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the peoples, who want war to-day. In Germany, it is "the cupidity of
the classes whom fate has neglected"; it is also the socialists who
decline to vote more soldiers because they desire to trouble the
world's peace and expect "to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives
in the next war and to threaten the existence of morality and
civilisation."

I do not know whether my readers can make head or tail of this
speech - I certainly cannot - but its intention is plain enough. William
II has been careful to emphasise it, by declaring that the increase in
the peace strength of the army is intended to reinforce the eastern and
western frontiers. Several officious newspapers (we no longer call
them reptile, but to do so would make them more authoritative) sum up
the matter in these words -

"The nearer the peace-footing of the troops on our frontiers approaches
to war-strength, the more effectively these troops are provided with
everything necessary to enable them to leave within _three hours_ of
receiving marching orders, the more secure becomes Germany's position."

Quite so! By next October there will be 200,000 men in
Alsace-Lorraine. As you see, the new law adds to the security of
Germany precisely what it takes from ours.



June 12, 1890. [6]

My readers will recollect that after a journey in Switzerland, two
years ago, I proved by statements which could not be (and never were)
refuted, that the Russian Nihilists established in Switzerland before
the Federal Government's inquiry, were all either deliberate or
unconscious tools of the German police.

On the one hand, M. de Puttkamer, Minister of the Interior, unable to
refute the evidence brought forward by the socialist deputy, Bebel, had
then been compelled to confess that the socialist agitators Haupt and
Schneider were his agents in Switzerland. On the other hand, at the
inquiry into the proceedings of these socialists, there was the
evidence furnished by letters seized on Schmidt and Friedmann,
associates of Haupt and Schneider, that Schmidt had been commissioned
by M. Krüger of the Berlin Police to commit a crime. In one of the
seized letters, the following words were actually used by Krüger: "The
next attempt upon the life of the Emperor Alexander must be prepared at
Geneva. Write to me; I await your reports." [7]

Whenever the alleged liberalism of William II finds its expression in
anything else but speeches, it is easy to take its measure. He has
just shown once more what it really amounts to, in the Treaty of
Establishment with Switzerland, wherein restrictions are placed upon
the issue of good moral character certificates by German parishes to
their parishioners. These will no longer be available to enable a
German to take up his residence in Switzerland. Henceforward it will
be the business of the German Legation to pick and choose those whom it
considers eligible to reside in Switzerland, either to practise a
profession or to conduct an export business there. It will be for
Germany to decide whether or not her subjects are dangerous abroad.
This would be well enough if it were only a question of restraining
rogues, but it is anything but reassuring when we come to deal with the
ever advancing phalanx of German spies.



July 9, 1890. [8]

It seems to me that this Wagnerian Emperor, pursuing his legends to the
uttermost parts of the earth, is doing his utmost to darken our
horizon. Everywhere, always he confronts us, appearing on the scene to
deprive us of the last remnants of good-will left to us in Europe.

In the Scandinavian States, even after 1870, we had preserved certain
trusty friendships: of these William II now tries to rob us. He
appears and, to use his own expression, draws men to him by magic
strings. To the people who are offshoots of Germany he figures as "the
Emperor," unique, mysterious, he who goes forward in the name of the
fables of mythology, gathering and uniting anew in his slumbering
people the instincts of vassalage. "Super-German virtues," he calls
them, "ornaments of old-time Germany." This monarch who, in his own
land, is pleased to pose as a Liberal!

Can it be that this same William who, on the Bosphorus held communion
with the stars, who, writing to Bismarck, said, "I talk with God,"
finds the celestial responses so inadequate that his mind must needs
invoke a retinue of Teutonic deities?

"Let the Latins, Slavs and Gauls know it," says he, "the German Emperor
bears to Germans the glad tidings which promise them the sovereignty of
the world!"

Have not even the Anglo-Saxons bowed before the sovereign will of
William II, so that before long the island of Heligoland will see the
German flag floating over its rocky shores?

