and permanent strike was to be
declared having the inevitable result of paralysing the country's
energies and exposing it to attack on the part of its traditional
enemy. The pamphlet was proved to have been issued from Geneva, a chief
centre of the German international secret-service body. It was promptly
disavowed by the labour unions of France, and it was well recognised
at that period that its appearance was timed to create an industrial
upheaval to coincide with the friction which the Dreyfus Affair was
then causing between French and German diplomatists. During the course
of several general strikes which have taken place in France within the
past twenty years, it has clearly come to light that the charitable
subscriptions made in support of the families of strikers by Frenchmen
have been exceeded by contributions coming from German "sympathisers,"
in the proportion of twenty sovereigns to one. In the famous strike of
boot-makers at Amiens in May 1893, for example, local subscriptions
amounted to £48. At least £1000 was sent direct from Frankfurt![2] "In
the last fifteen years," wrote Lanoir in 1910, "the instigation of
strikes in French industries has been raised by the directors of the
German Secret Police to the degree of a real principle of government."
The same authority states that in 1893 he heard an ultra-Radical
parliamentary candidate for the Seine Department declare that a German
admirer, whom he did not know, had sent him £100 towards his election
expenses. Stieber in his Memoirs affects to believe that this sum is
commonly sent to any French parliamentarian who advocates a policy
which is thought to be useful to German imperial interests.

Stieber died in 1892, being honoured with a public funeral at which
the highest personages in Berlin were officially represented. His
fortune amounted to nearly £100,000 of our money and he possessed both
a town residence in Berlin and a villa in the Hartz Range. He had been
successful in accumulating throughout his public career twenty-three
decorations testifying to his _Honour_, and as this would appear to
have been his chief ambition in life, there can be little doubt that
the sleuth died happy. It is customary to say that Stieber took with
him to his grave the essential secrets underlying his organisation of
a national system of internal and external espionage. Frankly we think
that this can hardly have been the case, since the operations of German
espionage have at all times clearly proved themselves traceable to
definitely ascertainable objects and plans. Nor do we think that the
German system holds anything more in the way of elemental secrets to
be revealed, and the excellent systems of counter-espionage adopted
by British and French authorities justify us in our belief. Price
Collier's pregnant statement that the Germans have organised themselves
into an organisation, ahead of which they are incapable of thinking
or planning, may well be held to apply to their organised espionage,
and Stieber's elaboration of its arts may be taken to have reached
the highest possible point. In bursts of friendly confidence, and
presumably as a matter of proving the ineluctable superiority of
the Teuton over the poor Anglo-Saxon, German lecturers in English
universities have occasionally permitted their patriotic sentiments so
far to exceed the bounds of official reticence as to throw a certain
amount of light upon this mystic bag-of-tricks which is going to assure
to the House of Hohenzollern the overlordship of the five continents
and the seven seas. According to one of these German professors whom
we well and, indeed, affectionately remember, the high priests of the
policy of Prussianisation have thought out the whole matter along lines
alleged to have been laid down by the Hebrew Elders in accordance with
their policy of recovering the world for the Chosen Race. According
to this interesting system of Jewish Eugenics, the racial stock of
Sem is to be permanently assured as to its integrity by enforcing the
marriage of all male Jews with Jewesses. Result: all-Jewish offspring.
The superfluous women of the Hebrew families are to be distributed as
far as possible among the Gentile males, especially among those who
possess means, with the object of ensuring that the resultant offspring
shall possess such an admixture of Jewish blood as to make it at least
sympathetic towards Jews and Jewish ideas. And as sympathetic qualities
come in the main from the distaff side, the eugenic results must
inevitably favour Hebrew propagandism. We might go further into this
matter and point out that the Jewish rite of circumcision was not meant
to be simply hygienic in its effects and reach. We will not labour the
point, however, but proceed to indicate the analogy—according to the
learned German lecturer.

Prussia, said our authority, had appropriated large sums from the
indemnity of £200,000,000 sterling which she had obtained from France
in 1870, for the purpose of establishing her "national missionaries"
in every quarter of the world. Men were chosen according to their
abilities to preside over the destinies of foreign commercial
houses, banking institutions, agencies of all kinds, commission and
money-lending businesses and contracting corporations. These men
were really in the pay of the Berlin authorities who were financing
the various firms in question and paying their agents large or small
profits in proportion to the turnover of each particular business.
It was, however, certain that every German, no matter what his
position, was really acting in the interests of Germany, and so the
ubiquitous German clerk was enabled to undersell the labour of the
British clerk for the good reason that the deficit was offset in his
particular case by a quarterly grant from official German sources.
The intermarriage of Germans with British women was not only smiled
upon, but a premium was actually paid in each case and unknown to the
women. The children were, as far as possible, brought up in sympathy
with German institutions and ideas and taught to revere the chief of
Hohenzollern as the potential overlord of every country which came
within the operations and purview of German ambitions and land-lust. In
the event of war and in accordance with this propagandism, "everything
went," as the Americans say. In the early days of the conquest of
Belgian territories in 1914 we saw how particular attention was
paid to the younger unmarried women, as in Louvain, to give but one
example. These women were interned in a sort of concentration camp
and systematically seduced, making it a last possible hope for many
a hapless victim to accept a German husband, who in his own turn was
offered either a premium or promotion, whether civil or military, for
marrying the lady, as the saying is. It is not necessary to pursue
this theme to the extent to which it is capable of being emphasised.
It is sufficient for us to reflect that the main principles upon which
German ideas of conquest are based are not only vicious and immoral in
themselves, but are openly admitted and encouraged by the German civil,
military and cultural authorities who have raised their apostolic
voices in the cause of Prussian propagandism. Those who possess even an
elementary acquaintance with the history of nations do not require to
be told that, with the object of forcing "sympathies," methods quite
as outrageous as those cited above have more than once been resorted
to and, notably, in the early days of Rome's founding. It has been
well said that Stieberism has had the result of demoralising the entire
German nation by putting a premium on treachery and immorality in the
pursuit of special information and so has made that trade a career open
to the talents of all who care to adopt it. Responsible ministers have
declared more than once in the imperial parliament at Berlin their
concurrence in the view that "all is justifiable" in the interests
of the future of the Fatherland, and in this regard we remember that
not so long ago Herr Richter, the leader of the Opposition, raised a
protest reflecting on the doubtful character of the secret-service
agents of the Government only to receive from Puttkamer the
now-stereotyped retort:

"It is the right and duty of the German Imperial Government to employ
all possible and necessary methods in order to secure for the State the
benefits of useful intelligence, and if the Minister of Police has had
success by employing doubtful persons for his purposes, I personally
express to him my satisfaction and thanks."

The particular methods to which Richter had taken exception included
the bribing of magistrates, politicians and wealthy industrialists to
give up information in their possession. Some of the most disreputable
night-houses in Berlin were protected by the police for the reason that
they had become the fashionable rendezvous of officers and diplomatists
who, in their cups, were easily induced to give up information
regarding their superiors, which the secret-service sleuths were
anxious to obtain with the object of creating situations that left
important public men at their own mercy or else at the mercy of men
immeasurably higher up. Much has been written about the "high sense
of virtue" which prompted the famous revelations which were made by
Harden in his publication _Die Zukunft_ in 1907. We do not personally
question the sense of virtue possessed by the German editor, but it
is certain that the opinion was current in Berlin in the succeeding
year that reasons of State had required the removal from official life
of many of the high social and political personages implicated in the
scandals, and that the apparently "private" information possessed by an
editor was selected as the easiest means of forcing them irrevocably
from public life. Knowing what we do of the exiguous liberties of the
Prussian Press, it is quite obvious that the life of an editor who
should venture, of his own initiative and authority, to divulge a tenth
part of the story which was printed in the _Zukunft_, would not have
been worth an hour's purchase in militaristic Berlin. And here we recur
to the statement once made by an old servant of Frederick the Great to
the famous Count d'Antraigues: "That day on which you begin to imagine
your services are indispensable to him will be your last day. He has no
heart, and the very thought that you possess a claim on his friendship
will suffice to destroy you."

It is essential before passing from Stieber to consider his methods of
covering a foreign country with a fully organised system of German
spies, and all the more so because the work done in modern days by
Steinhauer and his congeners is based altogether on the conceptions of
Bismarck's sleuth. We have seen that in 1870, when the German armies
crossed the frontiers of France, they had already been assured, through
the energies and foresight of Stieber, of the co-operation of some
36,000 spies in Northern and Eastern France who were to smooth the way
for von Moltke's advancing legions. Indeed, Stieber's work largely
discounts that of both Bismarck and von Moltke, if it does not wholly
supersede it. In his Memoirs the sleuth tells how Bismarck, when told
that Jules Favre was putting out feelers for the surrender of Paris in
1871, sent for his lieutenant, instructing him to keep Favre under the
closest possible observation during the course of the negotiations. The
Prussian and French statesmen met at Versailles, where Stieber had made
all necessary arrangements for lodging the visitor. He selected for
this purpose, and unknown, of course, to Favre, the headquarters of the
German Secret Police Service—Stieber's own office. The Frenchman was
given as valet a man whom the proprietor highly recommended. This valet
was Stieber himself, who, during Favre's whole stay at Versailles,
acted for the statesman in the most menial capacities, taking care
during his master's absence to ransack the latter's luggage and examine
all his voluminous correspondence entering from Paris. Stieber boasts
that much of the information he thus obtained formed the basis of the
negotiations on which peace terms were concluded. Moritz Busch in his
Memoirs makes no especial mention of the sleuth's services in this
regard, and we may dismiss Stieber's claim to have counted for much in
the peace negotiations as being characteristically overdrawn.

He was, however, active in the remapping of the invasion zones in 1871
for the operations of his _corps d'espions_, the members of which, in
regard to all French territories, were from that year chosen mainly
from among the French-speaking Swiss. He laid it down as a condition
of the "fixed-point" spy's employment that he should be the keeper
of a shop of some kind, a public-house, a tobacconist's, an hotel, a
grocery of an established character and certain to attract custom from
the townspeople. Each spy was to assume the character of an honest
peace-loving citizen, anxious to give public service and make himself
personally popular. He was to receive in payment some £4 a week besides
out-of-pocket expenses to Brussels, or Lausanne, or Geneva where his
particular reports were made and whence his salary was paid every month
in the form of business remittances. The system of counter-espionage
adopted in France during the past five and twenty years has undoubtedly
had the effect of neutralising the work of the fixed-point agent.
Nevertheless, it is certain that in August 1914 there were some
15,000 of them still operating throughout France. Paul Lanoir gives
a specimen of the remittance letters which pass between the chief spy
inspector and his agent, the fixed-point expert. In some cases they are
ordinary business letters; but in the larger number they affect to be
communications between relatives. Thus:

 "MY DEAR GEORGE,—I am sending you the interest on your loan. We never
 can forget your generous act in coming so promptly to our assistance.
 Things are not going too badly; next year, perhaps, you may have a
 larger share in our profits, and we are anxious you should have as
 much as possible. But write more often giving us fuller news. Do
 not abuse Uncle Charles; he is a very good man who is to be trusted
 always. We are all well here, but have only just managed to pull
 through a hard winter. My husband and the children send you our
 greetings, as also do Charlotte, Charles and Frederick. Your loving
 sister."

Occasionally a man is suspected of being a spy. He is asked to produce
his foreign correspondence, and does so, giving some such letter as the
above in token of his integrity.

"There!" he is certain to say, "that's the sort of spy _I_ am—a kind
and loving brother who has lent money to his relatives to keep them out
of the poorhouse. And this is a letter which encloses me the interest
on my loan." And then, of course, the fixed-point agent gives way to
tears. Nevertheless, the above apparently harmless message is well
understood by our spy who reads it as follows:—

 "I enclose your salary for the past month. Your reports of last month
 are not bad. On the whole your work is satisfactory and next year you
 may get a better salary. Nevertheless, your reports are too few in
 number; work harder, send more. Don't trouble about Uncle Charles;
 we have all the information we require. We got through the last
 inspection without loss of salary. Keep up your relations with your
 correspondents."

It is obvious that our residential spy is not allowed to select his
place of business at random. His location is at some strategical point
in the line of military advance, mapped out some years ahead. Thus,
our agent can spy upon the local garrison, upon a military post, a
railway depot, a terminal, and at any critical moment he has his own
corps of agents—some of them, alas, unconscious traitors—ready, for a
few francs, to do his bidding, among them, perhaps, a poor charwoman
or an unemployed labourer. In country towns in France it is not hard
for a prosperous man of business to make friends with the officers
of the garrison. Sooner or later and after a series of visits to the
billiard-table, or the hotel bar, he discovers among his military
acquaintances needy young officers who are in debt, who have lost
heavily on the race-courses, and it is not long before he begins to
talk of his large winnings on the turf. The way is quickly opened to
a loan, and then the German Secret Service begins to find out things.
Naturally our residential spy keeps his book of expenses and is duly
recouped for his outlays on drinks, dinners, race-course visits and
loans, with interest at 5 per cent. And if the spy is unable to make
headway with a young officer, there is always a possibility of his
being able to bribe the officer's wife or mistress, and his allowance
of earnest-money is practically unlimited. So that, when we consider
how our agent is a man of leisure who fishes the local streams, and has
plumbed their various depths; how he keeps horses and knows the average
amount of forage available in his town at any given moment; how he has
shot over the outlying country and knows the lie of the land for miles
around; how he is on visiting terms with every local farmer and knows
his resources—why, it is not surprising that when German armies are
moved across the frontiers, they should know every step of the country
much better than the inhabitants themselves are likely ever to know
it. And so with Belgium and England, where there is not a farmhouse, a
strategic copse or upland, the depth of a river, or military capacity
of a given road, which is not as well known to the headquarters staff
in Berlin as to our own ordnance-surveyors.



XIII

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_


The strategic ideas laid down more than two thousand years ago by
Polyænus, of whom we have spoken in an earlier chapter, and to whom
Napoleon admitted some indebtedness, are evidently rated high among the
military authorities of the Berlin military academies. It is therefore
not surprising to learn that in accordance with the Greek's teachings
every foreign general or superior officer of note who is considered
likely ever to play a prominent rôle in European wars, is in each
case as well known to the German military authorities as he is to his
own military superiors. His personal character, disposition, virtues,
vices and foibles, once an officer reaches to high rank and acquires
a reputation as a possible commander, all form the subject of one of
those _dossiers_ with which the Dreyfus case made us so familiar. It is
a main part of the duty of our fixed-point agent to collect all sorts
of information regarding the chief garrison officers at the town in
which they are established and transmit the resulting data to their
inspectors by whom, when verified, they are forwarded to military
headquarters. The especial categories which claim the attention of the
German authorities are the following:—

(_a_) Generals and officers of superior rank and high repute.

(_b_) The staff-college professors at Saint-Cyr, the École
Polytechnique and Saint-Maixent, the disciplinarians, bursars and
superior employés of these institutions.

(_c_) The managers of all arsenals and military establishments.

(_d_) All aides-de-camp and staff-officers.

(_e_) All superior employés in the department of the Ministers of War
and the Navy.

(_f_) Special information as to the financial and domestic conditions
and relations of all those officers mentioned in the above categories
who are known or thought to be "unsettled" in their mode of life.

It is also stated that promising cadets from the military and
naval academies are at once registered at Berlin and honoured with
their respective _dossiers_. Lanoir is the chief authority for the
above-mentioned details, and as a trained journalist, he gives an
instance of the working of the spy in a case which came directly under
his notice. The fixed-point agent in question had found it somewhat
difficult to penetrate into the society of the superior officers at a
garrison town. He therefore decided to find out all he required through
certain subaltern officers who were accustomed to frequent his place
of business—an hotel, as it happened. Accordingly he called in the
services of an occasional visitor at the house—a commercial traveller
who was also a spy in German pay. Possessed of all those gifts of the
genial man of the world, the supposed commercial traveller found no
difficulty whatever in winning the confidence of junior officers whose
social talents were far in excess of their means and who were quite
willing to overlook the inferior rank of their new acquaintance when
they discovered that with him the spending of money was altogether
a small consideration. It was not long before one of the subalterns
had confessed that inability to keep up his position had necessitated
sending in his resignation, which had been duly forwarded to the
authorities. Expressing sympathy in a fatherly way, the traveller
requested the young officer to inspect his own military papers. "You
will see that I, too, have done my duty to France," he said, handing
over some forged certificates attesting military service, for the
manufacture of which Berlin has a special department. "Knowing me for
a good Frenchman, perhaps you will treat me with more confidence."
The commercial man goes on to propose that the subaltern shall enable
him to do business with the officers of the garrison. His particular
line of goods is hosiery, which he is willing to sell to officers,
since he is an ex-soldier himself, at almost cost price. The subaltern
is naturally interested, but declares that he knows nothing about
business. The tempter then tells his young friend that in reality he is
travelling for his own firm and can make a profit on the goods even
if he allows the subaltern 50 per cent. on everything sold. "For every
£4 worth of hosiery I sell, you shall have a cheque for £2. As for the
difficulty of introductions—just say I am your cousin; it is done every
day and all over France. It will be worth £250 a year to you." The poor
subaltern is not long in falling, and by the end of the next month the
commercial traveller has wormed his way into the officers' quarters,
has learned all there is to be known about the ammunition and ordnance
stores, together with personal details about superior officers, which
he could never have obtained in any other way. German money is making
up the deficit on hosiery sold at cost price, but in return Germany is
getting far more than her money's worth in military intelligence.

