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the sport of every crank or blackguard who can wield
a pen or pencil. The American view, which allowed Lin-
coln, Garfield, and McKinley to be attacked in all the
moods and tenses of vituperation, and to be artistically



MY RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM 11-1879-1903 243

portrayed as tyrants, drunkards, clowns, beasts of prey,
and reptiles, has not yet been received into German modes
of thought. Luther said that he ''would not suffer any
man to treat the Gospel as a sow treats a sack of oats";
and that seems to be the feeling inherent in the German
mind regarding the treatment of those who represent the
majesty of the nation.

And here a word regarding the relation of Kaiser and
people. In one of the letters to John Adams written by
Thomas Jefferson as they both were approaching the
close of life, the founder of American democracy declared
that he had foreseen the failure of French popular rule,
and had therefore favored in France, democrat though he
was, a constitutional monarchy. Had Jefferson lived in
our time, he would doubtless have arrived at a similar
conclusion regarding Germany, for he would have taken
account of the difference between a country like ours, with
no long period of history which had given to dominant
political ideas a religious character, a country stretching
from ocean to ocean, with no neighbors to make us afraid,
and a country like Germany, with an ancient historic
head, with no natural frontiers, and beset on every side by
enemies; and Jefferson would doubtless have taken ac-
count also of the fact that, were the matter submitted to
popular vote, the present sovereign, with his present pow-
ers, would be the choice of an overwhelming majority of
the German people. The German imperial system, like
our own American republican system, is the result of an
evolution during many generations an evolution which
has produced the present government, decided its char-
acter, fixed its form, allotted its powers, and decided on
the men at the head of it ; and this fact an American, no
matter how devoted to republicanism and democracy in
his own country, may well acknowledge to be as fixed in
the political as in the physical world.

Of course some very bitter charges have been made
against him as regards Germany, the main one being that
he does not love parliamentary government and has, at



244 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XIX

various times, infringed upon the constitution of the em-
pire.

As to loving parliamentary government, he would prob-
ably say that he cannot regard a system as final which,
while attaching to the front of the chariot of progress
a full team to pull it forward, attaches another team to
the rear to pull it backward. But whatever his theory,
he has in practice done his best to promote the efficiency
of parliamentary government, and to increase respect for
it in his kingdom of Prussia, by naming as life members
of the Senate sundry men of the highest character and
of immense value in the discussion of the most important
questions. Two of these, appointed during my stay, I
knew and admired. The first, Professor Gustav Schmol-
ler, formerly rector of the University of Berlin, is one
of the leading economists of the world, who has shown
genius in studying and exhibiting the practical needs of
the German people, and in discerning the best solutions
of similar problems throughout the world profound,
eloquent, conciliatory, sure to be of immense value as a
senator. The second, Professor Slaby, director of the
great technical institution of Germany at Charlotten-
burg, is one of the leading authorities of the world on
everything that pertains to the applications of electricity,
a great administrator, a wise counselor on questions per-
taining to the German educational system. Neither of
these men orates, but both are admirable speakers, and
are sure to be of incalculable value. I name them simply
as types: others were appointed, equally distinguished
in other fields. If, then, the Emperor is blamed for not
liking parliamentary and party government, it is only
fair to say that he has taken the surest way to give it
strength and credit.

As to the alleged violations of the German constitution,
the same, in a far higher degree, were charged against
Kaiser William I and Bismarck, and these charges were
true, but it is also true that thereby those men saved and
built up their country. As a matter of fact, the intuitive



MY RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM 11-1879-1903 245

sense as well as the reflective powers of Germans seem to
show them that the real dangers to their country come
from a very different quarter from men who promote
hatreds of race, class, and religion within the empire, and
historic international hatreds without it.

