Part 3 out of 3
Perhaps we didn't even know how.
"Now, I tell you," continued our visitor, speaking rapidly
and with a light of wild enthusiasm in his face, "I'm
out for a new campaign,--efficiency in business--speeding
things up--better organization."
"But surely," we said, musingly, "we have seen something
about this lately in the papers?" "Seen it, sir," he
exclaimed, "I should say so. It's everywhere. It's a
new movement. It's in the air. Has it never struck you
how a thing like this can be seen in the air?"
Here again we were at fault. In all our lives we had
never seen anything in the air. We had never even looked
there. "Now," continued the Stranger, "I want your paper
to help. I want you to join in. I want you to give
"Assuredly," we said, with our old-fashioned politeness.
"Anything which concerns the welfare, the progress, if
one may so phrase it--" "Stop," said the visitor. "You
talk too much. You're prosy. Don't talk. Listen to me.
Try and fix your mind on what I am about to say."
We fixed it. The Stranger's manner became somewhat calmer.
"I am heading," he said, "the new American efficiency
movement. I have sent our circulars to fifty thousand
representative firms, explaining my methods. I am receiving
ten thousand answers a day"--here he dragged a bundle
of letters out of his pocket--"from Maine, from New
Hampshire, from Vermont,"--"Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
Connecticut," we murmured.
"Exactly," he said; "from every State in the Union--from
the Philippines, from Porto Rico, and last week I had
one from Canada." "Marvellous," we said; "and may one
ask what your new methods are?"
"You may," he answered. "It's a proper question. It's a
typical business question, fair, plain, clean, and even
admitting of an answer. The great art of answering
questions," he continued, "is to answer at once without
loss of time, friction or delay in moving from place to
place. I'll answer it."
"Do," we said.
"I will," said the Stranger. "My method is first: to
stimulate business to the highest point by infusing into
it everywhere the spirit of generous rivalry, of wholesome
competition; by inviting each and every worker to outdo
each and every other."
"And can they do it?" we asked, puzzled and yet fascinated.
"Can they all do it?"
"They do, and they can," said the Stranger. "The proof
of it is that they are doing it. Listen. Here is an
answer to my circular No. 6, Efficiency and Recompense,
that came in this morning. It is from a steel firm.
Listen." The Stranger picked out a letter and read it.
Our firm is a Steel Corporation. We roll rails. As soon
as we read your circular on the Stimulus of Competition
we saw that there were big things in it. At once we sent
one of our chief managers to the rolling, mill. He carried
a paper bag in his hand. "Now boys," he said, "every man
who rolls a rail gets a gum-drop." The effect was magical.
The good fellows felt a new stimulus. They now roll out
rails like dough. Work is a joy to them. Every Saturday
night the man who has rolled most gets a blue ribbon;
the man who has rolled the next most, a green ribbon;
the next most a yellow ribbon, and so on through the
spectroscope. The man who rolls least gets only a red
ribbon. It is a real pleasure to see the brave fellows
clamouring for their ribbons. Our output, after defraying
the entire cost of the ribbons and the gum-drops, has
increased forty per cent. We intend to carry the scheme
further by allowing all the men who get a hundred blue
ribbons first, to exchange them for the Grand Efficiency
Prize of the firm,--a pink ribbon. This the winner will
be entitled to wear whenever and wherever he sees fit to
The stranger paused for breath.
"Marvellous," we said. "There is no doubt the stimulus
of keen competition--"
"Shut up," he said impatiently. "Let me explain it further.
Competition is only part of it. An item just as big that
makes for efficiency is to take account of the little
things. It's the little things that are never thought
Here was another wonder! We realized that we had never
thought of them. "Take an example," the Stranger continued.
"I went into a hotel the other day. What did I see?
Bell-boys being summoned upstairs every minute, and flying
up in the elevators. Yes,--and every time they went up
they had to come down again. I went up to the manager.
I said, 'I can understand that when your guests ring for
the bell-boys they have to go up. But why should they
come down? Why not have them go up and never come down?'
He caught the idea at once. That hotel is transformed.
I have a letter from the manager stating that they find
it fifty per cent. cheaper to hire new bell-boys instead
of waiting for the old ones to come down."
"These results," we said, "are certainly marvellous. "You
are most assuredly to be congratulated on--"
"You talk too much," said the Stranger. "Don't do it.
Learn to listen. If a young man comes to me for advice
in business,--and they do in hundreds, lots of them,--almost
in tears over their inefficiency,--I'd say, 'Young man,
never talk, listen; answer, but don't speak.' But even
all this is only part of the method. Another side of it
"Technique?" we said, pleased but puzzled.
"Yes, the proper use of machine devices. Take the building
trade. I've revolutionized it. Till now all the bricks
even for a high building were carried up to the mason in
hods. Madness! Think of the waste of it. By my method
instead of carrying the bricks to the mason we take the
mason to the brick,--lower him on a wire rope, give him
a brick, and up he goes again. As soon as he wants another
brick he calls down, 'I want a brick,' and down he comes
"This," we said, "is little short of--"
"Cut it out. Even that is not all. Another thing bigger
than any is organization. Half the business in this
country is not organized. As soon as I sent out my
circular, No. 4, HAVE YOU ORGANIZED YOUR BUSINESS! I
got answers in thousands! Heart-broken, many of them.
They had never thought of it! Here, for example, is a
letter written by a plain man, a gardener, just an ordinary
man, a plain man--"
"Yes," we said, "quite so."
"Well, here is what he writes:
As soon as I got your circular I read it all through
from end to end, and I saw that all my failure in
the past had come from my not being organized. I
sat and thought a long while and I decided that I
would organize myself. I went right in to the house
and I said to my wife, "Jane, I'm going to organize
myself." She said, "Oh, John!"--and not another
word, but you should have seen the look on her face.
So the next morning I got up early and began to
organize myself. It was hard at first but I stuck to it.
There were times when I felt as if I couldn't do it.
It seemed too hard. But bit by bit I did it and now,
thank God, I am organized. I wish all men like me
could know the pleasure I feel in being organized."
"Touching, isn't it?" said the Stranger. "But I get lots
of letters like that. Here's another, also from a man,
a plain man, working on his own farm. Hear what he says:
As soon as I saw your circular on HOW TO SPEED UP THE
EMPLOYEE I felt that it was a big thing. I don't have
any hired help here to work with me, but only father. He
cuts the wood and does odd chores about the place. So I
realized that the best I could do was to try to speed up
father. I started in to speed him up last Tuesday, and
I wish you could see him. Before this he couldn't split
a cord of wood without cutting a slice off his boots.
Now he does it in half the time."
"But there," the Stranger said, getting impatient even
with his own reading, "I needn't read it all. It is the
same thing all along the line. I've got the Method
introduced into the Department Stores. Before this every
customer who came in wasted time trying to find the
counters. Now we install a patent springboard, with a
mechanism like a catapault. As soon as a customer comes
in an attendant puts him on the board, blindfolds him,
and says, 'Where do you want to go?' 'Glove counter.'