Lanoir also gives an instance in which one of the most promising French
officers of his generation was, less than a score of years ago, paid
£8000 by a supposed man of wealth, a casual garrison-town acquaintance,
in order to rescue his father from bankruptcy. The information had
come to the ears of the German tutor of a French General to whom
our young officer was acting as aide-de-camp; the tutor forthwith
informed the German fixed-point agent, with the result that the offer
of £8000 was subsequently made and accepted, the young officer in
question ultimately transferring his services to the _dossier_ bureau
attached to the Secret Police in Berlin. Another officer is said to
have been given a sufficient fortune by the German War Office to make
him an eligible _parti_ in the eyes of the daughter of a well-known
French General who was said to possess especial knowledge regarding
mobilisation plans and arsenal material. The officer, whose heart was
elsewhere, as they say, accepted the commission from Berlin, paid
half-hearted court to the lady in question, but was seen sufficiently
often in her company to justify the local agent's belief in the young
man's assertion that things were going on famously. On his promise to
supply Berlin with copies of documents belonging to his _fiancée's_
father, they consented to advance £10,000. He thereupon drew up plans
of mobilisation of his own, as well as details regarding artillery,
which he had himself thought out. Eventually the price was paid in
full, our officer promising to reveal much more when the wedding was
over. Then he went off with the other lady, and Berlin was badly
beaten, though not, it is certain, for the first time. Within the
past ten years it is well known that large sums of money have been on
several occasions paid for intelligence regarding French and Russian
fortifications, the plans and specifications having been drawn up by
individuals who had deliberately devoted themselves to military studies
in order scientifically to produce the "information" in question.
Such a set of plans was sold to Germany in 1909 by a Pole, for a sum
exceeding £4000. It is, however, not often that the German military
experts are caught nodding, their sources of primary information
being as a rule excellent. They take few risks, but then there is no
source of possible information which they overlook. This being so, the
extravagant wife of an army man is always an object of interest to
them, and many an officer has fallen, owing to his desire to shield a
venal wife, blackmail, in such a case, being invariably the method of
coercing the husband.

If ever a nation has proved to the world that she is devoid of
essential military genius, that nation is Germany. Her successful
campaign of 1870 was almost entirely due, as we have seen, to the
preparations and plans laid down by Stieber and his co-adjutors as
well as the fact that France had relied too much upon the traditional
ability of the French armies to cope successfully with those of
Germany. The same may be said of Germany's "marvellous advance" towards
Paris in 1914, which was really a triumph for organised espionage and
by no means a proof that military genius was inspiring the movements
of the Kaiser's hosts. This organised system of espionage has for
some years been in the hands of Major Steinhauer, the present chief
of the Berlin Secret Service, and evidently a worthy successor to
Stieber. Belgium, as all know who have studied German methods in what
has been long known as the "penetration area" of the Netherlands, was
so completely in the hands of German spies at the outbreak of the
war, that it was only the failure, by a rare miscalculation, of the
Berlin military authorities to have forwarded adequate siege-guns
to Liège which prevented the Imperial armies marching through the
country in a week and reaching France sooner. The entry into the
Belgian capital of 700,000 men, without confusion or mishap, has been
credited to the military genius of von Kluck and his lieutenants,
the fact being entirely overlooked that in view of the inevitable
war which Berlin expected to take place before 1915 (as a well-known
German newspaper-proprietor told American and Canadian reporters in
1910) the German Secret Service authorities had made an especial
appropriation from their funds for the purpose of placing some 8000
spies on the various routes of march between Aix-la-Chapelle and
Saint-Quentin. As a result, the very quarters of the various regiments
of German invading forces had been marked out for occupation by the
Berlin authorities at least two years ahead, while for the purposes of
lodging important personages, special hotel managers had been installed
several months before August 1914. In Brussels as well as in Paris
the city had been so well mapped out that, as American correspondents
reported, distinguished officers arriving by rail at the Gare du Nord
or the Gare de l'Est gave their instructions as couriers might have
done, without doubt or hesitation, to the cabmen at the stations. All
these preparations had been made by German fixed agents whose various
residences throughout the line of advance bore the familiar caricature
of "Kluck's cow." As the event proved in Belgium, such fixed spies
had become, from lengthy and normal residence in the various cities,
so familiar to Belgian inhabitants that these last supposed them
to be either the victims of the German billeting process, or else
compulsory agents under the terms of martial law. In Paris matters had
been prepared so far in advance that it had been decided to give a
representation of Sudermann's _Heimath_ at the Comédie Française, at
which the Kaiser and his Staff were to be present. That chronically
disappointed potentate was to reside, the German papers of the time
declared, at the Élysée, the President's abode, while the procuresses
of Paris, mostly Germans, felt, in view of the commissions already
distributed in advance among them, emphatically assured that their
financial millennium was to arrive with the German Staff. It had even
been arranged, by way of a spectacular _revanche_, that the so-called
War Lord was to visit the Invalides, where Napoleon's body reposes, and
there possess himself of the great soldier's sword, as the Corsican
had, in 1806, possessed himself of the sword of Frederick the Great,
saying as he took it, "Ceci est à moi"—this is mine. The military
set-back was in all probability the least which the Emperor William
suffered by his failure to "hit" Paris as a Westerner might put it,
seeing that the Kaiser can hardly be called a military man in any
practical sense of the term.

In regard to the fixed spies in Belgium, it has to be noted that
they were not all, as far as is known, natives. Competent Belgian
journalists declared at the outbreak of the present war that, at
the defeat of France in the war of 1870, Germany had already laid
down plans for eventually overrunning and annexing both Belgium and
Holland. With a view to carrying out her plans, she made in 1872
definite appropriations for the covering of both countries with a
system of what was known at Berlin as "Germanising influences." It
was based on a principle of giving to deserving minor tradesmen in
the Rhineland districts sums of money sufficient to set them up in
business in the so-called Belgian "penetration area." Preference was
given to couples with young children who had been born on German soil.
The people of the Rhineland and Westphalia are for the most part
Catholics; large numbers of them speak both French and Flemish, or
at least "Plat-Deutsch," while from a mental point of view, there is
very little difference between them and the populations of Liège and
Limburg. Once settled on Belgian soil, it was easy for them to adapt
themselves to the people and bring up their children as Belgians. It
was part of the agreement, however, that the children, after attaining
a certain age, should return to the Fatherland, there to undergo a
process of re-Germanisation, at the close of which, having resided
with close relatives and passed through German schools, they returned
to Belgium ostensibly pro-Germans. In the meantime their parents were
being helped to enrich themselves by acting as commission-agents for
large industrial houses on the German side. It was supposed that this
scheme—an invention of Bismarck—would prove the key to the conquest
of the Netherlands, for the plans were also put into operation in
Holland. As a matter of fact, the results of the scheme were far from
coming up to expectations, and if any proof were wanting to demonstrate
the elemental incapacity of the German for assimilating another race,
here it was. The Belgian and the Dutchman both proved their capacity
(and at the same time their racial superiority) for assimilating the
Germans to the point at which the latter became anti-German—even as is
the case with the German-Americans of to-day, who are Americans first
and Germans last of all. By the mid-nineties it was hoped that a large
nucleus of Germanophile Belgians and Dutch would be preparing for the
easy (and perhaps peaceful) conquest of the Low Countries. Bismarck
had realised, however, by 1890 that "the German is not by nature or
disposition a good coloniser," whatever virtues he may possess as a
colonist, and for that reason was opposed to his new Kaiser's ambition
to push the frontiers of the Fatherland farther than they had already
gone. At all events, the organised system of the Germanising influences
proved, to a large extent, a failure in the Low Countries. It is
precisely because it had not proved so to the whole extent that Belgium
fell so easy a victim to the German aggressive advance, once Liège had
fallen, in 1914. For as a result of the system of 1872 and onward, it
was hard for Belgians themselves to know who was in 1914 an agent for
Germany and who was not. In this connection, and as the analogy holds
in some degree, it may be stated that the main objection to the Oxford
Scholarships founded by the late Mr Rhodes was based on an argument
advanced by observant German professors who had seen Britain's system
at work—namely, that the German citizen was too easily assimilable by
stronger and superior types to allow of his passing three or four years
at the intellectual hub of the British Empire without detriment to his
German patriotism.

While discussing Belgium we are reminded of the fact that at the
University of Louvain many theological students from Germany were
in residence before the war and were, therefore, enabled to keep
their correspondents in Germany in touch with matters of importance
as to the feeling of Belgian professors and the Belgian hierarchy
generally towards Germany and German aspirations in Belgium. It is
not so commonly known, however, that every German army includes in
its ranks a number of renegade priests, or priests in minor orders,
who are sufficiently well acquainted with religious matters to be
able to impose upon villagers, or local parish priests and nuns.
The non-Catholic forces which arrived at Louvain in September 1914,
when they came into conflict with the Catholic Bavarian troops, were
entirely to blame for the mutilation of the historic city, since
reprisals on the part of the inhabitants—if any serious reprisals ever
took place—were said by American and Australian correspondents to have
probably been due to the fact that many of these ex-priests had been
given clerical attire from the military clothing department and sent
to visit the local religious houses, not as soldiers, but in their
clerical capacity. The result was a series of outrages both at convents
and colleges, the recital of which has already been officially given to
the world by Belgian authorities. Stieber placed much reliance on this
peculiar class of spy in the Austrian campaign of 1866 and again in
that of 1870. The German authorities continue to employ them and they
are ever willing to serve, since as a rule they belong to a class whose
poverty and rakishness are known throughout Germany. They are not, it
may be said, confined to any particular religion, and in the present
war their functions have been exercised mainly in ministering to the
wounded, from whom they are successful enough in extracting information
as to the movements of opposing forces. Readers do not require to be
told at this juncture of the unscrupulous use which German armies have
made of the Red Cross ambulances in the war of 1914. Not only have they
clothed the most notorious creatures of German towns in nuns' attire,
but in many cases youthful soldiers have been dressed as Red Cross
Sisters and have thus been enabled to pass through the enemy's lines,
ostensibly on errands of mercy, but in reality in order to spy out the
situation. That German commanders have little regard for the lives of
their men is better known, perhaps, than a common ruse to which they
resort when looking for artillery range. At nightfall two recruits are
invariably asked to volunteer for duty with the wire-coil. They advance
towards the enemy's lines which they are instructed to inspect, paying
out the coil of wire as they advance. Naturally they are shot as they
approach the other camp; their officer's object has, however, been
accomplished, and when his end of the coil ceases to "pay out" he is in
possession of the range.

The present war, experts assure us, has not developed anything new in
the way of cipher messages, and it is now generally admitted that man
has yet to devise a cipher which, given time to solve its principle,
will continue long to remain a puzzle to inquiring minds. Napoleon
adopted a cipher with which he communicated on many occasions with his
chief-of-staff, Berthier, whose only recorded witticism is that the
Emperor's handwriting was the hardest cipher he knew. By Napoleon's
directions, a certain pamphlet was to be employed according to the
day of the week or the date. The names of these were of course known
beforehand. The instructions ran: "The first figure will give the
number of the page; the second figure will give the line; the third
number will serve as index to the required word, or letter, and give
its position in the line indicated by the second figure; if the figure
denotes a whole word, it will explain itself; if it only means a
letter the fact will be shown." The whole system was found, however, to
be too slow for the most impatient of commanders, and as a result was
rarely called for by the Emperor. The Great War has disclosed the fact
that old Indian tricks of conveying information over long distances
have been resorted to, particularly the Red Man's signals by smoke
which ascends at various points along a given line and the different
readings of which are settled by agreement in advance among those
sending and receiving the signals. It is now known that information
as to "range," which, at the opening of the war, German artillerists
were able to discover with a rapidity and a precision which were not
less than miraculous, was being transmitted to the enemy by fixed
spies in towns behind the French and British positions by means of
smoking fires built upon upland territory according to indications
previously agreed upon and based mainly on the number and arrangement
of the different volumes of smoke. The ruse was quickly penetrated
however, and thereafter German gunners proved less expert in judging
distances. We also heard much at the beginning of the war, both on the
Continent and in England, of the "window-light" and the "window-blind"
system of communicating intelligence to the enemy on land as well as
on the coastline. All these tricks have been discovered, and as a
result of the most stringent exercise of precautions, as well as the
insistence upon martial-law regulations at nightfall in the fighting
areas, military spies have been forced to rely more largely on personal
adventure and its risks, than was the case in the earlier phases of
the conflict. Spies sent in advance of an army, disguised as peasants
of the countryside, can keep their friends informed of the movements
of the enemy by various signals also drawn from the Red Man's code,
such as the breaking of trees or branches, cutting up squares of turf
and disposing them in a certain order near trees, by chalk-marks not
very dissimilar to the "marks" used by English and American tramps or
by the placing of stones at certain distances—all signs which can be
read according to previous arrangement. In regard to these ruses it
may confidently be said that modern man is far behind primitive or
uncivilised man in the effective employment of them, and, in any case,
there were few of those now recently in use which were not commonly
practised by Napoleon and his commanders.



XIV

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_continued_


The man who now occupies the chair at the headquarters of the Berlin
Secret Police is called Steinhauer. For the past two decades he has
been one of the most important officials connected with the bureau
and was responsible for the commissions given to Turr, Windell,
Graves, Lody, Ernst and a host of experts, the majority of whom have
engaged in espionage both in France and England and unfortunately
remained uncaptured. Steinhauer's contribution to the German system
of spying has been connected mainly with the adoption to its ends
of modern scientific inventions. At the outbreak of the War of
1914, for instance, it is certain that in Paris alone, his agents
were manipulating a round dozen of wireless apparatus concealed, in
several cases, on the roofs of hotels which were, of course, under
German management, and in other cases in private houses, as well as
on private yachts on the coasts of France. Much of Steinhauer's money
has also passed into the hands of British manufacturers of automobiles
and makers of British military uniforms who were, all unconsciously,
selling their goods to the Berlin sleuth's emissaries in Britain and
France, to be used for the purposes of espionage in time of war. A
writer in the _Petit Parisien_ has stated that the Berlin military
authorities possess uniforms of all grades capable of clothing an
army corps composed of all the different types of soldiers in Europe,
while their batteries of foreign-made automobiles can only be numbered
in terms of hundreds. Steinhauer is a firm believer in the arts of
"demoralising" by scares the non-combatant population of an enemy
country. Those notorious but substantial rumours, which occasionally
ran through England, of Zeppelin raids upon Newcastle and Colchester,
and which were subsequently proved to be groundless, all emanated from
servants of the chief of the Berlin Secret Police operating in Britain.
The French writer, Elme Caro, has drawn the attention of his countrymen
to this form of espionage in the following words:—

"There is above all one especial ruse in which our enemy excels, and
that is in spreading false reports and rumours. We are forced to
believe that this characteristic must have its roots deep down in the
traditions of Germans and the institutions of their race, since it
called forth the especial indignation of Immanuel Kant. Their methods
of applying treachery and bad faith to the arts of war are peculiarly a
Prussian talent and one which in the war of 1870 cost us more than one
bloody defeat. What is the process? We are given just that particular
brand of news which is likely to please us and lull us into a fancied
security, such news being, if necessary, invented for the purpose.
These experts in the arts of deceit and trickery are past-masters in
demoralising the enemy by conveying to him news which suggests the
idea that peace is close at hand. During such lulls, one's courage
begins to weaken, the soul of a great city begins to find itself
growing unaccustomed to the idea of war, our firm resolutions are soon
forgotten and we go back to the old routine of life with relieved minds
and hearts. Our will-power is broken and the enemy then seizes his
opportunity to attack us with many chances in his favour. To prevent
us from getting good news, to convey to us the worst, to invent it
if necessary—this is the policy of the leaders of German armies and
diplomacy. Bismarck possessed all this talent and carried it out with
the prescience of a master in the art of judging and estimating the
weaknesses of common human kind."

Steinhauer was also responsible for the rumours of 1909 and 1910 in
regard to the alleged nocturnal visits of aircraft to the east coast
of England, and his henchmen in the Press go so far as to declare that
in 1911 a Zeppelin visited the London area on more than one occasion
for the purpose of "taking time-distances," so that in the day of war
any given airship would know by the time schedule where to drop its
bombs, in such a way as to destroy buildings which had been previously
marked out for attack. By this method, it is said, a Zeppelin can
act independently of fog, and indeed, would be enabled to carry out
its work more effectively because of fog, provided it was favoured
by fair winds—a view supported by Mr Graves, who also maintains
that Zeppelins have already in peace-time "stood over" London. "A
mysterious sky-monster," says Graves, "which carried a complement
of five-and-twenty men and twelve tons of explosives, sailed across
the North Sea, circled over London and returned to Germany. This new
dreadnought of Germany's flying navy was aloft ninety-six hours and
maintained a speed of thirty-eight miles an hour in the face of a
storm-pressure of almost eighty-three metres." The German Press, in
November 1914, declared that its airship fleet was three times as large
as that which already existed in 1910, and through its confidential
writers in the Dutch papers, it asserted that the German General Staff
had produced Zeppelins which were "75 per cent. more air-worthy and
safe" than the passenger-Zeppelins which travelled over Germany in
1909—all of which claims are purely "scare-work" of the Steinhauer
bureau, for obviously enough, Berlin's military authorities would long
ago have acted against Paris and London had they been able to do so,
time being such a tremendous factor in their campaign. We pass over
the cases of Schultz and Ernst as being still fresh in public memory
to take up that of Lieutenant Turr, one of the most important spies
who has operated in Europe since Steinhauer has been connected with
the Berlin Secret Police. In regard to the man Ernst, the Islington
hairdresser, who received at first £1, and subsequently £1, 10s. a
month from Berlin, it is certain that the Berlin authorities showed
themselves, in modern times, as inept in their naval and military
espionage, as they proved to be in their diplomacy, for all the
information they obtained through the instrumentality of their North
London barber collaborant. Indeed, at this writing, it is rumoured
that Dr Steinhauer has been disrated in his Berlin office and is
about to take the road into retirement with many more of the Kaiser's
incompetent servants.

