15 APRIL 1916, Page 11



(To TER EDITOR OD THE SPECTATOR...I SIR,—An American of British descent not on Life's editorial staff, who has read "The Unseen Bond," cannot resist the impulse to bear it testimony. The writer is an American business man with a, wide acquaintance among average Americans—men and women—chiefly of Anglo-Saxon antecedents, and generally of pre-Revolutionary American stock. One and all have been reared to the American viewpoint—educated in our country's history, and thus grounded in every tradition of British injustice before and during the Revolution and the War of 1812 and of the hostility of the British upper classes in our own life-and-death struggle of '61-65. One would suppose we were so thoroughly nationalized that England had no greater hold on our natures than Denmark, Normandy, or the other habitats of our earlier forefathers; but it seems another sort of education had boon going forward among us all these years, the power of which had possibly never been felt but for the present soul-searching crisis. Most of us, it appears, have been more or less aware of the parts our families have played in the making of English history prior to the times of George ILL, and quite uncon- sciously to ourselves have grown accustomed to a sense of participation in the traditions of earlier England—of proprietorship in its historical monuments. We have from childhood thrilled to legends of Richard Cceur de Lion, the Black Prince, Wallace, Bruce, Drake, Frobisher, Ralegh, Cromwell, and subconsciously claimed them for our own. We have absorbed the great literature of our common tongue and it has belonged to us—and when in the first terrible days of the present world catastrophe we realized the impending danger to the civilization that had produced these treasures, something stirred inside us that no effect of environment or atmosphere could repress—something we never knew was there—and almost to a Man our impulse was that of the child who challenges the would-be despoiler of things that are precious to him with the cry "Don't touch them—they're mine!" Sixty millions of us there are, no doubt—probably more; and, incidentally, of our remaining forty millions but a very small and noisy minority make common cause with England's enemies—even Germans of the second generation are probably fifty per cent. anti-Hohenzollern. What our Government has done, or left undone, we do not judge. Unquestionably it could have done much better—or much worse. Our quadrennial change of Administration may at any time bring untried men to face an international emergency for which there are no precedents in their experience, and while one Adminietration may come through the ordeal with flying colours, another may not measure up to it. We hate the thought of war, but much less than that of peace without honour. Whether we render a greater service to mankind by our present long- suffering attitude than by active expression of our deep resentment over wrongs to humanity and violations of our own rights-history alone may decide. In general, Americans of British descent believe that our duty has not been fully met—but wo have not all the facts ; we may be wrong. As individuals, however, "The Unseen Bond" has held us breathless spectators of the nightmare that possesses Europe. Thousands of us whose home ties permit are not mere spectators—they have followed instinct to its ultimate fruition. The rest are conscious night and day of the great tragedy, and heart and soul with Mother England to its conclusion. May the tie never grow less !—I am, Sir, leo., New York, N.Y., U.S.A., Merck 31st. IL BERTRAM DEM&