WITH ACCOMPANYING NOTES BY WELL-KNOWN ENGLISH WRITERS
WITH AN APPRECIATION FROM H. H. ASQUITH, PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND
GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1916
Copyright, 1916, by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.
LIST OF CARTOONS AND THE DESCRIPTIVE NOTES PAGE PORTRAIT OF LOUIS RAEMAEKERS INTRODUCTION Francis Stopford AN APPRECIATION FROM THE PRIME MINISTER H. H. Asquith CHRISTENDOM AFTER TWENTY CENTURIES Francis Stopford 8 A STABLE PEACE Eden Phillpotts 10 THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS E. Charles Vivian 12 BERNHARDIISM Hilaire Belloc 14 FROM LIEGE TO AIX-LA-CHAPELLE Francis Stopford 16 SPOILS FOR THE VICTORS Hilaire Belloc 18 THE VERY STONES CRY OUT Bernard Vaughan, S. J. 20 SATAN'S PARTNER G. K. Chesterton 22 THROWN TO THE SWINE The Dean of St. Paul's 24 THE LAND MINE Herbert Warren 26 "FOR YOUR MOTHERLAND" Eden Phillpotts 28 THE GERMAN LOAN E. Charles Vivian 30 EUROPE, 1916 G. K. Chesterton 32 THE NEXT TO BE KICKED OUT—DUMBA'S MASTER Arthur Pollen 34 THE FRIENDLY VISITOR H. DeVere Stacpoole 36 "TO YOUR HEALTH, CIVILIZATION!" The Dean of St. Paul's 38 FOX TIRPITZ PREACHING TO THE GEESE Herbert Warren 40 THE PRISONERS Eden Phillpotts 42 IT'S UNBELIEVABLE Hilaire Belloc 44 KREUZLAND, KREUZLAND UeBER ALLES The Dean of St. Paul's 38 THE EX-CONVICT Hilaire Belloc 48 MISS CAVELL G. K. Chesterton 50 THE HOSTAGES John Oxenham 52 KING ALBERT'S ANSWER TO THE POPE E. Charles Vivian 54 THE GAS FIEND Eden Phillpotts 56 THE GERMAN TANGO John Buchan 58 THE ZEPPELIN TRIUMPH W. L. Courtney 60 KEEPING OUT THE ENEMY H. DeVere Stacpoole 62 THE GERMAN OFFER Hilaire Belloc 64 THE WOLF TRAP Herbert Warren 66 AHASUERUS II John Buchan 68 OUR CANDID FRIEND The Dean of St. Paul's 70 PEACE AND INTERVENTION Boyd Cable 72 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD H. DeVere Stacpoole 74 THE SEA MINE Arthur Pollen 76 "SEDUCTION" G. K. Chesterton 78 MURDER ON THE HIGH SEAS Arthur Pollen 80 AD FINEM John Oxenham 82 "U'S" Arthur Pollen 84 MATER DOLOROSA Eden Phillpotts 86 "GOTT STRAFE ITALIEN!" Ralph D. Blumenfeld 88 SERBIA Sir Sidney Lee 90 "JUST A MOMENT—I'M COMING" Boyd Cable 92 THE HOLY WAR Boyd Cable 94 "GOTT MIT UNS" Eden Phillpotts 96 THE WIDOWS OF BELGIUM The Dean of St. Paul's 98 THE HARVEST IS RIPE William Mitchell Ramsay 100 "UNMASKED" Boyd Cable 102 THE GREAT SURPRISE G. K. Chesterton 104 THOU ART THE MAN! John Oxenham 106 SYMPATHY Ralph D. Blumenfeld 108 THE REFUGEES Joseph Thorp 110 "THE JUNKER" Clive Holland 112 "AU MILIEU DE FANTOMES TRISTES ET SANS NOMBRE" Alice Meynell 114 BLUEBEARD'S CHAMBER William Mitchell Ramsay 116 THE RAID Arthur Pollen 118 BETTER A LIVING DOG THAN A DEAD LION Arthur Shadwell 120 "THE BURDEN OF THE INTOLERABLE DAY" William Mitchell Ramsay 122 EAGLE IN HEN-RUN Boyd Cable 124 THE FUTURE Sidney Lee 126 CHRIST OR ODIN? Bernard Vaughan 128 FERDINAND Edmund Gosse 130 JUGGERNAUT John Oxenham 132 MICHAEL AND THE MARKS W. M. J. Williams 134 THEIR BERESINA John Oxenham 136 NEW PEACE OFFERS W. L. Courtney 138 THE SHIELDS OF ROSSELAERE William Mitchell Ramsay 140 THE OBSTINACY OF NICHOLAS Joseph Thorp 142 THE ORDER OF MERIT Ralph D. Blumenfeld 144 THE MARSHES OF PINSK Alice Meynell 146 GOD WITH US John Buchan 148 FERDINAND THE CHAMELEON G. K. Chesterton 150 THE LATIN SISTERS Horace Annesley Vachell 152 MISUNDERSTOOD Joseph Thorp 154 PROSPERITY REIGNS IN FLANDERS Cecil Chesterton 156 THE LAST HOHENZOLLERN E. Charles Vivian 158 PIRACY Arthur Pollen 160 "WEEPING, SHE HATH WEPT" Father Bernard Vaughan 162 MILITARY NECESSITY Eden Phillpotts 164 LIBERTE! LIBERTE, CHERIE! John Oxenham 166 I—"A KNAVISH PIECE OF WORK" George Birdwood 168 II—"SISYPHUS,—HIS STONE" George Birdwood 170 CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS A. Shadwell 172 PALLAS ATHENE Herbert Warner 174 THE WONDERS OF CULTURE Clive Holland 176 FOLK WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND THEM Bernard Vaughan 178 ON THE WAY TO CALAIS Eden Phillpotts 180 VON BETHMANN-HOLLWEG AND TRUTH Herbert Warren 182 VAN TROMP AND DE RUYTER Arthur Pollen 184 WAR AND CHRIST Cecil Chesterton 186 BARBED WIRE E. Charles Vivian 188 THE HIGHER POLITICS Boyd Cable 190 THE LOAN GAME W. M. J. Williams 192 A WAR OF RAPINE E. Charles Vivian 194 THE DUTCH JUNKERS A. Shadwell 196 THE WAR MAKERS John Oxenham 198 THE CHRISTMAS OF KULTUR A. Shadwell 200 SERBIA Horace Annesley Vachell 202 THE LAST OF THE RACE Arthur Pollen 204 THE CURRICULUM W. M. J. Williams 206 THE DUTCH JOURNALIST TO HIS BELGIAN CONFRERE G. K. Chesterton 208 A BORED CRITIC Eden Phillpotts 210 "THE PEACE WOMAN" Clive Holland 212 THE SELF-SATISFIED BURGHER W. L. Courtney 214 THE DECADENT John Oxenham 216 LIQUID FIRE Clive Holland 218 NISH AND PARIS Sidney Lee 220 GOTT STRAFE ENGLAND! Cecil Chesterton 222 THE PACIFICIST KAISER Sidney Lee 224 DINANT W. R. Inge 226 "HESPERIA" (WOUNDED FIRST) H. DeVere Stacpoole 228 GALLIPOLI G. K. Chesterton 230 THE BEGINNING OF THE EXPIATION G. K. Chesterton 232 THE SHIRKERS Sidney Lee 234 ONE OF THE KAISER'S MANY MISTAKES John Oxenham 236 BELGIUM IN HOLLAND Edmund Gosse 238 SERBIA William Mitchell Ramsay 240 JACKALS IN THE POLITICAL FIELD Herbert Warren 242 A LETTER FROM THE GERMAN TRENCHES Cecil Chesterton 244 HIS MASTER'S VOICE A. Shadwell 246 HUN GENEROSITY Horace Annesley Vachell 248 EASTER, 1915 G. K. Chesterton 250 PAN GERMANICUS AS PEACE MAKER Alfred Stead 252 GOTT MIT UNS Cecil Chesterton 254 OUR LADY OF ANTWERP W. L. Courtney 256 DEPORTATION Cecil Chesterton 258 THE GERMAN BAND John Oxenham 260 ARCADES AMBO Horace Annesley Vachell 262 "IS IT YOU, MOTHER?" Sidney Lee 264 THE FATE OF FLEMISH ART AT THE HANDS OF KULTUR Arthur Morrison 266 THE GRAVES OF ALL HIS HOPES H. DeVere Stacpoole 268 "MY SIXTH SON IS NOW LYING HERE—WHERE ARE YOURS?" H. DeVere Stacpoole 270 BUNKERED W. R. Inge 272 GOTT STRAFE VERDUN W. R. Inge 274 THE LAST THROW E. Charles Vivian 276 THE ZEPPELIN BAG Clive Holland 278 "COME IN, MICHAEL, I HAVE HAD A LONG SLEEP" Horace Annesley Vachell 280 FIVE ON A BENCH G. K. Chesterton 282 WHAT ABOUT PEACE, LADS? W. R. Inge 284 THE LIBERATORS Joseph Thorp 286 TOM THUMB AND THE GIANT E. Charles Vivian 288 "WE HAVE FINISHED OFF THE RUSSIANS" E. Charles Vivian 290 MUDDLE THROUGH Clive Holland 292 MY ENEMY IS MY BEST FRIEND William Mitchell Ramsay 294 HOW I DEAL WITH THE SMALL FRY Clive Holland 296 THE TWO EAGLES A. Shadwell 298 LONDON INSIDE THE SAVOY E. Charles Vivian 300 LONDON OUTSIDE THE SAVOY E. Charles Vivian 302 THE INVOCATION A. Shadwell 304
Louis Raemaekers will stand out for all time as one of the supreme figures which the Great War has called into being. His genius has been enlisted in the service of mankind, and his work, being entirely sincere and untouched by racial or national prejudice, will endure; indeed, it promises to gain strength as the years advance. When the intense passions, which have been awakened by this world struggle, have faded away, civilization will regard the war largely through these wonderful drawings.
