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What those effects are likely to be on the further development of European civilisation, we are as yet scarcely in a position to judge. We are still living only on the threshold of the change, and can hardly estimate the ultimate effect on human life of the transference to the whole male population of a country of the habits and vices previously confined to only a section of it. But this at least is certain, that at present every prediction which ushered in the change is being falsified from year to year. This universal service which we call the conscription was, we were told, to usher in a sort of millennium ; it was to have the effect of humanising warfare; of raising the moral tone of armies; and of securing peace, by making the prospect of its alternative too appalling to mankind. Not only has it done none of these things, but there are even indications of consequences the very reverse. The amenities that cast occasional gleams over the professional hostilities of the eighteenth century, as when, for instance, Crillon besieging Gibraltar sent a cart-load of carrots to the English governor, whose men were dying of scurvy, have passed altogether out of the pale of possibility, and given place to a hatred between the combatant forces that is tempered by no courtesy nor restrained by the shadow of humanity. Whole nations, instead of a particular class, have become familiarised with deeds of robbery and bloodshed, and parted with a large part of their leisure once available for progress in industry. War itself is at any given moment infinitely more probable than it used to be, from the constant expectation of it which comes of constant preparation; nothing having been proved falser by history than the commonplace that has descended to us from Vegetius that the preparation for war is the high road to peace. And as to the higher moral tone likely to spring from universal militarism, of what kind may we expect it to be, when we read, in a work by the greatest living English general, destined, Carlyle hoped, one day to make short work of Parliament, such an exposition as the following of the relation between the moral duties of a soldier and those of a civilian : “He (the soldier) must be taught to believe that his duties are the noblest which fall to man's lot. He must be taught to despise all those of civil life.” ?
Erasmus once observed in a letter to a friend how little it mattered to most men to what nationality they belonged, seeing that it was only a question of paying taxes to Thomas instead of to John, or to John instead of to Thomas; but it becomes a matter of even less importance when it is only a question of being trained for
"Preface to b. iii. “ Ergo qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum.”
murder and bloodshed in the drill-yards of this or that government. What is it to a conscript whether it is for France or Germany that he is forced to undergo drill and discipline, when the insipidity of the drill and the tyranny of the discipline is the same in either case? If the old definition of a man as a reasoning animal is to be exchanged for that of a fighting animal, and the claims of a country upon a man are to be solely or mainly in respect of his fighting utility, it is evident that the relation is altered between the individual and his country, and that there is no longer any tie of affection between them, nor anything to make one nationality different from or preferable to another. This is clearly the tendency of the conscription ; and it is already remarkable how it has lessened those earlier and narrower views of patriotism which were the pretext formerly for so many trials of strength between nations. What then are the probable ultimate effects of this innovation on the development and maintenance of peace in Europe ?
The conscription, by reducing the idea of a country to that merely of a military despotism, has naturally caused the differences between nations to sink into a secondary place, and to be superseded by those differences of class opinions and interests which are altogether independent of nationality, and regardless of the barriers of language or geography. Thus the artisan of one country has learnt to regard his fellow-worker of another country as in a much more true sense his countryman than the priest or noble who, because he lives in the same geographical area as himself, pays his taxes to the same central government; and the different political schools in the several countries of Europe have far more in common with one another than with the opposite party of their own nationality. So that the first effect of that great military engine, the conscription, has been to unloosen the bonds of the idea of nationality which has so long usurped the title to patriotism ; and the chances of war have been to that extent diminished by the undermining of the prejudice which has ever been its mainstay.
But the conscription in laying one spectre has raised another; for over against Nationalism, the jealousy of nations, it has reared Socialism, the jealousy of classes. It has done so, not only by weakening the old national idea which kept the rivalry of classes in abeyance, but by the pauperism, misery, and discontent which are necessarily involved in its addition to military expenditure. Thus in France the annual military expenditure is now about twentyfive million pounds, whereas in 1869, before the new law of universal liability to service, the total annual cost of the army was little over fifteen millions, or the average annual cost of the present army of Great Britain. “Nothing," said Froissart, “ drains a treasury like men-at-arms ;” and it is probably below the truth to say that a country is the poorer by a pound for every shilling it expends upon its army. Thus by the nature of things is Socialism seen to flow from the conscription; and we have only to look at the recent history of Europe to see how the former has grown and spread in exact ratio to the extension of the latter. That it does not yet prevail so widely in England as in France or Germany is because as yet we have no compulsory military service.
