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William of Germany by Stanley Shaw

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yielding Germany immediate tangible return for trouble and expense.
Prince Henry, it is said, though the most genial and democratic of
Hohenzollerns, was a little taken back at the American freedom of
manners, the wringing of hands, the slapping on the back, and other
republican demonstrations of friendship; but he cannot have shown
anything of such a feeling, for he was feted on all sides, and soon
developed into a popular hero.

One of the incidents of the visit, previously arranged, was the
christening of the Emperor's new American-built yacht, _Meteor III_,
by Miss Alice Roosevelt, the President's daughter. On February 25th
the Emperor received a cablegram from Prince Henry: "Fine boat,
baptized by the hand of Miss Alice Roosevelt, just launched amid
brilliant assembly. Hearty congratulations;" and at the same time one
from the President's daughter: "To his Majesty the Kaiser,
Berlin--_Meteor_ successfully launched. I congratulate you, thank you
for the kindness shown me, and send you my best wishes. Alice

During the visit the Emperor cabled to President Roosevelt his thanks
and that of his people for the hospitable reception of his brother by
all classes, adding:

"My outstretched hand was grasped by you with a strong,
manly, and friendly grip. May Heaven bless the relations of
the two nations with peace and goodwill! My best compliments
and wishes to Alice Roosevelt."

Reference to this cordial electric correspondence may close with
mention of a telegram sent in reply to a message from Mr. Melville
Stone, of the American Associated Press:

"Accept my thanks for your message. I estimate the great and
sympathetic reception (it was a banquet) given to my dear
brother by the newspaper proprietors of the United States
very highly."

Prince Henry returned to Germany on March 17th, a Doctor of Law of
Harvard University.

There have been moments when people in America were influenced by
other sentiments than those of entirely respectful admiration for the
Emperor. It was with mixed feelings that the American public heard the
news of his telegraphed offer to President Roosevelt in May, 1902,
when, as the telegram said, the Emperor was "under the deep impression
made by the brilliant and cordial reception" given to his brother,
Prince Henry, to present to the American nation a statue of--Frederick
the Great, and coupled with the offer a proposal that the statue
should be erected--of all places--in Washington! No one doubted the
Emperor's sincere desire to pay the highest compliment he could think
of to a people to whom he felt grateful for the honour done to Germany
in the person of his brother, but nearly every one smiled at the
simplicity, or, as some called it, the want of political tact shown by
offering the statue of a ruler whose name, to the vast majority of
Americans, is synonymous with absolute autocracy, to a republic which
prides itself on its civic ways and love of personal freedom. The gift
was accepted by the American Government in the spirit in which it was
offered, the spirit of goodwill. And why not? To the Emperor his great
ancestor's effigy is no symbol of autocracy, but the contrary, for to
the Emperor and his subjects Frederick the Great is as much the Father
of Prussia, the man who saved it and made it, as Washington was the
Father of America. Besides, the spirit in which a gift is offered, not
its value or appropriateness, is the thing to be considered.

Irritation in England was still strong against Germany on account of
the latter's easily understood race-sympathy with the Boers during the
war just over, but the fact did not prevent the Emperor from accepting
King Edward's invitation to spend a few days at Sandringham with him
in November this year on the occasion of his birthday. The Emperor
took the Empress and two of his sons with him. The hostile temper of
the time, both in England and Germany, was alluded to in a sermon
preached in Sandringham Church by the then Bishop of London. It was
notable for its insistence on the necessity of friendlier relations
between England, Germany, and America, the three great branches of the
Teutonic race. After the service the Emperor is reported to have
exclaimed to the Bishop: "What you said was excellent, and is
precisely what I try to make my people understand."

As a proof that this was no merely complimentary utterance, but the
expression of a thought which is constantly in the Emperor's mind, an
incident which happened at Kiel regatta in the month of June
previously may be recalled. The American squadron, under the late
Admiral Cotton, was paying an official visit to the Emperor during the
Kiel "week" as a return honour for the visit of the Emperor's brother,
Prince Henry of Prussia, to the United States the year before. There
was a constant round of festivities, and among them a lunch to the
Emperor on board the Admiral's flagship, the _Kearsarge_. Lunch over,
the Emperor was standing in a group talking with his customary
vivacity, but, as customary also, with his eyes taking in his
surroundings like a well-trained journalist. Suddenly he noticed a set
of flags, those of America, Germany, and England, twined together and
mingling their colours in friendly harmony. He walked over, gathered
the combined flags in his hand, and turning to the Admiral exclaimed
in idiomatic American: "See here, Admiral; that is exactly as it
should be, and is what I am trying for all the time."

While in England the Emperor, in company with Lord Roberts and Sir
Evelyn Wood, inspected his English regiment, the 1st Royal Dragoons. A
curious and amusing feature of the visit was a lecture before the
Royal Family at Sandringham by a German engineer, for whom the Emperor
acted as interpreter, on a novel adaptation of spirit for culinary,
lighting, and laundry purposes. The Emperor's practical illustration
of the use of the new heating system, as applied to the ordinary
household flatiron, is said to have caused great merriment among his

Germany's home atmosphere about this time was for a moment troubled by
an exhibition of the Emperor's "personal regiment" in the form of a
telegram to the Prince Regent of Bavaria, known in Germany as the
"Swinemunde Despatch." The Bavarian Diet, in a fit of economy, had
refused its annual grant of L5,000 for art purposes. The Emperor was
violently angry, wired to the Prince Regent his indignation with the
Diet and offered to pay the L5,000 out of his own pocket. It was not a
very tactful offer, to be sure, though well intended; and as his
telegram was not an act of State, "covered" by the Chancellor's
signature, while the Bavarians in particular felt hurt at what they
considered outside interference, Germans generally blamed it as a new
demonstration of autocratic rule.

One or two other art incidents of the period may be noted. A domestic
one was the gift to the Emperor by the Empress of a model of her hand
in Carrara marble, life-sized, by the German sculptor, Rheinhold
Begas. The Emperor, it is well known, has no special liking for the
companionship of ladies, but he confesses to an admiration for pretty
feminine hands. Another incident was the Emperor's order to the
painter, Professor Rochling, to paint a picture representing the
famous episode in the China campaign, when Admiral Seymour gave the
order "Germans to the Front." It is to the present day a popular
German engraving. The year was also remarkable for a visit to Berlin
of Coquelin _aine_, the great French actor. The Emperor saw him in
"Cyrano de Bergerac," was, like all the rest of the play-going world,
delighted with both play and player, and held a long and lively
conversation with the artist. Lastly may be mentioned a telegram of
the Emperor's to the once-famed tragic actress, Adelaide Ristori, in
Rome, congratulating her on her eightieth birthday and expressing his
regret that he had never met her. A basket of flowers simultaneously
arrived from the German Embassy.

We are now in 1903. During the preceding years the Emperor's thoughts,
as has been seen, were occupied with art as a means of educating his
folk, purifying their sentiments, and, above all, making them faithful
lieges of the House of Hohenzollern. By a natural association of ideas
we find him this year thinking much and deeply about religion; for,
though artists are not a species remarkable for the depth or orthodoxy
of their views on religious matters, art and religion are close
allies, and probably the greater the artist the more real religion he
will be found to have.

In this year, accordingly, the Emperor made his remarkable confession
of religious faith to his friend, Admiral Hollmann. He had just heard
a lecture by Professor Delitzsch on "Babel und Bibel," and as he
considered the Professor's views to some extent subversive of orthodox
Christian belief, he took the opportunity to tell his people his own
sentiments on the whole matter. In writing to Admiral Hollmann he
instructed him to make the "confession" as public as possible, and it
was published in the October number of the _Grenzboten_, a Saxon
monthly, sometimes used for official pronouncements. The Emperor's
letter to Admiral Hollmann contained what follows:--

"I distinguish between two different sorts of Revelation: a
current, to a certain extent historical, and a purely
religious, which was meant to prepare the way for the
appearance of the Messiah. As to the first, I should say
that I have not the slightest doubt that God eternally
revealed Himself to the race of mankind He created. He
breathed into man His breath, that is a portion of Himself,
a soul. With fatherly love and interest He followed the
development of humanity; in order to lead and encourage it
further He 'revealed' Himself, now in the person of this,
now of that great wise man, priest or king, whether pagan,
Jew or Christian. Hammurabi was one of these, Moses,
Abraham, Homer, Charlemagne, Luther, Shakespeare, Goethe,
Kant, Kaiser William the Great--these He selected and
honoured with His Grace, to achieve for their peoples,
according to His will, things noble and imperishable. How
often has not my grandfather explicitly declared that he was
an instrument in the hand of the Lord! The works of great
souls are the gifts of God to the people, that they may be
able to build further on them as models, that they may be
able to feel further through the confusion of the
undiscovered here below. Doubtless God has 'revealed'
Himself to different peoples in different ways according to
their situation and the degree of their civilization. Then
just as we are overborne most by the greatness and might of
the lovely nature of the Creation when we regard it, and as
we look are astonished at the greatness of God there
displayed, even so can we of a surety thankfully and
admiringly recognize, by whatever truly great or noble thing
a man or a people does, the revelation of God. His influence
acts on us and among us directly.

"The second sort of Revelation, the more religious sort, is
that which led up to the appearance of the Lord. From
Abraham onward it was introduced, slowly but foreseeingly,
all-wisely and all-knowingly, for otherwise humanity were
lost. And now commences the astonishing working of God's
Revelation. The race of Abraham and the peoples that sprang
from it regard, with an iron logic, as their holiest
possession, the belief in a God. They must worship and
cultivate Him. Broken up during the captivity in Egypt, the
separated parts were brought together again for the second
time by Moses, always striving to cling fast to monotheism.
It was the direct intervention of God that caused this
people to come to life again. And so it goes on through the
centuries till the Messiah, announced and foreshadowed by
the prophets and psalmists, at last appears, the greatest
Revelation of God to the world. Then he appeared in the Son
Himself; Christ is God; God in human form. He redeemed us,
He spurs us on, He allures us to follow Him, we feel His
fire burn in us, His sympathy strengthens us, His
displeasure annihilates us, but also His care saves us.
Confident of victory, building only on His word, we pass
through labour, scorn, suffering, misery and death, for in
His Word we have God's revealed Word, and He never lies.

"That is my view of the matter. The Word is especially for
us evangelicals made the essential thing by Luther, and as
good theologian surely Delitzsch must not forget that our
great Luther taught us to sing and believe--'Thou shalt
suffer, let the Word stand.' To me it goes without saying
that the Old Testament contains a large number of fragments
of a purely human historical kind and not 'God's revealed
Word.' They are mere historical descriptions of events of
all sorts which occurred in the political, religious, moral,
and intellectual life of the people of Israel. For example,
the act of legislation on Sinai may be regarded as only
symbolically inspired by God, when Moses had recourse to the
revival of perhaps some old-time law (possibly the codex, an
offshoot of the codex of Hammurabi), to bring together and
to bind together institutions of His people which were
become shaky and incapable of resistance. Here the historian
can, from the spirit or the text, perhaps construct a
connexion with the Law of Hammurabi, the friend of Abraham,
and perhaps logically enough; but that would no way lessen
the importance of the fact that God suggested it to Moses
and in so far revealed Himself to the Israelite people.

"Consequently it is my idea that for the future our good
Professor would do well to avoid treating of religion as
such, on the other hand continue to describe unmolested
everything that connects the religion, manners, and custom
of the Babylonians with the Old Testament. On the whole, I
make the following deductions:--

"1. I believe in One God.

"2. We humans need, in order to teach Him, a Form,
especially for our children.

"3. This Form has been to the present time the Old Testament
in its existing tradition. This Form will certainly
decidedly alter considerably with the discovery of
inscriptions and excavations; there is nothing harmful in
that, it is even no harm if the nimbus of the Chosen People
loses much thereby. The kernel and substance remain always
the same--God, namely, and His work.

"Never was religion a result of science, but a gushing out
of the heart and being of mankind, springing from its
intercourse with God."

It is anticipating by a few months, but part of a speech the Emperor
made in Potsdam at the confirmation of his two sons, August Wilhelm
and Oscar--two Hohenzollerns as yet not distinguished for anything in
particular--may be quoted in this connexion. Naturally he began by
comparing his sons' spiritual situation with that of a soldier on the
day he takes the oath of allegiance: they were _vorgemerkt_, that is,
predestined as "fighters for Christ." "What is demanded of you," the
imperial father went on, "is that you shall be personalities. This is
the point which, in my opinion, is the most important for the
Christian in daily life. For there can be no doubt that we can say of
the person of the Lord, that He is the most 'personal personality' who
has ever wandered among the sons of men.... You will read of many
great men--savants, statesmen, kings and princes, of poets also: but
nevertheless no word of man has ever been uttered worthy of comparison
with the words of Christ; and I say this to you so that you may be in
a position to bear it out when you are in the midst of life's turmoil
and hear people discussing religion, especially the personality of
Christ. No word of man has ever succeeded in making people of all
races and all people enthusiastic for the same cause, namely, to
imitate Him, even to sacrifice their lives for Him. The wonder can
only be explained by assuming that what He said were the words of the
living God, which are the source of life, and continue to live
thousands of years after the words of the wise have been forgotten.
That is my personal experience and it will be yours.

"The pivot and turning-point," he continued,

"of our mortal life, especially of a life full of
responsibility and labour--that is clearer and clearer to me
every year I live--lies simply and solely in the attitude a
man adopts towards his Lord and Saviour;"

and he concludes by exhorting his sons to disregard what people may
say about the cult of Christ being irreconcilable with the tasks and
responsibilities of "modern" life, but simply to do their best,
whatever their occupation, to become a personality after Christ's

This is a sound and just statement of Christian faith, and it is
quoted here to justify the view that the Emperor's soldiers and his
Dreadnoughts, his mailed fist and shining armour, are built and put on
in the spirit of precaution and defence. The attitude, it cannot of
course be denied, is based on the un-Christlike assumption that all
men (and particularly all peoples and their governments and
diplomatists) are liars; but in his favour it may be urged that for
that saying the Emperor could cite Biblical authority. And yet there
is an inconsistency; for the saying is that of one of those same wise
men whose words, the Emperor admits, are transitory and mortal.

It is possible that the Emperor had a presentiment of some kind that
his life was now in danger, and that the presentiment may have attuned
his thoughts to meditation on Christ's life and teaching; for it is a
fact, well worthy of remark, that in the fear of death man's one and
only relief and consolation is the knowledge that there was, and is, a
mediator for him with his Creator. The address at his sons'
confirmation was delivered on October 17th, and on Sunday morning,
November 8th all the world, it is hardly too much to say, was
astonished and pained to learn, by a publication in the _Official
Gazette_, that the Emperor the day before had had to submit to a
serious operation on his throat. The announcement spoke of a polypus,
or fungoid growth, which had had to be removed; but all over the world
the conclusion was come to that the mortal affliction of the father
had fallen on the son and that the Emperor was a doomed man. Most
providentially and happily it was nothing of the sort. On the 9th the
Emperor was out of bed and signing official papers, on the 15th he was
allowed to talk in whispers, and on the 17th it was declared by the
physicians that all danger was over and that no more bulletins would
be issued. On December 14th the Emperor received a congratulatory
visit from the President of the Reichstag, who reported to Parliament
his impression that "the Emperor had completely recovered his old
vigour (great applause) and that his voice was again clear and

The Emperor had passed through what one may suppose to have been the
darkest hour of his life. He was naturally in high spirits, and a few
days after went to Hannover, where he made a martial speech in which
he toasted the German Legion for having "by its unforgettable heroism,
in conjunction with Bluecher and his Prussians, saved the English army
from destruction at Waterloo," a view, of course, which to an
Englishman has all the charm of novelty.

One or two further memorable incidents of 1903 may be recorded.
Theodore Mommsen, the now aged historian of Rome, the greatest scholar
of his time, died in November. He was in his day a Liberal
parliamentarian of no mean ability; but for such men there is no
career in Germany. However, as it turned out, the German people's loss
proved to be all the world's gain. A son of the historian now
represents a district of Berlin in the Reichstag. Two years before the
historian's death an exchange of telegrams in Latin took place between
him and the Emperor. The occasion was the Emperor's laying the
foundation-stone of a museum on the plateau where the old Roman
castle, known as the Saalburg, stands. The Emperor telegraphed:

"Theodoro Mommseno, antiquitatum romanarum investigatori
incomparabili, praetorii Saalburgensis fundamenta jaciens
salutem dicit et gratias agit Guilelmus Germanorum

To which the historian, with a modesty equal to his courtesy, replied:
"Germanorum principi, tam majestate quam humanitate, gratias agit
antiquarius Lietzelburgensis."

Mention may also be made of a very characteristic speech of the
Emperor's this year at Cuestrin, where he was unveiling a monument to a
favourite Hohenzollern, the Great Elector. Cuestrin, it will be
remembered, is the town where Frederick the Great, another of the
Emperor's favourites, was imprisoned by an angry father, along with
his friend Lieutenant Katte, when Frederick was trying to escape the
parental cruelty and violence.

Referring to Frederick's declaration that he was the "first servant of
the State," the Emperor said:--

"He could only learn to be so by subordination, by
obedience, in a word by what we Prussians describe as
discipline. And this discipline must have its roots in the
King's house as in the house of the citizen, in the army as
among the people. Respect for authority, obedience to the
Crown, and obedience to parental and paternal
influence--that is the lesson the memories of to-day should
teach us. From these attributes spring those which we call
patriotism, namely the subordination of the individual ego,
of the individual subject, to the welfare of all. It is what
is particularly needed at the present time."

The Emperor was, of course, thinking of the Social Democrats. Having
finished his speech, he went and for a while stood thoughtfully at the
historic window of Cuestrin Castle, from which Frederick watched the
execution of his unfortunate companion, Katte.

Only the year 1904 separates us from the Emperor's Morocco adventure.
The economic ideas which have been referred to as the basis of German
foreign policy were germinating in his mind, and the plans for at
least a partial realization of them were working in his head.
Addressing the chief burgomaster of Karlsruhe in April, just a year
before he started for Tangier, he spoke of Weltpolitik. "You are
right," he told the burgomaster,

"in saying that the task of the German people is a hard
one.... I hope our peace will not be disturbed, and that the
events that are now happening will open our eyes, steel our
courage, and find us united, if it should be necessary for
us to intervene in world-policy."

The Emperor had, no doubt, specially in mind the birth of the
Anglo-French Entente and the war between Russia and Japan, both events
forming the dominant factors of the political situation at this time.
The Russo-Japanese War arose primarily from the unwillingness of
Russia to evacuate Manchuria after the Boxer troubles in China. The
incidents of the war are still fresh in public memory.

It need only be recalled here that Germany was neutral throughout the
conflict, that both President Roosevelt and the Emperor offered their
services as mediators in its course, and that on the capture of Port
Arthur by Admiral Nogi, in January, 1905, the Emperor telegraphed his
bestowal of the _Ordre pour le Merile_ on General Stoessel, the
Russian defender of Port Arthur, and on Admiral Nogi.

In the troubled history of Anglo-German relations is to be recorded
the presence, in June of this year, of King Edward VII at Kiel with a
squadron of battleships to pay an official visit to his nephew. The
two fleets, those sunny days, formed a splendid spectacle--the two
mightiest police forces, the Emperor would probably agree in saying,
the world could produce. In fact, the Emperor had some such thought in
mind, for he addressed King Edward as follows:--

"Your Majesty has been welcomed by the thunder of the guns
of the German fleet. It is the youngest navy in the world
and an expression of the reviving sea-power of the new
German Empire, founded by the late great Emperor, designed
for the protection of the Empire's trade and territory, and
intended, equally with the German army, for the preservation
of peace."

One or two other incidents of interest in the Emperor's life may close
the record of this year. One of them was the arrival of the Italian
composer, Leoncavallo, in Berlin, to hand the Emperor the text of the
opera "Der Roland von Berlin," Leoncavallo had composed at the
Emperor's express request. Roland was a "strong, valiant and pious"
knight of Charlemagne's time--like the Emperor, let us say--who
originally hailed from Brittany--that lone and lovely Cinderella of
France--and afterwards, for some unexplained reason, came to be the
type of municipal independence in Germany.

During the summer the Emperor and the Empress made an excursion, when
on the Saalburg, to the statues of the Roman Emperors Hadrian and
Severus. Did the Emperor recall, one wonders, as he stood before the
figure of Hadrian, that pagan monarch's address to his soul:--

"Animula vagula, blandula,
Hospes, comesque corporis,
Quae nunc abibis in loca,
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos?"

It sounds a little gloomy as a quotation, but, fortunately for Germany
and the Emperor, for "nunc" can be put, _pace_ the poet, the
indefinite, yet all too definite, "aliquando."




The Emperor started for Tangier towards the end of March, but before
that he had got through imperial business of a miscellaneous kind
which exemplifies the life he leads practically at all times.

In January he had exchanged telegrams with the Czar and the Mikado
concerning his bestowal of the Order of Merit on Generals Stoessel and
Nogi, asking permission to bestow the Order and receiving expressions
of consent. Another telegram went to the composer Leoncavallo in
Naples, congratulating him on the success there of his "Roland von
Berlin." In February, the Emperor opened an international Automobile
Exhibition in Berlin, received Prince Charles, Infanta of Spain, and
the King of Bulgaria, unveiled a monument to his ancestor, Admiral
Coligny, who was killed in the Bartholomew massacre, listened to a
naval captain's lecture on Port Arthur, opened the new Lutheran
Cathedral (the "Dom") in Berlin, telegraphed thanks to the University
of Pennsylvania for its doctor's degree which the Emperor said he was
proud to know George Washington once held, attended a lecture by
Professor Delitzsch on "Assyria," and was present at a memorial
service for the painter Adolf von Menzel, who died this month. In
March he visited Heligoland, inspected the progress of some
alterations at the Royal Opera in Berlin, and sent the Gold Medal for
Science to Manuel Garcia, on the occasion of the latter's hundredth
birthday, as recognition of his invention of the laryngoscope, or
mirror for examining the throat.