* * * * *
Before the war had been in progress many weeks the cartoons in the Amsterdam Telegraaf attracted attention in the capitals of Europe, many leading newspapers reproducing them. The German authorities, quick to realize their full significance, did all in their power to suppress them. Through German intrigue Raemaekers has been charged in the Dutch Courts with endangering the neutrality of Holland—and acquitted. A price has been set on his head, should he ever venture over the border.
When he crossed to England, his wife received anonymous post-cards, warning her that his ship would certainly be torpedoed in the North Sea. The Cologne Gazette, in a leading article on Holland, threatens that country that "after the War Germany will settle accounts with Holland, and for each calumny, for each cartoon of Raemaekers, she will demand payment with the interest that is due to her." Not since Saul and the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah fighting with the Philistines has so unexpected a champion arisen. With brush and pencil this Dutch painter will do even as David did with the smooth stone out of the brook: he will destroy the braggart Goliath, who, strong in his own might, defies the forces of the living God.
When Mr. Raemaekers came to London in December, he was received by the Prime Minister, and was entertained at a complimentary luncheon by the Journalists of the British capital. Similar honour was conferred on him on his second visit. He was the guest of honour at the Savage Club; the Royal Society of Miniature Painters elected him an Honorary Member. But it has been left to France to pay the most fitting recognition to his genius and to his services in the cause of freedom and truth. The Cross of the Legion of Honour has been presented to him, and on his visit to Paris this month a special reception is to be held in his honour at La Sorbonne, which is the highest purely intellectual reward Europe can confer on any man.
* * * * *
The great Dutch cartoonist is now in his forty-seventh year. He was born in Holland, his father, who is dead, having been the editor of a provincial newspaper. His mother, who is still alive and exceedingly proud of her son's fame, is a German by birth, but rejoices that she married a Dutchman. Mr. Raemaekers, who is short, fair, and of a ruddy countenance, looks at least ten years younger than his age. He took up painting and drawing when quite young and learnt his art in Holland and in Brussels. All his life he has lived in his own country, but with frequent visits to Belgium and Germany, where, through his mother, he has many relations. Thus he knows by experience the nature of the peoples whom he depicts.
For many years he was a landscape painter and a portrait painter, and made money and local reputation. Six or seven years ago he turned his attention to political work, and became a cartoonist and caricaturist on the staff of the Amsterdam Telegraaf, thus opening the way to a fame which is not only world-wide but which will endure as long as the memory of the Great War lasts. His ideas come to him naturally and without effort. Suggestions do not assist him; they hinder him when he endeavours to act on them. He is an artist to his finger-tips and throws the whole force of his being into his work. Some years ago he married a Dutch lady, who is devoted to music, and they have three children, two girls and a boy (the youngest); the eldest is now twelve. Very happy in his home, Mr. Raemaekers has no ambitions outside it, except to go on with his work. A Teuton paper has declared that Raemaekers' cartoons are worth at least two Army Corps to the Allies.
The strong religious tendency which so often distinguishes his work makes one instinctively ask to what Church does the artist belong. He replies that he belongs to none, but was brought up a Catholic, and his wife a Protestant, and the differences which in later life severed each from their early teaching caused them to meet on common ground. But the intense Christian feeling of these drawings is beyond cavil or dispute: they again and again bring home to the heart the vital truths of the Faith with irresistible force, and the artist ever expresses the Christianity, not perhaps of the theologian, but of the honest and kindly man of the world.
Praise has been bestowed upon his work by several German papers—qualified praise. The Leipziger Volkszeitung has declared that Raemaekers' cartoons show unimpeachable art and great power of execution, but that they all lack one thing. They have no wit, no spirit. Which is true—in a sense. They do lack wit—German wit; they do lack spirit—German spirit. And what German wit and German spirit may be one can comprehend by a study of Raemaekers' cartoons.
* * * * *
It has been well said that no man living amidst these surging seas of blood and tears has come nearer to the role of Peacemaker than Raemaekers. The Peace which he works for is not a matter of arrangement between diplomatists and politicians: it is the peace which the intelligence and the soul of the Western world shall insist on in the years to be. God grant it be not long delayed, but it can only come when the enemy is entirely overthrown and the victory is overwhelming and complete.
Empire House, FRANCIS STOPFORD, Kingsway, London. Editor, Land and Water. February, 1916.
AN APPRECIATION FROM THE PRIME MINISTER Downing Street, Whitehall, S. W.
Mr. Raemaekers' powerful work gives form and colour to the menace which the Allies are averting from the liberty, the civilization, and the humanity of the future. He shows us our enemies as they appear to the unbiassed eyes of a neutral, and wherever his pictures are seen determination will be strengthened to tolerate no end of the war save the final overthrow of the Prussian military power.
Signed H. H. ASQUITH.
CHRISTENDOM AFTER TWENTY CENTURIES
These pictures, with their haunting sense of beauty and their biting satire, might almost have been drawn by the finger of the Accusing Angel. As the spectator gazes on them the full weight of the horrible cruelty and senseless futility of war overwhelms the soul, and, sinking helplessly beneath it, he feels inclined to assume the same attitude of despair as is shown in "Christendom After Twenty Centuries."
"War is war," the Germans preached and practised, and no matter how clement and correct may be the humanity of the Allies, we realize through these pictures what the human race has to face and endure once peace be broken. Is "Christendom After Twenty Centuries" to be even as Christianity was in the first century—an excuse for the perpetration of mad cruelties by degenerate Caesars or Kaisers (spell it as you will) at their games? Cannot the higher and finer attributes of mankind be developed and strengthened without this apparently needless waste of agony and life? Is human nature only to be redeemed through the Cross, and must Calvary bear again and again its heavy load of human anguish?
One cannot escape from this inner questioning as one gazes on Raemaekers' cartoons.
A STABLE PEACE
Were I privileged to have a hand at the Peace Conference, my cooperation would take the part of deeds and I should only ask to hang the walls of the council chamber with life-size reproductions of Raemaekers in blood-red frames. For human memory is weak, and as mind of man cannot grasp the meaning of a million, so may it well fail to keep steadily before itself the measure of Belgium—the rape and murder, the pillage and plunder, the pretences under which perished women and priests and children, the brutal tyranny—the left hand that beckoned in friendly fashion, the right hand, hidden with the steel.
We can very safely leave France to remember Northern France and Russia not to forget Poland; but let Belgium and Serbia be at the front of the British mind and conscience; let her lift her eyes to these scorching pictures when Germany fights with all her cunning for a peace that shall leave Prussia scotched, not killed.
Already one reads despondent articles, that the English tradition, to forgive and forget, is going to wreck the peace; and students of psychology fear that within us lie ineradicable qualities that will save the situation for Germany at the end.
To suspect such a national weakness is surely to arm against it and see that our contribution to the Peace Conference shall not stultify our contribution to the War.
The Germans have been kite-flying for six months, to see which way the wind blows; and when the steady hurricane broke the strings and flung the kites headlong to earth, those who sent them up were sufficiently proclaimed by their haste to disclaim.
But when the actual conditions are created and the new "Scrap of Paper" comes to light, since German honour is dead and her oath in her own sight worthless, let it be worthless in our sight also, and let the terms of peace preclude her power to perjure herself again. Make her honest by depriving her of the strength to be dishonest. There is only one thing on earth the German will ever respect, and that is superior force. May Berlin, therefore, see an army of occupation; and may "peace" be a word banished from every Allied tongue until that preliminary condition of peace is accomplished, and Germany sees other armies than her own.