Yes, let her Press and public men say what they will, proud Albion has
delivered herself over to Germany. She has made surrender to our enemy
in the hope that we shall thus become for her an easier victim, that
she will be able to recover at our expense what Germany has taken from
her. Lord Salisbury hopes, in return for the plum he has yielded, to
be able to help himself to ours, to those of Italy and Portugal, and to
share others with Germany.

But such is the character of William II that he despises those who
serve him or who yield to his will. Like Don Juan, he seeks ever new
worlds to conquer, new resistances to overcome, and neglects no means
to secure his desired ends. England and Austria to-day count for less
than nothing in his schemes. These countries have had a free hand in
Bulgaria, and they have used it to indulge in every sort of intrigue.
Screened by Bismarck, they have advised, upheld and exalted Stamboulof,
they have set up the Prince of Coburg. And William, not having
inspired any of this policy, would like to see it end in complications
shameful for his associates.

As to the King of Sweden, he thinks it due to the dignity of his people
to make some show of resistance, but one feels that this is only done
to save appearances. He also has delivered himself, bound hand and
foot, just as they have all done, the Emperor Francis Joseph, the King
of Italy, the Hohenzollern who reigns at Bucharest, Stamboulof, Lord
Salisbury and Leopold II.



July 29, 1890. [9]

The Imperial bagman travelling in Germanophil wares conceals under his
flag a very mixed cargo. He makes a Bernadotte to serve as speaking
trumpet for Prussian Conservatism at the same time that he subsidises
_agents provocateurs_ for the purpose of misleading and
internationalising the social reform programme of the Danes.

And all the time, in every direction, he comes and goes - this ever
restless, universal disturber - creating and perpetuating instability on
all sides, so as to increase the price of his peace stock, he
controlling the market. It is Bismarck's old game, played with
up-to-date methods.



August 12, 1890. [10]

Does it not seem to you, dear reader, that the voyage of William II to
Russia suggests in more ways than one the scene of the Temptation on
the Mount?

At St. Petersburg there reigns a sovereign whose life, directed by the
inspirations of his soul, is one long act of virtuous self-denial; who
prefers the humble and the lowly to fortune's favourites; whose works
are works of peace, and whose intentions are always those of a man
ready to appear before Him Who only tolerates the great ones of this
earth when their power is balanced by a due sense of their moral
responsibility, by devotion to duty and truth.

At Berlin there reigns a man of ungovernable pride, who aspires to be
torch-bearer to the world. Restless, like the spirit of evil,
tormented by his inability to do good, he has dedicated his soul to
wickedness and lies.

Alexander III regarded his accession to the throne as an ordeal, the
sacrifice of his life. He would have given his own blood to spare his
father the pangs of death. William II seized fiercely on the reins of
power, after having committed a crime, at least in his heart; after
having wished for the death of his father and increased his sufferings
by his conduct.

By the tragic end of two martyrs, God has brought face to face those
who are destined to be the champions of good and of evil respectively
in these last years of the century.

The German Emperor goes to Russia to say to the Tzar, "Divide with me
the kingdoms of the earth, always on condition that I receive the
lion's share."

The Emperor of Russia will reply: "Let us endeavour, my brother, to
work for the welfare of the nations, let us calm their hatreds and
follow the rugged paths of justice; above all, let us regard the power
which the God of hosts has confided into our hands as an instrument of
sovereignty, whose only purpose should be to keep the nation's honour
unsullied and safeguard the blessings of peace."

"Words, nothing but words," replies the Tempter. "Say, Yes or No, wilt
thou go with me to the conquest of the world? On all sides your
influence, which I have undermined, is waning: you and your followers
are caught in a ring of iron from which before long you will be unable
to escape.

"In Germany, all things are subject to my unfettered rule. Henceforth
nothing can ever check or stop my triumphal march. Throughout the
humbly listening world, which will soon be at my feet, I break that
which will not bend before me. I overthrow all those that stand, and
that which comes to me, I keep. Even the Church, which treated with my
forefathers on a footing of equality, now bows the knee before me and
humbly votes the money for my great slaughters.

"Socialism, that bogey of Bismarck's, is an easily tamed monster. I
have only to sow discord amongst its leaders to make it serve my ends
of policy like the veriest National Liberal party.

