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promise to disarm, with what up
celerity he may build again an army and a navy which shall astonish Europe. For France the activities of Germany are a real and constant menace. For the people of England they are a faintly remembered dream. And France, which is in the habit of dealing with realities, knows that the best way of weakening Germany is to compel her to carry out the provisions of the peace. She knows also that in this policy she does not obtain the single-minded help which is her due of those who shared with her the toils of war, and to the high hopes which followed the armistice there succeeds something akin to despair.
She sees herself still beset by her hereditary enemy, and asks for the help to which she has a right. And she hears from Mr Asquith, whom she is indiscreet enough to believe a living politician, a benevolent statement that he will do his best to revise the terms of peace in Germany's favour. She hears from the cynical and soulless economists that two years of the bagman's golden age are worth another war-that only if we can once more buy and sell in the markets of Germany nothing else matters. It would, in truth, be difficult to overrate the harm that has been done in France by Mr Keynes' mischievous book. The mere fact that Mr Keynes belittles the damage which the Germans have inflicted upon the fair land of France is sufficient to
show that he has a bias in favour of the enemy. The other fact, that his economic pedantry prevents him from seeing what would be the political effect of his argument, deprives his pamphlet of all value. Mr Keynes, being deficient in the historic sense, cares not a jot what happens across the Rhine. Not only would he smooth Germany's path to peace-he would invite her also to turn Russia into a commercial vassal; and if Germany, thus generously holpen, found herself ready in ten years to re-enforce the doctrine of blood and iron, Mr Keynes doubtless would satisfy himself that the gospel of political economy had not been outraged. To be sure, he talks very much as the pedants talked in 1914, who declared that there would be no war because there was no money in it. Perhaps there is not much difference between his outlook and the ineffable Norman Angell's. Both the one and the other are ready to assert that in certain conditions this or that must happen. It never happens as they say, and then they shift their ground, wholly unrepentant of the harm they have done their best to do.
Unhappily the French cannot see Mr Keynes in his just proportion. They know that he was present for a while at the Conference in Paris, and they attach more importance than they need to his argument. Their distrust of Mr George is better founded, because, if Mr Keynes doesn't matter much,
Mr George matters, unhappily, a vast deal. And the French perceive, as we perceive, that the objection to Mr George is not that he has a policy hostile to France, but that he has not a policy at all. If Mr George, in the House of Commons, declares with a great many words that he will support France in all her demands upon Germany, the assurance is of little use. For the French have learned that it is inexpedient to attach much value to Mr George's eloquence, since what he says to-day he will assuredly take back to-morrow. They blame him not so much for his policy as for his lack of policy. And not understand ing that Mr George cannot look further ahead than his parliamentary majority, that the grandeur and the honour of England are beyond his grasp, they ascribe to infirmity of purpose what is really the outcome of a dangerous and consistent egoism. But in neither case can the French take comfort in Mr George's verbal assurances. And if Mr George has failed them, what shall they say of President Wilson's defection?
Mr Wilson is, in fact, cast by every Frenchman for the part of the villain of the peace. We do not suppose that the great Idealist is permitted to read what is said of him in the French newspapers. If he were, it would be very good for his soul's health. But he is recognised by the French correctly enough as the first cause of the woes of France. It was he who, with
little enough excuse, interfered in the affairs of Europe, which he imperfectly understood, and then left in the lurch all those who had been foolish enough to trust him. The firm alliance which was once destined to unite solidly France with England and the United States is still unknit, owing either to Mr Wilson's bad faith or Mr Wilson's incompetence. And once more France stands alone with a Germany nearly twice as great as herself still on the alert across the Rhine.
If Mr Wilson has forgotten his promises, or has found himself unable to redeem them, he has at least preserved his power of irritation. Of this neither disease nor the activity of his political enemies has availed to deprive him. Though he is not permitted by the Senate of the United States to ratify the peace with Germany, he issues his orders and opinions from the White House though he were not the President of a democratie State but the Sovereign of the World. He has insolently broken in pieces the League of Nations, which Europe gave him for a plaything, and he has left it to the Allies to put the shattered fragments_together as best they may. The politician who laughed at Castlereagh, and Metternich, and Talleyrand, who thanked God that at last "the plain man" had come into his own, has proved himself helpless in act and exasperating in word. His open condemnation of what he was pleased to call "French
militarism" caused, as perhaps and fears of Europe mean. it was intended to cause, a vast Because they are far removed deal of purposeless irritation. from the danger of invasion, It was, of course, an expression, they fondly believe that they not of France's character but are the only men in the world of Mr Wilson's ignorance. who cherish the "ideal" of Knowing nothing of France, peace. Instead of boasting, the man who invented the they should give thanks upon phrase, "too proud to fight," their knees that theirs is not confuses the necessity of self- the hard destiny of France. defence with a mad Chauvinism. Alas! they cannot learn, The Suppose Mexico, which lies battles which they fought in over the border of the United the war have taught them States, were 88 strong as nothing. Not long since an Germany and as ambitious, American paper celebrated would Mr Wilson condemn his in its dithyrambic style the own country as "militarist," pleasure which the "dough
if it showed a desire to strengthen its frontiers and to be ready to repel the attack of the invader? When, in 1914, Germany made an onslaught upon France, France took up the essential duty, imposed upon every high-spirited and honourable country, of self-defence, not in the spirit of levity or boastfulness, but with all the humility of true courage. She has lost some two millions of men in the fight; she has seen her territory invaded and devastated -in brief, she has borne has borne sacrifices which Mr Wilson and his countrymen have not shared, and which their lack of imagination forbids them to appreciate. There is nothing France wishes less than another war. She complains, justly enough, that the refusal to divide and weaken Germany exposes her still to a risk from which she recoils in horror.
