Ah these pipes! These Highland pipes! Truly as one of them said, "Pipers are no just like other people!" Blowing their "Pilrock of Donald Dhu" they swing into line, mighty and magnificent. Last comes the brave little pipe band of the 49th. This battalion has one Scotch company from Edmonton, which insisted on bringing its pipe band along. Why not? "The Blue Bonnets" is their tune and finely they ring it out. Now they are all in place, Bands, Bugle and Pipes. The massed Bands strike up our National Song, and all the soldiers spring to their feet and sing "Oh, Canada." A little high but our hearts were in it. And so the program goes on. Single bands and massed bands with solos from French Horns, Trombones and Cornets, varied delightfully with the Highland Fling by Pipe Major Johnson of the 42nd, and the Sword Dance by Piper Reid of the 43rd followed by an encore, the "Shean Rheubs" which I defy any mere Sassenach to pronounce or to dance, at least as Piper Heid of the twinkling feet danced it that night. For he did it "in the style of Willie Maclennan," as a piper said, "the best of his day and they have not matched him yet." The massed pipe bands play "The 79th's Farewell at Gibraltar." Forty-one pipers and every man blowing his best. "Aye man, it is grand hearing you," said a man from the north. Colonel Moore of the 9th, on a minute's warning, makes a fine speech instinct with patriotic sentiment and calls for three cheers for Canada. He got three and a tiger and "a tiger's pup." Major Grassie in another speech neat and to the point thanks those who had helped to celebrate our Dominion Day and once more calls for cheers and gets them. Then the "First Post" warns us that we are soldiers and under orders. The massed bands play "Nearer My God to Thee." Full and tender the long drawn notes of the great hymn rise and fall on the evening air, the soldiers joining reverently. The Chaplain of the 43rd congratulates the Commandment upon the happy suggestion of a Tattoo, the Chairman upon his very successful program and all the Company upon a very happy celebration of our national holiday—then a word about our Day and all it stands for, a word about our Empire, our Country, our Kiddies at home, another word of thanks to the Committee for the closing hymn so eminently appropriate to their present circumstances and then God bless our King, God bless our Empire, God bless our Great Cause and God bless our dear Canada. Good night.
The "Last Post" sounds. Its piercing call falls sharp and startling upon the silent night. Long after we say "Good night" that last long-drawn note high and clear with its poignant pathos lingers in our hearts. The Dominion Day celebration is over.
Simple as Day
It was among the retorts and test-tubes of his physical laboratory that we were privileged to interview the Great Scientist. His back was towards us when we entered. With characteristic modesty he kept it so for some time after our entry. Even when he turned round and saw us his face did not react off us as we should have expected.
He seemed to look at us, if such a thing were possible, without seeing us, or, at least, without wishing to see us.
We handed him our card.
He took it, read it, dropped it into a bowlful of sulphuric acid, and then, with a quiet gesture of satisfaction, turned again to his work.
We sat for some time behind him. "This then," we thought to ourselves (we always think to ourselves when we are left alone) "is the man, or rather is the back of the man, who has done more" (here we consulted the notes given us by our editor) "to revolutionize our conception of atomic dynamics than the back of any other man."
Presently the Great Scientist turned towards us with a sigh that seemed to our ears to have a note of weariness in it. Something, we felt, must be making him tired.
"What can I do for you?" he said.
"Professor," we answered, "we have called upon you in response to an overwhelming demand on the part of the public—"
The Great Scientist nodded.
"—to learn something of your new researches and discoveries in—" (here we consulted a minute card which we carried in our pocket) "—in radio-active-emanations which are already becoming—" (we consulted our card again) "—a household word—"
The professor raised his hand as if to check us—
"I would rather say," he murmured, "helio-radio-active—"
"So would we," we admitted, "much rather—"
"After all," said the Great Scientist, "helium shares in the most intimate degree the properties of radium. So, too, for the matter of that," he added in afterthought, "do thorium, and borium!"
"Even borium!" we exclaimed, delighted, and writing rapidly in our note book. Already we saw ourselves writing up as our headline, "Borium Shares Properties of Thorium."
"Just what is it," said the Great Scientist, "that you want to know?"
"Professor," we answered, "what our journal wants is a plain and simple explanation, so clear that even our readers can understand it, of the new scientific discoveries in radium. We understand that you possess more than any other man the gift of clear and lucid thought—"
The Professor nodded.
"—and that you are able to express yourself with greater simplicity than any two men now lecturing."
The Professor nodded again.
"Now, then," we said, spreading our notes on our knee, "go at it. Tell us, and through us, tell a quarter of a million anxious readers just what all these new discoveries are about."
"The whole thing," said the Professor, warming up to his work as he perceived from the motions of our face and ears our intelligent interest, "is simplicity itself. I can give it to you in a word—"
"That's it," we said. "Give it to us that way."
"It amounts, if one may boil it down to a phrase—"
"Boil it, boil it," we interrupted.
"—amounts, if one takes the mere gist of it—"
"Take it," we said, "take it."
"—amounts to the resolution of the ultimate atom."
"Ha!" we exclaimed.
"I must ask you first to clear your mind," the Professor continued, "of all conception of ponder able magnitude."
We nodded. We had already cleared our minds of this.
"In fact," added the Professor, with what we thought a quiet note of warning in his voice, "I need hardly tell you that what we are dealing with must be regarded as altogether ultra-microscopic."
We hastened to assure the professor that, in accordance with the high standards of honor represented by our journal, we should of course regard anything that he might say as ultra-microscopic and treat it accordingly.
"You say, then," we continued, "that the essence of the problem is the resolution of the atom. Do you think you can give us any idea of what the atom is?"
The professor looked at us searchingly.
We looked back at him, openly and frankly. The moment was critical for our interview. Could he do it? Were we the kind of person that he could give it to? Could we get it if he did?
"I think I can," he said. "Let us begin with the assumption that the atom is an infinitesimal magnitude. Very good. Let us grant, then, that though it is imponderable and indivisible it must have a spatial content? You grant me this?"
"We do," we said, "we do more than this, we GIVE it to you."
"Very well. If spatial, it must have dimension: if dimension—form: let us assume 'ex hypothesi' the form to be that of a spheroid and see where it leads us."
The professor was now intensely interested. He walked to and from in his laboratory. His features worked with excitement. We worked ours, too, as sympathetically as we could.
"There is no other possible method in inductive science," he added, "than to embrace some hypothesis, the most attractive that one can find, and remain with it—"
We nodded. Even in our own humble life after our day's work we had found this true.
"Now," said the Professor, planting himself squarely in front of us, "assuming a spherical form, and a spatial content, assuming the dynamic forces that are familiar to us and assuming—the thing is bold, I admit—"
We looked as bold as we could.
"—assuming that the IONS, or NUCLEI of the atom—I know no better word—"
"Neither do we," we said.
"—that the nuclei move under the energy of such forces what have we got?"
"Ha!" we said.
"What have we got? Why, the simplest matter conceivable. The forces inside our atom—itself, mind you, the function of a circle—mark that—"
"—becomes merely a function of pi!"
The Great Scientist paused with a laugh of triumph.
"A function of pi!" we repeated with delight.
"Precisely. Our conception of ultimate matter is reduced to that of an oblate spheroid described by the revolution of an ellipse on its own minor axis!"
"Good heavens!" we said, "merely that."
"Nothing else. And in that case any further calculation becomes a mere matter of the extraction of a root."
"How simple," we murmured.
"Is it not?" said the Professor. "In fact, I am accustomed, in talking to my class, to give them a very clear idea, by simply taking as our root F,—F being any finite constant—"
He looked at us sharply. We nodded.
"And raising F to the log of infinity;—I find they apprehend it very readily."
"Do they?" we murmured. Ourselves we felt as if the Log of Infinity carried us to ground higher than what we commonly care to tread on.
"Of course," said the Professor, "the Log of Infinity is an Unknown."
"Of course," we said, very gravely. We felt ourselves here in the presence of something that demanded our reverence.
"But still," continued the Professor, almost jauntily, "we can handle the Unknown just as easily as anything else."
This puzzled us. We kept silent. We thought it wiser to move on to more general ground. In any case, our notes were now nearly complete.
"These discoveries, then," we said, "are absolutely revolutionary."
"They are," said the Professor.
"You have now, as we understand, got the atom—how shall we put it?—got it where you want it."
"Not exactly," said the Professor with a sad smile.
"What do you mean?" we asked.