Hermann Turr was a subaltern in a regiment of the Prussian Hussars
who, owing to perversity of character and disposition, was removed by
the Kaiser's orders from the Army List about ten years ago. At the
suggestion of the then head of the Prussian Secret Service, who urged
the man's bad character as a point in favour of his being employed as
a spy, Turr was given employment by the secret police in Berlin, his
first duty being the watching of other spies in the same department—an
employment, it may be said, which is only given to a man whose social
and financial condition is in the desperate stage. It was in respect
of what we will call the "Sans Souci" correspondence—it was really
nameless—that Turr came into prominence, not only in Germany, but
in every country in the world. The "Sans Souci" correspondence was
published, without name or title, in Germany and contained accusations
of the most serious kind laid to the account of the Hohenzollern family
as well as to that of the highest official and court personages of
Berlin. The present Emperor, suspecting a member of his entourage whom
he had been forced to exile, called in the services of Turr, promising
him a large sum for proofs as to the identity of the author of the
letters. These appeared in 1905 in pamphlet form and were immediately
suppressed, severe penalties being threatened, as in the equally
notorious "Hotzé" letters of a previous generation, to all who should
be proved to have sold them. Turr proved his zeal within a month of
receiving his commission by giving alleged proofs that the letters had
been written at the instigation of a well-known French politician whose
Germanophobia is only exceeded by his remarkable talents in diplomacy.
It is certain that about this time, 1906, Germany was on the verge of
declaring war against France, and it was only when full proofs were
forthcoming that Turr's "evidence" was based mainly on forgeries,
that Franco-German diplomacy weathered the storm which threatened its
relations. Turr, it is understood, was imprisoned, but secured his
release on a personal appeal to the Emperor, promising to reveal the
real authorship of the forgeries in question. In accordance with his
story, the forged evidence had really been handed to him in Paris by
persons acting in the interests of the Berlin war-party which was
already anxious for a trial of strength with France and which chose
this means as likely to precipitate events, Turr being really the dupe
of their agents who were acting in conjunction with the Berlin Secret
Police in order to force the Emperor's hand. Another man who also
served the bureau over which Steinhauer now presides was Windell, who
once tended the French General de Boisdeffre as valet in Paris and was
taken by that officer all through France on his tours of inspection of
the military districts and fortresses, Windell, an educated man and a
trained engineer, supplying Berlin with plans and memoranda of all and
everything which might serve the interests of the General Staff.

In a large measure also to Steinhauer must be attributed the rigorous
methods which govern the production of the modern first-class German
spy. A full possession of those personal gifts which characterise
the man of the world is insisted upon by the authorities at "Number
Seventy, Berlin," as the headquarters in Kœnigergratzerstrasse in that
capital are invariably known to employees. A candidate for service is
not only expected to "look the part," as they say, he is also expected
to be able to act it. He is therefore required to be a man who has had
the advantage of good home training of a really superior class, one who
possesses social breeding besides decent scholarship, a combination
which is less common in Germany than in either France or England.
Apart, however, from the mere matter of scholarship and address, the
rule holds here as in every other business of life, that it is after
all character which really counts. A man is looked for, indeed, very
much similar, as to his mental capacities, to the really high-class
newspaper correspondent of our own day—one who is at home in all
capitals, who can talk intelligently and intelligibly on current topics
and has a good repertoire of languages at his tongue's disposal, who is
unquestionably master of his own language and who can associate with
men placed above his own condition without displaying the servility of
the flunkey, or the assurance of the man whose loudness is invariably
the measure of his own uncertainty of his social worth and standing.
As far as Prussia produces men of presentability, the Berlin bureau
has always succeeded in enlisting excellent agents for its purposes,
and, in any case, we have seen that it generally looks for them among
decadent members of the territorial families, or among officers who
have made false steps in the course of their careers, but who are
still sufficiently attached to life to be content to serve under the
double flag of the _corps d'espionnage_, despised by all who pretend
to imposing standards of honour, yet certain of a good living if they
perform their duties. The number and scope of the studies to which
they have to devote themselves, once they are entered on the books
of the bureau, will surprise men who recall the years they spent in
lecture-rooms studying for army or higher civil-service examinations.
Indeed, it is only a well-educated man possessed of really an advanced
kind of knowledge who is competent to engage in the curriculum which
goes to form the German spy of our own time. The average Sandhurst or
Woolwich cadet on "passing out" would only just about hold his own
with the men who "coach" in Espionage for the examination set by Dr
Steinhauer and his board of professors.

Once accepted as a member of the Secret Service of the higher grade,
the agent is entered on the pay-sheet at a fixed salary commencing at
£200 a year, with an added ten shillings a day for personal expenses
whether on active service or not. For each "job"—neatly executed, to be
sure—he is promised a bonus with an increase of personal out-of-pocket
allowance up to £2 daily. He is notified, however, that 33 per cent.
of all moneys coming to him will be kept back and banked for him at
5 per cent., the object of this measure being to assure the Service
a hold upon its agents in case they should be inclined to leave
without giving due notice. The salaries are paid monthly in advance.
Personal instructions are given verbally to each accepted agent, on
his initiation: he must report daily when not on active service at
Number Seventy; should he be on active service, he must telegraph a
certain number to indicate that he is alive and accessible; he must
observe absolute silence in respect of his missions, nor converse even
with high officials under whom he is not acting; he shall carry no
memoranda and no documents, but must trust to memory; he is to avoid
fellow-agents, is forbidden to drink, or associate with women; he must
never sign his name, but always his number; he is provided with a
separate cipher which he must always use for cabling and telegraphing.
It is only at this point, however, that the real "grind" begins for
your German Secret Service agent, who, whatever may be his moral
shortcomings, is certainly worthy of all respect when considered in
regard to his mentality.

His studies of a technical character may be said to be confined to
Topography, Trigonometry, Naval Construction, Military Fortification
and Drawing. His tutors are invariably taken from the ablest experts
in their subjects. Supposing a Secret Service be sent to Antwerp to
study the forts and report upon them, he must be in a position to give
correct estimates of heights, angles, distances, ground-lay; he must,
therefore, be a surveyor the accuracy of whose intuitions must to a
large extent cover the work of the theodolite or the transit-compass.
In the case of the spy, for instance, who reported to Berlin upon
the Forth Bridge, the work had to be performed without arousing the
attention or the suspicions of officials; the man in question effected
his measurements by pacing, by observing angles and by subsequent
triangulation, the result being highly creditable to his training,
for he judged the required measurements to within yards and feet in
distances and heights, respectively. It may be objected that this was
wasted time, since these facts are available to anyone. The General
Staff at Berlin was taking no chances, however. Its object in sending
its man to examine the Forth Bridge was solely to find out how many
men could be so disposed, in the vicinity of the structure, as to
blow it up at a given signal, what was the geological nature of the
foundation-shafts, how much dynamite would be required to destroy the
bridge. And Berlin wanted to _know_.

So too with regard to all matters military and naval, as we shall
presently show. There is, indeed, no time for leisure and no laggards
are allowed to remain very long upon the roster of the General Staff's
Secret Service College. Anything more complete or thorough, it would
be hard to imagine, and but for the sinister aims and objects of the
whole curriculum, it would be difficult to picture anything more
admirable or workmanlike in its organic perfection. The work entitled
_Secrets of the German War Office_ written by Mr Graves has, as most
people are by this time aware, been disavowed by the Berlin authorities
as being the work of what Americans call "a good guesser." This, it
must be seen, was the only course open to the German Staff, and their
disclaimers in no way discount the value of their ex-agent's story
when he touches upon purely departmental and organic details connected
with the Steinhauer bureau. He tells us himself that he served for
twelve years in the German Secret Service which has three distinct
branches—that of the Army, that of the Navy and the Personal Corps. The
General Staff of Berlin controls the Secret Service departments dealing
with both military and naval affairs, while the Personal department
is directed from the Foreign Office and is really under the direct
eye and touch of the German Emperor himself. The military and naval
sections deal with the procuring of hidden and secret information in
regard to armaments, plans, new inventions and codes. The Personal
Corps concerns itself with diplomatic affairs, details as to cabinet
discussions, royal and princely scandals and includes among its agents
men and women who are conducting inquiries on behalf of the Emperor
himself. Among its members are to be found princes, dukes, counts and
barons, lawyers, clergymen, doctors, actors and actresses, _mondaines_
and _demi-mondaines_, journalists, authors, money-lenders, jockeys,
trainers, waiters and porters. Mr Graves dismisses the waiters and
the porters as being nonentities who are never given commissions
except those of the most non-committal kind, and in any case are
never entrusted with the reasons underlying the little jobs which
they perform at a few shillings each time. After a successful series
of missions, men in the higher departments receive salaries from the
bureau varying between £600 and £2000 yearly, which sums are invariably
supplemented by generous bonuses—£1500 is not uncommon—as a reward for
good work in particularly perilous enterprises. The remuneration is,
however, mean when compared with the dangers undergone, and since no
official countenance is ever given (nor, indeed, expected) on the part
of an agent's employers, once a spy falls into the hands of the enemy,
the game is far from being worth the worry and strain it entails.
Moreover, a time comes in the case of the very successful agent when he
has learned so much about the "policies" of his highly placed patrons
that his existence becomes a source of anxiety to them, and his removal
is often effected by means which recall the time of the Borgias or the
days of the _oubliette_.



XV

GERMAN SECRET SERVICE—_concluded_


We have emphasised the German Spy System to the extent of devoting
five chapters to an exposition of its methods and the principles
underlying its origin, development and application. Our object has
been mainly to show not only to what extent a nation may become
demoralised by allowing a system of espionage to assume the proportions
of a constitutional principle, but more especially to indicate how
ineffective its operations must ultimately prove when opposed, not
necessarily by counter-espionage, but by the ordinary legal safeguards
which foreign governments can at all times put into force to neutralise
such operations. At the outbreak of the War, for instance, the
British authorities were able, by the simple process of internment
and registration, to destroy in these islands the bulk of effective
German influences on which Berlin had long relied for the consummation
of its insane dream of "making Britain a German province." Again, the
comparative ease with which eleventh-hour systems of counter-espionage
have proved themselves capable of defeating the elaborate and far-flung
organisations of fifty years of German master-spies must have the
result of teaching Germany that a military establishment which puts
its first trust in its external spy systems as providing the royal
road to warlike successes, really admits its own lack of military
genius. Indeed, it is impossible to read the story of Stieber's
exploits and not realise that Stieber, rather than von Moltke, won
those strategic successes of 1866 and 1870 which laid the foundations
of the modern German Empire. And just as Bismarck has had no successor
in the business of German diplomacy, so is it certain that Stieber's
mantle has fallen upon no modern exponent of German espionage capable
of adding to the original system. We have heard much of the triumphs
of the Berlin Secret Service; the results of the War must disclose
its total failure, though we may even now confidently predict that
the blunders of its present directors have not been less glaring than
those of Berlin diplomats. Like everything systematised in Germany,
its organisation of espionage was systematised to the point at which
independent and original action became impossible, so that when faced
with conditions which Stieber had not known and provided for, it at
once revealed its impotence and ineptitude, as well as the incapacity
of its organisers for attaining practical results.

We propose in this present chapter, which concludes our account of
Germany's system, to show how complete is the training of agents for
the work of military and naval espionage. The German military spy,
it must be premised, is rarely an officer on the active or retired
list, but almost always a civilian who has, of course, had military
training. Turr and Windell had both been military officers who had
practically been cashiered, while Lody had been a minor officer in
the German merchant service. The German military agent must know all
units of foreign armies at sight and must also be able to memorise the
code words by which such units are indicated in the Berlin bureau.
In respect of code words, indeed, his memory must, in all military
matters, be of a Napoleonic capacity, and when corresponding with his
head office as to the work of any particular pattern of gun on which he
is instructed to report, it will go badly with him if he fails to quote
his code accurately. Since, by the regulations, he is not permitted to
carry documents, his task is obviously not an easy one. And so, again,
with classes of explosives and types of shell. Furthermore, he must
be so intimate with the science of fortification as to be competent
to produce a map of any required fortified place, its maximum content
and capacity for resistance. No Woolwich cadet of two years' standing
is expected to know half as much as your German military spy, while
his periodical examinations are conducted on a scale which would be
sufficient to make studious officers of the Staff College doubtful
as to their ability to "floor" the papers. Any error transmitted in
the way of information as to guns, man-capacity of fortresses, new
ideas in strategy and tactics, ballistics, plans and military maps,
are dealt with in Berlin on the American plan—that is to say, the
offender is never given a chance to offend twice. Nor is the art of
generalisation, so common in journalism, ever permitted to pass muster
at Number Seventy. Particularisation is insisted upon, for Berlin
wants facts first, last, always and everywhere. To ensure complete
accuracy, the General Staff will employ, if necessary, a dozen spies
on the same mission; they operate unknown to each other, their reports
are compared and discrepancies mean the sending out of supplementary
agents on the same mission, until by a process of exhaustion, and
perhaps after several years of observation, the mathematical truth is
finally arrived at. In the meantime, perhaps, the structure of any
given fortress has been radically or partly altered; still the process
goes on, for Berlin's General Staff never sleeps, is eternally vigilant
and alert and possesses the only financial stocking in the Empire which
knows no end. All this is in accordance with a rule laid down by the
Bismarck-Stieber combination—namely, that the German Intelligence Staff
shall know as much about any country in Europe as that country's own
Intelligence Department could possibly know. In Austria in 1866 and
in France in 1870, events proved that it knew far more. In whatever
other way a high-class German secret-service man may fail to please
the critics, there can be no question as to the degree of sheer
intellectual ability required to enable him to reach his position—and
retain it.

In regard to Naval espionage, the course of study and the mental
discipline exacted are, if anything, more severe. Fundamentally, of
course, the system differs but little from that just dealt with, just
as the winning of a battle involves the employment of strategy and
tactics which are not fundamentally different from those employed in
the taking of a fortress, as Napoleon said. The majority of accepted
secret-service agents on entering upon their studies in Berlin, Kiel
or Wilhelmshafen, rarely know enough about naval matters to be able to
distinguish a torpedo from a torpedo-boat destroyer. After a course
with the instructors the agent not only distinguishes easily between
the large variety of types of torpedoes, submarines, mines, he can also
tell by the peculiar whistle it makes whether a torpedo when being
discharged is a Whitehead or a Brennan, as the case may be. Then his
work in naval dockyards and on coastal defences has practically no
limit. Naval construction he must be as fully versed in as the best
informed of naval commanders. All sorts of naval war-craft are set
before him for the purposes of study, and the candidate for advancement
is required, before he passes out with a certificate, to be able to
tell at a glance, and from their silhouettes, all known war-craft in
existence, big and little. After months of study, a quick learner will
be able to say at once the type of any given war-vessel shown him and
what its nationality. Add to this a perfectly accurate acquaintance
with flag-signals and codes, the different ranking officers of _all_
the navies of the world, the personnel of warships of the heavier
classes, the various uniforms, the ability to talk about any or all
parts of a gun, a torpedo, a tube, a mine, whether assembled or
unassembled, and it will be freely admitted that the German naval spy
must be a ready man in the fullest sense of Bacon's term. And yet on
another page we have said that German espionage is a doomed failure. We
still maintain it, and for the reason that the foregoing studies only
result, after all is said, in naval theory. As a maker of theories,
your German of all kinds and conditions, is the first man in the world;
it is when he comes to their practical application that he fails so
badly and disappoints his admirers so painfully. The end of German
naval espionage is of course the invasion and conquest of Britain,
and until German armies defeat us and our Allies on land and her Navy
has beaten us at sea, we may feel justified in holding that both her
military and naval systems of espionage are respectively not worth the
rentals paid for their dingy offices in Berlin. There is a hoary old
tale told about an Englishman, a Frenchman, a German and a certain
wonderful crocodile which once made its appearance in Orinico waters
and made the nations talk about him. The Englishman decided to start
at once for Brazil and hunt the creature out; the Frenchman decided on
general principles to carve him out in stone, just as he imagined the
new animal to be; but the German went to a zoological museum, _thought
out_ the new crocodile from a set of palæozoic bones, and wrote a
theory about him. Your German theorist is still far from having passed
away and hardly yet realises that there is a large difference between
learning the secrets of our naval forces and defeating them at sea.
We recognise that German espionage is a danger—a fact which need not,
however, blind us to the certainty that Germany has no more Bismarcks
or Stiebers to build up new organisations with which to face the
conditions of a new world. Germany has certainly no minister in office
to-day who could prophesy so far ahead the course of events as Bismarck
prophesied them to an Austrian lady, the Countess Hohenthal, in 1866.
We recall the anecdote:

"Tell me, Count," said the Austrian to the famous Chancellor at a
dinner-party in Berlin. "I have two homes in Europe, one in Bohemia,
the other at Knautheim, near Leipsic. My countrymen are all talking
about the possibility of Prussia invading us in the near future, and
you might set my mind at rest if you would advise me where to remain
for the rest of the year—in Bohemia, or in Saxony?"

"Countess," replied the Chancellor, "if I were you, I should remain in
Saxony. It is not on a military route." The lady's Bohemian Castle was
not, as it happened, very far from—Sadowa.

