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on the other side and subject them to the
most searching criticism. Even if some may
think that the criticism fails, it cannot but l
serve the cause of truth. And in fact con-
troversy, relentless and persistent controversy,
is the only method of arriving at truth.
This procedure has the necessary disad-
vantage that the argument is involved and
technical, and it requires much repetition. It p
is difficult at such a time as this to invite
the reader to concentrate his attention on
what may appear to be a mere historian’s
point of view of the interpretation of diplo-
matic documents. But it must be remembered
that the complications and doubts through
which we have to make our dubious and V
circuitous course arise not so much from the
nature of the matter under discussion, as from
the fact that much essential evidence is still
wanting, and also from the complications intro-
duced by the fallacies and misstatements which
I attempt to expose. I believe that when
all is known, tl1e course of events will be on
the whole clear, and that the obscurity arises
from the fact that the chief of the protagonists l
has not given us his complete story. And l
secondly, I will ask the reader always to l
keep in mind that there is at issue one of E