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civilisations, Treitschke was unfaithful to that high tradition of scientific detachment which earned for the leading historians of Germany their wide audience and honourable name in Europe. But, if his object was to stamp a particular set of political views upon the main body of his countrymen, he may be pronounced to have been brilliantly successful. His picture of England was not more malevolent than Michelet's ; but, being less fanciful and executed in a series of strong confident strokes, it was far more telling with the public. The selfish island power, impervious to heroic ideals, which had stolen an empire while the world was asleep; the tyrant of the seas, the modern Carthage, the upholder of a barbarous system of international law; the land of hypocrites and shopmen, preaching and canting, yet buying cheap and selling dear and lusting for a ‘Cotton millennium'; the secular perturber of European peace, against whose insidious diplomacy the unvarnished simplicity of German nature would be for ever, save for some heroic remedy, exposed in unequal conflict; a nation brutalised by sport, demoralised by the obscuration of its ancient aristocracy, patently loose in patriotic principle and organic cohesion--such was the estimate of our people which he drew for Germany, and which in the lower regions of German opinion found an only too easy acceptance.
It would be unjust not to admit that there are many passages in Treitschke's writings which present a true appreciation of the more sublime qualities of the British genius, as also of some political virtues of the more ordinary stamp. But in general it may be said that his capacity for appreciating Englishmen steadily declined with his own advance in years, and that the England of his admiration was finally interred in 1832. In language both plain and emphatiche indicated his opinion that some time or other Carthage would cross the path of Rome, and that, though the struggle might be long and difficult, self-interest would be vanquished by valour and the purse defeated by the sword.
It would have been surprising and even discreditable if so great an event as the foundation of the German Empire, with its amazing procession of military triumphs and its great exaltation of patriotic feeling, had left no impression on the historical literature of Germany. And in fact the impression has been profound, the political process directing the pen of the writers, and the writers in turn shaping the public mind to appreciate and extend the process. Indeed it is not too much to say that the historians of the Prussian school have been the principal architects of the political creed of modern Germany. They have exalted material power and belittled the empire of moral sentiments. They have applauded war as an instrument of progress and national hygiene. Holding that aggression is a symptom of vigour, and vigour the sign manual of political virtue, they have championed every violation of right which has subserved the aggrandisement of Prussia. They have scorned small states because they were small and have applauded big states because they were big. And in their violent but not unnatural reaction against the quietism and happy contemplation of that old pleasant Germany for which Mozart wrote music and Goethe verse, and which still holds Europe in its manifold enchantment, they have exaggerated with Teutonic thoroughness the brutal side of politics as a thing much to be respected and a talisman calculated to conduct their too kindly fellow-countrymen into an Elysium of indefinite ease and self-respect.
If we have thus concentrated our attention on the political historians of the Prussian school and on the important share which they have taken in shaping the public mind of their countrymen, it is from no failure to recognise that there is more than one department of historical study in Germany and more than one type of German historian. Even in the narrower sphere of political history the case for South Germany has not gone entirely by default, as Baumgarten's criticisms of Treitschke remind us ; and books are still written by professors of modern history under the good old rubric of scientific serenity. Meanwhile outside the regions of modern polemic the indefatigable industry of the German race continues to make valuable contributions to the sum of knowledge. If the exploration of the papyri is for the most part carried on in London and Oxford, the greatest living historian of antiquity is a German. Liebermann, a Jewish scholar it is true, has given us the best edition of the Anglo-Saxon laws, Krumbacher the only Byzantine bibliography; and, in the sphere of Biblical criticism, German scholarship, though no longer without serious rivalry, is still sufficiently active to provoke a reproof from the Imperial partner in the Divine concern. But, while it is important not to minimise our continuing indebtedness to German historical science, it is equally necessary to avoid overstatement. The Germans have been pioneers in the organisation of learned enterprise, but have nothing better of their kind than the dictionaries associated with the names of Murray, Stephen and Lee. They created the academic study of history, but are now equalled, if not surpassed, by the severe and polished standards of Paris. The countrymen of Savigny can still boast of great legal antiquaries, but of none so brilliant as Maitland and Esmein. Ihering was a genius, one of the rare Germans who have sown original and fruitful ideas; yet it will be generally admitted that in range and illumination and fertility Maine was his superior. Indeed, if we weigh the historical product of the nations not by the brute mass of knowledge which it contains but by the quality of its insight, the true balance of its judgment, the wealth of its original perceptions, the charm and brilliance of its manner, we shall find ourselves asking questions which, in the interests of the international comity of scholars, had better not be asked, and will not confidently be answered. Was Stubbs as learned as Waitz, and yet more actual? Has anybody equalled De Tocqueville in social analysis ? What historian is fairer than Lecky, wiser than Gardiner, more imaginative than Carlyle, more full of threads to guide than Guizot, more brilliant in narrative than Macaulay and Vandal ? Among the many excellent German historians of Greece is there a political judgment as massive as Grote's? We cannot dogmatise, but this at least we know, that whoever would pass from the ancient to the modern world must tread that great Roman causeway the stones of which were so soundly laid by the genius of an Englishman some hundred and fifty years ago, that neither the traffic of scholars, nor any sudden tempest in the climate of intellect, is likely to leave it cracked and unserviceable.