"In Austria, my grandfather and I created financial troubles, entangled
things, let loose envy and hatred and sowed the seeds of quarrels,
which have delivered her into my hands. Let them try as they will to
free themselves from the fetters with which I have bound them; I shall
create such obstacles to all these efforts that the future shall be
mine, like the present.

"In Hungary, Prussian diplomacy has found a way to turn the people's
hatred of Austria into hatred of Russia, and to make them forgive the
House of Hapsburg for a policy of coercion so cruel than even a
Romanoff denounced it.

"Everywhere I create dissension amongst my allies so that the final
decision may be mine.

"In Italy I have my _âme damnée_, the only one who understands me, an
ambitious tyrant, mad like Bismarck with the lust of power, who serves
my purposes at Rome as effectively as Bismarck hampered them in Berlin.

"I have stifled and destroyed the spirit of brotherhood in the cradle
of the Latin race. I have made history a liar, bringing a false
morality to the interpretation of the most brilliant days and deeds. I
have reduced to servility a Royal House that once was proud. I have
cheated and deceived the cleverest and most suspicious race on earth.

"At Rome, I have insulted the traditional and sacred majesty of the
Head of the Christian religion!

"In England, I have done even more. I have compelled proud Albion to
serve the ends of my personal policy. I have forced the most jealous
of nations to yield the leading place to me, to work, in her own
colonies and against her own interests, for the benefit of my growing
rivalry, sacrificing to me her dreams of supremacy in the four quarters
of the globe.

"As to America, I will deal with her later. I have my plans.

"Despite Lord Salisbury's make-believe of caution and reserve (about
which, I may say, we quite understand each other) England is so
completely delivered into my power that, after the Conservatives the
Liberals, in the person of the young leader John Morley, now proffer me
their services, and no matter what changes may take place in the
English parties my influence will soon prevail.

"My journeys to the Scandinavian States have been fruitful. In
Denmark, O Tzar! your own father-in-law has become almost associated
with my destiny.

"I have linked with my fortunes a king of French stock in Sweden, and I
will prove it at Alsen Island, where I shall compel him to take part in
the manoeuvres of my fleet.

"As to Norway, a few words from my Imperial lips have overcome the old
republicanism of these brother Teutons.

"So as to keep closer watch over the submission of my new allies, I
have wrested Heligoland from England; and there I shall build an
eagle's nest from which I shall be able to swoop down upon them, should
they attempt to escape me. Those who had any doubts as to the
importance of this surrender, have learned it from the speeches that I
made when taking possession.

"By this means I have closed the German Ocean _for ever_, and that
which is closed gives access to something.

"What need I say of Turkey that you do not know already? All her
thoughts, movements and actions are regulated by one man, and he a
vassal of German policy. Turkey's army, trade and finances, the
direction of her ruling minds, are either in my hands or in those of
England. And England, say what you will, is hypnotised by me.

"I can afford at my pleasure to challenge her policy indefinitely.

"The diplomas which she conferred upon the Bulgarian bishops after the
execution at Panitza have shown you, my brother, how greatly I am
pleased to favour those whom you have condemned! Stamboulof, the
inveterate foe of Russia, now dominates the elections in Bulgaria and
Roumelia, thanks to the iradé on the bishoprics. He goes in triumph
through the land, so that even the Russophile candidates invoke the
protection of this man, who shoots the country's heroes and reduces its
prince to the level of an ordinary public servant. His audacity, his
impunity, the length of his tether, have no limits except those which
will be imposed upon him by my power should you turn a deaf ear to my
proposals.

"And just as British policy has served the ends of Prussian statecraft
in Bulgaria and Roumelia, even so it serves them at this moment in
Armenia.

"It was I who willed and inspired the indulgence of the Sultan for the
bloodthirsty Moussa Bey. Massacred by the Kurds on the one hand, and
on the other observing the success of the revolution in Roumelia, the
Armenians will inevitably be led from one revolt to another and, helped
by a few timely suggestions, will come to believe that they can win
their autonomy.

"Herein lies another difficulty which disturbs your mind, and of which
my hands hold the threads; another people, to whom you might have
looked for help in the event of my allies going to war with you, but
which England and I will be able to remove from your influence.