So, too, various charges have been made against the
Emperor as regards the United States. From time to time
there came, during my stay, statements in sundry Ameri-
can newspapers, some belligerent, some lacrymose, re-
garding his attitude toward our country. It seemed to
be taken for granted by many good people during our
Spanish War that the Emperor was personally against
us. It is not unlikely that he may have felt sympathy for
that forlorn, widowed Queen Regent of Spain, making so
desperate a struggle to save the kingdom for her young
son ; if so, he but shared a feeling common to a very large
part of humanity, for certainly there have been few more
pathetic situations ; but that he really cared anything for
the success of Spain is exceedingly doubtful. The Ho-
henzollern common sense in him must have been for years
vexed at the folly and fatuity of Spanish policy. He
probably inherits the feeling of his father, who, when
visiting the late Spanish monarch some years before his
death, showed a most kindly personal feeling toward Spain
and its ruler, and an intense interest in various phases of
art developed in the Spanish peninsula; but, in his diary,
let fall remarks which show his feeling toward the whole
existing Spanish system. One of these I recall especially.
Passing a noted Spanish town, he remarks : "Here are ten
churches, twenty monasteries, and not a single school."
No Hohenzollern is likely to waste much sympathy on a
nation which brings on its fate by preferring monasticism
to education ; and never during the Spanish War did he
or his government, to my knowledge, show the slightest
leaning toward our enemies. Certain it is that when
sundry hysterical publicists and meddlesome statesmen
of the Continent proposed measures against what they
thought the dangerous encroachments of our Republic, he



246 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XIX

quietly, but resolutely and effectually, put his foot upon
them.

Another complaint sometimes heard in America really
amounts to this : that the Emperor is pushing German in-
terests in all parts of the world, and is not giving himself
much trouble about the interests of other countries. There
is truth in this, but the complainants evidently never
stop to consider that every thinking man in every nation
would despise him were it otherwise.

Yet another grievance, a little time since, was that, ap-
parently with his approval, his ships of war handled sun-
dry Venezuelans with decided roughness. This was true
enough and ought to warm every honest man 's heart.

The main facts in the case were these : a petty equatorial
"republic," after a long series of revolutions, one hun-
dred and four in seventy years, Lord Lansdowne tells us,
was enjoying peace and the beginnings of prosperity.
Thanks to the United States, it had received from an
international tribunal the territory to which it was en-
titled, was free from disturbance at home or annoyance
abroad, and was under a regular government sanctioned
by its people. Suddenly, an individual started another
so-called "revolution." He was the champion of no re-
form, principle, or idea ; he simply represented the greed
of himself and a pack of confederates whose ideal was
that of a gang of burglars. With their aid he killed, plun-
dered, or terrorized until he got control of the govern-
mentor, rather, became himself the government. Un-
der the name of a "republic" he erected a despotism
and usurped powers such as no Russian autocrat would
dare claim. Like the men of his sort who so often afflict
republics in the equatorial regions of South America, he
had no hesitation in confiscating the property and taking
the lives, not only of such of his fellow-citizens as he
thought dangerous to himself, but also of those whom
he thought likely to become so. He made the public
treasury his own, and doubtless prepared the way, as so
many other patriots of his sort in such "republics" have



MY RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM 11-1879-1903 247

done, for retirement into a palace at Paris, with ample
funds for enjoying the pleasures of that capital, after he,
like so many others, shall have been, in turn, kicked out
of his country by some new bandit stronger than he.

So far so good. If the citizens of Venezuela like or
permit that sort of thing, outside nations have no call
to interfere; but this petty despot, having robbed, mal-
treated, and even murdered citizens of his own country,
proceeded to maltreat and rob citizens of other countries,
and, among them, those of the German Empire. He was
at first asked in diplomatic fashion to desist and to make
amends, but for such appeals he simply showed contempt.
His purpose was evidently to plunder all German sub-
jects within his reach, and to cheat all German creditors
beyond his reach. At this the German Government, as
every government in similar circumstances is bound to do,
demanded redress and sent ships to enforce the demand.
This was perfectly legitimate; but immediately there
arose in the United States an outcry against a " violation
of the Monroe Doctrine. " As a matter of fact, the Mon-
roe Doctrine was no more concerned in the matter than
was the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints; but
there was enough to start an outcry against Germany, and
so it began to spread. The Germans were careful to
observe the best precedents in international law, yet every
step they took was exhibited in sundry American papers
as a menace to the United States. There was no more
menace to the United States than to the planet Saturn.
The conduct of the German Government was in the interest
of the United States as well as of every other decent gov-
ernment. Finally, the soldiers in a Venezuelan fort wan-
tonly fired upon a German war vessel whereupon the
commander of the ship, acting entirely in accordance, not
only with international law, but with natural right, de-
fended himself, and knocked the fort about the ears of
those who occupied it, thus giving the creatures who di-
rected them a lesson which ought to rejoice every think-
ing American. At this the storm on paper against Ger-



