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alone. The Federal Council has to give its approbation.
As to the questions of military and naval armament, the Kaiser can neither get a single man nor a ship more than there are at present without the consent of the Reichstag. Repeatedly, proposals of the imperial Government have been rejected. On other occasions parliamentary assent was only got after laborious negotiations, or after a dissolution, when the country at large sided with Government.
it will thus be seen that the field is free, in some ways, for the new Reichstag, if only the Liberal and Radical groups, which have come back with increased numbers, are true to their professed principles, and worth their salt. in numbers, the National Liberals—somewhat altered in tone for the better through late experience—the Free People's party, the Free Progressist Union, the German People's party, and the German Reform party all show an increased strength.
The Centre remains as it was, with the addition of two, or, according to other accounts, three seats, but with greatly diminished influence. in fact. it is stated that uine of its seats were only obtained by way of a bargain which delivered over twelve other seats to the Social Democrats. But as these latter now dispose only of forty-three seats, which, without the help of the Centre, would to nil evidence even have been reduced to thirty-one, it is clear that the Ultramontanes are now deprived of an ally without whom they are henceforth powerless.
Here, that special institution, the second ballot, or "Stichwahl," has to bo touched upon. in Germany it is not enough that a candidate should have a greater number of votes than any other competitor. He must have a majority over the votes of all other candidates combined. if he has not, a second ballot is to be taken between
the two candidates who are next in number to each other. Then, if several competitors have been in the field, a bargaining usually begins, in which often the most discordant elements have to make an arrangement between themselves.
in this last election the oddest combinations have taken place for the second ballots, in the various parts of the Empire, and within different States. There was no uniformity of action as to coming to a compromise between Conservative and Liberal, or Liberal and Social Democrat, or Centre and any other party, as against some supposed common enemy who was to be ousted from his insufficient majority by a subsequent alliance between otherwise discordant groups, or who wanted to have his insufficient majority increased to an absolute one by the addition of the votes of one of the defeated candidates whose friends finally choose the "lesser evil."
To some extent these necessary, but sometimes rather sordid, transactions are.made all the more difficult through the very existence of separate States— with "Home Rule" Legislatures of their own. Political development has, in them, gone so far in a centrifugal sense that the nation has been sadly split up and the public mind too much divided into merely local concerns and issues. Those who praise the alleged excellent "Home Rule" arrangements of the German Empire forget that in reality they are the evil inheritance of our old national misfortunes.
in the older constitution of the Empire there was virtually more unity. The several Dukes, as they were simply called, were mere officials of the Empire, deposable by the central authority—that is, by the elective King, or Kaiser. it was during foreign complications and wars that these Dukes gradually made themselves seml-independent.
After the Thirty Years' War, which ruined the country, they exercised almost sovereign power as Landesherren. In consequence of the Napoleonic wars they made themselves downright "sovereigns." Any kind of real unity was then gone; a mere confederation of dynasties—several dozens in point of fact—remaining as a common bond. This state of tilings, though altered now to some extent, still reacts on the present political situation. It renders the task of an effective plan of campaign against "personal government" in the central authority all the harder. This Is a state of things which Englishmen may well consider, when being told that Germany, with her many dynasties and her separate legislatures, Is a proper example to follow.
Irrespective of this baneful influence of a so-called "Home Kule" state of things, on the life of the nation at large, I must confess that the huckstering at the second ballots does not strike me as an ideal institution. It generally goes, In Germany, under the name of Kuh-Kandel (cow-bargain). It often brings out the worst symptoms of Intrigue and political Immorality. So It has, as above shown, done In the present instance.
I hold it to be by far better to make every voter feel that the struggle must be concentrated on a single issue, and that he and those thinking with him should, from the beginning, do their best to win the day by manly effort. The so-called Ziihl-Kandidaten—men who are only put forward in order to find out the strength of a party or group—have become a perfect nuisance in Germany. So have the shuflling tricks of those who dabble in the KuhHandel. They either lead their own contingent as allies into an enemy's camp, from spite against another adversary; or they Induce their own men to desist from voting at all at a second ballot, so as to give a chance to an
other candidate, whom they really detest with all their heart, but whom they wish to use as a means of spiting one still more deeply hated. All this does not make for political honesty.
A "block" is now formed, of various groups of Liberals and Conservatives, who, from patriotic motives, can give Government a sufficient majority in matters concerning the defensive strength of the country. This does not mean that the Liberals and Radicals have to be, or ought to be, simply at that Government's order. They must decide each case according to its merits.
