Part 3 out of 6
as he thought of her his heart glowed with gratitude to God for
having made her known to him. Helen would believe him, Helen would
understand everything--and nothing else really mattered. It was
curious how the thought of Helen, which had been agony an hour ago,
now filled him with a kind of steadfast comfort.
As Sherston turned to go down the staircase, there came the distant
sound of the bursting of a motor tire, and the unhappy man started
violently. His nerves were now in pieces, but he remembered, as
he went down the stone steps, to feel in one of his pockets, to be
sure he had what he so seldom used, a card-case on him.
On reaching the front door he was surprised to find it open, and
to see just within the hall, their white caps and pale faces dimly
illumined by the little light that glimmered in from outside, two
trained nurses with bags in their hands. They were talking eagerly,
and took no notice of him as he passed.
For a moment Sherston wondered whether he ought to tell them of
the terrible accident which had just happened upstairs--but after
a momentary hesitation he decided that it would be better to go
straight off to the Police Station. Already his excited brain saw
a nurse standing in the witness-box at a trial where he himself
stood in the dock on a charge of murder. So, past the two whispering
women, he hurried out into the darkness.
Even in the grievous state of mental distress in which he now found
himself, Sherston noticed that the street lamps were turned so low
that there only shone out, under their green shades, pallid spots
of light. And as he stumbled across the curb of the pavement, he
told himself, with irritation, that that was really rather absurd!
More accidents proceeded from the absence of light than were ever
likely to be caused by the Zeppelins.
Perforce walking warily, he hastened towards the Strand. There
was less traffic than usual, fewer people, too, on the pavement,
but it was just after nine o'clock, the quietest time of the evening.
Suddenly a huge column of flame shot up some thirty yards in front
of him, and then (it seemed to all to happen in a moment) a line of
men, police, and special constables, spread across the thoroughfare
in which he now was, barring off the Strand.
Sherston quickened his footsteps. For a moment his own disturbed
and fearsome thoughts were banished by the extraordinary and exciting
sight before him. Higher and higher mounted the pillar of fire,
throwing a sinister glare on the buildings, high and low, new and
old, round about it. "Good Heavens!" he exclaimed involuntarily.
"Is that the Lyceum on fire?" A policeman near whom he was now
standing, turned round and said shortly, "Can't say, I'm sure,
He witnessed in the next few minutes a strange scene of confusion,
of hurrying and scurrying hither and thither. Where there had
been almost pitch darkness, was now a glittering, brilliant bath
of light, in which the figures of men and women, moving swiftly to
and fro, appeared like animated silhouettes. But even as he stared
before him at the extraordinary Hogarthian vision, the roadway and
the pavements of the Strand became strangely and suddenly deserted,
while he began to hear the hoot, hoot of the fire-engines galloping
to the scene of the disaster. Before him the line of police and
of special constables remained unbroken, and barred his further
"I don't want to go past the theater," he whispered urgently. "I
only want to get to Bow Street, as quickly as possible, on a very
important matter." He slipped the half-crown he had meant to give
the waif he had taken Kitty to be, into a policeman's hand, and
though the man shook his head he let him through.
Sherston shot down the Strand, to his left. Almost filling up the
steep, lane-like street which leads down to the Savoy Hotel, were
rows of ambulances, groups of nurses, and Red Cross men, and absorbed
though he was once more in his own sensations, and the thought of
the terrible ordeal that lay in front of him, Sherston yet found
himself admiring the quickness with which they had been rushed
On he went, and crossed the empty roadway. How strange that so
little attention was being paid to the fire! Instead of a hurrying
mob of men and women, the Strand was now extraordinarily empty,
both of people and of vehicles, and now and again he could hear
the sound of knocking, of urgent knocking, as if some one who has
been locked out, and is determined to be let in.
He strode quickly along, feeling his way somewhat, for apart from
the reflection of the red sky, it was pitch dark in the side streets,
and soon he stood before the Police Station. The big old-fashioned
building was just within the outer circle of light cast by the huge
fire whose fierceness seemed to increase rather than diminish, and
Sherston suddenly espied an Inspector standing half in the open
door. "I've some very urgent business," he said hurriedly. "Could
you come inside for a moment, and take down a statement?"
"What's your business about?" said the man sharply, and in the
wavering light Sherston thought his face looked oddly distraught
"There's a woman lying dead at No. 19 Peter the Great Terrace,"
began Sherston curtly--
The man bent forward. "There's many women already lying dead about
here, sir, and likely to be more--babies and children too--before
we're through with this hellish business!" he said grimly. "If
she's dead, poor thing, we can do nothing for her. But if you
think there's any life left in her--well, you'll find plenty of
ambulances, as well as doctors and nurses, down Strand way. But
if I was you, I'd wait a bit before going back. They're still
about--" and even as he uttered the word "about" he started back
into the shelter of the building, pulling Sherston roughly in with
him as he did so, and there came a loud, dull report, curiously
analogous to that which a quarter of an hour ago--it seemed hours
rather than minutes--Sherston had taken for the bursting of a
motor tire. But this time the sound was at once followed by that
of shattered glass, and of falling masonry.
"Good God!" he cried. "What's that?"
"A goodish lot of damage this time, I should think," said the
Inspector thoughtfully. "Though they're doing wonderfully little
considering how they--"
"Zeppelins, of course, sir! Why didn't you guess that? They say
there're two over us if not three." Then in a voice, so changed,
so charged with relief, that his own mother would not have known
it for the same, the man exclaimed, "Look up, sir--there they are!
And they're off--the hellish things!" And Sherston throwing up
his head, did indeed see what looked to his astonished eyes like
two beautiful golden trout swimming across the sky just above him.
As he stood awestruck, fascinated at the astounding sight, he also
saw what looked like a falling star shoot down from one of the
Zeppelins, and again there fell on his ears that strange explosive
The man by his side uttered a stifled oath. "There's another--let's
hope it's the last in this district!" he exclaimed. "See! They're
off down the river now!"
Even as he said the words the space in front of the Police Station
was suddenly filled with a surging mass of people, men, women,
even children, making their way Strandward, to see all that there
was to see, now that the immediate danger was past.
"If I were you, sir, I think I'd stay here quietly a bit, till
the crowd has thinned, and been driven back. I take it you can't
do that poor woman of whom you spoke just now any good--I take it
she's dead, sir?" the Inspector spoke very feelingly.
"Yes, she certainly is dead," said Sherston dully.
"Well, I must be going now, but if you like to stay here a while,
I'm sure you're welcome, sir."
"No," said Sherston. "I think I'll go out and see whether I can
do anything to help."
The two passed out into the roadway, and took their place among the
slowly moving people there, the Inspector make a way for himself
and his companion through the excited, talkative, good-humored
Cockney crowd. "There it is! Can't you see it? Up there just
like a little yellow worm." "There's naught at all! You've got
the cobble-wobbles!" and then a ripple of laughter.
Sherston was borne along with the human stream, and with that stream
he suddenly found himself stopped at the westward end of Wellington
Street. Over the heads of the people before him--they were, oddly
enough, mostly women--he could see the column of flame still burning
steadily upwards, and scarcely affected at all by the huge jets of
water now playing on it.
It seemed to start from the ground, a massive pillar of fire, and
all round it was an empty space--a zone no human being could approach
for fear of being at once roasted and shriveled up to death. "The
bomb got down to the big gas main," observed a voice close to him.
"It'll be days before they get THAT fire under!"
He, Sherston, felt marvelously calm. This strange, awful visitation
had made for him a breathing space in which to reconsider what he
had better do, and suddenly he decided that he would go and consult
Mr. Pomeroy. But before doing that he must force himself to go
back and fetch certain documents which fortunately he had kept....
He made his way, with a great deal of difficulty--for it was as
if all London had by now flocked to this one afflicted area--by
a circuitous way to the Strand. Tramping through a six-inch-deep
flood of broken glass he made his way by the Embankment and the
Waterloo Bridge steps to the upper level, that leading to, and
past, Peter the Great Terrace.
A vast host was now westward from over the river, and he felt the
electric currents of joyous excitement, retrospective fear, and,
above all, of eager, almost ferocious, curiosity, linking up rapidly
about him. The rough and ready cordon of special constables seemed
powerless to dam the human tide, and caught in that tide's eddies,
Sherston struggled helplessly.
"Let me through," he shouted at last. "I MUST get through!"
"You can't get through just here--there's a house been struck in
Peter the Great Terrace! 'Twas the last bomb did it!"
Sherston uttered a groan--Ah! If only that were true! But he had
just now glanced up and seen the row of big substantial eighteenth
century houses, of which his was the end one, solidly outlined
against the star-powdered sky, though every pane of glass had been
Then some one turned round. "It's the corner house been struck.
Bomb fell right through the skylight. They've sent for the firemen
to see what damage was done. You can't see anything from this
THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT?
Sherston was a powerful man. He forced his way, he did not know
how, blindly, to the very front of the crowd.
Yes, there were two firemen standing by the low, sunk-in door, that
door through which he had come and gone hundreds, nay thousands, of
times, in his life. So much was true, but everything else was as
usual. "I live here," he said hoarsely. "Will you let me through?"
The fireman shook his head. "No, sir. I can't let any one through.
And if I did 'twould be no good. The staircase is clean gone--a
great big stone staircase, too! It's all in bits, just like a lot
of rubble. The front of the house ain't touched, but the center
and behind--well, sir, you never did see such a sight!"