'Oh, all right.' He's fired at it through the air. No
time lost. Same with the railways. They're installing
the Method, too. Every engineer who breaks the record
from New York to Buffalo gets a glass of milk. When he
gets a hundred glasses he can exchange them for a glass
of beer. So with the doctors. On the new method, instead
of giving a patient one pill a day for fourteen days they
give him fourteen pills in one day. Doctors, lawyers,
everybody,--in time, sir," said the Stranger, in tones
of rising excitement, "you'll see even the plumbers--"
But just at this moment the door opened. A sturdy-looking
man in blue entered. The Stranger's voice was hushed at
once. The excitement died out of his face. His manner
all of a sudden was meekness itself.
"I was just coming," he said.
"That's right, sir," said the man; "better come along
and not take up the gentleman's time."
"Good-bye, then," said the Stranger, with meek affability,
and he went out.
The man in blue lingered behind for a moment.
"A sad case, sir," he said, and he tapped his forehead.
"You mean--" I asked.
"Exactly. Cracked, sir. Quite cracked; but harmless. I'm
engaged to look after him, but he gave me the slip
"He is under delusions?" we inquired.
"Yes, sir. He's got it into his head that business in
this country has all gone to pieces,--thinks it must be
reorganized. He writes letters about it all day and sends
them to the papers with imaginary names. You may have
seen some of them. Good day, sir."
We looked at our watch. We had lost just half an hour
over the new efficiency. We turned back with a sigh to
our old-fashioned task.
XI.--Who Is Also Who. A Companion Volume
to Who's Who
Note by the editor: I do not quarrel with the contents
of such valuable compendiums as "Who's Who," "Men and
Women of the Time," etc., etc. But they leave out the
really Representative People. The names that they include
are so well known as to need no commentary, while those
that they exclude are the very people one most wishes to
read about. My new book is not arranged alphabetically,
that order having given great offence in certain social
Smith, J. Everyman: born Kenoka Springs; educ. Kenoka
Springs; present residence, The Springs, Kenoka; address,
Kenoka Springs Post-Office; after leaving school threw
himself (Oct. 1881) into college study; thrown out of it
(April 1882); decided to follow the law; followed it
(1882); was left behind (1883); decided (1884) to abandon
it; abandoned it; resolved (1885) to turn his energies
to finance; turned them (1886); kept them turned (1887);
unturned them (1888); was offered position (1889) as sole
custodian of Mechanics' Institute, Kenoka Springs; decided
(same date) to accept it; accepted it; is there now; will
be till he dies.
Flintlock, J. Percussion: aged 87; war veteran and
pensioner; born, blank; educated, blank; at outbreak of
Civil War sprang to arms; both sides; sprang Union first;
entered beef contract department of army of U. S.; fought
at Chicago, Omaha, and leading (beef) centres of operation
during the thickest of the (beef) conflict; was under
Hancock, Burnside, Meade, and Grant; fought with all of
them; mentioned (very strongly) by all of them; entered
Confederate Service (1864); attached (very much) to rum
department of quarter-master's staff; mentioned in this
connection (very warmly) in despatches of General Lee;
mustered out, away out, of army; lost from sight, 1865-1895;
placed on pension list with rank of general, 1895; has
stayed on, 1895-1915; obtained (on 6th Avenue) war medals
and service clasps; publications--"My Campaigns under
Grant," "Battles I have Saved," "Feeding an Army,"
"Stuffing the Public," etc., etc.; recreations, telling
war stories; favorite amusement, showing war medals.
Crook, W. Underhand: born, dash; parents, double dash;
educated at technical school; on graduation turned his
attention to the problem of mechanical timelocks and
patent safes; entered Sing-Sing, 1890; resident there,
1890-1893; Auburn, 1894, three months; various state
institutions, 1895-1898; worked at profession, 1898-1899;
Sing-Sing, 1900; professional work, 1901; Sing-Sing,
1902; profession, 1903, Sing-Sing; profession, Sing-Sing,
etc., etc.; life appointment, 1908; general favorite,
musical, has never killed anybody.
Gloomie, Dreary O'Leary: Scotch dialect comedian and
humorist; well known in Scotland; has standing offer from
Duke of Sutherland to put foot on estate.
Muck, O. Absolute: novelist; of low German extraction;
born Rotterdam; educated Muckendorf; escaped to America;
long unrecognized; leaped into prominence by writing "The
Social Gas-Pipe," a powerful indictment of modern society,
written in revenge for not being invited to dinner; other
works--"The Sewerage of the Sea-Side," an arraignment of
Newport society, reflecting on some of his best friends;
"Vice and Super-Vice," a telling denunciation of the New
York police, written after they had arrested him; "White
Ravens," an indictment of the clergy; "Black Crooks," an
indictment of the publishers, etc., etc.; has arraigned
and indicted nearly everybody.
Whyner, Egbert Ethelwind: poet, at age of sixteen wrote
a quatrain, "The Banquet of Nebuchadnezzar," and at once
left school; followed it up in less than two years by a
poem in six lines "America"; rested a year and then
produced "Babylon, A Vision of Civilization," three lines;
has written also "Herod, a Tragedy," four lines; "Revolt
of Woman, "two lines, and "The Day of Judgement," one
line. Recreation, writing poetry.
Adult, Hon. Underdone: address The Shrubbery, Hopton-
under-Hyde, Rotherham-near-Pottersby, Potts, Hants,
Hops, England (or words to that effect); organizer of
the Boys' League of Pathfinders, Chief Commissioner of
the Infant Crusaders, Grand Master of the Young Imbeciles;
Major-General of the Girl Rangers, Chief of Staff of the
Matron Mountain Climbers, etc.
Zfwinski, X. Z.: Polish pianist; plays all night; address
4,570 West 457 Street, Westside, Chicago West.
(An extract from a recent (very recent) novel, illustrating
the new beauties of language and ideas that are being
rapidly developed by the twentieth century press.)
His voice as he turned towards her was taut as a tie-line.
"You don't love me!" he hoarsed, thick with agony. She
had angled into a seat and sat sensing-rather-than-seeing
For a time she silenced. Then presently as he still stood
and enveloped her,--
"Don't!" she thinned, her voice fining to a thread.
"Answer me," he gloomed, still gazing into-and-through
She half-heard half-didn't-hear him.
Night was falling about them as they sat thus beside the
river. A molten afterglow of iridescent saffron shot with
incandescent carmine lit up the waters of the Hudson till
they glowed like electrified uranium.
For a while they both sat silent,--looming.
"It had to be," she glumped.
"Why, why?" he barked. "Why should it have had to have
been or (more hopefully) even be to be? Surely you don't
mean because of MONEY?"
She shuddered into herself.
The thing seemed to sting her (it hadn't really).
"Money!" she almost-but-not-quite-moaned. "You might
have spared me that!"
He sank down and grassed.
And after they had sat thus for another half-hour grassing
and growling and angling and sensing one another, it
turned out that all that he was trying to say was to ask
if she would marry him.
And of course she said yes.
XIII.--Weejee the Pet Dog. An Idyll of the Summer
We were sitting on the verandah of the Sopley's summer
"How lovely it is here," I said to my host and hostess,
"and how still."
It was at this moment that Weejee, the pet dog, took a
sharp nip at the end of my tennis trousers.
"Weejee!!" exclaimed his mistress with great emphasis,
"BAD dog! how dare you, sir! BAD dog!"
"I hope he hasn't hurt you," said my host.
"Oh, it's nothing," I answered cheerfully. "He hardly
"You know I don't think he means anything by it," said
"Oh, I'm SURE he doesn't," I answered.
Weejee was coming nearer to me again as I spoke.
"WEEJEE!!" cried my hostess, "naughty dog, bad!"
"Funny thing about that dog," said Sopley, "the way he
KNOWS people. It's a sort of instinct. He knew right away
that you were a stranger,--now, yesterday, when the
butcher came, there was a new driver on the cart and
Weejee knew it right away,--grabbed the man by the leg
at once,--wouldn't let go. I called out to the man that
it was all right or he might have done Weejee some harm."
At this moment Weejee took the second nip at my other
trouser leg. There was a short GUR-R-R and a slight
"Weejee! Weejee!" called Mrs. Sopley. "How DARE you,
sir! You're just a BAD dog!! Go and lie down, sir. I'm
so sorry. I think, you know, it's your white trousers.
For some reason Weejee simply HATES white trousers. I do
hope he hasn't torn them."
"Oh, no," I said; "it's nothing only a slight tear."
"Here, Weege, Weege," said Sopley, anxious to make a
diversion and picking up a little chip of wood,--"chase
it, fetch it out!" and he made the motions of throwing
it into the lake.
"Don't throw it too far, Charles," said his wife. "He
doesn't swim awfully well," she continued, turning to
me, "and I'm always afraid he might get out of his depth.
Last week he was ever so nearly drowned. Mr. Van Toy
was in swimming, and he had on a dark blue suit (dark
blue seems simply to infuriate Weejee) and Weejee just
dashed in after him. He don't MEAN anything, you know,
it was only the SUIT made him angry,--he really likes
Mr. Van Toy,--but just for a minute we were quite alarmed.
If Mr. Van Toy hadn't carried Weejee in I think he might
have been drowned.
"By jove!" I said in a tone to indicate how appalled I
"Let me throw the stick, Charles," continued Mrs. Sopley.
"Now, Weejee, look Weejee--here, good dog--look! look
now (sometimes Weejee simply won't do what one wants),
here, Weejee; now, good dog!"
Weejee had his tail sideways between his legs and was
moving towards me again.
"Hold on," said Sopley in a stern tone, "let me throw
"Do be careful, Charles," said his wife.
Sopley picked Weejee up by the collar and carried him to
the edge of the water--it was about six inches deep,--and
threw him in,--with much the same force as, let us say,
a pen is thrown into ink or a brush dipped into a pot of
"That's enough; that's quite enough, Charles," exclaimed
Mrs. Sopley. "I think he'd better not swim. The water in
the evening is always a little cold. Good dog, good
doggie, good Weejee!"
Meantime "good Weejee" had come out of the water and was
moving again towards me.
"He goes straight to you," said my hostess. "I think he
must have taken a fancy to you."
To prove it, Weejee gave himself a rotary whirl like a
"Oh, I'm SO sorry," said Mrs. Sopley. "I am. He's wetted
you. Weejee, lie down, down, sir, good dog, bad dog, lie
"It's all right," I said. "I've another white suit in my
"But you must be wet through," said Mrs. Sopley. "Perhaps
we'd better go in. It's getting late, anyway, isn't it?"
And then she added to her husband, "I don't think Weejee
ought to sit out here now that he's wet."
So we went in.
"I think you'll find everything you need," said Sopley,
as he showed me to my room, "and, by the way, don't mind
if Weejee comes into your room at night. We like to let
him run all over the house and he often sleeps on this
"All right," I said cheerfully, "I'll look after him."
That night Weejee came.
And when it was far on in the dead of night--so that even
the lake and the trees were hushed in sleep, I took Weejee
out and--but there is no need to give the details of it.
And the Sopleys are still wondering where Weejee has gone
to, and waiting for him to come back, because he is so
clever at finding his way.
But from where Weejee is, no one finds his way back.
XIV.--Sidelights on the Supermen. An Interview with
He came into my room in that modest, Prussian way that
he has, clicking his heels together, his head very erect,
his neck tightly gripped in his forty-two centimeter
collar. He had on a Pickelhaube, or Prussian helmet,
which he removed with a sweeping gesture and laid on the
So I knew at once that it was General Bernhardi.
In spite of his age he looked--I am bound to admit it--a
fine figure of a man. There was a splendid fullness about
his chest and shoulders, and a suggestion of rugged power
all over him. I had not heard him on the stairs. He
seemed to appear suddenly beside me.
"How did you get past the janitor?" I asked. For it was
late at night, and my room at college is three flights
up the stairs.
"The janitor," he answered carelessly, "I killed him."
I gave a gasp.
"His resistance," the general went on, "was very slight.
Apparently in this country your janitors are unarmed."
"You killed him?" I asked.
"We Prussians," said Bernhardi, "when we wish an immediate
access anywhere, always kill the janitor. It is quicker:
and it makes for efficiency. It impresses them with a
sense of our Furchtbarkeit. You have no word for that in
English, I believe?"
"Not outside of a livery stable," I answered.
There was a pause. I was thinking of the janitor. It
seemed in a sort of way--I admit that I have a sentimental
streak in me--a deplorable thing.
"Sit down," I said presently.
"Thank you," answered the General, but remained standing.
"All right," I said, "do it."
"Thank you," he repeated, without moving.
"I forgot," I said. "Perhaps you CAN'T sit down."
"Not very well," he answered; "in fact, we Prussian
officers"--here he drew himself up higher still--"never
sit down. Our uniforms do not permit of it. This inspires
us with a kind of Rastlosigkeit." Here his eyes glittered.
"It must," I said.
"In fact, with an Unsittlichkeit--an Unverschamtheit--with
"Exactly," I said, for I saw that he was getting excited,
"but pray tell me, General, to what do I owe the honour
of this visit?"
The General's manner changed at once.
"Highly learned, and high-well-born-professor," he said,
"I come to you as to a fellow author, known and honoured
not merely in England, for that is nothing, but in Germany
herself, and in Turkey, the very home of Culture."
