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in this. At the same time Secretary Hay was writing: “The Emperor is nervously anxious to be on good terms with us, on his own terms bien entendu.” Owing to the Boer War there had arisen “a mad-dog hatred of England,” from which Germany was trying to profit. Hay's efforts to buy the Danish West Indies were always defeated by German influence in the Danish Parliament. Besides, the Hamburg-American Line were preparing the way in St. Thomas for occupation. Not until this war could America purchase them. To obtain a port threatening the Panama Canal from the Santa Margarita Islands, Germany induced England, then without an ally, and Italy, her own ally, to join in threatening Venezuela. England retired, owing to the clamor at home, but Germany fastened her ships on her prey. Some years previously Roosevelt had written that the Monroe doctrine would be asserted “if Germany sought to acquire Cuba from Spain, or St. Thomas from the Danes.” He was now President, and he gave the German Ambassador what amounted to a secret ultimatum. For the second time, German ships were discomfited before Admiral Dewey. England's part as a screen in the affair is best forgotten. To smooth matters, Prince Henry was sent on a mission to the United States, where he was good-naturedly received as an Imperial curiosity. His objects remained a discreet secret, but he was doubtless sent to adjust what Bismarck considered the greatest political fact of modern times: “the inherited and permanent fact that North America speaks English.” A strong pro-German and anti-British movement was inaugurated. Harvard received a Teutonic Museum. A strenuous and silent struggle followed in diplomacy, whether the Imperial and aggressive side of America could
be directed against England, the traditional enemy, or against Germany, the political opponent. England had already seen the necessity of making renunciations, and even of jettisoning interests, to avoid any suicidal clash with America. Curiously enough, Germany could not harass England without bringing her nearer to America. German efforts to acquire colonies in South America were checked by the Monroe doctrine and the British Fleet, and it was difficult to discern where the silent opposition of each began and ended, so subtle was their conjunction. But the United States, while professing benevolent admiration, was at the same time blocking the entire scope of Germany's commercial and political aims in South America. Yet the United States was unarmed and pacific, while England, which was neither, could not be brought to book. Unaggressively the United States has taken over the finances of Haiti and Nicaragua to keep out German creditors. In 1911, Maximilian Harden had foresight enough to write: “Great Britain and North America tend to form a community of interests. On the two oceans the Anglo-Saxons group themselves together in unity of will.”
The approach of England to America, however natural, called forth remonstrance from an old-fashioned patriotism which cannot be suspected of being pro-German. The timehonored plea lay in Washington's Farewell Address stating: “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” It is generally forgotten that he added, “We may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.” Provided England was on the side of liberty, Jefferson did not flinch from the prospect of “fighting once more side by side in the same cause.” What, then, is the common strand to the two systems? Admiral Mahan noticed “that singular combination of two essential but opposing factors of individual freedom with subjection to law” in both. Federalism is no doubt both the salvation of America and England's only prospect of holding her Empire. Federation proves the happy way out between independence and disruption on the one hand, and subjugation and union on the other. The two Commonwealths are sufficiently akin to cooperate on equality and parity of terms. The future looms in their lap. They can control the world's supplies of gold, tin, copper, cotton, rubber, and wool. If a Germanic bloc is to lie across Europe, skirted only by a Latin bloc in the West and by a shifting Slavdom in the East, the world's one safety will be an Anglo-Saxon bloc riveted by a Celtic bloc across the Atlantic.
