we are vaguely conscious that we are fighting their cause, as they will some day see it, as well as our own. They are themselves in the grip of the same sinister power that has now at last stretched its ugly talons out and drawn blood from us.

The whole world is at war because the whole world is in the grip of that power and is trying out the great battle which shall determine whether it is to be brought under its mastery or fling itself free.

The war was begun by the military masters of Germany, 10 who proved to be also the masters of Austria-Hungary.

These men have never regarded nations as peoples, men, women, and children of like blood and frame as themselves, for whom governments existed and in whom governments

had their life. They have regarded them merely as service15 able organizations which they could by force or intrigue

bend or corrupt to their own purpose. They have regarded the smaller states, in particular, and the peoples who could be overwhelmed by force, as their natural tools

and instruments of domination. Their purpose has long 20 been avowed. The statesmen of other nations, to whom

that purpose was incredible, paid little attention; regarded what German professors expounded in their classrooms and German writers set forth to the world as the goal of

German policy as rather the dream of minds detached 25 from practical affairs, as preposterous private conceptions

of German destiny, than as the actual plans of responsible rulers; but the rulers of Germany, themselves knew all the while what concrete plans, what well advanced intrigues

lay back of what the professors and the writers were saying, 30 and were glad to go forward unmolested, filling the thrones

of Balkan states with German princes, putting German officers at the service of Turkey to drill her armies and make interest with her government, developing plans of

sedition and rebellion in India and Egypt, setting their 35 fires in Persia. The demands made by Austria upon Ser

via were a mere single step in a plan which compassed

Europe and Asia, from Berlin to Bagdad. They hoped those demands might not arouse Europe, but they meant to press them whether they did or not, for they thought themselves ready for the final issue of arms.

Their plan was to throw a broad belt of German military 5 power and political control across the very centre of Europe and beyond the Mediterranean into the heart of Asia ; and Austria-Hungary was to be as much their tool and pawn as Servia or Bulgaria or Turkey or the ponderous states of the East. Austria-Hungary, indeed, was to be- 10 come part of the central German Empire, absorbed and dominated by the same forces and influences that had originally cemented the German states themselves. The dream had its heart at Berlin. It could have had a heart nowhere else! It rejected the idea of solidarity of race 15 entirely. The choice of peoples played no part in it at all. It contemplated binding together racial and political units which could be kept together only by force, Czechs, Magyars, Croats, Serbs, Roumanians, Turks, Armenians,

the proud states of Bohemia and Hungary, the stout 20 little commonwealths of the Balkans, the indomitable Turks, the subtile peoples of the East. These peoples did not wish to be united. They ardently desired to direct their own affairs, would be satisfied only by undisputed independence. They could be kept quiet only by the pres- 25 ence or the constant threat of armed men. They would live under a common power only by sheer compulsion and await the day of revolution. But the German military statesmen had reckoned with all that and were ready to deal with it in their own way.

And they have actually carried the greater part of that amazing plan into execution! Look how things stand. Austria is at their mercy. It has acted, not upon its own initiative or upon the choice of its own people, but at Berlin's dictation ever since the war began. Its people now 35 desire peace, but cannot have it until leave is granted from


Berlin. The so-called central Powers are in fact but a single Power. Servia is at its mercy, should its hands be but for a moment freed. Bulgaria has consented to its

will, and Roumania is overrun. The Turkish armies, 3 which Germans trained, are serving Germany, certainly not themselves, and the guns of German warships lying in the harbor at Constantinople remind Turkish statesmen every day that they have no choice but to take their

orders from Berlin. From Hamburg to the Persian Gulf 10 the net is spread. Is it not easy to understand the

eagerness for peace

that has been manifest from Berlin ever since the snare was set and sprung? Peace, peace, peace, has been the talk of

her Foreign Office for now a year and more; not peace 15 upon her own initiative, but upon the initiative of the na

tions over which she now deems herself to hold the advantage. A little of the talk has been public, but most of it has been private. Through all sorts of channels it has

come to me, and in all sorts of guises, but never with the 20 terms disclosed which the German Government would

be willing to accept. That government has other valuable pawns in its hands besides those I have mentioned. It still holds a valuable part of France, though with slowly

relaxing grasp, and practically the whole of Belgium. Its 25 armies press close upon Russia and overrun Poland at

their will. It cannot go further; it dare not go back. It wishes to close its bargain before it is too late and it has little left to offer for the pound of flesh it will de mand.

The military masters under whom Germany is bleeding see very clearly to what point Fate has brought them. If they fall back or are forced back an inch, their power both abroad and at home will fall to pieces like a house of cards.

It is their power at home they are thinking about now more 35 than their power abroad. It is that power which is trem

bling under their very feet; and deep fear has entered their



hearts. They have but one chance to perpetuate their military power or even their controlling political influence. If they can secure peace now with the immense advantages still in their hands which they have up to this point apparently gained, they will have justified themselves before the German people: they will have gained by force what they promised to gain by it: an immense expansion of German power, an immense enlargement of German industrial and commercial opportunities. Their prestige will be secure, and with their prestige their political power. 10 If they fail, their people will thrust them aside; a govern ment accountable to the people themselves will be set up in Germany as it has been in England, in the United States, in France, and in all the great countries of the modern time except Germany. If they succeed they are safe and Ger-15 many and the world are undone; if they fail Germany is saved and the world will be at peace. If they succeed, America will fall within the menace. We and all the rest of the world must remain armed, as they will remain, and must make ready for the next step in their aggression; jf 20 they fail, the world may unite for peace and Germany may be of the union.

Do you not now understand the new intrigue, the intrigue for peace, and why the masters of Germany do not hesitate to use any agency that promises to effect their purpose, the deceit of the nations? Their present particular aim is to deceive all those who throughout the world stand for the rights of peoples and the self-government of nations; for they see what immense strength the forces of justice and of liberalism are gathering out of this war. 30 They are employing liberals in their enterprise. They are using men, in Germany and without, as their spokesmen whom they have hitherto despised and oppressed, using them for their own destruction, --- socialists, the leaders of labor, the thinkers they have hitherto sought to silence. 35 Let them once succeed and these men, now their tools,



will be ground to powder beneath the weight of the great military empire they will have set up; the revolutionists in Russia will be cut off from all succor or coöperation in western Europe and a counter revolution fostered and 5 supported; Germany herself will lose her chance of freedom; and all Europe will arm for the next, the final struggle.

The sinister intrigue is being no less actively conducted in this country than in Russia and in every country in 10 Europe to which the agents and dupes of the Imperial

German Government can get access. That government has many spokesmen here, in places high and low. They have learned discretion. They keep within the law. It

is opinion they utter now, not sedition. They proclaim 15 the liberal purposes of their masters; declare this a foreign

war which can touch America with no danger to either her lands or her institutions; set England at the centre of the stage and talk of her ambition to assert economic

dominion throughout the world; appeal to our ancient 20 tradition of isolation in the politics of the nations; and

seek to undermine the government with false professions of loyalty to its principles.

But they will make no headway. The false betray themselves always in every accent. It is only friends and 25 partisans of the German Government whom we have al

ready identified who utter these thinly disguised disloyalties. The facts are patent to all the world, and nowhere are they more plainly seen than in the United

States, where we are accustomed to deal with facts and 30 not with sophistries; and the great fact that stands out

above all the rest is that this is a Peoples' War, a war for freedom and justice and self-government amongst all the nations of the world, a war to make the world safe

for the peoples who live upon it and have made it their 35 own, the German people themselves included; and that

with us rests the choice to break through all these hypoc

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