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than President McKinley. No human being can direct and control the lives and movements and aspirations of 120 millions of people, except in a very remote and indirect way; and the more homogeneous and ignorant and tractable the race, the more certainly is it moulded and moved by the Bureaucracy which really rules the country. It is the public opinion of this military and civilian caste which is omnipresent in Russia, which really directs its fate and policy.

So far as we can judge from the reports of reputable witnesses, the Tsar has entirely misinterpreted the wishes and the intentions of this class in his Rescript. The Russian Army offers almost the only career open to the ambition of five-sixths of the poor gentry of the country, and armies do not like these theories about reduction, and these tendencies towards perpetual brotherhood. Promotion, glory, all the inducements, in fact, to men to enter its ranks are stifled by the rust and corrosion induced by peace and theories of peace. And Russia has too long and too lately been a growing and an expanding power to make the notion welcome that it will in future rest on its oars and try to grow rich and lazy.

So far as we can see, no officials or public men in Russia of any weight bave backed up the Emperor's appeal, nor has the Press supported it with any real warmth. On the contrary, while the Emperor has been writing an address that might have been penned by some Bishop of Hereford, and sent to the patient and longsuffering clergy and the pious laymen who are lucky enough to live in that most fortunate of dioceses, the general staff of the Russian Army has been working in a very different direction. It has lately increased the Russian Army by two army corps, and has spent, and is about to spend, a great many millions upon arming its men with a new and costly weapon; while those responsible for the Russian fleet have laid down a scheme of ship-building which is quite portentous, and which has been supplemented by an additional expenditure on the so-called Volunteer Fleet.

Assuredly the spectacle is not an edifying one, and no wonder that it should in many quarters have been treated as an exhibition of audacious cynicism. As a witty Irish judge said to me a few days ago, It is very much like a perfervid teetotal chairman addressing a dinner of the League, while the waiters are engaged in filling every man's glass up with whisky.' No wonder that Tolstoi, the weird prophet who has given us so many grim pictures of Russia as it is, should, at a recent interview with the Tsar, have plainly and directly told him that, if he meant business by his Rescript, he had better set an example of disarmament to the other nations, instead of preaching peace himself while his Government was engaged in enlarging the sphere and multiplying the weapons

How much better and clearer Tolstoi's attitude seems than that of our

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of war.

TOL. XLV-No. 264

P

agitators to those among us who have not been trained to believe in phrases instead of facts, and who turn to the man of courage and conviction when we want a leader, and not to the man of vain words usually called clap-trap!

The Emperor's appeal to faith without works is, in fact, more suited to the pulpit of some latter-day Puritan than to the political rostrum, and is naturally full of ambiguity.

If the attitude of the Host at the coming symposium is ambiguous, what about that of the expected guests? We need not discuss all of them. The small Powers and the virtually bankrupt States are of no account in such controversies, and it is indifferent what attitude they adopt. The real factors in the problem are the strong and solvent nations. The attitude of these is quite undisguised and plain. They have sent civil answers to the Emperor's invitation no doubt—the correspondents of Emperors generally do send civil replies, especially if the Emperor in question can set four millions of armed men in motion--but how do their acts tally with their language? They tally very much as Jacob's hands tallied with his speech, when he was playing the famous trick upon his father. .