In his speeches the Imperial Chancellor evidently wished for a combination of the Conservatives and the Liberals in such cases, but still cast a curious side-glance at the Centre. This was not the right way of strengthening the Progressist efforts. It must, however, be confessed that a Radical Berlin paper forgot, In its criticism, that Prince Billow, being dependent on the Emperor, who can undo him In a moment, is not able to go beyond a certain line. The Chancellor, nevertheless, gave a hint, In his usual oratorical style, to the Liberals, by saying: "In order to make music, there must be musicians." In other words, he called for a Progressist orchestra, whom he might lead. The Berlin paper referred to answered: "Great composers have never waited for their orchestra. Real statesmen know how to create important movements."
But seeing that an Imperial Chancellor Is appointed by the Crown, and that there is no Ministerial responsibility In the Reichstag, Prince Billow has clearly not a free hand. The nation itself, by its own Progressist spokesmen, must work out its own salvation. Selbst ist der Maim."'—that well-known good Uerwan maxim—must be the guiding principle. Ministerial responsibility, extended parliamentary rights, have to be claimed, as the least reforms, whilst looking forward to larger possibilities in the future. if Social Democrats will aid in that work, all the better. it would certainly be better than to fling in the face of the most advanced men, who willingly work also for social Reforms, the charge of their being, together with the Conservatives, "one reactionary mass." Such accusations only mnke for militarist and bureaucratic reaction.
Another word of necessary admonition. Any attempt from abroad of dictating to the German nation as to its right of looking to its own security on land or at sea, will have a fatal effect . Even in a Liberal London paper it was recently said that the creation of a strong fleet is an "un-German" enterprise. History itself—witness our Hansa—disproves the assertion. i recollect too well how, in days gone by, any proposal of amelioration in English State affairs was always denounced here, by arch-reactionists, as "un-English." That word is scarcely used now any longer.
The French fleet is superior to that of Germany. So was the Russian Navy until lately, and it is now being rebuilt with the money of the French ally of Czardom. Almost all nations of any importance are strengthening their naval armaments. Japan does so. The United States of America are doing the same, though for what purpose, being in no danger of attack, nobody could say. Germany still ranks fifth only in strength at sea; yet she is exposed to manifold dangers, and has to look to the safety of her increasing over-sea trade.
Will any one say that the increase of a navy is un-Freuch. un-Russian, unAmerican. un-Japanese? if words of that kind were used, the answers would
quickly come in rather unpleasant terms.
Language held by a late Lord of the British Admiralty as to the necessity of "smashing a certain navy in the North Sea before even people knew that there was a declaration of war," has made a deep impression in Germany—not in the way of fear, but of greater readiness for preparing against a possible danger. The revelations of M. Delcasse have added to that feeling. He asserted, uncontradicted, that "100,000 English troops had been promised to him for a landing in Schleswig-Holstein" in a certain eventuality! When it was seen that even in a Social Democratic organ of this country the return to office of M. Delcassf—who had laid a plan of attack against Germany, and who, therefore, was overthrown by the prudent and wise action of Socialist Republican leaders in France— was repeatedly wished for, and that those French Socialists were blamed here by English comrades, the impression in Germany grew still deeper.
i mention all this from a sincere wish of seeing peace and goodwill upheld and promoted between Germany and England as well as between Germany and France. To threaten Germans with the British trident is the best means of furthering the cause of "personal government" among them, and of hampering the efforts of men who want to make an end of that nuisance for the sake of greater freedom. A nation's independence being its first natural concern, there will always be a rapid rally round its defender, whoever he may be. if German freemen are to set out for "riding down" reactionary tendencies at home, they must not be menaced from abroad.
Let this not be forgotten by those who talk so loudly about the desirability of overthrowing imperial absolutism, and who have even gone to the strange length of describing the adberents of the Pope's personal government as true defenders of liberty, whilst picturing as "most moderate
The Nineteenth Century and After.
reformers" a party which in their own country they load with abuse.
THE ENEMY'S CAMP.
CHAPTER 1. "i'll put the kettle on," said William, stepping off the plank that somewhat insecurely bridged the small lagoon of
mud beyond the stile, "and ," but
he stopped abruptly in the middle of both sentence and progress, his eyes and mouth wide open with astonishment and his right foot slightly in advance of the left . The others, concerned with the passage, did not at first notice anything, but when they, too, had reached firm ground they had leisure to follow their friend's gaze and to share in his emotion. The frown of concentration incidental to lighting a pipe while crossing a narrow plank remained on Talbot's brow, though the match that he had just struck burned away unheeded. The Admiral's hand remained motionless on the crown of the battered straw hat that it had been settling more comfortably on the back of his head, while his face lengthened in pained displeasure.