I knew that it was mere flattery. I knew that in this
same way Lord Haldane had been so captivated as to come
out of the Emperor's presence unable to say anything but
"Sittlichkeit" for weeks; that good old John Burns had
been betrayed by a single dinner at Potsdam, and that
the Sultan of Turkey had been told that his Answers to
Ultimatums were the wittiest things written since Kant's
Critique of Pure Reason. Yet I was pleased in spite of
"What!" I exclaimed, "they know my works of humour in
"Do they know them?" said the General. "Ach! Himmel!
How they laugh. That work of yours (I think I see it on
the shelf behind you), The Elements of Political Science,
how the Kaiser has laughed over it! And the Crown Prince!
It nearly killed him!"
"I will send him the new edition," I said. "But tell
me, General, what is it that you want of me?"
"It is about my own book," he answered. "You have read
I pointed to a copy of Germany and the Next War, in its
glaring yellow cover--the very hue of Furchtbarkeit--lying
on the table.
"You have read it? You have really read it?" asked the
General with great animation.
"No," I said, "I won't go so far as to say that. But I
have TRIED to read it. And I talk about it as if I had
The General's face fell.
"You are as the others," he said, "They buy the book,
they lay it on the table, they talk of it at dinner,--they
say 'Bernhardi has prophesied this, Bernhardi foresaw
that,' but read it,--nevermore."
"Still," I said, "you get the royalties."
"They are cut off. The perfidious British Government will
not allow the treacherous publisher to pay them. But that
is not my complaint."
"What is the matter, then?" I asked.
"My book is misunderstood. You English readers have failed
to grasp its intention. It is not meant as a book of
strategy. It is what you call a work of humour. The book
is to laugh. It is one big joke."
"You don't say so!" I said in astonishment.
"Assuredly," answered the General. "Here"--and with this
he laid hold of the copy of the book before me and began
rapidly turning over the leaves--"let me set it out
asunder for you, the humour of it. Listen, though, to
this, where I speak of Germany's historical mission on
page 73,--'No nation on the face of the globe is so able
to grasp and appropriate all the elements of culture as
Germany is?' What do you say to that? Is it not a joke?
Ach, Himmel, how our officers have laughed over that in
Belgium! With their booted feet on the mantelpiece as
they read and with bottles of appropriated champagne
beside them as they laugh."
"You are right, General," I said, "you will forgive my
not laughing out loud, but you are a great humorist."
"Am I not? And listen further still, how I deal with the
theme of the German character,--'Moral obligations such
as no nation had ever yet made the standard of conduct,
are laid down by the German philosophers.'"
"Good," I said, "gloriously funny; read me some more."
"This, then, you will like,--here I deal with the
permissible rules of war. It is on page 236 that I am
reading it. I wrote this chiefly to make laugh our naval
men and our Zeppelin crews,--'A surprise attack, in order
to be justified, must be made only on the armed forces
of the state and not on its peaceful inhabitants.
Otherwise the attack becomes a treacherous crime.' Eh,
Here the General broke into roars of laughter.
"Wonderful," I said. "Your book ought to sell well in
Scarborough and in Yarmouth. Read some more."
"I should like to read you what I say about neutrality,
and how England is certain to violate our strategical
right by an attack on Belgium and about the sharp measures
that ought to be taken against neutral ships laden with
contraband,--the passages are in Chapters VII and VIII,
but for the moment I fail to lay the thumb on them."
"Give me the book, General," I said. "Now that I understand
what you meant by it, I think I can show you also some
very funny passages in it. These things, for example,
that you say about Canada and the colonies,--yes, here
it is, page 148,--'In the event of war the loosely-joined
British Empire will break into pieces, and the colonies
will consult their own interests,'--excellently funny,--and
this again,--'Canada will not permanently retain any
trace of the English spirit,'--and this too,--'the Colonies
can be completely ignored so far as the European theatre
of war is concerned,'--and here again,--'Egypt and South
Africa will at once revolt and break away from the empire,'
--really, General, your ideas of the British Colonies
are superbly funny. Mark Twain wasn't a circumstance on
"Not at all," said Bernhardi, and his voice reverted to
his habitual Prussian severity, "these are not jokes.
They are facts. It is only through the folly of the
Canadians in not reading my book that they are not more
widely known. Even as it is they are exactly the views
of your great leader Heinrich Bauratze--"
"Who?" I said.
"Heinrich Bauratze, your great Canadian leader--"
"Leader of what?"
"That I do not know," said Bernhardi. "Our intelligence
office has not yet heard what he leads. But as soon as
he leads anything we shall know it. Meantime we can see
from his speeches that he has read my book. Ach! if only
your other leaders in Canada,--Sir Robert Laurier, Sir
Osler Sifton, Sir Williams Borden,--you smile, you do
not realize that in Germany we have exact information of
everything: all that happens, we know it."
Meantime I had been looking over the leaves of the book.
"Here at least," I said, "is some splendidly humorous
stuff,--this about the navy. 'The completion of the Kiel
Canal,' you write in Chapter XII, 'is of great importance
as it will enable our largest battleships to appear
unexpectedly in the Baltic and in the North Sea!' Appear
unexpectedly! If they only would! How exquisitely
"Sir!" said the General. "That is not to laugh. You err
yourself. That is Furchtbarkeit. I did not say the book
is all humour. That would be false art. Part of it is
humour and part is Furchbarkeit. That passage is specially
designed to frighten Admiral Jellicoe. And he won't read
it! Potztausand, he won't read it!"--repeated the general,
his eyes flashing and his clenched fist striking in the
air--"What sort of combatants are these of the British
Navy who refuse to read our war-books? The Kaiser's
Heligoland speech! They never read a word of it. The
Furchtbarkeit-Proklamation of August,--they never looked
at it. The Reichstags-Rede with the printed picture of
the Kaiser shaking hands with everybody,--they used it
to wrap up sandwiches! What are they, then, Jellicoe and
his men? They sit there in their ships and they read
nothing! How can we get at them if they refuse to read?
How can we frighten them away if they haven't culture
enough to get frightened. Beim Himmel," shouted the
General in great excitement--
But what more he said can never be known. For at this
second a sudden catastrophe happened.
In his frenzy of excitement the General struck with his
fist at the table, missed it, lost his balance and fell
over sideways right on the point of his Pickelhaube which
he had laid on the sofa. There was a sudden sound as of
the ripping of cloth and the bursting of pneumatic cushions
and to my amazement the General collapsed on the sofa,
his uniform suddenly punctured in a dozen places.
"Schnapps," he cried, "fetch brandy."
"Great Heavens! General," I said, "what has happened?"
"My uniform!" he moaned, "it has burst! Give me Schnapps!"
He seemed to shrink visibly in size. His magnificent
chest was gone. He was shrivelling into a tattered heap.
