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•Book. JtV^2i. ___ 


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J^ft eSott fiir miinfs un^ VaterlanU.' 


His Authentic Biography. 









"^xoimtl^ f Iltrstratcb 

Bv Actual Sketches from Bismarck's Life Hotne, Student, Political, and Battle- 
Scenes, Portraits, Landscapes, Ornamental Vignettes, etc., by 
Distinguished German Artists. 



Copyrignt, 1877. 




gook llje Jfirst. 


I. Name and Origin 31 

II. Castellans at Burgstall Castle. (1270-1550.) 36 

III. The Permutation. (1550-1563.) : 50 

IV. The Bismarcks of Schonhausen. (1568-1800.) 57 

v. Armorial Bearings 68 

VI, The Neighborhood of Bismarck's Birthplace 77 

VII. Schonhausen 81 


I, School and College Days 101 

II. University and Military Life. (1833-1844.) 123 

1"I. Betrothal and Marriage. (1847.) 148 


I. Introductory. " Ut sciat regnare." 157 

II. The Assembly of the Three Estates. (1847.)..' 165 

in. The Days OP March. (1848.) 178 

IV. Conservative Leadership. (1849-1851.) 191 



I. On the Voyage op Life. (1851-1859.) 317 

II. Bismarck on the Neva. (1859-1863.) 280 

III. Bismarck on the Seine. (1863.) 310 


I. The Crisis 331 

II. The Man at the Helm 343 

III. The Great Year, 1866. 383 

IV, Major-General and Chancellor op the Federation... 414 

V. A Ball at Bismarck's 431 

VI. Bismarck's House at Berlin. 441 

VII. Varzin 448 

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I. The Watch on the Rhine. (1866-1870) . 489 

II. War..., 505 

III. Bismarck before Sedan 511 

IV. Bismarck and Favre 533 

V. Bismarck in Versailles 553 

VI. Bismarck's Return Home 573 

VII. Church or State? (1873-1877.) 573 

APPENDIX A. The Legend op Gertrude and Bismarckias. 

APPENDIX B. The Prussian Constitution op 1847. 

Ordinance op the 3d op February, 1847. 

Ordinance on Periodical Assembling. 

The King's Speech— April, 1847. 

APPENDIX C. IcH bin ein Preusse ! I am a Prussian ! 


1. Portrait of Prince Bismarck, Frontispiece. 

3. Ancient Books and Manuscripts 31 

3. Stone Statue on Old Tomb, gg, 

4. The Bismarcks of Old (full page), 37 

Happy the man who ne'er forgets 

The great and good who bore his name ; 
They honor him who honors them, 

And emulates their fame. 

8. The Emperor and the Iron Chest, . 42: 

9. Horse and Hounds, 50 

10. Meeting for the Hunt, 5I 

11. Lamentations for Burgstall, 54 

12. The Bismarcks and the Margrave (a.d. 1562), . . . .55 

13. Swords and Shields, •.•••.... 57 

14. Charles Alexander von Bismarck (a.d. 1727), . . . .63 

15. Christine von Bismarck, 63 

16. Armorial Bearings of the Bismarcks op Schonhausen, . . 67 

17. Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck, Father of the 

Prince (full page), 74 

18. Arms of Otto Count Bismarck, 76 

19. Church of Schonhausen (a.d. 1212), 84 

20. Manor House of the Bismarcks, 85 

31. Portrait of Bismarck's Mother, 86 

23. I BRART OF Bismarck's Father, 87 

33. Portrait of Bismarck's only Sister, 88 

34. Design of Bismarck's Armorial Bearings (full page), . . . 89 ^ 

Lift the ancestral standard high, 

The banners to the breeze be cast ! 
In the warnings of the Past 

The sure hopes of the Future lie. 

35. The Lime-Trees op Schonhausen, 94 

36. Early Youth (full page), 96 

The op'ning buds betray the flowers, 

The flowers the fruit betray ; 
The first note that we catch reveals 

The spirit of the lay. 

37. Shield on Oak, 101 

38. The Cradle (full page) 107 > 

Stately, noble, and well-founded, 
And with beauty all surrounded. 

Stand the old ancestral towers ; 
Stately, noble, and well-grounded 
In himself with hopes unbounded. 

See the son forsake these bowers 
For the pathway that will lead him 
To the troublous times that need him. 



29. The Boy Bismakck and his Father, Hunting, .... 109 

30. Hunting Bag and Wkapons, .109 

81. Setting off for a Journey, 113 

32. CoLONEi^ VON Bismarck — Warrior and Huntsman, . . .114 

33. Bismarck at School, 117 

34. Fall with a Horse . .118 

35. Horse, Dog, Gun, and Deer 131 

36. The Student's Sabre, 123 

37. Young Bismarck cited before the Dean, 125 

38. Vacation-Time with Pipe and Dog, 127 

39. First Meeting of Bismarck with Prince (afterward King 

and Emperor) William, . . . . . , , .130 

40. Cupid's Viol, . . .148 

41. The Stork Family, . . . .150 

42. Father and Son, 151 

43. Learning the Business (full page), 155 - 

The Master is bom, not made, 

But must learn tlie waj' to rule, 
As the workman learns his trade ; 

And life must be his school. 
He must give body and soul. 

He must give heart and hand 
To his work, and must search out knowledge 

Through many a foreign land. 

44. Bismarck first Addressees the United Diet, May 17, 1847, . . 157 

45. " MiT Gott fur Konig und Vaterland !" . . . . . 164 

46. Bismarck in 1847-1848, 169 

47. Countess von Bismarck-Schonhausen (full page), . . . 180 

48. Bismarck the Proprietor, inspecting his Lands, . . . 181 

49. In the Streets of Berlin, 183 

50. In the Second Chamber, 1849 193 

" Victory is yet to come, but it will come !" 

51. King Frederick William and the Inquisitive Stag, . . 199 

52. " If you are not off when I have drunk this Beer, I will 

break this glass on your head !" . . . . . . 201 

53. Bismarck writing Editorials for the Neio Prussian Gazette, . 204 

54. At the Study-table — Letter- writing en route, • ; • . 207 

55. On the Voyage of Life (full page), . . . . . . 216 

Count not such days as wasted ; 

The wanderer, as he goes, 
Plucks many a flower of wisdom 

That by the wayside grows. 

56. The Ambassador rides out, 221 

57. Meeting of the Prince of Prussia (afterward King and 

Emperor) and Bismarck at Frankfurt, 1851, . . . 223 

58. Bismarck at the Ball, 224 

59. " His Excellency Herr Lieutenant von Bismarck," . .*>' 225 

60. Bismarck's only Sister— Frau von Amim (full page), . . . 238 

61. A Ball at Bismarck's (full page), . . ... . . . 268 

Beauty and strength, rank, fame, and power 

Assemble in the festive hall. 
To dance away the merry hour. 

Or watch the gay scene from the wall. 












Bismarck and Prince Metternich at the Johannisberg, . . 278 
Bismarck, the " Representative op the Future," . . . 278 

En route to St. Petersburg, 1859, 280 

Bismarck Bear-Hunting, . . . . . . . . ggS 

At the Coronation op King William, 1861, 285 

A Russian Journey, 308 

Bismarck as Chancellor, 313-, 

Prince Carl and Bismarck, the Minister-President, . . 313 
The daily ride in the Thiergarten, at Berlin, . . , 315 

Bismarck and Napoleon III 325 

An Audience 327 

Minister-President and Count 331 

General Von Roon, 333 

Bismarck as Premier, receiving a Deputation, 1862, '. . 339 

In Berlin 341 

The Iron Cross, . 343 

Bismarck's Estate in Farther Pomerania (full page), . . 355 

The Bismarcks shall hold their domain till the day 
When they from their haunts drive the herons away. 

Stag-Hunting at Schonbrunn, 373 

Resting at Biarritz, 376 

"A VERY pretty shot, RIGHT ACROSS THE CHASM," . . . 379 

The Torch op War 382 

Victory ! . 384 

Attempted Assassination op Bismarck (in tlie Unter den 

Linden, 1866) 390 

Bismarck, Moltke, and Roon, in Council 394 

Bismarck dons his Helmet, 396 

Bismarck en route for the Seat op War, meets Austrian 

Prisoners, 398 

Bismarck and the King visit the Hospitals, .... 399 
Bismarck on the Battle-Field op Sichrow, .... 401 
Bismarck cautions King William at Sadowa, .... 402 

" How can I ride off when my army's under fire ?" 
Bismarck's Bed on the Roadway op Horitz, .... 403 
Bismarck's Quarters in the Castle op Nicolsburg, . . . 406 

Bismarck and Benedetti, 410 

Triumphant entry into Berlin (1866) — Major- General ton 

Bismarck . . . . . . 411 

Peace 413 

Major-General and Chancellor op the Confederation, . . 415 . 

Under Prussia's royal banner, 

Humbled is the Austrian's pride ; 
On the bloody field of vict'ry 

Is the statesman justified. 

Bismarck, Chancellor op the Diet, 423 

The Chancellor addressing the Diet, 435 

A Ball at Bismarck's— Entrance op the King, . . . 434 



100. A Ball at Bismarck's — The Queen passes thbough the 

THRONG, 435 

101. A Ball at Bismarck's — The Royal Princes, .... 436 

102. A Ball at Bismarck's — The "Buffet Supper," . . . 439 

103. Breakfast at Home in Berlin, 446 

104. In the Thiergarten again, 447 

105. The Estates of Varzin — Primeval Inhabitants, . . . 448 

106. The Park at Varzin, 450 .^ 

107. Bismarck and his Son, Hunting, 453 

108. The Watch on the Rhine, 489 

109. The Spirit op War, 505 

110. Bismarck at Gravelotte (full page) 507 

111. On the Heights before Sedan, 512 

112. Bismarck and Napoleon after Sedan (full page), . . . 519. 

113. Bismarck in the Saddle (full page), 527- , 

114. Cavalry Charge, 7Tn Cuirassier Regiment (full page), . . 555,— 

115. Proclamation of the German Empire, 563 





The distinction between a politician and a statesman is con- 
stantly forgotten, or at least practically shirred over, in our civil 
history. The former may be described as a man who studies the 
movements of parties as they are developed from day to day, 
and from year to year ; who is quick to avail himself of popular 
moods and thereby to secure temporary power ; and whose high- 
est success lies in his barometrical capacity of foreseeing coming 
changes and setting the sails of his personal fortmie in such wise 
as either safely to weather a gale or to catch the first breath of 
a favorable wind. But the statesman is one who is able to look, 
both backward and forward, beyond his own time ; who dis- 
covers the permanent forces underlying the transient phenomena 
of party conflicts ; who so builds that, although he may not com- 
plete the work, those who succeed him will be forced to com- 
plete it according to his design ; and who is individually great 
enough to use popularity as an aid, without accepting the lack of 
it as a defeat. 

In the economy of hmnan government, it so happens that 
very frequently mere politicians are elevated to seats which 
should be occupied, of right, by statesmen ; while the latter, 
shut out from every field of executive power, and allowed no 
other place than the parliamentary forum, are too often mistaken 


for mere political theorists. The history of our own country 
gives us many examples of this perversity of fate, this unhappy 
difference between the path indicated by genius and that pre- 
scribed by circumstances. But in Europe, where the accident of 
rank in almost all cases determines the possible heights of polit- 
ical power, the union of genius and its field of action— of states- 
manship and opportunity — is much rarer. And rarest of all is 
that grasp of mind which never fails to consider passing events 
in their broadest relation to all history, and that serenity of in- 
tellect which is satisfied with their logical place therein, though 
the present generation be incompetent to perceive it. Of the six 
prominent European statesmen of this century — Pitt, Stein, 
Metternich, Cavour, Gortschakoff, and Bismarck — the last-named 
possesses these rare faculties in the fullest degree. More fortu- 
nate than most of the others, he has lived to see much of his 
work secured — so far as our intelligence may now perceive- 
beyond the possibility of its being undone. 

When the younger Pitt, early in 1806, after the battles of 
Ulm and Austerlitz, cried out in despair, " Roll up the map of 
Europe !" he could not have guessed that in less than ten years 
his heroic although unfortunate policy would be triumphant. 
He died a few months afterwards, broken in spn-it, with no pro- 
phetic visions of Leipsic and Waterloo to lighten his hopeless' 
forebodings. Stein saw Germany free, but his activity' ceased 
long before she rose out of the blighting shadow of the Holy 
Alliance ; Metternich jjerished after the overthrow of the system 
to which he had devoted his life ; and Cavour passed away nearly 
ten years before Venice and Rome came to complete his United 
Italy. Gortschakoff still lives, a marvel of intellectual vigor at 
his age, and may well rejoice in the emancipation of the serfs, 
the liberalization of the Russian Government, and the elevation 
of his country to a new importance in the world ; but it has not 
been given to him, as to Bismarck, to create a new political sys- 


tern, to restore a perished nationality, and to fill its veins with, 
blood drawn directly from the hearts of the people. 

If Bismarck's career is so remarkable in its results, it is even 
more remarkable in its character. We can comprehend it only 
by estimating at their full value two distinct, almost antagonistic, 
elements which are combined in his nature. It requires some 
knowledge of the different classes of society in Germany, and of 
the total life of the people, to understand them clearly ; and I 
must limit myself to indicating them in a few rapid outlines. 

Bismarck is of an ancient noble family of Pomerania, 
belonging to that class which is probably the most feudalistic in 
its inherited habits, and the most despotically reactionary in its 
opinions, of the various aristocratic circles of Germany. In 
him the sense of will and the instinct of rule which brooks no 
disobedience are intensified by a physical frame of almost giant 
power and proportions. He is one of those men who bear down 
all obstacles from impulse, no less than from principle — who take 
a half -animal delight in trampling out a path when others attempt 
to beset or barricade it. Apart from his higher political pur- 
poses, he cannot help but enjoy conquering for the sake of con- 
quest alone. This is not a feature of character which implies 
heartlessness or conscious cruelty ; in him it coexists with many 
fine social, humane, and generous qualities. 

The other element in Bismarck's nature, which lifts him so 
far above the level of the class into which he was born, is an 
almost phenomenal capacity to see all life and all history apart 
from his inherited intellectual tendencies. Until recently, it was 
almost impossible for any Prussian Junker to judge a political 
question of the present day without referring it to some obso- 
lete, mediaeval standard of opinion ; but there never was an 
English or an American statesman more keenly alive to the true 
significance of modern events, to the importance of political 
movements and currents of tliought, and to the necessity of 


selecting strictly practical means, than the Chancellor of the 
German Empire. He possesses a wonderful clearness of vision, 
and therefore rarely works for an immediate result. In the 
midst of the most violent excitements his brain is cool, for he 
has studied their causes and calculated their nature and duration. 
It is impossible that he should not have gone through many in- 
tellectual struggles in his early years : the opposing qualities 
which combine to form his greatness could not have been easily 
harmonized. Out of such struggles, perhaps, has grown a tact — 
or let us rather call it a power — which specially distinguishes 
him. He possesses an astonishing skill in the use of an inscru- 
table reticence or an almost incredible frankness, just as he 
chooses to apply the one or the other ; and some of his most 
signal diplomatic triumphs have been won in this manner. The 
secret thereof is, that while he uses the antiquated convention- 
alisms of diplomacy when it suits, he relishes every fair oppor- 
tunity of showing his cont^jupt for them by speaking the simple 
truth, knowing beforehand that it will not be believed. 

Looking back over his history, it is now easy to see that Bis- 
marck's great political plan might easily have failed, had he not 
possessed such a remarkable combination of candor and secre- 
tiveness. It was undoubtedly slowly developed in his minci 
during his residence of eight years in Frankfurt as the represent-^ 
ative of Prussia in the old German Diet. He there learned the 
impracticability of such a union, the damage inflicted upon all 
Germany by the dominant influence of Austria, and the neces- 
sity of a radical political change. His strong conservative senti- 
ments did not blind him to the fact that such a change could 
only be accomplished by the aid of the people ; and this involved 
the danger, at that time, of precipitating a new revolution. He 
had the power to wait, and, while keeping his great object 
steadily in view, to conceal every movement which pointed 
towards it. Even had he been far more liberal in his political 


views, lie could not have escaped the necessity of endeavoring to 
place himself at the head of the Conservative party : there was 
no other path to power, and no success was possible without 

In other respects, his residence at Frankfurt was rich in 
opportunities for the broader education of a statesman. His 
journeys to Italy, Hungary, Denmark, and Holland, his wide 
acquaintance with intelligent representatives of all European 
nations, and his acquisition of many languages, were aids to his 
cool, objective study of races, events, and governing forces. There 
was little opportunity for personal distinction ; the character of 
his services was only known to Frederick William TV. and his 
ministers ; but the former, if unsuccessful as a ruler, was a man 
of great wit and keen intellect, and appreciated Bismarck's ability 
from the first. l^ot until he was appointed ambassador to 
Russia, in 1859, was the future statesman much heard of, outside 
of Prussia. His position in St. Petersburg, and afterwards in 
Paris, made manifest his intellectual power and diplomatic skill, 
and brought his name into prominence. When he became the 
minister of King William L, in the autumn of 1862, the moral 
shock which the German people experienced was not caused by 
their ignorance of his abilities. He was by that time well 
known, distrusted, feared, and — hated. 

I can distinctly recall the excitements of this period. When 
I reached St. Petersburg, in June, 1862, Bismarck had taken his 
leave but a few weeks previously, and the diplomatic and com-t 
circles still included him in their gossip. He was almost invari- 
ably spoken of with the greatest cordiality : his frankness, good- 
nature, and hearty enjoyment of repartee were specially empha- 
sized. I remember that his brief tenn of service in France was 
then watched with very keen interest by the representatives of 
the other Powers. When I returned to Germany, a year later, 
he was at the head of affairs in Berlin ; and I doubt whether even 


Metternich was e^ver so unpopular with the great majority of the 
people. This was not sui-prising ; for a member of the Prussian 
Herrenhaus (House of Lords), who was a chance travelling-com- 
panion of mine, expressed liis unbounded satisfaction that an 
" Absolutist " was at last minister. There would be no more 
revolutions, he affirmed ; no more concession of useless privileges 
to the people ; the ancient rights of king and nobles would be 
restored. When the Conservatives said these things, the Liber- 
als were justified in foreboding the worst evils. During this 
period I saw Bismarck, for the only time ; and, however much I 
sympathized with the general feeling, I could not withhold the 
respect and admiration which attend the recognition of grand in- 
dividual power. In stature and proportions he seemed to me to be 
the equal of General Winfield Scott, but his face had nothing of 
the vanity and petulance which characterized the latter' s. It was 
massive, clear, and firm — as if cut in granite when in repose, but 
slowly brightening when he spoke. His tremendous will was 
expressed as fully in the large, clear gray eyes as in the outlines 
of the jaw. To jndge from photographs, his face has changed 
but slightly since then. 

The world will never know the extent of the strain to which 
Bismarck's nature was subjected during those four years, when 
he rarely looked upon the people without meeting gloomy eyes 
or hearing sullen murmurs of hate, when murder constantly 
tracked his footsteps and revolution only waited for some act 
which might let it loose. His long conflict with the Legislative 
Assembly, in regard to the army estimates, was inevitably misin- 
terpreted. In fact, it was so designed ; for the statesman's secret 
plan could not be concealed from Austria, France, and Europe, 
unless the German people were first deceived. But the suspicion 
that the increase of the military power of Prussia was solely in- 
tended to create a weapon against the liberties of the people 
provoked an imminent danger. Bismarck walked on a narrow 


path between two abysses : if lie bad wavered for an instant, be 
must bave fallen. He was made to feel, in a thousand ways, 
the depth of the popular indignation ; and he bore it, perhaps, 
the more easily because be always frankly declared his conscious- 
ness of it. This is a part of his experience which Herr Hesekiel 
has passed over very lightly, out of consideration for the Germans 
themselves, no less than for his subject ; yet it should by no 
means be omitted from the statesman's biography. One inci- 
dent, which I heard of at the time it occurred, is worth preserv- 
ing. Bismarck was dining with a friend at the table d'hote of a 
hotel in Frankfurt, when he noticed strong signs of hostile recog- 
nition in two ladies who sat opposite. They immediately 
dropped their German, and began talking in the almost extinct 
Lettisch (Lettonian) tongue, feeling themselves perfectly safe to 
abuse the minister to their heart's content therein. But Bis- 
marck, who never forgets any thing, remembered a feAV words of 
the language, and could guess the drift of their talk. He waited 
a while, and then whispered to his friend, " "When I say some- 
thing to you in an unknown tongue, hand me the dish of pota- 
toes." Presently he spoke aloud, in Lettonian, " Give me the 
potatoes, please !" The friend instantly complied ; the ladies 
stared, petrified with surprise, then hurriedly rose and left the 

It is impossible wholly to preserve a great political secret from 
the instincts of other minds. For a year before the declaration 
of war against Austria, in 1866, a presentiment of something not 
entirely evil, to be reached through Bismarck's government, be- 
gan to be felt in Germany. Singularly enough, it first impressed 
itself upon the young, and, when betrayed, was a frequent source 
of trouble in the homes of the Liberal party. Among other in- 
stances, a boy of my own acquaintance, not more than eighteen 
years of age, prevailed upon his fellow-pupils in an academy to 
join him in sending a letter of congratulation to Bismarck, after 


young Blind's mad attempt at assassination. He was rewarded 
by a charming letter from the minister, and in the pride of his 
heart could not help showing it, to the amazement and deep mor- 
tification of his parents. But now the noble young fellow is 
dead ; and Bismarck's letter, preserved in a stately frame, is treas- 
ured by the family as a most precious souvenir of the son's fore- 
sight. The declaration of war nevertheless was a great shock 
to Germany. Even then its true purpose was not manifest ; but 
six weeks of victory, and the conditions of peace, opened the eyes 
of all. It is difficult to find, in the annals of any nation, such an 
overwhelming revulsion of sentiment. The swiftness of the 
work gave convincing evidence of long preparation : it was a 
phenomenon in German politics ; and the truth pierced, like a 
sudden shaft of lightning, to the hearts and brains of the whole 
people. In a day, Bismarck the Despot was transferred into Bis- 
marck the Liberator. 

When in Germany, in 1867, I learned, through the best 
sources, of a suggested finale to the Pnisso- Austrian war, which 
I do not think has yet passed into history. The proposition, 
privately considered at ISTikolsburg before signing the treaty of 
peace with Austria, was that the entire Prussian aiTQy should 
march westward through Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and Baden, to 
the Rhine, compel the support of Southern Germany, and engage 
France if she should take up the gage of battle thus thrown 
down. The boldness of such a plan must have made it very 
attractive ; but Bismarck, probably in deference to the King's 
views, finally declared that the fortune already secured was so 
great that it must not be hazarded. How much he gained by 
waiting four years does not now need to be explained. The 
movement might have been carried into effect, with very great 
probability of success ; yet it would only have united Germany 
in form, not in feeling. It might have reconstructed the Em- 
pire, but upon no such firm foundation as it stands on at present. 


From that day, all men in all civilized countries who study 
the development of history have followed with keenest interest 
the course of the German statesman. He has been the focus of 
such intelligent observation that no important line of policy 
could long be kept secret ; but it is still the habit to distrust his 
simplest and frankest declarations. A mind of lower order 
woidd have been satisfied M'ith the enormous triumph of aveng- 
ing those bitter years of the Napoleonic usurpation, from 1806 
to 1813, with restoring the ancient boundaries of race after two 
centuries, and constructing the new and vital, because logical and 
coherent, German nationality. 

It was known that Bismarck's iron constitution had been seri- 
ously shattered by his long and unrelieved labors and the tremen- 
dous wear and tear of his moral energy. He should now be satis- 
fied, said the world ; he has a right to a season of rest and peace. 
Therefore, when he immediately plunged into a new and — as 
many of his heartiest admirers believed — an unnecessary struggle, 
there was a general feeling of surprise, amounting almost to dis- 
satisfaction. The simple truth is, he saw the beginning of a 
conflict which will continue to disturb the world until it is finally 
settled by the complete divorcement of Church and State in all 
civilized nations. The work he undertook to do had far less 
reference to the interests of our day than to those of the coming 
generations. I shall not discuss the means he employed : to do 
this intelligently requires an intimate knowledge of the history 
of the whole subject in Germany since the Treaty of West- 
phalia, in 1648 ; and hence very little of the foreign criticism of 
his policy is really applicable. He has at least succeeded in 
building a firm dike against the rising tide of ecclesiastical 
aggression ; and the fight yet to be fought in France and Italy 
and Spain — perhaps even in England and the United States — 
will be the less fierce and dangerous because of his present work. 
He might well have avoided the hard, implacable features of tlie 


struggle, but the principle which imj^els him has the imperious 
character of a conscience. 

While wondering at this man's great work, we must never- 
theless guard ourselves against attributing to him liberal ideas of 
government in any partisan sense. He is an aristocrat, lifted by 
a great intellect above the narrowing influences of his rank. He 
believes in a government of power, and which shall exercise its 
power sternly when need comes. His habit of facing events 
defiantly, even in cases where a conciliatory policy might lead to 
the same results, makes his attitude sometimes unnecessarily 
harsh and despotic. As an individual, he is magnanimous ; 
as a statesman, never. His exaction of terms from France, his 
treatment of the German press, the bishops, and finally Count 
von Arnim, are prominent illustrations of this quality of his 
nature. In debate he is sometimes carried too far by the irrita- 
tion created by his antagonists, and quite forgets his accjuired im- 
perturbability. But even in such instances he often has courage 
enough to publicly confess the fault. The truth is, he accepts 
the legislative feature of the Imperial Government of Germany 
through his intellect, while the inherited instincts of his nature 
rebel against if. Plis brain is modern, but the blood which feeds 
it is that of tlie Middle Ages. \ 

For compactness, clearness, and force there are n^ better 
speeches in the German language than Bismarck's. He is an ex- 
cellent English scholar, and has evidently modelled his style 
upon the best English examples. His sentences are short and as 
little involved as possible : he endeavors to avoid that construc- 
tion, peculiar to the German tongue, which throws the verb— 
often the key-word to the meaning — to the very end of the sen- 
tence. He is rarely eloquent ; but he has an epigrammatic j^ower 
of putting a great deal of significance into brief phrases, many 
of which find immediate currency among the people. For in- 
stance, the whole meaning of his conflict with the Catholic eccle- 


siastics was compressed into the sentence, " We shall not go to 
Canossa !" And the declaLation of his policy of "■ blood and 
iron," which sent a thrill of horror throug'h the country when 
first uttered, has become a proud and popular phrase. 

Bismarck stands now at the height of his success. He can 
receive no additional honor, nor is it likely that his influence will 
be further extended, except through new developments which 
may attest the wisdom of his policy. It is not in his nature to 
stand idle : while he lives he will remain in action. He will 
therefore be a disturbing influence in European politics — an ele- 
ment of power through respect, or mistrust, or fear. But while 
it is not likely that any force or combination of forces can over- 
throw the work of his life, nothing he may henceforth do can 
invalidate his right to the title of the First Statesman of the 

Bayaed Tayloe. 

New York, March 17, 1877. 



The life of Count Bismarck has been so much misinterpreted, 
by interested and disinterested persons, that it is thought the 
present publication, which tells "a plain unvarnished-tale," will 
not be unwelcome. In these days of universal criticism, no per- 
son is exempt from the carping mood of the envious, or the facile 
unreasoning of the ready-made theorist. Should we feel disposed 
to credit vulgar report, noble motives and heroic lives are no lon- 
ger extant in our present state of society. The eyes of detractors 
are everywhere curiously — too curiously — fixed upon the deeds 
of men of mark, and mingled feelings pull down from the pedes- 
tal of fame every man who has ascended to the eminence award- 
ed to the patriot and statesman. Truly, such a condition of 
things bodes no good to the common weal of society, either in 
England, Prussia, or in any part of Europe. The present writer 
can see no utility in this practice of soiling the reputations and ac- 
tions of men who, by slow degrees, have worked their way into 
positions of merit and mark. 

The evil, however, does not wholly rest with the detractors. 
An erroneous theory about universal equality gives the spur to 
this spirit of criticism. A sort of feeling arises in the mind to 
the effect of, " Had I been in his place, I should have acted oth- 
erwise!" — the bystander pf-overbially seeing more of the game 
than the players. It is, however, a great matter of doubt wheth- 
er this is universally true. It might be true, if every circum- 
stance, every motive, every actuation, could be laid bare to posi- 
tive vision. In the conduct of life, however, this is rarely possi- 
ble, even in the crudest way ; especially is it so in the intricate 

v-yj^ PREFACE. 

and tortuous paths of politics. Politicians, we all know, are 
many ; statesmen, unfortunately for tlie well-being of the world, 
are few. 

Some few years since England lost a statesman named Henry 
Temple, Viscount Palmerston, He had the rare happiness of be- 
ing popular during his life, although it is perhaps more certain of 
him than of any modern statesman, that his inflexibility as to is- 
sues was remarkable. Apparently he would bend, but he had, 
upon fixed principles, determined to rule, and his happy method 
of conciliation, in which he was clad as in a garment, veiled from 
the eyes of friend or foe that wonderful spirit of determination 
permeating all the actions characterizing his political career. 
And when Palmerston died, a wild wail of sorrow arose from all 
England, a regret which will never be abated so long as England's 
history remains intelligible. 

Of similar materials to Palmerston, Count Bismarck is com- 
posed. Otherwise put together, it is true, in accordance with the 
genius of the nation amongst which his life-destiny has cast him ; 
but as to the generic likeness there can be little doubt. The pol- 
icy of Palmerston was "thorough;" so is that of Bismarck. But 
it is not the " thorough " of a Strafford ; it is rather the enlight- 
ened " thorough " of a man cast into modern society, and intense- 
ly patriotic. Though Bismarck has consistently upheld the pre- 
rogatives of his royal master, he has not been neglectful of the in- 
terests of the nation of which he is the Minister. A spirit of can- 
dor breathes through all his actions, and displayshim in the light 
of an emphatically honest man. Unlike the present remarkable 
occupant of the French throne, he is not tided aloi;ig by public 
events ; nor, like that potentate, does he extract fame from an 
adroit bowing to the exigencies of the hour. The French sover- 
eign has eliminated a policy, and gained a kind of respect from 
others, in consequence of a masterly manipulation of passing oc- 
currences. The Prussian Premier, on the other hand, has ob- 
served fixed principles. The latter has his political regrets — he 
can shed a tear over the grave of the meanest soldier who died at 
Sadowa. The former looks upon human life much as chess-play- 
ers look upon pawns — to be ruthlessly sacrificed on occasion, 
should it happen that a skillful flank movement may protect the 
ultim.ate design in view. Chess-players, however, know that the 

PEEFACE. xvii 

pawns constitute the real strength, of the game, and that it would 
be worse than folly to sacrifice the humble pieces. Political sa- 
gacity is ever displayed in judicious reserve, and this quality is 
eminently evinced in all Bismarck's activity. Perhaps the most 
singular triumph of Bismarck's life consists in the neutralization 
of Luxemburg — an episode in his career of which he has great- 
er reason to be proud than of the battle-field of Sadowa, or the 
indirect countenance afforded by him to Italy. It can scarcely 
be doubted that so peaceful a victory is a greater merit than the 
massing together of thousands of armed men, for trying a right 
by ordeal of steel and gunpowder. 

Astute as Napoleon may be, Bismarck certainly was wiser than 
he. The former has dynastic reasons for maintaining a pre-em- 
inence in the face of Europe ; but the latter, with comparatively 
inadequate means, had a far more difficult problem to solve. For 
Bismarck has a heart large enough to entertain feelings of kind- 
liness towards the whole of Germany, as well as towards that 
section of it known as Prussia alone. There is a generous aspi- 
ration in him for Grerman nationality, overruling petty animosity 
towards his enemies. 

In all his contests he has ever been ready to hold out the hand 
of reconciliation, although, in no instance, has he deviated from 
the strict line of duty pointed out by his special nationality. In- 
deed, it was a paramount necessity to raise Prussia in the scale of 
.nations, ere a German nationality could emerge into healthy po- 
litical being. Prussia's rise, therefore, comprehended within it 
the elements of German political existence. Geographically, the 
consolidation of a great kingdom in the north was a necessity; 
and considering how well and prudently Prussia has used its 
great position, no one can regret the result of the events of 1866. 
Prussia, as a Protestant country, as a land of education and in- 
tellectual refinement, has no equal on the face of the globe. But 
that single position depends on the race-character of the nation 
evinced in its utilitarian spirit. Bismarck will perpetuate his 
policy in time to come. 

" Great acts," says the old dramatist, " thrive when reason 
guides the will." This application of reason, so continuously, 
consistently, and quietly exercised, predicates a great national fu- 
ture. That future is bound up with the fame of this great loyal 


•^yi^j^j PREFACE. 


Statesman and dutiful subject, who Tias had insight enough to see 
how far the prerogative of the crown of Prussia was consistent 
with the happiness of its people, foresight enough to rationally 
contend for such prerogative, and faithful courage adequate to 
the fearless execution of a grand design, comprehending within 
itself elements of consolidation and enduring strength. What 
Germany owes to Bismarck can as yet be scarcely calculated, but 
very few years need elapse ere the sum will become intelligible. 

It is, however, necessary to descend from generalities into par- 
ticulars ; to discuss, as briefly as may be, some objections that 
have been urged, and to expose the fallacy of certain historical 
parallels, sought to be drawn in reference to Bismarck's position 
towards his king and his country. 

We have not to contrast Bismarck with any hero or states- 
man of antiquity. Society, although not human nature, has so 
changed, that what our modern men do for the common weal 
changes with the circumstances and the extension of the circle 
of population. One man could then address a nation — now the 
nation must rely upon Camarillas. Democracy, in these days, 
either vaguely advocates desperate political experiments, or, stung 
to madness by real or fancied wrongs, determines them — as hot- 
headed non-thinkers usually determine — by violence. 

Our modern Cleous use the press, which, truth to be spoken, is 
not unwilling to be used ; and hence any thing not to be twisted 
before the law-courts into libel, represents the license and not the 
freedom of the press. But the man of antiquity at least had, to 
exercise the courage of meeting his fellow-citizens, and thus either 
swayed them or was lost. Assent or dissent was given ;by accla- 
'mation. Bismarck presents rather a contrast than a likeness to 
Greek or Roman statesmen — they sought the Agora or the Forum; 
he has no time for claptrap. 

But let us turn to the political doctrine, partly known as that 
of divine right, for which Bismarck has been thought to fight. 

The doctrine of a divine right of possession to the Crown of 
Prussia is one not readily comprehensible to an English subject, 
under the circumstances of the modern constitution of the United 
Kingdom, for the reason that modern society has accustomed it- 
self to look upon the results of the revolutions of 1649 and 1688 
as final, and settled by events, and the contract entered into be- 


tween the parliament, or representative body, on tlie one hand, 
and the constitutional sovereign on the other. We may recur to 
an earlier period, when the crown was devisable by will in Eng- 
land, or when at least the succession was settled in accordance 
with the desires of a dying sovereign, for some kind of parallel. 
Although this absolute right of leaving the crown by will has 
not often been exercised, it has found its defenders ; for instance, 
in the case of Queen Jane, a minority held that Edward was justi- 
fied in devising his crown ; therefore, while the theory was not 
actually substantiated by the right of peaceable possession, it was 
not regarded as wholly illusory. If Henry YIII. might by his 
prerogative bar certain members of his family from the succes- 
sion, the crown advisers of that day must have been justified in 
supporting such a prerogative, and could not have regarded the 
sovereign as ultra vires in the matter of a transmission of the 
crown. It is certainly, from the logic of facts, an impossibility to 
effect any such change in the order of succession now, and in it- 
self would be as fatal a step as any political theorists could at- 
tempt ; and if so fatal in a country where feudalism is a mere 
historical eidolon, how far more unwise in a country such as Prus- 
sia, where feudalism has still a practical, though not an avowed, 
existence ? In the very nature of things, the sovereigns of Prus- 
sia hold their crown upon a principle of divine right, as propri- 
etors of the fee-simple of the soil, which divine right has ever 
been construed to impose certain obligations towards their vas- 
sals, the holders of the usufruct, and their subjects, agents, and 
traders — which obligations, to their honor be it spoken, the sov- 
el'eigns of Prussia have ever attempted to fulfill. This divine 
right differs in its nature and mode of action from the mere arbi- 
trary will of a tyrant. There, as here — 

' ' Not Amuratli an Amurath succeeds, 
But Harry, Hariy." 

Their divine right to the soil, which they swear to defend, and 
seek to improve, for the benefit of all, differs essentially from the 
divine right as understood by a Charles Stuart. Fiscal arrange- 
ments are again of a widely different character, and a vassal like 
Bismarck, who maintains the prerogative of his sovereign liege, is 
merely carrying the legitimate consequences of an enduring and 
progressive system, akin to, but not identical with, ancient feudal 


theories, into action. It is clearly false to seek a parallel in 
Charles and Strafford ; the parallel would be more just if drawn 
between Henry and Wolsey. But parallels are ever suspicious, 
as the course of historical sequence is not identical, and presents 
only delusive points of contact. 

Any adequate explanation must be sought in another direction, 
and that direction is best pointed out by the very essential fea- 
tures of Prussian history itself. From this cause, a prominence, 
by no means undeserved, has been assigned to the early history 
of the family whence Bismarck sprang. In the brief sketch given 
in the first book, it may be plainly seen that impulses of duty 
guided, and a kind of hierarchy of rank sustained, the active en- 
ergy in the vassal on behalf of the sovereign, and that in fighting 
for the supremacy of the Prussian crown, Bismarck was at the 
same moment upholding the real solidarity and ultimate rights 
of the subjects of that crown. Surely by maintaining the rights 
of the father against all comers — those rights held by the father 
in trust — the interests of the children are best consulted. 

For there is a mesne power between absolutism and republican- 
ism, tyranny and democracy ; this is not constitutionalism. This 
is honor, higher than all. 

" The divinity that doth hedge a king," from which a. true 
king's impulses flow, must be founded on a higher instinct, and 
derived from a higher pl5,ne. True kingship is very rare, often 
falls short of its standard in the very best of men — for humanity 
has always its faults ; but rightly guided, it is possible, nay,, prob- 
able, that the office of kingship may be justly and nobly exer- 
cised. A constitutional monarch, although irremovable, save by 
the process of revolution, can only be governed by the impulses 
of the man himself, while an absolute sovereign may arrest, cor- 
rect, and mitigate much that is evil in the State. In civil affairs, 
we require such an ultimate personage, one whose honor and self- 
respect will be a suf&cient safeguard against abuses. Any king 
not evidencing that honor in his private life as well as public acts, 
is liable, and justly so, to deposition; every king who faithfully 
performs the difficult and delicate duties of his position, has a right 
to expect the true and loving submission of his subjects. The 
combination of an honest minister with a noble-minded king, how- 
ever, is rare. In Frederick the Second of Prussia, as to some ex- 


tent in the first Napoleon, there was a will to be honest; but 
where the latter failed in his task, the former prevailed in the 
hearts of his people, and the admiration of the world. Have we 
not the exquisite book of Mr. Carljle as evidence of it ? Eeal 
statesmen know how infinitely difficult the problem of adminis- 
tration must be, and hence it is that so many real wrongs are 
accidentally committed, when the right is sought through the 
agency of unscrupulous ministers. The axiom that the king can 
do no wrong, simply means that if he inadvertently do a wrong, 
he is bound to repair it so soon as he is possessed of the truth of 
the wrong. On this fact — and no polity is built up with safety 
without resting on facts — is based the right of petition, as well in 
oriental as in occidental countries. Now, here is the political 
lever, nor is the standpoint far off The king is bound to do jus- 
tice, because his position, being founded on divine right, relies 
upon divine protection. In any country where God, under what- 
ever form, is honored, no king, conscious of his deep obligations 
for his position, can hesitate to throw himself fearlessly into the 
midst of his subjects, always regarding such monarch, as is the 
case in Prussia, as the steward of the Unseen Grovernor of all. 
Legally and politically, the king represents the ultimate court 
of appeal, and honestly fulfilling the duties imposed upon him, 
no sovereign need fear, as in Prussia would be absurd, the 
hand of the assassin. It is the everlasting curse entailed upon 
large States, that for petty motives there exists an alarming sj^s- 
tem of bureaucracy, in which the voices of the honest servants are 
drowned in the din of the general throng for distinction, wealth, 
ease, and enjoyment. Hence public servants, of whatever degree, 
fear to speak ; hence the public fumes, hence stoppage of trade, 
discredit by capitalists, ultimate want of employment, lassitude of 
patriotism, conspiracy, crime — with its load of expense — famine, 
and the fall of States ensue. 

ISTow, a pr.\ctical king, conscious of his office, and ablebodied 
enough to undergo the exertion, can be the greatest of philanthro- 
pists, if supported by an honest ministry, fearless enough to repress 
undue expenditure, either by his sovereign or the lieges. Wary 
to draw the sword, eager to substitute the ploughshare, should 
such a monarch be ; and such a monarch we find in Prussia, and 
have found before. Fearless and honorable should be his minis- 

xxii PEEFACE. 

ter ; and such, a minister we find, fortunately not without paral- 
lels, in Count Bismarck. 

Bismarck had not only this abstract duty, as some may like to 
call it, to perform towards his own sovereign. There was anoth- 
er duty of no less importance and delicacy to fulfill as a German 
— as a member of the body corporate of the Teutonic nation. 
Had Austria continued in its peculiar position of pre-eminence, 
derived from an association of its rulers with the extinct Holy 
Roman Empire, the real power of self-government would have 
passed from the German nations to that mixture of Slavs and 
Czechs, Huns, Magyars, and Poles, making up so large a propor- 
tion of Austrian subjects; and could Prussia, emphatically Ger- 
man in all its regions, have permitted a supremacy so at variance 
with — I will not say common sense — but ethnical affinitj^? Is 
it not more in conformity with natural sympathy that the German 
kindred races of the north should be consolidated in a trixlj Ger- 
man national sense, than remain a loosely-constructed federation 
of petty princedoms, under the guidance of a power whose main 
strength lay in races alien, and even hostile, if we are to trust 
present events, in their interests, instincts, and sympathies ? 

There was, of course, underlying all this, the cardinal fact of a 
difference of religious sympathies. So eminently Eoman Catho- 
lic, ruling over nations outwardly, and perhaps sincerely, attach- 
ed to the Papal forms of ecclesiastical government and doctrine, 
Austria could not hold out a faithful hand of fellowship to Prot- 
estant Prussia, with its stern Calvinistic self-assertion : so attached 
to all that is ancient in reference to birth, family tradition, and 
historical fame, Austria could not but be jealous of a nation which 
had robbed it of its warlike glory, and set up a new nobility in 
opposition to its ancient semi-oriental princely families: so wed- 
ded to all that was archaic and statuesque in form and stationary 
in its character, how was it possible to tolerate a neighbor whose 
spirit is remarkable for its restless activity and love of innova- 
tion ; so practical in science and utilitarian in its aims ? A con- 
test between two such powers, and in such a cause, and as a con- 
sequence of such various processes of development, was inevita- 
ble, while the ultimation of the strife could scarcely be doubtful. 
The imperial nation, so proud, profuse, and old-fashioned, must 
receive a lesson, intended in the utmost spirit of candor, from 



the patient, practical, and untiring nation of Kortli Germany, 
who looked upon its sovereign and institutions with kindly affec- 
tion, as the outcome of the labors of their immediate fathers, and 
to the fruits of which those subjects were honestly entitled. ISTor, 
as having resided in both Prussia and Austria, am I disposed to 
think that Prussian tendencies do not receive hearty approval in 
the Grerman sections of the Austrian people. Let the events ac- 
companying the siege of Vienna, in 1848, be properly valued, and 
the fact is patent. The cowardice of Ferdinand is the key to the 
history of that siege, as well as its justification. 

We have not here, however, so much to do with the policy of 
the Prussian people, and their relations towards Austria, as with 
a consideration of the effects wrought upon Bismarck's mind by 
his position, education, personal character, and the events of his 
era. We here rather want to get an intelligible picture of Bis- 
marck himself — to learn why Bismarck is the actual Bismarck 
he is, and not another Bismarck, as it were, altogether. 

Let us therefore glance at his early life, and see how his 
strong, daring, and somewhat headlong youth has gradually 
moulded him into the astute, unbending, and progressive statesman 
we now see him to be in the latter days of his remarkable life. 

The first thing that strikes us must be his opportunities of birth 
and of lineage. Education, it can not be doubted, is materially 
influenced by these two considerations. An indulgent father and 
an ambitious mother may help a lad along. Next comes the nec- 
essary process of estrangement; that emergence into actual life 
from which so few come forth proudly ; and, finally, the attain- 
ment of self-consciousness, but without direction and without an 
aim. This usually results, as with Bismarck, in an appreciable 
amount of obloquy, from which the strong spirit desires emanci- 
pation. In the case now in point, his aspirations of the better 
sort had the mastery. Application to his distressed fortunes led 
him to think of others, and while he tested other men he applied 
the same stern acid to his own soul. 

The empty affection of dissolutism assailed him, and he fled 
from it with the disgust of a noble mind : he longed for a more 
exquisite grace of beauty and dignity, and attained it. From 
that time forward he could apply; the serious element in his na- 
ture obtained the upper hand, and he perceived that life was not 

xxiv PREFACE. 

intended as a mere puppet scene. Patriotism, one of the grand- 
est impulses of human nature, led him to a recognition of his du- 
ties as a man, and comforted in his domestic relations, he stood 
for his king. He became the king's man — to that fealty he vow- 
ed himself, and that fealty he has nobly accomplished. He saw 
at once he was the king's man, but policy he had none. Policy, 
of whatever sort it might prove to be, was yet to come ; but the 
historical guide-line of a relation between the highest post of dig- 
nity and his own rank, fashioned it into a policy into which per- 
force the idea of aristocracy necessarily entered. Had Bismarck 
not been so vehemently attacked at the onset of his political and 
representative career, it is very probable that the stout resistance 
he made would not have proved so strenuous. But the attack 
was one which roused the dormant elements of his nature. Very 
proud, like most of the Pomeranian and Brandenburg Junkers, he 
resolved upon showing that his pride was not false, and was not 
so greatly leavened with personal ambition as some tauntingly 
averred. But it must be confessed that there is a vast differ- 
ence between his early speeches and his later policy — in itself a 
proof that his career was not that of a political adventurer, re- 
solved for notoriety at any price. The crudeness of his earlier 
speeches has formed an absolute boon to his opponents, who 
scarcely anticipated that a man who honestly cared for the point 
at issue, rather than the airing of a more or less inflated eloquence 
— seasoned with a philosophy of a very unpractical kind — was 
about to enter into the political arena. Looking at Bismarck in 
his earliest stages of development as a statesman, the preseM 
writer can not say there was much beyond a general adhesion to 
the Prussian traditions to recommend him. It is for this reason 
that certain documents have been reprinted in the latter pages of 
this book, not furnished by the German compiler. In these doc- 
uments, appealing as they do to his family pride as a liegeman, 
may be found the key of Bismarck's subsequent violent declara- 
tion on the side of the monarchy. " That a king should volunta- 
rily propose to set aside what, in my contract, inherent in my 
birth, with that king, contravenes my family pride, makes me 
sorry for that king, but vehement against his advisers. But be- 
ing sorry, I must fight for him, or his successors." 

Prussia was, like a nation or two more in Europe, in a " par- 



lous state " in 1848. But these days of March, were a natural re- 
sult of facts pressing on the people : they passed, however. In 
those events, misunderstood even at the present time — misunder- 
stood as all revolutions must be — Bismarck took no part save 
that of thinking that a replacement of the army by an unuui- 
formed corps was another insult to Prussia — and her lieges. 

His political education had advanced to a point when it would 
either resolve itself into a total abnegation of political activity, 
or an aspiration towards some ameliorations of the matter in 
hand. This signified itself, not by individual actions after a 
time, but rather by the centralization of a party existing in fortu- 
itous atoms into clubs — adding the printing-press as a powerful 

Suddenly the ambassadorial post at Frankfurt was offered him. 
Light-hearted and willing — to all appearance — he accepted it. 
The world has yet to be made acquainted with the positive re- 
sult of this Frankfurt mission. That his instructions were accu- 
rate there can be little doubt, and that all his energies were bent 
upon the humiliation of Austria as the powerful rival of Prussia, 
is equally true. That his diplomatic facility had at this time ac- 
quired any great amount of strength is doubtful. He was an ex- 
cellent host, and a sincere adviser ; but it is due to him rather 
again to cast away any delusion as to the diplomatic grandeur of 
his actions — unless, which may be the case, honesty pure and sim- 
ple is diplomacy. 

He therefore remained a good friend, a good host, a kind mas- 
ter, a most loving husband and brother. Perhaps nothing in 
connection with the man who has been thought so harsh, is so in- 
teresting as his care, his love, not only for his own family, but for 
his humbler dependents. In his correspondence, which really 
forms the feature of this volume, we find the careful and truthful 
expression of a mind seeking to set itself right with the world 
and its duties, and consistently adopting utter straightforward- 
ness as the efficient means to this end. In times of trouble he 
sympathizes deeply with the bereaved ; in seasons when most as- 
persed he shows a firm reliance on the goodness of his cause, and 
his innate sense of right ; and he ever displays a confidence in 
the ultimate realization of the object held in view. 

The various letters written during seasons of holiday travel dis- 


play a keen delight in natural objects, and are written with a sim- 
ple eloquence denoting frankness and candor. 

Before closing this Preface, already somewhat lengthy, it is per- 
haps not out of place to refer to a recent review of the two first 
German sections of this book, in the October number of the Edin- 
hurgJi Eevieio. The reviewer will perceive that the blemishes to 
which he alludes have been removed, so far as may be, from the 
text. Any one, acquainted with German literature, is aware that 
its genius admits of the expression of many simple naivetes^ very 
far from consonant with the dignity and spirit of the English lan- 
guage. For these reasons a rearrangement and compression of 
the earlier parts of the book has been effected, and notes have 
been added of interest to the English reader, whose acquaintance 
with some of the personages named would necessarily be limited. 
Nothing, however, tending to illustrate the character and pur- 
poses of the chief personage, has been omitted. So far as the ma- 
terials could serve, a faithful picture of Count Bismarck is here 
presented, and it is anticipated that the Prussian premier will be 
seen to far greater advantage than through the medium of the 
Edinburgh reviewer. That gentleman will perhaps forgive the 
writer for differing from him in his general estimate of Bismarck's 
character. The estimate taken by the critic is very severe, and 
scarcely just. It is also so curious that the writer can not refrain 
from transcribing it here, that the reader may have both sides of 
the picture before him. 

" To govern," says the critic,* " is, according to his ideas, ^o 
command, and parliamentary government is to command with \ 
flourish of speeches and debates, which should always §nd in a 
happy subserviency with the ruling minister. This arbitrary dis- 
position is, of course, strengthened by his success of 1866 ; but he 
will be grievously deceived in believing that only stubborn res- 
olution is wanted to triumph again. He is a man of the type of 
Eichelieu and Pombal ; but this style of statesmanship is rather 
out of place in our century, at least for obtaining a lasting suc- 

" We can not, therefore, consider him as a really great states- 
man, though he has certainly gifts of the highest order. He is a 
first-rate diplomatist and negotiator. No man can captivate more 

* Edinburgh Review, vol. cxxx., pp. 457, 458. 


adroitly those he wants to win ; nobody knows better to strike 
at tlie right moment, or to wait when the tide is running in his 
favor. His personal courage is great, physically as well as 
morally ; he shrinks from 'nothing conducive to his end. He is 
not naturally eloquent ; but his speeches are generally impres- 
sive, and full of terse argument. He is a capital companion in 
society — witty, genial, sparkling in his conversation. His pri- 
vate life is pure ; nobody has accused him of having used his 
high position for his pecuniary advantage. It is natural that 
such qualities, backed by an indomitable will, a strong belief in 
himself, and an originally robust constitution, should achieve 
much. But by the side of these virtues the darker shades are 
not wanting. We will not reproach him with ambition ; it is 
natural that such a man should be ambitious. But his ambition 
goes far to identify the interests of his country with his own 
personal power. Every thing is personal with him ; lie never 
forgets a slight, and ^persecutes people loho have offended him 
loith the most xmworthy malice. His strong will degenerates 
frequently into absurd obstinacy ; he is feared by his subordi- 
nates, but we never heard that any hody loved him. Driven 
into a strait, his courage becomes the reckless daring of the 
gambler, who stakes every thing on one card. He can tell the 
very reverse of the truth with an amazing coolness / still of tener 
he will tell the 23lain truth when he knows that he will not be 
believed. He is a great comedian, performing admirably the 
part he chooses to play. He knows how to flatter his interlocu- 
tors, by assuming an air of genuine admiration for their talents ; 
they leave him charmed by his condescension, whilst he laughs 
at the fools who took his fne words for solid cash. His con- 
tempt of Tnen isprofoundj he dislikes independence, though he 
probably respects it. There is not a single man of character 
left in the ministry or the more important places of the civil 
service (l). Few things or persons exist at which he would 
not venture a sneer. 

" At present he has chosen to retire, for an indefinite period, 
from a perplexing situation which he has himself created. No- 
body can tell in what direction he is going to steer his vessel. 
He likes to strike the imagination of the public by sudden reso- 


lutions. Nobody can prophesy what will be the final result of 
the great political experiment upon which he has entered, for it 
depends on the working of so many different factors, that even 
the boldest will scarcely venture to calculate the issue." 

Those passages italicized above form a specimen of the kind 
of attacks, by no means honorably or reasonably made, upon 
Count Bismarck, and it is somewhat lamentable to read, in the 
j)ages of so important a Keview, views quite incompatible with 
truth, and so calculated to sway the minds of many who have 
little leisure to analyze historical phenomena. 

Time has triumphantly cleared up much that seemed vaguely 
ominous in Bismarck's policy, and the progress of events will 
doubtless throw clear light on that which still remains dark and 
unintelligible to those who care little for light. 

Kenneth E. H. Mackenzie. 

iook t\)t Xirst. 




Bismarck on the Biese. — The Bismarck Louse. — Derivation of the Name Bismarck. — 
Wendic Origin Untenable. — The Bismarcks in Priegnitz and Euppin. — Eiedel's 
Erroneous Theory. — The Bismarcks of Stendal. — Members of City Guilds. — Glaus 
von Bismarck of Stendal. — Rise of the Family into the Highest Rank in the Four- 
teenth Century. 

N the Alt Mark, be- 
longing to the circle 
of Stendal, lies the 
small town of Bis- 
marck on the Biese. 
It is an old and fa- 
mous place, for south 
of the town stands an 
ancient tower, known 
as the Bismarck 
Louse. Tradition 

states that the tower 
received its name 
from a gigantic louse 
which inhabited it, 
and that the peasants 
of the district had every day to provide huge quantities of meat 
for the monster's food. In this legend we can trace the popular 
spirit of the sober Alt Mark — it laughs at the pilgrimages which 
were made in the thirteenth century to Bismarck in honor of a 
holy cross, said to have fallen from heaven. These pilgrimages, 
at first greatly encouraged by the lords of the soil, as they found 
m them a rich source of income, soon came to a sanguinary end, 
from the severe strife occasioned by these very revenues. 


Bismarck does not, as some assert, derive its name from the 
Biese, because in the year 1203, when it is first mentioned in the 
records, it is called Biscopesmarck, or Bishopsmark, afterwards 
corrupted into Bismarck. It belonged to the Bishops of Havel- 
berg, who erected a fort here as a defense of their Mark, on the 
frontiers of the Sprengels of Halberstadt, From the little town 
the noble family of Bismarck has its name. 

It is a tradition of later times, by no means historically con- 
firmed, that the Bismarcks were a noble family of Bohemia, set- 
tled by Charlemagne in the Alt Mark, and the founders of the 
town of Bismarck, which received its name from them. It is 
further erroneously asserted, that the Bismarcks, after the decease 
of the very powerful Count von Osterburg, had shared the coun- 
ty with the family of Alvensleben ; and thus the town of Bis- 
marck passed into the possession of the Alvenslebens.* This 
last is only stated to account for the circumstance of the holding 
of Bismarck in the fourteenth century as a fief by the Alvensle- 
bens ; it being forgotten that in those days the title went with 
the office, and that a county could not therefore be in the posses- 
sion of two families. 

As groundless is the tradition of the Wendic descent of the 

* Alvensleben. This family was of noble origin in the Alt Mark, and has been 
partly elevated to the rank of Count. Its annals extend to 1163. The original seat 
of the family was Alvensleben on the Bever ; the lines consisted of three — red, black, 
and white. Of these the red line died out in 1534 and 1553, at Erxleben and Kal- 
vorden. The white line, divided into three, through Joachim Valentine, at Isern- 
schnipi^e, Eimersleben, and Erxleben — the first expired in 1680, the second in 17344- 
the third, founded by Gebhard Christoph, still flourishes. The black line jwas always 
the most extensive. It divided into two branches, that of Ludolf and that of Joachim. 
Only a portion of this family exists at the present day. Of the branch of Ludolf, 
there existed Philip Karl (bom 1745, 16th Dec), who became a Prussian diplomatist 
and was a favorite of Friedrich II. and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He died a 
Count, 21st Oct., 1802, at Berlin, unmarried. Johann Aug. Ernst Avas born at Erxle- 
ben, 6th Aug., 1758 ; he was Minister for Brandenburg and Pri-vy Councillor of Prus- 
sia ; died 27th Sept., 1827, a Prussian Count. The black line died out with his 
son, the Prussian Minister Albrecht v. A. The white, or Gardelegen line, was eleva- 
ted to the rank of Count in the persons of Fried. Will. Aug. (born 31st May, 1798 ; 
died 2d Dec, 1853), and Ferd. Friedr. Ludolf (bora 23d Jan., 1803), at the ascen- 
sion of Fried. Wilh. IV., 15th Oct., 1840. Albrecht, the representative of the black 
line, was distinguished for his devotion to his Idng, much as Bismarck has been. 
He died 2d May, 1858 ; his large property went to his sister and her children. — 
K. R. H. M. 


Bismarcks. According to tliis, the actual name of this noble 
family should be Bij-smarku, in Wendic, " Beware of the Christ- 
thorn." Not very happily has the double trefoil in the arms of 
the Bismarcks been identified with the Christ-thorn — as a proof 
of their Wendic descent. 

The Bismarcks are rather, as are all the families of knightly- 
rank in the Alt Mark, the descendants of Cerman warriors who, 
under the Guelph, the Ascanian, or other princes, had conquered 
the Slavic lands on both banks of the Elbe for Christianity and 
Grerman civilization, and had then settled themselves on those lands 
as fief- holders. The Bismarcks belonged to the warrior family 
of Biscopesmarck-Bishopsmark-Bismarck, and when surnames 
came into use, called themselves after their dwelling-place — von 
Bismarck. Of course, they retained the name after the loss or 
cession of their original seat. 

Like many other knightly families of the Alt Mark, the Bis- 
marcks gradually spread towards the East, conquering greater 
space for German Christian culture, subduing the Wends or driv- 
ing them back towards the Oder. Thus the Bismarcks also ap- 
pear, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, as warrior 
knights in Priegnitz and the region of Euppin. 

We can not understand how a historian of such general intel- 
ligence as Eiedel, can object to this course of development, pre- 
senting so many analogies in the series of other races of nobilitj 
in the Alt Mark, According to this writer, it appears " credible 
and plausible " that the chivalric race of Bismarck, found at 
the beginning of the fourteenth century in the region of Prieg- 
nitz and Ruppin, should have descended from the Castellans at 
Bismarck, who were provided with some territorial fiefs on the 
downfall of the episcopal castle. " On the other hand," says Eie- 
del, " those citizen families to be found in the cities of the Mark 
and in Stendal, bearing the name of Bismarck, whence that 
branch arose, the energy of which not only equalized the Von Bis- 
marcks with the highest nobility of the Mark, but has surpassed 
all of them, by the principles of unprejudiced historical inquiry 
are proved to be self-distinguished, and the descendants of plain 
citizens of the little town Bismarck, which had flourished so well 
under episcopal protection." 

This is, however, an assertion supported by nothing, except, 



perhaps, bj an accidental negative — the circumstance that up to 
the present time no seal has been found of the undoubtedly chiv- 
alric Bismarcks in Priegnitz and Euppin ; for the identity of ar- 
morial bearings would necessarily establish the common origin of 
the knightly Bismarcks, and those of Stendal, beyond all ques- 
tion. But we do not understand Eiedel's objection, as he does 
not deny that the Bismarcks entered the first rank of the aristoc- 
racy of the Alt Mark in the same fourteenth century. It would 
be almost puerile, by means of fantastic explanations respecting 
the races bearing the name of Bismarck, to deprive the Minister 
of the rank of Junker,* and thus claim him as a plebeian. 

For if the Bismarcks of Stendal appear in the character of citi- 
zens since the thirteenth century, it proves nothing as to their 
chivalric descent, but may almost be used as an argument in fa- 
vor of it. It is well known and unquestioned that a whole series 
of knightly families have settled themselves in towns, and taken 
part in municipal government, in all places at first more or less 
patrician in character. Thus it fared with the Bismarcks in Sten- 
dal, and not with them only, but with^the Schadewachts and oth- 
er Alt Mark knightly races, members of which took their places 
in the municipal government of Stendal. The Bismarcks were 
then attached to the most distinguished, honorable, and influen- 
tial Guild of Tailors (cloth-merchants), because every inhabitant 
of a town was obliged to belong to some guild. But to infer from 
this that the Bismarcks were of citizen birth, would be as absurd 
as to deny the nobility of the Iron Duke, the victor of Waterloo, 
because the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors in London, 
as recognizing his fame, made him free of their guild. It is in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in fact, and especially in the 
towns of the Marks, that we find the noblest families — even the 
Margrave himself — associated with citizen gililds. At the same 
time it mattered not at all whether such members occupied them- 
selves with the trade ; for we are not, in this place, speaking of 
position, but descent. And if the practice of handicrafts and com- 
merce were not then, as later, held to be incompatible with noble 
birth — although, in general, the practice was uncommon — the de- 

* This I'ank in Germany, and especially in North Germany, is held to be noble. 
We have no con-esponding title in English ; it is higher than esquire, but not exact- 
ly that of a knight or baronet. Perhaps it corresponds to ' ' honorable. " — K. R. H. M. 


scendants of noble houses, on leaving the towns, naturally re-en- 
tered their own rank of territorial lords. 

It is, therefore, explicable that Glaus von Bismarck, Freeman 
of the Gruild of Tailors in Stendal, could step from that position 
into the first rank of the Alt Mark nobility. 

Eiedel is also the only historian who, in contradiction to earlier 
and later authorities, asserts the descent of the Bismarcks from a 
citizen family in Stendal, instead of from the Castellans of the 
episcopal castle of that name. Even, however, had he been able 
to determine this beyond a doubt, it would not have proved the 
plebeian descent of the Minister-President, but only that the no- 
bility of his family reaches no higher than the fourteenth century 
— in itself a sufficiently long pedigree. 



Kulo von Bismarck, 1309-1338. — Excommunicated. — Claus von Bismarck. — His 
Policy. — Created Castellan of Burgstall, 1345. — Castellans. — Reconciliation with 
Stendal, 1350. — Councillor to the Margrave, 1353. — Dietrich Kogelwiet, 1361. — 
His Wliite Hood. — Claus in his Ser-vice, -vvhUe Archbishop of Magdeburg. — The 
Emperor Charles IV. — The Independence of Brandenburg threatened. — Cham- 
berlain to the Margrave, 1368. — Subjection of the Marks to Bohemia, 1373. — 
Claus retires into Private Life. — Death about 1377. — Claus II., 1403. — Claus 
III. and Henning. — Friedrich I. appoints Henning a Judge. — Ludolf. — His Sons. 
— Pantaleon. — Henning III. ohiit circa 1528. — Claus Electoral Ranger, 1512.— 
Ludolf von Bismarck. — Electoral Sheriff of Boetzow, 1513.— His Descendants. 


; him, it 
for bis 

S the ancestor of the race 
of Bismarck, we find among 
the Bismarcks in Stendal, 
where they had been 
known since 1270, a cer- 
tain Eule or Eulo, other- 
wise Rudolf von Bismarck, 
whose name appears in the 
records from 1309 to 1338. 
This personage was a re- 
spected member of the 
Guild of Tailors, often its 
guide and master, as also a 
member of the Town Coun- 
cil of Stendal. 

In the sparse notices con- 
tained in the records con- 
appears that Rule von Bismarck was held in high 
prudence and wealth. He represented Stendal in 



the most important negotiations with, princely courts, carried out 
political arrangements of every kind, and in every position main- 
tained a high status among his fellow-townspeople. He is also to 
be regarded as one of the founders of the town schools in Sten- 
dal, and met heavy opposition from the Nicholas Cathedral 
foundation, which claimed the establishment of schools as its 
sole privilege. But under his direction the Council maintained 
its plans as to the establishment of city schools, and realized these 
despite of the ban of the Church ; probably this, the first Bismarck 
of whom we have any knowledge, died an excommunicated man, 
for his long dispute with the authorities was only accommodated 
at a much later period by his son. Eule left behind him four 
sons, Nicholas I., commonly called Claus, Eulo II., known during 
his father's life (and so called in the records)' as Eulekin (the 
little Eule) ; the others were John and Christian, 

The younger brothers soon fell into the background. Claus 
von Bismarck was an individual of remarkable character, which, 
based upon the honored name of the family, and the wealth he 
had inherited, aided him in extending the sphere of his influence 
far beyond that of his town circle. In testimony of respect to the 
memory of his father, he was immediately assigned the councillor's 
seat, vacant by his father's death. Claus, acting with great mod- 
eration, next distinguished himself in settling the internal differ- 
ences of the town, and reconciled the Church with the memory of 
his father by large donations, and by the establishment of a me- 
morial festival. Yery early in his career, however, he occupied a 
singular and duplex political attitude. In the town, with anima- 
tion and wisdom, he headed the patrician element against the 
democratic innovations of the lower guilds, and stood at the front 
of the aristocratic conservative party in Stendal. But in the 
country he sided more and more with the Margrave, at that time 
of Bavarian origiuj'and gradually became one of the leaders of 
that patriotic Brandenburg association, which sought to reunite 
the Marks, separated by the death of Waldemar the Great, under 
one government. 

The political activity of Claus von Bismarck in the fourteenth 
century, offers many points of similarity to that of his descendant 
Otto von Bismarck in the nineteenth century. 

In his contest with the democratic party in Stendal, Claus von 


Bismarck was not very successful. After a long and obstinate 
fight, the aristocratic Gruild of Tailors was worsted. The members 
of it, and among them Glaus von Bismarck, were driven out and 
banished. He now returned to the country, where he possessed 
numerous estates, inherited from his father; but he did not remain 
quiet. We see him in continued activity on behalf of the Mar- 
grave Ludwig, for whom he conducted the most intricate negotia- 
tions, and to whom he lent considerable sums of money. 

The reward of his political assiduity was proportionate to its 
importance. On the 15th of June, 1345, the Margrave granted 
the Castle of Burgstall, one of the strongholds of the country, pro- 
tecting the southern frontier of the Alt Mark towards Magdeburg, 
to Glaus von Bismarck and his descendants, and their brothers, as 
a fief. Thus the Bismarcks entered the first rank of the nobility 
of the Alt Mark, as Castellans.* 

These Castellan families in the Alt Mark, although they could 
not claim any right to a higher rank, formed a privileged class of 
the chivalric nobility, which maintained itself by the possession of 
castles — then of great importance for the defense of the country. 
The Castellans under the Luxemburg dynasty, like the members 
of the Bohemian nobility, were called nohiles^ while other classes 
of the nobility were only denominated " worshipful," or strenui. 
They had ingress and precedence at the Diets before the others, 
were not summoned to those assemblies by proclamation, but by 
writ, and were immediately under the jurisdiction of the Land 
Captain, while ordinary knights were subject to the Courts ,of 
Justice of the province. Although the Castellans maintained, a 
portion of these rights to very recent times, they were Aever any 
thing more than Alt Mark Junkers, whose families possessed some 
privileges beyond the rest. 

Among the Castellans of the fourteenth century were the Von 
der Schulenburgs, the Von Alvenslebens, the*Von Bartenslebens, 
the Von Jagows, the Von Knesebecks,f and the Von Bismarcks 
of Burgstall. 

* In the original, Schlossgesessen, literally "seized of or seated at a castle."' — K. 
E. H. M. 

t Knesebeck. Of this family one was celebrated as Prussian Field-Marshal (born 
5th May, 1768, at Cai-we, near New Euppin, of an ancient Brandenburg family). He 
fought -with distinction in 1792-'94, and was placed on the staff by the Duke of Bruns- 
wick. He fulfilled a singular diplomatic mission to Petersburg in 1S11-'12, which 


Ou the outbreak of the terrible storm which accompanied the 
appearance of the pretender Waldemar — whose claims have, how- 
ever, not yet been disproved — Glaus von Bismarck prudently 
withdrew himself, and awaited the conclusion of these troubles at 
the Castle of Burgstall. It was the only thing he could do, for, 
in the position of circumstances, he could afford no assistance to 
the Bavarian Margrave, with whom he was intimately connected, 
and on the general question he could give no decision, as the per- 
son of Waldemar the Great had never been known to him. 

About this time, 1350, a reconciliation took place between the 
banished aristocratic party and the town of Stendal. Some of the 
members returned thither, but Glaus von Bismarck, as may be 
supposed, remained at Burgstall ; but it would appear that from 
that time forward he stood on friendly terms with his native 

In the year 1353, he became still more closely connected with 
the Margrave, in the capacity of Privy Gouncillor ; and in this 
post, which carried no emolument with it whatever, he exhibited 
energy of such a wise character that Bismarck's government, de- 
spite of the wretched and sorrowful state of things at the time, 
bore rich fruits, not only for the Alt Mark, but for miserable 
Brandenburg in general. 

In the year 1361, Glaus quitted the service of Brandenburg for 
that of the Archbishop of Magdeburg, in consequence of his near 
relative, Dietrich von Portitz, known as Kagelwiet or Kogelwiet 
— i. e., White Kogel or hood — having ascended the archiepisco- 
pal throne of St. Moritz.* 

Dietrich von Portitz, whose relationship to Glaus is unquestion- 
able, but whose precise affinity is not clear, was a native of Sten- 
dal. He had embraced the ecclesiastical profession, and had 

had for its real motives an incitement to the Russian emperor to -withstand Napoleon 
to the iitmost, and to decoy him into the interior of Eussia. The world knows the 
rest. He was an enthusiast in poetry, as well as war. Many poems of his have been 
privately printed— the chief of these is one in praise of war (Lob des Kriegs). Think 
of a T}Ti:3eus in a Prussian general's uniform! He died 12th Jan., 1848. — K. R. 
H. M. 

* The Archbishopric of Magdeburg took its rise from a Benedictine convent in honor 
of St. Mamice, founded by Emperor Otto I. in 937 ; and in 967 it was made an arch- 
bishopric, and the primacy of Germany was given by Pope John XIII., with Havel- 
berg, among others, as a dependency. — K. R. H. M. 



shown sucli a genius for government, even as a monk at Lehnin^ 
that the Bishop of Brandenburg, Ludwig von Neiendorff, intrust- 
ed him with the administration of his diocese, much to his own 
advantage. The Emperor, Charles IV., early recognized the im- 
portance of this man ; created him Bishop of Sarepta and Chan- 
cellor of Bohemia, subsequently procured him the Bishopric of 
Minden, and finally the Archbishopric of Magdeburg. The cog- 
nomen of Kagelwiet or Kogelwiet this distinguished person re- 
ceived from a castle of this name in Bohemia, but according to 
some, from the white hood which he had assumed in orders at 
Lehnin. A tradition asserts that the Bohemian magnates, envious 
of the eminence of the Chancellor, accused him of fraud, and re- 
ferred the Emperor to the iron chest which stood in Dietrich's 
private chamber. When Charles IV. had this chest opened by 
Dietrich, there was only found within it the monk's frock, the 
white hood of Brother Dietrich of Lehnin. 

As to the relationship between the Archbishop Dietrich Ko- 
gelwiet and Claus Bismarck, it must be admitted that it has not 
been clearly established by the records. But we think we do not 


el-r in assuming that Dietrich Kogelwiet was also one of the Bis- 
marcks of Stendal of the same family as Clans von Bismarck. 
He certainly is called Dietrich von Portitz, but we must not con- 
sider this singular in an age when brothers even existed with dif- 
ferent surnames ; and, on the other hand, an identical name by 
no means establishes any relationship, or places it beyond doubt. 

Common armorial bearings were a much surer index to family 
afiinity between their wearers than identical names. We can 
not, as before stated, absolutely prove from the records that the 
Archbishop Dietrich Kogelwiet was a Bismarck : it may be de- 
cided by later researches, but there are several reasons for con- 
sidering this to be the case. There was no family of Portitz at 
Stendal, to claim the Archbishop as a scion of their house — an 
important fact, as the birthplace of Dietrich is ascertained to have 
been Stendal. 

When Dietrich Kogelwiet entered on the government of the 
Archbishopric of Magdeburg, he immediately summoned his rel- 
ative, Claus Bismarck, to assist in his administration. Such an in- 
vitation might have been the more welcome, in consequence of 
the hopeless condition of the Margrave's affairs. It must not be 
forgotten that Claus was not only a vassal to Brandenburg, but 
to Magdeburg, and was connected by blood and friendship with 
many members of the Cathedral community. 

Thus Claus von Bismarck, in conjunction with the knight Mei- 
necke von Schierstaedt, became Greneral Commandant of Magde- 
burg. The duties were so shared between them that Yon Schier- 
staedt fulfilled the of&ce of Minister of War, while Von Bismarck 
was Minister of the Interior and of Finance. Foreign affairs, and 
especially those relating to Brandenburg, the Archbishop had re- 
served for himself — why, we shall presently see. We must not, 
however, regard the various duties in those days as so clearly de- 
fined as in a modern government ; the distinctions were less ob- 
vious, and thus we see Claus von Bismarck in many a battle-field, 
fighting bravely beside Schierstaedt. Dietrich Kogelwiet and his 
two chief servants, in fact, carried on a really model government. 
In the course of a few years the very considerable debts of the 
Archbishopric were liquidated, estates pawned or wholly aliena- 
ted were redeemed, and the security of the subjects of the See fix- 
ed in a manner rarely known in Germany at that era, Bismarck's 


constant care was devoted to the protection of the peasantry 
against the frequent outbreaks, usually ending in the plunder or 
destruction of property ; for his clear insight had perceived that 
the safety of the life and property of the subject was bound up 
with that of the liege lord's income — apparently a secret to most 
rulers of that time. 

Thus this sis years' adrainstration of the See by Bismarck be- 
came a great blessing to it, and Dietrich Kogelwiet recognized the 
fact by implicit confidence, although — a very remarkable circum- 
stance, impossible at the present day — he was opposed to Bismarck 
in his foreign policy. 

The politic Emperor Charles lY. had especially seated his Bo- 
hemian Chancellor upon the archiepiscopal throne of St. Moritz, 
with the absolute intention of securing in him an efficient co-op- 
erator in his extensive plans. Dietrich Kogelwiet was to aid in 
the conquest of the Mark of Brandenburg for the great Bohemian 
empire which Charles IV. sought to erect from Liibeck to the coast 
of the Adriatic for the house of Liitzelburg. Dietrich Kogelwiet 
had from of old been a chief supporter of these aims, and, as Arch- 
bishop of Magdeburg, he succeeded only too well, considering the 
weakness and poverty of the Bavarian Margrave, in ensnaringhim 
and bringing him into relations which rendered him an uncondi- 
tional and very abject dependent of the Emperor. At the death 
of the Archbishop, after a reign of six years, the independence of 
Brandenburg was lost, and the councillors of the Margrave con- 
sisted of imperial servants alien to Brandenburg. 

Claus von Bismarck held utterly aloof from this policy of his 
chief, for his Brandenburg patriotism desired the maintenance of 
the independence of the Marks. He saw no safety in the division 
of his native land, and its final subjection to the crown of Bohe- 
mia. Despite of these differences, the Archbishop held fast to 
his " dear uncle " — a designation applied in those days as cousin 
is now — bequeathed to him the greater part of his wealth, ap- 
pointed him his executor, and a member of the interregnum pro- 
vided to exist until the enthronement of his successor in the See. 

When Bismarck had acquitted himself of his duties towards the 
Church of Magdeburg, and had overcome the many obstacles to- 
wards a settlement of the inheritance of Dietrich Kogelwiet, he did 
what he had probably long since designed. He returned to the 


service of the Margrave of Brandenburg. This step can only be 
explained by the high patriotism which actuated this excellent 
rnan.^ For himself he had nothing to gain by such a step, and he 
must have been aware of the sacrifice he was making, for the af- 
fairs of the Margrave at that time were in the utmost confusion, 
and in a ruinous condition. The national income had long been 
anticipated, money was rare, and the partially justified concurrent 
government of the imperial councillors seemed to render it im- 
possible to save the autonomy of Brandenburg. 

The Emperor Charles, to whom Bismarck's conduct was sufli- 
ciently intelligible, sought with great pains to win him to his 
party, but in vain. The faithful Alt Mark Junker, in 1368, be- 
came administrator of the Margrave's government in the capacity 
of Chamberlain, and conducted his patriotic labor with such energy 
and wisdom, that by the October of that year the imperial coun- 
cillors placed about the Margrave were dismissed, and their posts 
entirely filled by Brandenburgers.of Bismarck's party. In this 
new Council there sat Dietrich von der Schulenburg, Bishop of 
Brandenburg, the noblest prelate in the land ; Count Albert von 
Lindau, Lord of Ruppin, the chief vassal of the Margrave ; Bis- 
marck himself was Chamberlain for the Alt Mark ; Marshal Sir 
Lippold von Bredow for the Middle Mark ; and Justice Otto von 
Moerner represented the New Mark. 

Bismarck and his friends now actively promoted the safety of 
Brandenburg independence by every means in their power during 
a period of five years. Bismarck was the soul of this patriotic 
struggle against the policy and rapacity of the mighty Emperor. 
His wisdom and energy were visible in every department of the 
State ; his immense wealth he freely sacrificed in every direction ; 
and the results were so important that they forced the disconcert- 
ed Emperor to a measure which even Bismarck had not been 
able to foresee as a wholly unexpected proceeding. 

The politic Charles, who had never speculated upon an appeal 
to arms, and who depended on the cunning, of which he was so 
great a master, before displayed in his counsels, suddenly seized 
the sword. He perceived • that he was unable to outwit Bis- 
marck, and was compelled to emerge from his lair and break up 
the independence of Brandenburg by force. Bismarck could not 
oppose his mighty army, and thus by the treaty of Fiirstenwald 


the independence of Brandenburg was lost, on the 13th of Au- 
gust, 1373 ; the Marks fell into the hands of Bohemia. 

After this destruction of his patriotic plans, Glaus von Bis- 
marck retired into private life, most probably to Burgstall; but 
the proximity of the great Emperor, who held his court at 
Tangermiinde, forced him to retreat from the former place. 
Neither Glaus nor his sons ever served the house of Liitzelburg. 
He then retired to his native city of Stendal, and occupied him- 
self with religious duties and the affairs of the Hospital of St. 
Gertrude, which he had founded at the Uengiing Gate of Stendal 
in 1370. Probably this foundation again embroiled the aged 
man with the ecclesiastical authorities during his closing years, 
and he seems to have died in excommunication, like his father. 
We do not know either the year of the birth or death of this 
illustrious and patriotic man. He appears first in the records 
in the year 1328, and we lose sight of him in 1377. He is 
buried at Burgstall, with the simple inscription, ^^Mcolaus de Bis- 
marck miles" on the tomb. He bequeathed to his sons a for- 
tune of great amount in those days — consisting of lands, treas- 
ures, and ready money. 

These sons, Eule, Glaus II., and John, with the patriotic spirit of 
their father, held aloof from the Emperor Gharles IV., despite of 
all the efforts he made to draw the rich and illustrious possessors 
of Burgstall to the Gourt at Tangermiinde. Glaus became a 
knight, and is thence mentioned in precedence of his elder broth- 
er Rule in the records, from the year 1376. Eule died without 
heirs ; the knight Glaus alone left any family, and died in 1403. 
The third brother, John, became an ecclesiastic, and wa& still liv- 
ing in 1431. 

The sons of the knight Glaus were respectively named Glaus 
III., and Henning. They inhabited Burgstall in common, but in 
consequence of a dispute with the Ghapter of the Gathedral of St. 
Nicholas, in Stendal, they were excommunicated ; but they do 
not appear to have suffered much in consequence, as public opin- 
ion had long since declared against the abuse of excom.munication 
common with the Ghurchmen. Glaus and Henning were brave 
but peaceable individuals, who had a most difficult position to 
maintain during the bloody feuds and endless fighting of that con- 
vulsed age. The brethren Bismarck were the first among the no- 


bility of the Alt Mark to take the part of the Burgrave Frederick 
von Niirnberg, regarding that great prince as the saviour and de- 
liverer of the Marks. 

Frederick I. seems also to have had confidence in the Bismarcks, 
for in 1414 he appointed Henning one of the judges in the great 
suit of felony against Werner von Holzendorff,* who occupied, in 
the capacity of the Margrave's captain, the castle Boetzow — now 
Oranienburg — and had betrayed this castle to Dietrich von Quit- 
zow.f Claus on his part served the electoral prince in pecuniary 
matters, but he died in 1437, and his brother Henning had pre- 
ceded him to the grave by ten years. 

As Henning's only son Euloff had died in his youth without 
issue, the sons of Claus alone succeeded to the property. Their 
names were Ludolf, Heide (Heidrich), and Henning. They in- 
herited that love for country life and the pleasures of the chase 
peculiar to the Bismarcks. These brothers improved and in- 
creased the condition of the house, which seems to have suf- 
ered amidst the strife of the evil days of previous generations. 
The time of Ludolfs death is unknown ; Heide was living in 
1489 ; Henning died in 1505 — his wife was Sabine von Alvens- 

The male heirs of Ludolf and Henning divided the property 

* HoJzendorjf. This family still exists, and has numbered among its prominent 
members, gallant soldiers and eminent jm-ists. Karl Friedr. von H. was a distin- 
guished general of artillery, bom the 17th Aug., 1764, and the son of a famous artU- 
leiy general, under Friedrich II. (died 10th Dec, 1785). After a brilliant career, 
during which he commanded the artilleiy of the army of Blucher (1815), when he was 
wounded at Ligny, he died at Berlin, 29th Sept., 1828. There is still living a mem- 
ber of this family, Franz von Holzendoi-flP— an eminent writer on criminal jurispru- 
dence—bom at Vietmannsdorf in the UckeiTnarck, 14th Oct., 1829. He is editor 
of a newspaper connected mth the subject he has treated of in so many works. — 
K. E. H. M. 

t Quitzow. A very ancient and important family, still existing at the village of the 
same name, near Peoleberg, in the Priegnitz. During the Bavarian and Luxemburg 
regency, this family attained formidable proportions. Hans von Quitzow was nomi- 
nated administrator by Jobst von Mahren in 1400, but shortly dismissed, for undue 
severity and ambition. Friedrich I. of Hohenzollern, first govemor under Emperor 
Sigismund, and then elector as feoffee of the Marks, had as his opponents the broth- 
ers Hans and Dietrich vort Quitzow, sons of Sir Kuno— bom at Quitzhofel, near Havel- 
berg. They were repressed, but still the authority of the governor could not be estab- 
lished until after their death in 1414. One Dietrich von Quitzow was a field-marshal 
in the Brandenburg sei-vice, in 1606. — K. li. H. M. 


of their fathers, but preserved much in common — the residence 
of Burgstall Castle among the rest. 

The four sons of Ludolf were Giinther, Ludolf, George, and 
Pantaleon. They were ennobled, together with their cousins, in 
1499, by the Elector Joachim I., but the two elder brothers soon 
died without male heirs, and the third brother, George, was child- 
less ; it does not appear that he was ever married. Pantaleon 
alone left a son, Henning III, by his wife Ottilien von Bredow, 
who died before 1528, leaving four sons behind him — Henry, 
Levin, Frederick, and Laurence. Levin and Laurence soon dis- 
appear from the records, and Henry, married to Use from the 
Kattenwinkel, and Frederick, wedded to Anna von Wenckstern, 
appear as the representatives of the elder stock of Ludolf. All 
these Bismarcks lived in peaceful retirement, on the best terms, 
at Burgstall, with their cousins of the younger Henning-branch 
of the family. 

Henning IL and his wife Sabine von Alvensleben had as sons, 
Busso, Glaus, Dietrich, and Ludolf. , Dietrich and Busso dying in 
early youth, Glaus became in 1512 the Electoral Kanger of the 
great estate of Gardelegen (the forests of Javenitz and Letzling). 
The rangers were in those days high officials (chief foresters) ; 
the title, however, they did not obtain until the time of King 
Frederick William I., with considerable privileges. The forest- 
ers were then literally called heath-runners {Haide - lailfer) — 
rangers, in fact. 

Ludolf von Bismarck in 1513 became Electoral Sheriff of Boet- 
zow, the present Oranienburg. His activity appears to have blpen 
applied to the protection of the Electoral game preserves. Lu- 
dolf was reckoned one of the best horsemen and warriors of his 
era, although we do not learn any thing respecting his prowess. 
He seems to have been very active in the establishment of the 
militia of the Alt Mark, and died in 1534. His wife, Hedwig 
von Doeberitz, long survived him. In the year 1543, the Elec- 
tor Joachim owed her a thousand thalers, and she was still alive 
in 1562. Ludolf's sons were Jobst, Joachim, and George. 

Joachim was killed at the siege of Magdeburg, at which he 
was present with his brothers. Jobst married Emerentia Schenk 
von Liitzendorf. George married Armengard von Alvensleben. 

We thus see the castle of Burgstall in the middle of the six- 


teenth. century inhabited by two pairs of brothers, with four 
households ; Henry and Frederick representing the elder or Lu- 
dolf branch of the Bismarcks, and Jobst and George the younger 
one through Henning. Ludolf's widow also resided at Burg- 





Changes. — The Electoral Prince John George and Burgstall. — Eorest-rights. — The 
Exchange of Burgstall for Crevese. — Schonhausen and Fischbeck. — The Permu- 
tation completed, 1563. 

Doomed to a sorrowfal termination was the peaceful life of the 
family of the Bismarcks at Burgstall. All the Bismarcks were 
eager sportsmen, and there was no spot in the whole of the Bran- 
denburg country better adapted for sport than, their castle, sit- 
uated in the midst of the great preserve of Gardelegen, the woods 
of the Tanger, and of the Ohre. 

These preserves were not only the most considerable, but also 
the most well-stocked in the Marks ; and although only a small 
portion belonged to the Bismarcks, they enjoyed forest privileges 



conjointly with their neighbors to the fullest extent. It was not 
remarkable, therefore, to find the Castellans of Burgstall " mighty 
hunters;" but a still mightier hunter was destined to overwhelm 
them, and compel them to give up their privileges in forest and 

Every one of the descendants of the great Frankish prince, 
the Burgrave Frederick von Niirnberg — all the powerful Elec- 
tors and noble Margraves of Brandenburg — were considerable 
sportsmen. They had early perceived that no place was more 

convenient than Burgstall Castle, when they desired to hunt near 
the Tanger, through the forest of Gardelegen, the Dromling, and 
other preserves of the Ohre. They often visited their trusty 
vassals at Burgstall, and for weeks together were welcome guests 
of the Bismarcks, whose wealth could well maintain the expen- 
sive hospitality of princely guests. The Electors John Cicero 


and Joachim Nestor were frequently at Burgstall. We know 
that the Bismarcks were one of the first families of the country, 
allied to the new Frank rulers; even at a later time the Bis- 
marcks were proitd of their loyalty to their liege lords ; but the 
intimate personal relations which the Bismarcks maintained with 
the Electors John Cicero, Joachim Nestor, Joachim Hector, and 
the Electoral Prince and Margrave John George, engendered 
feelings of personal affection and respect, far surpassing the ordi- 
nary loyalty of vassals. 

This has to be remembered when it is sought to understand 
the events which took place in 1562 among the Bismarcks in 
their right light. 

When the hunt-loving Electoral Prince, the Margrave John 
George, became administrator in the year 1553 for his youthful 
son, the postulated Bishop of the See of Havelberg, he followed 
the chase more enthusiastically than ever, and founded the hunt- 
ing-box in Netzlingen, purchased from the Alvenslebens in 1555, 
known as Letzlingen. In order to establish wider preserves for 
the new edifice, he everywhere attacked the privileges of the 
Bismarcks ; and his object was to abridge or to abrogate their 
forest rights in all directions. The Bismarcks, known to us as 
zealous sportsmen, did not wish to dispose of their forest rights; 
their position at Burgstall did not admit of pecuniary compensa- 
tion ; but they, nevertheless, from a feeling of respect for the 
Electoral Prince, consented to a treaty which considerably cir- 
cumscribed their privileges, much to their disadvantage. This 
treaty was signed at Zechlin, on the 1st July, 1555, in person, ^the 
Prince residing at that place. They asked for no coippensation 
from the Prince, but allowed him to fix it as he pleased, accept- 
ing without a murmur a deed acknowledging a debt of three 
thousand gulden^ a sum by no means representing the amount of 
their loss. By this sacrifice they purchased peace, however, for 
but a very short time ; for while the differences continued be- 
tween the Margrave's huntsmen and those of Bismarck, the Elec- 
toral Prince could not but perceive that the Castellanship of 
Burgstall stuck like a wedge in the centre of his preserves. He 
desired to have the entire control from Letzlingen, where John 
George habitually held his court, to the castle of Tangermiinde ; 
hence it was necessary to dispossess the Bismarcks of Burgstall. 


This honorable and faithful family suffered deeply, when, in 
the beginning of the year 1562, the Electoral Prince proposed to 
them to exchange Burgstall for other lands. He first offered 
them the convent of Arendsee ; but the Bismarcks, who could 
not, at first, contemplate the resignation of their ancient family- 
seat, declined to this procedure. The affair was of such an un- 
usual character that it created the greatest excitement. Even the 
Chapter at Magdeburg, to whom the Bismarcks were lieges for 
several possessions at Burgstall, was set in commotion. They 
dreaded an enlargement of the boundary of Brandenburg, beyond 
this purchase of Burgstall, to the detriment of the archiepiscopate. 
The Archbishop of Magdeburg, the Margrave Sigismund, and 
brother of the Electoral Prince, also wrote, apparently at the in- 
stance of his Chapter, to him, " that he hoped he would desist 
from his intention, and leave the Bismarcks in peaceful posses- 
sion of their lands, and allow other folks to have a hare, a buck, 
or a stag." 

John Greorge, however, was not the man to be so easily dis- 
suaded from his purpose. He continued to ply the Bismarcks 
with propositions of exchange, which they as steadily rejected, 
being unwilling to resign Burgstall. But their rejection was of 
no advantage to them, for their loyal principles were outraged at 
this difference with their liege lord ; and, besides, it became very 
evident to them that the Electoral Prince had no intention of 
abandoning his plans. H the brothers and cousins Yon Bismarck 
had possessed a spark of speculation, they might, under the cir- 
cumstances, have obtained compensation of such magnitude as to 
have formed an enormous revenue for their house ; but such 
thoughts were remote from these loyal and simple-minded coun- 
try Junkers. 

The Electoral Prince, who knew his men, employed measures 
which he saw must lead to his object without fail. On the 12th 
of October, 1562, he wrote, from Letzlingen, a letter in very un- 
gracious terms, in which he gave up his project of exchange in 
the greatest anger, but allowed a whole series of minor difficulties 
to become apparent for the future. 

The Bismarcks replied in a highly respectful manner, and re- 
minded the Electoral Prince, in almost touching accents, " that 
their ancestors and themselves had for a long time sat worthily 



under the Electoral Princes, had served them with blood and sub- 
stance willingly, and testified themselves to be honest, upright, 
and true subjects, and would willingly have met the estimable 
Elector and Prince, the Margrave of Brandenburg, in these very 
matters ; although they might be forgiven for hesitating at an ex- 
change which would transport their ancient race to other places, 
and they would prefer to remain in their ancestral seat, granted 
them by Almighty God, rather than idly to depart therefrom." 

This letter, however, was the limit of the powers of the Bis- 
marcks. The Electoral Prince had taken his measures only too 
well. There now ensued very active and weighty negotiations 
as to the compensation to be given for Burgstall. This was not 
easily to be found, and these negotiations prove, as also their final 
result, that the Bismarcks agreed to the surrender of Burgstall 
out of respect to the Prince, and from an apprehension of setting 
themselves in actual hostility to the authorities as the result of 
any further refusal. 

The representatives of the elder race — Henry and Frederick — 
first assented, and took for their shares in Burgstall the Abbey 
of Crevese, a foundation of Benedictine nuns. The income of 
this property, with all its appurtenances, did not amount by far 
to those enjoyed by the brothers in Burgstall ; but no better es- 
tate could be found, and the Prince therefore commanded the 
payment of considerable sums in satisfaction — not, however, ex- 
ceeding the moderate amount of two thousand thalers. 



The ladies of the house of Bismarck seemed even more discon- 
solate at the loss of Burgstall than the men. To terminate their 
lamentations, the Prince allowed each of them the sum of one 
hundred gulden. 

The representatives of the younger branch — Jobst and George 
von Bismarck — were still more unfortunate. They hesitated 

longer than their cousins, not from want of will, but because the 
proffered compensation was still more incommensurate with what 
they lost. But at last, moved by the instances and promises 
of the Prince, they agreed to accept Schonhausen and Fisch- 

On the 14th December of the year 1562, all the Bismarcks had- 
met together at Letzlingen with the Prince, and the agreements 
were here executed by which they surrendered Burgstall for 
Crevese and Schonhausen. The grandchildren of the first Glaus 


von Bismarck might well be sorry at this surrender. The ex- 
change expressly excluded the Hospital of St. Gertrude at Sten- 
dal, as well as their possessions at Wolmirstadt, Burg, and other 
remote places in the Archbishopric of Magdeburg. The Permu- 
tation, as it was called, did not alter the vassaldom of the Bis- 
marcks;. they continued to be lieges of Magdeburg for the fiefs 
abandoned with Burgstall, and vassals of Brandenburg, as before, 
belonging to the Alt Mark nobility in respect of Schcinhausen and 

The Bismarcks still remained a very considerable family after 
the permutation, but their original position Was lost by the cession 
of Burgstall, and their former wealth much decreased. That the 
permutation also had its effect in manifold ways on the character 
of the family can not be denied. It was a great sacrifice to bring 
to the governing house, although the Bismarcks very likely un- 
der-estimated the magnitude of their sacrifice. 

By the Easter of 1563 the Bismarcks had quitted Burgstall, 
and taken possession of Crevese. The Electoral Prince had hur- 
ried their departure in consequence of the breeding season of the 
game and the advance of spring. On the third day after Easter 
he granted them Schonhausen, in the name of his son, the Bishop 
of Havelberg, having obtained the consent of the Chapter on the 
previous day."^ 

* Briest was also included in the permutation. — K. R. H. M. 




Further Genealogy of the Bismarcks.— Captain Ludolf ron Bismarck. — Ludolf Au- 
gust von Bismarck. — His remarkable Career. — Dies in the Russian Semce, 1750. 
—Frederick William von Bismarck.— Created Count by the King of Wiirtemburg. 
—Charles Alexander von Bismarck, 1727.— His Memorial to his Wife.— His De- 
scendants.— Charles William Ferdinand, Father of Count Otto von Bismarck. 

F the four families of the race of Bis- 
marck, who quitted Burgstall at the 
Easter of 1563, three had perished in 
the male line in the first generation; 
the youngest branch had completely 
died out with Jobst and George; and 
in the elder, Henry had left behind 
his only daughter, Anna Ottilie, who 
married Fritz von der Schulenburg 
at Uetz. Frederick alone perpetu- 
ated the race, and all the property 
of the elder and younger branches at Crevese and Schonhausen 
fell to his line. He was known in early days as the Permuta- 
tor. Perhaps he had represented his family in the negotiations 
with the Electoral Prince respecting Burgstall ; we have seen 
that the two brothers of the elder line preceded the younger ones 
in conceding the property. Bat the designation is unfitting, as 
he was rather permutated (bartered) than a permutator. 

On his death in 1589, he left behind him, by his marriage 
with Anna von Wenckstern, three sons and a daughter. The 
race of the youngest son, Abraham, and of his wife Anna 


Schenck von Flechtingen, perished in the next generation. The 
second son, Pantaleon, married to Anna von der Schulenburg, is 
the ancestor of the flourishing and numerous branches of the 
Bismarcks of Crevese. 

The Schonhausen branch was continued by Frederick's eldest 
son, the Captain Ludolf von Bismarck. In 1560 he joined in 
a campaign against the Turks under the command of Wolff 
Gleissenthaler, who commanded a troop of 1,300 horse in the 
name of the Elector of Saxony, in the imperial army. Ludolf 
married Sophie von Alvensleben in 1579, and died in 1598. He 
was succeeded in the possession of Schonhausen by his only son 
Yalentine, who married Bertha von der Asseburg* in 1607, and 
died on the 12th of April, 1620. His second son, August von 
Bismarck, succeeded him at Schonhausen. He was born on the 
13th of February, 1611, and died the 2d of February, 1670, a 
Colonel in the Elector of Brandenburg's army, and Commandant 
of the fortress of Peitz. Having entered the army in his earliest 
youth, he took service under the Rhinegrave in 1631. After the 
battle of Nordlingen, in 1634, he served in the army of Duke 
Bernhard of Weimar ; served also till 1640 in Lothringen, Bur- 
gundy, and France, but then passed over into the service of 
Brandenburg. He was thrice married, first to Helene Elizabeth 
von Kottwitz, then to Dorothea Elizabeth von Katte,f and lastly 
to Frederica Sophia von Mollendorff. :|: 

A young brother of this August was Valentine Busso ; born 
1622, died 18th of May, 1679 ; had issue by his wife, a Yon Bar- 

* Asseburg. This family is noble and well-endowed in Prussia Proper ^.nd Anhalt. 
The name is derived from Asseburg in Brunswick, a noble structure of considerable 
antiquity. It was finally sacked in 1492, and destroyed altogether in the Brunswick 
troubles. The present family hold the lesser countyship of Falkenstein in the Mans- 
feld district and the knight's fee of Eggenstadt. — K. R. H. M. 

t Katte. This remarkable family needs scarcely any thing at my hands. It is 
ancient and aristocratic, and has continued to exist despite all kinds of mutations till 
now. There was in the line of Wust, John Henry von Katte, whose unfortunate son 
was beheaded for undue zeal towards Frederick the Great : of him some account is 
presented — the date of his murder being 6th November, 1730. Other members of 
the family have distinguished themselves to recent days. — K. R. H. M. 

:j: Mollendorff. One of the Mollendorffs was a Prussian field-marshal, Richard 
Joachim Henry von M. (born 1725 ; died 1816). He was with " der oJle Fritz" and 
was even respected by his enemies. Napoleon gave him the Grand Cross of the Le- 
gion of Honor. — K. R. H. M. 


deleben,"" the General Frederick Christopher von Bismarck, who 
died in command of Kiistrin in 1704. The second son of the 
first marriage of Christopher Frederick with Louise Margarethe 
von der Asseburg, was Ludolf August, the only adventurous 
member of the family of the Bismarcks of Schonhausen. 

Ludolf August von Bismarck was born on the 21st of March, 
1683, entered the army at an early age, and as a valiant soldier, 
a handsome person, of rare intellect, he made a great figure. 
Something uneasy and adventurous was early observed in his 
character. On the 22d of November, 1704, he married Johan- 
na Margarethe von der Asseburg, who died in 1719, only leaving 
him a daughter, Albertine Louise, and who married, in 1738 or 
1739, a Prussian officer, named Frederick William von der Al- 
ben. When a lieutenant-colonel in garrison at Magdeburg, Lu- 
dolf August had the misfortune to kill a footman, either in an- 
ger or when intoxicated. He concealed the corpse under the 
bed, and fled. Kevertheless, he obtained a pardon through his 
great patron General Field - Marshal Gneomar Dubislaw von 
]Sratzmer,f who possessed great influence with King Frederick 
William L, and had won great fame in battle against the Swedes, 
Turks, and French, and was also distinguished for exemplary pi- 
ety. He was the stepbrother of Count Zinzendorf, the founder 
of the Moravians, through his second wife, born a Yon Gersdorf. 

