CAUSES OF THE GREAT WORLD WAR 17
vengeance on her former allies. Germany knew, none better, how to blend the poison for the wound and the soothing for the injured spirit of the sufferer, and had made sure of the fox Ferdinand. Rumania had ever been a calculator, and it might be that policy would demand that she be forced into action against the Central Powers, to clear a troublesome person out of the way. The Turk was mortgaged body and such soul as he owned to the Kaiser, so from Berlin to Constantinople, and from the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus to Bagdad, the corridor would be wide open. Jerusalem, Medina, Mecca, the holy places, would come under the new sphere of Germany's influence, and the new railway would furnish a jumping-off place from which a drive could be made against Suez, the heart of the great British Empire. With a port on the Persian Gulf, India was near, very near. West and East the German spears would be levelled against the heart of the Empire that stood in the way of the World dominance of the German.
Wrote Sir Edward Grey on July 29th, 1914: "I urged that the German Government should suggest any method by which the influence of the four Powers could be used together to prevent war between Austria and Russia. France agreed. Italy agreed. The whole idea of mediation or mediating influence was ready to be put into operation by any method Germany could suggest, if mine was not acceptable. In fact, mediation was ready to come into operation by any method that Germany thought possible, if only Germany would press the button in the interests of peace." Germany declined to "press the button," since what she had conspired, striven, plotted for, was coming to pass. Her mastery of Europe completed, she would then be in a favourable position for bringing about the completion of her great design. Sufficient unto the day should be the effort thereof. To divide her foes, and destroy them in turn, had ever been her policy. France, Russia, and Belgium furnished the immediate task, and after their destruction