He appeared as he lay there, a very allegory and
illustration of Prussian Furchtbarkeit with the wind
going out of it.
"Fetch Schnapps,"--he moaned.
"There are no Schnapps here," I said, "this is McGill
"Then call the janitor," he said.
"You killed him," I said.
"I didn't. I was lying. I gave him a look that should
have killed him, but I don't think it did. Rouse yourself
from your chair, and call him--"
"I will," I said, and started up from my seat.
But as I did so, the form of General Bernhardi, which I
could have sworn had been lying in a tattered heap on
the sofa on the other side of the room, seemed suddenly
to vanish from my eyes.
There was nothing before me but the empty room with the
fire burned low in the grate, and in front of me an open
copy of Bernhardi's book.
I must,--like many another reader,--have fallen asleep
XV.--The Survival of the Fittest
A bell tinkled over the door of the little drug store as
I entered it; which seemed strange in a lighted street
of a great city.
But the little store itself, dim even in the centre and
dark in the corners was gloomy enough for a country
"I have to have the bell," said the man behind the counter,
reading my thought, "I'm alone here just now."
"A toothbrush?" he said in answer to my question. "Yes,
I guess I've got some somewhere round here." He was
stooping under and behind his counter and his voice came
up from below. "I've got some somewhere--" And then as
if talking to himself he murmured from behind a pile of
cardboard boxes, "I saw some Tuesday."
Had I gone across the street to the brilliant premises
of the Cut Rate Pharmaceutical where they burn electric
light by the meterfull I should no sooner have said "tooth
brush," than one of the ten clerks in white hospital
jackets would have poured a glittering assortment over
the counter--prophylactic, lactic and every other sort.
But I had turned in, I don't know why, to the little
store across the way.
"Here, I guess these must be tooth brushes," he said,
reappearing at the level of the counter with a flat box
in his hand. They must have been presumably, or have once
been,--at some time long ago.
"They're tooth brushes all right," he said, and started
looking over them with an owner's interest.
"What is the price of them?" I asked.
"Well," the man said musingly, "I don't--jest--know. I
guess it's written on them likely," and he began to look
at the handles.
Over at the Pharmaceutical across the way the words "what
price?" would have precipitated a ready avalanche of
"This one seems to be seventy-five cents," he said and
handed me one.
"Is it a good tooth brush?" I asked.
"It ought to be," he said, "you'd think, at that price."
He had no shop talk, no patter whatever.
Then he looked at the brush again, more closely.
"I don't believe it IS seventy-five," he muttered, "I
think it must be fifteen, don't you?"
I took it from his hand and looked and said,--for it is
well to take an occasional step towards the Kingdom of
Heaven,--that I was certain it was seventy-five.
"Well," said the man, "perhaps it is, my sight is not so
good now. I've had too much to do here and the work's
been using me up some."
I noticed now as he said this how frail he looked as he
bent over his counter wrapping up the tooth brush.
"I've no sealing wax," he said, "or not handy."
"That doesn't matter," I answered, "just put it in the
Over the way of course the tooth brush would have been
done up almost instantaneously, in white enamel paper,
sealed at the end and stamped with a label, as fast as
the money paid for it went rattling along an automatic
carrier to a cashier.
"You've been very busy, eh?" I asked.
"Well, not so much with customers," he said, "but with
fixing up the place,"--here he glanced about him. Heaven
only knows what he had fixed. There were no visible signs
"You see I've only been in here a couple of months. It
was a pretty tough looking place when I came to it. But
I've been getting things fixed. First thing I did I put
those two carboys in the window with the lights behind
them. They show up fine, don't they?"
"Fine!" I repeated; so fine indeed that the dim yellow
light in them reached three or four feet from the jar.
But for the streaming light from the great store across
the street, the windows of the little shop would have
"It's a good location here," he said. Any one could have
told him that it was the worst location within two miles.
"I'll get it going presently," he went on. "Of course
it's uphill just at first. Being such a good location
the rent is high. The first two weeks I was here I was
losing five dollars a day. But I got those lights in the
window and got the stock overhauled a little to make it
attractive and last month I reckon I was only losing
three dollars a day."
"That's better," I said.
"Oh, yes," he went on, and there was a clear glint of
purpose in his eye that contrasted with his sunken cheeks.
"I'll get it going. This last two weeks I'm not losing
more than say two and a half a day or something like
that? The custom is bound to come. You get a place fixed
up and made attractive like this and people are sure to
come sooner or later."
What it was that was fixed up, and wherein lay the
attractiveness I do not know. It could not be seen with
the outward eye. Perhaps after two months' work of piling
dusty boxes now this way, now that, and putting little
candles behind the yellow carboys to try the effect, some
inward vision came that lighted the place up with an
attractiveness wanting even in the glass and marble
glitter of the Pharmacy across the way.
"Yes, sir," continued the man, "I mean to stay with it.
I'll get things into shape here, fix it up a little more
and soon I'll have it,"--here his face radiated with a
vision of hope--"so that I won't lose a single cent."
I looked at him in surprise. So humble an ambition it
had never been my lot to encounter.
"All that bothers me," he went on, "is my health. It's
a nice business the drug business: I like it, but it
takes it out of you. You've got to be alert and keen all
the time; thinking out plans to please the custom when
it comes. Often I don't sleep well nights for the rush
I looked about the little shop, as gloomy and sleepful
as the mausoleum of an eastern king, and wondered by what
alchemy of the mind the little druggist found it a very
vortex of activity.
"But I can fix my health," he returned--"I may have to
get some one in here and go away for a spell. Perhaps
I'll do it. The doctor was saying he thought I might take
a spell off and think out a few more wrinkles while I'm
At the word "doctor" I looked at him more warmly, and I
saw then what was plain enough to see but for the dim
light of the little place,--the thin flush on the cheek,
the hopeful mind, the contrast of the will to live and
the need to die, God's little irony on man, it was all
there plain enough to read. The "spell" for which the
little druggist was going is that which is written in
letters of sorrow over the sunlit desolation of Arizona
and the mountains of Colorado.
A month went by before I passed that way again. I looked
across at the little store and I read the story in its
drawn blinds and the padlock on its door.
The little druggist had gone away for a spell. And they
told me, on enquiry, that his journey had been no further
than to the cemetery behind the town where he lies now,
musing, if he still can, on the law of the survival of
the fittest in this well-adjusted world.
And they say that the shock of the addition of his whole
business to the great Pharmacy across the way scarcely
disturbed a soda siphon.
XVI--The First Newspaper. A Sort of Allegory
How likes it you, Master Brenton?" said the brawny
journeyman, spreading out the news sheet on a smooth
oaken table where it lay under the light of a leaded
"A marvellous fair sheet," murmured Brenton Caxton,
seventh of the name, "let me but adjust my glasses and
peruse it further lest haply there be still aught in it
that smacks of error."
