August 1st, 1915
Received by James Padgett.
I am here, Bismarck:
Let me say a word. I saw what Lafayette wrote and I don't agree with him on either proposition.
The German Emperor did not bring on this war as the Frenchman said, but it was forced on him. He saw that not only France but England was trying to destroy the great mercantile business which Germany had built up, and that unless he took some means to forestall the efforts of these nations, Germany would lose its commercial prestige and have to submit to the dictates of these rivals; and as a wise Emperor and statesman he struck the first blow - sharp and quick - and had it not been for the Belgians he would have reached Paris and accomplished his object. But that little nation of lacemakers, as we called them, showed that when home was invaded they could fight, and fight they did; and notwithstanding the fact that I am a German, whose sympathies and desires are all with the Germans, yet I admired the way in which these Belgians fought. Had France such fighters, the Germans would have been out of that country a long time ago, and the German territory would now be invaded. But this is past, and Germany is still in France and will stay there, notwithstanding the efforts that France and England may make to oust them.
The end of the war is not yet and before that end comes Paris will fall and the terms of peace will be dictated by the victorious Germans; and France will lose some territory, and England will pay an indemnity and make such concessions to Germany that her commerce will be established and grow to such an extent that she will be second to none as a commercial nation.
Germany will not cease to be an empire - a stronger and greater one than ever. William will not live long after the war ends, but one of his sons will occupy the throne and his family will reign for years.
It will not become a republic, although I know the socialists will make a great effort to bring that about; but they will fail.
So I tell you that the French spirit is mistaken and he will find out his mistake before a great many months have gone by. I don't know what causes he imagines he sees, but if he would see the true causes he would draw different conclusions as I do.
I am Bismarck and I am with the German Army trying to show its generals the way to accomplish their objects. I must not write more.
I live in the second sphere and am trying to find happiness, but this war interferes with my happiness and my progress.
Well, I saw you writing, and I saw Washington and Lafayette engaged in writing and I stopped to listen, and became interested in both the writing and the subject matter, and when Lafayette wrote as he did I determined to give my views, and hence I wrote.
You must excuse my intrusion, but I thought it just to express what I think about the war.
I will not take up more of your time.
So with my kind regards, I am