Obrázky na stránke

controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European Power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.

The announcement that Germany intended to observe this Doctrine was therefore equivalent to an announcement that Germany had no intention of establishing colonies anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. The very fact that such an announcement seemed to be necessary made Americans think of the possibility that Germany might have power to gain territory in the Western Hemisphere.

Following Dr. Dernburg's statement, there was issued from the State Department at Washington an announcement which showed that Dr. Dernburg's statement should be considerably modified. This announcement was as follows:

The German Ambassador on September 3 last, in a note to the Department of State, stated that he was instructed by his Government to deny most emphatically the rumors to the effect that Germany intends, in case she comes out victorious in the present war, to seek expansion in South America.

The sweeping statement of Dr. Dernburg is thus reduced to an official expression concerning Germany's intention with regard to South America. Thus it is seen that there was no pledge offered, but merely an expression of intention. And Americans must remember that intentions change. In the second place, it related, not to the whole of the Western Hemisphere, but merely to South America. What Germany's intentions are with regard to North America, including Canada and the West Indies, was left to American imagination.

But not for long. One day later there was published a further, statement by Dr. Dernburg, and a statement by the German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff. The German Ambassador's statement was to the effect, as reported, that a German invasion of Canada for a temporary foothold on the American continent would not be a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, and would not, therefore, run counter to American principles. Dr. Dernburg said that inasmuch as Canadian troops had been sent to aid England in the present war against Germany, "Canada had placed herself beyond the pale of American protection;" but he also said that it was his understanding that "Germany will not only avoid taking or attempting to take any territory in South America in violation of the

Monroe Doctrine, but will extend its principles to all of Canada."

In view of the way in which Germany regards its treaty obligations when they appear to be inconsistent with its own interests, such statements as these by Dr. Dernburg and Count von Bernstorff are naturally not regarded as restraining Germany from taking any action which she has the power to take. The significance of these utterances is to be found in the fact that Germans of high station regard as a possibility worthy of serious discussion the acquirement by Germany of power to take territory in the Western Hemi-. sphere if she wishes it.

In the light of such utterances we can understand, better perhaps than we could have understood before, expressions of concern on the part of Englishmen for what a German victory might mean to democracy in the Western Hemisphere, and particularly in the United States. This English concern reveals itself in letters from prominent Englishmen to friends in this country and in the English press. In these English expressions there is an uneasy feeling that a German victory is conceivable, and that, if the odds go against the Allies, the contingent dangers to American interests might entitle England and France, in such a supreme crisis, to have America's material help as well as moral sympathy.

One does not, for example, have to read between the lines to find in such a paragraph as the following from the London " Spectator" of recent date (September 26) evidence of deep anxiety over the prospect:

We are not ashamed to confess that the military unpreparedness of America haunts us like a nightmare. No doubt it is well-nigh inconceivable that Germany can now be victorious. Still, if by a miracle she were to win, she would unquestionably turn her attention to the great unravaged and undeveloped riches of South America. She would, indeed, hardly have any choice but to renew her strength there. And then how about the Monroe Doctrine! Strange as it will sound to most American ears, and furious as it will render many thoughtless transatlantic jingoes, it is none the less true that at this moment what stands between the Monroe Doctrine and its complete destruction are our ships in the North Sea and the battle-weary, mud-stained men in the British and French trenches on the Aisne.

It would be futile to attempt to forecast Germany's colonial policy in case she were victorious. All that one can safely predict is




that this policy would be world-wide and allembracing. At the outset a victorious Germany, in order to despoil and cripple her adversaries, might content herself with the French possessions in Indo-China; with the Mediterranean coast of Africa from Morocco to and including Egypt (Italy would hardly dare to file a formal protest !); with the English colonies in South Africa, and the French and Belgian in the Congo region; together with a few islands and naval stations like Jamaica, Bermuda, Gibraltar, Malta, Madagascar, the Straits Settlements, Hongkong, and possibly Formosa. These colonial. possessions might do for a beginning. Sooner or later, however, South America would invite colonization as the land of perhaps richer possibilities than any colonies obtained by conquest.