"Any one hurt?" asked Sherston in a strangled tone. He felt a
most extraordinary physical sensation of lightness--of--of--was it
dissolution?--sweep over his mind and body. He heard as in a far
away dream the answer to his question.
"There was no one in the house at all, from what we can make out.
The caretaker had a lucky escape, or he'd be buried alive by now,
but he and his missus had already gone out to see the sights."
A moment later the fireman was holding Sherston in his big brawny
arms, and shouting, "An ambulance this way--send a long a nurse
please--gentleman's fainted!" The crowd parted eagerly, respectfully.
"Poor feller!" exclaimed one woman in half piteous, half furious
tones. "Those damned Germans--they've gone and destroyed the poor
chap's little all. I heard him explaining just now as what he
[signed]Maid Belloc Lowndes
A Canadian Soldier's Dominion Day at Shorncliffe
"Is there a holiday next Thursday?" inquired a Canadian officer of
an English confrere.
"A holiday? Not that I know of. Why should there be?"
"Why? Because it's Dominion Day."
"Dominion Day?" blankly echoed the English Officer.
"Yes! Did you never hear of it, you benighted Islander?"
"I really am afraid not," replied the English Officer, convicted
by the Canadian's tone of nothing less than crime. "Just what is
"Perhaps you have never heard of Canada?"
"Well, RATHER, we hear something of Canada these days."
Then, as the light began to break in on his darkened soul, "Ah, I
see, that is your Canadian National Day, is it not?"
"It is. And the question is, 'Are we going to have a holiday?'"
"Well, you see the King specially requested that there be no holiday
on his birthday."
"The King's birthday! Oh, that's right--but this is different,
The Englishman looked mildly surprised.
"Oh, the King's all right," continued the Canadian, answering
the other's look, "we think a lot of him these days. But--you
"I hope you may get it, old chap, but I fancy we are in for the
The Canadian officer had little objection to the grind nor had
his men. The Canadians eat up work. But somehow it did not seem
right that the 1st of July slide past without celebration of any
kind. He had memories of that day, of its early morning hours when
a kid he used to steal down stairs to let off a few firecrackers
from his precious bunch just to see how they would go. Latterly he
had not cared for the fireworks part of it except for the Kiddies.
But somehow he was conscious of a new interest in Canada's birthday.
Perhaps because Canada was so far away and the Kiddies would be
wanting some one to set off their crackers. It was good to be in
England, the beautiful old motherland, but it was not Canada and
it did not seem right that Canada's birthday should be allowed to
pass unmarked. So too through the Commandant of the Shorncliffe
Camp, a right good Canadian he.
"I have arranged a Tattoo for the evening," he announced in
conversation with the Canadian Officer the day before the First.
"What about a holiday, Colonel?" The Commandant shook his head.
"Well, then, a half-holiday?"
"No. At least," remembering the officer's ancestry and that he
was a Canadian Highlander, "not officially, whateffer."
"Shall I get a rope for the Tug of War, do you think?"
"I think," replied the Commandant slowly with a wink in his left
eye, "you might get the rope."
This was sufficient encouragement for the 43rd to go on with and
so the rope was got and vaulting pole and standards with other
appurtenances of a day of sports. And the preparations went bravely
on. So also went on the Syllabus which for Dominion Day showed,
Company Drill, Instruction Classes, Lectures, Physical for the
forenoon, Bayonet fighting and Route marching for the afternoon.
"All right, let her go," and so the fields and plains, the lanes and
roads are filled with Canadian soldiers celebrating their Dominion
Day, drilling, bayonet fighting, route marching, while overhead
soars thrumming the watchful airship, Britain's eye. For Britain
has a business on hand. Just yonder stretches the misty sea where
unsleeping lie Britain's men of war. Beyond the sea bleeding
Belgium has bloodsoaked ground crying to Heaven long waiting but
soon at length to hear. And France fiercely, proudly proving her
right to live an independent nation. And Germany. Germany! the
last word in intellectual power, in industrial achievement, in
scientific research, aye and in infamous brutality! Germany, the
might modern Hun, the highly scienced barbarian of this twentieth
Century, more bloody than Attila, more ruthless than his savage
hordes. Germany doomed to destruction because freedom is man's
inalienable birthright, man's undying passion. Germany! fated to
execration by future generations for that she ahs crucified the
Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame. Germany! for the
balking of whose insolent and futile ambition, and for the crushing of
whose archaic military madness we Canadians are tramping on this
Dominion Day these English fields and these sweet English lanes 5,000
miles from our Western Canada which dear land we can not ever see
again if this monstrous threatening cloud be not removed forever
from our sky. For this it is that 100,000 Canadian citizens have
left their homes with 500,000 eager more to follow if needed, other
sons of the Empire knit in one firm resolve that once more Freedom
shall be saved for the race as by their sires in other days.
But the Tattoo is on--the ground chosen is the little plateau within
the lines of the 43rd just below the Officer's tents, flanked on
one side by a sloping grassy hill on the other by a row of ancient
trees shading a little hidden brook that gurgles softly to itself
all day long. On the sloping hill the soldiers of the various
battalions lie stretched at ease in khaki colored kilts and trews,
caps and bonnets, except the men of the 43rd who wear the dark
blue Glengarry. In the center of the plateau a platform invites
attention and on each side facing it rows of chairs for officers
and their friends, among the latter some officers' wives, happy
creatures and happy officers to have them so near and not 5,000
The Commandant has been called away on a sad business, a soldier's
funeral, hence the Junior Major of the 43rd as chairman of that
important and delicately organized Committee of the Bandmasters and
Pipe Majors of the various battalions is in charge of the program.
Major Grassie is equal to the occasion, quiet, ready resourceful.
With him associated is Major Watts, Adjutant of the 9th, as
Musical Director; in peaceful times organist and choir master of
a Presbyterian congregation in Edmonton far away.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The drums in the distance begin to throb and from the eastern side
of the plain march in the band of the 9th playing their regimental
march, "Garry Owen," none the less. From the west the band of the
11th, then that of the 12th, finally (for the 43rd Band is away
on leave, worse luck) the splendid Band of the 49th, each playing
its own Regimental march which is taken up by the bands already
in position. Next comes the massed buglers of all the regiments,
their thrilling soaring notes rising above the hills, and take their
stand beside the bands already in place. Then a pause, when from
round the hill shoulder rise wild and weird sounds. The music of
the evening, to Scottish hearts and ears, has begun. It is the
fine pipe band of the 42nd Royal Highlanders from Montreal, khaki
clad, kilts and bonnets, and blowing proudly and defiantly their
"Wha saw the Forty-twa." Again a pause and from the other side
of the hill gay with tartan and blue bonnets, their great blooming
drones gorgeous with flowing streamers and silver mountings, in
march the 43rd Camerons. "Man, would Alex Macdonald be proud of
his pipes to-day," says a Winnipeg Highlander for these same pipes
are Alex's gift to the 43rd, and harkening to these great booming
drones I agree.
Ah these pipes! These Highland pipes! Truly as one of them said,
"Pipers are no just like other people!" Blowing their "Pilrock
of Donald Dhu" they swing into line, mighty and magnificent. Last
comes the brave little pipe band of the 49th. This battalion has
one Scotch company from Edmonton, which insisted on bringing its
pipe band along. Why not? "The Blue Bonnets" is their tune and
finely they ring it out. Now they are all in place, Bands, Bugle
and Pipes. The massed Bands strike up our National Song, and all
the soldiers spring to their feet and sing "Oh, Canada." A little
high but our hearts were in it. And so the program goes on. Single
bands and massed bands with solos from French Horns, Trombones and
Cornets, varied delightfully with the Highland Fling by Pipe Major
Johnson of the 42nd, and the Sword Dance by Piper Reid of the 43rd
followed by an encore, the "Shean Rheubs" which I defy any mere
Sassenach to pronounce or to dance, at least as Piper Heid of the
twinkling feet danced it that night. For he did it "in the style
of Willie Maclennan," as a piper said, "the best of his day and
they have not matched him yet." The massed pipe bands play "The
79th's Farewell at Gibraltar." Forty-one pipers and every man
blowing his best. "Aye man, it is grand hearing you," said a man
from the north. Colonel Moore of the 9th, on a minute's warning,
makes a fine speech instinct with patriotic sentiment and calls for
three cheers for Canada. He got three and a tiger and "a tiger's
pup." Major Grassie in another speech neat and to the point thanks
those who had helped to celebrate our Dominion Day and once more
calls for cheers and gets them. Then the "First Post" warns us that
we are soldiers and under orders. The massed bands play "Nearer
My God to Thee." Full and tender the long drawn notes of the
great hymn rise and fall on the evening air, the soldiers joining
reverently. The Chaplain of the 43rd congratulates the Commandment
upon the happy suggestion of a Tattoo, the Chairman upon his very
successful program and all the Company upon a very happy celebration of
our national holiday--then a word about our Day and all it stands
for, a word about our Empire, our Country, our Kiddies at home,
another word of thanks to the Committee for the closing hymn so
eminently appropriate to their present circumstances and then God
bless our King, God bless our Empire, God bless our Great Cause
and God bless our dear Canada. Good night.
The "Last Post" sounds. Its piercing call falls sharp and startling
upon the silent night. Long after we say "Good night" that last
long-drawn note high and clear with its poignant pathos lingers in
our hearts. The Dominion Day celebration is over.
