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revolutionary forces that drew their chief inspiration from England.

Spring-Rice had heartily welcomed the Anglo-French Agreement, for which, since his Berlin days, he had done useful spade-work wherever he went; and he recognised the paramount importance of the Anglo-Russian Agreement as a guarantee against the revival of the old Three Emperors' Alliance under German hegemony. But he was in Persia when it was concluded, and he knew the price we should have to pay for it in the loss of our slender remnant of influence with the Persians. Anything that savoured of real-politik was abhorrent to him. 'Its great apostle allowed himself only one luxury of emotion-to hate;' whereas Spring-Rice could not refuse himself the luxury of sympathising even with the feeble gropings towards liberty of the unfortunate Persian people, who used to take sanctuary in thousands within the grounds of the British Legation in Teheran. Nor had he much faith in the stability of the Russian autocracy or its permanent divorce from the more congenial influence of Berlin, though he never questioned the personal loyalty of the Tsar.

In his private letters, and even, I believe, in his official dispatches, Spring-Rice was so intent on counteracting the easy optimism which prevailed in most quarters in England, as we know to our cost, right up to July 1914, that he often got the reputation of being a hopeless pessimist. He was never that; for, if his faith in human progress, and in a divine providence that shapes all things towards higher ends, had ever wavered, he would have been preserved from mere pessimism by his keen sense of humour-which, unlike most people, he exercised upon himself as often as upon others-as well as by his intense love of nature and by his strong family affections. He had lost his father and mother when he was still young, but he had brothers and sisters to whom he was devoted; and his marriage in 1904 to the only daughter of his former chief, Sir Frank Lascelles, brought him unclouded happiness.

Besides the loving care and soothing influence she constantly brought to bear on his high-strung and somewhat excitable temperament, Lady Spring-Rice gave him

a boy and a girl upon whom he lavished the tender and cheerful understanding of children's ways which made him a prime favourite and playmate and king of storytellers to all the children with whom he happened to come into close contact. It was his lot to dwell mostly in cities and amongst men, but his heart was always in the country, and especially in the hills-most of all, perhaps, in the Cumberland hills, which he knew and loved above all others. He had sometimes an irresistible craving for their solitude; and at Oldchurch on Ullswater, which was his English home for many years, he would steal out quietly at night to watch the sunrise from the top of Helvellyn. The wilder mountains of Northern Persia appealed to him in the same way, and the primitive modes of travel which bring one so close to nature. I quote from a letter to myself.

'Have you forgotten your Persian wanderings? The early start while the stars are still bright, the sword of Orion remaining as long as any. Then on the top of the hill if possible before the sun gets hot; the burst of golden light on the rocky crest, and at last the view of the other side; hill after hill with Demavend behind. Then the awful descent; the poor pony struggling behind, looking appealingly at you as you try and pull him down some particularly bad drop, and his sad grunt as he steps down all four feet at once. Then the valley and a long delicious canter between the rocky hill sides till springs appear and the green patch in the distance means the camping ground. .. I got so tired of seeing Demavend look down at me wherever I was that at last I persuaded a Persian servant to go up with me. I spent two nights on the mountain and got up without difficulty except getting very giddy from the thin air.'

No wonder, for Demavend is about 18,000 feet high, and the ascent of the great snow-clad cone is a steady grind, that tests endurance rather than mountaineering skill.

It was as much his sense of public duty as his legitimate ambition to reach the top of his profession that made Spring-Rice stick to the often disheartening road of diplomacy. He was impulsive and sometimes impatient, and in smaller matters inclined to rush to premature conclusions and even to act hastily. But on the greater issues with which he was confronted his

judgment, based on careful study and genuine knowledge, was seldom at fault. I would quote from one other of his letters to me, written from Stockholm in 1911:

'At the end of the 18th century it was the revolution which was dominant and seemed the greater danger to Europe. Now it is the counter-revolution-State organisation-incarnate in Prussia. I wonder whether we shall have to go through a similar crisis. Will Power after Power, "with sombre acquiescence," accept what they think is inevitable and, rather than fight, take the consequences of defeat without the perils of war? That is what the small Powers are doing. I wonder if England will prove stubborn or not. The main thing is that we must fight in a good cause.'

