For the Vagabond, who loves to speculate on world events, no time was ever quite as interesting as the present. In Europe, a new balance of power is emerging; in the Far East, a new nation is building an empire; and in Austria, Hitler is beginning to realize his long sought-after union of the German peoples. In Switzerland, the placid waters of Lake Geneva lap in the ears of the few remaining statesmen who cling to the ideal of collective security, and in the rest of the world prophets of despair are again preparing funeral services for the League of Nations. Here in America, even while mid-western senators are raising the familiar cry, "We are isolated," legislative machinery to produce more money for the navy rolls into action.
Yes, the world was never more interesting--nor more disheartening. Endless questions, questions he knows he can never answer, pose themselves in the Vagabond's mind. What is the future of the new balance of power for which Chamberlain is striving in Europe? After three hundred years of failure, can England, France, Germany, and Italy find a magic formula to keep the peace? Or will their efforts end like all the rest--in the ruin of another catastrophic war?
What is the role of Japan in the world of tomorrow? Can the nation which seems destined to rule an empire in the East be ignored by western statesmen? What of Spain? Will she ever regain her position as a power in Europe? And if so, where will her support be placed? What of America? What of the colossus of the West, the nation still thinking in terms of nineteenth century isolation, still shrinking from the cold, harsh realities of world politics?
And above all, what of Soviet Russia? Far north in her bloody seclusion, she seems to the Vagabond to be resting, waiting, watching; perhaps she is to play the role of Phillip of Macedon who too watched and waited while his neighbors exhausted themselves with incessant warfare. Like Phillip she may be waiting for one last destructive war, waiting for the moment to swoop down from the north, destroy her foolish, petty, squabbling neighbors, and build a new civilization on the ruins of the old.
Fantastic? Perhaps, the Vagabond reflects. But who knows? Who really knows? Certainly all he can do is to wonder, to guess, to imagine; but in the meantime he plans to go to Harvard 1 this noon to hear Professor Bruce Hopper lecture on "The relations of Soviet Russia with Europe and America."