"Unfortunately our analysis, perfect though it is, stops short. We have no synthesis."
The Professor spoke as in deep sorrow.
"No synthesis," we moaned. We felt it was a cruel blow. But in any case our notes were now elaborate enough. We felt that our readers could do without synthesis. We rose to go.
"Synthetic dynamics," said the Professor, taking us by the coat, "is only beginning—"
"In that case—" we murmured, disengaging his hand—
"But wait, wait," he pleaded, "wait for another fifty years—"
"We will," we said, very earnestly, "but meantime as our paper goes to press this afternoon we must go now. In fifty years we will come back."
"Oh, I see, I see," said the Professor, "you are writing all this for a newspaper. I see."
"Yes," we said, "we mentioned that at the beginning."
"Ah!" said the Professor, "did you? Very possibly. Yes."
"We Propose," we said, "to feature the article for next Saturday."
"Will it be long?" he asked.
"About two columns," we answered.
"And how much," said the Professor in a hesitating way, "do I have to pay you to put it in?"
"How much which?" we asked.
"How much do I have to pay?"
"Why, Professor," we begin quickly. Then we checked ourselves. After all was it right to undeceive him, this quiet, absorbed man of science with his ideals, his atoms and his emanations? No, a hundred times no. Let him pay a hundred times.
"It will cost you," we said very firmly, "ten dollars."
The Professor began groping among his apparatus. We knew that he was looking for his purse.
"We should like also very much," we said, "to insert your picture along with the article—"
"Would that cost much?" he asked.
"No, that is only five dollars."
The Professor had meantime found his purse.
"Would it be all right," he began, "—that is, would you mind if I pay you the money now? I am apt to forget."
"Quite all right," we answered. We said good-by very gently and passed out. We felt somehow as if we had touched a higher life. "Such," we murmured, as we looked about the ancient campus, "are the men of science: are there, perhaps, any others of them round this morning that we might interview?"
The Epic Standpoint in the War
After more than three years of the War, we are only now beginning to see it, as it is, in its epic immensity. On the eastern front it has been too far from us; on the western front it has been too near us, and we have been too much a part of it, to get any sight at all of that series of monotonous and monstrous battles, a series punctuated only by names: Liege, Antwerp, Mons, Ypres, Verdun and Arras. And if nothing had happened besides the Titanic conflict of material armaments I believe that we should not yet be anywhere near realizing its vastness and its significance.
If we are aware of it now it is because, in the last few months, three events have happened which are of another order: the abdication of Constantine, King of Greece, the Russian Revolution, and the coming of America into the War.
These three events have adjusted and cleared our vision by giving us the true perspective and the scale.
From the standpoint of individuals, even of those few who have lost nothing personally, who are alive and safe, who have never been near the trenches, never watched an air-raid, or so much as seen the inside of a hospital, the War is a monstrous and irreparable tragedy.
But from the epic standpoint, it would not have mattered if all the civilians in Great Britain had been starved to death by submarines, or burned alive in our beds, so long as the freedom of one country, even a small country like Greece, was secured forever, let alone the freedom of a great country like Russia—and let alone the saving of America's soul.
For that is what it comes to.
Somewhere about the sad middle of the War, an American woman, who is one of the finest American poets, discussed the War with me. She deplored America's attitude in not coming in with us.
I said, politely and arrogantly, "Why should she? It isn't HER War. She'll do us more good by keeping out of it."
The poet—who would not have called herself a patriot—answered, "I am not thinking of YOUR good. I am thinking of the good of America's soul."
Since August 4th, 1914, England has been energetically engaged in saving her own soul. Heaven knows we needed salvation! But, commendable as our action was and is, the fact remains that it was our own soul that we were saving. We thought, and we cared, nothing about America's soul.
In the beginning of the War, when it seemed certain that America would not come in, we were glad to think that America's body was untouched, that, while all Europe rolled in blood, so vast a territory was still at peace, and that the gulf of the Atlantic kept American men, American women and children, safe from the horror and agony of war. This was a comparatively righteous attitude.
Then we found that it was precisely the Atlantic that gave Americans a taste of our agony and horror. The Atlantic was no safe place for the American men and women and children who traveled so ingenuously over it.
And when for a long time we wondered whether America would or would not come in, we were still glad; but it was another gladness. We said to ourselves that we did not want America to come in. We wanted to win the War without her, even if it took us a little longer. For by that time we had begun to look on the War as our and our Allies' unique possession. to fight in it was a privilege and a glory that we were not inclined to share.
"America," we said, "is very much better employed in making munitions for US. Let her go on making them. Let her help our wounded; let her feed Belgium for us; but let her not come in now and bag the glory when it is we who have borne the burden and heat of the battle."
And this attitude of ours was not righteous. It was egoistic; it was selfish; it was arrogant. We handed over to America the material role and hung on tight to the spiritual glory. It was as if we had asked ourselves, in our arrogance, whether America was able to drink of the cup that we drank of, and to be baptized with the baptism of blood which we were baptized withal?
We had left off thinking even of America's body, and we were not thinking at all about her soul.
Then, only a few months ago, she came in, and we were glad. Most of us were glad because we knew that her coming in would hasten the coming of peace. But I think that some of us were glad because America had saved, before everything, her immortal soul.
And by our gladness we knew more about ourselves then than we had suspected. We know that, under all our arrogance and selfishness, there was a certain soreness caused by America's neutrality.
We did not care much about Spain's or Scandinavia's or Holland's neutrality, though the Dutch and Scandinavian navies might have helped enormously to tighten the blockade; but we felt America's neutrality as a wrong done to our own soul. We were vulnerable where her honor was concerned. And this, though we knew that she was justified in holding back; for her course was not a straight and simple one like ours. No Government on earth has any right to throw prudence to the winds, and force war on a country that is both divided and unprepared.
Yet we were vulnerable, as if our own honor were concerned.
That is why, however much we honor the men that America sends out now, and will yet sent out, to fight with us, we honor still more her first volunteers who came in of their own accord, who threw prudence to every wind that blows, and sent themselves out, to fight and to be wounded and to die in the ranks of the Allies. It may be that some of them loved France more than England. No matter; they had good cause to love her, since France stands for Freedom; and it was Freedom that they fought for, soldiers in the greatest War of Independence that has ever been.
The coming in of America has not placed upon England a greater or more sacred obligation than was hers before:—to see to it that this War accomplishes the freedom, not only of Belgium and Russia and Poland and Serbia and Roumania, but of Ireland also, and of Hungary, and, if Germany so wills it, of Germany herself. It is inconceivable that we should fail; but, if we did fail, we should now have to answer to the soul and conscience of America as to our own conscience and our own soul.
Eleutherios Venizelos and the Greek Spirit
Eleutherios Venizelos, the foremost statesman of Greece, the man to whom in fact she owes that growth in territory and influence that has come as a result of the first and second Balkanic wars, continues to exert paramount influence in the solution of the Eastern question, in spite of the we believe mistaken policy of the Triple Entente which permitted King Constantine of Greece for so long a period of time to prevent the direct application of the power of Greece to and in the successful termination of the war against Germany. Venizelos has never lost faith in the mission of Greece in the eastern Mediterranean. He insists that a balance of power in the Balkans will prevent an all powerful Bulgaria from selling herself and her neighbors to the Pan-German octopus which has stretched its tentacles toward Constantinople and on to the Persian Gulf.
Manfully defending the rights of the Greeks in Macedonia and Asia Minor as he for long years supported those of the Greeks in Crete, he demands no aggrandizement of territory by right of conquest, but only the legitimate control and administration of lands that have been for ages inhabited by men of Greek blood, of Greek religion, and (until efforts were made to enforce other speech) of Greek language. He hates as only Greeks can hate, oppression of all sorts whether by Turk or Bulgarian or Teuton, and desires to see democratic principles finally established the world over. Holding this attitude, he could hardly bring himself to believe that King Constantine could really be abridging the constitutional right of the Greeks to control their own external as well as their domestic policy. When fully convinced that this was the King's intention, Venezelos cast the die that gave Greek freedom a new birth in Thessaloniki and the Islands. This movement tardily supported though it was by the entente, has at last borne fruit in a United Greece which will do her share in making the East as well as the West safe for Democracy. The people that fought so nobly in the revolution of 1821 will know how to give a good account of itself under the leadership of a sane, courageous and farsighted statesman like Venizelos.