Simple as Day
It was among the retorts and test-tubes of his physical laboratory
that we were privileged to interview the Great Scientist. His
back was towards us when we entered. With characteristic modesty
he kept it so for some time after our entry. Even when he turned
round and saw us his face did not react off us as we should have
He seemed to look at us, if such a thing were possible, without
seeing us, or, at least, without wishing to see us.
We handed him our card.
He took it, read it, dropped it into a bowlful of sulphuric acid,
and then, with a quiet gesture of satisfaction, turned again to
We sat for some time behind him. "This then," we thought to
ourselves (we always think to ourselves when we are left alone)
"is the man, or rather is the back of the man, who has done more"
(here we consulted the notes given us by our editor) "to revolutionize
our conception of atomic dynamics than the back of any other man."
Presently the Great Scientist turned towards us with a sigh that
seemed to our ears to have a note of weariness in it. Something,
we felt, must be making him tired.
"What can I do for you?" he said.
"Professor," we answered, "we have called upon you in response to
an overwhelming demand on the part of the public--"
The Great Scientist nodded.
"--to learn something of your new researches and discoveries in--"
(here we consulted a minute card which we carried in our pocket)
"--in radio-active-emanations which are already becoming--" (we
consulted our card again) "--a household word--"
The professor raised his hand as if to check us--
"I would rather say," he murmured, "helio-radio-active--"
"So would we," we admitted, "much rather--"
"After all," said the Great Scientist, "helium shares in the most
intimate degree the properties of radium. So, too, for the matter
of that," he added in afterthought, "do thorium, and borium!"
"Even borium!" we exclaimed, delighted, and writing rapidly in our
note book. Already we saw ourselves writing up as our headline,
"Borium Shares Properties of Thorium."
"Just what is it," said the Great Scientist, "that you want to
"Professor," we answered, "what our journal wants is a plain and
simple explanation, so clear that even our readers can understand
it, of the new scientific discoveries in radium. We understand
that you possess more than any other man the gift of clear and
The Professor nodded.
"--and that you are able to express yourself with greater simplicity
than any two men now lecturing."
The Professor nodded again.
"Now, then," we said, spreading our notes on our knee, "go at it.
Tell us, and through us, tell a quarter of a million anxious readers
just what all these new discoveries are about."
"The whole thing," said the Professor, warming up to his work as
he perceived from the motions of our face and ears our intelligent
interest, "is simplicity itself. I can give it to you in a word--"
"That's it," we said. "Give it to us that way."
"It amounts, if one may boil it down to a phrase--"
"Boil it, boil it," we interrupted.
"--amounts, if one takes the mere gist of it--"
"Take it," we said, "take it."
"--amounts to the resolution of the ultimate atom."
"Ha!" we exclaimed.
"I must ask you first to clear your mind," the Professor continued,
"of all conception of ponder able magnitude."
We nodded. We had already cleared our minds of this.
"In fact," added the Professor, with what we thought a quiet note
of warning in his voice, "I need hardly tell you that what we are
dealing with must be regarded as altogether ultra-microscopic."
We hastened to assure the professor that, in accordance with the
high standards of honor represented by our journal, we should of
course regard anything that he might say as ultra-microscopic and
treat it accordingly.
"You say, then," we continued, "that the essence of the problem is
the resolution of the atom. Do you think you can give us any idea
of what the atom is?"
The professor looked at us searchingly.
We looked back at him, openly and frankly. The moment was critical
for our interview. Could he do it? Were we the kind of person
that he could give it to? Could we get it if he did?
"I think I can," he said. "Let us begin with the assumption that
the atom is an infinitesimal magnitude. Very good. Let us grant,
then, that though it is imponderable and indivisible it must have
a spatial content? You grant me this?"
"We do," we said, "we do more than this, we GIVE it to you."
"Very well. If spatial, it must have dimension: if dimension--form:
let us assume 'ex hypothesi' the form to be that of a spheroid and
see where it leads us."
The professor was now intensely interested. He walked to and from
in his laboratory. His features worked with excitement. We worked
ours, too, as sympathetically as we could.
"There is no other possible method in inductive science," he added,
"than to embrace some hypothesis, the most attractive that one can
find, and remain with it--"
We nodded. Even in our own humble life after our day's work we
had found this true.
"Now," said the Professor, planting himself squarely in front of
us, "assuming a spherical form, and a spatial content, assuming the
dynamic forces that are familiar to us and assuming--the thing is
bold, I admit--"
We looked as bold as we could.
"--assuming that the IONS, or NUCLEI of the atom--I know no better
"Neither do we," we said.
"--that the nuclei move under the energy of such forces what have
"Ha!" we said.
"What have we got? Why, the simplest matter conceivable. The forces
inside our atom--itself, mind you, the function of a circle--mark
"--becomes merely a function of pi!"
The Great Scientist paused with a laugh of triumph.
"A function of pi!" we repeated with delight.
"Precisely. Our conception of ultimate matter is reduced to that
of an oblate spheroid described by the revolution of an ellipse on
its own minor axis!"
"Good heavens!" we said, "merely that."
"Nothing else. And in that case any further calculation becomes
a mere matter of the extraction of a root."
"How simple," we murmured.
"Is it not?" said the Professor. "In fact, I am accustomed,
in talking to my class, to give them a very clear idea, by simply
taking as our root F,--F being any finite constant--"
He looked at us sharply. We nodded.
"And raising F to the log of infinity;--I find they apprehend it
"Do they?" we murmured. Ourselves we felt as if the Log of Infinity
carried us to ground higher than what we commonly care to tread
"Of course," said the Professor, "the Log of Infinity is an Unknown."
"Of course," we said, very gravely. We felt ourselves here in the
presence of something that demanded our reverence.
"But still," continued the Professor, almost jauntily, "we can
handle the Unknown just as easily as anything else."
This puzzled us. We kept silent. We thought it wiser to move on
to more general ground. In any case, our notes were now nearly
"These discoveries, then," we said, "are absolutely revolutionary."
"They are," said the Professor.
"You have now, as we understand, got the atom--how shall we put
it?--got it where you want it."
"Not exactly," said the Professor with a sad smile.
"What do you mean?" we asked.
"Unfortunately our analysis, perfect though it is, stops short.
We have no synthesis."
The Professor spoke as in deep sorrow.
"No synthesis," we moaned. We felt it was a cruel blow. But in
any case our notes were now elaborate enough. We felt that our
readers could do without synthesis. We rose to go.
"Synthetic dynamics," said the Professor, taking us by the coat,
"is only beginning--"
"In that case--" we murmured, disengaging his hand--
"But wait, wait," he pleaded, "wait for another fifty years--"
"We will," we said, very earnestly, "but meantime as our paper goes
to press this afternoon we must go now. In fifty years we will
"Oh, I see, I see," said the Professor, "you are writing all this
for a newspaper. I see."
"Yes," we said, "we mentioned that at the beginning."
"Ah!" said the Professor, "did you? Very possibly. Yes."
"We Propose," we said, "to feature the article for next Saturday."
"Will it be long?" he asked.
"About two columns," we answered.
"And how much," said the Professor in a hesitating way, "do I have
to pay you to put it in?"
"How much which?" we asked.
"How much do I have to pay?"
"Why, Professor," we begin quickly. Then we checked ourselves.
After all was it right to undeceive him, this quiet, absorbed man
of science with his ideals, his atoms and his emanations? No, a
hundred times no. Let him pay a hundred times.
"It will cost you," we said very firmly, "ten dollars."
The Professor began groping among his apparatus. We knew that he
was looking for his purse.
"We should like also very much," we said, "to insert your picture
along with the article--"
"Would that cost much?" he asked.
"No, that is only five dollars."
The Professor had meantime found his purse.
"Would it be all right," he began, "--that is, would you mind if
I pay you the money now? I am apt to forget."
"Quite all right," we answered. We said good-by very gently and
passed out. We felt somehow as if we had touched a higher life.
"Such," we murmured, as we looked about the ancient campus, "are
the men of science: are there, perhaps, any others of them round
this morning that we might interview?"
The Epic Standpoint in the War
After more than three years of the War, we are only now beginning
to see it, as it is, in its epic immensity. On the eastern front
it has been too far from us; on the western front it has been too
near us, and we have been too much a part of it, to get any sight
at all of that series of monotonous and monstrous battles, a series
punctuated only by names: Liege, Antwerp, Mons, Ypres, Verdun and
Arras. And if nothing had happened besides the Titanic conflict
of material armaments I believe that we should not yet be anywhere
near realizing its vastness and its significance.
If we are aware of it now it is because, in the last few months, three
events have happened which are of another order: the abdication
of Constantine, King of Greece, the Russian Revolution, and the
coming of America into the War.
These three events have adjusted and cleared our vision by giving
us the true perspective and the scale.
From the standpoint of individuals, even of those few who have lost
nothing personally, who are alive and safe, who have never been
near the trenches, never watched an air-raid, or so much as seen
the inside of a hospital, the War is a monstrous and irreparable
But from the epic standpoint, it would not have mattered if all the
civilians in Great Britain had been starved to death by submarines,
or burned alive in our beds, so long as the freedom of one country,
even a small country like Greece, was secured forever, let alone
the freedom of a great country like Russia--and let alone the saving
of America's soul.
For that is what it comes to.
Somewhere about the sad middle of the War, an American woman, who
is one of the finest American poets, discussed the War with me.
She deplored America's attitude in not coming in with us.
I said, politely and arrogantly, "Why should she? It isn't HER
War. She'll do us more good by keeping out of it."
