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barbarians only fit to remain for ever oppressed.

On another occasion, Mommsen wrote: "We are twin brothers; we became
separated from you in former days, but soon we must be united again."
The linguistic map of Germany, widespread wherever German is spoken,
reveals very clearly what are the ambitions of "Alt-Deutschland." The
lion's maw of the "Slav-eaters" is always wide open. Sometimes the
devouring beast walks delicately, at others he hurls himself savagely
on his prey.

The opening of the Reichstag has provided us with a very important
speech from the throne by William II, for it emphasises the lack of
agreement which prevails between Sovereign, Parliament and people. The
Emperor-King has announced his plan for a seven-years' period for naval
service, similar to that in force in the army. The Bill will come
before the Reichstag during its present session. As William has
declared more than once, he intends that the naval strength of Germany
shall equal that of her army. As for the German people, while ready to
accept all the sacrifices required to maintain the supremacy of its
military forces, it has no hankerings after naval supremacy. Its
proudest hopes lie in the direction covered by the "Drang nach Osten"
formula. It wants to advance upon Austria, while retaining the ground
already won. Mommsen and the Duke of Baden between them sum up
Germany's ambitions.

In Germany at the present moment, public opinion would appear to be
satisfied with preserving the work of William I and pushing on towards
the East; but how little will these things satisfy William II! It is
the will of the German Emperor, King of Prussia, to be a law-giver to
the East, to dispute with England the sovereignty of the seas, to take
bites out of China, to display the ever-victorious flag of Germany all
over the world. It is true that, to accomplish this will of his, will
require an additional 500 millions, and it will require, in particular,
that the Reichstag should vote them in one lump sum. William II is
like his teacher Bismarck in the matter of dogged obstinacy. Like him,
he will present his scheme in a hundred different guises, until its
opponents become weary and give in.


Germany has just been giving the European Concert a lesson in the
policy of energy. She displays as much bluntness in her sudden claims
as she displayed skill in having the Concert brought to ridicule by
Turkey. Haiti and China have yielded on the spot to her direct
threats. If they reflect, will not the Powers of the Concert realise
that Germany's every act is either a challenge or a lesson? The German
expedition to Kiao-chao, 4000 strong, is so greatly in excess of the
requirements of her claims to compensation for injuries suffered, that
it reveals a definite intention on the part of William II to take
advantage of the first plausible pretext to acquire a naval station in
China.

Peace has been signed between Turkey and Greece, but let us not regard
it as a settlement of outstanding questions, for the Ambassadors were
only able to come to an agreement by eliminating questions in dispute,
one by one. Germany now appears to dominate the Eastern question to
such a degree that, in his Speech from the Throne, William II did not
even allude to it. What would have been the good? Turkey is already a
province of Germany! William II and his Ambassador are the rulers
there and govern the country as sovereigns. The flood-gate of German
emigration, secretly unlocked, will soon be thrown wide open; 200,000
Germans will be able to make their way into the Ottoman Empire every
year. Before long their numbers will tell, they will assert their
rights, and the Slav provinces in the Balkans and in Austria will find
themselves out off by the flood.

Is Russia beginning to realise that it would have been better for her
to protect the Christians against Turkey rather than to allow them to
be slaughtered - that it would have been a more humane and far-seeing
policy to defend Greece and Crete instead of abandoning them to the
tender mercies of Turco-German policy? It is over-late to set the
clock back and to challenge the pre-eminent control which William II
has established over everything in the East.



December 25, 1897. [22]

