6 MAY 1916, Page 16


Is the Nineteenth Century Dr. Shadwell discusses the two great trials before the nation—the prosecution of the war to a satisfactory conclu- sion, and the resumption of civil life afterwards. As for the war, he holds that it has not yet taken a decisive turn, the very failure of the German thrust at Verdun proving the magnitude of the trial before us on the most favourable hypothesis. " The commentators on the war who have been exulting in the truly glorious defence of Verdun by the French, and explaining that even if the Germans took it they would be no nearer their goal, seem to forget that the same reasoning applies the other way round." Ho points out that the newspapers are the principal cause of over-confidence and complacency, and that, though a great change has taken place, a good many have gone to the opposite extreme of querulousness, while some still keep up the silly practice of deriding the enemy. He deprecates the complacent tone of the Minis- terial papers and the encouragement lent to complacency by the Ministry, who have failed to speak boldly and act with decision. It is only by sticking to it at all costs that we can break down the German military machine, and so bring about the conversion of the German people, signs of which can already be detected. But he is more concerned about the industrial troubles which will face us at the end of the war. An industrial revolution he regards as certain, and our only chance is to see that the war shall also end in a moral and political revolution in Germany:- " If the War ends with a changed and chastened Germany, less convinced of her superiority, less aggressive, less ambitious, more pre- occupied with setting her own house in order than with plans for domi- nating her neighbours, we may get through our troubles. But if the War ends in a stalemate and leaves Germany with the military regime intact, animated with the same aims and ambitions, bent on the eventual control of the sea and the downfall of the British Empire, we shall surely go down unless we altogether change our ways."

—Mr. J. W. Headlam writes on " The Real Aims of the 'Peaceful' German Nation," discounting the soothing rhetoric of the German Chancellor by reference to the manifestoes of the Economic Associations and the leaders of German thought, and the utterances of the various party leaders. The conclusion he draws from these documents and speeches is that they reveal a practically unanimous insistence on annexation, and give the lie to the Chancellor's assurance that Germany is not fighting for an extension of territory.—Mr. Walter Siohel has a timely paper—written before the Dublin Revolt—on Professor Schie- mann's brochure, England's Achilles-Heel, which there is good reason to believe is largely based on contributions from the pen of Sir Roger Casement. The main argument is that by striking Ireland out of the map of the British Empire, Ireland, " whose strategic significance has been merely exploited in the anti-European interest," will be restored to the stream of European life, and England will shrink once more into her native proportions.—One of the most interesting papers in the number is that on " An Unwilling Foe : Sidelights on Austria- Hungary," by Mrs. Dickinson Berry, M.D., based on a year's hospital work in Serbia, for the last three months of which her Rod Cross unit was under Austrian rule. She found no traces of animosity amongst Austrian or Hungarian soldiers or officers towards England. She gives a good account of their doctors, and during her detention was treated very courteously by the Austro-Hungarian authorities. In Vienna her party mot with no inconvenience or unpleasantness. In conclusion, she was above all impressed with the enormous power of the German and Austrian military system, which is the greatest bulwark against demo- cracy and sterilizes popular aspirations and popular agitation in peace as well as war. In short, there is no enthusiasm for the war in the Dual Empire, and though there is no misgiving as to the result, a paramount Germany is not regarded as an unmixed blessing. At the same time, there seems to be no shadow of recognition of the r'al inward- ness of the war as it appears to the Allies. The German theory of its origin holds the field. This is a very wise and well-written article.— Bishop Welldon examines the case of the conscientious objector mainly in the light of the teaching of Jeremy Taylor, and Lord Cromer has a most interesting paper on Rousseau, based on the recent edition of his political writings edited by Professor C. E. Vaughan. While fully admitting the acute contrast between precept and practice furnished by Rousseau's life and writings, he does not hesitate to pronounce the Contrat Social a work which has exercised an influence on human thought and action only second to that of the Bible and the Koran :-

" Rousseau made the world think. He introduced new ideas, which were often wrong, but almost always fruitful. The general tendency of his philosophy was to disparage materialism, to condemn all forms of oppression, to inculcate the supremacy of the law, to enlarge human sympathies and to elevate and widen human thought. In consideration of these services much may be forgiven to him."