The poet--who would not have called herself a patriot--answered,
"I am not thinking of YOUR good. I am thinking of the good of
Since August 4th, 1914, England has been energetically engaged
in saving her own soul. Heaven knows we needed salvation! But,
commendable as our action was and is, the fact remains that it
was our own soul that we were saving. We thought, and we cared,
nothing about America's soul.
In the beginning of the War, when it seemed certain that America
would not come in, we were glad to think that America's body
was untouched, that, while all Europe rolled in blood, so vast
a territory was still at peace, and that the gulf of the Atlantic
kept American men, American women and children, safe from the horror
and agony of war. This was a comparatively righteous attitude.
Then we found that it was precisely the Atlantic that gave Americans
a taste of our agony and horror. The Atlantic was no safe place for
the American men and women and children who traveled so ingenuously
And when for a long time we wondered whether America would or would
not come in, we were still glad; but it was another gladness. We
said to ourselves that we did not want America to come in. We
wanted to win the War without her, even if it took us a little
longer. For by that time we had begun to look on the War as our
and our Allies' unique possession. to fight in it was a privilege
and a glory that we were not inclined to share.
"America," we said, "is very much better employed in making munitions
for US. Let her go on making them. Let her help our wounded;
let her feed Belgium for us; but let her not come in now and bag
the glory when it is we who have borne the burden and heat of the
And this attitude of ours was not righteous. It was egoistic; it was
selfish; it was arrogant. We handed over to America the material
role and hung on tight to the spiritual glory. It was as if we
had asked ourselves, in our arrogance, whether America was able
to drink of the cup that we drank of, and to be baptized with the
baptism of blood which we were baptized withal?
We had left off thinking even of America's body, and we were not
thinking at all about her soul.
Then, only a few months ago, she came in, and we were glad. Most
of us were glad because we knew that her coming in would hasten
the coming of peace. But I think that some of us were glad because
America had saved, before everything, her immortal soul.
And by our gladness we knew more about ourselves then than we had
suspected. We know that, under all our arrogance and selfishness,
there was a certain soreness caused by America's neutrality.
We did not care much about Spain's or Scandinavia's or Holland's
neutrality, though the Dutch and Scandinavian navies might have
helped enormously to tighten the blockade; but we felt America's
neutrality as a wrong done to our own soul. We were vulnerable
where her honor was concerned. And this, though we knew that she
was justified in holding back; for her course was not a straight
and simple one like ours. No Government on earth has any right
to throw prudence to the winds, and force war on a country that is
both divided and unprepared.
Yet we were vulnerable, as if our own honor were concerned.
That is why, however much we honor the men that America sends out
now, and will yet sent out, to fight with us, we honor still more
her first volunteers who came in of their own accord, who threw
prudence to every wind that blows, and sent themselves out, to
fight and to be wounded and to die in the ranks of the Allies. It
may be that some of them loved France more than England. No matter;
they had good cause to love her, since France stands for Freedom;
and it was Freedom that they fought for, soldiers in the greatest
War of Independence that has ever been.
The coming in of America has not placed upon England a greater or
more sacred obligation than was hers before:--to see to it that
this War accomplishes the freedom, not only of Belgium and Russia
and Poland and Serbia and Roumania, but of Ireland also, and of
Hungary, and, if Germany so wills it, of Germany herself. It is
inconceivable that we should fail; but, if we did fail, we should
now have to answer to the soul and conscience of America as to our
own conscience and our own soul.
Eleutherios Venizelos and the Greek Spirit
Eleutherios Venizelos, the foremost statesman of Greece, the man to
whom in fact she owes that growth in territory and influence that
has come as a result of the first and second Balkanic wars, continues
to exert paramount influence in the solution of the Eastern question,
in spite of the we believe mistaken policy of the Triple Entente
which permitted King Constantine of Greece for so long a period
of time to prevent the direct application of the power of Greece
to and in the successful termination of the war against Germany.
Venizelos has never lost faith in the mission of Greece in the
eastern Mediterranean. He insists that a balance of power in the
Balkans will prevent an all powerful Bulgaria from selling herself
and her neighbors to the Pan-German octopus which has stretched
its tentacles toward Constantinople and on to the Persian Gulf.
Manfully defending the rights of the Greeks in Macedonia and Asia
Minor as he for long years supported those of the Greeks in Crete,
he demands no aggrandizement of territory by right of conquest, but
only the legitimate control and administration of lands that have
been for ages inhabited by men of Greek blood, of Greek religion,
and (until efforts were made to enforce other speech) of Greek
language. He hates as only Greeks can hate, oppression of all
sorts whether by Turk or Bulgarian or Teuton, and desires to see
democratic principles finally established the world over. Holding
this attitude, he could hardly bring himself to believe that King
Constantine could really be abridging the constitutional right of
the Greeks to control their own external as well as their domestic
policy. When fully convinced that this was the King's intention,
Venezelos cast the die that gave Greek freedom a new birth
in Thessaloniki and the Islands. This movement tardily supported
though it was by the entente, has at last borne fruit in a United
Greece which will do her share in making the East as well as the
West safe for Democracy. The people that fought so nobly in the
revolution of 1821 will know how to give a good account of itself
under the leadership of a sane, courageous and farsighted statesman
The passage which I have chosen to translate is from the closing
words of the speech delivered before the Greek Chamber of Deputies
October 21, 1915. In the first portion of the speech Venizelos
defends the policy of the participation in the campaign against
the Dardanelles, which he had in vain advocated, and the support
of Serbia as against Bulgaria in accordance with the defensive
alliance concluded with that country.
"I must now once more, and for the last time declare to the
Government which to-day occupies these seats, that it assumes the
very heaviest of responsibilities before the Nation, in under-taking
once more to administer the Government of Greece and to direct its
fortunes in this, the most critical period of its national existence,
with those antiquated conceptions which, if they had prevailed
in 1912, would have kept Greece within her old narrowly confined
borders. These old ideas have been radically condemned not only
by the will of men, but by the very force of circumstances.
"It is most natural, Gentlemen, that with those conceptions under
which that older political world of Greece acted, a political world
which even to-day by its voting majority controls these seats of
Government, it is natural, I repeat, that such a Government should
be unable to adapt itself to the great, the colossal problems which
have risen since Greece, ceasing to be a small state, and enlarging
its territories, has taken a position in the Mediterranean which,
while exceptionally imposing, is at the same time peculiarly subject
to envy, and is on this account especially dangerous.
"How dare you, with those old conceptions assume the responsibility
for the course which you have taken, a course which departs widely
from the truth, from the traditional policy of that older Greek
Government, which realized that it is impossible to look for any
really successful Greek policy which runs counter to the power that
controls the sea.
"How is it possible that you can wish to impose on the country
such conceptions in the face of the repeatedly expressed opinion
of the representatives of the people, and with the actual results
of the recent past before you, a past which, with the sincerity that
distinguishes you, my dear fellow-citizens, you have not hesitated
to condemn, in order to show clearly that in your heart of hearts
you would regard us as better off if we were within the old boundaries
"But, sirs, the life of individuals and the life of Nations are
governed by one and the same law, the law of perpetual struggle.
This struggle, which is even keener between nations than between
men, is regulated among men by the internal laws of the country,
by the penal code, the police and in general the whole organization
of the state, which, insofar as it is able, defends the weak against
the strong. Although we have to confess that this organization
falls far short of perfection, it does at any rate tend gradually
toward the attainment of its ultimate ideal. But in the struggle
of nations, where there exists an international law, the pitiful
failure of which you have come to know, not only in the immediate
past, but especially during this European war, you must perceive
that it is impossible for small nations to progress and expand
without a perpetual struggle. May I carry this argument one step
further and say that this growth and expansion of Greece is not
destined to satisfy moral requirements alone or to realize the
national and patriotic desire to fulfill obligations toward our
enslaved brothers, but it is actually a necessary pre-requisite to
the continued life of the state.
"From certain points of view I might have recognized in accordance
with the conceptions of my worthy fellow-citizen that if it had
been a matter of continuing to have Turkey as our neighbor in our
northern frontier, as she formerly was, we could have continued
to live on for many years, especially if we could have brought
ourselves to endure from her from time to time without complaint
certain humiliations and indignities. But now that we have expanded
and become a rival to other Christian powers, against whom, in case
of defeat in war, we can expect no effective intervention on the
part of other nations, from that moment, Gentlemen, the establishment
of Greece as a self-sufficing state, able to defend itself against
its enemies, is for her a question of life and death.
"Unfortunately, after our successful wars, while we were developing
our new territories and organizing this Greater Greece into a model
new state, as far as lay within our power, we did not have time
to secure at once for the people all the advantages and all the
benefits that should result from extending our frontiers. Our
unfortunate people up to the present has seen only sacrifices to
which it has been subjected for the sake of extending the boundaries
of the state. It has experienced the moral satisfaction of having
freed its brothers, and the national gratification of belonging
to a state which is greater than it was before. From the material
point of view however, from the point of view of economic advantage,
it has not yet been able to clearly discern what profit it has
obtained from the enlargement of the state. It is natural then that
to-day as well, we can only hold before our people the sacrifices
that are once more required of it. These sacrifices, Gentlemen,
according to my personal convictions which are as firmly held
as--humanly speaking--convictions can be, these sacrifices, as
I see them, are destined to create a great and powerful Greece,
which will bring about not an extension of the state by conquest,
but a natural return to those limits within which Hellenism has
been active even from prehistoric times.
