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exile ; but the Heinephobes raged ; and the statue
lurks in a Hamburg cafe, and is spat on by smokers
of cigars.

When Mayence Radicals planned a monument,
the Heinephobe Tories turned up as of old. Stutt-
gart also had a plan. Loyal students said they would
tear a statue down ; and respectable citizens
threatened to emigrate. Hauptmann, Paul Heyse,
Humperdinck, and Hugo von Hoffmansthal six
years ago revived the notion. It was killed. And
now incautious Diisseldorf is again at the old plan
with the old results ; lawsuits are threatened ; and
words like " traitor," " court reptile," " Jew suck-
Ung," and " boor insensible to truth and beauty,"
hurtle across the Rhine.

The World-City war between Secession and
Academy is an analogue of the war between
Nakedites and anti-Nakedites, Assyrians and
Schinkelites, Heinephiles and Heinephobes. It


is a war not of art but of Weltanschauung. The
Academy is Berlin's Burlington House ; the Seces-
sion (we have no Secession) is a society founded
fourteen years back by Leistikow, Liebermann, and
Slevogt. The Grand Berlin dwells in a palace at
Lehrter Station ; the Secession dwells in a house at
Kurfiirstendamm. The Grand Berhn glows with
Privy Councillors and Professors ; the Secession
blushes with mere undecorated Herren. The Kaiser
loves the Grand Berlin painters, and gives orders
for their pictures ; the Kaiser hates the Secession
painters, and won't give orders even for their breasts.
The Grand Berlin is officially unimpeachable ; the
Secession is radically illegitimate. The Grand Berlin
is correct, imperturbable, superior ; the Secession
is tempestuous, fanatical, shameless. Men who
think like the Secession ; men who wash like the
Grand Berlin. The Grand Berlin has Herr Professor
Friedrich Kallmorgen, Herr Professor Hermann
Hosaeus, and Herr Professor Constantine Starck ;
the Secession has Herr Louis Corinth, Herr Hans
Baluschek, Herr Max Slevogt. The Grand BerUn
has pictures of Venice by Moonlight, The Old, Old
Story, and Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm ; the
Secession has Girl Eradicating Blackheads, and
Heidelberg Abattoir.

Naturally the relations of two such polar in-
stitutions fill the mind and keep at work the printers.


All Tories back the respectable Grand Berlin, and
all Radicals back the disreputable Secession. And
both show themselves worthy. Both have a proper
respect for self and for art ; and both are properly-
careful to exact respect. The German artist is
sensitive. When, sometimes, inevitable misunder-
standings arise, you see this in the dignity of their
letters, in the jealousy they show for the painting
art, in a quixotic passion to exalt one's cause ; yet
always you will find fundamental oppositions veiled
in graceful irony ; and disturbed relations decently
circumscribed by the accepted forms of good
official society. It makes pleasant reading. You
take up your morning newspaper, expecting some
dull pages on Herr Murderer Koppke's decapitation,
and Herr Theatre-Founder Mirsch's bankruptcy ;
and you find to your joy not a word about Herr
Theatre-Director Mirsch ; while Herr Koppke's
decapitation tale is as brief as Herr Koppke's neck.
Your newspapers instead are filled with an acid
correspondence between the heads of the rival
art institutions, revolving round the fact that the
head of one institution incorrectly spelt the name
of the head of another in a card of invitation. And
three days later you read that the head of one
institution has started the prosecution for " offence "
against the head of the other, on the ground that
** intentionally misspelUng a name with malicious


desire to cause suffering comes within Paragraph
197b of the R.S.G.B."

The passion for Enghsh things and for art contro-
versy which burns in German breasts is not confined
to the decorative arts. Enghsh words are supreme ;
and Englaenderei the prevaihng passion and vice.
Of all the factors which make for social culture,
pleasantest, most creditable to Germans is this
wide receptiveness for things from abroad. Cosmo-
poUtan Berlin twinkles with " West-End Clubs,"
" Star-Programmes," " Grill-Rooms," " Real English
Trousers-Cuts," and " Cravats as Worn by King
George." Its language grows English. A century
back German had only a dozen English words ;
thirty years back lexicographers counted 150 ;
now there are 700 ; and hundreds of German words
copied from English models, as " Dogge," " Ner-
venschoc," " Punsch," " Schcck," " Buchmacher,"
" Schrittmaker " (for pace-maker), and " Wolken-
kratzer " (for skyscraper). Herr Sudermann even
writes of " Struggle-for-hfetum."

