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January 11, 1896. [1]

As the result of his telegram to President Krüger, William II has
recovered the popularity of the early days of his reign. The German
Emperor had undoubtedly very powerful reasons for making a chivalrous
display on behalf of the Transvaal, from which he anticipated deriving
the greatest advantages. He expected to produce a moral effect by
undertaking the defence of the weaker side (a rôle that once belonged
to France). He saw a way to flatter Holland, deeply touched by these
manifestations of German sympathy for Dutchmen, who were represented by
others as barbarians. He saw also an opportunity for acquiring and
keeping admirable outlets into the Transvaal, which had threatened to
become for ever closed to German emigrants. Finally, he expected to
produce a feeling of admiration for his magnanimous attitude, which
would divert the German people from socialism and make them forget the
Hammerstein affair. Truly, the Transvaal is for William II one of
those lucky finds from which all sorts of good things may spring.

The educated classes in Germany, as well as the lower orders, were
beginning to get very weary of the everlasting celebrations in memory
of 1870-71, which continually fed the flames of French hatred. A
Silesian journal had just informed us that the 25th anniversary of the
proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles would be celebrated by
a great fête in all the German schools. The German artillery of the
Siege of Paris had arranged for a commemorative banquet, to be held in
Berlin on January 5. The senate and the _bourgeoisie_ of Hamburg had
made a gift of nearly 200,000 marks on behalf of the regiment of
Hanseatic infantry which fought at Loigny on December 2, and for
distressed veterans of that regiment.

Germany was in great need of something to distract her attention by a
stroke of exotic brilliancy and by the creation of some new object of
hatred. Enmity for ever directed against France, was beginning
somewhat to pall. This continually living on the strength of one's old
triumphs, made Germany to appear like some much-dyed old dandy, seeking
to gain recognition for past conquests by means of art and cosmetics.
The time had come to create a diversion. The German Emperor, King of
Prussia, has found it with his usual headlong impetuosity, the quality
which impels him always to seize things on the wing, to display
alternately the capacity of a genius, and that of a stupid
blunderer. . . .



March 1, 1896. [2]

German opinion persists in expressing its severe criticisms on the
subject of the Transvaal business and continues to display its sympathy
for the Boers. There is every reason to expect that German interests
will now be able to create for themselves numerous outlets in the
Transvaal.

William II has made another speech on the subject of the war of 1870;
in this he is like the tide, which the waves carry away only to bring
it back. Lord, Lord, deliver us from this torture! I, for one, can
bear it no longer. My eyes are filled with tears of rage as I listen
and listen again, for ever, unceasingly and without end, to the tale of
our defeat and to the glorification of the army which conquered us, to
the tale of the German Empire born of these Prussian victories. Will
it ever be finished, this tale? When will they have done, once and for
all, with inscribing these cruel records of theirs in the golden book
of Germany, and shut the clasp upon it?


We know that William II either painted himself, or had painted, a
picture, which was all the rage in Germany and which represented Europe
invaded by the Chinese. It would look as if William II really believed
in the danger of this impending invasion, to judge by the inscription
on the engraving of this picture, reproduced by the thousand; "Nations
of Europe, take care for your most sacred treasures! - WILLIAM I.R."

But if this be so, how comes it that the German Emperor is sending
hundreds of military instructors to the Chinese, who are supposed to be
threatening his country?


June 1, 1896. [3]

William II believes that the victories of 1870 were due to Prussia
alone, and that it was she who made the Empire; and this explains why
he takes such complete possession of the Empire, and makes the
celebrations of these victories so personal a matter. The people of
Bavaria, Würtemberg and Saxony are herein exposed to humiliation of a
kind which they decline to accept. There is no doubt that all Germans
hate us with an equal hatred, and all have united with the same
enthusiasm to crush our unfortunate France; nevertheless, we may derive
some profit from the antipathy inspired in them by Prussia's grasping
claims to glory and authority.



September 1, 1896. [4]

Do you remember, my faithful friends, and you, my earliest readers,
what were the sentiments of hatred, love and fidelity, that inspired
the letters which I addressed to you nearly eighteen years ago - the
violence of my hatred for the most tyrannical, and at the same time,
the most dangerously vindictive, of European statesmen, viz. Von
Bismarck?