* Bardelehen. This family exists in the best condition, and has done good service 
to the Prussian state. The most distinguished member of this family is Kurt von 
Bardelehen, jurist and judge at Minden. — K. R. H. M. 

t Gneomar Dubislaw von Natzmer was a field-marshal in the time of King Fred-, 
erick William I., and frustrated the flight of the Crown Prince, afterwards Fred- 
erick II. Among his proximate descendants, through the mother, was a distinguished 
Prussian general, Oltwig Ant. Leop. v. Natzmer, born 18th April, 1782, at Villin, in 
Pomerania. He took pai't in the many illustrious struggles of the growing kingdom 
of Pi-ussia — was present at the battle of Auerstiidt, 1806 ; taken prisoner at Prenzlau 
and exchanged in 1807. He received promotion to the staff after the peace of Tilsit, 
accompanied the King to the conference of princes at Dresden, and was sent on a se- 
cret mission to Russia. He was also in action at the battles of Gross-gorschen (1813), 
Hainan (1813), Bautzen, and others down to Leipzig. He was also in the campaign 
of 1815, in high command. After a life of devotion to his sovereign, he died 1st Nov., 
1861. It may be as well to state here that my object in these notes is to show how 
entirely devoted the military officials of Prussia are to the house of Hohenzollern, and 
that these side-illustrations throw a light upon the central figure of this book, Count 
Bismarck himself, and the motives of his steady, although apparently inconsistent, 
patriotism. — K. R. H. M. 


Bismarck was pardoned for his desertion, and reinstated ; but 
promotion did not ensue. Bismarck was thrice passed over on 
regimental changes ; for the King entertained some anger against 
him, despite of his experience. Bismarck did not bear this long ; 
he sold his estate of Skatiken in Prussian Lithuania, quitted the 
army, and entered the Eussian service in 1732. In the next 
year, on the 26th of May, 1733, he married a Mademoiselle Trotte 
von Treyden, whose sister was the wife of Biron,*.the favorite of 
the Empress Anna, and afterwards Duke of Courland. He com- 
bined his fortunes with those of that remarkable personage ; but 
shared his disgrace, and was banished to Siberia, But by means 
of his considerable talents he seemed to have made friends out- 
side of the Biron party, for he was soon recalled, and appointed 
a General. Bismarck governed several districts with ability, and 
fulfilled some diplomatic missions, especially at the court of Lon- 
don, to the perfect satisfaction of all, and seems to have conduct- 
ed himself with peculiar tact, so as to come into collision with no 
party ; and he succeeded in maintaining the position he had earn- 
ed in the service of the State. He finally became Greneral in the 
Ukraine, and died in October, 1750, at Pultawa. He left no is- 
sue by his second marriage, with the sister of the Duchess Biron 
of Courland. 

A century after Ludolf August, a second Bismarck of Schon- 
hausen visited Eussia, under specially honorable circumstances. 
This was Frederick William von Bismarck, the famous Cavalry 

* Biron (Ernst Johann von), Duke of Courland, was bom in 1687, the son of a 
landed pi-oprietor named Biihren. He was the favorite of the Duchess of Courlftnd, 
Anna Iwanowna, niece of Peter the Great, from his elegant manners and attainments. 
She ascended the Russian throne in 1730, and though it had been expressly stipulated 
that Biron should not be allowed to come to Eussia, he soon made his appearance at 
the court. Assuming the arms of the French Dukes of Biron, he govenied Russia, 
through Aima. His Ufe was stormy imtil near its close, when he returned to his 
Duchy of Courland, which he governed wisely. In 1769 he abdicated in favor of his 
son Peter, and died 28th December, 1772. This son Peter governed till 28th March, 
1795, then resigning Courland to the Czarina Catherine, but retaining all his sover- 
eign rights. He then passed his time alternately at Berlin and his estates of Sagan 
and Nachod, dying 12th Jan., 1800, at Gellenau in Silesia. One of the collateral 
descendants of Biron, Prince Gustav Calixt von Biron, born 29th Jan., 1780, died in 
the Prussian service, a Lieut. General and Governor of the fortress of Glatz, 20th 
June, 1821. He had three sons. The second, Calixt Gustav, born 3d Jan., 1817, 
is alive, having married, 1845, the Princess Helene Meschtscherskii, by whom he has 
issue Gustav Peter Jon, born 17th Oct., 1859. — K. R. H. M. 


General of Wiirtemberg, also known as an esteemed military au- 
thor. He was born on the 28th of July, 1783, at Windheim on 
the Weser, and joined the Brunswick service in 1797. He after- 
wards served in England, and finally in Wiirtemberg, where he 
very greatly distinguished himself, and rose to the rank of Gen- 
eral, He was the Wiirtemberg ambassador to Berlin, Dresden, 
Hanover, and Carlsruhe. He aided in the reconstruction of the 
Danish army in 1826, and was esteemed so high an authority on 
cavalry matters, that the Emperor Nicholas summoned him, in 
1835, to Eussia, to inspect his cavalry. In 1818, Bismarck was 
created a Count by the King of Wiirtemberg, which title he trans- 
mitted after his marriage with the Princess Augusta Amalia of 
ISTassau-Usingen (born 30th December, 1778 ; died 16th July, 
1846, the last of the line Nassau-Usingen),* on her bringing him 
no issue, to the descendants of his deceased elder brother, John 
Henry Ludwig. On the 3d of April, 1848, he again married 
Amalia Julie Thibaut, and died on the 18th of June, 1860. His 
descendants by this marriage, a son and a daughter, form the sec- 
ond lines of the Count Bismarcks of Wiirtemberg, the other line 
existing in the family of his deceased brother. 

The third Bismarck of Schonhausen, who went to Eussia as 
the representative of His Majesty the King of Prussia, is our Min- 

Colonel August von Bismarck was succeeded in Schonhausen 
by his second son, also named August ; — born the 15th of May, 
1666; married the 24th of April, 1694, to Dorothea Sophie von 
Katte ; died the 18th of June, 1732. He was Councillor and 
Land Commissioner to the Elector of Brandenburg, the builder or 
restorer of the present mansion of Schonhausen. He was suc- 
ceeded by the eldest of his seven sons, August Frederick — born 
the 2d of April, 1695 — who met a hero's death as Colonel and 
Commandant of the regiment of Anspach-Baireuth Dragoons in 
the year 1742, at the battle of Chotusitz.f It is said that the 

* Nassau-Usingen, Princess Augusta Amalia, was married 2d Aug., ISOl, to Louis 
William, Landgrave of Hesse-Hombourg (died 19th Jan., 1839); separated 1805. 
She was the daughter of Duke Frederick Augustus (died 24th March, 1816, the last 
of his house) and of Louise, bom Princess of Waldeck (died 17th Nov., 1816). The 
Almanach de Gotha does not recognize the subsequent mamage with Count Bis- 

t The battle of Chotusitz was fought the 17th May, 1742, by Frederick 11. , when 



Minister-President in person is extremely like this Bismarck, his 
great-grandfather, who was an excellent soldier, and high in favor 
with Frederick the Great. August Frederick was twice married, 
first to Stephanie von Dewitz, and then to Frederica Charlotte von 

The second son of the first marriage of this brave soldier was 
the intellectual Charles Alexander von Bismarck, born in 1727. 
He was about to accompany his maternal uncle, one of the Von 
Dewitz family, to his post, which was that of Prussian Ambassa- 


dor to Vienna, when Frederick the Great appointed his future to 
be otherwise. Charles Alexander entered the royal chamber an 
attache of the embassy, but quitted it as a cavalry of&cer. He 
was averse to the military art, and soon obtained his discharge as 
a captain. On the 5th of March, 1762, he married Christine 
Charlotte Gottliebe von Schonfeld — born the 25th of December, 

he obtained a victoiy over the Austrians under Prince Karl of LoiTaine. The place 
has some 1200 inhabitants, and is situated near Czaslau in Bohemia. This deci- 
ded the cession of almost the whole of Silesia. — K. E. H. M. 



1741 ; deceased on tlie 22d of October, 1772 — her mother having 
been a sister of his mother, one of the Dewitz family. An ele- 
gant French composition, by Charles Alexander, is preserved ; a 
spirited and touching memorial of his departed wife, in the infla- 
ted style of those days. The title of this composition — of greater 
merit than usually the case with such writings — is as follows : 
" Eloge ou Monument erige a la Memoire de C. C. G. de Bis- 
marck, nee de Schoenfeld, par Charles Alexandre de Bismarck. 
Berlin, 1774."' 

1^ ^. 


We select a few passages therefrom : — 

" My friend lost her mother (Sophie Eleonore von Dewitz) in 
her earliest childhood, and her maternal grandmother (Louise 
Emilie von Dewitz, born a Von Zeethen of the family of Trebnitz) 
took her to live with her at Hoffelde. She was there nurtured in 
retirement and innocence, and already won my heart by her filial 
gentleness. There I found her once more, after years of war and 
life in a distant garrison, in perfect innocence, the charming pic- 
ture of a blushing rose. O ! that ye could return, ye hours of 
rapture ! when the society of this sweet creature, who in her soli- 


tude had received nothing from art, but every thing from the hand 
of nature, filled my soul with such celestial joy, that in possessing 
her I forgot, not alone every evil of life, but even every minor 
grief! Eeturn at least for an instant to my remembrance, ye 
sweetest of hours, for alas ! the pang of sorrow will needs drive 
you away too soon! Above all, return, thou memory of yon 
magnificent spring night, upon which I wandered, between my 
best-beloved and her dear sister, in the outskirts of a majestic 
and peaceful forest, under the silvery moonlight, while the brooks 
trilled and the nightingale raised her sorrowing tones. My heart 
was instinct with love, and attuned to the enchanting prospect. 
I felt the beauty of the earth, and the still greater loveliness of 
innocence, indwelling those hearts so full of affection for me ! 
But, no ! this reminiscence is now too powerful for my feelings, 
and my tear-bedewed eye is too weak to bear the dazzling glory 
of joy ! No other evening is destined for me on earth such as 
that was ! She exists no longer who made that evening more 
charmino; to me than all the beauties of nature. She has left me 
forever I Soon afterwards our society was interrujDted, our sup- 
posed felicity was bitterly destroyed. Our grandmother, the ref- 
uge of her grandchildren, the sustainer of all the poor of her 
neighborhood, died. My friend and I were parted, and the sor- 
row which succeeds all evanescent joy became our portion. 

" Still it was not that terrible misery which now oppresses my 
heart. Well-founded hopes comforted and the tenderest affec- 
tion aided us. My hopes were not in vain. The slight cloud 
which had veiled the morning sun — which gave me life — passed 
away, and his ray soon shone forth with accustomed glory. 
With anxious unrest I yearned to associate myself with my 
friend to the brink of the grave. Could I but have done so for 
eternity ! Our compact, however, is not yet broken, and will en- 
dure as long as my tears can flow, and the soul of my beloved 
was too beautiful to prevent their flowing forever. Her excel- 
lent father, who might have bestowed her on a better and a richer 
man, gave her to me because my beloved would not have a bet- 
ter or richer man, nor any man save myself. What words, my 
father, could express my thanks for this favor, unless they could 
to some extent mark the value of your daughter, and stand in 
some relation to my lost happiness and my present grief! The 



silent tears that overflow my cheeks are more eloquent than 
words. You can not see my tears, but perchance God beholds 
them, and your daughter also. A tear is the only gratitude I 
can offer. May the conviction cheer you that you could not 
have given your virtuous daughter to any one who loved her 
more affectionately, faithfully, and unselfishly than I did ! 

" You then gave her to me, my father. The 5th of March, 
1762, was the happiest day of my life. I still hear the words 
which my tender bride selected for herself: '■Intreat me not to 
leave thee or to return from following after thee^for ivhither thou 
goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I tvill lodge : thy people shall 
he my people, and thy God my God. TV here thou diest will I die, 
and there will I he buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if 
aught but death part thee and me' (Ruth i. 16, 17). I cherish the 
hope, the only hope now animating me, that even death does not 
part us. 

" With what delight, my friend and my father, did I then re- 
ceive her from your hand. Alas ! that I had left her with thee ! 
I declare with the sincerity of one who is comfortless that I should 
have done so, had I known that death would so soon have with- 
drawn her from my arms ! 

" I should then have lost eleven years of a life such as angels 
only lead; but I would willingly have sacrificed these happiest 
years of my earthly life. Then I felt as secure from such thoughts 
of death as if I were to retain her forever ! but she left thee and 
her relatives in tears, and her peerless heart impelled her to ask 
my pardon for these very tears. Of this nature were all her im- 
perfections. What happiness did I not anticipate in the future on 
the revelation of such tender sentiments ; and the realization was 
still greater than my expectation. Our days passed away in hap- 
piness and peace. Could this state of things last forever ? It was 
heaven upon earth, for me at least ; for what can be preferred to 
this intimate association with a charming, joyous, tender, intelli- 
gent, and virtuous woman ? Exclusively to love ! exclusively to 
be beloved ! 

" Nature had endowed my friend with beauties of person and 
mind, by which she could not fail to please. The first would im- 
mediately fascinate the eye, the second preserved that fascination 
forever. Perhaps I ought only to dwell upon the last as the fount- 



ains of her virtues. But it would be ungrateful to be silent re- 
specting the once visible half of the charming whole, by which 
alone we learn to know the other invisible portion, causing vir- 
tuous thoughts to grow into virtuous deeds, and without which 
I can not even realize any picture of my beloved friend. She 
was of noble form, pleasant and well formed. Her expression 
was exactly equivalent to its necessary power of pleasing. Her 
hair of dark yellow tint. Her forehead was prominent, which 
she herself regretted, but which made her more beautiful in the 
eyes of others. Her brow never betrayed pride or passion. 
Her eyes were bluish-gray — their expression was attentive and 
watchful, but joyous. Her heart was light, mild, and ever open, 
and ever performed what her eye promised. Her nose was very 
handsome, somewhat high in the centre, but not to the extent 
visible in ambitious or passionate women. Her cheeks were 
breathed upon by the happy bloom of health, and the still more 
lovely blush of shame readily rose. Her mouth, which never 
gave an untrue kiss, which never uttered a word of vanity, of 
slander, or of lust, displayed handsome, well-arranged teeth, and 
balmy lips. The gentle smile of this mouth, the seat of inno- 
cence, how soon, alas ! was it to pass away ! The outlines of 
the lower part of the face were soft, the chin well formed. The 
profile was artistic, and so excellent that a famous Berlin painter 
desired to sketch it for that alone. Her manners manifested a 
noble freedom, neatness, and good taste."* 

Thus does Bismarck's grandfather depict his wife. There cer- 
tainly is much of the sentimentality of the times in these charac- 
teristic sentences, but there is more — true affection and a culti- 
vated sense. It evinces a well of poesy in the individual, that 
we grieve to find these thoughts clothed in the choicest French. 
The poet in him is then first justified when these periods are re- 
translated into German, for that they were thought in Grerman is 
not to be doubted. 

The four sons of Charles Alexander are : — Ernst Frederick 
Alexander, born the 14th of February, 1763 ; died a Colonel and 
Brigadier in 1813 ; his eldest son by a marriage with Louise von 
Miltitz is Theodore Alexander Frederick Philip von Bismarck, 

* This rhapsody will convey a good idea of what was thought fine writing in those 
days, but it is fulsome to the last degree. — K. E. H. M. 


created Count Bismarck-Bohlen, the 21st of February, 1818. He 
is the second Bismarck of Schonhausen who gained the rank of 
Count ; for the General Frederick von Bismarck, who obtained a 
similar dignity in the same year and month (the 17th February, 
1818), from the King of Wiirtemberg, was also a Schonhausen. 
His line still endures in one son, while the title was also ceded to 
the descendants of his elder brother, the present Count von Bis- 
marck-Schierstein . 

The second son of Charles Alexander was Frederick Adolf 
Ludwig, born the 1st of August, 1766 ; he died in 1831, a retired 
Lieut.-Greneral. In 1813 he was Commandant of Leipzig, in 1814 
of Stettin, and owned the knight's fee and estate of Templin, near 

The third was Philip Ludwig Leopold Frederick, born the 21st 
February, 1770, a Major in the Mecklenburg Hussar Eegiment ; 
he died on the 25th October, 1813, at Halle on the Saale, of his 
wounds received at the battle of Mockern. 

The fourth and last, Charles William Ferdinand, was the father 
of the present Minister-President. 



Up with the banner in the morning air ! 
Raise high the ancestral shield up there! 
For these loved symbols bid us know 
That joyfully we van-ward go ! 

The shield of the Bismarcks exhibits a device, which, although 
it has not materially changed in the course of centuries, has at 
different times been variously blazoned. It displays a double 
trefoil, or, more exactly speaking, a round-leafed trefoil, flanked 
in its corners by three long leaves. The centre device has altered 


in the seals of various times, sometimes resembling a rose leaf, 
sometimes a clover leaf; finally it has remained a clover leaf. 
The other trefoil has been treated in the same way, the leaf 
being sharply serrated and shorter, or sometimes longer and but 
slightly serrated, finally becoming an oak leaf. The colors have 
also only been decided in later years. The shield is thus de- 
scribed : — 

" In a field azure a golden clover leaf supported in the three 
angles by three silver oak leaves." As to the crest, the arms 
of Ludolfvon Bismarck exhibit two stags' antlers on the helmet, 
evidently alluding to his official position as Eanger to the Mar- 
grave, for the buffalo horns now in use also often appear at a 
very early period. The present emblazoning of the crest is thus 
given : — " On a coronetted helmet displayed two buffalo horns 
proper in azure and argent crosswise — the helmet is azure and 

The small gold coronet, which, contrary to every rule of good 
heraldry, is represented hovering between the horns, is a more 
recent addition. We are unable to decide when and how this 
coronet became part of the crest. Brliggemann, in his descrip- 
tion of Pomerania, describes it as a Count's coronet — for what 
reason we do not perceive. 

On inspection of the earliest seals it is evident that the round 
trefoil was unquestionably the peculiar and original device, the 
elongated leaves havingbeen subsequently added, disputing prece- 
dence with the clover leaf. Thus it is that afterwards we find 
the oak leaves small and the centre trefoil large — and contrari- 
wise. If the clover be regarded as the principal device, it would 
be more heraldically true, as it is always emblazoned. in gold, to 
blazon the horns in azure and or. Indeed, the heraldic ensigns 
of the Prussian Monarchy (Yol. I. p. 19) give the correct crest 
of the Bismarcks in the Armorial Bearings of the Counts of Bis- 

The seal of the first Nicholas von Bismarck (1365) displays 
the device in a neat border, with a string of pearls within the in- 
scription. This inscription, no longer very legible, is S. {Sigil- 
lum) Nicolay de Bismarh. This border disappears on the seals 
of his three sons : the shield lies within a string of pearls on a 
field strewn with small crosses. In all these seals the trefoil is 


prominent, but in the seals of succeeding generations it becomes 
very small, the long leaves being prominent, until by lapse of 
time they assumed proportionate dimensions. 

It would be idle and unheraldic to endeavor to identify sym- 
bols deriving their names from the botanical world, hence it 
would be useless to define the long leaves in the Bismarck arms 
as those of the Wegedorn, Christ-thorn, or White Bramble. 
This has, however, been done in support of the extraction of 
the Bismarcks from the Slavonic race — to identify it with Bij 
smarku (Beware of the Bramble), an idea which we must dis- 
miss as entirely erroneous. The legends only recognize the 
clover leaf, and call the long leaves those of the nettle. In 
popular tradition these two ideas have become intermingled, as a 
proverb shows which was engraven on the blade of a sword of 
honor presented to Count Bismarck some years ago. This prov- 
erb is: — 

Der Wegekraut sollst stehen lah'n — 
Hiit dich, Junge, sind Nesseln d'ran. 


The bramble thou shouldst let 'a be ; 
'The nettle, boy, beneath you'll see. 

The round leaves were here supposed to be bramble {plantago) ; 
the serrated long leaves, leaves of the nettle. 

"We find the legend of the arms in the third volume of the 
Berlin Review of 1856, afterwards reprinted in Hesekiel's Wap- 
pen Sagen^ Berlin, 1865, as follows : f — • x 

The leaf so green and goodly, ' 

The wanderer's delight,. ; 

In purest gold so shiny. 

The Bismarck's coat bedight — 
The cloven leaf lights golden 

All on an azure field, 
With nettle leaves so olden, 

Sharp shown upon the shield. 
In ancient days departed, 

There was a dainty maid. 
By whom the nettle signet 

Was on tliis shield displayed. 

* Erom Piatt, or low German. — K. R. H. M. 

t The reader must excuse the free and somewhat irregular rendering of this legend 
— penes me, — K. R. H. M. 


For damsel Gertrude many 

A suitor came to woo, 
But her father not with any 

Save her cousin willed to do. 
A Wendic chief so princely 

Came down from northern sea; 
A hundred horses with him 

Pranced pricking o'er the lea. 
Young Gertrude he demanded, 

But Gertrude, all pohtely. 
Made little courtesy candid — 

Despite his carriage knightly. 
She would have naught of he. 

The Prince, incensed highly, 

Upraised his golden wand; 
He called his knaves assembled, 

Ai'ound him they did stand. 
In angry tones he shouted — 

' ' The trefoil bruised shall be ; 
Not thus wiU I be flouted ! 

The nettle fain I'd see. 
'Twere merry to be breaking 

The trefoil green or gold, 
And havoc to be making 

Amidst these halls so old ! " 
And in that self-same hour. 

This Prince of Wendic race 
Assaulted Gertrude's bower, 

The trefoil to displace. 
The castellan, o'erpowered, 

Sank silent in the moat ; 
The chieftain so o'er froward 

His way then onward smote. 

Rejoicing in his valor 

The Prince came clanking in. 
But Gertrude showed no pallor, 

Despite the battle's din. 
" I'll cull the trefoil golden 

That hath no nettle's sting. 
The trefoil quaint and olden — " 

"Thou shalt not do this thing!" 
He to his arms would take her, 

And lovingly embrace ; 
No courage did forsake her: 

He quickly shouted "Grace!" 
Down in his blood before her, 

He sank in sudden death — 


Proud as the race that bore her, 

She stabbed with bated breath ; 
And once and twice she smote him. 

And bui'ied deep the steel. 
'Twas thus she could devote him 

The nettle's sting to feel — 
" Wlio dares to cull the trefoil 

The nettle's sting shall feel!" 

And since young Gertrude's hour, 

On Bismarck's shield displayed, 
The nettle's stinging power 

Round trefoil is arrayed. 
With steel of keenest temper, 

Their virtue is upheld. 
Since eai-ly days of Gertrude, 

Those early days of eld ! 

According to another and still more simple legend, the Bis- 
marcks added the oak leaves to their arms on the occasion of 
one of their race conquering a Wendic chief, whose device con- 
tained such a leaf, or three such leaves. "We do not lay any 
stress, and with justice, on the presumed importance of such tra- 
ditions, so common in the last century ; still we should not like 
to see them altogether thrown aside as trifling. Every legend 
contains some kernel of truth, however small. Thus it does not 
seem unimportant that the Bisraarcks are continually represented 
as combatting the heathen Wends. There is certainly nothing 
proved by it, but it would never have arisen had not this family 
belonged to the followers of some German prince, who had es- 
tablished himself in the frontier Marks on the Elbe, and waged 
unceasing war thence against the Slavonic tribes existing be- 
tween that river and the Oder. 

Thrice in this century has the dignity of Count been conferred 
on the Bismarcks of Schonhausen; we now therefore possess 
Prussian Counts of Bismarck-Bohlen, Wiirtemburg Counts of Bis- 
marck, the first line of which call themselves Counts of Bismarck- 
Schierstein, and the second line only Counts von Bismarck ; 
finally, we have Prussian Counts of Bismarck-Schonhausen. 

The arms of the Prussian Counts of Bismarck-Bohlen are th^s 
given: — The shield is bordered or and quartered, the first and 
fourth fields azure, displaying a trefoil or surrounded by three 
oak leaves argent (Bismarck); in the second and third field a 

(Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Bismarck.) 


griffin gules on a roof-tree formed of five stones gules in steps 
(Bohlen). The Bismarck crest is crowned and surmounted by 
two buffalo horns emblazoned azure and or crosswise, with a 
small gold crown between the horns; the helmet trappings are 
azure and or. The centre (Bohlen) crest is crowned and sup- 
ported by two uncrowned griffins gules regardant on a trunk of 
a tree ; the helmet trappings are azure and gules. The crowned 
crest to the left displays three ostrich feathers, the centre one sa- 
ble, the others white ; each ostrich feather bears a diamond ar- 
gent (perhaps for Schiverni); the helmet trappings gules and ar- 
gent. Between the shield and • crest is the Count's coronet. 
Supporters, two crowned griffins gules regardant. 

The arms of the Wlirtemberg Counts of Bismarck-Schierstein 
(called the first or JSTassau line, their family estate of Schierstein 
lying in Nassau) are as follows: — The quartered shield displays, 
in the first and fourth fields, azure a trefoil or, with three oak 
leaves argent at the corners ; in the second field, gules a lion or 
passant ; in the third, gules a horse argent fresnee. On the 
crest, coronetted, two bufialo horns of azure and argent crosswise, 
between which is a coronet or. The helmet trappings to the 
right are azure and or, to the left azure and argent. Supporters, 
to the right a horse argent, to the left a lion or. Motto, "Einig 
und treu " — " United and true." 

The arms of the Wlirtemberg Counts of Bismarck of the 
second line (described according to the Grotha Calendar) are as 
follows : — The quartered shield displays in the first and fourth 
fields, azure a trefoil argent ; in the second field, also azure 
(? gules) a horse argent fresnee ; in the third field azure (? gules) 
a lion or rampant. The crest, coronetted, displays a pair of horns 
argent and azure, between which is placed a trefoil (? argent). 
The helmet trappings to the right are azure and argent, to the 
left azure and or. Supporters, to the right a horse argent, to the 
left a lion or. 

If this blazon be correct, the shield no longer displays the an- 
cient device of the Bismarcks — the double trefoil. Either there 
has been some error in the raising of the armorial bearings, or 
the original symbol has been advisedly adopted. 

The arms of the Prussian Counts von Bismarck-Schonhausen 
(the Minister-President and his heirs) are thus blazoned: — The 


shield, bordered or, displays on a field azure a trefoil or, sur- 
rounded with oak leaves argent ; on the coronetted helm two buf- 
falo horns of azure and argent crosswise, with a coronet argent 
between them. The simple family arms of the Bismarcks have 
thus been retained on his elevation to the rank of Count, the 
shield under the crest having been surmounted by the Count's 
coronet. The arms are improved by two eagles as supporters, 
the one sable and crowned being the Prussian royal eagle, the 
left gules, with the electoral cap, the eagle of Brandenburg. 

Another addition is that of the motto, " In Trinitate Robur " 
— " My strength in the Trinity." This is a motto devised upon 
correct rules, as it should always bear a double meaning — one re- 
ferring to the double trinity of the trefoils, the other allied to the 
higher signification of the Trinity of God. 



Genthin. — The Plotho Eamily. — Jerichow. — FischlDeck. — The Kaiserburg. — ^The 
Emperor Charles IV. — The Elector Joachim Nestor. — Frederick I. — General 
Frausecky "to the Front." — Tangermunde. — Town-hall. — Count Bismarck. — His 
Uniform, and the South German Deputy. — Departure for Schonhausen. 

[The translator has abridged the following chapters and transfeiTed them to a place 
apparently better fitted for them than that they occupy in the German edition, but 
nothing of importance is omitted.] 

Genthin" is an ancient place, owing its foundation during the 
twelfth century to the noble Lords of Plotho, whose ancestral 
mansion, Alten-Plotho, lies close to the town. At the present 
time the head of this family, who is invested with the dignity of 
Hereditary Chamberlain of the Duchy of Magdeburg, resides at 
the Castle of Parey, on the Elbe. The noble family of Plotho 
shares with that of the Ganse of Putlitz the distinction of being 
the only race still flourishing, the origin of which can be traced 
to the Wendic princes and family chieftains. It is probable that 
they were early converted to Christianity, and thence were en- 
abled to retain some attributes of their Wendic nobility, and as- 
sert some few privileges in the presence of the Teutonic knightly 
aristocracy, gradually thronging forward into the Marks with 
their feudal retainers. The Plothos and the Putlitzs hence are 
called noblemen {Edle Herrn^ nobiles viri), at a time when the des- 
ignation was usually only applied to dynasties. In early records 
they are always named in precedence of the members of the an- 
cient chivalric races. They had vassals of noble blood, and, up 
to the most recent period, held their own court at the Manor of 
Parey. The features of that Freiherr von Plotho who so ener- 
getically repelled the Imperial Ban, in his capacity as Electoral 


Brandenburg Ambassador, at the Imperial Diet in Eatisbon, 
which the Imperial notary, Doctor April, endeavored to force 
upon him against Frederick the Great, are well known and popu- 
lar. The best portrait of this remarkable personage has been 
drawn by Goethe, in his "Fiction and Truth."* It is not so gen- 
erally known that a branch of this Wendic family has also estab- 
lished itself in Belgium. The enormous possessions of the Bar- 
ony of Engelsmiinster, in Flanders, were first alienated from that 
family amidst the storms of the French Eevolution, 

It was on the afternoon of a somewhat chilly June day that we 
drove into the green pastures of Jerichow. The fragrance of 
lime-blossoms and hay saluted our nostrils. The eye was grati- 
fied by well-kept fields, pleasantly alternating with plough-land 
and meadow; tlie heath, with its thorn bushes, chiefly surround- 
ed by strips of brushwood, smiled before us. 

The first place at which we arrived was Redekin, with the 
simple mansion of the Alvensleben family — its tall poplars, and 
its neighboring venerable church with the bronze figure of 
Christ. Next came Jerichow, the small city which gives its 
name to two counties. This pretty little town has two church- 
es, and welcomed us cheerfully with its group of fine old elms 
and fragrant rose-trees. The church at the entrance has nothing 
remarkable about it, but the other at the end of the town is very 
curious, as one of the earliest specimens of pure Gothic style in 
these parts. This possesses a crypt. 

Close behind Jerichow on the left, a landmark, the handsome 
Kaiser-house of Tangermiinde, is visible. ) 

At our next stage, the fine village of Fischbeck, we were al- 
ready upon ancient Bismarckian soil ; we did not, however, drive 
farther in the direction of Schonhausen, close by, but turned to 
the left towards the Elbe, on the other bank of which Tanger- 
miinde, with its imperial castle, tall towers, walls, and turrets, 
forming a well-preserved piece of mediaeval architecture, present- 
ed itself to our view in the last golden rays of the evening sun. 

We slowly crossed the broad expanse of the Elbe in a ponder- 
ous ferry-boat, and went up to the castle built by the Emperor 
Charles TV., that acute and politic King of Bohemia, as a metrop- 
olis for the great realm which extended from the North Sea and 

* Goethe's " Fiction and Truth" (Dichiung und Wahrheii). — K. R. H. M. 


the Baltic as far as Hungary, and in which he designed to found 
the power of his family — a realm destined to fall to pieces under 
his sons. 

At the castle we did not, of course, find the old lime-tree of 
justice, at which appeals used to be made from the gate of the 
old Brandenburg bridge. The gate and the tree have both dis- 
appeared, but on entering the castle-yard by the massive gate- 
tower, we had the venerable ruins of the ancient pile before us ; 
on the left the tower, on the right the chapel, smothered in fes- 
toons of blooming roses. The castle itself, in which the powerful 
emperor once lived — where the magnificent Elector Joachim Nes- 
tor held his joyous wedding-feast with the beautiful Princess 
Elizabeth of Denmark, and where he breathed out the last breath 
of his noble life, after many bitter disappointments — exists no 
longer. The sheriff's office, which stands on the site of the castle, 
was built by King Frederick I. before he was king. His F., with 
the electoral cap and the Koman numerals III., is still to be seen 
on the ceilings. 

The old Kaiserburg is now inhabited by a retired officer of 
cavalry, who was then entertaining a visitor, Greneral von Fran- 
secky, known since the battle of Sadowa as " Fransecky Yor" — 
" Fransecky to the Front " This hero of the fight had come thith- 
er to inspect the fourth squadron of the "Westphalian Dragoons, 
lying in garrison at Tangermlinde ; hence on this evening the 
old castle was full of gay feminine toilettes and brilliant uni- 
forms. Charles lY., educated at the French court and in Italy, 
here at one time instructed the rude squires of the Mark in his 
courtly and chivalrous code of manners towards ladies. The 
first assemblies in which both sexes intermingled took place at 
Tangermlinde. Until that time in these regions men and women 
had sought their amusements separately, and hence knew noth- 
ing of real society. 

The old Emperor would certainly have enjoyed the pleasant 
picture of cheerful sociability presented this evening in the love- 
ly gardens between his chapel and tower. 

Next morning we visited the remarkable town-hall and the 
handsome church of the ancient city. Such town-halls and 
churches no communities or cities as large as Tangermlinde build 
at the present day. We are wanting in that sense of public 


spirit, and prefer small separate houses, and devote no proud and 
extensive structures to the use of the commonwealth. 

The morning sun was shining brightly on the old city, and the 
Sunday bells were tolling as we passed back across the Elbe. A 
group of children bathing enlivened the strand below the gray 
tower. Two officers brought their fine horses across in the ferry- 
boat ; one of these belonged to the Westphalian Dragoons, the 
other wore the yellow collar and cap-stripe of the Seventh Heavy 
Militia Cavalry, the colonel of which is General Count Bismarck. 
It is well known that Count Bismarck habitually wears the uni- 
form of his regiment, and a South German Deputy to the Diet 
did not omit to stigmatize the yellow token of the uniform of the 
Chancellor of the Diet as very ominous. The excellent and rev- 
erend gentleman saw in the sulphurous collar of Bismarck a piece 
of the uniform of a prince as different from our noble King Wil- 
liam as could possibly be. 

On reaching the landing-place, we took a long last look at 
Tangermiinde, before entering the carriage which was to convey 
us to Schonhausen. 




The Kattenwinkel. — Wust. — Lieutenant Von Katte. — Schonhausen. — Its History. — 
Tlie Church. — Bishop Siegobodo. — Bismarck's Mansion. — Interior. — Bismarck's 
Mother. — Bismarck's Birth-Chamber. — The Library. — Bismarck's Youthful Stud- 
ies. — Bismarck's Maternal Grandmother. — The Countess vnth the Dowry. — Ghost 
Stories. — Anecdote of a Ghost. — The Cellar Door. — The French at Schonhausen. 
— The Templars. — The Park.— The Wounded Hercules.— The Pavilion.— Two 
Graves. — The Orangery. — The Knight's Demesne. — Departure from Schonhausen. 

On leaving Fischbeck for Schonhauseii there is on the right 
the Kattenwinkel, or Kattenland. By this we are not reminded 
of the old Teutonic tribe of the Catte, of whose relations towards 
the Cherusci we know very little, but of the old and chivalrous 
race of Katte, established in this region for the last five hundred 
years. Almost all the villages whose church spires we see or do 
not see, in the corner between the Havel and the Elbe, belonged 
or still belong to the family Von Katte. 

Among these villages is Wust. In the church of that place 
are buried the remains of that Katte, whose friendship for Fred- 
erick the Grreat ended in the tragedy of Klistrin.* There is 
something fantastic, and at the same time touching, in the fact, 
that, as well as the skull of the executed John Hermann von 
Katte, the periwig trimmed with blue lace, and worn by him, has 
been preserved in the family vault at Wust. The Katte familyf 
was very numerous, and in this district there is scarcely a church 

* For the most eloquent account of this sad aifair, the reader is requested to refer 
to Mr. Carlyle's "Frederick the Great," Book vii. chap. ix. — K. R. H. M. 

* Katte. This illustrious family has been historically famous for its hege adhe- 
rence to the Prussian-Brandenburg house. John Henry von Katte (bom 16th Oct., 
] 681 ; died 31st May, 1741), of Wust, was a Field-Marshal General and Count. His 
son was the unfortunate friend of Frederick the Crown Prince, beheaded at Kustrin, 
Cth Nov., 1740. Several others of this family have distinguished themselves, despite 
the cruelty of the kings, in the Prussian seiwice. — K. R. H. M. 



or family mansion which does not bear its canting heraldic coat 
of arms. By marriages, also, the azure shield, with the white cat 
bearing the mouse in its mouth, has spread in all directions. It 
is impossible to contemplate the armorial bearings of the Kattes 
without thinking of the beheaded friend of the great Frederick. 
Just as the cat, in the coat of arms, plays cruelly with the 
mouse, did the furious King Frederick William play with him. 
It is a milder trait in the tragedy of Kiistrin, that the angry King 
endeavored in his peculiar way to comfort John Hermann's fa- 
ther, as well as his grandfather, Field-Marshal Count Wartersle- 
ben, for the terrible fate of their son and grandson, Frederick 
William I. was an angry and almost coarsely -severe monarch, but 
there was nothing of the Oriental despot about him, and, to do 
him justice, his native benevolence and Christian conscientious- 
ness must not be overlooked. Oriental despots were not, how- 
ever, then confined to the Orient. The general characterof King 
Frederick William the Severe bears a favorable contrast with 
those of the other rulers of his time. 

As we drove into Schonhausen, the church bell was ringing ; 
but it did not give a clear sound, but appeared 'dull. The bell 
of the prettiest village church between the Havel and the Elbe is 
cracked, and will probably soon be recast ; but we can not deny 
that the very dullness of its sound, amidst the sunlight and blos- 
soms of the well-wooded roadway, had a peculiar effect upon the 

Schonhausen is an ancient place, and, like all this portion of 
the circle of Jerichow, was originally ecclesiastical property, ,It 
formed part of the endowment granted in 946 by Emperor Otto 
I. to the bishopric of Havelberg, founded by him. This grant of 
Otto's, in course of time, was considerably divided ; Schonhausen 
and Fischbeck, however, remained attached to the cathedral of 
Havelberg as maintenance of the bishopric. Until the fifteenth 
century Schonhausen was an ordinary village, governed by a 
bailiff. But during the bishopric of John von Schlabrendorf, 
who occupied the episcopal throne during the peaceful period be- 
tween 1501 and 1520, the place greatly improved, and made some 
progress towards becoming a township. In an acknowledgment, 
still extant, of the year 1547, the receipt runs thus: " Received 
of the worshipful magistrates and sheriffs of the borough of 


Schonhausen." The place had therefore become a borough. 
The bounds of this borough were very considerable, for, besides 
the forest-land, they comprehended more than 20,000 acres of 
arable land. Hence it ensued that Schonhausen, down to recent 
times, always reckoned more inhabitants than the neighboring 
township of Jerichow. As, however, there no longer existed any 
bishops of Havelberg as its protectors, Schonhausen was unable 
to maintain its rank as a borough, although time has not effaced 
all similarity in the place to a town or market-place. Schon- 
hausen suffered greatly in the Thirty Years' War, alternately 
from the Swedes and the Imperial forces; and of forty -eight 
farms only one remained. In 1642 the manor-house was plun- 
dered and burnt ; and in 1651 the whole district was visited by 
a severe inundation. For many years there was no pastor at- 
tached to the church, until the Bismarcks summoned, in 1650, 
the Eev. Adam Winkler from Grosswulkow. 

The church and the manor-house are situated close together 
upon an eminence, and from the churchyard there is a fine view. 
This venerable sanctuary was consecrated on the 7th of Novem- 
ber, 1212, and* built by Bishop Siegobodo of Havelberg, at the 
beginning of his episcopate, he being one of the first spiritual 
shepherds who busied himself in the establishment of Christiani- 
ty in this neighborhood. Its patron saints were the Virgin and 
the martyr Willebrod. In order to increase the sanctity of this 
church, which, from the rarity of churches at that time, was fre- 
quented by the inhabitants of an extensive district, a rich collec- 
tion of relics was established there. Among these were relics 
of the holy martyr of Thebes, of the martyr Sebastian, of Bishop 
Constantine, of the Abbot ^gidius, of St. Alban, and others. 
These were discovered on the repair of the altar in 1712, contain- 
ed in a sealed casket, together with an original record by Bishop 
Siegobodo as to the consecration of the church and the deposit 
of the relics. The church of Schonhausen is the largest, hand- 
somest, and most perfect village church in the whole district — 
its shape in grand simplicity is that of a tri-naved basilica. Its 
origin from the Havelberg bishops is also shown by the broad 
tower transept, the cathedral of Havelberg having been the 
pattern of all churches in the vicinity. The Landrath Au- 
gust von Bismarck especially promoted the interior decorations 



of the church ; he also, in great measure, restored the manor- 
house. He presented the handsomely carved pulpit and stair- 
case in the centre, as well as the splendid and richly carved oak 
dais opposite the pulpit. He also set up the altar and altar- 
piece. To his parents he erected a memorial with oval por- 
traits ; the costume of the pictures is that of the middle of the 

seventeenth century. His own mural inscription, erected by his 
son, is at a little distance, but it is far inferior in execution. Un- 
der these memorial tablets is placed, in a style of the utmost sim- 
plicity, that of the mother of our Minister-President. 

The mansion of the Bismarcks is close to the church. It is 
entered by a gateway with walled railings, having to its left the 
farm building, and in front of it a tall and handsome lime-tree. 



which, as it were, marks the boundary between the offices and 
the special courtyard of the mansion. At a few paces from the 
lime stands a sandstone vase, and we then find ourselves in front 
of the house where Bismarck was born. 

It is a plain, massive, quadrangular building of the last few 
years of the seventeenth century, the enormous foundation-walls 
of which date from the early castle first inhabited by the Bis- 
marcks : this was ravaged and burnt during the Thirty Years' 
War. The house is in two stories, with a high roof On the 
right a wing is built out, extending as far as a sandstone vase. 
The park begins on the left with magnificent alleys of chestnuts 
and limes. 

The doorway is as simple as the house, without steps or porch. 
The shield above it bears on the right the arms of the Bismarcks, 
and on the left those of the Kattes — the cat with the mouse. 
The inscription to the right is August von Bismarck, that on the 
left is Dorothea Sophia Katte, anno 1700. 

Round the corner, by a door leading to the garden, the house 
can be entered through a handsome and spacious garden saloon. 
The ceiling of this room is decorated with the armorial bearings. 

This ground-floor leads into a large hall, whence there is a 
heavy, broad, and dark staircase to the upper rooms. The 



next room is the comparatively low-ceilinged dining-room, hung 
with white tapestry ; and here we also found the ceiling borders 
and the two fireplaces richly ornamented with carving. On the 
side-tables stand busts of Frederick William III. and Frederick 
William IV,, the latter as Crown Prince. The furniture is 

From the dining-room the door to the left leads into two hand- 
some reception-rooms, the one ornamented with oil paintings, the 
other decorated in the Japanese style. Here are, in the corners, 
casts of Kiss's Amazon, and Eauch's Walburga riding on the 

To the right of the dining-room is situated the sitting-room of 
Countess Bismarck, tapestried in green. The pictures and litho- 
graphs are of the time of Frederick William III., and over the 
chimney-piece is the medallion portrait of a woman, probably an 
antique beauty. The principal object in this room is the portrait 
of the Minister-President's mother. 

Farther on again to the right we enter the bed-chamber: 




yonder alcove, now divided from the room by a red curtain, Otto 
von Bismarck was born, on the 1st of April, 1815. In this al- 
cove his cradle stood, but it is now only occupied by the bed in 
which his father died. 

It is a simple apartment, presenting a comfortable and cosy as- 

The third door in the background of the green sitting-room 
leads to the library, a spacious chamber painted red, having in 


the centre a ponderous and broad table. The books are contain- 
ed in two bookcases. The collection is not inconsiderable in 
number, but their arrangement is confused. 

It was worth while to cast a glance into the book-shelves, and 
see what books were studied by Count Bismarck in his youth. 
In one of the cases we found honest old Zedler's voluminous 
Universal Lexicon of the Sciences and Arts ; next to it the ex- 
tensive collection, " Theatrum Europfeum," still an indispensable 
companion ; a General History of Germany, a Universal Histo- 
ry, both written in the pedantic tone of the last century ; Gle- 
dow's "History of the Empire;" a historical Labyrinth of Time, 


and Ladwig Gottfried's "Historical Chronicle of the Four Mon- 
archies." Theology was represented by Dr. Martin Luther's 
German writings. Next to a collection of old travels, stood a 
Political and News Lexicon, with Busching's " Geography." 
The other bookcase, in its upper shelves, appears dedicated to 
the Belles Lettres. Voltaire and the Letters of Count von 
Bussy stood peacefully beside Frederick von Schlegel's works 
and Leopold Schefer's "Lay Breviary;" next to Basedow's "In- 
troduction" was lying Herschel's " Popular Astronomy." 

Turning from the books to the pictures, we find them of 
special interest, as they chiefly depict members of the family. 

A couple of portraits of Bis- 
marck's only sister when 
very young, evidence some 
remote likeness to the moth- 

No portrait of the Minis- 
ter - President himself any- 
where exists in the house. 
There was, however, one 
of his brother, the Eoyal 
Chamberlain, Bernhard von 
Bismarck, of Kiilz, Provin- 
cial Councillor in the circle 
of Naugard — a youthful face, 
not much like the Minister- 
President. Count Bismarck 
is also personally ui^like his 
mother, although we can 
scarcely doubt her influence 
over his mental qualities. We may mention among the pictures 
a very interesting one of his maternal grandmother, and also one 
of his uncle General von Bismarck. 

By chance we noticed, half-concealed by the enormous stove, 
the portrait of a lady. The original had scarcely been a beauty ; 
her features were hard and unformed, though this might partly 
have been the painter's fault. This picture had its little history. 
Madame Bellin, the housekeeper, told us that during the ab- 
sence of Bismarck's father on a journey, she had found it in a 



loft, cleaned it, and brouglit it down to the library. She asked 
her master on his return whose portrait it was, and learned that 
it was that of a young countess who had in his youtH been sug- 
gested to him as a wife, with a dowry of one hundred thousand 
thalers.* We could readily understand that Herr von Bismarck 
found few charms in the picture, but the housekeeper, who was 
struck with the dowry, exclaimed, " Ah ! gnddiger Herr^ I should 
have had her if she had possessed a hundred thousand thalers !" 
Bismarck's father replied, with a smile, " Well, you can have her 
yourself, if you like her so much." 

In those days people had a great deal of respect for a hundred 
thousand thalers, and such a sum of money was then respectfully 
called a ton of money. In our times a hundred thousand thalers 
form no great amount of wealth, although one does not instinct- 
ively put one's hand in one's pocket to give the poor possessor a 
trifle by way of charity. At least, such was the expression of a 
well-known young nobleman lately, on speaking of the difference 
in the times. However, the portrait of the young countess with 
the hundred thousand thalers has hung in the library behind the 
stove at Schonhausen ever since. 

The peculiarity of the paternal mansion of Bismarck consists 
in its quadrangular form, its thick walls, its massive heavy stair- 
case, the depth and low pitch of its rooms, and the almost extrav- 
agant use of stucco on the ceilings, friezes, stoves, and panels. 
But the whole mansion impresses you with an air of comfort 
and homely solidity; there is a historical air of noble simplic- 
ity throughout the whole of the apartments. 

Schonhausen would of course not be a correct dwelling-house 
for an ancient family, if proper ghost stories did not pertain to 
it ; and the ancient structure does not look as if these were de- 
ficient. On the contrary, there never was a house more like a 
haunted house than this cradle of 'Bismarck's. Those, indeed, 
who were able to tell of the ghosts which flitted about the man- 
sion are long since buried, and we were obliged to content our- 
selves with a very poor remainder of these traditions ; but what 
is still preserved was quite sufficient to satisfy the charm of ter- 
ror in the ladies, at times guests at the mansion, if not to arouse 
terror of a real kind, without any delightful sensation. The li- 

* Abont £13,300 sterling. 


brary was especially " uncanny ;" a faithful servant, who slept 
there when the family was from home, often woke up in the night 
with a cold breath to disturb him ; he perceived that there was 
a " something" unpleasantly close to him, and his usually fear- 
less spirit was seized with icy horror. It was by no means so 
unpleasant when the "something" evinced its presence in some 
more definite manner, as, for instance, when it came tramping up 
the oak staircase outside, or banged itself down with a dull 
thud. The man who related this was not at all wanting in 
courage ; he knew that he was quite alone in the house ; he al- 
ways concluded it to be thieves, but if he put out his hands 
they encountered nothing, and if he went out from the room he 
found no one there. It is very easy to laugh at these things, 
but that is all of no use ; the unexplained always has its terrors 
until some false or true solution of the enigma is found. 

One night, Bismarck, before he was Minister, occupied the bed- 
room in which he was born ; he had guests in the mansion — 
among others a certain Herr von Dewitz, The next day a hunt- 
ing party was to take place, and a servant had been instructed 
to awaken his master at an early hour. Suddenly Bismarck 
awoke; he heard the door of the library in the adjacent cham- 
ber open, and thought he perceived soft footsteps. He conclu- 
ded it was the servant coming to awaken him. At that moment 
he heard Herr von Dewitz exclaim, " Who's there ?" He sprang 
from the bed, the clock struck twelve, and there was nobody to 
be seen. He had felt or heard something, as other persons had 
before him, which was susceptible of no explanation. Another 
of the Bismarcks had also seen something ; if we are not mista- 
ken this was an uncle of the Minister's, the General von Bis- 
marck, who died in 1831. He saw, certainly only in a dream, a 
fleeting white form that beckoned to him ; he followed, and it 
led him down into the cellar, the most ancient part of the build- 
ing, and there showed him a door in which there was cut an 
opening in the form of a heart. He thought from the motions 
of the apparition that it signified to him the existence of a con- 
cealed treasure. This was, as already stated, all a dream, but the 
dream was so vivid, it made such an impression on him, that on 
the next morning he examined the cellar closely ; he found, hid- 
den behind rubbish and lumber, a little door with a heart-shaped 


opening in it, the existence of which was quite unsuspected by 
any of the members of the family. The door had now been 
found, but alas ! no treasure was discovered, for the door only 
concealed a hidden passage leading into the Church. 

In the library door there are three deep cracks, commemorating 
the presence of evil spirits of any thing but a ghostly nature ; 
they were French soldiers, who in 1806 pursued the young and 
lovely lady of the mansion, and endeavored to break down the 
door with their bayonets, when the fugitive had locked it behind 
her. Bismarck's father sheltered his wife from the attentions of 
the children of the " gr ancle nation " in the forest, but his ready 
money, among which was a considerable sum in louis-d'ors, he 
buried under the solitary pavilion in the park island. His as- 
tonishment was great, when, on his return, he found his treas- 
ure disturbed, but not stolen, though the louis-d'ors were scat- 
tered about. Not the French, but the dogs, had discovered it, had 
scratched up the earth, and thrown the gold pieces contemptu- 
ously aside. 

It does not seem that Schonhausen had ever been in the pos- 
session of the Soldiers of the Holy Virgin — the Order of the Tem- 
ple ; but in the ghostly chronicles of the mansion the Knights 
Templars play a considerable part. Their long white mantles 
with the red cross are certainly particularly adapted for this ; but 
it is a sign of the deep impression made by the sudden destruction 
of the mighty Order, upon the people of these districts, that in all 
mysterious narratives, all secret subterranean passages, treasure 
hoards, and similar circumstances, we find the Templars with their 
long white cloaks occupying a conspicuous place. At the same 
time, there is much avarice mingled with this, for the most ex- 
travagant traditions found credence as to the wealth of the Tem- 
plars. Buried treasures of the Order were suspected everywhere, 
and the poor Templars were doomed to guard the riches which 
they had accumulated during their lives, as ghosts, forever. • 

From the mansion we passed on to the upper terrace of the 
park, and wandered down the cool shady alley of limes, the 
branches of which bent to the ground, forming a verdant arbor of 
singular beauty. In this magnificent spot the lord of the mansion 
often had the table spread for himself and friends. The park is 
remarkablv distinguished for fine rows of trees, both old and new. 



and the lime-tree seems ever to have been the favorite tree of the 
Bismarcks of Schonhausen. 

On the wall, separating the terrace from the park itself, there is 
growing a very handsome birch-tree, which appears to have been 
self-sown. It has rooted itself deep into the stone, breaking 
down a portion of the wall, and now grows up amidst ruins and 
wreaths of roses, like the green flag of a victor. 

The park is laid out according to the antique French style, 
with straight hedges, basins, and statues; but Nature has long 
since overcome the garden shears of Lenotre, 

It is easy to perceive from the lower park itself that the lord 
of the manor is no longer present, and that the farm is leased. 
Between the tall noble avenues and picturesque foliage, broad 
patches planted with vegetables may be observed. This gives a 
homely, but scarcely a neglected, appearance to the place, as it 
does not destroy the general beauty of the view. 

By an avenue, adorned with really splendid limes, we reach a 
small bridge, leading across the mantled pool which divides the 
park from the fields. On this side is the cool shade of the limes ; 


yonder in the sunshine is Indian corn and beet-root. Bj this 
bridge stands a statue of Hercules with its hand on its back, cut 
in sandstone, on the north side of which the Junker Otto Bis- 
marck once fired off his rifle — the marks of which musketry are 
still visible — and he ever afterwards used to assure his friends 
that Hercules put his hand there because the shot still pained 
him ! On one thigh, evidently by a later hand, some person has 
written " Adam." This person, obviously somewhat wanting in 
his knowledge of mythology, no doubt was led to the explanation 
by the very primitive style of costume. But so long as the coun- 
try side contents itself with such explanations, there is not much 
to be said against it. It is somewhat more reprehensible to de- 
capitate the gods, to provide a whetstone for the scythe. This 
fate, however, a somewhat massive Flora has had to undergo ; 
and there it stands behind a thicket, apparently mourning the 
loss of its curly head. 

Upon a small artificial island in the park stands a lonesome 
pavilion in the style of the Eegent, half hidden by trees and over- 
grown with moss. The poet might select it for the scene of the 
catastrophe of a romance. We did not cross the wooden bridge, 
because our friendly guide warned us against the gnats which for 
a long time, in many sorts and sizes, have enjoyed their innocent 
lives in that locality. 

We did, however, visit two solemn places in the park — two 
graves. In a dark shrubbery, grown quite wild, lies an elder 
brother of Bismarck, deceased as a child. The cast-iron cross has 
e.vidently been erected over the grave at a later time. 

At the very remotest corner of the park, close by the sedgy 
shore, we found the second grave. Here Captain von Bismarck, 
a cousin of the Minister, reposes. Above the last resting-place 
of the wearied soldier is another iron cross. This was the favor- 
ite spot of the old gentleman during his lifetime ; beneath the 
■trees, on the banks which now watch over his grave, he used in 
summer time to muse every day over his quiet fishing-rod, or 
gaze dreamily across into the blooming meadows beyond the 
water. At his express desire he was buried in this ppot. 

Besides the six-and-twenty farms and subsidiary patches, there 
is also at Schonhausen a knight's demesne {Ritter gut), formerly 
likewise the property of the Bismarcks, but which had to be sold 


in time of need. It now belongs to Dyke Captain Graertner. It 
is related that the Minister wished to repurchase it, but Captain 
Gaertner, who did not wish to part with the property, asked 
150,000 thalers more than the value, upon which Bismarck ob- 
served, " I would have given 50,000 thalers more than it was 
worth, but I can not agree to a larger sum." This is only a pop- 
ular tale, for the truth of which we can not vouch. 

In taking leave of Schonhausen, we may be allowed to say 
that, in the general picture of the place, we seem to recognize in- 
dividual traits of the man there born — or, rather, that the sight of 
Schonhausen has shown us features which point to cognate and 
similar facts in the outward appearance of Bismarck. It is difii- 
cult to express this in words, but the sentiment remains ; and in 
this we need not appeal to posterity, as is the custom of authors 
when they feel assured that they will be unintelligible to their 
readers, but rather to all those alike familiar with Bismarck and 
his estate of Schonhausen. 

Be health and blessings ever near 

The mansion old by woods surrounded, 
The cradle, so to Prussia dear, 

Of him who Germany refomided. 
By strength of thought and weapon's might 
He conquered, stri\'ing for the right ; 
Peace to the house and hail the star 
That Prussia's glory beams afar ! 


Book t\}t Qtiorib. 




Bismarck's Parents. — Brothers and Sisters. — Bismarck Born. — Kniephof, Jarchelin, 
and Kiilz. — The Plamann Institute. — The Frederick William Institute. — Eesidence 
in Berlin. — Bismarck's Father and Mother. — Letter of Coixnt Bismarck to his Sis- 
ter. — Confirmation. — Dr. Bonnell. — Severity of the Plamanns. — HoHday Time. — 
Colonel August Frederick von Bismarck and the Wooden Donkey at Ihna Bridge. 
— SchooUife with Dr. Bonnell.— The Cholera of 1831.— The Youthful Character 
and Appearance of Bismarck. — Early Friends. — Proverbs. — " Far from Sufficient ! " 
quoth Bismarck. 

of Schonhausen, born on the 
IStli November, 1771, once 
belonging to the Body Guard 
(No. 11 in the old list), who 
quitted the service as Captain, 
was. married on the 7th of 
July, 1806, to Louise Wilhel- 
mina Menken, born on the 
24th of February, 1790 ; died 
the 1st of January, 1839, at 

Frau von Bismarck was an 
orphan daughter of the well-known Privy Councillor, Anastatius 
Ludwig Menken, who had served with distinction under three 
sovereigns of Prussia and possessed great influence during the 
first years of the reign of Frederick William TIL He was born 
at Helmstadt on the 2d of August, 1752, and was a member of 
a family distinguished for its literary attainments. To a certain 


extent he was a pupil of the Minister Count Herzberg,* by whose 
means he was appointed to a post in the Privy Chancery. Fred- 
erick the Grreat held him in great esteem, he having rendered an 
important service to his sister, the Queen Louise Ulrike, in Stock- 
holm ; and he employed him from the year 1782 in the capacity 
of Secretary to the Cabinet for Foreign Affairs. From 1786 he 
became Privy Councillor to Frederick William II., and in that 
office was again intrusted with the administration of foreign af- 
fairs, but after the war with France was supplanted by General 
von Bischofswerder,f and retired into private life. Menken was 
the only adviser of King Frederick William II., who was recalled 
and reappointed at the accession of Frederick William III. He 
was the author of the well-known Cabinet Order issued by Fred- 
erick William III., which insured the young King the confi- 
dence of his subjects. Menken was no revolutionist, as Bischofs- 
werder and his partisans asserted, but to a certain extent he 
agreed with the principles of the first French National Conven- 
tion. He is portrayed as a gentle, liberal, prudent, and experi- 
enced man, but of delicate health ; and he died on the 5th Au- 
gust, 1801, in consequence of illness brought on by a life of unin- 
termitting labor. According to the opinion of Stein, Menken 
was a person of generous sentiments, well educated, of fine feel- 
ing and benevolent disposition, with noble aims and principles. 
He desired the good of his native land, which he sought to pro- 
mote by the diffusion of knowledge, the improvement of the con- 
dition of all classes, and the application of philanthropic ideas ; 
but his indisposition for war at an important juncture was ad- 
verse to his fame; his too eloquent and humane edict, and his 
singular gentleness of mind, invested the Government 'with an 
appearance of weakness. 

* Herzberg, Ewald Pred. (Count von), a distinguished Prussian diplomatist, boni 
at Lotten, near New Stettin, in 1725. He published many most valuable diplomatic, 
historical, and juridical works, and died on the 27th May, 1795, after having been 
somewhat harshly treated by those in power. — K. E. H. M. 

t Bischofswerder (John End. von). General and Minister of Frederick William II., 
bom at Dresden, 1737, of an old Saxon family. He entersd the Prussian service, 
1760, and was a Major in 1779. The confidence the King, first as Crown Prince, 
had in him, was unlimited ; and he was employed in important diplomatic matters at 
Szistowe and at Pilnitz. He was ambassador to Paris in 1793. He died in October, 
1803.— K. E. H. M. 


His orphan daughter became the mother of Count Bismarck. 
It 'is interesting to note that a hundred years before a daughter of 
the same family, Christine Sybille Menken, deceased in 1750, as 
the wife of the Imperial Equerry Peter Hohmann von Hohenthal, 
was the ancestress of the Count von Hohenthal of the elder line. 

The brothers and sisters of Count Bismarck were : — 

I. Alexander Frederick Ferdinand, born 13th April, 1807; 
died 13th December, 1809. 

II. Louise Johanne, born 3d November, 1808; died 19th 
March, 1813. 

III. Bernhard, born 24th June, 1810, Royal Chamberlain and 
Privy Councillor, and Chief Justice of the Circle of Naugard, 
near Kiilz and Jarchehn, in Pomerania. 

lY. Francis, born 20th June, 1819 ; died 10th September, 

Y. Franziska Angelika Malwina, born the 29th June, 1827; 
wedded at Schonhausen on the 30th October, 1844, to Ernst 
Frederick Abraham Henry Charles Oscar von Arnim, of Krcich- 
lendorff, Royal Chamberlain and a member of the Upper House. 

The Minister-President himself. Otto Edward Leopold, was 
born at Schonhausen on the 1st April, 1815. 

His earliest youth, however, was not passed at his ancestral es- 
tate in the Alt Mark, but in Pomerania, whither his parents had 
removed in the year 1816. By the decease of a cousin they bad 
succeeded to the knightly estates of Kniephof, Jarchelin, and 
Kiilz, in the circle of Naugard. At Kniephof, where his parents 
took up their residence, Bismarck passed the first six years of his 
life, and to Kniephof he returned, in his holidays from Berlin, so 
that this Pomeranian estate of his parents may be regarded as the 
scene of his earliest sports. 

These estates were held in fee from the Dewitz family, in the 
circle of Pomerania, then known as the Daber and Dewitz circle, 
and were ceded with the feudal rights to the Colonel August 
Frederick von Bismarck, the great-grandfather of the Minister- 
President, on his marriage with Stephanie von Dewitz. After 
the death of the Colonel, his three sons, Bernd August, Charles 
Alexander (the Minister's grandfather), and Ernst Frederick 
(Royal Conservator of Palaces) possessed these estates in com- 
mon, until, on the partition of 12th August, 1747, they were 


handed over to Captain Bernd August alone. He bequeathed 
them to his son, the Deputy of the Daber-Naugard circle, and to 
Captain August Frederick von Bismarck and his sister Charlotte 
Henrietta, who was married to Captain Jaroslav Ulrich Fred- 
erick von Schwerin. By a deed dated the 7th of August, 1777, 
August Frederick became the sole possessor, and bequeathed 
them to Charles William Frederick von Bismarck, the father of 
the Minister-President. 

The knightly estate of Kniephof is about a (German) mile from 
Naugard to the eastward; its situation is pleasant, being sur- 
rounded by woods and meadows, close to the little river Zampel. 
Even in the last century the beautiful gardens and carp-lake 
were famous. ^ 

Jarchelin, formerly called Grecholin, some quarter of a mile 
distant from Kniephof, which is incorporated with the parish of 
the former place. A small stream runs through this village. 

Kiilz is nearer to Naugard ; the church there was originally a 
dependency of Farbezin ; formerly it possessed oak and pine for- 
ests, and the hamlet of Stowinkel was planted with oaks. 

In the year 1838, Captain von Bismarck ceded these estates to 
his two sons, who farmed them for three years in common, but 
then divided them so that the elder, Bernhard, retained Kiilz, 
while the younger, the Minister-President, took for his share 
Kniephof and Jarchelin. When, after his father's decease in 
1845, the Minister-President took Schonhausen, Jarchelin was 
surrendered to the elder brother. Kniephof was retained by 
Count Bismarck until 1868, when, after the purchase of Yarzih, 
it passed into the possession of his eldest nephew. Lieutenant 
Philip von Bismarck. 

As the possessor of Kniephof, the Minister sat till 1868 for the 
ancient and established fief of the Dukedom Stettin in the Upper 
Chamber. On its cession the King created him a member of that 
chamber for life. In the adjacent estate of Zimmerhausen, be- 
longing to the Yon Blanckenburgs, Otto von Bismarck was then 
and afterwards a frequent guest. The youthful friendship which 
he then contracted with the present General County Councillor 
Moritz von Blanckenburg, a well-known leader of the Conserva- 
tive party in the Chamber of Deputies and at the Diet, remains 
unshaken to the present day. 



About the Easter of 1821, Otto von Bismarck entered the then 
renowned school of Professor Plamann, in Berlin (Wilhelm- 
strasse 130), where his only surviving elder brother Bernhard 
then was. Bismarck remained in this place till 1827, when he 
left it to pursue his more classical studies at the Frederick Wil- 
liam Gymnasium. He was there received into the lower third 
class — his elder brother having by that time reached the second 

His parents were accustomed to pass the winter months in Ber- 
lin, and during those times received both their sons at home, so 
that the boys ever retained feelings of relationship to the home 
circle, although not always there. 

From the year 1827 both brothers became chiefly residents at 
the Berlin establishment of their parents, and were committed to 
the care of a faithful servant, Trine Neumann, from Schonhausen, 
who still lives at the Gesund-Brunnen, at Berlin, though she no 
longer wears the black and red petticoat of her native spot. 
Well qualified masters attended, especially during the absence of 
the parents in the summer time. By their aid they became ac- 
quainted with several of the modern languages. Among these 
tutors, the first was M. Hagens in 1827, then a young Genevese, 
named Gallot, and in the year 1829, a certain Dr. Winckelmann, 
unquestionably a clever philologist, but a man of no principle, 
who vanished one morning with the cash-box, and left his 
charges behind with Trine Keumann. This occurred at the resi- 
dence of the parents in Behrenstrasse No. 39 ; they afterwards 
resided at No. 62, in the same street, and subsequently on the 
Donhofsplatz. At this time Otto von Bismarck laid the founda- 
tion of his prowess in English and French, which he ulteriorly 
brought to perfection. 

It is evident that labor, care, or expense were not spared by 
the parents to foster the talents of these gifted children. This 
was, indeed, a special duty with their mother, a lady of great edu- 
cation, who combined with many accomplishments the sentiment- 
al religious feeling of her period, and had inherited the liberal 
views of her father. Madame von Bismarck was no doubt a dis- 
tinguished woman, not only esteemed for her beauty in society, 
but exercising considerable influence in society. Her activity, 
which zealously espoused modern ideas, was probably less want- 


ing in insight than in persistency, but from that very cause oper- 
ated unfavorably in the management of the estates. The con- 
duct of agriculture suffered under numerous and costly institu- 
tions and experiments, reducing the family income to a consider- 
able extent, especially as the brilliant winter establishment in 
Berlin, and the summer visits to watering-places, demanded ex- 
tensive resources. She evidently sought at a very early age to 
awaken ambition in her sons ; it was particularly her desire that 
the younger son. Otto, should devote himself to a diplomatic 
career, for which she considered him especially fitted, while the 
elder brother was from the first destined for the commission of 
Provincial Councillor {Landrath). Both these aspirations were 
fulfilled, but not in their mother's lifetime ; she had long died 
when her younger son entered on diplomatic life, but her mater- 
nal instinct is honored by her early perception of the path by 
which Bismarck was to attain the highest distinction. How 
often must Bismarck have thought of his mother's heartfelt wish, 
in his position as ambassador in Frankfort, Petersburg, and 
Paris ! How frequently his earliest friends must have exclaimed, 
"Bismarck! had your mother only survived to see this!" 

In contradistinction to the wise, ambitious, but somewhat 
haughty mother, his father, a handsome, personable, and cheerful 
man, full of humor and wit, rather represented the heart and 
mind, without very great claims to strong intellect, or even 
knowledge. Strangely enough, the cultivated and literary 
Charles Alexander von Bismarck, transformed from a diplo- 
matist into a cavalry officer by the command of the Great FreiJ- 
erick, educated his four sons for the army. 

This cavalier, of French sentiments, who subscribed to Paris- 
ian journals, still preserved at Schonhausen — a custom not usual 
with the aristocracy of the Marks — and who lived with great sim- 
plicity, but drank wine, and ate off silver plate — brought up his 
sons like centaurs, and his greatest pride was in the excellence 
of their horsemanship, 

Bismarck's father entered the Body-guard (white and blue), 
the commander of which was also a Bismarck, and, as he often 
told hifi sons in later times, " measured out the corn every morn- 
ing at four o'clock to the men for five long years." He loved a 
country life, grew wearied in Berlin, especially when he had 



grown somewhat deaf, but, with chivalrous devotion to his lady 
wife, conformed to her wishes on this point. 

Madame von Bismarck, besides esteeming the company of tal- 
ented persons and scholars, was devoted to chess, of which she 
was a complete mistress ; but her husband's amusement was the 
chase to the end of his life. How strangely the old gentleman 
pursued this pastime we learn from a letter of Bismarck's to his 
newly-married sister, in the latter part of 1844 ; very characteris- 
tic of the relations maintained by the son and brother. 

OW you have departed, I have nat- 
urally found the house very lonely. 
I have sat by the stove smoking and 
contemplating how unnatural and self- 
ish it is in girls who have brothers, 
and those bachelors, to go and reck- 
lessly marry, and act as if they only 
were in the world to follow their own 
sweet wills; a selfish principle from 
which I feel that our family, and my- 
self in proper person, are fortunately 


free. After perceiving the fruitlessness of these reflections, I 
arose from the green leather chair in which you used to sit kiss- 
ing and whispering with Miss and Oscar, and plunged wildly into 
the elections, which convinced me that five votes were mine for 
life or death, and two had somewhat lukewarmly supported me ; 
while Krug received four, sixteen to eighteen voted for Arnim, 
and twelve to fifteen for Alvensleben. I therefore thought it 
best to retire altogether. Since then I have lived here with fa- 
ther ; reading, smoking, walking, helping him to eat lampreys, 
and joining in a farce called fox-hunting. We go out in the 
pouring rain, or at six degrees of frost, accompanied by Ihle, Bel- 
lin, and Charles, surround an old bush in a sportsmanlike way, 
silent as the grave, as the wind blows through the cover, where 
we are all fully convinced — even perhaps my father — that the 
only game consists of a few old women gathering faggots — and 
not another living thing. Then Ihle, Charles, and a couple of 
hounds, making the strangest and most prodigious noise, partic- 
ularly Ihle, burst into the thicket, my father standing perfectly 
stock still, with his rifle just as if he fully expected some beast, 
until Ihle comes out, shouting " hu ! la! la! fuss! hey ! hey !" in 
the queerest shrieks. Then my, father asks me, in the coolest 
manner, if I have not seen something; and I reply, with most 
natural air of astonishment, nothing in the world ! Then, growl- 
ing at the rain, we start for another bush, where Ihle is sure we 
shall find, and play the farce over again. This goes on for three 
or four hours, without my father, Ihle, and Fingal exhibiting the 
least symptom of being tired. Besides this, we visit the oran- 
gery twice a day, and the sheep-pens once, consult the four ther- 
mometers in the parlor every hour, mark the weather-glass, and 
since bright weather has set in have brought all the clocks so 
exactly with the sun, that the clock in the library is only one 
stroke behind all the rest. Charles Y. was a silly fellow ! You 
can understand that, with such a multitude of things to do, we 
have no time to visit parsons ; as they have no votes at the elec- 
tions, I did not go at all — impossible. Bellin has been for these 
three days full of a journey to Stendal he made, and about the 
coach which he did not catch. The Elbe is frozen, wind S. E. E., 
the last new thermometer from Berlin marks 8° (27° Fahr.) ba- 
rometer rising 28.8 in. I just mention this to show you how you 


might write more homely particulars to father in your letters, as 
they amuse him hugely — who has been to see you and Curts, 
whom you visit, what you have had for dinner, how the horses 
are, and the servants quarrel, whether the doors crack, and the 
windows are tight — in short, trifles, facts ! Mark me, too, that he 
detests the name papa — avis au lecteiir ! Antonie wrote him a 
very pretty letter on his birthday, and sent him a green purse, at 
which papa was deeply moved, and replied in two pages ! The 
Eohrs have lately passed through here without showing them- 
selves; they baited at the Inn at Hohen-Gohren for two hours, 
and sat, wife and children and all, with ten smoking countrymen, 
in the taproom ! Bellin declared they were angry with us ; this 
is very sad and deeply affects me ! Our father sends best love, 
and will soon follow me to Pomerania — he thinks about Christ- 
mas. There is a cafe dansant to-morrow at Genthin ; I shall look 
in, to fire away at the old Landrath, and take my leave of the cir- 
cle for at least four months. I have seen Miss ; she has 

moments when she is exceedingly pretty, but she will lose her 
complexion very soon. I was in love with her for twenty-four 
hours. Greet Oscar heartily from me, and farewell, my angel ; 
don't hang up your bride's rank by the tail, and remember me to 
Curts. If you are not at A. by the eighth — I'll ! — but enough of 
that. Entirely your own " forever," Bismarck. 

Otto von Bismarck, on his sixteenth birthday, as his brother 
had been before him, was confirmed at Berlin, in the Trinity 
Church by Schleiermacher, at the Easter of 1830. The same 
year he went to board with Professor Prevost, the father of Ho- 
frath Prevost, now an official in the Foreign Office under Bis- 
marck ; and as the house was very remote from the Frederick 
William Gymnasium in the Konigs Strasse, he quitted it for the 
Berlin Gymnasium, Zum Grauen Kloster. Bismarck, after a 
year, passed from Professor Prevost to Dr. Bonnell, afterwards 
director of the Frederick-Werder Gymnasium, then at the Gran- 
en Kloster, but who had not long before been Bismarck's teacher 
at the Frederick William. Bismarck remained with him until, 
at Easter, 1832, he quitted the Kloster after his examination, to 
study law. 

This is an outline of Bismarck's life in his boyhood and school- 


days ; let us endeavor to form some picture of the lad and youth, 
from the reports of his tutors and contemporaries. 

We see Junker Otto leaving his father's house at a very early 
age, as did his brother. The reasons for this we can not assign, 
but no doubt they were well meant, although scarcely wise. 
Bismarck used subsequently himself to say that his early depart- 
ure from the paternal roof was any thing but advantageous to 
him. Perhaps his mother was afraid he might get too early 
spoilt ; for with his gay nature and constant friendliness, the lit- 
tle boy early won all hearts. He was especially spoilt by his fa- 
ther, and by Lotte Schmeling, his mother's maid, and his own 

At the boarding-school of Plamann in Berlin, whither he was 
next brought, he did not get on at all well. This then very re- 
nowned institution had adopted the thorough system of old 
Jahn, and carried out the theory of " hardening up," then fash- 
ionable, by starving, exposure, and so forth — not without carry- 
ing it to extremes in practice. Bismarck, who had always sub- 
mitted meekly to all his masters, could not, in later days, refrain 
from complaining bitterly of the severity with which he was 
treated in this institution. He was very miserable there, and 
longed for home so much, that when they were out walking, he 
could not help weeping whenever he saw a plough at work. The 
masters were especially obnoxious to him on account of the 
strictness with which they insisted on gymnastics and athletic 
sports, from the hatred of the French they methodically preajch- 
ed, and by the tough German usage they exercised towards the 
little scion of nobility. In his paternal house, Bismarck had not 
been educated in class-hatred, as it is called ; on the contrary, his 
mother was very liberal, and had no sympathy with the nobility. 
Marriages between nobles and citizens were then much more un- 
frequent ; Madame von Bismarck had very likely encountered 
some slights from the proud families of the Alt Mark and of 
Pomerania, and caste feeling could scarcely have been felt by 
Bismarck in his childhood. It was not any want of sympathy 
with his school-fellows, but the democratic doctrines of some of 
the masters, which roused the Junker in the bosom of the proud 
lad. "We shall see that in later years it was the incapacity of two 
masters at the Graue Kloster which caused them to handle him 



ungently, because of his noble birth, and thus impelled him to re- 

It is easy to understand that Otto von Bismarck, as long as he 
stayed at the hateful Plamann Institute, and at the Gymnasium, 
longed ardently for the holidays, for these times are the bright 
stars in the heaven of every schoolboy. 

And how was the holiday journey performed in those days 
from Berlin to Kniephof in the Circle Naugard ? The stage- 
coach of Nagler — then the pride of Prussia — set off in the even- 

ing from Berlin, and arrived at Stettin at noon the next day. 
There were not over-good roads at that time from Berlin to the 
capital of Pomerania. From Stettin young Bismarck proceeded, 
with horses sent by his parents, to Gollnow, where his grandfa- 
ther was born, and where proverbially there was a fire once a 
fortnight. In Gollnow he slept at the house of an aged widow 
named Dalmer, who held some relation to the family. This 
aged lady used to tell the eager lad stories of his great grandfa- 
ther the Colonel von Bismarck, who fell at Czaslau, and who 
once lay in garrison at Gollnow with his regiment of dragoons — 
the Schulenburg Regiment, afterwards the Anspach Bayreuth. 
After almost a century, the memory of the famous warrior and 



huntsman remained alive. Stories were told of the Colonel's fine 
dogs and horses. When he gave a banquet, not only did the 
sound of trumpet accompany each toast, but the dragoons fired 
off volleys in the hall, to heighten the noise. Then the Colonel 
would march with the whole mess, preceded by the band and 
followed by the whole regiment, to the bridge of Ihna, where the 
Wooden Donkey stood. This terrible instrument of punishment 
— riding the Donkey was like riding the rail — was then cast 
into the Ihna, amidst execrations and applause. " All offenders 
are forgiven, and the Donkey shall die !" But the applause of 
the dragoons could not have been very sincere, for they knew 
very well that the Provost would set up the Donkey in all its 
terrors the very next morning ; therefore they only huzzaed to 
please their facetious Colonel. 

This is a picture of garrison life under King Frederick AVilliam 
I. There still exists a hunting register belonging to this old 
worthy, which reports that the old soldier in one year had shot a 


hundred stags — an unlikely event nowadays. One of the first 
sportsmen of the present day — H.R.H. Prince Frederick Charles 
of Prussia — shot three hundred head of game between the 18th 
of September, 1848, and the 18th of September, 1868, pronounced 
" worthy of fire." A correspondence of the old Colonel's is still 
extant, which evinces a highly eccentric stanchness ; in this his 
cousin, the cunning diplomatist Yon Dewitz, afterwards Ambas- 
sador to Vienna, is severely enough handled. It was doubtless 
from these statements of the acute colonel of cavalry that the 
Great Frederick did not allow his son, Charles Alexander, to ac- 
company him to Vienna in the Embassy, but ordered him to be- 
come a cornet, with some very unflattering expressions concern- 
ing the diplomatist. 

The next day young Otto von Bismarck used to leave Goll- 
now, and thus on the third day he reached Kniephof, where for 
three weeks he led a glorious life, troubled only by a few holiday 
tasks. Among the most pleasant events of holiday time were 
visits to Zimmerhausen, to the Blanckenburgs, which possessed 
an additional charm from a sort of cheese-cake prepared in this 

From Plamann's school, Bismarck passed to the Frederick 
William Gymnasium ; and here he immediately attracted the at- 
tention of a master with whom he was afterwards to be more 
closely associated, and of whom mention will afterwards be made 
in this work. This gentleman (the Director, Dr. Bonnell) relates : 
— " My attention was drawn to Bismarck on the very day of his 
entry, on which occasion the new boys sat in the schoolroom on 
rows of benches in order that the masters could overlook the new 
comers with attention, during the inauguration. Otto von Bis- 
marck sat — as I still distinctly remember, and often have related 
— with visible eagerness, a clear and pleasant boyish face and 
bright eyes, in a gay and lightsome mood among his comrades, so 
that it caused me to think, ' That's a nice boy ; I'll keep my eye 
upon him.' He became my pupil first when he entered the up- 
per third. I was transferred at Michaelmas, 1829, from the Ber- 
lin Gymnasium to the Graue Kloster, to which Bismarck also 
came in the following year. He became an inmate of my house 
at Easter, 1831, where he behaved himself in my modest house- 
hold, then numbering only my wife and my infant son, in a 


friendly and confiding manner. In every respect he was most 
charming; he seldom quitted us of an evening; if I was some- 
times absent, he conversed in a friendly and innocent manner 
with my wife, and evinced a strong inclination for domestic life. 
He won our hearts and we met his advances with affection and 
care — so that his father, when he quitted us, declared that his son 
had never been so happy as with us." 

Bismarck to this day has preserved the most grateful intimacy 
with Dr. Bonnell and his wife ; even as Minister-President he 
loved to cast a passing glance at the window of the small cham- 
ber he had occupied in Konigsgraben No. 18, while he resided 
with Dr. Bonnell. The window is now built up. The powerful 
minister and great statesman ever remained the friendly and 
kindly Otto von Bismarck towards his old teacher. He sought 
his counsel in the selection of a tutor for his sons, and afterwards 
sent them to the Werder Gymnasium, that still flourishes under 
the thoroughly excellent guidance of Bonnell. 

Among the favorite masters of Bismarck at the Frederick 
William Grymnasium, he distinguished Professor Siebenhaar, an 
excellent man, who subsequently unfortunately died by his own 
hand. He found himself welcomed at the Graue Kloster by 
Koepke with great friendship — his youth alone prevented his 
being placed in the first class. Besides Bonnell, he here found a 
great friend in Dr.Wendt ; Bollermann, however, and the mathe- 
matician Fischer, raised the Junker in him in an unwise manner. 
He also got into many disputes with the French Professor, and 
learnt English in an incredibly short space of time, in order npt 
to be submitted to the test of the French Professor ; as it was 
allowed to the pupils to choose either English or French for a 
prize theme. 

As a pupil, in general, Bismarck's conduct preserved him al- 
most entirely from punishment, and seldom was he amenable to 
censure. He exhibited such powers of understanding, and his 
talents were so considerable, that he was able to perform his re- 
quired tasks without great exertion. He even at that time exhib- 
ited a marked preference for historical studies — especially that of 
his native Brandenburg, Prussia, and Germany. He laid the 
foundations of his eminent historical attainments, afterwards so 
formidable to his opponents in parliamentary discussion, in these 



youthfal years. The style of his Latin essays was always clear 
and elegant, although perhaps not, in a grammatical sense, alwaj^s 
correct. The decision on his prize essay of Easter, 1832, was, 
Oratio est lucida ac latina, sed non satis castigata. (The language is 
clear and Latin, but not sufficiently polished.) 

On his departure for the University, Bismarck was not seven- 
teen years of age, and possessed none of the broad imposing pres- 
ence he later attained ; his stature was thin and graceful. His 
countenance possessed the brightness of youthful liberality, and 
his eyes beamed with goodness. His eldest son Herbert now re- 
calls in his likeness the vivid image of his father in those last days 
of his pupilage. Bismarck has inherited his tall stature from his 
father, who, with his fine presence and cultured manners, had 
been a personage of most aristocratic appearance. But in gen- 
eral the elder son, Bernhard, was more like his father than the 
younger brother. 

When the cholera broke out in Berlin, in 1831, in the general 



cholera mania, Bismarck was desired bj his father to return home 
so soon as the first case had declared itself in that citj. Like a 
true schoolboy, it was utterly impossible for him to receive the 
news too soon. He hired a horse, and several times rode to the 
"Frederick's field," from which district the cholera was expected. 
He, however, fell with the horse by the new Guard House, and 
was carried into his dwelling with a sprained leg. To his great- 
est annoyance he was now obliged to remain for a considerable 
time in bed, and endure the approach of the cholera to Berlin, 
before he could leave. But he never lost his gayety and good 
humor on this account. Bonnell, as might be expected, was 
greatly alarmed, when, on returning home, he learnt that Bis- 
marck had tumbled from the horse and had been carried to his 
room ; but he was soon comforted by the good temper with 
which the patient recounted the particulars of the accident. 

Bismarck awaited his convalescence with patient resignation, 
and when he was finally able to enter upon his journey to 


Kniephof, an event took place owing to the strange cholera meas- 
ures caused by the cholera mania. Travellers by stage, for in- 
stance, might not alight at such places as Bernau or Werneuchen 
on any account, but the coaches drove side by side until their 
doors touched and then the exchanges were effected, while the 
local guard paraded with spears in a m.anner almost Falstaf&an. 
In another place, Bismarck was allowed to alight, but he could 
enter no house ; there was a table spread in the open street, 
where tea and bread and butter were provided for travellers, and 
the latter breakfasted, while the inhabitants retired to look upon 
them in abject terror. When Bismarck called to a waitress to 
pay her, she fled shrieking, and he was obliged to leave the price 
of his breakfast on the table. The saddest case was that of a 
lady traveller, who was proceeding as governess to Count 
Borck's mansion, in Stargard. This poor girl dreaded travel- 
ling, and got into the condition which so outwardly resembles 
an attack of cholera. The doctors of Stargard were in an up- 
roar, so the poor governess was put into quarantine in the town 
jail. Bismarck himself went into quarantine, and was first 
locked up in the police office at ISTaugard, and afterwards at his 
native place. His mother, it should be mentioned, had taken 
every precaution then in fashion, and had engaged a retired mili- 
tary surgeon, named Geppert, who had seen much of the cholera 
during his residence in Russia, as a cholera doctor, for her imme- 
diate service. With this doctor Bismarck was used to hold ar- 
guments, for though his conversation was rude and desultory, he 
could tell the story of his voyages in a practical and animated 
manner. Madame von Bismarck would have been very angry 
had she had an idea of the carelessness with which her son ob- 
served the severe quarantine rules. However, despite all the 
pains which the wise lady took, cholera showed itself on her es- 
tate, while all the neighbors were free from it. At Jarchelin 
Mill two boys had bathed, against the regulations; they had 
eaten fruit and drunk water — they were sacrificed to the disease. 
It can be easily understood what a nuisance the quarantine, even 
in its mildest form, must have been for Bismarck, who never be- 
lieved in the infectious nature of cholera. In later times, when 
the two brothers farmed the estates, there was a case of cholera 
in Kiilz ; no one dared to enter the house ; the two Bismarcks 


went in, and declared that they themselves would not quit it 
until they were properly relieved. This shamed every one, and 
proper medical aid was obtained. 

As a boy and youth Bismarck was not usually very animated. 
There was rather a quiet and observant carriage in him, especial- 
ly evinced by the "blank" eyes, as they were once very aptly 
called by a lady ; these qualities were soon accompanied by de- 
termination and endurance in no insignificant degree. He was 
obliging and thoughtful in social intercourse, and soon acquired 
the reputation of being "good company," without having trans- 
gressed in the ways so common among social persons. He never 
allowed himself to be approached without politeness, and severe- 
ly censured intruders. His mental qualifications very early 
showed themselves to be considerable ; memory and comprehen- 
siveness aided him remarkably in his study of modern languages. 
He exhibited a love for "dumb" animals even as a child; he 
went to much expense in fine horses and dogs; his magnificent 
Danish dog, so faithful to him, long continued a distinguished 
personage in the whole neighborhood of Kniephof Eiding and 
hunting were his favorite pastimes. He has always been an in- 
trepid and elegant horseman, without being exactly a " riding- 
master." To this he added the accomplishment of swimming; 
he was a good fencer and dancer, but averse to athletic sports. 
The gymnastic ground of the Plamann Institution had caused 
him to regard that branch of culture with profound dislike. As 
a boy and youth he had grown tall, but he was slim and thin; 
his frame did not develop itself laterally until a later time; his, 
face was pale, but his health was always good, and he was, from 
his youth up, a, hearty eater. A certain proportion of daring 
was to be noticed in his carriage, but expressed in a kindly 
way ; his whole gait was frank and free, but with some reticence. 
Thus we do not find that he retained many friends of his boy- 
hood and pupilage, a time usually so rife in friendships for most 
men. But such friendships as he did form, continued for life. 
Among Bismarck's friends of the Grymnasium period, were, be- 
sides Moritz von Blanckenburg, Oscar von Arnim, afterwards 
his brother-in-law, William von Schenk, afterwards the possessor 
of Schloss Mansfeld and Member of the Chamber of Deputies, 
and Hans von Dewitz, of Gross Milzow in Mecklenburg. At 



the University he added to these Count Kayserlingk of Cour- 
land, the American Lothrop Motley,* Oldekop of Hanover, after- 
wards Councillor of War, and Lauenstein, subsequently pastor 
of Altenwerder on the Elbe. 

In conclusion, we should not omit to say that he from youth 
preserved a proper attitude towards his domestics; they almost 
all loved him, although his demands were heavy on them at 
times. Afterwards, while administering the Pomeranian estates 
with his brother, he censured one of his Junior inspectors very 
severely. The inspector sought to turn aside the reproaches by 
pleading his own dislike to farming, that he had been forced to it, 
and so forth. 

" I have long attested myself," the young man concluded. 

" Far from sufficient!" replied Bismarck, dryly. 

This reply brought the inspector to his senses ; since that time 
he has become an excellent agriculturist, and to this day thinks 
gratefully of Bismarck's " Far from sufficient !" 

This "Far from sufficient!" is associated in the Alt Mark with 
the name of Bismarck from olden time ; in the country speech of 
'the district it is proverbial. 

"Nochlange nicht genug ! (Far from sufficient!) quoth Bis- 

" Ueber und uber ! (Over and over !) quoth Schulenburg." 

* Now (1869) American Ambassador to St. James's. 


"Grade aus ! (Straight forward!) quoth Itzenplitz (Liide- 

" Meinetwegen ! (I care not!) quoth Alvensleben." 
It would be interesting to trace the origin of these peasant 
proverbs. The Alvenslebens since early times were reputed 
" mild ;" they are the Gens Valeria {Valerius PoUicola) of the Alt 
Mark. The Schulenburgs are " severe," the Gens Marcia {Mar- 
cius Bex) of that country ; and certainly we can perceive some af- 
finity between these qualities and the proverbs ; but what may 
the "Noch lange nicht genug ! sagt Bismarck!" mean? Per- 
haps the energetic striving, the essential characteristic of the 
whole family in a greater or lesser degree : an element of prog- 
ress which ever, in their own and others' action, exclaims, "Far 
from sufficient !" 




G(3ttingen. — The Danish Dog and the Professor. — Duels. — Berlin. — Appointed Ex- 
aminer. — Anecdotes of his Legal Life. — Bismarck and his Boots. — Meeting with 
Prince, now King, William. — Helene von Kessel. — Aix la Chapelle. — Greifswald. 
— Undertaking the Pomeranian Estates. — Kniephof. — "Mad Bismarck." — His 
Studies. — Marriage of his Sister. — Letters to her. — Nordemey. — Saves his Servant 
Hildebrand's Life.— "The Golden Dog." — A Dinner Party at the Blanckenbm-gs. 
— Von Blanckenburg. — Major, now General, Von Roon. — Dr. Beutner. 

TTO VON BISMARCK was anxious 
to enter himself at Heidelberg, but 
his mother objected to it, because she 
was afraid that at -this University her 
son would contract the habit, to her 
detestable, of drinking beer; and she 
therefore chose, at the advice of a 
relative — the Geh. Finanzrath Kerl, 
who was a great authority with her 
in matters of learning — the Universi- 
ty of Gottingen, where Kerl had him- 
self studied. Bismarck agreed to the change ; he longed for the 
joys of academic freedom, the more delightful to him from the 
strictness with which his education had hitherto been conducted, 
as well as from his little knowledge of student life. In Berlin 
student life was somewhat tame, obtruding itself nowhere ; and 
Bismarck had also been withheld from all contact with it. He 
entered into possession of his new liberty with enthusiasm, not 
easily comprehensible to the students of the present day. AVith 


the entire recklessness of a sturdy constitution he plunged into 
its every enjoyment. 

Even before entering at Gottingen he had fought his first duel 
at Berlin. His opponent was a brave lad of the Hebrew persua- 
sion, named Wolf. It is true he fought, but, like the ancient 
Parthians, he fought flying. The arrangements must have been 
somewhat unscientific, in fact quite out of form, for Bismarck 
was wounded in the leg, while he cut off his Jewish opponent's 
spectacles ! 

In the didactic epic " Bismarckias," by Dr. Gr. Schwetschke, of 
which several editions have appeared at Halle, containing many 
a good joke, the following aptly alludes to the present period 
of the hero's life : — 

From his boot soles now is shaken 
All the school dust : higher wavelets 
Bear the ship of the aspirant ; 
Weighed on deck is eveiy anchor, 
And spread out is every canvass, 
While the youthful flag of freedom, 
Gaily fluttering in the breezes, 
Bears, " Nitimur in vetitum !" 

Jolly days of wild enjoyment ! 

Votaries now gay assemble 

Of the nine Castalian sisters ; 

Crowd together in new temples ; 

Crowd around the fragrant altars 

Of old Bacchus and Gambrinus : 

And the neophyte so gayly \ 

Brings the hquid sacrifices. \ 

While the battle-loving Mavors 
Opes the clanging doors of combat ; 
Dost thou hear the clash of weapons ? 
Dost thou mark the shouts of contest ? 
Ha ! how gleam the flashing sword-blades ; 
With the tierce and carte resounding : 
As the hewer hews so fiercely. 
Hews, and his fellow-fighter heweth ! 

E'en then sped a slender red line 
(A red line of blood and iron), 
Through the life of our yoxmg hero 
Gottingen, Berlin, and Greifswald 
Echo deeds of noble daring, 


Done in years that now have fleeted ; 
" Days departed, days all silent." 
As old Ossian once out carolled.* 

When Bismarck came to Gottingen, as we have said, he had 
not the remotest notion of student life ; its customs were all un-- 
known to him, nor did he learn any thing of them immediately, 
as he there found no friend of any degree of intimacy. By a cer- 
tain Herr von Drenckhahn, whom he had formerly seen for a 
short time, he was introduced to a circle of Mechlenburgers, who 

belonged to no academical body, but passed a tolerably jolly life. 
With these he travelled into the Harz, and on his return it was 
agreed that the glories of real student life should be opened to 
him. Bismarck gave his fellow-travellers a breakfast in celebra- 
tion of the journey, and here matters went on somewhat madly. 
At length somebody threw a bottle out of the window. Next 
morning the Dominus de Bismarck was cited to the Deanery, 

* It is again necessary to explain that the translation is as close as the translator 
can make, without violating sense and metre. The reader will find the original of 
this, and other interjected poems in the Appendices. — K. E. H. M. 


and, obedient to his academical superiors, be set forth on the way. 
He came in a tall hat, a gay Berlin dressing-gown, and riding- 
boots, accompanied by his enormous dog. The Dean stared at 
this fantastic garb, and only dared to pass the huge creature 
,,when Bismarck had called him in. On account of this illegal 
dog, his fortunate possessor was at once fined five thalers — then 
came a painful investigation into the bottle-throwing matter. 
The former official was not satisfied with the simple explanation 
of Bismarck, that the bottle had been thrown out of the window ; 
it must have flown out. He was determined to know how this 
had happened, and was not content until the culprit had clearly 
shown him how he had held the bottle, and by proper muscular 
action had given it the necessary impetus. Somewhat annoyed 
by this inquiry, he set forth on his way home, and was greatly 
incensed at the laughter with which he was encountered by four 
young students of the corps of Hanover — although it was impos- 
sible not to laugh at his dress. " Are you laughing at me ?" in- 
quired Bismarck of the foremost of the party, and received as a 
reply, "Hm! that you must very well see!" In his inexperi- 
ence Bismarck hardly knew how to proceed ; he felt that he was 
in the right way to encounter a duel, but he knew nothing of the 
proper form. He was afraid of exposing himself, when suddenly 
— happy thought ! — the " dummer Junge" (foolish fellow) occur- 
red to him. He " growled," and felt exceedingly proud when he 
was challenged by the four Hanoverians. He then took the nec- 
essary steps, and obtained weapons from the corps of Brunswick- 
ers. But not one of these four duels was destined to be fough|t ; 
for a sly agent of the Hanoverians, who lived in the same house 
with Bismarck, had seen that he was made of the stuff of which 
good student-chums are formed, and induced his four companions 
to revoke or receive suitable apologies — in short, the Fuchs 
(freshman) Bismarck " sprang," ^. e., joined the Hanoverians, and 
became a member of their union. At this there was great rage 
among the Brunswickers, for it was contrary to etiquette to ob- 
tain weapons from on© corps and then join another ; but of this 
Bismarck knew nothing. The Consenior of the Brunswickers 
challenged the Fuchs ; they at once engaged, and Mr. Consenior 
was led off with a slash across the face, after he had roused Bis- 
marck's wrath by several flat sword-strokes of a very ungentle 



kind. To this duel there succeeded during the first three terms 
some twenty duels more. Bismarck fought them all with suc- 
cess, and was only wounded in one instance by the fracture of 
his adversary's sword-blade. The scar is still to be seen on the 
Minister-President's cheek. After a duello-dispute, this " blood " 
was held not to be " good," as it was caused by accident, to the 
great annoyance of his opponent. The latter still asserts that it 
was " good ;" at least, being now the Deputy Biederwig, he held 
an animated controversy with the Minister-President on the ques- 
tion very recently in the White Saloon. 

Amidst the stormy career pursued by Bismarck in Gottingen, 
it is only natural that he had no leisure to attend the classes ; 
nevertheless he received very good testimonials as to his indus- 
try ; but old Hugo remarked that he had never seen Herr von 
Bismarck at lecture. He believed that the lectures of the cele- 
brated jurist would be so well attended that he might safely omit 
to attend ; unfortunately, the old gentleman had only had three 
hearers, and had observed the absence of Bismarck with pain. 

■ Once Bismarck went home in the vacation, but in his velvet 
coat, and with the student's manner ; he found little approbation 
at the hands of his mother, who did not find his whole appear- 
ance in harmony with the picture of the diplomatist she fondly 
expected to see. 

In Berlin, too, whither Bismarck returned in the autumn of 
1833, he found the license of student life far too sweet to enable 


him to sever himself from it. When the examination was threat- 
ening him like a terrible spectre, he summoned up determination, 
and went to lecture for the first time ; he went a second, and the 
last time ; he saw that, even under Savignj, he could not profit 
as much from jurisprudence as he required for his examination, 
in the short time remaining to him. He never reappeared at 
lecture. But he passed his examination with credit at the ap- 
pointed time, with the aid of his own industry, his great gifts, 
and by a clever memoria technica. 

During his Berlin student life he resided with Count Kayser- 
lingk, of Courland, who afterwards became Curator of the Univer- 
sity of Dorpat ; he learnt from him to set a value on music, and 
often heard him perform; he was especially fond of Beethoven. 
After Kayserlingk, an American named Lothrop Motley became 
his companion. This gentleman won himself fame as the author 
of a History of the Eise of the Dutch Republic, and other works, 
was sent as United States Ambassador to Vienna, and is now Am- 
bassador to Grreat Britain. 

"When Bismarck became sworn, after his examination about 
Easter, 1835, in the capacity of Auscultator (Examiner) he again 
occupied apartments in the Behrenstrasse, jointly with his broth- 
er Bernhard, who, about that time, after having served four years 
in the Dragoon Eegiment of Guards, exchanged the sword for 
the pen, passed his examination in the following year, and be- 
came Referendary in the government at Potsdam, During Bis- 
marck's service as clerk in the City Police, he exhibited his sense 
of humor by many pranks, of which we could give an account 
were we able to vouch for their authenticity — these are, how- 
ever, so numerous, that we are sure many are ascribed to Bis- 
marck, properly the acts of others. The following anecdote we 
know to be genuine: The Auscultator was taking the protocol 
of a true Berliner, who finally so tried the patience of Bismarck 
by his impudence, that he jumped up, and exclaimed, " Sir, be- 
have better, or Pll have you kicked out!" The magistrate pres- 
ent patted the zealous ofl&cial in a friendly way upon the shoul- 
der, and said quietly, " Herr Auscultator, the kicking out is my 
business." They proceeded in taking evidence, but very soon 
Bismarck again sprang to his feet, thundering out, " Sir, behave 
yourself better, or the magistrate shall kick you out!" The face 
of the Court may be imagined. 


Bismarck had a great deal to do in divorce cases, which were 
then treated in a manner in Prussia — with a thoughtlessness 
still sadly remembered, although long since receiving a more 
solemn and worthier attention. The young jurist was deeply 
impressed by a lady with whom he had to arrange a divorce, 
when she decisively refused to attest it. She had determined 
otherwise. Bismarck, who had never met with such a refusal, 
was disconcerted, and at last went and consulted with the senior 
jurist, and requested his aid. Arrogantly shrugging his shoul- 
ders at the inexperience of his young colleague, he entered into 
the matter, and endeavored with ail his wisdom and authority to 
induce the poor woman to consent to the divorce. She, however, 
continued her refusal ; the matter ended without any result. 
Bismarck never forgot this circumstance. 

To the more amusing events of that time belongs the history 
of how Bismarck taught a boot-maker in the Kronenstrasse punc- 
tuality. This man, after many express promises, had neglected 
him on several occasions. When this again occurred, the shoe- 
maker was roused at six o'clock the next morning by 5, messen- 
ger with the simple question: "Are Herr von Bismarck's boots 
ready yet?" When the maker said, " No," he retired, but in ten 
minutes another arrived. Loud rang the bell. " Are Herr von 
Bismarck's boots ready yet ?" " No ;" and so it went on every 
ten minutes un til the boots were ready in the evening. The 
shoemaker no doubt never disappointed him again. 

To the social circles in which the brothers Bernhard and Otto 
von Bismarck then moved, there belonged the intimately related 
house of Madame General von Kessel. She was a sister of Bis- 
marck's mother and resided in Berlin, possessing many daugh- 
ters. Here he found pleasant and amiable society, and the affec- 
tion of a relative. Another house he was very fond of visiting 
was that of his cousin, the Count von Bismarck-Bohlan, who was 
also accustomed to pass the winter in Berlin with his family. 
During the winter of 1835-6, Bismarck was also introduced to 
the Court festivities, and took part in the usual amusements. 