Just before starting for Morocco the Emperor made the speech in which
he claimed that Germans are the "salt of the earth." In the same
speech he had previously declared that as the result of his reading of
history he meant never to strive after world-conquest. "For what," he

"has become of the so-called world-empires? Alexander the
Great, Napoleon the First, all the great warrior heroes swam
in blood and left behind them subjugated peoples, who at the
first opportunity rose and brought their empires to ruin.
The world-empire which I dream of will be, above all, the
newly established German Empire, enjoying on every side the
most absolute confidence as a peaceable, honest, and quiet
neighbour, not founded on conquest by the sword, but on the
mutual confidence of nations, striving for the same

While on the way to Morocco the Emperor put in at Lisbon to pay a
visit to the King of Portugal, and with the latter attended a meeting
of the Geographical Society. From Lisbon he went to Gibraltar, and
from thence, after a few hours' stay, he started for Tangier.

The Morocco incident, as it is often too lightly called, should rather
be regarded as a phase in the world's economic history and an
occurrence of moment for the future peace of all nations than the mere
game on the diplomatic chess-board many writers appear to consider it.
According to French critics, and they may be taken as representative
of the feeling everywhere prevalent during the seven years the
incident lasted, its origin was a matter of alliances and the balance
of power. Germany, according to these writers, wanted to preserve the
position of hegemony in Europe she had obtained under Bismarck, and
consequently felt annoyed by the Triple Entente, which robbed her of
her traditional friend Russia and set up an effective counterpoise to
the Triple Alliance of which Germany was the leading Power, and on
which she could, or believed she could, rely for support in case of
war with France. In going, therefore, to Tangier, at the moment when
her defeat by Japan rendered Russia for the time being of little or no
account in the considerations of diplomacy, the Emperor, according to
these writers, in reality was making a determined attempt to break the
Entente combination and protect his Empire from political isolation or

It is quite possible that such were the motives of the Emperor's
action, but if so he was building better than he knew. The
vicissitudes of the Moroccan episode are described briefly below, yet
some remarks of a general nature as to the whole episode considered in
its historical perspective may be permitted in advance. But first,
what is historical perspective? It may perhaps be defined as that view
of history which shows in its true proportions the relative importance
of an event to other events which strongly and permanently leave their
mark on the character and development of the period or generation in
which they occur. Regarded from this standpoint the Morocco incident
can claim an exceptional position, for it was the first occasion in
modern diplomatic history on which a Great Power officially proclaimed
_urbi et orbi_ the doctrine of the "open door," the doctrine of equal
economic treatment for all nations for the benefit of all nations, and
was willing to go to war in support of it.

It was not, of course, the first time the demand for the open door had
been made; loudly and bloodily, too; since most wars from those of
Greece and Rome to the war between Russia and Japan of recent years
were waged with the intention, or in the hope, of opening, by conquest
or contract, territory of the enemy to the mercantile enterprise of
the victors. But this was the open door in a very selfish and
restricted sense, and though many isolated events had occurred of late
years, the international agreements regarding China among them,
proving that the idea of the open door was gaining strength as a right
common to all nations, it was not until the Emperor went to Tangier
that a Great Power risked a great war in order to exemplify and
enforce it.

The Emperor and his advisers were probably not moved by any altruistic
sentiments in the matter, and their sole reason for action may have
been to see that German subjects should not be excluded from Moroccan
markets. It may also be that Germany was resolved that if there was to
be a seizure of Morocco she should get her share of the territory to
be distributed, notwithstanding her refusal, revealed by the late
Foreign Secretary, Kiderlen-Waechter, in the Reichstag's confidential
committee, to accede to Mr. Chamberlain's proposal, made some time
before the incident, for a partition of the Shereefian Empire. But the
acquisition of territory does not seem to have been the mainspring of
her policy, while from the beginning to the end of the incident,
however theatrical and questionable her diplomatic conduct may have
been at moments during the negotiations, she was throughout consistent
and successful in her demand for economic equality all round. This is
a great gain for the future, for, with the world nearly all parcelled
out, economic considerations, which are almost in all cases
adjustable, are now the most weighty factors in international

Apart from this view of the incident, it is clear that Germany was
pursuing her claim to a "place in the sun," and she did so to the
unconcealed annoyance of nations which up to then had never thought of
her in a role she appeared to be aspiring to, that of a Mediterranean
Power. To these nations she seemed an intruder in a sphere to which
she neither naturally nor rightfully belonged. Evidently she had no
political or historical claims in Morocco, while her commercial
interests were less than 10 per cent of Morocco trade.

A narration of the incident may, for the sake of convenience, though
involving some anticipation of the future, be dealt with in three
sections: from the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904, and the Emperor's
visit to Tangier in March, 1905, to the Act of Algeciras a year
subsequently; from the Act of Algeciras to the Franco-German Agreement
of 1909; and from that to the--let it be hoped--final settlement by
the Franco-German Agreement of November 5, 1911.

The Anglo-French Agreement of 1904 gave France a free hand in Morocco
in consideration of France giving England a similar position in Egypt
and the Nile Valley. The state of things in Morocco at this time was
one of discord and rebellion. In the midst of it, the Sultan, El
Hassan, died, and was succeeded by Abdul Aziz, a minor. On coming of
age Abdul Aziz showed his inability to rule, the country fell again
into disorder and Abdul turned for help to France. Meantime England
and France had been negotiating without the knowledge of Germany, and
in April, 1904, the Anglo-French Agreement was signed. It was
accompanied by an official declaration that France had no intention of
changing the political status of Morocco, but only contemplated a
policy there of "pacific penetration and reforms." Thereupon Prince
von Buelow, the German Chancellor, stated in the Reichstag that the
German Government had no reason to assume that the Agreement was
directed against any Power and that "it appeared to be an attempt by
England and France to come to a friendly understanding respecting
their colonial differences."

"From the standpoint of German interests," continued the Chancellor,
"we have no objections to raise to it." No parliamentary reference was
made to Morocco until March, 1905, when the Chancellor spoke of the
approaching visit of the Emperor to Tangier, and it became evident
that the Emperor and his advisers had come to the conclusion that, as
France seemed about assuming a full protectorate over Morocco, as she
had tried to do in Tunis, and that this, in accordance with French
policy, would result in the exclusion of other nationals from commerce
and the development of the country, Germany must take action. Prince
von Buelow explained that "his Majesty had, in the previous year,
declared to the King of Spain that Germany pursued no policy of
territorial acquisition in Morocco." He continued:

"Independent of the visit, and independent of the
territorial question, is the question whether we have
economic interests to protect in Morocco. That we have
certainly. We have in Morocco, as in China, a considerable
interest in the maintenance of the open door, that is the
equal treatment of all trading nations."

And he concluded by saying:

"So far as an attempt is being made to alter the
international status of Morocco, or to control the open door
in the economic development of the country, we must see more
closely than before that our economical interests are not
endangered. Our first step, accordingly, is to put ourselves
into communication with the Sultan."

The visit came off as announced, and the Emperor, on arriving at
Tangier, made a speech which caused a sensation in every diplomatic
chancellery; indeed, in all parts of the world. The Emperor's speech,
which was addressed to the German colonists on March 31, 1905, was as

"I rejoice to make acquaintance with the pioneers of Germany
in Morocco and to be able to say to them that they have done
their duty. Germany has great commercial interests there. I
will promote and protect trade, which shows a gratifying
development, and make it my care to secure full equality
with all nations. This is only possible when the sovereignty
of the Sultan and the independence of the country are
preserved. Both are for Germany beyond question, and for
that I am ready at all times to answer. I think my visit to
Tangier announces this clearly and emphatically, and will
doubtless produce the conviction that whatever Germany
undertakes in Morocco will be negotiated exclusively with
the Sultan."

The result of these unmistakable declarations was that the Sultan
rejected proposals made to him by the French, and shortly afterwards,
on the advice of Germany, came forward with suggestions for a European
conference. M. Delcasse, the French Foreign Minister, opposed the
proposal, and for a time war between France and Germany appeared
inevitable; but France was not in a military position to ignore
Germany's threatening language, M. Delcasse had to resign, the French
Cabinet under M. Rouvier agreed to the conference, and it met at
Algeciras in January, 1906. At the conference Great Britain, in
consonance with the Entente, supported France; Austria adhered loyally
to her Triplice engagements and proved the "brilliant second" to
Germany the Emperor subsequently described her; Italy, on the other
hand, gave her Teutonic ally only lukewarm support.

In fairness, however, should be quoted here the explanation of Italy's
attitude given by Chancellor von Buelow when discussing the conference
in Parliament next year. The impression is general, both in and out of
Germany, that Italy is only a half-hearted political ally. It is based
on the temperamental difference between the Latin and the Teutonic
races, on the popular sympathy between the French and Italian peoples,
and to the supposedly reluctant support lent by Italy to Germany
during the critical time of the conference, the extra-tour, as Prince
Buelow, using a metaphor of the ballroom, termed it, she took with
France on that occasion. Prince Buelow now endeavoured to dissipate or
correct the impression, at any rate, as regarded Algeciras. "Italy,"
he said,

"found herself in a difficult position there. Various
agreements between Italy and France regarding Morocco had
come into existence anterior to the conference, but Germany
was satisfied that they were not inconsistent with Italy's
Triplice engagements; in fact, Germany had, several years
ago, officially told Italy she must use her own judgment and
act on her own responsibility in dealing with her French
neighbour in Africa and the Mediterranean."

When it was settled that a conference should be held, Italy, the
Chancellor continued, "gave Germany timely information as to the
extent to which her support of Germany could go, and as a matter of
fact she supported Germany's views in the bank and police questions."
So far the German official explanation, but the impression of Italian
lukewarmness as a member of the Triplice has lost none of its
universality thereby. How well or ill founded the impression is, it
will be for the future to disclose.

The summoning of the conference had been a triumph for German
diplomacy, but its results were disappointing to her; for while the
proceedings showed that among all nations she could only fully rely on
the sympathy and support of Austria, they ended in an acknowledgment
by Germany of the special position of France in Morocco. The Act of
Algeciras, which was dated April 7, 1906, stated that the signatory
Powers recognized that "order, peace, and prosperity" could only be
made to reign in Morocco

"by means of the introduction of reforms based upon the
triple principle of the sovereignty and independence of his
Majesty the Sultan, the integrity of his States, and
economic liberty without any inequality."

Then followed six Declarations regarding the organization of the
police, smuggling, the establishment of a State bank, the collection
of taxes, and the finding of new sources of revenue, customs, and
administrative services and public works. For the organization of the
police, French and Spanish officers and non-commissioned officers were
to be placed at the disposal of the Sultan by the French and Spanish
Governments. Tenders for public works were to be adjudicated on
impartially without regard to the nationality of the bidder. The
effect of the Act was to give international recognition to the special
position of France and Spain in Morocco, while safeguarding the
economic interests of other Powers.

The attitude taken up by Germany relative to the conference was set
forth in a speech delivered by Prince von Buelow in the Reichstag in
December, 1905. It was based, he explained, on the provisions of the
Madrid Convention of 1880, in which all the Great Powers and the
United States had taken part. The Chancellor claimed that Germany
sought no special privileges in Morocco, but favoured a peaceful and
independent development of the Shereefian Empire. He denied that
German rights could be abrogated by an Anglo-French Agreement, and
pointing out that Morocco in 1880 had granted all the signatories to
the Madrid Convention most-favoured-nation treatment, claimed that if
France desired to make good her demand for special privileges, she
ought to have the consent of the special signatories to the Madrid
pact. Germany had a right to be heard in any new settlement of
Moroccan conditions; she could not allow herself to be treated as a
_quantite negligeable_, nor be left out of account when a country
lying on two of the world's greatest commercial highways was being
disposed of. She had a commercial treaty with Morocco, conferring
most-favoured-nation rights, and it did not accord with her honour to
give way.

