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THE HUN-LORD

A STUDY OF THK KAISER'S . CHARACTER. VANITY AND WAR. " 1 happened to consult Webster'* invaluable dictionary this afternoon, and when I had found what T wanted I idly turned up megalomaniac." *ays E. F. Benson, the novelist, in the 'Daily Xeu-» and Leader.' and proceeds to givc'an interesting study of tha "maddest man in Europe"—the Kaiser. "It defines him," Mr Benson says, "as 'one who ha.s grandiose delusions about himself.' Pursuing a certain train of thought, I proceeded to ascertain the correct definition of mcno-maniae, and found him to be 'one who shows such a concentration of interest on one subject as to suggest the existence of mental derangement.' But 1 ccidd not discover the word mono-megalomaniac, though at the present day there Ls clearly a need lor such a substantive. However, that would be a very long and cumbersome word, and for the sake of brevity we may call the person I mean the dun-Lord.* Xo confusion can arise over this, since there is nobody but the Kaiser who can lay claim to both titles. huteed, I should not wonder if Webster, in subsequent editions, included an entry that will run : ' Monomegalomaniac : "the Hun - J.ord, the Kaiser.' —Stuffed Like a Goose.— "There was 'never, perhaps, in the whole history of the world so completely consistent a character, nor one who was 6o absolutely dominated by one instinct, und on© only. Commonplace and amateurish in all those walks of life whore he so diligently plies his energies, lie ha* btill the supreme distinction of a vanity so colossal as to merit attention. Just as wo admire the inimitable hardness of the diamond and the inimitable glory of the sun, just as we loathe the inimitable barbarity of the host of Huns, so wo must bow the head to the inimitable vanity of the HunLord. Probably he had a fine natural gift that way, and his position as Kaiser and tin: illimitable gorging of this vanity, wherebv it was stuffed like a Strasbourg goose, nas produced las in the case of the goose) that internal derangement of which Webster speaks. "Vanity is by far the most voracious of human appetitos. To most others there is set a certain limit. A habitual drunkard, for instance, gets pulled up sooner or later by an attack of delirium tremens; a habitual libel-monger finds himself in the law court*. But the vain man sublimely on, not from strength to strength, but from fatuity to fatuity, and the mono-mania and the. megalomania which attack him serve but to whot his gargantuan appetite. In humbler circumstances he soon reaches the limit of the effects of his vanity on others, and we have all seen folk who in essential character exactly resemble the Hun-Lord. Thoy are not really very uncommon in detached villas outside country ilowus, wliero the retired congregate. Thoy \ay down the law about bridge, they -write angry letters to the county paper, they hullv their wives, they *triit about the Hign street, and mismanage the kcal golf club. —The Prussian War Party.— "There, more or less, their power for evil ends, the limits of their income and their position leave them no wider world to trample on. But set any of them in the position of tho Kaiser, surround him with the apparent homage of the real governing class (in this case t7i© Prussian War party), give him a truckling entourage to whom his lightest whim i> law. to whom his ridiculous daubings are. pictorial masterpieces, to whom lus .school-girl strumming.? on the piano are original and angelic symphonies, and you will speedily produce as many Hun-Lords as you ian possibly lind use for. The recipe, is a perfectly simple one; you only need a- very large number ol cooks, and a naturally vain per.-on on whom to exercise their culinary capacities. —Basted With Flattery.— "It is this chef-decuvre of the. Prussian army kitchen, covered with paper frills and uniforms, and isinglass and epaulettes, which, in the opinion of most English people, has «rt Europe ablaze with savage flame. But this conclusion is an unjust and a cruel mie. It was the cooks who did it all—tho Prussian war party, who found a very vain man on tho throne of tho Hohen/iiilerns and astutely saw that hore was the very material they wanted. Since he came to the throne they have adopted just one plan with him—that of basting him with flattery. They called him their lord, who was their slave, and ho believed thorn; they stuffed him with a spoon and a spade and a howitzer, and he swallowed all they gave him; he throve on it, and for 16 years he did their work, slaving as never man slaved yet at the glorification of himself. They, his employers, knew that he was working for them; he, with touching simplicity, thought thoy were his humble worshippers. With his whole heart, with all his illimitable energy, he worked to put Germany in a position where sho would be able to dictate her will to the entire world. And why? For the reason that ho was the All-highest, and as Germany shouldered and shoved her way above tho crushed nations his would be the crowned head on top of that massive neck. —Deified Before Death.— " Tho Roman Emperors were deified after death, and after death are saints canonized. The Hun-Lord, going, as usual, one better or worse than anyone else, has graciously accepted deification, or has claimod it, during his lifetime, feeling, very prudently, that a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush. His formal certificate, I think, was conferred on him by his brother, Prince Henry, who, when he started on his prophetic tour, proposed the HunLord's health in a neat speech. ' I go,' ho said, ' to proclaim to foreign lands the gospel of your Majesty's most sacred person. . . .' It was impossible to bo clearer, and it seemed bathos that the ordinary ' Hoch ! Hoch !' should follow this doxology. The Dresden ' Amen' (or, perhaps, the Berlin ' Amen') should have been sung by a choir in the crow's-nest. And the gospel which Henry the Baptist preached to America is being preached now by the All-highest in person in tho defenceless villages of Belgium, over which, between tho detonations of the siege guns, the All-highest's hallowed heart is distinctly understood (on his own authority) to bleed. —Tho Art of War.— " Psychologically, then, the character of the Hun-Lord resolves itself into a very simple study. There is no reason for us to supposo that ho is at all a cruel or vindictive monster; no fires of hate consume him; ho is only being burned up in tho furnace of his vanity, which has been heated seven times hotter than is the wont of such chambers. His family jostle in the piling of the faggots with the generals of his army, to whom ho is accustomed in times of peace to teach the art of war, just as he causes to be performed over and over again to astonished musicians that incredible composition of his tho 'Song to Aegir.' Xow, so the rumor goes, he is about to demonstrate tho art of war in war-time, and command the Prussian forces in the east of his country. We do not know whether the Tsar has decided to j disband his entire army rather than proi ceed against the All-highest, but we rather hope not, recollecting the occasion when, at his manoeuvres, the Hun-Lord took command of an army. For in three hours from that time a trembling umpire had to announce to tho All-highest that every re- | giment and every gun under his orders had been put out of action. It seems possible (not that it matters) that in those last critical days before war broke out the Hun-Lord attempted to exercise his will towards the preservation of peace, only to find that, just as for 16 years he had been the catspaw of the war party, ho was their catspaw still. He was absolutely Eowerless, as he had been all along, and e hurried off, with his mailed fist, and his host of detectives, and his shining armor, and his battery of saucepans and falsehoods, to take the field. ' —His Armor Dented.— "To-day we may wonder whether the mono-megalomaniac armor, which is his real protection, has not incurred some sore dents. We should like to know, for in- | stances, just how the Hun-Lord felt when, [ready tot ride in a new uniform a.t the

