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WHEN I was requested by the Committee of the Inter- 
national Arbitration and Peace Association, of which I 
have the honour to be a Member, to undertake the 
translation of the novel entitled Die Waffen Nieder, I 
considered it my duty to consent ; and I have found the 
labour truly a delight. Baroness Suttner's striking tale 
has had so great a success on the Continent of Europe 
that it seems singular that no complete translation 
into English should yet have appeared. An incomplete 
version was published some time since in the United 
States, without the sanction of the authoress; but it 
gives no just idea of the work. 

Apart from its value as a work of fiction great as 
that is the book has a transcendent interest for the 
Society with which I am connected from its bearing on 
the question of war in general and of the present state 
of Europe in particular. We English-speaking people, 
whether in England, in the Colonies, or in the United 
States, being ourselves in no immediate danger of seeing 
our homes invaded, and our cities laid under contri- 
bution by hostile armies, are apt to forget how terribly 
the remembrance of such calamities, and the constant 
threat of their recurrence, haunt the lives of our 
Continental brethren. Madame Suttner's vivid pages 
will enable those of us who have not seen anything of 


the ravages of war, or felt the griefs and anxieties of 
non-combatants, to realise the state in which people 
live on the Continent of Europe, -under the grim 
" shadow of the sword," with constantly increasing 
demands on the treasure accumulated by their labour, 
and on their still dearer treasure their children drawn 
into the ravenous maw of the Conscription, to meet 
the ever-increasing demands of war, which seems daily 
drawing nearer and nearer, in spite of the protestations 
made by every Government of its anxiety for peace. 

What can we expect to change this terrible condition 
except the formation of a healthy public opinion ? And 
what can more powerfully contribute to its formation 
than a clear conception both of the horrors and suffer- 
ings that have attended the great wars waged in our 
times, and also of the inadequacy of the reasons, at 
least the ostensible reasons, for their commencement, 
and the ease with which they might have been avoided, 
if their reasons had been indeed their causes ? This work 
appears to me of especial value, as setting this forth 
more plainly than a formal treatise could do, and it is 
towards the formation of such a public opinion that we 
hope it may contribute. The dawn of a better day in 
respect of war is plain enough in our country. We 
have advanced far indeed from the state of things that 
existed a century ago, when Coleridge could indignantly 
say of England : 

'Mid thy herds and thy cornfields secure thou hast stood 
And joined the wild yelling of famine and blood 1 

England since then has given and is giving many 
gratifying proofs of her sincere desire for peace, and 
her readiness to submit her claims to peaceful arbitra- 


tion. Is it too much to hope that we may see our 
country joining in some well-considered scheme for 
general treaties of Arbitration and for the institution 
of an International Court ? And may we not hope that 
our influence, as that of a nation not implicated in the 
mad race of armaments, and yet not removed from the 
area of European war, may avail to bring the question 
of disarmament before an International Conference 
and thus introduce the twentieth century into a world 
in which there will be some brighter prospect than 

War shall endless war still breed ? 

Let us trust that this may not be found quite an idle 
dream, and that we may without self-delusion look 
forward to a more happy era, and join the cry of 
Baroness Suttner's Rudolf " Es lebe die Z'lkunft". 



THE rapid sale of the first edition of this translation has 
encouraged the Association at whose request it was 
made to endeavour to make it more widely known to 
the various English-speaking populations, by printing a 
larger edition at a lower price. It is hoped, also, that the 
enlarged circulation of a work so graphic, and written 
by one who has so thoroughly studied the real aspects 
of war, as seen by those on the spot, may lead not so 
much to sentimental emotions and vague protests, as to 
a business-like discussion of the means by which the 
resort to war may be at any rate rendered more and 
more infrequent. The English Government has lately 
given repeated and practical proofs of its sincere desire 
to substitute the peaceful and rational method of arbi- 
tration for the rough, cruel, and uncertain decision of 
force; and the conspicuous success of that method 
hitherto though tried under circumstances not al- 
together favourable must have prepared thinking men 
for the question : " Why cannot some scheme for the 
formation of an International Tribunal of Arbitration be 
formed and debated among the Powers who, by taking 
part in the Congress at Paris after the Crimean War, 
formally admitted the principle, and who have already 
seen it successfully applied in practice " ? To this 
question, which has been frequently asked, no satisfactory 


answer has yet been given, nor to the further question 
why our Government should not introduce the subject to 
the great Powers, after showing so unmistakably its ad- 
herence to the principle. People differ, and, probably, 
will always differ, as to the light in which they regard 
war. A very small and rapidly diminishing minority 
regard it as a good thing in itself most as an evil 
which in our present stage of civilisation cannot always 
be avoided ; some as a crime formally prohibited by the 
moral law and the Christian religion. All of the two 
latter classes ought to join in any practical steps for 
diminishing the occasions of war; and of these the one 
which is most within the scope of politicians is the pro- 
motion of International Arbitration. The Association 
to which I belong has published this work in the confi- 
dent hope that its circulation will aid in hastening this 
much-needed reform. 





Girlish days. My first marriage and birth of my first child My 

husband summoned to the Italian war of 1859 . . I 

Period of war. A wife's anxieties. Terrible news . . if 

Years of widowhood. Re-entry into society. Introduction to Baron 

Tilling. Manner of my husband's death . . . . 40 

Progress of my friendship for Tilling. His mother's death. Growth 

of love 59 

Doubts and fears. Engagement to Tilling . .... 8-4 

Marriage and garrison life. Outbreak of the Schleswig-Holstein 

war. History of its causes ....... 116 

My husband ordered off to the war. Premature confinement and 

deadly peril. Letters from the seat of war . . . . 141 

Re-union. Financial ruin . 164 

Approach of the Austro- Prussian war. The preliminaries to It 

War declared 187 


Early period of the war .... . . . 115 

War-sketches by a soldier who abhors war . . . . 3J 

After K6niggratz. My experiences in a journey over the Bohemian 

battlefields in search of my husband 245 

Prussian advance on Vienna. Life at Grumitz . . . .283 

Festivities at Grumitz, followed by an outbreak of cholera which 

sweeps off nearly the whole family 303 

Period of mourning. Discussion with a military chaplain. Death 

of Aunt Mary .... 327 


Threat of war between France and Prussia. Arbitration. Life in 
Paris during the exhibition of 1868 and afterwards in 1870. 
Birth of a daughter 356 

Approach of war between France and Prussia. We linger in Paris. 

War breaks out 380 

The Franco-German war. Departure from Paris prevented by 

illness. Siege of Paris. My husband shot by the Communards 396 

The end. " Hail to the future 1 " 4* 



Girlish days and girlish fancies. Youtkfttl enthusiasm for 
war. Education. " Coming out." An important visit 
to Maricnbad. Love at first sight. Marriage. A first 
child. The baby-soldier. Threatenings of war. Decla- 
ration of war with Sardinia. My husband is to see active 

AT seventeen I was a thoroughly overwrought creature. This 
perhaps I should no longer be aware of to-day, if it were 
not that my diaries have been preserved. But in them the 
enthusiasms long since fled, the thoughts which have never 
been thought again, the feelings never again felt have im- 
mortalised themselves, and thus I can judge at this present 
time what exalted notions had stuck in my silly, pretty head. 
Even this prettiness, of which my glass has now little left to 
say, is revealed to me by the portraits of long ago. I can figure 
to myself what an envied person the Countess Martha Althaus 
youthful, thought beautiful, and surrounded by all kinds of 
luxury must have been. These remarkable diaries, however, 
bound in their red covers, point more to melancholy than to joy 
in life. The question I now ask myself is, Was I really so silly 
as not to recognise the advantages of my position or was I 
only so enthusiastic as to believe that only melancholy feelings 


were elevated and worthy of being expressed in poetical form 
and as such enrolled in the red volumes ? My lot seems not 
to have contented me for thus is it written : 

" O Joan of Arc ! heroic virgin favoured of heaven ! could 
I be like to thee to wave the oriflamme, to crown my king, 
and then die for the fatherland, the beloved ! " 

No opportunity offered itself to me of realising these modest 
views of life. Again, to Be torn to pieces in the circus by a lion 
as a Christian martyr, another vocation for which I longed 
see entry of September 19, 1853 was not to be compassed by 
me, and so I had plainly to suffer under the consciousness 
that the great deeds after which my soul thirsted must remain 
ever unaccomplished, that my life, considered fundamentally, 
was a failure. Ah ! why had I not come into the world as a 
boy? (another fruitless reproach against destiny which often 
found expression in the red volumes); in that case I would 
have been able to strive after and to achieve " the exalted ". 
Of female heroism history affords but few examples. How 
seldom do we succeed in having the Gracchi for our sons, or 
in carrying our husbands out to the Weinsberg Gates, or in 
being saluted by sabre-brandishing Magyars with the shout, 
" Hurrah for Maria Theresa our king". But when one is a 
man, then one need only gird on the sword and start off to 
win fame and laurels win for oneself a throne like Cromwell, 
or the empire of the world, like Bonaparte. I recollect that the 
highest conception of human greatness seemed to me to be 
embodied in warlike heroism. For scholars, poets, explorers, 
I had indeed a sort of respect, but only the winners of battles 
inspired me with real admiration. These were indeed the chief 
pillars of history, the rulers of the fate of countries ; these 
were in importance and in elevation near to the Divinity, 
as elevated above all other folk as the peaks of the 
Alps and Himalayas nbove the turf and flowers of the 

From all which I need not conclude that I possessed a 
heroic nature. The fact was simply that I was capable of 


enthusiasm and impassioned, and so I was of course passion- 
ately enthusiastic for that which was most highly accounted of 
by my school-books and my entourage. 

My father was a general in the Austrian army, and had 
fought at Custozza under " Father Radetzky," whom he vene- 
rated to superstition. What eternal campaigning stories had I to 
listen to ! Dear papa was so proud of his warlike experiences, 
and spoke with such satisfaction of the campaigns in which he 
had fought, that I felt an involuntary pity for every man who 
possessed no such reminiscences. But what a drawback for 
the female sex to be excluded from this most magnificent 
display of the manly feeling of honour and duty ! If anything 
came to my ears about the efforts of women after equality 
and of this in my youth but little was heard, and then usually 
in a tone of contempt and condemnation I conceived the 
wish for emancipation only in one direction, viz., that women 
also should have the right to carry arms and take the 
field. Ah, how beautiful was it to read in history about a 
Semiramis or a Catherine II. "She carried on war with 
this or that neighbouring state she conquered this or that 
country ! " 

Speaking generally it is history which, as our youth are 
instructed, is the chief source of the admiration of war. From 
thence it is stamped on the childish mind that the Lord of 
armies is constantly decreeing battles, that these are, as it were, 
the vehicle upon which the destiny of nations is carried on 
through the ages ; that they are the fulfilment of an inevitable 
law of nature and must always occur from time to time like 
storms at sea or earthquakes ; that terror and woe are indeed 
connected with them ; but the latter is fully counterpoised, for 
the commonwealth by the importance of the results, for indi- 
viduals by the blaze of glory which may be won in them, or 
even by the consciousness of the fulfilment of the most elevated 
duty. Can there be a more glorious death than that on the 
field of honour, a nobler immortality than that of the hero? 
All this comes out clear and unanimous in all school-books 01 


"readings for the use of schools," where, besides the formal 
history, which is only represented as a concatenation of military 
events, even the separate tales and poems always manage to tell 
only of heroic deeds of arms. This is a part of the patriotic 
system of education. Since out of every scholar a defender of 
his country has to be formed, therefore the enthusiasm even of 
the child must be aroused for this its first duty as a citizen; his 
spirit must be hardened against the natural horror which the 
terrors of war might awaken, by passing over as quickly as 
possible the story of the most fearful massacres and butcheries 
as of something quite common and necessary, and laying mean- 
while all possible stress on the ideal side of this ancient national 
custom ; and it is in this way they have succeeded in forming 
a race eager for battle and delighting in war. 

The girls who indeed are not to take the field are edu- 
cated out of the same books as are prepared for the military 
training of the boys, and so in the female youth arises the same 
conception which exhausts itself in envy that they have nothing 
to do with war and in admiration for the military class. What 
pictures of horror out of all the battles on earth, from the Biblical 
and Macedonian and Punic Wars down to the Thirty Years' War 
and the wars of Napoleon, were brought before us tender maidens, 
who in all other things were formed to be gentle and mild ; how 
we saw there cities burnt and the inhabitants put to the sword 
and the conquered trodden down and all this was a real enjoy- 
ment ; and of course through this heaping up and repetition of the 
horrors the perception that they were horrors becomes blunted, 
everything which belongs to the category of war conies no longer 
to be regarded from the point of view of humanity, and receives 
a perfectly peculiar mystico-historico-political consecration. War 
must be it is the source of the highest dignities and honours 
that the girls see very well, and they have had also to learn 
by heart the poems and tirades in which war is magnified. 
And thus originate the Spartan mothers, and the "mothers ol 
the colours," and the frequent invitations to the cotillon which 
are given to a corps of officers when it is the turn of the ladies 


to choose partners. 1 I was not like so many of my companions 
in rank educated in a convent, but under the direction of 
governesses and masters in my father's house. My mother I 
lost early. Our aunt, an old canoness, filled the place of a 
mother to us children for there were three younger children. 
We spent the winter months in Vienna, the summer on a family 
estate in Lower Austria. 

I can remember that I gave my governesses and masters much 
satisfaction, for I was an industrious and ambitious scholar, 
gifted with an accurate memory. When I could not, as I have 
remarked, satisfy my ambition by winning battles like a heroine, 
I contented myself with passing judgments on them in my 
lessons, and extorting admiration by my zeal for learning. In 
the French and English languages I was nearly perfect. In 
geology and astronomy I made as much progress as was ordin- 
arily accessible in the programme of the education of a girl, but 
in the subject of history I learned more than was required of 
me. Out of the library of my father I fetched the ponderous 
works of history, in which I studied in my leisure hours. I 
always thought myself a little bit cleverer when I could enrich 
my memory with an event, a name, or a date out of past times. 
Against pianoforte-playing which was put down in the plan of 
education I made a resolute resistance. I possessed neither 
talent nor desire for music, and felt that in it, for me, no satisfac- 
tion of my ambition would be found. I begged so long and 
so pressingly that my precious time, which I might spend on 
my other studies, should not be shortened by this meaningless 
strumming, that my good father let me off this musical servitude, 

1 About the " Damenwahl " Bishop Ch. Wordsworth in his Annals of 
my Early Life, p. 141, thus speaks, describing a ball at Greifswald: 
"As I was standing among others looking on at a party of dancers, a 
fair Greifswaldese, who had been one of them, came up to me and offered 
me her hand. Not knowing who she was or what she said (for she spoke 
in German), I could only make to her a low bow and look abashed. It 
was explained to me afterwards that the cotillon, which was the dance 
going on, allows any lady to offer herself as a partner to any gentleman 
whom she chooses, and that I had declined a very pretty compliment." 


to the great grief of my aunt, whose opinion was that without 
pianoforte-playing there could be no proper education. 

On March 10, 1857, I celebrated my seventeenth birthday. 
" Seventeen already ! " runs the entry of that date in my diary. 
This " already " is in itself a poem. There is no commentary 
added, but probably I meant by it " and as yet nothing done 
for immortality ". These red volumes do me excellent service 
now, when I want to recall the recollections of a life. They 
render it possible for me to depict even down to their minutest 
details the feelings of the past, which would have remained in 
my memory only as faded outlines, and to reproduce whole 
trains of thought long forgotten, and long-silent speeches. 

In the following carnival I was to be " brought out ". This 
prospect delighted me, but not to such an extraordinary degree 
as is usually the case with young girls. My spirit yearned for 
something higher than the triumphs of the ballroom. What 
was it I yearned for ? A question that I could have hardly 
answered to myself. Probably for love, though I was not 
aware of it. All those glowing dreams of aspiration and am- 
bition which swell the hearts of young men and women, and 
which long to work themselves out all sorts of ways as thirst 
for knowledge, love of travel or adventure are in reality for 
the most part only the unrecognised activity of the growing 
instinct of love. 

This summer my aunt was ordered a course of the waters at 
Marienbad. She was pleased to take me with her. Though 
my official introduction into the so-called " world " was not to 
take place till the following winter, I was yet allowed to take 
part in some little dances at the Kurhaus, with an idea also of 
exercising me in dancing and conversation, so that I might not 
be altogether too shy and awkward in entering on my first 
carnival season. 

But what happened at the first party which I visited ? A 
serious, vital love affair. It was of course a lieutenant of hussars. 
The civilians in the hall appeared to me like cockchafers to 
butterflies compared to the soldiers. And of the wearers of 


uniforms present the hussars were every way the most splendid ; 
and, finally, of all the hussars Count Arno Dotzky was the 
most dazzling. Over six feet high, with black curly hair, 
twisted moustaches, glittering white teeth, dark eyes, with such 
a penetrating and tender expression in fine, at his question, 
" Have you the cotillon free, countess?" I felt that there might 
be other triumphs as exciting as the banner-waving of the Maid 
of Orleans, or the sceptre-waving of the great Catherine. And 
he at the age of twenty-two felt something very similar as he 
(lew round the room in the waltz with the prettiest girl in the 
hall (for one may say so thirty years afterwards) at any rate he 
was probably thinking, " To possess thee, thou sweet creature, 
would outweigh a field-marshal's baton ". 

"Why, Martha, Martha," remonstrated my aunt, as I sank 
breathless on the seat at her side, covering her head-dress with 
the floating muslins of my robe. . 

" Oh, I beg your pardon, auntie," said I, and sat more 
upright. " I could not help it." 

" I was not finding fault with you for that. My blame was 
for your behaviour with that hussar. You ought not to cling 
so in dancing, and who would ever look so close into a gentle- 
man's eyes? " 

I blushed deep. Had I committed some unmaidenly 
offence, and might the Incomparable have conceived a bad 
idea of me ? 

I was relieved of this anxious doubt before the ball was over, 
for in the course of the supper waltz the Incomparable whis- 
pered to me : " Listen to me. I cannot help it you must 
know it even to-day I love you." 

This sounded a little more sweet than Joan's famous 
"voices". However, while the dance was going on I could 
not give him any reply. He must have seen this, for he came 
to a stop. We were standing in an empty corner of the room, 
and could continue the conversation without being overheard 

" Speak, countess ; what have I to hope ? " 

" I do not understand you," was my insincere reply. 


" Perhaps you do not believe in love at first sight ? I myself 
held it a fable till now, but to-day I have experienced the truth 
of it" 

How my heart beat ! but I was silent. 

" I have leapt head over heels into my fate," he continued. 
" You or no one ! Decide then for my bliss or my death, for 
without you I neither can nor will live. Will you be mine?" 

To so direct a question I was obliged to give some reply. I 
sought for some extremely diplomatic phrase which without 
cutting off all hope would sacrifice nothing of my dignity, but 
I got out nothing more than a tremulous whispered " yes ". 

" Then may I to-morrow propose for your hand to your aunt, 
and write to Count Althaus ? " 

" Yes " again, this time a little firmer. 

" Oh, what happiness ! So at first sight you love me too ? " 

This time I only answered with my eyes, but they, I fancy, 
spoke the plainest " yes ". 

On my eighteenth birthday I was married, after having been 
first introduced into society, and presented to the empress on 
my engagement. After our wedding we went for a tour in 
Italy. For this purpose Arno had got a long leave of absence ; 
of retirement from the military service nothing was ev?r said. 
It is true we both possessed a tolerable property, but my hus- 
band loved his profession, and I agreed with him. I was proud 
of my handsome hussar officer, and looked forward with satis 
faction to the time when he would rise to the rank of major, 
colonel, even general. Who knows? Perhaps he might even 
be called to a higher fortune ; perhaps he might shine in the 
glorious history of his country as a great military commander ! 

That the red volumes exhibit a break just during the happy 
wedding time and the honeymoon is now to me a great grief. 
The joys of those days would indeed have been evaporated, dis- 
persed, scattered to the winds, even if I had entered them there, 
but at any rate a reflection of them would have been kept bound 
tight between the leaves. But no ! for my grief and my pain I 
could not find complaints enough enough dashes and notes of 


exclamation. All grievous things had to be cried over carefully 
before the world, present and to come, but the happy hours I 
enjoyed in silence. I was not proud of my happiness, and so 
gave no one, not even myself, in my diary, any information about 
it, but sufferings and longings I looked on as a kind of merit, 
and so made much of them. But how true a mirror these red 
volumes present of my sad experiences, while in the happy 
times the leaves are quite blank ! It is too silly ! It is as if 
during a walk a man were to make a collection to bring home 
with him, and to collect of all the things he found by the way 
only those that were ugly, as if he filled his botanic case with 
nothing but thorns, thistles, worms and toads, and left the 
flowers and butterflies behind. 

Still I recollect that it was a grand time, a kind of fairy dream. 
I had indeed everything that the heart of a young woman could 
wish : love, wealth, rank, fortune, and most of it so new, so 
surprising, so incredible ! We loved each other my Arno and 
I devotedly, with all the fire of our youth, abounding as it was 
in life and scenes of beauty. And it so happened that my dar- 
ling hussar was besides a worthy, good-hearted, noble-minded 
young gentleman, with the education of a man of the world and 
a cheerful temper it happened so ; for he might as well, for 
anything that the ball at Marienbad could testify to the contrary, 
have been a vicious, rough man and as it happened also I was 
a moderately sensible, good-hearted creature; for he might 
just as well at the said ball have fallen in love with a pretty 
capricious, little goose. And so it came about that we were 
completely happy, and that as a consequence the red-bound 
book of lamentation remained empty for a long while. 

Stop; here I do find a joyous entry Raptures over the new 
dignity of motherhood. On the ist of January, 1859 (was not 
that a new-year's gift ?), a little son was born to us. Of course 
this event awakened in us as much astonishment and pride as 
if we were the first pair to which anything of the kind had hap 
pened ; and this accounts also for the resumption of the diary 
Of this wonder, and of this dignity of mine, the world of the 


future had to be informed. Besides, the theme "youthful 
motherhood " is so extremely well adapted fot art and literature. 
It belongs to the class of the best sung and most carefully 
painted subjects; besides, it may be treated mystically and 
sacreclty,touchingly and pathetically, simply and affectionately 
in short, immensely poetically. To nurse this disposition all 
possible collections of poems, illustrated journals, picture gal- 
leries, and current phrases of rapture, such as "mother's love," 
" mother's happiness," " mother's pride," contribute their power, 
just as the school-books do to nurse the admiration for war. 
The highest pitch of deification which has been reached next 
to the adoration of heroes (see Carlyle's Hero Worship} is 
reached by the multitude in " baby worship " ; and of course in 
this also I was not left behind. My little charming Ruru was 
to me the mightiest wonder of the world. Ah, my son ! my 
grown-up, stately Rudolf, whjit I feel for you is such that 
against it that childish baby-wonder loses colour, against it 
that blind, apish, devouring love of the young mother is as 
insignificant as the child himself in swaddling clothes is 
insignificant by the side of the grown man. 

The young father was not less proud of his successor, and 
built on him the fairest schemes for the future. " What will he 
be ? " This question, not as yet a very pressing one, was never- 
theless often discussed over Ruru's cradle and always decided 
unanimously a soldier. Sometimes it awoke a weak protest 
on the mother's part. " But suppose he should meet with any 
accident in a war?" "Ah, bah!" was the answer to this 
objection, "every one must die when and where it is appointed 
him." Ruru was also not to remain the only son ; of the fol- 
lowing sons one might, please God, be brought up as a diploma 
tist, another as a country gentleman, a third as a priest; but 
the eldest, he must choose his father's and grandfather's pro 
fession the noblest profession of all. He must be a soldier. 

And so it was settled. Ruru, as soon as he was two months 
old, was promoted by us to be lance-corporal. 1 Well, as all 
1 " Gefreite" a soldier exempted from sentinel duty. 


crown princes immediately they are born are named "pro- 
prietors" of some regiment, why should not we also decorate our 
little one with an imaginary rank ? It was only a regular joke 
this playing at soldiers with our baby. 

On April i, as the third monthly recurrence of his birthday 
(for to keep only the anniversaries would have given too few 
opportunities for festivity), Ruru was promoted from lance- 
corporal to corporal. But on the same day there happened 
also something more mournful something that made my 
heart heavy, and obliged me to relieve it into the red 

There had been now for a long time a certain black point 
visible on the political horizon, about the possible increase of 
which the liveliest commentaries were made in all journals and 
at all private parties. I had up to that time thought nothing 
about it. My husband and my father and their military 
friends might have often said in my hearing, " There will soon 
be something to settle with Italy," but it glanced off my under- 
standing. I had little time or inclination to trouble myself 
about politics. So that however eagerly people about me might 
debate about the relations between Sardinia and Austria, or the 
behaviour of Napoleon III., of whose help Cavour had assured 
himself by taking part in the Crimean War, or however con- 
stantly they might talk about the tension which this alliance 
had called forth between us and our Italian neighbours, I took 
no notice of it. 

But on April i my husband said to me very seriously : 

"Do you know, dear, that it will soon break out? '* 

" What will break out, darling ? " 

" The war with Sardinia." 

I was terrified. " My God ! that would be terrible ! And will 
you have to go ? " 

"I hope so." 

" How can you say such a thing ? Hope to leave your wife 
and child! " 

II If duty calls." 


M One might reconcile oneself to it ; but to hope which 
means wish that such a bitter duty should arise ! " 

" Bitter I A rattling jolly war like that must be something 
glorious ! You are a soldier's wife ; don't forget that." 

I fell on his neck. "O my dear husband, be content I 
also can be brave ! How often have I sympathised with the 
heroes and heroines of history ! What an elevating feeling it 
must be to go into battle ! If I only might fight, fall, or 
conquer at your side ! " 

" Bravely spoken, little wife, but nonsense ! Your place is 
here, by the cradle of the little one, who also is to become a 
defender of his country when he is grown up. Your place is at 
our household hearth. It is to protect this, and guard it from 
any hostile attack, to preserve peace for our homes and our 
wives, that we men have to go to battle." 

I don't know why, but these words, which, or something of the 
same sort, I had often before heard and read with assent, this 
time seemed to me to be in a sense mere " phrases ". There was 
certainly no hearth menaced, no horde of barbarians at the 
gate, merely a political tension between two cabinets. So, if 
my husband was all on fire to rush into the war, it was not so 
much from the pressing need of defending his wife, child, and 
country, but much rather his delight in the march out, which 
promised change and adventure his seeking for distinction 
and promotion. " Oh, yes," was my conclusion from this train 
of thought, "it is ambition a noble, honourable ambition 
delight in the brave discharge of duty." 

It was good of him that he was rejoicing in the chanre of 
being obliged to take the field for as yet there was assuredly 
no certainty. Perhaps the war might not break out at all, and 
even in case they came to blows, who knows whether it would 
be Arno's fate to be sent off? the whole army does not always 
see the enemy. No, this splendid, perfect happiness which 
fate had just built as a snug house for me, it was impossible 
that the same fate should roughly shatter it to pieces ! " O 
Arno, my dearly-loved husband 1 it would be horrible to know 


that you are in danger ! " These and similar outpourings fill 
the leaves of the diary which were written in those days. 

From this period the red volumes are full for some time 
of political stuff. Louis Napoleon is an intriguer; Austria 
cannot long be only a spectator. It is coming to war. Sar- 
dinia will be frightened at our superior power, and give in. 
Peace is going to be maintained. My wishes, despite of all 
theoretical admiration of the battles of the past, were, of course, 
secretly directed to the preservation of peace, but the wish of 
my spouse called openly for the other alternative. He did not 
say anything out plainly, but he always communicated any 
news about the increase of "the black spot" with sparkling 
eyes ; while, on the contrary, he always took note of such 
peaceful prospects as occurred now and then (but, alas ! they 
became always rarer) with a kind of dejection. 

My father, also, was all on fire for the war. To conquer the 
Piedmontese would be only child's play; and, in support of 
this assertion, the Radetzk-y anecdotes were poured out again. 
I heard the impending campaign talked about always from the 
strategic point of view /.<?., a balancing of the chances on the 
two sides ; how and where the enemy would be routed, and 
the advantages which would thereby accrue to "us". The 
humane point of view, viz., that whether lost or won every 
battle demands innumerable sacrifices of blood and tears, was 
quite left out of sight. The interests which were here in 
question were represented as raised to such a height above any 
private destiny, that I felt ashamed of the meanness of my way 
of thinking, if at times the thought occurred to me: "Ah ! 
what joy do the poor slain men, the poor cripples, the poor 
widows, get out of the victory ? " , However, very soon the old 
school book dithyrambs came in again for an answer to all 
these despairing questionings : " Glory offers recompense for 
all ". Still suppose the enemy wins ? This question I pro- 
pounded in the circle of my military friends, but was igno- 
miniously hissed down. The mere mention of the possibility 
of a shadow of a doubt is io itself unpatriotic. To be certain 


beforehand of one's invincibility is a part of a soldier's duties , 
and, therefore, in her degree, of those of a loyal wife of a 

My husband's regiment was quartered in Vienna. From our 
he use there was a view over the Prater, and from the window 
there was such a lovely promise of summer over everything. 
It was a wonderful spring. The air was warm and redolent 
of violets, and the fresh foliage sprouted out more early than 
in other years. I was amusing myself without any anxiety 
over the great processions in the Prater which were planned 
for the following month. We had, for this purpose, procured 
a tasty little equipage a brake with a four-in-hand team of 
Hungarian horses. Even already, in this splendid April 
weather, we kept driving almost daily in the alleys of the 
Prater but that was only a foretaste of the pleasure peculiar 
to May. Ah ! if the war had not broken in on all 
that ! 

" Now, thank God, at last this uncertainty is at an end," 
cried my husband one morning April 19 on coming home 
from parade. " The ultimatum has been sent." 

I shrieked out : " Eh, what ? What does that mean ? " 

" It means that the last word of the diplomatic formalities, 
the one which precedes the declaration of war, has been spoken. 
Our ultimatum to Sardinia calls on Sardinia to disarm. She, 
of course, will take no notice of it, and we march across the 

" Good God ! But perhaps they may disarm ? " 

" Well, then, the quarrel would be at an end, and peace 
would continue." 

I fell on my knees. I could not help it. Silently, but 
still as earnestly as if with a cry, there rose the prayer from my 
soul to heaven for " Peace ! peace ! " 

Arno raised me up. 

" My silly child, what are you doing ? " 

I threw my arms round his neck and began to weep. It was 
no burst of pain, for the misfortune was certainly as yet not 


decided on ; but the news had so shaken me that my nerves 
quivered, and that caused this flood of tears. 

" Martha, Martha, you will make me angry," said Arno, 
reproachfully. " Is this being my brave little soldier's wife ? 
Do you forget that you are a general's daughter, wife of a 
first lieutenant, and," he concluded with a smile, " mother 
of a corporal?" 

" No, no, Arno. I do not comprehend myself. It was only 
a kind of seizure. I am really myself ardent for military glory. 
But I do not know how it is a little while ago everything was 
hanging on a single word, which must by this time have been 
spoken' yes ' or ' no ' in answer to this ultimatum as it is 
called, and this 'yes' or 'no' is to decide whether thousands 
must bleed and die die in these sunny happy days of spring 
and so it came over me that the word of peace must come, 
and I could not help falling on my knees in prayer." 

" To inform the Almighty of the position of affairs, you dear 
little goose ! " 

The house bell rang. I dried my eyes at once. Who 
could it be so early ? 

It was my father. He rushed in all in a hurry. 

" Now, children," he cried, all out of breath, throwing him- 
self into an arm-chair. " Have you heard the great news ? The 
ultimatum " 

" I have just told my wife." 

" Tell me, dear papa, what you think," I asked anxiously. 
" Will that prevent the war ? " 

" I am not aware that an ultimatum ever prevented a war. 
It would indeed be only prudent of this wretched rabble of 
Italians to give in and not expose themselves to a second 
Novara. Ah ! if good Father Radetzky had not died last year 
I believe he would, in spite of his ninety years, have put 
himself again at the head of his army, and, by God ! I would 
have marched along with him. We two have, I think, shown 
already how to manage these foreign scum. But it seems they 
have not yet had enough of it, the puppies ! They want a 


second lesson. All right. Our Lombardo- Venetian kingdom 
will get a handsome addition in the Piedmontese territory, and 
I already look forward to the entry of our troops into Turin." 

"But, papa, you speak just as if war were already declared, 
and you were glad of it ! But how if Arno has to go too ? " 
And the tears were already in my eyes again. 

"That he will too the enviable young fellow !" 

" But my terror ! The danger " 

" Eh ! what ? Danger ! ' A man may fight and not be 
slain,' as *tie saying goes. I have gone through more than 
one campaign, thank God, and been wounded mere than once 
and yet I am all alive, just because it was ordained that I 
should live through it." 

The old fatalist way of talking ! the same as prevailed to 
settle Ruru's choice of a profession and which even now 
appeared to me again as quite philosophical. 

" Even if it should chance that my regiment is not ordered 
out " Arno began. 

"Ah, yes!" I joyfully broke in, "there is still that 

11 In that case I would get exchanged, if possible." 

"Oh, it will be quite possible," my father assured him. 
"Hess is to receive the command-in-chief and he is a good 
friend of mine." My heart trembled, and yet I could not help 
admiring both the men. With what a joyful equanimity they 
spoke of a coming campaign, as if it were only a question of 
some pleasure trip that had been arranged. My brave Aino 
was desirous, even if his duty did not summon him, to go and 
meet the foe, and my magnanimous father thought that quite 
simple and natural. I collected myself. Away with childish, 
womanish fear ! Now was the time to show myself worthy of 
this my love, to raise my heart above all egotistic fears and 
find room for nothing but the noble reflection " my husband 
is a hero ". 

I sprang up and stretched out both my hands to him : 
" Arno, I am proud of you ! " 


He put my hands to his lips, then turned to papa and said, 

with a face radiant with joy : 
" You have brought the girl up well, father-in-law ! " 
Rejected ! The ultimatum rejected ! This took place at 

Turin, April 26. The die is castl War has broken out 


Last hours with the beloved one. Public feeling in the 

ojf war. The parting. Employments of the women at 
home. Anxieties over the news from the seat of war. 
III -success of Austria. Friends in trouble. The Patriotic 
Aid Association. Visit to a friend. Dreadful news. 

FOR a week I had been prepared for the catastrophe, and yet 
its occurrence gave me a bitter blow. I threw myself sobbing 
on the sofa, and hid my face in the cushion when Arno brought 
me the news. 

He sat down by me, and began gently to comfort me. 

" My darling ! Courage ! Compose yourself! It is not so 
bad after all. In a short time we shall return as conquerors. 
Then we two shall be doubly happy. Do not weep so it 
breaks my heart. I am almost sorry that I have engaged to go 
in any case. But, no ; just think, if my comrades are forced to 
go, with what right could I remain at home ? You yourself 
would feel ashamed of me. No. I must experience the bap- 
tism of fire some time, and till that has happened I do not 
feel myself truly a man or a soldier. Only think how delightful 
if I come back with a third star on my collar perhaps with the 
cross on my breast." 

I rested my head on his shoulder, and kept on weeping the 
more. But I reflected how small such things were. Stars and 
crosses seemed to be at that moment only empty spangles. Not 
ten grand crosses on that dear breast could offer me any recom- 
pense for the terrible possibility that a ball might shatter it. 

Arno kissed me on the forehead, put me softly aside, and 
stood up. 


" I must go out now, my dear, to my colonel. Have your 
cry out . When 1 come back I hope to find you firm and 
cheerful. That is what I have need of, and not to be shaken 
with sad anticipations. At such a decisive moment as this my 
own dear little wife surely will do nothing to take the heart out 
of me or damp my ardour for exploits ? Good-bye, my treasure." 
And he departed. 

I collected myself. His last words were still ringing in my 
ears. Yes, plainly my duty now was not merely not to damp, 
but as far as possible to increase, his spirit and his ardour for 
exploits. That is the only way in which we women can exer- 
cise our patriotism, in which we can take any share in the glory 
our husbands bring from the battlefields. "Battlefields" it 
is surprising how this word suddenly presented itself to my 
mind in two radically different meanings. Partly in the accus- 
tomed historical signification, so pathetic, and so calculated to 
awake the highest admiration ; partly in the loathsomeness of 
the bloody, brutal syllable " fight ". Yes, those poor men who 
were being hurried out had to lie stricken down on the field, with 
their gaping, bleeding wounds, and among them perhaps and a 
loud shriek escaped me as the thought passed through my mind. 

My maid Betty came running in all in a fright. "For 
God's sake, my lady, what has happened ? " she asked trembling. 

I looked at the girl. Her eyes also were red with weeping. 
I guessed ; she knew the tidings already, and her lover was a 
soldier. I felt as if I could press my sister in misfortune to my 

" It is nothing, my child," I said softly. " Those who go 
away will surely return." 

" Ah, my gracious lady, not all/' she replied, breaking out 
anew into tears. 

My aunt now came in, and Betty withdrew. 

" I am come, Martha, to speak comfort to you," said the old 
lady as she embraced me, " and to preach to you resignation in 
this trial." 

" So you know it ? " 


" The whole city knows it, and great joy prevails, for this 
war is very popular." 

" Joy, Aunt Mary ? " 

" Oh, yes, among those who see no beloved member of their 
families ordered out. I could easily understand that you must 
be sad, and so I hastened here. Your papa will also come 
directly, but not to comfort, only to congratulate. He is quite 
beside himself with joy that it is to go on, and looks on it as a 
noble chance for Arno to take part in it. And he is right in 
the main. For a soldier there is nothing better than a war. 
And that is the way you must look at it, my dear child. To 
fulfil the duty of your calling is before everything. What must 
be " 

" Yes, you are right, aunt ; what must be, what is in- 
evitable " 

"What is the will of God " put in Aunt Mary in 


u Must be borne with composure and resignation." 

" Bravo, Martha. It is certain that everything happens as 
is before determined by a wise and all-merciful Providence in 
His immutable counsels. Every one's death -hour is fixed and 
written down at the hour of his birth. And for our dear 
warriors we will pray so much and so earnestly ! " 

I did not stop to debate more closely the contradiction that 
lay between the two assumptions that a fatal event was at the 
same time ordained and also could be turned aside by prayer. 
I was myself not clear on the point, and had from my whole 
education a vague impression that in such sacred matters one 
ought not to embark on reasonings. And, indeed, if I had 
given voice to such scruples before my aunt it would have 
grievously shocked her. Nothing could hurt her more than for 
people to express rational doubt on certain points. " Not to 
argue about it " is the conventional commandment in matters 
mysterious. As etiquette forbids to address questions to a 
king, so it is a kind of impious breach of etiquette to want to 
make inquiries or criticise about a dogma. " Not to argue 


about it " is also a commandment easily obeyed, and on this 
occasion I followed it very willingly ; and so I did not entei 
into any contention with my aunt, but on the contrary clung to 
the consolation that lay in the resort to prayer. Yes, during 
the whole time my lord was absent, I determined to beg 
so earnestly for the protection of Heaven, that it should turn 
aside every bullet in the volley from Arno. Turn them aside ! 
Whither? To the breast of another, for whom, nevertheless, 
prayers were also being made? . . . And, besides, what had 
been demonstrated to me in my course of physics about the 
accurately computable and infallible effects of matter and its 
motion ? . . . What, another doubt ? Away with it. 

"Yes, aunt," I said aloud, in order to break short these con- 
tradictions that kept crossing each other in my mind. " Yes, 
we will pray continually and God will hear us. Arno will keep 

" You see you see, dear child, how in heavy times the soul 
still flies to religion. . . . Perhaps the Almighty sends you 
this trial in order that you may lay aside your former luke- 

This again did not strike me as correct. That the whole 
misunderstanding between Austria and Sardinia, dating even 
from the Crimean War, all the negotiations, the despatch of the 
ultimatum and its rejection, could have been ordained by God, 
in order to warm up my lukewarm spirit ! 

But to express this doubt would also have been a breach of 
propriety. As soon as any one introduces the name of the 
Almighty, the claims connected with that name give him a 
kind of spiritual immunity. But with regard to the charge of 
lukewarmness, it had some foundation. My aunt's religious 
feeling came from the depths of her heart, while my piety was 
more external. My father was in this respect quite indifferent, 
and so was my husband ; and so I had had no stimulus from 
either the one or the other to any particular zeal of belief. I 
had never had any means either of plunging deeply into 
ecclesiastical learning, since I had always been able to leave 


such things unattacked on the " not-argue-about-them "principle 
True, I went every week to mass and every year to confession, 
.and attended these services with much reverence and devotion ; 
but the whole thing was still more or less an observance of the 
etiquette becoming to my position : I fulfilled my religious 
duties with the same correctness as I went through the figures 
of the Lancers at the state ball and made the state courtesy 
when the empress came into the room. Our chaplain at the 
chiteau in Lower Austria and the nuntio in Vienna could have 
nothing to say against me yet the charge which my aunt 
brought against me was perfectly justified. 

" Yes, my child," she went on, " in prosperity and happiness 
people easily forget their home above ; but if sickness or fear 
of death breaks in on us or, still more, on those we love if we 
are stricken down or in sorrow 

She would have gone on in this style for a long time, but the 
door burst open, and my father rushed in. 

" Hurrah, it's begun now," was his joyful greeting to us. 
" They wanted a whipping, these puppies, did they ? And a 
whipping they shall have that they shall ! " 

It was a time of excitement. The war " has broken out ". 
People forget that it is really two masses of men who are rush- 
ing to fight each other, and conceive of the event as if it was 
some exalted overruling third power, whose outbreak compels 
these two masses into the fight. The whole responsibility falls 
on this power, lying beyond the wills of individuals, and which 
on its side merely produces the fulfilment of the destined fate 
of the nations. Such is the dark and awful conception which 
the majority of mankind have of war, and which was mine too. 
There was no question of my feeling any revolt against making 
war in general. What I suffered from was only that my 
beloved husband had to go out into the danger and I to stay 
behind in anxiety and solitude. I rummaged up all my old 
impressions from the days of my historical studies, in order to 
strengthen and inspire me with the conviction that it was the 


highest of human duties which called my dear one away, and 
that thereby the possibility was offered to him of covering him- 
self with glory and honour. Now at any rate I was living in 
the midst of an epoch of history, and this again was a peculiarly 
elevating thought Since from Herodotus and Tacitus, down 
to the historians of modern times, wars have always been repre- 
sented as the events of most importance and of weightiest 
consequence, I concluded that at the present time also a war 
of this sort would pass with future historians as an event to 
serve for the title of a chapter. 

This elevated tone, overpowering in its impressiveness, was 
that wh ; ch prevailed everywhere else. Nothing else was spoken 
of in rooms or streets, nothing else read in the newspapers, 
nothing else prayed about in the churches. Wherever one went 
one found everywhere the same excited faces, the same eager 
talk about the possibilities of the war. Everything else which 
engaged the people's interest at other times the theatre, busi- 
ness, art was now looked on as perfectly insignificant It 
seemed to one as if it were not right to think of anything else 
whilst the opening scene in this great drama of the destiny of 
the world was being played out. And the different orders to 
the army with the well-known phrases of the certainty of vic- 
tory and promise of glory ; and the troops marching out with 
clanging music and waving banners ; and the leading articles 
and public speeches conceived in the most glowing tone of 
loyalty and patriotism ; the eternal appeal to virtue, honour, 
duty, courage, self-sacrifice ; the assurances made on both sides 
that their nation was known to be the most invincible, most 
courageous, most certainly destined to a higher extension of 
power, the best and the noblest all this spread around an 
atmosphere of heroism, which filled the whole population with 
pride and called out in each individual the belief that he was a 
great citizen in a great state. 

Such bad qualities, however, as these lust of conquest, love 
of fighting, hatred, cruelty, guile, were also certainly to be 
found, and were admitted to be shown in war, but always by 


"the enemy". To him, his being in the wrong was quite 
clear. Quite apart from the political necessity of the campaign 
just commenced, apart also from the patriotic advantages which 
undoubtedly grew out of it, the conquest over one's adversary 
was a moral work, a discipline carried out by the genius of cul- 
ture. These Italians ! what a foul, false, sensual, light-minded, 
conceited people ! And this Louis Napoleon ! what a mixture of 
ambition and the spirit of intrigue 1 When his proclamation of 
war, published on April 29, appeared with its motto, "Italy free to 
the Adriatic Sea," it called out amongst us a storm of indignation. 
I did allow myself a feeble remark that this was at least an un- 
selfish and noble idea, which must have an inspiriting influence 
on Italian patriots, but I was soon put to silence. The dogma 
that " Louis Napoleon is a scoundrel " was not to be shaken 
as long as he was " the enemy ". Everything proceeding 
from him was ab initio " scoundrelly ". 

Another slight doubt arose in me. In all the battle-stories 
of history I had found that the sympathy and admiration 
of the relaters were always expressed for the party who 
wanted to free themselves from a foreign yoke and who fought 
for freedom. It is true that I was not capable of giving any 
distinct idea of the meaning of the word " yoke," or of that 
of "freedom," though so abundantly sung about; but one thing 
seemed to me perfectly clear, viz., that "the shaking off of the 
yoke" and "the struggle for freedom" lay this time on the 
side, not of Austria, but of Italy. But even for these scruples, 
timidly conceived as they were, and still more timidly ex- 
pressed, I was thundered down. For, here I was so unlucky 
as again to trench on a sacred principle namely, that our 
government i.e., the government under which one happened 
to have been born could never result in a yoke, but only in a 
blessing ; that any who wished to tear themselves loose from 
"us" could not be warriors of freedom but only simple rebels ; 
and that generally and in all circumstances "we" were always 
and everywhere wholly in the right. 

In the early days of May they were luckily cold and rainy 


days sunny spring weather would have made too painful a 
contrast the regiment into which Arno had exchanged 
marched. At seven in the morning 

Ah, the preceding night ! what a terrible night it was ! If 
the dear one had only been going on a journey of business, free 
from any danger, the parting would have made me unspeakably 
sorrowful parting is indeed so sad ! but to the war ! to meet 
the fiery shower of the enemy's bullets ! Why could I no 
longer on that night apprehend at all in that word "war" 
its elevated historical signification, but only its terror and 
threatening of death ? 

Arno had fallen asleep. He lay there breathing quietly, 
with a cheerful expression on his features. I had lighted a 
fresh candle and put it behind a screen ; I could not be in the 
dark that night. Of sleep there was no question whatever for 
me in that, the last, night. I felt that I must spend the whole 
time in gazing at least into the beloved face. I lay on our 
bed wrapped in a dressing-gown, and, with my elbow on the 
pillow, and my chin resting on the palm of my hand, looked 
down on the sleeper and wept silently. "How I love you, 
how I love you, my own one and you are going away from 
me ! Why is fate so cruel ? How shall I live without you ? 
O that you may soon come back to me ! O God ! my good 
God ! my merciful Father above ! let him come back soon 
him and all. Let there soon be peace ! Why then cannot 
there be peace always? We were so happy perhaps too 
happy for there cannot be any perfect happiness on earth. 
Oh, rapture ! if he comes home unhurt, and then lies at my side 
as he is doing now, and no parting threatened for the morrow ! 
How quietly you are sleeping, O my dear, brave husband! 
But how shall you sleep there ? There there is no soft bed 
for you hung with silk and lace ; there you must lie on the 
hard wet earth perhaps in some ditch helpless wounded ! " 
And with this thought I could not help picturing a gaping 
sabre-cut on his forehead with the blood trickling from it, or a 
bullet-wound in his breast and a hot pang of compassion 


seized me. How I should have liked to throw my arms round 
him and kiss him but I dared not wake him, he wanted this 
invigorating sleep. Not six o'clock yet ! tick-tack, tick-tack, 
unpityingly swift and sure time marches on to every mark. 
This indifferent tick-tack distressed me. The light, too, 
burned just as indifferently behind its screen as this clock 
ticked with its silly, motionless Cupid. . . . Can it be that all 
these things have no perception that it is our last night ? My 
tearful lids fell together, my consciousness gradually went away, 
and letting my head sink on the pillow, I fell asleep at last 
myself. But only for a short time. Hardly had I lost my 
sense in the fog of some formless dream, when my heart 
suddenly contracted painfully, and I awoke with a violent 
palpitation, and the same feeling of fear as when one is 
awakened by a cry for help or an alarm of fire. " Parting, 
parting ! " was the alarm cry. When I had started so out of 
sleep for the tenth or twelfth time it was day, and the candle 
was flickering out. A knock came at the door. 

"Six o'clock, lieutenant," said the orderly, who had been 
ordered to wake him in good time. 

Arno rose up. So now the hour was come now was to be 
spoken this sad, sad word " Farewell ". 

It had been settled that I was not to go to the railway with 
him. The one quarter of an hour more or less together that 
was not worth much. And the pain of tearing ourselves 
asunder at last ! That I did not wish to show to strangers. I 
wanted to be alone in my room when we exchanged the parting 
kiss, that I might be able to throw myself on the floor and 
shriek shriek out loud. 

Arno put on his clothes quickly. As he was doing so he 
made me all kinds of comforting speeches. 

" Courage, Martha ! In two months at the most the affair 
will be over, and I shall be back again at cuckoo-time ; only 
one in a thousand bullets hits, and that one must not hit me. 
Others before me have come back from the wars- look at your 
papa. It must happen sometime or other. You did not marry 


an officer of hussars with the notion that his business was to 
grow hyacinths. I will write to you as often as possible, and 
tell you how pleasantly and livelily the whole campaign is going 
on. If anything bad were destined for me I could not feel so 
cheerful. I am going only to win an order, nothing else. Take 
great care here of yourself and our Ruru ; and if I get promo- 
tion he shall have another step too. Kiss him for me ; I will 
not repeat the parting of last night. The time will come when 
it will be a treat for him to have his father tell him how in the 
year '59 he was present at the great victory over Italy." 

I listened to him greedily. This confident chatter did me 
good. He was going away all pleased and in good spirits, and 
so my suffering must be egotistic and therefore wrong; this 
thought ought to give me strength to conquer it. 

Another knock at the door. 

" Time now, lieutenant." 

" I am quite ready ; coming directly." He spread out his 
arms. " Now then, Martha my wife my love." 

I lay at once on his breast. I could not speak a word. The 
word " farewell " would not pass my lips. I felt that in saying 
that word I should give way, and I did not dare to poison the 
peace, the cheerfulness of his departure. I reserved the out- 
break of my pain as a kind of reward for my solitude. 

But now he spoke the heartbreaking word. 

" Good-bye, my all, good-bye," and pressed his lips closely 
to mine. 

We could not tear ourselves out of this embrace as though 
it were our last. Then on a sudden I felt how his lips were 
trembling, how convulsively his bosom heaved, and then releas 
ing me, he covered his face and sobbed aloud. 

That was too much for me. I thought I was going out of 
my mind. 

"Arno, Arno!" I cried out, throwing my arms round him, 
" stay, stay ! " I knew I was asking what was impossible ; still 
I cried out persistently : '* Stay, stay ! " 

" Lieutenant/' we heard from outside, "it is now quite time." 


One more kiss the last of all and he rushed out 

To tear charpie, to read the news in the papers, to stick pins 
with flags into our maps in order to follow the movements of the 
two armies, and try to solve the chess problems that followed 
from them in the sense that " Austria attacks and gives mate at 
the fourth move " ; to pray continually in the churches for the 
protection of our loved ones and the victory of our country's 
arms ; to talk of nothing except the news that came in from the 
theatre of war ; such was what rilled up my existence now and 
that of my relatives and acquaintance. Life with all its other 
interests appeared suspended as it were during the term of the 
campaign. Everything except the question " How and when 
will this war end ? " was bereft of importance nay, almost of 
reality. One ate, drank, read, saw after one's affairs, but all 
this had no real concern for us ; one thing only concerned us 
thoroughly the telegrams from Italy. 

My chief gleams of light were, of course, the news that I 
received from Arno himself. They were in a curt style letter- 
writing had never been his strong point but they brought 
me the most cheering testimony that he was still alive and 
unwounded. These letters and despatches could not indeed 
arrive with much regularity, for the communications were often 
interrupted, or when an action was impending the field-post 
was suspended. 

If a few days had passed thus, without my hearing from Arno, 
and a list of killed and wounded was published, with what 
terror did I not read over the names ! It is as great a strain as 
for the holder of a lottery ticket to look through the winning 
numbers in the list of a drawing but in the opposite sense ; 
what one seeks in this case, well knowing, thank God, that the 
chance is against one, is the chief prize in misery. 

The first time that I read the names of the slain and I had 
been four days without news and saw that the name of Arno 
Dotzky was not among them, I folded my hands and cried 
aloud : " My God, I thank Thee 1 " But the words were hardly 


out of my mouth when it seemed to me like a shrill discord. 
I took the paper in my hand again and looked at the list of names 
once more. So I thank God because Adolf Schmidt and Carl 
Miiller and many others were slain, but not Arno Dotzky. 
Then the same thanksgiving would have been appropriate if it 
had risen to heaven from the hearts of those who trembled for 
Schmidt and Miiller, if they had read " Dotzky " instead of 
those names. And why should my thanks in particular be 
more pleasing to Heaven than theirs? Yes, this was the shrill 
discord of my ejaculation, the presumption and the self-seeking 
which lay in it, in believing that Arno had been spared in love 
for me, and thanking God that not I but Schmidt's mother 
ind Muller's affianced and fifty others had to burst out in tears 
over that list. 

On the same day I received from Arno another letter : 
"Yesterday we had another stout fight. Unfortunately 
unfortunately a defeat. But comfort yourself, my beloved 
Martha, the next battle will bring us victory. It was my first 
great affair. I was standing in the midst of a heavy storm 
of bullets a peculiar feeling. I will tell you by word of 
mouth but it is frightful. The poor fellows whom one sees 
falling around one, and must leave there in spite of their sad 
cries test la guerre I Hope to see you soon again, my dear. 
If we can once dictate terms of peace at Turin, you shall 
travel after to meet me. Aunt Mary will be kind enough to 
take care of our little corporal." 

But if the receipt of letters like these constituted the sunshine 
of my life, its darkest shadows were my nights. If I woke out 
of some dream of blessed forgetfulness, and the horrible reality 
with its horrible possibilities came before my consciousness, I 
was seized with an almost intolerable pain, and could not sleep 
again for hours. I could not get rid of the idea that Arno 
was perhaps at that moment lying in a ditch groaning and 
dying thirsting after a drop of water, and calling longingly 
for me. The only way that I could gradually compose myself 
was by bringing, with all my force, the scene of his return 


before my imagination. This was, at any rate, as probable- 
nay, perhaps more probable than his lonely death ; and so 1 
pictured him to myself as bursting into the room, and how I 
should fling myself on his bosom, and how I should then lead 
him to Ruru's cradle, and how happy and how joyful we might 
then once more be. 

My father was much cast down. One bad news came upon 
another. First Montebello, then Magenta. And not he 
alone, but all Vienna was cast down. We had at the begin- 
ning so confidently hoped that uninterrupted messages of 
victory would give occasion for mounting flags on our houses 
and singing Te Deums, but instead of this the flags were 
waving and the priests singing at Turin. There the word now 
was : " Lord God, we praise Thee that Thou hast helped us 
to strike down the wicked 'Tedeschi ' ". 

" Do not you think, papa," I began, " that if another defeat 
was to happen to us, peace would then be made ? In that 
case I should wish that " 

" Are you not ashamed to say anything of the kind ? I 
had rather it should be a seven years' aye, a thirty years' 
war, so that our arms should conquer at last, and we dictate 
the terms of peace ! What do men go to war for ? I suppose 
not to get out of it again as quickly as possible ; if so, they 
might as well remain at home ! " 

"And that would be by far the best," sighed I. 

" What a cowardly lot you women folk are ! Even you 
you, who have been so well grounded in the principles of love 
of country and feelings of honour, are yet quite out of heart 
already, and prize your personal quiet more than the welfare 
and fame of your country." 

" Ah ! if I did not love my Arno so dearly." 

"Love of your husband, love of your family all that is very 
good ; but it ought only to occupy the second place." 

" Ought it ? " 

The list of killed had already brought the names of several 


officers whom I had known personally. Among others, that 
of the son her only one of an old lady for whom I had 
conceived a great feeling of respect. 

That day I determined to visit the poor lady. It was, 
for me, a painful, heavy journey. I could certainly give hei 
no consolation could only weep with her. But it was the 
duty of affection, and so I set out. 

When I got to Frau v. Ullmann's dwelling, I long hesitated 
before pulling the bell. The last time I had been there was 
to a cheerful little dance. The dear old mistress of the house 
was herself then full of joy. "Martha," she said to me in the 
course of the evening, " we are the two most enviable women in 
Vienna. You have the handsomest of husbands, and I the 
most excellent of sons." And to-day ? I still, indeed, had 
my husband. But who knows? The shells and grape-shot 
were flying there still without ceasing. The minute just past 
might have made me a widow : and I began to weep before 
the door. That was the proper temper for so mournful a visit. 
I rang. No one came. I rang a second time. Again no 
answer. Then some one put his head out of the door of 
one of the other floors. 

" It is no good ringing, miss. The dwelling is empty." 

" What ! Has Frau v. Ullmann gone ? " 

" She was taken to a lunatic asylum three days since." And 
the head disappeared again as the door shut. 

I remained for a minute or two motionless, rooted to the 
spot, and the scenes which must have been going on here 
passed before my eyes. To what a height must the poor 
lady's sufferings have risen before her agony broke out in 
madness ! 

" And there is my father wishing that the war might last 
thirty years for the welfare of the country ! How many more 
such mothers in the country would have been driven to 
desperation ! " 

I went down the stairs shaken to my inmost depth. I 
determined that I would pay another visit to a young lady, a 


friend of mine, whose husband, like mine, was at the theatre of 

My way led me through the Herrengasse, past the building 
called the Landhaus, where the "Patriotic Aid Association" 
had established its offices. At that time there was not as yet 
any " Convention of Geneva," any " Red Cross," and this aid 
association had been formed as a forerunner of these humane 
institutions, its task being to receive alms of all kinds, in 
money, linen, charpie, bandages, etc., for the poor wounded, 
and forward them to the seat of war, The gifts came flowing 
in abundantly from all sides ; it was necessary to have whole 
shops to receive them, and scarcely were the different articles 
packed up and sent off when new ones were piled up again in 
their place. 

I went in. I was in distress till I could hand over to the 
committee all that I had in my purse. Perhaps that might 
bring health and deliverance to some suffering soldier, and save 
his mother from madness. 

I knew the president. " Is Prince C here ? " 1 asked 

the porter. 

" Not just now. But the vice-president, Baron S , is 

upstairs." He showed me the way to the room where the alms 
in money were paid. I had to pass through several halls, 
where on long tables were the packets lying in rows. Parcels 
of linen, cigars, tobacco, and especially mountains of charpie. 
It made me shudder. How many wounds must be bleeding 
there, to be covered with all this torn linen ? " And there was 
my father," I thought again, " wishing that for the country's 
good the war might last another thirty years ! How many of 
the country's sons must in that case sink under their wounds ! ): 

Baron S received my contribution with thanks, and gave 

me the most ready information about the working of the associa- 
tion in reply to my numerous questions. It was joyful and 
comforting to hear how much good was thus done. Just at 
the time came the postman with some letters that had newly 
arrived, and announced that two barrows of offerings had to be 


delivered from the country. I placed myself on a sofa which 
was in the lower part of the room to watch the reception of the 
packets. They were, however, delivered in another room. A 
very old gentleman now came in, who by his bearing was 
evidently an old soldier. 

11 Permit me, baron," he said, as he drew out his purse and 
sat down on a stool by the table, " permit me to add my little 
mite too to your noble work." And he gave him a note for a 
hundred florins. " I look on all this organisation of yours as 
eally angelic ; you see I am an old soldier myself," and he 

gave his name as General , " and I can judge what an 

enormous blessing it is to the poor fellows who are fighting 
out there. I served in the campaigns of the years '9 and '13 
at that time there was no ' Patriotic Aid Association ' at that 
time no one sent chests of bandages and charpie after the 
wounded. How many must then have bled to death in 
misery when the resources of the army surgeons were ex- 
hausted, who might have been saved by sending such things 
as I see here ! Ah 1 yours is a blessed work. You good 
noble men, you do not know no, you do not know how 
much good you are doing there." And two great tears fell 
on the old man's white moustache. 

A noise of steps and voices arose outside. Both leaves 
of the entrance door were thrown open and a guardsman 
announced " Her Majesty the Empress ". 

The vice-president hurried out to the gate to receive his 
exalted visitor, as beseemed, at the foot of the stairs, but she 
had already got into the ante-room. 

I, from my concealed position, looked with admiration on 
the young sovereign who in common walking dress appeared 
to me almost lovelier than in her state robes at the court 

" I am come," she said to Baron S , " because I received a 

letter to-day from the emperor from the seat of war, in which 
he writes to tell me how useful and acceptable the gifts of the 
Patriotic Aid Association have proved, and so I wished to look 



into the matter myself, and put the committee in receipt of the 
emperor's acknowledgment" 

On this she made them give her information about all the 
details of the working of the association, and examined as she 
went along the various objects from their stores. " Just look, 
countess," she said to the mistress of the robes, who was with 
her, taking an article of underclothing in her hand, "how good 
this linen is, and how beautifully sewn." Then she begged 
the vice-president to conduct her into another of the rooms, 
and left the hall by his side. She spoke to him with visible 
contentment, and I heard her say besides : " It is a fine 
patriotic undertaking, and to the poor soldiers 

I could not catch any more. " Poor soldiers," the word kept 
coming back to me for a long time, she had pronounced it with 
so much pity. Yes, " poor " indeed, and the more one could 
do to send them help and comfort the better. But it ran 
through my head: "If they had not sent these poor people 
into this misery at all, would not that have been much better?" 

I tried to scare away the thought. It must be so ! It must 
be so ! There is no other excuse for the cruelty of making war 
except what is contained in the little word " must ". 

Now I went on my way again. The friend whom I was 
going to visit lived quite close to the Landhaus on the Kohl- 
markt. As I walked along I went into a book and print shop to 
buy myself a new map of Upper Italy ours had become quite 
riddled with sticking in the little flags on pins. Besides me 
there were many other customers in the place. All were asking 
for maps, diagrams, and so forth. Now came my turn. 

II Do you want the theatre of war, too, please ? " asked the 

" You have guessed it" 

"No difficulty in that There is hardly anything else 

He went to get what I wanted, and while he wrapped up the 
roll in paper for me, he said to a gentleman standing next to 
me : " You see, professor, just now things go badly for those 


who write or publish books on belles lettres or science. No one 
asks for such things. As long as the war lasts no interest is 
taken by any one in intellectual matters. It is a bad time for 
writers and booksellers." 

"And a bad time for the nation," replied the professor, 
"since a loss of interest in such things is naturally followed by 
its decline in the intellectual scale." 

" And there is my father wishing," thought I for the third 
time, " that for the good of the country a thirty years' war " 

I now took part audibly in the conversation. 

" So your business is doing badly ? " 

"Mine only? No, almost all, your ladyship," answered the 
bookseller. " Except the providers for the army there are no 
tradesmen to whom the war has not brought untold loss. 
Everything is at a standstill ; work in the factories ; work in the 
fields; men without number are without places and without 
bread. Our paper is falling ; the exchange rising ; all desire 
for enterprise is decaying ; many firms must go bankrupt in 
short, it is a misery ! a misery 1 " 

"And there is my father wishing " I repeated in silence 

as I left the shop. 


My friend was at home. 

Countess Lori Griesbach was in more than one respect the 
sharer of my lot. A general's daughter, like me married for 
only a short time to an officer, like me and, like me, a "grass 
widow". In one thing she went beyond me: she had not 
only a husband, but two brothers also at the war. But Lori 
was not of an apprehensive nature; she was fully persuaded that 
her dear ones were under the peculiar protection of a saint 
whom she highly venerated, and she counted confidently on 
their return. 

She received me with open arms. 

" Ah ! God bless you, Martha ; it is indeed good of you to 
come and see me. But how pale and worn you are looking; 
you have not had any bad news from the seat of war ? " 


" No, thank God ! But the whole thing is so sad." 

" Ah, yes ! You mean the defeat. But you must not think 
too much of that, the next news may announce a victory." 

"Whether we conquer or are conquered, war is in itself 
dreadful altogether. Would it not be better if there could be 
nothing of the kind ? " 

" Then what would be the good of soldiers ? " 

"What, indeed!" I assented; "then there would be 
none " 

"What nonsense you are talking. That would be a nice 
state of things ; nothing but civilians ! It makes me shudder. 
Happily that is impossible." 

" Impossible ? Yes, you must be right I will believe so, 
or else I could not conceive that it would not long since have 

"What happened?" 

" The abolition of war. But, no ; I might as well talk of 
the abolition of earthquakes." 

" I don't know what you mean. As far as I am concerned 
I am glad this war has broken out, because I hope that my 
Louis will distinguish himself. And for my brothers, too, it is 
a good thing. Promotion has been going on so slowly ; now 
they have at least a chance." 

" Have you had any news lately?" I interrupted. "Are your 
relatives all well ? " 

" No, not for a pretty long time now. But, you know, the 
postal service is often interrupted, and when people are tired 
out with a hot march or a battle, they have not much taste for 
writing. I am quite easy. Both Louis and my brothers wear 
blessed amulets. Mamma hung them on herself." 

"What would you expect to happen, Lori, in a war in which 
every man in both armies wore an amulet ? If the bullets were 
flying on both sides, would they retire back into the clouds 
and do no harm ? " 

" I do not understand you. You are so lukewarm in faith 
Your Aunt Mary often laments about it to me." 


" Why do you not answer my question ? n 

" Because it involves a sneer at a thing which to me is sacred." 

" Sneer ; oh, no ! only a reasonable reflection." 

" But you must know that it is a sin to entrust your own j 
reason with the power of judging in things which are above us." 

" Well, I have done, Lori. You may be right. Reflection 
and research are of no use. For sometime all kinds of doubts 
have risen within me about my most ancient convictions, and 
I find only pain from them. If I were to lose the conviction 
that it was a necessity and a good thing to begin this war, I 
should never be able to forgive him who " 

" You mean Louis Napoleon. What an intriguer he is ! * 

"Whether he or another, I should like to remain in the 
undisturbed belief that there are no men at all who have 
caused the war, but that it ' broke out ' of itself broke out, 
like a nervous fever, like the eruption of Vesuvius." 

"How excited you get, my love. But let us speak 
reasonably ; so listen to me. In a short time the war will be 
over and our husbands will come back captains. I will then 
try to get mine to obtain four or six weeks' leave, and take a trip 
with me to a watering-place. It will do him good after all the 
fatigues he will have undergone ; and me also, after the heat, 
and the ennui, and the anxiety I have undergone. For you 
must not think that I have no fear at all. It may be God's 
will after all that one of my dear ones should meet with a 
soldier's death and even though it is a noble, enviable death, 
on the field of honour, for emperor and fatherland " 

11 Why, you are speaking just like one of the proclamations 
to the army ! " 

"Yet it would be frightful poor mamma ! if anything was to 
ftappen to Gustave or Karl. Don't let us talk about it ! And 
so, to refresh us after all our terror, it would be good to have 
a gay season at a watering-place. I should prefer Carlsbad, 
and I went there when I was a girl, and amused myself 

"I too went to Marienbad. It was there I made Arno's 


acquaintance. But why are we sitting here idle like this? 
Have you no linen at hand that we could tear into charpie ? 
I was at the Patriotic Aid Association to-day, and there came 
in, who do you think ? * 

Here I was interrupted. A footman brought in a letter. 

" From Gustave," cried Lori joyfully, as she broke the seal. 

When she had read two lines she gave a shriek, the paper 
fell out of her hand and she threw herself on my neck. 

"Lori, my poor dear, what is it?" I cried, deeply moved; 
" your husband ? " 

" O God, O God ! " she groaned. " Read for yourself." 

I took the letter from the floor and began to read. I can 
reproduce the phraseology exactly, because afterwards I begged 
the letter from Lori to copy it into my diary. 

"Read out loud," she said; "I was not able to read it 

I did as she wished. 

" Dear Sister, Yesterday we had a hot combat ; there must 
be a long list of casualties. In order that you, and in order 
that our poor mother may not hear in that way of the mis- 
fortune, that you may be able to prepare her for it gradually 
(tell her he is severely wounded), I write at once, my dear, 
to tell you that our brave brother Karl is of the number of the 
warriors who have died for their country." 

I interrupted my reading to embrace my friend. 

" I had got so far," she said gently. 

With tearful voice I read on. 

" Your husband 's untouched, and so am I. Would that 
the enemy's bullet had hit me instead ! I envy Karl his 
hero's death. He fell at the beginning of the battle, and did 
not know that this one again was lost. It is really too bitter. 
I saw him fall, for we were riding near each other. I jumped 
down at once to pick him up. Only one look and he was 
dead. The bullet must have passed through his lungs or 
heart. It was a quick painless death. How many others 
had to suffer for hours, and to lie helpless on the field in 


the heat of the battle, till death released them ! It was a 
murderous day more than a thousand corpses, friend and 
enemy, covered the battlefield. I recognised among the 
dead the faces of so many dear friends ; and, amongst others, 
there is poor" here I had to turn the page "poor Arno 
I fell unconscious uu ac ouca. 


First years of widowhood. Solitude, study, enlarged views. 
I return into society. Renewed enjoyment of life. Thoughts 
of second marriage. / chaperon my younger sisters. / am 
introduced to Baron Tilling. He brings me an account of 
the manner of Arntfs death. 

" Now, Martha, it is all over. Solferino was decisive we are 

My father came hastily one morning on to the terrace, with 
these words, where I was sitting under the shadow of a clump 
of lime trees. 

I had gone back home, to the house of my girlhood, with 
my little Ruru. A week after the great battle, which had 
struck me down, my family moved to Grumitz, our country 
house in Lower Austria, and I with them. I should have 
been in despair alone. Now all were again around me, just 
as before my marriage papa, Aunt Mary, my little brother, 
and my two growing sisters. All of them did what they possibly 
could to mitigate my grief, and treated me with a certain con- 
sideration which did me good. Evidently they found in my sad 
fate a sort of consecration, a something which raised me above 
those around me, even a kind of merit. Next to the blood 
which soldiers pour out on the altar of their country, the tears 
which the bereaved mothers, wives, and sweethearts of the 
soldiers pour on the same altar become a libation hardly less 
sacred. And thus it was a slight feeling of pride, a conscious- 
ness that to have lost a beloved husband on the field of 
honour conferred a kind of military merit, which helped me 



most to bear my pain ; and I was far from being the only one. 
How many, ah ! how many women in the whole of the country 
were then mourning over their loved ones sleeping in Italian 
earth 1 

At that time no further particulars were known to me of 
Arno's end. He had been found dead, recognised, and 
buried. That was all I knew. His last thought doubtless 
had flown towards me and our little darling, and his consola- 
tion in the last moment must have been : " I have done my 
duty, and more than my duty ". 

" We are beaten," repeated my father gloomily, as he sat 
down by me on the garden seat. 

" So those who have been sacrificed were sacrificed in vain." 
T sighed. 

" Those who have been sacrificed are to be envied, for they 
know nothing of the shame which has befallen us. But we 
will soon pick up again for all that, even if at present peace, 
as they say, must be concluded." 

" Ah, God grant it," I interrupted. " Too late, indeed, for 
my poor Arno, but still thousands of others will be spared." 

"You are always thinking of yourself and of individuals. 
But in this matter it is Austria which is in question." 

" Well, but does not she consist entirely of individuals ? " 

" My dear, a kingdom, a state, lives a longer and more 
important life than individuals do. They disappear, generation 
after generation, while the state expands still farther, grows 
into glory, greatness and power, or sinks and crumples up and 
disappears, if it allows itself to be overcome by other kingdoms. 
Therefore the most important and the highest aim for which 
any individual has to struggle, and for which he ought to be 
glad to die, is the existence, the greatness and the well-being of 
the kingdom." 

I impressed these words on my mind in order to put them 
down the same day in the red volume. They seemed to me 
to express so clearly and strongly the feeling which I had 
derived in my student days from the books of history, a feeling 


which in these last times, after Arno's departure, had been 
driven out of my mind by fear and pity. I wanted to cleave to 
it again as close as possible, in order to find consolation and 
support in the idea that my darling had fallen in a great cause, 
and that my misfortune itself was only one element in this 
great cause. 

Aunt Mary had, on the other hand, a different source of 
consolation ready. 

" Do not weep, dear child," she used to say, when I was sunk 
in profound grief. " Do not be so selfish as to bewail him who 
is now so happy. He is among the blessed, and is looking 
down on you with blessing. After a few quickly passing years 
on earth you will find him again in the fulness of his glory. 
For those who have fallen on the field of battle Heaven reserves 
its fairest dwellings. Happy those who were called away just 
at the moment when they were fulfilling a holy duty. The 
dying soldier stands next in merit to the dying martyr." 

" Then I am to be glad that Arno - 

" No, not to be glad, that would be asking too much, but to 
bear your lot with humble resignation. It is a probation that 
Heaven sends you, and from which you should emerge purified 
and strengthened in faith." 

" So, in order that I might be tried and purified, Arno had 
to " 

" No, not on that account. But who dare seek to sound the 
hidden ways of Providence? Not I at least." 

Although such objections always would rise in me against 
Aunt Mary's consolations, yet in the depths of my heart I readily 
fell in with the mystical assumption that my glorified one was 
now enjoying in Heaven the reward of his death of sacrifice, 
and that his memory on earth was adorned with the eternal 
glory of sainthood. 

How exalting, though painful at the same time, was the 
effect on me of the great mourning celebration at which I was 
present in the cathedral of St. Stephen's on tke day of our 
departure ! It was the De Piofundis for our warriors who had 


fallen on foreign soil and were buried there. In the centre of 
the church a high catafalque had been erected, surrounded by 
a hundred lighted candles and decorated with military emblems, 
flags and arms. From the choir came down the moving strains 
of the requiem, and those present, chiefly women in mourning, 
were almost all weeping aloud. And each one was weeping 
not only for him whom she had lost, but for the rest who had 
met with the same death, for all of them together, all the poor 
brave brothers-in-arms, who had given their young lives for us all 
that is, for the country, the honour of the nation. And the 
living soldiers who attended this ceremony all the generals 
and officers who had remained behind in Vienna were there, 
and several companies of soldiers filled the background all 
were waiting and ready to follow their fallen comrades without 
delay, without murmur, without fear. Yes, with the clouds of 
incense, with the pealing bells, and the voice of the organ, with 
the tears poured out in a common woe, there must surely 
have risen a well-pleasing sacrifice to Heaven, nnd the Lord of 
armies must shower His blessing down on those to whom 
this catafalque was erected. 

So I thought at that time. At least these were the words 
with which the red book describes this mourning ceremony. 

About fourteen days later than the news of the defeat of 
Solferino came the news of the signing of the preliminaries of 
peace at Villafranca. My father took all the pains possible to 
explain to me that for political reasons it was a matter of press 
ing necessity to conclude this peace, on which I assured him 
that it seemed to me joyful news anyhow that this fighting and 
dying should come to an end. But my good papa would not 
be hindered from setting forth at length all his exculpatory 

" You must not think that we are afraid. Even if it has 
a look as if we had made concessions, et we forego nothing of 
our dignity, and know perfectly what we are about. If it con- 
cerned ourselves only we should never have given up the game 
on account of this little check at Solferino. Oh, no ! far from 


it. We should only have had to send down another corps 
(Tarmee, and the enemy would have been obliged to evacuate 
Milan again in quick time. But you know, Martha, that other 
things are concerned general interests and principles. We 
renounced the further prosecution of the war for this reason : 
in order to secure the other principalities in Italy which are 
menaced those that the captain of the Sardinian robbers, with 
his French hangman-ally, would be glad to fall upon also. 
They want to advance against Modena, Tuscany where, as you 
know, dynasties are in power related to our own imperial family 
nay, even against Rome, against the Pope, the Vandals. If 
we do provisionally give up Lombardy, yet we keep Venetia all 
the time, and are able, to assure the south Italian states and the 
Holy See of our support. So you perceive that it is merely for 
political reasons, and in the interest of the balance of power in 
Europe " 

"Oh, yes, father," I broke in; "I perceive it. But oh 
that these reasons had prevailed before Magenta!" I continued, 
sighing bitterly. Then, to change the subject, I pointed to 
a parcel of books that had come in that day from Vienna. 

" See here ! the bookseller has sent us several things on ap- 
proval. Amongst them there is the work of an English natural 
philosopher one Darwin The Origin of Species, and he calls 
our attention to it as being of special interest, and likely to be 
of epoch-making importance." 

" My worthy friend must excuse me. Who, in such a 
momentous time as this, could take an interest in these tom- 
fooleries ? What can a book about the kinds of beasts and 
plants contain of epoch-making importance for us men ? The 
confederation of the Italian states, the hegemony of Austria in 
the German Bund these are matters of far-stretching influence; 
these will long keep their place in history, when no living man 
shall any longer know anything about that English book there 
Mark my words." 