The truth is that Mr Wilson and his countrymen do not understand what the hopes
felt on returning It was not, we told, the absence in Europe of "bath-tubs " which alone. disgusted the gallant warriors of America. That indeed was hard to bear. But that which most bitterly distressed the brave
sons of the New World was Europe's love of war! Truly they change not their mind when they come across the sea. They saw a devastated world. They saw France and England mourning for the bravest of their sons, and they talk about Europe's love of war! It would be difficult to match this insensitiveness in all the annals of the world. But at any rate Europe will gladly accept
the conclusion at which the writer has no difficulty in arriving. He would hang aeross America a vast flag bearing_the_name of Monroe, and leave Europe alone to "love war" by herself. In this exclusiveness America will find that France cordially agrees. But France
man upon whose exertions the very existence of a great hospital depended-he received (without argument or complaint) the sum of 4000 francs a year, far less than that which the meanest sweeper of the hospital's corridors demanded not in vain. And the meanest sweeper had the advantage of Dr Vaillant in this: if he fell in the performance of his hazardous duty-if he tripped over a badly-handled broom
rightly enough demands a reciprocal policy of non-intervention. She will assuredly refrain from interfering with the affairs of America. She expects that America, for her part, will refrain as well from diotation as from criticism. After all, the demand of France is not exorbitant. She asks no more than that those who with her put their signatures to the treaty of peace, should aid her loyally in seeing that the provisions of that treaty he was granted an ample are justly and exactly carried out. She remembers that after 1871 she held herself bound in honour to perform what she undertook to perform. She asks no less than that of her defeated foe to-day.
And France deserves our sympathy because she is passing through the same crisis of democracy in which we feel ourselves oppressed. In France, as in England, a new and a false value is set upon men and things. There is complete absence of degree and subordination. Discipline seems to have been left behind in the trenches. The empty head, being numerous, is the head which wins the respect of all politicians who ascribe the exclusive possession of virtue and courage to the unskilled, the untaught, the uncontrolled. A few weeks ago Dr Vaillant, a distinguished surgeon, lost an arm in experimenting with radium. He was ready to saorifice his life for his country, as were the gallant men who fought upon the field of battle. And as he was a man of great talent-a
pension. For Dr Vaillant there is no reward save the consciousness of duty performed and something added to the sum of human knowledge.
But it is plain that, where the relative values of services done are thus monstrously confused, there is little hope of true progress or essential justice. The case of Dr Vaillant and the sweeper means that the politicians have set up for themselves in France, as in England, an infamously false standard. It is not that such men as Dr Vaillant complain. They find in the conquest of human knowledge a reward which it is far beyond the power of demagogues confer. They can afford to smile, even when the idle sweeper boasts himself indispensable to a hospital, which could not exist without the aid of the men of science. An injustice is done to the unskilled labourer, who is persuaded in his folly to believe that he is the keystone in civilisation's arch. Another dose of flattery is administered
to the politician, who in Augier's phrase pursues "the first of the inexact sciences," and who is ready to believe that nothing matters so long as the sweepers, always more numerous than the men of genius, are on his side. Nothing, indeed, can be more dangerous to the health and safety of the State than this oynical alliance between the ignorant voter and his representative. They are easily persuaded to agree that between them they hold the keys of heaven and earth, that upon their alliance depends the future happiness of the human race. It is this absurd faith in the indispensability of the demagogue that has persuaded the members of the French Chamber and the French Senate to begin their task of reconstruction by voting an additional 12,000 franos a year to each one of themselves. M. Léon Daudet did not overstate the case when he declared that by this aot of gross selfishness the Chamber had committed suicide. The soldiers, who saved their country in the war, must wait for their pensions. The men who cannot wait are the deputies and the senators, who fight with their tongues, and refuse to carry on this worthless and unnecessary warfare on less than 27,000 francs a year. Nor is it likely that the increased income awarded to the politicians will do anything to stop the corruption, private and public, which is the inevitable ourse of a democracy. The French politicians have
shown by their avowed egoism at what a price they estimate the service of their country, and no doubt the hour is at hand when our English demagogues will rival in greed their colleagues across the Channel.
France, then, is ill at ease. She asks herself whether the sacrifice of 2,000,000 brave men is worth the poor results which she has attained. She sees the same sort of politicians in power as did their best to lose the war. She remembers that while creants, like creants, like Malvy, were permitted to prevent the appointment of Castelnau to the high command, the soldiers, even in the field, were not masters of their own craft. What a hubbub there would have been if Castelnau or Foch had dared to diotate to a politician! Yet the politicians on both sides the Channel have never scrupled to interfere with the business of war. fare, which they did not and never will understand. These are some of the memories which impair the confidence of France. But beyond the realm of argument there is a vague mysterious misgiving, which is not easily accounted for. As in England, so in France, the working classes do not want to work. They ask daily, hourly, for an inorease in wages and a decrease in the hours of labour, more from a vague feeling of unrest than from avarice. The small mob of swindlers and adventurers, which calls itself the proletariat, demands in France, as it demands in Britain, the