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[VoN Tirpitz moves off to speak with the
Frau Professorinn.

Professor

Poor Tirpitz! You never leave him the chance of
an illusion!



96 The Sands of Fate [i.

Ballin

I don't want to. He ought to go. His submarine
feats do more harm than good. Besides {violently),
though we are on French soil, it is only because
we misled and surprised the enemy. We have ex-
hausted our advantage, and when an aggressor
fails in his object, he is beaten. Every day we keep
the war going on the Western Front makes things
worse for us.

Professor

You had better not say this, my dear man,
openly. You would be lynched as a Pro-Englander.

Ballin

I don't think so. In Berlin, where half the popu-
lation is degenerate, maybe, but not in Hamburg
or Bremen or Liibeck, where the war is unpopular
and people are sick of it. Besides, they all think we
are in the wrong and feel humiliated at the brutal
and tactless way in which these stupid generals
have conducted the war.

Professor

That's our misfortune. What can you expect of
a lot of half-educated aristocrats who regard the
lives of ordinary men with less consideration than
they do their cattle? So the Hamburgers are
"Pro-Englanders " ?

Ballin

Everybody in Berlin seems to be regarded as a
Pro-Englander, if for a moment he doubts that we



I.] Missing Links 97

are going to sign the treaty of peace in Buckingham
Palace.

Professor
Are we fools, Ballin?

Ballin

Fools! Call us lunatics!

[PossEHL, who had moved off and has been
sitting with the Frau Professorinn and
the Patriotic Citizen, moves forward.

PoSSEHL

Who is that windbag?

Professor

He is recruiting for the Anti-English League, of
which he is the founder, and represents the average
German fool. I thought Biilow would like to see
the creature. He reflects the majority here in Ber-
lin — the God-punish-England type. What do you
say to my description of him, Herr Possehl ?

Possehl

He does not exist in the Hanse towns and I can
only speak of them with knowledge. We rather
suspect violent patriots there.

Von Gwinner
Suspect them of what?



98 The Sands of Fate [i.

POSSEHL

In business, you see, very emphatic opinions are
like advertisements. The wise turn their noses
away; only fools swallow 'em.

VoN Helfferich

The Professor 's right. It is no use arguing with
fools or rogues. If they are fools, they don't under-
stand you and if rogues they won't. You are speak-
ing of that patriotic League. Half these things are
created for the benefit of the founders — shady
financiers and bedraggled women who have reputa-
tions to recover, or people who are trying to rise
on the back of charity or patriotism to a higher
rank in society and so on.

PossEHL
But where do they find their recruits ?

VoN Helfferich

Oh ! among the stupid and ignorant. It is amaz-
ing how the war has brought fools — downright,
unredeemed fools — to the fore.

PoSSEHL

A man told me yesterday that he was proud he
did not speak a word of English, had never spoken
with an Englishman in his life, had never been to
England, and so on.

Professor

Don't worry about that, dear Herr Possehl. It
is almost a University maxim that the pride of



I.] Missing Links 99

knowledge is inaccessible to reason, but what is the
pride of knowledge to the pride of ignorance !

[Door opens.

Enter Prince von Bulow — handshaking.

Professor

Welcome, Highness.

[Von Tirpitz, Von Helfferich, and Von
BiJLOW moving to the front,

VoN Tirpitz
Well, what about Italy?

Von BiJLOW
Bad — don't ask me questions. I shall only see
His Majesty to-morrow. He sent for me to report.

Von Helfferich
I know. {Pause.) I have just been reading the
Italian denunciation of the Alliance again. What
Machiavellianism 1

VoN BiJLOW
Could you expect anything else from Italians?
They have never ceased to be cinquecento.

Professor
Machiavelli, it is true, only expressed the views of
his environment.

Von BiJLOW
Well, his environment was one of astute and
unscrupulous egotism; such as they were then, the
Italians have remained.



loo The Sands of Fate [i.

Von Tirpitz
I have never read Machiavelli.

Von BiJLow

More's the pity. He wrote "The Prince" osten-
sibly as a spelUng-book for territorial pirates.
(Smiling at Von Tirpitz.) It professed to be a sort
of up-to-date staff manual, showing how autocrats
had to operate to keep possession of the vessel of
state and order among the crew.

[Von Tirpitz bewildered.

Professor
My dear Tirpitz — you '11 have to read it.

Von Helfferich {amused at Von Bulow's chaff)

True, mon prince^ they remain Machiavellian,
but we had taken a leaf out of the same book before
the Italians denounced the Alliance.