VERY different is the outlook of one who is actually drifting amid tempests, from that of him who sits comfortably at home and reads about them connectedly and in composure. As one wanders on from frightened town to frightened town, encircled by rumours black and terrible from every quarter, life becomes a hand-tomouth affair, where the threatened evil of to-day is quite sufficient. One's horizon of information is bounded by a radius of fifty miles, and everything beyond is wrapped in a darkness that one has neither power nor leisure to illuminate. One sees history in the making from a small and personal angle; of the great events that go to make it outside, one gleans no hint as they happen, and the small things that help to compose the great become the daily anxieties and pivots of existence. Consequently, from a point so close at hand, details loom larger than the whole landscape viewed from afar; and one's chronicle of experiences, though wholly incomplete in knowledge, wholly local and self-centred, yet has an actuality, a growing force, beyond the reach of luckier people before whom the full tale of events lies fresh and hot-pressed on their breakfast-table every day. These may gather in the columns of the press a convenient bird's eye prospect of mankind from China to Peru ; but the connected history they glean, with the daily addition of every rumour and proclamation throughout the Empire, can never have quite the savour of the local rumours and tragedies, on a knowledge of which one's life perpetually depends, till the forgotten outer world of kings and emperors and republics fades utterly away before the imminent problem of the White Wolf's proximity to oneself,
Long ere this, facts and fictions of recent China have been clearly set forth for every English reader; and Chinese news, which has not even faintly penetrated as yet to the Thibetan border, is stale and cold long since at English dinner-tables. Yet, in the vast panorama, , many a detail may seem small that on the spot bulks huge; and some very ghastly work has lately been doing in these far corners of Kansu, which probably, compressed into a few small lines at the bottom of a column, has quite eluded popular notice, or may have seemed as remote and meaningless and trifling as would the sack of Magdeburg to the monks of Taprobane. Yet here they have their weight; and the ten thousand rotting dead in the streets of Taochow lie heavier on the scale than the fate of the Dragon Throne itself.
* This paper was written in Kansu last summer (Editor).
We slipped out of Sian-fu just in time, scudding westward on the fringe of the advancing storm. great Imperial city, foul with the dust of death, was all in a tumult of terror, seething in convulsion like a boiling pot. The Wolf was advancing; he was at hand; he was a ruthless bandit; he was a nice gentlemanly person whom Mission ladies expressed a wish to meet. The situation darkened ; and the Mission ladies changed their views, when they heard the tales of Lao-ho-kou and Kint-ze-kwan. The troops were disaffected, their arms medieval, their leaders corrupt as they. And still the Wolf drew nearer; the City of the Peaceful West was a place of howling storm. In all probability we were the last Europeans to be allowed by the Yamen to leave the capital in any direction. For, in the increasing danger, all the ruffians of Shensi were agog for some haymaking of their own; and the shadow of grave peril lay even over the highway of the border. Permission to start was hardly wrung from the authorities, responsible as they were for our safety, and commendably anxious to assure it, on risk of their own heads. Wrung it was, however, in the end ; and means of conveyance secured by diplomacy, our chartered mules being hidden in our yard till the moment of departure, lest the soldiers should commandeer them to their own use, as they certainly would, had they known the opportunity.
On a sunny afternoon we slipped out of Sian, leaving behind us an imminent sense of danger, and escaping gladly to a freer air, westward, at least, of the Wolf, and where the worst of the threatened perils were vague and shadowy. Our last news, as we left, was local; we learned that the mule-broker responsible for our caravan had been seized by the soldiers on our departure, and