The passage which I have chosen to translate is from the closing words of the speech delivered before the Greek Chamber of Deputies October 21, 1915. In the first portion of the speech Venizelos defends the policy of the participation in the campaign against the Dardanelles, which he had in vain advocated, and the support of Serbia as against Bulgaria in accordance with the defensive alliance concluded with that country.
"I must now once more, and for the last time declare to the Government which to-day occupies these seats, that it assumes the very heaviest of responsibilities before the Nation, in under-taking once more to administer the Government of Greece and to direct its fortunes in this, the most critical period of its national existence, with those antiquated conceptions which, if they had prevailed in 1912, would have kept Greece within her old narrowly confined borders. These old ideas have been radically condemned not only by the will of men, but by the very force of circumstances.
"It is most natural, Gentlemen, that with those conceptions under which that older political world of Greece acted, a political world which even to-day by its voting majority controls these seats of Government, it is natural, I repeat, that such a Government should be unable to adapt itself to the great, the colossal problems which have risen since Greece, ceasing to be a small state, and enlarging its territories, has taken a position in the Mediterranean which, while exceptionally imposing, is at the same time peculiarly subject to envy, and is on this account especially dangerous.
"How dare you, with those old conceptions assume the responsibility for the course which you have taken, a course which departs widely from the truth, from the traditional policy of that older Greek Government, which realized that it is impossible to look for any really successful Greek policy which runs counter to the power that controls the sea.
"How is it possible that you can wish to impose on the country such conceptions in the face of the repeatedly expressed opinion of the representatives of the people, and with the actual results of the recent past before you, a past which, with the sincerity that distinguishes you, my dear fellow-citizens, you have not hesitated to condemn, in order to show clearly that in your heart of hearts you would regard us as better off if we were within the old boundaries of 1912!
"But, sirs, the life of individuals and the life of Nations are governed by one and the same law, the law of perpetual struggle. This struggle, which is even keener between nations than between men, is regulated among men by the internal laws of the country, by the penal code, the police and in general the whole organization of the state, which, insofar as it is able, defends the weak against the strong. Although we have to confess that this organization falls far short of perfection, it does at any rate tend gradually toward the attainment of its ultimate ideal. But in the struggle of nations, where there exists an international law, the pitiful failure of which you have come to know, not only in the immediate past, but especially during this European war, you must perceive that it is impossible for small nations to progress and expand without a perpetual struggle. May I carry this argument one step further and say that this growth and expansion of Greece is not destined to satisfy moral requirements alone or to realize the national and patriotic desire to fulfill obligations toward our enslaved brothers, but it is actually a necessary pre-requisite to the continued life of the state.
"From certain points of view I might have recognized in accordance with the conceptions of my worthy fellow-citizen that if it had been a matter of continuing to have Turkey as our neighbor in our northern frontier, as she formerly was, we could have continued to live on for many years, especially if we could have brought ourselves to endure from her from time to time without complaint certain humiliations and indignities. But now that we have expanded and become a rival to other Christian powers, against whom, in case of defeat in war, we can expect no effective intervention on the part of other nations, from that moment, Gentlemen, the establishment of Greece as a self-sufficing state, able to defend itself against its enemies, is for her a question of life and death.
"Unfortunately, after our successful wars, while we were developing our new territories and organizing this Greater Greece into a model new state, as far as lay within our power, we did not have time to secure at once for the people all the advantages and all the benefits that should result from extending our frontiers. Our unfortunate people up to the present has seen only sacrifices to which it has been subjected for the sake of extending the boundaries of the state. It has experienced the moral satisfaction of having freed its brothers, and the national gratification of belonging to a state which is greater than it was before. From the material point of view however, from the point of view of economic advantage, it has not yet been able to clearly discern what profit it has obtained from the enlargement of the state. It is natural then that to-day as well, we can only hold before our people the sacrifices that are once more required of it. These sacrifices, Gentlemen, according to my personal convictions which are as firmly held as—humanly speaking—convictions can be, these sacrifices, as I see them, are destined to create a great and powerful Greece, which will bring about not an extension of the state by conquest, but a natural return to those limits within which Hellenism has been active even from prehistoric times.
"These sacrifices are to create, I insist, a great, a powerful, a wealthy Greece, able to develop within its boundaries a live industrialism competent, from the interests which it would represent, to enter into commercial treaties with other states on equal terms, and able finally to protect Greek citizens anywhere on earth: for the Greek could then proudly say, 'I am a Greek,' with the knowledge that, happen what may, the state is ready and able to protect him, no matter where he may be, just as all other great and powerful states do, and that he will not be subjected to prosecution and be forced to submit to, the lack of protection as is the Greek subject to-day.
"When you take all these things into account, Gentlemen, you will understand why I said a few moments ago, that I and the whole liberal party are possessed by a feeling of deepest sadness because by your policy, you are leading Greece, involuntarily, to be sure, but none the less certainly, to her ruin. You will induce her to carry on war perforce, under the most difficult conditions and on the most disadvantageous terms.
"The opportunity to create a great and powerful Greece, such an opportunity as comes to a race only once in thousands of years, you are thus allowing to be lost forever."
(Translation, with Notes, by CARROLL N. BROWN)
A Tribute to Italy
Even now, few Americans understand the great service which Italy has done to the Allied Cause. We have expected some sensational military achievements, being ourselves unable to realize the immense difficulty of the military tasks which confronted the Italians. The truth is that the Terrain over which they have fought is incredibly difficult. By the sly drawing of the frontier when in 1866 Austria ceded Venetia to the Italians, every pass, every access, from Italy into Austria was left in the hands of the Austrians. Some of those passes are so intricate and narrow that an Austrian regiment could defend them against an army. And yet, in two years' fighting the Italians have advanced and have astonished the world by their exploits in campaigning above the line of perpetual snow and among crags as unpromising as church steeples.
On lower levels they have captured Gorizia, a feat unparalleled by any thus far accomplished by the English and French on the West. The defense of Verdun remains, of course, the supreme and sublime achievement of defensive action, but the taking of Gorizia is thus far the most splendid work of the Allied offensive.
I do not propose, however, to speak in detail of the Italians' military service. Suffice it to say that they have proved themselves excellent fighters who combine the rare qualities of dash and endurance. I wish to speak of the vital contribution Italy has made from the beginning of the War to the Great Cause—the cause of Democracy and of Civilization.
When Italy at the end of July, 1914, refused to join Austria and Germany she announced to the world that the war which the Teutons planned was an aggressive war, and by this announcement she stamped on the Pan-German crimes that verdict which every day since has confirmed and which will be indelibly written on the pages of history.
For Italy was a partner of Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance and she knew from inside evidence that the Teutonic Powers were not acting on the defensive. Accordingly, her decision had the greatest significance, and when before the actual outbreak of the war she privately informed France that she had no intention of attacking that country she relieved the French of great suspense. If Italy had joined the Teutons the French would have been required to guard their southeastern frontier by a large force, perhaps not less than a million men, which were now set free to oppose the German attack in the north.
The world did not understand why Italy waited until May, 1915, before declaring war on Austria, but the reason was plain. Exhausted by their war in Tripoli the Italians had neither munitions nor food and their soldiers even lacked uniforms. It took nine months, therefore, to prepare for war. Another year passed before Italy could undertake to face Germany; for the Germans had so thoroughly honeycombed Italy's commerce, industry and finances that it took two years for the Italians to oust the Germans and to train men to replace them.
By these delays, which seemed to the outside world suspicious, Italy did another service. If she had plunged in prematurely as the Allies and her friends besought her to do she would have been speedily overwhelmed. Imagine what a blow that would have been to the Allied Cause, especially coming so early in the War. Her prudence saved Europe this disaster. Had Northern Italy become enslaved the Teutonic forces could have threatened France on the southeast, and with Genoa as a port they could have made the Mediterranean much more perilous for the Allied ships and transportation. It is not for the United States, a country of over one hundred million population, and yet checked if not intimidated by a small body of German plotters and their accomplices, to look scornfully on Italy's long deferred entrance into the War. The Pro-German element in Italy was relatively stronger than here and the elements which composed it—the Blacks, the Germanized financiers and business men, many nobles and the Vatican—openly opposed making war on the Kaiser. In spite of all these difficulties, in spite of the very great danger she ran, because if the Germans win they threaten to restore the Papal temporal power, and the Austrians, Italy stood by the Allies.