None but the author of _Tartarin_ and his immortal "departures" could
have described for us the setting-forth of Prince Henry of Prussia for
China. The exchange of speeches between William and his brother makes
one of the most extravagant performances of modern times, when read in
conjunction with the actual facts, reduced by means of the telegraph to
their proper proportions, which may be summed up as follows: Taking up
the cause of two German missionaries who have suffered ill-treatment in
China, the Emperor of Germany sends an ultimatum to the Son of Heaven,
who yields on every point and carries his submission so far that he
runs the risk of compromising his relations with other Powers.
Consequently, there is an end of the dispute. The facts, you see, are
simple. But Prince Henry has made him ready to receive his solemn
investiture at the hands of his brother, the Emperor, by going to kiss
Prince Bismarck on his forehead and cheek ("forehead and cheek," as
Prince Henry unctuously remarks, "so often kissed by my grandfather,
William I"). Next Prince Henry goes to seek the blessing of General
Waldersee; then he has himself blessed by his mother, and by his aunt,
and later he will go and get blessed by his grandmother, Queen
Victoria. Slowly and solemnly each act and formality is accomplished
in accordance with the rites prescribed by William. The Imperial
missionary, the sailor transformed into a sort of bishop, sets forth.
The quest of the pirate-knight is to conquer all China, to become its
emperor, to fall upon it, inspired by the God of battles. What matters
it that the Chinese will not resist, that they will fall prostrate
before him? The grandeur of Tartarin's setting forth has nothing to do
with his getting there.

At Kiel all was prepared. Germany trembled with impatience and this is
what she heard: -


"Imperial power means sea power: the existence of the one depends upon
the other. The squadron which your ships will reinforce must act and
hold itself as the symbol of Imperial and maritime power; it must live
on good terms of friendship with all its comrades of the fifteen
foreign fleets out yonder, so as energetically to protect the interests
of the Fatherland against any one who would injure a German. Let every
European over them, every German merchant, and, above all, every
foreigner in the land to which we are going, or with whom we may have
to do, understand that the German Michael has firmly planted on this
soil his shield bearing the Imperial Eagle, so as to be able, once and
for all, to give his protection to all those who may require it of him.
May our fellow-countrymen out yonder be firmly convinced that, no
matter what their situation, be they priests or merchants, the
protection of the German Empire will be extended to them with all
possible energy by means of the warships of the Imperial fleet. And
should any one ever infringe our just rights strike him with your
mailed fist! If God so will He shall bind about your young brow
laurels of which none, throughout all Germany, shall be jealous!

"Firmly convinced that, following the example of good models (and
models are not lacking to our house, Heaven be praised!), you will
fulfil my wishes and my vows, I drink to your health and wish a good
journey, all success, and, a safe return! Hurrah for Prince Henry!"


Prince Henry's incredible reply was as follows -


"As children we grew up together. Later, when we grew to manhood, it
was given to us to look into each other's eyes and to remain faithfully
united to each other. For your Majesty the Imperial Crown has been
girt with thorns. Within my narrower sphere and with my feeble
strength strengthened by my vows, I have endeavoured to help your
Majesty as a soldier and a citizen. . . .

"I am very sincerely grateful to your Majesty for the trust which you
place in my feeble person. And I can assure your Majesty that it is
not laurels that tempt me, nor glory. One thing and one only leads me
on, it is to go and proclaim in a foreign land the gospel of the sacred
person of your Majesty and to preach it as well to those who will hear
it as to those who will not. It is this that I intend to blazon upon
my flag and wherever I may go. Our comrades share these sentiments!
Eternal life to our well-beloved Emperor!"


Such gems must be left intact. One should read them again and again,
line by line. Ponderous eloquence, fustian bombast, and mouldy pathos
combine with the display of pomp, to excite world-wide admiration.
This play of well-rehearsed parts is given before an audience of
generals, high officials and politicians, and the scene is set at Kiel,
that moving pedestal which the King of Prussia inaugurated when he made
all the fleets of Europe file past him.

William II looks upon history as a vulgar photographic plate designed
for the purpose of "taking" him in all his poses and in such places as
he may select and appoint.

A crusade is afoot: they go, they are gone, to preach "the gospel of
the sacred person of William II." A holy war is declared, to be waged
against a people which declines to fight. Never mind, they will find a
way to glory, be it only in the size of the slices of territory which
they will seize.


The two great conceptions of our Minister of Foreign Affairs are to act
as the honest broker in China between St. Petersburg and Berlin, and to
put the European Concert to rights. How often have I not told him that
all he has to gain by playing this game is a final surrender on the
part of France? Alas! my prophecy, already fulfilled in the East, is
very near to coming true in the Far East. If it should prove
otherwise, it would not be to anything in our foreign policy that our
good luck would be due, but to the fact that all Russia has come to
realise that she is likely to be Germany's dupe in the Far East, as she
has been in the East.