The Act of Algeciras, however, proved to have brought only temporary
relief to European tension. Disturbances continued in Morocco, French
subjects were murdered at Marakesch in 1907, and France occupied the
province of Udja with troops until satisfaction should be given. Owing
to riots at Casablanca in 1908, in which French as well as Spanish and
Italian labourers were killed, she decided to occupy the place, and
sent a strong military and naval force thither. A French warship
bombarded the town, and by June, 1908, the French army of occupation
numbered 15,000 men. Meanwhile internal commotions and intrigues had
led to the deposition of Abdul Aziz and his replacement on the throne
by his brother, Muley Hafid, with the support of Germany. France and
Spain refused to recognize the new ruler unless he gave guarantees
that he would respect the Act of Algeciras. Muley gave the required
guarantees, and in March, 1909, France "declared herself wholly
attached to the integrity and independence of the Shereefian Empire
and decided to safeguard economic equality in Morocco." Germany on her
side declared she was pursuing in Morocco only economic interests and,
"recognizing that the special political interests of France in Morocco
are closely bound up in that country with the consolidation of order
and of internal peace," was "resolved not to impede those interests."

The German idea of not impeding French special political interests in
Morocco was disclosed little more than two years later by the dispatch
of the German gunboat _Panther_ (of "Well done, _Panther_!" fame) on
July 3, 1911, to the "closed" port of Agadir on the south Moroccan

It was as dramatic a coup as the Emperor's visit to Tangier and caused
as much alarm. The fact is that the march of French troops to Fez,
which had taken place a few months before, convinced the Emperor and
his Government that France, relying on the support of her Entente
friend England, was bent on the Tunisification of Morocco. The
Emperor, Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, and Foreign Secretary
Kiderlen-Waechter met at the Foreign Office on May 21st, and it was
decided to send a ship of war, as at once a hint and a demonstration,
to Agadir or other Moroccan port. Germany, of course, in accordance
with diplomatic strategy, did not disclose the real springs of her
action, though they must have been patent to all the world. She
notified the Powers of the dispatch of her warship, explaining that
the sending of the _Panther_, which "happened to be in the
neighbourhood," was owing to the representations of German firms, as a
temporary measure for the protection of German proteges in that
region, and taken "in view of the possible spread of disorders
prevailing in other parts of Morocco."

In France, on the other hand, it was asserted that the step was not in
conformity with the spirit of the Franco-German Agreement of 1909, in
which Germany resolved not to impede French special interests, that
there were no Germans at Agadir, and that only nine months previously
Germany had angrily protested at the calling of a French cruiser at
the same port. The reference was to the visit of the French cruiser
_Du Chaylu_ in November, 1910, when the captain paid a visit to the
local pasha. The German Foreign Secretary eventually said Germany had
no objection to France using her police rights even in a closed port,
and the admission was taken as a fresh renunciation on the part of
Germany of any right to interference. Feeling ran high for a time both
in France and Germany, while the German action added to the sentiment
of hostility to Germany in England, and English political circles
perceived in it a design on Germany's part of acquiring a port on the
Moroccan coast. The word "compensation," which afterwards was to prove
the solution of Franco-German differences was now first mentioned by

After England's determination to support France had been made plain by
ministerial statements, the entire Morocco episode was closed by the
Franco-German Agreement signed on November 5, 1911, as "explanatory
and supplementary" to the Franco-German Agreement of 1909. The effect
of the new Agreement was practically to give France as free a hand in
Morocco as England has in Egypt, with the reservation that "the
proceedings of France in Morocco leave untouched the economic equality
of all nations." The Agreement further gives France "entire freedom of
action" in Morocco, including measures of police. The rights and
working area of the Morocco State bank were left as they stood under
the Act of Algeciras. The sovereignty of the Sultan is assumed, but
not explicitly declared. The compensation to Germany for her agreement
to "put no hindrances in the way of French administration" and for the
"protective rights" she recognizes as "belonging to France in the
Shereefian Empire" was the cession by France to Germany of a large
portion of her Congo territory in mid-Africa, with access to the Congo
and its tributaries, the Sanga and Ubangi.

While the ground-idea of Germany's policy of economic expansion, and
the source of all her trouble with England, is her insistence on her
"place in the sun," the difficulty attending it for other nations is
to determine the place's nature and extent, so that every one shall be
comfortable and prosperous all round.

The alterations in conditions among civilized nations during the last
half-century, more especially in all that relates to international
intercourse--political, financial, commercial, social--makes it
reasonable to suppose that changes must follow in the conduct of their
foreign policies. The fact also, recognized by no country more clearly
than by Germany, that the profitable regions of the earth are already
appropriated makes an economic policy for her all the more advisable.
An economic policy, moreover, is, notwithstanding her apparent
militarism, most in harmony with the peaceful and industrious
character of her people. Unfortunately, the stage in progress where
the political and commercial interests of all nations have become
defined and adjusted has not yet been reached, though the numerous
agreements between the Great Powers of recent years go far towards
clearing the way for so desirable a consummation. Unfortunately, too,
it is in the very process of finding bases for such agreements that
international jealousies and misunderstandings arise; and hence in
securing peace, governments and peoples are at all times nowadays most
in jeopardy of war. This consideration alone might very well be used
to justify nations in keeping their military and naval forces strong
and ready. Perhaps some day such forms of force will not be wanted,
though admittedly the great majority of people still refuse to believe
that the changes which have occurred have altered the fundamental
attitude of countries to each other, and remain firmly convinced that
to-day, as yesterday and the day before, great nations are moved by an
irresistible desire to add to their territories and in every way
aggrandize themselves, by diplomacy if possible, and if diplomacy
fails, by force.

It is, of course, impossible to say with certainty what the real
designs of the Emperor and his Government in this regard were during
the Morocco episode, or are now. Some believe that their designs have
always aimed, and still aim, at depriving Great Britain of her
position of superiority in respect of territory, maritime dominion,
and trade. Others hold that they seek and will have, _coute que
coute_, new territory for Germany's increasing population, and look
with greedy eyes towards South America and even Holland. Others yet
again represent them as incessantly on the watch to seize a harbour
here or there as a coaling station for warships and a basis of attack.
But an unbiased survey of the annals of the Emperor's reign hitherto
does not bear out any of these assertions. A policy of territorial
expansion as such, mere earth-hunger, cannot be proved against him.
Prince Bismarck was no colonial enthusiast, though he passes for being
the founder of Germany's present colonial policy; and even to-day
the colonial party in Germany, though a very noisy, is not a very
large or influential one. Samoa--East Africa--Kiao-tschau--the
Carolines--Heligoland--the Cameroons: how can the acquisition of
comparatively insignificant and unprofitable places like these be used
for proving that the might of Germany is or has been directed towards
territorial conquest?

What, it may however be asked, of the Morocco adventure? Of the speech
at Tangier? Of the sending of the _Panther_ to Agadir? Of the demand
for compensation in Central Africa? Until the Morocco question arose,
all the quarrels amongst the Powers regarding territory were caused by
the territorial ambition of France, or Russia, or Italy--not of
Germany; and it was not until France showed openly, by sending her
troops to Fez, and thus ignoring the Act of Algeciras, that Germany
put forward claims for territorial compensation in connection with
Morocco. The visit of the Emperor to Tangier in 1905, a year after the
Anglo-French Agreement, was doubtless an unpleasant surprise for both
England and France. And not without good cause; for England and France
are naturally and historically Mediterranean Powers--the one as
guardian of the route to her Eastern possessions, the other as the
owners of a large extent of Mediterranean coast; while England, in
addition, was justified in seeing with uneasiness the possibility of a
German settlement at Tangier or elsewhere on the Morocco seaboard. But
the Tangier visit and all that followed it was the consequence, not of
an adventurous policy of territorial conquest, but of a legitimate,
and not wholly selfish, desire for economic expansion.

Taken, then, as a whole, the Emperor's foreign policy has been, as it
is to-day, almost entirely economic and commercial. The same might, no
doubt, be said in a general way of all civilized Occidental
governments, but there never has yet been a country of which the
foreign policy was so completely directed by the economic and
mercantile spirit as modern Germany. The foreign policy of England has
also been commercial, but it has been influenced at times by noble
sentiment and splendid imagination as well. The first question the
German statesman, in whose vocabulary of state-craft the word
imagination does not occur, asks himself and other nations when any
event happens abroad to demand imperial attention is--how does it
affect Germany's economic and commercial interests, future as well as
present? What is Germany going to get out of it? The manner in which
on various occasions during the reign the question has been propounded
has excited criticism bordering on indignation abroad, but it should
be recognized that it has invariably been answered in the long run by
Germany in the spirit of compromise and conciliation.

However, all civilized nations nowadays see that war is the least
satisfactory method of adjusting national quarrels, and the tendency
is happily growing among them to pursue a commercial, an economic
policy, a policy of peace. This is true Weltpolitik, true
world-policy. Time was when wars were the unavoidable result of
conditions then prevailing; but conditions have greatly altered, and
war, as there is abundant evidence to show, is to-day, in almost every
case, avoidable by all civilized peoples. Formerly war deranged and
disturbed at any rate for the time being, the commerce and industries
of the countries engaged in it; to-day, as Mr. Norman Angell
demonstrates, it deranges and disturbs commerce and industry all over
the world. The derangement and disturbance may, it is true, be only
temporary; but there is, as always, the loss of life among the youth
of the countries engaged in war to be remembered. Granted that it is
pleasant and honourable to die for one's country. Let us hope the time
is coming when it will be equally pleasant and honourable to live for

We have done with Morocco, but to round off the record for 1905
mention should be made of an incident in the Emperor's life which was
a source of great pleasure to him after his return from his journey
thither. The marriage of his eldest son, the Crown Prince, took place
in the Chapel Royal of the Berlin palace on June 15, 1905, to the
young Duchess Cecile of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, whose character has been
alluded to elsewhere and whom all Germans look forward with pleasure
to seeing one day their Empress. The marriage naturally was attended
by rejoicings in Berlin similar to those shown when the Emperor was
married in 1881. Their chief popular feature, now as then, was the
formal entry into the capital, and its chief domestic feature a grand
wedding breakfast at the Emperor's palace. On the occasion of the
latter, the Emperor, rising from his seat and using the familiar _Du_
and _Dich_ (thou and thee), addressed his newly-made daughter-in-law
as follows:--

"My dear daughter Cecilie,--Let me, on behalf of my wife and
my whole House, heartily welcome you as a member of my House
and my family circle. You have come to us like a Queen of
Spring amid roses and garlands, and under endless
acclamations of the people such as my Residence city has not
known for long. A circle of noble guests has assembled to
celebrate this high and joyful festival with us, but not
only those present, but also those who are, alas, no more,
are with us in spirit: your illustrious father and my

"A hundred thousand beaming faces have enthusiastically
greeted you; they have, however, not merely shone with
pleasure, but whoever can look deeper into the heart of man
could have seen in their eyes the question--a question which
can only be answered by your whole life and conduct, the
question, How will it turn out?