VoN BiJLOW
You mean in tearing up the "scrap of paper"?

VoN Helfferich
Of course.

VoN BULOW

Maybe. And now we have n't even the comfort
of a good conscience when we express righteous in-
dignation about the Italian defection.



I.] Missing Links loi

Professor

All that only shows the moral Inferiority of the
Collective to the Individual mind.

[Von BiJLOW retires to speak to the Frau

Professorinn.
[The Patriotic Citizen and the American
Writer, who have been entertaining the
Frau Professorinn, come forward.

Patriotic Citizen

Everybody Is a Pro-Englander who has a friendly
word to say for those brutes. They are beyond the
pale of civilisation. And we treat their wounded
as we do our own. It's shameful.

American Writer

But have you evidence of the allegations against
the English?

Patriotic Citizen

Evidence ! I should think we have. Have you not
read the reports?

American Writer
What reports?

Patriotic Citizen
Why, the official reports, of course!

American Writer
I never believe official reports.



I02 The Sands of Fate [i.

Patriotic Citizen {indignantly)
You don't suppose they are concocted?

American Writer
I believe the wish is father to the thought.

Patriotic Citizen {turning to Helfferich)

Your eyes must be opened by this time and you
must be thankful you did n't get your entente with
England?

Von Helfferich
Why?

Patriotic Citizen
If you had, she would have swallowed us up.

VoN Helfferich
I don't understand.

Patriotic Citizen

Do you mean to say you would have trusted that
treacherous. . . . No, I can't stand you lukewarm
fellows. We've got to root them out, — the sneaky
hypocrites, making piles of money out of German
brains and sitting on the corn in the manger and
barking, when any horse hungry from his day's work
for their benefit comes near.

VoN Helfferich {nodding in direction of Prince

VON BiJLow)

Have you read the Prince's book?



I.] Missing Links 103

Patriotic Citizen

No, Sir. And I don't want to. It's probably
some milk-and-water apology for England. It's a
disgrace to have such a man in office — an avowed
friend of England and all that gang of assassins —
and married to an Italian. That's enough for me.
He ought to be in a concentration camp. I can
hardly restrain myself from telling him so to his
face. The English make no bones about these
things. They soon chucked out everybody who even
knew the German language. We ought to do the
same. [Von Helfferich moves away.

VoN Helfferich {to the Professor)

My dear fellow — I can't, I really can't — I
can't stand that man. You must try somebody else
on him. Do you mean to say that is the spirit of
the Berlin cockney.''

Professor
That's so. So beware of it. It's murderous.

VoN Helfferich
Are you sure he's all right in his mind?

Professor

His mind's like that of the majority. It's all
right in peace-time.

VoN Helfferich

I always suspect violent Anglophobes. He's
all right, no doubt {laughing). Battles, however,



I04 The Sands of Fate [i.

are not won by hard words, but by hard blows,
and nothing marks the coward so conclusively as
hatred.

Professor

I agree with you, hatred is the sign of fear. It is
the unreasoning instinct of the weaker in the pres-
ence of the stronger. No brave man can hate.

Ballin

If anything could prove to me that the English
are more than a match for us, it is that those
who are responsible for the war have started that
idiotic cry, "God punish England," and the "Anti-
English League." They know the war is becoming
unpopular and think with such rubbish to stiffen
the national backbone.

VoN BULOW

You were saying that the English are more than
a match for us.

Ballin

I must say, all the same, that the English have
shown a wonderful lack of inventive genius in the
present war. That's because of their disbelief in
themselves. It works out in their thinking every
Englishman equally unfit for everything, and now
that they have no German experts to fall back
upon, they resort to their old silly method of ap-
pointing commissions to disguise their individual
incompetency.



I.] Missing Links 105

Professor

Well, they may thank Heaven we have other
things that are worse.

Ballin

It Is not the English, my dear Professor, that
I really criticise, it is the governing class and their
satellites, who have got hold of the handle of the
machine — all tenacious because second-rate, and
because second-rate, jealous.

Professor

Oh! yes, jealousy, the demon! Fighting isn't
confined to international jealousies.

Ballin

Yes, a domestic jealousy you may never have
dreamt of has cost us this war. The artillery com-
mand got the staff to change the plan of campaign
at the last moment. They wanted to show off their
new guns at Liege and Namur and so lost the six
weeks in which the Staff had minutely planned the
march on Paris through the Belgian Luxemburg.