During the reign of the Emperor Alexander III and the Presidency of M.
Carnot, the Franco-Russian Alliance possessed a definite meaning,
because both these rulers understood that any pro-German tendencies in
their mutual policy must have constituted an obstacle to the perfect
union of the national policies of their two countries. France had
ceased to indulge in secret flirtations with Germany when the latter
was no longer Russia's ally. The plain and inevitable duty of our
Government was to promote an antagonism of interests between Germany
and Russia and to prove to the latter that France was loyally working
to promote her greatness above all else, on condition that she should
help us to hold our own position. If France had been governed as she
should have been, had we possessed a statesman at the Quai d'Orsay, our
diplomatic defeats at Canea, Athens and Constantinople, though possibly
inevitable, might have found a Court of Appeal; and France would
finally have been in a position of exceptional advantage in securing a
judgment favourable to our alliance.

Germany's brutal seizure in China of a naval station that the Chinese
Government had leased to Russia for the purposes of a winter harbour
for her fleet, foreshadows the sort of thing that William II is capable
of doing, under cover of an _entente_, so soon as Japan comes to
evacuate Wei-hai-wei, upon China's payment of the war indemnity.
Germany's scruples in dealing with "sick men," remind one of the
charlatans who either kill or cure, according to their estimate of
their prospects of being able to grab the inheritance.



[1] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 15, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[2] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[3] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1896, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[4] _Ibid._, September 1, 1896.

[5] _La Nouvelle Revue_, March 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[6] La Nouvelle Revue, May 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[7] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[8] William II had just sent 8000 marks to the fund for the victims of
the fire at the Charity Bazaar.

[9] Since Parisian journalists have dared to sing their cynical praises
in honour of the German Emperor, no considerations need restrain our
pen in defending the Tzars from the charges that have been brought
against them. These people ask: How is it that _your_ Emperor of
Russia has delayed so long in expressing to us his condolence? Why?
Let me explain. The fire at the Charity Bazaar broke out at 4 p.m. on
May 4, but the Russian Ambassador in Paris only telegraphed the news to
Count Mouravieff on the evening of May 5. The Emperor can only have
heard of the disaster on the 6th; it was then too late for him to
telegraph a direct message, and it was therefore thought best to send
instructions to the Russian Embassy. The blame in this matter falls
therefore upon M. de Mohrenheim. It was due to his methods of
proceeding that the Emperor learnt the news forty-eight hours late.
_Le Gaulois_, in a somewhat officious explanation, informs us that the
Russian Ambassador kept back his telegram because May 5 is the birthday
of the Empress, and because there is a superstition in Russia that it
is bad luck to get bad news on one's birthday. This explanation is
untrue; there is no such superstition. Did they conceal from Nicholas
II, on the day of his coronation, the terrible catastrophe at
Khadyskaje, which cost the lives of thousands of Russians; and did this
disaster prevent the Tzar from attending M. de Montebello's ball that
same evening? Moreover, M. de Mohrenheim should have telegraphed on
May 4 to Count Mouravieff, leaving to him the choice as to the hour for
communicating the information to the Tzar. M. de Mohrenheim is in the
habit of doing this sort of thing; when he chooses, his instincts are
dilatory. He behaved in exactly the same way, and with the same
object, on the day when M. Carnot was assassinated.