"It needs not," said the journeyman, "'tis the fourth
time already from the press."
"Nay, nay," answered Master Brenton softly, as he adjusted
his great horn-rimmed spectacles and bent his head over
the broad damp news sheet before him. "Let us grudge no
care in this. The venture is a new one and, meseems, a
very parlous thing withal. 'Tis a venture that may easily
fail and carry down our fortunes with it, but at least
let it not be said that it failed for want of brains in
"Fail quotha!" said a third man, who had not yet spoken,
old, tall and sour of visage and wearing a printer's
leather apron. He had moved over from the further side
of the room where a little group of apprentices stood
beside the wooden presses that occupied the corner, and
he was looking over the shoulder of Master Brenton Caxton.
"How can it do aught else? 'Tis a mad folly. Mark you,
Master Brenton and Master Nick, I have said it from the
first and let the blame be none of mine. 'Tis a mad thing
you do here. See then," he went on, turning and waving
his hand, "this vast room, these great presses, yonder
benches and tools, all new, yonder vats of ink straight
out of Flanders, how think you you can recover the cost
of all this out of yonder poor sheets? Five and forty
years have I followed this mystery of printing, ever
since thy grandfather's day, Master Brenton, and never
have I seen the like. What needed this great chamber when
your grandfather and father were content with but a garret
place, and yonder presses that can turn off four score
copies in the compass of a single hour,--'Tis mad folly,
The moment was an interesting one. The speakers were in
a great room with a tall ceiling traversed by blackened
beams. From the street below there came dimly through
the closed casements the sound of rumbling traffic and
the street cries of the London of the seventeenth century.
Two vast presses of such colossal size that their wooden
levers would tax the strength of the stoutest apprentice,
were ranged against the further wall. About the room,
spread out on oaken chairs and wooden benches, were flat
boxes filled with leaden type, freshly molten, and a
great pile of paper, larger than a man could lift, stood
in a corner.
The first English newspaper in history was going to press.
Those who in later ages,--editors, printers, and
workers--have participated in the same scene, can form
some idea of the hopes and fears, the doubts and the
difficulties, with which the first newspaper was ushered
into the world.
Master Brenton Caxton turned upon the last speaker the
undisturbed look of the eye that sees far across the
present into the years to come.
"Nay, Edward," he said, "you have laboured over much in
the past and see not into the future. You think this
chamber too great for our purpose? I tell you the time
will come when not this room alone but three or four such
will be needed for our task. Already I have it in my mind
that I will divide even this room into portions, with
walls shrewdly placed through its length and breadth, so
that each that worketh shall sit as it were in his own
chamber and there shall stand one at the door and whosoever
cometh, to whatever part of our task his business
appertains, he shall forthwith be brought to the room of
him that hath charge of it. Cometh he with a madrigal or
other light poesy that he would set out on the press, he
shall find one that has charge of such matters and can
discern their true value. Or, cometh he with news of
aught that happens in the realm, so shall he be brought
instant to the room of him that recordeth such events.
Or, if so be, he would write a discourse on what seemeth
him some wise conceit touching the public concerns, he
shall find to his hand a convenient desk with ink and
quills and all that he needeth to set it straightway on
paper; thus shall there be a great abundance of written
matter to our hand so that not many days shall elapse
after one of our news sheets goes abroad before there be
matter enough to fill another."
"Days!" said the aged printer, "think you you can fill
one of these news sheets in a few days! Where indeed if
you search the whole realm will you find talk enough in
a single week to fill out this great sheet half an ell
"Ay, days indeed!" broke in Master Nicholas, the younger
journeyman. "Master Brenton speaks truth, or less than
truth. For not days indeed, but in the compass of a single
day, I warrant you, shall we find the matter withal."
Master Nicholas spoke with the same enthusiasm as his
chief, but with less of the dreamer in his voice and eye,
and with more swift eagerness of the practical man.
"Fill it, indeed," he went on. "Why, Gad Zooks! man! who
knoweth what happenings there are and what not till one
essays the gathering of them! And should it chance that
there is nothing of greater import, no boar hunt of his
Majesty to record, nor the news of some great entertainment
by one of the Lords of the Court, then will we put in
lesser matter, aye whatever comes to hand, the talk of
his Majesty's burgesses in the Parliament or any such
"Hear him!" sneered the printer, "the talk of his Majesty's
burgesses in Westminster, forsooth! And what clerk or
learned person would care to read of such? Or think you
that His Majesty's Chamberlain would long bear that such
idle chatter should be bruited abroad. If you can find
no worthier thing for this our news sheet than the talk
of the Burgesses, then shall it fail indeed. Had it been
the speech of the King's great barons and the bishops
'twere different. But dost fancy that the great barons
would allow that their weighty discourses be reduced to
common speech so that even the vulgar may read it and
haply here and there fathom their very thought itself,--and
the bishops, the great prelates, to submit their ideas
to the vulgar hand of a common printer, framing them into
mere sentences! 'Tis unthinkable that they would sanction
"Aye," murmured Caxton in his dreaming voice, "the time
shall come, Master Edward, when they will not only sanction
it but seek it."
"Look you," broke in Master Nick, "let us have done with
this talk? Whether there be enough happenings or not
enough,"--and here he spoke with a kindling eye and looked
about him at the little group of apprentices and printers,
who had drawn near to listen, "if there be not enough,
then will I MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. What is easier than to
tell of happenings forth of the realm of which no man
can know,--some talk of the Grand Turk and the war that
he makes, or some happenings in the New Land found by
Master Columbus. Aye," he went on, warming to his words
and not knowing that he embodied in himself the first
birth on earth of the telegraphic editor,--"and why not.
One day we write it out on our sheet 'The Grand Turk
maketh disastrous war on the Bulgars of the North and
hath burnt divers of their villages.' And that hath no
sooner gone forth than we print another sheet saying,
'It would seem that the villages be not burnt but only
scorched, nor doth it appear that the Turk burnt them
but that the Bulgars burnt divers villages of the Turk
and are sitting now in his mosque in the city of Hadrian.'
Then shall all men run to and fro and read the sheet and
question and ask, 'Is it thus?' And, 'Is it thus?' and
by very uncertainty of circumstances, they shall demand
the more curiously to see the news sheet and read it."
"Nay, nay, Master Nick," said Brenton, firmly, "that will
I never allow. Let us make it to ourselves a maxim that
all that shall be said in this news sheet, or 'news
paper,' as my conceit would fain call it, for be it not
made of paper (here a merry laugh of the apprentices
greeted the quaint fancy of the Master), shall be of
ascertained verity and fact indisputable. Should the
Grand Turk make war and should the rumour of it come to
these isles, then will we say 'The Turk maketh war,' and
should the Turk be at peace, then we will say 'The Turk
it doth appear is now at peace.' And should no news come,
then shall we say 'In good sooth we know not whether the
Turk destroyeth the Bulgars or whether he doth not, for
while some hold that he harasseth them sorely, others
have it that he harasseth them not, whereby we are sore
put to it to know whether there be war or peace, nor do
we desire to vex the patience of those who read by any
further discourse on the matter, other than to say that
we ourselves are in doubt what be and what be not truth,
nor will we any further speak of it other than this.'"