Professor

I did not know that. But It does not surprise me.
Nearly all our public offices are jealous of one an-
other, even at war with one another — real per-
fidious war in which all arms are good, short of the
shedding of blood. Yet, after all, jealousy is only
the homage of the poor to the rich, of the ugly to



io6 The Sands of Fate [i.



the beautiful, of failure to success, the unconscious
confession of inferior souls.

Von BiJLOW (not listening to the Professor)

The English are no fools. By nature they are
lazy, and their policy is invariably that of following
the line of least resistance. By always doing the
minimum, they accumulate energy, and then, when
everybody else has been exhausting his, up gets the
lazy giant and clutches the thing most worth hav-
ing and sticks to it.

Von Tirpitz
They were not lucky with Cyprus all the same.

Von Bulow

Ah, that was because Disraeli knew neither his-
tory nor geography. He confused Cyprus with
Rhodes, which he ought to have taken. Behind
Rhodes there is a magnificent harbourage. Rhodes,
not Cyprus, dominates Port Said. The Italians
will keep Tt if they can.

[Von Gwinner and Possehl have been talk-
ing aside. Von Gwinner rises.

Von Gwinner

I shall have to go. In short, the difficulty is that
neither side can show the slightest desire for peace
without the other side trying to get a moral vic-
tory out of it. Yet this cursed war can't go on for-
ever.



I.] Missing Links 107

POSSEHL

We must just treat the period as a -long night
during which we have done nothing.

Von Gwinner
An Arctic winter!

PoSSEHL

Hardly, seeing that winter is the time when
traffic in the Arctic zone is easiest. However, that
is by the way. What we have to do is to find some
sort of consolation for this frightful loss. By con-
suming and spending the minimum we come near-
est to the de facto situation — that of suspended
animation. The danger, of course, is that we con-
sume so much out of proportion to our production,
that we shall start again after the war with a heavy
handicap in the race against other nations. The
British blockade, in that respect, is not an unmiti-
gated misfortune.

Von Gwinner {brightening)
How?

PoSSEHL

Because while we are not exporting we are not
importing and no balance is growing against us.
England's imports, on the contrary, are out of all
proportion to her exports. She can pay for them
with her accumulations. We could not out of ours.
So the commercial blockade may have saved us
from a danger to which England is exposed, even
in spite of her accumulations.



io8 The Sands of Fate [i.

Von Gwinner

Well, that's consoling from your point of view
as a merchant.

POSSEHL

What I am afraid of is that we may lose sight, in
the political settlement of the question, of our sup-
ply of minerals. It is all very well to talk of giv-
ing up German Lorraine, but it must not be for-
gotten that our mineral resources there are among
the richest we have.

VoN GwiNNER {approaching the Professor)

Good-night. I must go.

[The Professor accompanies him to the door
and returns. Lull. Regrouping.

Professor

As regards the blockade, we have been thrown
on our own resources with wonderful results. The
inventive faculty of the nation has been stimulated
under the intense pressure of necessity. We have
experimented in fields of activity which commer-
cialism would have repudiated as unpractical and
tested theories and methods which have hitherto
been sneered at by . . .

PoSSEHL

Say the word. Professor . . . businessmen. Quite
right. Yet a proportion must be drawn before
money's spent between the cost price and that



I.] Missing Links 109

you can get from the purchaser. But you are quite
right. The blockading of Germany has also had
the effect you say.

Professor

Necessity is a hard taskmaster, but in the long
run it has its uses and is not unkind. The blockade
has also given us a chance of organising thrift and
treating it not as cold-blooded avarice, but as a
saving virtue, and if the war lasts long enough for it
to eat into the character of the people, the Germans
will have their bas de laine like the French.

Ballin
And be as unenterprising, if that's so.

Professor

No, my dear man, that is your mistake. You
are confusing cause and effect. The French have
killed enterprise by their economic system. After
the war they, too, will have learnt something and
you may be sure it will be in the sense of reaction.
Just as ours will be against extravagance, theirs
will be against excessive thrift. A protective sys-
tem is a blockade. It has the same effect of isola-
tion and throwing a nation on its own resources.
In fact, enterprise and the inventive faculty stand
almost in inverse ratio to each other.

Ballin

Surely enterprise is an expression of the inven-
tive faculty?



no The Sands of Fate [i.

Professor {laughing)

Yes, you are right. Of course. I did not say ex-
actly what I mean. I mean that the inventive
faculty of a nation swings like a pendulum between
two poles. They represent thrift and extravagance,
abstract science and trading activity, calm progress
of thought and research and exhaustion in the
accumulation of wealth, individual prosperity and
concentration of wealth . . .