Reason has been denied speech in this war; but if she is similarly banished from the company of the peace-makers, then woe betide the constitution of the thing they will create, for a "stable peace" must be the very last desire of those now doomed to defeat.
THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS
Some "neutrals," and even some of the people here in England, still doubt the reality of the German atrocities in Belgium, but Raemaekers has seen and spoken with those to whom the scene depicted in this cartoon is an ugly reality. One who would understand it to the full must visualize the hands behind the thrusting rifle butts, and the faces behind the hands, as well as the praying, maddened, despairing, vengeful women of the picture—and must visualize, too, the men thrust back another way, to wait their fate at the hands of these apostles of a civilization of force.
Yet even then full realization is impossible; the man whose pencil has limned these faces has only caught a far-off echo of the reality, and thus we who see his picture are yet another stage removed from the full horror of the scene that he gives us. Not on us, in England, have the rifle butts fallen; not for us has it chanced that we should be shepherded "men to the right, women to the left"; not ours the trenched graves and the extremity of shame. Thus it is not for us to speak, as the people of Belgium and Northern France will speak, of the limits of endurance, and of war's last terrors imposed on those whom war should have passed by and left untouched. We gather, dimly and with but a tithe of the feeling that experience can impart, that these extremities of shame and suffering have been imposed on a people that has done no wrong, and we may gain some slight satisfaction from the thought that to this nation is apportioned a share in the work of vengeance on the criminals.
E. CHARLES VIVIAN.
It is the most bestial part of this most bestial thing that it is calculated and a matter of orders. The private soldier takes his share of the loot, and is generally the instrument of the cold and ordered killing; but it is the officer-class which most profits in goods, and it is the higher command which dictates the policy. It was so in 1870. It is much more so to-day.
This note of calculation is particularly to be seen in the fluctuations through which that policy has passed. When the enemy was absolutely certain of victory, outnumbering the invader by nearly two to one and sweeping all before him, we had massacres upon massacres: Louvain, Aerschot, the wholesale butchery of Dinant, the Lorraine villages (and in particular the hell of Guebervilliers). Even at the very extremity of his tide of invasion, and in the last days of it, came the atrocities and destruction of Sermaize. In the very act of the defeat which has pinned him and began the process of his destruction he was attempting yet a further repetition of these unnameable things at Senlis under the very gates of Paris.
Then came the months when he felt less secure. The whole thing was at once toned down by order. Pillage was reduced to isolated cases, and murder also. Few children suffered.
A recovery of confidence throughout his Eastern successes last summer renewed the crimes. Poland is full of them, and the Serbian land as well.
In general, you have throughout these months of his ordeal a regular succession, of excess in vileness when he is confident, of restraint in it when he is touched by fear.
This effect of fear upon the dull soul is a characteristic familiar to all men who know their Prussian from history, particularly the wealthier governing classes of Prussia. It is a characteristic which those who are in authority during this war will do well to bear in mind. Properly used, that knowledge may be made an instrument of victory.
FROM LIEGE TO AIX-LA-CHAPELLE
Moreover, by the means of Wisdom I shall obtain immortality, and leave behind me an everlasting memorial to them that come after me.
"I shall set the people in order, and the nations shall be subject unto me.
"Horrible tyrants shall be afraid, when they do but hear of me; I shall be found good among the multitude, and valiant in war." (Wisdom viii. 13, 14, 15.)
* * * * *
Wisdom and Wisdom alone could have painted this terrible picture the most terrible perhaps which Raemaekers has ever done and yet the simplest. That he should have dared to leave almost everything to the imagination of the beholder is evidence of the wonderful power which he exercises over the mind of the people. Each of us knows what is in that goods-van and we shudder at its hideous hidden freight, fearing lest it may be disclosed before our eyes. Wisdom is but another name for supreme genius. So apposite are the verses which are quoted here from "The Wisdom of Solomon" in the "Apocrypha" that they seem almost to have been written on Louis Raemaekers.
Moreover, this picture brings home to all of us in the most forcible manner possible the full reality of the horror of war.
SPOILS FOR THE VICTORS
The feature that will stamp Prussian War forever, and make this group of campaigns stand out from all others, is the character of its murder and pillage.
Of all the historical ignorance upon which the foolish Pacifist's case is founded, perhaps the worst is the conception that these abominations are the natural accompaniment of war. They have attached to war when war was ill organised in type. But the more subject to rule it has become, the more men have gloried in arms, the more they have believed the high trade of soldier to be a pride, the more have they eliminated the pillage of the civilian and the slaughter of the innocent from its actions. Those things belong to violent passion and to lack of reason. Modern war and the chivalric tradition scorned them.
The edges of the Germanies have, in the past, been touched by the chivalric tradition: Prussia never. That noblest inheritance of Christendom never reached out so far into the wilds. And to Germany, now wholly Prussianized—which will kill us or which we shall kill—soldier is no high thing, nor is their any meaning attached to the word "Glorious." War is for that State a business: a business only to be undertaken with profit against what is certainly weaker; to be undertaken without faith and with a cruelty in proportion to that weakness. In particular it must be a terror to women, to children, and to the aged—for these remain unarmed.
This country alone of the original alliance has been spared pillage. It has not been spared murder. But this country, though the process has perhaps been more gradual than elsewhere, is very vividly alive to-day to what would necessarily follow the presence of German soldiery upon English land.
THE VERY STONES CRY OUT
If the highly organized enemy with whom we are at grips in a life-and-death struggle would only play the war game in accordance with the rules drawn up by civilized peoples, he would, indeed, command our admiration no less than our respect. Never on this earth was there such a splendid fighting machine as that "made in Germany." The armies against us are the last word in discipline, fitness, and equipment; and are led by men who, born in barracks, weaned on munitions, have but one aim and end in view "World-Dominion or Downfall."
As a matter of fact, instead of winning our admiration they have drawn our detestation. Not content with brushing aside all international laws of warfare, they have trampled upon every law, human and divine, standing in their way of conquest. Indeed, Germany's method of fighting would disgrace the savages of Central Africa.
Prussianized Germany has the monopoly of "frightfulness." When not "frightful," Prussian troopers are not living down to the instructions of their War-lords to leave the conquered with nothing but eyes to weep with. Not content to crucify Canadians, murder priests, violate nuns, mishandle women, and bayonet children, the enemy torpedoes civilian-carrying liners, and bombs Red Cross hospitals. More, sinning against posterity as well as antiquity, Germans stand charged before man and God with reducing to ashes some of the finest artistic output of Christian civilization. When accused of crimes such as these, Germany answers through her generals: "The commonest, ugliest stone put to mark the burial-place of a German grenadier is a more glorious and venerable monument than all the cathedrals of Europe put together" (General von Disfurth in Hamburger Nachrichten). "Thus is fulfilled the well-known prophecy of Heine: 'When once that restraining talisman, the Cross, is broken ... Thor, with his colossal hammer, will leap up, and with it shatter into fragments the Gothic cathedrals'" (Religion and Philosophy in Germany in the Nineteenth Century).
What, I ask, can you do with such people but either crush or civilize them?
The very stones cry out against them.
BERNARD VAUGHAN, S.J.
The cartoon bears the quotation from Bernhardi "War is as divine as eating and drinking." Yes; and German war is as divine as German eating and drinking. Any one who has been in a German restaurant during that mammoth midday meal which generally precedes a sleep akin to a hibernation, will understand how the same strange barbarous solemnity has ruined all the real romance of war. There is no way of conveying the distinction, except by saying vaguely that there is a way of doing things, and that butchering is not necessary to a good army any more than gobbling is necessary to a good dinner. In our own insular shorthand it can be, insufficiently and narrowly but not unprofitably, expressed by saying that it is possible both to fight and to eat like a gentleman. It is therefore highly significant that Mr. Raemaekers has in this cartoon conceived the devil primarily as a kind of ogre. It is a matter of great interest that this Dutch man of genius, like that other genius whose pencil war has turned into a sword, Will Dyson, lends in the presence of Prussia (which has been for many moderns their first glimpse of absolute or positive evil) to depriving the devil of all that moonshine of dignity which sentimental sceptics have given him. Evil does not mean dignity, any more than it means any other good thing. The stronger caricaturists have, in a sense, fallen back on the medieval devil; not because he is more mystical, but because he is more material. The face of Raemaekers' Satan, with its lifted jowl and bared teeth, has less of the half-truth of cynicism than of mere ignominious greed. The armies are spread out for him as a banquet; and the war which he praises, and which was really spread for him in Flanders, is not a Crusade but a cannibal feast.