Those about Caxton listened with awe to this speech. They
did not,--they could not know,--that this was the birth
of the Leading Article, but there was something in the
strangely fascinating way in which their chief enlarged
upon his own ignorance that foreshowed to the meanest
intelligence the possibilities of the future.
Nicholas shook his head.
"'Tis a poor plan, Master Brenton," he said, "the folk
wish news, give them the news. The more thou givest them,
the better pleased they are and thus doth the news sheet
move from hand to hand till it may be said (if I too may
coin a phrase) to increase vastly its 'circulation'--"
"In sooth," said Master Brenton, looking at Nicholas with
a quiet expression that was not exempt from a certain
slyness, "there I do hold thou art in the wrong, even as
a matter of craft or policie. For it seems to me that if
our paper speaketh first this and then that but hath no
fixed certainty of truth, sooner or later will all its
talk seem vain, and no man will heed it. But if it speak
always the truth, then sooner or later shall all come to
believe it and say of any happening, 'It standeth written
in the paper, therefore it is so.' And here I charge you
all that have any part in this new venture," continued
Master Brenton, looking about the room at the listening
faces and speaking with great seriousness, "let us lay
it to our hearts that our maxim shall be truth and truth
alone. Let no man set his hand to aught that shall go
upon our presses save only that which is assured truth.
In this way shall our venture ever be pleasing to the
Most High, and I do verily believe,"--and here Caxton's
voice sank lower as if he were thinking aloud,--"in the
long run, it will be mighty good for our circulation."
The speaker paused. Then turning to the broad sheet before
him, he began to scan its columns with his eye. The others
stood watching him as he read.
"What is this, Master Edward," he queried presently,
"here I see in this first induct, or column, as one names
it, the word King fairly and truly spelled. Lower down
it standeth Kyng, and yet further in the second induct
Kynge, and in the last induct where there is talk of His
Majesty's marvelous skill in the French game of palm or
tennis, lo the word stands Quhyngge! How sayeth thou?"
"Wouldst have it written always in but one and the same
way?" asked the printer in astonishment.
"Aye, truly," said Caxton.
"With never any choice, or variation to suit the fancy
of him who reads so that he who likes it written King
may see it so, and yet also he who would prefer it written
in a freer style, or Quhyngge, may also find it so and
thus both be pleased."
"That will I never have!" said Master Brenton firmly,
"dost not remember, friend, the old tale in the fabula
of Aesopus of him who would please all men. Here will I
make another maxim for our newspaper. All men we cannot
please, for in pleasing one belike we run counter to
another. Let us set our hand to write always without
fear. Let us seek favour with none. Always in our news
sheet we will seek to speak dutifully and with all
reverence of the King his Majesty: let us also speak with
all respect and commendation of His Majesty's great
prelates and nobles, for are they not the exalted of the
land? Also I would have it that we say nothing harsh
against our wealthy merchants and burgesses, for hath
not the Lord prospered them in their substances. Yea,
friends, let us speak ever well of the King, the clergy,
the nobility and of all persons of wealth and substantial
holdings. But beyond this"--here Brenton Coxton's eye
flashed,--"let us speak with utter fearlessness of all
men. So shall we be, if I may borrow a mighty good word
from Tacitus his Annals, of a complete independence,
hanging on to no man. In fact our venture shall be an
The listeners felt an instinctive awe at the words, and
again a strange prescience of the future made itself felt
in every mind. Here for the first time in history was
being laid down that fine, fearless creed that has made
the independent press what it is.
Meantime Caxton continued to glance his eye over the news
sheet, murmuring his comments on what he saw,--"Ah! vastly
fine, Master Nicholas,--this of the sailing of His
Majesty's ships for Spain,--and this, too, of the Doge
of Venice, his death, 'tis brave reading and maketh a
fair discourse. Here also this likes me, 'tis shrewdly
devised," and here he placed his finger on a particular
spot on the news sheet,--"here in speaking of the strange
mishap of my Lord Arundel, thou useth a great S for
strange, and setteth it in a line all by itself whereby
the mind of him that reads is suddenly awakened, alarmed
as it were by a bell in the night. 'Tis good. 'Tis well.
But mark you, friend Nicholas, try it not too often, nor
use your great letters too easily. In the case of my Lord
Arundel, it is seemly, but for a mishap to a lesser
person, let it stand in a more modest fashion."
There was a pause. Then suddenly Caxton looked up again.
"What manner of tale is this! What strange thing is here!
In faith, Master Nicholas, whence hast thou so marvelous
a thing! The whole world must know of it. Harken ye all
"'Let all men that be troubled of aches, spavins, rheums,
boils, maladies of the spleen or humours of the blood,
come forthwith to the sign of the Red Lantern in East
Cheap. There shall they find one that hath a marvelous
remedy for all such ailments, brought with great dangers
and perils of the journey from a far distant land. This
wonderous balm shall straightway make the sick to be well
and the lame to walk. Rubbed on the eye it restoreth
sight and applied to the ear it reviveth the hearing.
'Tis the sole invention of Doctor Gustavus Friedman,
sometime of Gottingen and brought by him hitherwards out
of the sheer pity of his heart for them that be afflicted,
nor shall any other fee be asked for it save only such
a light and tender charge as shall defray the cost of
Doctor Friedman his coming and going.'"
Caxton paused and gazed at Master Nicholas in wonder.
"Whence hadst thou this?"
Master Nicholas smiled.
"I had it of a chapman, or travelling doctor, who was
most urgent that we set it forth straightway on the
"And is it true?" asked Caxton; "thou hast it of a full
surety of knowledge?"
Nicholas laughed lightly.
"True or false, I know not," he said, "but the fellow
was so curious that we should print it that he gave me
two golden laurels and a new sovereign on the sole
understanding that we should set it forth in print."
There was deep silence for a moment.
"He PAYETH to have it printed!" said Caxton, deeply
"Aye," said Master Nicholas, "he payeth and will pay
more. The fellow hath other balms equally potent. All of
these he would admonish, or shall I say advert, the
"So," said Caxton, thoughtfully, "he wishes to make, if
I may borrow a phrase of Albertus Magnus, an advertisement
of his goods."
"Even so," said Nicholas.
"I see," said the Master, "he payeth us. We advert the
goods. Forthwith all men buy them. Then hath he more
money. He payeth us again. We advert the goods more and
still he payeth us. That would seem to me, friend Nick,
a mighty good busyness for us."