Take Germany for instance. The Emperor of Germany sent & most paternal greeting as response to his Russian brother's invitation : as full of benevolent peace-making as some headings of old-fashioned copybooks. We all assented to the sympathetic sentiments thus expressed, and some folks thought they meant serious business and not mere philandering with fine words. They have been quickly undeceived. The real answer to the Tsar's letter is not contained in the Emperor William's peaceful platitudes, but in the Bill presented to the Reichstag by which the German army, instead of being reduced, is to be immediately increased by more than 25,000 men. Nor is there any fencing or gush about the War Minister General von Goesler's language in recommending the scheme to the German Parliament. “History taught them,' he said, 'that the will of the mightiest monarchy was not able to alter the interests of a great nation, or the conditions of its existence. If a nation meant to maintain its independence, it must possess the strength requisite for protecting its interests at any moment. If he looked around him in the world, he found that nowhere had there been a cessation of preparations for war. This is plain soldierly prose, and, what is more, we know perfectly well that it represents the real policy of Germany, whatever pretty things may be said in letters to our august brother.' Herr Bebel, we are told, the leader of the Socialist party in the Reichstag, pointed out that it was a mockery of the views expounded in the Tsar's manifesto to express to the Russian Government sympathy with the proposal and at the same time to introduce the new Army Bill. So it most plainly is, and yet the courtly sycophants who form such a large proportion of the Reichstag met the homely thrusts of the Socialist deputy, with storms of protest. The storm really meant that the majority of the Reichstag believed in the wisdom and prudence of the Minister, and treated the reply of the Emperor as mere diplomatic equivocation which it was not prudent to converge too much light upon.

The Times correspondent at Berlin quotes in addition a really amusing speech made in the debate by one of the most feudal of the Junker deputies--namely, Baron Von Stumm:

Ile had a theory of his own [he said) as to the best attitude of Germany in view of the Tsar's Eirenicon. He did not think that the initiative of the Tsar would lead to any numerical reduction in the armed strength of Europe. But, supposing that it were to do so, and that 10 per cent., say, were to be struck off the prace establishment and off the armaments of all the Powers. In prospect of such a decision the best thing Germany could do was surely to pass this Bill (i.e: the Bill increasing the army) without delay, for, as he triumphantly pointed out, it is clear that that country will fare best which has made most progress in its military preparations.'

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The House, we are told, laughed heartily, and well it might. It is clear that the scholars of the Man of Blood and Iron in the art of undisguised effrontery in politics are not likely to become extinct just yet.

If we turn from Germany to Austria, we meet with the same worldly wisdom in her acts combined with soft phrases on her lips. In the Vienna military paper the Reichswehr, certain articles have appeared showing how necessary it is that she should follow the example of Germany and Russia and increase instead of diminishing her armed forces. It is worth while quoting the moral drawn by this professional paper, which has great influence in the Dual Monarchy, on the two simultaneous tunes which its powerful neighbours are engaged in playing. One addressed to our agitators and their hysterical following, and the other based upon the grim necessities of worldly prudence :

The German Army Bill (we are told in the Times report], the first reading of which has thoroughly dissipated whatever expectations may have been based on + le coming disarmament conference, must be regarded in Austria as a reminder that the relative proportions of the armed forces of the Powers are about to undergo a further change to the disadvantage of the Dual Monarchy, and that the backward condition of our army compared with that of Germany will be further emphasised. Tle new German Army Bill, which is sure to be adopted, can have no other effect on this country than to force the Monarchy, in spite of peace conferences and the claims of economy, to set about the formation of a sixteenth corps d'armée at Brünn, and the rearmament and reorganisation of our field artillery. For, as Generalkon Gor-ler declared, and as history teaches, when a people fails to maintain an army proportionate to the extent of its territory, it renounces the position which it has ben destined to occupy.

So much for Austria ; now for France. Here, again, we have the same, or even a still more marked, contrast between the effusive' and,

in fact, rather humiliating phrases in which the proposals in the Tsar's memorandum were officially accepted and the grim figures of the Budget-the real test of the sincerity of the whole proceeding

Nothing can be more plain to anyone who has read the French papers than the feeling of mortification and almost despair with which the Tsar's pietistic appeal was received. To Russia's French ally the words had no doubt an air of mockery about them. France ever since 1870 had been writhing under the not ignoble feelings which a proud and sensitive nation must suffer from when it has received a crushing blow in which its prestige and fame have been damaged, and its position among the nations greatly altered for the

worse.