I did mark them. 


Four years later, my two sisters, now seventeen and 
eighteen years old, were to be presented at court. On this 
occasion I determined that I would also again "go into 
society ". 

The time which had elapsed had done its work, and 
gradually mitigated my pain. Despair changed into mourning, 
mourning into sorrow, sorrow into indifference, and even this 
at last into renewed pleasure in life. I woke one fine morning 
to the conviction that I really was in an enviable condition, 
and one that promised happiness. Twenty-three years old, 
beautiful, rich, high-born, free, the mother of a darling child, a 
member of an affectionate family was not .all this enough to 
make my life pleasant ? 

The short year of my married life lay behind me like a 
dream. No doubt 1 had been desperately in love with my 
handsome hussar no doubt my loving husband had made me 
very happy no doubt the parting had caused me grievous pain 
and his loss wild agony ! but that was all over over ! My love 
had assuredly never grown so closely into the whole existence 
of my soul that I could never have survived its uprooting, 
never have lost the pain of it ; our life together had been too 
short for that We had adored each other like a pair of ardent 
lovers; but to have entered into each other, heart to heart, 
soul to soul, to be fast bound to each other in mutual rever- 
ence and friendship, to have shared for long years our joys 
and our sorrows this, which is the lot of some married people, 
had not been given to us two. Even I was assuredly not his 
highest object, not something indispensable, otherwise he could 
not so cheerfully and with no compulsion of duty (for his own 
regiment was never ordered out) have left me. Besides, in 
these four years I had gradually become another creature, my 
spiritual horizon had enlarged in many respects, I had come 
into possession of acquirements and views of which I had no 
notion when I married, and of which Arno also as I could now 
perceive had no idea either, and so if he could have risen 
again he would have stood in the position of a stranger 


towards many parts of my present spiritual life. How had this 
change come about with me? This is how it happened. 

One year of my widowhood had passed. The first phase- 
despair had given place to mourning. But it was very deep 
mourning, and my heart was bleeding. Of any renewal of the 
intercourse of society I would not hear. I thought that from 
this time my life must be occupied only with the education of 
my son Rudolf. I called the child no longer Ruru, or 
corporal. -The baby-jokes of the pair of married lovers were 
over. The little one turned into " my son Rudolf " the sacred 
centre of all my effort, hope, and love. In order to be one day 
a good teacher for him, or rather in order to follow his studies, 
and be able to become his intellectual companion, I wanted to 
acquire myself all the knowledge that I could, and with this view 
reading was the only amusement I allowed myself; and so I 
plunged anew into the treasures of the library of our chateau. 
I was especially impelled to take up again the study which was 
my peculiar favourite history. Latterly, when the war had 
demanded such heavy sacrifices from my contemporaries and 
myself, my former enthusiasm had become much cooled, and I 
now wished to light it up again by appropriate reading. And, 
in fact, it brought me sometimes a kind of consolation, if I had 
been reading a few pages of accounts of battles with the praises 
of the heroes which are the natural continuation of those 
accounts, to think that the death of my poor husband and my 
own widowed grief were comprised as items in a similar grand 
historical process. I say "sometimes" not always. I could 
not get myself back entirely and absolutely into the feelings 
of my girlhood, when I wanted to rival the Maid of Orleans. 
Much, very much, in the over-wrought tirades of glory, which 
accompanied the accounts of the battles, sounded to me false 
and hollow, if at the same time I set before me the terrors of 
the fight as false and hollow as a sham coin paid as the price 
for a genuine pearl. The pearl, life can it be fairly paid for 
with the tinsel phrases of historical glory ? 

I had soon exhausted the provision of historical works to be 


found in our library. I begged our bookseller to send me some 
new historical work to look at. He sent Thomas Buckle's 
History of Civilisation in England. " The work is not 
finished," wrote the bookseller, "but the accompanying two 
volumes, which form the introduction, compose by themselves 
a complete whole, and their appearance has excited, not only 
in England, but in the rest of the educated world, the greatest 
attention. The author, it is said, has in this work laid the 
foundation for a new conception of history." 

Yes, indeed, quite a new one. When I had read these two 
volumes, and then read them again, I felt like a man who had 
dwelt all his life in the bottom of a narrow valley, and then, for 
the first time, had been taken up to one of the mountain tops 
around, from which a long stretch of country was to be seen, 
covered with buildings and gardens and ending in the boundless 
ocean. I will not assert that I only twenty years old and who 
had received only the well-known superficial "young lady's" 
education understood the book in all the extent of its bearings, 
or, to keep to the former metaphor, that I appreciated the 
loftiness of the monumental buildings and the immensity of 
the ocean which lay before my astonished gaze ; but I was 
dazzled, overcome ; I saw that beyond the narrow valley in 
which I was born there lay a wide, wide world, of which, up to 
this time, I had never heard. It is not till now that, after 
fifteen or twenty years I have read the book again and have 
studied other works conceived in the same spirit, I may, 
perhaps, take it on myself to say that I understand it. One N 
thing, however, was clear to me even then : that the history of 
mankind was not decided by, as the old theory taught, kings 
and statesmen, nor by the wars and treaties that were created 
by the greed of the former or the cunning of the latter, but by 
the gradual development of the intellect. The chronicles of 
courts and battles which are strung together in the history 
books represent isolated phenomena of the condition of culture 
at those epochs, not the causes which produce those conditions. 
Of the old-fashioned admiration with which other historical 


writers are accustomed to relate the lives of mighty conquerors 
and devastators of countries I could find absolutely nothing in 
Buckle. On the contrary, he brings proof that the estimation 
in which the warrior class is held is in inverse ratio to the height 
of culture which the nation has reached ; the lower you go in 
the barbaric past, the more frequent are the wars of the time, 
the narrower the limits of peace, province against province, 
city against city, family against family. He lays stress on the 
fact that, as society progresses, not only war itself, but the love \ 
of war will be found to diminish. That word spoke to my 
innermost heart. Even in my short spiritual experience this 
diminution had been going on, and though I had often repressed 
this movement as something cowardly or unworthy, believing 
that I alone was the cause of such a fault within me, now, on 
the contrary, I perceived that this feeling in me was only the 
faint echo of the spirit of the age, that learned men and thinkers, 
like this English historian, and innumerable men along with 
him, had lost the olti idolatry for war, which, just as it had been 
a phase of my childhood, was represented in this book as being 
also a phase of the childhood of society. 

And so in Buckle's History of Civilisation I had found just 
the opposite of what I sought. And yet I counted what I found 
as all pure gain. I felt myself elevated by it, enlightened, 
pacified. Once I tried to talk with my father about this 
point of view that I had just attained, but in vain. He woulc 
not follow me up the mountain, i.e., he would not read the 
book, and so it was to no purpose to talk with him of things 
which one could only see from the top of it. 

Now followed the year my second phase in which mourn- 
ing turned into melancholy. I now read and studied with 
even greater assiduity. This first work of Buckle had given 
me an appetite for reflection, and given me an inkling of an 
enlarged view of the world. I wanted now to enjoy this yet 
more and more ; and therefore I followed this book up with 
a great many more conceived in the same spirit. And the 
interest, the enjoyment, which I found in these studies helped 


me to pass into the third phase, f.e. t to cause the disappearance oi 
my melancholy. But when the last change was wrought in me, 
/'.?., when my joy in life awoke again, then all at once books 
contented me no longer, then I saw all at once that ethno- 
graphy and anthropology, comparative mythology, and all the 
other 'ologies and 'graphics were insufficient to set my longings 
at rest, that for a young woman in my position, life had other 
flowers of bliss all ready, and for which I had only to stretch 
my hand out. And so it came about that in the winter of 1863 
I offered myself to introduce my younger sisters into the world 
and opened my saloons to Vienna society. 

"Martha, Countess Dotzky, a rich young widow." It was 
under this promising title that I had to play my part in the 
comedy of the " great world ". And I must say that the cha 
racter suited me. It is no slight pleasure to get greetings from 
all sides, to be feted, spoiled, on all hands, and overwhelmed 
with distinctions. It is no slight enjoyment, after nearly four 
years' separation from the world, to come all at once into a 
whirlpool of all sorts of pleasures, to make the acquaintance 
of interesting and influential persons, to be present at some 
splendid entertainment almost every day, and when there to 
feel yourself the centre of universal attention. 

We three sisters had got the nickname of the "three goddesses 
of Mount Ida"; and the "Apples of Discord," which the several 
young Parises distributed amongst us, were innumerable. I, of 
course, in the dignity of my description in the list of dramatis 
persona as " rich young widow," was the one generally pre- 
ferred. Besides it was taken as a settled thing in our family, 
and even ever so little in my own inward consciousness, that I 
was to marry again. Aunt Mary was no longer in the habit in 
her homilies of dwelling on the blessed one who " was waiting 
for me above," for if I, in my few short years on earth that 
separated me from the grave, united myself to a second hus- 
band, an event desired by Aunt Mary herself, the pleasantness 



of the meeting again in Heaven would be a good deal spoiled 

Every one around me seemed to have forgotten Amo's exist- 
ence. I was the only one who did not. Though time had relieved 
my pain about him, his image had not been extinguished. One 
may cease to mourn for one's dead; mourning does not 
depend quite on the will, but one ought not to forget them. 
I looked on this dead silence about the dead, which was pre- 
served by my entourage, as a second and additional slaughter, 
and shrank from killing the poor fellow in my thoughts. I had 
made it my duty to speak every day to little Rudolf of his 
father, and the child had always to say in his prayers at night : 
" God make me good and brave as my dear father Arno 
would have me ! " 

My sisters and I "amused" ourselves extremely, and 
certainly I not less than they. It was, so to speak, my debut 
also in society. The first time I was introduced as an engaged 
girl, and a newly-married woman ; and so all admirers had of 
course held aloof from me ; and what is a higher enjoyment 
in society than the admirers? But, strange to say, however 
much I was pleased to be surrounded by a crowd of wor- 
shippers, none of them made any deep impression on me. 
There was a bar between them and me which was quite 
impassable. And this bar was what I had been erecting during 
my three years of lonely study and thought. All these bril- 
liant young gentlemen, whose interests in life culminated in 
sport, the ballet, the chatter of the court, or (with those who 
soared highest) in professional ambition (for most were soldiers), 
had not the faintest idea of the things which I had looked at 
from afar in my books, and on which my soul's life depended. 
That language, of which I grant I had only as yet learned the 
elements but as to which I was assured that it was in it that 
men of science would debate and ultimately decide the highest 
questions that language was to them not Greek merely, but 

From this category of young folks I was not going to select 


a husband ; that was quite settled. Besides, I was in no hurry 
to give up once more my freedom, which was very pleasant to 
me. I managed to keep my would-be suitors sufficiently at a 
distance to prevent any from making an offer, and at the same 
time to prevent anybody in society from putting about con- 
cerning me the compromising rumour that I was laying myself 
out for lovers. My son Rudolf should hereafter be able to 
feel proud of his mother, no breath of suspicion should sully 
the pure mirror of her reputation. But if the case should 
occur that my heart should glow once more with love and 
that could only be for one worthy of it then I was fully 
disposed to realise the claim which my youth still had to 
happiness in this world, and enter into a second marriage. 

Meanwhile, apart from love or happiness, I thoroughly 
enjoyed myself. The dance, the theatre, dress I found the 
liveliest pleasure in all of them. But I did not for them 
neglect either my little Rudolf or my own education. It was 
not that I plunged into special studies, but I always kept au 
courant with the movement of the intellectual world, by pro- 
curing all the most prominent new productions in the literature 
of the age, and regularly reading attentively all the articles, 
even the most scientific, in the Revue des deux Mondes and 
similar magazines. These occupations had indeed the result 
that the bar I have just spoken of, which cut off my inward life 
from the surrounding world of young men of fashion, became 
constantly higher but it was right that it should be so. I 
would gladly have drawn into my saloons a few persons from 
the world of literature and scholarship, but that could hardly 
be done in the society in which I moved. Bourgeois elements 
could not be mixed with what was called "the circles" of 
Vienna. Especially at that period since then this exclusive 
spirit has somewhat changed, and it has become the fashion 
to open one's saloons to individual representatives of art and 
science. At the time of which I speak this was not the case 
yet ; any one not " Hof-fahig," i.e., who could not count sixteen 
ancestors, was excluded thence. Our ordinary society would 


have been most unpleasantly surprised to have met at my house 
people not ennobled, and could not have hit on the right tone 
to converse with them. And these persons themselves would 
certainly have found my drawing-room, full of countesses and 
sportsmen, old generals and old canonesses, intolerably dull. 
What part could men of intellect and science, writers and artists, 
take in the eternally same conversation who had given a dance 
yesterday and who would give one to-morrow whether Schwar- 
zenberg, or Pallavicini, or the Court what love affairs Baroness 
Pacher was causing which party Countess Palffy was opposing 
how many estates Prince Croy possessed what right the young 
Lady Almasy possessed to the title of a lady of rank, whether 
as a Festetics or a Wentheim, and if a Wentheim whether by 
that Wentheim whose mother became a KhevenhtSller, etc. ? 
That was indeed the matter of most of the conversations that 
went on around me. Even the intellectual and educated 
people, some of whom were really to be found in our circle, 
statesmen and so forth, thought themselves bound when they 
associated with us, the young folks who danced, to adopt the 
same frivolous and meaningless tone. How gladly would I 
often have gone to some dinner in a quiet corner at which one 
or two of our travelled diplomatists or eloquent parliamen- 
tarians, or other men of mark might express their opinions on 
weighty questions ! but that was not feasible. I had to keep 
along with the other young ladies, and talk of the toilettes 
that we were getting ready for the next great ball. And even 
if I had squeezed into such a company the conversations that 
might have been just begun about the economy of nations, 
about Byron's poetry, about the theories of Strauss and Renan, 
would have been hushed, and the talk would have been: "Ah, 
Countess Dotzky, how charming you looked yesterday at the 
ladies' pic-nic ; and are you going to-morrow to the reception 
at the Russian embassy?" 

"Allow me, dear Martha," said my cousin Conrad Althaus, 
" to introduce to you Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Tilling." 

I bowed. The introducer went away, and the one intro- 


duced did not speak. I took this for an invitation to dance, 
and rose from my seat with my left arm raised and bent, ready 
to lay it on Baron Tilling's shoulder. 

" Forgive me, countess," he said, with a slight smile, which 
showed his dazzlingly white teeth, " I do not dance." 

" Indeed ! so much the better," I answered, sitting down 
again. " I had just retreated here to get a little repose." 

" And I had requested the honour of being introduced to 
you, countess, as I had a communication to make to you." 

I looked up in amazement. The baron put on a very 
serious face. He was altogether a man who looked very 
serious, no longer young, somewhere about forty, with a few 
streaks of grey on the temples on the whole, a prepossessing 
sympathetic look. I had accustomed myself to look sharply 
on each new introduction with the question : " Are you a 
suitor? and should I take you?" Both questions I answered 
in this case with a prompt negative. The person before me 
had not that expression of intimate adoration which all those 
are in the habit of assuming who approach ladies with " views," 
as the saying is, and the other question was resolved in the 
negative at once by his uniform. I would give my hand to no 
soldier a second time, that I had absolutely fixed with myself, 
not alone because I would not be again exposed to the 
horrible pain of seeing my husband depart to the campaign, 
but because since that time I had arrived at views about war 
in which it would be impossible for me to agree with a 

Lieutenant-Colonel v. Tilling did not avail himself of my 
invitation to sit beside me. 

11 1 will not intrude on you long, countess. What I have to 
communicate to you is not suited for a ballroom. I only 
wanted to ask you for permission to present myself in your 
house ; could you be so very kind as to fix a day and hour in 
which I may speak to you ? " 

" I receive on Saturdays between two and four." 

" Then your house between two and four on Saturday most 


likely resembles a bee-hive, where the honey bees are flying in 
and out." 

" And I sit in the middle as queen you would say, a very 
pretty compliment." 

" I never make compliments, no more than I make honey, 
so the hour of swarming on Saturday does not suit me at all. 
I must speak to you alone." 

"You awaken my curiosity. Let us say then to-morrow, 
Tuesday, at the same hour. I will be at home to you and no 
one else." 

He thanked me, bowed, and went away. A little later my 
cousin Conrad came by. I called him to me, got him to sit 
by my side, and asked for information about Baron Tilling. 

"Does he please you? Has he made a deep impres- 
sion on you that you ask after him so eagerly? He is to 
be had, /.*., he is not yet married. Still he may not be free 
for all that. It is whispered that a very great lady (Althaus 
named a princess of the royal family) holds him to herself by 
tender bonds, and therefore he does not marry. His regiment 
has only recently been moved hither, and so he has not been 
much seen in society as yet; and he is also it seems an enemy ot 
balls and things of that sort. I made his acquaintance in the 
Nobles' Club, where he passes an hour or two every day, but 
generally over the papers in the reading-room, or absorbed in a 
game of chess with some of our best players. I was astonished 
to meet him here ; however, as the lady of the house is his 
cousin, that explains his short appearance at the ball ; he is off 
again already. As soon as he had taken leave of you, I saw 
him go out." 

" Have you introduced him to many other ladies besides ? " 

" No, only to you. But you must not imagine from that that 
you have brought him down at a long shot, and that therefore 
he is anxious to know you. He asked me : * Could you tell me 
whether a certain Countess Dotzky, nU Althaus, probably a 
relation of yours, is here at present ? I want to speak to her.' 
' Yes,' I answered, pointing to you, ' sitting in that corner on 


the sofa, in a blue dress.' * Oh, that is she ! Will you be so 
kind as to introduce me ? ' That I did with much pleasure, 
without any idea that I might be ruining your peace of mind 

" Don't talk such nonsense, Conrad. My peace is not so 
easily disturbed. Tilling ? Of what family is he ? I have 
never heard the name before." 

" Aha 1 you will not confess ! Perhaps he is the favoured 
one ! I have tried by the exercise of all my power of witchery 
to penetrate into your heart for the last three months, but in 
vain 1 And now this cold lieutenant-colonel for, let me tell 
you, he is cold and without feeling came, saw, and conquered. 
Of what family is Tilling, do you say? I believe of Hanoverian 
origin. But his father before him was in the Austrian service. 
His mother is a Prussian. You must surely have noticed his 
North German accent." 

"Yes, he speaks most beautiful German." 

" Of course. Everything about him is most beautiful." 
Althaus got up. " Well, I have had quite enough now. Per- 
mit me to leave you to your dreams. I will try to entertain 
myself with ladies who " 

" May appear most beautiful in your eyes. There are plenty- 

I left the ball early. My sisters could remain behind under 
Aunt Mary's guard, and there was nothing to detain me. The 
desire for dancing had left me. I felt tired, and longed for 
solitude. Why ? Surely not to have the opportunity for 
thinking about Tilling without interruption ? Still it seemed 
so. For it was about midnight that I enriched the red book by 
transferring into it the conversation above set down, and added 
the following observations : " An interesting man this Tilling. 
The great lady who is in love with him is thinking probably 
about him now, or perhaps at this moment he is kneeling at 
her feet, and she is not so lonely so lonely as I am. Ah, 
to love any one so entirely and inwardly ! Not Tilling, of 
course I do not know him even. I envy the princess, not on 


account of Tilling, but on account of her being beloved. And 
the more passionately, the more warmly she is attached to him, 
so much the more I envy her." 

My first thought on waking was once more Tilling. And 
naturally, for he had made an appointment with me for to-day, 
on account of some important communication. Not for a long 
time had I felt so excited as I was about this visit. 

At the appointed hour I gave orders that no one should be 
admitted except the gentleman expected. My sisters were not 
at home. Aunt Mary, that indefatigable chaperon, had gone 
with them to the skating rink. 

I placed myself in my little drawing-room, in a pretty house 
dress of violet velvet (violet, it is allowed, suits blonde com- 
plexions), took a book in my hand and waited. I had not 
to wait long. At ten minutes past two Freiherr v. Tilling 

" You see, countess, I have punctually availed myself of your 
permission," he said, kissing my hand. 1 

"Luckily so," I answered laughingly, as I showed him a 
i ha;r, ' otherwise 1 should have died of impatience; for really 
you have thrown me into a state of great suspense." 

" Then I will say what I have got to say at once, without 
any long introduction. The reason I did not do so yesterday 
was in order not to disturb your serenity." 

"You frighten me." 

II In one word, I was present at the battle of Magenta." 
" And you saw Arno die ? " I shrieked. 

" Yes. I am in a position to give you information about 
his last moments." 

" Speak," I said shuddering. 

" Do not tremble, countess. If those last moments had 
been as horrible as those of so many other of my comrades, 
I would assuredly have said nothing about it to you ; for there 

1 This an Austrian fashion, and docs not imply any extraordinary 
attachment or freedom. 


is nothing sadder than to hear of a dear one dead that he died 
in agony : but that is not the case here." 

"You take a weight off my heart Go on with your 

I will not repeat to you the empty phrase with which the 
survivors of soldiers are usually comforted, * He died like 
a hero,' for I do not quite know what that means. But I 
can offer you the substantial consolation that he died without 
thinking about death. He was convinced -from the beginning 
that nothing would happen to him. We were much together, 
and he often told me of his domestic happiness, showed me 
the picture of his beautiful young wife, and of his child ; he 
invited me, ' as soon as ever the campaign was over,' to visit 
him in his home. In the massacre of Magenta I found myself, 
by accident, at his side. I spare you the sketch of the scenes 
that were going on one cannot relate such things. Men, who 
have the warrior spirit, are seized in the midst of the powder- 
fog and bullet-rain with such an intoxication that they do not 
know exactly what is going on. Dotzky was a man of this kind. 
His eyes sparkled. He laid about him with a firm hand. 
He was in the full intoxication of war. I who was sober could 
see it. Then came a shell, and fell a few steps from where we 
were. When the monster burst ten men were blown to pieces, 
Dotzky among them. There rose a shriek of anguish from 
the injured men, but Dotzky gave no cry he was dead I 
and a few comrades stooped down to see to the wounded, and 
give them aid if possible. But it was not possible. They 
were all writhing in death, terribly torn and dismembered 
the prey of horrible tortures. But Dotzky, at whose side I 
first knelt on the ground, breathed no more; his heart had 
stopped beating, and out of his torn side the blood was flowing 
in such a stream that if even his state was only faintness and 
not death, there was no fear that he would come to again." 

" Fear ? " said I weeping. 

" Yes, for we had to leave him lying there helpless. Before 
us the murderous ' Hurrah ! ' burst out again, and behind us 


mounted squadrons were coming on, who must charge ovei 
these dying men. Lucky those who had lost consciousness ! 
His face had a perfectly placid, painless look, and when after 
the battle was over we picked up our dead and wounded, I 
found him on the same spot, in the same position, and with the 
same peaceful look. That is what I had to say to you, coun- 
tess. I might indeed have done so years since, or, even if 
I had not met you, have written it to you, but the idea 
only came into my head yesterday when my cousin said she 
was expecting among her guests the beautiful widow of Arno 
Dotzky. Forgive me if I have recalled painful memories. I 
think, however, I have discharged a duty and freed you from 
torturing doubts." 

He stood up. I gave him my hand. 

" I thank you, Baron Tilling," I said, drying my tears. 
" You have indeed conferred a precious gift on me the tran 
quillity of knowing that the end of my dear husband was free 
from pain or torment. But stay a little, I beg you. I should 
like to hear you speak more. You struck a note in your way 
of expressing yourself before which made a certain chord 
vibrate in my feelings. Without beating about the bush, you 
abhor war ? " 

Tilling's visage clouded. 

" Forgive me, countess," he said, " if I cannot stop to talk 
with you on this subject. I am sorry, too, that I cannot 
prolong our interview. I am expected elsewhere." 

It was now my countenance which assumed a cold expres 
sion. The princess, I suppose, was expecting him, and the 
thought was unpleasant to me. 

' Then I will not detain you, colonel," I said coldly. 

Without any request to be allowed to come again, he bowed 
and left the room. 


Progress of my friendship for Tilling. The toy soldiers. A 
dinner at my father's. The brave Hupfauf. Darwin. 
A charming tete-a-tete, ending in a misunderstanding. 
Growing attachment. A call on Countess Griesbach. 
Jealousy dispelled. Absence of the loved one. A touching 
letter from Tilling on his mothers death. 

THE carnival was over. Rosa and Lilly, my sisters, had 
"amused themselves immensely". Each had a list of half-a-dozen 
conquests. Still there was no desirable partie among them, 
and " the right person " had not shown himself for either. So 
much the better. They would gladly enjoy a few years more 
of maidenhood before taking on themselves the married yoke. 

And as to me ? I noted my impression of the carnival in 
the red volume as follows : " I am glad that this dancing is 
over. It has already begun to be monotonous. Always the 
same rounds, and the same conversation, and the same dancers, 

for whether it happens to be X , lieutenant of hussars, or 

Y , brevet-captain of dragoons, or Z , captain of uhlans, 

there are always the same bows, the same remarks, the same 
sighs and glances. Not an interesting man amongst them not 
one. And the only one who in any case we will say nothing 
about him. He belongs, I know, to his princess. She is a 
beautiful woman truly, I admit it, but I think her very disagree- 

Though the carnival with its great balls was over, yet 
the enjoyment of society had not stopped. Soirees, dinners, 
concerts the whirl went on. There was also a great amateur 



theatrical performance projected, but not till after Easter. 
During the fasting season a certain moderation in our pleasure* 
was enjoined on us. In Aunt Mary's opinion we were fai 
from being as moderate as we ought. She could not quite for 
give me for not going regularly to the Lenten sermons, and 
indemnified herself for my lukewarmness by dragging Rosa and 
Lilly to hear all the preacners at the Cnapel Royal. The girls 
submitted to this easily. Occasionally they found their whole 
coterie assembled at church. Father Klinkowstrom was as 
much the fashion at the Jesuits' Church as Mdlle. Murska 
at the opera, and so they were tolerably gay in a mild way. 
Not only from the sermons, however, but from the soirees 
too, I held myself a good deal aloof during this season. I had 
all at once lost my taste for society parties, and delighted in 
staying at home to play with my son, and when the little fellow 
was taken to bed, to sit by the fire with a good book and read. 
Sometimes my father visited me at these times, and chatted 
away for an hour or two with me. Of course the campaigning 
reminiscences came to the front then continually. I had com- 
municated to him Tilling's account of Arno's death, but he 
received the story rather coolly. Whether a man's death was 
painful or painless seemed to him a secondary consideration. 
To be "left on the field" as death in battle is called - 
appeared to him an end so glorious, bestowed by such an 
elevated destiny, that the details of the bodily suffering which 
might possibly have occurred were not worth taking into 
account. In his mouth to be "left on the field" always 
sounded like the grudging admission of an especial distinction, 
and next to " being left " what was most pleasant evidently was 
to be severely wounded. The style and manner in which he 
proudly showed his respect for himself or any one else in say- 
ing that he had been wounded at a fight named after this or 
that place made one quite forget that the thing in itself could 
have given anybody pain. What a difference from Tilling's 
short recital ! in his sketch of the ten poor creatures who were 
shattered by the bursting shell, and broke out in loud shrieks I 


What a different tone of shuddering pity in it ! I did not 
repeat Tilling's words to my father, because I felt instinctively 
that they would have seemed to him unsoldierly, and would 
have diminished his respect for the speaker, which would have 
hurt me, for it was just the horror unsoldierly it might be, 
but certainly nobly humane with which he saw and told of the 
lerrible end of his comrades that had penetrated into my heart. 

How gladly would I have spoken further on this theme with 
Tilling, but he seemed not to wish to cultivate my acquain- 
tance. Fourteen days had elapsed since his visit, and he had 
neither repealed the visit, nor had I met him in society. Only 
two or three times had I seen him in the Ringsstrasse, 1 and once 
at the Burg Theatre. He bowed respectfully, and I acknow- 
ledged his greeting in a friendly manner, but nothing more. 
Nothing more ? Why did my heart beat at these accidental 
meetings ? Why could I not for hours get his gesture as he 
greeted me out of my mind ? 

"My dear child, I have something to beg of you." My 
father came into my house one morning with these words. He 
held in his hand a parcel wrapped in paper, and added, " Here 
is something I am bringing for you," as he laid the thing on the 

" What, a request and a present together ? " I said laughing. 
"That is bribery indeed!" 

" Then hear my request before you unpack my gift, and are 
blinded by its magnificence. I have to-day a tedious dinner." 

" Yes, I know. Three old generals and their wives." 

" And two Ministers and their wives in short, a solemn, stiff, 
sleepy business." 

" But you do not expect that I " 

"Yes, I expect you there, because, as ladies are pleased to 
honour me with their company, I must at least have a lady to 
do the honours." 

" But Aunt Mary has always undertaken that office." 

1 One of the chief streets of Vienna. 


11 She is again attacked to-day by her usual headache, and so 
I have nothing else left " 

" But to offer up your daughter, as other fathers did in 
ancient times ; for example, King Agamemnon with Iphigenia ? 
Well, I submit." 

"Besides, there are among the guests a pair of younger 
elements : Dr. Bresser, who treated me in my last illness so 
excellently that I wished to show him the attention of an 
invitation ; and also Lieutenant-Colonel Tilling. Why, you are 
getting as red as fire I What is the matter with you ?" 

" Me ? It is curiosity. Now, I really must look at what 
you have brought me." And I began to take the parcel out of 
its paper wrapping. 

" Oh, that is nothing for you. Don't expect a pearl necklace. 
That belongs to Rudi." 

" Yes, I see, a plaything. Ah ! a box of lead soldiers ! 
But, father, a little child of four cannot 

" I used to play at soldiers when I was only three years old. 
You can't begin too early. My very earliest impressions were 
of drums, sabres, manoeuvres, words of command : that's the 
way to awaken the love for the trade, that's the way." 

"My son Rudolf shall never join the army," I interrupted. 

" Martha I I know at least it was his father's wish." 

" Poor Arno is no more. Rudolf is all I have, and I do not 
choose " 

" That he should join the noblest and most honourable of 
professions? " 

" The life of my only child shall not be gambled for in a 

" I was an only son also and became a soldier. Arno had 
no brothers, as far as I know, and your brother Otto is also an 
only son, yet I have sent him to the Military Academy. The 
tradition of our family requires that the offspring of a Dotzky 
and an Althaus should devote his services to his country." 

" His country will not want him as much as I." 

" If all mothers thought so " 


"Then there would be no more parades and reviews, no 
walls of men to batter down, no 'food for powder,' as the 
common expression for them goes. And that would be far 
from a misfortune." 

My father made a very wry face ; but then he shrugged his 

11 Oh, you women," he said contemptuously. "Luckily the 
young one will not ask your permission. The blood of soldiers 
is running in his veins. Nay, and he will surely not remain 
your only son. You must marry again, Martha. At your age 
it is not good to be alone. Tell me, is there none of your 
suitors that finds grace in your sight ? For instance, there is 
Captain Olensky, who is desperately in love with you ; he has 
been just now pouring out his sighs to me again. He would 
suit me thoroughly as a son-in-law." 

"But not me as a husband" 

" Then there is Major Millersdorf." 

" No ; if you run down the whole military gamut to me, it is 
in vain. At what time does your dinner take place? when 
shall I come ? " I said to turn the subject. 

" At five. But come half-an-hour earlier ; and now, adieu 
I must go. Kiss Rudi for me the future commander-in-chief 
of the Imperial and Royal Army." 

A solemn, stiff, sleepy business, that is how my father qualified 
his proposed dinner, and that is how I should have looked on 
the ceremony also if it had not been for the one guest whose 
presence moved me in a singular way. 

Baron Tilling came the instant before the meat so when he 
saluted me in the drawing-room I had no time for more than 
the briefest exchange of words ; and at table, where I sat between 
two snow-white generals, the baron was removed so far from 
me that it was impossible for me to draw him into the conversa- 
tion carried on at our end of the table. I was pleased at the 
return into the drawing-room ; there I meant to call Tilling to 
me and question him still further about that battle-scene : I 


longed to hear again that tone of voice which had at first 
sounded so sympathetically in my ears. 

But no opportunity offered itself to me at first to carry out 
this intention; the two old generals kept constant to me after 
dinner too, and sat down at my side when I took my place in 
the drawing-room to pour out cafe noir. To them joined them- 
selves in a semicircle my father, the Minister, Dr. Bresser, and, 
finally, Tilling, but the conversation which arose was on general 
topics. The rest of the guests all the ladies among them 
had got together in another corner of the drawing-room where 
smoking was not going on ; whilst in our corner smoking was 
allowed, and even I myself had lighted a cigarette. 

" Suppose it should soon break out again ? " suggested one 
of the old generals. 

11 Hum,'' said the other, " I think the next war we shall have 
will be with Russia." 

" Must there always be a 'next war*?" I interposed, but no 
one took any notice. 

" With Italy first," my father persisted ; " we must at all 
events get back our Lombardy. Just such a march into Milan 
as we had in '49 with Father Radetzky at our head. I should 
like to live to see that. It was on a sunny morning " 

" Oh," I interrupted, " we all know the story of the entry 
into Milan." 

" And do you know also that of the brave Hupfauf?" 

"I do; and I think it very revolting." 

"What do you understand of such things?" 

" Let us hear it, Althaus ; we do not know the story." 

My father did not wait to be asked twice. 

" Well, this Hupfauf, of the regiment of Tyrolcse Jaegers, 
he was a Tyrolese himself; he did a famous piece of work. He 
was the best shot that can be imagined ; he was always king 
at all the shooting matches; he hit the mark almost always. 
What did he do when the Milanese revolted ? Why, he begged 
for permission to go on the roof of the cathedral with four 
comrades, and fire down from thence on the rebels. He got 


permission and carried out his plan. The four others, each of 
whom carried a rifle, did nothing else but load their weapons 
without intermission and hand them to Hupfauf, so that he 
might lose no time. And in this way he shot ninety Italians 
dead, one after the other." 

"Horrible!" I cried out. "Each of these slaughtered 
Italians on whom that man fired down from his safe position 
above had a mother and a sweetheart at home, and was 
himself no doubt reckoning on his opening life." 

"My dear, all of them were enemies, and that alters the 
whole point of view." 

" Very true," said Dr. Bresser ; " as long as the idea of a state 
of enmity between men is sanctioned, so long the precepts of 
humanity cannot be of universal application." 

" What say you, Baron Tilling ? " I asked. 

" I should have wished for the man a decoration to adorn 
his valiant breast, and a bullet to pierce his hard heart. Both 
would have been well deserved." 

I threw the speaker a warm, thankful glance ; but the others, 
except the doctor, seemed affected unpleasantly by the words 
they had just heard. A little pause ensued. As the French 
say: " Cela avaitjete unfroid". 

" Have you ever heard, excellency, of a book by an English 
natural philosopher named Darwin ? " said the doctor, turning 
to my father. 

"No, never." 

" Oh yes, papa, just recollect. It is now four years ago since 
our bookseller sent us the book, just after its appearance, and 
you then said it would soon be forgotten by the whole world." 

" Well, as far as I am concerned, I have quite forgotten it." 

" The world in general, on the contrary, seems in a pretty 
state of excitement about it," said the doctor. " There is a 
fight going on for or against the new theory of origin in every 

" Ah, you mean the ape theory ? " asked the general on my 
right. " There was a talk about that yesterday in the casino. 



These scientific gentlemen hit on strange notions sometimes 
that a man should have been an ourang-outang to begin 
with ! " 

"To be sure," said the Minister nodding (and when Minister 

said " to be sure " it was always a sign that he was making 

himself up for a long talk), " the thing sounds rather funny, and 
yet it is capable of being taken seriously. It is a scientific 
theory built up not without talent, and with the apparatus of 
an industrious collection of facts ; and though, to be sure, these 
have been satisfactorily controverted by the specialists, yet like 
all adventurous notions, however extravagant they may be, it 
has produced a certain effect, and finds its defenders. It has 
become a fashion to discuss Darwin ; but this will not last long 
though the word Darwinism has been invented and then, 
to be sure, the so-called theory will itself cease to be taken 
seriously. It is a pity that people get so hot fighting over this 
eccentric Englishman ; his theory thus acquires an importance 
to which it has no claim, It is, of course, the clergy who 
especially set themselves in array against the imputation, which, 
to be sure, is a degrading one, that man, created in the 
image of God, should now all of a sudden be thought to be 
derived from the race of brutes an assumption which, to be 
sure, is very shocking from a religions point of view. Still it 
is notorious that ecclesiastical condemnation of a theory which 
introduces itself in the garb of science is not capable of stop- 
ping its dissemination. Such a theory does not become harm- 
less till it has been reduced ad absurdum by the representatives 
of science, and that in respect of Darwinism, to be sure " 

" But what nonsense ! " broke in my father, fearful, as it 
seemed, that another long string of " to be sures " might weary 
the rest of his guests, " what nonsense ! From apes to men ! 
Surely what is called the ordinary healthy common-sense is 
enough to refute all such mad notions scientific refutation 
is hardly wanted." 

" Well, I can scarcely regard these refutations as so perfectly 
and demonstrably certain," said the doctor. " They have, 


it is true, awakened reasonable doubts of it ; but, still, the 
theory has much probability in its favour, and it will take some 
little time to bring men of learning to unanimity about it." 

" I think these gentry will never be unanimous," said the 
general on my left, who spoke with a harsh accent, and gene- 
rally used the Viennese dialect ; " why, they live by disputing. 
I have also heard something of this ape business. But it was 
too stupid, to my mind, to suit me. Why, if one bothered 
oneself about all the chatter that the star-gazers and grass- 
collectors and frog-dissectors use to make us believe that X is 
Y, one should lose one's ears and eyes. Besides, a little while 
ago, in an illustrated paper, I saw the visage of this Darwin, 
and that is itself so apish that I can well believe his grandfather 
was a chimpanzee." 

This joke, which pleased the speaker mightily, was followed 
by a burst of laughter, in which my father joined with the 
affability of a host. 

"Ridicule is, to be sure, a weapon/' said the Minister 
seriously, " but it does not prove anything. It is possibly 
however, to meet Darwinism I may use this new term and 
conquer it, with serious arguments resting on a scientific 
basis. If one can oppose to an author of no authority such 
names as Linnaeus, Cuvier, Agassiz, Quatrefages, his system 
must fall in pieces. On the other hand, to be sure, it cannot 
be denied that between men and apes there is a great similarity 
of structure and that " 

" In spite of this similarity, however, the cleft is miles wide," 
broke in the quieter general. "Can you imagine an ape 
capable of inventing the telegraph ? Speech alone raises men 
so far above beasts " 

" I beg your excellency's pardon," said Dr. Bresser, " speech 
and artistic inventions were not originally congenital in man- 
kind. Even to-day a savage could not construct any sort of 
telegraphic apparatus. All this is the fruit of slow improvement 
and development." 

" Yes, yes, my dear doctor," replied the general. " I know 


development ' is the cant word of the new theory. Still you 
cannot develop a camel out of a kangaroo, and why does not 
one at this time see an ape turning into a man ? " 

I turned to Baron Tilling. 

" And what say you ? have you heard of Darwin, and do you 
reckon yourself among his followers or opponents?" 

" I have heard a good deal about the matter, countess, but 
I have formed no judgment on it ; for as to the work under 
discussion, The Origin of Species , I have not read it." 

"I must confess," said the doctor, "that I have not 

" Read it ? Well, to be sure, I have not either," said the 

" Nor I nor I nor I," came from the rest. 

"But," the Minister proceeded, "the subject has been so 
much spoken of, the cant words of the system * fight for exis- 
tence,' 'natural selection,' 'evolution,' etc., are in every- 
body's mouth, so that one can form a clear conception of the 
whole matter and select a side decidedly with its supporters or 
opponents, to which first class, to be sure, belong only some 
Hotspurs who love violent changes and are always grasping 
after effect, while the cool, strictly critical people, who demand 
proof positive, cannot possibly choose any other than the posi- 
tion of opponents shared by so many specialists of considera- 
tion a position which, to be sure " 

" That can hardly be positively asserted," said Tilling, review- 
ing the whole matter, " unless one knows the position of its 
supporters. In order to know what the strength of the oppos- 
ing arguments is, which, as soon as a new idea comes up, are 
heard shouting in chorus all round it, one must oneself have 
penetrated into the idea. It is generally the worst and weakest 
reasons which are repeated by the masses with such unanimity ; 
and on such grounds I do not choose to pass a judgment. 
When the theory of Copernicus came up, only those who had 
gone through the labour of following the calculations of 
Copernicus could see that they were correct : the others, who 


prided their judgment by the anathemas which were thundered 
against the new system from Rome " 

"In our century," interrupted the Minister, "as I observed 
before, scientific hypotheses, if incorrect, are no longer rejected 
on the grounds of orthodoxy but of science," 

"Not only if incorrect," answered Tilling, "but even when 
they are going afterwards to be established, new hypotheses are 
always at first controverted by the old fogeys of science. This 
set does not like even in our day to be shaken in their long- 
accustomed views and dogmas just as at that time it was not 
only the fathers of the Church but the astronomers also who 
were zealous in attacking Copernicus." 

" Do you mean by this," broke in the rough-speaking general, 
" that this ape-notion of our eccentric Englishman is as correct 
as that the earth goes round the sun ? " 

" I will make no assertion at all about it, because, as I said, I do 
not know the book. But I will make a point of reading it. 
Perhaps (but only perhaps, for my knowledge of such matters 
is only slight) I shall then be able to form a judgment. Up 
to the present time I must confine myself to supporting my 
opinion on the fact that this theory meets with widespread 
and passionate opposition a fact, ' to be sure,' which, to my 
mind, speaks rather for than against its truth." 

" You brave, straightforward, clear spirit," said I to myself, 
apostrophising the speaker. 

About eight o'clock the guests in general broke up. My 
father wanted to detain them all longer, and I also murmured 
mechanically a few hospitable phrases, e.g. t " At least you will 
stay for a cup of tea" but in vain. Each produced some 
excuse : one had an engagement at the casino ; another at a 
party ; one of the ladies had her box at the opera and wanted to 
see the fourth act of the " Huguenots " ; another expected some 
friends at her house ; in short, we were obliged to let them go, 
and not so unwillingly as we pretended. Tilling and Dr. 
Bresser, who had risen at the same time as the others, were the 
last to take their leave. 


" And what have you two so important to do ? " asked my 

" I myself, nothing," answered Tilling smiling ; " but as the 
other guests are going, it would be indiscreet n 

" That is my case too," said the doctor. 

" Well, then, I will not let either of you go." 

A few minutes later my father and the doctor had seated 
themselves at a card table, and were deep in a game of piquet, 
while Baron Tilling kept close to the fire by my side. " A 
sleepy business," this dinner ? " No, truly no evening could 
have passed in a more pleasant and more awakening manner," 
was the thought that passed through my mind. Then I said 
aloud : 

" Really, I have to scold you, Baron Tilling. Why, after 
your first visit, have you forgotten the way to my 

" You did not ask me to come again/* 

" But I told you that on Saturdays * 

"Oh, yes ; between two and four. But, frankly, you must not 
expect that from me, countess. Honestly, I know of nothing 
more horrible than these official reception days. To enter a 
drawing-room full of strangers, bow to the hostess, take your 
seat on the outer edge of a semicircle, listen to remarks about 
the weather and if one manages to sit next to an acquaintance, 
venture on a remark of one's own ; to be distinguished by the 
lady of the house, in spite of every difficulty, with a question 
which you answer in all possible haste, in the hope that it may 
originate a conversation with her whom you came to see ; but 
in vain. At that moment comes in another guest, who has to 
be received, and who then takes the nearest empty place in the 
semicircle, and, under the impression that the subject has not yet 
been touched, propounds a new observation about the weather ; 
and then, ten minutes after, perhaps a new reinforcement of 
visitors comes say a mamma with four marriageable daughters, 
for whom there are not chairs enough and so you have to get 
up along with some others, take leave of the lady of the house, 


and go. No, countess, that sort of thing passes my talents 
for company, which are only weak at the best." 

" You seem, as a general rule, to keep yourself apart from 
society. One sees you nowhere. Are you a misanthrope ? 
But, no ; I withdraw the question. From a good deal you have 
said I drew the conclusion that you love all men." 

" I love humanity ; but as to all men, no. There are too 
many among them worthless, bornis, self-seeking, cold-blooded, 
cruel. Those I cannot love, though I may pity them, because 
their education and circumstances have not allowed them to be 
worthy of love." 

" Circumstances and education ? But character depends 
chiefly on one's inborn disposition. Do you not think so?" 

" What you call ' inborn disposition ' is, however, nothing 
more than circumstances ancestral circumstances." 

" Then, are you of the opinion that a bad man is not blam- 
able for his badness, and, therefore, not to be abominated?" 

"The consequent is not determined by the antecedent; 
he may be not blamable and still to be abominated. You 
also are not responsible for your beauty, still you are to be 
admired " 

" Baron Tilling ! we began to talk about serious matters like 
two reasonable persons. Do I deserve then all of a sudden to 
be treated like a compliment-hunting society lady? " 

" I beg your pardon, I did not so intend it. I only used the 
nearest argument I could find." 

A short pause followed. Tilling's look rested with an ad. 
miring, almost tender, expression on my eyes, and I did not 
drop them. I am quite aware that I ought to have looked 
away ; but I did not. I felt my cheeks glow, and knew that, if 
he had thought me pretty before, I must at that moment be 
looking still more pretty it was a pleasant, " mischievous," 
confusing sensation, and lasted half-a-minute. It could not 
continue longer. I put my fan before my face and changed 
my position ; then in an indifferent tone I said : 

" You gave Minister ' To-be-sure ' a capital answer just now " 


Tilling shook his head as if he were rousing himself out of a 

"I? just now? I don't recollect. On the contrary, I fancy 
that I gave offence by my remark about Springauf or Hupsaul 
was it? or whatever the name of the brave sharpshooter 


"You were the only one who liked what I said. Their 
excellencies, on the other hand, I offended, of course, by an 
expression so unbecoming to an imperial and royal lieu- 
tenant-colonel as ' hard heart/ applied to one who had given 
the enemy so grand a sample of his shooting. Blasphemy! 
Soldiers, as is well known, are the more agreeable company 
the more coolly they deal out death, while there is no more 
sentimental character to move the feelings in the melodramatic 
repertory than the warrior grey in battle, but soft of heart a 
wooden-legged veteran who could not hurt a fly." 

"Why did you become a soldier?" 

"You put the question in a way which shows you have 
looked into my heart. It was not I, nor Frederick Tilling, 
thirty-nine years old, who had seen three campaigns, who chose 
the profession, but little Freddy, ten or twelve years old, who had 
:;nnvn up among wooden war-horses and regiments of leaden 
soldiers, and to whom his father, the decorated general, and 
his uncle, the lady-killing lieutenant, would put the question 
cheeringly : ' Now, my boy, what are you going to be? ' What 
else except a real soldier, with a real sabre, and a live horse?" 

" I had a box of leaden soldiers given me to-day for my son 
Rudolf, but I am not going to give them to him. But why, 
now that Freddy has grown into Frederick, why have you not 
quitted a condition which has become hateful to you ? " 

" Hateful ? That is saying too much. I hate the position 
of affairs which lays on us men such cruel duties as making 
war; but as this position does exist, and exists inevitably, 
why, I cannot hate the people who take on themselves the 
duties arising from it, and fulfil them conscientiously with the 


expenditure of their best powers. Suppose I left the service 
of the army, would there be any the less warfare? Truly 
not. It would only be that some one else would hazard 
his life in my place, and I can do that myself." 

" Could not you render better service to your fellow men in 
another condition ? " 

" I do not know. I have learned nothing thoroughly except 
soldiering. A man can always do something good and useful in 
his surroundings. I have plenty of opportunity of lightening the 
lot of those around me. And as far as concerns myself for I 
may regard myself also as a fellow-man I enjoy the respect 
which the world pays to my profession. I have passed a 
tolerably distinguished career, am beloved by my comrades, and 
am pleased at what I have attained. I have no estate, and, 
as a private person, I should not have the means to assist any 
one else, nor even myself. So on what grounds should I 
abandon my way of life ? " 

" Because killing people is repulsive to you." 

" If it is a question of defending one's life against another man 
attac king it, one's personal responsibility for causing death ceases. 
War is often, and justly, styled murder on a large scale , still, 
no individual feels himself to be a murderer. However, that 
fighting is repulsive to me, that the sad entry on to a field of 
battle causes me pain and disgust, that is true enough. I 
suffer from it, suffer intensely, but so must many a seaman 
suffer during a storm from sea-sickness ; still, if he is anything of 
a brave man, he holds out on deck, and always, if needs must, 
ventures to sea again." 

"Yes, if needs must. But must there then be war ? " 

" That is a different question. But individuals must do their 
share in it, and that gives them, if not pleasure, at least strength 
to do their duty." 

And so we went on speaking for a time in a low tone, so as 
not to disturb the piquet-players, and perhaps, too, in order 
not to be overheard by them, for the views we exchanged, as 
Tilling sketched a few more episodes of war and the horror he 


had experienced from them, and I communicated to him the 
observations made by Buckle about the diminution of the 
war-spirit with the advance of civilisation such conversation 
would have decidedly not suited the ears of General Althaus. 
I felt that it was a sign of great confidence on Tilling's part to 
display his inward feeling to me on this matter so unreservedly, 
and assuredly a stream of sympathy passed from one soul to 
another between us. 

"Why, how deep you are plunged in your eager whispers 
there," cried my father to us once while the cards were being 
shuffled ; " what are you two plotting about ? " 

" I am telling the countess campaigning tales." 

" Oh, well, she is accustomed to that from her childhood. 
I tell her some too occasionally. Six cards, doctor, and a 

We resumed our whispered talk. 

Suddenly, as Tilling spoke and he had again fastened his 
gaze on mine, and such intimate sympathy spoke in his voice 
I thought of the princess. 

It gave me a stab, and I turned my head away. Tilling 
stopped in the middle of a sentence. 

" Why do you change countenance so, countess ? " he asked 
in alarm. " Have I said anything to displease you ? " 

" Oh no ! it was only a painful thought : pray go on." 

"I have forgotten what I was talking about. I would rather 
you would confide your painful thought to me. I have been 
the whole time pouring my heart out to you so openly. Now 
repay it to me." 

" It is quite impossible for me to confide to you what I was 
thinking about just now." 

" Impossible ! May I guess ? Was it about yourself? " 



I nodded. 

"Something painful about me, and something you cannot 
tell me. Is it ? " 


"Do not trouble your head about it : I refuse any more 
information." Then I rose and looked at the clock. "Why, 
it is half-past nine ! I am going to say good-bye to you now, 

My father looked up from his cards. 

" What ! are you too going to a party ? " 

" No ; I am going home. I went to bed very late yesterday." 

" And so you are sleepy? Tilling, that is not very compli- 
mentary to you ! " 

" No, no," I protested laughingly, " it is no fault of the 
baron ; we have been talking very livelily." 

I took leave of my father and the doctor Tilling begged to 
be permitted to see me into my carriage. It was he who put 
my cloak on in the ante-room and gave me his arm down the 
steps. As we went down he stopped for a moment and asked 
me seriously : 

" Once more, countess, have I anyhow offended you ?* 

" No ; on my honour." 

" Then I am pacified." 

When he put me into the carriage he pressed my hand hard 
and put it to his lips. 

" When may I wait on you ? n 

" On Saturday I am " 

"At home I understand not at all then." 

He bowed and stepped back. 

I wanted to call after him, but the servant shut the carriage 

I threw myself back in the corner, and should have liked to 
cry tears of spite like a naughty child. I was in a rage with 
myself; how could I ever have been so cold, so impolite, so 
rough almost to a man with whom I feel such warm sympathy ? 
It was the fault of the princess. How I hated her! What 
was this ? Jealousy ? Then the explanation of what was mov- 
ing me burst on me I was in love with Tilling. " In love, 
love, love ! " rattled out the wheels on the pavement. " You 
are in love with him 1 " was what the street lamps as they flew 


past darted on to me. " You love him ! " was breathed to me 
out of my glove, which I pressed to my lips on the place that 
he had kissed. 

Next day I wrote the following lines in the red book : 
" What the carriage wheels and the street lamps were saying to 
me yesterday is not true or at least much exaggerated. A 
sympathetic attraction to a noble and clever man. True ; but 
passion ? Ha ! I am not going to throw my heart away on any 
man who belongs to another woman. He also feels sympathy 
for me. We understand each other in many things. Perhaps 
he is the only man who shares my views about war ; but he is 
not on that account anywhere near falling in love with me, and I 
ought to be just as far from falling in love with him. That I did 
not ask him to visit me on another day than the regular recep- 
tion day, which he hates so, might indeed have looked a little 
unkind, after the intimate conversation we had been having. But 
perhaps it is better so. After the interval or a week or two, 
after yesterday's impressions, which have shaken me so, I shall 
be able to meet Tilling again quite calmly, relying on the idea 
that he is in love with another lady, and shall be able to refresh 
myself with his friendly and suggestive conversation. For it is 
indeed a pleasure to converse with him ; it is so different, so 
totally different, from all others. I am truly glad that I am 
able to-day to sum up this so calmly. Yesterday I might for an 
instant have even apprehended that my peace was gone, that I 
might become the prey of torturing jealousy. This fear h:is 
to-day disappeared." 

The same day I paid a visit to my friend Lori Griesbach 
the same at whose house I heard of the death of my poor 
Arno. She was the one among the young ladies of my ac- 
quaintance with whom I associated most, and most intimately. 
Not that we agreed in many of our views, or that we understood 
each other completely though this is no doubt the foundation 
of a real friendship but we had been playmates as children, we 
had shared the same position as young married women, had then 
seen each other almost daily; and so a certain habitual familiarity 


had sprung up between us, which, in spite of so much difference 
in the principles of our nature, made our conversation together 
quite pleasant and comfortable. The province on which we 
met each other was limited and narrow, but in it we were per 
fectly happy together. Whole pages of my spiritual life were 
quite closed to her. Of the views and judgments which I had 
reached in my quiet hours of study I had never told her a 
word, nor did I feel any desire to do so. How rarely can one 
give oneself entirely to any one ! I have often experienced 
this in life, that I could lay open to one person only one side, 
to another only another, of my spiritual personality ; that, as 
often as I conversed with one or the other, a certain part, 
so to say, of the register was opened, while all the rest of the 
notes remained mute. 

Between Lori and me there were plenty of circumstances 
which gave us material for hours of chat our childish recollec- 
tions, our children, the events and incidents in the circle of 
our acquaintance, dress, English novels, and the like. 

Lori's boy Xavier was of the same age as my son Rudolf and 
his favourite playmate, and Lori's little daughter Beatrix, who 
was then ten months old, was playfully destined by us to 
become one day Countess Rudolf Dotzky. 

"So here you are again at last," was Lori's greeting to me. 
" Lately you have become quite a hermit ! Even my future 
son-in-law I have not had the honour of seeing for ever so 
long ! Beatrix will be quite offended. Now tell us, dear, what 
are you about? and how are Rosa and Lilly? Besides, I have 
some interesting news for Lilly, which my husband brought 
me yesterday from the cafe. There is some one deeply in 
love with her, one that I thought was making up to you ; but 
I will tell you all about it later. What a lovely gown that is 
that you have on ! It is from Francine's I know. I could tell 
that at once. She has such a peculiar style of her own. And 
your bonnet is from Gindreau? It suits you completely. He 
makes dresses too, now, not bonnets only, and with immense 
taste too. Yesterday evening at the Dietrichsteins (why were 


you not there ?) Nini Chotek was there with an Gindreau dress, 
and looked almost pretty." 

So she went on for some time^ and I answered in the same 
style. After I had dexterously led the talk to the gossip which 
was current in society, I put this question in the most uncon- 
cerned tone possible : 

" Have you heard that Princess has a liaison with a 

certain Baron Tilling?" 

" I have heard something of it, but, anyhow, that is dc 
rhistoire andenne. To-day it is a perfectly well-known thing 
that the princess is mad after a low comedian. What, have 
you any interest in this Baron Tilling ? Why, you are blush- 
ing ! Ah ! it is no good shaking your head ! Better confess ! 
But for this, it would be an unheard-of thing that you should 
remain so long cold and unfeeling. It would be a true satis- 
faction for me to know you were in love at last. It is true 
that Tilling would be no match for you ; for you have more 
brilliant suitors and he must have absolutely nothing. To 
be sure, you are rich enough yourself, but then, besides, he is 
too old for you. How old would poor Arno have been now ? 
Oh ! that moment, it was too sad, when you read my 
brother's letter out to me. I shall never forget it. Ah ! war 
is certainly a sad business, for some. For others it is an 
excellent business. My husband wishes for nothing more 
ardently than that something should occur, he so longs to dis- 
tinguish himself. I can understand it. If I were a soldier I 
should also wish, myself, to do some great exploit ; or, at least, 
to get on in my profession." 

" Or to be crippled or shot dead ? " 

" I should never think of that. One should not think of 
that, and besides it only happens to those whose destiny it is. 
Your destiny, my love, was to be a young widow." 

" And the war with Italy had to break out to bring it about ? " 

" And suppose it is my destiny to be the wife of a relatively 
young general." 

" Well then, must there be a general war in order that 


Griesbach may get quick promotion ? You prescribe a very 
simple course for the government of the world. But what 
were you going to tell me in reference to Lilly?" 

" That your cousin, Conrad, raves about her. I expect he 
will very soon make an offer for her." 

" I doubt that. Conrad Althaus is too flighty a madcap to 
think of marrying." 

" Oh ! they are all madcaps and flighty still they do get 
married when they get foolishly fond of a girl. Do you think 
Lilly likes him?" 

" I have not observed at all/ 1 

" It would be a very good match. On the death of his uncle 
Drontheim he inherits the Selavetz estate. Talking of Dron- 
theim, do you know that Ferdy Drontheim the same that 
broke off his connection with Grilli the danseusc is now to 
marry a rich banker's daughter? However, no one will receive 
her. Are you going to the English embassy to-night? What, 
again no? Well, really you are right. In these embassy routs 
one feels after all not quite at home, there are such a lot of 
funny people there, of whom one never can be certain whether 
they are comme il faut. Every English tourist who can get an 
introduction to the ambassador is invited if he is only a com- 
mercial man turned landowner, or even a mere tradesman. I 
like Englishmen only in the Tauchnitz editions. Have you 
yet read fane JZyre? Is it not really wonderfully pretty? As 
soon as Beatrix begins to talk I shall hire an English nurse. 
About Xavier, I am not at all pleased with his French maid. 
A little while ago I met her in the street, as she was walking 
out with the boy, and a young man, who looked like a shop- 
man, was walking with her, and seemed in intimate conversa- 
tion. All at once I stood before them you should have seen 
their confusion ! One has always some trouble with one's 
people. There is my own maid, who has given me warning, 
because she is going to get married just now when 1 had got 
used to her ! There is nothing more intolerable than new faces 
among one's servants. What ! do you waut to go?" 


"Yes, my love. I must pay some calls now that cannot be 
put off. Adieu." 

And I would not be moved to stay " only for five minutes 
more," though the calls that could not be put off were a fiction. 
At another time I might no doubt have entertained myself for 
hours in hearing such meaningless tittle-tattle and tattling back 
again, but to-day it displeased me. One longing had seized 
me for a talk like yesterday evening ! Ah, Tilling ! Frederick 
Tilling! The carriage wheels were right then in their refrain ! 
A change had happened in me, I had been raised into another 
world of feeling \ these petty matters in which my friend was 
so deeply interested dresses, nursemaids, stories about mar- 
riages and estates all that was too pitiful, too insignificant, too 
stifling. Away from it above it into a different atmosphere 
of life! And Tilling was really free; the princess "is mad 
after a low comedian ". He could not surely have ever been 
in love with her ! some transitory, yes, transitory adventure, 
nothing more. 

Several days passed without my seeing Tilling again. Every 
evening I went to the theatre, and from thence to a party, 
expecting and hoping to meet him, but in vain. 

My reception day brought me many visitors, but, of course, 
not him. But I did not expect him. It was not like him after 
his decisive "That you really must not expect from me, 
countess," and his saying at the carriage door in so hurt a 
manner " I understand then not at all," to present himself 
after all at my house on a day of the kind. I had offended him 
that evening that was certain ; and he avoided meeting me 
again that was clear. Only, what could I do ? I was all on 
fire to see him again, to make amends for my rudeness on the 
former occasion, and get another hour of a talk such as I had 
had at my father's an hour's talk the delight of which would 
now be increased to me an hundredfold by the consciousness, 
which had now become plain to me, of my love. 

In default of Tilling, the following Saturday brought me at least 


Tilling's cousin, the lady at whose ball I had madehis acquaintance. 
On her entrance my heart began to beat. Now I could at least 
learn something about the man who gave me so much to think 
about. Still I could not bring myself to put a direct question 
to this effect. I felt that I was not in a condition to speak out 
his very name without blushing so as to betray myself ; and 
therefore I talked to my visitor about a hundred different 
things even the weather amongst the rest but avoided that 
very topic which lay at my heart. 

" Oh, Martha/' said she, without any preparation, " I have a 
message to give you. My cousin Frederick begs to be remem 
bered to you. He went away the day before yesterday." 

I felt the blood desert my cheeks. " Went away ? Where ? 
Is his regiment moved ? " 

"No; but he has taken a short leave of absence, to hurry 
off to Berlin, where his mother is on her deathbed. Poor 
fellow, I am sorry for him, for I know how he adores his 

Two days afterwards I received a letter in a hand I did not 
know, with the postmark of Berlin. Even before I saw the 
signature, I knew that the letter was Tilling's. It ran 

thus : 

*8 FRIEDRICH ST., Mar. 30, 1863, i A.M. 

" Dear Countess, I must tell my grief to some one, but 
why to you ? Have I any right to do so ? No ; but I have 
an irresistible impulse. You will feel with me. I know you 

" If you had known her who is dying you would have loved 
her. That soft heart, that clear intellect, that joyous temper 
all her dignity and worth all is now destined for the grave. 
No hope ! I have spent the whole day at her bedside, and am 
going to spend the night also up here her last night. She 
has suffered much, poor thing. Now she is quiet. Her 
powers are failing. Her pulse is already almost stopped. 
Besides me there are watching in her room her sister and a 



" Ah ! this terrible separation ! Death ! One knows, it 
is true, that it must happen to every one ; and yet one can 
never rightly take in that it may reach those whom we love 
also. What this mother of mine was to me I cannot tell you. 
She knows that she is dying. When I arrived this morning she 
received me with an exclamation of joy. * So that is you ! I 
see you once more, my Fritz. I did so fear you would come 
too late.' 'You will get well again, mother,' I cried. 'No! 
No ! There is nothing to say about that, my dear boy. Do 
not profane our last time together with the usual sick-bed 
consolations. Let us bid each other good-bye.' 

" I fell sobbing on my knees at the bedside. 

" * You are crying, Fritz. Look ! I am not going to say to 
you the usual " Do not weep ". I am glad that your parting 
from your best and oldest friend gives you pain. That assures 
me that I shall long live in your remembrance. Remember 
that you have given me much joy. Except the anxiety which 
the illnesses of your childhood caused, and the torture when 
you were on campaign, you have given me none but happy 
feelings, and have helped me to bear every sadness which my 
lot has laid on me. I bless you for it, my child.' And now 
another attack of her pain came on. It was heartrending to 
see how she cried and groaned, how her features \\cre distorted. 
Yes ! Death is a fearful, a cruel enemy ; and the sight of this 
agony called back to my recollection all the agonies which I 
had witnessed on battlefields and in the hospitals. When I 
think that we men sometimes hound each other on to death 
gratuitously and cheerfully, that we expect youth in the fulness 
of its strength to offer itself willingly to this enemy, against 
whom even weary and broken old age yet fights desperately 
it is revolting ! 

"This night is fearfully long. If the poor stifierer could only 
sleep ! but- she lies there with her eyes open. I pass ron 
stantly the space of half-an-hour motionless by her bedside ; 
and then I slip off to this sheet of paper, and write a few words, 
and then back again to her. In this way it has come to four 


o'clock. I have just heard the four strokes pealing from all the 
clock towers it strikes one as so cold, so unfeeling, that time 
is striding on steadily and unerringly through all eternity, while 
at this very moment for one warmly-loved being time must stop 
for all eternity. But by how much the colder, the more unfeeling, 
the universe seems to our pain, by so much the more longingly 
do we fly back to another human heart which we believe is 
heating in unison with our feelings. And therefore it is 
that this white sheet of paper, which the physician left lying on 
ihe table when he wrote his prescription, attracted me, and there- 
fore it is that I send you this letter. 

" Seven o'clock. It is over. 

'"Farewell, my dear boy.' Those were her last words. 
Then she closed her eyes and slept. Sleep soundly, my dear 
mother. In tears I kiss your dear hands. 

a Yours in deadly sorrow, 


I still keep this letter. How frayed and discoloured the 
sheet looks now ! It is not only the twenty-five years that have 
elapsed which have caused this decay, but also the tears and kisse? 
\vith which I covered the beloved writing : " In deadly sorrow ". 
yes, but " shouting for joy " was what I felt also when I read 
it. Though there was no word of love in it, yet no letter 
could give plainer proof that the writer loved the recipient, and 
no one else. That at such a moment, at the deathbed of his 
mother, he longed to pour out his grief into the heart, not 
of the princess, but into mine, must surely stifle every jealous 

I sent on the same day a funeral wreath of a hundred large 
\vhite camelias, with a single half-blown red rose in it. Would 
he understand that the pale scentless flowers belonged to the 
departed as a symbol of mourning, and the little rose to 


Conrad Althaus's suit to Lilly. The Easier foot-washing. 7 
meet Tilling again and receive him at my own house. A 
disappointing interview. Tilling announces his departure 
from Vienna.- A conversation about war. I invite him to 
a last interview, which is interrupted by my father. A ridt 
in the Prater. We understand each other at last. 

THREE weeks had passed. 

Conrad Althaus had proposed for my sister Lilly, anc 1 
met with a refusal. But he did not take the matter much to 
heart, and remained a zealous visitor at our house, and hovered 
about us in the drawing-rooms of our society. I expressed 
to him once my admiration for his unshaken fidelity to his 

" I am very glad," I said, "that you are not angry ; but it is 
a proof to me that your feeling for Lilly was not so ardent aftci 
all as you pretend, for rejected love is wont to be angry and 

"You are mistaken, my respected Mrs. Cousin; I love 
Lilly to distraction. At first I believed that my heart belonged 
to you, but you held yourself so aloof and were so cold that I 
stifled my budding passion in good time; and then for a tiim 
I was interested in Rosa; but at last I fixed my affection on 
Lilly, and to this affection I will now remain true to the end of 
my life." 

" Oh, that is very like you 1 w 

" Lilly or no one ! " 

" But as she will not have you, my poor Conrad ?* 



" Do you think I am the first who has been met by a refusal, 
and has gone back to the same lady a second and a third time, 
and has been accepted at the fourth offer, just to stop his 
importunity ? Lilly has not fallen in love with me, which is a 
matter not easily to be accounted for, but is still a fact. That 
under these circumstances she should have resisted the tempta- 
tion, which for so many maidens is irresistible, to become 
a wife, and would not accept an offer which in a worldly 
point of view would be a desirable one, that seems to me most 
good in her, and I am more in love with her than ever. 
(Gradually my devotion will touch her and awaken a return of 
love, and then, dearest Martha, you will become my sister-in- 
law. I hope you will not go against me ? " 

" I ? Oh no ! On the contrary, your system of perseverance 
pleases me. With time and the exhibition of tenderness one 
can always succeed in ' wooing and winning,' as the English 
call it. But as to minnen und gewinnen? our young gentle- 
men seem hardly disposed to take the necessary trouble. 
They want not to strive after and gain their happiness, but 
to pluck it without any trouble, like some wayside flower." 

In a fortnight Tilling was back in Vienna, as I heard, and 
yet he did not come to my house. I could not, of course, 
expect to meet him in people's drawing-rooms, since his be- 
reavement kept him away from all society. Still I had hoped 
that he would have come, or at least written to me ; but one 
day after another passed and did not bring the expected visit 
or letter. 

" I cannot think, Martha, what has come to you," said Aunt 
Mary to me one morning. " For some time you have been so 
out of humour, so distraite, so I don't know what to call it 
Vou are very wrong not to lend an ear to any of your suitors. 
This solitary existence, as I have said from the very first, is not 
good for you. The consequence of it is these low spirits 
which distinguish you just now. Have you quite forgotten 
your Easter devotions ? They would help to do you good." 
1 The German words for "woo and win ". 


" I think that both things I mean both marrying and going 
to confession should be done for love of the thing itself, not as 
a remedy for low spirits. None of my suitors please me ; and 
as for confession " 

"Well, it is high time for that; to-morrow is Maundy 
Thursday. Have you tickets for the foot- washing?" 

"Yes, papa has sent me some, but I really do not know 
whether I shall go." 

" Oh ! but you must. There is nothing more beautiful and 
more elevating than this ceremony. The triumph of Christian 
humility. The emperor and empress prostrating themselves 
to the earth to wash the feet of poor men and women in 
their service. Does not that symbolise well how small and 
insignificant is earthly majesty before the heavenly ? " 

" In order to represent humility symbolically by kneeling 
down one must feel oneself to be really a very exalted personage. 
It means 'What God's Son was in comparison with the 
apostles, I, the emperor, am in comparison with these poor 
folks '. This fundamental motive of the ceremony does not 
strike me as peculiarly humble." 

" What curious notions you have, Martha. In these three 
years that you have passed in solitude in the country, and 
in the perusal of wicked books, your ideas have become so 

" Wicked books?" 

" Yes, wicked. I maintain that the word is correct. The 
other day when in my innocence I spoke to the archbishop 
about a book I had seen on your table, and which from its title 
I took for a religious work, The Life of Jesus , by one Strauss, 
why, he smote his hands together above his head, and cried 
out : ' Merciful Heaven, how came you by such a profligate 
work ? ' I turned as red as fire, and assured him that I had not 
read the book myself, but had only seen it at a relation's. 
1 Then demand of your relation, as she values her salvation, to 
throw this book into the fire.' And that I do now Martha. 
Will you burn the book ?" 


" If we were two or three centuries earlier we might have 
watched, not the book, but the author, going to the flames. 
That would have been more effectual more effectual for the 
time, though not for long." 

" You give me no answer. Will you burn this book ? " 

" No." 

" What ! nothing but no ? " 

" Why should we have any long talk about it ? We do not 
yet understand each other in these matters, dear auntie. Let 
me rather tell you what little Rudolf yesterday " 

And thus the conversation was happily led off to another and 
a fruitful subject, in which no difference of opinion came in 
between us ; for we were both agreed on this matter, that 
Rudolf Dotzky was the dearest, the most original, and, for 
his age, the most advanced child in the world. 

Next day I resolved nevertheless to attend the foot-washing. 
A little after ten, in black clothes, as beseems Passion week, 
my sister Rosa and I presented ourselves in the great hall of 
state in the Burg. On a scaffold there places were reserved 
for members of the aristocracy and of the diplomatic corps. 
Thus one was again in one's own set, and greetings were 
exchanged left and right. The gallery too was closely packed, 
also with persons selected, and who had got cards of admission, 
but still a little " mixed," not belonging only to the creme^ as we 
were on our scaffold. In short, the old caste separations and 
privileges, to correspond with this fete of symbolical humility. 
I do not know whether the others were in a mood of religious 
devotion, but I awaited what was coming with just the same 
feeling with which one looks forward in the theatre to a pro- 
mised " spectacle ". Just as there, after exchanging salutations 
from box to box, one looks with excitement for the rise of the 
curtain, so I was looking in the direction in which the chorus 
and soloists in the show before me were to appear. The whole 
scene was already set, especially the long table at which the 
twelve old men and twelve old women had to seat them, 


Still I was glad I had come, for I felt excited, and this 
is always a pleasant feeline and one which delivers one from 
troublous thoughts for me moment. My trouble was con- 
stantly "Why does not Tilling show himself?" Just now this 
fixed idea had left me. What I was expecting and wishing to 
see was the imperial and the humble actors in the fete before 
me. And exactly at that moment, when I was not thinking of 
him, my eyes fell on Tilling. 

The mass was just over, the dignitaries of the Court had just 
entered the hall, followed by the general staff and the corps of 
officers, and I was letting my gaze wander unconcernedly over 
all these persons in uniform, who were not the chief actors, but 
only intended to fill the stage when suddenly I recognised 
Tilling, who had taken his position just opposite our seat. It 
ran through me like an electric shock. He was not looking 
our way. His look showed traces of the suffering he had gone 
through during the last few weeks an expression of deep 
sorrow rested on his features. How gladly would I have shown 
my sympathy with him by a silent warm pressure of the hand ! 
I kept my gaze firmly fixed on him, hoping that by this 
magnetic power I might compel him to look in my way 
too but in vain. 

"They are coming ! they are coming ! " cried Rosa, nudging 
me. " Only look ! How beautiful what a picture ! " 

It was the old men and women, clothed in the old German 
costume, who were now introduced. The youngest of the 
women so said the newspapers was eighty-eight years old, 
the youngest of the men eighty-five. Wrinkled, toothless, 
bowed I could not see really the point of Rosa's " How beauti- 
ful ! " What pleased me, however, was the costume. This 
was peculiarly and excellently suited to the whole ceremony, so 
penetrated with the spirit of the Middle Ages. The anachronism, 
in this respect, was ourselves in our modern clothes and with 
our modern notions we did not harmonise with the picture. 

After the twenty-four old people had taken their seats at the 
table, a number of gentlemen, mostly elderly, bedizened with 


gold-sticks and orders, came into the hall ; the privy council- 
lors and chamberlains, many countenances of our acquaint- 
ance, Minister "To-be-sure" among the rest, were there. 
Lastly followed the priests, who had to officiate in the solemn 
rite. So now the march of the supernumeraries into the hall 
was over, and the expectation of the public rose to the highest 
pitch of excitement. 

My eyes, however, were not so closely fixed as those of the 
other spectators in that direction from which the court was to 
come, but kept always turning back to Tilling. The latter had 
at last looked my way, and recognised me. He saluted me. 

Rosa's hand was again laid on my arm. 

" Martha, are you ill ? You have turned pale and red all 
at once ! Look ! Now ! Now ! " 

In fact, the chapel master I should have said the chief 
master of the ceremonies raised his staff and gave the signal 
of the approach of the imperial couple. This promised at any 
rate a sight worth seeing, for, apart from their being the highest, 
they were certainly one of the most beautiful couples in the 
land. At the same time as the emperor and empress several 
archdukes and archduchesses had entered, and now the cere- 
mony was to begin. Stewards and pages brought in the dishes, 
full of food, and the emperor and empress placed them before I 
the old people as they sat at table. This afforded more tableaux 
than ever. The utensils, the meats, and the way in which the 
pages carried them, reminded one of many famous pictures of 
banquets in the Renaissance style. 

Scarcely, however, had the dishes been put on, when the 
table was taken away again, a labour which again, as a sign of 
humility, was done by the archdukes. And when the table 
had been carried away, the special climax-scene of the piece 
(what the French call le clou de la pilce] the foot-washing 
began. This was indeed only a sham washing, as the meal had 
been only a sham meal. Kneeling on the floor, the emperor 
stroked down the feet of the old men with a towel, while the 
assisting priest made a show of pouring water out of a can over 


them ; and so he glided from the first to the twelfth old man, 
whilst the empress whom one was accustomed to see only 
majestically seated on high in the same humble attitude, in 
which she did not however lose anything of her accustomed 
grace, went through the same proceeding with the twelve old 
women. The accompanying music, or, if you like, the 
explanatory chorus, was formed by the reading of the gospel of 
the day. 

I should have been glad for a few moments to have been 
able to feel what was passing in the minds of these old people 
while they were sitting in this strange costume stared at by a 
glittering crowd, and with the country's father, the country's 
mother their majesties at their feet. Probably, if the 
momentary exchange of consciousness I wished for could have 
been granted me, it would have been no definite feeling I 
should have experienced, but only a confused, dazzled half 
dream, a sensation at once glad and painful, confused and solemn, 
a complete suspension of thought in those poor heads, already 
so ignorant and weak with age. All that was real and com- 
prehensible in the matter for the good old folks might have 
been the prospect of the red silk purses with the thirty silver 
pieces in them which were hung about each neck by their 
majesties' own hands, and of the basket of food which was 
given to each on their departure home. 

The whole ceremony was soon over, and the hall then 
began to empty at once. First the Court went out, then all the 
others who had taken parts withdrew, and the public out of 
the scaffold and gallery at the same time. 

" It mas beautiful ! It was beautiful ! " whispered Rosa with 
a deep breath. 

I answered nothing. I had, in fact, no cause to pity the 
confusion and incapacity of thought of the old folks in the 
ceremony, for my own conception of what had been going 
on was just as confused, and I had only one thought in my 
mind " Will some one be waiting for us outside ? " 

However, we did not get to the exit so quickly as I should 


have liked. First there was shaking hands and exchanging a 
tew words with nearly all the spectators on the scaffold, who 
had left their places at the same time as ourselves. They kept 
standing in a great group on the stairway, and it became a 
regular morning party. 