"So it is," rejoined Nicholas, "and after him others will
come to advert other wares until belike a large part of
our news sheet,--who knows? the whole of it, perhaps,
shall be made up in the merry guise of advertisements."
Caxton sat silent in deep thought.
"But Master Caxton"--cried the voice of a young apprentice,
a mere child, as he seemed, with fair hair and blue eyes
filled with the native candour of unsullied youth,--"is
this tale true!"
"What sayest thou, Warwick?" said the master printer,
"Good master, is the tale of the wonderous balm true?"
"Boy," said Caxton, "Master Nicholas, hath even said, we
know not if it is true."
"But didst thou not charge us," pleaded the boy, "that
all that went under our hand into the press should be
truth and truth alone?"
"I did," said Caxton thoughtfully, "but I spoke perhaps
somewhat in overhaste. I see that we must here distinguish.
Whether this is true or not we cannot tell. But it is
PAID FOR, and that lifts it, as who should say, out of
the domain of truth. The very fact that it is paid for
giveth it, as it were, a new form of merit, a verity
altogether its own."
"Ay, ay," said Nicholas, with a twinkle in his shrewd
eyes, "entirely its own."
"Indeed so," said Caxton, "and here let us make to
ourselves another and a final maxim of guidance. All
things that any man will pay for, these we will print,
whether true or not, for that doth not concern us. But
if one cometh here with any strange tale of a remedy or
aught else and wishes us to make advertisement of it and
hath no money to pay for it, then shall he be cast forth
out of this officina, or office, if I may call it so,
neck and crop into the street. Nay, I will have me one
of great strength ever at the door ready for such castings."
A murmur of approval went round the group.
Caxton would have spoken further but at the moment the
sound of a bell was heard booming in the street without.
"'Tis the Great Bell," said Caxton, "ringing out the hour
of noon. Quick, all of you to your task. Lay me the forms
on the press and speed me the work. We start here a great
adventure. Mark well the maxims I have given you, and
God speed our task."
And in another hour or so, the prentice boys of the master
printer were calling in the streets the sale of the first
XVII--In the Good Time After the War
[Footnote: An extract from a London newspaper of 1916.]
HOUSE OF COMMONS REPORT
The Prime Minister in rising said that he thought the
time had now come when the House might properly turn its
attention again to domestic affairs. The foreign world
was so tranquil that there was really nothing of importance
which need be brought to the attention of the House.
Members, however, would, perhaps, be glad to learn
incidentally that a new and more comfortable cage had
been supplied for the ex-German Emperor, and that the
ex-Crown Prince was now showing distinct signs of
intelligence, and was even able to eat quite quietly out
of his keeper's hand. Members would be gratified to know
that at last the Hohenzollern family were able to abstain
from snapping at the hand that fed them. But he would
now turn to the subject of Home Rule.
Here the House was seen to yawn noticeably, and a general
lack of interest was visible, especially among the
Nationalist and Ulster members. A number of members were
seen to rise as if about to move to the refreshment-
room. Mr. John Redmond and Sir Edward Carson were seen
walking arm in arm towards the door.
The Prime Minister. "Will the members kindly keep their
seats? We are about to hold a discussion on Home Rule.
Members will surely recall that this form of discussion
was one of our favourite exercises only a year or so ago.
I trust that members have not lost interest in the
subject." (General laughter among the members, and cries
of "Cut it out!" "What is it?")
The Prime Minister (with some asperity). "Members are
well aware what Home Rule meant. It was a plan--or rather
it was a scheme--that is to say, it was an act of
parliament, or I should say a bill, in fact, Mr. Speaker,
I don't mind confessing that, not having my papers with
me, I am unable to inform the House just what Home Rule
was. I think, perhaps, the Ex-Minister of Munitions has
a copy of last year's bill."
Mr. Lloyd George rising, with evident signs of boredom.
"The House will excuse me. I am tired. I have been out
all day aeroplaning with Mr. Churchill and Mr. Bonar Law,
with a view to inspect the new national training camp.
I had the Home Rule Bill with me along with the Welsh
Disestablishment Bill and the Land Bill, and I am afraid
that I lost the whole bally lot of them; dropped them
into the sea or something. I hope the Speaker will overlook
the term 'bally.' It may not be parliamentary."
Mr. Speaker (laughing). "Tut, tut, never mind a little
thing like that. I am sure that after all that we have
gone through together, the House is quite agreed that a
little thing like parliamentary procedure doesn't matter."
Mr. Lloyd George (humbly). "Still I am sorry for the
term. I'd like to withdraw it. I separate or distinguish
in any degree the men of Ulster from the men of Tipperary,
and the heart of Belfast from the heart of Dublin." (Loud
Mr. Redmond (springing forward). "And I'll say this: Not
I, nor any man of Ireland, Dublin, Belfast, or Connaught
will ever set our hands or names to any bill that shall
separate Ireland in any degree from the rest of the
Empire. Work out, if you like, a new scheme of government.
If the financial clauses are intricate, get one of your
treasury clerks to solve them. If there's trouble in
arranging your excise on your customs, settle it in any
way you please. But it is too late now to separate England
and Ireland. We've held the flag of the Empire in our
hand. We mean to hold it in our grasp forever. We have
seen its colours tinged a brighter red with the best of
Ireland's blood, and that proud stain shall stay forever
as the symbol of the unity of Irish and the English
(Loud cheers ring through the House; several members rise
in great excitement, all shouting and speaking together.)
There is heard the voice of Mr. Angus McCluskey, Member
for the Hebrides, calling--"And ye'll no forget Scotland,
me lad, when you talk of unity! Do you mind the
Forty-Second, and the London Scottish in the trenches of
the Aisne? Wha carried the flag of the Empire then? Unity,
ma friends, ye'll never break it. It may involve a wee
bit sacrifice for Scotland financially speaking. I'll no
say no to a reveesion of the monetairy terms, if ye
suggest it,--but for unita--Scotland and the Empire, now
A great number of members have risen in their seats. Mr.
Open Ap Owen Glendower is calling: "Aye and Wales! never
forget Wales." Mr. Trevelyan Trendinning of Cornwall has
started singing "And shall Trelawney Die?"--while the
deep booming of "Rule Britannia" from five hundred throats
ascends to the very rafters of the House.
The Speaker laughing and calling for order, while two of
the more elderly clerks are beating with the mace on the
table,--"Gentlemen, gentlemen, I have a proposal to make.
I have just learned that there is at the Alhambra in
Leicester Square, a real fine moving picture show of the
entrance of the Allies into Berlin. Let's all go to it.
We can leave a committee of the three youngest members
to stay behind and draw up a new government for Ireland.
Even they can't go wrong now as to what we want."
Loud Cheers as the House empties, singing "It was a Long
Way to Tipperary, but the way lay through Berlin."