The passion for Enghsh words goes with a passion
for Enghsh things which indicates a more detached
attitude towards issues of the intellect than is
in intemperate England. Germans achieve what
Enghshmen fail in ; they keep their pohtics apart
from their higher mental life ; and while abating
no jot of resentment at foreign insult or oppression,


continue wisely to import and enjoy the flowers of
foreign culture. When Britons quarrel with any
state, each Briton not only hates that state, but he
hates also that land ; and if, say, on a music-hall
stage in a dance of All the Nations, that land's flag
impertinently unfurls, he greets the flag with boos,
if not with boots. Here men stand higher. Their
statesmen may snort diplomatic fire against Sir
Grey ; their journals may spit vitrol at Sir Churchill,
or Lord Cartwright Fairfax, Bart. ; Pan-Germans
may scourge British sin in what Americans call
" A 10,000 Congress." But the individual temper
keeps serene ; when the Union Jack unfolds to
Winter-Palace breezes no man casts a boo or a boot ;
and the shop windows continue to beam with
" Coronation Collars," " Real English Trousers-
Cuts," and ''Cravats as Worn by King George."

You hear stories of this. In 191 2 when — as fruit of
the Agadir feud — feeling against England ran high,
Herr Referendar Specht violated his country's law
rather than abate his English passions. It happened
in April. It is a custom of serious newspapers on
April the First to print solemn joke-articles and
pictures which deceive such readers as have for-
gotten the date. The Vossische Zeitung published
on All Fools' Day an essay on Men's Spring Fashions;
and affirmed that King George V wears in his
buttonhole a very large geranium bloom. Herr


Specht (author of the brochure Krieg mit England :
Warum Nicht ? — Why Not Fight England at Once ?)
read the Vossische Zeitung ; and he resolved to
transplant one more flower of England's social
achievement. So he bought a hothouse geranium,
and clipped the stoutest bloom. Unluckily geranium
blooms are brief as they are bright ; and by the
time Herr Specht had crossed the Kraussstrasse
roadway, the scarlet petals had fled. Herr Specht
cast away the stalk ; returned ; and took another
bloom. The event recurred. He cast the stalk
away. At this moment along came Herr Policeman
(ex-corporal) Dobbelein ; and with his mind full of
Par. 1197 (" Against Depositing Rubbish ") of the
Municipal Regulations, he stalked up to the stalks.
In such circumstances a fine is just and reasonable.
Since then Herr Specht has worn, as similar in
anatomy and less transitory in Hfe, a pink hydrangea
bloom ; and has published seven editions of his
Why Not Fight Englatid at Once ?

A new hotel in Kurf iirstendamm produced evidence
of Anglomania more instructive still. Though
christened thus like a swearing catenary, Kurfiirs-
tendamm is Berlin's best boulevard. It is rich ; it
is smartisch. It shelters retired Field-Marshals ;
The Legation of China, and people who had appendi-
citis in the same year as Edward VII. Its women
are opulent, and it is no more true that they resemble


sacks than that their robes resemble sacking. It has
a rink, the Secession Gallery, an englisches cafe,
and sufficient vice to keep its memory clean. It
needed nothing but a first-class hotel.

Therefore it was to have a vast apartment hotel,
which would outshine Manhattan's Plaza. Archi-
tecturally not so high ; but with prices of such sky-
scraper exaltation that you would need an express
lift to get to the top ; and overwhelming Smartheit,
It would have five hundred rooms, arranged in suites
so that you could live in an hotel or live in a flat.
There would be cool-air pipes, vacuum-cleaners,
strong-rooms, ice-chests, electric curling-tongs and
sunburners, gymnasiums, roof-gardens, flashlight
barbers, automatic boot-cleaners, radium baths,
concert and ball-rooms ; brilliant cafes, and brightly
painted bars and barmaids. Though costly, things
would be simple, refined, smartisch in the more
honourable meaning of Dr. Gamradt's word.

But above all, the apartment-hotel was to have a
name which would proclaim it universally as a shrine
of Smartheit. The choice caused trouble. The name,
it was agreed, must sound dignified, literary, cos-
mopolitan in appeal, alluring to the refined opulent ;
politely repellent to the vulgar ; calculated to snare
into residence mediatised princes from Austria's
Embassy ; and rich, dyspeptic New Yorkers who
come to see the Kaiser in Potsdam ; and their


insides in Rontgen rays. It must beckon England's
indifferent aristocracy to visit Berlin. The directors
cogitated, speculated, argued, pored over reference
books, tore their hair, quarrelled, and abandoned
the problem. Then — perhaps accidentally, perhaps
inspired by someone versed in Mayfair termino-
logical finesse, but in any case with overjoyed
Eurekas ! — they produced what M. Flaubert called
the inevitable word. They found something at once
seductive, exclusive, recondite, foreign, and smartisch.
They resolved to call their hotel The Boarding House.
Rejoiced that they had found a name to focus the
gaze of social Europe and America, the clever
schemers drugged the Press with puffs. Leading
journals printed impressive descriptions ; and none
omitted a kindly word for " The Boarding House,"
a name, they rightly said, which " places a final
seal on our patent of maturity as world-city." Not,
indeed, all had praise. Some Nationalist journals
sneered at the craze for foreign languages ; and
sound, middle-class organs had apprehensions as to
this flood of alien luxury, and asked why pretentious
The Boarding House was not called plainly The
Hotel. But these thin squeaks were unheard. The
nation felt that after forty years of work it could
afford a bit of show ; and London, said experts on
English culture, has scores of boarding-houses ;
why shouldn't we have one ?


But this undertaking, though unexceptionally
managed, did not pay its way. It drew indeed a
handful of newly-rich, who gained distinction by
writing their letters on Boarding House paper,
and printing " The Boarding House, W. " on their
cards. But the wealthy mass stayed away. The
more cautious were frightened off by the high
implifications of ** The Boarding House," they
feared charges as lofty as the name ; Austria's
mediatised princes continued to dig in Roonstrasse
rooms, and British aristocrats — who notoriously
hate ostentation — went to mere hotels. For these
reasons — and probably because it was a World-City
enterprise — The Boarding House went bankrupt ;
and it emerged ignominiously after months of
reorganisation, as the middle-class " Cumberland

Of necessity this xenomania has correctives ;
there is a strong Nationalist Press which fights it ;
and grave organisations, petitioners, and draughts-
men of penal laws, are pledged to defend and restore
the purity of the once incorrupted tongue. Most
effective is the German Language League, which
has thirty thousand members, all doctors of philology
with average command of 9.42 languages, and there-
fore due respect for their own. The League holds
meetings, and publishes books, and compiles lists
of translations into good High Dutch of alien borrow-


ings. It recommends Foreign- Word Treasuries which
fine you a halfpenny every time you use a translat-
able foreign word ; it gives prizes to men who devise
German equivalents ; it admonishes the Press ; it
vows to die by hunger-strike rather than eat in
restaurants which offer instead of honest German
Speisekarten finnicking French mentis. It ger-
manises sport. The word " sport," it sighs, must
stay ; but other English sport words must go.
Lawn-tennis is an intrusive scoundrel ; but nobody
has a better equivalent than netballplay {Netz-
ballspiel) ; and there are several netballplays. For
eleven years the League has fought to get rid of
other Enghsh tennis words ; and now the useful
ambiguities of deuce and love are banned the German
tongue. The writer Marie von Bunsen has fumigated
golf by publishing a list of German golf words.
Racing has lost its graceless English terminology ;
and you talk of a totes Rennen (a deadly dull run)
instead of a " dead heat." " Concours hippique,"
" a Gallicism," says the League, " which caused
much offence," has given way to " prize-ride "
(Preisreiten). " Sweater " is supplanted by " sport-
jerkin " (Sportwams), which purists impeach as a
hybrid ; but an Anglo-German marriage, says the
League, is better than a withered British virgin.
Science, since Germans prevail there, must be
clothed in German. For ugly, incomprehensible


Greco-Latinisms are found honest compounds of
Germanic etymology which the plainest peasant
can understand. For instance, for Inorganiker
(which means " inorganic chemist ") is proposed
"Notcarboncombinationsseparateanduniteartist " (in
the original Nichtkohlenstoffverhwdung-Scheide-wnd-
Fiige-Kiinstler)^ while the puzzling kaliumferri-
cyanide is revealed with a flash by Zwolffachver-
hlaugastessechskaliumdoppeleisen. The Kaiser helps
in this good cause. His Minister conseil is now
Kronat, his Produkte, Industrie, and Kolonien now
all have German names ; and he was so pleased
when he turned his Zivil-liste into Hofhaushaltung
that he asked the Diet to raise it by £175,000.



Neuer Prince was more wholly given to his affaires, nor in them more
of himselfe {Bacon).

THE wise Emperor had his Jubilee in 1912 ;
and experts and Dr. Gamradt measured
him and his reign. They were pleased
with his size, but not with the size of his reign.
They found him the bigger. His reign brought
no European extensions ; and Germans remember
Bismarck's saying to King Wilhelm of Prussia
that all Hohenzollerns before him had seized
someone else's land. The reign has brought no
colonies worth plundering ; and it has brought
Socialists and New Art ; and despite general
economic prosperity, of late bear markets and
barer women.