There is little reason to suppose that in such a contingency Germany, if she retained her present form of government, would show the slightest respect for the Monroe Doctrine, unless for commercial reasons it were for the interest of her people to keep on friendly terms with the United States. A dozen years ago a writer in the London "Spectator," W. T. Arnold-an Oxford man, a grandson of Arnold of Rugby-called attention to the views of one school of German professors on this subject. In a publication entitled "Die Deutschen in tropischen Amerika," Dr. W. Wintzer argued frankly that the United States in assuming possession of the Philippines had resigned all moral right to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. He went on to say. according to Mr. Arnold, that the United States "thereby gave us the right to confront the Greater America doctrine with a Greater German one-namely, that European, and among them German, interests exist also in South America, in case we have the power to assert them." "He insists," continued Mr. Arnold, " on the comparatively on the comparatively slight importance of the United States in South America. Germany, he argues, needs room for her rapid growth of population (800,000 yearly), and 'cannot allow herself to be simply dispossessed of her inheritance in one of the most thinly peopled and richest quarters of the globe-South America.' 6 Equality of treatment with the United States in South America, that is the theory which we, both on principle and as occasion serves, must oppose to the Monroe Doctrine, and which, too, should the moment come, we must defend by force.'"

[ocr errors]

Doctrine. America," " he says,


The same idea is expressed by General von Bernhardi, who calls attention to the inconsistency of the United States' acquiring foreign possessions and at the same time warning foreign governments away from South America by the threat of the Monroe "which indisputably plays a decisive part in English policy, is a land of limitless possibilities. While, on the one side, she insists on the Monroe Doctrine, on the other she stretches out her own arms towards Asia and Africa in order to find bases for her fleets. The United States aim at the economic and, where possible, the political command of the American continent, and at naval supremacy in the Pacific. Their interests, both economic and political, notwithstanding all commercial and other treaties, clash emphatically with those of Japan and England."

When acquired, these colonies, von Bernhardi insists, must be united politically as well as commercially with the Fatherland, if they are to serve their highest use. "A part," he says, "of our surplus population, indeedso far as present conditions point-will always be driven to seek a livelihood outside the borders of the German Empire. Measures must be taken to the extent at least of providing that the German element is not split up in the world, but remains united in compact blocks, and thus forms, even in foreign countries, political centers of gravity in our favor, markets for our exports, and centers for the diffusion of German culture." And the full significance of the phrase "even in foreign countries" is revealed by these words: The further duty of supporting the Germans in foreign countries in their struggle for existence and of thus keeping them loyal to their nationality is one from which in our direct interests we cannot withdraw.

The isolated groups of Germans abroad greatly benefit our trade, since by preference they obtain their goods from Germany; but they may also be useful to us politically, as we discover in America. The American Germans have formed a political alliance with the Irish, and thus united constitute a power in the State with which the Government must reckon."

We resent the reflection upon a great body of American citizens that is contained in General von Bernhardi's statement.

The last Census showed that in 1910 there were more than two and a half million people in the United States who had been

[ocr errors]

born in Germany. In case Germany were to attain the power which Dr. Dernburg and Count von Bernstorff suggest she may acquire, would these people of German birth be loyal to the United States if it undertook to maintain the Monroe Doctrine, or would they uphold Germany in an attempt to impose its colonists and its civilization on peoples in our neighborhood? Some of those who have been defending Germany have assumed an attitude which tends not to allay but to increase anxiety as to this. The great

body of Americans, however, of German birth and German descent would, we believe, be as loyal to American principles as those born in any other country or having any other blood in their veins. We believe this because we believe that the spirit of Machtpolitik, the spirit that rests on the doctrine that "might makes right," that "necessity knows no law," cannot in the long run withstand the spirit of free institutions, the spirit of representative government, the spirit of democracy.

It is because of this incompatibility between what Germany of 1914 stands for and what the United States stands for that Americans, consciously or unconsciously, feel disquieted by the thought of Germany's gaining a foothold in the Western Hemisphere. For a hundred years we have been at peace with an Empire a mighty portion of which extends for three thousand miles on our northern frontier. Along that whole line there is not a fortification, nor is there a war-ship of either nation on the waters through which that line runs. The reason for this history of peace is to be found in the fact that, whatever the failings of the British Empire and of the United States may be, both of these great countries are in principle devoted to a common ideal that the people should control their own government, and not the government its people. The contrast between this ideal of representative government and the ideal which in ancient times ruled such empires as Assyria and Babylonia and Rome, which prevailed in Europe for centuries, and which is most efficiently and logically exemplified by the Prussian Government of Germany, is effectively drawn by Professor McElroy in his article in this issue on Prussian War against Teuton Ideals." It is unquestionable that no self-governing people can attain the extraordinary degree of military efficiency that can be attained by a power that is ultimately autocratic; that no people whose chief aim