Have you not often smiled, when I then denied the strength of the
Colossus and asserted his fragility, when I used to say: "He must not
die with a halo of glory; let him witness rather the bankruptcy of his
moral estate and give proof of the pettiness of his character and
evidence of his unbridled lust for power. Let the effrontery of his
lies return to him in bitterness?" And together, you and I, we have
now seen Prince Bismarck, not hurled down, but slowly crumbling to
ruin; there has been nothing great about his fall, neither the shout
that he gave, nor his way of falling, nor the words which he said when
he picked himself up.

And at the same time when I showed you, in the far distant future, this
idol of blood-thirstiness broken, I preached to you the love of Russia.
I saw her freeing herself from German influence and drawing closer to
us. Hardly had the Emperor Alexander III come to the throne, than I
said to you: "He will be a popular Emperor, and the more he loves his
own people the more he will love ours." For a long time you thought
that my hatred of Prince Bismarck was blind, but from the outset you
regarded my love of Russia as enlightened. How many strengthening and
encouraging letters have I not received from you?

And now, Nicholas II, son of Alexander III, the well-beloved Emperor,
who represents in his own person the highest expression of great, holy
and mystical Russia, is coming to Paris officially, as the ally of
France, so that all the ambitions of our patriotism, all our dreams of
the last twenty-five years, are coming true together. Am I not
entitled to say to you, dear readers, "I have fulfilled the mission
that I set before myself, my work amongst you is accomplished"? But
there remains still a tie between us, our common fidelity to Alsace!
How could we forget those who have not ceased to remember? Shall it be
said that we failed those who rather than yield have suffered every
form of torture? Let us endeavour together to prove in a more active
manner our devotion to the brethren who are separated from us. Now
that Prince Bismarck has one foot in the grave, now that the Russian
Alliance is in the hands of the Government of France, let us devote all
our strength and all the resources of our advocacy, all our love of
justice, to the cause of Alsace-Lorraine. . . .

William II is sick, nervous and irritable. He has lost all patience
with the question of the reform of military organisation; he did not
raise that question, it would seem, and has plenty of other things to
worry him. He is going to ask Parliament, on its re-assembling, to
vote large sums for the increase of the navy, his own particular care.
After all, he received the army triumphant from the hands of Moltke and
of Bismarck, but the navy is his own personal achievement; he believes
this, and says so repeatedly. But the German navy has no luck. This
year, besides the _Iltis_, the _Frauenlob_, and the _Amazone_, which
swallowed up a large number of junior officers of the Prussian navy, it
has lost the _Kurfurstin_ (as the result of an error of navigation)
with 300 sailors, also the _Augusta_, the _Undine_, and other vessels.



February 22, 1897. [5]

William II has announced himself as the enemy of Greece, and the prop
of the Ottoman Empire. At the subscription ball given at the Opera in
Berlin, did he not walk arm-in-arm with Ghalik Bey, the Turkish
Ambassador, and authorise him to telegraph to the Sultan that, under
existing conditions, he might count upon his sense of justice and his
good-will? Does not this constitute an insolent challenge to the
decision which the Powers are supposed to have taken for the
observation of neutrality?

When William II is insolent, he does not do things by halves; now, he
repeats to all concerned: "One does not argue with Greece, one gives
her orders," and on every occasion that has offered, he has displayed
sentiments hostile to Greece and favourable to the Sultan. For these
reasons, Abdul Hamid is devoted to William II. He is tied to him, and
bound by all his sentiments, by all his admiration and his fear, to the
Germans. Messrs. Cambon and de Nelidoff believed that they had
detached the Sultan from Germany, but illusions on that score are no
longer possible. Germany possesses his entire confidence. Did not he,
the most nervous and suspicious of men, allow on one occasion the
German military mission to take _effective_ command of his troops,
whereas no other military mission has ever been allowed anything more
than the right to put them through their drill? Germany, which in case
of need can count upon the Turkish army, is fundamentally interested in
preventing Turkey from being either weakened or divided up. A war in
the East, in which Germany might get Russia deeply involved, at the
same time that she kept her busy in Asia, is too great an advantage to
risk losing, without doing everything possible to protect it. . . .