"In Roumania, a Hohenzollern guards all the keys which open the doors
of his frontiers.

"In Serbia, I am working by sure means to destroy the last remaining
sympathies for Russia. To attain this end I will leave no stone
unturned, even as I am doing in Greece against France.

"With an eye to the future interests of my African colonies, I have
compelled England to keep Portugal quiet. I do not wish any
revolutionary upheaval to react upon Spain, that indomitable nation
which still resists me, but in whose mouth nevertheless, I have put an
invisible bit. I shall know how to drive her headlong into the trap
that awaits her in Morocco.

"With the help of Italy, Switzerland is mine. And Holland will fall to
me through the little Duchy of Luxembourg, which will come to me by the
marriage of one of my sisters with the heir of Nassau.

"My last master stroke was the way of my coming into Belgium. Therein
I was artful. The Belgians affected to believe in the neutrality of
their microscopic kingdom. I played up to the joke and entered their
country by way of the sea.

"In all the splendour of my power, I came to Ostend on the
_Hohenzollern_, and I made it my business to invest my appearance with
every feature calculated to impress the mob, in these days when outward
show appeals most powerfully to the popular imagination. And I was,
moreover, determined that nothing should be lacking to the full
effectiveness of this demonstration.

"Belgium had intimated by a revolution her objections to becoming
German. Well and good: I imposed myself upon her as German Emperor.
With wearisome reiteration she had manifested her sympathy for France.
In order to challenge these sentiments the more effectively, I
compelled King Leopold to take his seat beside me as the Colonel of one
of my Alsatian regiments!

"And do you suppose that the Belgians protested? Not a bit of it! No,
the trick is played. No longer in secret, but openly, Belgium will
play my waiting game, in the Congo and at the gates of France.

"My visit to Belgium is destined to produce such important results in
days to come, that I have neglected not the smallest detail in order to
produce a legendary impression upon Europe. Nothing have I forgotten:
costumes for each part, words, good seed sown broadcast in the public
mind, communications to the Press, advice given to sovereigns of a
nature to please the people, and elsewhere (as in England) popularity
with the military caste!

"An individual of the name of Van der Smissen, having dared to argue in
the ranks, got broken for his pains.

"At the same time, in order to cast into stronger relief the loftiness
and majesty of my countenance, I invested it, amongst these good
Belgians, with certain new features of good nature and cordiality.

"As to France, Russia's only possible ally to-day, her artless
simplicity protects me from all risks that I might otherwise run. I
shall compel her to accept the neutralisation of Alsace-Lorraine,
whenever the provinces shall have become thoroughly Germanised.

"For the present I leave England to deal with her: England who keeps
her busy with childish things, and soothes her vanity with illusory
diplomatic successes, such as the _exequatur_ of the Madagascar Consuls
(which the settled policy of the residents would have achieved in time)
and with useless concessions amidst the fogs of Lake Chad, or on the
Niger, or in regions whose possession none disputed.

"Lord Salisbury evoked much mirth, over these concessions at the Lord
Mayor's banquet, joking somewhat cynically at his own policy in
disposing of territories over which he had no rights. One country,
amongst others, given to France, has provided my good English friends
with an inexhaustible source of merriment.

"Concerning Egypt, Lord Salisbury has clearly intimated to France that
England will _never_ give it up.

"Thus, the Salisbury Ministry has still at its disposal, to keep busy
my fiery but easily duped neighbours, the Egyptian problem, with a
French Minister at Cairo, who is more of a help than a hindrance to
England; the Newfoundland question, with the Anglo-American Waddington,
more yielding for the purposes of the British Foreign Office than one
of its own agents.

"Moreover, whenever I choose, the rulers of France can be made to
believe in a francophile reincarnation of M. Crispi! I have many
things in store for them in that quarter.

"Deceived by the infinite resources of my diplomacy, led astray by my
agents who have taken on less reptilian disguises, the guileless French
nation remains a prey to ignorance and ambitions as countless as the
sands on the shore of her democracy.

"To sum up; England, through India; England and Germany, through China,
we hold in our hands that question of an Asiatic war, a scourge which
will exhaust the strength of your Empire, O Tzar! and which may finally
weaken France. I have said!"