As to the financial aspects of the German Spy System, it is a matter
of public record that the Reichstag makes a yearly appropriation of
about £1,000,000 sterling for the purposes and objects of the Imperial
Secret Service. It is obvious, however, that the total expenditure
must be far in excess of this sum, since, to use a memorable phrase,
"every dirty little lieutenant" who has taken a holiday within the
past ten years and has consented to spend his time in England, has
done so at the expense of the Secret Service of Berlin. In these cases
the young officers are "invited" to inspect the counties through which
they travel, and in order to facilitate their movements, they are each
supplied with sectional maps which are more perfect in every particular
than the cyclists' hand-books with which we are so familiar in these
days. There is no lane, bridle-path, road, farmhouse, pot-house,
or farrier's which is not clearly marked in these sectional maps.
The prospective tourist—who is most frequently a minor departmental
official—is handed one or more of them on the understanding that
if he can improve upon their topographical value in the smallest
particulars, he will benefit to the extent of a hundred marks or so.
The result is that official Berlin knows England north, south, east and
west, far better than any Englishman knows Berlin, and one may depend
upon it that if an army corps were to land anywhere in Britain, its
commanders would know the road to London, as well as local facilities
and capacities for feeding 40,000 men, far better than the majority
of Irishmen know the way to Tipperary or even the civic standing of
that much-sung city. The gathering of such minute information involves
a costly process. One million sterling yearly must be inadequate to
cover the expenditure of 500 registered and salaried officials, with
"details" numbering at least 500 more of a more or less fixed status,
and twice that number of annual tourist candidates looking for German
bank-notes.

Before concluding our examination of the German Spy System, we may
hear what an American war-correspondent has to say in regard to the
precautions which the General Staff takes in order to preclude the
operations of spies inside the German lines. The following incident was
communicated to _The New York Times_ by its special correspondent on
1st December 1914:—

 "GERMAN GREAT HEADQUARTERS IN FRANCE, Dec. 1.—There is a certain
 monotony about the scientific murder of the firing line—a routine
 repetition of artillery duels, alarums, and excursions which can be
 and are being vividly described by 'war correspondents' from the
 safe vantage ground of comfortable cafés miles away. The real human
 interest end of this ultra-modern war is to be gleaned from rambling
 around the operating zone in a thoroughly irresponsible American
 manner, trusting in Providence and the red American eagle sealed on
 your emergency passport and a letter from Charles Lesimple, the genial
 Consul at Cologne, to keep you from being shot.

 "For instance, you get some interesting first-hand knowledge as to how
 spies can 'get away with it' in spite of the perfect German military
 system of controls and passes. There is no 'spy hysteria' in Germany
 but none the less the German authorities know perfectly well that
 there are swarms of spies in their midst and are hunting them down
 with quiet, typically Teutonic thoroughness. But the very perfection
 of the German military machine is its weak spot, and on this, my
 second visit to the German Great Headquarters, I was able to give
 the astonished authorities a personal demonstration as to how any
 smooth-tongued stranger could turn up at even this 'holy of holies.'
 The nocturnal trail led in a military train from Luxemberg over Longwy
 to Longuyon.

 "From here I started out on a foot tour, and entered the Grosses
 Hauptquartier (Great Headquarters) unchallenged, by the back door.
 Journalistically it was disappointing at first, for it was Sunday
 morning and apparently Prussian militarism keeps the Sabbath holy.
 There was no one interviewing the Kaiser, for he had gone 'way
 down East' and with him his war minister, Gen. von Kalkenhayn. The
 courteous commandant, Col. von Hahnke, was not on the job. Even
 the brilliant chief of the press division, Major Nikolai, was out
 of town when I called on the Great General Staff. But there were
 compensations, for at a turn of the road I saw a more impressive
 sight than even the motoring Kaiser—a mile of German cavalry coming
 down the straight chausse, gray horsemen as far as the eye could see
 and more constantly coming over the brow of the distant hill, with
 batteries of field artillery sandwiched between.

 "On the next day I again dropped in on the great General Staff and
 found it not only at home, but very much interested on discovering
 that I had no pass to come or go or be there at that time. The
 war-time mind of Prussian militarism is keen and right to the point.
 It saw not the chance of getting publicity in America, but the
 certainty that other more dangerous spies could come through the same
 way. By all the rules of the war game, Prussian militarism would have
 been thoroughly justified in treating me as a common spy in possession
 of vital military secrets, but it courteously contented itself in
 insisting on plucking out the heart of the journalistic mystery. All
 attempts at evasion and humour were vain—here was the ruthless reality
 of war. It was the mailed Prussian Eagle against the bluff American
 bird of the same species, and the unequal contest was soon ended when
 Major Nikolai, Chief of Division III. of the great General Staff,
 stood up very straight and dignified and said:

 "'I am a German officer. What German violated his duty? I ask you as a
 man of honour how was it possible for you to come here?'

 "The answer was quite simple: 'The German military machine was so
 perfect that it covered every contingency except the most obvious and
 guarded every road except the easiest way. All you have to do is to
 take a passenger train to Luxemberg, and hang around the platform
 until the next military train pulls out for Belgium or France, hop
 aboard, and keep on going. In case of doubt utter the magic phrase, "I
 am an American," and flash the open sesame, the red seal of the United
 States of America—to which bearded Landsturm guards pay the tribute
 of regarding it as equally authoritative as the purple Prussian eagle
 stamped on a military pass.'

 "Followed a two-hour dialogue in the private office of the chief
 of the Kaiser's secret field police, as a result of which future
 historians will find in the Kaiser's secret archives the following
 unique document, couched in Berlin legal terminology and signed and
 subscribed to by the _Times_ correspondent:

 "'Secret Field Police, Great Headquarters, Dec. 1, 1914.

 "'There appears the American war correspondent and at the particular
 request of the authorities, explains:

 "'On Saturday, Nov. 30, I arrived at Trier on a second-class ticket
 at about 10.30 P.M. There I bought a third-class ticket and boarded
 a train leaving Luxemberg at about 12.15 A.M. I did not go into the
 railroad station, but trusting to my paper, boarded a military train
 leaving at 12.45 A.M., going over Longwy to Longuyon, where I arrived
 at 3.30 A.M., Sunday. There an official whose name I do not know took
 me to a troop train and made a place for me in the brake box. I left
 the train at X and went on foot to H (the Great Headquarters), where I
 reported myself to the Chief of Police.

 "'I recommend that a sharper control be exercised on the station
 platform at Luxemberg as it is a simple matter to avoid the only
 control which is at the ticket gate, by simply not going out and
 therefore not having to come in.'"



XVI

DIPLOMATIC, SOCIAL, CHURCH SPIES


The so-called mystery of the notorious Chevalier d'Eon has long since
been proved to have been no mystery at all. The question of his sex
was, during his whole life, a matter of fierce dispute and much
speculation in many countries. At his death in London, in the year
1810, an English doctor, Courthorpe by name, gave full attestation
to the fact that the deceased Chevalier was neither a female nor an
hermaphrodite, but a complete man. D'Eon, it is hardly to be disputed,
must rank among the great diplomatic spies whom the world has produced
and even in his own age, when the mystery attaching to his person made
him an object of extraordinary social interest, all men were willing
to bear testimony to his courage, physical energy, industry, audacity
and wit. In all probability no one was ever made the confidant of his
reasons for adopting female dress, but in every likelihood there was
nothing more romantic in his peculiarity than the mania for being
conspicuous and attracting attention, unless indeed, as has been
suggested, he chose to wear woman's dress for the reason that it was
more comfortable than that of man and had the advantage of making him
appear taller than he really was. About the Chevalier it is known
for a certainty that one Douglas, a Scottish diplomatic agent, when
proceeding to Russia in 1755, on a mission to the Empress Elizabeth,
in the interests of Louis XV., took the clever youth with him—at the
suggestion of d'Eon himself—dressed him as a female and introduced him
to the Court of Russia, where his knowledge of languages soon obtained
for him a post as reader to the Empress, over whom for a short season
he obtained an ascendancy which enabled him to turn her sympathies
towards an alliance with France. Louis XV., as we remember, had never
possessed any real political or diplomatic power within his own realm,
and in order to offset his official impotence, thought out his famous
private organisation of court and political intrigue-mongers, which
eventually became known as "The King's Secret." Douglas was among the
men employed in this body, the Prince de Conti, Duc de Broglie and many
other nobles, both French and foreign, also assisting the King in the
conduct of a conspiracy the real object of which is not very apparent,
if it was not for the pure love of the mystery and intrigue surrounding
the whole business.

[Illustration: The Chevalier d'Eon

_After a painting by Angelica Kauffmann_]

Practical results were, however, achieved in the case of d'Eon.
According to the Duc de Broglie, Douglas had proved himself an
unacceptable person at the Russian Court and it was only through the
employment of the services of the youthful Chevalier, then about eight
and twenty years old, that he was enabled to attain his mission's
object. Far from resenting the trick, when d'Eon, on asking to be
released from his position in order to return to France, at the same
time revealing the real nature of his sex, the Empress Elizabeth was
delighted at the manœuvre and made her reader a handsome present on
his departure. He was described about this time as highly educated and
capable of writing with distinction on literary subjects; very much
devoted to the study of law and philosophy, but, one is somewhat uneasy
to hear, as indifferent to female beauty as was Frederick the Great.
It is in 1759 that he is to be found working for Louis as a spy upon
the official French envoys. In that year the Duc de Choiseul was sent
to Russia with the object of inducing the Empress Elizabeth to mediate
for peace in the Seven Years' War. The Chevalier was at the same time
deputed to go to Russia, where his earlier exploits had given him
favourable notice, and bring about the failure of Choiseul's mission.
Accordingly d'Eon became possessed of an important French secret
which Louis was not disposed to have revealed to his contemporaries;
he was given at the successful issue of his mission, a sum equal to
£1200 yearly of our money and was sent to the army of the Upper Rhine
as aide-de-camp to Marshal de Broglie, where the King hoped a bullet
might remove him. The Chevalier appears, however, to have exhibited
prowess as a soldier, and in 1762 we find him secretary to the French
Embassy in London, where he was instrumental in rifling the portfolio
of an important English Foreign Office attaché by resorting to the
somewhat vulgar expedient of giving the diplomat too much to drink,
the inference being that the wine was drugged. His success must have
been important, for in 1763 he was resident Minister in London. In
this capacity he began to organise a scheme on behalf of Louis for the
invasion of England, and as Horace Walpole states, the importance both
of his rôle and position began to prove too great for his usually cool
intelligence. As a result of a few sharp repartees to French visitors
of rank whom he suspected of spying upon him, as in truth they were,
the Chevalier soon found himself reduced to the rank of Secretary, the
King, indeed, ordering his man to return to France, but not to present
himself at Court. In what followed the intelligent observer begins
to discern glimpses of that so-called "artistic temperament" with
which we have become so familiar in these later days. D'Eon declared
that Louis, far from wishing for his removal in an official capacity,
had instructed him to resume female attire and keep up the game of
espionage in England. The late Mr Andrew Lang declares his belief in
the probability that Louis, realising that the little Chevalier's
possession of so many important secrets made him a dangerous enemy,
actually wrote the letter in question, fully aware how far the
"artistic temperament" was likely to carry the disappointed minister.
D'Eon indeed threatened to reveal so much to English statesmen that
Louis deemed it better to compound with a pension equal to several
thousands yearly and permission to correspond with himself. Up till
the death of the King in 1774 the Chevalier indulged his old taste
for espionage in the intrigues which sought to restore the Stuarts to
the English throne. The new Government, probably with the prescience
of unrest to come which should require the financial aid of England,
sought to buy the Chevalier off, offering him a large sum in return for
the documents regarding the projected invasion of England, an alleged
condition of the contract being the extraordinary clause that d'Eon
should return to France and continue during the rest of his life to
wear woman's clothes. It was hoped by this means to deceive the public
with the story that d'Eon was a lunatic woman if he ever should give
way to his well-known petulance. At all events the Chevalier returned
to France where, to the disgust of the connoisseurs, the lady showed
signs too evident of the use of the razor, was as muscular as an
athlete, wore high heels, but spoke like a musketeer, had her hair cut
to the scalp and used to do the hall-room staircase at the unladylike
rate of four steps to the jump. D'Eon soon lost his popularity in
Paris and even his public offer "to become a nun" failed to tickle
the quidnuncs. He returned to London, where he died, a faded old
dowager-looking scarecrow with a very red nose, in 1810.

And, of course, there was another very clever diplomatic spy who
flourished in the same age, a member of the famous de Launay family,
who was known all over Europe as the Comte d'Antraigues. He was a
singular example of the man who was determined at all costs to play
a part in the tortuous diplomacies of his time and, paradoxically
speaking, it must be said that although his life proved a failure he
achieved an historical success which has endured. We confess to a
liking for a phrase which his biographer Pingaud has written in his
regard: "His life is interesting like that of all men who have kept
up the fight, have always been beaten, but have never admitted their
defeat." A man whom Napoleon condescended to notice must have been not
only interesting but important. The Emperor characterised him as a
"blackguard" and "a walking impertinence"—the French word _insolent_
meaning here perhaps our term an officious busybody, which the Count
undoubtedly was. Louis XVIII. called him "the fine flower of sharpers";
for Spain he was a "charlatan"; Austria christened him "a downright
rascal," and Russia characterised him as one of the vilest men in
the universe. Nevertheless, Napoleon tried once to buy his services,
the Bourbon _emigrés_ paid him to keep their cause before the eyes
of reactionary Europe, while Austria, Russia and the Court of Naples
always listened to his advice and suggestions. We have shown in another
chapter that Antraigues was mentioned as the person who had procured
first-hand information of the secret clauses of the Treaty of Tilsit,
and it is certain that French and Russian writers for the greater
part declare the Count to have been the betrayer of both France and
Russia. There can be no question that he became known to Canning, the
Foreign Minister of the day, as a man whose "inside information," to
use the American phrase, made him a magnificent ally; but it is also
certain that by the year 1807 Antraigues had become discredited both
in Russian and French diplomatic circles and, in any case, was hardly
in a position to exercise much personal or practical influence in so
momentous a conference as that which took place upon the historic
Raft. The accepted English view is that the secret clauses came to the
knowledge of Canning through an oversight on the part of Alexander
who had allowed the Russian Minister in London to learn more than was
expedient.

There is no better exemplar among all the exponents of espionage in its
higher phases than the Comte d'Antraigues in so far as he provides us
with positive proof that there comes a point at which a spy, already
too dangerous by reason of his private knowledge, must be placed beyond
all possibility of indiscretions. The Count was murdered in 1812 by an
Italian valet who was afterwards declared by enemies of d'Antraigues to
have been in the employ of the foreign secret service, a somewhat easy
_ex-post-facto_ explanation on the part of individuals who had long
wished the Count on the safer side of Styx. The fact that his wife was
murdered at the same time lends, however, some colour to the statement
that the murder had been "fixed" as they say in the vernacular of
the Black Hand. She had been in her time a famous opera singer who
had tried to found a political _salon_ on the basis of the private
information which her husband possessed, and altogether seems to have
been one of those terrible but inept females who wander through the
world for the unrest of souls, not only knowing, but knowing that they
know. We make no apology for insisting that the fact that d'Antraigues
was of Gascon birth is a point in favour of our idea that megalomania
is in a large measure the motive-power which turns men and women to the
business of espionage. The native of Gascony is by every tradition,
both home and foreign, said to represent Pretence made flesh.

It is very certain that the number of secrets which pass out of the
cabinets of diplomacy into the possession of non-diplomatic persons
must be infinitesimal, and it is also certain that the Machiavellian
waiters on whose long ears depend the fate of thrones; or the inspired
courtesans who wheedle men like Bismarck out of information the
divulging of which is sufficient to shake the hemispheres; or the
journalistic sleuth who divines a cabinet débâcle from the way the
Foreign Secretary gives an expression of opinion to the War Minister
about the fineness of the night as both leave Downing Street; or the
mysterious Ambassador to Everywhere who visits Constantinople and
"draws up a treaty" which he submits to an uncle of the Sultan's head
doorkeeper as a _modus vivendi_ for the Balkans—all of them are the
fictitious creations of very "yellow" writers. These beings really
count for less in the processes of diplomacy than the proverbial row of
pins, and only the most credulous of souls can accept such a story as
that which professes to show how so important a personage as a Russian
Ambassador was once taken off his guard to the extent of giving away
a secret the publication of which to the world led to an estrangement
between France and his own country, the medium of his lapse being
a Polish Countess with a form like Juno Victrix, eyes as big as
billiard-balls, the soul of one of those awful Ouida heroines who felt
it in her to "dominate the world with the man I love," and the manners
and attitudes of a vaudeville high-kicker. Important information which
has ever "transpired" from an embassy or a ministry for foreign affairs
has done so in ninety-nine cases out of one hundred by sheer accident;
in the unique case has it been given by agents from within and then
most certainly not to a courtesan, but to a practical man of business
by an equally practical man of business, money being in each case the
first consideration. The diplomatic espionage of reality is quite a
different matter from that of fiction and in all probability Napoleon
was its best exponent, with his _cabinet noir_ for the supervision of
suspect letters; his couriers who were always on the road, ostensibly
carrying dispatches, but in reality in quest of special information;
his sisters who through their ladies of honour spied upon each other's
movements; and his secretaries who controlled the organisation of
private spies who spied upon the spies set by Talleyrand and his
department.