"You and your husband are about to found a home together.
The people has its examples in the past to live up to. The
examples which have preceded you, dear Cecilie, have been
already eloquently mentioned--Queen Louise and other
Princesses who have sat on the Prussian throne. They are the
standards according to which the people will judge your
life, while you, my dear son, will be judged according to
the standard Providence set up in your illustrious

"You, my daughter, have been received by us with open arms
and will be honoured and cherished. To both of you I wish
from my heart God's richest blessings. Let your home be
founded on God and our Saviour. As He is the most impressive
personality which has left its illuminating traces on the
earth up to the present time, which finds an echo in the
hearts of mankind and impels them to imitate it, so may your
career imitate His, and thus will you also fulfil the laws
and follow the traditions of our House.

"May your home be a happy one and an example for the younger
generation, in accordance with the fine sentence which William
the Great once wrote down as his confession of faith; 'My powers
belong to the world and my country.' Accept my blessing for your
lives. I drink to the health of the young married couple."

The record of this memorable year may be closed with mention of an
institution which is not only a special care of the Emperor's, but is
also a landmark in the relation of Germany and America which may prove
to be the forerunner, if it has not already done so, of similar
interchange of ideas and information between nations which only
require mutually to understand each other in order to be the best of

The system of an annual exchange of professors between America and
Germany was suggested, it is believed, to the Emperor in this year by
Herr Althoff, the Prussian Minister of Education. The Emperor took up
the idea with enthusiasm, and after discussing it with Dr. Nicholas
Murray Butler, President of Columbia University, who was invited to
Wilhelmshohe for the purpose, had it finally elaborated by the
Prussian Ministry of Education which now superintends its working.

The original idea of an exchange only between Harvard and Berlin
University professors was, thanks to the liberality of an American
citizen, Mr. Speyer, extended almost simultaneously by the
establishment of what are known as "Roosevelt" professorships. The
holders of these positions, unlike the original "exchange" professors
between Harvard and Berlin only, may be chosen by the trustees of
Columbia University from any American university and can exchange
duties for two terms, instead of one in the place of the exchange
professors, with the professors of any German University. Harvard
professors have been succesively: Francis G. Peabody, Theodore W.
Richards, William H. Scofield, William M. Davis, George F. Moore, H.
Munsterberg, Theobald Smith, Charles S. Minog; and Roosevelt
professors: J.W. Burgess, Arthur T. Hadley, Felix Adler, Benj. Ide
Wheeler, C. Alphonso Smith, Paul S. Reinsch, and William H. Sloane.

Writing to the German Ambassador in Washington, Baron Speck von
Sternburg, in November, 1905, the Emperor said:

"Express my fullest sympathy with the movement regarding the
exchange of professors. We are very well satisfied with
Professor Peabody, the first exchange professor, and
thankful to have him. He comes to me in my house, an
honourable and welcome guest. My hearty thanks also to Mr.
Speyer, for his fine gift for the erection of a
professorship in Berlin. The exchange of the learned is the
best means for both nations to know the inner nature of each
other, and from thence spring mutual respect and love, which
are securities for peace."

The idea of the exchange, as described by Professor John W. Burgess,
of Columbia University, the first Roosevelt professor to Germany, is

"an exchange of educators which has for its purpose the
bringing of the men of learning of one country into other
countries and by a comparison of fundamental ideas to arrive
at a world-philosophy and a world-morality upon which the
world's peace and the world's civilization may finally and
firmly rest."

The conception of a world-philosophy and a world-morality upon which
the world's peace and civilization may rest is not new, being now a
little over 1900 years old, and, moreover, educators and men of
science in all countries are constantly exchanging ideas by personal
visits, correspondence, and publications; but in any case, the
Emperor's exchange system has the advantage that it brings the
educators into touch with large numbers of the rising generation in
America and Germany and undoubtedly helps towards a better mutual
understanding of the relations, and in especial the economic
relations, of the two countries.

It has worked well, and the Emperor has encouraged it by showing
constant hospitality to the American professors who have come to
Berlin since the system was instituted. One or two episodes have given
rise to a diplomatic question as to whether or not exchange professors
and their wives have the privilege of being presented at Court. The
question has practically been decided in the negative. This, however,
does not prevent the Emperor entertaining the professors at his
palace, or making the acquaintance of the professors' wives on other
than Court ceremonious occasions.




In the domestic life of the Emperor during these years fall two or
three events of more than ordinary interest. From the dynastic point
of view was of importance the birth of a son and heir to the Crown
Prince in the Marble Palace at Potsdam.

The Emperor was at sea, on his annual northern trip, when the birth
occurred. As the ship approached Bergen the town was seen to be gaily
decorated with flags. As it happened, everybody on board knew of the
birth except the Emperor, but none of the officers round him ventured
to congratulate him, because they supposed he knew of it already and
were waiting for him to refer to it. At Bergen the German Minister,
Stuebel, and German Consul, Mohr, came on board. The Minister, being a
diplomatist, said nothing, but the Consul, as Consuls will, spoke his
mind and ventured his congratulations. "What? I am a grandfather!"
exclaimed the Emperor. "Why, that's splendid! and I knew nothing about
it!" The captain of the ship then asked should he fire the salute of
twenty-one guns usual on such occasions. "No," said the Emperor, "that
won't do. Mohr is a great talker. Let us first see the official
despatches from Berlin." The party, including the Emperor, went down
into the cabin to await the despatches, which were being brought from

On their arrival a basketful of State papers was placed before the
Emperor. The first one he took out was a telegram from the Sultan of
Turkey with congratulations (great merriment); the second from an
unknown lady in Berlin, with a name corresponding to the English
"Brown," with four lines of congratulatory poetry; and it was not
until more than a hundred despatches had been opened that they came to
one from the Minister of the Interior and another from the Empress
announcing the birth. Popular reports at the time represented the
Emperor as boiling over with anger at his being kept or left in
ignorance of the happy event. As a matter of fact, he was in high
good-humour, and himself mentioned a similar occurrence at Metz in
1870, when an important movement of the French army was not reported
because it was assumed that it was already known to the Intelligence
Department. As a public sign of his satisfaction he amnestied the
half-dozen of his subjects who happened to be in gaol as punishment
for _lese majeste_.

Another domestic event at this time was the celebration by the Emperor
and Empress of their silver wedding. Berlin, of course, was
illuminated and beflagged. There was a great gathering of royal
relatives, a State banquet, and a special parade of troops. At the
latter were remarkable for their huge proportions two former
grenadiers of the regiment of Guards the Emperor commanded in his
youth. They were now settled in America, but came over to Germany on
the Emperor's particular invitation and, of course, at his private

The last item of domestic interest this year (1906) worth record was
the marriage of Prince Eitel Frederick, the Emperor's second son, with
Princess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg. In his speech to the bridal
pair on their wedding-day the Emperor referred to the personal
likeness the young Prince bore to his great-grandfather, Emperor
William, and expressed the hope that the Prince might grow more like
him in character from year to year.

Meantime the Emperor had to pass through a season of great annoyance
owing to the scandal which arose in connection with the so-called
"Camarilla." The existence of a small and secret group of viciously
minded men among the Emperor's entourage was disclosed to the public
by the well-known pamphleteer, Maximilian Harden, a Jew by birth named
Witowski, who as a younger man had been on semi-confidential terms
with Prince Bismarck and subsequently with Foreign Secretary von
Holstein. As a result of Harden's disclosures some highly placed
friends of the Emperor were compromised and had ultimately to
disappear from public life as well as from the Court. It was perfectly
evident throughout that the Emperor had been totally ignorant of the
private character of the men forming the "Camarilla," and nothing was
proved to show that the group which formed it had ever unduly, or
indeed in any fashion, influenced him.

An allusion made to the scandal by a deputy in the Reichstag brought
the Chancellor, Prince von Buelow, to his feet in defence of the
monarch. "The view," he said,

"that the monarch in Germany should not have his own
opinions as to State and Government, and should only think
what his Ministers desire him to think, is contrary to
German State law and contrary to the will of the German

("Quite right," on the Right). "The German people," continued the

"want no shadow-king, but an Emperor of flesh and blood. The
conduct and statements of a strong personality like the
Emperor's are not tantamount to a breach of the
Constitution. Can you tell me a single case in which the
Emperor has acted contrary to the Constitution?"

The Chancellor concluded:

"As to a Camarilla--Camarilla is no German word. It is a
hateful, foreign, poisonous plant which no one has ever
tried to introduce into Germany without doing great injury
to the people and to the Prince. Our Emperor is a man of far
too upright a character and much too clear-headed to seek
counsel in political things from any other quarter than his
appointed advisers and his own sense of duty."

The Camarilla scandal was all the more painful as it was made a ground
for insinuations disgraceful to German officers as a body. Such
insinuations were, as they would be to-day, entirely unfounded.

Another thing that annoyed the Emperor this year was the publication
of ex-Chancellor Prince Hohenlohe's Memoirs. The publication drew from
him a telegram to a son of the ex-Chancellor in which he expressed his
"astonishment and indignation" at the publication of confidential
private conversations between him and Prince Hohenlohe regarding
Prince Bismarck's dismissal. "I must stigmatize," the Emperor

"such conduct as in the last degree tactless, indiscreet,
and entirely inopportune. It is a thing unheard-of that
occurrences relating to a sovereign reigning at the time
should be published without his permission."

Germans as a people are passionately fond of dancing, and though
everybody knows that the people of Vienna bear away the palm in this
respect, claim to be the best waltzers in the world. The Emperor,
accordingly, won great popularity among the dancers of his realm this
year by lending a favourable ear to the sighing of the young ladies of
the provincial town of Crefeld for a regiment which would provide them
with a supply of dancing partners. The Emperor took occasion to visit
the town, and brought with him a regiment of the Guards from
Duesseldorf to form part of the new garrison. He was received by the
city authorities, and was at the same time, doubtless, greeted from
balcony and window by multitudes of fair-haired Crefeld maidens, who
looked with delightful anticipations on the gallant soldiers, who were
to relieve the tedium of their evenings, riding by. "To-day," the
Emperor told the assembled city fathers, "I have kept my word to the
town of Crefeld, and when I make a promise I keep it too (stormy
applause). I have brought the town its garrison and the young ladies
their dancers." The "stormy applause" was again renewed--amid, one may
imagine, the enthusiastic waving of pocket-handkerchiefs from the
windows and the balconies.

The salient feature of foreign politics just now was, naturally, the
close on March 31st of the Conference of Algeciras. Its results have
been referred to in the chapter on Morocco, and mention need only be
made here of the famous telegram regarding it sent by the Emperor on
April 12th of this year (1906) to the Foreign Minister of Austria,
Count Goluchowski. "A capital example of good faith among allies!" he
telegraphed to the Count, meaning Austria's support of Germany at
Algeciras. "You showed yourself a brilliant second in the tourney, and
can reckon on the like service from me on a similar occasion."