" Good-day, Tini ! " 

"Bon-jour, Martha." 

" Ah ! are you there too, countess ? " 

" Are you engaged for Easter Sunday ? w 

" Good-day, your highness, don't forget that we are expect- 
ing you to a little dance on Monday evening. ' 

" Were you at the sermon at the Dominicans' yesterday ? " 

" No ; I was at the Sacred Heart, where my daughters are in 

"The next rehearsal for our charity performance is on 
Tuesday, at twelve, dear baron ; pray be punctual." 

"The empress looked cuperb again." 

"Did you notice, Lori, how the Archduke Ludwig Victor 
kept sidling off to the divine Fanny? " 

" Madame, f ai T honneur de vous presenter mes hownages" 

" Ah ! <?est vous, marquis, charmee I " 

" I wish you good-morning, Lord Chesterfield ! " 

"Oh ! how are you? awfully fine woman, your empress." 

" Have you yet secured a box for Adelina Patti's perform- 
ance? A wonderfully rising star." 

"So the news of Ferdy Drontheim's engagement with the 
banker's daughter is quite confirmed. It is a scandal ! " 

And so the chatter went on from all sides. An uni/n- 
passioned listener would hardly have concluded from these 
speeches that they sprang out of the impressions of a scene of 
humble devotion just concluded. 

At last we got out of the gate, where our carriages were 
in waiting, and a crowd of people were collected. These folks 
wanted at least to see those who had been so lucky as to have 
seen the gentry who had been spectators of the Court ; and then, 


on their side, they could pass themselves off as people only a 
little less distinguished, as having seen the spectators. 

We had scarcely got out when Tilling stood before me. He 
made me a bow. 

"I have to thank you again, Countess Dotzky, for the 
beautiful wreath." 

I gave him my hand, but could not speak a word. 

Our carriage had come up ; I was obliged to get in, and 
Rosa was pressing me forward. Tilling raised his hand to his 
cap, and was retiring. Then I made a great effort, and said, 
in a tone which sounded quite strange in my own ears : 

" On Sunday, between two and three, I shall be at home ". 

He bowed in silence, and we got in. 

" You must have taken cold, Martha/' remarked my sister as 
we drove away. " Your invitation sounded quite hoarse ; and 
why did not you introduce that melancholy staff-officer to me ? 
I have seldom seen a less cheerful visage." 

On the day appointed, and at the hour named, Tilling was 
announced. Before that I had made the following entry in 
the red book : 

" I expect that this day will be decisive of my fate. I feel 
such a solemnity, such an anxiety, so sweet an expectation. I 
must fix this frame of mind on these pages, so that, if I turn 
back to them again after long years, I may be able to recall 
quite vividly the hours which I am now looking forward to with 
so much emotion. Perhaps it will turn out quite differently 
from what I expect perhaps exactly the same. At any rate 
it will be interesting to me to see how far anticipation and 
reality correspond. The expected guest loves me ; the letter 
he wrote from his mother's deathbed proves that. He is loved 
in return ; the rosebud in the funeral wreath must have shown 
him that. And now we are to meet without witnesses, moved to 
our hearts' core he in need of comfort, I penetrated with the 
desire to console him. I expect there will not be many words 
pass. Tears in both our eyes, hands clasped tremblingly, and 
we shall have understood one another. Two loving, two happy 
mortals, earnest, devoted, passionate, devoutly happy ; while 


in society the thing will be announced indifferently and drily, 
somewhat in this fashion : * Have you heard ? Martha Dotzky 
is engaged to Tilling a poor match ! ' It is five minutes past 
two. He may come now any minute. There is a ring 1 This 
palpitation, this trembling : I feel that " 

This is as far as I got. The last line is scrawled in letters 
which are almost illegible a sign that " this palpitation, this 
trembling " was not a mere figure of rhetoric. 

Anticipation and reality did not correspond. During his 
half-hour's call Tilling behaved very reservedly and very coldly. 
He begged my forgiveness for the liberty he had taken in 
writing to me, and hoped I would attribute this breach of 
etiquette to the loss of control which a man in such sorrowful 
moments may well experience. Then he told me something 
more of the last days and of the life of his mother ; but of what 
I was looking for, not a word. And so I also became every 
moment more reserved and cold. When he rose to go I made 
no effort to detain him, and I did not ask him to come again. 

When he had gone I rushed again to the red book, which 
was lying there open, and went on with the interrupted topic. 

" I feel that all is over that I have shamefully deceived 
myself, that he does not love me, and will even think now that 
he is as indifferent to me as I to him. I received him in an 
almost repellent way. I feel that he will never come again. 
And yet the world holds for me no second man. There is no 
one else so good, so noble, so intellectual and there is no other 
woman, Frederick, who has loved you as I have loved you 
assuredly not your princess, to whom, as it seems, you have 
turned back again. Son Rudolf, you must now be my 
consolation and my stay. From this time I will have no more 
to do with woman's love it is mother's love alone which must 
now fill my heart and my life. If I can succeed in forming 
you into such a man as he is if some day I may be wept by 
you, as he weeps for his mother I shall have gained my end." 

It is surely a foolish habit this diary-writing. These 
wishes, plans, and views, always changing, vanishing and 


coming anew, which form the current of our soul's life to strive 
to immortalise them by writing them down is a mistake to start 
with, and brings before oneself, when one peruses it in after 
years, the constant shame of having to recognise one's own 
fickleness. Here are recorded now on the same page, and 
under the same date, two such different humours first the 
most confident hope, and by its side the most complete 
despair, and the pages next it may give proof of something 
quite different again. 

The Easter Monday was favoured by the most splendid 
spring weather, and the ride in the Prater, which takes place, 
according to custom, on that day, a kind of holiday preparatory 
to the great Corso of May Day, went off with especial lustre. 
I cannot say how much this lustre, this delight in holiday 
and spring which was all around me, contrasted with the sorrow 
which filled my spirit. And yet I would not have given up my 
sorrow, would not have had again the same light, and there 
fore also empty heart, as two months before when I had 
not made Tilling' s acquaintance. For, though my love was, 
according to all appearance, an unhappy one, yet it was love 
and this implies a raising of the intensity of life that warm, 
tender feeling which expanded my heart as often as the dear 
image parsed before my inward eye. I could not have lived 
without it. 

I had never thought it likely that the subject of my dreams 
would come before my eyes here in the Prater, in the midst of 
this whirl of worldly pleasure. And yet when, without think- 
ing, I happened once to let my gaze wander towards the ride, 
I saw far off galloping down the promenade in our direction an 
officer, in whom though my short sight could not distinguish 
him clearly I at once recognised Tilling. As soon as he came 
near, and crossed our carriage, with a salute in passing, I 
returned his greeting, not with a mere bow, but with warm 
gestures. At the same moment I was aware that I had done 
what was unbecoming and improper. 

" Who is that you were making those signs to?" asked my 


sister Lilly. " Ah, I see," she added, " there is the inevitable 
Conrad walking you were waving your hand to him ? " 

This timely appearance of the " inevitable Conrad " came 
very apropos for me. I was thankful to my trusty cousin for 
it, and proceeded at once to give effect to my gratitude. 

" Look here, Lilly," I said, "he is, I am sure, a good man, 
and, no doubt, is here only on your account again. You 
should take pity on him you should be good to him. Oh, if 
you knew how sweet it is to have any one dear to you, you 
would not shut your heart so. Go make him happy, the good 

Lilly stared at me in astonishment. 

" But suppose he is indifferent to me, Martha ? " 

" Perhaps you are in love with some one else ? n 

She shook her head : " No, no one ". 

" Oh, poor thing ! " 

We made two or three more turns up and down the pro- 
menade. But the one whom my eyes were searching after all 
about I did not see a second time. He had quitted the 
Prater again. 

A few days later, in the afternoon, Tilling was announced. 
He did not, however, find me alone, for my father and Aunt 
Mary had come to call, and besides these Rosa and Lilly, 
Conrad Althaus and Minister " To-be-sure " were in my drawing- 

I almost uttered a cry of astonishment this visit came 
upon me with such a surprise and at the same time so delighted 
and excited me. But the delight was soon over, when Tilling, 
after exchanging salutations with the company, and taking a 
seat opposite to me, at my invitation, said in an unconcerned 
tone : 

" I am come pour prendre conge, countess. I am leaving 
Vienna in a few days." 

" For long ? " " Where are you going ? " " What is the 


reason ?" " What is it about?" asked the others, all at once, 
and with interest, while I remained dumb. 

"Perhaps for good." "To Hungary." " Exchanging into 
another regiment." " For love of the Magyars," explained 
Tilling, in answer to his different questioners. 

Meanwhile I had collected myself. 

" It was a sudden resolution," I said, as calmly as I could. 
" What harm has our Vienna done to you that you quit it in 
such a violent hurry ?" 

" It is too lively and too gay for me I am in a mood which 
makes one long to mope in solitude." 

' ' Oh, well ! " said Conrad, " the gloomier one's mood, the 
more one ought to seek amusement. An evening in the Karls 
theatre has a much more refreshing effect than passing all day 
musing alone." 

" The best thing, my dear Tilling, to give you a shake up," 
said my father, " would, I am certain, be a jolly rattling war, 
but unluckily there is no prospect of that before us. The 
peace threatens to last as long as one can see." 

" Well," I could not help remarking, " that is an extraor- 
dinary collocation of words, 'war' and 'jolly,' 'peace' and 

" To be sure," assented the Minister, " the political horizon 
at the moment does not show any black point, still storm-clouds 
sometimes rise quite unexpectedly all of a sudden, and the 
chance can never be excluded that a difference even unim 
portant in itself may cause the outbreak of war. I say that 
for your comfort, colonel. As for myself, since I, in virtue of 
my office, have to manage the home affairs of the country, 
my wishes must, to be sure, be directed exclusively to the 
maintenance of peace as long as possible for it is this alone 
which is naturally adapted to further the interests lying in 
my domain. Still this does not prevent me from taking note 
of the just desires of those who from a military point of 
view are, to be sure 

" Permit me, your excellence," interrupted Tilling, " as far 


as I am myself concerned, to protest against the assumption 
that I wish for a war, and also to protest against the underlying 
principle that the military point of view ought to be different 
from the human. We exist in order to protect the country 
should an enemy threaten it, just as a fire engine exists in order 
to put out a fire if it breaks out, but that gives the soldier no 
right to desire war any more than a fireman to wish for a fire. 
Both involve misfortune heavy misfortune and no one, as a 
man, ought to rejoice over the misfortunes of his fellow-men." 

"You good, you dear man," I said, in silence, to the 

The latter continued : 

" I am quite aware that the opportunity for personal distinc- 
tion comes to the one only from conflagrations and to the other 
only from campaigns; but how poor of heart and narrow of 
mind must a man be before his selfish interests can seem to 
him so gigantic as to blot out the sight of the universal misery ! 
Peace is the greatest blessing, or rather the absence of the 
greatest curse. It is, as you said yourself, the only condition 
in which the interests of the population can be furthered, and 
yet you would give to a large fragment of this population, the 
army, the right to wish for the cessation of the condition of 
growth and to long for that of destruction? To nourish 
this 'just' wish till it grows into a demand, and then, 
perhaps, obtains its fulfilment? To make war that the army 
may anyhow be occupied and satisfied is just as if we set fire 
to houses that the fire brigade may distinguish itself and earn 

"Your comparison, dear colonel, is a lame one," replied 
my father, giving Tilling, contrary to his habit, his military 
title, perhaps to remind him that his opinions were not consis- 
tent with his calling. " Conflagrations do nothing but damage, 
while wars may get power and greatness for the country. How 
else have states been formed and extended except by victorious 
campaigns ? Personal ambition is surely not the only thing 
that makes soldiers delight in war. It is above all things, 


pride in one's race, in one's country, that finds its dearest 
nourishment there in a word, patriotism." 

" Especially love of home ? " replied Tilling. " I do not really 
understand why it is we soldiers in particular who make as it 
we had a monopoly of this feeling, which is natural to the 
majority of mankind. Every one loves the soil on which he 
grows up ; every one wishes the elevation and the good of his 
own countrymen. But happiness and renown are to be reached 
by quite other means than war ; pride can be excited by quite 
other exploits than deeds of arms. I, for instance, am much 
prouder of Anastatius Griin than of any of our field-marshals " 

"Well, but can anybody even compare a poet with a 
commander ? " cried my father. 

" That is my question too. The bloodless laurel is by far 
the more lovely." 

"But, my dear baron/' said my aunt at this point, "I have 
never heard a soldier speak so. What becomes, then, of the 
ardour of battle, of the warlike fire ?" 

" Dear lady, those are feelings not at all unknown to me. 
It was by them that I was animated when as a youngster of 
nineteen I took the field for the first time. But when I had 
seen the realities of butchery, when I had been a witness of 
the bestialities which are connected with it, my enthusiasm 
evaporated, and I went into my subsequent battles, not with 
pleasure, but with resignation." 

" Listen to me, Tilling. I have been present at more 
campaigns than you, and have also seen plenty of scenes of 
horror ; but my zeal has not yet cooled. When in the year 
'49 I followed Radetzky, though a middle-aged man, I felt 
all the same delight as on the first occasion." 

" Excuse me, your excellence. But you belong to an older 
generation a generation in which the warlike spirit is much 
more lively than in ours, and in which the feeling for humanity, 
which is zealous for the abolition of all misery, and which is at 
this time extending in ever-widening circles, was still totally 


" What is the good ? Misery there must always be : it can 
o more be abolished than war." 

" Pray observe, Count Althaus, that in these words you are 
defining the only point of view (one now much shaken) from 
which the past used to regard all social evils /.*., the point of 
view of resignation as one looks at what is inevitable, what 
is a natural necessity. But if ever, at the sight of a great evil, 
the doubtful question has forced itself on one's heart, * Must 
this be so ? ' then the heart can no longer remain cold ; and, 
Desides pity, a kind of repentance springs up. Not a personal 
'epentance indeed, but how shall I express it ? a protest from \ 
*ht conscience of the age." 

My father shrugged his shoulders. "That is above me," 
;aid he. " I can only assure you that it is not only we 
jld grandfathers who think with pride and joy on our old 
campaigns, but also that most of the young men and boys, 
if asked whether they would like to go out to a war, would 
inswer at once : ' Yes, with pleasure, all possible pleasure'." 

"The boys, surely. They have still in their hearts the 
enthusiasm which is implanted at school. And of the others, 
many answer, as you say, 'With pleasure' because that 
answer is looked on, according to the popular conception, as 
manly and courageous ; and the honest ' Not willingly ' might 
easily be interpreted as a proof of cowardice." 

" Oh ! " said Lilly, with a little shudder, " I should be a 
coward too. Oh, how horrible it must be with bullets flying on 
all sides, and death threatening every instant ! " 

" That is a sentiment which is natural in your mouth as a 
young girl," replied Tilling. " But we men have to repress the 
instinct of self-preservation. Soldiers have also to repress 
the compassion, the sympathy for the gigantic trouble which 
invades both friend and foe; for, next to cowardice, what 
is most disgraceful to us is all sentimentality, all that is 

" Only in war, my dear Tilling," said my father, " only in 
war In private life, thank God, we too have soft hearts." 


"Oh yes ! I know it. It is a kind of magic. Immediately 
on the declaration of war one says all at once of any horror : 
' Oh ! that goes for nothing '. Children sometimes make the 
same agreement in their games. ' If I do this or that it goes 
for nothing,' you may hear them say. And in the game of war 
the same conventions, though unspoken, apply. Manslaughter 
is no longer to count as manslaughter ; robbery counts no 
longer as robbery ; theft is not thieving but ' requisition ' ; vil- 
lages burnt represent, not conflagrations, but ' positions taken ', 
To all the precepts of the statute book, of the catechism, of the 
moral law, as long as the game lasts, the same applies ' It goes 
"or nothing '. But if ever occasionally the gambling fervour 
slackens, if the convention that ' it goes for nothing ' disappears 
from one's conscience for one moment, and one comprehends 
the scenes around one in their reality, and conceives of this 
depth of misery, this wholesale crime as meaning something, 
then one would wish for one thing only to deliver one out oi 
the intolerable woe of such a sight namely, to be dead." 

"Well, really!" remarked Aunt Mary meditatively, "sen- 
tences like 'Thou shalt not murder,' 'Thou shalt not steal,' 
Love thy neighbour as thyself,' ' Forgive thine enemies ' 

"Go for nothing," repeated Tilling ; "and those, whose call 
ing it is to teach these sentences, are the first to bless our arms 
and call down Heaven's blessing on our murderous work." 

"And rightly so," said my father. "The God of the Bible 
was of old time the God of battles, the Lord of armies. He it 
is who commands us to draw the sword. He it is " 

"Men always," interrupted Tilling, "decree that what they 
themselves want to see done is His will ; and they attribute to 
Him the enactment of eternal laws of love, which, whenever His 
children begin the great game of hatred, He suspends by His 
divine 'Goes for nothing '. Just as rough, just as inconsistent, 
just as childish as man is the God whom man has set before us. 
And now, countess," he added, getting up, "forgive me for 
having inflicted such a tedious discussion on you, and allow 
me to take leave." 


Stormy feelings were thrilling through me. All that he had 
just said had rendered the beloved man yet dearer to me. And 
must I now part from him, perhaps never to see him again ? 
To exchange thus a cold farewell with him before other people 
and let all end so ? It was not possible. I should have been 
obliged, if the door had closed on him, to burst out in sobs. 
That must not be : I rose up. 

"One moment, Baron Tilling," I said; "I must at any rate 
show you that photograph I spoke to you about a little while 

He looked at me in amazement, for no talk about a photo- 
graph had ever passed between us. However he followed me 
to the other corner of the drawing-room, where some albums 
were lying on a table, and where we were out of hearing of the 

I opened an album, and Tilling stooped over it. Meanwhile 
I spoke to him in a low voice and all in a tremble. 

" I cannot let you go in this way. I will, I must speak to 

" As you will, countess ; I am listening." 

"No, not now; you must come again to-morrow, at this 

He seemed to hesitate. 

" I command it By the memory of your mother, for whom 
I wept with you ! " 

"Oh, Martha 1" 

My name so pronounced thrilled through me like a flash of 

"To-morrow then," I repeated, and looked into his eyes, 
" at the same hour." 

We had settled it I returned back to the others, and 
Tilling, after he had put my hand to his lips again and saluted 
the others with a bow, went out of the door. 

" A singular person," remarked my father, shaking his head. 
" What he has been saying just now would mid little favour in 
the higher circles." 


When the appointed hour struck next day I gave orders, as 
on the occasion of his first visit, to admit no one else except 

I looked forward to the coming visit with a mixture of feel 
ings passionate anxiety, sweet impatience, and some degree 
of embarrassment. I did not quite know the precise things I 
should say to him ; on that subject I would not reflect at all. 
If Tilling asked me some such question as " Now then, coun- 
tess, what have you to communicate to me what do you wish 
with me ? " I could not surely answer him with the truth : " I 
have to communicate to you that I love you ; my wish is that 
you should stay here ". But he would not surely cross-examine 
me in so bald a way, and we should readily understand each 
other without such categoric questions and answers. The 
main point was to see him once more ; and not to part, it 
parting must come, without having spoken one heartfelt word 
and exchanged one fervent farewell. But even in thinking the 
word " farewell " my eyes filled with tears. 

At this moment the appointed visitor came. 

"I obey your command, countess, and but what is the 
matter with you?" said he, interrupting himself. "You have 
been weeping ? You are weeping still ? " 

" I ? No, it was the smoke, the chimney in the next room. 
Sit down, Tilling. I am glad you have come." 

" And I happy that you ordered me to come, do you recol- 
lect, in the name of my mother. On that I determined to tell 
you all that is in my heart. I " 

"Well, why do you stop?" 

" To speak is even harder to me than I thought." 

" You showed so much confidence in me on that night of 
pain when you were watching by the deathbed. How comes 
it that you have now lost all confidence again ? " 

" In those solemn hours I had gone out of myself : since then 
my usual shyness has again seized me. I perceive that on that 
occasion I had overstepped my right, and I have avoided you/ 
neighbourhood that I might not overstep it again." 


"Yes, indeed, you seem to avoid me why?" 

" Why ? Because because I adore you ! " 

I answered nothing, and to hide my emotion I turned my 
head away. Tilling also was struck dumb. At last I collected 
myself and broke the silence. 

" And why did you wish to leave Vienna ? " I asked 

"For the same reason." 

" Could not you recall the determination ? " 

" Yes, I certainly could ; the exchange is not yet settled." 

" Then remain." 

He seized my hand. 


It was the second time he had called me by my name. 
These two syllables had an intoxicating sound for me. I was 
compelled to answer what would sound as sweet to him 
another two syllables, in which lay all that was bursting my 
heart so, lifting my eyes to his, I said softly : 


At this instant the door opened and my father came in. 

" Ah ! you are there. The footman said you were not at 
home, but I replied I would wait for you. Good-day, Tilling ! 
I am much surprised to find you here after your adieu of 

" My departure is put off again, your excellence, and so I 
came " 

" To pay my daughter an arrival-call all right. And now 
to tell you what brought me here, Martha. There is a family 
event " 

Tilling got up. 

" Then I am perhaps in the way." 

"Oh, my communication is not so very pressing." 

I wished papa and his family event at the Antipodes. No 
interruption could have come more inopportunely. Tilling 
could do nothing now but go. But after what had passed 
between us going did not mean parting. Our thoughts, our 
hearts remained united. 


" When shall I see you again ? " he asked in a low voice, 
as he kissed my hand on leaving. 

" To-morrow, at nine o'clock, in the Prater, on horseback," 
I answered rapidly in the same tone. 

My father took a rather cold leave of him as he went out, 
and when the door was shut behind him 

"What is the meaning of this?" he asked, with a stern 
countenance. " You tell them to deny you and I find you 
tete-h-tete with this gentleman ? " I turned red, half in anger, 
half in embarrassment. 

" What is the family event which you " 

" This is it I wanted to get your lover out of the way, so 
that I might tell you what I think of it. And I regard it as a 
very important event for our family that you, Countess Dotzky, 
nee Althaus, should trifle with your reputation in this way." 

" My dear father, the most secure guard of my reputation 
and my honour has been given me in the person of little 
Rudolf Dotzky and, as to what concerns the authority of the 
Count Althaus, allow me to remind you with all possible 
respect that, in my capacity as an independent widow, I have 
outgrown it. I have no intention at all of taking a lover, if 
that is what your conjecture points at, as it seems to be but, 
if I choose to decide on marrying again, I reserve myself the 
right of choosing quite freely according to my own heart." 

"Marry Tilling? What are you thinking about? That 
would be a real calamity in the family. I should almost like 
better but, no I won't say that ; but, seriously, you have no 
such notion, I hope." 

" What is there to say against it ? It is only a little while 
since you came offering me a brevet-captain, a captain, and 
a major Tilling has already risen to the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel " 

"That is the worst thing about him. If he were a civilian, 
he might be pardoned for such views as he expressed yester- 
day but in a soldier they come near the bounds of treason. 
... No doubt, he would like to get his discharge, so as nol 


to be exposed to the danger of having to make another cam 
paign, the fatigues and sufferings of which he evidently dreads. 
And, as he has no fortune, it is a very good idea of his to want 
to make a rich marriage. But I hope to God that he will not 
find a woman to carry this idea out who is the daughter of an 
old soldier, that has fought in four wars, and would be ready 
to-day to turn out with all possible pleasure, and the widow of 
a brave young warrior, who found a glorious death on the field 
of honour." 

My father, who had been pacing up and down the room with 
great strides as he spoke thus, had become as red as fire, and 
his voice trembled with excitement. I also was moved to my 
heart's core. The set of the phrases, the contemptuous words 
in which the attack on the man of my heart was clothed 
annoyed me. But I did not care to make any rejoinder. I 
quite felt that my defence could not remove the unfounded 
injustice here done to Tilling. That my father considered the 
views expressed yesterday as so completely false depended 
merely on a total failure to understand them. My father 
was utterly blind to the point of view which Tilling had 
reached. I could not make him see. I could not teach him 
to apply a different ethical standard than the military (which 
indeed was, in General Althaus's eyes, the highest standard) 
to the thoughts which Tilling cherished as a man and as a 
philosopher. But while I remained so completely dumb in 
presence of the outbreak that I had had to listen to, that my 
father might well believe he had made me ashamed of myself, 
and stifled my project in the bud, I felt myself drawn with 
redoubled longing towards the man so misunderstood, and 
strengthened in my resolve to be his. By good luck, I was 
really free. My father's disapproval might, to be sure, trouble 
me ; but, as to restraining me from following my heart's impulse, 
that it could not do. And, besides, there was no room in 
my soul for any great trouble. The wonderful, the mighty 
happiness which had opened before me in the last quarter of 
an hour was too lively to allow any vexation to mingle with it 


Next morning I woke with a feeling like the one I always 
had as a child on Christmas Eve, and once on the morning 
of my marriage with Arno the same inexpressible expec- 
tation, the same excited anxiousness, that to day something 
joyful, something great was at hand The remembrance of the 
words which my father spoke the day before did, to be sure, 
cause a little trouble, but I quickly chased this thought away 

It had not struck nine when I left my carriage at the entry to 
the Prater Promenade and mounted my horse which had been 
sent forward with the groom. The weather was spring-like and 
mild sunless, indeed, but only the milder for that; and, 
besides, I carried the sunshine in my heart. It had rained in 
the night ; the leaves were adorned in their freshest green, and 
a smell of moist earth rose up out of the soil. 

I had hardly ridden a hundred paces down the promenade 
when I was aware of the tread behind me of a horse coming on 
at a round trot. 

" Ah, how are you, Martha ? I am pleased to meet you 

It was Conrad the inevitable. I was not at all pleased at 
this meeting. However, the Prater was certainly not my private 
park, and on such a beautiful spring morning the ride is 
always full. How could I have been so foolish as to reckon 
on an undisturbed rendezvous here ? Althaus had made his 
horse follow the pace of mine, and settled himself evidently to 
be my faithful attendant in my ride. At this time I perceived 
Frederick v. Tilling at a distance, who was galloping down the 
ride in our direction. 

" Cousin! you are my good ally, are you not ? You know 
that I take all possible trouble to dispose Lilly in your favour ?" 

" Yes, my noblest of cousins." 

" Only yesterday evening I was again vaunting your good 
qualities, for you are really a grand young fellow pleasant, 
discreet " 

" Whatever do you want with me ? n 


" Just to give your horse the spur and ride off." 

Tilling was by this time quite near. Conrad looked first at 
him, then at me, and, without speaking a word, nodded at 
me with a smile, and went off as if he was flying for his 

" This Althaus again " were Tilling's first words after he had 
turned round, so as to ride on by my side. In his tone and his 
manner jealousy was plainly expressed. 

I was pleased at it. 

" Is he so out of patience at seeing me ? or has his horse run 

away ? " 

" I sent him away, because " 

" Countess Martha, odd that I should meet you with this 
Althaus, of all people ! Do you know that the world says he 
is in love with his cousin ? " 

" It is true." 

" And is trying to win her favour ? " 

" That is true also." 

" And not without hope ? " 

" Not quite without hope." 

Tilling was silent. I looked into his face with a happy 

"Your look contradicts your last words," he said, after a 
pause. " For your look seems to me to say * Althaus loves 
me without hope '." 

" He is not in love with me at all. The object of his suit is 
my sister Lilly." 

" You take a weight off my heart. This man was one of the 
reasons for my wishing to leave Vienna. I could not have 
borne to be obliged to look on." 

" And what other reasons had you besides ? " I interposed. 

" The fear that my passion was increasing ; that I should 
not be able to conceal it longer ; that it would make me 
ridiculous and miserable at the same time." 

" Are you miserable to-day ?" 

" Oh, Martha ! Since yesterday I have been living in such 


a tumult of feel : ng that I am almost beside myself. But not 
without the fear, as when one has too sweet a dream, that 
I may suddenly awake to a painful reality. I have no right 
to expect any return for my love. What can I offer you ? 
To-day your favour smiles on me, and lifts me into the seventh 
Heaven. To-morrow, or a little later, you will withdraw from 
me again this undeserved favour, and plunge me into an abyss 
of despair. I know myself no longer. How hyperbolically I 
am speaking I who was formerly such a calm, circumspect 
man, an enemy of all extravagance. But in your presence 
nothing seems to me extravagant In your power it lies to 
make me happy or wretched." 

" Let me speak of my doubts too. The princess n 

" Oh, has that chatter come to your ears too ? There is 
nothing in it, nothing at all." 

"Of course you deny; that is your duty." 

" The lady in question, whose heart is now imprisoned, as is 
well known, in the Burg theatre, and how long will that last ? 
for it is a heart which gives itself away pretty often this lady is 
one about whom the most circumspect gentleman need hardly 
observe the silence of death. So you are doubly bound to 
believe me. And, besides, should I have wished to leave 
Vienna if that rumour had had any foundation ? " 

" Jealousy does not draw reasonable inferences. Should I 
have ordered you to remain here if I had been near making up 
a match with my cousin Althaus ? " 

" It is hard for me, Martha, to be riding so quietly by your 
side. I should like to fall at your feet, to kiss at least your 
beloved hand.'' 

" Dear Frederick," said I tenderly, " such outward acts are 
not needed. One can embrace with words too, and caress all 
the same as " 

" If we kissed," he said, concluding the sentence. 

At this last word, which thrilled through us both like an 
electric shock, we looked for some time into each other's eyes, 
and found that one can kiss even with looks. 


He spoke first. "Since when?" I understood the un 
finished question well enough. 

" Since that dinner at my father's/' I replied. " And you ? " 

" You ? That you 1 does not suit, Martha. If I am to answer 
the question it must be put in a different form." 

"Well? and/y^w?' 1 

" I ? Just since the same evening. But it was not so clear 
and decided to me till at the deathbed of my poor mother. 
With what longing did my thoughts turn to you ! " 

"Yes, that I understood. But you, on the contrary, did 
not understand what the red rose meant which was wound in 
among the white flowers of death, or else, when you came here, 
you would not have so avoided me. I do not yet comprehend 
the reason of this holding off, and why you wanted to go 
away ! " 

" Because my thoughts never rose to the hope that I could 
win you. It was not till you ordered me, by the memory oj 
my mother ordered me to come to you, and to remain near 
you that I understood that you were favourably disposed to 
me, that I might dedicate my life to you." 

" So if I had not myself * thrown myself at your head,' as the 
French say, you would not have troubled yourself about me ? " 

" You have a great many admirers. I could not mix myself 
up among these swarms." 

" Oh, they do not count for anything. Most of them have 
no other object except as to the rich widow." 

" Don't you see ? That word describes the bar which kept 
me from paying my court a rich widow, and I quite without 
fortune. Better perish of unrequited love than be despised 
by the world, and especially by the woman I adore, for the 
very thing which you have just imputed to the crowd of your 
suitors " 

!s used in German to strangers; DM, "thou," to 
intimates. But as no such habit prevails in England, Du is translated 
into the ordinary " you " throughout the book. 


" O you proud, noble, dear fellow ! I should never have 
been capable of attributing one low thought to you." 

"Whence this confidence? You really know me so little as 

And now we began questioning each other further. On the 
question " Since when " had we loved each other, followed now 
the discussion " Why ? " What had first attracted me was the 
way in which he had spoken of war. What I had thought and 
felt in silence believing that no soldier could think any such 
thing, much less utter it he had thought more clearly than 
I, felt it more strongly, and uttered it with perfect freedom. 
Then I saw how his heart towered above the interests of his 
profession and his intellect above the views of the period. It 
was that which, so to speak, laid the foundation of my devoted 
love for him ; and besides that there were innumerable other 
"becauses" in reply to the "why". Because he had so hand 
some and distinguished a presence; because in his voice 
there thrilled a soft yet firm tone of its own ; because he had 
been such a loving son ; because . . . 

"And you why do you love me ? " I asked, interrupting 
myself in thus rendering my account. 

" For a thousand reasons and one." 

" Let us hear. First the thousand." 

" The great heart ; the little foot ; the lovely eyes ; the bril- 
liant mind ; the soft smile ; the lively wit ; the white hand ; the 
womanly dignity ; the wonderful " 

" Stop ! stop ! Are you going through the whole thousand ? 
Better tell me the one reason." 

" That is no doubt simpler, since the one in its power and 
irresistibleness embraces all the others. I love you, Martha, 
because I love you. That is why." 

From the Prater I drove direct to my father's. The com- 
munication which I had to make to him would, I foresaw, give 
rise to unpleasant discussions. Still I wanted to get over 
these inevitable unpleasantnesses as quickly as possible and I 


preferred to face them at once under the first impression of the 
happiness I had just won. My father, who was a late riser, 
was still sitting over his breakfast, with the morning papers, 
when I ran into his study. Aunt Mary was present also, and 
likewise busy over the paper. 

On my rather hasty entrance my father looked up in surprise 
from the Presse^ and Aunt Mary laid down the Fremdenblatt. 

" Martha ! so early, and in riding dress ! What does that 
mean ? " 

I embraced them both, and then said, as I threw myself into 
an arm-chair : 

" It means that I am come from a ride in the Prater, where 
something has taken place which I wanted to tell you about 
without delay. So I did not even take the time to drive home 
and change my dress." 

"And what is this thing so important and so pressing?" 
asked my father, lighting a cigar. " Tell us, we are all 

Should I beat about the bush ? Should I make introductions 
and preparations? No, belter leap in head over heels, as 
people leap from a spring-board into the water. 

"I have engaged myself " 

Aunt Mary flung her hands over her head and my father 
wrinkled his brow. 

" I hope, however, not " he began, but I did not let him 


" Engaged myself to a man, whom I love from my heart, 
and reverence, and of whom I believe that he will make 
me completely happy Baron Fried, v. Tilling." 

My father jumped up 1 

" What do you say ? After all I said to you yesterday." 

Aunt Mary shook her head. 

" I would sooner have heard a different name," she said. " In 
the first place, Baron Tilling is not a match for you, he cannot 
have anything ; and, in the second, his principles and his views 
seem to me " 


" His principles and views coincide entirely with mine ; and 
as to looking for 'a match,' as it is called, I am not disposed to 
do so. Father, dearest father of mine, do not look so cruelly 
at me, do not spoil the great happiness which I feel at this 
moment ! my good, dear, beloved papa ! " 

" Well, but, my child," he replied, in a somewhat softened 
tone, for a little coaxing used always to disarm him, "it is 
nothing but your happiness which I have in view. I could not 
feel happy with any soldier who is not a soldier from his heart 
and soul." 

" But really you have not to marry Tilling," remarked Aunt 
Mary, in a very judicious way. "The soldiership is the 
least matter in question," she added; "but I could not be 
happy with a man who speaks in a tone of such little reverence 
of the God of the Bible, as the other day " 

" Allow me, dearest Aunt Mary, to call your attentie i to the 
fact that you also have not to marry Tilling." 

" Well, what a man chooses is a heaven to him," said my 
father with a sigh, sitting down again. " Tilling will quit the 
service, I suppose?" 

"We have not mentioned the subject as yet. I own I 
should prefer it, but I fear he will not do so." 

"To think," sighed Aunt Mary, "that you should have 
refused a prince ; and now, instead of raising yourself, you will 
come down in the social scale." 

" How unkind you are, both of you, and yet you say you 
love me. Here I come to you, the first time since poor Arno's 
death, with the news that I feel perfectly happy, and instead of 
being glad of it, you try to embitter it with all kinds of matters 
militarism, Jehovah, the social scale ! " 

Still, after half-an-hour or so, I had succeeded somehow or 
other in talking the old folks round. After the conversation 
he had held with me the day before, I had expected my father's 
opposition to be much more violent. Possibly if I had only 
spoken of projects and inclinations he would have still striven 
hard to quench such projects and inclinations ; but in presence 


of \hefatt accompli he saw that resistance could not be of any 
further use. Or, possibly, it was the effect of the overflowing 
feeling of bliss which must have been sparkling in my eyes and 
quivering in my voice which chased away his annoyance and 
in which he was obliged against his will to take a sympathising 
part in fine, when I stood up to go he pressed my cheek with 
a hearty kiss, and made me a promise that he would come to 
my house the same evening, and there salute his future son-in- 
law in that capacity. 

How the rest of the day and the evening passed I am sorry 
to find not described in the red book. The details have 
escaped my recollection after so long a time. I only know 
they were delightful hours. 

At tea I had the whole family circle assembled round me, 
and I presented my Freid. v. Tilling to them as my future 

Rosa and Lilly were delighted. Conrad Althaus cried 
" Bravo, Martha ! And now, Lilly, you take a lesson ! " My 
father had either overcome his old antipathy, or he managed 
to conceal it for my sake ; and Aunt Mary was softened and 

" Marriages are made in Heaven," she said, " and every one's 
lot is according to His will. You will be happy if you have 
God's blessing, and I will pray continually that you may have 

The " new papa " was presented to son Rudolf too, and it 
was to me a moment of peculiar delight and joyful anticipation 
when the dear man took up my dear child in his arms, kissed 
him warmly, and said : " Of you, little fellow, we two will make a 
perfect man ''. 

In the course of the evening my father put his idea about 
quitting the service into words. 

" You will give up your profession, Tilling, I suppose ? As 
you are already not in love with war." 

Tilling threw his head back with a gesture of surprise. 

11 Give up my profession ! Why, I have no other 1 And 



a man need not be in love with war to perform his military 
duty, any more than - 

"Yes, yes," my father interposed, " that is what you said the 
other day any more than a fireman need be an admirer of 

" I could bring forward more instances. No more than a 
physician need love cancer or typhus, or a judge be an especial 
admirer of burglaries. But to give up my way of life ? What 
motive is there for that ? " 

" The motive," said Aunt Mary, " would be to spare your 
wife the life of a garrison town, and to spare her anxiety in 
case of a war breaking out though such anxiety is, to be 
sure, nonsense, for if it is decreed to any one to live to be old, 
he lives so, in spite of all dangers." 

" The reasons you have named would no doubt be weighty. 
To keep the lady who is to be my wife from all the unpleasant- 
nesses of life, as far as possible, will certainly be my most 
earnest endeavour ; but the unpleasantness of having a husband 
who would be without any profession or business would, I am 
sure, be even greater than those of garrison life. And the 
danger that my retirement might be charged against me by any 
one as laziness or cowardice would be even more terrible than 
those of a campaign. The idea really never occurred to me for 
a moment ; and I hope not to you either, Martha ? " 

" But suppose I made a condition of it ? " 

11 You would not do so. For otherwise I should have to 
renounce the height of bliss. You are rich. I have nothing 
except my military standing, and the outlook to a higher rank 
in the future ; and that is a possession I will not give up. It 
would be against all dignity, against my ideas of honour." 

" Bravo, my son ! Now I am reconciled. It would be a 
sin and an outrage against your profession. You have not 
much farther to go to be colonel, and will certainly rise to 
general's rank may at last become commandant of a for- 
tress, governor, or minister of war. That gives your wife also 
t: position." 


I remained quite silent. The prospect of being a com- 
mandant's lady had no charms for me. > It would have better 
suited me to have spent my life with the man of my choice in 
retirement in the country ; but, still, the resolution he had just 
expressed was dear to me, for it protected him frcm any stain 
of the suspicion which my father nourished against him, and 
which would certainly have clung to him in the eyes of the 

"Yes, quite reconciled," my father went on, "and rightly 

too : for I believed it was chiefly for that purpose Now, 

now, you need not look in such a rage I mean partly \ for the 
purpose of withdrawing into private life ; and that would have 
been very unfair of you. Unfair too towards my Martha for 
she is the child of a soldier, the widow of a soldier ; and I 
don't believe that she could love a man in civilian's costume 
for a continuance." 

Tilling was now obliged to smile. He threw me a look which 
said plainly " I know you better," and answered aloud : " I 
think so too ; she really only fell in love with my uniform *. 


Marriage and visit to Berlin. Lady Cornelia von Tessow 
and her son. A wedding tour. Life in garrison at 
Olmutz. Christmas at Vienna. Rumours of war. A 
new-year's party. Back at Olmutz. War imminent. 
Outbreak of the Schleswig-Holstein War. History of the 

IN September of this year our marriage took place. 

My bridegroom had got two months leave for the wedding- 
tour. Our first stage was Berlin. I had expressed a wish to 
lay a wreath on the grave of Frederick's mother, and begin our 
tour with that pilgrimage. 

We stopped eight days in the Prussian capital. Frederick 
introduced me to his relatives who were living there, and all 
seemed to me the most amiable people in the world. And, 
really, everything we met was pleasant and beautiful wearing 
as we did the rose-coloured glasses through which one looks at 
the outside world during the honeymoon. Besides, the newly- 
married pair were greeted on all sides with cheerful and kindly 
politeness ; every one seemed to find it a duty to strew new 
roses on a path already so sunny. 

What pleased me particularly in North Germany was the 
dialect. Not only because it was marked by my husband's 
accent one of his qualities which had excited my love at first 
but also because in comparison with the way of speaking 
used in Austria it seemed to announce a higher level of educa- 
tion, or rather did not seem, but was really its result. Gram- 
matical solecisms such as deform the common speech of the 



best circles in Vienna do not occur in good society at Berlin. 
The Prussian substitution of the accusative for the dative, " Gib 
mich einen Federhut," is confined to the lower classes, while 
in Vienna the ordinary confusions of cases, such as " Ohne dir," 
"Mit die kinder," are heard commonly enough in the best 
drawing-rooms. We may for all that call our way of speaking 
kindly, and get foreigners to take it as being so, but it shows 
some inferiority nevertheless. If one measures human worth 
by the scale of education and what more correct standard can 
one have ? then the North German is a little bit more of a 
man than the South German an assertion that would sound 
very arrogant in the mouth of a Prussian, and may seem very 
" unpatriotic " from the pen of an Austrian authoress ; but how 
seldom is there any outspoken truth which does not give 
offence, somewhere or somehow? 

Our first visit in Berlin, after the churchyard, was to the 
sister of the deceased. From the amiability and intellectual 
accomplishments of this lady I could infer how amiable and 
accomplished his mother must have been if she was like Frau 
Cornelia v. Tessow. The latter was the widow of a Prussian 
general, and had an only son, who had just then become a 

I never met with a handsomer young man in my whole life 
than this Godfrey v. Tessow. It was touching to see the affec- 
tion between mother and son ; and in this also Frau Cornelia 
seemed to have a resemblance to her deceased sister. When 
I saw the pride which she visibly had in Godfrey, and the 
tenderness with which he treated his mother, I was already 
delighting myself with imagining the time when my son Rudolf 
should be grown up. One thing only I could not understand, 
and this I expressed to my husband, thus : 

" How can a mother allow her only child, her treasure, to 
embrace so dangerous a profession as the army?" 

"My dear, there are simple reflections which no one ever makes," 
Frederick answered, " considerations which lie so near one that 
no one ever heeds them. Such a reflection is the danger of the 


military profession. People do not allow themselves to take 
that into consideration ; it is thought a kind of impropriety or 
cowardice to allow that to weigh with one. And so it is 
assumed as a matter of course and inevitable that such danger 
must be survived, and indeed is nearly always survived by 
good luck (the percentages of killed are distributed over other 
people), and so the chance of being killed is not thought of. 
To be sure, it exists ; but so it does for every one born into 
ihe world, and yet no one thinks about death. The mind 
can do a great deal to chase away troublesome thoughts. And r 
lastly, what more pleasant and more respected position can 
Prussian nobleman occupy than that of a cavalry officer ? w 

Aunt Cornelia appeared also pleased with me. 

11 Ah ! " she sighed on one occasion, " how I wish that my 
poor sister could have lived to feel the joy of having such a 
daughter-in-law and seeing her Frederick so happy as he is 
now with you. It was always her warmest wish to see him 
married. But he demanded so much from marriage " 

" That it did not seem likely he would fall in love with me, 

"That is what the English call 'fishing for a compliment'. 
I only wish my Godfrey could get such a prize. I have been 
long impatient to know the joy of being a grandmother. But 
I shall have long to wait for that, my son is only twenty-one." 

" He may turn many young ladies' heads," I said, " break 
many hearts." 

" That would not be like him ; a better, more straightforward 
young man does not exist. One day he will make a wife very 
happy " 

" As Frederick makes his." 

" You cannot tell that quite yet, my dear. We must talk 
about that ten years hence. In the first few weeks almost 
every one is happy. Not that I would express any doubt of 
my nephew or of you ; I believe quite that your happiness will 
be lasting." 

This prophecy of Aunt Cornelia I wrote down in my diary, 


and wrote underneath it : " Did it come true? The answer to 
be written ten years hence." And then I left a line blank. 
How I filled up that line in the year 1873 well, tnat must not 
be set down in this place as yet. 

After leaving Berlin we went to the German watering-places. 
If my short tour in Italy with Arno were left out of account 
and of this I had besides only a dreamy recollection I had 
never been away from home. To make acquaintance in this 
way with new places, new people, new ways of life, put me into 
a most elevated state of mind. The world appeared to me to 
have become all at once so beautiful, and thrice as interesting. 
If it had not been for my little Rudolf that I had left behind, 
I should have pressed Frederick : " Let us travel about like 
this for years. We will visit the whole of Europe and then 
the other quarters of the globe. Let us enjoy this wandering 
life, this unfettered roving to and fro, let us collect the treasures 
of new impressions and experiences. Anywhere that we come 
to, however strange may be the people or the country, we 
shall be sure, in virtue of our companionship, to bring a suffi- 
cient portion of home along with us." What would Frederick 
have answered to such a proposition ? Probably, that a man 
cannot make it his business to spend his life in a wedding-tour, 
that his leave only lasted for two months, and many more such 
reasonable matters. 

We visited Baden-Baden, Homburg, and Wiesbaden. Every- 
where the same cheerful, elegant way of living ; everywhere so 
many interesting people from all the chief countries of the 
world. It was in intercourse with these foreigners that I first 
became aware that Frederick was a perfect master of the 
French and English languages a thing which made him rise 
to a still higher place in my admiration. I was always dis- 
covering new qualities in him gentleness, liveliness, the most 
quick feeling for everything beautiful. A voyage on the Rhine 
threw him into raptures, and nT the theatre or concert-room, 
when the artists performed anything peculiarly excellent, his 
enjoyment shone out of his eyes. This made the Rhine and 


its castles seem to me doubly romantic ; this redoubled my 
admiration of the performances of celebrated musicians. 

These two months passed over only too swiftly. Frederick 
applied for an extension of his leave, but it was decided against 
him. It was my first unpleasant moment since my marriage 
when this official paper arrived, which, in curt style, ordered' 
our return home. 

" And men call that freedom ! " I cried, throwing the offend- 
ing document down on the table. 

Tilling smiled. " Oh ! I never looked on myself as free in 
the least, my mistress," he replied. 

" If I were your mistress I could find it in my heart to 
command you to bid adieu to military service, and live only to 
serve me in the future." 

" On this question we had agreed n 

" Yes, I know. I am obliged to submit ; but that proves 
that you are not my slave ; and at bottom I feel that that is 
right, my dear, proud husband 1 " 

On our return from our tour, we went to a small Moravian 
city, the fortress of Olmutz, where Frederick's regiment lay in 
garrison. There was no opportunity for social intercourse in 
the neighbourhood, so we two lived in complete retirement, 
with the exception of the hours given up to duty he as lieu- 
tenant-colonel with his dragoons, I as a mother with my 
Rudolf. We gave ourselves up to each other only. The 
necessary ceremonial calls and return calls had been exchanged 
with the ladies of the regiment ; but I could not lend myself to 
any intimate acquaintance ; it did not amuse me in the least 
to go to afternoon tea parties and hear stories about servant- 
maids and the gossip of the town, and Frederick held off quite 
as far from the gambling parties of the colonel and the drink- 
ing bouts of the officers. We had something better to do. 
The world in which we moved, when we sat in the evening by the 
boiling tea-kettle, was worlds away from the world of Olmutz 
society. " Worlds away n often in a literal sense ; for some ot 


the favourite excursions of our spirit were directed towards the 
firmament. For we often read together scientific works and 
instructed ourselves in the wonders of the formation of the 
world. In this way we penetrated into the depths of the earth's 
centre, and the heights of the heavenly spaces. In this way 
we explored the secrets of the infinite minuteness revealed by 
the microscope, and the infinite distances of the telescope ; and 
by how much the wider the universe expanded before our gaze, 
by so much did the affairs of the Olmiitz circle shrink into nar- 
rower dimensions. Our readings did not confine themselves 
to the natural sciences, but embraced many other branches of 
inquiry and thought. Thus I took up, among other things, 
my favourite Buckle, for the third time, to make Frederick 
acquainted with "that author, whom he admired quite as much 
as I did ; and, at the same time, we did not neglect the poets 
or novelists. And so our evening readings together became 
real feasts of the mind, while the rest of our existence besides 
was a continual feast of the heart. Every day we became more 
fond of each other. As passion cooled in its flame, affection 
increased in its intimacy and respect in its steadfastness. The 
relations between Frederick and Rudolf were a source of 
delight to me. The two were the best friends in the world, and 
to see them playing together was charming. Frederick was, if 
anything, the more childish of the two. Of course I joined in 
the game at once, and all the nonsense that we acted and said 
at these times we hoped the wise and learned men would 
forgive us, whose works we read when Rudolf had been put 
to bed. Frederick, it is true, maintained that apart from him 
he was not very fond of children ; but, in the first place, the 
little boy was the son of his Martha, and in the next, he was 
really such a dear good little fellow, and suited his stepfather 
so wonderfully. We often laid plans for the boy's future. A 
soldier ? No. He should have no aptitude for it, since in our 
scheme of education there would be no drilling him into a love 
for military glory. A diplomatist? Perhaps. But most likely a 
country gentleman. As heir, presently, to the Dotzky estate, 


which must come to him on the death of Arno's uncle, now 
sixty-six years old, he would have sufficient business in manag- 
ing his possessions properly. Then he might take his little 
bride Beatrix to himself and live happily. We ourselves were 
so happy that we would gladly have seen all the world aye, and 
future generations too assured of the treasures of all life's 
joys. Yet we did not shut our eyes to the misery in which the 
greater part of mankind was groaning, and in which, for some 
generations at any rate, they must continue to groan poverty, 
ignorance, want of freedom, exposed to so many dangers 
and ills ; and among these ills the most dreadful of all War. 
" Ah, could one contribute anything towards warding it off?" 
This wish often sprang with groans from our hearts; but 
the contemplation of the prevailing circumstances and 
views was enough to discourage us and make us feel that it 
was impossible. Alas ! the beautiful dream that for every 
one it might "be well with them, and they might live long 
upon the earth " could not be fulfilled, at least not at present. 
The pessimist theory, however, that life itself is an evil, 
that it would have been better for every one if he had never 
been born that was radically refuted by our own lot. 

At Christmas we undertook an excursion to Vienna, in order 
to spend the holidays in the circle of my family. My father 
was now fully reconciled to Frederick. The fact that the 
latter had not quitted the army had chased away his former 
doubts and suspicions. That I had made " a bad match * 
remained indeed the conviction both of my father and Aunt 
Mary ; but, on the other hand, they could not help perceiving 
the fact that my husband made me very happy, and that they 
reckoned in his favour. 

Rosa and Lilly were sorry that they would have to go into 
" the world " next carnival not under my supervision but the 
much more severe one of their aunt. Conrad Althaus was 
still, as before, a constant visitor at the house ; and I could see, 
I thought, that he had made progress in Lilly's graces. 

Christmas Eve turned out very gay. A great Chiistmai 


tree was lighted up and all kinds of presents were exchanged 
between one and the other. The king of the feast and the 
one who had most presents was, of course, my son Rudolf, but 
all the others were thought of. Amongst the rest Frederick 
got one from me, at the sight of which he could not repress a 
cry of joy. It was a silver letter-weight in the form of a stork. 
In its bill it held a slip of paper on which in my writing were 
the words : " I am bringing you something in the summer of 
1864". Frederick embraced me warmly. If the others had 
not been there he would certainly have waltzed round the room 
with me. 

> '. 

On Boxing Day the whole family gathered together again at 
dinner at my father's. There were no strangers except the Right 
Honourable " To-be-sure " and Dr. Bresser. As we were sitting 
at table in the familiar dining-room I could not help having a 
lively remembrance of that evening when we two first plainly 
recognised our love. Dr. Bresser had the same thought. 

" Have ycu forgotten the game of piquet which I was playing 
with your father, while you chatted over the fire with Baron 
Tilling ? " he asked me. " I seemed, it is true, quite absorbed 
in my play, but nevertheless I had my ear cocked in your 
direction, and heard from the sound of the voices for I 
could not catch the words something which awoke in me 
the conviction, 'Those two will come together'. And now 
that I observe you together a new conviction arises in me, 
'Those two are and will remain happy together 1 ." 

"I admire your penetration, doctor. Yes, we are happy. 
Shall we remain so? That, unfortunately, depends not on 
ourselves but on Fate. . . . Over every happiness there hangs 
a danger, and the more heartfelt is the former so much the 
more terrible the latter." 

11 What have^ to fear?* 


" Ah, yes ! That did not occur to me. As a physician, it is 
true, I have frequent opportunities of meeting the gentleman, 


but I do not think of him. And, indeed, for young and 
healthy people, like the happy pair we are speaking of, he lies 
so far in the distance " 

* What is a soldier better for youth and health ? " 

" Chase away such ideas, dear baroness. There is really no 
war in prospect. Is it not true, your excellency," he said, 
turning to the Minister, " that at present the dark point so often 
spoken of is not visible ? " 

" * Point ' is far too little to say," he replied. " It is rather a 
black, heavy cloud." 

I trembled to my heart's core. 

"What," I cried out sharply, " what do you mean?" 

" Denmark is going altogether too far " 

" Oh, Denmark ? " I said, much relieved. " Then the cloud 
is not threatening us ? It is indeed to me a sad thing, under 
any circumstances, to hear that there is to be fighting anywhere ; 
but if it is to be the Danes and not the Austrians, I feel pity 
indeed, but no fear." 

"Well, you have no need for fear either," my father broke 
in hastily ; " even if Austria were to protect her own interests. 
If we have to defend the rights of Schleswig-Holstein against 
the supremacy of Denmark, we are not risking anything in 
doing so. There is no question of any Austrian territory, 
the loss of which might be involved in an unsuccessful 

"Do you think then, father, that if our troops should have 
to march out I should be thinking of such things as Austrian 
territory, Schleswig-Holstein's rights, or Danish supremacy ? I 
should see one thing only the danger of our dear ones. And 
that would remain just as great, whether the war were waged 
for one cause or another." 

" My dear child, the fate of individuals does not come into 
consideration in cases where the events of the world's history 
are being decided. If a war breaks out, the question whether 
one or another will fall in it or not is silenced in the presence 
of the one mighty question whether one's own country will gain 


or lose in it. And, as I said, if we fight with the Danes we 
have nothing to lose in the war, and may improve our power 
and position in the German Bund. I am always dreaming that * 
the Hapsburgs may yet one day get back the dignity of Ger- 
man emperor, which is their birthright. It would indeed be 
only proper. We are the most considerable state in the Bund 
the Hegemony is secured to us, but that is not enough. I 
should welcome the war with Denmark as a very happy event, 
not only to wipe out the stain of '59, but also so to improve 
our position in the German Bund that we should get a rich 
compensation for the loss of Lombardy, and who knows ? 
gain in power to such an extent that the reconquest of that 
province will be an easy task." 

I looked across to Frederick. He had taken no part in the 
conversation, but had engaged in a lively laughing prattle with 
Lilly. A stab of pain shot through my soul, a pain which 
united into one twenty different fancies : war ; and he, my All, 
would have to go, would be crippled, shot dead ; the child in 
my bosom, whose coming he had greeted with such joy yester- 
day, would be born into the world an orphan ; all destroyed, 
all destroyed, our happiness yet scarcely full-blown, but bearing 
the promise of such rich fruit ! This danger in the one scale 

and in the other ? Austria's consideration in the German 

Bund, the liberation of Schleswig-Holstein, "fresh laurels in the 
army's crown of glory " i.e., a lot of phrases for school themes 
and army proclamations and even that only dubious, for de- 
feat is always just as possible as victory. And this supposed 
benefit to the country is to be set against not one individual's 
suffering mine but thousands and thousands of individuals 
in our own and in the enemy's country must be exposed to the 
same pain as was now quivering through me. Oh ! could not 
this be prevented? Could it not be warded off? If all were 
to unite, all learned, good, and just men to avert the threatened 

" But tell me," I said aloud, turning to the Minister, " are 
affairs really in so bad a condition ? You ministers and 


diplomatists, have you ncJ means of hindering this conflict ? Do 
you know of no way of preventing it from breaking out ? " 

" Do you think then, baroness, that it is our office to main- 
tain perpetual peace ? That would, to be sure, be a grand 
mission, only not practicable. We exist only to watch over the 
interests of our respective states and dynasties, to work against 
anything that may threaten the diminution of their power, and 
strive to conquer for them every supremacy possible, jealously 
to guard the honour of the country, to avenge any insult cast 
on it " 

"In short," I interrupted, "to act on the principle of war 
to do the enemy, t.e. t every other state, all the harm possible, 
and if a dispute begins, to persist as long as possible in assert- 
ing that you are in the right, even if you see you are in the 
wrong. Eh ? " 

11 To be sure." 

"Till the patience of the two disputants gives way, and 
they have to begin hacking away at each other. It is 

" But that is the only way out How else can a dispute 
between nations be decided ? " 

" How then are trials between civilised individuals de- 

" By the tribunals. But nations have no such over them." 

" No more have savages," said Dr. Bresser, coming to my 
help. " Ergo, nations in their intercourse with each other 
are still uncivilised, and it will take a good long time yet before 
we come to the point of establishing an international tribunal 
of arbitration." 

11 We shall never get to that," said my father. " There are 
things which can only be fought out, and cannot be settled by 
law. Even if one chose to try to establish such an arbitration 
court, the stronger governments would as little submit to it as 
two men of honour, one of whom has been insulted, would 
carry their difference into a court of law. They simply send 
their seconds and fight to set themselves right." 


" But the duel is a barbarous, uncivilised custom." 

" You won't alter it, doctor." 

" Still, your excellency, I would not defend it." 

11 What say you, then, Frederick ? " said my father, turning 
to his son-in-law. " Is it your opinion that a man who has 
received a slap on the face should take the matter before a court 
of law and get five florins' damages ? " 

" I should not do so." 

11 You would challenge the man who insulted you? " 

" Of course." 

"Aha, doctor aha, Martha," said my father in triumph. 
" Do you hear? Even Tilling, who is no friend of war, sub- 
mits to, and is a friend of, duelling." 

" A friend ? I have never said so. I only said that in a 
given case I would, as a matter of course, have recourse to the 
duel, as indeed I have actually done once or twice : just as, 
equally as a matter of course, I have several times taken part 
in a war ; and will do so again on the next occasion. I guide 
myself by the rules of honour ; but I by no means imply 
thereby that those rules, as they now exist amongst us, corre- 
spond to my own moral ideal. By degrees, as this ideal gains 
the sovereignty, the conception of honour will also experience a 
change. Some day an insult one may have experienced, and 
which is unprovoked, will redound as a disgrace, not on the 
receiver, but on the savage inflicter ; and when this is the case, 
self-revenge in matters of honour also will fall as much out of 
use as in civilised society it has become practically out of the 
question to right oneself in other matters. Till that time 
comes '* 

" Well, we shall have some time to wait for that," my father 
broke in. "As long as there are persons of quality any- 
where M 

" But that too may not perhaps be for ever, 1 ' hinted the 

"Holloa! you would not get rid of rank, Mr. Radical?" 
cried my father. 


" Well, I would, of feudal rank. The future has no need foi 

" So much the more need for noble men,'' said Frederick in 

"And this new race will put up with their slaps on the 

" First of all they will give none " 

"And will not defend themselves if a neighbouring state 
makes a hostile attack on them ? " 

" There will be no attacks from neighbouring states, no moie 
than our country seats now are besieged by neighbouring 
citizens. As the nobleman no longer needs armed squires to 
defend his castle " 

" So the state of the future will dispense with its armed 
hosts ? What will become then of you lieutenant-colonels ? " 

" What has become of the squires ? " 

And so the old dispute began again, and was prolonged for 
some time longer. I hung with delight on Frederick's lips. It 
did me more good than I can say to see the cause of noble 
humanity so firmly and so confidently defended ; and in spirit I 
applied to himself the name he had just used " noble man ". 

We stayed a fortnight longer in Vienna. But it was by no 
means a pleasant holiday to me. This fatal " prospect of war,'' 
which now filled all newspapers and all conversations, robbed 
me of all pleasure in my life. As often as J thought of any of 
the things of which my happiness was made up, and especially 
my possession of a husband who was becoming daily dearer 
to me, so often was I reminded also of the uncertainty, of the 
imminent danger which hung over all my happiness, in view of 
the war which was looming in sight. And so I could not, as 
the saying is, " feel myself comfortable ". Of the accidents of 
sickness and death, conflagrations, inundations, in short, all the 
menaces of Nature and the elements, there are sufficient ; but 
one has habituated oneself not to think about them, and one lives 
in a certain sense of security in spite of these dangers. But 


how is it that men have created for themselves other dangers 
arbitrarily devised by themselves, and thus of their own will 
and in pure wantonness thrown into artificial eruption the 
volcanic soil on which the happiness of this life is founded ? It 

kis true that people have also accustomed themselves to think of 
war too as a natural phenomenon, and to speak of it as elud- 
ing calculation in the same category with the earthquake or 
drought and therefore to think of it as little as possible. But I 
could no longer bring myself to this way oflooking at it. The 
question, of which Frederick had once spoken : " Must it then 
be so ? " I had often answered with a negative in the case of 
war and at this time instead of resignation I felt pain and 
vexation I should have liked to shout out to them all : " Do 
not do it ; do not do it ". This business of Schleswig-Holstein 
and the Danish constitution, what did it matter to us? 
Whether the "Protocol- Prince" abolished the fundamental 
law of November 13, 1863, or confirmed it, what did it matter 
to us ? Yet all the journals and speeches at that time were 
full of discussions on this matter, as if it were the most 
important, most decisive, most universally comprehensive 
question in the world, so that in comparison with it the query 
"Are our husbands and sons to be shot dead?" ought not 
even to be considered. Only at intervals could I myself for a 
moment feel anyhow reconciled to this state of things, i.e., 
when the conception of " duty " came directly before my soul. 
It was true, no doubt, we belonged to the German Bund, and, 
in common with our brothers of Germany combined in that 
society, we were bound to fight for the rights of German brothers 
who were being oppressed. The principle of nationality was no 
doubt a thing that with elemental force demanded its field of 
action, and therefore from this point of view the thing must be. 
By sticking to this idea the painful indignation of my soul 
subsided a little. Had I been able to foresee how, two years 
later, the whole of this German band of brothers would be 
broken up by the bitterest enmity, that then the hatred of 
Prussia would have become far more burning in Austria than 



the hatred of Denmark now was, I should have recognised even 
so early what I learned to know later on, that the motives 
which are adduced in order to justify hostilities are nothing but 
phrases phrases and pretexts. 

New- Year's eve we again spent in my father's house. As it 
struck twelve he raised his glass. 

" May the campaign which is before us in this new year be a 
glorious one for our arms/' he said solemnly; and at these 
words I put my glass, which I had just lifted up, down on 
the table again. " And," he concluded, " may our dear ones 
be spared to us ! " 

In that I concurred. 

"Why did you not drink to the first half of my toast, 
Martha ? " 

" Because I can have no wish about a campaign, except that 
it may never occur." 

When we had got back into the hotel, and into our bedroom, 
I threw myself on Frederick's neck. 

" My own one ! Frederick ! Frederick ! n 

" What is the matter with you, Martha ? You are weeping ; 
and to-day on New- Year's night ! Why then salute the New 
Year with tears ? Are you not happy ? Have I given you any 
offence ? " 

" You ? Oh no ! no ! You make me only too happy much 
too happy and that makes me anxious " 

" Superstitious, Martha ? Do you then conjure up for your- 
self envious gods, who destroy men's happiness when it is too 

" Not gods ; it is senseless men who call misery down on 

" You are hinting at this possible war. But it is certainly 
not settled as yet. Why then this premature grief? Who knows 
whether it will come to blows ? and who knows, if so, whether 
I shall be called out ? Come here, my darling, and let us sit 
down," and he drew me to the sofa by his side. " Do not spend 
your tears on a bare possibility." 


w Even the possibility is terrible to me. If it were a certainty, 
Frederick, I should not be crying so softly and quietly on your 
shoulder. I should have to shriek and wail out loud. But the 
possibility, nay, the probability, that in the year which is 
opening you may be torn from my arms by a marching order. 
That is quite enough to transport me with anxiety and grief." 

" Bethink you, Martha. You are yourself going to meet a 
peril, as this Christmas box of yours so charmingly informed 
me, and yet we two do not think of the cruel possibility which 
threatens every woman in childbed about as much as every 
man on the battlefield. Let us enjoy our life, and not think of 
the death which is impending over the heads of all of us." 

" You are talking just like Aunt Mary, dearest, as if our lot 
depended on ' Providence,' and not on the thoughtlessness, 
cruelty, excesses, and follies of our fellow-men. Wherein lies 
the inevitable necessity of this war with Denmark ? " 

" It has not yet broken out, and there may still " 

" I know, I know ; accidents may still happen to avert the 
evil. But it is not accident, not political intrigues and humours 
which ought to decide such questions of destiny; but the 
firm, righteous will of mankind. But what is the good of my 
ought ' or ' ought not ' ? I cannot alter the order of things. 
I can only complain of it. But do help me so far, Frederick ! 
Do not try to console me with hollow conventional evasions ! 
You do not believe in them yourself I You yourself are shud- 
dering with noble repugnance I The only consolation I find is 
in thinking that you condemn and bewail as I do what will make 
me and numberless others so unhappy." 

" Yes, my dear ; if this fatality should come to pass, then I 
will say you are right. Then I will not hide from you the 
shuddering and the hate which the national slaughter ordained 
on us awakes in me. But to-day let us still enjoy our life. We 
surely have each other nothing separates us. There is not the 
slightest bar between our souls ! Let us enjoy this happiness 
as long as we have it ; enjoy it to the full. Let us not think of 
the threatened destruction of it. No joy assuredly can last for 


ever. In a hundred years it will be all the same whether our 
life has been long or short. The number of beautiful days is 
not the question, but the degree of their beauty. Let the 
future bring what it pleases, my dearly-loved wife ; our pre- 
sent is so beautiful, so very beautiful, that I cannot now feel 
anything but a blessed delight." 

As he said this, he threw his arm around me, and kissed my 
head, which rested on his breast And then the threatening 
future disappeared for me also, and I too let myself sink into 
the sweet transport of the moment. 

On loth January we returned to Olmiitz. 

No one any longer doubted about the outbreak of war. I 
had heard a few individuals in Vienna hope that the Schleswig- 
Holstein dispute could even yet be capable of diplomatic 
settlement ; but in the military circles of our garrison town 
all possibility of peace was held to be out of the question. 
Among the officers and their wives there prevailed an excited, 
but on the whole joyfully excited, temper. Opportunities for 
distinction and advancement were in prospect, for the satis- 
faction of the love of adventure in one, the ambition of another, 
the thirst for promotion of a third. 

"This is a famous war which is in prospect," said the 
colonel, to whose house, with several other officers and their 
wives, we were invited to dinner ; " a famous war, and one that 
must be immensely popular. No danger to our territory ; and 
even the population of our country will suffer no diminution , 
since the scene of war lies on foreign soil." 

" What inspires me in the matter," said a young first lieu- 
tenant, " is the noble motive, to defend the rights of our 
brethren under oppression. The fact that the Prussians are 
marching with us or rather we with them assures us in the 
first place of victory, and in the next place it will bind still 
closer the bonds of nationality. The national idea " 

" I had rather you would not talk about that," interposed the 
colonel rather sternly. " That humbug does not sit well on 


an Austrian. It was that that raised up the Italian war against 
us ; for it was on this hobby-horse, ' Italy for the Italians/ that 
Louis Napoleon kept always mounting, and the whole principle 
is specially unsuitable for Austria. Bohemians, Hungarians, 
Germans, Croats where is the bond of nationality? We 
know one principle only which unites us, and that is a loyal 
love of our reigning family. Therefore, what ought to put 
spirit into us when we take the field is not the circumstance 
that we are Germans, and have Germans as allies, but that we 
can render loyal service to our exalted and beloved commander- 
in-chief. The emperor's health ! " 

All stood up to drink the toast. A spark of animation even 
reached my heart, inflaming it for a moment and filling it with 
a warmth that did me good. That thousands should love one 
and the same cause, one and the same person, is a thing which 
produces a peculiar, a thousandfold impulse of devotion. And 
that is the feeling which swells the heart under the name of 
loyalty, patriotism, or esprit-de-corps. It is in reality nothing 
but love ; and this has such a mighty working that a man 
regards the work of hatred ordained in its name, even the most 
horrible work of the deadliest hatred War as the fulfilment 
of the duty of his love. 

But this glow only lasted in my heart for one instant, for a 
love stronger than that for any earthly fatherland or father of 
the country filled its depths the love of my husband. His 
life was to me in all cases the dearest of my possessions, and 
if // was to be the stake I could do nothing but abhor the 
game, whether it was to be played for Schleswig-Holstein or 

The time which now followed I passed in unspeakable anxiety. 
On 1 6th January the powers of the Bund addressed a demand to 
Denmark calling on her to abrogate a certain law, against which 
the Convocation of Estates and the nobles of Holstein had 
invoked the protection of the Bund, and to do this in twenty-four 
hours. Denmark refused. Who would consent to be com- 
manded in that fashion ? This refusal had been foreseen, of 


course, for Austrian and Prussian troops stood ready posted on 
the frontier; and on ist February they crossed the Eider. 

So the bloody die was cast again the game had begun. This 
gave occasion to my father to send us a letter of congratulation. 

" Rejoice, my children," he wrote. " Now we have at length 
an opportunity to repair the losses we got in '59, by inflicting 
losses on the Danes. When we have come back from the 
north as conquerors, we shall be able to turn our faces south- 
wards again. The Prussians will remain our constant allies ; 
and in that case these shabby Italians and their intriguing Louis 
Napoleon cannot again stand up against us." 

Frederick's regiment, to the great disappointment of the 
colonel and the corps of officers, was not despatched to the 
frontier. This fact brought us a paternal letter of condolence : 

" I am heartily sorry that Tilling has the ill-luck to be serv- 
ing in just one of the regiments which are not called on to open 
the campaign which has such glorious prospects, but there 
remains always the possibility that he will be marked out to 
follow in support. Martha, indeed, will look on the best side 
of the business, and be glad that the fear for her beloved hus- 
band is spared her, and Frederick also is confessedly no friend 
of war ; but I think he is only against it in principle, that is to 
say, he would rather, on grounds of so-called ' humanity,' that it 
should never come to fighting, but when it has so come, then 
he would, I know, rather have a part in it, for then I know his 
manly love of battle would awake. In truth it ought to be the 
whole army that should always be sent to meet the foe; at 
such a time to be forced to stay at home is surely something 
altogether too hard on a soldier." 

" Does it strike you as hard, my Frederick, to remain with 
me ? " I asked, after reading the letter. 

He pressed me to his heart The dumb reply contented 

But what was the good of it ? My peace was gone. The 
order to march might come any day. If the unhappy wai 
could only be brought to an end quickly 1 With the greatest 


eagerness did I read in the newspapers the news from the seat 
of war, and warmly did I wish that the allies might win speedy 
and decisive victories. I confess that the wish had no patriotism 
at all in it. I should indeed have preferred that the victory 
should be on our side ; but what I hoped from it was the ter- 
mination of the war, before my " all on earth " was out there ; 
and then only in the second degree the triumph of my country- 
men, and quite in the last the " sea-surrounded * patch of 
country. Whether, however, Schleswig was to belong to Den- 
mark or no, what in the world could that matter to me ? And 
finally, what matter could it make to the Danes and Schleswig- 
Holsteiners themselves ? Could not then the two nations 
themselves see that it was only their rulers who were quarrelling 
about the possession of territory and power, and that in the pre- 
sent case, for example, the question was not their good or their 
suffering, but the wishes of the so-called Prince "Protocol" 
and of the Augustenburgs? If a number of dogs are 
fighting over some bones, i' is still only the dogs themselves 
who tear each other ; but in the history of nations it is chiefly 
the poor silly bones themselves that rush at each other and knock 
each other to pieces on the two sides, in fighting for the rights of 
the combatants who covet them. " Lion wants me," or "Towser 
has a claim on me ". " I protest against Caro's fangs," or " I 
reckon it an honour to be swallowed by Growler," cry the bones. 
* Denmark up to the Eider," shouted the Danish patriots. 
"We will have Frederick of Augustenburg for our duke," 
shouted the loyalists of Holstein. The articles in our papers 
and the talk of our quidnuncs were all of course permeated by 
the principle that the cause for which "we" had entered into the 
war was the right one, the only one which was " historically 
developed " the only one necessary for the maintenance of 
" the balance of power in Europe ". And of course the opposite 
principle was maintained with equal emphasis in the leading 
articles and the political speeches in Copenhagen. Why not on 
both sides weigh the rival claims, in order to come to an 
understanding; and if this should fail, make a third power 


arbitrator ? Why go on always shouting on both sides, " I, 1 
am in the right " and even shouting it out against one's own 
conviction, till one has shouted oneself hoarse, and finishes 
by leaving the decision to Force f Is not that savagery ? And 
even should a third power mix in the strife, it also does so, not 
with a balancing of rights or a judicial sentence, but equally 
with downright blows ! And that is what people call " foreign 
politics". Foreign and domestic savagery it is statesman- 
like tomfoolery international barbarism 1 


It is true that I did not at that time look at what was going 
on in this light with such certainty as this. It was only for a 
few moments that doubts of this sort woke up in me, and then 
I took all possible pains to chase them away. I attempted to 
persuade myself that the mysterious thing called " reasons ot 
state, "a thing elevated above all private reason, and particularly 
my own poor faculties, was a principle on which the life of 
states depends, and I began a zealous study of the history ot 
Schleswig-Holstein, in order to arrive at a conception of the 
" historic rights " which it was the object of the present pro- 
ceedings to maintain. 

And then I discovered that the strip of land in dispute had, 
as early as the year 1027, been ceded to Denmark. So, in 
reality, the Danes are in the right. They are the legitimate 
kings of the country. 

But then, 200 years later, the district was made over to a 
younger branch of the royal house, and then ranked rather as a 
fief of the Danish crown. In 1326 Schleswig was given over to 
Count Gerhard of Holstein, and "the Constitution of Waldemar " 
provides that " it should never again be so far united with 
Denmark that there should be but one lord ". Oh ! then the 
right is still on the side of the allies. We are fighting for the 
Constitution of Waldemar. That is quite correct, for what is 
the use of these securities on paper if they are not to be 
upheld ? 

In the year 1448 the Constitution of Waldemar was again 


confirmed by King Christian I. So there can be no doubt 
that there must and shall never again be " one lord ". What 
has the Protocol-Pflnce to do in the matter ? 

Twelve years later, the ruler of Schleswig dies without issue, 
and the Estates of the country meet at Ripen (it would be 
well if we always knew with such exactness when and where the 
Estates met well, it was in 1460 at Ripen), and they proclaim 
the King of Denmark Duke of Schleswig, in return for which 
he promises them that the countries " shall remain together for 
ever, undivided". This makes me again a little confused. 
The only point to hold by is that they " shall remain together 
for ever ''. 

But the confusion goes on constantly increasing, as this his- 
torical study takes a wider circuit ; for now in spite of the formula 
" for ever undivided" (the word "for ever" plays an exquisite 
part generally in political business), there commences an ever- 
lasting cutting up and division of the territory amongst the king's 
sons and a reunion of these under a succeeding king, and the 
founding of new families, Holstein-Gottorp and Schleswig- 
Sonderburg, which with reciprocal shuffling and cessions of 
their shares, again separate themselves into the families of 
Sonderburg - Augustenburg, Beck - Glucksburg, Sonderburg- 
Gliicksburg, Holstein-Gluckstadt. In short, I no longer knew 
where I was. 

But there is more to come. Perhaps the " historical claim " 
for which the sons of our country have to bleed to-day may not 
have been established till later. 

Christian IV. mixed himself up in the Thirty Years' War, and 
the Imperialists and Swedes invaded the duchies. Now was 
made (at Copenhagen, 1658) another treaty, by which the lord- 
ship over the Schleswig portion was secured to the house of 
Holstein Gottorp, and so at last we have got done with the 
Danish feudal lordship. Done with it for ever. Thank God. 
Now I find myself again all right. 