Prussia, as everywhere else, leads the way in internal diplomatic
espionage and there is not a court of kingly or princely rank in the
German Confederation which can boast that its most intimate actions,
scandals, expressions of opinion and intentions are safe from the
scrutiny of the authorities at Potsdam. Indeed, it is safe to say
that Potsdam has long had its especial agents watching and reporting
in every Court of Europe, and the comparatively recent "Posen" case
shows to what length the vile system of Prussian espionage is prepared
to go in order that Potsdam shall be kept informed. Some years ago
the Berlin authorities were anxious to know what was the real state
of feeling towards Germany in Prussian Poland, and accordingly a
well-known Prussian Guardsman was sent to Posen with instructions to
seduce the somewhat flighty and "modern" daughter of a Polish notable
who was said to stand high in the Polish liberation movement. It was
not quite certain, however; but as Berlin saw the approach of the war
of 1914, it was necessary to know soon how the exact situation lay. The
young Guardsman effected all that was required of him, also discovered
how matters stood in regard to the Polish movement and then returned
to Berlin. This fact was one of the many which came to light in the
course of the Harden trial of 1907, when it was clearly proved that
the Emperor William had his own private _corps d'espionnage_, even as
Napoleon and Louis XV. had had theirs. This body attended to diplomatic
as well as social matters, and in her Memoirs the Princess Louise of
Saxony shows that no society is too exalted nor any too low for the
operations of its sleuths who, as in Stieber's hey-day, have driven
men from public life to satisfy the private hates of persons only too
willing to purchase their services.

Social espionage is too well known the world over, to call for very
much attention. It is one big trade in information of one kind or
another, in return for which the giver expects to receive special
consideration, or achieve some end. The anonymous letter fiend who
transmits real or pretended information about another person to a
third party, the lady's maid who is in the service of other women
besides her mistress, the private secretary to a politician, or banker,
or commercial man, who accepts "presents" from his master's rival,
the tattling flunkey, the money-lender's tout, the race-course and
training-stable "lumberer," the copper's "nark," the parish gossip who
"tells things" to the Vicar, the little 'tweeny maid "wot's got eyes
in her 'ead" and all these—there is no nation on earth, nor any little
hamlet that does not know them, and it would be idle to speculate as
to whether they are less known in England or America than in any other
country. It is sufficient to know that they exist and that they carry
on a trade in special information either for money or its equivalent.
In Paris they are more numerous than in London, while in Berlin, at the
great houses in the official quarter, it is a certainty that nearly
all the men and women employees are paid to spy upon their employers
by outside influences of various kinds—official, military, social,
commercial and clerical, and when the people of Berlin are not spying
on those above or below their own classes, they fall back upon spying
among themselves, as a writer named von der Goltz remarked more than
fifty years ago.

The famous Tausch bureau of private espionage, of which we heard so
much during the Harden trial in 1907, and which was founded by Baron
Tausch for the purposes of spying, just as a private individual in
Britain, or America, or France, might found a news agency—this bureau
had its analogy once in London on a minor scale, and was conducted,
very privately to be sure, by a deceased peer bearing a title of
ancient degree which is now owned by a youth whose relationship to
"Old Inquisition" (as he was once called by a society paper) must
necessarily have been very remote. Nevertheless, and for fear of
hurting anyone's susceptibilities, we propose to speak of the defunct
noble as Lord Pinkerton. It was not necessary to be in Society to
recognise this peer whose business was as well known to London
residents as his face—aquiline as to the nose and eye, somewhat
furtive in his movements, generally silent, but always observant and
mysterious. He flourished in the late mid-Victorian days when nearly
every man and woman in important Society was able to show as many
quarterings of nobility as are required for membership among the
Knights of Malta, or as formerly were essential to every candidate for
inclusion in White's Club. Accordingly, he was an elderly man in the
eighties and early nineties when golden keys began to open the doors
of the most sacrosanct circles. One does not require to be very old to
remember the great social transition that took place between, say, 1887
and 1902, when the first-fruits of the Education Act of 1870, together
with the results of Colonial enterprise had combined to create a new
class of social climber, which altogether upset previously existing
conditions and, indeed, finally ended by flooding them out. In former
generations wealth had, of course, always found a way in; but it was
wealth with some added virtue and by no means that which expressed
itself in mere display and extravagance such as arrived in the
mid-eighties with adventurers of all types and kinds in the hunt for
social distinctions and honours. By the nature of things, the exclusive
peer found he was fighting elemental forces, and as a consequence he
was far from proving the regenerator of Society that he hoped to be.
It is certain, however, that his private correspondents kept him well
informed, for it was well known that by 1890 he had been successful
in hunting down many individuals, mostly foreigners, whose claim to
social recognition had not only not even the merit of being backed by
great wealth or good birth, but whose early careers had been stained by
crimes of the darkest kind and who had made their appearance in London
society under assumed titles and names which were either fictitious,
or to the ownership of which they had no claim whatever. Some of
these men had made their early debut by successful operations on that
dead-leveller the Turf, had been elected to fashionable racing-clubs
and had passed by an easy transition into important social cliques
which were patronised by the first leaders of English society. Nor was
there any doubt about it that the detective-peer had the courage of his
chosen mission, for once in possession of facts sufficient to provide
him with a sure case, it was his practice to call immediately upon the
social masquerader offering him the choice of either retiring from
Society quietly and unobtrusively, or else of running the gauntlet of a
campaign of ostracism which should effectually force his disappearance
both from the Turf and English Society. The victim invariably made a
brave show of indignation and outraged innocence, only, however, to
submit when unequivocal evidence of his past was presented to him in
full.

Pinkerton was instrumental in removing from both Turf and Society a
foreigner of Teutonic origin who was known in his meteoric career as
"the Prince." He had, it was found out after his demise, begun life
as a waiter in Vienna, and possessing a famous gift of tongues as
well as an unusual talent for self-education, passed successively to
Berlin, Paris and London; here as a private secretary he entered the
employment of a wealthy Englishman of profuse and eccentric habits.
It was related of our "Prince," as middle-aged racing-men can tell
to-day, that he obtained his first start in life by backing the Derby
winner Sainfoin in 1890. To effect this _coup_ he had extracted from
his employer's private desk eight bank-notes each of the value of
£1000. Arriving somewhat late at Epsom, he handed the whole amount over
to the bookmaker so well known in those days as "Chippie" Norton, who
laid the market odds—at least 5 to 1 against. Sainfoin won the race,
beating both Le Nord and Surefoot and "the Prince" requested Norton,
as a favour, to let him have his bank-notes back, the balance, some
£32,000, to be paid in the ordinary way. On the same evening the lucky
winner replaced the notes, and on the following Monday received his
bookmaker's cheque, told his employer the story of his good fortune,
receiving from his patron introductions which gave him at once a
social footing among racing men. The man's personality was admittedly
a fascinating one and he quickly made his way among some of the
best-known coteries in London. It may be remembered of him that, being
Austrian, not long from Vienna, he professed as an eye-witness to
have the true story of the tragedy of Meyerling which closed the lives
of the Archduke Rudolf and Marie Vetsera. In a day when all London
had the "correct version," with its attendant mysteries and political
intrigues, the story of our "Prince" differed from others by reason of
its simplicity. The Archduke (he used to tell), when deeply flown with
wine, insulted the Baroness in presence of other guests. The lady left
the room, returned with a revolver and shot her lover dead, turning the
weapon on herself in a frenzy of remorse.

The adventurer's season of prosperity was not long and by the end of
1890 he had lost the bigger portion of what the late Mr Dick Dunn used
to call his "Sanfoinery." He recovered, however, over the Lincoln
which was won by a horse called Lord George and also followed Colonel
North's famous luck with much advantage to himself. At the close of
1891 it was rumoured that "the Prince" was about to marry into a family
whose standing was high in Scotland. It was about this time, however,
that Pinkerton began to make inquiries and the result was in every
way detrimental to the "Prince's" plans for domestication. He was
soon on the run and in 1893 was found trying to beat the Pari Mutuel
at Longchamps, when the exclusion of bookmakers from the enclosures
put a term to his turf activities. This man was by no means the most
important of Lord Pinkerton's victims, for the vigilant peer's system
of espionage was influential enough to close the doors of society
to men whose wealth and influence in Africa was second only to that
of Rhodes himself, but who failed to come up to our peer's ideas of
what was morally fitting for the great London world of those days.
Pinkerton's self-appointed rôle was not looked upon at all times with
favour by the more liberal-minded members of what Thackeray calls the
Best English People and, indeed, when one considers the origin of some
of the so-called noble families of England, Ireland and Scotland,
we think the social purist carried his apostolate just a little too
far. Suicide was, in at least one case, the end of a victim whose
social ostracism Pinkerton had brought about, and when several of his
victims conspired to bring about a situation that publicly showed
up the noble regenerator in a character which was at the very least
embarrassing, and as a result of which much mud continued to adhere
after the disposal of the case in a magistrate's court, very few people
were found to sympathise with the only social spy whom our peerage has
probably ever produced.

We have elsewhere touched upon ecclesiastical espionage which, we may
presume, is not confined to any particular Church. Its operations in
certain bodies may be said from earliest times to have assumed the
importance of an institutional principle. In view of our expression
of opinion that espionage is a necessary condition of any essentially
autocratic polity, we are only consistent in supposing that any Church
which requires from its adherents a total submission of the Will to
its arbitrary authority can only maintain its semblance of doctrinal
and disciplinary freedom by the most guileful arts and methods; and
it is not necessary to enunciate the doctrine of Private Judgment to
show that intellectual or political liberty can flourish only where its
principles fully prevail. It is easy, but altogether supererogatory,
for the once great religious congregations to disclaim—now that they
are shorn of the secular and political influence which was undoubtedly
theirs in the darker ages—all possession of secret systems by which
they once so effectively kept men's minds under their sway. It is only
necessary to read the story of the Inquisition in Venice, in Spain,
in Portugal, to learn how these Church-ruled communities fared under
the iron tutelage of their congregational overlords. There is to be
found, indeed, a strong analogy between the demoralised soul of modern
spy-ridden Prussia and that of Spain in the days of the Inquisition,
when, under the pretence of winning men to salvation, crimes were
committed in the name of the Cross beside which the short but horrific
annals of modern Hunnism stand spectral and anæmic in their comparative
bloodlessness. Napoleon was, as usual, correct in his view that men who
sought the refuge of the cloister were of a kind who neither wanted the
world, nor were wanted by the world; it was unfortunate, however, that
the wish and will to segregate oneself from secular activities, far
from killing those characteristics of intrigue which we associate with
the business of worldly life, had the effect merely of emphasising them
in the chosen narrower sphere and, by a natural reaction, of turning
their currents to baser uses and abuses than would have been possible
in the larger freedom of the world. We speak, of course, of the Dark
Ages.

It is not our intention to go into the question of ecclesiastical
espionage; but inasmuch as the Inquisition's operations in Europe were
based mainly, in respect of its bloody triumphs, on the work of a vast
network of espionage which assured to the Inquisitors their periodical
supply of victims it is only fair, without taking sides, that the story
should be told. Our authority for the following account of espionage
as it was used by the Inquisition—the name itself suggests its spying
character—is Joseph Lavallée, a French Catholic, who has dealt
authoritatively with the whole subject of the Inquisition. Lavallée
writes in effect:

 The Inquisition was at Rome known as the Holy Office, all the members
 of which were nominated by the Pope. They were bound to do his bidding
 without question; they were removable at his pleasure and he could
 recall them without any formality, or even without letting them know
 the cause of their disgrace. We need no longer wonder, therefore, at
 the intrigues and crimes to which these men had recourse in order
 to preserve their places. The business of the Roman Inquisition
 was to examine the books, the opinions, the doctrines, the public
 and private conduct of those who were brought before its tribunals;
 in virtue of their office they were bound to make a report of all
 their proceedings, and it was almost always upon their statements
 that the cardinals formed their judgments and decrees. The number of
 subordinate officers was immense and these mainly constituted the
 _corps d'espionnage_ proper, forming the _Hermandad_, or Brotherhood,
 and the _Cruciata_, or Crusade. When any particular crime was
 necessary in order to "establish" a case, no matter how revolting or
 iniquitous or sacrilegious, the Office could always find among its
 spies men and women both competent and willing to execute its orders.
 Whatever crime they might commit, the secular power had no authority
 over them; they were amenable only to the Inquisition, and it is not
 to be wondered at if the very dross and scum of human kind eagerly
 sought out the work of espionage as being most congenial. In Spain
 and Portugal, the Holy Office was known as the Inquisition. Its bands
 of informers were mostly drawn from the most unmanageable pupils of
 the schools; they were sent into the world at maturity, ostensibly to
 earn a living, but in reality to carry out the work of the Inquisition
 in the capacity of spies, as the historian Infessura tells us.
 The supreme council of the Inquisition was composed of the Grand
 Inquisitor and five members, one of them a Dominican necessarily.
 The number of "familiars," or spies, surpasses belief and was in the
 proportion of one to every family in Madrid and Valladolid of that
 period. As in Italy, they were placed above the ordinary civil courts
 and were amenable only to the Inquisition.

 In order to qualify as an Inquisitor, or to hold any office in the
 Inquisition, it was necessary for the candidate to be descended, and
 to be able to prove his descent, from a line of "perfect Christians."
 Having given this proof, he was obliged to take an oath of secrecy and
 fidelity to the Inquisition, the violation of which was punishable
 with death. The body of informers were bound by the same oaths, and if
 it was necessary to procure the "removal" of any person or persons,
 these men were employed as _agents provocateurs_, death being the
 alternative if ever they disclosed the methods of their Christlike
 patrons and employers. As we have seen, both the _Hermandad_ and the
 _Cruciata_ were the Inquisition's agents throughout the Peninsula,
 and were employed mostly for the purposes of watching and seizing
 victims. The smallest hamlets swarmed with these vermin and they
 were mainly drawn by the Inquisitors from the worst characters in
 the country. They themselves were often victims of the Inquisition,
 whose influence had destroyed all kinds of secular industry in order
 that the Church should profit by it, and members of both brotherhoods
 served for the lowest wage the system which had robbed them of all
 chance of procuring an honourable livelihood. In order to possess the
 better claim upon their patrons, they had devoted all the faculties of
 mind and heart to perfecting the arts of espionage, and no system has
 ever produced more crafty, more ruthless, more persevering servants.
 When once their attention was fixed upon a victim, it was but of
 small importance that he was innocent, for his doom was settled from
 that moment. If his reputation, his rank, his riches did not allow
 of his immediate seizure, then recourse was had to stratagem. All
 means, however vile or base, were allowed; they employed all arts,
 they assumed all characters, they made use of every dress, they
 adopted every possible method of circumventing and capturing their
 prey. Caresses, flattery, entertainments, gold, were all employed
 in forwarding their designs; months and years often passed before a
 victim was entrapped, but the _Hermandad_ never lost a victim once it
 had fixed its eyes upon his belongings. The _Cruciata_ was formed with
 the object of watching over members of the Catholic body and seeing
 that its members performed their religious duties. It is not difficult
 to conceive to what a degree of hypocrisy such an establishment must
 have brought a nation, and if "most Catholic Spain" were Catholic at
 all in those days, it was rather from fear of the _Cruciata_ than
 from love of God. So then the Inquisition had two first-class _corps
 d'espionnage_ which formed two active armies, always on the alert and
 always moving among the masses, through which both their political
 and their spiritual ascendancy remained assured.

 That few could escape the attentions of these spies must be evident
 when we consider that the Inquisition characterised as Heretics
 all who taught, wrote, or spoke against the Church, its teachings,
 its hierarchy and priesthood, or even those who wrote in favour of
 methods or teachings belonging to non-Catholic bodies, or who simply
 criticised the Church. To be a suspect was practically to be a man
 who was already dead. To have spoken irreverently of holy things,
 or to have failed to inform of those who had so spoken, to have
 read forbidden books, or to have lodged or entertained an heretical
 friend—these were sufficient to condemn a man, and according to the
 principles of the Inquisition, a man was obliged to inform against his
 father, his brother, his wife, his children, under pain of himself
 being brought within the notice of the Inquisitors. As it happened,
 the larger percentage of men and women who became its victims were
 such as possessed large means which the ecclesiastical powers desired
 to possess. Jews, Moslems, non-Catholics of all sorts were, equally
 with Catholics, amenable to the Inquisition for specified "crimes,"
 all of which were punishable by death if the accused were unable to
 justify themselves. Public report, secret information, discovery by
 means of spies and voluntary accusation were the four ways employed
 by the Inquisition, in order to bring matters under its jurisdiction.
 Flight was impossible in view of the ubiquitous _Hermandad_, and the
 summary seizure of an accused person and his immediate incarceration
 constituted the usual procedure, once the spies had reported to
 headquarters. These spies, or "familiars," as they were called,
 were invariably supported by the Inquisitors, even if evidence had
 to be fabricated in order to make up a plausible case. What was the
 quality of the Justice dispensed may be gathered from the following
 facts: first, the names of witnesses deposing against the accused
 were never given to these last; secondly, witnesses were not obliged
 to prove their depositions; thirdly, all and sundry who cared to
 volunteer testimony were accepted, so that men who were notorious for
 infamy, for perjury and for the most scandalous vices were welcomed
 to bear witness to the "truth"; fourthly, two hearsay witnesses
 were equivalent to one ear-witness; fifthly, the spies were always
 accounted the most reliable witnesses, notwithstanding that they
 were in the pay of the Inquisition. Finally, a son might be witness
 against his father, a father against his son, a wife against her
 husband, a husband against his wife, a domestic against his master,
 or a master against his servant—an inexhaustible source of treachery,
 revenge and the worst qualities of the human heart. The tortures to
 which the accused were subjected in order to make them confess to
 the commission of crimes of which they were guiltless were of three
 kinds. In the first place the victim was taken to a vault which
 lay sometimes as many as one hundred feet below the surface of the
 highway. According to the nature of the charge, he was put through the
 torture of dislocation by being fastened as to his extremities, with
 cords, then raised by means of a pulley, kept some time in suspension
 and suddenly let fall to within a foot of the ground. If on repetition
 this means was found insufficient to make the "subject" confess, his
 Christian tormentors resorted to the water-trough, laying him on his
 back, binding him as to the legs, and having stopped his nostrils,
 poured water from a considerable height in such a way that its weight
 fell upon the throat. Occasionally the master of ceremonies turned off
 the flow, not, however, to give the victim relief, but to prevent his
 death by suffocation. Perhaps, even then, he refused to surrender, and
 in order to cure his obstinacy a couple of religious smeared his feet
 with lard or oil, stretched him on the ground with the soles exposed
 to a terrific fire, and after half-an-hour's subjection to this ordeal
 invited him to speak. If he refused, he was put through the torture
 once more and then removed to a dungeon where he invariably found
 some others in apparently as bad a plight as his own, who, as soon as
 he was brought in, began to curse the Inquisition and all connected
 with it. These were nearly always spies whose evidence constituted
 subsequently that on which the unfortunate man was eventually
 condemned to death. The executioners of the torture-room were as a
 rule monks clothed in cassocks of black buckram, with the head and
 face concealed under a cowl of the same colour, with holes for the
 eyes, nose and mouth. A Prior was accustomed to supervise the torture,
 assisted by a clerk who referred to his spy agents as occasion
 required, or summoned them from an adjoining hall, where most of them
 wiled the time away at dice, in order to fortify all accusations
 against the victim. Sometimes an innocent man, in the vain hope of
 saving his life, confessed his guilt. He was then accounted a happy
 repentant and, by a special favour, was permitted to be strangled
 before being cast into the flames. Those who persisted in their
 obstinacy were summarily burned to death.