G. K. CHESTERTON.
THROWN TO THE SWINE
The Germans have committed many more indefensible crimes than the military execution of the kind-hearted nurse who had helped war-prisoners to escape. They have murdered hundreds of women who had committed no offence whatever against their military rules. But though not the worst of their misdeeds, this has probably been the stupidest. It gained us almost as many recruits as the sinking of the Lusitania, and it made the whole world understand—what is unhappily the truth—that the German is wholly destitute of chivalry. He knows indeed that people of other nations are affected by this sentiment; but he despises them for it. Woman is the weaker vessel; and therefore, according to his code, she must be taught to know her place, which is to cook and sew, and produce "cannon-fodder" for the Government. Readers of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche will remember the advice given by those philosophers for the treatment of women. Nietzsche recommends a whip. It never occurred to German officialdom that the pedantic condemnation of one obscure woman, guilty by the letter of their law, would stir the heart of England and America to the depths, and steel our soldiers to further efforts against an enemy whose moral unlikeness to ourselves becomes more apparent with every new phase in the struggle.
THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S.
THE LAND MINE
What does this cartoon suggest? I am asked and I ask myself. At first very little, almost nothing, only uninteresting, ugly death, gloomy, ghastly, dismal, but dull and largely featureless, blank and negative. Has the artist's power failed him? No, it is strongly drawn. Has his inspiration? What does it mean? Is it indeed meant? As I gaze and pore on it longer, I seem to see that it is just in this blank negation that its strength and its suggestion lie. It is meant. It has meaning. A blast has passed over this place, and this is its sequel, its derelict rubbish.
It is death unredeemed, death with no very positive suggestion, with no hint of heroism, none of heroic action, little even of heroic passion; just death, helpless, hopeless, pointing to nothing but decomposition, decay, disappearance, aneantissement, reduction of the fair frame of life to nothingness. That is the peculiar horror of this war. Were the picture, as it well might be, even more hideous, and did it suggest something more definite, a story of struggle, say, recorded in contortion, or by wounds and weapons, it might be better.
But men killed by machines, men killed by natural forces unnaturally employed, are indeed a fact and a spectacle squalid, sorry, unutterably sad.
All wars have been horrible, but modern wars are more in extremes. Heroism is there, but not always. It is possible only in patches. There is much of the mere sacrifice of numbers. Strictly, there are scenes far worse than this, for death unredeemed is not the worst of sufferings or of ills. But few are sadder. This is indeed war made by those who hold it and will it to be "not a sport, but a science." There is no sport here. Men killed like this are like men killed by plague or the eruption of a volcano. And, indeed, what else are they? They are victims of a diseased humanity of the eruption—literal and metaphorical—of its hidden fires. And wars will grow more and more like this. What can stop them and banish these scenes? Only the hate of hate, only the love that can redeem even such a sight as this when at last we remember that it is for love's sake only that flesh and blood are in the last retort content to endure it.
"FOR YOUR MOTHERLAND"
England's your Mother! Let your life acclaim Her precious heart's blood flowing in your heart; Take ye the thunder of her solemn name Upon your lips with reverence; play your part By word and deed To shield and speed The far-flung splendour of her ancient fame.
England's your Mother! Shall not you, her child, Quicken the everlasting fires that glow Upon your birthright's altar? England smiled Beside your cradle, trusting you to show, With manhood's might, The undying light That points the road her free-born spirits go.
England's your Mother! Man, forget it not Wherever on the wide-wayed earth your fate Calls you to labour; whatsoe'er your lot— In service, or in power, in stress or state— Whate'er betide, With humble pride, Remember! By your Mother you are great.
England's your Mother! What though dark the day Above the storm-swept frontier that you tread? Her vanished children throng the glorious way; A myriad legions of her living dead Those starry trains That shared your pains Shall set their crown of light upon your head.
England's your Mother! When the race is run And you are called to leave your life and die, Small matter what is lost, so this be won: An after-glow of blessed memory, Gracious and pure, In witness sure "England was this man's Mother: he, her son."
THE GERMAN LOAN
The bubble is very nicely balanced, for German "kultur," which is in reality but another word for "system" or "organization," rather than that which English-speaking people understand by "culture," has built up a system of internal credit that shall ensure the correct balance of the bubble—for just as long as the militarist policy of Germany can endure the strain of war. But money alone is not sufficient for victory; the peasant hard put to it to suppress his laugh, and the crowned Germania that built up the paper pedestal of the bubble, needed many other things to make that pedestal secure; there was needed integrity, and the respect of neighbouring nations, and the understanding of other points of view beside the doctrine of force, and liberty instead of coercion of a whole nation, and many other things that the older civilizations of Europe have accepted as parts of their code of life—the things this new, upstart Germany has not had time to learn. Thus, with the paper credit—and even with the gold reserve of which Germany has boasted, the pedestal is but paper. And the winds that blow from the flooded, corpse-strewn districts of the Yser, from Artois, from Champagne and the Vosges hills and forests, and from the long, long line of Russia's grim defences—these winds shall blow it away, leaving a nation bankrupt not only in money, but in the power to coerce, in the power to inspire fear, and in all those things out of which the Hohenzollern dynasty has built up the last empire of force.
E. CHARLES VIVIAN.
There are some English critics who have not yet considered so simple a thing as that the case against horrors must be horrible. In this respect alone this publication of the work of the distinguished foreign cartoonist is a thing for our attention and enlightenment. It is the whole point of the awful experience which has to-day swallowed up all our smaller experiences, that we are in any case confronted with the abominable; and the most beautiful thing we can hope to show is only an abomination of it. Nevertheless, there is horror and horror. The distinction between brute exaggeration and artistic emphasis could hardly be better studied than in Mr. Raemaekers' cartoon, and the use he makes of the very ancient symbol of the wheel. Europe is represented as dragged and broken upon the wheel as in the old torture; but the wheel is that of a modern cannon, so that the dim background can be filled in with the suggestion of a wholly modern machinery. This is a very true satire; for there are many scientific persons who seem to be quite reconciled to the crushing of humanity by a vague mechanical environment in which there are wheels within wheels. But the inner restraint of the artist is suggested in the treatment of the torment itself; which is suggested by a certain rending drag in the garments, while the limbs are limp and the head almost somnolent. She does not strive nor cry; neither is her voice heard in the streets. The artist had not to draw pain but to draw despair; and while the pain is old enough the particular despair is modern. The victim racked for a creed could at least cry "I am converted." But here even the terms of surrender are unknowable; and she can only ask "Am I civilized?"
G. K. CHESTERTON.
THE NEXT TO BE KICKED OUT—DUMBA'S MASTER
Uncle Sam is no longer the simple New England farmer of a century ago. He is rich beyond calculation. His family is more numerous than that of any European country save Russia. His interests are world-wide, his trade tremendous, his industry complex, his finance fabulous. Above all, his family is no longer of one race. The hatreds of Europe are not echoed in his house; they are shared and reverberate through his corridors. It is difficult, then, for him to take the simple views of right and wrong, of justice and humanity, that he took a century ago. He is tempted to balance a hundred sophistries against the principles of freedom and good faith that yet burn strongly within him. He is driven to temporize with the evil thing he hates, because he fears, if he does not, that his household will be split, and thus the greater evil befall him. But those that personify the evil may goad him once too often. Dumba the lesser criminal—as also the less dexterous—has betrayed himself and is expelled. When will Bernstorff's turn come? That it will come, indeed must come, is self-evident. The artist sees things too clearly as they are not to see also what they will be. He therefore skips the ignoble interlude of prevarication, quibble, and intrigue, and gives us Uncle Sam happy at last in his recovered simplicity. So we see him here, enjoying himself, as only a white man can, in a wholehearted spurning of lies, cruelty, and murder.
Note that Bernstorff—the victim of a gesture "fortunately rare amongst gentlemen"—is already in full flight through the air, while Uncle Sam's left foot has still fifteen inches to travel. The promise of an added velocity indicates that the flight of the unmasked diplomatist will be far. The sketched vista of descending steps gives us the satisfaction of knowing that the drop at the end will be deep. Every muscle of our sinewy relative is tense, limp, and projectile—the mouthpiece of Prussia goes to his inevitable end. There is no need of a sequel to show him shattered and crumpled at the bottom of the stairway.
THE FRIENDLY VISITOR
Raemaekers is never false, and he never works for effect alone. That is what makes him so terrible to the people he criticises, and so effective.
