5 JUNE 1909, Page 13


you allow a German to say a few words on this subject P There is one law which governs us all, nations and individuals, worlds and molecules—the law of the survival of the fittest. This law is the basis of all development : it is merciless and brutal, but at the same time divinely just and grand. Not the Emperor of Germany nor the English Prime Minister create the future of our two nations. If the present British generation proves so unworthy of their fathers as to forget their duty towards their past and their future, then the law of the survival of the fittest will deal out a merciless revenge, using the German nation or any other nation for its purpose. As soon as England is weak enough, somebody (Germans or other nations) will, and must, step into the gap to serve the aims of development. I have known England for twenty years, and have made your country a special study. During this time I have heard a grent deal of talk ; I have witnessed an enormous amount of pretension ; but cannot see any improvement. The average Englishman of our time expects everything from his country without recognising any duty at all. Remember, you cannot rule the seas by pre- tending to be the ruler, but only by doing the work of a ruler, and proving the strength of the same.—Yours, ac., A GERMAN."

[We publish this striking letter because we believe it to contain a much-needed lesson. We regret that we were not able to include it in the reprint of our articles on "A New Way of Life" published last week by Messrs. Macmillan. The letter, though not fair to this country, is of importance from two points of view. In the first place, it conveys a warning which we shall be mad to neglect. Next, it shows very clearly what is the opinion, not of Jingoes and Chauvinists, but of serious and high- minded Germans, as to this country and its future. They believe us to be effete and unfit as a nation, and that we deserve the fate which they are confident will befall us because of what they deem our selfishness, our love of ease and pleasure, and our unwillingness to make any sacrifices for our country. We would commend this fact to the attention of those worthy and well-meaning people here—people like Mr. Carnegie—who tell us that the Germans are a kindly and noble people, and do not hate us or wish us ill, and that the notion that they would ever attack us or injure us is a wicked libel. That the Germans are a kindly and noble people we do not doubt, and we are sure that the writer of the above letter is a good example of the best part of the German people. Yet, with the characteristic metaphysic of his race, he holds that we are devoted to destruction because of our alleged degenera- tion, and that "as soon as England is weak enough Germans or other nations" will become the instruments of Almighty Providence, and will sweep us away. Hero, writ plain, is the reason why we cannot rely upon the goodwill of the Germans not to attack us if we become "weak enough." To them, in the circumstances assumed, such an atta,c1c would become a crusade. The weak or wounded deer is trampled to death by the strong members of the herd. That is "the survival of the

fittest," to use the cant phrase of the scientifically minded, or the "just retribution" of Providence, "the anger of God which falls upon the degenerate," to those who assume the attitude of the Hebrew prophet. Both points of view are made use of by the astute politician with a world-policy to carry out when he thinks the moment for action has arrived. Shall we take the warning or ignore it ?—En. Spectator.]