Ballin

Very interesting. Professor. Then you did not
approve of the amalgamation of the Hamburg-
Amerika and the Nord-Deutscher Lloyd r

Professor

I don't approve or disapprove of things, my dear
Ballin. I merely watch the process of development.
Germany like the United States will have a reac-
tion after the war against trusts and combines
and methods generally of suppressing competition
and running the world for the benefit of a small
minority of very rich and powerful men and a vast
mass of down-trodden industrial serfs. I am not
a friend of Csesarism in politics and still less its
friend in industry or trade. Industrial Csesarism
in the United States is having deplorable results,
and the man who defeats it will defeat revolution
and the terrible reaction preparing to crush it. The
greater the swing up, the stronger the swing down.
Social democracy in Germany owes its progress far
more to industrial than to political Csesarism.



I.] Missing Links 1 1 1

Ballin

Professor! I sometimes have a feeling of vertigo
when I Usten to you. I see the depth below and
the height above, and the danger of allowing mere
political busy-bodies to interfere with man's des-
tiny.

Professor

I hope you know now what I mean by Fate
and the quicksands into which political blindlings
gallop their countries . . .

Ballin

What a tragedy the past must seem to a man
like you, Professor! But what about the future.^

Professor {to Ballin)

There can be only one satisfactory end to the
war and that is that the power of England to rule
the world be broken.

Ballin
To whom would that be satisfactory?

Professor
To the world.

Ballin

I seldom differ from you in opinion, dear Pro-
fessor. You are so full of historical experience and
broad-minded indulgence, but on this subject I



112 The Sands of Fate [i.

think you are hopelessly wrong, and I do know
something from practice of the relative positions
of England and Germany in the world.

Professor {indignantly)

If the only alternative were not the destruction
of the power of Germany, I might have a less ab-
solute opinion . . .

Ballin

But there is a third alternative. It is that we
both abandon the struggle.

Professor
Only to begin again?

Ballin

No, my dear friend — never to begin again till
mankind again forgets what war is.

VoN BiJLOw

All anticipations of settlement are premature.
When the parties get round the green cloth it will
be a devil of a job to adjust all the interests and
there will be bitter disappointments for many and
not a few surprises. Any idea of resettling the world
on the basis of confining the changes to the bellig-
erent Powers is foredoomed. Besides, this war has
been on too vast a scale and will be too inconclu-
sive for peace to be attained with any regard to
principles of justice.



I.] Missing Links 1 1 3

Professor

It took the Powers engaged in the Thirty Years'
War ten years to come to terms, and the fighting
went on down almost to the very signing of the
Peace in 1648.

Von BiJLow

Anyhow, it will take many months to work out
any useful solution, and you may rest assured the
conclusion will respect neither rights nor claims.
There can be no neutrals when the settlement
comes. The whole world will have to go into the
melting-pot.

Professor

What a muddle it will be! Men trying to solve
the riddles of evolution on political principles of
greed and ignorance ! Heaven save us !

[Prince von Bulow taking leave — all fol-
low his example. The Professor and
the Frau Professorinn and daughter re-
main.

Professor {to the Frau Professorinn)

Well, you see there are plenty of reasonable peo-
ple in Germany still, dear.

Daughter (contemptuously)

Reasonable ! I hate your fish-blooded reasonable
people, father.



114 The Sands of Fate [i.

Professor

Darling, warm-bloodedness has brought us to
where we are.

[The Daughter, evidently disagreeing, kisses
her father and mother and retires.

Frau Professorinn

Still, I have not heard a word of revolt about the
asphyxiating gas. The Germans ought to feel
ashamed of their country doing a mean, unmanly
thing like using poisoned gas. It's no better than
poisoning wells.

Professor

Yet, there Is nothing worse in half-poisoning a
man than in half-killing him with a piece of shell.
You don't suppose, when he gets his jaw or arm or
leg half wrenched off, he is in less pain than when
he loses his senses by suffocation?

Frau Professorinn

Yes, I do. Suffocation is worse than any pain,
because it's not only physical.