"These sacrifices are to create, I insist, a great, a powerful,
a wealthy Greece, able to develop within its boundaries a live
industrialism competent, from the interests which it would represent,
to enter into commercial treaties with other states on equal terms,
and able finally to protect Greek citizens anywhere on earth: for
the Greek could then proudly say, 'I am a Greek,' with the knowledge
that, happen what may, the state is ready and able to protect him,
no matter where he may be, just as all other great and powerful
states do, and that he will not be subjected to prosecution and be
forced to submit to, the lack of protection as is the Greek subject
"When you take all these things into account, Gentlemen, you will
understand why I said a few moments ago, that I and the whole
liberal party are possessed by a feeling of deepest sadness because
by your policy, you are leading Greece, involuntarily, to be sure,
but none the less certainly, to her ruin. You will induce her to
carry on war perforce, under the most difficult conditions and on
the most disadvantageous terms.
"The opportunity to create a great and powerful Greece, such an
opportunity as comes to a race only once in thousands of years,
you are thus allowing to be lost forever."
(Translation, with Notes, by CARROLL N. BROWN)
A Tribute to Italy
Even now, few Americans understand the great service which Italy
has done to the Allied Cause. We have expected some sensational
military achievements, being ourselves unable to realize the immense
difficulty of the military tasks which confronted the Italians. The
truth is that the Terrain over which they have fought is incredibly
difficult. By the sly drawing of the frontier when in 1866 Austria
ceded Venetia to the Italians, every pass, every access, from Italy
into Austria was left in the hands of the Austrians. Some of those
passes are so intricate and narrow that an Austrian regiment could
defend them against an army. And yet, in two years' fighting
the Italians have advanced and have astonished the world by their
exploits in campaigning above the line of perpetual snow and among
crags as unpromising as church steeples.
On lower levels they have captured Gorizia, a feat unparalleled by
any thus far accomplished by the English and French on the West.
The defense of Verdun remains, of course, the supreme and sublime
achievement of defensive action, but the taking of Gorizia is thus
far the most splendid work of the Allied offensive.
I do not propose, however, to speak in detail of the Italians'
military service. Suffice it to say that they have proved themselves
excellent fighters who combine the rare qualities of dash and
endurance. I wish to speak of the vital contribution Italy has
made from the beginning of the War to the Great Cause--the cause
of Democracy and of Civilization.
When Italy at the end of July, 1914, refused to join Austria and
Germany she announced to the world that the war which the Teutons
planned was an aggressive war, and by this announcement she stamped
on the Pan-German crimes that verdict which every day since has
confirmed and which will be indelibly written on the pages of
For Italy was a partner of Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance
and she knew from inside evidence that the Teutonic Powers were
not acting on the defensive. Accordingly, her decision had the
greatest significance, and when before the actual outbreak of the
war she privately informed France that she had no intention of
attacking that country she relieved the French of great suspense.
If Italy had joined the Teutons the French would have been required
to guard their southeastern frontier by a large force, perhaps
not less than a million men, which were now set free to oppose the
German attack in the north.
The world did not understand why Italy waited until May, 1915, before
declaring war on Austria, but the reason was plain. Exhausted by
their war in Tripoli the Italians had neither munitions nor food
and their soldiers even lacked uniforms. It took nine months,
therefore, to prepare for war. Another year passed before Italy
could undertake to face Germany; for the Germans had so thoroughly
honeycombed Italy's commerce, industry and finances that it took
two years for the Italians to oust the Germans and to train men to
By these delays, which seemed to the outside world suspicious,
Italy did another service. If she had plunged in prematurely as
the Allies and her friends besought her to do she would have been
speedily overwhelmed. Imagine what a blow that would have been
to the Allied Cause, especially coming so early in the War. Her
prudence saved Europe this disaster. Had Northern Italy become enslaved
the Teutonic forces could have threatened France on the southeast,
and with Genoa as a port they could have made the Mediterranean
much more perilous for the Allied ships and transportation. It is
not for the United States, a country of over one hundred million
population, and yet checked if not intimidated by a small body of
German plotters and their accomplices, to look scornfully on Italy's
long deferred entrance into the War. The Pro-German element in Italy
was relatively stronger than here and the elements which composed
it--the Blacks, the Germanized financiers and business men, many
nobles and the Vatican--openly opposed making war on the Kaiser.
In spite of all these difficulties, in spite of the very great
danger she ran, because if the Germans win they threaten to restore
the Papal temporal power, and the Austrians, Italy stood by the
For her to be untrue tot he cause of Democracy would be almost
unthinkable; the great men who made her a united nation were all
in different ways apostles of Democracy. Mazzini was its preacher;
Garibaldi fought for it on many fields, in South America, in Italy
and in France; Victor Emmanuel was the first democratic sovereign
in Europe in the nineteenth century; Cavour, beyond all other
statesmen of his age, believed in Liberty, religious, social and
political and applied it to his vast work of transforming thirty
million Italians out of Feudalism, and the stunting effects of
autocracy into a nation of democrats.
It was impossible also for Italy, the ancient home of Civilization,
the mother of arts and refinement, to accept the standard of the
Huns which the Germans embraced and imposed upon their allies.
The conflict between the Germans and the Italians was instinctive,
temperamental. For a thousand years it took the form of a struggle
between the German Emperors and the Italian Popes for mastery. The
Germans strove for political domination, for temporal power; the
Italians strove, at least in ideal, in order that the spiritual
should not be the vassal of the physical. It was soul force against
brute force. Looking at it as deeply as possible we see that the
Italians, a race sprung out of ancient culture, mightily affected
but not denatured by Christianity, repudiated the Barbarian ideals
of Teutonism. Men whose ancestors had worshiped Jupiter and Apollo,
and who were themselves worshipping the Christian God, Madonna and
the great saints, had no spiritual affinity with men whose ancestors
could conceive of no Deities higher than Thor, Odin and the other
rough, crude, and unmannered denizens of the Northern Walhalla. So
Italy stood by Civilization. Her risk was great, but great shall
be her guerdon in the approval of her own conscience and the
gratitude of posterity.
[signed] William Roscoe Thayer
Sept. 1, 1917.
Al Generale Cadorna
"Io ho quel che ho donato."
Questo che in Te si compie anno di sorte,
l'Italia l'alza in cima della spada
mirando al segno; e la sua rossa strada
ne brilla insino alle sue alpine porte.
Tu tendi la potenza della morte
come un arco tra il Vodice e l'Hermada;
varchi l'Isonzo indomito ove guada
la tua Vittoria col tuo pugno forte.
Giovine sei, rinato dalla terra
sitibonda, balzato su dal duro
Carso col fiore dei tuio fanti imberbi.
Questo, che in te si compie, anno di guerra
splenda da te, avido del futuro,
e al domani terribile ti serbi.
To General Cadorna On his 69th birthday, September 11, 1917
"What I have given, that have I"
This fateful year which thou fulfillest so,
Our Italy, her cherisht goal in sight,
Exalts upon her sword; and gleameth bright
Her ruddy pathway to the gates of snow.
The power of death thou bendest like a bow
'Twixt Vodice and bleak Hermada's height;
And Victory, guided by thy hand of might,
Thro' wild Isonzo forth doth fording go.
Reborn from lands of drought, a youth art thou,
Upheaved by rugged Carso suddenly
With all the lads of thine advancing throng.
This bloody year which thou fulfillest now,
O may it, onward pressing, shine with thee
And keep thee for the fearful morrow strong!
Poetical Version by
[signed] C.H. Grangent
The Voice of Italy
In the great turmoil of nations it rings with a tone peculiarly
true: for Italy is the country that found herself confronted,
at the outbreak of the great war, by perhaps the most perplexing
situation of any of the present allies. If she had chosen to
follow the way which lay open and easy before her, the war would
have long since been decided in favor of the Central Powers. Italy
had entered the Triple Alliance as a clean contract, for an honest
defensive purpose. It was never intended for a weapon of aggression.
When Austria and Germany decided upon the outrage to Serbia that
was the cause of the conflagration, they did not consult Italy
about it, knowing well that Italy would not have consented; in
fact, would have denounced it to the world. But they hoped that
by surprising her with the "fait accompli," she would have to yield
and follow. Italy chose the long hard trail instead, incredibly long,
inconceivably hard, but morally right, and it has been made clear
once more in the history of humanity, that "Latin" and "barbaric"
are two incompatible terms.
True enough, Italy felt in her own heart the cry of her long-oppressed
children from Istria, the Trentino and Dalmatia ringing just as
loud as that of the children of Belgium and the women of Serbia;
but who can blame her if history had it so, that the sudden outrage
on other nations was but the counterpart of the long-continued
provocation to the Italian nationality, when in the Italian
provinces subject to Austrian rule, the mere singing of a song in
the mother-language brought women to jail and children to fustigation;
and a bunch of white, red and green flowers might cause an indictment
of high treason? National aspirations and international honor
equally called forth to Italy, and Italy leaped forth in answer as
soon as she could make her way clear to the fight. She took it up
where the political pressure brought to bear upon her in the name
of European peace in 1866 had compelled the fathers of the present
leaders to retire from combat.
