26 DECEMBER 1914, Page 15


[To TER EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—At the present moment Great Britain is held to be responsible for the war (and bated accordingly) by Germany because, as the German Chancellor put it, she did not prevent Russia from embarking on it. Am I too late in pointing out that this is mere plagiarism ? In 1870 Lord Augustus Loftus described Bismarck as saying that "Great Britain should have forbidden France to enter on the war. She was in a position to do so, and her interests and those of Europe de- manded it" ; while the then Crown Princess wrote from Berlin : " The English are more hated at this moment than the French, and Lord Granville more than Benedetti" (Fitzmaurice, Life of the Second Earl Granville, II., pp. 37-38). This, then, was Bismarck's theory ! The fact, as he knew then, and as we all know now, was that he had himself engineered the war, even to the extent of falsifying the Ems telegram. The Greeks, whom we are so fond of quoting for Hubris and its conse- quences, had also a proverb, "A second helping of cabbage— death ! " Has not Kullur fallen somewhat short of its "high civilizing mission" in failing to bring home to German militarism the deep significance of Greek proverbs? Perhaps the Allies will make good the deficiency —I am, Sir, &c., 10 Perensey _Road, St. Leonardo. H. J. ALLEN.