At a Court ball he first met the Prince William, son of H.M. 
the King Frederick William IH., as His Eoyal Highness was 
then called, to distinguish him from the Prince William, brother 
of H.M. the King. Bismarck was introduced to the Eoyal Prince 




at the same time as a certain Herr von Schenk ; the latter was as 
tall as Bismarck, and also a legal official. Looking at the two 
stately forms of these youths, Prince William said merrily, 
" Well ! Justice seeks her young advocates according to the 
standard of the Guards." 



This was the first meeting between the King William, after- 
wards to be, and his Bismarck ; the first scarcely expected ever 
to- wear a crown, but Bismarck most certainly never thought that 
he should be that King's powerful Premier and most faithful 

One evening Bismarck appeared in the saloons of Madame von 
Kessel, quiet, in low spirits, his hair smoothly combed down, a 
melancholy mode of " Frisur," wearing a long waistcoat of wool 
len stuff, in trowsers of large pattern, checked blue and green ; in 


short, his plight was one of the most comical kind. In a gentle 
conciliatory way he accepted all the jokes it created, and patient- 
ly allowed a sketch of himself to be taken in this costume. This 
caricature is still in the possession of the family, and is highly 
characteristic. About a year afterwards, his cousin, Helene von 
Kessel, herself a skillful artist, painted a portrait of him ; this very 
excellent likeness displays his bountiful head of hair, and forms 
a striking contrast to the " Three Hairs," with which the Berlin 
Punch, '• Kladderadatsch," usually endows the Premier. This 
cousin, Helene von Kessel, at present a canoness at Lindow, re- 
mained during her whole life on the most intimate terms with the 
Minister-President. Once, on taking a journey for some weeks 
into Pomerania, his cousin begged him to take a letter for her and 
deliver it. He took it ; but when he returned, and she asked him 
about it, he looked in his pockets ; he happened to have the 
same coat on, and brought out the letter, but, with great presence 
of mind, declared that he had not delivered it in order to en- 
tirely cure his cousin of the habit of intrusting him with let- 
ters. Among the surprises he delighted to prepare, some were 
very curious. Thus, on one occasion, at Kniephof, he was in deep 
conversation with his cousins, when the door suddenly opened, 
and four young foxes dashed into the room, and in their terror 
they jumped upon the sofas and chairs till they tore them to 
rags. The company, after their first surprise, could not help 
bursting into a scream of laughter. 

In the year 1836, Eeferendarius von Bismarck left the Depart- 
ment of Justice for that of Administration. As a future diplo- 
matist, it was necessary to serve in that ; therefore he went to 
Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) to the Crown Court. Count Arnim- 
Boytzenburg was at that time President ; he possessed a great 
reputation, and Bismarck hoped that he should be able to effect 
a conjunction with this rising star, and follow in his course. He 
was received by the Arnim family with great kindness, and at 
first was very industrious ; but he soon was carried into the vor- 
tex of society which existed during the season at the celebrated 
baths of the Imperial city. He associated much with English- 
men, Frenchmen, and Belgians, and in their company made sever- 
al excursions to Belgium, France, and the Rhine province. He 
was especially the favorite of the English, as they were delighted 


to find in him an amiable gentleman, possessing a perfect mas- 
tery over their language. These connections, however, got him 
into may scrapes. 

He, in consequence, quitted "het ryk van Aaken " (the realm 
of Aachen), and, in the autumn of 1837, had himself transferred 
to the Crown Ofi&ce at Potsdam. About the same time, in 1838, 
he entered the Jager Guard, to fulfill his military duties. But 
the merry mess-room life did not last long, and in the same year 
he exchanged into the second battalion of Jager, at Greifswald, 
hoping to attend the lectures of the Agricultural Academy of 

To such studies he was compelled by the sad state into which 
the administration of the paternal estates in Pomerania had fall- 
en, and which threatened total ruin. On this account the sons 
proposed to their father to grant them the Pomeranian estates, as 
the only way in which the estates could be saved. His parents 
acceded to the proposition, and retired to Schonhausen, under the 
faithful care of Bellin, to there pass the evening of their lives. 
His father continued to reside there until 1845 ; but his mother, 
long an invalid, sought better medical attendance in Berlin, and 
died in that city on the 1st of November, 1839. 

At first, the elder brother, Bernhard von Bismarck, under- 
took the sole administration of the estates. Otto remaining un- 
til the end of his year of service, until Easter, 1839, at Greifs- 
wald, but he soon perceived that it was impossible to combine 
the military service with agricultural studies. He soon fell into 
wild student ways again, there being nothing better to do in 
that place. 

In the summer of 1839 Bismarck entered on the administration 
of the Pomeranian estates, and carried it on, in conjunction with 
his brother, until the summer of 1841. At this time the elder 
brother was elected Landrath of the circle of ISTaugard, married, 
and settled in the chief town. By this the common household 
of Kniephof was broken up ; and they divided the estates in such 
a manner that the elder brother retained Kiilz, the younger re- 
ceiving Kniephof and Jarchelin. 

The younger brother had already desired to divide the estates, 
as he spent more than his elder brother, and the income of the 
common treasury therefore fell short. Until his marriage, Bern- 


hard would not consent to this, the brotherly affection between 
■them having always been very sincere, 

. Bismarck became Deputy to the circle in his brother's place 
and in that capacity conducted the management of Naugard, and 
was chosen representative in the Provincial Pomeranian Diet ; 
but, after the first session, wearied by the unimportant duties as- 
signed to him, he resigned his functions; his place was filled by 
his brother. 

When Bismarck, at the age of twenty-three, in the most press- 
ing circumstances, without credit or capital, undertook the con- 
duct of the wasted estates, he evinced prudence and activity, and, 
as long as bitter want pressed upon him, he found solace in agri- 
cultural activity ; but when, by his means, the estates began to 
rise in value, and every thing went on smoothly, and he was able 
to rely upon able subordinates, the administration gave him less 
satisfaction, and he felt the circle in which he moved too con- 
tracted for him. In his youthful fancy, he had formed a certain 
ideal of a country Junker ; hence he had no carriage, performed 
all his journeys on horseback, and astonished the neighborhood 
by riding six to ten miles* to evening assemblies in Polzin. 
Despite of his wild life and actions, he felt a continually increas- 
ing sense of loneliness; and the same Bismarck who gave him- 
self to jolly carouses among the officers of the neighboring garri- 
sons, sank, when alone, into the bitterest and most desolate state 
of reflection. He suffered from that disgust of life common to 
the boldest officers at certain times, and which has been called 
" first lieutenant's melancholy." The less real pleasure he had in 
his wild career, the madder it became ; and he earned himself a 
fearful reputation among the elder ladies and gentlemen, who 
predicted the moral and pecuniary ruin of "Mad Bismarck." 

The mansion of Kniephof is pleasantly situated, but was built 
in a very simple style by its first possessor, the brave Cavalry 
Colonel Frederick August, who lay in garrison at that time at 
Grollnow, hard by, and who personally superintended its construc- 
tion. The whole arrangements of the dwelling — little changed 
to this day — are of the sober simplicity of the era of Frederick 
William I. The then Major von Bismarck had purchased these 
estates chiefly to gratify his passion for the chase, for game then 
* In English miles about eighteen and thirty. — K. K. H. M. 


abounded on it, especially deer, very few of which remained 
when his grandson. Otto, came to reside there. 

Kniephof did not then behold stag huntings with horses and 
mastiffs, as in the previous century. But strange scenes occurred 
when the youthful owner, tortured by dark thoughts, dashed 
restlessly, to kill time, through the fields, sometimes in solitude, 
and sometimes in the company of gay companions and guests ; 
so that Kniephof became a Kneiphof far and wide in the land.* 
Strange stories were current about their nocturnal carouses, at 
which none could equal " Mad Bismarck " in emptying the great 
beaker filled with porter and champagne. Tales of a wild char- 
acter were whispered in the circles of shuddering ladies — the 
power of imagination being rife in dear old Pomerania. At each 
mad adventure, each wild burst of humor, a dozen myths started 
up, sometimes of a comical, sometimes a terrible character, until 
the little mansion of Kniephof or "Kneiphof" was looked upon 
as haunted. But the ghosts must have had tolerably strong 
nerves, for the guests, slumbering with nightcaps of porter and 
champagne, were often roused by pistol-shots, the bullets whis- 
tling over their heads, and the lime from their ceilings tumbling 
into their faces. 

And yet the guests at this time relate that they were " misera- 
bly " bored at Bismarck's nocturnal political discussions with his 
intimate friends, Dewitz of Mesow and Billow of Hoffelde — so 
different in character, but so inseparable from him. Young gen- 
tlemen in those days were not so accustomed to political discus- 
sions as the youth of our time, and political parties were theiji 
nearly unknown. It should be stated, however, that Otto von 
Bismarck, despite his wild life, stood in high consideration, and 
he was heard with, avidity, though the affair might be "miser- 
ably " tedious. " He made an impression on all of us — and I 
think at that time he was somewhat of a liberal !" a companion of 
those days told us, who complained of -being "wretchedly 
bored " amongst the rest. The estimation in which Bismarck 
was held was in nowise confined to youth ; grave men of posi- 
tion, in a greater or less degree, felt that from this fermenting 

* This requires explanation, the pun notheing susceptible of translation. The deri- 
vation of Kniephof is uncertain ; ^nieis, however, Knee^ and it might have come from 
its being granted for knee-service. Kneipe is & pot-house : Ho/, a court. — K. R. H. M. 


mass would be formed an excellent and strong wine. Many of 
the electors desired to nominate him for the Landrath, but Bis- 
marck, decidedly enough, refused this. 

And then there came a day, on which, the furious revelry of 
"Kneiphof" was silent; the old mansion, as if by enchantment, 
grew quiet and respectable, so that the world was first astonished 
and then whispered, "A lady will become mistress of Kniep- 

But no lady appeared at Kniephof — it was a mistake, perhaps 
a disappointment. It was then said, " Bismarck is going to In- 
dia !" He did not go, though, perhaps, he for a time desired to 
do so. 

For the rest, it must be said that Bismarck fought chivalrously 
with the demons around him. He read much, and continually 
received parcels of books from his bookseller, chiefly historical 
works, but also theological and philosophical works. Spinoza he 
studied deeply. The melancholy he had contracted by the 
events which befell him on the Ehine, he strove to dissipate by 
travelling. About this time he visited France and England; 
he even resumed the position of Eeferendarius under the Crown 
at Potsdam, and was very industrious ; his friends, among 
whom were Baron Senfft von Pilsach, afterwards Chief President 
of Pomerania, and his brother, considering him remarkably 
adapted for the services of the State, although at that time he as- 
sumed a very surly attitude in reference to the bureaucracy. It 
was probably about this time, at a party, where his President 
somewhat slighted him, as he was inferior to him as an official, 
that he begged the President in a friendly way to consider that 
in society Herr von Bismarck was as good as Herr von Anybody 
Else — which scarcely pleased the President. Another of his 
chiefs once pretended not to notice the presence of Bismarck, 
went to the window and began drumming with his fingers, 
whereupon Bismarck went to the window and stood beside him, 
drumming the Dessau March. It was very likely the same offi- 
cial who allowed Bismarck to wait in the antechamber for an 
hour, and received the answer to his short question "What do 
you want ? — " I came here to beg for leave of absence, and now 
demand leave to resign." To about this time may be referred a 
report of Bismarck's asHo certain expropriations, which attained 


much celebrity. He might have been appointed Landrath in 
Posen or Prussia Proper, had he been wilHng to go. In this re- 
port Bismarck freely and faithfully spoke his opinion as to the 
injustice of many expropriations, and his friends still quote the 
classical phrase, " You could not pay it me in cash, if you -were 
to turn the park of my father into a carp lake, or the grave of 
my deceased aunt into an eel swamp !" 

He decided in the end to go to Schonhausen, and become 
Landrath in the original seat of his race. His father was ready 
to resign Schonhausen to him, but this plan also failed. In the 
autumn of 1844, on the 30th of October, he had the delight, after 
his return from a longer journey, to betroth his only sister Mal- 
win, to whom he was ever affectionately attached, to the friend 
of his youth, the Landrath of Angermiinde, Oscar von Arnim. 
The affection of the brother and sister, people proverbially com- 
pared to that of a bridegroom to a bride. 

After the death of his father, which took place in November, 
1845, the sons so divided the property, that the elder retained 
Kiilz and received Jarchelin, the younger retaining Kniephof 
and adding to it Schonhausen. From that time Bismarck resided 
in Schonhausen, became Dyke Captain there, and afterwards 
Knight's Deputy in the circle of Jerichow in the Saxon Provin- 
cial Diet at Merseburg. In that capacity he attended the first 
meeting of the United Diets in 1847, on which occasion he first 
attracted the notice of the public to himself in more extended 

We shall now give some letters written by Bismarck to hi^ 
sister at this troubled time, as they afford an insight into his 
peculiarities. We called this a troubled time, as the manage- 
ment of Kniephof and Jarchelin afforded him no satisfaction, for 
we find him continually flitting about between Pomerania, Schon- 
hausen, and Berlin. In Berlin itself he changed his residence 
very often. On the morning of such removal he used to say 
abruptly to his servant, " Bring all my things to No. so-and-so, in 
so-and-so Street ; I shall be there by bed-time." The things were 
placed on tables, chairs, and sofa, spread out ; for Bismarck loved, 
as he said, to hold a review of his worldly possessions. 

We must add that the disquiet he then suffered had a particu- 
lar reason, and we shall find some allusions to this in his letters. 




Mademoiselle, — I have just received your boots from Glaser, 
and while they are being packed up I write to say that I am fair- 
ly amused here, and hope you enjoy your quadrille as much, I 

was pleasantly surprised to hear you danced with . If the 

boots are not properly made I am sorry, for you did not write 
any thing to me on the subject, so I had them made like the old 
ones. To-morrow I go with Arnim to Schonhausen, where we 
propose to have a hunting-party. Father has given permission 
to us to kill a stag, but it is almost a pity at the present time of 
year. It has been freezing since yesterday. Among you Sa- 
moyeds the snow ought to be as high as the house. There are 
no news here — all is mourning — the King of Sweden also is dead. 
I feel ever more how alone I am in the world. To your quad- 
rille you will probably only see from here. I have been 

able to excite jealousy. Take care that ice is brought in at 
Kniephof, and as much as possible, or you will have to drink 
lukewarm champagne in summer. Greet every one, especially 
father. B. 

Berlin, Wednesday, 1844. 


Dear Maldewine, — Only because it is yourself, I will depart 
from one of my principles, by writing a letter of congratulation 
pur ement pour feliciter. I can not come myself to your birthday, 
because my viceroy is not here to relieve me ; but I would risk 
the assertion, that according to your incredulous bridegroom's 
view, you would be convinced that I came to you on business, 
and not for your own sake. Looking at it carefully, I don't 
know what I can wish you, for you can remain as you are ; but 
I could wish that you had two more sisters-in-law; one who is 
gone, and one who will not arrive. Good-bye, my heart — greet 
my father, Arnim, Antonie, etc. ; in about a fortnight I hope to 
see you. ' Count the days till then, and kiss your affectionate 
brother, Bismarck. 

Kniephof, 27th June, 1844. 



Dear Little One, — Being too mucli engaged in packing to 
attend the Landwehr drill, I will only just write a couple of 
lines, as I shall have no time to do so after this, just now. Yery 
shortly after the wool-market I represented our vagabond of a 
Landrath, have had many fires, many sessions in the burning- 
heats, and much travelling through sandy bramble moors, so that 
I am completely tired of playing the Landrath, and so are my 
horses. I am hardly at rest for a week, and now I must go 
serve my country as a soldier! You see* "how men of merit 
are sought after, the undeserver may," etc. I am sorry to say I 
have had to buy another horse, as mine is not adapted for evolu- 
tions ; however, I must try it, with Grosvenor for a reserve. 
The latter pulls the carriage like an old coach horse ; I must 
therefore pay for it, you can tell Oscar (as soon as the rape har- 
vest is current), which I had firmly resolved not to do — if he did 
not draw well. [Here a blot.] Forgive the preceding Arabic ; 
I have not a moment's time to write this billet over again, for I 
must set out in an hour, and much packing has yet to be done. 
We shall remain for fourteen days in garrison at Criissow, 
by Stargard, afterwards near Fiddichow and Bahn, opposite 
Schwedt. If you write to me, address me at Stargard, Poste Ees- 
tante ; I shall make no apologies for my long silence, and, if the 
case arise, regard you in the same way. Good-bye — my port- 
manteau is yawning at me in expectation of being packed, and it 
looks very blue and white and military all around me. \ 

When we reach Fiddichow, Oscar can visit me at Bahn. I 
will let him know. Your faithful brother, ' 


Kniephof, the 21st. 

• lY. 

Nordemey, 9th Sept., 1844. 

Darling Little One, — A fortnight ago I intended to write 
to you, without being able, amidst the throng of business and 
pleasure, to do so. If you are curious to know the nature of the 
business, I am really unable, with the sparseness of my time and 

* The passage is written by Bismarck in English. I have put inverted commas. — 
K. R. H. M. 


paper, to give you a complete picture, as its series and nature, 
according to the change of ebb and flood, every day produces 
the most manifold variety. Bathing, for instance, only takes 
place at flood tide, the waves being then strongest; this hap- 
pens between six in the morning and six in the evening, every 
day one hour later, and is enjoyed with the advantages of a 
breezy, rainy, summer morning, sometimes in God's beautiful na- 
ture with the glorious impressions of land and water, sometimes 
in my landlord's Mousse Omne Fimmen bed, five feet long, with 
the delightful ideas inspired by a seaweed mattress. In the 
same way, the tahle deUiote changes its times between one and 
five o'clock, its component parts varying between shell-fish, 
beans, and mutton on the odd days, and soles, peas, and veal on 
the even days of the month, in which case sweet porridge with 
fruit sauce accompanies the former, and currant pudding the lat- 
ter. That the eye may not envy the palate, a lady from Den- 
mark sits beside me, whose appearance fills me with sorrow and 
longings for home, for she reminds me of the pepper at Kniep- 
hof, when it is very thin. Her mind must be heavenly, or Fate 
was very much unjust to her, for she offers me, in a sweet voice, 
two helpings from every dish before her. Opposite sits the old 

minister , one of those beings we only behold in dreams, 

when we are somnolently ill ; a fat frog without legs, who opens 
his mouth before every morsel like a carpet-bag, right up to his 
shoulders, so that I am obliged to hold on to the ta'ble for giddi- 
ness. My other neighbor is a Eussian officer; a good fellow, 
built like a bootjack, with a long slender body, and short crook- 
ed legs. Most of the people have left, and our dinner company 
has melted from two or three hundred down to twelve or fifteen. 
My holiday at the baths is now over, and I shall leave by the 
next steamboat, expected the day after to-morrow (the 11th) for 
Heligoland, and then by Hamburg to Schonhausen. I can not, 
however, fix the day of my arrival, because it is uncertain that 
the steamer will arrive the day after to-morrow ; the notices say 
so, but they often retard the later passages if there are not sufii- 
cient passengers to bear the expense. The Bremen steamships 
have long since stopped, and I do not like travelling by land, 
the roads being so bad that it is only possible to reach Hanover 
by the third day, and the post-coaches are abominable. If, 


therefore, tlie steamer does not come the day after to-morrow, 
I propose to go bj sailing vessel to Heligoland ; thence there 
is a twice-a-week boat to Hamburg, but I do not know on 
what days. Father wrote me word that you would go to Berlin 
on the 15th; if I therefore find, on reaching Hamburg, that I 
can not reach you per steamer by the 15th, I shall try and get the 
Potsdam boat, and go direct to Berlin, to talk about art and indus- 
trial matters with you. If you receive this letter in time, which, 
considering the slowness of the post here, I scarcely think you 
will, you might send me a couple of lines to Hamburg — Old Stadt 
London Hotel — to say whether father has changed his travelling 
plans. The bathing here pleases me, and I should not mind 
stopping a few days longer. The shore is splendid — very flat, 
even, soft sand, without any stones, and a surf such as I have 
neither seen in the Baltic nor at Dieppe. Even when I am only 
knee-high in the water, a wave comes as high as a house (but the 
houses here are not so high as the palace at Berlin), turns me 
over ten times, and throws me on the sand some twenty paces 
off — a simple amusement which I daily enjoy, con amore^ as long 
as the medical men advise. I have made great friends with the 
lake ; every day I sail for some hours, fish, and shoot at seals, I 
only killed one of the last ; such a gentle dog's face, with large, 
handsome eyes; I was really sorry. A fortnight ago we had 
heavy storms ; some twenty ships, of all nations, came ashore 
here, and for several days the shore was covered with innumera- 
ble fragments of wreck, utensils, goods in casks, bodies, clothes, 
and papers. I have, myself, had some sample of what a storik is. 
With a piscatorial friend, Tonke Hams, I had sailed in; four hours 
to the island of Wangeroge ; on our return we were tossed about 
for twenty-four hours in the little boat, and in the first hour had 
not a dry thread on us, although I lay in an apology for a cabin ; 
fortunately, we were well provided with ham and port wine, or 
the voyage would have been very distressing. Hearty greetings 
to father, and thanks for his letter ; the same to Antonie and Ar- 
nira. Farewell, my treasure, my heart. Your loving brother, 




Madame, — It is only with great difficulty that I withstand 
my desire to fill a whole letter with agricultural complaints, 
about night-frosts, sick cattle, bad rape and bad roads, dead 
lambs, hungry sheep, scarcity of straw, fodder, money, potatoes, 
and manure ; in addition to that, John outside is, as continually 
as badly, whistling a wretched Schottische, and I have not the 
cruelty to forbid him, as music may perhaps soothe his despair 
in love. The ideal of his dreams, at her parents' desire, has late- 
ly refused him, and married a frame-maker. Just my case, ex- 
cept the frame-maker, who is rasping away in the bosom of the 
future. I must^ the Devil take me ! get married, I can again see, 
plainly ; since, after my father's departure, I feel lonely and for- 
saken, and this mild, damp weather makes me melancholy, and 
longingly prone to love. I can not help it, in the end I must 

marry ; every body will have it so, and nothing seems more 

natural, as we have both remained behind. She is somewhat 
cold to me, but that is the way with them all ; it is pretty not to 
be able to change one's affections like one's shirt, however sel- 
dom the last event may occur. That on the 1st I bore the visit 
of several ladies with polite urbanity, our father will have in- 
formed you. When I came from Angermiinde, I was cut off 
from Kniephof by the floods of the Ha^pel, and as no one would 
let me have horses, I was obliged to remain for the night at ISTau- 
gard, with many merchants and other travellers who also await- 
ed the subsidence of the waters. Afterwards the bridges over 
the Hampel were carried away, so that Knobelsdorf and I, the 
Eegents of two mighty Circles, were surrounded here on a little 
patch by the waters, and there was an anarchical interregnum 
from Schievelbein to Damm. About one o'clock one of my 
wagons with three casks of spirits was carried away by the 
flood, and in my little river the Hampel, I pride myself to say, a 
man driving a pitch-cart was carried away by the flood and 
drowned.* Besides this, several houses in Gollnow fell in, a 
criminal in the jail hanged himself for being flogged, and my 
neighbor, the proprietor , in , shot himself on account 

* It is obvious that this pi'ide arose from the smallness of the river, not the loss of 
the man and horse. — K. R. H. M. 


of the want of fodder ; three widows and an infant mourn in 
tearless sorrow beside the bloody coffin of the suicide. An 
eventful time I It is to be expected that several of our acquaint- 
ance will quit the scene, as this year, with its bad harvest, low 
prices, and the long winter, is difficult to be encountered by em- 
barrassed proprietors. To-morrow I expect Bernhard to return, 
and am glad to be quit of the District business, very agreeable 
in summer, but very unpleasant during this weather and rain. 
Then I shall, should Oscar not write otherwise, come to Kroch- 
elndorf and thence to you. 

I have nothing new to tell you from hence, except that I am 
stil] satisfied with Bellin — the thermometer now at 10 p.m. marks 
+ 10° (50° Fahr.). Odin still continues lame of his right fore 
paw, and enjoys the society of his Eebecca with touching affec- 
tion all day, and I was obliged to chain her up for domestic mis- 
behavior. Good-night, m^amie, je femhrasse. Thine, etc., etc., 


Kniephof, 9th April, 1845. 


Most dear Creusa, — I have not taken the smallest key with 
me, and can assure you from experience that it never leads to the 
slightest result to look for keys; for which reason, in such cir- 
cumstances — very rare with me, with my love of order — I at 
once turn to the locksmith to have a new one made. With im- 
portant ones, such as safes, one has the choice of altering the 
wards and all the keys in use. I can see that I shall soon end 
my letter ; not from malice, because you only wrote a page to 
me — it would be terrible to think that you would consider me so 
wretchedly revengeful ; but from sleepiness. I have been riding 
and walking all day in the sun — saw a dance in Plathe yesterday, 
and drank a good deal of Montebello ; the one gives me bile, the 
other the cramp. Add to this, in swallowing, a painful swelling 
of the uvula, a slight headache, cramped legs, and sun-burn, and 
you can understand that neither my thoughts of you, my angel, 
nor the melancholy howling of a shepherd dog, locked up for too 
great a passion for hunting, can keep me longer awake. I will 
only tell you that the Kranzchen (club) is not very much visit- 
ed ; a very pretty little Miss , sister of ■ , was there, and 


that most of the young and old ladies are lying in childbed, ex- 
cept Frau von , the little one who wore the light blue satin ; 

and that I go to-morrow to an aesthetic tea in . Sleep well, 

my idolized one — it is eleven o'clock, 


K., 27th April, 1845. 


Ma Sgeur, — Je fecris pour Hannoncer that I shall be with you 
at Angermlinde at the latest by the 3d March, if you do not write 
to me before that you will not have me. I think then, after I 
have enjoyed a sight of you for three or four days, to carry off 
your husband to attend a meeting of the Society for the Improve- 
ment of the Working Classes, on the 7th March, at Potsdam. 
My journey, previously intended, has been delayed by all sorts 
of Dyke suits, and Game cases, so that I shall leave here by the 
28th at earliest. I am to be invested here with the important of- 
fice of Dyke Captain, and I have also considerable chance of be- 
ing elected to the Saxon (not the Dresden) Diet. The acceptance 
of the first office would be decisive as to the settlement of my res- 
idence — that is, here ! There is no salary, but the administration 
of the position is of importance to Schonhausen and the other es- 
tates, inasmuch as it very much depends upon this whether we 
may occasionally get under water again or no. On the other 

hand, my friend , who is determined to send me to East 

Prussia, pushes me hard to accept the office there of H. M. Com- 
missioner for Improvements. Bernhard urges me, contrary to 
my expectation, to go to Prussia. I should like to know what 
he thinks himself about it. He declares that by taste and educa- 
tion I am made for Government service, and must enter it, soon- 
er or later. Greet Oscar, Detlev, Miss , and the other chil- 
dren heartily, from your devoted brother, Bismarck. 

Schonhausen, 25th Febraaiy, 1846. 


Dear Arnimen, — I have within the few last days been 
obliged to write so many letters, that I have only left by me one 
sheet, stained with coffee, which I will not, Tiowever, deprive you 
of. My existence here has not been the most agreeable. To 


make inventories is tedious, particularly when the rascally valuer 
has left one three times in the lurch for nothing, and one has to 
wait in vain for several days. Besides this, I have lost a consid- 
erable amount of corn by hail, on the 17th, and finally I am suf- 
fering from a very annoying cough, although I have drunk no 
wine since Angermiinde, and have taken every precaution against 
catching cold, can not complain of want of appetite, and sleep like 
a badger. At the same time every one laughs at me for my 
healthy looks, when I declare I am suffering from the chest. 
To-morrow, at noon, I will visit Eedekin, the next day go to 
Magdeburg, and then, after a day or two's sojourn, throw myself 
immediately into your arms. I can not tell you of any further 
news here, except that the grass was fourteen days in advance, in 
comparison with Angermiinde, and the crops, take them alto- 
gether, very middling. The results of the inundation are very 
annoyingly visible, I am sorry to say, in the garden. Besides the 
many trees I took during the winter from the plantation as use- 
less, it now appears that all the other acacias and the ashes are 
dried up, so that little remains ; seventeen of the limes at the low- 
er end of the great avenue are either dead or appear dying visi- 
bly. I shall have those showing a leaf anywhere topped, and 
see whether this operation will save them. In fruit trees, and 
especially plums, there has been a considerable loss. In the 
fields, and more particularly in the meadows, there are many 
places in which the grass has not grown, because the upper veg- 
etative soil has been washed away. The Bellins and the rest of 
the Schonhausers send their respects ; the former suffer ni|ach 
from to-day's heat. Sultan not less. Thermometer 21° (68° 
Fahr.) in the shade. Many greetings to Oscar. Your consump- 
tive brother, Bismarck. 

Schonhausen, 22d July, 1846. 

In the course of this year Bismarck obtained his first decoration, 
for many years the only one which graced his breast, but which he 
wears to this day beside the stars of the highest Orders of Christen- 
dom. In the summer of 1842, he was on duty as Cavalry Officer 
with the Stargard Landwehr Squadron of Uhlans, in exercise at 
Lippehne,in the Neumark, and one afternoon was standing with 
other officers on the bridge over the lake, when his groom Hilde- 


brand, the son of the forester on his estate, rode one of the horses 
to water and for a bath in the lake, close by the bridge. Sud- 
denly the horse lost footing, and as the terrified horseman clung 
tight to the bridle, it fell, and Hildebrand disappeared in the wa- 
ter. A terrible cry of horror resounded ; Bismarck threw off his 
sword in an instant, tore off his uniform, and dashed headlong 
into the lake to save his servant. By great good fortune he 
seized him, but the man clung to him so fast in his death agony, 
that he had to dive before he could loose himself from him. The 
crowd stood in horror on the shore ; master and servant were 
both given up for lost — bubbles rose to the surface, but the pow- 
erful swimmer had succeeded in releasing himself from the dead- 
ly embrace of the drowning man ; he rose to the surface, raising 
his servant with him. He also brought him safely to land, of 
course in an inanimate condition ; but Hildebrand soon recover- 
ed, and the following day was well. This little town, some of 
the inhabitants of which had -witnessed the brave rescue, was in 
great commotion ; they expressed their feelings by the Superin- 
tendent meeting the noble rescuer in full official dress, and wish- 
ing him happiness for the mercy of the Almighty. Hence he ob- 
tained the simple medallion " for rescue from danger," the well- 
known Prussian Safety Medal, which may be seen beside so 
many exalted stars on the breast of the Minister-President. Bis- 
marck is proud of this mark of honor, and when on one occa- 
sion a noble diplomatist, perhaps not without a tinge of satire, 
asked him the meaning of this modest decoration, then his only 
one, he at once replied : "I am in the habit sometimes of sav- 
ing a man's life !" The diplomatist abased his eyes before 
the stern look which accompanied the lightly spoken words of 

In the spring of 1843, Lieutenant von Bismarck sought and 
obtained permission from the Landwehr Battalion of Stargard to 
enter the 4th Uhlans (now the 1st Pomeranian Regiment, Uhlans, 
No. 4), then in garrison at Treptow and Greiifenberg, and do 
some months' duty. Bismarck certainly aimed, when he entered 
this regiment, to serve as an officer in the active army, and to be- 
come acquainted with the regular routine of duty, although he 
did not say so, and allowed the officers of Uhlans to believe that 
he had only been induced by their agreeable society to join them. 


146 CALEB. 

It is true he lived with them as a comrade, and often entertained 
them, almost every Saturday, as his guests at Kniephof ; but they 
had frequently been his guests before, and afterwards they be- 
came so constantly. The Regimental Commandant, at that time, 
of the 4th Uhlans, was Lieutenant-Colonel von Plehwe, who fell 
in a duel as Ceneral, a person well known in many circles, and of 
a very distinguished character. Plehwe was one of the few im- 
portant men, without an idea of what there was " in " the wild 
Landwehr Lieutenant, who joined his regiment in so strange a 
manner, for he did not know how to deal with Bismarck in any 
way. Half-way between Treptow, where the staff of the regiment 
was quartered, and Grreiffenberg, where Bismarck lay, was a ren- 
dezvous known as " The Golden Dog " {Zuni Goldenen Mops) ; to 
this place the severe Regimental Commandant was accustomed 
to summon the ofiicers of Greiffenberg when he wanted to treat 
them to — compliments, or rather the very opposite to compli- 
ments. Oh! how often did Lieutenant von Bismarck ride to 
" The Golden Dog " upon his Caleb ! 

Caleb was Bismarck's favorite charger ; a dark chestnut, not 
very handsome, but a good hunter; the warmer the work the 
more furious his pace. Caleb has carried his master at such 
speed impossible to relate without being supposed guilty of fab- 
ulation ; but these rides were nevertheless true, according to the 
most credible witnesses. It was Caleb who bore Bismarck on 
that wild ride when the stirrup flew up to the epaulet. How it 
happened, who can tell ? — but the fact is sure. 

Although Von Plehwe may have summoned Lieutenant von 
Bismarck a few times too often to " The Golden Dog," although 
he may have been commanded to appear in full regimentals on 
more occasions than was necessary, Bismarck even now tells his 
former comrades m the 4th Uhlans, " I spent a very pleasant 
time with you !" He still chuckles with satisfaction at the little 
practical joke when, in company with other officers, he seated 
himself, smoking a cigar, on the bench before the Burgomaster 
of Treptow's house. This official was an enemy of tobacco, and 
officers were even then forbidden to smoke in the streets. It was 
in vain that the Burgomaster, who in other things was a very ex- 
cellent man, informed them that it was no hotel, but the Burgo- 
master's house ; Bismarck remained immovable, until the severe 


Commandant appeared in full uniform, and raised the tobacco 

During the Christmas holidays of 1844, there was a dinner- 
party at the house of the youthful Frau von Blanckenburg, ^t 
Cardemin in Pomerania. This pious and intellectual lady — born 
a Von Thadden-Triglaff — had great influence over Bismarck, and 
had confirmed the ancient family friendship between the Blanck- 
enburgs and the Bismarcks. After dinner four gentlemen sat in 
the Eed Saloon under the lamp, who were to meet again after 
many years, although in different positions, but still fighting on 
the same side. ISText to the host, the retired Examiner, Moritz 
von Blanckenburg, sat Otto von Bismarck, then in the same of- 
ficial position ; beside the latter, Major von Eoon, whose cradle 
was also in Pomerania; and, last. Dr. Theodor Beutner, since 
1855 editor-in-chief of the "New Prussian Gazette," popularly 
known as the Kreuzzeitung^ from the cross on the title-leaf 



Falls in Love.— Johanna von Putkammer.— Marriage.— Meets King Frederick 
William IV. — Birth of his First Child. — Schonhausen and Kniephof with a New 

N the society and at the house of 
his friend and neighbor, Moritz von 
Blanckenburg, Bismarck had often 
seen a friend of his noble hostess, 
who greatly interested him. But 
he first became more intimately ac- 
quainted with Fraulein Johanna von 
Putkammer on a trip which both of 
them made in company with the 
Blanckenburgs. Bismarck soon be- 
came aware of the affection he felt 
for the young lady, but, he naturally 
found many obstacles in learning — 
as may be readily understood — 
whether his affection was returned 
by her. This would easily explain the inquietude of his beha- 
vior, for even when assured of his attachment being returned, 
there were still many difldculties to be surmounted. 

We have already mentioned the reputation which " Mad Bis- 
marck " had won for himself among the elder ladies and gentle- 
men in Pomerania. The consternation and horror may easily be 
imagined, in which the quiet Christian house of Herr von Put- 
kammer was plunged, on the receipt of a letter in which Bis- 


raarck directly and frankly asked for tlie hand of his daughter. 
But how much greater must have been his horror when the gen- 
tle daughter of the house, in a modest but firm manner, acknowl- 
edged her affection ! " It seemed as if I had been felled with an 
axe !" old Herr von Putkammer said, in describing his feelings at 
that time, in a drastic tone. Even the story of the wolf, which 
always devours the meekest lambs, did not console him. How- 
ever, he was far removed from playing the tyrant father, and he 
gave his consent, although with a heavy heart — a consent he has 
never had reason to regret. Her mother, of a more spirited na- 
ture, protested until Bismarck appeared in person at Eeinfeld, 
and before her eyes clasped his bride to his heart. With a flood 
of passionate tears, she then consented to their union, and from 
that moment became the warmest and most zealous friend of the 
man to whom she gave her beloved daughter after so severe a 
struggle. Under the motto " All right,"* Bismarck announces 
the fact to his sistei, his "Arnimen." 

Between this betrothal and his marriage falls Bismarck's first 
appearance at the first United Diet. 

On the 28th of July, 1847, Otto von Bismarck-Schonhausen 
married Johanna Frederica Charlotte Dorothea Eleonore von 
Putkammer, born on the 11th of April, 1824, the only daughter 
of Herr Henry Ernst Jacob von Putkammer, of Kartlum, and the 
Lady Luitgarde, born Yon Glasenapp of Eeinfeld. 

On the journey which Bismarck took after the wedding with 
his young wife through Switzerland and Italy, he accidentally 
met his King Frederick AVilliam IV., at Venice. He was at 
once commanded to attend at the royal dinner-table, and his 
royal master conversed with him for a long time in a gracious 
manner, particularly concerning German politics, a conversation 
not, perhaps, without its influence on the subsequent and very 
sudden appointment of Bismarck to the post of Ambassador to 
the Federation ; but it unquestionably laid the foundation for 
the favor with which King Frederick William IV. always re- 
garded Bismarck. For the rest, he was so unprepared to meet 
his king and master at Venice, that he had not even had time to 
take with him a court suit, and was obliged to appear before his 

* So in Bismarck's letter.— K. R. H. M. 



sovereign in borrowed clothes, whicli, considering his stature, 
must have fitted him very badly. 

Bismarck now set up his domestic hearth at the old stone 

mansion of Schonhausen. 
' ^ " ' 1^'^ There, where his cradle 

once stood, in the follow- 
ing year stood that of 
his eldest child, his 
daughter Marie; and 
though his actual resi- 
dence in Schonhausen 
only lasted a few years, 
he took with him his do- 
mestic happiness thence 
to Berlin, Frankfurt, and 
St. Petersburg. Nomi- 
nally Schonhausen con- 
tinued to be his resi- 
dence until he became 
Minister-President ; and 
though he now prefers 
to live on his Pomera- 
nian estates to those in 
the Alt Mark, during 
his days of retirement 
this does not occur from any want of affection for his old hpme, 
but from a feeling of delicacy towards his father-in-law, ndw a 
venerable man almost eighty years of age, but still fresh and 
hale, who lives in the vicinity of Varzin, and also because he 
finds in Pomerania three things for which he would seek in vain 
at Schonhausen. The forest is not at Schonhausen close round 
the house, as at Yarzin, for at Schonhausen he has an hour's ride 
to reach the wood, and the forest he loves as an old friend. The 
game about Schonhausen is also almost entirely destroyed, and 
the heavy wheat soil there is either flat and hard, or cloddy, and 
therefore little fitted for riding. Bismarck, as he ever was, re- 
mains a great horseman and a zealous sportsman. 

The marria2;e of Bismarck has been blessed with three chil- 
dren — Mary Elizabeth Johanna, born the 21st August, 1848, 



at Schonliaiisen ; Nicolas Ferdinand Herbert, born the 28th De- 
cember, 1849, at Berlin ; William Otto Albert, born the 1st Au- 
gust, 1862, at Frankfurt-on-the-Maine. 

Amidst the severe battles of a time so rife in immeasurable 
contradictions, Bismarck commenced his family life in a simple 
but substantial manner, as befitting a nobleman of the Alt Mark 
or Pomerania ; and so he has been able to maintain himself even 
at the elevation at which God the Almighty has placed him for 
the good of his native country. That he may ever maintain it is 
the aspiration of every patriot, for in him the fountain ever fresh- 
ly runs, whence he draws continual renovation for the service of 
his King and country. 






Bismarck's Policy. — Its Gradual Growth and Political Character. — Contrast withLnc- 
chesini. — Bismarck's Open Honesty. — Vassal and Liege. — Liberalism a Danger. — 
Democracy a Danger. — The Relative Positions of Prussia and Austria in the Fed- 
eration. — Gerlach's Ideal Consei'vatism. 

ISMAECK has now to 
be politically tested, and 
amidst all the strange 
eventualities in the re- 
markable history of Prus- 
sia, we perceive, first as a 
counsellor, then as an act- 
or, and finally as a guide, 
that the one man emerges, 
a man ever the same, yet 
ever appearing to change. 
Otto von Bismarck is best 
to be compared to a tree, 
which continues the same, 
although gaining in height 
and strength by growth ; 
whose lofty top, with its 
wide-spreading leaves, al- 
ters its appearance at each 
new spring, to a greater or 
lesser degree ; it remains 
the same, even if the wind 
bends the trunk, despite its toughest power of resistance, slightly 



aside; an imperfect twig may be broken off by the storm, or a 
heavy rain-fall may bare one of the deep roots, and abandon the 
growing power a prize to the effects of the breeze and the sun. 

The altered appearance which Bismarck at different times has 
presented, has blinded many eyes ; many thought he had grown 
ifito another man, as he presented himself ever stronger, mightier, 
and of greater stature ! Of course, he has long since become too 
great, too strong, and too mighty for his opponents, and some 
have found, in a manner not so entirely agreeable, the influence 
of the wide-spreading tree with its potent shadow. 

There have certainly been alterations in the man, but none of 
them inconsistent with the growth of the tree. The simile may 
not be accurate, but it indicates the truth. Bismarck has himself 
pointed out the changes which he has undergone very much bet- 
ter by the modest sentence, " I have learnt something !" Per- 
haps he did not always learn the best, but he has learnt more 
than many who now turn maliciously from him, because they 
could not keep step with him ; some others, also, because they 
would not. 

We owe to Guizot the expression of the same thought, so mod- 
erately phrased by Bismarck, in the pointed French remark, 
" Vhomme absurde seul ne change j^ccs /" The word, however, is 
somewhat suspicious in the mouth of the French statesman, for its 
utterance is pro domo, as an excuse for various political apostasies. 

Now, in Bismarck there is no trace of apostasy throughout his 
political life, and perhaps in no statesman can an enduring politi- 
cal principle be more easily discovered, and followed into detail 
— if we only adhere to facts, and do not allow ourselves to be di- 
verted by absurd misinterpretations of his words, the diatribes of 
political opposition, -or the hollow declamation of foolish party 

This is the more easy, as Bismarck is precisely the opposite of 
one of his predecessors in the Foreign Office of Prussia. The 
cunning of the Marquis of Lucchesini,* a predecessor of Bis- 

* Lucchesini, Girolamo, Marchese, was born at Lucca in 1752 of a patrician family, 
and presented by the Abbe' Eontanato King Frederick II., by whom he was appoint- 
ed Ubrarian and reader with the title of Chamberlain. He M'as sent to Rome in 1787 to 
obtain certain ratifications from the Pope, and thence to Warsaw, where he succeeded 
in 1790 in bringing Poland and Prussia injto a treaty of amity. He attended the con- 
gi'ess of Reichenbach as Minister Plenipotentiaiy in 1791. In 1792 he went to War- 


marck, had become so well known, so proverbial, that none of his 
negotiations ever led to any thing, because whoever was repre- 
senting the other side always commenced with the conviction 
that Lucchesini would, in the end, outwit him. A certain degree 
of confidence, however inconsiderable, is necessary on both sides, 
if political arrangements are to end in results. Bismarck, on the 
other hand, is a thoroughly honest politician — honest to such a 
degree that his political adversary is sometimes puzzled, and sus- 
pects some snare in his very openness. Bismarck is a thorough- 
ly honest man, who scorns every intentional deception on the part 
of his opponents. 

We are well aware that this assertion will be met in many 
circles with scornful contradiction ; but it is nevertheless true, and 
we will demonstrate the proposition. But they also err, who 
may perhaps believe that we are of opinion that we have, in this, 
said something flattering to the Minister-President; we merely 
acknowledge that this honesty has been implanted in the nature 
of Bismarck by the Almighty, that it could not but develop 
itself and become a sustaining principle ; but such acknowledg- 
ment does not constitute flattery. 

Bismarck rode into the political lists in 1847 as a courageous, 
sensible, and honorable man, and has held his place in the arena 
for more than twenty years as a loyal champion of the King, both 
in single combat and general battle. He has made mistakes in 
his innumerable contests, but he has learnt from them, has gal- 
lantly paid in person, and never concealed or denied his colors or 

Even the most furious opponents of these colors and insignia 
can not deny this. 

We have not used the simile of the knightly tournament unad- 

saw and destroyed the veiy treaty he had himself negotiated between Prussia and Po- 
land. Hence the above strictiu-es on him. He was Ambassador to Vienna in 1793, 
but was generally with the King. In September, 1802, he was sent to Paris as Am- 
bassador Extraordinaiy, and followed Napoleon to Milan. He was present at the 
battle of Jena, and signed the truce at Charlottenburg -with Napoleon. This not be- 
ing sanctioned by the King, he resigned. He then became Chamberlain to Napoleon's 
sister, the Duchess of Lucca, and died the 19th October, 1825, at Florence. He was 
the author of some political works on the Ehenish Confederation and the like. He 
seems to have been a shifty and unprincipled politician. His younger brother, 
Cesare Lucchesini, was a distinguished author and antiquaiy. — K. E. H. M. 


visedlj, for the whole political faith of Bismarck is founded on a 
chivalric idea, in the deep immovable conviction of his personal 
position towards the Prussian sovereignty. The ultimate foun- 
dation of Bismarck's political action consists in his personal posi- 
tion as an Alt Mark vassal and nobleman to his liege lord, the 
Margrave of Brandenburg, the King of Prussia. It will be un- 
derstood that this position is the ultimate, but not precisely the 
only one ; it is only the least, but also the inmost circle, whence 
the other principles around him have evolved themselves, accord- 
ing to his consciousness. As the liegeman stood in personal rela- 
tion to his lord, so the deputy stood to the King, and the relation 
to the Eegent was analogous to the relation of the Minister-Pres- 
ident and Chancellor of the Diet to the King and Chief of the 
North German Federation. From this strong consciousness of 
the moral connection of his own person with that of the sover- 
eign, his liege, Bismarck's whole political acts arise and may be 

King William is, however, aware of the construction which 
Bismarck places upon their inter-relations, and in this, on the one 
hand, lies the strength, on the other the weakness, of the position 
held by Bismarck, as chief coijinsellor of the King. This hint 
may here suffice. 

And if we now contemplate, from this point of view, the whole 
political life of Bismarck — his speeches, his letters, his dispatches 
and ordinances, the result of his exertions everywhere, from the 
beginning until now — what do we find? The same loyal Bran- 
denburg statesman, who, in chivalrous and liege faith, has grown 
greater in courage and self-sacrifice ; learning more how to per- 
form his functions as year by year has passed away ; with great- 
er self-possession and good-humor before the throne of his mon- 
arch ; before that throne, in his conception, the bulwark of Prus- 
sia and Germany, and defended by him with equal zeal against 
inward detractors and outward foesi 

At the first United Diet, in the year 1847, he was impressed 
with the idea that liberalism might endanger the throne of his 
liege; it was not a perfect conviction, but the daring phrase 
roused him ; he supposed he saw danger, and he instantly 
showed a firm front to it. 

At that time he was but little acquainted with the use of par- 


liamentary weapons ; his opponents were far more experienced 
in eloquence than himself, and he stood, as it were, almost alone 
before a multitude ; for those of his own opinions, with the ex- 
ception of the two Manteuffels, perhaps, were still less experienced 
speakers than he ; but the bravery with which he encountered 
the word " liberal " deserved all praise. The bold attitude with 
which he entered the arena revealed to his -opponents that the 
unknown Dyke Captain from the banks of the Elbe was not a 
man to be undervalued by them ; this they did not do ; and the 
fierce irony with which they, with more or less talent, over- 
whelmed him, betrayed the fact that in this Junker the Crown 
had found a mighty defender. 

When the second United Diet took place, the enemy of the 
kingdom was no longer liberalism, but democracy, and Bismarck 
met this foe with the most unhesitating conviction. But the no- 
bleman who honors in the King of Prussia his liege lord, is by 
no means the Aga, or Pasha, of an Oriental Sultan, blindly obe- 
dient and adoring. The manly words of Bismarck were a re- 
buke, not only to the low, but the high. 

In 1849-51 Bismarck occupied a position in the Diet, as one 
of the chief leaders of the Conservative party against democracy. 
He entered into the strife with ardor, both at Berlin and Erfurt; 
wherever he saw the sovereignty of Prussia assailed, he sprang to 
the breach with decision. He seemed to have a fine intuition 
for every thing hostile to his beloved sovereignty. 

When Ambassador at Frankfurt to the Federation, he at once 
recognized the impending ruin of Prussia to consist in the false 
position she there occupied, and he arrived at the conviction that 
the jealousy of Austria would strive to retain Prussia in this po- 
sition, and not only that, but would employ itself in active meas- 
ures, by which it should end in the final destruction of Germany. 
He therefore resolved upon opposition to Austria. This was 
not a very easy task ; the compact between Prussia and Austria 
had descended to him from his fathers as a sacred tradition. He 
would readily have held out his hand, he would have desired 
earnestly to remain true to tradition ; nor did he remit in at- 
tempts and offers, until he knew that there was a change coming 
over the policy of Austria not tending to the good of Prussia 
and Grermany. He then changed with military precision. The 




vassal approached with fall front before the throne of his liege, 
even against Austria. He did not do it secretly, but openly and 
honestly ; every one might be able to tell how it fared with him 
everywhere. He defined his position in writing from Frankfurt, 
from St. Petersburg, from Paris, both by his own hand and by 
that of others. 

And when, in 1862, he entered upon the conflict inherited by 
him from the new era, the result ot the thorny fight, at the head 
of the government, it was the mightiness of the kingdom, the po- 
sition of his liege lord, for which he fought for years with body 

and soul against the pretensions of the parliamentary spirit, with 
glorious devotion and tough Brandenburg tenacity. 

The interior defense of the Prussian monarchy, in its inherent 
integrity, the rehabilitation of the liberty of Germany, so impor- 
tant for its own safety, and a dignified attitude towards foreign 
nations, constitute the unity of the policy of Bismarck. 

Liberalism, democracy, the inimical jealousy of Austria, the 
envy of foreign nations, with its train of parliamentary spirit and 
specialisms — such are the enemies of the Prussian sovereignty ; 
and Bismarck has, with equal courage and firmness, with as 


mucli insight as success, fought openly, and honestly against 
these. And if all outward symptoms do not deceive us, he is 
now powerfully preparing against another great foe of real sover- 
eignty — that is, bureaucracy, still lying armed to the teeth be- 
hind the Table of Green Cloth as its stronghold. 

In these different contests it is quite possible that Bismarck 
may often have erred ; he may not immediately have found the 
right weapons, and he may also not have employed them in the 
proper localities. It is certain there is much to blame, much to 
deplore ; but accept him in all that is great and real, then most 
persons will voluntarily bow before the man, who, for twenty 
years, has fought so great a battle, with visor down, without false 
deceit or any kind of malice. Nor has the man earned his hard 
victories without having had to pay for them. 

Bismarck has not destroyed the enemies of the Prussian mon- 
archy; this is in the power of no man — nor perhaps was it 
within the sphere of his intentions ; but he has subdued them, 
and in greater or lesser proportion made them serviceable to the 
interests of the Crown. 

One of the chief difficulties in his political action is, on the one 
hand to discipline these elements which so very unwillingly 
serve the Prussian monarchy, and on the other to spare the per- 
fectly intelligible sensitiveness of ancient fidelity, and to conquer 
the readily understood want of confidence of his own old coad- 
jutors in the gay ranks of his new allies. He is thus met with 
the idealistic conservatism of Gerlach, whose organ was the 
" Neue Preussische Zeitung " for so many years. Gerlach's 
principal service consisted in the actual formation of a political 
conservative party in Prussia — an idealism long revered by Bis- 
marck, but certainly not to be contained wiihin its own bounds 
when opposed to those demands which are made on a guiding 
statesman by the hard necessities of daily life. The old conser- 
vative party of Prussia has made great sacrifices, and is making 
them daily ; but she makes them to the glorious kingdom of 
Prussia, and it is a high honor to be the regnant party when 
a Bismarck is the King's first councillor. And, indeed, is it pos- 
sible for the conservative party to be otherwise than the reign- 
ing party in Prussia ? 

The tried Prussian patriotism of the conservatives will not al- 


low itself to be disconnected bj details from the great statesman 
who has emerged from their ranks ; they know that Bismarck 
not only is frequently compelled to pour his new wine into old 
bottles, but also to pour his old wine into new bottles. The 
good is not always the enemy of the better, but sometimes the 
bridge to the best and highest. The lightning does not pursue 
the course where it finds the best conductor, but that in which 
the sum of conduction is the most powerful. Bismarck's real 
policy consists in forcing parties unwilling to do so, to work and 
strive for the monarchy. In royal Prussia no party can any 
longer exist with the object of weakening the royal power. 
There will always continue to be a number of those whose efforts 
are more or less openly directed to such an end; but no party 
dare, as such, to acknowledge such an aim. 

If we, then, see the unity of Bismarck's policy to consist in 
the defense of the sovereignty, it might almost seem as if this 
policy were of a negative character; but this is only apparent, 
for such a defense leads to positive creations, although at first 
sight they may appear as mighty beginnings — such as the North 
Grerman Confederation — and are not all so evident to the eye, as 
may be seen on the map of the kingdom of Prussia since 1866. 

We shall now accompany Bismarck to the Assembly of the 
Three Estates of the first United Diet, then from battle-field to 
battle-field at Berlin, at Erfurt, and at Frankfurt, until those of 
Koniggratz and ISTicolsburg, and still farther, for the great con- 
test is not yet fought out — the last victory is not won. The 
statesman whom God will yet awaken to enter upon the inherit- 
ance of Bismarck, and continue his work, will find new and 
mighty armor, the creation of King William and Bismarck, in 
which to encounter the enemy with the ancient Prussian war-cry, 
'■'■Mit GottfuT Konig und Vatei'land r — " With God for King and 
Country !" 




The February Constitution. — Merseberg. — First Appearance of Bismarck in the 
White Saloon. — Von Saucken. — Bismarck's First Speech. — Conservatives and Lib- 
erals. — The First of June. — Jewish Emancipation. — Illusions Destroyed. 

When King Frederick William IV. issued the February man- 
ifesto, in 1847,* and summoned the United Diet with the Cham- 
bers, he thought in his royal great-heartedness to have accorded 
to his people a free gift of his affection and his confidence, and to 
have anticipated many wishes ; but close behind the rejoicings 
which welcomed the patent of February, there lay the bitterest 
disenchantment for the noble King. 

The honorable old royalists of Prussia, who had been educated 
and had grown up in the honest Prussian absolutism of Frederick 
William III., first looked with suspicion at this new royal gift ; 
they could not at all understand why their own King of Prussia 
should have thought it necessary to summon a Parliament some- 
what on the model of England, and they foresaw all sorts of evils 
in the future, as they thoughtfully shook their gray and honored 
heads. To these men, who at that time were still very numer- 
ous, and whose influence was considerable, succeeded those who 
certainly felt that the abuses of bureaucracy were no longer cura- 
ble by patriarchal absolutism, but who still thought that the King, 
by this measure, had conceded the very utmost jDOSsible in that di- 
rection. They saw in the patent the last fortress of the monarchy 
which must be held against liberalism at any cost. In opposi- 

* This Constitution is given in the Appendix, being an important state document. — 
K. R. H. M. 


tion to these royalists, the host of liberals unfolded their gay ban- 
ner in different columns. They only could see in the February 
patent the starting-point of a further movement, which, founded 
on the patent, might transform the absolute state into a modern 
constitutional monarchy. There existed even individuals who 
perceived that the patent would prove an obstacle to their revolu- 
tionary tendencies, and desired to refuse its acceptance. 

We will not criticise these parties, but it is certain that none of 
them regarded the patent in the spirit of the royal donor — unless 
perhaps some who had understood that the King, basing his ac- 
tion on the existing Provincial Assemblies, proposed in a similar 
manner to erect a peculiar Prussian Eepresentative Monarchy. 
They beheld the February patent to be no final measure, but the 
beginning of States Government, which could only develop it- 
self under specially favorable circumstances, and in course of 

Bismarck was one of the men who, although without absolute- 
ly expressing the opinion, regarded the patent as the starting- 
point of a new order of things, in common with the liberals, but 
not in the sense of a constitutional monarchy, but comprehended 
it, as the King did, as a step towards a peculiar and specifically 
Prussian State Government. 

The Saxon Provincial Diet at Merseburg had chosen the Dyke 
Captain and First Lieutenant von Brauchitsch of Scharteuke, in 
the Circle of Jerichow, as Deputy at the United Diet, and had 
selected Dyke Captain von Bismarck of Schonhausen as his rep- 
resentative. As Herr von Brauchitsch was very ill, his represent- 
ative was summoned. 

Bismarck appeared in the White Saloon of the Eoyal Palace at 
Colin on the Spree, where the Three Estates' Assembly held its 
Sessions, as a representative of the Knight's Estate of Jerichow, 
and a vassal and chivalric servitor of the King. He was at that 
time, however, as liberal as most of his associates ; liberalism 
then floated in the air and was inhaled ; it was impossible to 
avoid it. Against many abuses it was also justifiable; hence its 
mighty influence. 

A conservative party, in the sense in which we wish it to be 
understood, did not then exist ; nor did the general confusion of 
opinions at the time allow of the formation of true parties. It is 


true that Bismarck met many men in the "White Saloon, whose 
opinions were well known to him ; of these were his brother, the 
Landrath, his cousins, the Counts von Bismarck - Bohlen and 
von Bismarck-Briest, his future father-in-law, Herr von Putkam- 
mer, von Thadden, von Wedell, and many others — but unfor- 
tunately these gentlemen in general, as Herr von Thadden once 
bluntly said of himself, were not even bad orators, but no ora- 
tors at all. Nor could the two Freiherrs von Manteuffel contend 
in eloquence with the brilliant rhetoricians of the liberals, such 
as Freiherr von Yincke, Camphausen, Mevissen, Beckerath, and 

Yery few persons now exist who can read those speeches of 
the First United Diet, once so celebrated, without a melancholy 
or satirical smile : those were the blossom-days of liberal phrase- 
ology, causing an enthusiasm of which we can not now form any 
adequate idea. 

They acted with such an influence upon Bismarck, but he was 
soon sobered, when he attained the conviction that these great 
speakers, moved by their construction of the patent of Februa- 
ry, advocated an end not contemplated by the spirit of the patent. 
To him it did not seem honest to contend for modern constitu- 
tionalism upon the judicial merits of the February patent, against 
its sense and spirit. 

An inimical inspiration acted on him in liberal phraseology, 
and the more magnificent the oratory, the more repugnant it be- 
came to him, especially where he saw untruth clearly in view. 
He employed some time in making it evident to himself that 
the liberal idea was the very fact under the government of 
which men, otherwise of great honor, in the very best of faith, 
brought forward matters in themselves quite false ; and the deep- 
est want of confidence then made itself master of his mind. He 
began to understand how dangerous a power so intangible might 
become to the sovereignty. 

At the sitting of the Three Estates on the 17th May, the Dep- 
uty von Saucken made one of those wordy enthusiastic speech- 
es at that time so popular, and declared that the Prussian people 
had risen in the year 1813 for the sole end of obtaining a consti- 
tution. This had previously been asserted by Beckerath and 
others on several occasions. 


After the liberal speaker liad descended amidst the plaudits of . 
the Assembly, the Deputy Bismarck, for the first time, appeared 
upon the tribune. His stature was great, his plentiful hair was 
cut short, his healthily ruddy countenance was fringed by a 
strong blond beard, his shining eyes were somewhat prominent, 
a fleur de tete^ as the French idiom has it — such was his aspect. 
He gazed upon the assembly for a moment, and then spoke sim- 
ply, but with some hesitation, in a strong, sometimes shrill voice, 
with not altogether pleasing emphasis: — "Forme it is difficult — 
after a speech replete with such noble enthusiasm — to address 
you, in order to bring before you a plain re-statement." He 
then glanced at some length at the real merits of a previous 
vote, and continued in the following words : — 

" To discuss the remaining points of the speech, I prefer to 
choose a time when it will be necessary to enter upon questions 
of policy ; at present I am compelled to contradict what is stated 
from this tribune, as well as what is so loudly and so frequently 
asserted outside this hall, in reference to the necessity for a consti- 
tution, as if the movements of our nation in 1813 should be as- 
cribed to other causes and motives than those of the tyranny ex- 
ercised by the foreigner in our land." 

Here the speaker was assailed with such loud marks of dis- 
approbation, hisses, and outcries, that he could no longer make 
himself intelligible. He quietly drew a newspaper from his 
pocket — it was the "Spenersche Zeitung" — and read it, leaning 
in an easy attitude, until the President-Marshal had restored or- 
der; he then concluded, still interrupted by hisses, with these 
words : — " In my opinion it is doing sorry service to the nation- 
al honor, to conclude that ill-treatment and humiliation suffered 
by Prussia at the hands of a foreign ruler would not be enough 
to rouse Prussian blood, and cause all other feelings to be ab- 
sorbed by the hatred of foreigners." 

Amidst great commotion Bismarck left the tribune, ten or 
twelve voices being clamorous to be heard. 

It is not intelligible to us at the present day, how the casual 
statement of a simple opinion, which, even had it been untrue, 
need have offended no one, could raise such a storm. Nor had 
Bismarck personally offended any one, but he had protested 
against liberalism, and at once the Mamelukes of this most evil 



despot pounced upon him — upon this unfortunate member of the 
chivalry of the province of Saxony. The elder gentlemen were es- 
pecially offended, who had voluntarily taken the field in 1813, and 
had now attributed the motive they thought then actuated them, 
and perhaps they really entertained, to the nation. It was curious. 

BISMAKCK IN 1847-1848. 

too, that they flatly denied the right of criticism to this member, 
on the ground that he was not in existence in those great days. 
When, with loud clamor, these gentlemen had given vent to their 
moral indignation, Bismarck again ascended the tribune ; but the 


anger of the liberals was so great that the Marshal had to use all 
his authority to protect him during his speech. 

Bismarck now spoke fluently, in the manner since so familiar to 
us, but coldly and sarcastically : "I can certainly not deny that 
I did not as yet exist in those days, and I am truly sorry not to 
have been permitted to take part in that movement ; my regret 
for this is certainly diminished by the explanations I have re- 
ceived just now upon the movements of that epoch. I always 
thought the servitude against which the sword was then used 
was a foreign servitude ; I now learn that it lay at home. For 
this correction I am not by any means grateful !" 

The hisses of the liberals were now met by many voices with 
" Hear, hear !" From this moment the hatred of the press was 
concentrated upon Bismarck ; being without exception in the 
hands of the liberals, it governed public opinion entirely, and it 
assailed Bismarck even more unscrupulously and unconscien- 
tiously than it had attacked Yon Thadden and Yon Manteuflfel. 
As contradiction was impossible, the world probably thought 
Bismarck was still one of the wild Junkers who, armed to the 
teeth in steel, considered village tyranny and dissoluteness to be 
the best kind of constitution, and in deep political ignorance was 
still standing at about the mental mark of Dietrich von Quit- 
zow,* or at the most of one of the Junkers of the time of Fred- 
erick I. The liberal press certainly succeeded in producing a 
caricature of Bismarck, composed of a kind of a black bogy and 
a ridiculous bugbear ; the latter they were speedily obliged to 
drop, but the bogy they have the more firmly retained, alnd 
frightened political babies with it until very recent days. 

No one has any idea at the present time how the liberal press 
of those days assailed men who were obnoxious to them. In the 
year 1849, two gentlemen were introduced to each other in so- 
ciety ; as ordinarily happens, they mistook their several names 
on a hurried introduction. The elder gentleman spoke in an in- 
tellectual, remarkable, exhaustive, and instructive manner con- 
cerning the affairs of Hungary, whence he had recently returned, 
and showed himself to be a person of thought, information, and 
politeness. His interlocutor for a long time could not believe 

* An account of this family has been given at p. 47 in a note. Those who wish to 
pursue further details may consult Kloden's history, published in 1828. — K. K. H. M. 


that this was Herr von Thadden-Triglaff ; the ridiculous carica- 
ture the liberal press had sent broadcast into society of this em- 
inent and singular man was so firmly fixed in his convictions. 

We have laid some emphasis on this point, as it forms an ex- 
planation of the obstinate suspicion with which, for many after 
years, Bismarck was regarded by a section of the public. It is 
also plainly evident that the young politician often defended 
himself against this " world of scorn " with equal and biting 
scorn, and covered himself with the shield of contempt against 
mockery he did not deserve. He was continually assailed, some- 
times in the rudest manner, and sometimes with poisonous acu- 
men ; and he could not have been Bismarck had he borne it. 
with patience. 

Thus it befell that he soon found himself in full battle array 
against liberalism, and his speeches at the time show that he took 
a serious view of the matter. He gave utterance to his convic- 
tions and opinions in conformity wtih his natural fearless nature; 
he adhered closely to- the matter at issue, but the form in which 
he did so was that of the most cutting attack, whetted in general 
by a cloud of contempt for his opponent, or of bitter ridicule. 

In the debate of the Three Estates of the 1st of June, 1847, 
known as the Periodicity Debate, Bismarck spoke as follows : 

" I will not take the trouble to examine the solidity of the va- 
rious grounds of right, on which each of us presumes himself to 
stand ; but, I believe, it has become certain, from the debate and 
from every thing which I have gathered from the discussion of 
the question, that a different construction and interpretation of 
the older estates legislation was possible and practically existent 
— not among laymen only, but also among weighty jurists — and 
that it would be very doubtful what a court of justice, if such a 
question were before it, would decree concerning it. Under such 
circumstances, the declaration would, according to general prin- 
ciples of law, afford a solution. This declaration has become im- 
plicit upon us, implicit by the patent of the 8d of February of 
this year ; by this the King has declared that the general prom- 
ises of former laws have been no other than those fulfilled by the 
present law. It appears that this declaration has been regarded 
by a portion of this Assemblj^ as inaccurate, but such is a fate to 
which every declaration is equally subject. Every declaration is 


considered by those whose opinions it does not confirm, to be 
wrong, or the previous conviction could not have been sincere. 
The question really is, in whom the right resides to issue an au- 
thentic and legally binding declaration. In my opinion, the 
King alone ; and this conviction, I believe, lies in the conscience 
of the people. For when yesterday an Honorable Deputy from 
Konigsberg asserted that there was a dull dissatisfaction among 
the people on the proclamation of the patent of the 3d of Feb- 
ruary, I must reply, on the contrary, that I do not find the ma- 
jority of the Prussian nation represented in the meetings which 
take place in the Bottchershofchen. (Murmurs.) In inarticulate 
sounds I really can not discover any refutation of what I have 
said, nor do I find it in the goose-quills of the newspaper corre- 
spondents ; no ! not even in a fraction of the population of some 
of the large provincial towns. It is difficult to ascertain public 
opinion ; I think I find it in some of the middle provinces, and it 
is the old Prussian conviction that a royal word is worth more 
than all the constructions and quirks applied to the letter of the 
law. (Some voices : Bravo !) Yesterday a parallel was drawn 
between the method employed by the English people in 1688, 
after the abdication of James II., for the preservation of its rights, 
and that by which the Prussian nation should now attain a simi- 
lar end. There is always something suspicious in parallels with 
foreign countries. Eussia had been held up to us as a model of 
religious toleration ; the French and Danish exchequers have 
been recommended as examples of proper finances. To return 
to the year 1688 in England, I must really beg this august^ as- 
sembly, and especially an honorable deputy from Silqsia, to par- 
don me if I again speak of a circumstance which I did not per- 
sonally perceive. The English people was then in a different 
position to that of the Prussian people now ; a century of revolu- 
tion and civil war had invested it with the right to dispose of a 
crown, and bind up with it conditions accepted by William of 
Orange. On the other hand, the Prussian sovereigns were in 
possession of a crown, not by grace of the people, but by God's 
grace ; an actually unconditional crown, some of the rights of 
which they voluntarily conceded to the people — an example rare 
in history. I will leave the question of right, and proceed to 
that concerning the utility and desirability of asking or suggest- 


ing any cliange in the legislation as it actually now exists, I 
adhere to the conviction, which I assume to be that of the major- 
ity of the Assembly, that periodicity is necessary to a real vital- 
ity of this Assembly ; but it is another matter whether we should 
seek this by way of petition. Since the emanation of the patent 
of the 3d of February, I do not believe that it would be conso- 
nant with the royal pleasure, or that it is inherent with the posi- 
tion of ourselves as estates, to approach His Majesty already with 
a petition for an amendment of it. At any rate let us allow the 
grass of this summer to grow over it. The King has repeatedly 
said, that he did not wish to be coerced and driven ; but I ask 
the Assembly what should we be doing otherwise than coercing 
and driving him, if we already approached the throne with re- 
quests for changes in the legislation ? To the gravity of this view 
I ask permission of the Assembly to add another reason. It is 
certainly well known how many sad predictions have been made 
by the opponents of our polity connected with the fact that the 
Government would find itself forced by the estates into a posi- 
tion which it would not have willingly taken up. But although 
I do not assume the Government would allow itself to be co- 
erced, I still think that it is in the interests of the Government to 
avoid the slightest trace of unwillingness as to concessions, and 
that it is in all our interests not to concede to the enemies of 
Prussia the delight of witnessing the fact that, by a petition — a 
vote — presented by us as the representatives of sixteen millions 
of subjects, we should throw a shade of unwillingness upon such 
a concession. It has been said that His Majesty the King and 
the Commissioner of the Diet have themselves pointed out this 
path. For myself^ I could not otherwise understand this than 
that, as the King has done, so also the Commissioner of the Diet 
indicated this as the legal way we should pursue in case we 
found ourselves aggrieved ; but that it would be acceptable to 
His Majesty the King and the Government that we should make 
use of this right, I have not been able to perceive. If, however, 
we did so, it would be believed that urgent grounds existed for 
it — that there was immediate danger in the future ; but of this I 
can not convince myself The next session of the Assembly is 
assured; the Crown, also, is thereby in the advantageous position, 
that within four years, or even a shorter period, it can with per- 


feet voluntariness, and without asking, take the initiative as to 
that which is now desired. Now, I ask, is not the edifice of our 
State firmer towards foreign countries ? — will not the feeling of 
satisfaction be greater at home, if the continuation of our national 
polity be inaugurated by the initiative of the Crown, than by 
petition from ourselves ? Should the Crown not find it good to 
take the initiative, no time is lost. The third Diet will not fol- 
low so rapidly upon the second, that the King would have no 
time to reply to a petition presented under such circumstances by 
the second. Yesterday a deputy from Prussia — I thmk from the 
circle of Neustadt — uttered a speech which I could only compre- 
hend as meaning that it was our interest to pull up the flower of 
confidence as a weed preventing us from seeing the bare ground, 
and cast it out. I say with pride that I can not agree with such 
an opinion. If I look back for ten years, and compare that 
which was written and said in the year 1837 with that which is 
proclaimed from the steps of the throne to the whole nation, I 
believe we have great reason to have confidence in the intentions 
of His Majesty. In this confidence I beg to recommend this au- 
gust assembly to adopt the amendment of the Honorable Deputy 
from Westphalia — not that of the Honorable Deputy from the 
county of Mark — but that of Herr von Lilien." 

This speech is certainly a Prussian-Royalist confession of faith 
as opposed to the constitutional doctrine, and was so accepted at 
times with cheers, at other times with murmurs, and, finally with 
a flood of personal opposition. 

The political side of Bismarck's attitude is clear enough fijom 
this speech. Wg will signalize another aspect of it by the fol- 
lowing passages from a speech delivered by Bismarck on the oc- 
casion of that debate known as the Jews' Debate, on the 15th of 

" On ascending this place to-day, it is with greater hesitation 
than usual, as I am sensible that by what I am about to utter, 
some few remarks of the speakers of yesterday, of no very flatter- 
ins tone, will have in a certain sense to be reviewed. I must 
openly confess that I am attached to a certain tendency, yester- 
day characterized by the Honorable Deputy from Crefeld as dark 
and mediaeval ; this tendency which again dares to oppose the 
freer development of Christianity in the way the Deputy from 


Crefeld regards as the only true one. Nor can I further deny 
that I belong to that great mass, which, as was remarked by the 
Honorable Deputy from Posen, stands in opposition to the more 
intelligent portion of the nation, and, if my memory do not be- 
tray me, was held in considerable scorn by that intelligent sec- 
tion—the great mass that still clings to the convictions imbibed 
at the breast, — the great mass to which a Christianity superior to 
the State is too elevated. If I find myself in the line of fire of 
such sharp sarcasms without a murmur, I believe I may throw 
myself upon the indulgence of the Honorable Assembly, if I con- 
fess, with the same frankness which distinguished my opponents, 
that yesterday, at times of inattention, it did not quite appear cer- 
tain to me whether I was in an assembly for which the law had 
provided, in reference to its election, the condition of communion 
with some one of the Christian churches. I will pass at once to 
the 'question itself. Most of the speakers have spoken less upon 
the bill than upon emancipation in general. I will follow their 
example. I am no enemy to the Jews, and if they are enemies 
to me, I forgive them. Under certain circumstances I even love 
them. I would grant them every right, save that of holding su- 
perior official posts in Christian countries. 

" We have heard from the Minister of Finance, and from other 
gentlemen on the ministerial bench, sentiments as to the defini- 
tion of a Christian State, to which I almost entirely subscribe; 
but, on the other hand, we were yesterday told that Christian su- 
premacy is an idle fiction, an invention of recent State philoso- 
phers, I am of opinion that the idea of Christian supremacy is 
as ancient as the ci-devant Holy Roman Empire — as ancient as 
the great family of European States ; that it is, in fact, the very 
soil in which these states have taken root, and that every state 
which wishes to have its existence enduring, if it desires to point 
to any justification for that existence, when called in question, 
must be constituted on a religious basis. For me, the words ' by 
the grace of God' affixed by Christian rulers to their names 
form no empty sound ; but I see in the phrase the acknowledg- 
ment that princes desire to sway the sceptres intrusted to them 
by the Almighty according to God's will on earth, I, however, 
can only recognize as the will of God that which is contained in 
the Christian Gospels, and I believe I am within my right when 


I call such a State Christiari, whose problem is to realize and ver- 
ify the doctrine of Christianity. That our State does not in all 
ways succeed in this, the Honorable Deputy from the county of 
Mark yesterday demonstrated in a parallel he drew between the 
truths of the Gospel and the paragraphs of national jurispru- 
dence, in a way rather clever than consonant with my religious 
feelings. But although the solution of the problem is not always 
successful, I am still convinced that the aim of the State is the re- 
alization of Christian doctrine ; however, I do not think we shall 
approach this aim more closely with the aid of the Jews. If the 
religious basis of the State be acknowledged, I am sure that 
among ourselves the basis can only be that of Christianity. If 
we withdraw from the State this religious basis, our State be- 
comes nothing more than a fortuitous aggregation of rights, a sort 
of bulwark against the universal war of each against all, such as 
an elder philosophy instituted. Its legislation then would no 
longer recreate itself from the original fountain of eternal truth, 
but only from the vague and mutable ideas of humanity taking 
shape only from the conceptions formed in the brains of those 
who occupy the apex. How such states could deny the right of 
the practical application of such ideas — as, for instance, those of 
the communists on the immorality of property, the high moral 
value of theft, as an experiment for the rehabilitation of the na- 
tive rights of man— is not clear to me ; for these very ideas are 
entertained by their advocates as humane, and, indeed, as consti- 
tuting the very flower of humanitarianism. Therefore, gentle- 
men, let us not diminish the Christianity of the people by show- 
ing that it is superfluous to the legislature; let us not deprive the 
people of the belief that our legislation is derived from the fount- 
ain of Christianity, and that the State seeks to promote the reali- 
zation of Christianity, though that end may not always be at- 

-55- -Jf * * * * 

" Besides this, several speakers, as in almost every question, 
have referred to the examples of England and France as models 
worthy of imitation. This question is of much less consequence 
there, because the Jews are so much less numerous than here. 
But I would recommend to the gentlemen who are so fond of 
seeking their ideas beyond the Yosges, a guide-line distinguish- 


ing the Englisli and the French. That consists in the proud 
feeling of national honor, which does not so easily and commonly 
seek for models worthy of imitation and wonderful patterns, as 
we do here, in foreign lands." 

It will be understood that this speech was much criticised ; but 
it became a regular armory for his opponents ; it was taken for 
granted that Bismarck himself had stated that he stood in "the 
dark ages," that he had " imbibed reactionary ideas with his 
mother's milk," and other similar things, although he was only 
ridiculing the ideas of his opponents ; there was seldom an op- 
portunity lost, when he was twitted with " the dark ages " and 
the "prejudices imbibed at the breast." Bismarck possessed hu- 
mor enough to laugh at this pitiful trick, and once exclaimed 
very well : " Deputy Krause rode in the lists against me on a 
horse, in front the dark ages, behind mother's milk !" What a 
picture Herr Krause, the Burgomaster of Blbing (if we are not 
misinformed), would make upon such a fabulous steed ! 

Bismarck left the United Diet with a thorn in his breast. He 
had lost many of the youthful illusions he had carried thither ; 
the Prussia he found in the "White Saloon was as remote as heav- 
en from the Prussia he had hitherto believed in, and his patri- 
otic heart was sorrowful. He perceived that the sovereignty of 
Prussia was about to encounter severe contests ; that his duty lay 
with the monarch's idea, and that his native land must be res- 
cued from the insolent pretensions of the modern parliamentary 
spirit, from the most dangerous of all paper governments. In 
short, he arrived with hazy, but somewhat liberal, views, and he 
returned a politician thoroughly acquainted with his duty and 
his work, which consisted in aiding the King to restore the Es- 
tates' Monarchy. It was a gift, but he received it with a sigh. 
His youth was at an end. 

Bismarck has ever remained true to his patriotic duties, every- 
where in earnestness, and at no time has he withdrawn his hand 
from the plough ; he went bravely on, when so many cast theii' 
weapons away and fled. 





Rest at Home. — Contemplation. — The Revolution in Paris, February, 1848. — Prog- 
ress of tlie Revolutionary Spirit. — The March Days of Berlin. — The Citizen Guard. 
— Opening of the Second Session of the United Diet, 2d April, 1848. — Piince Solms- 
Hohen-Solms-Lich. — Pr. Poerster. — " Eagle's Wings and Bodelswings." — Prince 
Felix Lichnowsky. — The Debate on the Address. — Speech of Bismarck. — Revolu- 
tion at the Portal of the White Saloon. — Vaticinium Lehninense. — The Kreuzzei- 
tung Letter of Bismarck on Organization of Labor. — Bismarck at Stolpe on the 
Baltic. — The Winter of Discontent. — MauteufFel. 

Ik a previous section we have already recorded that, shortly 
after the close of the First United Diet, on the 28th of July, 1847, 
Herr Otto von Bismarck celebrated his wedding at Reinfeld, in 
Pomerania, with Fraulein Johanna von Putkammer, and then en- 
tered upon a journey with his youthful wife by way of Dresden, 
Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg, to Italy, meeting his sovereign, 
Frederick William lY., at Venice, and finally, returning throifigh 
Switzerland and the Rhine-Province, fixed his residence at the 
ancient hearth of his ancestors at Schonhausen. 

It was a short but happy time of rest, passed in rural retire- 
ment. The ancient family traits of the Bismarcks, after a silent 
activity in field and forest, became more strongly marked in 
him than in many other branches of his race, and his wife also 
retained a charming reminiscence of these peaceful days in 
Schonhausen. She still preserves grateful recollections of that 
happy time. The outward honors, the universal fame of her il- 
lustrious husband, have brought no accession of domestic joy; 
she loves the time in which she was only Frau von Bismarck, 
without the Excellency. 





It is not necessary to say that Bismarck, in the happiness of 
his youthful marriage, had not forgotten his native land ; that he 
still pursued the course of political events with keen appreciation, 
and could not omit to join in its most serious eventualities. 

Whether he sat in his libra- ^ ^^ ,-—___ 

ry amidst his books and 
maps, roved as a solitary 
sportsman through his pre- 
serves in field or wood, 
turned to agricultural pur- 
suits with the eye of a pro- 
prietor, or visited his neigh- 
bors in Jerichow or Katten- 
winkel, he felt an intuitive 
perception of some great and 
decisive event about to 
come. Men so politically -- z.^_^s^^ =^__, '-=c--^4fe- 

eminent as Uismarck even 

then was — although he had not, as yet, evinced it in public — bear 
within them a certain foreshadowing of coming events not to be 

When the first news arrived of the revolution of February in 
Paris, Bismarck knew for a fact that the signal for a struggle 
with the Prussian Monarchy bad there been given ; he perceived 
that the wave of revolution would pass over the Ehine, and dash 
against the throne of his sovereign. 

He determined upon manly resistance, and his virile courage 
was not broken when the terrible truth more than fulfilled his 
anticipations ; when the waves of revolution shot with lightning 
speed through all Germany ; when a want of presence of mind and 
irresolute counsels, and at times crass cowardice, rather than ill- 
will or treason, in almost every direction, lamed or broke down 
the power of resistance. 

He saw, sinking and destroyed, bulwarks and dykes he had 
held to be unassailable ; his heart palpitated with patriotic ardor 
and manly sorrow, but he lost neither courage nor clear insight, 
like a true dykesman. It had hitherto been his office to pro- 
tect the Elbe dykes against the floods, and in a similar charac- 
ter it was his duty to act against the floods of revolution. Nor 



has the valiant man unfaithfully acquitted himself of his severe 


The March - days of 

Berlin pressed hard upon 

the heart of the sturdy 

March - squire, and there 

ensued a long series of 

days of grief; for he felt 

as a personal insult every 

thing spoken, written, or 

enacted against his royal 

master. He passed as in 

a feverish dream through 

the streets of the capital 

of his King, filled with 

threatening forms.* He 
saw flags displayed and 
colors fluttering unknown 
to him ; Polish standards, 
tricolors of black, red, and 
gold, but nowhere the an- 
cient honored flag of 
Prussia. Even on the 
palace of his deceased 
lord and king the three colors flaunted, ever the battle-standard 
of the enemies of Prussia, never those of the ancient Gerrhan 
realm. In place of the proud regiments of Guards, he only be- 

* A short anecdote of the venerable Alexander von Humboldt, as illustrative of the 
popular spirit, deseiTes preservation here. During the eventful days of March, when 
barricades were the order of the day, a mob came rushing into the Oranienburger- 
Strasse, where Huniboldt resided. Materials for a barricade were required, and every 
door was besieged for the purpose. One of these opened, and a venerable-looking 
man presented himself and begged the excited mass not to disturb him. Such a re- 
quest was not to be borne by the sovereign people, and he was asked menacingly who 
he was, that he should use such language. "I am Alexander von Humboldt," was 
the quiet reply. In a moment every hat was off, and with reverent greetings the 
multitude swept forward and left the scholar and philosopher at peace. It is only 
right to record such a fact, as it may serve to show that the fierce revolutionists at 
least knew how to restrain themselves, even in the midst of their enthusiastic fury. 
I give the anecdote on the authority of the admirable German newspaper Hermann, 
of the 11th September, 1869.— K. R. H. M. 


held citizen-soldiers watching in a half-ludicrous, half-dispirited 
manner. Men had ceased to speak; all the world speechified 
and declaimed ; vain folly and ignominious treason grasped each 
other with dirty hands in an alliance against royalty, and those 
who ought to have been defending the crown, and indeed de- 
sired to do so, found themselves caught in the spider-webs of 
liberal doctrines: trammelled themselves in the sere bonds of 
political theories, scornfully rent asunder by the rude hands of 

It was sufficient to bring the burning tear to Bismarck's eye, 
and his soul struggled in unspeakable torment ; but he manfully 
wrestled insult and vexation down. With a pale but impassible 
countenance he took his place, on the 2d of April, 1848, in the 
first session of the Second United Diet. 

The White Saloon still existed, but the bright days were gone 
in which Yincke had sought to polish diamonds with diamond- 
dust ; true, the same men were present, but it was a vastly differ- 
ent assembly. In those former days, certain of victory and in- 
toxicated with power, this assembly now meditated suicide ; it 
could scarcely be quick enough in transferring its legislative 
functions to the new creation, the first-born of revolution, stand- 
ing impatiently watching at the door. 

The President was still the Marshal of the Gruild of Nobles, the 
Serene Prince of Solms-Hohen-Solms-Lich ; but the Eoyal Com- 
missioner was no longer the Freiherr von Bodelschwingh-Yel- 
mede ; his place was occupied by the new Minister of State, Lu- 
dolf Camphausen — one of the chiefs of the Ehine-land liberal 

Some weeks before, a liberal, F. Foerster, at the volunteer an- 
niversary, had saluted the Minister von Bodelschwingh with the 
compliment that time did not fly with Eaglets loings^ but Bodels- 
wings; but this very Bodelschwingh, the most faithful subject of 
the King, was now despised by the revolutionary party as an 
obscure reactionary. There was reason for laughter, had not the 
crisis been so terribly grave. 

Camphausen read the well-known Eoyal Decree of proposition, 
after betraying, in his introductory oration, that liberalism no 
longer felt itself entirely secure ; in fact these liberal ministers, 
such as Hansemann, Auerswald, Schwerin, and Bornemann, were 


not the men able to steer the rojal vessel with safety during this 
severe westerly storm. 

Prince Felix Lichnowsky moved the replicatory address. The 
Marshal declared the proposition to be carried unanimously, as 
he perceived the majority to be of his opinion. 

" It is not unanimous. I protest against it !" exclaimed Herr 
von Thadden-Trieglaff 

" Carried by an almost unanimous majority !" proclaimed the 

The next proceeding was to frame the address at once, and to 
accept the plenum at the same session. Most unseemly and dis- 
creditable haste ! 

Upon this the Deputy von Bismarck-Schonhausen rose and 
said : — 

" It is my opinion that we owe to the dignity, ever upheld in 
this Assembly, due discretion in the conduct of all its delibera- 
tions ; that we owe it to all the simplest rules of expediency — es- 
pecially on an occasion when we meet for the last time — by no 
means to deviate from our fixed customs. Heretofore every law, 
however simple, has been referred to a committee, which has con- 
sidered it with deliberation, and submitted it on the following day 
to the Chamber. I believe at so serious a moment as this, that on 
the expression of the sentiments of this Assembly, still having the 
honor to. represent the Prussian people, it is a sufficiently import- 
ant procedure not to admit of such a hasty consideration of the 
address — so far removed from the rules of expediency according 
to my individual feelings." ' 

Bismarck spoke with more than usual hesitation ; his features 
appeared sharper than usual to his friends, his countenance was 
pale, his white teeth were more visible and prominent, his man- 
ner was stolid ; he presented the appearance of a man combating 
a critical hour. 

Yes — to him it was indeed a critical hour. He was unable to 
arrest the progress of events, but he was determined to do his 
duty. The tumult of the streets might rage, the whirlpool of 
thronging events might carry away with them men usually of 
the utmost courage ; but Bismarck was not to be carried away 
as well. He was unable to stem the rapidity with which the 
address was draughted, considered, and accepted. Milde and com- 


pany pressed forward, and the Second United Diet could not be 
in sufficient hurry to transfer its functions to the convention to be 
assembled for the consolidation of the constitution. 

It is impossible to pursue the progress of this session without 
pain ; it passed over the ruins and fragments of all the royal 
hopes which but a few months before had existed in all their 
pride and glory, and appeared so instinct with happiness and 
founded on such secure grounds. 

In this debate on the address it would have been impossible 
for Bismarck to speak, had not his political opponents, Von 
Saucken-Tarputschen and Milde, with much difficulty obtained a 
hearing for him ; so madly was the Assembly determined upon 

Revolution was knocking at the portals of the White Saloon. 

Bismarck, however, said : — " I am one of the few who would 
vote against the address, and I have only requested permission 
to speak, in order to explain this disapproval, and to declare to 
you that I accept the address, in the sense of a programme of the 
future, at once ; but for the sole reason that I am powerless to do 
otherwise. (Laughter.) Not voluntarily, but by stress of cir- 
cumstances; for I have not changed my opinions during these 
six months ; I would rather believe that this ministry is the only 
one able to conduct us from our actual position into an orderly 
and constitutional condition, and for that reason I shall give it 
my inconsiderable support in every case within my power. But 
the cause of my voting against the address consists in the expres- 
sions of joy and gratitude made use of for the events of recent 
da3^s ; the past is buried, and I mourn it with greater pain than 
many among you, because no human power can reawaken it — 
when the Crown itself has scattered ashes upon the coffin. But 
if I accept this from the force of circumstances, I can not retire 
from my functions in this Diet with the lie in my mouth that I 
shall give thanks and rejoice at what I must in any sense hold to 
be an erroneous path. If it be indeed possible to attain to a 
united Grerman Fatherland by the new path now pursued, to ar- 
rive at a happy or even legally well-ordered condition of things, 
the moment will have come when I can tender my thanks to the 
originator of the new state of things ; but at present this is be- 
yond my power." 


This was the earnest language of a true statesman, and it was 
not without its impression even then. When Bismarck ended, 
no one dared to laugh. He accepted the situation because he 
had no other course open to him ; but he could not return 
thanks for that which appeared likely to militate against his rev- 
erence for his King. He knew that the past was beyond recall, 
now that the Crown had itself cast ashes upon its cof&n — nor, in- 
deed, was it at all within the thoughts of Bismarck ever to re- 
awaken the past. He could mourn over the past, and this with 
considerable affliction ; but he began to arm himself for the fu- 
ture ; that future he resolved to conquer for the monarchy. 

Such were the events of the 2d of April, 1848. 

The immediate necessity was to strive against revolution, 
which continued to advance with bloody feet and shameless 
countenance. First, conferences were held with, friends and 
allies of equal rank and similar opinions; arrangements were 
made in all directions. He exhibited a restless activity, at first 
apparently without any hope, and which seemed to lead to no re- 
sults for weeks, though it were destined in the end to bear fruit. 
Such was the policy pursued by the faithful royalist in the terri- 
ble spring and summer of 1848, passed by him alternately at 
Schonhausen, Berlin, Potsdam, Eeinfeld, and (on the occasion of 
the presence of the Prince of Prussia) at Stettin. 

Bismarck was one of those who labored most assiduously and 
successfully towards the erection of a barrier against revolution 
even at the twelfth hour. A royal or conservative party covild 
not be conjured up out of the earth, but the elements for such a 
party, existing in great multitude, were assembled in clubs, united 
by ties, gradually organized, and finally disciplmed. 

Nor did Bismarck ever falter in courage, for he trusted in 
the Divine mercy and the kingdom of Prussia, but not in the 
well-known prophecy of Lehnin, as the liberal historian, Adolf 
Schmidt, asserted,* no matter whether the librarian La Croze in 
1697 really saw a copy of this document in the hands of a Yon 
Schonhausen at Berlin or no. The Herr von Schonhausen in 
question could scarcely have been a Bismarck, as Professor, 
Schmidt would seem to infer, and our Bismarck was, in any case, 

* "Preussen's Deutsche Politik "—" Prussia's German Policy," 3d edition (Leip- 
zig, 1867, p. 236). 


sufficiently informed to know for what purpose the so-called Va- 
ticinium Lehninense had been forged, and possessed other sources 
whence to draw confidence and trust. The revolution had to be 
combated by clubs and by the press — both so dangerous to the 
monarchy. No one was more active in the organization of these 
than Bismarck ; he entered with confidence on the ground 
whither events had driven him. Thus arose the Prussian clubs, 
the patriotic societies, and many others, and at last the club 
which bore as its motto, "Mit Gott fiir Konig und Vaterland " — 
(With God for King and Country). The Neio Prussian Gazette^ 
with Bismarck's aid, was founded, as well as many smaller peri- 
odicals. There was also the New Prussian Sunday News, which, 
sent in thousands to the smaller towns and provinces, became a 
powerful weapon. 

Bismarck at the same time kept a vigilant eye upon the " Ver- 
einbarungs " Society in Berlin, and the Parliament at Frankfurt, 
but he never joined the meetings in the Church of St. Paul, nor 
the Academy of Music, nor those in the Concert Eoom of the 
Eoyal Theatre in Berlin. "We do not know whether it would 
then have been possible for him to have succeeded in getting 
elected for Berlin or Frankfurt ; at any rate, be never thought 
of doing so, for he was firmly convinced that nothing stable 
would be created in either place. 

We will here give a highly characteristic example of the man- 
ner in which Bismarck so powerfully and openly attacked the 
malicious and silly aspersions upon the Junkers, then the order 
of the day, showing with what acuteness and ability he could 
encounter the hollow declamations of unconscientious sophists. 
At the end of August he published the following address, in the 
form then greatly in vogue, of a communique : — 

" The Deputy for the Belgard Circle, Herr Jansch, asserted in 
the debate of the 16th instant that the Pomeranian laborers only 
obtained from 2^ to 4 silber groschen per day, and in addition to 
this had to give 190 days' labor for nothing. If so, the 52 Sun- 
days being subtracted, the earnings of a laborer in the other 123 
days, calculated at an average of S^ sgr., would represent 13 thlr. 
9 sgr. 9 pf.* That no man can live upon that every one must 
see — even Herr Jansch, if he takes the trouble to think further 

* About £2 sterling per annum. — K. R. H. M. 


about it. I should therefore have characterized the statement 
of this gentleman as a deliberate lie in his official capacity as a 
national representative, had not the demand for a uniform wage 
of 6 sgr. proved that Herr Jansch has either not been able, or 
not had leisure, to make himself acquainted with the condition of 
the most numerous class of the electors he represents. For with 
a wage of 6 sgr. the Pomeranian laborer would be worse off than 
he is now. The laborers on the estate of Kniephof, Circle Star- 
gard, for the last eight years, during my residence at that place, 
were living under the following conditions, which are the same, 
with very slight differences, common to the whole district — in- 
deed, I could prove that in other places, such as Zimmerhausen 
and Trieglaff, they are even better off. The daily wage certain- 
ly is, in summer, 4 sgr. per man, 3 sgr. per woman, and in winter 
1 sgr. less in each case ; and they have to give 156 man's days' 
work and 26 woman's days' work in the year without pay. But 
each working family received from the proprietor the following 
advantages free : — 

" 1. House, consisting of parlor, bedroom, kitchen, cellar, and 
loft, stabling for their cattle of every kind, and the necessary 
barn accommodation, which is all maintained by the proprietor. 

"2. Three morgen (acres) plough-land, one for winter corn, 
one for summer, one for potatoes, for which the laborer finds the 
seed, but the estate furnishes the appointments, inclusive of ma- 
nure ; add to this one-half morgen (acre) of garden ground, near 
the house, and one-half morgen (acre) for flax ; the whole profit 
of this superficies belongs to the laborer. ] 

" 3. Pasture for two cows, six sheep, and two geese with their 
broods ; hay for one cow during the winter. 

" 4. Firing, consisting of turf, and the right of gathering wood 
through three morgen of forest. 

" 5. Corn from the proprietor's land, five scheffel (sacks) rye, 
one of barley. 

"6. On an average each laborer gets fifteen scheffel (sacks) 
corn of each kind for threshing. 

" 7. Medical attendance and medicines free. 

" 8. If the husband dies the widow receives, until her children 
are grown up, dwelling-room, one morgen of potatoes, one-half 
morgen of garden, one-quarter morgen of flax, and one cow. 


which feeds and pastures with the proprietor's herd, without any 
kind of return on her part. 

" Every day -laborer — those who have not grown-up daughters 
— keeps one servant-girl, with wages of, say 10 thalers (£1 10s.) 
per annum, who, on account of the laborer, performs services to 
the proprietor, which the laborer's wife never does, but takes 
care of the children, and cooks. 

"The pay in cash, which such a family, with servant, accord- 
ing to the foregoing tariff, after deducting the produce, much of 
which remains for sale, is ascertained, according to the number 
of children able to assist in the work, to be about 34 to 50 tha- 
lers per annum.* A family without children receives, after de- 
ducting the 190 non-paid days (including 60 days for threshing) 
and the 62 Sundays = 242 days (inclusive of market-days and the 
like), annually, in cash-paid days for man and maid — some of 
these days being semi-labor days, and so justifying the apparent 
difference — 52 days at 4 sgr., 178 days at 3 sgr., and 150 days at 
2 sgr., in all 34 thalers 22 sgr. If this be added to the above- 
named produce, it will not be astonishing that the Pomeranian la- 
borers would not be disposed to exchange their present condition 
for the poor 6 sgr. per day which Herr Jansch in his ignorance 
would obtain for them.f I will not boast, but only state, as a mat- 
ter of fact, that the greater number of the proprietors have hither- 
to voluntarily adopted the usual practice of supporting the inhabit- 
ants during calamity, cattle murrain, and years of famine — many 
to a degree of which the babbling philanthropists who declaim 
against the Junkers have no idea whatever. In the past year of 
famine, in which the Deputy Master Butcher Jansch made a dis- 
turbance in Belgard, which, if I mistake not, obtained some no- 
tice from the Court of Justice, the large class of proprietors he 
has attacked by erroneous or fictitious statements made great 
sacrifices to give the inhabitants of their estates no reason to in- 
crease the class of the dissatisfied, at the head of whom Deputy 
Herr Jansch now fights to attain tumultuary laurels. I have 
added this personal remark in order to draw the attention of Herr 
Jansch to the rest of the article, and thus afford him the opportu- 

* £5 2s. to £7 10s.— K. R. H. M. 

t We should think not. 6 sgr. per day at 213 days= 46.18. =£7 within a frac- 
tion.— K. R. H. M. 


nity of learning something of the condition of the class he asserts 
himself to represent ; a condition of which he ought to have 
known, before he talked about them in the National Assembly. 


" Schonhausen, the 21st August, 1848." 

The then Deputy for Belgard has never attempted to obtain 
any advantage by a reply ! 

Immediately after the days of March, Bismarck, impelled by 
his Prussian heart, addressed a letter to His Majesty ; not a po- 
litical letter, full of counsels and plans, but an outpouring of the 
feelings produced by the moment. Throughout the whole of 
that summer this letter lay upon King Frederick William's writ- 
ing-table, as a precious token of unchangeable Prussian fidelity. 
During that summer, so fraught with weighty events, Bismarck 
was often called to Sans-Souci, and the King took his advice in 
many important affairs. 

Stolpe, on the Baltic, was the residence of Bismarck for some 
weeks of the summer. An incident of his life is furnished by a 
spectator. After one of the concerts denominated " Navy Con- 
certs " — for in those days an opinion was entertained that a fleet 
could be built by means of beer-drinking, concert-pence, and 
such similiar "miserabilities " of good intentions — Bismarck, draw- 
ing himself up to his- full height, majestically addressed one of 
the gentlemen who had been active in the concert, greeting him 
as an acquaintance, and added: "You have taken pains to m^ke 
the work somewhat hotter for us !" It was one of the hottest 
days of the year. An anxious smile played upon hip lips, but 
bright daring spoke in the firm contour of the bearded face. 
His hat alone bore the Prussian colors. It was indeed refresh- 
ing to see such a man in those days. 

• And when the " winter of discontent " came for democracy, 
when the question of saving the construction of a ministry was 
prominent, it was Bismarck who took the initiative concerning 
the introduction of the elder Yon Manteuffel, his partisan at the 
United Diet, and thus drew the eyes of the people upon the man 
who promptly restored order. He had discovered the right man 
for the situation as it then existed. 




The Second Chamber. — The Sword and the Throne. — Acceptance of the Frankfurt 
Project. — The New Electoral Law. — Bismarck's Speeches. — The Kmg and the 
Stag.— Birth of Herbert von Bismarck. — " What does this Broken Glass Cost ?" — 
The Ki-euzzeitung Letters. — The Prussian Nobility. — "I am Proud to be a Prus- 
sian Junker!" — Close of the Session. 

Immediately after the publication of the December constitu- 
tion of 1848, Bismarck was, in the same month, elected in Bran- 
denburg the represent- 
^^\^ ^ " v.^M ative of West-Havel- 

land, as a member of 
the Second Chamber. 
The Diet was open- 
ed on the 26th of 
February, 1849 ; and 
Bismarck was among 
the first members to 
repair to the solemni- 
ty in the White Sa- 
loon, How many rem- 
iniscences were asso- 
' ciated in Bismarck's 
mind with the White 
Saloon! How many 
more were to arise ! 
Memorials and landmarks still remain ! 