General Luigi Cadorna leads the offensive of 1917 where his father
Count Raffaele Cadoran found it stopped by diplomatic arrangements
in 1866; Garibaldi's nephew avenges on the Col di Lana his "obbedisco"
from the Trentino; Francesco Pecori-Giraldi's son repels from
Asiago the sons of those Austrians who wounded him at Montanara and
imprisoned him at Mantova. Gabriele d'Annunzio, mature in years
and wonderfully youthful in spirit, takes up the national ideals of
the great master Giosuè Carducci (who died before he could see the
dream of his life realized with the reunion of Trento and Trieste,
Istria and the Italian cities of Dalmatia, to the Motherland); and
becomes the speaker of the nation expectant in Genoa and assembled
in Rome to decree the end of the strain of Italian neutrality which
has to its credit the magnificent rebellion to the unscrupulous
intrigues of Prince von Bulow, and the releasing of five hundred
thousand French soldiers from the frontier of Savoy to help in the
battle of the Marne.
In D'Annunzio's "Virgins of the Rocks" the protagonist expresses
his belief that oratory is a weapon of war, and that it should be
unsheathed, so to speak, in all its brilliancy only with the definite
view of rousing people to action. Surely no man ever had a better
chance of wielding the brilliant weapon than D'Annunzio, in his
triumphal progress through Italy during that fateful month of May,
1915, when he uttered against neutralism and pacifism, germanophilism
and petty parliamentarism, the "quo usque tandem" of the newest
Nor can we forget how Premier Antonio Salandra in his memorable
speech from the Capitol, expressed the living and the fighting
spirit of Italy, a spirit of strength and humanity, when he said:
"I cannot answer in kind the insult that the German chancellor
heaps upon us: the return to the primordial barbaric stage is so
much harder for us, who are twenty centuries ahead of them in the
history of civilization." To support his, came the quiet utterances
of Sonnino (whose every word is a statement of Italian right and
a crushing indictment of Austro-German felony) "proclaiming still
once the firm resolution of Italy, to continue to fight courageously
with all her might, and at any sacrifice, until her most sacred
national aspirations are fulfilled alongside with such general
conditions of independence, safety and mutual respect between nations
as can alone form the basis of a durable peace, and represent the
very "raison d'être" of the contract that binds us with our Allies."
This is the voice of right: the voice of victory which upholds it
is registered frequently in the admirable war-bulletins of General
Cadorna, than which nothing more Caesarian has been written in the
Latin world since the days of Caesar. The simple words follow with
which the taking of Gorizia was announced to the nation.
..."Trenches and dugouts have been found, full of enemy corpses:
everywhere arms and ammunition and material of all kinds were
abandoned by the routed opponent. Toward dusk, sections of the
brigades Casale and Pavia, waded through the Isonzo, bridges having
been destroyed by he enemy, and settled strongly on the left bank.
A column of cavalry and 'bersaglieri ciclisti' was forthwith started
in pursuit beyond the river."
Now, the voice of Italy is thundering down from the Stelvio to the
sea, echoed by forty thousand shells a day on the contested San
Gabriele: a mighty thing indeed, the voice of Italy at war; a
thing of which all Italians may well feel proud. And yet, there
is another thing of which they are perhaps even prouder in the
depths of the national heart: the voice of the children of Italy
"redeemed." All along the re-claimed land, from Darzo to Gorizia,
sixteen thousand children of Italian speech and of Italian blood,
for whom Italian schools and Italian teachers have been provided
even under the increasing menace of the Austrian aircraft or gunfire,
join daily and enthusiastically in the refrain which the soldiers
of Italy are enforcing, but a few miles ahead:
"Va fuora d'Italia, va fuora ch'e' l'ora,
va fuora d'Italia, va fuora, stranier!"
[From the Inno di Garibaldi:
"Get out of Italy, it's high time;
get out of Italy, stranger, get out!"]
[signed] Amy Bernardy
Japan's Ideals and Her Part in the Struggle
The people of the world, whether engaged in open resistance to
German rapacity, or as onlookers, do well to see, as indeed they
have seen since its beginning, that modern civilization is at
stake. On every continent, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and
both the Americas, recognition of this great fact was instinctive.
It was obvious everywhere that, if Germany with its sinister aims,
shamelessly avowed, and its terrible methods, relentlessly carried
out, was to prevail, all the progress that had been made out of
her barbarism and savagery would not only be imperiled but lost.
It was clear that humanity would have to begin anew its weary
struggle out of the difficulties it had slowly overcome. Everything
of a high order that had been done from the beginning, under great,
devoted, far-seeing religious leaders, and by unknown millions who
had fought for liberty, would have to be given up. Recognition
of the potency of peaceful methods in government and industry; the
contribution of the individual to his own progress and that of
mankind; the gradual triumph of an ordered freedom over tyranny and
anarchy; all the achievements, that have gradually made the world
over, would have had to be undertaken again, and that, too, without
the free contribution from every quarter, which, in the varied history
of men, had assured the one great triumph which is civilization.
The dream of individual and national conquest--the cause of so much
suffering and bloodshed--was again to be repeated. This attack
has demanded thus far, as it will demand until the end, the united
efforts of practically all the people of the earth in order to defeat
this the most desperate attempt at conquest, undertaken under the
most favorable conditions, and after the most perfect preparation
known to history. If hesitation or treachery had arisen at any
important point the well-laid plot would have succeeded.
Nothing in the history of Europe, or of all the peoples that sprang
from it in other parts of the world, is more creditable to humanity
than the united resistance which this attempt aroused. All that it
meant was attacked without mercy or shame. Its religious teachings
and practices, the result of many centuries of growth and experience
were defied by one of the nations professing the same creed. Its
political development, the result of a struggle under which
industry, family, and social growth had proceeded in regular order
was defied. Its humane policies were to be replaced by the dictates
of might--mercilessly executed. Its small peoples were to be
crushed, and its greater ones reduced to the status of vassals.
In a word, all its civilization was to be thrown away.
But, at the first cry of alarm every threatened people rose as
if by magic. No surprise was effective, no lack of preparation
deterred, no peril brought hesitation. One by one, all jealousies
were dissipated, all past differences were forgotten, the common
danger was recognized, and they united, as humanity had never done
before, in that resistance to German ambitions which the world now
sees as its one great event, past or present.
If this threat to civilization was thus met by Europe how much more
serious was the aspect which it presented to us in Japan! We were
more than mere participators in this civilization. We had grafted
upon our own life, old, balanced, remote, isolated, the creator
of great traditions, the newer and different ideas of Europe,
assimilating the best of them without losing these that were strong
and potent among our own. They had been fused into our life and,
in the process, had enabled us to make an enlarged contribution
to human progress. We had become so much a part of the world that
nothing in it was alien to us. We had always known, even from
the earliest times, what out people were, what they meant and what
they could do. We were in no wise ignorant of our own powers and
achievements but this new knowledge was akin to the addition of a
When this threat against mankind came we also saw instinctively
that it was even more of a peril to us than to Europe. We saw that
civilization was not a thing of continents, or nations, or races,
but of mankind, that in the evolution of human forces, men were
one in purpose and need. If Europe was to be crushed, it was only
a question of time until all that Europe had done for the world
in America, or the Antipodes, or in the islands of the sea, would
follow it. Then would come our turn, then all Asia would be thrown
into tyranny's crucible, and the world must begin anew. It was
not a mere diplomatic alliance that drew us into the contest. Our
own struggles had not been those of aggression; but it was easy to
see what ruthless conquest meant even if it seemed to be far away.
Therefore, we acted promptly and we hope with efficiency and have
since carried on the work in the sphere allotted to us by nature
with a devotion that has never flagged. It has been our duty not
to reason why, but to help in saving the world without bargains,
or dickerings, or suggestions, thus bearing our part in the rescue
of civilization from its perils.
As we see our duty, and the duty of the world, only one thing is
left to do. It is to fight out this war which neither we nor any
other people or nation, other than the aggressors, have sought.
It must be fought to the end without wavering, without thought of
national or individual advantages. The victors are to be victors
for civilization and the world, not for themselves. The contest
upon which we are unitedly engaged will not only end this war; upon
its result will depend the extinction of all wars of aggression.
No opportunity must ever come again for any nation or people, or
any combination of nations or peoples, however, strong or numerous,
to seek that universal domination shown by experience to be
impossible, which, if it were possible, would mean the destruction
of human progress.
We are proud to be associated with America as Allies in so great a
cause. Our duty thus keeps pace with our obligation and both are
guided by our highest desires. We, like you, have enlisted until
the war is settled and settled right; you, like ourselves, have no
favors to ask, both merely ask that they may live their own lives,
settle their own problems, smooth out their common differences or
difficulties, and do their best, along with all other peoples, to
make the world a better, not a worse, place to live in.
[signed] K. Ishii
I Tropical Morning
In the mornings--Oh, the tropical mornings
When the bells are all so dizzily calling one to prayer!--
All my thought was to watch from a nook in my window
Indian girls from the river with flowers in their hair.
Fresh eggs in wicker boxes
For the grocery store;
Others, baskets of fruit; and some,
The skins of mountain cats and foxes
Caught in traps at home.
They all passed so stately by, they all walked so gracefully,
Balancing their bodies on lithe unstable hips,
As if music moved them that swelled in their bosoms
And was pizzicatti at their finger-tips.
II Tropical Rain
The rain, in Nicaragua, it is a witch they say;
She puts the world into her bag and blows the skies away;
And so, in every home, the little children gather,
Run up like little animals and kneel beside the Mother,
So frightened by the thunder that they can hardly pray.
"Sweet Jesu, you that stilled the storm in Galilee,
Pity the homeless now, and the travelers by sea;
Pity the little birds that have no nest, that are forlorn;
Pity the butterfly, pity the honey bee;
Pity the roses that are so helpless, and the unsheltered corn,
And pity me...."
