And so there is no other way of safeguarding our economic independence against England and Russia than by an economic alliance with the States that are our allies in this war, or at least that do not make common cause with our enemies. Aside from the fact, which I shall not discuss here, that only such an alliance can insure a firm position for us on the Atlantic Ocean, which in the next decades is bound to be the area of competition for the world powers.
Politics are not a matter of emotion, but of calm, intelligent deliberation. Let us leave emotional politics to our enemies. It is the German method to envisage the goal steadily, and with it the roads that lead to that goal. Our goal is not world domination. Whoever tries to talk that belief into the mind of the German people may confuse some heads that are already not very clear; but he cannot succeed in substituting Napoleon I. for Bismarck as our master teacher.
Our goal can only be the establishing of our value in the world among world powers, with equal rights to the same opportunities. And in order to attain this goal we must, even after the conclusion of peace, exert all our forces. A people that thinks it can rest on its laurels after victory has been won runs the risk sooner or later of losing that for which its sons shed their blood on the field of battle. With the conclusion of peace there begins for us anew the unceasing peaceful competition and the maintenance and strengthening of the world value which we have won through the war. German imperialism is and will remain the work of peace.
By PIERRE LOTI.
Translation by Florence Simmonds.
[From King Albert’s Book.]
At evening, in one of our southern towns, a train full of Belgian refugees ran into the station, and the poor martyrs, exhausted and bewildered, got out slowly, one by one, on the unfamiliar platform, where French people were waiting to receive them. Carrying a few possessions caught up at random, they had got into the carriages without even asking whither they were bound, urged by their anxiety to flee, to flee desperately from horror and death, from unspeakable mutilation and Sadic outrage—from things that seemed no longer possible in the world, but which, it seems, were lying dormant in pietistic German brains, and had suddenly belched forth upon their land and ours, like a belated manifestation of original barbarism. They no longer possessed a village, nor a home, nor a family; they arrived like jetsam cast up by the waters, and the eyes of all were full of terrified anguish. Many children, little girls whose parents had disappeared in the stress of fire and battle; and aged women, now alone in the world, who had fled, hardly knowing why, no longer caring for life, but moved by some obscure instinct of self-preservation.