But what happened by the Patent of 22nd August, 1721? 
Simply this : the Gottorps' dominion of Schleswig was incorpo- 


rated into the kingdom of Denmark. In January, 1773, Hoi 
stein also was ceded to the royal house of Denmark ; the whole 
ranked now as a Danish province. 

That changes the affair, the Danes are in the right. 

Yet not entirely so. The Congress of Vienna, in 1815, 
declares Holstein to be a part of the German Bund. This, 
however, vexes the Danes. They invent the cry : " Denmark 
up to the Eider," and struggle for the complete possession of 
Schleswig called by them " South Jutland," against which the 
" hereditary right of Augustenburg " was employed as a watch- 
word and used in German national proclamations. In the year 
1846 King Christian writes a public letter in which he proposes 
the integrity of the entire state as his object, and against this 
" the German countries " protest. Two years later the complete 
union is announced from the Throne, no longer as an object, 
but as a fait accompli ', and then the uprising occurs in the 
" German countries ". And now the fighting begins. At first 
the Danes gain the victory in one fight, next the Schleswig- 
Holsteiners in a second. Then the German Bund intervenes. 
The Prussians "occupy" the heights of Duppel, but that does 
not terminate the strife. Prussia and Denmark make peace. 
Schleswig- Holstein has now to fight the Danes single-handed, 
and is struck down at Idstedt. 

The Bund now calls on the " revolters " to discontinue the 
war, which they proceed to do. Austrian troops take possession 
of Holstein, and the two duchies are separated. So what has 
become of the paper-stipulation " to be for ever united " ? 

Still the situation is not made completely secure. Now I 
find a Protocol of London, 8th May, 1852 (it is a good thing that 
we always know so exactly the date when these fragile treaties 
are made), which secures the succession of Schleswig to Prince 
Christian of Gliicksburg (" secures " is good). And now I know 
at any rate the origin of the name " Protocol-Prince ". 

In the year 1854, after each duchy had received a constitu 
tion of its own, both were " Danised ". But in 1858 the Dani- 
sation of Holstein had to be revoked again. And now this 


historical sketch is coming quite close to the present time ; and 
yet it is not so clear to me to whom the two countries " rightly 
belong," or what was the precise cause of the outbreak of the 
present war. 

On 1 8th November, 1858, the famous " Fundamental law for 
the mutual relations between Denmark and Schleswig " was 
passed by the Reichsrath. Two days afterwards the king 
died. With him again was extinguished a family that of 
Holstein-Gluckstadt and when the successor of the monarch 
presented himself on the scene, in reliance on the two-days-old 
law, Frederick of Augustenburg (a family I had nearly for- 
gotten) raised his claim, and together with his nobility turned 
for support to the German Bund. 

The latter at once occupied Holstein with Saxon and Hano- 
verian troops, and proclaimed Augustenburg duke. Why ? 
But Prussia and Austria were not of accord in this proceeding. 
Why ? That I do not to this day understand. 

It is said the London Protocol had to be respected. Why ? 
Are these Protocols about things which concern us absolutely 
nothing so exceedingly to be respected, that we must defend 
them at the price of the blood of our own sons ? If so, there 
must lie in the background some mysterious " reason of state " 
for it It must be firmly held as a dogma that what the gentle- 
men round the green table of diplomacy may decide is the 
highest wisdom, and has for its aim the greatest possible advance 
of the power of one's country. The London Protocol of 8th 
May, 1852, had to be maintained intact ; but the Fundamental 
Law of Copenhagen, of i$th January, 1863, had to be abolished, 
and that within twenty-four hours. On that hung Austria's honour 
and welfare. The dogma was a little hard to believe, but in 
political matters, almost more willingly than in religious, the 
masses allow themselves to be led by the principle of the ' * quia 
absurdum" they have renounced beforehand the attempt to 
reason and understand. When the sword is once drawn nothing 
more is necessary than to shout " Hurrah," and press hotly on 
to victory. Besides that, all that is necessary is to invoke the 


blessing of heaven on the war. For so much is certain, that it 
must be the business of the Almighty to see that the Protocol 
of the 8th May is maintained, and the Law of 5th November 
repealed. He must conduct the matter so that the precise 
number of men bleed to death and villages are set on fire, that 
are necessary in order that the family of Gliickstadt, or that of 
August snburg should rule over a particular spot of earth. 
What 1- foolish world still in leading strings cruel, un think 
ing 1 $MT h was the result of my historical studies. 


The course of the Danish war. Suspension of hostilities. Waf 

renewed. My husband ordered off just on the eve of my 
confinement. The parting. My confinement occurs simul- 
taneously with my husband's departure. A dead child. 
The mother in deadly peril. Frederick's letters from the 
seat of war. Cousin Godfrey and the alliance between 
Austria and Prussia. My recovery. Anxiety and relapse. 
Return of my husband. 

FROM the theatre of war came good tidings. The allies won 
battle after battle. Immediately after the first combats the 
Danes were forced to abandon the entire Danewerk. Schles- 
wig and Jutland up to Limfjord were occupied by our troops, 
and the enemy only maintained himself in the lines at Diippel 
and at Alsen. 

I knew all this so accurately, because on the tables were 
again laid the maps stuck about with pins on which were marked 
the movements and positions of the troops as each despatch 
arrived. " If we could now only take the lines at Diippel, or if 
we could even conquer Alsen," said the citizens of Olmiitz (for 
no one is so fond of speaking of deeds of war with the " we " as 
those who were never present at them), " then we should be at an 
end of it. Now our Austrians are showing again what they can 
do. The brave Prussians too are fighting splendidly. Both 
together are of course invincible. The end will be that all 
Denmark will be overrun and will be annexed to the German 
Bund a glorious, beneficent war." 

I too wished for nothing so anxiously as the storming of 



Diippel the sooner, the better for this action would at any 
rate be decisive and put an end to the butchery. Put an end 
to it, I hoped, before Frederick's regiment got marching orders. 

Oh, this Damocles' sword ! Every day when I woke the fear 
came on me that the news would be brought "We are to march". 
Frederick was calm about it. He did not wish it, but saw it 

" Accustom yourself, dear, to the thought of it," he said to 
me. "Against inexorable necessity no striving is of any avail. 
I do not believe that even if Diippel falls the war will thereby 
terminate. The allied army which has been despatched is far 
too small to force the Danes to a conclusion; we shall be 
obliged to send considerable reinforcements besides, and then 
my regiment will not be spared." 

In fact, this campaign had lasted more than two months, and 
yet no result. If the cruel game could have been settled in one 
fight like a duel ! But no ; if one battle is lost, another is 
offered ; if one position has to be given up, another is taken, 
and so on till one or the other army is annihilated, or both are 

At last, on i4th April, the lines of Diippel were stormed. 

The news was received with such a shout of joy as if the 
recovered paradise had lain behind these lines. People em- 
braced each other in the streets. " Don't you know ? Diippel 
Oh, our brave army ! An unheard-of exploit. Now let all 
join in thanking God ! " And there was singing of Te Deums 
in all the churches, and among the military choirmasters an 
industrious composition of "The Lines of Diippel March,' 
" Storm of Diippel Galop," and so forth. 

My husband's comrades and their wives had, it is true, a 
drop of bitterness in their cup of joy, not to have been there, 
to have been obliged to miss such a triumph ; what bad luck ! 

This victory gave me one great joy, for immediately after it 
a peace conference assembled in London and occasioned a 
suspension of hostilities. What a recovery of free breath even 
that word " suspension of hostilities " caused. 


How the world would at last breathe again, thought I then foi 
the first time, if on all hands could be heard : " Lay down your 
arms," down with them for ever ! I put the words into my red 
book, but beside them I wrote despondingly in brackets " Utopia ". 

That the London Congress would make an end of the 
Schleswig-Holstein War I made no doubt at all. The allies 
had won, the lines of Diippel were carried, these lines had 
played so great a part in recent times that their capture seemed 
to me to be finally decisive: how could Denmark hold out 
longer ? The negotiations dragged on for an incredible length 
of time. This would have been torture to me if I had not from 
the very beginning had the conviction that their result must be 
peaceful. If the plenipotentiaries of great states, who therefore 
must be reasonable, well-meaning persons, unite together to 
attain so desirable an end as the conclusion of peace, how 
could it fail ? So much the more horribly was I undeceived 
when after debates continued for two months the news came 
that the congress had dissolved without accomplishing anything. 

And two days later came marching orders for Frederick ! 

For preparations and for leave-taking he had twenty-four 
hours given him. And I was on the point of my confinement. 
In the heavy death-menacing hours, when a woman's only 
comfort lies in having her dear husband by her, I had to 
remain alone, alone with that consciousness awful beyond every- 
thing that this dear husband was gone to the war knowing too 
that it must be just as painful to him to leave his poor wife at 
such a moment as it would be painful to me to be without him. 

It was in the morning of 2oth June. All the details of this 
memorable day remain impressed on my memory. Oppressive 
heat prevailed outside, and to shut this out the Venetian blinds 
had been let down in my room. Covered with light, loose 
clothing, I was lying exhausted on the sofa. I had passed an 
almost sleepless night, and had now shut my eyes in a dreamy 
half-doze. Near me on my table was standing a vase with 
some powerfully smelling roses. Through the open window 
the sound of a distant exercise in trumpet-playing came in. 


Everything was provocative of slumber, yet consciousness had 
not quite left me. Only one half of it I mean that of care 
had departed. I had forgotten the danger of war and the danger 
that stood before myself. I knew only that I was alive that the 
roses, along with the rhythm of the reveillk which the trumpeter 
was playing, were giving out sweet soothing influences that my 
beloved husband might come in at any minute, and if he saw 
me asleep would only tread in the lightest manner so as not to 
awaken me. I was right ; next minute the door opposite to 
me opened. Without raising my lids I could see through a 
tiny cleft between the eyelashes that it was he whom I was 
expecting. I made no attempt to rouse myself from my half- 
slumber, for by doing so I might chase away the whole picture ; 
for it might be that the appearance at the door was only the 
continuation of a dream, and it might be that I was only 
dreaming that I had opened my eyelids evei so little. So now 
I shut them entirely and took pains to continue the dream 
that the dear one came closer, that he bent over me and kissed 
my forehead. 

And so indeed it was. Then he knelt down by my couch 
and remained motionless for a while. The roses were still 
breathing and the distant horn playing its tra-ra-ra. 

" Martha, are you asleep ? " I heard him ask softly. 

Then I opened my eyes. 

"For God's sake, what is it?" I cried out, frightened to 
death, for the countenance of my husband as he knelt by me 
was so deeply overclouded by sorrow that I guessed at once 
that some misfortune had happened. Instead of replying he 
laid his head on my breast. 

I understood all. He had to go. I had thrown my arm 
round his neck, and we remained both in the same position foi 
some time without speaking. 

"When?" I asked at length. 

" Early to-morrow morning." 

" Oh, my God ! my God ! " 

"Calm yourself, my poor Martha." 


" No, no, let me weep. My misfortune is too great, and I 
know I see it in your face so is yours. Never did I see so 
much pain in any human face as I have just read in your 

" Yes, my wife. I am unfortunate to have to leave you in 
such a moment n 

"Frederick, Frederick; we shall never see each other again. 
I shall die " 

" Or I shall fall. Yes, I believe it, too ; we shall never see 
each other again ! " 

It was a heart-breaking parting that occupied these last 
twenty-four hours. This was now the second time in my life 
that I had seen a dear husband depart to the war. But this 
second tearing ourselves apart was incomparably worse than 
the first. Then my way of taking it and still more Arno's was 
quite different and more primitive. I looked on the departure 
as a natural necessity which overbalanced all personal feelings, 
and he looked at it even as a joyous expedition in search of 
glory. He went with cheerfulness. I remained without a murmur. 
There still clung to me something of the admiration for war 
which I had imbibed from my youthful education. I still 
shared to some extent with the departing soldier in the pride 
which he visibly felt in the "great emprise". But now I 
knew that he who was going went to the work of death with 
horror rather than with exultation, I knew that he loved the 
life which he had to set on the hazard that to him one thing 
was dearer than everything, yes, everything, even the claims of 
the Augustenburgs his wife his wife who in a few days was 
to be a mother. Whilst in Arno's case I had the conviction 
that he departed with feelings for which he was surely to be 
envied, I discerned that in this second separation both of 
us were deserving of equal pity. Yes, we suffered in equal 
measure, and we confessed it and bewailed it to each other. 
No hypocrisies, no empty phrases of consolation, no swagger ; we 
were one in all things, and neither sought to deceive the other. 
It was still our best consolation that each could fully under- 



stand the other's inconsolability. We did not seek to concea 
the magnitude of the misfortune that had burst on us by any 
conventional cloaks or masks of patriotism or heroism. No, 
the prospect of being allowed to shoot and hack at the Danes 
was to him no compensation for the anguish of having to leave 
me on the contrary, rather an aggravation for killing and 
destroying is repulsive to every " noble man ". And to me it 
was no recompense absolutely none for my suffering to 
think that my dear one might perhaps gain a step in rank. 
And should the misfortune of this perilous separation rise to 
the still greater misfortune of parting for ever should Frederick 
fall the reasons of state on account of which this war had to 
be waged were not in the faintest degree elevated or holy 
enough to my mind to balance such a sacrifice. " Defender 
of his Country," that is the fair-sounding title with which the 
soldier is decorated. And in fact what nobler duty can there 
be for the members of a commonwealth than to defend their 
state when menaced? But then why does his military oath 
bind the soldier to a hundred other warlike duties, besides the 
defensive ? Why is he obliged to go and attack ? Why must 
he, in cases where there is not the slightest menace of any 
invasion of his country, hazard the same possessions his life 
and his hearth in the quarrels of certain foreign princes for 
territory or ambition, as if it were a question, as it surely ought 
to be to justify war, of the defence of endangered life and 
hearth ? Why, for example, in the present instance, must the 
Austrian army march out to set the Augustenburgs on a 
foreign throne? Why? Why? The question is one which 
to address to an emperor or pope is in itself treasonable and 
blasphemous, which in the latter case passes for irreligion and 
in the former for want of loyalty, and which never deserves 
an answer. 

The regiment was to march at 10 A.M. We stayed up the 
whole night. Not a minute of the time still left to us to spend 
together would we lose. 

There was so much that wo had still to say to each other, and 


yet we spoke little. It was mainly kisses and tears, which said 
more plainly than any words : " I love you, and I have to leave 
you ". From time to time there dropped in a hopeful word, 
"When you come back again". It was certainly possible. 
Surely there are so many that come back ; yet it was strange I 
repeated "When you come back " and tried to put before myself 
the delights of this event ; but in vain. My imagination could 
form no other picture than that of my husband's corpse on the 
field of battle, or myself on the bier, with a dead child in my 

Frederick was filled with similar gloomy forebodings, for his 
" When I come back " did not sound natural ; and more often 
he spoke of what might happen, " If I should fall ". 

" Do not marry a third time, Martha ! Do not wash out, 
by the impressions of a new love, the recollections of this 
glorious year ! Has it not been a happy time ? " 

We now recalled a hundred little details which had impressed 
themselves on our minds, from our first meeting to the present 
hour, and passed them through our remembrance. 

" And my little one, my poor little one, whom perhaps I may 
never press to my heart, what is its name to be ? " 

" Frederick or Frederica." 

" No ; Martha is prettier. If it is a girl call it by the name 
which its dying father at the last moment " 

" Frederick, why do you talk always about dying? If you 
come back " 

" Ah ! if I " he repeated with a sigh. 

As the day was beginning to dawn, my eyes, weary with 
weeping, closed, a light slumber fell on both of us. We lay 
there with our arms linked together, but without losing the 
consciousness that this was our parting hour. 

Suddenly I started up and broke out into loud groans. 
Frederick got up at once. 

" In God's name, Martha, what is the matter with you ? 
It is not yet come ? Oh speak 1 Is it * 

I nodded affirmatively. 


Was it a cry, or a curse, or an ejaculation of prayer, that 
escaped his lips ? He clutched the bell and gave the alarm. 

" Run at once for the doctorfor the nurse," he shouted 
to the maid who had hurried in. Then he threw himself 
down on his knees beside me, and kissed my hand as it 
hung down. 

" My wife ! my all ! and now, now I have to go." 

I could not speak. The most violent physical pain that 
one can conceive was racking and wringing my body ; and 
besides this, the agony of my soul was yet more horrible, 
that he " had to go now, now " ; and that he was so wretched 
about it. Those who had been summoned came quickly, 
and at once made themselves busy about me. At the same 
time Frederick had to make his last preparations for the 
march. After he had done this : " Doctor, doctor," he 
cried, seizing the physician by both hands, " you promise 
me, do you not, that you will bring her through ? And 
you will telegraph to me to-day, and afterwards there and 
there," naming the stations which he had to pass on the 

march. " And if there is any danger Ah ! but what 

good is it ? " he interrupted himself. " If even the danger were 
ever so great, could I come back then ? " 

" It is hard, baron," the physician replied; "but do not be 
too anxious, the patient is young and strong. This evening 
it will be all over, and you will receive a tranquillising des- 

II Oh yes ! You mean to send good news in any case, be 
cause the opposite would do no good ! But I will have the 
truth ! Listen, doctor ! I must have your most sacred word 
of honour on it The whole truth. Only on this condition 
could a tranquillising account really give me tranquillity. Other- 
wise I should think it all a lie. So swear to do this." 

The physician gave the promise required. 

"O my poor, poor husband "the thought cut me to the 
soul "even if you receive the news to-day that your 
Martha is lying on her deathbed, you cannot turn back to 


close her eyes I You have something more important on 
hand the claims of the Augustenburgs to a throne." 

" Frederick ! " I cried out loud. 

He flew to my side. At this moment the clock struck. 
He had now only a minute or two. But we were cheated 
out of even this last respite, for another attack seized me, 
and instead of the words of adieu, I could only utter groans 
of anguish. 

" Go, baron finish this scene," said the physician, " for the 
patient such excitement is dangerous." 

One more kiss, and he rushed out. My cries and the doctor's 
last word, " dangerous," gave him his dismissal. 

In what frame of mind must he have been when he de- 
parted ? The local newspapers of Olmtitz gave this report next 

" Yesterday the th Regiment left our town with music 
playing and banners waving, to gain fresh laurels for themselves 
in the sea-surrounded brotherland. Cheerful courage filled the 
ranks ; one could see the joy of battle glowing in the men's 
eyes " and so on, and so on. 

Frederick had already telegraphed to Aunt Mary before his 
departure that I was in want of her help, and she came a 
few hours later to me. She found me senseless and in great 

For several weeks I hovered between life and death. My 
child died the day of its birth. The mental pain, which parting 
from my beloved husband had caused me, just at the time when 
I wanted all my strength to master the bodily pain, had rendered 
me incapable of bearing up against it, and I was near suc- 
cumbing altogether. 

The physician was obliged by his plighted word to send my 
poor husband the sorrowful news that the child was dead, and 
the mother in danger of death. 

As to the news which came from him, they could not be 
communicated to me. I knew no one and was delirious day 
and night. A strange delirium. I brought back with me a 


feeble reminiscence of it into the period of recovered conscious 
ness, but to reproduce this in reasonable words would be 
impossible for me. In the abnormal whirl of the fevered brain, 
conceptions and images form themselves for which there is no 
expression in language suitable to our normal thoughts. Only 
so much can I set down and I have attempted to fix the 
fantastic sketch in the red volumes that I confused the two 
events the war and my confinement together. I fancied 
that cannon and naked weapons (I distinctly felt the bayonet 
thrusts) were the instruments of delivery, and that I was lying 
there the prize of contention between two armies rushing on 
each other. That my husband had marched out I knew, but 
I saw him still in the form of the dead Arno, while by my side 
Frederick dressed as a sick nurse was stroking the silver stork. 
Every moment 1 was awaiting the bursting shell which was to 
shatter us all three Arno, Frederick, and me to pieces, in 
order that the child could come into the world, who was 
destined to rule over " Denstein, Schlesmark, and Holwig." . . . 
And all this gave me such unspeakable pain and was so un- 
necessary. . . . There must, however, be some one somewhere 
who could change it and remove it all, who could lift off this 
mountain from my heart and that of all humanity by some 
word of power ; and I was devoured with a longing to cast 
myself at this somebody's feet and pray to him : " Help us ! for 
the sake of mercy and justice help us ! Lay down your arms ! 
down ! With this cry on my lips I woke one day to conscious- 
ness. My father and Aunt Mary were standing at the foot of 
the bed, and the former said to me to hush me : 
"Yes, yes, child, be quiet. All arms down." 
This recovery of the sense of personality after a long sus 
pension of the intellect is certainly a strange thing. First the 
joyful astonished discovery that one is alive, and then the 
anxious questioning with oneself who one really is ... 

But the sudden answer to that question, which burst in with 
full light upon me, changed the just awakened pleasure of 
existence into violent pain. I was the sick Martha Tilling, 


whose new-born child was dead, and whose husband was gone 
to battle. . . . How long ago? That I knew not. 

"Is he alive? have you letters there? messages?" were my 
first questions. Yes ; there was quite a little heap of letters 
and telegrams piled up which had come during my illness. 
Most of them were merely inquiries after my condition, requests 
for daily, and as far as possible, hourly information. This, of 
course, was so long as the writer was at places where the tele- 
graph could reach him. 

I was not permitted to read Frederick's letters at once ; they 
thought it would excite me too much and disturb me ; and now 
that 1 was hardly awake out of my delirium I must, before all 
things, have repose. They could tell me as much as this : 
" Frederick was unhurt up to the present time ". He had 
already been through several successful engagements. The 
war must now soon be over. The enemy maintained themselves 
at Alsen only ; and if this position once were taken our troops 
would return, crowned with glory. This was what my father 
said for my comfort, and Aunt Mary gave me the history of 
my illness. Several weeks had now passed since her arrival, 
which was the very day on which Frederick departed, and my 
child was born and died. Of that I had preserved a recollec- 
tion, but what passed in the interval my father's arrival the 
news that had come from Frederick the course of my illness 
of all that I knew nothing. Now I heard for the first time 
that my condition had become so much worse that the medical 
men had quite given me up, and my father had been called to 
see me " for the last time ". The bad news must certainly 
have been sent to Frederick ; but the better news also for 
the doctors had given hope again some days ago must by this 
time have reached him. 

" If he himself is still alive," I struck in, with a deep sigh. 

" Do not commit a sin, Martha," my aunt admonished me ; 
"the good God and His saints would not have preserved you, in 
answer to our prayers, in order afterwards to send such a visi- 
tation upon you. Your husband also will be preserved to you, 


for whom I you may believe me when I say so have prayed 
as fervently as for you. I have even sent him a scapulary. 
Oh yes ! Do not shrug your shoulders ; you have no trust in 
such things, but they can do no harm anyhow, can they ? And 
how many proofs there are of their good effect ! You your, 
self are again another proof what effect the intervention of the 
saints has ; for you were, believe me, on the edge of the grave, 
when I addressed myself to your patron and protectress, St. 

"And I," interrupted my father, who was very clerical 
indeed in his politics, but in the practical way did not at all 
sympathise with his sister, " I wrote to Vienna for Dr. Braun, 
and he saved your life." 

Next day, on my urgent prayer, I was permitted to read 
through all the messages that had come from Frederick. Mostly 
they were only questions in a single line, or news equally laconic. 
" An engagement yesterday. I am unhurt." " We march 

again to-day. Send messages to " A longer letter bore 

this direction on the envelope : " To be delivered only if all 
danger is over ". This I read last : 

" My all ! Will you ever read this ? The last news which 
reached me from your physician ran : * Patient in high fever ; 
condition grave '. ' Grave ! ' He used the expression perhaps 
out of consideration, so as not to say ' Hopeless 7 . If you have 
this put into your hands you will know by that that you have 
escaped the danger ; but you may think, in addition, what my 
feelings were, as, on the eve of a battle, I pictured to myself 
that my adored wife was lying on her deathbed ; that she was 
calling for me, stretching out her arms for me. We did not 
even say any regular adieu to each other ; and our child, about 
whom I had had such joy, dead ! And to-morrow, I myself 
suppose a bullet find me ? If I knew beforehand that you were 
no more, the mortal shot would be the dearest thing to me ; 
but if you are preserved no ! then I do not wish to know any- 
thing more of death. The * joy of dying,' that unnatural feeling 
which the field preachers are always pressing on us, is one no 


happy man can know ; and if you are alive, and I reach home, 
I have still untold treasures of bliss to gather. Oh, the joy of 
living with which we two will enjoy the future, if any such is to 
be our lot. 

"To-day we met the enemy for the first time. Up to that 
our way had been through conquered territory, from which the 
Danes had retreated. Smoking ruins of villages, ravaged corn- 
fields, weapons and knapsacks lying about, spots where the land 
was ploughed up by the shells, blood stains, bodies of horses, 
trenches filled with the slain such are the features of the 
scenes through which we have been moving in the rear of the 
victors, in order, if possible, to add more victories to the 
account /.&, to burn more villages, and so forth. . . . And 
that we have done to-day. We have carried the position. Be- 
hind us lies a village in flames. The inhabitants had the good 
luck to have quitted it beforehand ; but in the stable a horse 
had been forgotten. I heard the beast in despair stamping 
and shrieking. Do you know what I did ? It will procure 
me no decoration most certainly ; for, instead of bringing 
down a Dane or two, I rushed to the stable to set the poor 
horse free. Impossible ; the manger had already caught fire, 
then the straw under his hoofs, then his mane. So I put two 
revolver bullets through his head. He fell down dead, and 
was saved from the pain of being burned to death. Then, 
back into the fight, the deathly smell of the powder, the 
wild alarm of the whistling bullets, falling buildings, savage 
war-cries. Most of those around me, friends and foes, were, it 
is true, seized by the delirium of battle ; but I remained in 
unblessed sobriety. I could not get myself up to hate the 
Danes. They are brave men, and what did they do but their 
duty in attacking us ? My thoughts were with you, Martha ! 
I saw you laid out on your bier, and what I wished for myself 
was that the bullet might strike me. But at intervals, never- 
theless, a ray of longing and of hope would shine again. 
1 What if she is alive ? What if I should get home again ? ' 

" The butchery lasted more than two hours, and we remained 


as I said, in possession of the field. The routed enemy fled 
We did not pursue. We had work enough to do on the field. 
A hundred paces distant from the village stood a large farm 
house, with many empty dwelling-rooms and stables ; here we 
were to rest for the night and hither we have brought our 
wounded. The burial of the dead is to be done to-morrow 
morning. Some of the living will, of course, be shovelled in 
with them, for the ' stiff cramp ' after a severe wound is a com- 
mon phenomenon. Many who have remained out, whether 
dead or wounded, or even unwounded, we are obliged to 
abandon entirely, especially those who are lying under the ruins 
of the fallen houses. There they may, if dead, moulder slowly 
where they are; if wounded, bleed slowly to death; if un 
wounded, die slowly of famine. And we, hurrah ! may go on 
with our jolly, joyous war ! 

"The next engagement will probably be a general action. 
According to all appearance there will be two entire corps 
darmee opposed to each other. The number of the killed and 
wounded may in that case easily rise to 10,000 ; for when the 
cannons begin their work of vomiting out death the front ranks 
on both sides are soon wiped out. It is certainly a wonderful 
contrivance. But still better would it be if the science of artil- 
lery could progress to such a point that any army could fire a 
shot which would smash the whole army of the enemy at one 
blow. Then, perhaps, all waging of war would be entirely 
given up. Force would then, provided the total power of the ". 
two combatants were equally great, no longer be looked to for 
the solution of questions of right. 

" Why am I writing all this to you ? Why do I not break out, 
as a warrior should, into exalted hymns of triumph over our 
warlike work ? Why ? Because I thirst after truth, and after 
its expression without any reserve ; because at all times I hate 
lying phrases ; but at this moment, when I am so near death 
myself, and am speaking to you who, perhaps, are yourself 
lying in the death-agony, it presses on me doubly to speak what 
is in my heart Even though a thousand others should think 


differently, or should hold themselves bound at least to speak 
differently, I will, nay, I must say it once more before I fall a 
sacrifice to war I hate war. If only every man who feels the 
same would dare to proclaim it aloud, what a threatening 
protest would be shouted out to heaven ! All the hurrahs 
which are now resounding, and all the cannon-thunder that 
accompanies them, would then be drowned by the battle-cry 
of humanity panting after humanity, by the victorious cry 
denouncing ' war on war '. 

" Half-past three in the morning. I wrote the above last 
night. Then I lay down on a sack of straw and slept for an 
hour or two. We shall break up in half-an-hour, and then I 
shall be able to give this to the field post. All is stirring now 
and getting ready for the march. Poor fellows ! they have got 
little rest since the bloody work accomplished yesterday : little 
refreshment for that which is to be accomplished to-day. I 
began with a turn round our improvised field-hospital, which is 
to remain here. There I saw among the wounded and dying 
a pair for whom I would gladly have done the same as for the 
horse in the fire put a bullet as a coup de grdce through their 
heads. One was a man who had had his whole lower jaw 
shot away, and the other but enough. I cannot help him. 
Nothing can but Death. Unfortunately he is often so slow. If 
a man calls in despair for him he stands deaf before him. On 
the other hand, he is far too busy in snatching those away 
who with all their heart are hoping to recover, and calling 
on him beseechingly : ' Oh, spare me, for I have a beloved 
wife pining for me at home ! ' My horse is saddled, so now 
I must close these lines. Farewell, Martha, if you are still 
here I" 

Luckily there were tidings of a later date in the packet than 
the letter above quoted. After the great battle predicted in 
the last Frederick had been able to tell me : 

" The day is ours. I am unhurt. These are two pieces of 


good news, the first for your papa, the second for you. But I 
cannot overlook the fact that the same day has brought number- 
less griefs to numberless others. . . ." 

In another letter Frederick related how he had met with his 
cousin Godfrey. 

" Picture to yourself my astonishment. Whom should I see 
riding before me at the head of a detachment, but Aunt Cor- 
nelia's only son ! How the poor woman must be trembling for 
him. . . . The young man himself is all eagerness and love of 
battle. I saw it in his proud, joyful bearing, and he has also 
told me so. We were in camp together the same evening and 
I invited him into my tent. ' It is indeed splendid,' he cried 
out in rapture, ' that we are righting in the same cause, cousin, 
and together. Am not I in luck, that war should have broken 
out in the first year of my lieutenancy ? I shall gain the Cross 
of Merit.' * And my aunt, how did she take your departure ? ' 
1 Oh ! in the mother's way, with tears which she did all she 
could to hide, so as not to damp my spirit with blessings, 
with grief, and with pride.' 'And what were your feelings 
when you first got into the melee? ' 'Oh, delightful ! ennobling!' 
'You need not use falsehood to me, my dear boy. It is 
not the staff officer who is asking about your feelings as a 
lieutenant bound to duty, but a man and a friend.' 'I 
can only repeat, delightful and ennobling. Awfu 1, I grant, 
but so magnificent. And the consciousness that I am ful- 
filling, with God's help, the highest duty of a man to king 
and country! And further, that I see Death, the spectre 
elsewhere so feared and shunned, so close and busy all round 
me, his very breath breathing over me the thought raises me 
to a mood of mind so elevated above the common, so epic that 
I feel the muse of history hovering over our heads and lending 
our swords the might of victory. A noble rage glows in me 
against the presumptuous foe, who would have trampled on the 
rights of the German countries, and it is to me an enthusiasm 
to have the power of gratifying this hatred. It is a curious, 
mysterious thing, this power of killing nay, this compulsion to 


kill without being a murderer with a fearless exposure of 
one's own life.' 

" So the boy chattered on. I let him talk. I had similar 
feelings when my first battle was raging round me. ' Epic 1 ' 
yes, there you hit on the right word. The heroic poems and 
the heroic histories by whose means our schools bring us up to 
be warriors, these are what are set vibrating in our brains by 
the thunders of the cannonade, the flash of naked weapons, 
and the shouts of the combatants. And the freedom from 
ordinary circumstances, the inexplicable freedom from law in 
which one finds oneself all of a sudden, makes one feel as if 
transported into another world it is like an outlook beyond 
this trumpery earthly existence, with its peaceful domestic quiet, 
into a titanic struggle of infernal spirits. But this giddiness 
soon passed over with me, and it is only with an effort that I 
can bring back to my mind the sensations which young Tessow 
sketched to me. I recognised too soon that the desire for 
battle was not a super-human but an //ra-human feeling, no 
mystic revelation from the realms of the morning, but a reminis- 
cence of the realm of the animal, a re-awakening of the brutal. 
And a man who can intoxicate himself into a savage lust for 
blood, who as I have seen several of our men do can cut 
down with uplifted sabre an unarmed enemy, who can sink into 
a Berserker, or lower still, a blood-thirsty tiger that is the 
man who, for the moment, revels in the ' joy of battle '. I 
never did this. Believe me, my wife ; I never did. 

" Godfrey is delighted that we Austrians are united in fight- 
ing for the * right cause ' (how does he know that ? As if every 
cause is not always represented as the ' right ' one by its own 
side !) with the Prussians : ' Yes, we Germans are all one 
united people of brothers 1 ' ' That was seen long ago in the 
Thirty Years' War, and also in the Seven Years' War,' I struck 
in half-aloud. Godfrey missed what I said, and went on : ' For 
each other and with each other we can conquer every foe'. 
What will you say then, my young friend, if to-day or to- 
morrow the Prussians and Austrians quarrel, and we two shall 


be ranged as foes, one against each other ? ' * Not conceivable, 
now, after the blood of both of us has flowed for the same 

cause. Now surely we can never more ' ' Never more ? 

I would warn you not to use the expressions " never " or " for 
ever " in political matters. What ephemerides are in the scale 
of living beings, such are the friendships and enmities of nations 
in the scale of historical phenomena.' 

" I write all this down, Martha, not that I think it can interest 
you, poor sufferer, nor because I want to make reflections to you 
upon it, but I have an idea that I shall fall, and in that case I 
do not wish my sentiments to sink into the grave with me 
unuttered. My letter may even be found and read by others, if 
not by you. That which is coming up in the minds of soldiers 
who think freely, and feel like men, shall not remain for ever 
unspoken and concealed. ' I have dared it ' was Ulrich v. 
Hutten's motto. ' I have spoken it,' and with this to quiet my 
conscience, I can depart this life." 

The most recent news that had reached me had been sent 
off five days, and arrived two days previously. What was to 
show that in five days five days of war anything might not 
have taken place ? Anxiety and fear seized me. Why had no 
line come yesterday? Why none to-day? Oh, this longing 
for a letter or, better, a telegram ! I believe no one in the 
tortures of fever can so long for water as I then was longing 
for news. I was saved ; he would have the great joy of 
finding me alive, if always this "if" which nips every hope 
for the future in the bud. 

My father was obliged to depart. He could now leave me 
with a quiet mind. The danger was over, and he had now 
pressing business at Grumitz. As soon as I had got the 
needful strength, I was to follow him there with my little 
Rudolf. A stay in the fresh country air would in the first 
place restore me entirely, and would also do good to the little 
boy. Aunt Mary stayed behind. She was to keep on nursing 
me and then to travel with us to Grumitz where Rosa and 
Lilly had already gone on before. I let them talk and make 


plans for me. Without saying anything I had made up my 
mind, as soon as I was even half able to do so, to set off foi 

Where Frederick's regiment might be at this moment, we 
knew not. It was impossible to get any despatch forwarded 
to him, or I should have liked to telegraph to him every hour, 
and to ask : " Are you alive ? " 

" You must not excite yourself so," my father preached to 
me, as he took leave of me, " or else you are sure to get a 
relapse again. Two days without news what is there in that ? 
There is really no reason at all for anxLty. There are not 
letter-boxes or telegraph stations all over the field of battle : 
leaving out of the question that a man during the march and 
the battle and the bivouac is in no condition to write. The 
field post does not always act regularly, and so one may 
easily remain a fortnight without news, and still that signify 
nothing bad. In my time I have often been even longer 
without writing home ; but no one was anxious about me on 
that account." 

" How do you know that, papa ? I am sure that your 
relations trembled for you just as much as I am trembling for 
Frederick. Did you not, aunt ? " 

"We had more trust in God than you have," she replied. 
" We knew that a merciful Providence would so order it, that, 
whether we got any news or none, your father would come 
back to us." 

" And if I had never come back, but had got smashed to 
bits, you would have had enough love for your country to 
allow that so small a thing as the life of an individual soldier 
quite vanishes in the great cause for which he has parted with 
it. You, my daughter, have not for a long time been patriotic 
enough. But I will not scold you now. The main point is 
that you should get well again, and preserve yourself for your 
Rudi, to make a brave man of him, and bring him up to be a 
defender of his country." 


I did not get well so quickly as was hoped at first. The 
continued absence of news threw me into such excitement 
and misery that I never really got out of a feverish condition. 
My nights were filled with horrible phantoms and my days 
passed in weary longing or troubled stupor, so that it was 
difficult to get my strength up again. 

Once, after a night in which I had had peculiarly terrifying 
visions Frederick, alive, but buried under a heap of corpses of 
men and horses a relapse actually set in which again brought 
me in danger of my life. My poor Aunt Mary had a hard 
time of it She thought it a duty to preach comfort and 
resignation to me unceasingly, and her reason for it, the 
"destiny" which was constantly coming in again, had the 
effect of irritating me to the extreme, and instead of letting 
her quietly prose away I set myself to contradict her pas- 
sionately, to complain of my fate in defiance of her, and to 
assure her in plain terms that her "destiny" seemed to me 
folly. All this, of course, sounded blasphemous, and my good 
aunt not only felt herself personally insulted, but she trembled 
also for my rebellious soul, so soon, perhaps, to appear before 
the judgment seat. There was only one means to quiet me 
for a few minutes. That was to bring little Rudolf into my 
bed-room. " You beloved child of mine ! You are my com- 
fort, my stay, my future ! " This is what I cried out in my 
inward soul to the boy whenever I saw him. But he did not 
like staying long in the darkened sick-room. It struck him as 
uncanny to see his mamma who used to be so gay now lying 
constantly in bed, pale and exhausted with weeping. He 
became himself quite out of spirits, and so I only kept him with 
me for a few minutes at a time. 

Frequent inquiries and news came from my father. He had 
written to Frederick's colonel and to several other people 
besides, but " had no answer as yet ". When any list of killed 
and wounded came in he would send me a telegram : " Frederick 
not there". "Ohl perhaps you are deceiving me," I once 


asked my aunt, "perhaps the news of his death has arrived 
long ago and you are concealing it from me " 

" I swear to you " 

"On your honour, on your soul?" 

" On my soul." 

Such an assurance as this did me more good than I can tell ; 
for I clung with all my might to my hope ; every hour I was 
expecting the arrival of a letter of a telegram. At every noise 
in the next room I fancied that it was the postman, almost 
continually my eyes were turning towards the door with the 
constant picture of some one coming in with the blessed message 
in his hand. When I look back on those days they seem to 
present themselves to my memory as a whole year rilled with 
torture. The next gleam of light for me was the news that a 
suspension of arms had again been agreed on ; this must surely 
this time be the presage of peace. On the day after the receipt 
of this intelligence I sat up for a little while for the first time. 
Peace ! what a sweet, what a happy thought ! Perhaps too late 
for me. No matter. I felt myself anyhow unspeakably calmed ; 
at any rate I had no need to fancy every day, every hour, the 
raging battle going on in which Frederick might at that moment 
be killed. 

" Thank God ! now you will soon be well," said my aunt one 
day after helping me to seat myself on a couch which had been 
moved to the open window for me. " And then we can go to 

" As soon as I have strength for it, I am going to Alsen." 

" To Alsen ? My dear child, what are you thinking about ? " 

" I want to find the place there where Frederick was either 
wounded or " I could not finish the sentence. 

"Shall I fetch little Rudolf?" said my aunt after a pause. 
She knew that this was the best way to chase away my troubled 
thoughts for a time. 

" No, not yet, I want to be quite quiet and alone. It would 
be doing me a kindness, aunt, if even you would go into the 
next room. Perhaps I may sleep a little, I feel so weak 1 " 



" Very well, my dear, I will leave you quiet. There is a bell 
here on the table by you. If you want anything, some one 
will be ready at once." 

" Has the letter-carrier been here?" 

"No, it is not post time yet." 

" If he comes, call me." 

I lay down and shut my eyes. My aunt went out softly. 
All the people in the house had lately adopted this inaudible 

I did not want to sleep, but to be alone with my thoughts. 
I was in the same room, on the same couch as on that afternoon 
when Frederick came to tell me " we have got marching orders ". 
It was just as sultry again as on that day, and again there were 
roses breathing in a vase near me, and again the trumpet exer- 
cise was sounding from the barracks. I could return entirely 
into the frame of mind of that day. I wished I could go to 
sleep again in the same way and dream as I then fancied I 
dreamt that the door opened gently and my beloved husband 
entered. The roses were smelling even more powerfully, and 
through the open window the distant tra-ra-ra was sounding. 
By degrees my consciousness of present things vanished. I 
found myself ever more and more transported into that hour ; 
all was forgotten that had happened since, and only the one 
fixed idea became ever more intense that at any moment the 
door might open and give my dear one admission. But to 
this end 1 had to dream that I was keeping my eyes only half 
open. It was an effort to force myself to this, but it succeeded. 
I opened my eyelids ever so little and 

And there it was, the entrancing vision ! Frederick, my 
beloved Frederick, on the threshold. With a loud sob, 
and covering my face with both hands, I roused myself from 
my dreamy state. It was clear to me at a stroke that ihis was 
only a hallucination, and the heavenly ray of happiness that 
had been poured round me by this delusion made the hellish 
night of my misery seem all the blacker to me. 

" Oh, my Frederick, my lost one ! " I groaned. 


" Martha, my wife ! " 

What was that? A real voice, his own, and real arms that 
were thrown eagerly round me - 
It was no dream. I was lying on my husband's breast 


The joy of re-union. Summer at Grumitz. Recollections of the 
war. My husband resolves to quit the service. Education 
of my little son. Cousin Conrad's love affair. The end of 
the Danish war and the conditions of peace. New troubles. 
I lose my for tune , and my husband is obliged to remain in 
the service. Lori GriesbacKs flirtation with my husband. 
Jealousy. An April fool. 

As in the last hours of his departure our pain had expressed 
itself in tears and kisses more than in words, so it was in this 
hour of our seeing each other again. That one can become 
mad with joy, I plainly felt, as I held fast him whom I had 
believed to be lost, as sobbing and laughing and trembling with 
excitement, I kept clasping the dear head again between both 
my hands, and kissing him on the forehead and eyes and 
mouth, while I stammered out unmeaning words. 

On my first cry of joy Aunt Mary hurried in from the next 
room. She also had had no idea of Frederick's return, and at 
his sight she sank on the nearest chair with a loud cry of 
" Jesus, Maria, and Joseph ! " 

It was a long time before the first tumult of joy had suffi- 
ciently subsided to allow space for questions and counter- 
questions on both sides, confidences and news. Then we 
found that Frederick had been left lying in a peasant's house, 
while his regiment marched on. The wound was not a severe 
one; but he lay for several days in a fever, unconscious. During 
this period no letters reached him, nor was it possible for him 
to send any. When he recovered, the suspension of arms 


had been proclaimed, and the war was virtually at an end. 
Nothing prevented his hastening home. At that time he did 
not write or telegraph any more, but travelled night and day 
in order to get home as soon as possible. Whether I was still 
alive, whether I was out of danger, he knew not. He would 
not even make any inquiry about it, only get there, get there, 
without losing an hour, and without cutting off the hope from 
his homeward journey of finding his dearest again. And this 
hope was not frustrated ; he had now found his dearest again, 
saved and happy, happy above all measure. 

In a little while we all removed to my father's country-seat. 
Frederick had obtained a long leave for the restoration of his 
health, and the means prescribed by his physician rest and 
good air he could best find at our house at Grumitz. 

It was a happy time, that late summer. I do not recollect 
any period in my life which was more fair. Union at last with 
a loved one long sighed for may well be held infinitely sweet ; 
but to me the re-union with one half given up for lost neces- 
sarily seemed almost sweeter still. When I only for an instant 
brought back to my own memory the fearful feelings that had 
filled my heart before Frederick's return, or called up before 
myself again the pictures which had tormented my feverish 
nights, of Frederick's suffering all kinds of death-agonies, and 
then satiated myself with his sight, my heart leapt for joy. I 
now loved him more, a hundred times more, my regained 
husband, and I regarded the possession of him as ever-increas- 
ing riches. A little while ago I looked on myself as a beggar, 
now I had drawn the grand prize ! 

The whole family was assembled at Grumitz. Otto, too, 
my brother, was spending his holidays with us. He was now 
fifteen years old, and had three years to pass at the Neustadt 
Military Academy at Vienna. A fine fellow my brother, and 
my father's darling and pride. He as well as Lilly and Rosa 
filled the house with their merriment. It was a constant 
laughing and romping and playing ball and rackets and all 
sorts of mad antics. Cousin Conrad, whose regiment lay not 


far from Grumitz in garrison, came as often as possible, riding 
over, and took his part gallantly in all these youthful sports. The 
old folks formed a second party, namely, Aunt iMary, my father, 
and a few of his comrades who were staying as guests in the 
house. Among them there was serious card-playing, quiet 
walks in the park, a devoted cultivation of the pleasures of the 
table, and immeasurable talks about politics. The military 
events that had just taken place, and the Schleswig-Holstein 
question, which the latter had by no means set at rest, offered 
a rich field for these talks. Frederick and I lived practically 
separate, or nearly so, from the rest we only met them at 
meals, and not always then we were allowed to do as we liked. 
It was taken as a settled thing that we were going through a 
second edition of our honeymoon, and that solitude suited us. 
And indeed we were best pleased to be alone. Not at all, as 
the others perhaps thought, to play and caress in honeymoon 
fashion, we were not " newly married " enough for that, but 
because we found most satisfaction in mutual conversation. 
After the heavy sorrows we had just passed through, we could 
not share the naive gaiety of the youthful party, and still less 
did we sympathise with the interests and the conversations of 
the dignified personages, and so we preferred to secure for our- 
selves a good deal of retirement, under the privilege of a pair of 
lovers, which was tacitly granted to us. We undertook long walks 
together sometimes excursions in the neighbourhood, in which 
we stayed away the whole day we spent whole hours alone 
together in the book-room, and in the evening, when the various 
card parties were being made up, we retired into our rooms 
where over tea and cigarettes we resumed our familiar chat. 
We always found an infinity of things to say to each other. 
We liked best to tell each other of the feelings of woe and 
horror which we experienced during our separation, for this 
always awakened again the joy of our re-union. We agreed that 
presentiments of death and such like things are nothing but 
superstition, since both of us, from the hour of our leave-taking, 
had been penetrated with the conviction that one or the other 


must necessarily die, yet here we had each other back! 
Frederick had to recount to me in detail all the dangers and 
sufferings which he had just gone through, and to describe the 
pictures of horror from the battlefield and hospital which he 
had absorbed lately into his shuddering soul. I loved the tone 
of repugnance and pain which quivered in his voice during such 
recitals. From the way in which he spoke of the cruelties he 
had witnessed during the confusion of the war, I gathered the 
promise of an elevation of humanity, the result of which would 
be, first in individuals, then in the many, and finally in all to 
overcome the old barbarity. 

My father also and Otto often called upon Frederick to 
interest them with episodes from the late campaign. This indeed 
was done in quite a different spirit from that in which I begged 
for such stories, and Frederick's relation was given in quite a 
different spirit. He contented himself with describing the tactical 
movements of the forces, the events of the battles, the names 
of the places taken or defended, recounting single camp-scenes, 
repeating speeches which had been made by the generals, 
and such like miscellanea of the war. His audience was de- 
lighted with it. My father listened with satisfaction, Otto with 
admiration, the generals with the solemnity of experts. I 
alone could not find any relish in this dry style of narrative. I 
knew that this covered a whole world of feelings and thoughts 
which the matters related had awakened in the depths of the 
speaker's soul. When I once reproached him with this when 
we were alone, he replied : 

" Falsehood ? Dishonesty ? Want of enthusiasm ? No, my 
dear ; you are mistaken. It is mere decorum. Do you re- 
member our wedding-tour, our departure from Vienna, the first 
time we were alone in the carriage, the night in the hotel at 
Prague? Did you ever repeat the details of tho'-e hours, 
or ever sketch to your friends and relations the feelings and 
emotions of that happy time ? " 

" No ; of course not. Every woman must surely be silent 
about such things." 


" Then don't you see that there are things also which every man 
is silent about ? You could not tell of your joys in love ; nor 
could we of our sufferings in % war. The former might lay bare 
your chief virtue, modesty; the latter ours, courage. The 
delights of the honeymoon, and the terrors of the battlefield, 
no ' womanly ' woman can speak of the one, nor any * manly ' 
man of the other. What ? You may, in the rapture of love, 
have poured out sweet tears ! and I may have in the imminence 
of the death-agony uttered a cry How could you acknowledge 
such a sensibility; how could I such a cowardice ? " 

" But did you cry out, Frederick, did you tremble ? You 
may surely say it to me. I do not, you know, conceal the joys 
of my love from you, and you may to me " 

" Confess to you the fears of death which seize us soldiers 
on the field of battle ? How can it be otherwise ? Phrases 
and poetry tell lies about it. The inspiration artificially caused 
in this way by phrases and poetry is, I grant, capable for 
an instant of overcoming the natural instinct towards self-pre- 
servation ; but only for an instant. In cruel men the pleasure 
of killing and destroying may also sometimes chase away their 
fear for their own lives. In men tenacious of honour pride is 
capable of suppressing the outward manifestation of this fear ; 
but how many of the poor young fellows have I not heard 
groaning and whimpering ? What looks of despair, what faces 
agonised with the fear of death have I not seen ? What wild 
wailings, and curses, and beseeching prayers have I not 
heard ? " 

" And that gave you pain, my good, gentle husband." 

"Such pain often that I cried out, Martha. And yet too 
little to express properly my power of sympathy. . . . One 
might think that if, at the sight of a single suffering, a man 
is seized with pity, a suffering multiplied a thousandfold 
would therefore excite a thousand times stronger pity. But the 
contrary occurs ; the magnitude stupefies one. One cannot be 
so tenderly grieved for an individual when one sees, all round 
him, 999 others just as miserable. But even if one has not the 


capacity to feel beyond a certain level of compassion, yet one 
may be capable of thinking and computing that one has an 
inconceivable quantity of woe before one." 

"You, and one or two others may be capable, but the 
majority of men neither think nor compute." 

I succeeded in moving Frederick to the resolve of quitting 
the service. The circumstance that he had, after his marriage, 
served now more than a year, and taken a distinguished part 
in a campaign, would defend him from the suspicion which 
had occurred to my father during our engagement, that the 
whole marriage had for its object only to enable him to give up 
his career. Now, when peace should once be made, the pre- 
liminaries of which were in train, and when to all probability 
there were long years of peace in prospect, retirement from 
the army would now not involve anything dishonourable. It 
was, indeed, still, to some extent, repugnant to Frederick's 
pride to give up his rank and income, and, as he said, " to do 
nothing, to be nothing, and to have nothing," but his love 
for me was with him an even more powerful feeling than his 
pride, and he could not resist my entreaties. I declared that 
I could not go through a second time the anguish of mind 
which his last parting caused me ; and he himself might well 
shrink from again calling down on us both such pain. The 
feeling of delicacy, which, before his marriage with me, made 
him shrink from the idea of living on the fortune of a rich 
woman, no longer came into play, for we had become so 
completely one that there was no longer any perceptible 
difference between "mine" and "yours," and we understood 
each other so well that no misjudgment of his character 
on my part was any longer to be feared. The last campaign 
had besides so greatly increased his aversion to the 
murderous duties of war, and his unqualified expression of 
that aversion had so rooted it in him, that his retirement 
got to appear not like a concession made to our domestic 
happiness so much as the putting into action of his own 
intention, as a tribute to his convictions, and so he promised 


me in the coming autumn, if the negotiations for peace were 
then concluded, to take his discharge. 

We planned buying an estate with my fortune, which was 
then in the hands of Schmidt & Sons, the bankers, and Frede- 
rick was to find employment in managing it. In this way the 
first part of his trouble, " doing nothing, being nothing, and 
having nothing," would be removed. As to "being" and 
"having," we could also find a remedy. 

" To be a retired colonel in the imperial and royal service, 
and a happy man, is not that enough ? " I asked. " And to 
have? You have us me and Rudi and those who are 
coming. Is not that enough, too?" 

He smiled, and took me in his arms. 

We did not choose just at first to communicate anything 
of our plans to my father and the rest. They would certainly 
raise objections, give pieces of advice, express disapprobation, 
and all that was quite superfluous as yet. Later on we should 
know how to put ourselves above all that, for, when two people 
are all in all to each other, all foreign opinion falls off them 
without making any impression. The certainty for the future 
thus obtained increased still more the enjoyment of the pre- 
sent, which, even without that, was so heightened and enlarged 
by the delirium of the bitter past which we had gone through. 
I can only repeat it was a happy time. My son Rudolf, now 
a little fellow of seven, was beginning at this time to learn 
reading and writing, and his instructress was myself. I had 
never given my bonne the delight which, besides, would, 
I daresay, have been none for her of seeing this little soul 
slowly expand, and of bringing to it the first surprises of know- 
ledge. The boy was often the companion of our walks, and 
we were never tired of answering the questions which his 
growing appetite for knowledge made him address to us. To 
answer, that is, as well and as far as we could. We never per- 
mitted ourselves to tell a falsehood. We never avoided answer- 
ing such questions as we could not decide such as no man 
can decide with a plain "that no one knows, Rudi". At 


first it would happen that Rudolf, not satisfied with such an 
answer, took his question sometimes to Aunt Mary, or to his 
grandfather, or to the nurse, and then he always got unhesi- 
tating solutions. Then he would come back to us in triumph : 
" You don't know how old the moon is ? I know now. It's 
six thousand years you remember." Frederick and I ex- 
changed a silent glance. A whole volume full of pedagogic 
fault-finding and opinions was contained in that glance and 
that silence. 

Above all things unbearable to me were the soldiers' games 
which not only my father but my brother carried on with the 
boy. The idea of " enemy " and " cutting down " were thus 
instilled into him, I know not how. One day Frederick and 
I came up as Rudolf was mercilessly beating two whimpering 
young dogs with a riding-switch. 

" That is a lying Italian," he said, laying on to one of the 
poor beasts, "and that," on to the other, "an impudent 

Frederick snatched the switch out of the hand of this 
national corrector. 

" And that is a cruel Austrian," he said, letting one or two 
good blows fall on Rudolfs shoulders. The Italian and the 
Dane gladly ran off, and the whimpering was now done by our 
little countryman. 

"You are not angry with me, Martha, for striking your son? 
I am not, it is true, in favour generally of "Corporal punishment, 
but cruelty to animals provokes me." 

" You did right," I said. 

" Then is it only to men . . . that one may . . . be cruel?" 
asked the boy between his sobs. 

"Oh, no; still less." 

"But you, yourself, have hit Italians and Danes." 

"They were enemies." 

" Then one may hate them ? " 

"And to-day or to-morrow," said Frederick, aside to me, 
" the priest will be telling him that one ought to love one's 


enemies. What logic!" Then, aloud to Rudolf: "No; 
it is not because we hate them that we may strike our foes, 
but because they want to strike us." 

" And what do they want to strike us for ? " 

" Because we wanted to No, no, w he interrupted himself. 
" I find no way out of the circle. Go and play, Rudi ; we 
forgive you, but don't do so any more." 

Cousin Conrad was, as I thought, making progress in Lilly's 
favour. There is nothing like perseverance. I should have 
been very glad to see this match now made up, and I observed 
with pleasure how my sister's countenance lighted up with joy 
when the tread of Conrad's horse was heard in the distance, and 
how she sighed when he rode off again. He no longer courted 
her, />., he spoke no more of his love, and did not bring his 
suit forward, but his proceedings constituted a regular siege. 

"As there are different ways of taking a fortress," he 
explained to me one day, "by storm or by famine, so there 
are many ways of making a lady capitulate. One of the most 
effectual of these is custom ; sympathy. It must touch her at 
length that I am so constant in loving, and so constant in 
keeping silence about it, and always coming again. If I 
should stay away, it would make a great gap in her way of 
life ; and if I go on in this way some time longer, she will not 
be able to do without me at all." 

" And how many times seven years do you mean to serve 
for your chosen one ? " 

" I have not counted that up. Till she takes me." 

"I do admire you. Are there then no other girls in the 

"Not for me. I have got Lilly into my head. She has 
something in the corners of her mouth, in her gait, her way of 
speaking, that no other woman can equal, for me. You, for 
example, Martha, are ten times as pretty, and a hundred times 
as clever." 

"Thank you." 

" But I would not have you for a wife." 


"Thank you." 

" Just because you are too clever. You would be sure to 
look down on me from a higher level. The star on my 
collar, my sabre and my spurs do not impose on you. Lilly, 
however, looks with respect on a man of action. I know she 
adores soldiers, while you " 

"Still, I have twice married a soldier," replied I laughing. 

During meals, at the upper end of the table where my father 
and his old friends gave the tone, and where Frederick and I 
also sat (the young folks at the other end had their own talk 
to themselves), politics was the chief subject; that was the 
favourite material for conversation with the old gentlemen. 
The negotiations for peace which were in progress gave 
sufficient ground for this display of wisdom, for it is a firm 
conviction of most people that political events form the most 
sterling matter for conversation and that most suited for serious 
men. From gallantry and out of friendly regard for my 
female weakness of intellect, one of the generals said by the 
way: "These things can hardly interest our young friend 
Baroness Martha; we should only speak about them when 
we are alone. Eh ! fair lady ? " 

I defended myself from this and begged them seriously 
to continue the subject. I took a real and an anxious interest 
in the proceedings of the military and diplomatic world. Not 
from the same point of view as these gentlemen, but it was 
of great moment to me to follow to its ultimate conclusion 
" the Danish question," whose origin and course I had studied 
so carefully during the war. Now, after these battles and 
victories the fate of the disputed duchies must surely be 
settled, and yet the questions and the doubts were always 
going on. The Augustenburg that famous Augustenburg on 
account of whose immemorial rights all the contest had been 
lighted up was he then installed now ? Nothing of the kind. 
Nay, a new pretender arrived on the scene. Gliicksburg and 
Gottorp, and all the lines and branch lines, whatever their 


names were, which I had been painfully committing to memory, 
were not enough. Now Russia stepped in and opposed to the 
Augustenburg an Oldenburg \ However, the result of the war 
up to this point was that the duchies were to belong neither 
to a Gliicks- nor to an Augusten- nor to an Olden- nor to 
any other -burg, but to the allied victors. The following I 
found out were the articles of the conditions of peace then in 
progress : 

1. "Denmark surrenders the duchies to Austria and 

I was pleased with that. The allies would now, of course, 
hasten to give up the countries, which they had conquered not 
for themselves but for another, to that other. 

2. "The frontiers will be accurately defined." 

That again is quite right, if only these definitions could have 
a little more stability ; but it is pitiable even to see what ever 
lasting shiftings these blue and green lines on the maps have 
to suffer unceasingly. 

3. " The public debts will be allocated in proportion to the 

That I did not understand. In my studies I had not got 
up to questions of political economy and finance. I took 
interest in politics only so far as they bore on peace and war, 
for this was the vital question to me as a human being and a 

4. " The duchies bear the cost of the war." 

That again was to some extent intelligible to me. The 
country had been devastated, its harvests trampled down, its 
sons massacred ; some reparation was due to it : so let it pay 
the expenses of the war. 

"And what news is there about Schleswig-Holstein ? " I 
myself asked, as the conversation had not yet been brought 
into the field of politics. 

"The latest news is," said my father, "on August 13 that Hen 
v. Beust has put the question before the assembly of the Bund, 
with what right can the allies accept the cession of the duchies 


from a king whom the Bund has never recognised as theii 

lawful possessor?" 

"That is truly a very reasonable objection," I remarked, 
" for it surely means that the Protocol-Prince is not the legiti- 
mate lord of German soil, and now you accept it solemnly from 
Christian IX." 

" You don't understand, dear," interrupted my father. "It is 
only an impudence, a trick of this Herr v. Beust, nothing else. 
The duchies, besides, belong to us already, for we have con- 
quered them." 

"But surely not conquered them for yourselves? for the 

" That again you do not understand. The reasons, which 
before the outbreak of a war are put forward by the cabinets as 
the motive for it, retreat into the background as soon as the 
battles are once engaged. Then the victories and defeats 
bring out quite new combinations ; then kingdoms diminish 
or increase, or shape themselves in relations before 

"These reasons then are really no reasons, but only pre- 
.texts?" I asked. 

"Pretexts? no," said one of the generals, coming to my 
father's aid; "motives rather, starting-points for the events 
which then shape themselves according to the scale of the 

" If / had had to speak," said my father, " I would really not 
have given in to any peace negotiations after Duppel and 
Alsen ; all Denmark might have been conquered." 

"What to do with it?" 

" Incorporate it in the German Bund." 

"Why, your speciality is only that of an Austrian patriot, 
dear father. What business is it of yours to enlarge Germany ? " 

" Have you forgotten that the Hapsburgs were German em- 
perors, and may become so again ? " 

" That would rejoice you ? " 

" What Austrian would it not fill with joy and pride ? w 


" But," remarked Frederick, " suppose the other great powei 
of Germany cherishes similar dreams ? n 

My father laughed outright. 

"What! the crown of the Holy Romano-German Empire 
on the head of a Protestant kingling? Are you in your 
senses ? " 

" Whether now or at another time," said Dr. Bresser, " a 
quarrel will occur between the two powers over the object for 
which they have fought in alliance. To conquer the Elbe pro- 
vinces, that was a trifle ; but what to do with them ? That may 
yet give occasion to all kinds of complications. Every war, 
however it may turn out, inevitably contains within itself the 
germ of a succeeding war. Very naturally; for an act of 
violence always violates some right. Sooner or later this right 
raises its claims, and the new conflict breaks out, is then again 
brought to a conclusion by force pregnant with injustice, and 
so on, adinfinitum? 

A few days later a fresh event occurred. King William ol 
Prussia paid a visit to the emperor at Schonbrunn. Extraordin- 
arily warm reception, embraces, the Prussian Eagle hoisted, 
Prussian popular hymns played by all the military bands, triumph- 
ant huzzahs. To me this news was satisfactory, for by it the evil 
prophecies of Dr. Bresser were put to shame, that the two 
powers would get into a quarrel with each other over the coun- 
tries they had joined in liberating. The newspapers also gave 
expression on all hands to this consolatory assurance. 

My father was equally pleased with the friendly news from 
Schonbrunn. Not, however, from the point of view of peace, 
but of war. " I am glad," he said, " that we have now a new 
ally. In alliance with Prussia we can, just as easily as we have 
conquered the Elbe provinces, get Lombardy back again." 

" Napoleon III. will not consent to that ; and Prussia will 
certainly not be willing to embroil herself with him," one of the 
generals said. " Besides, it is a bad sign that Benedetti, the 
bitterest enemy of Austria, is now ambassador at Berlin." 

" But tell me, gentlemen/' I cried out, folding my hands 


together, "why do not all the civilised states in Europe form an 
alliance? That surely would be the simplest way." 

The gentlemen shrugged their shoulders, smiled in a superior 
fashion, and gave me no answer. I had plainly given utterance 
again to one of those silly things which " the ladies " are in the 
habit of saying, when they venture into the, to them, inaccessible 
region of the higher politics. 

The autumn had come, peace was signed at Vienna on 
October 30, and with it had come the time when my darling 
wish, Frederick's retirement, could be carried out. But man pro- 
poses, and circumstances master him. An event occurred 
a heavy blow for me which brought to nothing the plans we 
had cherished so joyfully. It was simply this : the house ol 
Schmidt & Sons failed, and my whole private fortune was gone. 

This bankruptcy was also a sequel of the war. The shot 
and shells shatter not only the walls against which they are 
aimed, but, through this destruction, banking houses and finan- 
cial companies over a wide area fall to pieces also. 

I was not brought thereby, as so many others were, to beg- 
gary ; for my father would not let me want for anything. But 
the plan of retirement had to be quite given up. We were no 
longer independent persons. Frederick's pay was now our sole 
substantial resource. Even if my father could assure me a suf- 
ficient allowance, it was out of the question under such circum- 
stances that Frederick should quit the service. I myself could 
not suggest it to him. What sort of a part would he be playing, 
in the eye of my father ? 

There was nothing to do, we had to submit. " Destiny " in 
Aunt Mary's phrase. I have not much to tell of the affliction 
which this great pecuniary loss caused me ; it was a question 
of several hundred thousand florins; for there are no long 
entries in my diary about it, and even my memory which has 
experienced since then so many impressions of far deeper pain 
bears no longer any very lively traces of these incidents. I 



only know that I was chiefly sorry for the beautiful castle in 
the air which we had been building retirement, purchase of 
an estate, a life independent and apart from the so-called 
" world " in other things the loss did not hurt me so much. 
For, as I have said, my father would during his life not allow 
me to want for anything, and would afterwards leave me a 
sufficiency, and my son Rudolf was sure of wealth in the future. 
One thing comforted me : there was not the slightest prospect 
of any war ; one might hope for ten or twenty years of peace. 
Till then 

Schleswig - Holstein and Lauenburg were finally given 
over by the treaty of October 30 to the free disposition of 
Prussia and Austria. These two, now the best of friends, were 
to share in a brotherly way the advantages so accruing, and find 
no cause for quarrelling over them. Nowhere on the whole 
political horizon was there any "black spot" visible to one'i 
consideration. The shame of the defeat we had sustained in 
Italy was sufficiently atoned by the military glory we had gained 
in Schleswig- Holstein, and so there was no longer any occasion 
for military ambition to conjure up new campaigns. And I was 
also pacified with the following consideration. That war had 
come so short a time since, I took as a pledge that it would not 
be very soon repeated. Sunshine follows after rain and in the 
sunshine one forgets the rain. Even after earthquakes and 
eruptions of volcanoes men build up new dwellings again and 
do not think of the danger of a repetition of the past catastrophe. 
A chief element in our life's energy appears to reside in for- 

We took up our winter quarters in Vienna. Frederick had 
now got employment in the Ministry of War, a business which 
he at any rate preferred to barrack life. This year my sisters 
and Aunt Mary had gone to spend the carnival at Prague. 
That Conrad's regiment was then quartered in the Bohemian 
capital was perhaps only a coincidence. Or could this circum- 
stance have had any influence on their choice of a winter resort ? 
When I gave a hint of this to my sister Lilly she blushed deeply 


and answered with a shrue of her shoulders : "Why, you must 
know that I do not want him ". 

My father repaired to his old dwelling in the Herrengasse. 
He proposed to us that we should settle down with him as he 
had room enough : but we preferred to live by ourselves, and 
hired an entresol on the Franz Joseph's Quay. My husband's 
pay and the monthly allowance made me by my father amply 
sufficed for our modest housekeeping. We had indeed to 
renounce subscriptions to opera-boxes, court balls in fact, all 
going into "society". But how easily did we renounce it ! It 
was indeed a pleasure to us that my pecuniary losses made 
this quiet way of life necessary, for we loved a quiet way of 

To a small circle of relatives and friends our house was 
always open. In particular, Lori Griesbach, the friend of my 
youth, often visited us almost more often than I liked. Her 
talk, which had before appeared to me sorely superficial, I now 
found so insipid as to be quite wearisome ; and her intellectual 
horizon, whose narrowness I had always perceived, seemed 
now still more restricted. But she was pretty and lively and 
coquettish. I understood that in society she turned many 
men's heads, and it was said that she had no objection to be 
made love to. What was very unpleasant to me was to per- 
ceive that Frederick was very much to her taste, and that she 
shot many darts out of her eyes at him, which were evidently 
intended to fix themselves in his heart. Lori's husband, the 
ornament of the Jockey Club, the race-course, and the coulisses^ 
was well known to be so little true to her that a slight imitation 
on her side would not have deserved too strong condemnation. 
But that Frederick should serve as the medium of her revenge 
I had a good deal to say against that. I jealous ! I turned 
red as I caught myself in this agitation. I was, in truth, so sure 
of his heart. No other woman, none in the world, could he 
love as he did me. Ah, yes, love, but a little blaze of flirtation ? 
that might perhaps have flashed up by the side of the soft glow 
which was consecrated to me. 


Lori did not in any way conceal from me how much Frede- 
rick attracted her. 

" I say, Martha ! you are really to be envied to have such a 
charming husband," or " You should keep a good look-out on 
this Frederick of yours, for all the women I know are running 
after him ". 

" I am quite certain of his fidelity," I replied to this. 

" Don't flatter yourself; to think of ' fidelity ' and 'husband ' 
being coupled together! That is impossible. For example, 
you know how my husband n 

" Good heavens ! you may perhaps have been wrongly in- 
formed. Besides, surely all men are not alike ! " 

" Yes, they are all believe me. I know none of our 
gentlemen who do not. . . . Among those who pay me 
attention are several married men. And what is their object ? 
Certainly not to give me or themselves exercises in fidelity to 

" I suppose they know you will not listen to them. And do 
you think Frederick belongs to this crew?" I asked with a 

" That is more than I can tell you, you little goose. But for 
all that it is very good of me to let you know how much I am 
struck with him. Now, all you have to do is to keep your eyes 

" My eyes are wide open already, Lori, and they have before 
now observed with displeasure several attempts at coquetry on 
your part." 

" Oh, that's it I Then I must disguise it better in future." 

We both laughed, but I still felt that in the same way as 
behind the jealousy which I pretended for fun a real move- 
ment of this passion lay hid, so behind the chat with which she 
affected to tease me there lay a germ of truth. 

The arrangement to marry my son Rudolf one day to Lori's 
little Beatrix was still kept intact. It was of course more in 
play than in reality the main question whether the children's 
hearts would beat for each other could only be decided by the 


future. That in a worldly point of view my Rudolf would be 
a most eligible match was certain, and so much the more 
fastidious might he be in choosing. Beatrix indeed promised 
to be a great beauty, but if she took after her mother in 
coquetry and shallowness of mind she would not be one I 
should desire for a daughter-in-law. But all that was in the 
far distance. 

Lori's husband had not shared in the Schleswig-Holstein 
campaign, and that annoyed him much. Lori too was grieved 
at this "ill-luck". 

" Such a nice victorious war," she complained. " Griesbach 
would have been sure to have got a step by this time. How- 
ever, the comfort is that in the next campaign " 

" What are you thinking of? " I broke in. " There is not the 
least prospect of that. Do you know any cause for it ? What 
should a war be waged about now ? " 

" What for ? Really I have nothing to do with that. Wars 
come and there they are. Every five or six years something 
breaks out. That is the regular course of history." 

" But surely some reasons must exist for it." 

" Perhaps, but who knows what they are ? Certainly I don't, 
nor my husband either. I asked him in the course of the late 
war ' What is the exact thing they are fighting about down 
there ? ' 'I don't know,' he replied, shrugging his shoulders, 
' it is all the same to me. But it is a bore that I am not 
there,' he added. Oh, Griesbach is a true soldier. The * why ' 
and ' what for ' of the wars are not the business of the soldiers. 
The diplomatists settle that amongst themselves. I never 
bothered my brains about all these political squabbles. It is 
not the business of us women at all we should besides under- 
stand nothing of it. When once the storm has broken we have 
only to pray " 

"That it may strike our neighbours and not ourselves that 
is certainly the most simple plan." 

" Dear Madam, A friend or perhaps an enemy, no mattei 


a person who knows but wishes to remain unknown takes 
this means of informing you that you are being betrayed. 
Your husband, so seeming virtuous, and your friend who wants 
to pass for an innocent, are laughing at you for your good- 
humoured confidence you poor blinded wife. I have my own 
reasons for wishing to tear the mask off both their faces. It is 
not from goodwill to you that I so act, for I can easily imagine 
that this detection of two persons dear to you may bring you 
more pain than profit but I have no goodwill to you in 
my heart. Perhaps I am a rejected adorer, who is taking his 
revenge this way. What matters the motive? The fact is 
there, and if you wish for proofs I can furnish them to you. 
Besides, without proofs you would give no credit to an anony- 
mous letter. The accompanying ' billet ' was lost by Countess 
Gr " 

This astounding letter lay on our breakfast-table one fine 
spring morning. Frederick was sitting opposite to me, busied 
with his letters, while I read and re-read the above ten times 
over. The note which accompanied the traitorous epistle was 
enclosed in an envelope of its own, and I put off tearing it 

I looked at Frederick. He was deep in a morning paper ; 
still he must have felt the look which I fixed on him, for he 
let the newspaper fall, and with his usual kindly, smiling 
expression, turned his face to me. 

" Hollo, what is the matter, Martha ? Why are you staring 
at me in that way ? " 

" I wanted to know whether you are still fond of me." 

" Oh, no, not for a long time," he said jestingly. " Really I 
have never been able to bear you." 

" That I do not believe." 

"But now I begin to see But you are quite pale. 

Have you had any bad news ? " 

I hesitated. Should I show him the letter ? Should I first 
look at the piece of evidence which I held in my hand still 
unbroken ? The thoughts whirled through my head m> f 


Frederick, my all, my friend and husband, him whom I trusted 
and loved could he be lost to me ? Unfaithful, he ! Oh, it 
must have been only a momentary intoxication of the senses 
nothing more. Was there not enough indulgence in my heart 
to forgive it, to forget it, to regard it as having never hap- 
pened ? But to be false ! How would it be, if his heart, too, 
had turned from me ; how, if he preferred the seductive Lori 
to me? 

" Well, do speak. You seem quite to have lost your voice. 
Show me the letter which has so shocked you," and he 
stretched his hand out for it. 

" There it is for you." I gave him the letter I had just read 
the enclosure I kept back. He glanced over the informer's 
writing. With an angry curse, he crumpled up the paper, and 
sprang from his seat. 

" Infamous ! " he cried, " and where is the proof he speaks 

" Here, not opened. Frederick, say one word only, and I 
throw the thing into the fire. I do not want to see any proofs 
that you have betrayed me." 

"Oh, my own one ! " He was now by my side, and em- 
braced me closely. " My treasure ! Look into my eyes. Do 
you doubt me ? Proof or no proof is my word enough for 

" Yes," I said, and threw the paper into the fire. 

But it did not fall into the flames, but remained close 
to the bars. Frederick jumped up to get it, and picked 
it out. 

"No, no! we must not destroy that. I am too curious. 
We will look at it together. I do not recollect ever writing 
anything to your friend which could lead to the inference of a 
relation which does not exist." 

" But you have smitten her, Frederick. You have only to 
throw your handkerchief to her." 

" Do you think so ? Come, let us look at this document. 
Right, my own hand. Oh, look here ! It is surely the two 


lines which you dictated to me some weeks back, when you 
had hurt your right hand." 

" My Lori ! come. I am anxiously expecting you to-day at 
five P.M. MARTHA (still a cripple)." 

" The finder of this note did not understand the meaning of 
the parenthesis. This is really a funny confusion. Thank 
God that this grand proof was not burned ; now my innocence 
is plain. Or have you still any suspicion ? " 

"No; after you had looked in my face I had no more. 
Do you know, Frederick, I should have been very unhappy, 
but I should have forgiven you? Lori is coquettish, very pretty. 
Tell me, has not she made advances to you ? You shake your 
head. Well, truly, in this matter you have not only the right 
but almost the duty of deceiving even me ; a man cannot 
betray a lady's favour whether he accepts or rejects it." 

" And so you would have forgiven me a false step ? Are 
you not jealous ? " 

"Yes; in a way that tears my heart. If I think of you at 
another's feet ; sipping joy from another's lips ; grown cold to 
me ; all desire dead it is horrible to me. Yet, it was not the 
death of your love that I feared. Your heart would under no 
circumstances turn cold to me, that I am sure of; our souls 
are surely so interwoven with each other. But " 

"I understand. But you need by no means think of me 
that my feeling for you is like that of a husband after the 
silver wedding. We have been married too short a time 
for that ; so long as the fire of youth glows in me (for indeed 
I am forty years old already), it burns for you. You are the 
only woman on earth to me. And should some other tempta- 
tion in reality again assail me, my will is quite strong enough 
to keep it away from me. The happiness which is contained 
in the consciousness of having kept one's plighted troth, the 
proud repose of conscience with which a man can say of 
himself that he has kept the firmly-tied bond of his life in 
every respect sacred all this is to me too noble to allow it to 
be destroyed by a passing intoxication of the senses. You 


have besides made so perfectly happy a man of me, my 
Martha, that I am raised as far above everything above 
all intoxication, all amusement, all pleasure as the possessor 
of ingots of gold above the gain of copper pieces." 

With what delight did such words as these sink into my 
heart! I was expressly thankful to the anonymous letter- 
writer, for helping me to this delightful scene. And I trans- 
ferred every word into my red book. I can still reproduce the 
entry here, under date 1/4/1865. Ah, how far, how far back 
is all that ! 