As soon as the news of that dreadful event reached the Quai d'Orsay,
the _Chef du Protocole_, (then Count Bourqueney) went in all haste to
the Russian Embassy, woke up the Ambassador, and informed him
officially of the disaster which had just overtaken France. It was
then two o'clock in the morning. Instead of telegraphing the news at
once to Alexander III, M. de Mohrenheim only did so at eleven o'clock
on the following day. Now, he knew perfectly well that, as the result
of this delay, the Tzar could only learn the news two days later
because, on the following day in the early morning, Alexander III was
starting with the whole Imperial family for Borki, where he was about
to open a memorial chapel on the spot where several years before an
attempt had been made on his life. The journey takes about forty-eight
hours, and as the destination of the Imperial train is always kept
secret, the Tzar could not receive the telegram until after his arrival
at Borki. It will be remembered that the delay which thus took place,
in the communication of the Tzar's sympathy with France in her
mourning, created an unfortunate impression, and enabled the German
Emperor to get in ahead of him by two days. The explanation of the
delay which occurred on that occasion should have been communicated to
the Havas Press Agency, and the Tzar's journey mentioned. This was
done by all foreign newspapers, but good care was taken that no word of
the sort should be published in Paris. It is, therefore, evident that,
if the Kaiser has been twice placed in the position which has enabled
him to get in well ahead of Alexander III and Nicholas II, the blame
must not be ascribed to any indifference, or lukewarm feelings on the
part of the friends of France. The most one can reproach them with is
to have retained at Paris an Ambassador about whose sentiments both
Tzars were fully informed long ago.

[10] "Truly, this man must be devoted to France," M. Emile Hinzelin
writes me, "he must love her dearly, since he keeps a strip of her, cut
from the living flesh, which still palpitates and bleeds. Whom can he
possibly hope to deceive? Mülhausen is not far from Paris, neither is
Colmar, nor Strasburg, nor Metz. It is from this unhappy town of Metz,
the most cruelly tortured of all, that he sends us his condolences and
his bag of money. As is usual with complete hypocrites, he is by no
means lacking in impudence. Never have the French people of
Alsace-Lorraine been accused with more bitter determination,
prosecuted, condemned and exploited by all possible means and
humiliated in every way. Never has William himself displayed such
unrestraint and wealth of insult in his speeches to the Army. I came
across him during a journey of mine some months ago, just as he was
unveiling a monument, commemorating the fatal year of 1870. With his
head thrown back, his eyes rolling in frenzy and rage, shaking his fist
towards France and with his voice coming in jerks, he uttered
imprecations, challenges and threats in wild confusion. Next day the
German Press published his speech, very carefully arranged, toned down,
and even changed in certain respects; but it still retained, in spite
of this diplomatic doctoring, an unmistakable accent of fierce and
determined hatred. There you have him in his true light, and in his
real sentiments, this man of sympathetic telegrams, of flowers, and
easy tears."

[11] _La Nouvelle Revue_, June 16, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[12] _La Nouvelle Revue_, July 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[13] _La Nouvelle Revue_, August 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[14] Amongst the latest proofs of this, here is one, I quote from a
German newspaper: "In 1870, when war was declared, the _Kölnische
Zeitung_ offered a reward of 500 thalers for the first capture of a
French gun. This prize was won by some soldiers of the first Silesian
Battalion of the 5th Regiment of Chasseurs, who, in their first fight
at Wissemburg, took possession of a cannon which bore the name of Le
Douay, after the commander-in-chief of a French Army Corps. It
occurred to these soldiers to erect a monument at the spot where this
gun was captured. The monument itself, consisting of a large rock from
the Vosges, was the gift of one of them, and on June 20 the
presentation of the monument took place, in the presence of Chasseurs
who had come from all parts of the country and of a large number of
officers. Twenty-seven years ago, the Chasseurs were there, on the
same spot, facing the enemy; to-day, they hail the heights of
Wissemburg as part of the great German Fatherland, reconquered after a
fierce and bloody struggle." It is evident that the Emperor is not the
only one to celebrate these anniversaries, that new ones are always
being invented, and that no humiliation will be spared us in
Alsace-Lorraine.

[15] _La Nouvelle Revue_, September 15, 1897, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[16] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[17] This article appeared in the _Petit Marseillais_ under the title
of "The Gulls."

[18] _La Nouvelle Revue_, October 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[19] A friend writes to me from Germany: "You cannot conceive the
effects produced upon me by the _incredible_ development of industrial
enterprise throughout all Germany. Factories seem to spring out of the
ground; in all the large towns that one visits, smoke ascends from
hundreds of chimneys. The workshops that manufacture steam-engines are
so overloaded with work, that orders take more than a year to fill. I
went all over the offices of the Patents Bureau in Berlin - a place as
large as our Ministry of Commerce, with a library more complete than
that of our poor Conservatoire of arts and trades. Alas, we are but
pigmies beside these giants! Everywhere one sees evidence of order,
discipline and patience, qualities in which we are somewhat lacking.
But I am not down-hearted, and with the help of a few colleagues, we
are going to try and propagate some of the ideas we have learned from
our neighbours and which may be of benefit to our country."

