372 THE CHINESE-JAPANESE WAR secrets for him—it's certain he won't go very far ! I can imagine the number of sketches it took an artist as gifted as Menzel before he set himself to paint the Flute Concert at Sans-Souci. It would be good if artists to-day, like those of olden days, had the training afforded by the Masters' studios and could thus steep themselves in the great pictorial traditions. If, when we look at the pictures of Rembrandt and Rubens, for example, it is often difficult to make out what the Master has painted himself and what is his pupils' share, that's due to the fact that gradually the disciples themselves became masters. What a disaster it was, the day when the State began to interfere with the training of painters! As far as Germany is concerned, I believe that two academies would suffice: in Düsseldorf and Munich. Or perhaps three in all, if we add Vienna to the list. Obviously there's no question, for the moment, of abolishing any of our academies. But that doesn't prevent one from regretting that the tradition of the studios has been lost. If, after the war, I can realise my great building programme— and I intend to devote thousands of millions to it—only genuine artists will be called on to collaborate. The others may wait until doomsday, even if they're equipped with the most brilliant recommendations. Numerous examples taken from history prove that woman— however intelligent she may be—is not capable of dissociating reason from feeling, in matters of a political nature. And the formidable thing in this field is the hatred of which women are capable. I've been told that after the occupation of the province of Shanghai, the Japanese offered Chiang Kai-shek's Government to withdraw their troops from Chinese territory, on condition: (a) of being able to maintain a garrison in Shanghai's international concession; (b] of obtaining advantageous terms on the conclusion of a trade treaty. It seems that all the generals approved of this proposal and encouraged Chiang Kai-shek to accept it. But when Mme Chiang Kai-shek had spoken—urged on by her measureless hatred of Japan—the majority of the generals reversed their decisions, and thus it was that Japan's offer, although a very generous one, was rejected.
THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE 373 One might speak likewise of the influence of Lola Montez over Ludwig I of Bavaria. The latter was, by nature, .a reasonable and understanding king. But that woman completely drove him from his course. 176 2Qth March 1942, at dinner Commercial honesty in the Middle Ages—Five hundred years of honesty—Legal juggling—Reforms in the magistrature—Three good lawyers. The Fuehrer had alluded to the respect enjoyed by merchants and princes during the Middle Ages. In the discredit now attached to them, he saw the work of the Jews. The Hanseatic League should not be regarded solely as an instrument of political power. It also personified, on the level of relations between individuals, a conception of justice. For example, it never agreed to carry a consignment unless it was provided with a sure guarantee of the weight and quality of the goods. Equipped with the Hansa's seal, the goods thereby enjoyed a high reputation, both in the interior of the country and abroad. A case is cited of some cloth merchants who had employed the Hanseatic agency in Lübeck to send a bale of linen to Bergen. Now, this merchandise did not correspond to the Hansa's specifications, with the result that, by way of a sanction, the guilty city was excluded for a period of ten years from the traffic of the League. What is important to notice is that the decision was not taken as the result of a complaint by the addressee, but simply as the result of a check-up held at the outset. It was observed that the merchandise did not correspond to the specifications, a few threads of flax were absent in the weaving of the linen. It was not one of the Hansa's least merits to have stabilised the notion of commercial probity, as it is still honoured in some houses in Bremen and Hamburg. It was thanks to very severe sanctions, and even to barbarous punishments, that gradually this conception of probity in trade was established. When the Hansa refused its seal to a merchant, for the latter, in view of the