is to secure ordered liberty can compete in arms with a people whose final aim is for a place in the sun;" that no self-governing people, however wide their territory or rich their resources, can engage alone with success in war against a compact military power. The hope of democracy in its contest with military autocracy has lain in the fact that for years self-government was protected against assault by the sea which surrounded Great Britain and separated the United States from European autocracies. To-day that protection is not what it used to be, and the hope for democracy lies in the union of self-governing people against the encroachments of autocracy and militarism. At present, so far as the United States is concerned, that union is a moral one. Happily, nothing has as yet occurred which makes it necessary for the people of the United States to feel that they will be confronted by the necessity of choosing whether they wish to abandon their principles of self-government and liberty, or whether they will defend them by the only weapons which military autocracy recognizes as valid.


Sir James Barrie has come and gone, leaving behind him a book of plays, four in number, which bear the alluring title "Half Hours" and the Scribner imprint. A few years ago we were all reading Mr. Barrie's works; now we are all seeing-or rather hearing-his plays. For on the Barrie stage things are said which it is a joy to hear. Of late years so much fiction has been laden with teaching and preaching, and so much acting has taken people to places which they never visit in real life and into the society of men and women whom they never meet, that we have almost forgotten the joy of art, the free and happy play of the spirit on a holiday in which it neither sows nor reaps, but is as a child in its father's house.

Sir James Barrie is delightfully at ease in a world in which he finds the soul of goodness taking itself naturally, neither overburdened with the consciousness of its sins nor overshadowed by the temptation to turn virtue into a discipline of repression. Nobody knows boys so well as the playwright who has given Peter Pan both pockets and wings, and who can take an inventory of what is in the pockets and make the wings practicable.



Most wings are symbolic—it would be impossible to move them; but Peter Pan can fly. It is as easy for Mr. Barrie to find goodness in the world as it is for many writers to discover nothing in the universe but the sex problem, and to present every solution by arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry, and sociology except the simple normal solution of love and purity; and Mr. Barrie has made the astounding discovery that virtue is as interesting as vice, and that goodness and art, instead of being enemies, are the best of friends when some one who knows them gives them a chance to meet on the stage or in fiction. It is astonishing how happily they get on when a common friend brings them together. They are always waiting for this friend to arrive, but as genius is a rare quality they often wait in vain. The friends of goodness often make it as self-conscious as the child who has been blighted by conventional and premature piety; the friends of art, on the other hand, are often so afraid that it may suffer an eclipse of gayety if it gets into a respectable neighborhood that, when it is out of jail, they lodge it in the moral slums. It is Mr. Barrie's secret that he takes both goodness and art as naturally and simply as if God had made them both, and meant that they should not only live together but fill the world with joy. The child who was set in the midst of the self-conscious and undiscriminating disciples was a symbol whose meaning neither the world of virtue nor the world of art has yet learned.

This freedom of spirit relieves Mr. Barrie's novels and plays of any sense of weight; his tools are never lying about. There is never a suggestion of the heavy pressure of hard muscles, of the grim determination of calculating toil, of rigid regulation of thoughts and actions, which give many stories and plays a sermonic quality without the sermonic inspiration. Mr. Barrie's people often surprise us, as they undoubtedly surprise him; they are whimsical, witty, and entirely human; and when a really human person gets on the stage without a moral tag or a mission to solve a problem, straightway unexpected things begin to happen and life becomes immensely interesting.

It is impossible to persuade Mr. Barrie to talk about himself, and attempts to interview him are as futile as the endeavors of the correspondents to get on the firing line in Belgium. Several years ago he presided at a Burns dinner; at least he sat at the head of the table. A few days later his friends were

[ocr errors]



stirred to indignation by an amusing and ironical article in a London newspaper on "Mr. Barrie in the Chair." On inquiry, it came out that Mr. Barrie had written the. article! An "interview" similar in spirit is reprinted from the New York "Times in another place in this issue. Mr. Barrie talks freely and delightfully about everything except his work and everybody except himself. cunning evasion of all well-laid plans to overtake him in an egotistical mood is of a piece with his happy freedom from self-consciousness. He is the most intimate of writers, and yet he never tells us anything about himself. But in this evasion and escape he really betrays the secret of his art and of our personal affection for him; for no one who reads him can escape the charm of that sweetness of nature which is health, and of that joy in life which is born neither of blindness nor of insensibility, but of sympathy and faith.