For her to be untrue tot he cause of Democracy would be almost unthinkable; the great men who made her a united nation were all in different ways apostles of Democracy. Mazzini was its preacher; Garibaldi fought for it on many fields, in South America, in Italy and in France; Victor Emmanuel was the first democratic sovereign in Europe in the nineteenth century; Cavour, beyond all other statesmen of his age, believed in Liberty, religious, social and political and applied it to his vast work of transforming thirty million Italians out of Feudalism, and the stunting effects of autocracy into a nation of democrats.
It was impossible also for Italy, the ancient home of Civilization, the mother of arts and refinement, to accept the standard of the Huns which the Germans embraced and imposed upon their allies. The conflict between the Germans and the Italians was instinctive, temperamental. For a thousand years it took the form of a struggle between the German Emperors and the Italian Popes for mastery. The Germans strove for political domination, for temporal power; the Italians strove, at least in ideal, in order that the spiritual should not be the vassal of the physical. It was soul force against brute force. Looking at it as deeply as possible we see that the Italians, a race sprung out of ancient culture, mightily affected but not denatured by Christianity, repudiated the Barbarian ideals of Teutonism. Men whose ancestors had worshiped Jupiter and Apollo, and who were themselves worshipping the Christian God, Madonna and the great saints, had no spiritual affinity with men whose ancestors could conceive of no Deities higher than Thor, Odin and the other rough, crude, and unmannered denizens of the Northern Walhalla. So Italy stood by Civilization. Her risk was great, but great shall be her guerdon in the approval of her own conscience and the gratitude of posterity.
[signed] William Roscoe Thayer
Sept. 1, 1917.
Al Generale Cadorna
"Io ho quel che ho donato."
Questo che in Te si compie anno di sorte, l'Italia l'alza in cima della spada mirando al segno; e la sua rossa strada ne brilla insino alle sue alpine porte. Tu tendi la potenza della morte come un arco tra il Vodice e l'Hermada; varchi l'Isonzo indomito ove guada la tua Vittoria col tuo pugno forte. Giovine sei, rinato dalla terra sitibonda, balzato su dal duro Carso col fiore dei tuio fanti imberbi. Questo, che in te si compie, anno di guerra splenda da te, avido del futuro, e al domani terribile ti serbi.
To General Cadorna On his 69th birthday, September 11, 1917
"What I have given, that have I"
This fateful year which thou fulfillest so, Our Italy, her cherisht goal in sight, Exalts upon her sword; and gleameth bright Her ruddy pathway to the gates of snow. The power of death thou bendest like a bow 'Twixt Vodice and bleak Hermada's height; And Victory, guided by thy hand of might, Thro' wild Isonzo forth doth fording go. Reborn from lands of drought, a youth art thou, Upheaved by rugged Carso suddenly With all the lads of thine advancing throng. This bloody year which thou fulfillest now, O may it, onward pressing, shine with thee And keep thee for the fearful morrow strong!
Poetical Version by
[signed] C.H. Grangent
The Voice of Italy
In the great turmoil of nations it rings with a tone peculiarly true: for Italy is the country that found herself confronted, at the outbreak of the great war, by perhaps the most perplexing situation of any of the present allies. If she had chosen to follow the way which lay open and easy before her, the war would have long since been decided in favor of the Central Powers. Italy had entered the Triple Alliance as a clean contract, for an honest defensive purpose. It was never intended for a weapon of aggression. When Austria and Germany decided upon the outrage to Serbia that was the cause of the conflagration, they did not consult Italy about it, knowing well that Italy would not have consented; in fact, would have denounced it to the world. But they hoped that by surprising her with the "fait accompli," she would have to yield and follow. Italy chose the long hard trail instead, incredibly long, inconceivably hard, but morally right, and it has been made clear once more in the history of humanity, that "Latin" and "barbaric" are two incompatible terms.
True enough, Italy felt in her own heart the cry of her long-oppressed children from Istria, the Trentino and Dalmatia ringing just as loud as that of the children of Belgium and the women of Serbia; but who can blame her if history had it so, that the sudden outrage on other nations was but the counterpart of the long-continued provocation to the Italian nationality, when in the Italian provinces subject to Austrian rule, the mere singing of a song in the mother-language brought women to jail and children to fustigation; and a bunch of white, red and green flowers might cause an indictment of high treason? National aspirations and international honor equally called forth to Italy, and Italy leaped forth in answer as soon as she could make her way clear to the fight. She took it up where the political pressure brought to bear upon her in the name of European peace in 1866 had compelled the fathers of the present leaders to retire from combat.
General Luigi Cadorna leads the offensive of 1917 where his father Count Raffaele Cadoran found it stopped by diplomatic arrangements in 1866; Garibaldi's nephew avenges on the Col di Lana his "obbedisco" from the Trentino; Francesco Pecori-Giraldi's son repels from Asiago the sons of those Austrians who wounded him at Montanara and imprisoned him at Mantova. Gabriele d'Annunzio, mature in years and wonderfully youthful in spirit, takes up the national ideals of the great master Giosue Carducci (who died before he could see the dream of his life realized with the reunion of Trento and Trieste, Istria and the Italian cities of Dalmatia, to the Motherland); and becomes the speaker of the nation expectant in Genoa and assembled in Rome to decree the end of the strain of Italian neutrality which has to its credit the magnificent rebellion to the unscrupulous intrigues of Prince von Bulow, and the releasing of five hundred thousand French soldiers from the frontier of Savoy to help in the battle of the Marne.
In D'Annunzio's "Virgins of the Rocks" the protagonist expresses his belief that oratory is a weapon of war, and that it should be unsheathed, so to speak, in all its brilliancy only with the definite view of rousing people to action. Surely no man ever had a better chance of wielding the brilliant weapon than D'Annunzio, in his triumphal progress through Italy during that fateful month of May, 1915, when he uttered against neutralism and pacifism, germanophilism and petty parliamentarism, the "quo usque tandem" of the newest Italy.
Nor can we forget how Premier Antonio Salandra in his memorable speech from the Capitol, expressed the living and the fighting spirit of Italy, a spirit of strength and humanity, when he said: "I cannot answer in kind the insult that the German chancellor heaps upon us: the return to the primordial barbaric stage is so much harder for us, who are twenty centuries ahead of them in the history of civilization." To support his, came the quiet utterances of Sonnino (whose every word is a statement of Italian right and a crushing indictment of Austro-German felony) "proclaiming still once the firm resolution of Italy, to continue to fight courageously with all her might, and at any sacrifice, until her most sacred national aspirations are fulfilled alongside with such general conditions of independence, safety and mutual respect between nations as can alone form the basis of a durable peace, and represent the very "raison d'etre" of the contract that binds us with our Allies."
This is the voice of right: the voice of victory which upholds it is registered frequently in the admirable war-bulletins of General Cadorna, than which nothing more Caesarian has been written in the Latin world since the days of Caesar. The simple words follow with which the taking of Gorizia was announced to the nation.
..."Trenches and dugouts have been found, full of enemy corpses: everywhere arms and ammunition and material of all kinds were abandoned by the routed opponent. Toward dusk, sections of the brigades Casale and Pavia, waded through the Isonzo, bridges having been destroyed by he enemy, and settled strongly on the left bank. A column of cavalry and 'bersaglieri ciclisti' was forthwith started in pursuit beyond the river."
Now, the voice of Italy is thundering down from the Stelvio to the sea, echoed by forty thousand shells a day on the contested San Gabriele: a mighty thing indeed, the voice of Italy at war; a thing of which all Italians may well feel proud. And yet, there is another thing of which they are perhaps even prouder in the depths of the national heart: the voice of the children of Italy "redeemed." All along the re-claimed land, from Darzo to Gorizia, sixteen thousand children of Italian speech and of Italian blood, for whom Italian schools and Italian teachers have been provided even under the increasing menace of the Austrian aircraft or gunfire, join daily and enthusiastically in the refrain which the soldiers of Italy are enforcing, but a few miles ahead:
"Va fuora d'Italia, va fuora ch'e' l'ora, va fuora d'Italia, va fuora, stranier!" [From the Inno di Garibaldi: "Get out of Italy, it's high time; get out of Italy, stranger, get out!"]
[signed] Amy Bernardy
Japan's Ideals and Her Part in the Struggle
The people of the world, whether engaged in open resistance to German rapacity, or as onlookers, do well to see, as indeed they have seen since its beginning, that modern civilization is at stake. On every continent, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and both the Americas, recognition of this great fact was instinctive. It was obvious everywhere that, if Germany with its sinister aims, shamelessly avowed, and its terrible methods, relentlessly carried out, was to prevail, all the progress that had been made out of her barbarism and savagery would not only be imperiled but lost.