Dr. Thomas Smith, whose remarkable book, What Germany Thinks, was reviewed in the Spectator of January 15th, contributes a most in- structive risme of " German War Literature " to the Contemporary Review. The volume of this literature, he points out, is truly formid- able, but he confines himself to the main currents—exculpatory White Books, books on Belgium and its German administration, replies to J'Accuse, and the endless pamphlets issued by University intellectuals. Dr. Smith rightly insists on a most important factor which must be taken into account in connexion with University publications :— " German professors are civil servants entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the powers that be, i.e., tho State. Immediately after

being appointed to a professor's chair (or as lecturer) in any German

university, the man called' must take the Staatseicl (oath to the State). Hence, absolute objectivity is scarcely to be expected in the opinions

of any German who has sworn the unconditional fealty expressed in

the oath in question. As a writer on questions concerning the internal or external actions of the State, a professor is reduced to the level of a

mere propagandist. For the most part the form of publication has been in accordance with the spirit and purpose, which means, in other words, that hundreds of pamphlets have been issued at a uniform price of 6d."

It would be a grave error, Dr. Smith adds, to suppose that educated Germans are not well informed as to public opinion in England. Speeches and public utterances are reported in the German Press, and their war literature contains innumerable quotations from British war books. " In short, it is safe to assume that the Germans are more thoroughly informed concerning our currents of national thought than we are of theirs. Yet the bitterness against this country shows few signs of abatement."—The Rev. W. W. Holdsworth's " Impressions of a Hospital Chaplain " is a striking tribute to the humanity and skill of our surgeons and the amazing cheerfulness of our wounded soldiers. Of " hatred " of the enemy, of boastfulness or complaint, he found hardly a trace. And the contact with the " realities " has brought about a spiritual quickening none the less genuine for being as yet somewhat vague. Our soldiers have come to recognize the need of God, the Divine fellowship in prayer, and the sinfulness of sin. The answer of a soldier who, when asked what was the religion of the soldier at the front, replied that it was " just helping one another," encourages Mr. Holdsworth in the view that men may bring back from the Army a definition of religion in terms of service. Perhaps the .nost moving of his illustrations is that which bears on the sweeping away of dogmatic differences between ministers of various creeds :- " A Rabbi serving as a chaplain in Flanders was one day naked by a dying French soldier to unbutton his tunic, and to hold the crucifix he was wearing so that in his last moments his eyes might rest upon that symbol of love unto death. With a fine humanity the Jew held up for the comfort of the dying man that which stood for the condemnation of his own people."

—Mr. Harold Spender in " Coalition or — " defends the Ministry from its assailants, and maintains that the Coalition, even where it has gone astray, has accurately represented the mind of the nation. Even if we destroyed it, wo should bo forced to the same thing under another name. He thinks, however, that it could be strengthened by reinforcing our Coalition Ministers with Coalition Parliamentary Committees on the French model—M. do Lanessan writes on the " Entente Cordiale" in the past, present, and future, and affirms his conviction that in the new world after the war France and Great Britain will be the two peoples most bent on maintaining peace.

" A Naval Correspondent " writes on the menace of the submarine in the National Review. He recalls Sir Percy Scott's forecast, which he regards as framed in terms of exaggeration, but essentially correct, and evidently considers the present weekly rate of destruction as formidable. " It is reasonable to assume that in another four or five months the second submarine campaign will have been defeated ; but it is also reasonable to suppose that Germany, the man-eater, having acquired the blood-lust, will be training officers and men and building more submarines for a third campaign." He accordingly arrives at the following " remarkable conclusion " :- " Although the virtual command of the sea, in the old sense of the phrase, is being so exercised by the Fleet that no above-water enemy ship, with such infrequent exceptions as the Howe, can touch sea-borne trade, the losses inflicted upon commerce are much the same as though that command of the sea were not being exercised. In other words, the Fleet has not got the command of the sea. Nor is there any visible prospect of the complete control of the sea being obtained. For the answer to the submarine has yet to be invented. The answer to the torpedo-boat is the destroyer ; to the cruiser, the cruiser ; to the battleship, the battleship ; but the submarine is no answer to the submarine."