Frederick, on the contrary, was highly incensed against the 
slanderer. He swore that he would find out who had been 
guilty of the composition, so as to punish the actor as he 
deserved. I found out the same day what the origin and 
aim of the writing was. Its result^ which was that Frederick 
and I were thenceforth drawn a little closer together, its 
originator could hardly have foreseen. 

In the afternoon I went to my friend Lori to show her the 
letter. I wanted to let her know that she had an enemy by 
whom she was falsely exposed to suspicion, and I wanted to 
laugh with her over the chance that my dictated note had been 
so misconstrued. 

She laughed more than I expected. 

" So you were shocked at the letter ? n 

"Yes, mortally; and yet I had nearly burned the enclosed 

" Oh ! then the whole joke would have missed fire." 

"What joke?" 

" You would have believed to the end that I had really 
betrayed you. Let me take this opportunity to make you a 
confession, that I did in an hour of delirium it was after the 
dinner at your father's at which I sat next to Tilling, and it 
was because I had drunk too much champagne that I did 
then, so to say, offer him my heart on a salver." 

"And he?" 

" And he answered me very much to the purpose, that he 


loved you above all other things and was firmly resolved to 
remain true to you to death. The whole joke was contrived 
to teach you to prize this phenomenon better." 

"What is this joke that you keep talking of?" 

"Why, you must know, inasmuch as the letter and the 
envelope come from me." 

" From you ? 1 know nothing about it." 

" Have you then not turned the enclosure round ? See 
here on the back of it is written my name and the date- 
April I." 


The indefinite approximation of two loving hearts. A serious 
illness. Progress of Conrad's suit to my sister. Aunt 
Mary's letter. First rumours of war with Prussia. 
Sequel of the Schleswig- Holstein war. The pour-parlers 
and negotiations leading to the Austro-Prussian war. 
Arguments with my father and aunt about war. New- 
year's day, 1866. Conrad and Lilly engaged. My father's 
toast. War visibly approaching. Hopes and fears. 
Recriminations and reciprocal provocations. Prussia 
occupies Holstein. The army of the Bund mobilised. 
War declared. Manifestoes of the sovereigns and generals. 

" BROUGHT nearer ever nearer! I have found out that this 
capacity of approximation of loving hearts belongs to the class 
of things of which divisibility is an example things which have 
no limits. One might have believed that a particle might 
have become so small already that nothing smaller could be 
conceived, and yet it is susceptible of division into two halves ; 
and so one might think that two hearts might be already so 
fused together that a more intimate union could not be 
possible, and yet some external influence acts, and the atoms 
the two hearts embrace and inter-penetrate each other still 
more firmly, and closer ever closer." 

This was the effect of .Lori's sufficiently tasteless April 
fooling; and such was the effect of another external event 
which happened soon after ; viz., a violent nervous fever which 
attacked me and laid me on a sick bed for six weeks. It was 
indeed a sad event, and yet how fruitful it was in happy 



recollections for me, and how powerful in its influence on the 
process sketched above I mean the "bringing nearer and 
nearer" of two so closely attached hearts; whether it was the 
fear of losing me which made me still dearer to my husband, 
or whether it was that his love had merely become more 
noticeable to me by his behaviour as sick nurse in short, 
during this nervous fever and after it I still more and still more 
surely felt that I was beloved, than before. 

I was also truly afraid of dying first, because it would have 
given me horrible pain to lose a life which seemed to me so 
rich in beauty and happiness, and to leave my dear ones : 
Frederick with whom I wished so much to grow to old age, 
Rudolf whom I wished so much to train up to manhood ; and 
secondly, too, not in respect to myself but with regard to 
Frederick, the thought of death was horrible to me because 
I knew as well as one can know anything that the pain of 
laying me in the grave would be to the bereaved one well-nigh 
intolerable. No ! No ! People who are happy, and people who 
are beloved by those they hold dear, cannot feel any contempt for 
Death. The chief ingredient in the latter is contempt for life. 
On my sick bed, where sickness buzzed around me with its 
deadly power, as the warrior on the battlefield hears the buzz 
of the bullets around him, I was able to enter perfectly into 
the feelings of those soldiers who love their lives and who 
know that their death will plunge hearts they love into despair. 

" There is but one thing," said Frederick in reply to me 
when I communicated this thought to him, " in which the 
soldier has the advantage of the fever-patient the conscious- 
ness of duty fulfilled. Still I agree with you in this : to die 
with indifference, to die with joy, as we are on all hands told to 
do, is what no happy man can do only those could who were 
exposed in former times to all the ills of life, or those who 
have nothing left to lose in a peaceful existence, or such as can 
only free their brethren from shame and an intolerable yoke by 
their own death ! " 

When the danger was over how I enjoyed my recovery my 


new birth 1 That was a feast for both of us, like the happiness 
of our re-union after the Schleswig-Holstein war, but still dif- 
ferent. Then the joy came with a single stroke, and here little 
by little, and, besides, since that time we were closer to each 
other ever closer. 

My father had visited me daily during my illness, and shown 
much concern ; but for all that I knew that he would not have 
taken my death to heart overwhelmingly. He was much more 
attached to his two younger daughters than to me, and the 
dearest of all to him was Otto. I had become to some extent 
estranged from him by my two marriages, and particularly by 
the second, and perhaps also by my totally different way of 
thinking. When I was completely recovered, which was in the 
middle of June, he removed to Grumitz, and gave me a warm 
invitation to come to him there with my little Rudolf. But I 
preferred, since Frederick was prevented from leaving the city 
by his duties, to take my country holiday quite close to Vienna, 
where my husband could visit me daily, and so I hired a summer 
lodging at Hietzing. 

My sisters, still under Aunt Mary's protection, travelled to 
Marienbad. In her last letter from Prague, Lilly wrote to me 
as follows, amongst other matters : " I must confess to you that 
Cousin Conrad begins to be by no means displeasing to me. 
During several cotillons I was in the humour to have said 
1 Yes ' if he had put the important question. But he omitted 
to take the decisive step at the right moment. When it was 
settled that we were to leave the city he did, it is true, make 
me an offer again, but then I had again an impulse to refuse. 
I have become so used to do this to poor Conrad that when he 
used the accustomed form to me : ' Will you not now become 
my wife, Lilly?' my tongue replied quite automatically : 'I have 
no idea of doing so '. But this time I added : * Ask me again 
in six months '. That means that I am going to examine my 
heart during the summer. If I long after him in his absence, 
if the thought of him (which now follows me almost uninter- 
ruptedly day and night) does not quit me when I am at 


Marienbad ; if neither there nor in the ensuing shooting season 
any other man succeeds in making an impression on me, why, 
then, the perseverance of my obstinate cousin will have pre- 

Aunt Mary wrote to me about the same time. (This hap- 
pens to be the only letter of hers which I have kept.) 

" My dear child, This has been a fatiguing winter campaign i 
I shall be not a little glad when Rosa and Lilly have found 
partners. Found they have, plenty of them ; for, as you know, 
each has refused in the course of the carnival half-a-dozen offers, 
not counting the perennial Conrad. Now the same drudgery 
is to begin again at Marienbad. I should like to have gone to 
Grumitz to spend some time, above all things, or to you ; and 
instead of this I am obliged to play over again the tiresome and 
thankless part of chaperon to these pleasure-seeking girls. 

" I am very glad to hear that you are quite well again. Now 
that the danger is over, I may say that we were in great trouble 
your husband used for some time to write us such despairing 
letters every moment he was in fear of seeing you die. But let 
us thank God that it was not destined so to be. The novena 
which I kept at the Ursulines for your recovery also, perhaps, 
helped to preserve you. The Almighty designed to spare 
you for your little Rudi. Kiss the dear little boy and tell him 
to keep hard at his learning. I send him with this a couple of 
little books, The Pious Child and his Guardian Angel, a charm- 
ing story, and Our Country's Heroes^ a collection of war-sketches 
for boys. A taste for such things cannot be instilled too early 
into the young. Your brother Otto, for instance, was not five 
years old when I used to tell him about Alexander the Great, 
and Caesar, and other famous conquerors; and it is a real 
pleasure to see what a spirit he has now for everything heroic. 

" I have heard that you prefer to remain for the summer in 
the neighbourhood of Vienna, instead of going to Grumitz. 
You are quite wrong there. The air of Grumitz would suit you 
much better than that dusty Hietzing ; and poor papa will be 
quite bored all alone. Probably it is on your husband's 


account that you will not go away ; but it seems to me that the 
duty of a daughter also should not be quite neglected. Tilling, 
too, could surely come to Grumitz for a day sometimes. To be 
so very much together is not altogether good for married folks 
trust to my experience of life. I have noticed that the best 
marriages are those in which the couple are not always sitting 
prosing together, but allow each other a little latitude. Now, 
good-bye ; spare yourself so as not to get a relapse and think 
again about Hietzing. May heaven preserve you and your 
Rudi. This is the constant prayer of your affectionate 


" P.S. Your husband has, I know, relatives in Prussia (hap- 
pily he is not so arrogant as his countrymen), so ask him what 
they are saying there about the political situation. It is surely 
very grave." 

This letter of my aunt made me reflect again that there was 
a " political situation ". During all this time I had not troubled 
myself about anything of the sort. I had, it is true, read a good 
deal both before and after my illness, as usual, daily and weekly 
papers, reviews and books, but the leading articles in the 
journals remained unnoticed, since I no longer debated with 
myself the anxious question: "War or no war?"; the chatter 
about home and foreign politics possessed no interest for me. 
The postscript of the letter quoted above looked serious, and it 
occurred to me to look up what I had neglected and inform 
myself about our present position. 

"What does Aunt Mary mean by her expression 'threatening'? 
you least arrogant among the Prussians," I asked my husband, 
as I gave him the letter to read. " Is there then a political 
situation at the present time ? " 

" There is one, as there is weather, always more's the pity 
and one is also as changeable and treacherous as the other * 

u Well, tell me then. Are they talking still about these com- 
plicated duchies ? Have they not done with them yet ? " 

" They are talking about them more than ever. They have 
not done with them in the least. The Schleswig-Holsteiners 


have now a great fancy to get free of the Prussians the ' arro- 
gant' Prussians we are called in the latest form of speech. 
'Sooner Danish than Prussian,' say they, repeating a signal 
given them by the central states. Do you know that the 
hackneyed ' Meerumschlungen ' song is now sung with this 
variation : 

"'Schleswig-Holstein stammverwandt Schmeisst die Preussen 
aus dem Land ' ? " * 

" And what has happened to the Augustenburg ? Have they 
got him then ? O do not tell me, Frederick, do not tell me 
that they have not got him ! It was on account of this, the 
only rightful heir, for whom the poor countries oppressed by 
the Danes were longing so, that the whole war had to be waged 
which might have cost me you ! Leave me then at least the 
consolation that this indispensable Augustenburg has been 
reinstated in his rights, and is reigning over the undivided 
duchies. I take my stand on this word ' undivided '. It is an 
old historical right, which has been assured to them for several 
centuries, and the foundation of which I had trouble enough 
m investigating." 

" It is going badly with your historical rights, my poor 
Martha," said Frederick laughing. " No one says anything 
at all about Augustenburg now, except himself in his protests 
and manifestoes." 

From this time I began again to look into the political com- 
plications, and found out as follows : Absolutely nothing had 
really been settled or recognised, in spite of the Protocol signed 
at the time of the Peace of Vienna. Since that, the Schleswig- 
Holstein question had been brought into all sorts of stages, 
but now was " debated " more than ever. The Augustenburg 
and the Oldenburg had made haste, since the abdication which 
had taken place on the part of the Gliicksburg, to make 
reclamation before the assembly of the Bund. And Lauenburg 
was eagerly desirous to be incorporated in the kingdom of 

1 Schleswig-Holstein, brother-land, kick the Prussians out of the 


Prussia. No one kno^s exactly what the allies were going to 
try to do with the conquered provinces. Each of these two 
powers attributed to the other a design of overreaching the 

"What is this Prussia up to now?" Such was the question, 
indicating mischief, which Austria, the central states, and the 
duchies kept always asking. Napoleon III. advised Prussia 
to annex the duchies up to North Schleswig, where they speak 
Danish, but Prussia was not thinking of that for the moment. 
At last, on February 22, 1865, her claims were formulated to 
this effect : Prussian troops to remain in the countries ; the 
latter to put their defensive forces under Prussian leadership, 
with the exception of a contingent of troops of the Bund. 
The harbour of Kiel to be occupied. Posts and telegraphs to 
be Prussian j and the duchies to be compelled to join the 

Of these demands our Minister, Mensdorf-Pouilly, complained 
I do not know why. And stifl further (again, I have no idea why 
presumably out of envy, that distinctive feature in the conduct ot 
"external relations"), the central states complained also. They 
vehemently demanded that the Augustenburg should with all 
speed be at once inducted into the government of the duchies. 
Austria, however, had something to say also, and what she said 
was this. She treated the Augustenburg as non-existent, was 
willing to consent to the possession by Prussia of the Kiel 
harbour, but stood out against the right of recruiting and pres- 
sing sailors. 

And so the quarrel went on without cessation. Prussia 
declared that her demands were made only in the interests of 
Germany ; that she did not wish for annexation ; Augustenburg 
might enter on his inheritance if he accepted the demands laid 
down; but if these necessary and moderate claims were not 
granted, then (with voice raised to the pitch of threaten- 
ing) perhaps she would be compelled to demand more. 
Against this menacing voice other voices were raised in scorn, 
in mockery, in provocation. In the central states and in 



Austria public opinion became daily more and more embit- 
tered against Prussia and especially against Bismarck. On June 
27 the central states accepted a motion to request information 
from the Great Powers ; but, as giving information is not the 
habit of diplomacy but keeping everything snug and secret, 
the Great Powers negotiated in private. King William travelled 
to Gastein, the Emperor Francis Joseph to Ischl, Count Blome 
flitted hither and thither between them, and an agreement was 
arrived at on certain points : the occupation was to be half 
Austrian and half Prussian. Lauenburg, according to her own 
wish, was to be united to Prussia. For this Austria was to 
receive as compensation two and a half millions of thalers. This 
last result was not calculated to inspire me with patriotic joy. 
What good could this insignificant sum do to the thirty-six 
millions of Austrians ? even if it was to be divided among them, 
vhich was not the case. Would it replace the hundreds of 
thousands which, for example, I had lost with Schmidt & Sons ? 
Or still more the losses of those who were mourning for their 
dear ones ? What pleased me was a treaty which was signed at 
Gastein on August 14. "Treaty,*' the word sounds so pro- 
mising of peace. It was not till afterwards that I learned that 
international treaties very often only serve, by means of oppor- 
tune violations of them, to introduce what is called a casus belli. 
Then it is only necessary for one party to charge the other with 
"a breach of treaty," and immediately the swords spring out 
of their sheaths with all the appearance of a defence of violated 

Still the Gastein treaty brought me repose. The quarrel 
seemed to be laid aside. General Gablenz handsome Gablenz 
for whom all we ladies had a slight penchant, was Stadtholder 
in Holstein, Manteuffel in Schleswig. I had at last to give up 
my favourite security, enacted in the year 1460, that the 
countries should remain together for ever "undivided". As 
far as concerned my Augustenburg, for whose rights I had with 
so much trouble got up some warmth, it haoDened that 'his 
prince went on one occasion into ms country and received the 


homage of his adherents, on which Manteuffel signified to him 

that if he ever ventured to come into those parts again without 
permission, he would unquestionably have him arrested. Who- 
ever cannot see in that a good joke of Muse Clio's can have no 
comprehension of the comicalities of history. 

In spite of the Gastein treaty, the situation would not calm 
down, and as I now, being alarmed by Aunt Mary's letter 
and the explanations of it which I received, resumed the 
regular perusal of the political leading articles and collected 
intelligence from all sides about the opinions which gained 
currency, I was in a position to follow once more with accuracy 
the phases of the varying strife. That the latter would lead to 
a war, I did not apprehend. Such legal questions would have to 
be brought to an issue in the legal way, i.e., by weighing the 
claim of right on the two sides, and by a sentence consequent 
on this. All these consultative meetings of ministers and 
assemblies, these negotiating statesmen and monarchs in friendly 
intercourse, would surely settle the debated points which were 
in themselves so trivial. It was with more curiosity than 
anxiety that I followed the course of this incident, the different 
stages of which I find noted in my red volumes. 

October i, 1865. In the assembly of delegates at Frankfort the fol- 
lowing conclusions were accepted : (i) The right of the people of 
Schleswig-Holstein to decide on their own destiny remains in force. 
The Gastein treaty is rejected by the nation as a breach of right. (2) 
All representatives of the people are to refuse all taxes and expenses to 
such Governments as assert the policy of violence hitherto followed. 

October 15. The Pitissian crown-syndic gave his judgment on the 
hereditary rights of Prince Augustenburg. The father of the latter had 
renounced for himself and his posterity his succession to the throne for 
a sum of one and a half million of specie thalers. The duchies were sur- 
rendered in the treaty of Vienna the Augustenburg had no claims at 
all upon them. 

An impudence an assumption such were the terms applied 
to this speech delivered at Berlin, and " the arrogance of 
Prussia" became a catchword. "We must protect ourselves 
against it," was accepted as a dogma on all hands " King 


William seems disposed to play the part of a German Victor 
Emmanuel." " Austria's secret motive is to reconquer Silesia,'* 
" Prussia is paying court to France," " Austria is paying court to 
France," et patati, et patafa, as the French say. Tritsch tratsch 
is the German name for it, and it does not go on more busily in 
the coffee-house coteries of country towns than between the 
Cabinets of Great Powers. 

The winter brought my whole family back to Vienna. Rosa 
and Lilly had amused themselves very much in the Bohemian 
watering-places, but neither was engaged. Conrad's affairs 
were in an excellent way. In the shooting season he was to 
come to Grumitz, and, although at this crisis the decisive 
word had not yet been spoken, still both were inwardly con- 
vinced that they would end in being united. 

Neither at this autumn shooting season did I make mj 
appearance, in spite of my father's pressing persuasions. 
Frederick could not get any leave, and to separate from him 
was to exist in such sorrow as I would not expose myself to 
without necessity. A second reason for not passing any length 
of time at my father's was that I did not wish to expose 
my little Rudolf to his grandfather's influence, whose effort 
always was to inspire the child with military tastes. The 
inclination for this calling, to which I was thoroughly averse as 
a profession for my son, had been awakened in him without 
this. Probably it was in his blood. The scion of a long race 
of soldiers must, by nature, bring warlike instincts into the 
world with him. In the works on natural science, whose study 
we were now pursuing more eagerly than ever, I had learned 
about the power of heredity, of the existence of so-called "con 
ge'nital instincts," which are nothing but the impulse to put in 
action the customs handed down from our ancestors. 

On the boy's birthday his grandfather was careful to bring 
him again a sabre. 

" But you know, father," I remonstrated, "that my son will 
certainly not become a soldier, and I must really beg. you 
seriously * 


" What, do you want to tie him to his mother's apron-strings ? 
I hope you will not succeed there. Good soldiers' blood is no liar. 
Let the fellow only grow up, and he will soon choose his pro- 
fession for himself, . . . and there is no finer one than that 
which you want to forbid him." 

"Martha is frightened," said Aunt Mary, who was present 
at this conversation, " of exposing her only son to danger, but 
she forgets that if one is destined to die, that fate will overtake 
one in one's bed as surely as in battle 

"Then, suppose 100,000 men to have fallen in a war, they 
would all have been killed in peace, too ? " 

Aunt Mary was not at a loss for an answer. " It was the 
destiny of these 100,000 to die in war." 

" But if men had the sense not to begin any war," I suggested. 

"Oh! but that is an impossibility," cried my father, and 
then the conversation turned again into a controversy such as 
my father and I used often to wage, and always on the same 
lines. On the one side, the same assertions and principles ; 
on the other, the same counter assertions and opposite prin- 
ciples. There is nothing to which the fable of the hydra is so 
applicable as to some standing difference of opinion. No 
sooner have you cut one head off the argument, and settled 
yourself to send the second the same way, when, lo ! the first 
has grown again. Thus my father had one or two favourite 
positions in favour of war which nothing could uproot : 

1. Wars are ordained by God Himself the Lord of Hosts 
see the Holy Scriptures. 

2. There have always been wars, and consequently there 
always will be wars. 

3. Mankind, without this occasional decimation, would 
increase at too great a rate. 

4. Continual peace relaxes, effeminates, produces like 
stagnant water corruption; especially the degeneration of 

5. Wars are the best means for putting in practice self-sacri- 
fice, heroism in short, the firmer elements of the character. 


6. Men will always contend. Perfect agreement in all theii 
views is impossible ; divergent interests must be always imping- 
ing on each other, consequently everlasting peace is a 
contradiction in terms. 

None of these positions in particular none of the " conse- 
quentlies" contained in them could be kept standing if 
stoutly attacked. But each of them served the defender as a 
bulwark, if compelled to let another of them fall, and while 
the new bulwark was being reduced to ruins he had been 
setting the old one up again. For example, if the champion 
of war, driven into a corner, has to confess that peace is more 
worthy of humanity, more rich in blessing, more favourable to 
culture, than war, he says : " Oh, yes ; war is an evil, but it is 
inevitable " ; and then follow Nos. i and 2. Then if one shows 
that it could be avoided and how by alliances of states, 
arbitration courts and so forth then comes the reply : " Oh, 
yes ; war could be avoided, but it ought not " ; and then come 
in Nos. 4 and 5. Then if the advocate of peace upsets these 
objections, and goes on to prove that on the contrary "war 
hardens men and dehumanises them ". "Oh, yes; I allow that, but 
" No. 3. This argument, too, is overthrown, for it is admitted 
that Nature herself will see that " the trees do not grow up to 
the sky," and wants no assistance from man to that end. This, 
again, turns out not to be the result which the possessor of 
force has in view in making war. Granted, but No. i. And so 
there is no end to the debate. The advocate of war is always 
in the right; his reasoning moves in a circle, where you may 
always follow, but can never catch him. "War is a horrible evil, 
but it must exist. I grant it is not a necessity, but it is a great 
good." This want of consecutiveness, of logical honesty, all 
those people incur who defend a cause on principles which are 
not axiomatic, or else with no principles, merely from instinct, 
and to that end will make use of all such phrases or common- 
places as may have come to their ears, and which have obtained 
currency, in the maintenance of that cause. That these argu- 
ments do not proceed from the same points of view, that 


accordingly they not only do not support each other, but even 
do directly neutralise each other, makes no matter to them. 
It is not because this or that reasoning has originated from 
their own reflections, or is in harmony with their own convic- 
tions, that it comes into their train of argument ; they merely 
use to bolster the latter up, without any selection, the con- 
clusions which others have thought out. 

All this might not have been so clear to me at that time, 
when I was disputing with my father on the topic of peace and 
war ; it was not till later on that I had accustomed myself to 
follow with attention the movements of the intellect in my own 
and other people's heads. I only recollect that I always came 
away from these discussions in the highest degree fatigued and 
excited, and I now see that this fatigue proceeded from this 
"pursuing in a circle" which my father's way of argument 
necessitated. The conclusion was, however, every time a 
compassionate shrug of the shoulders on his part, with the 
words : " You do not understand that " ; words which, as he 
was treating of military matters, sounded certainly very well 
deserved in the mouth of an old general as addressed to a 
young lady. 

New-Year's Day, 1866. We were all sitting, with our punch 
and New-Year's cakes, assembled round my father's table when 
the first hour of this eventful year struck. It was a cheerful 
feast. We celebrated an engagement with the end of the old 
year Conrad and Lilly's. As the hand pointed to twelve, and a 
feu de joie was fired in the street, my enterprising cousin threw 
his arm round the young lady, who was sitting beside him, 
pressed, to the surprise of us all, a kiss on her lips, and then 
asked : 

"Will you take me in '66?" 

"Yes, I will," she replied, "and I love you, Conrad." 

Then followed on all hands a clinking of glasses, embracing, 
handshaking, felicitations, and blessings without end. 

"The health of the lovers," "Long live Conrad and Lilly, n 


" God bless your union, my children," " Heart-felt congratula 
tions, cousin," " Happiness to you, sister," and so on, and so 
on. A joyful and peaceful frame of mind took possession of us 
all. Perhaps not quite free of envy in all, for as Death repre- 
sents the most mournful and most lamentable of events, so 
love the love which is sanctioned by the life-giving union is 
the most joyful and the most enviable. I indeed could detect 
no trace of envy in myself, for the happiness which had only 
just become a promise to the new bride l had long since been 
my actual and firm possession ; it was rather a feeling of doubt 
that crept over me. " Such perfect bliss as was prepared for 
me by Frederick can hardly fall to poor Lilly's lot. Conrad is, 
it is true, a very amiable man, but there is but one Frederick." 
My father brought to an end the tumult of congratulations 
by tapping on his glass with the signet ring on his little finger 
and rising to speak. He spoke somewhat to this effect : " My 
dear children and friends, the year '66 begins well. To me it 
is bringing in its very first hour the fulfilment of a cherished 
wish, for I have long looked forward to having Conrad for my 
son-in-law. Let us hope that this prosperous year may also 
bring our Rosa under the yoke, and to you, Martha and Tilling, 
a visit from the stork. To you, Doctor Bresser, may it bring 
many patients, though this as far as I see hardly goes with the 
many wishes for good health that we have all been exchanging ; 
and to you, dear Mary, may it present (that is, provided that it 
has been destined for you, for I know and honour your fatalism) 
a pitched battle or a plenary indulgence, or whatever it is that 
you are wishing for. You, my Otto, may it endow with eminent 
' distinction ' in your final examination, and with all possible 
soldierly virtues and acquirements, so that you may one day 
become the ornament of the army and the pride of your old 
father. And to the latter also I must try and get something 
good to come ; and since he is one who knows no higher wish 
than for the good and the glory of Austria, I hope the coming 
year may bring some great conquest to the country Lombardy, 
1 Braut, an engaged girl. 


or who knows ? the province of Silesia. One cannot tell to 
what all this is preliminary, but it is by no means impossible 
that we may take back again from the insolent Prussians that 
country which was stolen from the great Maria Theresa." 

I recollect that the close of my father's toast " threw a chill " 
on us. Lombardy and Silesia ! truly none of us felt any press- 
ing need for them. And the underlying wish for " war," /'.., 
liesh lamentation, more death pangs, that surely did not accord 
with the tender joyfulness which this hour, made sacred by a 
new bond of love, had awakened in our hearts. I even per- 
mitted myself to reply : 

" No, dear father ; to-day is the New Year for the Italians 
and Prussians also, so we will not wish any destruction for 
them. May all men in the year '66 and in the years that are 
to follow grow more united and more happy ! " 

My father shrugged his shoulders. " You enthusiast I said 
he pityingly. 

"Not at all," said Frederick in my defence. "The wish 
expressed by Martha has no taint of enthusiasm, for its fulfilment 
is assured to us by science. Better and more united and more 
happy are men constantly becoming, from the beginning of all 
things to the present day, but so imperceptibly, so slowly that a 
little span of time, like a year, may not show any visible pro- 

" If you believe so firmly in everlasting progress," remarked 
my father, " why are you so often complaining about reaction 
about relapse into barbarism ? " 

" Because " Frederick took out a pencil and drew a spiral 
on a sheet of paper "because the march of civilisation is 
something like this. Does not this line, in spite of its occa- 
sional twist backwards, always move steadily onwards? The 
year which is commencing may, it is true, represent a twist, 
especially if, as seems likely, another war is going to be waged. 
Anything of that sort pushes culture a long way back in every 
aspect, material as well as moral." 

"You are not talking much like a soldier, my dear Tilling," 


" I am talking, my dear father-in-law, of a general proposi- 
tion. My view about this may be true or false ; whether it is 
soldierly or not is another question. At any rate truth can only 
be in any matter one way. If a thing is red, should one man 
call it blue on principle, because he wears a blue uniform ; and 
black, if he wears a black cowl ? * 

" A what ? " My father was in the habit, if any discussion 
did not go quite as he liked, to affect a little difficulty of hear- 
ing. To reply to such a " what " by repeating the whole 
sentence was what few people had the patience to do, and the 
best way was to give up the argument. 

Afterwards, the same night, when we had got home, I put 
my husband under examination. 

" What was that you said to my father ? That there was 
every appearance that there would be another fight this year ? 
I will not have you go into another war ; I will not have it." 

" What is the use, dear Martha, of this passionate 'I will not'? 
You would certainly be the first to withdraw it in face of the 
facts. By how much more visibly war stands at the gate, by 
so much the more impossible would it be for me to apply for 
my discharge. Immediately after Schleswig-Holstein it might 
have been feasible." 

" Ah, that unlucky Schmidt & Sons ! " 

" But now when new clouds are gathering " 

" Then you really believe that " 

" I believe that these clouds will disperse again. The two 
great powers will not tear each other to pieces for those 
northern countries. But now that it seems threatening again, 
retirement would have a cowardly look. You must see that 

I was obliged to be guided by this reasoning. But I clung 
to the hopeful phrase : " These clouds will disperse again ". 

I now followed with anxiety the development of political 
events, and the opinions and prophecies about them that 
were current in the newspapers and public speeches. "Be 
prepared l w "Be prepared!" was the cry now. "Prussia is 


silently preparing." "Austria is silently preparing." "The 
Prussians assert that we are preparing, and it is not true, it is 
they who are preparing." "You lie." " No, it is not true that 
we are preparing." " If they prepare, we must prepare also. 
If we leave off our preparations, who knows if they will?" 
And so the note of preparation sounded in my ear in all 
possible variations. 

" But then what is all this clang of arms for, if one is not to 
take them in hand?" I asked, to which my father answered in 
the old phrase : 

. " Si vis pacem, para bellum ; we, that is, are only preparing 
out of precaution ". 

"And the other side?" 

" With a view of attacking us." 

" But they also are saying that their action is only a precau- 
tion against our attack." 

" That is malice." 

"And they say that we are malicious." 

" Oh, they say that only as a pretext, to be better able to 
make their preparations." 

So again an endless circle, a serpent with his tail in his 
mouth, whose upper and lower end is a double dishonesty. It 
is only by producing an impression on an enemy, who desires 
war, that the method of fighting him by preparations can be 
effective on the side of peace, but two equal powers, both de- 
sirous of peace, cannot possibly act on that system, unless each 
is firmly persuaded that the other is deceiving him with hollow 
phrases. And this persuasion becomes the more firm, the more 
one knows that one is oneself hiding the same views as one 
charges on one's adversary under similar phrases. It is not 
only the augurs, the diplomatists also know well enough about 
each other, what each has in his mind behind the public cere- 
monies and modes of speech. The preparation for war 
lasted on both sides during the early months of the year. 
On March 12 my father burst into my room radiant with 


" Hurrah ! n he shouted. " Good news." 

" Disarmament ? " I asked delighted. 

"What for? On the contrary, this is the good news. 
Yesterday, a great Council of War was held. It is really 
splendid what an armed power we are masters of! The 
arrogant Prussians had best take care. We are prepared any 
hour to take the field with 800,000 men ! And Benedek, our 
best strategist, is to be commander-in-chief with unlimited 
power. I say this to you, my child, in confidence. Silesia 
is ours, whenever we choose." 

" Oh God ! Oh God ! " I groaned, " must this scourge come 
on us once more ? Who who can be so devoid of conscience 
as from ambition, from greed of territory " 

"Calm yourself, we are not so ambitious, nor are we greedy 
of territory. What we desire (that is to say not I exactly, for 
to me it would be quite the right thing to get our own Silesia 
back again), but what the Government desire is to keep peace : 
that they have asserted often enough, and the enormous 
strength of our active army, as it comes out in the communi- 
cation yesterday made to the Council of War by the emperor, 
will inspire all other powers with due respect. Prussia, to 
begin with, will certainly sing small, and leave off trying to 
speak in a commanding tone. Thank God, we shall have our 
say in Schleswig-Holstein too, and I am sure we shall never 
endure that the other great power should by too great an 
extension of its dominion conquer for itself a preponderance 
in Germany. That is a matter which touches our honour, our 
' prestige ' as the French call it, perhaps our existence, but 
you cannot understand it. The whole affair is a contest for 
hegemony, the miserable Schleswig is the last thing in it, but 
this splendid Council of War has shown plainly which takes the 
first place and which is to dictate conditions to the other, the 
successors of the little Electors of Brandenburg or those of the 
long line of Romano-German Emperors ! I consider peace as 
certain. But if the others are going on still to behave them, 
selves in an impudent and arrogant way, and so to make wcr 


inevitable, then our victory is assured, and with it conquests 
which are absolutely incalculable. It were to be wished that 
it would break out " 

"Oh yes! and you do wish it too, father, and the whole 
Council of War seems to be with you ! Then, I should like it 
better if you said it out plainly ! Only do not let us have this 
falsehood this assurance to the people and the friends of peace 
that all this purchasing of weapons and demands for war- 
credits are only for the purpose of your beloved peace. If you 
are already showing your teeth and closing your fists, do not 
whisper soft words all the while. If you are trembling with 
impatience to draw the sword, do not make believe that it is 
only from precaution that you are laying your hand on the 

So I went on talking for a while with trembling voice 
and rising passion, while my father was too much taken 
aback to answer a word, and at last I ended by bursting into 

Now followed a time of fluctuating hopes and fears. To-day 
it was " Peace is secure," to-morrow " War inevitable ". Most 
persons were of the latter view. Not so much because the 
situation pointed to a bloody arbitrament, but on this account, 
that if once the word " war " has been pronounced there may 
be a good deal of debating one way and the other, but experi- 
ence shows that the end always is war. The little invisible egg 
which contains the casus belli is brooded over so- long that 
at last the monster creeps out of it. 

Daily did I note in the red volumes the phases of the vary- 
ing strife, and thus I knew at that time, and still know to-day, 
how the eventful " war of '66 " was prepared and how it broke 
out. Without these entries I might easily find myself in the 
same ignorance about this precise piece of history as most 
men are who live where history is being played out. The 
great majority of the people usually know nothing about why 
or how a war exists. They only see it coming for a certain 
time, and then it is there. And when it is there people make 


no more inquiries about the petty interests and differences oi 
opinion which brought it about, but are then only busied with 
the mighty events to which its progress gives birth. And when 
it is over at last, what one remembers chiefly are the terrors 
and losses we have personally experienced, the conquests and 
triumphs that have marked its course, but on the political 
grounds for its origin no one wastes a thought. In the many 
works of history which appear after every campaign under the 
title of " The war of the year so and so historically and strate- 
gically described," or something to that effect, all the old 
motives for the strife and all the tactical movements of the 
campaign in question are recounted, and any one who takes 
an interest in such things can pick out the explanation from 
the literature in which it is wrapped up, but in the remembrance 
of the people such histories certainly do not live. Even of the 
feelings of hatred and enthusiasm, of embitterment and hope 
of victory, with which the whole population greets the com- 
mencement of the war feelings expressed in the common 
saying: "This is a very popular war" even of these feelings 
all is wiped out after a year or two. 

On March 24 Prussia issued a circular note in which she 
complained of the threatening preparations of Austria. Then 
why do we not disarm, if we do not wish to threaten ? Why, 
how can we? For on March 28 you see it is enacted on 
the side of Prussia that the fortresses in Silesia and two 
corps d'armle are to be put on a war footing. 

March 3 1 . Thank God ! Austria declares that all the 
rumours in circulation about her secret preparations are false. 
It has never even entered into her head to attack Prussia. And 
on this she founds the demand that Prussia shall suspend her 
measures of warlike preparation. Prussia replies that she has 
not the remotest idea of attacking Austria, but that it has 
become compulsory, in consequence of the late preparations, 
to be prepared for attack. 

And so the responsive song of the two voices goes on with 
out pause : 


My preparations are defensive. 

Your preparations are offensive. 
I must prepare because you are preparing. 
I am preparing because you prepare. 
Then let us prepare, 
Yes, let us go on preparing. 

The newspapers give the orchestral accompaniments to this 
duet. The leading articles revel in what is called conjectural 
politics. It was all poking up, baiting, bragging, slandering. 
Historical works on the Seven Years' War were published with 
the avowed intention of renewing the old enmity. 

Meanwhile the exchange of notes went on. In that of April 
7 Austria again officially denied her preparations, but laid stress 
on an oral expression said to have been used by Bismarck 
to Count Carolyi that "it would be easy to disregard the 
Gastein treaty". Must, then, the destiny of nations depend 
on anything that two noble diplomatists may have said to one 
another, in a more or less good humour, about treaties ? And 
what kind of treaties can those be after all, whose contents 
remain dependent on the good-will of the contracting parties, 
and are not assured by any higher Court of Arbitration ? 

Prussia answered this note on April 15, that the charge was 
untrue ; but she was obliged to persist in asserting that Austria 
had really made preparations on the frontier ; and on this she 
founded the justification of her own preparations. If Austria 
were in earnest about not attacking she would first disarm. 

To this the Vienna Cabinet replied : " We will disarm on the 
25th of this month, if Prussia promises to do the same on the 
following day ". 

Prussia declared herself ready. 

What a breathing again ! So then, in spite of all threatening 
signs, peace will be preserved 1 I noted this change joyfully in 
the red book. 

But prematurely. New complications arose. Austria de- 
clared that she could only disarm in the north, but not in the 


south at the same time, since she was threatened in that 
quarter by Italy. 

To which Prussia replied : " If Austria does not disarm alto- 
gether , we shall also remain in a state of preparation ". 

Now Italy expressed herself to the effect that it had never, in 
the faintest way, entered into her mind to attack Austria, but 
that after this last declaration she was under the necessity of at 
least making counter preparations. 

And so this charming song of defence was now sung by 
three voices. 

I allowed myself to be again in a measure lulled to sleep by 
this melody. After such loud and repeated protestations, 
neither surely can attack, and unless one of them attack, there 
can be no war. The principle that it is only defensive wars 
that can be justified has now v taken such firm possession of the 
public conscience that surely no Government can any more 
undertake an invasion of a neighbouring country ; and if none 
but mere defensive troops are ranged opposite each other, 
however threatening their armies are, however determined they 
may be to defend themselves to the knife, still they cannot 
actually break the peace. 

What a delusion ! Beside "the offensive" there are, I 
find, many other ways of commencing hostilities. There 
are demands and interventions regarding some small third 
country, and which have to be resisted as unfair ; there are old 
treaties which are declared to be violated, and for the uphold- 
ing of which recourse must be had to arms; and, finally, there 
is " the European equilibrium," which would be endangered 
by the acquisition of power by one state or the other. And 
so energetic steps are demanded to prevent such acquisition. 
It is not avowed ; but one of the most violent impulses to fight 
is the hate which has long been stirred up, and which at last 
presses on to the death-dealing combat, as ardently and with 
the same natural force as long-cherished love to the life-giving 

Events now began to tread on each other's heels. Austria 


declared for the Augustenburg so decisively that Prussia charac 
terised it as a breach of the Gastein treaty, and discovered in 
that a plainly hostile intention ; the consequence of which 
was that the preparations on both sides were carried to their 
highest point. And now Saxony also began to do the same. 
The excitement was universal, and became more violent every 
day. " War in sight, war in sight," was the announcement of 
every newspaper and every speech. I felt as if I were at sea 
and a storm approaching. 

The most hated and most reviled man in Europe then was 
called Bismarck. On May 7 an attempt was made to assassi- 
nate him. Did Blind, the perpetrator of the deed, wish to 
avert this storm ? And would he have averted it ? 

I received letters from Prussia from Aunt Cornelia, from 
which it seemed that in that country the war was anything but 
desired. While with us there prevailed universal enthusiasm 
for the idea of a war with Prussia, and we looked with pride on 
our "million of picked soldiers," inward contention reigned 
there. Bismarck was no less reviled and slandered in his own 
country than in ours ; the report went that the Landwehr 
would refuse to go out to the " fraternal war," and it was said 
that Queen Augusta threw herself at her husband's feet to pray 
for peace. Oh ! how glad should I have been to kneel at her 
side, and how gladly would I have hurried off all my sister- 
women yes, all to do the same. It is this, and this alone, 
that should be the effort of all women : " Peace, peace. Lay 
down your arms." 

If our beautiful empress had also thrown herself at her 
husband's feet, and with tears and lifted hands had begged for 
disarmament who knows? Perhaps she did perhaps the 
emperor himself also wished to preserve peace, but the pres- 
sure proceeding from the councils, and the speakers, and the 
shouting and the writing was such as no one man even on the 
throne could stand against. 



On June i Prussia declared to the assembly of the Bund that 
she would at once disarm if Austria and Saxony set the example. 
Against that came a direct accusation from Vienna that Prussia 
had for a long time been planning, in concert with Italy, an 
attack on Austria, and on that account the latter now desired 
to call the whole Bund to arms, in order to request it to 
undertake the decision of the case of the duchies. She 
desired at the same time to call the Estates of Holstein to 

Against this declaration Prussia lodged a protest inasmuch 
as it overturned the Gastein treaty. That being so the position 
reverted to the Vienna treaty, i.e., to the common condo- 
minium. The consequence was that Prussia had also the right 
to occupy Holstein as on her side Austria was permitted to 
occupy Schleswig. And the Prussians at once moved into 
Holstein. Gablenz withdrew without sword drawn, but under 

Bismarck had previously said in a circular letter : " We have 
found no disposition at all to meet us at Vienna. On the con- 
trary, expressions have fallen from Austrian statesmen and 
councillors of the emperor which have reached the ear of the 
king from authentic sources (tritsch tratscti), and which prove 
that the ministers wish for war at any price (to wish for public 
slaughter, what a fearful accusation !), partly because they hope 
for success in the field, partly to get free of internal difficulties, 
and to eke out their own shattered finances by contributions 
from Prussia (statecraft)." 

The Press was now completely warlike, and of course (as the 
patriotic custom is) sure of victory. The possibility of defeat 
must be entirely left out of view by every loyal subject whom his 
prince summons to the battle. Numerous leading articles 
pictured Benedek's entry into Berlin, and also the sack of that 
city by the Croats. Some even recommended to raze the 
capital of Prussia to the ground. " Sack," "raze to the 
ground," "ride over spurs in blood" these are expressions 
which do not indeed any longer express the popular conception 


in modern times of what is right ; but they have, since the days 
of our school-studies of the ancient histories of war, been 
always clinging to people ; and they have been so ofien recited 
in the histories of battles learned by heart, so often written 
down in our essays in German, that if a man has to write an 
article on the subject of war in a newspaper, such expressions 
drop from his pen spontaneously. Contempt for the enemy 
cannot be too strongly expressed for the Prussian troops 
the Vienna newspapers had no other term than " the tailors ". 
Adjutant-General Count Griinne expressed himself thus : " We 
shall chase off these Prussians with a flea in their ear ". That 
is the kind of way to make a war quite " popular ". That sort 
of thing strengthens the national confidence. 

June ii. Austria proposes that the Bund shall take action 
against Prussia's helping herself in Holstein, and mobilise the 
whole army of the Bund. On June 14 this proposition is 
put to the vote, and by nine votes to six accepted ! Oh ! 
those three votes ! How much grief and how many shrieks of 
pain have made groaning echo to those three voices ! 

It is done the ambassadors have received their dismissal. 
On the 1 6th the Bund requested Austria and Bavaria to go to 
the assistance of the Hanoverians and Saxons, who were already 
attacked by Prussia. 

On the 1 8th the Prussian war manifesto appeared, and at the 
same time the manifesto of the Emperor of Austria to his 
people, and the proclamation of Benedek to his troops. On 
the 22nd Prince Frederick Charles published his orders to 
his army, and thus commenced the war. I copied the four 
original documents at the time. Here they are : 

King William says : 

Austria will not forget that her princes were once the rulers of 
Germany, and will not regard modern Prussia as a co-partner, but only 
as a hostile rival. Prussia, it is held, must be opposed in all her 
efforts, because whatever profits Prussia injures Austria. The old 
unblessed jealousy has again burst out into a fierce flame. Prussia is to 
be weakened, destroyed, disinherited. With her no treaties are to be any 


longer in force. Wherever we look in Germany we are surrounded by 
foes, and their war-cry is " Humiliation for Prussia ". Up to the last 
moment I have sought for and kept ypen the way to a friendly solution. 
Austria refused. 

On the other hand, the Emperor Francis Joseph expresses 
himself thus : 

The latest events prove incontestably that Prussia is now setting 
open force in the place of right. Thus has the most impious of wars^ 
a war of Germans against Germans become inevitable. To answer for 
all the misery it will bring on individuals, families, neighbours and dis- 
tricts, I summon those who have brought it about before the judgment- 
seat of history, and of the Eternal and Almighty God. 

" The opposite party " is always the one that wishes for war 
The " opposite party " are always charged with setting up force in 
the place of right. Why, then, is it anyhow possible, consistently 
with public law, that this can happen? An "impious" war, 
because it is one of "Germans against Germans". Quite true. 
The point of view is a higher one, which, beyond " Prussia " 
and " Austria," raises the wider conception of Germany. Bui 
take one step more and we shall reach that still higher unity 
in the light of which every war men against men, especially 
civilised men against civilised will necessarily appear an im- 
pious fratricide. And to " summon before the judgment-seat 
of history "what is the use of that ? History, as it has been 
managed hitherto, has never pronounced any other judgment 
than a worship of success. When any one comes out of a war 
as conqueror the guild of historical scribblers fall in the dust 
before him, and praise him as the fulfiller of his "mission 
of educative culture ". And " before the judgment-seat ol 
Almighty God ". Yes ; but is not this He who is represented as 
the producer of the fights, is not the same almighty, irresistible 
will equally concerned with the outbreak as with the course of 
the war ? Oh, contradiction on contradiction ! And this is 
what must certainly take place always, whenever the truth is 
hidden under hypocritical phrases when an attempt is made 
to hold equally holy two principles which are mutually destruc- 


tive, such as war and justice, nr national hatred and humanity, 
or the God of Love and the God of Battles. 
And Benedek says : 

We are standing opposed to a war power which is composed of two 
halves Line and Landwehr . The first is formed exclusively of young 
fellows who are not accustomed either to fatigue or privation, who have 
never taken part in any considerable campaign. The second consists oi 
untrustworthy, discontented elements, who would like better to overthrow 
their own Government, which they dislike, than to have to fight us. The 
enemy has also, in consequence of the long period of peace, not a soli- 
tary general who has had the opportunity of educating himself on the 
field of battle. Veterans of Mincio and Palestro, you will, I think, 
count it as a special point of honour, acting under your old and tried 
leaders, not to yield to such antagonists even the smallest advantage. 
The enemy has for a long time been pluming himself upon his quick- 
firing needle gun ; but I think, my men, that will not do him much good. 
We shall most likely leave him no time for that, but charge him home at 
once with the bayonet and the butt. As soon as, with God's help, the 
enemy has been beaten and compelled to retreat, we shall follow on his 
traces, and you will rest from your toils in the foeman's country, and 
demand in the amplest measure those refreshments which a victorious 
army will have fully merited. 

Finally Prince Frederick Charles says : 

Soldiers I the faithless and covenant-breaking Austria has now for 
some time, without any declaration of war, disregarded the frontiers of 
Prussia in Upper Silesia. So I might have equally considered myself 
entitled to cross the Bohemian frontier without any declaration of war. 
But I have not done so. To-day I have forwarded a regular declara- 
tion of war, and to-day we tread the territory of our enemies, in order 
to protect our own country. May our commencement have God's sanc- 
tion. [Is this the same God with whose help Benedek promised to strike 
down the enemy ?] Let us rest our cause in His hands, who guides the 
hearts of men, who decides the fate of nations and the result of battles, 
as it is written in the Scriptures. Let your hearts beat for God and your 
hands strike the foe. In this war, as you know, Prussia's dearest 
interests, nay, the continued existence of our beloved Prussia, are in 
question. The enemy avows, in the most open manner, the wish to dis- 
member and humiliate her. Shall then the rivers of blood which your 
fathers and mine poured out under Frederick the Great, and that which 
we lately poured out at Duppel and Alsen, have been poured out in vain ? 


Never I we will maintain Prussia as she is, and make her stronger and 
more powerful by victory. We will show ourselves worthy of our 
fathers. We rely on the God of our fathers that He will be gracious to 
us, and bless the arms of Prussia 1 So, now, forward with our old battle 
cry: " With God for king and fatherland. Long live the king." 


TJu Austro- Prussian war. My husband with the army. 
Parting letters, Dr. Bresser. The course of the war. 
Victory of Custozza. Austrian reverses in Bohemia. 
War correspondence in the newspapers. Discussions with 
my father. A Jong letter to my husband. 

So it had come again this greatest of all misfortunes and 
was greeted by the populace with the accustomed rejoicing. 
The regiments marched out (in what state were they to return ?) 
and wishes for victory, and blessings, and the shouting of the 
street boys were their accompaniment. 

Frederick had been ordered to Bohemia some time previously, 
even before war had been declared ; and just when matters 
were in such a position as to enable me to entertain a confident 
hope that the quarrel about the duchies, so unblessed and so 
contemptible, would be settled amicably. And, therefore, this 
time I was spared the heart-rending leave-taking which precedes 
the setting off of one's beloved directly "to the war". When 
my father brought me the news in triumph : " Now it is off," I 
had been already alone for a fortnight. And for some time I 
had quite made my mind up to this news, as a criminal in his 
cell has made up his mind to the reading of the death-sentence. 

I bowed my head and said nothing. 

" Keep up a good heart, my child. The war will not last 
long ; in a day or two we shall be in Berlin. And as your hus- 
band came back from Schleswig-Holstein, so he will come back 
from this campaign, but covered with much greener laurels. It 
may, indeed, be unpleasant for him, being himself of Prussian 



extraction, to fight against Prussia, but after he entered into the 
Austrian service he became one of us body and soul. Those 
Prussians ! the arrogant windbags ! they want to turn us out of 
the Bund ! they will soon repent it ; if Silesia becomes ours 
again, and if the Hapsburgs " 

I stretched out my hand : " Father one request leave me 
to myself". 

He might have imagined that I felt the need of giving my 
tears full vent ; and as he was an enemy to all scenes of emo- 
tion, he willingly granted my wish and took his departure. 

I, however, did not weep. I felt as if a numbing stroke had 
fallen on my head. Breathing heavily, staring blindly, I sat 
motionless for some time. Then I went to my writing-table, 
opened the red volume, and made this entry : 

" The sentence of death is pronounced. A hundred thou- 
sand men are to be executed. Will Frederick be among them ? 
And I also, as a consequence. Who am I that I should not 
perish like the rest of the hundred thousand ? I wish I were 
dead already." 

From Frederick I received the same day a few hasty lines. 

" My wife, be of good cheer ; keep your heart up ! We have 
oeen happy no one can take that from us even if to-day for 
us, as for so many others, the decree has gone forth ' It is 
finished '. (The same thought here as I expressed in my red 
book about the many others who were sentenced.) To-day 
we go to meet ' the enemy '. Perhaps I shall recognise there 
a few comrades in battle at Diippel and Alsen possibly my 
little cousin Godfrey. . . . We are to march on Liebenau with 
the advanced guard of Count Clam-Gallas. From this time 
there will be no more leisure for writing. Do not look for any 
letters for you. At the most, if opportunity offers, a line, as a 
token that I am alive. But before that I should like to find 
one single word which could comprehend in itself the whole of 
my love that I might write it here for you in case it might be 
my last. I can find only this word * Martha '. You know 
what that means for me." 


Conrad Althaus had also to march. He was full of fire and 
delight in battle, and animated by sufficient hatred of the Prus- 
sians to make him start off with pleasure ; still his parting was 
hard for him. The marriage licence had arrived only two days 
before the order to march. 

" Oh, Lilly, Lilly," he cried with pain, as he said adieu to his 
affianced bride, "why did you delay so long to accept me? 
Who knows now whether I shall come back again?" 

My poor sister was herself full of repentance. Now for the 
first time there sprang up passionate love for him she had 
slighted so long. When he was gone she sank into my arms 
in tears. 

" Oh, why did I not say ' yes ' long ago ! I should now have 
been his wife." 

" Then, my poor Lilly, the parting would have been all the 
more painful for you." 

She shook her head. I well understood what was going on 
in her mind, perhaps more clearly than she understood herself; 
to be obliged to part with love-longings still unfulfilled, and, 
perhaps, destined to remain for ever unfulfilled ; to see the cup 
torn from their lips, and possibly shattered, before they had 
had a single draught that might well be doubly torturing. 

My father, sisters, and Aunt Mary now removed to Grumitz. 
I was easily persuaded to go there too with my little son. As 
long as Frederick was away, my own hearth seemed extinguished 
I could not stay there. It is strange. I felt myself just as 
much a widow, to have done with life just as thoroughly, as if 
the news of the outbreak of war had been at the same time the 
news of Frederick's death. Occasionally in the midst of my 
dull grief, a brighter thought would break in : " He is alive and 
surely may come back " ; but along with it an idea of horror 
would rise again : " He is writhing and agonising in intolerable 
pains ; he is fainting in a trench ; heavy waggons are driving 
over his shattered limbs ; flies and worms are crawling over his 
open wounds ; the people who are clearing the field of battle 
take the stiffened object lying on the ground for dead, and are 


shovelling him still alive along with the dead into the damp 
trench : there he comes to himself and 

With a loud scream I woke up from such images as these. 

"What is the matter with you now, Martha," said my fathei 
in a scolding tone. "You will drive yourself out of your 
senses if you brood in this way and cry out so ; why will you 
summon up such foolish pictures out of your fancy ? It is 

I had indeed often given expression aloud to these ideas of 
mine, and this irritated my father extremely. 

" Sinful," he went on, " and improper and nonsensical. Such 
cases as your excited fancy pictures, do no doubt occur once 
in a thousand times among the common men, but a staff- 
officer, as your husband is, is not left to lie on the field. 
Besides, as a general rule, folks should not think about such 
horrid things. Such conduct involves a kind of sacrilege, a 
profanation of war, in keeping these pitiful details before one's 
eyes instead of the sublimity of the whole. One should not 
think about them." 

"Yes, yes, not think about it," I replied, "that is always the 
custom of mankind in the presence of any human misery 
' don't think about it/ that is the support of all kinds oi 

Our family doctor, Dr. Bresser, was not at this moment at 
Grumitz, he had voluntarily placed himself at the disposal of 
the army medical department, and had started for the theatre 
of war, and the idea occurred to me also whether I should not 
go too, as a sick-nurse. Yes, if I could have known that I 
should be in Frederick's neighbourhood, be at hand in case he 
was wounded, I would not have hesitated. But for others? 
No, there my strength broke down, my spirit of sacrifice failed. 
To see them die, hear the death-rattle, want to give help to 
hundreds begging for help, and have no help to give, to bring 
on myself all this pain, this disgust, this grief, without thereby 
getting to Frederick, on the contrary diminishing thereby the 
chance of meeting again, for the nurses themselves ran into 


various kinds of danger to their lives. No ; that I would not 
do. Besides my father informed me that a private person like 
myself was altogether inadmissible for nursing in a field hospital, 
that this office could only be exercised by soldiers of the army 
medical service, or at the most by sisters of charity. 

"To pluck charpie," he said, "and prepare bandages for the 
Patriotic Aid Society, that is the only thing that you ladies can 
do to help the wounded, and that my daughters ought to do 
diligently, on that I bestow my blessing." 

And it was now to this occupation that my sisters and I 
devoted many hours of every day. Rosa and Lilly worked 
with gently compassionate, almost happy-looking faces. As we 
heaped up the fine threads under our fingers into soft masses, 
or folded up the strips of linen in beautiful order together, 
the occupation affected the two girls like an office of charitable 
nursing: they fancied themselves soothing the burning pains 
and staunching the bleeding wounds, hearing the sighs of relief 
and seeing the grateful glances of those on whom they attended. 
The picture they so formed of the condition of a wounded man 
was then almost a pleasant one. Enviable soldiers ! who, 
delivered from the dangers of the raging fight, were now stretched 
on clean soft beds, and there would be nursed and pampered 
up to the time of their recovery, lulled for the most part in 
a half-unconscious slumber of luxurious fatigue, waking up 
again occasionally to the pleasant consciousness that their 
lives were saved, and that they would be able to return to their 
friends at home and relate to them how they had received their 
honourable* wounds at the battle of . 

Our father also encouraged them in this innocent way of 
looking at it " Bravo, bravo, girls ! working again to-day ! 
You have now again prepared delights for a number of our 
brave defenders. What a relief it is to get a pad of charpie like 
that on a bleeding wound ! I can tell you a tale about that. 

Long ago, when I got that bullet in my leg at Palestro " 

and so on, and so on. 

I however sighed and said nothing. I had heard other 


histories of wounds than those which my father loved to relate, 
histories which bore about the same relation to the usual 
veterans' anecdotes, as the realities of the life of a poor shepherd 
do to the pastoral pictures of Watteau. 

The Red Cross. I knew through what an impulse of popular 
sympathy, shocked to the most painful degree, that institu- 
tion had been called into life. In its time I had followed 
the debate which took place at Geneva on the subject, and 
had read the tract by Dunant, which gave the impetus to 
the whole thing. A heart-rending cry of woe was that tract ! 
The noble patrician of Geneva had hurried to the field of Sol- 
ferino, in order to give what aid he could ; and what he found 
there he related to the world. Innumerable wounded men, who 
had been lying there for five or six days without any assistance. 
He would have liked to save them all ; but what could he, a 
single person, do, what could the other few individuals, in the 
face of this mass of misery ? He saw men whose lives might 
have been saved by a drop of water, by a mouthful of bread. 
He saw men who, still breathing, had to be buried in fearful 
haste. . . . Then he spoke out ; said what had often been 
admitted, but now found an echo for the first time, viz., that 
the means for nursing and rescue at the disposal of the 
army administration had not grown in proportion to the 
requirements of a battle. And so the " Red Cross " was 

Austria had at that time not yet adhered to the Geneva 
Convention. Why ? Why is there resistance opposed to every 
thing that is new, however rich in blessing, and howe*Ver simple 
it may be? Because of the law of laziness, the power of holy- 
custom. "The idea is very fine, but impracticable," is the saying. 
I often heard my father repeat these arguments of hesitation 
used by several of the delegates at the Conference of 1863. 
" Impracticable, and, even if practicable, yet in many points of 
view unbecoming. The military authorities could not allow 
ihat private action on the field of battle was admissible. In 
war tactical aims must have the priority over the friendly offices 


of humanity ; and how could this private action be surrounded 
with proper guarantees against the existence of espionage ? 
And the expenses ! Is not war costly enough already ? The 
voluntary nurses would, through their own material wants, fall 
as a burden on the provision department ; or, if they are to 
supply themselves in the country occupied, will there not arise 
a regrettable difficulty for the army administration through the 
purchase of the articles necessary for the service, and the 
immediate raising of their price ? " 

Oh, this official wisdom ! so dry, so well-instructed, so real, 
so redolent of prudence, and so unfathomably stupid ! 

The first engagement between our troops in Bohemia and the 
enemy took place on June 25 at Liebenau. My father brought 
us this news with his usual triumphant mien. 

"That is a grand beginning," he said ; " you can see heaven 
is on our side. It is significant that the first with whom these 
windbags had to do were the troops of our celebrated ' Iron 
Brigade '. You know, of course, the Poschach Brigade whicl. 
defended Konigsberg in Silesia so valiantly they will give them 
all they want ! " (However, the next news from the seat of war 
showed that after five hours' fighting this brigade, forming 
part of the advanced guard of Clam-Gallas, retreated to 
Podol. Also that Frederick was there which I did not know 
and that in the same night Podol, which had been barricaded, 
was attacked by General Horn, and the fight renewed by the 
bright moonlight ; which also I heard later.) " But," continued 
my father, " even more splendid than in the north is the begin- 
ning of matters in the south. At Custozza we have gained a 
victory, children, more glorious than any but one. I have 
always said it : Lombardy must become ours ! Are you not 
dt lighted? I regard the war as already decided; for if we get 
done with the Italians, who do at any rate set a regular trained 
army in the field against us, we shall not find it hard to deal 
with these ' tailors' apprentices '. This Landwehr it is really 
an impudence but it is just of a piece with the whole Prussian 


conceit to take the field against regular armies with such stuff. 
There are these fellows, torn away from the workbench and the 
writing-desk ; they are not inured to any hardship, and so it is 
impossible that they can stand in the field against soldiers proof 
against blood and steel. Just look there at what the Wiener 
Zeitung of June 24 writes in its 'original correspondence '- 
surely that is good news : * In Prussian Silesia cattle plague hab 
broken out, and, as is understood, in a highly threatening form'." 

"'Cattle plague,' 'threatening form,' 'joyful news,'" I said 
with a slight shake of the head ; " nice things people must take 
pleasure in in times of war. However, one good thing is that 
black and yellow posts are erected on the frontiers, so that the 
plague cannot cross." 

But my father did not hear, and went on reading his pleasant 
intelligence : 

Fever is raging among the Prussian troops at Neisse. The un 
healthy marsh-land, the bad treatment and the miserable shelter of the 
troops accumulated in the villages around, must necessarily produce such 
results. In Austria we have no idea of the treatment of the Prussian 
soldiery. The nobles believe themselves entitled to give any orders they 
please to the " common folk ". Six ounces of pork per man is all and 
that for men who are not experienced soldiers. 

"The newspapers are all full of capital news ; above all, the 
account of the glorious day of Custozza. You should keep 
these papers, Martha." 

And I have kept them. It is what people should always do ; 
and when a new national quarrel is impending, then read, not 
the most recent newspapers, but those dating from the former 
tvar, and then you will see what weight to attach to all their 
prophesying and boasting, and even to their accounts and 
intelligence. That is instructive. 

From the seat of war in the north from headquarters of the Army 
of the North they write to us as follows, on the subject of the Prussian 
plan of campaign (1) : " According to the latest advices, the Prussian 
army has shifted its headquarters to Eastern Silesia. (Then follows in 
the usual tactical style a long narrative of the projected movements and 


positions contemplated by the enemy, according to which the gentleman 
who furnished the news must have had a much clearer picture before him 
than Moltke and Roon.) According to this, it seems to be the object of 
the Prussians to anticipate in this way our march on Berlin by their own 
in which, however, they will hardly succeed, having regard to the pre- 
cautions taken (with which again ' our special correspondent ' is much 
more familiar than Benedek). Favourable accounts may be looked for 
from the northern army with the utmost confidence, even if they do not 
arrive so quickly as the popular longing desires them to do. They will, 
however, thereby become more decisive and more important." 

The new Frankfurter Zeitung relates a pleasant interlude, 
the march of Austrian troops of Italian nationality through 
Munich, as follows : 

Among the troops passing through Munich were some battalions 
of the line. They, like the rest of the troops passing through the 
Bavarian capital, were entertained in the garden of an inn situated 
near the station. Any one might convince himself with what delight 
these Venetians testified to their joy in fighting the foes of Austria 
(perhaps too " any one " might have imagined that drunken soldiers 
would willingly show enthusiasm for anything they were told to be 
enthusiastic about). In Wiirzburg the station was filled by the rank and 
file of an Austrian regiment of infantry of the line. As far as could be 
ascertained the whole consisted of Venetians. They were received with 
equal friendliness (i.e., were made equally drunk) ; and the men could not 
find words to express with sufficient warmth their joy and their determina- 
tion to fight against the truce-breakers (of two parties at war with each 
other the other is always " the truce-breakers"). The hurrahs were endless. 
(Could not this " Mr. Any One," who was thus lounging about the rail- 
way station, and so edified by the cries of the soldiery, find out that there 
is nothing so contagious as hurrahing that a thousand voices shouting 
together are not the expression of a thousand unanimous sentiments, 
but simply exemplify the working of the natural instinct of imitation ?) 

At Bohmisch-Triibau Field-Marshal Benedek communicated 
to the Army of the North the three bulletins relative to the 
victory of the Army of the South, and added the following order 
of the day : 

In the name of the Army of the North, I have despatched the 
following telegram to the commander of the Army of the South : Field- 
Marshal Benedek and the whole northern army to the glorious and most 


illustrious commander-in-chief of the brave southern army with joyful 
admiration, sends most hearty congratulations on the news of the famous 
day of Custozza. The campaign in the south is opened with a new and 
glorious victory for our arms. Glorious Custozza shines on the escut 
cheon of the imperial army. 

Soldiers of the Army of the North! You will receive the news with 
shouts of joy. You will move to battle with increased enthusiasm, so 
that we also may very soon inscribe names of fame on that same shield, and 
announce to the emperor a victory from the north also towards which 
our warlike ardour burns, and which your valour and devotion will con 
quer, to the cry " Long live the emperor ". 


To the foregoing telegram the following answer from Verona 
reached Bohmisch-Triibau : 

The Army of the South and its commander return their thanks to 
their beloved ex-commander and his brave army. Convinced that we 
also shall soon have to send our congratulations for a similar victory. 

" Convinced ! Convinced ! " . . . 

" Does not your heart leap up, my children, when you read 
such things ? " shouted my father in delight. " Can you not 
rise up to a sufficient height of patriotic feeling to throw into 
the background your private circumstances at the sight of such 
triumphs, you, Martha, to forget that your Frederick, and you, 
Lilly, that your Conrad is exposed to some danger? Danger 
which probably they will come out of safe and sound : and even 
to succumb to which a fate which they share with the best 
sons of our country would redound to their fame and honour. 
There is not a soldier who would not willingly die to the call, 
4 For our country ! ' " 

"If, after a lost battle, a man is left lying with shattered 
limbs on the field," I replied, "and lies there undiscovered for 
four or five days and nights in indescribable agonies from thirst 
and hunger, rotting while still alive, and so perishes, knowing 
all the while that his death has not helped his country you talk 
of one bit, but has brought his loved ones to despair, I should 
like to know whether all this time he is gladly dying to the 
call you speak of." 


"You are outrageous, and besides you speak in such shrill 
tones, quite unbecoming for a lady." 

"Oh yes, the true word, the naked reality, is outrageous, 
is shameless. Only the phrase which by thousandfold repe 
tition has become sanctioned is 'proper/ but I assure you, 
father, that this unnatural 'joy in dying' which is thus exacted 
from all men, however heroic it may seem to him who uses the 
phrase, sounds to me like a spoken death-knell" 

i i 

Among Frederick's papers, many years later, I found a letter 
which in those days I sent to the seat of war. This letter shows 
as clearly as possible with what feelings I was filled at that time. 

** Grumitz, June 28, 1866. 

" Dear one, I am not alive. Fancy that in the next room 
people are debating whether I am to be executed in the next 
few days or no, while 1 have to wait outside for their decision. 
During this period of waiting I do indeed breathe, but can I 
call it living f The next room, in which the question is to be 
decided, is called Bohemia. But no, my love, the picture is 
hardly yet correct. For if it were only a matter of my life or 
death, the anxiety would not be so great. For my anxiety con- 
cerns a far dearer life than my own ; and my fear is concerned 
even with something still worse than your death with your 
possible agony in dying. Oh that all this were over, over ! 
Oh that our victories would come in speedy succession ; not 
for the sake of the victory, but of the end ! 

" Will these lines ever reach you ? and where, and how ? 
Whether after a hot day's fight or in camp, or perhaps in hos- 
pital ? In any case it will do you good to get news of your 
dear ones. If I can write nothing but what is mournful and 
what else but what is mournful can be felt during this time, 
when the sun is darkened by the great black pall hoisted up in 
the name of ' our country,' to fall down on the country's sons ? 
still my lines will bring you refreshment, for I am dear to you, 
Frederick I know how dear, and my written word rejoices and 


moves you, as would a soft touch from my hand. I am near 
you, Frederick be assured of that with every thought, with 
every breath, by day and night. Here, in my own circle, I 
move and act and speak mechanically. My innermost self, 
that belongs to you, that never leaves you for a moment ; only 
my boy reminds me that the world still contains for me a thing 
which is not you. The good little fellow if you knew how he 
asks ana cares for you ! We two talk together of nothing but 
1 papa'. He knows well, like a boy of sharp perceptions, what 
object fills my heart ; and however little he may be (you know 
that !) he is already in a sense a friend of his mother. I even 
begin to speak with him as with a reasonable being, and for 
this he is thankful. I, on my part, am thankful to him for the 
love he shows to you. It is so seldom that children get on 
well with their step-parents. It is true there is nothing of the 
stepfather about you you could not be more tender and kind 
to a child of your own, my own tender and kind one ! Yes, 
kindness, great, soft, and mild, is the foundation of your being ; 
and what does the poet say ? ' As heaven is vaulted by 
one single great sapphire, so the greatness of character of a 
noble man is formed of one single virtue, kindness.' In other 
words, I love you, Frederick ! That is still always the refrain 
of all my thoughts about you and your qualities. I love you 
so confidingly, with such assurance. 1 rest in you, Frederick, 
warm and soft that is when I have you, of course. Now when 
you are again torn from me, my repose is naturally gone. Oh, 
if the storm were only over, over ; if you all were only in 
Berlin to dictate terms of peace to King William ! For my 
father is firmly convinced that this will be the end of the cam- 
paign ; and from all that is heard and read here, I also must 
believe him. ' As soon as, with God's help, the enemy is 
struck down ' so runs Benedek's proclamation * we will 
follow on his track, and you shall repose in the country of the 

foe, and enjoy those refreshments ' and so on. What, 

then, are these refreshments ? At this day no general dare say 
openly, and without circumlocution : ' You shall plunder, burn, 


murder, and ravish,' as they used to say in the middle ages to 
excite their hordes. Now, at the most, all that could be kept 
bciurc their eyes as a reward would be the free distribution oi 
beer and sausages; but that would be a little tame, and 
so it was put figuratively ' those refreshments,' and so on. 
Every one may make out of that what he pleases. The prin- 
ciple that in 'the country of the foe' is to be found the 
reward of war is still maintained in military language. . . . 
And how will you feel in *the foeman's land,' which is really 
your own ancestral country, where your friends and your 
cousins are living ? Will you ' refresh ' yourself by laying 
Aunt Cornelia's pretty villa even with the ground ? ' Enemy's 
country ; ' that is really a fossilised conception of those times 
when war was openly what its raison d'etre proclaims it, a 
piracy ; and when the enemy's country attracted the combatant 
as a land of prey which promised him a recompense. 

" I am talking now with you, as I used in those happy hours 
when you were at my side, and when, after the reading of some 
book of the progressive school, we used to philosophise with 
each other about the contradictions of our times, so intimately, 
so entirely understanding and supplementing each other. In 
my circle there is no one no one with whom I could talk 
about matters of that kind. Doctor Bresser would have been 
the only one with whom ideas condemnatory of war could be 
exchanged ; and he also is now gone himself drawn into this 
horrible war but with the purpose of healing wounds, not 
inflicting them; another contradiction really, this * humanity' 
in war: an essential contradiction. It is about the same as 
'enlightenment* in faith. One thing or the other ; but humanity 
and war, reason and dogma, that will not do. The downright, 
burning hatred of the enemy, coupled with an entire contempt 
for human life, that is the vital nerve of war, exactly as the un- 
questioning suppression of reason is the fundamental condition 
of faith. But we live in a time of compromise. The old 
institutions and the new ideas are working with equal power. 
And so people, who do not wish to break entire! v with the old 


and who cannot entirely comprehend the new, make an attempt 
to fuse the two together ; and it is this which generates this 
mendacious, inconsistent, contradictory, half-and-half system 
under which spirits who thirst for truth, accuracy, and complete- 
ness so groan and suffer. 

" Ah, why do I compose all this treatise ! You will at the 
present time be scarcely disposed for such generalisations, as 
you used to be in our happy hours of chat. You hear raging 
round you a horrible reality, with which you have to reckon. 
How much better would it be if you could accept it with the 
simple assurance of ancient times, when the warlike life was to 
the soldier a proud pleasure and a delight. Better also would 
it be if I could write to you, as other wives do, letters full of 
wishes for prosperity, confident promises of victory, and incite- 
ments to your courage. Girls of the present day are educated 
in patriotism, so that at the proper time they might cry to their 
husbands : ' Go on, die for your country that is the most 
glorious of deaths ' ; or, ' Come back with victory, and then we 
will reward you with our loves. In the meantime we will pray 
for you. The God of battles, who protects our army, He will 
hear our prayers. Day and night our intercession is rising up 
to heaven, and we are sure to take His favour by storm. You 
will come back crowned with fame. We never tremble for an 
instant, for we are worthy comrades of your valour. No ! no ! 
the mothers of your sons must be no cowards if they would raise 
up a new race of heroes ; and even if we have to give up what 
is dearest to us for king and country no sacrifice is too great ! ' 

" That would be the right letter for a soldier's wife, would it 
not ? But not such a letter as you would wish to read from 
your wife from the partner of your thoughts, from her who 
shares your disgust at the old blind delusion of mankind. Oh, 
such disgust so bitter, so painful that I cannot describe it to 
you. When I picture to myself these two armies, composed of 
individuals with the gift of reason, and for the most part kind 
and gentle men, how they are rushing on each other, to annihi 
late each other, desolating at the same time the unfortunate landL 


in which they cast aside the villages they have 'taken' like 
cards in their game of murder. When I picture all this, I feel 
inclined to shriek out : ' Do bethink you ! ' ' Do stop ! ; And 
out of the 100,000, 90,000 individuals would certainly be glad 
to stop ; but the mass is compelled to go on in its fury. 

But enough ; you will prefer to hear the accounts and the news 
from home. Well, then, we are all well. My father is constantly 
in the highest state of excitement over present events. The 
victory of Custozza fills him with radiant pride. He behaves as 
if he had won it himself. In any case he regards the splendour 
of that day as so bright that the reflection which falls on 
him as an Austrian and a general makes him completely 
happy. Lori, too, whose husband, as you know, is with 
the Army of the South, writes me a letter of triumph about 
this same Custozza. Do you recollect, Frederick, how jealous 
I was for a quarter of an hour about this same good Lori ? 
And how I came out after that attack with stronger love 
and stronger trust in you ? Oh, if only you had betrayed me 
then ; if only you had sometimes a little ill-treated me ; then 
I should perhaps bear your absence now more easily. But to 
know that such a husband is in the storm of bullets ! Let me 
go on with my news. Lori has offered to spend the remainder 
of her grass-widowhood in Grumitz, along with her little 
Beatrix. I could not say ' no ' ; yet frankly any society is at 
the present time disagreeable to me. I want to be alone, alone 
with my longing for you, the extent of which no one but you 
can measure. Next week Otto begins his vacation. He laments 
in every letter that the war should have begun before, instead 
of after, his admission to officer's rank. He hopes to God that 
the peace will not ' break out ' before he leaves the academy. 
That word ' break out ' is not perhaps the one he used, but in 
any case it expresses his meaning, for peace appears to him a 
threatening calamity. It is indeed the way they are brought 
up. As long as there are wars men must be brought up to be 
war-loving soldiers ; and so long as there are war-loving soldiers 
there must be wars. Is that our eternal, inevitable circle ? 


No, God be thanked ! For that love, in spite of all school 
training, is constantly diminishing. We found the proof of this 
diminution in Henry Thomas Buckle. Do not you recollect ? 
But I don't want any printed proof; a glance into your heart, 
your noble human heart, my Frederick, is enough to demon- 
strate this to me. Let me get on with my news. From all our 
landed connections and acquaintances in Bohemia we get on 
all sides epistles of lamentation. The march of the troops 
through the country, even if they are marching to victory, 
devastates it and sucks everything out of it. And how if once 
the enemy should advance into it, if the fight should be played 
out in their neighbourhood, there where their possessions, their 
chateaux and fields are situated ? All is ready for flight, all their 
effects packed up and their treasures buried. Adieu to our 
happy tours among the Bohemian Spas ; adieu to the pleasant 
visits to the country houses ; adieu to the brilliant autumn 
hunting parties ; and, in any case, adieu to the usual revenues 
from farms and businesses. The harvests are trampled down, 
the factories, if they are not battered down and burned, are 
robbed of their labourers. * It is indeed a real misfortune,' they 
write, ' that we live exactly on the border-land ; and it is a second 
misfortune that Benedek did not assume the offensive with more 
vigour, so as to fight out the war in Prussia.' Perhaps it 
might also be called a misfortune that the whole political 
quarrel could not have been adjusted before a court of arbitra- 
tion, but that the murderous devastation must be carried out 
on Bohemian or Silesian soil (for in Silesia also, if we believe 
the accounts of trustworthy travellers, there are really men and 
fields and crops). But that idea does not occur to anybody ! 

" My little Rudolf is sitting at my feet while I am writing. 
He sends you a kiss, and his love to our dear Puxl. We both 
miss him much, the good, merry little dog ; but, on the other 
hand, he would have missed his master sadly, and he will be a 
diversion and a companion to you. Give Puxl both our loves. 
I shake his paw, and Rudi kisses his dear black snout. 

" And now, good bye for to-day, my all on earth 1 " 


The Austrian reverses increase. Sketches from the seat of 

showing its realities, as viewed by a soldier who abhors 
war. Death of poor PuxL My husband avows his 
determination never to serve in another campaign. 