In modern foreign congregational colleges the divisions of the
school take the form of junior boys, middle grade and seniors, and
as communication of the youths of one grade with those of any other
grade are most strictly forbidden, mainly on the ground of morality,
a considerable system of espionage is from the outset part of the
institution's plans. In foreign schools the spies of any particular
grade are officially known by the other boys, just as monitors are
known in ordinary schools. The functions of the foreign school-spy go,
however, very much farther than those of the monitor, and so busy is he
in the performance of his duties, that espionage enters into the minds
and habits of foreign youths from their earliest years. When the late
Cardinal Vaughan—a typical Englishman if membership of a territorial
family of half-a-score of generations counts for anything—was laying
plans for the founding of a Catholic school in England, he visited many
of the principal colleges in France with the object of obtaining ideas
for his proposed foundation. Everywhere he was depressed at the absence
of individual liberty and the ever-present prevalence of espionage.
Nor was he consoled very much, on once asking the distinguished head
of such an establishment what provision was made for training youths
in the proper use of individual freedom, to hear that the school
authorities saw to it that no freedom whatever was allowed except under
the eyes of the official supervisors. Neither does the system fail
in its application among the members of any governing confraternity
itself in which the lay-brothers are spied upon by the functionaries
in minor orders, and these in their turn by clerics in higher orders,
the superior exercising espionage upon the entire community while the
sport begins again in inverse order, and the chief finds out that
his reports dealing with the subordinate end of the line are fully
supplemented by spies who report with equal completeness on his own end
of the game. Contemplative Orders, as they are called, are not, it may
be said, confined to the Roman Catholic Church, and we presume monastic
espionage is as prevalent among the non-Catholic monks as among the
Catholic.



XVII

AMERICAN SECRET SERVICE


It is customary for Americans to declare that they possess no system
of espionage in their country, and as a rule this is true of American
life under normal conditions. Putting aside the questions of purely
detective work and criminal investigation, and in these spheres of
police activity America is probably served as well as any other country
in the world, we may safely say that there is too much individual or
social freedom in the United States to warrant the permanent existence
of anything like organised espionage. Nevertheless, politics plays a
rôle in every state of the Union, the complexity and strenuousness of
which are not known in any other country in the world, and wherever the
political game is pursued with resoluteness and vigour, we may depend
upon it that all factions possess what Americans themselves very aptly
describe as "inside information" regarding what is taking place in
other opposing camps; all the more so, indeed, as success in political
campaigns in America means possession and employment of a kind of
patronage which is invariably expressed in terms of dollars and cents.
Such information can only come by way of emissaries planted in the
midst of political enemies, and there is attached to every political
organisation a selected body of men who make it their business, for
due consideration, to work in other camps on behalf of particular
factions. This kind of political espionage is, it may be said, quite as
common in England, or Canada, or Australia, or France, or Germany as
in the United States, for as it has been said: "So long as there are
governments so long will there be political spies, and so long as there
are attempts being made to overturn governments by force, so long will
political espionage remain a necessity." As in England, or Scotland
and Ireland, so in America there is little in the way of systematised
espionage, even among the vast community of German-Americans who might
be supposed to revert to type, as the Darwinians put it. Over there,
as in these Islands, espionage is only organised for expediency's sake
and according to the exigencies of any particular scandal, social or
commercial, which may require the intervention of the agent of stealth
and observation.

Yet, how many Americans are themselves aware that Charles the First
sent his agent Randolph to America in order to report on the condition
of the Colonies which were even then discussing the question of
severing themselves from the British bond? Louis the Sixteenth also
sent Baron de Kalb to inquire into the revolutionary spirit which,
as a result of the importation of French encyclopædism, preceded the
Declaration of Independence, and upon the Baron's favourable report,
gave the Revolutionaries that aid which led in the end to their
triumph. Of Hale we have spoken at fuller length, but have yet to tell
how General Washington had his own secret agents within the British
lines, from whom he received constant intelligence as to what was
taking place in Howe's and Clinton's camp. Major Tallmadge, whom we
have mentioned in the story of André, was the agent through whom the
information was transmitted. At first it was written in sympathetic
ink, then a new invention and imported by General Lafayette, which only
disclosed its message when the paper on which it was written had been
dipped in another fluid. Once the invisible ink was made visible by the
application of the chemical reagent which developed it, the manuscript
appeared as if it had been written in the ordinary way. Washington was,
however, a particularly cautious man. He suspected that the British
might very well possess this same sympathetic ink, and conveyed a
message to Tallmadge that the latter's spy "should avoid making use
of the stain (ink) upon a blank sheet of paper which is the usual way
of its coming to me. This circumstance alone is sufficient to excite
suspicion. A much better way is to write a letter in the Tory-style
with some mixture of family matters, and between the lines in the
remaining part of the sheet communicate with the stain the intended
intelligence. Such a letter would pass through the hands of the enemy
unsuspected, and even if the agents should be unfaithful or negligent,
no discovery would be made to his prejudice, as these people are not to
know what is concealed writing in the letter and the intelligent part
of it would be an evidence in his favour."

James Rivington, editor and printer of _The New York Gazette_, was
another agent in the secret service of Washington. By 1781 this man,
realising that the British were unlikely to succeed in quelling
the rebellion, undertook, in the interests of his own person and
property—for earlier he had sided with the British—to furnish the
American commander-in-chief with important information. This he
conveyed to the general, written on tissue-paper and bound in the cover
of school books. Although Rivington was thus aiding the revolutionary
Whigs, he kept up his daily abuse of them in his newspaper, retaining
the confidence and good will of the Tory leaders and residents. When
in the autumn of 1783, the British evacuated New York, Rivington was,
of course, suffered to remain, while other Tories were driven away
and their estates confiscated. Major Tallmadge mentions Rivington as
"a gentleman of business, of education and of honour," a somewhat
stilted way of describing the journalist who, owing to his position,
was able to mix with the loyalist families on a friendly and familiar
footing, the revolutionary authorities paying him at the rate of £100
a month for services rendered. Soon after the Declaration of the War
of Independence the new government of the United States made the then
considerable appropriation of £6000 annually for the purposes of secret
service. This money continues to this day to be appropriated. It is
drawn by the direction of the President in such sums as he may require
for specific services, without any voucher being given beyond the
certificate of the Secretary of the Treasury registering the fact.

In 1812, it is recorded, President Madison communicated to Congress
the commission and correspondence of John Henry, a British agent,
proving that while the two countries were still at peace "a secret
agent of the British Government was being employed in certain States in
fomenting disaffection to the constituted authorities of the nation,
and in intrigues with the disaffected for the purpose of bringing about
resistance to the laws, and eventually, in concert with a British
force, of destroying the Union and forming the eastern part thereof
into a political connexion with Great Britain." This work of an _agent
provocateur_ naturally aroused great excitement throughout the whole of
American Society. No one had really believed that there were persons in
New England capable of any idea of secession, although British gold, it
was well known, had been heavily subsidising the eastern Press in order
to rouse up civil discord. To no avail, however; Henry passed, and the
disquiet of the period gave way to a long period of rest and prosperity.

In the Mexican War large sums of money were spent on secret service,
and in 1849 Congress made an appropriation of £10,000 for the purposes
of enabling a body of spies to be formed who were under the personal
direction of the President. After this war the "hire of interpreters,
spies and guides for the army" was included among the incidental
expenses of the Quartermaster's department, for which an appropriation
has since annually been made by Congress. When the war for the
suppression of the Southern Rebellion broke out in 1861, large sums
were necessarily expended by the officers of the regular army and of
the volunteers, on account of secret service. We note one account sent
in by General Butler for the payment of fifty dollars for a hand-organ
and a monkey. This item was disallowed by the Treasury officers,
until it was explained that both organ and monkey had been bought at
Annapolis to enable a young officer familiar with Italian to go through
the enemy's country to Washington, disguised as an organ-grinder and
notify the President of the great Northern uprising as well as of the
approach of the Union troops for the rescue of the capital. There
was undoubtedly a large number of what Frederick of Prussia termed
"double-spies" in the Civil War, and many secret-service men who
carried intelligence to Washington also carried Union information back
to Richmond.

At this momentous period many of those in the secret service were
convicts who had broken out of jail, and neither side derived much
benefit from their employment. Blackmail, false charges and forgery
were used by them solely with the purpose of obtaining money from their
victims. Prominent merchants in New York and Boston were accused on
false documentary evidence of defrauding their country. Their books
and papers were accordingly seized and their owners paid exorbitant
sums in order to avoid arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. One victim
remonstrated with the President in the following words:—"It is hard
that citizens enjoying a good name who had the misfortune to come into
business relations with the Government, should be exposed to such a
spirit [espionage]; that they should be dragged from their homes and
hurried to a military prison; that they should be obliged to undergo a
protracted trial by court-martial, damaging their good name, destroying
their peace, breaking up their business and subjecting them to untold
expense, when at the slightest touch, the whole case vanishes into thin
air, leaving behind nothing but the incomprehensible spirit in which it
had its origin." The informers continued, despite all remonstrance, to
enrich themselves at the expense of wealthy business men in the North,
and many spies then laid the foundations of fortunes which to-day may
be counted in the tens of millions. The military spies were doing good
work, at the same time, in the South, though it was afterwards admitted
that the secret service of the Confederates was far more efficient than
that of the Union, the reason being, it was said, that in the service
of the South were scores of intelligent women of position who were
successful in obtaining at Washington, New York and elsewhere in the
North, correct information of the plans and intentions of the Union
generals. This was the case in regard to the battle of Bull Run, when
a Mrs Greenhow obtained from a Northern politician information as to
the advance of the Federal troops. Indeed, the operations of wealthy
women-spies in the secret service of the South, during the Civil War,
is one of the most curious features of that event. Nor were they all
Southern women; many of them were Northerners, and at all events
every one of them owed her fortune and position to the principles for
which the Union stood. These women watched and waited at official
doors until chance or the unguardedness of an employee allowed them
to learn the particular secret intelligence they were looking for;
they stole maps and plans and most of them had taken lodgings close by
the War Office, to which they were wont to invite young departmental
secretaries to whom they offered the pleasures of the tea-table and an
enlightened discussion of Federal iniquities. Mr Perley Poore, writing
in the well-known magazine, _The Chautauquan_, in January 1887, says:
"They smuggled the information which they obtained, in the linings
of honest-looking coats and hid the army secrets in the mysteries of
innocent-looking bustles; they burned signal lights from garret-windows
and crossed the Potomac below Alexandria at dead of night and with
muffled oars. At one time the Government had caught and hived over a
dozen of these busy Confederate bees in a house at Washington where,
in a few days, they beguiled the young officers charged with guarding
them and carried on their vocations as before." One of the best known
of these creatures was Belle Boyd, the daughter of a Federal official;
according to report she was sharp-featured, black-eyed, quick-tongued,
of wonderful energy and spirits, twenty-five and—very free. She wore a
revolver in her belt, rode a mettlesome horse and easily attracted the
attentions and interest of the younger officers from whom she extracted
valuable information, though what the officers extracted in return, we
are not told. Boyd organised her own corps of women spies who were very
much of the same type and character, and if not worse than herself,
were apparently no better than they ought to have been.

Many stories are told of the ease with which Confederate secret-service
men obtained first-class information from the departments. A young
Englishman, member of a Washington firm of stationers who executed
contract work for the Government, was once inveigled into giving
away an important piece of military intelligence to a secret-service
sleuth who had shadowed him from the capital to New York. Both took up
lodgings at the Brevoort House, became acquainted and spent several
evenings together. The Englishman casually allowed it to be known that
he was on terms of particular intimacy with departmental officials and
his friend suggested on leaving New York that they should correspond.
A few weeks later, the Briton received a letter, addressed to him at
Washington, asking if it were true that the blockaded port of Galveston
was to be opened—could he find out the facts for a certainty from
his official friends. Suspecting nothing, the stationer inquired at
Washington and was duly informed as to governmental intentions by a
secretary who really knew. He conveyed the news to his friend and was
only reminded of the occurrence a few days afterwards when he was
arrested and sent under guard to New York. Here he found that a noted
blockade-runner had been arrested with the Washington letter in his
pocket. The prisoner proved to be his friend of the Brevoort House
who eventually received a long sentence, the Englishman escaping only
through the intervention of the British Consul. The stationer received,
however, no more favours from his official friends and lost a certain
fortune through his lack of caution.

At the close of the war many spies who had worked for both the North
and the South made their appearance at Washington, where most of
them were taken into the services of the war department, at that
time under the direction of Lafayette Baker in respect of its _corps
d'espionnage_. When, in the course of time, President Johnson was
impeached by the Republican party, Baker, a man of great cunning
and resource, set about impressing the public with the value of his
services to the country. He sought to prove that a Mrs Cobb had given
bribes to members of the Cabinet in order to procure the pardon of
ex-Confederates. The funds employed in the impeachment of Johnson
were contributed by the distillers, and the secret service of the
Treasury Department conceived and organised the "whisky ring," formed
of Government officials and distillery magnates. The whisky taxes
were divided and about one-half was paid into the Treasury, while the
"ring" divided what remained. When the distillers slackened in their
production the officials urged them to greater activity, the result
being that although the ring included almost every revenue official
in the West, many politicians of note and well-known personages in
Washington, the fraudulent gains amounted to millions of dollars and
for years even minor participants in the combine were pocketing some
$500 (£100) a week as their share in the transaction. General Babcock,
one of General Grant's personal staff, who was considered to be a
member of the ring, was subsequently tried at St Louis, but acquitted,
although public opinion always regarded him as guilty and made no
concealment of its view that it was only Grant's influence which had
procured him his acquittal. During the presidency of the victorious
Federal commander, the Secret Service flourished at Washington and was
mainly connected with the wire-pulling activities of politicians who
saw large profits in contracts for municipal improvements, a form of
"political" enterprise which has also become common in Europe since
Baron Haussmann, of Paris, showed how much money there is be made in
the exploitation of "civic patriotism," as it is called. Mr Perley
Poore must be quoted in full in order to demonstrate the method of the
Washington ring and its agents. He writes:

 "Among its other operations was the execution of a plot concocted
 by General Babcock and District-Attorney Harrington to blacken the
 reputation of Mr Columbus Alexander who had made himself obnoxious
 to the ring. A certain detective one day informed Mr Alexander that
 he could obtain and deliver to him the private account-book of a
 contractor which would show the entire rascality going on. These
 books had already been delivered by the contractor to District
 Attorney Harrington who locked them up in his safe. The next night two
 professional burglars were hired to enter the office, blow open the
 safe and carry the books to Mr Alexander's house. That day Harrington
 had informed the police that he feared a burglary was about to be
 attempted and the superintendent, with the whole detective force,
 was on hand at the appointed hour. When the burglars had performed
 their work, they walked boldly out at the front door of the District
 Attorney's office, where they were kindly received by Harrington and
 his friend A. B. Williams. The principal burglar, having pocketed his
 fee, bade his confederates good-night and walked home. His assistant,
 in pursuance of the agreement, started for Mr Alexander's house,
 followed by the detectives and representatives of the ring. He lost
 his way unfortunately and Williams was obliged to direct him. He rang
 the bell for fifteen or twenty minutes, but failed to arouse anybody.
 He was then arrested by the detectives and locked up. Subsequently he
 signed an affidavit, at the instigation of Harrington, setting forth
 that he had been hired by Mr Alexander to blow open the safe in the
 District Attorney's office and bring the contractor's books to his
 house.

 "The affair was immediately investigated. Harrington and the
 secret-service officials involved themselves in an inextricable mass
 of perjury, and then the detective first employed by Harrington
 came forward and revealed the whole conspiracy. The feeling against
 the scoundrels who had thus plotted to ruin the character of an
 upright and honourable man was very bitter. The masks were torn
 from their faces and they stood revealed in their true colours.
 The few honest men who had been deceived by their pretences into
 defending their acts repudiated them utterly. This exposure of the
 wrong-doings of the Secret Service led to the refusal of Congress to
 make any appropriations for its pay, with the exception of a small
 force attached to the Treasury Department. The old Capitol prison
 was converted into dwelling-houses and nearly all the agents were
 scattered over the country, many of them becoming connected with
 private secret-service organisations. As a general rule, these
 fellows are inferior in intellect and ability, if not in honesty, to
 the professional rascals whom they occasionally arrest. They often
 lay traps for weak men in crimes designed for them, and find vulgar
 employment by those seeking divorce from matrimonial bonds. Secret
 Service is certainly not a necessity in a Republic in times of peace,
 and when their virtues and their weaknesses during the War for the
 suppression of the Rebellion are impartially summed up, it will be
 difficult to decide whether those who professedly served the Union
 were a blessing or a curse to it."