'Tis a long tale, and were it all told at one time, Alexander III would
certainly not listen to half of it. But William II spent a fortnight
in Russia, and I have only an hour to summarise his argument.

Have the wings of the German Emperor the span of those of Lucifer, as
he believes? He may play the part, but he will never be able to carry
it through!



August 28, 1890. [11]

Although for the meeting of these two powerful Emperors (whose
destinies, as history proves, are so frequently commingled) there was
no real necessity, other than the desire of the young and restless King
of Prussia, to keep the whole world guessing as to the object of his
multifarious designs, their coming together has its undeniable
importance and significance, for it has been the means of increasing
the resistance and strengthening the determination of the Tzar.
Alexander III, whose mind reflects the great and untroubled soul of
Russia, is well able to estimate at its true worth the insatiable greed
of Germany and the ever-encroaching character of her ruler. Because of
his own self-control and disinterestedness, the Tzar must have been
able to gather from William's words and works a very fair idea of his
unbounded self-conceit; of that vanity which, like its emblem the eagle
of the outspread wings, aspires to cover the whole earth.

Even though William has offered to the Emperor of Russia the prospect
of a general disarmament; even though, with his present mania for
speech-making he may have suggested a Congress for the settlement of
Europe's disputes, his success must have been of the negative kind.

If the Tzar were to agree to a conference, it could only lead to one of
two results. Either it would embitter those disputes which threaten to
embroil the nations in a fierce struggle, and bring France and Russia
together in resistance to the same greedy foes, or it would end in the
imposition of a lasting peace, which would mean that the Prussian and
military fabric of the German State would be dissolved, as by a
miracle, to the benefit of French and Russian influences in Europe.

Let then the German Emperor have his head. God is leading him straight
on the path of failure. It is this still-vague feeling, that he will
never have power to add to the Prussian birthright, that makes him rush
feverishly from one scheme to another; stirring up this question and
that, ever testing, ever striving. It is this foreboding that has
driven him to pursue fame, fortune and glory, and so to weary them with
his importunities and haste, that they flee from him, unable and
unwilling to bear with him any longer.

Sire, if it be your ambition to become, immediately and by your own
endeavours, greater than any one on earth, allow me to express the
charitable wish without hoping to dissuade you - that you may break your
neck in the attempt!



September 12, 1890. [12]

It was just at the time that I was writing my last article, that the
Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia (who has a perfect obsession for
being in the middle of the picture), was carrying out at the army
manoeuvres at Narva, a certain strategic design, long-prepared and
tested, by means of which he proposed to fill with amazement and
admiration not only the Russian army but the Imperial Court - nay, all
Russia, and the whole wide world!

William's idea was to repeat the exploit performed by the troops of
Charles XII (with the aid of the Russian Viborg Regiment, of which he
is Colonel) and to pass through the heavy mass of a regiment of cavalry
with light infantry battalions. The future Commander-in-Chief of the
German Army wished to show the world that he would know how to add the
_élan_ of the French and the impetuosity of the Slav to the qualities
of method and strength perfected by leaders like Von Moltke or
Frederick Charles. Therefore, several weeks before, William II had
asked the Tzar to be allowed to take part in the manoeuvres and to
command in person the Viborg Regiment.

And so it came to pass that, having cast himself for a part of
invincible audacity, he came to cut a very sorry and ridiculous figure.
Surrounded by the Hussars, he was made to see that what may be done
with German infantry against Uhlans, cannot be accomplished, even with
Russian soldiers, against Russian cavalry.

This incident shows that the Tzar had something akin to second sight
when he gave orders that the length of the manoeuvres would be
optional. Thanks to this, the Kaiser was free to take home the sooner
his pretty jacket (no, his tunic, I mean) from Narva.

What an interesting broadsheet might be made on the subject of "William
II a prisoner"!

In the long winter evenings to come, how many a Russian peasant - gifted
with imagination as they are - in telling again the tale of the Viborg
Regiment's attack, will see in it an omen of the destiny of the German
Emperor! And they will add, with bated breath, that the


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