Without any special object, most probably, Bismarck took the 

- - 

1 ~ 






^ ^ 


same seat in the Assembly he had formerly occupied as represent- 
ative of the Knight's Estate of Jerichow, in the United Diet; 
and here he held, as it were, as member for the electoral metrop- 
olis of Brandenburg, a sort of court. It was at least something 
of a court, for not only was he received by his former associates, 
such as Count Arnim-Boytzenburg, the minister Von Manteuffel, 
and many others, but his opponents also addressed him — those 
who had been his opponents, and were to become so again. 
Among these were Auerswald, Yincke, and Grabow ; at that 
time they all stood with Bismarck on the right, in the terrible 
crisis of the country, Bismarck received them with the perfect 
confidence of a great-hearted gentleman, in that gracious manner 
of which he was so perfect a master, but which he could, at any 
moment, for the sake of a joke, frankly and freely abandon, with- 
out in the least imperilling his position. On that day his face 
remained serious, despite the anecdote related by Freiherr von 
Vincke, who recounted in a humorous way that on alighting 
from his carriage he had been hissed at the palace gate by the 
Berlin mob, while plaudits were made to Temmes and D'Esters. 
Bismarck did not allow himself any illusions as to the difficulty 
of the position, although the royalists were in ecstasies at the re- 
sult of the elections. Parties were at the time about equal in 
numbers, if those were counted to the royalist side that had not 
formally sided with the democrats. It was a very beggarly ac- 
count, and yet this was to be regarded, after the events of the 
spring, as a considerable gain — a gain greatly to be ascribed to 
the endeavors of Bismarck and his immediate friends. 

A conservative deputy from Pomerania, addressing the mem- 
ber for West-Havelland, said : " We have conquered !" 

"Not so !" replied Bismarck, coolly. " We have not conquer- 
ed, but we have made an attack, which is the principal thing. 
Victory is yet to come, but it will come." 

These words accurately and truly convey the nature of the sit- 
uation, Bismarck being a master of short phrases in which situa- 
tions are rendered in a perfectly intelligible manner. Very fre- 
quently his expressions appear as if a curtain had been suddenly 
withdrawn to allow brilliant light to dissipate gloom. He is the 
very opposite to those diplomatists who make use of language 
only to conceal their thoughts. His clear perceptions are ever 


conveyed openly in definite language. Not only in politics is 
this true, but in ordinary conversation. On one occasion the rel- 
ative positions of the Pomeranian Circles were under discussion. 
Bismarck said, " The Principality of Cammin hangs like a pair 
of breeches over Belgard !" Of course his geographical studies 
aided him to this, but his expressions are ecpally applicable un- 
der all circumstances. 

Two of the deputies, on the occasion of this solemnity, display- 
ed the cynicism of street democracy with childish vanity ; one 
of them strutted about in a green frock-coat, and the other at- 
tempted to draw attention to himself by continually fanning him- 
self with his gray hat. These were not, however, the worst ene- 
mies of the Prussian monarchy in the White Saloon on that 
day ; under many a well-brushed black coat worse emotions were 
on fire. 

By accident the sabre of one of the officers of the Guards fell 
from its scabbard on his suddenly turning ; the naked weapon 
lay before the throne of Prussia, a circumstance which could only 
be regarded by many, on both sides, as portending that the sword 
alone could now save the throne. 

At the sessions immediately succeeding the opening of the 
Second Chamber, Bismarck now found himself placed in the po- 
sition of defending the constitution — although it did not fulfill his 
aspirations, opinions, and convictions^against the attacks of de- 
mocracy. He had accepted constitutionalism, from necessity, and 
was bound to defend the sovereignty upon this basis. This he 
did bravely and openly, but in a spirit of self-consciousness and 
dignity, which often drove his antagonists to despair, and fre- 
quently aroused a storm of disapprobation. 

" No word," he once exclaimed, " has been moro wrongly used 
in the past year than the word ' people.' Every body has held it 
to signify just what suited his own view, usually as a crowd of 
individuals, whom it was necessary to persuade." 

To throw this phrase into the face of democracy, meant far 
more in those days than at the present time. 

He declared against a fresh amnesty with manly vigor and 
deep insight ; he straightforwardly said the King, on the 18th 
March, 1848, had pardoned rebels, but such an act ought not 
to be repeated, because it would have the effect of spreading an 



opinion among the people that the whole political rights of the 
State depended upon the will of the population, as if any one 
who armed a certain number of individuals, or assembled them 
in unarmed crowds, to overawe a weak government, possessed 
the right to overturn any law obnoxious to him, " There is no 
accommodation possible with this battle of principles, which has 
shaken Europe to its foundations ; these principles are founded 
on contradictory grounds, opposed from the very commencement. 
One apparently seeks its justification in the national will, but 
really in the brute force of the barricades ; the other is founded 
in a sovereignty granted by Heaven, upon the supremacy of di- 
vine right, and endeavors to accomplish its development by or- 
ganically allying itself with constitutional jurisprudence and law. 
One of these principles regards agitators of every kind as heroic 
combatants for truth, freedom, and right ; the other classes them 
as rebels. These principles can not be decided by parliamentary 
debates ; ere long the Almighty, who is the arbiter of battles, 
will throw the dice and so determine the controversy." 

The Second Chamber adopted the Frankfurt Imperial Consti- 
tution by a vote of 179 against 169. Bismarck spoke energeti- 
cally against it, because it bore the broad impress of national sov- 
ereignty, this being evident, as the Emperor retained nothing 
more than a right of a veto of suspension. The Radicals, he said, 
would approach the new Emperor with the imperial arms, and 
ask, — 

" Think you that this eagle is given you merely as a present?" 

" The Frankfurt crown," he continued, " may be very brilliant, 
but the gold, which lends truth to its splendor, must be added by 
melting into its composition the Prussian crown ; and I can not 
believe that this recasting is possible by means of the proposed 

The course of the discussions in the Second Chamber gradual- 
ly showed an increase in the power of the democrats, and they 
would render a monarchical government impossible. They in- 
sisted on the abolition of the state of siege in Berlin, as this ma- 
terially impeded their projects ; and when they had finally suc- 
ceeded in effecting this, the Government could do no otherwise 
than dissolve the Second Chamber and prorogue the First. It 
seemed at one time that this dissolution would be the signal for 


another insurrection, but the democratic mob was taken aback 
when the Government showed the necessary severity. It was a 
terrible exaggeration for a Paris newspaper to announce, "Xe 
canon gronde a Berlin.'''' One volley in the Donhofsplatz, and 
then, " Arms — to the right," and a cavalry charge in the Leip- 
ziger-Strasse, were enough thoroughly to deprive the democrats 
of all taste for another rising. 

Bismarck was then residing at Wilhelm-Strasse, ISTo. 71 ; in the 
summer he went to Pomerania, and thence, in August, proceeded 
to Brandenburg for the election, and finally to Berlin. 

The new electoral law for the Second Chamber, and a decree 
summoning both Chambers for the 7th of August, had already 
been published, on the 80th of May. This new Chamber, which 
had grown clearer as to the position of parties, was employed 
with the revision of the Customs Constitution and with the Ger- 
man policy of Prussia — in fact, with the plans for union proposed 
by Herr von Eadowitz. 

Bismarck, who now appeared more and more as one of the 
leaders of the conservative party, declared against the projects of 
union and the triple alliance, because it was founded at the cost 
of Prussia's specific interests, and, if successful, would, in the end 
ruin her. On the 6th of September, 1849, Bismarck spoke as 
follows : — • 

" I am of opinion that the motive principles of the year 1848 
were far more social than national. Kational action would have 
confined itself to a few, but prominent, persons, in more contract- 
ed circles, if the ground had not been shaken under our feet, 
drawing in the social element, by false representations as to the 
ambition of the proletariat to acquire the property of others. 
The envy the poor had of the rich was excited in proportion to 
the continued feeding of a spirit of license from high quarters, 
which destroyed the moral elements of resistance in the minds of 
men. I do not believe that these evils would be averted by 
democratic concessions, or by projects of German unity ; the seat 
of the disease is deeper ; but I deny that any desire has ever ex- 
isted in the Prussian people towards a national regeneration on 
the model of the theories of Frankfurt, The policy of Frederick 
the Great has been frequently alluded to ; and it has even been 
identified with the proposition for union. I rather am of opinion 


that Frederick 11. would have turned to the most prominent pe- 
culiarity of Prussian nationality, to her warlike element, and not 
without a result. He would have known that to-day, as in the 
era of our fathers, the sound of the trumpet which called to the 
standard of the father of the country, has lost no charm for the 
Prussian ear, whether the question concern the defense of the 
frontier or the fame and greatness of Prussia. He would have 
had the alternative, after the rupture with Frankfurt, to ally him- 
self with our ancient ally, Austria, and then assume the brilliant 
part enacted by the Emperor of Russia, in alliance with Austria, 
to destroy the common enemy — Revolution ; or he would have 
been free, with the same justification he possessed for the con- 
quest of Silesia, after declining the Frankfurt imperial crown, to 
decide what the nature of the German constitution should be, at 
the risk of casting the sword into the balance. This would have 
been^a national Prussian policy! In this way Prussia, in union 
with Austria or alone, would have been able to arrive at the 
proper position that would have endowed Germany with the 
power it should possess in Europe. The plan of a constitutional 
union, however, destroys the Prussian specific character." 

We must draw especial attention to the reply which Bismarck 
made to the argument of Herr von Radowitz, that the Frankfurt 
Assembly had shielded Prussia against some dangers. 

"I am not in the least aware," said Bismarck, "of such a 
thing. I only know that the 38th Prussian Regiment, on the 
18th of September, 1848, preserved us from that which the 
Frankfurt Parliament, with its predecessor, had conjured up. 
The specific character of Prussia actually accomplished this. 
This was the remains of the heretic Prussiadom which had sur- 
vived the Revolution ; the Prussian army, the Prussian treasury, 
the fruits of Prussian administration accumulated through many 
years, and the animated reaction exerted by King and people on 
each other in Prussia. It consisted in the attachment of the 
Prussian population to the established dynasty ; it consisted in 
the old Prussian virtues of honor, fidelity, obedience, and brave- 
ry, which inspire every Prussian soldier from the backbone — 
from the officers to the youngest recruit. The army has no en- 
thusiasm for the tricolor; in it, as in the rest of the people, will 
be found no longing for national regeneration. The name of 


Prussia is all-sufficient for it„ These hosts follow the banner of 
black and white, and not the tricolor : under the black and white 
they joyfully die for their country. The tricolor has been, since 
the 18th March, recognized as the attribute of their opponents. 
The accents of the Prussian National Anthem, the strains of the 
Dessau and Hohenfriedberg March, are well known and beloved 
among them : but I have never yet heard a Prussian soldier sing, 
' What is the German fatherland ?' The nation whence this 
army has sprung, and of which the army is the truest represent- 
ative, in the happy and accurate words of the President of the 
First Chamber, Rudolf von Auerswald, does not need to see the 
Prussian monarchy melt away in the filthy ferment of South Ger- 
man immorality. We are Prussians, and Prussians we desire to 
remain. I know that in these words I utter the creed of the 
Prussian army, the creed of the majority of my fellow-country- 
men, and I hope to God that we shall continue Prussians, when 
this bit of paper is forgotten like the withered leaf of autumn !" 

This love for the Prussian army, this enthusiasm for it, is a 
red line which runs through the whole political life of Bismarck. 
In it he recognizes the especial representative of the Prussian na- 
tion, the pillar of the State ; and this was quite in the style of 
Frederick ; for did not the great monarch say, " that the sky did 
not rest more firmly on the shoulders of Atlas, than the Prussian 
State on the regiments of the army," The German policy of 
Herr von Radowitz had no more conscious and energetic oppo- 
nent than Herr von Bismarck, unless in the excellent General 
von Ranch, the Royal Adjutant-General, a remarkable and high- 
ly gifted statesman, who opposed him on every opportunity in 
his powerful way, even in the royal presence. Radowitz, on one 
occasion, in his emphatic style, conjured the King, like Csesar, to 
cross the Rubicon. General von Rauch replied, with a twang of 
the Berlin dialect, " I do not know that fellow C«sar, nor that 
fellow the Rubicon, but the man can not be a true Prussian who 
counsels His Majesty thus !" Herr von Radowitz, it is known, 
was not a born Prussian, 

As to the revision of the constitution, Herr von Bismarck and 
his associates strove actively to endow it with such a shape that 
it would be possible for the King actually to govern with it. 
Much was accomplished, but " Far from sufficient !" said Bis- 


marck. Nor was it the fault of Bismarck that much more was 
not done. 

He was particularly zealous against the power of granting tax- 
ation by the Diet. " The centre of gravity, the whole power of 
the State, departs from the Crown to the Chambers, or their ma- 
jorities, and nothing then will remain to the Crown but the pow- 
er of carrying out the votes of the majority. It is true the Gov- 
ernment can dissolve the Chambers, and proceed to new elections, 
but the new Chambers might choose to pursue the way of the 
old, and thus the conflict would become insoluble and eternal ; 
there is no way of avoiding this. This would be overturning the 
Prussian State Prerogative, he perceived, the effects of which 
very easily would be of a more enduring nature than those of 
the so-called March Eevolution !" 

The orator of 1849 seemed to have a perception of the con- 
flicts which the Premier of 1862 would have to pass through : he 
then did not see how he should emerge from such a state of 
things, but in 1866 he found the way the via ti^iumphalis. 

Bismarck had been fol-ced to accept constitutionalism, but he 
did not unconditionally do so : it was at least to be a Prussian 
constitution, or modelled on Prussian principles, not directly in- 
imical to the Kingship. 

Prussia, said he, must be distinguishable from other countries. 
The downfall of German States kept tolerable pace with the con- 
cessions made by their Governments to the people. A reference 
to England was a mistake. " Give us every thing English that 
we do not possess ; give us English piety, and English respect for 
the law ; give the entire English constitution, but with, this the 
entire relations of the English landlords, English wealth, and Eng- 
lish common-sense — then it will be possible to govern in a simi- 
lar manner. The Prussian Crown must not be forced into the 
powerless position of the English Crown, which appears more like 
an elegant ornament at the apex of the edifice of the State. In 
ours I recognize the supporting pillar." 

England, he added, had given itself the leading principles of 
the constitution of 1688, only after having been, for more than a 
century, under the curatorship of an omnipotent aristocracy, con- 
sisting of a very few families. Parliamentary Eeform had now, 
it was true, broken the power of the aristocracy, but it was yet to 



be seen whether it would endure like the influence of the aristoc- 
racy. " We are deficient in the very class which controls poli- 
tics in England, the class of wealthy and thence conservative gen- 
tlemen, independent of material interests, whose whole education 
is directed to becoming statesmen." 

Bismarck's words were no longer hesitating, as at the United 
Diet, although there was always some slight impediment until his 
language began to flow more readily. But, as now, we perceive 
in his speeches that he had always to contend with the too rapid- 
ly advancing flood of thought. In his outward appearance his 
aspect was the picture of manly perfection ; the tall, strong-boned 
frame was erect, but light and unconstrained; his attitude was 
somewhat daring, but the blue-gray eye glanced forth earnestly 
and sharply, when it was not animated with the light of sincere 
friendship. It was not the contemplative eye of the thinker, but 
the straiQ;htforward look of the man of action. 

In the last days of autumn, Bismarck was commanded to the 
royal hunting-parties 
at Letzlingen, as he 
afterwards always 
continued to be, if not 
too far away. Fred- 
erick William IV. 
treated him with es- 
pecial favor on this 
occasion ; it was also 
with peculiar pleas 
ure that he hunted 
on the moors and 
among the forests, 
centuries before the 
proud heritage of his 
race ; a heritage his 
ancestors had sur- 
rendered only under 
the influence of affec- 
tion for their princes, 
and reverence for 
their liege lord. 


These old Bismarckian preserves are the richest in Prussia : the 
red deer and bucks are counted by thousands, and the royal 
hunts, which take place every winter since the restoration of the 
mansion of Letzlingen by Frederick William IV., at the begin- 
ning of his reign, are among the best in Europe. Frederick Wil- 
liam IV., although familiar with the chase, was not at all times a 
keen sportsman. Once he leaned his gun against a tree, drew a 
volume of Shakspeare from his pocket, seated himself on a stump, 
and was so absorbed in the poetry, that he never noticed that an 
inquisitive stag, who wished to know what the King was reading, 
crept up behind him and looked into the book over his shoulder. 
This pretty scene was witnessed by several sportsmen, and among 
these Bismarck, from a distance. 

In this winter of 1849-50 Bismarck established his family in 
Berlin, although he retained his seat at Schonhausen ; his house- 
hold lived on the first floor on Dorotheen-Strasse, No. 37 ; here 
his second child and eldest son Herbert was born. 

He was christened on the 13th February, 1850, by the well- 
known and so highly esteemed preacher, Gossner. In the spring 
of 1868 the heirs of Gossner, with other manuscripts, presented 
the letter of Bisijiarck, in which he asked Gossner to christen his 
son, to a bazar for missionary purposes. A cousin of the Minis- 
ter-President — General Count Bismarck-Bohlen, the Commandant 
of Berlin — purchased the letter, and presented it to Count Her- 
bert. This letter is as follows : — : 

Berlin, 11th February, 1850.\ 

Eeverend Sir, — Although I have not the honor to be per- 
sonally known to you, I venture to hope, as we have friends in 
common, that you will not refuse to baptize my first-born son ; 
and I beg respectfully to ask whether it will be agreeable to your 
engagements to perform this holy office on the day after to-mor- 
row, Wednesday, the 13th current, at about half-past eleven, at 
my residence, Dorotheen - Strasse, No. 37, and for this purpose 
would honor me with a visit. In case of your consent, I trust you 
will make an appointment for to-morrow afternoon or evening, 
when I can visit you and make the further necessary arrangements. 
With great respect, reverend sir, I remain faithfully, 

Von Bismarck- Schonhausen, M. Sec. Gh. 



Among the friends who about that time visited Bismarck's 
hospitable though simple household in the Dorotheen-Strasse (af- 
terwards in the Behren-Strasse, No. 60), we may name Yon Sa- 
vignj, Andre, and Von Kleist-Eetzow. 

Bismarck's life in those days was almost entirely absorbed by 
politics : sessions of the Chambers, commissions, committees, 
^ubs, and appointments of all kinds occupied him, and politics 
formed the theme of the conversations he held in the evening in 
the beer - saloon of Schwarz (corner of Friedichs and Leipziger 
Strassen), when he went in to drink a glass of Griinthaler beer. 
This beer-saloon — it is still existent, although in another locality 
and under other management — was a principal centre of the con- 
servatives; it was jestingly said, that even the landlord's little 
dog was so conservative that he barked at every democrat. 

At another establishment, not that of Schwarz, Bismarck had a 
little adventure. He had just taken a seat, when a particularly 
offensive expression was used at the next table concerning a 
member of the Eoyal Family. Bismarck immediately rose to 

his full height, turned to the speaker, and thundered forth : — 
"Out of the house! If you are not off when I have drunk this 
beer, I will break this glass on your head !" At this there en- 


sued a fierce commotion, and threatening outcries resounded in 
all directions. Without the slightest notice Bismarck finished 
his draught, and then brought it down upon the offender's pate 
with such efiect that the glass flew into fragments, and the man 
fell down, howling with anguish. There was a deep silence, 
during which Bismarck's voice was heard to say, in the quietest 
tone, as if nothing whatever had taken place : — " Waiter, what fl 
to pay for this broken glass ?" At this exclamations were heard, 
but not against Bismarck; every one rejoiced and cried: — "That 
was right ! That is the proper thing to do ! The wretch richly 
deserved it !" This deed had its intended effect, and Bismarck 
went on his way unmolested. 

There was something indescribably commanding in his firm 
countenance, with its close beard, and the cold glance which lay 
in his eyes, in his form and whole bearing, at this time. This a 
certain Herr ISTelke (Pink) or Stengel (Stalk) — we are not certain 
of the name — one day learnt to his cost. Bismarck was return- 
ing from Potsdam with the venerable and worthy Lieutenant- 
Colonel von Wolden, who is still remembered in certain circles. 
In the coupe a silly bagman or something of that kind was mak- 
ing a violent political speech, and at last ventured to ridicule and 
libel the grizzly Lieutenant-Colonel to his face. Bismarck looked 
at the man, who was continuing his insults, for a time, until the 
train stopped at the station in Berlin. Bismarck paced along the 
platform at his full height, and advanced in the firmest attitude 
to the chattering gentleman, so that he involuntarily receded a 
step with alarm. Silently Bismarck approached and drove him 
to the wall, and then simply asked him, ^ 

" What is your name ?" 

"Nelke, my name is ISTelke!" stammered the person addressed, 
with a pale, and anxious face. 

"Then take care, you Nelke (Pink) you — or I shall have to 
pluck you !" 

He then turned and left the poor Pink in a crushed state — but 
richer by a golden lesson — leaning against the wall. 

Bismarck wore a long yellowish-gray overcoat, which to this 
day is called in his house the " dyke coat," as he was accustomed 
to put it on when he visited the dyke, for which purpose it had 
done long and faithful service. In Fritz Renter's " Journey to 


Constantinople" the Commerce Councillor Schwofel says: — "In 
all Eisenach there are only three white hats ; His Eoyal High- 
ness wears one when he is there ; Mr. O'Kelly wears the second ; 
and I wear the third. Certainly there are plenty more white 
hats in the place, but these are the most important." We might 
say here that Berlin in those days only contained three yellow 
overcoats ; Bismarck wore one of these ; the immortal Baron 
von Hertefeld wore the second, until he died, the last of his 
memorable race, as Hereditary Grrand Huntsman, at Cleve, in 
1867 ; and the author of this book the third. There might be 
many more yellow coats in Berlin, but these were the most im- 

Bismarck very often, as did many members of the conservative 
party, visited the office of the Neiu Prussian Gazette^ in the Des- 
sauer-Strasse, No. 5, to learn the news. He was one of those, 
however, who always brought more than he carried away. Bis- 
marck is an admirable narrator, especially of anecdotes, which he 
used to point with epigrammatic skill ; the under-current of lit- 
tle traits of malice are generally invested with a dose of good hu- 
mor, so that the subject of the stories were obliged to laugh 
themselves. The ISTapoleonist Due de Persigny would no doubt 
have laughed had he heard Bismarck in those days. Fialin de 
Persigny at that time was intrusted with a political mission in 
Berlin, which he no doubt carried through to the greatest satis- 
faction of the higher powers ; but he exhibited such disinvolture 
in the circles of the court society, and so naive an admiration for 
female beauty, that a number of tales passed current at his ex- 
pense. Bismarck's mode of narration was only tinged with good 
humor in the majority of cases, not in all ; he could be exceed- 
ingly peppery, and could give vent to severe sarcasms, and shoot 
off arrows which pierced through and through. 

He was, however, not only a teller of anecdotes in the editorial 
room of the Neio Prussian Gazette; he supported the paper he had 
contributed to found with original articles. These were mostly 
written at the great round table where so many distinguished men 
have taken their Beats, from Von Eadowitz and Bethmann-Hollweg 
to Count Arnim, Pernice, Stahl, Yon Gerlach, and Huber ; and he 
wrote in his peculiar firm, but high and compact style. Some- 
times he rushed into the room with hasty greeting, and stood at 



the higli desk, retaining his hat and gloves in his left hand, and 
threw some lines swiftly on to paper. "Put the national motto 
to these," he would exclaim to the editor-in-chief, and ran off with 
another salutation. He was always full of life and activity. 

After the close of this 
^ ^ , ,.,-775^ session, on the 25th of 

February, 1850, he re- 
turned for a short time 
to Schonhausen, and in 
the following April we 
discover him again in 
^ Erfurt, at the Union Par- 
liament. He had, as we 
know, been opposed from 
the very beginning to 
these attempts at union ; 
they were not, in his firm 
opinion, fraught with any 
fortunate omen to Prus- 
sia. The very next few 
months proved that his 
acute insight and his 
Prussian patriotism had 
not erred. We need not 
therefore be astonished 
that he gave vent to his 
patriotic sorrow at ilfie 
Erfurt project,, and the 
humiliationg contemplated to Prussia thereby, in unmeasured lan- 
guage. He closed one of his speeches of that time with the 
following sentences : — 

" It has been a painful feeling for me to see here Prussians, and 
not nominal Prussians only, who advocate this constitution, who 
have defended it with ardor. It would have been a humiliating 
feeling to me, and so it would have been to thousands and thou- 
sands of my fellow-countrymen, to see the representatives of 
princes whom I honor in their own sphere, but who are not my 
liege-lords, clothed with supreme power; a feeling the bitterness 
of which could not be diminished by seeing the seats we occupy 


decked with colors — never those of the German empire — but 
which for two years have been the colors of rebellion and of the 
barricades, colors worn in my native land by the democrat alone, 
except when in sorrowful obedience by the soldier. Gentlemen ! 
If you make no more concessions than are contained in this con- 
stitution to the Prussian — ancient Prussian spirit — call it obsti- 
nate Prussian feeling if you choose — I do not believe it will be 
realized ; and if you endeavor to force this constitution on this 
Prussian spirit, you will find it to be a Bucephalus, who bears his 
accustomed lord and rider with daring joy, but who will cast the 
unwelcome Sunday rider with his black-red-gold harness to the 
earth. I find one comfort against these eventualities in the firm 
conviction that no long time will elapse ere the parties to this 
constitution will stand, as, in the fable of Lafontaine, the two doc- 
tors stood by the patient whose corpse they were abandoning. 
The one said, ' He is dead, I said so from the beginning !' — the 
other, 'Had he followed my advice, he would have been alive 
now.' " 

The further debates of the Erfurt Parliament gave him leisure 
enough, but this leisure brought no vigor with it, for the impres- 
sion of a great political blunder sat heavy on the souls of Bis- 
marck and his political partisans. 

Bismarck wished to reinvigorate himself by a thorough hunt- 
ing-party ; he conferred with the Privy Councillor Oppermann, 
one of the " mighty hunters " of Prussia ; this gentleman joined 
him with enthusiasm, and they communicated through the Ober- 
forstmeister von Wedell, in Schleusingen, to obtain a woodcock 
foray with the famous shot Oberforsters Klingner. Bismarck 
and Oppermann left Erfurt one morning together. At the first 
stage the travellers refreshed themselves at Arnstadt, as keen 
sportsmen, thinking nothing of the caddish opinions of the day, 
by a plentiful breakfast at eight o'clock, of delicate groundlings, 
and drank 1811 Bocksbeutel therewith. At the succeeding sta- 
tions they whetted their appetites with trout, and drank beer with 
them, as the nectar of 1811 would allow no other wines to attract 
the palate. On their arrival in Schleusingen at 3 P.M., they had 
more trout and beer, then an interview and arrangements with 
the Oberforster, and in the evening more trout, which Oppermann 
ate with, wine sauce, Bismarck remaining true to beer despite of 


urgent dissuasions. At night, about 12 o'clock, the Oberforster 
made his appearance with a keeper, to take the gentlemen off to 
the forest. Bismarck, however, was in a very lamentable plight ; 
the mixture of fish and beer did not suit his constitution, and he 
was in a feverish state. He was advised to have some pepper- . 
mint and stop in bed, but it was in vain ; the keen sportsman 
was not afraid of stomach-ache ; he was soon dressed, and away 
they went. Oppermann fired and killed a bird, but Bismarck 
returned home with nothing. He had put up two woodcocks, 
but at the decisive moment he fired both times at the wrong in- 
stant. The keeper showed him another woodcock, but Bismarck 
was unfit for any further exertion ; he returned to Schleusingen 
and went to bed. By eleven o'clock the mischief was ended by 
some strong grog, and the sportsmen then went by the express 
coach over the hills, and arrived very merrily in Erfurt by the 
evening. Bismarck, however, has never taken beer upon trout 

During his stay in Erfurt, Dr. Stahl was presented with an al- 
bum by his admirers. On its eleventh page, the album (which 
was afterwards printed) contains the following inscription: — 

"Our watchword therefore is not ' A United State at any price,' 
but, ' The independence of the Prussian Crown at every price.' 


" Deputy for BrandenJmrff. 
" Erfurt, 24th AprU, 1850." 


This expression, if we are not mistaken, was a quotation froriji a 
speech made by Stahl, at that time in Erfurt. Evidently it came 
from Bismarck's inmost soul. 

After his return from Erfurt, Bismarck dedicated some weeks 
to his business in Schonhausen, and then travelled into Pome- 
rania with his family. It is this journey of which such humorous 
mention is made in the two following letters to his sister : 


Schonhausen, 28th June, 1850. 

I write you a solemn letter of congratulation on the occasion 
(I think) of your twenty-fourth birthday. (I won't tell any body 
of this.) You are now really a major, or, rather, would have been 



so, had you not had the 
misfortune to belong to 
the female sex, whose 
limbs, in the eyes of jurists, 
can never emerge from 
minority — not even when 
they are the mothers of the 
lustiest of Jacks. Why 
this apparent injustice is a 
very wise arrangement I 
will instruct jou, when, I 
hope some fortnight hence, 
I have you a la ])ortee de 
la voix humaine before me. 
Johanna — who at the pres- 
ent time is in the arms of 
Lieutenant Morpheus — will have written to you what is in pros- 
pect for me. The boy bellowing in a major key, the girl in 
minor, two singing nurse-girls, wet napkins and milk-bottles, my- 
self in the character of an affectionate Paterfamilias, I resisted a 
lona: time, but as all the mothers and aunts were unanimous that 
poor little Molly could only be cured by sea-water and air, I 
should, if I resisted any longer, have my avarice and my pater- 
nal barbarity paraded before me on the occasion of every cold 
the child will catch till it is seventy, with the words : " Don't you 
see ! Ah ! if the poor child could but have gone to the seaside !" 
The little being is suffering from the eyes, which are tearful and 
sticky. Perhaps this arises from the salt baths, perhaps from eye- 
teeth. Johanna is dreadfully excited about it, and for her satis- 
faction I have sent to-day for Dr. Biinger, at Stendal, who is the 
Fanninger of the Alt Mark. We take it for granted that you will 
be at home next month, and do not contemplate an excursion 
yourselves, in which event we would defer our visit until our 
return. But we write in order to settle time and place. I have 
very unwillingly decided to abandon my country laziness here, 
but now that it is settled, 1 see rose-colored hues in the affair, and 
am heartly delighted to seek you in the cavern, which I only 
know to be situated some ten feet above the earth, and hope to 
seize the herring myself in the' depths of the Baltic. Johanna is 


still asleep, or she would certainly send many greetings. For rea- 
sons of health I now rise at six o'clock. Hoping soon to see you, 
I invoke God's blessing on you and yours, for this year and all 
those to come. 


Schonhausen, 8th July, 1850. 

Yesterday a letter arrived from Oscar, according to which he 
will also be in Berlin to-morrow, but will not return until Thurs- 
day. I am very sorry your horses will be kept at work for two 
days together, but Oscar will not be able to set out on Wednes- 
day, and it would be inconvenient for us to remain a day and a 
half in Berlin without any business whatever, or any other mo- 
tive. The children and servants, Oscar, Johanna, and I, could 
not go in one carriage. I therefore remain, and my principal 
reason for writing to you is in relation to my former letter, ac- 
cording to which we should reach Angermiinde on Wednesday 
and find horses at Gerswalde, unless you. have arranged it your- 
selves differently — in which case Oscar will let me know, and it 
will be all right. I do not wish to propose any other route, or it 
will bring the horses into confusion, from the little time before 
us. This journey I perceive will give me an introduction to the 
new Lunatic Asylum, or at least the Second Chamber, for life. 
I already see myself on the platform at Genthin with the chil- 
dren ; then both of us in the carriage with all sort of infantine re- 
quirements, businesses at which one turns up one's nose — Johan- 
na does not like to give the boy the breast, and he roars himself 
blue — then come official crowds, the inn, with both howlers in 
the Stettin railway-yard — at Angermiinde we shall have to wait 
an hour for the horses, and pack ourselves up again. How shall 
we get from Krochlendorf to Kiilz? If we have to remain a 
night in Stettin it will be horrible. Last year I had to undergo 
all this with Marie and her screaming. Yesterday I got so de- 
spairing as to all these things that I positively determined to give 
the whole journey up, and so went to bed, determined at least 
to coach it right through or stop somewhere. But what do we 
not do for domestic peace? " The young cousins ought to know 
each other, and who can tell when Johanna will see you again ?" 
In the night she attacked me with the boy in her arms, and with 

OLMUTZ. 209 

the arts that lost us Paradise she naturally succeeded, and every 
thing remains as before. But I feel that I am myself the victim 
of a terrible wrong ; next year I shall be forced to travel about 
with three cradles, nurses, sheets, and all the rest, I wake at 
six o'clock in a mild rage, and can sleep no more, from the pic- 
tures of travel which my fancy paints me in the blackest hues — 
down to the picnics in the sandhills of Stolpmiinde. And even 
were one's expenses paid ! But to throw away the ruins of a 
once brilliant fortune by travelling about with suckling children ! 
I am very unhappy ! 

Therefore, on Wednesday we reach Gerswalde. Perhaps I 
had in the end better have gone by way of Passow, and you 
would not have had to send so far to Prenzlau as to Gr. How- 
ever, it is a fait accompli; and the misery of choice is succeeded 
by the rest of resignation. Johanna greets you and packs. We 
shall send some of our things per freight ; Johanna is therefore 
in some anxiety about her toilette, in case you Boitzenbiirgers 
have company. 

The period till the latter autumn of 1850 was very instructive 
to Bismarck as a politician ; he continued to observe — we should, 
had not his Prussian heart been in the task, have said with scien-' 
tific attention and curiosity — the effort made by Eadowitz to 
save the Union ; he was astonished at the dexterity of this states- 
man, but he also saw clearly that all this dexterity would fail, 
for want of real pressure. Bismarck learnt that it was as impos- 
sible to create a German Unity as any other form of state, if one 
is wanting in courage or power to exert a sufficient pressure 
upon that which opposes. While Austria opposed, union was 
not possible without war, nor did Bismarck forget this truth. 

The triple alliance collapsed, war was forbidden by the politi- 
cal facts of the time — the union was abandoned, Herr von Eado- 
witz resigned, and Herr von Manteuffel, who then entered upon 
his office as Minister of Foreign Affairs, went to Olmiitz. 

What a terrible outcry was raised as to this visit to Olmiitz at 
the time, and how greatly Herr von Manteuffel was censured on 
the subject ! Prussian feeling was deeply wounded, and was 
worthy of much respect; it was a severe transposition — but 
from Erfurt to Olmiitz was a necessity, if it were not resolved to 



break the opposition of Austria by the sword. Herr von Man- 
teuffel, however, who entered upon this severe task in patriotic 
devotion to his country, certainly did not deserve the flood of 
abuse which was heaped upon his head for many years. He, at 
least, had not led Prussia to Erfurt. 

On the 3d December, 1850, Bismarck in a long speech defend- 
ed the policy of the Ministry respecting the negotiations at 01- 
miitz. He emphasized the community of interests existing be- 
tween Prussia and Austria in reference to revolution, on the 
community of action of both States in German affairs. He 
censured war, by which Prussia would have set her existence 
upon the hazard of the die, in view of the threatening attitude 
abroad, and would have done so, not for herself, but for the lurk- 
ing democracy. It will be understood that much of the so-called 
disgrace of Olmiitz was cast upon Bismarck, and he was bitterly 
censured until the year 1866 for having defended those negotia- 

In the course of the session Bismarck had an opportunity of 
pronouncing a brilliant defense of the Prussian nobility, then as- 
sailed with unequalled license and malice. His words were 
these : — 

" You ought not to undervalue in these latter days the serv- 
ices of that class, whether as of&cers of the army, or in such po- 
sitions where landed property enables it to fight against anarchy 
and for the salvation of Prussia. The nobility of Prussia has in 
these affairs been spinning no silk, take it as a whole ; it will be 
remembered that its immediate ancestry conquered the Westpha- 
lian Land Tax in the Rhine Province, and that its grandfathers 
paid for the Patow Promemoria with their blood in Silesia. In 
like manner, you will find the sons of this class ever among the 
truest servants of the country. It is true the Prussian nobility 
have had their Jena ; in common with the political associates of 
those who now attack it, they have had their Second United Diet. 
If, however, I survey their history as a great whole, I believe 
there exist no reasons for such attacks as we hear in this place, 
and I do not think it necessary to despair of discovering within 
this class worthy members of a Prussian peerage." 

To the continually reiterated taunt concerning Junkerdom and 
the Junker party, he fearlessly replied : — 


" I am proud to be a Prussian Junker, and feel honored by the 
appellation, Whigs and Tories were terms which once also had 
a very mean signification ; and be assured, gentlemen, that we 
shall on our part bring Junkerdom to be regarded with honor 
and respect." 

We here take leave of Bismarck's activity as a conservative 
party leader in the Second Chamber. This volcanic earth in the 
Hardenberg Palace, on the Donhofi'splatz, he only re-entered elev- 
en years afterwards as a Minister, although in the winter of 
1851-2 he several times came from Frankfurt to Berlin, and also 
appeared in the Chamber. 

Book tlje JFourtlj, 






Ambassador.— Interview with the King. — Lieut. -General von Kochow.— Anecdotes. 
—Frankfurt.— Eeception of the Prince of Prussia.— Society at Frankfurt.- The 
King's Birthday. — Position of Pmssia.— Correspondence. 

^___^_^ __ ^ _ T some resting-place 

__ ^^- ^^ ^ journey into 

Pomerania which 
Bismarck under- 
took in the early 
spring of 1851, he 
heard from several 
persons of his ap- 
pointment as Am- 
bassador to the Diet 
in Frankfurt-on-the 
Maine, where the 
Diet was just then 
re-assembling. That 
this was not true he 
knew, but that he 
was very likely intended for the post he considered far from im- 
possible. He thought deeply over the matter; the reflection 
was a novel one, but by no means unwelcome ; to him a parlia- 
mentary career had become the less pleasing the longer he had 
followed it — he was not vain enough for that : his manly self- 
confidence, however, was considerable, and perhaps he thought 
of his mother's predictions. On his return to Berlin, after mi- 



nute self-examination, be determined to accept the position of 
Ambassador to the Diet, should it be offered him. 

We do not know whether the idea of intrustmg Bismarck' 
with this office — unquestionably the most important which Prus- 

sia at that time had to fill — first occurred to Frederick William 
IV. himself, or whether it was the thought of the Minister von 
Manteuffel; at any rate it was founded on the assumption that 
Bismarck would be a persona grata to Austria, as it was then 
Prussia's problem ' to treat of German politics with the best un- 
derstanding towards Austria. It was the custom of Frederick 
William IV., who more than proved how dear every thing that 
concerned Germany was to his heart, to select his Ambassador to 
the Diet with the utmost care ; and the delicate circumstances of 
the time rendered the necessity for caution all the greater. Yet, 
it will be said, on this occasion his choice fell upon a man who 


had hitherto never served in diplomatic matters. We certainly 
know from the mouth of a Minister of State, on very confiden- 
tial terms with the King, that the latter "was much attached to 
Bismarck, and expected great things at his hands." 

Bismarck paid a visit to Herr von Manteuffel ; the latter soon 
told him that His Majesty the King desired to speak with him, 
and then, without any circumlocution, asked him in what his 
views concerning the ambassadorship consisted.- The cautious 
Minister was not a little surprised when Bismarck, in so many 
words, declared himself prepared to undertake it. He was evi- 
dently not without hesitation at so rapid a decision, desiring him, 
however, to wait upon His Majesty the King without delay. 

Bismarck was received by his King, at Sans-Souci, with that 
favor and grace which he ever evinced towards him ; but the 
King was even perhaps more astonished than his Prime Minis- 
ter, when Bismarck frankly and honestly declared — " If your 
Majesty is desirous of trying the experiment, I am ready to fulfill 
your wishes !" 

Frederick William IV. perhaps thought there was a certain 
degree of temerity in the rapid decision of Bismarck, and drew 
his attention to the significance and difficulty of the position. 

" Your Majesty can surely try me,'' replied Bismarck ; " if it 
prove a failure, I can be recalled in six months, or even sooner 
than that !" 

Despite all the doubts and hesitation which arose in his mind, 
the King remained firm to his intention, and in May, 1851, Bis- 
marck was appointed to the post of First Secretary of the Em- 
bassy to the Diet, with the title of Privy Councillor. 

He immediately departed for his post. He here found himself 
on new, and, to him, entirely strange ground, and his duty was 
certainly not rendered easy for him. Lieut.-General Theodor 
Rochus von Rochow, who was to introduce him to his new posi- 
tion, kept him at a distance from actual business, with the well- 
known and intelligible jealousy which most men entertain to- 
wards their successors in ofl&ce. Herr von Gruner was a liberal 
and an opponent of Bismarck's, but the other German represent- 
atives felt a sort of virtuous shudder at the famous reactionary 
Junker. Perhaps the Presiding Deputy, Count von Thun-Ho- 
henstein, who thought to see in Bismarck the thorough partisan 


of Austria, was the only person who bid him welcome, at the 
same time with the intention of causing him to see what marked 
influence Austria possessed. This was a rather strong diplo- 
matic blunder, for Bismarck knew precisely how to take and re- 
tain his proper position, 

A pretty anecdote was related at the time, for which certainly 
we can not absolutely vouch, but if not true, it might have been. 
Bismarck one day paid the Presiding Deputy a visit. Count 
Thun received him with a sort of brusque familiarity, went on 
coolly smoking his cigar, and did not even ask Bismarck to take 
a chair. The latter simply took out his cigar-case, pulled out a 
cigar, and said, in an easy tone, " May I beg a light, Excellency?" 
Excellency, astonished to the greatest degree, supplied the de- 
sired light. Bismarck got a good blaze up and then took the 
unoffered seat in the coolest way in the world, and led the way 
to a conversation. 

Bismarck never allowed any liberties with himself, but still 
less would he tolerate them when they were offered to him as 
the representative of his Sovereign. 

In the August of the same year he received the rank of Am- 
bassador. The Councillors at the Embassy consisted of the Le- 
gations — Rath Otto Wentzel, and as Attaches, the Count Lynar, 
and Count Theodor of Stolberg-Wernigerode. 

Greneral von Eochow continued his je'alous behavior to the 
end. On the day of his departure he pretended to send Bis- 
marck the current papers in a green portfolio ; but Bismarck 
found it empty. Bismarck immediately went to the station,) 
which Rochow had not expected, and was accordingly much em- 
barrassed. In the choicest expressions, Bismarck thanked him 
for all the delicate kindnesses he had experienced from him, and 
added, that he presumed to ascribe it to the friendship that Ro- 
chow had entertained for his deceased father. These few mo- 
ments could scarcely have been very pleasant to the poor General. 

During this first visit to Frankfurt, Bismarck resided with his 
friend Count Lynar (who subsequently died at Paris), in the 
house of M. Krug, a merchant, in the Hoch-Strasse, whose wife 
was a native of Berlin. He was unable to work much at the 
Bills of the Bund, and General von Rochow, famous for his wit, 
jested not a little at Bismarck's late habits of rising, although he 



was far more industrious than was generally apparent, being en- 
gaged in an active correspondence with his political friends in 
Berlin, especially with the Actual Privy Councillor, Freiherr 
von Manteuffel II. Before dinner he usually rode out, and, in 
order to feel his ground, visited the neighboring Courts of Darm- 
stadt, Biebrich, and Karlsruhe, where his old friend Von Savigny 
was then Prussian Envoy. An acute, sometimes a severe, judge 

of character, as well as an observer of passing events; Bismarck 
had, at the desire, or, at any rate, with the consent of Eochow, 
undertaken an immediate part in the press. The articles con- 
tributed or suggested by him created much attention ; they pos- 
sessed wit and point, often destroying the arguments of his oppo- 
nents ; this became his peculiar province. At other times, as a 
new man in diplomacy, he assisted at the discussions in the so- 



ciety of Herr von Eochow, in order to become familiar with the 
course of business and the exterior formalities of diplomacy. 

On the 11th of July, 1851, the then Prince of Prussia (now 
King) visited Frankfurt, and was received by the body corporate 
of the Bund, and the general staff". The Prince was graciously 
inclined towards Bismarck, but made some observations during 
his passage to the terminus to Herr von Eochow, on the anomaly 
of this militia-lieutenant — for Bismarck had appeared in uniform, 
being a Deputy of the Bund. General von Eochow, however, 
who was wise enough not to undervalue Bismarck's importance, 
although he did not always testify the liveliest friendship 
towards him, replied, " The selection is worthy, novel, and vigor- 
ous ; your Eoyal Highness will certainly find all your require- 
ments fulfilled." 

The Prince could reply nothing to this, and, in fact, he certain- 
ly entertained the most favorable opinion of this still somewhat 
youthful champion of the justice and the honor of Prussia. 

"I believe," General von Eochow said at the time, "he only 


wished him to have possessed gray hair and a few additional 
years ; but it is questionable whether the plans of the Prince 
would be much nearer their fulfillment for those." 

This is all very characteristic, considering the relation destined 
at a future time to subsist between King William and Bismarck. 
Personal good-will in the highest degree he entertained for him, 
but want of confidence in his youth and inexperience. 

The Prince of Prussia frequently alluded to this view, but 
Eochow found means of quieting his fears. Otherwise he was 
fond of having Bismarck about him, conversed with him freely, 
drove about, and soon went to the theatre with him. The Prince 
exhibited real friendship for Bismarck, and, on the occasion of 
the birth of a son, in the following year (2d August, 1852), be- 
came its sponsor. Bismarck's younger son is named William 
after his royal godfather, although his usual name has continued 
to be " Bill." General von Eochow also, on his return to his post 
at St. Petersburg, freely stated his anticipation of great things 
from the talents and decision of character of his successor at 

When Bismarck became Envoy to the Bund, on the 18th Au- 
gust, 1851, he rented a villa of the younger Eothschild of Naples, 
distant some quarter of an hour from the city gate on the 
Bockenheimer Chaussee, close to the frontier of Hesse ; the same 
dwelling previously inhabited by the Archduke John in his offi- 
cial capacity as Imperial Curator. In the garden, as upon the 
flight of steps, the -most magnificent flowers were arranged; it is 
said there were more than one thousand camellias. Bismarck's 
house, after the arrival of Madame von Bismarck with her chil- 
dren, became the most prominently hospitable house in Frank- 

He soon became intimate with the Austrian Ambassador. 
Count Thun was a noble cavalier, and his very handsome wife, 
born a Countess Lamberg, knew how to invest his house with 
great attractions. Bismarck also managed to keep on terms with 
Count Thun's successor, the well-known Freiherr Prokesch von 
Osten, whose hatred of Prussia was so little a secret that his nom- 
ination to the office was regarded as a demonstration against 
Prussia ; and this Bismarck did without in the least lowering the 
dignity of Prussia — a problem somewhat difficult, considering the 



reputation of this entirely Eastern diplomatist. Of a much more 
friendly character were his relations to Count Eechberg, who re- 
placed Prokesch. 

The other representatives with whom Bismarck came into 
more intimate contact were, Yon Scherff", who represented the 
King of the Netherlands as Grand-duke of Luxemburg, Von 
Fritsch (Grand-duke of Saxony), Yon Biilow (King of Denmark 
as Duke of Holstein and Lauenburg), Yon Oertzen (Mecklen- 
burg), and Yon Eisendecher (Oldenburg). Bismarck farmed 
some sporting in conjunction with the English Ambassador, Sir 
Alexander Malet. 


Besides enjoying the society of the diplomatists, Bismarck 
liked to mingle with the Prussian and foreign higher military 
officers ; to his dinners, soirees, and balls, he also invited musi- 
cians, authors, and artists — a fact not of very frequent occurrence 
among the chief diplomatists in Frankfurt, and one which cre- 
ated some notice. His intercourse with these circles was princi- 
pally conducted by the highly esteemed artist Professor Becker, 
who, with his wife and handsome daughters, belonged to the 



most intimate society of bis house. The excellent portrait of 
Bismarck which hangs in the room of the Countess at Berlin, is 
by Professor Becker. 

Still more remarkable than this intercourse with painters and 
sculptors were certain domestic festivals, of which the people of 
Frankfurt had never even dreamt before, and in which he was 
imitated by no one. He used to give a feast to the domestics of 
his Pomeranian and Alt Mark property on Twelfth Night, in the 
old Pomeranian stjde — about which there was much curiosity. 

The most brilliant festival of the year was that of the 15th 
October, on the birthday of the 
King. In the morning there was 
solemn service in the large Re- 
formed Church in the Corn-mar- 
ket, at which Bismarck attended 
with the whole suite of the Em- 
bassy in full gala dress. Then 
followed a magnificent dinner, and 
in the evening he was accustom- 
ed to visit the Prussian soldiers, 
who lay in garrison in Frankfurt, 
amidst their festivities. 

Bismarck will never be forgot- 
ten by the Prussian soldiers who 
were in Frankfurt during his 
days ; they all knew him, for at 
every solemnity he appeared in 
his uniform as Landwehr Lieuten- 
ant, with the " Safety " Medal, to ■ 
witness the parades and exercises. 

The soldiers always called him 
" His Excellency Herr Lieutenant 
von Bismarck ;" they loved him 
sincerely, because they felt that he loved every Prussian soldier. 

The "Safety" Medal was no longer solitary upon his breast; 
the time had arrived when stars and grand crosses were sent to 
him from every side. 

Prussian travellers on their journey were hospitably received 
at his house, and many of those who were returning from the 



Ehenish Baths, lie not only invited to dinner, but, in the discreet- 
est manner, aided with loans, often of the greatest necessity to 
them. In short, Bismarck not only represented his Sovereign in 
the most brilliant but the wisest manner. 

When with considerable rapidity he had familiarized himself 
with the duties of his of&ce, he began to work with assiduity and 
continuity. After tea, at ten o'clock, he often dictated for three 
or four hours, and so well, that there was seldom any necessity 
for altering a word, so that dispatches could be forwarded to Ber- 
lin by half-past six. 

After business and receptions, which latter often rendered 
quiet necessary, his recreations consisted of hunting and riding. 
He often had his horse saddled at four in the morning, and rode 
for miles into the country. 

The more brilliant the social position of Bismarck had become, 
the more difficult and thorny the political position remained. 
He was conscious — we may say, to his great sorrow — from the 
very beginning, that the equal rights of Prussia which he had al- 
ways assumed, in speaking of going hand-in-hand with Austria, 
as to German affairs, were not recognized by Austria, but, on the 
contrary, she endeavored, with suspicious and inimical feelings, to 
increase the difficulties which Prussia had to fight against with 
all her might. Bismarck, by his personal influence, had now ob- 
tained a few advantages, and worked decisively through the 
press, on which he not only fixed his attention, but to which he 
devoted his personal activity. In the matters of the Zollverqin, 
he had a severe and especial battle to fight, against the machina- 
tions of Austrian politics. The Hanover Zietung published angry 
articles against the ratification of the treaty of 7th September, 
1851, just concluded with Prussia. It was the personal influence 
of Bismarck alone upon the Hanoverian Ambassador, Yon 
Scheie, that caused the opposition against the ratification of this 
treaty to be abandoned. 

In the Diet itself, Bismarck was successful in establishing such 
an order of business, to some extent limiting the arbitrary action 
of the President, and finally led to some method in the debates 
of the Diet. It might even be said that he soon attained a lead- 
ing power in the Diet, and thereby worked blessings for Prus- 
sia ; but even all this could not alter the unfortunate position of 


Prussian Germany, founded as it was upon the principles of the 
Diet and the Zollverein. Had Austria given its good- will, all 
this might have been effected, but in the teeth of its ill-will, the 
whole negotiations could only terminate in ruin or in a rupture. 

The position of Prussia consisted in the fact, that the constitu- 
tion of the Diet had only become possible through the policy of 
Prince Metternich. This policy, which advocated a probable 
segregation of Austria from, Germany, and at least left Prussia 
free room to act in North Germany, ever moved in the most lim- 
ited grooves. As Prince Schwarzenberg adopted a policy dia- 
metrically opposed to this, which consciously and deliberately 
determined upon the humiliation of Prussia, in order afterwards 
to destroy it, and violated every form with the uttermost care- 
lessness, the conflict could only be a matter of time. 

Bismarck was therefore necessarily made an antagonist of 
Austria by the Schwarzenberg policy, continued by Count Buol 
Schauenstein ; and opposition against the anti-Prussian policy of 
the Yienna Cabinet became the watchword for his political ac- 
tivity. This was soon very apparent, nor did he conceal it the 
less, as his vigorous patriotism impelled him to bring his opposi- 
tion actually to bear ; his frankness also rendered any equivoca- 
tion impossible. In such a course tie could hardly depend upon 
any co-operation from the King and the Prime Minister, Von 
Manteuffel, who both hoped, discouraged by the failure of the 
Union negotiations, that Austria might still revert to the earlier 
pro-Prussian policy of Prince Metternich, Bismarck himself, 
although he could scarcely hope this, ardently desired it. A po- 
sition worthy of the Prussian kingdom in Germany was that for 
which he had to strive — a position it ought to occupy, if it were 
to worthily maintain its place in Europe ; and desired to secure 
to the German people those advantages, to be resigned by no 
people unless at the peril of political death. Bismarck was de- 
termined to devote his life to aiding the Prussian Crown in the 
attainment of this position. He would rather have gone hand-in- 
hand with Austria ; if this were an impossibility, then without 
Austria ; but should it prove necessary, then antagonism to Aus- 
tria. It must not be overlooked how, in the sequel, Bismarck in 
every political struggle attempted to accomplish it in union with 
Austria, in which he was sometimes successful, and how, when it 


was impossible, he continued the effort without Austria, and 
finally in opposition to Austria. It were superfluous here to 
pursue Bismarck's political career in the details of his German 

'The following correspondence (rearranged by the translator in 
their proper chronological order) passed during these years. 

». Frankfurt, 18th May, '51. 

Frankfurt is wretchedly wearisome ; I am so spoilt with hav- 
ing so much affection about me, and a great deal to do ; and I 
now first perceive how unthankful I have been towards many 
people in Berlin — for I will not take you and yours into the 
question. Even the coolness of fellow-countrymen and party as- 
sociates I had in Berlin is an intimate connection compared with 
the relations one makes here ; being, in fact, nothing more than 
mutual suspicious espionage. If one had any thing indeed to de- 
tect or to conceal ! The people here worry themselves about the 
merest trifles ; and these diplomatists, with thei.r important noth- 
ings, already appear more ridiculous to me than a Deputy of the 
Second Chamber in his full-blown dignity. Unless outward 
events take place — and those we clever members of the Diet can 
neither guide nor predetermine — I now know accurately what 
we shall have done in one, two, or five years, and could bring it 
about in twenty-four hours, if the others would for a single day 
be reasonable and truthful. I never doubted that they all made 
soup with water ; but such a simple, thin water-gruel, in whi,ch 
you can't see a globule of fat, astonishes me ! Send me Justice 
X. or Herr von?arsky hither from the toll-gate, when ; they are 
washed and combed, and I will lord it in diplomacy with them. 
I am making enormous progress in the art of saying nothing in 
a great many words. I write reports of many sheets, which read 
as tersely and roundly as leading articles ; and if Manteuffel can 
say what there is in them, after he has read them, he can do more 
than I can. 

Each of us pretends to believe of his neighbor that he is full 
of thoughts and plans, if he would only tell ; and at the same 
time we none of us know an atom more of what is going to hap- 
pen to Germany than of next year's snow. Nobodj^, not even 
the most malicious skeptic of a democrat, believes what quackery 


and self-importance there is in this diplomatizing. Well, I have 
railed long enough, and now I will tell you that I am very well. 
Yesterday I was in Mainz : the neighborhood is lovely. The rye 
is in full ear, although it is infamously cold all night and in the 
mornings. Excursions by railroad are the best here. One can 
reach Heidelberg, Baden-Baden, Odenwald, Homburg, Soden, 
Wiesbaden, Bingen, Kiidesheim, and Niederwald comfortably in 
one day, stop five or six hours, and return here in the evening. 
Until now I have not gone much about, but shall do so, that I 
may take you about when you come. Eochow started yesterday 
for Warsaw — he went off at nine o'clock in the evening ; the 
day after to-morrow he will be th^re, and probably back in a 
week. As to politics and people, I can not write much, as most 
of the letters are opened here. When they know your address 
on mine, and your handwriting on your letters, they will very 
likely find out they have no time to read famil}^ letters. 

Frankfurt, 3d July, 1851. 

The day before yesterday I thankfully received your letter and 
the news that you were all well. But do not forget, when you 
write to me, that the letters are not only read by myself, but by all 
sorts of postal spies ; and do not inveigh against certain persons in 
them, for that is all set down to the husband — to my account ; 
besides, you do the people injustice. As to my appointment or 
non-appointment, I know no more than was told me at my de- 
parture : all other things are possibilities and conjectures. What 
is irregular in the matter is the silence of the Government to- 
wards me, as it would be as well to let me know for certain, and 
indeed officially, whether I am to live here or in Pomerania with 
wife and child next month. Be prudent in all you say to people, 

then, without exception — not only against , particularly in 

opinions of persons, for you can not conceive what one has to en- 
dure if one once becomes an object of observation ; be assured 

that whatever you say in the or the bathing-machine is 

served up with sauce either here or at Sans-Souci. Forgive me 
for scolding you so, but after your last letter I must take up the 

diplomatic hedge-knife. If and others could sow distrust in 

our diplomatic camp, they would thereby attain one of the chief 
ends of their letter robberies. I went the day before yesterday to 


Wiesbaden to , and, ■with a mixture of sadness and wisdom, 

we went to see the scene of former folly. Would it might please 
God to fill this vessel with his clear and strong wine, in which 
formerly the champagne of twenty-one years of youth foamed use- 
lessly, and left nothing but loathing behind. Where now are 

and Miss ? How many are buried with whom I then 

flirted, drank, and diced ? How many transformations have taken 
place in my views of the world in these fourteen years, among 
which I have ever looked upon the actually Present as the True ? 
How little are some things to me that then appeared great? 
How much is venerable to me now, that I then ridiculed ? How 
much foliage may bud, gibw green, give shadow, rustle, and 
worthlessly fade within the next fourteen years, till 1865, if we 
live to see it ? I can not understand how a man who considers 
his own nature, and yet knows nothing of God, and will know 
nothing, can endure his existence from contempt and wearisome- 
ness. I know not how I could formerly support it ; were I to 
live as then, without God, without you, without my children ! 
I should not, indeed, know whether I had not better abandon life 
like a dirty shirt ; and yet most of my acquaintances are in that 
state, and live on! If I ask of an individual, what object he has 
in living on, in laboring and growing angry, in intriguing and 
spying, I obtain no answer. Do not conclude from this tirade 
that my mood is dark ; on the contrary, I feel like a person who 
looks, on a fine September morning, on the yellowing foliage ; I 
am healthy and cheerful, but I feel some melancholy, some long- 
ing for home, a desire for forests, ocean, wilderness, for you and 
my children, mingled with the impressions of sunset and of Beet- 
hoven. Instead of which I have to pay dreary visits to 

and read endless ciphers about German steam corvettes and. can- 
non-balls, rusting and eating up money in Bremerhaven. I 
should like to have a horse, but I could not ride alone — it is too 
wearisome ; and the society with whom one rides is also weari- 
some. And now I must go to Rochow, and to all sorts of -ins 
and -offs, who are here with the Archduchess Olsa. 

Frankfurt, 8th July, 1851. 

Yesterday and to-day I have been anxious to write to you, but 
in the whirl of business could not get so far until the evening 


late, on my return from a walk during whicli I blew away the 
dust of business with the summer night's breeze, moonlight, and 
the rustle of poplar foliage. On Saturday afternoon I went with 
Rochow and Lynar to Eiidesheim. I there took a boat, went out 
on the Ehine, and swam in the moonlight, eyes and nose only 
above the tepid water, to the Eat Tower, near Bingen, where the 
bad bishop met his end. There is something strangely dreamy 
to lie in the water on a still night, slowly driven by the stream, 
seeing the heavens, with moon and stars, above, and on either 
hand the wood-capped mountains and city spires in the moonlight, 
without hearing any thing but one's own gentle splashing. I 
should like to swim like that every night. I then drank some 
very decent wine, and sat for a long time smoking with Lynar 
on the balcony, the Ehine below us. My small Testament and the 
starry night led to some conversation on Christianity ; and I shook 
earnestly at the Eousseau-like virtue of his soul, only reducing 
him to silence. As a child he has been ill-treated by nurses and 
tutors, without really knowing his parents, and has emerged from 
his youth with similar ideas, founded on a similar education, to 
my own, but bears them with more content than ever has been 
ray case. iSText. day we went in the steamer to Coblenz, break- 
fasted there for an hour, and returned in the same way to Frank- 
furt, where we arrived in the evening. I undertook the journey 
with the object of visiting old Metternich, at Johannisberg, at his 
invitation ; but the Ehine delighted me so much, that I preferred 
a trip to Coblenz, and postponed the visit. We saw the river, on 
our immediate journey to the Alps, in the finest weather ; on this 
fresh summer morning, and after the dusty weariness in Frank- 
furt, it rises much in my esteem. I look forward with real de- 
light to spending a couple of days with you, at Eiidesheim ; the 
place is so calm and rural, the people pleasant, and nothing dear. 
We would then take a small rowing-boat, and go quietly down, 
climb the Niederwald, and this and the other castle, and return 
by the steamer. One can leave here in the morning early, stay 
eight hours at Eiidesheim, Bingen, Eheinstein, and so forth, and 
return hither by the evening. My appointment here seems now 
to be certain. 


Frankfurt, 18th August, 1851. 

I worked very hard to-day and yesterday about the King's 
journey, and a multitude of petty details concerning the minor 
Courts, and I am now in hourly expectation of a tiresome ambas- 
sadorial visit; so that this letter must be very short, and yet 
serve as a love-token. Who has started this nonsense about St. 
Petersburg? I heard the very first of it from your letters. 
Will you not go to Nicolai? I should not think one winter 
there at all disagreeable ; but I am tired of these separations, and 
the climate might not suit you and the babies. I yesterday took 
a long and solitary walk into the mountains, deep into the won- 
derful night. I had been at work from eight o'clock till five, 
then dined, and luxuriated in the fresh evening mountain air of 
the Taunus, after leaving this dusty hole, by half an hour's rail- 
way to Soden, some two miles behind me. The King passes 
through here on the 19th, and returns, by way of Ischl and 
Prague, to Berlin about the 7th of September. I shall meet him 
at Coblenz, as I have much to say to . If he brings my ap- 
pointment, as I expect, I shall immediately hire quarters, and 
then we can talk of your coming. 

Frankfurt, 23cl August, 1851. 
In the midst of my business post time has arrived, and I will 
rather write you a hasty note than not at all. Since Monday I 
have been still going on. First, there was a great State dinner 
here to the Emperor of Austria — twenty-thousand thalers' worth 
of uniforms at table ; then I went to Mainz to receive the King*^ 
he was very gracious to me, for the first time after a long inter- 
val harmless and merry. Kext came a grand supper, then work 
with Manteuffel till two ; then a cigar with dear old Stolberg ; 
at half-past six parade, and a great theatrical representation. I 
went on as far as Darmstadt ; there we dined. The King then 
went to Baden, and after three weary hours I reached this place 

in the evening with . On Wednesday I was summoned from 

my bed to the Duke of ISTassau at Bieberich, and there dined. 
Late- in the evening I returned, to be waked very early next 
morning by the President G. and L, who took possession of me 
and led me off to Heidelberg, where I remained the night, and 
enjoyed some delightful hours with them at Castle Wolfsbrunn 


and Neckarsteinsach, and last night returned from this excess. 
G. was pleasanter than ever, did not dispute, grew enthusiastic, 
poetical, and generous. At the Castle we saw a sunset the day 
before yesterday like that one at Rigi. We breakfasted up 
there, walked to Wolfsbrunn, where I drank some beer at the 
same table I did with you ; then boated up the Neckar to Stein- 
ach, and parted in the evening at Heidelberg. G. goes to-day to 
Coblenz, I. to Italj^ 

Bismarck was so often summoned to Berlin during his resi- 
dence at Frankfurt, that it would be wearisome to relate all these 
journeys here. In one year, we do not exactly remember which, 
he travelled between Berlin and Frankfurt no less than 2600 
miles. His counsel was often required by the highest authority, 
and very often Bismarck was very nearly becoming a Minister, 
even then ; nor was it the powerful influence of both sides which 
conclusively prevented his entry into the Ministry, but his own 
aversion to become a Minister so soon. He declared to an ac- 
quaintance in those days that he would prefer to be first an am- 
bassador for ten years, and then a Minister for ten years more, 
that he might close his days as a country nobleman thereafter in 
peace. King Frederick William IV., who regarded it as neces- 
sary for Bismarck's political education that he should go to Vien- 
na, intrusted him in the May of 1852 with an important mission 
thither ; but above this was his desire to restore a complete un- 
derstanding between Austria and Prussia. We already know 
that in this Bismarck was likely to become wrecked upon the 
Schwarzenberg policy. In a personal sense, however, on follow- 
ing the Imperial Court into Hungary, Bismarck received very 
pleasing impressions, as to which he speaks in the following let- 
ters to his wife : — 

Halle, 7th January, 1852. 
I have never, as well as I can recollect, ever written to you 
from hence, and I hope that it will not happen again. I have 
really been thinking whether, after all, yesterday was not Friday, 
on which I set out ; it was certainly a dies nefasius (N. N. will tell 
you what this means). In Giessen I got a room as cold as ice, 
with three windows that wouldn't shut; a bed too short and too 


narrow ; it was dirty, witli bugs ; infamous coffee — never knew 
it so bad. At Guntershausen ladies came into the first class ; 
there was an end of smoking. A high lady of commerce (N. IST. 
will tell you what that is), with two lady's maids; sable furs; 
they spoke alternately with a Eussian and English accent in Ger- 
man, French very well, a little English, but in my opinion they 
came from the Reezen Alley in Berlin, and one of the lady's 
maids was her mother, or elder lady of commerce (N. N., etc.). 
Between Guntershausen and Gerstungen a tube in the engine 
burst, so gently ! The water all ran away ; so there we sat 
for an hour and a half in the open — very pretty neighborhood, 
and a warm sunlight. I got into the second class to smoke, 
and fell into the hands of a Berlinese Chamber and Privy Coun- 
cil colleague, who had been drinking Homburg waters for a 
fortnight, and asked me a lot of questions before a number of 
Jews coming from the fair, until, in despair, I took refuge with 
the Princess from the Eeezen Alley. By this stoppage we 
reached Halle three hours too late; the Berlin train was gone 
a long time. Here I must sleep, and travel with the luggage- 
train at half-past one to arrive at two. In the station-yard 
there are two hotels ; by accident I'm in the wrong one ; a gen- 
d'arme walked up and down the saloon, and seemed very 
thoughtful about my beard, while I ate a tough beefsteak. I am 
very unhappy, but will finish my bit of goose, drink some port 
wine, and then to bed. 

Berlin, 1st May, 1852. ^ 

I have just returned from an infinitely tedious dinner at Le 
Coq's, where I sat between L. G. and the younger M.— two per- 
sons widely different in nature. I tried in vain to settle some 
dispute about what is now agitating the King and the Chamber. 
The one was dry, wise, and practical ; the other delightful, enthu- 
siastic, and theoretical ; he might really have forgotten the world 
and its government, in his own views about them, but the air of 
the Chambers has stimulated this impractical direction in him, 
and in this gymnastic exercise of soul and tongue he forgets, or 
holds cheap, what is necessary to be done. There is really 
something quite demoralizing in the atmosphere of the Cham- 
bers — the best people grow vain without perceiving it, and get 

VIENNA. 235 

accustomed to the tribune as to a toilet-table, by means of which 
thej exhibit themselves to the public. Forgive this political 

Berlin. 3d May, 1852. 

I am really tired of being here, and long for the day of depart- 
ure. Chamber intrigues I find terribly shallow and undignified • 
if one lives always. amongst them, one deceives one's self, and they 
seem wonders. When I come straightforwardly from Frankfurt 
I feel like a sober man who has suddenly fallen amongst tipplers, 
I wish they would send me to Constantinople ; it would not be 
necessary to be returning here every minute. 

Vienna, 11th June, 1852, 
" 'Sg'fallt mer hier gar net " (I don't like this place at all) as 
Schrenck says, although it was so pleasant with you, anno '47 ; 
but I not only miss you, but I find myself not wanted, and that 
is worse than I can make plain to your unpolitical mind. If I 
were here, as I was there, for amusement, I could not grumble : 
all those whom I have become acquainted with are remarkably 
charming people, and the town is rather hot with narrow streets, 
but still a splendid town. In business, however, there prevails 
great nonchalance ; either the people don't want to arrange with 
us, or they think we look upon it as more important than ap- 
pears to them, I fear that the opportunity of coming to an un- 
derstanding is gone, which will prove a bad result for us ; for it 
was thought that a very great step towards reconciliation was 
taken in sending me, and they will not soon send another here so 
desirous of coming to an understanding, ^nd who at the time can 
deal so freely. Forgive me for writing polities to you, but when 
the heart is full, etc. I am really drying up in this mishmash, 
and I am afraid I shall begin to take an interest in it. I have 
just come from the opera with old Westmoreland ; Don Giovanni, 
played by a good Italian Opera troop, in hearing which I felt the 
wretchedness of the Frankfurt theatre doubly. Yesterday I 
went to Schonbrunn, and thought of our romantic moonlight ex- 
pedition, as I looked at the tall hedges and the white statues in 
the green thickets, peeped also at the private garden which we first 

236 oi^EN. 

got into — quite forbidden ground — so, that the Jiiger sentinel, 
who was at his post, would not allow its even being looked into. 

Ofen, 23d June, '52. 

I have just come from the steamboat, and do not know how to 
employ the interval until liildebrand follows with my luggage, 
better than in giving you some account of this very eastward 
but very beautiful world. The Emperor graciously assigned me 
quarters in his palace, and I am seated at an open window in a 
spacious vaulted hall, listening to the evening bells of Pesth. 
The view is charming. The castle stands high ; beneath me 
flows the Danube, spanned by the suspension bridge ; beyond is 
Pesth, and in the far distance is an endless plain melting away 
into the purple twilight, Next to Pesth, on the left, I see the 
upper course of the Danube ; far, very far off from me, viz., on 
the right bank, the river is fringed by the town of Ofen ; behind 
this are mountains, blue and bluer, and then tinged with brown- 
ish-red in the evening, heaven glowing behind them. In the 
midst of the two cities the broad sheet of water lies, like Linz, 
broken only by the suspension bridge and a woody island. The 
passage hither, at least from Gran to Pesth, would have delighted 
you. Think of the Odenwald and the Taunus brought close to- 
gether, and the interval filled with the waters of the Danube. 
The shady side of the voyage was the sunny side, for the sun 
burnt us as if Tokay were to grow on the ship, and the number 
of travellers was very great ; but only fancy, not a single Eng- 
lishman amongst them — they can hardly have discovered Hun- 
gary as yet. Otherwise these were queer folks — from eyery ori- 
ental and occidental nation — greasy and washed. My chief 
travelling companion was a very delightful Greneral, with whom 
I sat for the most part on the paddle-box and smoked, I am 
getting somewhat impatient as to where Hildebrand can be ; I 
am lying in the window, half enthusiastic at the moonlight, half 
waiting; for him, as for one's beloved — for I feel a marvellous 
disposition for a clean shirt. If you could be here for a moment, 
and could see the silvery stream of the Danube, the dark mount- 
ains on a pale red ground, and the lights twinkling up from 
Pesth, Yienna would sink in your estimation as compared with 
Buda-Pesth, as the Hungarian calls it ; you see I am also an en- 

PESTH. 237 

tbusiast for nature. I will now calm my excited blood with a 
cup of tea, as Hildebrand has really arrived, and then soon go to 

Last night I only had four hours' sleep, and the Court is very 
early here. The young Duke rises at five ; I should then be a 
very bad courtier if I thought of sleeping longer. Therefore, 
with a glance at a gigantic tea-urn, and a seductive dish contain- 
ing ices, amongst other things, as I see, I waft you a good-night 
from afar. What can that song be which has haunted me all 

day long ? 

" Over the blue mountain, over the white sea foam, 
Come, thou beloved one, come to thy lonely home!" 

I can not tell who it was who sang this to me in " Old lang 

The 24:th June. — After a good night's rest although upon a 
flinty bed, I wish you a good morning. The entire landscape be- 
fore me swims in bright burning sunshine, so that I can not look 
out without being dazzled. Until it is time to begin my visits, I 
am sitting here alone at breakfast and smoking in a very spa- 
cious apartment, four rooms — all vaulted massively — two about 
the size of our dining-/oom, thick walls like Schonhausen, giant 
walnut-wood cabinets, furniture of blue silk, on the floor a num- 
ber of yard-wide black stains, that a more excited imagination 
than mine would take for blood, but which I, decidement, declare 
to be ink. An incredibly unskillful writer must have lived here, 
or another Luther must several times have thrown very large 
inkstands at the Adversary. A very obliging old servant in a 
bright 3^ellow livery shares the duties of the household with Hil- 
debrand ; indeed they are all very obliging. In honor of the 
King's representative, the steamer yesterday hoisted the great 
Prussian standard, and, thanks to the telegraph, a royal carriage 
was in waiting at th^ landing-place. Don't tell N. N., or he will 
write articles about it. Below, on long rafts, are floating the 
queerest brown broad-hatted and broad-breeched figures along 
the Danube. I am sorry that I am not an artist ; I should like 
to have introduced you to these wild faces, with heavy mus- 
taches and long hair, flashing black eyes, and their picturesque 
draperies, as I beheld them yesterda}^ I must now make an 
end and begin my visits. I do not know when you will receive 


these lines; perhaps I shall send a courier to-morrow or next 
day to Berlin, who can take them with him. 

Evening. — I have not had any opportunity as yet of forward- 
ing this. The lights again are twinkling up from Pesth ; to- 
wards the horizon, near the Theiss, there is lightning ; above us 
the heavens are full of stars. I have been in uniform the greater 
part of the day, in private audience ; I handed my credentials to 
the youthful ruler of this land, and have been agreeably im- 
pressed. After dinner the whole Court made an excursion into 
the mountains, to the " pretty shepherdess ;" who is long since 
dead; some centuries ago King Matthew Corvinus loved her. 
Thence there is a prospect of Ofen, its mountains and plains, 
over woody Neckar-like rocks. A national feast had brought 
thousands forth, thronging around the Emperor, who mingled 
freely with them ; with resounding eljen evviva they danced Csar- 
das, waltzed, sang, played music, climbed the trees, and crowded 
round the Court. Upon a grass slope there was a supper-table 
laid out for some twenty people — only on one side, the other 
being left free for a view of the forest, castle, city, and country ; 
above us were tall beeches with climbing Hungarians on the 
branches; behind us dense crowds of pegpl'e thronged together 
and pushing each other about ; in the distance wind instruments 
mingled with song, wild gypsy music. Illuminations, moonshine, 
and the rosy twilight, torches flitting through the forest^the 
whole might have figured unchanged as a great scene of effect in 
a romantic opera. Next to me sat the venerable Archbishop of 
Gran, the Primate of Hungary, in a black silk talar with a red 
cape; on the other a very charming and elegant cavalry ^general. 
You see that the picture was a variegated one, rich in contrasts. 
Then we drove home in the moonshine by torchlight. Tell 
Frau von V. that her brother was a most delightful man, as I 
could not but expect from her two sisters whom I already knew. 
I had just received a telegraphic dispatch from Berlin.; it con- 
tained only four letters — Nein (No!). A word full of signifi- 
cance. I was told to-day of the storm of the castle three years 
ago by the insurgents ; at this the brave General Hentzi and the 
whole garrison, after a wonderfully courageous resistance, were 
cut down. The black stains upon my floor are partly the result 
of fire, and where I am writing bursting grenades were then 

(Frau von Arnim.) 


dancing, and the fight went on over smoking ruins. It has only 
been restored a few weelis ago, before the arrival of the Emperor. 
It is very quiet and peaceful up here now. I hear nothing but 
the ticking of a clock, and the sound of distant carriage- wheels 
below. May angels watch over thee — a bearskin-capped grena- 
dier does so with me — I can see six inches of his bayonet at a 
couple of arms' length from me above the window-sill, and the 
reflection of a foot. He stands on the terrace by the Danube, 
and is probably thinking of bis Nanny. 

Szolnok, 27th June, 1852. 

In your atlases you will find a map of Hungary, and on this a 
river Theiss, and, if you follow up the source towards Szegedin, a 
place named Szolnok. Yesterday I went by railway from Pesth 
to Alberti-Josa, where a Prince W. lies in garrison. He is mar- 
ried to a Princess M. I paid him a visit in order to inform 

of the state of his health. This place lies on the edge of the 
Hungarian steppes between the Danube and the Theiss, which I 
desired to see by way of a joke. I was not allowed to ride with- 
out an escort, as the district is overrun by cavalry robber bands, 
here called Betyars, and is therefore unsafe. After a comfortable 
breakfast under the shade of a Schonhausen lime, I got upon a 
low wagon with sacks of straw and three horses ; the Uhlans load- 
ed their carbines, mounted, and away they went at full gallop. 
Hildebrand and a Hungarian servant occupied the front seat, and 
our coachman was a dark brown peasant, with a mustache, a broad- 
brimmed hat, long hair shining with fat, a shirt only reaching to 
the stomach, leaving a broad band of dark brown skin visible, to 
where the white trowsers begin, each leg of which would make a 
woman's gown, and reach to the knee, where boots and spurs 
complete the costume. Only think of firm grass plat, as level as 
a table, on which nothing can be seen for miles towards the hoir- 
zon, except the tall naked beams of the wells dug for the half- 
wild horses and oxen ; thousands of whitj-brown oxen, with long 
horns, as timorous as deer; rough, disreputable-looking horses, 
watched by half-naked shepherds on horseback, with lances ; end- 
less herds of swine, among which you see a donkey carrying the 
fur-cloak {bunda) of the herdsman, and sometimes himself; huge 
swarms of bustards, hares, rabbits, and other small deer ; near a 



salt-water pool, wild geese, ducks, and lapwings ; such were the 
objects we flew by, and which flew by us during our three hours' 
journey of seven miles to Ketskemet, with a slight halt at a csarda 
(inn). Ketskemet is a village, the streets of which, if the inhabit- 
ants are left out, reminds one of the small end of Schonhausen. 
It has, however, forty -five thousand inhabitants, unpaved streets, 
low houses, closed on the eastern side against the sun, with huge 
cattle-yards. A foreign ambassador was such an unusual sight 
there — and my Magyar servant rattled out the " excellency " to 
such a degree — that I immediately obtained a guard of honor, the 
village authorities announced themselves, and a change of horses 
was required. I spent the evening with a delightful set of officers, 
who insisted upon my taking an additional escort, and entertained 
me with a number of robber stories. In the very neighborhood 
into which I was going the worst robber-nests exist ; on the Theiss, 
the morasses and wilds render their destruction almost impossible. 
They are splendidly horsed and armed, these Betyars ; they at- 
tack travellers and farms in bands of fifteen or t,wenty strong, and 
next day are twenty miles away. They are polite to respect- 
able people. I had left the greater part of my ready money with 
Prince W., and only had some linen with me, and really felt a 
desire to make the nearer acquaintance of these mounted brig- 
ands, in their great fur dresses, with double-barrelled guns and 
pistols in their girdles. Their captains wear black masks, and 
sometimes belong to the small country gentry. Some days ago 
the gens-d'armes had a skirmish with them, and some were kill- 
ed ; two robbers, however, were caught, and shot, with all the hon- 
ors, in Ketskemet. We don't hear of such things in our tiresome 
districts. About the time you woke this morning, you little 
thought that I was flying over the steppes of Cumania, in the 
neighborhood of Felegyhaza and Csonygrad, with Hildebrand at 
full gallop, a delightful sunburnt Uhlan officer by my side, loaded 
pistols lying in the hay before us, and a squadron of Uhlans with 
ready carbines in their hands wildly dashing after us. Three 
swift horses drew us, called Rosa, Csillak (star), and Betyar (vag- 
abond). The driver unintermittingly called them by name, in a 
piteous tone, until he got his whip handle well over their heads, 
and with a cry of " mega ! mega .^" (hold on !) the gallop changed 
into a wild career. A delightful sensation ! We saw no robbers ; 


as my light-brown lieutenant told me, they knew before daylight 
that I was travelling under protection ; certainly some of them 
were among those worthy-looking and dignified peasants who 
gazed seriously at us at the stations, in their sleeveless sheepskin 
cloaks reaching to the ground, and greeted us with an honorable 
" istera adiamek''' (praised be God !) The sun's heat was scorching 
all day — I am as red as a crab in the face. We made eighteen miles 
ni twelve hours, to which must be reckoned two or three hours, if 
not more, in putting-to and waiting, as the twelve horses I required 
had first to be caught for myself and escort. A third of the dis- 
tance was shifting sands and downs, like those of Stolpmlinde. 

At five I reached this place, the streets of which are animated 
by a gay crowd of Hungarians, Slowaks, and Wallachians, who 
fill my chamber with a din of the wildest and maddest gypsy 
melodies. (Szolnok is a village of some six thousand inhabit- 
ants, but there is a railway and steamboat station on the 
Theiss.) At times they sing through the nose, with gaping 
mouths, in a weak minor discord, histories of black eyes, and of 
the brave death of some robber, in sounds that remind one of 
the wind howling Lettish songs down a chimney. The women 
are generally well grown, a few remarkably handsome ; they all 
have raven hair, bound in tresses behind with red ribbons. The 
married women wear either bright green and red cloths, or red 
velvet caps on their heads ; about their shoulders and bosoms a 
handsome yellow silk shawl ; black or pure blue short gowns, 
and red Turkey leather shoes, reaching up under the petticoats. 
Their faces have a yellowish brown hue, with lustrous black eyes; 
a group of these women present a play of colors that would please 
you ; every color is as distinctly expressed as possible. Since 
my arrival at five I have been swimming in the Theiss, while ex- 
pecting dinner. I have seen Csardas danced ; it vexes me that 
I can not draw, to bring these fairy-tale forms on paper for you. 
I then had paprika^ stilrl (fish), and tick for dinner, drank a good 
deal of Hungarian, and now shall go to bed, if the gypsy music 
will let me sleep. Good night. Isiem adiamek. 

Pesth, the 28th. 

Again I see the mountains of Ofen, this time from the Pesth 
side, from below. From the plains I have just left, the dim out- 


lines of blue Carpathian ridges, distant some twelve or fifteen 
miles, are in some places, when the air is very clear, barely dis- 
tinguishable. To the south and east the plain was fathomless ; 
in the first direction it stretches far away into Turkey, in the sec- 
ond towards Siebenbiirgen. The heat to-day was again scorch- 
ing, and has peeled all the skin from my face. A heat-storm is 
now raging, driving so fiercely over the steppes that the houses 
tremble. I swam in the Danube, saw the magnificent suspension 
bridge from beneath, paid visits, heard very good gypsy music on 
the parade, and shall soon go to bed. The parts on the edge of 
the Pusta, where it is beginning to be cultivated, remind me 
of Pomerania, in the neighborhoods of Eommelow, Eomahn, and 
Coseger. The gypsies have grayish-black complexions. Their 
costume is fabulous ; the children quite naked, except a string 
of glass pearls about their necks. Two women had handsome, 
regular features, and were cleaner and more ornamented than the 
men. When the Hungarians want a dance over again, they 
shout in a surprised tone, '•'• Hody wolf HodyP ("What was 
it? What?"), and look at each other interrogatively, as if they 
had not understood, although they know the music by heart. It 
is, indeed, a singular people, but pleases me very well. It was 
just as well I had the escort of Uhlans. At about the same 
time I left Ketskemet for the south, sixty-three wagons went off 
in a northerly direction towards Koros. Two hours later they 
were stopped and plundered. A colonel, who was by accident 
driving before this wagon-train, had. some shots sent after him, 
as he would not halt. One horse was shot through the neck, 
but not enough to bring it down, and as he returned the fire, 
with his two servants, flying at full gallop, they preferred to be 
satisfied with the other travellers. They did no other harm to 
any one, and only plundered some individuals, or rather ransom- 
ed them, for they do not take all a person has, but only in pro- 
portion to property, and according to their own needs ; for in- 
stance, they will quietly receive forty florins out of a thousand, 
without touching the remainder. Thieves with whom one can 


Vienna, the 30th. 
Here I am again at the " Eoman Emperor." While you were 
looking from the Castle of Coblenz on the Rhine in attendance on 
our King and Lord, I was looking from the Castle of Ofen upon 
the Danube, and had an after-dinner conversation with the young 
Emperor upon the Prussian military system ; and, oddly enough, 
on the same afternoon on which you visited Ehrenbreitstein and 
Stolzenfels, I took a drive through the Citadel above the palace, 
and into the forest district of Ofen. The view from the first is 
admirable. It reminds one of Prague, only there is more back- 
ground and distance, therefore rather resembles Ehrenbreitstein, 
and the Danube is grander than the Moldau. I reached here 
last night, per the Pesth train, about half-past six. 

Bismarck, as usual, was invited to the royal hunting-party in 
the autumn, as we perceive by the following letter to his wife : — 

Blankenburg, 1st Nov., 1852. 

A very unusual early rising, caused by the circumstance that 
my room is a passage for some Court servants still asleep, gives 
me time for these lines. Our Queen is also here, and is just be- 
ing awakened by soft music of horns. I have not had such good 
sport in Letzlingen this time as three years ago ; it was on Fri- 
day. Only three stags, voild tout ; one of them I hope will reach 
you. Eat the wild boar devoutly, and pickle some of it. His 
Majesty shot it with his own gracious hand. Otherwise, things 
went off very well ; and, as I found N. N. there, I need not go to 
Berlin, and hope to reach you by the evening after to-morrow, 

of which please inform , as well as that his appointment foi- 

Berlin at our Court may be regarded as certain. B. 

The band if still playing very well from the Freischiitz, — 
"06 mich die Wolke sie verhiille'''' {li the cloud still doth sur- 
round her); very apt in this doubtful weather. 

In the following year he received many visits from the Duke 
of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, for whom he 
was engaged at the time, at the instance of the King's Govern- 
ment, in obtaining a pecuniary settlement of the Duke's claims 
with Denmark. Bismarck was able, with great difficulty, to ex- 

246 OSTEND. 

tract from very unwilling Denmark a handsome compensation. 
At this the Duke was so rejoiced, that he devoted himself and 
followers, with the entire gratitude of the House of Augusten- 
burg, to the policy of Bismarck, as is well known. 

In the summer of 1853 Bismarck first visited Ostend and Hol- 
land, then Westphalia and ISTordeney. He then had a mission 
to Hanover, of which he rendered an account at Potsdam. In 
the autumn he spent a considerable time with his family in 
Switzerland, at Villeneuve, on the Lake of Greneva, and thence 
visited Upper Italy, especially Aosta and Genoa. In October he 
was summoned to Potsdam by His Majesty the King ; was pres- 
ent at the hunting-parties of Letzlingen, and then returned for 
the winter to Frankfurt ; some time, however, he spent in Berlin. 

During the summer trip, which Bismarck made alone, he wrote 
the following letters to his wife: — 

Ostend, 19th August, 1853. 
Up to the present time, besides the one of to day, I have taken 
three baths, with which I have been well pleased; there is a 
strong sea and soft bottom. Most people bathe close under the 
pier forming the parade, ladies and gentlemen all together ; the 
first in very unbecoming long gowns of dark woollen, the last in 
a tricot, being jacket and trowsers in one piece, so that the arms 
above and the legs beneath are almost free. Only the conscious- 
ness of possessing a perfectly well-proportioned form can allow 
one of us to produce himself m ladies' society thus. 

Brussels, 21st August, 1853. 

I have left Ostend with sorrow, and really wish myself back 
again : I found an old sweetheart of mine there, and as un- 
changed and charming as on our first acquaintance. I really 
feel the sorrow of separation deeply at this moment, and look 
forward impatiently to the instant when I shall cast myself on 
her heaving bosom at Nordeney. I can hardly understand why 
people can not always live by the sea, and why I have been ca- 
joled into passing two days in this parallelogrammatic stone 
heap, to see bull-fights, Waterloo, and pompous processions. If 
I had not to keep that most unlucky appointment with N. N., I 
should stay several weeks longer in Ostend, and give N. N. up. 


I shall only remain till noon to-morrow, and then start, or early 
the next morning, for Antwerp, Eotterdam, and Amsterdam ; 
thence by steamer to Harlingen, and through Friesland to Nor- 
deney. I am afraid N. N. will soon disturb me there, and if I 
once get to Bremen with him, I hardly know whether I ever 
shall accomplish the tiresome journey to N. again, but shall make 
my way by Hanover, Hamm, Kassel, and Frankfurt to the place 
you inhabit. If you write to me, direct to Nordeney. 

Amsterdam, ^-itli August, 1853. 

In Brussels and Antwerp I have never had a quiet minute on 
account of feasts and sight-seeing. I have passed a detestable 
night on a camp-stool, in a crowded boat from Antwerp, starting 
at one in the morning. By an angular labyrinth of arms of the 
Scheldt and Maas, and the Ehine, I reached Eotterdam early, 
about eleven, and about four arrived here. That is a singular 
town : many streets are like Venice, some with water right up to 
the walls, others like canals with a towing path, and with narrow 
walks planted with limes before the houses. The latter have 
fantastic gables, strange and smoky, almost ghostly — the chim- 
neys like men standing on their heads and stretching out their 
legs. That which does not savor of Venice is the busy life, and 
the massive handsome shops — one window close to the other, 
and more magnificently than I remember those of Paris or Lon- 
don. When I listen to the bells, and, with a long clay pipe in 
my mouth, look through the forest of masts, across the canals 
into the twilight towards the romantically confused gables and 
chimneys, all the Dutch ghost stories of my childhood come back 
to me, of Dolph Heylinger, and Eip van Winkle, and the Flying 
Dutchman. To-morrow morning I go by steamer to Harlingen 
on the Zuyder Zee, and to-morrow evening I hope to be in Nor- 
deney, the farthest point from you I propose to touch ; and then 
the time will not be far off when I hope to encounter you unex- 
pectedly on a glacier. I have nothing from Berlin since I left 
Ostend, and therefore conclude that the storms are all laid, and 
the waters returned into the old bed — the pleasantest event that 
cov.ld happen for us. I am very glad I have seen Holland ; from 
Ecitterdam to this place there is one continual verdant and level 
ra^iadow, upon which there are many bushes, much grazing cat- 


tie, and some old cities cut out of picture-books ; no arable land 

ISTordeniey, 27th Aug., 1853. 
Last evening I arrived here on a stout Dutch sloop, amidst 
thunder, lightning, and rain — have, after an abstinence of a week^ 
taken another glorious sea-bath, and am sitting in a fishing hut 
with a feeling of great lonelmess and longing for you — partly 
heightened by the clamor of mine host's children, partly by the 
piping scream of the storm against the roof and flagstaff. It is 
really tiresome here, and that suits me, as I have a long piece of 
work to finish. I wrote to you last from Amsterdam, previously 
from Brussels. Since then I have seen a charming little country 
— West "Friesland ; quite flat, but so bushy green, hedgy, every 
farm-house surrounded by its little wood, that one seems to envy 

the peaceful independence reigning there. will probably 

ascribe this satisfaction to the circumstance that, as at Linz and 
Gmiinden, all the girls are pictures of beauty, only taller and 
more slender, fair, colors like milk and roses, and a very becom- 
ing helmet-like golden head-dress. 

In the spring of 1854 we find Bismarck at Potsdam, in the 
summer at Munich and Stuttgart. On the 28th of June he wrote 
to his sister from Frankfurt, thus: 

I should have liked under all circumstances to have brought 
you my good wishes in person, particularly as I know my roving 
wife is with you. But unfortunately we seem too impprtant to 
ourselves here, to deprive confused Europe of the light of our 
wisdom. Whoever speaks of holidays now is regarded as a trai- 
tor to the world-important problem of the Germanic Confedera- 
tion, I long deeply for the country, the forest aiid laziness, with 
the obligato addition of affectionate wives and well-conducted 
clean children. If I hear one of these hopefuls crying in the 
street, my heart is filled with parental feelings and educational 
maxims. How do our descendants agree, and are mine good ? I 
have been obliged to write these few lines at three intervals, be- 
cause N. N". and N. IST. East and West disturbed me during the 
time, and Z. is just announced: he won't go for an hour, so I si'^iy 


farewell. I want to go fishing with the Englishman to-day, but 
it rains too much, so instead I am a victim of visitors. Farewell, 
and live long. Your faithful brother. 

Bismarck then accompanied the King, who grew continually 
more attached to him, to the island of Eiigen ; by Pomerania, 
Berlin, and Baden he returned to Frankfurt. 

During the summer of 1855 he visited the Exhibition at Paris, 
residing with the Prussian Ambassador, Count Hatzfeld, and was 
introduced to the Emperor of the French. Afterwards he went 
to Stuttgard and Munich, and then visited the King and Queen 
at Stolzenfels. The year 1856 was comparatively quiet, and he 
passed his summer at Stolpmiinde. 

Reinfeld, in Pomerania, 11th Sept., 1856. 
The Diet will, I think, in November, devote its sessions to the 
Holstein question with greater good- will than results. Outwardly 
all the governments will appear united in this matter. Austria 
will, however^ secretly remain an adherent of the Danes; its 
press will teem with German phrases, and Prussia will be sad- 
dled with the error of inaction. The centre of gravity of the af- 
fair actually does not lie at Frankfurt, but in the question wheth- 
er Denmark is secure from the assaults of one or more of the 
extra German States. If she be, then she will look upon the de- 
cision of the Diet as a sufficient settlement. 

From Courland Bismarck returned to Berlin and Potsdam, 
and thence went to Baden ; afterwards he was at Hohendorf in 
East Prussia, and Reinfeld in Pomerania. These were certainly 
years of apprenticeship, but still more years of journey. In the 
following years he was frequently summoned to the Prince of 
Prussia in Baden-Baden; he then went to Stolpmiinde, and re- 
mained in Berlin throughout October and November. During 
these years the following letters were written to Frau von Ar- 
nim, the two last containing some notices of the Ministry of the 
so-called " new era" — Bismarck speaking in a very intelligible 
way as to his own position. 



Reinfeld, 15th October, 1856. 
It looks as if I never was to reach Kroclilendorf. Harry will 
no doubt have told you how I intended to do so. I should al- 
ready have been with you, but last week my poor little Marie 
was seized with some kind of chicken-pox, and so I could not 
well leave Johanna until the symptoms were declared. She is 
still as variegated as a trout, but decidedly better. I wanted to 
set off to-day for Passow direct, but yesterday had a letter from 

, by which he lets me know that he wants to see me by the 

18th at , As a diplomatist I can not refuse to meet our 

trustiest companion, and one of the Olympian deities of our 
Frankfurt Pantheon, If I receive no letter from Berlin in be- 
tween, I hope to rest in your sororial arms by the 19th. Should 

I be able to get away from on the evening of the 18th, I 

shall leave by the early train from Stettin. If I can not do this, 
I still hope to reach Stettin by the twelve o'clock train, if the 
postillions can be got to a trot. But do not wait dinner for me. 


Frankfurt, 26th Nov., 1856. 

Bernhard will have told you by what unexpected chain of in- 
fantine disease and royal mandates I have been deranged in my 

chronological calculations, and how , who has claims upon 

my ideas of the service, also abridged my lecture, so that it hap- 
pened, a few hours before we were about to set out for Krochlen- 
dorf, all together, that I had to announce to the male as well as 
the female Bernhard that I could only escort them as far as Pas- 
sow. At that frontier of the Uckermark I met , and in An- 

germiinde we were joined by , so that I was gradually pre- 
pared, by ministerial conferences and three hours of smokeless- 
ness, for my Berlin strait- waistcoat. It seemed as if I was never 
to get to Kroclilendorf. I had plenty of time and desire to do 
so, after the terminations of the Berlin marriage festivities, and 

only after a conference with did I decide first to go to Eein- 

feld, and on my return, to you, in order to stop a week with him 
there; because he only got his holiday in October, and our ar- 


rangement was that I should come hither with him about the 
loth, and return to Berhn about the 22d. On the 11th my child 
was taken ill, at first severely ; then I had to attend to official pa- 
rade. Then I was summoned to his Majesty at Berlin, where, on 
the 25th of October, I found myself early enough. And now I 
am here, have only seen the sun twice in the last month, and 
every day I say to myself that it is impossible in ISTovember to 
live without wife and children. From sheer ennui I give dinner 
parties. In the evening one rout succeeds another, and I shall 
soon begin to gamble if Johanna and the children do not occupy 
this vacuum. She thought of starting from Reinfeld on Saturday 
the 22d, but on the 20th wrote me a plaintive letter about cold 
and snow, which I received on the 23d. Since then I have no 
idea whether she is on the other side of the Gollenberg or 
this side of the Randow. I begged her generally to inform you 
of her confinement in Berlin beforehand, and to let you know 
from Coslin by telegraph when she would actually arrive there. 

The last time I lived in very fairly, but it appeared to me 

this youthful undertaking must either not have taken place, or 
already been " over." If Johanna should by accident be in Ber- 
lin, greet her from me. Perhaps I shall get there by Saturday. 
I am summoned to the Upper Chamber, but the contents do not 
assure me whether His Majesty wishes me to be there w^/se?/" per- 
sonally, or only desires to see his most humble servant en hloc. 
In the latter case I should not consider myself called to leave 
my important business, and the stove in the red study, to sit up 
to the neck in snow at Halle, and next heighten the effect of 
the White Saloon by a flying costume under the rubric of " Peo- 
\ pie, nobility, detectives, and priests." I expect an answer from 
Berlin about this, as to whether I am wanted as an ornament or 
a coadjutor. . In the latter case I should reach Berlin early on 
Saturday. I should be very glad on that occasion to see you, as 
some recompense for Krochlendorf ; otherwise, I am glad to re- 
main away from Berlin, and receive my own folks here. 


Fi-ankfurt (without date.) 

While I was forced to hear an almost incredibly long speech 
by a highly esteemed colleague on the anarchical condition of 


things in Upper Lippe, I thought how I could use the time, and 
the most prominent want of my heart seemed to be a desire to 
pour forth fraternal feelings, A very highly respectable but 
slightly amusing company surrounds me, at a green-covered cir- 
cular table, some twenty feet in diameter, in the ground floor of 
the Prince of Tour and Taxis's palace, with a view of the garden. 
The average appearance of these folks is somewhat that of N. N. 
and Z. in Berlin — they have quite a Federal Diet cut ! 

I go out shooting pretty regularly, when a single individual 
shoots some six to fifteen hares and a few pheasants — very sel- 
dom a roe or a fox — and a head of red deer is sometimes seen in 
the far distance. Time for this I have been able to spare from 
being far more lazy, as my industry in Berlin led to no results. 

N. N. is by no means as charming as he used to be ; he listens 
to all kinds of lying stories, and allows himself to be persuaded 
that I am anxious for his heritage, although I am glad to be left 
where I am, I am getting accustomed, in the consciousness of 
yawning innocence, to submit to all symptoms of coldness, and 
permit a spirit of entire indolence to possess me, after having, I 
flatter myself, gradually brought the Diet to a knowledge of its 
piercing nihilism. The well-known song of Heine, " Bund^ du 
Hund, du hist nicht gesund^^ (O Diet, you dog, you are not well), 
will soon be unanimously adopted by resolution as the national 
anthem of the Germans. 

Nobody troubles themselves about the East here. The Eus- 
sians or the Turks may put what they like in the newspapers ; 
nobody believes either in land or sea fights, and doubts the exist- 
ence of Sinope, Kalafat, and Schef ketel. 

Darmstadt has at last stopped reading — and I fall, fall of emo- 
tion, into your arms, and wish you a pleasant feast. Many greet- 
ings to Oscar, Your faithful brother, . B, 


rrom Paris, Hotel de Douvres, April, 1857. 
I have five stoves, and am freezing— five clocks, and never 
know how late it is — eleven great looking-glasses, and my necktie 
is always awry. I shall probably have to remain here until Tues- 
day evening, although I am anxious to be at home. Since No- 


vember I have not emerged from this Bohemianism — since No- 
vember, and I have not had a sensation of regular and lasting- 
domesticity since you went last summer with Johanna to Schwal- 
bach. Now they want to summon me to Berlin about the salt 
tax ; if I had the time, I could not take part in this debate. I 
can not, according to my conviction, vote for the Government ; 
but, if I vote for the Opposition, it is hardly proper to ask for 
leave of absence on such an account ; and, considering the rumors 
as to my eventual entry into the Ministry, of which Johanna, on 
account of your statements, writes despairingly, one could think I 
had some ideas of joining in the swindle. Hearty greetings to 
Oscar. B. 

In the spring of 1857 we again find Bismarck in Paris, and it 
was then that he had his first special political conference with 
the Emperor Napoleon. In the summer he made a journey to 
the North — went to Denmark and Sweden, ending by field-sports 
in Courland ; on his return he found his family at Stolpmiinde. 