The completion of the Panama Canal was the climax of American Imperialism, and as such appealed to the American people. It doubled the value of the fleet and it was a mystic fulfilment of the dream of Columbus, who had once desired to sail West to the East Indies. Land no longer barred the equatorial route! In the thought of Young America the theme became discernible that America was striking into the vortex of the world. A conscience was forming itself toward all struggling and backward peoples. In the old days an American war vessel was sent to bring Kossuth from Turkey and another to convey food to Ireland, but these were only picturesque incidents. The United States began seriously to protest against the treatment of Jews in Russia and Roumania. Appearances, under reservation, were made at the conferences at The Hague and at Algeciras. Still, the United States shrank from becoming partner or dealer with countries that were a law unto themselves, and she tried to remain in consequence a
land unto herself. Like England, she developed an isolation theory, though she did not qualify it as “glorious.” England's isolation broke down before Edwardian diplomacy. The United States clung during two years of general war to Olney's equation that “American non-intervention in Europe” and “European non-intervention in America” were correlative. But like most mathematical dicta it broke down in practice; and, as Mr. Beer confesses: “The United States cannot escape a certain degree of negative responsibility for the deplorable chaos into which civilization has fallen.” Whence this feeling of responsibility? Denied by many good Americans, it has been strong enough to draw a sigh of relief from the country at large when finally cast into the war. The country has not only been expanding outside her natural bounds, but, within, she has long been tossing, travailing, experimenting, and rejecting. Her own colossal clockwork has troubled her. Other countries build colonies. America has built Trusts that have been mperial in their way, and have been ruled by men called “Kings.” Trusts, like Empires, can be beneficial to those under them, but they can be despotic and ruthless. The Kings of Trusts in America are attacked, as Colonial rulers and magnates like Cecil Rhodes and Governor Eyre, have been attacked in England. They are arraigned like Warren Hastings, rightly and wrongly. No doubt the Oil Trust can be made to look like an ugly octopus, but it squirts cheap oil. No doubt Rockefeller sits at its head like some dyspeptic Thor, whose right lay in his strength and ability, but he showed America the Imperial lines on which big things like a Panama Canal could be built. Anti-Trust laws often look as stupid and petty as antiimperial and pro-aboriginal societies; for Trusts can be benevolent in their power. American Churches are run on business lines and the greatest of them, the Catholic Church, has taken the dimension and autocracy of a Tlust. The Philippines were organized as a Trust. When he thinks on a large scale, the American thinks in terms of Trust. He sees the British Empire working as a beneficial Trust, to which he has no wish to belong, but which he is prepared to back against the predatory Prussian Trust. He is deprecatory of Irish Government, but Mr. Lippmann takes the trouble to praise English rule in Nigeria, which acts “without thwarting its native growth or destroying its local integrity.” Americans have learned to distinguish between Empires as well as between Trusts. Responsibility came to attach itself to big business in a way that never troubled the earlier trader, and in time responsibility entered into international affairs. The American conscience took to itself first Pan-Americanism and then undertook Interhemispheral relations, first with notes and secondly with bayonets. Mr. Lippmann was one of those who noticed that Mr. Wilson was moving toward the higher trend, toward the
big business of the world. Mr. Bryan, The Dublin Review.
he wrote, was defending, pathetically enough, “the old and simple life of America, a life that was doomed by the great organization that had come into the world”; but “Woodrow Wilson at least knows that there is a new world.” In Mr. Wilson's own History are to be found the germs of events and policies forever to be associated with his name.
. Of the Steel Trust he had written:
“Steel had become the structural stuff of the modern world. Commanding its manufacture, America might command the economic fortunes of the world.” And its martial fortunes as well! It was this facility in steel that was to connect America with the world war. After dispensing for two years the stuff of Death, it became her manifest destiny to keep the soul of Europe alive by her own intervention.
Mr. Wilson closed his last and fifth volume by hoping for a new era when it would be possible to “make law the instrument, not of justice merely, but also of social progress.” He was doubtless thinking of the Trusts in theory, but in practice he was to apply it to the Central Powers in the day when the historian was to be called from his desk to climb on to the knees of the gods.
In latter days two or three men, particularly noticed, have been seen striding along the streets in different parts of the middle of London. We have just noticed them in the Haymarket. Even in the strange London of today, where are collected all the types and transformations of war, and where few things cause wonder now, the passers-by turn their heads and look with a touch of admiration and even affection upon the square, flat backs of these retreating figures.