The growth of Socialism in its turn is not without an effect that may prove highly beneficial as a solvent of the militarism which is the uncompensated evil of modern times. For it tends to cause the governments of our different nationalities to draw closer together, and, adopting some of the cosmopolitanism of their common foe, to enter into league and union against those enemies to actual institutions for whom militarism itself is primarily responsible, owing to the example so long set by it in methods of lawlessness, to the sanction so long given by it to crime. With Socialistic theories permeating every country, but more especially those that groan under the conscription, international jealousies are smothered and kept down, and must, if the cause continues, ultimately die out. Hence the curious result, but a result fraught with hopefulness for the future, that the peace of the world should owe itself now, in an indirect but clearly traceable manner, to the military system which of all others that was ever invented is the best calculated to prevent and endanger it. But since this is merely to say that the danger of foreign war is lessened by the imminent fear of civil war, little is gained by the exchange of one peril for another. Socialism can only be averted by removing the cause which gives birth to it-namely, that unproductive expenditure on military forces which intensifies and perpetuates pauperism. So that the problem of the times for us in England is not how we may obtain a more liberal military expenditure, still less how we may compass compulsory service; but how most speedily we can disband our army, and how we can advance elsewhere the cause of universal disarmament.
J. A. FARRER.
HE prodigious productivity of Goethe included a quite sur
prising amount of correspondence. We are almost at a loss to conceive how he should have found time for so many Briefwechsel when we consider his ceaseless activity as a writer. His early and middle time was the day of correspondence throughout Europe. The sentiment of the time was coupled with the comparative slowness of the post and difficulty of travelling, especially on the continent; and men did not hesitate to put their best thoughts into letters addressed to worthy correspondents. An idea of the number of letters that Goethe wrote may be formed from Strehlke’s “Verzeichniss," or catalogue, of Goethe's epistles. But the list is by no means complete. It is now impossible to collect together all the letters which he wrote in various periodicals; and it is well known that the Goethe heirs possess a large quantity of his correspondence which has not yet been edited or published.
Meanwhile, another contribution to our knowledge of his letterwriting has just been made by Dr. Richard Maria Werner, who has published, in Berlin, “Goethe und Gräfin O'Donell, Ungedruckte Briefe nebst dichterischen Beilagen, mit zwei Portraits.” The letters from Goethe to the Countess are eighteen in number, and they extend over the years between 1812 and 1823 ; that is, over eleven years. The letters from the Countess to Goethe have not yet been found, and we can but guess at their contents. The gaps in the correspondence give rise to the supposition that the whole of Goethe's letters to the lady have not been recovered; but the eighteen letters in question are now, for the first time, made public by Dr. Werner. His collection comprises one hitherto unprinted letter from Goethe to Titine de Ligne, who afterwards became a Countess O'Donell. The O'Donells of Tyrconell are of an old Irish family which has long been settled in Austria. Count Moritz (Maurice) O'Donell — the name should doubtless be O'Donnell--possesses at his seat at Lehen, near Salzburg, the letters of Goethe to the Countess Josephine
O'Donell, and has inherited many of the drawings and sketches, also some of the poems which Goethe inclosed in his letters. The present Count gave to Dr. Werner permission to examine, to copy, to publish these literary treasures; and both Count and Doctor—the one for liberality, the other for careful labour-deserve the thanks of all those who take an interest in anything that the author of “Faust” wrote.
The letters of Goethe to the fair and brilliant Countess are characterised, not by the flame of passion, but by the gentler glow of warm and genial friendship. They are full of courtly courtesy, and of playful pleasantry. They are tender, graceful, easy; and thered thread” which runs through them all is admiration for the Empress, Maria Ludovica, of Austria ; but they are decidedly inferior in interest and in value to many of the letters which Goethe wrote, on loftier themes, and to more intimate and more intellectual friends. The charm of Goethe's style is, however, to be found in them. The first letter begins, “ Liebe, neue Freundinn" (dear, new friend); the last concludes, “In treuer Anhänglichkeit verharrend treulichst, J. W. v. Goethe.”
The portrait of Goethe which Dr. Werner now first presents to the public is from a work in sepia, painted by an amateur artist, the Graf von Schönberg-Rothschönberg. It is to some extent a likeness, but it lacks the force and grace, the regal dignity, which distinguished the great poet. It is emphatically the work of a “ dilettante” in portrait-painting, and is not of very distinctive mark or value. It was painted, it is believed, in 1810. The portrait of the Countess Josephine, which is by an unknown hand, is a far better work. We see clearly a lady of rank and of fine manners, with delicate feminine features, which are full of expression and meaning, and which make upon us the impression of a graceful lady of culture, of birth, clever, and of lively charm. The nose and mouth are very individual, and it is plain that the likeness has been well caught. The face is depicted in repose, and the sitter looks as if she were listening with interest while a reply is gathering on her lips. The Countess wears a cap of lace studded with flowers, which surmounts thickly clustering curls arranged after the fashion of the first quarter of the century. The work is sketchy, but satisfactory.
In the year 1812, in which the acquaintance began, Goethe, born 1749, was sixty-three ; while the lady, born 1779, was thirty-three. She was a widow. Born Countess of Gaisrück, she became the second wife of Count Joseph O'Donell, who, born 1756, died 1810. The Count's first wife was his cousin, Countess Therese O'Donell, who