20 MARCH 1915, Page 22


has followed many campaigns as a representative of the American Press, and has earned a well-deserved reputation as a brilliant descriptive writer, has previously shown himself to be by no means a fanatical Anglomaniac. Consequently the greater weight is likely to attach to the appeal which he makes to his country. men in the preface to this striking account of his personal experiences during the first months of the present war. He urges the people of the United States to disregard President Wilson's request that they should "preserve toward this war the mental attitude of neutrals." Such a request, he thinks, can only be explained by the fact that "little of the true horror" of the war has as yet crossed the ocean. But Mr. Davis has seen the German armies at close quarters; be gives a most vivid account of their organization, for which he is unable to refrain from expressing the admiration of a military expert; and this is his considered judgment on the question of neutrality:— " Wore the conflict in Europe a fair fight, the duty of every American would be to keep on the side-lines and preserve an open mind. But it is not a fair fight. To devastate a country you have sworn to protect, to drop bombs upon =fortified cities, to lay sunken mines, to levy blackmail by threatening hostages with death, to destroy cathedrals, is not to fight lair. That is the way Germany is fighting. She is defying the rules of war and the rules of humanity. And if public opinion is to help in preventing further outrages, and in hastening this unspeakable conflict to ax end, it should be directed against the ens who offends. If we are convinced that one opponent is fighting honestly and that hi, adversary is striking below the belt, then for 11.1 to maintain a neutral attitude of mind is unworthy and the attitude of • (toward. When a mad dog runs amuck in a village it is the duty of every farmer to get his gun and destroy it, not to lock himself indoors sad toward the dog and the men who boo him preserve a neutral mind."

The description which Mr. Davis gives of the vast and monstrous German engine of war, which he has seen at closer quarters than it has fallen to the lot of many English-speaking writers to do, is extremely impressive. In six campaigns he has studied many armies, but never one so perfectly equipped as this "machine, endless, tireless, with the delicate organiza- tion of a watch and the brute power of a steam roller," which roared and rumbled through Brussels for three days and three nights without a break in the serried files. But his technical admiration for its efficiency does not blind him to its baleful meaning It is, perhaps, the most efficient organisation of modern times ; and its purpose only is death. Those who cast it loose upon Europe are military-mad. And they are only a very small part of the German people. But to preserve their class they have in their own image crested this terrible engine of destruction. For the present it is their servant. But, ' though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small. "

We profess ourselves much indebted to Mr. Davis for the true and pleasant things which he says about the part which our own men are taking in the grinding process.