While on this journey he wrote the following letter to his 
wife : — 

Copenhagen, 6th August, 1857. 

This morning at seven I safely arrived here, after a very pleas- 
ant passage ; mild air, a red moon, the chalk cliffs lighted by tar- 
barrels ; two storms at sea, and a little wind ; what more can one 
want? The night prevented my sleeping, and when the rain 
drove me from the deck about two o'clock, it was so hot and 
reeking of humanity below, that about three I went on deck with 
cloak and cigar. I have now taken a sea-bath, eaten some lob- 
ster, and about half-past one I must attend at the Court — so now 
I will sleep a couple of hours. 

Easbyhohn, 9th August, 1857. 

You will have already received the few lines I wrote directl}' 
[ reached Copenhagen. Since then I have been occupied for two 
days with museums and politics, yesterday was ferried over to 
Malmo, and driven some eight miles to the north-eastward, and 
am at the above-named place, in a white castle situated very high 
on a peninsula surrounded by a large lake. Through the win- 
dow and the thicket of ivy, that admit of some view of the water 


and hills beyond, I perceive that the sun is shining and flies are 

buzzing. Behind me sits ; he is reading and dozing ; broad 

Swedish is spoken under the window, and from the kitchen I can 
hear a pestle grinding away like a saw. That is all I can tell 
you of the present. Yesterday we stalked roebucks, one was 
killed, but I did not shoot ; we got thoroughly drenched ; then 
we took hot wine, and slept soundly for nine hours. Eoebucks 
are more plentiful than I have ever seen anywhere, and the 
neighborhood is prettier than I thought. Magnificent beech for- 
ests, and walnut-trees the size of a man's body, in the garden. 
We have just visited the pheasantry ; after dinner we are going 
on the lake, and may perhaps shoot a duck, unless we fear to dis- 
turb the Sunday rest of this lovely solitude by a shot ; to-morrow 
we are to have a regular day, next day we return to Copenhagen, 
and from there to N. N., and a stag-hunt on Wednesday ; Thurs- 
day by Copenhagen to Helsingborg, some twenty miles into Swe- 
den. We shall seek woodcocks and moorfowl in the wilderness; 
we shall lodge in farm-houses ; our provisions we take with us. 
This will last for about a week, and then I hardly know what I 
shall do ; either proceed by way of Jonkeping, at the south end 
of Lake Wetter, and so to Stockholm, or by Gotheborg and Lake 
Wener, or to Christiania, abandoning Stockholm, or perhaps vm 

Memel to Courland. This depends on a letter I expect from 

in Copenhagen. 

Tomsjonas, 16th Aug., 1857. 

I again employ the quiet of Sunday to give you some sign W 
life, although I do not yet know on what day we sha]l find an 
opportunity of reaching the post from this wilderness. For some 
fifteen miles have I driven into the depths of the woods to reach 
this place, and before me lie some twenty-five miles ere we shall 
get to cultivated provinces. There is no town, no village, far or 
near — only isolated settlers and plank-huts, with a little barley 
and potatoes, strewn irregularly between dead trees, rocks, and 
thickets, over a few rods of ploughed land. Think of the wildest 
region near Yiartlum,* for some hundred of square miles, tall 
heather, varied by short grass and moorland, beset with birch, 
juniper, pines, beech, oaks, and alders, sometimes unpassably 

* One of the Putkammer estates hi Pomerania. — K. R. H. M. 


thick and sometimes very sparse, the whole sown with innumera- 
ble stones to the size of houses, smelling of wild rosemary and 
firs ; and between them strangely formed lakes, surrounded by 
sand and forest — and you will see Smaland ; where I now am. 
Eeally the land of my dreams, not to be reached by dispatches, 
colleagues, and N. N., but unhappily also for you ; I should like 
to have a hunting-box on one of these quiet lakes, and people it 
for a few months with all the dear ones I now fancy are assembled 
at Eeinfeld. It would be impossible to winter it out here, par- 
ticularly amidst the dirt of the rain. Yesterday we started about 
five, and hunted in the burning heat, up hill and down dale, 
through bog and bush, until eleven ; but found nothing at all. 
It is very tiring to walk through moors and impassable thickets 
of juniper, over great stones and underwood. We slept in a hay 
barn till two, drank a great deal of milk, and continued the chase 
till sunset, killing twenty -five woodcocks and two snipes. We 
then dined at the lodge — a wonderful structure of wood — on a 
peninsula by the lake. My room, with its three stools, two tables, 
and bedstead, presents the same uniform tint of rough pine 
planks, as does the whole house and its walls. The bed is very 
hard, but after all this exertion one sleeps without rocking. From 
my window I see a knoll with birch-trees, whose branches rustle 
in the breeze ; between these the mirror of the lake, and beyond 
it fir forests. Beside the house is a tent for huntsman, driver, 
servants, and peasants ; then the carriage-house and a little dog 
of a village of some eighteen or twenty huts, on both sides of a 
little street, and from each of these a tired beater is looking out. 
I propose to remain in this oasis till Wednesday or Thursday, 
then leave for another expedition on the shore, and return this 
day week to Copenhagen, on account of miserable politics. What 
next, I do not know as yet. 

The 17th. — This morning early six wolves have been here and 
have torn up a poor bullock ; we found their fresh traces, but 
personally we did not see them. From four in the morning till 
eight in the evening we have been in motion, have shot four 
woodcocks, slept for two hours on mown heather, and now, dog- 
tired, to bed. 

The 19th. — It is impossible to send a letter to the post from 
here, without sending a messenger twelve miles ; I shall therefore 


take this to the coast myself to-morrow. Yesterday, when the 
dog pointed, and I was looking more at him than at the ground 
I was treading on, I fell and hurt my left shin. Yesterday we 
had a very tired day's sport, long and rocky ; it produced me a 
woodcock ; but has tamed me so completely, that to-day I am sit- 
ting at home with bandages, so that I should be ready to travel 
to-morrow and shoot the next day. I really am astonished at 
myself for stopping at home alone in such charming weather, and 
can scarcely refrain from the abominable wish that the others 
will shoot nothing. It is a little too late in the year, the birds 
are shy, or sport would be more plentiful. We shot through a 
charming place yesterday ; great lakes, with islands and shores, 
mountain torrents, over rocks, plains for miles without houses or 
plough-land; every thing just as God created it, forest, field, 
heath, morass, and lake. I shall certainly return hither some 

I'wo gentlemen of the Danish Chambers are already back ; it 
was too hot for them, and they have gone to sleep. It is about 
half-past five ; the others will only arrive about eight. I have 
been amusing myself all day in learning Danish from the doctor 
who applied the bandages. We brought him with us from Co- 
penhagen, for there are no doctors here. Since a report has 
been spread of the presence of a physician in the woods, every 
day some twenty or thirty inhabitants of the hutff come stream- 
ing in to take his advice. On Sunday evening we gave a very 
amusing dance to the inhabitants of the five square miles of for- 
est; the music was played and sung by turns. Then they heaitd 
of the " wise man," and now cripples of twenty years' .standing 
come and hope to be cured by him. 

Konigsberg, 12tli Sept., 1857. 
I found to my great joy your four letters at Polangen (which, 
by-the-by, is not in Prussia but Russia), and find from them that 
you and the children are well. I got on very well; the Cour- 
landers were all touchingly kind to me, in a way seldom found 
by a foreigner. Besides several roebucks and stags, I shot five 
elks, one a very fine stag, measuring roughly six feet eight, with- 
out his colossal head. He fell like a hare, but as he was still 
alive, I mercifully gave him my second barrel ; scarcely had I 


done so ere a second came up, still taller, so close to me that En- 
gel, my loader, had to jump behind a tree to avoid being run 
over. I was obliged to look at him in a friendly way, as I had 
no other shot. I can not get rid of this disappointment, and must 
complain to you about it. I shot at another — no doubt he will be 
found — but one I missed entirely. I might, therefore, have kill- 
ed three more. The night before last we left Dondangen, and in 
twenty-nine hours made forty miles without a road, through the 
forest and desert to Memel, in an open carriage, over stock and 
stone; we were obliged to hold on, so that we should not be 
thrown out. After three hours' sleep at Memel, we started this 
morning in the steamboat for this place, whence we leave for Ber- 
lin to-night and arrive to-morrow. "We" means Behr and my- 
self. I can not stop in Hohendorf ; I ought to have been in Ber- 
lin to-morrow, my furlough being up. I should, however, have 
been obliged to give up my best sport at Dondangen, with the 
enormous stags, or, as they call them there, tolls ; nor should I 
have seen how the axle of a great wagon broke under the enor- 
mous creature. On Monday the Emperor arrives at Berlin, there- 
fore I am obliged to be there " some daj^s " before. I hope to 
return from Berlin to Hohendorf and Eeinfeld ; but if the King 
goes to Frankfurt, this is unlikely. 

Frankfurt, 19th December, 1857. 
Your true sisterly heart has offered in so friendly a manner to 
look after Christmas exigencies, that I will not apologize if I now 
allow you to carry out the seductions of Gerson and other ras- 
cals once more, and ask you sans phrase to make the following 
purchases for Johanna : — 

1. Jewelry : she wishes to have an opal heart, like yours, and 
" tbe mind of man his kingdom is." I am willing to pay some 
two hundred thalers for it. If for that price it is possible to ob- 
tain a pair of earrings, each consisting of one clear , brilliant, I 
should think it more tasteful. You have some like it, but they are 
much dearer, and should you think the opal heart preferable, I 
will try later to find a pair of fitting earrings founded upon 

2. One dress, at about one hundred thalers — not more. She 
wants to see herself " very light and bright," a deux passes^ moirh 

17 . 


antique^ or something of that kind : she requires ten rods — about 
twenty ells. 

3. Should you discover a valuable and pretty gilt fan, rustling 
a great deal, buy it also. Ten tlialers are quite enough. I can't 
bear the things. 

4. A large warm rug to lay over the feet in the carriage, 
with designs of tigers, glass eyes in their heads; might be a 
fox or a hippopotamus — any ferocious animal. I have seen one 

at 's, of very soft wool; won't cost ten tlialers. If you 

want to remain a charming sister, buy me all this, and send at 

once by express luggage train; address, Hofrath , Prussian 


I have so much to write about Holstein, Mainz, the bridge of 
Kehl, and all sorts of things in Berlin, that I have been obliged 
to decline two capital days of sport, to-day and to-morrow, after 
red deer. Johanna and the children are well, and the former 
would send love if she knew I wrote ; but do not let her know 
any thing about it, my heart, and so farewell. Greetings to 
Oscar. The money I will send through Fritz, the receiver, by 
the new year, 

Frankfurt o. t. M., 2d April, 1858. 

I quite agree with you that our position in the Zollverein is 
blundered. I go further than this, being firmly convinced that 
we must give notice to the whole of the Zollverein, as soon as 
the term has arrived. The reasons for this conviction are far 
too stratified to be developed here, and they are too closely cdn- 
nected to be named one by one. We must terminate the treaty 
in view of the danger of remaining alone with Dessau and Son- 
dershausen. It is, however, not to be desired that this last should 
be the case, or that such a state of things should long subsist ; 
therefore we must render it agreeable — if possible, an unavoida- 
ble necessity — to the other states of the Zollverein, during the 
period yet to run, that after proper notice has been given they 
should seek adherence to our conditions. One portion of this sys- 
tem would be to allow them to draw higher nett revenues than 
they could obtain by frontier customs without Prussia. Another 
thing is, that they must not be allowed to think that the continu- 
ance of a Zollverein with Prussia is impossible in fact; this 


would, however, be the case if, besides the twenty-eight govern- 
ments, some fifty class corporations, guided by particular interests, 
should be able to exercise a liberum veto. If the Prussian Cham- 
bers begin with this, the equality vertigo of the German govern- 
ments will not allow the rest to remain behind ; they will desire 
to make themselves also of importance. 

In order to avoid these rocks in a Zollverein to be reconsti- 
tuted by Prussia, after 1865, for the exercise of corporation elector- 
al rights, I think we shall have to adopt one feature of the Union 
project of 1849, and erect a sort of Customs Parliament, with 
conditions for itio in partes^ if the others demand it. The Gov- 
ernments will object gravely to such a course ; but if we are 
daring and consequent we could effect much. The idea express- 
ed in your letter, to make the Prussian Chambers a means, by 
their representation of all German taxpayers, to found a hege- 
mony, is from the same point of view. The most powerful aids 
of our foreign policy might consist in the Chambers and the 
Press. In the present state of things, which may be confirmed 
by the vote, the Zollverein policy, the evil of the Verein for 
Prussia, would render the necessity for the termination a matter 
for the most circumstantial and closest debate, that a recognition 
of it should take place ; your letter ought to appear as an article 
in the Kreuzzeitung^ instead of lying upon my table here. The 
German Custom policy should be broadly and unreservedly dis- 
cussed from the Prussian stand-point by the Chambers and the 
Press — then the flagging attention of Germany would be drawn 
to it, and our Chambers would become a power for Prussia in 
Germany. I should like to see the Zollverein and the Bund, 
with Prussia's relations to both, subjected to the scalpel of the 
acutest criticism in our Chambers. This would only be an ad- 
vantage to the King, his Ministers, and their policy, presuming 
them to know their business. At the same time, I could wish, 
as the result of such a discussion, that the proposition should be 
adopted by a small majority. For the Zollverein desires at the 
present moment rather to fetter the German governments to their 
flesh-pots, than for them to win the sympathies of their subjects. 
The latter are powerless, as, so far as they are concerned, a pow- 
erful, business-like, and honorable debate would do the same as 
the chance of the results of a vote. 

260 DOUBTS. 

Frankfurt, 12th Nov., 1858. 

Your letter was an unexpected pleasure : the address looked 
just like one of Johanna's, and I wondered how she could have 
got to the Uckermark. I have not been able to answer before : 
business, a cold, hunting, has partly taken up all my time, nor did 
I quite know what to write to you about the new phenomenon in 
the political heaven, that I could not have written as well about 
the comet — an interesting phenomenon wholly unexpected by 
me, the object and nature of which is yet unknown to me. The 
orbit of the comet our astronomers are pretty well able to calcu- 
late, but it would be difficult for them to do the same by this new 
political septasterism. Johanna reached here safely with the 
children this morning ; Grod be praised, they are well, but not in 
good spirits. She is upset by all the political terrors they have 
filled her with in Pomerania and Berlin, and I try in vain to ren- 
der her more light-hearted. The natural distress of the lady of a 
house also influences her, when it becomes doubtful whether one 
remains in a new house set up with care and expense. She 
came hither with the idea that I was about to take my leave. I 
do not know whether my resignation will be forced on me with- 
out my own will, or whether I must seek it for decency's sake. 
Before I do it voluntarily, I shall wait to see what the ministerial 
colors are. 

If the Upper Chamber retain their feelings for the conserva- 
tive party, and sincerely strive for a good understanding and 
peace at home^ they may rely upon a healthy state in our foreign 
affairs, and that is of great importance to me, for " we had falleV, 
and did not know how." That is what I especially felt, I think 
that the Prince has been especially placed at the head to secure 
a guarantee against party government, and against any conces- 
sions to the Left. If I am mistaken in this, or if they wish to 
dispose of me as an office-seeker, I shall retire behind the cannon 
of Schonhausen, and observe how Prussia can be .governed by 
majorities of the Left, and also endeavor to do my duty to the 
Upper Chamber. Change is the soul of life, and I shall feel my- 
self ten years younger if I find myself in the same attitude as in 
1848-9, Should I not find the parts of gentleman and diplomatist 
consistent, the pleasure or the burden of fulfilling a prominent po- 
sition will not cause me to err for a moment in my choice. I have 


enough to live upon according to my wants, and if God keeps 
my wife and children healthy, as they have been, I say, " vogue la 
gallre^'' no matter what water we swim in. It will be very unim- 
portant to me, after thirty years, whether I play the diplomatist 
or the country Junker ; and hitherto the prospect of an honest 
contest, without being confined by any official trammels — partic- 
ularly in political swimming-baths — has almost as much charm for 
me as the prospect of a regime of truffles, dispatches, and grand 
crosses. " After nine, all is over," says the player. I can not tell 
you more than these personal opinions — the enigma stands before 
me unsolved. I have one great satisfaction here at the Diet. 
All those gentlemen who six months ago demanded my recall 
as a necessity for German unity, now tremble at the thought of 

losing me. To the phantom of 1848 is a terror; and they 

are all like pigeons who see the hawk — afraid of democracy, 

barricades, Parliament, and . . . sinks into my arms 

touchingly, and says, with a cramped shake of the hand, " We 
are again forced into one field. The French naturally, but the 
Enghsh also, look upon us as firebrands, and the Eussians fear 
that the Emperor will be led astray by our plans of reform. I 
say to every one naturally, " Only be calm, and all will come 
right;" and they answer, "Yes, if you were going- to stay, then 
we should have a guarantee, but . ." If he doesn't feel Frank- 
furt singing in his ears, he has no ear-drums. In a week he has 
been degraded from a worthy liberal conservative in the imagina- 
tions of his eventual colleagues, to a scarlet tiger — helper's help- 
er of Kinkel and D'Ester. The Bamberg diplomatist talks of a 
continental assurance against Prussian firebrandism, growls of a 
tri-Imperial alliance against us — a new Olmiitz with effectual op- 
erations. In short, the political world is getting less tiresome. 
My children *cry, "Pietsch comes!" in the joy at my having a 
servant of that name at Schonhausen ; and it would seem that the 
arrival of this Pietsch and the comet are not without significance. 
Heartily farewell, my very dear one, and greet Oscar. He must 
not hang down his head — it's all gammon. 


Frankfurt, 10th Dec, 1858. 

You had rightly guessed in your letter to Johanna, that your 
kindness would be asked for a Christmas commission. I should 
like to give Johanna a bracelet. The kind of thing flitting be- 
fore me is broad, smooth, mailed, bending, made of chessboard- 
patterned little four-cornered gold pieces — luitliout jewels — pure 
gold, as far as two hundred thalers will go. If you find some- 
thing that pleases you better, I have every confidence in your 
taste. The exact thing in the fashion is not, therefore^ pleasing 
to me — such things last longer than the fashion. Be so good, 
and have it directed to "Privy Councillor , Prussian Em- 
bassy," with an inclosed letter for ??ze, or the old gentleman may 
think it a delicate attention for himself. 

Johanna will have written you as to the child complaints we 
have had, and how I have suffered from colds and coughs. I do 
not know whether much or little sleep, diet or excess, house- 
keeping or hunting, improves or hurts, but I turn from one 
to the other, from ideas of health. As to my transfer or recall, 
all is still again ; for a time, Petersburg seemed very certain, and 
I had grown so accustomed to the idea, that I felt quite disap- 
pointed when the rumor went forth that I was to remain here. 
There will be some bad political weather here, which I should be 
very glad to weather out in bear-furs, with caviar and elk-shoot- 
ing. Our new Cabinet is still looked upon abroad with suspi- 
cion ; Austria alone, with cunning calculation, gives it a meed of 

praise ; while , behind his hand, warns us ; and so do his 

colleagues, at all the courts. The cat won't let the mice alone\ 
But, in the end, the ministers must show a policy ; merely curs- 
ing the Kreuzzeitung will not last forever. I shall hardly come 
to Berlin in the winter ; it would be very agreeable if you would 
visit us here before I am " put out in the cold " on the Neva. 

St. Petersburg, 12th May, 1859. 

I have become convinced, by the experience of the eight years 
of my official life in Frankfurt, that the settlement by the Diet, 
made in those days, forms a pressing, and, in critical times, a vi- 
tally dangerous fetter for Prussia, without giving, in return, such 
equivalents, enjoyed by Austria, under an unequally large mass 


of free self-action. The two greater Powers do not attain an 
equal measurement from the Princes and Governments of the 
smaller States ; the construction of the object and the law of the 
Diet is modified according to the requirements of Austrian pol- 
icy. I need not, considering your knowledge, enter upon more 
circumstantial arguments respecting the history of the policy of 
the Diet since 1850, and hence confine myself by naming the 
paragraphs concerning the restoration of the Diet, the question 
of the German Navy, Customs disputes, the laws respecting com- 
merce, the press, and the Constitution, the Diet fortresses of Ras- 
tatt and Mainz, and the questions of Neuenburg and the East. 
We have always found ourselves face to face with the same compact 
majority, loitJi the same demand for concessions from Prussia. In 
the Eastern question, the power of Austria has ever proved so 
superior to ours, that even the identity of the wishes and aspira- 
tions of the Diet governments, with the efibrts of Prussia, have 
presented for her an ever-receding obstacle. With scarcely any 
exception, our associates in the Diet have given us to understand, 
or have even openly declared, that they were unable to maintain 
the Diet with us, should Austria pursue her own course; al- 
though it is unquestionable that federal law and real German 
interests were side by side with our peace policy ; this, at least, 
was then the opinion of almost all the Princes. Would the latter 
have ever brought their own interests and wishes as a sacrifice 
to the wants, or even the safety, of Prussia? Certainly not: for 
their attachment to Austria is founded on outbalancing false in- 
terests, which prescribe to both a coalition against Prussia, a re- 
pression of all further development of the influence and power 
of Prussia, as a foundation for their common policy. A develop- 
ment of federal relations, under Austrian leadership, is the nat- 
ural end of the policy of the German Princes and their Ministers; 
according to their opinions, this can only be accomplished at the 
expense of Prussia, and is necessarily directed against Prussia, 
so long as Prussia will not confine herself to the useful problem 
of providing for her equally entitled associates in the Diet an 
assurance against the preponderance of Austria, and is willing to 
bear the disproportion of her duties towards her rights in the 
Diet, being resigned to the wishes of the majority with untiring 
complacency. This tendency of the policy of the Central States 

264 THE DIET. 

will reappear with the constancy of the magnetic needle after 
every evanescent variation, because it represents no arbitrary 
product of individual events or persons, but is, in fact, a natural 
and necessary result of federal relations for the smaller States. 
There are no existing means by which we can maintain the ac- 
tual federal treaties in an intimate manner. 

Since our associates in the Diet, some years ago, began, under 
the guidance of Austria, to bring to light, from the hitherto neg- 
lected arsenal of the constitution of the Diet, the principles that 
would give prominence to their system — since it has been en- 
deavored, in a partial way, to stifle the policy of Prussia by 
propositions which could only possess one signification in the 
sense of their proposers, in so far as they apply to the unanimity 
of Prussia and Austria — we have been obliged to endure the 
stress of the situation that the Diet and its whole historical de- 
velopment has forced upon us. We could say to ourselves, 
that in peaceful and orderly times we could weaken the evil in 
its results by skillful treatment, but we should be powerless to 
effect a cure; it is only too natural that in dangerous times, 
such as the present, the other side, in possession of all the advan- 
tages of the Diet settlement, should willingly confess that much 
has taken place of an improper nature, but should at the same 
time declare, in the " general interests," that the present juncture 
is highly inapplicable for the discnssion of past matters and "in- 
ternal " disputes. But such an opportunity, if we do not make 
use of it at once, may not so speedily recur ; and in the futuj-e 
we shall be forced to our normal resignation, which allows of nb 
changes in the condition of things in orderly times. 

His Eoyal Highness the Prince Regent has taken up a posi- 
tion commanding the unqualified approval of all those who are 
entitled to form any judgment of Prussian politics, and who 
thence have not allowed themselves to be disturbed by party 
feeling. Some of our associates in the Diet seek to blind us, by 
thoughtless and fanatical efforts, as to this attitude. If the 
statesmen of Bamberg are so frivolously ready to follow the first 
war outcry of an uncritical and mutable public opinion, if it does 
not take place probably quite without a comforting after-thought 
of the easiness with which a small state can change its colors in 
case of need ; but if, in order to send a power like Prussia under 


fire, they desire to make use of the treaties of the Diet ; if it be 
supposed that we shall substitute property and blood for political 
wisdom, and the thirst for action on the part of governments, to 
whom our defense is absolutely necessary for their existence ; if 
these States think they are to dictate the guiding impulse, and re- 
gard theories concerning the rights of the Diet as means to such an 
end, then with such recognition all Prussian 'political autonomy 
would he over ; then, in my opinion, it would be time for us to re- 
member that the guides, who imagine we should follow them, 
serve other interests than those of Prussia, and that they under- 
stand the interests of Germany they talk so much about as non- 
identical with the interests of Prussia, if we decline to accede to 
their desires. 

Perhaps I am going too far when I express it as my opinion, 
that we should seize every justifiable opportunity, presented by 
our associates in the Diet, to arrive at the revision of our mutual 
relations, necessary to Prussia, by which she can exist in defined 
relations to the smaller German States. I think we should will- 
ingly take up the gauntlet, and regard it as no misfortune, but as 
real progress, a crisis leading to improvement, if a majority at 
Frankfurt should decide upon such a vote, which we could look 
upon as a transgression of competency, an arbitrary change in 
the object of the confederation, a violation of its treaties. The 
more unmistakahle this violation the better. We shall not easily 
find conditions of such a favorable nature in Austria, France, and 
Eussia, by which we can alter our own position towards Germany 
for the better. Our allies are on the high road towards giving 
us perfectly justifiable motives for such a course, without our 
stimulating their insolence. Even the Kreuzzeitung, as I see by 
the number of last Sunday, is becoming somewhat startled at the 
thought that a Frankfurt majority could immediately dispose of 
the Prussian army. Not in this newspaper alone have I hitherto 
perceived with sorrow how Austria has established an autocracy 
over the German press by the skillfully laid net of her influ- 
ence, and how well she knows to use the weapon. Without this, 
so-called public opinion could scarcely have risen to this height ; 
I designate it so-called, for the real mass of the population is nev- 
er inclined for war, unless the demonstrable suffering of real op- 
pression has aroused it. To such a pitch has it risen, that even 


under the cloak of general German opinion, any Prussian news- 
paper can hardly declare itself in favor of Prussian patriotism. 
General Twiddle-twaddle plays a great part in this, nor must we 
omit the Zwanzigers (cash) that never fail Austria for this aim. 
Most newspaper correspondents write for their bread and cheese, 
most newspapers look to their incomes, and an experienced read- 
er may easily see, by our newspapers and others, whether they 
have received, or speedily anticipate, or wish by threatening pan- 
tomime to force, a subsidy from Austria. 

I think we should produce an admirable revulsion in public 
opinion if we were to sound the chords of independent Prussian 
policy in the press, in opposition to the exaggerations of our Ger- 
man allies. Perhaps things may happen at Frankfurt which 
may give us full reason to do so. 

Under these circumstances the wisdom of our military precau- 
tions might be extended in other directions, and impart signifi- 
cance to our attitude ; then Prussian self-respect would speak 
perhaps with a more conclusive tone than the Diet. / should 
only then care to see the word ^'- Oerman'''' in place of '■'■Prussian^'' 
inscribed upon our standard., when we should have become more in- 
timately and effectually bound up luith our German fellow-country- 
men than toe have hitherto been ; the word loses its charm in prox- 
imity to the ideas of the Diet. 

I fear that your Excellency will interrupt me in this epistola- 
ry digression into the field of my former activity, with the cry, 
"iVe sutor ultra crepidamf^ nor was it my intention to hold an 
official oration ; I desired only to present the testimony of an ex- 
perienced person against the Diet. / see in our position in the 
Diet., a defect of Prussia., which we shall have sooner or later to heal, 
ferro et igni., unless we adopt in time, and at a proper season of 
the year, measures for a cure. Were the Confederation abolish- 
ed this very day, without substituting something in its place, I 
believe that this negative acquisition would soon form better and 
more natural relations between Prussia and her German neigh- 
bors, than have hitherto existed. Bismarck. 




Petersburg, 1st July, 1859. 

I thank you for your letter, and hope you will not allow the 
first to be the last. Among the matters which interest me, the 
Frankfurt negotiations, next to immediate necessities, occupy the 
first place with me, and I am very much obliged for any news 
from thence. I regard our policy, up till now, as correct ; but I 
look mournfully into the future. We have armed ourselves too 
soon and too ' strongly, and the heavy load which we have as- 
sumed is dragging us down an inclined plane. There will be 
intervention in order to occupy the Landwehr, as people do not 
like simply to send them back home. We then shall not even 
be Austria's reserve, but shall sacrifice ourselves directly for 
Austria, and relieve her of the stress of war. The first shot on 
the Ehine brings with it a German war as the chief circumstance, 
from its threatening Paris. Austria will get breathing time; 
and will she make use of her freedom to aid us in playing a bril- 
liant part? Will her efforts not rather be directed so to shape 
the measure and form of our success as it may serve specific 
Austrian interests? If we are worsted, the Federal States will 
all desert us, like faded plums in the wind ; and each State, the 
capital of which receives a French garrison, will save itself in a 
patriotic way on the raft of a new Ehenish Confederation. Per- 
haps it will be possible to attain a combination of" measures on 
the part of the three great neutral Powers. We are too expen- 
sively armed to be able to wait the result as patiently as Eng- 
land and Russia, and our intervention will scarcely bring to light 
that quadrature of the circle — a peace basis agreeable to France 
and Austria. The public voice in Vienna is said to be very bit- 
ter against their own Government, and is stated to have reached 
the pitch of hissing their national hymn. Our enthusiasm for 
war seems also to be only of a moderate character, and it will be 
difficult to convince the nation that war and its evils are an un- 
avoidable necessity. The proof of this is too artificial for the 
comprehension of a Landwehr man. 

In a business point of view, my position here is very pleasant ; 
but there is a great deal to do to manage forty thousand Prus- 
sians, for whom one has to be police, advocate, judge, assistant. 


and councillor — every day there are twenty to fifty signatures, 
without passports. I am still, as it were, in camp, with a few 
beds, towels, and caps, bought in a hurry ; without cook and 
kitchen, as all utensils are wanting — and, in all this heat, without 
summer clothing! My house is large enough, and handsomely 
situated on the Newa ; three great saloons, two of them larger 
than those at Seufferheld's; I have had the Chancery placed in 
one, with a good flooring, looking-glass doors, and silver chan- 
deliers. All that I have as yet received from Frankfurt are my 
weapons, unfortunately packed under some crown chandeliers in 
such a way that three guns were quite broken to pieces, and the 
barrels ruined. I wonder what wiseacre packed them ! If the 
rest of the things have been packed so, I may perhaps congratu- 
late myself if they have been lost. The insurance is small, if the 
plate is with it; the premium high, because the fool has insured 
against " war risk !" 

Hohendorf, 3d Februaiy, 1860. 

I Still hear with pleasure, and with a sort of longing for home, 
all intelligence concerning the state of things and persons at 
Frankfurt ; and when I read the papers, I often feel a desire to 
hurry into the midst of battles at the sessions. The campaign 
over the war constitution was capital. Let them proceed openly 
and daringly to urge our demands ; they are too just not finally 
to be, although slowly, recognized. The Sovereign States, by 
grace of the Rhenish Confederation and the Di^t, can not rely 
upon their particularity for any duration against the stream of 
events. As in my recovery, there may occur a time of standing- 
still and relapse occasionally ; but it still will go forward, when 
we courageously dare and are not ashamed of our daring any 
more, but openly proclaim in the Diet, in the press, and, above 
all, in our Chambers, that which we desire to represent in Grer- 
many, and what the Federation has hitherto been for Prussia — 
an Alp and a noose about our necks, with the end of it in the 
hands of the enemy, that only waits the proper moment to run it 
tight. But enough of politics. 

I hope soon to be in trim for my journey — am perhaps already 
so. My wife and the physicians conjure me to go south — to 


Heidelberg or Switzerland. I long for Petersburg, that I may at 
last live quietly in my own bouse. 

Petersbui-g, 16th June, 1860. 

We are pretty well at present, and I am much better than if I 
were in Germany without being wanted. Rest and the comforts 
of domestic life are doing their best. It is 24° in the shade,* 
but always cool nights. Business proceeds, thanks to so delight- 
ful a Minister as Gortschakoff, without annoyance — in short, 
cela va hien^ pourvu que cela dure. Our relations here are excel- 
lent, no matter what the newspapers may fable about it. 

The Augsburger people and Company are still afraid lest I 
should become Minister, and think they can prevent it by abus- 
ing me and my Franco-Russian ideas. It is a great honor to be 
dreaded by the enemies of Prussia. My political flirtations in 
the spring, at the Court, and with the Ministry, have, further- 
more, been so accurately sifted that they are well aware of what 
the state of the case is, and how I am believed to find precisely 
in the national aspirations powers of resistance and strength. If 
I am written down a devil, it is a Teutonic one, and no Gallic 
fiend. 's lie factory might attack me much more to the pur- 
pose on other grounds than on Bonapartism, if they wish to 
make an impression at our Court, as among the Augsburgers. 

St. Petersburg, 22d August, 1860. 
I am quite excluded from home politics, for with the exception 
of newspapers, I only receive official statements, which do not 
give me the groundwork of things. According to these, we 
have promised nothing definite at Teplitz, but have made our 
support of Austria dependent upoft that practical demonstration 
of her good-will towards us in German politics; when this has 
been done, she may reckon on our gratitude. I should be very 
content with this; and if we only see the Vienna soap in a lather, 
we should be glad to return the service. Certainly the indirect 
accounts we receive from other courts sound otherwise. Accord- 
ing to these, if true, though we have not concluded any guarantee 
treaty, we have, at any rate, bound ourselves verbally to assist 
Austria, under all circumstances, should she be attacked hj France 
* 74° Fahr.— K. E. H. M. 


in Italy. Should Austria find it necessary to act on the offen- 
sive, our consent would be requisite, if our co-operation is to be 
anticipated. This version appears more unprejudiced than it 
would, in fact, be. Austria having security that we should fight 
for Venice, she will know how to provoke the attack of France — 
it has been asserted that since Teplitz, Austria has come out 
boldly and defiantly in Italy. Viennese politics, since the Gari- 
baldian expedition, desire to make things in Italy as bad as they 
can be, in order that if Napoleon himself should find it necessary 
to declare against the Italian Eevolution, movements should com- 
mence on all sides and former conditions be assimilatively re- 
stored. This reckoning with and upon Napoleon may be very 
deceptive, and it would seem as if, since Teplitz, it has been given 
up, and there were hopes of attaining results by op'posimj Napo- 
leon. The restless, passionate character of Austrian politics en- 
dangers peace in both ways. What will the Chamber say to 
Teplitz — to the organization of the army ? All sensible men 
will naturally agree with Grovernment as to the latter. But the 
influence of foreign politics can first be estimated, when it is 
known voliat the meaning of Teplitz really is. A well-informed 
but somewhat Bonapartist correspondent writes to me from Ber- 
lin, "We were prettily taken in at Teplitz by Viennese good- 
humor ; sold, for nothing, not even a mess of potta,ge." God 
grant that he errs in this! In speaking of the Bonapartists, it 
occurs to me that some kind of general rumors reach me, that the 
press. National Verein, Ilagdeburger, Ostpreussische Zeitung, car^ry 
on a systematic war of calumny against me. I am said to haye 
openly supported Kusso-French pretensions respecting a cession 
of the Ehine province, on the condition of compensation nearer 
home ; I am a second Borries,'and so on. I will pay a thousand 
Fredericks-d'or to the person who will prove to me that any 
such Eusso-French propositions have ever been brought to my 
knowledge by any one. In the whole period of my German res- 
idence I never advised any thing else than that we should rely 
on our ovjn strength, and in the case of war, upon the aid of the 
national forces of Germany. These foolish geese of the German 
press do not see that in attacking me they are losing the better 
part of their own efforts. I am informed that the fountain-head 
of these attacks was the Court of Coburg, in a writer who has 


personal spite against me. Were I an Austrian statesman, or a 
Grerman Prince and Austrian reactionist, like the Duke of Mein- 
ingen, our Kreuzzeitung would have protected me as it has him ; 
the mendacity of these assaults is unknown to some of our polit- 
ical friends. As I am, however, an old member of their party, 
entertaining particular ideas upon certain points, well known to 
him to his misfortune, I may be slandered to their hearts' con- 
tent. I hear of the whole affair principally from the officious ad- 
vocacy of the Elherfeld Zeitung^ which is sent to me. There is 
nothing like inquisitors among themselves, and friends, who long 
have partaken of the same cup, are more unjust than foes. I am 
satisfied. One ought not to rely on men, and I am thankful for 
every breath which draws me inward. 

Stolpmiinde, 18th Sept., 1861. 
In reference to the Conservative programme, I fully subscribe 
to your observations. The negative construction prevailing 
throughout of the propositions should have been avoided from 
the first. A political party can never stand, much less conquer 
position and adherents, by a mere languid defensive policy. 
Every party professes to abhor the dirt of the Grerman Eepublic, 
and the Opposition now forming give themselves honest trouble 
not to have it — that is, the dirt. A figure of speech so much 
wider than the requirements of the time, either means nothing, 
or conceals what people do not desire to say. I myself am in 
doubt whether the authors of the programme do not really stand 
at the pure Wiirzburg point of view. Among our best friends, 
we have so many doctrinaires who ask from Prussia an identical 
duty of protecting foreign princes and countries as she protects 
her own subjects. The system of the solidarity of the conserva- 
tive interests of all countries, is a dangerous fiction as long as the 
fullest and most honest reciprocity does not exist between the 
rulers of all countries. Were Prussia to carry it out in isolation, 
it would become Quixotism, which would only weaken our King 
and his Government in the solution of the most important ques- 
tion, viz., that defense of Prussia confided to the Crown of Prus- 
sia by the Almighty, against injustice coming from within or 
without. We are gradually making the whole unhistorical, un- 
godly, and illegal sovereignty swindle of those German princes 



who use the Confederation as a pedestal whence to plaj at being 
European powers, into the nurse-child of the Conservative party 
of Prussia. Internally our Prussian Oovernment is liberal; 
abroad it is legitimist. We respect foreign crown rights with 
greater constancy than we do our own, and become enthusiastic 
about those, lesser sovereignties created by Napoleon and sanction- 
ed by Metternich, to blindness against all the perils with which 
the independence of Prussia and Germany is threatened in the 
future, as long as the nonsense of the present Confederation en- 
dures, which is nothing more than a hothouse of dangerous and 
revolutionary efforts. I could have wished that, instead of vague 
expressions against the German Republic, it had been openly stated 
in the programme what we desire to see changed and restored 
in Germany, whether by justly directed efforts towards alterations 
in the constitution of the Confederation, such as definite associa- 
tions like the Customs Union, and the Military Treaty of Coburg. 
We have the double task of giving evidence that the existing 
Confederation is not our ideal^ but that we purpose to attempt 
the necessary alterations openly in a legal way, and that we do 
not intend to go heyond these in confirming security and pros- 
perity. To us the necessity of a firmer consolidation of our 
defensive powers is as patent as that of daily bread ; we require 
a new and plastic system of customs, and a number of institutions 
in common, to defend material interests against the evils result- 
ing from the unnatural interior configuration of German frontiers. 
There should be no doubt as to the sincerity and earnestness with 
which we ask for these objects. Nor do I see, moreover, ivhy we 
should recoil so prudishly from the idea of popidar representation^ 
whether in the Diet, or in any customs^ or associative parliament. 
Surely we can not combat an institution as revolutionary which 
is legally established in every German State, and which we Con- 
servatives even would not wish to see abolished, even in Prussia. 
In national matters we have hitherto regarded very moderate 
concessions as valuable. A thoroughly conservative national 
representation might be created, and yet receive the gratitude of 
the liberals. 

I am interrupted by the sounds of packing. In case you still 
have an opportunity of conferring with our friends on the sub- 
ject, I enclose you the sketch I read to you with the requests how- 


ever, that it shall not become public, as I am unaware whether 
the King would like that this hasty memorandum of the conver- 
sation I had with His Majesty, and which I committed to writing 
at his command, should become known, as I hear several discus- 
sions have taken place about it. 

Berlin, the 2cl Oct., 1861. 
In Koblenz and here I have been active for German politics, 
and in the present state of things not quite without results. I 
wrote about the 19th of last month from Stolpmiinde to your 
residence here, and enclosed in my letter the draught of the short 
sketch I had presented to the King. I am to carry this matter 
into greater detail. If, therefore, the letter and enclosure, as I 
hope, has reached your hands, I beg of you to send it me to 
Eeinfeld, that I may work it up more completely there. I am 
really home-sick for my household on the English Quay, with the 
tranquil view of the Neva ice. On the 13th, it will be neces- 
sary to meet at Konigsberg. 

Berlin, the 16th May, 1864. 
I can understand your hesitation against the address, which, 
however, in my opinion, at the present time seizes the diplomatic 
position with useful pressure. I may certainly be mistaken in 
this, for the longer I act in political affairs the less is my confi- 
dence in human calculation ; and if you feel an inward opposition 
to it, I speak the less of it, as I would rather be able to declare 
with a good conscience that the Government has not inspired the 
idea mirrored in it. The actual state of things, however, is such, 
that it appears very necessary to let loose all the dogs willing to 
give tongue (forgive this sporting simile) against Denmark at the 
conference ; the general cry of the pack will effect a conviction 
on the part of alien Powers that the subjection of the Duchies 
to Denmark is an impossibility, and the latter will be obliged to 
consider projects which the Prussian Government can not present 
to them. Among alien Powers in this last category I class the 
Holsteiners themselves, together with the Augustenhurg, and all the 
eternally ignoble down to Konigsau. The Duchies have hitherto 
played the part of the birthday child in the German family, and 
have accustomed themselves to think that we are willing to brina- 


every sacrifice to the altar of their particular interests, and are 
willing to risk the existence of Prussia for every individual Ger- 
man in the north of Schleswig. The address will especially 
counteract this frenzy ; I do not fear that it will have so strong 
an effect as to bring us into any difficulty. If Prussian ambition 
were to rise to such a height among the nation, so that the Govern- 
ment, instead of stimulating, would have to moderate the feeling, 
I should not at all regret such a condition. 

You will perceive from this how I comprehend the matter from 
a human point of view. As to the rest, my impression of grati- 
tude for God's assistance till now rises into a conviction that the 
Lord knows how to turn even our errors to our benefit. I daily 
observe this with salutary humility. 

To clear up the situation I will conclude by saying that to me 
Prussian annexation is not the chief and necessary end, but prob- 
ably the most agreeable result. 

With hearty salutation to j^our honored household, I am yours, 


That Bismarck not only followed the German policy of Aus- 
tria, but also her whole political action, with the lynx eyes of an 
opponent, is a matter of course, and he soon perceived on what a 
dangerous error this was based. Eelying upon the apparent 
power which Prince Schwarzenberg's daring moves, and Radetz- 
ky's victories over Sardinia had obtained, Austria desired to at- 
tain to a European hegemony for herself by diplomatic trickWy. 
By amity with France she wished to keep Italy down ; by amity 
with England to overawe Turkey : by the alliance of both, as 
well as by the pressure she thought to exert over Prussia and 
the other German States, to humble and lame Russia, in whom 
she saw the sole antagonist of her visionary hegemony. This 
plan, however, which explains the attitude of Austria during the 
Eastern war, was condemned to failure, as the massive power of 
Russia, under the most favorable circumstances, could only be 
transitorily shaken by the temporary alliance of England and 
Prance; was condemned, as France certainly did not remain 
quiet in the west, out of pure friendship for Austria, after meas- 
uring swords with Russia in the East; was condemned because 
England scarcely would do any thing for Austria after attaining 


her ends in the East ; finally it was most certainly condemned, as 
Austria undervalued the power of Prussia to an almost incompre- 
hensible degree. Bismarck foresaw this failure, and, in his opin- 
ion, Prussia ought to make use of the crisis which had arrived to 
save herself and Germany from Austria. Hence at Berlin he 
continually urged the uttermost possible increase in the strength 
of the army. Nor were his warnings neglected, but, to his deep 
sorrow, circumstances took such a form that when the crisis ac- 
tually came Prussia made no use of the situation. When the 
Italian war broke out, when Prussia did not declare against Aus- 
tria, the Ministry thought the presence of Bismarck in Frankfurt 
had become an impossibility, and he was recalled. It was re- 
served for Bismarck himself, eight years afterwards, to carry 
through his German policy, by which Prussia was alone to ac- 
complish her proper position, although at that time it was in 
alliance with France. Bismarck, in 1858, left the scene of his 
activity in Frankfurt with a heavy heart. He was convinced it 
was only there, where he was so accurately acquainted with the 
ground^ that he could render his King and country important 
services. He departed with patriotic indignation at the con- 
tempt which Austria openly showed towards Prussia, but he also 
knew that a time of retribution would arrive. 

His position at Frankfurt gave Bismarck an advantage not 
lightly esteemed by the statesman. Frankfurt lies like a great 
hotel on the road into which the great European travelling guild 
especially loves to call in the summer time. Not only did the 
representative of Prussia entertain princely guests, related or 
friendly to the Royal House of Prussia, but gradually became 
acquainted with a great number of the ministers and diplomatists 
of all European States. Among the princely personages whom 
he received in Frankfurt, and to whom he afterwards paid his re- 
spects in the watering-places close at hand, we should especially 
name the Grand-Duchess Helena of Russia, a born Princess of 
Wlirtemberg and widow of the Grand-Duke Michael Paulo- 
witsch, a lady of extraordinary abilities, and well informed in po- 
litical matters, whose influence is said to be very great, and that 
not alone in Russia. 

Among the statesmen whose acquaintance Bismarck made 
upon the Rhine, we must first name the venerable Prince Met- 



ternich, to whom lie 
paid a visit, shortly 
after his arrival in 
Frankfurt in the 
summer of 1851, at 
the Castle of Johan- 
nisberg. He had 
many conversations 
with the man who 
had so long conduct- 
ed the policy of Aus- 
tria, in more than 
one respect, in so 
masterly a manner, 
and, in contradis- 
tinction to Schwar- 
zenberg, had ever evinced a statesmanlike amenity towards 
Prussia, and continued to do this in a very distinct manner. 

Metternich and Bismarck seated together at the Johannisberg ! 
The one venerable with age, who had been every thing ; the oth- 
er a man who was to become every thing. The representative 

^^sr_- ^M 


of the past, and the representative of the future ; the past had 
been allotted to Austria, the future was to be the heritage of 
Prussia. The present and the Johannisberg constituted the neu- 
tral ground where the last remains of Austrian good-will to- 
wards Prussia, and the last fragments of traditional reverence 
for Austria in Bismarck's patriotic heart, were to meet. The two 
statesmen parted from each other with mutual respect. 




Ambassador to St. Petersburg. — Illness. — Journey. — Hunting. — The Coronation of 

William I. 

«!»-"^>.> #>«>^" 

/- 1 

We have already stated that Bismarck would have preferred 
to remain at Frankfurt, because he hoped to be usefal to Prussia ; 
and he personally complained to the Prince Eegent of his trans- 
ference. The Prince Eegent, on the other hand, demonstrated to 


him tliat such an official position in St. Petersburg was one of 
the first in the diplomacy of Prussia, and that he ought to regard 
his mission there as a distinction. It was, perhaps, fortunate for 
Bismarck that thus placed in a remote position from the party 
spirit of those days, he was able as from an observatory to watch 
the course of political events, both inwardly and outwardly, and 
allow his views to assume distinctness, his plans to ripen. To his 
many journeys was also due the preservation of personal inter- 
ests. The peculiar good- will with which he was received by 
the Czar, and especially by the Empress-Mother at that time, he 
knew how to preserve, at the same time winning the respect of 
the Eussian statesmen. Of his life in these days, his letters, 
which we shall presently communicate, addressed to his wife and 
sister, afford us most characteristic traits. From this time for- 
ward, sadly enough, several attacks of indisposition appear, which 
dull the picture of manly strength and health we have hitherto 
beheld in him. In March he set forward on his journey to St, 
Petersburg, and assumed his new office on his birthday, the 1st of 
April, 1859 ; in May he went to Moscow, but upon his return he 
became seriously ill, and suffered greatly from a rheumatic attack 
in the left leg, which was very painful to him. 

He there placed himself in the hands of his physicians. One 
evening a blister was applied to the calf of the leg, and Bismarck 
went to sleep, but soon awoke in raging tortures, which increased 
to such a degree that he tore away the blister, and with it some 
portion of the flesh. Perhaps in the end this proved his salva- 
tion, but such remarkable symptoms of illness appeared that it 
was necessary for him to ask permission for leave of absence in 
Berlin. The Emperor was terrified at the alteration in Bismarck, 
when he came to present his letters of recall. After a miserable 
journey Bismarck arrived in Berlin, but in a pitiable state. He 
remained there at the Hotel d'Angleterre in a hopeless condition ; 
the physicians treated with him iodine, without, however, any re- 
sult, and in this condition he was found by his wife, whom he sum- 
moned from Pomerania. Madame von Bismarck, in every thing 
touching her husband, possesses the greatest energy and affec- 
tion ; herself instructed in the healing art, she had all the iodine 
bottles thrown away, and devoted herself to the sick-bed. From 
this time the condition of Bismarck visibly improved, and al- 


tliougli much still remained ere he could regard himself as fully 
convalescent, he was at any rate enabled to seek further health 
and strength at Wiesbaden and ]Sra,uheim. The cure, however, 
was very incomplete, and it cost him a great effort to perform the 
duty of receiving the Emperor Alexander at Warsaw, and at- 
tending him to Berlin. After this he sought retirement for a 
while with his family at Eeinfeld, whence he proposed to return 
to his post in St. Petersburg in November. 

Reinfeld has been so often mentioned in these pages, and that 
spot of ground has so much significance for Bismarck, that some 
few notes concerning it can not be unwelcome to the reader, 
Reinfeld lies in the undulating hill country slanting from the 
Baltic land-ridge towards the Eastern Ocean, close to the left 
bank of the Stolpe, in a very pleasant part of Pomerania. The 
mansion of Eeinfeld presents that peculiar type of Christian ami- 
ability,* which, in its un affectation, produces so pleasant an effect 
on the visitor. There is nothing artificial about it. In the court- 
yard no oaths are heard, but in place of these the venerable Herr 
von Putkammer raises his velvet skull-cap, and from his lips 
come the peaceful words, " Let us all return our thanks unto the 
Lord," etc., when at harvest-home the reapers enter with the 
corn -wreath of increase. 

Bismarck had often fled to these fragrant Hinder Pomerania 
thorn-thickets for rest and, refreshment in the summer-time, from 
busy official life and the social saloon of office. Hitherward he 
bent his steps cheerfully from Berlin and Paris, from Frankfurt 
and St. Petersburg. Here, with heartfelt contentment, he greet- 
ed his ancient friend, the forest ; and in the neighbbrhood of 
Reinfeld there are many select localities remaining as proofs of 
his never-resting spirit of enterprise — as green trophies of his 
creative power. FraU von Bismarck, too, had grown up in Rein- 
feld. There she lived, at the service of all, with words of comfort 
and active aid, as well as with medical counsel, prudent enough 
to amaze many an experienced physician. Nor has Frau von 
Bismarck denied herself such a sphere of helpful activity in her 
town life. Like a true woman, she has forgotten her own sor- 
rows to take care of the humblest persons around her, and thus 

* See Wangeraann's "Ringen unci Regen," (" Strife and Actmty"), on the Ost- 
see Shore. 


she has ever been a true helpmate for her consort in heavy la- 
bors and in dark hours. Frau von Bismarck possesses a fine ear 
for music. Her passionate performance has often delighted and 
soothed her husband amidst his cares, when the storms of life as- 
sailed him, and the waves ran high. How often has he sat still 
at night and listened to her melody, receiving the mighty influ- 
ence of music into his heart of hearts ! 

On his journey from Eeinfeld to St. Petersburg, in the Novem- 
ber of 1859, Bismarck was taken dangerously ill at the house of 
his friend Alexander von Below, a Member of the Upper House, 
at Hohendorf in Prussia, beyond Elbing. The next station on 
the Eastern Eailroad is Giildenboden (Goldbottom), which gives 
some conclusion as to the prolificacy of the Hohendorf district 
and agricultural system. After his illness there was a long period 
of reconvalescence, but Bismarck was comforted by having all 
his dear ones at hand. Herr von Below and his excellent sister, 
Mademoiselle Jeaunette von Below, evinced princely hospitality. 
Besides Bismarck, his wife and children, his father and mother- 
in-law, Herr and Frau von Putkammer, remained for weeks at 
Hohendorf, together with Miss Fatio, the friendly home-spirit of 
the Bismarck family, and the boy's tutor. Candidate Braune, now 
preacher at Strausberg-on-the-Barnim. 

On the recovery of his health, Bismarck went, in March, 1860, 
to Berlin, where he took part in the Sessions of the Upper 
House ; in May he returned to Hohendorf, whence he conducted 
his family to St. Petersburg. They started for Konigsberg on the 
80th May, slept at Marienpol on the 31st, at Wilkomierz on the 
1st June, on the 2d at Dlinaburg, on the 3d at Eegitza, and on 
the morning of the 5th the travellers arrived in St. Petersburg. 
The railway was not completed at the time, so that some portion 
of the journey between the frontier and Dlinaburg was perform- 
ed in carriages. 

Bismarck had hired the house of Countess Stenbock, on the 
English Quay, with a fine view of the Neva, the quarter of Was- 
sili Ostrov, and the Nicholas Bridge. When Bismarck had his 
family about him, he felt at home on the Neva, He also took a 
special master, in order to learn the Russian language ; and it is 
said to have very much pleased and astonished the Emperor Al- 
exander when Bismarck first answered him in Russian. It is no 


trifling task to learn Eussian ; we know persons who have fre- 
quently attempted to do so, but have always abandoned the task 
in despair. Bismarck was much in society, at the Court of the 
witty Archduchess Helena. There was no lack of sporting 
parties ; he hunted the elk, the bear, and the wolf. At Yarzin, 
as at Berlin, may be seen many trophies of his skill from the 
Korth. These bear-hunts were very contributive to his conva- 
lescence, and he warded off many a cold on these expeditions, in 
the bitter weather. Bismarck, who was always a friend to dumb 
animals, had much amusement in some young cubs he kept in 
the house, until they grew into the ornaments of the Zoological 
Gardens at Frankfurt and Cologne, at a later age. Mischka 
(such is the Eussian name of the young bear) often made his ap- 
pearance, as did the foxes at Kniephof, to the great amusement 
of the guests at the dinner-table ; and walked about among the 
plates and glasses on the cloth, nipped the servant in the calf of 
the leg, or slid about on the slide in the dining-room. 

During this Petersburg time, Bismarck was able to devote 
himself more fully to the education of his children. Every Sat- 
urday they appeared before their father with their exercise- 
books, and reported what progress they had made during the 
week. Then followed a short examination, which evinced his 
minute accuracy in scholastic teaching, and even the tutor who 
was present learned something— the method of education. In 
later years Bismarck has been unable to spare time for such ex- 
aminations, the duties of his of&ce having entirely absorbed him. 

Among the gentlemen who then frequented the house of Bis- 
marck, we will mention the then Eoyal Prussian Commissioner, 
Freiherr von Loen (now Greneral); Captain von Erkert (now 
Colonel) ; the historian Legation Councillor von Schloezer ; the 
Prince von Croy and his old friend. Count von Kaiserling ; Bar- 
on Nolde ; and Count Yxkull. In the aristocratic circles of Eus- 
sian society Bismarck was very greatly prized and esteemed, and 
this not alone on account of the favor accorded to him and his 
wife by the Imperial family. The Chancellor, Prince Gortscha- 
koff, at all times regarded him with the greatest interest, and 
stood in continued and agreeable relations with him. Bis- 
marck's sporting skill and fortune became almost proverbial in 
the Court circles of Petersburg. From an authentic, although 



Suabian, source, the following anecdote was related to us, how 
Bismarck and seven others went a bear-hunting : — " On their re- 
turn, one of the seven was asked, ' How did things go ?' and he 
replied, ' Very ill for us, father. The first bear trotted in ; the 
Prussian fired, and down fell the bear. Then came the second, 
and I fired, missed, and Bismarck shot him dead at my very feet. 
Then came the third bear ; Colonel M. fired twice and missed 
twice ; then the Prussian knocked him over with one barrel. 
So Bismarck shot all three, and we could get no more. It went 
very ill for us, father!' " Bismarck, in his Eussian hunting-coat, 
high boots, and big brown juff's leather cloak, was a magically 
imposing sight. 


The following year, 1861, Bismarck spent the most of the sum- 
mer in Pomerania, and part of it in Baden-Baden, where he. was 
considerably consulted by King William in political affairs. In 
the large coronation painting by Menzel, he forms a conspicuous 
and significative object. From Konigsberg he returned to his 
post at Petersburg. 

His outward appearance had much changed: he looked much 



more like what we see him now. His once rich hair has grown 
somewhat thin, which makes the forehead very prominent ; his 
enormous beard had disappeared in Frankfurt ; the features are 

very marked, but a humor- 
ous smile still plays about 
bis lips ; his eyes retain their 
fire, and his firm bearing;: is 
t, still preserved. In his let- 

ters the old hearty spirit still 
is evident in all its fresh- 
ness, nor is good - humor 
wanting ; but sometimes 
there is a feeling of mourn- 
fulness, which, although 
slightly toned, still shows 
that he had not come un- 
wounded from the fierce 

The following letters be- 
long to this period of his 
career : — 


Pskow, 28th March, 1859. 

Eussia lengthened herself out under our wheels, and at each 
station the versts gave birth to young; but we have now run 
into the haven of the railway. From Konigsberg we travelled 
for ninety-six hours without intermission ; at Kowno^ we slept 
four hours, and three in Egypt (a station near Diinaberg), I 
think, the day before yesterday. I am now very well, but my 
skin is still burning, as I was outside almost all night, and we 
changed from 1 to 12 degrees of cold, E. The snow was so deep 
that we literally remained sticking with six to eight horses, and 
had to descend. The slippery hills were worse, particularly in 
going down ; it took us an hour to go twenty paces ; the horses 
fell down four times, and all eight got the harness complicated 
together. Add to this night and wind — a real winter journey. 
It was impossible to sleep in consequence of the cold ; yet it was 
better to be in the air. Sleep I shall recover. The Niemen was 


free ; but tlie Wilna, a river you scarcely would know, as broad 
as the Maine — the stream like a torrent, with blocks of ice. The 
Diina was only fordable at one place, where we were able to 
cross, with four hours' waiting and three hours' labor. The 
whole region resembles Hither Pomerania, without villages, chief- 
ly like the district of Biitow and Bohren ; some good forests, but 
the majority like the coast of ISTew-Kolpizlow. Many birch 
woods, morasses for miles, the road straight as a line ; a post-sta- 
tion at from every 14 to 22 versts, like Hornskrug, very well ar- 
ranged, every thing to be had, and plenty of warmth — every 
body very civil, and the service punctual. Beyond Diinaberg 
there was a want of horses; at one station near Kowno we waited 
three hours, and then only obtained tired animals. Where the 
road was good they went excellently — at half-mile pace, with our 
heavy, ponderous carriage ; but through the heavy parts they 
could not draw, skillful fellows as the postilions were. The com- 
mon class of man pleases me at first sight. It is now six— we 
have just dined. Opposite to me, as I write on the table-cloth, 
is sitting, meditatively smoking. 


Petersburg, 19 (31) March, 1859. 
Since early the day before yesterday, I have been warmly and 
dryly lodged here, in the Hotel Demidoff ; but I did not get here 
without great exertion. Scarcely had I left Konigsberg, eight 
days ago, than a lively snow storm began, and since then I have 
not seen the natural color of the earth's surface. At Insterburg 
we began only to make a mile an hour with couriers' horses. 
At Wirballen I found a mail-post carriage, the interior of which 
proved too narrow for my stature; I therefore changed places 
with Bngel, and made the whole journey on the outer seat, open 
in front: a narrow bench, with an acute-angled back, so that it 
was impossible to sleep at night, without reckoning the tempera- 
ture, which reached 1.2°. In this condition I remained from 
Wednesday morning early until Monday evening, and, except 
during the first and last nights of railroad, I have only slept once 
for three hours, and once for two hours on the post-station sofa. 
The skin of my face peeled of when I arrived. The journey 
was so long, in consequence of the deep snow, which had newly 


fallen, and the want of a sledge-road ; several times we were 
obliged to get out and walk, eight horses being unable to drag 
the carriage forward. The Dlina was frozen, but about half a mile 
farther up there was free water, bj which we passed ; the Wilna 
drifted with ice, the Niemen was open. Horses, however, were 
scarce, as each post required eight and ten instead of the usual 
three and four. I have never had less than six, although the 
carriage was not heavy. The guard, postilions, and outriders did 
their utmost, so that I set my face against horse-slaughtering. 
The icy hills were the greatest obstacle; the four hindmost 
horses, on one occasion, all tumbled over into a tangle — but the 
outriders on the right of the two foremost never stumbled — and 
hardly had they arisen than they went forward, in full career, 
with the fully-laden carriage, down hill and over bridges, at the 
top of their wind, amidst shouting and whipcord. They fell, 
only at step ; but had they stumbled amidst the verst-long gal- 
lops on any declivity, we should have been the real of 

Prince ! Well ! it is over, and I enjoy the fun of having 

passed through it. The Neva here is like granite ; but since 
yesterday there has been sunshine and thaw. It is well known 
that the town is handsome ; but were I to abandon myself to 
the sentiment of wonder, it would arise from the extraordinary 
animation of the streets ; despite their width, it requires good 
drivers to wind their way at a proper pace, carriages are so nu- 
merous; the sledges disappeared yesterday. My commissions 

were completed the day before yesterda}^ ; my address for Was 

written down the Chancery, as I had arrived unexpectedly. I. 
1st April — On writing this date, it occurs to me that; to-day is 
my birthday, the first I ever spent amidst a rattling frost — for 
that has again set in — and, for twelve years, without Johanna. 
Yesterday I had a long audience of the Empress-Mother, and 
was delighted with the aristocratic nobility of the venerable 
lady. To-day I saw the Czar ; so that on my birthday I enter 
upon my new functions. The day before yesterday the Em- 
peror shot two bears. Unfortunately, it is now all over with 
Petz ; he will not allow himself to be attacked, or rarely. The 
new snow has been, as it were, swept away by three days of 
thaw ; the whole country is said to be free. Business is just be- 
ginning. Loving letters to-day from Johanna and the children. 

MOSCOW. 289 


Moscow, 6th June, 1859. 
I will try to give you a sign of life, at least, hence, while I 
am awaiting the samovar (tea-urn), and behind me a young 
Eussian, red-shirted, is troubling himself with entirely fruitless 
attempts to heat the stove ; he sneezes and sighs, but it won't 
burn. After having recently complained so much of the scorch- 
ing heat, I woke up this morning, between Twer and here, and 
thought I was dreaming when I saw the country, with its fresh 
verdure, covered, far and near, with snow ! I never wonder at any 
thing now ; so, when I had satisfied myself that there was no doubt 
about it, I turned quickly on the other side to sleep and roll on, 
although the play of colors, green and white, was not without 
their charm in the redness of the dawn. I do not know whether 
it has melted away at Twer, but here it is gone, and cold driz- 
zling rain is rattling on the green leads of the roofs. Green, tru- 
ly, is the body-color of the Eussian. I slept some forty miles 
out of the hundred to this place ; but the other sixty miles show- 
ed me nothing but every shade of green. I did not notice cities 
and villages, or even houses, excepting at the stations ; thick-set 
woods and birches cover morass and hill ; some fine grass crop 
between, and long meadows. Thus it is for ten — twenty — forty 
miles. I do not remember to have noticed the bramble, and no 
sand ; but lonely cows or horses grazing raised an idea that men 
were not far off. Moscow, from above, looks like a sown field — 
the soldiers green, the cupolas green, and I do not doubt that the 
eggs before me were laid by green hens. You probably know 
why I am here ; I have asked myself, and immediately received 
the reply that change is the soul of life. The truth of this pro- 
found remark becomes remarkably intelligible after living ten 
weeks in a sunny hotel apartment, with the aspect of paving- 
stones. Besides, the joys of changing apparel, when they repeat 
themselves frequently, become somewhat deadened ; I therefore 

determined to deny them to myself, gave all the papers to , 

to Engel my keys, declared that I would return in a week to the 
Stenbock house, and drove to the Moscow terminus. This oc- 
curred yesterday at noon, and at eight this morning I descended 
at the Hotel de France. I will now visit a pleasant friend of 



earlier days, living some twenty versts off in the country ; to- 
morrow evening I shall be here again ; Wednesday and Thurs- 
day I shall devote to the Kremlin and such matters ; and Friday 
or Saturday shall sleep in the beds which Engel will purchase in 
the mean time. To harness slowly, and drive rapidly, lies in the 
character of this people ; I ordered the carriage two hours ago ; 
to every inquiry I have had put at ten minutes' interval, for the 
last hour and a half, the reply is, " Directly !" with stolid, friend- 
ly quietness ; and so it remains. You know my pattern-like 
patience in waiting, but every thing has its bounds : presently 
we shall dash along, so that carriage and horses will break 
down in these bad roads, and we shall end our journey on foot. 
In the interval I have had three glasses of tea, destroyed several 
eggs, and the requirements of fuel have been so fully answered 
that I feel a desire for fresh air. Had I a looking-glass, I should 
shave from very impatience. This city is very spacious, and 
very strange, with its churches with green roofs and innumerable 
cupolas ; far different from Amsterdam, although both are the 
most original cities I have ever seen. The amount of luggage 
brought here in the coupee no German conductor could divine. 
No Eussian travels without two pillows, children in baskets, and 
masses of provisions of every kind. From politeness, I was com- 
plimented with a sleeping coupee, where I was worse situated 
than in my arm-chair. I am really astonished at making a jour- 
ney under such circumstances. 

Archangelski, late in the evening. 

A year ago this very day I never even dreamt that I should 
be sitting here. On the river by which Moscow ^stands, some 
three miles away, amidst spacious gardens, lies a mansion in 
the Italian style. In front there is a broad, terraced, sloping 
lawn, surrounded by hedges like those of Schonbrunn, to the 
river side, and to the left of it a pavilion, in the six rooms of 
which I wander alone. On the other side of the water is a broad 
moonlit plain ; here, grass-plats, hedges, and orangeries. The 
wind howls, and the flame flickers in the stove ; old pictures 
look in a ghostly manner at me from the walls, and white marble 
statues from without. I return to-morrow, with my host, to Mos- 
cow ; the day after to-morrow, by way of St. Petersburg, to Ber- 


I'm. I shall remain, if it be the will of God, until Friday, to " see 
what is to be seen." My pen is very bad. I shall go to bed, 
though it looks broad and cold. Good-night. God be with you, 
and all those sheltered by Rienfeld ! 

The Ith. — Despite the broad cold bed, I slept well — had a capi- 
tal fire made up, and am looking over the steaming tea-urn out 
to the somewhat clearer, but still grayish, horizon, and into the 
entirely green surroundings of my pavilion. It is a pleasant 
spot of earth, and I have the com^fortable feeling that I am be- 
yond the reach of telegraphs. My servant, like a true Russian, 
has, as I perceive, slept in my antechamber on a silken divan, 
and this would seem to be a domestic arrangement, servants not 
being provided with special sleeping accommodation. My pavil- 
ion has an orangery, now empty, attached to it, about 150 feet 
long, at the least — the winter inhabitants of which are at present 
planted out in the hedges in stately grandeur. The whole with 

its appurtenances is something like a very magnified with 

rococo appendices in the way of furniture, hedges, terraces, and 
statues. I am now going out walking. 

Moscow, 8th June. — The city, as a city, is certainly the hand- 
somest and most original in existence ; the environs are friendly, 
neither pretty nor ugly ; but the prospect above from the Krem- 
lin, over the surrounding houses, with green roofs, gardens, 
churches, towers of the most extraordinary shapes and colors — 
most of them green, red, or bright blue, usually crowned by a 
gigantic golden ball, many with five or more on a church, un- 
questionably a thousand towers — something so curiously beauti- 
ful, as it appears in the setting sun, can not be seen elsewhere. 
The weather is again clear, and I should remain here some days 
longer, had there not arisen rumors of a great battle in Italy 
which may lead to diplomatic work ; so I will make haste to be 
at my post. The house in which I write is very remarkable, as 
being one of the few remaining from 1812, with ancient thick 
walls like those of Schdnhausen, of Oriental architecture — great 
Moorish courts. 



Pelterhof, 28th June, 1859. 

By the preceding date, you can see I am again up. I drove 
here early, to take leave of the Empress-Mother, who sails to-mor- 
row. Her charming sincerity has truly for me something of 
a character of maternity, and I can explain myself to her as if I 
had known her from a child. She conversed with me to-day for 
a long time on many subjects ; she was lying in a cliaise-longiie^ 
dressed in black, knitting at a white and red woollen shawl with 
long needles, on the balcony looking to the country. I could 
have listened to her deep voice and honest laugh and scolding 
for many an hour longer, I felt so at home. I had only come for 
two hours in undress ; but as she finally said she did not wish to 
say farewell, but that I must have a great deal to do, I assured 
her nothing at all, and then she said, " You had better remain 
till to-morrow, when I leave." I accepted the invitation joyfully 
as a command, for here it is delightful, and in Petersburg so 
stony. Only imagine the heights of Oliva and Zoppot all laid 
out as parks, with a dozen palaces having terraces, fountains, and 
lakes between, with shady walks and lawns down to the sea-line, 
blue sky, and warm sun with white clouds, and beyond the green 
ocean of foliage, the real blue sea with ships and seagulls. I have 
not enjoyed any thing so much for a long time. In a few hours 
the Emperor and Gortschakow will be here, and then some busi- 
ness will penetrate the idyl; but, God be thanked, the world 
seems more peaceful despite our mobilization, and I need make 
myself less anxious at certain conclusions. I am sorry for the 
Austrian soldiers ; how can they be commanded, that they are 
always beaten ? On the twenty-fourth again. It is a lesson for 
the ministers, which, in their stupidity, they will still not take to 
heart. I should fear France rather than Austria from the mo- 
ment we took up arms. 

28^A, Evening. — After a drive for three hours in an open carriage 
through the gardens, and having seen all their beauties seriatim^ 
I am drinking tea and looking at the golden evening sky and 
green woods. The Imperial family desired last night to be alone, 
for which I can not blame them, and as a reconvalescent I sought 


solitude, and quite enougli of it for this trip. I smoke my cigar 
in peace, drink excellent tea, and through the smoke of both gaze 
at a sunset of rare magnificence. The inclosed jasmine I send 
you as a proof that it really does grow in the open air and blos- 
soms here. On the other hand, I must confess that I was shown 
the common chestnut in espalier as a rare plant, wrapped up in 
the winter. But there are very fine oaks, ashes, limes, poplars, 
and birches as thick as oaks. 


Peterhof, 29th June, 1859. 
I wished to send you my good wishes in a pair of slippers by 
the steamer of the 25th, so that you would have received them 
this very day, but I could not even do it the week before, I lay 
so exhausted on my back. Since January in Berlin I have nev- 
er been quite well, and anxiety, climate, and colds increased my 
originally unimportant rheumatism to such a pitch some ten days 
since, that I could not breathe without very great pain. The 
complaint, rheumatico-gastric-nervous, had settled in the liver, and 
was attacked by large cupping-glasses like saucers, and canthari- 
des and mustard everywhere, until I succeeded, after having 
been half won for a better world, in convincing the physicians 
that my nerves, by eight years of uninterrupted anxiety and con- 
tinual excitement, had been weakened, and that more tapping of 
blood would lead to typhus or idiocy. A week ago yesterday 
was the worst, but my good constitution soon came to my rescue, 
after moderate quantities of canary were ordered. I came hither 
yesterday — my first trip — to take leave of the ^^mpress-Mother, 
who is goodness itself towards me, and at her desire I have re- 
mained here till her departure, which takes place to-day about 
noon, to enjoy myself with green and sea and country air after all 
my sufferings. Do not write to Johanna about these details of sick- 
ness; I will tell her myself; I have till now only told her of or- 
dinary witchcraft. As soon as I am at rest I will write especial- 
ly to Oscar ; I was deeply touched by his long letter, and should 
have replied long since, but before my illness I was for a week in 
the neighborhood of Moscow, and the conduct of much business 
is doubly difficult by the presence of the Court and Ministers in 


Zarskoe-Selo. I hope to obtain my furlough in the first third of 
July, and shall then go to Berlin, and I hope by Krochlendorf to 


Petersburg, 2dJuly, 1859. 

Half an hour ago a courier awakened me with tidings of war 
and peace. Our politics are sliding more and more into the 
Austrian groove, and if we fire one shot on the Khine the Italo- 
Austrian war is over ; and in place of it we shall see a Prusso- 
French war, in which Austria, after we have taken the load from 
her shoulders, will assist, or assist so far as her own interests are 
concerned. That we should play a very victorious part is scarce- 
ly to be conceded. Be it as God wills ! it is here below always a 
question of time ; nations and men, folly and wisdom, war and 
peace, they come like waves and so depart, while the ocean re- 
mains! On this earth there is nothing but hypocrisy and jug- 
glery, and whether this mask of flesh is to be torn off by fever or 
a- cartridge, it must fall at last, and then the difference between a 
Prussian and an Austrian, if of the same stature, will be so small 
that it will be difficult to distinguish between them. Fools and 
wise men, as skeletons, look very much like one another ; specific 
patriotism we thus lose, but it would be desperate if we carried it 
into eternity. 


Saturday, Petersburg. 
Until half-past three this morning I was engaged in writing. 
The sun then rose, and I went to bed, and have been at the ink- 
bottle from before nine again ; in half an hour the steamer starts ; 

is behind me. For three days together I have been obliged 

to go to Zarskoe-Selo, always taking up the whole day. I dined 
with the Emperor recently, in the clothes of four different people, 
not being prepared for dress ; I must have looked very odd. Here 
people are very good to me ; but in Berlin, Austria and all our 
dear allies are intriguing to get me away ; and yet I am such a 
well-behaved person ! Be it as God wills ! I had as lief live in 
the country as not. 



Berlin, 14th Sept., 1859. 

Forgive me for not answering your letter as yet. I thought I 
should be able to stay a few days longer at Reinfeld, but was yes- 
terday suddenly telegraphed for. Formerly it took twenty-eight 
hours to reach here, but since the railway has been opened it 
takes thirty-two, and one has to get up at four o'clock. I have 
just arrived here at six o'clock, have satisfied my appetite, and 
now propose to sleep. I am to receive the Eegent very early to- 
morrow morning at the station ; thence probably to Potsdam, to 
receive letters and commissions ; to-morrow evening off to War- 
saw. I shall very likely return with the Emperor to Breslau, 
and thence come back here ; perhaps we shall then be able to 
see each other for one day at last. A fourteen-seated carriage 
arrives at Tauroggen for me to-day ; how long it will remain 
there Heaven knows — this vagabondizing in the autumn chills 
ending in the goal of winter is far from amusing. 


Berlin, 24th Sept., 1859. 

After I learnt from that you had passed through Berlin, 

and had probably reached Krochlendorf again, I, made enormous 
exertions to be free by six to-morrow morning and reach Stettin 
to-morrow night by way of Krochlendorf After having talked 
myself hoarse with mechanics and statesmen, I have become al- 
most idiotic with anxiety, hunger, and business. I now at eleven 
o'clock do not know how to write either a short or simple letter 
to on the business of the day ; to rise to-morrow at half- 
past five, and commit some financial and legal matters to paper. 
Je suis au hout de mes forces and must sleep, painful as it is to me 
to be compelled to dispense with my intended surprise for you 
to-morrow. I have already torn up two letters to Baden I had 
commenced. I can not keep my thoughts fixed to the political 
cothurnus, and must defer my journey to Stettin till to-morrow 
night. There I shall sleep. The day after to-morrow I have to 
meet Bernhard at Freienwalde ; he will accompany me as far as 
Labes, where the trains join ; at night I shall sleep at Reddentin, 
and early on the 27th I start for Reinfeld, or Johanna will scratch 


my eyes out. It is lier father's birthday, and horses are already 
ordered. If I thought this letter would reach you in time, I 
should try to persuade you to go to Eeinfeld at the same time, 
but you would be worn out with the journey. I have greatly 
recovered, particularly during the fortnight at Baden. My left 
leg is still weak and swollen from walking, my nerves not yet re- 
covered from the iodine. I still sleep badly, and after the many 
people and things I have seen and spoken to to-day, I am tired 
and angry ; I do not know what at, but I have very different ideas 
to those of six weeks ago, when I cared little for living longer, 
and the people who then saw me here say that they did not believe 
to have had that pleasure to-day. Every Prussian ambassador 

dies or goes mad, says , with a look which vouches for the 

truth of his words. Other people, however, do the same. I hope 
to remain a fortnight at Eeinfeld, and then leave for the North. 
It is possible that I may be called back here after the Eegent's re- 
turn, and my journey may be delayed by that of the Emperor. 
In any case it will be a winter journey ; in Petersburg there is 
already snow and two degrees of frost. I can not even wish for 
another post, as according to medical advice I am to be lazy — and 
that is only possible at Petersburg — unless I desire to resign alto- 
gether. I shall wrap myself in bear-skins and be snowed up, 
and see what rei^iains of me and mine next May in the thaw. If 
there are too few I shall return to agriculture a,nd close with poli- 
tics, as Gischberg does in his fourth picture. It would be very 
pleasant, however, if we could see each other before the winter 
sleep ; should I return in a fortnight this would be easy, other- 
wise we must seek other means, visit Danzig or the Gollenberg 


Lazienki, 17tli Oct., 1859. 
So far have they got me! Early this morning I sought in the 
first Polish station for the ticket-ofi&ce to take my place as far as 
here, when suddenly a benevolent Fate, in the shape of a white- 
bearded Eussian General, seized me; this angel is named P., 
and before I recovered consciousness, my pass was recovered 
from the police, my luggage from the custom-house officer, and I 
was transplanted from the luggage-train to the express, seated in 


one of the Imperial saloon carriages, over a cigar, with this agree- 
able gentleman, and, after a good dinner at Petorkan, arrived at 
the station here, where I was parted from Alexander and lug- 
gage by the golden throng. My carriage was ready, and my 
questions, shouted in various languages, as to where I was to 
stay, were lost in the carriage roll, with which two fine horses 
galloped me into the night. For some half an hour I was roll- 
ing in mad haste through the darkness, and now am sitting here 
in uniform with my orders on, which we all donned at the last 
station. Tea is beside me, a mirror before me, and I know no 
more than that I am in the Pavilion of Stanislaus August in La- 
zienki, but not where it is situated, and I live in hopes that 
Alexander will soon find traces of me in more comfortable attireC 
By the noise there should be tall trees or a fountain in front of 
the windows ; except many people in Court liveries, I do not 
discover any one. The Emperor reaches Breslau early on the 
23d, remains there a week, and then, after two days, I shall be 
with you. 


Lazienki, 19th Oct., 1859. 
I can only tell you in so many words that I am well. Yester- 
day I was the whole day en grandeur ; breakfasted with the Em- 
peror, then an audience, was very graciously and kindly re- 
ceived ; dinner with H. I. M. ; theatre in the evening, a very good 
ballet, and the boxes filled with handsome ladies. I have slept 
excellently ; tea is on the table, and when I have taken it I am 
going to drive out. The Emperor reaches Breslau early on the 
23d ; on the morning of the 25th we shall probably start for Ber- 
lin. The tea I mentioned consisted not only of tea, but of coffee, 
six eggs, three kinds of meat, biscuits, and a bot'tle of Bordeaux ; 
and from the breach I made this morning you would see that the 
journey has not hurt me. The wind is rushing over the Vistula, 
and rages among the chestnuts and limes surrounding me, whirl- 
ing the yellow leaves against the windows ; but here inside, with 
double windows, tea, and thoughts of you and the children, I 
smoke my cigar in great comfort. Unfortunately all comfort in 
this world has its bounds, and I am only awaiting the end of the 


breakfast of those in the antechamber (I hear Alexanders voice 
calliag out loudly for a corkscrew!) to jump into the carriage, 
and first drive to several castles and mansions, and then into the 



Lazienki, 21st Oct., 1859. 
I shall only just give you a sign of life this morning, for I have 
slept too long. Yesterday there was a grand dinner, a water and 
forest illumination which transcended every thing I had ever 
seen of the kind, and a ballet with mazurka. Whatever can be 
done is done, and for gay people this is Abraham's bosom. I 
should enjoy this more had I any news of you. You have, no 
doubt, in the uncertainty of my journey, not ventured to write to 
me here, or the letter is delayed. To-morrow about nine we go 
to Skianiawicze, where there is to be a hunting-party in the 
park ; in the evening on to Breslau. With God's assistance this 
day week I shall be in Eeinfeld, and shall, I hope, find you and 
the little ones in good health, and ready to travel. I long for the 
moment when we shall sit quietl}^ at the tea-table in our winter 
quarters, be the Neva as frozen as it may. 


Skianiamcze, 22d Oct., 9 p.m. 
For five hours I have shot deer, hunted four hares, rode for 
three hours — every thing went off well. We are just getting 
into the coupe for Breslau, where we shall be early to-morrowl 


Peterhof, 1st (13th) July, 1860. 

As in former times, during the sessions of the Diet, I can find 
no pleasanter employment for a leisure moment than to write 
you a line as to the state of my health. Under the impression 
that at eight o'clock a steamer left for Petersburg, I remained at 
table till half-past six — just long enough to be detained till ten. 
The plan is altered to-day ; instead of eight, they start at half-past 
six and ten. But it is very pleasant here. There is charming 
weather to day ; a fine view of the green and the sea from a well- 
arranged corner room of the palace ; music in honor of the birth- 


day of the Empress-Mother ; and a good carriage, in which I shall 
take a drive for an hour. Peterhof is the jewel of this neighbor- 
hood, and delightful also for a west European, both as a park and 
landscape — something like the neighborhood of Danzig and Zop- 
pot, of which you naturally know nothing, nor of Eiigen ; the 
latter is in the same style, but prettier. My health is unexpect- 
edly good since I have lived in my own house. Your kindness 
in Berlin to some extent replaced this want; but the green hotel 
saloon, and the provisional character of my existence, still some- 
what oppresses my memory. I feel like an old pensioner who 
has done with the business of this world, or like a formerly am- 
bitious soldier, who has reached the'*haven of a comfortable com- 
mand ; and I feel that I could travel towards my end through 
long contented years. Till twelve I am employed with the 
Carlsbaders, walking, breakfast, dressing ; from then till five offi- 
cial life gives me just enough regular work to feel that I am not 
superfluous in the world. Dinner I enjoy perfectly, particularly 
such things as I ought not to eat. From eight to ten I ride, 
also par ordonnance du r)iedecin^ and then read the newspapers 
and dispatches — enjoying some peaches the while — till twelve. 
I shall be able to endure this for a long time, provided I succeed 
in retaining the position of an observant natural philosopher in 
our politics. Yesterday Johanna made her first appearance in 
society. As I had to be in bed by twelve, and no one comes till 
eleven, it did not last long. My health is a welcome excuse for 
keeping out of all company. I dined here to-day. Such are the 
only irregularities that have taken place since my first reception 
at Court. The Emperor was very hearty on seeing me again, em- 
braced me, and evinced an unquestionably sincere pleasure at my 
return. Johanna finds the life far pleasanter than she expected. 
Some slight cold somewhat upset her a few days since, but thank 
God all is right again, as with your Marie. 


Zarskoe-Selo, 4th Oct., 1860. 
I must be withdrawn from the clock-work of business, and by 
imperial command obtain an hour of leisure, to take thought and 
write to you. My daily life is taken up from the hour of break- 
fast until four without rest — work of all kinds, on paper and 


among men. I then ride till six ; but after dinner, by order of 
the physician, I approach the ink-bottle with caution, and only 
under extreme necessity. On the other hand, I read every thing 
which has arrived in dispatches and newspapers, and retire to 
rest about midnight, generally in good spirits, and in a contem- 
plative mood as to the singular demands the Prussian in Eussia 
makes upon his ambassador. Before sinking to sleep, I think of 
the best of sisters ; but to write to this angel is only possible 
when I am sent for to an audience at one, and I have to take the 
railway for that purpose about nine. I thus have two hours re- 
maining, during which I am quartered in the vacant rooms of the 

handsomest of all grandmothers, the Princess , where I write 

to you and smoke paper cigars until a visit or breakfast disturbs 
me. I look from the table, down hill, over birches and planes, 
where red and yellow are already predominating over green 
leaves. Behind them .are the grass-green roofs of the village, 
over which, to the left, a church stands, with five golden towers 
in the shape of onions ; and the whole is framed in on the hori- 
zon by the endless bushes, meadows, and forest plains, behind 
whose brown-grayish blue shadows a telescope would show the 
Isaac's Church in Petersburg. A characteristic landscape, but 
under the cold gray sky more than autumnal — at any rate, a 
very northern autumn landscape. Yesterday the young Arch- 
duke Paul was born, and in a week the long-delayed journey to 
Warsaw will be commenced. I hope to remain here ; at least, 
I have written that I did not consider the custom of a reception 
on the frontier necessary, and should only come if specially com- 
manded. I feel, thank God, much better than in the spring; but 
I do not trust in my health so entirely, and the Court life there, 
with diurnal balls until three o'clock, and all its restlessness, will 
be a severe trial even for people in perfect health. After my 
many journeys since the beginning of 1859, the feeling of really 
living anywhere with my own family is so beneficial that I am 
loath to tear myself away from domesticity. I should like to re- 
main, like the badger, in my lair, at least until summer returns. 
Johanna and the children, thank God, are well, although Bill 
gave us some anxiety for a time, as Johanna will have informed 
you. The tutor and Josephine, the nurse, are, however, in bed. 
Quite without sickness we never are, and the doctor is a daily 


guest. God grant that all sufferings are at an end in your 
house ! The Chamberlain is just announced, and I do not know 
whether I shall be able to finish these lines here, or the day after 
to-morrow in Petersburg, when the Eagle sails, having many dis- 
patches to write till then. 

Petersburg^ 12th Oct. — On taking up my letter-case, among my 
preparations for departure I found the foregoing, of which I was 
guilty at Zarskoe-Selo, and will not withhold it from you. Since 
then I have been ordered to go to Warsaw, and obey with some- 
what of a heavy heart, after having somewhat evasively declined 
an invitation of the Emperor's to that place. I am well enough 
for business, but not for pleasure. When you read this, proba- 
bly on Wednesday, I shall, if God will, already be in Berlin, On 
Thursday I leave for Warsaw, and thence, by way of Wilna, 
hither. I shall not therefore have the pleasure of seeing you, un- 
less by chance you should be in Berlin. I hope to do so next 
summer. The sea voyage will not be comfortable, but the land 
journey is too monotonous. 


Petersburg, 9th Dec, 1860. 
I take it for granted that you are already in Berlin, as I do 
not know what you could do in the long evenings at Krochlen- 
dorf, although they are not so long as here, where lights are now 
brought punctually at three o'clock, to see to read and write. On 
some of our foggy days it is hardly possible, despite of the dou- 
ble windows and distance from the cold, to enter upon such pur- 
suits after noon. But I can not say that my evenings or nights 
are too long ; my anger at the swift progress of time is as great 
in the evening when I go to bed, or in the morning when I rise. 
I have just now a great deal to do ; we are not at all social — 
my means do not permit it, I catch cold in other people's 
houses, and generally an ambassador with 30,000 thalers salary 
is condemned to great economy, I receive visitors at dinner, ^. e., 
I give them according to fortune de jpot^ but no evening parties. 
Evening parties, theatres, and so forth, are interdicted by the 
mourning carriages ; coachmen, jagers, are all dressed in black. 
I have been out hunting once, but found the wolves wiser than 
the huntsmen ; I was glad, however to be able to do so once 


more. The cold is not very intense ; three, five, seven, seldom 
eleven degrees of frost ; there has been good sledging for some 

I am in the midst of Christmas plagues, and find nothing for 
Johanna that is not too dear. Please buy her some twelve or 
twenty pearls at Friedberg's, suitable for her necklace, i. e. for the 
largest ; say about 800 thalers. I should also like some picture- 
books, in Schneider's Library ; if you are unable to get them, ask 

to do so. I should like "Diisseldorf Magazines" of last 

year, '• Diisseldorf Art Albums " of last and this year, Miinchen 
Fliegender Blatter of last year, and Miinchen Bilderlogen of this 
year and the last ; also Kladderdatsch Almanac, and such non- 

Please get all this as soon as you can, and send it me by the 
aid of Harry with the next dispatch-bag— also the pearls, so that 
they may be here by Christmas ; a courier will probably start 
before then. Put a few boxes of confections with them, but not 
too many, for the children are in a customary state of digestion 
without them. 

The death of old Bellin makes a breach at Schonhausen, and 
puts me into some doubt as to my arrangements there. I do not 
know whether the widow will remain in the mansion, or whether 
she will prefer her little cottage — the ice-house — which the old 
man arranged for her. The garden I shall have to resign to the 
farmer, but will reserve a right of resumption by a notice from 
year to year, should I return thither. The accounts I must give 
to my attorney ; I do not know any one there. \ 


Petersburg, 26 (14) March, 1861. 
I first congratulate you on my birthday ; this disinterested 
step, however, is not the only reason of the unusual appearance 
of an autograph letter from me. You know that on the 11th 
April the basis of my domestic bliss was born ; it is not, how- 
ever, as well known to you that I signified my delight at the re- 
turn of this day last year by the present of a pair of earrings, 
brilliants, purchased of Wagner Unter von Linden, and that they 
have recently disappeared from the possession of the charming 
owner, and have probably been stolen. In order to soften the 


sorrow of this loss, I should be glad to receive by the 11th — 
there is sure to be a courier or some other traveller before that 
time — a pair of similar decorations of the conjugal earshells. 
Wagner will know about what they were and cost ; if possible I 
should like them similar; a simple setting like your own, and 
they may be a little dearer than those of last year. The equal- 
ity of my budget can not be maintained, whether the deficit be a 
hundred thalers more or less. I must await the restoration of 
my finances, when I take wife and children to Pomerania, and 
send the horses to grass in Ingermanland in the summer. Expe- 
rience alone can tell how great the saving will be by such an op- 
eration. Should it prove insuf&cient, I shall next year leave my 
very pleasant house, and put myself on a Saxo-Bavaro-Wiirtem- 
berg footing, until my salary is raised, or the leisure of private 
life is restored me. Otherwise I have grown friendly with the 
existence here, do not find the winter so bad as I thought, and 
require no change in my position, until, if it be God's will, I can 
sit down in peace at Schonhausen or Eeinfeld, to have my coffin 
made without undue haste. The ambition to be a minister dies 
away nowadays from a multitude of causes, not all fitted for 
epistolary communication ; in Paris or in London I should live 
less pleasantly than here, and have no more to say ; and a re- 
moval is half a death. The protection of two hundred thousand 
vagabondizing Prussians, one-third of whom live in Russia, and 
two-thirds of whom visit it annually, gives rae enough to do not 
to get bored. My wife and children endure the climate very 
well ; there is a certain number of people with whom I associate; 
now and then I shoot a bear or an elk, the latter some two hun- 
dred versts hence ; there is charming sledging ; high society — 
whose daily visits are without the slightest advantage for the 
royal service — I avoid, because I can not sleep if I go to bed so 
late. It is impossible to appear much before eleven ; most peo- 
ple come after twelve, and about two go to a second soiree of 
supper-eating folks. This I am unable yet to endure, and per- 
haps never shall again, and I am not angry at it, as the ennui of 
a rout is more intense here than anywhere else, because one has 
too few circumstances of life and interests in common. Johanna 
goes out often, and answers without annoyance all questions 
about my health, as the necessary manure on the unfertile soil of 


conversation, I wish Johanna, for economical reasons, would go 
to Germany as soon as possible, but she will not! I mean to 
Pomerania, and I would follow her as soon and for as long as I 
can get leave of absence. I will take the waters somewhere, and 
then above all take a sea-bath, to get rid again of this intolerable 
tenderness of skin. There is nothing heard from and seen of 

; couriers seem to have left off travelling. For months I 

have had no express dispatches from the Ministry, and what 
come by post are tiresome. Farewell, dear heart ; greet Oscar. 
The Neva still bears carriages of every kind, although we have 
had a thaw for weeks, so that no sledges can pass in the city, and 
carriages are daily broken in the deep fissures in the ice which 
covers the pavements ; it is like driving over a frozen ploughed 
field. You, no doubt, have green leaves about you. 


Reinfeld, IGtli August, 1861. 

I have just received the news of the terrible misfortune which 
has befallen you and Malwine. My first thought was to come to 
you instanter, but I had overestimated my strength. The cure 
has commenced, and the thought to break it off suddenly was so 
definitely contradicted, that I determined to let Johanna travel 
alone. Such a blow is beyond the power of human consolation ; 
and yet it is a natural desire to be near those whom one loves, in 
sorrow, and to join in their lamentations. It is all we can do. 
A greater sorrow could scarcely have befallen you — to lose so 
charming and joyfully growing child in this way, and with it to 
bury all the hopes which were to become the joys of your old age. 
As to this, mourning can not depart from you as long as you 
live in this world. This I feel with you in deeply painful sym- 
pathy. We are without counsel, and helpless in the mighty 
hand of God — in so far as He will not help us — and can do noth- 
ing but bow in humility under His behest. He can take away 
from us all that He gave us, and leave us entirely desolate ; and 
our mourning over this would be the more bitter the more we 
rise against the Omnipotent will in anger and opposition. Do 
not mingle bitterness and murmuring with your just sorrow, but 
remember that you still have a son and daughter left you, and 
that you must regard yourself as blest with them, and even with 


the feeling of having possessed a beloved child for fifteen years, 
in comparison with the many who have never had children and 
known paternal joys. I will not burden you with weak grounds 
for comfort, but assure you in these lines that as a friend and 
brother I feel your sorrow as my own, and am cut to the heart 
by it. How do all the little cares and troubles which beset our 
daily lives vanish beside the iron advent of real misfortunes! 
And I feel the recollections of all complaints and desires, by^ 
which I have forgotten how many blessings God gives us, and 
how much danger surrounds us without touching us, as so many 
reproofs. We should not depend on this world, and come to re- 
gard it as our home. Another twenty or thirty years, under the 
most favorable circumstances, and we shall both have passed 
from the sorrows of this world ; our children will have arrived 
at our present position, and will find with astonishment that the 
life so freshly begun is going down hill. Were it all over with 
us so, it would not be worth while dressing and undressing. Do 
not you remember the words of a Stolpmiinder fellow-traveller? 
The thought that death is but the passage to another life may 
perhaps diminish your sorrow but little, but you might believe 
that your beloved son would have been a faithful and true com- 
panion for the time you have yet to live here, and would have 
continued your memory. The circle of those whom we love 
grows narrower and receives no increase until we have grand- 
children. At our years we make no new connections which can 
replace those who have died away. Let us therefore hold each 
other closer in affection, until death parts us also, as your son is 
now parted from us. Who can tell how soon ! Will you not 
come with Malle to Stolpmiinde, and live quietly with us for a 
few weeks or days? In any case I shall come in three or four 
weeks to you to Krdchlendorf, or wherever you may be. I greet 
my beloved Malle from my heart. May God grant her, as also 
yourself, strength to endure and patient resignation] 


Petersburg, 17 (5) Jan., 1862. 
I wished last night to go shooting some fifteen miles hence on 

the road to , where some wild quadrupeds, already purchased 

by me, are awaiting me. I therefore wrote in great haste all 



that to-day's courier was to take with him. Brotherly love in 
this case, however, would have suffered. Then it grew so cold 
again that the nocturnal sledging would have put my nose in a 
dilemma, and the chase would have been cruel for the beaters. 
I therefore gave it up, and won a little time to write you a 
few loving words — especially to thank you for your excellent 
purchases and letters. The dress is everywhere admired ; and 
in the little brooch also your good taste has evinced itself. 
Christmas, with God's grace, has passed away from us in quiet- 
ness and content, and Marie is making satisfactory progress. It 
would, therefore, be unthankful to complain of the cold, which 
has remained fixed at 18° to 28° with a persistency remarkable 
even for Eussia, which would give 22° to 32° for the little hills 
to the south-west, where I usually shoot. For fourteen days the 
temperature has never been less than 18°. Usually, it is seldom 
longer than thirty hours consecutively over 20°. The houses are 
so frozen that no fires are of any use. To-day it is 24° at the 
window in the sun ; a bright sun and blue sky. You write in 

your last letter of imprudent words spoken by ,.in Berlin. 

Tact he has not, and never will have; but that he is intentionally 
my enemy I do not consider. Nor does any thing take place 
here that every body might not know. If I were disposed to 
continue my career, it might perhaps be the very best thing if a 
great deal were heard to my disadvantage, for then I should, at 
least, get back to Frankfurt; or if I were very idle and preten- 
tious for eight years, that would do. This is far too late a thing 
for me ; I shall therefore continue to do my duty. Since my ill- 
ness I have become so mentally weak, that the energy for excit- 
ing circumstances is deficient. Three years ago, I might still 
have been a useful minister, but now I regard myself, mentally, 
as a sick circus-rider. I must remain in the service some years, 
if ever I am to see it. In three years the Kniephof lease will be 
out, in four years that of Schonhausen : until then I should not 
know exactly where to live, if I resigned. The present revision 
of posts leaves me out in the cold. I have a superstitious dread 
of expressing any wish about it, and afterwards to regret it by 
experience. I should go to Paris or London without sorrow, 
without joy, or remain here, as God and His Majesty please ; 
the cabbage will grow no fatter for our policy, nor for me, which- 

CHAI^GES. 307 

ever should happen, Johanna wishes for Paris, because she 
thinks the climate would suit the children better. Sickness hap- 
pens everywhere, and so does misfortune ; with God's help, one 
gets over them, or one bends in resignation to His will ; locality 

has nothing to do with it. To I concede any post; he has 

the material. I should be ungrateful to God and man, were I to 
declare I am. badly off here, and anxious for a change ; but for 
the Ministry I have an absolute fear, as against a cold bath. I 
would rather go to one of those vacant posts, or back to Frank- 
furt, even to Berne, where I lived very well. If I am to leave 
here, I should like to hear of it soon. On the 1 (13) February 
I must declare whether I retain my house, must, en cos que si, 
stipulate for buildings and repairs ; expensive horses and other 
matters would have to be purchased, which requires months 
here, and causes a loss or saving of thousands. To move in win- 
ter is scarcely possible. After some interruptions, I read my 
letter again, and it makes a melancholy impression; unjustly so, 
for I am neither discontented nor tired of life, and, after careful 
consideration, have discovered no wish unfulfilled, except that it 
should be 10° less cold, and that I should have paid some fifty 
visits which press upon me. Modest wishes ! I hear that I am 
expected in the winter to the Diet. I do not think of coming to 
Berlin without special orders from the King, unless in summer, 
upon leave. Johanna and the children will, I think, go to Ger- 
many in about four months. I shall follow, if God will, in some 
four or six weeks, and shall return about as much sooner. By 
reason of the cold, the children have not been out of the house 
for nearly three weeks. All Russian mothers observe this rule 
so soon as it is more than 10°; it must therefore be a matter of 
experience, although I go to 15°, but no farther. Despite this 
want of air, they look very well, notwithstanding matters of diet 
— which is constitutional — and their Christmas feastings. Marie 
has become a sensible little person, but is still quite a child, 
which I am glad to see. By my side lies Varnhagen's Diary. I 
can not understand the expenditure of moral indignation with 
which this needy mirror of the times, from 1836 to 1845, has 
been condemned. There are vulgarities enough in it, but people 
conversed in that manner in those days, and worse ; it is drawn 
from life. Y. is vain and malicious, but who is not? It is mere- 



Ij a question how life has ripened the nature of one or another 
with worm-holes, sunshine or wet weather, bitter, sweet, or rotten. 
During the whole time at my command, there has been humbug 
of all sorts ; so I have written away up to two o'clock, and at 
three the messenger must be on the railway. 


Petersburg, 7th March, 1862. 

I make use of an English courier to send you a greeting of a 
few lines; a groan at all the illness with which God afflicts us. 
We have had scarcely a day all this winter on which we were all 
well in the house. Johanna has a cough just now, which quite 
exhausts her, so that she must not go out ; Bill is in bed with 
fever, pains in body and throat — the physician can not tell us yet 
what will come of it; our new governess scarcely hopes to see 
Germany again. She has been lying prostrate for weeks, daily 
weaker and more helpless; the doctor thinks probably gallop- 

PARIS. 309 

ing consumption will be the end of it. I am only well when out 
shooting ; directly I enter a ball-room or a theatre I catch cold, 
and neither eat nor sleep. As soon as the climate is milder I 
shall send them, stock, block, and barrel, to Reinfeld. The in- 
diiference with which I contemplate a transfer is much dimin- 
ished by these facts : I should scarcely have the courage to face 
next winter here. Johanna will scarcely be persuaded to allow 
me to return hither by myself If I am not transferred I shall 
perhaps seek a longer leave of absence. I have recently had a 

letter from ; he believes he is intended to be sent here, but 

would rather go to Paris; he thinks me intended for London, 
and I have somewhat familiarized myself with the thought. 
Letters from the Prince spoke of 's resignation and my suc- 
cession ; I do not think this is the intention, but should decline 
were it so. Independently of political exigencies, I do not feel 
myself well enough for so much excitement and labor. This 
feeling also causes me some thought; if I were offered Paris, 
London is quieter ; were it not for climate and my children's 
health, I should doubtless prefer to remain here. Berne is also 
a fixed idea of mine ; tiresome places in pretty neighborhoods 
suit old people, but there is no sporting there, as I do not care 
for climbina: after chamois. 