So they might have stood for some time had not Talbot's match suddenly restored him to activity by burning his fingers. Casting the charred fragment on the ground he stamped on it viciously, and then found his tongue. "Where did he get them?" he asked, raising his eyes again to the object of scrutiny.
"i haven't an idea," returned William endeavoring, as always, to answer the question.
"Consider the lilies," said the Admiral, who belonged to a profession that enjoys its opportunities for sarcasm. To a stranger the scene would hardly
have seemed to call for a display of emotion, nor would he have found it easy to explain why indignation was so rapidly succeeding surprise in the demeanor of the three. The sun had lost something of its fierceness, and had reached that period of its decline when men may truthfully aver that it is cooler than it was. From a pleasant angle it shone upon as fair a picture of meadow, river, and tree as may be found in the Western Midlands. On the right of the three men a steep knoll sloped up almost from the river bank. Elms crowned its summit and a great oak guarded its base. A line of willows separated it from the meadows sleeping in the sunlight beyond, while behind was the little forest of osiers through which they had come. On the left lay the river, deep and sluggish, its further bank lined with old twisted willows which marked its sinuous course away into the distance and the woods, its nearer bank fringed with thick clumps of reeds, in whose bays were white and yellow water-lilies, and with the paler green of sedges. There was no babble of gravelly shallows to disturb the restfuiness of the picture. By dint of slow perpetual motion the river had worn out a little bay at the foot of the knoll, almost under the shadow of the oak-tree, and therein was lying a house-boat, misty gray in color and almost luminous in the evening sun. At its stern was a flag-staff from which the Union Jack drooped idly.
But it was on none of these things that the friends had concentrated their attention. They had eyes for nothing but a man reclining on a canvas chair on the roof of the house-boat, obviously in a position of considerable comfort, possibly of comfort greater than was good for one who had not yet reached the prime of life; but this of itself was hardly enough to explain the ferocity now levelled at him from three pairs of eyes. Nor was there anything noticeable in him otherwise to the casual eye. He wore a suit of dark blue, which was plainly, even in his attitude of repose, of good cut and fit; one leg. crossed over the other, displayed a neat boot of an unostentatious brown,—that sober and gentlemanly brown of good leather carefully tended which is only attained by a man with a real sense of the niceties of dress; a decent inch of shirt-cuff showed modestly beyond his coat-sleeve, giving a hint of the gold links that secured it, and a Panama hat with a broad brim was tilted on his face till it almost touched a tall and very white collar. The disposition of the hat suggested slumber; but set him on his feet, and he might have appeared in the pavilion at Lord's or behind the Ditch on a fine day in July without seeming out of place on the score of apparel. Altogether he seemed a credit to the house-boat which supported him; he gave it an air of social stability, and suggested a blending of the graces of town and the relaxation of the country essentially gratifying to the urbane mind.
However, the men on the bank had presumably lost their urbanity of mind if they had ever possessed such a quality, for they regarded him with unmixed irritation. "i suppose," said Talbot scornfully, "he thinks this is Henley, and himself the cynosure of every eye."
"it can't be that, or he wouldn't be asleep," William objected with great justice. "it's sheer vanity."
"We have been here less than a day," said the Admiral, "and he has returned
to the toga already. if we don't take steps he will no doubt dress for dinner." The Admiral's voice had that ring of decision in it that always brought an expression of studied innocence into the faces of the large unruly boys at the bottom of the Lower Sixth, and he stooped for a convenient piece of stick.
The missile struck the sleeper on the elbow and roused him to rub his eyes, push his hat back, and sit up. "Hullo!" he said, seeing his friends. "Got back? Nearly tea-time isn't it? What's the matter?" he added, as his slowly returning consciousness grasped the fact that they were considering him with disapproval.
"Why, if one may ask, have you put those things on?" asked the Admiral in his magisterial manner.
"You're in the country, you know, on the river,—camping out," explained William, kindly explicit, moved by the evident lack of comprehension in the face of the accused.
"So are we," added Talbot, "and if you think we came down here to wear collars, and look like tailor's dummies generally, you're mistaken."
The terms of the indictment were now clear and Sir Seymour Haddon (commonly known as Charles from a certain propensity to magnificence) regarded as much of himself as he could see complacently. "These things?" he said with a fine air of depreciation. "Oh, well, i had a bathe after you fellows were gone, and i thought i'd try on this new suit; it only came just before i left town, and" my man packed it straight away. i think it's a very decent fit." Then he surveyed the others and laughed. "i suppose it is a bit of a contrast," he added; "but you want somebody to look decent."
The urbane mind would very probably have assented heartily to this after even a superficial study of the three. indeed, a glance at William alone