With heroic fortitude, she has borne the most terrible loads of taxation, and made superhuman sacrifices to put her army in order, and to make it a very formidable weapon. She had also made very considerable sacrifices and concessions of dignity and of self-respect in order to secure and maintain at least one powerful ally, and has turned her back on many of her old traditions and on her time-worn policy, in order to cement the friendship. She has done all this for very definite reasons, and with a very clear purpose in view. She wants, if not to recover her provinces, to recover her prestige. To win some great victory, and in some way or other to efface the dismal memory from her soul. The alliance of the Cossack and the Zouave was in French imagination going to restore France to her ola position in some undefined way, perhaps by a revanche on the Rhine; perhaps by a common blow against the English in Egypt. Thus dreamt the quidnuncs of the Boulevards.

In the midst of all these hopes comes this extraordinary invitation of the Tsar; not a word was said in it about undoing the cruel facts of recent years. Bygones were apparently to be bygones. The status quo was to be maintained, and the lion and the lamb were to browse together on the Rhine and the Nile. All these tremendous sacrifices, extending over a quarter of a century, coming from the most economical and saving peasantry in Europe, were to go for nothing, were, in fact, to be reversed and undone. No wonder that a cry of pain should have greeted the pious invitation of the Tsar. The Government no doubt accepted the invitation, but the Foreign Secretary, M. Delcassé, is now at great pains to explain that it was only accepted very conditionally. Meanwhile ominous references to the country having been befooled by the wily Cossack have appeared in more than one influential French paper. It has been said, in fact, not by English but by French journalists, that the Russian alliance is a very one-sided one, and that while France has been called upon to make continual sacrifices to maintain it, and to keep alive her frigid hopes by a good deal of effort, it has appeared more and more that on

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the Russian side there is only a desire to drain the contents of French parses, and to use the alliance for the advancement of Russian financial and other interests. From no quarter, so far as I know, except from two or three Socialists, has a voice been raised in France in fervid praise or welcome of the new gospel. On the contrary, there is an almost universal clamour for more ships and more protected harbours, while the new Budget reflects the prevailing sentiment.

If we turn from the Old World to the New, we have the same unfortunate conjunction of Mars and Venus. The Tsar's address has been answered in America by the creation for the first time of a great standing army, by the deliberate conquest and incorporation of foreign possessions, by an increasing ardour for adventures and for all the martial amusements which form the apprenticeship of nations who are committed to a warlike and aggressive policy.

America, it must be remembered too, is a very good test case. She makes up for a lack of traditions in the past by an irrepressible bope in the future. Her short history is not sophisticated by feudal memories, but she has been until lately the paragon and ensample quoted by the prophets of the Manchester School. She has been quoted as a good, democratic, puritanical community whose people are devoted to singing pastoral hymns and making money, given up to shopkeeping and manufacturing and other exhilarating but not Farlike occupations. The very ideal which the Peace Society had once in view. Having no part or sympathy with boot and spur

and drum and trumpet and bloodshed and conquest. The sort of country which my old and kind and delightful friend, the member for Cockermouth, dreams of when he thinks of Paradise.

Yet what happens ? At the very crisis of the Cause, when the great Autocrat of All the Russias bids people stay their hand and turn to better things, bids them convert their swords, if not into pruning hooks, into American sewing-machines and cycles, we have every American striving his hardest to become a major or a colonel, and declaring that it is quite time America should have some fighting on a great scale as every other respectable nation has had, at least since the sword of Gideon fleshed itself in the unspeakable Canaanite.

It is not only the Great Powers, the smaller ones are following fuit, and Sweden has sounded a note of alarm and of warning on the same subject which is by no means of hopeful augury.

This being the attitude of foreign nations, what has been our own ? We who have a larger portion of the human race under our control than probably any other Power, who have more multifarious interests in every climate, who claim to be rightly or wrongly the guardians and the messengers of civilisation in every part of the world. We who are envied for our prosperity and our wealth-what has been our

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