It was clear that humanity would have to begin anew its weary struggle out of the difficulties it had slowly overcome. Everything of a high order that had been done from the beginning, under great, devoted, far-seeing religious leaders, and by unknown millions who had fought for liberty, would have to be given up. Recognition of the potency of peaceful methods in government and industry; the contribution of the individual to his own progress and that of mankind; the gradual triumph of an ordered freedom over tyranny and anarchy; all the achievements, that have gradually made the world over, would have had to be undertaken again, and that, too, without the free contribution from every quarter, which, in the varied history of men, had assured the one great triumph which is civilization. The dream of individual and national conquest—the cause of so much suffering and bloodshed—was again to be repeated. This attack has demanded thus far, as it will demand until the end, the united efforts of practically all the people of the earth in order to defeat this the most desperate attempt at conquest, undertaken under the most favorable conditions, and after the most perfect preparation known to history. If hesitation or treachery had arisen at any important point the well-laid plot would have succeeded.
Nothing in the history of Europe, or of all the peoples that sprang from it in other parts of the world, is more creditable to humanity than the united resistance which this attempt aroused. All that it meant was attacked without mercy or shame. Its religious teachings and practices, the result of many centuries of growth and experience were defied by one of the nations professing the same creed. Its political development, the result of a struggle under which industry, family, and social growth had proceeded in regular order was defied. Its humane policies were to be replaced by the dictates of might—mercilessly executed. Its small peoples were to be crushed, and its greater ones reduced to the status of vassals. In a word, all its civilization was to be thrown away.
But, at the first cry of alarm every threatened people rose as if by magic. No surprise was effective, no lack of preparation deterred, no peril brought hesitation. One by one, all jealousies were dissipated, all past differences were forgotten, the common danger was recognized, and they united, as humanity had never done before, in that resistance to German ambitions which the world now sees as its one great event, past or present.
If this threat to civilization was thus met by Europe how much more serious was the aspect which it presented to us in Japan! We were more than mere participators in this civilization. We had grafted upon our own life, old, balanced, remote, isolated, the creator of great traditions, the newer and different ideas of Europe, assimilating the best of them without losing these that were strong and potent among our own. They had been fused into our life and, in the process, had enabled us to make an enlarged contribution to human progress. We had become so much a part of the world that nothing in it was alien to us. We had always known, even from the earliest times, what out people were, what they meant and what they could do. We were in no wise ignorant of our own powers and achievements but this new knowledge was akin to the addition of a new sense.
When this threat against mankind came we also saw instinctively that it was even more of a peril to us than to Europe. We saw that civilization was not a thing of continents, or nations, or races, but of mankind, that in the evolution of human forces, men were one in purpose and need. If Europe was to be crushed, it was only a question of time until all that Europe had done for the world in America, or the Antipodes, or in the islands of the sea, would follow it. Then would come our turn, then all Asia would be thrown into tyranny's crucible, and the world must begin anew. It was not a mere diplomatic alliance that drew us into the contest. Our own struggles had not been those of aggression; but it was easy to see what ruthless conquest meant even if it seemed to be far away. Therefore, we acted promptly and we hope with efficiency and have since carried on the work in the sphere allotted to us by nature with a devotion that has never flagged. It has been our duty not to reason why, but to help in saving the world without bargains, or dickerings, or suggestions, thus bearing our part in the rescue of civilization from its perils.
As we see our duty, and the duty of the world, only one thing is left to do. It is to fight out this war which neither we nor any other people or nation, other than the aggressors, have sought. It must be fought to the end without wavering, without thought of national or individual advantages. The victors are to be victors for civilization and the world, not for themselves. The contest upon which we are unitedly engaged will not only end this war; upon its result will depend the extinction of all wars of aggression. No opportunity must ever come again for any nation or people, or any combination of nations or peoples, however, strong or numerous, to seek that universal domination shown by experience to be impossible, which, if it were possible, would mean the destruction of human progress.
We are proud to be associated with America as Allies in so great a cause. Our duty thus keeps pace with our obligation and both are guided by our highest desires. We, like you, have enlisted until the war is settled and settled right; you, like ourselves, have no favors to ask, both merely ask that they may live their own lives, settle their own problems, smooth out their common differences or difficulties, and do their best, along with all other peoples, to make the world a better, not a worse, place to live in.
[signed] K. Ishii
I Tropical Morning
In the mornings—Oh, the tropical mornings When the bells are all so dizzily calling one to prayer!— All my thought was to watch from a nook in my window Indian girls from the river with flowers in their hair.
Some bore Fresh eggs in wicker boxes For the grocery store; Others, baskets of fruit; and some, The skins of mountain cats and foxes Caught in traps at home.
They all passed so stately by, they all walked so gracefully, Balancing their bodies on lithe unstable hips, As if music moved them that swelled in their bosoms And was pizzicatti at their finger-tips.
II Tropical Rain
The rain, in Nicaragua, it is a witch they say; She puts the world into her bag and blows the skies away; And so, in every home, the little children gather, Run up like little animals and kneel beside the Mother, So frightened by the thunder that they can hardly pray.
"Sweet Jesu, you that stilled the storm in Galilee, Pity the homeless now, and the travelers by sea; Pity the little birds that have no nest, that are forlorn; Pity the butterfly, pity the honey bee; Pity the roses that are so helpless, and the unsheltered corn, And pity me...."
Then, when the rain is over and the children's prayer is said, Oh, joy of swaying palm-trees with the rainbows overhead, And the streets swollen like rivers, and the wet earth's smell, And all the ants with sudden wings filling the heart with wonder, And, afar, the tempest vanishing with a stifled thunder In a glare of lurid radiance from the gaping mouth of hell!
III Tropical Park
The park in Leon is but a garden Where grass and roses grow together; It has no ordinance, it has no warden Except the weather.
The paths are made of sand so fine That they are always smooth and neat; Sunlight and moonlight make them shine, And so one's feet
Seem always to tread on magic ground That gleams, and that whispers curiously, For sand, when you tread it, has the sound Of the sea.
Sometimes the band, of a warm night, Makes music in that little park, And lovers haunt, beyond the bright Foot-paths, the dark.
You can almost tell what they do and say Listening to the sound of the sand,— How warm lips whisper, and glances play, And hand seeks hand.
IV Tropical Town
Blue, pink and yellow houses, and, afar, The cemetery, where the green trees are.
Sometimes you see a hungry dog pass by, And there are always buzzards in the sky. Sometimes you hear the big cathedral bell, A blindman rings it; and sometimes you hear A rumbling ox-cart that brings wood to sell. Else nothing ever breaks the ancient spell That holds the town asleep, save, once a year, The Easter festival.... I come from there, And when I tire of hoping, and despair Is heavy over me, my thoughts go far, Beyond that length of lazy street, to where The lonely green trees and the white graves are.
V Tropical House
When the winter comes, I will take you to Nicaragua— You will love it there! you will love my home, my house in Nicaragua, So large and queenly looking, with a haughty air That seems to tell the mountains, the mountains of Nicaragua, "You may roar and you may tremble for all I care!"
It is shadowy and cool, Has a garden in the middle where fruit trees grow, And poppies, like a little army, row on row, And jasmine bushes that will make you think of snow They are so white and light, so perfect and so frail, And when the wind is blowing they fly and flutter so.
The bath is in the garden, like a sort of pool, With walls of honeysuckle and orchids all around; The humming birds are always making a sleep sound; In the night there's the Aztec nightingale; But when the moon is up, in Nicaragua, The moon of Nicaragua and the million stars, It's the human heart that sings, and the heart of Nicaragua, To the pleading, plaintive music of guitars!
[signed] Salomon De La Selva.
Latin America and the War
In common with many other parts of the world, even some of those immediately involved, Latin America received the outbreak of the European War with dismayed astonishment, with a feeling that it could not be true, with mental confusion as to the real causes and objects of the conflict. A survey of newspapers from Mexico to Cape Horn during August, 1914, to the end of that year shows plainly that for several months public opinion had not cleared up, that the conflict seemed to be a frightful blunder, a terrific misunderstanding, that might have been avoided, and for which no one nation in particular was to blame.