The Customs House of the great City by the Hudson has its own _corps
d'espionnage_, the object of which is to defeat the large number
of tourists returning from summer trips to Europe, who attempt the
next-to-impossible feat of "beating the Customs" by smuggling heavily
excisable goods. Under the Roosevelt and McKinley regimes, when high
tariffs were the ruling order, even rich men and women resorted to all
manner of expedients in order to defeat the excisemen in West Street
landing-stages. In the year 1905 matters had come to such a pass that
a definitely organised system of espionage was adopted with a view to
curtailing the operations of wealthy smugglers who could well have
afforded to pay the heavy duties involved. The services of stewards
and stewardesses on board the liners were not only requisitioned, both
men and women being given pass-keys for the purpose of privately
inspecting the luggage of suspected passengers, but women, apparently
of wealth and standing, were also commissioned to travel to and fro
between European and American ports and use all the means at their
disposal to induce sister American tourists to give up, confidentially
of course, a correct estimate of their purchases in Paris and London,
the same information being duly transmitted to the New York Customs
as soon as vessels berthed, or touched at Sandy Hook. Not only were
the maids and valets of suspected smugglers suborned, but even, in
London and Paris, the counter salesmen connected with fashionable
outfitters and jewellers, as well as invoice clerks, were paid a fixed
rate of reward for all information given to American Consular agents
in Europe which might help the transatlantic port authorities to
discover the delinquents and their private contraband on arrival at
New York. Then there was the trick of the weighing-machine, guaranteed
to take avoirdupois to the smallest fractions—plausible women spies
and officious stewards and stewardesses making it their pleasure to
have each saloon passenger "scaled" in order to show how beneficially
sea-travel affected the health. At the Customs offices at New York
these machines stood ready, in duplicate, to weigh any fair suspect
who might possibly have swathed her form in contraband silks or other
prohibited commodities, and a comparison with weight-lists previously
supplied by obliging stewardesses was sure to decide the question
as to whether or not she was to be made the object of a personal
visitation by the official female searchers of the Port. In the case of
one lady who was weighed off Queenstown, the indicator then recording
10 stone 6 lb., or 146 lb., duly registered by a stewardess, it was
found that the duplicate machine at New York made her turn the scale at
168 lb., the result being that she was found to be carrying dutiable
goods concealed on her person worth many hundreds of dollars excise tax
to the authorities.

Much is told of the alleged system of newspaper spies employed by
English and American "yellow" papers, which are said by the uninitiated
to employ their corps of spy detectives in the same way as an
established secret service employs its special agents. In America it is
quite certain that since the so-called "yellows" depend to the larger
extent on the providing of purely "police" news to their clients, a
certain amount of espionage becomes part of the work of the daily
reporter. During the course of the notorious Thaw trial, in the last
decade, witnesses of all sorts—including the young wife of Thaw—were
subjected to the attentions of reporters who, by following their social
movements, were able to add suggestive tit-bits to the "stories"
appearing daily and nightly in the papers, and much to the surprise and
annoyance of their victims. As far as we know, however, nothing of the
kind has yet entered into the processes of British journalism.



XVIII

NAPOLEON, HIS MISTRESS AND—A SPY


The authorities for the following story are these:—_Correspondence of
Napoleon_, vol. v.; _Memoirs of Bourrienne_, vol. ii.; _Memoirs of
Prince Eugene_, vol. i.; _Memoirs of the Duchesse d'Abrantés_, vol.
iii. Except to very minute students of the Napoleonic legend, it is
not very well known, nor could the episode be said to rise very much
above the commonplace, were it not for the extraordinary personality of
the central figure around whom the incidents play. It is simply with a
view to showing the operations of what has been called "the long arm
of British diplomacy" that we tell the tale of an attempt to put a
term to Bonaparte's ambitions as early as 1798, when the Corsican had
only reached his thirtieth year. It is customary to say that historic
figures, no matter how great or spectacular their enterprises, are
never—or rarely ever—so magnificent, in the classical sense, to the
eyes of their contemporaries as they prove afterwards to succeeding
generations. It took the battle of Austerlitz, for example, to force
Benjamin Constant and Madame de Staël, to say nothing of the Bourbon
Princes, as well as a host of public men of note, into a full and final
realisation that in the person of Napoleon an elemental force had
appeared in Europe whose activities in the world were not to stop till,
to use the great soldier's own memorable phrase, Nature had ceased to
require him as an instrument of its designs. And we all know the story
of how the younger Pitt received the intelligence of that conflict of
a December midday: "Roll up the map of Europe," he is alleged to have
said, "it will not be required these ten years"—which was prophecy
with almost mathematical accuracy, if we may use such a term. The
truth is, however, that seven years previously, British diplomacy had
already gauged the significance of the new world-portent, and by 1800
plans were already laid to fight the coming menace to the principle
of the balance of power. The fact itself holds a lesson for all who
fatuously imagine that the history of the world is enacted in a series
of accidents and that the business of diplomatic agents consists in
meeting and dealing with these accidents as they automatically appear.
The work of all great foreign ministers whom the world has known has,
on the contrary, consisted in providing for contingencies long foreseen
and patiently awaited. What Prussia's unique foreign expert worthy of
that name in the story of its whole diplomacy—Bismarck—achieved in this
way as preparatory to the campaigns of 1864, 1866 and 1870, British
Diplomacy is always and eternally achieving. To the process of its
perennial vigils and deliberate acts we may apply the famous remark:
"There it is, the great engine, it never sleeps," and as the custodian
of the set principle that no single Power shall overrule the rights of
other nations, men are beginning at last to realise what in reality
it represents, and that not only is Great Britain now and for ages
invincible and indestructible, but that in her self-charged world-rôle
of defending the Right there is that which, if need were, shows the
mind of watchful Providence itself.

When, in 1798, Bonaparte set out for his Egyptian campaign, there
were already in active existence two redoubtable forces with which
his ambition was destined to become fatefully engaged—namely, Nelson
and British diplomatic vigilance. Long before his début on the Nile,
British Secret Service had put all its forces in motion in order to
upset his designs against England's Eastern dominions, and not one
of these designs was unknown to Downing Street. Egypt then, as now,
was in respect of its commercial activities almost wholly under the
domination of English political and monetary influences, the result
being that from the moment of his arrival at Cairo, an extraordinary
web of espionage had already been woven round the Corsican. It is
suggestive enough that the means which the secret agents of London
proposed to employ for the undoing of the young conqueror of Italy
were based mainly on the idea that Napoleon was easily susceptible
to feminine influences. His quasi-public heart-affairs with Madame
Colombier, Caroline Bressieux, Madame Saint-Huberti, Desirée Clary
and the woman Turreau, in Paris, had misled the British Cabinet,
strangely enough, with the notion that he could be destroyed through
the agency of ministering angels of the venal variety. At all events,
the system of espionage was conceived upon Bonaparte's supposed foible
and its direction was undertaken by Sir Sidney Smith—whose interminable
after-dinner tales of his exploit at St Jean d'Acre were afterwards
to win him the title of "Long Acre"—assisted by John H. Barnett, a
secret-service agent in British employ.

Bonaparte, it is known, had allowed but very few women to follow
his army to Egypt, among these few being the wives of some of his
principal generals. One of his inferior officers, a certain Fourès,
just lately married, had, however, transgressed the orders of the
Commander-in-Chief, to the extent of taking his bride-wife with him
to Egypt dressed as a man-servant. In this disguise Madame Fourès was
successful in reaching the Nile, where she assumed her regular woman's
attire, took lodgings in Cairo and proceeded to lead an ordinarily
domesticated life with her husband. It was not long, however, before
the story of the lady's deceit came to the ears of Bonaparte through
Junot, a connoisseur in feminine attractions, and the youthful
General was moved by curiosity to see the rare bird that had eluded
his vigilance and transgressed his rigorous orders—all the more so,
perhaps, as Junot declared that this one was a veritable bird of
paradise in respect of her personal charms and other _allèchements_.
Accordingly, he so arranged matters that in the course of a review of
his army all the French ladies in Cairo should be present to witness
the manœuvres of the troops. Among them came the youthful Madame
Fourès, whom Junot pointed out discreetly to his General. Evidently
the latter was satisfied with his cursory inspection, for he turned
to his famous lieutenant, instructing him to issue invitations to
a dinner on the subsequent day to which certain ladies were to be
invited, including Madame Fourès, whose husband was, however, not
among the invited guests. Naturally, the Captain felt slighted. He was
well known to be a man of fire-eating disposition—as John Barnett, who
knew him personally, could fully testify—and his first inclination
was to issue a direct challenge to his superior officer, Junot, whose
propensities, where pretty women loomed large, were known throughout
the army to be what the late Mr Labouchere used to term patriarchal.
Then, on second reflection, he urged his wife to refuse the invitation.
Now Madame Fourès was just in the newly wedded stage of her personal
emotions, and every man of experience is aware that a bride in that
stage is more susceptible to the external symptoms of the love-passion
than at any other time. Indeed, the lady had already divined from
Bonaparte's ardent glance the state of his feelings towards her. And
although she practically, to use an Americanism, already "saw her
finish," the truth would seem that she did not much care where she was
to end. At all events, she declined to obey the Captain, twitting him
with jealousy, and accepted the invitation for herself alone. It had
been prearranged that Bonaparte was not to be of the invited party,
but was to make his appearance during the course of the dinner, which
arrangement was duly carried out, Bonaparte being presented to all the
guests on his arrival.

Was it not Wellington who declared that "Bonaparte was no gentleman"?
In any case, after presentation to Madame Fourès, the young General
took a seat opposite to hers and began to stare the lady out of
countenance, exceedingly to her embarrassment. Then quickly finishing
a cup of coffee and with a curt word of adieu he passed from the room.
Some moments after, Junot, whose place was beside that of Madame
Fourès, in turning his chair, upset the lady's coffee into her lap.
Apologising profusely for his awkwardness, the soldier, assisted by
General Dupuy, sought to remedy the disaster with the aid of sponges
and serviettes, only to find that the stain began to travel all over
the skirt and was, for that day at least, irremovable. General Dupuy
affected to be on the verge of tears. "Junot," said he, "perhaps it
would be better to allow Madame Fourès to arrange her dress in some
adjoining room." And Junot led the Captain's wife to an adjoining room,
in which was—Bonaparte.

At this juncture our mind travels back, anachronistically enough,
perhaps, to the late Artemus Ward, his "morril bares and wax figgers,"
and we feel inclined to ask the honourable printer to "put sum stars
here." We prefer, however, to fall back on the profound observation of
a French historian who deals with this episode. He says: "Madame Fourès
entered that adjoining room with a blot upon her dress which was bad
enough. It was nothing, however, to the blot upon her character when
she came out." The lady was, it appears, wholly complacent, and as
the presence of her husband was now a matter of embarrassment both to
herself and Bonaparte, the latter took immediate steps to assure the
return of Captain Fourès to France—ostensibly as the bearer of sealed
orders to the Directory.

"My dear Fourès," said Berthier to him in accordance with this
decision, "you are luckier than the rest of us, for you are going to
see France once more. The Commander-in-Chief has decided to entrust
you with a mission of the highest importance, knowing as he does your
ability and reliability. Your future lies in your own keeping. The
orders are that you shall leave at once with dispatches."

Fourès saw his chance at once and took it. When, however, he declared
it his intention to take his wife, too, Berthier objected. It would be
impossible, urged the famous Chief of the Staff, to allow Madame Fourès
to run the risk of capture by English naval officers who—Berthier
emphasised the point—were notorious for their taste in Frenchwomen.
Besides, there was the discomfort of confinement on board a battleship,
which would give the British officers every excuse for treating the
lady as quite other than a prisoner of war, whatever they might do
with himself. _Et puis, ce cochon de Sir Seedny Smeet—ah, Fourès, mon
ami, voyons donc!_ And so poor Captain Fourès left Egypt on board the
_Chasseur_, commanded by Captain Laurens, while Bonaparte installed
Madame Fourès near the palace of Elfi Bey, where he himself resided,
and thereafter lived with her as openly as he had lived with the
actress Grassini in Milan.

As mischance would have it, the _Chasseur_ was captured by the British
man-o'-war _Lion_, commanded by Sir Sidney Smith, under whose orders
John H. Barnett was then serving as secret agent. On their meeting for
the second time, the Englishman said to Fourès:

"Well, Captain, you must now be edified at the moral character of the
scoundrel whom the Directory has given you for Commander-in-Chief in
Egypt."

"What do you mean, sir?" asked the Frenchman, with some colour.

"Don't be angry, Captain," replied Barnett. "I understand your heat and
will try to cool it. Listen: as we consider you to be the victim of a
disgraceful intrigue on the part of Bonaparte, we propose to land you
on the Egyptian coast. Once arrived there, you will rejoin your corps
and regain possession of Madame Fourès, your former wife."

"Sir," exclaimed the now indignant Frenchman, "will you be pleased to
explain?"

"That," replied Barnett, "is exactly what I am endeavouring to do, and
if you will have the patience to listen, you may understand."

Thereupon the secret-service man drew from his pocket several newspaper
cuttings which gave full details of the scandal in which the names
of Madame Fourès and Bonaparte were associated. The story showed,
furthermore, the arrangement by which Fourès had been induced to carry
dispatches to the Directory, Bonaparte being well aware at the time he
entrusted the Captain with his mission that only a miracle could enable
him to elude the vigilance of the British cruisers and pass over to
France. Once he became a prisoner of war, Bonaparte would be assured of
the possession and enjoyment of his new mistress.

The Captain's emotion on hearing of his commander's treachery and his
wife's connivance in the trick was painful to witness, and the poor
fellow broke down under the ordeal. His papers, it was proved to him,
were of no importance whatever, and Barnett showed him duplicates which
had been taken of them before the Captain had even left Cairo.

"When you arrive at headquarters," the relentless Barnett proceeded,
"one of our agents will conduct you to the palace of Elfi Bey, where
Madame Fourès has lived with Bonaparte since December 18, the date of
your departure with the dispatches. As for your fellow-officers, they
all know of the affair and you have become the object of the army's
ridicule throughout Egypt. As a man of honour you will doubtless know
how to avenge yourself on both culprits. Life is cheap in Egypt in
these days, Captain."

In due course Captain Fourès reached Cairo and soon realised that
Barnett had told him nothing more than the truth. His wife remained a
willing prisoner with Bonaparte. Accordingly he prepared for action,
meaning to kill his two betrayers. It was pointed out to him that
in view of the existence of martial law and his failure to carry
the dispatches entrusted to him, the Commander-in-Chief would be
justified in having him shot; while his friends urged, knowing the
man's character, that, after all, to risk his career for a worthless
woman, in a quarrel with a man like Bonaparte, was worse than madness.
The Captain determined, however, to see his wife and obtain an avowal
from her own lips as to the facts of the whole intrigue. According to
the records, Fourès found her, still unrisen, at the mansion of Elfi
Bey, learned from her own admission that she was satisfied with her
present lot and, without further parley, flogged the strumpet till she
writhed in agonies on her bedroom floor. Fatality of fatalities, who
should enter and find her in this condition, but Bonaparte himself. He
gazed for one dramatic moment at the shrieking woman and turned with a
raucous laugh on his heel. Fourès, in due course, procured his divorce
and made, as he himself declared, "a sacrifice of his resentment
against Napoleon to France and the Army." As it happened, the luck
was, on this occasion, against the British Secret Service agents. Had
Bonaparte fallen a victim to the jealous rage of Fourès, should we
have had a Trafalgar, an Austerlitz, a Jena, a Waterloo? There are not
wanting those who maintain that all these historic events were in the
inevitable logic of the French Revolution and that with a Bonaparte, or
without him, they must in their due turn have come to pass—a question
which is far too large for present discussion. In any case, it is
certain that Bonaparte's removal in 1799 would have relieved many
European cabinets of much anxiety.



XIX

CONCLUSION—BIBLIOGRAPHY


The bibliography connected with the business of espionage is not,
as may be supposed, a very extensive one. Great spies have all
written their memoirs, but in no case can these works be regarded as
trustworthy records of the actual parts played by their writers in
important historic events or episodes, and it is always necessary to go
to independent chroniclers in order to arrive at the truth. As regards
themselves, they are peculiarly fortunate in that highly placed patrons
and collaborators have rarely, if ever, condescended to criticise or
question their claims or statements, the result being that their most
preposterous pretensions find acceptance at face value. It is well,
too, that not one of them, as far as the writer has discovered, evinces
anything like literary tact in his attempts to conceal the essentially
underhand nature of his professional art. Your Schulmeisters and
Stiebers, on the bare evidence of their own life stories, disclose
their real motives and characters so clearly and intimately as to leave
us with the impression that it is only very poor judges of human nature
who can fail to categorise them accurately.