The Premiership ahead. — Ambassador to Paris. — Unveiling of the Brandenburg 
Statue. — Uncertainty. — Delivers his Credentials to Napoleon III. — Description of 
the Embassy House at Paris, and of Prussia House, London. — Journey to the South 
of Prance. — Trouville. — Bordeaux. — Bayonne. — San Sebastian. — Biarritz, — Lu- 
chon. — Toulouse. — End of his Journeyman Days. 

We have arrived at the last section in Bismarck's political 
apprenticeship and journeymanship — to his embassy in Paris. 
This only comprises a period of a few weeks, but it has become 
very important, by reason of the distinguished acquaintances that 
Bismarck then made, by the more accurate knowledge he then 
obtained of French relations, which grew more extensive subse- 
quently, on his later journeys to the waters of Biarritz, We 
know from one of the letters already given that Bismarck had 
'already received an intimation at St. Petersburg that his King 
intended to appoint him Minister-President, and put him at t^he 
head of the Government. This intimation was probably not tWe 
only one ; the relations between the King and himself jhad for a 
long time been very intimate. The events of those days are too 
near to us to admit of the veil being entirely drawn aside ; 
probably it was King William's intention to have appointed him 
Minister-President in the spring of 1862 at once. , We do not 
know what hindered the appointment at that time ; the result 
showed that it was a fortunate circumstance in several respects 
that Bismarck was first Ambassador in Paris before becoming 
head of the Government. Whether Bismarck had misgivings 
about assuming so great a responsibility, who can tell? He 
would have ripely tested himself, but certainly he would not 
have hesitated for an instant to respond to the call of his King 


MilillllJ I ||tl^«''*l'^^^^^ 




with patriotic zeal, for he saw the reorganization of the army 
threatened by the liberal opposition, and in that for him was the 
sole hope of obtaining for Prussia at the right hour her just posi- 
tion, and the future of Germany. He certainly knew that severe 
struggles were before him, but he also knew they had to be 
fought through — that Parliamentarianism should be rendered in- 
noxious to the kingdom of Prussia, and that the black-and-white 
standard should float from unassaulted battlements. 

On the 23d May, 1862, Bismarck was appointed Ambassador 
to Paris, and set out thither. 
He had previously remained 
a few weeks at Berlin, where 
it is certain several confer- 
ences took place as to his ac- 
ceptance of the ofl&ce of Min- 
ister-President ; a passage in 
a letter to his wife below al- 
ludes to this. 

On the 17th May the 
statue of the Count of Bran- 
denburg was dedicated on 
the Leipziger Platz, in the 
presence of King William. 
At that time, as it may be 
said, the Ministry of Bismarck was in the air. Bismarck was 
present. When the cover of the statue had fallen, amidst the 
strains of the Hohenfriedberg March, H. E. H. the Prince Carl 
advanced to him, and shook him by the hand, with a " Grood- 
morning, Bismarck !" 

"Salute the new Minister-President!" said a member of the 
former Ministry of Manteuffel, in a very animated manner, to a 
representative of the new era. 

The acclamations for the King, and the trumpet-call of the 
trumpeters of the Cuirassiers, accompanied the prophecy. 

The three following letters to his wife show that he felt him- 
self painfully oppressed by the uncertainty of his then position : 

Berlin, 17th May, 1862. 

Our future is still as obscure as in Petersburg. Berlin is more 


in the foreground. I do nothing for or against it, but shall drink 
a good drop when I have my credentials to Paris in my pocket. 
Nothing at all is said about London just now, but things may 
change again. I go to the dedication of Brandenburg, and then 
to , at , to dinner. I have not been able to detach my- 
self all day from Ministerial conversations, and do not find these 
gentlemen at all more united than their predecessors. 

Berlin, 23d May, 1862. 

From the newspapers you will already have seen that I am ap- 
pointed to Paris. I am very glad of it, but the shadow remains 
in the background. I was already as good as taken prisoner for 
the Ministry. I shall start for Paris as soon as I can get loose, 
to-morrow or next day ; but I can not direct our " uncertain " 
things to that place as yet, for I can not but expect that in a few 
months or weeks they may recall me and keep me here. I do 
not come to you first, as I wish to take possession in Paris first ; 
perhaps they will find another Minister-President, when I am out 
of their sight. I will not go to Schonhausen for the same rea- 
son, that I may not again be seized. Yesterday I rode about for 
four hours in a major's miiform, and received my credentials for 
Paris in the saddle. The roan mare is here, and has been my 
joy and refreshment in the Thiergarten ; I shall take her with 
me. The bears went off to Frankfurt yesterday. ■ I have my 
hands full in order to render my journey possible. 


Berlin, 25th May, 1862. 
You write very seldom, and no doubt have more time for it 
than I have. Since I have been here I have not had time to 
sleep one night through. Yesterday I went out about eight 
o'clock in the morning, came home five times to change my dress 
in a hurry ; at eight again I went to Potsdam to Prince Freder- 
ick Charles, and returned at eleven. Now, at four, I have my 
first free moment, and use it for heaping fiery coals upon your 
black head. I think of leaving to-morrow — at latest on Tuesday 
— for Paris ; whether for long, Grod only knows — perhaps only 
for months or weeks. They have all conspired to keep me here, 




and I shall be very glad when I have found a point of rest on 
the Seine, and a porter at the door who will let nobody see me 
for some days. I do not know, indeed, whether to send our fur- 
niture to Paris at all, for it is possible that I may be recalled be- 
fore they arrived. I am rather seeking a Hegira than a new 
dwelling-place. I have been obliged to be very firm, to get rid 
of the hotel life of waiting here. I am ready for every thing that 
God sends, and only regret that I am separated from you, with- 
out being able to say when we shall meet again. If I find a 
prospect of remaining in 
Paris till the winter, I 
think you will soon fol- 
low me, and we will set- 
tle, if it be only for a 
short time. The course 
of June will decide 
whether I return hither 
before the end of the 
session of the Diet, or 
remain in Paris longer, 
and long enough to send 
for you. I shall do what 

I can towards the latter _ 

result, and in any case I 

should like you to come to Paris, were it only for a short time, 
and without a regular residence, in order that you might see it. 
Yesterday there was a grand military dinner, where I appeared 
as a major. First there was a parade. The mare is my daily 
delight in the Thiergarten, but not quiet enough for military 


As to his residence in Paris, the following letters give the best 
account : 


Paris, 31st May, 1862. 

Just a few lines amidst the throng of business, to tell you I am 
well ; but I feel somewhat lonely with the prospect of green, with 
dull rainy weather, the humming of bees, and twittering of spar- 
rows. To-morrow I have a grand audience. It is annoying that 


I have to buy linen — napkins, table-cloths, and sheets. Do not 
have the " uncertain " things sent as yet from Petersburg; those 
for Schonhausen and Eeinfeld send to Stettin, both to Bernhard's 
exporter, D. Witte's successor, to whom I have written. Those 
for Eeinfeld go by ship from Stettin to Stolpmiinde. My stay 
here is not certain, until the Ministry has another President in 
place of Hohenlohe, and London is filled up. Farewell ! I greet 
you heartily. Pray write. 


Paris, 1st June, 1862. 

To-day I was received by the Emperor, and delivered my cre- 
dentials. He received me in a friendly manner, looks well, has 
become somewhat stronger, but by no means fat and aged, as he 
is caricatured. The Empress is still one of the handsomest wom- 
en I know, despite Petersburg; she has even grown handsomer 
within these five years. The whole affair was ofiS-cial and sol- 
emn. I was fetched in an imperial carriage by the Master of the 
Ceremonies, and shall probably soon have a private audience. I 
am anxious for work, because I do not know what to do. To- 
day I dined alone ; the young gentlemen were out. The whole 
evening there was rain, and I was alone at home. To whom 
could I go ? I am more lonely in the midst of great Paris than 
you are at Eeinfeld, and sit here like a rat in an empty house. 
My only amusement was to send away the cook for cheating me 
in the accounts. You know how narrowly I look after such 

things ; but was a child in this respect. I shall dine for the 

present at a cafe. How long this is to last, God knows ! In 
from eight to ten days I shall probably receive a telegraphic 
summons to Berlin, and then dance and song is over. If my op- 
ponents only knew what a benefit they would confer upon me 
personally by their victory, and how sincerely I wish them suc- 
cess, would then, perhaps, from malice, do all he could to 

bring me to Berlin. You can not detest the Wilhelm Strasse more 
than I do, and if I am not convinced that it must be, I will not 
go. To leave the King in a dilemma during illness, I regard as 
cowardice and infidelity. If it is not to be, God will raise up, 
for those who seek, some who will consent to be a sauce- 
pan-lid. If it is to be, then forward ! as our coachmen said when 


they took the reins. Next summer we shall then probably live 
at Schonhausen. Hurero! I shall get into my canopy bed, as 
broad as it is long — the only living being in the whole house, for 
I do not think any body lives in the parterre. 


Paris, 16th June, 1862. 

If all has happened according to the programme, you will to- 
day have reached Landeck, where I wish you happy and healthy 
days. On the completion of your twenty-ninth year I hope to 
present myself with good wishes, although I do not accurately 
know in how short a time the post goes between here and Lan- 
deck. The barometer is always at changeable, as during the 
past year, and will long continue so, whether I live here or in 
Berlin. There is rest in the grave — at least I hope so. Since 
my departure from Berlin I have not heard a word from any 

body about the Ministerial question. 's leave of absence is 

out, and he does not again enter on his duties ; this I knew be- 
fore. The end of June I wait quietly for; if I do not then know 
what is to become of me, I will urgently ask for certainty, so as 
to settle myself here. If I seem likely to remain here till Janu- 
ary, I think I shall fetch Johanna in September, although a do- 
mestic establishment of four months is very provisional and un- 
comfortable. In packing and unpacking, a small fortune is bro- 
ken up in glass and china. Besides my wife and children, the 
mare is what I chiefly want. I have tried some hired horses, 
but I would rather never ride again. The house is well situated, 
but is dark, damp, and cold. The sunny side is spoilt with stair- 
cases and non-valeurs ; every thing lies to the north, and smells 
musty and cloacic. There is not a single piece of furniture one 
can sit upon, nor a single corner in which one can sit; three- 
quarters of the house is shut up as " state rooms," covered up, 
and, without a great change in arrangements, not suitable for 
daily use. The nurses would live on the third-floor, the children 
on the second. The principal staircase (first-floor) only leads to 
a bed-chamber, with a large bed, also an old-fashioned saloon 
(style of 1818) next to it, many staircases and anterooms. Ac- 
tual living room is on the ground-floor northward towards the 
garden, where I warm myself, when the sun shines, for some 












hours, at most three times a week. You will see it 
in the margin: 1. Dressing-room, spongy and unin- 
habitable, damp ; 2, Study, dark, stinking ; 8. Recep- 
tion-room ; 4. A view from the house to the garden, 
with bookcases ; 6, Dining-room ; 6. My bedroom ; 7. 
Office; 8. Garden, where the lines are, Quai D'Orsay 
and the Seine; 9 and 10. Chancery; 11. Hall; 12. 
Staircase. Add to this, on the first floor one bed- 
room, and no more, and all the domestic offices two 
stories high ; narrow, dark, steep stairs, which I can 
not mount upright, on account of the breadth of my shoulders, 
and without crinoline. The principal staircase only goes to the 
first-floor, but there are three ladder-stairs at both ends to the 
upper rooms. Hatzfeld and Pourtales existed thus their whole 
time, but died over it in the prime of life ; and if I stay in the 
house, I shall die sooner than I wish. I would not live in it for 
nothing, on account of the smell. 

Please send Johanna the address where you had such good 
cakes (Baumkuchen) made two years ago, for the birthday. I 
promised one to the Archduchess Marie. Or rather, send me 
the address, and I will order the cake by letter from here, and 

will inclose a letter for , which the confectioner can send 

with the thing by ship from Stettin. I am somewhat afraid if 
we stay here that Johanna will be but little pleased. In a few 
days I am to go to Fontaihebleau. The Empress is a little 
stronger, and thus handsomer than ever, and always very delight- 
ful and cheerful. Afterwards I shall go to London for a fpw 
days. A number of agreeable Eussian ladies who were here 
have mostly disappeared. Who has got my mare, if I want it 
here ? 

At the end of June, Bismarck took a short trip to the Exhibi- 
tion in London, and returned to Paris on the 5th of July. On 
the 14th he wrote to his wife: — 

From your letter of the 9th of this month I have learnt with 
joy that you are well, and I hope to read the same again to-mor- 
row morning. To-day the courier at last arrived, on whose ac- 
count I left London more than a week ag-o. I should like to 


have remained there some days longer — I saw so many pretty 
faces and fine horses. But the Embassy is a horror ; well fur- 
nished, but on the ground-floor, besides the staircase, there are 
only three apartments, one a chancery, another a dining-room, 
and between both, serving as a common rendezvous for dinner, 
without a corner in which to take off a dressing-gown, the study 
of His Excellency. If wash-hand basins, etc., are wanted there, 
it is necessary to mount the high, tall stairway, and pass through 
the principal bedroom into a little dog-hole of a living-room. 
On the first-floor is one -great saloon, a small ball-room ; next to 
it the afore-mentioned sleeping-room and dog-hole; that is the 
whole of the living-room. Two stairs higher there are two rooms 
for the secretary, and five small places for children, tutor, gover- 
ness, etc. On the third-floor, under the roof, room for the serv- 
ants, the kitchen in the basement. I get quite miserable at the 
idea of being cooped up in such a place. On my application for 
leave of absence, I have to-day received a reply from Berlin, that 
the King could not yet determine whether he could give me 
leave, because the question whether I should accept the Presi- 
dency would be held in suspense for six weeks, and I might 
write whether I thought it necessary to enter the present session 
of the Chambers, and when, and whether before the commence- 
ment of my leave I'would come to Berlin. The latter I shall en- 
deavor to avoid — shall propose that I be left here in peace till 
the winter, and during the interval, say the day after to-morrow 
or Thursday, go to Trouville, west from Havre-on-the-Sea, and 
there await the winter. I can always get here from that place 
in five hours. Since yesterday we have had fine weather ; until 
then it was miserably cold, with endless rain. Yesterday I em- 
ployed in dining at St. Germain, a fine wood, two versts long, a 
terrace above the Seine, with a charming view over forests, hills, 
towns, and villages, all green up to Paris. I have just driven 
through the Bois de Boulogne in the mildest moonlight — thou- 
sands of carriages in a Corso file, water-surfaces with gay lights, 
an open-air concert; and now to bed. Our carriages have 
reached Stettin ; I shall have them housed there or in Kiilz. 
All my colleagues are gone, and the only acquaintance with 

whom I have any intercourse is old , which neither of ns 

dreamt of twenty years ago. My servants are Lemburg, a Eus- 


sian, an Italian Fazzi, who- was footman to Stolberg in Morocco, 
three Frenchmen (chancery-servant, coachman, and cook), and an 
Electoral Hessian, with a Belgian wife, as porters. 

Bismarck went first to Trouville, as he announces ; but he was 
so uncomfortable there that he left in a very few days. On the 
25th of July he entered upon that beautiful journey to the south- 
west of France into Spain, where he found strength for the im- 
portant problem which fell, two months later, to his lot — that 
great task he did not seek, but did not refuse. He enjoyed the 
pleasure of this refreshment with keen appreciation, for he well 
knew what was before him. He enjoyed the sea-baths of San 
Sebastian and Biarritz particularly ; he was all " sea-salt and 
sun;" he lived "as in Stolpmiinde, only without sack." He 
climbed the Pyrenees, and delighted in the mulberries, olives, and 
red grapes of Avignon, and was so industrious a correspondent 
towards his wife, that the blue envelopes, in which his letters 
flew from the Spanish frontier to Farther Pomerania, did not last. 
How many of these letters were written in the open air, upon 
a rock, upon the grass, with a newspaper underneath them ! 
Some of these may find their place here. 

Bordeaux, 27th July, 1862. 
You can not refuse me the testimonial of being an industrious 
correspondent ; this morning I wrote to your birthday child from 
Chenonceaux, and this evening I write from the city of red wine. 
These lines, however, will arrive a day later than those, the mj)iil 
only going at noon to-morrow. I have only left Paris the day 
before yesterday, but it seems to me a week. I have seen some 
very beautiful castles. Chambord, of which the plans torn from 
a book give a very imperfect idea, in its desolation corresponds 
to the fate of its possessor. In the spacious halls and magnifi- 
cent saloons,' where kings and their mistresses held their court 
amidst hunting scenes, the childish playthings of the Duke of 
Bordeaux are the only furniture. The guide thought I was a 
French legitimist, and repressed a tear when she showed me 
the little cannon of her master. I paid for the tears, according 
to tariff, with an extra franc, although I have no calling to sub- 
vent Carlism. The castle courts were as quiet in the sun as de- 


serted churchyards. From the towers there is an expansive 
prospect; but on all sides there are silent woods and broom to 
the utmost horizon — no town, no village, no farm either near the 
castle or around it. From the inclosed examples of broom you 
will hardly recognize how purple these plants, so beloved by me, 
grow there — the only flower in the royal gardens, and swallows 
almost the only living tenants of the castle. It is too lonely for 
sparrows. The old castle of Amboise is magnificently situated ; 
one can see from the top six miles either way down the Loire. 
Thence one gradually passes into the south. Wheat disappears, 
and gives place to maize ; in between rank woods of vines and 
chestnuts, castles and forts, with many towers, chimneys, and 
gables, quite white, with high pointed slate roofs. The heat was 
glowing, and I was glad to have half a coupe to myself. In the 
evening, splendid sheet lightning in the east, and now a pleasant 
coolness, which, in our own land, we should think somewhat sul- 
try. The sun sets at 7.35. In Petersburg one would be able to 
see now, about eleven, without lights. Till now, no letter has 
arrived for me ; perhaps I shall find one at Bayonne. I shall 
stop here some two days, to see where our wines grow. 

Bordeaux, Wednesday, 29th July, 1862. 
Your letter of the 23d yesterday reached me safely, and I 
thank God you are well. Yesterday, with our Consul and a 
General, I made a charming tour through Medoc. I drank La- 
fitte, Mouton, Pichon, Laroze, Latour, Margaux St. Julien, Branne, 
Armeillac, and other wines in their original names, in the cellar. 
Thermometer 30° in the shade, 55° in the sun ; but with good 
wine inside this is not felt at all. I am just starting for Bayonne, 
and will write thence more quietly than now, in the custody of 
the railway. 

Bayonne, 29th July, 1862. 

I employ the time in which my things are coming from the 
railway station to perfect my short epistle of this morning from 
Bordeaux. The country I have just passed through transports 
me at first sight most vividly into the Government Pskow, or 
Petersburg. From Bordeaux to this place there are uninterrupt- 
ed pine forests, broom, and moorland, sometimes like Pomerania 



— as in the Strandwald behind the downs — sometimes Russia. 
But when I used my glass the illusion vanished ; instead of the 
Scotch fir, it is the long-haired sea-pine, and the apparent mix- 
ture of juniper, raspberries, and such plants covering the ground 
is dissolved into all sorts of foreign-looking shrubs, with leaves 
resembling myrtle and cypress. The magnificence with which 
the broom develops its violet-purple blossoms here is astonishing ; 
in between there grows a very yellow furze with broad leaves, 
the whole forming a gay carpet. The river Adour, on which 
Bayonne lies, is the frontier of this B flat of heath, which, in its 
softer idealization of a northern landscape, sharpened my home- 
sickness. From St. Vincent the view stretches over the moor 
and pine-trees to the blue outlines of the Pyrenees, a sort of 
giant Taunus, but more bold and jagged in profile. The post- 
ofhce is closed during the hot time of day, until four o'clock, so 
that I can only receive your letter in an hour, and should be 
doubly impatient had I not yesterday received your letter of the 
23d ; and the one lying here is older. I think of driving to Bi- 
arritz towards evening, and bathing there to-morrow, and then 
continuing my journey to the frontier. In Fuent Arabia I await 
intelligence as to whether Gr. is in St. Sebastian, then I shall vis- 
it him ; but if he has returned to Madrid I shall content myself 
with having crossed the Bidassoa, shall return hither, and then 
proceed along the mountains to Pau ; thence I shall turn to the 
right among the mountains, first to Eaux Bonnes and Eaux 
Chaudes, and next to Cauterets, St. Sauveur, Luz, Barrages, and 
Bagneres de Luchon. I can not say that I am bored; a number 
of new impressions rise up within me, but I feel like a banished 
man, and in thought am rather on the Kamenz than the Adour. 
German newspapers I have not seen for six days, nor do I miss 

San Sebastian, 1st Aug., 1862. 
The road from Bayonne to this place is magnificent. To the 
left are the Pyrenees, something like Dent du Midi and Moleson ; 
here, however, called Pic and Port, a changing Alp panorama. 
To the right the sea, a shore like Grenoa. The transition to 
Spain is surprising. In Behobie, the last French place, one 
could believe that one was still on the Loire. In Fuent Arabia 


is a steep lane twelve feet wide ; every window has its balcony 
and curtain, every balcony its black ej^es and mantillas, beauty 
and dirt. On the market-place drums and fifes, and some hun- 
dreds of women, old and young, dancing among themselves, 
while the men stand b}^ smoking and draped. The neighbor- 
hood up to this place is extraordinarily beautiful ; green valleys 
and woody slopes, above them fantastic lines of forts, row after 
row. Bights of the sea with very small inlets, which, like the 
Salzburg Lakes in Bergkesseln, cut deep into the land. From 
my window I am looking at one of these, cut away from the sea 
by a rocky islet, steeply fringed by mountains, with forest and 
houses to the left, below the town and harbor. At about ten I 
bathed, and after breakfast we walked or slouched through the 
heat to the mount of the citadel, and sat for a long time on a 
bank. Some hundred feet beneath us was the sea ; next to us a 
heavy fort battery, with a singing sentinel. This mountain or 
rock would be an island, did not a low isthmus connect it with 
the mainland. The isthmus divides two arms of the sea from 
each other, and thus from the citadel towards the north there is a 
fine view of the sea. To the east and west are the two arms, like 
two Swiss lakes ; to the south is the isthmus, with the town on 
it, and behind towards the land, mountains stretching skyward, 
I should like to have a picture painted of it for you, and were 
we fifteen years younger we would both come hither. To-mor- 
row or next day I return to Bayonne, but shall remain a few 
days at Biarritz, where the shore is not so beautiful as here, but 
still prettier than I had thought, and the life is somewhat more 
civilized. To my great content, I hear nothing from Berlin and 
Paris, I am very much sunburnt, and should have liked to lie 
in the sea for an hour. The water buoys me up like a piece of 
wood, and it is just cool enough to be pleasant. One is almost 
dry by the time one reaches the dressing-hut; then I put my 
hat on and take a walk en 'peignoir. Fifty paces off the ladies 
bathe, after the custom of the country. The customs and pass- 
port business are infinite, and the tolls incredible, or I should re- 
main here longer, instead of bathing at Biarritz, where it is nec- 
essary to assume a costume. 


Bian-itz, 4th Aug., 1862. 

I fear that I have made some confusion in our correspondence, 
as I have led you to write too early to places where I am not. 
It will be better to write to Paris, just as if I were there; the 
Embassy will then forward them, and I can give quicker infor- 
mation then as to any change in my travelling plans. Last 
evening I reached Bayonne from St. Sebastian, where I slept for 
the night, and am now sitting in a corner room of the Hotel de 
I'Europe, with a charming view of the blue sea, which drives its 
foam between wonderful cliffs against the light-house. My con- 
science reproves me for seeing so much that is lovely without 
you. Could I bring you here through the air, we would imme- 
diately return to St. Sebastian. Think of the Siebengebirge wi-th 
the Drachenfels placed on the sea-shore ; next to it Ehrenbreit- 
stein, and between both an arm of the sea, somewhat broader 
than the Rhine, stretching into the land, forming a round cove 
behind the mountains. Here one bathes in transparent clear 
water, so heavy and salt that one floats, and can look through 
the broad rock entrance into the ocean, or landward, where the 
mountain chains rise ever higher and more azure. The women 
of the middle and lower classes are remarkably pretty, some of 
them handsome ; the men are surly and uncivil ; and the con- 
veniences of life to which we are accustomed are wanting. The 
heat here is not worse than there, and I think nothing of it — on 
the contrary, thank God, I am very well. Yesterday there was 
a storm, the like of which I have never seen. On a stair of four 
steps on the harbor dam I had to try to mount thrice before I 
could get up ; pieces of stone and halves of trees were flying 
through the air. Unfortunately, this led me to retract my place 
on a sailing vessel to Bayonne, little thinking that in four hours 
all would be quiet and serene. I thus lost a charming sea pas- 
sage along the coast, remained another day in St. Sebastian, and 
yesterday left in the diligence, somewhat uncomfortably packed 
between dainty little Spanish women, with whom I could not in- 
terchange a word. They understood enough Italian, however, 
for me to make it clear to them that I was pleased with their out- 
ward appearance. I looked over a travelling plan this morning, 
how I could get from here, i. e., Toulouse, by railway, through Mar- 
seilles to Nizza, then by ship to Genoa, thence by Venice, Trieste, 



Vienna, Breslau, Posen, Stargard to Coslin !— if Berlin were only 
passable. Just now I can not well get by. 

326 LUCHON. 

Luchon, 9tli September, 1862. 

•The day before yesterday we ascended the Col de Yenasque 
from this place ; first two hours through magnificent beech woods, 
full of ivy, rocks, and waterfalls ; then to a hospice, then two 
hours of steep riding on horseback in the snow, with great views, 
quiet deep lakes between snow and cliffs, and at a height of 7500 
feet a narrow portal opened in the sharp comb of the Pyrenees 
by which Spain is entered. The land of chestnuts and palms 
here shows itself as a rocky basin, surrounded by the Maladetta, 
which lay before us. Pic de Suavegarde, and Pic de Picad'e ; to 
the right rushed the waters to the Ebro, to the left to the Ga- 
ronne, and towards the horizon one glacier and snow-cap after 
another stared at us, far into Catalonia and Aragon. There we 
breakfasted, pressed closely to the rocks — red partridges without 
salt and water; and then rode down again upon giddy declivities, 
but with splendid weather. Yesterday we had a similar expedi- 
tion to Superbagneres and to the gates of hell {le gouffre denfer\ 
into the abysses of which a magnificent waterfall precipitated it- 
self between beeches, oaks, chestnuts, and ashes. The -Waterfalls 
of the Pyrenees are certainly superior to those of the Alps, al- 
though the latter are decidedly more imposing. To-day we saw 
the Lake of Oo, a rock basin like the Obersee, near Berchtesga- 
den, but animated by a tremendous waterfall which tumbles into 
it. We rowed upon it, singing French chansonneiies, alternately 
with Mendelssohn — i. e., I listened. We then rode home in a 
pouring rain, and are now dry again and hungry. ISTo day pass- 
es without being six or eight hours on horseback. To-morroV 
the jest is over, and " How so soon it vanishes," etc., was the or- 
der of the day. To-morrow evening we shall be in Toulouse, 
where I hope to find letters from you, via Paris. The last I re- 
ceived was yours of the 29th, sent to me by R. It is my fault, 
as I had appointed that they were only to send on from Paris 
from the 4th, and then to Toulouse. I thought I should have 
left Luchon on the 6th, and arrived at T. I know nothing from 
Berlin ; have not read a newspaper for a fortnight, and my leave 

is up, I expect a letter from in Toulouse, and that I shall 

be sent for to Berlin, without definitive conclusion. 



Toulouse, 12th September, 1862. 
By some blunder of my own, and post-office pedantry, I some- 
how got into a mess with your letters, and I am very rejoiced and 
thankful to receive here your dear letter of the 4th, with good 
news. I also anticipated a letter from -^ with some clear indi- 
cations of the future, but only got one from . I had no notion 

of the King's journey to Doberan and Carlsruhe; in happy forget- 
fulness of the world have I ranged mountains and forests, and 
am somewhat upset at finding myself, after six weeks, for the first 

time in a large city. I am going in the first instance with 

to Montpellier, and must reflect whether I shall proceed thence to 

Paris to make purchases, or whether I shall accompany to 

Geneva, and thence make direct for Berlin. My leave is up ; 

writes that the King would be in Carlsruhe on the 9th, but 

according to your letter it is the 13th. The best thing would be, 
if I requested extension of leave from here for further — weeks 
to Pomerania, and await the answer in Paris, as well as the return 
of the King to Berhn, before I set out, for certainty' is now a ne- 


cessity, or I shall send in my resignation. At this moment I am 
not in a state to decide ; I will first take a walk, and perhaps I 
shall get an idea what to do. I wonder my letters have not 
reached you regularly. The longest interval I have ever allow- 
ed was four days between my last letter from Luchon and the 
last but one from Bayonne, because we were riding every day 
from morning till night, eating or sleeping, and paper was not 
always at hand. Yesterday was a rainy day, fitted for railway 
travelling, bringing us from Montrejeau to this place — new and 
bad, a flat country with vines and meadows. I am now writing 
to and . If possible, I shall remain in Paris. 

With these letters the Apprentice and Journeyman years of 
Bismarck are at an end ; the next few days conducted him from 
Avignon to Berlin, to prove his Mastership. 

look t\)t iifti). 




The Crisis of 1862. — Bismarck Premier. — 
The Party of Progi-ess.— The Liberals.— The 
Conservatives. — Bismarck's Determination. 
— " Voila mon Medecin .'" — Anecdotes. — 
Attitude of the Government. — Refusal of the 
Budget. — Pnidence of the Minister-Presi- 
dent.— Official Presentation of Letters of Re- 
call at Saint Cloud. 

Twin-born with the active, restless life 
and labor so typical of our modern days, 
with the rapid course of political events, 
we note the natural sisterhood of swift 


forgetfulness. Most of us would have some difficulty in forming 
any thing like a clear picture of the decidedly involved situation 
in which Prussia stood in the autumn of 1862. It is beside our 
purpose to attempt any definition of this situation here, without 
taking into consideration the difficulties surrounding the solution 
of such a problem at that time ; we must, therefore, content our- 
selves with cursory hints and indications. 

The Liberal Ministry, which had just resigned, had left the 
conflict with the Electoral Chamber of the Diet as an inheritance 
to the Conservative Government now in power. 

King William did not desire a coup cVetat ; he therefore un- 
weariedly strove to bring about a good understanding, and found 
his efforts seconded throughout this stormy crisis by the loyal 
zeal and devotion of the Conservatives as well as the Liberals — 
especially by his ever-faithful War Minister General von Eoon ; 
but all endeavors, to the deepest sorrow of the paternal-hearted 
monarch, proved unavailing. 

It was at last necessary to find some guiding Minister, suffi- 
ciently possessed of devotion, energy, daring, and circumspection, 
to carry on the business of the State, despite of the crisis, until, in 
the course of time, the action of history should have reconciled 
these fiery opponents. 

The choice of the King fell upon his then representative at 
Paris — upon Bismarck, who was summoned by telegraph from 
the Pyrenees to Berlin. 

It was well known to King William that the selection of\this 
statesman, at any rate for the moment, would tend to heighten 
the sharpness of the strife ; for, in the eyes of his opponents, Bis- 
marck then was, and long remained, the Hotspur of the Junker 
party — the fiery and energetic Conservative party leader. Very 
few knew to what a statesman Bismarck had ripened in Frank- 
furt, where he had thoroughly learnt to know the fox-trap, so 
dangerous for Prussia, of German small-statism, with its innumer- 
able corners and windings ; as also in St. Petersburg, where he 
had studied under a politician of the first rank. Prince Gortscha- 
koff ; and finally in the hot atmosphere of Paris. 

" Bismarck ! that is the coup dJetat .^" a democratic organ ex- 
claimed ; and this was re-echoed in an undertone by many Con- 
servatives, who, perhaps, only saw safety in a coup d'etat. But 



Bismarck was by no means a cowp cVetat^ but a statesman ; and a 
statesman in whom the King reposed confidence. 

After long and well-considered deliberation, the King came to 
this difficult determination. The appointment of Bismarck, 
under existing circumstances, was doubly and trebly difficult, for, 
though Bismarck was intelligible enough to him, the majority of 
the nation did not understand him, and in every direction, in 
all circles, and under every political form, opposition arose, with 
wild cries of resistance. 


And when he had actually been summoned, the question pre- 
sented itself on the other side— What conditions would Bismarck 
impose ? With what programme would he enter upon the situa- 
tion ? 

On this, General von Eoon, whom Bismarck ifad known as a 
boy, and whom he had accompanied in surveys through Pome- 
rania, with his little gun, was sent to meet him. And lo ! all this 
hesitation was perfectly unnecessary ; for the Brandenburg liege 
faith of Bismarck responded to the appeal of his feudatory lord 
with the simple answer : " Here I am !" 

Bismarck imposed no conditions, came forward with no pro- 


gramme; the faithful vassal of Electoral Brandenburg placed 
himself simply at his King's disposal, with that chivalric devotion 
which contemplates the most dif&cult position as self-intelligible. 
The beloved kingdom of Prussia had to be upheld against the 
parliamentary spirit ; the new organization of the army, on which 
the future of Prussia and Germany depended, had to be saved ; 
such was the task imposed upon Bismarck. 

When Bismarck arrived in Berlin, about the middle of Septem- 
ber, 1862, he found opposite himself the party of progress, almost 
certain of victory, clashing onward like a charger with heavy 
spurs and sword, trampling upon every thing that came in its 
path, setting up new scandals every day, and acting in such a 
manner that the wiser chiefs of that very party shook their heads. 
Besides the party of progress, and partially governed and towed 
along by it, was the Liberal party, in the greatest confusion after 
their recent amazing catastrophe, but possessed, with the excep- 
tion of a minority, of an almost still greater dislike for Bismarck 
than was entertained by the Progressists : very easily might this 
be understood, as it was this party more than any other that 
Bismarck had opposed since the first United Diet. 

Bismarck had only the Conservative party in his own favor, 
but, during the new era, this had fallen away to an almost van- 
ishing fraction in the Electoral Chamber ; its political activity 
was maintained only by the Upper House and by the Neue 
Preussische Zeitung, together with a portion of the provincial 
press, and was just then once more beginning to express its views 
in a louder tone by the revival of the conservative associative 
principle. The new era had shown Conservative politicians that 
a Conservative party in Prussia, although possessing perfect indi- 
viduality upon single questions, could only as a great whole be a 
Government party. " With the Government in courage, without 
the Government in sorrow, if needs be against the Government 
with humility ; such is the path of the Conservative party !" 
Such was once the fine and proud axiom of the Conservatives, 
but only true so far as it concerns special questions. Conserva- 
tive Prussia can only go hand in hand with the Eoyal Govern- 
ment ; but, on the other hand, it is equally certain that a truly 
Royal Government in Prussia can only be a Conservative Gov- 
ernment. The proofs to the contrary imported from France or 


England are not applicable to the peculiar circumstances of Prus- 
sia, and hence act in a manner productive of confusion. 

The support which the Conservative party could then give to 
Bismarck was, as it were, that of a vanquished army, and its ranks 
required reorganization ere it could be led against the foe. But 
Conservative support was tendered voluntarily, and with perfect 
devotion, even by that fraction of the party which was piqued 
with Bismarck since he had, at Frankfurt, shown a front against 
Austria, which, indeed, was almost in open hostility towards him, 
since he had proposed more friendly relations with France, had 
supported the unpopular doctrine of international interests, and 
had declared himself for Italy. The acute men of Hochkirchen, 
the intelligent representatives of conservative idealism, the firm 
pillars of the policy of the Holy Alliance, the enthusiastic de- 
fenders of all legitimacy, from whose ranks Bismarck himself 
had emerged, had partly become his antagonists ; but at the 
ominous hour when he assumed the head of the Q-overnment, they 
did not deny themselves to him, and " our azure blues," as the 
late Baron von Hertefeld used to call them, in his peculiar tone 
of admiration and malice, have honestly stood by Bismarck 
through difficult years, in the good fight he had fought for the 
Prussian monarchy. 

What a battle, however, this was may be judged from the fact 
that many of the best fellow-soldiers of Bismarck no longer con- 
tended for victory, but, so to speak, sought only a chivalric death. 
In all Conservative circles it was everywhere said that the fight 
was only continued from a sense of duty : the victory of progress 
and parliamentarianism over the old Prussian monarchy was now 
only a question of time, but it was necessary to die standing. 
The last advocates of the Prussian monarchy at least desired to 
win the respect of their antagonists. Such was the phrase of 
those days ; most of them have probably long since forgotten it, 
but it is fitting that they should sometimes be reminded of it. 
In the year 1863, one of the most zealous personal partisans of 
Bismarck determined to accept an important mission offered by 
him, with the certain conviction that in so doing he was prepar- 
ing for an honorable fall. Certainly there also existed in those 
days fresh undejected minds who stood to their imperishable be- 
lief in the Prussian monarchy as in an impregnable fortress, and 


flung the flag of hope merrily to the breeze ; but of these the 
number was very small. 

Did Bismarck belong to these? Yes. He believed in his 
Prussian monarchy, had faith in the future of Prussia and Ger- 
many ; but he was also perfectly conscious that he was engaged 
in a mortal conflict. 

He has not publicly expressed himself on this, but several iso- 
lated remarks which he has, in his characteristic manner, let drop 
to various friends, place this beyond a doubt. Several times he 
said — 

" Death on the scaffold, under certain circumstances, is as hon- 
orable as death on the battle-field!" and, "I can imagine worse 
modes of death than the axe !" 

Only six years lie between that time, in which such words 
were fraught with such terrible significance, and to-day, when that 
time seems to us like a frightful dream ; but that it wears such 
an aspect to us, is due, under God's mercy and the valor of King 
Wilham, to the faithful devotion and energetic policy of Count 

For the rest, Bismarck entered upon office with strong confi- 
dence ; he really hoped at first to arrive at some solution of the 
crisis. All those who saw or spoke to him in those September 
or October days, remember the unwearied bearing and joyful as- 
surance with which he went to work. " He looks thin, healthy, 
and sunbrowned, like a man who has traversed the desert on a 
dromedary !" was the description given of him by a friend at the 
time. At first he thought it not impossible to win over the 'hos- 
tile party leaders, and he conferred with many of them : whether 
they were Liberals or Progressists, in the end they were, at any 
rate, Prussians. He appealed to their Prussian patriotism ; they 
could not fail, although they sought it by different ways to him- 
self, to have their country's fame and glory as a common goal. 
But if they desired the well-being of Prussia and Germany, they 
could not but also desire the means to that end — the newly or- 
ganized army. No doubt that many of those with whom Bis- 
marck negotiated, or who were negotiated with by others at his 
instance, felt their hearts beating loudly at this appeal ; but he 
succeeded only in winning a very few. With the majority, the 
rigid party doctrine prevailed as an insurmountable barrier ; with 


Others, every attempt at an understanding was rendered unsuc- 
cessful by unvanquishable suspicion ; many well understood the 
hints — and more than hints it was impossible for Bismarck to give 
— but they did nothing more. He thus finally attained to a sum- 
mation of undeceptions, which did not discourage him, although 
this gradually filled his patriotic heart with the deepest sorrow. 

But at first, as we have said, he came forward fresh and full of 
hope; nor did his first failures and undeceptions disconcert him 
in any way. His tone towards his opponents was that of recon- 
ciliation. For his sovereign's sake he took many a step towards 
conciliation with sad reluctance, although without desistance. 

His wife, who was residing in Pomerania with her parents, he 
could furnish with meagre reports. The lovely season of the 
"blue "was past, and the fullness of labor began to increase with 
rapidity. On the 7th of October he wrote to her at a session of 
the House of Deputies in the following terms : — " I am sitting at 
the table of the Chamber, with a speaker, who talks nonsense to 
me, on the tribune just before me, and between one explanation 
just given, and another one I shall have to give, I write to you 
to say I am well. Plenty of work — somewhat tired — not sleep 
enough — the beginning of all things is difficult. With God's 
help things will go better, and it is very well so, only it is some- 
what uncomfortable, this life on a tray ! I dine every day with 
our good-natured Eoon, who will be a real support for you. I 
see I have commenced on the wrong side ; I hope it is not a bad 
omen." [The letter is written on the inner side of the paper.] 
" If I had not R and the mare I should feel very lonely, although 
I am never alone." 

Bismarck was provisionally living at the Ministry of State, in 
the " Auerswaldhohle," and only moved to the Foreign Office 
when the family had returned from Pomerania. 

The following letter was also written during those days to his 
sister. The Bismarckian humor is likewise to be traced in it : — 

Berlin, 18th Oct., 1862. 

Such good black-pudding I never ate, and seldom such good 

liver ; may your slaughtering be blessed : for three days I have 

been breakfasting upon the results of it. The cook, Eirape, has 

arrived, and I dine at home alone when I am not at His Majes- 



ty's table. I got along very well at Paris. At Letzlingen I shot 
one stag, one sow, one badger, five brockets, four head of deer, 
ahd blundered tolerably, if, perhaps, not as much as my neigh- 
bors. But the amount of work here is growing daily. To-day, 
from eight to eleven, diplomacy ; from eleven to half-past two, 
various Ministerial squabble conferences ; then, till four, report 
to the King ; from a quarter past to three-quarters, a gallop in 
the rain to the Hippodrome ; five o'clock, dinner ; from seven 
till now, ten, work of all sorts. But health and sound sleep — 
tremendous thirst ! 

It ought not, and could not, remain so long. The strong self- 
consciousness and feeling of victory with which the Progressist 
party advanced — and that in a manner the most abrupt, and 
sometimes even personally insulting — could not fail to convince 
Bismarck that he would not succeed in solving the crisis. He 
had now to resolve to leave — in accordance with the King's will 
—time to solve matters, but, despite of this, to continue, within 
the constitution, to conduct the Government. With a firm step 
he pursued this difficult path, and he was able to inspire others 
with his confidence. Yes ; even King William, whose gentle 
heart suffered severely in this arena of contention, refreshed him- 
self at his Minister's sure bearing — so much so, that on one occa- 
sion, when a lovely Eussian princess was congratulating him on 
his healthy appearance, he pointed to Bismarck, and replied, 
"Fb^7a ')non medednP'' 

An old acquaintance, who met Bismarck at this time, and ask- 
ed him how he was, received for reply, " How should I be ? 
You know how I love to be lazy, and how I have to work !" 

The chief of one of the numerous deputations of those days, at 
which opponents mocked so much as loyalty deputations, al- 
though they were of no little significance, was introduced to Bis- 
marck. He summed up the personal impression which the Min- 
ister-President made upon him, in his singing Saxon dialect, in 
the admiring phrase: — " D'ye hear ! one can't talk nonsense when 
one meets that man !" 

"Then I suppose you've never been in the Chamber?" the 
Berlin friends of the worthy inhabitant of Wettin, or Lobejuhn, 
observed in reply. 





It is certainly evidence in favor of Bismarck's conciliating ten- 
dency, that at a session of the Commission he took a twig from 
his pocket-book and showed it to his antagonists, merrily adding, 
in a chatty way, that he had plucked this olive-branch at Avi- 
gnon to present it to the Progressist party in token of peace ; but 
he unfortunately had been forced to learn there that the time for 
that had not yet arrived. 

On the 29th September, 1862, he announced the withdrawal 
of the budget for 1863, "because the Government considered it 
their duty not to allow the obstacles towards a settlement to in- 
crease in volume." He then announced his intentions, bis aims, 
as clearly as he dared. " The conflict has been too tragically un- 
derstood," he said, " and too tragically represented by the press ; 
the Government sought no contest. If the crisis could be hon- 
orably surmounted, the Government would gladly lend a hand. 
It was owing to the great obstinacy of individuals that it was dif- 
ficult to govern with the constitution in Prussia. A constitu- 
tional crisis was no disgrace, it was an honor. We are, perhaps, 
too cultured to endorse a constitution ; we are too critical. Pub- 
lic opinion changed ; the press was not public opinion ; it was 
well known how the press was upheld. The Deputies had the 
task of determining its opinions, and to stand above it. Germa- 
ny does not contemplate the Liberalism of Prussia, but her pow- 
er. Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and Baden might indulge Liberalism ; 


but they are not therefore called upon to play the part of Prus- 
sia. Prussia must hold her power together for the favorable op- 
portunity which has already been sometimes neglected ; the fron- 
tiers of Prussia were not favorable to a good State constitution. 
The great questions of the day were not to be decided by speech- 
es and majorities — this had been the error of 1848 and 1849 — 
but by iron and blood !" 

But the Opposition understood this frank language so little, 
that there was nothing more than plenty of jesting about the 
iron-and-blood policy, without end. 

When the Chamber answered these conciliating steps with the 
resolutions of the 7th October, by which all expenditure was de- 
clared unconstitutional if declined by the national representatives, 
Bismarck replied with this cutting declaration : — 

" According to this resolution, the Royal Government can not 
for the present anticipate any result from the continuance of its 
attempts to arrive at some settlement, but rather expect from 
any renewal of the negotiation a heightening of party differences, 
which would render any understanding in the future more dif- 

On the next day, the 8th of October, 1862, Bismarck, who had 
been named Minister of State and President of the Ministry, ad 
interim^ on the 23d September, was appointed President of the 
Ministry of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

On the 13th of October the session of the Diet was closed, and 
on this occasion Bismarck again took an opportunity of express- 
ing his views on his position with great moderation and gentle- 
ness. He said : — " The Government is perfectly aware of the re- 
sponsibility which has arisen from this lamentable crisis ; but, at 
the same time, it is also observant of the duties it owes to the 
country, and in this finds itself strengthened to press for the sup- 
plies — until the State is settled — necessary for existing State in- 
stitutions and the furtherance of the common weal, being assured 
that, at the proper time, they will receive the subsequent sanction 
of the Diet." 

This was the beginning of the loudly-assailed " budgetless " 
Government ; at the present day, no one will deny that this was 
precisely the mildest form of opposition. A budget had certain- 
ly not come into existence, but the Government was conscien- 



tiousljT- carried on according to the principles of the constitution, 
as the King desired. It was a severe and endless battle which 
now ensued — a strife wearying both body and soul ; but the 
Grovernment never appealed to physical force ; it was a war of 
opinions and convictions, a war of intellectual weapons, such as 
had never been seen in the political region of the world's history, 
and such as was really only possible in Prussia. 

Perhaps this is the most fitting place to draw attention to one 
point of Bismarck's policy, that to us does not seem to have been 
sufficiently valued in general, but which at the same time is 
highly characteristic of Bismarck's method; we allude to the 
great prudence with which he ever upheld the Sovereignty itself 
above the conflict. Certainly he fought for the Prussian mon- 
archy, on which depended the future of Prussia and Germany ; 
but the conflict was between him, between the State Government 
and the Chamber of Deputies, not between the Crown and the 
Diet, still less between the King and the people. If the King 
could have dispensed with the reorganization, it was only neces- 

^^-^ 'x^ 


sary to dismiss Bismarck, and the crisis e:^sted no longer. Bis- 
marck was personally identified witli the crisis ; in this he might 
fall, but the Crown remained perfectly secure. But in such de- 
votion the constitutional fiction of the irresponsibility of the 
King had no part whatever ; it was the Brandenburg vassal's 
lealty which covered the feudatory lord with its knightly shield. 
At the end of October, Bismarck again went to Paris, to take an 
official leave at the Tuileries ; on the 1st of November he had his 
farewell audience of the Emperor Napoleon at Saint Cloud. It 
could scarcely have failed that the conversation turned upon the 
great task, the accomplishment of which Bismarck had so cour- 
ageously undertaken. Napoleon had then but little belief in 
success, and probably pointed to the fate of Prince Polignac. Bis- 
marck, however, was fully aware of the difference between the 
situations of 1830 in France, and 1862 in Prussia. 
Immediately after the audience he returned to Berlin. 



Negotiations with Austria. — Circular of the 24th of Januaiy, 1863. — Conversation 
with Count Karolji. — Prusso-Russian Convention. — The Party of Progress. — Con- 
gress of Princes. — Conditions of Prassia. — War in the Distance. — The Danish 
Campaign. — Treaty of Gastein, 14th August, 1865. — Bismarck elevated to the 
Rank of Count. — Bismarck and Pauline Lucca. — Correspondence with his Family. 
— Hmiting at Schonbrunn. — Biarritz. 

The action of history would not fail to solve the conflict^ but 
this was only possible if Prussia entered energetically on this ac- 
tion ; and thus we see Bismarck, the man at the helm, steering 
the Prussian vessel of State, undismayed by the daily attacks of 
the Progressists, through shallows and rocks, firmly and safely to- 
wards open water, on which, driven by the breath of God into 
history, it was to fly in full sail towards the sunrise of victory. 

Immediately after assuming the Ministry, in December, 1862, 
Bismarck entered upon negotiations with Austria. If Austria 


could decide upon the dismissal of that enemy of Prussian 
policy, Schwarzenberg; and give Prussia her proper position in 
Germany and thus insure the same to Germany as her right. 
Bismarck was prepared to enter into a coalition with Austria; 
but if Austria could not rise to such a policy, Prussia was deter- 
mined alone to give the coup de grace to the unhealthy, troubled 
state of things which lay like an Alp on German life, thus ter 
minate the unnatural hesitation, and create for Germany a new 
and healthy body corporate. 

With perfect frankness, as was his peculiar wont, Bismarck ex- 
plained himself to Austria. The latter was at this time engaged 
with the project of the so-called delegations to the Bund, i. e., 
with a reform which was no reform, but an entirely meaningless 
absurdity, not even an apparent something. 

In the famous circular dispatch of the 24th of January, 1863, 
Bismarck says : — 

" In order to bring about a better understanding of the two 
Courts, I took the initiative in the form of negotiations with 
Count Kai'blyi, in which 1 brought the following considerations 
under the notice of the Imperial Ambassador. According to my 
convictions, our relations to Austria must unavoidably change for 
the tetter or the worse. It is the sincere wish of the Eoyal Gov- 
ernment that the former alternative should arise ; but if we 
should not be met by the Imperial Cabinet with the necessary 
advances as we could desire, it will be necessary for us to contem- 
plate the other cdternative, and prepare for it accordingly. 

" I have reminded Count Karolyi that, during the decennial 
period preceding the events of 1848, there had been a .tacit un- 
derstanding between the two high Powers, by virtue of which 
Austria was insured the support of Prussia on European ques- 
tions, and, on the other hand, allowed us to exercise an influence 
in Germany, unfettered by the opposition of Austria, as manifest- 
ed by the formation of the Customs Union. By these arrange- 
ments the German Diet rejoiced in a degree of internal unity 
and outward dignity, which has not since then been reached. I 
have not alluded to the question as to whose error it was that 
analogous relations were not re-established on the reconstitution 
of the Diet, as I was concerned, not with recriminations for the 
past, but with a practical development of the present time. In 


the latter we find, in those very States with which Prussia, by 
her geographical position, is interested in maintaining special 
friendly relations, an opposing influence, promoted by the Im- 
perial Cabinet, with signal results. I put it strongly to Count 
Karolyi, that Austria in this manner might, perhaps, win the 
sympathies of the governments of those States, but would 
estrange from herself those of Prussia, to the detriment of the 
common interests of the Diet. The Imperial Ambassador con 
soled himself with the certainty that, in the event of any war 
dangerous to Austria, the two greater powers would^ under any 
circumstances, be found together again as allies. 

"/n this assum'piwa^ according to my view, there exists a dan- 
gerous error^ which may, perhaps, not become apparent until the 
decisive moment, with a fatal clearness for both Cabinets, and I 
therefore besought Count Karolyi urgently to use all his powers 
to contradict this in Vienna. I pointed out that already, in the 
last Italian war, the alliance had not been so valuable to Austria 
as it might have been if the two powers had not, during the pre- 
ceding eight years, contended with each other in the field of Ger- 
man politics, in a manner only conclusively advantageous to a 
third party, and so undermined all mutual confidence. Never- 
theless, the fact that Prussia did not seek for any advantage in 
consequence of the difficulties of Austria in 1850, but rather 
armed to assist Austria in need, clearly shows the results of the 
former more intimate relations. But should these last not be re- 
newed and revivified, Prussia would, under similar circum,stances, 
he as little debarred from contracting an alliance with an antagonist 
of Austria, as, under opposite circumstances, from forming a faith- 
ful and firm alliance with Austria, against common enemies. I, 
at least, as I did not conceal from Count Karolyi, under such cir- 
cumstances could never advise my gracious Sovereigii to neutrality. 
Austria is free to choose whether she prefers to continue her 
present anti-Prussian policy, with the leverage of the coalition of 
the Central States, or would seek an honest union with Prussia. 
That the latter may be the result, is my most sincere desire. 
This can, however, only be obtained by the abandonment of Aus- 
tria's inimical policy at the German Courts. 

" Count Karolyi replied that the Imperial House could not 
relinquish her traditional influences on the German Governments. 


I denied the existence of any such tradition by pointing out that 
Hanover and Hesse had, for a hundred years — from the com- 
mencement of the Seven Years' War — been principally guided 
by Prussian influences ; and that, at the epoch of Prince Metter- 
nich, the same States had also been guided from Vienna, specially 
in the interest of the understanding between Prussia and Austria ; 
consequently that the assumed tradition of the Austrian Imperial 
House dated only from the time of Prince Schwarzenherg, and the 
system to which it pertained has not hitherto shown itself con- 
ducive to the consolidation of the German Confederation. I laid 
stress upon the fact that, on my arrival in Frankfurt, in 1851, 
after circumstantial conversations with Prince Metternich, then 
residing at Johannisberg, I had anticipated that Austria herself 
would see the wisdom of a policy which would obtain us a posi- 
tion in the German Confederation, consonant with the interest of 
Prussia to throw all her strength into the common cause. In- 
stead of that, Austria has striven to embitter and impede our 
position in the German Confederation, and, in point of fact, to 
force us to seek for allies in other directions. The whole treat- 
ment of Prussia on the part of the Vienna Cabinet seems to rest 
upon the assumption that we, more than any other State, are fully 
exposed to foreign attacks, against which we ne^di foreign assistance, 
and that hence we are bound to put up with contemptuous treat- 
ment from those States from whom we expect aid. The task of 
a Prussian Government, having the interests of the Eoyal House 
and of the country at heart, would therefore be, to prove the\erro- 
neousness of this assumption hy deeds, if words and aspirations) are 

"Our dissatisfaction with the condition of things in the Con- 
federation has received fresh aliment during the last few months, 
from the obstinacy with which the German Governments more 
closely allied with Austria have offensively stood out against Prus- 
sia on the delegate question. Before 1848 it had been unheard 
of that questions of any magnitude should have been introduced 
in the Confederation, without the concurrence of the two great 
Powers previously being secured. Even in cases where the op- 
position had come from the less powerful States, as in the matter 
of the South German fortresses, it had been preferred to allow 
objects of such importance and urgency to remain unfulfilled for 


years, rather than seek to overcome opposition by means of a 
majority. At the present day, however, the opposition of Prussia, 
not only to a proposal in itself, but in reference to its unconstitu- 
tionality, is treated as an incident undeserving of notice, by which 
no one should be prevented from pursuing a given progress in a 
deliberately chosen course. I urged upon Count Karolyi to 
communicate the contents of the pjpeceding conference to Count 
Eechberg with the utmost accuracy, although in a confidential 
sense, expressing at the same time my conviction that the 
wounds sustained by our mutual relations can only he heeded hy 
unreserved sincerity. 

" The second conversation took place on the 13th of December 
of last year, a few days after the former, in consequence of a dis- 
patch of the Eoyal Ambassador at thQ Federal Diet. I visited 
Count Karolyi in order to dvaw his attention to the serious state of 
things at the Diet, and did not conceal from him that the further 
advance of the majority in a course regarded by us as unconstitu- 
tional, would bring us into a position we could not accept, and that 
in the consequences of it we foresaw the violation of the Confedera- 
tion; that Herr von Usedom had left the Freiherr von Kiibeck 
and Baron von der Pfordten in scarcely any doubt as to the con- 
struction which we placed upon the matter, but had received re- 
plies to his intimations whence we could draw no inferences as to 
any wish for a compromise, as Freiherr von der Pfordten pressed 
strenuously for a speedy delivery of our minority vote. 

" Upon this I objected that, under such circumstances, a feeling 
of our own dignity would not admit of our evading any longer 
the conflict induced by the other side, and that I had therefore 
telegraphed the Eoyal Ambassador to deposit his minority vote. 
I indicated that the passing over the border of legitimate cotnpetency 
hy resolutions of the majority, would he regarded hy us as a hreach of 
the federal treaties, and that loe should marh our sense of the fact by 
the luithdrawal of the Eoyal Ambassador to the Diet, without 
nominating any successor ; and I drew attention to the practical 
consequences likely to ensue upon such a situation in a compara- 
tively short time, as it would naturally occur that the activity of an 
assemhly, in which, from just causes, we no longer took part, 
would be regarded by us as inauthoritative on the whole business 
sphere of the Diet. 


"A few days after this I was confidentially informed that the 
Imperial Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburg (Count Thun) 
was about to return to his post by way of Berlin, and would con- 
fer with me upon the pending question. When he arrived, I did 
not hesitate, despite the recently named lamentable experiences 
of an endeavor to meet his communications — made for the pur- 
pose of some understanding — in the most straightforward man- 
ner. I therefore declared myself ready to enter upon different 
projects, agreed between us, for the settlement of the Frankfurt 
difficulties. . . . On this Count Thun proposed to me that an in- 
terview between Count Eechberg and myself should be arranged, 
with a view of a further discussion of the matter, I declared 
myself ready to meet him, but in the next few days received 
from Count Karolyi confidential communications, according to 
which, Count Eechberg anticipated, before our interview, the 
declaration of my adhesion to the reform project in the Diet, re- 
garding which, in my opinion, it was necessary to have longer 
and more minute negotiations. As the time extending up to the 
22d of December was too short for these, I presumed that it was 
only possible to employ the proposed conference for the consid- 
eration of previous and binding treaties. . . . As Count Eech- 
berg hereupon declared that Austria could not give up the fur- 
ther negotiation of the project in reference to the assembly of 
delegates without some assured equivalent, the interview until 
this time has not taken place." 

Clearly as it is here stated, so it happened with all negotia- 
tions. Prussia ever sought to go hand-in-hand with Austria, but 
Austria ever evaded the opportunity. She alleged that it was 
her intention to pursue her German policy alone, in her solitary 
path — the way of Schwarzenberg — which was to lead, over the 
entire insignificance of Germany, to the humiliation and oppres- 
sion of Prussia. Of course Prussia then had no other alternative 
than to follow its own mission its own way. To this period be- 
longs the conclusion of the Prusso-Eussian treaty on the common 
measures to be pursued for the suppression of the Polish insur- 
rection. This Convention, by which the friendly relations of 
Prussia and Eussia were confirmed, has been frequently and un- 
intentionally misinterpreted. The internal meaning of this, and 


its reaction, require some further explanation -which it is not de- 
sirable at present to give.* 

The diplomatic campaign, which the other Powers commenced 
at the instance of the Convention, it is well known, had no re- 
sult, and was lost in the sands. 

But the saddest figure in this business was played by the party 
of progress, who, in their blind zeal, had seized upon the Con- 
vention, on the plea that Prussia by this would become nothing 
higher than an outpost of Eussia. The idea of such a baseless 
absurdity — had it been so — would have been laughable, if it had 
not been too sad to see that the opposition to Prussia abroad had 
again been instigated by an allied party in the actual Prussian 
camp. This, however, unfortunately was doomed to be fre- 
quently repeated on later occasions. 

In the summer of 1863 Bismarck had accompanied his King 
to Carlsbad, and thence to Gastein, when Austria emerged with 
her new and useless projects of reorganization, in which there 
was a tinge and tendency of the inoperative Federal principle, 
as opposed to Prussian Unionistic efforts. King WilHam re- 
ceived the invitation to the Congress of Princes at Gastein, and 
the Emperor Francis Joseph himself personally handed him a 
minute memorial on these projects of reform. This contained, 
■ although of course it was not acknowledged by Austria, very 
little more than the project of delegates long since opposed by 
Prussia, and which in no way could content the pretensions of 
Prussia or the wants of the German people. 

King William, who had gone with his Premier from Gastein, 
by way of Munich and Stuttgart, to Baden-Baden, declined to 
attend the Princes' Congress at Frankfurt, which was then put 
up upon the scene with skill worthy of recognition, even with 
taste, but had not the slightest result, although the princes pres- 
ent at it had accepted the fundamental principles of the Austrian 

And how came it that this illustrious princely congress should 
have departed to Orcus without any lamentation, so that in only 
a few weeks no one ever mentioned it again ? Simply because 
Prussia had taken no part in it. 

* Wliy not ? I really must here join issue with a writer who assumes too much, and 
hides his own very small personality, possessing no personal courtesy, behind weighty 
cloudiness and the permission to copy Bismarck's correspondence. — K. H. H. M. 


In Vienna it had been thought that Prussia would have been 
carried away by it. When that proved unsuccessful, withdrawal 
was thought undesirable, and every one had to learn, by bitter 
experience, that nothing was possible in Germany without Prus- 
sia. Prussia, as usual, had been undervalued, and thus it was 
revenged ; but, nevertheless, Prussia continued to be slightly es- 
teemed, and the vengeance was to be still greater. 

At the present time, the simplest eyes can see that the rivalry 
of Prussia and Austria was now first coming into public sight, 
ere it was possible to think of any reconstruction of Germany, 
Austria had declined all the propositions of Prussia, which aimed 
essentially at a peaceable separation of Austria from the German 
Federation, and led to a federal union of the newly constructed 
union, under the leadership of Prussia, with Austria, but had re- 
plied with the Eeform Act, containing within itself a nullification 
of Prussia. Austria, and the Central States allied with her, had 
given»Prussia the alternatives of unconditional submission, imme- 
diate nullification, or the exclusion of herself from the new Fed- 

Prussia, with quiet dignity, perfected this act of self-exclusion ; 
and, lo ! matters did not go on, and the Viennese Reform Act 
was a blank. 

In his report to the King's Majesty of the 15th of September, 
1863, and in the Royal reply to the members of the Princes' 
Congress on the 22d of the same month, Bismarck promulgated 
a series of " preliminary conditions " as to the part Prussia might 
take in further negotiations. 

He demanded — 1. The " veto of Prussia and Austria at least 
upon every federal war not undertaken in resistance of an attauch 
w^on. federal territory f 2. The "entire equality of Prussia with 
Austria in the presidency and government of federal concerns;" 
and 3. " A national representation, not to consist of delegates, 
but of directly chosen representatives^ in the ratio of the populations 
of single States, the powers of which^ in resolution^ should, in any 
case, he more extensive than those in the project for the Frankfurt 
Reform Act." As a plea for this condition he especially insisted, 
in his report to the King, that "the interests and requirements 
of the Prussian people were essentially and indissolubly identical 
with those of the German people^ wherever this element attained its 


true construction and value ; Prussia never need fear to be drawn 
into any policy adverse to her own interests." Besides these 
three points, he also maintained that the " German sovereigns " 
were bound either "to learn the opinion of the nation itself hj 
the means of chosen representatives^ or to adduce the constitutional 
sanction of the Diets of each individual jState" 

But that Bismarck had fully understood the final and actual 
ends of the Austro-Central policy, may be seen from the follow- 
ing sentence of his report to the King's Majesty : — 

" In the entirely remarkable attitude observed by Austria in 
this transaction, it is impossible to avoid the impression that ap- 
parently the Imperial Austrian Cabinet from the commencement 
contemplated, not the co-operation of Prussia in the common enter- 
prise, but the realization of a separate federation as an end, already 
visible in the first propositions of the 3d of August, m case that 
Prussia would not /om in the Austrian plans." 

There can be no doubt that Bismarck, by his firm attitude to- 
wards the Congress of Princes and the Austro-Central policy, 
has not only saved the future of Prussia, but also that of Ger- 
many. At that time people were so confused and dazzled that 
it was not at all seen. The small fights in the Chamber had 
robbed people of any understandiug of the great things there ac- 
complished. Bismarck was plainly of opinion that war was im- 
minent, as may be clearly read from the report on which he 
founded the dissolution of the Electoral Chamber of the Diet. 
It is here said : — "On the basis of the German Federal Constitu- 
tion attempts have come to light, the unmistakahle object of which 
is to set down such a power of the Prussian State in Germany 
and in Europe, which forms a well-earned heritage of the glori- 
ous history of our fathers, and which the Prussian people has not 
at any time resolved to allow to be alienated from it. Under these 
circumstances, it will be a necessity for his Majesty's subjects at 
the same time to give expression to the fact, at the forthcoming 
elections, that no political difference of opinion is so deeply rooted 
in our country that, in, the face of an attempt to bring down the in- 
dependence and dignity of Prussia, the unity of the nation and its 
unalterable fidelity to the governing house can be shaken." 

Perhaps they in the camp of Austria and its allies reckoned on 
— decidedly they believed in — war ; and war certainly came at the 


time, but in a remarkable way, not between Prussia and Austria, 
but, to the inexpressible surprise of the world, Prussia and Aus- 
tria, hand-in-hand as allies, took the field against Denmark. 

It is utterly impossible clearly to state how Bismarck suc- 
ceeded in inducing Austria to enter upon this war, how he man- 
aged to get their old rival to draw the sword for Prussia's inter- 
est, in exact contradiction to her entire previous policy. It is 
quite true to say that the energetic initiative of Bismarck carried 
away Austria with him, but the matter does not grow at all 
clearer for that. It is also not inexact, most certainly, to affirm 
that Austrian diplomacy might assert that she was obliged to 
join, in order to watch over Prussia and bridle her; but it was 
by no means false when the Viennese exclaimed, " That Bis- 
marck drags us by the halter !" when Austria went into Hol- 
stein, to Schleswig, to Jiitland, in the interest of Prussia and Ger- 
many. ISTo doubt the magic of Austria's burning desire to re- 
trieve the Imperial army's lost prestige, after the misfortune of 
1859, contributed to this political wonder — the desire of hanging 
fresh laurels on the black and yellow standard. Such a crown 
the warriors of Austria honestly won there in the North, Per- 
haps the circumstance that the Emperor of Austria always felt a 
friendly feeling towards Bismarck personally, had additional in- 
fluence; and there might be a not altogether groundless feeling 
in existence that the conservative policy of Bismarck was not un- 
likely in some way to exert a favorable influence in Austria. 
It is said that on one occasion the Emperor Francis Joseph in- 
voluntarily exclaimed, when Bismarck was severely blamed in 
his presence, " Ah ! if /but had him !" 

If, however, Bismarck thus led Austria to the North as the 
ally of Prussia, and thus prevented interferences from other 
quarters, he also created new difficulties for himself in the se- 
quence of events, which were to assume far higher proportions 
than they usually assumed. He knew very well that, after the 
victory over Denmark, the old quarrel with Austria would break 
out again — must break out again ; nor could he have omitted to 
see that a victorious war, carried on in conjunction with Austria, 
could not fail mightily to increase all kinds of sympathies pos- 
sessed by Austria in the army, and in conservative Prussia. The 
deep abhorrence against any rupture with Austria which Bis- 


marck had to combat in his own camp, emerged still more into 
light after the war in a more animated way, and rendered his po- 
sition more difficult from day to day. All the traditions of glori- 
ous alliance of the great period of the War of Freedom had be- 
come revivified in the hut as in the palace, and they possessed 
real power ; for it is an unquestionable fact that Austria would 
be the best ally for Prussia from that moment when it determines 
to allow Prussia to take her proper position in Germany without 
malice or envy. It was the destinj' of Germany that Austria 
could not resolve to give Prussia what was Prussia's right ; Bis- 
marck's great political task, however, was to compel the surrender 
from Austria of that which is the meed of Prussia and German3^ 
That, however, to which we have alluded, could only become 
of value after victory. In the beginning of the Danish campaign 
it passed only as a fresh breeze through the sultry political at- 
mosphere of Prussia. The Progressist party certainly continued 
in their inimical position, but the people themselves began to see 
daylight ; those minds not entirely blinded by political passion 
gradually obtained some glimpse of the meaning of Bismarck. 
The cannon storm of Missunde had awakened Prussian patriot- 
ism ; Prussia had never been deaf when the royal trumpet sound- 
ed to battle, and the Prussian heart has ever stirred when the 
eagle standards have been unfolded. This should, however, be 
attributed to the advantage of the Minister whose policy led to 
the battle-field and the victory.'^ 

* The Austro-Prussian Campaign in Denmark receives so little notice on the part of 
Bismarck's biographer, that I shrewdly suspect he does not approve of it as a just act 
on the part of the hero of this book. Opinions are much divided on the merits of this 
annexation ; in any case, the limit of aggression seems to be too great, as the German 
party has not dared to appeal for justification to any plebiscite. In the end, when 
animosities are healed, it must be confessed that substantial benefit may accrue to the 
new subjects of Prassia. It is Avorth while in this place to presence a political squib, 
extensively posted in the towns of the Duchies during the war ; probably rather an in- 
stigation of the Austrians, whom it indirecth'' compliments, than a spontaneous out- 
burst of Danish satire. All the walls were covered with it one fine morning, thus : 

"•Es giebt nui- eine Kaiserstadt, 

Und die lieisst Wien ; 

Es giebt nur ein Riiubernest, 

Und das iat Berlin!" 

"There is but one Emperor's town, that is called M'ien ; 

There is but one robbers' nest, and that is Berlin!" 

But perhaps annexation was better than such a kinglet as the Prince of Augusten- 
burg.— K. R. H. M. 



When Prince Frederick Charles had planted Prussia's stand- 
ard victoriously on the walls of Diippel in April, 1864, King- 
William himself went to the North to honor his brave warriors. 
On this triulnphant progress Bismarck accompanied him, and 
there he might have learnt that he was no longer the universally 
hated Minister-President, but that this victory had greatly in- 
creased the number of those who honored him. 

In the summer of the same year he accompanied his royal 
master to Carlsbad, and at this time he put the new companion- 
ship of Austria to a severe trial. Saxon and Hanoverian troops 
then held the Duchy of Holstein in the name of the German 
Confederation, It is fortunate for us that we need not enter any 
farther upon the terrible Schleswig - Holstein question. Bis- 
marck considered it necessary to remove the Saxons and Han- 
overians from the Duchies, which Prussia and Austria had won 
with the sword, and that at the peace of Yienna had been ceded 
to Prussia and Austria by Denmark. By the removal of the 
troops of the Central States the matter was much simplified, and 
the question brought a step nearer to solution. It was to be ex- 
pected that Austria, considering her secret treaties with the Cen- 
tral States, would receive this step with very evil grace ; but Bis- 
marck put it into execution, and on the Austrian side it was al- 
lowed to be carried out, although the press Was enraged at it — of 
which Bismarck, who went from Carlsbad through Prague to 
Yienna, and then to Gastein, was well aware on his journey. 

From Gastein Bismarck returned in the King's train, at the in- 
vitation of the Emperor of Austria, to Yienna, where he took a 
share in the great hunting-parties in the wild park, and had rea- 
son to congratulate himself on his skill. On this visit he was re- 
ceived with great distinction by the Emperor Francis Joseph, 
and received from him the Exalted Order of St. Stephen. 

From Yienna he accompanied the King to Baden, and then 
went to his peaceful Reinfeld in Pomerania, but returned again 
to Baden before going to Biarritz, where he took sea-baths up till 
November, After a short stay in Paris he returned to Berlin. 
Here he resumed his old battle with the party of progress, whose 
hatred against the Minister-President, as may be very readily un- 
derstood, grew more intense as he showed himself the more distin- 
guished and greater. 

lang m voni lorste dieieitier iiic)|t treibeii. 

Bismarck's estate in farther pomerania. 

^ //.,), 


After this " elegantly " conducted war — which was at once an 
experiment on the newly reorganized army and the needle-gun, 
and had roused the patriotically warlike, i. e., the real, spirit of 
Prussia, the King invested his Minister-President with the high- 
est mark of honor Prussia can bestow — the Exalted Order of the 
Black Eagle. Among those who felt obliged epistolarily to con- 
gratulate Bismarck on this well-earned distinction, was his for- 
mer preceptor, the Director, Dr. Bonnell. One evening Bismarck 
called on him personally to thank him ; he sat pleasantly chat- 
ting with Bonnell's family at the tea-table. In his decisive man- 
ner he related a great deal about Biarritz, where he had enjoyed 
himself thoroughly ; lightly alluded to the numerous threatening- 
letters and warnings of assassination with which he had been in- 
commoded, but which he despised, as no political party had ever 
yet received any benefit from murder. He then related a dream 
which he had had in Biarritz. In this dream he thought he as- 
cended a mountain path which continually grew narrower, until 
he found himself before a wall of rock, and beside him a deep 
abyss. For an instant he paused, thinking whether he should 
retrace his steps ; but he then made up his mind and struck the 
wall with his cane, on which it immediately disappeared, and his 
road was free again. After talking of many things in old and 
new times, he rose and said, " I must go now, or my wife will be 
uneasy again ?" 

" Dreams are seems," says the proverb, but perhaps not always, 
and at the present time every one knows what the wall was 
which vanished before Bismarck's blow. 

The following year, 1865, arrived. By the Vienna peace of 
the 30th October, 1864, the Duchies of Holstein and Schleswig 
were ceded to Prussia and Austria — that is to say, they had re- 
turned whither they belonged, to Grermany. This was, however, 
especially the result of the daring and skillful policy of Bismarck, 
for such a conquest was quite against the intention and desire of 
Austria. It was necessary now to deal with this acquisition, and 
it soon appeared that Austria was about to substitute, in place of 
the great national policy of Bismarck, the ultimate end of which 
was very openly expressed — to have a German Confederation 
under the leadership of Prussia — the wretched detail of a new 
Schleswig-Holstein minor state. No doubt that in such a policy 


Austria only thought of contravening Bismarck's German policy 
— of rendering the realizatioivof the Bismarck thought of union 
an impossibility. Nor was it remarkable that t^e Central States 
did not support the policy of Bismarck, as th^ would certainly 
have to sacrifice a part of that sovereignty they had so recently 
acquired to the nation, if Bismarck's policy should prove victori- 
ous. These sovereigns could not determine to recede to the po- 
sition they had so long held as German Princes of the Empire ; 
they desired to assert their apparent sovereignty, and they were 
unable to perceive, that in case Austria should prevail, they 
would become Austria's vassals at the expense of the German 
nation — at the price of Germany's future. It was in vain that 
Bismarck exerted himself at the Federation, as well as at the 
German Courts, to introduce more healthy opinions — he could 
not get forward ; and the continually abrupter forms in which 
Austria acted in the conquered Duchies, admitted of no doubt on 
his part that the Viennese politicians, with the whole of their 
partisans in Germany, were determined to force Prussia to sub- 
mission ; to the abandonment of her saving union policy, to the 
acceptance of the Austrian Federation — in fact, to her humiliation 
and dependence. 

It was sad enough that Austria, in her inimical action, also 
reckoned upon the internal conflict in Prussia, which was the 
more zealously stimulated, in proportion as it became clear to the 
party of progress that the heart of the nation was more and more 
turning to the statesman who fought his victories, to the greater 
fame of Prussia and happiness of Germany, upon a field whi'ither 
they were unable to follow him — upon the field of hqnor and of 
deeds. Of what use in the end was it, that they succeeded in 
victoriously maintaining, by their high-spiced speeches, a majori- 
ty in the Chamber against the Ministry — that they embittered 
the daily life of Bismarck and the other Ministers — and rendered 
their labors more disagreeable, if this Ministry, despite of all, 
went victoriously on in the world's history ? — and that Bismarck, 
though he might not get the votes of the majority, won 'the 
hearts of the people ? 

We have no doubt that Bismarck, in the summer of 1865, al- 
ready believed the hour of the great battle between Prussia and 
Austria to have arrived, and that he was determined to stand up 


manfully for his sound policy, and with this conviction we ar- 
rive at a great riddle — the episode of Gastein. 

Bismarck had accompanied the King, in the summer of 1865, 
to Carlsbad, thence to Gastein and Salzburg, and so to the Em- 
peror of Austria at Ischl. 

The deepest veil of secrecy still covers the events which there 
took place; it is true the historian, A.Schmidt,* assures us that 
already, on the 15th of July, Bismarck, at Carlsbad, had said to 
the French Ambassador at the Court of Vienna, the Due de 
Grammont, that he considered war between Prussia and Austria 
to be unavoidable — even that it had become a necessity. But 
this is unquestionably untrue — as untrue as the further statement 
of the same historian, that Bismarck, on the 23d July, said open- 
ly to the Prime Minister of the King of Bavaria, the Freiherr 
von der Pfordten, that " in his firm opinion war between Prussia 
and Austria was very likely and close at hand. It was a question, 
as the matter appeared to him, of a duel between Austria and 
Prussia only. The rest of Germany might stand by and contem- 
plate this duel as passive spectators. Prussia had never contem- 
plated, and even novo did not think of extending its power heyond the 
line of the Maine. The settlement of the controversy would not long- 
have to be awaited. One blow — one pitched hattle — and Prussia 
would be in the position to dictate conditions. The most urgent 
need of the Central States was to range themselves on her side. 
Neutrality^ even that of Saxon soil, would be observed by Prus- 
sia. A localization of the war, and that localization confined to 
Silesia, was not only determined, but, according to the already as- 
certained opinions of the most competent military authorities, it 
was possible. The Central States, in addition to this, b}^ the proc- 
lamation of neutrality, were an additional means towards secur- 
ing this centralization of the war. Bavaria ought, however, to 
weigh well the fact that she was the natural heir of the posi- 
tion of Austria in South Germany." 

What Bismarck really might have said to Freiherr von der 
Pfordten is not recognizable in this acceptation at all. 

On the 14th of August the treaty of Gastein was concluded, 
which divided the co-domination of Prussia and Austria in Hol- 
stein and Schleswig. This treaty compelled Austria to leave the 
* "Preussen's Deutsche Politik" — "Prussia's Gemian Policy," p. 273. 


Central States a second time in an ambiguous position ; the Cen- ■ 
tral States might have learned from the fact how little really was 
cared for them at Vienna. This knowledge they had dearly to 
pay for a year later ! 

What could have induced Bismarck to conclude this truce — 
for the treaty of Gastein was nothing else? Who can positively 
say ? To the present time it is an enigma not yet solved. Did 
military exigencies influence the matter? was the season too far 
advanced? did European politics stand in the way? or the un- 
concluded negotiations with Italy ? was there a threat of inter- 
vention on the other side? had the old sympathies for Austria 
in Prussia, so greatly stimulated by the recent common campaign, 
to be respected? did King William follow up the old traditional 
partiality for Austria? did the King and his Minister wish to 
give Austria a last term of grace, hoping that Viennese politics 
might change at the twelfth hour? or did the purchase of the 
Duchy of Lauenburg afford any loophole of escape? 

Perhaps all these questions should be answered in the affirma- 
tive. As a matter of fact, the treaty became a last experiment, 
as to whether it was possible for Prussia to go hand-in-hand with 
Austria. It must not, however, be forgotten that this much-dep- 
recated treaty was very favorable to Prussia. Despite the co- 
domination, Prussia already, by geographical position, remained 
master in the Duchies, and was always stronger. 

From Austria, Bismarck went with the King, by way of Mu- 
nich and Frankfurt, to the Rhine, visited Baden-Baden and Hom- 
burg, attended the great review in the province of Saxony, near 
Merseburg, and then set out for the Duchy of Laufenburg, the 
special Minister of which he is, and finally sought for recreation 
at Biarritz. 

On the 15th September, 1865, he was raised to the rank of a 
Prussian Count. 

A short time after he had returned to Berlin by way of Paris 
he was taken ill, and remained an invalid throughout the winter, 
although he carried on business during the whole time with his 
accustomed energy. 

To this period belongs a little episode, which we should not 
mention at all, did it not show very thoroughly how idle it is to 
trust rumor, and had, on the other hand, given Bismarck an op- 


portunitj to write a letter to his old friend Andre von Eoraan, 
which soon appeared in the Berlin newspapers. A photogra- 
pher at Gastein had issued a picture of Count Bismarck, and be- 
side him the royal singer, Pauline Lucca. At this conjunction 
many friends of Bismarck were very angry ; all sorts of nonsense 
was talked on the matter, and at last M. Andre felt himself com- 
pelled to write to Bismarck about it. Bismarck thus replied : — 

Berlin, 26th December, 18G5. 

Dear Andre, — Although my time is very much taken up, I 
can not refrain from replying to an interpellation made by an 
honest heart, in the name of Christ. I am very sorry if I offend 
believing Christians, but I am certain that this is unavoidable for 
me in my vocation. I will not say that in the camps politically 
opposed to me there are doubtless numerous Christians far in ad- 
vance of me in the way of grace, and with whom, by reason of 
what is terrestrial to us in common, I am obliged to live at war; 
I will only refer to what^ou yourself say. 

"In wider circles nought of deeds or idleness remains concealed." 

What man breathes who in such a position must not give of- 
fense, justly or unjustly? I will even admit more, for your ex- 
pression as to concealment is not accurate. I would to God that, 
besides what is known to the world, I had not other sins upon 
my soul, for which I can only hope for forgiveness in a confi- 
dence upon the blood of Christ ! As a statesman, I am not suf- 
ficiently disinterested ; in my own mind T am rather cowardly, 
and that because it is not easy always to get that clearness on the 
questions coming before me, which grows upon the soil of divine 
confidence. Whoever calls me an unconscientious politician 
does me injustice ; he should try his own conscience first him- 
self upon this arena. As to the Yirchow business, I am beyond 
the years in which any one takes counsel in such matters from 
flesh and blood; if I set my life on any matter, I do it in the 
same faith in which I have, by long and severe strife, but in 
honest and humble prayer to God, strengthened myself, and in 
which no human words, even if spoken by a friend in the Lord 
and a servant of His Church, can alter me. As to attendance at 
church, it is untrue that I never visit the house of God. For seven 


months I have been either absent or ill ; who therefore can have 
observed me ? I admit freely that it might take place more fre- 
quently, but it is not owing so much to want of time, as from a care 
for my health, especially in winter ; and to those who feel them- 
selves justified to be my judges in this, I will render an account 
— they will believe, even without medical details. As to the 
Lucca photograph, you would probably be less severe in your 
censure^ if you knew to what accident it owes its existence. The 
present Frau von Radden (Mddle. Lucca), although a singer, is a 
lady of whom, as much as myself, there has never been any 
reason to say at any time such unpermitted things. Notwith- 
standing this, I should, had I in a quiet moment thought of the 
offense which this joke has given to many and faithful friends, 
have withdrawn myself from the field of the glass pointed at us. 
You perceive, from the detailed manner in which I reply to you, 
that I regard your letter as well-intentioned, and by no means 
place myself above the judgment of those with whom I share a 
common faith. But, from your friendship and your own Chris- 
tian feeling, I anticipate that you will recommend to my judges 
prudence and clemency in similar matters for the future — of this 
we all stand in need. If among the multitude of sinners who are 
in need of the glory of God, I hope that His grace will not de- 
prive me of the staff of humble faith in the midst of the dangers 
and doubts of my calling, by which I endeavor to find out my 
path. This confidence shall neither find me deaf to censorious 
words of friendly reproof, nor angry with loveless and proud 
criticism. In haste, yours, 1 


Although this letter may have become public by an indis- 
cretion which, under other circumstances, we should have de- 
plored, we openly declare here that we do not regret the publica- 
tion ; and our readers will be of our opinion, without its being 
necessary to say more on the subject, or to qualify the contents 
of the letter. 

We will close this chapter with some letters of Bismarck, writ- 
ten by him in his summer journeys of 1863, '4, and '5, when chief- 
ly in attendance on the King, to his family, and generally to his 


Carlsbad, 7th July, 1863. 

has my warmest sympathy ; to lose children is worse than 

dying, it is so against the order of things. But however long it 
may last, one follows them. I have to-day had a very sunny 
walk, from twelve to two, along the Schweitzerthal, behind the 
Military Hospital, upward, and by Donitz on the Bger, above 
Carlsbad and the hills; then to the King, who, thank God, is 
getting on well, with three glasses of the waters. I am now 
living at the " Schild," right opposite the Hirschen Sprung, and 
from my back windows I can see Otto's Hohe, Drei Kreuzberg, 
etc. It is very fine, and I am very well, but sometimes have a 
longing for home ; to be with you in Eeinfeld, and leave the 
whole Minister-world behind me. 

Carlsbad, 13th Julj^, 1863. 
I think T shall to-morrow go to Schwarzenberg, and thence to 
the dusty Wilhelm Strasse, and remain there two days, and then 
meet the King either at Ratisbon or Salzburg, and go with him 
to Gastein. How long I shall remain there we shall see. I shall 
often long to be here again, amidst Aberg, Esterhazyweg, Ham- 
mer, Kehrwiederweg, and Aich, and I always knew how to get 
comfortably rid of acquaintances, or, when I met any, to hide my- 
self in the bushes. To-day I have been at work nearly all day. 

Berlin, 17th July, 1863. 

Since the evening of the day before yesterday I have been 
vegetating in our empty halls, smothered under the avalanche of 
papers and visits which tumbled in upon me as soon as my arri- 
val was known. I am now going into the garden for half an 
hour, and just give you this sign of life. Yesterday I had a 
Russian dinner, to-day a French one. To-morrow I leave by 
way of Dresden, Prague, and Pilsen, for Ratisbon, back to the 
King, and stay with him at Gastein. 

Niimberg, 19th July, 1863. 

I do not know whether I shall send this thick paper off from 
here, but I happen to have an unemployed moment, which I use 
to tell you that I am well. I yesterday went from Berlin to 
Dresden, have visited B. and R., who desire their best remem- 


brances (Countess E. also); I then slept at Leipzig for three 
hours only, but very well, and after five o'clock came on here, 
where I must await a train which is to bring me, about eleven at 
night, to the King at Eatisbon. N. N. has desired the presence 
of all sorts of people here, with whom I wish to have nothing to 
do, and for this purpose he has engaged the best hotel. I there- 
fore selected another, which, as yet, has made no very favorable 
impression on me; better paper than this it does not possess. 
Add to this, that Engel has not a clean shirt in the bag, and my 
things are at the station, so that I sit here in railway dust and 
discomfort, waiting for a dinner, most probably bad of its kind. 

Travelling agrees with me admirably ; but it is very annoying 
to be stared at like a Japanese at every station. Incognito and 
its comforts have passed away, until some day, like others, I shall 
have had my day, and somebody else has the advantage of being 
the object of general ill-will. I should have been very glad to 
go via Vienna to Salzburg, where the King will be to-morrow. I 
could have lived our wedding-tour over again, but political rea- 
sons dissuaded me ; people would have attributed God knows 
what plans to me, if I had reached there at the same time as 

. I shall, no doubt, see E, by chance at Gastein or Salzburg. 

I must finish this although my soup has not yet come ; but I can 
not get on upon this paper, with a steel pen besides, or I shall 
get cramp in the fingers. 

Salzburg, 22d July, 6 a.5i. 
From this charming little town I must write you the date at 
least, in the moment of my departure. The Eoons are all below, 
waiting to say good-bye. Yesterday we were at Konigsee, Edel- 
weiss, and Bartholomaus. 

Gastein, 24th July, 1863. 
I wanted to send you Edelweiss herewith, but it is mislaid. 
Salzachofen I thought more imposing ten years ago. The 
weather was too fine. The road hither, which you did not see, 
is pretty, but not imposing. I here live opposite the King at the 
Waterfall — a child to that at Golling. I only saw two finer in 
the Pyrenees, but none greater. I have taken two baths, very 
pleasant, but tiring afterwards, unfitting one for work. From to- 


morrow I shall bathe only at midday, and write before. The air 
is charming, but the neighborhood rather imposing than friendly. 
The Kino; is well. 

Gastein, 28th July, 1863. 

As this day sixteen years ago brought sunshine into my wild 
bachelor life, so to-day it has rejoiced this valley, and I have seen 
it on a morning walk for the first time in all its beauty. Moritz 
would call it a giant dish fall of cabbage, narrow and deep, the 
edges set round with white eggs. Steep sides, some thousand 
feet high, covered with furze and meadow-green, and huts of 
thatch, strewed here and there up to the snow-line, the whole 
surrounded by a wreath of white peaks and bands, richly pow- 
dered with snow daring five rainy days, and the lower frontier 
of which the sun is causing gradaally to grow higher. Dozens 
of silver threads run through the green from above — little water 
streams, tumbling down hastily, as if they were too late for the 
great fall which they make with the Ache close before my dwell- 
ing. The Ache is a river with somewhat more water than the 
Stolpe has near Strellin, and waltzes swiftly through all Gastein, 
falling down at different levels some hundreds of feet between 

It is possible to live here in such weather, but I should prefer 
to have nothing to do, only to walk about on the heights, and sit 
down upon sunny banks, smoke, and look at the rocky snow- 
peaks through the telescope. There is little society here. 1 
only mix with the retinue of the King, with whom dinner and 
tea bring me in daily contact. The rest of the time scarcely suf- 
fices for work, sleeping, bathing, and walking. I yesterday even- 
ing visited old with the Emperor, who is expected on the 

second. N". N. will come, and will complain to me that lying is 
the curse of this world, I have just heard that the King (who is 
very well, only he has hurt his ankle, and must sit still) keeps the 
courier till to-morrow, and this letter will not reach by post any 
sooner, as it would lose a day by being opened. I shall there- 
fore leave it. Good Prince Frederick was yesterday released from 
his suffefings : the King was much overcome. 


Gastein, 2d Aug., 1863. 

Bill's day was kept by me in fine weather, and the King was 
informed ; he asked how old he was, and how industrious his 
godson might be. To-day the Emperor is coming, flags and gar- 
lands are the order of the day, the sun is shining, and I have not 
yet been out of my room ; have been writing for three hours, 
therefore no more than hearty greetings. If I do not write by 
way of Berlin, I fall into the hands of the post-of&ce here — cer- 
tainly I write no secrets, but it is very unpleasant. The mare is 
in Berlin again. I bathe every day ; it is agreeable, but tiring. 

Gastein, 12th Aug., 1863. 

I am very well, but the couriers are in terror in all directions. 
Yesterday I shot two chamois at an elevation of seven thousand 
feet — quite cooked, despite the height. On the 15th we leave 
here for Salzburg — the 16th, Stuttgart — 17th, Baden. On ac- 
count of the Frankfurt nonsense I can not leave the King. 

Gastein, 14tk Aug., 1863. 

In order that you may see whether it is really quicker, I send 
this letter by the post, the courier starting at the same time. I 
have been writing for four hours, and have got so tired that I can 
hardly hold my pen. There has been a hot sun for a week, 
in the evenings storm. The King is well, but the 'baths have 
shaken him ; he bathes daily, and works as if he were in Berlin ; 
there is no saying any thing to him. God grant it may go well 
with him ! To-day I take my last bath — twenty or twenty-one 
in all, in twenty-six days. I am very well, but worked to death. 
I am so engaged that I can see very few people. To-morrow 
evening we sleep at Salzburg — on the 16th, probably at Munich 
— the 17th, at Stuttgart, Constance, or Baden ; it is uncertain. 
Write to Baden, where I shall probably stay a few days. A let- 
ter came from ■ at Spa; perhaps I shall visit her there, but who 

knows ce qydon devient in a week ? Perhaps every thing will be 

Baden, 28th Aug., 1863. 
I really long to spend a lazy day among you ; here, on the 
most charming days, I never get away from ink. Yesterday I 


went for a walk till midniglit, in the loveliest moonlight, through 
the fields, but can not get business out of my head ; society also 
gives no rest. N, N. is charming to see, but talks too much poli- 
tics to me ; naturally is always full of rumors ; , who is 

usually so delightful to me, has people about her who disturb my 
satisfaction ; and new acquaintances are very troublesome. A. is 
especially pleasant. With him and B., who is here for two days, 
I yesterday dined in my apartment. The King is well, but be- 
sieged by intrigue. To-day I dine with Her Majesty the Queen. 
Schleinitz is here, Hohenzollern expected, Goltz gone to Paris. 
I think the King will not leave here till Sunday ; a few days later 
I must be in Berlin ; perhaps I shall have time in between for a 
trip to Spa, where I shall find 0. Perhaps I shall have to go 
to the Queen of England, whom the King proposes to visit at 
Eosenau, near Coburg. In any case, I hope to have a few days 
free in September for Pomerania. I wish that some intrigue 
would necessitate another Ministry, so that I might honorably 
turn my back upon this ewer of ink, and live quietly in the 
country. The restlessness of this existence is unbearable ; for ten 
weeks I have had secretary's work at an inn, and again at Berlin, 
It is no life for an honest country nobleman, and I regard every 
one as a benefactor who seeks to bring about my fall. With this 
the flies are humming and tickling and stinging all over the room, 
so that I really want a change in my position, which in a few 
minutes the Berlin train will certainly bring me, by a courier with 
fifty empty dispatches. 

Berlin, 4th September, 1863. 
At last I find a moment to write to you. I had hoped to have 
a few days of recreation at Krochlendorff, but it is all the old 
treadmill over again ; last night work till one o'clock, and I then 
poured the ink over it instead 'of sand, so that it ran down over 
my knees. To-day the Ministers were here at nine, and for the 
second time at one, and with them the King. The question for 
discussion was the dissolution of the Chamber, for which I had 
no heart. But it could not be otherwise; God knows what the 
use of it is. Now we shall have the Electoral swindle ! With 
God's help I am well through it all ; but an humble reliance on 
God is required, not to despair of the future of our country. 



May He, above all, grant our King good health ! It is not very 
pleasant in this empty house, but I do not notice it on account 
of work. The horses have arrived to-day in much better condi- 
tion. The trouble about the mare was groundless. 

Bukow, 21st September, 1863. 

I wished to-day, on the last day of summer, to write you a 
very comfortable and reasonable letter, and full of this idea lay 
down on the sofa three hours ago, but only woke a quarter of an 
hour before dinner, which is about six. At seven I had gone 
out to ride until half-past one, in the capacity of " Herr Oberst- 
wachtmeister," to see our brave soldiers burn powder and form 
attacks. I first joined Pritz, who commanded three regiments of 
cavalry, then went over to the Garde du Corps, stormed like a 
man over stock and block, and for a long time have had no 
pleasanter day. I am living next to the King, and two adjutants 
in a nice old house of Count Hemming's ; it is a pretty neighbor- 
hood, with hillocks, lakes, and woods, and, above all, there is 

nothing to do, after finishing my business with yesterday. 

To-morrow, I am sorry to say, I must go on the treadmill again : 
and now to dinner, having slept myself quite stupid, and wrench- 
ed my neck on the steep sofa. We had twenty persons at table, 
all sorts of foreign officers. Englishmen, Russians, besides the 
whole Federation in the house. I have no mufti clothes with 
me, so for forty-eight hours am wholly a major. 

Berlin, 29th September, 1863^ 

I was so far ready on Saturday that I had only an interview 
with the King before me, and hoped to be with you on Sunday 
at noon. But the interview led to my having four hours of au- 
tograph work, and the necessity of seeing the King before his de- 
parture for Baden. There was just time for one day at Kroch- 
lendorff, whither I repaired on Saturday evening, after writing 
myself crooked and lame, to reach there at midnight. Yester- 
day morning drove to Passow, reached the King by five, and at 
a quarter to eight attended him to the railroad. To-day I ac- 
company Moritz and Roon to Freienwalde, must see Bernhard 
about Kniephof, and hope to come to you the day after to-mor- 
row, if there should remain time enough to make it worth while. 


I am to follow the King to Baden ; tlie " when " will be first 
known from our correspondence and the business in hand. If 
there should be time enough for me to remain two or three days 
at Keinfeld, I will come ; if not, the harness-makers will prepon- 
derate over my rest, and I shall see you again here in Berlin, 
On the 17th I then shall probably return with the King from 
Cologne. M. is sitting opposite, and is working out at my table 
a joint matter. 

BerHn, 27th October, 1863. 
It is bitterly cold, but I am quite well. Are you also making 
fires up at Reinfeld ? I hope so ; we have been doing so here 
for more than a week. Yesterday, after dinner, I sat with K. in 
the blue saloon, and he was playing when I received your letter 
of Sunday. Indeed, the letter you wrote was written in quite a 
holiday humor. Believe in God, my heart, and on the proverb 
that barking dogs do not bite. I did not accompany the King 
to Stralsund, it being a tiring journey, and would retard my 
work for two days. This evening His Majesty has returned: the 
threats against his life are far more menacing than those directed 
against me ; but this, too, is in the hands of God. Do not allow 
the last few fine days to be dimmed by care ; and if you are com- 
ing, send some feminine being in advance to arrange every thing 
as you wish it. I must go to work. Farewell ! This morning, 
at nine, only three degrees,* and a hot sun. The inclosed f I 
have twice received this morning from two different quarters. 

Babelsberg, 1st November, 1863. 
I employ a moment in which I am awaiting the King, who is 
dining at Sans-Souci, to write a line as if from Zarskoe or Peter- 
hof, only to say that I am well, and am heartily rejoiced that I 
shall soon see you ruling again in the empty apartments at Ber- 
lin. On the 9th comes the Diet, with all its worry ; but I think, 
on the day of the opening, I shall go with His Majesty to Letz- 
lingen, and pass two days in the woods. During that time you 
will, I hope, have done with the hammering and dragging, the 
necessary accompaniment of your beloved advent, and on my re- 
turn I shall then find every thing in the right place. 

* 35° Eahr.— K. E. H. M. t A copy of the ninety-first Psalm. 



For the last few days I have been living alone, and industrious, 
have generally dined alone, and, except for a ride, have not left 
the house ; have been quiet and bored ; occasionally there has 
been a Council of Ministers. This week we shall probably have 
them daily in the matter of our dear Chambers ; and as the King 
has been a week in Stralsund and Blankenburg, plenty of work 
has accumulated. I just hear his carriage- wheels, and close with 
hearty greetings. 

Carlsbad, Tuesday, 1864. 
God be thanked that you are all well ; so am I, but more than 
ever engaged. At Zwickau on the Perron I met Kechberg ; we 
came on together in one coupe and carriage' to this place ; thus 
we talked politics for six hours, and for the first time here. Yes- 
terday evening at tea with the Grand Duchess, King Otho, Arch- 
duke Charles Frederick, many diplomatists, and much work 
with E. 

Carlsbad, 20th July, 1864. 
The King has just set out for Marienbad, through espaliers of 
beautiful ladies, with giant bouquets, which more than filled his 
carriage. R with " F^'yafo," " hurrah !" great excitement. For 
me there is now some leisure, all my acquaintances being gone. 
To-morrow morning early for Vienna ; we shall sleep at Prague. 
Perhaps in a week we shall have peace with the Danes ; perhaps 
this winter again war. I shall make my stay in Vienna as short 
as possible, to lose as few baths as possible at Gastein. After 
that, I shall probably accompany the King again to Vienna, then 
to Baden; then the Emperor of Russia is coming to Berlin in the 
beginning of September. Before that time there is no prospect 
of rest — if then. 

Vienna, 22d July, 1864. 

Yesterday morning I came with and and two others, 

who lend me their calligraphic aid, from Carlsbad, in a carriage 
as far as Prague ; thence by railway hither to-day ; unfortunately 
this time not to go by water to Linz, especially to worry myself 

and others. I am living with for the present ; have seen 

nobody but R I was rain-bound for two hours in the Volks- 


garten, and listened to music. Stared at by the people as if I 
was a new hippopotamus for the Zoological Gardens, for which I 
consoled myself with some very good beer. How long I shall 
remain here I can not tell ; to-morrow I have many visits to pay ; 
dine with E. in the country ; then, if possible, conclude peace 
with Denmark, and fly as swiftly as possible to the mountain in 
Gastein. I wish it were all over. The two days of journeying 
have somewhat mentally rested me, but in body I am very tired, 
and say good-night to you. 

Vienna, 27th July, 1864. 
I have received one letter from you here, and long for the sec- 
ond. I lead an industrious life — four hours a day with tough 
Danes, and am not at the end yet. By Sunday it must be settled 
whether we are to have peace or war. Yesterday I dined with 

M ; a very agreeable wife, and pretty daughters. We 

drank a good deal, were very merry, which is not often the case 
in their sorrow, of which you are aware. He has grown gray 
and has cut his hair short. Yesterday, after the conference, I 

dined with the Emperor at Schonbrunn, took a walk with R 

and W , and thought of our moonlight expedition. I have 

just been for an hour in the Yolksgarten, unfortunately not incog- 
nito, as I was seventeen years ago — stared at by all the world. 
This existence on the stage is very unpleasant when one wishes 
to drink a glass of beer in peace. On Saturday I hope to leave 
for Gastein, whether- it is peace or no. It is too hot for m.e here, 
particularly at night. 

Gastein, 6th August, 1864. 
Work gets continually worse ; and here, where I can do noth- 
ing in the morning after the bath, I do not know when to get 
time for any thing. Since my arrival on the 2d, in a storm with 
hailstones as hard as bullets, I have just been able, in magnificent 
weather, for the first time, to go out by rule. On my return, I 
wish to employ the half-hour at my disposal in writing to you. 
A was, however, here immediately, with plans and tele- 
grams, and I must be off to the King. I am, however, by the 
blessing of God, quite well. I have had four baths, but shall 
hardly get more than eleven, as the King sets out on the 15th. 


Since yesterday I have been very comfortably lodged, as a large 
cool corner room, with a magnificent landscape, was vacant ; 
until then I had been living in a sun-blinding oven, at least by 
day. The nights are pleasantly fresh. The King probably goes 
hence to Vienna in short day journeys, by way of Ischl, and 
thence to Baden. Whether I shall accompany him to the latter 
place is uncertain. I still hope to get away for a few days to my 
quiet Pomerania ; but what is the use of plans ? — something al- 
ways comes in between. I have not a gun with me, and every 
day there is a chamois-hunt; certainly, I have also had no time. 
To-day seventeen were shot, and I was not there ; it is a life like 
that of Leporello : — 

"Neither rest by day or night, 
Naught to make my comfort right." 

7th August. 

Just now I had the whole room full of ladies, flying from the 

rain, which relieves guard with the sun to-day. Fr from 

E, , with two cousins, Frau von P , a Norwegian. I have 

long since heard no feminine voice, not since Carlsbad. Fare- 
well ! 

Schonhrunn, 20th August, 1864. 

It is too strange that I should be living in the rooms on the 
ground-floor, abutting on the private reserved garden where, 
very nearly seventeen years ago, we intruded in the moonlight. 
If I look over my right shoulder I can see, through a glass 
door, the dark beech clump-hedge by which we wandered, in the 
secret delight of the forbidden, up to the glass window behind 
which I am living. It was then inhabited by the Empress, and 
I now repeat our walk by moonlight at greater ease. The day 
before the day before yesterday I left Gastein ; slept at Eadstedt. 
The day before yesterday went, in misty weather, to Aussee — a 
charmingly situated place ; a beautiful lake, half Traunsee and 
half Konigssee ; at sunset reached the Hallstadtersee ; thence, by 
boat, in the night, to Hallstadt, where we slept. Next morning 
was pleasant and sunny ; at noon we reached the King at Ischl, 
and so, with His Majesty, over the Traunsee to Gmunden, where 
we passed the night, and I thought a great deal of L , H , 



and B , and all those times. To-day, by steamer, hither, ar- 
riving about six, passing two hours with E. , after convincing 

myself that is one of the most beautiful women, of whom 

all pictures give a false idea. We stay here three days ; what 
follows, whether Baden or Pomerania, I can not yet foresee. I 
am now heartily tired, so wish you and all of ours good-night. 

Schonbrunn, Thursday. 

The King went early this morning to Salzburg ; I follow him 
to-morrow. This morning I killed fifty-three pheasants, fifteen 
hares, and one karinckel ; and yesterday eight stags and two mouf- 
flons. I am quite lame in hand and cheek from shooting. To- 
morrow evening it will be decided whether I am to go to Baden, 
but now I go to bed. Good-night all, for I am Yery tired. 


Baden, 1st September, 1864, 

The King arrived this morning from Mainau, well and cheer- 
ful, having been through the rain with the Queen to the races. 
A.'s busy hand continually shakes over me new blessings of proj- 
ects, as soon as I have worked through the old ones. I do not 
know whence I wrote to you last ; I have hardly come to my 
senses since Vienna ; slept one night in Salzburg, the second at 
Munich ; conferred much and lengthily with N. K, who has 
grown thin. I then slept at Augsburg, and thence came, by way 
of Stuttgart, to this place, in the hope of passing two days in lazy 
rest, but only had two hours' intermission in the forest yesterday 
morning. Couriers, ink, audiences, and visits, constantly buzz 

round me without interruption. is also here. I dare not 

show myself on the promenade ; no one leaves me at peace. 

Frankfurt, 11th September, 1864, 

It is long since I have written to you hence, and never from the 
Zeil. We alighted at the Kussian Embassy ; the King has driv- 
en to the Emperor Alexander at Jugenheim ; thence he visits the 
Empress Eugenie at Schwalbac'h, and I have got myself free for 
a day, which I spend with K. at Heidelberg. I accompany her 
to Heidelberg, shall be back here about two or three — time 
enough to devote myself to the Diet ; to-morrow morning early 
to Berlin, whence, after the necessary cavilling, I shall start for 

Bordeaux, 6th October, 1864. 
Excuse this scrawl, but I have no paper at hand, and only 
wish to apprise you that I have reached this place safely. It 
seems almost like a dream to be here again. Yesterday morning 
I started from Baden, slept very well at Paris, set out this morn- 
ina: about eleven, and now at eleven p.m. am here. I think of 
leaving for Bayonne to-morrow morning at eight, to reach Biar- 
ritz by two. In Paris it was still cold ; in Baden yesterday there 
was an early frost ; on this side of the Loire things grew better ; 
here it is decidedly warm — warmer than any night this year. I 
am, in fact, already quite well, and would be quite cheerful if I 
only knew that all was well with you. At Paris I felt very 
much inclined to live there again; he had arranged the house 


there very well, and the life I lead in Berlin is a kind of penal 
servitude when I think of my independent life abroad. If it 
agree with me, I think I shall take about fifteen baths, so that 
on the 21st or 22d I shall set out on my return journey ; if God 
wills, you will then be — or perhaps somewhat earlier — at Berlin.' 
In his care, Engel has locked me in ; there is no bell, and this 
letter will lose a day, as it can not be sent to the post to-night. 
It is so warm that I have the window open. 

Biarritz, 9th October, 1864. 
When I remember how assiduously we lighted fires in Baden, 
and even in Paris, and that here the sun graciously requests me 
to take off my paletot and drawers, that we sat till ten by the sea 
in the moonlight, and this morning breakfast in the open air, and 
that I am writing to you at the open window, looking at the blue 
and sunny sea, and on bathing folks who are wandering about in 
very slight costumes, paddling with naked feet in the water, I 
can not help saying that southern nations possess a peculiar grace 
of God in their climate. I shall not yet bathe more than once, 

but shall soon venture upon two, if not, a la , upon more. 

The only comfort I require is to hear from you. If we were free 
people, I should propose to you to come with child and baggage 
to this place, and remain here the whole winter, as many of the 
English do, from reasons of economy, which prevails here in the 
winter season. 

Biarritz, 12th October, 1864. 

My dear Sister, — I am so delightfully disengaged that I can 
send a few lines in the direction of my thoughts ! I am well, par- 
ticularly since I have yesterday and to-day at last received news 
of Johanna's gradual recovery. I reached here on the forenoon 
of the 7th — in Paris we still had fires, from Bordeaux an agree- 
able temperature, and here heat so that summer clothing was nec- 
essary. Since yesterday there has been a north wind, and it is 
cooler, but still warmer than I have felt it all the summer. A 
very light summer coat was too hot for me on my evening's walk 
by the shore. Until now I have taken seven baths, and now pro- 
ceed with two per diem. 1 am writing to you by the open win- 
dow, with flickering lights, and the moonlit sea before me, the 



plasli of wliicli is accompanied by tbe carriage bells on the road 
to Bayonne. The lighthouse in front of me changes its light 
from red to white, and I am looking with some appetite at the 
clock, to see whether the dinner hour of seven has not arrived. 
I have not for a long time found myself in such comfortable 
climatic and business conditions, and yet the evil habit of w^rk 
has rooted itself so deeply in my nature that I feel some disquiet 
of conscience at my laziness — almost long for the Wilhelm Strasse, 
at least if my dear ones were there. " Monsieur^ le diner est servi^'' 
is the announcement. 

The 13th. — I could not yesterday write any further. After 
dinner we took a moonlight walk on the southern shore, from 
which we returned, very tired, at about eleven o'clock. I slept 
till nine ; about ten bathed in water of 14° warmer* than ever I 
had found the North Sea in August ; and now we are going to- 
gether to Fuent Arabia, beyond the frontier ; shall dine on our 
way back at St. Jean de Luz. The weather is heavenly to-day, 
the sea quiet and blue; it is almost too hot to walk in the sun. 

* 55° Fahr. 


Izazu, 17tli October, 18G4. 

Although I have this morning sent you a letter bj the courier, 
'pour la rareie du fait^ I must write to you from this remarkable 
place. We breakfasted here, three miles to the east of Biarritz, 
in the mountains, and are seated in charming summer weather at 
the edge of a rushing stream, the name of which we can not learn, 
as nobody speaks French — nothing but Basque. There are high 
narrow rocks before and behind us, with heather, ferns, and chest- 
nuts all around. The valley is called Le Pas de Eoland, and is 
the west end of the Pyrenees. Before we went off we took our 
baths — -the water cold, the air like July. The courier dispatched, 
we had a charming drive through mountains, forests, and mead- 
ows. After eating and drinking, and climbing ourselves tired, 
our party of five are sitting down reading to each other, and I 
am writing myself on the lid of the box in which were the grapes 
and figs we brought with us. At five we shall return with the 
sunset and moonlight to Biarritz, and dine about eight. It is too 
pleasant a life to last. The 20th, the evening before last, we 
went to Pau. It was heavy and sultry there, and at night storm 
and rain ; we were in the railway, but came from Bayonne hither 
by carriage ; the sea magnificent. After it had been as smooth 
as a duck-pond for some days with the land winds, it now looks 
like a boiling caldron, and the wind is warm and moist with it ; 
the sun alternates with rain — very Atlantic weather. 

To-day I take my fourteenth bath ; I shall hardly get more 
than fifteen, for it seems I must to-morrow leave this warm shore, 
I am still striving between duty and taste ; but I fear the first 
will conquer. I will first take my bath, and then decide wheth- 
er it shall be the penultimate one. Anyhow, the fourteen days I 
have spent here have done me good, and I only wish I could 
transport you, without travelling discomfort, hither or to Pau. 

Paris, 25th October, 1864. 
Before going to bed, after a tiring day, I will announce to you 
my fortunate arrival here. Yesterday noon I left dear Biarritz ; 
they were making hay in the meadows when I started in the hot 
sun. Friends accompanied me as far as Bayonne ; at about 6 A.M. 
I arrived here. Plenty of politics, audience at St. Cloud, a din- 
ner at Drouyn de Lhuys's, and now I am going to bed tired out. 


Carlsbad, 12th July, 1865. 

I am ashamed that I did not write to you on your birthday ; 
but there is so much of " must " in my life that I scarcely ever 
get to " will." The tread wheel goes on from day to day, and I 
seem as if I were the tired horse in it, pushing it along without 
getting any forwarder. One day after the other a courier arrives, 
one day after the other another departs — between whiles come 
others from Vienna, Munich, or Eome ; the burden of papers in- 
creases, ministers are all at odds, and from this centre I am ob- 
liged to write to each of them singly. 

The review I hope to stop ; as far as I know, the actual return 
has not yet reached the King ; but I have brought the matter 
forward, and His Majesty has promised to examine into the pro- 
vision question for man and horse. To-morrow I will inquire 
in the military cabinet as to how far the writing has got. 

Late in the evening, the 13th. 
The whole day I have been writing, dictating, reading, going 
down and up the mountain as to the report to the King. The 
courier's bag and my letter are both closing. Across the table I 
see the Erzgebirge, along the Tepl by the evening twilight, very 
beautiful; but I feel leathery and old. The King starts from 
here on the 19th, five days off, for Gastein, whither the Emperor 
designs to come. On the road I will see somewhere in Ba- 
varia. "Neither rest by day nor night." It looks ugly for 
peace — it must be settled at Gastein. 

Gastein, 4th August, 1865. 
I begin to count the days I shall have to sit through in this 
fog-chamber. As to what the sun looks like, we have only dark 
reminiscences from a better past. Since this morning it has at 
least been cold ; until then sultry moist heat, with a change only 
in the form of rain, and continued uncertainty as to whether one 
gets wet with rain or perspiration, when one stumps up and down 
the esplanade steps in the mud. How people with nothing to do 
can endure it I do not understand. What with bathing, work, 
dinner, reports, and tea at His Majesty's, I have scarcely time to 
realize the horrors of the situation. These last three days there 
has been a theatre of comedians here ; but one is almost ashamed 
to go, and most people avoid the passage through the rain. I 



'am very well through it all, particularly since we have had Kal- 

tenhaiiser beer. and are dreadfully cast down from 

not knowing what to drink. The landlord gives them bad beer 
in order to force them to drink worse wine. Other news than 
this there is none from this steam-kitchen, unless I talk politics. 

Gastein, 14th August, 1865. 
For some days I have had no time to send you any news. 
Count Blome is here again, and we are zealously laiboring at the 
maintenance of peace, and the repair of the fissures in the build- 
ings. The day before yesterday I devoted a day to the chase. 
I think I wrote you word how fruitless the first was. This time 


I have at least shot a young chamois, but saw no others in the 
three hours during which I abandoned my motionless self to the 
experiments of the most various insects ; and the prattling activity 
of the waterfall beneath me convinced me of the deep-rooted feel- 
ing which caused some one before my time to express the wish, 
" Streamlet, let thy rushing be !" In my room, also, this wish is 
justified both by day and by night — one breathes on reaching 
any place where the brutal noise of the waterfall can not be 
heard. In the end, however, it was a very pretty shot, right 
across the chasm ; killed first fire, and the brute fell headlong 
into the brook, some church-steeple's height beneath me. My 
health is good, and I feel myself much stronger. We start on 
the 19th — that is Saturday — for Salzburg. The Emperor will 
probably make his visit there, and one or two days will be spent 
besides at Ischl. The King then goes to Hohenschwangau. I 
go to Munich, and join His Majesty again at Baden. What next 
may follow depends upon politics! If you are in Homburg long 
enough, I hope to take a trip over to you from Baden — to enjoy 
the comforts of domesticity. 

Baden, 1st September, 1865. 

I reached this place the day before yesterday morning, slept 
till half-past twelve, then had much hard work ; dinner with the 
King — long audience. In the evening a quartette at Count 
Flemming's with Joachim, who really performs on his violin in a 
most wonderful way. There were many acquaintances of mine 
on the race-course yesterday whom I did not very well remem- 

September begins rainy. Two-thirds of the year are gone just 
when one has grown accustomed to write 1865. Many princes 

are here. At four wants to see me ; she is said to have 

grown very beautiful. The King leaves at five — it is undecided 
whether to Coblenz or Coburg, on account of Queen Victoria, 
whom he desires to meet. I hope in any case to pass by way of 
Frankfurt on the 5th or 6th. Whether, or how long. I can be in 
Homburg, will soon be seen — longer than one day in no case, as 
I must be with the Kino- in Berlin. 


Baden, Sunday. 

That you may see what a husband you have, I send you the 
route. We go to-morrow morning, at six o'clock, to Coburg, to 
the Queen of England. I must go too, and I am sorry to say 
Spa is all over for me ; but it can not be otherwise. 



Disputes with Austria. — The Central States. — Mobilization of the Army. — Bismarck 
shot at by Kohn-Blind, 7th May, 1866. — Excitement in Berlin. — War Imminent. 
— Declaration.— The King sets out on the Campaign. — Sichrow. — Litschen. — Bat- 
tle of Sadowa, 3d July, 1866. — Bismarck with His Majesty on the Battle-field. — 
Negotiations of Nicolsburg. — Treaty of Prague. — lUness of Bismarck. — Consolida- 
tion of Prussia. — Triumphant Entiy of the Anny into Berlin. — Peace. 

S. 0' 

Ere the year 1865 was at an end, Bismarck had become firmlj 
convinced that Austria had lapsed from the Treaty of Gastein 
and had returned to the Central State policy, the advocate of 
which was the Freiherr von Beust. This policy, which could 
only ultimate in eternizing the old vacillating system at the 
Federation between Prussia and Austria, as this was the only 
way in which the existence of the Central State sovereignties 
could be prolonged, was skillfully guarded by the Freiherr von 
Beust, and always presented the seductive appearance of modera- 


tion, as it neither conceded any thing to Prussia nor Austria, but 
kept the one constantly in check against the other. That Ger- 
many was certainly being imperilled by it, politicians entirely 
overlooked. At the moment Prussia had the preponderance, not 
only actually, as Bismarck in fact and truth pursued a national 
policy, but also formally, as it had separated Austria by the 
Treaty of Gastein from the Central States. According to the 
principles of the Central States, Prussia had now to be depressed, 
and Austria elevated. Here was the point at which Bismarck 
awaited his diplomatic opponents. Had they been the German 
patriots for which they were so anxious to pass — and perhaps 
they quite honestly deemed themselves such — they would have 
come to the material point, and demanded more from Austria for 
Germany than Prussia had offered. Austria was in the position 
to accede to the German princes — perhaps to the German people 
— more than Prussia could do, whose whole position was much 
more awkward. Austria did not imperil her entire autonomy as 
Prussia did. Bismarck, however, knew his Pappenheimers — the 
Central State policy did not go upon the material, but the formal 
point — and only used their federation with Austria to force Prus- 
sia to the acceptance of a new Augustenburg minor State north 
of the Elbe. 

So little a policy necessarily would come to destruction in face 
of the energy with which Bismarck clung to his national pro- 
gramme. This also became very ominous for Austria, for she 
saw herself obliged to give battle upon a basis which tottered 
under her. Faithful to the traditions of her old policy, Austria 
sought to win the Courts by promises, and she succeeded ; but she 
knew very well that little or nothing was gained thereby. The 
result has shown how little worth Austria set upon the German 
Confederation. Prussia, while she asked, promised nothing. 
Bismarck adhered to his policy, which only demanded sacrifices 
on the part of the princes — sacrifices for Germany, not for Prus- 
sia, who was ready to bring far greater ones than any minor 

Thus approached the hour of decision — a decision whether 
in future the German people, under the leadership of Prussia, 
should assume its proper place in Europe, or whether it should 
coalesce into a weak federation of impuissant territories, under 

384 WAE OE, PEACE ? 

Austrian satraps, and be blindly obedient to every signal from 

Preparations were made in every direction ; but it was certain 
that in Vienna, in a scarcely credible misapprehension of Prussia, 
the authorities had armed for a long time only because it was be- 
lieved that Prussia was to be terrified by such armaments. At 
Vienna, the peaceable disposition of the venerable King William, 
who, to the last moment, hoped for a peaceful termination, which 
was indeed possible until the firing of the first cannon-shot, was 
looked upon as fear. Was it impossible for Austria, without any 
stain upon her honor, to concede to Prussia and Germany in May 
all that which she had solemnly acknowledged at Prague in Au- 

It would be far beyond the limits of this book to enter upon 
the fomented quarrels in the Elbe Duchies and at the Diet on the 
diplomatic recriminations concerning the earlier or later arma- 
ments. We conceive that we have already sufficiently set forth 
Bismarck's policy ; for our purpose it is quite unimportant 
whether Austria really desired war, or whether her object was 
to terrorize. King William did not wish for war ; but he wished 
to be free from Austria, for the present and future, in the inter- 
ests of Prussia and Germany. Prussia had seriously armed ; for 
whoever desires to attain an end must have the m.eans to attain 
it, and Bismarck had not forgotten what had caused the fall of 
the Eadowitz policy. But Eadowitz had not been wrecked upon 
the insufficiency of the Prussian military system of his day, but 
on the actual course of foreign policy. \ 

How had this changed since the days of Brfart and Olmiitz ? 

In judging of the rupture with the Diet, it must be here again 
borne in mind, what had become of it since 1851, what position 
it had assumed towards Prussia. Count Bismarck, on the re-es- 
tablishment of the Diet in 1851, had been sent to Frankfurt as a 
friend of Austria. Prussia desires to co-operate openly and free- 
ly with Austria, and that this was also the endeavor of Count 
Bismarck, his whole political behavior had testified at the very 
time, in the most unequivocal manner, when Austria, weakened 
by internal revolution, was obliged to resort to foreign assistance. 
He soon perceived, however, that such co-operation was impossi- 
ble. The necessary condition of it was the equalization of Prus- 

'V ^, 


f\ 1 

' '■ \ . 1 



sia with Austria, and this had also been promised at Olmiitz. 
Count Bismarck could not allow Prussia to be the second German 
power. He used to saj that as Austria was " one," so also Prus- 
sia was "one;" nor could he interpret the treaties in any other 
way than as they were understood until 1848 ; that Prussia, no 
more than Austria, could subordinate herself to resolutions of 
the majority. 

But this principal condition Austria allowed only to herself: a 
hegemony over Germany was the policy of Prince Schwarzen- 
berg, and his successors adhered to this word. Count Bismarck 
soon convinced himself that all federal complaisance only called 
forth further demands, that gratitude and sympathy in the policy 
of the empire were as little thought of as national feeliags and 
German interests. 

Austria did not desire any nearer approach to Prussia; she 
would come to any understanding. She began by securing to 
herself an obedient majority at the Diet, and believed that she 
could dispense with extending the competency and sphere of ac- 
tion of the Federation, after making the Diet, by the institution 
of the influence of the majorities, and the suppression of the right 
of protest in the minoritj^, a serviceable instrument of Viennese 
policy, and thus gradually d'o away with the right of protest and 
the independence of the individual States, and thus also that of 
Prussia. The Austrian Ministers went so far as to assert that 
Austria alone in the Federation had any right to a foreign 
policy ; and this Austrian policy should be endowed with the 
semblance of legality by the resolution of the servile majority in 
the Diet. In such an aspiration Austria found from the Central 
States an only too willing sympathy. To the ambition and thirst 
for action of the Ministers of the latter, the territorial dimen- 
sions of their own country and the circle of activity assigned to 
them seemed not important or distinguished enough. It flattered 
them to be engaged in questions of European policy. This, in- 
deed, they could enter upon without danger or a necessity for re- 
ciprocity ; and they speedily found a natural consequence of the 
principle of federal law in the fact, that the members of the Fed- 
eration need follow no foreign policy of their own, but would 
only have to follow such as might be dictated by the majority. 

But the mediatization of the foreign policy of Prussia was not 


the only object held in view. If the course of European politics 
admitted of it, it was proposed as a further consequence to de- 
clare as an undoubted issue of federal jurisprudence, that the con- 
stitution and laws of Prussia should be subject to the determina- 
tion of the majority. 

The Central States saw themselves placed on an equality with 
Prussia with the highest satisfaction. They were ready to make 
any sacrifice otherwise so obstinately refused, except independ- 
ence, if Prussia were only subjected to the same. They could 
not forgive Prussia her greatness and high position, and therefore 
they experienced an especial delight in making Prussia feel the 
importance of the Federation. The securer they felt of the ma- 
jority, the less concealed and bold were their pretensions, and 
every demand of Austria on Prussia, however unjust, found ready 
support from the Central States, especially if the question were to 
combat the estimation and influence of Prussia in Germany. 
The majority was always to decide, even as to the question of 
their own right of decision, and there was no hesitation in doing 
violence to words and sound common sense to prove a anited 
vote as to such a proceeding. . They endeavored to deceive the 
world and themselves by the fallacy that •" Federal Diet" and 
" Germany " were identical ideas, and'the opinions of Prussia were 
stigmatized as being non-German, while Prussia was accused of 
stirring up strife in the Federation, when she declined uncondi- 
tionally to submit to the arbitrary decisions of the majority in the 
Diet, while Austria allowed herself to be praised to the skies^ in 
her paid press as the exclusive representative of Germany a^id 
German interests. But even at that time did many believe this? 
Had not Austria betrayed her real views and intentions in the 
secret dispatch of the 14th of January, 1855, in a most unequivo- 
cal manner? Openly and without any reticence she had de- 
clared in that document that she would have no hesitation in de- 
stroying the Federation to carry through her policy. She had 
invited the Federal Governments, in contravention of the articles 
of federation, to enter into a warlike alliance with her and place 
her troops at the disposition of the Bmper'or of Austria, and prom- 
ised them advantages at the expense of those who refused such 
an alliance — that is, by way of territorial aggrandizement. 

The political life of Count Bismarck in Frankfurt was an unin- 



terrupted fight against such a system as above described. He 
was never weary in pointing out and warning them that the ele- 
ments ruling at the Diet were tending towards conditions which 
Prussia could not accept as permanent. He had also predicted 
at Frankfurt that the plan took a direction towards placing Prus- 
sia, as soon as the fruit was believed to be ripe, in the position 
that it would have to reject a resolution of the majority, then to 
commit a breach of the Federation, which should be ascribed to 

So also was the event. Prussia remained faithful to the Fed- 
eration till it was violated by others, and when they had done, 
they blamed Prussia with the breach of the Federation. 

The spring of the great year 1866 was the most difficult in 
Bismarck's life. The terrible load of responsibility pressed 
heavier and heavier upon him. Serious and well-intentioned, as 
well as perfidious, attempts at peace, lamed and impeded his ac- 
tivity. Intrigues of all kinds hovered about his person. His 
position was now openly assailed, now secretly undermined. 
More than once he felt the ground trembling beneath him — he 
could not get forward ; and in addition to this he was corporeally 
ill ; rheumatic pains increasing in an alarming way. Doubt very 
often, it is probable, assailed the strong mind of Bismarck, the 
ghastly ray of suspicion fell upon his courageous heart. The 
man who had to fight for his King and country, with all the 
powers, the traditions of ancient brotherhood in arms, the ties of 
princely relationship, the intrigues of diplomatists, the falling 
away of old friends, with the wrong-headedness, cowardice, low- 
mindedness of others, down to the pacific overtures of his oppo- 
nents, in so superhuman a manner, now gradually grew into a 
more and more intensified battle with himself On this the Al- 
might}^, the Lord of him and of Prussia, had mercy on him. He 
gave him a great sign. 

On the 7th of May, 1866, at five in the afternoon, Count Bis- 
marck was Walking abroad for the first time after his severe ill- 
ness, returning from an interview with the King, and proceeding 
up the centre allee of the Unter den Linden. Almost opposite 
the Hotel of the Imperial Russian Embassy, he heard two rapid- 
ly following reports behind him. As it was afterwards found, 
one bullet had just grazed his side. Count Bismarck turned 



swiftly round, and saw a young man before him, who was raising 
his revolver to fire a third time. Bismarck met the man quickly, 
and seized him by the arm and by the throat ; but before he 
reached him the man fired the third shot. It was a glance shot 
on the right shoulder, which Bismarck felt for a long time after- 
wards. Then the wretch passed the revolver, as quick as light- 
ning, from the right to the left hand, and close to him fired two 
other shots at the Minister-President. One shot missed him in 
consequence of a quick turn, only burning his coat ; but the 
other struck him. and at this moment Count Bismarck believed 

himself mortally wounded, for he felt that one of the bullets had 
struck him right on the rib. The rib probably feathered, as they 
say in deer-shooting — ^. e., it bent elastically. Count Bismarck at 
once mastered the sensation of weakness which had come over 
him by the concussion of the vertebrae through the rib for an 
instant. He handed over the criminal — whom he had held with 
an iron grasp — to the officers and men of the first battalion of the 
Second Foot Gruard Eegiment, who were just marching down the 
street, and walked on in the direction of his house in the Wil- 
helms-Strasse, where he safely arrived before the news of the at- 
tempt was known. 


■ During the whole period precediog the war there was nothing 
extraordinary in the Minister-President's being with the King 
longer than usual, so that the dinner usually fixed for five was 
often half an hour late, or even longer. Nobody, therefore, was 
surprised at the Count's late appearance on this occasion. No 
one in the house had even an idea of the terrible attempt at mur- 
der on the TJnter den Linden — of the wonderful preservation of 
the master of the house. There was some company assembled in 
the salon of the Countess, awaiting the Minister-President ; at 
last he entered. Nobody noticed any disquietude or excitement 
in his manner ; it only seemed to some as if his greeting were 
heartier than usual. Saying, " Ah ! what a pleasant party !" he 
went to his study, where it was his habit to remain for a few mo- 
ments before sitting down to table. He this day made a short 
report of the event to His Majesty the King. Then he returned 
to the dinner-party, and said, as he Yerj often did when he came 
late, in a merry scolding tone to his wife, "Why don'^t we eat our 
dinners to-day ?" He approached a lady to lead her to the din- 
ing-table, and then, as they went out of the salon, he went up to 
his wife, kissed her on the forehead, and said, " M}^ child, they 
have shot at me, but there is no harm done !" 

Tenderly and prudently as this was said, terror naturally dis- 
played itself on all countenances. Every one crowded round the 
honored gentleman in trembling joy at his wonderful escape. 
He, however, would not delay, entered the dining-room, and, after 
a short grace, sat down to his soup, which no doubt tasted all the 
better to him the less that he, in, all human probability, seemed 
likely to have any right to it again half an hour before. The 
surgeon who was called in said afterwards, when all sorts of the- 
ories were attempted to account for the non-success of the at- 
tempt, with great justice: — "Grentlemen! there is but one ex- 
planation. Grod's hand was between them I" 

In fact, the dinner on that day was frequently interrupted ; 
nobody ate any dinner at all except Bismarck himself. Before 
six o'clock, only half an hour after the crime, the King himself 
arrived, having risen from his own dinner to congratulate his 
Minister. Bismarck received his royal master on the stairs, and 
remained alone with him for a short time. No doubt it was a 
touching meeting for both of them ; for the dear Lord who still 


could press his tried servant bj the still warm hand, as for the 
Minister, ready at any moment to die for his King, be it on the 
battle-field or in the street! There was very little ceremony at 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that day. Scarcely had the 
King departed ere, one after the other, the Princes of the Eoyal 
House who happened to be in Berlin appeared, and sat down at 
the family table, drinking a glass of wine to Bismarck's safety. 
The company increased as the news of the criminal deed grew 
known farther off; the venerable Field-Marshal Count Wrangel 
was one of the first who hastened to express sympathy. Grener- 
als, ministers, ambassadors, friends, and all who respected him, 
even political opponents, thronged round the precious personage 
so wonderfully preserved to his native land. At the threshold 
of the door crowds of persons of all conditions were assembled, 
who inscribed their names in lists prepared for the purpose, in 
token of their sympathy. Supplements of the Gazettes then ap- 
peared, telling in brief periods what had taken place ; and rejoic- 
ing multitudes thronged the Wilhelms-Platz and Wilhelms- 
Strasse till far into the evening. Conservative clubs serenaded 
him, and, for the first time in his life, Bismarck addressed from 
the window the people of Berlin. 

From that day all vacillation in Bismarck was at an end. 
The Lord God, in his wonderful salvation, had vouchsafed him 
a sign, and he again felt the full and strong conscience of his his- 
torical- mission ; he knew that he was the sentinel whom God 
had placed at a post, from which alone He could relieve him. 
Nor was this a Divine signal to Bismarck alone. 

It is known that the political enthusiast who attempted the 
murder, the step-son of a democratic fugitive named Blind, whose 
name he had assumed, ended his career by suicide before any ex- 
amination could take place. There were traces of a conspiracy 
certainly discovered, but they were not pursued ; the attempt at 
assassination therefore can not be regarded as the crime of an 
individual. It was sad enough to see that the fanatical hatred 
of Bismarck went so far in Austria and South Germany ; that 
voices were raised, trying to elevate the murderer into a martj^r. 
The Austrian press dishonored itself by the publication of an ad- 
vertisement in which an obscure advocate set a price on Bis- 
marck's head. It was very silly that the Hitter von Geist in Vienna 


endeavored to account for Bisnaarck's wonderful escape by chang- 
ing his shirt into a suit of chain mail, and then with wonderful 
wit declared that the Prussian Minister-President bought his 
linen from the ironmonger ! 

The times were growing more serious ; minds began to feel 
that stillness which precedes the storm. 

^'■Mit Gottfur Konig undVaterlandP'' — "With God for King and 
Fatherland!" — the ancient royal battle-cry of olden time, j&rst 
crept softly and then louder and louder from heart to heart, from 
mouth to mouth, until at last it thundered in the roaring of a 
thousand cannon throughout the trembling world. It seems 
sad that in those very days a valiant archduke in Italy, most infe- 
licitously altering our old dear Prussian cry, closed an grder of the 
day with the words : " For God with Emperor and Fatherland !" 

It was just during these days of omen that Bismarck, although 
very serious, was more gentle and kind than ever to his relatives 
and friends. There was expectation, often expectation to the 
greatest tension, but no vacillation, no doubt in him ; he was a 
brave man from head to foot. In the later hours of evening he 
was often in the beautiful garden of the Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, of which garden he was very fond ; under its old trees he 
used to take counsel with Moltke, with Eoon, and others ; there 
he often walked up and down restlessly for hours, in deep 
thought, waiting for a royal message. There, too, the eventful 
thought flashed upon him, in the night of Thursday to Friday, 
from the 14th to the 15th of June, to set the Prussian columns in 
motion twenty-four hours sooner than had been intended. Im- 
mediately General von Moltke was sent for, and the telegraph 
was at work. 

In the enthusiasm at the first results, and in the restless activi- 
ty of those days, Bismarck seemed to have lost every trace of ill- 
ness. An old partisan of his, who was invited to dinner by him 
in those days, found him fresher and more vigorous than ever. 
During the most animated conversation, the news came in that 
telegraphic communication with Italy was broken oif. Bismarck 
turned to Legations Councillor von Keudell and said, " Dear Keu- 
dell, please give directions that telegrams be sent via London," 
and continued his conversation. Immediately after dinner Gen- 
eral von Moltke was announced. Bismarck went out, but re- 



turned in ten minutes, quite at ease, and invited his guest to ac- 
company him into the garden, although no doubt those ten min- 
utes had been spent in a conference of the most important event- 
ful character. General von Werder was announced. Another 
conference, and then Bismarck related, in strolling about the gar- 
den, how on that forenoon, worn out by continued exertion to 
the greatest extent, and waiting in the antechamber of the King, 
he had fallen asleep on a sofa. He delighted in his garden, and 
got on the ice-house, from which he could overlook the whole of 
the green thickets of the fine large garden behind the palace in 
the Wilhelms-Strasse. 

A few days later, on Friday, the 29th of June, the first news 
of victory arrived, No one, no one will ever forget that day ! 
As if by enchantment, the whole of Berlin was dressed in black- 
and-white flags; in every street resounded, in joy, "/cA tin ein 
Preusse, hennt ihr meine FarhenV — "I am a Prussian; do you 
know my colors?"- In thousands the multitude pressed to the 

* See the Appendix for this stirring national song, and a version I have attempt- 
ed.— K. R. H. M. 


palace of the King, who greeted his faithful people from the win- 
dow, while the General-Intendant von Hiilsen read the victorious 
news from the balcony. There was no end to the rejoicings 
bursting joyfully from full hearts. It was indeed a Prussian 

When Count Bismarck, at about 2 p.m., left the royal palace, 
he was besieged on all sides. Every one wanted to shake hands ; 
on that day, in that hour, every one felt and knew what Count 
Bismarck was to Prussia; some have already forgotten it, and 
there are others who would fain have it forgotten. 

Bismarck was visibly in deep emotion, but he maintained his 
serious carriage. The first victories did not intoxicate him ; his 
prudence, indeed, had apparently increased in power. In this 
hour he thought of the sacrifice, and was humble in his heart. 

In the evening, the multitude returned to the palace of the 
King, and sang Luther's hymn — ^'■Einfeste Burg ist unser Gotf — 
" A fortress firm is our Grod." The King returned thanks. Only 
the few persons close to him could hear the words — the roaring 
ocean of human voices drowned them — and yet every man knew 
what the King had said. Prussia's King could only express what 
every Prussian felt and thought at this moment. Thence the 
multitude rushed to the Crown Prince's palace, and greeted with 
hoch and hurrah the victorious leader of the second army, which 
had stood so well against the enemy ; thence to the palace of 
Prince Charles, the eldest Prince of the royal house, whose son, 
Prince Frederick Charles, had penetrated so gloriously into Bo- 
hemia with the first army, and had won "first blood " for Prussia 
in this war. Next the mass stood head to head in the Wilhelms- 
Strasse, before Bismarck's hotel ; the never-ending cry of triumph 
forced the Minister-President to the window. He raised his hand 
in token that he would speak; all were silent beneath; from the 
distance on both sides the muffled roaring of the shores of this 
popular mass toned along. For the second time Count Bismarck 
addressed the people of Berlin, in powerful but proudly moderate 
words; he ended with a salute to the King and his army. At 
the moment a tremendous peal of thunder reverberated over the 
royal city, a flash of forked lightning illuminated the scene, and, 
with a strongly ringing voice, Bismarck shouted above the mul- 
titude, " The heavens fire a salute !" 



No one will ever forget it who heard that peal of thunder. The 
reply was returned as with one voice ; then the rejoicing mass 
got again into motion to greet " old Eoon," the faithful warrior, 
at the Ministry of War. 

On the 80th of June Bismarck left Berlin in the suite of the 
King, with Generals von Eoon and von Moltke. The King was 
also accompanied by the General Feld Zeugmeister, Prince Charles 
of Prussia, Herrenmeister of Bailey Brandenburg, for the seat of 
war. The carriages rolled by the statues of the Great Frederick, 
the heroes of the War of Freedom, and the great Elector on the 
Long Bridge. Bismarck was serious and firm, looking like an 
iron statue, and more taciturn than ever. The first night's quar- 
ters the King passed at the Castle of Eeichenberg — a few days 
before the head-quarters of his victorious nephew, Prince Fred- 
erick Charles, who had already penetrated far into Bohemia, and 
was encamped in the fields, where Prussian hearts were throb- 
bing to the Almighty, and their arms smiting the foe, according 
to the brave phrase of the Maccabees, which the Prince had used 
in General Orders, but which contradictory ignorance could not 
find, and still prates enough about it to this day, as a Prussian 


"Bible forgery."* Count Bismarck, at the first night's lodging 
at Eeichenberg — and, it is said, not without reason — evinced 
great anxiety as to the safety of his royal master. Of himself he 
thought much less ; perhaps he does not know, to this moment, 
that it was only towards the morning it was found possible to 
disembark his horses and bring them up. We have heard that 
a surprise of the royal head-quarters by a strong body of cavalry 
advance was not beyond the bounds of possibility. Sufficient 
reason for Bismarck's anxiety ! From Sichrow and Jitschen, 
Bismarck wrote the following letters to his wife : — 

Sichro^y, 1st July, 1866. 

To-day we have started from Eeichenberg, and have just 
reached this place. It is uncertain whether we shall remain here 
or proceed to Turnau. The whole journey was dangerous. The 
Austrians, yesterday, had they sent cavalry from Leitmeritz, 
might have caught the King and all the rest of us. Charles, the 
coachman, has had a severe fall with the mare, which ran away 
with him. At first he was thought dead ; he is lying in the hos- 
pital here, near Sichrow, in the next village. Kurt had better 
come for him. 

Everywhere we meet prisoners ; according to the returns there 
are already above fifteen thousand. Jitschin was yesterday 
taken by us at the point of the bayonet by the Frankfurt Divis- 
ion ; General Tiimpling was severely wounded in the hip, but 
not mortally. The heat is terrible. The carriage of provisions 
is difiicult. Our troops suffer from weariness and hunger. There 
are not many traces of war here, except the down-trodden corn- 
fields. The people are not afraid of the soldiers ; they stand in 
their Sunday clothes at their doors, with wife and children, in 
astonishment. At Trautenau the inhabitants murdered twenty 
defenseless oboists of ours, who had remained behind the front 
after the passage of their regiments. The criminals are at Glo- 
gau, before court-martial. At Miinchengratz a brewer enticed 
twenty-six of our soldiers into the spirit vault, made them drunk, 
and set it on fire. The distillery belongs to a convent. Except 
such things, we learn little more here than you do in Berlin. 
This castle, which is very splendid, belongs to Prince Rohan, 
whom I saw every year at Gastein. 

* 1 Maccabees iii., 58, 59.— K. E. H. M. 



Jitschen, not Gitschin, 2d July, 1866. 

We have just arrived from Sichrow ; the battle-field here was 
still full of corpses, horses, and arms. Our victories are much 
greater than we thought; it seems we have already more than 
fifteen thousand prisoners, and with dead and wounded the Aus- 
trian loss is stated at a higher figure — about twenty thousand 
men. Two of their corps are completely dispersed, some regi- 
ments destroyed to the last man. Till now I have seen more 
Austrian prisoners than Prussian soldiers. Send me cigars by 
the courier every time — a thousand at a time, if they can be had, 
price twenty dollars, for the hospitals. All the wounded beg 
them of me. Then by clubs, or our own resources, subscribe for 
some dozens of Kreuzzeitungs for the hospitals — for instance, the 
one at Reichenberg ; the other places can be learnt at the Minis- 
try of War. What is Clermont-Tonnere about ? is he not com- 
ing ? I have no news by the post. Send me a revolver of wide 
calibre, a saddle-pistol. Charles, the coachman, is better ; he will 
not suffer permanently, but for some time will not be fit for serv- 
ice. Charles B. is much to be praised ; he is the active principle 



of our travelling household, I greet you heartily. Send me a 
French novel to read, but only one at a time. God keep you. 

Your letter with the Homburg inclosure has just arrived; a 
thousand thanks. I can understand how you feel the quiet of 
our departure. In our hurry here one feels nothing of the posi- 
tion — perhaps a little in bed at night. 

On the road to Jitschen, on the battle-field, Prince Frederick 
Charles came to meet his royal uncle. What a meeting! The 
Prince drove into Jitschen with the King about 2 p.m., where the 
King alighted at the Grolden Lion. The guard of honor here 
consisted of Pomeranian Grenadiers of the regiment of the late 

We are not here writing a history of the famous campaign ; 
we will only observe that on the 2d July no battle was expected 
at the royal head-quarters for the next day ; the King visited the 
wounded, and Bismarck accompanied him. 

About 11 o'clock P.M. the chief of the staff of Prince Freder- 
ick Charles, General von Yoigts-Rheetz, arrived in Jitschen from 


Kamenitz, the head-quarters of the Prince, bringing with him the 
plans and positions of battle, settled by the Prince in consequence 
of the daring reconnoissance of an officer on his staff. Major von 
linger, which plans were submitted to the King. Immediately 
upon the arrival of General von Yoigts-Rheetz the Council of 
War was summoned to the King, the battle dispositions of the 
Prince were entirely accepted, all arrangements made, and Count 
Finck von Finckenstein rode off on his historical ride to the 
arnay of the Crown Prince, to summon it up. The plan was ex- 
ceedingly simple. Prince Frederick Charles was to throw him- 
self on the front of the enemy, seize it, and if possible overcome 
it, until the Crown Prince arrived with the second army, to give 
the coujp de grace. 

Yery simple — alas ! how much looks simple upon paper ! 

On the 3d July, amidst fog and rain, Prince Frederick Charles 
set out to battle agiiinst the overwhelming force of the enemy : 
in the first dawn of the day his troops were in their assigned 
position. At eight the Prince began the battle. " Too early !" 
critical voices have said ; but military authorities have said, " at 
the right moment !" for any longer delay would have allowed 
General Benedek to take up a much stronger position. The 
Prince bravely took the enormous responsibility on himself, and 
commenced the battle. At nine a ringing shout of joy announced 
the arrival of the King on the battle-field, and with him came 
Count Bismarck, the great Major of Landwehr. 

Certainly it created a fine impression, to see the faithful First 
Councillor on the mare Yeranda — since that time known as " Sa- 
dowa" — on the field of honor, "where the bullet whistles, and 
the lance is couched, and death is rushing round in every shape " 
— behind the venerable King. Whoever had seen Bismarck only 
under the cross-fire of the disdainful speech of a political opposi- 
tion in the debates of the Chamber, firm, half-contemptuous, and 
mighty, had never seen him as a whole ; he was seen to best ad- 
vantage amidst the bullets of Sadowa. There he sat, his high 
form upright in the saddle, upon a very tall roan, with a plain 
paletot over his uniform, while his piercing eyes scanned each 
movement from beneath his helmet. And thus he sat and rode 
for hours, for momentous hours, behind his royal master, in thun- 
der and in smoke. Behind him again the musical and gallant 



Legations Eatli von Keudell, also an officer in the Landwelir 
cavalry. ISToon arrived, but no decisive news from the Crown 
Prince. The battle went burning on, and many a brave heart 
feared at that time for beloved Prussia. Dark were the looks in 
the neighborhood of the King ; old Roon, and Moltke of the 
bright face, sat there like two statues of bronze. It was whis- 
pered that the Prince would have to loose his Brandenburgers — 
his own beloved third corps, whom he had till now held in re- 
serve ; his stormers of Diippel — against the foe, which meant that 
he would have to set his last hazard on the die to gain the vic- 
tory. Suddenly Bismarck lowered the glass through which he 
had been observing the country in the direction fi^om which the 
Crown Prince was approaching, and drew the attention of his 
neighbors to certain lines in the far distance. All telescopes 
were pointed thitherward, but the lines were pronounced to be 
ploughed fields. There was a deep silence, and then the Minis- 
ter-President lowered his glass again and said, decidedly, " Those 
are not plough furrows; the spaces are not equal; they are 
marching lines!" Bismarck had been the first to discover the 
advance of the second army. In a little while the adjutants and 
intelligence flew about in every direction — the Crown Prince and 
victory were at hand ! 




Prince Frederick Charles sent forward his major, Yon Unger- 
Manstein, and the Brandenburg brigade of Diippel marched for- 
ward, playing, " Heil dir im SiegerhranzP''^ 

* At the important battle of Konigsgratz, according to a recent number of the 
Preussische Jahrbitcher, the Prussians lost in dead, wounded, and missing, 359 officers, 
and 8,794 men ; the Austrians 1,147 officers and 30,224 men. The proportions seem 
.thus to have been : for the Prussians, ^g- ; for the Austrians ^ ; average loss on both 
sides Jj. In the battle of Malplaquet (1709) proportion of losses, ^^ at Eossbach 
(1757) Jg ; at Leuthen (1758) Jj ; at Zonidorf (1758) | ; at Austerlitz (1805) J ; at 
Eylau (1807) J ; at Wagram (1809) | ; at Borodino (1812) i ; at Leipzig (1813) | ; at 




The rest need not be told here. Bismarck followed his Kino- 
in the battle. The warlike monarch dashed into the grenade fire 
of the enemy, on which Bismarck made him pause, and said, "As 
a major I have no right to counsel your Majesty on the battle- 
field, but as Minister-President it is my duty to beg your Majesty 
not to seek evident danger!" With a friendly smile, the royal 
hero replied, " How can I ride off when my army is under fire ?" 

In the evening Bismarck 
reached Horitz ; there he 
thought to pass the night on 
the open road, and had al- 
ready laid himself down un- 
der an open colonnade, when 
the Grand Duke of Mecklen- 
burg, who heard of the cir- 
cumstance, sent for him to 
his quarters. Who could 
tell, even remotely, what 
were the feelings and 
thoughts of Bismarck that 
took their course through _ _ 

his heart and head on that 

eventful night ? And on the following day he rode behind his 
victorious monarch, deeper and ever deeper into the land of the 
vanquished enemy, from Bohemia into Moravia. Certainly Bis- 
marck was grateful for the great victory ; but a deep seriousness 
sat upon his countenance, for he knew that he was riding towards 
the silent battle-field where he was commander-in-chief, and where 
he had to be the victor. 

On his road he wrote the following letters to his wife : — 

Hohenmauth, Monday, 9th July, 1866. 
Do you remember, my heart, how, nineteen years ago, we 
passed through here on the road from Prague to Yienna? No 
mirror showed the future — not even when I passed over this rail- 
way, in 1852, with the kind Lynar. We are all well. If we do 

Belle Alliance (1815) J ; at Solferino (1859) J. The three greatest battles were 
those of Leipzig (460,000 men) ; Konigsgratz (430,000 men) ; and Wagram (320,- 
000 men). At Leipzig were lost 90,000 men, at Borodino 74,000, and at Belle Alli- 
ance 61,000 men.— K. R. H. M. 


not become extravagant in our demands, and do not imagine that 
we have conquered the luorld^ we shall obtain a peace worth the 
having. But we are as easily intoxicated as cast down, and I 
have the unthankful office of pouring water into this foaming 
wine, and to cause it to be understood that we do not inhabit 
Europe alone, but with three neighbors. The Austrians are en- 
camped in Moravia, and we are already so daring as to af&rm 
that our head-quarters will to-morrow be where theirs are to-day. 
Prisoners are still arriving, and cannon since the 8d to the num- 
ber of one hundred and eighty. If they bring up their southern 
army, with God's gracious assistance, we will beat that also. 
Confidence is general. Our people are worthy to be kissed ; 
every man is brave to the death, quiet, obedient, moralized, with 
empty stomachs, wet clothes, little sleep, boot-soles falling off — 
friendly towards every one, no plundering .and burning, paying 
what they are able, and eating mouldy bread. There must exist 
a depth of piety in our common soldier, or all this could not be. 
It is difficult to obtain any news of friends. We lie miles away 
from each other; no one knows where the other may be, and 
there is no one to send — that is to say, plenty of men, but no 
horses. For four days I have been seeking for Philip,* who has 
been slightly wounded in the head by a lance-thrust, as Gr. wrote 
me word, but I can not discover where he lies, and now we have 
proceeded eight miles farther. The King exposed himself very 
greatly on the 3d, and it was well that I was with him, for all the 
warnings of others were m vain, and no one else would have 
dared to have spoken as I did on the last occasion, when I suc- 
ceeded, after a knot of ten cuirassiers and fifteen horses of the 6th 
Cuirassier Regiment were rolling around in their blood, and 
bombs were flying about in very unpleasawt proximity to our 
Sovereign. The worst of them, fortunately, did not explode. 
Yet I would rather have it so than that he should be over-pru- 
dent. He was full of enthusiasm at hi« troops, and justly; so 
that he never remarked the noise and fighting around him, and 
sat quiet and comfortably, as if at Kreuzberg, continually coming 
across battalions whom he had to thank and say " Good-night " 
to, until we had got under fire again. He had to listen to so 
much on the subject, however, that he will let it alone for the 
* Bismarck's nephew. 


future, and you may rest quite trauquil, I hardly believe in 
another real battle. 

If you receive no news from any one, you may be assured that 
he is alive and well, for any wounds to friends we hear of in less 
than twenty-four hours. We have not as yet come into contact 
with Herwarth and Steinmetz ; therefore I have also not seen 
Sch., but I know that both are well. G. leads his squadron 
quietly forward with his arm in a sling. Farewell, I must go 
to duty. Your most faithful Y. B. 

Zwittau in Mora-vaa, 11th July, 1866. 

I am in want of an inkstand, all being in use ; otherwise I am 
well, after sleeping well on a field-bed and air-mattress, and 
awakening at eight to find a letter from you. I had gone to bed 
at eleven. At Kcinigsgratz I rode the tall roan ; was thirteen 
hours in the saddle without fodder. He behaved very well, was 
frightened neither at the firing nor the corpses, ate corn-tops and 
plum-leaves with satisfaction at the most difficult moments, and 
went thoroughly well to the end, when I seemed more tired than 
the horse. My first bed for the night was on the roadway of 
Horic, without straw, with the aid of a carriage cushion. Every 
place was full of the wounded ; the Grrand Duke of Mecklenburg 
found me, and then shared his chamber with me, E., and two ad- 
jutants — which, on account" of the rain, was very welcome to me. 
As to the King and the bombs, I have already informed you. 
The generals all were full of the superstition that, as soldiers, 
they dared not speak to the King of danger, and always sent me 
to him, although I am a major. The rising trigger of the revolv- 
er covers the sight point, and the notch in the top of the cock 
does not show in the line of sight. Tell T. of this. Good-bye, 
my dearest ; I must go to S. Your faithful Y. B. 

Nicolsburg ! It was there that Bismarck fought his quiet bat- 
tle, there he accomplished his Sadowa, and chivalrously strove 
for victory and peace, not alone against the diplomacy of his an- 
tagonists, but against the proud daring of triumph in his own 
camp, which encircled him in so heart-warming and so seductive 
a manner. Perhaps Bismarck never showed himself a greater 
statesman than in those days ; the billows of victory could not 



overthrow him, mightily as they dashed over him ; he stood like 
a tower in the torrent of rancor, anger, even of most malicious 
suspicion, which rose up against him. But he perceived the hol- 
low-eyed ghost of pest silently creeping through the armies, and 
pitilessly strangling out the life of the victors ; he knew what 
the climate of Hungary was in August, and he looked boldly at 
the cloud which was rising, pregnant with calamity, in the far 
west. Hail to the faithful and brave hearts who in so terrible an 
hour clung firmly to Bismarck ! 

It was a strange coincidence that the magnificent castle of Nic- 
olsburg had passed through the female line from the inheritance of 
the great house of the Princes of Dietrichstein to General Count 
von Mensdorfif-Ponilly, of Lothringian descent, like the Austrian 
Imperial House itself, so that peace was actually negotiated in 
the very mansion of the Imperial Minister for Foreign Affairs 
himself. Has not the Count Mensdorff-Ponilly, as the heir of the 

Dietrichsteins through his 

wife, been recently raised 
to princely rank under the 
title of Nicolsburg ? 

As Napoleon the First 
resided here after the bat- 
tle of Ansterlitz, so did 
William I. reside here af- 
ter the battle of Sadowa ; 
the castle has historical rec- 
ollections enough. Count 
Bismarck contemplated the 
magnificent pile on his 
arrival intently, and then 
said with grave mirth to 
his companions: "My old 
mansion of Schonhausen 
is certainly very insignifi- 
cant in comparison with this splendid building, therefore I am 
better pleased that we should be here at Count Mensdorff's, than 
that he should now be at my house !" 

In these final days of July the preliminaries of Mcolsburg 
were completed, which resulted in the peace of Prague, 

PRAGUE. 407 

* * * -Jfr -s- * 

The battle was over, victory had been attained ; then weak- 
ness and illness assailed Bismarck worse than ever. The old 
pains of nervous rheumatism came more terribly than before ; 
but he kept himself up by the power of the will, for his King 
was still in want of him. 

On the 8d of August Bismarck wrote to his wife, on his re- 
turn from Prague — "that fated city, where heroes sicken" — as 
follows : — 

Prague, 3d August, 1866. 

I have stolen away from the railway station, and am waiting 
here alone, and without luggage, until the King arrives, and after 
him ray packages. This moment of compulsory inactivity I 
employ in greeting you from hence, and telling you that I am 
well, and hope to be in Berlin to-morrow night. The King is in 
excellent health. The multitudes between here and the station 
are so packed that I fear there will be accidents. 

Evening. — The King came quicker than I expected, and since 
then we have had business of all kinds, and then dinner. I 
have just returned from a drive with His Majesty through 
Hradschin, the Belvedere, etc., and have seen all the beauties of 
the Prague neighborhood. In a few days it will be just nineteen 
years since we saw all these things together. How many won- 
ders had to take place ere I should find myself to-day in the same 
place, without B. Hei cerstwa ! I had remembered to my coach- 
man's great satisfaction. To-morrow we hope to be in Berlin. 
There is great controversy as to the speech from the throne. The 
little people have all of them not enough to do ; they see no far- 
ther than their own noses, and exercise their powers of natation 
on the stormy waves of eloquence. One can manage to settle 
with one's enemies — but alas for one's friends! They have all 
got blinkers on, and only see a spot of the earth. 

This reference to the speech from the throne in the letter 
probably touches especially on the question of indemnity. 

There was something peculiar about this indemnity which 
Bismarck demanded and obtained from the Diet which was im- 
mediately summoned after the war. The word sounded very 
harsh to the ears of the victors ; and there are many honorable 


men at the present day who still painfully feel that Bismarck 
considered it necessary then to obtain this indemnity. Cer- 
tainly the wearied statesman did not fight this new fight for the 
indemnity from any affection for the doctrine of Constitution- 

On the 4th of August Bismarck returned, in the suite of the 
King, to Berlin, amidst the nameless rejoicings of the nation. On 
the next day came the solemn opening of the Diet, and a torrent 
of work overwhelmed the Minister-President. Then ensued the 
peace-treaties with individual States, the consolidation of the con- 
quered provinces, the formation of the North German Confedera- 
tion, cares as to envious malice ; and through all this the suffer- 
ing man held himself up, pale, but firm, sustained by his high 
sense of duty, by the consciousness of his supreme mission. For 
days and hours the powers of Bismarck, stretched to their utmost 
tension, gave way, but he always recovered himself, presenting an 
undaunted' front in every direction. 

This, indeed, was necessary ; for the victorious war had brought 
him no rest. The relations towards the West were growing more 
and more menacing ; the cloud he had perceived from Nicolsburg 
was assuming form. It could no longer be compared at will to 
a weasel or a camel. Had the cloud obtained a name, a new war 
on the Ehine was almost unavo.idable, a war in which Prussia 
\ would unquestionably have to shed her blood only for the laurels, 
without winning the fruits, of victory. Such a war, however, 
Bismarck desired — was indeed forced — to avoid from a sense of 
duty. Let us allow a Frenchman to relate in what manner he 
accomplished this task. 

A long essay was published in the Revue Moderne of Paris, by 
J. Yilbort, under the title of "Germany since Sadowa." Con- 
tained in this is the speech on territorial compensations, de- 
manded by France in August, 1866, at the very time when the 
rejoicings in Prussia were at their height. 

" On the 7th of August," says M. Yilbort, " we took our leave 
of M. de Bismarck, from whom we had received, before, during, 
and after the war, a consistently kind reception, for which we are 
bound to express our liveliest acknowledgments. About 10 
P.M. we were in the study of the Premier, when M. Benedette, 
the French ambassador, was announced. ' Will you take a cup 


of tea in the salon ?' M. de Bismarck said to me. ' I will be 
yours in a moment.' Two hours passed away ; midnight struck ; 
one o'clock. Some twenty persons, his family and intimate 
friends, awaited their host. At last he appeared, with a cheerful 
face and a smile upon his lips. Tea was taken ; there was 
smoking and beer, in German fashion. Conversation turned, 
pleasantly or seriously, on Grermany, Italy, and France. Eumors 
of a war with France were then current for the tenth time in 
Berlin. At the moment of my departure, I said : — ' M. le Mi- 
nistre, will you pardon me a yerj indiscreet question ? Do I take 
war or peace with me back to Paris ?' M. de Bismarck replied, 
with animation, 'Friendship, a lasting friendship with France! 
I entertain the firmest hope that France and Prussia, in the fu- 
ture, will represent the dualism of intelligence and progress.' 
Nevertheless, it seemed to us that at these words we surprised a 
singular smile on the lips of a man who is destined to play a dis- 
tinguished part in Prussian politics, the Privy Councillor Baron 

von . We visited him the next morning, and admitted to 

him how much reflection this smile had caused us. ' You leave 
for France to-night,' he replied ; ' well, give me your word of 
honor to preserve the secret I am about to confide to you until 
you reach Paris. Ere a fortnight is past we shall have war on 
the Ehine, if France insists upon her territorial demands. She 
asks of us what we neither will nor can give. Prussia will not 
cede an inch of German soil ; we can not do so without raising 
the whole of Germany against us, and, if it be necessary, let it 
rise against France rather than ourselves.' This step of the Cab- 
inet of the Tuileries, especially impolitic and unskillful at such a 
moment, served M. de Bismarck, on the other hand, in all his 
German undertakings. He found in it an irresistible argument 
to prove the necessity of great armaments against France, while, 
at the same time, his refusal to give up the smallest portion of 
German territory elevated the dignity of Prussia in the eyes of 
all patriots ; nor did it benefit the Minister less, who thus upheld 
the national standard high and firmly in the sight of the foreign- 
er. Thus it happened that, after half a century, the Napoleon- 
istic policy for the second time divided two great nations, who, 
by their intellectual, moral, and material development, by all 
their interests and aspirations, are destined to form a fraternal 



alliance, and thus insure the freedom and peace of Europe on an 
infrangible basis." 

On the 20th of September, 1866, Bismarck, after a short rest, 
was able to assume the place of honor which was his due in the 
memorable triumphant entry of the troops to Berlin, as Major- 
Greneral and Chief of the Seventh Heavy Landwehr Regiment of 
Horse, to which his grateful Sovereign had appointed him. Im- 
mediately before the King there rode, in one rank. Count Bis- 
marck, the War Minister General von Roon, Greneral von Moltke, 
the Chief of the Greneral Staff, Greneral von Yoigts-Rheetz as 
Chief of the General Staff of the First Army, and General von 
Blumenthal as Chief of the General Staff of the Second ; while 
the King was immediately followed by the Royal Princes and 
other commanders. There was a great and intelligent recogni- 
tion in this Roj^al order of arrangement. 



As may be understood, the loud rejoicings on the occasion of 
this magnificent festival of victory were in honor of the Army 
and its Eoyal Commander-in-Chief; but many an eye followed, 
with grateful admiration and emotion, the powerful form of the 
Minister-President, in the white uniform, with the yellow collar 
and accoutrements of his regiment, wearing the orange sash of 
the Exalted Order of the Black Eagle on his broad chest, his 

flashing helmet being deeply pressed over his forehead, astride of 
his tall horse, riding along in so stately a manner, and occasional- 
ly saluting a friend, here and there, in a courteous way. Scarce- 
ly one of the multitude whose acclamations met his ear even sus- 
pected that the mighty man, in intolerable pain, could scarcely 
keep himself upright in the saddle. 

Nor could Bismarck altogether withdraw himself from the pa- 



triotic festivals wTiicli accompanied and followed the triumphant 
entry of the army. Too much was wanting where he was ab- 
sent. We then saw him at the monster dinner which was given 
in honor of him, and to Generals Von Eoon and Yon Moltke, by 
an enthusiastic assembly, formed of men of all parties. Zealous 
democrats then applauded the great statesman, and whoever was 
present on that occasion would have believed that Bismarck was 
also popular, in the ordinary sense of the word. When the Min- 
ister-President, in the pithy speech in which he acknowledged 
the toast pledged in his honor, said that the Berlin people, as this 
war had shown, had their hearts, words, and hands in the right 
place, the enthusiasm knew no bounds, and the guests rushed 
from all quarters to pledge him again. When the storm had be- 
come somewhat allayed, the Director, Dr. Bonnell, of the Fried- 
rich's Werder Gymnasium, was seen to step forward. 

Bismarck seized his early teacher by both hands, and thanked 
him heartily for a poetic greeting with which he had presented 
him on his return, merrily regretting that he had not been able 
to reply in Alcaic verse. The Chief Burgomaster, sitting oppo- 

PEACE. 413 

site him, asked whether the Minister-President sent his sons to 
the same institution. " Certainly," answered Bismarck ; " and I 
myself was also a scholar of Bonnell !" And so introduced his 
old teacher in the heartiest manner. 

After this festival, Bismarck's last strength failed him. He 
went into the country to Patbus, when he fell very ill, and only 
gradually recovered after a long time, and then not wholly, but 
just enough to admit of his return to business at Berlin in De- 



Conversation with M. de Vilbort. — Appearance as Chancellor. — M. Bamberger's 
Views. — Bismarck as an Orator. — The Luxemburg Question. — Fall from his 
Horse. — Citizenship of Biilow. — Visit to Holstein. — Speech to a TorchUght Pro- 

From the Paris journal, Le Siecle, we extract the following re- 
port of a conversation which Count Bismarck had with a Paris- 
ian journalist on the 10th of June, 1866 : 

" On my arrival at Berlin, I was informed that M. de Bismarck 
was quite inaccessible. I was told, ' Do not attempt to see him ; 
you will only lose time. He receives no one, but lives in the re- 
cesses of his cabinet, shut in with treble-locked doors. He only 
leaves it to wait upon the King, and his closest advisers can 
scarcely obtain access to him.' Nevertheless, I ventured to re- 
quest an audience of the Prime Minister of the King of Prussia. 
M. de Bismarck immediately sent word that he would receive me 
in the evening. 

" When I entered that study — where the peace of Europe, as 
it were, was hanging by a thread, but which I found was only 
guarded by a bolt — I saw before me a man of tall stature, and of 
animated countenance. On his broad, high, and smooth fore- 
head, I perceived with some surprise the presence of much be- 
nevolence, mingled with persistency. Monsieur de Bismarck is 
fair and somewhat bald ; he wears a military mustache, and 
speaks rather with soldier-like brevity than with diplomatic cau- 
tion. His air is that of the aristocrat and courtier, improved by 
all the charm of the most polished courtesy. He advanced to re- 
ceive me, took me by the hand, led me to a seat, and offered me 
a ci2;ar. 


' v^. 



r ^^ 


" ' Monsieur le Ministre,' I said to him after a little prelimin- 
ary conversation, " I, like many of my countrymen, am m.ost 
anxious to be thoroughly enlightened on the true interests of the 
Grerman nation. Permit me, therefore, to express myself with 
entire frankness. I am glad to confess that, in her foreign pol- 
icy, Prussia seems, at the present time, to be pursuing objects 
with which the French nation sympathizes in no ordinary man- 
ner, such as the complete emancipation of Italy from Austrian 
influence, and the establishment of an united Germany, based on 
universal suffrage. But is there not a flat contradiction be- 
tween your Prussian and German policies? You declare a 
national parliament to be the only fountain in which Germany 
can find rejuvenescence, the only form of supreme authority by 
which she can realize her future destiny. Yet, at the same time, 
you treat the Second Chamber at Berlin in the manner of Louis 
XIV., when he entered the Houses of Parliament whip in hand. 
In France we do not admit the possibility of any association be- 
tween absolutism and democracy ; and, to speak the whole truth, 
allow me to state to you that in Paris your plan of a national 
parliament has not been considered as a serious one. It has 
been looked upon as an acutely constructed engine of war, and it 
is generally believed that you are quite the man to break it up 
when it has served your purpose, the moment it seems to have 
become inconvenient or useless.' 

" 'J. la bonne heure,jon go at once to the root of things,' replied 
M. de Bismarck. ' In France, I know, I am as unpopular as in 
Germany. Everywhere I am held responsible for a state of 
things I did not create, but which has been forced upon me as 
upon every one else. I am the scapegoat of public opinion ; but 
that does not much trouble me. I follow out a plan, with a per- 
fectly calm conscience, which I consider useful to my country and 
to Germany. 

" ' As to the means to this end, I have used those within my 
reach, for want of others. Much might be said as to the internal 
condition of Prussia. To judge of it impartially, it is necessary 
to study the peculiar character of the people of this country in 
the most thorough way. France and Italy are now compact 
social polities, each animated by one spirit and one sentiment; 
while, on the contrary, Germany is given up to individualism. 



Here, every one lives apart in his own narrow corner, with his 
own opinions ; his wife and children round him ; ever suspicious 
of the Government, as of his neighbor; judging every thing from 
his personal point of view, and never from general grounds. 
The sentiment of individualism and the necessity for contradic- 
tion are developed to an inconceivable degree in the German. 
Show him an open door, and, rather than pass through it, he will 
insist on breaking a hole in the wall at its side. No government 
however it may act, will be popular in Prussia ; the majority in 
the country will always be opposed to it ; simply from its being 
the Government, and holding authority over the individual, it is 
condemned to be constantly opposed by the moderates, and de- 
cried and despised by the ultras. This has been the common 
fate of all successive governments since the beginning of the 
dynasty. Neither liberal ministers, nor reactionary ministers, 
have found favor with our politicians,' 

" And while thus passing in review the various governments 
and forms of rule which have existed since the foundation of tbe 
monarchy, M. de Bismarck strove to prove to me, in brilliant, 
graphic language, sparkling with wit, that the Auerswalds and 
the Manteuffels had shared the same fate as himself, and that 
Frederick William III., surnamed the Just, had succeeded as 
little as Frederick William lY. in satisfying the Prussian na- 

" 'They shouted,' he added, ' at the victories of Frederick the 
Great, but at his death they rubbed their hands at the thought of 
being delivered from the tyrant. Despite this antagonism, there 
exists a deep attachment to the royal house. ISlo sovereign or 
minister, no government, can win the favor of Prussian individ- 
ualism. Yet all cry from the depths of their hearts, " God save 
the King !" And they obey when the King commands.' 

" ' Yet some say, M. le Ministre, that this discontent might 
grow into rebellion.' 

" 'The Government does not believe this need be feared, and 
does not fear it. Our revolutionists are not formidable. Their 
hostility exhausts itself in invectives against the Prime Minister, 
but they respect the King. It is I who have done all the evil, 
and it is with me alone that they are angry. Were they a little 
more impartial, perhaps they might see that I have not acted 


Otherwise, simply because I could not. In Prussia's present po- 
sition in Germany, and with Austria opposed to her, an army was 
an imperative necessity. In Prussia it is the only force capable 
of discipline. I do not know if that is a French word ?' 

" ' Certainly, M. le Ministre, and in France can also be applied.' 

" 'A Prussian who got his arm broken in a barricade,' contin- 
ued M. de Bismarck, ' would go home crestfallen, and his wife 
would look upon him as a madman ; but in the army he is an ad- 
mirable soldier, and fights like a lion for the honor of his coun- 
try. A party opposed to the Government has not chosen to rec- 
ognize the necessity imposed on us by circumstances of maintain- 
ing a ^ large military force, evident as that necessity has been. 
But I could not hesitate, for my own part ; by family, by educa- 
tion, I am the King's man ; and the King adhered to the idea of 
this military organization as firmly as to his crown, being con- 
vinced, heart and soul, of its indispensability. No one could 
make him yield or compromise the point. At his age — he is 
seventy — and with his traditions, people persist in an idea; 
above all, if they feel it to be good. On the subject of the army, 
I should add, I entirely agree with his view. 

" ' Sixteen years ago I was living as a country gentleman, 
when the King appointed me the Envoy of Prussia at the Frank- 
furt Diet. I had been brought up in the admiration, I might al- 
most say the worship, of Austrian policy. Much time, however, 
was not needed to dispel my youthful illusions with regard to 
Austria, and I became her declared opponent. 

" 'The humiliation of my country; Germany sacrificed to the 
interests of a foreign nation ; a crafty and perfidious Ime of policy 
— these were not things calculated to give me satisfaction. I 
was not aware that the future would call upon me to take any 
part in public events, but from that period I conceived the idea, 
which at the present day I am still pursuing, the idea of snatch- 
ing Germany from Austrian oppression, or at least that part of 
Germany whose tone of thought, religion, manners, and interests, 
identify her destinies with Prussia — Northern Germany. In 
the plan which I brought forward, there has been no question of 
overthrowing thrones, of taking a duchy from one ruler, or some 
petty domain from another ; nor would the King have consented 
to such schemes. And then there are all the interests of familv 


relationship and concessions, a host of antagonistic influences, 
against which I have had to sustain an hourly warfare, 

" ' But neither all this, nor the opposition with which I have 
had to contend in Prussia, could prevent my devoting myself, 
heart and soul, to the idea of a Northern Germany, constituted in 
her logical and natural form, under the segis of Prussia, To 
attain this end I would brave all dangers, exile, the scaffold it- 
self ! I said to the Crown Prince, whose education and natural 
tendencies incline him rather to the side of parliamentary gov- 
ernment, what matter if they hang me, provided the rope by 
which I am hung bind this new Germany firmly to your 
throne?' , 

" ' May I also ask, M. le Ministre, how you reconcile the prin- 
ciple of freedom, embodied in the existence of a national parlia- 
ment, with the despotic treatment to which the Berlin Chamber 
has had to submit ? How, above all, have you been able to in- 
duce the King, the representative of the principle of divine right, 
to accept universal suffrage, which is jpar excellence the principle 
of democracy ?' 

" M, de Bismarck answered with animation : ' That is a victo- 
ry achieved after four years of struggle. When the King sent 
for me, four years ago, the situation of affairs was most critical. 
His Majesty laid before me a long list of liberal concessions, but 
not one of these concerned the military question. I said to the 
King, " I accept; and the more liberal the Government can prove 
itself the stronger it will be." The Chamber has been obdurate 
on one side, and the Cr-own on the other. In the conflict I have 
remained by the King. My respect for him, all my antecedents, 
all the traditions of my family, made it my duty to do so. But 
that I am, either by nature or from principle, an adversary of 
national representation, a born enemy of parliamentary govern- 
ment, is a perfectly gratuitous supposition. 

'"During those discussions, when the Chamber of Berlin set 
itself in opposition to a line of policy imposed on Prussia by cir- 
cumstances of most pressing necessity, I would not separate my- 
self from the King. But no one has a right to insult me by the 
supposition that I am only mystifying Germany in bringing for- 
ward my project of a parliament. Should the day come when, 
my task being accomplished, I find it impossible to reconcile my 


duties to my Sovereign with my duties as a statesman, I shall 
know how to retire without denying the work I have done.' 

" Such are substantially," says M. Vilbort in conclusion, " the 
political opinions expressed to me by M. de Bismarck. His 
thoughts conveyed by my pen, in another form, may have lost to 
some extent their emphasis; but I have anxiously endeavored 
faithfully to reproduce them." 

We have placed this report of the intellectual Frenchman here 
on purpose, because Count Bismarck, independently of other in- 
teresting remarks, has given indications as to the course of his 
future policy not easily to be misunderstood ; for it may readily 
be conceived that we do not feel called upon to enlarge upon 
Bismarck's policy in the last three years. What he has done in 
this period, and how he has done it, is vivid before the eyes of 
every one, and fresh in every one's memory, and there is scarcely 
time yet to incorporate it with history. Our readers will have 
convinced themselves, that in contradistinction to others, we do 
not find the last deeds and speeches of Bismarck inconsistent 
with his earlier acts and speeches ; and we think we have dem- 
onstrated that the Bismarck of to-day has developed consequently 
from the Bismarck of 1847 — that the great aristocratic statesman 
is still the " King's man," as he then was the "Junker Hotspur," 
or conservative party leader. The demand for the so-called in- 
demnity, the amnesty, the direct elections, and all those things 
which are sometimes praised and sometimes blamed and desig- 
nated " Bismarck's contradictions," are only apparent contradic- 
tions, at once to be explained if thoroughly examined. It is very 
easy to hold very different opinions on many points from those 
of Bismarck, and warmly as we admire him, we do not regard 
him as infallible ; but we think that it is necessary to be very 
careful in censuring his individual political acts, even where such 
unpleasant surprises occur, for actually a quite incomparable po- 
litical instinct has fitted him for leadership, and has caused him 
to discover ways and means not existing in any programme, 
sometimes coming into severe collision with theory, but in prac- 
tice either have or will have great blessings in them for the 
Prussian kingdom and the German people. 

We have depicted Bismarck in person at various ages ; of lat- 
ter years he has altered but little at first sight. Those who have 



only seen him in the distance at the Chamber or the Diet, look- 
ing round with his eye-glass, looking through papers, or playing 
with his pencil, will only have seen the tall form in the King's 
plain blue uniform, with a single Order — a cross hanging from 
the neck. It is necessary to draw nearer to observe that time has 
done more than pass with a friendly greeting by the Chancellor 

m^ir'^ ' I ^^^P^ijii-//^ iil'i 

of the Diet. Such years of service as those of Bismarck, in this 
period of his life, count double, like soldiers' years. Bismarck, 
according to this calculation, is more than fifty-four years of 

As an orator, too, the Chancellor of the Diet is almost the same 
as of old, only he has grown quieter. A member of the Diet, 


Herr L. Bamberger, describes bini in his book as follows:* — 
" Count Bismarck is certainly no orator in the usual sense of the 
word, yet, in spite of many defects in his delivery, he commands 
the attention of his audience by the evident force with which his 
thoughts work within him. It seems, besides, as if the habit of 
speaking in public, and especially the certainty which is so req- 
uisite, and which he now possesses of obtaining the ear of his au- 
dience, has materially contributed of late years to the develop- 
ment of his parliamentary faculty. Yet in the year 1866, one of 
his admirers, who had attended a sitting of the Reichstag, drew 
his portrait in the following terms : — ' No oratorical ornamenta- 
tion, no choice of words, nothing which carries the audience away. 
His voice, although clear and audible, is dry and unsympathetic, 
the tone monotonous; he interrupts himself, and stops frequently ; 
sometimes even he stutters, as if his recalcitrant tongue refused 
obedience, and as if he had difficulty in finding words in which 
to express his thoughts. His uneasy movements, somewhat loll- 
ing and 'negligent, in no wise aid the effect of his delivery. Still, 
the longer he speaks, the more he overcomes these defects; he 
attains more precision of expression, and often ends with a well- 
delivered, vigorous — sometimes, as every one is aware, too vigor- 
ous — peroration.'" "It should be added," observes Herr Bam- 
berger,f " that his style, although unstudied, is often not waijting 
in imagery. His bright and clear intellect does not despise col- 
oring, any more than his strong constitution is free from nervous 

The same author says at another part of his book,:{: "To an 
opponent he can be provoking, malicious, even malignant; but 
he is not treacherous ; he offends against morality and justice, 
but against good taste, by pathetic appeals, never. He is not of 
the tribe of paragraph writers who imagine that the world is 
governed by. fine phrases, and that public evils are to be mas- 
tered by wrapping them up in pompous commonplaces. On the 
contrary, he is one of those who delight in heightening a contrast 
by exaggeration, and who thus overshoot their mark. What in- 

* L. Bamberger. Monsieur cTe Bismarck, Paris, 1868. Graf von Bismarck, Bres- 
lau. Count Bismarck, London, 1869, p. 39, sq. t Count Bismarck, p. 41. 

I Count Bismarck, p. 117. It should be named here that though I have quoted 
the authorized Enghsh translation, I do not agree with its exactitude. — K. R. H. M. 


duced him to confess his principle of blood and iron at tbat 
committee meeting?" The instance is very unhappily chosen, 
without considering that by a blunder the so-called blood-and- 
iron theory is written, Principe du fer et du feu,^ for Bismarck 
never proclaimed this theory, with which Philisters are made to 
shudder, at all. In an actually peaceable sense there was a ref- 
erence at that committee meeting of the 1st September, 1862, as 
to sparing the effusion of blood and the use of iron. But it is 
useless to say this, and to reiterate it ; Bismarck has been credit- 
ed with the blood-and-iron theory, and his it will remain, for it 
has been proverbial as a "winged word."f 

Another description of Bismarck as an orator (by Grlagau) we 
extract from the Dalieim. 

" The chivalrous personality of Count Bismarck, his easy car- 
riage, and, above all, his universal fame as a diplomatist and 
statesman, lead us to expect him also to be a brilliant speaker ; 
either one who could bring forth a deeply meditated, well ar- 
ranged speech without hesitation or trouble, in an elegant flow, 
or, still more, a speaker of natural eloquence, whose thoughts and 
figures arise in the soul during his speech, the play of whose 
words and rhetorical figures, born of the moment, leap in winged 
dance from the lips, who poetizes in his speech like an improv- 
isatqre, whose lightning thoughts and catchwords hit the mark, 
moving, and burning- the hearts of his auditors. Neither of these. 
Certainly, a few moments before, with a swift pen, he has written 
a few notes on a narrow slip of paper, which looks like a recipe, 
over which he, while turning his thumbs one over the other, bal- 
ancing the upper part of his body backwards and forwards, and 
speaking to the House, occasionally casts a glance ; but, neverthe- 
less, he stops, and hesitates, even sometimes stammers and repeats 
himself; he appears to struggle with his thoughts, and the words 
clamber over his lips in a half- reluctant way. After two or three 
words he continually pauses, and one seems to hear an inarticu- 
late sob. He speaks without gestures, pathos, and intonation, 
without laying a stress on any particular word ; sometimes he 
accentuates the final syllable or the halting verb in a manner to- 
tally wrong. Can this be the man who has now a parliamentary 

* But not so in the English edition as quoted. — K. R. H. M. 

t /See Biichmann, Gefliigelte Worter (Winged Words), 4th edition, p. 224. 



career of twenty years behind him ? — who ah^eady belonged in 
the Diet of 1847, as Deputy of the Saxon chivalry, to the leaders 
and promptest speakers of the then exceeding extreme right; 
who set the liberal majority into excitement and rage in 1849 
and 1850, as a member of the Second Chamber and of the Erfurt 
Union Parliament ; who, finally, has, almost singly, opposed a 
closed phalanx of progressists, as Minister-President, since 1862, 
repaying their emotional speeches, full of self-confidence and se- 
curity, in almost the same coin, repl3dng to their mocking and 
malicious attacks upon him on the spot, and with flashing pres- 
ence of mind even exciting them to the combat by witty im- 
promptus and cutting sarcasms, often wounding them to the 
soul ? 


'' Yes, it is the same man ; and, when requisite, he is as acute 
and biting as of jore, although, since his great victories, he has 
adopted more of statesman-like earnestness, quiet objectivity, and 
a conciliating carriage, corresponding to his present universally 
admitted greatness. Gradually his speech begins to flow and to 
warm, and soon unfolds its especial charm — that original and 
fresh, free and straightforward mode of expression to which we, 
in our commonplace days, were quite unaccustomed. Hence it 
has been called by his opponents ' paradoxical,' ' frivolous,' and 
' scholastic' We are indebted to them for a whole vocabulary 
of sentences, such as ' Cataline existences,' 'People who have 
missed their vocation,' ' Blood and iron,' 'Austria should transfer 
her centre of gravity to Ofen,' ' This conflict must not be taken 
too tragically,' and which soon became proverbially current, and, 
in the mean time, have revealed their deep truth and apposite 
precision. How true and exact, and, at the same time, how col- 
ored and tangible, is his definition of the national character of the 
Germans, on the occasion of the introduction of the Bill for the 
Constitution of the Confederation, which has hitherto prevented 
the attainment of a great united fatherland. ' It is, as it seems 
to me,' says Count Bismarck, ' a certain superfluity in the feelings 
of manly self-consciousness which in Germany causes the indi- 
vidual, the community, the race, to depend more upon their own 
powers than upon those of the totality. It is the deficiency of 
that readiness of the individual and the race to merge itself in fa- 
vor of the commonwealth, that readiness which has enabled our 
neighbor nations to secure, at an earlier period, those benefits af- 
ter which we are striving.' And when the orator, at the end of 
his speech, exhorts the House to fulfill their task as soon and as 
perfectly as possible, he continues : — ' For the German nation, 
gentlemen, has a right to expect from us that we should preclude 
the possibility of a recurrence of such a catastrophe (^. e., a Ger- 
man war) ; and I am convinced that you, together with the allied 
government, have nothing so nearly at heart as to fulfill this just 
anticipation of the German nation.' With this beautiful exhort- 
ation, simply, but worthily and warmly, uttered, like the greatest 
of orators, he electrified the whole assembly, for tumultuous ap- 
plause resounded from all the benches." 

Next to the Eeichstag of the North German Confederation, the 

VARZIN. 427 

Luxemburg question, in the year 1867, principally drew attention 
to Bismarck. Probably many of those who in the pride of re- 
cent victory then demanded war for the former Federal fortress, 
have become convinced that Bismarck's measured attitude was 
full of high political wisdom. At Bismarck's dinner-table, a short 
time after Luxemburg had been declared neutral, a learned man 
gave it as his opinion that Prussia ought to have made it a casus 
belli with France. Bismarck answered very seriously: — "My 
dear Professor, such a war would have cost us at least thirty 
thousand brave soldiers, and in the best event would have 
brought us no gain. Whoever has once looked into the break- 
ing eye of a dying warrior on the battle-field, will pause ere he 
begins a war." And, after dinner, when he was walking in the 
garden with some guests, he stopped on a lawn, and related how 
he had paced to and fro upon this place in disquiet and deep 
emotion in those momentous days of June. He awaited the roy- 
al decision in an anguish of fear. When he came indoors again, 
his wife asked what had happened that he looked so overcome. 
" I am excited for the very reason that nothing has happened," 
he replied, and went into his study. A few minutes later, short- 
ly before midnight, he received the royal decision — the declara- 
tion of war. 

From the 5th to the 14:th of June, 1867, Count Bismarck re- 
mained at Paris in the suite of the King, where he became an 
object of general attention. The Parisians could not picture our 
Minister-President in any other way than in his white uniform 
of Cuirassiers. A regular flood of generally horribly bad pic- 
tures of him were sold at a sou per copy — the white uniform 
alone showing that Bismarck was the subject. 

Fi'om the end of June to the beginning of August he visited 
his family at Yarzin, an estate in Farther Pomerania, which he 
had bought in the spring. 

On the 14th of July, 1867, he was appointed Chancellor of the 
North Grerman Confederation, went in the beginning of August 
to the King at Ems, and on the 15th of August opened the ses- 
sion of the Council of the Federation at Berlin. On the 15th of 
November the Diet was opened, and on the 29th of February, 
1868, it was closed. On the 23d of March the Eeichstag of the 
North German Confederation was opened, and to this the Cus- 


toms Parliament was added ; it was no wonder, therefore, that 
under the gigantic load of work the strength of the Minister- 
President at last gave way altogether. In the June of 1868 he 
was taken seriously ill, and it was only at the end of the month 
that he was able to go to Varzin, where, in complete retirement 
and entire abstinence from all regular business, he very slowly 
mended ; but was not able to regain his strength, in consequence 
of nervous sleeplessness. He seemed to feel the obstacles to his 
activity even more than all his illness. " Send me no secretary 
hither, or I shall go to work again !" he was heard querulously 
to exclaim. Despite of all public notifications, a flood of letters 
pursued him to Varzin ; the whole correspondence, as might be 
naturally supposed, had to be returned unopened to Berlin, where 
it was estimated that during this stay at Varzin the Minister- 
President had been solicited for aid to the extent of not less than 
a million and a half of thalers.* 

When at last he had grown somewhat better, Bismarck had 
the misfortune, on the 21st of August, to have a dangerous fall 
from his horse. He had gone out riding with his friends, Mo- 
ritz von Blankenburg and the Legation's Path von Keudell, on 
a meadow near Puddiger, one of his farms, a German mile and a 
quarter from Varzin ; his horse put his foot into a hole, fell, and 
fell with all its weight upon his body. So severe a fall might 
have had still sadder results, but such as they were they were sad 
enough, and weeks of severe pain again had to be endured, often 
not unmixed with many fears. At the very time when the for- 
eign newspapers were picturing the most secret and wonderful 
activity in the Chancellor, he was lying prostrate in the most 
dangerous state. It need hardly be said that most anxious looks 
were directed towards Varzin — that general excitement eagerly 
anticipated news from thence, and that ra-any hearts breathed 
lightly again when better intelligence arrived. The news was 
better than, properly speaking, it had any right to have been, 
but, fortunately, it has been justified by time. 

The delight at the good news from Varzin was shown in the 
most various ways, especially in presents of remedies against 
sleeplessness. Bismarck was particularly amused with an old 
soldier, who advised him to smoke a pound of Porto Pico tobacco 

* Say £225,000.— K. R. H. M. 


every day : he sent the old warrior a pipe and a quantity of to- 
bacco, with the request that he would be so good as to smoke for 

On the 1st of October the Burgomaster of Biilow arrived, with 
a deputation of the magistracy and town council, and brought 
the Minister-President the honorary diploma of the citizenship 
of the town. Bismarck received the gentlemen from Biilow 
with special friendliness, and said, among other things, that he 
accepted the diploma with the greater satisfaction, as Biilow had 
ever shown itself a patriotic and loyal city. After dinner, he 
offered the deputation the hospitality of his house for the night. 
But the respectable citizens declared that they had promised 
their careful and inquisitive wives to return before midnight, and 
that they must, therefore, keep their words. On this the Count- 
ess turned merrily to her husband and said : " As you are now 
also a citizen of Biilow, I should be very glad if you would, from 
this time, follow the good example of your colleagues of Biilow!" 
Bismarck laughed and shrugged his shoulders, but returned no 

The fresh and vigorous manner with which Bismarck has 
since returned to his duties, allows us to hope that his long and 
severe illness is quite at an end. He has certainly never thought 
of sparing himself when duty called ; but he takes part freely in 
hunting parties, for the free air of the forest is his best medicine, 
and in the month of December he was present at several parties 
in the Province of Saxony, in the Mark, and even in Holstein. 
In Holstein, at Ahrensburg, where he hunted for two days with 
Count Schimmelmann, a brilliant torchlight procession was form- 
ed in his honor. 

On the 13th of December, shortly before the Count's departure, 
a long train of several hundred people, young and old, with two 
hundred flaming pitch torches, appeared in the castle-yard, pre- 
ceded by a band, and followed by sixty mounted yeomanry. Af- 
ter the leader of the procession had announced that they had come 
to pay their respects to the Minister-President, Count Bismarck 
approached the window, before the crowd, and spoke to the fol- 
lowing effect: — 

" I am rejoiced that you thus salute me as a fellow-countrj^- 
man, and I thank you for the honor you do me. I see in it a 

430 HURRAH , 

proof that tlie feeling of solidarity has also grown stronger and 
stronger with you ; and of this I shall joyfully inform the King. 
We have always belonged to each other as Germans — we have 
ever been brothers — but we were unconscious of it. In this 
country, too, there were different races : Schleswigers, Holsteiners, 
and Lauenburgers ; as, also, Mecklenburgers, Hanoverians, Lii- 
beckers, and Hamburgers exist, and they are all free to remain what 
they are^ in the knowledge that they are Germans — that they are 
brothers. And here in the north we should be doubly aware of 
it, with our Piatt Deutsch language, which stretches from Hol- 
land to the Polish frontier : we were also conscious of it, but have 
not proclaimed it until now. But that we have again so joyfully 
and vividly been able to recognize our German descent and soli- 
darity — for that we must thank the man whose wisdom and en- 
ergy have rendered this consciousness a truth and a fact, in 
bringing our King and Lord a hearty cheer. Long live His 
Majesty, our most gracious King and Sovereign, William the 
First !" 

A threefold cheer was heard throughout the castle-yard. The 
torch-bearers and pedestrians then accompanied the honored man 
to the railway station hard bj, where the farmers, who had led 
the procession on horseback, were introduced to the Count, and 
were greeted by him in friendly accents. A hurrah of many 
hundreds of voices followed the train as it glided away. 



Beauty and might, 

With honor bedight, 

Assembled by night, 

Shining so bright : 
And what was not flower a plant would be — 
Come not for dancing, but just to see. 

Interior of Bismarck's House at Berlin. — Arrival of Guests. — The King. — The 
Queen.- — The Royal Princes. — The Generals. — Committee of Stoiy-tellers in the 
Refreshment Room. — Supper. — The Ball. — Home. 

We have entitled this chapter, " A Ball at Bismarck's," for rea- 
sons of brevity and alliteration, for in truth, at these great evening 
assemblies, with supper after midnight, the ball is a secondary 
object for the majority of the guests. This arrangement, entirely 
imported from England, pleases us as little as the English expres- 
sion " rout," for the principal peculiarity of it is that double the 
number of guests are invited than can find room in the apart- 
ments, and such a system is very much at variance with our old- 
fashioned notions of German hospitality. The institution of a 
"rout" is only tolerable when the greater number of the guests 
only come for a quarter of an hour, and then disappear to attend 
another " rout." The continual arrival of fresh individuals, the 
continual variation in the faces, may then possess a charm of its 
own. But this does not take place at Bismarck's, for when the 
" Minister-President and the Countess of Bismarck-Schonhausen" 
send out their invitations, no house in Berlin has the courage to 
vie with them and open its door on the same evening. The con- 
sequence of this is, that all the guests arrive early and stop as 
long as ever they can. Now, as we have already said, the apart- 


ments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are exceedingly small, 
and thus there is a crush of which it is impossible to form any 
idea unless one has seen it. Add to this the temperature of the 
dog-days in the brilliantly lighted saloons, and the impossibility 
of sitting down ; an enjoyment only appreciated to its full extent 
by the members of the Eeichstag and Deputies of the Diet, who 
here find ample opportunity, after their long plenary and com- 
mittee sittings, to stand. 

The guest reaches the first saloon by the stairs, through a for- 
est of tropical plants and orange-groves, with livery servants 
sprinkled in, to the place where the Minister-President, in his 
white uniform, with the star and collar of his Order, aided by his 
wife, receives the guests, interchanging a few friendly expres- 
sions with them, and then they enter. But after this the guest 
literally founders in the ocean of dazzling light and crowds of 
people ; it is only after a considerable interval that a person, un- 
less accustomed for years to these parties, recovers his self-pos- 
session. At first he hears single words in the noise around him; 
gradually he learns to understand them ; and then come long 
sentences which he is able to comprehend. Next comes the sec- 
ond stage; he observes that he is swimming between rosy red 
and pale blue, clouds of garments of various textures ; he recog- 
nizes with absolute ecstasy the golden threads which pass through 
these clouds ; the soft sounds of the yielding substances are va- 
ried by the sharp rustling of silk and the brilliant gleam of 
crackling satin; then he perceives rounded shoulders, shining 
necks, wavy locks, smiling faces — the happy man sees them all, 
for he is walking towards a group of ladies. He walks ? No, 
he rather creeps, or pushes himself forward without lifting his 
feet. Beautiful Mother Nature in her wisdom has instinctively 
taught him that he must necessarily tread upon some lady's train 
if he raise his foot a quarter of a line from the floor. Thus he 
shoves himself along on the left flank of the battalion, whence 
beautiful eyes are flashing in competition with gold and jewels. 
This danger he can encounter, for all this fire is not directed at 
him, the worn-out man of fifty. He is looking round in aston- 
ishment, and then comes a sudden block, for it is impossible to 
break through the new group standing right in front. Court 
gala uniforms, black coats with broad bands of various orders, 


civil uniforms with golden embroidery, and officers with silver — 
every place is taken up, and the wearers are standing shoulder to 
shoulder in humming conversation. Nothing but strange faces ! 
Suddenly a very large hand, but of course in a delicate glove, 
certainly specially made for this great, good hand, is laid upon 
the arm of the anxious undecided one, a well-known face greets 
him in a friendly way, and a well-known voice says, '' Good-even- 
ing, dear old fellow !" But he scarcely recognizes his tried pa- 
tron and friend, for he had never seen him in full uniform with 
the orange and white sash. When, however, he sees who it is, 
a great feeling of satisfaction comes over him — he is no longer 
alone, and he is safe. Other acquaintances appear, remarks are 
interchanged, there is even recreation, but under difficulties. 
People push here and there, and are pushed in return ; it is im- 
possible to penetrate to the ball-room, but the music of the Cui- 
rassier Guard Regiment can be heard very well, and sometimes 
a servant with a tray full of ices is captured by the more daring — 
a real grace in this heat. It is very comical to hear every one 
complaining of want of room and heat, and yet none of the com- 
plainants seem to have any idea of getting rid of these disagree- 
ables in the simplest manner in the world, by going away ! 

Suddenly all the heads, decked with feathers, flowers, and jew- 
els, bow slowly and then rise again ; it is as if the evening breeze 
passed gently over the meadow, the flowers all bending up and 
down, hither and thither. 

King William is entering, conducted by the Minister-President. 
The stately royal man bows with chivalrous politeness, now to 
this lady, now to that; he pronounces kind words, which are 
really more kind and fewer in number than is usually the case. 
Here he shakes hands with one general, there he nods to another 
gentleman — the path by which the King has passed is marked 
by proud and happy faces. Those who feel disposed to jeer, can 
not in the least know how a Prussian feels when the King's hand 
touches his own, and the King's eye looks so grandly and mildly 
into his. 

But to enjoy a really heart-warming sight. King William and 
Bismarck must be segn together. The great hero, Prince Eu- 
gene, or Eugenio von Savoye, as he wrote it in Italian, German, 
and French, once said of the three Emperors whom he had 




served — " Leopold was my father, Joseph my friend, Carl is my 
sovereign !" In Bismarck's conduct towards the King may be 
seen the reverence for a father, the attachment of a friend, and 
the fallest respect for a sovereign. An unique spectacle, this! 

Now the Queen passes through the brilhant throng, dressed 
with royal simplicity ; she speaks with several of the members of 
the Eeichstag. When the sailing boat passes through the waves 
of the sea, when the swan glides over the shining mirror, a silver 
line marks the passage they have taken. Such a line denotes 
the path which the Queen had followed through the throng. 

The whole Eoyal House is present. 

The tall stately man yonder, with the brave handsome counte- 
nance, who looks still taller in his light blue dragoon uniform 
with the yellow collar, in which he is not often seen, is the Crown 
Prince. He is engaged in animated conversation with a foreign 
diplomatist, in a golden full dress, and is evidently in the best of 
tempers. Prince Albrecht, the King's younger brother, passes 
swiftly in a frank military manner, shaking one or the other per- 
son cordially by the hand. His elder brother. Prince Carl, the 



Commander-in-Chief, is a singular contrast to him. He stands 
erect and proudly in the middle of a circle, but without stiffness. 
A' mocking smile plays over his features ; there is a remarkable 
intermixture in his eyes of sharp observation and indifference. 
How he brings first this person and then that to his side, without 
raising his hand ! This is the reproachless manner of a grand 
seigneur of days gone by ; one can not but feel that Prince Carl 
still retains whole and undivided the princely consciousness of 
former times. In his eyes every one — not of princely rank — 
stands on the same level. Rank, titles, honors, have no distinc- 
tion in his eyes. He is as gracious to the ministers and high 
dignitaries, as to the author whom*he has just summoned to him. 
He alone really exercises the metier de prince. 

Yonder stalwart form, with the good brave countenance, in the 
admiral's uniform, is Prince Adalbert, a cousin of the King; he is 
talking with Herr von Selchow, the Minister of Agriculture, who 
at a distance looks like an ofl&fter in the cavalry. All the princes 
of the Royal House wear the Cross of the Order pour le merite, 
and therefore have all been under fire. 

Prince Frederick Carl yonder is talking with Count Eulen- 
burg, who has made his way through typhoons and Japan to the 



Ministry of the Interior. ' The Prince, with his high forehead, 
firm bearded countenance, large eyes with their lonely quiet ex- 
pression, and spare form, in 

^ the red iacket of the Ziethen 

III "^ 

Hussars, is the hero of Diip- 
pel and Sadowa, also a mem- 
ber of the North German 

All the faces in yonder 
group are well known, for 
their portraits hang in every 
window ; they have written 
their names in the book of 
history with the sword. At 
every step here one may 
greet a hero. Certainly, de- 
signed and undesigned mis- 
takes sometimes happen, 
as, for instance, that pretty 
young lady can not suffi- 
ciently wonder that the val- 
iant old Steinmetz, the fa- 
mous hero of Nachod and Skalitz, is still so young, and dresses in 
private clothes. They had pointed her out a Eeichstag Deputy 
from Pomerania as the famous General, and left her in the error. 
Through the brilliant throng and excitement, in the dazzling 
illuminations and heat, children wise in their generation^ and 
lucky dogs who know every thing, have discovered the way to 
obtain a thorough course of refreshments, which is hidden in a 
dark thicket yonder, and slyly wins in semi-concealment. In 
noble silver vases there is cool — deliciously cool — beer. All 
the thirsty souls who drink at this fount sing the praises of 
Bismarck, for he has introduced this innovaton. Bismarck first 
made beer fashionable in Berlin salons. And so readily has it 
been received within a short timej that even tender ladies and 
high princes no longer hesitate to pay their court openly to 
King Gambrinus. 

There is lively conversation over the beer. A wit has spread 
a rumor that the delicious drink has come from Schwechat, and 


is a present from the Austrian Imperial Ctiancellor to the Chan- 
cellor of the North German Confederation, Some give a friend- 
ly assent to this, others kindly add, that Bismarck has already, 
in return, sent some Neunaugen and Flunder from Pomerauia, to 
his colleague in Vienna ; and why should it not be believed ? 
Formerly, at any rate, the most friendly and social relations ex- 
isted between Bismarck and Beust. 

An old Colonel D mutters something like "irmeoZ^cmaos," 

but swallows the rest of the words, as he can not immediately 
find the Latin terminations in the lumber-room of his memory, 
but instead, enjoys another goblet of the supposed gift. He is 
almost frightened when his neighbor remarks, that Beust as well 
as Bismarck is a descendant of an Alt Mark family ; Biiste, the 
family seat of the Beust family, is only distant a few miles from 
Bismarck ; certainly, the family had not lived there for a long 

time. Colonel D begins to have a better opinion of the 

Austrian Chancellor, and drinks up his beer in comfort. 

Another is telling how Bismarck laughingly said, that " his 
colleague, the Minister of Finance, would to-day convince him- 
self that this dwelling was much too small for the Minister-Pres- 
ident, and would think of how he could get him out of the diffi- 
culty." Thus the little circle got happily into the downward 
way of telling anecdotes, whence there is no return. 

To a somewhat complaining deputation from the new prov- 
inces, Bismarck good-humoredly explained that Prussia was like 
a woollen jacket, very unpleasant at first, but when people got 
accustomed to it they found it very comfortable, and at last came 
to think it a great benefit. 

Bismarck allowed another deputation to whine for a long time 
about universal military service and the weight of taxation ; he 
then said, very seriously and in a tone of the greatest astonish- 
ment, " Dear me, these gentlemen probably thought they could 
become Prussians for nothing !" 

A well-known politician promulgated a very paradoxical state- 
ment at Bismarck's dinner-table; some one present started for- 
ward to refute it. " Pray don't trouble yourself," exclaimed Bis- 
marck; "if you will only have patience for two minutes, the 
learned Herr Professor will at once contradict himself in the 
most brilliant manner !" 


In the year 1848 there was a great deal rumored about a falL 
ing away of the Rhine Provinces. "Where are they going to 
fall to ?" asked Bismarck. 

" And in France they no longer say, ' travailler pour le rot de 
Prusse,^ to indicate a lost labor of love, but ' travailler -pour h 
maitre de M. de Bismarck P " whispered a fat diplomatist cau- 
tiously to his neighbor. 

"How is it," King William merrily once asked the Minister- 
President and his cousin Herr von Bismarck-Briest, " that the 
Bismarcks of Schonhausen are all such tall, strapping fellows, 
and those of Briest the contrary ?" Count Bismarck replied, " Be- 
cause my ancestors all served the King as soldiers in battle, while 
my cousms were engaged in civil affairs !" Herr von Bismarck- 
Briest added, with presence of mind, " That is why I have put 
my seven sons into the army." 

It was true that six Bismarck-Briests fought in the last war 
under the King's standard ; a pity that the seventh was not 
there, but as a Landrath he was " exempt." 

" But," whispered a pale assessor, who has been guilty of in- 
numerable verses, " Bismarck is deficient in esthetic culture ; I 
have heard from the best authority, that once at Frankfurt, when 
Goethe's pearl, ' Happy he who closes up his door without hatred 
of the world!' was performed on the piano, Bismarck burst out 
with, ' What a tailor's soul this Goethe had !' " 

The pale assessor looked as if such barbarism froze him ; some 
laughed, others shrugged their shoulders. 

" The ideas of the moment were confused with opinions or 
meaning !" said a Provincial Government Councillor, who knew 
how to combine his reverence for Bismarck with his aesthetic as- 
pirations ; for in fact he only knew Bismarck and Goethe. 

"I remember you in my boyish days very well," said Bis- 
marck, in 1864, to the Body-Physician of Prince Albrecht, the 
Privy-Councillor Dr. von Arnim ; " you then enormously struck 
me with your energy." 

"This is completely altered now," replied Arnim, quietly; 
"you now strike me enormously with yours." 

The negroes in America are very fond of assuming fine names 
of famous men, such as Csesar, Scipio, Hannibal, Aurelius, Wash- 
ington, King James, Abraham Lincoln, and so forth. One of 



these black gentlemen got very drunk, and shouted like a mad- 
man ; he was seized and put into prison, but brought sober be- 
fore the magistrate the next morning. " What is your name ?" 
The negro answered, with great dignity, "Count Bismarck." 
There was Homeric laughter. The magistrate said, " You are 
discharged ; one must overlook a little from any one bearing so 
great a name ; but for the future take care to do your illustrious 
god-cousin in Berlin more credit 1" 

There was no end to this. Anecdote succeeded anecdote, one 
joke the other; each departing story-teller leaving another in his 
place, until the circle round the altar of Gambrinus was broken 
up by the news that their Majesties and the Court, after having 
partaken of supper in the Countess's salon, had taken their de- 
parture. This was the signal for supper for the rest of the 

A buffet supper is the saddest conclusion of a "rout" — it is 
almost somewhat humiliating to stand with one's hat under one's 
arm and the plate in one's hand, after having had great difiicul- 
ty to procure knife, fork, and all the other utensils employed in 
civilized nations for the business of eating ! But humanity can 
even support this, and with a little care and patience it is possi- 

ble gradually to get a complete supper, from a cup of soup to a 
fruit-ice. Modest minds content themselves certainly by absorb- 
ing a gigantic portion of ham-pie with a spoon — or whatever the 
fortune of war has favored their plates with — ask for nothing 


more — but " go in " for the wine, wliich is foaming in any quan- 

In the mean time the dance music is beginning again, and with 
it the actual period of enjoyment for dancers, and the terrible 
hour for chaperonizing mothers and aunts, who sit out the last 
cotillon with a heroism brave unto death. 

The non-dancing guests now really begin to enjoy themselves 
— the crowd being no longer so thick, there is more room, as the 
saloons reserved for the Court are now open, and there are plen- 
ty of seats. Presently a smoking-room suddenly opens — a smok- 
ing-room with noble cigars, iced champagne, and hot coffee. 
Everywhere one sees the Minister - President busy among his 
guests, conversing in the most agreeable tone, seeing that there is 
nothing wanting, inviting every one to drink, and himself rejoic- 
ing in the gayety he disperses. And whoever departs at about 
five in the morning, with a hearty shake of the hand from Bis- 
marck, will certainly carry away with him the impression that 
the First Minister of Prussia is also the most delightful host in 



'Tis but a hut or little more, 
The threshold narrow, slhn the door — 
And yet within this space so wee, 
Proudly uprears the laurel-tree. 

Bismarck's House in ordinaiy Costume. — Its History. — "Sultan Uilem and Grand 
Vizier Bi-Smarck."-" Bismarck, ^ranJ/^omTBe, Bakschisch ! "— The Cuckoo Clock. 
— Daily Habits. — Sunday at Bismarck's. 

In" that portion of the Wilhelms-Strasse at Berlin, which has 
remained comparatively quiet, although it is bounded on one side 
by the animated and famous street Unter den Linden, and on the 
other by the noisy and busy Leipziger-Strasse, one of the arte- 
ries of Berlin circulation, not far from the Wilhelms-Platz, stands 
a plain one-storied house, with twelve windows in the front — the 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs — since 1862 the of&cial residence of 
Count Bismarck. 

It is the most modest ministerial residence in Berlin ; in no 
large State of Europe does the Foreign Minister live so quietly 
as Count Bismarck does here. To the right of the Minister- 
President is the Hotel of Prince Eadziwill — entre cour et jardin — 
with its railings and stately front court ; to the left is the build- 
ing of the Eoyal Privy Court Printing-ofl&ce of Messrs. Von 
Decker ; opposite the former Palace of the Order of St. John of 
Bailey Brandenburg, so magnificently restored by Schinckel, and 
now the property of Prince Carl of Prussia. One advantage Bis- 
marck's dwelling enjoys, with all the aristocratic houses of the 
Wilhelms-Strasse — it has a large garden with fine old trees in it, 
which extends as far as the Konigsgratzer-Strasse. 

The whole extent of the Wilhelms-Strasse, from the Linden to 
the Leipziger-Strasse, formerly belonged to the Thurgarten — the 


freehold being the King's. On the enlargement of the city by 
Frederick William I., this site was given to the generals and 
higher officials as free building-ground, and was supported by 
the King with his well-known energy by building materials and 
other subventions. The present site of Wilhelms-Strasse and 
Konigsgratzer-Strasse, by the privilege of the 21st of September, 
1736, was covered by a free house, respecting the builder of 
which there is still some question. It was unquestionably the 
work of one General von Pannewitz ; probably Wolf Adolf von 
Pannewitz, born the 18th March, 1679, at Great-Gaglov, in Low- 
er Lausitz, who had been Page and Equerry to King Frederick 
I., and had joined the regiment of Grensdarmes in 1714, from the 
disbanded Garde du Corps. He became lieutenant-colonel of 
this regiment in 1719, in 1725 commander, and in 1728, after the 
death of Field-Marshal General von ISTatzmer, its Chief Panne- 
witz had gained renown on the Ehine, in Italy, and Brabant, and 
had so distinguished himself in the first Silesian war, that the 
great King allowed him to retire from the service on account of 
bodily illness, very honorably, with a pension of three thousand 
thalers. How the ownership of this old hero, who had honestly 
served three Kings of Prussia, passed to the well-known Count- 
ess Barbara Campanini, the married Presidentess von Cocceji, we 
can not tell ; but according to the register she sold the house on 
the 10th April, 1756, to the Actual Privy State and Directing 
War Minister and Grand Master of the Eobes, Herr Count von 
Eickstedt. After the death of this nobleman it became the prop- 
erty of his widow, the Countess von Eickstedt-Peterswaldt, Caro- 
line-Friedrike, born von Grumbkow; then that of her daughter, 
the widowed Obermarshallin von Wangenheim, Philippine Ju- 
liane, born Countess von Eickstedt-Peterswaldt. This lady was, 
however, Bismarck's grand-aunt, having been married first to the 
Eoyal Captain Ernst Friedrich von Bismarck, at Schonhausen 
(born 1729, died 1775), a grand-uncle of the Minister-President — 
so that in the last century a Bismarck lived both at Schonhausen 
and in the Wilhelms-Strasse. In the year 1804 the Hanoverian 
Councillor of Finance, Johann Crelinger, bought the house, but 
soon sold it to the wife of the Eussian Imperial Minister and 
Ambassador at the Eoyal Prussian Court, Herr Maximilian von 
Alopeus, Luise Charlotte Auguste Friedrike, born a Von Yelt- 


lieim. From her it passed into tlie possession, in 1815, of her 
husband. Baron Alopeus, who sold it in 1819 to the Grovernment. 

The family of Alopeus, originally derived from a learned fam- 
ily of Finland, have long played a great part in Berlin society. 
Baron Maximilian was thrice Eussian Ambassador for several 
years in 1790, 1802, and 1813 at Berlin, and was succeeded in the 
post by his younger brother, who has been raised to the rank of 
Count — Daniel Alopeus, who died here in 1831. Public atten- 
tion has been very recently drawn to this younger Alopeus by a 
book which has passed through dozens of editions in France, and 
has been translated into almost all languages. The principal per- 
sonage of this specifically Roman Catholic book is Alexandrina, 
Countess Albert de Laferronays, the only daughter of Daniel Alo- 
peus and the lovely Johanna von Wenckstern, who married for the 
second time the Prince Paul Lapuchin, of Korsie in the Ukraine. 

The Fiscal Board bought the house originally for the then 
Minister of State, Count von Bernstorff, together with all its fur- 
niture and fittings. Since that time all the Foreign Ministers of 
Prussia have resided there, with the exception of Ancillon, who 
remained in a private house, Unter den Linden. 

It has been long known that the apartments are not sufficient 
for the requirements of the service. The Ministerial bureaux, 
grown too unwieldy for the ground-floor, had to be transferred to 
another building, scarcely saving much trouble in the transaction 
of business. The apartments form a very fitting dwelling-place 
for a nobleman in private life, but are by no means suitable for 
the Prussian Prime Minister and Chancellor of the North German 
Federation. Bismarck has naturally felt this inconvenience more 
than any one else; but, as far as we know, he has taken no steps 
towards any alteration, but usually contents itself with a good- 
humored joke about it. 

To the left, on the first floor, are two spacious saloons, having 
a view of the court and garden. These are very convenient, and 
are decorated with old family portraits, some of which we have 
mentioned in our previous chapter on Schonhausen. It is not 
usual to decorate official residences with ancestral portraits ; but, 
as every thing of the kind was wanting, Bismarck had his por- 
traits brought from Schonhausen. In the second saloon stands 
the Countess's piano, and here there is an excellent likeness of 


Bismarck's sister, Frau von Arnim, as a child. Next to this is 
the sitting-room of the Countess, with a good picture of Bismarck 
in the Frankfurt period. From the first saloon one passes to the 
right into a large reception-room, where the ministerial council is 
also held. This is very simply decorated by a portrait of the 
King, and a gigantic porcelain vase, presented by the King to 
Bismarck. To the right of this saloon is Bismarck's dining-' 
room, with its old carpet, of which so much has been said in 
Berlin, although we really can not say why. Next to this is a 
ball-room, over the hall, where the very large dinners also are 
served. To the left, next to the ministerial saloon, is the com- 
fortable but simple study of Bismarck. A double writing-table 
with a low-backed chair on either side, is the principal object. 
In the corner, by the stove, is a chaise-longue^ with a lion's skin 
over it. This lion's skin was brought to the Minister-President 
by the celebrated traveller Eohlfs, from Africa. We are indebted 
to him also for the following anecdote : — Eohlfs was on board an 
Egyptian ship, and was obliged to tell the officers a great deal 
about " Sultan Uilem " and his Grand Vizier " Bi-Smarck," which 
seemed like a new edition of Haroun-ar-Reschid and the Yizier 
Djaffar to the Orientals. The name Bismarck pleased them 
wonderfully, as Bi-Smarck in Arabic signifies " Swift Fire," 
"Eapid Action." 

In the " Wochenblatt der Johanniter Ordens-Balley-Branden- 
burg," another traveller thus relates his ride from Cairo to the 
Pyramids — we there read: "Every one who has been in the 
East or has read a book of travels knows the events of the next 
hour. The visitor to the Pyramids is seized like an irresponsible 
being by four brown shapes, each clad in a single garment ; two 
of them drag him up the irregular steps of the Pyramid of 
Cheops, while the two others assist by shoving and pushing. It 
is of no use to beg and pray — always forward, forward! The 
eye roves giddily on the depths, and anxiously glances Up the 
uneven steps, the worn and slippery blocks of stone — upward, 
upward, until one falls exhausted on the little platform, and with- 
out any power of assembling moral courage. The guides then 
dance round with the customary cry of ' Bakschisch ! bak- 
schisch !' (Money ! money !) Dark traditions concerning an Eng- 
lishman who declined to pay, and was precipitated into the 




depths, do not make the situation any the pleasanter ; and had I 
not understood the Arab people, having left my companions far 
behind, I should have felt very uncomfortable. But I alleged 
weariness, arid would bind myself to nothing. But when all 
appeals in German, Arabic, English, and Italian had failed (for 
these fellows smatter all languages), the tallest fellow, who had 
guessed my nationality, placed himself before me, and, holding up 
his foreiinger, pathetically exclaimed, ' Signor ! Bismarck grand 
homme ! Bahschisch P At this appeal to my patriotic feelings, 
laughter got the upper hand, and I divided my copper money 
among these gentlemen, just as the heads of my companions be- 
came visible at the edge of the topmost stone ridge." 

In this study hang pictures of the Great Elector and the Great 
King, with some other portraits of King William. Otherwise 
the room is quite without decoration. A side door leads into the 
boudoir of the Countess, another into Bismarck's bedroom, and 
the dressing-room beyond. 

Beside the door leading from the study to the bedroom, is a 
cuckoo clock, which every quarter of an hour reminds those 
whom Bismarck receives here, in an appealing and unmistakable 
manner, that they are not to forget they are in the presence of a 
man whose precious time belongs to his King and country. 
With some this warning is unnecessary, but in other cases it is 
very useful, and should any one neglect its appeals, the possessor 
of the cuckoo clock is quite the man to support them in the po- 
litest manner in the world. Softly and cautiously various stories 
are whispered of the important influence this cuckoo clock has 
exercised on the fates of many. 

Such are the apartments inhabited by Prussia's Premier; his 
children live in a wing of the house. 

When at Berlin, Bismarck is accustomed to breakfast, entirely 
dressed in a blue uniform overcoat, about ten o'clock. At this 
time he opens all the letters which have come in, runs through 
the telegraphic dispatches and the latest news of the morning 
papers, and then receives his councillors in the study, rides for an 
hour, and then proceeds to the royal presence. At his return 
from the palace, about five, the family dines ; but it is a rare cir- 
cumstance not to 'find friends present. Bismarck has always an 
excellent appetite, and prefers the red wine of Bordeaux, which 



he once on the tribune of the Second Chamber called " the natu- 
ral drink of the North Grerman," to Rhenish wine. The greatest 
punctuality prevails at his table. He especially delighted in ex- 
horting his sons, while they were young, to sit upright ; and a 
person who for a long time had the honor of being Bismarck's 
table companion, asserts in full seriousness, that owing to the 
continual directions Bismarck gave his sons on this point, which 
he also profited by himself, he had, according to his own calcula- 

tion, himself grown two inches taller in the time. Conversation 
is sparkling, open, and almost always illustrated by the humor- 
ous manner of the host and the witty animation of the Countess. 
The language employed is always Grerman, very seldom a little 
French or English. Bismarck's family table has an especial 
chjarm at Christmas time, when a great tree stretches its branches 
over the guests. After dinner the Minister-President stays for a 
short time in his wife's salon, where he drinks a cup of coffee and 



smokes, during whicli time he runs througla the Kreuzzeitung and 
the Norddeutsclie Allgemeine. He then retires to his study and 
receives the Ambassadors, or a Council of Ministers is held, and 
after that he works by himself About midnight he returns into 
the salon to his wife, and is pleased if he finds any company there. 
This rarely fails, especially 
when the Diet or Reichstag 
is assembled. It may be 
very well understood that 
this arrangement is often 
altered, according to cir- 
cumstances : the Council 
of Ministers often sits in 
the morning, and then the 
Count can scarcely find 
time, after his audience of 
the King, to get his accus- 
tomed ride in the Thier- 

In the warmer seasons of 
the year he often goes into 
the garden after dinner, 
where the trees are; he 
was very commonly here 
every day with Boon and 
Moltke, before the war of 
1866. The trees c'buld tell 

some strange mysteries, but of course they are "sworn," as Is 
proper with ministerial trees. Sometimes Bismarck mounts the 
ice-house ; there he gets a "view" — it certainly is not very ex-- 
tensive, but still green and pleasant — over the large neighboring 
gardens. The Minister-President attends divine service with his 
family in the Holy Trinity Church, in which he was once con- 
firmed. The Communion he receives at the hands of the Consis- 
torial Councillor Souchon, who has also confirmed his children. 
If Bismarck, from personal illness, is unable to attend public 
worship, he likes to have a private service read for him and his 
by some young divine. But it is a rule to receive no one in the 
morning — for it is Sunday in Bismarck's house. 



Purcliase of Varzin. — The Verandah. — The Park. — The name of Bismarck famous. 
House Inscriptions. — Popularity of Bismarck. — In an Ambush of School- girls. 

In tlie April of 1867 Count Bismarck went to see the Estates 
of Yarzin (consisting of Varzin, Wussow, Puddiger, Misdow, and 
Chomitz), near Schlawe, in Farther Pomerania, and soon after- 
wards purchased them. In the autumn of that year, as we have 
said, he spent some weeks at Yarzin, but in the following year 
he remained there, unfortunately in great illness, from June to 
December, He soon made himself at home there, and is fond of 


Varzin, as may be readily understood from its being close to the 
birthplace of his wife — beloved Keinfeld. Nothing is wanting 
there to his enjoyment — there are trees, and plenty of good rid- 
ing and hunting. He converses with every one who meets him, 
in forest and field, in a friendly manner, and is fond of talking 
" platt " with the country people. Recently he said to an old 
laborer known to him, who had been ill: "iYw seid Ihr wolil wie- 
der ganz auf dem TiigeV (You're all right on the main again?) 
"//a," replied the old man, "/Si'e sollten itnan ok hie blieven, denn 
wilrden Sie nocJi mal so frischP'' (Ay! oh, you'd a vast deal 
better ztop 'ere ; yow'd be eer zo mooch vresher !) Bismarck 
laughed. " Yes — if one could be as you are, and always stop in 
Varzin, I believe you !" 

If one turn south on the Coslin-Danzig road, by the large vil- 
lage of Carwitz — recently marked as a station on the railway 
from Coslin to Danzig — after a short drive on a good road, some 
three German miles, one reaches the Bismarck estates with great 
ease. It is a very pleasant neighborhood, alternating with wood- 
ed hillocks, meadows and waters, wood and plough-land. There 
is nothing very magnificent about it, nothing very pretentious ; 
but it is a pleasant spot, and the Countess Bismarck once merrily 
called it, very appropriately, "a pretty little humpy country kin." 

Yarzin can not be seen from the distance ; it is hidden by 
woods. The descending road divides the mansion, to the right, 
from the farm-buildings on the left, forming a long parallelogram. 

Yarzin does not look nearly so aristocratic as Schonhausen, 
which Bismarck calls his "old stone-heap." A building of one 
story, with two wings, all painted pale yellow, surrounds a some- 
what roomy courtyard, open to the road. On the principal build- 
ing, on the gable, are the arms of Blumenthal. The steps of the 
stairway are occupied by orange-trees, myrtles, and laurels. We 
saw a young donkey running about, who was eating the fallen 
laurel-leaves with a very good appetite. The possessor of Yarzin 
must feel very much flattered that laurels abound so much in his 
house that there are enough to feed donkeys ! 

On this open staircase, or rather verandah, Bismarck receives 
his guests, like a simple country nobleman, in a green coat, white 
waistcoat, and yellow neckcloth, and with a hearty shake of the 
hand makes them free of the hospitality of his house. On this 



verandah the Countess stands with her daughter, and looks with 
beaming eyes and happy face after the three sportsmen who are 
proceeding towards the forest and wave their hands in greeting 
back to her. And for others — for every one — it is a pleasant 
sight to see Count Bismarck walking between his sons, his rifle 
over his shoulder, or riding on horseback. On this verandah 


'~z^-^^^^,'^S'^^y^^ ^^-~=E^- 

also the last farewell takes place between mother and sons. Af- 
ter the longest possible holiday, they return to school at Berlin, 
while Bismarck himself orders the postillion to make haste, that 
he may not lose the mid-day train at Coslin. The honest Pome- 
ranian, with the well-fed face above his orange collar, has no idea 
that there exists an intimate bond between himself and the s:reat 


Minister — that in his capacity, as Chancellor of the North Ger- 
man Confederation, he is his highest representative. 

The interior of the mansion of Yarzin is habitable and comfort- 
able, but there is nothing otherwise remarkable about it. To 
the right of the hall on which you enter, is the dining-room, 
which is connected with the kitchen and servants' rooms in the 
left wing ; to the left is the Count's room, the large centre-table 
of which is covered with maps. Maps, especially those of a mi- 
nute kind, are an old hobby of Bismarck's ; if a trip is projected, 
or guests are departing, the road is accurately measured off be- 
forehand on the map. This zealous study of maps has always 
seemed to us very characteristic of Bismarck's whole nature ; he 
always desires to know the road he is travelling in the most ac- 
curate manner ; he considers the advantages, and weighs them 
against the annoyance. The windows of this apartment look out 
on the courtyard. To the right again is the Countess's room, the 
windows opening on the park, and thence there is a really mag- 
nificent view : in the bright summer moonlight nights, one 
would think that one had, by enchantment, some fragment of 
early French court life, from Meudon or Rambouillet. On the 
other side of a prattling little brook, crossed by a pretty little 
bridge, the park, with its fine old trees — oaks and beeches — rises 
in terraces up the hill-side, and the white statues contrast well 
with the green foliage. At such a sight, one thinks of the " En- 
chanted Night " of Tieck ; and indeed there is somewhat of the 
" wondrous world of faerie " in the whole aspect of the scene — 
in its antique but eternally youthful splendor. 

Our readers know, from the letters we have given, how pas- 
sionately Bismarck loves such scenery. There is a great deal 
more of the romantic poet and sentimental German in the great 
statesman, than would appear at first sight. He sometimes rec- 
ognizes this himself with a smile. 

The park of Yarzin by moonlight has indeed a peculiar old- 
fashione.d appearance ; very little imagination is necessary to peo- 
ple it with gentlemen in court uniforms and swords, hats under 
their arms, and ladies with towering head-dresses, hoops, and 
high shoes. On these terraces, over the prett}^ flower-banks, and 
round the white statues, there breathes the whole inspiration of a 
life which, for a long time, was unjustly contemned, and after- 


wards was properly derided, when fashion became its distinguish- 
ing trait, after the petit maitre style — a life we can not wish back 
again, but which we can not but love, it having been that of our 
grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and containing in it, with 
many traits of insignificance, some great and admirable features. 
We may laugh at it, but it contains some pretty ideas ! 

To return to our description. Next to the Countess's drawing- 
room are the bedrooms, and to the right of these again is a hall, 
where an enormous black-oak staircase, reminding one of the 
other staircase at Schonhausen, leads to the upper story. In 
this hall, and in the ante-chamber, one sees the horns of two im- 
mense moufflons, two tremendous stag-antlers, and some others of 
different ages. These all belong to Bismarck's hunting expedi- 
tion in the park at Schonbrunn, when he hunted there after the 
Danish war, with his royal master, as the guest of the Emperor of 
Austria. The Emperor Francis Joseph at that time very gra- 
ciously sent these trophies to Bismarck at Berlin. 

On the other side of this hall, by way of a small room, one 
passes behind the dining-room into a large garden saloon and 
conservatory, with a pretty pavilion. In one of the guest-cham- 
bers of the right wing, on the ground-floor, there is a picture 
ghastly to look upon, of the master of the house, in life-size, 
which, as Friedrich Gerstacker, the unwearied traveller, informs 
us, is sold in great numbers in Venezuela. A worthy transat- 
lantic Correggio, the name not yet known to fame, has depicted 
the Count in a sky-blue miller's coat and bright green trowsers, 
red neckerchief, and rosy red gloves, such as the dandies of Ca- 
i-accas probably wear, after a photograph. There is not a trace of 
likeness in the face, and yet there is something so characteristic 
in the attitude, that one immediately knows who one has before 
one — something so like that the very dogs bark at it. Bismarck, 
it is well known, is an especial favorite among the Germans in 
America. Several new cities have been named after him ; there 
is a Bismarck on the Conchos in Texas, and a Bismarck in Mis- 
souri ; the locality of a third we do not recollect. A considerable 
trans-oceanic trade is carried on in terribly bad photographs of 
the Minister-President, and a German cutler has made himself 
a little fortune by his Bismarck knives; these knives are distin- 
guished by a very sharp and strong blade. Nor has the old 


world remained behind the new in its admiration. German ves- 
sels bear Bismarck's name and likeness, under the black and 
white and red flag, to the farthest shores. Acute champagne- 
makers compete with Veuve Clicquot and the Due de Montebel- 
lo under the designation of Bismarck-Schcinhausen, and from 
Cannes, in Southern France, to Riigenwaldermiinde, in Farther 
Pomerania, speculative hotel-keepers announce that " Rooms have 
just been engaged here for Count Bismarck." After the English 
style, the name of Bismarck has been bestowed as a baptismal 
name ; we ourselves know a little Fraulein von X., named Wil- 
helmine Bismarck Sadowa, born the 8d of July, 1866. In Spain 
the lucifer-match boxes significantly bear the portraits of Bis- 
marck and his royal master. 

We have been especially pleased at finding Bismarck's name 
in the true German household phrases. Thus, a dear and lately 
deceased friend, the Privy Councillor Dr. von Arnim, wrote over 
his door : — 

Lang lebe und bliihe Konig Wilhelm, mein Held ; 
Mit ihm soil behalten Graf Bismarck das Feld ! 
Long live and flourish King WiUiam, my hero ; with him shall Coimt Bismarck 
keep the field. 

Several house proprietors in Berlin have adopted this sentence ; 
but still more apposite is the following inscription on the house 
of a master weaver : — 

Als Wilhelm wirkt und Bismarck spann, 
Gott hatte seine Treude dran. 1866. 
As William worked and Bismarck spon, 
God had his joy thereon. 1866. 

Gardeners have started a Bismarck rose, and a giant Bismarck 
strawberry, and the fashionable world attires itself in Bismarck 
brown. At our request, the management of the Bazar, the most 
competent house for such things, has kindly shown us fourteen 
shades of this color in silk, and informed us at the same time 
that there are many more of such Bismarck shades; that Bis- 
marck /owce is not nearly so dark as Bismarck courrouce. This 
color originally was called hanneton (May beetle), and soon drove 
the Vert Metternich from the field ; while in Austria a small cake 
{semmel), strewn with a little poppy-seed, shaped like a pigtail, 
holds its sway with the Radetzky Kopfel. On the Parana 


and Paraguay the steamer Count Bismarck runs up and down 
the river. At Alexandria the passage Bismarck is full of brown 
and black forms. At Blumberg, in the South Australian colony 
of Adelaide, the Germans assemble in the Bismarck Hall, and to 
keep up their national enthusiasm over a drink, they smoke 
cigars " Conde de Bismarck." These are considered highly ele- 
gant, but cost one hundred and thirty dollars a pound, although 
there is a cheaper medium Bismarck cigar. 

In the Grand Duchy of Posen, by a Cabinet Order of the King, 
the four places Karsy, Bobry, Budy, and Zwierzchoslaw, in the 
circle of Pleschen, have been, at the desire of the inhabitants, in- 
corporated as Bismarcksdorf. 

In Berlin the Bismarck-Strasse unites the Eoon-Strasse with 
the Moltke-Strasse ; while in 1865 the malice of the Berlin wits 
wanted to change the name of the Wasserthor-Strasse, when the 
terrible fall of the houses took place there, into Bismarck-Strasse. 

In South Germany the belief that Bismarck does every thing 
and can do every thing, down to the Spanish Eevolution, and 
perhaps even directs the weather, is continually spreading. 
Oddly enough, the Ultramontane enemies of Bismarck especially 
take care to spread the name of the Minister-President. They 
certainly paint black over black, but they make the nation famil- 
iar with his fame, and though they may ever depict him as a sort 
of devil, truth will break through at last. 

Is Bismarck really popular? This may be a curious question 
to ask, but it may still be legitimately put, for in the ordinary 
sense of the word Bismarck is not popular, despite his world- 
wide fame. For instance, he is not popular as in our days Ca- 
vour and Garibaldi have been. He has not the popularity of 
the ruling party opinion and that of the day, but, in place of it, 
his is the historical popularity which will preserve his memory 
to a grateful posterity. A correspondent of the liberal Paris pa- 
per, Le Temps^ very excellently expresses our meaning in the fol- 
lowing remarks : — " The Chancellor of the North German Con- 
federation is not what we can call a popular man ; the Prussians, 
or at least the Berlinese, entertain for him a similar feeling to 
that entertained by the other Germans for Prussia. They do not 
love him ; they love to exercise their wit upon him, and you 
know how biting and salted the Berlin wit is ; but they ac- 


knowledge him and wonder at him, showing him tolerance. 
They look upon him as the greatest statesman of the present 
day ; are proud of him, although he often presses hard upon 
them. M. de Bismarck has for the Prussians an incomparable 
magic, particularly since he opposed the policy of Napoleon. 
Since 1866, a change has taken place which has surprised me, 
although there is nothing very surprising in it. Before 1866, the 
Premier in every thing he did had the world pretty much against 
him — to-day every impulse is expected from him, and if he gives 
it, almost every one is at his back." 

The question of popularity, as far as the great world is con- 
cerned, may well be left here ; but in Varzin and the neighbor- 
ing districts it has long since been determined. Only ask his 
farmers and laborers ! And with the daring blacksmith — (or was 
it a miller?) — who secretly poaches on Bismarck's preserves, the 
Minister-President is, perhaps, the most popular of any. 

It is a real pleasure to see Bismarck at Varzin among his trees ; 
not during those restless nocturnal wanderings in the park, to 
which his sleepless illness only too frequently impels him, but 
when he is pleasantly pointing out his favorites to his guests. 
It was an event when the North German Chancellor, the sum- 
mer before last, discovered three magnificent beeches in the 
midst of a thicket. 

On a declivity with a beautiful view, there is a rich deer pre- 
serve. Bismarck might even erect a falconry, and hunt with 
hawks — there are plenty in the Netherlands still. But this Im- 
perial and Royal amusement is for him too — reactionary. 

One day Bismarck thought, as he was riding to the Crangener 
frontier, whither he had sent his gamekeeper, that he caught a 
glimpse of a peculiar blue animal which fled before him. But 
when he came up with it, it proved to be a blue parasol, and he 
himself had fallen into an ambuscade, for he found himself sud- 
denly surrounded by a crowd of young ladies, who received him 
with songs. The pastor in Crangen kept a young ladies' school, 
who, having heard that Bismarck was coming, thus paid their re- 
spects to him in so unexpected a way, and left him, delighted 
with his amiability. Crangen, an ancient hunting castle of the 
Dukes of Pomerania, standing picturesquely, with its four stately 
towers and high gables, between three lakes and high mountains, 


is, without doubt, the most beautiful spot in this neighborhood. 
It belongs to the Royal Major Retired Rank Freiherr Hugo von 
Loen, who is Bismarck's nearest neighbor in that direction. 

The long residence of Bismarck at Varzin during the summer 
before last has directed the eyes of all Europe on this modest 
seat in Farther Pomerania. Varzin was an old fief of the family 
of Von Zitzewitz, who possessed many estates in this neighbor- 
hood. It is said that it came per fas et nefas into the possession 
of the very powerful Privy Minister of State and War and Prin- 
cipal President of Pomerania, Caspar Otto von Massow, who then 
sold it to Major General Adam Joachim, Count of Podewils. 
Count Podewils and his brothers received a renewal of the fief, 
and it was a heritage in their family, until in this century it 
passed through an heiress to a Von Blumenthal, Werner Constan- 
tino von Blumenthal, who was raised to a Countship in 1840. 
Bismarck purchased the Varzin estates from the younger sons of 
this Blumenthal. They form, with Varzin, Wussow — where the 
church is situated, Puddiger, Misdow, Chomitz, and Charlotten- 
thal, a considerable property. The soil is not equal throughout ; 
the forests are very fine and stately ; the wood in good condition. 
The game is very plentiful — few stags, but plenty of roes, hares, 
and smaller game. The Wipper, which falls into the Baltic at 
Riigenwaldermlinde, five German miles from Varzin, serpentines 
through the forests of the Bismarck property, and in part forms 
the boundary of the estate, and is very useful for the transporta- 
tion of the timber. 

Formerly there were considerable glass factories in Misdow 
and Chomitz, but they are no longer worked, nor is any spirit 
distilled there ; but a wood factory it is said is in use — certainly 
a profitable business in this neighborhood, so full of wood. 


It has been thouglit desirable to give the originals of the two 
poems translated respectively at pages 70-72, and pages 124, 
125, by the present Editor, for the benefit of those who may like 
to see them. 

Das Blatt, das giiin und k) aftig 

Des Wandrers Blick entziickt, 

In purem Golde pvachtig 

Den Schild der Bismarck schmiickt ; 

Das Kleeblatt gulden leuchtend, 

Das ist im blauen Feld 

Von Nesselblattern di aiiend 

Gar scharf und blank umstellt. 

Es was vor alten Zeiten 

Ein El aulein wonnesam, 

Durch die der Nessel Zeichen 

Ins Schild der Bismarck kam. 

Um Fiaiilein Gertrud warben 

Viel Edle, kampfei-probt, 

Die auf Geheiss des Vaters 

Dem Vetter schon verlobt. 

Da kam ein Fiirst der Wenden 

Herab vom nord'schen Meer, 

Er kam mit hundert Pferden — 

Jung Gertrud sein Begehr ; 

Jung Gertrud lehnte hoflich 

Die hohe Ehre ab, 

Der Fiirst, erziirnet liochlich, 

Erhub den giild'nen Stab ; 

Er winkte seinen Knechten 

Und rief, von Zom entbrannt: 

"Ich will das Kleeblatt brechen 

Mit meiner eignen Hand I 

Ja, war's noch eine Nessel, 

Gab's doch ein kleines Weh, 

Dock lustig ist's zu brechen, 

Griin oder gold den Klee ! " — 

Und noch am selb'gen Tage, 

Da stiirmt mit reis'gem Tross 

Der Eiirst vom Wendenstamme 

Jung Gertruds festes Schloss. 

Der Burgvogt, iiberfallen, 

Eiel fechtend in dem Tross, 

Und iiber Wall und Graben 

Der Wende drang ins Schloss. 

Des leichten Siegs frohlockend 

Der Fiirst schaut freudig drein, 

Und trat mit stolzem Worte 

In Gertruds Kammerlein : 

" Ich komme, Dich zu brechen, 

Du giildner Herzensklee, 

Du bi'ennst ja nicht wie Nesseln, 

Das Kleeblatt thut nicht weh!" 

Drauf that er sie umarmen, 

Wie briinst'ge Liebe thut, 

Doch plotzlich schrie er : " Gnade ! ' 

Und sank ins heisse Blut. 

Jung Gertrud, wunderpiachtig, 

Schwang iiber ihm den Stahl, 

Den Dolch stiess sie ihm kiaftig 

Ins Herz zum andern Mai, 

Und rief: " Das sind die Nesseln, 

Die Nesseln brennen, weh ! 

Wer hat noch Lust zu brechen 

Der Bismarck giildnen Klee !•" 

Und seit jung Gertruds Zeiten 

Diaut in der Bismarck Schild 

Der Nesseln blankes Zeichen, 

Rings um des Kleeblatts Bild : 

Mit scharfem Stahl sie haben 

Ihr Kleinod stets bewahrt ; 

Ja, seit jung Gertruds Tagen 

Blieb das der Bismarck Art I 



From Dr. Gr. Sclawetsclike's " Bismarckias." See pages 123, 

Abgeschiittelt von den Solilen 
1st der Schulstaub ; hohe Wogen 
Tragen jetzt das SchifF des Junglings. 
Alle Anker sind gelichtet, 
Alle Segel aufgezogen, 
Und der Burschenfreiheit Flagge 
Lustig flatternd zeigt die Inschrift : 
' ' Mtimur in vetitum ! " 

Schone Tage wilder Freiheit ! 
Frolilich sammelt ihr die Jtinger 
Der kastalischen neun Schwestern 
Auch in andi-er Gotter Hallen. 
An den duftenden Altaren 
Eines Bacchus und Gambrinus, 
Edler Safte milder Spende, 
Opfert froli der Neophyt. 

Auch des kampfesfrohen Mavbrs 
Heiligthum erschliesst sich prangend. 
Hort ihr dort den SchaU der Waffen ? 
Hort ihr dort des Kampfes Tosen ? 
Hei ! wie blitzen scharfe Ivlingen, 
Hei ! wie pfeifen Terz und Quarten, 
Wie so Mancher haut so Manchem 
Ueber's Maul, und wird gehau'n. 

Und so schlang ein rother Faden 
(Namlich der von Blut und Eisen) 
Damals schon dui'ch Tinsres " Burschen 
Erdenwallen " sich : es melden 
Gottingen, Berlin und Greifswald 
Kiihnen Muthes hohe " Thaten 
Von vergangner Jahre Tagen " — 
Wie einst Ossian es sang. 



(Page 166.) 

The great interest and importance of the following documents, 
from their forming the absolute point of departure of Bismarck's 
political activity, has induced their republication in this volume, 
together with some few other papers bearing upon various mat- 
ters in relation to German and Prussian politics. At the present 
day they can not fail to be read with interest, inasmuch as they 
illustrate in a remarkable degree the impolicy of hasty conces- 
sions. The Prussia and Grermany of 1847 was hardly prepared 
by political education and enlightenment for such concessions, 
and the immediate effect, which the English editor of these 
pages personally witnessed, was a stimulant to the ultra party to 
demand more and more at the hands of the King. The text 
amply illustrates the excited state of public opinion at the time, 
which culminated in the days of March, 1848, and has required 
the steady and fearless hand of Count Bismarck to rein in. Po- 
litical students can make their own comments. 

The following is a translation of a decree dated Berlin, Febru- 
ary 3d, 1847 :— 

We, Frederick William, by the grace of God, King of Prussia, 
etc., give notice, and herewith ordain to be known : — 

Since the commencement of our government we have constant- 
ly applied particular care to the development of the relations of 
the States of our country. 

We recognize in this matter one of the weightiest problems of 
the kingly calling bestowed on us by God, in the solution of 
which a twofold aim is marked out for us — namely, to transmit 


the rights, the dignity, and the power of the Crown, inherited 
from our ancestors of glorious memory, intact to our successors 
on the throne ; but at the same time to grant to the faithful 
States of our monarchy that co-operation which, in unison with 
those rights, and the peculiar relations of our monarchy, is fitted 
to secure a prosperous future to our country. 

In respect whereof, continuing to build on the laws given by 
His late Majesty our Royal Father, now resting with God, par- 
ticularly on the Ordinance respecting the national debt of the 
17th of January, 1820, and on the law respecting the regulation 
of the Provincial Diets of the 5th of June, 1823, we decree as fol- 
lows : — 

1. — As often as the wants of the State may require either fresh 
loans, or the introduction of new taxes, or the increase of those 
already existing, we will call together around us the Provincial 
Diets of the monarchy in an United Diet, in order, firstl}^, to call 
into play that co-operation of the Diets provided by the Ordi- 
nance respecting the national debt ; and secondly, to assure us of 
their consent. 

2. — We will for the future call together at periodical times the 
Committee of the United Diet. 

3. — To the United Diet, and, as its representative, to the Com- 
mittee of the United Diet, we intrust — 

(a.) In reference to counsel of the Diet in legislation, the same 
co-operation which was assigned to the Provincial Diets by the 
law of June 5th, 1823, Sec. 3, No. 2, so long as no general as- 
semblies of the Diet take place. 

(b.) The co-operation of the Diets in paying the interest on, 
and liquidation of, the State debts, provided by the law of Janu- 
ary 17th, 1820, in so far as such business is not confided to the 
Deputation of the Diet for the national debt. 

(c.) The right of petition upon internal, though not merely 
provincial, matters. 

All the above, as is more closely defined in our Ordinances of 
this day respecting the formation of an United Diet, the periodical 
assembling of the committee of the United Diet and its functions, 
and the formation of a deputation of the Diet for the national 

While we thus far refer to the promises of that Gracious Sov* 


ereiga our Royal Father, on the raising of new loans, as well as 
the increase of existing taxes, which are founded on that system 
of the Grerman Constitution, bound up with the assent of the 
States, and in thereby giving to our subjects a special proof of 
our royal confidence ; so we expect in return the like confidence 
from their often-proved fidelity and honor, as was shown when 
we ascended the throne of our father, and also we expect that 
they will support us and our efforts directed solely to the welfare 
of the country, on which efforts success under God's gracious as- 
sistance can not fail to await. 

Officially authenticated by our own subscription, and sealed 
with our royal seal. 


Given at Berlin, Feb. 3d, 1847. 


We, Frederick William, by the grace of God, King of Prussia, 
etc., having taken the opinion of our Ministers of State, make the 
following Ordinance, in pursuance of our letters patent of this 
day, in the matter of the affairs of the Diets, respecting the forma- 
tion of an United Diet : — 

Section 1. — We shall unite the eight Provincial Diets of our 
monarchy in one Diet, as often as is necessary, according to the 
tenor of our letters patent of this day, or on any other occasion 
when we think it needful on account of urgent matters of State. 

With regard to the place of assembly, and the continuance of 
the Session of this United Diet, as well as with regard to its 
opening and close, we will make a special determination in each 
particular case. 

Section 2. — We grant to the Princes of our Royal House, as 
soon as, according to the prescriptions of law, they have attained 
majority, the right of sitting and voting in the Estate of Princes, 
Counts, and Lords, at the United Diet. The Estate of Nobles in 
this Diet is composed, besides, of the Princes and Counts of the 
old Imperial Constitution, who have seats in the Provincial Diets, 


as well as of the Silesian Princes and noblemen, and all other 
founders, Princes, Counts, and Lords of the eight Provincial 
Diets who are entitled either to a single or collective vote in 
those Assemblies, 

The Princes of our House may, under our sanction, in case of 
hindrance, intrust some other Prince of our House with the dis- 
posal of their votes. 

Single members of the Estate of Nobles, who are invested with 
full powers in the Provincial Diet, retain this privilege in like 
manner for the United Diet. 

In respect to the organization and enlargement of the Estate of 
Nobles, we reserve to ourselves the right of further regulations. 

Section 3. — The Deputies of the Estate of Knighthood, and the 
Commoners of the eight Provinces of our monarchy, are to ap- 
pear in the United Diet in the same numbers as in the Provincial 

Section 4. — To the United Diet we intrust the co-operation 
reserved to the Provincial Diets in case of State loans by Article 
2 of the Ordinance relative to the national debt, dated January 
17th, 1820 ; and, accordingly, no new loans, for which the collec- 
tive property of the State may be assigned as security (Article 3 
of the Ordinance of January 17th, 1820), shall be contracted with- 
out the concurrence and guaranty of the United Diet. 

Section 5. — If new loans, of the nature mentioned in Section 4, 
are required for covering the expenses of the State in time of 
peace, we will not contract them without the consent of the 
United Diet, 

Section 6. — If, however, in the event of expected war, or war 
already broken out, the funds in our Treasury, and other reserve 
funds, are insufficient for the requisite purpose, extraordinary sup- 
plies and loans must therefore be raised ; and if urgent political 
circumstances should not admit of our appeal to the United Diet, 
the said loan shall be raised with the concurrence of the deputa- 
tion for the national debt, which concurrence shall stand in lieu 
of the co-operation of the States. Loans for the above-mentioned 
objects, contracted with the concurrence of the deputation, will be 
raised on the same security as that which, in Article 3 of the Or- 
dinance of January 17th, 1820, is assigned for the national debt. 

Section 7. — Should a loan be raised in the manner mentioned 


in Section 6, we will, on the removal of the obstacles which pre- 
vented an appeal to the United Diet, call it together, and explain 
the object and application of the loan. 

Section 8. — Moreover, the United Diet, conformably with 
Article 9 of the Ordinance of January 17th, 1820, must propose 
to us the candidates for vacant posts in the chief department for 
the administration of the national debt; and, conformably with 
Article 13 of the said Ordinance, the accounts for the administra- 
tion of the national debt, drawn up by the deputation, must be 
carefully examined by the United Diet, and submitted to us for 
discharge in separate resolutions. 

When the United Diet is not sitting, this business must be 
transacted by the Committee of the United Diet, 

Section 9. — Without the consent of the United Diet, we will 
not introduce any new imposts, nor increase the amount of the 
existing taxes, either generally or in any particular province. 

This condition does not, however, extend to import, export, and 
transit duties, nor to those indirect taxes, the specification, levy- 
ing, or administration of which may be the subjects of an under- 
standing with other Powers ; neither does that condition refer to 
domains or royal property (whether the arrangements relate to 
income or to substance), or to taxes for objects relating to prov- 
inces, circles, or communes. 

Section 10. — In the event of a war, we reserve to ourselves the 
right of levying extraordinary taxes without the assent of the 
United Diet, when urgent political circumstances do not permit 
us to call it together. In such cases, however, we will, as soon as 
circumstances permit, or at latest on the termination of the war, 
make known to the United Diet the object and application of the 
extraordinary taxes which may have been levied. 

Section 11. — Should the Diet be called together on any of the 
occasions specified in Sections 4-10, copies of the finance esti- 
mates and the accounts of the State for the intervals between the 
sittings of the Assembly shall be submitted to the members for 
their information. 

The fixing of the finance estimates, as well as determining the 
employment of the §tate revenue, and the application of the sur- 
plus to the wants and welfare of the State, remains an exclusive 
privilege of the Crown. 



Section 12. — Conformably with a law of the 5th of January, 
1823, we reserve to ourselves the right of demanding extraordi- 
nary counsel from the United Diet in framing laws relating to al- 
terations in the rights of persons and property, or on other mat- 
ters than those alluded to in Section 9, which have for their ob- 
ject alterations in the taxes, whether those laws concern the whole 
monarchy or several provinces. The Diet is authorized to give 
the required counsel, with full lawful effect. 

Should we deem it necessary to seek counsel of the Diet con- 
cerning changes in the constitution of the Diet — changes which, 
not being limited to any particular province, are not to be ar- 
ranged by the Diet of that province — we shall demand an opin- 
ion from the United Diet, for whose consideration changes in 
such matters of State are exclusively reserved. 

Section 13. — To the United Diet belongs the right of laying 
before us petitions and complaints relating to the internal affairs 
of the whole kingdom, or of several provinces; on the other 
hand, petitions and complaints which concern merely the inter- 
ests of particular provinces must be referred to the provincial 

Section 14. — When the United Diet has determined on raising 
new State loans (Section 5), or the introduction of new taxes, or 
increasing the existing rate of taxes (Section 9), the Estate of the 
Nobles must take part with the other estates in the discussion 
and decision. In all other cases the deliberations and votes of 
the Estate of the Nobles in the United Diet are to take place in 
a separate assembly. 

Section 15.— Every member of the Estate of the Nobles is en- 
titled to a full vote in the United Diet, but when (as mentioned 
in Section 14) the Estate of the Nobles is united with the other 
estates in one Assembly, the members of that Estate, taking part 
in the discussions of the United Diet, have only that number of 
votes which belongs to them in the Provincial Diets. 

Section 16. — Eesolutions are to be carried by the majority of 

Petitions and complaints are only to be brought under our cog- 
nizance when they have been deliberated on in both Assemblies 
(that is, in the Assembly of the Estate of Nobles, and in the As- 
sembly of Deputies of the Knighthood and Commoners), and 


when in each of these Assemblies at least two-thirds of the votes 
have been in favor of SQch petitions or complaints. 

When the two above-named Assemblies, or one of them, after 
the discussion of a law, or of certain articles of a law, shall decide 
against that law bj a majority less than that above-named, the 
views of the minority shall be submitted to our consideration. 

Section 17. — If on a subject in respect to which the interests 
of two different estates or provinces may -be at variance with 
each other, a particular estate or province should have reason to 
complain of a resolution according to the terms of Section 16, a 
separation of the Assembly into its component parts takes place, 
if a majority of two-thirds of the said estate or province be ob- 

In such case the estate or province must discuss the matter 
separately, or pass a separate vote, and the various views enter- 
tained on the subject will afterwards be submitted to our decision. 

Also, in other cases, we reserve to ourselves the privilege of 
requiring, when we think fit so to do, a separate opinion from 
each of the estates and provinces. 

Section 18.- — For the Estate of Nobles of the Assembled Diet, 
as well as for the Assembly of the Knighthood and Commoners, 
we will appoint a Marshal to conduct the business and to act as 
president. The places of both these Marshals may, in the event 
of their being disabled from attending, be supplied by Yice- 

When, as mentioned in Section 14, the Estate of Nobles and 
the other estates unite together, the Presidency of the Assembly 
devolves on the Marshal or Vice-Marshal of the Estate of Nobles. 

Section 19. — The United Diet is not connected in its functions 
with those of circles, communes, or corporations ; its functions 
are likewise independent of the classes or persons which it repre- 
sents ; and these are not allowed to give to the Deputies either 
instructions or commissions. 

Section 20. — Petitions or complaints must not be presented or 
delivered by any except the members of the United Diet. 

Section 21. — Petitions and complaints which we have once re- 
jected must not again be presented to us by the said Assembly, 
and must only be renewed when new causes give occasion for 


Section 22. — In all deliberations of the United Diet, or of sin- 
gle estates or provinces of the same (Sections 14 to 17), our Min- 
isters of State, and also such of our high officers as we appoint 
to attend during the whole sitting, or for particular occasions, 
shall be present, and shall take part in the discussions when 
they think necessary. They are not, however, to vote, except 
when they are authorized to do so as members of the Diet. 

Section 23. — The business of the United Diet is to be regula- 
ted according to rules approved by us. 

Given under our autograph signature and royal seal. 


Berlin, Feb. 3d, 1847. 


We, Frederick William, by the grace of God, King of Prus- 
sia, etc., after having taken the opinion of our Ministers of State, 
make the following Ordinance, in pursuance of our letters patent 
of this day, in the matters of the affairs of the Diet, respecting the 
periodical assembling of the Committee of the United Diet and 
its functions : — 

Section 1. — The Committees of the Provincial Diets are to be 
convened to form the Committee of the United Diet, according 
to the regulation laid down by the Ordinances of June 21st, 1842. 
The former Princes of the Empire in the province of Westpha- 
lia, as well as those in the Rhine Province, are to be entitled to 
depute from amongst themselves two members each to the Com- 
mittee of the United Diet, who may participate. in its proceedings 
either in person or through plenipotentiaries from the members 
of the Estate of ISTobles of the United Diet. Besides this, a Dep- 
uty is to proceed to the Committee of the United Diet from each 
of the provinces of Prussia, Brandenburgh,Pomerania, and Posen, 
to be elected by and from the members of the First Estate enti- 
tled to single or collective votes. As regards the province of 
Pomerania, the Prince of Putbus is to assume this post without 


election, SO long as he remains the only nobleman in the province 
possessed of the qualification specified. 

The election of the other members of the Committee is to take 
place at the United Diet, in accordance with the Ordinances of 
the 21st of June, 1842, through the representatives of the several 
provinces ; but in the interval between one United Diet and an- 
other as hitherto, viz., at each Provincial Diet. 

Section 2.— The Committee of the United Diet will be con- 
vened by us as often as a necessity arises therefor, but, at the 
farthest, four years after the close of the last assembly of the 
same ; or, if a United Diet has been held in the mean time, within 
the same lapse of time after the close of the latter. 

We shall require, as a general rule, from the Committee of the 
United Diet, requisite advice, according to the general law of the 
5th of June, 1823, respecting the laws which have for their ob- 
ject alterations in the rights of persons and property, or others 
than the alterations in taxation designated in Section 9 of the 
Ordinance of this day, upon the formation of the United Diet, if 
these laws concern the whole monarchy or several provinces; 
and we hereby confer upon it the privilege of giving such advice, 
with full legal effect. The regulation in Article 3, No. 2, of the 
above-mentioned law is annulled by the present regulation. 

As, however, we have already reserved to ourselves, in the 
Ordinance concerning the formation of the United Diet, the right 
to acquire from it opinions of the same kind, in appropriate cases, 
we will equally reserve to ourselves the right to submit laws of 
the above-mentioned description which concern the whole mon- 
archy or several provinces, in exceptional cases, for the opinion 
of the Provincial Diets, if this should appear advisable for partic- 
ular reasons — for example, for the sake of dispatch. 

Section 4. — The Committee of the United Diet, as the repre- 
sentative of the United Diet, is to attend to business relating to 
the State debts, pointed out in our Ordinance of this day, on the 
formation of the United Diet. 

Section 5. — The right of petition appertains to the Committee 
of the United Diet to the same extent as to the United Diet itself 
Herefrom are excepted, however, all proposals having alterations 
of the constitution of the Diet in view. 

Section 6. — Should we find ourselves induced to make com- 


munications to the said Committee of the United Diet upon the' 
State finances, the regulations of the 11th Section of the Ordi- 
nance on the formation of the United Diet are to come into full 

Section 7. — The conduct of business and the presidency of the 
Committee of the United Diet is to be assumed by a Marshal, to 
be appointed by us, who will be represented, in case of need, by 
a Vice-Marshal, to be similarly appointed. 

Section 8. — The Committee of the United Diet is to deliberate 
as an undivided assembly. Its resolutions are, as a general rule, 
to be adopted by a simple majority of votes. 

Petitions and complaints are only to be laid before us if they 
have been voted by at least two-thirds of the members. 

If the Committee of the United Diet declares itself, on the 
deliberation of a law, against the law, or some of the provisions 
of the same, by a less majority than that above mentioned, the 
views of the minority are also to be laid before us. 

Section 9. — The Provincial Diets are to communicate to their 
several Committees no instructions or proposals for the Committee 
of the United Diet. 

Section 10.— The regulations of the 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, 
and 23d Sections of the Ordinance of this day, on the formation 
of the United Diet, are also to come into, full operation in the 
Committee of the United Diet. 

Given under our royal hand and seal, at Berlin, February 3d, 



We, Frederick William, etc., ordain as follows: — 
1. In the execution of the co-operation proposed in the 6th 
Section of the Ordinance of this day, relative to the formation of 
the United Diet, in the contraction of State loans in times of war, 
and for the current co-operation of the Diet in the reduction and 
extinction of the State debt. 


A deputation of the Diet shall be formed for the affairs of the 
State debt. 

2. This deputation to consist of eight members, of whom one 
is to be chosen in each of the eight provinces, by the States of 
the province, for a period of six years. 

The election to take place at the United Diet, but in the inter- 
val between one Diet and another, at the Provincial Diets, ac- 
cording to the regulation relative to the proceedings in election 
of Diets of the 22d June, 1842. The election must only fall on 
persons who are members of the Diet in question. If one of the 
elected members loses the qualification before the lapse of the 
sexennial period, he is also to secede from the deputation. If, 
however, his secession is caused by his not having been re-elect- 
ed as a Deputy of the Diet, he is to remain a member of the dep- 
utation till the next Diet. 

To each member of the deputation two locum tenentes are to be 
chosen, of whom one is to replace him in case of emergency, as 
well as in the event of a vacancy occurring in the interval be- 
tween one Diet and another. The choice of these locum tenentes 
is to be made conformably with the regulations respecting the 
actual members. 

3. The members of the deputation are to be sworn to the ful- 
fillment of their duties in their summons. 

Section 4. — To the province of the deputation appertain the 
following duties, exclusively of the co-operation in the contrac- 
tion of war loans conferred by the six sections already mentioned. 

1. The deputation is to take charge of the redeemed State debt 
documents, according to the regulation of Article 14 of the Or- 
dinance of 17th January, 1820, and to effect their deposit in the 
Judicial Chamber. 

2. It is to audit the annual accounts of the interest and extinc- 
tion of the State debts, after they have been previously revised 
by the upper chamber of accounts, and to cause them to be pre- 
sented to us for our approval by the United Diet, or the Com- 
mittee thereof, on its next assembly, according to the 14th Arti- 
cle of the Ordinance of January 17th, 1820. 

8. It is authorized to undertake extraordinary revisions of the 
fund for the extinction of the State debts and the control of the 
State papers, on the occasion of its meeting. 


The deputation for the affairs of the State debt will regularly 
meet once a year, and besides this, as often as occasion demands ; 
the sammons to be made by the Minister of the Interior. 

6. The deputation is to elect a President at each meeting, who 
must be presented to the Minister of the Interior. 

The presence of at least five members will be requisite to con- 
stitute a valid act of the deputation. 

Given under our hand, etc., 


Berlin, Feb. 3, 1847. 


THE king's speech. 
APRIL, 1847. 

[King Frederick William lY., on opening the Diet, made the 

following speech, of suf6.cient importance to be added here, 

when the circumstances of the grant of the Constitution are 


Illustrious noble Princes, Counts, and Lords, my dear and 

trusty Orders of Nobles, Burghers, and Commons, I bid you from 

the depth of my heart welcome on the day of the fulfillment of a 

great work of my father, resting in God, never to be forgotten, 

King William III., of glorious memory. 

The noble edifice of representative freedom, the eight mighty 
pillars of which the King of blessed memory founded deep and 
unshakably in the peculiar organization of his provinces, is to- 
day perfected in your Assembly. It has received its protecting 
roof. The King wished to have finished his work himself, but 
his views were shipwrecked in the utter impracticability of the 
plans laid before him. Therefrom arose evils which his clear 
eye detected with grief, and, before all, the uncertainty which 
made many a noble soil susceptible of weeds. Let us bless, how- 
ever, to-day the conscientiousness of the true beloved King, who 
despised his own earlier triumph in order to guard his folk from 
later ruin, and let us honor his memory by not perilling the ex- 


istence of his completed work by the impatient haste of begin- 

I give up beforehand all co-operation thereto. Let us suffer 
time, and, above all, experience, to have their way ; and let us 
commit the work, as is fitting, to the furthering and forming- 
hands of Divine Providence. Since the commencement of the 
operation of the Provincial Diets, I have perceived the defects of 
individual portions of our representative life, and proposed to 
myself conscientiously the grave question, how they were to be 
remedied ? My resolutions on this point have long since arrived 
at maturity. Immediately on my accession I made the first step 
towards realizing them by forming the Committees of the Pro- 
vincial Diets, and by calling them together soon after. 

You are aware, Lords and Gentlemen, that I have now made 
the days for the meeting of those Committees periodical, and that 
I have confided to them the free working of the Provincial Diets. 
For the ordinary run of affairs their deliberations will satisfac- 
torily represent the desired point of union. But the law of Jan- 
uary 17th, 1820, respecting the State debts, gives, in that portion 
of it not as yet carried out, rights and privileges to the Orders 
which can be exercised neither by the Provincial Assemblies nor 
by the Committees. 

As the heir of an unweakened crown, which I must and will 
hand down unweakened to my descendants, I know that I am 
perfectly free from all and every pledge with respect to what has 
not been carried out, and, above all, with respect to that from 
the execution of which his own true paternal conscience pre- 
served my illustrious predecessor. The law is, however, carried 
out in all its essential parts; an edifice of justice has been built 
upon it, oaths have been sworn on it, and it has, all unfinished as 
it is, maintained itself as a wise law for seven -and-twenty years. 
Therefore have I proceeded, with a cheerful heart indeed, but 
with all the freedom of my kingly prerogative, to its final com- 
pletion. I am, however, the irreconcilable enemy of all arbitrary 
proceedings, and must have been a foe, above all, to the idea of 
bringing together an artificial arbitrary assembly of the Orders, 
which should deprive the noble creation of the King, my dear 
father — I mean the Provincial Diets — of their value. It has been, 
therefore, for man}^ years my firm determination only to form 


this Assembly, ordained by law, or by the fusion together of tlie 
Provincial Diets. It is formed ; I have recognized your claim to 
all the rights flowing from that law ; and, far beyond — yes, far 
beyond — all the promises of the King of blessed memory, I have 
granted you, within certain necessary limits, the right of grant- 
ing taxes — a right, gentlemen, the responsibility of which weighs 
far more heavily than the honor which accompanies it. This 
august Assembly will now denote important periods in the ex- 
istence of our State, which are treated of in my patent of Feb- 
ruary 3d. As soon as those periods occur, I will assemble the 
Diets on each separate occasion round my throne, in order to de- 
liberate with them for the welfare of my country, and to afford 
them an opportunity for the exercise of their rights. I have, 
however, reserved the express right of calling together these 
great Assemblies on extraordinary occasions, when I deem it 
good and profitable; and I will do this willingly and at more 
frequent intervals, if this Diet gives me proof that I may act thus 
without prejudice to higher sovereign duties. 

My trusty and free subjects have received all the laws which 
I and my father have granted them for the protection of their 
highest interests, and especially the laws of the 8d of February, 
with warm gratitude, and woe to him who shall dare to dash 
their thankfulness with care, or to turn it into ingratitude. 

Every Prussian knows that for twenty-four years past all laws 
which concern his freedom and property have been first discussed 
by the Orders, but from this time forward let every one in m}^ 
kingdom know that I, with the sole necessary exception of the 
occurrence of the calamit}'' of war, will contract no State loan, 
levy no new taxes, nor increase existing ones, without the free 
consent of all Orders. 

Noble Lords and trusty Orders, I know that with these rights 
I intrust a costly jewel of freedom to your hands, and that you 
will employ it faithfully. But I know, as certainly, that- many 
will mistake and despise this jewel — that to many it is not 
enough. A portion of the press, for instance, demands outright 
from me and my Government a revolution in Church and State, 
and from you, gentlemen, acts of importunate ingratitude, of ille- 
gality — nay, of disobedience. Many also, and among them \erj 
worthy men, look for our safety in the conversion of the natural 


relation between Prince and people into a conventional existence, 
granted bj charters and ratified by oaths. 

May, however, the example of the one happy country, whose 
constitution centuries and a hereditary wisdom without a par- 
allel, but no sheets of paper, have made, not be lost upon us, but 
find the respect which it deserves. If other countries find their 
happiness in another way than that people and ourselves, name- 
ly, in the way of " manufactured and granted" constitutions, we 
must and will praise their happiness in an upright and brotherlj^ 
manner. We will, with the justest admiration, consider the sub- 
lime example, when a strong will of iron consequence and high 
intelligence succeeds in delajdng, in mastering, and allaying every 
crisis of serious importance ; and above all, when this tends to the 
welfare of Grermany, and the maintenance of the peace of Eu- 
rope, But Prussia, gentlemen, Prussia can not bear such a state 
of things. Do you ask why ? I answer, cast your eyes at the 
map of Europe, at the position of our country, at its component 
parts; follow the line of our borders, weigh the power of our 
neighbors, throw before all an enlightened glance on our history. 
It has pleased God to make Prussia strong by the sword of war 
from without, and by the sword of intellect from within ; not, 
surely, by the negative intellect of the age, but by the spirit of 
moderation and order. I speak out boldly, gentlemen. As in 
the camp, unless in cases of the most urgent danger or grossest 
folly, the command can only be rested in the will of one, so can 
the destinies of this country, unless it is to fall instantly from its 
height, only be guided by one will ; and if the King of Prussia 
would commit an abomination, were he to demand from his sub- 
jects the subserviency of a slave, so would he commit a far great- 
er abomination were he not to demand from them the crowning 
virtue of freemen — I mean obedience for the sake of God and 
conscience. Whoever is alarmed at the tenor of these words, 
him I refer to the development of our laws for a century back, 
to the edicts of the Orders, and finally, to this Assembly and its 
rights ; there he may find consolation if he will. 

Noble Lords and trusty Orders, I am forced to the solemn dec- 
laration, that no power on earth will ever succeed in moving me 
to change the natural — and, in our own case, so imperatively 
necessary — relation between Prince and people, into something 


merely conventional or constitutional; and that, once for all, I 
will never suffer a written sheet of paper to force itself in, as it 
were a second providence, between our Lord G-od in Heaven and 
this people, in order to rule us with its paragraphs, and to replace 
by them our ancient and time-hallowed trusty reliance on each 
other. Between us be truth. From one weakness I feel myself 
entirely free — I strive not for idle popular favor ; who could do 
so if he has read history aright ? I strive alone to fulfill my 
duty, so as to satisfy my understanding and my conscience, and 
to deserve the thanks of my people, even though it be never my 
lot to obtain it. 

ISToble Lords and trusty Orders, it has often caused me care 
and impatience during the first years of my reign, that I could 
not remove hinderances which opposed an earlier convocation of 
your Assembly. I was wrong. On both sides we should have 
been pdorer by many experiences, poorer by experiences in part 
of a costly nature ; but all of them, if not always good, yet for us 
of priceless worth. We have now lying open before us the ex- 
periences of seven years, and, by Grod's good pleasure, not in vain. 
The working of parties on one side, and the temper of my people 
on the other, are now clear and indubitable. It is a splendid priv- 
ilege of the kingly office, that it can on all occasions call things 
by their right names without fear. I will do this to-day before 
you, as a duty which I have to fulfill. I beg you now to follow 
me a moment, while with a sharp eye we consider the state of 
things at home. 

The dearth which has visited Europe of latter years, has also 
penetrated to us, if with less severity than in other countries. It 
has, however, found us well prepared, and I can give my Govern- 
ment the honorable testimonial that it has honestly done its part 
towards alleviating the calamity. There are, also, means further 
to resist it, if God spares us from new failures in the crops. 
Here I must mention private benevolence, which, in these times, 
has manifested itself anew so nobly, so cheeringly; and I pay it 
here, before you, the tribute of my admiration and my gratitude. 

The extinction of the national debt is progressing. The taxes 
are diminished, the finances are put in order. I have to-day the 
happiness to offer the provinces, for the use of their treasuries, a 
donation of 2,000,000 rix-dollars. 


The management of affairs, and the administration of justice, 
are with us in a purer condition than almost in any other coun- 
try ; publicity is established in our Courts ; roads, canals, all 
kinds of improvements of the land are proceeding to an extent 
before unknown ; science and art are in the most flourishing con- 
dition ; the national prosperity is increasing ; trade and industry, 
if, alas ! not protected against their European vicissitudes, are 
comparatively satisfactory ; paternal care and good- will are cer- 
tainly nowhere to be mistaken ; the press is as free as the laws 
of the Confederation permit ; the freedom of confession is associ- 
ated with animating power to our old liberty of faith and con- 
science; and our just pride and strong shield, my army of the 
line and militia, may be called incomparable. 

With our neighbors and with the Powers on this and the other 
side of the ocean "we stand on the best terms, and our relation to 
our allies, in combination with whom we once freed Germany, 
and from the happy concord of whom depends the maintenance 
of a thirty-two years' peace in a great part of Europe, is firmer 
and closer than ever. 

I could add much which would be calculated to bend our 
knees in thanks towards God, but this will suffice. For it is 
quite sufficient to found this gratitude, and a state of content- 
ment, which in an honest comparison, in spite of many just wish- 
es, appears quite natural. Before all, one would think that the 
press must diffuse gratitude and contentment on all sides, for I 
venture to say that it is the press which, to a particular extent, 
owes me thanks. ISToble Lords and faithful States, I require your 
German hearts to grant me those thanks. While recognizing the 
honorable endeavor to elevate the press by a noble and conscien- 
tious spirit, it is yet unquestionable that in a portion of it a dark 
spirit of destruction prevails, a spirit that, entices to revolution, 
and that deals in the most audacious falsehood, disgraceful to 
German fidelity and Prussian honor. I know that the genuine 
sense of the people remains firm, but we do not deceive ourselves 
as to the evil fruits of the evil tree, which meet us in the shape 
of dissatisfaction and want of confidence, attended by still worse 
facts, such as open disobedience, secret conspiracy, a declared re- 
volt from all which is sacred to good men, and attempted regi- 
cide. Even in our churches are seen those fruits, together with 


the twofold death in indifference and fanaticism. But ecclesiasti- 
cal matters do not belong to the States. Ttiey have their legiti- 
mate organs in the two confessions. One confession of faith I 
am, on this day, unable to suppress, bearing in mind the fright- 
ful attempt to defraud my people of its holiest jewel — its faith in 
the Eedeemer, Lord and King of itself and of us all. This avowal 
is as follows. [Here his majesty arose, and spoke the word stand- 
ing, and with right hand uplifted] " I and my house, we will 
serve the Lord." 

I turn my troubled glance from the aberrations of a few to the 
whole of my people. Then does it grow bright with tears of 
joy ; there, my lords, amid all the heavy troubles of government, 
is my consolation. My people is still the old Christian people — 
the honest, true, valiant people — which has fought the battles of 
my fathers, and the honorable qualities of which have only grown 
with the greatness and fame of their country, which -once, like no 
other, in the days of trouble, bound itself to its paternal King, 
and bore him, as it were, upon its shoulders from victory to vic- 
tory, — a people, my lords, often tempted by the arts of seduction, 
but always found proof against them. Even out of the strongest 
of these trials it will come forth pure. Already is the impious 
sport with Christianity, the abuse of religion as a means of dis- 
tinction, recognized in its true form as sacrilege, and is dying 
away. My firm reliance upon the fidelity of my people, as the 
surest means of extinguishing the conflagration, has been ever no- 
bly rewarded both by the older and the younger sons of our Prus- 
sian country, even where another language than ours is spoken. 

Therefore, hear this well. Lords and faithful States, and may 
all the country hear it through you. From all the indignities to 
which I and my Government have been exposed for some years, 
I appeal to my people ! From all evils which perhaps are still 
in reserve for me, I appeal beforehand to my people! My peo- 
ple knows my heart, my faith and love to it, and adheres in love 
and faith to me. My people does not wish the association of 
representatives in the Grovernment, the weakening of rank, the 
division of sovereignty, the breaking up of the authority of its 
kings, who have founded its history, its freedom, its prosperity, 
and who alone can protect its dearest acquisitions, and will pro- 
tect them, God willing, as heretofore. 


Know, my lords, I do not read the feelings of my people in the 
green arches and huzzahs of festivity ; still less in the praise and 
blame of the press, or in the doubtful, sometimes criminal, de- 
mands of certain addresses which are sent to the Throne, and 
States, or elsewhere. I have read them with my own eyes in the 
touching thanks of men for benefits scarcely promised, scarcely 
be2:un : here, where broad districts of land stood under water • 
there, where men scarcely recovered from hunger. In their 
grateful joy, in their wet eyes, did I read their feelings three 
years ago, when the lives of myself and the Queen were so won- 
derfully preserved. This is truth — and in my words is truth, 
when I say, that it is a noble people ; and I feel entirely the hap- 
piness of presiding over such a people. And your hearts will 
understand me and accord with me, when in this great hour I 
urgently call upon you — " Be worthy of this people !" 

Illustrious Princes, Counts, and Lords, you will have recog- 
nized in the position assigned to you by law in this United Diet, 
my intention that that position should be a dignified one, at once 
answering to the conception of a German order of nobles, and 
also beneficial to the whole community. I rely upon your deep- 
ly feeling at this hour, and in these times, what is meant bj^ be- 
ing the first of a nation, and also what is required at your hands. 
You will repay my confidence. 

You, my Lords of the nobility, and my faithful Burghers and 
Commons, are, I am firmly persuaded, impressed with this truth, 
that on this day, and in this hour, you are the first of your re- 
spective Orders ; but, therefore, also the protectors of your an- 
cient renown. Look at this throne ! Your fathers and mine — 
many princes of your race, and of mine, and myself — have fought 
for the preservation, the deliverance, and the honor of that 
throne, and for the existence of our native land. God was with 
us ! There is now a new battle to be fought on behalf of the 
same glorious possessions — a peaceful one, indeed, but its com- 
bats are not a whit less important than those of the field of war. 
And God will be with us yet again, for the battle is against the 
evil tendencies of the age. Your unanimity with me, the prompt 
expression of your wish to aid me in improving the domain of 
rights (that true field for the labor of kings), will make this Diet 
a pitched battle gained against every evil and lawless influence 


that troubles and dishonors Germany ; and the work will be to 
your renown and that of the country, and the contentment and 
satisfaction of the people, 

Eepresentatives of the Nobles, be now and for the future, as of 
old, the first to follow the banner of the Hohenzollerns, that for 
three centuries has led you on to honor. And you. Burghers, 
give to the whole world a living testimony that the intelligence 
— the great mass of which you are proud to represent — is, among 
us, that right and true one which ennobles by the development 
of religion and morality, and by the love of your King and coun- 
try. And you, representatives of the Commons, you and your 
Order are never the last when your country and your King call 
on you, whether it be in peace or in war. Hear the voice of 
your King, that tells you they require you again ! 

In my kingdom, neither of the three Orders ranks above or 
beneath the other. They stand beside each other on an equality 
of rights and honor, but each within its limits, each with its own 
province. This is a practicable and reasonable equality. This 
is freedom. 

Noble Lords and trusty Orders, a word more on the question 
— yes, the question of existence between the Throne and the dif- 
ferent Orders. The late King, after mature consideration, called 
them into existence, according to the German and historical idea 
of them ; and in this idea alone have I continued his work. Im- 
press yourselves, I entreat you, with the spirit of this definition. 
You are German Orders, in the anciently received sense of the 
word — that is, you are truly, and before all, "representatives and 
defenders of your own rights," the rights of those Orders whose 
confidence has sent here the far greater portion of this Assembly. 
But after that you are to exercise those rights which the Crown 
has recognized as yours ; you have, further, conscientiously to 
give the Crown that advice it requires of you. Finally, you are 
free to bring petitions and complaints, after mature deliberation, 
to the foot of the throne. 

Those are the rights, those the duties, of German Orders ; 
this is your glorious vocation. But it is not your province to 
represent opinions, or bring opinions of the day, or of this or that 
school, into practical operation. That is wholly un-German, and, 
besides, completely useless for the good of the community, for it 


would lead necessarily to inextricable embarrassments with the 
Crown, which must govern according to the law of God and the 
land, and its own free, unbiased resolution, but which can not and 
dares not govern according to the will of the majority, if " Prus- 
sia " would not soon become an empty sound in Europe. Clear- 
ly recognizing my office and your vocation, and firmly resolved 
to treat that recognition faithfully under all circumstances, I have 
appeared among you, and addressed you with royal freedom. 
With the same openness, and as the highest proof of my confi- 
dence in you, I here give yon my royal word that I should not 
have called you together had I had the smallest suspicion that 
you would otherwise understand your duties, or that you had 
any desire to play the part of* what are called representatives of 
the people. I should not have called you together for that pur- 
pose, because, according to my deepest and most heartfelt convic- 
tion, the Throne and State would be endangered by it, and be- 
cause I recognize it as my first duty, under all circumstances and 
events, to preserve the Throne, the State, and my Government, 
as they at present exist. I remember the axiom of a royal 
friend, " Confidence awakens confidence." That is this day my 
brightest hope. That my confidence in you is great, I have 
proved by my words, and sealed by my act. And from you, 
gentlemen, I expect a proof of confidence in return, and an answer 
in the same manner — by your acts. God is my witness, I have 
summoned you as your truest, best, and most faithful friend ; and 
I firmly believe that, among the hundreds before me, there is not 
one who is not resolved, at this moment, to preserve that friend- 
ship. Many of you were at Konigsberg on the 10th of Septem- 
ber, 1840 ; and I can even now hear the thunder of your voices 
as you pronounced the oath of fidelity, that then penetrated my 
soul. Many of you, on the day on which I received the homage 
of my hereditary estates, joined with thousands in the still echo- 
ing "Yes!" with which you replied to my demand whether you 
would, "in word and deed, in heart and spirit, in truth and love, 
•help and assist me to preserve Prussia as it is , and as it must re- 
main, if it would not perish : that you would not let or hinder 
me in the path of considerate but vigorous progress, but endure 
with me through good days and through evil." Now redeem 
vour word — now fulfill that vow ! 



You can do it by the exercise of one of your most important 
(duties — namely, by cboosing from among you faitliful and up- 
right friends of the Throne and of our good purpose for your 
Committees — men who have comprehended that at this time it is 
the first duty of the Orders to encourage and support the good 
disposition and fidehty of the country by their own example, and, 
on the contrary, to strike down and discountenance every kind 
of many-headed faithlessness — men who, enemies of every kind 
of slavery, are, above all, enemies of that shameful yoke which a 
misguiding opinion (branding the name of freedom of thought) 
would lay upon your necks. This selection is a very critical act 
— one pregnant with consequences. Weigh it in your hearts, 
and choose conscientiously. 

Eemember, also, that the day of uncertainty as to the form 
which the activity of the Orders is to take is passed. Many 
things, which, under this uncertainty, forbearance could excuse, 
have henceforth no excuse remaining. The 8d of February of 
this year, like the 3d of February, 1813, has opened to the real 
children of our fatherland that path they have now to pursue : 
and the same unspeakable happiness which then fell to the lot of 
my glorious father is now also mine — mine in this moment. I 
speak, as he did, to the hearts of German — of Prussian men ! 

Go, then, illustrious Princes, Counts, and Lords — dear and 
faithful Orders of Nobles, Burghers, and Commons — proceed, 
with God's help to your task. You will, I am certain, in this 
moment, when all Europe is gazing on you, and through all the 
future labors of the Diet, prove yourselves true Prussians ; and 
that one thing, believe me, will not be absent — namely, God's 
blessing, on which all things depend. Out of our unanimity it 
will descend on the present and future generations, and, I hope, 
on all our glorious German fatherland, in one broad stream, be- 
side which we may dwell in peace and safety, as by the shores 
of the blessing-bringing rivers that water the earth. And now, 
once more, and out of the fullness of my heart, — welcome ! 


(Page 394.) 


Ich bin ein Prensse, kennt ihr meiue Farben ? 

Die Fahne schwebt mir weiss unci schwarz voran ; 
Dass fiir die Freiheit meine Vater starben, 
Das deuten, merkt es, naeine Farben an ; 
Nie werd' ich bang A^erzagen ; wie jene vnll ich's Avagen • 
Sei's ti'iiber Tag, sei's heitrer Sonnenschein : 
Icli bin ein Preusse, will ein Preusse sein ! 

Mit Lieb' imd Treiie nah' ich micli dem Throne, 
Von welchem mild zu mir ein Vater spricht ; 
Und wie der Vater treu mit seinem Solme, 

So steh' ich treu mit ihm und Avanke niclit. 
Fest sind der Liebe Bande : Heil meinem Vaterlande ! 
Des Konig's Ruf dringt in das Herz mir ein ; 
Icli bin ein Preusse, Avill ein Preusse sein ! 

Nicht jeder Tag kann gllihn im Sonnenhchte, 

Ein Wolkchen und ein Schauer kommt zur Zeit ; 
Drum lese Keiner mir es im Gesichte 

Dass nicht der Wiinsche jeder mir gedeiht. 
Wohl tauschten nah' und feme mit mir gar Viele gerne. 
Ihr Gliick ist Tnag, und ihre Freiheit Schein ; 
Icli bin ein Preusse, Avill ein Preusse sein ! 

'Und Avenn der bose Sturm mich einst umsanset, 

Die Nacht entbrennet in des Bhtzes Gluth ; 
Hat's doch schon arger in der Welt gebrauset, 

Und Avas nicht bebte, Avar des Preussen Muth. 
Mag Fels und Eiche spHttern, ich Averde nicht erzittern ; 
Es Sturm und ki-ach ; es blitze Avild darein ! 
Ich bin ein Preusse, vnU. ein Preusse sein ! 

Wo Lieb' und Treu' sich so dem Konig Aveihen, 

Wo Fiirst und Volk sich reichen so die Hand : 
Da muss des Volkes A\'ahres Gliick gedeihen, 

Da bliiht und Avachst das schone Vaterland. 
So schAvoren Avir auf s Neue dem Konig Lieb und Treue I 
Fest sei der Bund ! Ja, scUaget muthig ein ! 
Wir sind ja Preussen, lasst uns Preussen sein ! 



This noble song, perhaps, emphatically — but rather in the 
sense of England's "Eule Britannia" than its "God save the 
Queen " — may be regarded as the national anthem of the Prus- 
sians. The air to which it is sung is wild and martial ; derived 
undoubtedly from an ancient Polish hymn, to which it bears a 
striking affinity, and of which it may be regarded as a musical 
synonym. The present editor offers a version which is tolerably 
close, although he can not hope to preserve the actual tone of the 
original author. 


I am a Prussian ! see my colors gleaming — 

The black- white standard floats before me free ; 
For Freedom's rights, my fathers' heart-blood streaming, 

Such, mark ye, mean the black and white to me ! 
Shall I then prove a coward ? I'll e'er be to the toward ! 
Though day be dull, though sun shine bright on me, 
I am a Prussian, will a Prussian be ! 

Before the throne with love and faith I'm bending, 

Whence, mildly good, I hear a parent's tone ; 
With filial heart, obedient ear I'm lending — 

The father trusts — the son defends the throne ! 
Affection's ties are stronger — live, O my country, longer! 
The King's high call o'erflows my breast so free, 
I am a Prussian, will a Prussian be ! 

Not every day hath sunny light of gloiy ; 

A cloud, a shower, sometimes dulls the lea ; 
Let none believe my face can tell the story. 

That every wish unfruitful is to me. 
How many far and nearer, would think exchange much dearer ? 
Their Freedom's naught — how then compare with me ? 
I am a Prussian, wiU a Prussian be ! 

And if the angry elements exploding. 

The lightnings flash, the thunders louder roar, 
Hath not the world oft witnessed such foreboding ? 

No Pnassian's courage can be tested moi'e. 
Should rock and oak be riven, to terror I'm not driven ; 
Be storm and din, lei flashes gleam so free — 
I am a Prussian, will a Prussian be ! 


Where love and faith so round the monarch cluster, 

Where Prince and People so clasp firm their hands, 
"Tis there alone true happiness can muster, 

Thus showing clear how firm -the nation's bands. 
Again confirm the fealty ! the honest noble lealty ! 

Be strong the bond, strike hands, dear hearts, with me. 
Is not this Prussia ? Let us Prussians be ! 


§ook tijc Sbtb. 





Bismarck's Triumph in the Creation of the North 
German Federation. — The Unification of Germany. 
— Jealousy of the French. — Napoleon's Necessities, 
Wars of Prestige, and Intrigues.— Luxembourg. — 
Belgium. — Benedetti. — The Hohenzollern Candi- 
dacy in Spain. — Excitement in Paris. — Declaration 
of War. 

OUBTLESS when King William re- 
turned victorious from the cam- 
paign of 1866, few believed that 
his chief adviser, Bismarck, 
would or could celebrate a great- 
er political triumph than the 
erection of Germany into the 
Is^orth German Federation after 
the overthrow of Austria. Yet 
it was at that time unknown to most that this 
triumph was much greater than it appeared to 
be. Who was aware that the man who obtained from the Lower 
House of Pnissia " indemnity" for his successes had refused the 
offered alliance of the Emperor of the French in the conflict 
with Austria, and had marched into that war with the rejected 
ally growling in his rear ? The deed of deliverance, the rescue 
from Austria, had been a feat the adventurous boldness of 
which remained a secret between the King and his most trusted 

In the North German Federation Germany was once more 


established. Even in the German states which did not yet belong 
to it, King William already exercised, through the military com- 
mandership-in-chief, a power much greater than the emperors of 
the old Roman Empire of the German nation had ever wielded in 
the territories of the imperial princes. The union of Germany 
was achieved ; what was yet wanting needed not to be forcibly 
taken, but would gravitate to the Federation in time, of itself. 
The feeling of union would necessarily grow stronger in princes 
and peoples ; and in the warmth of this feeling the beautiful 
fruit would ripen. 

The great and bold achievement which consummated Bis- 
marck's long and laborious preparatory work had been gloriously 
accomplished, — by King William himself, by his princes and 
commanders, and by the army ; now came for Bismarck the 
period of weighty, silent, anxious, and difficult toil, to assure and 
fortify the work of the unification of Germany. 

At home, it was his task to fix the forms of reconstruction, to 
enhance perpetually the lively consciousness of unity in the Ger- 
man people ; abroad, to obtain for this unity security, and a recog- 
nition which must be more than merely diplomatic : and both 
these objects, either of which was enough to demand a man's 
whole power, Bismarck must pursue together and simultaneously. 

If the first encountered great difficulties in the peculiarity, or, 
to speak more frankly, the caprice and obstinacy of the German 
character, and in the doctTinaire bigotry of political parties — 
elements which scarcely submit to discipline — the other of these 
tasks was almost more thorny and painful by reason of the fact 
that it involved a complete political revolution in the international 
relations of Europe. True, there was no cry of " Foes on all 
sides ;" but the aggrandisement of Prussia by the incorporation 
of Hanover and Hesse, IS^assau and Holstein, Schleswig and 
Lauenburg, had created an abundance of distrust, discontent, 
envy, and hatred, which expressed itself now here, now there, in 
the most diverse forms, but in quite unmistakable ways. The 
new Germany had, however, one open enemy ; and this enemy — 
we have now become accustomed to underrate him unjustifiably 
— might be able to combine against us in a terrible alliance the 
whole sum of this distrust, jealousy, discontent, envy, and hatred. 


Bismarck knew well that bj the annexations he was driving 
these allies to the Emperor of the French ; but the Prussian nu- 
cleus of the new Germany must be increased to this size, in order to 
be adequate to its function. It must be strong enough to offer the 
other Germans a sure support. The North German Chancellor 
probably did not himself expect to succeed in securing for Ger- 
many its du^ position in Europe without a war with France ; for 
he knew the position of the Emperor of the French. But in 
exalted conscientiousness he held himself, as a statesman, bound to 
preserve peace by all the means at his command ; and the same 
conscientiousness obliged him to provide that Prussia and Germany 
should not be defenceless in case war should become unavoidable. 
Hence he arranged first by treaty stipulations that King AVilliam 
should be the commander-in-chief, even of those German armies 
whose princes were not yet in the Federation. 

It is quite easy to conceive of circumstances under which two 
nations like the German and the French could live peaceably, 
side by side. True, it has always passed for a subtle French 
maxim of state, that the safety and fame of France should be 
sought in the discordant and dissevered condition of Germany ; 
but even the French are accustomed to think twice before they 
begin a great war on account of an idea. The covetous longing 
for the German Phine-land was indeed strong in France ; but 
the chauvinists usually exhaust themselves in newspaper articles, 
pamphlets, and empty speeches, before they proceed to action. 
Probably in this case also the French would have acquired for 
the fait accom2?li of a united Germany, the respect which their 
sound practical judgment would ordinarily dictate ; and they 
would at last have become resigned to it, upon discovering that 
nobody in Germany dreamed of an attack, a war, upon France. 
But this could not be, because the Emperor of France was a 

It was necessary for ISTapoleon III., in order to justify in some 
measure his usurpation, to perform great and mighty achieve- 
ments. The usurper is moreover inevitably possessed by the 
thought of fortifying the rulership which he has obtained by 
violence and surprise ; for he also may one day be taken by sur- 
prise. Napoleon III. could execute the great deeds to which he 

492 napoleon's necessities. 

was forced, only by war and the extension of territory. He 
needed to keep the attention of the people constantly upon fame 
and conquest, in order to turn it away from internal political ques- 
tions. His government, based upon a coup d'etat^ could not 
permit discussion of its origin. Hence it was not reconcilable 
with the institutions of France, with freedom of speech and of 
the press — for which, think of their value what we ^nay, France 
had poured forth streams of blood, for which the best treasures 
of the nation had been offered through generations. Thus the 
Emperor was doomed to seek in his foreign policy both fame for 
himself and occupation for the public sentiment of France. 
Hence all the wars of the Empire have the same artificial — even 
theatrical — cli^aracter. They were " wars of prestige^ What 
was accomplished by the Crimean War? Prestige; nothing 
more. The war in Italy was, it is true, nominally undertaken for 
Italian unity — that is, for an idea ; but the result — ? The 
idea was a mere rag, the gain a rag, and th.e jyrestige really noth- 
ing more than a rag. Then came the war against Mexico, which 
brought a heavy defeat ; even jprestige was turned to disgrace 
when France, obeying the command which came from Washing- 
ton, evacuated America. The unfortunate Archduke who was 
shot at Queretaro, and the Archduchess who became insane, stand, 
illustrious victims of the third " war oi prestige" at the turning- 
point of the fortunes of ]N"apoleon. It was necessary to keep 
secret the extravagant oiitlays required by this war, lest they 
should become weapons in the hands of the opposition ; and the 
effort to hide them led to a niggardly economy in all branches of 
the imperial administration, which produced deficiencies destined 
to be, in the year 1870, most disastrous to France. 

Napoleon had apparently given up, after his Mexican experi- 
ence, his " wars of prestige ;" but now he sought to obtain 
through political intrigues, without war, what he must have — 
prestige for himself and occupation for the public sentiment of 
France. He would have been glad to bring about events among 
which he could have played the part of the umpire of Europe. 
Then there might have fallen out, to a skillful hand, a bit of 
territorial plunder ; affairs would thus have acquired once more a 
tolerable appearance, and the dynasty would be confirmed afresh. 


He wished to operate with the " principle of nationality ;" a re- 
vision of the map of Europe had been his fixed idea ; as he had 
formerly at Plombieres and Montcalier haggled and bargained 
over states with Camillo Cavonr, so now he thought to haggle 
and bargain with Otto Bismarck. He considered King William 
to be a kind of soldier-king, like Victor Emmanuel, and though he 
probably rated Bismarck higher than Cavour, yet he regarded 
him nevertheless as a statesman of the same school. But the 
Prussian King and his minister were of a totally different stuff 
from those subalpine dignitaries ; and therefore Napoleon, in 
spite of his great subtlety, always found a mistake in his calcula- 
tion concernmg them, no matter how often it was revised. 

Bismarck emphasized everywhere the love of peace, which he 
really cherished ; and because he really cherished it, the tempta- 
tion to accept the alluring offers of France was for him enormous. 
It would be so great an achievement to secure the unification of 
Germany without a war ! True, the first demands of Napoleon 
III. could in no case be complied with ; the request for the 'Ger- 
man possessions on the left bank of the Rhine, whether with or 
without Mayence, was so outrageous that it could be explained only 
by the Napoleonic lust for territory. But the matter was put in 
a different light when Napoleon proposed to acquire the Grand 
Duchy of Luxembourg, not by conquest, but by purchase from 
its rightful sovereign. Luxembourg was not a German state. 
Only the extremest partisans could assert that — people whose 
audacity was their only capital. But at the first glance, it did 
appear as if it were German territory ; and, deceived by this 
appearance, many people raised a great cry. Bismarck was in- 
deed determined that not even Luxembourg should fall into the 
hands of Napoleon ; but he would not wage war for the Prussian 
right of garrison in Luxembourg — a right which, moreover, had 
lapsed with the old German confederacy, in the name of which it 
had been exercised by Prussia. Prussia had no rights there for 
which the sword could in honor be drawn. The strategic import- 
ance of Luxembourg for the protection of Geraian territory was 
disputed on high authority. It was the interest not of Ger- 
many alone, but of all Europe, that France should not gain pos- 
session of the grand duchy. Hence Bismarck logically made of 


the Luxembourg negotiation a European question. Had Europe 
been willing to go to war about Luxembourg, Prussia would not 
have held back ; but it did not come to that. ITapoleon had no 
desire for a war on that question ; he yielded ; the grand duchj 
was declared neutral, and the Luxembourg negotiation ended with 
the satirical epigram, " "What cannot be annexed we call simply 
a neuter, that's all !" * This was a diplomatic victory of the 
first rank, for which Bismarck indeed received but little praise, 
though only one orator of the Communists — the party without a 
country — who subsequently reproached him, on the conclusion of 
peace, for the re-conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, dared to accuse 
him in the Imperial Diet of having surrendered German territory 
in Luxembourg. Bismarck doubtless consoled himself with the 
consciousness that he had in that affair gained more by negotiation 
than it would have been possible to gain by war. 

Napoleon III., foiled as to Luxembourg, immediately proposed 
a third bargain. He wished to annex Belgium, and to have in 
this scheme the aid of Prussia, which should in compensation be 
allowed to work unhindered in Germany. At this price the work 
of German unification could be completed in peace without blood. 
We believe that this proposition presented a great temptation ; 
yet certainly a feeling must have been aroused in Bismarck 
which caused him to hesitate at even this advantageous bargain. 
Should Napoleon III. acquire Belgium by strategy and force, 
Prussia alone was certainly under no obligation to defend Bel- 
gium ; but the shining sword of King William ought not to be 
drawn, even in appearance, to assist in the subjugation of a weak 
neighbor. We say, in appearance ; for Napoleon was powerful 
enough to conquer Belgium ; he desired Prussia's help only in 
order that he might afterwards roll upon Prussia the odium of 
the violent act. Then it would be the ambition of Prussia alone 
which had forced the magnanimous Emperor of the French to 
accept Belgium as compensation for the Prussian acquisitions in 
■ Germany. For the French and for all enemies of Germany this 
would have sufficed ; and it would have become a dangerous 
weapon against us. 

* Was man niclit annectiren kann, das sieht man als ein Neutrum an. 

napoleon's mistake. 495 

Indeed, it was really used against us at the beginning of the 
war of 1870. Did not the loud wail then resound over the sly 
trickery of ambitious Prussia ? Did not a tempest arise in the 
newspapers, which threatened to kindle to flaming enmity the 
surrounding neutral powers, already not over-friendly ? Who 
can say what disaster might have resulted, if Bismarck had not 
been in a position to dispel the dangerous phantom by publishing 
the original draft of Benedetti, and the circular of July 29, 1870? 
In this docmnent, which may be deemed unique in history, Bis- 
marck not only showed clearly that N^apoleon had continually 
since 1864 been proposing to Prussia transactions looking to the 
territorial enlargement of both powers, but he also gave an extract 
from the French plan of May, 1866, for an alliance against Aus- 
tria, and declared openly, concerning Benedetti's draft of a treaty 
for the annexation of Belgium, that the Emperor had fallen back 
upon Belgium, after he had become convinced that no bargain 
could be made with Prussia. Finally the circular says, verhathn : 
" I have indeed reason to believe that if the publication in ques- 
tion [that of the treaty] had not been made, France, after the 
completion of our and the French military preparations, would 
have proposed to us to carry out jointly in the face of a then 
unarmed Europe the plans already suggested to us — that is, be- 
fore or after the first battle to conclude peace on the basis of the 
Benedetti proposals, at the expense of Belgium." 

Certainly Count Bismarck in these words struck the nail on the 
head. Such had been the subtle calculation of Napoleon ; but it 
contained the old mistake, that the Emperor understood neither the 
King of Prussia nor his minister. Bismarck had kept silence con- 
cerning all these allurements of France, because every postpone- 
ment of a rupture left room for the hope that changes might take 
place in the constitution and policy of France which would relieve 
the two great neighbor nations from the necessity of war. This 
circular produced even during the war a profound sensation, and 
caused the righteousness of the cause of Prussia and Germany to 
shine forth so clearly that only bitter enmity and absolute per- 
versity could any longer believe in the existence of an immoral 
Prussian lust of conquest. 

It is peculiar that an incidental circumstance in this connection. 


made an almost deeper impression than the main fact. ISTamely, 
Bismarck, in order to cnt oil the Frencli from their nsual favorite 
' road of bold denial, declared in his circular that Benedetti's 
draft was written from beginning to end in Connt Benedetti's 
own hand on the stamped paper of the Imperial French Embassy 
at Berlin, and that the ambassadors and ministers of Austria, 
Great Britain, Russia, Baden, Bavaria, Belgium, Hesse, Italy, 
Saxony, Turkey, and Wlirtemberg, who had seen the original, 
liad recognized Count Benedetti's handwriting. 

Hereupon French diplomacy would have done well to be 
silent ; but Count Benedetti " accomplished the incredible," 
and publicly declared in a letter of July 29, 18Y0, to the Due de 
Gramont that he had written this memorandum, so to speak, at the 
dictation of Bismarck, in order to gain an accurate knowledge of 
the combinations of the latter. Such a monstrous assertion can 
really be met only with the dry cpiestion, " Did the ambassador 
of the Emperor of the French always bring his own stamped 
paper with him when he called upon Count Bismarck, or did he 
only happen to have it with him on this occasion ?" 

The thing was so clear that not even the most evil-disposed 
could doubt any longer ; but it was, to be sure, a thing so extra- 
ordinary, BO unusual, that it made an indelible impression, and 
gave rise to the wildest inferences on the part of ingenious souls. 
In England it was even declared by somebody that Bismarck 
had made use of demonic powers. ISTow we can conceive that the 
power which every strong mind exerts over weaker ones may be 
called a demonic power ; and we freely admit that, in this 
sense, Bismarck also may be called a demonic man ; but that 
this power and influence went so far as to force the ambas- 
sador of a great state not only to write from dictation the 
draft of a treaty, but also to bring with him for the pui-pose 
the paper stamped with the imperial eagle — that we do not be- 
lieve ! 

The climax of the demonic version is found in the utterance 
of the wounded sensibility of a perverse dissenting soul which 
we read at the time in the English papers : " Bismarck is justified 
before men, but Benedetti before God !" 

Concerning such folly indeed nothing more is to be said : we 


tliink it useful, however, that just this kind of utterance should 
not be forgotten. 

While Bismarck thus in silence defended himself against these 
French temptations, he was unwearied in the great work of Ger- 
man xmification. At Federal Diets, State Diets, Customs-Parlia- 
ments, etc., everywhere he was the lea.der, demanding and urging 
in one place, moderating and restraining in another. Unifi- 
cation did not proceed fast enough to suit the E'ational-Liberal 
party; and their leader, who might be compared with Herr 
Vielgeschrei^ of Holberg's old comedy, wished to carry out, 
willy-nilly, the incorporation of Baden into the JSTorth German 

In the constituent Federal Diet, in the spring of 1867, Bis- 
marck had expressed his well-known views concerning the spirit 
of the constitution of the l^orth German Federation. The federal 
treaties with the South German States, the Customs-Union and 
Customs-Parliament, belong to this period. In the first session of 
the Federal Diet, in the autumn of 1867, the Luxembourg and 
Schleswig questions were debated ; but the principal business was 
with the administrative affairs of the Federation, such as the con- 
sular system, free emigration, liability to military service, military 
conventions and the navy. The session of the Prussian Diet of 
1867-8 brought up the beginning of the subject of the foreign 
relations of Germany and Prussia, and the speech of Bismarck 
concerning Waldeck-Pyrmont and the cartel-convention with 
Russia. The session of the Federal Diet in 1868 saw the factory 
of Bismarck on the cpiestion of allowances. Then came the first 
Customs-Parliament in April and May, 1868. The session of the 
Prussian Diet of 1868-9 gave Bismarck opportunity to declare 
himself concerning the position of Prussia towards the dethroned 
sovereigns, the King of Hanover and the Elector of Hesse, and 
the agitation in their behalf. The Federal Diet of the spring of 
1869 was almost wholly occupied with internal affairs. Then 
followed another session of the Customs-Parliament, the session 
of the Prussian Diet of 1869-70, and finally the last session of the 
Diet and the Customs-Parliament of the N^orth German Federa- 

* Literally, Mr. Mucli-sliouting. 


These are the significant points indicating the activity of 
Bismarck during the period referred to. After the close of the 
Diet, at the end of May, Bismarck betook himself, as in the two 
preceding years, to Varzin, in order to recover in rural repose 
from his exertions, and to receive medical treatment for his ever- 
recurring nervous attacks. 

The repose was to be of brief duration ; the cure was to be 
interrupted in very violent fashion. As we have said above, 
Bismarck knew very well that, unless some special event should 
inteiwene, Napoleon III. would hud himself forced to make war, 
and it was only in the hope of such an event that he postponed 
the conflict as long as possible. It could not escape the keen and 
far-seeing statesman that the hour was near in which the French 
Emperor would have to yield to the coercion inherent in his situ- 
ation. Napoleon, weakened by disease, had played his last 
trump. He had sought by the formation of the Ollivier min- 
istry to surround his empire with the earlier liberal institutions 
of France, and had thereby with his own hand thrown the torch 
into his political edifice. Of this he was well aware, and he had 
again resorted for hel^^ to universal suffrage. The