The deep love of Latin America for Latin Europe undoubtedly meant great sympathy for France; England, too, the great investor in and developer of South America, was watched with good feeling; but Germany has done much for Latin America commerce and shipping facilities, a work performed with skillfully regulated tact, and very many sections of the southern republics were loath to believe that a nation so friendly and so industriously commercial had deliberately planned the war.
But as time went on evidence accumulated; the martyrdom of Belgium and Northern France, the use of poisonous gas, the instigation of revolts in the colonies of the Entente Allies, the sinking of the "Lusitania," the shooting of Nurse Cavell, and above all the proofs of the enormous military preparations of Germany, slowly convinced Latin America that a great scheme had long been perfected; the book of Tannenburg which showed huge tracts of South America as part of the future world dominion of Germany was seen to be no crazy dream of an individual but the revelation of a widely held Teutonic ideal. Many incidents occurring in the United States and Canada, such as explosions and fires in factories of war materials, exposure of spies and diplomatic intrigue, demonstrated a callous abuse of American hospitality which the more southerly lands took to heart as lessons; their dawning perception of the network of German effort was further clarified by the floods of Teutonic propaganda which covered every Latin American Republic and which was in many instances speedily ridiculed by the keen-witted native press.
Frank in their expression of opinion, no sooner had Latin Americans resolved in their own minds the questions of responsibility for the war than they gave utterance to their opinions; journals avowed themselves pro-Ally, large subscriptions were raised in many sections for the relief of the European sufferers, particularly Belgium, and a number of young men joined the Entente armies. In Brazil, which was always supposed to have a German bias on account of her large German colonies, some of the foremost publicists and writers voluntarily formed the "Liga pelos Alliados" (League in favor of the Allies) with the famous orator, Ruy Barbosa, at its head, and the prince of Brazilian poets, Olavo Bilac, as one of its most active members; the League was organized early in 1915 and its meetings were characterized by the warmest pro-Ally utterances; many members of the Brazilian Congress joined it, and I never heard any Administrative protest on the score of neutrality.
Later in the same year Bilac, who is the object of fervent admiration, for Latin America often pays more attention to her poets than to her politicians, showed that he foresaw the entry of his country into the conflict by a passionate appeal to the youth of Brazil to fortify themselves with military discipline, in 1916 repeating his "call to arms" in a tour throughout that great country. By this time the whole of Latin America was lined up, the overwhelming mass of press and people declaring pro-Ally, and especially pro-French, sympathies, while the few ranged in the opposite camp generally had special reasons for their choice, consisting of some individual Germanic link. The fact of the prevalence of pro-Ally feeling, long before any of the American countries became politically aligned is, I think, a remarkable tribute to the response of Latin America to the weight of genuine evidence; no propaganda was made by any one of the Allied governments, and the solidification of public opinion was due to Latin American feeling and not to outside pressure.
When, in April of this year, the United States was driven to a breach with Germany on account of the torpedoing of her ships and loss of her citizens' lives, she was the greatest material sufferer from German submarine aggression; if Latin America in general maintained at that date, and still in some sections maintains, diplomatic relations with the Central Powers, it is largely because they have endured no specific injury at German hands. Few Latin American States possess a merchant marine traversing the sea danger zones. But the entry of the United States was regarded with warm approval; her cause was acknowledged to be just and the Latin American press reflects nothing but admiration for her step. The Republics of Cuba, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and in an informal manner, Costa Rica, as well as the more or less American-controlled Nicaragua, Haiti and Santo Domingo, quickly aligned themselves with the United States, with whose fortunes their own are closely connected.
Brazil, revoking her decree of neutrality in June, 1917, was perhaps influenced to some degree by the action of the United States, but she had her own specific reason in the sinking of three of her merchant vessels by German submarines; Brazil possesses an enterprising and good mercantile marine, has been carrying coffee and frozen meat to Europe during the war and her ships have thus been constantly exposed to risk. The sinking of her vessels raised a storm of anger, the popular voice warmly supporting the acts of the government. Nor is the alignment of Brazil a mere declaration; she has taken over the forty-six German and Austrian ships lying in her ports, and much of this tonnage, totaling 300,000 tons, is already in service after three years' idleness, two of the vessels having been handed over to the use of the Allies. Brazil is also taking over the patrol of a big strip of the south-western Atlantic with fifteen units of her excellent navy.
Bolivia was another South American country which quickly followed the United States in breaking relations with Germany, and this was done not because Bolivia had suffered at the hands of the Teutonic powers but because she "wishes to show her sympathy with the United States and felt it the duty of every democracy to ally itself with the cause of justice." With no coast and therefore no mercantile marine, Bolivia is however greatly interested in the shipments of rubber and minerals which she sends abroad and some of which have been sent to the bottom of the sea by torpedoes; her sympathies with the Entente Allies are undoubted.
On October 6 relations with Germany were broken by Peru, the determining factor being the torpedoing of the Peruvian vessel "Lorton;" on October 7 the National Assembly of Uruguay voted for a break with Germany, thus completing the attitude which she had frankly declared many months previously, when she protested against Germany's methods in submarine warfare. Paraguay, although still formally neutral, has expressed her sympathy with the United States.
Before I pass to a few quotations from Latin American sources on the subject of their spirit, it is well to look across the seas to the Mother Countries, whose sentiments and actions have more effect upon Latin America than is always remembered. There is, for instance, no doubt that the entry of Portugal into the war on the side of her ancient ally, England, profoundly affected the Brazilian mind; the friendship between England and Portugal dates from 1147, and an unbroken political treaty has lasted since 1386—the longest in history;
[An English poet wrote in the Fourteenth Century: "Portingallers with us have troth in hand Whose marchindise cometh much into England. They are our friends with their commodities And we English passen into their countries."]
Brazil as the child of Portugal inherited the English good feeling, her independence from the Mother Country was effected without any prolonged bitterness, and with the actual assistance of England. When, then, Brazil saw the people sprung from the cradle of her race fighting side by side with the ancient friend of both she was deeply stirred. Portuguese merchants prosper in large numbers in Brazil, Portuguese news daily fills space in the Brazilian newspapers; the cry of that great Portuguese, Theophilo Braga, found echoes in many a gallant Brazilian heart:
"And with what arms shall Portugal engage, So little as she is, in such great feats? They call on her to play a leading part Who know that in the Lusitanian heart Love beats!"
In a corresponding degree there seems to be little doubt that the neutral attitude which Spain has maintained is partly responsible for the neutrality of several South American countries; they do not forget the bloody years of struggle before they attained independence from Spain, but they are wise enough to differentiate between the policy of Ferdinand VII and the heart of Spain. Dr. Belisario Porras, the ex-President of Panama, and a distinguished scholar and writer said in May, 1917:
"For us of Central and South America, Iberianism is a matter of sentiment, affection and veneration, not a matter of politics. Spain is our Mother Country, whence we came, where the names we bear are also borne, where the memories and ashes of our ancestors are guarded, of whose deeds we are proud, whose tongue we speak, whose religion we share, whose heroic character and customs we admire.... Spain is our pole star, the star to which we raise our eyes when we are despairing and when we face a sacrifice for God, for a woman, a child, or our country."
Spain has had, of course, up to the present, no direct national injury to resent; she has on the other hand several reasons for remaining politically neutral and can at present do so with honor; although she is weak and poor, still exhausted by the long conflicts of her past, without resources, without any notable strength in army or navy, she is serving as an indispensable channel of communication. She, as well as many South American countries, can best aid the world by concentrating upon production; in addition to this, she is, in company with Holland, rendering excellent service in feeding unhappy Belgium, replacing American workers.
Spain is not intellectually neutral or unmindful of the effect of her attitude upon Latin America, and this is shown by the number of newspapers on the Allies' side, as "La Epoca" and "La Correspondencia de Espana." An immediate response was given to the pro-Ally utterances of the Conde de Romanones, who said on April 17:
"Spain is the depository of the spiritual patrimony of a great race. She has historical aspirations to preside over the moral confederation of all the nations of our blood, and this hope will be definitely destroyed if, at a moment so decisive for the future as this, Spain and her children are shown to be spiritually divorced."