Our own study of the master spy has left us unimpressed regarding
the qualities of either head or heart which are called for in the
business of espionage, and whatever courage may appear to attach to
the characters of men like Schulmeister, Stieber and even André, we
remain convinced that there was in none of them anything like nobility
of purpose and that a very cheap material ambition underlay all their
respective rôles, dramatic though those rôles may have been. The
characters of the two spies of the War of Independence seem to us to
have been lamentably lacking in that fine spirituality which one looks
for in men who are willing to die for any strong faith that is in them;
the American appears to have been an idealist of a type which is not
easily differentiable from the oriental fanatic who is said to possess
no very settled convictions about his cause; while the Englishman's
motives were based purely upon rapid self-advancement. As to Le Caron,
we admit having approached his case with every predisposition to admire
him, only to find our earlier illusions entirely shattered after a
careful study of his reminiscences; and the printed word must be
allowed to go a long way towards self-revelation. As for Schulmeister,
he threw his lot in with the side which paid him the highest price, and
patriotism or nobility of sentiment in no way coloured his otherwise
important abilities and services, while Stieber—the odious Stieber
was at once a cringing self-seeker, a bragging bully and, shorn of
his protections, an obvious and elemental coward. MacParlan was a
detective pure and simple, and to him there attaches no stigma of
having taken an oath to serve a cause which secretly he meant to
betray. Of all the rôles enacted by the various exponents of espionage
with whom we have dealt, MacParlan's appears to us to have been far and
away the most heroic and, in view of the dread organisation which he
was fighting single-handed, also the most patriotic and utilitarian.

In regard to the sources which we have drawn upon, those which deal
with Schulmeister call for some comment. Napoleon's agent is mentioned
by many of the high functionaries of the Empire who published memoirs
dealing with its glittering legend. Savary, Fouché, Rapp and Marbot
all give him a word, while Thiers, much later, mentions him as
having contributed a share to the glories of the Corsican. With the
exception of the short Life by Diffenbach, and his own very unreliable
_Fragments_, we are aware of no exhaustive biography of the spy,
while magazine and newspaper articles, such as those published in the
_Allgemeine Zeitung_, the _Courrier du Bas-Rhin_ and other periodicals,
differ altogether as to details and chronology in descriptions of him.
The author remembers to have read, when a student in Germany, many
years back, an account of Schulmeister obviously written by an Alsatian
and signed with the name, F. Ott, which gave particulars as to the
spy's first meeting with Napoleon, as well as the story of his social
career in Vienna before joining the army of Mack. These particulars are
not mentioned by any other writers except Savary and a scribe in _The
Royal United Service Magazine_ of December 1897. In view of so many
conflicting accounts, however, we have thought it fair to draw upon
this recollection in our own story of the Alsatian, although at present
we cannot recall the exact source.

Le Caron has, of course, been his own biographer and the popular Press
of the time of the Parnell Commission teems with accounts, correct
or imaginary, of the Anglo-American major. Sir Robert Anderson, in
his reminiscences, speaks of his agent in terms of consideration and
respect. In a letter which Sir Robert was so good as to write to the
author, in this connection, appear the following remarks:—

 "My best agents, when I had charge of secret-service work, were
 as much entitled to respect as were my officers in the Criminal
 Investigation Department when I had charge of that branch of
 Police work, or as our military who 'spy' the German trenches from
 aeroplanes. Others again take up that sort of work for 'filthy lucre
 sake,' and yet others from all sorts of motives, some praiseworthy and
 some contemptible. Spies differ as much as parsons or doctors, and
 no general rule can be applied to them. Le Caron was in every way a
 worthier and more respectable man than were some of the M.P.'s who
 abused him in Parliament. Some of my other agents were much in the
 same category. Others, again, who gave me information of great value,
 were creatures whom it was an ordeal to have to deal with."

MacParlan's career was well known to many of the old stagers of the
New York and Philadelphia newspapers, and from one who knew him, the
writer has taken the version he gives of the admirable detective's
final disappearance from the coal regions of Pennsylvania, according it
preference over the somewhat prosaic departure as told by MacParlan's
excellent biographer, Mr Dewees. While volumes have been written to
the glorification of Major André, it is unfortunate that very little
is known regarding Nathan Hale, and it is certain that no portrait
remains extant of that youthful hero. The Duchess of Portsmouth has
been fully dealt with by many writers; the Chevalier d'Eon has had the
advantage of being portrayed by the late Mr Andrew Lang, while Pingaud
has treated the Count d'Antraigues. The French Divisional Police Chief
Saint-Just has given to the world an account of the French Internal
Spy System as it exists in our own day, and Doctor Fitzpatrick is the
chief among many who have written of the British Secret Service, to
the chapter concerning which we append a Home Office paper, issued in
September 1914, which clearly shows that the British authorities were
by no means uninformed or unmindful of the contemplated operations of
the swarms of German spies who filled London hotels and lodging-houses
at the opening of the War. Official alertness, it may also be said, was
shown during the course of the campaign, as (to cite but one instance)
when the Special Police Constables were mobilised on the night of the
air raid on Sandringham and therearound, a fact which spoke eloquently
for our system of counter-espionage.

With regard to the German System of Espionage, it must be said that
while we do not accept everything that the arrogant Stieber claims for
his organisation and himself, we are inclined to look upon Lanoir as
being too much a hater of all things Prussian either to do justice to
himself or to be fair to Stieber. In any case, we have supplemented the
French writer's views by others emanating from Klembowsky, A. Froment,
Tissot and various publicists well known in France. The work of Mr
Graves we have read, and while admitting that he wins our sympathy
as regards his perennial good humour and cleverness, we confess our
total inability to "negotiate" (as he himself would probably say) his
version of the instructions to the _Panther_ at Agadir, the same having
really been conveyed by the very ordinary process of telegraphing from
Berlin to the gunboat's commander by code to the _Fabra_ news agency
at Madrid, whence the message travelled to Tangier and Agadir. In the
pages of _The New York American_ Mr Graves's diplomatic work would
certainly prove to be "just the goods," if we may judge by the printed
European dispatches of that paper's ineffable correspondents. All his
English countesses and peers have respectively the airs and manners of
Chicago "store-ladies" and Buffalo drummers—exactly as the American
yellow-paper requires them for home consumption.

Following is a short list of the principal publications to which the
writer referred in the course of his work:—

  _Allgemeine Zeitung_, old cuttings, dated 1818-1822.
  Collier, Price, _Germany and the Germans_. 1913.
  _Courrier du Bas Rhin._ 1853.
  Crawford, Marion, _Venetian Gleanings_. 1905.
  Dewees, F. P., _The Molly Maguires_. 1877.
  Diffenbach, L., _Schulmeister_. 1879.
  Fitzpatrick, Dr, _Secret Service under Pitt_. 1892.
  _Fortnightly Review._ 1898, 1903, 1905.
  Fouché, _Memoirs_. 1892.
  Froment, A., _L'Espionnage Militaire_. 1897.
  _Journal of the Roy. United Ser. Inst._, Dec. 1897.
  Klembowsky, M., _L'Espionnage_. 1896.
  Lanfrey, _Histoire de Napoleon_. 1826.
  Lanoir, Paul, _The German Spy System_. 1910.
  Lavallée, I., _Inquisitions_. 1810.
  Le Caron, _Twenty-five Years in the Secret Service_. 1892.
  Muller, Paul, _L'Espionnage sous Napoleon_. 1909.
  Pingaud, _Un Agent Secret_. 1894.
  _Quarterly Review._ 1898.
  Rapp, General, _Memoirs_. 1825.
  Rovigo (Savary), _Memoirs_. 1830.
  Schulmeister, _Bruchstuecke_. 1816.
  Stieber, _Memoirs_. 1877.
  _The Chautauquan Magazine._ January 1887.
  Thiers, _Histoire du Consulat_. 1868.
  Tissot, V., _La Police Secrète_. 1884.



FOOTNOTES


[1] Frederick was childless.

[2] It has even been stated that the funds which enabled the so-called
Suffragettes to carry on their recent militant propaganda were, for the
greater part, supplied by Berlin, through private persons acting on
behalf of its secret service. The identity of the real donors of very
large sums given for the furtherance of the movement was said not to
have been known even to the Suffragette leaders.



INDEX


  A

  Absalom, 29

  Alexander the Great, 32

  Alexander II. of Russia, 181

  Alfred the Great, 123

  Allen, Lieutenant, 118

  Althorp Park, 132

  American Civil War, 42, 287

  American Secret Service, 283 _et seq._

  Anarchist societies, 153

  Anderson, Sir Robert, 312

  André, Major John, 104 _et seq._

  Andrieux, Prefect of Police, 153

  Anglo-Russian War, 53

  Antraigues, Comte d', 260, 261, 262

  Aristagoras, 32

  Arnold, Benedict, 100 _et seq._

  Arthur, John, 42

  Aubigny, Duchesse d', 128

  Austerlitz, campaign of, 65, 71


  B

  Babcock, General, 293

  Baden, duchy of, 61

  Baker, Lafayette, 291

  Balance of Power, 128

  Barnett, John, 305

  Belfort, town of, 62

  Bernhardi, 161

  Berthier, Marshal, 226, 304

  Bertillon, Professor, 155

  Biggar, Jos., 40

  Bismarck, von, 175 _et seq._

  Black Cardinals, 76

  Black Hand Society, 96

  Black Country, Westphalia, 134

  Black Cabinet, 154

  Bluntschli, 19

  Boisdeffre, General de, 235

  Boulanger, General, 152, 158, 159

  Boyd, Belle, 290

  Brandon, Captain, 134

  Brevoort House, 290

  Britain, cost of espionage, 136

  British Museum Catalogue, 162

  Burleigh, Lord, 126


  C

  Cæsar, 34

  Campeggio, Cardinal, 124

  Canning, Foreign Minister, 131

  Caro, Elme, 230

  Carrier-pigeons, 33, 144

  Charles II., 128

  Christ and the spies, 29

  Churchill, John, 108

  Clan-na-gael, 51, 53

  Clapton, 105

  Clinton, Sir H., 112

  Clive, Robert, 59

  Collier, Price, 167, 168, 203

  Comédie Française, 221

  Continental schools, 36, 208

  _Courrier du Bas Rhin_, 68

  Cromwell, Oliver, 128

  _Cruciata_, 274

  Customs, New York, 295


  D

  Darius, 32

  Davitt, Mr, 54

  Decker, von, 35

  Delbena, 126

  Delcassé, M., 149

  De Piple, 72

  Deville, 35

  Diderot, 71

  _Dossier_, 150, 151

  Dreyfus case, 149

  Dublin Castle, 133

  Dunn, Mr Dick, 270


  E

  Education of German spy, 238, 244, 245, 246, 247

  Egan, Mr Patrick, 52

  Emperor Francis, 70

  Empress Elizabeth, 257

  Empson and Dudley, 123

  Enghien, Duc d', 61, 62, 63

  England's spies in Germany, 135

  Eon, Chevalier d', 255 _et seq._

  Erfurt, Congress of, 73, 74

  Ernst, spy, 233

  Esterhazy, Major, 154

  Ettenheim, town of, 62

  Ex-priests, German, 225


  F

  Fanaticism of spy, 25

  Fenianism, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49

  First Consul, 62

  Fitzpatrick, Dr, 133

  Ford, Mr A. Brendan, 53

  Ford, Mr Patrick, 52

  Forth Bridge, 238, 239

  Fouché, 58, 59, 73, 124, 150

  Fourès, Captain, 301

  Fox, Charles James, 131

  France, cost of espionage, 136

  Franklin, Benjamin, 111

  Frederick the Great, 37, 161 _et seq._

  French Secret Service, the, 147, _et seq._

  Frederick William, King, 171

  Frontinus, 30

  Fusiliers, Royal, 106


  G

  Gallifet, General de, 183

  Gassicourt, M. de, 67

  German Secret Service, 161 _et seq._

  Geneva, university of, 105

  "Germanising influences," 222

  Germany, cost of espionage, 136

  Gifford, spy, 127

  Goethe, 23, 74

  "Good old days," 127

  Goven, Franklin, 94

  Grant, General, 292

  Grant, Mrs Colquhoun, 129

  Graves, Mr, 229, 232, 239, 240

  _Great Eastern_, 42

  Grey, General, 109


  H

  Habsburgs, 37

  Hale, Nathan, 79 _et seq._

  _Halifax_, guard-ship, 88

  Halifax, town, 83

  Hannibal, 33, 34

  Harden, Max, 265, 266

  Hausmann, Baron, 293

  Heath, General, 84

  _Heimath_, 221

  Helvetius, 71

  Henry, Colonel, 149

  Henry, John, 286

  Herbesthal, 167

  _Hermandad_, 274

  Hibernians, A.O., of, 95

  Hirtius, 33

  Histiæus, 33

  Holbach, 71

  Home Office, 137, 138 _et seq._

  Horace, Satires of, 125

  Howe, General, 88, 109

  Hundred Days, 77

  Huntington Bay, 86


  I

  _Index_, 72

  Infessura, 274

  Inquisition, Spanish, 272

  Intelligencer, the, 125

  Invalides, les, 221

  Ionia, 33

  Ireland and Greece, 91, 92

  _Irish World_, 53


  J

  Jameson, Colonel, 118

  "J.B.," 126

  Johnson, President, 291

  Joseph, 29

  Joshua, 29

  Junot, General, 301

  Justus Lipsius, 33


  K

  "King's Secret, The," 256

  Kluck's cow, 220

  Knowlton, Colonel, 84


  L

  Lachesnaie, 35

  Lang, Andrew, 258

  Lanoir, Paul, 189, 190, 215

  Lassalle, General, 74

  Launay, Comte d'Antraigues, 132

  Lavallee, Jos., 273

  Le Caron, 39 _et seq._, 133

  Legion of Honour, 75

  Le Meinau, 72

  Lever, Charles, 130

  Leveson-Gower, Lord G. L., 132

  Lichfield, 106

  Lockport (Illinois), 45

  Long Island, 83

  Lorrach, 63

  Louis XIV., 38

  Louis XV., 256

  Louis XVIII., 260

  Louise of Prussia, 74

  Louise of Saxony, 265


  M

  Mæcenas, 125

  Mack, Field-Marshal, 66

  Mackenzie, Colin, 132

  MacParlan, J., 90 _et seq._

  Madison, President, 286

  Manhattan, 83

  Maria Edgeworth, 106

  Marie Louise, 76

  Mary Stuart, 126, 127

  _Matinées du Roi de Prusse_, 161

  Mazarin, Cardinal, 128

  Megalomania of spy, 23

  Meinau, M. de, 60

  Meline, Monsieur, 149

  Mexican War, 287

  Meyn, painter, 37

  _Mischianza_, 111

  Mithridates, 30

  "Molly Maguires," 90, 93

  Moltke, von, 177

  Mommsen, Professor, 193

  Montesquieu, 71

  Morin, 19

  Murat, 75, 124


  N

  Napoleon, 23, 28, 37, 38, 64, 147, 148, 166, 193, 221, 226, 228, 298
      _et seq._

  Napoleon III., 77, 152

  National Homing Union, 145

  "Necklace" manœuvre, 70

  Neu-Freistett, 60

  New journalists, 57

  New Haven (Connecticut), 82

  New York, 84

  _New York Times_, 250 _et seq._

  _New York Gazette_, 285

  Nietszche, 161

  Norwalk, 86

  "Number Seventy, Berlin," 235


  O

  O'Donovan Rossa, 52

  O'Neill, General, 45 _et seq._

  Ottawa, 51


  P

  Parnell Commission, 56

  Paulding, Farmer, 117

  Pennsylvania coal zones, 90

  Peter the Great, will of, 162

  _Petit Parisien_, 230

  Philadelphia, 48, 108, 109, 110, 111

  Phillips, spy, 127

  Piggott, Richard, 39

  Pingaud, biographer, 260

  Pinkerton Agency, 95

  Pitt, William, 130

  Pius VII., 76

  Polyænus, 29

  Polybius, 33

  Poore, Perley, 289

  Portsmouth, Duchess of, 128

  "Posen" case, the, 264

  Poulet, 127

  Pragmatism, 17

  Prince of Wales, the, 54


  Q

  Quakers of Philadelphia, 112

  Quebec, 108, 109

  Queen Victoria, 54


  R

  Radet, General, 76

  Rapp, General, 75

  Red Man's Signals, 227

  Reichstag appropriations, 174, 179, 186, 194, 249

  "Reptile Press," 186

  Rhodes Scholarships, 224

  Rivington, James, 285

  Robespierre, 130

  Roman spies, 18

  Roon, von, 184

  Rulski, 69

  Russia, cost of espionage, 136

  Russia, system of espionage, 173

  Russo-Irish Alliance, 53


  S

  Sainfoin, Derby winner, 269

  Saint-Just, revolutionary, 130

  Saint-Just, police chief, 148

  Salaries of German agents, 240

  Salic Law, 23

  Savary, General, 60

  Schulmeister, 58 _et seq._

  Scipio Africanus, 18

  _Scutula_, 32

  _Secrets of German War Office_, 239

  Sergeant, W., 110

  Sertorius, 31

  Seward, Anna, 106

  Shenandoah station, 100

  _Skutate_, 32

  Smith, Sir Sidney, 301

  Sneyd, Honoria, 106

  Social transitions, 267

  "Speak-easies," 96

  Spencer, Lady Sarah, 132

  Steinhauer, Dr, 229 _et seq._

  Stendhal, 17

  Stieber, 37, 161 _et seq._

  Sudermann, H., 221


  T

  Tallmadge, Major, 120

  Tausch Bureau, 266

  _The Chautauquan_, 289

  "The Prince," 269, 270

  The Trebia, battle of, 33

  Tilsit, Treaty of (1807), 131

  _Times, The_, 39

  Tissot, Victor, 189

  Trench, Captain, 134

  Turr, H., 238 _et seq._


  U

  Ulm, 70


  V

  Vattel, 79

  Vaughan, Cardinal, 280

  Voice, Napoleon's, 64

  Voltaire, 71


  W

  Washington, General, 83

  Wend, spy, 69

  West Point, 114

  Whigs, American, 113

  "White Blouses," 152

  William II., 161, 221, 265

  William of Prussia, 177

  Windell, spy, 232

  Wireless Telegraph Act, 142

  Wolfe, General, 107


  Z

  Zeppelin, secret visits, 231


       *       *       *       *       *



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

Minor punctuation and printer errors repaired.

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_





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