It was with such forebodings of an impending cataclysm that he proceeded in 1912 to Washington to take up the appointment of Ambassador to the United States -the appointment which above all others he had always hoped for as the crown of his career, because he felt confident that, with his knowledge of, and genuine liking for, the American people, he could render better service in the democratic atmosphere of the great western Republic than at any European court. He found many old friends and made many new ones, but his health was growing more and more precarious; and he had not quite recovered from a very serious illness when he came home on leave shortly before the great European crisis of 1914. On arriving in London he spent ten days with Sir Edward Grey and shared his Chief's increasing apprehensions of the storm that was gathering on the international horizon. During the last week of deadly suspense he never had any doubt that the day for which Germany had been preparing for years was at hand, and that there could be but one course open to us, that of duty and honour as well as of national self-preservation.

As soon as the die was cast he prepared to return to America, whither his wife and children followed him shortly afterwards. His ship was pursued by a German cruiser, but he perhaps ran less personal danger then than he was exposed to later from German condottieri in America. Many people believed that the murderous affray in Mr Jack Morgan's house in Washington in the summer of 1915 was part of a plot against the life of Vol. 230.-No. 456.


the British Ambassador, who was staying with him at the time. He was prepared for every form of German frightfulness; he was prepared for the bitter hostility of many alien and anti-British elements in America; he was prepared for the deep-rooted prejudices of a large volume of genuinely American opinion. What he was not prepared for was the mischievous activity of some of our own 'pacifists,' who did not hesitate to palliate the crimes of Germany and to distort our war aims in order to embitter American feeling against their own country, and to deter the American democracy from converting its instinctive sympathies with the Allied cause into active cooperation.

It is too early yet to attempt to appraise exactly Spring-Rice's share in bringing about the entry of the United States into the war. Some of his critics on this side have been inclined to rate it far less high than the Americans themselves, who must after all be the better judges. He had little faith in the coarser methods of propaganda, in which he knew we could never compete successfully with the Germans. Indeed he was convinced, from his knowledge of the American character, that such a tremendous issue as that which then confronted the American people would not be determined by any sensational or emotional appeal, and still less by any attempt to drive them. Only the stern logic of events would persuade them to turn their backs on their century-old traditions and prejudices, and plunge into the unknown vortex of a great European conflict. From his knowledge of Germany, on the other hand, he relied confidently upon the Germans to provide the events required for the conversion of the American democracy. That conversion the British Embassy, he believed, could do little to hasten, but might easily, through sheer excess of zeal, do a vast deal to delay or even to prevent.

Difficult and delicate questions arose, and were bound to arise, out of the most legitimate exercise of our naval power, between the British and American Governments, so long as America remained neutral and constituted herself the zealous champion of neutral interests. On two occasions, namely when Great Britain extended contraband to cotton, and when she blacklisted' a number of firms suspected of trading with the enemy,


the situation was seriously strained. Any slight error of judgment, any indiscreet move or word that could give a handle to the enemy or an occasion for unfriendly elements in America to blaspheme, might have had immediately disastrous consequences. Spring-Rice, mindful of what had happened to some of his predecessors in far less stormy times, never stumbled once, though many were the traps laid for him. In his official notes and conversations with the State Department, he upheld the British point of view in temperate and closely reasoned argument, but he never departed in public from the reserve which he knew to be his one safe shield against misrepresentation and calumny.

Our friends in America, who saw the German Embassy become the headquarters of a great anti-British organisation all over the United States, could not at times quite understand why he would not allow the British Embassy to identify itself closely with their well-meant and much more legitimate activities. He valued their enthusiastic support of the British cause. Many of them were his own oldest friends; but for that very reason, and because some were known to be political opponents of the existing American administration, he felt, and often frankly told them, that the less intimate their association with the British Embassy, the more effective their efforts would be. He believed in the high purpose of the President; he knew himself to possess the confidence and respect of the United States Government; and he felt that, whenever the time arrived for Mr Wilson to carry the American people with him into the war, the greatest service which the British Ambassador could then be found to have rendered, would be to have made it impossible for any American to charge the Head of the State with having yielded to British pressure, direct or indirect. This may well have been in President Wilson's mind when he bade Spring-Rice, who was paying him his farewell visit, remember that he would be always his friend-simple words, which, however, coming from so reserved a man as the President, had their own special significance.

To Spring-Rice the alliance of the two great Englishspeaking nations was the fulfilment of a life's dream, and its fulfilment in the noblest of causes. For him the

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