248 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XIX

many, both in America and Great Britain, broke out with
renewed violence, and there was more talk about dangers
to the Monroe Doctrine. As one who, at The Hague Con-
ference, was able to do something for recognition of the
Monroe Doctrine by European powers, and who, as a
member of the Venezuelan Commission, did what was pos-
sible to secure justice to Venezuela, I take this opportu-
nity to express the opinion that the time has come for
plain speaking in this matter. Even with those of us who
believe in the Monroe Doctrine there begins to arise a
question as to which are nearest the interests and the
hearts of Americans, the sort of "dumb driven cattle'*
who allow themselves to be governed by such men as now
control Venezuela, or the people of Germany and other
civilized parts of Europe, as well as those of the better
South American republics, like Chile, the Argentine Re-
public, Brazil, and others, whose interests, aspirations,
ideals, and feelings are so much more closely akin to our
own.

Occasionally, too, there have arisen plaintive declara-
tions that the Emperor does not love the United States or
admire its institutions. As to that I never saw or heard
of anything showing dislike to our country ; but, after all,
he is a free man, and there is nothing in international law
or international comity requiring him to love the United
States ; it is sufficient that he respects what is respectable
in our government and people, and we may fairly allow
to him his opinion on sundry noxious and nauseous de-
velopments among us which we hope may prove tempo-
rary. As to admiring our institutions, he is probably not
fascinated by our lax administration of criminal justice,
which leaves at large more unpunished criminals, and es-
pecially murderers, than are to be found in any other
part of the civilized world, save, possibly, some districts
of lower Italy and Sicily. He probably does not admire
Tammany Hall or the Philadelphia Ring, and has his own
opinion of cities which submit to such tyranny; quite
likely he has not been favorably impressed by the reck-



MY RECOLLECTIONS OF WILLIAM 11-1879-1903 249

less waste and sordid jobbery recently revealed at St.
Louis and Minneapolis; it is exceedingly doubtful whe-
ther he admires some of the speeches on national affairs
made for the ' * Buncombe district ' ' and the galleries ; but
that he admires and respects the men in the United States
who do things worth doing, and say things worth saying;
that he takes a deep interest in those features of our policy,
or achievements of our people, which are to our credit - r
that he enjoys the best of our literature ; that he respects
every true American soldier and sailor, every American
statesman or scholar or writer or worker of any sort who-
really accomplishes anything for our country, is certain.

To sum up his position in contemporary history: As
the German nation is the result of an evolution of in-
dividual and national character in obedience to resistless
inner forces and to its environment, so out of the medley
of imperial and royal Hohenstaufens, Hapsburgs, Wit-
telsbachs, Wettins, Guelphs, and the like, have arisen, as
by a survival of the fittest, the Hohenzollerns. These
have given to the world various strong types, and espe-
cially such as the Great Elector, Frederick II, and Wil-
liam I. Mainly under them and under men trained or
selected by them, Germany, from a great confused mass
of warriors and thinkers and workers, militant at cross-
purposes, wearing themselves out in vain struggles, and
preyed upon by malevolent neighbors, has become a great
power in arms, in art, in science, in literature ; a fortress
of high thought; a guardian of civilization; the natural
ally of every nation which seeks the better development
of humanity. And the young monarch who is now at
its head original, yet studious of the great men and
deeds of the past ; brave, yet conciliatory ; never allowing
the mail-clad fist to become unnerved, but none the less
devoted to the conquests of peace; standing firmly on
realities, but with a steady vision of ideals seems likely
to add a new name to the list of those who, as leaders
of Germany, have advanced the world.