In the Autobiography of Dr. Shaler, a college administrator of great ability who had a rare power of winning the love of his students, these significant words are found:

I have known many an ignorant sailor or backwoodsman who, because he had been brought into sympathetic contact with the primitive qualities of his kind, was humanely a better educated man than those who pride themselves on their culture. The gravest problem of civilization is, in my opinion, how to teach human quality in a system which tends ever more and more to hide it.

These words are immensely reinforced by the conditions of the hour; and they also strikingly interpret those conditions.

Many people are asking in despair: If men of the highest training yield to the same passions and antagonisms to which ignorant men yield, how is society ever to become safe and sane?

It has happened more than once in the history of the world that the most passionate partisans have been men distinguished for knowledge in some special field. When the SpanishAmerican War broke out, one of the most distinguished scholars in Europe, a venerable and venerated his.orian of the highest rank, wrote a pamphlet so virulent in its spirit toward the United States, so passionate in its tone, so manifestly ignorant of actual condi


tions, that his friends were filled with anxiety lest it should go out into the world and blur a great reputation. Their entreaties alone prevented its publication.

The world has learned by tragic experience that knowledge is often divorced from wisdom; and that to have a wide range of information gives a man neither insight nor conviction. The experts are often farthest from the truth when it comes to dealing with general conditions. Lincoln knew his country far better than many of the most learned men of his generation. He knew it because he had been intimate with it. They had looked at it largely as observers and students; he had lived in it and lived with it. What he brought to the study of its problems was not expert knowledge, but that deep human sympathy which, combined with unusual opportunities, had brought him in contact with the life of the country.

Separated from that human quality, knowledge is a vain and useless guide to action. It may make one master of a subdivision of a field of life; it may leave one absolutely blind to what is going on in the field at large. The critic is simply a judge of technical rectitude if he cannot bring this defining quality to the study of a work of art. He stands on the outside of it. He knows whether it conforms to the rules; he can indicate with precision the points at which it departs from the conventions; but he cannot master its secrets and he cannot estimate the value of its contribution either to thought or to beauty.

There is an immense significance in the fact that, as a rule, people who exploit another race spread evil reports about that race. In the smoking-rooms of foreign hotels and clubs in the Far East one will hear all manner of sneers at the people in whose country he happens to be at the moment. He will be told that they cannot be trusted; that they are savage at heart; that they do not understand us and that we cannot understand them. He will be told that missionary work among them is idle. For decades travelers in China had been told by many foreign residents who were there for commercial purposes that no Chinese ever became a Christian except for a consideration; and yet, when the Boxer Rebellion put Chinese Christianity to the test, the Chinese Christians died as heroically and in as great numbers as did the primitive Christians in the earliest persecutions. In Japan, in Korea, in China, in India, the exploiters who went there to create business and to make money out of the country were often critical, censori

ous, and bitterly cynical. There are, of course, many exceptions to this statement; but it remains true that the exploiter rarely understands the people among whom he lives. He looks at them simply from the trade point of view.

On the other hand, teachers, students, missionaries, respect and love the people among whom they live and for whom they work. It is a significant and beautiful truth that, as a rule, the missionaries in the Far East are partisans of the people whom they are trying to serve. The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, have no more devoted friends and lovers than the missionaries.

It is also a beautiful and significant fact that settlement workers among the different races, as a rule, love the races with whom they are living. Those who are working in an Italian neighborhood will tell you that no people are so attractive and charming as the Italians; those who are working among the Armenians point out the ancient virtues and the modern attractiveness of one of the oldest races; while those who are teaching and working among the Jewish populations of the city will tell you that no children are half so responsive, no people so grateful, as the Jews.

And these statements are all true. It is impossible to live with a people and work for them without coming to have a great affection for them. You cannot give the best to others without getting the best from them. To deal with people for purposes of exploitation is to give them the worst that is in you and to evoke the worst that is in them. the other hand, to serve people is to give them your best and to evoke their best.


Here clearly is a great secret which, once learned, will solve half the problems which are now facing society. For the separation between different sections of society, although it seems an almost insurmountable obstacle, disappears when helpfulness, confidence, and affection take the place of suspicion, antagonism, and distrust. There is no magic about this; it is the operation of a fundamental law of life. Men have gone through many wasteful and tragic centuries to get even a glimpse of this great truth. It may be that they will go through other centuries before they will see it clearly enough to make it a rule of life. Sooner or later, however, unless civilization is to fail, helpfulness is to take the place of exploitation, confidence the place of suspicion, and a deep human sympathy akin to love, the place of race antagonism.

« PredošláPokračovať »