April 28, 1897. [6]

William II, the God of war and of force, is in every way responsible
for events in the East. Only his friendship, and the many consequences
of that friendship, have given to Abdul Hamid the courage of his
massacres, of his resistance to all efforts at reconciliation, and of
his military proceedings in Greece. The German Emperor had been able
to persuade the simple-minded Government of France of his peaceful and
humanitarian intentions. It only needed a few of us to revolt and to
express our indignation, to unmask him, and to show in its true, lurid
light, the real nature of his actions, so as to enable the nations to
know him for what he is. To-day he is the master of Europe; but let
the power of the Kaiser be what it may (and it is a power no more
capable of honesty than that of Bismarck, who lied without ceasing,
forfeited without ceasing his honour, and accepted responsibility for
crime), whatever conquests hereafter William II may achieve, even
should we be defeated again, we shall be able to stand up before him
and to his face to say, "You will never achieve greatness!" Material
greatness turns again to dust, like all matter, but moral greatness is
eternal, an intangible thing, which surrounds men, invisible, and which
emanates from the best amongst them.

We will leave to history, which shall surely record it, the judgment of
_human_ men, of real peace-lovers, concerning William II, concerning
this protector of the Red Sultan, this renegade and denier of his
faith, who has sold his soul in order to govern the world through evil,
through trickery, through force and through war. You have only to read
the German legends, to analyse the souls of the traditional heroes of
Germany, to see that they are indeed much more closely allied to the
Turks (who have only understood Islamism under its aspects of conquest)
than they are to the traditions which Europe has inherited from Greece
and from her daughters, Rome and Byzantium.

The struggle of to-day lies between these two spirits: one the
barbarian spirit, the spirit of conquest, which knows no other law but
force, the spirit which subdues and kills, represented by Turkey and by
Germany; the other, the spirit of civilisation, of love, which knows no
other law than the right, the spirit which emancipates and vivifies,
the spirit of Greece, from which European civilisation is drawn,
excepting always that of the Germans and Turks. Either the East will
resist the Turks, and Europe will resist Germany, or else both will
relapse into barbarism, and be condemned to war without ceasing, to
butcheries, to the brutality of force and all its works.



May 27, 1897. [7]

At all events they have not yet won their bet in Berlin that they would
make us look ridiculous and hateful. Those very wise and well-bred
people, who have been advising us to revise our national education, so
as to welcome the Kaiser in 1900, have had but meagre success. As to
the golden stream, which brought us the 8000 marks of the King of
Prussia,[8] thank Heaven, it has not been able to drown our patriotism.
Brother Frenchmen, it is still lawful for lunatics and ill-bred people
like ourselves to remember Sedan, Metz, Strasburg and Paris, as well as
Kronstadt and Toulon. Then let us not forget either the first rays of
sunlight which reach us from Russia, or the darkness of 1870. [9]

There is not a single German journalist (_and I wish to emphasise this
fact most clearly_), even in the ultra-Prussian party, who would have
dared to put his signature to such an article as one of our greatest
newspapers has published concerning William II, whom it describes as "a
humanitarian thinker, a gentle philosopher, thinking only of the
happiness of the human race, of appeasing ancient hatreds and removing
old grudges. How joyfully would he not have restored Metz and
Strasburg had he not been prevented in performing this act by the
historical necessities of his position." In proof of all which things,
this article cites his telegrams of sympathy, the splendid bouquets
which he has sent to our illustrious dead, his wish to pay homage to
France in 1900, etc., etc.