[20] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 1, 1897, "Letters on Foreign Policy."

[21] _La Nouvelle Revue_, December 15, 1897, "Letters on Foreign
Policy."

[22] _La Nouvelle Revue_, January 2, 1898, "Letters on Foreign Policy."




CHAPTER VI

1898


The encroaching expansion of Germany - When will there be a determined
coalition against Germany? - The crime of Jules Ferry - William II
checked in his attempt to obtain a representative of the Holy See at
Constantinople - Leo XIII confirms France in her protectorate over
Christians in the East - William's journey to Palestine.


January 9, 1898. [1]

Shall I be told that I repeat myself if, once a fortnight, I say to
every good citizen, anxious about the many dangers that threaten his
country, "Beware of this Germany, whose numbers and wealth and strength
are ever-increasing and multiplying?"

Let each one of us do all that lies in his power not to assist in any
way the industry and commerce of Germany, which devour and destroy our
own. Let us enlighten those near to us who in their turn will
enlighten their neighbours, and let us stimulate a movement of
resistance to the invasion of German produce of every kind; let every
one of us contribute his share to the strengthening of public opinion
for the struggle against the spirit of Germanism, which is gradually
undermining the national spirit of France. May the voter insist that
his representative should not keep his eyes fixed within the narrow
semi-circle of parliamentary affairs and that he should observe beyond
it the continual retreat of our diplomacy before the advance of German
predominance.

Even the most limited intelligence can now perceive that, even if we
felt ourselves powerless to pursue our secular policy for the defence
and protection of Christians in the East, nothing compelled us to
witness the marriage contract between Germany and the Grand Turk, to
overwhelm them both with good wishes for their perfect union, to lend
them our aid in establishing their perfect understanding.

What need is there for us to seek to reconcile Germany and Russia in
China? Germany could not have rendered any valuable assistance to our
ally in the Middle Kingdom, for she brings to Asia nothing but her
insatiable greed, and had it not been for her reconciliation with
Russia, she would never have dared to gratify it. Once sure of the
confidence of the young Tzar, with what haste and brutality did William
II proceed to display his long teeth! So there he is, definitely in
possession of Kiao-chao Bay, for only the utterly credulous will
believe in any retrocession of this so-called leased territory, in
recovering from Germany this admirable commercial harbour, this
marvellous strategical position.



February 6, 1898. [2]

Lies, insolence, polite hypocrisy, underhand plotting, audacity,
cynicism and cruelty, these are the ingredients that go to the making
of Prussian statecraft.

It must be admitted that the Emperor-King of Prussia is growing.
Cutting himself clear from the timid souls who are still possessed of a
sense of right, he assumes the proportions of a Machiavelli and a
Mephistopheles combined. William the Incalculable, as his subjects
call him, develops to his own advantage the influences and the power of
evil. What new distress will he bring to Christian souls, this
applauder of the Armenian massacres, when, after having covered with
his favour, supported by his strength, guided by his advice and
encouraged by his friendship, the assassin who reigns at
Constantinople, he makes his pilgrimage to Palestine, escorted in
triumph by the same soldiers who, by order of the Red Sultan, have
killed, tortured and tormented Christians? We shall see him kneeling
before the tomb of Christ, surrounded by Turks with bloodstained hands,
when he goes to take possession of those much-coveted Holy Places,
which shall make him, the prop and stay of the exterminator of
Christians, sole arbiter of Christianity in the East. Can the heavens
that look down on Mount Sinai smile on William II, sheltering in the
shadow of Turkish bayonets? When, at Jerusalem, he celebrates the
opening of the Prussian Church (whose corner-stone was laid by
Frederick III, repentant of his military glory), will not this man of


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