The unsolved problems of naval warfare are the mine and the submarine. " Our Navy is doing its best in a state of transition of which the end is

unknown." Bat if the existing state of affairs is to follow a logical course, wo must revise our insular point of view and endeavour to reader these islands self-supporting. " This country will probably be able to import enough supplies to see the present war out. But the next war—no."— —The number also contains a useful summary with three official maps of tho operations on the Italian front ; a reprint of Mr. Justice Younger's Raport on the treatment of the British prisoners at Wittenberg ; and the usual editorial comments on side- shows, Mandarins, and the iniquities of the Coalition.

The Fortnightly opens, as usual, with an article by Dr. Dillon, in which he accuses the Government of throwing away chance after chance

of winning the war, with the result that it is the Germans, not we, who are advancing. Verdun reminds Dr. Dillon of Warsaw, which fell after six months of attack. The German claim to have countered the Allies' spring offensive is considered as probably just, and the belief is expressed that the German losses have not been very great at Verdun —net much more than those of the French. That the quality of the

German troops has deteriorated Dr. Dillon refuses to believe. Indeed, he gathers that the enemy is saving two millions of his best men for the coup de grdce. The Central Powers are making four hundred and sixty thousand shells a day, we are told ; while " our output is wisely kept secret." This latter statement does not, however, prevent Dr. Dillon from affirming "that in the output of munitions the Central Empires are still ahead of all the Allies and the United States combined."

His verdict is : " We cannot and shall not win unless we chango our system and its champions and alter our course at once."—Two hitherto unpublished essays by Swinburno on the Elizabethans are given, and show how he maintained his devotion to Marlowe and the great writers of that age. Swinburne had no mercy for the clever critics who disparaged Shakespeare. This is how ho deals with one of them : "Tho reviler of Shakespeare can be no better than a scurrilous buffoon, ' a decent priest where monkeys are tho gods,' and where Ibsen is the idol."—" Y." believes that the anxiety of Holland has nothing to do with the menace of a near retreat of German troops through Maestricht, but is rather the fear of the seizure of the ground which dominates the entrance to Antwerp.—" Special Reserve," a company officer of many months' experience at the front, gives his reasons why ho considers that an advance on the West is likely to be successfuL Here are some of his points : Before the Polish campaign the German infantry were far more formidable than they are now ; at present their idea seems to be to dig themselves in and keep quiet. The counter-attacks at Loos could not be begun till special troops were brought up. The Serbian adventure was abandoned to meet the attack from Bessarabia. The disadvantage of a stage army is that the best troops lose most, as they go from one bad place to another. The writer believes that it is possible to break a front of ten miles, and this must mean confusion in the necessary withdrawals on both sides of the break and the abandonment of trench warfare.

A writer in Blackwood, " Arthur B.-W.," describes his experiences as a Naval Reservist on board the Triumph' at the taking of Tsingtau. The ship at the outbreak of war was undergoing her four-yearly refit at Hong Kong, and was reported by German spies not to be capable of action for three months. This did not prevent her from being ready by August 6th. The account of the landing and formation of a naval base by the Japanese is interesting. Everything appears to have been done in the most methodical and clever way, and nothing was left to be desired in the manner in which the Triumph' was treated by the Japanese Fleet.—Colonel H. L. Showers's description of Nepal, where be was Resident, tells us of a country in which everything seems to be delightful. An hereditary Prime Minister governs with justice and enlightenment, amidst scenery of the most magnificent kind imaginable. Mount the side of the valley in which the capital stands, and you are confronted by the greatest peaks of the Himalayas towering above you.—" Sowers of Tares " is a good story of a German spy in Morocco. The elderly American in the Spanish lines was not a cinema operator, as he pretended to be, nor was his instrument other than a signalling apparatus disguised.—" Ski " writes a terrible account of her experi- ences on board the Sussex' when the fore-part of that ship was torpe- doed. The writer was returning to France to continue her work in a hospital after a holiday in England, and was badly injured by the explosion. Her greatest danger was undergone while trying to escape in a leaky boat from the remaining part of the ship, which did not sink, and to which eventually she returned. During the critical time a young Belgian soldier behaved with admirable coolness and ability. The satisfaction of the writer in finding herself later on board a British destroyer can well be imagined.