These men stand out distinctly—and with a significance that strikes the senses of the beholder without a moment's explanation—from all the other forms of busy humanity that are about. We know at a glance who and what they are, and not merely by their uniforms, though these give an indication. They are black naval uniforms, and on fine days these smart officers have been wearing the usual white caps. Certain stars may be observed on the uniforms, and the
our own to the figure shorter and
jackets are cut rather shorter and are tighter to the figure than those of our own naval officers. A peculiar thing about these men, as we have seen them in Whitehall, the Strand, and Pall Mall, is that on most days their hands have been covered with dark gloves, and even when the sun has been shining they have carried umbrellas, which, at a hasty glance, have not seemed conspicuous for any close and neat folding. The carrying of umbrellas is doubtless a wise and commendable precaution; but in the circumstances there appears for the moment to be a touch of incongruity in it. We have seen numbers of gentlemen in this uniform about the town since July, but these three in particular -sometimes reduced to a pair-cross one's track from time to time, conveying an impression of being “hard among it," so to say, and one remembers them. They have a stern set of countenance upon-in the case of two of them-round, clean-shaven faces, and they look neither to right nor to left. It is that peculiar, confident, and daring expression often found upon the faces of Americans, which can best be described as a "sittingtight” expression. This is the stolidity of the sphinx, with a small suspicion of a twinkle in the eye. Again, two of the trio are rounder and thicker of body than our young naval officers, and their tight-fitting uniforms accentuate the fact. They walk along the streets with a long, solemn, and some. what heavy tread, keeping themselves carefully in step. You see a difference when there flashes by one of our own young captains or lieutenants, so lithe and tripping on his toes, for of all the men who skip about in town in these times none is nearly so conspicuous for agility as the naval officer. One but points out differences of nationality and service, making no comparisons for classes of merit, for
it is hardly to be indicated in these ways. And even if such indiscretion seized a man, he would find more and more to admire and be thankful for in that staid and solemn gait, that solid and dignified tread, of these officers, our good and real American friends; for you will have guessed that these three officers—and we have liked it when there have been three of them, for they have helped romantic fancies and the imagination, bringing to mind old sets of triple heroes from the naval romance of Marryat, the Three Musketeers, and other gallants of world fame-are officers of the United States Navy, here in British and French waters with their ships, doing their country's business and that of the world's best peoples. Of course, there have been comparatively few of them about the town; the many are otherwise and very considerably engaged elsewhere, a circumstance which has assisted us to make special note of this small group. In particular we have remarked that while there was a cleanshaven man on the side, and another bare-faced officer on the other, the middle man wore a beard, which is very unusual in an American naval officer. But his features were none the less keen, and his eyes gleamed. At a glance you knew him for a man of deep purpose and stern resolve. He seemed to be not of the type of our Jellicoe or Beatty, but yet he had sharp, angular features, like the former. This bearded officer is a very important man, for he is Admiral Sims, on whom the British Admiralty conferred a unique and indeed almost incredible distinction by placing him in the command of our own naval forces in an emergency in the Irish Sea soon after his coming over.
This Admiral Sims, in command of the naval forces of the United States in European waters, is a remarkably interesting man. All the great char
acters of the war, fate fastening so much upon them, are necessarily figures for curiosity and consideration; but some of these Americans, having our own blood and ideals in them, and yet having made of themselves a new race with special characteristics, are fascinating subjects now, and one can scarcely tell why so little has been told in our country about such stimulating men. These personalities, indeed, are not good material for our almost universal secrecies. One cannot know too much of such men; there is nothing about them that does not hearten. The British Government, at the same time that it imposed new restrictions and turned the screw one twist further upon the people, should have told us the human tales of Sims and Pershing, who then were coming along to help us, to show us what manner of men were glad to be of us, for then the people could bear many more twists of those departmental screws. What I know and have heard of Admiral Sims has come from abroad, and one of the things told me, in the way of characteristics, is that this stern man, cold to the look, of steely inflexibility of purpose, a man who, as we shall see, has in a special way improved the art of necessary killing to a high point of perfection, is incapable himself of shooting game or angling for fish, and so, if you wish to phrase it that way, he cannot be an active sportsman. The idea of inflicting death upon any beast or bird or other living thing—not considering human enemies in battle—is deeply repugnant to him; and more than that, he recoils from it. That is interesting, but perhaps it is not wholly unique; and it is reasonable, after all, as some will feel after a little reflection. Some of the greatest soldiers have been the gentlest men; they see such sincerity and innocence in the other creatures of God as, alas! are not often to be
found in the human kind. The recreations, then, of Admiral Sims are of the simpler sort. If there is one of them that, for his devotion to it, is much more conspicuous than all the rest, it is—you could not guess it in a thousand times!—the composition of that peculiar form of verse embracing surprise, discovery, and usually some quaint satire, which we call limericks. This leader of the United States Navy, having a considerable load laid upon him now for civilization's sake, is also the laureate of the limerick. He dabbles in humorous verse of other kinds, but the limerick he likes most, and it is said that he has composed hundreds and more hundreds of them. One would experience no surprise on being informed in a whisper that such material substances for satire as Wilhelm, Tirpitz, and others of the German crew have already served their purpose with him. I am told that one night, while the American fleet was lying at anchor in the bay of Guacanayabo, the officers assembled and were discoursing eagerly upon all manner of naval and other subjects, when it was noticed that Sims was leaning close down upon a table and applying himself most earnestly with pen and ink to the paper before him. They did not disturb him; they thought the Admiral was occupied with an important order or dispatch. But at the end of an hour he handed to each officer a slip of paper with a limerick written upon it bearing on a subject that he had just been discussing. One is accustomed to the curious, the irregular, and the unconventional in great and successful careers. Genius is ill harnessed to convention; it meets with rebuffs and difficulties, and keeps its own way of salvation and victory upon an independent course. The career of Admiral Sims, forced by an iron will and enormous energy, is still