If Spain fails in leadership the love of Latin America for France will be the more emphasized, is the conclusion one draws from the speeches and writings of Ibero-America. The degree to which South America feels herself involved in the fate of France is displayed in such dicta as this of Victor Viana, a Brazilian writer:
"In the great Latin family, France is the educator, the leader, the example, the pride. Thus Brazil, in common with all Latin countries, seeing in France the reservoir of mental energy, constantly renewed by her splendid intellectuals, has as much interest in the victory of French arms as France herself. The overthrow of France would have produced a generation of unbelievers and skeptics, and we, in another clime and a new country, should not have been able to escape this influence, because we share all the movements of French thought. The reaction of French energy which created the present generation spread throughout Brazil new sentiments of patriotism.... The entire world, except naturally the combatants on the other side, recognize the justice of the cause of France, which is the cause of all the other Allies, of Belgium which sacrificed herself, of England which pledges her all to save the right, of the United States, of the entire Americas."
While I have been writing these notes the political situation of Argentina in regard to the war has suddenly crystallized; extending over several months there has been a series of submarine attacks upon vessels of Argentina, indignant protests in each case being met by apologies and promises of indemnity on the part of Germany. There has been much irritation in spite of these promises, cumulative irritation, which however might have remained submerged had it not been for the revelations of the acts of Count Luxburg, which have made the expression "spurlos versekt" a byword. This exhibition of callous plotting against Argentine lives immediately resulted in the handing of passports to the German Ambassador to Argentina, and during the third week in September both houses of Congress voted by large majorities for a severance of relations with Germany. That this step was not, at the moment, consummated, was due to President Irigoyen's wish to accept the satisfaction offered by Germany; but the sentiments of Argentina as a whole have been fully demonstrated.
Their action plainly showed the temper of the Argentine people, who have certainly never been unsympathetic to the Entente Allies' cause although they have shown some restiveness under rather tactless attempts on the part of a section of the United States press to tutor them into line. The best thought of Argentina has all along been with the Allies and this is exemplified by an article, "Neutrality Impossible," widely published and applauded in June of this year by the brilliant Argentine writer and poet Leopoldo Lugones:
"Inevitably War knocks at our door. We are compelled to make a decision. Either we must respect the integrity of our past in the name of the American solidarity which is the law of life and honor for all the nations of the continent, revealing at the same time intelligence with regard to our own future, or we must submit ourselves, grossly cowardly, to the terrorism of despots."
The United States broke relations with Germany on April 6. On April 7 Dr. Jose Manuel Cortina, speaking before the Cuban House of Representatives, when the decree of war against Germany was passed, said:
"We have resolved to give our unanimous and definite consent to the proposition submitted to the House to declare a state of war between the Republic of Cuba and the German Empire, and to join, in this great conflagration of the world, our efforts to those of the United States of North America. We fight in this conflict, which will decide the trend of all morality and civilization in the universe, united tot he great republic which in a day not long distant drew her sword and fired her guns over Cuban fields and seas in battle for our liberty and sovereignty. We go to fight as brothers beside that great people who have been ever the friends and protectors of Cuba, who aided us during the darkest days of our tragic history, in moments when opposed by enormous strength, we had nearly disappeared from the face of the earth, when we had no other refuge, no other loyal and magnanimous friend than the great North American people."
Speech of the President of Haiti, M. Philippe Sudre Dartiguenave, on May 12, previous to Haiti's breach with Germany:
"What cause could be more holy than that defended at this moment, with unanimous and admirable enthusiasm by the people of the United States, by Cuba, by a great deal of Latin America, in moral cooperation with the Entente Powers! At Savannah, we fought with the soldiers of Washington for the independence of the country of Franklin, of Lincoln, of John Brown.... At the cry of distress of Bolivar, did we not throw ourselves into the South America's struggle for independence? The task before us in this supreme moment is worthy, glorious, because it is that of international justice, the liberty of nations, of civilization, of all Humanity."
As we have seen above, four of the Central American Republics have aligned themselves with the United States since her entry into the war, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras breaking off diplomatic relations with Germany very shortly after the definite action of the United States was known, the statement of Don Joaquin Mendez representing the prevalent feeling: "The rupture has aligned Guatemala 'ipso facto' with those who are the defenders of the modern ideas of democracy and freedom." Small in size and limited in resources, it is not likely that any active part will be taken by Central America in the war; she is removed from the most dangerous zones and will not suffer, it is to be hoped, more than the inevitable and temporary economic embarrassments due to dislocation of the world's industrial systems. But her spirit is reflected in such announcements as this notice from the front page of a little daily paper published in S. Pedro Sula, Honduras:
"This periodical is Latin and as such professes its sympathy in favor of the Allied nations now struggling so nobly in defense of Liberty with, as their aim, the establishment of a lasting peace which will render impossible the future development of schemes of conquest."
The position of Costa Rica, informally aligned with the Allies and the United States, is peculiar in that she cannot formalize her position until her new government has received the recognition of these countries. Don Ricardo Fernandez Guardia, the foremost writer of Costa Rica, says that, "The fact that we have offered the use of our ports, since April 9, 1917, to the navy of the United States, undoubtedly constitutes a breach of neutrality, and in consequence Costa Rica considers herself as enlisted in the ranks of the Allies 'de facto.' There is an overwhelming sentiment of sympathy with the Allies both on the part of the government and the great majority of the people of Costa Rica."
Panama, immediately following the news of the United States' breach with Germany, declared herself "ready to do all within her power to protect the Panama Canal"; Uruguay, although making no breach of relations with the Central Powers, supported United States action and denounced submarine warfare as carried on by Germany; Paraguay, too, expressed her sympathy with the United States which she said "was forced to enter the war to establish the rights of neutrals."
Thus the only Latin American nations which have rigidly preserved a neutral attitude are Mexico, whose own internal problems form an entirely sufficient reason; Ecuador, Venezuala and Colombia. They are still political neutrals, but no one who knows the Latin soul can doubt that there is in each of these lands a strong feeling of admiration for the vindication of Latin elasticity which France and Italy and Portugal have show, and for the dogged might of England whose naval skill has prevented the strangulation of the commerce of the world; in this matter all these lands are interested, since all are raw-material producers shipping their products abroad. This sentiment was concisely expressed by Ruy Barbosa, the Brazilian orator, when on August 5 the "Liga pelos Alliados" held a meeting of "homage to England" on the third anniversary of her entry into the war, and he declared it "an honor and pleasure to salute the great English nation to whom we owe in this war the liberty of the seas and the annihilation of German methods upon the ocean, without which European resistance to the German attack and the preservation of the independence of the American continent would be impossible."
Nothing would, I think, be more improper than that any nation should be urged to enter the war against her own feelings; but for those who have taken or may yet take that step there is one very high consideration which cannot be forgotten—the effect upon the national spirit of To-morrow of a gallant and decisive attitude Today. Who has more finely expressed this sense of the formation of the heritage of ideas than the modern Portuguese poet Quental?
Even as the winds the pinewood cones down cast Upon the ground and scatter by their blowing And one by one, down to the very last, The seeds along the mountain ridge are sowing. Even so, by winds of time, ideas are strewn Little by little, though none see them fly— And thus in all the fields of life are sown The vast plantations of posterity.
["Odes Modernas, by Anthero de Quental, translated by George Young.]
[signed] Lilian E. Elliott.
October 20, 1917.
Williams College, April, 1917
One! two, three, four! One! two, three, four! One, two!... It is hard to keep in time Marching through The rutted slime With no drum to play for you. One! two, three, four! And the shuffle of five hundred feet Till the marching line is neat.
Then the wet New England valley With the purple hills around Takes us gently, musically, With a kindly heart and willing, Thrilling, filling with the sound Of our drilling.
Battle fields are far away. All the world about me seems The fulfillment of my dreams. God, how good it is to be Young and glad to-day!
One! two, three, four! One, two, three!...
Now, as never before, From the vastness of the sky, Falls on me the sense of war. Now, as never before, Comes the feeling that to die Is no duty vain and sore. Something calls and speaks to me: Cloud and hill and stream and tree; Something calls and speaks to me, From the earth, familiarly. I will rise and I will go, As the rivers flow to sea, As the sap mounts up the tree That the flowers may blow— God, my God, All my soul is out of me!
God, my God, Your world is much too beautiful! I feel My senses melt and reel, And my heart aches as if a sudden steel Had pierced me through and through. I cannot bear This vigorous sweetness in your air; The sunlight smites me heavy blow on blow, My soul is black and blue And blind and dizzy. God, my mortal eyes Cannot resist the onslaught of your skies! I am no wind, I cannot rise and go Tearing in madness to the woods and sea; I am no tree, I cannot push the earth and lift and grow; I am no rock To stand unmovable against this shock. Behold me now, a too desirous thing, Passionate lover of your ardent Spring, Held in her arms too fast, too fiercely pressed Against her thundering breast That leaps and crushes me!