The journalist grown old in harness, who has dared to write such
monstrous things as well as such nonsense, will no doubt be greatly
astonished when I inform him that no foreign reporter, however
inexperienced, of any nation great or small, is ignorant of the fact
that William II is relentlessly determined to achieve the
re-establishment of absolute autocracy as it was conceived by certain
Emperors of Rome and Byzantium. His motto is _Voluntas Regis Supremo
Lex_, which, on the occasion of his first visit to Münich, he wrote
there with his own Imperial hand. On the first occasion of the opening
of the States of Brandenburg, he declared that he counted on their
fidelity to help him to crush and destroy everything that might oppose
his personal wishes. Is it necessary to say once more for the
hundredth time that he never has the oath taken by his recruits without
telling them that "they must ever be ready to fire on those who oppose
his rule, even though they should be their own fathers, mothers and
brothers"? The other day, did he not make his brother Prince Henry
read a letter to the sailors of his war-ship the _Wilhelm Imperator_
(the vessel appointed to attend the Jubilee of Queen Victoria), in
which letter he held up to the execration of the army and navy those
"unpatriotic" Germans who refused to provide him with millions for his
wild scheme of increasing the navy, that is to say, about nine-tenths
of the Reichstag? There is in Germany one institution which commands
very general respect, and enjoys traditional liberty, viz. the
University. For the last year William II has opened a campaign against
the liberties of University education, and the scandalous manner in
which he has attacked the professors at Berlin because of the dignity
with which they have defended their rights of scientific research, are
known to every one except "this brilliant Chronicler of the Boulevards."

From one end of Germany to the other they go into ecstasies whenever,
either before, during, or after his acts of politeness to France,
William finds some new pretext for humiliating, humbling, or
threatening us. [10]

A German pamphlet published two years ago, entitled _Caligula; a Study
of Caesarian Madness_, by Mr. Quidde, achieved such a success, that
hundreds of thousands of copies were bought up in a few days by the
faithful subjects of the German Emperor. This pamphlet, ingeniously
compiled by means of quotations from Suetonius, Dion Cassius, Philo,
etc., gives a marvellous analysis of the character of William II. I
cannot resist the pleasure of giving a few extracts from this little
work, for it would appear that William II is endeavouring, since its
publication, to emphasise the resemblance between himself and Caligula
and Nero.

"The dominant feature in the actions of Caligula lies in a certain
nervous haste, which led him spasmodically from one obsession to
another, often of a self-contradictory nature; moreover, he had the
dangerous habit of wanting to do everything himself. Caligula seems to
have a great fondness of the sea. The strolling-player side of his
character was by no means limited to his military performances. He was
passionately devoted to the theatre and the circus, and would
occasionally take part himself on the stage, led thereto by his
peculiar taste for striking costumes and frequent changes of clothing.
He was always endeavouring to shine in the display of eloquence; and
was fond of talking, often in public. We know that he developed a
certain talent in this direction, and was particularly successful in
the gentle art of wounding people. His favourite quotation was the
celebrated verse of Homer -

There is only one Master, only one King.

Sometimes he loved the crowd, and sometimes solitude; at other times he
would start out on a journey, from which he would return quite
unrecognisable, having allowed his hair and beard to grow."


Just as the names of Caligula and Nero are daily affixed in Germany to
the name of William II, Herr Hinzpeter is called Senecus, General von
Hahnke is known as Burrhus; there is also an Acté and a Poppea at
Berlin. Frederick III is Germanicus and Prince Bismarck is called
Macro, after the powerful prefect of the praetorium in disgrace. Like
Nero, William II has been cruel to his mother; he is cruel to his
sister, the Princess of Greece. He hates England, just as Caligula
hated Brittany. With a mind like that of Nero, William II derives the
greatest pleasure from the thought of degrading the French people by
making them receive him with acclamation. What a triumph it must be
for this grandson of William I (who defeated us but left us our honour)
thus to bring us to dishonour: us, the descendants of the France of
1789, republicans in the service of a Prussian Caesar!