The reign is not liked. But the Emperor is.
When Herr Gamradt surveys our Europe's sad
sovereigns, he says it is good to have a human
Kaiser. His Kaiser is man and human. These
things, says Gamradt, are rare ; dull Franz Josef

is man and not human ; puny Victor Emmanuel is



human and not man ; and so on. It is a boon to
have a sovereign who is brave, active, contentious,
aspiring, universal.

Wilhelm the Second, says Gamradt, is meritorious
for one high reason. He is a foil to Germanism.
Germany's plague is dull, full men. Wilhelm the
Second is neither dull nor full ; he is bright and
shallowly all-knowing. Germany is plagued with
experts and specialists, who have studied it all their
lives ; but Wilhelm the Second has not studied it
at all, and his fullness of inspired error spurs dull
men to motion. Germans are deeply ignorant in
their knowledge ; but Wilhelm the Second is
catholically comprehensively, cecumenically learned
in his ignorance. Germany's experts growl that
imperturbable Wilhelm the Second ignorantly tramps
on their land. Wilhelm the Second does well. A
land where dullards undisturbed wax fat in know-
ledge is foredoomed by fate.

Wilhelm the Second is liked by plain-thinking
men, men who rightly treasure the State of which
he is symbol as bravest efflorescence of man's poor
activities. He is liked by farmers, by surveyors,
by sound country shopkeepers, and by men who lost
their legs while saving hens from motor-cars. These
throng to Berlin, watch, cheer, and are pleased.
Wilhelm the Second is less liked by newspaper
proprietors, notaries, and men who have made piles



in potash. He is disliked by disloyal Socialists
and by equally disloyal Junkers, whose loyalty
means :

Und der Konig absolut,
Wenn er unsern Willen tut.

by men, that is, who want no Kaiser, and who want
an elastic, plastic Kaiser. He is not a rich man's
Kaiser. Middle, reasonable men Uke him because
he is no monomaniac and no visionary ; because
he is no snob ; because he has neither the Olympian
remoteness of the new-made rich Tory, nor the Polar
unapproachability of the sea-green incorruptible
Socialist who thinks he is as good as any man.
The Kaiser is the people's Kaiser ; and because
Germans are people — Teutsche the people, as Carlyle
says — they like the Kaiser. When you come across
a man who likes the Kaiser he asks you to lunch ;
and when you come across a man who dislikes the
Kaiser he is tiresome and soulless — even if he knows
all about the orthoptera.

The Kaiser's unpopularity is newspaper un-
popularity ; and it is due in great measure to the
Kaiser's position, and in small measure to himself.
The plague of being half an autocrat is that you are
treated as only half a man. People write things
about you ; and draw pictures of you without
dignity, without kingship, without clothes. You
are held responsible for what you say and what


you do not say, for bad laws, army duels, assaults
by infantry corporals, lumbago, wet weather, poor
crops, bad hops, and cold chops. Being half an
autocrat you would cure these ills were you half a
man. So you get abused and satirised ; lese-majeste
laws fail ; and you look painfully across the sea to
your cousin, who being no autocrat is let be man,
whom artists draw heroically as Saint George killing
some dragon, or — what needs a rarer bravery —
drinking tea in Wales.

Obloquy, in the Press, is the price of autocracy.
The monarch's individuality cannot save him.
Merely because he is Kaiser, the Kaiser must
work everywhere, meddle everywhere, help every-
where, hinder everywhere ; and thereby bring
himself into polemical relations with subjects,
which preclude silence. Therefore Germans, though
drilled and whacked into meekness as no Briton
might be, write things of their monarch which no
Briton would of his. If newspapers printed on King
George what is daily printed on the Kaiser, mobs of
citizens would reduce their editors to pie.

Often Dr. Ing. Gamradt shows me angrily books
and pamphlets on the Kaiser which in Britain
would make an Anarchist printer faint. He bought
a pamphlet called The Kaiser and the Woman-
Question, which says that " Our sovereign's views
are not views of an English gaoler, but views of a


mediaeval executioner." Some books are ruder.
There is a book by Herr Karl Scheidt, which begins
every one of twenty mannerless chapters with
" Mister Kaiser ! " The able Dr. Ilgenstein issues
The Mirror of Prussia, which says, " If Wilhelm
the Second had reigned in the Middle Ages he would
have let loose religious war on his own country . . .
he would have ordered Ibsen's writings to be burnt ;
and made Kalthoff pay for his fidelity at the stake."