"NEVER was such a thing heard of defeat after defeat. First 
the village of Podol, barricaded by Clam-Gallas, carried by 
storm, taken in the night by moonlight, and by the light of the 
conflagration. Then Gitchin conquered. The needle-gun, 
the cursed needle-gun, mows our troops down by whole ranks at 
a time. The two great army corps of the enemy, that com- 
manded by the Crown Prince and that under Prince Fr. Karl, 
have joined, and are pressing forward against Munchengratz." 
Thus sounded the terrible news, and my father communicated 
it with as great a degree of lamentation as he had shown 
joy in telling us the victorious news from Custozza. But his 
confidence was not yet shaken. 

" Let them come, all of them, all, into our Bohemia, and be 
annihilated there, to the last man. There is no escape there, 
no retreat for them ; we hem them in, we encircle them, and the 
enraged country folks themselves will give them the finishing 
stroke. It is not altogether so advantageous as you might sup- 
pose to operate in an enemy's country ; for in that case you 
have not only the army but the whole population against you. 
The people poured boiling water and oil on the Prussians from 
the windows of the houses at ." 

I uttered a low sound of disgust. 


" What would you have ? " said my father, shrugging his 
shoulders. " It is horrible, I grant, but it is war." 

" Then at least never assert that war ennobles men. Confess 
that it unmans them, makes them tigers, devils. Boiling oil ! 

" Self-defence, which is enjoined on us, and righteous retri- 
bution, my dear Martha. Do you think that our people like 
the bullets of their needle-guns ? Our brave fellows have to be 
exposed, like defenceless cattle in a slaughter-house, to this 
murderous weapon. But we are too numerous, too disciplined, 
too warlike, not to conquer these ' tailors ' for all that. At the 
beginning one or two failures have taken place ; that I admit. 
Benedek ought to have crossed the Prussian frontier at once. 
I have my doubts whether this choice of a general was quite 
a happy one. If it had been determined to send the Arch- 
duke Albert there and give Benedek the Army of the South 
but I will not despond too soon. Up to the present there have 
really been only some preliminary engagements which have been 
magnified by the Prussians into great victories. The decisive 
battles are still to come. We are now concentrating on Kbnig- 
gratz ; there we shall await the enemy, a hundred thousand 
strong. There our northern Custozza will be fought." 

Frederick was to fight there too. His last letter, arrived that 
morning, brought the news : " We are bound for Kbniggratz ". 

Up to this time I had had tidings regularly. Though in his 
first letter he had prepared me for his being able only to write 
little, yet Frederick had made use of every opportunity to send 
me a word or two. In pencil, on horseback, in his tent, in a 
hasty scrawl only legible by me, he would write on pages torn 
out of his note-book letters destined for me. Some he found 
opportunities for sending, and some did not come into my 
hands till the campaign was over. 

I have kept these memorials up to the present hour. They 
are not careful, polished descriptions of the war, such as the 
war correspondents of the papers offer in their despatches, or 
the historians of the war in their publications ; no sketches of 


battles worked up with all the technicalities of strategical 
details ; no battle-pictures heightened with rhetorical flights, 
in which the narrator is always occupied in letting his own 
imperturbability, heroism, and patriotic enthusiasm shine out 
Frederick's sketches are nothing of this sort, I know. But what 
they are, I need not decide. Here are some of them : 

" In bivouac. Outside the tent, it is indeed a mild, splendid 
summer night ; the heavens, so great and so indifferent, full of 
shining stars. The men are lying on the earth, exhausted by 
their long, fatiguing marches. Only for us, staff officers, have 
one or two tents been pitched. In mine there are three field- 
beds. My two comrades are asleep. I am sitting at the table, 
on which are the empty grog glasses and a lighted candle. It 
is by the feeble, flickering light of this (a draught of wind comes 
in through the open flap) that I am writing to you, my beloved 
wife. I have left my bed to Puxl, he was so tired, the poor 
fellow ! I am almost sorry I brought him with me ; he too is, 
as our men say the Prussian Landwehr are, ' not used to the 
hardships and privations of a campaign '. Now he is snoring 
sweetly and happily is dreaming, I fancy, very likely, of his 
friend and patron, Rudolf, Count Dotzky. And I am dream- 
ing of you, Martha ; I am silly, I know, but I see your dear 
form as like you as the image of a dream sitting in yonder 
corner of the tent on a camp-stool. What longing seizes me 
to go thither and lay my head on your bosom. But I do not 
do so, because I know that then the image would disappear. 

" I have just been out for an instant. The stars are shining 
as indifferently as ever. On the ground a few shadows are 
gliding those of stragglers. Many, many men are left behind 
on the road ; these have now slipped in here drawn on by the 
light of our watch-fires. But not all ; some are still lying in 
some far-off ditch or cornfield. What a heat it was during this 
forced march ! The sun flamed as if it would boil your brains, 
add to that the heavy knapsack and the heavy musket on their 
galled shoulders ; and yet no one murmured. But a few fell 
out and could not get up again. Two or three succumbed to 


sunstroke and fell dead at once. Their bodies were put on an 
ambulance waggon. 

" This June night, however illuminated by moon and stars, 
and however warm it may be, is still disenchanted. There are 
no nightingales or chirping crickets to be heard, no scents of 
rose and jasmine to be breathed. All the sweet sounds are 
drowned by the noise of snorting or neighing horses, by the 
men's voices and the tramp of the sentries' tread; all sweet 
scents overpowered by the smell of the harness and other bar- 
rack odours. Still all that is nothing ; for now you do not hear 
the ravens croaking over their feast, you do not smell gun- 
powder, blood, and corruption. All that is coming admajorem 
patricz gloriam. It is worth noting how blind men are. In 
looking at the funeral piles which have been lighted ' for the 
greater glory of God ' in old times, they break out into curses 
over such blind, cruel, senseless fanaticism, but are full of 
admiration for the corpse-strewn battlefields of the present day. 
The torture chambers of the dark middle ages excite their 
horror, but they feel pride over their own arsenals. The light 
is burning down the form in that corner has disappeared. I 
will also lie down to rest, beside our good Puxl." 

" Up on a hill, amidst a group of generals and high officers, 
with a field-glass at his eye that is the situation in a war which 
produces the greatest aesthetic effect. The gentlemen who 
paint battle pieces and make illustrations for the journals 
know this too. Generals on a hill reconnoitring with their 
glasses are represented again and again ; and just as often 
a leader pressing forward at the head of his troops on a 
horse, as white and light-stepping as possible, stretching his 
arm out towards a point in the background all in smoke, and 
turning the head towards those rushing on after him, plainly 
shouting ' Follow me, lads ! ' 

" From ray station on this hill one sees really a piece of battle 
poetry. The picture is magnificent, and sufficiently distant to 
have the effect of a real picture, without the details, the horrors, 


and disgusts of the reality ; no gushing blood, no death-rattles, 
nothing but elevated and magnificent effects of line and colour. 
Those far-extended ranks of the army corps winding on, that 
unbounded procession of infantry regiments, divisions of 
cavalry, and batteries of artillery, then the ammunition train, 
the requisitioned country waggons, the pack horses, and, bring 
ing up the rear, the baggage. The picture comes out still more 
imposing if, in the wide country stretched out beneath the hill, 
you can see, not merely the movements of one, but the meeting 
of two armies. Then how the flashing sword-blades, the waving 
flags, the horses rearing up like foaming waves, mingle with 
each other, while amongst them clouds of smoke arise, forming 
themselves in places into thick veils which hide ail the picture, 
and when they lift show groups of fighters. Then, as accom- 
paniment, the noise of shots rolling through the mountains, 
every stroke of which thunders the word Death ! Death ! 
Death ! through the air. Yes, that sort of thing may well 
inspire battle lays. And for the composition, too, of those 
contributions to the history of the period which are to be 
published after the conclusion of the campaign, the station on 
the hill-top offers favourable opportunities. There, at any rate, 
the narrative can be made out with some exactness. The X 
Division met the enemy at N, drove him back, reached the 
main bulk of the army ; strong forces of the enemy showed 
themselves on the left flank and so on, and so on. But one 
who is not on the hill, peering through his field-glass, one who 
is himself taking part in the action, he can never, never relate 
the progress of a battle in a way worthy of belief. He sees, 
feels, and thinks of only what is close to him. All the rest oi 
his narrative is from intuition, for which he avails himself of the 
old formulas. 'Look, Tilling,' one of the generals said to me, 
as I was standing near him on the hill. 'Is not that striking ? 
A grand army, is it not ? Why, what are you thinking about ? ' 
What was I thinking about, my Martha? About you. Bui 
to my superior officer I could not say so. So I answered, 
with all due deference, some untruth. 'All due deference' 


and ' truth ' have besides little to do with each other. The 
latter is a very proud fellow, and turns with contempt from 
all servility." 

" The village is ours no, it is the enemy's now ours 
again and yet once more the enemy's ; but it is no longer a 
village, but a smoking mass of the ruins of houses. 

" The inhabitants (was it not really their village ?) had left it 
previously and were away luckily for them, for the fighting in 
an inhabited place is something really fearful; for then the 
bullets from friend and foe fall into the midst of the rooms and 
kill women and children. One family, however, had remained 
behind in the place which yesterday we took, lost, re-took, and 
lost again namely, an old married couple and their daughter, 
the latter in childbed. The husband is serving in our regiment. 
He told me the story as we were nearing the village. ' There, 
colonel, in that house with the red roof, is living my wife with 
her old parents. They have not been able to get away, poor 
creatures ; my wife may be confined any moment, and the old 
folks are half-crippled ; for God's sake, colonel, order me there ! ' 
Poor devil ! he got there just in time to see the mother and 
child die; a shell had exploded under their bed. What has 
happened to the old folks I do not know. They are probably 
buried under the ruins ; the house was one of the first set on 
fire by the cannonade. Fighting in the open country is terrible 
enough, but fighting amongst human dwellings is ten times 
more cruel. Crashing timber, bursting flames, stifling smoke , 
cattle run mad with fear ; every wall a fortress or a barricade, 
every window a shot-hole. I saw a breastwork there which was 
formed of corpses. The defenders had heaped up all the slain 
that were lying near, in order, from that rampart, to fire over on 
to their assailants. I shall surely never forget that wall in all 
my life. A man, who formed one of its bricks, penned in 
among the other corpse-bricks, was still alive, and was moving 
his arm. 

" ' Still alive * that is a condition, occurring in war with a 


thousand differences, which conceals sufferings incalculable. 
If there were any angel of mercy hovering over the battlefields 
he would have enough to do in giving the poor creatures men 
and beasts who are * still alive ' their coup de grace" 

"To-day we had a little cavalry skirmish in the open field. 
A Prussian cavalry regiment came forward at a trot, deployed 
into line, and then, with their horses well in hand and their 
sabres above their heads, rode down on us at a hand gallop. 
We did not wait for their attack, but galloped out against the 
enemy. No shots were exchanged. When a few paces from 
each other both ranks burst out into a thundering ' hurrah ' 
(shouting intoxicates ; the Indians and Zulus know that even 
better than we do) ; and so we rushed on each other, horse to 
horse, knee to knee ; the sabres whistled in the air and came 
down on the men's heads. Soon all were huddled together too 
close to use their weapons ; then they struggled breast to breast, 
and the horses, getting wild and frightened, snorted and plunged, 
reared up, and struck about them. I too was on the ground 
once, and saw no very pleasant sight a horse's hoof striking 
out within a hair's breadth of my temples." 

" Another day of marching, with one or two skirmishes. 1 
have experienced a great sorrow. Such a mournful picturt 
accompanies me. Among the many pictures of woe which 
are all around me this ought not so to strike me, ought not to 
give me such pain. But I cannot help it ; it touches me 
nearly, and I cannot shake it off. Puxl our poor, happy, 
good, little dog oh, if 1 had only left him at home with his 
little master, Rudolf! He was running after us, as usual. 
Suddenly he gave a shriek of pain ; the splinter of a shell had 
torn off his fore-leg. He could not come after us, so is left 
behind, and is 'still alive'. Between twenty-four and forty- 
eight hours have passed, and he is * still alive '. ' Oh master ! 
my good master ! ' his cries seemed to say. ' Do not leave 
poor Puxl here ! His heart will break 1 ' And what especially 


pains me is the thought that the faithful dying creature must 
misunderstand me. For he saw that I turned round, that 1 
must have understood his cry for help and yet was so cold and 
so cruel as to leave him there. Poor Puxl could not under 
stand that a regiment advancing to the attack, out of whose 
ranks comrades are falling and are left on the ground, cannot 
be ordered to halt for the sake of a dog who has been hit. He 
has no conception of the higher duty which I had to obey : 
and so the poor true heart of the dog is complaining of my 
unmercifulness. Only think of troubling oneself about such 
trumpery in the midst of the ' great events ' and gigantic 
misfortunes which fill the present time. That is what many 
would say, with a shrug of the shoulders ; but not you, Martha, 
not you. I know that a tear will come into your eyes for our 
poor Puxl.' 1 


" What is happening there ? The execution party is 
drawn out. Has a spy been caught ? One ? Seventeen this 
time. There they come, in four ranks, each one of four men, 
surrounded by a square of soldiers. The condemned men 
step out, with their heads down. Behind comes a cart with a 
corpse in it ; and bound to the corpse the dead man's son a 
boy of twelve, also condemned. 

" I could not look on at the execution, and withdrew ; but I 
heard the firing. A cloud of smoke rose from behind the walls. 
All were dead, the boy included." 


" At last a comfortable night's lodging in a little town 1 The 
poor little nest 1 Provisions, which were to have served the 
people for months, we have taken on requisition. 'Requisi- 
tion 1 ' Well, it is one good thing to have a pretty recognised 
name for a thing. However, I was at least glad to have got ;i 
good night's lodging and a good night's food; and let me tell 
you a story : 

" I was just going to lie down in bed, when my orderly 
announced that a man of my regiment was there, and earnestly 


begged for admission, as he had something for me. ' Well, 
let him come in ; ' and the man entered. And before he went 
out I had rewarded him handsomely, shaken him by both hands, 
and promised to look after his wife and children. For what he 
brought me, the fine fellow, had given me the greatest pleasure, 
and had freed me from a pain under which I had been suffer- 
ing for the last thirty-six hours. It was my Puxl. Injured, it 
is true honourably wounded but still alive, and so happy to 
be with his master, by whose behaviour he must certainly have 
seen that he had been wrong in charging him with want of 
fondness for him. Ah, that was indeed a scene of re-union. 
First of all, a drink of water 1 How good it was 1 He inter- 
rupted his greedy drinking ten times to bark out his joy to me. 
Then I bound up the stump of his leg for him, set before him 
a tasty supper of meat and cheese, and put him to sleep on 
my bed. We both slept well. In the morning when I woke 
he licked my hand again and again in token of thanks. Then 
he stretched out his poor little leg, breathed deep, and was 
no more. Poor Puxl ! It is better so." 

" What is all I have seen to-day ? If I shut my eyes, what 
has passed before them comes wi'.h terrible distinctness into my 
memory. 'Nothing but pain and pictures of horror,' you will 
say. Why then do other men bring such fresh, such joyful 
images away with them from war ? Ah, yes ! These others 
close their eyes to the pain and the horror. They say nothing 
about them. If they write, or if they narrate, they give them- 
selves no trouble to paint their experiences after nature ; but 
they occupy themselves in imitating descriptions which they 
have read, and which they take as models, and in bringing out 
those impressions which are considered heroic. If they occa- 
sionally tell also of scenes of destruction, which contain in 
themselves the bitterest pain and the bitterest terror, nothing 
of either is to be discovered in their tone. On the contrary, 
the more terrible the more indifferent are they, the more 
horrible the more easy. Disapprobation, anger, excitement ? 


Nothing of all this. Well, perhaps instead of this, a slight 
breath of sentimental pity, a few sighs of compassion. But 
their heads are soon in the air again. ' The heart to God, and 
the hand against the foe.' Hurrah, Tra-ra-ra ! 

" Now look at two of the pictures which impressed themselves 
on me. 

" Steep, rocky heights. Ja'gers nimble as cats climbing up 
them. The object was to * take ' the heights, from the top of 
which the enemy was firing. What I see are the forms 
of the assailants who are climbing up, and some of them 
who are hit by the enemy's shot, suddenly stretch both 
arms out, let their muskets fall, and with their heads falling 
backwards, drop off the height, step by step, from one rocky 
point to another, smashing their limbs to pieces. 

" I see a horseman at some distance obliquely behind me, 
at whose side a shell burst. His horse swerved aside, and came 
against the tail of mine, then shot past me. The man sat still 
in the saddle, but a fragment of the shell had ripped his belly 
open, and torn all the intestines out. The upper part of his 
body was held on to the lower only by the spine. From the 
ribs to the thighs nothing but one great bleeding cavity. A 
short distance further he fell to the ground, with one foot still 
clinging in the stirrup, and the galloping horse dragging him on 
over the stony soil." 

. 4 * 

" An artillery division is sticking fast in a part of the road 
which is steep and soaked with rain. The guns are sinking 
deeper than their wheels in the morass. It is only with the 
most extreme exertion, dripping with sweat, and animated by 
the most unmerciful flogging, that the horses can get forward. 
One, however, dead beat before, now can do no more. 
Thumping him does no good ; he is quite willing, but he 
cannot. He literally can not. Cannot that man see this, whose 
blows are raining down on the poor beast's head ? If the cruel 
brute had been the driver of a waggon in the service of some 
builder, any peace officer, even I myself, would have had him 


arrested But this gunner, who has to get his death-laden 
carriage forward anyhow, is only doing his duty. The horse, 
however, cannot know this. The tortured, well-meaning, noble 
creature, who has exerted himself to the utmost limit of his 
vital power, what must he think in his inmost heart of such 
hard-heartedness and such want of sense ? Think, as animals 
do think, not in words and conceptions, but in feelings, and 
feelings which are all the more lively for wanting expression. 
There is but one expression for it, the shriek of pain ; and he 
did shriek, that poor horse, till at last he sank down, a shriek 
so long drawn and so resounding, that it still rings in my ear, 
that it haunted me in my dream the next night a horrible 
dream in other respects. I thought that I was how can I ever 
tell you the story? dreams are so senseless that language 
conformable to sense is hardly adapted to their reproduction 
that I was the sense of pain in such an artillery horse no, not 
one, but in 100,000, for in my dream I had quickly summed 
up the number of the horses slaughtered in one campaign, 
and thus this pain multiplied its effect at once a hundred - 
thousandfold. The men know at least why their lives are 
exposed to danger. They know whither they are going, and 
what for ; but we poor unfortunates know nothing all around 
us is night and horror. The men seem to go with pleasure to 
meet their foes, but we are surrounded by foes our own 
masters, whom we would love so truly, to serve whom we spend 
our last energies, they rain blows on us, they leave us lying 
helpless ; and all that we have to surfer besides, the fear 
that makes the sweat of agony run from our whole body, the 
thirst for we too suffer from fever oh, that thirst ! the thirst 
of us poor bleeding, maltreated 100,000 horses! . . . Here I 
woke, and clutched the water bottle. I was myself suffering 
from burning, feverish thirst" 

"Another street fight in the little town of Saar. To the 
noise of the battle-cries and the shots is joined the crashing of 
timber and the falling of walls. A shell burst in one of the 



houses, and the pressure of the air, caused by its explosion, was 
so powerful that several soldiers were wounded by the ruins of 
the house which were borne along by the air. A window flew 
over my head with the window-sash still in it. The chimney- 
stack tumbled down, the plaster crumbled into dust and filled 
the air with a stifling cloud that stung one's eyes. From one 
lane to another (how the hoofs rang on the jagged pavements) 
the fight wound on, and reached the market-place. In the 
middle of the square stands a high pillar of the Virgin. The 
Mother of God holds her child in one arm and stretches the 
other out in blessing. Here the fight was prolonged man to 
man. They were hacking at me, I was laying about me on all 
sides. Whether I hit one or more of them I know not : in 
such moments one does not retain much perception. Still two 
cases are photographed on my soul, and I fear that the market- 
place at Saar will remain always burned into my memory. A 
Prussian dragoon, strong as Goliath, tore one of our officers (a 
pretty, dandified lieutenant how many girls are perhaps mad 
after him) out of his saddle, and split his skull at the feet of the 
Virgin's pillar. The gentle saint looked on unmoved. Another 
of the enemy's dragoons a Goliath too seized, just before me 
almost, my right-hand man, and bent him backwards in his 
saddle so powerfully that he broke his back I myself heard it 
crack. To this also the Madonna gave her stony blessing." 

"From a height to-day the field-glass of the stnfT officer 
commanded once more a scene rich in chancres. There was, 
for instance, the collapse of a bridge as a train of waggons was 
moving across it. Did the latter contain wounded ? I do not 
know. I could not ascertain. I only saw that the whole train 
waggons, horses, and men sank into the deep and rushing 
stream and there disappeared. The event was a ' fortunate ' 
one, since the train of waggons belonged to the ' blacks '. In 
the game now being played I designate 4 us' as the white side. 
The bridge did not collapse by accident ; the whites knowing 


that their adversaries had to cross it, had sawn through the 
pillars a dexterous stroke that. 

11 A second prospect, on the other hnnd, which one might 
view from the same height represented one of the follies of 
the " whites w . Our Khevenhiiller Regiment was directed into 
a morass, from which it could not extricate itself, and they were 
all, except a few, shot down. The wounded fell into the 
morass, and there had to sink and be smothered, their mouth, 
nose, and eyes filled with mud, so that they could not even 
utter a cry. Oh yes ! it must be admitted to have been an error 
of the man who commanded the troops to go there ; but ' to err 
is human,' and the loss is not a great one might represent a 
pawn taken a speedy, lucky move of castle or queen, and all 
is right again. The mud, it is true, remains in the mouth and 
eyes of the fallen, but that is a very secondary consideration. 
What is reprehensible is the tactical error; that has to be 
wiped out by some later fortunate combination, and then the 
leader implicated in it may still be decorated with grand orders 
and promotions. That lately our i8th battalion of Jagers in a 
night battle was firing for several hours on our King of Prussia 
Regiment, and the error was not found out till break of day ; 
that a part of the Gyulai Regiment was led into a pond these 
are little oversights, such as may happen even to the best 
players in the heat of a game." 

" It is decided if 1 come back from this campaign, I quit 
the service. Setting everything else aside, if one has learned to 
regard anything with such horror as war produces in me, it 
would be a continual lie to keep in the service of that thing. 
Even before this, I went, as you know, to battle unwillingly, 
and with a judgment condemnatory of it ; but now this un- 
willingness has so increased, this condemnation has become so 
strengthened, that all the reasons which before determined me 
to persevere with my profession have ceased to operate. The 
sentiments derived from my youthful training, and perhaps also, 
to some extent, inherited, which still pleaded with me in favoui 


of the military life, have now quite departed from me in the 
course of the horrors I have just experienced. I do not know 
whether it is the studies, which I undertook in common with 
you, and from which I discovered that my contempt for war is 
not an isolated feeling, but is shared by the best spirits of the 
age, or whether it is the conversations I have had with you, in 
which I have strengthened myself in my views by their free 
expression and your concurrence in them ; in one word, my 
former vague, half-smothered feeling has changed into a clear 
conviction, a conviction which makes it from this time 
impossible to do service to the war god. It is the same kind 
of change as comes to many people in matters of belief. 
First they are somewhat sceptical and indifferent, still they 
can assist at the business of the temple with a certain sense of 
reverence. But when once all mysticism is put aside, when 
they rise to the perception that the ceremony which they 
are attending rests on folly, and sometimes on cruel folly, as in 
the case of the religious death-sacrifices, then they will no longer 
kneel beside the other befooled folks, no longer deceive them- 
selves and the world by entering the now desecrated temple. 
This is the process which has gone on with me in relation to 
the cruel worship of Mars. The mysterious, supernatural, awe- 
inspiring feeling which the appearance of this deity generally 
awakes in men, and which in former times obscured my senses 
also, has now entirely passed away for me. The liturgy of the 
bulletins and the ritual of heroic phraseology no longer appear 
to me as a divine revelation ; the mighty organ-voice of the 
cannon, the incense-smoke of the powder have no charm more 
for me I assist at the terrible worship perfectly devoid of 
belief or reverence, and can now see nothing in it except 
the tortures of the victims, hear nothing but their wailing 
death-cries. And thence comes it that these pages, which I 
am filling with my impressions of war, contain nothing excepl 
pain seen with pain." 


Ruin of the Austrian cause at Koniggratz. Dr Bresser at the 
scat of war. / resolve to join him and seek for IHJ husband. 
Aspect of the railway station and line in a time of defeat. 
The journey. The regimental surgeoris experiences of the 
horrors of war. I arrive at the seat of war and meet Dr. 
Bresser and Frau Simon. Night journey to Horonewos. 
The horrors I saw there. I sink exhausted under them, 
and am carried back by Dr. Bresser to Vienna. My father 
takes me home, and there I am joined by my husband, who 
had been wounded. 

THE battle of Koniggratz had been fought. Another defeat ! 
And this time as it seemed a decisive one. My father com- 
municated the news to us in such a tone as he would have 
used in announcing the end of the world. 

And no letter, no telegram from Frederick. Was he wounded ? 
dead? Conrad gave his fiancee news of himself he was 
untouched. The lists of the slain had not yet arrived, it was 
only known that there were 40,000 killed and wounded at 
Koniggratz ; and the latest news I had had ran : " We are 
moving to-day to Koniggratz". 

On the third day still not a line. I wept and wept for hours : 
I could weep just because my grief was not quite hopeless ; if 
I had known that all was over, there would have been no tears 
for my load of woe. My father too was deeply depressed. 
And my brother Otto was mad with thirst for revenge. It was 
announced that corps of volunteers were to be formed in Vienna. 
He wanted to join them. It was further announced that 



Benedek was to be removed from his command and the 
victorious Archduke Albert summoned to the north to take his 
place, and then perhaps there might yet be a rally ; the over- 
weening enemy, who wanted altogether to annihilate us, might 
be beaten back, as he would be caught on his march on Vienna. 
Fear, rage, pain filled all minds ; all pronounced the name of 
"the Prussians" as if they were all that is detestable. My 
only thought was Frederick and no news none ! 

A few days afterwards arrived a letter from Dr. Bresser. He 
was busy in the neighbourhood of the battlefield in giving what 
assistance he could. The need, he wrote, was without limit, 
mocking all power of imagination. He had joined a Saxon 
physician, Dr. Brauer, who had been despatched by his govern- 
ment to give them information from actual inspection on the 
state of affairs. In two days a Saxon lady was to arrive Frau 
Simon, a new Miss Nightingale who since the outbreak of the 
war had been busy in the hospitals of Dresden, and who had 
offered to undertake the journey to the fields of battle in 
Bohemia in order to render assistance in the hospitals adjacent. 
Dr. Brauer, and Dr. Bresser with him, were going, on a day 
named, at seven in the evening, to Koniginhof, ' the nearest 
station to Kb'niggratz to which the railway was still open, to 
await the courageous lady there. Bresser begged us to send if 
possible a quantity of bandages and such things to that station, 
so that he might receive them there himself. 

I had hardly read this letter before my resolution was taken. 
I would take the box of bandages myself. In one of those 
hospitals which Frau Simon was to visit possibly lay Frederick. 
I would join her and find the dear sufferer nurse him save 
him. The idea seized me with compelling force so compelling 
that I held it to be a magnetic influence from afar, derived 
from the longing wish with which the dear one was calling 
for me. 

Without telling any one in my family of my purpose for 
I should only have encountered resistance on all hands I 
embarked on the journey a few hours after the receipt of Bresser'f 


letter. I had given out that I wanted to look out the things 
which the doctor required, in Vienna, and send them off myself, 
and so I managed to get away from Grumitz without difficulty. 
From Vienna I meant to write to my father " I am off to the 
seat of war ". It is true that doubts arose in me my incapacity 
and want of experience, my horror of wounds, blood, and death 
but I chased these doubts away. What I was doing I was 
compelled to do. The gaze of my husband was fixed on me, 
in prayer and supplication. From his bed of pain he was 
stretching his arms out after me, and " I am coming, I am 
coming/' was all I was able to think of. 

I found the city of Vienna in unspeakable excitement and 
confusion. Disturbed faces all round me. My carriage came 
across a number of carriages full of wounded men. I was 
always looking to see whether Frederick might be among them. 
But no ! His longing cry, which vibrated in my vitals, rang 
from far away, from Bohemia. If he had been sent off home 
the news would have come to us simultaneously. 

I drove to an hotel. From thence I went to look after my 
purchases, sent the letter which I had prepared for Grumitz, 
got myself equipped in a travelling costume most adapted for 
rough work, and drove to the Northern Station. I wanted 
to take the first train that was starting, so as to reach my 
destination in good time. I had a single fixed idea under 
whose domination I carried out all my movements. 

At the station all was in a bustle of life, or should I say a bustle 
of death ? The halls, the waiting-room, the platform, all full of 
wounded, some of them at their last gasp. And a corresponding 
crowd of people, sick nurses, soldiers of the sanitary depart- 
ment, sisters of mercy, physicians, men and women of all ranks 
and occupations, who had come there to see whether the last 
train had brought one of their relations ; or again, to distribute 
presents, wine and cigars, among the wounded. The officials 
and servants, busy everywhere in pushing back the folks who 
were pushing forward. They wanted to send me off too. 

" What do you want there ? Make way 1 you are forbidden 


to give out things to eat and drink. Go to the committee ; 

your presents will be taken in there." 

" No, no," I said ; " I want to set off. When does the next 
train start ? " 

It was long before I could get information in reply to this. 
Most of the departure trains, I found at last, were suspended, 
in order to keep the line open for the arrival trains which were 
coming in, one after another, laden with the wounded. For 
the day there were absolutely no more passenger trains. There 
was only one with the reserve troops that were being sent 
forward, and another exclusively reserved for the service 
of the Patriotic Aid Society, which had to take away a 
number of physicians and sisters of mercy, and a cargo of 
necessary material to the neighbourhood of Koniggratz. 

" And could not I go by that train ? " 

" Impossible." 

I heard, ever plainer and more beseeching, Frederick's cry 
for help, and could not get to him. It was enough to drive 
one to despair. Then I espied at the entrance of the hall 

Baron S , vice-president of the Patriotic Aid Society, 

whose acquaintance I had first made in the year of the war 
of '59. I hastened to him. 

"For God's sake, Baron S , help me Surely you 

recognise me ? " 

" Baroness Tilling, the daughter of General Count Althaus. 
Of course, I have that honour. What can I do to serve 
you ? " 

" You are sending off a train to Bohemia, Let me travel 
by it ! My dying husband is pining for me. If you have a 
heart and your action surely proves how fair and noble your 
heart is do not reject my prayer ! " 

There were still all kinds of doubts and difficulties, but in 

the end my wish was granted. Baron S called one of the 

physicians despatched by the Aid Society, and recommended 
me to his protection as a fellow-traveller. 

There wns ;fW an liour before our departure. T wanted to 


go into the waiting-room, but every available space had been 
turned into an hospital. Wherever you looked, you saw cower- 
ing, prostrate, bandaged, pale forms. I could not look at 
them. The little energy which I possessed I had to save up 
for my journey, and for its object. I could not venture to 
expend here anything of the stock of strength, of compassion, 
or of power of assistance which was at my command all 
belonged to him to him who was calling for me. 

Meantime, there was no corner to be found in which a 
painful scene could be spared me. I had taken refuge on the 
platform, and there I was brought face to face with the most 
grievous of all sights, the arrival of a long train, all whose 
carriages were full of wounded, and the disembarkation of the 
latter. The less seriously wounded got out by themselves, and 
managed to get themselves forward ; but most had to be 
supported, or even carried altogether. The available stretchers 
were at once occupied, and the remaining patients had to 
wait till the bearers returned, lying on the floor. Before my 
feet, at the spot where I was sitting on a box, they laid a man 
who rrade, without cessation, a continuous gurgling sound. I 
bent down to speak a word of sympathy to him, but I started 
back in horror, and covered my face with both hands. The 
impression on me had been too fearful. It was no longer a 
human countenance the lower jaw shot away, one eye welling 
out, and, added to that, a stifling reek of blood and corruption. 
I should have liked to jump up and run away, but I was deadly 
sick, and my head fell back against the wall behind me. " Oh 
what a cowardly, feeble creature I am," I said, reproaching 
myself; " what have I to do in these abodes of misery, where I 
can do nothing, nothing, to help, and am exposed to such 
disgust?" Only the thought of Frederick rallied me again. 
Yes, for him, even if he were in the condition of the poor 
wretch at my feet, I could bear anything. I would still embrace 
and kiss him, and all disgust, all horror would be drowned in 
that all-conquering feeling love. " Frederick, my Frederick, 
I am coming/' I repeated half-aloud this fixed thought of mine 


which had seized me at the time I read Bresser's letter, and 

had never quitted me. 

A fearful notion passed through my brain what if this man 
should be Frederick ? I collected all ray forces, and looked at 
him again. No, it was not he. 

The anxious hour of waiting did, however, come to an end. 
They had carried off the poor gurgling fellow. " Lay him on 
the bench there," I heard the regimental doctor order; " he is 
not to be brought back into hospital. He is already three 
parts dead." And yet he must surely have still understood the 
words, this three-parts-dead man ; for with a despairing gesture 
he raised both his hands to heaven. 

Now I was sitting in a carriage with the two physicians and 
four sisters of mercy. It was stiflingly hot, and the carriage 
was filled with the smell of the hospital and sacristy carbolic 
acid and incense. I was unspeakably ill I leaned back in 
my corner, and shut my eyes. 

The train began to move. That is just the time when every 
traveller brings before his mind's eye the object towards which 
he is being taken. I had often before travelled over the same 
ground ; and then there lay before me a visit to a chateau full 
of guests, or a pleasant bathing-place my wedding-tour, a 
blessed memory, was made on this same route, to meet with 
a brilliant and loving reception in the metropolis of " Prussia". 
What a different sound that last word has assumed since then ! 
And to-day? What is our object to-day? A battlefield and 
the hospitals round it the abodes of death and suffering. I 

" My dear lady," said one of the physicians, " I think you 
are ill yourself. You look so pale and so suffering." 

I looked up ; the speaker had a friendly, youthful appearance. 
I guessed that this was his first service on being recently pro- 
moted to the rank of surgeon. It was good of him to devote 
his first service to this dangerous and laborious duty ! I felt 
grateful to these men who were sitting in the carriage with me 


for the relief which they were in the act of bringing to the 
sufferers. And to the self-sacrificing sisters really of mercy 
I paid heartfelt admiration and thanks. Yet what was it that 
each of these good men had to bestow ? An ounce of help for 
1000 hundredweights of need. These courageous nuns must, I 
thought, bear in their hearts for all men that overmastering love 
which filled mine for my own husband ; as I had felt just now 
that if the fearfully disfigured and repulsive soldier who was 
gurgling at my feet had been my husband, all my repulsion 
would have vanished, so these women must have felt towards 
every brother-man, and surely through the power of a higher 
l ove that for their chosen bridegroom, Christ. But alas ! 
here also these noble women brought an ounce only one 
ounce of love to a place where 1000 hundredweights of 
hatred were raging! 

" No, doctor," I replied to the sympathetic question of the 
young physician. " I am not ill, only a little exhausted." 

The staff-surgeon now joined in the conversation. 

"Your husband, madam, as Baron S told me, was 

wounded at Koniggratz, and you are travelling thither to nurse 
him. Do you know in which of the villages around he is lying?" 

No, I did not know. 

"My destination is Koniginhof," I replied. "There a 
physician awaits me who is a friend of mine Dr. Bresser." 

" I know him. He was with me when we made a three days' 
examination of the field of battle." 

" Examined the field of battle 1 " I repeated with a shudder. 
" Let us hear." 

" Yes, yes, doctor, let us hear," begged one of the nuns. 
" Our service may bring us into the position of helping at an 
examination of the kind." 

So the regimental surgeon began his narration. Of course I 
cannot ^ive the exact words of his description ; and, again, he 
did not speak in a single flow of words, but with frequent in- 
terruptions, and almost with reluctance, being only compelled 
to speak by the persistent questions with which the curious nuns 


and I assailed him. The narration, however, though sketchy, 
formed a series of perfect pictures before my mind's eye, which 
impressed themselves so on my memory that I can even now 
make them pass before me. In other circumstances 1 should 
not have so clearly comprehended and retained the doctor's 
sketches one always forgets so easily what one has heard or 
read but at that time the narratives made almost the impression 
of an experience. I was in a state of high nervous tension and 
excitement. My fixed thought of Frederick, which had gained 
the mastery over me, made me represent Frederick to myself 
as a person concerned in each scene described ; and on that 
account they remained fixed in my mind as painful things I had 
myself experienced. Later on I noted down the events related 
by the regimental surgeon in the red book, just as if they had 
taken place before my own eyes. 

. . t * * 

The ambulance was placed behind a hillock which protected 
it. The battle was raging on the other side. The ground 
quavered, and the heated air quavered. Clouds of smoke were 
rising, the artillery was roaring. Now the duty was to send out 
patrols to repair to the scene of battle, pick out the badly 
wounded, and bring them in. Is there anything more 
heroic than such going into the midst of the hissing rain of 
bullets, in the face of all the horrors of the fight, exposed to all 
the perils of the fight, without allowing oneself to be penetrated 
by its wild excitement ? According to military conceptions 
this office is not distinguished. On " the Sanitary Corps " no 
smart, active, handy, young fellow will serve. No man in it 
turns the girls' heads. And a field doctor, even if one is no 
longer called by that name, but " regimental surgeon," can he 
nevertheless hold a comparison with any cavalry lieutenant ? 

The corporal of the Sanitary Corps ordered his people 
towards some low ground against which a battery had opened its 
fire. They marched through the dark veil of the powder smoke 
and the dust and the scattered earth to a point where a cannon 
ball, which struck the ground at their feet, bounded in front 


of them. They had only gone a few paces when they began 
to meet with wounded men, men slightly wounded, who were 
crawling to the ambulance, either alone or in pairs, giving each 
other mutual support. One sank down ; but it was not his 
wounds which had sapped his strength, it was exhaustion. 
"We have eaten nothing for two days, made a forced march 
of twelve hours, got into the bivouac, and then, two hours 
afterwards, came the alarm and the fight" 

The patrol went forward. These men would find their way 
for themselves, and manage to take their exhausted comrade 
with them. Aid must be reserved for others still more in need 
of aid. 

On a heap of rocks, forming part of a precipitous declivity, 
lies a bleeding mass. There are a dozen soldiers lying there. 
The sanitary corporal stops and bandages one or two of them. 
But these wounded men are not carried off; those must first 
be fetched in who have fallen in the centre of the field. Then, 
perhaps, on their return march, these men can be picked up 

And again the patrol goes on, nearer to the battle. In 
ever thicker swarms wounded men are tottering on, painfully 
creeping forward, singly or together. These are such as can 
still walk. The contents of the field flasks is distributed amongst 
these, a bandage is applied to such wounds as are bleeding, 
and the way to the ambulance pointed out to them. Then 
forward again. Over the dead over hillocks of corpses. 
Many of these dead show traces of horrible agonies. Eyes 
staring unnaturally, hands grasping the ground, the hair of the 
beard staring out, teeth pressed together, lips closed spasmo- 
dically, legs stiffly outstretched. So they lie. 

Now through a hollow way. Here they are lying in heaps, 
dead and wounded together. The latter greet the sanitary 
patrol as angels of rescue, and beg and shriek for help. With 
broken voices, weeping and lamenting, they shout for rescue, 
for a gulp of water. But alas ! the provisions are almost 
exhausted, and what can these few men do ? Each ought to 


have a hundred arms to be able to rescue them all. Yet each 
does what he can. Then sounds the prolonged tone of the 
sanitary call. The men stop and break off from their work of 
aid. " Do not desert us ! Do not desert us ! " the poor injured 
men cry; but the signal horn calls again and again, and this, 
plainly distinguishable from all other noises, is evidently going 
further afield. Then also an adjutant comes in hot haste. 
" Men of the Sanitary Corps ? " " At your command," replies 
the corporal. " Follow me." 

Evidently a general wounded. It is necessary to obey and 
leave the rest. " Patience, comrades, and keep a good heart ; 
we will return." Those who hear and those who say it know 
that it is not true. 

And again they go further : following the adjutant, at the 
double quick, who spurs on in front and points the way. 
There is no halting on the way, although on the right hand and 
on the left resound shrieks of woe and cries for help ; and 
although also many bullets fall among those who are thus 
hurrying on, and stretch one and another on the ground only 
onwards and over everything. Over men writhing with the pain 
of their wounds, men trodden down by horses tearing over 
them, or crushed by guns passing over their limbs, and who, 
seeing the rescue corps, mutilated as they are, rear themselves 
up for the last time. Over them, over them I 

This sort of thing goes on for pages of the red book. The 
relation that the regimental surgeon gave of the march of a 
sanitary patrol over the battlefield contains many similar, and 
even more painful things, such as the description of moments 
when bullets and shells fall in the midst of the dressers and 
tear up new wounds ; or when the course of the battle brings 
the fight on to the dressing station itself, right up on to the 
ambulance, and sucks in the whole personnel of the sanitary 
corps, with the physicians and with the patients into the 
whirl of the fighting or fleeing or pursuing troops ; or when 
frightened riderless horses all abroad come across the way, and 


overturn the stretcher on which a severely wounded man is 
lying, who is now dashed to the earth all shattered. Or this, 
the most gruesome picture of all a farmyard, into which a 
hundred wounded men had been carried, bandaged, and made 
comfortable the poor wretches, glad and thankful that their 
rescue had been effected. Then a shell came and set the whole 
on fire. A minute afterwards the hospital was in flames. The 
shrieks, or rather the howls, which resounded from this abode 
of despair, and which in its wild agony drowned all the other 
noises, will remain for ever in the memory of any one who heard 
it. Ah me ! it remains for ever in my memory too, though I 
did not hear it ; for, as the regimental surgeon was telling it, I 
fancied again that Frederick was there that I heard his shriek 
out of the burning place of torture. 

" You are getting ill, dear madam," said the narrator, break- 
ing off. " I must have tried your nerves too much." 

But I had not yet heard enough. I assured him that my 
momentary weakness was the consequence merely of the heat 
and of a bad night, and I was not too tired to ask for the rest. 
I kept feeling still that I had not yet heard enough ; that of the 
infernal circles that were being described, the description had 
not yet been given of the lowest and most hellish ; and when 
once the thirst for the horrible has been awakened it is impos- 
sible to stop till it has been slaked by the most horrible of all. 
And I was right, for there is something more hideous than a 
battlefield during the fight, viz., one afterwards. 

No more thunder of artillery, no more blare of trumpets, no 
more beat of drum ; only the low moans of pain and the rattle 
of death. In the trampled ground some redly-glimmering pools, 
lakes of blood ; all the crops destroyed, only here and there a 
piece of land left untouched, and still covered with stubble ; 
the smiling villages of yesterday turned into ruins and rubbish. 
The trees burned and hacked in the forests, the hedges torn 
with grape-shot. And on this battle-ground thousands and 
thousands of men dead and dying dying without aid. No 
blossoms of flowers are to be seen on wayside or meadow ; 


but sabres, bayonets, knapsacks, cloaks, overturned ammuni- 
tion waggons, powder waggons blown into the air, cannon with 
broken carriages. Near the cannon, whose muzzles are black 
with smoke, the ground is bloodiest. There the greatest 
number and the most mangled of dead and half-dead men are 
lying, literally torn to pieces with shot ; and the dead horses, 
and the half-dead which raise themselves on their feet such 
as they have left them to sink again ; then raise themselves 
up once more and fall down again, till they only raise their 
head to shriek out their pain-laden death-cry. There is a 
hollow way quite filled with corpses trodden into the mire. 
The poor creatures had taken refuge there no doubt to get 
cover, but a battery has driven over them, and they have been 
crushed by the horses' hoofs and the wheels. Many of them 
are still alive a pulpy, bleeding mass, but " still alive ". 

And yet there is still something more hellish even than all this, 
and that is the appearance of the most vile scum of humanity, as 
it shows itself in war i.e., the appearance and the activity of 
" the hyenas of the battlefield ". " Then slink on the monsters 
who grope after the spoils of the dead, and bend over the 
corpses and over the living, mercilessly tearing off their clothes 
from their bodies. The boots are dragged off the bleeding 
limbs, the rings off the wounded hands, or to get the ring the 
finger is simply chopped off, and if a man tries to defend 
himself from such a sacrifice, he is murdered by these hyenas ; 
or, in order to make him unrecognisable, they dig his eyes 

I shrieked out loud at the doctor's last words. I again 
saw the whole scene before me, and ihe eyes into which the 
hyena was plunging his knife were Frederick's soft, blue, 
beloved eyes. 

" Pray, forgive me, dear lady, but it was by your own 
wish " 

" Oh yes ; I desire to hear it all. What you are now 
describing was the night which follows the battle ; and these 
scenes arc enacted by the starlight ? " 


"And by torchlight. '1 he j-atroh which the conquerors 
send out to survey the field of battle carry torches and lanterns, 
and red lanterns are hoisted on signal poles to point out the 
places where flying hospitals are to be established." 

" And next morning, how does the field look ? " 

"Almost more fearful still. The contrast between the bright, 
smiling daylight and the dreadful work of man on which it 
shines has a doubly-painful effect At night the entire picture 
of horror is something ghostly and fantastic. By daylight it is 
simply hopeless. Now you see for the first time the mass of 
corpses lying around on the lanes, between the fields, in the 
ditches, behind the ruins of walls. Everywhere dead bodies 
everywhere. Plundered, some of them naked ; and just the 
same with the wounded. These who, in spite of the nightly 
labour of the Sanitary Corps, are still always lying around in 
numbers, look pale and collapsed, green or yellow, with fixed 
and stupefied gaze, or writhing in agonies of pain, they beg any 
one who comes near to put them to death. Swarms of carrion 
crows settle on the tops of the trees, and with loud croaks 
announce the bill of fare of the tempting banquet. Hungry 
dogs, from the villages around, come running by and lick the 
blood from their wouncls. There are a few hyenas to be seen 
who are still carrying on their work hastily further afield. And 
now comes the great interment." 

" Who does that the Sanitary Corps ? " 

" How could they suffice for such a mass of work ? They 
have fully enough to do with the wounded." 

" Then troops detailed for the work ? " 

"No. A crowd of men impressed, or even offering themselves 
voluntarily loiterers, baggage people, who are supporting 
themselves by the market stalls, baggage waggons and so forth, 
and who now have been hunted away by the force of the mili- 
tary operations, together with the inhabitants of the cottages 
and huts to dig trenches good large ones, of course wide 
trenches, for they are not made deep there is no time for that. 
Into these the dead bodies are thrown, heads up or heads 


down just as they come to hand. Or it is done in this way 
A heap is made of the corpses, and a foot or two of earth is 
heaped up over them, and then it has the appearance of a 
tumulus. In a few days rain comes on and washes the 
covering off the festering dead bodies ! but what does that 
matter? The nimble, jolly gravediggers do not look so far 
forward. For jolly, merry workmen they are, that one must 
allow. Songs are piped out there, and all kinds of dubious 
jokes made nay, sometimes a dance of hyenas is danced 
round the open trench. Whether in several of the bodies that 
are shovelled into it or are covered with the earth life is still 
stirring, they give themselves no trouble to think. The thing 
is inevitable, for the stiff cramp often comes on after wounds. 
Many who have been saved by accident have told of the danger 
of being buried alive which they have escaped. But how many 
are there of those who are not able to tell anything ! If a man 
has once got a foot or two of earth over his mouth he may 
well hold his tongue." 

" Oh my Frederick, my Frederick ! " I groaned in my 

" That is the picture of the next morning," said the surgeon, 
in conclusion. "Shall I go on further and tell you what 
happens next evening ? " 

" I will tell you that, doctor," I broke in. " One of the two 
capitals of the powers engaged has received the telegraphic 
news of the glorious victory. And there in the morning, while 
the hyena dance is going on round the trench, they are singing 
in the churches : * Now thank we all the Lord,' and in the 
evening there the mother or the wife of one of the men buried 
alive is putting a lighted candle or two in the window-sill 
because the city is illuminated." 

" Yes, madam, that is the comedy which is being played at 
home. Meanwhile, on the field of battle, the tragedy is still 
far from played out by the second sunset. Besides those who 
are carried to the hospital or the trench, there still remain the 
* missing'. Hidden behind some thick brushwood, in the 


fields of standing corn, or amongst the ruins of buildings, they 
have escaped the sight of the bearers or the buriers, and for 
them begins now the martyrdom of an agony which lasts many 
days and nights in the burning heat of midday in the dark 
shadows of midnight, crouched on stones and thistles, in the 
stench of the corpses around and of their own putrefying 
wounds a prey, while gtill quivering, for the feasting vultures." 

What a journey that was I The regimental surgeon had 
long ceased to speak, but the scenes he had described went on 
continually presenting themselves before my mind's eye. To 
escape from this train of thoughts which persecuted me, I 
began to look out of the carriage window and try to find 
distraction in the prospect of the country. But here also 
pictures of the horrors of war presented themselves to my 
vision. It is true that no violent devastation had taken place 
in this neighbourhood, there were no ruined villages smoking 
there, " the enemy " had effected no lodgment there, but what 
was raging there was perhaps still worse, viz., the fear of the 
enemy. " The Prussians are coming ! the Prussians are 
coming ! " was the signal of alarm through the whole region, 
and though in travelling past one did not hear the words, yet 
even from the carriage window their effect was plainly to be 
seen. Everywhere on all the roads and lanes were people 
flying, leaving their homes with bag and baggage. Whole 
trains of waggons were moving inland, filled with bedding, 
household furniture and provisions, all evidently packed up 
in the greatest haste. On the same car would be some little 
pigs, the youngest child, and one or two sacks of potatoes, 
beside it on foot man and wife and the elder children ; that is 
how I saw a family making their escape as they moved down a 
road near me. Where were the poor creatures going ? They 
themselves very likely did not know, it was only away, away 
from " the Prussians ". So men flee from the roaring fire, or 
the rising flood. 

Frequently a train passed us on the other line wounded, 


always and again wounded always once more the ishj 

faces, the bandaged heads, the arms in slings. At the stations 
especially one might feed on this sight in all its variations to 
satiety. All the large or small platforms, on which one usually 
sees the travelling population waiting or cheerfully standing or 
walking about, were now filled with prostrate or cowering 
figures. They were the invalid soldiers who had been brought 
from the field- or private-hospitals in the neighbourhood, and 
were waiting for the next train which might serve for the trans- 
port of the wounded. There they might have to lie for hours ; 
and who knows how many removals they have already passed 
through ! From the battlefield to the first-aid station, 
from thence to the ambulance, from thence to a movable 
hospital, then to the village, and now to the railway, whence 
they have still the journey to Vienna before them ; then from 
the station to the hospital, and from thence, after all these 
long tortures, perhaps back to their regiment perhaps to the 
churchyard. I was so sorry so sorry so terribly sorry for 
these poor fellows ! I should have liked to kneel down before 
each of them and whisper a few words of compassion to him. 
But the doctor would not allow me. When we got out at a 
station he gave me his arm and took me into the stationmaster's 
office. There he brought me some wine, or some other 

The nurses carried on their work of mercy here also. They 
gave the wounded men drink and food, such as they could 
hunt up, but often there was nothing to be had. The provi- 
sions in the refreshment rooms were generally exhausted. 
This movement at the stations, especially at the large ones, 
had a bewildering effect on me. It seemed to me like an evil 
dream. All this running hither and thither, this confused 
pell-mell troops marching out, people flying away, sick-bearers, 
heaps of bleeding and complaining soldiers, sobbing women 
wringing their hands, shouts, harsh words of command 
crowds on all hands, no free passage anywhere baggage 
being sent in, war material, cannons on another side horses 


and bellowing cattle, and amongst them the continuous sound 
of the telegraph trains rushing through filled, or crowded rather, 
with the reserves coming up from Vienna. These soldiers were 
brought along in third and fourth class carriages nay, also in 
baggage and cattle trucks just in the same way as cattle to be 
slaughtered, and regarding it as a matter of fact, I could not 
repress the thought : " What else were they in reality ? Were 
they not like the cattle marked out for slaughter were they 
not, like them, sent to the great political market, where business 
is done in food for powder what the French call chair-a- 
canon f " A mad roar was it a war song ? pealed out and 
drowned the rattling sound of the wheels one minute, and the 
train was gone. With the speed of the wind it bore a portion 
of its freight to certain death. Yes, certain death. Even if no 
individual can say of himself that he is sure to fall, yet a certain 
percentage of the whole must and will fall. An army marching 
to the field, as they sweep along the high road on foot or on 
horseback, may have a touch of antique poetry about it ; but 
for the railroad of our modern day, the symbol of culture 
binding nations together, to serve as the means for promoting 
barbarism let loose that is a thing altogether too inconsistent 
and horrible. And what a false ring also has the telegraph signal 
used in this service that splendid sign of the triumph of the 
human intellect, which has enabled us to propagate thought 
with lightning speed from one land to another. All these 
inventions of the new era which are designed to promote the 
intercourse of nations, to lighten, beautify, and enrich life, are 
now misapplied by that old-world principle which aims at 
dividing the peoples and annihilating life. Our boast before 
savages is : " Look at our railroads, look at our telegraphs ; we 
are civilised nations " ; and then we use these things to 
increase a hundredfold our own savagery. 

My being forced to torture myself with such thoughts as these, 
and these only, as I waited at the station or pursued my way 
in the train, made my grief still more deep and bitter. I 
almost envied those who merely wrung their hands and wept in 


simple pain, who did not rise up in wrath against the whole 
hideous comedy, who accused no one not even that " Lord 
of armies " of whom yet they believed that He was so, and that 
it was He who was keeping suspended over their heads the 
misery that had come to them. 

* * 

It was late at night when I got to Koniginhof. My 
travelling companions had been obliged to get out at an 
earlier station. I was alone, in fear and anxiety. How if Dr. 
Bresser were prevented from coming ? What step could 1 
then take in this place ? Besides I was, so to speak, broken 
on the wheel by the journey, quite unnerved by all the experi- 
ences of grief and terror that I had passed through. If it had 
not been for my longing for Frederick I should have wished now 
for nothing but death. To be able to lie down, go to sleep, 
and never wake again in a world where things go on so horribly 
and so madly ! But preserve me from one thing at least, to 
live on and know that Frederick is among the " missing " 1 

The train stopped. Tired and trembling, I alighted and 
took out my hand-baggage. I had taken with me a hand- 
basket, with some linen for myself and charpie and bandages 
for the wounded, and also my travelling dressing-case. This 1 
had taken quite mechanically, in the belief in which I was 
brought up that one could not exist without the silver cases 
and baskets, the soaps and essences, the brushes and combs. 
Cleanliness, that virtue of the body, corresponding to honour 
in the soul, that second nature of educated humanity, what a 
lesson had I now to learn, that there can be no thought of it 
at such times as these ! That, however, is only consistent war 
is the negation of education, and therefore all the triumphs of 
education must be annihilated by it; it is a step backwards 
into barbarism and must therefore have everything that is 
barbarous in its train, and amongst others that thing which to 
the cultured man is so utterly abominable dirt. 

The chest with materials for the hospitals, which I had 
looked out for Dr. Bresser in Vienna, had been given over with 


the other chests to the care of the Aid Committee, and who 
could tell when and where they would be delivered ? I had 
nothing with me except my two pieces of hand-baggage, and a 
bag of money round my neck containing a few hundred florin 
notes. With a tottering step I crossed the rails to the platform. 
There, in spite of the lateness of the hour, the same confusion 
prevailed as at the other stations, and the same picture was 
always repeated. Wounded men wounded men. No, not 
the same picture, one still worse. Kb'niginhof was a place 
which was over-full of these unfortunates, there was not an 
unoccupied room in the whole village, and now they had 
brought the sick in crowds to the railway station, where, hastily 
bandaged up, they were lying about everywhere on the 
ground on the stones. 

It was a dark, moonless night, the scene was illuminated 
only by three or four lamps on the pillars. Exhausted and 
thirsting for sleep, almost for the sleep of death, I sank on the 
unoccupied corner of a bench and put my luggage on the 
ground in front of me. 

At first I had not the courage to look about me and see 
whether amongst the number of men who were busy passing 
to and fro here one might be Dr. Bresser. I was almost 
persuaded that I should not meet him. It was at least ten 
chances to one that he would be prevented from coming, or 
that he would get here at another hour than the one fixed, for 
there was no longer any regularity in the service, my train had 
certainly arrived much later than was fixed by the railway 
regulations. Regulations another civilised conception, and so 
it was now set aside along with the rest 

My undertaking seemed to me now a perfect lunacy. This 
fancied call from Frederick could I then believe in mystical 
things of that sort ? It certainly had no foundation whatever. 
Who knows ? Frederick was perhaps on his way home, perhaps 
he was dead ; why was I seeking for him here ? Another voice 
began now to^Call upon me, other arms were stretched out to 
meet me. Rudolf my son, how he would have been asking 


for " mamma " and not been able to get to sleep without his 
mother's kiss when he bade "good-night ". Whither should I 
turn here if I did not find Bresser ? And the hope of finding 
him had of a sudden become as small as the hope of the lucky 
number among 100,000 lots. Luckily I had my bag of money 
the possession of bank notes affords always a means of 
getting out of difficulties. Mechanically I felt the place where 
the bag should have been hanging. Good God ! the strap by 
which it had been fastened had been torn off, and the bag was 
gone was lost ! What a blow ! And yet I had not recourse 
to any complaint against my destiny. I could not lament : 
" How hard fortune is hitting me ! " for, at a time when mis- 
fortune was falling in floods on all sides, to complain about a 
little misfortune of one's own would have made one blush for 
one's own selfishness. And besides, for me there was only one 
possibility which could alarm me Frederick's death ; all the 
rest was nothing. 

I began to look at all the people present. No Dr. Bresser. 
What to do now ? To whom to address myself? I stopped one 
of the men passing - 

" Where can I find the stationmaster ? " 

"You mean the director of the Sick Depot Staff-surgeon 
S . He is standing there." 

He was not the person I meant, but perhaps he would 
be able to give me information about Dr. Bresser. I 
approached the place he pointed out. The staff-surgeon was 
speaking to a gentleman standing near him. 

" It is a pity," I heard him say. " Here and at Turnau 
depots have been founded for all the hospitals of the theatre of 
war. Gifts are flowing in in masses linen, food, bandages as 
much as you can wish, but what is to be done with them ? 
How are they to be unpacked ? how sorted ? how sent out ? 
We have no hands. We could occupy a hundred active 

I was just going to speak to the staff-surgeonStfhen I saw a 
man hurrying towards him in whom O joy 1 I recognised 


Dr. Brcsser. In my excitement I fell on the neck of my old 

family friend 

" You ! you 1 Baroness Tilling ! Whatever are you doing 

" I am come to help to nurse. Is not Frederick in one of 
your hospitals ? " 

" I have seen nothing of him." 

Was this a disappointment or a relief? I do not know. 
He was not there, and therefore either dead or unhurt . . . 
besides, Bresser could not possibly know all the wounded in 
the neighbourhood. I must search through all the hospitals 

" And Frau Simon ? " I asked next. 

" She has been here now some hours. A splendid woman ! 
quick in decision, prudent. Just now she is busied in getting 
the wounded who are lying here carried into empty railway 
trucks. She has discovered that in a village near, at Horone- 
wos, the need is the greatest. She is going there, and I am 
to accompany her." 

" And I also, Dr. Bresser, let me go with you." 

" Baroness Martha, where are you thinking of going? You, 
so delicate and unaccustomed to such hard, bitterly hard work 
as this ? " 

" What else have I got to do here ? " I said, interrupting 
him. " If you are my friend, doctor, help me to carry out 
my purpose. I will really do anything, perform any service. 
Introduce me to Frau Simon as a volunteer nurse ; but take 
me with you for mercy's sake take me with you." 

" Very well ; your will shall be done. The brave lady is 
there. Come." 

When Dr. Bresser brought me to Frau Simon and introduced 
me to her as a sick nurse she nodded, but turned away at once 
to give some order. I was not able to see her features in the 
dubious light. 

Five minutes later we were on our journey to Horonewos. 


A counivy waggon which had just brought some wounded from 
that place served as our conveyance. We sat upon the straw 
which was perhaps still bloody from its former freight. The 
soldier who sat by the driver held a lantern which threw a 
flickering light on our road. " An evil dream an evil dream." 
Such was more and more the impression of what I was going 
through. The only thing which brought to my mind the reality 
of my situation, and which at the same time gave me repose, 
was Dr. Bresser's company. I had placed my hand in his, and 
his other arm supported me. 

" Lean on me, Baroness Martha, my poor child," he said 

I did lean on him as well as I could, but what a position of 
torture it was ! When one has been accustomed during the 
whole of one's life to repose upon cushioned seats, carriages on 
well-hung springs, and soft beds, how heavy it falls on one all 
at once, after an exhausting day's travel, to be sitting on a 
jolting country cart, the hard planks of which are cushioned 
only by a layer of bloody straw. And yet I was uninjured. 
What then must those have felt who were hurried over stock 
and stone in such a conveyance as that with shattered limbs 
and their bones sticking out of their skin ? 

My eyelids closed with a leaden weight. A painful feeling 
of sleepiness tortured me. Sleep was indeed impossible from 
the discomfort of my position every limb was aching and 
from the excitement of my nerves, but the somnolence which I 
could not shake off had the more terrible effect on me. 
Thoughts and images, as confused as the visions of fever, 
whirled through my brain. All the scenes of horror which the 
regimental surgeon had described repeated themselves before 
my spirit, partly in the very words of the narrator, partly as 
delusions of sight and hearing, called up by those words. I 
kept seeing the gravediggers shovelling in the dead, saw the 
hyenas sneaking up, heard the shrieks of those who were being 
sacrificed in the burning lazaretto, and between whiles words 
came in as if they were pronounced aloud in the accents of the 


regimental surgeon, such as carrion crows, market folks, sanitary 
patrols. That, however, did not prevent me from hearing the 
conversation that was being carried on half aloud by my 
companions in the cart. 

" A part of the routed army fled to Koniggratz," Dr. Bresser 
said ; " but the fortress was closed and the fugitives were fired 
on from the walls especially the Saxons, who in the twilight 
were mistaken for Prussians. Hundreds plunged into the 
ditches of the fort and were drowned. The flight was checked 
by the Elbe, and the disorder reached its height. The bridges 
were so overcrowded by horses arid cannon that the infantry 
could find no room. Thousands flung themselves into the 
Elbe even the wounded." 

" It must be a horrible state of things at Horonewos," said 
Frau Simon. " All abandoned by its inhabitants village and 
castle. The whole of the inner rooms destroyed and yet filled 
with helpless wounded men. What joy will the refreshments 
we are bringing give the wretched men ! But it will not be 
enough not enough ! " 

"And our medical aid is also not enough," added Dr. 
Bresser. " There should be a hundred of us, in order to do 
what is required; we -are in want of instruments and medicines; 
and would even these help us? The overcrowding of these 
places is such as to threaten the outbreak of dangerous 
epidemics. The first care is always this, to send away as many 
wounded as possible, but their condition is usually such that 
no conscientious man would take the responsibility of their 
transport to send them off means to kill them, to leave them 
there means to introduce hospital gangrene a sad alternative ! 
The horrors and miseries I have seen in these days since the 
battle of Koniggratz exceed all conception. You must prepare 
yourself for the worst, Frau Simon." 

11 1 have the experience of many years and courage. The 
greater the misery, the higher rises my determination." 

" I know, your fame has preceded you. I, on the contrary, 
when I see so much misery feel all my courage sink, and it 


strikes me to the heart. To hear hundreds nay, thousands of 
men in want of help, praying for help, and not to be able to help 
it is hideous ! In all these ambulances which have been set 
up in the most hasty way around the field of battle we have 
been in want of restoratives above all things, there is no water. 
Most of the wells around have been made unserviceable by the 
inhabitants, far and wide there is not a piece of bread to be 
obtained. All rooms that have a roof over them, churches, 
country houses, chateaux, huts, all are filled with sick. Every- 
thing in the shape of a carriage has been sent off with its load 
of wounded. The roads in all directions are covered with 
such carts of hell, for in truth the sufferings carried by those 
wheels are hellish. There they lie officers, petty officers, 
soldiers, disfigured by dirt and dust and blood till they are 
unrecognisable with wounds for which there is no human help 
available, uttering cries of pain, shrieks which are hardly 
human ; and yet those who can still cry are not the most 

"Then many die on the way." 

" Certainly, or after they are unloaded they finish quietly and 
unobserved on the first bundle of straw on which they have 
been left to die. Some quietly, but others raving and raging 
in a desperate fight with Death, uttering such curses as might 
make your hair stand on end. It must have been curses like 
these that that Mr. Twining of London heard who made the 
following proposal at the Geneva Conference : ' Would it not 
be well, if the condition of a wounded man leaves not the 
slightest hope of recovery, in such a case to give him first the 
consolations of religion, then, as far as the circumstances 
allow, leave him a moment for reflection and then put an end 
to his agony in the least painful way possible? This would 
prevent his dying a few moments later, with fever in his brain, 
and perhaps blasphemies against God on his tongue.' " 

" How unchristian ! " cried Frau Simon. 

" What, to give him the coup dt gr&ce f * 

" No. but the idea that blasphemous expression wrung 


from the soul of a man in the midst of unbearable tortures 
could imperil his soul. The Christian's God is not so unjust 
as that, and assuredly will take every fallen warrior into His 

" Mahomet's paradise was assured to every Mussulman who 
had killed a Christian," replied Bresser. " Believe me, my 
dear Frau Simon, all those deities who have been represented 
as leaders of wars, and whose assistance and blessing the priests 
and commanders promise as the wages of murder, all of them 
are as deaf to blasphemies as to prayers. Look up there ; that 
star of the first magnitude, with reddish light, it is only seen 
twinkling or rather shining, for it does not twinkle, over our 
heads every second year, that is the planet Mars, the star dedi- 
cated to the God of War, that god who was so feared and 
reverenced in old times that he had by far more temples than 
the Goddess of Love. Of old on the field of Marathon, in the 
narrow pass of Thermopylae, that star shed a bloody light on 
the battles of men, and to him rose up the curses of the fallen 
who accused him of their misfortune, while he indifferent and 
peaceful, then as now, was circling round the sun. Hostile 
stars ? there are no such things. Man has no enemy except 
man, but he is savage enough. And no other friend either," 
added Bresser after a short pause ; " of that you yourself are 
giving an example, magnanimous lady. You are " 

" O doctor," interrupted Frau Simon ; " look there, that 
flame on the horizon, it is surely a village in flames " 

I opened my eyes and saw the red glare. 

" No," said Dr. Bresser, " it is the moon rising." 

I tried to get into a more comfortable position, and sat up 
for a time. I kept constantly preventing myself from closing 
my eyes, for that state of half-slumber, with the consciousness of 
not being asleep, in which the most horrible fancy-pictures 
carried on their wild procession, was far too painful. Better to 
take part in the conversation of the other two, and tear myself 
away from my own thoughts. But the gentleman and lady 
were dumb. They were looking towards the place where now 


the luminary of night was really rising. And again in spite of 
me my eyes closed for a space. This time it was sleep. In 
the one second during which I felt that I was going to sleep, 
that the world around me was ceasing to exist, I felt such a 
delight in annihilation that the brother of my benefactor, Death, 
would have been quite welcome to me. 

I do not know how long a space I passed in this negatively 
happy state of removal from existence, but I was torn out of it 
suddenly and forcibly. It was no noise, no shock that woke 
me, but a vapour of intolerably poisoned air. 

" What is that ? " 

The others called out the same question at the same time 
as I did. 

Our waggon turned round a corner, and at the side of the 
way we found the answer. Brightly lighted by the moon there 
stood up a white wall, probably of a church. Anyhow, it had 
served as a cover from gunshot. At its foot, heaped up, lay 
numerous corpses. It was the smell of putrefaction, which 
rose up from their dead bodies, that had broken my sleep. As 
we drove by, a thick crowd of ravens and crows rose screaming 
from the heap of dead, fluttered for a time, as a black cloud 
against the clear background of the sky, and then settled down 
again to their feast. 

" Frederick ! my Frederick ! " 

" Calm yourself, Baroness Martha, 1 * said Bresser consolingly 
"Your husband could not have been present there." 

The soldier who was driving had pressed his team on in order 
to get away the quicker from the neighbourhood of the mephitic 
vapour the conveyance clattered and jolted as if we were in 
wild flight. I thought the horses had run away . . . trembling 
fear took hold on me. With both hands I clasped Eraser's 
arm, but I could not help turning my head back to look there 
at that wall, and was it the deceptive light of the moon, or 
was it the movements hither and thither of the birds as they 
came back to their booty ? I thought that the whole troop of 
the dead rose up, and that the corpses all stretched their 


arms towards us, and made ready to pursue us. I would have 
shrieked, hut my throat was closed by fear and would not obey 
my impulse. 

t * 

Again the waggon turned round the corner of a street. 

" Here we are this is Horonewos," I heard the doctor say, 
and he ordered the driver to stop. 

" What are we to do with the lady ? " said Frau Simon 
complainingly. " She will be rather a hindrance than any 

I collected myself. " No, no," I said, " I am better now ; I 
will do all I can to help you." 

We found ourselves in the middle of the village at the gate 
of a chateau. 

" We will first do here what there is to do," said the doctor. 
" The chateau, which is deserted by its owners, must be filled 
from cellar to roof with wounded." 

We got out. I could hardly keep on my feet, but stiffened 
myself with all my force, so as not to give in. 

"Forward/' said Frau Simon. " Have we all our luggage ? 
What I am bringing with me will give the people some 

"There are restoratives and bandages in my box too," said I. 

" And my hand-bag contains instruments and medicines," 
added Bresser. Then we gave the needful orders to the 
soldiers who accompanied us ; two were to wait with the 
horses and the others come with us. 

We passed under the gate of the chateau. Stifled sounds 
of woe proceeded from various sides. All was dark. 

" Light ! the first thing is to strike a light ! " called out 
Frau Simon. 

Alas ! we had brought all possible things with us chocolate, 
meat essence, cigars, strips of linen, but no one had thought of 
a candle. There was no means of illuminating the darkness 
which surrounded us and the poor fellows. Only a box of 
lucifers, which the doctor had in his pocket, enabled us for a 


few seconds to see the terrible pictures which filled this abode 
of the wretched. The foot slipped on the floor, slippery with 
blood, if one tried to go on. What was to be done ? To the 
hundred despairing men who were groaning and sighing here 
a few more people had come to despair and sigh. " What is 
to be done ? What is to be done ? " 

" I will find out the clergyman's house," said Frau Simon, 
" or get some assistance somewhere else in the village. Come, 
doctor, you conduct me with your lucifer-matches to the egress, 
and you, Frau Martha, remain here meanwhile." 

Here, alone, in the dark, amongst all these wailing people, 
in this stifling odour ? What a situation ! I shuddered to the 
marrow of my bones. But I said nothing against it. 

" Yes," I replied, " I will remain on this spot, and wait 
till you come back with the light." 

" No," cried Bresser, putting his arm through mine. " Come 
with us. You must not be left behind in this purgatory, amongst 
men who may be in the delirium of fever." 

I was thankful to my friend for this speech, and clung tight 
to his arm. To stop behind in these rooms might perhaps 
have driven me mad with fear. Ah, I was still a cowardly, 
helpless creature, not brought up to the misery and the horror 
into which I had now plunged. Why had I not kept at home ? 
Still, supposing I should find Frederick again ? Who could 
tell whether he might not be lying in these same dark rooms, 
which we were just quitting ? As we went out I called out his 
name more than once, but the answer which I hoped for and 
feared : " Here I am, Martha/' was not returned. 

We got again into the open air. The waggon was standing 
in the same place. Dr. Bresser decided that I should get in 

" Frau Simon and I are going meanwhile into the village to 
seek for aid, and you shall remain here." 

I willingly submitted, for my feet could hardly carry rne. 
The doctor helped me to get up and arranged a convenient 
seat for me with the straw that was lying about. Two soldiers 


remained behind with the waggon. The rest Frau Simon and 
the doctor took along with them. 

After about half-an-hour the whole expedition came back. 
No success. The parsonage was destroyed, like everything 
else, and empty. All the houses in ruins ; no light to be 
obtained anywhere. So there was nothing else to be done 
except to wait till day dawned. How many of the poor 
wretches in whom our coming had already roused hope, and 
whom our aid might still have saved, might perhaps die during 
this night ? 

What a long, long night that was ! Though in reality only 
between three and four hours passed before sunrise, how endless 
these hours necessarily seemed to us, their course being 
marked, not by the ticking of a clock, but by the helpless cries 
of fellow-men for aid. 

At last the morning dawned. Now we could act. Frau 
Simon and Dr. Bresser took the road again to see whether they 
could rouse up some of the concealed inhabitants of the village. 
They succeeded. Out of the ruins here and there one or two 
peasants crawled forth, at first morose and distrustful. When, 
however, Dr. Bresser spoke to them in their own language, and 
Frau Simon urged them with her soft voice, they agreed to give 
their services. It was necessary before all things to recruit all 
the other hidden villagers, so that they might help in the work 
bury the dead that were lying about, get the wells into 
working order so as to procure water for the living, collect the 
field kettles that lay scattered about the roads so as to have 
vessels, empty the knapsacks of the slain and the dead, and use 
the linen they contained for the wounded. No.v arrived also 
a Prussian staff-surgeon with men and aid materials, and then 
the work of bringing help to these poor creatures could be 
undertaken with some success. Now the moment was come 
for me too, when I might perhaps discover him at whose 
fancied call I had undertaken this luckless journey, and whose 
recollection whipped up to some extent my failing powers. 

Frau Simon betook herself, under the conduct of the 



Prussian surgeon, first to the chateau, where most of the 
wounded were lying. Dr. Bresser chose to search through the 
other places in the village. I preferred to keep with my friend, 
and went along with him. That Frederick was not lying in the 
chateau the doctor had discovered by a previous look round 

We had hardly gone a hundred paces when loud cries of 
pain smote on our ears. They came from the open door of 
the little village church. We went in. There more than a 
hundred men were lying on the hard stone pavement, severely 
wounded, crippled. With feverish, wandering eyes they 
shrieked and cried for water. I had nearly sunk down even 
on the threshold ; still I walked through the whole row. I 
was seeking for Frederick. He was not there. 

Bresser with his people set themselves to attend to the poor 
fellows. I leaned against a side altar, and contemplated the 
scene of woe with infinite horror. 

And this was the temple of the God of Love ! These were 
the wonder-working saints who were there folding their hands 
so piously in the niches and on the walls, and lifting up their 
heads with the golden glories round them ! "Oh Mother of 
God holy Mother of God, one drop of water ; have mercy 
on me 1" I heard a poor soldier pray. That prayer he had 
probably been addressing all the long day to the gaudily- 
painted dumb image. Ah poor men 1 Till you yourselves 
have listened to the command of love which God has put into 
your own hearts you will always call in vain upon God's love. 
So long as cruelty is not overcome in your own selves you have 
nothing to hope from the compassion of heaven. 

Ah, how much I had to see and to go through in the whole 
of this same day ! It would in truth be the simplest way and 
the most pleasant to pursue the narrative no further. One 
shuts one's eyes and turns away one's head when something 
altogether too horrid presents itself even the recollection has 
the power to make one shut one's eyes. And if there is no 


more power to help (and what can be altered in this stony 
past ?) why torture oneself and others by writing up these 
horrors ? 

Why ? I will answer the question afterwards. Now I can 
only say I must do it. 

More still. I will not merely tax my own memory that I 
may be able to relate what I have in view, for my powers of 
perception were far too weak to bear the burden of the events, 
but I will also add what Frau Simon, Dr. Bresser, and the Saxon 
inspector of field hospitals, Dr. Naundorff, told me. As in 
Horonewos, so also in many of the villages in this neighbour- 
hood, Hell had set up branch establishments. It was so in 
Sweti, in Hradeck, in Problus. So in Pardubitz, where, when the 
Prussians first took possession of it, " over one thousand severely 
wounded men, operations and amputations, were lying about, 
some dying, some already dead, corpses mixed with those in 
the act of death, and those who envied them their end, 
many with nothing on but bloody shirts, so that no one could 
tell even what countrymen they were. All those who had still 
a spark of life in them were shrieking for water and bread, 
writhing with the pain of their wounds, and begging for death 
as a blessing." 

