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THE PASSING OF THE SUPERMAN.
The greatest of all wars has so far by Ludendorf and other useful subthrown up no supremely great Per- ordinates, and that Hindenburg himsonality. We have got rid of what Mr. self may be only a clumsy wooden Wells, with one of his irradiating image “made in Germany" to order flashes of insight and description, calls and scale. In France there was at the Effigy: the great, caracoling, first some disposition to cast Joffre threatening, overbearing figure that for the part; but that modest, methodilooms so large in the foreground of all cal, painstaking, and unimaginative the wars and conquests of the past. commander is not of the stuff whereof Always when you turn back to these effigies are made, and he showed an things the interest centers dramatically absolute disinclination to appear in round an individual. The Man has this rôle. Among ourselves a
overshadowed the Event that scientious endeavor was made for a most often we have forgotten the time to find what we wanted in latter and remember only the former. Kitchener, the strong, silent man, the It is of Rameses or Sesostris, Cyrus, organizer of victory. But, alas! the Alexander, Cæsar, Attila, Charlemagne Dardanelles Report is out; and whatGenghis Khan, Charles XII, Peter the ever may be said of that inconvenient, Great we think rather than of the and inconveniently timed, document, it kingdoms they devoured, the empires must be acknowledged that it makes they founded or destroyed, the hosts sad havoc with the Kitchener legend. they led to the slaughter. History Our Superman fades before our eyes, flattens out before many minds a rather and leaves us instead with the likeness dull, level expanse, like the plain of of a most patriotic, self-confident, hardThebes with the Colossi towering working, high-minded gentleman, overabove it to catch the sunbeams. It is burdened by a task of unparalleled the big man who often gives his name difficulty. to the epoch: the age of Augustus, And the Effigy-Statesman is apthe age of Mohammed, the Napoleonic parently as obsolete as the Effigyperiod, the Bismarckian era, and so Warrior. In this department, too, we forth.
move among the mediocrities: and But this marvelous stretch of time here also we are in contrast with the through which we are passing will not, past. The massive political personage, it seems, be known as the Age of who awed the listening senate to obey, Anybody. We have no Effigy really roused the multitude to fevered pasworth a show-case in the historic sion, and played his subtle game with museum, though several of the nations potentates and powers like pieces on engaged have made some well-inten- the chessboard, as he swept resplendent tioned efforts to create one. We have through the historic page-he likefelt somehow that we "want a hero," wise has disappeared. We look in like Byron when he started upon vain for the Cromwell, the Lincoln, "Don Juan." The research after this the Cavour, the Chatham, even the object of desire has not been con- Choisoul or the Alberoni, of the Great spicuously successful. The Germans War. Instead, we have had to be do their best with Hindenburg: but content with Mr. Asquith, Viscount it is surmised that the strategy and Grey, M. Briand, Herr von Bethbattle-schemes are really worked out mann-Hollweg, Baron Sonnino, M.