Internal affairs, and particularly the parliamentary situation in
Germany, had during the three or four years before that of the
"November Storm" demanded a good deal of the Emperor's attention. The
everlasting fight with the rebel angels of the Hohenzollern heaven,
the Social Democracy, had been going on all through the reign. Now the
Emperor would fulminate against it, now his Chancellor, Prince von
Buelow, would attack it with brilliant ability and sarcasm in
Parliament. Still the Social Democratic movement grew, still the
_Vorwaerts_, the party organ, continued to rail at industrial
capitalists and the large landowners alike, still Herr Lucifer-Bebel
bitterly assailed every measure of the Government. The fact seems to
be that the people were getting restive under the imperial burdens the
Emperor's world-policy entailed. The cost of living, partly as a
result of the new German tariff, with maximum and minimum duties,
which now replaced the Caprivi commercial treaties, was steadily
rising. The Morocco episode had ended without territorial gain, if
with no loss of national honour or prestige. The Poles were
antagonized afresh by a stricter application of the Settlement Law for
Germanizing Prussian Poland. Colonial troubles in South-west Africa
with Herero and other recalcitrant tribes were making heavy demands on
the Treasury.

The parliamentary situation was, as usual, at the mercy of the Centrum
party, which, with its hundred or more members, can always make a
majority by combining with Liberal parties of the Left (including the
Socialists) or Conservative parties of the Right. In December, 1906,
when the Budget was laid before Parliament, it was found to contain a
demand for about L1,500,000 for the troops in South-west Africa. The
Centrum refused to grant more than L1,000,000, and required, moreover,
an undertaking that the number of troops in the colony should be
reduced. The Social Democrats, with a number of Progressives and other
Left parties sufficient to form a majority, joined the Centrum, and
the Government demand was rejected by 177 to 168 votes. On the result
of the voting being declared, Chancellor von Buelow solemnly rose and
drew a paper from his pocket. It was an order from the Emperor
dissolving Parliament.

The general elections were to be held in January following, and great
efforts were made by the Emperor and Chancellor to secure a Government
majority against the combined Centrists and Socialists. The country
was appealed to to say whether Germany should lose her African
colonies or not; a patriotic response was made, and, though the
Centrum, as always, came back to Parliament in undiminished strength,
the Socialists lost one-half of their eighty seats.

The Emperor, needless to say, was tremendously gratified. On the night
the final results were announced he gave a large dinner-party at the
Palace, and read out to the Royal Family and his guests the bulletins
as they came in. Towards one o'clock in the morning the official
totals were known. The streets were knee-deep in snow, but the people
were not deterred from making a demonstration in their thousands
before the palace. By and by lights were seen moving hurriedly to and
fro along the first floor containing the Emperor's apartments. A
general illumination of the suite of rooms followed, a window was
thrown up, and the Emperor, bare-headed, was seen in the opening.
Instantly complete stillness fell on the vast square, and the Emperor,
leaning far out over the balcony, and evidently much excited, spoke in
stentorian tones and with a dramatic waving of his right arm as
follows: "Gentlemen!"--the "gentlemen" included half the hooligans of
Berlin, but such are the accidents of political life--

"Gentlemen! This fine ovation springs from the feeling that
you are proud of having done your duty by your country. In
the words of our great Chancellor (Bismarck), who said that
if the Germans were once put in the saddle they would soon
learn to ride, you can ride and you will ride, and ride
down, any one who opposes us, especially when all classes
and creeds stand fast together. Do not let this hour of
triumph pass as a moment of patriotic enthusiasm, but keep
to the road on which you have started."

The speech closed with a verse from Kleist's "Prince von Homburg," a
favourite monarchist drama of the Emperor's, conveying the idea that
good Hohenzollern rule had knocked bad Social-Democratic agitation
into a cocked hat.

The result of the elections enabled the Chancellor to form a new
"bloc" party in Parliament, consisting of conservatives and Liberals,
on whose united aid he could rely in promoting national measures. As
the Chancellor said, he did not expect Conservatives to turn into
Liberals and Liberals into Conservatives overnight nor did he expect
the two parties to vote solid on matters of secondary interest and
importance; but he expected them to support the Government on
questions that concerned the welfare of the whole Empire.

Before 1907, the year we have now reached, Franco-German and
Anglo-German relations had long varied from cool to stormy. They had
not for many years been at "set-fair," nor have they apparently
reached that halcyon stage as yet. During the Moroccan troubles it was
generally believed that on two or three occasions war was imminent
either between France and Germany or between Germany and England. That
there was such a danger at the time of M. Delcasse's retirement from
the conduct of French foreign affairs just previous to the Algeciras
Conference is a matter of general conviction in all countries; but
there is no publicly known evidence that danger of war between England
and Germany has been acute at any time of recent years. Nor at any
time of recent years has the bulk of the people in either country
really desired or intended war. There has been international
exasperation, sometimes amounting to hostility, continuously; but it
was largely due to Chauvinism on both sides, and was in great measure
counteracted by the efforts of public-spirited bodies and men in both
countries, by international visits of amity and goodwill, and by the
determination of both the English and German Governments not to go to
war without good and sufficient cause.

Among the most striking testimonies to this determination was the
visit of the Emperor to England in November, 1907.

The visit was made expressly an affair of State. The Emperor was
accompanied by the Empress, and the visit became a pageant and a
demonstration--a pageant in respect of the national honours paid to
the imperial guests and a demonstration of national regard and respect
for them as friends of England. Nothing could have been simpler, or
more tactful or more sincere than the utterances, private as well as
public, of the Emperor throughout his stay. His very first speech, the
few words he addressed to the Mayor of Windsor, displayed all three
qualities. "It seems to me," he said, "like a home-coming when I enter
Windsor. I am always pleased to be here." At the Guildhall
subsequently, referring to the two nations, he used, and not for the
first time, the phrase "Blood is thicker than water."

At the Guildhall, on this occasion, the Emperor reminded his hearers
that he was a freeman of the City of London, having been the recipient
of that honour from the hands of Lord Mayor Sir Joseph Savory on his
accession visit to London in 1891. He then referred to the visit of
the Lord Mayor, Sir William Treloar, to Berlin the year previous, and
promised a similar hearty welcome to any deputation from the City of
London to his capital. "In this place sixteen years ago," continued
the Emperor,

"I said that all my efforts would be directed to the
preservation of peace. History will do me the justice of
recognizing that I have unfalteringly pursued this aim. The
main support, however, and the foundation of the world's
peace is the maintenance of good relations between our two
countries. I will, in future also, do all I can to
strengthen them, and the wishes of my people are at one with
my own in this."

The procession that followed upon the visit to the Guildhall made a
special impression on the Emperor. "I was so close to the people," he
said afterwards,

"who were assembled in hundreds of thousands, that I could
look straight into their eyes, and from the expression on
their faces I could see that their reception of the Empress
and myself was no artificial welcome but an out-and-out
sincere one. That stirred us deeply and gave us great
satisfaction. The Empress and I will take back with us
recollections of London and England we shall never forget."

While at Windsor the Emperor received a deputation of sixteen members
of Oxford University, headed by Lord Curzon, who came to present him
with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws voted him by the University
while he was still on his way to England. It was a picturesque scene:
the members of the University in their academic robes were surrounded
by a brilliant company representing the intellect of the country; and
the Emperor, with the doctor's hood over his field-marshal's uniform,
was the cynosure of all eyes.

The Emperor's reply to Lord Curzon's address, highly complimentary to
the University though it was, was perhaps chiefly remarkable for the
expression of his expectations from the Rhodes' Scholarship
foundation. "The gift of your great fellow-countryman, Cecil Rhodes,"
he said,

"affords an opportunity to students, not only from the
British colonies, but also from Germany and the United
States, to obtain the benefits of an Oxford education. The
opportunity afforded to young Germans during their period of
study to mix with young Englishmen is one of the most
satisfactory results of Rhodes's far-seeing mind. Under the
auspices of the Oxford _alma mater_, the young students will
have an opportunity of studying the character and qualities
of the respective nations, of fostering by this means the
spirit of good comradeship, and creating an atmosphere of
mutual respect and friendship between the two countries."

The Emperor had always admired the Colossus of South Africa,
discerning in him no doubt many of those attributes which he felt
existed in himself or which he would like to think existed; and the
admiration stood the test of personal acquaintance when Cecil Rhodes
visited Berlin in March, 1899, in connexion with his scheme for the
Cape to Cairo railway. It does not sound very complimentary to his own
subjects, the "salt of the earth," but it is on record that the
Emperor then said to Rhodes that he wished "he had more men like him."
At the close of the visit the Empress returned to Germany, while the
Emperor took a much needed rest-cure for three weeks at Highcliffe
Castle, a country mansion in Hampshire he rented for the purpose from
its owner, Colonel Stuart-Wortley.

In the course of this work, it may have been noticed, no particular
attention has been devoted to the Emperor in his military capacity.
The reason is, because it is taken for granted that all the world
knows the Emperor in his character as War Lord, that he is practically
never out of uniform, and that his care for the army is only
second--if it is second--to that for the stability and power of his
monarchy. The two things in fact are closely identified, and, from the
Emperor's standpoint, on both together depend the security, and to a
large extent the prosperity, of the Empire. He knows or believes that
Germany is surrounded by hordes of potential enemies, as a lighthouse
is often surrounded by an ocean that, while treacherously calm, may at
any time rage about the edifice; that round the lighthouse are
gathered his folk, who look to it for safety; and that the monarchy is
the lighthouse itself, a _rocher de bronze_, towering above all.

In this connexion it may be noted that the army in Germany is not a
mercenary body like the English army, but is simply and solely a
certain portion of the people, naturally the younger men, passing for
two or three years, according as they serve in the infantry or
cavalry, through the ranks. The system of recruiting, as everybody
knows, is called conscription; it ought rather to be described as a
system of national education, whereby the rude and raw youth of the
country is converted into an admirable class of well-disciplined,
self-respecting and healthy, as well as patriotic, citizens. The
Emperor believes, contrary to the opinion of many English army
officers, that a man to be a good soldier must also be a good
Christian, and thus we find him enforcing, or trying to enforce, among
his officers the moral qualities which Christianity is meant to

Among these qualities is simplicity of life, and as a result of
simplicity of life, contentment with simple and not too costly
pleasures. We saw the Emperor as a young colonel forbidding his
officers to join a Berlin club where gambling was prevalent. This
year, after a luxurious lunch at one of the regimental messes, he
issues an order, or rather an edict, expressing his wish that officers
in their messes should content themselves with simpler food and wines,
and in particular that when he himself is a guest, the meal should
consist only of soup, fish, vegetables, a roast and cheese. Ordinary
red or white table-wine, a glass of "bowl" ("cup"), or German
champagne should be handed round. Liqueurs, or other forms of what the
French know as "chasse-cafe," after dinner were best avoided. The
edict of course caused amusement as well as a certain amount of
discontent with what was felt to be a kind of objectionable paternal
interference, and it is doubtful whether it has had much lasting
effect. Even now, the German officer laughingly tells one that when
the Emperor dines at an officers' mess either French champagne (which
is infinitely superior to German) is poured into German champagne
bottles, or else the French label is carefully shrouded in a napkin
that swathes the bottle up to the neck. Apropos of German champagne, a
story is current that Bismarck, one day dining at the palace, refused
the German champagne being handed round. The Emperor noticed the
refusal and said pointedly to Bismarck: "I always drink German
champagne, because I think it right to encourage our national
industries. Every patriot should do so." "Your Majesty," replied the
grim old Chancellor, "my patriotism does not extend to my stomach."