" Rossnitz," writes Dr. Bauer in his letters " Rossnitz, a 
place whose picture will live in my memory till the hour of my 
death Rossnitz, whither I was sent by the St. John's Society 
six days after the murderous fight, and where the greatest 
misery which the human fancy can picture was still reigning 
down to that day. I found there ' R.' of ours with 650 
wounded, who were lying in wretched barns and stables 
without any nursing in the midst of death and half-dead men, 
some of them lying for days in their own offal. It was here 
that after the erection of the funeral mound of the fallen 

Lt-Col. von F I was so overcome with pain that for an 

hour I poured out the hottest tears and could hardly regain self- 
control in spite of the expenditure of all my moral force. 
Though as a medical man I am accustomed to look at human 


suffering in all its forms, and in the exercise of my profession 
have learnt to bear the shrieks of tortured human nature, yet 
here in very truth tears which I could not repress welled from 
my eyes. It was here in Rossnitz that when, on the second 
day, I found that our powers were not equal to cope with such 
misery, I lost courage and left off dressing the wounds." 

" In what condition were these 600 men ? " It is Dr. 
Naundorff who is speaking this time, " It is impossible to 
depict it accurately. Flies were feeding on their open 
wounds, which were covered with them; their gaze, flaming 
with fever, wandered about asking and seeking for some 
help for refreshment, for water and bread ! Coal, shirt, 
flesh and blood formed in the case of most of them one 
repulsive mass. Worms were beginning to generate in this 
mass and to feed on them. A horrible odour filled every place. 
All these soldiers were lying on the bare ground ; only a few 
had got a little straw on which they could repose their 
miserable bodies. Some who had nothing under them but 
clayey, swampy ground had half sunk into the mud it formed ; 
they had not the strength to get out of it. Others lay in a 
puddle of horrible filth which no pen could consent to 

"In Masloved," so says Frau Simon, "a place of about 
fifty houses, there were lying, eight days after the battle, about 
700 wounded. It was not so much their shrieks of agony as 
their abandonment without any consolation which appealed to 
heaven. In one single barn alone sixty of these poor wretches 
were crowded. Every one of their wounds had originally 
been severe, but they had become hopeless in consequence of 
their unassisted condition, and their want of nursing and 
feeding ; almost all were gangrenous. Limbs crushed by shot 
formed now mere heaps of putrefying flesh, faces a mere mass 
of coagulated blood, covered with filth, in which the mouth 
was represented by a shapeless black opening, from which 
frightful groans kept welling out. The progress of putrefaction 
separated whole mortified pieces from these pitiable bodies. 


The living were lying close to dead bodies which had begun 
to fall into putrefaction, and for which the worms were getting 

"These sixty men, as well as the greater number of the 
others, lay for a week in the same situation. Their wounds 
were either not dressed at all, or only in a most imperfect 
way since the day of the battle they lay there, incapable of 
moving from the spot only scantily fed, and without sufficient 
water. The bedding under them corrupting with blood and 
excrement that is how they passed eight days ! living corpses 
through whose quivering limbs a stream of poisoned blood 
hardly circulated. They had not been able to die, and yet 
how could they expect ever again to return to life ? Which is 
the more astonishing in this matter," says Frau Simon, in con- 
cluding her tale, "the eternal living force of human nature, 
which could endure all this and yet go on breathing, or the 
want of efficient assistance ? " 

What is most astonishing, according to my way of looking 
at it, is, that men should bring each other into such a state 
that men who have seen such a sight should not sink on their 
knees and swear a passionate oath to make war on war that 
if they are princes they do not fling the sword away or if they 
are not in any position of power, they do not from that moment 
devote their whole action in speech or writing, in thought, teach- 
ing or business to this one end Lay down your arms. 

Frau Simon she was called the Mother of the Lazarettos 
was a heroine. For weeks she stayed in that neighbourhood 
and bore all privations and dangers. Hundreds were saved by 
her agency. Day and night she worked, provided, directed. 
Sometimes she was doing the lowest offices beside the sick- 
beds, sometimes ordering the transport of wounded,>, some- 
times requisitioning necessaries. When she had provided 
assistance in one place, she hastened without any rest to 
another; she got a copious supply from Dresden, and con- 
veyed it in spite of all opposing difficulties to the points where 

278 LAY DOWN YOUR A* 111. 

help was needed. She undertook to represent the Patriotic 
Aid Society on the soil of Bohemia, and made a position for 
herself there equal to that which Florence Nightingale took in 
the Crimea. And as to me ? Exhausted, comfortless, over- 
powered by pain and disgust, I had no po*er to render any 
help. Even in the church our first station I had fallen 
fainting with fatigue on the steps of that altar of the Virgin, 
and Dr. Bresser had a good deal of trouble to bring me round 
again. Thence I tottered a little further by his side, and we 
got into just such a bam as Frau Simon has depicted. In the 
church there was at least a large space, in which the poor 
fellows lay side by side ; here they were crowded upon each 
other, or in each other's arms, in heaps or rolls. Into the 
church there had come nurses probably some sanitary corps 
on its march through and these had given some help, though 
insufficient. But here they were mere castaways quite undis- 
covered a crawling whining mass of half-putrefied remains of 
men. Choking disgust laid hold of my throat, the bitterest 
grief of my breast. I felt as if my heart was breaking in two, 
and I gave utterance to a resounding shriek. This shriek is 
the last thing remaining in my memory of that scene. 

When I came to my senses again, I found myself in a 
railway carriage in motion. Opposite me sat Dr. Bresser. 
When he perceived that I had opened my eyes, and was 
looking about me astonished and questioning, he took my 

" Yes, yes, Lady Martha," he said, " this is a second-class 
carriage. You are not dreaming. You are here in company 
with a slightly wounded officer and your friend Bresser, and we 
are on our way to Vienna." 

So it was. The doctor had brought a detachment of 
wounded from Horonewos to Kbniginhof, and from thence 
another detachment had been given into his charge to transport 
to Vienna. Me, in my fainting state, fainting in both senses 
of the word, he had taken with him and was bringing home. 


I had shown myself to be entirely useless and incapable in 
those abodes of misery, only a hindrance and a burden. Frau 
Simon was very glad when Dr. Bresser got me out of the way. 
And I was obliged to allow that it was better so. But 
Frederick? I had not found him. Thank God that I had 
not found him, for then all hope was not dead, and if I had 
been obliged to recognise my beloved husband among those 
shapes of woe, I should have gone mad. Perhaps I should 
find at home a letter for me from my Frederick ! This hope, 
no, it would be too much to say " hope," but the thought of 
this bare possibility poured balm into my wounded soul. Yes, 
wounded. I felt my inmost soul wounded. The gigantic woe 
which I had seen had cut so deep into my own heart that I felt 
as if it would never be healed again completely. Even if I 
were to find my Frederick again, even if a long future of 
brilliancy and love were granted me, could I ever forget that 
so many others of my poor human brothers and sisters had had 
to bear such unspeakable misery ? And must go on bearing it 
till they come to see that this misery is no fatality but a crime. 

I slept almost the whole way. Dr. Bresser had given me 
a slight narcotic, so that a longer and sounder sleep might 
to some extent calm my nerves, which had been so shattered 
by the occurrences at Horonewos. 

When we arrived at the Vienna station, my father was 
already there to take me away. Dr. Bresser, who thought of 
everything, had telegraphed to Grumitz. It was not possible 
for him himself to see me there, for he had his wounded to 
see into the hospital, and wished then to return to Bohemia 
without delay. 

My father embraced me in silence, and I also did not find 
a word to say. Then he turned to Dr. Bresser. 

" How can I thank you ? If you had not taken this little 
crazy thing under your protection " 

But the doctor pressed our hands hastily. 

" I must go," he said. " I have duty to do. May you get 
home safely. The young lady wants forbearance, your excellency 


She has had a terrible shaking. No reproaches, no questioning. 
Get her quick to bed. Orange-flower water rest. Good-bye." 
And he was gone. 

My father put my arm in his and led me through the crowd 
to the exit. There again a long row of ambulance waggons 
was standing. We had to go some distance on foot till we 
could get to the place where our carriage was waiting. 

The question : " Has any news of Frederick come during this 
while ? " rose several times to my lips, but I could not find 
courage to give voice to it. At last, when we had driven some 
distance, while my father kept silence all the way, I brought it 

" Not up to yesterday," was the reply. " It is possible that 
we may find news to-day. It was, of course, yesterday, 
immediately after the receipt of the telegram, that I left for the 
city. Oh, what a fright you have given us, you silly creature ! 
To go to the battlefields, where you might meet the most 
cruel enemies, for these folks are just like savages. They are 
perfectly intoxicated with the victories of their needle-rifle, 
and all; they are no disciplined soldiers, these landwehr fellows ; 
from such men you may be sure of the worst outrages, and you 

a lady to run into the midst of them you However, 

the doctor just now ordered me not to scold you.' 1 

" How is my son Rudolf? " 

" He is crying and moaning about you, seeking you all over 
the house, will not believe that you could have gone away 
without giving him a parting kiss. And do not you ask after 
the rest? Lilly, Rosa, Otto, Aunt Mary? You seem to me 
altogether so indifferent." 

" How are they all ? Has Conrad written ? " 

" They are all well A letter arrived yesterday from Conrad. 
Nothing has happened to him. Lilly is happy. You will see 
that good news will very soon arrive about Tilling too. 
Unfortunately there is nothing good to be hoped in a 
political point of view. You have surely heard of the 
great calamity?" 


" Which ? In the present state of things I ha*e seen nothing 
but great calamities." 

" I mean Venice. Our beautiful Venice given away made 
a present of to that intriguer Louis Napoleon, and that after 
such a brilliant victory as we won at Custozza! Instead of 
getting back our Lombardy to give up our Venice as well ! It 
is true that by this means we get free from our enemies in the 
South, have Louis Napoleon too on our side, and can now 
with our whole force take our revenge for Sadowa, chase the 
Prussians out of our country, follow them up and gain Silesia 
for ourselves. Benedek has committed great mistakes, but now 
the chief command will be put into the hand of the glorious 
commander of the Army of the South. But you make no 
reply? Well, then, I will follow Bresser's prescription and 
give you repose." 

After a drive of two hours we arrived at Grumitz. 

As our carriage drove into the court of the chateau my sisters 
ran out to meet me. 

" Martha ! Martha 1 " both of them shouted from a distance. 
" He is there." 

And again at the carriage door : " He is there ". 


" Frederick, your husband." 

Yes, so it was. It was the day before, late in the evening, 
that Frederick had been brought with a consignment of 
wounded from Bohemia to Vienna and from thence here. He 
had received a bullet in his leg, a wound which rendered him 
for the moment unfit for service and in need of nursing, but 
was entirely free from danger. 

But joy is also hard to bear. The news then shouted to me 
by my sisters, so entirely without preparation, that " Frederick 
was there," had just the same effect as the terrcr of the past 
days it deprived me of consciousness. 

They were obliged to carry me from the carriage into the 
chateau, and put me to bed Here, whether from the after- 


effect of the narcotic, or the violence of the shock of joy, 1 
spent several hours in unconsciousness, sometimes slumbering, 
sometimes delirious. When I came to myself and found 
myself in my own bed I believed myself to have awokt from 
a dreadful dream, and thought I had never left Grumitz. 
Bresser's letter, my resolution to start for Bohemia, my 
experiences there, the homeward journey, the news of Frede- 
rick's return home all was a dream. 

I looked up. My femme de chambrc was standing at the 
foot of the bed. " Is my bath ready ? " I asked. " I want to 
get up." 

Now Aunt Mary rushed forward out of a corner of the room. 

" Oh Martha ! poor dear, are you at last awake and restored 
to your senses ? God be praised. Yes, yes ; get up and take 
your bath. That will do you good, when one is covered, as 
you are, with the dust of the roads and railways." 

" Dust from railways ; what do you mean ? " 

" Quick ; get up. Netty, get everything ready. Frederick 
is almost dying with impatience to see you." 

" Frederick my Frederick ? " 

How often had I during these last days called out this name, 
and with what pain ! But now it was a cry of joy for now I 
had comprehended. It was no dream. I had been away and 
come back again, and was to see my husband. 

A quarter of an hour afterwards I went into his room, alone. 
I had requested that no one should go with me. No third 
person should be present at our meeting. 

"Frederick!" "Martha!" I rushed to the couch OD 
which he lay and sobbed on his bosom. 


My delight in the restoration of my husband. The war practical!) 
at an end : but the Prussians continue their advance on 
Vienna Lift at G. xmitz. Military education. My 
brother Of to. Description of the flight of a routed corps. 
Peace imminent. Victory of Lyssa. Plans for the future. 
Conrad's return. The soldiers delight in war. 

THIS was the second time in my life that my beloved husband 
had been restored to me from the dangers of war. 

Oh ! the blessedness of having him once more with me. 
How was it that I, just I, had succeeded in emerging out of the 
flood of woe in which so many had sunk, on to a safe and happy 
shore ? Happy for those who in such circumstances can raise 
their eyes with joy to heaven and send up warm thanks to their 
Guide above. By this thanksgiving, which, because it is spoken 
in humility, they take to be humble, and of which they have 
no conception how arrogant and self-important it is in reality, 
they feel themselves relieved, inasmuch as they have, according 
to their own opinion, given a sufficient discharge for the benefit 
which has accrued to them, and which they call grace and 
favour. I could not put myself in that position. When I 
thought of the wretches whom I had seen in those abodes of 
misery, and when I thought of the lamentable mothers and 
wives whose dear ones had been hurried into torture and death 
by the same destiny as had so favoured me when I thought 
of this I found it impossible to be so immodest as to take this 
favour as having been ?ent by God, and one for which I was 
entitled to give thanks. It appeared to me that just as, a little 



while before, Frau Walter, our housekeeper, had swept hei 
broom over a cupboard on which a swarm of ants who scented 
sugar were collected, so fate had swept over the Bohemian 
battlefields. The poor busy black things were mostly crushed, 
killed, scattered ; but a few remained uninjured. Now, would 
it have been reasonable and proper in them if they had sent up 
their heartfelt thanks for this to Frau Walter ? No. I could 
not entirely banish the woe out of my heart by means of the 
joy of meeting again, however great that were. I neither could 
nor did I wish to do so. I was not able to help to dress 
wounds, nurse, wait on the sick like those sisters of mercy 
and the courageous Frau Simon had done ; my strength was not 
sufficient for that. But the mercy which consists in compassion, 
that I had offered up to my poor brother-men, and that I could 
not withdraw from them again in my selfish contentment. I 
could not forget. 

But if I might not triumph and give thanks yet I well might 
love might clasp the beloved one to my heart with a hundred- 
fold the former tenderness. " Oh Frederick, Frederick ! " I 
repeated amidst our tears and caresses, "have I got you 
again ? " 

" And you wanted to seek me out and nurse me ? How 
heroic and how foolish, Martha ! " 

" Foolish ! Yes, there I agree with you. The appealing 
voice which drew me on was imagination superstition for 
you were not calling for me. But heroic ? No. If you knew 
how cowardly I showed myself when face to face with misery ! 
It was only you, if you had been lying there, that I could have 
nursed. I have seen horrors, Frederick, that I can never 
forget. Oh ! this beautiful world of ours, how can people so 
spoil it, Frederick ? A world in which two beings can so love 
each other as you and I do, in which there can glow such a fire 
of bliss as is our union, how can it be so foolish as to rake up 
the flames of hate which brings death and woe in its train ? " 

"I also have seen something horrible, Martha something 
that I can never forget. Just think of Godfrey v. Tessow 


ushing wildly upon me with uplifted sword it was in the 
cavalry action at Sadowa." 

" Aunt Rosalie's son ? " 

" The same ; he recognised me in time, and let the blade 
sink which he had already raised." 

" He acted in that directly contrary to his duty. How ? 
To spare an enemy of his king and country, under the 
worthless pretext that he was his own dear friend and cousin." 

" Poor fellow ! He had scarcely let his arm fall when a 
sabre whistled over his head. It was my next man, a young 
officer, who wanted to defend his lieutenant-colonel, and " 

Frederick stopped and covered his face with both hands. 

" Killed ? " I asked shuddering. He nodded. 

" Mamma, mamma," resounded from the next reom, and the 
door was burst open. It was my sister Lilly, leading little 
Rudolf by the hand. 

" Forgive me if I interrupt your fete-a-tete on meeting again, 
but this boy was too ardently eager to see his mamma to be 

I hastened to the child and pressed him passionately to my 
heart Ah ! poor, poor Aunt Rosalie ! 

On the very same day the surgeon who had been summoned 
by telegraph from Vienna arrived at the chateau and undertook 
the treatment of Frederick's wound. Six weeks of the most 
perfect rest, and his cure would be complete. 

That my husband should quit the service was a point 
perfectly settled between us two. Of course, this could not 
be carried out till the war was at an end. The war might, 
however, be practically looked on as over. After the renun- 
ciation of Venice the conflict with Italy was ended, Napoleon's 
friendship secured, and we should be in a position to conclude 
peace on moderate terms with the northern conqueror. Our 
emperor himself was most ardently desirous to put an end to 
the unlucky campaign, and would not expose his capital to a 
siege also. The Prussian victories in the rest of Germany, 
joined to the entry of the Prussians into Frankfort-on-the-Main 


which took place on July 16, invested our adversaries with a 
halo, which, like all success, extorted admiration even from 
our countrymen, and awoke a sort of belief that it was an 
historical mission which was thus being carried out by Prussia 
through the battles she had won. The words " suspension of 
hostilities," "peace," having been once let drop, one could 
count on their taking effect as certainly as in the times when a 
threatening of war has once found vent one may reckon on its 
breaking out sooner or later. Even my father himself admitted 
that under the stress of circumstances a suspension of hostilities 
was desirable ; the army was debilitated, the superiority of the 
needle-gun must be recognised, and an advance of the enemy's 
troops on the capital, the blockade of Vienna, and along with 
that the destruction of Grumitz, these were possibilities which 
were not particularly alluring to even my warlike papa. 
His trust in the invincibility of the Austrian troops had then 
received a severe shock by present facts, and it is, speaking 
generally, a predisposition of the human mind to infer from the 
events passing before us that they will recur in a series, that on 
one success another success will follow, on one misfortune a 
fresh misfortune. So it is better to stop in the run of bad luck 
the time of satisfaction and of vengeance will come one day. 

Vengeance ! and always repeated vengeance ! Every war 
must leave one side defeated, and if this side can only find 
satisfaction in the next war, a war which must naturally produce 
another defeated side craving satisfaction, when is it to stop ? 
How can justice be attained, when can old injustice be atoned, 
if fresh injustice is always to be employed as the means of 
atonement ? It would never suggest itself to any reasonable 
man to wash out ink spots with ink and oil stains with oil, it is 
only blood which has always to be washed out with new blood ! 
The frame of mind prevailing at Grumitz was on the whole a 
gloomy one. In the village panic reigned. "The Prussians 
are coming. The Prussians are coming " was always the 
cry of terror which they kept uttering still, in spite 
of the hopes of peace which were cherished in nany 


quarters ; and people were packing up their treasures at home 
or burying them out of sight. Even in the chateau Aunt Mary 
and Frau Walter had taken care that the family plate had been 
put in a secret place of concealment. Lilly was in constant 
anxiety about Conrad, of whom there had been no news for 
several days ; my father fourid himself wounded in his patriotic 
honour, and we two, Frederick and I, in spite of the bliss 
which lay deep in our hearts on account of our re-union, had 
been most painfully shaken by the miseries of the time which 
we had experienced, and with which we so warmly sympathised. 
And from all sides flowed in constantly fresh food for this pain. 
In all the correspondence in the papers, in all our letters from 
relatives and acquaintance, there was nothing but complaints 
and lamentations. First there was a letter from Aunt Rosalie, 
who had not yet learned her unhappiness, but who spoke in 
such moving terms of the fear in which she was of having to 
lose her only child a letter over which we two shed bitter 
tears. And in the evening, when we sat all together, there was 
no more of cheerful chatter, seasoned with jokes, music, card- 
playing and interesting reading, but always, whether spoken or 
read, only histories of woe and death. We read nothing but 
newspapers, and these were filled with "war," and nothing 
but "war," and our talk related chiefly to the experiences 
which Frederick and I had brought back from the Bohemian 
battlefields. My departure thither had been, it is true, taken 
very ill by them all, but for all that they listened eagerly as I 
related the events there, partly from my own observation, 
partly from what I had been told. Rosa was an enthusiast 
for Frau Simon, and swore that, if the war was going to con 
tinue, she would join the Saxon Samaritans. Papa, of course, 
protested against this. 

" With the exception of the sisters of charity and the sutlers 
no woman has any business in a war. You must surely see 
how useless our Martha showed herself to be. That was an 
unpardonable prank of yours, you silly child. Your husband 
ought to chastise you properly for it." 


Frederick stroked my hand. 

"Yes, it was a folly, but a noble one." 

If I spoke of the horrors which I had seen with my 
own eyes, or which my travelling companions had related to 
me, in quite naked terms, I was often interrupted reproachfully 
by my father or Aunt Mary, with : " How can people repeat 
such dreadful things?" or, "Are you not ashamed, as a 
woman, as a gently bred lady, to take such ugly words into 
your mouth ? " This exhausted my patience. 

" Oh, away with your prudery ! away with your affected 
decorum ! Any cruelties may be committed, but it is not 
permitted to name them. Gently bred ladies are not to know 
anything about blood and filth, but they may embroider the flags 
which are to wave over this bath of blood ; maidens may not 
know anything of the cause which is to render their lovers 
incapable of reaping the reward of their love, but they are 
allowed to promise them that reward, in order to inspire their 
martial ardour. Death and killing do not offer anything 
improper for you well-bred ladies as you are but at the bare 
mention of the things which are the sources of the implanted 
life, you must blush and look aside. That is cruel ethics I would 
have you know cruel and cowardly. This looking aside with 
the bodily and the spiritual eye it is to this that is due the per 
sistence of so much misery and injustice. If one had but the 
courage to look steadily whenever one's fellow-creatures are 
pining in pain and misery, and the courage to reflect on what 
one saw " 

" Don't get excited," interrupted Aunt Mary ; "however much 
we might look, and however much we might reflect, we should 
never be able to chase evil from the earth. It is now, once for 
all, a vale of misery, and will ever remain so." 

" It will not," I replied ; and so at least I had the last word. 

" The danger that peace will be concluded is coming steadily 
nearer," said my brother Otto complainingly one day. 
We were sitting at the time at the family table again, 


Frederick on the sofa near us, and some one had just read 
out of the newspapers the tidings that Benedetti had arrived in 
Bohemia, obviously entrusted with the mission of suggesting 
proposals for peace. 

My little brother he was indeed big enough by this time, 
but I had got into the habit of calling him so my little brother 
was in fear of nothing so much as that the war would come to 
a speedy end, and it would not be his lot to chase the enemy 
out of the country. For the news had just come from the 
Neustadt that in case hostilities had to be resumed, then at the 
next period of calling out the reserves /'.*., next August 18 
not only the recruits of the last year, but also a large proportion 
of the last but one would have to go at once into active service. 
This prospect delighted the young hero. Straight from the 
academy into the field ! What rapture ! Just so a school-girl 
looks out into the world to her first ball. She has learned to 
dance ; the Neustadt scholar has learned to shoot and fence. 
She longs to display her powers under a blazing chandelier in 
evening dress, to the accompaniment of the orchestra ; and he 
longs no less for the smart uniform and the great artillery 

My father was of course pleased in the highest degree at his 
darling's martial ardour. 

" By easy, my brave boy," he said in reply to Otto's sigh over 
the threat of peace, patting him the while on the shoulder. 
" You have a long life before you. Even if the campaign were 
to come to an end now, it must break out again in a yoar or 

I said nothing. Since my outbreak against Aunt Mary I had, 
on Frederick's advice, formed and carried out the resolution 
to avoid these painful disputes on the subject of war as far as 
possible. It would lead to nothing but bitter feelings ; and 
after having seen the traces of the grim scourge with my own 
eyes I had so increased my hatred and my contempt for war that 
all defence of it cut into my soul like a personal insult. About 
Frederick we were indeed at one he was to quit the service ; 


and I was also clear on this point, that my son Rudolf should 
not be put into any military institution where the whole of the 
education is directed and must, to be consistent, be directed 
to awaken in the young a longing for deeds of war. I once 
asked my brother what might be the views which were put 
before the students on the subject of war. His replies came to 
something like what follows : War was represented as a neces- 
sary evil (thus, at any rate, evil a concession to the spirit of 
the age) but at the same time as the chief excitant of the 
noblest of human virtues such as courage, the power of self- 
renunciation and the spirit of sacrifice, as the bestower of the 
greatest glory, and lastly, as the mightiest factor in the develop- 
ment of civilisation. The mighty conquerors and founders 
of the so-called universal empires Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon 
were quoted as the most exalted specimens of human great- 
ness, and recommended for admiration. The successes and 
advantages of war were set forth in the liveliest colours, while 
they passed over in complete silence the drawbacks which 
inevitably come in its train, its barbarising influence, its ruinous 
effects, the moral and physical degeneration it causes. Yes, 
assuredly, for the same system was pursued in my case in 
the education of girls and it was thus that was kindled 
in my childish spirit the admiration of warlike laurels which 
at first inspired me. If I had even myself been full of 
regret that the possibility of plucking these laurels did not 
beckon me on, as it did the boys, could I now take it ill 
in a -boy if such a possibility filled him with joy and with 
impatience ? 

And so I answered nothing to Otto's complaint, but quietly 
went on with my reading. I was, as usual, reading a news- 
paper, and that was filled, as usual, with news from the theatre 
of war. 

" Here is an interesting correspondence of a physician who 
accompanied the retreat of our troops. Shall I read it aloud ? " 
I asked. 

"The retreat?" cried Otto. " I had rather not hear about 


that. Now, if it were the history of the retreat of the foe, hotly 

pursued " 

" As a general principle it surprises me," remarked Frederick, 
"that any one should tell the tale of a flight which he has 
accompanied. That is an episode of war which the people 
concerned in it generally pass over in silence." 

"An orderly retreat is however not a flight," interposed my 
father. " We had one in '49. It was under Radetzky " 

I knew the story and prevented its continuation by inter- 

"This account was sent to a medical weekly paper, and, 
therefore, was not intended for military circles. Listen." 

And without further request for permission I read out the 

"It was about four o'clock when our troops began the 
retreat. We doctors were fully occupied dressing the wounded 
to the number of some hundreds who could bear removal. 
Suddenly cavalry broke in on us, and spread themselves beside 
and behind us, over hills and fields, accompanied by artillery 
and baggage- waggons, towards Koniggratz. Many riders fell and 
were stamped to pieces by the horses that came behind. Waggons 
overturned and crushed the foot-men, who were pressed in 
among them. We were scattered away from the dressing 
station, which disappeared all at once. They shouted to 
us : " Save yourselves ! " While this cry went on we heard 
the thunder of the cannon, and splinters of shell began 
to fall amongst our crowd. And so we were carried for- 
ward by the press without knowing whither. I despaired 
of my life. My poor old mother, my dear espoused bride, 
farewell! On a sudden we had water before us, on the 
right a railway embankment, on the left a hollow way stopped 
up with clumsy baggage- and sick-waggons, and behind us an 
innumerable crowd of horsemen. We began to wade through 
the water. Now came the order to cut the traces of the horses, 
to save the horses, and leave the waggons behind. The waggons 
of the wounded also ? Yes, those too. We on foot were 


almost in despair : we were wading again over our knees in 
water, every moment in fear of being shot down or drowned. 
At last we got into a railway station, which again was closely 
barred. Many broke through the barrier, the rest leaped over 
it. I with thousands of the infantry soldiers ran on. Now we 
came to a river, waded through it, then clambered over some 
palisades, passed again through a second river up to our necks, 
clambered up some rising ground, leaped over fallen irees, and 
arrived about one A.M. at a little wood, where we sank' down 
from exhaustion and fever. About three o'clock we marched 
that is, some of us, another part had to remain and die 
there we marched on still dripping with wet and shuddering 
with cold. The villages were all empty no men, no provisions, 
not even a drop of drinking water ; the air was poisoned, corpses 
covering the corn-fields ; bodies black as coal, with the eyes 
fallen from their sockets " 

"Enough ! enough ! " cried the girls. 

" The censorship should not allow the publication of things 
of that sort," said my father. "It might destroy a man's love 
for the profession of a soldier." 

" And especially the love for war, which would be a pity," 1 
murmured half aloud. 

" As a general rule," he went on, " about these episodes of 
flight, the people who have been present at them should observe 
a decorous silence, for it is surely no honour to have borne 
a part at a general ' Sauve qui peut '. The fellow who, by 
shouting 'Save yourselves,' gives the signal for scampering 
should be shot down on the spot. One coward raises the 
shout, and a thousand brave men are demoralised thereby and 
obliged to run with him." 

"Exactly so," replied Frederick, "just as when one brave 
man shouts ' Forward ' a thousand cowards are obliged to rush 
on, and thus are really animated by a merely momentary 
courage. Men cannot in general be divided so sharply into 
courageous and cowards, but every one has his moments ol 
more or less courage and those of more or less cowardice. 


And especially when one is dealing with masses of men each 
individual is dependent on the condition of his comrades. We 
are gregarious animals, and are under the domination of 
gregarious feelings. Where one sheep leaps over the others leap 
after him, where one man rushes on shouting ' Hurrah ' the others 
shout and rush after him, and where one dashes down his musket 
into the corn in order to run away the others run after him. In 
the one case ' our brave troops ' get praised, in the other their 
proceedings are passed over in silence, yet they are all the same 
persons. Yes, they are the very same men who, obeying in 
each case a common impulse, behave and feel at one time 
courageously, at another cowardly. Bravery and fear are to be 
regarded, not as fixed qualities, but rather as states of the 
spirits, just like joy and grief. I, during my first campaign, 
was once involved in the whirl of one of these panic flights. 
In the official account of the Etat-major, it is true, the affair 
was passed over in a few words as an ' orderly retreat ' ; but in 
fact it was a thorough rout. They rushed on, madly raging in 
indescribable confusion ; arms, knapsacks, shakos, and cloaks 
were cast away; no word of command could be heard; panting, 
shrieking, hounded on by despair, the disbanded battalion 
streamed on, with the enemy pursuing and firing after them. 
That is one of the many gruesome phases of war the most 
gruesome, when the two adversaries figure no longer as warriors 
but as hunter and prey. Thence arises in the hunter the most 
cruel lust of blood ; in the prey the most bitter fear of death. 
The pursued, hunted and spurred by fear, get into a kind of 
delirium, all the feelings and sentiments in which they have 
been educated, and which animate a man as he is rushing into 
battle, such as love of country, ambition, thirst for noble deeds 
all these are lost to the fugitive. He is filled with one 
impulse only, in its greatest force, liberated from all restraint, 
and that the most vehement which can assume the mastery of 
a living being the impulse of self-preservation : and this, as 
danger comes nearer, rises to the highest paroxysm of terror.* 1 


Frederick's recovery progressed surely. The feverish outei 
world, too, seemed to come nearer to recovery. The word 
" Peace " was always being spoken more frequently and always 
louder. The advance of the Prussians, who found no longer any 
opposition on the way, and who were quietly drawing on towards 
Vienna, by way of Briinn, the keys of which were delivered by 
the burgomaster to King William, this advance was more in 
the nature of a military promenade than an operation of war, 
and on July 26 a regular suspension of arms at Nikolsburg was 
ended by the preliminaries of peace. 

My father had a great delight in the reception of the news 
of Admiral Tegethoff's victory at Lyssa. Italian ships blown 
into the air, the Affundatore destroyed, what a satisfaction ! I 
could not with perfect honesty take my share in his joy. 
Speaking generally, I could not understand why, since Venice 
had already been surrendered, these naval actions should be 
fought at all. So much, however, is certain, that there broke 
out over this event the most lively shout of joy, not from my 
father only, but from all the Viennese papers. The fame of a 
victory in war is a thing which has been swollen up to such a 
size through the traditions of a thousand years, that even from 
the mere news of one some share of pride is spread over the 
whole population. If anywhere a general of your country has 
beaten a general of a foreign country, every single subject of 
the state in question is congratulated, and since each man 
hears that all the rest are rejoicing, a thing which in itself is 
exhilarating, why, each man ends by rejoicing, in fact. This is 
what Frederick called "feeling in droves". 

Another political event of those days was that Austria at 
length joined the Geneva convention. 

" Well, are you contented now ? " asked my father as he read 
the news. " Do you agree that war, which you are always 
calling a barbarity, is always becoming more humane as civili- 
sation progresses ? I too am indeed in favour of carrying on 
war humanely : the wounded should have the most careful 
nursing and all possible relief. . . . Even on strategic principles, 


which in the long run are surely the most important in warlike 
matters, by a proper treatment of the sick very many may 
become fit for service again, and be replaced in the ranks in a 
shorter space of time." 

" You are right, papa. Material to be used again, that is 
the chief thing. But after the things which I have seen, no 
Red Cross will be enough, even if they had ten times as much 
of men and means, to conjure away the misery which one 
battle brings with it " 

" No, indeed, not to conjure it away, but to mitigate it. 
What cannot be prevented, one must always seek to mitigate." 

" Experience teaches that no sufficient mitigation is possible. 
I should therefore wish the maxim to be inverted, ' What 
cannot be mitigated ought to be prevented'." 

It began to be a fixed idea with me, that war must cease. 
And every individual must contribute, all that he is able, to 
bring mankind nearer to this end, were it but by the thousandth 
part of a line. I could not get away from the scenes which I had 
witnessed in Bohemia. Especially at night, when I woke out 
of a sound sleep, I would feel that sore pain at my heart, and 
felt at the same time in my conscience the admonition, just as 
if some one was giving me the command, " Stop it, prevent it, 
do not suffer it". It was not till I was wide awake and thought 
on what I was that the perception of my impotence came over 
me. What then was I to stop or to prevent ? A man might 
as well order me, in face of the sea swelling with winds and 
waves, " Not to suffer it, dry it up ". And my next thought 
was, especially as I listened to his breathing, one of deep 
happiness, " I have Frederick again," and I would plunge into 
this idea as vividly as I could, and then I would put my arm 
round him as he lay beside me, even at the risk of wakening 
him, and kiss his lips. 

My son Rudolf had really reason to be jealous of his step- 
father, and this feeling was actually aroused in the boy's heart, 
especially since recent days. That I had gone away from 
Grumitz without bidding him good-bye, that after my return 


my first wish was not to embrace him, that as a general rule 
I did not move from my husband's side for almost the whole 
day all this put together caused the poor little fellow one fine 
morning to throw himself weeping on my neck, and sob out : 
" Mamma, mamma, you do not love me a bit ". 

"What nonsense are you talking, child ?" 

" Yes only only papa. I I will not grow up at all if 
you no longer like me." 

"No longer like you you my treasure!" I kissed and 
caressed the weeping child. " You, my only son, my pride, 
the joy of my future. I love you so so above no, not above 
everything but infinitely." 

After this little scene, my love for my boy came more vividly 
into my feelings. In the days just past, I had in fact been 
so much engrossed by my fears for Frederick, that poor Rudolf 
had got thrust a little into the background. 

The plans which Frederick and I had made up between 
ourselves for the future were as follows : After the war was 
over, to quit the military service, and retire to some small, 
cheap place, where Frederick's pension as colonel, and what 
I could contribute, would suffice to keep up our little house- 
hold. We rejoiced over this solitary independent life together, 
as if we had been a pair of young lovers. By means of the 
events of our recent experience, we had been taught thoroughly 
that we each formed the whole world to the other. Little 
Rudolf, moreover, was not excluded from this fellowship. His 
education was a main business in filling up the existence we 
were planning. We were not to pass our days therein in 
idleness and without any aim ; amongst other things we had 
marked out a whole list of studies, which we were to pursue 
in common. In especial, there was among the sciences a 
branch of the science of law, international, to which Frederick 
intended to devote himself particularly. His aim was, quite 
apart from all Utopian and sentimental theory, to investigate 
the practical side of national peace. By means of the perusal 
of Buckle to which I had given him the impulse by means 


of an acquaintance with the newest acquisitions in natural 
philosophy, which had been revealed to him in the works of 
Darwin, Biichner, and pthers, the conviction had come before 
him that the world was arriving at a new phase of knowledge, 
and to make this knowledge his own, as far as possible, appeared 
to him sufficient to fill up life, along with domestic pleasures. 

My father, who meanwhile knew nothing of our views, was 
making quite other plans for the future on our behalf. " You 
will now, Tilling, be colonel at an early age, and in ten years 
you will certainly be general. A fresh war will no doubt break 
out again about that time, and you may get the command of 
an entire corps d'armee^ or who knows but that you may reach 
the rank of commander-in-chief, and perhaps the great happi- 
ness may come to you of restoring the arms of Austria to their 
full glory, which is now for the moment obscured. When we 
have once adopted the needle-gun, or perhaps some still more 
effectual system, we shall soon have the best in a war with these 
gentlemen of Prussia." 

"Who knows," I suggested, "perhaps our enmity with 
Prussia will cease. Perhaps we shall some day conclude an 
alliance with them." 

My father shrugged his shoulders. " If women would only 
abstain from talking politics!" he said disdainfully. "After 
what has taken place, we have to chastise these insolent fellows, 
we have to get the annexed (as they call them I call them 
'plundered') states back to their severed allegiance; that is 
what pur honour demands, and the interest of our position 
amongst the Powers of Europe. Friendship alliance with 
these transgressors ? Never ! unless they came and begged 
humbly for it." 

" In that case," remarked Frederick, " we should perhaps set 
our feet on their necks. Alliances are sought and concluded 
only with those whom one respects, or who can offer one 
protection against a common foe. In state-craft the ruling 
principle is egotism." 

"Oh yes," my father replied, "if the ego means one's 


country, everything else is certainly to be subordinated to it, 
and everything is certainly allowable and commanded which 
seems serviceable to its interests/' 

" It is, however, to be wished," answered Frederick, " that in 
the behaviour of communities the same elevated civilisation 
should be reached, as has banished from the behaviour of 
individuals the rough self-worship, resting on fist-law, and that 
the view should prevail more and more that one's own interests 
are really most effectually furthered by avoiding damage to 
those of foreigners, or rather in union with the latter." 

" Eh ? " asked my father, with his hand to his ear. 

But Frederick could not, of course, repeat this long sentence 
and illustrate it, and so the discussion ended. 


"I shall be at Grumitz to-morrow at one o'clock. Conrad." 

Everybody can imagine the delight which this telegram 
caused Lilly. No other arrival is hailed with such joy and 
rapture as that of one returning from the wars. It is true that 
in this case there was not also what is the favourite subject of 
the common ballads and engravings, viz., "The conqueror's 
return " ; but the human feelings of the loving sweetheart would 
not be interfered with by patriotic considerations, and if Conrad 
had " taken " the city of Berlin, i believe this would not have 
availed to heighten the warmth of Lilly's reception of him. 

To him, of course, it would have been better if he had come 
home along with troops who had been victorious, if he had 
contributed to conquer the province of Silesia for his emperor. 
Meantime, the very fact of having fought is in itself an honour 
for a soldier, even if he is one of the beaten, nay, one of the 
fallen : the latter is even more especially glorious. Thus Otto 
told us that in the academy at Wiener-Neustadt the names of 
all the students were inscribed on a table of honour, to whom 
the advantage had befallen of having been left dead on the 
battlefield, Tut a /'cnncmi, they say in France; and in that 
country, as everywhere else, it is a much-prized ancestral 
distinction. The more progenitors one can point out in one's 


family who have lost their lives in battles, whether won or lost, 
the prouder is the descendant of it, the more value may he set 
on his name, the less value on his life. In order to show 
oneself worthy of one's slain ancestors, one must have a lively 
joy of one's own in slaying, active and passive. Well, so much 
the better is it, that, as long as war exists, there should also be 
found people who see therein elevation and inspiration, nay, 
even pleasure. The number, however, of these people is daily 
becoming less, while the number of the soldiers becomes daily 
greater. Whither must this finally lead? To its becoming 
intolerable. And whither will this lead? 

Conrad did not think so deeply. His way of looking at it was 
excellently expressed by the well-known song of the lieutenant 
in the "Dame Blanche": "Oh, what delight is a soldier's life, what 
delight ! " To hear him speak, one might have actually envied 
him the expedition of which he had just formed part. My 
brother Otto was really filled with this envy. This warrior 
returned from his baptism of blood and fire, who even before 
looked so knightly in his hussar uniform, and who was now 
also adorned with an honourable scar over his chin, received 
in the shower of bullets, who had perhaps given their quietus 
to so many of the foe, he seemed to him now surrounded by a 
nimbus of glory. 

" It was not a successful campaign, that I must admit," said 
Conrad, " but I have brought back from it one or two grand 

" Tell us, tell us," Lilly and Otto besought him. 

" Well, I cannot give you many details ; the whole thing lies 
behind me like a dream, the powder gets into one's head in 
such a strange way. The intoxication, in fact, or the fever, 
the martial fire, in a word, begins from the moment of march- 
ing. The parting from one's love indeed comes hard on one ; 
it was the one hour in which my breast was full of tender pain, 
but when one is once off with one's comrades ; when the thought 
is, now I am going on the highest duty which life can lay on a 
man, ws ., to defend my beloved country ; when, then, th 


musicians struck up Radctztys March, and the silken folds of 
the flags rustled in the wind, I must confess, Lilly, that at that 
moment I would not have turned back no, not into the arms 
of my love. Then I felt that I should never be worthy of that 
love except by doing my duty out there by the side of my 
brethren. That we were marching to victory we did not 
doubt. What did we know about the horrible needle bullets ? 
It was they alone that were the cause of our defeat. I tell you 
they fell on our ranks like hail. And we had also bad leaders. 
Benedek, you will see, will yet be brought before a court 
martial. We should have attacked. If I should ever become 
a general my tactics would be to advance, always advance, 
play a forward game, invade the enemy's country. Thru 
surely is only another kind, and the most weighty one too, of 
defence : 

If it must be so, go forward forward go. 
The way is found by never looking back, 

as the poet says. However, that is nothing to the point ; the 
emperor has not put me in command, and so I am not respon- 
sible for the tactical blunders : the generals must see how they 
are to settle with their military superiors and with their own 
consciences ; we, officers and soldiers, did our duty we 
had to fight, and fight we did. And that is a grand sensation 
in itself. The very expectation, the very excitement one feels 
when one rushes on to the foe and when the word goes round 
1 Now it is afoot,' this consciousness that in that moment a 
portion of the world's history is being enacted, and then the 
pride, the joy in one's own courage, Death right and left, great 
and mysterious, and yet one bids him a manly defiance - 

" Just like poor Godfrey Tessow," murmured Frederick to 
himself. " Well, of course, it is the same school." 

Conrad went on eagerly. 

" One's heart beats higher, one's pulse flutters, there awakes 
and that is the peculiar rapture of it there wakes the joy of 


battle. The rage, the hate of the foe blazes up, and at the 
same time the most burning love for one's menaced country, 
while the onward rush, the hewing down at them becomes a 
delight. One feels transported into another world from that 
in which one grew up, a world in which all the ordinary feelings 
and ways of looking at things are changed into their opposites. 
Life is changed into plunder ; killing becomes a duty. Only, 
however, heroism, the most magnificent self-sacrifice, are left 
surviving all other conceptions have perished in the tumult. 
Then add the powder-smoke, the battle-cries. I tell you it is 
a state of things to which no parallel is to be found elsewhere. 
At the most, perhaps, the same fire may glow through one in 
the lion or tiger hunt, when one stands in the face of the 

maddened wild beast, and " 

" Yes," broke in Frederick, "the fight against an enemy 
who threatens you with death, the longing, proud desire of 
conquering him fills you with peculiar enjoyment pray 
forgive me the word, Aunt Mary as indeed everything which 
sustains or expands life is guaranteed to us by Nature through 
the reward of joy. As long as man was in peril from savage 
assailants, on two legs or four, and could only protect his life 
hy killing the latter, battle became one of his delights. If in 
the midst of a fight the same pleasure creeps through our veins 
still though we are civilised men, it is only a reminiscence of 
heredity. And at the present time, when there are in Europe 
no more savages or beasts of prey, in order that this delight 
may not vanish from us entirely, we have invented artificial 
assailants for ourselves. This is what goes on. Attention ! 
You wear blue coats, and those men there red coats. As soon 
as we clap hands three times the red coats will be turned for you 
into tigers, and the blue coats will become wild beasts to them. 
So now one, two, three ; blow the charge, beat the attack ; 
and now you can set off, and devour each other; and after 
10,000 or always in proportion to the rise in the magnitude of 
armies 100,000 artificial tigers have devoured each other with 
mutual delight in battle at Xdorf, then you have the battle of 


Xdorf, which is to become historical ; and then the men who 
clap hands assemble round a green congress table in Xstadt, 
rule lines for altered frontiers on the map, haggle over the 
proportion of contributions, sign a paper which figures in the 
historical annals as the Peace of Xstadt, clap their hands three 
times once more, and say to the redcoats and the bluecoau 
surviving ' Embrace each other, men and brethren ' I * 


The Prussians advance on Vienna. -Prussian officers quartered 
at Grumitz. My brother Otto's warlike ardour. He gets 
into trouble. A grand dinner to the self-invited guests. 
Sudden engagement of my sister Rosa to Prince Henry von 
Reuss. General felicity and enjoyment. Departure of the 
Prussians. Outbreak of cholera at Grumitz. The chateau 
is infected. First some of the servants , then my sisters, then 
Otto die of cholera, and lastly my father dies from heart 
disease, cursing war with his last breath. Conrad's suicide. 

THERE were Prussians quartered everywhere in the neignoour- 
hood, and now Grumitz had to come into the circle. 

Though the suspension of hostilities was already in force, 
and peace was almost certain, yet general fear and mistrust 
reigned throughout the people. The idea that these spike- 
helmeted tigers would tear them to pieces if they could was 
not easily eradicated out of the people. The three claps of the 
hand at Nicolsburg had not yet availed to undo the effect of 
the three claps of the declaration of war, and to make the 
country-folk look on the Prussians again in the light of brothers. 
The very name of the opposing nation gathers round it in war 
time a whole host of hateful implied meanings. It is not 
merely the distinctive name of a nation hostile for the moment, 
but it becomes the synonym for " enemy," and comprises in 
itself all the repugnance which that word expresses. 

And so it happened that the folks in the neighbourhood 
trembled, as before wolves broken loose, if a Prussian quarter 



master came there to procure lodging for his troops. With 
some besides fear hatred also was expressed, and these thought 
they were discharging a patriotic duty if they did anything to 
injure a Prussian, if they sent a rifle bullet out of some place 
of concealment after "the foe". This had often taken place, 
and if the guilty party was caught he was executed without 
much circumstance. These examples had the effect of making 
the people suppress their hatred and receive without opposition 
the soldiers quartered on them. Then they found to their no 
small amazement that " the enemy " really consisted of nothing 
but good-humoured, friendly fellows, who paid their way 

One morning, it was early in August, I was sitting in the 
bow-window of the library and looking out through the open 
window. From this point was a long view over the surrounding 
country. I thought I saw from a distance a troop of cavalry 
moving along the high road in our direction. 

" Prussians coming for quarters," was my first thought. I 
adjusted a telescope which stood in the bow, and looked 
towards the point in question. Right ; it was a troop of about 
ten riders with waving black and white little flags on the points 
of their lances. And among them a man on foot, in hunting 
costume. Why was he walking in this way between the horses ? 
A prisoner? The glass was not powerful enough. I could 
not make out whether the man I took for a prisoner might not 
be one of our own foresters. 

Still it was right to warn the inhabitants of the chateau of 
the fate impending over them. I hastily left the library to 
look for papa and Aunt Mary. I found both in the drawing- 
room. "The Prussians are coming, the Prussians are coming," 
I announced to them breathlessly. One is always glad to be 
able to be the first to communicate important tidings. 

"Devil take them," was my father's rather inhospitable 
exclamation, while Aunt Mary hit on the right thing to do, 
as she said: "I will immediately give Frau Walter her orders 
for the necessary preparations ". 


" And where is Otto ? " I asked. " Some one must acquaint 
him, and warn him not to let his hatred of the Prussians peep 
out anyhow, and not to be uncivil to the guests." 

" Otto is not at home," replied my father. ' ' He went out early 
to-day after the partridges. You should have seen him, how 
well his hunting-dress sat on him. He grows a fine fellow. 
My delight is in him." 

Meanwhile the house filled with noise. Hasty steps were 
heard, and excited voices. 

"They are come already those windbags," muttered my 

The door was dashed open, and Franz, the valet de chambre, 
rushed in. 

"The Prussians the Prussians," he shouted, in the same 
tone as one calls " Fire, fire ! " 

"Well, they won't eat us," growled my father. 

" But they are bringing a man with them a man from 
Grumitz," the man went on in a trembling voice. " I do not 
know who it is. He has fired on them ; and who would not 
like to fire on such a scum ? But it is all over with him." 

Now one heard the tramp of horses and tumult of voices 
together. We went down to the ground floor and looked 
through the windows which opened out into the courtyard. At 
that moment the Uhlans came riding in, and in their midst, 
with pale, defiant face, Otto, my brother. 

My father uttered a shriek and hurried down the steps. My 
heart stood still. The scene before us was horrible. If Otto 
had really fired at the Prussian soldiers, which seemed very 
like him I dared not think of the conclusion. 

I had not the courage to go after my father. Consolation 
and assistance in all sorrows I always sought from Frederick 
only. So I collected myself in order to betake myself to 
Frederick's room. But before I got there, my father came 
back again and Otto after him. By their bearing I saw that 
the danger was over. The hearing of the matter had given 
the following resuh : The shot had been discharged accident- 



ally. When the Uhlans came riding on, Otto wanted to sec 
them close, ran across the field, stumbled, fell down into a 
ditch, and in doing so discharged his gun. At the first 
moment the statement of the young sportsman was doubted 
by the men. They took him in their midst and brought him 
to the chateau as their prisoner. But when it came out that 
the young gentleman was the son of General Althaus, and 
was himself a military student, they accepted his explanation. 

" The son of a soldier, and himself a future soldier, might well 
fire on hostile soldiers in honourable fight, but not in time of 
truce, and not like an assassin." On this speech of my father's 
the Prussian subaltern had set the young man free. 

" And are you really innocent ? " I asked Otto. " For from 
your hatred of the Prussians it would not surprise me if " 

He shook his head. 

" I shall, I trust, have plenty of opportunities in the course 
of my life to fire at a few of them ; but not from behind, not 
without exposing my heart, too, to their bullets." 

" Bravo, my boy ! " cried my father, delighted by these 

I could not share his delight. All these phrases, in which 
life, whether one's own or another's, is tossed about so contemp 
tuously and so boastfully, have a repellent tone for me. But I 
was glad at heart that the matter had passed over thus. How 
horrible would it have been for my poor father if these men 
had shot down the presumed malefactor without more ado ! 
In that case the unhappy war by which our house had hitherto 
been spared would have yet plunged it into misery. 

The detachment in question had come in the regular way to 
take up quarters. Schloss Grumitz had been selected as the 
habitation of two colonels and six officers of the Prussian army. 
The men were to be lodged in the village. Two men were to 
be set as sentinels in the courtyard of the chateau. 

An hour or two after the settlement of the quarters the 
involuntary and self-invited guests made their entry into our 
house. We had been prepared for the event for several days, 


and Frau Walter had seen that all the guest chambers and 
beds were in readiness. The cook also had laid in plenty of 
provisions, and the cellar held a sufficient number of full 
barrels and old bottles. The Prussian gentlemen should not 
find any scarcity in our house. 

When the company in the chateau mustered in the drawing- 
room that day at the sound of the dinner-bell the room 
presented a brilliant and lively picture. The gentlemen, all 
excepting Minister " To-be-sure," who was our guest for the 
moment, all in uniform, the ladies in full dress. For the first 
time for a long while we were all in our glory Lori especially 
the lively Lori who had arrived that same day from Vienna, 
had, on the news that foreign officers were to be present, 
unpacked her fine dresses, and adorned herself with fresh roses. 
The object, no doubt, was to turn the head of one or other of 
the members of the enemy's army. Well, as far as I was 
concerned she might have conquered the whole Prussian 
battalion, so she left Frederick un dazzled. Lilly, the happy 
fiancic, wore a light blue robe. Rosa, who also seemed very 
happy to have the chance once more of showing herself off to 
young cavaliers, was dressed in pink muslin ; and I, feeling 
that war time, even if one has no person to mourn, is always a 
time of mourning, put on a black dress. 

I recollect still the singular impression which it made on 
me when I entered the drawing-room, in which the rest 
were already assembled. Glitter, cheerfulness, distinguished 
elegance, the well-dressed ladies, the smart uniforms what a 
contrast to the scenes of woe, filth, and terror that I had seen 
so short a time since. And it is these same glittering, cheerful, 
elegant personages who of their own accord set this woe in 
motion, who refuse to do anything to abolish it, who on the 
contrary glorify it, and by means of their gold lace and stars 
testify the pride which they find in being the agents and props 
of this system of woe ! 

My entrance broke up the conversation which was being 


carried on in the different groups, since all our Prussian guesti 
had to be introduced to me, most of them distinguished- 
sounding names ending in " ow " and in " witz," many " vons," 
and even a prince one Henry I don't know of what number 
of the house of Reuss. 

Such then were our enemies ! perfect gentlemen with the 
most exquisite manners in society. Well, certainly one knows 
as much as this : that if war is to be carried on at the present 
day with a neighbouring nation one has not to do with Huns 
and Vandals ; but for all that it would be much more natural 
to think of the enemy as a horde of savages, and it requires 
some effort to look upon them as honourable and civilised 
citizens. "God, who drivest back by Thy mighty protection 
the adversaries of those who trust in Thee, hear us graciously 
as we pray for Thy mercy, so that the rage of the enemy having 
been suppressed we may praise Thee to all eternity." This 
was the prayer daily offered by the priest at Grumitz. What 
conception must there have been formed by the common people 
of this " raging enemy " ? Certainly not anything like these 
courteous noblemen who were now giving their arms to the 
ladies present to take them to dinner. . . . Besides this, God 
this time had listened to the prayer of the other side and had 
suppressed our rage the foaming, murderous foe who through 
the might of the Divine protection (which, to be sure, we called 
the needle-gun) had been driven back were ourselves. Oh ! 
what a pious concatenation of nonsense ! I was thinking some- 
thing to this effect as we were sitting down in a brilliant row at the 
table, adorned with flowers and dishes of fruit. The silver, 
too, had been brought out of its hiding-place at the order of 
the master of the house. I was seated between a stately 
colonel, ending in " ow," and a tall lieutenant in " itz " ; Lilly, 
of course, by her lover's side. Rosa had been taken in to 
dinner by Prince Henry, and the naughty Lori had once again 
succeeded in getting my Frederick as her next-door neighbour. 
But what of that? I was not going to be jealous. He was 
assuredly my Frederick, my very own. 


The conversation was very abundant and very lively. "The 
Prussians" evidently felt highly pleased, after the toils and 
privations they had gone through, to be sitting down again at a 
well-furnished table and in good company ; and the consciousness 
that the campaign which was ended had been a victorious one 
must certainly have contributed to raise their spirits. But even 
we, the vanquished, did not allow anything of grudge or 
humiliation to appear, and did all we could to play the part of 
the most amiable of hosts. To my father it must have cost 
some self-control, as I could judge from knowing his sentiments, 
but he played his part throughout with exemplary courtesy. 
The one who was most dejected was Otto. It was visibly 
against the grain for him, with the hatred which he had been 
cherishing against the Prussians in these late days, with his 
eagerness to chase them out of the country, to have now to 
reach the pepper and salt for this same foe in the most polite 
manner, instead of being allowed to pierce him with a bayonet. 
The topic of the war was carefully avoided in the conversation ; 
the foreigners were treated by us as if they had been pleasure- 
travellers who happened to be passing through our neighbour- 
hood, and they themselves with still greater caution avoided 
even hinting at the real state of things viz., that they were 
stationed here as our conquerors. My young lieutenant even 
tried, quite in earnest, to pay his court to me. He swore, by 
his honour and credit, that there was no such pleasant place 
in the world as Austria, and that there (shooting sidewards 
a needle-gun glance) the most charming women in the world 
were to be found. I do not deny that I too coquetted a little 
with the smart son of Mars, but that was to show Lori Griesbach 
and her neighbour that in a certain given case I was capable ot 
having my revenge ; the folks opposite, however, remained quite 
as undisturbed as I myself was really at the bottom of my heart. 
It would have been more reasonable and more to the purpose, 
however, if my dashing lieutenant had directed his killing 
glances to the fair Lori. Conrad and Lilly in their character 
of engaged persons (and such folks should really be always 


put behind a grating) exchanged loving glances quite openly, 
and whispered and clanked their glasses together by themselves, 
and played all sorts of other drawing-room turtle-dove tricks. 
And as it seemed to me a third flirtation began on the spot to 
develop itself. For the German prince Henry the So and So 
kept conversing in the most pressing way with my sister 
Rosa, and as it went on his countenance became a picture of 
the mott unconcealed admiration. 

When we rose from table, we went back into the drawing- 
room, in which the chandelier, which had now been lighted, 
diffused a festive glow. 

The door on to the terrace was open. Outside was the warm 
summer night, flooded by the gentle light of the moon. The 
evening star shed its rays over the grassy expanse of the park, 
fragrant with hay, and mirrored itself in glittering silver on the 
lake which spread out in the background. . . . Could that 
really be the same moon which a short time ago had shown me 
the heap of corpses against the church wall surrounded by the 
shrieking birds of prey ? And were these people inside just 
then a Prussian lieutenant opened the piano to play one of 
Mendelssohn's " Lieder ohne Worte " could they be the same 
as were laying about them with their sabres a short time since 
to cleave men's skulls ? 

After a time Prince Henry and Rosa came out too. They 
did not see me in my dark corner, and passed by me. They 
were now standing, leaning on the balustrade, near, very near 
each other. I even believe that the young Prussian the foe 
was holding my sister's hand in his. They were speaking low, 
but still some of the prince's words reached me. " Charming 
girl . . . sudden, conquering passion . , . longing for 
domestic happiness ... the die is cast ... for mercy's 
sake do not say ' No '. Do 1 then inspire you with dis- 
gust ? " Rosa shook her head. Then he raised her hand to 
his lips and tried to put his arm round her waist She, like a 
well brought-up girl, disengaged herself at once. 

Ah 1 I would almost have preferred that the soft moonlight 


had then and there shone on the kiss of love. . . . After 
all the pictures of hate and bitter woe which I had been 
obliged to witness a short time ago, a picture of love and sweet 
pleasure would have seemed to me like some compensation. 

" Oh 1 is it you, Martha ? " 

Rosa had now become aware of me, and was at first very 
much shocked that any one should have been listening at this 
scene, but then pacified that it was only me. 

The prince, however, was in the highest degree discomposed 
and perplexed. He stepped towards me. 

" I have just made an offer of my hand to your sister, 
gracious madam. Kindly say a word in my favour. My 
action may perhaps seem to both of you somewhat sudden 
and presumptuous. At another time I should myself perhaps 
have proceeded more cautiously and more modestly ; but in 
these last few weeks I have been accustoming myself to advance 
quickly and boldly no hesitation or trembling was allowed 
then and the practice which I formed in war I have now 
involuntarily again exercised in love. Pray forgive me, and 
be favourable to me. You are silent, countess ? Do you 
refuse me your hand ? " 

" My sister," said I, coming to Rosa's assistance, who was 
standing there in deep emotion with her head turned aside, 
"cannot surely be expected to decide her fate so quickly. 
Who knows whether our father will give his consent to a 
marriage with ' an enemy ' ; who knows again whether Rosa 
will return an inclination so suddenly kindled ? " 

" I know," she replied, and stretched out both her hands to 
the young man ; and he pressed her warmly to his heart. 

" Oh, you silly children," I said, and drew back a few paces 
to the drawing-room door, to watch that at least at that 
moment no one should come out. 

On the following day the betrothal was celebrated. My 
father offered no opposition. I should have thought that his 
hatred of the Prussians would have made it impossible for him 


to receive into his family a hostile warrior and a victor ; bat 
whether it was that he separated altogether the individual 
question from the national (a common method of action for one 
often hears people protest: "I hate them as a nation, not as 
individuals," though there is no sense in it, no more sense than 
if one were to say: "I hate wine as a drink, but I swallow each 
drop with pleasure" ; still a phrase need not be rational in order 
to be popular, quite the contrary), or whether it was that 
ambition got the upper hand and an alliance with a princely 
house flattered him, or, finally, that the sudden love of the 
young folks so romantically expressed touched him in short, 
he said yes, and with seeming heartiness. Aunt Mary was lesi 
disposed to agree. " Impossible 1 " was her first exclamation 
" The prince is surely of the Lutheran sect." But in the end 
she comforted herself with the consideration that Rosa would 
probably convert her husband. The deepest resentment it 
awoke was in Otto's heart. " How would you like it," he said, 
" supposing the war was to break out again, that I should chase 
my brother-in-law out of the country ? " But to him also the 
famous theory of the difference between nation and individual 
was explained, and to my astonishment for I could never 
understand it he understood it. 

How quickly and easily does one in happy circumstances 
forget the misery one has gone through. Two pairs of lovers, 
or, if I may venture to say so, three for Frederick and I, the 
married ones, were not much less in love with each other than 
the betrothed well, so many pairs of lovers in the little company 
gave an air of felicity to everything. For the next day or two 
Schloss Grumitz was an abode of cheerfulness and worldly enjoy- 
ment. I, too, gradually felt the pictures of terror of the past weeks 
fading out of my remembrance. It was not without reproaches 
of conscience that I became aware how my compassion, which 
had been so burning a short time since, was at some moments 
quite gone. It is true that sounds of mourning still came 
pealing from the world without, the complaints of people who 
in the war had lost goods or money or lives of those dear to 


them, accounts of threatened financial catastrophes, of the 
outbreak of pestilence. It was said that the cholera had shown 
itself among the Prussian troops ; a case had even been 
reported in our village, but only a doubtful one, it is true : " It 
might be diarrhoea, which occurs every summer," was the 
consolatory remark. Let us only chase away troubled thoughts 
and anxious fears with : "It is nothing," or "It has passed over," 
or " It will not come " ; all this is so easy to say. All that is 
wanted is a vigorous shake of the head and the unpleasant 
facts are gone. 

"I say, Martha," said the happy fiancee to me one day, 
" this war was indeed a horrible thing, and yet I must bless it ; 
without it should I ever have been so immeasurably happy as 
I am now ? Should I ever have had the opportunity of 
xnaking Henry's acquaintance ? And as to him, would he ever 
have found a bride to love him so ? " 

"Very well, dear Rosa. I shall be happy to share this 
view of it with you. Let your two hearts made happy be 
weighed against the many thousands of hearts that have been 

" But it is not only individual destinies that are concerned, 
Martha. In the gross and on the whole war also brings 
great gain to those who conquer, and therefore to a whole 
nation. You must hear Henry talk on that subject. He says 
Prussia shines out grandly. In the army universal exultation 
reigns, and enthusiastic thankfulness and love for the generals 
who have led it to victory. And in this way there arises for 
German civilisation, for commerce or perhaps he said for the 
prosperity of Germany, I have forgot the exact term its 
historical mission in short, you should hear him talk himself." 

" Why, does not your fiance prefer to speak of your love 
rather than of political and military matters ? " 

"Oh, we speak about everything, and everything he says 
sounds like music in my ears. I feel that it is so good for him 
that he is proud and happy to have joined in fighting out this 
war for his king and country " 


" And carried away for himself so dear a sweetheart as his 

booty," I added, to finish her sentence. 

His future son-in-law suited my father very well, and who 
would not have been pleased with such a grand young man ? 
Still he gave him his sympathy and his blessing with all kinds 
of protestations and restrictions. 

" You are dear to me in every respect, dear Reuss as a man 
and as a soldier and as a prince'' this is what he said to 
him repeatedly, and in various modes of speech "but as a 
Prussian officer of course I reserve to myself the right, despite 
any family connection, of wishing for nothing so much as a future 
war, in which Austria may pay back handsomely the present 
victory snatched from her. The political question must be 
separated altogether from the personal. My son will one day 
God grant that I may live to see it take the field against 
the Prussian state. I myself, if I were not too old, and if my 
emperor were to summon me to it, would at once accept a 
command to fight William I., and especially his overbearing 
Bismarck. This does not prevent me from recognising the 
military virtues of the Prussian army, and the strategic science 
of its leaders ; and from thinking it quite a matter of course 
that in the next campaign you, at the head of your battalion, 
should try to storm our capital, and set fire to the house in 
which your father-in-law lives in short " 

" In short," said I, one day breaking in on a rhapsody of this 
kind, " confusions in terms and inconsistencies of fact twine 
round each other like the infusoria in a putrefying drop of water. 
It is always so, when you pen up together conceptions repug- 
nant to each other. To hate the whole and love its parts, to 
want to have one way of thinking as members of a nation and 
another as a man. That will not do ; it must be one thing or 
another. So I approve of the Indian chiefs way of looking at it. 
He entertains for the adherent of a different tribe as to which 
he does not even know that it consists of individuals no other 
wish than to scalp him." 

" But my dear girl, Martha, such savage feelings do not suit 


the stage of our civilisation, which has grown more cultured 
and more humane." 

" Rather say that our present stage of civilisation does not 
suit the savagery which has come down to us from old times. 
As long as this savagery, that is, so long as the spirit of war is 
not cast out, our much-valued * humanity ' cannot be looked 
on as reasonable. For surely now as to the speech you made 
just now, in which you assured Prince Henry that you would 
love him as a son-in-law and hate him as a Prussian, value him 
dearly as a man, and abominate him as an officer, that you give 
him your paternal blessing with pleasure, and at the same time 
allow him the right, in given circumstances, of firing on you, 
forgive me, my dear father, but will you really uphold this as 
reasonable ? " 

"What are you saying? I do not catch a word." 

The farourite deafness had again come on at the right 

t i ' 

After a few days all became quiet again at Grumitz. The 
soldiers quartered on us had to march off, and Conrad had 
been ordered to join his regiment. Lori Griesbach and the 
Minister had already departed before. 

The marriage of my two sisters had been postponed till 
October. Both were to be married on the same day at 
Grumitz. Prince Henry was to quit the service ; now that he 
had finished this glorious campaign in which he had earned 
distinction, he could easily do this, and so repose on his 
laurels, and on his estates. 

The partings of the two pairs of lovers were painful and 
joyful at the same time. They promised to write to each other 
every day, and the certain prospect of bliss so near made the 
anguish of parting seem not so severe. 

Certain prospect of bliss ? There is in reality no such 
thing, and assuredly least of all in seasons of war. Then 
misfortunes hover around "as thick as the swarms of gnats in 
the air," and the chances that you may be standing on a spot 


that will be spared by the descending scourge are at best but 


True, the war was over. That is, it had been proclaimed 
that peace was concluded. A word is sufficient to unchain the 
horrors, and thence one is apt to think that a word will also 
suffice to remove them again, but no spell has in reality that 
power. Hostilities may be suspended, and yet hostility may 
persist. The seed of future war is sown, and the fruit of the 
war just ended spreads still further, in wretchedness, savagery, 
and plagues. Yes, no falsehood and no " not thinking of it " 
was any good now, the cholera was raging through the country. 

It was on the morning of 8th August. We were all seated 
at the breakfast-table and reading our correspondence which 
had just come by the post. The two fiandes had fastened on 
the love letters that had come for them, I was turning over the 
newspapers. From Vienna the news was : 

The cholera death-rate is rising considerably. Not only in the 
military but also in the civil hospitals many cases have been already 
reported, which must be looked on as genuine Asiatic cholera, and 
energetic measures are being taken on all sides to check the progress of 
the epidemic. 

I was about to read the passage aloud when Aunt Mary, who 
had in her hand a letter from one of her friends in a neigh- 
bouring chateau, gave a cry of horror. 

" Horrible I Betty writes me that in her house two persons 
have died of cholera, and now her husband is ill also." 

" Your excellence, the schoolmaster wishes to speak to you." 

The gentleman announced followed the footman into the 
room. He looked pale and bewildered. 

" Count, I tell you, with all deference, that I must close the 
school. Two children were taken ill yesterday, and to-day 
they are dead." 

"The cholera?" we cried out. 

" I think it is. I think we must give it that name. The 
so-called diarrhoea which broke out among the soldiers 
quartered here, and of which twenty of them died, was the 


cholera. Great terror prevails in the village, because the 
doctor who came here from town has affirmed without any 
concealment that the horrible disease has now beyond doubt 
taken hold of the population of this place." 

" What sound is that," I asked, listening, " that one hears?" 

"That is the passing-bell, baroness," announced the school- 
master. "Some one must be lying at his last gasp. The 
doctor tells us that in town the passing-bell absolutely never 
stops ringing." 

We all looked round at each other, pale and speechless. 
So here it was again Death and each one of us saw his bony 
hand stretched out in the direction of some dear one's head. 

" Let us flee ! " suggested Aunt Mary. 

" Flee ? whither ? " answered the schoolmaster. " The pest 
has by this time spread everywhere round." 

"Oh, far, far away, over the frontier " 

" But a cordon will be drawn there, over which no one will 
be allowed to pass." 

" Oh. that would be horrible ! Surely no one would hinder 
people from quitting a land stricken with pestilence ? " 

"Assuredly, the healthy neighbourhoods will protect them- 
selves against infection." 

"What is to be done? what is to be done?" And Aunt 
Mary wrung her hands. 

"To await God's will," answered my father. "You are 
besides such a believer in destiny, Mary, I cannot understand 
your desire for flight. Every one's fate finds him, wherever he 
is. But, at the same time, I should like it better if you, children, 
could depart ; and you, Otto, see that you touch no more fruit." 

"I will telegraph at once to Bresser," said Frederick, "to 
send on disinfectants." 

What happened immediately after this I am no longer able 
to set down in detail, because the scene at the breakfast-table 
was the last which at that time I entered in the red book. 1 
can only tell the events of the next few days from memory. 
Fear and anxiety filled us all yes, all Who, in a time oi 


epidemic, could help trembling when living amongst those 
dear to him ? For the sword of Damocles was always suspended 
over the dear one's head, and even to die oneself, so terribly 
and so uselessly, who is there that such a thought would not 
fill with honor ? The chief proof of courage consists in this : 
not to think about it. 

To flee ? The idea had occurred to myself also, so as to get 
my little Rudolf into a safe place. 

My father, in spite of all his fatalism, insisted on flight for 
the others. The whole family were to be off next day. He 
alone determined on remaining, in order not to abandon his 
household and the inhabitants of the village in their danger. 
Frederick declared in the most decisive manner his determina- 
tion to remain, and this involved at once my decision. I 
would never voluntarily leave my husband. 

Aunt Mary with the two girls and with Otto and Rudolf 
were to depart as quickly as possible whither ? That was not 
yet settled. In the first place, to Hungary as far away as 
possible. The fiandes did not make any opposition whatever, 
but were busy in helping to pack. To die, when the near 
future promised the fulfilment of the warm desires of love, i.e., 
a tenfold delight in living, would be to die tenfold. 

The boxes had been brought into the dining-room, so that 
with the united assistance of all the work might go on quicker. 
I was bringing a package of Rudolfs clothes under my arm. 

" Why does not your maid do that ? " asked my father. 

" I do not know where Netty has got to. I have rung for 
her several times, and she does not come, so I prefer to wait 
on myself." 

" You spoil your people," said my father angrily, and he gave 
orders to a footman to look for the girl everywhere and bring 
her there immediately. 

After a time the man who had been sent returned, looking 

" Netty is lying down in her room. She is she has she 
is " 


" Well, can't you speak ? " thundered ray father. " What is 
the matter with her ? " 

" She is already quite black." 

A cry burst out of all our mouths. So the horrible spectre 
was already present in our own very house. 

Now, what should we do ? Could one leave the poor girl to 
die unaided ? But whoever went near her brought death on 
himself almost certainly, and not only on himself, he spread it 
again more widely among the rest. Ah ! a house like that, 
into which the pest has penetrated, is like one encircled by 
robbers, or as if it were in flames; everywhere and in every 
corner and place, at every step and move, Death is grinning at 

"Fetch the doctor immediately," was my father's order 
" And you, children, hurry your departure." 

"The doctor went back to town an hour ago," was the 
servant's reply to my father's direction. 

" Oh, dear ! I feel so ill," now cried Lilly, and she turned 
pale to her very lips, and clutched at the arm of her chair. 

We ran to her : "What is the matter with you?" "Don't be 
foolish " " It is only fear ". 

But it was not fear, there was no doubt what it was. We 
had to carry the poor thing to her room, where she was seized 
at once with violent vomiting and the other symptoms. This 
was the second case of cholera in the chateau in this same day. 

It was horrible to see my poor sister's sufferings. And no 
doctor at hand ! Frederick was the only one who could 
perform the duty of one, as well as he might. He ordered 
what was wanted warm fomentations, mustard poultices to 
the stomach and the legs, ice in fragments, champagne. 
Nothing did any good. These means, which are sufficient for 
slight attacks of cholera, could not save in this case. But at 
least they gave the patient and the bystanders the comfort of 
knowing that something was being done. When the attacks 
had subsided, the cramps followed, quiverings and tearings of 
the whole frame till the very bones cracked. The poor thing 


tried to lament, but could not, for her voice failed, the siun 
turned blue and cold, the breath stopped. 

My father was running up and down, wringing his hand"? 
Once I put myself in his way. 

" This is war, father," I said. " Will not you curse it ?" 

He shook me off and gave no reply. 

In ten hours Lilly was dead. Netty, my poor lady's maid 
had died before alone, in her room. We were all of us busy 
about Lilly, and of the servants, none had ventured to go near 
one who had " already turned quite black ". 

Meanwhile Dr. Bresser had arrived. He himself brought 
the medicines which we had telegraphed for. I could have 
kissed his hands as he walked into the midst of us to devote 
his self-sacrificing services to his old friends. He at once took 
on himself the command of the establishment. He had the 
two corpses carried into a remote chamber, barred up the 
rooms in which the poor things had died, and made us all 
submit to a powerful disinfecting process. An intense carbolic 
odour now penetrated all the rooms, and to this day, whenever 
this smell meets me, those dreadful days of cholera rise before 
my imagination. 

The intended flight had to be postponed a second time. 
On the very day of Lilly's death, the carriage was standing 
ready which was to convey away Aunt Mary, Rosa, Otto, and 
my little boy, when the coachman, seized by the invisible 
destroyer, was forced to get off the coach-box again. 

" Then I will drive you," said my father, when the news was 
brought to him. " Quick, is everything ready ? " 

Rosa came out. " Drive on," she said, " but I must stop 
behind. I am going Lilly's way." 

And she spoke truth. The break of day dawned on this 
second young bride too in the chamber of death. 

Of course, in the horror of this new calamity, the departure 
of the others was not carried out 


In the midst of my anguish, of my raging fear, the deepest 
scorn again seized me for that gigantic folly which had volun- 
tarily called forth so great a calamity. My father, when Rosa's 
corpse had been carried out, had sunk on his knees, with his 
head against the wall. 

I went to him, and took him by the arm. " Father," I said, 
" this is war." No answer. " Father, do you hear ? Now or 
never, will you now curse war ? " 

He, however, collected himself. 

" You remind me of it this misfortune shall be borne with a 
soldier's courage. It is not I alone, the whole country has to 
offer its sacrifice of blood and tears." 

"What comfort then has come to the country from the 
sufferings of you and your brethren ? What comfort from the 
lost battles? What from these two girls' lives cut short? 
Father ! Oh do me this kindness for the love of me ! curse 
war ! See here '' I drew him to a window, and just then a 
black coffin was being brought on a car into the courtyard 
" See here ; that is for our Lilly, and to-morrow another such 
for our Rosa, and the day after perhaps a third ; and why, 
why ? " 

" Because God has willed it so, my child." 

"God always God. All that, however, is folly. All 
savagery, all the arbitrary action of men, hiding itself under 
the shield of God's will." 

" Do not blaspheme, Martha ! Do not blaspheme now 
when God's chastening hand is so visibly " 

A footman came into the room. 

"Your excellency, the carpenter will not carry the coffin into 
the chamber where the countesses are lying, and no one will 
venture into it." 

" Not you, either, coward ? " 

"I could not alone." 

" Then I will help you. I will myself see to my daughters ; " 
and he strode to the door. 

" Back," he cried to me, as I was following him ; " you must 



not go with me. You must not die as well as me think of 
your child." 

What could I do ? I hesitated. That is the most torturing 
thing in such circumstances not to know at all where one's 
duty lies. If one pays to the sick and the dead the loving 
service which one's heart yearns to do, then one spreads the 
germs of the evil wider again, and brings danger on the others 
who have as yet been spared. One would be willing to 
sacrifice oneself ; but one knows that in risking this one risks 
sacrificing others also. 

In such a dilemma there is only one helpful way to give 
up life, not one's own merely, but also that of all one's dear 
ones to assume that all is done with, and for each one to stand 
by the other in his hours of suffering, as long as they last. 
Looking backward, looking forward all that must cease. 
Together ! On the deck of a sinking ship, no means of escape 
" let us hold each other in our arms close, close as possible, 
to the last moment ; and adieu, fair world " 

This resignation had come over us all. The plan of flight 
had been given up ; every one went to the bed of every 
patient, and of every one who had died. Even Bresser no 
longer tried to keep us from this, the only humane way of 
acting. His neighbourhood, his energetic, unresting rule gave 
us a certain feeling of security. Our sinking ship was at least 
not without a captain. 