When he wants to depict the sturdy Dutch soul he draws a sturdy Dutch Body—ready to defend her home. No flags, no highfalutin, no symbolical figure posed for show; just cleanliness, determination, and good sense facing bestiality and oppression.
The figure that stands for the Freedom of the Home opposed to the figure that stands for the Freedom of the Seas.
Many an Englishman might take this picture to heart.
H. DE VERE STACPOOLE.
"TO YOUR HEALTH, CIVILIZATION!"
This terrible cartoon points its own lesson so forcibly that its effect is more likely to be weakened than strengthened by any verbal comment. Death quaffs a goblet of human blood to the health of Civilization. Death has never enjoyed such a carnival of slaughter before, and it is Civilization that has made the holocaust possible. The comparatively simple methods of killing employed by barbarians could not have destroyed so many lives; nor could barbarian states have raised such huge armies. The artist makes us feel that such a war as this is an act of moral madness, a disgrace to our common humanity. It is true that some of the nations engaged are guiltless, and others almost guiltless; but there is a solidarity of European civilization which obliges us all to share the shame and sorrow of this monstrous crime. Universal war is the reductio ad absurdum of false political theories and false moral ideals; and the reductio ad absurdum is the chief argument which Providence uses with mankind. Perhaps it is the only argument which mankind in the mass can understand.
THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S.
FOX TIRPITZ PREACHING TO THE GEESE
There is nothing more pathetic in some ways to-day than the position of the small neutral countries in Europe, and especially those which directly adjoin Germany. And there is nothing more galling than the inability of the Allies to give them any help. For the hour they are absolutely at the mercy of Germany, or would be, if she had any, and they know it. They are certainly liable and exposed to all her flouts and cuffs and to any displays of bad temper or bullying or terrorism it may please her to exercise. And none perhaps is worse off in this respect than Holland. It suits Germany to be fairly civil to Switzerland, who could give her a good deal of trouble by joining France and Italy; and no doubt it suits her too to some extent to consider Denmark, for Denmark commands the entrance to the Baltic; and, further, Germany does not wish to bring all Scandinavia down upon herself just at present. That can wait; but Holland is in the worst plight of all. She has the terrible spectacle of Belgium, ruined and ravaged, just on the other side of the way. And she has a very considerable and valuable mercantile marine.
The great and good Germany cannot be troubled to distinguish between Dutch and other boats, and if occasionally a Dutch ship is captured or sent to the bottom, it is a useful reminder of what she might do to her "poor relation" if she really let herself go. Fighting for the freedom of the seas! Holland has fought for them herself. Holland has a great naval tradition. She knows quite well what England has been and is. She knows too, and can see, how her sons and brothers in South Africa were treated by the British in England's last war, and how they regard England and Germany now.
Raemaekers' cartoon is very skilful. If we had not seen it done, we should not have believed it possible to produce at once so clever a likeness of Von Tirpitz and so excellent an old fox. But the goose is by no means a foolish bird, though its wisdom may sometimes be shown in knowing its own weakness. It was they, and not the watchdogs, that saved the Capitol. In old days it was the custom to call the Germans the "High Dutch" and the inhabitants of Holland the "Low Dutch." It was a geographical distinction. The contrast in moral elevation is the other way.
A Vile feature of German "frightfulness" is this: that she mixes poison with her prisoners' rations. Not content with starving their bodies, she hides truth from them and floods their minds with lies. Those in command—officers, educated men, claiming the service of their soldiers and civil guard and the respect of their nation—deliberately hash a daily meal of falsehood and serve up German victories and triumphs on land and sea as sauce to the starvation diet of their defenceless captives.
In the earlier months of the war, while yet the spiritual slough into which Germany had sunk was unguessed, and the mixture of child and devil exemplified by "frightfulness" continued unfathomed, these daily lies undoubtedly answered their cowardly purpose, cast down the spirit of thousands, and added another pang to their captivity. But our armies know better now, and those diminishing numbers likely to be taken prisoner in the future see the end more clearly than the foe can. Lies will be met with laughter henceforth, for our enemies have put themselves beyond the pale. They may starve and insult our bodies; but their power to poison our brains has passed from them forever. We know them at last. They have spun a web of barbed villainy between their souls and ours; and the evil committed for one foul purpose alone—to terrify free men and break the spirit of the sons of liberty—has produced results far different and created a situation more terrible for them than for their outraged enemies.
For in this matter of misrepresentation and lying, born of Prussia and by her spoon-fed pack of martinets, professors, and Churchmen, mingled with Germany's daily bread for a generation, it is she and not we who will reap the whirlwind of that sowing; it is she and not we who must soon pant and tear the breast in the pangs of the poison.
Between the mad and the sane there can be only one victor; and when the time comes, may Germany's robe of repentance be a strait-waistcoat of the Allies' choosing. For she has drunk deep of the poison, and those who anticipate a speedy cure will be as mad as she. When the escaped tigress is back in her cage, men look to the bars, for none wants a second mauling.
I am not sure that in this cartoon of Raemaekers the most pleasing detail is not the servant's right eye. You will observe in that servant's right eye an expression familiar in those who overhear this sort of comment upon the peculiar bestialities of the Prussian in Belgium and Poland, this extenuation of his baseness. When the war was young the opportunity for giving that glance was commoner than it is now. There were many even in a belligerent country who would tell you in superior fashion how foolishly exaggerated were the so-called "atrocities." The greater number of such men (and women) talked of "two Germanies"—one the nice Germany they knew and loved so well, and the other apparently nasty Germany which raped, burned, stole, broke faith, tortured, and the rest. Their number has diminished. But there is a little lingering trace of the sort of thing still to be discovered: men and women who hope against hope that the Prussian will really prove good at heart after all. And it is usually just after some expression of the kind that the most appalling news arrives with a terrible irony to punctuate their folly. It reminds one a little of the man in the story who was sure that he could tame a wild cat, and was in the act of recording its virtues when it flew in his face. To an impartial observer who cared nothing for our sufferings or the enemy's vices, there would be something enormously comic in the vision of these few remaining (for there are still some few remaining) that approach the wild beast with soothing words and receive as their only reward a very large bomb through the roof of their house, or the news that some one dear to them has been murdered on the high seas. But to those actively suffering in the struggle the comic element is difficult to seize, and it is replaced by indignation. This fantastic misconception of the thing that is being fought is bound to be burned right out by the realities of the enemy acts in belligerent countries. It will be similarly destroyed—and that in no very great space of time—in all neutral countries as well. Prussia will have it so. She is allowing no moral defence to remain for her future. It is almost as though the men now directing her affairs lent ear carefully to every word spoken in praise of them abroad, and met it at once by the tremendous denial of example. It is almost as though the Prussian felt it a sort of personal insult to receive the praise of dupes and fools, and perhaps it is.
KREUZLAND, KREUZLAND UeBER ALLES
This war has produced examples of every kind of misery which human beings can inflict upon each other, except one. Europe has mercifully been spared long sieges of populous towns, ending in the surrender of the starving population. But many towns and villages have been burnt; and masses of refugees have fled before the invader, knowing too well the brutal treatment which they had to expect if they remained. Very many of the unhappy Belgians have taken refuge in Holland; a considerable number have found an asylum in this country. They are homeless and ruined; if the war were to end to-morrow, many of them would not know where to go or how to live. Families have been broken up; husbands and wives, parents and children, are ignorant of each other's fate. In this picture we see a crowd of children, herded together like a flock of sheep, with nobody to take care of them. Their via dolorosa is marked by long rows of crosses on either side, emblems of suffering, death, and sacrifice. In the distance rise the smoke and flames from one of the innumerable incendiary fires which the Germans, like the cruel banditti of the Middle Ages, have kindled wherever they go.
THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S.
