But the one point that should appeal most strongly to the patriotism as well as the idealism of America is the fact that the instructions of 1863 for armies in campaign, drawn up by the United States Government in the height of the civil war, first codified the laws for the conduct of war, and have been the source and starting point of all these later international agreements.
And it should be remembered that both Germany and America signed the Fourth Convention of The Hague with its annexed regulations as to sieges and bombardments (Articles 22 to 28) and the further provision which may even yet be applied punitively to the proceedings of the present war. “The belligerent who shall have violated the provisions of the said regulation shall be held liable for an indemnity.”
And if it be thought that America can render no help in such a position as the present without violating her neutrality, the answer is that by Article 3 of Convention 1 of The Hague, 1907, neutral powers have the right to offer their suggestions (bons offices) or their mediation, even during the course of hostilities. And further: “The exercise of this right must never be considered by one or the other of the parties to the conflict as an unfriendly act.”
With all submission, I earnestly urge on the leaders of American thought to support this attempted interpretation of the supreme duty and the noble opportunity the present position places before their country.
One more word. I referred to the possible benefit of neutrality being maintained while this protest against wrong and appeal for right is at the same time advanced.
Is it not more than probable that there is an immense section of moderate though patriotic opinion in the great German people which at heart deprecates the extreme doctrines of conquest and world supremacy in pursuit of which the great, the wonderful achievements of the German race in science, in industry, in the extension of commerce, are being rashly risked?
CHANNING OF WELLINGBOROUGH.
40 Eaton Place, London S.W., Oct. 29, 1914.
TO A COUSIN GERMAN.
By Adeline Adams.
My Hans, you say, with self-applausive
“When Albert gave his Belgians Caesar’s name—
’Bravest of all the Gauls’—surely ’twere shame
The King, unthorough man, forgot the rest:
most far from all the best
Provincial culture.’" Friend, if now your aim
Be that fine thoroughness your people claim,
Read on: “Such culture’s wares, it stands confest,
“Oft weaken minds.”
And Caesar’s word was just.
If men, bedeviled under culture’s star,
Have left Louvain a void where flames still hiss,
Speared babes, and stamped the world’s own Rose to dust,
God grant that Belgium’s soul may dwell afar
Forever, from a culture such as this!