In the domain of aesthetics this year the Emperor had some pleasant and
some painful experiences. Joachim, the great violinist, and a great
favourite of his, died in August, and his death was followed next
month, September, by that of the composer Grieg, the "Chopin of the
North," as the Emperor called him, whose friendship the Emperor had
acquired on one of his Norwegian trips. Quite at the end of the year
his early tutor, Dr. Hinzpeter, for whom he always had a semi-filial
regard, passed away.

On the other hand, among the Emperor's pleasant experiences may be
reckoned the visit of Mr. Beerbohm Tree and his English company to the
German capital. Their repertory of Shakespearean drama greatly
delighted the Emperor, who expressed his pleasure to Mr. Tree and his
fellow-players personally, and did not dismiss them without
substantial tokens of his appreciation.

Earlier in the year the French actress, Suzanne Depres, visited Berlin
and appealed strongly to the Emperor's taste for the "classical" in
music and drama. Inviting the actress to the royal box, he said to

"You have shown us such a natural, living Phaedra that we
were all strongly moved. How fine a part it is! As a
youngster I used to learn verses from 'Phaedra' by heart. I
am told that in France devotion to classical tradition is
growing weaker, and that Moliere and Racine are more and
more seldom played. What a pity! Our people, on the
contrary, remain faithful to their great poets and enjoy
their works. After school comes college, and after
college--the theatre. It should elevate and expand the soul.
The people do not need any representation of reality--they
are well acquainted with that in their daily lives. One must
put something greater and nobler before them, something
superior to 'La Dame aux Camelias.'"

A month later, however, he made one of his extremely rare visits to an
ordinary Berlin theatre to see--"The Hound of the Baskervilles"!

Meanwhile in domestic politics Chancellor von Buelow's famous "bloc"
continued to work satisfactorily, notwithstanding difficulties arising
from the conflicting interests of industry and agriculture, Free Trade
and Protection and differences of creed and race. At the end of this
year it was near falling asunder in connection with the question of
judicial reform, but Prince von Buelow kept it together for a while by
an impassioned appeal to the patriotism of both parties. In the course
of the speech he told the House how, when he was standing at
Bismarck's death-bed, he noticed on the wall the portrait of a man,
Ludwig Uhland, who had said "no head could rule over Germany that was
not well anointed with democratic oil," and drew the conclusion from
the contrast between the dying man of action and the poet that only
the union of old Prussian conservative energy and discipline with
German broad-hearted, liberal spirit could secure a happy future for
the nation. The "bloc," as we shall see, broke up in 1909 and Prince
von Buelow resigned. The Chancellor afterwards attributed his fall
entirely to the Conservatives, but it is possible, even probable, that
it was in at least some measure due to the events of the _annus
mirabilis_, 1908, which now opened.




The "November Storm" was a collision between the Emperor and his folk,
a result of his so-called "personal regiment."

In a general way the latter phrase is intended to describe and
characterize the method of rule adopted by the Emperor from the very
beginning of his reign, especially as exhibited in his semi-official
utterances, public and private, in his correspondence, private
conversation, and public and private conduct generally. According to
the popular interpretation of the Imperial Constitution--the nearest
thing to a Magna Charta in Germany--the Emperor should observe, in his
words and acts, a reserve which would prevent all chance of creating
dissension among the federated States and in particular would secure
the avoidance of anything which might disturb Germany's relations to
foreign countries or interfere with the course of Germany's foreign
policy as carried on through the regular official channel, the Foreign
Office. The ground for this popular interpretation is a constitutional
device which to an Englishman, if it be not offensive to say so, can
only recall the well-known definition of a metaphysician as "a blind
man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, _which is not there_."

The device is known as the Chancellor's "responsibility," which was
regarded, and is still regarded in Germany, as at once "covering" the
Emperor and offering to his folk a safeguard against unwisdom or
caprice on his part. The nature of this responsibility which is
evidenced by the Chancellor signing the Emperor's edicts and other
official statements, is so frequently discussed by German politicians,
the position of the Chancellor--the Grand Vizier of Germany he has
been picturesquely called--is so influential, and the intercourse
between the Emperor and the Chancellor is so close, exclusive, and
confidential, that an examination of the meaning of the term
"responsibility" in this connexion is desirable.

Whenever the Emperor does anything important or surprising, especially
in foreign policy, the first question asked by his subjects is, has he
taken the step with the knowledge, and therefore with the joint
responsibility, of the Chancellor? If the answer is in the negative,
it is the "personal regiment" again, and people are angry: if the
latter, they may disapprove of the step and grumble at it, but it is
covered by the Chancellor's signature and they can raise no
constitutional objection. Hence the demand usually made on such
occasions for an Act of Parliament once for all defining fully and
clearly the Chancellor's responsibilities. According to Prince von
Buelow, and it is doubtless the Emperor's own view, the responsibility
mentioned in the Constitution is a "moral responsibility," and only
refers to such acts and orders of the Emperor as immediately arise out
of the governing rights vested in him, not to personal expressions of
opinion, even though these may be made on formal occasions; and the
Prince goes on to say that if a Chancellor cannot prevent what he
honestly thinks would permanently and in an important respect be
injurious to the Empire, he is bound to resign.

The Chancellor, then, takes responsibility of some kind. But
responsibility to whom? To the Emperor? To the Parliament? To the
people? The answer is, solely to the Emperor, for it is the Emperor
who appoints and dismisses him as well as every other Minister,
imperial or Prussian, and the Emperor is only responsible to his
conscience. In parliamentarily ruled countries like England Ministers
are responsible to Parliament, which expresses its disapproval by the
vote of a hostile majority, or in certain circumstances by a vote of
censure or even impeachment. In Germany, where the parliamentary
system of government does not exist, and where there is no upsetting
Ministries by a hostile majority, and no parliamentary vote of censure
or impeachment, no Minister, including the Chancellor, is responsible,
in the English sense of the word, to Parliament; accordingly, a German
Chancellor may continue in office in spite of Parliament, provided of
course the Emperor supports him. At the same time the Chancellor
to-day is to some indefinable extent responsible to Parliament, and
therefore to the people, in so far as they are represented by it, for
he must keep on tolerable terms with Parliament as well as with the
Emperor, or he will have to give up office. How he is to keep on terms
with a Parliament consisting of half a dozen powerful parties and as
many more smaller fractions and factions is probably the part of his
duties that gives him most trouble and at times, doubtless, very
disagreeably interferes with the placidity of his slumbers.

There is no struggle for government in Germany between the Crown and
the people: Germans have no ancient Magna Charta, no Habeas Corpus, no
Declaration of Rights to look back to on the long road to liberty. In
the protracted struggle for government between the English people and
their rulers, the people's victory took the form of parliamentary
control while retaining the monarch as their highest and most honoured
representative. Socially he is their master, politically their
servant, the "first servant of the State." In Germany there has never,
save for a few months in 1848, been any struggle of a similar
political extent or kind. German monarchs including the Emperor, have
applied the expression "first servant of the State" to themselves, but
they did not apply it in the English sense. They applied it more
accurately. In Germany the State means the system, the mechanism of
government, inclusive of the monarch's office: in England the word
"State" is more nearly equivalent to the word "people." To serve the
system, the government machinery, is the first duty of the monarch,
and government is not a changing reflection of the people's will, but
a permanent apparatus for maintaining the power of the Crown,
harmonizing and reconciling the sentiments and interests of all parts
of the Empire, and for conducting foreign policy.

It may be objected that legislation is made by the Reichstag, that the
Reichstag has the power of the purse, and that it is elected by
universal suffrage; but in Germany the Government is above and
independent of the Reichstag; legislation is not made by the Reichstag
alone, since it requires the agreement of the Federal Council and of
the Emperor, and--what is of great practical importance--Government
issues directions as to how legislation shall be carried into effect.
The law of 1872 passed against the Jesuits forbade the "activity" of
the Order, but the interpretation of the word "activity," and with it
the effects of the law, were left to the Government.

Kings of Prussia and German Emperors have never shown much affection
for their Parliaments: Parliaments are apt to act as a check upon
monarchy, and in Prussia in particular to interfere with the carrying
out of the divinely imposed mission. This is not said sarcastically;
and the Emperor, like some of his ancestors, has more than once
expressed the same thought. Parliaments in Germany only date from
after the French Revolution. After that event there came into
existence in Germany the Frankfurt Parliament (1848), the Erfurt
Parliament (1850), and the Parliament of the German Customs Union
(1867). These, however, were not popularly elected Parliaments like
those of the present day, but gatherings of class delegates from the
various Kingdoms and States composing the Germany and Austria of the
time. Since the Middle Ages there had always been quasi-popular
assemblies in Prussia, but they too were not elected, and only
represented classes, not constituencies. The present Parliaments in
Prussia and the Empire are Constitutional Parliaments in the English
sense, elected by universal suffrage, the one indirectly, the other

The present Prussian Diet dates from the "First Unified Diet,"
summoned by Frederick William IV in 1847, which was transformed next
year under pressure of the revolutionists into a "national assembly."
This was treated a year after by General Wrangel almost exactly as
Cromwell treated the Rump. The General entered Berlin with the troops
which a few weeks before had fought against the revolutionists of the
"March days." He passed along the Linden to the royal theatre, where
the "national assembly" was in session, and was met at the door by the
leader of the citizens' guard with the proud words, "The guard is
resolved to protect the honour of the National Assembly and the
freedom of the people, and will only yield to force."

Wrangel took out his watch--one can imagine the old silver
"turnip"--and with his thumb on the dial replied:

"Tell your city guard that the force is here. I will be
responsible for the maintenance of order. The National
Assembly has fifteen minutes in which to leave the building
and the city guard in which to withdraw."

In a quarter of an hour the building was empty, and next day the city
guard was dissolved. A month later the King, Frederick William IV,
granted his _octroyierte_ Constitution--that is, a concession of his
own royal personal will--which established the Diet as it is to-day.

Emperor William I, as King of Prussia, had a good deal of trouble with
his Parliament, and in 1852 wanted to abdicate rather than rule in
obedience to a parliamentary majority--it was the "conflict time"
about funds for army reorganization. Bismarck dissuaded him from doing
so by promising to become Minister and carry on the government, if
need were, without a parliament and without a budget. He actually did
so for some years, but there was no change in the Constitution as a

Nor has there been any constitutional change in the relations of Crown
to Parliament during the present reign. As a young man, the Emperor
had of course nothing to do with Parliament, Prussian or Imperial, and
since his accession, though there is always latent antagonism and has
been even friction at times, he has, generally speaking, lived on
"correct," if not friendly terms with it. There is little, if any, of
the devoted affection one finds for the monarch in the English

And not unnaturally. Early in his reign, in 1891, he made a reference
to Parliament little calculated to evoke affection. "The soldier and
the army," he said to his generals at a banquet in the palace, "not
parliamentary majorities and decisions, have welded together the
German Empire. My confidence is in the army--as my grandfather said at
Coblenz: 'These are the gentlemen on whom I can rely.'" Again, a year
or two afterwards he dissolved the Reichstag for refusing to accept a
military bill and did not conceal his anger with the recalcitrant
majority. In 1895 he telegraphed to Bismarck his indignation with the
Reichstag for refusing to vote its congratulations on the old
statesman's eightieth birthday. In 1897, speaking of the kingship "von
Gottes Gnaden" he took occasion to quote his grandfather's declaration
that "it was a kingship with onerous duties from which no man, no
Minister, no Parliament, no people" could release the Prince. In 1903
his Chancellor, Prince Buelow, had to defend in Parliament his action
in the case of the Swinemunde despatch already mentioned. Attention
was called to the telegram in the Reichstag and the Chancellor
defended the Emperor. He denied that the telegram was an act of
State--it was a personal matter between two sovereigns, the statement
of a friend to a friend. "The idea," said the Chancellor, who
contended that the Emperor had a right to express his opinions like
any citizen,

"that the monarch's expression of opinion is to be limited
by a stipulation that every such expression must be endorsed
with the signature of the Chancellor is wholly foreign to
the Constitution."

