Page:The Chartist Movement.djvu/41

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xxxi
INTRODUCTION

details for itself, as was notably instanced by the slipshod, happy-go-lucky ways in which the affairs of the Institute and University were conducted. He watched with keen interest elections for the Saxon Diet or Landtag, when Leipzig's discontent with the constitution of society rose triumphant over an electoral system as destructive to the expression of democratic control as that of the Prussian Diet itself. Things could hardly be well when Leipzig returned, by overwhelming majorities, both to the local and to the imperial Parliaments, Social Democrats pledged to the extirpation of the existing order. A constitution, cunningly devised to suppress popular suffrage, and manhood voting yielded the same result.

Another aspect of German opinion was strange and painful to him. He had been taught that in Germany the enthusiasts for war were as negligible an element as the "militarists" of his own land. But he soon found that the truth was almost the reverse of what he had expected. From the beginning he was appalled, too, by the widespread evidence of deep-rooted hostility to England, even in the academic circles which received him with the utmost cordiality. The violence of the local press, the denunciations of England by stray acquaintances in trains and cafés, seemed to him symptomatic of a deep-set feeling of hatred and rivalry. He saw that Lamprecht studied English history in the hope of appropriating for his own land the secret of British prosperity, and that Forster exhorted the students to play football that they might be better able to fight England when the time arrived, and that both were confident that the time would soon come. He was disgusted at the crass materialism he saw practised everywhere. He was particularly moved by a quaint exhortation to the local public to contribute handsomely to celebrate the Emperor's jubilee by subscribing to a national fund for missions to the heathen. No one saw anything scandalous or humorous in a spiritual appeal based on the most earthly of motives, and centring round the arguments that a large collection would please the Kaiser, and that, as England and America had used missionaries as pioneers of trade and might,