That is not possible in free countries ; but it
appears in Germany, precisely because Germany
is not free. It is not the Kaiser's fault that it appears.
Years ago he tried to stop it by ordering that lese-
majeste prosecutions cease. That was the spirit of
incomparable Frederick, who said : " I let my subjects
say what they like ; and they let me do what I
like." Bureaucrats have less sense. They forbade
Prussian State railway bookstalls to sell Simplicis-
simus. That is not done so much because Sifnplicis-
simus rends the Kaiser ; but because it smiles at
some extra-human institutions which to native
bureaucrats are more sacred than he.

The Kaiser's prime virtues are his humanity and
vanity. He is the Kaiser of the camera and the
kinematograph ; the only two things on earth
that show the real, that is, the projected subjective
man, or the man as he is because he wants to look
so. The World-City every week sees a flickering,


kinematograph Kaiser who has far more human
substance than the sohd, physical Kaiser. The
physical, unreal Kaiser's virtues are hidden. The
physical, unreal Kaiser tears daily down the Linden
in a yellow motor-car, heralded by apocalyptic
trumping, which to other motorists is forbidden.
He looks cross, Kaiserly, unhuman, unreal. The
Kaiser, made known to Germans by Kino-culture,
is a substantial human reality ; and he lays siege
successfully to every susceptible heart.

The kinematograph Kaiser has that one all-
human, ever-real passion, the passion for pose.
The moment the kinematograph lens opens its eye
the Kaiser looks pleasant ; and an expansive,
self-conscious kindliness shrouds him. This kindli-
ness wins you. And that is why when he flickers
across the sheet Socialists forget that he wants to
shoot them. Suffragists that he wants to lock them
in the kitchen ; and patriot Letitia that he wants
to knock down England.

The kinematograph Kaiser is the Kaiser taking
a rest on lands of Prince Esterhazy, somewhere
near Hungary's bloody field of Mohacs. The
Kaiser, being a Berliner, wears Tyrol breeches ; a
cock's feather sticks coquettishly in his hat ; and he
gracefully presents presents to Esterhazy 's peasant
maids, who all seem to come from the Opera House
at Pesth. At least their garments. The Kaiser does


this well, and with praiseworthy self-consciousness.
With ridiculous kinematograph quickness, he hands
out the gifts, and every second he looks furtively
aside to make sure that the kino is at work. You
can see that he is sharply interested in the film

Then comes a pleasant, unmistakably un-re-
hearsed manifestation of the Kaiser's humanity.
His careless elbow sweeps a photograph frame on
the ground. A thick Esterhazy peasant maid with
a head-dress like a flowering magnolia, flies to pick
it up. The chivalrous Kaiser forestalls her. He
looks first to see if the kinematograph is working ;
and, reassured, he picks up the frame himself,
and hands it to the magnoHa girl with a Pesth-opera
bow. The grateful maid flies to kiss his hand.
The Kaiser (looks again at the kinematograph)
and kisses her raw hand instead. Then he erects
his spine, slaps his right thigh in boy-hero's style ;
and nods towards the kinematograph man with an
imperative, " Develop that carefully. The subject's

The Kino-Kaiser's human ardour to be gracious
and kindly is quite as plain in his northern kine-
matograph tour. There is the same insuppressible
humanity. The Kino-Kaiser walks the Hohcn-
zoUerns deck arm-in-arm with a junior lieutenant ;
he wears an arch schoolboy's grin ; and he sports


a spy-glass. His Majesty's Consul at Bergen is
announced. A venerable gentleman in a hyper-
borean silk hat. The Kaiser shakes the consul's
hand, pins a medal on his coat, slaps him on the
back, and roars with laughter. Then he looks aside
at the kinematograph, and slaps his right thigh.

And next you see the kinematograph Kaiser
kissing a Biirgermeister's straw-haired maid down
Marburg way ; or you see him slaying a fierce
kinematograph boar. The boar is nearly dead.
Voracious kinodogs rend its shaggy flanks ; and
three grand-opera huntsmen seize its tail and legs
to keep it from kinematogoring the Kaiser. The
Kaiser draws a hunting-knife, long as a sword, and
plunges it boldly into the boar's heart. Letitia
here starts insular comments on heartless Conti-
nental sport. She has hardly finished when the
Kaiser lifts his head, slaps his thigh, looks with a
careful smile towards the kinematographer, and
wins back her heart.

Letitia corrects her first wrong impression that
this is all kinematograph pose. A part of it is pose.
There is no denying that the Kaiser in every act
feels the kinematograph's eye, and that it is for the
kinematograph mainly he slaps his thigh, stands
all-too-humanly erect, and gives his moustachios

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Online LibraryEdward EdgeworthHuman German → online text (page 15 of 20)