head of his cavalry into Nancy, ho was advised not to trust his sacred person there, since his army was already in retreat from it. So lie mounted his horse and rode in quite the opposite direction, and made his pavilion at a safe distance, with a covey of aeroplanes and a blaze of searchlights to guard him against possible profanities. And somehow the slightly nettled tone of the despatch of August 18, when ho commanded ' the valor of his soldiers to walk over General French's contemptible little army,' did not savor of convinced Omnipotence, while their contemptiblo proceedings afterwards may have faintly warned him that there were forces in tho world, fallen, no doubt, and lost to grace, which might still perhaps trouble Walhalla. —Would Defile St. Helena,— " And what will be the end, when he shall bo forced to sheathe the sword ho has dishonored? We must not be vindictive, or treat the Hun-Lord as if he were a great man gone wrong, or talk of St. Helena as a suitable tabernacle, for the memory of a great man lives there, and tho very stones would cry out against so indecent an intrusion. For myself, I picture him in a villa at some snobbish watering-place, where at the County Club he will lay down the law about bridge, but not about Belgium, and strut about the High street, and make himself intolerable in a purely innocuous manner. We were ever a hospitable people to him, and instead of the gun-carriage on which he juggernauted through acountry of devastated towns and massacred villages, we ought to give him a bath chair from which to salute his shippers and frown on those who do not stare at him sufficiently. Street boys will pick up the stumps of his imperial cigars, and young ladies will send him their albums for his autograph. ... It will be very pleasant."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141120.2.68

Bibliographic details

THE HUN-LORD, Evening Star, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914

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THE HUN-LORD Evening Star, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914

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