One! two, three, four! One! two, three, four! One, two, three!...
So it shall be In Flanders or in France. After a long Winter of heavy burdens and loud war, I will forget, as I do now, all things Except the perfect beauty of the earth. Strangely familiar, I will hear a song, As I do now, above the battle roar, That will set free my pent imaginings And quiet all surprise. My body will seem lighter than the air, Easier to sway than a green stalk of corn; Heaven shall bend above me in its mirth With flutter of blue wings; And singing, singing, as to-day it sings, The earth will call to me, will call and rise And take me to its bosom there to bear My mortal-feeble being to new birth Upon a world, this world, like me reborn, Where I shall be Alive again and young again and glad and free.
One! two, three, four! One! two, three, four! One, two, three!...
All the world about me seems The fulfillment of my dreams.
[signed] Salomon De La Selva.
The People's Struggle
"Let no free country be alien to the freedom of another country."
"Portugal is going solemnly to affirm on the field of battle her adhesion to this precept, though uttered by German lips. In defense of it, Portuguese will fight side by side with Englishmen, as they fought with them at Aljubarrota, side by side with Frenchmen, who fought with them at Montes Claros. Were it necessary to appeal to a motive less disinterested than the noble ideal proclaimed by Schiller, we have this: the payment of an ancient debt to which our honor binds us. Let us go forward to defend territories of those who defended ours, let us maintain the independence of nations who contributed to the salvation of our own independence.
"But the objective is a higher one, I repeat. This has been made quite clear within the last few months, through the revolution in Russia, the participation of the United States, and the solidarity, more or less effective, of all the democracies. It is the people's struggle for right, for liberty, for civilization against the dark forces of despotism and barbarism. Portugal would betray her historic mission were she now to fold her arms, the arms which discovered worlds. When the earth was given to man, it was not that it should be peopled by slaves. The sails of Portuguese ships surrounded the globe like a diadem of stars, not as a collar of darkness to strangle it."
Henrique Lopes De Mendonca
of the Academy of Science of Lisbon, speaking at Lisbon in May, 1917.
Translation by L. E. Elliott.
Lisbon, 18th August, 1917
I have received your letter of August 2nd, in which you ask me, as representing Portugal, to send a message to the American people to be printed in the book "Defenders of Democracy," and state that a distinguished Portuguese official has been good enough to mention my name to you as that of "an authoritative writer on Portuguese affairs."
I am sensible of the honor done me, but not being a citizen of Portugal, I dare not presume to speak for that country.
A foreigner however, with friends in both the camps in which Portuguese society is divided, may perhaps be able to state some facts unknown to the American public and of interest at the present time.
And first let me remark that the entry of America into the war, which is a pledge of victory for the Allies, has been a surprise and a relief to the Portuguese, who are by nature pessimists. We Anglo-Saxons are considered to be mainly guided in our conduct by material considerations—did not Napoleon call the English "a nation of shopkeepers"?—and the saying "Time is money" is frequently quoted against us; hence hardly any Portuguese imagined that America would abandon the neutrality which seemed commercially profitable, and even after the decision had been taken, few though that the United States were capable of raising a large army and of transporting it overseas.
Now that America and Portugal are fighting side by side, in a common cause, it is well that they should understand one another. For all their differences of race, religion and language, their ideas are similar. The Portuguese being kindly, easy-going folk, hate militarism and the reign of brute force which is identified with German "Kultur." As they prize their independence and know their weakness, both inclination and necessity lead them to the side of the powers who may be supposed to favor the continuance of their separate existence and the retention by them of their colonies; as they have a keen sense of justice, and respect their engagements, they feel and have shown their sympathy with violated and outraged Belgium and with the other victims of German aggression. Why then, it may be asked, did they not support whole-heartedly the Government of the Republic when it determined to take part in the war? The answer is simple.
They felt that their first duty was to protect their colonies, threatened by the enemy, and that in a war where the combatants are counted by millions, the small contingent that Portugal could furnish would be of little weight on the battlefields of Europe. Unless treaty obligations and considerations of honor forced them to be belligerents, they considered that as Portugal was poor and had relatively to population almost the heaviest public debt of any European Country, they ought to remain neutral—that this view was mistaken is daily becoming clearer to them, thanks in part to the propaganda of the Catholic paper "Ordem" and the official Monarchist journal "Diario Nacional," which have insisted as strongly as the Republican press on the necessity of Portuguese participation in the war, in accord with her ancient traditions. He who risks nothing, gains nothing. By her present heavy sacrifices for a great ideal, Portugal wins a fresh title to universal consideration, and by helping to vanquish Germany she defends her oversea patrimony, which the Germans proposed to annex.
I have said that the ideas of the United States and Portugal are similar. But the pressing needs of Portugal are a competent administration, public order and social discipline, which Germany possesses to a remarkable degree, and admiration of these has laid Portuguese Conservatives open to the charge of being pro-German. Many of them judge from experience that the desiderata I refer to cannot be secured in a democracy, while a few of them have gone so far as to desire a German triumph, because they foolishly thought that the Kaiser would restore the monarchy. None of them, I think, sympathize with German methods; but they have suffered from a century of revolutions, dating from 1820, and attribute these disasters to the anti-Christian ideas of the French Revolution. In America that great movement had beneficent results, as I understand, which only shows that one man's drink is another's poison.
Divergent ideals and other considerations led Portuguese Conservatives to throw their influence into the scale in favor of neutrality, but now that their country is at war they have accepted the fact and can be trusted to do their duty. At the front political and other differences are forgotten and the soldiers, whatever their creed, are honoring the warlike traditions of their race and reminding us of the days when Wellington spoke of Portuguese troops as the "fighting-cocks" of his army.
By organizing with great efforts and sending a properly trained and equipped expeditionary force to France, the Government of the Republic has deserved well of the country and the Allies, and I believe that it has unconsciously been the agent of Divine Providence. The men, when they return will bring with them a firmer religious faith, the foundation of national well-being, and a higher standard of conduct than prevails here at present; they may well prove the regenerators of a land which all who know it learn to love, a land, the past achievements of whose sons in the cause of Christianity and civilization are inscribed on the ample page of history. Portugal which produced so many saints and heroes, which founded the sea road to India and discovered and colonized Brazil, cannot be allowed longer to vegetate, for this in the case of a country means to die.
[signed] Edgar Prestage
A Serbian politician, conversing with a traveler from Western Europe, mentioned the words "a nice national balance;" and when the other, bored to death with the everlasting wrangle of the turbulent Balkans, tried to lead the conversation to Shakespeare and the Musical Glasses, away from Macedonia and Albania and "komitadjis" and Kotzo-Vlachs, the Serbian remarked with a laugh that the nice national balance of which he was speaking was not political, but economic and social.
"You see," he said, "we Serbians are born peasants, born agriculturists, men of the glebe and the plow. The Roumanian, on the other hand, is a born financier. Gold comes to his hand like fish to bait. He comes to Serbia to make money—and he makes it."
"But," said the Western European, "isn't that rather hard on the Serbian?"
"No! Not a bit! For it is the young Serbian who marries the Roumanian's daughter, and the young Serbian girl who marries the Roumanian's son. Thus the Serbian money, earned by the Roumanian, is still kept in the country. You know," he added musingly, "the Roumanians are a singularly handsome, a singularly engaging people. I myself married a Roumanian."
"A rich Roumanian's daughter, I suppose?"
"Heavens, no! A poor girl."
And he added with superb lack of logic:
"Who wouldn't marry a Roumanian—be she rich—OR poor!"
WHO WOULDN'T MARRY A ROUMANIAN?
The secret of the Balkans is contained in that simple rhetoric question.
For, clear away from the days when the Slavs made their first appearance in Southern Europe and, crossing the Danube, came to settle on the great, green, rolling plain between the river and the jagged frowning Balkan Mountains, the proceeded southwards and formed colonies among the Thraco-Illyrians, the Roumanians, and the Greeks, to the days of Michael the Brave who drove the Turks to the spiked gates of Adrianople and freed half the peninsula for a span of years; from the days when gallant King Mirtsched went down to glorious defeat amongst the Osmanli yataghans to the final day when the Russian Slav liberated the Roumanian Latin from the Turkish yoke, the Roumanian has held high the torch of civilization and culture.