German Colonization, Past and Future: The Truth about the German Colonies

German Colonization, Past and Future: The Truth about the German Colonies

German Colonization, Past and Future: The Truth about the German Colonies

German Colonization, Past and Future: The Truth about the German Colonies

Excerpt

In the third chapter of The Four Georges,Thackeray, that valiant crusader against hypocrisies and shams, strikes vigorously at the practice of bearing false witness in time of war. Referring to the struggle with France under the First Napoleon, he says :

" There was no lie we would not believe ; no charge of crime which our furious prejudice would not credit. I thought at one time of making a collection of the lies which the French had written against us and we had published against them during the war : it would be a strange memorial of popular falsehood."

Mr. Baldwin, who, for the good of his countrymen, continues to administer to them one excellent moral tonic after another, each after a judicious interval, spoke to much the same effect in his late very noteworthy address to the students of Edinburgh University (November 6th), an utterance in pleasing contrast to another rectorial address to youth spoken in Scotland a twelvemonth or more before. " With war and the preparation for war," he said, " go the stratagems of diplomacy, the dropping of the code of morals, a holiday for truth, and an aftermath of cynicism. . . . In the arena of international rivalry and conflict men have placed patriotism above truthfulness as the indispensable virtue of statesmen."

Time, which changes most things, does not appear to have lessened the proclivity to mendacity of patriots of the baser order, nor yet the gullibility of the unreflective mass of mankind. Much of the propagandism evoked by the Great War amply proves this. All the leading belligerent nations suffered from calumny and misrepresentation manifold, yet it is probably safe to say that they usually gave as good or as bad as they received.

The book which I have been invited to introduce to the English-speaking public deals with one phase of that propagandism. Though now to us little more than a memory, its evil effects live after it, and the worst of these is that it has created a perplexing colonial problem which cannot by any . . .

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