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16   DAYS OF PREPARATION

Britain were, as Kipling had contemptuously represented them:

"The flannelled fool at the wicket, the muddied oaf in the goal."

As for Belgium, that was but one of the details of the greater plan. Said Rohrbach in his book, The German Idea in the World: "The world has no longer need of little nationalities. If they are to give full effect to their ideas of culture, and to gather up the results of their scientific discoveries, they must fall into line with the world-power of Germany." Frymann thus wrote: "We cannot tolerate on our north-west frontier those little states which give no guarantee against their violation by England and France, so when we decide on war we shall summon them to join us, or be treated as enemies." The word thus spoken was addressed to Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Switzerland alike, and who can doubt its fulfilment should the tiger be successful in his larger enterprise?

That Germany was convinced of Great Britain's nervelessness is beyond question. Lichnowsky, her Ambassador at the Court of St. James, thus assured her. Her influential agents expressed the same conviction. In the case of Russia the certainty pointed the other way, and the long chance had to be taken. If the worst there came to the worst the Eastern line could be held, since Russian mobilization would necessarily be slow, until the smashing blow had been dealt to decadent France, then the War Machine could swing East and dispose of the unwieldy forces of huge, slow-moving Russia. France broken, Russia maimed, the jumping-off places against Britain secured, there were still great rewards at the other end of the far-flung battle line to be gained at the expense of the supreme foe, the British Empire. The Balkan difficulties would be adjusted finally, and after the German fashion. Bulgaria, ever since the injustice done her after her fight against the Turk, had nursed her wrath, and was hungry for


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