Prussia in every war has betrayed that peculiar mark of barbarism consisting in using the intellectual weapons of a superior, but not knowing how to use them. It is still a matter of mystery to the directing Prussian mind why the sinking of the Lusitania should have shocked the world. A submarine cannot take a prize into port. The Lusitania happened to be importing goods available in war, therefore the Lusitania must be sunk. All the penumbrae of further consideration which the civilized man weighs escape this sort of logic. Similarly, the Prussian argues, if an armed man is prepared to surrender, convention decrees that his life should be spared. Therefore, if an armed man be just fresh from the murder of a number of children, he has but to cry "Kamerad" to be perfectly safe. And Prussia foams at the mouth with indignation whenever this strict rule of conduct is forgotten in the heat of the moment. The use of poison in the field which Prussia for the first time employed (and reluctantly compelled her civilized opponents to reply to) is in the same boat. A shell bursts because solid explosive becomes gaseous. To use shell which in bursting wounds and kills men is to use gas in war; therefore if one uses gas in the other form of poison, disabling one's opponent with agony, it is all one. Precisely the same barbaric use of logic—which reminds one of the antics of an animal imitating human gestures—will later apply to the poisoning of water supplies, or the spreading of an epidemic. It is soldierly and excites no contempt or indignation to strike at your enemy with a sword or shoot a pellet of lead at him in such a fashion that he dies. What is all this foolish pother about killing him with bacilli in his cisterns or with a drop of poison in his tea? Men in war have burned groups of houses with the torch in anger or for revenge. Why distinguish between that and the methodical sprinkling of petroleum from a hose by one gang and the equally methodical burning of the whole town house by house with little capsules of prepared incendiary stuff? The rule always applies—but only against the opponent: never to one's self. From that attitude of mind the Prussian will never emerge. We shall, please God, see that mood in all its beauty in later stages of the war, when the coercion of the Prussian upon his own soil leads to acts indefensible by Prussian logic. We have already had a taste of this sort of reasoning when the royalties fled from Karlsruhe and when the murderers upon the sinking Zeppelin received the reward due to men who boast that they will not keep faith.
Most of the English caricaturists are much too complimentary to the German Emperor. They draw his moustaches, but not his face. Now his moustaches are exactly what he, or the whole Prussian school he represents, particularly wishes us to look at. They give him the fierce air of a fighting cock; and however little we may like fierceness, there will always be a certain residual respect for fighting, even in a cock. Now the Junker moustache is a fake; almost as much so as if it were stuck on with gum. It is, as Mr. Belloc has remarked, curled in a machine all night lest it should hang down. Raemaekers, in the sketch which shows the Kaiser as waiting for Nurse Cavell's death to say, "Now you can bring me the American protest," has gone behind the moustache to the face, and behind the face to the type and the spirit. The Emperor is not commanding in a lordly voice from a throne, but with a leer and behind a curtain. In the few lines of the lean, unnatural face is written the real history of the Hohenzollerns, the kind of history not often touched on in our comfortable English humour, but common to the realism of Continental art: the madness of Frederick William, the perversion of Frederick the Great, the hint, mingled with subtler talents, of the mere idiocy that seems to have flowered again in the last heir of that inhuman house. The Hohenzollerns have varied from generation to generation in many things and like many families; some of them have been tyrants, some of them geniuses, some of them merely boobies; but they have shared in something more than that hereditary policy which has been the poison in Christendom for two hundred years. There is a ghost who inhabits these perishing tenements, and in such a picture as this of Raemaekers men can see it looking out of the eyes. And it is neither the spirit of a tyrant nor of a booby; but the spirit of a sly invalid.
G. K. CHESTERTON.
Ay', boy—you may well ask.
And the world asks also, and in due time will exact an answer to the last drop of innocent blood.
What have you done?
You have fallen into the hands of the most scientifically organized barbarism the world has ever seen, or, please God, ever will see—to whom, of deliberate choice, such words as truth, honour, mercy, justice, have become dead letters, by reason of the pernicious doctrines on which the race has been nourished—by which its very soul has been poisoned.
Dead letters?—worn-out rags, the very virtues they once represented, even in Germany, long since flung to the dust-heaps of the past in the soulless scramble for power and a place in the sun which no one denied her.
Deliberately, and of malice prepense, the military caste of Prussia has taught, and the unhappy common-folk have accepted, that as a nation they are past all that kind of thing. There is only one right in the world—the might of the strongest. The weak to the wall! Make way for the Hun, whose god is power, and his high-priests the Kaiser and the Krupps.
And so, every nation, even the smallest, on whom the eye of the Minotaur has settled in baleful desire, has said, "Better to die fighting than fall into the hands of the devil!" And they have fought—valiantly, and saved their souls alive, though their bodies may have been crushed out of existence by overwhelming odds. As nations, however, they shall rise again, and with honour, when their treacherous torturers have been crushed in their turn.
And, wherever the evil tide has welled over a land, indemnities, incredible and unreasonable, have been exacted, and hostages for their payment, and for good behaviour under the yoke meanwhile, have been taken.
Woe unto such! In many cases they have simply been shot in cold blood—murdered as brazenly as by any Jack-the-Ripper. Murder, too, of the most despicable—murder for gain—the gain that should accrue through the brutal terrorism of the act and its effect on the rest.
And, if deemed advisable to gloss the crime with some thin veneer of imitation justice for the—unsuccessful—hoodwinking of a shocked and astounded world, what easier than an unseen shot in some obscure corner from a German rifle? Then—"Death to the hostages!—destruction to the village!—a fine of L100,000 on the town!"
Those provocative shots from German rifles have surely been the most profitably engineered basenesses in the whole war. They have justified—but in German eyes only—every committable crime, and they cost nothing—except the souls of their perpetrators.
"It's your money we want—and your land—and your property—and, if necessary, your lives! You are weak—we are strong—and so——!" That is the simple Credo of the Hun.
But for all these things there shall come a day of reckoning and the account will be a heavy one.
May it be exacted to the full—from the rightful debtors!
"What have you done?" You have at all events put the rope round the necks of your murderers, and the whole world's hands are at the other end of it.
KING ALBERT'S ANSWER TO THE POPE
The war has been singularly barren of heroic figures, perhaps because the magnitude of the events has called forth such a multitude of individually heroic acts that no one can be placed before the rest; yet, when this greatest phase of history comes to be written down with historic perspective, one figure—that of King Albert of Belgium—will stand as that of a twentieth-century Bayard, a great knight without fear and without reproach.
Action on such far-flung lines as those of the European conflict has called for no great leaders in the sense in which that phrase has applied to previous wars; no Napoleon has arisen, though William Hohenzollern has aspired to Napoleonic dignity; war has become more mechanical, more a matter of mathematics—and the barbarians of Germany have made it more horrible. But, as if to accentuate German brutality and crime, this figure of King Albert stands emblematic of the virtues in which civilization is rooted; to the broken word of Germany it opposes untarnished honour; to the treacherous spirit of Germany it opposes inviolable truth; to the relentless selfishness of Germany it opposes the vicarious sacrifice of self, of a whole country and nation for the sake of a principle. And, in later days, men will remember how this truly great king held steadfastly to the little portion of his kingdom that the invasion left him; how he remained to inspirit his men by noble example, stubbornly rejecting peace without honour, and holding, when all else was wrecked, to the remnants of that army which saved Europe in the gateway of Liege. Amid violation, desecration, and destruction, Albert of Belgium has won imperishable fame.
E. CHARLES VIVIAN.
THE GAS FIEND
There is an order of minds that intuitively distrusts Science, detracts from the force of her achievements, and contends that devotion to machinery ends by making men machines. Many who argue thus have fastened on Germany's new war inventions as proof that Science makes for materialism and opposes the higher values of humanity and culture.
This is special pleading, for against the destructive forces discovered and liberated by German chemists in this war, one has only to consider the vast amelioration of human life for which modern science has to be thanked. Because art has been created to evil purpose, shall we condemn pictures or statues? Because the Germans have employed gas poisons in warfare, are we to condemn the incalculable gifts of organic chemistry?
Look at the eye of Louis Raemaekers' snake. That is the answer. It is the force behind this application of it that has brought German Science to shame. A precious branch of human knowledge has been prostituted by lust of blood and greed of gain until Science, in common with all learning, comes simply to be regarded by the masters of Germany as one more weapon in the armoury, one more power to help win "The Day." Every culture is treated in their alembic for the same purpose.
We may picture the series of experiments that went to perfection of their poison gas; we may see their Higher Command watching the death of guinea-pig, rabbit, and ape with increasing excitement and enthusiasm as the hideous effects of their discovery became apparent. Be sure an iron cross quickly hung over the iron heart that conceived and developed this filthy arm; for does it not offer the essence—quintessence of all "frightfulness?" Does it not challenge every human nerve-centre by its horror? Does it not, once proclaimed, by anticipation awake those very emotions of dread and dismay that make the stroke more fatal when it falls?
These people pictured their snake paralyzing the enemy into frozen impotence; the floundering Prussian psychology that cuts blocks with a razor and regards German mind as the measure of all mind, anticipated that poison gas would appeal to British and French as it has appealed to them. But it was not so. Their foresight gave them an initial success in the field; it slew a handful of men with additions of unspeakable agony—and rekindled the execration and contempt of Civilization.
As an arm, poison gas cannot be considered conspicuously successful, since it is easily encountered; but for the Allies it had some value, since it weighted appreciably the scale against Germany in neutral minds and added to the universal loathing astir at the heart of the world. Only fear now holds any kingdom neutral: there is not an impartial nation left on earth.
