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In 1898 he sent his Admiral Diedrichs to annoy Admiral Dewey who had sunk the Spanish fleet in the Philippines and who had Manila under his guns whilst waiting for the American troops to arrive and occupy the land. The Kaiser's admiral had no business in Manila bay save to look after the interests of Germans in distress or to aid the American Admiral in keeping order. England and Japan sent one ship each and were a moral support; but the Germans came with a large squadron and at once assumed the blustering tone of one who hoped that mere force would intimidate the apparently weaker party. Dewey knew his weakness in war material; but he also knew his International Law; and he knew that the Japanese and British captains would observe a benevolent neutrality. So he slapped the bully's face, diplomatically speaking, dared him to fight and had the satisfaction of soon seeing the smoke of the Diedrichs funnels dip below the horizon on their way back to Kiaochow.
This third pin prick was pointless as the two preceding ones; nor shall I unload my whole cushion full at this time. The pin pricks I refer to are historical facts that go far to prove that from 1895 on, the Kaiser's mind was no longer in a healthy state; he did many things that were theoretically impressive, but not one of them had more than a momentary success.
Compare the biographies of Washington, Franklin, Frederic the Great, Wellington-those men had few failures for they had no vanity.
In 1899 came the Boer War and such an unfolding of British sea power that though Germans held in every town clamorous meetings favoring the Boers and insulting to Queen Victoria, William II refused to receive the Transvaal envoys, altho but three years previously he had launched his electric bolt in favor of Oom Paul. Nor did Africanders forget this; for in 1914 they rallied under the British flag and chased every German from every part of the Dark Continent.
In 1900 came the Chinese reply to the German invasion of Shantung and every European in the Middle Kingdom sought safety from the Boxer gangs. Flags of all nations marched from the sea to Pekin where a foreign population was besieged, expecting massacre. The Kaiser sent a force; and at the head of it one whose military rank and courtly titles made him claim supreme command in the field and social precedence everywhere. Here was another blundering pin prick, for Waldersee made the name of Germany even more unpopular East of Suez than it was before. Japan, England and the United States made no official protest, but throughout these forces was collected a fund of resentment amply justified. In that Boxer campaign Waldersee displayed the vandal methods
which were to astonish Europe when the Belgian border was violated in 1914, and the wells of Pitchili were choked with bodies, Chinese virgins who preferred suicide to a Prussian embrace.
So unfortunate was the result of the Kaiser's action in Chinese waters; and so discouraging to the former friends of Germany in America, that in 1902 he sent his younger brother across the Atlantic on a friendly tour of inspection, which included the Capital and principal cities. Prince Henry was the Kaiser's junior by three years; a sailor by training and consequently interesting and sport loving-who was a welcome guest in every British port. He came to New York ostensibly to assist at the launching of a racing yacht for his brother; but incidentally to breathe new life into the flickering embers of Germanism that had been much dampened by recent activities inspired by Berlin. The sailor prince was welcomed jubilantly by his brother Germans and hospitably by all Americans.. He brought with him a big bag full of Red Eagle medals, but found few American bosoms prepared for such an honor. The great Pierpont Morgan opened his private purse and a splendid private car in order that the Prince might move about in comfort, but would not bare his breast for the Red Eagle. The bag of medals went back much as it came; and Henry was loved for himself alone and not for the cause for
which he pleaded. He met many German singing societies and target companies and there was much enthusiasm over Goethe and Schiller and Kultur in general; but when it came to the question closest to the heart of official Berlin, it was discovered to the immense disgust of Unter den Linden that Americans of German parentage declined the patronage of a German Consul, refused to welcome Prince Henry as a brother German, but insisted vigorously on their desire to be regarded as through and through Americans welcoming a friendly foreigner. In vain did Prince Henry allude to the historie friendship binding our two countries; in vain did he point to the many degrees of Ph.D. granted at low cost to American students; in vain did he present Harvard University with many cases of mythical heroes; in vain did the Kaiser send a statue of the Great Frederic to Washington.
When the great war was on, there was immense clamor in the press against a Frederic the Great monament under the shadow of our legislative halls. Some denounced the effigy as that of a militarist and the rest held that such a statue was a daily insult to our government. We expected that a mob would shortly demolish this token of Kaiser kindliness as had happened in the case of George III at the outbreak of our War of Independence. One day, having business with
Army General Staff officers, I drove up to that building, and found a sentry pacing up and down in front of the much abused monument.
war with Germany.
We were then at
So I pointed to the "Alter Fritz" and asked as an innocent stranger if the sentry could tell me the name of that very familiar figure in cocked hat, riding boots and long stick. The sentry was good natured and looked hard and shook his head: "Sure, Boss, I don't know! Ye'd better tackle one of them guys inside!"
If the Great Frederic was intended to corrupt the American army, he was shamefully neglecting his work on that occasion. This work of art, was shortly afterwards taken down; not by the mob but by con stituted authority. The curious may find it in some cellar of our Capital where it is protected from the Potomac fogs and where it must ever offer problems for a patriotic American to unravel.
We have statues to Steuben and DeKalb who came to America as adventurers in search of salary because Frederic the Great had no use for their services in his army. Neither of these men did anything to distinguish them from the hundreds of native born Americans who served throughout the seven years of the Revolutionary War and who died in poverty.
Frederic the Great helped this country throughout our struggle for Independence; he expressed himself