June 10, 1897. [11]

It should have been to the interest of France and, of Russia, and a
policy of skilful strategy, to oppose Turkey when supported by the
Triple Alliance, and to create around and about her, in Greece as in
the Balkans, such a force of resistance as would have put a stop to her
schemes of expansion, resulting from those of the Powers of the Triple
Alliance. By so doing, France and Russia might have taken them in the
rear and upset their plans. We were already in a position of
considerable advantage, in that we could leave to the King of Prussia,
the German Emperor, all the responsibility for the crimes of the
Sultan, observing at the same time all those principles which would
have maintained, in their integrity, the moral and Christian traditions
of France and Russia. But our policy has been that of children
building castles in the sand. Confronted by a triumphant Turkey,
leaning on the Triple Alliance, and by a Sultan suffering from the
dementia of blood-lust, certain of the faithful friendship of William
II, and confident in his victorious army (already 720,000 strong, and
commanded by a German General Staff); confronted by such fears and
threats, we have chosen to place all our hopes upon the balanced mind
of William II, the generosity of the Sultan, and the loyalty of
oriental statecraft! I have said it so repeatedly that I may have
wearied my readers, but I say it again; "_To their undoing, France and
Russia have sacrificed their policy to Turkey, protected by Germany_."
They are now confronted by German policy, evasive and at the same time
triumphant, that is to say, in full command of the situation which it
has brought about. William II is at last revealed, even to the
blindest eyes, as the instigator and sole director of everything that
has taken place in the East since his visit to Constantinople. He
takes pleasure in advising the Sultan day by day, for he makes him do
everything that he himself is prevented from doing, and he enjoys the
satisfaction of being a tyrant in imagination when he cannot be one
actually.



June 25, 1897. [12]

The Sultan's million of armed men, organised under a German General
Staff, in a country where Germany is making every effort to possess
herself of every kind of influence and every source of wealth, is not
this the chief danger which Russia has to fear, and whose imminence she
should clearly foresee, in dealing with a Sultan like Abdul Hamid, a
man of nervous fears and bloodthirsty instincts, bound to furtherance
of the sudden or premeditated schemes of William II?



July 27, 1897. [13]

Although Germany has commemorated her victories for the last
twenty-five years, and will doubtless continue to commemorate them for
the next six months and then for evermore, it seems that we are to be
compelled, in deference to "superior orders" revealed at the Council of
Ministers, to postpone the official consecration of a monument intended
to prove our devotion to our mutilated country, and our incurable grief
at the defeat of Sedan. It seems that we have not the right, a free
people, to give to sorely oppressed Alsace-Lorraine (which never ceases
to give proofs of her fidelity to France) a proof in our turn, that we
remember the disaster which has separated us, that we lament this
disaster, and hope one day to repair, if not to avenge it. Our pride
is being systematically humiliated in every direction! The nature and
consequences of victory have indeed been cruelly modified, if one must
submit to the law of the conqueror after having been delivered from him
for twenty-five years. The glorious resistance of the past thus
becomes an ignominious surrender and makes us shed tears of shame, even
more bitter than those which we shed over our saddest memories.

Gentlemen of the Government of France, I would ask you to read the
German newspapers; go to Berlin, go wherever you like in Germany or in
Alsace-Lorraine, and you will find there hundreds and hundreds of
monuments which have been inaugurated by the Imperial German
Government. For these, the smallest event, ancient or modern, affords
sufficient pretext. [14]

In all things and in every direction we yield today to the authority of
a monarch who emphasises our defeat more severely than those who
actually conquered us. Our strict national duty towards him who did
not overcome us with his own sword, was to hold ourselves firmly
upright before him and to protect our brethren, victims of the war.
Alas! we have been obedient to Bismarck, and we shall be submissive to
William II. But why, and to what end? Had we met the liar and cheat
with honesty, had we remained calm in presence of this nerve-ridden
individual, we should have been able to recover, morally at first and
then actually, all the advantages that Prussia gained by her victory.

The Imperial victim of restlessness, whose nerves are so unhealthily
and furiously shaken when he goes abroad, has a craving for disturbing
the nerves of others; this in itself makes him the most dangerous of
advisers. William II never allows to himself or to others any
relaxation of the brain; like all spirits in torment, he must needs
find, forthwith, to the very minute, a counter-effect to every thing
that confronts him. With him, even a sudden calm contains the threat
of a storm, excitement lurks beneath his moods of quietness. The
bastard peace which he has authorised Turkey to conclude, conceals a
new revolution in Crete: such is his will. No sooner is there evidence
of an improvement in our relations with Italy, than he invites King


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