THE GERMAN TANGO
A blond woman, wearing the Imperial crown and with her hair braided in pigtails like a German backfisch, is whirling in the tango with a skeleton partner. Her face is livid with terror and fatigue, her limbs are drooping, but she is held by inexorable bony claws. On the feet of the skeleton are dancing pumps, a touch which adds to the grimness. This ghoulish dance does not lack its element of ghastly ceremonial.
The Dance of Death has long been the theme of the moralist in art, from Orcagna's fresco on the walls of the Campo Santo at Pisa to Holbein's great woodcuts and our own Rowlandson. In Germany especially have these macabre imaginings flourished. The phantasmagoria of decay has haunted German art, as it haunted Poe, from Duerer to Boecklin. But the mediaeval Dance of Death was stately allegory, showing the pageant of life brooded over by the shadow of mortality. In M. Raemaekers' cartoon there is no dignity, no lofty resignation. He shows Death summoned in a mad caprice and kept as companion till the revel becomes a whirling horror.
It is the profoundest symbol of the war. In a hot fit of racial pride Death has been welcomed as an ally. And the dance on which Germany enters is no stately minuet with something of tragic dignity in it. It is a common modern vulgar shuffle, a thing of ugly gestures and violent motions, the true sport of degenerates. Once begun there is no halting. From East to West and from West to East the dancers move. There is no rest, for Death is a pitiless comrade. From such a partner, lightly and arrogantly summoned, there can be no parting. The traveller seeks a goal, but the dancers move blindly and aimlessly among the points of the compass. Death, when called to the dance, claims eternal possession.
THE ZEPPELIN TRIUMPH
When the future historian gives to another age his account of all that is included in German "frightfulness," there is no feature upon which he will dilate more emphatically than the extraordinary use made by the enemy of their Zeppelin fleet. In the experience we have gained in the last few months we discover that the Zeppelins are not employed—or, at all events, not mainly employed—for military purposes, but in order to shake the nerves of the non-combatant population. The history of the last few Zeppelin raids in England is quite sufficient testimony to this fact. London is bombarded, although it is an open city, and a large amount of damage is done to buildings wholly unconnected with the purposes of the war. The persons who are killed are not soldiers, they are civilians; the buildings destroyed are not munition works, but dwelling-houses, and some of the points of attack are theatres.
The same thing has happened in the provinces. In the last raid over the Midlands railway stations were destroyed, some breweries were injured, but, with exceedingly few exceptions, munition works and factories for the production of arms were untouched. Here again the victims are not either soldiers or sailors, or even workmen employed in turning out instruments of war, but peaceable citizens and a large proportion of women and children.
Some such act of brutality is illustrated in the accompanying cartoon. A private house has been attacked, the mother has been killed, the father and child are left desolate. The little daughter at her father's knee, who cannot understand why guiltless people should suffer, asks the importunate question whether her mother had done anything wrong to deserve so terrible a fate. To the childish mind it seems incomprehensible that aimless and indiscriminate murder should fall on the guiltless.
Indeed the mother had done no wrong. She only happened to belong to one of the nations who are struggling against a barbaric tyranny. In that reckless crusade which the Central Powers are waging against all the higher laws of morality and civilization, some of the heaviest of the blows fall on the defenceless. It is this appalling inhumanity, this godless desire to maim and wound and kill, which nerves the arms of the Allies, who know that in a case like this they are fighting for freedom and for the Divine laws of mercy and loving-kindness.
And it is for the young especially that the war is being waged, young boys and young girls like the motherless child in the picture, in order that they may inherit a Europe which shall be free from the horrible burden of German militarism, and be able to live useful lives in peace and quietness. No, little girl, mother did no wrong! But we should be guilty of the deepest wrong if we did not avenge her death and that of other similar victims by making such unparalleled crimes impossible hereafter.
W. L. COURTNEY.
KEEPING OUT THE ENEMY
The Prussian turns everything to account, from the scrapings of the pig-trough to the Austrian Emperor.
The Bavarian lists, the Saxon lists, the Austrian lists—these are all only indications of injuries to the Prussian's life-saving waistcoat. If this war is to be a war to the last penny and the last man, the last Austrian will die before the last Saxon, the last Saxon before the last Bavarian, the last Bavarian before the last Prussian—and the last Prussian will not die: he will live to clutch at the last penny.
And the pity of it is that the Austrian is quite a good fellow, the Saxon is a decent sort of man, the Bavarian is chiefly a brute in drink, whilst the Prussian—we all know what the Prussian is, the black centre of hardness, the incarnation of the shady trick, and the very complex soul of mechanical efficiency.
The Hohenzollern here makes a sandbag of the Hapsburg, of whom Fate has already made a football.
Fate has always been behind the Hapsburg for his own sins and those of his house. She has made him kneel at last.
H. DE VERE STACPOOLE.
THE GERMAN OFFER
The German claim—not the Austrian nor the Turk, for the alliance following Germany is to be allowed little force—is that, the civilization of Europe now being defeated, a Roman pride may be generous to the fallen. Before modern Germany is routed, as may be seen in the features of its citizens, the nobility of its public works, and the admirable, restrained, and classic sense of its literature, this generosity to a humbled world will take the form of letting nations, of right independent, enjoy some measure of freedom under a German suzerainty. In the matter of property the magnanimous descendants of Frederick and William the Great will restore the machines which cannot be wrenched from their concrete beds, and the walls of the manufactories. More liquid property, such as jewellery, furniture, pictures—and coin—it will be more difficult to trace. In any case, Europe may breathe again, though with a shorter breath than it did before Germany conquered at the Marne.... This is the majestic vision which the subtle diplomats of Berlin present to the admiration of the neutral Powers, happily free from wicked passions of war, and not blinded, as are the British, French, Russians, Italians, Belgians, and the Serbians, by petty spite. Their audience, their triple audience, is part of Greece, some of the public of Spain, and sections of that of the United States. To the French and the British armies in the West, to the Russians in the East, and to the Italians upon their frontiers, the terms appear insufficient. Therein would seem to lie the gravity of Prussia's case. These belligerent Powers will go so far as to demand more than the mere restoration of stolen property, from cottage furniture to freedom. And their anger has risen so high that they even propose to make the acquirer of these goods suffer very bitterly indeed. What plea he will then raise under discomforts more serious than those he has caused to the peasants of Flanders and of Poland, and how those pleas will affect his neutral audience, will have no effect whatever on the result of the war, or on his own unpleasing fate. Those appeals will have a certain interest, however, because we know from the past that the German mind is unstable. Within fifteen short months it proposed the annihilation of the French armies and the occupation of Paris. It failed. It next offered terms upon suffering defeat. It withdrew them. It next made certain at least of a conquest of Russia, failed again, offered terms again, withdrew them again; was directed to the blockading of England, failed; thought Egypt better, and then changed its mind. It was but yesterday in the mood that this cartoon suggests; to-morrow its mood will have utterly changed again, probably to a whine, perhaps to a scream. Such instability is rare in the history of nations which purpose a conquest of others, and it is a very poor furniture for the mind.
THE WOLF TRAP
The wolf is not perhaps the beast by which one would most wish one's country to be represented. But the wolf, like every animal when defending its dearest, and when assailed with treachery, has its nobility. And the Roman she-wolf certainly has had in all ages her dignity and her force.
"Thy nurse will hear no master, Thy nurse will bear no load, And woe to them that spear her, And woe to them that goad. When all the pack loud baying Her bloody lair surrounds, She dies in silence biting hard Amidst the dying hounds."
Italy certainly calls not only for our sympathy, but for our admiration. She has had a very difficult course to steer. The ally for so long of Germany and Austria, if owing them less and less as time went on, it was difficult for her to break with them. But the day came when she had to break with them, and once again "act for herself." She told them a year ago she would be a party to no aggressive or selfish war, she would be no bully's accomplice. She "denounced"—it is a good word—such a compact. Non haec in foedera veni.
Then it was, when the she-wolf showed her teeth, that they offered to give her what was her own. But what would the Trentino be worth if Germany and Austria were victorious? No, the wolf is right, "she must fight for it," and behind Austria's underhanded treachery stands Germany's open violence and guns.
And Italy loves freedom. This war is a war made by her people. As of old her King and her diplomats go with them in this new Resorgimento. And the she-wolf must beware the trap. She needs the spirit again not only of her people and of Garibaldi and of Victor Emmanuel, but of Cavour. And she has it.
The cartoon suggests all the elements of the situation. The wolf ponders with turned head, half doubtful, half desperate. The poor little cub whimpers pitifully. The hunters dissemble their craft, the trap waits in the path ready to spring. It is not even concealed. Is that the irony of the artist, or is it only due to the necessity of making his meaning plain? Whichever it is, it is justified.