Then, when the rain is over and the children's prayer is said,
Oh, joy of swaying palm-trees with the rainbows overhead,
And the streets swollen like rivers, and the wet earth's smell,
And all the ants with sudden wings filling the heart with wonder,
And, afar, the tempest vanishing with a stifled thunder
In a glare of lurid radiance from the gaping mouth of hell!
III Tropical Park
The park in Leon is but a garden
Where grass and roses grow together;
It has no ordinance, it has no warden
Except the weather.
The paths are made of sand so fine
That they are always smooth and neat;
Sunlight and moonlight make them shine,
And so one's feet
Seem always to tread on magic ground
That gleams, and that whispers curiously,
For sand, when you tread it, has the sound
Of the sea.
Sometimes the band, of a warm night,
Makes music in that little park,
And lovers haunt, beyond the bright
Foot-paths, the dark.
You can almost tell what they do and say
Listening to the sound of the sand,--
How warm lips whisper, and glances play,
And hand seeks hand.
IV Tropical Town
Blue, pink and yellow houses, and, afar,
The cemetery, where the green trees are.
Sometimes you see a hungry dog pass by,
And there are always buzzards in the sky.
Sometimes you hear the big cathedral bell,
A blindman rings it; and sometimes you hear
A rumbling ox-cart that brings wood to sell.
Else nothing ever breaks the ancient spell
That holds the town asleep, save, once a year,
The Easter festival....
I come from there,
And when I tire of hoping, and despair
Is heavy over me, my thoughts go far,
Beyond that length of lazy street, to where
The lonely green trees and the white graves are.
V Tropical House
When the winter comes, I will take you to Nicaragua--
You will love it there!
you will love my home, my house in Nicaragua,
So large and queenly looking, with a haughty air
That seems to tell the mountains, the mountains of Nicaragua,
"You may roar and you may tremble for all I care!"
It is shadowy and cool,
Has a garden in the middle where fruit trees grow,
And poppies, like a little army, row on row,
And jasmine bushes that will make you think of snow
They are so white and light, so perfect and so frail,
And when the wind is blowing they fly and flutter so.
The bath is in the garden, like a sort of pool,
With walls of honeysuckle and orchids all around;
The humming birds are always making a sleep sound;
In the night there's the Aztec nightingale;
But when the moon is up, in Nicaragua,
The moon of Nicaragua and the million stars,
It's the human heart that sings, and the heart of Nicaragua,
To the pleading, plaintive music of guitars!
[signed] Salomon De La Selva.
Latin America and the War
In common with many other parts of the world, even some of those
immediately involved, Latin America received the outbreak of the
European War with dismayed astonishment, with a feeling that it
could not be true, with mental confusion as to the real causes and
objects of the conflict. A survey of newspapers from Mexico to
Cape Horn during August, 1914, to the end of that year shows plainly
that for several months public opinion had not cleared up, that the
conflict seemed to be a frightful blunder, a terrific misunderstanding,
that might have been avoided, and for which no one nation in
particular was to blame.
The deep love of Latin America for Latin Europe undoubtedly
meant great sympathy for France; England, too, the great investor
in and developer of South America, was watched with good feeling;
but Germany has done much for Latin America commerce and shipping
facilities, a work performed with skillfully regulated tact, and
very many sections of the southern republics were loath to believe
that a nation so friendly and so industriously commercial had
deliberately planned the war.
But as time went on evidence accumulated; the martyrdom of Belgium
and Northern France, the use of poisonous gas, the instigation of
revolts in the colonies of the Entente Allies, the sinking of the
"Lusitania," the shooting of Nurse Cavell, and above all the proofs
of the enormous military preparations of Germany, slowly convinced
Latin America that a great scheme had long been perfected; the book
of Tannenburg which showed huge tracts of South America as part of
the future world dominion of Germany was seen to be no crazy dream
of an individual but the revelation of a widely held Teutonic ideal.
Many incidents occurring in the United States and Canada, such as
explosions and fires in factories of war materials, exposure of spies
and diplomatic intrigue, demonstrated a callous abuse of American
hospitality which the more southerly lands took to heart as
lessons; their dawning perception of the network of German effort
was further clarified by the floods of Teutonic propaganda which
covered every Latin American Republic and which was in many instances
speedily ridiculed by the keen-witted native press.
Frank in their expression of opinion, no sooner had Latin Americans
resolved in their own minds the questions of responsibility for
the war than they gave utterance to their opinions; journals avowed
themselves pro-Ally, large subscriptions were raised in many sections
for the relief of the European sufferers, particularly Belgium,
and a number of young men joined the Entente armies. In Brazil,
which was always supposed to have a German bias on account of her
large German colonies, some of the foremost publicists and writers
voluntarily formed the "Liga pelos Alliados" (League in favor of
the Allies) with the famous orator, Ruy Barbosa, at its head, and
the prince of Brazilian poets, Olavo Bilac, as one of its most
active members; the League was organized early in 1915 and its
meetings were characterized by the warmest pro-Ally utterances;
many members of the Brazilian Congress joined it, and I never heard
any Administrative protest on the score of neutrality.
Later in the same year Bilac, who is the object of fervent admiration,
for Latin America often pays more attention to her poets than to
her politicians, showed that he foresaw the entry of his country
into the conflict by a passionate appeal to the youth of Brazil
to fortify themselves with military discipline, in 1916 repeating
his "call to arms" in a tour throughout that great country. By
this time the whole of Latin America was lined up, the overwhelming
mass of press and people declaring pro-Ally, and especially
pro-French, sympathies, while the few ranged in the opposite camp
generally had special reasons for their choice, consisting of some
individual Germanic link. The fact of the prevalence of pro-Ally
feeling, long before any of the American countries became politically
aligned is, I think, a remarkable tribute to the response of Latin
America to the weight of genuine evidence; no propaganda was made
by any one of the Allied governments, and the solidification of
public opinion was due to Latin American feeling and not to outside
When, in April of this year, the United States was driven to a
breach with Germany on account of the torpedoing of her ships and
loss of her citizens' lives, she was the greatest material sufferer
from German submarine aggression; if Latin America in general
maintained at that date, and still in some sections maintains,
diplomatic relations with the Central Powers, it is largely because
they have endured no specific injury at German hands. Few Latin
American States possess a merchant marine traversing the sea danger
zones. But the entry of the United States was regarded with warm
approval; her cause was acknowledged to be just and the Latin
American press reflects nothing but admiration for her step. The
Republics of Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and in an informal
manner, Costa Rica, as well as the more or less American-controlled
Nicaragua, Haiti and Santo Domingo, quickly aligned themselves
with the United States, with whose fortunes their own are closely
Brazil, revoking her decree of neutrality in June, 1917, was perhaps
influenced to some degree by the action of the United States, but
she had her own specific reason in the sinking of three of her merchant
vessels by German submarines; Brazil possesses an enterprising and
good mercantile marine, has been carrying coffee and frozen meat
to Europe during the war and her ships have thus been constantly
exposed to risk. The sinking of her vessels raised a storm of anger,
the popular voice warmly supporting the acts of the government.
Nor is the alignment of Brazil a mere declaration; she has taken
over the forty-six German and Austrian ships lying in her ports,
and much of this tonnage, totaling 300,000 tons, is already in
service after three years' idleness, two of the vessels having been
handed over to the use of the Allies. Brazil is also taking over
the patrol of a big strip of the south-western Atlantic with fifteen
units of her excellent navy.
Bolivia was another South American country which quickly followed
the United States in breaking relations with Germany, and this was
done not because Bolivia had suffered at the hands of the Teutonic
powers but because she "wishes to show her sympathy with the United
States and felt it the duty of every democracy to ally itself with
the cause of justice." With no coast and therefore no mercantile
marine, Bolivia is however greatly interested in the shipments of
rubber and minerals which she sends abroad and some of which have
been sent to the bottom of the sea by torpedoes; her sympathies
with the Entente Allies are undoubted.
On October 6 relations with Germany were broken by Peru, the
determining factor being the torpedoing of the Peruvian vessel
"Lorton;" on October 7 the National Assembly of Uruguay voted for
a break with Germany, thus completing the attitude which she had
frankly declared many months previously, when she protested against
Germany's methods in submarine warfare. Paraguay, although still
formally neutral, has expressed her sympathy with the United States.
Before I pass to a few quotations from Latin American sources on
the subject of their spirit, it is well to look across the seas
to the Mother Countries, whose sentiments and actions have more
effect upon Latin America than is always remembered. There is, for
instance, no doubt that the entry of Portugal into the war on the
side of her ancient ally, England, profoundly affected the Brazilian
mind; the friendship between England and Portugal dates from 1147,
and an unbroken political treaty has lasted since 1386--the longest
[An English poet wrote in the Fourteenth Century:
"Portingallers with us have troth in hand
Whose marchindise cometh much into England.
They are our friends with their commodities
And we English passen into their countries."]
Brazil as the child of Portugal inherited the English good feeling,
her independence from the Mother Country was effected without any
prolonged bitterness, and with the actual assistance of England.
When, then, Brazil saw the people sprung from the cradle of her
race fighting side by side with the ancient friend of both she was
deeply stirred. Portuguese merchants prosper in large numbers in
Brazil, Portuguese news daily fills space in the Brazilian newspapers;
the cry of that great Portuguese, Theophilo Braga, found echoes in
many a gallant Brazilian heart:
"And with what arms shall Portugal engage,
So little as she is, in such great feats?
