페이지 이미지

take into consideration her limitations—the very limitations alluded to by Mr. George Moore-it has always struck me that, when a woman is impelled to depart from her natural mission—the mission of cooking ‘inadequately,' let us say-and to plunge into pathways which lead only to 'waste and disappointment,' her 'call’ must be much more definite and imperative than the 'inspiration of a man, although, according to Mr. George Moore, the result is always so unsatisfactory.

A man, fresh from a successful career at one of our great Universities, the swing and rhythm of Greek and Latin verses still ringing in his ears, and imbued, it may be, with the works of the master-singers of antiquity, finds little difficulty, even if he be not a truly inspired poet, in tossing off couplet or epigram, if only with the object of killing time upon a wet day, or when, perhaps, there is nothing else to kill with rod or gun, and so may be induced to write very respectable derivative verse merely from a feeling of ennui. He has striven, perhaps, when he was at Oxford, for the ‘Newdigate'; possibly he may even have obtained it. This is enough to stimulate any literary ambition. Why should not the author of Ravenna aspire to the same honours that were showered, eventually, upon the head of the author of Timbuctoo, seeing that the two prize poems are 'much of a muchness' as regards their intrinsic value ?

But it is altogether different with a woman. Ten to one that, with a few noteworthy exceptions, she knows little or nothing of the immortal poets of antiquity, and has never breathed, even in fancy, the stimulating atmosphere, or trod

... the thymy pasture-lands Of high Parnassus.

Even when she is not a professional cook or mere household drudge, compelled to pore over weekly accounts or darn the holes in the family linen, she has so many other ways of profitably passing her time, so many urgent demands upon her sympathy and attention, particularly when she is blessed, or encumbered, with noisy human offspring! The 'inspiration’ must be a very potent one which can induce her to neglect her so-called 'duties,' even her so-called 'pleasures,' sometimes, in order that she may be able to satisfy her socalled 'poetic' yearnings. She need never write, at any rate, simply from a feeling of ennui.

And yet how decently our female poets have acquitted themselves in the glorious reign which has but recently come to a close! (In the face of our stern critic I dare use no more enthusiastic terms.) From Mrs. Browning (the ‘hen-bird, singing to its mate,' of Mr. George Moore, and to whom my remarks about a defective classical education do not, of course, apply) to the refined and graceful author of Opals, there is not much to complain of in the quality or finish of their work.

Daphnis and Chloe, with other impossible shepherds and shepherdesses of the past, have almost entirely disappeared from our midst, together with the paste-board Alocks of an artificial Arcadia (though we may, perhaps, purchase the history of their pastoral loves 'traduit du Grec par M. Amiot et un anonyme, for the sake of its binding by Derôme, or its petits pieds inventés et peints par la main de S.A.R. Philippe Duc d'Orléans, Régent de France). But that the more subtle and imperishable Hellenic influences still survive-influences which inspired Homer and Hesiod long before the plague of Egyptian myths and fables—is made apparent whenever we turn to the writings of the greatest of our living bards, and to these the more cultivated of our modern female poets have been by no means insensible. Not to mention the ‘hen-bird singing to its mate,' the late Jean Ingelow, to whom we are indebted for that fine poem The High Tide upon the Coast of Lincolnshire, is also the author of Persephone, with its haunting musical refrain ; Mrs. Pfeiffer, Mrs. Meynell, Miss Mary Robinson (who, I am told, prefers still to be known by the maiden name in which she achieved her first triumphs), have all gone to the fountain-head for their inspiration, whilst I have often thought how proud and pleased 'the great god Pan' might well have been,

Down in the reeds by the river, could he have only foreseen that, even in these far-off, practical days of bike' and 'motor,' he would find an enthusiastic admirer and apologist in the charming Lady Margaret Sackville !..

And yet Mr. George Moore says that we are not synthesic,' and, what is more, that we can never become so!.... Being, unfortunately, a woman myself, and knowing all our little ways, I will go a step further than Mr. George Moore, and wager that comparatively few of us are even aware of the derivation or correct significance of the term. But then this is just what makes me so particularly proud of my sex, although it is one that has been imposed upon me without the asking. We can make our omelets without eggs, and our bricks without straw, and the omelets are really quite eatable, and the bricks tolerably substantial, for all that. This is our own precious secret, a 'woman's privilege,' and that it should make some people rather provoked with us I can perfectly well understand. .

[ocr errors][merged small]



THE present war has already been fruitful in novel questions of international law. A few of the many special questions which have arisen in consequence of the changed conditions of modern warfare I propose discussing. But before doing so I touch upon some of the larger aspects of this war, interesting to the jurist and likely to reappear in the future. One of them is the change to be noted in the policy of neutrals in regard to the action of belligerents at sea : a change in a movement which has long been going on, and an unexpected result or concomitant of the growth of large armaments. For some years the development of maritime international law proceeded along one line. The supremacy of the Navy of this country was either taken for granted as natural in view of its possessions and dependence for food upon foreign supplies, or the day when this supremacy was to be overthrown was regarded as distant and uncertain. The other chief States of the world, possessing great armies, were resigned, for a time at least, to England's predominance at sea. In these circumstances the laws of war at sea were moulded by two forces : England pressing hard and exaggerating the rights of belliger. ents, while other Powers were the champions of the rights of neutrals. They favoured 'free ships making free goods.' They were jealous of the exercise of the right of search ; France carrying that jealousy to the point of suffering for many years the slave trade to flourish in certain waters rather than British cruisers should exercise this right, and again in 1887 declining to be a party to the much-needed convention for the suppression of the sale of liquor among North Sea fishermen by the keepers of floating public-houses, rather than sanction 'a derogation of the fundamental principles of our public maritime law.'1 Those Powers refused to recognise cruiser blockades, or blockades of which there has been no notification. They were, on the whole, though with oscillations in practice, in favour of a strict limitation of contraband to articles directly of use in war as against the comprehensive conception recognised by England. If there did

| Report of Commission of Chamber of Deputies, 1892.