The legend of the Wandering Jew obsessed the imagination of the Middle Age. The tale, which an Armenian bishop first told at the Abbey of St. Albans, concerned a doorkeeper in the house of Pontius Pilate—or, as some say, a shoemaker in Jerusalem—who insulted Christ on His way to Calvary. He was told by Our Lord, "I will rest, but thou shalt go on till the Last Day." Christendom saw the strange figure in many places—at Hamburg and Leipsic and Lubeck, at Moscow and Madrid, even at far Bagdad. Goodwives in the little mediaeval cities, hastening homeward against the rising storm, saw a bent figure posting through the snow, with haggard face and burning eyes, carrying his load of penal immortality, and seeking in vain for "easeful death." There is a profound metaphysic in such popular fancies. Good and evil are alike eternal. Arthur and Charlemagne and Ogier the Dane are only sleeping and will yet return to save their peoples; and the Wandering Jew staggers blindly through the ages, seeking the rest which he denied to his Lord.
In George Meredith's "Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History" there is a famous passage on Napoleon. France, disillusioned at last,
"Perceives him fast to a harsher Tyrant bound; Self-ridden, self-hunted, captive of his aim; Material gradeur's ape, the Infernal's hound."
That is the penalty of mortal presumption. The Superman who would shatter the homely decencies of mankind and set his foot on the world's neck is himself bound captive. He is the slave of the djinn whom he has called from the unclean deeps. There can be no end to his quest. Weariness does not bring peace, for the whips of the Furies are in his own heart.
The Wandering Jew of the Middle Age was a figure sympathetically conceived. He had still to pay the price in his tortured body, but his soul was at rest, for he had repented his folly. Raemaekers in his cartoon follows the conception of Gustave Dore rather than that of the old fabulists. The modern Ahasuerus has no surety of an eventual peace. We have seen the German War Lord flitting hungrily from Lorraine to Poland, from Flanders to Nish, watching the failure of his troops before Nancy and Ypres, inditing grandiose proclamations to Europe, prophesying a peace which never comes. He is a figure worthy of Greek tragedy. The [Greek: hubris] which defied the gods has put him outside the homely consolations of mankind. He has devoted his people to the Dance of Death, and himself, like some new Orestes, can find no solace though he seek it wearily in the four corners of the world.
OUR CANDID FRIEND
The position of Holland and Denmark is one of excruciating anxiety to the citizens of those countries. They know that the Allies are fighting the battle of their own political existence, but they are so hypnotized with well-founded terror of the implacable tyrant on their flank that they are not only bound to neutrality, but are afraid to express their sympathies too plainly. Dutch editors have been admonished and punished under pressure from Berlin; the brilliant artist of these cartoons is in danger on his native soil. A leading German newspaper has lately announced that "we will make Holland pay with interest for these insults after the war." A German victory would inevitably be followed in a few years by the disappearance from the map of this gallant and interesting little nation, our plucky rival in time past, our honoured friend to-day. No nation has established a stronger claim to maintain its independence, whether we consider the heroic and successful struggles of the Dutch for religious and political liberty, their triumphs in discovery, colonization, and naval warfare, their unique contributions to art, or the manly and vigorous character of their people. It is needless to say that we have no designs upon any Dutch colony!
THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S.
PEACE AND INTERVENTION
Here is pictured a grim fact that the Peace cranks would do well to see plainly. The surgeon who is operating on a cancer case cannot allow himself to be satisfied with merely the removal of the visible growth which is causing such present agony to the patient. He must cut and cut deep, must go beyond even the visible roots of the disease, slice down into the clear, firm flesh to make sure and doubly sure that he has cut away the last fragment of the tainted tissues. Only by doing so can he reasonably hope to prevent a recurrence of the disease and the necessity of another operation in the years to come. And so only by carrying on this war until the last and least possibility of the taint of militarism remaining in the German system is removed can the Allies be satisfied that their task is complete. Modern surgery has through anaesthetics taken away from a patient the physical pain of most operations, but modern War affords no relief during its operation. That, however, can be held as no excuse for refusing to "use the knife." What would be said of the surgeon who, because an operation—a life-saving operation—was causing at the time even the utmost agony, stayed his hand, patched up the wound, was content only to stop the momentary pain, and to leave firm-rooted a disease which in all human probability would some time later break out again in all its virulence? What would be said of such a surgeon is only in lesser degree what would be said by posterity of the Allies if they consented or were persuaded to apply the bandage and healing herbs of Peace to the disease of Militarism, to make a surface cure and leave the living tentacles of the disease to grow again deep and strong. But here at least the doctors do not disagree. Once and for all the Ally surgeons mean to make an end to Militarism. The sooner the Peace cranks and Germany realize that the sooner the operation will be over.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
If you wish to see the position of Holland look at the map of Europe as it was before August 4, 1914, and the map of Europe as it is to-day.
In 1914 Holland lay overshadowed by the vast upper jaw-bone of a monster—Prussia—a jaw-bone reaching from the Dollart to Aix-la-Chapelle.
In August and September, 1914, Prussia, by the seizure of Belgium, developed a lower jaw-bone reaching from Aix-la-Chapelle to Cassandria on the West Schelde. To-day Holland lies gripped between these two formidable mandibles that are ready and waiting to close and crush her. For years and years Prussia has been waiting to devour Holland. Why? For the simple reason that Holland is rich in the one essential thing that Prussia lacks—coast-line.
Look again at the map and see how Holland and Belgium together absolutely wall Prussia in from the sea. Belgium has been taken on by Prussia; if we do not tear that lower jaw from Prussia, Holland will be lost, and the sea-power of England threatened with destruction.
The ruffian with the automatic pistol waiting behind the tree requires the life as well as the basket of the little figure advancing toward him.
He has been in ambush for forty years.
H. DE VERE STACPOOLE.
THE SEA MINE
When Raemaekers pictures Von Tirpitz to us, he does so with savage scorn. He is not the hard-bitten pirate of story—but a senile, crapulous, lachrymose imbecile; an object of derision. He fits more with one of Jacob's tales of longshore soakers, than with the tragedies that have made him infamous. But when he draws Von Tirpitz's victims, the touch is one of almost harrowing tenderness. The Hun is a master of many modes of killing, but however torn, or twisted, or tortured he leaves the murdered, Raemaekers can make the dreadful spectacle bearable by the piercing dignity with which he portrays the dead. In none of these cartoons is his saeva indignatio rendered with more sheer beauty of design, or with a craftsmanship more exquisite, than in this monument to the sea-mined prey. The symbolism is perfect, and of the essence of the design. The dead sink slowly to their resting-place, but the merciful twilight of the sea veils from us the glazed horror of the eyes that no piety can now close. Even the dumb, senseless fish shoots from the scene in mute and terrified protest, while from these poor corpses there rise surfaceward the silver bubbles of their expiring breath. One seems to see crying human souls prisoned in these spheres. And it is, indeed, such sins as these that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Blood-guiltiness must rest upon the heads of those that do them, upon the heads of their children—aye, and of their children's children too. This exquisite and tender drawing is something more than the record of inexpiable crime. It is a prophecy. And the prophecy is a curse.
The cartoon in which the Prussian is depicted as saying to his bound and gagged victim, "Ain't I a lovable fellow?" is one of the most pointed and vital of all pictorial, or indeed other, criticisms on the war. It is very important to note that German savagery has not interfered at all with German sentimentalism. The blood of the victim and the tears of the victor flow together in an unpleasing stream. The effect on a normal mind of reading some of the things the Germans say, side by side with some of the things they do, is an impression that can quite truly be conveyed only in the violent paradox of the actual picture. It is exactly like being tortured by a man with an ugly face, which we slowly realize to be contorted in an attempt at an affectionate expression. In those soliloquies of self-praise which have constituted almost the whole of Prussia's defence in the international controversy, the brigand of the Belgian annexation has incessantly said that his apparent hardness is the necessary accompaniment of his inherent strength. Nietzsche said: "I give you a new commandment: Be hard." And the Prussian says: "I am hard," in a prompt and respectful manner. But, as a matter of fact, he is not hard; he is only heavy. He is not indifferent to all feelings; he is only indifferent to everybody else's feelings. At the thought of his own virtues he is always ready to burst into tears. His smiles, however, are even more frequent and more fatuous than his tears; and they are all leers like that which Mr. Raemaekers has drawn on the face of the expansive Prussian officer in the arm-chair. Compared with such an exhibition, there is something relatively virile about the tiger cruelty which has occasionally defaced the record of the Spaniard or the Arab. But to be conquered by such Germans as these would be like being eaten by slugs.