Professor

Mind, my darling, I am not defending the use of
gas, but it is just as well to have one 's mind clear
about it. Men were using bows and arrows when
gunpowder was invented. Just imagine the in-
dignation of the archers when they were hit by
cannon-balls and bullets, before they could get



I.] Missing Links 1 1 S

near enough to hit back, hit by a thing they could-
n't see coming and could not dodge. A cloud of
arrows did relatively little harm. Its chief purpose
was to upset the enemy formations and prepare the
way for charging troops. In fact the gas serves the
same purpose as the arrows of the Middle Ages.
Remember, men are not bound to remain and be
poisoned or suffocated, but can run away, and that's
just the object of the gas.

Frau Professorinn

I can't argue with you. I know you're wrong,
but I can't say where. It sounds reasonable, but
I'm sure an Englishman as clever as you would
have something to say in reply.

Professor
Perhaps.

Frau Professorinn

Anyhow, there is no particular merit in assault-
ing a man unawares, nor is it very brave and noble
to give assurances that he can leave his door open
with impunity and then, when he goes trustfully
to bed, burgle him.

Professor

Necessity!

Frau Professorinn

Don't talk to me of necessity. It is a mere sham,
an excuse for any villainy that seems to promise a



1 16 The Sands of Fate [i.

profit. What I say is this : Germany's invasion of
Belgium and France was mere burglary. She got
into her neighbours' houses before they could get
weapons to defend themselves. Wherever she has
won, as when she has used poisonous gases and
flames, she has won by craft. As for her feats at
sea, I blush at the thought of them. In fact, I was
proud of being German till I saw Germans dumb
about all these horrors and massacres.

Professor

Massacres!

Frau Professorinn

Yes, the massacres in Belgium were a St. Bar-
tholomew's Day and will never be forgotten.

[Both arranging things, windows^ etc. The
Professor opens the door.
It's all so mean and cruel.

[The Frau Professorinn goes out.

Professor
Ready.?

Frau Professorinn {outside)

All right.

[ The Professor switches off the electric light.



curtain



ACT II

SCENE I
MAY 6

Garden-house in park at Potsdam. Under wide-
spreading tree. Table. Rocking-chairs. Work-
baskets. Socks. Flannel. Worsted on table and
scattered on ground. Sunshades. Early summer sun.

The American Writer and Prince von Bulow
outside garden-house in conversation.

American Writer {slow of speech)

I owe everything to Germany and deplore this
war, and what I deplore most is that I cannot find
one word to say in Germany's defense.

Von BijLow
It had to come, as the Professor would say.

American Writer

Yes, he says it had to come, now it is here, but
then, he is a fatalist, as all historians who are not
mere politicians become. What I deplore is not the
war, which might have done ultimate good, but the
engineering of it.

Von BiJLow

"^ qui le dites-vous ?''



ii8 The Sands of Fate [n.

American Writer

Yes, I know.

Von Bulow

Any steadfast policy in Germany is impossible.
His Majesty is the best of men, kind, conscien-
tious, indefatigable, but too brilliant for a consti-
tutional sovereign. In character he is wonderfully
like his great ancestor, and if he had been King of
Prussia only and absolute sovereign over it, and
been inoculated with French instead of English
tendencies, he might have rendered his country
immense services.

American Writer {surprised)
How?

Von BtJLow
By civilising it.

American Writer

Civilising it?

VoN Bulow

Yes, by civilising it. My dear Sir, you don't
know Germany as I do.

American Writer

Civilisation! You make a distinction between
civilisation and "Kultur"!

VoN Bulow

Certainly! Every nation has its "Kultur." Ger-
many is only beginning to have the civilisation



II-] Missing Links 119

which France has never lost, and which is latent
in Italy.

American Writer

And the Anglo-Saxon?

Von Bulow

He has never had it. You are indignant. Civili-
sation, after all, has only an arbitrary meaning.
I mean by it possession of the reflective spirit,
something that no schooling can give. The spirit
of the Italian peasantry, for instance. Few of them
can even read, but they have understanding for the
greater things of life — noble sentiment, beauty
of form, elevation of character, the music of lan-
guage. You Anglo-Saxons have not yet reached the
unmixed enjoyment of these greater things. Your
enjoyment of them is complicated by the desire to
turn them to account and the race for wealth or
position is a fatal bar to the growth of this higher
state of development. We Germans had much of
it. "Kultur" has been destroying it.

American Writer

I shall want to digest all that. Prince. It is
startling. But to return to His Majesty, you don't
think his influence has been good for Germany ?

VoN BiJLow

That depends. He has turned Germany into
Anglo-Saxon grooves, and it has become as intel-
lectually dull as all industrial and money-making
communities are.



1 20 The Sands of Fate [n.


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