CHAPTER XLV

AS PEESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN DELEGATION AT THE
PEACE CONFEEENCE OF THE HAGUE: 1-1899

ON the 24th of August, 1898, the Russian Government
proposed, in the name of the Emperor Nicholas II,
a conference which should seek to arrest the constantly
increasing development of armaments and thus contribute
to a durable peace ; and on the llth of January, 1899, his
minister of foreign affairs, Count Mouravieff, having
received favorable answers to this proposal, sent forth a
circular indicating the Russian view as to subjects of dis-
cussion. As to the place of meeting, there were obvious
reasons why it should not be the capital of one of the
greater powers. As to Switzerland, the number of an-
archists and nihilists who had taken refuge there, and
the murder of the Empress of Austria by one of them
shortly before, at Geneva, in broad daylight, had thrown
discredit over the ability of the Swiss Government to
guarantee safety to the conference ; the Russian Govern-
ment therefore proposed that its sessions be held at The
Hague, and this being agreed to, the opening was fixed
for the 18th of May.

From the first there was a misunderstanding through-
out the world as to what the Emperor Nicholas really
proposed. Far and near it was taken for granted that he
desired a general disarmament, and this legend spread
rapidly. As a matter of fact, this was neither his pro-
posal nor his purpose; the measures he suggested being
designed "to put an end to the constantly increasing de-
velopment of armaments."

At the outset I was skeptical as to the whole matter.

250



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: 1-1899 251

What I had seen of the Emperor Nicholas during my stay
in Eussia had not encouraged me to expect that he would
have the breadth of view or the strength of purpose to
carry out the vast reforms which thinking men hoped for.
I recalled our conversation at my reception as minister,
when, to my amazement, he showed himself entirely igno-
rant of the starving condition of the peasantry throughout
large districts in the very heart of the empire. 1 That he
was a kindly man, wishing in a languid way the good
of his country, could not be doubted ; but the indifference
to everything about him evident in all his actions, his lack
of force even in the simplest efforts for the improvement
of his people, and, above all, his yielding to the worst ele-
ments in his treatment of the Baltic provinces and Fin-
land, did not encourage me to believe that he would lead a
movement against the enormous power of the military
party in his vast empire. On this account, when the
American newspapers prophesied that I was to be one of
the delegates, my feelings were strongly against accepting
any such post. But in due time the tender of it came in a
way very different from anything I had anticipated:
President McKinley cabled a personal request that I ac-
cept a position on the delegation, and private letters from
very dear friends, in whose good judgment I had confi-
dence, gave excellent reasons for my doing so. At the
same time came the names of my colleagues, and this led
me to feel that the delegation was to be placed on a higher
plane than I had expected. In the order named by the
President, they were as follows : Andrew D. White ; Seth
Low, President of Columbia University ; Stanford Newel,
Minister at The Hague; Captain Mahan, of the United
States navy ; Captain Crozier, of the army ; and the Hon.
Frederick W. Holls as secretary. In view of all this, I
accepted.

Soon came evidences of an interest in the conference
more earnest and wide-spread than anything I had

1 See account of this conversation in " My Mission to Eussia,"
Chapter XXXIII, pp. 9-10.



252 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SEEVICE-XX

dreamed. Books, documents, letters, wise and unwise,
thoughtful and crankish, shrewd and childish, poured in
upon me; in all classes of society there seemed ferment-
ing a mixture of hope and doubt; even the German Em-
peror apparently felt it, for shortly there came an invita-
tion to the palace, and on my arrival I found that the
subject uppermost in his mind was the approaching con-
ference. Of our conversation, as well as of some other
interviews at this period, I speak elsewhere.

On the 16th of May I left Berlin, and arrived late in
the evening at The Hague. As every day's doings were
entered in my diary, it seems best to give an account
of this part of my life in the shape of extracts from it.

