To prevent the Southern Slavs being torn by internal strife, it is necessary between Serbia and Bulgaria that one of them should for a time be paramount. We may be confident that Serbia will not abuse her position. In fact it is the opinion of a Roumanian lady at Monastir that the Serbs were uncommonly rash in taking into their service so many who once had called themselves Bulgars and now maintain that they are Serbs.
But Serbia has become relatively so strong that she can be indulgent.
She will even satisfy that Bulgarian professor who is said to have discussed the Macedonian question with the British military attache.
The attache suggested a division between Serbia and Bulgaria.
"No," said the professor; "let the country remain a whole, like the child before Solomon."
"Would you be satisfied?" asked the attache, "if this question were now decided once and for all?"
"Yes," said the professor, "if the judge be another Solomon."
Among the Bulgars who are looking forward to the day when their country will, in some form or other, join Yugoslavia, there are some who suggest that when comparative tranquillity has been assured upon the Macedonian frontiers (that is to say, between Macedonia and the Albanians) it would be as well to garrison the province with Croatian regiments, pending the employment in their own country of Macedonian troops. Gradually the time will come when, as one of the units of the Yugoslav State, Macedonia will enjoy the same amount of Home Rule as the other provinces. She will then, maybe, decide for herself such matters as the preservation of her dialects, local administration, police, etc.
Once on the banks of the Danube when I was going to sail from one of these countries to her neighbour with whom she had recently been at war, and some of the inhabitants had kindly come to see me off, I was presented, amongst other things, with an old gentleman's good wishes, which he had taken the trouble to express in French and in verse. I believe that he recited them, but there was a considerable tumult on the landing-stage. Then a very angry traveller appropriated one of my ears and began to tell me that they were for detaining him in this country; three or four natives of the country reported, simultaneously, into my other ear that he had been letting off his revolver and was altogether a dangerous man. I was to settle whether he should sail or not, and meanwhile his luggage had been put ash.o.r.e. He waved his passport in my face. Both he and his opponents were gesticulating with great violence, and this they continued to do even after I filled their hands with most of the small and large bouquets which the friendly people had brought down for me. There was so much noise that the boat's whistle, which the captain started, was no more than a forest-tree soaring slightly over those around it. As I tried to disentangle myself from those who encircled me I caught sight of the old gentleman of the poem--in appearance he was a smaller edition of the late Dr. Butler of Trinity; he was clearly nervous lest I should depart without his lines, which he extended towards me, written on the back of one of his visiting-cards. I was just then being told by the agitated traveller that he had only been firing into the air because it was Easter, and that this was his invariable custom at midnight on Easter-Eve. The explanation was so satisfactory that everyone welcomed my suggestion that he should sail and that they should send his revolver on to him by parcel post. They all shook hands with him. The two nationalities were on excellent terms.
And we may transfer the old gentleman's good wishes to them and the other Yugoslavs:
Oh! la belle journee de votre bonheur, Souhaitons votre bon voyage tout-a-l'heure.
Couronne de grands succes du ciel je vous implore, Allegresse, sante et prosperite je vous augure.
[Footnote 116: Cf. _Modern Italy_, by Giovanni Borghese. Paris, 1913.]
[Footnote 117: Cf. _Through the Lands of the Serb_.]
[Footnote 118: Cf. _The Children of the Illuminator_, by Bishop Nicholai Velimirovic. London, 1919.]
[Footnote 119: _Edinburgh Review_, July 1920 (anonymous).]
[Footnote 120: Subsequently printed as a pamphlet with the title, _Die Ausgestaltung des deutschen Kultur-Einflusses in Bulgarien_. This was printed by the Opposition parties in Sofia, who to circumvent the censor gave out that it was written by an Englishman against Bratiano.]