26 DECEMBER 1914, Page 15


[To TER EDITOR OF THE "SERCTATOR...] Sin,—I do not think Bishop Butler's inquiry as to whether a nation as well as an individual may not sometimes go mad, or at least become subject to temporary insanity, has ever been referred to among the innumerable letters and Press notices which have appeared on the subject of the present war. The first French Revolution certainly seems to have verified the Bishop's prescience, and the present German infatuation seems to be another instance. Their way of looking at things may be described as a vice versa process. We are the aggressors, they the injured innocents. The Kaiser proclaims himself " the apostle of peace." He is confident he will go down to posterity as such. "His heart bleeds for poor Louvain." It reminds one of Alice in Wonderland :— " I feel for you,' the Walrus said,

I deeply sympathize.' "

But be went on gobbling up the poor protesting oysters all the same.

We are sometimes favoured with news "through German eyes." Perhaps it would be more correct to say through German spectacles. As Hooker says in his Answer to Travers, " But what if in the end it be found that he judgeth my words as they do colours, which look upon them through green spectacles, and think that which they see is green, when indeed that is green whereby they see." They are at all events suffering from a species of colour-blindness. "Neces- sity, the tyrant's plea," is made the excuse of "their devilish deeds." Their unreasoning and frantic hatred of the British name can only proceed upon the principle odisse guess laeseris.

Much as we may regret the Archbishop of York's unguarded utterance, his testimonial to the Kaiser probably amounts to no more than the character once given to a discharged man- servant : " I have seen him sober." The Germans seem to have no sense of humour, otherwise they would hardly lay to heart the caricatures in some of the picture-papers, some of them, it must be confessed, vulgar enough. Let us hope that our adversaries may some day come to see the truth of things when they wake from their delirious dream.—I am, Sir, &o., G. J. CowLEx-BEowsr. 6 Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh.