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PRINCE BISMARCK IN HIS STl'DV. 

Front a Photograph. 



Frontispiece. 



lB E R L I N 



UNDER THE NEW EIMPIRE, 



ITS INSTITUTIONS, INHABITANTS, INDUSTRY, MONUMENTS, 
MUSEUMS, SOCIAL LIFE, MANNERS, 

AND AMUSEMENTS. 



liY 

HENRY VIZETELLY, 

Author of 

VWd. STORV OF THE DIAMOND NECKLACE, TOLD IN DETAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME," &C. 



' Why are they proud? Because five milliard francs 
The richer than from wars of former years ? 
Why are they proud ? Again we ask aloud. 
Why in the name of patience are they proud? " 

Keats' s " Isabella" paraphrased. 



ILLUSTRATED WITH 
UPIVAKDS OF 400 ENGRAVINGS FROM DESIGNS BV GERMAN ARTISTS. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



IINSLEY BROTHERS, CATHERINE STREET, STRAND. 

1879. 

D n 



"The City o£ Intelligence, the Athens of the Spree ! " — The Berlinese. 
" The Sand-box of Germany ! " — The Viennese. 

" No, I could not trust myself to this Prussia, this bigoted, gaitered hero, so boastful and 
gluttonous, with his corporal's cane, which he steeps in holy water before striking with it. I was 
sovereignly displeased with this nature — a combination of philosophy, Christianity, and militarism — 
this mixture of white beer, mendacity, and Brandenburg sand. I found especially repugnant this 
hypocritical Prussia, with its appearance of holiness, this Tartuffe among nations 

" Whilst all the others were boasting of how proudly the Prussian eagle soared towards tlie sun, 
I prudently kept my eyes fixed upon his claws." — Heinkich Hei.se. 



TO 

HENRY SUTHERLAND EDWARDS, 

IN CORDIAL RECOGNITION OF 

THIRTY YEARS OF UNBROKEN FRIENDSHIP, 

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK. 

H. V. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/berlinundernewem01vize 



PREFACE. 

The following pages are the result of several prolonged visits 
paid to Berlin, the first of which took place in the autumn of 
the year 1872, at the important epoch of the meeting of the 
three Emperors, no doubt, to arrange their respective lines 
of action whenever the struggle, already felt to be inevitable, 
between Russia and Turkey should survene. 

The aim the writer has had in view has been to convey 
an accurate idea — in small matters as well as great — of a city 
out of the regular highway of continental travel, and which, 
as the capital of the new German Empire, is destined to 
increase in interest to the other nations of Europe as well as 
to exercise a greatly extended influence over the rest of the 
Fatherland. There is an old proverb which says, '* Who has 
not seen Cologne has never seen Germany," but to-day the 
proverb has lost its significance, as it is no longer the city of the 
shrines of the Magi, and the eleven thousand martyred virgins, 
but the whilom capital of the little Mark of Brandenburg and 
the present chief city of the powerful German Empire which 
it is necessary a stranger should see. Of the great Germanic 
body, Berlin is to-day at once the head and the heart, for 
in all that relates to the new Empire, it is Berlin that thinks, 
conceives, frames, organizes, and commands. 

H. V. 

London, August, i87g. 



CONTENTS. 



I. 

EN ROUTE I 



II. 
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF UERLIN 12 

III. 
ANCIENT BERLIN: NATURAL SELECTION AND NAME 2^ 

IV. 
DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN 32 

V. 

MODERN BERLIN : CONFORMATION AND CHARACTER 6l 

VI. 

THE BERLINESE — IN SOCIETY 79 

VII. 
THE BERLINESE — AT HOME 121 

VIII. 

" BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT " , 164 

IX. 

UNTER DEN LINDEN '77 

X. 

THE THIERGARTEN '95 



VIU CONTENTS. 



XI. 

I-AGB 
BERLIN EN f£tE. THE MEETING OF THE EMPERORS 2l8 



XII. 
THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANUiUVRES. — FLIGHT UF THE EAGLES .... 238 

XIII. 
WILHELM I., KONIG AND KAISER 248 

XIV. 
SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN 262 

XV. 

REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK 273 

XVI. 

PRUSSIAN GENERALS— MOLTK.E, WRANGEL, AND ROON 302 

XVII. 

THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— HOW RECRUITED AND OFFICERED 31$ 

XVIII. 

THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— BERLIN BARRACK LIFE, DRILL, AND DISCIPLINE . 336 

XIX. 

THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— ORGANIZATION, PAY, UNIFORMS, AND RATIONS . . 350 

XX. 

THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— INFANTRY AND CAVALRY 35^ 



XXI. 

THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY AND TRAIN. — THE ANNUAL 

MANa:uvRES 37' 



xxir. 

WAR SCHOOLS— THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF . . 386 

APPENDIX 4^3 




NORTH GERMAN ENERGY. 



BEELIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE, 



\ 



EN ROUTE. 

ADDLE of gold on a scurvy steed — 
the quaint past century simile cha- 
racterizing the capital of the Mark 
of Brandenburg in the midst of a 
barren sandy plain — recurred to 
one's mind while deliberating where 
r to spend an autumn holiday, and 
coupled with the then approach- 
ing meeting there of a triad of 
Emperors, turned the scale in 
favour of Berlin. 

At this epoch, with the German 
troops still in France, and French- 
men brooding bitterly over their 
uncomfortable reminiscences, the 
mere repetition at the ticket place of the Paris Gare de I'Est 
of the words "A Berlin," sufficed to attract scores of angry 

B 




/ 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



eyes upon one. Rather more than two years previously one 
had heard the too-fimiliar forrnula shouted for the first time 
by a mercenary Paris mob. " A Berlin ! " — What scenes those 
simple words recall ! A population worked into a paroxysm 
of excitement, verging on to madness, by the yells of disguised 
police spies ; two battles and two defeats ; the midnight flight 
of a sovereign, protected by a faithful escort, from Metz ; 
followed by a greater battle and another reverse, more dis- 
astrou.^ than all the rest, resulting in the sending of the 
mock Caesar into captivity and the overturning of his throne. 
Then ensued a period during which a people — deprived of 
its armies, its generals, its engines of war, its means of com- 
munication, of everything indeed that constitutes the strength 
of a state, save patriotism — struggled hopelessly to retrieve its 
losses. At last came the end, and France, whose power had 
made the nations tremble, found herself humbled to the dust. 

Long resident in the soi-disant capital of civilisation, and 
a witness of its subjugation by the " barbaric hordes of the 
modern Attila," as the angry Parisians used to style the 
flaxen-haired, chubby-faced German youth, who for five months 
held them in thrall, and when all was over bivouacked so 
peaceably around the monumental Arc de I'Etoile, inscribed 
over with long lists of assumed German defeats, without so 
much as obliterating the name of a single apocryphal one — 
long resident in Paris, I had determined upon a short sojourn in 
the capital of this new united Germany, which had " issued from 
the brain of Count Bismarck, sword in hand, as Minerva came 
of old from the brain of Jupiter" — a capital whose destiny the 
Prussians fondly dream is to depose Paris from its continental 
supremacy, and whose inhabitants complacently describe it as 
the City of Intelligence, the Athens of the Spree. 

Bradshaw times the di.stance between Paris and Berlin at thirty 
hours, but it was my ill-luck to be several days on the road from 
the common accident of one's luggage going astray, leading one 
to the discovery that La Rochefoucauld might have given a 
wider application to his famous apothegm, the amount of amuse- 
ment which my fellow-travellers, in common with the railway 
officials and hotel waiters, derived from my mishap, proving 
that the misfortunes of perfect strangers, quite as much as 
those of intimate friends, tend greatly to the gratification of 
the rest of mankind. 

Day after day was I doomed to remain in odoriferous Cologne, 
with the lions of which one had long since been acquainted, 
from its marvellous modern mediaevalcathedral, with its gimcrack 
shrine of the Magi and its bones of the pseudo i i,ooo virgins, to 
the house on the Sternengasse, where Rubens was born, and 
Marie de Medicis — whose apotheosis by the ambassador-artist 
forms a gallery of itself in the Louvre — died in exile and in misery. 



KN' ROUTE. 




AT THE FRONTIER. 



After spending five days in Cologne and fifty francs in telegrams, 
attending the arrival of all the trains, scrutinizing every article 
of luggage from the railway vans, and envying the fortunate 
possessor of even a 

solitary sac-de-miit, "x', ' - ^ "aj^vu^. 

my baggage at last > "^ 

turned up — one port- 
manteau with its lock 
forced and the other 
slit with a sharp knife 
to allow of the in- 
troduction of a fe- 
lonious finger and 
thumb, and the filch- 
ing of sundry arti- 
cles of various degrees 
of value from a pair 
ofpatent leather boots 
to a cake of old brown 
Windsor. 

Distance certainly 
lent enchantment to 
the view which I obtained of Cologne as the train rolled over the 
huge iron railway bridge across the Rhine on its way to Dusseldorf 
— the birthplace, as one remembered, of the poet Heine and the 
painter Cornelius — and swept through the Rhine " black 
•country," past embranchments with long trains of coal-trucks, 
-Steaming away to furnace and factory, past Oberhausen and 
Essen, where the gigantic iron and steel foundries of Jacobi and 
Krupp are incessantly at work, their forests of tall chimneys 
belching forth huge clouds of smoke, which hang in dusky 
canopies over the pair of prosperous and begrimed Westphalian 
towns. At Essen, which is simply a section of the immense 
workman's city, covering the entire coal basin from Dusseldorf 
to Dortmund, and numbering its 5000 inhabitants per square 
mile, in whichever direction the eyes are turned one invariably 
sees heavy locomotives constantly coming and going, and huge 
black hillocks of coal heaped up all around, with endless phantom 
-chimneys rising like lofty antique obelisks out of the surround- 
ing gloom. To the left is an agglomeration of Bab}donian 
buildings, surmounted by imposing towers and surrounded by 
a wall high and well nigh solid as a rampart.^ This is the 
gloomy abode of the true Iron King, Herr Krupp, " the master 

^ "Herr Krupp," observes M. Victor Tissot, "is so afraid lest his secret 
should be surprised that he surrounds his states with a veritable Great Wall 
of China on which this inscription is incessantly repeated in three languages — 
^The public are informed that in asking to view the establishment they 
expose themselves to a refusal.' " 

n 2 



ISliRLIN UNDER THE NEW EMl'lRE. 



gunner of the age, who has sent more heroes to Hades than any 
artillerist of his time." " Prussia's victories," remarks a contem- 
plative Frenchman," have been shaped by Herr Krupp; and his 
Cyclops have done more for German unity than Bismarck himself. 
The military supremacy of the empire is at Essen even more 
than at Berlin." 

Less than half a century ago the father of Herr Krupp began 
business here with a couple of workmen ; five years ago — since 
which date it has been largely extended — the establishment 
covered 510 acres of ground, more than one-fourth of which was 
roofed in, and was connected with three separate lines of railway 
by branches nearly twenty miles in length, which, with all their 
rolling stock, were the exclusive property of the firm. There 
were upwards of 400 furnaces, 250 steam-engines, some of lOOO 
horse-power, fifty-one steam-hammers, the odd one, weighing fifty 
tons and costing i^ 100,000 to manufacture, and which sounds 
like a cannon when at work, being prudently kept employed 
day and night so as not to lose for a single moment the interest 
of the capital sunk on it, besides forges, lathes and planing, 
cutting, shaping, boring, and grinding machines innumerable. 
Over 10,000 hands were employed at the works, which, with the 
plant and stock, v;ere valued at upwards of a couple of millions 
sterling. 

Since this period (1871) the value and productive power of 
the works have been enormously augmented. In 1874 the 
number of hands was increased to 16,000, while 65,000 tons of 
steel are produced annually at the establishment. Great stress 
is laid on the choice of the raw material — which Herr Krupp 
transports from his own mines in Spain on board his own ships, — 
and on the proper blending of the composite metal. The 
steel produced is very pure, close, fine-grained, and free from 
flaws, and its power of resistance is greater than that of Bessemer 
steel. Last year, with large orders in course of execution for 
Turkey, Egypt, Russia, China, and Spain. Herr Krupp was 
nevertheless able to deliver a hundred cannons a week to the 
different German artillery depots. His last achievement is a 
cannon of fourteen and a half inches bore, carrying a shot 
weighing 330 lbs. capable of piercing a plate of solid iron from 
twenty to twenty-four inches thick. The Krupp workmen 
ordinarily receive from one and a half to two thalers per day. 
Wages were lowered at the commencement of the year, but the 
men participate in the profits of the establishment. An assurance 
fund pays the doctor and provides medicine in cases of sickness, 
besides relieving the widow in the event of death. After sixteen 
years' service the workman receives an annually increasing allow- 
ance from the pension fund, and after twenty years he becomes 
entitled to a retiring pension for the rest of his life. Attached 
to the establishment are several schools and a hospital founded 



EN ROHTE. 



by Herr Krupp, who once laboured at Essen himsc!f working 
beside his father in the Httle forge still preserved near the chief 
entrance to show what industry and energy will lead to. 

Less than an hour after leaving Essen one passes Dortmund, 
in the heart of the Westphalian coal and iron district, where the 
famous Vehmgericht — that powerful secret tribunal which bound 
its members by fearful oaths blindly to execute its decrees, and 
for a couple of centuries exercised sway throughout the Empire 
— had its origin, and where the last of the ancient linden trees 
of the Konigshof, under which the Emperor Sigismund himself 
was affiliated to the grim fraternity, may still be seen. 

Whilst the train stopped for a few minutes at Gutersloh, 
where there was the usual ravenous rash at the refreshments, 




one seized the opportunity of tasting the sacchariferous brown 
bread of the district, the renowned Westphalian pumpernickel, 
which traces its whimsical name, as the learned in nomenclatures 
pretend, to the " bon pour Nickel" of some French trooper, who 
detested the over-rated delicacy, but thought it good enough 
for his horse. Here, as elsewhere along the line, one could not 
help being struck by the military tone which characterises the 
Prussian railway service. Almost all the staff have been soldiers, 
and engine-drivers and guards invariably make a point of saluting 
the station-master whenever the train enters or leaves the station. 
It is perhaps these marks of respect received from their subordi- 
nates which render the higher railway officials so brusque and 
peremptory towards the travelling public. Apropos of this an 
amusing story is told. It appears that, as a train was about 
starting from Berlin, an individual rushed along the line of 
carriages, shouting, " Herr Miiller ! Herr Miiller ! " when a tra- 
veller inconsiderately thrust his head out of the window, and, to 
his intense surprise, received a smart slap in the face. Highly 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



indignant he jumped out and sought the station-master, who, 
after hstening to his complaint, simply inquired his name. 
" Schultze," was the reply. " In that case," rejoined the station- 
master, " the matter does not concern you at all ; the gentleman, 
inquires for Herr Miiller, and you, Schultze, very unnecessarily 
put out your head. Take your seat again instantly, or you'll 
be left behind;" and with that he signalled for the train ta 
start. 

Hemmed in by trees, under which a few lean kine are solemnly 
ruminating, one sleepy-looking Westphalian village, with tall tiled 
roofs and low church spire, is passed after another, the peasants 
mostly abroad in the neighbouring fields gathering in the final 










''JrrTR'i'iv 




harvests. As the train rushes swiftly by, at one cottage-door 
we catch sight of a plump young Gretchen sedately knitting, while 
the kittens gambol with her rolling ball of scarlet worsted ; then of 
some aged grandsire, embarrassed at having to divide his atten- 
tion between little Peterkin squatting at his feet and the faithful 
Tray frisking by his side ; and finally of a plump, fair-haired 
matron, in red petticoat and black head-dress, who spins and 
sings while some future conscript of the new Empire, in the 
shape of a merry, chubby-cheeked baby, rolls half-naked in the 
dust at her side. We now traverse miles of singularly uninteresting 
country, "generating hard-handed, broad-backed, stubborn carles, 
whose whole lives are spent in struggling hard to vanquish the 
natural infertility of the soil. Enormous plains, of barren aspect, 
stretch away to the horizon, northwards and southwards ; every 
here and there a row of melancholy trees breaks the monotony 
of the landscape ; but other element of the picturesque there is 
none." 



EN ROUTE. 



Here one first encounters that peculiar breed of black and 
white cattle, which is met with all the country through almost 
up to Berlin, although one looks in vain for the fatted swine 
yielding the famed VVestphalian hams. The train, on crossing 
the Weser, enters a hilly district, terminating in a narrow defile 
known as the Porta Westphalica, on emerging from which we 
find ourselves at Minden. The historic battle-field lies north of 
the town and westward of the famous " wood-crowned height," 
whereon, according to the poet, the venturesome Eliza stood, 
"o'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight" at which an 
English general, Lord George Sackville, showed the white 
feather, and some regiments of English infantry accomplished 
what the French commander believed to be impossible — " a 
single line breaking through three lines of cavalry, ranked in 
order of battle, and tumbling them to ruin." 

One broke the journey at Hanover to glance at Herrenhausen, 
described by Thackeray as scarcely changed since the unlucky 
day when the obese Electress Sophia fell down there in a fit, in 
the avenue her own hands had planted, and went the w^ay of all 
flesh only a few weeks before the death of Queen Anne paved 
the way for the accession of the Brunswick Stuarts to the British 
throne. " 1 made it my business," observes Thackeray, " to visit 
that ugly cradle in which our Georges were nursed. The old 
town of Hanover must look still pretty much as in the time 
when George Louis left it. The gardens and pavilions of 
Herrenhausen are scarce changed since the day when the stout 

old Electress Sophia fell down in her last walk there You 

may see at Herrenhausen the very rustic theatre in which the 
Platens danced and performed masques and sang before the 
Elector and his sons. There are the very same fauns and dryads 
of stone still glimmering through the branches — still grinning 
and piping their ditties of no tone, as in the days when painted 
nymphs hung garlands round them, appeared under their leafy 
arcades with gilt crooks guiding rams with gilt horns, descended 
from machines in the guise of Diana or Mmerva, and delivered 
immense allegorical compliments to the princes returned home 
from the campaign." 

We found the cradle of the Georges slightly difterent from 
what it was when Thackeray was there. The Palace of the 
deposed blind King was falling into decay, and the neglected 
gardens were subsiding into a wilderness. We threaded their 
grass-grown rectangular walks, shut in on both sides by lofty 
walls of clipped foliage, crossed the neglected tapis vert, with 
its troop of mildewed clumsy high Dutch goddesses sculptured 
in emulation of the graceful marble nymphs of Versailles, past 
the careless-ordered geometrical parterres to the mouldy-looking 
stone basin surrounded by roses, laurels, orange trees and 
cypresses, symbolical, it seems to us, of the love-making, fight- 



8 BERLIN INDKK '11 IK iNEU' KMl'IRK 



ing, marrying and dying of the race of Hanoverian Guelphs. 
It is here that \vc found the petty spiral water-works which 
George the First used to point out to his guests as something 
uncommonly fine, and which when set to play for our delectation 
roused up the plump and laz)' gold fish from the bottom of the 
slimy turgid pool. An old gardener, smoking a long German 
pipe, who showed us over the grounds, drew particular attention 
to the orange and cypress trees of which he appeared to take 
especial care. Havmg heard that Hanover was by no means 
reconciled to its absorption by the Hohenzollerns, ''Das ist 
Prcnssen ! " said I to try the old fellow, pointing at the same 
time to the ground. "Das ist nicJit Prcnssen" answered he, 
stamping his foot violently upon the gravel walk sadly in want of 
weeding — " das ist Hannover ! " 

The city of Hanover is a dull beautified quiet place and the 
province generally presents all the outward appearances of a 
sleepy sort of prosperit3^ Its fertile fields, and wooded hills, and 
endless sweeps of rolling ground remind one very much of 
England, and certain parts more especially of the weald of 
Kent. One misses, it is true, the stately homes of the large 
landowners and the big thatched barns of the thriving farmers, 
still all the homesteads have a comfortable well-to-do air, and 
the invariable tidiness of the peasantry about the heels, shows 
them to be better off in the matter of shoe leather, not only than 
the majority of their brethren in Germany, but likewise in France. 

At Brunswick, the city of the fiery Guelphs who resisted the 
Emperors of Germany for a couple of centuries, the Altstadt 
Rathhaus, a graceful late 13th century Gothic structure un- 
equalled throughout Germany, is worth coming all the way to 
see. In front of the pillars supporting its rich arcades of per- 
forated stone work, stand characteristic life-size statues of 
Guelphic princes, all in their habits as they lived. The still 
flickering grand-duchy of Brunswick hardly impressed one so 
favourably as the recently snuffcd-out kingdom of Hanover, 
nevertheless as regards fertility it appeared to be largely in 
advance of Prussian Saxony, which the railway enters just as we 
catch sight of the mountain chain of the Harz, dominated 
by the witch-haunted Brockeii, the traditional scene of the 
Walpurgis saturnalia. 

Little more than two hours' ride from Brunswick brought us 
to Magdeburg on the Elbe, a fortified town of the first class, 
which during the Thirty Years' War, after standing a two years' 
siege was taken by storm by the Imperialist general Tilly and 
burnt to the ground, thirty thousand of its inhabitants, accord- 
ing to the Protestant version, being put to the sword or perishing 
in the flames. " Since the destruction of Jerusalem and Troy," 
wrote the sanguinary commander of this wholesale butchery, 
" there has never been seen such a famous victory." 



KN ROUTl'.. 9 

In the citadel of Magdebur<^, constructed on an island in the 
Elbe, Baron Trenck, the audacious lover of the beautiful and 
witty Princess Amelia, youngest sister of Friedrich the Great, 
and the " malevolent fairy" of the family, was confined for nine 
dreary years, heavily chained to his dungeon walls. Trenck, 
a handsome subaltern in his majesty's guards, and aide-de-camp 
to the King, had attracted the princess's regards at some ball, 
and the result was one of those amorous intrigues such as 
German princesses of the epoch v/ere prone to indulge in, 
although Carlyle, in the fulness of his hero worship, cavalierly 
classes it among the myths. Hints and warnings on the part of 
Friedrich having failed to put a stop to the perilous intercourse, 
some breach of military discipline furnished him with an excuse 
for placing Trenck under arrest, and packing him off to the 
fortress of Glatz. " Guard well this knave," wrote he to the 
commandant ; but to no avail, for Trenck succeeded in escaping 
to Vienna, and an inquiry which followed, elicited that the 
Princess had been supplying him liberal!}- with funds. After 
some years, spent in one or another northern capital he fell into 
Friedrich's clutches at Dantzig, when he was transferred to 
Berlin, and afterwards to Magdeburg, where his dungeon in the 
Sternschanze forms one of the sights of the place. Lafayette 
was at one time a prisoner at Magdeburg, while Carnot, the great 
military administrator of the revolutionary epoch, died there in 
banishment, — 

'• And borrowed from his enemies 
Si.x foot of ground to lie upon." 

On leaving Magdeburg, the railway crosses a broad sandy 
plain stretching for miles on either side of the line, with sand 
hills bounding the view. Dispersed over this barren spot were 
one or two windmills, while here and there clusters of trees stood 
likes oases in the midst of a desert. Then suddenly, by an 
unaccountable freak of rtature, the parched soil was succeeded 
by a strip of marsh land where long rank grass grew to the very 
edge of the line. Then the sandy soil again presented itself 
covered with short scorched grass varied at intervals by a field 
of stubble and an occasional flock of geese, or dotted by clusters 
of pine trees as if only they were sufficiently hardy to grow in 
this arid waste. 

Altogether nothing can be sadder and more desolate-looking 
than this Mark of Brandenburg, through which the little river 
Spree winds its way with such inimitable resignation. Well 
may Berlin wits pretend that their ancestors would never have 
settled in so forbidding a territory had there not been a deplorable 
lack of good maps some thousands of years ago. Between Mag- 
deburg and Berlin we pa.ss no towns but merely some miserable 
cottages grouped here and there around a neglected steeple ; the 



lO 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



country, flat and uniform, is broken only by sand-banks and 
stunted pines with knotted roots, and casual pools of greenish 
water at which cows, lean as those of Pharaoh's dream, are 
drinking.^ Little windmills perched on piles of stones rise up 
here and there, agitating their sails as moths do their wings, 
but not a human being and scarcely a bird meets the eye. 
Occasionally a few poppies impart a touch of colour to the 
dreary landscape, rendered all the more melancholy-looking by 
the lowering grey autumnal sky. Well might the Brandenburg 
poet sing : — 

" Oh, what a bare and dreary land ! 
No hill, no vale, only dry sand, 
No roses, not an oak !" 

After another sandy waste, inducing tiie belief that we are 
approaching a seaport town, several beautiful lakes, with fleets of 




punts and flocks of swans and wild fowl in the distance, burst 
suddenly upon our view. Next we pass a forest of pines, then 
another strip of sand and a few villages, and we are at Potsdam, 
watered by the Havel and rendered highly picturesque by 
extensive plantations which thread alike the valleys and cross 
the surrounding hills ; also by vast and beautiful gardens and 
elaborate architectural embellishments, for Potsdam counts 
almost half a score of palaces. Some involuntary exclamations 
of surprise at the pleasing transformation the scenery had under- 
gone aroused our weary fellow-travellers, most of whom sensibly 
enough had taken refuge In slumber while the train was traversing 
the seemingly interminable dreary waste, and heads were at once 
eagerly thrust out of windov.' to obtain a glimpse of Potsdam 
and its attractions. In another half hour the train stopped at a 
small wooden station to which no name was affixed. As every- 

i, ' Voyage aux J'oys t/rs Milli.ua's, par M. Victor Tissot. 



EN ROUTE. 



II 



body appeared to be quitting the carriages, I hailed a porter and 
demanded if it were Berlin. He seemed as much astonished as 
one of his fellows at Cannon Street would be on being asked 
how far it was from London, and it was not until he had 
thoroughly satisfied himself he was not being joked with that he 
replied, "Ja, Ja." This was in 1872, before the vast and hand- 
some station near the Potsdamer Thor, where we alighted on the 
occasion of subsequent visits to Berlin, was completed. 





II. 



riRST IiMl'RKSSIONS OF BERLIN. 



WITH the platform crowded with lug^aje and merchandize, 
and densely packed with strugglinij passengers, it was 
hopeless in the prevailing confusion to attempt at securing the 
services of any one of the small staff of porters which the Mag- 
deburger and Potsdamer Eisenbahn appeared to have in its 
employ. Consequently I and the friend by whom I was accom- 
panied decided upon driving at once to some hotel and sending 
subsequently for our luggage. Descending the flight of wooden 
steps leading from the railway platform to the open space in 
front of the station, where a file of shabby-looking vehicles — 
average specimens of the Berlin droschken — were drawn up, 
and running our eyes rapidly along the line, we hailed the most 
respectable-looking ; but the unconcerned individual lolling on 
the box with a cheap cigar between his teeth — the Berlin cabby 
never smokes pipes — responded to our signal with complete dis- 
dain. Imagining the " kutscher " of the new Empire, like the 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF HERLIN. 



13 



rest of the natives of tlic fatlierland, to be unduly elevated on 
the national stilts, and perhaps more indolent and less civil than 
his confreres in other parts of Europe, we opened the door of the 
vehicle and threw in our "wraps," a proceeding against which 
the driver protested and gesticulated, flinging his arms about 
like a semaphore, and winding up by rolling himself off his box, 
only, however, to declare that he could not take us. Fancying 
he might have a weakness for picking his fares we simply rejoined 
by directing him to drive to the Hotel de Rome, but to no 
purpose. On trying to secure another vehicle we met with 
refusal after refusal, and as the crowd of droschken was rapidly 
diminishing we appealed to one 
of two tall policemen, in spiked 
helmets and with dangling cut- 
lasses. He referred us to an aged 
military-looking individual who 
from his to\\'ering stature might 
have been a direct descendant 
from one of Friedrich Wilhelm 
the First's gigantic guards, and 
on whose brass badge the word 
2^rofd)fcnbcflclhin(3 could with a 
proper amount of patience be 
read. From him we received 
a metal ticket stamped with a 
number, with directions to secure 
the droschke with a corresponding 
number, the driver of which on 
the production of this talisman 
made no difficulty in accepting us 
as his fare. Subsequently one 
learnt that these so-called drosch- 
kenbestellung are attached to all the Berlin railway stations, 
where vehicles — abundant enough within the city — are usually 
lacking whenever a crowded train chances to arrive, leading to 
an energetic struggle to secure one of these little tablets the 
possession of which alone confers the privilege of being driven 
home in a decrepit Berlin droschke. 

The next instant we were rumbling in the direction of Unter 
den Linden, at once the Boulevards, Rue de Rivoli and Champs 
Elysees of Berlin, where are found broad open squares and mili- 
tary monuments, the royal palaces and principal public buildings, 
the higher class hotels and the most attractive shops, the 
dearest restaurants and the more frequented conditoreien, for at 
this epoch cafes such as exist in Paris and Vienna were unknown 
in the Prussian capital. The vehicle we had secured was drawn by 
a miserable-looking horse, old, ill-cared for, lame of his near fore- 
leg, and blind of his off eye, while the driver, who by means 01 




H 



BKRLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



horse cloths and some bits of board had arranged his seat into a 
kind of easy chair, was a pecuHarly ill-fa\'oured specimen of 
humanity. Putting his physiological defects however aside, one 
may remark that his livery of Prussian blue, in common with 
all the visible portions of his linen and his face and hands, was 
so begrimed with accumulated dirt as to approximate to rusty 
iron grey, and that the only thing which gave him an air of 
respectability was the big briglit brass escutcheon in front of his 
hat, to the polishing of which he had devoted an amount of 
time which might liave been more advantageously bestowed on 
other portions of his toilet. 

Slowly as our decrepit vehicle rumbled along we were soon 
crossing the turbid waters of the Landwehr canal, crowded with 
barges laden with bricks and fuel, while its banks were lined with 
stately-looking houses standing back in small but pleasant gardens. 
The day being remarkably warm that empyreumatic odour for 
which Berlin is notorious was speedily recognisable. In the height 
of summer you are scarcely uithin the city, have barely had time 

to catch a glimpse 
of its spacious tho- 
roughfares, border- 
ed by lofty and 
often elegant-look- 
ing edifices, before 
" the rankest com- 
pound of villainous 
smell that ever 
offended nostril " 
arises on all sides 
and persistently 
tracks your steps. 
Proceed in which- 
ever direction you 
will, from theThier- 
garten to Fried- 
richshain, or from 
Mon bijou palace 
to the Belle AUi- 
ance-platz, along 
the frequented Lin- 
den Avenue, or the 
shunned Konigs- 
niauer, before the 
palace of the Em- 
peror or the Ar- 
beitshaus of the poor, in the most elegant as in the most repul- 
sive quarters, of the city, it accompanies you everywhere. At 
certain times it is more offensive than at others, according as 




FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF UERLIN. 



15 



the fetid filth is in sluggish motion or stagnant at the bottom 
of the open and inefficiently flushed drains, still the poisonous 
gases are for ever mingling with the atmosphere and infecting 
the city with their unwholesome fumes. 

Passing along the spacious streets and the pleasant green leafy 
avenue skirting the Thiergarten — the Hyde Park of Berlin — to 
the Linden promenade you discover the sewers to be superficial 
instead of subterranean, the roads being bordered on either side 
by open drains, a couple of feet deep by a foot and a half broad, 
at the bottom of which a thick layer of mire is festering in the 
sun or flowing languidly towards the river Spree, a mere glance 
at whose waters makes one shudder when one thinks that all the 
coffee one will sip and the soup one will swallow will be made 
with this repulsive fluid. In the more populous quarters, or 
where the streets intersect each other, or the foot-paths are 
extremely narrow, or the houses chance to be inhabited by 
people with an ordinary keen sense of smell, these gutters have 
been partially covered in with stout planks, removable at will, 
and more or less rotten with age. They are also frequently 
bridged over in face of the principal portes-cochcrcs to admit of 
vehicles crossing in security, but with these exceptions the several 
hundred miles of Berlin drains are completely exposed, and BerHn 
mud larks and baby " bangel " ^ find no end of amusement in 
stirring up the liquid impurity, in constructing dams to arrest its 
progress, and in swimming fleets of tiny boats with paper sails 
upon its oleaginous surface. 

In broad day-light sleepy droschke drivers, in turning the street 
corners too sharply, occasionally topple the hind wheel of their 
vehicles down these gullies' abrupt banks, dragging the forewheel 
and sometimes the 
horse after it, the 
driver ordinarily 
getting unseated 
and his fare being 
possibly precipi- 
tated on to the 
pavement. It is no 
rare thing too for 
strangers not hav^- 
ingthe fear of these 
yawning trenches 
continually before 
their eyes to slip 
suddenly into them 
while crossing the road at night, and to be conducted home with 
possibly a dislocated ankle. Middle-class Berliners moreover after 




KO'i AL CUAKU-HOUSE. 



^ The Berlin bangel is equivalent to the London ro i;:,li. 



i6 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



making a night of it roll into these drains in the early hours 
of the morning, and working men, whom a too liberal imbibition 
of '' weissbier mit kiimmel " has rendered unsteady, regularly 
tumble into them on their way home and wallow there until day- 
break, unless compassionately assisted out by some night watch- 
man going his rounds. The late King, whose olfactory 
organs never became completely reconciled to the over pungent 
odours of his capital, had the happy thought of planting the 
borders of these drains with lines of acacias, the delicious scent 
from which, when in bloom, sensibly moderates the mephitic 
exhalations. Sanitary enthusiasts, with the view of arousing 
the authorities to remedy the existing evil, are for ever pro- 
phesying the outbreak of some epidemic such as depopulated 
the cities of the middle ages ; but, as is commonly the case, their 
well-meant warnings fall unheeded on deaf official ears. 

Keyond the pestiferous odouns, which during the warm season 

of the year render 
a residence in the 
Prussian capital 
the reverse of at- 
tractive to individ- 
uals with delicate- 
ly strung olfactory 
nerves, strangers 
meet with another 
though less serious 
inconvenience in 
the clouds of sand 
which in dry wea- 
ther, at the slightest 
puff of wind, rise 
into the air and 
envelope every- 
thing they encoun- 
ter in their pro- 
gress. The Berlin 
streets are rarely 
watered, because 
the companies de- 
mand such an ex- 
orbitant sum that 
the newspapers 
pretend the city 
might be sprinkled with eau de Cologne for the money — which 
could it only be accomplished would certainly have the effect of 
moderating its existing noisome odours. Whenever a water-cart 
makes its apparition all the juvenile bangel of the neighbourhood 
are gambolling in the wake of it. On gusty days these clouds of 





L '^^^-^S 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BERLIN. 



17 




sand sail swiftly down the long streets penetrating into the houses 
through all the apertures, obliging the double windows to be kept 
closed, and blinding and stifling everyone who faces them. 
Occasionally a pillar of sand will rise at the Halle Thor on the 
southern side of Berlin and whirl down Friedrichs-strasse smother- 
ing all it comes in contact with, receiving compensating reinforce- 
ments on the road, and passing leisurely out an hour afterwards 
on the opposite side of the city, merely however to give place to 
a second one already capering at its heels. The Berlin sand 
inflames the eyes and irritates the skin like so much pounded 
glass, or as Mr. Sala categorically put it, " powders your clothes, 
gets down your throat, cracks your lips, excoriates your mucous 
membrane, bakes your tongue, irritates your tonsils, and 
insinuates itself into your eyes, ears, and nostrils." 

Unquestionably one of the first things that strikes a stranger 
in Berlin is the large number of people wearing spectacles. A 
considerable proportion of the men encountered in the streets 
wear glasses of one kind or another, and many women and chil- 
dren even have recourse to them. These afiections of the eyes 
are possibly attributable to Berlin being situated in the midst 
of an immense sandy plain, and to the irritation to the organs 
of vision consequent upon the sand being continually in motion. 

Berlin enjoys the reputation of being a handsome city. It 
counts a perfect host of outdoor statues and monuments, about 
half-a-score of palaces, numerous striking public buildings, many 
elegant modern private residences, and vast barracks in the 
style of stately feudal castles, while even its gas works, which 
elsewhere are ordinarily such hideous obiects, assume the form 

c 



i8 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




DRAGOON BARRACKS NEAR THE HALLE GATE. 



of grand gothic round towers. Its churches, however, both 

Catholicand Pro- 
testant are not 
merely insignifi- 
cant but fre- 
quently hideous, 
and both extern- 
ally and intern- 
ally are but in- 
differently cared 
for. Berlin is 
perhaps the most 
mathematically 
arranged capital 
in all Europe. 
Thestraightness, 
length, breadth, 
and rectangular arrangement of its streets, excepting the tortuous 
thoroughfares in the older portions of the city, are proverbial. 
These spacious thoroughfares form grand strategetical arteries 
designed for the free passage of columns of horse, foot, and 
artillery, and the manoeuvering of brigaded masses of men. 
In traversing Friedrichs-strasse, several miles long in a direct 
line, and with the drawback common to nearly all the Berlin 
streets, of being execrably paved, one is reminded of Sydney 
Smith's jocular lament that there was an end to everything in 
this world excepting Upper Wimpole street, which compared to 
Friedrichs-strasse is brevity itself. 

Some few Berlin thoroughfares are macadamized, but the 
great majority are paved, not, however, after the fashion of 
Oxford Street or the Strand, or even the Paris faubourgs, but 
with that peculiar pointed kind of stone in favour in the old 
continental towns. Indeed, so execrable are the Berlin pavements 
that a special shoe has been invented for the horses, while so ill 
kept are the macadamized roads that formerly the authorities 
used to be constantly having their attention directed by the 
newspapers to particular streets where men and cattle sank 
ankle deep in the mire. Provided, however, the tax-gatherer 
could only manage to pick his way through the mud to collect 
the city rates remonstrances were of no avail. In certain 
streets there are no footpaths, and even where these conveniences 
do border the roadways, instead of broad pavements of flag- 
stones or asphalte, there is at most a single row of flags, just 
sufficiently wide for one pedestrian to walk on, the space on 
either side being either left unpaved or else studded with small 
pointed stones of the kidney potato and more angular types — 
in other words, just the kind of stones which one is always ready 
to fling into the garden of one's neighbour. It must be confessed 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BERLIN. 19 



however that occasionally they are considerately disposed points 
downwards. As the extent of the repairs to the roads and 
footways of Berlin is dependent on the amount realised from the 
dog-tax, in the old days the stones used to be economically 
turned and returned every few years, like a miser's coat, by the 
thrifty municipality. Formerly a (cw yards of pavement would 
be widened in one street, next time another street would enjoy 
this advantage, improvement proceeding so slowly that a Berlin 
newspaper calculated it would take several hundred years at the 
then rate of progression to provide the entire city with respectable 
foot-pavements. Since the influx of the French milliards the 
advance has been more rapid, and asphalte has been partially 
laid down in the Linden and other inrportant thoroughfares. 
Spite of thi.s, the peculiar conformation of most of the existing 
stones necessitates heavy double-soled boots being worn in all 
seasons by those accustomed to the asphalte of the Paris 
boulevards or the flags of Pali-Mall, unless they are content to 
traverse Berlin in a sluggish droschke. 

It is perhaps to the execrably paved roads and the equaly 
abominable footways that one should attribute the extraordinary 
development of female feet in this part of Europe, a physio- 
logical phenomena which we commend to the attention of our 
neighbours out^'e Manche, who, intent as they are on discovering 
alike motes and beams in the eyes of their detested rivals, are 
likely to make the most of it. The French, while rendering 
ample homage to British female beauty, have always contended 
that every Englishwoman, no matter how flaxen her hair, how 
blue her eyes, or how transparent and roseate her complexion, 
has large feet. They have written it in their newspapers, 
illustrated it in their comic journals, and declaimed it upon the 
stage, and it was with feelings akin to satisfaction that one 
observed this remarkable development of the pedal extremities 
which characterises the Berlin belles. 

In the Prussian capital, scaffoldings and buildings in course 
of construction constantly arrest the eye. In the outskirts of 
Berlin new quarters are still being laid out, new streets planned, 
new houses rising up everywhere. Until quite recently even in 
the heart of the city so many new structures were in course of 
erection that one was led to imagine the capital of the new 
Empire had been handed over to some Prussian Haussmann 
to expend a handsome share of the French milliards in its 
extension and improvement. The newer thoroughfares undoubt- 
edly have the merit of presenting some architectural novelties 
in the variety of design which the different edifices, usually in 
the Renaissance ftyle, exhibit, and which, while avoiding the 
tedious sameness and utter want of taste displayed in our 
Tyburnian terraces, are in no degree incongruous with one 
another, A principal characteristic of Berlin domestic architec- 

C 2 



20 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE, 



ture of the present day is the elegant overhanging bay windows, 
which, springing from the first floor, extend to the uppermost 
storey, breaking up the formal line of the long facades at 
frequent intervals, as well as ornamenting the principal street 
corners. And yet ninety-nine of every hundred of these houses 
are merely of stucco. The Berlinese, when enlarging their city, 
were ambitious of something grandiose, but found stone too. 
costly, so they put up with the imitation. Select any one of 
the more pretentious modern Berlin houses, and your first 

impression will be 
that it is a stately 
stone mansion. The 
gateways and win- 
dows are surmount- 
ed and surrounded 
with rich carvings ; 
sculptured cornices 
and friezes run 
round the upper 
part of the edifice, 
and in all proba- 
bility a group of 
statuary rises above 
its summit. Acloser 
inspection reveals 
the stucco to be 
already peeling off 
the older walls, 
the supposed stone 
carvings to be mere 
plaster of Paris, and 
the groups, Roman 
cement ; while in- 
side these edifices 
there will be any 
amount of sham 
marble and coun- 
terfeit mosaic, with 
even imitation car- 
peting painted up 
the flights of stairs. 
One cannot re- 
main long in Berlin without being impressed by the abundance 
of its out-door statues of a bellicose type. Effigies of military 
or mythological heroes embellish the Linden and the Lust-garten, 
surmount most of the palaces and public buildings, crown the 
Brandenburg-gate, grace the entrance to the old Schloss and 
adorn its courts, scale the steps of the Museum, flank the classic 




MiLITAKY MONUMENT IN THE INVALIDEN PARK. 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BERLIN. 



21 



guard-house and the opera, face the king's theatre, line the more 
important bridges, crowd most of the open spaces, and guard the 
sites of the more ancient city gates, while figures of saints receive 
you beneath the portico of the Cathedral and survey Berlin from 
several of its church steeples. In the same way busts of the 
Emperor, the Prince Imperial and Bismarck decorate all the 
theatres, tanz-sale, bier-hallen, and restaurants. A perfect forest of 
flag-staffs dominates the Berlin edifices and the Prussian spread- 
eagle soars in all directions. You encounter it perched on the top 
of marble and metal columns, hovering over palaces and public 
buildings, fixed above the doors of postal and police offices, 
and distending 
its wings on the 
spiked helmets 
of soldiers and 
policemen, and 
the hats of the 
post- van drivers. 
If one's ears 
are assailed with 
less drumming 
and trumpeting 
in Imperial Ber- 
lin than used to 
be the rule in 
Imperial Paris, 
there is certainly 
as much, if not 
more, marching 

of troops and dragging of cannon through the principal thorough- 
fares, as manoeuvres in which infantry, cavalry, and artillery alike 
take part, are performed early every morning in some open sandy 
space outside the city. Officers in droschken or on foot throng 
the Linden throughout the day, requiring sentinels to be con- 
stantly on the alert that they may not neglect to salute them ; 
and under the lime-tree avenues helmetted aides-de-camp and 
smart-looking orderlies are trotting to and fro from morn till 
night. The military element so far preponderates that at many 
restaurants more officers than civilians are encountered. They 
crowd the opera, throng most places of public resort, sweep the 
pavement of the Linden, the flags of which resound with 

" — their sabres' cursed clank ; 
Their spurs are jingling everywhere ! " 

If at Berlin the martial propensity of the nation is constantly 
present, its system of universal education is not the less so, for 
although the gown timidly gives place to the sword, schoolmaster 
and drill-sergeant as a rule go hand in hand. In the morning, 




22 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




from seven until nine the streets are positively thronged with 
children of both sexes and all ages and conditions, their satchels on 
their backs or their rolls of music and such-like matters in their 

hands, not creeping 

^^jILi I ' ! '^(L I'^^c snails unwill 

HI lUT li pS^ ingly. but hurrying 

^HII [|— jpn;|ljp ||n|; ug|gj|3mjCT I ^^ cheerfully to school. 

One thing sur- 
prises a foreigner. 
In the majority of 
Berlin streets he 
finds all the cellars 
either inhabited by 
the poorer classes 
or else converted 
into convivial cav- 
erns such as bier- 
locale and the like, 
or occupied by the 
smaller tradespeo- 
ple, notably milk- 
men, buttermen, 
bakers, grocers, pork-butchers, and shoemakers, and even 
crockery and furniture dealers. In the suburbs moreover you 
have often to dive down into a cellar to get your hair cut, or 
provide yourself with a pair of gloves. Apropos of the Berlin 
grocers, petroleum would appear to be their leading article, if one 
may judge by the size of the letters in which the name of the 
combustible is in- 
scribed on their shops, 
and the continual re- 
currence of which 
would certainly make 
a Par's communard's 
mouth water if he 
only dared trust 
himself inside Berlin. 
W^ith reference to the 
subterranean pork- 
butchers a joke is 
current to the effect ' 
that late one night 
some newly-arrived 
foreigner of over 
lively imagination on hearing subdued guttural sounds proceeding 
from these profound depths instantly concluded murder was being 
committed, and excitedly appealed to a passing watchman to 
hasten to the rescue. " Calm yourself, incin herr," replied the 




FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BERLIN. 



23 



guardian of the night, whose practical ear detected the origin of 
the shrieks which had so alarmed the stranger ; "it's only the 
fieischer kilHng a pig ready for the morning." 

Although Berlin possesses no precise equivalent to the London 
public-house or the Paris marcJiand de vins, still every fourth 
house in the more populous districts either dispenses some 
kind of intoxicating liquor, is a bier-local, a wein-stube, a rum- 
fabrik, or a distillation establishment, or else sells tobacco and 
cigars. Inscriptions such as "Bier und friihstiicks local," "AUe 
sorten biere und brantwein," " Tabak and cigarren fabrik," and 
"Distillation," meet the eye at every turn. The duty on all kinds of 
tobacco being exceedingly trifling, cigars of a certain quality 
may be purchased six for a penny, consequently pipes are rarely 
smoked even by the 

very poorest class. At •■ ^- '-^ "^ '"'^ 

night-time the number 
of red lamps seen in all 
quarters of the Prussian 
capital is something 
remarkable, and the 
stranger curious as to 
their object soon dis- 
covers that the red 
light which in Paris 
indicates 'bacco, at 
Berlin signalizes beer. 
If beer is abundant 
here, beef and mutton 
scarcely are so, for it 
is only the early comers 
at the popular restaur- 
ants who have the smal- 
lest chance of securing 
them. Things, however, 
have improved of late, 
for formerly one might 

have scoured Berlin through without discovering so much as a 
.single sheep or a solitary side of beef in any one of its butchers' 
shops. The Berlin flcischcr of the old school have a fancy for 
decorating their establishments with trailing ivy in pots, though 
what the connection can be between the ivy green and butcher's 
meat one is at a loss to divine. Fine fruit is remarkably rare and 
correspondingly dear at Berlin ; flowers, however, are plentiful 
enough, and florists' shops thrice as common in the Prussian as m 
the French capital, the inhabitants of which have, as we all know, a 
mania for bouquets. From the moment a Parisienne is engaged to 
be married, \\^x fiance is bound to present her with a floral tribute 
daily until the wedding takes place. No sooner, however, is this 




24 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



accomplished than the husband hastens to carry his floral offerings 
elsewhere. The arrangement of the Berlin bouquets is formal 
but tasteful, flowers of one kind and colour being disposed in 
circles or other strictly mathematical figures after a fashion that 
seems peculiar to Germany. 

The greater business activity developed at Berlin since the war 
with France, has changed the aspect of its street traffic, which is 
no longer limited mainly to droschken, omnibuses, beer drays, 
primitive country waggons having one horse between the shafts, 
and another j'oked by its side, and diminutive carts drawn by 
dogs. It is true that even to day huge piled up vans and 

ponderous waggons of the London 
type are never by any chance seen, 
still the numerous heavily laden rail- 
way trucks encountered in the mer- 
cantile quarters of the city show the 
immense impetus which Berlin trade 
has of late received. Beer drays of 
remarkable length adapted to being 
horsed at either end, owing to the 
impossibiUty of their turning, and 
carrying nearly half a hundred casks 
are familiar objects in Berlin thorough- 
fares, as are also carts laden with ice 
for cooling the national beverage. As 
the post conveys not merely letters, 
but bulky packages and heavy cases 
as well, and is in fact a kind of Pick- 
ford and Parcels Delivery Company, 
post-office vans are exceedingly 
numerous in the Berlin streets, where 
dog-carts for transporting milk, fish, 
and vegetables may be counted by 
thousands. Private carriages, on the 
other hand, are a perfect novelty even 
in the most fashionable Berlin thoroughfares. 

After the recent war the Berlinese in a disdainful way affected to 
discard everything P^rench, and the newspapers to keep them from 
backsliding, periodically opened campaigns against Gallicisms 
in ideas or language. Certain patriotic restaurateurs, whose 
establishments of a higher grade than ordinary are commonly 
resorted to by strangers, abandoned the practice of print- 
ing their viemis in the cosmopolitan language of France, 
much to the embarrassment of the general run of foreigners 
who failed to recognise Hors dcenvrcs in QJorcJTcn^ Legumes in 
©fiiuilc, Entries in gjJittrlcJTcn, Roii in JBratfii and Dessert in 
9?acfttifc(). Spite of these puerile attempts at the suppression of 
PVench phrases, Paris fashion still exercises sway over the 




LOTTERY TICKET OKFICK. 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF BERLIN. 



25 



women of Berlin ; French inscriptions too surmount many of the 
shops, Parisian nonveanth being always prominently ticketed ; 
bad French wines with pretentious labels have moreover usurped 
the place of native vintages, photographs of French actresses 
and Bois de Boulogne anonynias are as common in the print- 
sellers as French novels are in the booksellers' windows, 
French dancers likewise star it in the ballets, and French pikes 
a grand spectacle run their hundreds of nights at the popular 
theatres. 

At Berlin, where huge posting bills are unknown, no enterpris- 
ing Prussian Willing has utilised either the dead-walls, hoardings, 
omnibuses, railway carriages, or stations for advertising purposes. 
Announcements 
of all kinds are 
restricted to the 
newspapers, or 
to the dumpy 
Litfass columns 
dotted over the 
central avenue of 
the Linden and 
scattered about a 
few other prin- 
cipal thorough- 
fares, and which 
though they are 
placarded almost 
exclusively with 
programmes of 
the theatres, and 
other places of 
amusement, will 
commonly attract 
a ragged group 
around them, in 
the early part of 
the day. Publi- 
city is given to 

lotteries, the curse of the new Empire, chiefly by placards 
exhibited in the shop windows, where thousands of tickets are 
exposed for sale, and invariably at a premium, such is the mania 
for speculation among the Berlinese. 

Berlin with all its misery has nothing approaching to our 
London rookeries, the poor are huddled densely together, as in 
other large cities, but out of sight and generally under-ground. 
The prim street fronts of thousands of houses also conceal no 
end of wretchedness within the court at the rear, thus accounting 
for the absence of any such dreadful squalor as is visible 




26 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



in our own metropolis. Berlin moreover is free from the plague 
of street cries, beggars, German bands, Italian pifferari, conjurors, 
and acrobats. Street stalls and hawkers' barrows are equally 
prohibited. The few organ-grinders only venture to ply their 
calling by stealth, in the more retired neighbourhoods. Even 
Punch and Judy appear not to be tolerated in the capital of the new 
Empire, where moreover all the dogs are scientifically muzzled 
not merely during the hot weather but throughout the year, and, 
strange to say, the droschken-kutsclier as a rule is neither 
extortionate nor uncivil. 








EAKLY SETTLERS IN THE MARK 



III. 



I 



ANCIENT BERLIN : NATURAL SELECTION AND NAME. 

The Mark of Brandenburg — at the time when German swords 
and German sagacity sought to wrest it from the heathenish 
Wends who had emigrated here from the east — presented a 
series of dreary flats partly covered with shifting sand and heath 
and partly with forests, which, excepting some oaks and a fevv 
other deciduous trees, were exclusively composed of the 
indigenous pine. The underwood formed dense thickets through 
which the axe only made a way with difficulty. Solitary gigantic 
blocks of granite carried thither in ages long past by the waves 
of the sea, lay scattered over the vast expanse, and were the sole 
stone to be found there. Broader than ever the rivers traversed 
the land, expanding for long stretches into lakes, or confined by 
extensive swamps, almost bottomless and hidden beneath a 
layer of turf and marsh plants. This configuration of the soil 
offered the greatest difficulties alike to military operations and 
commercial intercourse, confining them, as in a greater degree in 
mountainous countries, to a small number of passes of which the 
most important crossed the Spree at the very point where the 
oldest existing parts of Berlin are situated. On the right bank 
where the ancient mill-dam crosses the river, there was a pointed 



28 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

tongue of land which narrowed the bed of the stream ; on the 
other bank was a low hill, surrounded by a narrow arm of the 
Spree, and thus turned into an island. Between Kopnick and 
bpandau, two well-known ancient Wendish settlements, this was 
the only point at which the passage was not prevented by lake, 
marsh, and thicket. It is therefore probable that partly with a 
view to the protection of this important passage and partly 
through the traffic created by it, settlements existed here at a 
very early period. 

The most ancient part of Berlin, occupying the high ground 
between two arms of the Spree, was a favourable point for a 
settlement of fishers. Certain slight eminences on the banks of 
the river in front of it admitted of the inhabitants building watch 
towers, and erecting defensive works ; the locality, moreover, 
furnished capital sites for water-mills, while the narrowness of 
the stream at this point facilitated the construction of bridges 
and the establishment of ferries. The situation, comparable in 
a measure to the Paris Cite, was therefore altogether an excellent 
one for an important fisher community, and although Berlin is 
first mentioned in history towards the beginning of the twelfth 
century, it is probable that its origin dates from the earliest 
peopling of the surrounding country. 

Still the little fishing hamlet would not have been in the least 
degree better off than a score of other localities of North 
Germany had it been merely a simple ferry easy to defend ; 
— had it possessed no other natural advantages it would never 
have filled an important historical role. But Berlin is situated 
almost in the exact centre of the region circumscribed by the 
Elbe and the Oder, and of the lakes and rivers connected with 
those two great watercourses ; and thus it has become the 
natural entrepot of the various commodities produced within this 
extensive area. It is true that neither the Spree nor the Havel 
are imposing streams, still they have the requisite advantages of 
being both deep and navigable. 

At the close of the thirteenth century, Berlin — at that time a 
Republic and the rallying-point of a veritable federation — had 
already become the principal town of the Mark of Brandenburg, 
and here mo.st of the popular assemblies were held. Raised in the 
middle of the fifteenth century to the dignity of a capital, it 
increased little by little its circle of action, and profited by the 
geographical advantages of a vaster region. It then became 
evident that not only was Berlin the great commercial station 
between the Oder and the Elbe, between Magdeburg and 
Erankfurt-on-the-Oder, but that it was also the centre of gravity 
between the basins of these two rivers — and that the commercial 
movement of the two regions could there be best centralized. 
According to the ingenious comparison of J. G. Kohl, Berlin 
has disposed its system between the Elbe and the Oder in much 



ANCIENT BERLIN. 29 



the same fashion as a spider would spin its web between two 
trees. From the great market of the Upper Oder to the most 
important city of the Upper Elbe, — that is to say, from Breslau to 
Hamburg — the natural route is by Berlin, as is also that leading 
from Leipzig to Stettin. Further, Berlin is situated precisely 
midway between both of these routes, and is also equidistant 
from the Rhine and the Vistula, from the Dutch and the Russian 
frontiers. Moreover, by a remarkable coincidence, the commercial 
line from the Oder to the Elbe is precisely that valley which 
geologists recognize as having been in prehistoric times the 
great fluvial bed of Northern Germany. Formerly, the Oder on 
reaching the spot where Frankfurt now exists did not suddenly 
turn to the right and throw itself into the Baltic, but continued 
its course towards the north-west, and uniting with the Elbe, 
became a tributary of the North Sea. The immense river, 
upwards of 600 miles in length, passed precisely by the spot 
where Berlin rises to-day — towards the centre of the ancient 
valley. The Spree, bordered by marshes, flows still in the bed 
of the powerful watercourse, "a dwarf that has slid into a 
giant's armour." The isthmus separating it from the actual 
course of the Oder is very narrow and the old connection could 
be easily re-established by a canal. 

Favourably situated with regard to the rivers of North 
Germany and their basins, Berlin is equally well located in 
reference to the seas which wash the northern shores of the new 
Empire. While belonging by the direction of the Elbe course 
to that region of Germany which is bathed by the North Sea, 
it should be borne in mind that Berlin communicates equally 
freely with Hamburg, the great Elbe port, as with Stettin, the 
most important emporium of the mouth of the Oder, and that 
it commands at once both coasts. Better than any other city it 
can influence and survey the commercial operations which are 
carried on between the ports of Embden and Cuxhaven, and 
from Kiel to Konigsberg and Memel. To employ a military 
comparison, the city may be likened to a general occupying a 
commanding position behind his army and directing its manoeu- 
vres. West, east, south — in all parts of the immense plain, 
stretching from the mouths of the Ems to the waters of the 
Niemen, the cities of Germany occupy commercially — as well 
as politically and militarily — the same subordinate position in 
regard to the central city which watches over and governs them. 
Through its network of converging canals and railways, Berlin 
increases daily its power of attraction, the recent conquests of 
Prussia largely precipitating the movement of this immense 
suction pump in the plains of Brandenburg.^ 

A crowd of immigrants of all kinds, workers and idlers, rich 

^ Die Ceog7'aphische Lage der Hauptstaedte Eiircpas, von J, G. Kohl. 



30 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

and poor, men of wealth and pleasure, seekers of adventures 
and of fortune, rush towards Berlin with a kind of frenzy. 
The progress of the city in population, wealth, and industry, 
has been far more rapid than even that of Prussia in political 
importance, and Berlin, already peopled with nearly a million 
inhabitants, promises to become like London a province covered 
with houses. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that favourable local 
conditions had everything to do with the founding of Berlin, 
and that like conditions materially promoted its subsequent 
development and eventually transformed the chief city of the 
Mark of Brandenburg into the metropolis of Prussia, and 
finally into the capital of the new German Empire. 

The origin of the name, Berlin, has given rise to endless 
surmises, occasionally ingenious but more frequently puerile. 
For instance, from the simple supposition that the sandy forest 
glades in which the first Berliner set foot produced berries, it 
has been deduced that the word Berlin comes from Beer lein, 
signifying a small berry. A wilder conjecture proceeded from 
the brain of a classic philologist, who, by reason of the calling 
of the original settlers — who it is necessary to assume were 
familiar with Greek because the Greeks happened to come to 
the distant Pomeranian coast in search of amber — derives Berlin 
from barys linos (heavy net). With no more reason the city is 
supposed to have been originally called Barlein, meaning " little 
bear," not however after the four-footed brute, but from Albrecht 
der Bar, or the Illustrious, who is said, on no kind of authority, 
to have founded the city in the year 1 140, the truth being that 
Berlin had existed long before his day as a Wendish village. 
An astrological topographer of the i6th century was undecided 
as to whether the word was derived from the above-named 
Margrave or from the constellation of the Little Bear, under 
which he asserted Berlin was situate. Another conjecture 
assumed ber and wehr to be identical, and derived the name 
from the latter word, which signifies "dyke." Others assert 
that Berlin simply means "ford," and that the city obtained 
its name, like Frankfurt, from a shallow in the river. Numerous 
attempts have been made to trace the word Berlin to a Sclavonic 
source, improbable as the theory is that the capital of the 
German Empire should have been founded by Sclaves. 

One of the boldest of these philological flights derives the word 
from /;'/, meaning "near," and /w, a "hill," for where, we may 
ask, is the hill in the neighbourhood of Berlin to be found .-' 
Even a still more ludicrous suggestion is the combination of 
ero, "feather," with linati, "to moult," to produce the word 
Berlin, on the assumption, as has been humorously suggested, 
that the original site of the city was a goose-common. Other 
conjectural combinations are bor, " forest," either with rola, 



ANCIENT BERLIN. 31 



"field," or with glina, "clay." A more ingenious supposition 
connects the word Berlin with the Sclavonic brljina, applicable 
to slow water with a muddy bottom, which would no doubt 
have admirably described the locality in prehistoric times. 
The honour of conferring a name on the city is not merely 
claimed for the Sclaves but for the Celts as well, although it has 
never been pretended that so much as a single Celtic tribe ever 
settled in the Mark of Brandenburg. In the Celtic language 
Berlin has been derived both from biorlinn, a ferry, and from 
hairlinn, a dam, as well as from compounds of ber, a curve, and 
//;/, a river, ox paur, a willow, and lliiyn, a wood. 

Unquestionably the most uncomplimentary derivation is that 
suggested from the Czech word berla, signifying " crutch," while 
the most flattering etymology is that of the Jesuit Bisselius, who 
maintained that Berlin evidently signified a pearl, and ought 
therefore to be spelt Berlin. The latest suggestions on the 
subject come from Dr. Otto Beyersdorf, who has requir-ed an 
entire pamphlet ^ to arrive at the conclusion that the city on the 
Spree was simply called Berlin because it was Berla's place, just 
as Stettin was Stetta's place, Czernin, Czerna's place, &c., and 
he thinks the name may have been originally that of some 
national Sclavonic saint, to whom other localities likewise owe 
their name. He cites as instances public squares both at 
Nordheim and Frankfurt-on-the-Oder named Berlin ; two other 
squares in Halle called respectively the great and little Berlin, 
two lakes at Wittstock similarly named, several villages in 
Mecklenburg and Holstein called Berlin or Barlin ; and a town 
near Frankfurt-on-the-Oder bearing the graceful name of 
Berlinchen. It has, however, been pointed out that the Wends 
have a prior claim to have given the name to the town which 
everyone admits them to have founded, and that one need go no 
further than their language to find the word " Berlin," which 
simply means an open space. 

1 " Der Ortsname Berlin aus dem Slavischen erkldrt." 




A ROBBER KNIGHT EQUIPPING FOR A RAID. 



IV. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 




ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH. 



THE first Berlin houses 
are supposed to have 
sprung up in the Molken- 
markt, the common market- 
place of the city, at the 
earHest period of which any 
records exist. Adjacent 
stands the gloomy grey 
church of St. Nicholas, ad- 
mitted to be the most an- 
cient ecclesiastical edifice in 
the capital, Berlin, a town of 
fishers, sailors, and traders, 
havingplaced itself under the 
patronage of St. Nicholas 
the tutelary saint of seafar- 
ing men. l?y the commence- 
ment of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, when this church was 
built, the twin towns of Ber- 
lin and Koln had both risen 
to some importance, and 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



33 




subsequently chose a common municipal council to administer 
their joint affairs. 

Among other privileges then 
conceded to them by the Mar- 
graves of Brandenburg, was the 
right of using a joint seal, on 
which was displayed the red 
eagle of Brandenburg on a 
silver field. Ere long, however, 
the Berlin burghers decided on 
having a coat of arms to them- 
selves, and, speaking escutch- 
eons being the fashion in those 
days, a bear was introduced 
into the Berlin shield, either 
because it was supposed that 
the name Berlin came from the 
bear, or in reference to Albrecht 
the Bear, the bold conqueror 
and founder of the Margravite 
of Brandenburg, who, sweeping away the heathenish Wends, 
peopled it with colonists from Holland whom an inroad of the 
sea had rendered homeless. 

In the year 1320 the ducal line of 
Albrecht the Bear having died out, Duke 
Rudolf of Saxony received the homage 
of the Berlin citizens, to whom, however, 
the new ruler soon became obnoxious, 
and some disturbances ensuing, two of 
his adherents lost their lives. Shortly 
afterwards Nicholas Cyriax, prior of 
^^^^^^"^^^ Bernau, a partisan of the unpopular duke, 
^ and a constant dangler in his train, came 

to Berlin, and ventured in the Marienkirche on some demand 
in his behalf, which the citizens were indisposed to grant. Loud 
murmurs having arisen, the irascible prior hurled forth his angry 
anathemas, when the people closed in upon him with fury, and 
his death at the church door was the result. The brutal burg- 
hers, not content with slaying their victim, kindled a fire 
and burnt his body on the spot. So incensed was the 
Bishop of Brandenburg at this savage outrage, that, after 
peremptorily ordering the Berlin churches and chapels to 
be closed, and all religious rites to be suspended, he proceeded 
to excommunicate the citizens eu masse, and it was not until 
two-and-twenty years afterwards that the repentant burghers 
prevailed upon the Pope to remove the interdict. For many 
years subsequently a light was kept perpetually burning 
before a stone cross, which, by way of atonement for their 




34 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

oflfence, the citizens had been compelled to erect upon the fatal 
spot. 

Rudolf dying after a brief rule, Kaiser Ludwig transferred the 
Brandenburg Margravite to his son. named after himself, and at 
that time a mere stripling, but who in subsequent years fought 
beside our own Edward III. at the siege of Cambray. A year 
or two after his return home from the wars he found his right 
to the Mark — where he was exceedingly unpopular — disputed 
by the ghost of some former Margrave named Waldemar, who 
was believed to have been comfortably interred at least a quarter 
of a century before. To-day however, it was pretended that he 
had simply been absent all this while in the Holy Land, but had 
now returned, and placed himself at the head of an army to 
assert his rights. Kaiser Karl IV., son of the blind King of 
Bohemia, who was slain at Crecy, and whose famous plume and 
motto were assumed by the Black Prince, had in the meanwhile 
succeeded Ludwig as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, 
and, to spite the Bavarian party, proceeded to take the pretended 
Waldemar under his patronage. The citizens of Berlin, with 
whom the original Waldemar had been very popular, affected to 
regard the new comer as their true prince, and warmly espoused 
his cause ; but soon a rumour arose that it was Margrave 
Waldemar's former servant, some miller's boy, whom the 
Emperor was taking through the country with the object of 
wresting the Brandenburg Mark from the house of Bavaria. The 
King of Denmark, brother-in-law of the reigning Margrave, flew 
to the assistance of his relative, and laid siege to Berlin, which 
was promptly recalled to its allegiance by the levy of a large 
war contribution. Spite, however, of this pecuniary mishap, 
Berlin still continued opulent, and so addicted were its citizens 
to habits of extravagance that it was found requisite to repress 
them by sumptuary laws. It was at this epoch that a singular 
fraternity of priests and laymen, known as the Guild of Mercy, 
was instituted at Berlin. Its ostensible objects were the relief 
of poor ecclesiastics and the succouring of travellers in distress 
in foreign countries ; but it gradually secured extensive privi- 
leges, and attained to considerable power and importance. 

The towns of Berlin and Koln owed their development exclu- 
sively to the energy and commercial activity of their citizens. 
The reigning prince for the time being came to exact suit and 
service from the burghers on his accession, but was rarely 
popular enough to keep his court among them. Friedrich I., of 
the house of Hohcnzollcrn, had been thrust upon the states of 
the Mark, throughout which great lawlessness prevailed, by 
Kaiser Sigismund, the same who gave Huss a safe conduct to 
the Council of Constance, and then suffered him to be seized 
and burnt for heresy, and who first of all pawned, and, as he 
could not redeem it, afterwards sold the Brandenburg Mark to 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



35 



h\s protege, Kurfurst Friedrich. The latter received the fealty 
of the states at Berlin amid considerable opposition, before 
which, resolute as he was, he had to bend, retiring from the 




ELECTOR FRIEDRICH I. AND HIS ELECTRESS. 

f^From pai7itings in the church of Radoizburg.) 

Hohe-haus, now known as the Lager-haus, where he had taken 
up his residence, to the Kaiser's castle at Tangermunde, and 
from time to time occupying himself in repressing the anarchy 
to which, at this epoch, when power was the only measure of 
right, the Mark was unhappily a prey. 

The second Hohenzollern, likewise a Friedrich, profited by 
some dispute betweeen the united councils of Berlin and Koln 
and the burghers, to make his appearance before the city at the 
head of 600 horsemen ; and after compelling the inhabitants to 
surrender up the keys of the different gates, summarily divested 
them of various ancient rights and privileges. To effectually 
subdue future opposition he commenced building a castle within 
Kdln itself, a proceeding which the irritated burghers resented 
by open rebellion. Peace, however was speedily brought about, 
after the last modern fashion, by arbitration ; and everything 
being made pleasant, the Elector rode into the city with a great 
display of pomp. In 145 1 he took up his residence at the new 
castle, which had strong walls and high towers for defence or 

D 2 



36 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



aggression if need were — one of these towers, the great Wendel- 
stein (Winding-stone) being constructed with a winding ascent, 
without steps, to allow of the transit of heavy ordnance. 

Under the warlike Elector Albrecht Achilles, whose rule 
commenced in 147 1, the twin towns rose considerably in 
importance, numbers of strangers being attracted to them by 
the knightly games and tournaments which were continually 
being held on the banks of the Spree. This importance was 
permanently maintained by the Electors making Koln their 
fixed place of residence. The last organized bands of robbers 
are said to have disappeared from the Mark on the apparition 
of the first Hohenzollern ; still there were plenty of high-born 
gentlemen, like Eberard of Wlirtemberg, of the blasphemous 
device, " Friend of God, Enemy of all," who continued to live 




ROBBER KNIGHTS. 



from the saddle, and the Elector Johann Cicero — so called from 
his latinity and his eloquence — pounded no end of baronial 
robber towers about their owners' ears. Half a century of 
energetic rule had produced vast changes for the better, yet 
travelling merchants might still have prayed, as of old, — 

" From Kockeritze and Liideritze, 
From Krocher, Kracht, and Itzenplitze 
Good Lord deliver us !" 

The successor of Johann Cicero, Joachim I. — elder brother of 
the Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz, notorious as having set on foot 
the sale of those unlucky indulgences which provoked the 
Reformation — was himself a stout Catholic, whose wife fled 
the country in terror on his discovering that she had secretly 
received the sacrament at the hands of a Protestant priest. It 
was he who stole ofi"to the Kreuzbcrg, a little hill in the environs 



DEVELOI'MKNT OF BERLIN. 



37 



of Berlin, the more quietly to contemplate the destruction of the 
world, which had been foretold by the astrologer Carion. The 
event not coming off as predicted, Elector and astronomer 
satisfactorily accounted for the omission by an error in their 
calculations. Under Joachim the law of " might makes right " 
was all but suppressed so far as Christians were concerned, but 
it was different with the unfortunate Jews, thirty-eight of whom 
were burnt at the stake, while the rest were driven out of the 
Mark of Brandenburg. 

A predatory act committed at this epoch by some marauding 
Saxon noble kindled a little war between a defiant Berlin 
citizen and the Elector of Saxony. Hans Kolhase, a dealer in 
horses, whose connections extended into Lower Germany, had 
a couple of his finest animals seized by the noble freebooter. 
His complaints to the Elector of Saxony securing no redress, 
he sent the latter a challenge, following it up by an inroad into 
Saxon territory with a troop of horse. This brought about a 
compact, which was, however, broken by the Saxons, and the 
irate horsedealer proceeded to levy war in earnest, and even 
burnt the little town of Zahna, near Jiiterbogk, in the church of 
which, a few years afterwards, the Dominican Tetzel publicly 
sold those indulgences which aroused the indignation of Luther, 
then a professor in the neighbouring University of Wittenberg. 
The Elector Joachim came forward as mediator in the quarrel, but 
all in vain. Dr. Martin Luther next intervened on behalf of his 
patron, the Elector of Saxony, 



and wrote an admonitory let- 
ter to the daring horsedealer, 
which is said to have so power- 
fully affected him that he rode 
over to Wittenberg and visited 
Luther by night. The latter 
summoned all the leading theo- 
logians of the town, and, under 
the heavy battery of dialectics 
which they opened upon him, 
the Berlin horsedealernaturally 
gave way, and, promising to 
keep the peace, rode back over 
the Saxon border. A short 
time afterwards hostilities were 
rekindled, and Kolhase seized a 
number of silver bars on their 
way from the Mannsfield mines 
to the Imperial mint, and flung 
them into the river from the 
bridge at Potsdam, which still 
retains the name of Kolhasen bridge 




BUTTRESS OF THE ULD Iir.NI.lX J CSTICF.-HALL. 



This piece of audacity 



38 



IIKULIN UNDER Till: NEW EMPIRE. 



could not be overlooked, and the Berlin executioner, a useful 
if not respected member of society in those turbulent times, had 
orders to arrest the citizen Kolhase. Knowing, however, the 
desperate character of the man, he prudently enticed him to 
Berlin where he suddenly seized on him and one of his com- 
rades. 

At the trial which followed Kolhase defended himself with 
much natural eloquence, but to no avail. His judges ruled that 
the Kaiser's uncoined ingots must be respected, and Kolhase 
was condemned to be broken on the wheel. An offer to com- 
mute the sentence to decapitation was declined by him because 
his comrade was excluded from the benefit of it. " Brothers in 
life," exclaimed the gallant horscdealer. " in death we will be 
cleft together." 











WEN-AT-ARMS. 



Joachim II., who was fond of displays of splendour and the 
holding of festivals, celebrated the christening of his daughter 
by a grand tournament in the tilt-yard of the Schloss, at which 
knights with a multiplicity of quarterings emblazoned on their 




shields contended in the lists. The Elector was not averse to 
fighting in earnest, having had some practice that way against 
the Turks, and to arouse a like combative spirit in his subjects 
he set the citizens of Berlin and Spandau to make mock war 
upon each other. The battle known as the club-war of Spandau 
began with an engagement on the river Havel, under the walls 
of the fortress. Both fleets fought with becoming valour, but the 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



39 




Berlinese conquered and commenced bombarding the citadel, 
whereupon the women of Spandau, thinking the fighting had 
commenced in earnest, rushed out and implored the Elector 
to release their besieged husbands, and on his refusal became so 
irate that Joachim found himself in a critical position. Eventu- 
ally the Spandauers cleverly enticed their adversaries into an 
ambush, and gave them a sound drubbing, which brought the 
battle to a satisfactory close, so far as the victors were concerned. 
Berlin at this epoch was Catholic, and miracle plays used to be 
periodically performed by the city scholars in the Town-hall, but 
the Elector, whose mother had been previously zealous in the 
Protestant cause, openly embraced the reformed faith, and 
Buchholzer, a pupil of Luther's, preached in the Cathedral as 
the first Protestant prior of Berlin. Subsequently, on November 
2nd, 1539, after the reformed service had been inaugurated in 
the church of St. Nicholas, the town council and many of 



40 



liEKLlN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



the principal citizens 
Lutheran form 



received the sacrament accordincf to the 









Joachim II. pa- 
tronised the fine 
arts just as certain 
of his predecessors 
had fostered sci- 
ence. He imported 
aspccial court paint- 
er from Milan, who 
painted the admir- 
able portraits of him- 
self and wife, which 
are preserved at 
the Berlin Schloss; 
provided occupa- 
tion for sculptors 
and goldsmiths ; 
and gave a marked 
impetus to the ar- 
chitectural embel- 
lishment of the 
capital. In 1540 he razed the fortified castle of the Elector 
Friedrich II., and on its site "built himself a lordly pleasure- 
house, wherein at ease to live for aye," i; -;_,i 
decorating it inside with historical panels 
by Lucas Cranach, and gracing the court 
with life-size statues of the various German 
Electors. Under Joachim Berlin witnessed 
the introduction of the Renaissance style, 
which simply heralded in the reign of 
stucco. True, for some time to come stone 
was employed as heretofore for the more 
important buildings, but gradually bricks, 
disguised under compo, u.burpcd its place. 

Johann Georg was a sober, steady-going 
ruler, who set his face equally against 
feasts, festivals, luxury in apparel, and 
strong liquor in excess, which latter he 
sought to wean his subjects from by tax- 
ing it heavily. Me moreover busied him- 
self with the completion of the statute- 
book, commenced by his father, and in 
furthering education ; united the two 
schools of |St. Nicholas and St. Mary 
into one large national establishment, 
installing it in an ancient Franciscan monastery, of which the 
existing Klosterkirche at one time formed part. During 




IN TIIK KLOSTER- 
KIRCHE. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 4I 



the reign of Johann Sigismund, who declared in favour of 
Calvinism, violent disputes arose between the contending 
Lutheran and Calvinist factions, which naturally interfered 
with the even flow of Berlin life. The fact is the Hohenzollerns 
of this epoch were somewhat shifty in matters of faith, con- 
veniently maintaining, — 

" That which is, or why 'tis so, 

Few can conjecture, none can know." 

On the breaking out of the Thirty Years' War, Georg Wilhelm. 
son of Johann Sigismund, would willingly have declared for the 
Catholic party had not motives of prudence restrained him ; his 
lemaining neutral, however, did not prevent the Mark from being 
overrun with foreign hordes. It was at this exciting epoch that 
Berlin witnessed the appearance of its first newspaper. As the 
war proceeded it had to put up with the demolition of all the 
houses along the city walls, and subsequently with the burning 
of a considerable portion of its suburbs, on the approach of 
Gustavus Adolphus, who professed to occupy the Mark as a 
matter of strateg}', and ended by pretty well devastating it. 
When Berlin was really threatened the shifty Elector, not daring 
to offer resistance limited himself to running hither and thither 
with his grey-bearded counsellors, exclaiming, " What is to be 
done .' they have got cannon I"^ this dreaded artillery possibly 
being the identical two leathern cannon known to have belonged 
to Gustavus Adolphus and still preserved in the Berlin armoury. 

It was under such disheartening circumstances as these that, 
in 1640, Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector, came into posses- 
sion of his inheritance. "A prince without territory, an Elector 
without power, and an ally without an army," he not only 
succeeded in ridding his country of the last Swede, but laid 
the foundations of Prussia's future greatness. An able and 
intrepid warrior, an adroit diplomatist, and a grand adminis- 
trator, he succeeded in repairing the di.sasters of preceding years. 
Having faith in the axiom that "care and industry will 
accomplish everything," he opened negotiations in one direction, 
concluded alliances in another, made war and peace by turns, 
and always to his own aggrandizement, until he managed to get 
himself recognized as an independent ruler instead of a mere fief, 
and to play a role in Europe which grew more important from 
year to year. From the commencement of his reign he took 
the keenest interest in the progress of the capital, encouraged 
all who were in the service of the State, and the wealthier 
burghers to build new quarters of the city, one result being the 
Friedrichwerder-stadt erected on lands of his own, of which he 
made concessions with the object of promoting building enterprise. 
He improved the Schloss, enlarged its pleasure-grounds, and 

' Carl)le's Frederick the Greaf. 



42 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



completed the fortifications. The twin churches in the Gensdar- 
men-markt and the finer old houses — residences of the statesmen 
of the period — still existing- in the city belong to this epoch, 
whence the systematic development of Berlin architecture takes 
its rise. In the year 1675 the erection of the Dorotheen-stadt 
was commmenced on some farm lands belonging to the Elector's 
second wife, Dorothea, at whose instigation the renowned Unter 
den Linden was planted. Other districts were projected or 
extended, and all these various additions to the city were 
protected by moats and ramparts. The principal streets too 
were paved and lighted, and generally as much attention was 
bestowed on the internal arrangements of the city as upon its 
enlargement. 

At the peace of Miinster and Osnabriick the bells had rung in 
thanksgiving throughout the Mark, still Brandenburg suffered for 
years to come from the effects of those disastrous times. The 
Elector, however, did his best to bring about a return to prosperity, 
and had roads made, canals dug, and marshes drained, besides 
establishing colonies of foreigners in the midst of the sandy 
wastes surrounding Berlin, which in due time were forced into 
fertility. When Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes the 
Great Elector replied by the Edict of Potsdam offering to the 
French emigrants a second country. Five-and-twenty thousand 
men alone profited by the invitation ; the Elector's representatives 
abroad had received orders to smooth down the difficulties of 
their journey, and whatever property they brought with them 
was admitted free of duty. Lands abandoned during the war 
were given up to the agriculturists and temporarily exempted 
from taxation, while the operatives had rights of citizenship con- 
ferred upon them and were at once admitted to the different trade 
guilds. Many among them took up a position in the highest 
ranks of commerce and industry. Credit institutions were 
established to provide for the first wants of the immigrants, who 
were moreover allowed their own courts of justice, consistories, 
and synods. Finally all affairs referring to them were conducted 
in their own language, and even so recently as the present 
century there were seven churches in Berlin, the services at which 
were conducted exclusively in French. 

The Great Elector further created the elements of a navy, 
developed commerce, and established manufactures. After the 
peace of Westphalia had been signed, the Berlinese again resorted 
to their amusements of target and poppinjay shooting at Whit- 
suntide and during August ; the Christmas fair was also duly 
celebrated in the Koln fish-market, and the avidity with which 
the burgher class betook itself to tea and tobacco indicated the 
return of national prosperity. The French refugees introduced 
the habit of snuff-taking, and carrying out their universal mission, 
substituted French fashions in dress, an innovation which led to 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 43 

the suppression both of the rich Spanish court costume and the 
picturesque attire of the old German burgher. 

By the end of the reign of the Great Elector, Berlin had grown 
to twice the size it was at the commencement, and its population 
had increased to nearly three fold. His states were augmented 
in almost an equal degree ; their half a million of inhabitants 
had become a million and a half; his little army of three thou- 
sand men had expanded into one of twenty-four thousand, while 
his revenue of half a million had swollen to two and a half millions 
of crowns, beside which he left six hundred thousand crowns in 
his treasury. At his splendid funeral no less than forty am- 
bassadors were present, an evident proof of the regard in which 
this able ruler was held at foreign courts. 

The Elector Friedrich III. afterwards King Friedrich I. was 
deficient in all his father's greater qualities but followed in his 
footsteps so far as the embellishment of Berlin was concerned. 
With the aid of able architects whom he had the judgment to 
select he remodelled and enlarged the Schloss and imparted to it 
much of its present external grandeur. He moreover erected 
the arsenal and other public buildings, raised the fine equestrian 
statue to the Great Elector on the Kurfiirsten-briicke and 
commenced the Friedrichs-stadt on a regular plan ; while the 
Electress promoted the building of the earliest houses in the 
Spandauer and Stralauer suburbs. Friedrich HI. gave to the 
different districts, into which the city was divided, a single 
government and council. At the instigation of the handsome and 
intellectual Electress Sophia, pictured by Carlyle as something 
between an earthly queenandadivineEgeriawhose inquiring mind 
was always wanting to know the wherefore of the why, he founded 
the Berlin Academy of Sciences after the plan of Leibnitz, and 
named the great philosopher its perpetual president. The 
Elector's main failing was his excessive complacency towards the 
Emperor of Germany whose interests he served and whose 
quarrels he espoused in order to secure the one object of his 
heart's desire, the coveted title of King, which the Kaiser at last 
consented to his assuming. Setting out from Berlin in great 
state with a train of nearly two thousand carriages, which — 
although no less than thirty thousand post-horses had been 
provided for them — were as many as twelve days proceeding to 
Konigsburg, he placed with his own hand the coveted royal 
crown on the top of his flowing periwig and then crowned his 
charming Electress. His coronation accomplished he was ac- 
claimed by his delighted subjects as a self-made king, and 
Berlin never before witnessed such a spectacle as was presented 
on his return. The royal pair, attended by the guilds and 
corporations of Berlin and Koln in the gayest of liveries, rode 
under triumphal arches through the city, all the church bells 
ringing out merry peals and hundreds of cannon thundering 



44 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



forth salutes from the city walls and even from the shipping in 
the Spree. 

Carlyle describes the first King of Prussia, whom an unlucky 
jerk in infancy had rendered hump-backed, as struggling all his 
days, regardless of expense, to render his existence magnificent, 
if not beautiful. He took for his model the court of Louis XIV. 




SCHLUTEKS STATUE OF THE GREAT ELECTOR. 



then the most brilliant in luu'ope, wore a grand Spanish wig like 
Le Roi Soleil, surrounded himself with a troop of chamberlains 
and maintained a little army of cooks. Beyond perpetual cere- 
monies and solemnities, attended with more or less splendour, 
and the continual ministering to his own effulgent existence, the 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 45 

expensive King indulged in profuse plans of all kinds that cost 
the state immense sums, to raise which he even taxed wigs, shoes, 
and cats. At his death no sooner was his funeral over than his 
son and successor leapt into the saddle and commanded the 
troops drawn upon the Schloss-platz to fire three salvoes from 
their guns ; from which it was foreseen that a perfectly new 
order of things was about to be inaugurated.^ 

The austere, eccentric, and parsimonious Friedrich Wilhelm I. 
had none of his father's expensive elegant tastes and extravagant 
love of splendour and display. With one stroke of the pen he 
abolished all court offices, swept the palace clear of a regiment of 
chamberlains and lackeys, reduced the pension list to less than 
one fourth, and even pared down the salaries of the few attend- 
ants he retained in his service. Government and house-keeping 
were carried on by him on like economical principles. This 
hero of the Carlylean Olympiad " regulated the daily outlay for 
his table to half a thaler, higgled with his Queen over the market 
price of eggs, and forbade his cooks under pain of death to pilfer 
the dishes on the pretence of tasting them." Under him French re- 
finement and luxury came to an end and a purely Dutch simplicity 
set in. To render everything of French extraction unpopular at 
Berlin, the King had anti-Gallic pieces performed at the theatre 
and his jailors dressed up in the latest Paris fashions. All great 
architectural works were suspended. The new King's heart was 
in his army, and gigantic and well-drilled soldiers were his hobby. 
To secure the former, seven feet and upwards in height, his agents 
scoured Europe, kidnapping those who were proof against 
persuasion. It is not surprising, therefore, that his recruiting ser- 
geants occasionally got hanged. The premium offered by him 
for tall men proved sufficient to tempt the governor of Augs- 
burg to arrest all travellers of the requisite height who ventured 
through the town on foot and to sell them to his agents. Friedrich 
Wilhelm likewise bought his guards regularly of the Countess 
Wiirben, mistress of the Duke of Wiirtemberg, and the same to 
whom on her demanding to be included in the prayers of the 
Church, the cutting reply was made, " Madame, we pray daily — O 
Lord ! deliver us from evil." On one occasion he bartered 
four Japanese vases with Augustus II. of Saxony — the begetter 
of three hundred and fifty-four children and bender of horse- 
shoes with his bare hand — for four regiments of dragoons, which 
came to be known as the regiments of porcelain. At another 
time he made a present of a useless yacht which his father had 
had built, to Peter the Great, who had paid him a visit at Berlin, 
and who sent him in return a hundred and fifty Muscovite sons 
of Anak. Every autumn the Czar transmitted another hundred 
of these giants to Berlin, and the Prussian King acknowledged 

1 Berlin von Robert Springer. 



46 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

the gift by forwardinf^ to St. Petersburf^ smiths, mill-wrights, 
engineers, and drill sergeants. The drilling of his troops was 
due to Dessau — rough, passionate, and a drunkard, but beloved 
by the soldiers — the " inventor alike of the iron ramrod, of the 
equal step, and indeed of modern militarj' tactics ; out of whose 
rough head " remarks Carlyle " proceeded the essential of all 
that the innumerable drill sergeants in various languages daily 
repeat and enforce, and who drilled the Prussian infantry to be 
the wonder of the world." Further, so perfect was the discipline 
which existed that, as Carlyle emphatically puts it, " from big 
guns and waggon-horses, down to gun-flints and gaiter straps, 
nothing was wanting or out of its place at any time in Friedrich 
Wilhelm's army."^ So excessively jealous was the King of his 
hobby being interfered with that, on one of his giants being 
sentenced by the Berlin Criminal Court to be hanged for house- 
breaking, he sent for the judges and replied to their explanations 
and excuses by a shower of blows from his flexible ratan, " crack- 
ing the crown of one, battering the nose of another, and knocking 
out a few teeth from a third." 

The provident King turned the palace Lustgarten into an 
exercising ground for his guards, and put a sudden stop to the 
internal decorations of the Schloss which had been commenced by 
his predecessor. Nothing but what was absolutely indispensable 
was finished. A completed suite of apartments on the third floor 
w^ere made to serve for the state receptions of the court. The 
grand banqueting hall simply had a coat of whitewash given to it 
and remained thus for years, whence arose the name of the Weisse 
Saal which to this day it retains. Though the King was a great 
stickler for uniformity, and insisted on all new houses being of the 
same size and height, yet he could surrender his predilection for 
architectural symmetry when his own convenience was concerned. 
In the portion of the palace which he inhabited, looking into the 
Lustgarten, he had several of the windows made larger in order 
to admit more light and air, thereby marring the regularity of 
the facade. In the same way, for the sake of readier communi- 
cation, he had common wooden galleries constructed, leading 
through one of the gates of the garden and the palace entrance 
under the grand triumphal arch. 

Friedrich Wilhclm was not on good terms with the Berlinese, 
who were averse to maintaining the large garrison he wished to 
install within the capital. For this reason he patronised Potsdam, 
which he greatly extended and improved, still he contributed 
materially to the enlargement of Berlin by the interest which he 
took in the building of the Fricdrichs-stadt, the houses of which 
stood lonesomely here and there when he entered on his task. The 
immigrant Bohemians rendered considerable assistance towards 

' Carl>lc's Frederick the Great, 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 47 



the work, but their co-operation was far from sufficient, and the 
King had recourse to extraordinary measures. He appointed a 
regular agent charged with compelling people to build. Not 
only were those holding official positions and individuals of 
known means obliged to erect their own houses, but even persons 
of moderate incomes, who had to borrow at exorbitant rates of 
interest the capital they lacked. Whenever this agent was seen 
to turn down a street people scampered out of his way for fear 
of being called upon to build a house they had no need of By 
having recourse to these arbitrary measures the King succeeded 
by the end of his reign in getting nearly all the waste spaces within 
the city walls built upon, but at the trifling inconvenience of 
impoverishing most of the occupants of the new houses. 

The Dutch style of architecture was Friedrich Wilhelm's 
admiration. He liked the homely plainness and warmth of 
colour of the Dutch brick houses, on the primitive Noah's ark 
model. Moreover the old connection with Dutch life which in 
the days of the Great Elector had acted as a counterpoise to 
French taste and policy was revived by him. With the death of 
Louis XIV. the time was gone by when wigs covered every head, 
and the full-bottomed perruque with its pompous fulness and 
puffed-up majesty lorded it in a majestic and ceremonious 
manner. Fatigued with long years of solemn restraint, the French 
fashionable world, which was aped by half Europe, hastened 
to rush into careless enjoyment, coupling it with the wildest 
extravagance, the most reckless levity. Inexhaustible caprice 
drove it from one whim to another, whilst it laughed at every 
law and followed no prescript but pleasure, a condition of things of 
which the wanton rococo, German philosophers ingeniously con- 
tend, was the symbol, just as the reaction against all this sensual- 
ism and frivolity was typified by the homely pig-tail, the real 
father of which according to them was Friedrich Wilhelm. I. ^ 
This appurtenance to the head made its first appearance in 
military circles in days when the uniform followed the fashions, and 
the perruque was regularly worn by the officers, while financial 
considerations interposed an insuperable obstacle to its adoption 
by the rank and file. 

The latter therefore, by way of substitute, wore their hair as 
long as possible, and, in order that it might not trouble them 
when on duty, tied it together behind. From this simple begin- 
ning sprang the braided and be-plastered pig-tail, which hung 
stiff and uniform down every military neck, being artificially 
supplied whenever nature had not been sufficiently bountiful. 
From the soldiers the fashion passed in due course to the civilians, 
on whom it set the distinctive bourgeois seal, and whose pedantic 
prudence and homely narrow-mindedness acted as a counterpoise 

^ Geschichtc des Dwdenien GescJnnacks. 



48 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

to the escapades of the wanton rococo. The historical signifi- 
cance of Friedrich Wilhclm I. lies in those rigid military and 
simple citizenlike elements which opposed German staidness and 
discipline to French frivolity and fickleness, and set far more 
store by exactness than by elegance.^ 

Friedrich Wilhelm steadily developed the resources of the 
kingdom, drained bogs, founded colonies, established manufactures, 
made his own uniforms out of home wove cloth and resolutely 
set himself against idleness in any form. The old Berlin apple- 
women even were required to knit while sitting at their stalls, and 
many an idle street-lounger on whom the King unexpectedly 
came received a smart whack over his shoulders from his majesty's 
favourite ratan. In the words of Carlyle, " he drilled the Prussian 
nation into habits of thrift, industry, veracity, and punctuality." 
He made education compulsory, and nothing redounds more to 
his credit than his noble behaviour towards the persecuted Pro- 
testants of Salzburg, whom, after furnishing with means to 
emigrate, he received in person at the gates of Berlin and finally 
settled in various parts of his dominions at a considerable out- 
lay. 

The King's famous smoking club, which formed as it were his 
privy council, and his harsh treatment of his eldest son on account 
of the latter's French proclivities, are matters of history. Not 
only did he savagely cane him, when a youth of nineteen, with his 
own hand, but ordered his accomplice in some meditated escape 
to be executed before his eyes, banished all his friends and asso- 
ciates, dismissed his unoffending tutor, and directed some perfectly 
innocent female acquaintance — a respectable Potsdam precentor's 
daughter — to be whipped by the beadle. Further he brutally 
attacked his daughter Wilhclmina on account of her affection 
for her brother, and shut her up a prisoner on short rations in 
the Berlin Schloss for months, and when all Berlin was scandalized 
at these outrageous proceedings, he threatened that such tongues 
as dared speak of them should be cut out. Under his arbitrary 
and economical rule Prussia prospered if Berlin did not aggrandize 
itself, and at his death the army numbered from seventy to a 
hundred thousand men, and there were no less than nine millions 
of crowns in the State treasury. 

Friedrich the Great, by the force of his genius and the aid of 
his sword, not only elevated Prussia to a high position among the 
nations of Europe and gave her a history, but materially raised 
the standard of national intelligence. The Prussians of this epoch, 
according to Voltaire, had made up for a superfluity of conso- 
nants by a paucity of ideas. At the moment of his accession 
he inaugurated several important social reforms, abolished, for 
instance, the use of torture in criminal cases, accorded freedom 

^ Die Bangeschichte Berlins. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



49 




DOMESTIC TYRANNY OF FRIEDRICH WILHELM I. 



to the press, and proclaimed that all religions would be tolerated. 
With him "every subject's duty was to the King, but every 
subject's soul was his own," yet he obliged every Jew to buy 
300 thalers' worth of porcelain from the royal factory. He gave 
new life to the Academy of Sciences, and set the destitute poor 
of Berlin to spin. Subsequently he reformed the law, which 
sadly needed it, and busied himself with canal and road making, 
bog draining, and colonizing of waste lands. With none of the 
miserly habits of his father, he enforced the axiom that economy 
of itself is a great revenue ; he kept nobody in his pay that was not 
useful to him and capable of doing his work well. While at war 
with and vanquishing half Europe and engaged in important 
diplomatic negotiations, he still found leisure to attend to the 
material interests of Berlin, which is indebted to him for many 
important edifices. The Thiergarten, too, was much improved 
by his orders, and the Bank, the Invaliden Haus, and the Royal 

E 



50 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



Porcelain Manufactory were founded under his auspices. With 
his French tastes one can understand his reviving the rococo 
style of architecture, of which the Royal Library, built in accord- 
ance with his instructions, furnishes a perfect example. Other 
architectural works commanded by him were the palace in which 
the University is now installed, the original Opera-house, which 
he had constructed with the view of raising the popular standard 
of taste, and a theatre for the performance of French plays. At 
both of these establishments, in the management of which he 
directly interfered, he would only allow approved companies to 
give representations, and for a long time Italian and French 
performances had preference at Berlin — until, in fact, the 
German drama and style of acting had undergone considerable 
refinement. Not merely did Friedrich attract actors and 
singers to the capital but architects, painters, sculptors, and 
men of learning. 

Regarding the Germans as an intellectually inferior race, he 
filled the Academy of Sciences mainly with foreigners, offering 
the perpetual presidency of it to Maupertuis, who had verified 
the Newtonian theory of the oblate form of the earth. He pressed 
Voltaire to come and reside with him at Berlin, and when the 
latter at length consented, appointed him one of his chamberlains 
as an excuse for conferring a pension on him. Their intercourse, 
however, did not long continue on an amiable footing. Voltaire 
entangled himself with a Berlin Jew in some scandalous financial 
dealings, characterized by Friedrich to his face as " a most 
villainous affair which had caused a frightful scandal all over 
Berlin," while to his sister the King directly accused Voltaire of 
" picking Jews' pockets." Voltaire moreover being of the opinion 
that whenever two Frenchmen were found together at a foreign 
court it was necessary one of them should perish, became engaged 
in a dispute with Friedrich's perpetual president of the Academy 
of Sciences, which culminated in the publication of the famous 
diatribe of Dr. Akakia, characterized as " the wittiest and most 
pitiless of purely personal satires in the world." ^ 

The King privately enjoyed the satire, but to save appearances 
in his relations with Maupertuis he violated the liberty of the 
press in this particular instance, and had the pamphlet burnt by 
the Berlin hangman, Voltaire looking on at tiic proceedings from 
a neighbouring window. The relations between Friedrich and 
Voltaire were not improved by the sarcastic observations they 
mutually indulged in behind each other's backs. We have all 
heard of Voltaire's speech in reference to the polishing the King 
required him to give to his French verses, namely, that " he sent 
him his dirty linen to wash." With Friedrich, he said, " my 
friend," meant " my slave." " I will make you happy," meant 

' Mr. John Morlcy in the Fortni^^htly Review. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 5 1 

" I will endure you as long as I have need of you." Friedrich, 
on the other hand, spoke of Voltaire as an ape who deserved to 
be flogged for his tricks, and as a man worse than many who had 
been broken on the wheel. The time had evidently arrived 
when, as Friedrich coarsely expressed it, the orange being sucked 
dry, the skin might be thrown away, and after some little 
coquetting on the subject Voltaire eventually left Berlin, where, 
as he afterwards used to complain, " he had taken with him a 
score of teeth but only carried six away, a pair of eyes, and had 
lost the sight of one, no erysipelas, and yet he had contracted 
one which he was never likely to get rid of" 

Berlin escaped many of the horrors but not the inconveniences 
of the Seven Years' War. In the autumn of 1757, the Austrian 
general, Haddick, appeared before the city with 4,000 men and 
4 cannons, and by a dexterous dash got in at the Silesian Gate 
and occupied the suburb, terrifying the commandant of Berlin 
to that extent that he hastily marched out on the other side 
with the royal family and their effects. The Berlinese, left to 
themselves to make the best bargain they could, were glad to 
get off by the payment of a ransom of £2'j,(X)0 and a couple of 
dozen pairs of gloves for the grand Maria Theresa. Three years 
later, in the autumn again, Berlin was menaced by the Russians 
under Todleben, a Pole, who had offered his sword to Friedrich 
before entering the service of Russia, and an ancestor of the 
Sebastopol Todleben. The surrender of the city and a ransom 
of four millions of thalers were demanded and refused, and 
after a parting malediction, in the form of a shower of grenades 
and red-hot balls, the Russians retired to Kopnick. A few 
days afterwards the Austrian general Lacy arrived in the environs 
of Berlin at the head of a large force, whereupon negotiations 
were resumed with Todleben, and Berlin capitulated, at the same 
time engaging through its wealthiest citizen to pay a ransom of 
a million and a half of thalers and about ;^30,ooo additional by 
way of head money to the troops. Lacy, indignant at being thus 
balked of his prey, installed himself in the Friedrichs-stadt, giving 
his Croats and other wild hordes full license to plunder. He 
talked moreover of destroying the Lagerhaus where the soldiers' 
uniforms were made, and decided upon blowing up the Armoury, 
but the spare gunpowder designed for the purpose exploded 
beforehand, blowing up the party told off for the work, and so 
saving the edifice. After a three days' sojourn, on the news that 
Friedrich was coming, the occupying armies hastily took their 
departure to the great joy of the citizens — 

" The foe retreats ! each cries to each he meets, 
The foe retreats ! each in his turn repeats. 
Gods ! how the guns did roar, and how the joy-bells rung ! " 

Before the troops left, however, a couple of unfortunate 

£ 2 



52 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

newspaper editors, who had formerly been a Httle free with their 
comments upon their imperial majesties, were compelled to run 
the gauntlet after the Russian fashion. Still, thanks to the 
intercession of the merchant who had given bills for the city's 
ransom, their punishment was little more than nominal, a few 
switches only being given " by way of asserting the principle." The 
Berlinese, grateful for the consideration the Russian commandant 
had shown them, offered him a money present, which he declined, 
gracefully remarking that to have been commandant for three 
days in the Great Friedrich's capital was more than a reward 
for him. 

The Seven Years' War concluded.. Friedrich set to work to 
repair the wreck that had resulted from it. He caused towns 
and villages to be rebuilt, gave 60,000 artillery and baggage 
horses for plough teams, allotted grain for food and seed from 
the State granaries, relieved those provinces which had suffered 
most from all taxation for certain periods, and obliged the rich 
Catholic abbeys to establish manufactures. 

Friedrich might repair in some degree the material damage 
done by the war, still he could not fill up the gap of half a 
million which it had made in the sufficiently scanty population 
of his dominions. How Berlin was affected, in one sense, by this, 
may be seen from some statistics of the period found among the 
papers of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, the Prussian field- 
marshal who commanded the coalition armies that invaded 
France in 1792, and who in his old age was shot in both eyes at 
Jena — spitefully termed by his enemies fortune's revenge, because 
he never would see when his eyes were perfect. The Berlin 
population showed a great preponderance of females over males, 
there being in the year 1762, 54,000 of the fair, as opposed to 
44,000 of the sterner sex, or a difference of 22^ per cent.; which 
in eight years fell to 15, and in another twenty years to less than 
10 per cent. At this latter date the artisan class, which to-day 
amounts to more than one-half of the entire population, formed no 
more than a twelfth, their number being only 10,000, of whom 
upwards of one-fifth were engaged in cotton spinning, and about 
one-sixth in the manufacture of silk and velvet. In the same way 
the poor receiving relief amounted to 4^ per cent, against 15 per 
cent, in 1870. Wages averaged is. per day, but beef was only 
2^d. per lb. and pork 2c/., while beer sold for id. a quart and the 
staff of life was under |c/. per Ib.^ All of which shows that spite 
of the distress following in the train of one of the most devas- 
tating wars Prussia ever suffered from, the condition of the Berlin 
poorer classes was even superior to what it is now after one of 
the most profitable victories, regarded from a money point of 
view, of modern times. 

' Suiiiiisc/ies ya/irhic/i, 1871. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BEREIN. 53 

To replenish his exchequer and increase his regular resources 
Friedrich had recourse to excise duties after the French model, 
when Prussia, and more particularly Berlin, was overrun with 
officials charged with their collection, one class of whom, nick- 
named cellar rats, were privileged to search all houses for 
contraband. Their inquisitorial proceedings rendered the King 
very unpopular with the Berlinese, who caricatured him as a 
miser grinding coffee with one hand and picking up the falling 
berries with the other. Seeing a crowd collected around this 
caricature, which had been posted at an inconvenient height, he 
told one of his grooms to hang it lower that his faithful subjects 
might not dislocate their necks by overstretching them. 

Throughout Friedrich's long reign there was but little so-called 
court life at Berlin. In the early years of his rule, when he was 
more given to enjoyment and pleasure, there was a grand 
carousal on the Schloss-platz, which was lighted-up at night 
with 40,000 lamps. Four jousting parties in masquerade costume, 
representing Romans, Persians, Carthaginians, and Greeks con- 
tended for the prizes distributed by the hands of beauty in the 
person of the King's sister, the Princess Amelia. At the close 
of the second Silesian war Berlin celebrated Friedrich's return 
with a round of fetes in which, however, he himself took no part. 

The carnival season gave rise to occasional entertainments, 
court banquets and balls, masquerades, fancy fairs, and sledge 
parties, productive of some little spasmodic gaiety, but that was 
all. Friedrich's behaviour towards his wife was altogether 
inexplicable. It is not to be excused by her subsequent soured 
temper when she is accused of having said " really dreadful 
things," for what woman in her station could patiently endure 
the long years of isolation and neglect which fell to her lot ? After 
the first few years of their marriage the pair lived entirely apart, the 
King dining with the Queen at rare intervals, and bowing to her 
at the commencement and end of the meal, but scarcely ever 
speaking a word. On one occasion when he was known to have 
inquired of her respecting her health all Berlin was in a flutter 
of excitement at such an unusual condescension. This was the 
last time he was known to have spoken to her. He acted 
very differently with regard to his mother, whom he visited daily 
when at Berlin, no matter how busy he might be, and always 
uncovered himself whenever he spoke to her. 

Old age found Friedrich childless and almost friendless, living 
solitarily at Sans Souci ; he would mournfully say, " The finest 
day of life is the day on which one quits it." He only visited 
Berlin for the reviews and at Christmas during the Carnival, when 
he usually stayed a month, and on these occasions used to drive 
through the streets in right regal pomp. 

" Ahead went eight runners with their staves, plumed caps, and runner 
aprons in two rows. As these runners were never used for anything except 



5 4 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

this show, the office was a kind of post for invalids of the Life Guard ; a 
consequence of which was that the King always had to go at a slow pace. 
His courses, however, were no other than from the Schloss to the Opera 
twice a week, and during his whole residence one or two times to Prince 
Henri and the Princess Amelia. After this the runners rested again for a 
year. Behind them came the royal carriage with a team of eight ; eight 
windows round it ; the horses with old-fashioned harness and plumes on 
their heads. Coachman and outriders all in the then royal livery — blue ; the 
collar, cuffs, pockets, and all seams trimmed with a stripe of red cloth 
and this bound on both sides with small gold cord, the general effect of 
which was very good. In the four boots of the coach stood four pages, red 
with gold, with silk stockings, feather hats (crown all covered with feathers), 
but not having plumes ; the valet's boot behind empty ; and to the rear of it, 
down below where one mounts to the valet's boot stood the groom." ^ 

III or well, to the very last he was always seen on horseback 
at the reviews, and it was after one of these, when paying a visit 
to his sister, that he made what may be called his last public 
appearance in Berlin. Of this interesting incident a vivid picture 
has been preserved : — 

"The King came riding on a big white horse in an old three-cornered 
regimental hat, old and dusty plain blue uniform with red cuffs, red collar, 
and gold shoulder-bands, yellow waistcoat covered with snuff, black velvet 
breeches, and unpolished boots. Behind him were a guard of Generals, then 
the Adjutants, and finally the grooms of the party. The whole ' Rondeel,' 
now Belle AUiance-platz and the Wilhelms-strasse, were crammed full of 
people ; all windows crowded, all heads bare ; everywhere the deepest 
silence, and on all countenances an expression of reverence and confidence 
as towards the steersman of our destinies. The King rode quite alone in 
front, and saluted people continually, taking off his hat ; in doing which he 
observed a very marked gradation, according as the on-lookers bowing to him 
from the windows seemed to deserve. At one time he lifted the hat a very 
little ; at another he took it from his head and held it an instant beside the 
same ; at another he sunk it as far as the elbow. But these motions lasted 
continually; and no sooner had he put on his hat than he saw other people, 
and again took it off. From the Halle Gate to the Koch-strasse he certainly 
took off his hat two hundred times. 

'' Through this reverent silence there sounded only the tramping of the 
horses and the shouting of the Berlin street boys, who went jumping before 
him, capering with joy, and flung up their hats into the air, or skipped along 
close to him wiping the dust from his boots. . . . Arrived at the Princess 
Amelia's Palace, the crowd grew still denser, for they expected him there ; 
the forecourt was jammed full ; yet in the middle, without the presence of 
any police, there was open space left for him and his attendants. He turned 
into the court ; the gitte-leaves went back ; and the aged lame Princess, 
leaning on two ladies, came hitching down the flat steps to meet him. So 
soon as he perceived her he put his horse to the gallop, pulled up, sprang 
rapidly down, took off his hat (which he now, however, held quite low at the 
full length of his arm), embraced her, gave her his arm, and again led her up 
the steps. The gate-leaves went to, all had vanished, and the multitude still 
stood, with bared heads in silence, all eyes turned to the spot where he had 
disappeared ; and so it lasted a while till each gathered himself and peacefully 
went his way. 

" And yet there had nothing happened ! No pomp, no fireworks, no 
cannon-shot, no drumming and fifing, no music, no event that had occurred ! 

' Nachlass der General von der Marwils, quoted I)y CarUle. 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



55 




rl 









^' .\ 



<^ 









LAST PUnLIC APPEAKAHi-E OF FKIEDRICH THE GREAT AT BERLIN. 

No ! nothing but an old man of 73, ill-dressed, all dusty, was returning from 
his day's work. But everybody knew that this old man was toiling also for him ; 
that he had set his whole life on that labour, and for five-and-forty years had 
not given it the slip one day ! Everyone saw, moreover, the fruits of this 
old man's labour, near and far and everywhere around ; and to look on the 
old man hiniself awakened reverence, admiration, pride, confidence — in short 
all the nobler feelings of man."^ 

Friedrich Wilhelm II. nephew of Friedrich the Great, and 
nicknamed " the fat," turned the tide of Prussia's prosperity, 
although he contributed largely to the material improvement of 
Berlin during the exciting times in which he reigned. It was he 
who conferred on the capital one of its most striking architec- 
tural features— the imposing Brandenburger Thor; who besides 
erecting the Herkules-briicke, the characteristic if not elegant 



Nachlass der General von dcr Ma7~witz, quoted by Carlyle. 



56 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

colonnade near the Koni<Ts-bruckc, and several statues in the 
Wilhelms-platz, founded the noble hospital of La Charitc. Berlin 
moreover during his reign received a certain intellectual impetus 
though not through any influence of the King's, for he was alike 
bigoted, credulous, and dissolute, continually entangling himself in 
some fresh love adventure and being at the same time ruled by 
incompetent ministers. Mirabeau,then resident at Berlin, summed 
up the condition of Prussia at this epoch in these laconic terms : 
" A decreased revenue, an increased expenditure, geniusneglected, 
and fools at the helm." It was under such conditions as these 
that a complete reaction — prompted by Lessing, who laid the 
foundation of German criticism — set in against the French lan- 
guage and literature, and that Berlin literature first asserted itself 
in a distinctive manner. Art, moreover, received new impulses — 
the Academy raised itself to a high position, the German stage 
developed into a national institution, German opera was elevated 
by Weber, and theadmirable Berlin singing academy was founded. 
In these days the Berlin archers' festival and the Stralauer fish- 
ing procession — which last continued until quite recently the one 
popular Berlin ycV^— received a new development, and flower 
shows, harvest gatherings, rustic games and other amusements 
came into fashion, when Berlin manners on the whole grew far 
less restrained, and by force of royal example, even dissolute. 

Under Friedrich Wilhelm III. on the disastrous issue of the 
battle of Jena, Berlin was occupied by the French, and on 
October 27, 1806, Napoleon made his triumphal entry into the 
Prussian capital, where to his great embarrassment he was 
received with loud demonstrations of delight. Prussian noble- 
men, mingling with the crowd, urged the people to give heartier 
hurrahs and to continue shouting, " Vive C Enipcrair ! " or, said 
they, " we are all lost." Their conduct was less patriotic though 
not quite so ridiculous as that of the P'rench dancers and hair- 
dressers who thirty years later ran beside the carriage of the 
ex-king Charles X. at Berlin, crying at the top of their voices, 
" Vive le Roi ! " During the P>ench occupation of Berlin the 
Prince of Iscnberg raised in the very heart of the city a regi- 
ment of Prussian deserters for the service of PVance,and obsequious 
learned pro{"essors gave lectures at the Academy flattering the 
conqueror at the expense of the great Friedrich. So astounded 
was Napoleon at his reception that he declared he knew not 
whether to rejoice or feel ashamed. Under any circumstances his 
demeanour was not that of a dignified conqueror, for lie stormed 
and scolded to such an extent in the court-yard of the Schloss, 
that the then Berlin president of police declared he had never 
seen such an angry man in all his life. However pleased at the 
moment the people might have pretended to be with the French 
occupation, they soon had reason to modify their ideas, for the 
troops under Soult behaved scarcely better at Berlin than the 



DEVELOPMENT OF liEKLIN. 57 

Austrians had done nearly half a century previously. The 
occupation, moreover, brought general distress in its train which 
was but slightly mitigated by the benevolent plans of a few 
philanthropists. No sooner was the treaty of Tilsit signed than 
the King was wise enough to entrust the direction of affairs to 
the Baron Stein, one of the most enlightened, resolute, and de- 
voted of statesmen, who abolished serfdom, curtailed the privileges 
of the nobility, gave to all classes of Prussians equal rights, and 
to use his own words made " the free burgher the firm pillar of 
the throne." This was merely the prelude to that reorganization 
of the Prussian army which in the course of a few years con- 
verted every citizen into a soldier. Meanwhile Berlin improved 
greatly in size and in appearance. An entirely new district was 
erected and named the Friedrich-Wilhelms-stadt after the King 
to whom the grand ensemble of the Museum, the Cathedral, the 
Lustgarten as now laid out, and the Schloss-briicke is due. Of 
the various institutions founded by him, the most important is 
the University, but science, art, and industry, were alike fostered 
under his long rule. On the recommendation of Alexander von 
Humboldt the Observatory was established, and among the public 
buildings erected were the Mint, the Academy of Architecture, 
the Institute of Industry, the Schauspiel-haus, or royal theatre, 
the palace of the reigning King, and the classic guard-house on 
the Linden. The national monument on the Kreuzberg also 
belongs to this epoch, and the King moreover sowed Berlin 
broadcast with statues, not merely in palaces, museums, churches, 
and theatres, but along the Schloss-briicke, the Linden, the Lust- 
garten and the Wilhelms-platz. His last public act was to lay 
the corner-stone of the imposing monument to Friedrich the 
Great on the Linden, an event which was followed a few days 
afterwards hy his death. 

This monument was finished by his successor, one of whose 
first proceedings was the appropriation of a million of thalers to 
the completion of the Schloss Chapel with its imposing dome, the 
new Museum with its gorgeous Treppen-haus,the Opera which had 
been gutted by fire, with its splendid sallc, and the model prison 
called the Zellengefangniss. The Belle Alliance-platz was also 
laid out, and had a fountain and a figure of victory erected there. 
Friedrich Wilhelm IV^ has been aptly described as a compound 
of the soldier, the mystic, mediaeval bigot, and the dilettante. 
The revolutionary tide of 1848, sweeping over Germany from the 
Rhine to the Oder and from the Danube to the Baltic, surprised 
him in the midst of certain .nesthetic constitutional reforms 
which he was contemplating, and extorted from him some 
political concessions of the vaguest character. These falling 
short of the popular aspirations excited open air meetings both 
by day and night were held in all the public places of Berlin, 
giving rise to continual collisions between the populace and the 



58 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMI'IRK. 

military. Fearing however, to push resistance too far, the King 
consented to the assembhng of a legislative body, accorded com- 
plete liberty to the press, and dismissed his more unpopular 
advisers. With the view of reassuring the crowd of people 
permanently assembled on the Schloss-platz, he opened one of 
the palace windows to address them ; but at this moment, either 
through surprise or by some mistake, or a culpable design, there 
Avas a discharge of musketry, and cavalry proceeded to sweep 
the streets. The people at once rushed to arms, raised innumer- 
able barricades, and struggled so successfully against some twenty 
thousand of the best Prussian troops provided with artillery, that 
the Government determined not to prolong the contest, and 
withdrew the military from the city. The present Emperor, who 
was thought to have instigated this conflict, left the kingdom, 
but the King remained at his post and thereby saved his crown. 
A couple of months afterwards he opened the Constituent 
Assembly in person, but its labours were sorely troubled by 
popular agitations on the one hand, and by the menacing attitude 
of the military and the court party on the other. For many 
months, too, there were continual riots at ]3erlin, and eventually 
the King resolved to have recourse to force not merely against 
the rioters but against the Assembly which he found too radically 
disposed. He commenced by proroguing it ; nevertheless it 
decided to meet, but only to find the hall occupied by troops. 
It protested, but carried its resistance no further, and even 
exhorted the populace and the burgher guard to observe moder- 
ation. Eventually the struggle was brought to a close by the 
promulgation of a constitutional act decreeing a representative 
government. 

The Frankfurt parliament offered the Imperial crown of 
Germany to the Prussian King, but he declined it. He could 
not, he said, accept a couroune des pav(fs like that of Louis 
Philippe. A revolutionary meeting had no right to give away a 
crown — had no crown to give. Even if all the other Princes of 
Germany were to assent to such a proceeding that would not 
make it honest, or be to him acceptable. The Princes and 
]<>lectors of the German Empire alone could give away the 
Imperial crown — such were FriedrichWilhelm's objections to the 
preferred honour. 

One effect of the Revolution was to imbue the modern Berlin 
burgher with altogether a more independent spirit. His 
proverbial narrow-mindedness had already given way upon the 
connection of Berlin with the rest of Europe by railway. This 
step had accomplished far more for the city than the raising of 
palaces, the founding of museums, or the erecting of monuments. 
The Prussian capital had made important progress in every 
branch of industry, art, and science, still only a limited inter- 
course existed between it and the rest of Europe, in consequence 



DEVELOPMENT OF BERLIN. 



59 



of which it was thrown as it were upon itself for the development 
of its internal life, and had altogether more of a provincial 
character about it than the ways and tone of thought common 
to a great city. The aristocracy all clustered round the throne, 
the higher officials hanging on to them, and being linked at the 
same time to the military order, while the subordinate officials 
mingled with the artists and savants, leaving the bold burgher 
entirely isolated, with no other interests beyond those of trade, 
and with corresponding narrow prejudices. The working classes, 
much less numerous in proportion than at present, were likewise 
a distinct and characteristic class by themselves, and it was not 
until railways were introduced and intercourse on a large scale 
was opened up with foreign countries, that the heretofore 
colourless and monotonous life of Berlin entered upon a new 
phase to receive fresh development from the political agitation 
of 1848. 

The Revolution impressed the Berlin middle class, already in 
possession of increased means, with a decided sense of their own 
importance. They came openly into the arena, strengthened 
their political position by acquiring real property, secured such 
manors as were offered for sale, and thrust out the impoverished 
nobility, erected manufactories, bought up the best houses, and 
had still finer ones built for themselves, as if desirous of parading 
their wealth. The advent of free trade had extended their 
commercial transactions with foreign countries and given them 
fresh conceptions, enlarged ideas, increased taste, and a higher 
degree of cultivation. At the head of this movement marched 
the contemned Hebrew race who have found their true vocation 
at Berlin, where they form to-day the aristocracy of finance. 




IJEKLIN JEWS. 



6o 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



ExceptinfT certain cities of North America no other metropolis 
in modern times has progressed in anything- Hke the same 
proportion as Bcrhn. At the outbreak of the great Revolution 
Paris boasted of 800,000 inhabitants ; at the same period Berlin had 
about 120,000, and a century earlier the great Elector had died in 
a city of 20,000 souls. The increase of the population under 
his three immediate successors, and particularly in the time of 
the first two, was considerable and very promising for the future. 
Yet who in the eightecenth century could have realized the Berlin 
of the nineteenth .' It will be seen from the subjoined table that 
in the first sixteen years the population augmented upwards of 
one-third, and that during the ensuing quarter of a century the 
increase had been more than three times that of the preceding, 
in other words the population had almost doubled itself Within 
the next ten years, namely, up to 185 1, it augmented 30 per 
cent., and increased in the same ratio during the ten years suc- 
ceeding. The next decade, however, shows the unexampled 
increase of no less than 57 per cent. Berlin will no doubt make 
still more remarkable progress in the next decennium. It cannot 
be otherwise with the capital of the new German Empire. 
While simply the principal city of Prussia, its extraordinary 
advance in population and wealth signally refuted the prophecies 
of the prejudiced who prated about its unfavourable natural 
position. To-day as the political metropolis of the restored 
German Empire, and the grand centre of German trade and 
industry, it may be confidently anticipated that Berlin will 
progress even still more rapidly than when it was only the capital 
of the Prussian state and the German Zollverein. In population 
it is already inferior only to London, Paris, and Stamboul, 
while in political importance, commercial activity, and financial 
enterprise it ranks at present as second only to our own 
marvellous metropolis. 

TABLE SHOWING THE INCREASE IN THE P0PUL.\TI0N OF BERLIN DURING 
A COUPLE OF CENTURIES. 



172I 
1770 
1816 
1841 
1851 
1861 
1870 
1871 

1873 
1875 



20,000 

53-355 
1 06,606 
181,052 

3H.491 
404,437 
524.945 
763,670 
826,341 
909.580 
964,755 



Note. — The garrison is excluded in tlic above figures. 




THE SCHLOSS. 



V. 



MODERN BERLIN : CONFORMATION AND CHARACTER. 



BERLIN, like other large cities, is the result of the welding 
together of a number of independent districts which have 
sprung up from time to time around a common centre. In this 
respect it presents, on a smaller scale, some kind of analogy to 
London, composed as the latter is, besides the City proper and 
Westminster, of Southwark and a score of once outlying suburbs. 
In the heart of the network of broad, rectangular, and radiating 
thoroughfares from three to five miles across, and which, spread 
over a flat sandy plain watered by a narrow and tortuous stream 
and various subsidiary canals, make up the capital of the new 
German Empire, are a couple of irregularly-shaped islands 
formed by two loops of the Spree, diverted to a certain extent in 
bygone times for the defence of the city. Of these islands the 
north-eastern or largest is the original Berlin, while the south- 
western and narrower one, where the original Wendish settlers 
first raised their rude huts, is the ancient Koln. 

From the Brandenburg Gate, the grand entrance to the city, 
the smaller island is reached across the wide statue-lined Schloss- 
briicke, spanning one of these artificial arms of the Spree, at the 
opposite extremity of Unter den Linden, the far-famed broad 
thoroughfare which bisects the western portion of Berlin. On 
this island stands the Schloss, stretching almost across the 
narrow strip of land to the Spree itself, with its imposing 
northern front facing the spacious Lustgarten, which the Elector 



62 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

Johann Gcorg transformed from a neglected swamp into a culti- 
vated parterre. Bordering the Lustgarten on its remaining sides 
are the Cathedral and the Museum, together with the Schloss- 
briicke and the loop of the river across which this bridge is 
thrown. 

A thoroughfare which runs between the Schloss and this loop 
of the Spree conducts to the broad Schloss-platz, in olden times 
the scene of many a gay revel, many a gorgeous tournament. 
South of it are numerous busy streets and a few tortuous ones, 
with the Marstalle or royal stables, a quaint edifice of the 
Renaissance period, ornamented with curious wood carvings on 
its picturesque fagade — notably a spirited colossal group of 
Phoebus guiding the chariot of the sun — and having all its lower 
windows caged in with elaborat'^ antique ironwork in true 
mediaeval fashion. This, with the former civic hall and a modern 
gothic church, complete the list of public edifices on the island 
once known as Alt Koln. 

Communication is established between Alt Koln and ancient 
Berlin by means of the Miihlendamm and of three bridges 
across the Spree, hereabouts considerably less than 200 feet 
wide at its broadest part. The most northern of these bridges 
is the Friedrichs-briicke, situate to the right of the Museum, and 
the longest bridge of which Berlin can boast : the next, adjacent 
to the Cathedral, is known as the Kavalier-brijcke ; while the third 
and principal one, which leads from the Schloss-platz to Konigs- 
strasse — the busiest of all the Berlin thoroughfares — is the Lange, 
or Kurfursten-brucke, which its surroundings render one of the 
most interesting in the city. On its southern side, with chained 
slaves crouching around the pedestal, towers a colossal statue of 
the Great Elector, the masterpiece of the great sculptor Schluter, 
and one of the few fine equestrian statues, ancient and modern, 
in the world. The Great Elector, dignified even under his 
flowing perruque, contemplates Berlin majestically ; surveys the 
adjacent Schloss — its round tower and mossy freestone walls 
washed by the waters of the Spree — and holds, as it were, a 
silent review of the restless crowds passing and repassing at his 
feet. Rising out of the water beyond the Schloss are the 
unfini.shed arches of the Berlin Campo-Santo, or regal burial- 
vault, planned by Friedrich Wilhclm IV., and intended to have 
inclosed the Cathedral, but the completion of which has now 
been abandoned for upwards of twenty years. In the opposite 
direction the view is shut in by the royal mills, a modern 
castellated edifice, extending right across the Spree, here dammed 
and crowded with fishing weirs and floating reservoirs of fish, 
while antiquated buildings of various degrees of picturesqueness 
rise along its banks. 

Konigs-strassc, which bisects old Berlin, and constitutes, in fact, 
the commercial heart of the city, is the single street in the 



MODERN BERLIN. 



63 




THE ROVAI, MILLS. 



Prussian capital where one gets jostled by a crowd. From day- 
light until dusk the pulse of Berlin life here beats quickest, the 
tide of business continually ebbing and flowing from and to the 
neighbouring chief post-office. Large and little traders are alike 
attracted to this densely-thronged spot. Here, too, the Jewish 
element — no longer restrained, as of old, within particular limits, 
and to-day so insolently dominant at Berlin — exercises a con- 
tinually increasing influence, more especially at the neighbouring 
Borse, which rises up some little distance to the north, adjacent 
to Friedrichs-briicke, and facing the Spree. In an exactly 
opposite direction, and likewise abutting on the Spree, are the 
city prison and the head-quarters of the Berlin police, altogether 
a very different establishment to that in Scotland-yard— a 
Briareus-like institution, in fact, whose hundred arms stretch in 
all directions, and whose hundred heads are supposed to provide 
for every exigency of civic life. 

The Berlin Polizei-Prasidium looks on to the Molken-markt, 
one of the most ancient quarters of the capital. Here, where 
the Post-strasse joins the Miihlendamm, stands an historic house, 
once the residence of Friedrich the Great's court jeweller, the 
notorious Vertel Heine Ephraim, who was here accustomed to 
give magnificent entertainments to the court. This man largely 
enriched himself by cheating the State under a contract which 
he had secured for stamping the national coinage. The eight 
pillars supporting the balcony of the house formed a portion of 
Count Briihl's palace, destroyed during the Seven Years' War, 
and were a present in after-years to Ephraim from the King, 
who, when Crown Prince, was in the habit of visiting the wealthy 
Jew banker, and sarcastically remarking, with reference to the 
splendour and completeness of his establishment, that nothing was 
wanting but a gallows on which to hang the rascally owner. 



64 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



The houses in the older portion of the Konigs-strasse being 
somewhat antiquated and the reverse of uniform, the street, 
invariably full of movement at all hours of the day, has some 
little touch of the picturesque about it — a rare enough attribute 
of the Prussian capital. The semi-palatial edifice in which the 

post-office is located 

was evidently designed 
in past times for some 
totally different pur- 
pose. The neighbour- 
ing monumental Rath- 
haus, in the reddest 
of red bricks, with its 
towering belfry and 
terra-cotta friezes, is 
the most important 
modern structure of 
which Berlin can boast. 
Adjacent is the Stadt- 
gericht, or city court 
of justice, while a 
hundred yards distant 
stands the historic La- 
ger-haus, a large and 
singularly unpreten- 
tious-looking ancient edifice, in Avhich the first Hohenzollern was 
content to receive the allegiance of the discontented Berlin burghers, 
and where certain ministerial records are now kept and jury cases 
tried. Rather further eastward is the once-handsome, but now 




THE CHIEF POST-OFFICE. 



MODERN BERLIN. 



65 



sadly deteriorated, Konigs-colonnaden, with its crumbling columns 
and dilapidated statues, leading to the Konigs-briicke. In old 
Berlin, moreover, are the archaic Nicolai, Marien, and Kloster 
churches, with the Cadetten-haus in the rear of the latter ; and 
here, too, are the oldest and most tortuous streets — notably the 
notorious Konigsmauer — and the few ancient houses still existing 
in the city. 

The island on which the original Berlin grew and flourished is 
far larger than the one on which its rival Koln was established. 
The latter town early realized the necessity for expansion, and 
first crossed the water on 
its southern side, where 
Neu Koln sprung up, and 
afterwards on the west, 
where the Friedrichs- 
werder-stadt gradually 
developed itself No less 
than five bridges, of which 
the principal is the Schloss- 
brucke, connect these dis- 
tricts with Alt Koln. 
Their more important 
edifices are the Arsenal 

, , _, , /- 1 -r> • THE MINT. 

and the Palace of the Prmce 

Imperial, the Royal Bank, the Mint, with its long sculptured frieze, 
representing the procuring of the ore and the process of coinmg ; 
also the head Telegraph-office, the Building Academy, and the 





THJt BUII DING ACADEMY. 



m 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




THE SING AKADEMIH. 



Werder Church, a plain modern brick buildin|^, which, because it has 

two towers and is in the Gothic style, the Berlinesc,ahvays emulous 

of Paris, style their 
" klcine Notre Dame." 
These, the four oldest 
quarters of Berlin, 
have in their plan 
much of the character 
of a mediaeval pro- 
vincial town, the 
direction of all the 
streets being entirely 
regulated by the 
Spree, parallel with 
which and towards 
which they invariably 
run. 

The next addition 
to the city was the 
Dorotheen-stadt, to 
the north-west of the 

Friedrichswerder district, and comprising the famous Unter den 

Linden and the palatial edifices which border it, including alike 

the Opera-house, the 

Royal Library, the 

Palace of the Emperor, 

the University, the 

Academy of Arts 

and Sciences, the 

Royal Guard-house, 

and the Sing Akade- 

mie in its rear. The 

Dorotheen Church, 

founded by the Elec- 

tress Dorothea, is re- 
markable for a fine 

marble monument by 

thescul[)tor Schadow 

to Graf von der Mark, 

a natural son of 

FricdrichWilhclmll., 

who died in early 

youth. In accordance 

with the conventional 

sentiment, a drawn 

sword has been in- 
troduced as though 

just fallen from the dying grasp of this child of nine. The fore- 




OF GRAF VON DER MARK. 



MODERN BERLIN. 



going and subsequent additions to Berlin on its western side were 
not the necessary extensions of the life and traffic of the existing 
quarters ; indeed, all their essential features were traced on paper 
beforehand, with due mathematical regularity, but without suffi- 
cient regard to their connection with the older districts. With 
all its pretensions it is easy to perceive that Berlin is a city 
made up of shreds and patches, like the Prussian monarchy 
itself, which has been augmented by alliances, purchases, 
arbitrary seizures, and more often still by a fortunate sabre- 
stroke, until with something of the precision of destiny the Hohen- 
zollern motto, " From rock to sea " has realized itself to the full. 
M. Victor Tissot sardonically observes, "There is something 
of the pirate in the Prussian. His country being too poor to 
support him he is driven to take from others. War is for him a 
business." Old Berlin is huddled away into the background of the 
brand new splendour of the modern city, where the stuccoed 
buildings have risen at the word of command, and been con- 
structed with a tactical eye to effect. Ancient as Berlin claims 
to be, one seeks there in vain for monuments which serve as an 
expression of the grandeur of the past — for old feudal castles 
or an antique Gothic cathedral — for palaces founded in the days 
of the knights, or hotels of the epoch of the mediaeval guilds, 
or for streets, or even houses, that recall the middle ages. Such 
casual memorials as there might have been found little respect 
in a city where the claims of the day are invariably too imperative 
to allow of even the smallest sacrifices to sentiment. 

Berlin proper now began to extend itself by spreading on the 
north-east across the artificial loop of the Spree, termed the 
Konigs-graben, and forming the suburb known as the Konigs- 



^ ' 




stadt — the region of poor lodgings, small shops, market-carts, 
and old-fashioned innyards, where country waggons are wont 
to put up. This suburb is connected with the Alt-stadt — as 
the combined ancient Berlin and Koln are now styled — by 
the Konigs-briicke, lined with some dilapidated statues, and 

F 2 



68 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




ALEXANDER-PLATZ. 



connecting the main thoroughfare which intersects old Berlin 
with Alcxander-platz, one of the great open-air markets of the 
city: here the disreputable old workhouse is situated, and 
radiating from it east, north, and south are the quarters where 
most of the misery of the capital is found. This thoroughfare 
extends to the so-called Konigs Thor, through which, after his 
coronation, the first King of Prussia made his triumphal entry 
into Berlin. The gateway is, however, purely an imaginary one. 
A strangerto the Prussian capital is naturally impressed by the 
imposing Brandenburger Thor, crowned by its colossal chariot of 
victory, and when he subsequently learns that Berlin opens its 
gates to all the points of the compass, and possesses no less 
than seventeen so-called " Thoren," besides a couple of water- 
gates, he conjures up visions of stately architectural structures, 
or picturesque antiquated edifices, dotted at intervals around the 
city, instead of which he finds neither gateways nor the slightest 
sign to indicate even a suppositious barrier, unless indeed it be 
the octroi bureau, common to all continental towns, extensive 
or diminutive. 

Outside the city boundaries, and lying between the former 
Konigs and Landsberg Gates, is the Friedrichs-hain, an unin- 
closed and ill-cared-for plantation, flanked by cemeteries and 
dreary-looking beer-gardens, and the trees of which require a 
generation or two for their due development. So infested is this 



MODERN BERLIN. 



69 



spot after dark with ruffians of various types, that it is scarcely- 
possible for a respectable person to cross it with a sound skin. 
The modern predatory Berliner, like the outlaw of old, has a 
confirmed partiality for the greenwood, for which reason some 
considerable plantations outside the Silesian and other gates — 
that the terribly naked environs of Berlin could ill afford to 
spare — were felled several years ago by order of the authorities. 
The Berlin corporation have always entertained the conventional 
municipal disregard for the picturesque ; and during the revolu- 
tionary period of 1848, when employment had to be found for 
starving thousands, instead of utilizing them in repairing roads, 
on which any amount of labour might have been advantageously 
expended, the municipality set them to level almost the only 
hills — insignificant ones enough — of which the environs of Berlin 
could boast. Whether the Windmiihlen-berg beyond the neigh- 
bouring Prenzlau Gate shared the common fate one cannot say ; 
but at present the only indication of it is a mere gradual rise in 
the ground. It is in the Friedrichs-hain, on the highest point of 
which a colossal bust of Friedrich the Great has been set up, 
that the 300 soldiers and citizens, victims of the Berlin street 
fights during the year 1848, found a common grave. 

The Spandau quarter was the result of the extension of Berlin 
on its northern side. This district has within it the shabby 
little Monbijou Palace, bordering the Spree and surrounded by 




SCHLOSS MONBIJOU. 



a neglected garden, the vast Victoria Theatre, and several 
barracks and hospitals. Monbijou had the honour of housing 
Peter the Great during his visit to Berlin ; still the Queens 
petty garden-palace could scarcely have accommodated all the 
"travelling tagraggery " of the Muscovite court, including 400 
so-called ladies of the Czarina's suite and the babies which the 



70 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



Czar — as they repeated one after another — " via fait thonnmr 
de mc fairer The Httlc brown Czarina was decked out in a robe 
a compound of " silver and greasy dirt," with an embroidered 
double eagle with diamond plumes spread over the bodice, and 
the facings covered with orders, holy relics, and portraits of saints, 
which jingled whenever she moved. At a grand supper given 
in his honour at the Schloss, the Czar, who Avas subject to 
St. Vitus's dance, appears to have flung his knife about so 
menacingly that poor Queen Sophie, who sat beside him, was 
terrified completely out of her wits.^ 

The densely-populated Spandau quarter is one of the great 
working-class centres of Berlin, with which it is connected by 
three bridges. One of these, the picturesque but diminutive 
Herkules-brijcke, is ornamented with crouching sphinxes sup- 
porting lamps, and colossal figures of Hercules throttling the 
Nemean lion and battling with the Centaur; another, the 
Spandauer-briicke, likewise boasts of some dilapidated groups of 
sculpture. The district communicates with the poetically-named 
Rosenthal (rose valley) and Oranienburg suburbs by four sup- 
positious gates, of which one — the Schonhauser Thor — leads to 
a complete colony of breweries and beer-gardens, which, in 
conjunction with numerous modern houses, have sprung up 
contiguous to a Jewish burial-ground. The neighbouring 
Rosenthal gate conducts neither to roses nor valley, but to a 
poor-looking populous suburb, formerly known as the Voigtland 
district, and deriving its name from a colony of masons and 
carpenters from Saxony and the Voigtland, who settled here 
during the reign of Friedrich the Great, on land allotted to them 
by the King. Hereabouts are the popular National and Vor- 
stadtische theatres, and various other suburban places of amuse- 
ment. Beyond the last-erected houses skirting the main road 
lies a broad naked plain mathematically marked out in building 
plots, and having the recently-constructed cattle-market and 
the newly-planted Humboldts-hain in front of it, with the 
Northern railway station in its rear. The road continues through 
a suburban village, where pretentious-looking modern buildings, 
five storeys high, rise up side by side of antiquated little toy- 
houses, of the Noah's-ark style of architecture, and eventually 
conducts to a sandy place of recreation surrounded by trees and 
encompassed by neglected bath-houses — relics of a past century 
— and well-frcqucntcd beer-gardens. This is the Gesund-brunnen, 
or fountain of health, whose invigorating waters are more extolled 
by the Berlinese than profited by. 

The suppositious Hamburger Thor leads to the Stettin railway 
station at the out.skirts of a district where several years since 
some so-called family-houses — in which the largest number of 

' Carlyle's Frederick the Great. 



MODERN BERLIN. 



71 



poor people were packed in the smallest possible compass — 
were erected under royal patronage. Outside the Oranicnburger 
Thor, at the extremity of the Spandau district, we are in a town 
of tall chimneys, emitting volumes of smoke, and where the rattle of 
machinery mingles with the screech of steam-whistles from day- 
light until dusk. This is the establishment of Borsig, the famous 
Berlin engineer, who employs thousands of hands, and recently 
turned out his two thousandth locomotive, and who has moreover 
extensive forges in the neighbouring Moabit suburb. Many cem- 
eteries are scattered over the whole of the foregoing districts, 
which belong exclusively to the poorer quarters of the capital. 

These northern suburbs owe their existence entirely to the 
fertile nature of the outlying country ; even to-day most of the 




market-supply of Berlin reaches it through the Oranienburg, 
Schonhaus, Prenzlau, Konigs, and Landsberg Gates. The com- 
munication long since existing between ancient Berlin and the 
towns indicated by the foregoing names, as well as Spandau, 
led to houses springing up just outside the city walls along these 
various lines of road, and explains the focussing of so large a 
number of streets at the Alexander-platz, where, as already 
remarked, one of the principal markets in Berlin is held. 

The Friedrichs-stadt, immediately south of Unter den Linden, 
was the result of the extension of the city in a south-westerly 
direction, as theLouisen-stadtwas of its expansion on the southern 
side. The Friedrichs-stadt, with its numerous transversal streets, 
invariably of considerable width, and at times proportionately 
long, is the most formally-arranged quarter of Berlin. Its 
principal feature is the open space known as the Gensd'armen- 
markt, considered by the Berlinese the handsomest the capi- 
tal can boast of. Here stands the Royal theatre, surmounted 
and encompassed by statues, and flanked in singular taste by a 
couple of churches, designed after those on the Piazza del Popolo 
at Rome. These ornate edifices, with their porticos approached 
by wide flights of steps and crowned by statues, and their towers 
decorated with columns, cupolas, and additional statues, offer 
a very decided contrast to the ugly simplicity of the Berlin 



72 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




ST. HEOWIG CATHOLIC CHURCH. 



cathedral. Another ecclesiastical edifice in this neighbourhood 
is the still more hideous-looking Roman Catholic Church of 
St. Hedwig — compared by Carlyle to "a huge wash-bowl set 

bottom uppermost on 
the top of a narrowish 
tub," and thrust dis- 
creetly into the back- 
ground behind the im- 
posing Opera-house. 
The remaining public 
buildings in theFried- 
richs-stadt arethe Up- 
per and Lower Houses 
of the Prussian Par- 
liament, with the tem- 
porary edifice which 
serves for the meet- 
ings of the Reichstag 
until such time as the 
grand hall, in which 
this last-named body 
is eventually to de- 
liberate, is ready for 
its reception, and the 
Ministry of War, with Its two large portals guarded by statues of 
a cuirassier, a guardsman, an artilleryman, and a hussar, the 
popular uhlan making default. All these edifices are in the 
Leipzigcr-strasse, which runs from the Potsdam Gate through 
the Donhofs-platz, and is one of the finest thoroughfares in 
l^erlin. The longest is the busy, active, and, after dusk, dis- 
reputable, Friedrichs-strassc, which intersects the Prussian capital 
from one end to the other in a straight line, forming the direct 
continuation of a roadway which, entering the city on the north 
at the OranienburgGate, crosses the Spree and the Linden, next 
runs through the entire Friedrichs-stadt to the Belle AUiance- 
platz, then to the Halle Gate beyond, whence it continues 
through the sand, straight and arrowy as a Roman road, to some 
unknown region in the south, far away beyond Tempelhof. 

Another noted street in this district is Wilhelms-strasse, where 
fortune or intellect, and oftentimes both, are said to be represented 
in well-nigh every house. It extends from Unter den Linden to 
the Belle Alliance-platz, a circular space, ornamented with a 
fountain and a statue of Victory. In the environs beyond the 
neighbouring Halle Gate, barracks, beer-gardens, factories, gas- 
works, rific-ranges, and cemeteries, are indiscriminately mingled. 
Here, too, is the recently-erected monument, in the form of a 
mourning lion, to the memory of the men of the Garde Schutzen 
battalion who fell in the struggle at Le Bourget, near Paris ; 



MODERN BERLIN. 



73 



while crowning the more distant Kreuzberg, Berlin's solitary- 
suburban eminence, is the ornate Gothic monument commemo- 
rative of the war of 1813-15. Beyond lies the sandy plain of 
Tempelhof, where all the grand military reviews take place. 
The northern end of Wilhelms-strasse is a succession of mansions, 
palaces, and 
ministries, 
and its most 
striking mo- 
dern edifice 
is in the fa- 
vourite style 
odhereiuris- 
sance. Co- 
lour enters 
largely into 
the whole of 
the external 
decoration 
of thisbuild- 
ing, and a 
broad frieze 
of brilliant 
frescoes runs 
along the 
upper por- 
tion of the 
fagade. The 
variouscom- 

positions are admirably executed, although somewhat enigma- 
tical in character. Twin infants being suckled by a sphinx form 
the subject of the first design ; next we have some children 
merrily dancing to the tune of a pastoral pipe ; then a party of 
students singing and carousing ; and afterwards Cupid astride 
of a stag, with a huntsman prostrate at the feet of some coy 
woodland beauty. A family scene, with the father caressing his 
little ones, comes next, and is followed by a monk busy with 
some building plans, and an aged gentleman lost in admiration 
of the art treasures which are being exhibited to him. The final 
subject is a death-bed scene, with a nurse supporting the dying 
man's head, while Fame, too long delayed, advances with a 
laurel wreath to crown his lifeless brows. Seeking to read this 
riddle, we inquired to whom the house belonged. " To a Berlin 
Jew who has made a large fortune on the Stock Exchange," was 
the reply we received, whereupon we gave the riddle up. 

Among the half-dozen so-called palaces in the Wilhelms-strasse 
the most interesting is the former residence of the Princess 
Amelia, sister of Friedrich the Great, and the most imposing 




CHURCH AT TEMPELHOF. 



74 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



that of Prince Karl, situated at the corner of the Wilhelms-platz — 
an open space disposed in parterres, and set out with statues of 




PALACE OF THE PRINCESS AMELIA. 



famous Prussian generals, including the old Dessauer, "the 
inventor of modern military tactics ;" P'ield-Marshal Keith, shot 
through the heart at Hochkirch ; Schvverin, killed at the battle 
of Prague; Winterfeld, "the most shining figure in the Prussian 




army except its chief;" Zieten, "the Ajax of the Prussians;" 
and Seydlitz, their Achilles. It is at the corner of the Wilhelms 



MODERN BERLIN. 75 



and Zieten-platze that the so-called Kaiserhof — a monster hotel 
in the renaissance style, with gilded balconies and corner towers 
— has been recently erected ; yet by far the most interesting 
edifice hereabouts is a neglected, not to say shabby and 
almost gloomy-looking house, sadly in want of a fresh coat of 
paint, and from which the stucco is rapidly peeling off. This is 
No 'j6, and its occupant is the Realm Chancellor, Furst von 
Bismarck, whose palatial-looking official residence is next door ; 
his neighbour on the other side, before the great financial crash 
came, having been the famous mushroom financier, Dr. Strous- 
berg, who had built himself a lordly mansion in the most aristo- 
cratic thoroughfare of the city. 

The Friedrichs-stadt is bounded on its south-eastern side by 
the Linden-strasse, in which the Observatory, the Kammer- 
gericht, or High Court of Appeal, and the head Berlin fire-office, 
a model, as well as most important institution, are situated ; 
while on its western side the Anhalt and Potsdam Gates lead to 
the handsome and aristocratic Potsdam suburb, the Anhalt and 
Magdeburg railway station, and the Berlin Botanical Gardens. 
Inside the Potsdam Gate is the Admiralty, and between the 
Anhalt and Halle Gates a military railway station on a vast 
scale is in progress, from which an entire division will be able to 
be moved simultaneously, the rolling stock sufficing to convey 
the whole of the mobile army in covered carriages; horses, 
artillery, and materiel only being transported in open trucks and 
vans. The handsome Brandenburg Gate conducts directly to the 
Thiergarten, a densely-planted park, intersected with shady drives 
and walks, bordered on the north by the Spree and on the south 
by handsome villas and gardens, extending due west for a couple 
of miles to the Zoological Gardens and Charlottenburg, and 
forming the one extensive open space which this capital of nearly 
a million souls has preserved unbuilt upon — the single oasis in 
the surrounding sandy steppe. To the right of the Branden- 
burg Gate, and contiguous to the General Staff Office and KroU's 
Theatre and Gardens, rises the new Column of Victory, erected 
to commemorate the triple defeats of the Danes, the Austrians, 
and the French. 

The Stralau quarter, on the eastern side of the city, is con- 
nected with old Berlin by a single bridge, and with the environs 
by a couple of so-called gates, the Frankfurt and the Stralau. 
In this busy district wool and silk-weavers, dyers, and other 
factory operatives, are crowded in lodgings more or less insalu- 
brious ; here poverty is prevalent and children superabundant, 
for precisely as procreation engenders poverty, so poverty seems 
to give an impetus to procreation. In the principal streets are 
the merchants' and agents' counting-houses, and along the banks 
of the Spree, among the castellated towers of the waterworks, 
rise the tall chimneys of the factories ; near at hand is the 



y6 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE, 

Frankfurt-on-Oder,and more remote the Eastern railway stations. 
The river, which is here at its broadest, is crowded with the long, 
large-prowed Spree and Oder barges, called " zillen," laden with 
provisions, fuel, and building materials, while, flanking the 
Jannowitz bridge, is the single paltry little pier, whence river- 
steamers proceeding up stream start for favourite summer 
resorts, and thirst-inducing, river-side beer-gardens. In this 
quarter the large Wallner Theatre and Friedrich-Wilhelm Hospital 
are situated. 

Two other districts make up the composite city ; one the 
Luisen-stadt, which forms its south-eastern portion, just as the 
other, the Friedrich-Wilhelms-stadt, forms its north-western. 
The Luisen-stadt, certain quarters of which are exclusively 
occupied by the working-classes, is an uninteresting district, and, 
with the exception of some huge barracks and other military 
establishments, the Bethanien Hospital, and the distant Gorlitz 
railway station, it is altogether devoid of buildings of a public 
character. Its streets, however, are broad, and more or less 
mathematically arranged, while certain of its lofty, modern-built 
houses exhibit considerable taste in their construction. The 
part that abuts on the Spree, which hereabouts widens consider- 
ably, is composed principally of factories, warehouses, barracks, 
and military magazines. 

The Friedrich-Wilhelms-stadt is the quarter patronized by 
married officers, on account of its contiguity to the neighbouring 
barracks ; by students, mainly of medicine and veterinary surgery, 
and by second-rate actors. Each of these classes has the institu- 
tion which most nearly concerns it close at hand. In one street 
is the Guards' barracks, and other extensive barracks are situated 
just beyond the city limits, while close by is the Friedrich- 
Wilhelms-stadtisches Theatre, and a few hundred yards off are 
the Charite Hospital and the Veterinary School, both standing in 
fine grounds. Medical students congregate hereabouts, and at 
the neighbouring restaurants the conversation invariably turns 
on /)ost-v!crUjns 3.nd such like delicate topics. In their former 
fondness for Parisian comparisons, the Berlinese christened this 
district the Berlin Quartier Latin. The Friedrich-Wilhelms- 
stadt is intersected by the broad Luisen-strasse, which takes its 
name from the beautiful Queen Louise, and starts from the 
Marschall-brijckc — so called after the famous Bliicher — to termi- 
nate at the Ncue Thor. Facing the cemeteries, immediately 
outside this phantom Thor, is the Royal Iron Foundry, and 
be\-ond arc the extensive barracks and drill-ground of the 
P'usiliers of the Guard — irreverently nicknamed the cockchafers 
by the Berlinese — while adjacent to the gate is the Invaliden-haus 
for old .soldiers, looking on to a small park, in the centre of 
which rises a Corinthian column, surmounted by a colossal eagle, 
with outspread wings, in memory of the soldiers who fell in the 



MODERN BERLIN. 



77 



revolutionary struggle of 1848-9. Westward is the canal, con- 
ducting to the Humboldt basin, the Hamburg and Lchrte rail- 
way stations, the Zellengefangniss, or model prison, the vast 
Uhlan barracks and exercising ground, and beyond the busy 
Moabit suburb. 

Perhaps the 

most striking fea- 
ture in the out- 
ward aspect of 
Berlin is the en- 
semble of palaces, 
public buildings, 
and statues, plea- 
santly varied by 
trees and trim- 
kept parterres, 
which rises up 
both to the east 
and west of the 
Schloss-briJcke at 
the further ex- 
tremity of Unter 
den Linden, of 
itself a sufficiently 
sive, thoroughfare, 
or with Paris, has 







THE INVALIDEN-HAUS. 



attractive, although scarcely an impres- 
Berlin, viewed in comparison with London 
nothing imposing about it. Its long 
broad streets commonly lack both life and character. No 
surging crowds throng the footways, no extended files of vehicles 
intercept the cross traffic, bewilder one by their multiplicity, or 
deafen one with their heavy rumbling noise. And until quite 
recently the best Berlin shops would bear no kind of com- 
parison with the far handsomer establishments in the English 
and French capitals. 

Berlin, moreover, does not impress one as essentially a large 
commercial city, although its importance in this respect is 
increasing daily ; neither is its manufacturing element, excepting 
in particular localities, strikingly conspicuous. Estimated, too, 
as a port, it can only lay claim to insignificant rank. The Spree 
at its broadest simply resembles a Dutch canal ; its banks offer 
none of the activity encountered on those of the Thames, while 
the houses bordering them sink into insignificance beside the 
palatial edifices which line the quays of the Seine. 

In the domain of literature and science Berlin has its 
equals, as in art it has its superiors, in other Qerman cities. 
On the other hand political excitement centres itself in 
the capital of the new German Empire ; the fever of specu- 
lation, too, is there at its highest ; rapidly augmenting 
wealth is counterbalanced by almost daily increasing misery, 



78 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



and \.\\Q proletariat are more brutal and menacing than in any 
other chief city of Europe. In the poorer quarters of Berlin 
five-storeyed houses, densely crowded even to their cellars, 
succeed each other like so many stone walls, with no open space, 
no square, no groups of trees, to break the wearisome monotony 
In these quarters investigations have been made yielding the 
most startling results. Of a thousand children scarcely one- 
third had seen an actual meadow or a corn-field ; only a few 
privileged ones had seen the evening glow and sunset, while a 
butterfly was with them the greatest curiosity. All was in the 
reading-book it was true ; the printed pages told them of these 
things, but the originals in their lively colours had never come 
within the range of these unfortunate children's eyes. With 
military pomp and circumstance they were familiar enough, for, 
excepting in the presence of imposing fortifications, the martial 
element manifests itself at Berlin in every way — in the statues of 
generals and triumphal columns, crowned with Victories with 
flashing swords and outspread wings, rising in all the open spaces 
— in the vast barracks found in all quarters of the city and in the 
whole of the environs — in extensive exercising-grounds and the 
incessant drilling of recruits — in the parading of troops and 
artillery continually through the streets — in the multitude of 
uniforms found mingled among the civil population, and in the 
martial music which constantly arrests the ear. 






-I Wl ^ iM~ ' 



>jjv---^&_i\\ 






VI. 



THE BERLINESE — IN SOCIETY. 



THE Berlinese are neither remarkable for the amiability of 
their demeanour nor the sociality of their disposition. 
Outwardly, save in exceptional instances, they are rarely of a 
cheerful countenance, and with them appearances are certainly 
not deceptive. The stranger who expects to find under this 
atrabilious temperament the flow of soul and redundance of 
human kindness which the Germans generally are credited with, 
will certainly be disappointed. Even if he does succeed in 
cracking the nut, a very shrivelled kernel is all that will reward 
his labour. The haughty morgue of the epauletted wearers of 
the Imperial blue, the heartless greed of the speculative 
financier of the Strousberg type, the stolid selfishness of the 
trading classes, and the dastardly ruffianism of the bangel are 
glaring facts which subvert all preconceived ideas in favour of 
the moral superiority claimed for the inhabitants of the capital 
of the new German Empire. 

Although Berlin now makes parade of a semblance of luxury, 
and seeks to rival wealthier capitals with its brilliant entertain- 
ments, the majority of the Berlinese live isolated existences 
amongst themselves. The same spirit of order which in military 
and administrative affairs leaves nothing unprovided for, seems 
with them to enter into the ordinary relations of life, and to assist 
materially in keeping up class distinctions. The square pegs are 
fitted very tightly indeed into the square holes, while the round 
ones would never dream of breaking loose from their circular 
receptacles. Berlin society recalls a well-ordered kitchen garden, 



8o 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



^%t 



seen under a wintry aspect. The sea-kale isolated in its earthen 
pots, enshrouded by the accumulated refuse of ages, fairly 
represents the wealthier aristocracy, the ^nowy earthed-up celery, 
cut off by deep trenches from its neighbours, figures the stiff 
immaculateness of the army, the hard knobbly and individually 
insignificant Brussels sprouts, each clinging round a central stem, 
offer a fair representation of the bureaucracy, the mushroom bed 
at a forcing temperature is suggestive of the new financial element, 
and the crisp, crude, and corrugated Savoy cabbage gives a 
fair idea of the more prosperous burgher, whilst the root crops 
hidden out of sight and in all probability rotten from frost-bite, 
are no bad type of the lower " social couches." 

The aristocracy hold themselves as far aloof as possible from 
the untitled bureaucracy, whose intrusion into administrative 

offices have de- 
prived them of 
salaries which, al- 
though framed on 
a scale to make a 
War or Foreign 
Office clerk shud- 
der in horrified 
amazement, would 
still have served 
to regild their 
faded ancestral 
escutcheons. The 
military class 
keeps itself rigidly 
apart from the 
civilian clement, 
exhibiting a pro- 
found contempt 
for everything be- 
neath the grade 
of privy councillor or first secretary, and eying such other un- 
uniformed mortals, as it may be temporarily thrown into contact 
with, with an air which affects to mildly marvel as to what par- 
ticular section of the residuum the interloper can belong. Had 
Talleyrand ventured his little joke upon the incompatibility of 
the words " civil " and " military " to a Prussian sub-lieutenant 
he would have at once received a proof of the correctness of 
his theory, by being as Mr. Leland puts it, " schlogged on der 
Kop," if indeed he escaped being cloven at once to the brisket. 
Still when wealthy merchants and manufacturers have handsome 
daughters, officers will often condescend to know them, will 
fraternize with their mahogany, hob nob with them tcte-d-tete, and 
flirt with the fair. 




THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



8l 




And yet only a 
very short time back 
Count von Eulen- 
berg, a captain in 
the Uhlans of the 
Guard, and cousin 
to the unfortunate 
young nobleman, who 
was to have es- 
poused the Fraulein 
von Bismarck found 
that the course of 
true love, when the 
lady cannot count 
blue blood in her 
veins, may be pre- 
vented from running 
smoothly even for 
a personage of his 
exalted position. He 
loved well, though as 

matters turned out perhaps scarcely wisely, the daughter of 
Herr Schceffer. the owner of the journal named Der Bazar. 

Betrothed to her with 
the consent of her 
parents, he addressed 
to the military autho- 
rities the request for 
permission to marry, 
required by the rules 
of the service. A 
few days afterwards 
he received a visit 
from two officers of 
his regiment who pro- 
ceeded to explain to 
him that the tradi- 
tions of the Guard 
did not allow an 
officer of that illus- 
trious corps to offisr his 
titled hand to a lady 
whose grace, amia- 
bility, wealth, ac- 
quirements, and social attainments failed to counterbalance the 
damning facts that her father had been the architect of his own 
fortune, and was not possessed of the distinguishing prefix "von." 
The answer of the indignant lover was an immediate challenge to 

G 




82 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

both these interfering gentlemen, but before fighting, the requisite 
permission to cut each others' throats had to be obtained from 
the colonel, the Baron von Alvensloeben. The latter sent for 
Count von Eulcnberg,. and explained to him that the two officers 
were quite in the right, having only acted as the representatives 
of the entire corps, who would not tolerate the marriage of one 
of their members with the daughter of an ex-bookbinder, al- 
though that bookbinder had since acquired a large fortune and had 
had two sons, both officers in the army, killed, the one at Sadowa, 
and the other at Sedan. Count von Eulenberg considering 
the statement, that Fraulein Schceffer was not fit to marry an 
officer, an insult to his betrothed, sent a challenge to von 
Alvensloeben himself, who not only refused to fight, but had 
the unfortunate lover tried by court martial, and sentenced to 
a year and a half's imprisonment in a fortress, for having sought 
to turn a matter of public importance as regarded the status of 
the army, into a personal quarrel. 

This same inexorable law of quarterings excludes the wealthy 
and ostentatious representatives of finance equally with the 
intellectual and professional elements from Berlin high society. 
The middle classes with house rent and living at least twice as 
dear as they were five years ago, are far too much absorbed in 
their struggle for existence to trouble themselves much about 
social exigencies. Indeed such intercourse as exists amongst 
the mass of the middle class Berlinese is in the main limited 
to the time-honoured habit, still more or less prevalent all over 
Germany, of the women of the various families meeting in turn at 
each others' houses on some fixed day of the week, to work, drink 
coffee, and discuss their own and their neighbours' private affairs. 

So that the various circles of society in Berlin are mostly 
formed by the definite conditions of rank and office, and, although 
touching, rarely intersect one another. Every council or board 
of officials, and such boards are countless, clings together. Its 
members and their families interchange a prescribed number of 
visits, and issue an orthodox series of invitations, "which," as a 
German writer on the subject is painfully constrained to admit, 
" cost a great deal of time and money." The economic principles 
and devotion to a rigid standard of efficiency, which are two of 
the cardinal virtues of the Prussian bureaucracy, are exhibited even 
in their social relations. The list of non-effectives is rigorously 
weeded out. Thus the widow and orphans of official personages 
are kept on the visiting list for a short time after the departure of 
their natural protector to other spheres, but as there are always 
" too many ladies already " within the circle, they arc gradually 
" dropped," unless they are rich and can return the invitations. 
The same practice prevails in the different regiments and even 
extends to the highest circles. Thus every house has a round 
of obligatory visits which have to be discharged with an exactitude 



THE BKRLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



53 



and ])unctuality unknown even to ourselves, by whom such com- 
mercial virtues are duly esteemed. Hence any individual outside 
the circle, who ventures on calling in the hope of being affiliated 
by formal invitation is treated as an intruder, unless he happens 
to be a zealous dancer or an eligible match — in which case 
every house is open to him and the most estimable hostesses 
return audible thanks at having won over such an ornament to 
their entertainments. Even before the war crowned them with 
glory and, what was still more serious, lessened their numbers, 
gentlemen enjoyed the privilege of being sought after and 
overwhelmed with flattery when they appeared, and the chivalry 
of man and the bewitching bashfulness of women belong now, so 
far as higher Berlin society is concerned, to the realms of fable. 
Yet there are people who still believe Germany to be the home 
of Arcadian simplicity, and that Berlin is its capital. 

This redundance of the softer sex constrains even the most 
stately damsels to play the humiliating part of wall-flowers. 




" IM^lUes 



aliLijfe/- 



84 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

But noblesse oblige, and as in duty bound, they are ever ready to 
enter on the path of conquest. Arrayed in some wondrous 
combination of flounces, frills, and furbelows, in gloss of satin 
and olimmer of pearls, embodying the latest Paris fashions as 
viewed through the distorted medium of a Berlin modiste, with 
forehead fringed and tresses crimped, and wielding the omni- 
potent fan, they hasten to the scene of action. There indeed 
possibly to sit, Ariadne-like, in solitary state and to murmur, 
" He Cometh not," meaning of course the eligible " he," for 
noblesse oblige in more senses than one, and though the " high 
and well-born " daughter of the president of some council, with a 
polysyllabic title and half-a-dozen decorations, may condescend 
to waltz with a fledgeling bureaucrat, her heart and hand are 
reserved for an individual with a resounding prefix to his name, 
and boasting a proportionate array of stars and crosses. 

The narrow circles of Berlin society widen somewhat amongst 
the higher aristocracy and the great financiers. The larger 
landed proprietors have hitherto been but poorly represented 
at Berlin, and are to be found in greater numbers in the provincial 
capitals, such as Breslau, Miinster, Konigsberg, Stettin, &c., 
where they hold solemn and exclusive high jinks amongst 
themselves. The noble families who come up in order that 
their head may occupy his bench in the Landtag or Reichstag 
during the session, generally accept invitations without giving 
entertainments in return, very few having houses or the requisite 
conveniences for receiving guests. The numerous petty princelets 
and dukelings moreover generally live in hotels, when summoned 
by duty or interest to Berlin, so that the obligation of entertaining 
all that is most noble amongst the " vons " devolves upon the 
court, the various scions of the reigning house, the foreign 
ambassadors, the ministers, and those few nobles possessed of 
wealth and house-room befitting the ta.sk. As to the parties 
given by the great financiers, where ostentation is the order of 
the day, they lack the needful combination of refinement and 
freedom affording the height of mental and material enjoyment. 
The hosts, by a spirit of rivalry amongst themselves, evince 
more anxiety to entertain the aristocracy of rank, than that of 
intellect, and he who can assemble the greatest number of counts 
excites the most envy. Each strives to rival his fellows in pompous 
display, the highest resources of modern art being lavished with 
profusion, if not always with taste, on the internal decorations of 
the gorgeous hotels which they have built for themselves. Strous- 
berg, whose family under his bankruptcy, have been receiving a 
temporary allowance of twenty marks (about as many shillings) 
a day to exist upon, gave fetes that were likened to pages out 
of the " Arabian Nights." Borsig, whose conservatories at Moabit 
cover acres of ground, used to display their floral treasures 
throughout his house on gala nights in the wildest profusion. 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY, 



85 




Banquets worthy of LucuUus, a lavish parade of diamonds, costly- 
bouquets presented to the lady guests, and counts in abundance, 
seem to be the staple features of the entertainments given in this 
section of Berlin society. 

The stilted ceremonial etiquette of the past century is to-day 
de rigucur at Berlin receptions of any pretension. " When you 




86 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



arrive on the festive scene," observes a lady, " it will be your 
duty to request the hostess to introduce to you all the ladies 
present. This she will do, presenting you to the excellencies 
and distinguished personages first, the tour being made according 
to the nicest gradation of etiquette, so that beginning with an 
ambassadress you will end with a lieutenant's wife, and then in 
turn have to receive j^/^r court, namely, the husbands of all those 
ladies to whom you have been doing reverence. The curtseyings, 
the obeisances, the compliments, at once embarrass, annoy, and 
tickle you. Your stiff British backbone doesn't take kindly to 
the prostrations ; your knees resent the genuflexions ; you scorn 
to grovel, yet you fear to offend ; you feel ridiculous in your 
unwonted antics, and are afraid of falling off; and yet a sense 
of humour would make it difficult, were you more at ease, to 
abstain from shouts of laughter at the bobbing, sliding, gliding, 
and grimacing in which you are playing such an unwilling part."^ 
The amalgamation of rank, wealth, and intellect to be met 
with in the leading London drawing-rooms is undreamt of in 

Berlin, where all 




the written and 
unwritten laws of 
etiquette and tra- 
dition would for- 
bid anything ap- 
proaching such a 
heterogeneous as- 
sembly. "The lion 
of the season " is 
never asked out to 
mildly roar for the 
delectation of se- 
lect social circles, 
and the distin- 
guished traveller, 
the founder of a 
new school of 
thought, the latest 
scientific dis- 

coverer, the last 
genuine poet, the 
author orthe artist 
whose productions 
are run after, can 
only hope to make their cxi.stence known outside the immediate 
circle of their friends by means of their works. Nor, whatever may 
have been asserted to the contrarv.are these works much discussed 



' (krman Home Life, Frartir's Magazine. 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



87 



in the higher BerHn society which is too absorbed in the worship 
of rank, the adulation of ancient descent, and decided reverence 
for the higher military element to trouble itself about encouraging 
intellect. Men who have made their mark in science, art, and 
h'terature, the luminaries of the bar, the great professors of 
medicine, jurisprudence, and theology, savants, historians, archa:^- 
ologists, philosophers, and doctors of European fame, have no 
more place in it, than the learned Baboo or reforming African 
potentate whom we English are socager to welcome to our hearths 
and homes, and without such leaven how is the intellectual tone of 
a society which with mocking satire, styles itself "polite" to be 
raised ? It is notorious that the barrenness, excess of prudery, and 
audacious pretensions of Berlin society forced Mendelssohn to re- 
sign an advantageous position in the Prussian capital, and retire 
to Leipzig, while Humboldt's ceaseless sarcasms against Berlin, 
its court, and its inhabitants, proved that this expansive genius 
and brilliant conversationalist found, as Voltaire had done before 
him, his chamberlain's gold key often too heavy to bear. On 
emigrating to Paris, he took up his residence in the Observatory, 
where he amused his friend Arago and others at the expense of 
Berlin, "that empty, unintellectual little city, infatuated with 
itself," as he used scornfully to term it. 

A German writer was lamenting only the other da\', that for 
years past there had been but one house in Berlin where 
intellect was really 
welcomed, namely 
the residence ofHerr 
von Olfer, the Di- 
rector-General of the 
Museums. Every 
Wednesday for the 
last thirty years, Frau 
von Olfer was to be 
found in her saloon 
from 8 to 11 at a 
large round tea table 
which, however, soon 
grew much too small 
for the number of 
guests who came and 
went. Additional tea 
tables sprang up, 
lighted by lofty 
lamps, on the paper 
shades of which some 
artistic hand in the family had executed certain little master- 
pieces while on the cups and plates, paintings and poetic maxims 
bore witness to the taste and fancv of the household. To savants, 




88 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

artists, authors, and poets, Herr von Olfer's saloon was always 
open, and in virtue of his official position members of the aristo- 
cracy and court society mingled, without restriction of etiquette, 
with the throng of literary and artisticcelebrities. Even the princes 
of the ro)-al family not unfrequently appeared at these gatherings. 
Until his wife's health failed, Leopold von Ranke the historian, 
did his best to gather around him a similar coterie, and traditions 
of the times when a society of ladies, called the " Kafifeter," 
made itself famous for genius and originality yet linger, although 
as a rule "women of mind" are but little esteemed at Berlin. 
Several members of the reigning house take a languid interest 
in art and science, still neither aristocratic, bureaucratic, nor 
financial circles are open to their representatives. Such a coterie 
as used to gather, for instance, at old Holland House, might be 
searched for in vain at Berlin, and native writers themselves 
admit the superior cultivation of the English upper classes, and 
the interest they feel in literature, science, and art. The pains- 
taking mastery of details to which, rather than to intelligence 
or culture, German superiority has been rightly ascribed by 
Lord Derby, renders German specialists the foremost in the 
world. But they remain secluded in their inaccessibility, the 
lawyer occupied with his code, the doctor with his diagnosis, 
and the professor with his lectures, and only turning aside 
when lured by the ignis fatmis of political renown into the 
arena of the Reichstag. " Excluded from good society by 
the law of quarterings, and belonging to humbler spheres 
in life than is the case with our own professional men, the 
Berlin legal and medical man is more absorbed in his speciality, 
less a citizen of the world, and less accessible to the influences 
of general culture." As to the learned, studious, and cul- 
tivated burgher, he is conspicuous at Berlin by his absence. 
The middle class Berlinese are distinguished by their ill-manners, 
their general coarseness of behaviour, and deficiency of taste. 
Strongly imbued with democratic tendencies, and having received 
an amount of instruction that places them to some extent on an 
intellectual level with their betters, they are not only ready to 
take liberties with one another but with their superiors. Ample 
traces, however, yet remain in the shape of still exacted formalities 
of the days when class distinctions were far more defined than 
at present, and the citizen was constrained to show his deference 
in a thousand ways towards the noble, the officer, and the govern- 
ment servant. Heedless of whatever jars on a finer temperament 
they meet the ill-disguised contempt which their vulgarity arouses 
in those better born than themselves, by asserting that the latter 
trade on their titles and assume a superiority that does not 
belong to them. They find their recreation after the cares of 
the day in visiting the popular theatres and imbibing beer, or in 
political discussions at their favourite wein-stube, or bier-local; 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



89 



the popular newspaper, the Vossische Zeitimg, and a little of what 
the Germans consider light reading, constituting their mental 
pabulum. 

These wein-stuben and bier-locale, though still largely- 
patronized by the burgher class have of late years been, in a 
great measure, abandoned by those in a better social position. 
Just as the upper class Parisians have foresworn the cafe for the 
cercle, so have the wealthier Berlinese adopted that thoroughly 
English institution, the club, though they do not take over kindly 
to the assimilative process 
of club life. 

With the promotion of 
Berlin to the rank of an 
imperial city the number 
and importance of its clubs 
have greatly increased. 
The Reichstag calls men 
from all parts of Germany 
to Berlin during the season, 
and many of them swell 
the membership, if not the 
income, of these institu- 
tions. In the same way 
many administrative offi- 
cials have within a year 
or two become residents 
of the capital. Originally 
these clubs reflected the 
popular system of convivial re-unions, and the one which has 
departed farthest from this Teutonic ideal is the Casino, the 
club of the nobilit)^ the military aristocracy, and the diplo- 
matists, and the elegant apartments of which look up and down 
Unter den Linden. 

" Its most famous feature, perhaps, is its table d/iote at five ^o'clock. The 
ambition of no young officer is satisfied till he has partaken at this daily 
banquet and drunk the Emperor's health in the steward's best ' Sec ' ; but 
the cmsinc would never make the reputation of the club outside of Berlin. 
Two quite opposite tendencies struggle in the club, the national and the 
cosmopolitan. The respectable old Conservative country gentlemen demand 
that the Casino shall be a genuine German institution, without the corrupting 
alloy of French cooking and English manners. The bill of fare certainly 
speaks for the valour of this faction. In the evening, too, the German element 
predominates, but on afternoons one may hear more or less broken French from 
diplomatic attaches hanging over the billiard tables. At the urn, too, where 
candidates are voted in, the ballots arenoty»>and7ty/«tv-, but/^z/rand cojitre. 
Only one feature of the Casino deserves further mention, and that is the 
classification of members. There are three classes. The first class comprises 
the resident members, who alone enjoy all the rights and accept all the 
obligations of membership. The second class comprises such as, living out 
of Berlin, are in the city often enough to desire and deser\'e the ad\antages 
of the club, but who take no part in the administration, and pay reduced fees. 




90 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




The third class are 
special members, who 
pay a monthly charge, 
and are enrolled for 
short periods. They 
are not much more 
than invited guests ; 
and are of course for 
the most part, persons 
who are temporarily 
in the city. The Ca- 
sino has a large mem- 
bership, and notwith- 
standing a certain pri- 
mitive stiffness of sys- 
tem is an elegant and 
successful institution. 
" The ' Club von 
Berlin' is the strongest 
and best known of its 
kind in the city, and 
one of the oldest. Ori- 
ginally a sort of con- 
vivial society under the 
name of De7- Gescllige 
Verein, it transformed itself, as members and resources increased, into a club, 
and took spacious rooms in the Jager-strasse. Additional prosperity led to 
further change in its quarters, and it secured remarkably tine apartments in the 
Behren-strasse, the street 

of the Amencan_Lcgation ^.^,^.^.,.,,,,^^,,,,,^^^^^^ 

and the British Consulate, 
of one wing of the Royal 
Palace and the Royal 
Opera. The Club von Ber- 
lin is called also the ' Mil- 
lionaire Club,' but as a 
relative rather than an ab- 
solutecharacterisation. The 
dues, initiatory and annual, 
would be held very light in 
London, and do not se- 
verely tax a moderate 
purse here ; but they are 
greater than in any other 
club, and it is specially 
patronized by rich men of 
business. The great ban- 
kers meet there at the 
close of the day's exchange. 
Here they find the even- 
ing papers and here the 
Borse schedules, not only 
of Berlin, but also of Ham- 
burg, Bremen, Frankfort, 
and other commercial 
centres, the papers pub- 
lished in the special interest of stock operations, the despatches of the 
three or four press agencies which carry on a sharp strife of inefficiency, 
are all kept on file. The club, moreover, has a cuisine. In this respect also 




THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



91 



it enjoys among its rivals the glory of pre-eminence ; and this alone would 
account for the bankers, who like a fair table in Berlin as elsewhere. They 
do not dine, but sup here. Forming in sympathetic groups at the great 
tables, they drink much champagne, cat liberally of sallow roast goose or 
veal cutlets fried flat in crumlDS, and arc more enthusiastic, perhaps, than 
decorous. Here they fight over again the battles of the day. With a wild 
profusion of technical terms, a masterly manipulation of knife and fork for 
emphasis, and now and then a clever arrangement of bread crumbs by way 
of elucidation, they show how battles are won, and with them fortunes, at 
the Berlin Borse. But Berlin bankers may be recognized without the aid of 
such picturesque surroundings. The religious test is a sure one, banking and 
brokerage in (jcrmany being mainly in the hands of people whose proud boast 
it is to be the descendants of Moses and the prophets. 

" There is, however, another club, ' The Ressource,' which is distinctively 
a brokers' club. The Berliner Club is rather an association of wealthy old 
gentlemen, many of whom made their fortunes indeed in finance, but are 
now retired from active 
business. But the Res- 
source is a sort of 
petite bourse. The fur- 
niture and upholstery 
are rich, but gaudy and 
repulsive, and the 
general appearance of 
the rooms suggests 
ethnological and other 
reflections. On even- 
ings and Sundays its 
halls resound with the 
tumult of blasphemous 
gamblers. There is 
no other city in the 
world, Vienna perhaps 
excepted, where the 
morals of the Stock 
Exchange are so low. 
where petty scandalb 
are so frequent, and 
where they have such 
a baneful influence on 
general society. The 
Ressource Club is an 
outgrowth from this 
state of things. Itmight 

be more accurate to 

say that it has de- 
veloped into this character, since it is a very old organization, and 
was originally a social reunion of the wealthier Jews ; but as now con- 
ducted it is, in the most charitable construction, a credit and a benefit 
to no one. 

" A large income is no condition of admission to the West Club. Its quiet 
unpretending apartments in the Koniggratzer-strasse are the resort of the 
middle class, as it ranks here, made up of Civil Service officials, professors, 
deputies, with a sprinkling of journalists and literary men, artists and musi- 
cians. It was founded for geographical as much as social reasons, or, to 
speak with scientific accuracy, it has a geographico-social basis. It accom- 
modates the district about the Potsdam Gate, the ' Geheimrathviertel,' as it 
is called. The fees are low, and the appointments of the club far from sump- 
tuous. Culinary interests are sadly neglected, for the members nre men of 




92 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE, 




family who take their frugal repasts at home. They come rather to gossip, 
read the papers, and play chess, billiards, and whist. 

" In addition to the foregoing, which are the most important clubs of a 
general social character, there are a number of others which are at the same 
time professional reunions. At the Industrial Building art and literature live 

harmoniously together. The 
Kiinstlcr-Vercin, or Artists' 
Union, of Berlin, occupies a 
fine suite of apartments in 
the so-called Industrial Build- 
ings in the Commandanlen 
-strasse, where a permanent 
exhibition of its pictorial 
products is held, and where 
social and festive gatherings 
take place. The society is 
strong and thriving, and num- 
bers among its members the 
leading artists of the capital. 
The Press Club enjoys the 
use of the same rooms, and 
owes the fact to the hos- 
pitality of the artists. It 
docs not have a permanent 
exhibition of its products — 
which would indeed be wear- 
iness to the flesh — but meets 
at regular intervals of a week. 
Though only about ten years old and homeless, it is well supported by the 
fraternity. No simply professional journalists, but literary people of every sort, 
and even men in other professions who contribute to the press, may and do 
become members. Friedrich .Spielhagen was one of the founders. Bcrthold 
Auerbach is a member. Paul Lindau, who has published a short account of 
the origin of the club, enumerates among the guests and speakers at the first 
banquet a young lawyer who had written political articles for the journals. 
The young lawyer was Edward Lasker, a Jew, leader of the National 
Liberal party in Parliament, and the most influential of all the deputies. 
It is the custom of the club to have a modest banquet at the stated meetings, 
and this is perhaps its most characteristic feature. The feast is quite 
humble in quality, and the etiquette is not stringent enough to prevent a 
very easy flow of spirits ; but the bounds of the decorum so significantly fixed 
by police law are never violated. The Berlin journalist has more respect for 
the law than his brother of Paris, if for no other reason because he is 
less skilful in evading it. The rising young debaters of the Press Club are 
timid and prudent. 

" One element of club life as it is known in London, the political or 
party element, does not exist in Berlin. The different Parliamentary 
factions have their own meetings, often with a limited supply of meat 
and drink ; and more recently the deputies, without regard to party, have 
formed a sort of boarding club opposite the Chamber. The Casino, since it 
represents the aristocracy, is of cour;e more or less Conservative in tone. 
The Kreuz Zeitutig, the organ of the Junkers, holds aloof from the Press 
Union ; but in general, politics enter but slightly into what may be called club 
society. 

'' In selecting a club the Berliner considers the annual dues quite as much 
as the comfort of the institution and the class of companions which he is likely 
to meet. But once within it he guards himself by what he would call in his 
own phraseology a narrow 'particularism.' He becomes cold, formal, cir- 
cumspect. He joins a group or clicjue, which in itself is not so extraordinary 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



93 



as the fortitude with which he clings to that clique and discourages other 
acquaintances. Since ,.^ 

he joins a club to es- ryz-Tfe^y'! 
cape the fumes of 
plebian tobacco, he 
acquires a deadly hos- 
tility to any tobacco 
outside his own petty 
circle. If the members 
of clubs were chosen 
more carefully this 
would be intelligible if 
not quite admirable. 
At first sight it might 
be supposed that the 
large bachelor popula- 
tion which Berlin pos- 
sesses would be a valu- 
able source of support 
for the clubs ; but such 
is not the case. With 
the exception of the 
Casino, whereof many 
young secretaries of 
legation and officers on 
duty at the capital are 
members — with this 
exception married men 
largely predominate in 
the regular clubs. The 
fact may not be flattering to the good housewives of Berlin, but the integrity 
of truth shall not be sacrificed to politeness." ^ 

A recognized shortcoming of the Berlinese is their want of 
hospitaHty. " Even London," remarks a travelled native of the 
new Kaiserstadt, " with all its harsh exterior can compare ad- 
vantageously with Berlin in this respect, for, however, isolated 
the stranger may at first find himself, if he is a gentleman he will 
certainly succeed in becoming intimate with one or more families 
which will cause him to feel himself at home, and to quit the 
city with regret. In Berlin most middle-class households live 
very simply and economically, and are by no means prepared to 
receive extra guests, who, however glad the master of the house 
might be to entertain them, would cause an undesirable addition 
to the restricted domestic expenditure." This is to a certain 
extent confirmed by the testimony of an Englishman, long 
resident at Berlin, who tells us of a fellow-countryman "who 
has been staying there for some time, not from choice, but 
because fate has planted him near the lime-trees for his sins, and 
he cannot get away. He speaks German like a native, is well off, 
well born, and of a lively sociable disposition. He came here 
with a portfolio full of introductions, none of which procured him 




- Mr. Herbert Tuttle in the Gentleman's Magazine, Jan. 1875. 



94 HERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

even an invitation to dinner. He tried the theatres in succession, 
until his spirits broke down. He walked up and down the Linden 
until he knew by heart, and loathed, every shop-front in that sad 
avenue. He got himself introduced into a club, where nobody 
spoke to him, although he spent every evening there for a week ; 
and then he collapsed. He has become gloomy, and is letting 
his beard grow. He stops in all day reading books from an 
English circulating library which he discovered during his street 
wanderings, dines at Hiller's or the Europe, and passes his 
evenings listening to Bilse's orchestra at the Concerthaus. Other 
mournful Britons drop in upon him sometimes of an afternoon, 
and sit beside him as if he were sick, as he is — of Berlin." 

Just as Berlin receptions strike the foreigner as singularly 
stiff affairs, so do Berlin dinners, when he chances to be invited 
to them, seem to him intolerably long, correspondingly dull, 
and boisterous into the bargain. He finds his place at table in- 
dicated by a little picture card, inscribed with his name, placed on 
his wine glass, and speedily discovers that to eat awkwardly and 
to talk loudly are the universal rule at these entertainments. 
Everybody indeed seems to be endeavouring to drown his 
neighbour's voice, and by the time the dessert is served, talking 
has become shouting and it is necessary to holloa if you wish 
to make yourself heard. For this reason Berlin dinner parties 
are the noisest of entertainments. Singing and music are far 
from the rule at evening receptions. Still when you are called 
upon to listen to them they are invariably good. 

One forgives the Berlinese their habitual inhospitality when 
one learns that in the entire city there are only 3000 families 
possessed of incomes exceeding ;^i5o per annum, and that 
more than half the total number of Berlin households have to 
make both ends meet on as little as ^^45 a year.^ The Prus- 
sian people are admitted to be the most thrifty in the world. 
" Everybody," we are told, " has been saving in this hard- 
breasted, iron-backed land ever since it has been a kingdom. 
Two centuries of thrift that has been all but avarice — inconceiv- 
able privations and sacrifices, suffered and effected in every 
class of life — a national gloominess and misanthropy, superin- 
duced by the self-denial of a dozen generations — to what have 
all these disagreeables brought Prussian nobles, cits, and peasant 
proprietors } Men in the highest positions — privy councillors, 
staff-officers, professors, noblemen of small means — deny them- 

^ The Zoelivischc Zcituns; Qanuary 1874) gives the following particulars of 
the incomes of the population of Berlin : — 52 per cent., 104,000 families have 
only an income of ^45 ; 30 per cent., 60,000 families betvven ^45 and ^60 ; 
5 per cent., 10,000 families, ^75 ; 4^ per cent., 90,000 families, ^97 \os. ; 
3 per cent., 6,000 families, ^120 ; 2 per cent, 4,000 families, .^135 ; 2 per 
cent., 4,000 families, ^150 ! and 10 percent., 3,000 families, over ^150 per 
annum. 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 95 

selves and their families all luxuries and pleasures, and many 
necessaries in order to put by a certain portion of their slender 
incomes yearly. 

" The Berlinese, as a rule, are brought up to look upon life 
as one arduous, never-ending struggle, and have to work so hard 
from their eighth year upwards in order to make sure of bare 
necessaries, that they acquire a sort of relish for hardships, and 
cannot enjoy any pleasure unless it be saddled with an obstacle. 
Their roses must be well girt with thorns, or they will not care 
for plucking them. They address themselves to the tackling 
of troubles and the endurance of inconveniences with a stern 
alacrity that would be in the highest degree praiseworthy were 
it not far more the result of narrow training than of a noble 
temper of mind, or of an instinctive bias to the heroical view 
of life-conduct. This striving, wresting impulse of theirs, however, 
animating more or less directly every one of their actions, leads 
them to the achievement of wonderful and often admirable 
results. To qualify themselves for posts that with us are 
occupied by men of humble birth and rudimentary education, 
men of the higher middle classes in Prussia go through a course 
of education that would fit them for an M.A. degree in any of 
our universities. About twelve years of hard study, and astandard 
of intellectual culture that would class him in the "honours" 
list at our Alma Mater, qualify a young Prussian with official 
aspirations for — let us say — a sortership in the Post-office, or a 
copying clerkship in a State Department, with a salary of ^^"40 
per annum and the prospect of attaining, after forty years or so 
of steady toil and irreproachable conduct, an income of i,'200 
glorified by an honorific title." 

Under such conditions of existence it is not to be wondered at 
that the Berliner ha"S a very faint idea of comfort, both in private 
and public life. His stereotyped response to all suggested reforms 
and improvements used invariably to be, " that may be well 
enough in other capitals but not here," and until quite recently 
old fashioned ways and provincialism maintained their venerated 
hereditary prestige. The ostentation manifested by any class in 
Berlin is principally shown by the Hebrew millionaires of the 
Borse. Only a limited number amongst the wealthiest and 
noblest members of the Court circle keep their own equipages. 
Handsome chargers and blood hacks are common enough, but 
well matched pairs of thorough-bred, high stepping, satin-skinned 
carriage horses are remarkably scarce at Berlin. For the Prussian 
aristocracy, unprovided, as already explained, save in a few 
exceptional instances, with town houses, and accustomed to 
gladden the capital with their presence for only two or three 
months of the year during the session of the Reichstag and the 
season of Court festivities, are in the habit of hiring their horses, 
carriage, and coachman en bloc. For a couple of hundred thalers 



96 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

a month, they can secure a serviceable carriage and pair, with a 
Jehu in unobtrusive livery, combined with the privilege of 
painting pro tern, their ancestral escutcheon on the panels. 

Of course the national thrift has much to do with this, although 
the national poverty which extends to the nobility is the primary 
cause. Prussia has little or no great landed aristocracy, a 
circumstance much regretted by Friedrich Wilhelm IV., who 
openly envied Great Britain her territorial House of Lords. 
The law of primogeniture, so essential to the prosperity of an 
aristocracy, is nowhere in force throughout Germany. As all 
the sons of a count are born counts and all his daughters 
countesses, the result is a remarkably numerous nobility, richer 
in titles than in worldly goods, equally ill paid in the few court 
or diplomatic appointments open to its members as in the army, 
and endeavouring to make up by a stern uncompromising 
hauteur for the real grandeur in which it is deficient. Far from 
displaying the least amiability towards the hapless tribe of 
plebians on whom it looks down, it seeks to make itself felt and 
feared, and as an influential political party, that of Junkerdom, 
has striven hard to check all moral and material progress. 

The golden key fails to unlock Berlin aristocratic society, 
whilst poverty is no insuperable obstacle to admittance within 
the charmed circle, if accompanied by the indispensable qualifi- 
cation of " Hofifahigkeit " or court-worthiness, to secure which it 
is absolutely necessary to be noble by birth, to hold a commission 
in the army or navy, to be a dignitary of the church, or to have 
attained a certain grade in the Government service. In the latter 
instances your own eligibility conduces in no degree to render 
your wife and family equally eligible to the highly-prized distinc- 
tion which is more rigidly guarded at the Prussian Court than 
at any other court in Europe. To become court-worthy is the 
life-aim of many reputable people who pass their existences in 
attempting to break through the barrier separating these North 
Gerrnan Brahmins from the rest of humanity, however well to do, 
highly educated and eminently respectable that residium may 
be. This accounts for the insane rage for titles of one kind or 
another that prevails throughout Germany, and explains why 
"every Jew banker, every successful speculator, every rising 
employe is ready to fawn, fight, cringe, or clamour for the much- 
coveted distinction of hereditary rank." 

The class of creators — " griinder " as the individuals are 
called who flooded Berlin with speculative and too frequently 
dishonest enterprizes — appears to have been the most fortunate in 
this direction, for no less than four of their number succeeded in 
getting ennobled, while others would have secured the like honour 
had they not been precipitated from their high positions, owing 
to the crash, which unluckily for them came a little too soon. 
Among these ennobled "creators" HerrvonCarstenn-Lichterfelde 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



97 



occupies a prominent place. After engaging in some fortunate 
building speculations at Hamburg and its neighbourhood, he 
settled in the year 1866 at Lichterfelde, near Berlin. He was a 
man of sagacity and combination, and early foresaw that the 
then capital of the North German Confederation must grow and 
extend. He began therefore to establish so-called colonies 
around Berlin, and went in for parcelling out and dealing in 
building sites on a large scale. By this means he made millions, 
and these millions led to a new aspiration. He had been asso- 
ciated with Generals and Barons in his " creations," and 
intercourse with the aristocracy is sufficiently alluring. He had 
laid the Government under obligations to him by building the 
new Cadet-houses at Lichterfelde, so he was scarcely likely to 
fail. One night he went to bed plain Herr Carstenn, and rose 
the next morning Von Carstenn-Lichterfelde. Of old creators 
were deified like Hercules, Cecrops, Theseus, and Cadmus, now 
they are ennobled like Bleichroder, Hausemann, Krause, and 
Carstenn. Other " creators " who failed to achieve this honour 
made a virtue of necessity and boldly purchased a noble father. 
They sought and found some poor but sufficiently liberal- 
minded nobleman willing to adopt them and give them his name 
in return for a fair annual income paid invariably in advance. 

Even this spurious nobility finds itself admired, if not respected, 
by Berlin society. Of course the old aristocracy, in whose eyes 
such proceedings only serve to enhance the value of their own 
ancestral honours, affect to loo4< down on these " fresh-baked " 
pretenders, as they term them, with contempt, whilst those below 
them in the social scale, satirize them in a way which they would 
be the first to deprecate were they themselves but shifted a few 




steps higher. With coronets and quarterings everywhere objects 
of idolatry and esteemed far beyond the cardinal virtues, it is 
scarcely surprising that the well-to-do Berliner should hanker 
after the privilege of a prefix to his name, and that this should 

H 



98 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



be to him even more an object of ambition than the red ribbon 
of the Legion of Honour to the decoration-seeking Parisian, 
In the capital of the new Empire, any one coveting consideration 
finds it necessary that he should have some kind of handle to 
his name, and hence the numerous ridiculous official appellations. 
To call himself simply Schultze or Miiller is deliberately to 
efface himself, unless indeed he chances to rejoice in the prefix 
" Von," Avhich will serve as an " open sesame " to all middle class 
society, and cause the lady of the house to present him to her 
guests with a certain amount of officiousness, and to lay marked 
stress upon the preposition that dignifies his plebeian patronymic. 
When the Berlin " Jeames," who in the all important requisites 
of calves, whiskers, and languid dignity of bearing is immeasur- 
ably below his London prototype, assumes a fresh livery, usually 

of outre cut and dis- 



cordant hues, his first 
step is to ask of his 
master and mistress 
how he shall entitle 
them ( Wie wo lien 
Sie dass ich Sie titu- 
liref). It is only in 
rare instances that he 
is told that he need not 
" tituliren " them at all, 
and that it will be suffi- 
cient to address his 
master as Wiirdiger 
Herr! (Worthy Sir!) 
and his mistress as 
Gnddige Fran (Gra- 
cious Madam !). Even 
a shopman or domes- 
tic entering the ser- 
vice of a grocer, who 
during the whole 
course of his career 
has by some chance or other once supplied the royal palace 
with a pound of coffee, will be compelled to address his master 
on every occasion as Herr Hoflicferant — Purveyor to the Court. 
These honorary distinctions are scattered about with such 
reckless profusion that one is quite prepared to find an ample 
variety of them. Those of Rath or Councillor, Professor and 
Doctor suffice to satisfy the ambition of some few thousands. 
There are Rathe for instance of almost everything — Stadtrath^ 
Baurath, Schulrath, Sanitdtsrath, and Cojumerzienrath (Town, 
Building, School, Sanitary and Commercial Councillors). One has 
even heard a humble attache of the Berlin opera-house saluted 
as Herr Theaterintendanturrath, or Mr. Councillor of the 




THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 99 

Administration of the Theatre. All the middle class Berlinese at 
the close of their commercial or administrative careers endeavour 
to acquire one of these titles, which once secured, the fortunate 
possessor becomes Herr RatJigeber on all occasions, at social 
gatherings equally as at the Council board. It being a rule of 
German etiquette to accord the wife her husband's title in the 
feminine gender, it often happens that at the most modest gather- 
ings one finds oneself surrounded by a crowd of dignitaries of both 
sexes, bearing titles as lengthy as they are inharmonious. " If 
you would avoid offence, you must train your mind and torture 
your tongue to acquire the habit of saying, ' Thank you, Mrs. 
Privy-Councilloress ; ' ' At your command, Mrs. Over-police 
Directoress ; ' ' After you, Mrs. Riding- Foresteress ; ' ' No doubt, 
Mrs. Consulting-Architectress ; ' ' With pleasure, Mrs. Inspec- 
toress of Sewers ; ' ' As you say, Mrs. Veritable (wirkliche) Privy- 
Councilloress,' or Commercial-Councilloress, or Doctoress, or 
Assessoress. In society a married lady is always addressed 
with the prefix of gnddige, or gnddigste Fran ; gracious or most 
gracious lady. If she have a title, it is not customary to use the 
family names in speaking to her ; Frau Grdfin, or Fran Baronin, 
being deemed sufficient. Many persons use Mcine Gnddigste, my 
Most Gracious, without further designation. Amongst female 
friends the formula is somewhat less ceremonious, Hebe Grdfin, or 
Generalmn, or Geheinterdthin, being sufficient. Young ladies are 
not addressed as Miss so-and-so, but, by gentlemen invariably, 
as Mein gnddiges Frdnleiny^ 

Councillors of the higher grades are entitled to most elaborate 
honorary designations, such as Seiner HochwoJilgeboren dent 
KdniglichenOber-La}ides-Gericht~Rath,Herr (Thehighly well- 
born Royal Superior State Justice Councillor, Mr. )and letters 

tc them require to commence HocJiwohlgeborener Herr I (Highly 
well-born Sir) HochgeeJirter Herr (Highly honoured Sir). It will 
be sufficient to address the lower class of councillors as Seiner 
Wohlgeboren dem Herrn Medizinal Rath Dr. ScJinltz (to the 
well-born gentleman Medical Councillor Dr. S.). Doctors, ad- 
vocates, professors, schoolmasters, landowners, commercial 
people (Kanfknte) always expect to be styled Wohlgeboren. 

The Rathe of the superior grades are also Geheime Rdthe 
or Privy-Councillors, besides which there is a veritable host of 
secretaries, accountants, and registrars with from 300 to — at the 
utmost — 1000 thalers salary per annum, and who are every one 
of them more or less " privy." One has, for instance, the Geheime 
Expedirende Secretairnjid Registrator, who abounds in the minis- 
tries and most insignificant administrations. Should you have 
occasion to write to one of these individuals, you must be very care- 
ful not to omit even a syllableof his title, for if you did he would 
very likely not condescend to answer you. A petty functionary 
^ " German Home Life " in Frazer's Magaziiu. 

H 2 



lOO BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

of this class with £46 a year has perhaps managed to get hold 
of some insignificant foreign ribbon, and will require his letters 
to be addressed to him as follows : — Dcm scJir geehrten Konig- 
lichen Gcheime Registrator Hoclnvohlgcborc7ier Ritter. (To the very- 
Honourable Royal Privy Registrar, Highly well-born Knight.) 

The author of " German Home Life," pertinently remarks that 
" the exactions in this direction are almost sufficient to frighten 
a simple-minded person out of society. Have you given the 
right man the right title } Is he a Geheimerath, or a wirklicher 
Geheimerath ? Was that prince who affably condescended to 
address you a Royal, or a Transparent, or a Serene Highness } 
You have just addressed a lady (who has no right to the title) 
as Excellcnz, and made her your implacable enemy for life. You 
have occasion to write to a Roman Catholic clergyman, and you 
for ever offend him by addressing him as Ew. HochehrwUrden, 
which is a Protestant title, instead of Ew. Hochzviirden, the correct 
Catholic style. How are you to know that privy councillors and 
presidents exact the predicate Hochwohlgeboren (High-well-born), 
which belongs of right to the nobility (2nd class), and how can 
you guess that a Count must be addressed as High-born, or even 
under some circumstances, Erlaucht (Illustrious), a Baron as 
High-well-born ; and that the common herd exact Well-born as 
well as their own patronymic on the letters you address to them .''" 

In writing to the Emperor it is requisite to address him as 
Most Serene and August Emperor and King, most Gracious King 
and Lord ! " In the newspapers he is invariably styled the 
All-Highest {Der Aller/idchste),-vih\ch. sounds parlously like an 
infringement of Divine privilege. His actions and movements 
are described, plurally as regards himself, in infinite false con- 
cords and outrages upon grammar, as, for instance, ' His Majesty, 
our All-Highest King and Lord have deigned to nominate,' &c. ; 
or, ' His Majesty are returned to Berlin ; All-Highest the same 
ones {AllerhbcJistdiesclbefi) rejoice tliemselves in possession of a 
blooming health.'" With regard to a minister of state he has to 
be addressed as His Excellency the Royal actual {Wirklicheti, 
i.e. at present in office) Privy State and Justice Minister, 

Herrn . The Rector of the University is addressed more 

concisely but none the less pompously as His magnificence, 
while the burgomaster who is also a magnificence is styled 
Highly well-born, Highly honoured Mr. Burgomaster. The 
president of the Berlin Court of Appeal is entitled Highly well- 
esteemed, Mr. Chief President, while letters to him commence, 
Highly well-born Sir. " What we term public offices, boards, &c., 
and all other impersonalities, such as magistrates' courts, legal 
tribunals, corporations, consistories, et hoc genus oimie, must be 
approached in writing with elaborate forms, and clothed with the 
title of ' Praiseworthy ' or ' Highly Praiseworthy,' according to 
the degree conventionally accorded to them." We have already 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



lOI 



remarked that women take the titles of their husbands in the femi- 
nine form, the result of which is such superscriptions as, Her Ex- 
cellency Madame the actual Privy State Ministress, General 

Postmistress Frau . The letter would have to commence 

Highly well-born Madame, Gracious Madame Ministress. 
Precisely in the same way one says, Madame the Mistress of the 
Concerts, Madame the Doctoress, Madame the Lieutenantess 
Madame the Drum-Majoress — and one has even seen a card 
upon which was inscribed Komglichc Kanuncrfdgerin, Royal 
Sweeperess of the Apartments ! 

" The Prussian Government," wrote Varnhagan von Ense a 
quarter of a century ago, " is -SiConfriU'ic of bureaucrats, who unite 
to the talent of scribbling, that of obedience and that of hypo- 
crisy." There may be a certain amount of truth in these assertions, 
but they are certainly not calculated to convey a fair impression 
of the worth and value of that admirably organized body to 
which Prussia owes so much of her physical well-being and 
political status. The bureaucracy has not only done wonders 
as regards internal administration, but has helped in the organi- 
zation of the army which has so distinguished itself abroad, and 
may one day be found of more value than that army in staving 
off the evils and terrors of a revolution. Such a thoroughly 
organized body of officials as that under the control of the 
government is marvellously efficient in guiding the impulses and 
controlling the pas- 
sions of the people. 
And yet the individual 
Berlinese bureaucrat is 
too often as disagree- 
able as only the 
compound of a Ber- 
liner and a bureau- 
crat can be. He is 
wretchedly paid, he 
has been driven almost 
to his wits' end by 
the rise in rents and 
provisions, and yet he 
does a great deal of 
work and does it well. 
But he regards himself 
as a member of the 
government, a pillar of 
the state, shudders at 
the thought of what 
would be the conse- 
quence if the country were to be deprived of his services, 
and adds a coating of official hauteur to his native cantan- 




102 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

kerousness in his dealing with the outer world. No whiskered 
club lounger who is forced by the exigencies of fate and the 
necessity of at least appearing to do something for his salary, 
to dawdle away six hours per diem in a comfortably fur- 
nished room, in Downing Street ; no Lord of the Treasury's 
private secretary standing gracefully at the corner of the smoking 
room mantel-piece with a surrounding circle listening with 
breathless attention to the words that fall from his lips, ever more 
thoroughly identified himself with the government he served than 
the humblest Vice-Deputy Sub- Assistant Temporary Inspector 
or Supernumerary Clerk in a Berlin Public Office. And when he 
emerges into such society as he keeps, he is ever careful to " lay 
the finger of silence upon the lip of discretion," so far as the 
secrets of his prison house are concerned. He affects to be over- 
burdened with state secrets, though it is needless to remark none 
ever come into his possession, and when the conversation takes 
a political turn sits with his lips as tightly closed as the shells of 
an oyster, save when he raises his beer-mug to them, and confines 
himself to a Lord Burleigh-like shake of the head which is 
construed to imply that like the monkeys of Indian fable he 
could say a great deal if he chose. 

The bureaucrat, of whatever degree, is usually a family man 
of a very domesticated character, and is in the habit of rearing 
large families of daughters, who, however, do not often develop 
into the spoiled beauties of society. The pecuniary circumstances 
of their father, the unwritten laws of German etiquette, and their 
tastes and bringing up, forbid it. They are certain to be well 
informed, thoroughly educated, to know more languages than 
their sisters in France and England, and to play and waltz with 
scientific precision, but they are too quiet for coquetry, and too 
serious for flirtation. They may have even extended their 
studies through the most thorny paths of philosophy, but above 
all they shine in housewifery duties, the manipulation of the 
knitting-needle, the presidency of the coffee-table, and the super- 
intendence of the kitchen and the store-room, being functions 
in which they unquestionably excel. 

The Hebrew element forms a very marked feature of Berlin 
society, which is constrained to recognize the decided mental 
and practical influence which the Jews, spite of their relatively 
small number, exercise to-day in the capital of the new Empire. 
It was very different so recently as a score or so of years ago, 
when no Berlin Jew was allowed even to marry without the 
special permission of the King. Friedrich the Great turned 
this regulation to account at tlie time he purchased the Berlin 
porcelain manufactory from the banker, Gotzkowski, and was in 
a strait with respect to customers for his stock. It was his rule 
to sanction these unions only on the condition that the future 
•couple purchased so much china at the manufactory, and he 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



103 





himself used to specify _^ 

^ . 

the margin of the peti- 
tions addressed to him. 
The Berhn Jews 
thrust themselves pro- 
minently forward some 
few years back, when, 
with characteristic fore- 
sight, and by asso- 
ciating their capital, 
they commenced buy- 
ing up land in and 
contiguous to the city, 
securing possession of 
all the vacant tracts, 
and parcelling them 
out for building pur- 
poses. Besides being 
foremost, as in most 
other German cities, in 
general trade, whether as retail shopkeepers or merchants on 
an extensive scale, the realms of the Jiaiite finance acknowledge 

„ their exclusive sway; 

^-—^r-^l^m-<r^\j;^^^p^^ the most valuable 

' ^^^ freeholds, the state- 
liest mansions, and 
"» the finest equipages, 
/ belong to them, 
whilst certain of 
their body affect a 
taste for and patron- 
age of the arts. The 
one Berlin newspaper 
which is entirely free 
from their influence 
IS the Nene Preus- 
siscJie Kreiiz Zeitung, 
most of the others 
being wholly or in 
part owned by Jews, 
who moreover con- 
stitute the bulk of 
- the journalists and 
■'-'' reporters. The ma- 
jority of the young 



-°^^^^ 




104 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



doctors and many law- 
yers are also Jews ; 
and if at the Royal 
theatres the actors 
have up to the present 
time been chiefly Chris- 
tians, the same cannot 
be said of the audiences. 
At Berlin the only 
things of which the 
Gentiles have been left 
in undisputed posses- 
sion are the churches, 
on which, however, it 
has been bitterly said 
they set but little store, 
and even these have 
been thrown into the 
shade by the magnifi- 
cent new synagogue, 
the dome of which 
towers above the sea 
of Berlin houses. In 
politics, thanks to the 
Parliamentary regime, 
they play an important part. The prejudice with which they 
are regarded by the nobility and those Conservatives who are 
deeply imbued with the traditions of the middle ages, the 
coldness displayed towards them by the pious King, and the 
religious formularies which interfere with their aspiring to certain 
positions connected with the Government, have thrown them 
into the ranks of the National Liberal party, to which not only 
their wealth but also their education render them valuable 
allies. They are constantly endeavouring to give their sons and 
daughters a superior education to that aimed at by Catholics and 
Protestants, thereby leading them to sympathize as much as 
possible with general culture. The importance attached by them 
to instruction, especially in science, art, and the higher branches 
of learning, is shown by statistics, proving that upwards of one- 
half of the Jewish boys and two-thirds of the girls receive a 
liberal education, while with regard to children of other religions, 
not more than a fifth of the boys, and less than a sixth of 
the girls, enjoy this advantage. One result of this is shown in 
the influence attained and wielded by the leader of the National 
Liberal party, and the ablest debater in the Reichstag, the 
Jewish lawyer, Edward Lasker. 

In stature the Berlin Jew is usually short, or at the most of 
average height, and his physiognomy and figure are alike ex- 





THE HEBREW ELEMENT AT I HE BERLIN ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. J''^S<^ 'OS- 1- 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



105 




pressed by sharp lines. 
The head is generally- 
oblong, the visage oval, 
the under lip large and 
sensual, whilethe upper 
one, the nose, and the 
eyebrows, especially 
when laughing, give 
to the features much 
the same kind of ex- 
pression as is observ- 
able in the mask of 
Pan. It is the eyes 
which mark the great 
difference between the 
Germanic and Semitic 
races. The German's 
glance is generally 
contemplative or pas- 
sive ; he looks for the 
pleasure of looking ; takes an interest in what he is observin,f( ; 
whereas the Jew has a scrutative eye, ever on the move, like 
a man who measures and estimates everything he looks at, and 
only feels intere.sted in his own affairs. As a rule, too, he is 

always over- d ressed . 
Not daring to launch 
out in those countries 
where they are still re- 
garded as pariahs, the 
Jews affect to be ele- 
gants in the lands of 
their emancipation. 
At the Berlin Zoolo- 
gical Gardens on the 
days consecrated by 
fashion to the after- 
noon promenade, they 
contend for pre-emi- 
nence even with the 
aristocratic military 
element. Several 

among them have 
succeeded in getting 
themselves ennobled, 
while the wealth of 
others is gradually securing them admission into some of the best 
circles, where, if their sons show to small advantage, their 
daughters enter into successful rivalry with the handsomest and 




I06 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

most accomplished of their own sex of a different faith. A Berlin 
Jewess is equally an fait with a Parisian one in dressing her hair 
and arranging her jiipe a la dernivre mode. Now and then 
she is pretty, but more frequently cultivated and spirituelle ; and 
when she feels sure of her ground, and knows that she is 
in the majority — as, for instance, at the Berlin Zoo — will show 
herself as provoking and engaging as her German sister — who 
cordially detests her — is generally tranquil and reserved.^ 

" All work and no play " is said to " make Jack a dull boy," 
and there is no doubt that this fact in some measure accounts 
for the habitual grimness of demeanour of the Berlinese. Such 
incipient grimness is perceptible even in his state of urchinhood, 
when newly breeched he steps along on his way to real-schule or 
gymnasium, with his neat knapsack full of books, and his face 
as grave as that of the most spectacled of professors when 
engaged in evolving a new theory. " The Berliner, from peer to 
droschke-driver, from privy-councillor to postman," observes a 
writer long resident on the banks of the Spree," is an overtasked 
being, and has been so for a couple of hundred years past, so 
that the habit of not amusing himself is a hereditary one, and has 
passed into his nature — has become a congenital characteristic. 
That he is cross and cantankerous must be ascribed to the 
facts that, as a rule, his whole time is spent in struggling to 
exist, that he lives in one of the most unhealthy cities of 
the world, and that year after year he finds himself compelled 
to sacrifice bit by bit his well-being and few comforts, in 
order to be able to keep a roof over his head and body 
and soul together with the coarsest food." 

The engrossing devotion to personal interests, the furtherance 
of which absorbs each individual's attention and occupies his 
energies, is a main cause of the cheerlessness characterising the 
Prussian. He exhibits a national and habitual thriftiness akin 
to that of the Scot, and, as a rule, not only works to live, but 
lives to work, striving as hard to make money in peace as he 

' Berlin statisticians, who are themselves possibly Jews, endeavour to show, 
by the inexorable logic of figures, that Christianity is rapidly becoming 
extinct in Berlin, and they supply data highly favourable to the followers of the 
Mosaic rite. We learn from them that not only do a far larger proportion 
of the Jews of Berlin marry than members of other religious denominations, 
but that nearly the whole of them marry at what these savants style the 
natural age — namely, when the man is not above forty, and the woman is 
under thirty. Such marriages form 85 per cent, of those contracted amongst 
the Jews, against 72 per cent, amongst the rest of the population, while the 
lists of deaths show one-third of the Jews to be married, and less than one- 
fifth of members of other creeds. The mortality, too, amongst Jewish 
children from their first to their fifth year is only 17 per cent., whilst it is 25 
per cent, among other persuasions ; and the circumstance that the general 
percentage of illegitimate children in Berlin is 15, and amongst the Jews only 
2, speaks highly in favour of their morality.— See Stddtisches Jahrbuch, 
Berlin, 1874. 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 10/ 

does to secure victory in war. Amusement costs both time and 
money, and if, like John Gilpin, he is occasionally to be found 
" on pleasure bent," like that citizen of credit and renown, he has 
"a frugal mind." The mere man of pleasure, the epicurean 
butterfly who flits from flower to flower, would be nipped to 
death in the frosty Prussian capital, to which Friedrich the Great 
had to impart the first elements of society, conversation, and 
politeness from abroad. A certain amount of dissipation of the 
most forcedly ostentatious character was favoured by the influx 
of the French milliards, but it was confined almost entirely to 
the financial element. Rumour, indeed, says that some of these 
gentlemen carried the national spirit of order and economy into 
their amusements, keeping ledgers and day-books wherein the 
details of the sums expended for self-gratification were scrupu- 
lously recorded, and wherein a supper to the corps de ballet, and 
the cost of maintaining an actress, were written ofl" against a 
lucky coup on the Exchange. The military element, so promi- 
nent in the pursuit of pleasure in England, has neither the time 
nor the money to spare in Prussia. All nobles enter the army 
and have to work too hard at their profession to have leisure for 
amusement, even if they had the necessary spare capital, which, 
considering that the majority are as poor as rats, they certainly 
have not. A few wealthy guardsmen go in for sport, but 
they are the exceptions ; and when, after some years hard work, 
the exceptionally rich noble dofls his blue uniform for good, he 
has lost the habit of wishing to be amused, and devotes the rest 
of his life to looking after his own interests and cultivating his 
estates. 

A wide-spread delusion formerly prevailed to the effect that the 
children of the Fatherland were lovers of peace and quiet, and 
that their repugnance to strife and contention was the result 
partly of an inborn humility of disposition peculiar to them, and 
partly of a philosophical temper of mind, superinduced by high 
intellectual development, combined with strict physical sobriety. 
We were in the habit of picturing the typical Teuton as sitting 
in summer beneath the shade of the northern equivalents to the 
traditional vine and fig-tree, and in winter within the heating 
influence of his porcelain stove, and simultaneously evolving 
whifls of kanaster from the bowl of his painted pipe, and moral 
aphorisms from a mind overflowing with sympathy not only 
towards his immediate fellows, but mankind at large. Nothing, 
however, can be further from the truth, contention and contro- 
versy being the normal condition of the average Berliner, who 
exhibits a bitterness that would have won the esteem of our 
great lexicographer, who so dearly loved a good hater. The 
national proverb that " Two Germans will fight about the colour 
of Barbarossa's beard," shows how conscious they are of the 
spirit of contentiousness prevalent among themselves, since the 



io8 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



Emperor's nickname sufficiently explains the fiery hue of his 
hirsute adornment. Their neighbours, the French, have gauged 
them pretty accurately too, and a qiierclle dAllernand denotes 
a wilful and gratuitous wrangle. Nor do they appear to have 
altered by emigration, since, even under the stars and stripes, the 
national proclivity for the arguvientiim ad hoinincm crops up. 
At Hans Ikeitmann's famous " barty," after " de gompany " had 
revelled on brot and gensybroost, bratvvurst and braten, wa.shed 
down by Neckarvvein and unlimited lager, instead of peacefully 
digesting these good things, 

" vighted mit daple leeks, 
Dill de coonshtable made oos shtop." 

This disposition, common to all Germans, is more vigorously 
manifested in the North ; and when it is remembered that one- 
half the entire number of German lawyers — exclusive of those of 
Austro-Germany — are domiciled in Berlin, it may be imagined 
what a disputatious set the inhabitants of the Kaiserstadt must 
be. Even these gentlemen are not always called in to settle their 
disputes. Within the memory of middle-aged Berlinese there 
existed in the city a " kneipe," or beer-house, much frequented by 
the humbler citizens, who loved to discuss the politics of the day 

there of an even- 
ing. In a con- 
spicuous part of 
the principal room 
a notice was set 
up to the follow- 
ing effect : — "Hon- 
oured guests are 
respectfully en- 
treated to observe 
that a reasonable 
provision of blud- 
geons is placed at 
their disposition 
by the proprietor, 
grateful for their 
patronage, and 
may be found 
handy behind the 
great stove. It is 
hoped that this ac- 
commodation will 
render it unne- 
cessary for the future that honoured guests should break off the 
chair-legs for the purpose of mutually adjusting their political 
views ! " 




THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. IO9 

Prince Bismarck himself testifies to the unamiability of the 
national disposition. " Each one here," he observes, " lives apart 
in his little corner, holding his own opinion in the circle of his wife 
and children, always mistrustful of the government as well as 
of his neighbour, judging everything from his personal point 
of view, and never from that of society at large. The sen- 
timent of individualism and the need of contradiction are 
developed in a German to an inconceivable degree ; show him 
an open door, and rather than pass through it he will obstinately 
seek to make a hole in the wall by the side of it." 

The enmity between the inhabitants of Berlin and those 
of Vienna has existed for years, the light-hearted, impulsive 
" Wiener " venting his feelings in the wit he alone of all Germans 
can display, and the bilious " Berliner" retaliating by that bitter 
and reckless satire which is his formidable weapon. In popular 
plays and humorous journals the typical inhabitant of the 
rival capitals is held up to ridicule, and even serious publications 
are full of the hatred and misrepresentations engendered by long 
antagonism. It is singular, however, that the captious and 
cynical Berliner, accustomed to criticize everything, naturally 
disposed to opposition, and extremely cantankerous in his 
dealings with his fellows, submits, though he may grumble, to 
any arrangements that are officially made against his pleasure 
or comfort in the city. The restrictions which the authorities 
impose upon his claims to such scant amusement as is available 
he generally accepts with the sullen obedience resulting from 
a prolonged military regime. His manners are, indeed, rarely 
ever cordial. When two acquaintances encounter each other they 
will commonly content themselves with a dry Guten viorg-en, and 
take their leave with a curt Adieu. This last phrase they have 
appropriated, like many others, from the French, as though con- 
scious of the deficiency of their own language in the ordinary 
terms of politeness. 

Savoir vivre is certainly not natural to the Berlinese, though 
many of them undoubtedly try to be polite. When introduced 
to a stranger they will bow half-a-dozen times, at an angle of 45 
decrees, in a ceremonious manner, and will never think of sitting 
down at or quitting a table dliote without first saluting the 
company. Before taking possession of a vacant chair, in a beer- 
garden even, or taking up a newspaper in a cafe, they will first of 
all appeal, uncovered, to the nearest person, even although he 
may happen to be sitting at another table. Yet they will blow 
clouds of smoke from their rank cigars into ladies' faces, and this 
not merely in the street but in railway-carriages, and even 
at dinner-tables, and will roughly elbow their way through a 
crowd inside a theatre, regardless both of women and children. 
Place aux Dames has certainly no place in their code of 
etiquette. They further thrust themselves in front of you 



no 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




should you happen to 
be looking into a shop- 
window, rudely push 
against you in the 
street, and tread un- 
concernedly on your 
favourite corns, and, 
after obtaining a light 
for their cigars, will 
hurry ofif, caring little 
or nothing whether 
they have deposited 
the borrowed weed 
safely in its owner's 
hand or allowed it to 
drop upon the ground, 
and, worse than all, 
will rarely think of 
apologizing for these 
and other breaches of 
good manners. Still 
what is to be expected of a people who think nothing of taking a 
comb out of their pockets and combing their hair in the midst of a 



~-"'^f"^iiMi:(,f, 




conversation, or of standing before a looking-glass in a restaurant 
and performing the same operation, and who, instead of reserving 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



Ill 



their tooth-picks for their teeth, clean their finger-nails with 
them in public, and at times even thrust them into their ears. 

A Frenchman whom 
I casually met at Ber- 
lin complained bitterly 
of the behaviour of the 
Berlinese in a crowd. 
At Paris he admitted 
you get more or less 
pushed against, and 
occasionally a trifle 
crushed, " but then," 
observed he, " you 
have the satisfaction 
of being able to push 
and crush thosearound 
you in return. At 
Berlin, hov/ever, this 
is simply impossible; 
you find yourself 
pushed in all direc- 
tions, have your corns 
positively stamped on, 
receive all manner of violent digs in the ribs and sharp pokes 
in the sides, which you cannot return with interest — as you dearly 




v^^:^!:- 



long to do — for these 
heavy masses of flesh, 
these gigantic feet, 
these muscular arms, 
these thick-set shoul- 
ders, have the resist- 
ance of granite. One 
throws oneself against 
them, one positively 
hurts oneself, still 
they do not budge an 
inch. They have an 
admirable plan, too, 
in a crowd, of carrying 
a lighted cigar in their 
hands, so that, in push- 
ing against them, you 
run the risk of burn- 
ing alike your hands, 
face, and clothes." 

Another weakness o^ the Berlinese is that all classes as a rule 
" talk at the top of their very powerful voices ; no man waits 
for his neighbour to finish the observations he has begun ; he 




112 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

shouts in reply as though the main object were to be heard 
at any cost. Take a cafe, a steamer, a railway carriage, any 
place of public resort where two or three Teutons are gathered 
together, and the result will be vociferous. That finer instinct 
which teaches the talker to lower his voice in a picture-gallery 
or a public garden, and produces a pleasant hush in clubs, 
reading-rooms, and theatres, is entirely wanting here." 

A Berlin acquaintance once pointedly asked of me my 
opinion of his compatriots. " The French," said he, " call us bar- 
barians ; now as you have seen a good deal of our ways, tell me 
if you find us very different from other people." Being hardly 
pressed I readily owned that the French considerably exagge- 
rated the little failings of their conquerors ; still I could not 
help remarking that the natives of the Fatherland did appear 
to me somewhat ill-mannered ; and I cited, as one example, 
their graceless habit of using the knife as a spoon at their 
meals, and frequently thrusting three or four inches of the blade 
into their mouths. From that moment my Berlin friend treated 
me with marked reserve, conscious though he must have 
been of the truth of my observation. 

This interjection by the Germans of knives half-way down 
their throats has been the theme indeed of frequent satire. 
Thackeray introduces us to the charming Princess of Potztausend- 
Donnerwetter performing hideous feats of knife-jugglery at the 
royal table of her illustrious relatives ; and the writer we 
have frequently quoted describes how it has " happened to 
her more than once to sup at royal, serene, transparent, and 
impalpable tables where the service has been of fine gold and 
the air literally charged with diamonds and decorations, and 
yet to tremble at the dangerous dexterity of her neighbours, 
as, ignoring the humble merits of the fork and spoon, they 
performed surprising and audacious tricks with knives of 
Damascene sharpness." She mentions, too, a naive compliment 
which she overheard a German paying to an English lady, 
whose acquaintance she had casually made at the table d'hote, 
from which they had just risen. " I knew directly you were 
English," exclaimed she, "for you eat so prettily ! " 

Anywhere in Berlin, from the table d'hote of the Hotel du 
Nord to a cellar bicr-local, you will see people grasping their 
forks dagger-fashion, and using them solely for the purpose of 
steadying their food as they cut it up, while their knives fly inces- 
santly backwards and forwards from their plates to their mouths. 
At the dinner-table one has watched a party of good-looking 
frdnlcin,7\.\\(\. seen their knife-blades loaded with food disappearing 
between their rosy lips in a way that has made one tremble 
for the consequences. And not merely do the Berlinese use 
their knives as spoons, but with their aid commonly scrape 
their plates so clean, that changing the latter is a work of 



THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



113 



SiliSIIS. _ i 




supererogation. In 
the restaurants you 
may see them clat- 
tering away at their 
plates until the 
smallest invisible 
animalculae might 
search in vain over 
their surface for so 
much as a mouthful. 
To prove that we 
have not exagge- 
rated the Berliner's 
deficiencies in the 
matter of good breeding, it will suffice to quote some curt remarks 
of a distinguished Prussian professor on this subject: — " It is not 
easy," observes our authority, " for well-bred foreigners to asso- 
ciate agreeably with a people who mistake rudeness and bluntness 
for sincerity and frankness, who eat clumsily, wear unsightly 
signet rings on their forefingers, whose women dress without 
taste, and divide their time between the kitchen, and gossiping, 
coffee-drinking associates, as they find it difficult at first no 
doubt to accustom themselves to our execrable beds and bad 
cookery."^ 

The Berliner's proverbial ill-breeding can scarcely be attributed 
to lack of proper counsel on matters polite, for he has the advan- 
tage of any number of books on etiquette, all going deeply into 
the question, both as to what is proper and improper to be done 
in the various exigencies of social life. The most popular of 
these — the Berliner GalantJiojume — in its rules for good behaviour 
at table, is, however, strangely silent upon the accomplishment 
of polishing the plate off which you have eaten with the aptitude 
of a scullion, and of handling your dinner-knife with the dexterity 
of a juggler, although it gravely announces that it is " no longer 
the fashion " to change the fork from the left hand to the right 
when conveying the food to the mouth. Yet spite of this the 
rule is daily violated at every Berlin dinner-table. One is con- 
strained to believe that only people deficient in the rudiments of 
refinement could possibly need such counsel as the following 
extracted at random from the above-mentioned work : — 



" Passing the hand through the hair at the dinner-table, using a knife or 
fork as a toothpick, or throwing pellets of bread about, are improprieties 
which scarcely require to be pointed out. 

" It is not seemly to wipe your knife, fork, or spoon, with your napkin 
before using them. It may be allowable at a restaurant, but not in a private 
house. 

^ Professor Hillebrand. 



114 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



" Avoid soiling the table-cloth, spilling wine, or putting bones upon it, or 
splashing those that sit next to you. 

"It is for the host to see that his guests do not fill their wine-glasses to 
the brim. 

" Of course no one should help his neighbour with the knife, fork, or 
spoon he is himself using. 

" It is unpleasant to see any one eating great quantities of pastry, putting 
too large pieces into his mouth, or filling a cup or glass with crumbs, and 
eating them with a spoon." 

The gravity of the following will provoke a smile : — 

" If you wish a lady to think you over precise, be very careful about folding 
up your napkin in the old creases at the end of dinner. Should you wish, to 
be thought careless, crumple it up and throw it on the floor. It is, however, 
preferable to adopt the proper medium. Women will judge from a man's 
way of folding up his napkin the kind of husband he is likely to make." 

From the same precious mentor a few other precepts may be 
quoted, and first of all one embodying his individual opinion of 
the value of those social courtesies which he sets himself up to 
inculcate : — 

" The usual civilities 
current in social inter- 
course are only lies by 
which people seek to 
deceive one another. 

" Do not scratch 
vour head or pick your 
ears or nose in com- 
pany ; it is hard to be- 
lieve such things are 
done, nevertheless we 
have seen them. 

" Never allow your 
nails to grow an inch 
long. Delicate and 
refined ladies object 
to such claws, which 
are only popular with 
those who think them 
a sign of the Bohe- 
mian. 

" Do not tramp up 
and down the carpets 
in a lady's room with- 
out occasion, seat your- 
self on the edge of the 
table, or rest your feet 
upon its legs. 

" Do not sit with your legs too far apart, too much stretched out in front of 
you, or with them crossed, and if you have occasion to draw your chair 
nearer to the table, do not use your feet for the purpose. 

" Do not rock yourself in your chair, drum on the arm of any one else's 
chair, or keep kicking your feet against it. 




THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY. 



115 




are speaking to them. Three paces off is 
"In ladies' society refrain from arguing 
other dry subjects, in 
which they can take no 
part and feel no interest. 
Above all never discuss 
points of belief with them, 
and rob them of their 
faith, since you have no- 
thing better to offer them 
in place of it." 

The morality of the 
following is at least 
questionable : — 

" Nothing wins a man 
more admiration from 
girls and women than 
knowledge of any kind. 
To them no one is so 
ridiculous and contempt- 
ible as an ignoramus. 
Above all things, there- 
fore, be on your guard 
never to say ' I don't 
know ' when you are asked 
about anything. If you 
are net in danger of some 
by - stander remarking 



the 
on 



"Do not look inquisi- 
tively round a room when 
paying a visit, or handle 
everything you see lying 
about." 

The hints on con- 
versation suggest no- 
thing in the least de- 
gree lively. Fancy 
the moribund tone 
that would pervade 
a company where the 
following precept was 
strictly observed : — 

" A man should always 
speak as if he were mak- 
ing his will. 

"When conversing with 
ladies do not fix your 
eyes steadily on them, 
neither cast them on the 
ground. Do not press too 
closely on them, thrust 
)ourself immediately un- 
der their noses, or breathe 
in their faces while you 

proper distance. 

learned, religious, political, or 




ii6 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



' that is untrue ' you had better make a misstatement ; an error is more 
readily forgiven than ignorance. 

" Forbear making comments to ladies on the good or bad looks of persons 
whom you know." 

The Berlin ladies on their part are admonished that — 

" It will not do for a lady to knit stockings in every kind of company and 
in all public places 1 " 

Spite of the courte'^y which there is a pretence of e.xacting to- 
wards the fair sex, we find a lady justly complaining that in Ger- 
many " No man rises to open the door for you when you leave the 
room ; if cups of tea or coffee have to be handed about it is the 
lady of the house that will carry them round ; she will be re- 
warded with a ' Taitsoid Dank, nicine Gnddigste,' but the ' most 
gracious ' will be allowed to trot aljout all the same. A man 
need not wait (in that happy land) for ' pain and anguish ' to 
' rack the brow ' before the ministering angels appear upon the 
scene. You (one of the angels) may search an hour for your 
sortie de bal in a cloak-room, before one out of that group of glit- 
tering beings assembled round the door will put out a helping 
hand. When at last you emerge from your difficulties, and pass 
down the stairs, they will draw themselves up, in stramme mili- 
tdrischc Haltung, click their heels together, and bring their heads 
to tlie level of their sword-belts ; and if that is not devotion, 

. . ^ |, ,. --'■./w, , ,, K, chivalricbehavour, and 

'WUW^h%m/M\ lil. splendid respect the 

world has none to 
show, and you are an 
exacting and irrational 
malcontent." 

Dancing is a positK^'e 
mania with the Ber- 
linese, yet our arbiter 
degantiarum of the 
Athens of the Spree 
offers but few hints for 
the benefit of novices 
in the science of salta- 
tion. He, however, in- 
forms us that — 

" There may be parties 
where propriety requires 
you to enter the room hat 
in hand, to keep on your 
gloves, to dance hat in 
hand, &c,, while there 
may also be highly re- 
spectable society where to 
do so would look absurd. 

" If you wish to look like 




THE BERLINKSE IN SOCIETY. 



117 



> I 'f^ , _ 11'.' Gs^^riBw atm^t V \k ^' 1 _ > 




circumstance how with them the enthusiasm 
itself perfectly with 
the activity of the 
stomach, citing, as 
an example, that 
Werther, even in his 
moments of most 
profound despair, 
never once forgets 
the hours of his 
meals. To-day we 
find a lettered Ber- 
liner maintaining it 
would be an im- 
mense mistake to 
imagine that a trace 
remains of the ele- 
ments which went 
to form the picture 
Madame de Statil 
gave of them to the 
world. " The ideal- 
ism, the dreaminess, 
and moonshine," ob- 
serves he, " have had 
their day. We have become strict Realists 



n fool you have only 
to keep on your gloves 
when no one else in 
the room is wearing 
them, or to dance hat 
in hand when no one 
else is doing so. 

" In dancing avoid 
:4rand steps and pirou- 
ettes, which are admis- 
sible in a theatre but 
not in a ball-room, 
where simplicity, mo- 
desty, and dignity are 
required in the dance. 
The waltz especially 
demands great moder- 
ation." 

The Germans 

have long enjoyed 
the credit of being 
a sentimental peo- 
ple, and M. Emile 
Souvestre has call- 
ed attention to the 
of the mind allies 




The questions that 



ii8 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



occupy us in the morning, which perplex us at nightfall, are 
business questions. All in art and literature that savoured of 
idealism, dreaminess, and moonshine, is gone. We have become 
accustomed to deal better than we used to do with realities, and 
to describe things as they are. Why are we Realists .'' For the 
same cause that makes a Realist of any one on the pavements 
of the London streets. If one is pressed upon, and shoved 
from all sides, and must keep a sharp look-out in order to escape 
being run over, one has no leisure for transcendental Idealism 
and the sorrows of a ' beautiful spirit.' " ^ 

Spite of all this our thoroughly practical Berlinese are still 
under the influence of the romanticism which pervades the 
literature of the past century, and a very short sojourn in the 
imperial capital suffices to satisfy one that its inhabitants have 
other idols besides Bismarck and Moltke, and that Goethe and 
Schiller still hold their place in the general admiration. You 
can rarely open a Berlin newspaper or periodical of any kind 
without meeting with something concerning one or other of these 
twin geniuses — either some new detail concerning their lives, a 
fete held in their honour, a projected statue, a criticism on their 
works, the sitting of some verem devoted to their study, or some 
allusion to their intellectual supremacy. Whenever there is a 
dearth of news the papers invariably fall back upon Schiller or 
Goethe. The elephant at the Berlin Zoological Gardens, although 
a colossal one, would never be able to carry the piles of paper 

, , ^,. printed every vear 



with the specific 
object of keeping 
alive the worship of 
these twin demi- 
gods. 

A German, al- 
though he be but 
a better-class shop- 
keeper, will gene- 
rally possess some 
kind of library, and 
occupying the place 
of honour on its 
shelves are certain 
to be the complete 
works of Goethe 
and Schiller in 
the handsomest of 
bindings. And yet, 
in spite of this, or 
perhaps by reason of it, the trade keeps constantly reproducing 

' F. .Spielhagen, in the Aihcmcum, 




!iO. \\w':^ ~, ~-}^\ 




«^H. 





THE BERLINESE IN SOCIETY, II9 

these books, issuing them as perfect marvels of cheapness. There 
is scarcely an intelligent German or educated young girl, or 
mother of a family in the Fatherland who does not know much of 
Schiller or Goethe by heart. And as it is only natural for people 
to like to talk of what they know, you can scarcely converse with 
a Berliner for half-an-hour, or if she be a lady for more than 
five minutes without Schiller or Goethe coming upon the tapis 
in the shape of some quotation from one or other of their works. 

I was once with a friend at an open-air concert, when standing 
behind us, were a rather numerous family. A gentleman passed, 
QyicX^ivmng," Das also war des Pudels Kern!" a remark of Faust's 
when Mephistopheles assumes his proper shape in lieu of that 
of the dog into which he had transformed himself. Instantly 
the mother behind us repeated the continuation, " Ein fahrender 
Scolast?'' and then one of the daughters took up the quotation, 
saying, " Der Casus macJit niich lac/ten ;" and so on, each member 
of the family going on in turn to the end of the scene without 
missing a single word. 

" Do you prefer Goethe to Schiller, or Schiller to Goethe ? " 
is the question constantly addressed to a foreigner. Each poet 
counts his partisans and admirers, and Berlin, like other large 
German cities, has its two parties of Schillerians and Goetheists. 
Every one, while adhering to his particular preference, still 
admits both to be great men. The discussion on this subject has 
already lasted nearly half a century, and still continues as brisk 
as ever. Friends and families constantly quarrel on account of 
differences of opinion on this most important point, a propos of 
which a Belgian, whose acquaintance I made at Berlin, related 
to me the following anecdote : — 

" A rich banker," said he, " to whom I brought introductions is 
owner of a charming villa in the vicinity of Berlin, where he 
spends the summer months. When I first visited him there I 
noticed in front of the entrance a bust of Goethe on a pedestal 
surrounded with flowers. On a subsequent occasion I observed 
that the bust had disappeared, and that its place had been sup- 
plied by one of Schiller. Remarking on the subject to the 
banker's wife, the lady replied : ' It was I who had the busts 
changed, and I intend that Schiller shall remain. I am deter- 
mined not to give way in this instance, although I have generally 
fallen in with my husband's fancies. For Goethe to occupy the 
place of honour whilst Schiller is hidden away in a garret will 
never do. I certainly will not allow our sublime poet to be thus 
insulted. I have forbidden the gardener to remove his bust, and 
if he dares to touch it I will at once discharge him. Goethe, as 
you know, was a dreadful character, and said marriage was 
immoral, whilst Schiller ■ ' 

"At this moment the banker, who had evidently overheard the 
latter portion of the lady's remarks, entered the room. ' My dear 



I20 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



wife,' said he, 'you are most unjust with regard to Goethe. He 
is more universal, addresses himself more to mankind at large, 
than Schiller, who was exclusively German. The place of 
honour, therefore, belongs to Goethe.' Then, addressing me, 
' You, I am sure, will be of my opinion.' 

" I was greatly embarrassed how to reply, when the lady came 
to my rescue. * No, indeed,' interposed she ; ' our friend is a 
Belgian, and must prefer Schiller, who wrote such an admirable 
history of his country's revolution in the sixteenth century.' 

" 'And Goethe,' replied the banker, 'did he not -wr'xtQ Egmout ? 
Did he not translate the romance of Reynard the Fox, a 
Flemish work ^ ' 

" Thus beset on both sides, I was about proposing, as 
a solution of the difficulty, that a second pedestal should be 
erected for Goethe, when the daughter of the house, a girl of 
seventeen, abandoning her roses, made her appearance, and 
warmly espoused Schiller's cause. She detested Goethe instinc- 
tively, and would not hear his name mentioned. Under these 
circumstances, not knowing what to .say, I relapsed into silence. 
The discussion lasted until dinner-time. It was probably resumed 
the following day, and I doubt if it is even yet concluded." 











,j C^^vv-^ <^^^^aJ>XYr^£^*..^ 



t y ^V 'J/ieWVi-nvJ- Ofv* tAW s^vvw 53 &.-»_— Mf>yl^^ » 



VII. 



THE BERLIXESE— AT HOME. 

WITH the exception of a score or two of mansions, for the 
most part grandiloquently dignified by the Berlinese with 
the appellation of palaces, Berlin houses, like Paris ones, are, as a 
rule, built to let out in flats. Each has its common entry under a 
parte cocherc, and its common staircase for all the inmates, while 
the larger ones have generally a good-sized court in the rear. 
Sham marble pilasters and panels, and sham mosaic, decorate 
the vestibules and staircases of most of the modern stucco 
edifices, the stairs themselves being frequently painted over with 
sham carpeting, just as the ceilings of the rooms are set off with 
sham cornices and centre ornaments, and the walls with sham 
panels and mouldings. Double windows are invariably provided 
to keep out the cold, yet the floors will be only partially 
carpeted, while polished parquetry is merely found in the more 
elegant houses, it being the fashion at Berlin simply to stain the 
floors of the apartments some darker colour. 



122 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

In the typical middle-class drawinj^-room, most of the furniture, 
including chairs, tables, sofa (the seat of honour in all German 
households), and even footstools, is scrupulously covered with 
crochet- work of elaborate design. Other cJicfs d'coiivrcs of the 
needle, from the familiar woolwork on which Berlin has conferred 
a name, to complicated embroideries and endless inutilities in bead- 
work, are prominently displayed about the apartment, while any 
such artistic objects as mediaeval glass, last-century china, modern 
bronzes, statuettes, caskets, sconces, chandeliers, and girandoles, 
are scarcely ever seen. Considering, too, the shoals of French 
clocks which the Prussians are accused of having carried off 
during the war with France, gilt timepieces and \\\€\x garnitures 
are rarer objects than one would have imagined in Berlin 
drawing-rooms. On the walls invariably hang the family photo- 
graphs in little oval frames, the men being commonly represented 
in uniform with military medals on their breasts. On the table 
one finds neither albums nor illustrated books, nor even maga- 
zines and newspapers, excepting perhaps a stray number of 
Der Bazar or Der Gartcnlaube, for Berlin women rarely read the 
papers or trouble themselves about anything outside their own 
narrow sphere. 

Just as the drawing-room is deficient in elegance, so does 
the dining-room lack comfort, its walls being usually bare, its 
floor uncarpeted, and its furniture of the plainest description. 
In none of the apartments are there open fireplaces, warmth 
being more effectually and economically secured by means of 
the V>e.v\\v\QSQ kac/ielofcn, a monumental stove of clay and gypsum, 
glazed outside with white porcelain, the interior being so con- 
trived that the heat passes slowly through endless circumvolutory 
valves, which by degrees warm the whole mass. Preparatory 
to heating, the stove is well piled up with wood and a strong 
draught created; and when the logs are reduced to ashes, a 
handle is turned in the wall of the stove and a little door drawn 
over the grating at its mouth, when, the draught being cut off, 
the heated air remains imprisoned in the ofcji, which will keep 
warm for many hours, communicating an equalised heat to the 
remotest corner of the apartment. One drawback to this 
arrangement is that, if the escape-valve be closed too soon, the 
fumes of charcoal will pass into the room, rendering the danger 
of asphyxiation in a sleeping apartment great. During very 
cold weather such casualties are by no means uncommon. Cast- 
iron stoves are frequently substituted for the Berliner of en, and 
produce a furnace-like heat, affecting both taste, smell, and sight, 
the unpleasant consequences of which are but very slightly coun- 
teracted by the vessel of water which you are advised to keep 
constantly boiling on their hottest part.^ 

The sleeping apartments are provided with bedsteads of 
' Ci'rvian Home Life. 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



123 



Liliputian dimensions — simple wooden boxes, too short to allow 
of a tall man stretching himself out full length, and too narrow 
for a fat man to turn round in. Indeed, narrower quarters could 
scarcely be found in a coffin, and certainly not in a Berlin one. 
The sheets, too, are little else than good-sized towels, so that 
tucking in is altogether impossible, while, in lieu of blankets and 
counterpane, the bed is provided with a voluminous bag of 
feathers, too short, however, to keep the toes warm. The problem 
to be solved by the unhappy occupant of one of these diminutive 
sleeping berths is to slide deftly in between two bags of feathers, 
and to keep the upper one, which is apt to be constantly slipping 
on to the ground, in proper equilibrium. Coleridge, when 
travelling in Germany, said that he preferred carrying his blanket 
about with him, like a Red Indian, to enduring the discomforts 
inseparable from a German bed. 

The wall-papers in many private houses and hotels are 
remarkable for their hideous patterns, which, in the case of 
nervous individuals are sufificient to induce an attack of nightmare. 
These papers are bad enough in the daytime, but at night — 
lighted perhaps by a trembling moonray — they assume a ghastly 
aspect. Great ogres' heads, with eyes as large as saucers, and 
mouths which seem to open wider and wider every minute, 
appear to stare down 
upon one ; serpents 
twist and twirl in 
endless arabesques, as 
though about to spring ; 
while little demons 
perch themselves here 
and there round the 
room with hideous 
grins stereotyped up- 
on their features. No 
wonder that a stranger, 
with the indigestible 
Berlin cuisine lying 
heavily on his chest, 
should imagine himself 
encompassed by all 
manner of horrors, and 
engage in a more or 
less desperate struggle 
with the spirits of the 

air, in the course of which the hateful bag of feathers 
tain to overbalance itself and topple to the ground, 
him shivering in a half-sleeping, half-waking state during the 
remainder of the night. 

A special feature of Berlin is its furnished apartments. " Eine 




IS cer- 
eaving 



124 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



moblirte Stube zu vcrmicthen " is to be seen on thousands of 
house-doors and beneath the windows of all the storeys from 
ground-floor to attic. In Berlin the letting of rooms is a busi- 
ness of itself, which not only pays the householder's rent, but 
is frequently his or her sole source of income. All sections of 
the middle-classes devote themselves to this vocation — widows 
of priv}--councillors, subordinate officials, thrifty gentlemen of 
private means, tradespeople of all descriptions, but pre-eminently 
tailors. A lodger has the widest choice, from gorgeous salons, 
with pier-glasses and divans at extravagantly high rents, down 
or rather up to humble attics, with rickety chairs and unsteady 
tables. The principal occupants of the better class of furnished 
apartments are strangers to the capital, members of the Reichs- 
tag and Landtag, and well-to-do idlers, indifferent to civic 
privileges, and free from the cares of family life. Lodgers of 
this class are not dominated over by their landlords in the 
fashion that those of humbler condition are. They are neither 
controlled nor watched in the same harassing way, the only 
scrutiny they are subjected to having reference merely to the 
contents of their purses, whereas the occupier of furnished 
apartments in an average Berlin lodging-house becomes in a 
great measure the property of his landlady, who is never satisfied 
with receiving the mere rent. She requires him to drink the 

family coffee on the 
''fmifimM^m mmmm plea that if he made 

his own he would 
spoil the table-cloth. 
The heating of his 
apartment is also 
monopolized by her, 
and, as a conse- 
quence, only a few 
fir-chips are laid in 
the stove of a morn- 
ing, causing him to 
be shivering with 
cold at noon, neces- 
sitating its being 
constantly relighted, 
and forcing him to 
seek for warmer 
quarters in some 
bier-haus of an even- 
ing. The furniture 
^ generally consists of 
a sofa, on which it would be idle to attempt to lie at full length, 
such a proceeding being designedly rendered impossible for 
the sake of the sofa itself; a secretaire, spotted all over with 




THE BKRLINESE AT HOME. 



ink ; a chest of drawers, in wliich each new comer finds the 
worthless relics of his predecessor ; a few rush-bottomed chairs, 
a table, washstand, looking-glass, and finally a bedstead, con- 
structed according to the universal rule of rigid military dimen- 
sions, whose brevity is provocative of cramp, and whose extreme 
narrowness renders extravagant dreams altogether impossible. 

Hundreds of lodging-houses of this description, sv/arming 
with domestic vermin, which the proprietors are at no pains 
to exterminate — their habit being to assure their tenants that 
they will soon get used to them — are to be found within a 
stone's throw of the Linden. Up in the attic will perhaps be 
perched one of those quiet, industrious young men, who, on his 
arrival in the Weltstadt — as the Berlinese since the war have 
christened their city — will have brought with him a huge trunk, 
which, by the aid of a friend, he gets up stairs with apparent 
difficulty, peremptorily refusing the landlady's proffered help, as 
it happens to be almost empty ; in fact, as empty as the cupboard 
in his room, which he carefully locks whenever he goes out, and 
which contains simply some socks, a cap, sword-belt, and pair of 
high boots. The owner of this scanty wardrobe is a truant from 
home who had joined a company of strolling players, and, dis- 
gusted with his first failure, and discarded by his plodding father, 
has come to Berlin to try his hand at literature. His next-door 
neighbour is an embryo portrait-painter — an orphan, whose uncle, 
a stalwart country blacksmith, proud of v/hat he believes to be 
his talent, makes him a monthly allowance to" enable him to 
pursue his artistic studies. The money is not exactly wasted, 
for the young fellow is constantly at work with his brushes and 
his palette, and even in the open air has always the odour of 
fresh paint about him. His uncle and the rest of his relations, 
as well as all the landlord's family, have sat to him in turn. 
Photographic portraits he maintains to be merely bungling pro- 
ductions of science, whereas art, with its idealism, is capable of 
surpassing nature herself. He gains, however, no prize-medal, 
and is sent on no Italian tour, so that at length the old black- 
smith, doubting his talent, withdraws his monthly allowance, 
which obliges him to give up his furnished room, and he is last 
seen on the top of a ladder painting the outside of a newly- 
finished house. 

Underneath live several rackety students and a professor of 
the English language, who flaunts a stylish overcoat, but whose 
general wardrobe, according to his laundress, is but poorly 
supplied. He leaves home very early in the morning under the 
pretence of breathing the fresh air ; but his neighbours, the 
students, say that it is to avoid the bailiff". Vis-d-vis with him 
lives a great but unknown composer, who regards the works of 
Mozart and Beethoven as unadapted to the spirit of the age, and 
who has composed a couple of inimitable operas which however 



126 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



./^<^-'~'vJ 



he has failed to get performed. His landlady complains that 
he is a most untidy genius, for he is always losing his soap, and 
leaving his hair-brush on the sofa. He is poor and consump- 
tive, and gets his living by giving lessons, which obliges him to 
trudge long distances even in the very worst of weathers. 

On the first-floor lodges a stout, middle-aged gentleman from 
Pomerania, who has come to Berlin for the express purpose 
of seeing the Minister of Finance. He is the inventor of a 
peculiar water-mark for bank-notes, which it is impossible to 
forge, since it is produced by electro-magnetism, and cannot, he 
maintains, be imitated by the most skilful hand. He remains 
installed for months, dressing well, and living still better with 
his landlady for caterer, but postponing payment both for rent 
and board until the Minister of Finance comes to a definite 
decision on his invention, which he informs his landlady the 
latter is certain soon to do, as everybody pronounces the new 
water-mark to be one of the most ingenious inventions of the 

age, besides which the 
Minister has been heard 
to express himself en- 
thusiastically regarding 
it. One day, however, 
the stout, middle-aged 
gentleman fails to re- 
turn from the Ministry 
of Finance, and when 
I' the landlady examines 
his room she finds 
the wardrobe perfectly 
empty. On the table 
is a letter for her, in 
r= which the defaulter has 
inclosed a specimen of 
the water-mark, pro- 
mising to forward the 
bank-notes belonging to 
it at the earliest con- 
venient opportunity.^ 
The Berlinese have a traditional objection to letting apart- 
ments to the fair sex, and certainly not one in a dozen is 
willing to open his doors to a young lady living alone. Berlin 
numbers thousands upon thou.sands of self-dependent, unpro- 
tected women whom lodging-house keepers object to receive — 
first because they are suspicious of their characters, and secondly 
because nothing is to be made out of women. In itself there is 
nothing remarkable that a young girl should be driven by her 
destiny to support herself by honest and virtuous means ; never- 
1 Berlin wird Wcltstadt, von Robert Springer. 




THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



127 



theless for her the question of shelter in the capital of the new 
Empire is invariably attended with painful humiliations ; and 
vainly does the association for assisting women to support 
themselves by their own industry try to vanquish this prejudice. 
Even the magistracy retain their old suspicions, founded doubt- 
lessly on actual experience, of women who live by themselves ; 
hence an unmarried lady, engaged at the Court theatre, was 
recently summoned by a magistrate to appear before him, and 
state what were her 

means of subsistence. ^^^-^^^^^g-^T-^^S^Pi j 
Such a person may "^ ' '^ 
be in comparatively 
good circumstances, 
and yet be reduced 
to tears when she tries 
to obtain apartments 
in Berlin. People will 
mount their noses in 
the air, and send 
her from their doors, 
or she will have to 
submit to a sharp 
cross-examination. If 
she is received, and 
her character and oc- 
cupation are not at 
once patent, all that 
she does, as well as all 
that she leaves un- 
done, where she goes, 
and the time when she 
returns, her wardrobe, 
and the letters she receives, are 
suspicion. 

The Berlinese, following the general custom of the Continent, 
assemble round no family breakfast-table, with its snowy cloth 
set forth with glittering plate and handsome china, as amongst 
ourselves, before entering on the avocations of the day. With them 
the matutinal meal is partaken of under conditions the reverse 
of inviting. On the table there is usually one of those abomin- 
able oil-cloth covers, so common abroad, on which is placed a 
basket or tray, piled up with newly-baked little wheaten rolls, 
called senivicbi, and the requisite number of cups and saucers 
— plates and knives being regarded as altogether superfluous — 
while the coffee-pot is placed on the top of the kacJielofcn to keep 
warm. One after another the members of the family troop in, if 
not altogether unwashed, certainly after a too sparing external 
use of cold water, and in varying stages of dishabille , the h -ad of 




all regarded with intense 



128 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



the establishment ordinarily in one of those offensively loud 
dressing-gowns, to which the Germans are so partial, and the 
mistress of the house in untidy morning wrapper and crumpled 
as well as not over clean cap. Each grown-up member of the 
family helps him or herself to coffee, and, as a rule, almost every- 
one partakes of the uncomfortable meal — the fruhstiick, or 
" early bit " as it is expressively enough termed — if not moving 
up and down at any rate standing. 

By reason of the early dinner-hour, the dc^'euuer a la foiirchette 

is not in vogue at Ber- 
lin, where the two great 
meals of the day are 
the dinner and the sup- 
]3er. With the middle- 
classes the dinner-hour 
varies from twelve to 
two, during which time 
all the public offices, 
banks, and other large 
institutions, are closed, 
and business may be 
said to be entirely sus- 
pended. The upper 
classes ordinarily dine 
no later than four 
o'clock, so as to admit 
of their going to the 
theatre or the opera at 
the early hour of six. 
The meal in the ma- 
jority of households is 
far from a substan- 
tial one. The scant 
supply of meat in the 
butchers' shops has already been remarked on, and many a 
British mechanic devours as much animal food in a day as 
would serve an average middle-class household for a week. The 
wealthier burghers and the poor nobility exercise in their 
domestic commissariat an economy which, judged by an Eng- 
lish standard, is quite incompatible with the maintenance of 
full health and strength, and one writer, whose long residence in 
the Prussian capital renders him a competent judge, expresses 
his doubts whether there are really ten thousand well-fed people 
in all Berlin out of nearly a million of inhabitants. 

The ordinary dinner may be taken to consist of soup, the 
bouilli from which it has been made, and from which all nutri- 
ment has been carefully extracted, a slice or so of sausage or 
of raw ham, or equally raw pickled herring, various vegetables — 




THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 129 

comprising, of course, the national sauerkraut, which, if warm, 
will be redolent of grease, and if cold of vinegar — pre- 
serves or pudding of some kind, and plenty of schwartzbrod 
— that is, rye- bread stuck full of caraway seeds, which 
the Berlinese pretend calm the nerves, an inference hardly 
warranted by their condition of chronic cantankerousness. 
During the autumn baked goose is an especially favourite dish 
both at the Berlin restaurants and with private families. Into 
the mysteries of the domestic aiisine it will not do to pry too 
closely, German food generally has been divided into "the 
salt, the sour, and the greasy : the salt, as exemplified by ham 
and herrings ; the sour, as typified by kraut and salads ; the 
greasy, as demonstrated by vegetables stewed in fat, sausages 
swimming in fat, sauces surrounded by fat, soups filmy with fat." 
But there are weird compounds, mysterious " hell broths," 
evolved from odds and ends, and of which the restaurateur's carte 
disdains to take notice, to be met with at private tables. The 
English belief that to make soup sundry pounds of meat are 
needed as a primary ingredient, may receive a shock on first 
becoming acquainted with the soupes maigres of France, but it 
vanishes altogether on finding the water in which fish has been 
boiled thickened with flour and flavoured with a dab of salt 
butter, formally served up at a meal, or in the presence of a 
soup composed principally of beer, thickened with eggs and 
sweetened with sugar, and the aspect and flavour of which pro- 
duce upon strangers much the same effect as the black broth of 
Sparta upon the guests at the classical banquet in Peregrine 
Pickle. 

The dainties which Germany boasts of with some jus- 
tice, such as Westphalia hams, Brunswick sausages, Pomeranian 
goose breasts, East Sea fat herrings, smoked Kiel sprats, Elbe 
and East Sea eels in jelly, caviar, and the like, and which are 
to be found on the cartes of the better class of restaurants at 
Berlin, are too costly to figure on the tables of her citizens, save 
on the most exceptional occasions. Sticky jams and sallow 
salt or acid pickles, notably the saure gtcrken, play, however, 
a conspicuous part in the repast, and are often eaten simul- 
taneously. The preparation of the latter in the immense quantities 
needed for home consumption is one of the great duties of a 
housewife ; and that dead season of the year which we usually 
associate with gigantic gooseberries and the sea-serpent is known 
at Berlin as " die sauregurkenzeit^' as everyone is then supposed to 
be absorbed in the pickling of gherkins for winter consumption. 

In many households the dinner is served in much the same 
happy-go-lucky fashion as the breakfast. It is true the table 
has a tumbled cloth on it, still its appointments and general 
arrangements have little that is inviting about them. It is not 
considered necessary to change the knives and forks, and only 

K 



130 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



rarely to supply fresh plates ; still this can be of no fjreat 
moment to people who make a practice of eating half-a-dozen 
different things of the most diverse flavours from off the same 
plate at the same time. Tea or coffee is partaken of later in 
the afternoon, after which comes the early theatre, very gene- 
rally patronized by the Berlinese, and then the family supper, 
commonly consisting of little slices of cold meat, ham, or 
sausage, jam, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, black bread, cheese, and 
butter, washed down with copious draughts of beer or a limited 
quantity of simulated Bordeaux. 

The primitive custom prevalent in provincial towns in regard 
to the hiring of domestic servants still survives at Berlin, where, 
at the end of each quarter, a kind of statute-fair is held in a 
particular part of Friedrichs-strasse. Here, crowding alike the 
foot-pavement and the roadway, a hundred or upwards of over- 
dressed, tidy, or slatternly-looking female servants may at times 
be seen, all duly provided with their dienstbuchs for the inspection 
of the Berlin hausfrau, or the alter hagestolz (old bachelor) in 
search of either koc/iin, inddcheti, or wirthscJiafterin. In these 
dktistbuchs — provided by the police authorities, and for which 
the servant has to pay a few groschen — her name, age, and 
native place are duly recorded, and then follows a series of 
printed forms, one of which each successive mistress of the girl 
fills up when the latter quits her situation. They certify as to 
the time she has been in her place, and how she has conducted 

herself whilst there, 
together with the rea- 
son for her leaving. 
These latter particu- 
lars, however, are not 
to be relied on, Berlin 
mistresses, like Paris 
ones, being singularly 
wanting in candour 
with reference to 
servants' characters. 
When it happens the 
girl's conduct has been 
so bad that it is 
impossible for her 
mistress to overlook 
it, she neglects on 
leaving her situation, 
to present herself at 
the police bureau to 
haveherbook stamped, 
as she is bound to do. She rather finds it preferable to rus- 
ticate for a few months in her native place, as, armed with a 




THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



131 



certificate of her good conduct whilst there, she is enabled to 
obtain a new dienstbiich on the plea of the old one being lost, 
and so make a fresh start in life with a clean moral bill of health. 

Berlin derives its sup- 
ply of female servants 
not merely from various 
country places in the 
vicinity of the capital | 
and the Prussian pro- 
vinces generally, but 
from all parts of Ger- 
many. Every year 
upwards of 30,000 un- 
married women come 
to Berlin to enter do- 
mesticservice, or procure 
some kind of work. 
Those who engage them- 
selves as nurses, and 
occasionally some of 
the others — femmes de 
cJiambye and the like 
— will continue to wear 
the gay and picturesque 
costume of their native place. Principal among these are 
the buxom-looking peasant-girls from the Spreewald, whose 

quaint head-dresses 
and bright-coloured 
petticoats contin- 
ually attract the at- 
tention in the cen- 
tral avenue of the 
Linden and the side- 
walks of the Thier- 
garten. The girls 
who come from 
Prussian Poland are 
credited with being 
both exceedingly 
untidy and lazy, al- 
though the majority 
of Berlin servants 
are certainly to be 
commended. They cook fairly according to their lights, 
wash and get up fine linen equal to professional laun- 
dresses, and perform an amount of hard work, the mere enume- 
ration of which would render an ordinary English housemaid 





highly indignant. They do no end of 



scrubbing 
K 2 



and 



132 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




scouring, commonly without the aid of soap, for the thrifty 
Berlin housewife usually allows only sand for this pur- 
pose. Sand, by the way, is largely in 
T^' tfF^ ^ request in most Berlin households, which 

\l ^^\ /,j have their regiments of spittoons filled with 

this substance, and the sand-cart is one of 
the institutions of the capital, being indeed 
almost as common as the universal beer- 
dray. 

The usual wages of Berlin servants are 
60 thaler, or £() a year, which is exactly 
double what they were previous to the war. 
They receive in addition a present equal to 
at least a couple of guineas on the occasion 
of the new year, besides which they are 
always hungering after gratuities from 
guests, lodgers, and the like. The afternoon 
^" of every second Sunday belongs to them 

of right, and is generally spent at some beer-garden or saloon, 
where their great 
delight is to join in 
a dance. 

The relations be- 
tween German mis- 
tresses and their 
servants have been 
animadverted upon 
by a female pen, 
which describes "the 
disastrous system 
of rambling, slip- 
shod gossip, carried 
on between mistress 
and maid, whilst the 
potatoes are being 
peeled and the car- 
rots scraped, as 
breeding a famili- 
arity that is apt to 
turn to contempt in 
the inferior mind, 
and is destructive 
of anything like 
truthfulness or in- 
dependence on the 
part of the mistress. 
All the morning the lady potters in and out of the kitchen, and 
between lifting the saucepan-lids and deploring the scarcity of 




A BERLIN SAND CART. 



THE BKRLI.NESE AT HOME. 



133 



eggs and the clearness of butter, many little confidences transpire, 
the maid repeating all the miserable tittle-tattle of women of her 
class with reference to their betters which she has picked up at 
the market. A German servant who never saw her mistress in the 
kitchen would soon despise her as a bad /lausfrau, and would 
probably begin a system of thieving, under the impression that 
her mistress was so 




ittWT^-, 



rich it did not matter, 
or so stupid she would 
not discover it. 

" In ordinary house- 
holds only one servant 
is kept, but if there 
are children there 
will be a nursemaid. 
If the household be 
that of a military 
man there will be an 
orderly, who helps with 
the rougher work, 
such as the hewing 
of wood and drawing 
of water. In almost 
everything, domestics are allowanced, provisions (not stores 
only) being kept under strict lock and key, and doled out from 
meal to meal according to want or necessity by the inde- 
fatigable hausfraii. So much bread and so much butter is 
allowed, or board-wages are given, so that the servants are 
independent in all smaller matters of the family-food. 

"A German servant continues a maid of all work until circum- 
stances elevate her to a higher position. When dispensing with 
the marriage ceremony, civil or religious, she becomes a mother, 
a fresh career is opened to her as an arnnie (wet-nurse). It 
is extremely rare for German ladies to nourish their own chil- 
dren, and in rich and noble families the amine forms a part of 
the pomp and circumstance of the house. She will wear her peas- 
ant's dress, and with singular sort of coquetry her mistress will 
see that the smartest silver shoe-buckles and Mieder ornaments, 
the brightest scarlet cloth, the trimmest cap and bodice are hers ; 
and when she carries her charge through the public gardens or 
is driven abroad for an airing, she will often attract more notice, 
and receive more admiration, than equipage, lady, horses, and 
infant all put together." ' 

Miss Martineau speaks of Quaker children as being trained 
from their earliest infancy to " cry softly," and it would appear 
as if Berlin babies were subjected to something of the same dis- 
cipline. The infants, mewling and puking in their nurse's arms 
^ German Home Life, by a Lady. 



134 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



have an air of gravity well becoming incipient Teufelsdrocks, an 
expression of mental discipline, in strict accordance with the 
fashion in which their physical freedom is cribbed, cabined, and 

confined by a multipli- 
city of swathings and 
swaddlings. The same 
soberness of demeanour 
marks them as they 
increase in years. If 
they play they must 
do so in the recesses 
of their nurseries, for 
you rarely see them 
engaged, like English 
children, at a boisterous 
game in the open air. 
Such mild amusements 
as flying kites and 
blowing bubbles are 
far more to their 
taste. We all know Germany to be the great producer 
of toys ; and although toy-shops are singularly rare at Berlin, 
it is only fair to suppose that the numerous toys exposed 
for sale at the Christmas fair there are turned to some kind of 
account. And yet it is only the veriest toddlers, and rarely 
even these, who are seen trailing after them such a sign of the 





THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



135 
















times as the ubiquitous uhlan mounted upon his wooden 
Berlin boys play at neither round games nor games with 
although they execute 
sundry weird manoeu- 
vres at the commands 
of their instructors, 
which may have the 
effect of improving 
their lungs and mus- 
cles : but which, judg- 
ing from the serious 
aspect of their coun- 
tenances, certainly do 
not relax their minds. 
Excellent gymnasia 
for children and 
adults abound, at 
which really astound- 
ing feats are executed ; 
but standing on your 
head at the end 
of a pole, hanging 

by the chin on a trapeze, or revolving like a catherine- 
round a horizontal bar, although achievements requiring 



steed, 
sides, 




wheel 
both 



136 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMTIRE. 



strength and skill in their execution, have nothing in com- 
mon with playing at a game. Such a sight as a boy spinning 
a top, trundling a hoop, tossing a ball, knuckling down at 
marbles, discharging a pop-gun, or sending a " cat " whirling 
past your ears, is never seen in the streets of the Prussian 
capital. Berlin boys of the middle-classes go to day-schools 
furnished with playgrounds, it is true, but in which no play goes 
on ; and when, on leaving these, they join one of the universities, 
their relaxations take the form of gymnastics, beer-drinking, 
and duelling, with a walking tour during the vacations. 
An eight or a four, manned by German students, has 
never been seen on the Rhine, the Main, the Neckar, or the 
Spree, although there are universities on the banks of all these 
rivers ; and when a recent writer remarks that " the only manly 
game that Berlin youth of the upper and middle- classes play is 
the kriegspiel" one appreciates his irony. 

As to the girls, they are early taught to sew, knit, cook, and 
attend to household matters, all of which, when combined with 
their ordinary education, and their instruction in music and 
.singing, allows them but little opportunity, even if they had the 
inclination, to play. The separation of the sexes, commencing at 
an early age in the school-room, is continued outside it, conse- 
quently, boys and girls from their tenderest years rarely mingle 
together, while sisters never share their brothers' pursuits and 
amusements as with us. Croquet, boating, and archery, are 
unknown among them, and riding is for the most part looked 
upon with horror as an unfeminine recreation. The apparition 
of a lady on horseback is such a novelty in the streets of Berlin 
that the juvenile ragamuffins have been known to testify their 
astonishment by stoning her. The out-door exercise of a Berlin 
girl is confined to her daily passage to and from school, with 
occasional strolls in the Thiergarten, if she lives at all near to 
it, and suburban excursions on high days and holidays, in com- 
pany with her parents. As she grows up, the in-door life of 
a stove-heated atmosphere, aided by a diet in which coffee, grease, 
.sweets, and pickles, play the prominent part, begins to tell upon 
her constitution. She becomes, as the French say, tHiolee, her com- 
plexion gets pasty, and her teeth take their leave at an early age. 
The important epoch of confirmation at length arrives. This 
is in reality, however, less a religious than a social ceremony — a 
-species of "coming out," marked by a round of visits paid in 
the dress provided for the solemnity, the congratulations of 
friends, and promotion to the degree of " young ladyhood," 
with its accompanying privileges, such as long dresses and 
heart aspirations. German young ladies are very much like 
each other, since their lives mainly revolve in the same narrow 
round of daily occupation, varied by an occasional dance and 
evenings spent at concerts and theatres. To deviate from 



THE kt:rlinese at home. 137 

7 ' " — ' ' ■ •= ■ 

this round would be to scandalize all one's friends and acquaint- 
ances. Above everything our heroine continues to cultivate, 
under her mother's tuition, the eminently Teutonic virtue of 
hduslicJikeit, or dom.esticity, a quality more highly prized by the 
middle-classes than any other, and one which popular literature 
incessantly celebrates in prose and verse. The result is that 
when she marries she is nearly always equal to the domestic 
duties of her position, and is prepared to pinch, scrape, shift, and 
starve, as people only pinch, scrape, shift, and starve in Berlin. 

A yet more important epoch in the young girl's life approaches 
— that in which she gives her affections to another under the 
pledge of betrothal. 

An impressionable French author, M. Edgar Bourloton, writing 
after the recent war, paints a highly sentimental picture of the 
development of the tender passion among the youths and 
maidens of the Fatherland ; pretending, among other things, 
that " a grave and well-considered affection rather than sordid 
calculations of interest, or that blind exaltation commonly 
termed love," is the moving principle in the majority of marriages 
contracted between them. "At the age when the heart expands," 
he goes on to say, " the young man selects an aniie in the circle 
of his acquaintances and under the eyes of his family. The 
sentim^ent of love thus becomes fixed at the very moment it is 
awakened, and the still flexible characters of the youthful couple 
harmonize in pleasant intimacy, while they at the same time 
learn to know each other. When the legal age arrives at which 
marriage is possible they exchange the betrothal ring, which 
symbolizes a solemn covenant, and embellishes the future with 
tender expectations, the realization of which is the best and 
worthiest encouragement to a young man to conduct himself 
well on his entrance into life. With many it is in the tender 
security of this love, which is not the mere dazzling of a moment, 
the illusion of a day, that the dream of their youth passes by ; 
this hope of their life smoothing down the difficulties attending 
all first efforts, and preserving from the wanderings of inexperi- 
ence a heart which is already satisfied." 

All this is very pretty and equally proper, no doubt, but if 
these idyllic unions are frequent in the purely rural districts, 
they are certainly far from common in the larger towns, where 
life is for the most part of the hard matter-of-fact rather than 
of the sentimental type. Courtship and betrothal have little or 
no romance about them at Berlin, where wooing a maiden's 
heart is a task of less moment than gauging the probable 
depths of her father's pocket. Young ladies too, on their side, 
are little disposed to surrender themselves to "love's young 
dream." When well born or handsome their great aim in life is 
the making of a good match. If, like la Grande Duchesse, 
they love the militaires, their reveries will be of an alliance 



138 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




with some officer 
of hussars or white 
cuirassiers. Other- 
wise the three con- 
ditions commonly 
imposed by an 
aristocratic BerHn 
belle upon her 
lover are a flight 
of steps leading 
up to the house, 
the title of "Your 
Excellency," and 
a man cook ; and 
yet flights of steps 
to which carriages 
may drive up are 
rarely to be found 
in the Prussian ca- 
pital, theseobstruc- 
tionshaving of late 
years been gene- 
rally removed to widen the foot pavements. A young lady of 
high birth, but poor, who succeeded in making one of these 



ceived merely a 
thousand thaler for 
her dowry. With 
half of these she 
bought false hair, 
and with the otiier 
half real lace, leaving 
her husband to pro- 
vide all the domestic 
requisites of their 
joint household, the 
furnishing of which 
in Germany pro- 
perly attaches to the 
wife or her relatives. 
This is somewhat 
different to the days 
when "spinster" was 
a title that every 
German maiden 

sought to earn, and 
when no bride en- 
tered her husband's dwelling without oak chest upon oak 








M''. 



BWtm^h-f 










THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



139 



chest piled high with snowy lavender-scented linen of her own 
manufacture. 



^^^^#^^i^4^Pi^" 




The average middle-class young Berliner, instead of calmly 
selecting his betrothed under the parental eye, begins, as a rule, 
by losing his heart to his bashful partner of the dancing-class, 
only to become fascin- 
ated by a succession 
of blonde belles met 
with in the Thiergar- 
ten, or encountered 
at various places of 
amusement or the 
more congenial beer- 
gardens, where so many 
Berlin middle - class 
families spend their 
evenings. These indeed 
form the favourite 
hunting - grounds of 
mammas with eligible 
daughters, and certain- 
ly no Belgravian mat- 
ron is more keen in 
detecting a "detrimen- 
tal," or more skilful in 
firmly hooking the man 
uponwhomshehasfixed 
her choice. The young 
lady herself is expected to contribute to this end by making a 
display of her domestic accomplishments, aided, of course, by 




140 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

judicious maternal hints. The scene has been thus amusingly 
sketched: — "If the objective man be an industrious artisan or 
thrifty tradesman, the maiden drinks sparingly of beer, eats a piece 
of ham or sausage instead of a beefsteak, and knits on some useful 
garment. If he be a banker's son, one grade higher socially, 
but attracted by a pretty face, the tactics are different. The 
girl is permitted to be a little more forward. Instead of knit- 
ting she works at some light embroidery ; she takes not only a 
beefsteak, but a beefsteak aux chaj/ipigfions ; she chatters a good 
deal about the opera, and even about Renz's circus ; and in short 
her whole manner is lighter and freer. If the first class of can- 
didates are to be captured by the steady persistent work of 
infantry, the movement for the rich ' catches ' is more like a 
cavalry charge. An observant young man can generally tell by 
the second evening at the beer-garden if he is a persona grata 
with the mother. If on his appearance she innocently offers 
him a place beside* the daughter, or accidentally makes a place 
for him, as it were, in the confusion of the moment, he knows at 
once that one formidable outpost is carried ; and worse than 
that, if he be himself indifferent, he knows that a sharp matron 
is filling his path with traps and pitfalls. Perhaps the most 
interesting scene is a mother who at a public place like that has 
three or four daughters to adjust among as many ardent or 
reluctant suitors. I can compare it to nothing but a cook 
watching half-a-dozen beefsteaks in different degrees of prepara- 
tion. From the pair who are most advanced in their wooing and 
may be left pretty much to themselves, to the pair who least har- 
monize and consequently need the most discreet attention and 
encouragement, from the one of these extremes to the other, 
along the intermediate grades of connubial readiness, the care 
of this watchful mother ranges and operates. The young ladies 
play their parts demurely, but with a good deal of skill. 

" Perhaps the most delicate situation for an anxious suitor is 
when the mother is indifferent, or, with a little judicious matronly 
coquetry, knowing that he is anxious, pretends to be indifferent. 
This situation exacts from the candidate the most careful be- 
haviour, especially late in the evening after beer, when the mother 
is likely to be sleepy and tired, and even irritable. One false step 
then may ruin ail. The other evening a friend and I sat under a 
lime-tree at a fashionable resort, amused at, and, in spite of our- 
.selves, interested in, the proceedings at an adjacent table, where 
there was a family party, consisting of a father, three 
daughters, as many young men, and a mother calmly but 
unobtrusively directing the course of affairs. One of the young 
ladies, feeling cold, rose to throw a shawl over her shoulders, 
and of course all the j^oung men by a common impulse plunged 
madly forward to assist her. One of those young men will 
never be seen again with that party, for he carried in his hand 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



141 



as he went to aid the young lady a heavy cane ; and, with 
characteristic awkwardness, he managed, while drawing up the 
shawl, to thrust the end of the cane into the eye of the mother, 
and the shawl seeming to require a good deal of adjustment, as 
I have observed it often does when a young man is drawing it 
on, and the shoulders arc those of a young lady, the unlucky 
wretch nearly ruined the maternal eye. At any rate he seems 
to have become convinced that it would never again look 
favourably on him, for he comes no more to the trysting- 
place." 

Such wooings go on every evening at the various Ber- 
lin beer-gardens, and people in the habit of observing the 
actors can tell by one infallible sign when the climax is reached 
and the couple are regularly engaged — namely, when the lover 
begins to pay for the young lady's refreshments as well as his 
own. To do so from that time forward is his privilege and his 
duty ; but with true Prussian thrift he meets his sweetheart's 
expenses alone, and considers himself in no way called upon to 
dispense hospitality to the rest of her family. Even if there be 
nobody else with them but the mother the latter always pays her 
own bill. Night after night one may see at the same restaurant 
a young man pay for himself and his sweetheart, while the worthy 
matron just as regularly is left to the resources of her own purse. 
If the three visit the theatre he purchases stalls for two, while 
the mother takes her place in the queue and looks out for 
herself, and the rule is scarcely ever broken through. 

A Berliner who has been casually struck by some fair one, 
and desires to pay his 
court to her, has little 
or no hesitation in 
inquiring her address, 
and writing point 
blank either to the 
lady herself or her 
parents upon the sub- 
ject, previous acquaint- 
ance-ship or introduc- 
tion being considered 
altogether unnecessary. 
In his letter he will, 
as a matter of course, 
draw a flattering por- 
trait of himself, and 
after mentioning his 
income, position, pros- 
pects, and friends, will 
ask permission to visit the house in the character of the young 
lady's suitor. If his request is accorded he finds himself received by 




142 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

the family of his intended with open arms — father, mother, brothers, 
and sisters, all treating him as though he had been their friend for 
years. The happy individual is. moreover, at once privileged to 
proceed to demonstrative proofs of the ardour of his affection with- 
out any fear of being rebuffed, and as a consequence chaste salutes 
are indulged in to a most unconscionable extent, and mutual 
caresses exchanged in the presence of third parties, with a 
freedom that is positively embarrassing. Yet there are many 
suitors who exhibit a preference for more clandestine modes of 
courtship if we may judge from the numerous advertisements of 
declarations, assignations, and the like, encountered in the 
popular newspapers. One day we read that — 

" The two elegant young ladies who in their own carriage, and at eight 
o'clock on Sunday evening, near Charlottenburg, passed by a young man in 
grey, who smiled to them, arc begged to enter into private communication 
with him. Address," &c. 

On another occasion we are apprized that — 

" The blonde with the eye-glass, who, after waiting in vain last Sunday 
afternoon in the Cafe Bellevue with her mamma for her papa's arrival, went 
in the direction of the Leipziger-strasse, and disappeared from my sight in a 
droschke at the corner of the Wilhelms-strasse, is, with the most honourable 
intentions, requested by the gentleman who sat at the same table to afford 
him another opportunity for a meeting by addressing a line," &c. 

From an advertisement headed " Renz's Circus, pit, left, second 
row," we learn that — 

"The charming and handsome young lady dressed in black who was 
present at last Sunday's performance is politely and most earnestly requested 
by the gentleman who sat on her right hand to arrange a meeting, if this be 
in any way practicable, by addressing," &c. 

Again — 

" The dark-eyed, luxuriant-locked beauty who sat in stall 51, fourth row, 
of the Wallncr theatre, on Tuesday evening, and wept pearly tears over 
Anna Ivanovna's sorrows, is passionately entreated to communicate her 
honoured name to Ypsilon, a young Israelitish merchant in flourishing 
circumstances. Love, respect, and silence ! Address at the editor's office." 

Some few of these enamoured youths give vent to their 
feelings in verse after the following fashion : — 

"to LOUISE. 

" Uncertain whether the eyes were thine. 

Which charmed me so as past they went, 
Let them again be on me bent ; 
Perhaps thy life might blend with mine." 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. I43 

One bashful swain, signing himself " Thy neighbour in the pit 
at Kroir.s," and who appears to have found himself tongue-tied 
in presence of the fair one by his side, summons up courage to 
address the lady in print, declaring his passion in legitimate 
doggrel :— 

" Thou didst but si<jh and glance at mc, 
I also sighed, and yet to thee 
The courage lacked to speak — 
Still shall my heart be left to break ? 
For once again, dear charming face, 
That speaks of nought but love and grace, 
Impart some sign to make life sweet ; 
Say where again we two may meet. 
Oh ! quickly shine thou fairest star. 
Near to my heart and yet how far." 

Some of these announcements, idiotic in expression, enigmatic 
in meaning, and obscure in grammar, are evidently intended to 
be intelligible only to the particular individual to whom they 
are addressed. The absurdity and ambiguity of the following 
are on a par : — 

" Many, many thanks for the warm little flock, my own beloved heart. 
Oh ! how inexpressibly enraptured and consoled was I by each heavenly 
word in your precious note of Saturday. Humming-bird thinks again and 
again of all the past and future — little — in the dear little watch-tower ; and I 
see precious little Lina trusting to the leaf which the little Wolf sees so happily 
around her. It is well and so happy to hear the same of its Celandine. 
How icily the wind blows ! The evenings are already growing long, and 
everywhere autumn is appearing. With a burning hot Friday — every 
hour, and your little bird's news is closed for to-day with her best love." 

Here we are treated to something more impassioned : — 

" From Her to Him. — While lost in deep meditation, my head resting 
on my hand, and the candle nearly burnt out, suddenly the bandage fell from 
my eyes, and to my great joy I saw clearly. Following thy counsel my 
heart is left pure by that dew, although it was not thereby animated. Was 
this owing to bitter grief or love's distress ? The hopeful glances I cast into 
futurity ended only in nameless pain. I think of thee ! I love thee ! Open 
to me thine heart, sharing with me all that fate may have in store. Love 
never dies, but is the same as it befell — two souls and one thought, two 
hearts and one pulse." 

The betrothal is a matter of considerable importance, and 
usually precedes the marriage by some years. As authorised 
by law it takes the form of a written promise, signed by the 
parents, which promise, without rendering the marriage abso- 
lutely obligatory, makes the party retracting liable for 
damages. Cards, with the names of the affianced pair printed on 
them, are usually sent round to all the friends of the betrothed, 
besides which the event is formally announced in the papers, 



144 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

under the heading Vcrlohini^c^sattaeigcti, or " Notices of Betrothal." 
Here is a typical notice of this class from the popular Vossische 
Zcitnng, evidently a favourite medium for announcements of the 
kind : — 

" We herewith have the honour respectfully to announce the betrothal of 
our eldest daughter Elisabeth to the Rittcrgutsbesitzer (lord of a manor) 
von Bismarck- Kniephof, Lieutenant of Reserve First Guard-Dragoon Regi- 
ment, Castle Plathe, 7th September, 1872. 

" Karl von der Osten, 

" Marie von der Osten, n^e von Kessel." 

Immediately underneath follows the advertisement of the 
victim : — 

" I have herewith the honour respectfully to announce my betrothal to 
Fraulein Elisabeth von der Osten, the eldest daughter of Herrvon der Osten. 

"von Bismarck-Kniephof, 
" Lieutenant," &c. 

Scores of similar advertisements, drawn up in almost precisely 
the same words, the names only varying, make their appearance 
daily varied by such brief formula as the following : — 

" Marie Charisius, 7iee Zober, 
" August Lenz. 
" Betrothed. Berlin, November 29, 1872." 

Among a batch of announcements of this character there 
recently appeared in W\itReichsanzeiger ov\^ to the effect that Frau- 
lein Pfortner von der Holle (Gatekeeper of Hell), was about to 
bless a Prussian gentleman at some future period with the 
possession of her hand and other Tartarean charms, giving rise 
to the suggestion that Fraulein Cerberus would have sounded 
prettier and more poetical, while preserving all the significance 
of the dismal function denoted in the family title. 

The betrothal compact is as good as indissoluble, for there 
are few who are bold enough to break off an engagement thus 
publicly notified, not only to their friends and relations, but to 
the world at large. Still a small minority — alarmed, perhaps, 
at the gradual development of an "incompatibility of temper" 
that might eventually lead to an application to the German Sir 
James Hannen — take time by the forelock, and slip their fingers 
out of the engagement-ring. Such ruptures are commonly 
passed over in silence, and the two sundered ones set forth 
afresh in search of more congenial spirits with which to unite 
their own. But it does sometimes happen that the passion for 
advertising matters of purely personal interest, which continues 
to form a feature of Berlin life, has led one of the parties to 
publicly notify why the bud of betrothal has failed to expand to 
the orange-blossom of matriinony, and a young man has been 
found dolefully proclaiming that the engagement formally 
announced has been broken off by his sweetheart, to his great 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



145 



regret, because she "did not find in him that gravity of 
demeanour which she conceived she had a right to look for." 

In Paris, where well-brought-up young people of both sexes 
are carefully restricted in their intercourse with each other, it is 
no uncommon thing for parents even to have recourse to mar- 
riage agencies — with their tribe of intermediaries occupying good 
social positions and always on the look out for brides with 
handsome dots — to secure alliances for their sons and daughters. 
One of the best known of these, the Maison Foy, is continually 
parading in the Paris newspapers the many thousands of advan- 
tageous if not happy unions which have been arranged under its 
auspices. Moreover in addition to these purely business agencies 
there are few middle-class families which cannot count upon the 
services in a similar direction of one or more match-making 
friends. And judging these agencies, whether professional or 
amateur, by results, one is inclined to believe that the prelimi- 
nary courtship, on which in England we set so much stress, 
adds in no degree to the proportion of prizes drawn in the 
hazardous matrimonial lottery. 

In Berlin, with none of the restriction to intercourse that pre- 
vails in Paris, the old matrimonial machinery is found to run at too 
slow a speed, and, as a consequence, marriage agencies and mar- 
riage gazettes have recently sprung into existence there, the for- 
mer with their managers and their matrons, their collections of 
cartes de visite and lists of languishing candidates, laying claim 
to well-nigh every moral and material advantage. The Berlin 
Matrimonial Gazette is illustrated with vignettes, one of which 
represents paterfamilias, in easy-chair and dressing-gown, 
reading to his daughters offers from individuals of the opposite 
sex, eager to be united in the bonds of wedlock ; another 
introduces us to a young officer depositing a sealed packet at 
the office of the hymeneal journal ; while in a third, depicting 
a joyous marriage feast, we have the same young officer seated 
beside his blushing bride, and the guests pledging the happy 
pair in foaming bumpers of champagne. 

Even the disreputable Berlin commissionaires do a brisk trade 
in negotiating marriages ; and in the city small-debt courts they 
are constantly found figuring as plaintiffs against hapj)y but 
forgetful husbands, who have failed to pay the stipulated com- 
mission on the dowries of wives whom they have succeeded in 
securing through such exceedingly dubious intermediaries. 

Another mode of obtaining a partner for life in favour at 
Berlin is by means of the advertising columns of the ] o;sische 
Zeitiing and other popular newspapers. One firm of advet tising 
agents — Rudolf Mosse and Company — alone insert upwards of 
a thousand of these announcements annually ; all classes ap caring 
to resort to this doubtful method of securing conjugal ha iness. 
Figuring among their clients are officials of noble birth ; fficers 

1 



146 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

in the army and in retreat, who guarantee secrecy on their 
word of honour ; with non-combatants, whose exemption from 
military service constitutes their principal recommendation to 
the fair, whom none but the brave are said to deserve ; specu- 
lative men of business, eager to embrace some opportunity 
of engaging in a magnificent enterprise with their future wife's 
fortune, which it is, of course, essential should be under her 
own control ; penniless bachelors, who signify their willingness 
to espouse youth and beauty if possessed of a fair manorial 
estate ; widowers, who confess themselves to be neither young 
nor good-looking, but make boast of a spotless name, and who 
seek a helpmate having both the inclination and the capacity to 
undertake the education of a family of amiable children. They 
too stipulate that the lady they are in search of should have a 
suitable fortune at her own disposal ; while bankers, merchants, 
manufacturers, professional men, and tradesmen, show themselves 
equally exigent on the score of the fair one's dowry. All 
indeed hold to the truth of the axiom that — 

" Love in a hut, with water and a cnist, 
Is — Love forgive us ! — cinders, ashes, dust." 

Some among these advertisers stipulate for birth and beauty, 
while others bear in mind what Kotzebue said about marrying 
for beauty being like purchasing an estate for the sake of its 
rose-trees, and the latter proceeding being the more sensible of the 
two, inasmuch as the season of the roses always returns, but that 
of beauty never. These more prosaic souls express themselves 
as perfectly indifferent to personal charms, and as even prepared 
to put up not only with ugliness, but age, indifferent character, 
and doubtful family connections — anything, in fact, provided 
their brides are weighted wath sufficient coin. In return for a 
portion amounting to the mere bagatelle of 100,000 thaler, they 
offer a heart capable of loving beyond all precedent, and yet 
there are simpletons in the world who pretend that love is 
really beyond price. 

The following advertisements of this class are from Berlin 
newspapers which came casually under one's notice. The gram- 
mar, style, and precise phraseology of the originals have been 
closely preserved : — 

"To Ladies of Noble Birth.— A cultivated legal official, of noble 
birth, with a rising salary, which is now 1000 thaler (^ 150), not unpleasing 
in appearance, and very kind-hearted, just thirty years of age, who has no 
lady acquaintances, wishes to marry a pretty, refined, and amiable lady of 
noble birth (spinster or widow) l>ctwecn the ages of seventeen and twenty- 
seven, with a fortune of at least io,ck)o thaler at her own disposal. Highly- 
respected ladies who comply with these requirements, and are inclined to 
answer the present serious advertisement, or their respective parents or 
jguardians, are most politely requested to forward their honoured addresses, 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



147 



with details of their intimate circumstances, to 
desired. Secrecy understood." 



Photograph grcatlv 



"To Independent Ladies.— A young man, of prepossessing appearance 
and aristocratic manners, an official in the Imperial German Service, wishes 
to unite himself to a pretty and cultivated lady of fortune. He would not 
object to marry on a manorial estate or similar property. The gentleman's 
photograph will be forwarded on application, but not in answer to anonymous 
communications. Ladies feeling disposed are requested to send their 

addresses in strict confidence to . The services of negotiators are 

declined." 

" To Young Ladies. — An officer, thirty-two years of age, wishes to make 
the acquaintance of a 

young lady of property .• . vSllfeli! 1 ! /)/ 

and attractive appear- 
ance with a view to 
matrimony. Those who 
are willing are requested 
to send full particulars 
accompanied by their 
real names. Photo- 
graphs also are urgently 
requested. I guaran- 
tee, on my word of 
honour, that their con- 
fidence shall not be 
abused." 

"To Young Ladies^ 
.OF Fortune. — I am 
twenty-four years of age, 
went through the last 
campaign as an officer 
of the line, was severely 
wounded, and have re- 
tired in consequence 
from the service. 

"My father intends to 
sell his really fine estates 
to me, and I request 
some young lady who wishes to be married, and has a fortune of from 100,000 
to 200,000 thaler under her own control to assist me in purchasing them. 
Nevertheless I decidedly require her to be good-looking, of a respectable 
family, well educated, and of simple tastes. 

" As to the rest I believe that my personal qu<"lities will insure a happy and 
peaceful (!) union. Young ladies ready to respond are requested to forward 
their photographs and addresses to the office of this paper, with the superscrip- 
tion — 

" When eyes are blue, 
It proves they're true. 

" Secrecy on my word of honour." 

" Offer of Marriage. — A young man, exempt from military service, not 
devoid of means, and belonging to the highest circles, a Lutheran, twenty-five 
years of age, of pleasing appearance (photograph forwarded on application), 
good character, and clerk in one of the first banks, wishes to marry a young 
lady of good family and fortune at once. Young ladies or their friends are 
most politely reqvested to forward their esteemed addresses, with particulars 

of their circumstances, to ." 

L 2 




148 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

"To Ladies. — An intelligent and speculative man of business, 30 years of 
age, a Catholic (which is not requisite on the lady's side), with a grave and 
manly but amiable character, refined manners, pleasing appearance, and 
enjoying robust health, the owner of a factory and manufacturer of a lucra- 
tive article much in request and exported, is led by want of time and lady 
acquaintances to seek in this manner for a faithful partner for life, under 25 
vears of age. Preference given to an amiable disposition and cheerful tem- 
perament rather than great beauty. A taste for quiet;and simple domestic life, 
and a fortune of 30,000 thaler at her own disposal, to assist in an intended 
development of the establishment are requisite. Ladies who have the cou- 
rage to confide in a young man's honour, and desire a comfortable home are 
requested in the strictest confidence to send their addresses, accompanied by 
a photograph, which in case of unsuitability will be returned, to ," 

"Matrimonial Offer. — A well-to-do merchant, a widower, 46 years of 
age wishes to meet with a wife in a well-educated lady, spinster or widow, 
without children, and of mature years. Well knowing that he can pretend to 
neither youth nor beauty he only lays claim 10 a spotless name and really kind 
heart. A pleasant life under favourable circumstances is offered. The fol- 
lowing are the requisite qualifications ; a spotless character, cheerful dispo- 
sition ; inclination and capacity to undertake the education of several amiable 
children, combined with a suitable fortune at the lady's own disposal. Ready 
money not essential. Offers, with particulars of circumstances and accom- 
panied by a photograph, with regard to which the most honourable confidence 
is guaranteed, will reach the advertiser if addressed to ." 

" Offer of Marriage.— A high state official in the prime of life, a widower, 
who is prevented by his occupation from finding a partner for life for himself 
wishes to marry again by reason of his present lonely condition. German 
maidens or widows without children, between the ages of 25 and 30, of pleas- 
ing and stylish appearance, and if possible of good birth and fortune, who are 
inclined to confide in this discreet mode of communication, and have a real 
taste for domestic life, are requested to forward their obliging offers, sealed 

and addressed accompanying them with a photograph and particulars 

of their family and fortune. Secrecy on word of honour." 

" Matrimonial Offer. — The advertiser wishes to arrange a marriage with 
a lady of domestic tastes (having 20,000 thaler at her disposal, which she 
would not object to invest on mortgage) for a really substantial and highly 
educated gentleman of amiable disposition and agreeable appearance, 36 years 
of age, and partner in an old established and lucrative manufacturing business. 
N.B. The lady must be willing to answer inquiries. Letters to be addressed — ." 

The following are some of the more characteristic advertise- 
ments emanating from individuals of the opposite sex : — 

"A young, pretty, and highly educated girl of rank, with a fortune of 10,000 
thaler, wishes to meet with a partner for life, of noble sentiments, agreeable 
appearance, and good birth. Offers to be addressed ." 

" A young lawyer or forester already established, of noble sentiments and 
aristocratic name may hear of an opportunity for marrying a young, hand- 
some, highly educated, but domesticated girl of rank, who has pin-money of 
her own, and expectations of a fortune. Offers, with photographs, may be 
sent addressed ." 

" A young lady, daughter of a wealthy tradesman who has been dead a 
year, being youthful and amiable, and finding it impossible to make ac- 
quaintance with suitable gentlemen, owing to the strictness of her parental 
home, is obliged to choose this means of meeting with a husband. She 
has a fortune of 20,000 thaler at her disposal, which she offers to an officer 
or official person. Gentlemen of unimpeachable character are requested to 
send confidential communications and photographs to ." 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



149 




The next is unique in its way — 

" I HAVE AN Excellent Daughter to marry, who refused many good 
offers when young. She is now 29, and I would give a reasonable dowry to 
a suitable husband, a tradesman, if possible, or well-to-do artisan, if pious, 
and averse to alcohol. Address ." 

Some advertisers seek to contract purely Platonic unions, as 
witness the following : — 

"A gentleman in comfortable circumstances, and of ripe age, who believes 
in the Platonic form of love, and is anxious to realize this beautiful idea in 
marriage, desires by some friendly means, and through the channel of a pre- 
liminary anonymous correspondence, to make the acquaintance of a lady not 
entirely without fortune, of honourable intentions, well educated, possessed of 
a lively intellect, and a vivacious rather than a serious disposition, to conclude 
with her a heart-union of the purest Platonism. Address, «&c." 

Another advertisement, headed " Heart and Intellect," is of 
much the same type, excepting that the desired form of union is 
somewhat ambiguously indicated. 

" An educated gentleman, of cheerful disposition and in easy circumstances, 
moving in good society, but no longer young enough to think of contracting 
an ordinary marriage, cherishes nevertheless a wish to renounce the solitary' 
life he is leading and to form a purely Platonic connection with a lady of 
Heart and Intellect in independent circumstances, who may feel disposed to 
enter into some kind of union for life. Address, &c." 

In the Berliner Stddtisches JaJtrbuch for 1874 — the contri- 
butors to which strive to outvie each other by the minuteness 
and abundance of their statistical information — some learned 
doctor has been at the pains of preparing an elaborate analysis 
of the matrimonial advertisements, some hundreds in number, 
which appeared during the previous year in the Vossische 
Zeitung alone. He tells us that out of 41 1 advertisements, 306 



ISO BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

emanated from men and 105 from women, showing that in these 
particular instances ahnost three times as many men as women 
sought to enter the haven of matrimony by this somewhat 
doubtful channel. Men aged between twenty-five and thirty- 
five and women between twenty and thirty formed the great 
majority, the latter being far less exigent than the former with 
regard to the ages of those they sought to unite themselves to, 
for fully one-third of the total number of men required their 
future partners to be young, while no more than one-sixteenth 
of the women made a similar stipulation. In the majority of 
cases where age was alluded to, the desired husband or wife was 
required to be on the sunny side of thirty. 

Of the 306 men, thirty confessed to being widowers, and rather 
more than the same proportion of women proclaimed themselves 
widows, the latter being much less particular about the ages of 
their second husbands than their maiden rivals eager to embark 
on their first matrimonial venture. Most of the advertisers 
refrained from any allusion to their physical endowments, but 
such men as referred to them laid claim to health, activity, good 
looks, robust figures, commanding statures, fair complexions, 
agreeable appearance, &c. The reticence of the women on this 
point speaks volumes in favour of their modesty unless indeed 
their silence is to be taken as indicating an utter absence of all 
personal charms. The sterner sex commonly demanded beauty, 
good looks, or at least that ambiguous kind of charm known as 
" pleasing appearance " in their prospective partners for life, 
whereas the women made scarcely any stipulations upon that 
score. It is creditable that 20 per cent, of both sexes required 
those they sought to ally themselves with, to be intelligent, clever, 
educated, or accomplished, although the majority of the adver- 
tisers made no boast of any mental qualifications of their own, 
such few as did being chiefly of the softer sex. Probably the 
Teutonic lords of creation considered that credit was naturally 
given them for a high degree of culture, rendering any special 
announcement of their mental acquirements superfluous ; while 
the women, vain of their mental gifts, determined that none of 
their intellectual light should be hidden under the figurativebushel. 

The moral qualities which the men laid claim to, and required 
their wives to be possessed of, were so numerous and varied that 
any single individual endowed therewith would present a perfect 
type of human virtue. They embraced alike activity, energy, 
industry, economy, domesticity, amiability, kindness, gentleness, 
sweet as well as good tempers, cheerful and equable dis- 
positions, good humour, innocence, simplicity, modesty, and 
purity ; steadfast, straightforward, truthful, and unassuming 
characters; nobleness, dignity, honourable feeling, liberality, 
generosity, chivalrous hearts and noble minds ! One advertiser, 
who demanded "a good but rather hasty temper," could be easily 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 15I 

satisfied, but scarcely so another, whose own temper was doubt- 
less of the hottest, and who sought for what he styled a generous 
and accommodating one. 

The women boasted, as a rule, of their domesticated tastes, 
their activity, economy and business qualifications, their unas- 
suming characters, staid demeanour, modesty, and decorum ; 
their good education and accomplishments ; their amiability, 
cheerfulness, excellent spirits, and even of an exuberance of life, 
and finally of their kindness, their affectionate dispositions and 
excellent qualities of heart and mind. The men on whom they 
were willing to bestow their hands and charms were required to 
be respectable, estimable, honourable, worthy, reliable, simple, 
and genuine ; good and easy tempered, amiable, possessed of 
sterling qualities and affectionate and feeling hearts. More than 
a quarter of the men and women, who dispensed with any allusion 
to moral qualities of their own, demanded that their future 
partners should be possessed of certain virtues, while of that 
larger number, who affect a virtue even if they have it not, two- 
thirds of the men and one-third of the women looked for 
corresponding qualities in those with whom they were willing 
their future lot in life should be cast. As a rule the fair were 
less exacting on this score than the sterner sex, and when they 
did put forward demands it was for moral qualities rather 
than for intellectual ones. 

With regard to religious belief only 3 per cent, of the men and 
6 per cent, of the women made the slightest reference to their 
own creed, and of these merely a fraction required any avowal 
upon the subject from those replying to their advertisements. 

It would appear from the foregoing that most stress was laid 
upon moral qualifications by both male and female matrimonial 
advertisers, who next seem to have sought for intelligence, and 
to have set the least value upon creed. Strange to say that of 
the various religious sects at Berlin, the Jews had recourse to 
matrimonial advertisements in by far the largest proportion, and, 
what is stranger still, the proportion of Jewish women to the men 
was almo.st as three to one. 

The social qualifications commonly dwelt upon in these 
advertisements were family, property, rank, and calling. The 
importance of the first-named in the Berlin matrimonial market 
was indicated by the large number of both sexes, who stated 
themselves to be of an estimable, respectable, honourable, wealthy, 
good, or noble family. As a far larger proportion of women than 
men thought it necessary to refer to their family connections, 
these evidently count for much on the part of the would-be wife. 
With reference to property, a few of the advertisers had the 
candour to confess themselves poor, while the majority claimed 
to be in well-to-do circumstances, in possession of a fixed income 
or a comfortable independence, and even to be rich. Several 



152 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

gave their exact incomes in figures, numbers intimated that they 
derived tlieir means from trade or manufactures, and others from 
landed, manorial, or house property. The women considered it 
necessary to be exceedingly explicit with regard to their worldly 
possessions. Fixed incomes on their sides were numerous, and 
riches preponderated over a respectable competence, showing 
that the possession of pecuniary means was regarded by them as 
their strong point in affairs matrimonial. At the same time they 
asked in return for less in the way of wealth or easy circum- 
stances than the men, and in the majority of instances made no 
demand whatever on this score, whereas the men on an average 
required a fortune of i6,ooo thaler, or about 2,400/., professing 
themselves to be in possession of 35,000 thaler or 5,250/. More 
than half of the advertisers described themselves as being bank-ers, 
brokers, and owners or partners in some business or manufactory. 
The betrothal ceremony, as we have already explained, fre- 
quently precedes the wedding by several years. Before, however, 
marriage can be seriously thought of, the lady or her friends 
have to furnish a house. Should they not be prepared for this, she 
has to remain single until it can be accomplished. Ordinarily 
furniture will have to be provided for the drawing-room, the 
dining-room, the husband's and wife's sitting-rooms, the bed- 
rooms, and the kitchen. Bed and table linen forms one of the 
costliest items. When, in the case of a betrothed couple in good 
circumstances, these are laid out on the " Polterabend " for the in- 
spection of friends, the room presents very much the appearance 
of a linendraper's shop. There will be piles upon piles of 
sheets, table-cloths, pillow-cases and the like, seemingly sufficient 
to last the engaged couple all their lives. For three weeks 
previous to the wedding the names of the betrothed are dis- 
played in the Rathhaus, no marriage being valid unless this 
formality is observed. The ceremonies attendant on the rite 
itself extend over three days ; the first day being the Polter- 
abend, the second simply an intermediate day of rest, while on 
the third day the marriage itself is celebrated. The Polterabend 
u.sed to be the evening immediately preceding the wedding, but 
this too close proximity gave rise to so much hurry and confusion 
that some sensible people hit upon the idea of introducing a dies 
non in between, a happy innovation which has gradually 
become universal. 

On the Polterabend the bride's presents, chiefly composed of 
useful articles, together with her trousseau, are laid out. The in- 
vited guests assemble about three o'clock in the afternoon when 
all kinds of diversions take place. It is customary for the young 
people to come in fancy costume and make appropriate speeches 
to the bride and bridegroom. On one occasion we remember 
seeing a little boy dressed up as a farmer enter the room with a 
huge bunch of vegetables on his back. He marched sedately 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 1 53 

up to the bride saying to her as he threw down his load at her 
feet, " You Hke soup, I am told — well here is something to make 
it with, only be sure to make some for your husband as well, for 
you must remember from this time forward to look on him as 
part of yourself, and let him share all you have." This little 
ethical speech successfully delivered, the boy gravely retired. 
At another wedding, where the bridegroom was an old doctor and 
the bride the daughter of a wealthy merchant, all the young ladies 
and children came in fancy dresses, and most of them delivered 
their little harangue in allusion to some episode in the past lives of 
the bride and bridegroom. One charming girl was arrayed as a 
water-nymph, and a couple of little boys duly booted and spurred 
2iSJdger burscJicn. Conspicuous among the other costumes were 
those of two young ladies, designed to represent Coffee 
and Tea respectively. Coffee wore a robe of coffee-coloured 
silk with a velvet head-dress of the same tint, in imitation of the 
leaves and berries of the coffee-plant, and surmounted by a 
miniature coffee-pot, while her necklace and the ornaments on 
her dress were composed of actual coffee-berries. The young 
lady who represented Tea was correspondingly arrayed, and the 
pair presided appropriately enough at the tables where tea and 
coffee were served to the company. After these had been par- 
taken of, all the cups and saucers were duly collected together 
on a tray, and Fraulein Coffee rising up made the bride a pretty 
speech, advising her not to be led away by a poetical view of 
married life to the neglecting of its practical duties, and reminding 
her how essential it was always to be prepared with a cup of 
coffee for her husband whenever he wished for one, and for her 
friends whenever they called to see her. Saying this, she 
dexterously overturned the tray, and cups, saucers, and plates 
fell with one loud clatter upon the floor amidst frantic applause. 
It was thus that a characteristic feature of the Polterabend, 
the all essential smashing of crockery, was accomplished on 
this particular occasion. 

This custom of smashing crockery corresponds in a measure 
to our time-honoured habit of throwing old shoes after the 
departing wedded couple, the assumed motive of both proceed- 
ings being the same, namely, the ensuring of good luck to the 
newly married pair. Among the Berlinese, advantage is ordin- 
arily taken of the delivery of some speech, or the singing of 
some song to startle the company by a tremendous crash, which 
sets everybody laughing, and is the signal for wishing happiness 
to the bride and bridegroom. Formerly it was the custom to 
carry. all the old plates and dishes outside the house door and 
break them in the street, when, if a single one chanced to escape 
demolition, it was considered an unlucky omen for the bride. 

The charade performances at the Polterabend are frequently 
succeeded by some play or opera, the parts in which are allotted 



154 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

to the grown-up members of the company. On one occasion we 
heard Mendelssohn's Son and Stranger, very creditably per- 
formed by a small amateur orchestra of half-a-dozen fiddles, 
flute, and piano, selected from among the friends of the bride and 
bridegroom. At the wedding of our middle-aged medical friend 
refreshments consisting of oysters, caviar, and sweet biscuits were 
served at intervals during the afternoon, and the time, varied by 
occasional little speeches and general conversation, was passing 
pleasantly enough when the company was startled by a loud 
voice, echoing through the apartment, and demanding admission 
for the God Zeus. This being granted, the doors were flung open 
to the sound of slow music and a procession filed in. At its 
head marched Mercury with his caduceus and talaria, and behind 
him came Apollo playing on a lyre — other gods and goddesses 
in appropriate costume followed, and at the close of the pro- 
cession came Zeus himself, who ascended a throne which had 
hitherto escaped general notice. 

Summoning the various deities around him, Zeus announced 
that he had news of importance to communicate. " A rumour 
hath come from the earth," said he, " that a certain son of 
yEsculapius is about to be married. The report is shaking 
Olympus to its foundations, and calm will only ensue when I 
learn who and what he is, and who and what is his bride. Let 
him who knows therefore speak." At this yEsculapius stepped 
out of the circle of gods and informed Zeus that his mortal son 
was one who had not the power to bring the dead to life, but on 
the contrary, very often brought the living to death, killing more 
than he cured, and so on, Venus, who was attired in a flowing 
white robe trimmed with broad silver braid, and who wore 
necklet and armlets of silver, then advanced and prettily pleaded 
for the bride. One was much struck by the taste displayed in 
the toilettes of the various goddesses. Diana, with the orthodox 
crescent on her brow and a hunting spear in her hand, was 
nothing remarkable, but Athena adorned with the " krobulus," 
and " tettinx," showed the stage manager of the charade 
to have some knowledge of Thucydides. After a variety of 
speeches, all of which related more or less directly to the bride 
and bridegroom, the procession retired, but there being a general 
demand for the appearance of Zeus and Venus, part of the 
spectacle had to be performed over again. The company now 
adjourned to the supper-rooms, the tables of which were loaded 
with no end of Teutonic delicacies, and as soon as supper was 
concluded, dancing, which opened with the inevitable polonaise, 
commenced and continued with unabated spirit until the morning. 

Thus ended the Polterabend. Advantage is taken of the day 
intervening between it and the actual day of the marriage to get 
things in something like order for the latter. As the invitations 
are invariably for both days, on the morning of the wedding the 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



155 



guests assemble again, and accompany the bride and bridegroom 
on their visit to the magistrate by whom they are formally united 
by civil contract. At 15crlin this is considered quite sufficient, 
not only by the law but by society itself, and no kind of stigma 
attaches to those who go through the civil ceremony only. In 
the capital of the new Empire the ecclesiastical marriage is 
looked upon as a kind of luxury, which those who care to incur 
the expense can indulge in if so inclined. It can take place 
either in a church or a private house, and indeed is more usually 
performed in the latter. An altar is erected and tastefully 
decorated with flowers and the ceremony is frequently accom- 
panied by music. The bride wears a plain myrtle wreath — the 
artistic effect of which is excellent, and the placing of which 
upon her head forms an interesting episode in the proceedings. 
The bridesmaids all carry baskets of flowers. 

The ceremony concluded there is a dinner of inordinate 
length, consisting frequently of twenty or even more courses, 
when, as a rule, every- 
body feasts heartily j^^ r~ 
and drinks heavily. " 
The speeches which 
follow have the merit 
of scarcely being of the 
same unmeaning cha- 
racter as those deliv- 
ered at average English 
weddings. Even the 
most ordinary speaker 
will make a point of in- 
troducing some anec- 
dote or incident bearing 
upon the past life and 
characterof one or other 
of the newly united pair; 
while the speech of the 
groomsman, who is inva- 
riably the bridegroom's 
oldest and most tried 
friend,consists generally 
of a sketch of the bridegroom's life, rendered more or less amus- 
ing by piquant allusions to forgotten youthful amours. 

At the doctor's wedding, shortly before the company dispersed, 
the bridegroom was blindfolded and led into the centre of the 
room, when all the young unmarried ladies of the company joined 
hands and danced in a circle around him. While this was going 
on the bridegroom put out his hands and the first one he touched 
was declared destined to be the next bride. It was now the 
bride's turn to be blindfolded, and the unmarried gentlemen 




156 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

present having formed a ring around her, the same mode of 
vaticination was again gone through. 

The bride and bridegroom generally disappear from the party 
about eight or nine o'clock in the evening and straightway betake 
themselves to their new home, such a thing as a wedding tour 
never being even dreamt of. The bridegroom commonly goes 
to his counter or his desk the very next day, which is the main 
reason why Saturday is a favourite day for Berlin weddings, as 
this allows of, at any rate, one day's holiday, ere the drudgery of 
the shop or the counting-house is resumed again. 

Before an officer in the Prussian army is privileged to marry, 
he is prudently required to deposit a fixed sum in the funds so 
that on his decease his widow may not be left unprovided for. 
We have seen that in ordinary civil life the question of money 
plays a very prominent part in all matrimonial engagements, and 
one that would have charmed the heart of Tennyson's " Northern 
Farmer." Like him the better class Berlinese believe that " pro- 
putty, proputty sticks, and proputty, proputty grows," and that 
money if possible should not be allowed to go out of a family. 
Hence the example of intermarriages set by the petty princelets 
and dukclings, has been followed by the owners of landed property 
for generation after generation, leading to highly complicated 
relationships and disastrous physical results. Of late years 
however, a few of these gentry have seen the advantage of fur- 
bishing up their faded escutcheons and fertilizing their barren 
acres with some of the stream of wealth that has flowed from the 
Berlin Borse, and have consented to lead to the altar the daugh- 
ters of new sprung millionaires. 

Marriages are announced in the Berlin newspapers with con- 
siderate brevity on the whole, notification of these events being 
commonly given in one or other of the following forms with the 
addition of the date and the addresses : — 

" Our marriage, celebrated on Sept, 3, is announced to friends and relatives 
by this means instead of by private communication, by 
" Dr. GusTAV Lewinstkin, 
"Elise Lewinstein, nee MiCHAELIS." 

"Their marriage, celebrated this day is respectfully announced by 

" Otto Braumuller, Master at the Gymnasium, and Lieut, in the 

Landwehr, 
" Pauline Braumuller, nie Maecker." 

" Emil Werner and Emille Werner, «^^'Keucke, announce themselves 
a Wedded Pair." 

" Oscar Laasch and Clara Laasch, nee Bauerhin present their respects 
as newly married." 

Alluding to the well-nigh universal practice of dispensing with 
the intervention of the church in the matter of marriage, the 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME 1 57 

clerical organ, the Gcrmania, dolefully lamented that what was 
formerly one of the most venerated sacraments of religion was 
no longer a source of grace, but merely the finish of a romance 
and a pure matter of business. Modern marriages as now 
performed, were rated by it as below the pagan marriages, which 
consecrated the duration of the union. The general falling off 
in church weddings and christenings among the Berlin Protestants 
is understood to have caused both regret and astonishment in 
the highest quarters, although many pretend that the reason 
for it is to be found in the national virtue — economy. The civil 
solemnization is not only compulsory, but it is also cheaper than 
the ecclesiastical one, and the frugal Berliner of the middle and 
lower classes cannot see why he should pay twice over for the 
same thing, when a single ceremony is legally sufficient. The 
government, disliking a state of things that might alienate a 
church from which it has ever derived strong support, has done 
all in its power to favour religious marriages by enforcing them 
amongst those over whom it has any direct control. In ac- 
cordance with this view we find the following decree issued 
against the schoolmaster Priefart, at Weissensee : " Royal 
Government of Potsdam, February 4, 1875. Having been 
informed that you have not had consecrated by the religious 
authority your marriage, contracted last December, we cannot 
employ you any longer as primary schoolmaster, for we require 
from a Christian schoolmaster that he follow the Christian rules, 
and give in this respect a good example to his commune. You 
are therefore dismissed from the first of next month." 

In missionary circles the introduction of the civil marriage-law 
was productive of an unforeseen difficulty. Most of the missionary 
societies sent out only married missionaries in order that beneficial 
results might follow from the example of Christian matrimony. 
When the wife of a missionary died abroad it was customary 
to select a new spouse for him out of the reserve stock of damsels 
at the schools of the society, and to guard against her losing her 
heart to anyone else on the passage out, by performing the 
marriage ceremony by procuration, prior to her departure. When 
marriages were wholly in the hands of the clergy such unions by 
proxy were recognized as valid, but the obligatory civil marriage 
law makes no provision for their performance, and anxious 
missionaries, awaiting the brides whom the kind care of others 
has chosen for them, are now liable to be disappointed in their 
fondcbt anticipations. 

It is time to speak more particularly of the fair sex of Berlin, 
yet at the risk of being considered ungallant, one is constrained 
to confess that the Berlin women as a rule lack the fatal gift 
of beauty, being neither handsome nor even pretty, although 
many of them have an expression of countenance that is 
peculiarly winning. They may be safely summed up as bemg 



158 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



much less handsome than the Enf^Hsh, less graceful than the 
French, and less clever than the Americans. You might pro- 
menade the Prussian capital for weeks without meeting a 
really beautiful woman. You might search for months with- 
out alighting on a Marguerite ! The worst feature of a Berlin 
belle is unquestionably her nose. I scarcely remember having 
seen a single woman in the Prussian capital with a nose of 
the true classical type. The outline of this organ, instead of 
being straight or delicately curved is frequently broken by an 
exceedingly prominent bridge, while the end as often develops 
into a ball, imparting an unpleasant and vulgar expression to 
what might otherwise have been a handsome set of features. 
The face is usually fat and pasty-looking, presenting large 




dreamy eyes, and, not unfrequently, an exquisitely moulded 
mouth, with full ruby lips, which, unfortunately, have lost their 
charm from the fact of the front teeth commencing to decay 
at an early age. The figure is generally good, although often 
diminutive, with a well-developed bust, heavy loins, beautifully 
shaped arms, large hands, and still larger feet. 

The Berlin women utterly lack that grace which contributes so 
much to the attraction of their Parisian rivals. In their toilettes, 
too, although these are after Paris models, one misses the quiet 
taste, the elegant cut, and the neat tournure which distinguish 
the work of the French modiste from all others. The mode de 
/-'^rzVsimply becomes travestied at Berlin, where, on the occasion 
of our first visit, we remember the fashionable ladies' boots were 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 



^59 



bottines a vtijmnbe 
with tassels in front, 
and tall wooden 
heels, higher even 
than those of the 
ordinary Soulier 
Louis Quinze and 
placed almost in 
the middle of the 
foot, so as to dis- 
guise, as much as 
possible, the re- 
markable size of 
the fair one's pedal 
extremities. The 
French phi a st^tre 
sur an grand pied 
dans le monde, ap- 
plies itself literally 
to a Berlin belle. 

As amongst the 
feathered tribes, 
the male in Ger- 
many wears the 
gayest plumage, 
sings the loudest 
note, and lords it 
absolutely over his 
female mate. Men 
take the lead in 
social as well as public life, whilst their wives drudge away their 
existences in sordid details. The advice of Mr. Disraeli, that every 
public man should spend a portion of each day in conversing 
with his wife — in order to refresh his mind and profit by that just 
appreciation of matters in which they are not personally interested 
that distinguishes the softer sex — would appear ridiculous in the 
eyes of a Berliner. Woman in the Prussian capital has none of 
that politico-social influence exercised in London and Paris by 
the queens of the salon, whilst from anything approaching the 
views of her " rights," set forth by Mesdames Garrett-Anderson 
and Becker, she would shrink in horror. There her sole duty in life, 
after the nuptial knot has been tied, is to be domesticated, to 
wait hand and foot upon the nobler being who has condescended 
to unite his lot to hers, to concentrate her whole attention 
upon household affairs, to devote her intellect to the mysteries 
of the kitchen and the minutiae of the store-room and larder, 
to regard sewing and scrubbing as cardinal virtues, and to 
pass no inconsiderable portion of her existence in locking 




l6o BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

and unlocking presses, cupboards, drawers, and store closets, 
with that formidable bunch of keys which is the treasured 
symbol of her authority. 

The German moralists style this " assigning woman her real 
place, by developing her domestic aptitudes and making her the 
model mother of a family." The wife assumes the economical 
government of the house, an end to which all her education has 
been directed ; she has learnt to knit, to sew, to cook, and to 
economize. On quitting the upper school she has been sent to take 
lessons in cookery at an hotel, and lessons in dressmaking from 
a dressmaker. In many respects she is able to make up for 
the inefficiency of her husband, and this responsibility which she 
accepts in marrying unquestionably develops the energetic side 
of her character. 

Her married life is indeed of the prosiest, and she has neither 
the time for, nor the notion of escaping into the sphere of literature, 
science, or politics. Moreover, save in the rarest of cases, her 
sway over the household is after all but nominal, for her husband 
whilst engaged in outside duties, manages to exercise a very 
keen supervision over the details of home-life. He knows to an 
ounce the precise quantity of groceries that ought to be consumed 
in the course of the week, grumbles at excesses in soap and 
candles, and is especially dictatorial when winter comes round 
on the question of fuel, whilst his wife stands meekly trembling 
before him, account-book in hand. " The German marriage," 
observes Heinrich Heine, " is not a real marriage. The husband 
has not a wife but a servant, and continues in imagination, even 
in the midst of his family, his bachelor life." 

When in due season the wife presents her husband with the 
customary pledge of mutual affection, the event is chronicled in 
the Berlin newspapers in far more effusive terms than are cus- 
tomary among ourselves ; here, for example, are several of these 
announcements. 

" In lieu of Private Information.— By God's merciful assistance, my 
beloved wife Antonie nee Harder, was safely delivered, at 8 o'clock this 
morning, of a healthy daughter. — Hermes, Obcr-Consistorial-Rath." 



" I have the honour to announce the happy dehvery of my dearly loved wife, 
LiNA, of a stout boy this afternoon, at 5.15.— Leo Krause." 



"At 2 o'clock this morning, my dear wife, Rosamund, nee RiJHLE, presented 
me with a healthy boy. — F. Schmalenburg, Master Baker." 

"With God's gracious help, my tenderly loved wife, Sophie, was safely de- 
livered this morning at 4.30 of a strong boy. Hallelujah ! 

" H. Kleinwachter, Pastor." 

"At \ past 3 this afternoon, my beloved wife, Anna nee\ Klemm, delighted 
me by the birth of a fine healthy girl. This is in place of any private in- 
timation." 



THE BRRLINESE AT HOME. 



I6l 



Some few of these announcements are couched in terms of 
commendable brevity ; as for instance the following — 

"The birth of a son has, this day, brought great joy to Dr. Richard Brau- 
MiJLLER and his wife." 

" Highly rejoiced are P.Hirschberg and wife by the birth of a healthy girl." 

Among the middle 
and better class Ber- 
linese, baptisms of the 
newly-born common- 
ly take place at the 
house of the parents, 
and but seldom in the 
church. An altar de- 
corated v/ith flowers 
and covered with a 
white cloth is erected 
in one of the apart- 
ments, and on the con- 
clusion of the cere- 
mony an entertain- 
ment, which usually 
proves a remarkably 
noisy affair, is given. 
Only poor people as a 
rule have their children 
christened in a church, 
where the clergyman baptizes them wholesale, and where you 
will frequently see two or three dozen babies disposed in a circle 
around the font when a single dash of holy water, and one sweep 
of the hand is made to serve for them all. 

If the Berlinese are received into the world in this uncere- 
monious fashion they are rarely permitted to leave it in the 





same slighting way. From the numerous handsome coflins 
exposed in the Berlin undertakers' shops, and the frequent 
notices exhibited of '' Bequeme Sdrge" in other words "com- 



1 62 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



fortable coffins," it is evident that the Berlinese are far from 
indifferent to the pomps and vanities of sepulture. It will be 
seen from the annexed engravings of a couple of these elegant 
metal sarcophagi, with their elaborate gilt ornaments and 
mouldings, that although the defunct Berliner may be consigned 
to his final resting-place without the formality of the prayers of 
the church, he yet quits this sublunary sphere in a sufficiently 
splendid receptacle, as though anxious that "nothing in life 




shall more become him than the leaving of it," and as if seeking 
to deprive death of some portion of its terrors. The Berlin 
hearses are equally grand affairs, being so many elegant canopies 
on wheels, drawn by handsome Mecklenburg horses with long 
black draperies, and hung with curtains and festoons of black cloth, 
which allow of the coffin, decorated with wreaths and flowers, being 
exposed to public view. " Since seeing one of these resplendent 
vehicles," remarks an irreverent Frenchman, " my great ambition 
has been — of course at some exceedingly remote period — to end 
my days in the capital of the new German Empire." 

At the single funeral at which I was present at Berlin, I found 
myself received on my arrival at the house, by the brother of the 
deceased, who, in accordance with the prevailing practice, kissed 
my cheek and then led me to a suite of rooms communicating 
with the funereal chamber, the door of which was at that moment 
closed. When the clergyman arrived, the mourners assembled in 
an immediately adjoining apartment, and the doors being thrown 
open, the bier was exposed to view. The corpse was seen lying 
on an altar covered with black velvet and decorated with branches 
of funereal cypress. Hundreds of wax lights rising in a perfect 
forest at various elevations were burning at the back of the altar. 
Whilst the mourners were contemplating this striking Spectacle, 
they suddenly heard the beautiful chorale " jfisns, vicine Zuver 
sicht" intoned, seemingly by far distant voices, but which proved 
to be those of the choir of a neighbouring church, concealed in a 
corner of the apartment. The effect was most impressive. 



THE BERLINESE AT HOME. 1 63 

The coffins of the poorer classes are usually painted a bright 
yellow colour, and in lieu of headstones at their graves it is cus- 
tomary to place little china slabs in the form of an open book, 
on which such inscriptions as the following may be read — " Hicr 

ruJict in Gott viein Sclnvager, JoJiann Scludtz, gcboren ge- 

storben ." Black funereal wreaths, with the words '' RitJic in 

Friede" inscribed on them in white, may be observed lying 
upon most of the graves in the cemeteries around Berlin. 

The announcements of deaths in the Berlin newspapers, if com- 
monly somewhat lengthy, are not unfrequently pathetic, although 
now and then one comes across some which are precisely the 
reverse. The few selections we have made furnish examples of 
both categories. 

" On July 24 died suddenly, without previous illness, the Prussian Captain, 
Knight of the Iron Cross, Herr Adolf von Petzold. A life rich in bitter dis- 
appointments, heavy trials, and cares, lies behind him. His deeply religious 
mind, his firm faith in the will of God, enabled him to bear many sorrows in 
joyful Christian resignation. The evening of his life at last seemed to smile 
on him, but, according to God's unsearchable counsel, he was not to enjoy it. 
In him died a faithful husband, a loving father, a true friend — a man without 
guile ! May God give him His eternal peace ! True friendship devotes to 
the departed this brief memorial." 

"According to God's inscrutable Providence, after prolonged and acute 
sufferings, to-day, Sunday Sept. 29, at half-past 6 in the morning, our precious 
and dearly-loved father, Karl Albert Ermeler fell asleep. This is 
announced with the keenest grief to relations and friends in lieu of any private 
intimation by and in the name of the entire family." 

" Suddenly, of heart disease, in the arms of her married sister, on June 24, 
at 6 p.m., our dearly-loved daughter, sister, and sister-in-law, Bertha von 
DER Linde. God grant us strength to bear this heavy blow. In announcing 
this domestic affliction to our relatives and friends we beg from them their 
silent sympathy. The deeply afflicted survivors." 

" According to God's eternal predestination, our only and inexpressibly be- 
loved son, Roderick Kollatz, fell gently asleep in the midst of our prayers 
and burning tears, at 2 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. — Karl Kollatz, 
Oberprediger, Maria Kollatz, nie Koppner." 

" At 9 o'clock last night, after a brief illness, our dear and never-to-be-for- 
gotten husband and father, the Gingerbread Manufacturer, Friedrich 
Conrad, departed in his 55th year." 

The widow and children sign the above announcement. 

" I here give notice to my friends and acquaintances that I have just lost my 
well-beloved spouse at the moment she was giving birth to a son, for whom 
I am looking out for a wet-nurse, until I meet with a second wife willing to 
assist me in my grocery business. Signed ." 

" To-day, at 9 in the morning, God our Lord called away from his counter 
into a better world, the Jeweller, Sebald Michael Illmayer. Over him 
weep his widow, named below, and his two daughters, HuLDAand Emma, the 
marriage of the first of whom, with a large dowry, was announced not long ago 
in the columns of this journal ; the second is still unmarried. The desolate 
widow, Veronica Illmayer, 7iee Seizes. — N.B. The business of our shop 
will not be interrupted, only in three weeks' time we shall remove to No. 4, 

strasse." 

M 2 




A BORSEN TOURNAMENT. 



VIII. 



"BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT.' 



SO recently as a decade ago the Berlinese as a rule were modest, 
nay, almost humble. They owned, in the most naive manner, 
that everything was admirable save in their own city. War arises 
with Austria, and Sadowa caused them to raise their heads 
a little. Next ensued the contest with France, and Wissembourg, 
Woerth, and Spicheren, Sedan and Metz set them twirling their 
moustaches, while the capitulation of Paris sent their noses in the 
air. The proclamation of the Empire with Berlin for its capital made 
them prouder than ever, and the signature of peace, with the five 
milliards, and Alsace and Lorraine, literally turned their heads. 

" We have vanquished the modern Babylon," said the orators 
of the bier halleii — they got this expression from the Kreuz Zei- 
tiing — " Paris is at our feet like the dragon beneath the lance 
of St. George. She was the capital of the world ; she is fallen. 
Berlin will take her place. Tfie mode of Paris will become that 
of Berlin. We will get together here all the best Paris workmen, 
and as they are mostly Germans, that will not be very difficult. 
Bismarck won't tolerate the French language any longer in 
diplomacy, he will write in German, and if the French can't 
understand him so much the worse for them. The favourite 
articles of apparel and toilette requisites will in future be those 
of Dentsches fabricat. We will inundate the world with Moltke 
cravats, and Bismarck collars, manufactured at Berlin. The 
products of Paris and Vienna are condemned for the future. 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. 165 

We have already 800,000 inhabitants, next year we shall have 
900,000, and the year after that a million. We have distanced St. 
Petersburg and Vienna, we shall soon pass before Constantinople, 
then Paris, and afterwards commence to compete with London." 

While reasoning thus, the Berlinese seemed to forget how little 
of the character of a capital Berlin really had about it, the prin- 
cipal Prussian newspapers and all the more important books 
being published in the provinces, where not only is scientific 
research quite as active and the artistic movement far more 
intense, but even social life is almost equally animated as at 
Berlin. The mot d'ordre, however, was given, " Berlin wird 
Weltstadt " was in every mouth, echoed in every newspaper, and 
placarded over the Litfass columns. " Ich bin Berliner," soon 
became equivalent to the " Civis Romanus sum " of the ancients. 
Newspapers augmented their size, so as to be able to insert the 
advertisements which kept flowing in ; the most insignificant 
shopkeeper, dazzled by the glitter of all this foreign gold, said to 
himself, "to me belongs a share of these five milliards," and there- 
upon he launched into extravagances which he had never before 
dreamt of. On the pretence that his corns troubled him he 
drove about in a droschke when he had to go only a hundred 
yards from his home ; the subscriptions to the Zoological Gar- 
dens increased tremendously, and the best restaurants were 
frequented as though their charges were a mere bagatelle. 

When all this was known in the Mark of Brandenburg, in 
Pomerania, and in Posen — poor provinces where the workman of 
the fields looks upon meat as gold, and upon beer as nectar — the 
cry of "Let us go to Berlin the naic Weltstadt" found a ready 
echo. " There," said these poor simpletons, "we shall have good 
lodging, fine clothes, and the best food. Instead of a few 
groschens a day we shall receive a bright silver thaler for merely 
eight hours' work." And they came in crowds to the capital. 
At the same time the little communal administrations intrigued 
in a thousand ways to rid themselves of the obnoxious elements of 
their population and cause them to emigrate to Berlin, which lost 
rather than gained by its aggrandisement, as the administration 
for the relief of the poor had to disburse 1,265,042 thaler during 
the year. Meanwhile the newspapers proudly expatiated upon 
the rapid increase in the population of the city. 

What were the consequences of this influx of adventurers .'' In 
Berlin there are few people of really solid wealth, and instead of 
fresh fodder coming to the manger it was fresh horses that arrived 
to eat up what fodder there was, causing the whole legion 01 
officers, employes, shopkeepers, and workmen, to complain 
bitterly against the Freiziigigkcit which permitted every one to 
come and take up his abode in the Weltstadt. The deficiency 
in the matter of house accommodation, which already existed 
prior to the war, increased at an alarming rate, and rents rose to 



l66 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW, EMPIRE. 

such fabulous amounts, that in the year following the peace, 
hundreds of decent Berlin families, who up to that time had 
paid their rents regularly, found themselves suddenly without a 
roof to shelter them, and were forced to camp out in the suburbs 
of the city, in vacant spaces, in temporary huts, stables, and the 
like. It was in vain that scores of building companies were 
created, and that the president of police promised all his assist- 
ance towards the establishment of a new quarter at Treptow. It 
was in vain that enthusiasts chanted the honour of Berlin being 
the third and then the second city of Europe — the prospect pro- 
mised neither the amelioration of existing inconveniences, nor 
any positive benefit to people's pockets, consequently instead of 
the former unanimity which prevailed in favour of the title of 
Weltstadt, this was clung to by merely an insignificant minority. 

The families of the small commercial employes who five years 
ago had lived peacefully and contented upon what the father's 
post brought them in, soon found that the same money was worth 
only one-half of what it formerly was, and themselves, as a con- 
sequence, in a position of relative misery spite of the augmenta- 
tion of salaries. The inferior government officials as well as 
persons with small fixed incomes, and indeed, the whole of that 
large class among the Berlinese who are condemned to eke out 
existence on narrow means, suffered in an equal degree. Perhaps 
none felt the baneful effects of the five milliards more acutely 
than the teachers at colleges and higher class schools, and 
the general run of medical men. The former held meetings 
at which it was shown how inadequate their salaries were to 
maintain them in the position they were justified in claiming for 
themselves and families, while tlie more distinguished members of 
the medical profession declared that of their 700 or 800 colleagues 
at Berlin, scarcely 100 were able to live by the proceeds of their 
practice. The gross receipts of an average practice were estimated 
at 2,000 thaler — under 300/. a-year — from which one-half had to 
be deducted for purely professional expenses, such as a carriage, 
a larger and more expensive residence, &c. What remained was 
insufficient to maintain their families, educate their children, 
provide for their old age, and for those whom they might leave 
behind. The reports of Medical Aid Funds moreover showed 
that many widows and orphans of medical men, and even some 
of the more aged practitioners tliemselves were receiving annual 
or occasional assistance, ranging in amount from 35 to lOO thaler. 

The working classes by means of strikes, or threatened strikes, 
succeeded in obtaining several extra groschen per day, and in 
certain instances their earnings not only equalled, but even ex- 
ceeded those of many employ h. At this epoch one of the 
satirical journals pictured the latter as complaining that whereas 
the working classes were sending their sons to colleges, and their 
daughters to boarding schools, they were obliged to put their 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. 



167 



own sons to trade, and their dau<Thters to domestic service. The 
working classes, however, were not destined to enjoj'' for long the 
special advantages they were believed to have acquired. Soon the 
augmented prices of food and of lodgings, and more particularly 
the latter, at Berlin, absorbed the increase in their wages, and 
left them no better off than they had been before. 

One natural consequence of the triumph of the German arms 
was the flooding of Berlin with speculative enterprizes. " Peace 
had scarcely been concluded when the tribe of improvised finan- 
ciers began their merry mad dance round the golden calf at the 
Berlin I3orse. The large houses opened the ball, the smaller 
ones followed in their steps, and masters and pupils were joined 
by an ever-increasing swarm of disciples and adherents, including 
men of all ranks and all religions. They danced from morn 
till eve, and went on dancing with screams and shouts for months 
and even years. The wild dance only came occasionally to a 
sudden standstill, as at the close of 1871, in the spring of 1872, 
and late in the autumn of the same year. Then the dancers 
grew pale, and suddenly trembled ; they held their breath and 
listened, but all was quiet. The sky still looked clear, so they 
went on with their gyrations. When in May, 1873, the storm 
suddenly burst over Vienna, Berlin refused to hear the peals of 
thunder or to see the 
flashes of lightning 
which illumined the 
horizon, but still 
danced on. The earth, 
however, quaked, the 
dancersstumbled, and 
many among them 
rose no more. 

" The five milliards, 
with interest, which 
Prince Bismarck, as- 
sisted by Herr Gerson 
and Herr Bleichroder 
had wrung from MM. 
Thiers and Favre, had 
been at once looked 
upon by the Borse as 
its own, from a set- 
tled conviction that 

this fabulous sum must flc)w thither directly or indirectly, 
mighty impetus to trade and commerce, a constant increase in 
the value of land was forthwith proclaimed. According to the 
declarations of the Borse and the political economists in alliance 
with it, every one, from the Emperor down to the beggar, had 
suddenly become rich, the national property had increased 




BKFORE THE CKASH. 



A 



l68 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

tenfold, and in order not to allow this colossal surplus to lie unem- 
ployed, new enterprizcs were started and new stocks created. 

"This was accordingly done. During 1871 and 1872 about 780 
joint stock companies were formed in Prussia. Rightly to 
appreciate this number, it should be known that between 1790 
and 1870, a period of eighty years, only about 300 such com- 
panies in all had arisen. This gave an average of one every 
three months, whereas during 1871 and 1872 (jne was created 
every day. The majority of these 780 companies were formed 
in Berlin, or were connected with it, and almost all the shares 
were brought out on the Berlin Exchange." ^ 

At this epoch frugal Berlin tradesmen, who, after long years 
of toiling and scraping, had laid aside a little hoard, allowed 
themselves to be bitten by the mania for speculation so carefully 
fostered by the band of " promoter^ " who had flocked to Berlin 
in the rear of the victorious legions of the Emperor. Allured by 
the specious promises of these Teutonic Captain Hawkesleys, 
and eager to plunge their hands into "the golden stream flowing 
from vanquished Gaul," they abandoned their counters for the 
environs of the Borse, and while absorbed in the share list of 
bogus stocks utterly lost sight of the prices current of more 
legitimate commodities, with results, as a rule, only too disas- 
trous. The government and municipal employes could not strike 
like the artisan, neither dared they emulate the recklessness 
of the trader. The places of such few as ventured to dabbie 
in speculative enterprizes soon " knew them no more," while 
their more cautious brethren dragged on their habitual cheese- 
paring existences, full of constant shifts and ceaseless privations. 

" Victory," remarked the celebrated novelist Gustav Freytag, 
" has given birth to many evils ; the honour, the loyalty of tlie 
capital are suffering terribly. Every one is infected with this 
senseless passion of gain — this thirst of gold; all are intoxicated 
with it. Princes, courtiers, generals,high functionaries, alikeindulge 
in the unbridled game; all seek to win the confidence of petty 
capitalists ; all take advantage of their position to make a speedy 
fortune. It spreads like wild-fire and renders one despondent. 
The sight of so much corruption makes one doubt the future." 

Yet with all this the Berlinese continued to assume a jubilant 
air, and when the three Emperors met together at Berlin a 
caricature made its appearance, representing a pair of scales, one 
of which containing three milliards of francs, with little M. Thien, 
hanging on below, was high up in the air ; while the other, 
holding three imperial crowns, and directed by the tip of 
Bismarck's little finger, was close to the ground, leading one to 
infer that the meeting of the Emperors had been arranged with 
the view of counter-balancing the favourable impression pro- 
duced in Europe by the success of the recent French loan. 

^ Dcr Borsen-und Cruii.uttigs schwindel in Berlin, von Otto Glagau. 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. 



169 



Cassandra-like warnings were not, however, wanting, and the 
Volks ZcituHg observed, " When one notices the continual in- 
crease of prices of 
articles of the first 
necessity, one is 
led to ask oneself 
seriously, What is 
the benefit of the 
strikes and of the 
increase of sal- 
aries ? What good 
have the French 
milliards done us ? 
One thought that 
these milliards 

were going to 
h'ghten the taxes 
and bring opulence 
into the country ; 
whereas it is the 
contrary which has 
happened. The 
dearness of every- 
thing is a conse- 
quence of the aug- 
mentation of salaries and a result of the strikes, and the milliards 
undoubtedly had much to do with it. 

"Augmentation of salaries means augmentation of prices. When 
the increase of salaries only applies itself to a few special branches 
of industry, a greater salary may bring with it the possibility of 
enjoying more easily the necessities of life. But when this aug- 
mentation is general, and applies itself to every branch of labour, 
its natural consequence is to oblige the workman to expend more 
money in procuring less enjoyment. The illusion has prevailed 
that the prices of the products of the soil do not augment when 
the salaries of the town workmen increase. But inexorable 
experience has shown that the augmentation of salaries does not 
merely limit itself to the towns but unfailingly penetrates into 
the rural districts. If the salaries of the country labourers do 
not follow the progression as initiated by the towns, emigration 
ensues either towards the towns or beyond the seas. 

" Milliards, even if they rained from heaven, would not enrich a 
people. If by magic each thaler changed itself into two during 
the night, on the morrow that which cost one groschen before 
would cost two. Spain experienced this in her palmy days, and 
it is being experienced to-day in the countries where gold-fields 
have been discovered. Money only conduces to easy circum- 
stances when it is the result of labour which effectively enriches 




I/O 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



a country. The milliards temporarily serve for speculation, but 
the working classes do not profit by them. As they come by 
degrees from France, living in Germany increases, and labour in 
France diminishes in cost. The want of habitations is not known 
in Paris as it is in Berlin. Provisions also are not so expensive 
there, whereas here they increase in price every day. There 
are certain industrial works in which we compete with France in 
foreign countries. If here salaries augment while they decrease 
in France — such is the logical consequence of the milliards — 
the result will be that France will triumph in the competition." 

The truths of political economy notwithstanding, Germany was 
soon found regretting that so little as five milliards had been 
exacted from her ancient enemy. When, however, the inevitable 
financial crash came, the tone changed again, and the Berlinese 
felt more sure than ever that " those accursed five milliards " 
were the cause of all their ills. They unquestionably turned the 

heads of even sober 



ii'lfll^i'fi 



people, and brought in 
their train, swindling, a 
foolish rage for wealth, 
credulity about values 
that never existed, over 
production, gambling 
on the Borse, exorbi- 
tant wages, high rents, 
the monstrous rise in 
the prices of all the 
necessaries of life, and 
finallythe great "crash," 
the effects of which are 
seen in the fall to a 
nominal value, or total 
extinction, of shares 
quoted a little while 
before at extravagant 
premiums, the failure 
of large banks, the 
diminished attendance 
at the University, the 
number of empty houses, the stranding of numerous families 
on the barren shore of poverty, and, as a necessary consequence 
of tliis material destitution and its accompanying moral depres- 
sion, an utter sterility in the realms of art and science.^ 

The lament was loud throughout Germany, where people 

thought it very hard that, just as the nation had become 

suddenly united and powerful, it should be called upon to make 

such sacrifices. "The demons of swindlmg," exclaimed one 

^ F. Spielhagen in the Atheiuruiit, Feb. 1876. 




AFTER IHl-: CRASH. 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. I/I 

indignant writer, " pounced upon it, and trampled it down in the 
midst of its victorious joy and of the general enthusiasm. The 
most sacred feelings of a people were played with by speculators 
and swindlers for their own base ends and criminal purposes." 
More than this, the Minister of Justice, in recommending the 
adoption of a projected reform of the criminal code, urged its 
necessity on the plea that, since the influx of the milliards, 
popular manners had become more brutalized, respect for the 
law and the authorities so much lessened, that public order could 
scarcely be said to exist. With the Berlinese themselves, thus 
dolefully lamenting the disasters born of the baneful five 
milliards, it is not surprising to find a Frenchman chuckling over 
their misfortunes in this somewhat exaggerated strain : — 

" These five milliards falling into Count Bismarck's helmet, 
like the golden eggs laid by the goose of the fable, literally 
turned the Germans' heads. In Berlin it was believed that the 
mythological era was about to return — that the Spree, like a new 
Pactolus, would roll down sands of gold, and that it would only 
be necessary to stoop to become rich. This hallucination lasted 
for a year. A thousand enterprises were created : companies 
sprung up like mushrooms after rain ; everything was turned 
into shares — butcheries, breweries, groceries, streets, canals, roads; 
houses were sold at the Borse, and in two hours changed owners 
five or six times,^ A five-storeyed house fetched a million of 
francs. Lodgings were classed like stocks and shares, and people 
disputed over a garret. Building operatives made their fortunes, 
worked ten hours a day, tossed off champagne in beer-glasses, 
and drove in droschken from their work to the restaurant. 
Money, in the heat of concupiscence, rushed forth from all its 
places of concealment, darting upon the French gold in order to 
become fecundated by the contact, and yield a profit of 50, 60, 
and 80 per cent. The ground trembled at the rumbling of the 
gold-laden trucks bearing the seals of the Bank of France, and, 
opening as in the pantomimes, there arose up bier //alien as 
splendid as palaces, restaurants as grandiose as cathedrals, 
enchanted gardens, where the perfume of flowers and the sound 
of music mingled during winter in the warm and voluptuous 
atmosphere of vast conservatories, and during the summer in the 
vicinity of refreshing fountains and cascades. 

" Places of recreation and pleasure were necessary for this 
people, who, like the Romans after the conquest of the provinces, 
shouted ' Panem et Circenses ! ' The Kaisergallerie, with its 
eccentric gilding, was built ; and the unique Flora of Charlotten- 
burg, with its dining-rooms for 2,000 people, and its ballroom 
looking on to a conservatory stocked with palms, odoriferous 

* " The same house would pass in a single day through many a tribe of 
Israel, through a dozen hands or more, each making five, ten, twenty, and 
even fifty thousand thaler out of it." — Otto Glagau in De?- Gartenlaube. 



172 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

trees, and bowers of roses, was created. Joint stock companies 
fought with miUions as their weapons for the possession of the 
feudal castles in the environs of Berlin, so as to transform them 
into summer bier Iial/cn, with open-air theatres, lakes and boats, 
artificial mountains, Swiss dairies, and the like. But this vision 
of the Arabian Nights did not last a twelvemonth. The temples 
of pleasure and the graces are to-day in a state of bankruptcy, 
and the bailiffs have seized the quiver of Cupid. 

" Entire Germany, 'this nation of thinkers.' as its philosophers 
call it, allowed itself to be duped by this deceitful mirage. The 
cunning ones made use of the milliards as decoys. Five and 
even ten companies were projected in the course of a day; 
directly the shares were subscribed the managers disappeared, 
and nothing remained but the empty safes. They escaped all 
control by bribing the authorities. At length matters came to such 
a pass that people asked themselves whether it was prudent to go 
to the Borse without a revolver in one's pocket. Rows occurred 
every moment, and speculators fought like brewers' draymen. 

" The governor of the Prussian Bank stated, in a report 
published on the 1st of January, 1873, that the promoters of 
companies had gained in two years several millions of thaler, 
thanks to public credulity. If France paid dearly for her defeat, 
Germany is to-day paying cruelly for her glory. Peace is 
costing her more than war." ^ 

The agricultural labourer, or peasant, though he too had his 
share of suffering through the indemnity, managed to escape the 
best.^ So long as he can scrape together the few score thaler 
needed for transport, either by fishing them out from the 
proverbial stocking stowed away in one corner of his big chest, 
or by disposing of the bulk of his household goods, he has the 
world before him where to choose. 

" I pay the men who lift those sacks twenty-five shillings 
a week, whilst I can get a clerk for fifteen," recently remarked a 
London wharfinger ; and muscle is a marketable article all over 
the civilised world. Thanks to emigration agents, the most 
obtuse of the Emperor Wilhelm's subjects have learnt to compare 
their own persistent efforts to wring a scanty subsistence from 

' Voyage au Pays des Milliards, par Victor Tissot, 1875. 

' A brief explanation may here be given of how the indemnity received 
from France was disposed of. Broadly speaking about four-fifths were de- 
voted to military purposes, being either laid out in repairing the losses of the 
last war, or in preparing for the successes of the next. Of the remaining fiftli, 
143,000,000 thaler (^21,000,000) were apportioned to Prussia, to be applied 
by her as she thought fit ; and fit she deemed it that not a penny of the 
amount should find its way into the pockets of the tax-payers, or be applied 
to purposes ordinarily defrayed out of their pockets. One-third, indeed, went 
to redeeming loans, thus relieving the nation from paying the interest ; the 
other two-thirds built a good many miles of Government railway — useful, no 
doubt, for military purposes, but highly prejudicial to the shareholders of 
those private companies whose lines had formerly sufficed for the traffic. 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. 1 73 

the barren soil of their native provinces, with the comparative life 
of luxury enjoyed by their brethren across the Atlantic ; and the 
returns from the ports of Hamburg, Bremen, and Stettin, for the 
last three years, clearly indicate the combined effects of the 
milliards and the conscription upon the agricultural populations 
of East and West Prussia, the Mecklenburgs, and Posen. 

Concurrent with the influx of the milliards, there arose at 
Berlin an insensate crusade against everything French, set on 
foot by the leading newspapers. The war had revived in the 
Berlinese many bitter reminiscences which the surpassing triumph 
of the German legions had failed to efface. When, in 1807, 
Napoleon I. carried off to Paris the colossal car of victory which 
surmounts the Brandenburg Gate, and plundered the Berlin 
Museum of its finest works,^ the feelings of the population, as 
they watched the departure of their artistic treasures, must have 
been almost as acute as those of the French, who saw their 
bro7ize-dore clocks and their palissandre pianos carted off to the 
Prussian frontier during the last war. The French seemed to 
have forgotten this little piece of pilfering on the part of their 
great Emperor, and the Prussians were perhaps not altogether 
wrong in showing that they still remembered it, especially as 
they contented themselves with such bagatelles as clocks and 
pianos, and left the public galleries and art collections untouched. 
But when the war was over, and France had been forced to make 
ample reparation, one would have thought that the Prussians 
would have stifled their animosity against their old enemy, 
and if they had felt no pity for a nation that had sufTered so 
grievously at their hands, that they would at all events have 
been actuated by no ill-feeling towards it. Unfortunately, it was 
not so ; and I doubt if it is possible for the Germans to be more 
hated in Paris than the French are at Berlin, The Berlinese 
know that a time must come when vanquished France will be 
strong again, and possibly still eager for revenge ; and the 
opinion that she has not been rendered sufficiently powerless, 
troubles peace-loving shopkeepers as well as bellicose generals. 

One reason why the Germans hate the French is that, not 
being a witty people themselves, they cannot tolerate French 
ridicule. They are also particularly sensitive at being styled 
barbarians, and spoken of as ill-mannered and uncouth. The 
silly yet contemptuous manner in which the French spoke of 
every German who had lived in France before the war broke 
out, as an espion, touched them, moreover, to the quick. One is 

1 In the recently published Recollections of the Countess von Foss, we find 
her writing under the date of the nth of November, 1807, "I received the 
catalogue of all that the French have either despatched officially from Berlin 
to Paris or simply stolen, as well from the Royal Palaces as from Potsdam, 
mostly statues, pictures, china, vases, valuables, and works of art of every 
description. The list is incredible." 



174 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

here reminded of what befel a well-known German painter of 
military subjects who had studied in France prior to the war, 
residing for upwards of three years in Paris and Versailles 
engaged in copying the works of Horace Vernet When the 
war broke out he followed the Prussian army with the view 
of making sketches for several pictures which the king had 
commissioned him to paint, and while at Versailles called upon 
different people he had formerly been on terms of intimacy 
with. He was received everywhere with marked coldness, which 
led him to suspect that he was regarded as one of " Bismarck's 
spies." Nevertheless, chancing to meet one of the attendants 
in the picture-gallery of the palace, to whom he was very well 
known, he invited him to drink a bottle of wine. The old man 
was nothing loth. " Ah !" thought the delighted painter, "here 
at least is one who does not turn his back upon me." They 
repaired to the painter's room ; the bottle was uncorked ; the 
glasses were filled, and the usual compliments exchanged. As 
the old adage has it, " When wine sinks, words swim," and while 
sipping his last glass the old man gravely shook his head, 
remarking, "Well, it's over now, mais cest tout de menie tin bien 
vilain metier que vous avez fait Id, Monsieur." 

" What do you mean ? " exclaimed the astonished painter, as 
his belief in having found one old acquaintance who did not look 
upon him as a spy was suddenly dispelled. " Ah ! " replied the 
other, again wagginghis head, "you were always with the officers in 
garrison here, and it was not without an object, you know. True, 
it's all over now, mais cest neannwius 2111 bien vilain metier !" 

Before the war the Berlinese went into ecstasies over every- 
thing that came from foreign countries, and condemned, as bad 
or worthless, -whatever was made at home. All the artificial 
flowers, perfumery, cravats, collars, bonnets, and mantles, made 
in the city, only found purchasers by the vendors telling false- 
hoods concerning their origin. The best-loved ^<7;za' would have 
risked his future happiness had he dared to suspect that his 
betrothed's toilettes did not come direct from Paris, or at least 
from Brussels or Vienna. It was very different after the war, 
for when the troops re-entered Berlin the committee of manage- 
ment unanimously resolved that the young girls charged with 
presenting wreaths to the Emperor and princes should not be 
attired a la Francaise, but in strict German fashion, whereupon 
much perplexity ensued, and it was finally decided that the only 
way to secure them a really German appearance was for them to 
wear long flowing flaxen tresses in the style of Goethe's Gretchen. 

Subsequently the Berlinese insisted upon French influence 
being no longer allowed to assert itself in literature and the 
drama, in drawing-rooms and kitchens, in apparel and cosmetics. 
This proposed breaking off entirely with France, and dispensing 
with all the results of French culture and industry, was not a 



BERLIN WIRD WELTSTADT. 1 75 

mere idle caprice, still the Berlinese had scarcely estimated how 
deeply rooted French fashions and ideas had become among 
them. A precisely similar movement had been started in 18 14 
after the war of Liberation, but only to die out in the peace that 
followed, possibly from want of any power at that epoch which 
could keep Germany in combined action. In the present 
instance the warfare against everything French was equally 
bitter, if not as active, as in the days of Lessing. It was not for 
long, however, that the latest Parisian mode found no favour 
in the eyes of Berlin belles, and that they employed native 
coutiiricres, who draped them in robes of Spartan simplicity ; 
that chignons became as rare as they had formerly been com- 
mon, and that German labels and inscriptions usurped the place 
of French ones. Before the war there were only 200 French 
workmen in Berlin, now there are estimated to be 2400, the 
wages of whom range from two-and-a-half to five thaler a day. 
The larger number are masons, sculptors, upholsterers, and 
designers, to whom may be added at least a hundred French 
cooks. The Prince von Pless, a rich Silesian landowner, has 
recently been building in the Wilhelms-strasse, a palace after the 
designs of M. Detailleur of Paris. In the construction of this 
edifice, not only have French workmen been employed, but 
most of the materials have been forwarded from France. The 
journals acknowledge that the local architects know next to 
nothing of the ornate Louis Ouinze style, which is utterly ignored 
in their manuals, and admit that Berlin artisans, accustomed 
for fifty years to the bald style of decoration known as Berlin 
Greek, are incapable of working in the highly florid style which 
the Second Empire restored in France. 

Before the war, French language used to be spoken in the best 
Berlin society almost as freely as German itself ; but although 
the officers of the Guard, who reign over the salons of Berlin, 
returned from the campaign with increased fluency in the latigage 
i)ar excellence de la coJiversation — of itself a source of constant 
temptation — scarcely a word of French was heard at either 
evening party or military mess. Waiters, too, no longer pre- 
sumed to air their PVench when addressed by a foreigner 
in imperfect German ; and in certain Berlin clubs and drawing- 
rooms it was the established rule to impose a small fine on 
any one using a French word in the course of conversation. 

These puerile attempts at suppressing the innumerable French 
expressions which had crept into and been incorporated with the 
German language proved far from successful. Three centuries 
and a half ago Avelinus had complained of the evil, Stevin 
followed in his footsteps, and Grimm and Radloff" thundered in 
vain against the abuse. Recently a learned philologist ^ renewed 
their protest ; but while bitterly criticising the writers and 
^ Dr. Zung in his ^Deutsche briefe. 



1/6 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE, 

journalists who made use of what he termed so many barbarisms, 
he was guilty of the very backslidings which he was censuring, 
proving this habit of having recourse to French words to be far 
too deeply rooted to be easily eradicated. A Frenchman on 
arriving by railway at Berlin will be asked for his billet ; at the 
hotel an individual in a cap with a gold band will announce 
himself as the portier. Advertisements in the papers will 
apprise him where he can live eii pension ; outside many lodging- 
houses he will notice the inscription Maison Meiiblee, while the 
better-class dining-places will style themselves restaurants, and 
certain beer-rooms, where cofifee is never by any chance seen, 
will call themselves cafis. If he visits the opera he can apply 
for a billet de parquet, and it is at once given to him. If he asks 
for a loge, a parterre, or a balcon, he will be equally well under- 
stood ; and has merely to pronounce the word /r^^rrt^/zw^? to have 
one handed to him. Over the shops he will find MarcJiand 
iailleur, Magasin de modes, &c., or such hybrid phrases as Rasir, 
frisir, nnd haarschneide cabinet inscribed, while soieries de Lyon 
and noiiveautes de Paris, and similar announcements, stare him 
in the face in many of the windows. In the papers he will read of 
ein arrondirtcs, separirtes, und isolirtes, Gut, znm reguliren, for sale, 
and that So-and-So recominandirt sein renojnmirtes 7tJid assortirtes 
Lager, er garantirt seine marchandise. Furniture-dealers vaunt 
their mobilidr and tHeublemcnts. The newspapers announce the 
price of an abonnernent, a journalist advertises for the post of 
redactciir, and photographers speak of their ateliers, and adver- 
tising agents of their a7inoncen expeditions. Theatrical pro- 
grammes and the cartes of the better-class restaurants are 
generally half in French, while the menus of private dinners are 
entirely so — not such French perhaps as a Parisian would recog- 
nize, but good enough to establish the rule. At regular intervals 
the journals opened a vigorous campaign against the admixture 
of French in the programmes, but without much success. 

The extent to which the French language has been laid under 
contribution for military purposes is certainly considerable ; still 
we ourselves appear to be indebted to it in an equal degree. 
The Prussian recruit is sent to the caserne, where he learns that 
he has become a militair ; his uniform is given him ; as a 
rekrut he learns to exerciren ; if tall and well built he will probably 
be admitted to the cavallerie as a kUrassier, and enter into a 
regiment of such a numero or into an escadron of "Cao. garde-corps. 
If, on the other hand, he becomes an infa7iterist, he may be a 
grenadier, or be incorporirt into a bataillon oi fusiliers ; or, 
failing his admission into either of these divisions, he will be 
placed in the artillerie. 



^fy^ «|^^J-^ 










UNTER DEM LINDEN. 
J^r/}»t the Illustrated LoitdoK News. 



Page 177. I. 




UNTER DEN LINDEN, FROM THE PARISER-FLATZ. 



IX. 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



TWO striking features of Berlin — more characteristic of the 
city than the Schloss, the museums, the mihtary monu- 
ments, the Spree, the vast barracks, or the equally vast beer- 
gardens — are Unter den Linden and the Thiergarten, the 
favourite promenades, intra and extra muros, of the Berlinese. 
Berlin, without Unter den Linden and the Thiergarten, would 
be like Paris without its Boulevards and its Bois de Boulogne, 
Vienna without its Ring and its Prater, London without its 
Regent-street and its Parks. It is of these twin attractions that 
we shaL now, therefore, speak, and first of Unter den Linden, 
the Prussian via triumphalis, where the national history may be 
said to be written in bronze, stone, and — stucco. 

Unter den Linden is a pretty name ; there is euphony even in 
the mere words, which suggest the title for a sentimental poem, 
telling of lovers meeting in the silence of evening under an 
avenue of branching limes ; of throbbing hearts and faltering 
voices, soft endearments and whispered vows, broken only by the 
warbling of the nightingale. It is an appropriate name, too, for 
that slightly meretricious picture of Kaulbach's — engravings of 
which are in all the Berlin printsellers' windows — representing a 
bouncing young shepherdess, in a trifle too obvious dhhabille, 
listening with rapture to the impassioned declarations of a gay 
and daring troubadour beneath the shade of overhanging lime- 
trees. Her hat, which, like her hair, is wreathed with roses, has 
fallen on the ground, and lies beside her crook among the blue- 
bells, daisies, and forget-me-nots, while her strayed flock stand 
bleating in the distance. She herself reclines unresistingly in 

N 



178 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



the minstrel's arms ; her hand, which a moment ago repulsed the 
advances of the too impetuous youth, for whom the battle is 
almost won, now reposes languidly on his shoulder, as gazing 
into the limpid stream running at their feet she seems to lend a 
willing ear to his persuasive pleadings. 

Unter den Linden, however, applied to the principal street 
in Berlin, is slightly inappropriate, for one might almost ask 
where are the lime-trees .'' One looks up and down that broad 
thoroughfare — which the Berlinese foolishly compare to the 
Champs Elysees and boulevards of Paris, the Corso of Milan, 
and the Prado of Madrid — for the wide-spreading foliage, which 
one is apt to associate with the lime, and all that one perceives 
are rows of sickly-looking trees shedding their withered leaves 
as they sway backwards and forwards in the autumn breeze. 
Lime-trees are there, it is true, but either so languishing or 
else so small, and so mixed up with stunted chestnut and 
maple-trees, that it is somewhat difficult to distinguish one from 
the other. The fact is, there is scarcely a tree among them that 
has seen threescore summers, and yet the Berlinese cheat 
themselves into believing that Unter den Linden is the finest 
thoroughfare in Europe.^ 

To obtain an idea of Unter den Linden, 
all, a 



imagine, first of 
thoroughfare as 
broad as Portland- 
place. Trace out in the 
centre a wide prome- 
nade enclosed by mere- 
ly a single iron rail 
placed about a yard 
from the ground; border 
it with some scraggy- 
looking trees ; dispose 
along it a score or so of 
seats and a few little 
wooden houses for the 
sale of fruit, walking- 
sticks, and effervescing 
drinks, with several 
dumpy columns covered 
with coloured announcements of the day's and night's entertain- 
ments ; arrange a ride on one side by means of a second iron 
rail ; border this with more trees, and reserve it to equestrians, 




1 The debilitated condition of the trees in the Linden is stated to arise 
from their being poisoned at their roots by escapes of gas. To obviate this 
all newly-planted trees are inclosed within a stone wall sunk five feet below 
the surface of the ground. Certain Berlin savants say it is to other causes, 
and more especially the drought in summer, that the decrepit condition 
of the Berlin lime-trees is really to be attributed. 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



179 



taking care, however, that it is only just broad enough for a 
couple of horsemen to ride abreast ; then, on the further side, set 
apart a similar strip of ground for carriages, with a reasonably- 
broad foot-pavement beyond, which bound with a palace orso.somc 
stuccoed houses, large hotels, and second-rate shops. Imagine a 
street disposed in the above fashion extending for nearly a mile in 
a straight line, and intersected by smaller thoroughfares, with its 
open drains in warm weather sending forth all the foul odours 
which Coleridge professed to detect in Cologne. Place at one 
end a stately gateway in the style of the Propylaeum at Athens, 
and some sixty feet high and two hundred feet wide ; surmount 
it by a colossal chariot of Victory harnessed to four prancing 
steeds, and erect several ill-matched mansions in its vicinity. 
Then, at the other end, in front of the Emperor William's 
palace, place a handsome bronze equestrian statue of Friedrich 
the Great standing on a tall pedestal, ornamented with finely- 
designed alto-relievos, and you will have a very fair counterpart 
of Unter den Linden, Berlin. 

To give life to the scene there should be plenty of soldiers, 
both on and off duty, including perhaps a squadron of the 
famous White Cuirassiers, also helmeted officers, scintillating with 
decorations, driving about in droschken, ambling aides-de-camp, 
and orderlies, everlastingly on the trot, and young lieutenants 
clattering their sabres on the pavement ; for at Berlin the 
military element dominates every other. Add a fair number of 
vehicles of all kinds, ,„, ,,,„i:iii 



not forgetting primitive 
country waggons and 
carts drawn by dogs ; 
with women carrying 
baskets of cakes and 
fruit; newsmen with 
the journals of the day 
in boxes slung before 
them ; nursemaids from 
the Spreevvald, in the 
quaint coiffure and 
scarlet " unterrock " of 
the district, and escorted 
by philandering guards- 
men. Amongst the more 
respectable pedestrians 
there should be an oc- 
casional ragged urchin, 
with a good sprinkling 
of greasy-coated, un- 
washed bangel, or Berlin roughs, who seem to pass a large portion 
of the day sleeping upon the benches under the central avenue, 

N 2 




l80 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

much to the disgust of the seedy loungers who will sit here 
meditatively for hours together, with their crossed legs incon- 
tinently exposing the dilapidated boots they are ordinarily 
so careful to hide. 

It is through the open arcades of the Brandenburger Thor — • 
which rises up at the western extremity of Unter den Linden, on 
the verge of the Thiergarten, and forms the grand approach 
to the Prussian capital — that all the triumphal entries into 
Berlin are made. At the conclusion of the late war with France, 
the victorious legions, w^hich had recently passed in triumph 
under the noble Arc de I'Etoile, in the Champs Elysees, marched 
into Berlin by the Brandenburg Gate, acclaimed by an enthusi- 
astic population. And when the first Napoleon, after the 
battle of Jena, made his entry into the city as a conqueror, he 
likewise passed through this gateway under the famous colossal 
group of Victory — the laboured work of a common Berlin 
coppersmith, after the sculptor Schadow's model — which a 
few months later was on its way to Paris to swell the art- 
spoils of Europe there accumulated. Seven years afterwards 
it was brought back in triumph, and restored to its appro- 
priate pedestal to again survey the broad Linden perspective. The 
architect of the Brandenburg Gate is said to have borrowed the 
idea of it from the Propylaeum, the entrance to the Acropolis. 
If so, he certainly took great liberties with his model, for 
his Doric columns are neither of classical proportions nor 
artistically treated. Besides being too tall, they rest on bases, 
and are fluted in the Ionic instead of the Doric style. The bas- 
reliefs ornamenting the sides of the structure, and referring to 
the military achievements of Friedrich the Great, are a sad 
jumble of the historical and the mythical. 

The wide Pariser-platz, immediately facing the Branden- 
burger Thor, with its guard-house on the one hand, and a crowd 
of ramshackle droschken standing at hire on the other, is bounded 
on its two sides by some incongruous mansions and so-called 
palaces, of no architectural merit, excepting one recently erected 
by Prince Blucher von Wahlstadt, on the site of the historic 
edifice presented by the city of Berlin to his illustrious 
ancestor, who arrived so opportunely at Waterloo. At this end 
of the Linden is the School of Artillery and Engineers, with a 
couple of the Ministries, the remainder being installed in, or 
adjacent to, Wilhelms-strasse — the Parliament and Downing- 
street of Berlin — which intersects the lime-tree avenue at this 
point, and forms the official quarter of the city. Higher up the 
Linden, on the southern side, is the capacious hotel of the 
Russian Embassy, between which and the Palace of Prince 
Frederick of the Netherlands, the broad thoroughfare is occupied 
on both its sides by shops, all, with rare exceptions, more or less 
commonplace, hotels more or less stately, restaurants with beer- 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



l8l 




gardens in their rear, and conditoreien with iron balustrades in 
front, penning in the out-door habitues of these estabhshments, 
like so many sheep. 

Quite a recent and attractive feature of Unter den Linden is 
the handsome Kaiser-gallerie. standing on the southern side, and 
leading into Friedrichs-strasse. The Berlinese, who style it 
" the Passage," point admiringly to its lofty proportions and 
redundant ornamentation, and believe it to be without equal in 
Europe. Yet, as a commercial speculation, it is a lamentable 
failure. Well-dressed loungers are not attracted to it, simply 
because its shops, iwith the exception of those adjoining the 
Linden, are stocked with worthless articles. You may dine, more- 
over, in perfect solitude at almost any hour of the day at its 
grand restaurant, the entrance to which is almost on a par with 
that of a first-class London club-house ; while, as regards its 
capacious Wiener cafe, scarcely more than a dozen people are 
usually encountered there, although it offers ample accommoda- 
tion to upwards of a hundred, besides which it is commonly 
deserted by nine o'clock at night, at a time when the Berlin beer- 
houses are perhaps the most crowded. 

Berlin is not a lively nor even a particularly bustling city. 
It altogether lacks the gay, kaleidoscopic life of a great metro- 
polis. None of the crowd of well-dressed loungers, encountered 



IS2 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



on the Paris boulevards 
or in our own Regent- 
street, throng its prin- 
cipal promenade, where, 
moreover, elegantly-at- 
tired women are rare- 
ly seen. As a rule, the 
Berlin belles seem to 
know as little how to 
dress as a large section 
of our own country- 
women, the same war 
of colour prevailing in 
their toilettes, which are 
for the most part extra- 
vagant caricatures of 
Paris fashions. 

The broad central 
avenue of the Linden 
is almost exclusively 
appropriated by nursemaids and children and the "residuum" 
of the Berlin population, while it is easy to perceive that the 
few loungers along r- 




the side-walks are 
either foreigners or 
provincials. Where 
the straight and 
wearisomely lengthy 
Friedrichs - strasse 
crosses the Linden 
is its busiest part. 
Here the traffic re- 
quires mounted po- 
lice to regulate it ; 
here " droschken 
kutscher " loiter for 
fares; street-vendors 
of newspapers find 
their chief customers, 
"dicnstmanner " in 
scarlet caps hang 
about for jobs, an 
Berlinshoeblacksj/ 
their principal trad 
Plereabouts, also,ai 
the most frequent 
conditoreien, where 
more assignations 




UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



183 



are made, more newspapers pored over, more coffee sipped, 
and more pastry devoured, than anywhere else in Berlin. 
Kranzler's, at the corner of Friedrichs-strasse, used to be the 
favourite rendezvous of the officers of the garrison, but of late 




KKANZLERS CORNER THIRTY YEARS AGO. 



years they appear to have abandoned it to the smaller stock- 
jobbing fraternity. 

Ranch's admirable monument to Friedrich the Great, at the 
eastern extremityof the Linden, dwarfs the adjacent two-storeyed 
palace in which the Emperor resides. The colossal equestrian 
statue of Friedrich in his habit as he lived — the accustomed 
jeering smile playing over his cunning features, and the 
legendary cane hanging from his right arm, stands on a bronze 
pedestal, which, with its base of polished granite, gives to the 
complete monument a total elevation of nearly forty-three feet. 
At the corners of the lower pedestal are equestrian statues of 
four of Friedrich's distinguished generals, the intervening spaces 
being occupied by the effigies of different military heroes of the 
time. The upper pedestal, on which the statue of Friedrich 
rests, is ornamented by four sitting figures, symbolical of Wisdom, 
Justice, Strength, and Moderation, and by bas-reliefs, repre- 
senting, allegorically, certain incidents in the life of the soldier- 
king. The monument may be said to illustrate an important 
chapter in Prussian history, with no actor of that stirring epoch 



1 84 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




absent from it. The sculptor, too, understanding how to recon- 
cile historic truth with ideal beauty, has successfully overcome 
the difficulty presented by an undignified style of costume, and 
produced a work of which Berlin may well be proud. 

The palace of the Kaiser — over which the handsome imperial 
standard floats, and sculptured eagles hover with outspread wings 
— might pass for a respectable club-house, or, were it a few storeys 
higher, for a modern grand hotel. Unimposing though it be, 
it has, in the eyes of the Berlinese, the especial merit of having 
been constructed entirely of materials of home production, and 
decorated exclusively by native artists. 

Twice a day, while the Emperor is at Berlin, an interesting 
scene is enacted in front of his palace, where the standards of the 
various regiments quartered in the capital are for the time being 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



185 



deposited. Soon after dawn in summer, and before that un- 
seasonable hour in winter, when half the residents on the 
Linden are between the conventional pair of feather-beds, early- 
risers will assemble before the palace and await the arrival of 
the detachment which — with uniforms and accoutrements alike 
without a speck, and accompanied by a band playing martial 
airs — comes to fetch away the standards for the morning 
manoeuvres outside the city. The exercises over the colours are 
brought back again — the detachment this time being smothered 
with dust, or drenched with rain and splashed with mud — when 
the band forming in front of the palace, strikes up some lively 
march, and a general salute is given at the moment the stand- 
ards are deposited in ceremonious fashion in their customary 
resting-place. 




THE EMPEROR S PALACE AND ROYAL LIBRARY. 



The rococo fa9ade of the Royal Library which abuts on the 
Emperor's palace at the eastern end is jocularly said to be the 
reproduction of an 1 8th century commode, which Friedrich the 
Great had chosen to serve as a model to the architect. Stored 
within the building is a large collection of rare works, together 
with an extensive and interesting assemblage of old music. 
The former comprises an 8th century MS. of the four evan- 
gelists, presented by Charlemagne to Duke Wittekind of 
Saxony, a portion of Luther's translation of the Bible written by 
himself, and more or less covered with his corrections, also both 
Guttenberg's and Faust's Bibles and other rare early printed 
books. Spread out in front of the Library is a small garden plot 
across which a glance is obtained of the Roman Catholic Church 
of St. Hedwig, while on the opposite side of the parterre and 
facing the Royal Library is the Berlin Opera-house, a vast and 
somewhat elegant structure, an adaptation on the part of Fried- 



1 86 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



rich the Great's favourite architect, Knobelsdorf, of the Pantheon 
at Athens. Damaged greatly by fire a century after its erection, 
when the edifice was restored, the external walls were all pre- 
served. Its principal front 




STATUE OF MAkbHAl BI LCHER 



more ornate edifice — surmounted 

and enriched with sculptured friezes and military trophies 



looks on to the broad Opern- 
platz, where Unter den Lin- 
den terminates — its five 
straight roads, fringed with 
sickly - looking trees, here 
merging into a single broad 
thoroughfare, whence a com- 
plete view can be obtained of 
the numerous neighbouring 
public buildings without ele- 
vating one's nose unduly in 
the air. 

Perched upon tall pedestals 
m the open space eastward 
of the Opera-house are bronze 
statues of three notable 
Prussian generals — York, Blii- 
cher, and Gneisenau — relieved 
by a rich back -ground of 
foliage. Beyond rises the 
so-called Prinzessinnen Palace 
Imked by an archway to the 
by statues and balustrades, 

ill 




PALACB OF THE PRINCE IMFERIAU 



which the Prirxe and Princess Imperial reside. Prior to its 
partial reconsti action in 1858, it had been the residence of the 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



1S7 



father of the present Emperor, and also of Friedrich the Great, 
antecedent to his mounting the throne. It had been entirely- 
refitted up for the latter on the occasion of his marriage ; the 
Governor of Berlin who then occupied it — old Field-marshal 
Wartensleben, grandfather of the Prince's friend, Katte, be- 
headed for complicity in his famous attempt to escape — being 
bundled out to make room for the Crown Prince and his bride. 

Facing the Palace of the Emperor is the Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, a building with no pretensions to architectural beauty, 
having been originally designed for the P21ectoral stables, but the 
clock of which enjoys the honour of regulating Berlin time. 




THE ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES. 



Allusion has been already made to the origin of that promising 
Academy of Sciences founded at the instigation of the Electress 
Sophia, and which at the present day holds its meetings within 
the walls of this edifice. Under the utilitarian reign of Friedrich 
Wilhelm I., it had sunk so low as to submit to have the drunken 
butt of the King's tobacco parliament imposed upon it for a 
president, and have proposed to it by the King himself as a 
proper subject for discussion, " Why champagne foamed .-* " 
The academicians, more witty than the King, replied that they 
needed the requisite material to experiment with, but his parsi- 
monious majesty sent them merely a dozen bottles. In subse- 
quent years the Berlin Academy caused some noise in the world 
apropos of the law of thrift doctrine of its then perpetual president, 
the mathematician, Maupertius, and the ridicule with which this 
was assailed by Voltaire in the famous Diatribe du Docteur 
Akakia — a satire heartily laughed over in private by Friedrich 
the Great, although it drew from him the simulated indignant 



1 88 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

observation that if Voltaire's " works deserved statues his conduct 
deserved chains," and which, as already mentioned, was burnt by 
his orders by the Berlin hangman. 

Adjoining the Academy of Arts and Sciences is the more 
imposing-looking University, formerly the Palace of Prince 
Heinrich, brother of Friedrich the Great. The centre of the 
edifice is thrown back some distance from the Linden, the quad- 
rangular space in front being disposed in floral parterres. East- 
ward of the University is the so-called Konig's VVache, designed 
by Schinkel, an enthusiast in the cause of antique art, and much 
admired by the Berlinese, who see no anachronism in soldiers in 
loose pantaloons and spiked helmets mounting guard with needle 
guns before so severely classical an edifice. 

Rauch's admirable statues of the brave Biilow von Dennowitz, 
and Scharnhorst the Hanoverian, who organised the Prussian 
army under Friedrich Wilhelm III., flank the guard-house, which 




is almost surrounded by a grove of chestnut trees, between the 
trunks of which peep some ancient cannon of large calibre, cap- 
tured from the French. Here at eleven o'clock daily, when the 
guard is paraded, connoisseurs of the street, loungers on the 
Linden, and nurses with their charges, assemble to listen to music 
admirably executed by the band of the regiment on duty. 
Occasionally in front of the guard-house a crowd of ofificers, com- 
missioned and non-commissioned, of all ranks and in all uniforms, 
will be passing rapidly to-and-fro as on the eve of a battle. 
Among these picturesque groups the eye will perhaps light upon 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



189 



some white-moustached old general, his breast covered with 
decorations, who, enveloped in a cloak lined with scarlet and with 
his hand resting on his sabre, listens grave and attentively to the 
report of a booted, spurred, and helmeted lieutenant, resplen- 
dent as a sun. 

At all times the sentinel on duty at this post has to be 




constantly on the qui vive to avoid neglecting to "spot" the 
numerous officers passing backwards and forwards on foot and in 
closed and open droschken. When they chance to be of the 
higher grade, preparations to salute them have to be made the 
instant they appear in sight. Pass the guard-house at any moment 
and the sentinel will certainly be found saluting some captain or 
calling out the guard to render due honour to some moustached 
old general for whom you look in vain, till by the aid of your 
eye-glass you detect him almost a hundred yards off. It is 



1 90 



BRRI.IX UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



always interesting to see the first salute given, when the move- 
ments of the men are made with all the precision of mechanism, 
so perfect is the drill. 

Beyond the guard-house and facing the palace of the Prince 
Imperial is the Royal Armoury, a huge square massive-looking 
building which Berlin art connoisseurs pronounce to be an archi- 
tectural cJief d'ceiivrc, and the handsomest edifice of which the 
capital can boast. The credit of the original design belongs to 
Nering, a Dutch architect, long settled at Berlin, whither he was 
tempted by the Great Elector. Nering dying soon after the 
building had been commenced, other architects in succession 
were entrusted with the work, the completion of which was 
ultimately confided to De Bodt, who became famous in after- 
life as the architect of the Dresden Japanese Palace. De Bodt 
was a French Protestant emigrd, who had met with a favourable 
reception in Holland, and had accompanied the Prince of Orange 
to England. Subsequently he entered the service of Prussia in 
the somewhat dissimilar capacities of military captain and court 
architect. 




THR ROYAL ARMOURY AND GU AR D-HOl'SE. 



The many important changes which De Bodt made in Nering's 
platis entitle him to be regarded as the architect of the Armoury, 
which bears some trifling resemblance to our Somerset House, 
excepting that it is overlaid with military groups and trophies 
which crowd as well as crown the roof Above the principal 
entrance, which is flanked by four indifi"erent allegorical statues 
by another Frenchman, named Hulot, is a vigorous gilt bronze 
medallion by the same sculptor, of Friedrich I., with a fulsome 
Latin inscription setting forth that this " terror to his enemies and 
protector of his subjects and allies, built the present Armoury and 
stored it with ammunition, war trophies, and booty of all kinds, 
in the year 1706." Ornamenting the pediment and surmount- 
ing the balustrade are some spirited groups by Schluter of the 
old familiar allegorical type, one representing Mars reposing in 
the midst of prisoners and war trophies, another showing him 



UNTER DEN LINDEN. 



191 



surrounded by fettered slaves and preparing to rush into battle, 
while Minerva encompassed by arms and warriors exhorts him 
to moderation. Surmounting the windows of the lower storey 
are richly-carved helmets, the details of which certainly display 
remarkable fertility of invention, and the successful effect of 
which seems to have led to this style of decoration, so consonant 
with Prussian military tastes, being applied to many other Berlin 
edifices, notably the Palace of the Prince Imperial, the Cadetten- 
haus, the General Staff Office, &c. No attempt, however, has 
been made to reproduce the far more interesting " Schliiter'sche 
Masken " sculptured above the windows looking on to the inner 
court of the building, and scarcely inferior to anything of their 
kind within the range of ancient and modern art. They are twenty- 
one in number, and consist of the heads of dying warriors, alike 
youthful and aged, who are seized with all the pangs and con- 
vulsions, the faintness and resignation of death. Schlliter, in giving 
the expression of mental suffering to bodily anguish, judicious- 
ly imparted dig- 
nity alike to 
the terrible and 
the affecting. A 
Berlin critic re- 
marks that while 
the sculptured 
groups which 
surmount the 
outside of the 
edifice deal with 
the so-called 
glories of war, 
the bas - reliefs 
within reveal to 
us something of 
the anguish and 

the suffering which are inseparable from battles and military 
triumphs. 

Standing with one's back to the Linden at the foot of the 
broad Schloss-briicke — spanning a narrow arm of the Spree, and 
connecting the wide " platz " in front of the Armoury with the 
Lustgarten — one takes in the finest coup d'ceil of which Berlin 
can boast. The eight classical marble groups symbolical of the 
life of a hero — it is always deeds of arms that Berlin sculpture 
seeks to glorify — which line the bridge on its two sides are seen 
disposed in graceful perspective, while beyond on the right hand 
there rises up the imposing facade of the old Schloss, dominated 
at one end by the distant tower of the Rath-haus, and at the 
other by an imposing dome, and picturesquely varied by long 
lines of windows, gilded balconies, sculptured gateways, garden 





192 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



terraces, colossal bronze horse-tamers, and a great golden eagle 
with expanded wings, posed on the summit of a marble column. 
In front of the Schloss the Lustgarten — the former drill-ground 
of Friedrich Wilhelm's gigantic guards — spreads itself out, the 




centre part disposed in formal parterres around a fountain, which 
throws up fantastic spiral jets of water. Close by stands the 




THE SCHLOSS-BRUCKE. 



colossal equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III., the pedestal 
encompassed by a singular jumble of mythical and allegorical 
figures representing Borussia brandishing a drawn sword, Father 
Rhine with his conventional urn and vine branch, Frau Memel, 
with wheatsheaf and ploughshare, Justice, holding her traditional 
sceptre, Science, clasping a globe and a book, while Genius, 
personified by a winged boy, lights him with the torch of truth. 
Another group symbolizes the union of Art with Handicraft, 
and finally Religion is shown covering a chalice with an olive 
branch, to signify, we are told, what we certainly should not have 



UNTER DEN LINDEN 







MiM^^ 




i^pyj^^ 



,ai^' 



MONUMENT TO FKIEDKICH WILHELM 111. 



Otherwise have divined, namely the union of the Prussian evan- 
geHcal churches. 

Bounding the so-called Lustgarten on the opposite side and 
vis-d^vis the Schloss is the Museum, surmounted by colossal 
groups of the horse-taming Dioscuri. Its Ionic portico, which is 
supported by eighteen columns, surmounted by as many eagles, and 
decorated with over-glowing frescoes from the pencil of Cornelius, 
is approached up a vast flight of steps in front of which stands a 
Cyclopean polished granite basin. Flanking it are the familiar 
groups in bronze of the Amazon on horseback defending herself 

O 



194 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




against a tiger, and a mounted warrior engaged in combat with 
a lion — the one by Kiss, the other by Wolff. The drawback 
to the tout ensemble is the Cathedral standing at the eastern 
extremity of the Lustgarten and facing the Schloss-briicke, and 
which, spite of its portico with its triad of colossal angels, its 
twin towers and prominent dome, is about the baldest-looking 
and least interesting cathedral church ever met with in a large 
continental city. 





BASKING IN THE SHINE. 



X. 



THE THIERGARTEN. 

THE artistic attractions of the "Athens of the Spree" 
compensate in a measure for its acknowledged deficiencies 
on the score of natural beauty — deficiencies which none are 
more conscious of than the Berlinese themselves. With the 
exception of the Thiergarten, which is the Berliner's Eden, 
all the immediate environs of the city are tame and common- 
place in character. The Thiergarten, on the contrary, with the 
inconvenient drawback that in summer the trees are grey with 
dust, and only the sluggish meandering waters intersecting it 
are green, is really a charming spot. If it cannot boast of 
foliage equally venerable as the antiquated oaks and elms of 
Hyde-park, it is by no means deficient in fine trees, besides 
which it is far more densely wooded than Kensington-gardens, 
and spite of the geometric avenues intersecting it, more naturally 
picturesque than the Bois de Boulogne. Once within its 
umbrageous precincts, you are walled in, as it were, by trees 
which bound your view on every side, and, excepting in the 
broader avenues, are screened alike from sun and wind, as well 
as almost sheltered from the rain. 

The Berlin Thiergarten — situated just outside the Branden- 
burg Gate, and although much encroached upon of late )ears, 
still about the size of Hyde-park — is a combination of Dutch 
trimness in matters horticultural, with much of the studied 
irregularity, and far more than the natural wildness of our 

O 2 



196 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



English system of landscape-garden incj. Unenclosed as it is 
on every side, and bounded by the city on the east and south, 
it is naturally a place of considerable resort with all clas'^es ; and 
although it is intersected in all directions with straight and 
winding footpaths and broad rectangular and radiating avenues 
— the inevitable termination of which, according to one who 
knows Berlin well, is either a beer-garden or a dancing-saloon — 
sombre glades, into which the sun never penetrates, and seques- 
tered solitudes, where errant footsteps rarely stray, exist within 
a few minutes' walk of the Brandenburgfer Thor itself. 










The Thiergarten takes its name from the deer and other 
animals which ran wild there two or three centuries ago, when 
it extended almost to the heart of the existing city, and formed, 
in fact, a hunting-ground for the Electors just outside the doors 
of the Schloss. It was then fenced in with the double object of 
keeping the game from escaping and preserving it from the 
poachers of the period. The first King of Prussia had the first 
regular roads cut through its dense thickets, and the earliest 
walks and pleasure-grounds formed. Since then succeeding 
sovereigns have contributed their mite towards rendering the 
Thiergarten the attractive spot it now is. Eriedrich the Great 
especially had many alleys, basins, and flower borders, laid out 
under the direction of his pet architect, Knobelsdorf. 

A broad roadway, inmiediately opposite the Brandenburg 
Gate, bordered by centenarian trees, and with a tramway at one 
side, along which cars are continually running, divides the 
Berlin park into two unequal parts, and conducts to Char- 
lottenburg, by far the pleasantest suburb of lierlin, to which it 
forms a kind of Kew. To the left of this avenue, and no great 
distance down it, are the picturesque Apollo and Flora-platze, 



THE THIERGARTEN. 



197 




separated by a basin of water known as the Goldfisch-teich, and 
ornamented with statues, floral parterres, and cHpped hedges, 
the whole hemmed in by shrubberies and forest-trees, and 
rV7^v!>-^^. forming by no 

means an ill-as- 
sorted union of 
the careless and 
the precise. Out- 
side the circular 
walk, which en- 
compasses the Flo- 
ra-platz, and forms 
a favourite pro- 
menade during the 
summer months, is 
a broad ride, bor- 
dered by fine trees, 
the tangled boughs 
of which meet over- 
head, and here in 
the morning cava- 
:W Hers on prancing 
steeds caracole and 
canter to the ad- 
miring gaze of Ber- 
lin nursemaids and 
the terror of their 
youthful charges. 

The Thiergar- 
ten abounds with 




198 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



shady drives and rides, more or less thronged during the season 
by the rank and fashion of Berlin, and rendered gay by the 
preponderance of uniforms of the Prussian guard, which at times 
give to the gathering somewhat of the aspect of a military pro- 
menade. Spite, how- 



■^M 

"l%i 




ever, of the uniforms, 

the fours-in-hand, the 

handsome carriages 

and splendid horses, 

there is not the same 

animation as prevails 

in the Ride and Rot- 
ten Row. One draw- 
back is the marked 

paucity of feminine 

equestrians. Of the 

few that are seen, the 

majority are either 

English or American, 

for riding, spite of the 

example set by the 

Crown Princess, is not 

an accomplishment ne- 
cessary to the complete 

education of a well-born 

Berlin fraulein. A principal drawback of the Thiergarten is the 

absence of chairs for the motley assemblage of promenaders, both 

military and civil, com- 
pelling them either to 
keep continually on 
their legs, or to seek for 
a seat between nurse- 
maids and vagrants — 

" Dozing in the shade, 
Or basking in the shine,'' 



on the crowded wooden 
benches. 

The hours at which 
the Berlin beau monde 
takes its habitual dust- 
bath in the sandy 
drives of the Thier- 
garten is two o'clock 
in the afternoon and 
six o'clock in the even- 
ing when the days have sufficiently lengthened. The hand- 
somest private vehicles are encountered in the broad Hofjager- 




THE THIERGARTEN. 



199 



allee, but invariably with a sprinkling of better-class droschken 
among them. The grandest Berlin ladies quit their carriages, 
and mingle with the very mixed company which promenades 
there between two and four o'clock. Even the Empress, who 




"dozi.ng in the shade. 



makes her appearance in semi-state — in a carriage drawn by 
four, and at times even six horses, and with outriders preceding 
her — will frequently alight, and, attended merely by a lady-in- 
waiting and a couple of footmen, pass quickly through the 
bowing crowd to one or other of the more retired walks with 
which the Thiergarten abounds. The Emperor, who drives alone, 




200 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

wrapped in his traditional grey military cloak, arrives pretty 
punctually from three to half-past three, and, as his carriage flits 
rapidly by, the horsemen in the adjacent avenue rein in their 
caracoling steeds to render him the customary salute, while 
the ladies, who, in their exaggerated toilettes, resemble living 
fashion-plates, curtsey low to the ground, like flowers swayed by 
a breeze. The old Emperor has enough to do in puckering his 
lips into a perpetual smile, and raising his hand incessantly to 
his helmet. 

Prince Bismarck generally rides out of the garden at the back 
of his house opening into the Thiergarten about two o'clock, 
attended by one of his secretaries or burgher adjutants. He 
mixes freely with the assembled company, but, being short- 
sighted, not unfrequently salutes ladies whom he does not know, 
and passes his own wife and daughter by without recognizing 
them. Count Moltke, who maintains his accustomed reserve and 
habitual thoughtful aspect even among the gay crowds that 
throng the Thiergarten, usually rides alone since the death of 
his young wife, a bold horsewoman, who was fond of accom- 
panying him. 

To the right of the main intersecting avenue, at the north- 
eastern verge of the Thiergarten, and no great distance from the 
Spree, is the broad Konigs-platz, in the centre of which rises the 
monument commemorating the triple victories of 1864, '66, and 
'70, the Prussians, in their prudence or their modesty, having 
contented themselves by celebrating a triad of triumphs by 
a single trophy. 

The memorial designed by Professor Strack is most pretentious but alto- 
gether unsatisfactory as a work of art. A stumpy fluted column bound round 
■nith brass, encircled with toy cannon cast out of captured artillery, dividing 
it into three sections, and crowned by a huge gilt bronze figure of Victory — 
rises from the centre of a circular colonnade of granite. This colonnade is 
raised upon a lofty pedestal, also of granite, ornamented at its four sides with 
large bas-reliefs ; the one on the eastern side — facing Berlin — referring to the 
Danish war, and the storming of the Diippell redoubt, while that on the north 
depicts the battle of Sadowa with the King embracing the Crown Prince, whose 
action had decided the fortune of the day. On the western side is a represen- 
tation of the battle and capitulation of Sedan, with the King receiving the 
Emperor Napoleon's letter, the southern panel being devoted to the triumphal 
entry of the German army into Berlin after the capitulation of Paris. 
Calandrclli, Schutz, Keill and Wolff are the designers of these bas-rehefs. 

The capital of the columns is encompassed by spread-eagles, and the winged 
figure of Victory which surmounts it is of the familiar fat and florid feminine 
type which constitutes the Germanic ideal of beauty. In her right hand she 
holds a laurel wreath above her head, and in her left a spear or sceptre. This 
statue modelled by Professor Drake is upwards of thirty feet in height. 

The inner wall of the circular hall encompassed by the circular colonnade 
is being decorated with a colossal composition, representing the struggle with 
France for German unity, and designed by Anton von Werner. " In this 
gigantic picture we are presented with a figure of Germany, rising in a threat- 
ening attitude on this side of the Rhine, while on the bank a fisherman is 
anxiously drawing his nets. From the clouds on the other side floats a pale 



THE THIERGARTEN. 20I 

figure of the CjEsars, who has in his train Pestilence, Famine, and Death. 
From this side rush the German youth on foot and on horseback ; in front is 
a figure that can be no other than the bold cavalrj' leader Prince Friedrich 
Karl. In the next scene the Rhine is gone. On the battle-field, among 
corpses and ruins, North and South Germany shake hands in token of 
brotherly union, under the guise of two men on horseback, of whom one is 
'our Fritz,' and the other the Bavarian General, von Hartmann. Next we 
are in the Palace of Versailles, indicated by two columns. The German 
Princes and the Paladms of the Empire, 13ismarck, Moltke, &c., salute 
Wilhelm I. as German Emperor, Jan. i8, 1871, exactly 170 years after Fried- 
rich I. made himself King of Prussia. Old Barbarossa wakes in his Kyff- 
hauser, and the rav^ens, which for centuries have hung round the hill, fly 
away." 

At the north-west corner of the Konigs-platz are the offices of 
the General Staff, and on its eastern side is the Raczinsky 




KACZINSKY PALACE. 



Palace, noted for its Art Gallery, comprising sculpture by 
Thorwaldsen and paintings by Cornelius and Kaulbach, Leo- 
pold Robert, Paul Delaroche, and other modern artists, with 
various works of the old masters. Facing the Raczinsky 
Palace is KroU's popular establishment, a respectable kind of 
Cremorne, patronized by entire middle-class Berlin, and univer- 
sally regarded — royalty itself having deigned to visit it — as one 
of the institutions of the capital. For this reason a somewhat 
detailed description of it may be ventured upon. 

On the right-hand side of the garden-entrance rises a large and 
stately-looking stucco building, some four hundred feet long and 
upwards of a hundred feet in depth, with lofty central towers and 
pavilions at the extremities of its two wings. The edifice stands 
in a moderate-sized garden, of which the most has been cleverly 
made. The interior comprises covered corridors and vestibules, 
a spacious theatre, a so-called Roman dining saloon, and the 
Ritter and Korb Sale, together with what the Berlinese term a 
"tunnel," comprising an underground restaurant, beer-hall and 
billiard-room, for the accomniodation of those numerous guests 
who find the lingering hours pass pleasantest in a cellar. 

On Sundays KroU's is the Berliner's Mecca, and on that day 



202 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



is the place, of all others, to study him to advantage. The 
entertainments commence with a table dliotc at two o'clock, to 

which in summer 
as many as a 
couple of thousand 
people will occa- 
sionally sit down 
in the dining-sa- 
loons and the large 
garden pavilion. 
The charge, a 
couple of shillings, 
includes admission 
to the grounds, 
which are laid out 
with the customary 
terraces, arcades, 
rectangular, ser- 
pentine, and se- 
questered walks, 
studded with trees 
and ornamented 
with the conven- 
tional fountains, 
the waters of which, 
trickling overmock 
rock-work, bathe glassy green artificial aquatic plants, or 
descend like dew on the gigantic metal leaves of illusory 
bananas. Freshly-painted plaster gods and goddesses, branching 
bronze candelabra, con- 
nected by festoons of 
coloured lamps, and 
flower-beds, in which the 
more intricate figures 
of Euclid may be traced, 
with countless chairs and 
tables, occupy the larger 
vacant spaces. 

The repast concluded, 
a band plays at frequent 
intervals, and even con- 
tinues its performances 
after the entertainments 
at the theatre have com- 
menced for the amuse- 
ment of those who pre- 
fer a lounge in the open air, combined, of course, with continual 
potations, for at no hour of the day or night does beer appear to 





THE THIERGARTEN. 



203 



come amiss to the droughty Berliner. At dusk, when the gar- 
dens are lighted up with artistically-arranged fantastic jets of 
gas and thousands of coloured lamps, something of the effect of 
a studied stage transformation scene is produced, excepting that, 
in lieu of houris in gossamer, it is peopled with a thirsty crowd, 
to do whose bidding agile kcllncr, bearing trays laden with 
braten and kalte spcisen, and balancing half a score of glass beer 
mugs in either hand, apparently strive in vain. In the meanwhile 
the band, perched like stage brigands among a ma.ss of counter- 
feit rock-work, are playing favourite airs from famous operas. 
The scene is generally enlivened by the presence of numerous 




officers, whose varied uniforms contrast with the over-bright tints 
of the toilettes of the Berlin belles, and whose killing glances 
evidently light on sympathetic eyes, which, as a matter of course, 
indignantly scorn, not only the impassioned gaze of enamoured 
near-sighted civilians, but of the chubby-cheeked youths of the 
Cadetten corps as well. Mingled with the more respectable 
company, is a sprinkling of the demi-monde, who, spite of ma- 
nagerial efforts to chase them from their Eden with a flaming 
sword, contrive to parade the garden walks in their finest feathers. 



204 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



The theatre is entered by a couple of spacious stone stair- 
cases, which communicate with broad corridors, having issues on 
both sides of the house, and admit of the crowd, divided into 
two streams, pouring into the auditorium from opposite direc- 
tions ; thereby effectually avoiding anything like confusion. 
The tickets to all the seats in every portion of the house are 
numbered, so that, instructed by the numerous attendants, 
everyone can be in his place in the twinkling of an eye. The 
theatre, instead of taking the conventional horse-shoe form, 
resembles a spacious hall. Near the roof, as if supporting it, are 
groups of capering caryatides posed in front of the white and 
gold-fluted pilasters, while the ceiling is studded with medallions 
of famous poets, composers, and artists. There are neither 
dress-circle, upper boxes, nor gallery, but a vast number of 
stalls ranged in successive tiers until they reach halfway up the 
hall, with what would be called the amphitheatre rising up 
behind them. The few proscenium boxes, with the rows of 
stalls nearest the stage, are occupied by the ^/ife of the gathering. 
The auditorium thus arranged, if less elegant in appearance than 
when of the conventional form, enjoys the immense advantage 
of being beautifully cool even in the height of summer. 

One found the family element largely represented in 

the audience, which was 
il '-1 1 I composed of well-to-do 
tradesmen, whom a life of 
beer-drinking had rendered 
inconveniently puffy, and 
who came accompanied by 
their wives and progeny ; 
short-sighted young clerks, 
wearing the brightest-co- 
loured cravats, and munch- 
ing the knobs of their 
canes as they ogled all the 
fraulein within range of 
their spectacles ; children 
of Judea, with an undue 
nasal development ; young 
lieutenants, leering at every 
blonde beauty, and focus- 
sing with theiropera-glasses, 
with militaryprecision,each 
pretty actress every time 
she stepped upon the 
stage; together with betrothed young couples, gazing spoqnily 
into each other's eyes, as if searching for the little Cupids sup- 
posed to be lurking in each pupil ; and not a few couples of a 
riper age, whose earlier matrimonial illusions were by this time 




x^£^ 



THE TIIIERGARTEN 



205 



completely dispelled. These, with some over-dressed members 
of the Berlin dcmi-inonde, and a few dashing, dandified men of 
pleasure, made up the audience in the midst of which we were 
seated. 

The piece was a comic opera, with the slightest of plots ; still 
it was well acted, and everyone of the 800 spectators seemed 
perfectly satisfied. A good-looking country clown is in love 
with a distant cousin, a charming orphan heiress living lonely 
by herself in the village Schloss, like another Mariana. Bashful- 
ness, however, keeps the bumpkin from disclosing his passion, 
and he confines his admiration to surreptitiously sighing beneath 
the fair one's balcony, clandestinely nailing up her climbing 
rose-trees, and placing bouquets of flowers furtively upon her 
window-sill. While wasting his golden opportunities in such 
puerile pursuits, a smart blade from the capital arrives upon the 
scene, and the desolate heiress, although she has a sneaking 
regard for the good-looking lout, her relative, yet mistakes his 
silence for indifference, and, being in haste to be wooed and 
wed, accepts the new suitor without further ado. 

The sheepish cousin-german is of course dreadfully cast down, 
and now, less than ever, can he muster up the requisite pluck to 
give utterance to those two or three words which even the 
boldest and most experienced in such matters amongst us often 
find a difficulty in articulating. The old landlady of the village 
bier-haus, however, takes pity on him, and suggests that switch 
to sluggish tongues, a bottle of champagne, of which exhilarating 
beverage the poor inno- f£^<^ 



never .^/ ' ^ 



cent looby had 
even heard before. He 
tastes it, however, and 
finds the first glass 
agreeable to the palate, 
but nothing more. He 
fills again and again, 
and by the time he has 
swallowed the best part 
of a bottle, feels not only 
more desperately ena- 
moured than ever, but 
burning to declare his 

passion. Happy fortune — which is always falling in 
in novels and on the stage, and rarely in real life- 
wealthy orphan cousin on the scene at this opportune moment, 
when he — suddenly transformed into a jaunty gallant, ready to 
chuck any girl under the chin that comes in his way — not merely 
puts the difficult question, but supplements it by a warm 
embrace, to the perfect dismay of his jilted rival, who of course 
enters from the back of the stage at this particular juncture. 



/ 




one s way 
brine's his 



2o6 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



The latter is of course the villain of the piece, and proves it 
by privately informing the orphan heiress that he has on more 
than one occasion seen her newly-accepted suitor not only con- 
versing with, but positively kissing, some girl of the village. Of 
course this brings about a quarrel, and the handsome bumpkin 
hastens home, packs up his trunk, and forthwith starts on an 
emigration tour to America. His way necessarily lies by the 
Schloss, and his distant female relative, seeing him pass, of 
course cannot refrain from saying "Adieu" to him. In the 
course of the explanations which naturally follow, it comes to 
light that it was simply his own sister he was talking to and 
embracing, whereupon he is restored to favour and supremest 
bliss ; while the treacherous villain finds his reward in being 
united to the young woman in question, who is blessed with 
a more than ordinarily loquacious tongue. The entertainment 
was brought to a close with the inevitable ballet, without which 
no Berlin popular theatrical performance would be considered 
complete, and in the course of it well-shaped feminine legs were 
thrown about with the most daring recklessness and an utter 
disregard of propriety, in accordance with the fashion in vogue 
at Berlin. 

Westward of Kroll's, and bordering an islet of the Spree, are 
four famous beer establishments, looking on to a large semi- 
circular space, surrounded by lofty oaks, and known as the 




TllK ZbLlk. 



Kurfiirsten-platz. In the days of Friedrich the Great this was 
the favourite rendezvous of the Berlin upper classes, more espe- 
cially on Sundays and holidays, when the hautboy-players 
belonging to the regiments of the garrison, concealing themselves 
behind the trees, used to entertain the assembled company with 



THE THIERGARTEN. 



207 



strains of martial music. This periodical gathering induced a 
Frenchman, who knew how provocative the Berlin sand is of 
thirst, to set up a canvas tent for the sale of liquid refreshments 
on the banks of the Spree. The success he met with induced 
other speculators to follow his example, and in time the tents 
gave way to more substantial structures, such as now exist, but 
which, although of 
solid bricks and mor- C^ 

tar, still preserve their * 

original designation of 
the Ze/te (tents). To- 
day they appear to 
retain much of their 
ancient popularity, as 
no less than a dozen 
roads converge to- 
wards them, from all 
parts of the Thier- 
garten, for the conve- 
nience of thirsty Teu- 
ton souls, who sit here 
and watch the equi- 
pages of the Berlin 
beau monde and the 
millionaires of the 
Borse rolling past in 
the midst of attendant 
clouds of sand. 

In summer the Zelte are largely frequented, though not 
by the aristocratic guests of yore, and on certain days open air 
concerts are given there. It is on Sundays, however, that their 
Weiss and Bayerisch beer are most in demand. Zelt No. 2 has 
been recently christened the Kaiser Wilhelm, and in front of it a 
colossal bronze bust of the German Emperor has been set up with 
a huge coloured glass crown suspended above it, and which 
lighted up at night indicates to the droughty Berliner, wandering 
about the Thiergarten, where he can readily quench his thirst. 
On the adjacent Spree there are always a few pleasure-boats 
for making excursions in, and in winter-time, when the river is 
frozen over and the skating season has commenced, people flock 
in thousands to the spot and the Zelte drive a lively trade. 

A few minutes' walk along the banks of the Spree brings us 
to the seedy-looking Bellevue Palace, a two-storied yellow ochre 
tinted building with red-tiled roof, and having a small well- 
wooded park in the rear. The long rows of uniform windows 
are relieved by occasional pilasters and a few dilapidated statues 
surmount the central portion of the facade, while other statues, 
equally dilapidated, support some lamps on either side of the 




208 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



principal entrances. In front of the building 
called Lc drolc, captured from the French 
posted, and points down the long Bellevue 
Thiergarten. 



an old cannon 
at Leipzig, is 
avenue of the 




sen LOSS BELLEVUE. 



Bellevue owes its 
origin to Friedrich 
the Great who built 
himself a country- 
house here, but 
finding it too damp 
to live in consider- 
ately presented it 
to his youngest 
brother. He in his 
turn converted the 
little villa into a 
so-called Schloss, 
added a small 
park to it andchri.s- 
tcned it Bellevue ; 
not that there was 
any kind of view to warrant the appellation, but simply because 
his architect had attempted to impart to the edifice some faint 
resemblance to the splendid Pompadour. Palace, thus named, near 
Meudon. Prince Augustus, son of the builder of Bellevue, and a 
handsome artillery officer, distinguished alike for his gallantry in 
the field and towards the fair sex, long resided here, and formed 
a remarkable gallery of portraits of beautiful and clever women 
he had known, foremost among whom was the celebrated Julie 
Recamier. He had made her acquaintance at Madame de Stael's 
and used all his powers of persuasion to induce the lively and 
gifted beauty to dissolve her marriage with her bankrupt banker 
husband and become his bride. She hesitated for a long time 
and eventually refused. Her portrait, in Grecian costume, painted 
for the Prince, is or used to be one of the attractions of Schloss 
Bellevue, in which the Grand-Duchess of Mecklenburg now 
resides. 

The opposite bank of the Spree forms an important suburb of 
Berlin, which on account of the barrenness of its soil came to be 
designated by the refugee Huguenot gardeners who settled there 
in the reign of P'riedrich I. as the land of Moab, whence its 
present name of Moabit. To-day, however, as if to refute the 
(Frenchmen's dictum, Borsig, the great Berlin engineer, who has 
his foundries here, has laid out some extensive and magnificent 
gardens, which with their palm-house and conservatories de- 
servedly rank among the sights of IBerlin. 

To tlie left of Schloss Bellevue is the Grossfiirsten-platz, so- 
named because of a memorable al fresco breakfast given there 



THE TIIIERGARTEN. 



209 



about a century acjo by the brother of Friedrich the Great to 
the Grand Duke Paul of Russia — afterwards the mad and luck- 
less Emperor Paul — on the occasion of his betrothal at Berlin 
to a princess of Wiirtemburg, and niece of the King of Prussia 
The entertainment had a ludicrous termination, for a sudden 
downpour of rain completely drenched the aristocratic guests, 
who made their return entry into Berlin in a dreadfully draggled 
plight. 

On the south side of the centre avenue of the Thiergarten, and 
beyond the Apollo- and Flora-platze, various paths conduct to 
the Louisen-insel, so 
named after the beau- 
tiful Queen of Prussia, 
and whereon stands r; 
marble altar erectec 
to commemorate her 
return to Berlin. Near 
this spot, begirt by 
beds of flowers over- 
hung by towering 
trees, and with its face i=^ ^'F'^ 
turned towards the V^"^^ 
little island, stands a j^f 

marble statue of the '*'^' 
King her husband, ' 
whose vacillating po- 
licy entailed needless 
misfortunes on his ^ 
subjects. On the cir- c 
cular pedestal are 
some graceful alto- 
relievos symbolizing ^^^^^ Vif^ 
it is said, the enjoy ''^'1^%^ 
ments of the Thiei ^j^^^^£$' 
garten, and including ■'^'^- 
chubby-cheeked chil 
dren feeding swans 
and peeping into ^ 

birds'-nests ; an old /^ 7^ 
man leaning on his 
stick watching a 
couple of little girls dancing with garlands, a squirrel just escaped 
from an amazed young urchin, springing up a neighbouring tree, 
a young mother gazing affectionately on the babe at her breast, 
while its elder brother clasps her round the neck. These graceful 
groups, which rank among the finest productions of the sculptor's 
chisel, are, like the statue surmounting them, the work of Professor 
Drake. 




STATUE OF FRIEDRICH WILHELM III. 



210 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



This part of the Thiergarten is the favourite resort of the 
Berlinese. Mammas rest here in the heat of the day with 
r, ^^,^, .... their tired offsprine: 

1>i!:>^ffisS>lx&^^l^^h^ on the numerous 
benches, while the 

" Ancient trees, under- 
neath whose shades 
Wander nice young 
nursery-maids " 



attended by their 
youthful charges, 
form a special point 
of attraction to 
guardsmen off duty. 
These obscure mili- 
tary heroes have all, 
of course, their tales 
to tell to the ad- 
miring Gretchens of 
their choice, of pro- 
digies of bravery 
performed by them 
among the woods 
and vines of Worth, and while the mitrailleuses were shower- 
ing bullets and the cannon belching shells at Spicheren and 
Gravelotte, many of the more sympathising listeners 





TIIK THIERGARTEN. 



211 



" Dropping gentle tears 
While their lovers bluster fierce 
About gunshots and gashes ! " 

The path along the banks of the neighbouring sluggish stream 
leads to the Rousseau-insel, the sheet of water surrounding which 
is the resort during the skating season of the rank, fashion, and 
beauty of Berlin. Hereabouts many a pleasant green nook and 
tangled bosky dell are to be found, with the slight drawback, 
however, that the sluggish and stagnant waters intersecting' 
this portion of the Thiergarten give forth their full share of 
noisome odours during the summer months and conduce to the 
unhealthy condition of the capital. Recently the Emperor con- 
tributed a considerable sum from his privy purse with the object 
of remedying a state of things which has long reflected on the 
authorities in whom the control of the Thiergarten is vested. So 
crying was the nui- 
sance that the Ber- 
lin KladderadatscJi 
humorously related 
how a despairing 
lover, determined 
upon suicide, suc- 
ceeded in "shuffling 
off this mortal coil," 
by hovering for 
several hours to- 
gether on the banks 
of these mephitic 
watercourses. 

The Berlinese of 
opposite sexes being 
equally prone to 
philandering among 
the trees, as the birds 
themselves, it is not 
surprising that the 
groves of the Thier- 
garten should be haunted by amatory couples. The latter secure 
every seat which those persistent communers with nature, the 
ragged philosophers who are found in great force at Berlin, have 
not appropriated, and the amount of hugging which goes on quite 
unconcernedly under the public gaze, even in broad daytime — 
guardsmen and nursemaids being as usual the chief offenders — 
is positively embarrassing to the phlegmatic promenader. When 
such things happen in the sunlight, one may imagine what goes 
on in the shade. At night time the Thiergarten with only a 
few of its main avenues lighted up, and under scarcely any 
kind of police supervision, is the scene of the most unrestrained 

P 2 




212 



BERLIN UNDER TilE NEW EMPIRE. 




depravity. During the summer months it is ihc common couch of 

all the roofless 
wretches who re- 
gard house-rent as 
^-s an intolerable ex- 
tortion. Here they 
sleep for weeks and 
months, until in- 
deed the police, 
who require even 
the most destitute 
to pay their land- 
lords what they 
have not got, make 
what is called a 
" razzia," when 
hundreds of these 
i '^l^'WPBMyiirtP''"'^' " ■' ■/TlSSSilini'^v''' M outcasts are cap- 
tured at a single 
coup, and marched 
off to the Polizei 
^,-.- --^i^:^ , / ■ ^. vap^ iP> Vcrwahrsam, or 

fc -^"H / _ -V- '^*^V^fli^^<^ Berlin lock-up. 

^ ^ ■""'^=<;..\<£^"-^-'' *^^®S^ The Thiergarten- 




THE THIERGARTEN. 213 



strasse, which runs parallel with the Charlottenburg Avenue, 
and bounds the Berlin park on the south, was formerly the high 
road to a number of celebrated and, to some few, once fashion- 
able places of entertainment in whose gardens concerts used 
to be given during the summer months. With the exception, 
however, of Krug's garden, all or nearly all of them have been 
sacrificed to the exigencies of the city's rapid extension in this 
direction, and on their sites many beautiful and even magnificent 
villas have been erected, decorated occasionally with external 
frescoes, paintings on marble in encaustic, and figure subjects 
in mosaic, exhibiting a high order of purely domestic architec- 
ture of which neither London nor even Paris presents the 
counterpart, while the gardens surrounding several of these villas 
may be classed among the master-pieces of horticultural art. 

The Thiergarten-strasse is to-day one of the fashionable drives 
of Berlin, and on special afternoons elegant vehicles and high- 
bred horses are to be seen dashing through it at their top- 
most speed to the adjacent Zoological Gardens, for like a 
wheel within a wheel, this so-called animal garden of Berlin 
comprises a zoological garden within its limits. The latter, 
covering a surface of no less than ninety acres, is at the 
south-western extremity of the Thiergarten, and is certainly 
not excelled by any similar institution in Europe, either as regards 
its picturesque laying out or the general perfection of its arrange- 
ments. Thirty years ago the menagerie which had been established 
on Peacock Island, at Potsdam, was transferred to Berlin and 
formed the nucleus of the present Zoological Gardens. For years, 
however, the institution, which offered no kind of attraction, lan- 
guished, scarcely anyone visiting it. The ground was marshy, 
and however adapted its stagnant pools may have been to the 
water-fowl, they were certain death to animals from the tropics, 
necessarily requiring the driest of atmospheres. The beasts of 
prey, besides being shut up in cages without enough room for 
them to turn, had an insufiiciency of air, light, and sunshine, 
while the larger birds confined under contracted wire-netting 
were deprived of the necessary space for freely expanding their 
wings. 

After five-and-twenty years of disastrous failure, the manage- 
ment of the Berlin Zoological Gardens was entrusted to Dr. 
Bodimas, who had proved his capacity while at the head of a 
similar institution founded by him at Cologne. Under his rule 
a gloomy wilderness was transformed into a charming landscape 
varied by hills, lakes, islets, grottos, rivulets, cascades, fountains, 
and leafy groves. He had the dwelling-places of all the animals, 
furred and feathered alike, constructed upon a principle which 
regarded " their physical well-being and happiness, as mainl}' 
depending upon a minimum, of confinement combined with a 
maximum of air and light." 



214 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




-V 



■?;..^ 



^t^ 



^^■^ ,-j.''''"".,^ "i^'^'^**' 1? The nobler beasts of prey, lions, 
■"* ''-^ ^ -^^^ . ^^ tigers, leopards, and the like, 

were installed in cages of ample 
dimensions ranged down one side 
of a wide airy hall lighted from 
above, and ornamented with 
creeping plants suspended in baskets from the ceiling. These 
cages being designed for winter occupation, the building is warmed 
with hot air during this season of the year. Sliding iron panels 
divide the winter from the summer dwellings in the rear, 
which, enclosed with strong iron bars and roofed in with thick 
glass surmounted with ornamental wrought-iron crowns, are 
sufficiently capacious to allow the animals a good run. 
Here they breed freely, and what is more, successfully rear 
their young. 

The elephant house is a gorgeous-looking building in the 
Hindoo style of architecture, constructed of coloured bricks and 
painted tiles, decorated with architectonic elephants, rhinoceroses 
and dragons, and surmounted by tall domes and corner towers 
and great golden suns. Adjacent to it arc ample exercising 
grounds for the animals. Inside the building the massive 
columns, the capitals of which are ornamented with elephants' 
heads and tusks, as well as the roof, are elaborately decorated 
with colours and gold. The giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and other 
animals of a similar species are housed in a moresque building 
dominated by the orthodox minaret. Its handsome central hall 
with its arched glass roof forms a kind of palm-house in which 
all manner of tropical trees and plctnts are growing among arti- 
ficial rocks and plashing fountains. Trailing plants cover the 
walls, twine up the columns, encircle the arcades, and climb to 
the summit of the lofty roof In the rear of the different stalls 
the animals are provided with an open air run. 



THE THIERGARTEN. 



215 



The bears are installed in a castellated stone structure flanked 
with conical-capped circular corner towers, curved bars forming- 
the front of their dens, which are open to the air at the top, and 
are provided not only with pools of water and climbing poles, 
but simulated caves, to which bruin, when he finds the heat too 
oppressive, can retire. The various kinds of oxen have the run 
of a spacious shady court enclosed with an iron fence, supple- 
mented by stabling in the form of log huts ; the deer, too, have 
their miniature park, the kangaroos their hopping grounds, the 
beavers their rocky grottoes, while the monkeys, who give them- 
selves no special airs since they have come under suspicion of 
being related to us, as well as the wild-cats, are furnished with 
branching trunks of trees up which they can scramble, spring, and 
go through the most difficult gymnastic performances to their 
heart's content. 

The birds of prey are provided with a large aviary, 200 feet 
in length, and including a central 
cage upwards of thirty feet high, 
surmounted by the Prussian spread- 
eagle in the same way that the 
poultry-house is decorated by a 
couple of strutting cocks and the 
bears' dens with sculptured heads 
of bears. Within this space even the 
bearded vultures from the Hima- 
layas find ample room and verge 
enough to test the power of their 
pinions. Rock work with shady 
recesses in addition to the neces- 
sary perches has been constructed 
for the general ajgcommodation, and 
some of the grey carrion vultures 
have even built their nests here — 
a most rare occurrence. 

Endless varieties of quain!|;,':water- 
fowl find themselves perfeetly at 
home in the adjacent lake with its 
islets, fountain, and cascade, the 
herons and other waders who cannot be trusted to strut among 
the smaller birds being housed in picturesque kiosks along its 
banks. The ostriches and cassowaries enjoy ample facilities 
for exercise, while the tamer kinds of fowl are permitted to 
wander through the grounds at their own sweet will. The glass 
houses for the pheasants are bordered by garden-plots laid out 
with turf and planted with evergreens and enclosed with wire 
netting. Indeed the aviaries generally are charmingly arranged 
with trees and rocky nooks, as well as fountains and basins 
for the birds to bathe in. 




2l6 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

The Berlin Zoological Gardens now contain about 1,500 ^"i~ 
mals comprising nearly 400 different species, and including among 
others lions, tigers, leopards, pumas, bisons, camels, antelopes, 
kangaroos, ostriches, and no end of strange birds, all born and 
reared there. 

In the neighbourhood of the lake is an orchestra where mili- 
tary and other bands perform, and close by is the principal 
promenade shaded by fine oak and birch trees. On set afternoons 
this is a sort of Vanity Fair, to which the elt^gantcs of the capital 
and the elegants of the garrison resort, to pass one another in 
review. At this gathering of the elite of Berlin, the one thing that 
strikes the stranger is the variety ol ethnological types, including 
Finns, Sclaves, Wends, Jews, and Germans, as well as evident 
descendants of the French emigrants who settled in Brandenburg 
during the seventeenth century. The Germans and the Jews pre- 
dominate, the Teutonic type being represented in its perfection by 
officers of the heavy cavalry and of the guard — tall and well-made 
men with light hair and beards, fair complexions, blue eyes, straight 
noses, round heads, slightly oblong faces, and square shoulders. 
Their bearing is martial yet mild, their expression proud, and at 
the same time modest, and with a certain air of awkwardness 
which is, however, more apparent than real. 

One marked feature of the Berlin Zoological Gardens is the 
extensive restaurant erected on a kind of terrace just above the 
promenade. Here during the fine weather on Sundays, when 
the Berlin shopkeepers, employes and the better class artisans, 
crowd the place with their wives and families, people will dine 
almost by tens of thousands in the open air, contemplating 
meanwhile the animated crowd promenading below, the little 
lake v/ith its myriads of water-fowl, its miniature cascade and the 
tiny Turkish kiosks erected along its banks, and listening to the 
strains of some admirable military band. 

To-day skating rinks, or as the Germans term them, Schliit- 
schicii Baluien, are temporarily the rage at Berlin the same as else- 
where. The principal of these rinks is in Kaiserin Augusta-strasse 
on the verge of the Thiergarten. In all essential features it is 
in the same style as Prince's in London, and it belongs moreover 
to the same proprietor. The grounds, which are tastefully planted, 
are furnished with the customary tables and surrounded by a high 
palisade which is generally decorated with flags. The company 
frequenting them is remarkably select, the price of admission, a 
mark and a half {\s. 6d.), being sufficient to exclude the rabble. 
The fashionable time to skate is from two till four o'clock in the 
afternoon, and on the hottest day in summer rinkers may be seen 
sweltering under a scorching sun and utterly disdaining the shelter 
afforded by the covered portion of the l^ahn. A large propor- 
tion of the habitut's are ladies, whose toilettes are often remark- 
ably elegant. The garden is brilliantly lighted up at dusk, and 




IN THE BERLIN ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 



Face 216. 1 



Tllli THIERGARTEN. 



217 



a band plays throughout the evening-, when Engh"sh people located 
at Berlin congregate there in considerable numbers. As a rule, 
the English make by far the best appearance on the asphalte, 
and the Berlinese, who regard skating rinks as English specialities 
and who seem to be more or less mystified by them, readily 
admit this. When the Schlittschuh Bahn in the Thiergartcn was 
first opened, people used to congregate outside and peep through 
the palings, looking all the while as though they were thunder- 
struck. Although they have ceased to do this, they still regard 
skating in the summer as a phenomenon not to be witnessed 
without emotion. 





XL 



BERLIN EN FETE. THE MEETING OF THE EMPERORS. 



SEPTEMBER 2, 1872, the second anniversary of the capitu- 
lation of Sedan, saw BerHn en fete. The black eagle, and 
the black-and-white Prussian banner reUeved by the slightly less 
sombre imperial tricolor, floated from the forest of flagstaffs that 
dominate the capital. At some few points was the black, red, 
and gold standard of the old Roman empire of Barbarossa ; at 
numerous others there waved the black-and-white flag of the great 
Friedrich, combined with the black, white, and red of the empire 
created by Sadowaand Sedan, and known as Bismarck's flag. Of 
eagles in every shape, single and double-headed with ferine beaks 
and truculent talons, there were legion. Regiment after regiment 
of soldiers defiled through the streets from an early hour. Crowds 
of Berlinese, with peasants from outlying villages in their Sunday 
best, thronged the Linden. War medals and iron crosses innu- 
merable were seen this day on civilian breasts, not unfrequently 
beside empty sleeves, or in company with crutches and crippled 
limbs. " Grosse militarische Concerte " with a more liberal 
allowance than usual of schlacht or battle music were given 
throughout the afternoon and evening at suburban biergarten 



BERLIN EN FETE. 219 



and city Caecilien-sale, whilst at night-time bursts of " Die 
Wacht am Rhein," with other less patriotic effusions, were to be 
heard issuing from many a bier-local and wein-stube in the quiet 
side streets of the city. 

The following morning preparations commenced 'in earnest for 
the reception of the Russian Czar and Austrian Kaiser, who a 
few days hence were to be the guests of the German Emperor. 
"Francis, Alexander, William, take pity on us, quick! a con- 
gress," sang Beranger, ironically, some half-century ago, and lo ! 
history once more prepares to repeat itself, and another Francis, 
Alexander, and "William are about to assemble ; France, according 
to rumour, being as usual the object of the imperial gathering. 

Berlin showed no great enthusiasm in the way of outward 
adorning. There was a partial patching up and embellishing of 
the dingier houses on the Linden, and limited preparations for 
illuminating. The Russian embassy, which the Czar was to grace 
with his presence, had a fresh coat of paint given to it, and 
attempts were made to relieve the tiresome monotony of its 
long facade by decorating its balconies with flowers and creep- 
ing plants, bran new sentry boxes for the guard of honour being 
posted at the principal entrance. Some of the large hotels 
went through a course of external and internal decoration which 
their owners could very well afford, in view of the exorbitant 
tariffs they had determined on, regardless as to whether their 
contemplated extortions might not put many of the geese laying 
the golden eggs to flight. Unter den Linden, especially, com- 
menced to drape itself with many-coloured banners, representing 
the various nationalities resident at Berlin, which had the effect 
of relieving in some degree the funereal aspect of the Prussian 
standards. If banners were abundant along the pet promenade, 
sentry boxes were scarcely less so, owing to the recent influx of 
royal and serene highnesses, attracted to Berlin by the approach- 
ing imperial gathering, and who, as accommodation could or 
would not be found for them at any of the royal palaces, were 
reduced to put up at various hotels, and had to be mollified by 
the cheap compliment of a guard of honour. Gala carriages and 
four conducted by smart- postillions and attended by chasseurs 
in magnificently plumed cocked hats, and gorgeous-looking 
flunkies in long laced coats with huge shoulder-knots, commenced 
to make their appearance in the streets, conveying grand-dukes 
and princes on visits of high ceremony. 

The afternoon of Thursday, September 5, had been fixed for 
the arrival of the Emperor of all the Russias, and armed with a 
piece of pink paste-board bearing the signature of Von Madai. 
president of police, I made my way in a dowdy droschke to 
the Ostbahnhof in a distant and dirty suburb of Berlin to be pre- 
sent at the Czar's reception ; nearly all the uniforms of the Ger- 
man army were encountered in the endless stream of carriages 



220 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

rolling in this direction. Bright steel casques glittered in 
the sun, nodding plumes fluttered in the breeze, as the pranc- 
ing horses dashed swiftly past, bearing the German Emperor, 
with a score or more of high-born guests, and all the military- 
magnates of Berlin, across the Schloss- and Kurfiirsten-briicken, 
and through the narrow and tortuous streets of the old town, to 
the place of rendezvous. In the suburbs there were crowds of 
working people, and noisy bands of dirty ragged urchins, with 
heads thrust out of all the windows, and scrambling groups 
scaling the house-tops, but scarcely any flags and no other 
attempts at decoration. 

The entrance to the station was ornamented with evergreens 
and the standards of Russia and Prussia entwined. Inside at 
the edge of the platform where the train was to arrive stood the 
Emperor Wilhelm, hemmed in by a motley throng of princes, 
ministers, generals, and dignitaries of the household, with bright 
steel and gilt helmets, white plumes and brilliant uniforms, and 
half the orders in the universe scintillating on their breasts. 
Everyone wore the Russian uniform in compliment to the 
coming guest. The Emperor was gay in scarlet trousers and blue 
riband, the Crown Prince less conspicuous, in dark green and 
silver. Prince Friedrich Carl, the red hussar, wore a cossack 
lancer uniform of Muscovite cut and florid ornamentation, while 
the Grand Duke of Baden was travestied as a red-breasted 
uhlan, and Prince Carl as a Russian general. Altogether 
it was a perfect military masquerade, and the principal per- 
formers on the scene being attired in uniforms of a na- 
tionality different to their own, rendered it extremely difficult 
to determine who was who in this complimentary exchange of 
regimentals. 

A line traced in white chalk on the platform indicated the pre- 
cise point where the imperial carriage was to come to a halt. 
Here the old Emperor Wilhelm, who, spite of his lame foot, 
looked remarkably hearty, stationed himself. As the train 
approached, the guard of honour detached from the Alexander 
regiment, of which the Czar is colonel, presented arms ; as it 
passed into the station the drums beat a royal salute, and the 
moment it stopped the band struck up the Russian national 
anthem. The door of the imperial carriage was thrown open, 
and the Czar bounding out was caught in the Emperor Wilhelm's 
outspread arms. The greeting was gushingly affectionate. The 
German Emperor, since his blushing honours had set so thick 
upon him, could afford to be very gracious, and treat his dear 
brother of Russia with marked deference. Neither was the 
Czarewitch forgotten, and for several minutes there was a 
succession of kissings and huggings between the members of 
the Prussian royal family and the new arrivals. The burly, 
not to say bloated-looking Reichs-kanzler, whom Berlin painters 



BERLIN EN FETE. 221 



had been recently idealizing under the guise of St. George,' 
contemplated this scene v/ith a grim sort of satisfaction from 
beneath the polished helmet which fell over his eyes, and after- 
wards proceeded to offer his congratulations to Prince Gort- 
schakoff, between whom and the German chancellor, physically 
speaking, there could scarcely be a greater contrast. 

The two monarchs were hemmed in by the crowd of petty 
German princes, grey-headed old generals, and intriguing cour- 
tiers, all eager for the slightest sign of recognition on the part 
of the great northern potentate. And they were not disappointed, 
for the Czar advanced towards one and the other in rapid suc- 
cession, bowed, smiled, grasped them by the hand, and after 
saying a few courteous words, turned on his heel to address some 
of their less obtrusive companions whom his sharp eye recognised 
among the throng. At last the crowd of brilliant uniforms 
and jackboots and helmets, consented to allow the imperial 
brothers to issue from their midst, and the two Emperors 
advanced along the platform, the Czar casting gracious glances 
on the group of elegantly attired beauties whom they passed 
on their way. 

Some Prussian officers now stepped forward to present the 
daily reports of the regiments which have the honour of calling 
the Czar their colonel. Military routine being thus satisfied, the 
Emperors, cheered by the populace, entered their carriage, the 
coal-black horses were touched up with the whip, and away they 
dashed, followed by the Czarewitch, the princes, the generals, the 
grand dukes, and the dignitaries, towards the royal palace, but 
not sufficiently quick to prevent the Berlin drains carrying their 
vile odours to the nostrils of the imperial visitors, who after 
alighting for a few minutes to pay their respects to the Empress 
Augusta and the princesses, drove along Unter den Linden to 
the Russian Embassy. Here the crowd danced attendance for 
hours, hoping to see a live Czar dining, smoking his cigar on the 
balcony, taking tea in the drawing-room, or turning in for the 
night. Next morning these same patient watchers were at their 
post of observation, as if expecting to witness the levee of an 

^ One of the most pretentious compositions suggested by the recent war 
with France, and which was exhibiting during the visit of the Emperors at the 
Berlin Konighche Akademie der Kiinste, was a commonplace allegory filling 
a vast canvas and styled " The Triumph of Germany." At the first glance, 
it appeared as if the artist had simply reproduced the old legend of St. 
George, but at the second. you discovered that, instead of the chivalrous 
young saint whose hneaments have engaged the pencils of artists for cen- 
turies, the hero was none other than burly Fiirst von Bismarck in the uniform 
of a Prussian cuirassier ; not, however, with the familiar fat, florid face, the 
bald head, and all but grey moustache, but according to that more refined 
version of the Imperial Chancellor's countenance much affected by certain 
German artists — that is to say, a Chancellor with a thoughtful brow and almost 
ascetic aspect. 



222 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

Emperor, and docile to the biddinfr of the martial-looking police- 
men as a flock of sheep to its shepherd. 

The following evening the Austrian Kaiser arrived, and the 
trio of Emperors was complete. Francis Joseph, who came 
accompanied by the Crown Prince of Saxony, alighted at 
the new Potsdam Station in a precisely opposite direction 
to that at which the Czar arrived, in the most fashionable 
suburb and unquestionably the most inodorous quarter of 
Berlin. There was the same display of flags and evergreens, 
of military salutes, and martial music, as at the reception of 
the Czar, save that the Prussian and German colours were 
mingled with Austrian in place of Russian banners, that the 
guard of honour was drawn from the Kaiser Franz-Josef regiment 
instead of the Alexander, and that the Austrian national hymn 
took the place of the "Boshe Czarya Chrani," of holy Russia. 
As with the decorations and accessories, so with the performers, 
who, with special exceptions, were the same, though in a mea- 
sure transformed, the German Emperor and princes with their 
satellites all donning the Austrian uniform in honour of the 
Kaiser, who returned the compliment by appearing in Prussian 
regimentals. The Germans suffered most from the travestie, 
their brawny frames appearing to signal disadvantage in the chic 
uniform so becoming to the slight and elegant Austrians, besides 
which there was something comical of itself in the conceit of the 
victors in the war of 1866, thus decking themselves out in the 
uniform of the vanquished. 

Spite, however, of all this assumed courtesy on the part of 
hosts and guests, the reception can scarcely be said to have been a 
propitious one. Either the white chalk line on the railway platform 
had been forgotten, or from the length of time which had elapsed 
since the German Emperor had disported himself in Austrian 
uniform, the engine-driver failed to recognise him, for the train 
was run much too far into the station, causing considerable em- 
barrassment to the chief actors in the scene. The old Emperor- 
King, however, regardless of his lame foot, rushed forward to try 
and receive his dear brother of Austria at the moment he alighted 
from the carriage, followed by the bedecorated crowd of princelets 
and dukelings, and grave old generals, and dashing young aides- 
de-camp in uniforms, the variety of which, to say nothing of the 
gorgeousness of several of them, was absolutely bewildering. The 
greeting was intended to be cordial, but it was evident that the 
principal performers were by no means at their ease. The two 
Emperors chased each other, as it were, about the platform 
owing to this false movement of the train. Franz Josef, more- 
over, hesitated to throw himself into the fraternal arms of his 
successful rival to the imperial crown, and simply proffered his 
hand. The incident lasted but a moment, still to those who 
were watching the monarchs' movements the silent scene was a 



BERLIN EN F^TE. 223 



complete revelation. The German Emperor on his part seemed 
equally embarrassed. The Czar, luckily, was not present. Being 
himself a guest at Berlin, imperial etiquette forbade his making 
the smallest advances to meet an equal in rank. 

The Austrian Kaiser, who could scarcely be expected to feel 
at ease on the occasion of his first visit to Berlin since the crushing 
defeat of Sadovva, looked grave, and as if beset with a crowd of 
thoughts. Presently, however, he put on a permanent smile as 
if with the object of impressing the couple of hundred pairs of 
eyes which were scrutinizing him, that the present was in truth 
the happiest moment of his life. Shaking hands with Fritz and 
the other princes, he passed, with apparent unconcern, before the 
impassive visage of Count Moltke, and the next moment found 
him greeting Prince Bismarck with effusive warmth. Recognitions 
of various serene highnesses and high mightinesses now ensued, 
followed by the presentation of the reports of the particular 
crack Prussian regiments of which the Kaiser or the Crown 
Prince of Saxony chanced to be colonels, and by eager castings 
about for imperial " nods and becks and wreathed smiles," on 
the part of the bedecorated military courtiers in attendance. 

The Emperors, followed by a train of princes, dukes, counts, 
generals, court dignitaries, and supernumeraries, more or less 
pomaded, dyed, cosmetiqued, rouged, powdered and decked out 
in martial or official finery, entered their carriage, and without so 
much as a single trooper byway of escort, proceeded at a rattling 
pace to the old Schloss, passing down the shady avenue — whose 
stately trees with their wide-spreading branches offer a marked 
contrast to the sickly limes ranged along the Linden — known as 
Koniggratzer-strasse, and leading to the Brandenburg Gate, in 
order to enable the cortege to enter Unter den Linden by this 
favourite approach. The Berlinese condemned this selection of 
a thoroughfare, the name of which recorded a recent Austrian 
defeat when the almost equally convenient Leipziger-strasse, 
which commemorates a signal triumph of the combined German 
arms, might have been chosen. The incident was the more in- 
explicable as all the paintings referring to the war of 1866 had 
been scrupulously removed from the various royal palaces. Spite 
of a certain show of politeness towards their new guest, the Ber- 
linese still regarded him as a slightly insignificant personage in 
comparison with the high and mighty austere Russian Czar, 
before whom they seemed almost disposed to prostrate themselves, 
while holding their noses high enough in air in presence of the 
over-gracious Austrian Kaiser. 

Franz Josef as he crossed the broad Pariser-platz could scarcely 
have failed to notice that one large mansion had all its shutters 
strictly closed, and no flag floating over its roof. This was the 
residence of the ambassador of France, who certainly had no 
reasons for rejoicing over this imperial gathering. Arrived at 



224 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

the vast old Schloss, the retreat of the mysterious white lady 
whose apparition signals the approaching death of some member 
of the royal house of Brandenburg, the Kaiser was conducted to 
the apartments formerly occupied by Napoleon I., and after an 
hour or two's repose was entertained at a somewhat expansive 
family supper of eight-and-forty covers. 

Early on the morning of the 7th of September, all Berlin was 
astir making hasty preparations to witness the various sights that 
were to follow each other in rapid succession throughout the day. 
First an imposing spectacle was to be presented to the Russian 
and Austrian Kaiser of the military power of their host, and 
from seven o'clock the streets were crowded with carriages. An 
hour afterwards everyone was upon the wing scudding through 
clouds of sand to Tempelhof — thus named after an ancient 
establishment of knight templars — in the southern environs of the 
city, and a favourite place of Sunday resort with the working 
classes of Berlin. On this side of the village and separated from 
it by the railway is a vast plain of sand, known as the Tempel- 
hofer-feld, divided into plots, disclosing a feeble and unhealthy 
vegetation and intersected by a long and broad paved highway 
bordered by some miserable-looking lime trees. It is on this 
spot that the great Friedrich used to manoeuvre his soldiers, and 
that the garrison of the capital is daily exercised. Although the 
sandy soil, into which one sinks several inches at every step, 
may be very good for the purpose of manoeuvring cavalry, it must 
be terribly hard work for the infantry, who here get familiarised 
in time of peace with some of the hardships and fatigues of war. 

Our driver, a most intrepid individual, displayed the large 
blue card which we had received from the Polizei-Prasidium in 
front of his hat, thus at once securing us a free passage down the 
long avenue bordered on one side with private and public vehicles 
of all kinds, and carts of every description the owners of which 
were vending salted meats and sausages, butter-brode and beer 
christened for the nonce, " Das bier der drei Kaiser." We even- 
tually reached the place where some couple of hundred privileged 
carriages were drawn up, and after a considerable amount of 
shouting and bellowing on the part of the police, took up what 
appeared to them to be a satisfactory position on the opposite 
side of one of the lime-tree avenues bordering the manoeuvring 
ground. When at last we were fairly settled, and the wheels of 
our conveyance and the horses' hoofs had sunk some few inches 
into the sand, I mounted the seat and looked around. On the 
right was a sea of sand which at each new arrival rose in huge 
clouds and enveloped everything ; on the left was more sand 
which did not however trouble us, so long as the carriages 
covering it remained stationary. Behind there was still sand 
bordered by the railway embankment, and before was more 
sand stretching as far as the city, and continually upon the 



BERLIN EN FETE. 225 



whirl. In the distance rose a large red-brick building named 
the Bock-bier Brauerei, where the Berlinese resort in early 
spring to get more or less tipsy upon bock-bier at least once 
before the season has regularly set in. The day was splendid ; 
the sun shining high in the heavens poured its pitiless rays 
upon the assembled crowds, causing the perspiration to stream 
from beneath the helmets of the mounted police, tanning the 
complexions of the lovely Jewesses whom one saw on every 
side, half smothered in gauze and cashmere, and rendering the 
glossy black carriage horses skittish and irritable, and the poor, 
broken-down droschken hacks still more weary and dispirited. 

At this moment the plain itself appeared completely naked. 
All that could be distinguished was a few black dots — men of 
the Berlin fire-brigade marking out with lances the spot where 
the Emperors would station themselves during the march past. 
On the horizon though, with the aid of a glass, one could 
detect something gliding and glistening in the sun. Slowly the 
brilliant moving lines approached, and proved to be detachments 
of troops coming from all directions. Later, the arriving columns 
had swollen to a concentrated mass ; a hundred banners were as- 
sembled, and over them floated a cloud of dust resembling the 
long trail of smoke from a locomotive. By about half-past nine the 
troops were in position, and what a spectacle they then presented ! 
Two long lines stretching seemingly all the way to Berlin had 
formed themselves on two sides of the plain. On the left were 
stationed eleven regiments of infantry of the guard, and on the 
right eleven regiments of cavalry and artillery, while between the 
two lines was an open space nearly half a mile in extent. 

Looking down from one's slightly elevated position upon the 
long lines of infantry, the eleven regiments with their white, red, 
rose colour and black plumes, gave one the idea of beds of lilies, 
poppies, and roses. Glancing at them sideways they resembled 
in their mathematical rectilinearity some long striped band dark 
in the centre and light at either edge ; the bright helmets and 
the white linen trousers forming the light borders, and the tunics 
the dark central line. 

Prince Augustus of Wiirtemburg, general of cavalry, had the 
chief command, and placed himself in advance with the entire 
mass opposite to him. The line of infantry was in two divisions, 
the right being composed of a couple of brigades of two regiments 
each, namely the 1st and 3rd and the 2nd and 4th of the guard, 
of which the 1st was the only regiment that wore the old- 
fashioned high-pointed gilded shako of a century ago. The left 
wing comprised three brigades of two regiments each, including 
the grenadier regiments of the Emperor Alexander and the Dow- 
ager Queen Elisabeth, the Franz-Josef regiment and that named 
after the German Empress, with the regiment of fusiliers of the 
guard and a mixed regiment formed from battalions of the line. 



226 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

In advance of the right wing were Count von Roon, minister 
of war, the Emperor's aides-de-camp, the Prussian Marshals, 
including von Moltke, and "der alte Wrangel," whose military- 
experience went back to the wars against the first Napoleon, 
and who strode his charger with ease and steadiness, while the 
sun blazed down upon the great cuirassier helmet which he 
seeks no excuse in his ninety winters for setting aside. Beside 
them rode General Manteufifel, slight of figure and quick of 
movement, with grey hair and beard and piercing eye. Then 
came the staff of the regiments about to be passed in review, 
and the military bands, and finally a detachment of mounted 
police. Some little distance off with numerous foreign officers 
in their suite were the Princes of the Imperial family, foremost 
among whom were the Crown Prince and Prince Friedrich Carl, 
"the right and left arms with which the head of the Hohenzollern 
dynasty contrived to carve his way to the throne," once the 
heritage of the Hohenstaufen and the Hapsburg. The line of 
cavalry was composed of the regiment of the body-guard, huge 
troopers with silver eagles on their burnished helmets, a regi- 
ment of cuirassier guards — the famous white cuirassiers of 
Prince Bismarck in their bright steel breastplates and helmets 
surmounted by gilt eagles — a regiment of hussar guards in 
scarlet uniforms with yellow facings, and composed in a great 
measure of volunteers of good family ; two regiments of dragoon 
guards, and three regiments of uhlans of the guard distinguished 
by their red, white, and yellow plastrons, with the 3rd uhlans of 
the line, of which the Czar is colonel. There were in addition 
some battalions of riflemen, of the guard, of engineers, and of the 
military train, while the artillery consisted of sixteen batteries of 
four guns each. 

As ten o'clock sounded from the red brick tower of the church 
of Tempelhof, there issued from behind the huge brewery situated 
at the extreme northern end of the manoeuvring ground, the 
three Emperors, followed by a numerous and splendid suite. 
At first a bright scintillating spot with a deep shade hanging over 
it appeared on the horizon, then slowly approached, always with 
the shadow hovering above. At length some helmets were dis- 
cerned flashing in the sun, and the three Emperors became visible, 
followed by a cortege of princes and generals enveloped in an 
immense cloud of dust. Arms were presented, formidable 
hurrahs rent the air, the bands struck up, some the Austrian, 
others the Russian national hymn. Halting a moment before 
the right wing of the infantry the Sovereigns saluted the regi- 
mental colours, or rather shreds of colours, for many were in 
tatters, while of others nothing remained but the flagstaff's with 
a few embroidered streamers floating from the top. 

When this gorgeous crowd turned the left wing and passed 
near where I was stationed, my eyes instinctively singled out the 



BERLIN EN f£tE. 22/ 



three Emperors — Wilhelm I. in the middle, brandishing his 
drawn sword, Franz Josef on his right and Alexander on his left. 
An indescribable scene succeeded. Following at a trot some ten 
paces behind were hundreds of brilliant horsemen, comprising 
princes of all ranks, officers of all the armies in Europe including 
•even Cossack hetmen in their Astrakan caps and scarlet uniforms. 
All were intermingled, all pressed together in one compact parti- 
coloured mass in which red, blue, green, black, white, and grey, 
picked out with gold, could be distinguished. Suddenly all 
these fine uniforms disappeared. Nothing was to be seen beyond 
clouds of sand, still one heard the sound of voices combined with 
that clattering of accoutrements and neighing and tramping of 
horses which one is apt to associate with an idea of battle. At 
this spot not the smallest blade of grass or scrap of withered 
vegetation of any kind was visible, the cannons which had passed 
over the ground early in the morning had pulverised the soil 
and the horses' hoofs sunk deep into the sand. It was not a mere 
cloud of dust which arose, but the entire surface of the ground, so 
to speak. Now and then a glimpse of some brilliant uniform 
was obtained through the obscurity, only to be eclipsed however 
a second afterwards. 

The cortege past, the dust descended slowly to the ground, 
and the Emperors with their suites were already far off when one 
again perceived them. On arriving at the opposite end of the 
plain they reined in their horses and the march past commenced, 
all the regiments with their bands playing and colours flying, 
defiling before the triad of crowned heads. At this moment the 
two or three hundred privileged vehicles received permission to 
cross the exercising ground in order that their occupants might 
obtain a better view of what was going on. Vorwarts ! was 
shouted from the lusty lungs of some stalwart sergeant of police ; 
instantly the cry was taken up, and "Vorwarts!" "Vorwarts!" 
resounded on all sides as droschke, caleche, barouche, and britzka 
set off at a brisk trot. Suddenly some one exclaimed in a loud 
voice to his driver, " Five thaler if you arrive first ;" others 
repeated the words, and then ensued a scene of which it is 
scarcely possible to form a conception. One almost shudders 
while recalling the disorder which those five promised thaler 
created. The coachmen anathematized and lashed their horses, 
while the latter plunged and the carriages dashed onward as fast 
as they could go, wheels grazing and bumping against each other 
and roars of laughter mingling with the terrified exclamations of 
fair ones in distress. Our driver continued yelling in spite of all 
our efforts to restrain him. " Ich will siegen !" (" I will conquer") 
and almost foamed at the mouth with excitement. Unfortunately 
his fellows being equally determined to conquer, the utmost con- 
fusion ensued. In vain the mounted police shouted out to the 
coachmen to stop. Many were forced to gallop out of the way to 

Q 2 



228 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

avoid bein^ run ac^ainst and upset, the danger being considerably 
increased by the olDscurity, as everj'thing was enveloped in a dense 
cloud of sand which at once blinded and sufifocated us. Occa- 
sionally one caught sight of shadowy figures on horseback yell- 
ing out words of command, still it was solely the desire which 
everyone felt to give his neighbour a wide berth which caused 
the vehicles to become scattered and obviated any serious acci- 
dent. As the dust prevented the goal from being seen, each 
driver engaged on his own account in a doubtful chase. Even- 
tually the police succeeded in reducing this chaos into something 
like order, and the carriages were finally ranged in line opposite 
to the saluting point. 

All eyes were now turned towards the tall guardsmen, company^ 
after company of whom were striding past the trio of Emperors, 
the bands of the respective regiments playing as the various 
corps went by. 

" Steady ! steady ! the masses of men 

Wheel and fall in, and wheel again, 

Softly as circles drawn with the pen." 

This pretentious Prussian parade has been truly described as 
a relic from the early days of the eighteenth century, when 
military drill was raised to the dignity of a science, and so to say 
infected by the narrow and pedantic spirit governing even the 
more' intellectual pursuits in those over-methodical days. Pre- 
served as a reminiscence of the olden time, it is as different as 
possible from the thoroughly modern tactics adopted in the 
Prussian army during the late reign. Imagine the upper part of 
the body kept bolt upright with one leg firmly placed in the 
same perpendicular position, while the other is spasmodically 
lifted up at an angle of forty-five degrees ; imagine a hundred 
legs in a row simultaneously performing this gymnastic exercise 
with the utmost regularity, moving with an identity of step, 
tread, and intent as though they belonged to one immense mul- 
tiplied animal ; imagine every two lines of these combinations of 
muscular humanity separated from each other by a comparatively 
wide space, so as to expose everyone of them to the full gaze of 
the scrutinizing beholder, and you have the bcaii-idcal of the 
ceremonial march of this country. Judged by the pigtail and 
pipe-clay standard no doubt the performance was a highly meri- 
torious one, still anything more artificial could not be conceived. 
It gave one the idea of dancing-school pupils being put through 
their toe-pointing steps rather than soldiers in the field. Evi- 
dently the movement could not have been kept up for long, as 
many of the men trembled from head to foot, and would un- 
questionably have broken down if they had had much more of 
it to go through. 

As the regiment came up of which the Czar is the honorary 
colonel, his Russian majesty bowing low to the Emperor Wiihelm. 



BERLIN EN FETE. 229 



rode out and placing himself at its head, conducted it past the 
saluting point. When the Emperor of Austria as colonel of the 
Kaiser Franz-Josef regiment placed himself in like fashion at the 
head of the very men who had fought so desperately against 
him in the defiles of the Erzgebirge and presented the regiment 
to the German Emperor, some strange reflections must have 
passed through his mind. 

The cavalry followed at a trot, the body-guard heading the 
heaving tide of many coloured squadrons. The silver eagle 
glittered on the top of their steel helmets and their swords flashed 
in the bright rays of the sun as these mounted giants swept along. 
They were succeeded by uhlans, tall, but wiry men, whose ap- 
pearance called forth prolonged cheers. An electric spark of 
sympathy passed to and fro between the public and the troopers, 
and the pace of the horses became insensibly faster and faster. 
Light blue dragoons and hussars of all the hues of the rainbow, 
light-weighted men, on lithe, active steeds, brought up the rear. 
And then rumbled up the sombre line of the artillery and train. 

A military critic thus remarked on this most imposing gather- 
ing : — " Much larger bodies of troops have undoubtedly been 
massed together and been inspected, but thirty thousand of so 
splendid soldiers have perhaps never been combined in one 
review. There is, however, a limit to the human sight and to 
human patience. After a certain time even the practised soldier 
•can no longer distinguish between the recruit and the veteran, the 
eye becomes wearied, the patience becomes exhausted, and how- 
ever keen one may be, all curiosity is supplanted by one sincere 
and heartfelt wish that the great spectacle, with its accompany- 
ing heat, dust, and discomfort, were numbered among the events 
of history. As a specimen of perfect rigidity and stiffness of 
drill it was without its parallel." 

Prince Bismarck was on the ground, attired in the uniform of 
his cuirassier regiment, and wearing the order of St. Stephen 
-across his shoulder. I observed him approach a carriage full of 
ladies in a most unceremonious manner, and, after complimenting 
them, ask if they " happened to have a sandwich to spare." " Oh ! 
Prince, why did you not ask before .'' " they answered in one 
breath, and three pairs of fair hands immediately dived into a 
hamper and produced some butterbrode, garnished in the centre 
with slices of German sausage. " And what will the Prince have 
to drink.?" inquired mamma. "A glass of Chambertin," said 
Eismarck, if they had any ; that agreed with him, he said, better 
than the German wines. But the beauties could find no Cham- 
bertin, so that it had to be requisitioned at a neighbouring car- 
riage. " He looks as if he does not deny himself the good things 
of this world," said a poorly-clad individual, who was standing 
by, and gazing upon the famous minister's florid countenance, 
one was bound to admit that the speaker was not far wrong. 



230 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

This slightly truthful remark cost the poor man his place and 
the sight of the march past of the cavalry, for with the nonchalant 
air of a man conscious of having said something pointed, he took 
a whiff at his cigar, and blew a cloud of smoke from between his 
lips in quite an important manner. Now, the carriage of her 
Highness the Princess Imperial, our Princess Royal of England, 
happened to be close by, and it seems that like many other 
ladies, she objects to the smell of bad tobacco, so she whispered 
to her footman, who carried the message to a policeman, who in 
liis turn suddenly made a dive into the little group of people, and 
seizingtheunfortunateoffenderbythccollar,exclaimed, "How dare 
you smoke your bad cigars here .'' " and dragged him to the other 
side of the carriages, when what more befell him one cannot say. 

After the review the Emperor Franz Josef went over the 
barracks of his regiment, inspected the monument erected in the 
courtyard to the memory of the men who fell in the Austrian 
and French campaigns, and partook of some refreshment at the 
officers' mess. The Czar had paid a similar visit of inspection to 
the head-quarters of the Alexander regiment on the previous 
day. By the time the Emperors and their suites had returned 
to Berlin and changed their dusty uniforms for gala regimentals^ 
their presence was required at the grand banquet given in the 
famous Weisse-saal of the old Schloss. State equipages were 
the rule for the principal guests who had received invitations — 
carriages with over-decorated and richly gilt panels, prancing 
steeds with elaborate trappings, coachmen with powdered heads 
and scarlet breeches, chasseurs half buried under their ample 
plumes, flunkies in tall cocked hats with taller feathers, long- 
tailed gold and silver laced coats, and tightly-fitting snow-white 
stockings displaying their muscular calves to advantage. The 
German Empress and the Crown Princess came in carriages and 
six, with postilions, outriders, and a bevy of footmen, while the 
Emperors put up with simple carriages and pair. To ladies wha 
came in robes a traine, their footmen acted as temporary pages 
as they crossed the vestibule of the palace, and I noticed one 
awkward lacquey, richly belaced from his head to his heels, who 
was so confused by his mistress's multiplicity of jnpes that on 
hastily grasping at them one after the other he very nearly 
capsized her as she was mounting the grand staircase. 

The Emperor Wilhelm, equally to oblige both guests, appeared 
in Austrian uniform, with the blue scarf of the Russian order of 
St. Andrew, while the Crown Prince reversed the compliment 
and wore a Russian uniform relieved by an Austrian decoration. 
Only the younger Princes of the Royal House, including the two 
sons of the Crown Prince — who came out for the first time on a 
gala occasion — had to content themselves with Prussian uniforms 
with a sprinkling of foreign orders. Both the Imperial guests 
wore Prussian regimentals, with the great star and chain of the 



BERLIN EN FETE. 23 1 



Black Eagle. The ladies being permitted to follow their own 
individual inspirations, had adorned themselves with consum- 
mate taste and skill. White and blue satin, interwoven with 
golden threads, diadems and jewelled plumes abounded in the 
^ noble hall. With studied richness of costume there was com- 
bined the deliberate punctiliousness of etiquette. The Empress 
Augusta, who was seated in the centre, had the Emperor of 
Austria on her right, and the Emperor of Russia on her left 
hand. The Czar being more nearly related to the host than the 
Kaiser, and having also more recently ascended the throne, ceded 
the pas to his Austrian brother not only in this instance but 
throughout their sojourn at Berlin. Next to the Czar sat the 
Crown Princess, next to the Emperor Franz Josef, the Emperor 
Wilhelm. The Crown Princess had the Czarewitch on her right 
and further on Princess Carl of Prussia and the Crown Prince 
of Saxony ; the German Emperor having on his left the Grand 
Duchess of Baden, and the Crown Prince, and further on the 
Grand Duke Vladimir and the Grand Duke of Baden. In front 
sat Prince Gortschakofif, Prince Bismarck, Count Andrassy, and 
Count von Berg. Towards the close of the banquet the Em- 
peror Wilhelm rose and proposed the first toast, the entire com- 
pany rising with him. " Animated," he said, " by feelings of the 
sincerest gratitude, I drink to the health of my imperial guests." 
Scarcely had the cheers, accompanied by the melodious sounds 
of the Austrian national hymn, subsided, when the Emperor Franz 
Josef returned thanks — "From the bottom of my heart," said he, 
" I thank his majesty for the words he has pronounced. May 
God protect and preserve his Majesty the Emperor- King 
Wilhelm of Prussia, the Empress Augusta, and the whole Royal 
House of Prussia !" The Czar followed suit, saying, laconically, 
" I drink to the welfare of the gallant Prussian army ! " 

The banquet concluded, the imperial party proceeded to the 
opera-house, but simply to witness the performance of some new 
ballet. Few ladies were present, and these solely in the boxes 
on the grand tier, all the remaining boxes and the stalls being 
occupied by officers of various ranks and nationalities. While 
the Emperors and the princes, the grand dukes and the generals, 
the diplomatists and the dignitaries, were absorbed in the saltatory 
gyrations of the faded figurantes of the Berlin Opera-house, there 
were assembling in the broad Opern-platz in front — kept clear 
by the troops for the occasion — the two-and-twenty military 
bands which were to take part in the monster musical perform- 
ance of the Zapfenstreich. They formed themselves into three 
columns in front of the statue of the Great Friedrich, who from 
his lofty pedestal seemed to gaze curiously down upon the 
gathering beneath. At their head were 350 guardsmen bearing 
tall lighted flambeaux, who, in the lurid glare, with their glitter- 
ing helmets and waving plumes, seemed like soldiers of the 
middle ages carrying fire and sword within some doomed city. 



232 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



Soon after the Cathedral clock had chimed the hour of nine, and 
just as the last carriages from tlie opera were settin^r down their 




occupants in the court-yard of the old Schloss, the report of a 
cannon was heard, and the procession moved forward midst the 
deafening sounds from more than a thousand musical instru- 
ments. The drums beat the parade march, then the bands 
played the triumphal march of the entry of the allies into Paris, 
after which the drums beat again, and as the procession passed 
over the handsome Schloss-briicke, the bands struck up the 
march of General York. Just over the bridge on the right hand, 
the thoroughfare known as the Schloss-freiheit communicates 
between the Lust-garten and the Schloss-platz, and as the pro- 
cession passed this point, there suddenly arose above the 
exulting clang of the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal, loud 
frantic shrieks and piercing cries of distress, startling the illus- 
trious guests who thronged the windows of the Schloss, and others 
who, like myself, were assembled on the terrace beneath, 
watching the arrival of the musical host. No one, however, 
could divine the reason of these heart-rending cries. 

The procession defiled in the Lust-garten, the brilliant aspect 
of which on this famous gala night is difficult to describe. Let, 
however, the reader picture a vast open space with the fagade of 



BERLIN EN f£tE. 233 



a noble palace extending along one side, and having in front of 
it flower-beds and fountains, with a colossal central sculptured 
group, and beyond the long open colonnade of the Museum 
approached up wide flights of steps, and decorated with frescoes 
and statues. One of the remaining sides is bounded by the 
Cathedral, and the other by the Arsenal and the Schloss- 
briickc, with its finely-executed groups in marble. Erect 
around this space hundreds of ornamental bronze braziers 
sending forth myriad tongues of flame ; suspend to them festoons 
of coloured lamps, and mass beneath them several thousand men 
belonging to different corps in diverse and occasionally singularly 
picturesque uniforms ; place in front of them the military bands 
of the Berlin garrison numbering more than r,ioo musicians, 
around whom group several hundred torch-bearers. At a given 
signal the bandmasters mount the wooden stages erected for them, 
and the leader of this monster concert ascends the lofty crimson- 
draped platform immediately in front of the Palace balcony. Sud- 
denly a deafening " boom, boom," from several score of big drums 
startles everyone and commands attention ; and a few moments 
afterwards the two-and-twenty military bands strike up the 
Austrian national anthem in concert, leader and bandmasters 
marking time with long lighted tapers, and the military torch- 
bearers waving their blazing flambeaux excitedly over their heads 
at all the more spirit-stirring passages. When the music ceased, 
the crowd on the outskirts of the Place, set up a loud and frantic 
hurrah, in response to which the torch-bearers again waved their 
blazing flambeaux wildly in the air. After a brief interval of 
silence, the 350 fifers and drummers commenced drumming and 
piping the Alexander March in compliment to the Czar; then 
the bands performed the " Entree des Invites," from Taun- 
hauser, after which the Radetzki March was played by the 
bands of the cavalry and the artillery. The " Boshe Czarya 
Chrani " of holy Russia followed, and then commenced the 
terrific Zapfenstreich, or Tattoo, in which certain critics, gifted 
with the faculty of seeing further into millstones than ordinary 
individuals, pretend to find " a perfect musical interpretation of 
the military spirit of Prussia. Monotonous and sharp, sober, yet 
inspiriting, it translates," say they, " the special characteristics 
of the service into articulate, if not over-artistic sound." The 
louder the drums beat, the shriller the fifes rent the air, the more 
boisterous grew the crowd, until the steady beat of the tambour 
was drowned by deafening hurrahs. Suddenly all became silent 
again, as the bands passed over to the low diminishing roll 
which precedes the evening prayer when the piece is performed 
in camp. Then ensued a loud rushing sound, resembling the 
fall of some immense volume of water, but which was produced, 
I fancy, by the simultaneous roll of a couple of hundred drums, 
and this singular performance came to a close. 



234 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

While these thousand instruments were playing in concert, 
from the roof of the Schloss flashes of electric light were thrown 
upon the scene, and the buildings surrounding the open 
space were illuminated with Bengal fire, imparting a marked 
melodramatic efiect to a spectacle the weird phantasy of which 
it is impossible to define — what with the clang of innumerable 
musical instruments, sending forth now a shrill, now a sonorous 
volume of sound, the lurid light and rolling clouds of smoke 
from hundreds of waving flambeaux, the glittering of several 
thousand helmets, and the waving of as many white and scarlet 
plumes, the surging and clamorous crowds beyond the line of 
soldiers, the bronze braziers with their darting tongues of flame, 
the periodical illumination of the adjacent buildings, first with 
the pale electric light, and then with brilliant coloured fires, 
the stealthy love-making under the orange trees of the terrace, 
between beardless lieutenants and Berlin belles, and finally, in 
the balcony over one's head, the powerful potentates in whose 
honour all this diablerie had been produced. 

The illuminations of the city were nothing remarkable ; a coat 
of arms in gas above the porticoes of several of the palaces, a 
fringe of gas jets around certain of the windows, or along the 
more important mouldings, coloured lamps over the entire facade 
of the new Rathhaus, some isolated gas laurel branches, and 
similar puerile devices at a few of the hotels, and Chinese 
lanterns at several of the beer gardens, and that is all. Evidently 
the authorities relied upon the liberal combustion of Bengal fire, 
which was being continually kindled under the porticoes and on 
the roofs and balconies of the public buildings, to compensate 
for any shortcomings which Berlin may have presented in the 
way of illuminations proper. After a morning spent on the 
sandy plain of Tempelhof, and an evening devoted to being 
jammed among the perspiring crowd Unter den Linden, while 
listening to the distant music of the Zapfenstreich, the Berlinese 
naturally felt thirstier than usual, so that no sooner was the 
Tattoo over than there was a general rush to the bier-garten 
on the Linden, which soon became completely crammed. 
Individuals of regular habits after roaming the streets to look 
at the few illuminations turned contentedly in-doors, while 
those of more expansive principles still lingered in the bier- 
garten, and the positively abandoned dived down into the less 
respectable bier-locale, or prowled in parties through the prin- 
cipal thoroughfares, coming naturally enough into occasional 
collisions with the police. As there are no regulations at Berlin 
exacting early closing on the part of the proprietors of drinking 
establishments, a brisk trade was carried on until the small hours 
chimed on Sunday morning, and it was time for people to think 
of their accustomed devotions, Prussia being, as everybody 
knows, a highly Protestant nation. 



BERLIN EN FETE. 



!35 



Next morninp^ one learnt the origin of the piercing cries and 
shrieks which had so startled everybody as the procession of 
torch-bearers and bandsmen pressed forward towards the Lust- 
garten. The police it seems had permitted the crowd to become 
so densely packed in the Schloss-freiheit that every paving- 
stone bore its man. To secure free passage past here for the 
procession orders were given to drive back this solid mass of 
humanity — an impossibility, as the hindmost row was already 
jammed against the iron shutters of the shops, and there was no 
kind of outlet for those who might desire to escape. Still, orders in 
Prussia must be obeyed, and the mounted police gallantly spurred 
their horses forward, causing them to rear and plunge in the 
midst of screaming women and terrified men, while the soldiers 
attempted to drive the helpless people back with brutal blows 
from the butt-ends of their rifles. It was even said that the 
torch-bearers thrust their blazing flambeaux into the faces of 
those who were in the foremost rank. As the crowd swayed 
backwards and forwards in its desperate struggle with the 
military and the police, some of its weaker members were 
thrown down and trampled under foot, the result being eight 
individuals killed and ten dangerously wounded, after which 
soldiers and police desisted from their futile eflbrts. The Berlin 
newspapers loudly censured the police as being directly re- 
sponsible for this tragic interlude, and the satirical journals 
assailed them, and especially the President, for the blundering 
arrangements which led to such a direful result. In one carica- 
ture he was depicted as energetically squeezing the people to 




236 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



death under a heavy screw-press, and in another as recklessly 
galloping over the dead and dying victims of his criminal 
nejrhVence. 




With the Imperial guests the Sunday morning's devotions 
were supplemented by a promenade through the Berlin Zoo- 
logical Gardens, and an excursion in the afternoon to Potsdam, 
where most of the lions of the place were visited. The 
Emperors afterwards dined at Schloss Babelsberg, the Emperor 
Wilhelm's modern Gothic toy palace among the Havel woods, 
and were present later in the evening at a tea and garden party 
given by the Prince and Princess Imperial at the Neue Palace, 



BERLIN EN F^TE. 237 



— a resplendent entertainment which seemed hkc some chapter 
out of the Arabian Nights. Palace, gardens, and grounds were 
equally illuminated. The moment twilight set in, the flower- 
beds and clusters of shrubs disposed in stars, circles, and other 
geometric patterns over the extensive lawn were lighted up with 
thousands of brilliant coloured lamps, recalling to mind the 
famous jewelled garden of Aladdin. The orange-trees at the 
same time covered themselves with variegated orbs while the 
lindens beyond shone with a soft mellow radiance, pleasantly 
framing in the gorgeous picture. Piercing the wooded back- 
ground with a flood of brilliancy, the great avenue of the park 
was seen stretching away for miles — a galaxy of candelabra 
and Venetian lanterns. Right and left were firs, which by the 
aid of candles and a rich appendage of ornamental festoons 
were converted into so many living Christmas trees ; forming a 
perfect paradise of light and colour. 

Towards half-past eight the Emperors alighted in the inner 
court of the Palace. After dinner they had taken a drive 
through the Potsdam parks, and past the verdant glades, the 
broad lakes, and a continuous string of palaces and villas, had 
made their way from the father's pseudo Gothic castle to the 
rococo mansion of the son. At the moment of their arrival 
the Neue Palace became enveloped in a flood of red light, sur- 
mounted by sheaves of yellow flame on the roof. 

It was not yet dark. The lingering rays of the sun subdued 
the power of the artificial light and caused every blade of grass 
to be distinctly seen amid the thousand flamelets playing on 
the ground. Every polished leaf of the orange trees had its 
light and shade, while on the limes you might have counted the 
branches. As night began to assert herself the splendour of 
the illuminations became too dazzling to permit the eye to 
discern the less conspicuous details. You then saw nothing but 
light ; but it was light of every imaginable tint and hue. 

While the company were promenading on the terrace, and 
sauntering down among the flowers, the Palace at intervals 
glowed in the effulgence of Bengal fires. The gigantic crown 
on the cupola had its special illumination, and later in the 
evening a new surprise presented itself in the central avenue. 
A fountain of rose-coloured water rose upwards to the sky, 
surrounded by sea-green marble statues, backed by a high 
hedge, over which hung an opaque white light resembling molten 
silver. Presently the colours changed, the statues turning red 
and the fountain green ; then the water subsided and a jet of 
fiery flame took its place. The bands greeted this volcanic 
pyramid by playing the Austrian national hymn. At ten 
'o'clock the guests left the palace and were conveyed to the 
capital by special trains. 




xir. 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MAXffiUVRFS. — FLIGHT OF THE 

EAGLES. 

NO kind of respite was allowed the Imperial guests. Early on 
Monday morning the autumn manoeuvres of the Prussian 
guard corps commenced in earnest, and the Emperors had to 
rise betimes to be present at the opening operations in front of 
Spandau, some dozen miles from Berlin. General and special 
ideas of the proposed manoeuvres had been promulgated by the 
military authorities to the following effect : — 

" General Idea.- — The guard corps is moving from the line of the Oder 
to relieve the fortress of Spandau, which is besieged. On its approach the 
enemy raises the siege, quits the left bank of the river, and crosses to the 
right bank which it occupies in considerable force, so as to cover the 
retreat of the siege train and artillery." 

"The -Special Idea" is as follows: — "The general in command of the 
guard corps, having approached near to Spandau with the principal portion 
of his force on the 8th of September, and having sent his advance guard 
through the fortress to the right bank of the river, on the gth determines 
to attack the enemy, who have taken up a position on the heights of Staaken 
and Amalienhof ; and to carry out this attack on the enemy's right wing, 
so as to prevent him withdrawing his siege train and artillery." 

On the Sunday the troops were marched out of Berlin, and 
one division bivouacked between Charlottenburg and Spandau, 
whilst the other passed through Spandau and bivouacked to the 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 239 

westward of that fortress. The Emperors came down by the 
eight o'clock train on the Monday morning, accompanied by 
innumerable military notabilities, and immediately after their 
arrival, the advanced guard having already penetrated through the 
fortress of Spandau, the troops com.menced their attack. As is 
always the case in the Prussian manoeuvres the great object was 
to turn the enemy's flank — in this instance his left flank. The 
advance guard, therefore, as it came into action deployed, and 
the artillery, which occupied a commanding position in the rear, 
opened fire. The cavalry of the advance guard, composed of 
one uhlan regiment, took up a position in echelon on the flank, 
and the infantry were thrown forward according to the principles 
of the new drill. The great object being to hold the enemy 
in check on the extreme right while the main attack was de- 
veloped on his left, every precaution was taken to strengthen 
the position of the attacking force on that side ; skirmishers 
advanced to the front, lay down and fired; about 120 paces 
in the rear their supports dug shelter trenches in irregular order 
offering gaps and enabling them to support each other. In easy 
soil the trenches were dug and shelter was obtained in about 
ten minutes. The supports in the rear remained in a concealed 
position, while the remainder of the army gradually developed 
its force, and gradually brought fresh and fresh troops up in 
khelo7i on the enemy's left, driving him back with irresistible 
force and turning his entire position. 

I had left Berlin by an early train and eight o'clock found me 
toiling along a sandy road towards the broad swift river Havel. 
At the time the action commenced I was sailing across to the 
opposite shore in one of those small, flat-bottomed boats, 
dangerous for sailing trips should the slightest squall chance to 
get up. While I was seated in the bottom of this punt — 
speculating whether it would capsize as its side dipped from 
time to time deeper into the water, and calculating the chances 
of my being able to swim in my boots, I heard the report of 
the signal cannon. We fortunately crossed without accident, and 
soon afterwards the cavalry were marching over the pontoon 
bridge which had been constructed overnight. It was a fine 
sight to watch the tall uhlans with their long lances, and the 
burly-looking cuirassiers, in their dusty-white uniforms and 
shining helmets and breastplates, leading their horses down 
from the wooded heights on the opposite bank of the river, 
where they had been hidden among the foliage. Once across, 
they vaulted into their saddles and dashed swiftly along the 
steep sandy road till lost to sight under the hill overlooking the 
river. In the meanwhile the artillery opened fire on the left, 
and I followed the left wing of the infantry as it advanced 
up the high ground bordering the lake. Here a battery was di- 
recting its fire upon some houses where the enemy's advanced 



240 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

guard were supposed to be posted ; and while their attention 
was engrossed by the artillery, our infantry advanced towards 
the left under cover of the lofty bushes and the apple trees 
disposed in avenues across the fields. From here one had a 
very good view of the field of battle. To the north-east was 
Spandau, to the east the river Havel, and to the west, distant 
some three miles from Spandau, with the village lying at its 
feet, was the hill of Staaken, where the Emperors with their 
respective suites and the ladies of the Imperial family had 
stationed themselves. This was the point of attack. Our army 
consisted of nine regiments of infantry, comprising the four 
first regiments of the guard with the regiments of the Czar, 
the Emperor Franz Josef, the Empress Augusta, and the 
Dowager Queen Elisabeth, together with a regiment of light 
infantry. There were also nine regiments of cavalry, including 
three of cuirassiers, one of hussars, [two of dragoons, and three 
of uhlans. We had in addition a regiment of artillery and a 
battalion of pioneers. With this army, which numbered some- 
thing like 25,000 men, we were to storm the hill of Staaken, 
capture the village, and put the enemy to flight. The enemy 
being imaginar>^, the affair was very simple, still one could not 
help admiring the way in which the whole of the troops, both 
infantry, cavalr)', and artiller}^ got over the ground in spite of 
the clouds of dust and the sandy soil — without a scrap of hard 
earth or even a stone — which was everj'where encountered, 
whether upon high ground or low. One was, moreover, impressed 
by the care with which everything was done, not even the merest 
trifle being omitted which would be worth attending to if the 
ragged lead were actually flying about. The men took 
cover as if they were saving their lives instead of only going 
through a drill, and were duly anxious never to let drive when 
a comrade might thereby be endangered. 

The jagers advanced with their knapsacks raised on high by 
way of defence. The sharpshooters came out in swarms as 
the reserve forces marched forward, the first rank kneeling down 
and firing three rounds. Then the bugle sounded the advance, 
which was accomplished with wonderful swiftness by the troops 
in line, while behind came the columns covered on the left flank 
by the advancing ordnance. The hussar guards having marched 
up in squadrons, rattled ofl" for an attack in the direction of 
the Karolinenhohe, the infantry advancing towards Amalien- 
hof, surrounded by its belt of brushwood, to the sound of 
drums and fifes, the crowd of spectators invariably hovering be- 
tween the firing ranks. The guards having taken Amalienhof, 
the finishing blow was given by the cavalry executing a grand 
charge. This spectacle of a whole division of horse rushing for- 
ward at once, was a most imposing one. As the four thousand 
swords flashed in the air, and the four thousand horses galloped 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 



241 



along, maintaining order and regularity even in the heat of the 
onslaught, the earth shook, and the spectator could not help 
admiring the effective result of military discipline and practice, 
even while remembering and applying Marshal St. Arnaud's 
pithy observation on the Balaclava charge — " C'cHait magnifiqiie, 
mats ce nctait pas la guerre." When the drums beat the final 
charge, the troops responded with loud hurrahs ; the artillery and 
the reserves advanced, and the cannon opened a raking fire, 
under cover of which the infantry pushed forward. The Emperor 
rode out to meet the advancing troops and lead them against 
the heights. The long line, flanked right and left by the bat- 
teries, steadily advanced ; the fusillade became general ; and, 
while clouds of smoke enveloped the entire field of battle, the 
central position of the imaginary enemy, the hill of Staaken 
where the two Emperors and the ladies of the Imperial family 
and of the Court were posted, was carried. By about one o'clock 
the bugles sounded the halt. The battle over, the great train 
of waggons with straw for bivouacking made its appearance, and 




the troops encamped on the ground, while the Emperors and 
their satellites, the numerous foreign officers, and the crowds of 
ordinary spectators hurried in the direction of the railway 
station. All along the dusty road rickety tables spread under 
the trees attracted droughty crowds clamorous for beer. Thirsty 
souls, too, thronged every room in the village bierhaus, and 
fought for mugs of beer under the huge projecting porch, deco- 
rated for the occasion with autumn flowers and wreaths of 
evergreen. 

There was evidently no rest at Berlin for the Imperial guests, 
for early the next morning they were conveyed by special train 
to Wustermark, and at once mounted their horses, there awaiting 
them in charge of army grooms and orderlies. Another battle 

R 



242 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



was to be fought in their presence, but this time, instead of the 
attacking party having a mere phantom enemy to contend with, 
they were to be opposed by a solid force of formidable troops. 
On account of the presence of the three Emperors and the desire 
to have certain results attained within a given time, less discre- 
tion than usual was left to the commanding generals in the way 
of tactical chess play. The strategy of this so-called battle of 
Buchow Carpzow was of course entirely settled beforehand, and 
all the commanders had to do was to see that the engagement 
was smartly carried out, and that no blunder in detail was 
allowed to pass unpunished. The West Division, commanded 
by General von Pape, was supposed to be an enemy who had 
advanced against Spandau for a certain distance, and, being 
opposed by a strong force, had halted to give battle. Von Pape 
occupied a line stretching from Beestow, a little way north of 
the Wustermark station, to Falkenrede, some miles to the south 
of it. His centre rested on the strong position of Buchow 
meadows and a small lake impassable for troops. The weak 
point was on the extreme right, where there was much open 
ground favourable for the employment of his opponent's numerous 
cavalry. The East Division attacking force was under General 
von Budritzki, and had bivouacked in the wood near Doeberitz, 
south-west of Dallgow railway station. It was a superb little 
army composed of the four grenadier regiments of the guard, 
a couple of cavalry brigades, and a large share of guard artil- 
lery, with the schiitzcn battalion to counterbalance the guard 
jager on von Pape's side, and the combined regiment of line 
and instruction battalions. The West Division, though inferior 
in artillery, and with but one cavalry brigade, had a force of 
infantry equal to that of its opponent, comprising as it did the 
four infantry regiments of the guard, the fusilier regiment, and 
the jager battalion. Each side had a baggage and ammunition 
train in perfect order. 

Von Budritzki commenced his attack with determined vigour, 
the Prussian tactics of hammering with artillery, flanking with 
cavalry, and finally storming with infantry, being carried out to 
perfection. Gradually the attacking line pressed home upon 
their opponents, turning their right flank, and driving them from 
the field. There was a tremendous fire of infantry and artillery 
in the centre about eleven o'clock, whilst the cavalry of von Bu- 
dritzki moved steadily towards Falkenrede. At one moment the 
clouds of dust were so thick that nothing could be seen. When 
these had cleared off, the 2nd grenadier regiment Kaiser Franz, 
was on the edge of the wide ditch that hindered the attack upon 
Buchow Carpzow. They v/ere evidently not expected to cross 
the ditch, and the defending force calmly peppered them ; but 
the grenadiers, constructing a slight bridge of boughs of trees, 
came over one by one, and, forming on the other bank, captured 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 



243 



a battery of guns, and might have captured some of the Imperial 
staff had not these been neutral. 

There was a great cavalry charge on the extreme left, near 
Falkenrede, and the flank of the West Division was turned. 
Sharper grew the fire of musketry, and through the dust glimpses 
of cuirass and helmet were obtained as the waving mass of 
cavalry swept on. Von Pape by slow degrees was forced off his 
proper line of communications, and thrown towards the north- 
west upon the Berlin and Hamburg railway at Naucn. The 
bugles now sounded to cease firing. The dusty but undis- 
mayed defending force tramped away gaily to the cantonments, 
and the Imperial party with their suites returned to the Wuster- 
mark station. Here, close to the railway, was a great tent, 
wherein a sumptuous luncheon was served before the special 
train conveyed the Emperors and their suites back to Berlin. 
This was the finale of these displays, and the subsequent man- 
oeuvres of the troops between September 12 and September 
18, on which latter day they returned to their respective gar- 
risons, were carried on independent of the presence of the three 
Emperors. 

The round of festivities complete, there simply remained 
the doling out of the imperial pour-boires, in the shape of a 
certain number of grand crosses, ere the Czar and the Kaiser 
quitted Berlin. The latter showed himself the most liberal 
in this way, confer- 
ring orders alike upon 
Bismarck and Gort- 
schakoff, Manteuffel 
and Redfern, Jomini 
and Hamburger, Thile 
and Delbruck, Backers 
and Baelow, besides 
individuals of inferior 
note. In reference to 
this shower of decora- 
tions one of the satiri- 
cal journals published 
the subjoined carica- 
ture, the inscription 
beneath which ran — 

The Emperor Wil- 
helm with singular taste had appointed the Emperor Franz 
Josef colonel of the Schleswig-Holstein regiment of hussars, 
and more singular still, the latter condescended to make his 
farewell visit to the German Emperor on the afternoon of 
September nth, attired in the uniform of the regiment in 
question. ^ At eight o'clock that evening the Austrian Kaiser 
left Berlin in company with the Crown Prince of Saxony, 

R 2 




so MANV ORDERS AND 
KO ROOM. 



SO MUCH ROOM AND 
NO ORDERS. 



244 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

by the Gorlitz line of railway. There is nothing particularly- 
picturesque about a departure by train, especially at night, 
and that a rainy night. The carriages rattled over the stones ; 
here and there the passers-by raised their hats where the 
lamplight showed them whom those carriages contained ; 
some mounted police rode along the street to see that 
all was clear in front, and the first of the Imperial guests 
had gone. The one thing which Franz Josef and his prime 
minister, Count Andrassy, did not obtain in Berlin — and for 
which, indeed, they scarcely cared — was the last word of the 
conference. It was not until the following morning that 
the Czar took his departure, and even then his Imperial 
host, being also bound eastward, though only to Marienburg, 
accompanied him for a part of the journey. The two Em- 
perors, who caught the seven o'clock special train with military 
punctuality, were loudly cheered by the crowd, which was not — 
as may be supposed — very large at that hour, and with a dis- 
tinguished company of princes and generals set forth towards 
the Russian frontier. 

The Emperors gone, the Berlinese returned to the sober 
realities of life. The propitious W'Cather had suddenly changed. 
Rain commenced to fall in torrents, pattering upon the pave- 
ments and the house-tops, flushing the yawning gutters, and 
carrying their accumulated filth into the almost stagnant Spree; 
soaking the flags and banners which still floated from the roofs 
of the palaces, public buildings, hotels and private residences ; 
driving the people from Unter den Linden and the Thiergarten, 
and obliging them to take refuge either at home or within the 
overcrowded beer-rooms and cafes. Then came an easterly 
wind, slamming open doors and windows, bending the tall 
black and white flagstaffs, and sending the yellow autumn leaves 
from the waning limes scudding along the Linden promenade. 
Spite of their constrained attendance at fetes and banquets, 
spectacles and military displays, the triad of Emperors had 
nevertheless managed to snatch opportunities for serious con- 
verse among themselves, besides which, Bismarck, Gortschakoff, 
and Andrassy had many long interviews with each other. 
In the comic papers eaves-dropping journalists were satirized 
with an undue development of the acoustic organs listening at 
the doors of the conference chamber. Speculation was rife 
as to the object of these deliberations of the Emperors and 
their ministers, and it was agreed it could be neither the bug- 
bear of the International nor the Jesuits. It was commonly 
thought there had been an interchange of ideas with regard to 
the Pope and to the possible future attitude of France, and 
above all that an understanding had been attempted and 
perhaps arrived at in respect to Eastern affairs, so as to ensure 
united action when the serious illness of the sick man next came 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 



245 




AT THE MILITARY I'ARADE. 



AT THE DOOR OF THE 
CONFERENXE CHAMBER. 



AT THE ZAl'FENSTREICH. 



round again. A caricature of the moment represented the Pope 
and the three Emperors, the former exclaiming, " By the sacred 
anathema, if I only knew what those three were planning 
against me ! " and the latter remarking, " Ah ! did we only know 
what to do with this troublesome old man." 




There was a general flitting when the eagles took to flight, 
and Berlin seemed transformed as with the touch of Prospero's 



246 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

wand. It lost its holiday aspect on a sudden. For days past 
Emperors had been constantly driving about the city, attracting 
crowds wherever they went. Princelcts and dukelings, and 
foreign officers in the most brilliant uniforms had thronged the 
Linden at all hours of the day. Aides-de-camp and orderlies 
had been kept incessantly on the trot, just as sentries had been 
kept perpetually saluting. Gala carriages had been running 
continual rounds from one palace to another, and flunkeys in 
elaborately laced coats— the full value of which was only known 
to the tailor who made them — had condescended to stretch their 
laggard legs on the common footways. Now the Linden was 
comparatively silent and deserted ; the elegant equipages, the 
high-stepping horses, the plumed chasseurs, the powdered 
coachmen, and the liveried lacqueys were alike missing. The 
brilliant uniforms had also disappeared. Gone too were the 
grand dukes and princes of royal and noble German houses, 
the field marshals, generals, and dashing aides-de-camp. The 
army being cantoned in the environs, completing its autumnal 
manoeuvres, there was not even the habitual liberal sprinkling 
of military uniforms to enliven the pavement. The detachments, 
too, no longer called at the Emperor's palace for their banners 
before proceeding to morning exercise. The extra sentries 
were all removed, the sentry boxes laid up in ordinary, the flags, 
including blazoned Imperial banners, were every one struck, 
the gas jets of the illuminations all taken down, and the Linden 
was altogether slow. The hotels being empty and the better- 
class shops deserted, hotel and shop keepers had nothing to do 
but count their gains, the w^aiters were reduced to lounging at the 
hotel doors, and the " dienstmann " to dozing on the hotel steps. 
The droschken, save an occasional vehicle with luggage on the 
box making for some railway station, remained unattended on 
the stands, for the drivers, no longer in request, dived down 
into the nearest bier-local. The gaping crowds that had hourly 
found delight in loitering opposite one or the other of the 
palaces returned to their ordinary work, the bangel too retired 
to the Donhofs-platz and the Konigs-mauer, and the police 
found their occupation gone. 

The castles in the air which a fortnight ago had been erected 
with all the lavish extravagance of a lively imagination by hotel, 
shop, lodging-house, and livery-stable keepers, waiters, chamber- 
maids, droschke drivers and commissionaires, had finally faded 
away. Gone, too, were the fond hopes of the aristocratic beauties 
of Berlin, based upon a mere passionate glance across the 
Imperial table in the Weisse-saal of the old Schloss, a simple 
pressure of the hand, or a whispered tete-a-tete in a silent avenue 
in the illuminated gardens of the Neue Palace at Potsdam. It 
was a shame, protested the injured fair ones, pouting their 
pretty lips — the tears glistening in their big blue eyes, as they 



THE AUTUMN MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 247 

thought of some dashing young aide-de-camp in his beautiful 
shiny-leather boots and spurs — and so it was. Had they not 
most faithfully danced attendance upon the Imperial visitors 
and their suites since the days of their arrival ? Had I not seen 
them from the railway platform peering through the windows 
of the first-class waiting room, eager to welcome that brilliantly- 
attired crowd of princes, nobles, and officers ? Had they not 
also made the most costly sacrifices at the altar of the Goddess 
of Fashion ? And did they not, the very evening of the Czar's 
arrival, enthroned in their satin-lined carriages, drive time after 
time down Unter den Linden, in front of the Russian Embassy ? 
Moreover were they not at the review at Tempelhof, braving 
alike sun and sand ? Also at the opera and the Zapfenstreich ? 
And if they did not all go to the Imperial banquet in the 
Weisse-saal every one knows that it was because they were not 
invited. But wherever they could go they did. They were at 
the Zoological Gardens during their Imperial Majesties' visit ; 
they secured admissions to the grounds of Babelsberg ; were 
present at the tea and garden party in the Neue Palace at 
Potsdam, and at the military manoeuvres at Staaken and 
Wustermark. Now, however, all was over. The costly toilets 
which poor, ill-fed, ill-clad, ill-remunerated work-girls toiled 
at night and day to get finished were cast aside, the jewels 
were locked up, the elegant barouche had returned to the coach- 
house and the horses to the stable, the Baron vowing that his 
wife and daughters had ruined that pair of flea-bitten greys, 
which cost him a sack full of thaler. Cupid must have been 
sadly inattentive to the whispers of his mother, Venus, to have 
allowed such visions of orange blossoms and bridesmaids, and 
dashing young officers, as troubled the slumbers of Berlin belles 
during the Imperial meeting to fade away, leaving only the 
recollection of a pair of high boots and spurs, a cavalry sword, 
and a flaxen moustache to console them. 




THE EMTEROK WILHELM. 



XIII. 



WILHELM I., KONIG AND KAISER. 



THE visitor to Berlin passing down Unter den Linden, and 
pausing before the statue of the Great Friedrich may often 
notice drawn up beneath the portico of the small stuccoed palace 
facing him, a pair-horse victoria, with a cocked-hatted and plumed 
chasseur seated on the box beside the Russian coachman. The 
sole occupant is a tall [elderly officer in the undress uniform of 
the Prussian foot guards — a blue tunic with silver buttons and 
epaulettes and red facings, half hidden beneath the ample folds 
of a military cloak — who touches his spiked helmet in reply 
to the salute of the sentries as he is driven rapidly off. This 
officer is the German Emperor. 

Wilhelm, King of Prussia by Divine right and hereditary 
succession, and Emperor of Germany by the astuteness of the 
able men with whom he has known how to surround himself, 
the power of the army which he has made it his life-long business 
to foster and discipline, and the welding together of diverging 
national interests by the flame of patriotism enkindled by the 



WILHELM I., KONIG AND KAISER. 249 

war with France, was born at the palace Unter den Linden, 
now occupied by the Imperial Crown Prince, on the 22nd March, 
1797 ; the year that witnessed the death of Friedrich Wilhelm 
II., the cession of the left bank of the Rhine to France by the 
treaty of Campo Formio, and the surrender of Mayence. His 
father was that half-hearted martinet, Friedrich Wilhelm III., 
then Crown Prince of Prussia, and his mother, the Queen 
Luisa Augusta Wilhelmina Amelia, commonly known as the 
beautiful Queen Luisa, who it is pretended died of a broken 
heart at witnessing the havoc wrought upon her country by the 
troops of the first Napoleon. This royal couple had formed the 
resolution of putting to shame the prevalent PVench fashions by 
having "a. domestic German household," and passed much of 
their time at their country seat of Paretz in the Mark of Bran- 
denburg, living in rustic simplicity, and feasting on the national 
East Prussian dish, grey peas and salted meat. At Paretz the 
future Emperor, who had been baptized Friedrich Wilhelm 
Ludwig, spent much of his early childhood in company with his 
brothers Friedrich Wilhelm and Friedrich Carl and his sister 
Charlotte, afterwards the wife of Nicholas of Russia. As a 
child the stalwart warrior of later years was of a weakly con- 
stitution and had such delicate health as to cause the Queen 
great anxiety for his life. In an address to his generals on his 
accession to the throne, dated the 8th January, 1861, he says: 
" I never expected to survive my dear brother. In my youth I 
was so much the weaker that according to the lav/s of Nature 
there was no prospect of my succeeding to the ancestral throne, 
hence I looked for the work of my life in the service of the 
Prussian army, and devoted myself to it with perfect love and 
constancy, thinking that I should thus best fulfil the duties of 
a Prussian Prince to his King and country." 

The military spirit here indicated was inborn, and in his case the 
child was truly father to the man. His royal sire aspired to be an 
educational reformer, and his mother was an ardent admirer of 
Pestalozzi, so a scheme of instruction was quickly drawn up for 
the children, and the Prince commenced his studies under the 
direction of Privy-Councillor Delbruck and Professor Reimann. 
But the seeds that took firmest root were those sown by Cor- 
porals Bennstein and Kleri, assisted perhaps by " Corporal 
Schlague," in 1803 when, as a Christmas gift, he donned 
the red dolman of the Ziethen hussars, and was presented 
to the Queen with his elder brother and his cousin Fried- 
rich, as one of the three youngest recruits in the Prussian 
army. We are told that at a subsequent period the Prince 
studied the art of war under Scharnhorst and Knesbeck, law 
under Savigny, philosophy under Ritter and Ancillon, and the 
fine arts under Schenkel and Rauch. The first two might justly 
feel proud of their pupil, though his aspirations have not been 



250 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

confined to shining in arms alone. Emulous probably of the 
Great Friedrich, who wrote verses and played on the flute, 
Prince Wilhelm, at the mature age of forty-three, produced a 
poem. It is called " Der Obcr-Rhcin," and in it the royal author 
after expressing the anxiety of Germany to regain her lost 
possessions on the further bank of the river, says, prophetically 
enough, to the people of Alsace and Lorraine, " Should you be 
so lost to honour as not to feel the bondage you suffer, then 
we will force you to do your duty. If you will not be Germans, 
at least your children shall be, and they will rejoice that they 
have overcome their ow^n fathers !" 

The idyllic tranquillity of Paretz was disturbed by the war 
with France. After the battle of Jena the young princes were 
hurried from place to place to escape capture. On New Year's 
Day, 1807, the King joined them at Konigsberg, and there 
Prince Wilhelm at the age of ten received from his father his 
first commission, as ensign, in the foot guards. The return of 
tranquillity which followed the Peace of Tilsit was marked on 
his part by study and constant practice in regimental duty with 
the garrison at Konigsberg. At the close of the year he received 
his lieutenancy, and the following spring the Queen, writing 
to her father, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, says : 
" Our son Wilhelm will turn out, if I am not much mistaken, 
like his father — simple, honest, and intelligent. He also re- 
sembles him most of all, but will not, I fancy, be so handsome." 
The royal family returned to Berlin in December, 1809, and on 
the 19th July following, the Queen died at Hohenzieritz. 
During the period of preparation which preceded the resumption 
of hostilities against Napoleon, Prince Wilhelm was actively 
engaged in field manoeuvres and various military duties. In 
18 1 3 he left Berlin, a captain on his first campaign, and under- 
went his baptism of fire at Mannheim, when the allies crossed 
the Rhine in the teeth of the French batteries, on the ist of 
January, 18 14. At Bar-sur-Aube he gained the cross of St. 
George of Russia and the Iron Cross of Prussia by personal 
gallantry. After entering Paris with the allies, he crossed over 
to London in company with his father and brother. In 18 18, 
a week after the celebration of his twenty-first birthday, he 
became a major-general, and from that hour his v^hole energies, 
time and ambition were given to the improvement of the army. 
Organization, drill, arms and uniforms all came under his notice, 
and from the most elaborate scheme of mobilisation to the 
right number of buttons for a soldier's tunic, nothing was 
beyond his solicitude. 

On the nth June, 1829, Prince Wilhelm married Princess 
Maria Luisa Augusta Catherina of Saxe- Weimar, the future 
recipient of countless pious telegrams. In 1840 the King, his 
father, died, and his brother ascended the throne as Friedrich 



WILHELM I., KONIG AND KAISER. 251 

Wilhelm IV., a title for which many of his contemporaries, 
from his royal habit of fuddling himself with champagne, sub- 
stituted that of " King Clicquot." The new monarch, who 
had been married seventeen years, was childless, and Prince 
Wilhelm, recognized as heir-presumptive, was created Prince 
of Prussia, and made Governor of Pomerania. The " Gamasch 
Soldat," imbued with the principles of military absolutism, was 
looked upon with fear and suspicion by the advanced party, 
and when the outbreak of the P'rench Revolution of 1848 set all 
Europe in a blaze, he found it expedient to effect a retreat to 
England. Writing of him at this period, Varnhagen says : " It 
is not merely in these days of riot that he has revealed his 
military haughtiness, his thirst for retaliation, his wish to crush 
the people by means of the soldiery, his contempt for all civic 
rights, his ambition to consolidate the principles of authority 
by the shedding of blood. This language has been continually 
in his mouth for months past." The Sturm and Drang 
paroxysm that convulsed the Prussian capital during those 
memorable March days, when the stones of the Friedrichstadt 
were reddened with the blood of slaughtered burghers, and 
when the King from his palace windows bowed reluctant 
homage to the corpses of the victims, passed over, and, by the 
influence of the minister Camphausen, the Prince returned in 
June, and took his seat in the Diet as member for Wirsitz. His 
military duties prevented his appearing more than once in that 
very heterogeneous assembly, and he soon found more congenial 
work in quelling the insurrection that broke out the following 
year in the Grand Duchy of Baden, under Mieroslawski and 
Sigel, afterwards an American general. 

Baden and the Palatinate tranquilHzed in approved military 
fashion, and short shrift given to such of the insurgent leaders as 
fell into his hands, the Prince hastened back to Berlin to receive 
his reward in the shape of the Government of Westphalia and the 
Rhenish provinces. He entered upon his duties with ardour, 
" going about everywhere, making speeches, teaching everybody 
his business, and laying down rules and regulations for all. Each 
has his dose, Catholic and Protestant clergy, public functionaries, 
burgomasters, merchants, manufacturers, members of the Land- 
tag, savants, and especially general officers and soldiers, but 
he is quite different in style to the King ; no point, no warmth, 
no emotion in his addresses. They are all dry, pedantic, and 
invariably disagreeable." The solution of the Hesse-Cassel 
difficulty at Olmutz in 1850, prevented the war between Austria 
and Prussia that King William was destined " under Provi- 
dence" to bring to such a fortunate conclusion sixteen years 
later. In 1857 the malady of the reigning monarch, whose 
drunken habits had shattered his mind, and who at state dinners 
was sometimes guilty of such breaches of etiquette as washing 



252 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

his face in his soup, became too pronounced for further con- 
cealment, and Prince Wilhelm was appointed Regent. His first 
step was to place Manteufifel at the head of the War Office, 
and shortly afterwards he made Moltke Chief of the Great 
General Staff. On the 6th November of the following year he 
took the constitutional oath, and pronounced peace and money to 
be the prime necessities of the countr}^ but after the Italian 
war he grew anxious, made von Roon War Minister, and harped 
upon the need of reorganizing the army, declaring in presence 
of the French ambassador that " he would never consent to 
lose one square foot of German soil," and thereby to a certain 
extent anticipating the historic utterance of M. Jules Favre. 

On the 2nd January, 1861, King Clicquot died, and the present 
sovereign became ruler de jure as well as dc facto. By the 
month of July the cabinet was able to declare the new army 
organisation complete, the popular answer to which was the 
pistol shot fired against the King by the student Oscar Becker at 
Baden-Baden. On the occasion of his coronation at Konigsberg, 
on the 1 8th October, shortly after his return from the Com- 
piegne fetes, he assembled the representatives of both Houses of 
the Landtag, and said to them authoritatively, " The rulers of 
Prussia receive their crowns from God. I will then to-morrow 
take the crown from the Lord's table and set it on my head. 
This signifies the kingdom by God's grace, and therein lies the 
sacredness of the crown which is inviolable. I know that you 
so understand the ceremony which I have summoned you to 
witness. The crown is now surrounded by new institutions, and 
you are by them appointed to advise. You will give me your 
counsel and I will hear it." To hear did not mean to obey, for 
with the aid of Otto von Bismarck, whom he summoned from 
Paris to take the portfolio of foreign affairs and the presidency 
of the council, he at once began that struggle with the chambers 
on the subject of supplies which might have terminated in the 
same manner as that of Charles the First with his parliament, 
had Prussia but produced its Hampden. The fortunate outcome 
of the Schleswig-Holstein war in 1864 prevented a crisis, though 
the duchies once dismembered the old work of money-squeezing 
and drilling was pushed on, the object of the minister being the 
supreme command of Germany. It was a difficult task to per- 
suade King Wilhelm to follow a new and audacious external 
policy. Brought up in the severest and most exclusive notions 
of legitimacy, prepared by his education and his position as a 
younger brother to wield the sabre rather than the sceptre, and 
to command an army rather than to rule a kingdom, a patriot 
in a certain sense, but a Prussian before a German, full of super- 
stitious respect for his royal dignity and for that of his brothers 
and cousins, it was no easy task to win him over to the bold 
policy of his Prime Minister. In 1866, however, all being in 



WILHELM I., KONIG AND KAISEP. 253 

readiness, war was declared against Austria, and the King left 
Berlin at the end of June, joined the army under Prince 
Friedrich Carl, shared in the advance of the Prussian troops, and 
witnessed Benedek's last stand at Koniggriitz, from the heights 
of Dub. Peace was signed at the end of September, the King 
re-entered Berlin at the head of the victorious army, the 
Landtag after granting a bill of indemnity, adopted the annexa- 
tion of Hanover, Hesse, Nassau, and Frankfurt, whereby the 
kingdom of Prussia was redeemed from the opprobrium of 
resembling " a pair of braces," and the task of military organi- 
sation and absorption was reserved. In 1867 King Wilhelm was 
present at the Paris Exhibition and was lodged in the Tuileries, 
for the subsequent destruction of which by the Communards he 
may be said to have been indirectly responsible. On this occasion 
he was entertained by the Paris municipality, and when Baron 
Hausmann received him on the perron of the Hotel de Ville, 
he naively remarked, in reply to the official address, that he had 
not been to Paris since 181 5 (when he entered it with the allied 
armies), and found it very much changed. 

A lull preceded the great storm ushered in by the candidature 
of Prince Leopold for the Spanish crown and the real or pretended 
insult ofFered'by Count Benedetti at Ems in 1870. Arrangements 
for war were made by the King during his journey back to Berlin, 
where his son, von Roon, and Moltke were awaiting him, though 
so little was the long-looked-for contest with France anticipated 
at that particular juncture that the heads of sections of the Great 
General Staff were mostly on leave. " I was in Switzerland with 
my wife," says one of them, " when a telegraphic command — 
' Return at once. — Moltke,' reached me. I set off instantly, and 
drove direct from the Berlin station with my luggage to the Chief 
of the General Staff My colleagues also arrived at the same 
hour. We sat down to the maps at about half-past seven that 
evening, by nine the war was planned, and we could go home 
comfortably." Unter den Linden was black with surging crowds, 
and the King was obliged again and again to appear and speak 
from the palace window. The people would have carried 
Bismarck on their shoulders from the palace to his house if he 
would only have allowed it. The " Wacht am Rhein " was sung 
for the first time, and the exhausted King might possibly have 
had no peace that night had not a voice exclaimed, " Gentlemen, 
his Majesty has still work to do, let us go home." " Home," 
was the answer, and the tide of humanity rolled away, " Heil 
dir im Siegerkranz " resounding above their heads. 

On the anniversary of Queen Luisa's death the King opened 
the North German Reichstag, and the day the French crossed 
the frontier at Saarbruck found him reinstituting the order of 
the Iron Cross. A million of men were soon under their helmets, 
and he proceeded to Mayence and thence to Foulquemont, 



254 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

commanding the First Army in person at the battle of Vionville. 
He was present at Gravelotte, and before lying down to rest 
dictated to Bismarck his famous despatch to Queen Augusta. 
Sedan and its memorable interview followed, and the King then 
pushed on to Paris, installing himself at Versailles on the 15th 
October. December brought the deputation from the Father- 
land requesting him to assume the title of Emperor as a 
Christmas gift ; and the bombardment of Paris. On the i8th 
January, 1S71, he was proclaimed Emperor of Germany in the 
Grande Galcrie des Glaces in the chateau of Louis XIV., an 
atonement, it may be, for the architectural blemish which led 
to the ravage of the Palatinate. The sortie towards Buzenval, 
the armistice to allow of the general elections, the entry of the 
German troops into Paris, the signature of a peace involving 
the cession of Alsace and Lorraine, the Emperor's reception at 
Frankfurt, and the triumphal entry into Berlin, are fresh in the 
recollection of all. Since that time the Emperor VVilhelm has 
been actively, if quietly, advancing the doctrine of absolutism, 
of which he is the apostle and pontiff. He would seem, too, to 
be imbued with a belief in the infallibility of his Imperial 
attributes if the injunction imputed to him in the following 
anecdote was uttered in a serious and not in a playful sense. A 
summer or two ago, a young married couple sojourning some- 
where on the banks of the Lake of Constance, visited the island 
of Mainau, where the Emperor was residing with his son-in-law 
the Grand Duke of Baden. On their departure, so furious a 
storm came on that their boatman found it impossible to proceed, 
and they were forced, after much buffeting from the waves, to 
return to the island. The Emperor seeing their plight, met 
them on the beach and ordering steam to be got up on his little 
iron steamer, placed it at their service. The lady, alarmed at 
her first encounter with the waves, demurred somewhat at in- 
trusting herself again to their mercies. " Do not be alarmed," 
said the Emperor, "you can embark without any fear, the 
steamer will carry you safely across. She bears my name, 
the Emperor Wilhelm, and that ought to reassure you." 

The Emperor is above the average height, few men in his army 
overtop him, though the Mark and Pomerania are known as 
"' the land of tall men," and his stature lends him an aspect of 
dignity which is lacking to features with which all are more or 
less familiar. His head is large and rests on shoulders pro- 
portionately broad. His grey eyes tinged with yellow gleam 
beneath his shaggy eyebrows, and with his bristling moustache 
and long wiry whiskers give to him at the first glance some- 
what of a cat-like aspect. The chin rounds off abruptly, the 
moustache hides the smile, the lips are thin and slightly com- 
pressed, and the protuberances above the temples indicate a 
man of sudden resolutions. The eye small, steel-grey, and 



WILHEI.M I., KONIG AND KAISER. 255 



bright, twinkles coldly from behind the thick lashes that at 
times almost entirely veil it. As a French writer has observed, 
" One fails to trace in this strange physiognomy either the in- 
trepidity of the warrior, the masterly glance of the general, 
the far-sightedness of the statesman, the shrewdness of the 
diplomatist, or the kindliness of the .sovereign. For my part, all I 
could see in this old man of seventy-five was a colonel grown grey 
under harness, whose vigour and activity had caused his retirement 
to be postponed." If he has the appearance he has also the 
habits and the bnisquerie of an old soldier. When General von 
Voights Rhetz was the military representative of the government 
before the parliamentary committee, the Emperor, displeased at 
his management, summoned him to the palace, and demanded 
in that snuffling intonation fashionable amongst Cromwell's 
puritans, which distinguishes him, and in which his flatterers 
find a resemblance to the tones of Friedrich the Great, " See 
here, general. Why do you allow those pettifoggers and 
screech-owls (schreier) of the Reichstag to meddle with my 
Army Bill .■' " He is sorely ruffled by what he regards as civilian 
presumption and impertinence. Before all things he is pre-emi- 
nently a soldier ; from his earliest youth he has devoted 
himself to his profession, and has spent his life in uniform. It 
was he who when on a visit to Weimar made the acquaintance 
of Dreyse, afterwards privy commissioner, and was the first 
Prussian commander to recognize the importance of securing 
such a man. To him, too, the introduction of the needle-gun 
into the army and the development of the North German reserve 
forces is mainly due. His habits smack of the camp and the 
barrack-room, whilst the tradition of economy that has obtained 
in the house of Hohenzollern since the days of Kurfurst Fried- 
rich the First, and the greatest usurer of his epoch, finds especial 
favour in his eyes. He lives in the same style as he did twenty 
years ago, sleeping upon a camp-bedstead in a plainly furnished 
room, and finding his chief relaxation in the pleasures of the 
table, driving out continually, and until quite recently, aiding 
his impaired digestion by horse exercise. This does not hinder 
him from working several hours a day under the direction of his 
prime minister. Not only is he able to sit at his desk day and 
night, but he can still look on court ceremonies, state dinners, 
balls, concerts, and especially field days, reviews and hunting 
parties as relaxations. 

The Emperor's study is on the ground floor at the corner of 
the palace looking on the Opern-platz, and whenever he is in 
Berlin, almost at the first flush of morn he maybe seen standing 
in the recess of one of its windows. Here he transacts most of 
his business, and gives audience to ministers and generals. In 
front of this window rises Rauch's noble statue of P'riedrich the 
Great astride his bronze charger, towering above his worthy 



256 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



companions in arms, and seeming, as a French writer suggests, to 
be showing his successors the road to victory. Beyond are the 
Academy of Arts and the University ; to the right the classic 
guard-house, and the trophy-overlaid facade of the Arsenal. 
This window, says M, Victor Tissot,'is historical. In 184S bands 
of insurgents halted in front of it shouting, " Death to the 
Prince Royal ! " From here the King heard the flourish of 
trumpets which celebrated his accession, witnessed the grand 
defile of the standards of the regiments formed in accordance 
with the military law of 1861, and announced with pride to the 
assembled crowds the first victory gained by his son the Crown 
Prince, namely that near Skalitz over the Austrians. It was in 
this apartment moreover that the decisions were arrived at which 
led to the conflict with Austria and paved the way for the 
foundation of the German Empire. 

On entering his study in the morning the Emperor proceeds 
first of all to the side window which opens on to a veranda in front 
of the Opera-house and consults a calendar hung up here for 
his especial use. Each leaf is headed with a text from the Bible, 
or a proverb or quotation from the works of some German 
poet or philosopher, while underneath the date the more notable 
events of Konig Wilhelm's reign of which it happens to be the 
anniversary are inscribed. The first visitor the Emperor receives 
is his doctor, who prescribes the regimen he is to observe during 
the day. His work table stands close to the window on the 
side of the palace facing the Linden, and arranged on a shelf above 
are miniatures and photographs of his children and grand- 
children, together with a few personal souvenirs, principally 
warlike in character. On the walls of the apartment hang full- 
length portraits of the Empress and the Russian Czar, and at 
one end of it is the bronze statue of the sergeant-major who 
planted the Prussian standard in the Diippel redoubt. Ranged 
round the room on pedestals are the marble busts of Friedrich 
the Great, Friedrich Wilhelm III., the Emperor's sister, the 
Czarina Alexandra Feodorowna, and the Princess Charlotte of 
Prussia. In the recesses of the windows are the statuettes of 
the Emperors Nicholas and Alexander II., in Cossack and hussar 
uniforms, with medallions of the Emperors Ferdinand and 
Franz Josef of Austria. The sofa is covered vv'ith maps, papers, 
drawings, and books, still the ordinary library of the Emperor 
occupies merely a single shelf, being composed simply of a 
Bible, a book of psalms, a state and court almanack, a history 
of the different regiments of the Prussian army, the military 
regulations and orders, and Prince Bismarck's speeches. A couple 
of tables occupy the centre of the apartment on one of which 
are laid out reports, telegrams, plans, petitions, and newspapers 
— in a word the working materials of the Emperor ; while on 
the other all the more highly-prized Christmas and birthday 



WILPIELM I., KONIG AND KAISER. 257 

gifts from the members of his own family are placed. There, 
also, are albums bound by the Crown Prince — who learnt the 
crafts both of printer and bookbinder — weapons of ebony carved 
by Prince Friedrich Carl, and a cigar case emVjroidered by the 
hands of the Empress. One little round table, the carved 
pedestal of which is composed of a group of grenadiers, was 
presented to the Emperor by Prince Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 
It was formed out of the lime-tree beneath which Prince Louis 
Ferdinand of Prussia fell mortally wounded at Saalfeld in 1806. 
Summoned to surrender by some French cavalry soldiers who 
were pursuing him, he replied whilst defending himself, " A 
Prussian prince never surrenders," and the next moment fell 
covered with wounds.^ 

About two o'clock in the afternoon, if his health admits of 
it, the Emperor takes his accustomed hourly drive in the Thier- 
garten, if not in his favourite Russian vehicle, in a small open 
carriage. He is invariably in military uniform and wearing the 
conventional spiked helmet, and is nearly always unaccompanied. 
A few years ago his commanding figure might often be seen 
among the foot-passengers in the Linden promenade, but now 
his walks are exceedingly rare, and he scarcely ever stirs out 
excepting for a ride or a drive. 

On the Emperor's birthday the city blossoms with banners 
waving not only from the public buildings, but above numerous 
private houses as well. At daybreak a corps of trumpeters mount 
to the roof of the palace and blow a prolonged choral in the 
Emperor's honour, conveying the idea, as a cynical Frenchman 
suggests, that the music comes from the clouds like that of the 
angels at the birth of our Saviour. The churches are filled with 
political and municipal functionaries, and the Academies of 
Science and Art, the University and the Schools celebrate the 
day with speeches and congratulatory addresses. In the 
morning a procession of state carriages with eagles blazoned on 
their panels, hammer-cloths, and footboards rattles up to the 
palace — in front of which a large crowd is certain to be assem- 
bled — conveying the members of the Imperial family with their 
presents and their congratulations. This is the only day in the 
year on which the Emperor indulges in the freedom of an un- 
dress coat up to the hour of nine o'clock. After he has opened 
his despatches and letters and laid them aside to be replied to, 
he repairs to the colour-room of the palace to receive the con- 
gratulations of the various court officials. Then with closed 
doors he receives those of his family, after which he belongs to 
the outside world and the grand reception commences. The 
generals arrive in a body headed by old Field Marshal von 
Wrangel, who by virtue of seniority is the recognised mouth- 
piece of the army on these occasions. Here is the courtier-likc 

* Voyage au Pays des Milliards, par M. Victor Tissot. 

S 



258 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

little speech of which the nonogenarian warrior delivered himself 
on the Emperor Wilhelm's seventy-ninth birthday : — 

" Your Imperial Majesty is the intrepid leader in battle, the 
never-vanquished commander in Europe. We all pray that 
God, in His mercy, may spare your Imperial Majesty through 
long years yet to come in full vigour of life, a blessing to 
Germany and the promoter of her welfare." 

The Emperor has his display of birthday presents like any 
other German liaus-vatcr, the gifts which come from all parts of 
the country being laid out in what is termed the blue report- 
room of the palace, which on this day is certain to be balmy 
with the scent of countless flowers, however inclement the 
season may chance to be. Tables, chairs, and window-sills are 
crowded in fact with flowers in baskets and pots, with bouquets 
and wreaths, including such floral triumphs as nosegays a couple 
of yards in diameter, arranged in the form of a stool with a seat 
of violets and a long hanging fringe of roses, or resembling a 
vast star-shaped cushion composed entirely of violets, and 
having an imperial crown in white camellias reposing thereon. 
All the available room in the spacious apartment becomes occu- 
pied, still these floral ofierings continue to arrive with the cards 
of the donors attached, and the weary attendants receive them 
in mute despair. The gardens of Sans Souci and Babelsberg 
send their choice " firstlings of the year," and many private 
gentlemen despatch fine specimens of their horticultural successes, 
including early fruit, and such homely matters as young green 
peas and new potatoes. Berlin haus-fraueii likewise send tarts 
and cakes, and Easter eggs of vast dimensions, not even forget- 
ting the national sausage. It is impossible to enumerate all 
the Berlin wool-work, the cushions, pillows, blotting-pads, paper 
ba.skets, screens, clocks, inkstands, paper weights, military caps 
and slippers, that cause the tables on which they are laid out to 
resemble a stall at some fancy fair. Congratulations, moreover, 
come by telegraph in such numbers from all parts of the world 
that the telegraph oflice has to arrange them in packets, only 
telegrams from crowned heads and princely personages being 
handed separately to the Emperor. 

A second display is arranged in the Empress's apartments, 
the red audience chamber being set apart for gifts from 
children, grand-children, -and other members of the Imperial 
family. Here, in addition to choice bronzes, elaborately-carved 
brackets and statuettes, Gothic triptychs, renaissance candelabra, 
portraits, antl the like, are more interesting, if less costly, trifles 
wrought by the hands of the givers, such as Berlin wool-work 
embroidered with gold by the Crown Princess, and a screen 
painted with flowers by the Empress, whilst the drawings and 
birthday letters of the grandchildren have a side table to 
themselves. 



WILHELM 1., KONIG AiND KAISER. 259 



The seventieth anniversary of the Emperor's mihtary career 
came round on New Year's day, 1877, when a deputation com- 
posed of all the comniandin::^ officers of the army, with the Crown 
Prince at their head, presented him' with a golden sword of antique 
shape having the names of all the battles in which the Emperor 
had taken part engraved on the blade. The Crown Prince con- 
gratulated his father in the name of the army, addressing him in 
high-flown language as — " Most powerful Emperor, most gracious 
Emperor, King, and Lord of War," and characterising him as 
the type of all soldierly virtues, and the creator of that military 
organization which had raised Germany to its former greatness. 
He then wound up by saying that — "To-day the German 
nation, strong in arms, hopeful and united, looks up to the 
Emperor and Lord of War with grateful love and losalty, and 
prays God to preserve your Majesty for many years — the pro- 
tector of peace, the guardian of the P^atherland ! " 

In his reply the Emperor said, truly enough, that Prussia had 
become what she was principally through the army, whose 
deeds, he remarked, were enrolled imperishably in the annals of 
the world's history. 

The Emperor's consort, the "dear Augusta " of his pious tele- 
grams, was born on the 30th September, 181 1, and on the nth 
June, 1829, she accompanied Prince Wilhelm of Prussia to 
Berlin as his bride. Young, witty, and beautiful, her praise was 
sung by poets, and all Berlin admired her. Grand-daughter of 
Carl August of Weimar, her proudest boast is that she is a 
pupil of Goethe. Brought up at the feet of Herder in the 
traditions of that intellectual court, she has ever shown herself a 
conscientious patroness of art, science, and literature, even to the 
extent of surrounding herself with their professors. Humboldt, 
Dieffenbach, and Rauch were her friends, and when she became 
Queen she drew to the court Berthold Auerbach, Werder, and 
Gustav zu Putlitz, whilst no important literary or artistic work is 
brought out without some expression of her interest. French 
literature with which she became familiar during her early life, 
still retains a certain hold upon her. She was able to exercise 
but little influence over Friedrich Wilhelm HL, but on the acces- 
sion of her husband's elder brother, Friedrich Wilhelm IV., who 
highly appreciated her intellectual qualities, she became the 
mainspring of the Prussian court. Her ultra-aristocratic spirit 
could not understand that the royal will should submit to that 
of the people, and to her is usually attributed the most obstinate 
resistance to the withdrawal of the troops from Berlin in 1848. 
Her desire for pompous display at the coronation ceremony in 
1 86 1 is well known, and on that occasion every gesture bespoke 
satisfied ambition. Nevertheless she does not sympathise with 
the warlike aspirations of her husband, and set herself against 
the contests with Denmark and Austria. Opposed to Bismarck, 

S 2 



26o 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



who is credited with having^ bestowed upon her the nickname 
of " the muse of Weimar," she is suspected of favouring the 
Ultramontanes. Tiiis opposition to the Chancellor places her 
at the head of the " Court " party, just as the Crown Princess is 
at the head of what is known as the " English" party. In this 
position the Empress played an important part in the Arnim 
affair, and the Vossisclic Zcitung went so far as to announce that 
she was the mysterious personage spoken of in a letter from 




^^ 



THt kMl-Kl'.SS AL'GUSTA. 



Arnim to von BUlow. It has, moreover, been asserted that she 
holds some of the famous abstracted despatches. On the other 
hand. Count Arnim has emphatically denied that there had been 
any intercourse whatever between the Empress and himself on 
political or religious subjects. 

The Empress showed to advantage during the late war, 
although at the outset she is said to have been strongly opposed 
to it. A story is told that when the King announced to her in 
the garden at Coblentz, that the struggle was imminent, she 



WII.IIELM I.. KONIG AND KAISKR. 261 



fell upon her knees and besought him to turn a deaf ear to 
Bismarck's sufrgcstions. A month afterwards she re-entered 
Berlin, then swarming with troops and cannon, and penned her 
patriotic appeal to the women of Germany to send succours to 
the Rhine. She herself did much to relieve the vanquished, 
supplj'ing the French prisoners with wine, tobacco, warm clothing, 
and other comforts, and in this good cause contracting debts, 
for her budget is a very limited one, and the Emperor is not 
above saving the cost of a cannon or two out of her allowance. 
Her benevolence during the war re-instated her in the half- 
averted affection of the people, whilst the ambition she has been 
reproached with can hardly soar beyond the Imperial Crown she 
now wears. 

Tall and imposing in appearance, she has the same upright 
carriage as her husband, and though in reality delicate, manages 
to undergo much exertion. Her habits are simple. The first 
thing in the morning she listens to scientific works read to her 
by Ahvina Frommann, her reader, a relic of the intellectual 
epoch of Weimar. Audiences are then given from twelve till 
one in an apartment where a marble angel stands by what are 
known as the petition windows, so called because people come 
and hold up petitions in front of them in order that the 
Empress may see them. Close by is the balcony from which she 
communicated the stirring war despatches to the crowd. The 
audiences over, she daily visits some benevolent institution, 
hospitals constantly, and also schools, and notably the peoples' 
schools of cookery. She then allows herself a short drive in the 
Thiergarten, where as already noted, she also takes several 
turns on foot, attended by a lady-in-waiting and one or two 
footmen. After dinner comes more reading, or perhaps, if a 
classic piece is performed, a visit to the theatre. Otherwise the 
windows of the tea-room glowing with light show that she is 
presiding over one of those small gatherings of intellectual men 
and women in which she delights, and in which she is well able 
to hold her own, being no mean speaker, as she has often shown 
on public occasions. 




THE CROWN PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 



XIV. 



SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN. 



TALL and stalwart, with fair complexion, kindly blue eyes, 
and flowing beard of }'ellowish brown, " Unser Fritz," whose 
familiar nickname was taken from a song much in vogue amongst 
the soldiers, is a splendid specimen of the typical Teuton. The 
mildness of his aspect, which even the spiked helmet fails to dis- 
guise, is borne out by his character. Those who know him best 
look upon him as a pacific prince, incapable of enmity, and op- 
posed to all ideas of conquest. He was born on the i8th Octo- 
ber, 183 1, and christened in full Friedrich Wilhelm Nicolas Carl. 
Like all Prussian princes of the second branch, he was at once 
destined for a military life, though his mother's influence has 
always been exerted to interest him in more pacific matters. At 
eight years of age he began to drill with two comoanions of like 
tender years, and courtly scribes relate with pride how, once 
when it came on to rain as he was practising the goose-step at 



SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN. 263 

Babelsberg, a too zealous footman brought him an umbrella and 
had to retire abashed at the withering rebuke, " Did you ever 
see a Prussian helmet under an umbrella ? " He entered the ist 
regiment of foot guards when he was twelve years old, still he 
was trained in the arts of peace as well as those of war, being 
crammed with all the " ologies " as only a German can be crammed, 
by Colonel von Unruh and Dr. Curtius. In accordance, too, 
with the custom that every scion of the Hohenzollcrns should 
have a trade at his fingers' ends he was instructed in the art and 
mystery of type-setting in the Royal Berlin Printing-office, where, 
flatterers say, he was quicker at case than anyone else of his age 
and standing. 

In 1850 the Prince went to the University of Bonn, after which 
Moltke became his adjutant and instructor. His visit to Balmoral 
in 1856 and its result in the shape of his marriage with the 
Princess Royal of England in the Chapel Royal of Saint James's 
on the 25th January, 1858, found favour in the eyes of the Ber- 
Hnese, for there was an old tradition current that good luck was 
to come to the country with an English princess, who should 
share the Prussian crown. Though his wedding gift from his 
father was a pair of general's epaulettes, from this time forward 
he evinced a decided interest in the arts of peace, and although 
present during the operations of the allied forces in Schleswig- 
Holstein he simply played the part of a spectator. 

The Hohenzollcrns are, however, in their own belief at any 
rate, heaven-born generals, and in 1866 the Prince was called 
upon to show his skill under the mentorship of that grim old 
bulldog, Steinmetz. He had to take the command of the Second 
Army at Breslau, and protect Silesia. On the 23rd June he 
began his advance into Bohemia, and after some hard fighting, 
reached the position prescribed by Moltke, on the banks of the 
Elbe, by the ist July, and on the following afternoon effected 
the junction with the First Army on the field of Koniggratz which 
decided the fate of the day. The King, advancing^to meet him, 
clasped him in his arms, and taking from his own breast the 
order " pour le Merite," gave it to his son, saying, " Take it, 
you have earned it." The legacy of Carl Emil, the dead Ger- 
manicus of the Brandenburg Mark, the highest and proudest of 
Prussian military decorations, lay in the Crown Prince's hands. 
The King afterwards held a review of the troops at Austerlitz, 
and when the march past took place, rode with drawn sword at 
their head. As he conducted them past the Prince, their com- 
mander-in-chief, and General von Steinmetz, he lowered his 
sword by way of salute, saying at the same time — " The King to 
his commanding generals." ^ 

The Prince made a trip to Paris in 1867 to be present at the 

^ Die Mdnncr der neiicn deulsc/wn Zeit, von A. E. Brachvogel. 



264 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

distribution of prizes at the International Exhibition, and again 
in 1869, after the opening of the Suez Canal by the Empress 
Eugenie. His next and latest visit to the "capital of civiliza- 
tion " was destined to be less favourably appreciated. In the war 
of 1870 he took command of the South German Army, composed 
of Prussians, Bavarians, Wurtemburgers, and Badenersat Munich, 
on the 27th July, and on the 4th August had gained the battle 
of Weissemberg. Woerth followed within two days, and it was 
whilst praising the troops for their gallant behaviour in this con- 
flict that an enthusiastic but oblivious Bavarian observed, " Ah ! 
if we had only had you with us in '66 we would soon have 
thrashed those confounded Prussians!" The advance towards 
Chalons, the bombardment of Toul, the junction with the Crown 
Prince of Saxony's Army and the surrender of Sedan followed, 
after which the Third Army marched on to Paris, the Prince 
making Versailles his head-quarters. Here on the 27th Septem- 
ber he distributed the first iron crosses, here, too, he was created 
by the King a general field-marshal, and on the i8th January he 
bent his knee in the Galerie des Glaces as the first subject of the 
new German Empire. After taking part in the negotiations for 
peace and entering Paris once more, this time helmet on head, 
and sword by side, he returned with the army to Berlin. 

The Prinre has a genuine appreciation of literature and art, 
and thougii he makes no pretence to rival Maecenas, he does not 
despise the company of philosophers, artists, and poets. He 
takes, moreover, a warm interest in all new publications, and if a 
book strikes him will send for the author to ask him for further 
information. The platonic solicitude which he cherishes for 
painting, literature, and fire-engines, he extends, in a more prac- 
tical fashion, to the corn sprouting in the furrow, and the 
asparagus shooting up from the earth like the spike of a pickel- 
haube at his model farm of Bornstadt near Potsdam. From here 
he sent dififerent specimens of his crops to the Agricultural Ex- 
hibition at Bremen in 1874, gaining a first prize for turnips, and 
on that occasion made a speech, of which the following is one of 
the most striking pa.ssages : — " Who would deny that agricultural 
prosperity benefits all classes, that its extension is indispensable 
to the progress of civilization, and that in time of war or troubles 
it is often agriculture alone that bids us hope for a better future ? 
1 trust that the foreign exhibitors will return to their homes with 
the conviction that the desire to increase the development of 
civilization in favour of a permanent peace is nowhere greater 
and more serious than in the new German Empire." 

If the Prince who utters such sentiments as these had that 
ascendency in the political affairs of the Empire, to which he is 
entitled, the Fatherland would doubtless flow with milk and honey 
and Herr Krupp have to turn his attention to forging plough- 
shares instead of cannon. But the duo of von Moltke and von 



SCIONS OF THK HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN. 265 



Bismarck has always drowned the solo of the heir to the crown, 
and therein lies the cause of the rivalry existing between Queen 
Augusta's son and the terrible Chancellor, a rivalry known to 
every gossip in Berlin, and though at present smothered, destined 
to break out in face of all at some future period. By his politi- 
cal and religious ideas the Prince belongs to what is called 
the liberal school. He is grand master of the Prussian free- 
masons, and president of the Protestant Verein, and recently 
staggered an orthodox clergyman by asking him if he did not 
think the national church needed a little fresh air. It is antici- 
pated, therefore, that his reign will inaugurate the liberal and 
constitutional empire, still his father once inspired similar hopes, 
and Pope's reniarks on the claws of young lions may be borne 
in mind. 

As a general, " our Fritz " is far from enjoying the reputation of 
his cousin the Red Prince, although he has been fortunate in all 
his campaigns. He takes the field rather from a .sense of duty 
than from military predilection. It is told of him that when he 
gained the heights of Chlum, during his Bohemian campaign, 
and saw victory everywhere around him, he turned with ill- 
suppressed emotion to one of his staff, and pointing to the ghastly 
battle-field below, exclaimed, " What a responsibility is incurred 
by those who are the cause of war." The Prince is popular with 
all who have ever served under him, whether high or low, by 
reason of his kindness and affability, the great interest he takes 
in the well-being of his troops, and his solicitude for the wounded. 
There has never been much sympathy between the two princes, 
and whilst Friedrich Carl is inspecting regiments, Fritz devotes 
his time to visiting schools and hospitals. The sole attempt at 
wit with which he is credited occurred when he was visiting one of 
the latter. A keen wind was blowing, and when the head-surgeon 
who was as bald as a coot, received him bare-headed in the court- 
yard, the Prince, tapping him familiarly on the shoulder, said in 
that pure Berlin slang, which he speaks so fluently, " Put on your 
tile, or those two grey hairs of yours will catch cold." 

Victoria has been a name of good omen to the Crown Prince, 
in peace as well as in war. By his union with Victoria Adelaide 
Mary Louisa, Princess Royal of Great Britain, he has become the 
father of six children, the youngest of whom, however, Prince 
Sigismund, died in 1866, just as the Crown Prince was about to 
advance with his army into Bohemia. The eldest son, named 
Friedrich Wilhelm, after his father, and born in 1859, early had 
the order of the Black Eagle of Prussia, conferred on him like 
all the princes of this house in virtue of his rank ; and on attain- 
ing his majority in January 1877, he was invested at Berlin with 
the English Order of tne Garter. When the German troops 
made their triumphal entry into Berlin, the young Prince accom- 
panied them, riding on a dapple-grey pony beside his grand- 



266 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

father's high-stepping charger. The other offspring of this union 
are the Princess Charlotte, Prince Heinrich, and the Princesses 
Victoria and Sophia. 

The Crown Princess takes great interest, not only in her own 
children but in those of her future subjects, having introduced our 
English system of rearing them into Berlin, and founded train- 
ing schools for nurses, at which the fact that washing is beneficial 
and not injurious to a child, is strongly inculcated. She has also 
endowed the city with an Art Museum, on the South Kensington 
model. Her artistic abilities and general culture are well known, 
but English readers are not generally aware that she has become 
an adept in rationalism and free-thought, perhaps from continual 
contact with the pseudo-piety of the Emperor. David Strauss, 
the theist philosopher, was in constant correspondence with her, 
and at his death her portrait was hung over his bed like the 
image of a patron saint. Das Lcbcti Jcsiis, Das Lcbcn Voltaire, 
Dcr alte iind dcr neue Glaicbe, and works of a like character 
occupy a prominent position on her bookshelves. 

The literary and artistic tastes of the Princess and her husband 
are altogether in common. If the sympathies of the Crown 
Prince were not originally in this direction, he, like a faithful 
husband, has adopted those of his wife. Whenever a new picture 
is on exhibition they are among the first visitors ; whenever a 
sale of paintings occurs they are liberal purchasers, and whenever 
an unfortunate artist or author is to be helped their contribution is 
always one of the earliest. While the Crown Princess shares her 
husband's aversion to state ceremonies and pageants, her literary 
and artistic soirees form a characteristic feature of Berlin court life. 
They are frequented by the greatest savants, the ablest artists, and 
the most popular authors of Germany. At her musical soirees, 
too, the guests are not limited to ofificers in uniform. Civilians of 
less imposing appearance, but of more real service to the best 
interests of the national life, are among the most welcome, and 
most appreciative guests. The Crown Princess, indeed, has done 
more than anyone else to elevate and refine the tone of Berlin 
court society, and is firm in her endeavours to subdue the pre- 
dominant military element. Amongst the reasons alleged for the 
coolness existing between her and Prince Bismarck is one to the 
effect that the Chancellor would persist in appearing in her draw- 
ing-room in full cuirassier uniform, although she professed not 
to understand such a proceeding on the part of a civil functionary. 
This difference of tastes has, however, been so far compromised 
that the bellicose Chancellor now condescends to appear in a 
black coat whenever he attends the Princess's receptions. Opposed 
as the Princess may be to the pomp and circumstance of war, 
there have yet been occasions when she herself has donned the 
military uniform, notably at the parade at Haynau during the 
Silesian manceuvrcs in 1875, when, in fur cap and embroidered 



SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN. 



267 



jacket, she put herself at the head of the hussar regiment of which 
she is the honorary colonel, and presented it to the Emperor. 




THE CKOWN I'RINCESS OF FRUSSIA AT THE SII.ESIAN MANCEUVRES. 

The Crown Prince's only sister, Maria Luisa Elisabeth, is 
the wife of Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, Grand Duke of Baden, 
She is handsome in appearance, and has a great influence over 
her father, who is extremely attached to her, as well as over her 
husband, a somewhat ungracious-looking princeling who sees 
only with her eyes, and seems fully to realize the fact that his 
duchy is at the disposition of his papa-in-law at any moment the 
latter may feel inclined to attach it. 

Prince Carl, the Emperor's brother and Grand Master of the 
Brandenburg Knights of St. John, whose palace stands in the 
Wilhelms-strasse, closely resembles the Emperor in features, 
though stronger and younger looking. He is not remarkable 
for anything but his love for art ; and his palace at Glienicke near 
Potsdam resembles a museum. His wife, born Princess Maria 
Luisa Alexandrina of Saxe-Weimar, and sister to the Empress 
Augusta, shares to a certain extent his artistic proclivities, 
painting roses and lilies on marble with skill and taste ; still she 
is chiefly interested in the brute creation, presiding over 
several societies for the protection of animals, and devoting a 
vast amount of time and trouble to the improvement of the 



268 



bi:ri,in under the new empire. 



breeds of pij^eons which swarm at Glienicke. Their eldest 
(laughter, Princess Luisa of Prussia, the divorced wife of the 
Landgrave of Hesse PhiUipsthal, has the same tastes for art 
and hterature, and is a well known patroness of female authors. 
She ordinarily resides at Schloss Monbijou, a neglected oasis 
in the heart of Berlin. 

Shorter in stature than his uncle or his cousin, but broad- 
shouldered, deep-chested, muscular, and active, Prince Carl's only 
son General Field-Marshal Prince Friedrich Carl, christened by 
his soldiers, " Prince AKvays-in-front," but better known to the 
world at large as the Red Prince, from his affection for the uni- 
form of the Ziethen Hussars, looks the model of a cavalry officer. 
His proclivities are purely military, and his whole heart and soul 
are wrapt up in the profession of arms. Like the first Napoleon 




I'KINCE FRIEDRICH CAR!.. 



e has an almost fabulous memory for names and faces, and 
has only to inspect a garrison twice to remember every man 
comprised in it. Grave and serious he prefers sarcasm to mirth. 
His least estimable quality is the exaggerated notion which he 
entertains of his princely rank and position, and which induces 
him to insist upon the most blind and abject submission to his 
will from all who approach him. His officers readily acknow- 
ledge his military skill, and speak of him with unfeigned respect, 
but he is one of those who secure admirers rather than friends, 
and with the outside world his military exploits are his sole 
claims to popularity. 



SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLEKX. 269 



Born on the 20th March, 1828, Friedrich Carl showed himself 
in early youth obstinate and unmanageable. Count Bethusy 
was his first military instructor, and Heyni, now a court preacher, 
his tutor, though little opportunity, it is said, was afforded to the 
latter to carry out his duties. When he attained the age of sixteen 
he passed under the charge of Captain von Roon, afterwards War 
Minister, and with him spent a couple of years at the University 
of Bonn. He failed to get on well with his fellow-students, 
owing to those exaggerated ideas of his self-importance already 
noted — ideas von Roon, who was a thoroughgoing conser- 
vative Junker, did his best to foster. A true Hohenzollern, 
the Prince's devotions were entirely centred in the career of 
arms, and all connected with this he learnt rapidly and well. 
Wrangel, for whom he had at an early age conceived a great 
reverence, was counted the first cavalry authority of his day, 
and under his guidance the Prince, who devoted himself more 
particularly to this arm of the service, first smelt powder in 1848 
on that Schleswig-Holstein territory where he was to reap 
a future crop of laurels. 

The first engagement in which he took part was fought near 
the town of Schleswig, and here his natural independence of 
spirit showed itself, though to a good purpose. As captain on 
the stafi" he was sent by Wrangel with orders to the Royal 
Pomeranian regiment. On reaching it he found the orders no 
longer applicable, altered them on his own responsibility, turned 
the regiment against the enemy's left flank and so helped to gain 
the day. The following year he assisted his uncle to disperse 
the free companies in Baden and the Palatinate, and when 
charging the so-called Polish legion at the head of some forty 
hussars received two wounds, from one of which he is still unable 
to lift his left arm higher than his breast. In 1854 he married 
Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt Dessin, by whom he has had 
three daughters and a son, Prince Friedrich Leopold. 

In 1855 Friedrich Carl visited Paris, where he studied the 
composition and tactics of the French army, and afterwards 
wrote his famous pamphlet to show how it was to be beaten. 
Printed at first for private circulation only this pamphlet was 
brought out in i860 by a Frankfurt publisher, with a preface of 
his own and the Prince's initials on the title-page, whereupon the 
latter brought an action against the bibliophile for daring to 
take such a liberty, and, to his amazement, lost it. Created a 
general of cavalry at the King's coronation in 1861, he took 
part under Wrangel in the opening of the Schleswig-Holstein 
campaign, and on the retirement of that veteran leader became 
general-in-chief of the allied troops. In the war of 1S66 he 
com.manded the First Army, and though displaying great skill, 
laid himself open to the accusation of having attacked before 
the appointed hour at Koniggratz, and thereby endangered the 



270 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

success of the day, through a feeling of jealousy towards his 
cousin the Crown Prince, whose forces, then approaching, he 
wished to deprive of all share in the victory. In the recent war 
with France his military talents were again called into play. 
The part he took at Vionville and Saint Privat, the fall of 
Metz which earned for him his marshal's baton, the battle of 
Orleans, when his troops encamped around the statue of La 
Pucelle yet decorated with votive garlands offered in hope of 
her aid, and the campaign on the Loire against Aurelles de 
Paladine and Chanzy, terminating in the final victory of Le 
Mans, need no recapitulation. 

Since then, Cincinnatus-like. Prince Friedrich Carl has mainly 
occupied himself in the cultivation of his cabbages, passing 
part of every season on the little estate of Drei Linden, an off- 
shoot from his father's property at Glienicke, which he purchased 
to gratify his agricultural tastes. Here, surrounded by his 
family, he abandons his role of prince and soldier, and prunes 
his trees and looks after his farm labourers. At Berlin he occu- 
pies one of the upper stories of the old Schloss, and here his 
pleasures are purely military, reviews and inspections supplying 
the place of the great game of war in which he delights. This 
uneventful life since the war has only been broken by his journey 
to St. Petersburg in December, 1871, at the head of the German 
deputation of the Knights of St. George to attend the festival 
of that order. 

Prince Albrecht, the Emperor's orphan nephew, and the 
youngest of the grown princes, is tall and slender, with delicate 
and intellectual features. His tastes are musical and he is him- 
self a composer. For a long time he bore the reputation of a 
misogynist, and among the ladies speculation ran high as to 
whether he would ever marry. The much-discussed event, how- 
ever, came off in April, 1873, together with the attendant 
ceremony peculiar to the court of Berlin, namely the whimsical 
torchlight dance of the cabinet ministers. 

The state banquet over, lighted torches were handed to the 
twelve ministers by pages, and the Emperor and Empress, sur- 
rounded by the members of the royal house and the guests of 
princely rank, having taken their position in front of the throne, 
the orchestra struck up a solemn march. The Grand Marshal 
holding his wand of office, then advanced, followed by the 
ministers torch in hand, walking two by two, the juniors in front, 
in the following order, Falk and Kamecke, Delbriick and von 
Stosch, Camphausen and Leonardt, Eulenberg and von Itzen- 
plitz, von Schleinitz and von Uhden, and lastly von Roon and 
von Bismarck. The bride and bridegroom brought up the rear, 
and with measured steps and slow the procession described a 
large ellipse around the hall. The bride then stepped from 
the ranks and making a deep curtsey to the Emperor invited 



SCIONS OF THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERX. 27 1 

him to dance. He gave her his right hand and both described 
a similar curve, marching behind the last couple of ministers. 
On arriving opposite to the throne the Emperor resumed his 
place, and the Princess invited the Crown Prince in the same 
way to be her partner, and so with all the other princes, the 
ministers, torches still in hand, continuing to describe the same 
ellipse without halt or check, like stars revolving round the sun. 

The sight might have been a useful one to arftbitious individ- 
uals, who however much convinced of their mental fitness for 
ministerial posts might yet hesitate at accepting them from the 
conviction that their physical organization would never enable 
them to support the fatigues of such a dance. On this occasion, 
however, the chief performers bore up bravely, and even the white- 
headed Minister of Commerce did not seem to find it necessary 
to borrow support from the robust arm of his companion Count 
Eulenberg. When the bride had danced with her last partner, 
the young Prince Friedrich von Hohenzoliern, and had resumed 
her place, the bridegroom in his turn made a low bow to the 
Empress to invite her to join him, and the solemn dance re- 
commenced behind the indefatigable ministry, till the last lady 
had been called out. The ceremony had lasted about half an 
hour, but the members of the cabinet had not yet arrived at the 
end of their task. The Grand Marshal passed from the hall 
into the picture gallery, and the entire procession, the bride and 
bridegroom marching behind the last ministers, followed him to 
the Queen's apartments. Here at length the wearied statesmen 
were suffered to return their torches to the pages who proceeded 
to light the young couple to their chamber. 

The Krenz Zeitwig, describing the affair, remarked that the 
performance is not properly a dance but a solemn procession, 
a kind of polonaise executed in very slow time, consecrated 
by the traditions of the House of Brandenburg. As on the 
occasion just narrated it was danced on the 20th November, 
173 1, at the wedding of Wilhelmina, Friedrich the Great's 
elder sister to the Margrave of Baireuth. " In fact the wedding 
went beautifully off," writes Mr. Carlyle, " with dances and 
sublimities, slow solemn torch dance to conclude within those 
unparalleled upper rooms. Such variegated splendour, such a 
dancing of the constellations, sublunary Berlin and all the world 
on tiptoe round it. Slow torch-dance winding it up, melted into 
the' shades of midnight, for this time, and there was silence in 
Berlin." 

Prince Albrecht, the father of this happy bridegroom, and the 
Emperor's youngest brother, who died recently at the age of 
sixty-three, was born in 1809. In 1848 he aimed at political 
notoriety and went so far as to sport the revolutionary black, 
red, and gold in the streets of Berlin. He was then nicknamed 
" the mock Duke of Orleans," and credited with views similar to 



272 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



those entertained by Philippe Egalitc during the first French 
revolution. Slighted by both court and populace he spent most 
of his time in retirement on his estate of Albrechtsburg, near 
Dresden, with his morganatic wife, Rosa von Rauch, Countess 
von Hohenau — whom he married on obtaining a divorce from 
the Princess Maria of Holland in 1849 — and her two sons. He 
quitted this retreat, however, to command the cavalry in the late 
war. A romantic and possibly baseless story is current as to 
the origin of the private fortune that enabled him alone of all 
the HohenzoUern princes to live a life independent of his family. 
His mother, the beautiful Queen Luisa, during her stay at 
Stettin was seen, it is said, by an invalid Englishman who fell 
desperately in love with her. He dared not tell his love, but 
dying shortly afterwards left all his fortune with characteristic 
national eccentricity to the child to which she was expecting to 
give birth. This was Prince Albrecht. 

The charitable disposition of Prince Alexander of Prussia, the 
Emperor's cousin, and the eldest son of Prince Friedrich, Stadt- 
holder of the Rhenish provinces, who held his court during 
Dusseldorfs palmy days, is so well known and so often appealed 
to in Berlin, that his secretary must have acquired great ex- 
perience in answering begging applications. He passes the 
greater part of the year in Switzerland and at Schloss Rheinstein, 
his castle on the Rhine. Prince George, his youngest brother, 
dabbles in poetry, though his efforts are better appreciated 
in the circle of the court, where some of his pieces have been 
represented, than by the outer world. 

Prince Adalbert, the Admiral Prince, who is a cousin of the 
King, and was born in 1811, besides fulfilling the duties of 
his office as commander-in-chief of the Prussian navy, devotes 
much time to science and takes an interest in literature. He 
owns a palace on the Leipziger Platz and lives there in seclusion 
with his morganatic wife, a sister of Fanny Elsler. Their only 
son, Baron Barium, died some years ago while on a scientific 
expedition to Egypt. 




PRINCE BISMARCK AT THE REICHSTAG. 



XV. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 



TWO individuals share the Emperor's popularity at Berlin, 
Prince Bismarck and Count von Moltke. On all public 
occasions whenever the full, bilious, and resolute-looking counte- 
nance of the one, or the shrewd, placid features of the other is 
caught sight of, it is the signal for a popular ovation. Their 
effigies are encountered everywhere, in private houses and in 
places of public resort. There is scarcely a restaurant or a beer 
saloon where their portraits or their busts do not flank those of 
the Emperor, just as their photographs figure beside his in every 
album and every prints'eller's window. Artists too delight in 
depicting the burly figure and the puffed face of the famous 
Chancellor under the graceful guise of Perseus, or as the chival- 
rous patron saint of England, trampling upon some winged and 
scaly monster, in whom of course everybody recognizes the 
" hereditary ene^ny " France ; whilst unquestionably amongst the 
most popular of brochures, the Kleine Anekdote-biich of Fiirst 
von Bismarck is to be classed. " He the greatest, comes home to 
the smallest, to men's business and bosoms in a special manner ; 
the likeness of him hangs in the humblest hut ; but for him Hans 
and Michel had not laid down their lives in French mire and 
clay; but for him, food were not so dear, nor widows so many. 
nor wives so few ; but for him taxes had not been so rigorous, 
nor money so scarce. Yet he is the idol of the populace — of 
that populace which erewhile stoned, lampooned, caricatured, 

T 



274 BERLIN UNDliR THE NEW EMPIRE. 



and reviled him." ^ His career has indeed exemplified the 
proverb that nothing succeeds like success. Each material 
adversary he has encountered, he has successively demolished, 
and all former errors have been atoned for by triumphs that 
have benefited his country. But since he has sought to grapple 
with and stifle an intangible foe, since he has vainly striven to 
meet on equal ground the invisible power of the Papacy, there 
are signs of a rift within the lute. The hymn of universal 
praise is mingled with curses and execrations, the venom of the 
Ultramontane press has penetrated to thousands of hearts, and 
the Chancellor of the Empire has had to yield to the warnings 
of the police and to confine himself within his dwelling. 

For the stranger who seeks in Berlin the things most im- 
pressed with the personality of the man who has made the 
Prussian capital that of a New Empire — the first street is not the 
Linden, but the Wilhelms-strasse, in which arc situate half-a- 
dozen so-called palaces and many of the chief administrative 
departments of the State. Its most interesting edifice, however, 
is No. ^6, a list of whose inhabitants, pace the Berlin Directory, 
is as follows : 

Bade — coachman. 

von Bismarck-Schonhausen, Prince, Chancellor of the Empire. 

Engel — valet. 

Grams — house-servant. 

Lindstedt— porter. 

N icdergesass — servant. 

Spitzenberg— house- servant. 

Zimmermann — gardener. 

These few individuals form the Prince Chancellor's entire 
establishment. The house which he has inhabited since 1862 is 
a stuccoed building of decidedly seedy aspect, completely thrown 
into the shade by the neighbouring, though by no means mag- 
nificent, palaces of Prince Radzivill and Prince Carl, and the 
stately residences of Herren Pringheim and Krause. It dates 
from the commencement of the last century and was purchased 
by the government some forty years ago. The facade, pierced by 
twelve windows and decorated with pilasters and a common- 
place classic frieze relieved by a few masks, consists of a centre 
and two small wings, the stuccoed surface of which, through the 
want of a fresh coat of paint, is rapidly going to decay. The 
ground floor is devoted to the offices, and the story above, con- 
taining the principal rooms, is surmounted by a high pitched red 
tiled roof with projecting mansard windows. The chief recom- 
mendation lies in an extensive and park-like garden stretching 
to the Koniggratzer-strasse. 

The Chancellor's door-porter is in thorough keeping with this 
unpretending residence ; he wears no livery, no badge of office, 
and carries no pompous gold-headed staff". His lodge is on the 
' " German Home Life,*' Frasers Magazine, December, 1875. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 275 



right of a covered passage leading to the vestibule whence a 
flight of steps, guarded by two stone sphynxes — fit emblems of 
Prussian policy — conducts to the reception and living rooms. 
The interior fittings of the Chancellor's residence correspond with 
its exterior aspect, for when the government purchased the house, 
the furniture was taken with it and has never been renewed. A 
few absolutely necessary adjuncts, some presents from the King, 
and a score or so of family portraits from SchcJnhauscn, are all 
that have been added by the present tenant. Three halls, one 
of which serves for the official reunions, a couple of salons and 
a moderate suite of living rooms comprise the whole of the 
dwelling. Once when the Chancellor gave a party, he jocularly 
said, " I have invited the Minister of Finance to-night, that he 
may see for himself that my house is too small." 

The first apartment entered is known as the Chinese room 
from its upholstery of figured silk representing fair celestials on 
the banks of some river, and groups of fabulous birds. It serves 
for the dining-room, and is of an extreme simplicity. Save its 
table and chairs it is completely bare, not containing even a 
sideboard. The adjoining apartment is the billiard-room, now 
transformed into a museum of souvenirs. The billiard-table is 
hidden under its green cover, and encumbered with knick-knacks 
of all kinds, presents from every source, and diplomas of the free- 
dom of various cities richly illuminated and framed. It might 
be taken for the back room of a dealer in bric-d-brac. Three 
objects alone are worth mentioning, a bronze model of Rauch's 
monument of Friedrich the Great, the diploma of the freedom 
of the city of Hamburg, in the form of a hrowze plaque, and an 
inkstand of black marble, surmounted by a dying lion, worth 
about ten thaler. The latter was a present from the Emperor 
during the Chancellor's illness. " He thought I was like the 
lion," said Bismarck, showing it before his departure for 
Kissingen, " but, thanks to God, I am restored to health and his 
Majesty is not yet quits with regard to some other little presents 
he owes me." 

The third and the most interesting apartment is the Chancellor's 
study. It has only two windows, and the large mahogany writing 
table is a very simple piece of furniture. The Prince occupies 
a carved armchair and his secretary sits facing him. An etagere 
packed with official papers and reports is within reach on either 
side of him, and a bell-pull hangs from the ceiling. In front of 
the table, over a bonheur die Jour, is a portrait of his wife when 
young, a superb brunette, with luxuriant hair, large black eyes, 
and rather square shoulders. " Madame de Bismarck," wrote 
Merimee, " has the longest foot in the Empire, and her daughter 
walks in her steps." The study contains no library. It has by 
way of compensation a complete collection of meerschaum pipes 
and military caps with red bands. Between the door and the 

T 2 



276 HERLIxN UNDKR rilE NEW EMPIRE. 

bonJtciir dn jour is an assortment of swords and sabres that 
would do honour to an arsenal, and buckskin gloves lie about on 
all the articles of furniture. An iron couch of inordinate dimen- 
sions occupies one end of the study and on this the Reichs- 
Kanzler is in the habit of reposing to read the papers after 
dinner. The Chancellor's huge dog usually crouches under this 
piece of furniture when his master is engaged with isitors. 

Contiguous to the Prince's study is his bedroom, where a screen 
of blue silk surrounds an immense bed. A little table serves as 
a washstand. One is struck by the many combs and brushes, 
outnumbering the hairs on the Chancellor's head. One re-enters 
the study to pass into the salon of the Princess which is simply 
a gallery ornamented with family portraits and furnished with 
couches and armchairs of red damask. The private apartments 
of the Princess and her daughter which overlook the garden 
open into this salon. The last and largest room serves as a re- 
ception-room. The furniture is in the middle-class style, without 
character or distinction ; one fails to discover among it a single 
object of art, or in fact anything that appeals to the eye. The 
hangings and chair coverings arc faded and almost threadbare. 
The only object that e.xcites curiosity, thanks to the large brass 
plate on it, is the table upon which peace was signed at Versailles. 
The P'rench say that the owner of the house in which Bismarck 
resided refused to give it up, and pretend that the Chancellor, 
not to be baulked of the coveted spoil, had one made exactly 
like it and substituted it for the real one, on his departure. On 
leaving the reception-room my guide opened a door to the right. 
"■Der Tanzsaaly' said he. This ballroom was once a chapel, 
but the Chancellor has put so many bishops in prison that he 
can have no scruple about putting dancers in a church.^ 

The Prince's style of living corresponds with the simplicity of 
his surroundings. When in good health he rises early and 
w orks, joining the family circle at breakfast towards ten, when 
he glances through his letters and newspapers. He then receives 
his councillors in his study, goes to report to the Emperor, rides 
for an hour or so if he is not required by the Parliament, and 
dines about five o'clock. After dinner he generally allows 
himself an hour's rest on the sofa in his study, or else in the 
Princess's drawing-room, where coffee is served, and then confers 
again with councillors and ministers. Subsequently he works 
alone and receives visitors up to a late hour, often till midnight, 
or he closes the day with conversation in the Princess's apart- 
ments, where a few guests usually assemble. Before retiring to 
rest he drinks a bottle of champagne as a sleeping draught, for 
he suffers terribly from insomnia, unless, indeed, he intends, as 
is sometimes the case, to rise in the night and work. Latterly 
his sleeplessness has arrived at such a pitch, that strong doses 
' Voyage an Pays des Milliards, par Victor Tissot. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMAR' K. 277 



of morphia have failed to procure him the necessary repose, and 
his nervous system has been terribly affected in consequence. 
This sleeplessness and nervousness are not owing to the irregular 
hours enforced on him in a measure by his position, but are 
due to old habits. "When I was a captain," says he, "atSchon- 
hausen I could never sleep, and used to go out walking or riding 
by night. I am always anxious to know when it will be dawn." 

He gives neither balls nor dinners, but during the parlia- 
mentary session he is in the habit of throwing open his rooms 
on certain evenings to the representatives of ever}' part}', who 
after a hot contest meet here on neutral ground, just as the 
opposing armies taking part in the military manrcuvres, fraternize 
after a battle and discuss their stratcgetic performances. Hither 
come Moltke and Dr. Loewc, Prince William of Baden and 
Lasker, Braun and Fordenbeck, Bennigscn, Volk, Prince Hohen- 
lohe, the Duke of Ujest, and the rest. Ministers greet their 
bitterest opponents in the Reichstag with a polite smile, and 
shake their friends by the hand. The most important topics 
of the day are discussed and commented upon with an absence 
of the acrimony which sometimes makes its appearance in a 
debate, and political adversaries learn to appreciate each other's 
social as well as mental qualities. 

Bismarck was the first to organise these gatherings, at which 
the promotion of cheerful social intercourse is aimed at, and 
which agreeably replace the stiff ceremonial dinners of his pre- 
decessors and colleagues. A simple cold supper is accompanied 
— another innovation in a Berlin salon — by genuine Bavarian 
beer, served in small casks and drawn from the tap on the spot 
This beverage is held in high esteem by the Chancellor, who 
drinks it all day long, and w^ho further consumes large quantities 
of wine at his meals, to which he brings an appetite propor- 
tioned to his stature. The cigars that he used to smoke from 
morning till night have been prohibited by his doctors, but he 
consoles himself with pipes of colossal dimensions, of which he 
has an ample collection. Amongst them is one presented by a 
pipemaker of Oberhausen, who received in reply half a dozen 
lines to the effect that the Prince had never had such a good one 
since he left the university. 

The Chancellor seldom goes to balls or parties, and almost 
the only theatre he honours with his presence is the Wallner. 
where local farces are commonly given. In his rides out, attired 
in the eternal white cuirassier uniform, which he never seems to 
lay aside, he used freely to return the salutations of the Berlin 
gamins with evident gratification, and it was noticed that during 
the French campaign he strolled alone about the streets of the 
various towns occupied by the P'rench troops, with the same 
indifference to danger that, but for the entreaties of the pohce, 
he would continue to show at Berlin. 



278 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



His daughter is entrusted with the task of collecting in an 
album all the caricatures published about him, and over these 




we are told he good-humouredly laughs. German pictorial 
satire is, however, so devoid of point that if the Chancellor is 

able to derive 
amu semcnt 
from the ef- 
forts of the 
Berlin carica- 
turists' pen- 
cils, he must 
be a happily 
c onstitut e d 
individual in- 
deed. That 
the reader, 
may judge for 
himself, some 
specimens of 
them from 
the K I adder - 
adatscJi, the 
Berliner Wes- 
pc7i, the Ulk, 
and the Bej'- 
liner Figaro 
arc here sub- 
joined. In the 
first we have 
Bismarck un- 
der the guise of a nutcracker which is stated to be of cast iron 
and able to crack the very hardest nuts. The next, in which the 
German Chancellor and Count Arnim are depicted dos-d-dos, has 




REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 



279 



an inscription beneath it to the effect that if Count Arnim would 
but get the missing letters together, or Prince Bismarck would 
consent to write them over again, there might then be peace 
between the two. In the third we have the doughty Chancellor de- 
picted as a corpulent crusader prodigal of good advice but indis- 
posed to draw the sword against the Turk. Next he figures as an 




archer, who having disposed of one adversary, Count Armm, is 

directing his shafts against the Ultramontanes, the Socialists, 

the annexed Alsatians, and the rest of his recognised enemies. 

Then we have him 

as the sea serpent 

rising out of the 

ocean to the great 

terror of the poor 

old Pope as he 

passes by in his 

bark. The lines 

beneath, evident- 
ly quoted from 

some German 

classic, are to the 

effect that "An 

old man sits in 

the boat, and 

knows not how to 

save himself," no 

very brilliant application of apparently some iamiliar quotation. 

Finally the Chancellor is presented under a classic aspect in 

the dubious guise of a Roman charioteer who appeals to his 




28o 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



master the Kinperor, not to order him to set ofif again on 
the plea that his horse is so fearfully jaded and requires both 
rest and fodder before startincj on an\' new journe)^ 




tLxT 



If the Chancellor is disposed to smile over such puerile 
attempts at wit as the foregoing, he certainly does not regard 
the bitter attacks of Majunke in the Gcrniania, or of Hassel- 
mann in the Social Democrat, with the same equanimity. 
Journalists are, indeed, no favourites of his ; it was he who 
invented the term Reptilien, and when Jules Favre requested 
troops to secure order in Paris during the armistice, he suggested 
that " the journalists should be given up to him, and then order 
would maintain itself" A yet more serious cause of annoyance, 
and one which succeeded in shaking even his iron nerve, and 
producing with the sleeplessness referred to a morbid irrita- 
bility, was the scores of threatening letters which he was in 
the habit of receiving every week. They were addressed to 
him by both Frenchmen and Germans, the latter forming an 
immense majority since his attacks upon the Ultramontanes. 
The object of the writers was in most cases merely to terrify him 
into retirement, but the police themselves profess that there are 
genuine plots for hi.s destruction, and not only watch over him and 
his house with tenfold precautions, but have persuaded him to go 
out only in a close carriage, and instead of riding in the Thier- 
garten to confine his horse exercise to the large garden of the 
Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Strange irony of fate that the man 
who can scarcely show himself without being made the object 
of a popular ovation, should shrink from crossing his threshold 
lest the knife or bullet of a fellow-countryman should be buried 
in his heart ! 

As seven cities of Greece disputed the honour of having given 
birth to Homer, so the Sclaves and Teutons both lay claim to 
Bismarck, whose bare head indeed reveals the characteristics of 
both these races. The former derive his name from the Wendish 
bii sDiarkoH, "beware of the thorns," and in confirmation allege 
that the golden trefoil of the family arms is a blackberry 
leaf. The others maintain it comes from the little town of Bis- 
marck on the Biese, in the circle of Stendhal, formerly inhabited 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 281 



by his ancestors. It is quite certain that some five hundred 
years ago Rule von Bismarck was excommunicated by the 
Bishop of Haberstadt, for founding a school in the town of 
Stendhal and refusing to place it under the direction of the 
Church, so history has repeated itself in the Chancellor's passage 
of the School Inspection Bill, and his enmity to the Ultramon- 
tanes. This ancestor was one of the guild of tailors of the 
same town, which has led to the Prince's enemies sneering at the 
claim of the family to Junkcrdom, though the burghers of Stend- 
hal proudly alluded to it on presenting the Chancellor with the 
freedom of their place. A yet more damaging assertion in 
patriotic eyes, namely, that his was one of the families that 
supported the French between 1806 and 18 13, was contradicted 
by himself by the publication of the list of half a dozen Bis- 
marcks, who perished for Germany during the War of Liberation. 
Friedrich the Great's Minister of Justice was a Bismarck, and 
it was from him that Voltaire procured the warrant to arrest the 
Jew Hirsch, with whom he had entangled himself in some scan- 
dalous financial transactions during his residence at Berlin. 

Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck was born on the ist April, 
181 5, at Schonhausen in the Altmark, in an old-fashioned 
manor-house, built at the end of the seventeenth century, on the 
foundation of an older mansion destroyed during the Thirty 
Years' War. It is a plain, square, rather heavy-looking building 
of two stories with a high-pitched roof, standing on a hill over- 
looking the town of Schonhausen, and near to a church and ceme- 
tery, through which latter, somewhat strangely, the courtyard of 
the house is reached. To the right is a fine park studded with 
centenarian chestnut and lime-trees, and to the left lie the farm- 
buildings of the estate. Above the principal entrance to the 
house are a couple of shields, upon which are sculptured the 
armorial bearings of the builders — Augustus von Bismarck and 
his wife Dorothea Sophia von Katte. "The arms of the latter," 
observes a zealous Frenchman, who since the war has had the 
curiosity to visit the birthplace of the man who imposed so 
hard a sacrifice and so vast a burthen upon France, " are composed 
of a cat playing with a mouse. Think cf all the mice with 
which Bismarck has tragically played for ten years past before 
choking them. Recall to mind the chiefs of the parliamentary 
opposition at Berlin, the noble Diet of Frankfurt, the Prince of 
Augustenburg, the Marquis de Lavallette, Count von Beust, 
Napoleon III., the Duke de Gramont, M. Jules Favre, and M. 
Thiers," — to whom, moreover, may now be added a score of 
Catholic dignitaries, and Count Henry von Arnim — "and say if 
ever allusive arms spoke more prophetically than those ot Sophia 
Dorothea of the house of Katte, great-great-grandmother of Otto 
Eduard Leopold, Prince von Bismarck." 

Bismarck's father was a retired officer, and his mother, a tall 



282 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



blonde, was daughter of Privy-Councillor Menken. Besides the 
future Chancellor two others of their six children have survived, 
namely, his elder brother Bernhard, now a royal chamberlain, 
and a }-ounger sister, Malvina, married to the chamberlain von 
Arnim-Krochlendorf. His early childhood was spent on his 
father's estate of Kniephoff in Pomerania, and after studying at 
Dr. Plamann s school and at the Fricdrich Wilhclm Gymnasium 
at Berlin, he entered the University of Gottingen in 1831. The 
maddest of mad students at a time when the majority of these 
were reckless and violent, he soon earned the name of "the 
wild Bismarck," distinguished himself by his avoidance of 
lectures and prowess with both bier-glas and schldger, and 
was able to notch upon his student's stick, the registry of three 
dozen encounters, the marks of one of which he carries pro- 
minently on his face to this day. Nevertheless he managed to 
pass his examination as Referenderer, and coming to Berlin 
began to practise in the municipal court. On one occasion he 
was examining a genuine Berliner who so exasperated him by his 
impertinence that he jumped up and exclaimed, " Mind what you 
are about, sir, or I will kick you out." The magi.strate, tapping 
him upon the shoulder said quietly, but with a due regard to 
the traditions of Prussian hierarchy, " Mr. Examiner, the kicking 
out is my business." The examination proceeded, but ere long 
Bismarck was up again thundering, " Take care, sir, or I will 
have you kicked out by the magistrate." It was about this 
time that he was presented at Court and was asked by the 
present Emperor in allusion to his athletic appearance, 
" Whether the Law required her sons to be of the same stature 
as the Guards." Those were the days when in company with 
numerous young officers he was accustomed to hear the chimes 
at midnight, and to distinguish himself at drinking bouts and 
with the dice-box. 

After a short sojourn at Aix-la-Chapelle as Referenderer, 
Bismarck served his year as a volunteer at Potsdam, in the jagers 
of the guard, and was then recalled home to aid in relieving 
the family estates, having succeeded in which he gave himself 
up to a career of reckless dissipation. Respectable people 
shuddered at the doings of the " wild Bismarck of Kniephoff," 
who with boon companions, selected from the officers of adjoining 
garri.sons and the neighbouring Junkers, was wont to pass the 
night in draining beakers of mingled champagne and porter. 
Yet his father, keener sighted than the elder Mirabeau, detected 
the germs of better things amidst all this exuberant flow of 
animal spirits characterizing the Sturm mid Drang period of his 
life, and said " We must not snuff this candle, for fear of extin- 
guishing it." His brother Bernhard, too, kept urging him to go 
to Berlin, maintaining, as P^rance and Austria have since learnt 
to their cost, that he was cut out for public life and diplomacy. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 283 



Yet even as Cromwell was once on the point of starting for 
America, Otto von Bismarck, before he entered Parliament, had 
serious thought of going to India to make his fortune. 

It was during,this period, which was marked, moreover, by visits 
to England and France, that he received his first decoration, a 
medal, for saving, at great personal risk, the life of his groom 
Hildebrand, whose horse had become unmanageable and had 
dashed with him into the Lippener lake. This medal he always 
wears amongst his grandest decorations and when a foreign 
diplomatist once asked him what it meant, answered, with his 
usual insolence towards his equals : " I have a habit of sometimes 
saving a man's life." 

On the death of his father, he began to interest himself in 
politics, made the acquaintance of von Roon, and betrothed 
. himself to his first love, Johanna von Puttkammer, whose parents' 
consent he obtained in spite of themselves, by going straight to 
their house and embracing their daughter before the whole house- 
hold. The decree of the 3rd February, 1847, brought him to 
Berlin as a member of the first Prussian Landtag, and a red-hot 
Junker. He boasted of his mediaeval ideas, opposed the eman- 
cipation of the Jews, and cried out against civil marriage, which 
he has since so strenuously insisted on, as a degrading institution 
that " made the Church the train-bearer of a subaltern bureau- 
cracy." In national matters too he opposed the unity of Germany 
and the annexation of Schleswig-Holstein, though the speeches 
he made on these subjects have been carefully omitted from the 
collection published at Berlin, together with the one he pro- 
nounced in 1850 in defence of the ministry which had brought 
about the Olmutz humiliation, wherein he maintained that 
Prussia should give way to Austria in order to combat with her 
the threatening democracy. 

At the close of the session he married, made a wedding tour 
through Switzerland and Italy — falling in at Vienna with the 
late King of Prussia, much of whose confidence he gained — and 
then settled down at Schonhausen. His union was blessed with 
three children, Maria Elisabeth Johanna, Nicolas Heinrich 
Ferdinand Herbert, a lieutenant in the 1st dragoon guards, and 
Wilhelm Otto Albrccht — named after the German Emperor 
who was his godfather — holding a similar rank. All of them 
were born at short intervals from 1848 to 1852. 

After fighting the Radicals in the Landtag with his tongue and 
in the columns of the Kreuz Zeitiuig with his pen throughout 
the stormy period of 1 848, he entered upon his diplomatic career 
in 1 85 1 as First Secretary of the Embassy at Frankfurt. Here he 
had a difficult part to play, for Prince Schwartzenberg had uttered 
the memorable phrase, " Prussia must first be humbled in order 
that we may destroy her," and as the representative of that power 
he was not looked upon with favourable eyes. Count von Thun 



284 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

Holstein, the Austrian ambassador, sought to establish their 
respective posil:ions by receiving him in his shirt sleeves. "You 
are right," said Bismarck as he entered, " it is awfully hot in 
here," and pulled off his own coat at once. Thun apologised, 
and the two became better friends, l^ismarck succeeded Rochow 
as ambassador and for the eight j'cars during which he was 
connected with the Bundestag worked energetically against the 
influence of Austria, though he found time to pay flying visits 
to different parts of Europe, notably to Paris during the Interna- 
tional Exhibition of 1855, and again in 1857, when he had his 
first interview with the Erench Emperor. Towards the close of 
his Erankfurt mission, he was present at a review, wearing on the 
breast of his Landwehr uniform the numerous decorations he had 
already received. The Austrian Archduke, in whose honour the 
review was held, asked him, with a tinge of irony, whether these 
had been won in presence of the enemy. " Certainly, your High- 
ness, all in presence of the enemy — at Erankfurt," was his reply. 

During this period the reins of Government passed into the 
hands of the present Emperor who changed the ministry and 
began to plan the reorganization of the army. Bismarck sup- 
ported him in this, but his Italian sympathies led to his being 
transferred to the court of St. Petersburg. " I am like champagne, 
they put me in ice before serving me up," was his comment. This 
pseudo-banishment and a severe illness, due to an injury to the 
leg bone received whilst hunting, rendered him a passive spectator 
of the Italian campaign, though it did not hinder him from 
putting forth his views in that letter on " Prussia and the Italian 
question," in which he developed the programme of 1866 and 
declared that Prussia must become Germany. 

In the spring of 1862, having previously declined a portfolio, 
he was transferred from St. Petersburg to Paris, whence, however, 
he was recalled in the month of September to assume the Minis- 
tr}'- of Eoreign Affairs and the Presidency of the Council and to 
attain the acme of impopularity. He accepted the heavy inheri- 
tance of the old Liberal administration, the conflict between 
which and the Tower House had already lasted a couple of years 
" without conditions or reservations " saying that " the rest would 
be shown by the future." Then began that long and bitter 
struggle with the Prussian parliament upon the questions of army 
reform and the supplies. So inflamed were men's minds at his 
appointment, though he simply accepted the situation created by 
others, that the sittings were suspended for five days. At the out- 
set he endeavoured to gain the confidence of the liberal leaders 
by exposing his plan of a bold foreign policy, but in vain. 

The conflict about reorganization grew into a constitutional 
question. Bismarck withdrew the budget and went on govern- 
ing without it. The following year the House threw it out, and 
censured him for making a secret treaty with Russia, and he in 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 281 



return closed the House, declaring that he would carry on his 
plans without supplies till the country was ready to furnish them. 
" Voild 171011 incdccin," said the King, well pleased with the boldness 
with which the minister contested even the president's discipli- 
nary authority, and when a deputy asked why, if the Government 
was dissatisfied with the House it did not dissolve it and appeal 
to the country, "Gentlemen," was Bismarck's reply, "before 
doing so, we should like to give the country an opportunity of 
learning what its representatives are, that future elections may 
be based on a more thorough personal knowledge." 

The cavalier fashion in which the minister acted vis-d-vis with 
the Prussian parliament was looked upon at the time as the 
haughtiness of the noble in presence of a gathering of vassals, 
whereas it was simply the impatience of a practical and 
sceptical statesman in face of an assembly of honest ideologists, 
inflexible slaves of principle. One can realize his scornful 
irritation, when he had to listen to a long report on the reorgan- 
ization of the army, learnedly drawn up by the illustrious 
historian of the " trichinose," whose competence in military 
matters, considering the bent of his previous studies, might fairly 
be called into question. And one can excuse his impatience at 
seeing a great assembly, which took upon ;tself the historical role 
of the Long Parliament, fighting pitched battles over such mise- 
rable questions as striking off a thousand or a couple of thousand 
thaler from the secret service fund or the salary of some ambas- 
sador. The somewhat violent sallies of the members of the 
opposition might however have been allowed to pass unheeded, 
and not have been made the subject of ill-advised judicial pro- 
ceedings.^ It is said however that the minister was not responsible 
for these repressive measures, and in proof of his real sentiments 
a story is told of his taking a little sprig of olive from his cigar- 
case and saying to some of the members of the extreme opposi- 
tion in a half-jesting manner, "I gathered this in the South of 
France and shall perhaps offer it one of these days to the Demo- 
crats as a token of reconciliation, but as yet it is too soon." 
Nevertheless neither the country, the legislature, nor Germany 
would believe him in spite of the remarkable acts which followed 
his accession to the premiership. 

Three months after attaining power, he proposed the convoca- 
tion of that German parliament which had been petitioned for so 
long, and received for answer " tiinco Danaos." He intervened 
in Hesse-Cassel to re-establish law, but people laughed at the 
minister who acted in defiance of his own parliament whilst 
defending the prerogatives of another. He espoused the cause 
of the Holsteiners, especially dear to the German people, but the 
reply was, " It is to deliver them up to Denmark as in 1850." 
He signed commercial treaties with Italy and France, and 
' La Pfusse Contcmporaine, par Carl Hillebrand. 



286 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

imposed them on the recalcitrant petty princes ; he renewed the 
Zollverein in accordance with pubHc opinion ; he prevented the 
King from taking part in the congress of princes at Frankfurt, so 
unpopular throughout Germany ; he again proposed the convoca- 
tion of a German parliament ; he threatened to dissolve the 
Frankfurt Diet, the object of the hatred and the scorn of all ; he 
announced that his policy would be at once German and in 
favour of union, seemingly a sure means of attracting the sym- 
pathy of the whole of Germany. But all was of no avail.' 

The passions that had been aroused, the antecedents, and the 
frequently provoking language of the minister, notably his ex- 
pression, " not through speeches and votes of the majority are the 
great questions of the day to be decided, that was the blunder of 
1848 and 1849, but by iron and blood," blinded them completely 
to the fact that even at this period the ^' coup d'etat minister" 
as he had been stj'lcd, on account of his intimacy with Napoleon 
III., was founding German unity. The hatred he inspired, passed 
the ordinary bounds of ministerial unpopularity, and strange to 
say he positively took a pleasure in provoking it. A member of 
a deputation introduced to him was so struck by his bearing as 
to remark that in presence of such a man it was impossible to 
say anything foolish. " One can see very well that you have 
never been in the Chamber," was Bismarck's grim comment. In 
proof of this hatred it is said that once when the Crown Prince 
was looking on somewhat dejectedly at the departure of a num- 
ber of German emigrants for America, a man stepped out from 
the crowd and said, "Will your Royal Highness give me a thaler 
if I tell you how to prevent this .'' " " Speak," said the Prince. 
" Send Bismarck to America, and you may be sure no one will 
follow him ! " At that time he had, to all appearances, more 
detraction at his heels than fortune before him. 

His foreign policy was based on his observation "that the 
gravitating centre of Austrian policy must be sought at Buda- 
pest " and at the commencement of 1863 he issued that bold circu- 
lar despatch, in which he stated that the relations between Prussia 
and Austria " must at once become either better or worse." This 
did not prevent the two powers from uniting for a time in 
the seizure of Schleswig-Holstein, " the bone on \yhich the 
Germans are sharpening their teeth," as Metternich observed. 
In July, 1864, he was in Vienna negotiating the peace, and as he 
observes was "stared at by the people as if I were a new hippo- 
potamus for the zoological gardens. . . This existence on the 
stage is very uncomfortable if one wants to enjoy his beer in 
peace." The Emperor Franz Josef fully recognised his value, 
and on one occasion when a disparaging remark was made about 
him exclaimed, " Ah J if I but only had him ! " But he did not 
have him, and two years later came Koniggratz. 

' La Prusse Contemporawe, par Carl Hillebrand. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 



187 



Meanwhile the relations between the two countries failed to im- 
prove and the condition of home affairs was equally trying. The 
successful results of the Schleswig-Holstein campaign had not 
overcome the mistrust of the Prussian Lower House. Hot and 
bitter debates, a personal challenge to a duel, averted by a com- 
promise, and the declaration that the use made of the State funds 
without the authority of the national representatives was uncon- 
stitutional, marked the session. The next year the Cologne and 
Minden railway was sold by the State to meet the expenses of 
the army reorganization and Bismarck received the title of Count. 

On the afternoon of the 7th May, 1866, as he was passing along 
the Linden on his way home from a conference with the King two 
shots were fired at him. Turning round he perceived a young 
man with a revolver taking aim for the third time. Rushing in, 
he seized his assailant, the third shot grazing his right shoulder. 
Two more shots were fired as they struggled, one of which glanced 
from the Count's ribs and then Bismarck handed over his captive 
to the police. Politically speaking this was a lucky incident for 
him, it aroused universal 
sympathy, congratulations 
poured in on all sides, 
the King himself has- 
tened to his house and the 
people of Berlin flocked 
in thousands beneath his 
windows. His courage in 
grappling with and se- 
curing his opponent was 
highly eulogised though 
it is commonly believed 
that he owed his safety to 
a cuirass, and a cuirass, 
moreover, composed of 
folds of satin, the invul- 
nerability of which some 
Hungarian had pointed 
out to him. The author 
of this attempt, Cohen 
Blind, son of Carl Blind, 
the Republican leader, 
committed suicide some 
days afterwards in his cell. 

This incident helped to 
precipitate the war with 
Austria towards which 
the King had been urged with such difficulty and against 
which public opinion was so strong. On the 27th June the news 
of the first victory reached Berlin and crowds again assembled in 




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^^■a*— 





288 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

front of 76, Wilhelms-strasse to thank and applaud the man whom 
they had so detested. The following day he left for the seat of 
war, sure of success, and prepared for all the difficulties success 
would bring. At Koniggriitz where, as he wrote home, he "rode 
the big chestnut and was thirteen hours in the saddle without 
food," and where in the evening " his first couch for the night 
was the pavement of Horitz without straw or anything but a 
carriage cushion," he was the first to discern through his glass 
the arrival of the Crown Prince's army. Whilst the King and 
his generals were almost confounded at the triumphant result of 
Koniggriitz he steadily pursued his task of re-establishing peace, 
passing eight days without taking his clothes off and sleep- 
ing one night on the bare stones under a piazza in a Bohemian 
village, and another, as he expressed it, "doubled up like a 
jack-knife " in a child's crib, till all had been settled according 
to his plans. 

On the return of the King to Berlin, the farce of begging 
indemnity from the Landtag was gone through and helped to 
strengthen Bismarck's new popularity. He had now attained 
that height of fame by which tailors and bootmakers hasten to 
profit. The names of Blucherand Wellington have been immor- 
talized by the followers of St. Crispin. Bismarck was fated to 
give his to a shirt-collar and to a colour, which latter a bright 
brown, was all the rage in Paris for a full year, and even 
branched out into a paler variation known as Bismarck malade. 
People too began calling their children after him, a compliment 
with which he expressed himself disgusted. The following year 
however witnessed the greatest triumph of his policy, the form- 
ation of the North German Confederation, in spite of foreign 
foes, South German antipathies, and the opposition of some of 
the States composing it. " Let us put Germany into the saddle. 
She is already able to ride," he exclaimed when he laid the sketch 
of the new confederation before the Reichstag, whilst he con- 
soled a somewhat dolorous deputation from a newly-annexed 
State by the homely remark that " Prussia was like a flannel 
waistcoat, rather uncomfortable when you put it on for the first 
time, but a great comfort when you are used to it." To another 
deputation that complained of the heavy taxation and general 
hability to military service, he replied, w'ith feigned astonishment, 
" Well, gentlemen, did you expect to become Prussian for 
nothing .?" He had naught to say however in reply to the tell- 
ing reproof of the wife of a foreign diplomatist, whose beauty 
was supposed to have produced a great impression upon him, 
when at a Court ball in Berlin, he, with that audacity which is his 
especial characteristic, extended his hand to pluck without per- 
mission a flower from her bouquet. " Pardon, Monsieur le 
Comte," she remarked, smartly rapping his knuckles with her fan, 
" that flower is not a German State, and must be asked for." 



REICFIS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 289 



His policy had been that of Horatius, to combat the enemies 
of German unity in succession. Two of these Curatii 
Denmark and Austria, had fallen, and France alone remained' 
filled with jealous hatred. He was made Chancellor of the 
New Confederation ; assisted in the pacific settlement of the 
Luxembourg question, and paid a visit to the Paris Exhibition. 
Overtaxed in strength by the heavy session of 1868, he retired 
to Varzin, where, exhausted both bodily and mentally, he broke 
down completely. His recovery was retarded by a fall from 
his horse, as he was becoming himself again ; and remedies 
innumerable were suggested by sympathising Germans, one 
old soldier recommending him to smoke a pound of tobacco 
daily. Bismarck sent the man a pipe and half-a-hundredweight 
of tobacco, accompanied by the request that he would be good 
enough to do the smoking for him. At the close of the year 
he got back to Berlin, and worked at the consolidation of the 
Confederation till the outbreak of the inevitable war with 
France. He followed the army to the field ; received the 
Emperor Napoleon on his surrender after Sedan, and, during 
the siege of Paris, installed himself in a villa at Versailles. 
Upon him devolved the adjustment of the terms of peace. 
Whilst discussing the war indemnity with Jules Favre, he had 
Bleichroder, the great Jewish banker, beside him, as a kind of 
financial expert. Jules Favre was taken quite aback at the 
demand for five milliards of francs, and, to render its excessive 
nature apparent, observed, " Even if a man had begun to reckon 
it at the birth of Christ, he would not have finished by the 
present time." " For that reason," replied Bismarck, pointing 
to Bleichroder, " I have brought this gentleman, who counts 
from the Creation." Ernest Picard, who, at the beginning of 
February, had to arrange the indemnity to be paid by Paris, 
met with a similar jocular retort when endeavouring to obtain 
a prolongation of the armistice. The Count expressed his 
willingness to prolong it to the 25th, or even the 28th of the 
month. "Then why not to the 30th.'" asked Picard. "Abso- 
lutely impossible," was the dry reply. " Would your excellency 
at least mind giving me the reasons of this impossibility." 
" Oh ! certainly. It is because there are only twenty-eight days 
in the month." 

Crueller sayings are attributed to him ; and during the out- 
break of the Communist struggle he was credited with the 
remark, " We may not burn Paris, but we can let it be burnt ; " 
whilst his recommendation that the Parisians should be left to 
cook in their own gravy has almost passed into a proverb. 
With all this, he could still spare a shaft for his own country- 
men. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, in conversation with 
him, complained of the too liberal distribution of the Iron 
Cross. "I am not of your opinion," replied Bismarck; "the 

U 



290 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

Iron Cross has been given for two reasons. Either those who 
are decorated with it have deserved it, and in that case there 
is nothing to be said, or it has been bestowed as a pure matter 
of courtesy upon people like your Highness or myself, and in 
that case the less said about it the better." 

On his return to Berlin, with the title of Prince, the lordship 
of Schwartzcnbeck, which was valued at some ;^230,ooo, and 
the dignity of Chancellor of the Empire, he turned his atten- 
tion against internal foes. The Ultramontanes were assailed 
by the law for the Inspection of Schools ; and the following 
session the measures against the Jesuits were promulgated, the 
contre coup of which was the pistol-shot fired two years later 
by Kuhlmann at Kissingen. At the close of 1872, he resigned 
the Presidency of the Prussian Cabinet in favour of Count von 
Roon, to whom he entrusted the task of passing the Church 
Laws, in order to devote himself exclusively to the administra- 
tion of the German Empire, but resumed it within a twelvemonth. 
There is no need to recapitulate the circumstance attendant 
upon his prosecution of Count Arnim ; and his prolonged 
struggle with Church and Press is elsewhere narrated at length. 
In his great task of constructing a United Germany, the 
Austrian war served to bring the scattered fragments into con- 
tact ; and the patriotic fire, enkindled by the contest with 
France, to weld them together. It yet remains to be seen 
whether the spirit of resistance, engendered by continued per- 
secution, will die out, or whether it may not explode with a 
shock that will endanger the edifice. 

The two greatest qualities of a statesman, and the two rarest 
amongst public men in Germany, namely, clearness of views, 
and determination of purpose, belong to Prince Bismarck in the 
highest degree. He knows what he wants, and makes up his 
mind to secure it. At no period of his career has he sought to 
conceal his views, and his almost brutal frankness has been a 
hard puzzle to diplomatists, unable to comprehend such a want 
of reticence. This may be due to the fact that whenever he 
has dissimulated he has exaggerated to such an extent as to 
miss his aim, and has more often deceived his adversary by 
telling him the truth than in trying to disguise it. With an 
antagonist, too, although he may be spiteful, and even unjust, 
there will be nothing spurious about him. He may openly 
disregard justice and morality, but he will not aggravate this 
by any affectation of the pathetic. He has always sought to 
strike a decisive blow, when he had any object to attain, without 
wasting his time in preliminary skirmishes. He has been 
characterized, accurately enough, as not being one of those 
" patient plodders who are content with slow and laborious 
progress, with small victories, each won by painful strategy and 
diffident venture. His forward strides are made with seven- 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 291 



league boots ; his political plans of campaign are grand schemes, 
culminating in general actions of a decisive character, not 
studded with harassing skirmishes and insignificant encounters. 
Moreover, he is the only public man in Europe who dares to 
speak out his mind utterly, regardless of consequences. He 
is indomitable, wholly unsusceptible of fear, resolute to have 
his own way, thoroughly convinced that he knows better what 
is for the good of his country than any other man, and not to 
be deterred by any consideration whatever from saying exactly 
what he tliinks."^ For these reasons he is scarcely the same 
favourite with his equals and superiors in rank, or with his 
colleagues — all of whom he subjugates unhesitatingly to his 
indomitable will — as with the middle classes. It has been said 
that there is no man in Prussia strong enough to stand up 
against him. 

Even with the Emperor, over whom he seems to exercise 
some of that strange fascination which chained Louis XIII. to 
Richelieu, Bismarck can afford to be resolute and unbending. 
Whenever his absence from Berlin is not to be satisfactorily 
accounted for — and the rumours of his retirement on the score 
of ill-health are not so readily accepted now as they once were 
— people say, "■ Er grollt (he is sulking) ; he has had a difference 
with a certain person, and has gone off in a passion." Every 
time that personage and he have fallen out, he has retreated 
to Varzin, and shut himself up there until an amende honorable 
has been made him. Concerning these retirements, the author 
of the Pro NiJiilo pamphlet, published in defence of Count 
Arnim, has remarked : — " In his own country Prince Bismarck 
is believed to be indispensable ; and he is so, as long as this 
belief continues. But suddenly a man made his appearance 
who threatened to deprive him of the charm of indispensa- 
bleness — who was indicated by public opinion as one who 
could replace him. The fear of the instability of all human 
fortune then stole over the Chancellor's mind. People see with 
astonishment how an elephant can with the same instrument 
raise hundredweights and pick up needles from the ground. 
Prince Bismarck acts in a similar way ;■ only to the stolid, 
unimaginative elephant a needle is but a needle, while to the 
Chancellor it appears a poisonous and fatal weapon. We have 
seen many such needles irritate the Chancellor's morbid nerves, 
and exercise more influence on politics than many a cannon 
shot — the Duchesne affair, articles in the press, speeches by 
Windthorst, Lasker, Virchow, and so on. Those who will take 
the trouble to follow up the chain of ideas of which we have 
only given the first links, will understand why Prince Bismarck 
remains more and more isolated in Varzin — whence he rules the 
world like Tiberius from Capri — why he avoids more and more 

1 Berlin correspondence of the Daily Telegraph. 

U 2 



292 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

the intercourse of other men, and why an unimportant incident 
assumes in his eyes the proportions of an historical ev^ent." 

It is well known that Bismarck at times expresses himself 
slightin<:^ly enoui:^h of the Emperor, who, according to him, has too 
much and too little of the Hohenzollern in him. Once he was in 
the habit of regretting that he could not do what he liked 
with him, because he was not a king of his own making. 
Possibly a change has come over the Chancellor in this respect, 
since he has made of the King an Emperor, for he has added 
to Goethe's dictum, that "Every German has his own indi- 
viduality, which he does not like to lose," the rider, " and 
if he only had money enough each man would have a king 
of his own." He, however, still compares the Emperor to a 
hunter that needs to be well spurred before he will take a fence ; 
which is only repeating in other words his phrase about its being 
necessary to wind the King up every day like a watch, when 
the quarrel with Austria over the Schleswig-Holstein spoils was 
coming to a crisis. 

His differences with the Crown Prince date back to 1862, 
when the latter, whose liberal tendencies are well known, felt 
bound to protest publicly against the President of the Council's 
arbitrary proceedings, and even to express to the King his 
condemnation of them as tending to endanger his own succes- 
sion to the throne — a step that had no further result than 
obliging him to retire from Court for a time. Prince Bismarck, 
who, in spite of the past, claims to be in no respect an enemy 
of parliamentary government, has since maintained that in these 
proceedings he had but a single object in view, namely, the 
consolidation of Northern Germany under the aegis of Prussia. 
To attain this he was prepared, he said, to brave exile, and 
even the scaffold, and had observed to the Crown Prince, " What 
matter if they hang me, provided only that the cord firmly 
bind your throne to this new Germany." And the view he 
entertains of his own importance and position, is well shown 
in a recent speech on the new Penal Code, wherein he said that, 
whilst the House was quite right to reject the Bill if it thought 
it incompatible with .the interests of the Empire, he, for his 
part, could not retain the position of Foreign Minister unless 
his hands were strengthened by its passage. He said : — " In 
my double quality of President of the Council of Ministers in 
Prussia, and Chancellor of the Empire, I am the point on which 
all discontent concentrates itself In the railway-carriage, and 
in the drawing-room, in every society, the impression is the 
same. They complain of me as the farmer complains of the 
bad weather. People treat me as if I could, by the effects 
of my sole personal will, remove all the faults which are to be 
found in the new legislation." 

And yet, with all this arrogance. Prince Bismarck can be 



REICHS-KANZI.ER VON BISMARCK. 293 



reasonable enough in ordinary life. Credit is given him for 
possessing a certain personal charm, such as many people mani- 
fest in a teie-a-tcte, but which entirely forsakes them in the 
presence of numbers. Haughty, provoking, and unconciliatory 
in the Reichstag, he more or less succeeds in gaining over those 
of his opponents who approach him in his drawing-room or 
his study ; and a well-known diplomatist, comparing him with 
the famous Italian minister, considered his brusque frankness 
and cavalier abajidon more winning than the seductive boiiJiomie 
and airy grace of Cavour. He has also been described as 
amiable in society, talkative to excess, communicative to in- 
discretion, full of wit and originality, not too impatient of 
contradiction, and, when in good temper, quite open to argu- 
ment. Whatever prejudices he may have, he knows how to 
conceal and even to laugh at ; but as the boundary between 
prejudice and conviction, fancy and belief is hard to define, 
he too often ridicules what is looked upon by the mass of 
mankind as most noble and sacred. 

In illustration of Prince Bismarck's affability, one may refer 
to a little incident that tran.'^pired during one's first sojourn in 
Berlin, and which for the moment shared with the coming of the 
Czar and the Kaiser the talk of the city. This was the Chan- 
cellor's entertaining Herr Helmerding the popular Berlin come- 
dian — noted for the lively and pointed style in which he sings — 
at dinner on the very day the Emperor Franz Josef arrived, and 
probably accounted for by his preferring the company of come- 
dians who sing good songs to that of mere diplomatists and am- 
bassadors. The actor has given his own version of the incident 
which is sufficiently amusing to be quoted in cxtcnso. 

'•My connection with Prince Bismarck," says Herr Helmerding, "dates 
from the epoch of the constitutional conflict in 1863. At a stormy sitting of 
the Lower House, he was severely dealt with, and whilst some orator was 
shouting his loudest against the unpopular minister, Bismarck opened the 
door of the little room reserved for members of the Government, and which 
communicates with the chamber, and said in a disdainful way : ' The honour- 
able gentleman need not shout so loud, we can hear him very well here.' 

" The incident was reported in all the newspapers, and the following evening 
Bismarck came to the theatre where I was performing and shook with laughter 
whilst I was singing a verse in which he was sharply criticised. The curtain 
fell, and plaudits resounded from all parts of the house. A sudden thought 
seized me, I stepped before the curtain, and said to the audience : ' Not quite 
so much noise gentlemen, one can hear you very well here.' The hit had a 
tremendous success. Bismarck complimented me in person, and it is from 
then that our relations date. Every lirst of January he sends me his card, to 
show me the interest he takes in my feeble artistic talent. 

" His favourite piece is a short act by David Kalisch, the most popular author 
of Berlin ; this little sketch is entitled : ' Musical and declamatory evenings.' 
In it I play the part of a German concierge who, during the absence of his 
master, has invited his brethren of the neighbourhood. Each concierge 
belonging to the foreign embassies of Berlin, is received by me with political 
allusions more or less comical. The part which amuses Bismarck most is, 



294 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



when I address the English concierge, whom I salute profoundly, saying to 
him * My dear friend, I am enchanted to see you, I hope you will do me the 
pleasure of passing the evening at my house very often.' And at the same 
time I overwhelm him with kicks and blows, and knocks with the broom. 

" Recently while at the sea-side, on the shores of the Baltic, close to the 
Prince's country-house, I learnt that he was celebrating the twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of his marriage, called by us the silver wedding. I sent him by tele- 
graph, a little song of felicitation, for which he thanked me veiy graciously.. 
But to speak of our famous dinner. 1 was thus honoured when I least 
expected it, for at the time the political world was greatly agitated by the 
approaching meeting of the three Emperors. One afternoon the Baron von 
Rosenberg called upon me and said with an almost official air : ' I am com- 
missioned by Prince and Princess Bismarck to invite you to dine with them 
on Friday next, the 6th of September, at two o'clock.' 

" The day happened to be the same as that on which the Emperor of 
Austria was expected. When it arrived I put on evening dress, hired a 
first-class open vehicle, and said to the coachman in a grand off-hand way : 
'To Prince Bismarck's.' Though vehicles were not allowed by the police 
along the principal thoroughfares, my carriage was never once stopped. I 
was, no doubt, recognised. When one has played for twenty years the 
principal parts at the same theatre, every one knows you in Berlin, and I 
heard some urchins cry : ' Hallo ! there's Helmerding ! ' At this moment I 
caught sight of the Prince himself, in an open carriage, going in a perfectly 
opposite direction. He saluted me as he passed and I saluted him in return ; 
but without laughing, I assure you. I looked at my watch. It wanted only 
a few minutes to the dinner hour, and yet my host was evidently going away ! 
I thought I was the victim of some hoax of Rosenberg's, and hesitated what 
to do. Finally, with royal exactitude, I entered Prince Bismarck's house, 
where I expected to find all possible luxury, instead of which there was nothing 
of the kind. One of the shabbiest-looking porters came to me, and laughing 
stupidly in my fare, said; 'Ah! there you are, Mr. Helmerding; I knew 
you were coming.' And with this he commenced laughing all the more. 
Well, its my business to make people laugh, and I like to hear them, when 
Pm on the stage ; but that laugh at that particular moment was remarkably 
disagreeable, I assure you. I passed him hurriedly by and was shown into a 
small room, where I found several gentlemen who expressed their delight at 
meeting me. A young lady more agreeable than handsome, with channing 
manners, came up to me and said : ' Mr. Helmei'ding, my father has gone to 
see the Emperor, but it will not be long before he returns.' Amongst those 
present I remarked the Baron von Holstein, the same who appeared as a 
witness in the Arnim trial ; also Baron Rosenberg, and the son of Prince 
Bismarck, the Count Herbert, an officer in the dragoons. I noticed on the 
table a decoration which the Prince had received from some petty potentate 
or other. It was a very handsome cross, ornamented with diamonds, and I 
was still admiring the richness of it when the Chancellor entered, saluted 
everyone with his accustomed high spirits, offered me his hand, and excused 
himself for being late. 

" We talked of different things, but not of politics, as you will readily believe. 
Whilst we were conversing the Princess entered, and as soon as dinner was 
announced, she begged I would offer her my arm. 1 certify to you that I did 
so with infinite grace. The repast was excellent, but very simple. 1 noticed 
that the Prince did not use glasses, but goblets. He had two before him, of 
different sizes ; the one, very large, was for his port, of which he is very 
proud. He has several pipes of this wine in his cellar, and pretends his col- 
lection of ports has no rival in the world. The second goblet, he uses for his 
champagne. The Princess did me the honour to propose my health. We 
clinked glasses and I was asked to relate the particulars of my life, my studies, 
my theatrical career. I was so absorbed in my narrative that when we rose 
from table, I forgot to reconduct the princess, who called my attention to the 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 295 




circumstance, laughing heartily all the while at nny distraction. She brought 
her husband the long porcelain pipe he smokes every day, for the Prince 
cannot smoke cigars, being 
forbidden by the doctors, 
because he so chews the 
tobacco that poisoning by 
nicotine is feared. After a 
time the Prince rose and 
said graciously : ' My dear 
Herr Helmerding, you must 
forgive my running off, but 
I am obliged to go to the 
station to await the arrival 
of the Emperor of Austria.' 
Whereupon he withdrew to 
put on his cuirassier's hel- 
met, which is a good deal 
too large for him, whilst I 
drove to the Wallner 
Theatre to paint my face preparatory to performing my part in ' Berlin that 
cries and Berlin that laughs.' The Prince and I continue good friends, and 
it is not without reason that I am made to say in a piece called ' Helmerding 
in Olympus : ' — ' When I go to see my friend Otto, meaning the Prince, we 
are so familiar that he sleeps on the sofa, whilst I get into his bed.' " 

The German Chancellor has no pretensions to oratory. The 
substance of what he says is of more moment to him than 
the manner of delivery. His voice, though clear, is dry and un- 
sympathetic, monotonous in tone and far from powerful ; indeed 
the contrast it offers with his massy physique is one of the things 
that strikes all who hear him for the first time. He frequently 
interrupts himself and pauses, sometimes commences to stutter, 
as though he had a difficulty in finding words to express his 
ideas. Watching his face closely it is almost possible to trace 
the workings of his brain. He will mentally attack a sentence 
two or three times humming and hawing till he finds the exact 
expression of his thoughts and by this method he never says 
anything excepting what he precisely means to say. His uneasy 
lolling attitude and careless movements in no way aid the effect 
of his delivery. He cannot, it appears, speak without something 
in his hand, and in the Reichstag twirls between his fingers a 
grey goose-quill or one of those immense lead pencils which he 
especially affects, or seizing on a sheet of paper rolls it up and 
brandishes it like a marshal's baton. 

All this awkwardness of delivery does not hinder both the 
substance of his speeches and the language in which they are 
couched from being excellent. The strong solid common sense 
that forms their basis is relieved by a series of sallies, the biting 
energy of which has rendered many of them almost proverbial. 
His speeches have indeed been most aptly compared to his once 
favourite drink, stout mixed with champagne. When he comes 
to a climax in a speech, he collects all he has to say in his heart 



296 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

into one powerful sentence, as if he were striking the last blow to 
drive home the nail, and such sentences often re-echo throughout 
Europe. As he warms up, too, he surmounts all the apparent 
difficulties noted above, attains a greater facility of expression, 
presents his propositions in sharp happy touches, pressing into 
his service similes from real life, with wonderful audacity, and 
in a cool unprejudiced kind of way, recklessly ovcrthowing revered 
traditions. His boldness of speech rivals his boldness in action, 
and whilst he will jest and even pun on all manner of subjects, 
no one can better assume a tone of scornful disdain. " He speaks, 
and it is as though the king of beasts sent his leonine roar before 
him through the forests of which he is lord. That orator erst so 
eloquent, seems now but froth and fribble ; the attempted epigram 
of the penultimate patriot dwindles into mere spite ; prudence be- 
comes pedantr)' ; warnings the mumblings of blind senile leaders 
of the blind ; threat the mere futile squeak of peevish impotence."' 
Such cutting sallies as that in which he declared that Kuhlmann 
belonged to the right centre faction, and that thrust him away as 
they would he still clung to their coat tails, are common enough, 
and his perorations, as a rule, are only too vigorous. 

Little need be said of his personal appearance with which all 
the world may be said to be familiar. He stands over six feet 
in height, is broad shouldered, and strongly built. His move- 
ments are bold and dignified, and there is something of military 
stiffness in his bearing. His countenance now generally wears an 
anxious expression, and his complexion which used to be of pecu- 
liar paleness has of late years become florid and bloated looking. 
His forehead is large, high, and full, and a few grey hairs, three, 
according to the popular sobriquet bestowed on him in Berlin, 
are scattered over the top of his head, the rest falling behind his 
immense projecting ears. His eyes, shaded by thick black eye- 
brows, are large, and still clear, bright and lively, but their 
orbits are puffed and swollen by lymph. A thick moustache 
gives to the otherwise cleanly-shaven face a military character, 
and veils the irony of his mouth, the lower lip of which now droops 
instead of closing firmily with the upper one. 

The collection of Bismarck's letters, chiefly addressed to his 
wife and his sister, and published at Berlin by Herr Hezekiel, after 
a careful revision by the author, are interesting enough from a 
certain point of view, though, as a matter of course, anyone who 
expects to find diplomatic or political revelations in them will 
be grievously disappointed. They show, however, that the 
Chancellor is possessed of a descriptive faculty of no mean order, 
a dash of the sentimental, and a turn for the facetious extremely 
creditable in a German, that family and domestic affairs have 
ever occupied a great share of his attention, that shooting is one 
of his favourite recreations, and that a happy retirement amidst 
' "German Home Life." F7aset^s Magazine, December, 1875. 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 297 



green woods and fields presents itself to him as the height of 
earthly felicity. Thus writing to his wife from Frankfurt in 185 I, 
he says, " I feel as one does on a beautiful day in September, 
when leaves are turning yellow, a little sad, a little home-sick, and 
longing for woods, sea, desert, you and the children, sunset and 
Beethoven," and to his sister in 1854, from the same place: " I 
regret the country, the woods, and idleness, with the indispens- 
able accessories of loving women and nice children." In 1863 
he wrote to his wife, " I wish some intrigue would bring a change 
of ministry, so that I could honourably turn my back on this 
uninterrupted flow of ink and live quietly in the country." 

Domestic details are plentiful. A family group at Schon- 
hausen in 1851 is sketched by him as follows : " Johanna, at this 
moment asleep in the arms of Lieutenant Morpheus, will have 
told you of my present fate. The boy roaring in a major key, 
the girl in a minor one, two nursery maids singing, whilst I, a 
devoted paterfamilias, sit by in the midst of wet clothes and 
feeding bottles. I resisted for a long time, but as all the mothers 
and aunts were unanimous that nothing but sea water and sea 
air could benefit poor little Marie, if I had not given in, every 
cold which the child caught up to her seventeenth year would have 
been laid upon my paternal cruelty and stinginess, with a 'There, 
now, don't you see if the poor child had gone to the seaside.' " 
He also notes that at the Hotel de Douvres at Paris, in 1857, he 
had "five fireplaces, and yet I freeze, five clocks that go, and yet 
I never know the time, eleven large looking-glasses, and yet my 
cravat is never well tied." Another family picture from St 
Petersburg, in 1862, runs as follows: '"Johanna has a cough 
which quite exhausts her, and dares not go out. Bill is in bed 
feverish with pains in the stomach and throat, and the doctors 
do not yet know what it is. Our new governess has scarcely 
any hopes of seeing Germany again, she has been in bed for 
weeks past and grows worse every day. I for my part am only 
well when out hunting ; as soon as 1 go to balls or theatres here I 
catch cold and cannot eat or sleep." 

Success or bad luck in sport are continually being noted in 
these letters. Thus in 1872 he sends his wife a wild boar, killed 
at Biankenburg by the King, whom he had accompanied there, 
and writing from Konigsberg, in 1857, says: "Without counting 
several deer I have killed five elands, one of them a magnificent 
stag, measuring six feet eight inches from the foot to the throat, 
with an immense head above this. He was dropped like a hare, 
but as he still breathed I gave him the coup de grace with the 
other barrel. Scarcely had I done so when I saw another yet 
larger, which passed quite close to me, and which I could only 
look at not having another shot to fire, I am not yet consoled 
for this ill luck." In his letters from Russia too, he continually 
mentions sport as his only relaxation. 



298 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

When political topics are touched upon they are mainly in 
reference to his personal aspirations. The views respecting him- 
self early in 1862 are thus expressed in a letter from St. Peters- 
burg to his sister. " I would go to Paris or to London without 
regret or pleasure, or remain here as it pleases God and his 
Majesty ; neither our policy nor my prospects will be much 
affected whichever may happen. I should be ungrateful to God 
and man if I said I was doing badly here and wished for change. 
I dread a ministerial portfolio as a cold bath." Three years 
before he had found his position "very agreeable," though he 
had " a great deal to do, with 40,000 Prussians for whom I act 
as policeman, lawyer, judge, recruiting officer, and country 
magistrate, besides writing from twenty to fifty signatures a day, 
without counting passports." 

In many of his letters a due observance of the Prussian 
principle of economy is noticeable. Thus in one from St 
Petersburg to his sister, dated December, i860, he says: "I do 
not receive, my means will not allow it ; an ambassador who only 
receives 30,000 thaler must restrict himself. ... I receive at noon, 
and people take pot luck with me, but I do not give soirees. . . . 
The approach of Christmas renders me anxious ; I can find 
nothing here for Johanna except at exorbitant prices. Be pleased 
therefore to buy from twelve to twenty pearls, to match those 
in her necklace, at Fricdbcrg's. I will consecrate about 300 thaler 
for this. . . . Join to these some boxes of bonbons, but not too 
much, since the children have no need of these to help them to 
digest quickly." In an earlier letter from Frankfurt in 1857, he 
gives a full catalogue of Christmas purchases to be made for his 
wife, which include an article of jewellery that must not exceed 
200 thaler, a white dress at about 100 thaler, a pretty gilt fan, 
if one is to be picked up for 10 thaler, not more, since he cannot 
"stand these inutilities," and a large warm travelling rug with a 
tiger, or a hippopotamus, or a fox on it, that ought to cost the 
same sum. 

A few days after assuming his ministerial position in 1862, he 
sends his wife news of his health written " at the table in the House 
with an orator in the tribune in front talking nonsense to me." 
He complains of "much work, no little fatigue, and not enough 
sleep," but hopes after a time to become reconciled to "this life 
in a glass-house," in which he says, " but for Roon and my 
chestnut mare I should feel a little lonely, though I am never 
alone." Three days later he thanks his sister for a gift of 
sausages and liver, the best he had ever eaten. 

In many instances he shows descriptive powers for which one 
would hardly be prepared. Describing a swim down the Rhine 
in 185 1, he becomes strongly poetical. "There is something 
wonderfully dreamy in lying on the water like that on a warm 
still night, slowly carried along by the stream, gazing up at the 



REICHS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 299 

sky, and moon, and stars above one, and on either side moonlit 
castle towers, and wooded mountain tops, and hearing nothinn- 
but the gentle splashing of one's own motion." When he is 
travelling through Hungary in 1852, he notes the "thousands of 
whitey-brown oxen with horns as long as one's arm, and timid as 
deer ; innumerable shaggy-coated horses, tended by mounted 
herdsmen half naked, and with goads like lances ; endless droves 
of swine, with each of which is an ass to carry the sheepskin 
coat of the swineherd ; then great flocks of bustards, and some- 
times on a pond of brackish water wild geese, ducks, and grey 
plover," that stud the face of the country. 

A Swedish landscape is sketched as follows in 1857: "No 
towns, no villages, as far the eye can reach ; only a few solitary 
wooden huts with a little patch of barley and potatoes ; little 
cultivated spots lost in the midst of stunted trees, rocks, and 
bushes. A hundred square miles of tall heather, alternating 
with tracts of short grass and marshes, and with birches, junipers, 
pines, beeches, oaks, and alders, here clustered together, here 
scattered apart, the whole intermixed with innumerable rocks 
often as big as a house, and with here and there lakes with 
fantastic outlines, bordered with heath-covered hills, and with 
forests." 

A Spanish frontier town is thus noticed in 1862 : "At Fonte- 
rabia the street is very steep and only twelve feet wide ; to every 
window there is a curtain and a balcony ; at every balcony black 
eyes and mantillas, beauty and dirt ; in the market-place one 
hears tambourines and fifes, and sees a hundred women, young 
and old, dancing with each other, whilst the men look on, draped 
in their cloaks and smoking their cigars." 

Especially good is the description of the table dWiote at Nor- 
derney which " changes its hours between one o'clock and five ; its 
component parts varying between cod fish, beans, and mutton on 
the odd days, and soles, peas, and veal on the even days, accom- 
panied in the former case by porridge with sweet sauce, and in the 
latter by plum pudding. Opposite to me sits the old minister, one 
of those figures that appear to us in dreams when we are not 
sleeping well ; a fat frog without legs, who at every morsel opens 
his mouth like a carpet bag as far as his shoulders, so that I hold 
fast to the table for fear of falling into it from giddiness. My 
other neighbour is a Russian officer, a good fellow, but when I 
look at his long thin body and short legs turned like a Turkish 
sabre, he invariably puts me in mind of a boot-jack." 

Prince Bismarck has his Sans Souci — though, as befits these 
railway days, it is further from the capital than the Great 
Friedrich's. This is Varzin, an estate lying in a remote corner 
of Pomerania, three German miles south-west of the Schlawe 
station, on the Stettin and Dantzig Railway, in the rridst of an 
undulating tract of well-cultivated country, pleasantl) diversified 



30O 



BERLIN UNDKR THE NEW EMPIRE. 



by wood and water, with here and there a stretch of Baltic sand, 
and studded with Httle villages of low houses, the walls of red 
brick or earth, and the roofs of tiles or thatch. The Schloss is 
an unpretending- two-storied building capable of accommodating 




from twenty to thirty guests, resembling the dwellings of the 
bulk of the landed gentry of the district, and displaying in the 
centre of its somewhat bald fagade the escutcheon of the von 
Blumenthals its former owners. In the rear of the house is a 
tastefully-arranged garden with ornamental water, fountains, and 
statues, beyond which the ground .slopes upwards into a magni- 
ficent park thickly studded with beech trees — the haunt of a 
colony of herons — and gradually merging into the ocean of 
rolling woods which surround it. It was this park and the woods 
of oak, pine, fir, birch, and beech, abounding in wild boars and 
other game, that led the Chancellor to purchase the estate, which 
it takes about six hours to drive round, and the remainder of 
which consists of tolerably fertile soil, producing rye, potatoes, 
and the like. The Wipper flows through a part of the domain, 
and forms its boundaries in other places. It adds both to its 
beauty and its value, as the rapid stream, which is well stocked 
with trout, is used to float the timber of Pomerania to the Baltic. 
The Prince, however, only allows trees enough to be felled to let 
sufficient air and light into his woods. 

When at Varzin the Chancellor avoids business as much as he 
can, seeking absolute quiet and repose, and hibernating as it 
were by lying in bed till 1 1 o'clock in the day. He once 
retorted to certain editors who had commented on his prolonged 



REICMS-KANZLER VON BISMARCK. 3OI 

retirements to this retreat, and admonished him to live in BerHn. 
since his salary had been augmented with a view of enabling him 
to do so, by the information that he always spent all his official 
emoluments and more during the months he was in town. 
Breakfast over, and the business that is absolutely necessary 
despatched with the aid of Lothar Bucher (the only official who 
accompanies him) beneath the shadow of the beech trees beside 
the ornamental water in the rear of the house, the Chancellor 
sallies forth on his rounds on foot or on horseback, but always 
with his huge Bavarian dog at his 'heels, and his head covered 
with a battered hat of soft felt which the peasants have nick- 
named the "three master." His declaration "I should like to 
be an ambassador ten years, and a minister ten years, in order 
to end my life as a country gentleman," is characteristic of his 
temperament and tastes. 

The Pomeranian Squire, as he sometimes styles himself, or 
the Hermit of Varzin, as he is dubbed by the Berlin papers, 
passes the greater part of his time in the open air; interests 
himself in his stock and his crops, entertains his relatives, and 
neighbours, hunts or shoots at times in the surrounding forests, 
keeps all intruders attracted by mere curiosity at a distance, and 
avoids all discussion of political topics. He chats with all the 
peasants he meets, pats the little children on the bead as they go 
to school, and bids them be good, and sends alms to the sick 
and distressed. But the malicious assert that he is without 
honour in his own country, and that the peasants draw invidious 
comparisons between the powerful Chancellor and his predecessor 
Herr von Blumenthal. The harvest home and the anniversary 
of Sedan are celebrated every year at Varzin with great rejoicing, 
the festivities winding up with a ball, at which the Prince and 
Princess do not disdain to foot it with their tenants. On a 
recent occasion the Prince's first partner was a stalwart Pomera- 
nian lass, who dashed into a waltz with an ardour and vigour 
that almost twisted him off his legs, which are not so supple as 
they used to be. He had to beg her to moderate her pace, and 
thus a North German mddchen proved more successful than the 
Ultramontanes in shaking and almost upsetting the Prince 
Chancellor. 




FIELD-MARSHAL COUNT VON MOLTKE. 



XVI. 



PRUSSIAN GEN'eRALS — MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROON. 



IT is afternoon, and the Linden is thronged with promenaders. 
Amongst them there passes suddenly an elderly gentleman 
in a flat undress cap, and the plainest of military frocks, whose 
sole decoration is the funereal-looking Iron Cross. There is 
nothing striking about his spare and somewhat bent figure — 
which is sinewy rather than muscular, and spite of the stoop, 
elastic as a good sword blade — or his pale clean-shaven face, 
cross-hatched by innumerable little wrinkles and furrowed with 
the traces of intellectual labour ; with its thin compressed lips, 
suggestive of their being able to keep a secret close, its prominent 
nose as transparent as horn, its quick eyes peering from a nest 
of crows'-feet, and its arched forehead fringed at the sides with 
scanty tufts of hair once fair and now grizzled. Nevertheless, 
he is instantly recognized and saluted on all sides with respect 
and admiration. The pert apprentice bawling at the top of his 
voice the last street ballad, stops as suddenly as though he felt 
the hand of the policeman upon his collar, the dandy ceases to 
ogle the passing beauty, and the nursemaid for the moment loses 
sight of her infant charges. The student, so slow to recognize any 
authority, bows before the presence of genius, the hypochondriac 
forgets his fancied ailments, the socialistic workman his hatred 
for the military, and the invalid officer the wounds received in the 
last war. The physiognomist scrutinizes the impassive features 
before him, seeking to divine the character hidden beneath them. 



MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROON. 303 

the artist strives to impress them upon his memory, and the 
portly citizen turnint^ to his brood of Httle ones gives them a 
short lesson on modern history. 

Almost surprised at so much attention, the object of it hastens 
on towards the Brandenburg Gate. Here, however, the sentry 
calls out the guard, and the men come rushing forward to 
present arms, although with a kindly gesture the old ofificcr seems 
to deprecate the mark of honour paid him and passes on towards 
the Thiergarten, either to the offices of the Great General Staff 
or to seek some of the more secluded walks in the Berliner's 
favourite woodland promenade. And should a stranger, struck 
by so much attention bestowed upon so unpretending a personage, 
ask his name, the Berliner will bestow upon the questioner a 
look of wonderment and pity, before replying with proud 
consciousness : — " Why that is our Moltke ! " 

This mild-looking individual, whose melancholy and ascetic 
face and student stoop, might but for his uniform cause him to 
be taken for a poor professor of theology, is indeed Count 
Helmuth Carl Bernhard von Moltke, General Field-Marshal and 
Chief of the Great General Staff of the Prussian Army. His 
career is to be summed up in a few words, for it is one to be 
judged rather by results than by deeds. Born at Parchim, in the 
Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg, on the 26th October, 1800, he 
was the third son of Lieutenant-General von Moltke of the 
Danish Army, by the daughter of Finance Councillor Paschen 
of Hamburg. When he was six years old, as he tells us in his 
concise autobiography, he went with his parents to Liibeck, 
where their house was pillaged by the French, who the year 
following burnt his father's property of Augustenhoff, with all 
the produce of that year's harvest. Shortly afterwards his 
grandfather died, having suffered such considerable losses from 
the war that Moltke's mother, who was his residuary legatee and 
had large expectations, found that she had nothing whatever 
to receive. No wonder, therefore, that the great strategist 
should harbour no particularly kindly feelings towards the 
French. 

Moltke was educated with his elder brother at the Cadet 
Academy of Copenhagen, where his existence by his own 
showing was anything but a happy one, and after serving as a 
royal page, he entered the Danish army at eighteen. The small 
chance of making his way which this offered, led to his trans- 
ferring his services by the aid of the Duke of Holstein to 
Prussia. He came to Berlin in 1822, and was gazetted to the 
8th light grenadier regiment. He attended the military 
school there, earned by his assiduity the nickname of the " Com- 
pendium of Military Science," became an instructor in turn at 
that of Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, and in 1827 assumed the crimson 
badge of the Great General Staff, which he has never since laid 



304 BERLIN Ux\DER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

aside. In 1835. whilst on a visit to Constantinople, he was 
introduced to Chosrcf Pacha, Minister of War and the right- 
hand man of the reforming Sultan Mahmoud. Chosref and his 
master were both greatly impressed by Moltke's talents, and 
requested the Prussian Government to allow them to avail them- 
selves of his ser\'ices. This was granted, and aided by three 
other Prussian officers, he organised and drilled troops, built and 
repaired fortresses, palaces, bridges, naval schools, and aqueducts, 
surveyed frontiers and districts, and designed defences which 
years afterwards caused the Russian General Luders to exclaim 
that some one had passed through those places who knew what 
he was about. His Letters on the State of Turkey, 1834-9, 
first published anonymously, and his Rnsso-Tnrkish Campaign 
in Enropeati Turkey iti 1828-9, stamped him as a scientific 
military writer. After taking part in an expedition against the 
Kurds, and in the campaign against Mehemet Ali, he resigned 
his post consequent upon the battle of Nisib, the loss of which 
is ascribed to the neglect of his advice by Hafiz Pacha, and 
returned to Prussia. 

Moltke's sister had married an Englishman named Burt, 
settled in Holstein, and the letters written home by Moltke had 
produced a profound impression upon her step-daughter, a girl 
of sixteen. This impression was deepened when the writer 
himself, then verging on forty, made his appearance, and though 
up to this period he is said to have displayed all the indiffer- 
ence to the fair sex with which Charles XII. is credited, he on 
his part succumbed to the charms of Mary Burt to whom he was 
shortly afterwards united. It was a real love match, and the 
grave soldier positively idolized his young wife, whose death 
on Christmas Eve, 1868, cast a sorrow over his whole life. 

Attached as adjutant first to Prince Heinrich, with whom he 
spent some time in Italy almost immediately after his marriage 
with Mary Burt, and after Prince Heinrich's death to the present 
Crown Prince, Moltke was made a general in 1857, and shortly 
afterwards appointed chief of the Great General Staff. In the 
Schleswig-Holstein war he directed the strategetical movements 
from Berlin till the end of April, when he joined the allied 
armies. The war with Austria followed, and it was the crowning 
point of Moltke's career, when, on the afternoon of the 3rd 
July, 1866, catching sight of the helmets of the Crown Prince's 
army glittering in the sunlight as the troops advanced towards 
the field, he removed the cigar which he had been smoking, with 
the calm composure of a mathematician, certain beforehand of 
the result of the problem he was working out and said, " It is 
actually three o'clock." PVom that hour he secured in the eyes of 
Europe that position of first strategist of his day, which he has 
never relinquished. Two years later he took his seat in the 
North German Reichstag and though he has the reputation of 



MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROON. 305 



being " eloquently silent in seven languages," proved a frequent 
and lucid speaker in his native tongue. 

In 1868-9 he drew up his plan for a campaign against France 
so as to be ready in case of necessity, and when the war came 
he accompanied the King to the field. The part he played in 
this contest was one peculiarly his own. He directed simul- 
taneously the action of the several armies without himself taking 
an ostensible command. Just as the strategy of the Danish war 
of 1864 and the Austrian war of 1866 was all his own, so was 
that of the war with France, and it was his brain, if not abso- 
lutely his arm, which launched the German battalions to victory 
at Worth, Vionville, Gravelotte, and Sedan. His strategetical 
labours closed with the investment of Paris, though he subse- 
quently took part in arranging the details of the treaty of peace, 
and his reward assumed the shape of the title of Count, bestowed 
upon him after the surrender of Metz, and a field-marshal's 
baton on the return home of the victorious troops. His actuat- 
ing principle may be summed up in the familiar axiom — " That 
should be well considered which can be decided only once," 
which is akin in spirit to his heraldic motto, Erst zvdgeii, dann 
wagen (First \veigh, then wage). The leading idea of his 
strategy is the separate advance of each army corps and their 
union on the field of action. 

Every year since the war with France, the students of the 
Berlin University celebrate their Kriegs-Commers in honour of 
those members of their body who perished during this struggle, 
and Count von Moltke scarcely ever fails to be present at these 
assemblies. At the first of them, held on the evening of the 
6th March, 1871, the hall of the Urania, which had been decked 
out with banners and escutcheons in honour of the occasion, 
was crowded with students, leading professors, and officials, 
who had been invited to take part in the ceremony. When 
Moltke entered accompanied by several officers of the General 
Staff, all those present rose and cheered. The singing of 
" Deutschland, Deutschland iiber alles," was the signal for the 
commencement of the festivities. After the Emperor's health, 
that of Field-Marshal Count von Moltke was proposed and 
received with riotous enthusiasm. Loud shouts of " Silence for 
the Great Taciturn," announced that Moltke was about to break 
through his wonted reserve. In a short speech he attributed 
the German success to the patriotism and devotion of the youth 
of the nation, the representatives of which he saw around him. 
The Fatherland, he said, still counted on their support whether 
to sustain fresh conflicts or to enjoy the advantages it had won, 
and to consolidate them by peaceful industry. At the end of this 
brief oration, the students crowded round the speaker, every one 
being eager to clink glasses with the great strategist of the age. 

Though upwards of seventy and not very robust in appearance 

X 



306 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EiMPIRE. 

von Moltke retains his freshness and vigour. He looks better 
on horseback than on foot, for his stoop is not noticeable in the 
saddle. Much as has been written and said about him, he talks 
but little himself. Though a constant attendant at the Reich- 
stag, his voice is now seldom raised there, excepting on some 
special subject, like the Army Bill. His political convictions 
include a cleep detestation of the socialistic democrats, and a 
dislike but little less intense for the Catholic party. In 1874, he 
was present at the meeting held in Berlin to thank the English 
people for their expressions of sympathy with the religious policy 
of the German Empire. He expresses his thoughts as briefly as 
possible, and in supervising the written compositions of the 
General Staff strikes out all superfluous phrases, and gives the 
pith of a report in a few terse sentences. Simple and modest in 
manners as in appearance, he is as sparing of money as of words, 
and is economical even in trifles. His personal wants are few 
and his only luxury a good cigar. The house he occupied in the 
Behrenstrasse before taking up his quarters in the new building 
of the General Staff, was small and plain-looking, and any well- 
to-do burgher in Berlin fared better than the great general. In 
his plainly-furnished study he works for eight or nine hours at a 
stretch, on a glass of wine and a biscuit. He dines at two, and 
sups at eight, excepting when the Reichstag is sitting, and his 
only relaxations are a short walk in the Thiergarten and a rubber 
in the evening with a few friends, chief amongst whom are von 
Burt, his brother-in-law and adjutant, and the Finance-Coun- 
cillor, Schiller. Quiet and silent in general society, in his inti- 
mate circle he opens himself and exhibits remarkable conversa- 
tional powers, tells a good story, and displays a keen but never 
unkind wit, and indulges in that dry humour which prompted 
him to reply to the army of English, Russian, and American in- 
terviewers, who assailed him before he set out for the Rhine in 
1870 — "You want to know how things are going on ; well, the 
wheat has suffered a little from the rain, but the potatoes were 
never looking better." He is credited with an almost feminine 
tenderness of manner which renders him especially attractive to 
women. Kind-hearted and considerate, too, as he is known to be 
towards his subordinates and inferiors, quite a sensation was 
created among the gossips of Berlin when it was known that he 
had boxed the ears of a stable lad on his estate for smoking in 
the stable in spite of repeated admonitions. Modesty itself, he 
is still astonished at his popularity, and ascribes his victories to the 
valour of the German troops and the experience of their leaders. 
" The faults of the enemy," he remarked to an Italian officer, 
" had much to do with our rapid victories. We were sure that 
each of our corps d'armcc could hold on for twenty-four hours, 
and in twenty-four hours everything can be made good, especially 
with troops like our own," 



MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROON. 307 

We have already mentioned that Count von Moltke resides at 
the General Staff offices some little distance outside the Bran- 
denburg Gate. There he has a suite of private apartments 
approached up a handsome marble staircase, to which access is 
grained through a stately vestibule. The anteroom contains a 
portrait of the Emperor and marble bust of the great strategist 
himself Some folding doors lead into Moltke's study, a lofty 
apartment lighted by three windows looking on to the 
Konigs-platz, and sufficiently spacious to allow of its occupant 
promenading up and down, while meditating, according to his 
wont. Running along the upper portion of the walls is a frieze 
in fresco symbolizing the development of the science of arms ; 
and including such weapons as the catapult, the cross and long 
bows, the mace, the battle-axe, the two-handed sword, &c., with 
the earliest and latest forms of firearms, numerous appropriate 
figures being introduced into the subject in the costume of their 
respective epochs. The series, which includes the remoter and 
the middle ages, the Thirty Years' War, the period of Friedrich 
the Great, and the War of Liberation, terminates with the recent 
contest with France and the introduction of the mitrailleuse, 
which figures in a representation of a conflict between Prussian 
grenadiers and ja^ers and French zouaves and turcos. Under- 
neath this frieze hang som© engraved portraits of members of 
the Imperial family. 

Each of the three windows in the apartment has a table in 
front of it, but it is at the one to the left that Moltke commonly 
sits, in an antique-shaped carved arm-chair. We noticed that 
all his papers had been discreetly put out of sight, save a few 
unopened reports beside which his spectacles were lying. Maps 
and plans were spread over the other tables together with an 
elevation of the new military railway station in course of con- 
struction between the Halle and Anhalt Gates, from which an 
entire division will be able to be moved simultaneously ; also a 
plan of the old fortifications of Strasburg, kept down at either 
end by a couple of bronze paper-weights formed of fragments of 
French and Austrian cannon, the latter inscribed " Koniggratz, 3 
Juli, 1866." In one corner of the apartment stood a bookcase with 
glass doors on the ledge of which was a box of Havannah cigars, 
sufficient rarities at Berlin to attract special attention. It is in 
this room that Moltke receives the numerous German and foreign 
officers who call upon him ; that he reads the despatches con- 
nected with his manifold occupations ; digests his schemes for 
army organization, and meditates over his plans for possible 
future campaigns. 

In the adjacent bedroom we observed an iron camp bedstead 
behind a screen, and beside it a small leather bag capable of 
holding just what was absolutely necessary for a soldier on cam- 
paign, together with a tin cylinder containing maps. There were 

X 2 



308 BERLIN UNDF.R THE NEW EMPIRE. 

a couple of portraits of Moltke's deceased wife, one on a small 
table, the other suspended a^^ainst the wall. The appointments 
of the dininc^-room were botii limited and simple, indicating that 
the Field-Marshal is not in the habit of entertaining guests, whilst 
as regards the salon, or niusikzinuncr, this has never been used 
since the lamented death of Moltke's young wife. 

Like Bismarck, Moltke has a large estate in Silesia, situate in 
the midst of a fair and fertile plain, stretching between the towns 
of Schweidnitz and Reichenbach. An avenue of venerable lime 
trees leads to the manor house, which lacks the lordly aspect of 
most of the South German chateaux, being a large rambling 
building with whitewashed walls and green shutters. The 
entrance to the courtyard is guarded by the statues of two 
warriors with lances couched and bucklers thrown forward, and 
at the foot of the flight of steps leading to the main doorway 
are two French cannon, a present from the Emperor at the close 
of the war. Faithful to his old habits, the Field-Marshal is always 
the first person astir in the house. At five o'clock every morn- 
ing regularly he turns out of the narrow iron bedstead that con- 
stitutes almost the whole of the furniture in his room, warms 
for himself at a spirit lamp a cup of coffee prepared over-night, 
and sallies forth to breathe the morning air. As he paces, deep 
in meditation, up and down the park with his clean shaven face, 
black cravat, long frock coat, and soft wide-awake, he might be 
taken for a Lutheran minister thinking over his next Sunday's 
sermon. At seven o'clock he begins his general inspection, 
visiting the stables and cowhouses, the barn, the granary, the 
mill and the distillery He winds up with the orchard and gar- 
den, propping up a drooping sapling or cutting off a dead or 
straggling branch as he walks along, and holding long consulta- 
tions with his gardener, with whose aid he has carried ofl" prizes 
at several horticultural shows. At ten o'clock he mounts to his 
study on the second floor. Here a frugal breakfast, a bowl of 
soup, or a slice or two of bread and butter and a glass of wine, 
aw^aits him. Whilst eating he skims over the newspapers which 
the post has just brought, opens his letters and then sets to work. 
At noon he retires to his bedroom and has a nap till dinner, 
which is served at two o'clock. On rising from table he smokes 
a cigar and then returns to his study to finish and despatch his 
correspondence. If there are guests at the manor-house they 
usually await his leisure beneath the trees of the park, where he 
joins them. Riding, walking, or a neighbourly visit passes away 
the hours till supper-time, eight o'clock, after which, if the evening 
is fine, the great strategist indulges in a solitary stroll to smoke a 
cigar and plan the work of the morrow. His steps usually lead 
him towards his wife's tomb, a marble mausoleum on the summit 
of a hillock at the end of the park, veiled by a screen of cypresses. 
He himself designed this tomb, the key of which never leaves 



I 



MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROOX. 



309 



him, and which bears the inscription, " Die Liebe ist der Gezetze 
Erfiillunr^." Whenever he comes to Creisau his first care before 
crossing the threshold of the house is to visit this tomb. On Sun- 
day he goes to church at the head of his workmen, in the morning, 
and passes the rest of the day in reading rcHgious works. 

The tall gaunt nonagenarian, attenuated almost to a skeleton, 
and clad in the white uniform with blue facings of a Prussian 
cuirassier colonel, who may.be sometimes seen, on a fine after- 
noon, tottering towards the Emperor's palace, with a troop of 
urchins at his heels, 
and bowing right 
and left in reply to 
the numerous sal- 
utations, and oc- 
casionally kissing 
his hand as his 
eye lights upon a 
pretty girl, is 
Field-Marshal,Ge- 
neral Count Fried- 
rich von Wrangel, 
whose years of ser- 
vice in the Prus- 
sian army out- 
number those of 
the present cen- 
tury. He smelt 
powder at Leipsic, 
ranked as colonel 
in the year of 
Waterloo, and has 
taken part in ten 
pitched battles 
and two-and-twen- 
ty minor engage- 
ments. Though 
his eye has lost 

much of its lustre and his limbs at times seem hardly able 
to set themselves in motion, long years spent under harness 
have stifi"ened his spare figure to the rigidity of a ramrod, 
and he is still as upright as any corporal in the foot guards. 
Occasionally the old cavalry leader, who is now in his dotage, 
sallies forth on horseback from his residence on the Pariser-platz, 
arrayed in the full dress uniform of a Prussian field-marshal, and 
on these occasions he is followed by his usual escort of Berlin 
boy.s, who hail the appearance of " Papa Wrangel," as he is 
styled by the whole city, with unfeigned delight, it being his 
habit to scatter specimens of the infinitesimal coinage of United 




310 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

Germany broadcast amongst them. Papa Wrangel is as much a 
part and parcel of that Berh"n, which once hated him so bitterly, 
as the statue of the Great Elector, and there is no doubt that 
within the next fifty years as many popular myths will have 
grown up around this relic of the War of Liberation, as have 
gathered around the Great Friedrich, " Old Zicthen," Bliicher, and 
the rest. 

Marshal Wrangel was born in Stettin, in 1784, and on the 30th 
April, 1873, he completed his fiftieth year of service as a general 
in the Prussian army. The vigour with which in the latter year 
he rallied from a stroke of paralysis is something remarkable, 
even in this country of hale old men. It was during this illness 
that he wrote at the top of the sheet of paper on which his 
numerous visitors inscribed their names, "J. have not yet the least 
mind to die." In 1796, when but twelve-and-a-half years old, he 
quitted the benches of the Stettin gymnasium with the slightest 
store of acquired knowledge, for the saddle of Werther's dragoons, 
a regiment which now ranks under his immediate command as 
the 3rd l£ast Prussian cuirassiers, and two years later he was a 
lieutenant in that corps. In 1806 he fleshed his maiden sword 
in a skirmish with Ney's cavalry near Gurczno, and the year 
following received his first wound and the Merit Order, at Heils- 
berg. In the War of Liberation, when breaking a French infantry 
square at the head of his squadron at Gross Gorschen, his horse 
was shot, and Wrangel falling under him with a painful wound in 
his foot, remained all night on the field given up for dead. It 
was characteristic of the economical principles which have always 
distinguished him, that on being offered his choice of promotion 
or the Iron Cross, he at once selected the former, though both 
were subsequently awarded him. His chief exploit during this 
struggle was covering the retreat from Etoges in February, 18 14. 
Surrounded and summoned to surrender by the French, who 
offered honourable terms of capitulation, he answered that as 
long as he could hold his sabre and sit in his saddle he would 
never yield, and on the envoy endeavouring to persuade the 
cuirassiers to lay down their arms, Wrangel had him shot 
despite the flag of truce he carried, " by virtue of the Prussian 
articles of war." 

The situation was desperate. Wrangel saw that the only 
chance of his regiment was for it to fo-'ce its way in the darkness 
through an adjacent wood occupied by the enemy, and in the 
event of success to rejoin the main army. Addressing his men 
he said, " Nothing is left but to cut our way through — Follow 
me ! I will ride first and open the way." And forward they 
u ent, first at a walk, then at a trot, and next at a rushing gallop, 
with ringmg hurrahs, right into the wood, where it was crossed 
by the road by which tiie enemy's infantry had penetrated. In 
the darkness the latter could not discern the approach of the 



MOI.TKE, WRAXGEL, AND ROOX. 311 



cuirassiers and were terrified at the sabre thrusts which they made 
at their heads as they rushed wildly by. No sooner, however, 
were they recognized than the French infantry turned upon 
them and fired at hazard. Still Wrangcl and his men rode on 
undaunted. They flew as it were on the wings of the wind, past 
the enemy's columns, their bold commander always leading the 
way, undeterred by the many obstacles on the road — ditches, 
trunks of trees, underwood, and the like. Onwards they went 
over dead bodies and wounded horses, till the French infantry in 
the wood were left far behind, and they emerged into open 
country and finally came upon the Prussian head-quarters where 
they had been given up for lost. 

VVrangel was constrained to remain inactive in 181 5 ; still he 
had been made a colonel, and eight years later, after rather more 
than a quarter of a century of service he was promoted to the 
rank of general. On the accession of Friedrich Wilhelm. IV. in 
1840, he was actively engaged in organizing the Prussian cavalry, 
which, according to that competent authority Prince Friedrich 
Carl, is indebted to Wrangel for much of its existing efficiency. 
In 1848 he successfully commanded the forces employed against 
Denmark, and after the truce of Malmo was placed at the head 
of the troops sent to Berlin to restore order to the riotous capital. 
Before he entered the city he had been threatened with hanging 
by the infuriated populace, but he drove in unattended in one of 
the royal carriages, and personally faced the mob, who were 
daunted by his pluck. When the city was occupied by the 
troops, crowds used to assemble outside the Schloss where he 
had taken up his quarters, and threaten him with the fate of 
Count Latour whom the Viennese had recently strung up to a 
lamppost. The present idol of the Berlinese was then the most 
detested man in the city, but, like Wellington, he lived down 
his unpopularity, and after several narrow escapes his tact and 
firmness gained him general esteem. 

In 1856, on completing his sixtieth year of service, Wrangel 
was made a field-marshal, and the next year he became 
Governor of Berlin, a post which he held for eight years. In his 
eightieth year the old Pomeranian was despatched to the scene 
of his former triumphs in Schleswig-Holstein, at the head of the 
allied Prussian and Austrian forces, but the fatigues and exposure 
of the winter campaign proved too much for him, and he resigned 
his command to his pupil Prince Friedrich Carl, receiving the 
title of Count on his retirement which he temporarily emerged 
from in 1866, when he appeared in the saddle at the head of his 
cuirassiers. To-day he still takes a part in all the great military 
parades, although he is as deaf as a post. 

On the occasion of the jubilee of Wrangel's eightieth j-ear of 
military service, the Emperor presented him with a sword, 
accompanying it with a letter, which, after speaking of the 



312 BLRLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

veteran field-marshal's glorious deeds, of his being specially 
favoured by Providence, and making constant reference to the 
mercies of Almighty God, wound up by saying : — 

" I wish to manifest to-day that I number you with all my heart among the 
prominent men who have risen from the Prussian army, by informing you that 
I have resolved one day to erect to you a monument, so that the most remote 
passer-by may know of your deserts and my acknowledgment of them. As 
a reminiscence of to-day, I send you the accompanying sword, a weapon 
which you have now used for eighty years, with which at Etoges with your 
present regiment you forced a passage through the enemy, and which has 
everywhere shown to the troops you led the path of victory. As the monu- 
ment will show to the world, so will the sword give testimony to your later 
descendants of the gratitude and special high esteem of your gratefully 
obedient King, Wilhiclm." 

Somewhat of a martinet in military matters, and most rigidly 
abstemious in private life, Papa VVrangel is notorious in Berlin 
for having pushed the virtue of economy to absolute miserliness. 
It is only of late years that the generosity which takes so 
strange a form has developed itself. The principles of rigid 
economy which have distinguished his whole existence and 
enabled him to amass a handsome fortune, are reported to have 
cost him the life of a son, who in a moment of despair at the 
refusal of his father to advance him the sum necessary to pay 
a debt of honour blew out his brains. Indeed slander goes so 
far as to assert that the now childless old man is to a certain 
extent no longer conscious of his actions, and that when scatter- 
ing pfennige to the rabble of I^erlin, he thinks he is supplying 
the troops with bullets to return the fire of the enemy. 

The rcorganizer of the Prussian army, Albrecht Theodor Emil 
von Roon, is the last representative of an old Dutch family 
settled for some generations in Germany. He was born in April 
30, 1803, at the family estate of Pleushagen, near Colberg, lost 
his father while a child, and witnessed the siege of Stettin a few 
years afterwards, when he was slightly wounded by a shell. At the 
age of thirteen he entered the Cadet corps at Culm, went thence 
to Berlin, and received his first commission in 182 1. His mother 
died about this time and the family property had to be sold, so 
that he began life very poor. After spending some years in the 
capacity of teacher at the Berlin Cadetten-haus, where he 
produced certain manuals of geography which helped to revolu- 
tionize instruction in public schools, he joined in 1832 the army of 
observation formed at Crefield to watch the Belgian revolution. 

This decided Roon's future career, bringing as it did under his 
notice the defects of the army organization of which he wrote : 
" By hook and by crook we gathered together some thirty 
thousand men of Aix-la-Chapelle, but what was their condition .-" 
One commander of a battalion presented himself before the 
governor of Coblenz, but without his battalion. His men did 
not turn up at their appointed quarters till nightfall, when they 



MOLTKE, WRANGEL, AND ROON. 313 

came to receive their billets, and escape punishment for their 
absence. But as to where they had spent the day the officer knew 
nothing. Another landwehr commander could only get his men 
on by having barrels of beer placed at intervals along the road ! 
Insubordination was the order of the day, and the greatest 
excesses were committed on the march. Wherever the landwehr 
came it either incurred hate or became an object of contempt." 
After the siege of Antwerp Roon returned to Berlin, joined the 
Topographical Office in 1833, and was attached to the General 
Staff two years later. 

He married, worked hard at his duties, and in 1842, being then 
a major, was present at the grand manceuvres held at Euskirchen 
in honour of the Queen of England. On this occasion, when the 
eyes of all the world were turned to the Prussian army, its 
defects were still more prominently displayed. "The landwehr 
battalion which had to march in the midst of the dust during the 
review, when they approached the inspecting general, von Pfuel, 
in the march past, began to snort, groan, puff, and give such 
signs of dissatisfaction, that the embarrassed general turned 
aside to his suite, and commenced to tell them anecdotes." In 
1844 von Roon became instructor to Prince Friedrich Carl, whom 
he accompanied in his travels through Europe, served through 
the Baden campaign of 1849, receiving the order of the Red 
Eagle, and a sword for personal bravery, and working his way 
steadily upwards, became a general of division in 1858. 

The question of reorganization which the Prince Regent had 
had at heart for thirty years was pending under the Bouin 
ministry, when in 1858 Roon found himself on leave in Berlin, 
and presented himself as in duty bound before the Prince at 
Potsdam. The latter was on the point of starting for Berlin, 
and asked the general to accompany him. During this memorable 
ride Roon found an opportunity of setting forth the sad state of 
the army with all the energy of his nature, and of pointing out 
the importance of the question to the state. On being asked 
how the system was to be altered he explained his views, which 
the Regent on hearing asked him to put before him in writing. 
This was done, and as soon as the demobilization was accom- 
plished, he received orders to discuss the matter with a General 
War Committee, and the completed plan of reorganization as 
afterwards carried out was then produced. The leading idea was 
to create by universal military duty and three years' service, a 
standing army, and to retain the landwehr as a defence for the 
country as soon as the line had taken the field. 

Bouin resigning at the end of 1859, von Roon succeeded him 
as Minister of War, well aware of the struggle on which he was 
entering, but as full of courage to face the thunder of parlia- 
mentary eloquence as when as a mere child at the siege of 
Stettin he was seen flourishing a broom-stick surmounted by a 



314 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



bayonet wherever the guns were roaring loudest. The country- 
failed to see the necessity of the proposed reform, and the 
hatred of the nation, and a personal insult in the House from 
Herr von Vinckc, was the first result of his labours. He 
struggled on nevertheless, and the task of reorganization Avas 
accomplished, and the battle ground shifted to the term of 
service, till in 1862 Bismarck became Premier and came to Roon's 
aid, enabling him to devote more time to his own department. 

The value of Roon's work was proved by the success of the 
reorganized army in the Schleswig-Holstein war, but the cost of 
this reorganization was unpaid, and the Lower House continued 
to refuse the necessary subsidy till the war with Austria, and the 
rapid mobilization of the troops in the Spring of 1866, established 
Roon's reputation, and caused his measures to be finally recog- 
nized, even by his most stubborn opponents, as highly beneficial 
to the country. The war of 1870 brought him fresh honour, 
saddened by the loss of his eldest son who fell at Sedan. On 
the 9th of January, 1871, he celebrated his fiftieth year of service 
at Versailles, and on the return of the troops to Berlin, was 
created a Count, subsequently receiving a marshal's baton, though, 
like Moltke, he had never commanded an army in the field. His 
talent and activity were subsequently called into play to fill up 
the gaps in the army and provide for the protection of United 
Germany. 

Created Premier in succession to Bismarck in 1873, though for 
some time he had been seeking permission to resign his post as 
Minister of War, on the grounds of ill-health, Roon found him- 
self imable to discharge the new duties, and obtained leave to 
retire to his estate of Neuhof, near Coburg. It was noticed that 
whilst he was playing Premier the vacancies in the cabinet were 
filled up with Bismarck's men, content to act as mere head clerks. 
A staunch conservative, Roon cordially disliked the County 
Reform Bill, but policy forbade him to oppose it, and he made 
his illness an excuse for keeping away from the House. 

In person Roon is tall and broad-shouldered, his manner is 
determined, and his bearing stiff, though the fatigues of the 
F"rench campaign, and a chronic asthma from which he suffers, 
have told heavily upon his constitution. His natural rhetorical 
gifts, striking in a military man, have been developed by 
Parliamentary debate, till they have ripened into a rare eloquence. 
As an author and a man of science he has some reputation, and 
his philological acquirements rival those of Moltke. The phrase 
" Might goes before Right." usually attributed to Bismarck, was 
uttered by Roon in the House in a discussion on home affairs, 
and is worthy of his Junker sentiments. And if to Bismarck be 
due the creation of a United Germany, to Roon is certainly due 
the welding of the implement by which that union was accom- 
plished — the Prussian Army. 




Ill LI 1 \ L II LI )1 b 1 U\ (jL AKD 



11. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— HOW RECRUITED AND OFFICERED. 



BERLIN swarms with soldiers. Perhaps no other capital in 
Europe presents such a military aspect. Regiments sally- 
ing forth in spick and span brightness, or returning to barracks 
half-smothered in the dust or bespattered by the mud picked up 
during the morning's manoeuvres, orderlies mounted or on foot 
hurrying to-and-fro between the different ministries and public 
offices, squads in charge of waggons laden with provisions or 
munitions for the various barracks, rounds engaged in the sempi- 
ternal task of relieving the countless sentries stationed at all 
public buildings, groups of men lounging at the guard-houses 
and ready to spring to attention, seize their arms and fall in 
the moment a general officer is perceived in the distance by their 
keen-eyed comrade on guard, officers hastening to obey the calls 
of duty or plcas-ire, or strolling gravely about in knots of 
two or three with their sabres clattering on the pavement, and 



3i6 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



Others engaged in a quiet saunter towards the Thiergartcn with 
their wives and famihes, are to be seen on all sides. Not only in 
the streets but at tab/cs dliotc, restaurants, beer-rooms, and gar- 
dens, conditoreien, theatres, and other places of public resort, the 
dark blue uniform of the infantry or the somewhat gayer attire 
of the mounted troops meets the eye at every turn, and at times 
it appears as though civilian life were a mere adjunct to the 
martial element.^ 

The city itself is the home of that immense number of officers 
attached to the War Office, the General Staff, and the various 
Military Schools, whilst all round the outskirts rise huge castel- 
lated barracks, swarming with horse, foot, and artillery, and jus- 
tifying the saying that in North Germany there arc no cathe- 
drals but barracks and arsenals. The flat plain on which Berlin 
is built furnishes admirable spaces for drill and parade grounds, 

some of them of 
vast extent. Here 
from morn till eve 
squadrons of ca- 
valry trot, gallop, 
and charge, wheel- 
ing and swooping 
amidst clouds of 
sand, and battal- 
ions of infantry 
march and coun- 
ter - march, now 
drawn up in a 
dark imposing 

column, and now 
expanding fanwise 
in a cloud of scat- 
tered skirmishers 
and detached sup- 
ports. The blast 
of the bugle, the 
roll of the drum, 
and the guttural yells of tlic officers in command resound above 




r^ 



1 The military population of Berlin in March, 1875, comprised 1,649 
officers, 485 mihtary officials, and 18,550 rank and file, quartered. within the 
city limits. They included the Kaiser Alexander regiment of grenadiers of 
the Guard, the Kaiser Franz regiment of grenadiers of the Guard, the ist foot 
Guards, the fusiliers of the Guard, a battalion of riflemen of the Guard, the 
pioneers of the Guard, the railway battalion, the cuirassiers of the Guard, the 
1st and 2nd dragooris of the Guard, the 2nd uhlans of the Guard, the 3rd 
squadron of the Gardes du Corps, the ist regiment of field artillery of 
the Guard, the ist and 2nd detachments of the 2nd regiment of field artillery 
of the Guard, and the Guard train battalion, together with the 3rd train 
battalion, staff of the 35th rtscrve landwchr battalion. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — IIOW RECRUITED, ETC. 317 

the thunder of the hoof-beats and the heavy thud of measured 
footfalls, thoucrh they in turn are drowned at times by the cheers to 
which the infantry are permitted to give utterance when advanc- 
ing to seize a position. Countless squads of recruits are to be seen 
imder the command of loud-voiced and energetic drill sergeants, 
some going through their facings, others practising the manual or 
bayonet exercise, and others again performing the most wonder- 
fully complicated extension movements, varied with the wildest 
twists and leaps and bounds which seem to threaten instant dis- 
location of their limbs and cause them to resemble for the time 
being a row of toy scaramouches under the influence of an electric 
battery, but which have much to do with transforming the un- 
couth, hulking, and stiff-jointed peasant into the smart, straight, 
and supple soldier. Ceaseless activity prevails on all sides and 
it is evident that nothing is spared to render the Army what it 
is — the first military machine in Europe. Prussia too has devoted 
more study to the science of war than any other civilized nation, 
and her officers have gained more real experience in its practice 
than those of other European countries. The system of general 
service and district corps organization has shown itself per- 
fectly adaptable to both rapid mobilization and the steady con- 
tinuance of a war. " One can scarcely comprehend," says an 
eminent military writer, "the grandeur and completeness of the 
German Army. There has been no parallel to it, and no nation, 
unless favoured by distance, can hope to cope successfully with it." 
The military element forms so important a constituent of Berlin 
life, and dominates the various social elements of the capital 
so completely, that the subject of the Prussian Army may here 
be sketched with perfect relevancy in a somewhat comprehensive 
fashion. 

If Friedrich Wilhelm, the great Elector of Brandenburg, was 
the founder of the Prussian nationality, it was his grandson and 
namesake, the second King of Prussia, who, by parcelling his 
dominions into cantons and assigning to each the duty of keep- 
ing up a regiment to its effective strength from within its own 
limits, laid the foundation of the existing military system.. His 
method of instructing recruits yet prevails, and the splendid army 
which he left behind him proved in the hands of his son Friedrich 
the Great the instrument by which the position of the kingdom 
was assured in Europe. His successors followed his traditions 
with the servile fidelity that chooses the letter rather than the 
spirit, making use of the true formation he had handled so suc- 
cessfully, but neglecting the mobility by which he had attained 
a larger development of fire than had been previously dreamt of, 
and had succeeded in marching round and defeating his ponderous 
antagonists whose inert formations had changed but little since 
the days of Gustavus Adolphus. The battalion columns pre- 
ceded by skirmishers of the French Republican Generals broke 
and routed these immobile lines, and the old Prussian Army, 



3i8 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EAIPIRE. 



though animated by the patriotic fire enkindled by the aggres- 
sion of Napoleon, was finally shattered on the heights of Jena. 

During the period of degradation which followed, Stein and 
Scharnhorst commenced the work of rehabilitation, the latter 
devising the scheme of short terms of service in the regular 
army, with a constant supply and discharge of recruits, on which 
the present organization is based. In 1814 the law obliging 




scharnhorst's monument in the grounds of the invaliden-haus. 



every native of the state to enrol himself in the defensive force 
on completing his twentieth year, establishing the standing army, 
landwehr, and landsturm, and providing for the one year 
volunteers, was passed. Gradually the landwehr, officered by 
men of wealth and substance, and composed of men of riper 
years, equal military importance, and greater social influence than 
the regulars, began to show a jealousy of these latter, and display 
a dissatisfaction at being called out when the object was not 
thoroughly supported by national sentiment. In 1858, von 
Roon seeing the imperfections of the existing system, brought 
forward his plans, which were carried in spite of the constitu- 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — IIUW RLCRUITKI), ETC. 319 

tional objections of the Lower House. The new laws lowered 
the status of the landwchr, and gave importance to the regular 
troops, by lengthening their term of reserve service a couple of 
years, and enlarging the number of their battalions. The annual 
supply of recruits was augmented from 40,000 to 63,000, and on 
a peace footing the standing army was now as large as it could 
have been before with the first call of the landwehr. A sop to 
Cerberus was thrown to the latter in the shape of a reduction of 
their term of service. 

The war of 1866 proved the value of the new measure to the 
government, the Army itself did all the fighting, and the landwehr 
in the second line could effect but little by their disapproval of a 
quasi-fratricidal struggle at the outset, and in case of reverses 
would have been warmed to work by patriotism. The formation of 
the North German Confederation whilst increasing the Army did 
not materially modify the system, but after the war with Fiance 
the necessity for fresh preparations led to the New Army Bill. 

The Prussian Army is an integral portion of the German Army,^ 
to which it contributes twelve army corps. These are the corps 
of the Guard, recruited throughout the Prussian dominions, and 
eleven others taking their names from the provinces from which 

' According to the Prussian military calendar the German Army on a war 
footing consists of 1,324,934 men of all arms and ranks, and 2,740 guns. Out 
of this number 401,659 men are always on active service, and in eight days 
700,000 can be brought into the field. It is divided into eighteen army corps 
each complete in itself. 

In an analysis of the military strength of the various European nations 
in 1875 by M. Amedee le Faure it is stated that Germany has an army com- 
prising 469 battalions of infantry, 465 squadrons of cavalry, 300 campaign 
batteries, 29 battalions of foot artillery, 18 battalions of pioneers, and 18 bat- 
talions of service corps. When are added the reserves, the landwehr, and 
the navy, a total of 1,700,000 men is arrived at, with annual estimates of 
20,000,000/. Russia has an army in time of peace of 188 regiments of infantry, 
82 battalions of riflemen, 48 battalions for frontier service, 56 regiments of 
cavalry, 310 batteries of artillery, 14 battalions of engineers, besides irregulars 
and reserves. With the fleet, the effective strength of the country is 1,550,000 
with a budget of 27,200,000/. France has 132 regiments of infantry, 30 bat- 
talions of chasseurs, 77 cavalry regiments, 40 regiments of artillery, 4 of 
engineers, and 20 squadrons of service corps. With the reserve and navy 
the total effective strength of the country is 1,700,000, costing 26,600,000/. 
The English army and navy, including militia and volunteers, comprise 
535,000 men, and costs 24,800,000/. Austria has 535,000 men, costing 
10,800,000/., Italy, 760,000 men, expenditure 9,840,000/., Turkey, 300,000 
men, with estimates of 5,680,000/. Spain, according to the regulations of 
1870, possesses 270,000 men, with a yearly budget of 6,400,000/. The law 
passed by the Cortes in 1872 has as yet been imperfectly applied. Sweden 
has 160,000 men, costing 1,120,000/. The eftective strength of Switzerland 
is approximately 180,000 men, costing only 360,000/ Holland, has 100,000 
men, estimated at 1,120,000/, Portugal, 73,000 men, costing 180,000/., 
Denmark, 54,000 men, costing 366,000/, Greece, 51.000 men, with an 
estimate of 360,000/, and Belgium 43,000, with an expenditure of 1,659,200/ 
On a war footing, therefore, the armies of Europe are 9,333,000 men, costing 
annually 136,804,000/ 



320 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

they are drawn, namel}', East Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, 
Saxony, Posen, Silesia, Westphalia, Rhineland, Schleswig- 
Holstein, Hanover, and Hesse-Nassau. The official returns at 
the end of July, 1874, gave the strength of the Prussian Army, 
officers and men, as follows: infantry, 210,780; jagers, 8,477; 
cavalry, 53,294; artillery, 36,690; engineers, 7,790; train, 
5,120; administrative and other troops, 6,199.^ On a war 
looting the Army numbers over 700,000 men, exclusive of 200,000 
garrison troops. When we look back we find that the Great 
Elector who laid the foundation of Prussia's future greatness, by 
beating ii,oco Swedes with 6,000 Brandenburgers at Fehrbellin, 
left at his death an army of 26,000 men, raised by his son to 
28,000. Under Friedrich Wilhelm I. it rose to 84,000, and 
Friedrich the Great left it at 172,000. In 1806 Prussia fought 
France with 212,000 men, and in 1813 had 238,000 in the field, 
whilst the conclusion of the campaign of 1866 saw her with 
640,000 men under arms. 

Nominally every Prussian subject is a soldier, and serves 
twelve years, three in the active army, four in the army of 
reserve, and five in the landwehr, entering service as soon as he 
completes his twentieth year. But despite missing conscripts, 
and those who escape the call to arms by emigrating, not to 
mention those rejected on account of physical infirmity, the 
supply exceeds the demand, and the number of able-bodied men 
who annually escape military service is considerable. In the 
whole of the Empire the average annual number of recruits is 
406,000, but from this number 42,000 refractory emigrants and 
missing conscripts have to be deducted. There remain 364,000 
men who go before the Council of Revision after having drawn 
lots, for drawing lots exists in Germany, although the contrary 
has often been asserted. Above 25,000 men are then rejected on 
account of infirmity, malformation, &c., 250 for immorality 
[iiniviirdigkcit), 500 as under judiciary examination, and from 
500 to 600 for temporary incapacity, while the one year volun- 
teers number some 15^000, in addition to which 10,000 men are 
provisionally dispensed from serving for family reasons, or to 
allow of their pursuing some special study, and other causes. 
Of those remaining the majority are not considered good enough 
for immediate employment, and have their period of service 
adjourned, so that, in fact, the number of men annually enrolled 
in the army and navy amounts to something beyond 160,000. 
Some of the large proportion of able-bodied men who annually 
escape military service are subsequently enrolled to form, accord- 
ing to need, what are known as " Ersatz Truppen," supplementary 

' The British army, according to Mr. Holms, consists of 230,000 men, of 
whom 100,000 arc untrained militia, and of the rest only 73,500 are of the 
proper age, namely, between 20 and 32. The number of horses is 15,000, 
and there are 340 guns. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RFXRUITED, ETC. 32 I 

troops, or troops employed for occupying foreif:^n territor>\ 
Nevertheless, a considerable number of able-bodied subjects 
are never called upon to serve, the total number between 
seventeen and forty years of age being estimated at half-a- 
million at the least. The new Army Law however spreads 
its net to catch all these fish, and carefully relegates those it 
catches to the landsturm, with the men above thirty-two who 
have successively served in the army, the reserve, and the 
landwehr. This second category comprises 500,000 men, so 
that the troops of the future landsturm can be estimated at a 
million of men. The military authorities are thinking of 
organizing at present only the first ban of these new troops, 
and this would number about 300,000 men and 6,500 officers. 
These last will be taken from among the retired officers, or those 
not on active service. But there is in this project a feature which 
gives it an almost warlike character. It is provided that the 
battalions of the future landsturm may be employed to com- 
plete the landwehr. Now, the landwehr can and ought to be 
able to take the field outside the limits of the country. A 
reinforcement of 300,000 men will, therefore, be brought to the 
regular army which can make war in a foreign country.^ 

The money penalty in Prussia for non-appearance when called 
upon for military service is as high as ^150, and it is proposed 
that this shall be levied in contumaciam without the defaulter 
having the opportunity of making any defence. Positive deser- 
tions from the active army are not numerous, and amount in 
proportion to merely a fraction of those which take place from 
our own army, ranging as these latter do from five to six thousand 
annually, some of the offenders, as shown by the police reports, 
having deserted and re-enlisted again and again, as many as 
seventeen times. In Prussia the desertions are principally from 
the reserve and the landwehr, and in 1871 these formed one-third 
of the total number of Prussian emigrants.- 

Compulsory service in the Army, instead of acting injuriously 
on the population and physique of the country, is credited with 
quite a contrary effect. The young men are taken, it is said, out 
of the way of temptation at the most critical period of their lives, 
have their morals looked strictly after, are forced to work hard 
and live soberly, are fed frugally but sufficiently, and have their 

' Individuals not originally subjects of the German empire, who settle 
within it, and owe no allegiance to other states, become liable to military 
service ; but this liability ceases after their thirty-first birthday. In Germany 
the number of men engaged in military service form 3"34 per cent, of the 
population, in Austria it is 2'99 ; in France 2-98 ; in Italy 2-80 ; in England 
172 ; and in Spain r30. 

2 In the circle of Imwraelowin the province of Posen 1102 persons were 
prosecuted for desertion. In the countries annexed in 1866, the introduction 
of the Prussian mihtary law has certainly had much to do with the emigration 
that in six years diminished their population by 1.70,000 souls. 

Y 



322 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

lungs and muscles developed by constant exercise, and at the end 
of three years return home improved in every way, to follow their 
old avocations and to marry, and as a rule, beget large families. 
The medal, however, has its reverse, inasmuch as young men 
in a respectable position are taken from their homes, or, what is 
worse, from the posts in which they are already established, and 
two or three of the best years of their life are as it were robbed 
from them. During those years they not only have to associate 
with the lowest classes of men, but are paid so miserably that to 
live with any comfort they must expend any little savings they 
have accumulated. Reliable data show that the Prussian levies 
of to-day are larger and finer men than those who fought at Jena, 
Leipsic, or Waterloo. The infantry of the entire guards corps 
average 5 feet 9^ inches in height, and about 1 1 stone 8 
pounds in weight, from six to seven thousand of them being over 
six feet. In the Pomeranian, Brandenburg, and Westphalian 
regiments the men as often weigh 12 stone as 10 stone, and even 
in the Polish and East Prussian regiments, recruited from poor 
and barren districts, where many of those brought into service 
have never previously tasted meat, a man under 5 feet 5 in. in his 
boots is a rarity. The men of the foot artillery, selected both 
for strength and substance, range between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 
feet in height. 

Nor is the service without its moral influence on the character 
of the nati6n at large. A man in the army learns exactitude, 
punctuality, and obedience, and has acquired habits of thorough- 
ness and order, which he brings into play in the habits of civil 
life. The drawback, however, is that with promptness to obey 
the word of command one finds a corresponding roughness and 
readiness in giving it, and that the soldier when dismissed from 
duty carries soldierly forms into private life, becomes brusque 
and laconic in speech, and looks for a military exactitude of 
obedience. 

The "Einjahriger Freiwilliger," or one-year volunteer, is allowed 
to serve one year instead of three in the regular army on condi- 
tion of paying for his own equipment, food, and lodging, and if 
in the cavalry, an extra sum for the use of his horse ; he is, how- 
ever, still liable to full duty in the reserve and landwehr. The 
Einjahriger sometimes aims at becoming an officer in the last- 
named body, and by passing certain examinations succeeds in 
this, but as a rule, his object is to get off with one year's service 
in place of three, so as to interfere as little as possible with his 
professional prospects. He may, for instance, be the son of a 
rich merchant, banker, or financier, with no taste for a military 
life, and only desirous of following in his father's footsteps as 
soon as possible. Such a man would naturally profit by every 
amelioration of his position that money could procure, and there 
is a story of one of these yf/i- i/^/aw/Z/i? astounding and horrifying 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RKCRUITKD, ETC. 



323 



on account of the 
orderly, by quietly 



his h'eutenant, who had sing-led him out 
smartness of his appearance to be his 
remarking, " I 
beg your pardon, 
Herr Lieutenant, 
I have already 
two servants of 
my own." In any 
case the one-year 
volunteer has to 
find his own 
clothing, food, 
and lodging, and 
the total expense 
of these is about 
;^I05. He must, 
moreover, give 
proof of a good 
education either 
by passing an 
examination or 
producing certifi- 
cates from the 
schools he has 
attended. All 
volunteers are 
allowed to choose 
their- own branch 
of the service, 
whereas ordi- 
nary recruits have no choice in the matter, but are posted to the 
arm for which they are the best physically qualified. They may 
however, elect to serve from seventeen to twenty years of age 
instead of from twenty to twenty-three, if they prefer it. 

The soldier is early brought into the service. A third of a 
German regiment is dismissed to their homes every year after 
the September manoeuvres, and the recruits for the next year 
are draughted into the ranks in. October; which may be termed 
the commencement of the military year. After passing the 
medical examination the recruit is sent at once to the head- 
quarters of the landwehr battalion of his district, and thence to 
his regiment, where he is handed over to the drill-sergeant. For 
the first six weeks the newly-joined recruit is taught the posi- 
tion of the soldier, facings, the goose-step, and the like ; also the 
honours due to superiors, the distinctions and insignia of rank, and 
generally the first principles of military duty. "As in the drill 
the word ' attention ' forbids the slightest movement of the body, 
so the word 'subordination' forbids in the strictest sense all 

Y 2 




324 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



independenceof thought or speech. Subordination means nothing 
more nor less than ' hold your tongue,' and it is only when a 
soldier neither grumbles nor reasons even in his thoughts — that 
is, makes no impatient gestures — when he has learned exacti- 
tude, punctuality, and obedience, to hear, not to speak, and to 
obey," he is regarded as well disciplined. There is only one 
expression he is permitted to make use of. If his officer says to 
him, "You are an ass," he may answer, "At your service" (Zu 

Befehl), and there 
the matter will end.^ 
The soldier next 
learns the manual, 
his former instruc- 
tion being continued 
the meanwhile, and 
finally takes his 
place in the ranks 
of his company. For 
the first year the 
drills occupy about 
four hours in the 
morning, and the 
same time in the 
evening, varying 
somewhat in sum- 
merwiththe weather. 
During the second year they are a trifle lighter, but their range 
is more extended, and includes battalion drill, manceuvring, &:c. 
During the third year the cavalry, artillery, and engineers have 
special instructions in their particular branches, the infantry 
working hard at tactics. At the end of this year all receive 
their furlough for the next four years, holding themselves in 
readiness to be called out for annual exercise, or to join their com- 
mands in time of war. During the three years' service barrack 
schools have to be attended for instruction in swimming, gym- 
nastics, duties in quarters, duties as sentries, in garrisons or on 
outposts, target practice, the care of arms, the duties of soldiers 
towards their officers, reading and writing for the few who need 
it.^ and such higher studies as the cominanding officer may direct. 
This instruction in barracks is a most important element in the 
military system. Recruits four times a week, and older soldiers 
never less than twice, are instructed and catechized in all duties 
connected with service in the field, so that long before a private 
has to act a? a vedette, he has been thoroughly grounded in the 

' F. W. Hacklandcr's So 'dier in Time of Peace. 

2 The average ot illiterate recruits in the Prussian army is 3 percent., and 
in France 20 percent., whereas ihe number of men in the i>ritish army unable 
to read or write was en the ist of January, '873, no less than 12,131. 




THE PRUSSIAN AKMV.— lldW RECRUITED, ETC. 



theory of his various duties, and only wants the opportunity of 
practice. There are a number of simple text-books, and the 
officers are held responsible that their men know them thoroughly. 
In general, all instruction is imparted by the officers, who, not 

only drill their men , , ,,,, 

themselves, but look (n^''-il!i iP'fl^' i Si'y 
after their moral as (i- ' *|l'l'^«^*'^'!f iiThiiV I 
well as physical train- 
ing, and deliverevening 
lectures to them upon 
military matters and 
the rudiments of natu- 
ral science. Oaestions 
are put at the close of 
the lectures to the men, 
and as many of them 
take advantage of the 
occasion to go quietl}- 
to sleep, the most ex- 
traordinary responses 
are sometimes obtain- 
ed, not confined, how- 
ever, to the sleepers 
alone. 

It was the practice 
of Friedrich the Great 
to be much more par- 
ticular with regard to 
the selection of the non-commissioned than the upper officers of 
his army, and he would himself nominate the cadets to fill the 
vacancies. He usually chose nobles, for said he, " Nobles have 
honour; a noble that misbehaves or flinches in a moment of crisis 
can find no refuge in his own class, whereas a man of lower birtii 
can in his." The Prussian nobles of to-day have a soul above the 
corporal's and sergeant's stripes and the keeping up the supply 
of non-commissioned officers from men of "lower birth," is 
attended with some difficulty. The non-commissioned officers 
are obtained in two ways. The first is from the six schools 
established for the purpose at Potsdam, Biebrich, Julich, Weissen- 
fels, Ettlingen, and Marienwerder. To join one of these the 
candidate must be between seventeen and twenty years of age, 
and must be able to read, write, and cipher. The course of 
instruction lasts three years, and comprises all that relates to 
military exercises, gymnastics, and swimming, the first elements 
of topography and temporary fortifications, history, geography, 
and the German language. There are also classes to impart to 
the pupils those branches of knowledge required to qualify them 
to discharge the duties of posts in the civil service, reserved for 




u6 



BERLIN UXDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



them after twelve years in the Army. On'leavingthe school the 
pupils undergo an examination. Those passing first are ap- 
pointed non-commissioned officers at once, a method which 
encourages all to work their hardest. The rest are entered as 
privates in regiments in which vacancies are likely to occur, and 
are promoted as occasion offers. Tliose who have failed to pass 
the examination on leaving the school, have to prepare them- 
selves, after joining the ranks, for a fresh one, and until this is 
passed they cannot become non-commissioned officers. 

All these men, whetlier they pass or not, are bound to serve 
two years in the Army for every }'ear they have spent at the 
school. The total number of sub-officers supplied to the Army 
by the six schools previously mentioned, averages 990 yearly, or 
5,940 in the whole, taking the six years' service into account. It 
is at present i'ltended to increase the number of these schools, 
and to form others specially designed for the instruction of sub- 
officers for the cavalry and artillery, there being as yet only one 
for these arms, namely the cavalry school at Hanover. The re- 
maining non-commissioned officers are obtained from the "capitu- 
lants " that is to say, the men who, having completed their three 
years' active service, are allowed to re-engage, providing they 
show the requisite knowledge and aptitude for the position they 
aspire to. 

The candidate is required to undergo an examination by a 
uperior, officer and the class of men who are sometimes found pre- 

sentingthemselvesmay 
be judged of from 
the following dialogue 
between a corporal 
fgefreiter), who does 
not reckon as an 
" unteroffizier," and the 
officer to whom he 
applies for promotion. 
"Canst thou read?" 
" At your service, llerr 
Oberstwachtmeister. " 
"Canst thou write?" 
" At your service, Herr 
Oberstwachtmeister. " 
" Canst thou also ci- 
})her.^" "At your 
service, Herr Oberst- 
wachtmeister." " What 
was your position as 
a civilian ? " " Doctor in Philosophy and Privatdocent at the 
University ! " 

With the exception of musicians, and under certain circum- 




THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RECRUITED, ETC. 



327 



stances, officers' servants, who however do not recciv^c the 
capitulants' extra pay, no man is allowed to re-engage unless 
there is a probability of his becoming a non-commissioned 
officer. 

P>ery soldier who has served twelve years and held the rank 
of " unteroffizier " for three quarters of this term is certain of 
employment under Government on his retirement from the 
service. The system worked admirably up to the close of the 
late war, but when the milliard fever sent up the general rate of 
wages far beyond the salaries accorded by Government to the 
holders of such posts as the retired non-commissioned officer 
might aspire to, and the price of the necessities of life rose in an 
almost corresponding ratio, the men in question amply exercised 
their annual right of retirement, to accept the comparatively 
lucrative private employments open to them, and a great dearth 
of non-commissioned officers has been the result. For these 
tried and proved men are eagerly sought to fill posts requiring 
steadiness, integrity, and intelligence. Bank porters and mes- 
sengers, daily entrusted with large sums of money, cash-takers at 
theatres,and foremen carriers are almost exclusively recruited from 
amongst this class. Railway companies too are most eager to 
secure their services as country stationmasters, ticket clerks, and 
guards. To this may be ascribed the military sternness and 
brevity of speech characterizing all Prussian railway officials, who 
are apt to treat passengers as though they were made for the 
railway and not the railway for them. These posts all command 
better pay than is to 
be found in the Army, 
and the duties are far 
less irksome. Ser- 
geants, it is true, are 
proportionately much 
better paid than in 
England, though there 
seems to be no rigidly 
fixed rate of pay for 
the non-commissioned 
ranks, a bargain being 
apparently made with 
each man as with a 
servant, to induce him 
to serve on according 
as his services are 
valued. Still although 
recently promulgated 
regulations lighten the regimental work, do away with arbitrary 
selection in promotion, and provide that on a non-commirsioned 
officer depositing fifteen pounds as security that he will not 




328 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



leave his widow in distress, he may be recommended by his 
commanding officer for leave to marry and may when married 
live out of barracks, it is not to be wondered at that a man 
able to discharge all the varied, complicated, and responsible 
functions of a sergeant-major in the Prussian Army should aspire 
to a higher salary than tliirt}--six pounds per annum, when in 
Berlin a good cook earns more and a good coachman twice as much. 

The officers of the Prussian Army are drawn from two 
sources, first the Cadetten-haus — an institution to be described 
in detail in a subsequent chapter — and next the "advantageur" 
class, the sj'stcm of which is rather peculiar. A young man 
who is desirous of securing a commission obtains a nomination 
from the colonel of some regiment admitting him to serve as a 
private, but with the recognition of his being a candidate for 
the rank of officer, whence he comes to be known as an advan- 
tageur. His position so far resembles that of the volunteer in 
our own service up to the close of the great French war. In the 
Prussian Army the advantagcur before definitively obtaining his 
commission is obliged to serve at least six months as a private; 
he must then pass an examination in the usual subjects of a 
liberal education known as the " portepee fahnrich " examination, 
attend a war-school, and go through a course of about ten 
months' military instruction. After passing a second examina- 
tion in professional subjects to test his fitness for the rank of 
officer, he returns to his regiment qualified for a commission if 
a vacancy occurs. Before being recommended for one, however, 
he has to pass through a further ordeal, as the officers of the 
regiment meet to decide whether he is worthy of admission 
amongst their number. The preliminary examination is dis- 
pensed with in the case of j'oung men who, on quitting a civil 
school, have obtained a certificate qualifying them for admission 
to a university. 

Some explanation may here be given with reference to the 
rank of portepee-fahnrich or, as it is usually translated, ensign. 
The gradation of rank in the Prussian service below that of 
officer is as follows : — Feldwebel, or wachtmeister, equal to our 
sergeant-major ; portepee-fahnrich, sergeant ; unteroffizier and 
gefreiter, the two last nearly corresponding to our corporal and 
lance-corporal. Above the rank of sergeant a distinctive silver 
sword-knot, or portepee, is worn which gives rise to the name of 
portepee fahnrich. In this title may be noted the French nomen- 
clature introduced into the Prussian army by Friedrich the Great, 
and so thoroughly adapted into the military vocabulary that 
the troops could not possibly be handled in their native tongue. 
The South Germans have done all in their power to substittue 
purely Teutonic terms, but with only partial success, and in the 
Prussian Army a party exists which would like their example to 
be followed. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RKCRUITKD. ETC 329 



Prussian officers look upon themselves as forming a single 
corps — the " offizier " corps, admission to which is regarded as 
conferring distinctive privileges and imposing particular duties. 
There is no military service in the world in which class-spirit is 
so strongly developed as that of Prussia, and the wearers of the 
silver sword-knot form the nearest approach to a caste which 
exists out of India. The espril dc corps is strongly aristocratic, 
and every means are employed to keep it up. None but young 
men of good social standing can obtain the nomination from 
the colonel of a regiment necessary to enable them to take ser- 
vice as an advantageur, and even when this is secured they have 
to stand or fall by the verdict of their comrades upon whom 
their ultimate admission to the regiment after passing their 
examination for a commission depends The officers of each 
regiment constitute a court of election and a court of honouf, 
and when a cadet or advantageur has passed his examination 
and is put down for a commission in their corps, they assemble 
and sit upon him, something after the fashion of a coroner's 
jury, the difference being that the facts of his life and not of 
his death are investigdted. A certain time has previously been 
devoted to inquiring into his character, social station, pecuniary 
means, and the like, and if any officer has any objection to make 
he is bound in honour to substantiate it. The decision of the 
court is accepted as final at head-quarters, and if it is unfavour- 
able to the candidate he is got rid of or another regiment is 
tried, the whole proceedings being strictly confidential. Any 
officer misconducting himself socially — misconduct so far as duty 
is concerned coming under the notice of a court-martial — is tried 
by the Court of Honour, and the verdict, if unfavourable, results 
in his removal from the army or transfer to another corps. For 
instance, not long ago Lieutenant Helmus of the 7th Battalion 
of the Military Train was dismissed the service by the verdict 
of a jury of honour for not drinking the Emperor's health. The 
protocols in these cases are usually submitted to the Emperor 
who decides what shall be done with the offender. 

A body thus fenced in from all contamination learns to look 
down on the outer world with a species of mild contempt. The 
officer is a social Brahmin, for whether his birth be noble or 
plebeian he is " court worthy " by virtue of his silver sword knot, 
and has the pas of every other man who has not the right to 
array himself in a uniform denoting the enjoyment of the pri- 
vilege to slay his fellow-creatures. The spirit of caste and an 
equally strong esprit dc corps exercise a material influence on 
the cliaracter of the officer. Brought up for the Army he assigns 
to the Army the principal role in the affairs of the world. He is 
thoroughly penetrated with the idea of the superiority of his 
calling. If religiously disposed, he regards himself as an instru- 
ment in the hands of Providence ; if a philosopher, he looks 



330 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

upon life as a combat for existence, in which the strongest has 
the right and even the mission to crush the weakest. He pre- 
tends to believe that periodical wars are necessary for the 
good of mankind, and has not words to express his disdain for 
those political economists who complain that war is unproductive. 
Towards individual civilians he is politely reserved ; he does 
not bully them, he looks down on them from so lofty an 
eminence that to descend to such an action is too great a con- 
descension. If however he does get involved in a dispute with 
an unarmed citizen, and the latter so far forgets himself as to 
strike him, he has no choice but to draw and cut his assailant 
down. Unless he does so, he runs the risk of being tried by 
court-martial and dismissed the service. 

Despite this exclusiveness and the aristocratic spirit that 
prevails in the Prussian Army, it is not entirely officered by the 
scions of the nobility. The officers of the Guards are almost all 
men of title, but nearl}- one-half of the names on the Army 
List lack the distinguishing particle "von." Nevertheless it may 
be noticed that whilst the names of the commoners figure thickly 
in the ranks of the subalterns, they are few and far between 
amongst the colonels, and disappear entirely amongst the 
generals. It may be argued from these facts that though 
commoners may obtain commissions, they must not expect to 
rise be}-ond the rank of major, though an answer has been put 
forward to the effect that after twelve years' service, which 
entitles an officer to claim an appointment as a civil functionary, 
many first lieutenants and captains abandon the military for 
the more profitable civil career, whilst the richer officers and 
members of noble and military families remain. 

There is however another method of weeding out practised. 
Promotion in the Prussian service goes by seniority, tempered 
not generally by selection but by rejection very rigidly enforced. 
Officers considered incapable through physical or mental in- 
firmities, deafness, blindness, or stupidity, are ruthlessly weeded 
out, it being considered better to hurt the feelings of one man 
than to risk the lives of a thousand by the possible results of his 
incompctenc)'. An officer who has been two or three times 
passed over may consider that he has received an intimation to 
retire from the service, and if he does not act on it will probably 
be gazetted out. The class of officers who in England are known 
as " her Majesty's hard bargains," and who shuffle through the 
service and finally retire on pensions without knowing even the 
elements of their profession, would not be tolerated for a moment 
in the Prussian Army. Although in the junior ranks promotion 
is somewhat slower than in the P^nglish army, which so many 
gentlemen join temporarily either to enhance their social stand- 
ing or to pass a few years before marrying and " settling down " 
thereby continually creating vacancies below the rank of major, 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RECRUITED, ETC. 33 I 



it is in the higher ranks infinitely quicker. Five years' service as 
a major, gives the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and three as lieu- 
tenant-colonel that of colonel. The average length of service to 
rise to the command of a regiment, being twenty-three years, 
and the length of such a command six. 

So far as knowledge and practice of their military duties are 
concerned, Prussian ofiicers surpass the officers of all other 
European armies. " A Prussian general commands his own 
division himself and is not dependent upon his staff officers for 
information or instruction regarding the duties of his profession. 
A Prussian colonel carries on the administration of his own 
regiment and does not allow the adjutant to do his duty for him, 
and above all in the Prussian Army, captains really command 
their own companies to an extent that gives them pleasure, 
interest and responsibility in carrying out the duties of their 
commissions. A company of Prussian soldiers is never under 
arms, except under its own officers, nor is it interfered with in 
any way except through its own captain." Each one in his grade 
is permitted to do his proper work without undue interference 
from his superiors, and one of the most striking things in the Army 
is the distribution of responsibility from the highest to the lowest 
ranks. The generals commanding corps are supreme in ahnost 
all matters pecuniary as well as military, and settle numerous 
questions without referring to the War Office at Berlin, but they 
are not overworked, because the generals of division under them 
have their special duties and are allowed to perform them with- 
out interference. So the officer commanding a battalion does 
not attempt to command every compan}' in it and thus does his 
own work well. Not only the drill, but the conduct, dress, and 
appearance of the men, with the pay, the books, the quarters, and 
the stores of the company are subject to the captain's imme- 
diate control, and the consequence is that the men, learning to 
look up to and rely upon their immediate commanders in all 
things in camp, garrison, and action, are prompt in obedience. 
The duties of the non-commissioned officers are, though arduous 
and indispensable, comparatively non-important where officers 
drill their men themselves, superintend their gymnastic exercises 
and swimming, and look after their moral as well as their phy- 
sical training by delivering lectures and imparting information. 
All these duties do not prevent the officers from stud}-ing hard, 
and more especially those quartered in the remoter districts. 

The secret of the extraordinary successes of the Prussian 
Army lies not in the genius of any one commander, nor of any 
number of commanders, but in the military system by which 
the officer? are educated and the rank and file trained. The 
cardinal principle that by work and study alone, can military 
excellence be attained, has long been recognized in the Prussian 
Army. There is not another in which military science is more 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



highly valued, nor more universally cultivated, work and diligence 
being regarded as the only sure roads to success in war. " Always 
ready, such is the motto of the New Empire," said a young sub- 
altern to M. Tissot ; " we do not rest upon our laurels, and have 
never worked harder than after the victories of 1870 and 1871. 
Our military organization has been perfected by the experience 
acquired on the battle-field ; we have transformed our old war- 
material, changed our guns twice, tried cannon after cannon 
without making any fuss about it, and daily try fresh experiments 
in the artillery camps. We are so little sure of peace that our 
fortresses are all mounted with their cannon, our magazines filled 
with provisions and forage. At the first signal eighteen army 
corps of 40,000 men will be ready to take the field, and the 
soldiers know that the plan they are to follow has long ago been 
studied and worked out in the General Stafi" Office at Berlin." 
The landwchr is officered from two sources. Officers of the 
standing army who quit the service whilst still within the limits 
of age which render them liable to serve in the landwehr pass 
naturally into this force as officers. The others are obtained from 
the one-year volunteers, and men who have distinguished them- 
selves before the enemy. Such of these as desire to obtain com- 
*^<--..-.>^ ^^ _... ^ missions in the land- 

■■^■^'^ '""'^''''^''■'j-^^j'^^^^^^^^ • wehr apply to a board 

that sits twice a year 
for this purpose, and 
on joining their regi- 
ments are given oppor- 
tunities of qualifying 
themselves for their 
future profession. At 
the end of the year 
they are examined, and 
if they pass become 
corporals. They then 
serve two months more 
in a regiment of the 
line or take part in 
one of the periodical 
trainings of the land- 
wehr. After the first 
week or so of this 
training they obtain 
the rank of vice-feld- 
webel. or lance ser- 
geant-major, and at its 
close if the commanding officer expresses himself satisfied 
with their knowledge, are proposed for acceptance to the officers 
of their battalion, and if approved are recomniendcd to the 




THE PRUSSTAN AR.MV. — HOW RECRUITED, ETC. ^^^ 



Emperor for appointment as second lieutenants. They must 
however be "men of honour and possessing sufficient means to 
secure them such a position in life as is becoming to an officer." 
As long as they are within the limits of age of the reserve 
they are called officers of the reserve and afterwards officers of 
the landwehr. During the war with France, a large proportion 
of the non-commissioned officers in the field army consisted of 
one-year volunteers summoned back to their colours with the 
reserve, and several of these were promoted for gallantry. It is 
the common ]Dractice for the sons of wealthy citizens, large manu- 
facturers, land-owners, and others to obtain commissions in the 
landwehr in this manner, and hence the officers of this corps 
are not only far less exclusive than those of the Army but take 
a far deeper and wider interest in the affairs of the nation. The 
35th Berlin battalion has between seven and eight hundred 
officers belonging to it representing every class of society, 
noblemen, police officials, government clerks, civic magistrates, 
members of the diplomatic service, merchants, students, lawyers, 
doctors, professors, bankers, foresters, civil engineers, commission 
agents, and others. 

The fact that a second lieutenant's pay is something like forty 
pounds a year renders it almost impossible, even with the rigid 
economy distinguishing the Prussian service, for a subaltern to 
live without some small additional private income, more especially 
in Berlin. In certain cavalry regiments, the hussars, for instance, 
it is quite impracticable, owing 'to the cost of the uniform 
accoutrements, horse furniture, and other matters. Still the vast 
majority of the officers are poor, and with a view of maintaining 
the rigid equality in all matters of comradeship that prevails 
in the Army, mess expenditure is adapted to the purses of this 
class and not those of their wealthier associates, so that there can 
be no excuse for the former involving themselves in pecuniary 
difficulties through force of example. In country quarters and 
garrison towns the cost of dinner usually ranges from ninepence 
to a shilling, and a subaltern can live on as little as twenty 
groschen y2s.) a day, whilst there is not a mess in the Guards corps 
— the thirty thousand men of which are quartered in the capital 
and its neighbourhood — in which an officer pays more than six- 
teen-pence for his dinner, though they are mostly men of family 
and comparative wealth. Champagne costs them about five and 
sixpence, and excellent claret eighteenpence a bottle, for they 
import it direct from the grower and enjoy certain privileges in 
respect of dues. 

in war time the pay of officers is increased and sundry extra ' 
allowances, to be hereafter noticed, are granted them. Though 
the pay does not approach our own, the higher grades of officers 
receive far more in proportion than their subordinates, whilst 
there are also many allowances in kind such as fuel, light, quarters, 



334 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

medical attendance, &c., for which money commutation can be 
had. A general commanding an army corps has in addition to 
his pay of lO.OOO tlialer a year, forage free for eight horses, a 
roomy house, and other advantages, a general commanding a 
division has besides 5, SCO thaler a year, forage for six horses, and 
lodging allowance, and an officer commanding a regiment of 
cavalry has forage for five and of infantry for three horses allowed 
him with other advantages that render him practically as well off 
as his English compeer. Captains in the cavalry receive forage 
free for three, and subalterns for two horses, and can buy it from 
the Government for as many more as they like to keep at a very 
cheap rate. 

The recreations of a Prussian officer are somewhat different 
from those of his English compeer. Music is a favourite relax- 
ation and the artillery of the Guard have an "Officers' Orches- 
tral Union " which for the last quarter of a century have held 
weekly meetings in the mess-room of their huge barracks, built 
in the reign of Friedrich the Great, and situate in a sort of 
debatable land called "Am Kupfergraben." The Union can 
furnish an orchestra of fifty members, capable of performing the 
most elaborately concerted works of the great masters, and com- 
prises officers of all ranks from lieutenant-general down to second 
lieutenant, each of whom has to qualify himself for admission by 
a certain degree of proficiency on some musical instrument. The 
peculiar bent of the German mind is shown by the formation of 
two mock orders, with grand masters, chapters, degree crosses of 
various grades, &c., known as the Order of the White Napkin, 
confined to executants, arrangers, and composers, and that of the 
Golden Ear for" listening members " of the Union, whilst the eco- 
nomical spirit of the army crops up in the shape of fines of sixpence 
inflicted for neglecting to wear these insignia of these orders, being 
late at attendance, or failing to give notice of non-attendance. 
This mess-room, in addition to musical practice, is also devoted 
to lectures by officers on matters of social or topical interest cr 
discussions on professional subjects. 

Nevertheless there is not so much difference between the 
wearers of uniform all the world over, so far as tastes are con- 
cerned. The philosopher Schopenhauer, we are told, when dining 
in company with Prussian officers used always to place a piece of 
gold beside his plate. If asked why, he would say, " I am a philo- 
sopher of the Diogenes school, and have made a vow to give 
this piece of gold to a beggar the day you and your comrades do 
not talk about women and horses. I have been waiting ten 
years." Despite, too, the soothing effect of music upon the 
savage breast, and the humanizing influence of the studies to 
which most of the Prussian officers are supposed to deyote their 
spare time, the talent for blood-letting, so assiduously cultivated 
with reference to the enemy, is not above finding vent for 




I s: 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — HOW RECRUITED, ETC. 335 

exercise upon the body of a friend. "Comradeship" not- 
withstanding, a German officer will quarrel upon the slightest 
pretext, and a quarrel means a duel. 

Since the war, these encounters, which are far from being so 
harmless as those of French journalists, have increased to such 
an extent that the Emperor has felt bound to interfere. He by- 
no means wishes to put a stop to the practice but only to check 
what he considers its abuse. Every officer who considers his 
honour attacked is bound to give information to the Court of 
Honour of his regiment, and no duel is allowed to come off 
without its approval, and until no other solution of the dispute 
is found possible. The president of the Court too is bound to 
be present at the encounter to see all is duly and properly con- 
ducted, and officers who, carried away by their feelings, forget to 
appeal to their regimental court, and fight without the presence 
of "this novel "referee," are subject to criminal proceedings. 
A violation of the rules of honour, such as a serious unprovoked 
insult, is only to be rectified by an appeal to the sword, and the 
officer refusing to fight under such circumstances would be 
dismissed the service. 

Amongst minor regulations devised for the purpose of keeping 
up the spirit of exclusiveness in which the offizier corps delight, 
and of placing them on a pinnacle above their less-favoured fellow 
mortals, may be mentioned those which forbid them to carry, 
under any circumstances, an umbrella, a bundle, or a parcel, 
even for a lady. The prevailing outward characteristics of 
the Prussian officer have been summed up as "well-squared 
shoulders, a well-belted waist, a regulation spine, an angular 
elbow, a click of the heels, a salute that is meant to be at once 
fascinating and haughty, and a pronounced contempt for ever^-- 
thing civilian beneath the grade of a privy councillor or a first 
secretary." 

The military class in Prussia enjoys particular privileges and 
exemptions, but is at the same time subject to certain restric- 
tions. No military man, for instance, can marry without the 
permission of his superiors. He can decline or give up any 
trusteeship. All existing State restrictions on his acquiring or 
selling property are removed ; but, on the other hand, he cannot 
carry on without permission any trade or occupation, with the 
exception of such as may be indispensably connected with any 
possession in land of which he is the owner. Military men are 
subject to. the ordinary laws for all State taxation, but while 
they are free from local rates, they are forbidden to exercise 
any such civic right as that of voting or of joining any political 
society. Finally, they are exempt from all jury service, as, 
indeed, is the rule in other countries. 




XVIII. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY, 



-BERLIN BARRACK LIFE, DRILL, AND 
DISCIPLINE. 



BERLIN has often been styled a city of barracks, less from 
the number of such edifices it really contains than from 
the large size, countless windows, and uniform appearance of 
the houses in particular districts. The largest and finest barracks 
are those of the fusiliers in the Carl-strasse, and in the Chaussee- 
strassc on the north side of the city, of the Czar Alexander's 
grenadier regiment in Kleine Alexander-strasse, of the 2nd 

foot guards in 
Friedrichs-stras- 
se, and of the 
Kaiser Franz 
grenadiers in 
Pionier - strasse 
just outside the 
Halle Gate. In 
the last-named 
neighbo urhood 
are several cav- 
alry barracks, 
including two 
belonging to the 
dragoons of the 
Guard — one in 
the Belle-Alli- 
ance- and the other in the Alexandrinen-strasse — and the bar-^ 
racks of the cuirassiers of the Guard in the Linden-strasse, 




BARRACKS OF THE CZAR ALEXANDER GRENAUIliKS. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 



337 



while at Moablt the extensive barracks of the uhlans of the 
Guard are found in close proximity to the Zellengefangniss 
model prison. 

Barrack-life is held in high favour by the Prussian military 
authorities, who consider that it calls into play and keeps alive 
the military spirit, promotes order and discipline, banishes 
the evil influence of the outer world, and by superior cleanliness 
and airiness fosters the health of the men. Early to bed and 
early to rise is a maxim of barrack life, and when a resident 
near the Halle Gate is roused from his morning slumbers by the 
trampling of troops and the sound of martial music, he knows 
well enough that a regiment issuing from one of the neighbour- 
ing barracks on its way to the Tempelhofer Feld is the cause of 
the disturbance. Long before many a worthy citizen has left his 
pillow, the regiment 
has returned to its 
quarters covered 
with mud or dust. 
A curious fact in 
connection with Ber- 
lin garrison life, and 
one to which we 
have already refer- 
red, is that the 
colours of all the 
regiments quartered 
in the city are kept 
in the Emperor's 
palace. The first 
thing which a regiment does on marching into the Prussian 
capital, is to send a detachment to deposit its colours in the 
palace Unter den Linden. And whenever the colours are 
required for marching out, parade, or other purposes, they have 
to be fetched from the palace and are deposited there again 
when the parade is over. 

The men in barracks are aroused in summer at day-break, 
and in winter an hour or so later by the sound of the bugle. A 
newly-enlisted recruit who in his anxiety to be early the 
morning after his arrival, had risen betimes, speaks of catching 
sight in the passage of the bugler of the regiment, blowing away 
in his nightshirt : — 

" Sudden his trumpet he took, 
And a mighty blast he blasted." 

The bugler's task accomplished, he returned to his bed and 
indulged in a couple of hours' extra sleep, a proceeding most 
unworthy of one who should be the first in the field both for 
courage and promptitude, for what cannot a bugler effect by a 

z 









■^=&>j,^<;^.^V^^^ t*^\<«6lVS>P^^C 



THE UHLA.N B.'\KKACKS AT MOAI'.n 



338 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



single blast of his trumpet. And yet so insensible was the man 
to the dignity of his calling, that he had not even taken the 

trouble to put on his 
trousers before giving 
the signal. 

The instant the 
sound of the bugle is 
heard, the room, per- 
fectly still before, be- 
comes a scene of 
busy confusion. As 
soon as the men are 
dressed, the room has 
to be put in order, 
and that as speedily 
as possible. The 
senior in each room 
is responsible for this 
being done, and two 
men in turn clean it, 
heat it, see to the 
lamps, and other mat- 
ters. After the rooms 
have been put straight, an inspection is made and such men as 
wish to be placed on the sick list present themselves before 
the sursreon for examination. 




ARMY DOCTORS, 




The cavalry soldier has to hasten and attend to his horse, 
without which, according to a quaint little book that is generally 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 



339 



put into his hands, " he cannot be a cavalry soldier, and in fact is 
nothing at all." The first chapter of the work in question 
treating of the grooming of the horse, commences in this wise, 
" See, my dear little horse, here is the man whose duty it is 
to groom and tend thee ; he must come to thee every morning 
at five o'clock in sunmicr and at six in winter ; he must first 
spread out the straw upon which thou hast slept, in the yard to 
dry ; then, after shortening thy halter-chain, commence the ope- 
ration of currying." In the preface to this eccentric work, it is 




impressed upon the officers that they should insist upon their men 
reading the book to their horses, by which means it is intimated 
they would not only acquire a knowledge of their duties, but 
also improve themselves in the art of reading aloud. 

A military stable at day-break presents a lively scene. There 
is an air of comfort and cheerfulness about it, and cleanliness is 
the presiding genius ; the well-washed floors, the polished bails, 
which separate the animals from each other, the men engaged in 
a variety of occupations, some attending to their horses, others 
polishing their accoutrements, some singing, others smoking 
and chatting, the hum of voices, the snorting, neighing, and 
pawing of the steeds, all combine to form a striking and 
animated scene. Each man is required to clean from his horse 

Z 2 



340 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

as much dust as will make twelve lines a foot long and an inch 
thick. The curn'-comb is cleared by being knocked on the 
ground, and the dust thus removed, forms the lines mentioned. 
To produce this quantity of dust from one horse twice daily, is 
hard work even in the sandy Brandenburg mark, and the idle 
soldier is said to be in the habit of slily adding chalk to 
make up the desired amount and so save himself trouble. 

The grooming at the best is but slight, when compared with 
that which obtains in England ; and polishing equipments, and 
burnishing bits, seem unknown, to judge from the appearance 
of the saddlery. Probably the short service system and the 
number of things a cavalry soldier has to acquire a knowledge of, 
together with the severe work which ordinary barrack life entails, 
make it impossible for him to become a first class groom. 
Certainly, the horses, so far as smartness of appearance is 
concerned, fail to come up to the English standard, and their 
capacity for hard work is occasionally limited. During the 
winter months they are not shod, and are kept constantly at 
exercise in the riding-school, which forms but an indifferent 
preparation for campaign duties. The riding-schools in the 
Berlin barracks are excellent, and the latter, moreover, are pro- 
vided with a large open manege of soft sandy soil, with 
numerous made jumps of varied character, over which the 
recruits are exercised almost daily. 

The barrack breakfast consists of dry bread and a canful of 
cofifee or gruel, and this despatched, the morning is mostly taken 
up with drill, a short pause being made in the forenoon to allow 
the men to partake of a slight luncheon, usually limited to a 
slice of bread and a glass of spirits. As the government pro- 
vide bread alone, the men are compelled to buy any other 
items they require, either from the barrack sutler or at 
the nearest shop. Those members of the company who are 
possessed of money or credit, gratify themselves with such 
luxuries as the barrack canteen affords, and will lunch to the 
tune of a silver groschen off sausage and schnapps. In this 
dingy den the privileged few spend their spare time, talking 
over the service, criticising the officers, and narrating their own 
adventures, and telling anecdotes and lies to each other with 
equal facility. 

Erom this pleasant pastime they are suddenly summoned to 
present themselves on the parade ground for the dreaded roll- 
call, when each man has to respond by a loud " Here," and all 
shortcomings are pretty certain to be brought to light. The 
scrutiny is most thorough, and woe to the man whose accoutre- 
ments are not in perfect order. If an unfortunate fellow has 
supplied the place of a lost button by such a nianceuvre de 
force as fastening his braces and trousers together by a piece 
of string, the makeshift, though it would never have been 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 34 1 

detected at drill, is sure to be smelt out by some prying officer, 
and the reward of ingenuity takes the shape of three days " on 
the wood," as the being put under arrest is termed. The 
sternest exactitude with reference to even the smallest minutise 
when on parade conduces in the opinion of the Prussian mili- 
tary authorities in a high degree to the formation of a steady 
infantry which nothing can shake on the field of battle. 

The non-commissioned officer frequently arrogates to himself 
no little authority over the hapless recruit, and there is a familiar 
sketch representing a captain, a sergeant, and a recruit, the 
captain looking severe but just, the sergeant very angry, and 
the unfortunate recruit apparently protesting by his expression 
a state of perfect innocence. " Fusilier Eisenbaum," reports the 
sergeant with animation, " was absent at roll-call. What excuse 
has he to give .''" "Atyour service, I was — " "Silence," thunders 
the unteroffizier — "how can he explain his unjustifiable conduct.-'" 
" At your service, I was — " " Be silent," repeats the sergeant, 
and then turning to his superior observes, " at your service, you 
see, Herr Captain, that he has not a word to say for himself." 

The sound of the bugle calls the soldiers to dinner, which at 
Berlin usually takes the form of meat with pea, lentil, or bean 
porridge. In the evening a slice of bread with a piece of ham 
or sausage, and a glass of beer forms the soldier's frugal supper. 
The whole of these repasts are paid for out of their own pockets, 
with the exception of the bread of which they receive six pounds 
every four days. Each company has its mess board, composed 
of the captain, a lieutenant, a non-commissioned officer, and 
some privates ; the latter deciding all questions pertaining to 
themselves, regulating the bill of fare, and determining the cost 
and hours of meals. The companies are divided into messes of 
about twenty men, each under the charge of a non-commissioned 
officer. The officers usually draw money commutations for 
their rations and make their own arrangements. In the guards 
regiments, the officers' messes are on the same system as prevails 
throughout the whole of the English army, excepting that 
much more economical principles are pursued, the dinner con- 
sisting of simply three plain courses, for which each officer pays 
about a shilling, whether he is present or not. There is very 
Tittle extravagance as a rule, as although most of the officers 
have long pedigrees, they have short purses, and do not indulge 
in expensive entertainments or, indeed, extravagance of any 
kind. 

At Berlin, drill in the barrack-square, and instruction in the 
barrack-room, go on throughout the winter, the latter being, as 
already explained, an important element in the Prussian military 
system. After fatiguing exercise the men are allowed to lie 
down on their beds for an hour or so, but not after the ordinary 
exercise gone through in the barrack -yard ; and those who have 



342 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



been on guard during the night may sleep for some hours in 
the daytime. A recruit, acting as sentry for tlie first time, is 
expected to stand treat to the whole guard-room. The men pass 
their spare time in enforced gymnastic exercises, in reading or 
writing letters, staring out of the windows at the passers by, 
playing cards, frequenting the popular theatres and beer-gardens, 
courting nursemaids, but more especially cooks, and such 
similar occupations as are common to soldiers all the world 
over. The officers, on their part, pay and receive visits, study, 
read, play at cards, or on some musical instrument, and frequent 
the more attractive places of amusement. Every soldier in 
barracks at Berlin receives an extra monthly allowance of 2| 

groschen, about 
3</., styled garrison 
allowance. No one 
knows exactly why 
this is given ; some 
say to permit of 
his spending more 
on pipe-clay and 
rotten-stone than 
in smaller towns, 
and others that it 
is to enable him to 
have an infinitesi- 
mal amount of ex- 
tra enjoyment. At 
nine in the evening 
thegatesarcclosed, 
the rounds are 
made, and the re- 
port is handed in. 
The officer in 
charge for the day 
is informed by the 
non-commissioned 
officers on duty of 
all occurrences, and is held responsible for all disturbances, 
practical joke.s, &c., that may happen. The barrack guard is 
under his command, but should it be called on to do duty 
without the limits of the barracks, it passes under the authority 
of the governor of the city. The health of the troops in 
barracks is unusually good. Next to the Russian, the pro- 
portion of men in the Prussian army on the sick-list is smaller 
than in the armies of any of the other powers, England, Austria, 
and France following in the order indicated. Diseases of the 
eyes, by the way, form an exceptionally large proportion of 
the illnesses among the troops in garrison at Berlin. 




THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 



343 



If, in view of the exigencies of modern warfare, the traditional 
tactics of Fricdrich the Great have been gradually abandoned 
by the Prussian army, and if the rigid stiffness for which the 
troops were proverbial in Europe at the commencement of the 
present century has been materially modified, the iron discipline 
and constant drill, to which Mr. Carlylc's favourite hero owed so 
much of his success is still retained in full vigour. As in his 
day, the aim is to create a system which shall be superior to 
circumstances, and not depend upon the accidental genius of one 
man, but upon the thorough training of all. Thus, in all drill 
books and works of instruction, it is presupposed that the 
intelligence of the pupil is of the densest description, and every 
precaution is taken to prevent his going wrong. Nothing is 
left to chance or accident. The Germans, as a race, are capable 
of acquiring this minute instruction, and the Duke of Wellington 
noticed long ago that the German sentinels of his auxiliary 
forces were far superior to the ordinary British private in know- 
ledge and intelligence. 
Matters have not 
changed since that 
epoch, for, as already 
noted, in the Prussian 
Army the proportion 
of men unable to read 
and write is only 3 per 
cent., whereas out of 
90,000 men in the 
13ritish army there are 
upwards of 12,000, or 
13^ per cent, of these 
ignoramuses. 

The ruling spirit 
with regard to drill 
was shown by the 
sergeant who, being 
ordered at the close 
of the last war to 
retire with his men to fixed quarters in France, found, on re- 
suming the old drill, that things did not go very smoothly, 
from the free practice of war having slackened the normal pre- 
cision of movement, " Hiuimcldonncrzvetter, Kerls^' he broke out 
"what disgraceful work is this. Don't you know that the play 
is now over, and that you have to return to regular service } " 
Both the drill and discipline, however, have for their object the 
teaching of the art of war. The winter after they join, the 
recruits are taught regular drill in the barrack-yard, of the 
painful exactitude of which a well-known Prussian author has 
recorded his experience : — 




344 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



" I was now," he "says, " to receive my first instruction in infantry drill, 
and for this purpose I was conducted by the sergeant to the barrack-yard 
and handed over, with a few words of introduction, to Corporal Dose, who 
was told off to superintend this part of my militar)' education. The exercise 
began, and I held myself in readiness for the first word of command, 
'Attention.' At that word I drew myself up like a flash of lightning, and 
stood stiff as a post. So far so good. ' Now, listen ! ' shouted Uose ; ' when 
I say " At ease," you may advance your right foot, and relax the muscles of 
your body, but you must on no account speak ; when I again say "Attention," 
you must not only execute the order, but I must see, by the sudden shock 
with which you instantly straighten your limbs in obedience to it, that you 
are fully conscious of the importance of the movement ; that word, "Attention," 
should inspire every muscle, and convert the unformed mass into disciplined 
soldiers ; now then, "Attention !"' I stood there an unfinished statue, and 
the non-commissioned officer figured as sculptor before me. He surveyed 
me sharply, took a few steps backwards, walked all round me, and remarked 
on the want of posture, which he forthwith essayed to improve by bending 
me first an inch to the right and then to the left, pushing back my shoulder- 
blades, then, by a slight pressure under the chin, he raised my head sufficiently 
to enable me to contemplate the heavens, and, lastly, he placed my hands 
so as to bring the little fingers into contact with the red stripes down my 
trousers ; this he seemed to consider indispensably necessary to the military 
bearing of a soldier. He was tolerably well satisfied with my bearing on 
this first day. 'Stand at ease;' I advanced my right foot, as I had been 
directed, and I became once more 'an animal' — Dose's favourite term, 
besides ' rank and file,' for recruits." ' 

A military writer has pointed out that the object of drilHng^ 
soldiers is clearly twofold, first to bring them more completely 
under command, so that they will execute exactly what is 
ordered, and next to place them in the best formation to meet 
the enemy under certain groups of circumstances. It would be 
impossible to provide for all the contingencies of war. To bring 
them under command and marshal them at a certain spot with 
the least possible delay, steadiness and swiftness are necessary 
to be enforced and constantly practised. These are attained in 
the Prussian Army by much regular drilling according to the 
book, and perpetual marching by night as well as by day. It is 
only in route marching that the men are not obliged to keep 
step. During the early part of the year the recruits work with 
the older soldiers, and then throughout the summer m.onths they 
practise perpetually, not simple drill only, but the art of fighting. 
The men are exercised by the subalterns under the superin- 
tendence of the captains in squads, after which the whole com- 
pany is manoeuvred by the captain, who likewise exercises it in 
light infantry and piquets. Everything has to be done as quickly 
as possible, but with no neglect of steadiness and precision. The 
movements of the files are perfectly natural, and when the men 
are marching in line or in fours the arm that does not carry the 
rifle is allowed to swing backwards and forwards like that of an 
ordinary pedestrian. The dressing of the largest companies, 
notwithstanding this innovation, is perfectly preserve. " No 
' F. W. Hackliinder's Soldier in Time of Peace. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 345 



English drill sergeant," continues the writer, an officer in our 
own service, " could find the slightest fault with the manner in 
which the men handle their arms, which flash from one position 
to another as though the whole company were animated by 
a single mind. And when they stand with shouldered arms 
there is a steadiness, a stillness, and a solidity which is rarely 
witnessed." 

" Felddienst," or field duty, commences in June, and comprises 
not only outpost duty and all the work soldiers may be called 
upon to perform in the field, but the men have in face of them 
either a supposed enemy or one drawn from their own ranks. 
On such occasions as these, mistakes are of course constantly 
made, but they are at once pointed out and corrected. The men 
are especially exercised in rapid firing, in judging distances, and 
in profiting by the nature of the ground to make attacks. One 
day they will seize a railway station, and after sending off the 
employes as prisoners under an escort, will organize the service 
themselves, as though in a conquered country. The youngest 
Prussian officers are obliged to show their power of handling 
their men, placing outposts, watching an enemy, attacking and 
defending positions, and these summer experiences are to them 
and to the men what the autumn manoeuvres are to the general 
officers. 

In the Prussian Army two branches of discipline are recognized 
exactly analogous to drill and tactics, namely, barrack or camp 
discipline and fire or fighting discipline. The latter should 
include submission to heavy loss when necessary, without re- 
turning a shot till ordered, care not to waste ammunition, 
obedience to orders, especially when mixed up according to the 
modern system of attack with other companies and battalions, 
and withdrawal from fight, and a steady assembly at the officer's 
command. In England great difficulty is found in repressing the 
men, who sometimes in their eagerness and excitement are even 
tempted to come to blows, whereas in Germany all are stolid 
and undemonstrative, there being apparently no eagerness to 
advance, no annoyance at being ordered to retire. 

What is known as barrack discipline is pushed to the greatest 
extreme. The soldier is deprived of his individuality and turned 
into No. — of a company, squadron, or battery. His complete 
subserviency to his superiors is insured in a hundred minute 
ways. In General von Mirus's book it is laid down that " When 
a superior offers, or causes to be offered, a glass of wine, beer, 
&c., to a soldier, he must accept it without saying a word, and 
empty it at a draught ; he must then hand the glass to a servant 
or place it on the window ledge, or on a side-table, but never on 
that at which the superior is seated." In the Prussian Army the 
preservation of discipline is paramount to human life, as was 
shown not very long ago in the case of a private at Cologne, 



346 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



who, for some small ofifence was being escorted across the bridge 
of boats to Deutz by a sergeant's guard, and who, not liking the 
prospect of the military prison awaiting him on the other side, 
jumped into the Rhine. The non-commissioned officer at once 
ordered his men to make ready, and when the poor devil came 
up to the surface his comrades, at the word " fire," shot him dead 
in the water, though under the circumstances his recapture 
would have been certain. Such is the effect of this rigid disci- 
pline that during a riot in Berlin, an officer succeeded in checking 
the advance of the mob by riding right up to them and calling 
them to attention, when the old soldiers amongst them from force 
of habit at once halted and drew themselves up. 

The punishments in the German Army differ but little from 
those inflicted in other states. The men are no longer hounded 
on to battle by corporals armed with canes and striking right 
and left, as was once the case, and picketing, riding the wooden 
horse with a couple of firelocks tied to each ankle, and being 
strapped neck and heels by a pair of slings, with a musket under 
the hams, are things of the past. Corporal punishment is strictly 

forbidden, and if a complaint 
of this kind can be proved the 
offender is supposed to be 
severely punished ; but offi- 
cers do strike their men in 
the ranks, and if in cavalry 
drill an officer should say 
" that horse goes lazily," and 
give the beast a slash over 
the flank with his whip, the 
rider cannot complain if his 
leg happens to catch the best 
part of the stroke. Punishment 
. usually takes the form of ar- 
rest. For the most trivial 
breach of discipline or even 
for an unfastened button, 
boots or arms not sufficiently polished, a speck of rust, a 
greatcoat lacking mathematical accuracy in its folds, a culprit 
can be sentenced on the spot to three days' arrest. This is 
usually spent in the military prison, to be found in every garrison 
town. The culprit dressed in his worst clothes, an example 
of that minute economy which is one of the characteristics of 
the Prussian service, takes a two-pound loaf, representing two 
days' allowance, under his arm, and is marched off to durance 
vile. The cells are of the smallest dimensions, and their furni- 
ture consists of a plank forming a bedstead, a bucket, and a 
pitcher containing the water, which, with the bread already 
mentioned, forms the prisoner's sole refreshment. The fol- 




THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 



347 



lowing gives the result of an experience acquired in one of 
these cells : — 

" It was now about five o'clock. The time passed very slowly, I could 
distinctly hear the quarters strike and there seemed an eternity between 
each. I traversed my cell, it only took two steps to get from one end to the 
other, and I measured this space at least a thousand times. Sometimes I ate 
a little of my bread, then I sat on my pallet, drank a little water, and stood 
up again. 1 tried to sleep but my limbs ached after the first minute on the 
hard wood. It was, moreover, rather cool, I ran up and down like a bear in 
a menagerie — a resemblance further increased by my growls— holding out 
my hands before me to prevent breaking my head against the wall. I 
thought over all my sins, and also of a pretty young girl who perhaps at 
that very moment was waiting for me, and at each sound would fancy she 
heard me coming. I did what Jean Paul advises if one cannot sleep, and 
counted up to a million. I conjugated irregular verbs until I became quite 
puzzled. 

All at once the rattle of the drums was heard before the guard-house, and 
from the more distant town I could hear the tattoo sounding, so it was nine 
o'clock and I 
had still eight 
hours to enjoy 
before day re- 
turned. I made 
preparations 
for sleep, fold- 
ed my pocket- 
handkerchief 
and laid it un- 
der my head, 
rolled myself 
up like a 
hedge-hog and 
covered my 
breast and 
arms with my 
tunic which I 
had taken off 
for that pur- 
pose as it 
would keep me 
warmer. After 
numerous 
changes of po- 
sition I fell asleep at last, and had frightful dreams. Suddenly I awoke 
with a start and recollected where I was. I heard a splash near me, a 
little mouse had fallen into my water jug, I delivered it from a watery 
grave, in return for which it bit my finger. I repeated my former manoeuvres, 
rolling myself up and covering m)self over, and wished I had the horny 
skin of Siegfried, and after many groans and sighs I slept again. I dreamt 
many things, I was no longer a gay volunteer condemned to a short imprison- 
ment for wearing a white waistcoat, I was a murderer and this was my last 
night ; already I heai'd the clash of the arms of the guards coming to lead 
me forth to death. 

" 1 started up, awakened by a sudden light shining brightly in my eyes. 
The door of my cell was open and before it stood the guard leaning on their 
rifles, and the inspector, ' King of the Rats,' entered, ' He ! he!' said he, ' I 
am the inspector come to examine the place and see if everything is in proper 
order. So, my son, the tunic taken off. He ! he ! is that permitted.'' 1 have 




348 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

a great mind to report you to the commandant, he does not understand 
joking, and will give you three days' arrest, and you will not know whether 
you are standing on your head or not. Put on that tunic immediately. He ! 
the green-horn has also spit on the ground. He ! what is the pail there for ?' 
With that he shuffled out as quickly as his old legs would carry him, drew 
the bolt, and I was again left in darkness. ... 

"The night came to an end as everything does in this world. At six 
o'clock my cell was again opened and surrounded by a guard — we were all 
allowed to breathe the fresh air for a quarter of an hour in a little grated 
court. The company assembled there resembled a band of marauders, the 
remnant of a lingering war, rather than the peaceful soldiers of a well-regu- 
lated force, who were in this horrible place, for some slight insubordination 
or foolish prank. There were men of all sorts, infantry, artillery, pioneers, 
in their oldest uniforms, become still more shabby after the sufferings of 
several days' arrest, trousers without braces hung loose and showed a yellow 
shirt, faces usually fresh and bright, had a grey look, for they were seldom 
washed during arrest, the hair and beard straggled about in wild disorder, 
for razors and combs were prohibited, 

" During this morning promenade every one seemed to have forgotten the 
sufferings of the night, there were laughter and joking going on, acquaintances 
met and related to each other what brought them here, and they came to 
the conclusion that all were equally innocent. The water jugs were re- 
plenished, and when at the end of the appointed time ' Uncle' appeared in 
the court and gave a significant sign, all followed him and were led back to 
their respective cells. " ^ 

In the military prisons there are rooms, the walls and floors of 
which are studded with sharp-pointed wooden spikes, so that 
repose is all but impossible. These rooms go by the name of 
the " Laths," and are no longer used excepting in very rare cases 
as, for instance, when one of the chain gang becomes mutinous 
to his guards. The mildest form of arrest is the guard-room, in 
which the prisoner has a straw mattress in place of the wooden 
bedstead, and a warm meal daily. The guard-room is also used 
as a place of detention for soldiers awaiting trial by court-martial 
for the commission of some crime, and the German susceptibility 
makes this circumstance a cause of considerable annoyance to 
those who are brought there only for some trivial offence. The 
black hole is a place to which no ray of light penetrates, and in 
which there is neither wooden bedstead nor straw mattress. 
Confinement in this is generally awarded by sentence of court- 
martial for serious offences, for periods of from three days to six 
weeks.^ 

' F. W. Hacklander's Soldier in Time of Peace. 

2 It should be noted that the morale of the Prussian Army is vastly superior 
to our own, from the ranks of which year after year between i,6oo and 2,000 
bad characters are expelled. The returns, moreover, show that in 1870 
there were 3,303 British soldiers imprisoned in civil gaols and in the military 
portion of Millbank penitentiary, without reckoning those contined in military 
prisons and provost cells. In 1874 these numbers had increased to as 
many as 5,584, or upwards of 60 per cent. Further, drunkenness would seem 
to prevail to a fearful extent in the British army, as out of the money result- 
ing from fines inflicted on those addicted to this vice by the authorities, no 
less than 30,000/. was distributed during the year 1876 in gratuities to dis- 
charged non-commissioned officers and men in the possession of good 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — BARRACK LIFE, ETC. 



349 



conduct badges. With regard to desertions from the army, the chaplain of 
Millbank, who had made liimsclf acquainted with the reasons which induced 
the deserters confined in that prison to quit the service, states that out of 6i6 
men, 48 deserted through harshness of non-commissioned officers or bad 
treatment from comrades, 114 through drink, i6i from dishke of the army, 
72 through the persuasion of comrades, 12 from refusal of leave, i from 
marriage without leave, 92 from having overstayed their furlough and not 
liking to re-join, 100 to get something better to do, and 16 from debt. 

Captain Creagh is of the opinion that " when it comes to pass that sum- 
mary dismissal from the army will be looked upon as a punishment by all, as 
it now would be by many, the social standing of the army will be raised in 
the eyes of civilians, and its popularity and respectability increased as a 
matter of course. In the army, as in many other classes of life, a few (!) black- 
guards give a character to the mass, and people who say that our soldiers 
are the dregs of the population, the oftscouring of gaols, and include them in 
the usual categories of sin and wickedness under which they are popularly 
supposed to be comprised, only show that they know very little about their 
national defenders, and any man who knows soldiers well can say that in 
every troop and company of the British army the majority of the non-com- 
missioned officers and soldiers are men of the highest respectability, of whom 
any army in the world might well be proud." 




THE WAR OFFICE, BI2RLIN, 




LIEUTENANT EXAMINING PRIVATE ON THE SUBJECT OF HIS PAY. 



XIX. 



TPIE PRUSSIAN ARMY, 



-ORGANISATION, PAY, UNIFORMS AND 

RATIONS. 



EACH Prussian Army Corps, as already noted, is complete 
in itself, consisting, with some slight exceptions, of two 
divisions of infantry, one of cavalry, a regiment of field and a 
regiment of siege artillery, a battalion of jagers, a battalion of 
engineers, and a battalion of the military train.^ Each division 
of infantry consists of two brigades, which in time of peace are 
usually formed of two regiments of three battalions each. In war 
the brigades are often reinforced by two regiments of landwehr. 
A cavalry regiment is usually attached to each infantry division, 
the remaining cavalry acting independently with batteries of 
horse artillery. The Guards form an army corps of themselves, 
and are quartered in and around Berlin. In peace each of the 

' In a paper prepared by the Topographical and Statistical Department of 
the Enghsh War Office, on the strength and organisation of a North German 
Army Corps, it is stated that the numbers are in peace 21,599 men, with 915 
officers ; in war 54,954 men, with 1,758 officers— making in the case of the 
latter 56,712 in all. But after deducting the depot men left behind in the 
corps province under a different command, the cavalry division often acting 
independently, and the fusiliers abolished under the existing organisation, 
the actual number of men brought into the field when a Prussian corps is 
mobilized varies from 31,000 to 34,000. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — ORGANISATION, PAY, ETC. 35 I 

Other army corps is assigned to its special province, so that the 
regiments are recruited in the districts from which they take 
their names. Princes and other individuals of rank and im- 
portance are often placed at the head of Prussian regiments. 
Thus Prince Bismarck is a colonel of cuirassiers, the Crown 
Princess a colonel of hussars, and the Czar and Emperor of 
Austria, with other members of foreign royal houses, command 
regiments in the Prussian service. On all ceremonial occasions 
the titular leader usually assumes the command, and a certain 
number of fetes, dinners, with gifts of plate, are expected from 
him. 

With a centralised power and a decentralised administration, 
wonderful results are effected. Subsistence for each corps is 
drawn from its own province. In peace everything is kept 
ready for the mobiHsation of the army for war, there being no 
machinery for relieving subordinates in time of peace from the 
responsibility they must necessarily assume in the event of a 
contest. Every officer and every civil official knows what will be 
his part when mobilisation is determined on, and the moment 
this information is received, each springs to work without further 
orders or explanations, but in so quiet and regular a way as to 
be scarcely noticeable. Nor does this system date from )'ester- 
day. Speaking of the rapidity with which Friedrich the Great's 
father mobilised his forces, Mr. Carlyle remarks, " Captains, not 
of an imaginary nature there, are always busy ; and the king 
himself is busy over them. From big guns and waggon-horses 
down to gun-flints and gaiter-straps, all is marked in registers ; 
nothing is w^anting, nothing out of its place at any time in 
Friedrich Wilhelm's army." The general commanding each 
corps at once mobilises it ; the governors of fortresses take 
steps to complete their armaments, and the heads of administra- 
tion supply their needs for a war-footing. 

The method is as follows. All orders are sent by telegraph to 
the main stations, and the civil magistrates are required to serve 
notices upon the reserves needed to be called out, at their homes 
in their respective magistracies. The reserves at once assemble 
at the head-quarters of the landwehr of the district, where they 
undergo a medical examination, and are then forwarded to their 
proper regiments. The field army is filled up to its full strength, 
depot troops are formed, garrison troops are mustered, and 
fortresses armed, the field administration is mobilized, and an 
extensive staff, which performs home duties whilst the regular 
field staff goes with the field army, is formed. At the conclu- 
sion of a war and the disbandment of the extraordinary troops 
called out, the standing army returns to a peace-footing, and 
the reserves and landwehr are put upon furlough. Officers 
called into service from the pension-list, and civil officials taken 
from their ordinary posts, return to the places they occupied 



352 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

before mobilisation. Paymasters, however, are retained upon the 
war-footing for a sufficient time to allow of the settlement of their 
accounts. 

The interior economy of a regiment is regulated with an 
almost painful minuteness, not only as regards matters of 
discipline, but of administration. The arms, clothing, and 
equipments are the property of the regiment, and are adminis- 
tered by its own board of control, according to fixed regulations. 
The commanding officer is president of the regimental board, and 
should the funds of the regiment become exhausted, is authorised 
to draw within certain limits on the general war fund. A certain 
fixed sum is handed over annually to him for each soldier under 
his command, a portion of which goes to the man as pay, the 
rest being disbursed for arms, equipments, clothing, &c. The 
lieutenant-colonel, as the second member of the board, super- 
intends the business of the paymaster, and must see that the 
books and accounts are properly kept and balanced. He is 
responsible for the accuracy of all accounts, and in view of these 
functions is excused from all field exercises. All organisations 
manage their own funds, supplies of clothing, and entire equip- 
ment. The regimental board has charge also of the funds for 
keeping in order clothing and equipments, including the usual 
equipments and arms, and for the messing arrangements. The 
paymaster, who is an officer of the regiment, for there is no 
pay-department proper in the Prussian army, receives and counts 
the different regimental funds, keeps each in its proper safe, and 
disburses them under the direction and supervision of the 
regimental board. The money for the payment of troops, 
together with allowances for the other funds, is received from 
the War Department by the regimental commander, and the 
paymaster's duties are those of a treasurer and cashier. He 
directs the correspondences, calculations, and bookkeeping, and 
does not attend drills or field manoeuvres. 

Private deposits are not allowed to be made in the regimental 
safes, but officers are allowed to receive the savings of their men 
until the amount reaches about two pounds, when it must be 
deposited, to secure interest. Contributions are made monthly 
to the fund for officers' widows and to the officers' clothing fund. 
The fund for the assistance of officers actually in want was 
instituted by the War Department in 1869, and is for the benefit 
of officers below the grade of captain. On mobilisation the 
garrison troops receive stated amounts for this last fund and 
for some others. The additional pension fund for artillery 
officers is kept up by donations from officers of that corps, 
and, together with a fund for the relief of widows of artillery 
officers, is managed by a board selected from the artillery 
brigade of the Guards at Berlin. The review fund accrues 
from the sale of worn-out tools and unserviceable ordnance and 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — ORGANISATION, PAY, ETC. 353 

building material, and from the rent of refreshment booths 
on the review ground. It is applied to payment of damages 
done to fields and crops during manoeuvres and for miscellaneous 
purposes. Each battery of artillery receives a fund monthly 
for repairs of harness and gun-carriages, and for making targets, 
&c. There are also numerous other funds such as those for 
the education of soldiers, for medical attendance and medicines 
for the wives and children of soldiers, for horse medicines, for 
regimental bands, for libraries and military charities, for swim- 
ming schools, and for the decoration of cemeteries. All these 
funds arc closely looked after and every groschen dispensed has 
to be set down under its right heading. There is a story current 
that von Moltke himself had to appear before a board of inquiry 
at the close of the last campaign. A pound of snuff had been 
supplied to him and the amount of one thaler ten groschen 
figured in the accounts of the general war fund as its cost. 
The board disapproved of this item, remarking that the Imperial 
Treasury could not be charged with an expenditure affected to 
the private needs of an individual, and the field-marshal was 
requested to reimburse the amount. This is a fit pendant to the 
story of how the English Ordnance Department for years 
brought forward a claim against the Duke of Wellington for 
sundry picks and shovels expended during the Peninsular 
campaign, and not properly vouched for. Prussian generals 
commanding armies and army corps, it may be noted, have to 
supply their own office furniture. 

Upon the mobilisation of the Prussian Army an extra allowance is made 
by the Government for the purpose of providing an outfit for field service. 
Mounted officers receive from 20 to 40 thaler for horse equipment. Members 
of cadet corps promoted to lieutenancies, and non-commissioned officers 
promoted to commissions, receive 20 thaler in the infantry and 40 in 
the cavalry and artillery. The War Department also allows sergeants thus 
promoted while on active service an equipment fee of 150 thaler. Loss of 
uniform and equipments on active service validates a claim for 70 thaler. 

The pay of all ranks in war time is supplemented by allowances. A bat- 
tahon commander for instance receives 30 thaler, and a battalion adjutant 
10 thaler per month extra. On taking the field both officers and soldiers 
may arrange to have one half their pay handed over to their families. These 
payments are made monthly in advance, and continue if the officer is sick 
or under arrest, and in case of his death do not cease till the end of the 
month. In peace a general receives 4,000 thaler per annum, a major-general 
3,oco, a colonel of cavalry 2,600, of infantry 2,000, a lieutenant-colonel of 
cavalry 1,800, of infantry 1,300, a captain of cavalr}', artillery, or engineers 
from 720 to 1,300, of infantry from 600 to 1,200, a lieutenant from 300 to 
420, according to his standing and the branch of the service to which he 
belongs. 

High civilian officials called on for the performance of their usual vocation 
with the army are tolerably well paid. Surgeons, hospital inspectors, &c., 
receive from i thaler 24 groschen to 3 thaler 15 groschen per diem ; chap- 
lains, who are paid from a special fund, and auditors 2 thaler, field post- 
masters and field telegraph inspectors 2 thaler, field intendents 3 thaler, 
railway officials i thaler 15 groschen to 3 thaler 15 groschen, or in an enemy's 

A A 



354 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

country 5 thaler. Ever)' civil official thus called into service at the mobilisa- 
tion receives two or three months' salary in advance. 

The monthly pay of a sergeant of cavaln.-, artillery, engineers, or train, is 
from 8 to I2 thaler, of infantry from 8 thaler 15 groschen to 10 thaler 15 
groschen ; of a corporal of cavalry, &c., from 6 thaler 15 groschen to 9 thaler, 
of infantry 5 thaler to 7 thaler 15 groschen. Privates of artillery receive 
5 thaler, of cavalry 4 thaler, and of infantry 3 thaler 15 groschen per 
month. 

A popular caricature depicts a Prussian lieutenant questioning 
a grenadier with reference to the amount of his pay, and the 
mode in which it is required to be disbursed, which will be 
best understood by quoting the dialogue that ensues in detail. — 
Lieutenant : " Grenadier Eisenbeiser, What is the daily pay 
received by our foot soldiers ? " — Grenadier : " 3^ groschen (4^^-) 
per day. — Lieutenant : "Yes, but from this i^ groschen has to be 
set apart for messing ; now tell me what is the soldier required to 
furnish himself with out of the remaining 2} groschen (2^d.)" — 
Grenadier: " He has to provide his cleaning apparatus including 
various brushes, such as blacking, polishing, clothes, tooth, gun, 
and hair brushes, also wadding, stocks, varnish, blacking, stearine 
and gun-oil, lime, lard, soap, combs, looking-glass." — Lieutenant : 
" Yes, and beside these he has to pay for his washing, and also 
his supper out of it ; that is to say he can if he pleases buy 
a piece of brick-like cheese, to eat with his ammunition bread, 
ajid if he is thirsty, there is a large jug of water standing in 
every room. His instructions run that he is so to apportion his 
pay, as never to exceed the due portion per diem, and further 
that he is to lead a respectable life and never run into debt." ^ 

The sum set apart for messing is supplemented by an allow- 
ance from the government, which varies according to the garrison, 
and is fixed regularly every quarter, as well as by a daily ration 
of i^ lb. of coarse bread per man. The result is that each 
soldier has his bowl of gruel or coffee in the morning and a meal 
in the middle of the day provided for him, and that for his supper 
he is dependent on him.self The men are paid on the ist, i ith, 
and 2 1 St of each month, and in the case of those who are in the 
habit of spending it at once and saving nothing for their messing, 
the money is handed to a non-commissioned officer who deducts 
the sum required and hands the rest to the soldier. 

In war time the reserves and garrison troops are on a peace- 
footing, and when a man is made prisoner his pay ceases. 
Officers and officials in hospitals receive full pay, and soldiers 
sent to hospital receive a slight addition to their pay. When 

• The low scale of pay in the Prussian Army tells in the aggregate, as Mr. 
Holms estimates that for an outlay of 12,000,000/. Prussia has an army of 
470,000 men, 86,000 horses, and 594 guns, whereas Great Britain for an 
expenditure of 13,700,000/. has only 230,000 men, of whom 100,000 are un- 
trained militia, while of the remainder no more than 78,500 are of the 
proper military age, namely between 20 and 22. In place of 86,000 horses 
Great Britain has nearly 15,000, and instead of 594 guns she has but 340, 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — ORGANISATION, PAV, ETC. 355 

soldiers are taken ill on the march and there is no surgeon on 
duty with the command, they are conveyed to the nearest suitable 
house and a civil physician summoned to attend them, who is 
entitled to a thaler a visit. Sick men in the reserve hospitals 
receive pay as if on a peace-footing. Officers and soldiers on 
sick-leave receive full pay, but on ordinary leave pay stops at 
the end of six months. In case of death the family of the 
deceased receives one month's pay, called a grace salary, upon 
which the creditors have no claim. Soldiers under ordinary 
arrest or confinement receive full pay. When under close arrest 
they forfeit about i?> groschen a day. Officers in confinement or 
suspended by sentence of court-martial receive no pay after the 
forty-sixth day of such confinement or suspension. An addition 
is made to the pay of military prisoners for activity and good 
conduct, and their leisure hours are employed in work for them- 
selves and at school. 

A prisoner acting as teacher receives 40 groschen per week ; half of this sum 
is deducted for tobacco and spirits, and the other half saved up and handed 
to him at the expiration of his sentence. Soldiers in charge of prisoners 
receive an addition to their pay of 2 thaler per month. Officers of the 
enemy held as prisoners of war receive a monthly allowance of 25 thaler 
paid in advance, but privates only receive food and clothing. Extra pay 
according to length of service is given to drummers, buglers, and bandsmen. 
The best marksman of a regiment receives additional pay, but for one year 
only. Prizes are given to Polish soldiers for proficiency in learning the 
German language, the best scholar in a company receiving 5 and the second 
best 3 thaler per annum. Holders of the military merit cross receive 3 
thaler, and of the military honour token of the first class i thaler per month 
additional pay. Officers holding medals for bravery in action during the 
years 18 13-4-5 get 8 thaler per month. Lieutenants detached as instructors 
in technical schools receive 9 thaler per month, officers on duty at the 
artillery school 50 thalers per annum, and officers detached for topographical 
duties 20 thaler per month extra pay. To officers on duties connected with 
trigonometrical surveys 40 groschen per day are allowed for travelling 
expenses. Officers of the Militaiy Academy attending the Spring or Autumn 
manoeuvres receive 8 thaler per month. During the annual drills a captain 
of the landwehr receives 2 thaler 15 groschen, a lieutenant i thaler, and 
a second heutenant 15 groschen per day. 

The same categorical exactitude which marks all money 
matters extends to the soldier's clothing. These are not the pro- 
perty of the man by whom they are worn, but of the regiment, 
though each man is held responsible for his arms and equip- 
ments, and if any are lost by his fault the loss is usually made 
up by the company if he has previously borne a good character ; 
if not he must pay for them. The commanding officer of the 
regiment is responsible for the clothing and entire equipment of 
his command, and general officers have a like responsibility. 
All materials for clothing are furnished to the tailors, who are 
enlisted men, and are by them made up for the different regi- 
ments, all articles of clothing being twice inspected before being 
issued. Non-commissioned officers and privates, except one-year 

A A 2 



356 r.ERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

volunteers, are furnished with all articles of clothing and equip- 
ment required during their term of service. The clothes are 
kept in stock by the regiment. There are three suits for each 
soldier. That for everj-day wear he hands in every Saturday 
night and receives in exchange the one for Sundays. This is 
also given out to him when he has leave to go into the town. 
He has still another, brought out only on great occasions, such 
as reviews before the king. The clothing is in charge of the first 
sergeant, and though on an average each suit lasts only a year, 
each of the old suits being degraded one degree in importance 
as a new one is issued, such is the care taken that there are suits 
in stock that have been in service twenty years. This applies 
only to garrison life, for when the army takes the field only one 
suit is worn. Soldiers discharged for disability during the 
winter months, if of feeble constitution, are furnished with an 
overcoat, which must be handed in to the proper authority on 
their arrival at home. Each man on joining receives his 
outfit. 

For the infantry the outfit consists of a cap, a tunic, a linen jacket, one 
pair each of cloth and linen trousers, a great-coat, stock, and one pair of 
each of the following : drawers, stockings (which are necessarily only worn on 
exceptional occasions), mittens, ear coverings, boots, shoes, and two pairs ot 
half-soled ditto. 

In the cavalry each man receives a cap, a linen jacket, one pair each 
of kersey and cloth trousers, the latter faced with leather, together with 
a pair of stable trousers, a great coat, stock, shirt, and one pair each of 
drawers, stockings, long boots, shoes, gloves, and ear coverings. These ear 
coverings are a kind of light hood worn under the helmet, the sides being 
brought down and fastened under the chin. 

The soldier is allowed annually two pairs of cotton drawers, two cotton 
shirts, a cotton suit for drilling, two black cloth stocks, and two pairs of boots. 
In garrison he receives two double blankets in winter and one in summer, one 
coverlet, one mattress, one pillow, and a couple of sheets. The garrison 
administration pays for the washing of the bed furniture, but each man is 
required to see to the washing of his own clothes. 

In time of peace the rations, with the exception of the govern- 
ment allowance of bread, are determined by a board of officers, 
and vary with the products and prices of different localities. 
Although it is a theory with the Prussians that an army, like a 
serpent, goes upon its belly in time of war, officers and soldiers 
alike are only entitled to one ration in kind daily ; commutations 
are not then allowed, excepting under special circumstances. 

The ration consists of twelve ounces of beef or mutton, or two-thirds of 
a pound of salt pork ; a pound and a half of bread, which may be increased 
to two pounds ; four ounces of rice and four ounces of barley or grits, or 
eight ounces of peas or beans ; half a pound of flour or three pounds of 
potatoes ; four ounces of salt and four ounces of green coffee. The cost of 
this ration is about eight or nifie groschen, and the general commanding 
directs which of the component parts shall be issued, and in case of want of 
means of transport has the power of reducing it. The general commanding 
may also authorize the issue of beer, wine, tobacco, and butter when they are 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — ORGANISATION, PAY, ETC. 357 

obtainable, together with dried fruit, sauerkraut, and vegetables. In the 
field the ration may be increased to a pound of meat, a third of a pound of 
rice, and the same of barley or grits, or two-thirds of a pound of peas or 
beans, and four pounds of potatoes. 

When troops are travelling by rail or steamboat an extra 
allowance of money is made for procuring refreshments on the 
line of travel, and commanding officers are required to see that 
each man carries with him at least a pound of bread and a 
suitable quantity of salt pork and spirits as a reserve ration. In 
case there should be no proper accommodation for the men on 
the line of travel, stores with butchers and bakers are sent 
forward in charge of an officer, and warm meals are prepared in 
advance for the troops. The issue of provisions must in every 
case be witnessed by a company officer, and officers in command 
of posts are required to thoroughly inspect all articles received. 

In an enemy's country the rule is that " supplies are obtained 
by requisitions upon the inhabitants through their own civil 
officers, if possible, but no more than the home price of the 
article so obtained is paid under any circumstances." This 
sounds very prettily, but the payment consists of a piece of 
paper on which is scrawled the sum considered by the officer 
conducting the operation of requisitioning the foe equivalent for 
what he receives, and as it very often happens that a town or 
village is subjected to a monetary penalty for some real or 
fancied infraction of the rules of war as laid down by Prussian 
authorities, by the time debtor and creditor accounts are balanced, 
if any money at all is to be received, it is by the invaders and 
not by the invaded. 




XX. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. 



WITH the Prussian infantry soldier every one is pretty well 
acquainted. He has been sketched on the march as 
follows : " His overcoat is made into a long, slender roll, and hung 
on the left shoulder, the two ends coming together and being 
fastened on the right hip. His haversack, of coarse white 
canvas, and glass canteen covered with leather, are slung from 
the right shoulder. Around the flask are buckled two broad 
straps, used in peace to cover the sights of the gun. He wears 
no shoulder-belt, but a pipe-clayed waist-belt, on which are 
strapped two cartridge-boxes of black leather, carried on either 
side, each box holding twenty cartridges. The knapsack is of 
calf-skin, tanned with the hair on, and stretched on a wooden 
frame, and is slung by two pipe-clayed leathern straps, hooked 
to the waist-belt in front and then passing over the shoulders. 
Two short straps attached to these in front pass back under the 
armpits, and are fastened to the knapsack. On each end of this 
outside is a deep box, in which is carried a case of twenty 
cartridges. Within are one shirt of white flannel, one pair of 
drawers, one pair of drill trousers, a short jacket, one pair of 
boots, and the cleaning and toilet kit, consisting of four or five 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. 359 

brushes for the clothes, hair, teeth, gun, blacking, and polishin"-, 
a box of rotten stone, a bottle of oil, and the usual number of 
old greasy rags for cleaning, together with writing materials 
and a roll of bandages. On the top of the knapsack is strapped 
a galvanized iron pot, holding about three quarts, with a tight- 
fitting cover, which is used separately for cooking. Within the 
knapsack, slipped into little loops, are a spoon, knife, fork, comb, 
and small mirror. In his haversack is carried whatever may be 
the food for the day." 

The knapsack itself is heavy and clumsy, and when fully 
packed weighs some fifty pounds, which is a stone and a half 
beyond the weight an English infantry soldier is required to 
carry. This leads to the knapsacks being usually conveyed in a 
cart which is attached to each company in time of war in order 
to facilitate the speedy movements of the troops. The Prussians 
are duly mindful of the familiar saying that more battles are 
won by marching than by fighting, and have never forgotten 
that much of the success of Friedrich the Great was due to 
the celerity with which his troops had been trained to cover 
the ground. They therefore do all they can to ensure excel- 
lence in the locomotive powers of their men. Before a 
recruit is entered in the infantry he is carefully examined in 
order to see whether his feet will bear the strain of long 
marches, and the greatest attention is paid to the fit of the 
excellent boots with which each man is provided. The march- 
ing of the Prussian troops in the late war and the way in 
which MacMahon's army was overtaken despite its flying 
start and hindered from joining Bazaine, is a proof that such 
care is sure to reap its due reward. 

The Prussian infantry soldier wears a single-breasted tunic 
of blue cloth with red facings, very dark grey trousers, with 
a red cord down the seam, half-wellington boots and no stock- 
ings, but a greased linen rag wrapped around the foot. He 
carries on his waistbelt a strong sword fifteen inches long, 
which he can use for defence or for cutting wood, or materials for 
fascines or gabions. His gun is unburnished, so that it may not 
attract the enemy by flashing in the sun, and is pretty well 
coated with grease. He carries no blanket, but hopes at night 
to find some straw for his bed. He wears on his head either a 
flat forage cap of blue cloth with a red band, or a glazed leather 
helmet with a brass Prussian eagle displayed in front, and a 
brass spike about two inches high at the top. A leather pouch 
for money is hung about the neck, and also a zinc plate attached 
to a cord on which is the soldier's name, number, company, and 
regiment. 

Each Prussian infantry regiment has a colonel, a Heutenant-colonel, and 
a lieutenant acting as adjutant, and is divided into three battalions. Each 
battalion has a major, an assistant, a surgeon, an assistant-surgeon, a pay- 



360 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

master, a quarter-master, and two non-commissioned staff officers, and is 
divided into four companies. The various companies are composed of a 
captain, one first and one second lieutenant, and two hundred and fifty 
enlisted men, but on a peace footing these are not all with the colours. Each 
battalion of all regiments of the line on a peace footing has a strength of 18 
officers and 532 men. The battalions of the fine old regiments of the Guards, 
namely, the ist and 2nd foot Guards, the ist and 2nd grenadiers of the 
Guard and the fusiliers of the Guard, number 22 officers and 684 men on 
a peace footing. In these five regiments and in the 4th grenadiers of the Guard, 
the regimental band, numbering 48 men, is borne on the staff. In the 40 old 
regiments of the line 10 bandsmen are borne on the staff with 32 more taken 
from the strength of the companies as assistants. In the remaining regiments, 
whether of the (Guards or the line, 10 are borne on the staff and 12 taken 
from the companies. As in the days of our " Tow-rows " and " Light Bobs," 
the Prussians btill embody the tallest men of the battalion in the right flank 
company. Each battalion in war has one six-horse waggon with munitions, 
one four-horse waggon containing the pay chest and accounts of the batta- 
lion, articles of uniform in reserve, and the shoemakers' and tailors' tools, 
one four-horse waggon for the ofTicers' equipage, one two-horse cart with 
drugs and medicines, and four horses with pack saddles packed with the 
books of the four companies. 

The existing fusilier battalion of a line regiment differs from the other 
battalions only in name. The jiiger battalions are armed with superior rifles, 
and are formed, as far as possible, of men who have been foresters and as- 
sistants to gamekeepers, and who wish to resume the same occupation on 
leaving the service. A battalion of jagers on a peace footing consists of 
22 officers and 532 men, each of the four companies being divided into 
smaller commands of about 20 men each, at the head of which is a non- 
commissioned officer. On a peace footing there are from six to eight such 
commands, whereas in war time there are generally twelve. A body formed of 
two or three of these smaller commands, and commanded by an officer, is 
called an inspection, still it does not rank as an intermediate command 
between the captaincy of the company and the command of the non-coni- 
missioned officer. 

The favourite fighting formation of the Prussian infantry is the 
well-known company column. They have a line formation, but this 
is only used for parade, being they maintain, too stiff for battle, 
especially on broken ground. This parade line has three ranks, the 
rear rank having hitherto been composed theoretically of skir- 
mishers. The company is divided into two parts or zii^e, and in 
forming the company column the first and second ranks of one 
zicg form about six paces behind the first and second rank of the 
other ziig, while the entire third rank stepping back the same 
distance forms a third zng also two-deep. When a closer order 
is required a column is formed of hdM-ziige, comprising four of 
the two first ranks and two of the third or " shooting " rank. 
The Prussians, recognising that with the present improved small 
arms nothing presenting a fair target, either as line or column, 
can advance and survive, depend greatly upon the employment 
of skirmishers. They argue that small columns are best adapted 
for concealment whilst at long range, because they can best take 
advantage of inequalities of ground. 

During the last war, the battalion being formed in company 
columns, usually one or both of the flank companies were sent 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. 36 1 



forward, still on the flank, and their third ziig of skirmishers 
covered the whole part of the battalion. Each company with its 
mounted captain then worked almost as a free and separate 
body. But it was found impossible to keep the companies 
intact. As the men advanced, gathering behind hillocks, wind- 
ing through hollows, and rushing on as best they could, the 
different ziige became mixed up, and afterwards those of the 
different companies, battalions, and even brigades and divisions. 
There was no hindering this mixture of different bodies ; the 
Prussians therefore, accepting it as a necessity of war, now seek 
to train their men in such a manner as to accustom them to this 
apparent but not real unsteadiness. The actual drill has not been 
altered because the company column formation can adapt itself to 
varying circumstances, but in practice little or no distinction is 
made between the third rank, which formerly consisted of skir- 
mishers, and the other two ranks. Two and sometimes three com- 
panies are sent out in a body to skirmish while the remainder of 
the battalion serves as a support or reserve. The entire battalion 
is sometimes sent out in skirmishing order, but more commonly, 
three companies skirmish to the front whilst a flank company 
endeavours to gain the enemy's flank, attacking by skirmishing 
when it grips the enemy. At other times one line of skirmishers 
makes a rush forward, the men throwing themselves down and 
firing to cover the advance of a second line through them, who 
in their turn repeat the movement. 

Even if the " column of attack " is employed, its way is paved 
by swarms of skirmishers. As the range and rapidity of fire has 
increased, a given number of men cover more ground by their 
fire than they used to do. Therefore open spaces may be left 
behind as well as on the flanks of advancing bodies, and un- 
favourable and exposed ground may be avoided. This has 
especially been the case of late, and instead of covering the 
entire country with little detachments and corps without number, 
the aim at recent manoeuvres has been mainly to be stronger 
than the enemy at certain given points. 

A Prussian military authority has laid down the rule that a 
force of infantry in making an attack can never be too strong, as 
its commander can never be perfectly sure of what forces he 
may have to encounter, or at what moment the defender may 
turn and make a counter-attack. Infantry, unlike cavalry, is not 
put hors de combat by a repulse, and an attack made with merely 
a portion of the force at command at once suggests the possi- 
bility of failure. Moreover in these days, with the deadly effects 
of the modern rifle, it is simply destruction to go back. When 
attacks are made upon a large scale, three lines of troops are 
formed, the first two being as a rule furnished by one battalion, 
and the third by another regiment or brigade immediately in the 
rear. Then long lines of skirmishers are thrown out and sup- 



362 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

ported by company columns ; after attack comes the invariable 
turning movement and then the final attack to beat of drum. 
The whole system has been summed up as " offensive tactics 
whenever they are at all possible, with swarms of skirmishers 
taking every advantage of ground with the greatest independence 
allowed to the smallest bodies." The danger of the men getting 
mixed beyond recall is mitigated by their being constantly and 
assiduously practised in rallying on their officers at voice or 
bugle. When a position has been carried, the infantry no longer 
seek to pursue the enemy as formerly. They remain stationary, 
continuing their fire until the arrival of the artillery, which then 
undertakes the real pursuit. 

The cavalry always scouring the front renders the infantry 
safe from attack and relieves them from harassing outpost duty. 
The rule is : " Be as economical as is consistent with safety ; do 
not place sentries where an enemy could not advance ; watch 
especially the roads and hold them strongly. Move cavalry by 
day, and infantry by night, but always with each infantry post 
some cavalry to carry messages." In teaching the men outpost 
duty they are not merely placed but something is given them to 
do, and it is considered advisable to oblige patrols to bring in 
certain information in order to show that they have not shirked 
their duty. For instance, the officer may say " Patrol as far as 
that stream, ascertain its depth, and see whether that bridge is of 
wood or stone." 

The arm with which the Prussian infantry is now supplied is 
the Mauser rifle, though with some considerable modification of 
the original design. It is on the central fire principle, with a 
short needle and metal cartridge, and is lighter and handier than 
the Bavarian Werder or the French Chassepot. It is loaded 
in two moments and can be fired twenty-six times a minute, 
twice more than the Werder. This represents about ten shots a 
minute in volley firing in the hands of ordinary troops and from 
ten to fifteen in independent firing. It is sighted up to about 
seventeen hundred yards, and the flatness of trajectory answers 
the highest expectations. 

Ever since the advent of Prussia as a military power, the 
cavalry arm has been one to which the most unwearying atten- 
tion has been directed, and with results fully justifying the care 
bestowed upon it. Friedrich Wilhelm I., that " great drill sergeant 
of the Prussian nation," carefully studied the tactics of the Austrian 
hussars, then the first in Europe, sending Ziethen amongst them 
to learn their various evolutions, which he did with a success 
most painfully convincing to his tutor Baronay when they met in 
the saddle at Rothschloss. Ziethen and his fellow cavalry general 
Seydlitz, the Achilles of the Prussians, are the two best known of 
all the heroes that the Great PViedrich gathered around him, and 
grim old Bliicher, equally high enshrined in the national Walhalla, 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. ^6^ 



was also a cavalry leader. Ziethen and Seydlitz, whose dashing 
charges alone saved the day when all looked desperate at Zorndorfir, 
were the two best cavalry generals of their day, and their prin- 
ciples, copied by friend and foe for many successive generations, 
were those adopted in Napoleon's day by Kellermann and Murat. 
After Waterloo the cavalry rested somewhat upon its laurels, 
and in 1866 showed at a disadvantage compared to the infantry, 
contributing little or nothing towards the success obtained. But 
in J 870 it more than recovered its reputation, and military Europe 




was astounded by the way in which it was employed to hover 
about the enemy and to serve as the eyes, ears, and feelers 
of an advancing army, whilst the French cavalry, reserved for 
charging in masses in the old fashion against troops armed 
with breech-loaders, was annihilated in every battle in which it 
engaged. 

If the uniforms of the Prussian infantry are sombre and 
monotonous there is no lack of bright colours and fanciful 
designs in those of the mounted troops. Cuirassiers with helmets 
closely representing those of Cromwell's Ironsides, or crested with 
the emblematical eagle of the monarchy, white tunics, and jack 
boots rising to mid-thigh ; uhlans muffled in the long great-coats 
that but for lance and schapska might cause them to be taken 
for infantry on horseback, or displaying gay-coloured plastrons 



3^4 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



on their manly beasts ; hussars in the brightest of skyblue from 
neck to knee or in scanty red tunics Hberally befrogged with 

white, darkish 
green skin- 
tight panta- 
loons and hes- 
sian boots, all 
help to lend 
that element 
of smartness 
and variety of 
attire which 
we associate 
with military 
spectacles.The 
cuirassiers are 
armed with 
pistols and sa- 
bre, the uhlans, 
who are count- 
ed as heavy 
cavalry, with 
lance, pistols, 
and sabre, 

and the light 
cavalry with 
carbine and sabre. German cavalry blades have always had 
a good reputation, but the pistols are old-fashioned muzzle- 
loading smooth-bores, likely to prove from their size and weight 
far more useful when empty at close quarters than serviceable as 
arms of precision ; the uhlan lances too are cumbersome and 
heavy. By recent regulation thirty-two men in every squadron 
of lancers are armed with breech-loading Chassepots shooting 
well up to five hundred yards. The cuirass is still held in 
esteem. Of the ten cuirassier regiments, seven have steel and 
three brass cuirasses, which latter are reckoned the best on 
account of their being easier to clean after rain. They are all 
tested by being fired at at a distance of about four hundred 
yards before being used. 

With respect to the horse equipment, the valise is not carried, 
and the weight is taken off the weakest part of the horse, 
namely, the small of the back. Two kinds of saddles are used, 
one, the Hungarian, for uhlans and hussars, and the other, the 
German saddle, for cuirassiers only. The first of these saddles 
has a tree " composed of two side-pieces of wood attached at 
the ends by cast-iron forks made to form a decided pommel and 
cantle, the latter being very high and terminating backward in 
a handle by which the saddle is seized ; a strip of leather drawn 




THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— INFANTRY AND CAYALRY. 36: 



tightly connects the two pieces of iron and is laced across with 
leather thongs, thus supporting much of the weight of the rider. 
The seat is covered with a close-fitting padded leather cushion. 
Several strong cords are fastened to the under portion of these 
side-pieces by means of which a temporary padding of straw, laid 
straight and made to fit precisely to the shape of the horse, is 
firmly attached to the tree. This can be changed in a few 
minutes as the animal may alter in condition, or when the saddle 
is shifted to another horse. The front portion of the padded 
leather cushion terminates in a thin bag in which the trooper 
carries his under-clothing. The girth ends in three buckle straps 
and is made of some twenty or thirty small cords. A breast 
strap and crupper and plain iron stirrups with ordinary straps 
complete the saddle. A double wool blanket is carried under- 
neath the saddle to cover the horse when necessary. Over the 
whole is a shabrack of cloth lined with coarse linen. On each 
side of the cantle are iron rings, to which are attached spare 
shoes hanging under the shabrack. The mantle of the trooper 
is fastened to the shabrack, and on the top of it one ration of 
grain is carried in a small sack. Both mantle and sack are so 
elongated as to lie across the cantle and hang down on 
each side of it. On the right side of the pommel is a coiled 
picket rope, and on the left a simple cooking kit. A surcingle of 
leather is now put on and a narrow leather strap is fastened under 
the thighs of the rider and passes around the pack in rear and 
holster in front, under the cantle and pommel, holding everything 
firmly in its place. In the left hand holster are carried brushes 
and a personal kit, and in the other a pistol. A cotton stable 
frock is thrown over the front of the saddle. The bridle is 
double with a powerful curl- bit and a light snaftie rein buckling 
on to the bottoms of the single check pieces. The weight of 
this equipment is from seventy to eighty pounds." The objection 
to the Hungarian saddle is that it gives an uncomfortable seat, 
■whilst that employed by the cuirassier, resembling a large and 
heavy English hunting saddle, though more agreeable for the 
rider, is apt to give the horse a sore back. 

Each cavalry regiment on a peace footing numbers 25 officers, 
from 713 to 716 men, and 672 horses, divided into five squadrons, 
but though the nominal strength of a squadron in peace is from 
120 to 135 horses, only about 100 appear on parade. In war 
one squadron remains in garrison, forming the nucleus of rein- 
forcements, and 23 officers, 653 men, 705 horses, and 7 waggons 
take the field. In consequence of the three years' service 
system, the men are more employed in drilling and learning to 
ride than in cleaning and polishing their dress, arms, and accou- 
trements, and, save on gala occasions, a Prussian cavalry regi- 
ment does not present the same appearance of smartness as one 
of our own. 



366 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



The great central school of instruction for the cavalry of the 
German army is at Hanover, but every cavalry [barracks has 
both covered and open riding schools, the latter fitted with a 
number of made jumps of various descriptions, over which 
recruits are almost daily exercised. Officers and men are most 







thoroughly instructed, not only in the mechanism of drills and 
evolutions, but also in the details of field duty under all the 
varying circumstances that may occur in war. In the summer 
they practise outpost duty four days a week, one part of the 
regiment opposing the other, and on the fifth day there is usually 
a commanding officers' drill ; two days a week, including Sunday, 
being kept as days of rest for the horses. The habit of rallying 
as quickly as possible round the colours, the supports, or the 
commander, is practised continually, and, indeed, the cavalry now 
practise skirmishing and assembling at any point as industriously 
as the infantry. They are exercised in the melee, and after every 
charge or attack, squadrons either scatter to pursue, or on their 
own ground disarrange their ranks, the men going through the 
sword exercise with one another. They are then accustomed to 
rally quickly in rear of the squadron border, and to manoeuvre 
without waiting to tell off the ranks. 

According to the present system, in time of war a regiment of 
cavalry is attached to each division of infantry for advanced 
guards, outpost duties, patrols, and orderlies. The remainder, 
formed into divisions, veil the arrangement and movements of the 
infantry corps, and collect information respecting the movements 
of the enemy, and on an advance cover and clear the whole 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. 367 



country for at least a day's march if possible. On coming up with 
the enemy they hold him in check till the arrival of the infantry 
if necessary, or fall back to protect the flanks or maintain com- 
munication between separated corps. A cavalry division of three 
brigades, each brigade consisting of three regiments with at the 
most three batteries, is strong enough, according to the latest 
authorities, on the one hand to make a detached reconnaissance. 
or to cover the advance of an army in its rear, or, on the other 
hand, to co-operate decisively so as to ensure victory on the 
battle-field. 

The principles kept in view by the reformers of Prussian 
cavalry tactics are in the main two, the greater independence of 
subordinate officers, especially squadron leaders, in accordance 
with the practice already adopted in the infantry, and the forma- 
tion of the whole body into three lines instead of two, so as to 
ensure a succession of reserves. The leaders of the first two 
lines, or brigades, are, when fighting is to be done, not to wait 
for orders from the leader of the division, but to act upon their 
own judgment, and charge home at every opportunity, the 
second following the movements of the first so as to be ready to 
support it offensively or defensively. The third line, on the 
other hand, is held specially at the orders of the divisional com- 
mander, but its leader must never hesitate to use his own discre- 
tion in aiding his comrades. " The squadron is formed in double 
rank, and is divided into four divisions, each led and commanded 
by an officer. The usual formation for a regiment in presence 
of an enemy is squadrons in column of divisions at deploying 
distance. Some are only formed for the purpose of charging, 
and the previous formation is resumed as soon as the charge has 
been executed." It is laid down, too, that, " the squadron, unin- 
fluenced by its fellows on either side, has only to follow its 
leader, who alone is responsible for the direction of his squadron 
and its relative position to other squadrons." 

The cavalry work mainly by sound of trumpet, and compara- 
tively little by word of command. Each regiment has its 
separate call, and there is a general call for each squadron 
according to its number, so that by sounding the regimental 
and then this numerical call a single squadron can be detached 
and recalled. The general rules now laid down are, that it is the 
mission of the first line to break through the enemy by a direct 
attack, that of the second to turn his flank as his attention is 
being occupied by the danger in his front, while the third line 
acts as a reserve for the first or second as occasion may require, 
but in all cases when charging to press boldly home. 

The text-book of General von Mirus is the Koran of the 
Prussian trooper. It especially illustrates the leading military 
maxim that soldiers in their peace studies should always be 
called upon to imagine an enemy before them. Every young 



368 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

soldier is enjoined to make the best use of his time in peace, in 
order that he may be efficient in war. It is necessary for him 
to learn his drills, still he has to learn his field duty, which is 
more important than all. Again and again too, in all German 
books of instruction, officers and men are called upon to think 
for themselves. General rules are given for all things, but a man 
has to think for himself in applying them, and at all times it is 
held to be no defence to quote a regulation as an excuse for 
behaving with a want of intelligence. 

On coming into contact with the enemy, the troopers when 
ordered to advance are to charge boldly home. If there are gaps 
in the enemy's line they are to dash through and cut a road for 
those who follow. There must be no gaps in the charging line, 
and no man is to hang back. The soldier is told to remember 
" that his sovereign and country will honour and reward his 
bravery, and that in the greatest danger his life is watched over 
by Almighty God." If he sees a colour, an officer, or a comrade 
in danger, he must hasten to the spot. No man is to yield 
himself prisoner because he is surrounded, unless he is disabled 
by a wound or has lost his horse. If captured, however, he is 
to bear his misfortune with dignity, and so earn his adversary's 
respect. If his horse is killed he is to try and save the saddlery, 
or to catch a riderless horse and appropriate him, or if this is 
impossible, he is expected to make his way to the nearest in- 
fantry and fight in their ranks to the best of his power. 

Directions are even given by General von Mirus for single 
combat, the lancer being recommended to strike his adversary's 
horse on the head to make it shy, and the swordsman to thrust 
at his antagonist's stomach or to cut at him over the back of the 
head, on the arms, or the bridle hand. The blade of the sword 
must be sharp, " and its possessor must never dishonour nor 
destroy it by putting it to a use for which it was never intended." 
The necessity of subordination and obedience is strongly incul- 
cated. " Every sign, look, or command must be obeyed in- 
stantaneously and implicitly." Especially is this the case when 
withdrawing from a fight or pursuit. 

The efficiency of the Prussian cavalry is due, not only to the 
intelligent training of the men, but to the wonderful endurance 
of their horses. The greatest attention is paid to the mounting 
of this branch of the service. About 7,000 horses are annually 
required for the cavalry and artillery, and these are procured 
partly from the government breeding-studs, and partly by pur- 
chase. There are upwards of a dozen remount depots in North 
Germany, and the government has possessed itself of some of 
the best English animals, which are bred into the hardier native 
stock for military purposes. Certain foals, bred by government 
stallions, may be claimed at a fixed rate, which was lately 150 
thaler. Those bought are generally three or four years old 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. - INFANTRY AND CAYAI.RY. 369 



and are sent to a remount depot, not being allowed to take their 
])lace in the ranks of a rcfjimcnt in the held till six years old. 
All must conform to a fixed standard as rcgard.s age, height, 
and condition, and must pass a board of inspection, consisting 
of two commissioned officers, and a veterinary surgeon, and 
which also condemns such horses in the regiment as are found 
unfit for service. These are sold out, and an equal number 
are bought to take their places. Horses captured from the 
enemy must be turned over at once lo the officer in charge: 
of the horse depot, a premium of eighteen thaler being paid 
for each one found serviceable. 

The forage ration is of two kinds, light and heavy. The 
heavy ration consists of eleven-and-a-quarter pounds of oat.s, 
barley, or rye, three pounds of hay, and three pounds and a 
half of straw. In the light rations, the amount of corn is ten 




pounds. Heavy rations are issued 10 horses of the cav^alry and 
to officers' horses, light rations to all others. The actual delivery 
of forage supplies to troops must be witnessed, and such sup- 
plies thoroughly inspected at the time by an officer. The 
horses of both cavalry and artillery are lighter looking than 
our own, from this spare diet and the constant exercise to which 
they are put. The principle of the Prussian cavalry in field 
manoeuvres is rapidity of movement, and the animals always 
look in condition to gallop for their lives. They are naturally 

E B 



3/0 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

hardy, and enduring qualities are secured by the practice of 
leaving them free from all hard work in the army till they are 
of a proper age. For this reason they are expected, if they 
escape accidents, to continue in good working order until they 
are seventeen years old. 

An eye-witness of the manoeuvres of 1875, at Walstrode, 
bears testimony to the extraordinarily hard-working condition 
of the Prussian troop horses. Continually galloping, they never 
seemed to blow or tire, and in the many long advances went at 
a most rapid pace. Even at the close of the day, none were seen 
lagging behind or falling back in the ranks, as invariably 
happens with underbred and underfed horses. The kits were 
fairly heavy, almost unnecessarily so ; the shabracks, wallets, 
cloaks, mess tins, piquet ropes, &c., being worn. The cuirassiers 
had on their cuirasses, and in fact, with the exception of the 
forage, and probably some of the extra kit in the wallets, all 
rode as heavy as they would on the march in a campaign. 
The importance of great speed is well understood, since Moltke 
himself remarks that the essential component of the cavalry arm 
is the horse, and that a dragoon possesses in a well-fed, not 
over-weighted animal, the best security against modern fire-arms, 
by reason of the rapidity with which he can manoeuvre. 

The excellence of the German cavalry horses is explained by 
the circumstances of there being no hunting in the country, and 
of but few men of wealth keeping large studs ; consequently, 
nearly all the best horses, including those bred by the govern- 
ment stallions, find their way to the Army. The choicest of 
these are given to the officers, who, as a rule, are admirably 
mounted, and who on their first joining, and every successive 
five years, are presented with a horse free of charge by the 
government. 




XXI. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY AND TRAIN. - 
ANNUAL MANCEUVRES. 



-THE 



LIKE the cavalry, the artillery failed to accomplish all that 
might have been expected in 1866, and turned to little 
account the excellent guns with which they were furnished, 
owing to the scattered and untactical positiofi assumed by them 
on the battle-field. In 1 870-1, however, all this was altered. 
The necessity for the concentration of fire — which, though largely 
adopted by Napoleon at Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Borodino, 
and Waterloo, seemed since to have been forgotten — was once 
more acknowledged, and by Prussian artillerists, is now regarded 
as a military axiom. It can only be accomplished, however, 
with certainty by uniting batteries. These are now brought 
to the front at the commencement of a fight, are massed under 
superior command, and remain, when attacking, until the infantry 
reserves have passed them, and when on the defensive, until 
the enemy's skirmishers force them to retire. The reason 
for bringing artillery at once into play, is, that this arm can 
obtain great advantages without exposure to losses like infantry. 
Thus a hundred yards of front occupied by .artillery exposes 
eight guns, forty-five horses, and forty-eight men, whilst the 
same space filled by infantry exposes 300 men. Besides artillery 
opens its fire at 3,000 yards, and infantry barely at 1,500. This 
circumstance and the murderous effect of infantry-fire rendering 
a front attack in open country all but impossible, the artillery 

B B 2 



5/^ 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



continues its fire, the infantry following it or marchinf^ on its 
flank, so as not to interfere with its fire until it has paved the 
way for their advance. The combined fire then increases in 
intensity, and the decisive moment marking the close of the 
combat arrives. 

The nominal head of the Prussian artillery is General von 
Podbielski, who has the title of Inspector-General. But each 
general commanding an army corps has his artillery completely 
under his own control, and the inspector-general, who is a 
member of the general staff, gives no direct orders, bul; simply 
issues reports. There are four " inspections " of artillery, com- 
manded by lieutenant-generals and major-generals, having under 
their orders three or four army corps brigades each. Each in- 
.spector has two adjoints, and the commandants of the brigades 
a single adjoint. The Prussian artiller}Mnen wear a dark-blue 
uniform faced with black, and have their helmets surmounted by 
that professional emblem, a ball, in place of the spike of the 
infantry soldier. The foot artillerymen are armed with a short 
sword, while the horse carry pistols and a tremendous curved 
sabre. 

The privates in the different branches of the artillery are 
trained solely for their special services, but every one of the 
officers receives instruction which makes him completely con- 
versant with all the various branches, and enables him to take 
a command in any one of them. The Prussian Army has 
no ordnance department, all the duties relating thereto being 
performed by the artillery. 

A reg-iment of field artillery consists of three detachments of foot artillery, 
each composed of four batteries and of a detachment of horse artillery, com- 
prising three batteries, On a peace footing each battery numbers four guns, 
in war six. A detachment of foot artillery numbers on a peace footing, one 
staff officer, 6 captains, 13 lieutenants, 73 non-commissioned officers, 368 
men, and 160 horses ; and in war 18 officers, 610 men, 516 horses, 24 guns, 
and 41 vehicles. The field artillery and siege artillery are quite distinct. 
Each siege artillery regiment consists of two detachments of four companies 
each, each detachment in peace being composed of one staff officer, 5 
captains, 13 other officers, 61 non-commissioned officers, and 340 men. 
There is a detachment of artificers entrusted with the manufacture of fire- 
works, rockets, fuses, &c., requiring technical skill. On mobilisation each 
artillery regiment forms nine ammunition trains and a reserve ammunition 
park. In the field the former marches directly in the rear of the army corps, 
and the reserve two days' march behind. 

During the late war the Prussian field artillery consisted of 
four- and six-pounder steel breech-loaders of Krupp's pattern, 
carrying an elongated shell, with a leaden jacket to make it fit 
the grooves. They were bored through from errd to end, and 
were loaded from the rear of the breech, the opening being 
closed in the four-pounders by a key of steel inserted at the 
side, and in the six-pounders by a plug fitted in at the rear and 
fastened in its place by a pin. These guns were served by four 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 373 

men, one to point, one to sponge and load, one to prick the 
cartridge and fire the piece, and one to bring up ammunition. 
The driver and horse-attendants have nothing to do with the 
service of the gun. The field-gun at present adopted is a cast- 
steel breech-loader, with a bore of eight centimetres, charged 
with 2jlbs. of powder, and throwing an eleven pound shrapnel 
projectile with a velocity of 1,522 feet. The Prussians have also 
a gun of nine centimetres bore, which fires a shrapnel shell con- 
taining 209 bullets, and weighing rather over 17 lbs., with a 
charge of 3^1bs. of powder, the resulting velocity being 1,460 
feet.^ In order to load, the breech-piece is screwed out at the left 
side by about two turns of a screw fitted there, which allows 
the insertion of the charge, when the breech-piece is screwed 
back and the gun is ready to be fired. The limbers are larger 
than those used in England, and contain twenty-four double- 
cased shells and twelve shrapnels, which latter have been taken 
into favour on account of the introduction of an improved fuse. 
The gun-carriages, which in future are to be of cast-steel plates, 
are to have a brake attached to their wheels, with the object of 
regulating the recoil ; pebble powder, moreover, is to be used. 
Three gunners are carried on the ammunition-box, and two on 
the axle-tree seats, whilst a non-commissioned officer rides. 
New pattern ammunition waggons are being prepared to accom- 
pany the artillery in time of war. 

The two parks of siege artillery lately attached to the 
Prussian Army have been completed by the addition of sixteen 
ammunition transport columns to each of them. Each column 
consists of forty-six ammunition waggons, a field smithy and 
rack, baggage and forage waggons. In addition to the guns 
belonging to each park a certain number of the fifteen centi- 
metre coil guns, placed in fortresses, have been utilised for siege 
purposes ; the siege gun-carriages, moreover, have been newly 
constructed of iron. One park of siege artillery is kept at 
Spandau, while the other is divided between Coblenz and Posen. 
The Prussian artillery presents a somewhat rough appearance 
compared to our own, but both guns and horses are in excellent 
condition and manoeuvre rapidly. 

The principal Prussian cannon foundry is at Spandau, near 
Berlin. The events of 1848 led the Prussian Government to 
transfer all the great military establishments to fortified places, 
and Spandau was naturally fixed upon as one of the most suit- 

1 The English 9-pounder field battery gun throws a 9-lb. projectile, con- 
sumes if lbs. of powder, and imparts to its projectile a velocity of 1,381 feet. 
The i6-pounder gun, which weighs upwards of one-third more than the 
German 9 centimetre gun, fires a shell of merely i6j lbs. with 3 lbs. of powder, 
the resulting velocity being 1,352 feet. Notwithstanding the greater weight 
of our i6-pounder, the German gun consumes a heavier charge of powder, 
fires a more powerful shrapnel, and has a superiority of 100 leet in initial 
velocity. 



374 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

able for this particular purpose. The cannon-foundry which 
formerly existed behind the Berlin arsenal was not, however, 
transferred there until 1855. It was at first only of moderate 
dimensions, and in i860 employed merely one hundred hands. 
But the great changes in artillery and marine ordnance which 
supervened rendered improvements and extensions necessary, 
and the foundry and its dependencies have grown to a small 
town, capable of turning out some two thousand pieces of 
cannon in the course of the year. 

In the Prussian Army the artillery and engineers have a close 
relation to each other, their field duties running together, and 
their school at Berlin being the same. The engineers are more a 
technical than a tactical body, and in the field have a train laden 
with construction and intrenching tools. The prejudice against 
engineer officers rising above a certain grade, that prevails in 
our own service, likewise existed amongst the Prussians, and in 
the case of General von Kameke we have the first instance of 
the spell being broken. 

According to recently-promulgated regulations the peace establishment 
of the officers of the engineer corps is fixed at 600. Under the inspector- 
general are four engineer inspectors, each of whom has under his orders one 
pioneer inspector commanding from three to four battalions, and two fortress 
inspectors having charge of from four to eight fortresses apiece. A batta- 
hon, numbering about 500 men, consists of three field pioneer companies 
trained for pontooning and mining as well as for working in the trenches, with 
a fourth destined to be employed exclusively in mining and only occasionally on 
general service. On mobilisation merely the first three companies will take the 
field, the fourth being broken up to supply detachments of sub-officers and 
men to the other three, and forming with the rest the nucleus of a reserve 
company. When the reserves are called in, each of these reserve companies 
will be formed into three fortress pioneer companies, to be attached to the 
landwehr or employed to defend fortresses. The guard battalion and the 
fourth pioneer battalion will provide in place of the fortress companies 12 
field telegraph detachments to be attached to various army corps. A pontoon 
train will also be mobihsed with each pioneer battalion. It will consist of 
two division trains, each of 14 waggons with 42 yards of pontoons, and one 
corps train of 33 waggons with 143 yards of pontoons. The division trains 
will be attached to the infantry divisions, each with a pioneer company, and 
the corps train will remain with the third company at the disposal of the corps 
commandant. Reserve pontoon trains are estabhshed in addition at Coblenz, 
Glogau, Magdeburg, Graudenz, and other places. 

The military train is composed of organised troops required 
for the transport of munitions, provisions, pontoons, field-tele- 
graphs, railways, and hospitals, and also furnishes drivers for the 
baggage and munition carts of mobilised troops. The transport 
corps following an army in the field, exclusive of the waggons of 
each battalion, and the artillery, engineer, and field-telegraph 
trains, is divided into two portions, the first and principal of 
which is attached to the commissariat, and is formed solely for 
the purpose of supplying food to men and horses. The second 
belongs to the medical department, and carries medicines, 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 375 



hospital .stores, and means of transportation for the sick and 
wounded. The first portion is limited, in times of peace, to a 
certain number of waggons, which, on the mobilisation of the 
army, are provided with men and horses from the military train, 
each army corps having its battalion of train troops. These are 
under the entire control of a principal commissariat officer, with 
the rank of captain, who is attached to the head-quarters of the 
corps. 

The commissariat columns of an army corps are five in number, each of 
them having two officers, 28 men, 161 horses, and 32 waggons. These 160 
waggons carry three days' provisions for every man in the corps. As soon as 
the waggons which carry the first day's supply are emptied they are sent to 
the magazines in the rear, and must be again with the troops to give them 
their fourth day's food. Each army corps takes with it a field bakery, as 
flour can be more easily carried than bread. This bakery consists of 10 
officers, 118 men, 27 horses, and 5 waggons, distributed amongst the men as 
is found most convenient. 

The provision trains do nothing in the way of gathering food, 
but merely bring it up from the depot magazines, which move as 
the army moves. Means, therefore, have to be provided for 
gathering food into these depots. So long as railways are 
unbroken, and trains follow the troops, no difficulty is expe- 
rienced, but as this is not always the case, it becomes necessary 
to gather supplies. For this purpose, as well as to carry hay 
and corn from the depots to the horses of the cavalry and 
infantry in front, waggons and carts are hired, or rather impressed 
into service in the country. 

The medical train accompanying an army corps consists of 
three heavy hospital trains, each of 14 waggons, 114 men, 69 
horses, and 1 1 surgeons, and 3 light divisional trains. Each 
train carries everything necessary for treating men in the 
field and for establishing field hospitals. Every corps has, more- 
over, a company of sick-bearers, who on the day of battle are 
divided amongst the troops. Each battalion has also ten sick- 
bearers, the men not being allowed to leave the ranks under fire, 
to assist a wounded comrade, so that the advice of the American 
general who recommended his men always to fire at their 
adversaries' legs, since it required two sound men to help one 
so wounded from the field, would not hold good in a contest 
with Prussian troops. The sick-bearers convey the wounded but 
a short distance to the rear, out of the range of fire, where they 
are taken in charge by the hospital men. 

Another important feature of the German Army, and one 
excellently organised, is the field-post, the chief object of which 
is the secure and rapid conveyance of the official correspondence, 
parcels, &c., of an army in the field. Still the field post-offices 
transmit private letters, newspapers, and ordinary remittances of 
money and other small articles to and from the army. It will 
be remembered that during the late war stories were current of 



376 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

flannel under-garments being sent in sections by this means, as 
well as sausages and similar luxuries. These offices are organised 
simultaneously with the mobilisation of the troops, and in order 
to maintain a secure postal communication between the armies 
and the Prussian territory, field-post relays are placed at certain 
points on the road from the frontier. The officials and men for 
the field-post are held in reserve for this duty by the postal 
authorities even in time of peace, and a list of them is kept at 
the War Office. They are supplied by the director of the post- 
office, on the requisition of the minister for war, who then issues 
orders for their equipment and maintenance on the same footing 
as the troops generally. 

The military railway recently constructed between Berlin and 
Zossen, forms an admirable practical school for what is termed 
the railway corps of the Prussian Army. This line, which is 
twenty-seven English miles in length, belongs to the State, and 
was constructed by the corps in question. From Berlin to Zossen 
the rails are laid alongside the Berlin and Dresden railway, 
to which the military railway is connected by points and cross- 
ings. At Zossen, however, the line branches ofif into the forest of 
the same name, where the Polygon of Artillery is situated. The 
railway, as its title implies, serves chiefly for military purposes ; 
still the interests of the public are not neglected, and passengers 
are carried by it. The direction and administration are composed 
of the commander of the railway regiment, of one field officer 
and two lieutenants. The working of the line is in the hands of 
a captain, who receives his orders from the commander, and is 
assisted by two lieutenants ; this department also comprises a 
chef de bureau, a superintendent of rolling stock, an officer acting 
as administrator of his depots, and a paymaster. For the in- 
struction of the regiment, complete companies are placed at 
the disposition of the working section. 

The chief of the working company acts as inspector, and has 
an officer to assist him. This company is composed of men 
belonging to the eight companies which form the regiment, 
and who are changed after a course of instruction of six 
months. The service of the permanent way is conducted by 
forty-two men, twenty-nine of whom belong to the Berlin and 
Dresden line, whilst the other thirteen are pioneers of the 
regiment, and are stationed between Zossen and the forest. 
The whole of these men are under the superintendence of five 
non-commissioned officers. The station duty is performed by 
a station master and an assistant, both non-commissioned 
officers, who are assisted by nine pioneers, who act as points- 
men. The telegraph service is conducted by the officer who acts 
as chief of the working section, aided by a non-commissioned 
officer. During the first year of working, six engine-drivers — 
non-commissioned officers — and six stokers — sappers — were em- 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 377 

ployed. The trains were worked by eight non-commis.sioned 
officers acting as guards, and sixteen pioneers acting as brakes- 
men. The guards and stokers are under the orders of the 
engine-drivers. The men receive no extra pay, beyond an allow- 
ance made to the non-commissioned officers and men who are 
away beyond a certain time from the garrison. 

The original idea of those autumn manoeuvres, which have 
been carried out with very partial success in our own country, 
comes from Prussia. All the troops of the German Empire are 
put through a certain amount of field-work every autumn, though 
the so-called Imperial manoeuvres, at which the Emperor himself 
inspects operations, only take place every three years. The 
army corps, of the Guards quartered in and around Berlin, take 
their full share of this kinu e.f work. On the Prussian plan that 
the force on paper must be as nearly as possible actually brought 
into line, the task of holding the country in the rear being that 
of the reserves, some regiments of another army corps usually 
undertake the necessary routine duties in Berlin, in order that 
the whole of the Guards may take part in the manoeuvres. They 
do not, however, go far from home, and are still available for 
the protection of the district that surrounds the capital, from the 
attack of an invading force. It is to be noted that in the 
neighbourhood of Berlin, the inhabitants being thoroughly 
blasts on military exhibitions, display comparative indifference 
to the movements of troops, so that these parades as a rule, 
hardly attract more spectators than an ordinary English 
suburban race-meeting. 

On all such occasions the principles which have proved so 
effective in real warfare are rigorously acted upon. The cavalry 
thrown out like a moving screen in front of the army, quarters 
the country as a brace of pointers quarter a stubble-field. The 
waving pennons of the uhlans flicker amongst the foliage, as 
they carefully sound the pine woods and copses in quest of 
lurking infantry, now disappearing in a bosky hollow, now seen 
in bold outline against the clear blue sky as they mount the 
slopes beyond. Behind them the artillery comes lumbering 
along in clouds of dust, for artillery is now understood to be a 
most active arm and opens the attack. The general in com- 
mand has learnt from his scouting cavalry — who, though their 
work is far from over, now begin to fall back to the flanks and the 
rear of his army — the position of the enemy, and so prepares his 
attack, giving to each corps commander general instructions, but 
leaving to him the working out of the details. Formerly there 
was often merely a supposititious enemy, but now, in cases where 
two equal forces are not opposed to each other, the foe is always 
indicated by detachments, flags, and other signs, so as to give 
an appearance of reality to the field of battle, and serve as a 
guide to the troops. 



378 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

The usual form of attack and defence is for a line of woods 
and villages to be strongly occupied, the ground between them 
being commanded but not held, and for the attack to be mainly 
directed to these strong points with a view to their occupation. 
With this object the guns are everywhere pushed on as near to 
the enemy as possible. They halt and unlimber— here a group 
of three or four batteries together, and elsewhere a couple of 
detached field-pieces. Artillery, the Prussians hold, can protect 
its front against anything, and is pushed on to within fifteen 
hundred or at most two thousand yards of the enemy. Soon its 
roar is heard, re-echoed back by that of the enemy in those- cases 
in which he is represented by flesh and blood, and not by flags 
and skeleton detachments, and the white smoke curls upward 
from the summit of each height. In one part of the field 
heavier metal begins to tell, the enemy's guns are withdrawn, 
and the attacking force limbers up for pursuit. In another they 
are hard pressed, and a battery has to dash off furiously across 
country to their support. Roads and ditches are cleared by the 
smoking horses, as they scour on with the cannon clattering 
behind them like a tin kettle attached to a dog's tail. Some- 
times an accident brings them to a temporary halt, but the 
standing order under such circumstances is to repair damages 
and push on. Hacklander relates an instance of a gun belonging 
to a horse artillery battery coming so violently into collision with 
a road boundary-stone that one wheel of the carriage was par- 
tially shattered. At first there seemed no possibility of repairing 
the damage according to directions, either by fastening the 
pieces together with cords, or, if that would not do, by tying a 
piece of wood underneath the carriage, so that the axle might for 
a short time, in a measure, replace the wheel ; till one of the 
drivers, noticing a finger-post at a little distance, tore it out of 
the ground, and had it promptly lashed along the damaged 
portion, the hand indicating his path to the wayfarer, being left 
on to point, as it were, appealingly up to heaven. 

Meanwhile the infantry, pushing steadily onward in battalion 
columns, follow close behind the artillery, though they are not to 
be hurled at the enemy until he has been shaken by the latter arm. 
At length the first line advances, taking every advantage of the 
ground, until they begin to feel the opposing fire. Then the batta- 
lions deploy into company columns. Some of them, if the ground 
serves, wind steadily onward through sheltered hollows, others 
disperse in clouds of skirmishers and advance by a series of 
rushes. In one quarter of the field they gain possession of a 
wood, and darting out on some broken ground, lying a short dis- 
tance in advance, fling themselves down and cover the approach 
of their supports which follow in open order. The skirmishers 
are continually reinforced, and profiting by every scrap of shelter 
push steadily on. Gradually the engagement becomes general 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 379 

all alonf^ the line, and the rattle of small arms deafens the spec- 
tator. The second line comes to the support of the first, mixing 
up with it, and dissolving into skirmishers also, whilst the artillery, 
galloping up, seize upon every coign of vantage and from thence 
pour grape and the shrapnel, which has grown into such high 
favour since the last war, at the infantry of the foe. A village 
receives the concentrated fire of many guns, and then the infantry 
attack its weakest point, a rush of skirmishers trying at the same 
time to turn it, since one of the most important lessons of the 
last war was the futility of a direct attack against positions like 
those held by the French at Amanvilliers and St. Privat, unless 
such front attack is supplemented by one on the flank. 

Finally an opening in the line is found, and through it quickly 
pour a stream of troops, seizing every atom of shelter as they ad- 
vance, each man apparently fighting on his own account, yet ready 
in an instant to re-form into a solid and organised body. Cavalry 
are from time to time hurled forward against infantry supposed 
to be broken by artillery fire, in double lines, one immediately 
in the rear of the other, as was done by Murat at Eylau. Their 
headlong career is checked from time to time by opposing 
squadrons advancing to the rescue, and then they break, skirmish, 
rally, and meet in feigned melee. Now a man is dismounted 
and his horse scours riderless away, and now steed and rider 
come crushing down together, checked in their hot career by 
the broken ground. 

At length a retreat is sounded and the opposing forces draw 
oft" to their respective quarters. The Prussians have no tents, and 
the men are therefore quartered in the villages and farms of the 
district in which they manoeuvre, crowding into the barns and 
outhouses in accordance with the current saying that " the worst 
quarter is better than the best bivouac." When they are obliged 
to bivouac they make the best of what comes to hand, and there 
is always something in the shape of turf, knapsacks, and 
brushwood to build a wall of against the wind, wood for fires, 
and straw, dead leaves, or young branches of trees to vary the 
monotony of hard ground as a couch. The fire, once made, is 
generally fed with pieces of wood four or five feet long leaning 
against each other at the top so as to form a cone. Earth is then 
heaped up for about a foot round their lower ends, and the result 
is a blazing high fire, quite safe, because the burnt wood always 
falls inwards towards the centre. A kind of shallow trench 
slightly lowered towards the inside edge is cut round the fire, and 
here a hundred men or so stretch themselves with their feet 
towards the blaze. Great-coat collars are raised above the ears, 
and after a few hearty choruses > accompanied by clouds of 
tobacco, or even potato-leaf smoke, they drop off to sleep. The 
old campaigners, however tired, take care to make their sleeping- 
place as comfortable as they can, and above all as warm, for 



380 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



there is always an hour before daylight when the air is chilled 
and the body most susceptible of cold. 

The scene presented on these occasions has been depicted by a 
native writer from the results of his own experience as follows : — 

" A clear moon shed its light over the encampment and the surrounding 
battle-field of the day ; but no groans of the wounded and dying smote on 
the ears of the passers by. The silence of the night was only broken by a 
low song or an oath. No mortally wounded friend raised himself from the 
ground to groan out ' Greet my Lottchen, friend ! ' Only here and there 
a sutler was murmuring some scarcely intelligible words, offering a small 
amount of brandy tor a large sum of money. Behind and close to us was 
the bivouac, and we could distinctly hear the snorting and neighing of the 
horses, the hum of men's voices, and at intervals a low song. We saw in- 
fantry sentries with shouldered muskets walking to and fro with measured 
steps, the uhlans, with their schapska over the right ear, by their horses, and 
our artillerymen by their guns. The officers were grouped round a large fire 
which flickered on their faces and which must have felt honoured at being 
the light of such lights. 

" During the night our rifles and uhlans had continual skirmishes with the 
enemy's advanced guard, which gave us plenty of occupation. Their hussars, 
enveloped in their cloaks, frequently rode through the shallow stream 
and crept like ghosts up to the foot of the hill on which we were stationed. 
We knew at once when they were going to fire by the gleaming of the moon- 
beams on their carbines, the polished barrels of which as they raised them ta 
take aim described brilliant circles in the moonlight ; having fired, they gal- 
loped back across the stream under a volley from our rifles. 

" All was life and movement in the bivouac. Round the great fire we saw 
numerous epaulettes glittering, and the bands of the infantry and cavalry 
played alternately. It was not until after midnight that the music ceased, 
silence fell upon the camp, and the fires gradually died out. The rest of the 
night passed pretty quickly, and soon the sky began to brighten. Gradually 
the circle of light increased and the stars paled, and in a short time the 
clouds which floated in the horizon became edged with crimson. Now the 
reveille sounded from the other end of the encampment, the drums beat, and 
the artillery and cavalry bugles played joyously in between. 

" Daybreak revealed the comical confusion that had crept amongst us 
during the night. In one place an officer, looking round with astonishment, 
finds that he has slumbered in the closest proximity to his servant. The 
awakening sutler contemplates her basket with consternation, for the best 
contents have vanished during the night. Here a movement is seen under a 
cloak ; it is a warrior who had rolled himself up securely the evening before, 
and is now making painful efforts to disengage his head. The loud calls of 
the bugles had suddenly produced animation where a moment before all had 
been as still as death. The snorting and tossing of the horses as they ex- 
panded their nostrils towards the rising sun, the hasty movements of the 
soldiers who expected every instant to hear the signal for marching, all united 
to form a lively picture which was contemplated on each occasion with fresh 
pleasure."' 

The country people, upon whom soldiers are billeted during 
the manoeuvres, are bound to supply them with a certain 
amount of food. During the Silesian manoeuvres in 1875 this 
allowance consisted of about half a pound of bread, and rather 
more than that amount of meat, with salt, pepper, &c., for which 
eight silbergroschen (nearly <^d.) was paid, though it usually 
' Hacklander's Soldier in Time of Peace. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY.— THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 



381 



happens that the hosts give the soldiers more than the proper 
ration, sharing Avith them whatever they have for themselves. 
The troops complained very much of the way in which they 
were fed by the contractors during these manoeuvres, for they 
not only were forced several times, on account of the long hours 
of exercise, to go without food from daybreak till seven in the 
evening, but, when supper was prepared, found themselves 
defrauded by the contractors who had to supply it. Old officers 
maintained that their men suffered more than they ever did in 
the late war. It is, therefore, not surprising that the soldier 
when out manoeuvring should be ready enough, when he gets 
the chance, to supplement his rations, and the fare provided for 
him by those on whom he is billeted, with whatever he can 
obtain. The sutlers who follow the troops have a plentiful 
supply of custom er.s, especially from amongst the one year 
volunteers, who flock around their carts and booths all day long. 
In Berlin the cooks, who in England are supposed to reserve 
their cold mutton and their affections exclusively for the blue- 
coated representatives of the civil power, are the especial objects 
of the soldier's amatory assaults. The votaries of Mars and the 
exponents of the culinary art are to be encountered arm-in-arm 
at every place of public resort, notably at the summer beer 
gardens. When the troops 
march into the country 
they strive to extend the 
sphere of their fascina- 
tions, and the wives, 
daughters, and servants of 
the farmers and peasants 
become the object of at- 
tention often as hollow as 
they are transitory. The 
.sharp-witted and often im- 
pecunious infantry man 
practises on a minor scale 
the art of surprising and 
capturing a provision train, 
by rising early in the 
morning and sallying 
forth in quest of what he 
may devour. The chances 
are that he may encounter 
the temporary object of his 
vows laden with a basket 
of good cheer, destined either for his own especial benefit or for 
that of one of his superiors. In either case he bears down upon the 
convoy, and by his blandishments and lavish endearments soon 
convinces the blushinsr mddchen that the transfer of her cargo 




382 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




of wjirst, sell in ken, bra- 
ten, bread, and spirits 
can be devoted to no 
better purpose than 
that of fortifying him 
against the coming 
fatigues of the day. 
That such a fortifying 
is necessary was shown 
by several deaths and 
the invahding of nu- 
merous men during the 
1875 manoeuvres in 
Baden and Alsace- 
Lorraine. The troops, 
however, suffer more 
from sunstrokes and 
apoplexy than from 
exhaustion, and the 
preceding year special 
instructions on the 
subject were issued by 
the Berlin War Office, 
the men being directed to march in open order with stocks off 
and coats open, and all manoeuvres on a large scale being for- 
bidden when the tem- 
perature had reached 
7^° Fahrenheit. 

The special attri- 
butes of the Prussian 
Army have been thus 
summarized. " The 
absence of exemp- 
tions and substitu- 
tions which secures 
for the army the best 
men, and makes ser- 
vice even and accept- 
able ; general educa- 
tion of officers and 
soldiers ; an effective 
system of keeping the 
ranks full ; superior 
training and selection 
by merit of the higher 
staff; a decentralised 
administration ; the 
certainty of recognition and reward for enterprise and industry 




THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTH.LERY, ETC. 2>^^ 



strict discipline and rigid economy." These qualities have been 
steadily developed until they have placed the kingdom of Fried- 
rich the Great at the head of the military powers of Europe. 

It has been remarked with truth that the German Emperor 
pointed out the veritable secret of the nation's military successes 
when he reminded his grandson on the occasion of the entrance 
of the latter on active service in the Prussian Army that in the 
correct appreciation of what might appear to be a trifling 
matter, was to be found a guarantee for the performance of great 
things. This principle, he truly added, had been and should 
remain the rule of the Prussian Army. " Careful organisation, 
laborious attention to the most minute details, patience, and 
thoroughness are the prosaic secrets of military triumphs which 
rival those of Napoleon himself. There was nothing very 
original in Scharnhorst's plan of quickly passing the whole of 
the able-bodied population through the ranks, and thus securing 
a huge reserve of drilled troops. The system chiefly depended 
for success on the stubborn perseverance of the people — a per- 
severance undaunted by the prowess of the greatest commander 
in the world, and independent of the fitful triumphs which would 
have been needed to spur the zeal of France. Count Moltke 
has relied on precisely the same homely qualities in finishing 
the work which was begun in the shadow of unparalleled defeat. 
Even the artistic completeness of his organisation and the 
success of his strategy are less wonderful than the almost 
mechanical obedience and perseverance with which the whole 
nation has gone through the exhausting, and what might have 
seemed the useless, mill of the barrack-room. The system 
might have been a disastrous failure if the people had been less 
docile, plodding, and intelligent." 

The nation had the advantage of " a born race of military 
leaders in an aristocracy at once large, poor, well educated, and 
disdainful of any work but that of the public service. The sons of 
a German baron would scorn to become traders, or even, as a rule, 
to enter any of the more intellectual professions. They go into 
the army as a matter of course, and they bring with them those 
habits of command which belong to an aristocratic caste. They 
are equally marked by the habits of obedience natural to the 
feudal society of a military state which has been little disturbed 
as yet by an aspiring democracy. They study their duties with 
German thoroughness, and take a pride in matters of detail 
which the officers of other countries leave to plebeian sub- 
ordinates. It would be impossible to find a class better qualified 
to form the cog-wheels of the mighty machine which Count 
Moltke puts in motion from the quietude of his bureau. The 
rigidity and thoroughness of Prussian discipline could not be 
safely applied to any nation which did not unite a highly-educated 
intelligence to primitive habits of obedience. It is quite possible 



384 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

to drill an army into such stolidity that it loses the power of 
helping itself when it cannot be guided by rule. Thus misplaced 
industry has sometimes been little else than a laborious pre- 
paration for disaster, liut the Germans have gone to school as regu- 
larly as to drill, and their best intelligence passes through the bar- 
rack-room. It has been safe to give their movements the precision 
of a machine, and yet to put great trust in the mother wit of the 
officers and the men. The result is perhaps the most marvellous in- 
strument of destruction ever fashioned by human labour and skill. "^ 
The social side of the question, however, needs to be viewed 
imder different aspect. All other interests are sacrificed to those 
of the army. The best and most promising youths are sent 
to the drill ground for years ; the most accomplished young men 
arc torn from the university, from the learned professions, from 
the laboratory, or the factory, to fill the ranks. Literature and 
science suffer from the diversion of the rarest mental qualities to 
the purposes of war. Political freedom suffers in order that 
discipline may be perfect. Trade is sacrificed that the country 
may be covered with troops, railways are constructed in view 
with strategetical schemes, and not in accordance with com- 
mercial necessities, and the burden laid upon the nation 
forces the most stalwart peasantry and the most skilful 
artisans to seek refuge across the Atlantic. On the occasion 
of the discussion of the new law on the landsturm, Herr 
Schorlemmer Ast pointed out that this system of excessive 
military preparations rendered the principal burden of the 
Empire a heavy load for everybody to bear. " The milliards 
that we have received," continued he, "are already converted 
into fortresses, vessels, Mauser rifles, and cannons ; and there is 
an augmentation of forty-nine millions of marks in the military 
budget. This budget is like the sieves of the Danaides. We 
throw into it all our resources, our savings, our reserves — still w^e 
shall never be able to fill it up. Montecuculi laid down the prin- 
ciples of war — money, more money, always money ! This is what 
we are asked for at the risk of soon exhausting all our vital 
strength." The Germania, too, alluding to a speech made by 
M. Leon Say, respecting the prosperous internal and financial 
condition of France, despite the burden imposed by the late war, 
remarks: "The minister who speaks thus is minister of a country 
that has recently undergone unparalleled catastrophes. Germany 
on the contrary, although she has received fabulous sums, only 
possesses a ruined trade, ruined industries, crowds of workmen 
without work, and very little money. She has in perspective 
new taxes, an increase in the war budget, the continuation of the 
discharge of workmen, and the misery of the people." Such is 
the price at which the New Empire has purchased the military 
dictatorship of Europe. 

' The Times, Feb. 14, 1877. 



THE PRUSSIAN ARMY. — THE ARTILLERY, ETC. 



385 



In order to retain her military supremacy Germany is com- 
pelled to be continually on the alert with regard to new 
improvements in the machinery of war, so that she may be the 
first to profit by them. The latest novelty in this direction is a 
machine termed a " telemetre," which is understood to indicate the 
exact distance at which shots have been fired from an enemy's 
cannon. One great advantage it offers is that it will enable the 
gunners in a coast battery to determine the position in regard 
to distance of a hostile ship, a calculation hitherto fraught with 
the greatest difficulty. The adoption of the telemetre by the 
German troops has been decided upon, and experiments have 
been made with smaller machines designed to indicate the distance 
of shots fired from rifles with perfectly satisfactory results. 

Another sensational novelty in the artillery service is the 
35 ^-centimetre Krupp gun, which, although weighing only 57 
tons, is so firmly encased in mantle and rings as to admit of 
firing a cartridge of 300 lbs. of prismatic powder, with a ball, 
weighing 1,150 lbs. In the experiments made at Dulmen, the 
Inflexible target, carrying 24 inches of solid iron, was pierced 
right through, from a distance of 2,250 yards. The barrel of the 
gun can be elevated to i8f deg., and inclined to 7 deg. It lies 
high enough in its frame to fire over a two-feet breastwork, and is 
moved by simple machinery, requiring only a few men to work it. 
A third important innovation is the adoption of an iron bridge 
to be carried by the engineers in order to replace any railway 
bridge that may have been destroyed by the enemy. The bridge, 
which can be rapidly put together, is easy of transport, and 
capable of bearing any burden likely to pass over it. One 
specimen that has been constructed is 90 feet long, and costs 
only ^3,000. The Army is indebted for this clever contrivance 
to Herr Stern, a Baden engineer. 







PRUSSIAN RIFLE PRACTICE. 



c c 




THE BERLIN CADETTEN-HAUS. 



XXII. 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 



BERTJN, as the capital of a military monarch)'', is the seat 
of many of the most important institutions established in 
connection with the Army, and amongst the chief of these may 
be reckoned the Central Cadet School, or Cadetten-haus, which 
furnishes about one-third of the officers to the Prussian service. 
This establishment and the six others situate at Potsdam, Culm, 
Wahlstatt, Bensberg, Ploen, and Oranienstein form, as it were, so 
many separate battalions subdivided into companies, and together 
constitute a body known as the Royal Cadet Corps. The corps, 
as originally established in 17 17 in accordance with the military 
proclivities of Fricdrich Wilhelm I. for the benefit of the young 
Crown Prince, afterwards Friedrich the Great, consisted of " a 
miniature soldier company which, by degrees, rose to be a per- 
manent institution. A hundred and ten boys about the Prince's 
own age, sons of noble families, had been selected from the three 
military schools then extant, as a kind of tiny regiment for him, 
where, if he was by no means commander all at once, he might 
learn his exercise in fellowship with others. An experienced 
lieutenant-colonel was appointed to command in chief." ^ The 
corps was reorganised by Friedrich the Great, and has always 
been an object of special interest with subsequent Prussian 
sovereigns. 

The cadets are of two kinds — the pensioners, or paying cadets, 
and the King's cadets, who are educated mainly at the expense 

' Carlyle's Fried} ich the Great. 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 3S7 

of the state. The pensioners in ordinary cases pay 260 thaler 
a year. The King's cadets pay from 30 to 100 thaler a year, 
and in very special cases are admitted without payment. 
These latter cadetships are granted, according to the pecuniary 
circumstances of the applicant, to the sons of officers who have 
died on active service or been invalided from wounds received, the 
sons of meritorious officers who have retired on pensions or died 
in indigence, the sons of officers actually serving in reduced cir- 
cumstances, the sons of non-commissioned officers who have been 
killed or severely wounded in action, or who have served meritori- 
ously for twenty-five years, and the sons of civilians who have 
performed special services towards the state, by which personal 
danger was incurred. In the Berlin Cadetten-haus the last class 
used to be mainly composed of the sons of people who rendered 
services to the Government in 1848 or who had distinguished 
themselves by saving life. Pensioners are admitted from all 
professions, according to priority of application and the number 
of vacancies. The ordinary payment of 260 thaler may be 
reduced to 150 thaler in the case of the sons of officers on 
active service, who, though not entitled to King's cadetships, are 
in poor circumstances. Foreigners are exceptionally admitted 
with the King's permission, on payment of 360 thaler yearly. 
■ The cadet corps is under the command of a general officer, 
and has a special administrative staff of its own, who wear its 
distinctive uniform, trimmed with the lace worn by the Great 
Friedrich's guardsmen. The provincial cadet-houses are merely 
training schools for the central institution at Berlin, and at these 
boys are admitted at ten and remain till fifteen or sixteen years 
of age, the ordinary stay at the Berlin school being from the age 
of fifteen or sixteen to eighteen or nineteen. There is an ex- 
amination on the first admission to the corps, the subjects of 
which depend upon the candidate's age. Pupils passing through 
the lower schools are transferred to that of Berlin without further 
examination, being already members of the corps, but pupils 
entering the Berlin school direct are examined. This class of 
pupils is,, however, not encouraged, as it is considered that in 
their case one of the chief advantages offered by the corps, that 
of accustoming its members to military discipline from early 
boyhood, is altogether lacking. 

A military spirit pervades the schools, and though prepara- 
tion for the army is not the exclusive, it is the predominating, 
object of the course of training pursued, and the cadets in 
almost all cases enter the service. The corps is, in fact, looked 
upon as a nursery for officers. Admissions to it take place once 
a year, on the ist of May. The six junior schools are divided 
for purposes of instruction upon an uniform plan into four 
classes, numbered up from six to three, that is, sexta at the 
bottom and tertia at the top. The upper school at Berlin 

C C 2 



388 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

follows with four more classes — the second, first, upper first, and 
special — secunda, prima, ober-prima, and selecta. The idea 
which prevails, that no teacher can instruct more than twenty- 
five or thirty pupils at a time, causes the classes to be split up 
into sections, each pursuing a parallel course of instruction. In 
the junior schools the subjects taught are Bible history, Latin, 
German grammar and composition, elementary algebra and 
geometry, history, the rudiments of natural philosophy, drawing, 
and writing. There is plenty of drilling and gymnastics, with 
bayonet exercise, and dancing, and in the two upper classes 
instruction is given in military drawing. 

Military training can hardly be said to commence until the 
pupils enter the Berlin Cadetten-haus, which is the nearest 
approach in Prussia to our Sandhurst and Woolwich establish- 
ments. It is a spacious two-storied edifice, having the centre 
portion of its long facade ornamented with columns and military 
trophies, and is situated in the Neue Friedrichs-strasse, in the 
midst of the old-fashioned houses with which this quarter of Berlin 
abound.s. The buildings erected in 1775 by Friedrich the Great, 
and dedicated by him "to the pupils of Mars and Minerva," 
have long since been found too small for their object, and though 
various additions have from time to time been made, the accom- 
modation is no longer sufficient for the number of cadets. The 
situation is also objectionable from a sanitary point of view, the 
school being hemmed in on all sides by houses, and the inten- 
tion exists to move the entire establishment to a more open and 
healthy situation at Lichterfelde, in the environs of Berlin.^ 

The main portion of the buildings at Berlin consists of a large 
quadrangle in which are situated the quarters of the cadets and 
company officers, the dining-hall, library,- and a large hall called 
the Feld-Marschall Saal, in requisition on state occasions, and also 
serving the purpose of an examination room, and which takes 
its name from the life-sized portraits of Prussian field-marshals 

' The new Lichterfelde Cadetten-haus, destined for the reception of cadets 
from all parts of the empire except Bavaria, has been in process of construc- 
tion for the last four or five years, and will require at least another three 
years to bring it to completion. Part of the building, however, will shortly 
be ready, when it is intended to remove the Berlin cadets there. The new 
school is situate on a broad stretch of sandy ground distant about a mile 
from the railway station. The buildings in 1876 consisted of six immense 
blocks : a central mass flanked at some distance by two long wings facing 
similar blocks of building at a distance of about 1 50 feet. Of the two central 
blocks, the one nearest to the railway is intended for the class-rooms and the 
examination hall, while among the buildings facing it is comprised the chapel. 
Each wing contains a mess-room and a number of small but lofty rooms 
arranged on each side of long corridors, and intended for sleeping apart- 
ments and barrack-rooms. Six huge blocks of similar proportions to those 
already completed have to be erected, and when the whole is perfect it will 
form a small town in itself The situation is an excellent one for a cadet 
school, there being nothing for miles around but a few scattered houses, so 
that it will be completely isolated. 



WAR SCHOOLS.— THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 389 

lining its walls. There, moreover, is exposed the sword of the 
First Napoleon, captured at Gemappes, and presented to the 
institution by Marshal Blticher. 

Beyond the quadrangle is a large court-yard used for drill and 
exercise, in which are some indifferent marble statues of the 
heroes of the Seven Years' War, that formerly stood in the 
Wilhelms-platz until they were replaced by statues of bronze. 
On one side of the quadrangle is a range of buildings containing 
the class-rooms, and on the other the quarters of the professors 
and instructors. The residence of the general commanding the 
cadet corps and the commandant of the school, together with a 
large red brick church, built for the accommodation of the 
cadets, are situate on the opposite side of the Neue Friedrichs- 
strasse. 

The class-rooms, intended merely to accommodate about 
thirty pupils, which is the largest number in a single class, are 
fitted with rows of parallel desks, at which the cadets sit, the 
instructor occupying a raised dais at one end of the room, and 
having near him a black board, of which he makes frequent use 
during the lessons. The quarters occupied by the cadets com- 
prise a sitting-room and bed-room opening into each other, and 
shared in common by a number of occupants varying from six 
to fourteen or fifteen, the usual number thus lodged being 
eight or ten, although deficiency of accommodation has led in 
some degree to overcrowding. The bed-rooms are simply fur- 
nished with iron barrack bedsteads, and narrow tables running 
down the centre of each room, furnished with washing basins in 
accordance with the number of its occupants. In the sitting- 
rooms each cadet has a desk and cupboard to himself, in which 
to keep his books and other effects ; a table and chairs com- 
pleting the furniture, which is of the plainest description. The 
senior of the room is responsible for order. 

The dining-hall is a large handsome apartment capable of 
accommodating the whole of the cadets, who take their meals 
here in common. Three regular meals are provided in the 
course of the day : breakfast, consisting merely of soup and 
bread ; dinner, in the middle of the day; and supper, shortly before 
bed-time. In addition, a trifling lunch of bread and butter is 
served out to each cadet. At meals the cadets are seated at 
tables each accommodating twelve, in addition to a senior who 
occupies the head. The dinner consists of soup, meat, and 
vegetables, pudding being given as an extra on Sunday, Water 
is the only beverage drunk, neither wine nor beer being at any 
time allowed within the school buildings. The cadets are 
marched to their meals by companies under the charge of their 
officers, and one officer remains on duty in the dining-room 
during meal-time. Attached to each company is a kind of 
buffet at which coffee, fruit, and confectionary are sold. 



390 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

The Berlin Cadctten-haus contains a good library, but the use 
of it is confined to the officers and the senior cadets in the 
selecta, or highest class, the others not being allowed to frequent 
the room or to obtain books from it. There is, however, a smaller 
library for each company under the charge of the captain, con- 
taining novels and works of general literature, any of which may 
be taken out. No general reading-room of any kind exists, but 
the cadets, joining together, usually subscribe to some newspaper 
among them. Each company has what is called its company 
room, a large apartment very plainly furnished, but supplied 
with no games or other means of amusement. The cadets of 
each company, however, generally club together to hire a piano 
for this room. Music and novel-reading seem to be the most 
favoured recreations during leisure hours, though gymnastics 
are also practised. 

The daily routine is something as follows. The cadets rise at 
half-past five in summer and six in winter, twenty minutes being 
allowed them to dress in, after which they turn out of their 
rooms, form on parade, and are marched to breakfast. Half an 
hour's private study in their rooms to look over the lessons for 
the day follows. A short time is then allowed for cleaning arms 
and accoutrements before the morning roll-call, at which a most 
minute inspection of each company is made by the captain, and 
any cadet found with his things imperfectly cleaned is punished. 
Prayers for the whole school in chapel follow the roll-call. Lessons 
begin at eight and generally continue till one, with an interval of 
twenty minutes at eleven o'clock for lunch. At one all the cadets 
fall in by companies on parade, when the daily orders are read 
and other routine business transacted. At half-past one the cadets 
march in to dinner. The actual lessons in the class-rooms are, 
excepting for the classes known as the selecta and ober-prima, 
generally finished by one o'clock, the afternoon being chiefly 
devoted to such subjects as singing, dancing, fencing, and gym- 
nastics. Wednesdays and Saturdays are nominally half-holidays, 
but the only difference between them and the other days appears 
to be that the afternoon is occupied in battalion drill, for which 
the cadets are marched to a drill-ground some distance off. From 
half-past five to eight every evening the cadets are obliged to 
study their lessons in their own rooms ; at eight supper is served, 
after which their time is their own till half-past nine, when they 
turn in, lights being put out at ten. Except with the selecta and 
ober-prima the whole afternoon is seldom completely occupied, 
but there is little or nothing in the shape of manly games during 
recreation. For an hour in the afternoon, between half-past 
four and half-past five, all cadets unemployed are obliged to take 
exercise in the court-yard ; but this commonly consists of walking 
up and down, usually with their arms about each other's necks, in 
the orthodox German fashion. On Sundays dinner takes place 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 39 1 



at twelve, to allow of more time for those who have leave. All 
have the greater part of the day to themselves, but none are 
allowed to leave the school without permission, though they are 
frequently taken in bodies under the charge of officers to visit 
places of interest in Berlin and its neighbourhood, and are also 
on one or two occasions during the year taken to the opera or 
theatre. The charge of the cadets out of school-hours devolves 
upon the captains and subalterns of companies, principally upon 
the latter, who must be unmarried and live amongst the cadets. 
Besides looking after them, they are required to assist them in 
their studies. 

The number of cadets in the Cadetten-haus is about 700, which 
is to be shortly increased to 850. They are divided into seven 
companies of 100 each. The annual cost of a cadet is estimated 
at 300 thaler. The staff of the school is both civil and military, 
the latter comprising the commandant, the adjutant and a 
captain, four subalterns, and two military instructors for each 
company. The civilians comprise professors, instructors, writ- 
ing, singing, drawing and dancing masters, &c. There are also 
a Protestant and a Roman Catholic chaplain, and three surgeons. 
The Cadetten-haus is under the direct control of the general 
commanding the cadet corps, who resides close by, the immediate 
superintendence of instruction, discipline and drill being in the 
hands of the commandant. There is no special director of studies, 
but a board exercises a general supervision, and the senior 
civilian professor, who is a member of the board, has the superin- 
tendence of the civilian instructors. These serve a certain time 
on probation, and then receive permanent appointments; but the 
military instructors, who are chosen for special qualifications, are 
generally sent back to do regimental duty for a time after six or 
seven years' employment in the school, though they are often 
reappointed. Ihey receive a fixed addition to their regimental 
pay, and also an honorarium in proportion to the number of lessons 
given by them. 

The instruction imparted in the secunda and prima comprises 
religious indoctrination, Latin, German composition and litera- 
ture ; French ; mathematics, with especial reference to their 
application to military purposes ; history, especially that of Ger- 
many ; geography, physical science, and military drawing. 
Dancing is compulsory in the secunda as in all the junior classes. 
It is regarded both as a gymnastical exercise and a necessary 
accomplishment for an othcer, and the cadets have to display 
their proficiency before the general commanding the corps at 
the periodical inspections. The practical exercises comprise 
battalion drill about twice a week, daily parade, gymnastics and 
bayonet exercises, fencing and sword exercise, swimming, and 
riding for the pupils of the selecta. Elementary instruction is 
also given in military duties, but this is mainly confined to the 



392 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



2i:5i:<>:^ 



mode of behaviour towards officers, and other points of mihtary 
etiquette. The ordinary period for remaining in a class is a 
year, but two are often allowed. 

At the end of the year all who have passed through the prima, 
after a preliminary examination in the school, go up for the 
portepee-fahnrich examination. Those who reach the ordinary 
standard are admitted at once as " ensigns designate," but they 
must serve with the regiment six months and be of the age 
of seventeen and a half before they obtain the patent actually 
conferring that rank ; they attend a war school when they pass 
their officer's examination, and finally obtain their commissions, 
subject to the approval of the officers of the regiment. Of 
those who are not allowed to go up for examination or who fail 
in it, some are permitted to remain for another year at the 
Cadetten-haus ; others, whose conduct has been exceptionally 
good, are admitted as 'under-officers, a rank below that of 
fahnrich ; and others, who have not this recommendation, as 

privates. The majority 
of the cadets enter the 
army in this manner ; 
but a certain number who 
take honours at the ex- 
amination of the prima 
are formed into classes 
known as the ober-prima 
and selecta, and receive 
the special military in- 
struction which is given 
to the others at a later 
period at the war schools. 
The course of study 
pursued by the two classes 
is the same, but the se- 
lecta consists of cadets of 
seventeen years of age 
and having a good cha- 
racter, and the requisite qualifications for admission, whilst 
the ober-prima is com.posed of those who are below that 
age, who are of weakly constitution, or below the regulation 
standard of height, or whose conduct has not been quite satis- 
factory. Their studies are confined to the science of arms, 
tactics, fortification, instructions in military duties and regu- 
lations, and in military composition, topography, and surveying, 
with higher mathematics for those cadets intended for the 
artillery and engineers. At the end of the year the classes go 
up for the examination which qualifies for the officer's com- 
mission. Those of the selecta who pass, enter the army at once 
as officers, and in their case alone, in the whole service, is the 




WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 



393 



^''^^'^ l\\v\\')\' 






right of veto usually exercised by the officers of a regiment as to 
the admission of a new comrade dispensed with. Those of the 
ober-prima enter as portepee-fahnrich, and must serve six months 
in this grade, and be approved of by the officers before obtaining 
their commissions ; they do not, however, attend a war school, 
nor are they required to pass any further examination. 

The cadets are not subjected to military law, but the discipline 
maintained and the punishments inflicted are of a military charac- 
ter. The officers are assisted in preserving discipline by the senior 
cadets, who arc invested with the authority of under-officers. 
One of the distinguishing features is the division of the cadets 
into conduct classes, four in number and entirely independent of • 
the classes for instruction. On entering, a cadet is placed in the 
third class, in which he can only obtain leave on Sundayafternoons, 
and at the invitation of some one known to the school authorities. 
After a time he is promoted to the second class, and gets more 
extended leave, the first class being almost entirely limited to the 
selecta and ober-prima, who have many extra privileges. These 
are the young fellows, 
parties of whom are "'""^' 

encountered on Sunday 
afternoons at the Ber- 
lin Zoo, KroU's, and 
the better-class subur- 
ban beer-gardens, and 
Avho early affect a con- 
temptuous bearing to- 
wards the burgher or 
philistine element of 
the Prussian capital. 
The fourth class is 
reserved for those 
guilty of serious mis- 
conduct, and degrada- 
tion to it is both a 
disgrace and a punish- 
ment. The cadets com- 
posing it are not allowed 
to go outside the walls, 
and any one found in 
it at the end of his 

career has to enter the army as a private. The distribution 
in classes mainly depends upon general conduct, but to a certain 
extent upon diligence and study. The punishments inflicted 
comprise reprimands, punishment parade, extra duty, extra 
study, curtailment or stoppage of leave, forfeiture of class privi- 
leges for a certain time, or reduction to a lower class, arrest in 
quarters, close arrest, reduction to the ranks, and dismissal. 




394 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

In minor matters the discipline is very strict : no watches, 
rings, or jewelry, are allowed to be worn ; only a fixed sum of 
pocket money, ranging from two thaler to three thaler twenty- 
five groschen per month is allowed, and letters have to be opened 
in presence of an officer to show that they contain no remittances. 
Smoking is strictly prohibited within or without the school, and 
the most scrupulous neatness with regard to dress is enforced. 
The discipline is easily maintained, thanks to the early age at 
which the cadets are brought under it, the system of conduct 
classes, and the fact that a report in minute detail and termed 
the curslun vitcs, of the cadet's conduct, is forwarded to the 
regiment to which he is appointed, and may materially afi'ect 
his future career. There is also the esprit de corps ; for every 
cadet feels a pride in the body to which he belongs, and in its 
privilege of taking precedence of all other troops when marching 
past the sovereign, beneath the colours that were carried when 
the Second Friedrich wore its uniform, and which still bear his 
initials stamped upon their staff. 

But it happens that neither the people at large nor the 
majority of the commanding officers of regiments quite share 
this feeling. The former say that the cadet school tends to keep 
up the class spirit that forms so objectionable a feature in the 
officers of the Prussian army, and that the education given is 
much below that of a gymnasium ; while the latter hold that 
the exclusively military atmosphere with which the cadets are 
surrounded, from an early age, has a narrowing effect upon the 
mind, and that the almost monastic system in which they are 
brought up is fatal to freedom of thought and development of 
character. They greatly prefer the Advantageur syscem which 
has been explained in a preceding chapter. 

The subjoined reminiscences of a cadet ^ furnish a graphic 
account of the kind of life which is led at the Prussian pro- 
vincial cadet schools, where, as already intimated, most of the 
members of the corps go through their probationary course 
before being admitted to the central establishment at Berlin. 

The unaccustomed sound of the drum awoke me in the mornmg. Though 
still half asleep, I hastily started up, rubbing my eyes. Where was It In a 
wide and almost interminable room containing four long rows of iron bed- 
steads with blue chocked coverlets, from beneath which peeped sleepy, 
bewildered faces. I felt my narrow hard couch, the pillow of which was stiff 
as a stone. I heard the roll of the drums outside, growing fainter and 
fainter. My eyelids closed again heavily, and dead tired I sank back to 
sleep ; but some one was already shaking me by the arm : "Up, up with 
you !" cried a deep voice of command ; "don't you hear the drum.^" I 
started up in alami, and saw the kind-looking face of a man in a blue 
uniform, evidently trying to look very grave, but thinking in his heart, Poor 
fellow ! how tired he still is after his long journey. 

Close to the bed, on a brown wooden stool, lay my clothes. I slipped 

' Aus tiicinen Kadettct^jalnen, von Johannes van Dewall. 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 



395 




The icy cold 



into them mechani- 
cally, trying hard to 
finish dressing as 
soon as my neigh- 
bours. Following 
the stream, holding 
up my trousers with 
one hand, and car- 
rying my waistcoat 
and jacket in the 
other, I passed 
through a bare cor- 
ridor into another 
room, in which were 
clothes - pegs and 
tables with large tin 
washing-bowls, each 
with its number on 
the post above. 
Stripped to our 
waists, we splashed 
and dipped in our 

respective bowls, wasting the water and drenching the floor, 
bath removed any feeling of drowsiness, and, red as a lobster, I got into my 

clothes. I then 
made a few 
bold strokes 
with a comb 
through my 
wet locks, and 
my toilet was 
complete. 

" All you be- 
longing to 
room 8, you 
there No. 88, 
and you No. 
1 13, wait out- 
side till I 
come," was the 
aut horitative 
command of a 
bigger cadet, 
who was just 
buttoning his 
waistcoat, and hanging on his gi-een silk strap. So Nos. 88 and 113, 
which latter was myself, stood shyly outside in the passage waiting and 
casting rather despondent glances at one another. " What is your name?" 
asked No. 88 at length. " Hans van Dewall," replied No. 113;" and yours ?" 
" Max Oehlschlagel,^' said No. 88. 

A cadet, a regular dwarf, here running past thumped me with his fist 
without the slightest provocation, crying, " You silly lout ! " My blood was 
up at this insult, but I was forced to suppress my feelings, for the cadet 
sprang down the stairs four steps at a time, and then, too, I had been told 
agam and again that if a "knapsack," as a novice is termed, struck a real 
cadet back again, he would be mercilessly beaten by the whole class, or even 
be set upon by the entire corps. 

I had not much time to ponder over this, for the same cadet who had 
ordered us to wait emerged from the lavatory, and telling us that he was the 




396 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



eldest in our room, ordered us to follow him. He led us downstairs and 
into a large well-lighted corner room with four windows, on the door of which 
was painted the figure 8. Two lamps hung suspended from the ceiling, and 
beneath them stood large tables painted black. Against the walls were little 
cupboards, marked with the names of individual cadets. 

On one of these was " van Dewall," and to it I was led by the head of oar 
room, who said as he opened it : "You can put your things in here ; but mind 
you keep it always clean and tidy, or you'll catch it. 1 just tell you once for 
all that I'll stand no nonsense, so you may look out ! " After this short 
address, our senior took a chair, sat down at the large table, and began to 
rummage ih his drawer. Meanwhile we arranged our small possessions 
in the divisions of our cupboards, until the drum sounded again in the court. 
" Sit down and work," exclaimed our tyrant, and we all obeyed. Each one 
had his place and drawer assigned him at the table, and silently took his seat. 
I had fetched my pen and paper to write to my parents, and was just 
placing it before me on the table, when the red curtain of the glass door 
opposite me was suddenly raised, and the face of our Governor Justus, the 
same who had awaked me in the morning, was visible for a moment. I 

began my letter, but only 
wrote a few lines, for 
my head was already 
sinking heavily on the 
table, and I fell asleep. 

A clatter of cups 
aroused me ; it was the 
breakfast, brought in by 
a waiter, who set his tray 
down on the ground near 
the stove and counted 
the flat rolls on the win- 
dow-sill, after satisfying 
himself of the number of 
people present. We 
looked with longing eyes 
at the smoking vessels 
and the bread, for we 
were ravenously hungry ; 
but' we were not allowed 
to touch anything, as the 
hour for work was not 
yet over. 

Suddenly the beat of 
the drum was heard out- 
side, and we rushed at 
once to the cups and 
bread ; but, oh ! how cruelly was I undeceived ! Instead of coffee, I found 
a thick gruel, with a skin on it as tough as leather ; the roll, too, was dry 
and hard, and, worst of all, very little. And this was to appease the stomach 
of a hungry boy till noon, and it was then only just seven. 

As soon as breakfast was despatched we began to brush our clothes ; then 
the drum summoned us to muster and to prayers. In the corridor outside, 
the occupants of the different rooms were assembling, the eldest in the room 
reporting that all were present to the eldest in the brigade (two rooms formed 
a brigade), and then we were marched off. We little " knapsacks " fol- 
lowed in the left wing, convulsively attempting to keep step like the rest. 
On arriving in the large hall, the eldest in each brigade reported us to the 
head of the company, who commanded the whole, and divided us into 
proper squads with an air of importance. A profound silence then reigned 
till Governor Justus came. That day, without holding a special early muster, 




WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 



397 




the governor gave 
marching orders. 
" Left wheel ! Com- 
pany, march ! " 
commanded the 
leader in a clear 
voice, and we wound 
like a long snake 
across the court into 
the chapel. 

After morning 
prayers the new- 
comers were ex- 
amined as to their 
preparatory know- 
ledge, and then di- 
vided into different 
class-rooms for the 
regular examina- 
tion. This was the 
anxious moment, 
and the beginning 
of the hard school 
of Ufe. " Write ! " 
was the order we 
received from a tiny 
man who had to 
stand on tiptoe to 
look at us over his 
desk. Dictation fol- 
lowed, both in German and Latin characters ; then we were examined in Latin, 
and I rolled off glibly the rules for the third declension ; reading, arithmetic, 
geography, and history followed, in which many proved very deficient, and we 
ended with singing, when, in my bewilderment, I gave forth such execrable 
sounds that the examiner stopped his ears and sent me back. These tortures 
lasted for three hours, during which the victims' relatives were anxiously 
pacing round the fountain in the great courtyard, anxious to see their little 
ones in the royal uniform before returning home. How, when we were at 
length dismissed, they questioned and kissed them ! while we friendless ones 
looked on, sad and envious. 

Then the drum summoned us all upstairs to clean our things, for the daily 
parade was held at a quarter past twelve. Here for the first time we saw 
assembled all the officers, governors, and cadets, and the commander of the 
corps, a dried-up little man, whose thin beardless face peeped pleasantly out 
beneath his over-large helmet, often absently put on the wrong way. He 
was a noted savant, and had even translated the Nibelungen. Slowly, 
with his hands behind him, he passed along the front, with kind and 
searching glances, speaking now to one, now to another, and ordering an 
hour's extra sleep that afternoon for those who had come a long way 
(some had been an entire week on the journey), and finally giving orders 
to march past. Two drummers placed themselves opposite to him, and then 
began the parade march of the genuine cadets, in four ranks of two deep, 
headed by a leader, all in strict accordance with rule, though, to save their 
caps or promote the growth of their hair, all marched bareheaded. 

From parade we went direct to the large dining-room. Grace was said, 
and all fell to work with tremendous appetites on the barley soup and prunes, 
and then on the beef and vegetables, till nothing was left. In the afternoon 
we were free ; those whose relations still remained went with them to the 
village inn, the rest looked about them. At four o'clock each had a dry roll, 



598 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



at a quarter past seven supper, and at nine o'clock punctually we went to 
bed. 

How proud I was to write home that I had passed and was put in 5 a ! 
At eight o'clock next morning I received the news, and at ten had the delight 
of dressing in my cadet's uniform, not hoivever until after I had been examined 
as to my physical capacities by the surgeon of the regiment. '' Can you 
hear.?" asked he with an important air, holding the watch close to my ear. 
" To be siire I can." " Count;" and I did so. " Can you see well ? " " Yes." 
"What time is \t?" "Half-past nine." " How many fingers are these ?" 
"Five." "What is sitting on the roof up there?" "Nothing." Then 
he made me jump over a string, pressed me all round my chest, and at 
length muttered that I might go. 

We were received by a droll couple in Sergeant-Major M. and his right hand 
man Sergeant VV. — two important personages, who spoke in a strong pro- 
vincial dialect ; they marched us to the topmost story, where the uniform 

rooms were, when 
we donned our uni- 
forms, amidst many 
interjections and 
admonitions on the 
part of our supe- 
riors. 

The poor little 
cadet has to learn 
betimes the truth 
of many a hard 
proverb ; he does 
not wear the 
splendid and much- 
coveted uniform 
with yellow cord, 
the King's bluecoat, 
without having to 
pay for it. The 
iron has to pass 
through the fire 
and under the ham- 
mer to be converted 
into good steel; and 
so, from the very 
first day, the boy 
of eleven is taken 
in hand and roughly 
treated, in order to 
turn him into a true 
cadet. This hard 
period of transition 
is known as the "knapsack time," and the boy as a "knapsack." The 
cadet corps is the severe school in v.'hich the foundation is laid of the many 
qualities required in a good officer, who must know both how to command 
and how to obey in every situation ; and, strange to say, this training is not 
so much due to the officers and teachers as to the cadets themselves, who 
carry on this system of education with relentless severity, beating into one 
another all that goes to form their ideal of a true man, namely, obedience, 
self-denial, honour, and esprit de corps, and learning to bear heat and cold, 
hunger and pain without complaint. Woe to him who cries or " peaches,'" 
or who shows himself a coward ; he is twitched and tortured from mom 
tijl eve with pins or hot tongs, till he either improves or finds the place too 
warm, and leaves the corps to return to the arms of an over-tender mother. 




WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 39^ 



Whilst we new-comers were battling against fatigue and home sickness, the 
storm burst, and as I stood at the window that evening, a hand was laid on 
my shoulder, and in rough tones I was ordered down to the gymnastic exer- 
cise ground,by the senior of my room, while with his strong arm he pushed 
me out at the door. I was told to swing myself up and down on the horse 
twelve tiiries running, and not being able to do this, was first admonished by 
some slaps on the muscles of the arms, and afterwards thoroughly beaten. 

I grew angry, and gave an indignant challenge, whereupon they all exclaimed 
at the impudence of the " knapsack," and I received a swinging box on the 
ear, in reply to which I sprang like a young tiger on to my oppressor, felling 
him to the ground and belabouring his face with both my fists. I held fast 
to him — although the others rushed to his aid and blows rained upon me — 
until we were interrupted by the deep bass voice of our astonished governor. 
I was at once accused by my tyrant of having struck him for a little fun 
which they had been having with me, and as I abstained from giving my 
version of the affair, we escaped with an admonition to keep the peace, orders 
being given that I was to be left alone. My adversary made an attempt to 
attack me again after the governor's departure, but the others protected me as 
a good fellow who had not " peached ;" some of them even offered their hands 
and asked my name, and then took me to the well to wipe the bl lod from off 
my face. My first fight ended with a lecture about never again daring to 
return a blow from an older cadet or "breadsack ;" my transgression was to 
be passed over in this instance because I had not " peached," but next time, I 
was told, nothing would save me from the most terrible beating from the 
whole class. 

Hardly has the "knapsack" rushed into the lavatory on rising in the morning 
than he receives a dig in the ribs from the senior of his room, who manages 
everything by blows, and who tells him to wake up and strip more completely; 
in the hour for study a ruler flies at his head to make him sit straight or pay 
attention ; during breakfast-time he is ordered to clean a senior's buttons, 
and if he aims at securing the largest roll, he is called greedy and punished 
with the smallest. His pens, paper, and the like are considered public 
property ; he receives the smallest portions at table, has to take the least 
popular parts in the games, and is trained by blows into a regular Spartan. 
All the boys read Grecian and Roman history and Cooper's novels, and aim 
at imitating their heroes; they scorn to flinch under pain; and one cadet went 
so far as co burn a piece of sponge on his hand in emulation of some similar 
feat that he had read about. The " knapsacks " follow these examples of forti- 
tude, until the yoke becomes easier each day ; they have companions in woe, 
and the foundation of lifelong friendships is often the result. 

As soon as the governor and the lieutenant had left the boys at study, and 
their parting steps were heard, boys began to get help in their exercises, the 
second senior occupied himself with cracking nuts secretly, while the senfor 
himself fetched one of Cooper's novels from his cupboard to read. While 
he was thus absorbed, talking, laughing, and letter- writing went on, with 
occasional fighting, speedily repressed by a look from him. Some fell asleep 
with their heads on the table, and one snored, whereupon another tickled 
him with a goose feather, causing even the senior to forget his gravity. As 
the boy failed to awake, a wisp of paper was lighted and put undrr his 
nose, and finally a piece of india-rubber was stuck upon the little toe of 
each boot and set on fire, making him dance about like a dervish, suddenly 
awakened by pain from sweet dreams. Before he could get his boot off, 
the fire had burnt through and blistered his foot. The boy proved to be 
anything but a stoic ; he limped and went into the hospital next day with 
the officer, when he told the doctor what had happened, in consrquence of 
which we were reported and a storm broke over our heads at parade. The 
first and second seniors, and the perpetrator of the trick, were all severely 
punished, and when the victim returned among us, a week later, he was not 
only declared " chief of the mollycoddles," but received a severe thrashing 



400 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 




report, a parcel from home, or a well-executed piece 
holidays, when we could appear before our friends 
Then we returned to school, " knapsacks " no longer 
boys of twelve were 
toughened into steel, 
their bodies hardened, 
their feelings of hon- 
our stirred, and an 
espi'it de corps aroused 
ready for any self- 
sacrifice. 

Lesson hours were 
very strict, and we were 
all ambitious to reach 
as high a place as we 
could on the first 
bench. Good or bad 
reports were made of 
us according to our 
diligence. The indus- 
trious were gradually 
promoted to be second 
and afterwards head 
of their room or bri- 
gade. These heads of 
rooms and brigades, 
eight in number, had 
the distinction of sub- 
alterns. There were 
five different censure 
classes which began 



and was put in the 
" Spanish stocks." 
This consists in fast- 
ening thedelinquent's 
hands together with 
a sledge strap or 
pocket-handkerchief, 
pushing them over 
his knees, and stick- 
ing a bat obliquely 
imder the latter, 
thereby rendering 
him perfectly help- 
less. In this condi- 
tion he received a 
few more hard blows, 
with a lecture on tell- 
ing tales and the 
consequences ; and 
was finally deposited 
in a large metal 
washing - bowl to 
cool, till the drum 
summoned the class. 
The time passed 
slowly, with occa- 
sional alleviations in 
the shape of a good 
of mischief, until the 
in our fine unifoiins. 
; the worst was over ; 




WAR SCHOOLS. — THE C.REAT GENERAL STAFF. 



401 




with the third and ended, according to the offender's conduct, in the first 
or fifth. Any one placed in the latter was generally dismissed from the corps 
as a sickly sheep. 
Most of us found it 
easy to learn, but to 
some it was a trouble, 
and the additional les- 
sons which they re- 
ceived in Latin or 
French were an equal 
torment to their teacher 
and themselves. From 
the sexta we rose up 
to the tertia, by which 
time our stay in the 
preparatory corps was 
completed. 

The woes and con- 
solations of the cadet 
have been embodied 
in verse by some pre- 
cocious spirit, who 
probably owed his in- 
spiration to an after- 
noon spent in the 
" Black Angel," to 
which he refers. The 
woes enumerated are 
the early rising and late going to rest, the hard bolster and cold bed-room, 
the rude fare, poor cabbage, small rolls, hollow loaves, weak soup, tainted 
meat, and weeds flourishing at the bottom of the water-bottles. The pickled 
beans are said to be sweet, whereas the plums are sour, and the only 
consolations are that none are tempted to make themselves ill by over- 
eating, while the steward thrives and the cadets grow slim. As soon as they 
are awake, and have slipped into their clothes, the tortures of study at the 
black table begin, to be succeeded by prayers, which are every night as 
well as morning. If the cadet does not manage to learn his lessons, he is 
marked down in the class-book, and called to the front. The head of his 
company shouts out " Half rations at dinner ! " and he receives corporal 
punishment in addition. When the following Sunday arrives, and he 
wishes for leave of absence, he finds his name crossed out of the book, 
and on appealing to the captain is turned out of the room. The unlucky 
thought of obtaining pity from the major occurs to him ; but for this he is 
sentenced to two days in the " Black Angel," the room of arrest, where he 
sits shivering and hungry. The time seems very long, but if the worst comes 
to the worst, it is always possible to sham illness, spite of teacher and doctor. 

Our sufferings from the cold in winter were very great ; woollen stockings 
and underclothing were unknown luxuries, and our uniform furnished but 
a slight protection against the cold wind which blew round the elevated castle. 
Caps were only worn on state occasions; we generally went about bareheaded, 
and a pair of regulation woollen gloves were put on only in the depth of 
winter ; we were obliged to try to warm ourselves by running and gym- 
nastics. The thermometer rarely rose to 14° in the living rooms, and we had 
scanty food. In spite of this, our greatest fun was in winter, when we all 
helped to build a great snow fortress in the courtyard, which was stormed and 
defended by two parties. In this, and the snowballing matches between the 
companies, there were frequently bleeding faces, for the courtyard was covered 
with coarse gravel, which got mixed with the snow. But such spirit and 
obstinacy were displayed in these fights, that the masters had often hard 

D D 



402 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



work in separating the combatants. They fought for the honour of their 
company, as in later lite they faced the deadliest fire in the battle-field. 

The sledging was less bloody, but all the merrier. There was a steep descent 
inthecastle yard, closeto the entrance, and the wide straight hilly road, which 
led down to the Post Office, presented a splendid course for sledging ! We 
squatted two and two on the small, low, iron-shod sledges, clasping the board 
firmly with our hands, and then rushed down the hill with the swiftness of 
lightning. The one at the end guided the little conveyance with his extended 
heels, making the sledge diverge to one side by touching the ground on the 
other. Great skill was requisite in the management, and many came to 
grief against the iron railings or the large stones by the road side. 

Our only escape from the monotony of cadet life, the constant noise of the 
tattoo, and the severe cold in which we had to stand sentry, was to get 
ordered into the hospital, where quiet and warmth were to be found. The 
cadets sometimes bought tapers for the purpose of dropping a little burning 
wax on their bare feet so as to raise a blister, and they would then set to work 
to bring off wax and skin together with a clothes-brush. A cadet in this 
state would show his foot to the doctor, complaining of his boot having 
blistered it, and would be ordered to hospital, to lie in bed for the wound 
to heal. The only drawback to his enjoyment would be the half rations 
ordered by the doctor. By dint of scratching the wound with his toe during 
the night, he would make it bleed again, and so manage to prolong his stay 
for a fortnight. 

When 1 20 fresh healthy boys between the happy ages of 1 1 and 1 5 are 
packed close together in a small space, there is an abundance of combustible 
material, and their superabundant spirits are vented in mischief, practised 
sometimes on each other, and sometimes on outsiders. The chief occupation 
of the cadets in their play hours is gymnastics, these are their resource in 
hunger, cold, or vexation. Another amusement is games at ball of various 

kinds, Laufball, Rummel- 
ball, Carr^ball, &c., in 
which the masters and 
officers now and then 
take part. Occasionally, 
by way of diversion, some 
" mollycoddle " is tossed 
by the boys, who, placing 
themselves opposite to 
one another in two long 
rows, cross their hands, 
and toss the selected 
victim high in the air, 
amid the general jubila- 
tion. 

If a "knapsack" is 
found inquisitive, he is 
made to look at the stars, 
which he is told may be 
counted in broad daylight 
through any kind of tube, 
the sleeve of his coat, for 
instance. When he seems 
incredulous, he is placed 
on a chair near the win- 
dow, made to pull off his 
coat, which is hung over 
his head, one of the sleeves being drawn out so that he can see through it. 
Then he is told to look patiently, but presently a jug full of water is poured 
down, and wets him through, while he is laughed at for his credulity. 




WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFE. 



^o: 



If any one sleeps in lesson time, his chair is dragged from under him, and 
his face and fingers are smeared with ink, or a match is held to his nose. 
Any one who is miserly and stores up eatables, a very rare occurrence, will 
find his whole cupboard cleared out some fine day, or be treated even 
worse. One of the cadets in our room, distributed very little of the good 
things he received from home on his birthday, but kept them in his cupboard 
to cat on the sly. Plans were concerted, each cadet brought up a handful 
of salt from the dining-room, and during the afternoon one of them pre- 
tended that his nose 
bled, stole up to his 
room, and stirred all 
the salt into the large 
pot of honey. The 
owner soon discover- 
ed the trick, but 
being afraid of worse 
befalling the honey, 
ate it all up at once, 
and had to be sent 
to the hospital in 
consequence. His 
absence was employ- 
ed in eating up his 
cakes and chocolate, 
extracting the kernels 
from his nuts by care- 
fully dividing the 
shells with a knife, 
and filling them up 
neatly with sand and 
ink before gumming 
them together again. 
On his return after 
four days' illness, he found 
nothing left but the horrible 
down into the court, vowing to tell of us 
used before we could dissuade him. 

Any one who proved unbearable, was shut up in an empty cupboard to 
quiet him ; if he told tales he received hard blows and was put into the 
stocks ; if he repeated the offence every one avoided him like the plague, 
and made his life as miserable as possible. This was so well managed that 
the governors hardly ever knew about it, and it was rarely that anything 
oozed out. 

Every one in the cadet corps has a nickname which is more or less appro- 
priate. Among us there was the Sloth, who was always the last to rush 
into the lavatory, while half asleep, with all his things hanging untidily about 
him. He would just dip the tip of his nose into the bowl and seize the 
towel if the eldest in the room did not keep a sharp eye on him, and, much 
to his disgust, force him to strip and wash, when he would be assisted by 
many a splash of water from his companions. During the lesson hour the 
Sloth would snore or nod over an atlas, but as soon as the clatter of break- 
fast basins was heard, he would wake up, for he was idle, stupid, and greedy, 
and no sooner had he finished his own porridge than he would try to secure 
scrapings from the other basins. 

On the early roll being called, he was nearly certain to have lost a button, 
to have dirty ears or fingers, or marks on his coat, but punishment failed to 
cure him. He slept during prayers and in class. Of course he sat on the last 
bench, and never woke up till a question was put to him, or answered unless 
he was prompted. When parade time came, he would be reprimanded for 




some satirical verses in his cupboard and 
nuts ; tears came to his eyes and he rushed 
all, and many threats had to be 



404 



BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 



untidiness and threatened with being removed to the 4th censure class on 
the next offence, but nothing had any effect on him, until he was ordered to 
fast the whole of that day. He would have to stand at the end of the dinner- 
table, watching the others eat, and begging for bits of their bread on the 
sly, till the meat and potatoes came, when, unable any longer to restrain 
his grief, he would groan and sob, till he was removed by order of the officer 
of the day. 

He was the greatest trouble to the sergeant-lieutenant, always requiring 
new clothes, as he grew out of his own about every six weeks. These clothes 
had to be expressly made for him, as none of those on hand would fit him, 
while the discarded ones were soiled all over with dirt and grease. At 
Christmas he received a very bad report, was placed in the 4th censure class, 
and had his furlough stopped. This was a hard blow, for he had been 
dreaming of eating and sleeping to his heart's content throughout the holidays. 
One morning, however, he vanished, and could nowhere be found, but four 
or five days afterwards, word was received from his father of his having 
reached home, half frozen, and nearly starved to death. The attempt to 
humanise this animal seems to have been abandoned, for he never returned 

to the corps. 




The isolated holi- 
days and festivals 
standing out like re- 
freshing isles in the 
vast ocean of cadet 
hfe may be headed 
by Christmas day, 
which brought its 
Christmas trees, gin- 
gerbread, bonbons, 
and great bowls of 
rice and currants, in 
which we might revel. 
But these pleasures 
were alloyed by the 
thought of all we were 
missing at home. 
Then came the King's 
birthday, the second 
great annual holiday, 
when the whole corps 
m.ustered for grand 
parade in the court- 
yard, dressed in their 
new uniforms, and 
the governor made a 
splendid speech. 

So months and 
years passed in work 
and play till I became sub-officer and eldest in the brigade, and reached the 
4th form and ist censure class. Then came the summer's day when, dis- 
missed by the sergeant-lieutenant with tears and parting words of advice, I 
bade the school farewell, and started on my journev to the capital, to join the 
corps at No. 13, Neue Fricdrichs-strasse. 

The War Schools at which the advantageurs and cadets, not 
belonging to the Sclecta, gain their military instruction, are seven 
in number, and are situate at Potsdam, P>furt, Neisse, Engel, 
Cassel, Hanover, and Anklam. Before entering one of them a 



WAR SCIIOOI.S.^TIIE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 405 

young man must have received a good education, and served six 
months in the ranks. The course of instruction lasts ten months, 
and comprises tactics of all arms, manoeuvres, the defence of 
places, the transport of troops, the science of arms and their 
manufacture, also the theory of projectiles, fortification, topo- 
graphy and military drawing in all their branches, instruction 
in military regulations and the duties of the service, including 
the whole system of military correspondence and accounts, with 
drill, riding, fencing, and gymnastics. 

No civilians are employed in these schools, at which the daily 
routine does not materially differ from that of the cadet schools, the 
lectures leaving about three hours' spare time every day. Disci- 
pline is mainly secured by the inspectors who live amongst the 
pupils. The rules and regulations are very strict, and the con- 
duct report may affect future promotion to a considerable degree. 
Conduct unbecoming an officer is rigidly punished, and the 
greatest neatness of dress is enforced. Plain clothes are not 
allowed to be worn under any circumstances. As the pupils are 
mostly nineteen or twenty years of age, much of the main- 
tenance of discipline rests with themselves. Duelling as a pre- 
ventative to bullying is permitted within certain limits. The 
senior pupils, under the presidency of an officer, form a Board of 
Honour, by which all quarrels are investigated. The board 
decides which of the disputants is in the wrong, and whether a 
duel should take place. These duels are fought with swords, 
and it rarely happens that much damage is done; after they 
are over the disputant pronounced by the board to be in the 
wrong is punished by the director of the school. Under these 
circumstances a man knowing himself to be in the wrong, and 
certain that in whatever way the contest ends he will certainly 
be punished, often tries his very hardest to wound his adversary 
when standing up face to face with him. 

The United Artillery and Engineer School, situate at No. 74 
Unter den Linden, was founded in 18 16. None of the students 
live at the school, but there is a mess establishment at which 
about 140 of them dine together, the remainder messing at an 
adjoining restaurant. On the ground floor are the offices, the 
officers' mess-room, a chemical laboratory, very well furnished, 
and a number of electrical and scientific instruments used in 
illustrating the lectures on physical science, said to be the best in 
Berlin, after those of the University. On the first floor are the 
lecture rooms, larger than those of the Cadetten-haus, though 
not generally intended for classes of more than thirty students, 
together with two large halls especially devoted to drawing, and 
which have their walls covered with topographical designs, plans 
of fortifications, &c. On the second floor is the students' 
mess-room, with billiard and card rooms, and also the library, 
the latter well supplied with German and foreign military and 



4o6 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

scientific works. Above the library are the model rooms and 
museum, containing models of artillery carriages and fortifica- 
tions, together with a large collection of surveying instruments. 

Young men intending to join the artillery and engineers 
receive no special education before entering the army. They 
join their regiments as cadets or advantageurs, and after serving 
a year, instead of the six months necessary in a line regiment, 
proceed through the ordinary ten months' course at a war- 
school. The reason why officers of all arms are called upon to 
go through the same course, is partly to establish a more 
complete sympathy between the different branches of the 
service, and partly because it was thought unwise that young 
men of the artillery and engineers, who had only been in service 
a few months, should by proceeding direct to their special school 
be left comparatively free from control in Berlin. After leaving the 
military school and passing the officer's examination, they receive 
a kind of provisional commission. They are officers in the army, 
but in their own corps are merely supernumeraries, and before 
actually becoming officers of artillery or engineers must serve with 
their regiments two years in the former branch and one in the 
latter, and then attend their special school for one or two years 
respectively. The reason the artillery students spend two years 
with their regiments is to give them a more thorough acquaint- 
ance with their practical duties. 

The course of instruction is both theoretical and practical. 
The former comprises for both divisions the usual branches of 
scientific military education, with certain special branches, such as 
veterinary science for the artillery, and hydraulic construction for 
the engineers. The practical course embraces visits to the 
military establishments at Berlin and Spandau, laboratory opera- 
tions, attendance at the exercise of the engineers of the guard 
in sapping, mining, &c., tracing fieldworks, surveying, and artil- 
lery practice. The professional examinations take place in July, 
and those who pass join their regiments as second lieutenants. 
In the event of a first failure a second trial is allowed, but a can- 
didate who has twice failed is not eligible for appointment as 
officer in a scientific corps and is transferred to the line. The 
artillery and engineers are the only branches of the Prussian 
service in which there are examinations for promotion. In both 
corps first lieutenants must pass a further examination before 
promotion to the rank of captain. These numerous examina- 
tions render these services somewhat unpopular, and are con- 
sidered a grievance by the ofificers themselves, though they are 
in some degree made up for by better pay, subalterns receiving 
about sixty thaler, and captains and majors about lOO thaler 
per annum more than the holders of corresponding ranks in the 
infantry. 

The War Academy situated in the Burg-strasse, in the rear of 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GEXERAL STAFF. 407 

the Schloss, was founded by General Scharnhorst in 18 10, on 
the site of the Academie des Nobles, afterwards the Academie 
Militaire of Friedrich the Great. There is nothing remarkable 
about this building, the accommodation of which is on a limited 
scale, but it contains a good library, a large collection of maps 
and plans, a museum of models of artillery and fortifications, a 
chemical laboratory and a cabinet of physical science well pro- 
vided with apparatus. The War Academy, which was formerly 
known as the War School till the institution of local war schools 
led to its change of title, is not a staff school, for though the 
ordinary means of obtaining a staff appointment is by passing 
through it, such a course of instruction does not give a claim to 
staff employment, nor is the education given exclusively intended 
for staff officers. The general object of the institution is to 
raise the scientific spirit of the army, while its special object is to 
give such an education to the most talented officers of all arms 
after they have proved themselves to be possessed of the practi- 
cal qualifications of good regimental officers, as will fit them for 
responsible positions of high rank and duties requiring attain- 
ments of a higher degree than ordinary. 

The course of the Academy extends over three years, and 
admission is obtained by a competitive examination open to 
officers of all branches of the service who have served as officers 
for three years. The candidate must, however, produce certifi- 
cates from his commanding officer, setting forth that he is well 
acquainted with regimental duty and has on all occasions shown 
himself a thoroughly practical officer, that he has the disposition 
and abilities to profit by a high scientific education, health likely 
to ensure his remaining in the service, strength of character and 
firmness, and that he is not in pecuniary difficulties. The ex- 
aminations of the candidates take place at the head-quarters of 
the army corps to which their regiment belongs, the papers, 
which are the same for all, being sent from Berlin. The subjects 
are partly of a general, and partly of a professional, character, 
and the questions are such as require not merely an effort of 
memory to answer them, but allow the candidate to display his 
mental capacity and power of thought. The papers are sent in 
to the Board of Studies, and in cases of near equality the pre- 
ference is given to candidates who have distinguished themselves 
in the field, who, from personal qualifications, are likely to prove 
useful members of the Academy, or who, from advanced age or 
higher rank, would make the postponement of their admission a 
disadvantage. The number received depends upon the vacancies. 

The students are divided into three classes, one for each year, 
and the course of instruction followed is of a very wide 
character, embracing many subjects of a literary and scientific 
nature that have no connection whatever with military matters. 
The purely military subjects are of course obligatory, but a wide 



408 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

latitude of choice is allowed in pursuing the others, so that 
every one is encouraged to cultivate any special talent he may 
possess, though all are obliged to attend a certain number of 
lectures. Care is taken that the lectures shall be thoroughly 
comprehensive in their character. Thus the professors are in- 
structed that those on military history shall consist of some- 
thing more than a dry chronological account of military events, 
with an enumeration of the changes which have taken place in 
tactics and strategy. It is necessary they should furnish a life- 
like description of the circumstances under which war was waged 
at different eras, and to present a finished picture of the cha- 
racters of any great military leaders and of the troops which 
they commanded. In the same way it is required that the lec- 
tures on military geography shall embrace statistics as to the 
population, commerce, and products of different countries, with 
the social and political circumstances of the inhabitants, their 
education, industrial occupations, military and civil institutions — 
in fine, "everything that is of importance for military operations, 
as these may be affected by the general defensive powers of a 
country." At the War Academy, as at the other military schools, 
the testimony is, that the men who have passed through the 
public schools, show a marked superiority over those who be- 
longed to the cadet corps. The students on leaving receive 
certificates of proficiency, which do not however entitle them to 
any appointment, though they set forth the branch of the service 
for which the holders are best qualified. 

Amongst other educational establishments connected with the 
army and situate in Berlin, are the School of Gunnery, the 
Central Gymnastic School for training instructors in gymnastics, 
and the School of Pyrotechny for the instruction of non-com- 
missioned officers of artillery in laboratory duties, together with 
the two Army Medical Schools, the Friedrich-Wilhelm Institute 
and the Military Medical Academy, and the Military Veterinary 
School.^ One other military institution, the renown of which is 
European, remains to be described, namely the establishment of 
the " Grosser Generalstab," or Great General Staff. 

Outside the Victory-crowned Brandenburg Gate, within a hun- 
dred yards of Unter den Linden, and on the north side of the 
Thiergarten, stands the imposing block of buildings compos- 
ing the offices ot the General Staff of the German army. In 
advance of them on one side is KroU's establishment, and on 
the other the Raczinsky palace and picture, gallery, while in 

' In March 1875 the number of the inmates, both professors and teachers, 
of the War Academy was 480 ; of the United Artillery and Engineer School, 
548 ; of the Cadetten-haus, 789 ; of the School of Gunners, 302 ; of 
the School of Pyrotechny, 258 ; of the Gymnastic School, 237 ; of the 
Military Veterinary School, 184; and of the Friedrich-Wilhelm Institute, 
213. The Ministry of War had 147 inmates, and the General Staff, 139. 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 409 

the centre of the Konigs-platz, in front, rises the stumpy fluted 
Victory column, which the BerHnese have irreverently nick- 
named "the bundle of asparagus." 

The building in which the General Staff is installed has a 
principal and two side fagadcs, enclosing a large court, with 
ample room in the rear for the extension of the edifice, which, 
though only occupied since 1871, is already found too small for 
its intended purpose. Like the majority of modern public 
buildings in Berlin, it is built of brick, with stone dressings ; it 
is also ornamented in the prevailing style of ]5erlin military 
architecture, with helmets, eagles, laurel wreaths, and palm and 
oak branches, and with mythological groups of bellicose aspect. 
The establishment of the General Staff includes such officers as 
are not employed with the different military commands, and is pre- 
sided over by Count von Moltke. It is perfectly distinct from the 
War Office, or that department which answers to our own Horse 
Guards. Count von Moltke has nothing whatever to do with 
promotions or appointments in the army, or with any patronage 
or routine work. He is Chief of the General Staff, and, as such, 
the Emperor's principal adviser in time of war ; but he in no 
way controls the army. Indeed, it would be wholly impossible 
for him to work out the great questions and problems submitted 
to him if he did. At the offices of the General Staff information 
of every kind is received, digested, and applied to the steady 
improvement of the military system ; here plans are prepared 
for offensive and defensive campaigns against every nation in 
Europe ; here the brightest wits and hardest workers of the 
army come together and work out the grand principles of war, 
and here also they are being trained to become first-rate Generals, 
capable of handling, not tens of thousands only, but hundreds of 
thousands of men. " In this vast factory," says M. Victor Tissot, 
" war is prepared just like some chemical product ; within these 
walls all the various directing strings that regulate the German 
army are made to meet in order to be under the control of one 
master-hand, so that the troops in fact scarcely march a step, 
explode a cartridge, or fire a cannon shot without orders from 
here, while not so much as a military gaiter button can be 
sewn on anywhere in Europe without a note being taken 
of it." 

Attached to the General Staff is the Accessory Staff, com- 
posed of officers employed in the strictly scientific work allotted 
to this department, their appointments being of a permanent 
nature ; these officers, as a ,rule, do not participate in the ad- 
vantage of rapid promotion enjoyed by the officers belonging to 
the active staffs 

Three sections of the General Staff are charged with study- 
ing the strength, organization, recruiting, equipment, drill, and 

^ Account of the Pnissiati Staff, by Colonel Walker, C.B. 

E E 



410 BERLIN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

distribution of foreign armies, and with keeping a minute account 
of their effective force and their armaments, of the time neces- 
sary for their mobilization and their concentration on the different 
points of the frontier, together with their systems of reinforcement 
and reserve. Their artillery strength is carefully recorded, and 
scarcely a cartridge or a shell enters their arsenals without being 
noted. The first section occupies itself with the armies of the 
East — namely, those of Austria, Russia, Sweden and Norway, 
Denmark, Turkey, Greece, and Asia ; the second with the armies 
of middle Europe, including those of Prussia and Germany — 
with particulars of their fortresses, magazines, forts, and inland 
communication — and likewise those of Italy and Switzerland. 
The third section charges itself with the armies of the West, 
comprising those of France, Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, 
Spain, Portugal, and the United States. The colonies are in all 
instances noted under the section to which the mother country 
belongs. 

There is a sub-section, under the direction of Colonel von 
Branderstein, charged with collecting information respecting 
foreign railways, both from a strategical point of view and in 
reference to the transport of troops and materiel. In the case 
of an anticipated war, this section would have to draw up before- 
hand a tableau of the halting-places in the particular foreign 
country, regulated by the resources and wealth of the different 
towns and districts. Certain officers are attached permanently to 
this sub-section, who have not only to make themselves theoreti- 
cally masters of their subject, but by travelling on the various 
foreign lines of railway have to acquire practical acquaintance 
with their transport capabilities in all their details. With a view 
moreover of diffusing this class of knowledge as widely as possible, 
ail the officers of the staff are required to attend a six weeks' 
course of study with this sub-section. 

The trigonometrical and topographical sections employ a 
legion of geographical engineers, draughtsmen, engravers, &c., 
and the surveys of special localities made by the former are 
afterwards verified by the troops between the 1st of May and 
the 1st of October in each year. To the latter section a photo- 
graphic workroom and lithographic printing-office, under the 
direction of Major Regelz, have recently been annexed. The 
geographical-statistical section collects and utilizes information, 
and for this purpose is in constant communication with the re- 
maining sections. It also charges itself with the scientific duties 
connected with the map collection of the General Staff, one room 
devoted to which contains maps on a large scale, relating to all 
the countries in the world, arranged in the most perfect order. 

Not the least important section of the General Staff is that of 
military history, directed by Colonel Count von Wartensleben, 
under the control of Count von Moltkc. It is this section which 



WAR SCHOOLS. — THE GREAT GENERAL STAFF. 4I I 

is engaged in preparing the history of the war of 1870 and 1871. 
In the narrow and dark vestibule leading to its offices, the rare 
military library which the Germans carried off from Metz is 
installed. To the right an iron door conducts to a vaulted apart- 
ment, wherein are deposited the national war archives, dating 
from the epoch of the Elector Johann Sigismund. Orders, reports, 
instructions, everything has been preserved in no fewer than five- 
and-twenty thousand heavy folios, all classed and divided into 
the different epochs, the principal being the Seven Years' War, 
the War of Deliverance (1813-15), and the war of 1870-71. 
The Danish War and the campaigns against Austria and the 
French Republic of 1793 likewise furnish a vast number of 
documents. 

The rooms where the official history of the late war was being 
prepared were encumbered with maps, plans, despatches, bulletins, 
reports, notes, extracts, and French, English, German, Russian, 
and American books and newspapers. " These are by no means 
the whole of the materials which you see here," remarked the 
officer who accompanied us. " Altogether, there is little short of 
a million documents of one kind or another ; " and he opened the 
doors of various rooms filled with piles of orders, despatches, 
and other papers, reaching to the ceiling. 

The staff of this section, it appears, not only occupies itself 
with subjects of intermediate and recent .interest, but with the 
collection and arrangement of papers referring to wars of former 
times ; and it is said there is scarcely a European battle of any 
importance of which a plan is not to be found in this repository. 
The library attached to it is, moreover, rich in works on military 
history, tactics, geography, and military science generally, in all 
the languages of Europe. 

In addition to the duties already enumerated, the General Staff 
occupies itself with the preparation of printed reports on foreign 
armies for distribution to staff officers not employed upon the 
establishment. It also undertakes the training of officers for 
Staff purposes, to which end young officers who have passed the 
prescribed three years at the Military Academy are attached for 
a year to the different sections. Here they are employed in 
drawling up reports on strategical and tactical questions, critical 
reports on the military events of past eras, descriptions of the 
ground embraced in military operations, and of the military 
organization of foreign countries. Whenever the foregoing 
essays appear to be of special value, they are brought beneath 
the notice of the Chief of the Staff. 

The officers of the General Staff go on military tours of in- 
struction, some of these being personally conducted by Count 
von Moltke, when the theatre of operations and certain conditions 
by which the latter are likely to be influenced are indicated, a 
suppositious strength is given to two contending armies whose 

E E 2 



412 RERUN UNDER THE NEW EMPIRE. 

depots and means of reinforcement -are clearly laid down, while 
the influence likely to be exerted by the movements of other 
armies or bodies of troops on their flanks are duly taken into 
calculation. According to these data, the senior officers present 
form their plans of manoeuvre, employing their juniors in the 
preparation of all the subordinate arrangements, the movement 
of the troops, the selection of positions for attack or defence, the 
arrangements for supply, and for retaining a communication with 
the base. All these measures arc carried out on the spot, and 
daily reports are made to the superintending officer, accompanied 
when necessary with such rough sketches as are usually indicated 
during the progress of a campaign. Officers of the General Staff 
are moreover detached to attend the annual corps manoeuvres, 
as well as those taking place in foreign countries, and are also 
appointed to follow the active campaigns of friendly nations and 
allies.^ 

The great value of the institution of the General Staff is due 
to the composition of its official corps, and to the thorough exami- 
nation to which Count von Moltke subjects even the man whom 
he considers worthy of a prominent position in this body of picked 
men. The officer who thinks himself fitted to enter the General 
Staff must be not only blameless in his mihtary capacity, but 
possessed of a large store of positive knowledge. Moreover, 
he has to learn by degrees every branch of the science of war in 
these various offices, and to show distinct activity in all of them 
before he will be promoted a single step. And between times he 
is ordered on active service to give proof of his capacity in com- 
manding a battalion or a regiment. There is no patronage or 
nepotism here ; only the best man is advanced. Throughout 
the army the most capable men are sent to this High School of 
the Science of War, while the least valuable are weeded out again 
and transferred to ord