May 17, 1899.

This morning, on going out of our hotel, the Oude
Doelen, I found that since my former visit, thirty-five
years ago, there had been little apparent change. It is
the same old town, quiet, picturesque, full of historical
monuments and art treasures. This hotel and the neigh-
boring streets had been decorated with the flags of va-
rious nations, including our own, and crowds were assem-
bled under our windows and in the public places. The
hotel is in one of the most attractive parts of the city
architecturally and historically, and is itself interesting
from both points of view. It has been a hostelry ever
since the middle ages, and over the main entrance a tablet
indicates rebuilding in 1625. Connected with it by in-
terior passages are a number of buildings which were
once private residences, and one of the largest and best
of these has been engaged for us. Fortunately the pres-
ent Secretary of State, John Hay, has been in the diplo-
matic service ; and when I wrote him, some weeks ago, on
the importance of proper quarters being secured for us,
he entered heartily into the matter, giving full powers to
the minister here to do whatever was necessary, subject
to my approval. The result is that we are quite as well
provided for as any other delegation at the conference.



AT THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE: 1-1899 253

In the afternoon our delegation met at the house of
the American minister and was duly organized. Al-
though named by the President first in the list of dele-
gates, I preferred to leave the matter of the chairmanship
entirely to my associates, and they now unanimously
elected me as their President.

The instructions from the State Department were then
read. These were, in effect, as follows :

The first article of the Eussian proposals, relating to
the non-augmentation of land and sea forces, is so inap-
plicable to the United States at present that it is deemed
advisable to leave the initiative, upon this subject, to the
representatives of those powers to which it may properly
apply.

As regards the articles relating to the non-employment
of new firearms, explosives, and other destructive agen-
cieSj the restricted use of the existing instruments of de-
struction, and the prohibition of certain contrivances em-
ployed in naval warfare, it seems to the department that
they are lacking in practicability and that the discussion
of these articles would probably provoke divergency
rather than unanimity of view. The secretary goes on
to say that "it is doubtful if wars will be diminished
by rendering them less destructive, for it is the plain
lesson of history that the periods of peace have been
longer protracted as the cost and destructiveness of war
have increased. The expediency of restraining the in-
ventive genius of our people in the direction of devis-
ing means of defense is by no means clear, and, con-
sidering the temptations to which men and nations may
be exposed in a time of conflict, it is doubtful if an
international agreement of this nature would prove
effective. ' '

As to the fifth, sixth, and seventh articles, aiming, in
the interest of humanity, to succor those who by the
chance of battle have been rendered helpless, to alleviate
their sufferings, and to insure the safety of those whose
mission is purely one of peace and beneficence, we are in-



254 IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE-XX

structed that any practicable proposals should receive
our earnest support.

On the eighth article, which proposes the wider exten-
sion of ''good offices, mediation, and arbitration," the
secretary dwells with much force, and finally says : ' ' The
proposal of the conference promises to offer an oppor-
tunity thus far unequaled in the history of the world for
initiating a series of negotiations that may lead to im-
portant practical results." The delegation is therefore
enjoined to propose, at an opportune moment, a plan for
an International Tribunal of Arbitration which is annexed
to the instructions, and to use their influence in the con-
ference to procure the adoption of its substance.

And, finally, we are instructed to propose to the confer-
ence the principle of extending to strictly private prop-
erty at sea the immunity from destruction or capture by
belligerent powers analogous to that which such property
already enjoys on land, and to endeavor to have this
principle incorporated in the permanent law of civilized
nations. A well-drawn historical resume of the relations
of the United States to the question of arbitration thus far
is added, and a historical summary of the action of the
United States, hitherto, regarding the exemption of pri-
vate property at sea from seizure during war.

The document of most immediate importance is the
plan furnished us for international arbitration. Its main
features are as follows:

First, a tribunal "composed of judges chosen, on ac-
count of their personal integrity and learning in inter-
national law, by a majority of the members of the highest
court now existing in each of the adhering states, one



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