not always exist in form an armed neutrality, there was a standing array of interests on the side of neutrals. There was a cloud of writers of the stamp of Dupuis and Hautefeuille who denounced the egotism and tyranny of England. On the whole, until the latter half of last century the belligerents had the best of it. There was some truth in M. Dupuis's remark: ‘Dans le compromis que le droit des gens tend à réaliser entre les intérêts contradictoires des belligérants et des neutres, le balance risque fort de pencher toujours quelque peu du côté des premiers.'?

But from 1856, when England surrendered one of the sharpest of her weapons, there was a shrinkage in belligerent rights. They were asserted, it is true, with somewhat of the old force, though in new forms, in 1861-64 by the United States. But, on the whole, since that time the disposition has been to insist that, peace being the normal order of things, the interests of neutrals should prevail in a conflict with those of belligerents; that, for example, the intercourse between nations by mail steamers and otherwise should be little obstructed ; that only munitions of war and the like should be treated as contraband; and that blockades should be respected only if they were strictly efficacious. It would seem, however, as if there was a recovery in belligerent rights. Perhaps that is only the inevitable outcome of a naval war; belligerents using every weapon in their power, and neutrals not being organised or pressing collectively with equal spirit and zeal their interests. Perhaps it is a consequence or natural concomitant of great armaments. Several States possessing, or aspiring to possess, powerful navies able to cope, single-handed or jointly, with any fleet; the supremacy at sea of any Power being regarded as dangerous ; the value of 'sea power' as a factor in warfare realised as it never was before, there is a rise in belligerent rights; a reluctance to propose or assent to any declaration which may fetter the action of the States which have not hitherto possessed maritime power, but which may one day acquire it. If I am not misinformed, more than one Government has, on the advice of its experts, refrained from speaking distinctly as to recent acts which on the face of them seemed to conflict with the plain interests of neutrals. On the outlook for what is to their advantage, they do not know what it may prove to be. There is reluctance to do anything which might hinder Governments in the event of war doing all that expediency may in unforeseen circumstances dictate as to wireless telegraphy or submarine cables. At the opening of this century there seems to be what there was at the beginning of last century, an exaggeration of maritime belligerent rights; with this difference-it is an exaggeration all round.

I note a second peculiarity of this war, and one which has already produced much perplexity and confusion and with far-extending con

* R. G. de Droit International, 1903, p. 342 .

sequences. Usually belligerents fight on belligerents' soil. If they make war on the soil of neutrals, they in effect make war on the latter, or give cause for the latter doing so. The very basis of international law is the assumption that each nation is master in its own house, that its territory is to be respected. But in the present contest this is ignored; all is confusion; it is hard to make out who are belligerents and what is neutral soil. It is true that, with spheres of influence, protectorates and suzerainties, and military occupations, with such anomalies as the administration of Cyprus, Egypt, and Bosnia, ideas on this point are not as clear as they once were. We have seen of late so much interference by strong States in the affairs of the weak in the name of European concert that one might at times fancy the days of the Congress of Vienna and the ‘European police' then exercised over the weak had returned. Things were topsy-turvy in China when the Allies in 1900-1, declaring that they were not at war with her, killed her soldiers and occupied her capital. Manchuria, which is occupied by Russia, is still an integral part of the Chinese Empire. Yet it is treated in many ways as if it were not occupied militarily but actually annexed. Its inhabitants, Chinese subjects, are compelled to guard the Siberian railways. Korea has been alternately a protectorate of Japan and China. Nominally there subsisted a treaty by which Japan renounced its sovereign rights and declared Korea to be a sovereign State, the King subsequently proclaiming himself Emperor in manifestation of his independence. Korea, probably under pressure, has since the war concluded a convention with Japan: a strange incident in a war avowedly begun for the securing of the independence of the former. Instead of conforming, as in theory might have been expected, to the articles in the Hague Convention relating to military occupation, both Powers have treated Korea from the outset very much as if it were belligerent soil. Nor is it satisfactory to say · Korea is outside the region of international law. That simplifies the problems here touched, but only by ignoring the difficulties. Nice questions of private law will arise in these circumstances. Suppose that munitions of war were sent to Seoul; may they be lawfully seized as contraband, an essential of which is that they are going directly or eventually to a hostile destination? Would a prize court condemn them, and neutrals acquiesce in such a decision? It is probable that courts would look, as is their inclination nowadays, to the actual condition of things, and have regard to the State which in fact controlled the situation, without reference to the titular sovereign Power. But what is happening there opens up prospects prejudicial to smaller States. “Buffer States ' in particular are likely to have a bad time of it in future wars. The assumption of the equality of the States of the world, always a fiction, promises to become an absurdity.

I note a further characteristic of this war: a set of facts lying

« 이전계속 »