The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, July 28, 1898, Page 13, Image 13

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War and Literature.
Whatever tends to stir the imagina
tion and enthusiasm of a people very
deeply awakens all its powers to fresher
vigor. As literature is the record of the
thought wherein man surveys his own
actions and the things related to them ,
the result of war is quite sure to stimu
late what may bo called this oflloros-
cenco of national life. The influence
may neb bo perceptible in wartimes
themselves. The intense interest in the
actual at such a period rather finds its
outlet nowadays in the newspaper and
the magazine than in bookmaking and
book reading. But after the war is over
and thought subsides from its efferves
cent to the reminiscent mood then the
effect is apt to show its strength. The
lover who writes a sonnet to his mis
tress' eyebrow is not at that moment
the victim of a grand passion in all its
fury , but ho must have felt something
Hike it previously. Petrarch could nufc
lhavo written his exquisite poems if ho
Iliad been actually sighing at the feet of
There was a magnificent outburst of
literature in England during the Na
poleonic wars , it is true , but there were
influences at work besides the current
war spirit to produce the result. It was
rather the fruit of the French revolution
which preceded Napoleon's rise. So in
the magnificent Elizabethan period ,
when England was fighting a life and
death struggle with Spain , then at the
apex of its power , the chief fertilizing
force was the vision of a newly discov
ered world , with all its boundless pos
sibilities , which intoxicated the imagi
nation as men speculated on its marvels.
During our civil war , which shook the
country to the roots , there was but lit
tle done in literature. But the fertiliz
ing effect was very evident after the
war ended , and the period since has
been one of brilliant literary ac ivity.
It would bo easy to multiply proofs that
the stimulus to literature from war
takes its active form after the intense
excitement has subsided alike for the
people who make books and those who
read books. Then human energy finds
in its reminiscent and reflective attitude
a greatly enriched field in which to
work. It wUl bo natural to expect some
increment of literary vigor as the out
come of our war with Spain , and it
will bo a matter of curious note to
measure the effect as the tide of imme
diate excitement ebbs with the coming
of peace. The gauge of the nilomoter
pretty generally accorded with the lush-
Jioss of the crops.
Germany in t/uu . . -.i > iiino9.
America failed to see what sound
warranty under international usage
Germany had for concentrating a pow
erful fleet at Manila. The pretext that
this great weight of metal and big force
of marines and bluejackets were needed
to protect a baker's dozen or so of Gor
man mercantile housoe and their em-
ployecs seemed pretty flimsy. But oven
vJiat excuse disappeared with the arrival
of fciio first detachment of General Mer-
ritt's expedition , which gave Admiral
Dcwoy ample resources for such protec
tion to foreign residents as they are
entitled to under the law of nations
in such circumstances. Consequently
more than half of the German fleet sail
ed away , leaving two warships behind.
But little importance would have at
tached to the presence of the German
ships had the United States not suspect
ed an undercurrent of hostile sentiment
in the government circles and people of
Germany. No feeling grew out of the
presence of four British cruisers nt Ma
nila , for the absouco of jealous motive
on the part of England is well assured ,
but the general drift of public opinion
in Toutoulaud has been unmistakably
against us , and the suave assurances of
the Gorman foreign office might easily
mean no more than those diplomatic
generalities which mean nothing. Facts
were regarded as more eloquent than as-
severatious. Various indications con
joined to show that Germany , if not
anxious for colonial grip in the Philip
pines , would at least welcome such a
splendid point d'appui for commercial
aggrandizement as possession of a com
manding stronghold in the islands would
give her. Her recent exploit in taking
China by the throat is presumptive of
what she might be inclined to do in the
Philippines under favoring conditions ,
if it were safe to accept Spanish title
against American protest.
The ease with which withdrawal
from an advance step tentatively nAdo ,
but afterward found inconvenient , can
be effected is well known. It is only a
question of an apology and the charge
of superserviceablo and unauthorized
zeal on the part of some commanding
official. But if further conditions favor
how easy it is to stretch the inch gained
to the ell 1 Our English cousins are not
unfamiliar with the working value of
such a method , which may bo called a
diplomatic "reconuoissance in force. "
It is eminently in character with what
Emperor William has hitherto done
and shown to avail himself of any open
ing in the Philippines and then trust to
luck to make it good. Such a step hav
ing once been effectively taken , it can
bo made of unquestionable , of enormous
help to the extension of Gorman com
merce in the east. There is good reason
to question the intentions of Germany ,
in spite of any soothing plaster of
The Rising Tide.
Despite complaints in certain branches
of business that the much talked of re
turn of prosperity has not yet reached
them there can bo no just doubt that
the year 1897-8 on the whole has boon
full of good omen. The immense re
turns from our crops , an unprecedented
amount , have laid the solid foundations
of another recurring opooli of good
times. The farmers , whoso work under
lies all else , have naturally felt the
benefit first , and their prosperity
throughout the length and breadth of
the great west is like an Aladdin ro
mance. The mechanism of industrial
society is so complex that it takes time
to feel a movement throughout , but the
dynamic force ultimately roaches every
cog and lover. Wo can now rest assured
that the good conditions of the present
year are sure to operate in the coming
one not only with equal but with cu
mulative powers , sufficient to pervade
all the nooks and crevices of business.
The statistics of research from sources
both governmental and private promise
the largest tonnage of crops from the
present harvest ever known to the coun
try. There is every reason to anticipate ,
too , that prices , if less than those which
have made the recent average so nota
ble , will greatly exceed the figures
which had preceded. Conservative esti
mates expect at least § 100,000,000 excess -
cess in value over the total of the fiscal
year just closed. The great advance in
the price of agricultural lands shows
what farmers themselves believe. The
balance of trade in favor of the United
States has just doubled that of any pre
vious year and wo have also surpassed
our own high water mark of 1892 in
exportation of manufactures by 20 per
cent. An equal or bigger increment
may bo reasonably looked for as the re
sult of the coming fiscal year. A steady
swell for several years of the favorable
forces , working for us with such potent
swing , is in strict accordance with the
lessons of past economic experience.
The conditions of the money and bul
lion market are not less auspicious. Our
tremendous imports of gold in pay
ment for exports have been swollen by
great returns from thogoldfiolds of Cal
ifornia and the Klondike , the streams
from which have the signs of a perma
nent flow. Money has been easy , and the
circumstances of trade in sight promise
to keep it so. The extension of the iron
and steel industry , particularly in the
south , is of the most encouraging stamp ,
and the output of pig , of manufactured
products and of structural steel already
presents the earmarks of a great boom.
The large demand for additional labor
required to repair the waste consequent
on war and the inevitable expansion of
commerce with distant lauds are also
agencies which must bo counted in an
estimate. Altogether the situation is
one to make the most surly pessimist
smother his growling.
Kaiser Wilholm the Restless will
visit Jerusalem this fall. It will not be
with scallop shell on breast in dross of
humble palmer to expiate his imperial
sins , but in all the peacock gorgeousness -
ness of Solomon himself. Ho will march
to the clangor of drums and trumpets
and cymbols and patronize the scone of
Christ's lifo and crucifixion with his
nsual conde.sconsiou.