They call on her to play a leading part
Who know that in the Lusitanian heart
In a corresponding degree there seems to be little doubt that the
neutral attitude which Spain has maintained is partly responsible
for the neutrality of several South American countries; they do not
forget the bloody years of struggle before they attained independence
from Spain, but they are wise enough to differentiate between the
policy of Ferdinand VII and the heart of Spain. Dr. Belisario
Porras, the ex-President of Panama, and a distinguished scholar
and writer said in May, 1917:
"For us of Central and South America, Iberianism is a matter
of sentiment, affection and veneration, not a matter of politics.
Spain is our Mother Country, whence we came, where the names we
bear are also borne, where the memories and ashes of our ancestors
are guarded, of whose deeds we are proud, whose tongue we speak,
whose religion we share, whose heroic character and customs we
admire.... Spain is our pole star, the star to which we raise our
eyes when we are despairing and when we face a sacrifice for God,
for a woman, a child, or our country."
Spain has had, of course, up to the present, no direct national
injury to resent; she has on the other hand several reasons for
remaining politically neutral and can at present do so with honor;
although she is weak and poor, still exhausted by the long conflicts
of her past, without resources, without any notable strength in army
or navy, she is serving as an indispensable channel of communication.
She, as well as many South American countries, can best aid the
world by concentrating upon production; in addition to this, she
is, in company with Holland, rendering excellent service in feeding
unhappy Belgium, replacing American workers.
Spain is not intellectually neutral or unmindful of the effect of
her attitude upon Latin America, and this is shown by the number of
newspapers on the Allies' side, as "La Epoca" and "La Correspondencia
de España." An immediate response was given to the pro-Ally
utterances of the Conde de Romanones, who said on April 17:
"Spain is the depository of the spiritual patrimony of a great
race. She has historical aspirations to preside over the moral
confederation of all the nations of our blood, and this hope will
be definitely destroyed if, at a moment so decisive for the future
as this, Spain and her children are shown to be spiritually divorced."
If Spain fails in leadership the love of Latin America for France
will be the more emphasized, is the conclusion one draws from the
speeches and writings of Ibero-America. The degree to which South
America feels herself involved in the fate of France is displayed
in such dicta as this of Victor Viana, a Brazilian writer:
"In the great Latin family, France is the educator, the leader,
the example, the pride. Thus Brazil, in common with all Latin
countries, seeing in France the reservoir of mental energy, constantly
renewed by her splendid intellectuals, has as much interest in the
victory of French arms as France herself. The overthrow of France
would have produced a generation of unbelievers and skeptics,
and we, in another clime and a new country, should not have been
able to escape this influence, because we share all the movements
of French thought. The reaction of French energy which created
the present generation spread throughout Brazil new sentiments of
patriotism.... The entire world, except naturally the combatants
on the other side, recognize the justice of the cause of France, which
is the cause of all the other Allies, of Belgium which sacrificed
herself, of England which pledges her all to save the right, of
the United States, of the entire Americas."
While I have been writing these notes the political situation of
Argentina in regard to the war has suddenly crystallized; extending
over several months there has been a series of submarine attacks
upon vessels of Argentina, indignant protests in each case being
met by apologies and promises of indemnity on the part of Germany.
There has been much irritation in spite of these promises, cumulative
irritation, which however might have remained submerged had it not
been for the revelations of the acts of Count Luxburg, which have
made the expression "spurlos versekt" a byword. This exhibition
of callous plotting against Argentine lives immediately resulted
in the handing of passports to the German Ambassador to Argentina,
and during the third week in September both houses of Congress voted
by large majorities for a severance of relations with Germany. That
this step was not, at the moment, consummated, was due to President
Irigoyen's wish to accept the satisfaction offered by Germany; but
the sentiments of Argentina as a whole have been fully demonstrated.
Their action plainly showed the temper of the Argentine people,
who have certainly never been unsympathetic to the Entente Allies'
cause although they have shown some restiveness under rather
tactless attempts on the part of a section of the United States
press to tutor them into line. The best thought of Argentina has all
along been with the Allies and this is exemplified by an article,
"Neutrality Impossible," widely published and applauded in June
of this year by the brilliant Argentine writer and poet Leopoldo
"Inevitably War knocks at our door. We are compelled to make a
decision. Either we must respect the integrity of our past in the
name of the American solidarity which is the law of life and honor
for all the nations of the continent, revealing at the same time
intelligence with regard to our own future, or we must submit
ourselves, grossly cowardly, to the terrorism of despots."
The United States broke relations with Germany on April 6. On
April 7 Dr. José Manuel Cortina, speaking before the Cuban House
of Representatives, when the decree of war against Germany was
"We have resolved to give our unanimous and definite consent to
the proposition submitted to the House to declare a state of war
between the Republic of Cuba and the German Empire, and to join,
in this great conflagration of the world, our efforts to those of
the United States of North America. We fight in this conflict,
which will decide the trend of all morality and civilization in
the universe, united tot he great republic which in a day not long
distant drew her sword and fired her guns over Cuban fields and
seas in battle for our liberty and sovereignty. We go to fight as
brothers beside that great people who have been ever the friends
and protectors of Cuba, who aided us during the darkest days of
our tragic history, in moments when opposed by enormous strength,
we had nearly disappeared from the face of the earth, when we had
no other refuge, no other loyal and magnanimous friend than the
great North American people."
Speech of the President of Haiti, M. Philippe Sudre Dartiguenave,
on May 12, previous to Haiti's breach with Germany:
"What cause could be more holy than that defended at this moment,
with unanimous and admirable enthusiasm by the people of the
United States, by Cuba, by a great deal of Latin America, in moral
cooperation with the Entente Powers! At Savannah, we fought with
the soldiers of Washington for the independence of the country of
Franklin, of Lincoln, of John Brown.... At the cry of distress
of Bolivar, did we not throw ourselves into the South America's
struggle for independence? The task before us in this supreme moment
is worthy, glorious, because it is that of international justice,
the liberty of nations, of civilization, of all Humanity."
As we have seen above, four of the Central American Republics have
aligned themselves with the United States since her entry into
the war, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras breaking off diplomatic
relations with Germany very shortly after the definite action of
the United States was known, the statement of Don Joaquin Mendez
representing the prevalent feeling: "The rupture has aligned Guatemala
'ipso facto' with those who are the defenders of the modern ideas
of democracy and freedom." Small in size and limited in resources,
it is not likely that any active part will be taken by Central
America in the war; she is removed from the most dangerous zones
and will not suffer, it is to be hoped, more than the inevitable
and temporary economic embarrassments due to dislocation of the
world's industrial systems. But her spirit is reflected in such
announcements as this notice from the front page of a little daily
paper published in S. Pedro Sula, Honduras:
"This periodical is Latin and as such professes its sympathy in
favor of the Allied nations now struggling so nobly in defense of
Liberty with, as their aim, the establishment of a lasting peace
which will render impossible the future development of schemes of
The position of Costa Rica, informally aligned with the Allies and
the United States, is peculiar in that she cannot formalize her
position until her new government has received the recognition of
these countries. Don Ricardo Fernandez Guardia, the foremost writer
of Costa Rica, says that, "The fact that we have offered the use of
our ports, since April 9, 1917, to the navy of the United States,
undoubtedly constitutes a breach of neutrality, and in consequence
Costa Rica considers herself as enlisted in the ranks of the Allies
'de facto.' There is an overwhelming sentiment of sympathy with
the Allies both on the part of the government and the great majority
of the people of Costa Rica."
Panama, immediately following the news of the United States' breach
with Germany, declared herself "ready to do all within her power
to protect the Panama Canal"; Uruguay, although making no breach of
relations with the Central Powers, supported United States action
and denounced submarine warfare as carried on by Germany; Paraguay,
too, expressed her sympathy with the United States which she said
"was forced to enter the war to establish the rights of neutrals."
Thus the only Latin American nations which have rigidly preserved
a neutral attitude are Mexico, whose own internal problems form an
entirely sufficient reason; Ecuador, Venezuala and Colombia. They
are still political neutrals, but no one who knows the Latin soul
can doubt that there is in each of these lands a strong feeling
of admiration for the vindication of Latin elasticity which France
and Italy and Portugal have show, and for the dogged might of England
whose naval skill has prevented the strangulation of the commerce
of the world; in this matter all these lands are interested, since
all are raw-material producers shipping their products abroad. This
sentiment was concisely expressed by Ruy Barbosa, the Brazilian
orator, when on August 5 the "Liga pelos Alliados" held a meeting
of "homage to England" on the third anniversary of her entry into
the war, and he declared it "an honor and pleasure to salute the
great English nation to whom we owe in this war the liberty of the
seas and the annihilation of German methods upon the ocean, without
which European resistance to the German attack and the preservation
of the independence of the American continent would be impossible."
Nothing would, I think, be more improper than that any nation
should be urged to enter the war against her own feelings; but for
those who have taken or may yet take that step there is one very
high consideration which cannot be forgotten--the effect upon the
national spirit of To-morrow of a gallant and decisive attitude
Today. Who has more finely expressed this sense of the formation
of the heritage of ideas than the modern Portuguese poet Quental?
Even as the winds the pinewood cones down cast
Upon the ground and scatter by their blowing
And one by one, down to the very last,
The seeds along the mountain ridge are sowing.
Even so, by winds of time, ideas are strewn
Little by little, though none see them fly--
And thus in all the fields of life are sown