Next day the Chancellor had again occasion to defend his imperial
master against a charge of being "anti-social," brought by the
Socialist von Vollmar, who coupled the charge with insinuations of
absolutism and Caesarism. Prince Buelow said:

"Absolutism is not a German word, and is not a German
institution. It is an Asiatic plant, and one cannot talk of
absolutism in Germany so long as our circumstances develop
in an organic and legal manner, respecting the rights of the
Crown, which are just as sacred as the rights of the
burgher; respecting also law and order, which are not
disregarded 'from above,' and will not be disregarded. If
ever our circumstances take on an absolute, a Caesarian,
form, it will be as the consequence of revolution, of
convulsion. For on revolution follows Caesarism as W follows
U--that is the rule in the A B C of the world's history."

There is no harm in reminding Prince Buelow that the letter V--which
may be a very important link in the chain of events--comes between U
and W. It is clear also that the Chancellor must have forgotten his
English history for the moment, for though Cromwell's rule may be
called Caesarism of a kind, the reign of William III, of "glorious,
pious, and immortal memory," which followed the revolution of 1688,
could not fairly be so named.

Three years later, in 1906, Prince Buelow found it necessary to defend
the Emperor on the score of the "personal regiment." "The view,"
Prince Buelow said,

"that the monarch should have no individual thoughts of his own
about State and government, but should only think with the heads
of his Ministers and only say what they tell him to say, is
fundamentally wrong--is inconsistent with State rights and with
the wish of the German people";

and he concluded by challenging the House to mention a single case in
which the Emperor had acted unconstitutionally. None of these
bickerings between Crown and Parliament went to the root of the
constitutional relations between them, but they betrayed the existence
of popular dissatisfaction with the Emperor, which in a couple of
years was to culminate in an outbreak of national anger.

An occurrence calls for mention here, not only as a kind of harbinger
of the "storm," but as one of the chief incidents which in the course
of recent years have troubled Anglo-German relations. The incident
referred to is that of the so-called "Tweedmouth Letter," which was an
autograph letter from the Emperor to Lord Tweedmouth, First Lord of
the British Admiralty at the time, dated February 17, 1908, and
containing among other matters a lengthy disquisition on naval
construction, with reference to the excited state of feeling in
England caused by Germany's warship-building policy. The letter has
never been published, but it is supposed to have been prompted by a
statement made publicly by Lord Esher, Warden of Windsor Castle, in
the London _Observer_, to the effect that nothing would more please
the German Emperor than the retirement of Sir John Fisher, the
originator of the Dreadnought policy, who was at the time First Lord
of the Admiralty; and to have contained the remark that "Lord Esher
had better attend to the drains at Windsor and leave alone matters
which he did not understand." The Emperor was apparently unaware that
Lord Esher was one of the foremost military authorities in England.

The sending of the letter became known through the appearance of a
communication in the London _Times_ of March 6th, with the caption
"Under which King?"--an allusion to Shakespeare's "Under which king,
Bezonian, speak or die"--and signed "Your Military Correspondent." The
writer announced that it had come to his knowledge that the German
Emperor had recently addressed a letter to Lord Tweedmouth on the
subject of British and German naval policy, and that it was supposed
that the letter amounted to an attempt to influence, in German
interests, the Minister's responsibility for the British Naval
Estimates. The correspondent concluded by demanding that the letter
should be laid before Parliament without delay. The _Times_, in a
leading article, prognosticated the "painful surprise and just
indignation" which must be felt by the people of Great Britain on
learning of such "secret appeals to the head of a department on which
the nation's safety depends," and argued that there could be no
question of privacy in a matter of the kind. The article concluded
with the assertion that the letter was obviously an attempt to "make
it more easy for German preparations to overtake our own." The
incident was immediately discussed in all countries, publicly and

Everywhere opinion was divided as to the defensibility of the
Emperor's action; in France the division was reported by the _Times_
correspondent to be "bewildering." All the evidence available to prove
the Emperor's impulsiveness was recalled--the Kruger telegram, the
telegram to Count Goluchowski, the Austrian Minister of Foreign
Affairs, after the Morocco Conference, characterizing him as a
"brilliant second (to Germany) in the bout at Algeciras," the
premature telegram conferring the Order of Merit on General Stoessel
after the fall of Port Arthur, and other evidence, relevant and
irrelevant. Reuter's agent in Berlin telegraphed on official authority
that the Emperor "had written as a naval expert."

On the whole, continental opinion may be said to have leaned in favour
of the Emperor. Mr. Asquith, the English Prime Minister, at once made
the statement that the letter was a "purely private communication,
couched in an entirely friendly spirit," that it had not been laid
before the Cabinet, and that the latter had come to a decision about
the Estimates before the letter arrived.

All eyes and ears were now turned to Lord Tweedmouth, and on March
10th he briefly referred to the matter in the House of Lords. He
received the letter, he said, in the ordinary postal way; it was "very
friendly in tone and quite informal"; he showed it to Sir Edward Grey,
who agreed with him that it should be treated as a private letter, not
as an official one; and he replied to it on February 20th, "also in an
informal and friendly manner." A discussion, in which Lord Lansdowne
and Lord Rosebery took part, followed, the former--to give the tone,
not the words of his speech--handing in a verdict of "Not guilty, but
don't do it again," against the Emperor, and laying down the principle
that "such a communication as that in question must not be allowed to
create a diplomatic situation different from that which has been
established through official channels and documents"; and Lord
Rosebery, while he recognized the importance of the incident, seeking
to minimize its effects by an attitude of banter. The treatment of the
incident by the House of Commons as a whole gave considerable
satisfaction in Germany, where all efforts were directed to showing
malevolent hostility to Germany on the part of the _Times_.

Prince von Buelow dealt with the letter in a speech on the second
reading of the Budget on March 24, 1908. After referring to the Union
Internationale Interparlementaire, which was to meet in a few months
in Berlin, and to the "very unsatisfactory situation in Morocco," he

"From various remarks which have been dropped in the course
of the debate I gather that this honourable House desires me
to make a statement as to the letter which his Majesty the
Kaiser last month wrote to Lord Tweedmouth. On grounds of
discretion, to the observance of which both the sender and
receiver of a private letter are equally entitled, I am not
in a position to lay the text of the letter before you, and
I add that I regret exceedingly that I cannot do so. The
letter could be signed by any one of us, by any sincere
friend of good relations between Germany and England (hear,
hear). The letter, gentlemen, was in form and substance a
private one, and at the same time its contents were of a
political nature. The one fact does not exclude the other;
and the letter of a sovereign, an imperial letter, does not,
from the fact that it deals with political questions, become
an act of State ('Very true,' on the Right).

"This is not--and deputy Count Kanitz yesterday gave
appropriate instances in support--the first political letter
a sovereign has written, and our Kaiser is not the first
sovereign who has addressed to foreign statesmen letters of
a political character which are not subject to control. The
matter here concerns a right of action which all sovereigns
claim and which, in the case of our Kaiser also, no one has
a right to limit. How his Majesty proposes to make use of
this right we can confidently leave to the imperial sense of
duty. It is a gross, in no way justifiable
misrepresentation, to assert that his Majesty's letter to
Lord Tweedmouth amounts to an attempt to influence the
Minister responsible for the naval budget in the interests
of Germany, or that it denotes a secret interference in the
internal affairs of the British Empire. Our Kaiser is the
last person to believe that the patriotism of an English
Minister would suffer him to accept advice from a foreign
country as to the drawing up of the English naval budget
('Quite right,' hear, hear). What is true of English
statesmen is true also of the leading statesmen of every
country which lays claim to respect for its independence
('Very true'). In questions of defence of one's own country
every people rejects foreign interference and is guided only
by considerations bearing on its own security and its own
needs ('Quite right'). Of this right to self-judgment and
self-defence Germany also makes use when she builds a fleet
to secure the necessary protection for her coasts and her
commerce ('Bravo!'). This defensive, this purely defensive
character of our naval programme cannot, in view of the
incessant attempts to attribute to us aggressive views with
regard to England, be too often or too sharply brought
forward ('Bravo!'). We desire to live in peace and quietness
with England, and therefore it is embittering to find a
portion of the English Press ever speaking of the 'German
danger,' although the English fleet is many times stronger
than our own, although other lands have stronger fleets than
us and are working no less zealously at their development.
Nevertheless it is Germany, ever Germany, and only Germany,
against which public opinion on the other side of the
Channel is excited by an utterly valueless polemic ('Quite

"It would be, gentlemen,"

the Chancellor continued,

"in the interests of appeasement between both countries, it
would be in the interest of the general peace of the world,
that this polemic should cease. As little as we challenge
England's right to set up the naval standard her responsible
statesmen consider necessary for the maintenance of British
power in the world without our seeing therein a threat
against ourselves, so little can she take it ill of us if we
do not wish our naval construction to be wrongly represented
as a challenge against England (hear, hear, on the Right and
Left). Gentlemen, these are the thoughts, as I judge from
your assent, which we all entertain, which find expression
in the statements of all speakers, and which are in harmony
with all our views. Accept my additional statement that in
the letter of his Majesty to Lord Tweedmouth one gentleman,
one seaman, talks frankly to another, that our Kaiser highly
appreciates the honour of being an admiral of the British
navy, and that he is a great admirer of the political
education of the British people and of their fleet, and you
will have a just view of the tendency, tone, and contents of
the imperial letter to Lord Tweedmouth. His Majesty
consequently finds himself in this letter not only in full
agreement with the Chancellor--I may mention this specially
for the benefit of Herr Bebel--but, as I am convinced, in
agreement with the entire nation. It would be deeply
regrettable if the honourable opinions by which our Kaiser
was moved in writing this letter should be misconstrued in
England. With satisfaction I note that the attempts at such
misconstruction have been almost unanimously rejected in
England ('Bravo!' on the Right and Left). Above all,
gentlemen, I believe that the admirable way in which the
English Parliament has exemplarily treated the question will
have the best effect in preventing a disturbance of the
friendly relations between Germany and England and in
removing all hostile intention from the discussions over the
matter (agreement, Right and Left).

"Gentlemen, one more observation of a general nature.
Deputies von Hertling and Bassermann have recommended us, in
view of the suspicions spread about us abroad, a calm and
watchful attitude of reserve, and for the treatment of the
country's foreign affairs consistency, union, and firmness.
I believe that the foreign policy we must follow cannot be

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