Oh that cholera week in Grumitz ! Over twenty years have 
passed since then, but I still feel a shudder through my bones 
and marrow when I think of it. Tears, wailing, heart-rending 
death -scenes, the smell of carbolic acid, the cracking of the 
bones of those seized with cramp, the disgusting symptoms, 
the incessant tolling of the death-bell, the interment no, the 
huddling away of the dead, for in such cases there is no 
funeral pomp. All the order of life given up ; no meal times 
the cook was dead. No going to sleep at nights. Here and 
there a morsel snatched standing, and a doze as one sat in one's 
chair in the morning hours. Outside, as though from the irony 

LAY DOWN YOUR AJLftlft. 323 

of indifferent Nature, the most splendid summer weather; 
the joyous song of the blackbird, the luxuriant colours of the 
dower-beds. In the village, death without cessation. All the 
Prussians who were left behind were dead 

11 1 met the man who buries the dead to-day," said Francis, 
our valet de chambrc, " as he was coming back from the church- 
yard with his empty carriage. 'One or two more taken there ? ' 
I asked. ' Oh yes ; six or seven about half-a-dozen every day, 
sometimes even more ; and it does happen sometimes that one 
or other gives a grunt or so inside the hearse there ; but that 
makes no matter, in he goes into the trench, the d d 

Next day the monster died himself, and another man had 
to take up his office at that time the most laborious in the 
place. The post brought nothing but sorrow news from all 
quarters of the ravages of the pest ; and love letters letters 
to remain for ever unanswered from Prince Henry, who knew 
nothing of what was going on. To Conrad I had sent a single 
line to prepare him for the awful event " Lilly very ill ". He 
could not come immediately, the service detained him. It was 
not till the fourth day that the poor fellow rushed into the 

"Lilly!" he cried. "Is it true?* 1 He had heard of the 
misfortune as he was on the way. 

We said yes. 

He remained unnaturally still and tearless. 

" I have loved her many years," was all he said, low to him 
self. Then aloud : " Where is she lying ? In the churchyard ? 
Good-bye. She is waiting for me." 

" Shall I come with you ? " some one offered. 

" No, 1 prefer going alone." 

He went, and we saw him no more. On the grave of his 
sweetheart he put a bullet through his brains. 

So ended Conrad Count Althaus, captain-lieutenant in 
the Fourth Regiment of Hussars, in his twenty-seventh 


At another time the tragic nature of this event would have 
produced a very shocking effect ; but now, how many young 
officers had not the war carried off immediately, this one only 
indirectly ! And at the moment when we heard of his deed a 
new misfortune had occurred in our midst which called for all 
the anguish of our hearts. Otto, my poor father's adored and 
only son, was seized by the destroying angel. His sufferings 
lasted the whole night and the next day, with alternations of 
hope and despair ; about 7 P.M. all was over. My father threw 
himself on the corpse with such a thrilling shriek that it pealed 
through the whole house. We could hardly tear him from the 
dead body. And oh ! the cries of agony that now ensued ; for 
hours and hours long the old man poured out howling, roaring, 
rattling shrieks of desperation. His son his pride his Otto 
his all ! 

To this outburst succeeded on a sudden a stiff, dumb apathy. 
He had not had the strength to attend the burial of his 
darling. He lay on a sofa, motionless, and, it almost seemed, 
unconscious. Bresser ordered him to be undressed and put to 

After an hour he seemed to awake. Aunt Mary, Frederick 
and I were at his side. For a time he looked about him with 
a questioning look, and then sat up and tried to speak. He 
could not, however, pronounce a word and was struggling for 
breath, with a puzzled face of anguish. Then he began to 
shake and to throw himself about, as if he were attacked by 
those terrible cramps which are the last symptoms of the 
cholera, though he had not shown any of the other symptoms 
of it. At last he got out one word " Martha 1" 

I fell on my knees at his bedside. 

" Father, ray poor, dear father ! " 

He held his hands over my head. 

" Your wish," said he with difficulty, " may be fulfilled. I 
curse I cur * 

He could get no further and sank back on his pillow. 

In the meantime, Bresser had come in, and, in answer to OUT 


Anxious questions, gave us his opinion that a spasm of the heart 
had caused my father's death. 

" The most terrible thing," said Aunt Mary after we had 
buried him, "is that he departed with a curse on his lips." 

" Don't trouble about that, aunt," I said, to console her. 
"If that curse fell from the lips of everybody yes, of every- 
body it would be a great blessing to humanity." 

Such was the cholera week at Grumitz. In the space of 
seven days nine inhabitants of the chateau had been snatched 
away : my father, Lilly, Rosa, Otto, my maid Netty, the cook, 
the coachman, and two grooms. In the village, during the 
same time, over eighty persons died. 

Stated in this dry way all this sounds like a noteworthy 
statistical fact, or if it stands recorded in a tale book, like an 
extravagant play of the author's fancy. But it is neither so dry 
as the one nor so romantically terrible as the other. It is a 
cold, intelligible fact, full of sadness. 

It was not Grumitz alone in our neighbourhood that was 
so hardly hit. Whoever chooses to search the annals of the 
neighbouring villages and chateaux may find there plenty of 
similar cases of enormous calamity. For example, there is 
Schloss Stockern, in the vicinity of the little town of Horn. Of 
the family which inhabited it, during the time from the gth to the 
1 3th of August, 1866, and also after the departure of the Prussian 
troops quartered there, four members of the family Rudolf aged 
twenty, his sisters Emily and Bertha, and his uncle Candide ; 
and, besides them, five of the servants succumbed to the plague. 
The youngest daughter, Pauline von Engelshofen, was spared. 
She afterwards married a Baron Suttner, and she, even now, 
still tells with a shudder the tale of the cholera week at Stockern. 

At that time such a resignation to woe and death had come 
over me that I was in daily expectation that Death, whose 
characters had been stamped on the land for the last two 
months, would carry off myself and my loved ones. Mv 


Frederick, my Rudolf; I actually wept for them in anticipa' 
tion. And yet, along with all this, and in the midst of my trouble, 
I still had sweet moments. Such were when leaning on my 
husband's breast, and encircled by his loving arms, I could 
pour my tears out on his faithful heart. How gently then 
would he speak words to me, not of consolation, but of fellow- 
feeling and love ; so that my own heart warmed and expanded 
to them. No, the world is not so bad, I was rompelled against 
my will to think. The world is not all lamentation and cruelty. 
Compassion and love are alive in it at present, it is true, only 
in individual souls, not as an all-pervading law and a prevailing 
normal condition. Still they are present ; and just as these 
feelings glow in us twain, sweetening, by means of their gentle 
contact, even this time of suffering, just as they dwell in many 
other, nay, in most other souls, so they will one day come to an 
outbreak, and will dominate the general relations of the human 
family. The future belongs to goodness. 


Summer sojourn in Switzerland. My husband's researches in 
the history of the Geneva convention, and in international 
law. Seclusion and mourning. Visit to Vienna. 
Frederick enters a new army, the army of peace. Visit to 
Berlin. On our way we visit the battlefield of Sadowa on 
All Souls Day. The emperor as a mourner. Aunt Cor- 
nelia : her grief and the consolations of religion. The army 
chaplain. A military-theological discussion. We are 
summoned to Aunt Mary's deathbed. Retired life at 
Vienna. Minister "To-be-sure". Political talks. Uni- 
versal liability to seme. 

WE passed the remainder of the summer in the neighbourhood 
of Geneva. Dr. Bresser's powers of persuasion had at last 
succeeded in moving us to fly from the infected country. I at 
first strove against leaving so quickly the graves of my family, 
and, as I have said, I was filled with such a resignation to death 
that I had become wholly apathetic, and held every attempt at 
flight to be useless ; but in spite of all this Bresser was certain to 
conquer when he represented to me that it was my maternal duty 
to carry little Rudolf out of the way of danger as well as I could. 

That we chose Switzerland as our place of refuge resulted 
from Frederick's wish. He wanted to become acquainted with 
the men who had called the : ' Red Cross " into life, and to 
gain information on the spot about the proceedings of the 
conferences which had been held, as well as about the further 
aims of the convention. 

Frederick had given in his resignation of the military service, 


and as a preliminary had received half-a- year's leave till his 
request should be granted. I had now become rich, very rich. 
The death of my father, and of my brother and two sisters, had 
put me in possession of Grumitz and of the whole family 

" Look here," I said to Frederick, when the title deeds were 
delivered to me from the notary's, " what would you say if I 
were now to praise the war which has just passed because 
of the advantages which have fallen to my share from its 
consequences ? " 

" Why, that you would not then he my Martha. Still I under- 
stand what you mean. The heartless egotism, which is capable 
of rejoicing over material gains that proceed out of the ruin of 
others this impulse which every individual, even if he is base 
enough to feel it, still takes all possible care to hide is proudly 
and openly confessed by nations and dynasties. 'Thousands 
have perished in untold sufferings; but we have thereby in- 
creased in territory and in power: so let there be praises and 
thanks to Heaven for the successful war!"' 

We lived very quietly, and retired, in a small villa situated 
on the shore of the lake. I was so oppressed by the scenes 
through which 1 had gone, that I would have absolutely no 
intercourse with any strangers. Frederick respected my mourn- 
ing, and made no attempt whatever to recommend me the 
vulgar resource of " diversion " as a cure for it ; I owed it to 
the graves at Grumitz and my tender husband saw this well 
to grieve over them for some time in perfect quiet. Those who 
had been hurried so speedily and so cruelly out of this fair world 
should not be equally quickly and coldly stolen also out of the 
place of memory which they held in my mourning heart. 

Frederick himself went often into the city, in order to follow 
up the object of his stay here the study of the Red Cross 
question. Of the results of this study I do not retain any clear 
recollection. I did not at that time keep any diary ; and thus 
what Frederick communicated to me of the experiences he met 
with has for the most part passed out of my recollection. I 


only recollect clearly one impression which the whole of my 
surroundings made on me the quiet, the ease, the cheerful 
activity of the people whom I happened to see, as if they 
were living in a most peaceful, most good-humoured time. 
There was hardly anywhere even an echo of the' war that had 
just ended, or at the most in a conversational tone, as if it 
had contributed one more interesting event nothing more 
which might furnish pleasant matter for talk along with the rest 
of European gossip : as if the awful thunder of the cannonades 
on the Bohemian battlefields had had nothing more tragic in 
them than a new opera by Wagner. The thing belonged now 
to history, and had for its result some alterations in the atlas ; 
but its horror had passed out of recollection, or perhaps had 
never been present to these neutrals ; it was forgotten ; the 
pain was over; it had vanished. The same with the news- 
papers. I read French newspapers chiefly ; all the interest was 
concentrated about the Universal Exhibition in Paris which was 
in preparation for 1867 ; about the court festivities at Compiegne ; 
about literary celebrities (two new geniuses had come to light 
who caused much discussion, Flaubert and Zola); about the 
events of the drama a new opera by Gounod a new leading 
part designed by Offenbach for Hortense Schneider; and so 
forth. The little exciting duel which the Prussians and 
Austrians had fought out Id bas en BoKeme was an event that 
had already become to some extent a thing of the past. Ah ! 
what lies three months back or at thirty miles' distance, what 
is not being played out in the domain of the Now and the 
Here, is a thing which the short feelers of the human heart and 
the human memory cannot reach ! We quitted Switzerland 
towards the middle of October. We betook ourselves back to 
Vienna, where the course of the business of my inheritance 
required my presence. When this business was despatched, 
our intention was to stay for a considerable time at Paris. 
Frederick had it in his mind to smooth the way with all his 
power for the idea of a league of peace ; and his view was that 
the projected Universal Exhibition offered the best opportunity 


for setting on foot a congress of friends of peace, and he also 
thought Paris the most appropriate place for giving actual 
vitality to what was a matter of international concern. 

" I have," he said, " renounced the trade of war, and that I 
have done from convictions gained in actual war. I will now 
work for these convictions. I enter the service of the peace 
army. A very small army indeed, it is true, and one whose 
combatants have no other shield or sword than the sentiment 
of justice and the love of humanity. Still, everything which has 
ultimately become great has started from small or invisible 

"Ah!" I sighed; " it is a hopeless beginning. What can you 
a single man achieve against that mighty fortress, thousands 
of years old, and garrisoned by millions of men ? " 

"Achieve? I ? I am not really so foolish as to hope that 
I personally shall bring about a conversion. I was only saying 
just then that I wished to enter the ranks of the peace-army. 
When I had my place in the army of war, did I, do you suppose, 
hope that / should save my country, that / should conquer a 
province? No; the individual can only serve. And still 
further, he must serve. A man who is penetrated by any cause 
cannot do better than work for it than devote his life to it, 
even if he knows how little this life, in and by itself, can contri- 
bute towards its victory. He serves because he must ; not only 
the state, but our own conviction, if it is enthusiastic, lays on 
us the duty of defending it." 

"You are right, and if at length there are enough millions 
animated by the enthusiasm of this duty, then that thousand- 
year-old fortress will be abandoned by its garrison and must 

. From Vienna, I made a pilgrimage to Grumitz, whose 
mistress I had now become. But I did not even enter the 
chateau. I only laid down four wreaths in the churchyard, 
and drove back again. After my most important matters of 
business were put in order, Frederick proposed a little journey 
to Berlin, in order to pay a visit to Aunt Cornelia, who was so 


much to be pitied. I assented. During our absence 1 put 
my little son Rudolf in the charge of Aunt Mary. The latter 
had been cast down more than I can describe by the events 
of the cholera week at Grumitz. Her whole love, her whole 
interest in life, she now concentrated on my little Rudolf. I 
even hoped that she might be somewhat diverted and raised in 
her spirits by having the child with her for a time. 

We left Vienna on November i. We broke our journey in 
Prague, intending to spend the night there. Next day, instead 
of pursuing our journey to Berlin, we made a new pilgrimage. 

" All Souls' Day," said I. " How many poor dead bodies 
are lying on the battlefield in this neighbourhood, for whom 
even this day of honour to the graves does nothing, because 
they have no graves. Who will pay them a visit ? " 

I looked at him for a while in silence. Then, half aloud, 1 
said : 

"Will you?" 

He nodded. We understood one another, and in an hour 
we were on our way to Chlum and Koniggratz. 

t ' t * 

What a prospect An elegy of Tiedge came into my 

Oh, sight of horror ! mighty prince, come, see, 
And o'er this awful heap of mouldering clay 
Swear to thy folk a gentler lord to be, 
And give to earth the light of peaceful day. 

Great leader, when thou thirstest for renown, 
Come, count these skulls, before the solemn hour 

When thine own head must lay aside its crown, 
And in Death's silence ends thy dream of power. 

Let the dread vision hover o'er thee ever 
Of these sad corpses here around thee strown, 

And then say, does it charm thee, the endeavour 
Upon men's ruins to erect thy throne ? 

Yes, unfortunately it will charm men, so long as the histories 
of the world, U. % those who write them, build the statues of 


their heroes out of the ruins of war, so long as they offer theii 
crowns to the Titans of public murder. To refuse the laurel 
crown, to give up fame, would be nobler. Is that what the 
poet means ? The first thing to do should be to despoil the 
thing, which it should appear so beneficent to renounce, of its 
glory, and then there would be no ambitious man any longer 
to grasp after it. 

It was twilight already when we got to Chi urn, and from 
thence walked on, arm in arm, to the battlefield, near at hand, 
in silent horror. A mist was falling, mingled with very fine 
snowflakes, and the dull branches of the trees were bent by the 
shrill-sounding pipe of a cold November wind. Crowds of 
graves, and the graves of crowds, were all around us. But a 
churchyard? no. No pilgrim weary of life had there been 
invited to rest and peace ; there, in the midst of their youthful 
fire of life, exulting in the fullest strength of their manhood, 
the waiters on the future had been cast down by force, and had 
been shovelled down into their grave mould. Choked up, 
stifled, made dumb for ever, all those breaking hearts, those 
bloody mangled limbs, those bitterly-weeping eyes, those wild 
shrieks of despair, those vain prayers. 

On this field of war it was not lonely. There were many 
very many whom All Souls' Day had brought hither, from 
friends' and enemies' country, who were come here to kneel 
down on the ground where what they loved most had fallen. 
The train itself which brought us was full of other mourners, 
and thus I had heard now for several hours weeping and wailing 
going on around me. " Three sons three sons, each one more 
beautiful and better and dearer than the others, have I lost at 
Sadowa," said to us an old man who looked quite broken down. 
Many others, besides, of our companions in the carriage mingled 
their complaints with his for brother, husband, father. But 
none of these made so much impression on me as the tearless, 
mournful " Three sons three sons " of the poor old man. 

On the field one saw on all sides, and on all the roads, black 
figures walking, or kneeling, or painfully staggering along and 


breaking out from time to time into loud sobs. There were 
only a few there who were buried by themselves few crosses 
or stones with an inscription. We bent down and deciphered, 
as well as the twilight permitted, some of the names. 

" Major v. Reuss of the Second Regiment of the Prussian 

" Perhaps a relation of the one engaged to our poor Rosa," 
I remarked. 

" Count Griinne. Wounded, July 3. Died, July 5." 

What might he not have suffered in those two days ! Was 
he, I wondered, a son of the Count Griinne who uttered, before 
the war, the well-known sentence : " We are going to chase the 
Prussians away wet foot " ? Ah, how frantic and blasphemous ! 
how shrilly out of tune sounds of a surety every word of 
provocation spoken before a war when one stands on a place 
like this ! Words, and nothing more, boasting words, scornful 
words, spoken, written and printed; it is these alone that have 
sown the seed of fields like these. 

We walk on. Everywhere earth heaps, more or less high, 
more or less broad, and even there where the earth is not 
elevated, even under our feet, soldiers' corpses are perhaps 
mouldering ! 

The mist grows thicker constantly. "Frederick, pray put 
your hat on, you will take cold." 

But Frederick remained uncovered, and I did not repeat my 
warning a second time. 

Among the mourners who were wandering about here were 
also many officers and soldiers, probably such as had themselves 
shared in the nobly contested day of Koniggratz, and now 
were making a pilgrimage to the place where their fallen 
comrades were sleeping. 

We had now come to the spot where the largest number of 
warriors, friend and foe together, lay entombed. The place 
was walled off like a churchyard. Hither came the greatest 
number of mourners, because in this spot there was most 
chance that their dear ones might be entombed. Round 


this enclosure the bereaved ones were kneeling and sobbing, 
and here they hung up their crosses and their grave-lights. 

A tall, slender man, of distinguished, youthful figure, in a 
general's cloak, came up to the mound. The others gave 
place reverently to him, and I heard some voices whisper: 
" The emperor ". 

Yes, it was Francis Joseph. It was the lord of the country, 
the supreme lord of war, who had come on All Souls' Day to 
offer up a silent prayer for the dead children of his country, 
for his fallen warriors. He also stood with uncovered and 
bowed head there, in agonised devotion, before the majesty 
of Death. 

Long, long he stood without moving. I could not turn my 
eyes away from him. What thoughts must be passing through 
his soul, what feelings through his heart, which after all was, 
as I knew, a good and a soft heart ? It came into my mind 
that I could feel with him, that I could think the thoughts at 
the same time as he, which were passing through that bowed 
head of his. 

You, my poor, brave fellows, dead, and what for ? No, we 
have not conquered. My Venice lost. So much lost ah, 
so much ! and your young lives too. And you gave them so 
devotedly for me. Oh, if I could give them back to you! 
I, for my part, never desired the sacrifice ; it was for you, for 
your country, that you, the children of my country, were led 
forth to this war 1 And not by my means ; no, not though it 
was at my order, for was I not compelled to give the order ? 
The subjects do not exist for my sake. No, I was called to 
the throne for their sakes, and any hour have I been ready to 
die for the weal of my people. Oh, had I followed the impulse 
of my heart, and never said " Yes," when all around me were 
shouting " War ! " " War ! " Still, could I have resisted them ? 
God is my witness that I could not. What impelled me, what 
forced me, at this moment, I do not know exactly, only so 
much I know, that it was an irresistible pressure from with- 
out, from yourselves, ye dead soldiers 1 Oh, how mournful, 


mournful, mournful 1 How I have suffered for it all ! and no* 
you are lying here, and on other battlefields, snatched away by 
grape-shot and sabre-cuts, by cholera and typhus ! Oh, if I had 
said "No!" You begged me to do so, Elizabeth. Oh, if I 

had said it ! The thought is intolerable that Oh, it is 

a miserable, imperfect world too much, too much of woe ! 

During the whole time that I was thinking thus for him, I 
fastened my eyes on his features, and now yes, just as I came 
to "too much too much of woe" now he covered his face 
with both hands, and broke out into a hot flood of tears. 

So passed All Souls' Day on the battlefield of Sadowa. 

We found the city of Berlin in the height of jubilation. 
Every counter-jumper and every street-loafer bore on his coun- 
tenance a certain consciousness of victory. " We have given 
the fellows there a good licking." That appears anyhow to 
be a very elevating feeling, and one which may be spread over 
the whole population. Still, in the families which we visited, 
we found many people deeply cast down, those, that is to say, 
who had one never to be forgotten lying dead on the German 
or Bohemian battlefields. For my own part, I feared most the 
meeting with Aunt Cornelia again. I knew that her handsome 
son Godfrey was her idol, her all, and I could judge of the pang 
which the poor bereaved mother must now be experiencing. I 
had only to fancy to myself that my Rudolf, if I had brought 
him up to manhood no, that thought I absolutely refused to 
think out. 

Our visit was announced. With a beating heart I entered 
Fr. v. Tessow's house. Even in the ante-chamber, the mourning 
which reigned in the house was perceptible. The footman who 
opened the door for us wore a black livery ; in the great recep- 
tion-room, the chairs of which were covered over with chair 
covers, there was no fire lighted ; and the mirrors and pictures 
on the walls were all covered with crape. From hence, the 
door into Aunt Cornelia's bedroom was opened for us, and she 


received us there. It was a very large room, divided into two 
by a curtain, behind which the bed stood ; and it served Aunt 
Cornelia now as her regular reception-room. She no longer 
quitted the house at all, except every Sunday to go to the 
cathedral, and very seldom her room, except for one hour 
every day, which she spent in what had been Godfrey's study. 
In this everything was left standing or lying as he had left it 
on the day of his departure. She took us into it, in the course 
of our visit, and made us read a letter, which he had laid on 
his portfolio. 

" My own dear Mother, I know well that you will come here 
after rny departure, and then you will find this letter. My per- 
sonal departure is over. So much the more will it please and 
surprise you to find one more line, to hear one more last word 
from me, and indeed a joyful, hopeful one. Be of good cheer. 
I shall come back again. Two hearts, that hang together so 
entirely as ours do, fate will not tear asunder. I have settled 
that I am now going to serve through a fortunate campaign, 
gain stars and crosses, and then make you a grandmother six 
times over. I kiss your hand, I kiss your dear soft forehead, 
O you most adored of all little mothers." 


When we went into Aunt Cornelia's room, she was not alone. 
A gentleman in a long black coat, recognisable at the first 
glance as a clergyman, was sitting opposite to her. 

She got up and came to meet us. The clergyman rose at 
the same time from his seat, but remained standing in the 

What I expected occurred. When I embraced the old lady 
both of us, she and I, broke out into loud sobs. Frederick 
also did not remain dry-eyed as he pressed the mourner to his 
heart. In this first minute no word at all was spoken. All 
that one can say at such a moment, at one's first meeting aftei 
a severe misfortune, is sufficiently expressed by tears. 


She led us back to the place where they were sitting, and 
pointed us to chairs that stood there. Then, after drying her 
eyes, she made the introduction. 

" My nephew, Colonel Baron Tilling Herr Molser, head 
military chaplain and consistorial councillor." 

Silent bows were exchanged. 

" My friend and spiritual adviser," she proceeded, " who has 
allowed me to lay on him the burden of instructing me in my 

" But who unfortunately has not succeeded in instilling into 
you the proper resignation, the proper joy in bearing the cross, 
my valued friend," said he. " Why is it that I have always to 
witness a fresh outburst of these very foolish tears ? " 

" Oh, forgive me ! When I last saw my nephew with his 
sweet young wife, my Godfrey was there." 

She could speak no further. 

" Your son was there, in this sinful world, still exposed to all 
temptations and dangers, while now he has gone into the bosom 
of the Father, after meeting with the most glorious and most 
blessed of deaths for king and country. 

"You, colonel," turning now to my husband, "who have 
just been introduced to me as a soldier, can assist me to give 
to this afflicted mother the consolation that her son's fate is an 
enviable one. You must know what delight in death animates 
the brave warrior; the resolve to offer his life as a sacrifice on 
the altar of his country glorifies for him all the pain of depart- 
ing this life ; and, though he sinks in the storm of the battle 
amidst the thunder of the artillery, yet he expects to be trans- 
ferred to the great army on high, and to be present when the 
Lord of Sabaoth holds muster above. You, colonel, have 
comeback in the number of those to whom Divine Providence 
has granted a righteous victory." 

" Forgive me, reverend consistorial councillor, I was in the 
Austrian service." 

" Oh, I thought Oh, really," replied the other quite 

confused. " A grand, brave army too is the Austrian." He 



rose. " But I will not intrude longer. You will be wishing, 
doubtless, to talk of family matters. Farewell, dear lady; in a 
few days I will come again. Till then, raise your thoughts to 
the All-merciful, without whose will not a hair falls from our 
heads, and who causes all things to serve for the good of those 
that love Him even sorrow and suffering, even privation and 
death. I salute you with all devotion." 

My aunt shook his hand. 

" I hope I shall see you soon. Very soon, pray." 

He bowed to us all, and was stepping towards the door 
when Frederick detained him. 

" Reverend consistorial councillor, may I ask you a favour? " 

" Pray, tell me what it is, colonel ? " 

" I conclude from your conversation that you are penetrated 
equally by the religious and the military spirit. In that case 
you might do me a great pleasure." 

I listened with interest. What could Frederick mean ? 

" The fact is," he continued, " that my little wife here is full 
of scruples and doubts of all sorts. Her opinion is that, from 
a Christian point of view, war is not quite permissible. I, of 
course, know to the contrary, for there is no alliance closer 
than that between the professions of priest and soldier, but I 
have not the eloquence to make this clear to my wife. Would 
you then, reverend consistorial councillor, so far favour us as to 
give us, to-morrow or next day, an hour of your conversation, 
with the view " 

" Oh, with great pleasure," the clergyman said, interrupting 
him. " Will you give me your address ? " 

Frederick gave him his card, and the day and hour of the 
visit he asked for were fixed at once. Then we remained alone 
with our aunt. 

" Does your intercourse with this friend really afford you 
consolation ? " asked Frederick. 

" Consolation ? There is no consolation for me any more 
here below. But he speaks so much and so beautifully about 
the things which I like most to hear of about death and 


mourning, about the cross and sacrifice and resignation he 
paints the world which my poor Godfrey had to leave, and 
from which I long to be released, as such a vale of misery, of 
corruption, of sin, and of advancing ruin. . . . And so it seems 
to me a little less mournful that my child has been called away. 
He is assuredly in heaven, and here on this earth " 

"The powers of hell often prevail. That is true. I have 
again seen proof of that close to me," replied Frederick 

The poor lady next questioned him about the two campaigns 
that he had passed through the one with, the other against, 
Godfrey. He had to relate hundreds of details, and in doing 
so he was able to give the bereaved mother the same comfort 
that he once brought me back from the war in Italy, namely, 
that the lamented one had died a rapid and painless death. It 
was a long and a mournful visit. I also again recounted there 
all the details of the horrible cholera week, and my experiences 
on the Bohemian battlefields. Before we left, Aunt Cornelia 
took us into Godfrey's room, where I wept bitter tears anew at 
the perusal of the letter which I have quoted above, and of 
which at a later period I begged a copy. 

" Now explain to me," I said to Frederick, as we got into our 
carriage, which was in waiting in front of Aunt Cornelia's villa, 
" why you asked the consistorial councillor " 

"To a conference with you? Do not you understand? 
That is to serve me as material for study. I want to hear once 
more and this time to take note of the arguments by which 
priests defend public murder. I put you forward as the leader 
in the fray. It better becomes a young lady to nourish a doubt 
from the Christian point of view as to the lawfulness of war than 
a 'gallant colonel'!" 

" But you know that my doubt is not from a religious, but a 
humanitarian point of view." 

"We must not lay this at all before the reverend consistona) 


councillor, or else the discussion would be transferred to a 
different field. The efforts after peace of free thinkers suffer 
from no internal inconsistency, but it is this very inconsistency 
existing between the maxims of Christianity and the orders of 
military authorities which I should like to hear explained by a 
military chaplain, i.e., a representative of militant Christianity." 

The clergyman was punctual in his arrival. The prospect 
was evidently an inviting one for him of having to preach a 
sermon of instruction and conversion. I on the contrary looked 
forward to the conversation with somewhat painful feelings, for 
the part assigned to me in it was a dishonest one. But, for 
the good of the cause to which Frederick had devoted his 
services henceforth, I was easily able to put some constraint 
on myself, and comfort myself with the proverb : " The end 
justifies the means". 

After the first greetings we were all three seated on low, 
easy-chairs before the fire the consistorial councillor began 
thus : 

"Allow me, dear lady, to enter on the object of my visit. 
The matter is to remove from your soul some scruples, which 
are not destitute of some apparent grounds, but which can 
easily be refuted as sophistical. You think, for example, that 
Christ's command to love your enemies, and also the text, 
' He who takes the sword shall perish by the sword,' are 
inconsistent with the duties of a soldier, who no doubt is 
empowered to injure the enemy in body and life." 

" Certainly, reverend councillor, this inconsistency seems to 
me irreconcilable. Then there occurs also the express com 
mand of the Decalogue, * Thou shalt not kill '." 

" Oh, yes, to a superficial judgment there is some difficulty 
in that, but on penetrating deeper all doubt vanishes. As 
regards the fifth commandment, it would be more correctly 
given (as it is actually in the English version of the Bible) : 
' Thou shalt not murder '. Killing for necessary defence is 
no*, murder. And war is in reality only necessary defence on a 
large scale. We can and we ought, following the gentle precept 


of our Saviour, to love our enemies, but that does not mean 
that we are not to venture to defend ourselves from open wrong 
and violence." 

" Then does it not follow of course from this that only 
defensive wars are justifiable, and that no sword-stroke ought to 
be given till the enemy has invaded the country ? But if the 
opposing nation proceeds on the same principle, how then can 
the battle ever begin? In the late war it was your army, 
reverend councillor, which first crossed the frontier, 
and " 

" If one wishes to keep the foe off, dear lady, as we have the 
most sacred right to do, it is utterly unnecessary to put off the 
favourable opportunity, and to wait until he has first invaded 
one's country. On the contrary, the sovereign must, under all 
circumstances, have freedom to anticipate the violent and 
unjust. In doing so he is following the written word : ' He 
who takes the sword shall perish by the sword '. He presents 
himself as God's servant and avenger on the enemy, because he 
strives to make him, as he has taken the sword against him, 
perish by the sword." 

" There must be some fallacy in that," I said, shaking my 
head. " It is impossible that these principles should justify 
both parties equally." 

"And as to the further scruple," pursued the clergyman, 
without noticing my remark, " that war is of and by itself dis- 
pleasing to God, this must depart from every Christian who 
believes in the Bible, for the Holy Scriptures sufficiently prove 
that the Lord Himself gave commands to the people of Israel to 
wage wars, in order to conquer the promised land, and He 
granted them victory and His blessing on their wars. In 
Numbers xxi. 14, a special ' book of the wars of the Lord* is 
spoken of. And how often in the Psalms is the assistance 
celebrated which God has granted to His people in war ! Do 
you not know what Solomon says (Proverbs xxi. 31): 'The 
horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of 
the Lord'? In Psalm cxliv. David thanks and praises the 


I -oid, his strength, ' who teacheth his hand to war. and hit 
fingers to fight '." 

" Then a contradiction prevails between the Old and the 
New Testament the God of the ancient Hebrews was a warlike 
Deity, but the gentle Jesus proclaimed the message of peace, 
and taught love to neighbour and to enemy." 

" In the New Testament also, Jesus speaks in a figure (Luke 
xiv. 31) without the least blame of a king who is going to make 
war against another king. And how often, too, does not the 
Apostle Paul use figures from the military life? He says 
(Rom. xiii. 4) that the magistrate does not bear the sword in 
vain, but it God's servant a revenger on him that doeth 

"Well, then, in that case the contradiction I mean exists in 
the Holy Scripture itself. By your showing me that it is present 
in the Bible you do not remove it" 

" There one sees the superficial and at the same time arrogant 
method of judgment which seeks to exalt one's own weak reason 
above the Word of God. Contradiction is something imperfect, 
ungodlike ; and if I show that a thing is in the Bible the proof 
is complete that in itself however incomprehensible it may be 
to the human understanding it can contain no contradiction." 
" Unless the presence of contradiction does not much rather 
prove that the passages in question cannot possibly be of Divine 
origin." This answer trembled on my lips, but I suppressed it, 
in order not to change entirely the object of the discussion. 

"Look here, reverend councillor," said Frederick, now 
mingling in the conversation, "a chief captain of artillery in 
the seventeenth century has laid down much more forcibly than 
you have done the justifiability of the horrors of war by an 
appeal to the Bible. I extracted the passage and have read it 
to my wife, but she did not sympathise with the spirit expressed 
in it. 1 confess the thing seems to me well, a little strong 
and I should like to hear your view about it. If you will allow 
me I will fetch the paper." So he took a sheet of paper out oi 
a drawtr, unfolded it, and read : 


War was invented by God Himself and taught to men. God posted 
the first soldier with a two-edged sword in front of Paradise, to keep out 
of it Adam, the first rebel. You may read in Deuteronomy how God, by 
means of Moses, gives people encouragement to victory and even gives 
them His priests for advanced guard. 

The first stratagem was practised at the city of Ai. In this war of the 
Jews the sun had to stand and show light in the firmament for two whole 
days together in order that the war and the victory might be followed up, 
and many thousands put to the sword and their kings hung up. All the 
horrors of war are permitted by God, for the whole of Holy Writ is full 
of them, and proves satisfactorily that regular war is an invention of God 
Himself, and that therefore every man can with a clear conscience serve 
in it, and can live and die in it. He is permitted to burn his enemy, or 
brand him, flay him, shoot him down, or hack him to pieces. All this is 
just, let others judge as they please about it. God in these passages has 
forbidden nothing, but has permitted the most horrible ways of destroying 

The prophetess Deborah nailed the head of Sisera, the leader in that 
war, to the earth. Gideon, chosen by God as the leader of the people, 
revenged himself on the princes of Succoth, who had refused him some 
provisions, like a soldier ; sword and fire were too poor, they were 
thrashed and torn in pieces with thorns ; and, as before, this was righteous 
in the sight of God. The royal prophet David, a man after God's own 
heart, invented the most cruel tortures for the vanquished children of 
Ammon at Rabboth he had them hewed with sabres, caused chariots to 
drive over them, cut them with knives, and dragged them through the 
places where they made the bricks, and so did he in all the towns of the~ 
children of Ammon. Besides this 

"That is horrible, abominable ! " broke in the chief chaplain. 
" It could only be a rough soldier of the savage times of the 
Thirty Years' War to whom it would appear natural to produce 
examples like these out of the Bible, in order to found thereon 
a justification for their cruelties against the enemy. We preach 
quite other doctrine now nothing more is to be striven for in 
war than to make your adversary incapable of harm even up 
to his death but without any evil design against the life of any 
individual. If any such design enters in, or even any murderous 
desire or any cruelty against those who are defenceless, in such 
a case killing in war is exactly as immoral and as impermissible 
M in peace. No doubi in past centuries, when the adventuroui 


delight in feud and quarrel prevailed, when leaders of Lands- 
knechts and vagrant persons carried on war as a trade, in such 
times an artillery captain might write in that style; but in 
the present day armies are not put into the field for gold 
and booty, not without knowing for whom or for what, but 
for the highest ideal objects of mankind for freedom, 
independence, nationality ; for justice, faith, honour, purity and 
morality " 

" You, reverend consistorial councillor," I interposed, "are at 
least milder and more humane than the artillery captain. And 
thus you have no proofs out of the Bible to allege for the law- 
fulness of cruelty, in which our forefathers of the middle ages, 
and presumably also the ancient Hebrews, took a pleasure ; and 
yet it is the same book, and the same Jehovah, and He cannot 
have become milder and everybody still gets from Him as much 
support as suits his views." 

On this I received a slight sermon of rebuke for my want of 
reverence for the Word of God, and for my want of judgment 
in reading it. 

Still I succeeded in leading the conversation back again to 
our especial subject; and now the consistorial councillor 
launched out into a long dissertation, and one which this time 
was allowed to be uninterrupted, about the connection between 
the military and Christian spirits ; he spoke of the religious 
devotion " which is indwelling in the oath to the standard, when 
the colours are carried solemnly, with the accompaniment of 
music, into the church, with the guard of honour of two officers 
with drawn swords ; and there the recruit marches out for the 
first time in public with helmet and side-arms, and for the first 
time follows the colours of his company, unfolded now before 
the altar of the Lord torn as they are and stained with the 
honourable marks of the battles in which they have been 
carried". He spoke of the prayer offered every Sunday in 
church : " Preserve the royal commander of the army, and all 
true servants of their king and country. Teach them as Chris- 
tians to think of their end, and grant that their service may be 


blessed, to thf honour and the good of the country." "God with 
us," he went on, "is, as you know, the motto on the belt-buckle 
with which the foot-soldier buckles on his side-arms, and this 
watchword should give him confidence. If God be with us, 
who can He against us ? Then there are also the universal days 
of'puDiic prayer and humiliation which are ordered at the 
commencement of a war that the people may beg for God's 
help in prayer, both in the comfortable hope of His support and 
in the confidence through that support of gaining a victorious 
termination. What devotion does there not lie in this for the 
departing warrior ! How mightily does this exalt his delight in 
battle and in death ! He can with comfort enter into the ranks 
of the warriors when his king calls for him, and can reckon on 
victory and blessing for the cause of right. God the Lord will 
no more deprive our people of this than His people Israel of 
old, if only it is with prayers to Him that we carry on the work 
of battle. The intimate alliance between prayer and victory, 
between piety and valour, easily follows for what can more 
assure one of joy in the prospect of death than the confi- 
dence that if our last hour should strike in the confusion 
of the battle we shall find favour at the hands of the Judge 
in heaven? Fidelity and faith, in union with manliness 
and warlike virtue, belong to the oldest traditions of our 

He went on in this tone for a long time more now with 
oily mildness, with sunken head, in the softest tones speaking 
of love, humility, "little children," salvation, and "precious 
things " now with military voice of command, with a proud, 
erect attitude, talking of strict morals and stern discipline- 
sharp and cutting of sword and shield. The word "joy 
was never used otherwise than in composition with death; 
battle, and dying. From the point of view of the army 
chaplain, to kill and to be killed seemed to be the most 
exquisite delights in life. Everything else is exhausting, 
sinful pleasure. Verses, too, were recited. First this of 
Korner : 


Father, do Thou guide me I 

Guide me to victory guide me to death! 

Lord, I confess Thy command. 

Lord, as Thou wiliest, so guide me I 

God, I confess Thee. 

Then the old popular song of the Thirty Years' War*- 

No happier death on earth can be 

Than one good stroke from mortal foe, 
On fresh green turf, in breezes free 
No woman's tears, no cries of woe : 
No grim deathbed, whence, lone and slow, 
From life's gay scene your soul must go. 
Like swathes of grass, in lusty row, 
'Mid shouting friends, Death lays you low. 

And then the song by Lenau of the war-loving armourer: 

Peace steals on, and, mining slowly, 

Saps our vigour, dims our story. 
While she boasts her " influence holy," 

Cobwebs gather o'er our glory. 
Hark ! then sounds War's joyous rattle. 
Wounds may yawn, blood flow, in battle I 
We need yawn in sloth no longer, 
War's pruning makes mankind the stronger 

And, to conclude, the saying of Luther : 

"When I look at war as a thing that protects wife, child, 
house, land, goods, and honour and in doing so gains peace 
and secures it in that view war is a right precious thing ". 

" Oh, yes ; if I look at the panther as a dove, in that case 
the panther is a very gentle beast," I remarked unheard. 

The military chaplain did not allow himself to be disturbed 
in his flow of eloquence ; and, when he ended and took leave, 
I found myself with two convictions : that war from the 
Christian point of view is a justifiable, and in and by itself is 
a precious, thing. It was visibly a very agreeable thing to him 
to have, by means of this rhetorical victory, both fulfilled the 
duty of his profession, and in doing so rendered a considerable 


service to the foreign colonel ; for, as he rose to go, and we 
expressed to him our thanks for the trouble he had been so 
good as to undertake, he deprecatingly rejoined : 

11 It is for me to thank you for having given me an opportu- 
nity of chasing away your doubts through my feeble word 
(whose entire efficacy is to be ascribed to the Word of God, 
which I have so often quoted), doubts which are of such a 
nature as to bring nothing but pain to a person who is not 
only a Christian but a soldier's wife. Peace be with you" 

" Oh," I groaned, when he was gone, " that was a torture I " 

"Yes," said Frederick; "it was. Our want of straightfor- 
wardness especially was uncomfortable to me, and particularly 
the false premises under which we got him to display his 
eloquence. At one moment I was on the point of saying to 
him : ' Stop, reverend sir, I myself entertain the same views 
against war as my wife, and what you are saying only serves, as 
far as I am concerned, to enable me to see more clearly the 
weakness of your arguments '. But I held my tongue. Why 
interfere with an honest man's conviction a conviction which 
is besides the foundation of his profession in life ? " 

"Conviction? Are you certain of that? Does he really 
believe that he is speaking the truth, or does he purposely 
deceive his common soldiers, when he promises them an 
assured victory through the assistance of a God of whom he 
nevertheless must know this that He is invoked in exactly the 
same way by the enemy ? These appeals to ' our people ' and 
to 'our cause' as the only righteous one, and one which is 
God's cause too, were surely only possible at a time when one 
people shut out all other peoples, and considered itself as the 
only one entitled to exist the only one beloved of God. And 
then all these promises of heaven, with the view of more easily 
procuring the sacrifice of earthly life, all these ceremonies, 
consecrations, oaths, hymns which are intended to awaken in 
the breast of the man ordered into war that ' joy in death ' 
(repulsive words to me !) which they so admire ; is it not " 

" Everything has two sides, Martha," said Frederick interrupt 


ing me. " It is because we deprecate war that everything which 
supports and excuses it, everything which veils its horrors, 
appears hateful to us." 

" Yes, of course ; because the hateful thing is upheld thereby." 
" But not thereby only. All institutions stand on roots of 
a thousand fibres, and as long as they exist it must lv a good 
thing that those feelings and methods of thought should persist 
by which they are excused, by which they are rendered not only 
tolerable, but even beloved. How many a poor fellow is helped 
through his death-agony by that same 'joy in death ' into which 
he has been educated ! how many a pious soul relies in all 
confidence on the help of God of which he has been assured 
by the preacher ! how much innocent vanity and proud feeling 
of honour are awakened and satisfied by those ceremonies ! how 
many hearts beat higher at the sound of those hymns ! From 
the total of the pain which war has brought on men, we must 
at least deduct that pain which war poets and war preachers 
have contrived to sing away and lie away." 

We were summoned away from Berlin very hurriedly. A 
telegram announced to me that Aunt Mary was very ill and 
wished to see me. 

I found the old lady given up by her physicians. 

" It is my turn now," she said. " For my own part I am 
right willing to go. Since my poor brother and the three 
children were snatched away, this world has had no more joy 
for me. Apart from anything else, I shall never more have the 
strength to bear up after such a blow. I shall find the others 
there above. Conrad and Lilly are also united there; it was 
not ordained that they should be united here on earth." 

" If they had finished their arrangements in proper time . . ." 
I was disposed to say in opposition, but I stopped myself. I 
could not surely raise any discussion with this dying person, 
and still less try to unsettle her about her favourite theory ot 
" pre-ordination ". 


"I have one comfort," she went on, "that jou at least, dear 
Martha, remain behind happy; the cholera has spared you, 
and that proves clearly that it is ordained for you to grow old 
in company. Only try to make of your little Rudolf a good 
Christian and a good soldier, so that his grandfather up in 
heaven may still find his joy in him." 

Even on this point I preferred to keep silence, for I was 
firmly resolved to make no soldier of my son. 

" I will pray for you incessantly, so that you may live long 
and happily." 

Of course I did not dwell on the inconsistency that an " in- 
evitable destiny" could be influenced in one's favour by inces- 
sant prayer ; but I interrupted the poor creature by begging her 
not to exhaust herself with talking, and, in order to distract her 
attention, told her about our doings in Switzerland and Berlin. 
I also related how we met Prince Henry, and that he had 
caused to be erected in the park of his castle a marble monu- 
ment in memory of the bride whom he had lost as soon as won. 

Three days afterwards poor Aunt Mary fell asleep, resigned 
and calm, fortified with the sacrament for the dying, which she 
had herself begged for and which she received with devotion ; 
and thus were all my relations gone from the earth, all those in 
whose midst I had been brought up. 

In her will the entire inheritance of her little fortune was left 
to my son Rudolf, and as his trustee Minister " To-be-sure " 
was nominated. 

This circumstance brought me now into frequent contact 
with this old friend of my father. He was also pretty nearly 
the only visitor at our house. The deep mourning into which 
the unhappy week at Grumitz had plunged me caused me as a 
matter of course to live in perfect retirement. Our plan of 
settling in Paris could not be carried out till all my affairs were 
put in order, and in any case several months more would be 
necessary for that. 

Our friend the Minister, who, as I have said, formed almost 
the whole of our society, had in these latter days either received 


or obtained his discharge I never quite fathomed the matter- 
but in short he had withdrawn into private life, but he was still 
as fond as ever of busying himself about politics. He continu 
ally contrived to turn the conversation on to this his favourite 
theme, and we also willingly took our share in it. As Frederick 
was now occupying himself so busily with the study of inter 
national law, any discussion was welcome to him which touched 
on this province. After dinner (Mr. "To-be-sure" for we always 
between ourselves made use of this nickname for him was 
always asked to dine at our house twice a week) the two gentle 
men would plunge into a long political conversation; but in 
doing this my husband took care not to let this conversation 
turn into the political gossip which he so hated, but was careful 
to lead it to views of more general interest. In this, to be sure. 
Mr. "To-be-sure" could not always follow him, for in his character 
as an inveterate diplomatist and official he had accustomed him- 
self to follow what is called "practical politics" a thing which 
is dire< ted merely to the private interests which lie nearest to 
hand and knows nothing about the theoretical questions of social 

I sat by, busy over some needlework, and took no share in 
the conversation a thing which seemed quite natural to the 
Minister ; for politics is, as is well known, far " too high a thing " 
for ladies ; he was sure that I was thinking all the time of other 
things, whilst I, on the contrary, was listening very attentively, 
since it was my business to impress the tenor of this dialogue 
on my memory, in order to transfer it afterwards into the red 
book. Frederick made no secret of his opinions, though he 
knew what a thankless part it is to set oneself to oppose what 
is generally received, and to defend ideas whilst they are in the 
stage when even if they are not condemned as subversive 
still they are derided as fantastic. 

"I am in a position to-day to communicate to you an 
interesting piece of news, dear Tilling," said the Minister one 
afternoon with an air of importance. " People in government 
circles that is to say, in the ministry of war are ventilating 


the idea of introducing a universal liability to service 
amongst us also." 

"What? the same system which before the war was so 
universally condemned and derided among us? * Tailors in 
arms,' and so on ?" 

"To be sure we had a prejudice against it a short time 
since. Still, it has rendered good service to the Prussians 
you must allow. And, in fact, from the moral point of view, 
and even from the democratic and liberal point of view, for 
which you occasionally appear so enthusiastic, it is surely a 
just and elevating thing that every son of his fatherland, 
without any regard to his position or stage of education, should 
have to fulfil the same duties. And from a strategic point of 
view, could little Prussia have been always victorious if she 
had not had the Landwehr ; and if the latter had been 
introduced amongst us before, should we have been always 
beaten ? " 

"Well, the meaning of that is, that if we had had more 
material, the material which our enemy had would not have 
served him. Ergo if the Landwehr were introduced every- 
where it would not benefit anybody. The v/ar game would be 
played with more pieces, but the game nevertheless depends 
still on the luck and the ability of the players. I will suppose 
that all the European powers have introduced the obligation 
of universal defence ; the proportion of forces in that case 
remains exactly the same, the only difference would be that, in 
order to come to a decision, instead of hundreds of thousands, 
millions would have to be slaughtered." 

11 But do you think it just and fair that a part only of the 
population should sacrifice themselves in order to protect the 
dearest possessions of the others, and that these others, chiefly 
because they are rich, should be entitled to stop quietly at 
home? No, no; that will cease with this new law. Then 
there will be no more buying-off every oue will have to take 
his part. And it is especially the educated the students those 


who have some learning, who will contribute the elements of 
intelligence and therefore of victory." 

"The other side has the same elements ready to hand, and 
so the advantages to be gained! from educated petty officers 
neutralise each other. On the other hand, what remains (and 
equally to both sides) is the loss of material of priceless mental 
worth, of which the country is deprived by the fact that the 
most educated, those who might have promoted its civilisation 
by means of inventions, works of art, or scientific inquiry, are 
set up in rank and file to be marks for the enemy's shot " 

" Oh, well ! for making inventions, and producing works of 
art, and investigating skull-bones, and all sorts of things of that 
kind, which do not advance the position of the state's power 
one drachm " 

" Hm ! " " What ? " " Oh, nothing ; go on." 

" For all that there remains plenty of time for people. And 
besides they need not serve for the whole of their life ; but a 
few years of strict discipline are assuredly good for everybody, 
and make them only so much the more competent to fulfil 
their other duties as citizens. We must in the present state of 
things pay the blood tax some time so it ought to be divided 
between all equally." 

" There would be something to say for that, if it fell less 
heavily on individuals on that account. But that would not 
be the case; the blood tax would not be divided by that 
measure, but increased. I hope the project may not be carried 
out. There is no seeing whither it may lead. One state 
would then try to outvie the other in strength of army, till at 
last there would no longer be any armies, but only armed 
nations. More people would be constantly drawn into the 
service ; the length of service would be constantly increased ; 
the incidence of war taxes and the costs of armaments 
constantly greater; so that without fighting each other the 
nations would all come to ruin in making preparations foi 

" But, dear Tilling, you look too far." 


"One can never look too far. Everything a man undertakes 
he ought to think out to its remotest consequence at least as 
far as his mind reaches. We were likening war just now to a 
game at chess. Politics also is of the same nature, your excel- 
lency, and those are only very feeble players who look no 
further forward than a single move, and are quite pleased with 
themselves if they have got into a position in which they can 
threaten a pawn. I want to develop the thought of defensive 
forces constantly increasing and the universal extension of 
liability to military service still more widely, till we reach the 
extremest verge, /.<?., where the mass becomes excessive. What 
then, if after the greatest numbers and the furthest limits of age 
are reached, one nation should take it into its head to recruit 
regiments of women too? The others must imitate it. Or 
battalions of boys ? The others must imitate it. And in the 
armaments in the means of destruction where can the limit 
be ? Oh this savage, blind leap into the pit ! " 

"Calm yourself, dear Tilling. You are a genuine faddist. 
If you could only point me out a means to do away with war 
it would be a perfect benefit, to be sure. But as that is not 
possible, every nation must surely endeavour to prepare itself 
for it as well as possible, in order to assure itself of the greatest 
chance of winning in the inevitable * struggle for existence ' 
that is the cant word of the fashionable Darwinism, is it not ? " 

" If I should choose to suggest to you the means of doing 
away with wars, you would again call me a silly faddist, a senti- 
mental dreamer rendered morbid by the ' humanitarian craze ' 
that, I think, is the cant word in favour with the war party, 
is it not?" 

"To be sure, I cannot conceal from you that no practical 
foundation exists for the realisation of such an ideal. One 
must calculate with the actual factors. In these are classed the 
passions of men ; their rivalries ; the divergences of interests ; 
the impossibility of coming to an agreement on all questions." 

41 But that is not necessary. When disagreements begin an 
arbitration tribunal not force is to decide." 


"The sovereign states would never betake themselves to such 
a tribunal nor would the peoples." 

" The peoples ? The potentates and diplomatists would not 
but the people? Just inquire, and you will find that the 
wish for peace is warm and true in the people, while the 
peaceful assurances which proceed from the governments are 
frequently lies, hypocritical lies or at least are regarded as 
such on principle by other governments. That is precisely 
what is called ' diplomacy'. And the peoples will go on ever 
more and more calling for peace. If the general obligation of 
defence should extend, the dislike of war will increase in the 
same proportion. A class of soldiers animated with love for 
their calling is, of course, imaginable ; their exceptional 
position, which they take for a position of honour, is offered 
to them as a recompense for the sacrifices which it entails, but 
when the exception ceases the distinction ceases also. The 
admiring thankfulness disappears which those who stay at home 
offer to those who go out in their defence, because then there 
will be no one to stay at home. The war-loving feelings which 
are always being suggested to the soldier and in so doing are 
often awakened in him will be more seldom kindled ; for who 
are those that are of the most heroic spirit, who are most warm 
in their enthusiasm for the exploits and dangers of war ? Those 
who are safe against them the professors, the politicians, the 
beer-shop chatterers the chorus of old men, as it is called in 
' Faust'. When the safety is lost, that chorus will be silenced 
Besides, if not only those devote themselves to the military life 
who love and praise it, but all those also are forcibly dragged 
into it who look on it with horror, that horror must work. 
Poets, thinkers, friends of humanity, timid persons, all these 
will, from their own points of view, curse the trade they are 
forced into." 

" But they will beyond doubt have to keep silent about this 
way of thinking, in order not to pass for cowards in order not 
to expose themselves to the displeasure of the higher powers." 

" Keep silence ? Not for ever. As I talk though I have 


myself kept silence long so will the others also break out into 
speech. U the ikoughl ripens, the woid will come. I am an 
individual who have come to the age of forty before my convic- 
tion acquired sufficient strength to expand itself in words. And 
as I have required two or three decades, so the masses will 
perhaps require two or three generations but speak they will 


New- Year's Day, 1867. The Luxembourg question. Disputes 
between France and Prussia. Arbitration. The alarm 
blows over. We visit Paris. Plan of Napoleon III. for 
general disarmament. Frederick's efforts in the cause of 
peace. "The Protocol of Peace." A little daughter is born 
to us. Renewed happiness. Frederick's studies. M. Des- 
moulin? proposals. Return to Paris, and re-entry into 
the gay world. Talk of the "Revanche de Sadowa". 
Pressure of the war party on Napoleon III. Whirl of 
gaiety. We seek repose in Switzerland. Illness of my 
little daughter. Return to Paris in March, 1870. 
Napoleon III. drops his plan of disarmament under the 
pressure of the war party. Still peace seems assured. 

THE New Year, '67 ! We kept the Sylvester Night quite alone, 
my Frederick and I. When it struck twelve, 

"Do you recollect," I asked with a sigh, "the speech my 
poor father made in proposing a toast last year at this same 
hour? I do not dare to wish you good fortune now. The 
future sometimes hides something so unexpectedly terrible in 
its bosom ; and no wish has ever availed to turn it aside." 

" Then let us use the turn of the year, Martha, as an occasion 
not for thinking of what is coming, but for looking back into 
the year which has just flown by. What sufferings you have 
had to endure, my poor, brave wife 1 So many of your dear 
ones buried and those days of horror on the battlefields in 

" I do not grieve that 1 have seen the cruel things thai took 



place there. Now I can at least participate with all the might 
of my soul in your efforts." 

" We must bring up your or rather our Rudolf with a view 
of his pushing these efforts further. In his time a visible mark 
will perhaps arise above the horizon hardly in ours. What a 
noise the people are making in the streets ! they are greeting 
with shouts the new year in spite of the sufferings which the 
old one (that was greeted in the same way) brought on them. 
Oh, how forgetful men are ! " 

"Do not chide them too much for their forgetfulness, 
Frederick. We too are beginning to brush away from our 
memory the sufferings of the past, and what I feel is the bliss 
of the present the bliss of having you, my own one. We 
were not to speak of the future I know ; still I think that the 
future we have before us is good. United, loving, sufficient in 
ourselves, rich how many exquisite enjoyments can not life 
still offer us ! We will travel, will make acquaintance with the 
world, the world that is so fair ! Fair so long as peace prevails ; 
and peace may now last for many, many years ! But if war is 
to break out again, you are no longer involved in it; and 
Rudolf too is not threatened, since he is not going to be a 

"But if, according to Minister To-be-sure's information, 
every man should be obliged to share in the defence " 

" Oh, nonsense. So what I mean is, we will travel ; we will 
bring up our Rudolf to be a pattern man ; we will follow our 
noble aim the propaganda of peace; and we we will love 
each other ! " 

The carnival this same year brought with it once more balls 
and pleasures of all sorts ; but my mourning kept me away from 
all such things. But what astonished me was that the whole of 
society did not abstain from such mad goings on. Surely 
there must have been a loss in almost every family ; but, as it 
seemed, folks set all that at nought A few houses, it is true, 
remained closed, especially among the aristocracy; but there 
was no want of opportunities for the young people to dance, 


and the most favoured partners were, of course, those who had 
come back from the battlefields of Italy and Bohemia ; and the 
naval officers were those most feted, especially those who had 
fought at Lissa. Half the lady world had fallen in love with 
TegethorT, the youthful admiral, as they had done with the 
handsome General Gablenz after the campaign of Schleswig- 
Holstein. "Custozza" and " Lissa" were the two trump-cards 
which were everywhere played in any conversation about the 
war which was over. Along with this, the needle-gun and 
Landwehr came in two institutions which must be introduced 
as speedily as possible and then future victories were assured 
to us. Victories ? when and over whom ? On this point 
people did not speak out ; but the idea of revenge, which is 
wont to accompany the loss of a game, even if it be only a game 
at cards, was hovering over all the utterances of the politicians. 
If even we did not ourselves take the field once more against 
the Prussians, perhaps there might be others who would take 
it on themselves to avenge us. All appearances seemed to 
show that France would get into a quarrel with our conquerors, 
and then they might get paid off for a good deal. The thing 
had even got a name in diplomatic circles " La Revanche de 
Sadowa". Such was the triumphant announcement to us of 
Minister To-be-sure. 

It was at the beginning of spring that once more a certain 
"black spot" appeared on the horizon a " question " as they 
call it The news also of French preparations provided the 
conjectural politicians with what they love so "the prospect 
of war ". The question this time was called that of Luxembourg. 

Luxembourg ? What was there then of such great importance 
to the world in that? On this subject I had again to embark 
in studies similar to those about Schleswig-Holstein. The 
name was indeed familiar to me only from Suppers " Jolly 
Companions," in which, as is well known, a Count of Luxem- 
bourg " spends all he has in dress dress dresa ". The result 
of my studies was as follows : 

Luxembourg belonged according to the treaties of 1814 and 


1816 (Ah! there we have it! treaties they contain ready- 
made the root of a national quarrel a fine institution these 
treaties) to the King of the Netherlands, and at the same 
time to the German Bund. Prussia had the right to 
garrison the capital. Now, however, as Prussia had 
renounced her share in the old Bund, how could she keep the 
right of garrison ? That was the point the " question ". The 
peace of Prague had in fact introduced a new system into 
Germany, and thereby the connection with Luxembourg had 
been dissolved; why then did the Prussians maintain their 
right of garrison? " To be sure" that was an intricate affair, 
and the most advantageous and righteous way of settling it 
would be to slaughter fresh hundreds of thousands that every 
" enlightened " politician must allow. The Dutch had never 
attached any importance to the possession of the Grand Duchy ; 
the king also William III. attached no importance to it, 
and would have been happy to cede it to France for a sum to 
be paid into his privy purse; so private negotiations now 
commenced between the king and the French Cabinet. 
Exactly ; secrecy is always the essence of all diplomacy. The 
peoples are not to know anything of the matters in dispute ; 
as soon as the latter are ripe for decision they have the right to 
bleed for them. Why and wherefore they are fighting each 
other is a question of no importance. 

It was not till the end of March that the king made the 
official announcement, and on the same day as that on which 
his assent was telegraphed to France, the Prussian ambassador 
at the Hague was informed of it. On that began negotiations 
with Prussia. The latter appealed to the guarantees of the 
treaties of 1859, the foundations on which the kingdom of 
Holland stood. Public opinion in Prussia (What is meant by 
public opinion ? Possibly the writers of leading articles) was 
indignant that the old German Reichsland should be torn 
away ; and in the Reichstag of North Germany, on April i, 
there were heated questions on the subject. Bismaick, it is 
true, remained cool about Luxembourg; but nevertheless he 


set on foot preparations against France on this occasion, and 

they of course were followed by counter preparations on the 
French side. Ah, how well I know that tune I At that time 
I trembled sorely for fear of a new fire being lighted in Europe. 
No want of people to poke it in Paris, Cassagnac and Emile 
de Girardin, in Berlin, Menzel and Heinrich Leo. Have then 
such provokers of war even the remotest notion of the gigantic 
enormity of their transgression ? I hardly think so. It was at 
this time as I first heard the tale many years after that 
Professor Simson used the following expression in the presence 
of the Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia about the question 
in dispute : 

" If France and Holland have already come to an agreement, 
that signifies war ". 

To which the crown prince in hot excitement and alarm 
replied : 

" You have never seen war ; if you had seen it, you would 
not pronounce the word so quietly. I have seen it ; and I say 
to you that it is the highest duty, if it be anyhow possible, to 
avoid it." 

And this time it was avoided. A conference met at London, 
which, on May n, led to the wished-for peaceable solution. 
Luxembourg was declared neutral and Prussia drew her troops 
out The friends of peace breathed again, but there were 
plenty of people who were discontented at this turn of affairs. 
Not the Emperor of the French he wished for peace but the 
French " war party ". In Germany too there were voices raised 
to condemn the behaviour of Prussia. " Sacrifice of a fortress," 
" submission looking like fear," and other things of the kind. 
But every private person also, who on the sentence of a 
court gives up his claim to any possessions, shows the same 
submission. Would it be better for him not to bow to any 
tribunal, but to settle the matter with his fists? The result 
achieved by the conference of London may in such doubtful 
questions be always achieved, and the leaders of states can 


always find that avoidance possible, which Frederick the Noble, 
afterwards Frederick III., called the highest duty. 

In May we betook ourselves to Paris to visit the exhibition. 

I had not yet seen the World's Capital, and was quite dazzled 
by its splendour and its life. At that time especially, the 
empire was standing at its highest pitch of splendour, and all 
the crowned heads of Europe had collected there ; and at that 
time above all others, Paris presented a picture of splendour 
the most joyful and the most secure of peace. The city 
appeared to me at that time not like the capital of a single 
country, but like the capital of Internationality ; that city which 
three years afterwards was to be bombarded by its eastern 
neighbour. All the nations of the earth had assembled in the 
great palace in the Champ de Mars for the peaceful 
nay profitable, because productive not destructive strife of 
business competition. Riches, works of art, marvels of manu- 
factory were brought together here, so that it must have excited 
pride in every beholder to have lived in a time so progressive 
and so full of promise of further progress ; and along with this 
pride must naturally have arisen the purpose never more to 
hamper the march of that development of civilisation which 
was spreading enjoyment all round, by the brutal rage of 
destruction. All these kings, princes, and diplomatists who 
were assembled here as guests of the emperor and empress 
could not surely be thinking amidst all the civilities that were 
interchanged, the courtesies and the good wishes, of exchanging 
next time shots with their hosts or one another? No. I 
breathed again. This really splendid exhibition fete seemed 
to me the pledge that now an era of long, long years of peace had 
begun. At most against an incursion of Tartar hordes, or some- 
thing of that sort, these civilised people might draw the sword ; 
but against each other ! we were never more to see that it was 
hoped. What strengthened me in this opinion was a communica- 
tion that reached me from a well-informed trustworthy source 


about a favourite plan of the emperor for ^.general disarmament. 
Yes. Napoleon III. was strong on that point. I have it from 
the mouth of his nearest relations and most trusted friends, 
and on the next convenient opportunity he was going to 
communicate to all the European governments a proposal for 
reducing their military establishments to a minimum. That 
was good to hear ; it was at any rate a more reasonable idea 
than that of a general increase of forces. In this way the well- 
known demand of Kant would be granted, which is thus 
formulated in par. 3 of the " Preliminary Article to an Ever- 
lasting Peace": 

Standing armies (miles perpetuus) are in time to cease absolutely. 
They are a constant menace of war to other states, in consequence of the 
readiness to appear always prepared for war ; they provoke them to over- 
pass each other in the mass of preparations which know no limit (oh, 
prophetic glance of wisdom !) ; and inasmuch as the costs of maintaining 
peace become .at last more burdensome than a short war, they are them- 
selves causes of offensive war, in order to get rid of this burden. 

What government could decline a proposition such as that 
which France was meditating without unmasking its lust of 
conquest? What nation would not revolt against such a 
refusal? The plan must succeed. 

Frederick did not share my confidence. 

"In the first place," he said, "I doubt whether Napoleon 
will make the proposal. The pressure of the war party will 
hinder him. As a general rule the occupants of thrones are 
prevented by those who surround them from the exercise of 
those great efforts of individual will, which fall quite outside of 
the usual pattern. In the second place, one cannot give to a 
living being the command to cease to exist in this sort of way. 
It straightway sets itself on its defence " 

"Of what living being are you speaking?" 

" Of the army. That is an organism, and as such has powers 
of life development and of self-maintenance. At the present 
time this organism is just in its prime, and, as you see 
for the system of universal defence will surely be introduced 


into other countries is just on the point of being powerfully 

"And yet you want to fight against it?" 

" Yes ; but not by stepping up to it and saying ' Die, thou 
monster ! ' for the organism in question would hardly do me 
the kindness to stretch itself dead at my feet on that summons. 
But I am fighting against it in appearing on behalf of another 
living form, which is still only in its fragile bud, but which, as 
it gains in power and extent, will crush the other out. It is 
your fault to begin with, Martha, that I talk in these scientific 
metaphors. It was you who first led me to study the works of 
the modern students of nature. From this there has arisen in 
me the view that the phenomena of social life also can not be 
understood in their origin, or foreseen in their future course till 
one conceives of them as existing under the influence of eternal 
laws. Of this most politicians and people in positions of high 
dignity have no notion not the faintest; the worthy soldier cer- 
tainly not. A few years ago it had not entered my head either." 

We were living in the Grand Hotel on the Boulevard des 
Capucines. It was occupied chiefly by English people and 
Americans. We met few of our own people the Austrians 
are not fond of travel. Besides, we sought for no acquaintance. 
I had not put off my mourning, and we cherished no wish for 
company. Of course I had my son Rudolf with me. He was 
now eight years old, and a wonderfully clever little fellow. We 
had hired a young Englishman, who performed the duties partly 
of tutor, partly of nursery governess to the boy. In our long 
visits to the exhibition-palace, as well as our numerous ex- 
cursions into the neighbourhood, we could not, of course, 
always take Rudi with us ; and besides, the time was also now 
come for him to begin to learn. 

New new new to me, was the whole of this world here 
open to us. All the men who had come together from the 
four corners of the earth the richest and most distinguished 
from every quarter these fetes, this expenditure, this turmoil. 
I was literally deafened by it. But, interesting and full ol 


enjoyment as it was to me to receive into my mind these 
surprising and overpowering impressions, yet, when alone, I 
wished myself out of all this hubbub again, and in some remote 
peaceful spot, where I could live in quiet retirement along with 
Frederick and my child nay, my children, for I was looking 
forward confidently to the joy of motherhood again. It is 
wonderful, indeed and I find it often noted in the red 
volumes how in retirement the longing rises for events and 
exploits, for experiences and enjoyments; and again, in the 
midst of the latter, for solitude and tranquillity. 

We kept ourselves apart from the great world. We had 
merely paid a visit to the house of our ambassador, Metter- 
nich, and had let it be known there that on account of our 
domestic afflictions we did not desire any entree into Court 
circles or society. On the other hand, we sought to make the 
acquaintance of a few prominent political and literary person- 
ages, partly from self-interest and for our mental improvement, 
partly with a view to " the service " into which Frederick had 
entered. In spite of the slight hopes he had of any perceptible 
result from his efforts, he never allowed it to escape him, and 
he put himself into communication with numerous influential 
persons, from whom he might gain assistance in his career, or 
at least information as to its position. We had at that time 
commenced a little book of our own we called it The Protocol 
of Peace into which all news, notices, articles, and so forth, 
bearing on the subject, were to be sedulously entered. The 
history also of the idea of Peace, as far as we could gain a 
knowledge of it, was incorporated in the Protocol ; and along 
with this the expressions of various philosophers, poets, priests, 
and authors on the subject of " Peace and War". It had soon 
grown into an imposing little volume ; and in course of time 
for I have carried on this composition down to the present 
day it has grown into several little volumes. If one were to 
compare it with the libraries which are filled with works on 
strategical subjects, with the untold thousands of volumes 
containing histories of wars, studies on war, and glorification of 


war, with the text-books of military science and military 
tactics, and guides for the instruction of recruits and artillery, 
with the chronicles of battles and annals of bats-majors^ 
soldiers' ballads and war songs : well, then, I allow that the 
comparison with these one or two poor little volumes of peace- 
literature might humiliate one, on the assumption that one 
might measure the power and value especially the future 
value of a thing by its size. But if one reflects that a single 
grain of seed hides in itself the virtual power of causing the 
growth of an entire forest, which will displace whole masses 
of weeds, though spread over acres of country, and further 
reflects that an idea is in the mental kingdom what a seed 
is in the vegetable, then one need not be anxious about the 
future of an idea, merely because the history of its development 
may be as yet contained in one little manuscript 

I will here produce a few extracts taken from our Protocol 
of Peace for the year 1867. On the first page was placed a 
compressed historical survey, 

Four hundred years before Christ, Aristophanes wrote a comedy - 
" Peace " into which a humanitarian tendency enters. 

The Greek philosophy afterwards transplanted to Rome admitted 
a striving after "the unity of humanity " from Socrates, who called him- 
self a " citizen of the world," down to Terence, to whom " nothing human 
was foreign," and Cicero, who represents the " love of the human race " as 
the highest grade of perfection. 

In the first century of our era appears Virgil with his famous fourth 
eclogue which prophesies universal peace to the world under the mytho- 
logical image of the return of the golden age. 

In the middle ages, the Popes often strove, though in vain, to 
interpose as arbitrators between states. 

In the fifteenth century the idea occurred to a king of forming a 
"league of peace". This was Geo. Podiebrad of Bohemia, who wished 
to put an end to the wars of the emperor and the Pope ; for this purpose 
he betook himself to King Louis XI. of France, who however did not fall 
in with the proposal. 

At the close of the sixteenth century, King Henry IV. of France 
conceived the plan of a European confederation of states. After he had 
delivered his country irom the horrors of the religious war, he wished to 


see toleration and peace assured for all future time. He wished to Bee 
the sixteen states of which Europe then consisted (for Russia and Turkey 
were reckoned parts of Asia) combined into a Bund. Each of these 
sixteen states was to have the right of sending two members to a 
" European Council," and to this council, consisting thus of thirty-two 
members, the task was to be entrusted of maintaining the religious peace, 
and avoiding all international conflicts. And then if every state would 
hind itself to submit to the decisions of the council, every element ol 
European wars would be thereby removed. The king communicated 
this plan to his Minister, Sully, who heartily accepted it and straightway 
commenced negotiations with the other states. Elizabeth of England, 
the Pope, Holland, and several others were actually won over ; only the 
House of Austria would have offered resistance, because territorial con 
cessions might have been demanded from her, which she would not have 
granted. A campaign would have been necessary to overcome this 
resistance. France would have contributed the main army, and she 
would have renounced beforehand any extension of territory ; the sole 
aim of the campaign and the sole condition of peace imposed on the 
House of Austria would have been their entrance into the league of states. 
All the preparations were already completed, and Henry IV. meant to 
take the command of the army in person, when on May 13, 1610, he fell 
under the dagger of an insane monk. 

None of his successors nor any other sovereign took up again this 
glorious plan for procuring happiness for the nations. Rulers and poli- 
ticians remained true to the old war-spirit ; but the thinkers of all countries 
did not allow the idea of peace to fall to the ground again. 

In the year 1647 the sect of the Quakers was founded, and the 
condemnation of war was its fundamental principle. In the same yeai 
William Penn published his work on the future peace of Europe, 
which he founded on the plan of Henry IV. 

In the early part of the eighteenth century appeared the famous book 
of the Abb de S. Pierre, entitled La Paix PcrpetuclU. At the same time 
a Landgrave of Hesse sketched out the same plan, and J.eibnitz wrote 
a favourable comment on it. 

Voltaire gave out the maxim " Every European war is a civil war". 
Mirabeau, in the memorable session of August 25, 1790, spoke the 
following words : 

" The moment is perhaps not far off now when Freedom, as the unfet- 
tered monarch of both worlds, will fulfil the wish of philosophers, to free 
mankind from the sin of war, and proclaim universal peace. Then 
will the happiness of the people be the only aim of the legislator, the 
only glory of the nations." 

In the year 1795 one of the greatest thinkers of all time, Emmanue 


Kant, wrote Ms treatise " On Eternal Peace ". The English publicist, 
Bentham, joins with enthusiasm the ever-increasing number of the 
defenders of peace Fourrier, Saint Simon, etc. Beranger sang " The 
Holy Alliance of Peace," Lamartine " La Marseillaise de la Paix ". In 
Geneva Count Cellon founded a " Peace Club," in whose name he 
entered into a propagandist correspondence with all the rulers of 
Europe. From Massachusetts in America comes " the learned black- 
smith," Elihu Burritt, and scatters his Olive Leaves and Sparks from an 
Anvil about the world in millions of copies, and takes the chair in 1849 at 
an assembly of the English Friends of Peace. In the Congress of Paris, 
which wound up the Crimean War, the idea of peace gained a footing in 
diplomacy, inasmuch as a clause was added to the treaty which provided 
that the Powers pledged themselves in future conflicts to submit them- 
selves previously to mediation. This clause contains in itself a recog- 
nition of the principle of a court of arbitration, but it has not been acted 

In the year 1863 the French Government proposed to the Powers to 
call a congress, before which was to be brought the consideration of 
proposals for a general disarmament, and for the avoidance of future 

But this proposal found no support whatever from the other 

And now, my hour of trial was again drawing nigh. 

But it was so different this time from that other in which 
Frederick had to leave me to fight for the Augustenburger. 
This time he was at my side the husband's proper post 
diminishing through his presence and through his sympathy 
the sufferings of his wife. The feeling that I had him there 
was to me so calming and so happy that in it I almost forgot 
my physical discomfort. 

A girl ! It was the fulfilment of my silent hope. The joys 
connected with a son had already been given to us by my little 
Rudolf : we could now, in addition to these, taste those joys 
whioh such a fine little daughter promised to her parents. 
That this little Sylvia of ours would grow into a paragon of 
beauty, grace, and comeliness we did not doubt for a single 
moment How childish we both of us became over the cradle 


of this child ; what sweet fooleries we spoke and acted there, 
I will not even try to tell. Others than fond parents would 
not understand it, and all of them have no doubt been just as 
silly themselves. 

But how selfish happiness makes us ! There came now a 
time for us, in which we really were far too forgetful of every- 
thing which lay outside of our domestic heaven. The terrors 
of the cholera week kept taking always more and more in my 
memory the shape of a vanished evil dream ; and even 
Frederick's energy in the pursuit of his aim gradually abated. 
And it was no doubt discouraging, wherever one knocked at 
any doors with these ideas, to meet with shrugs of shoulders, 
compassionate smiles, if not a regular setting to rights. The 
world, as it seems, is fond not only of being cheated, but 
also of being made miserable. Wherever one tries to put 
forward any proposals for removing misery and woe, they are 
called " Utopian a childish dream " and the world will not 
listen to them. 

Still Frederick did not let his aim fall quite out of sight. He 
plunged ever deeper into the study of international law, and 
got into correspondence by letter with Bluntschli and other 
men learned in this branch. At the same time, and here with 
my companionship, he diligently followed other studies, chiefly 
natural science. He formed a plan for writing a great work on 
"War and Peace". But, before setting to work on it, he 
wanted to prepare himself for it and instruct himself by long 
and comprehensive researches. " I am, it is true," he said, 
" an old royal and imperial colonel, and it would shame most 
of my equals in age and rank to dip into schooling. When one 
is an elderly man of office and rank one thinks oneself usually 
clever enough to act independently. I myself a few years 
since had that respect for my own individuality. But when 1 
had suddenly attained to a new point of view, in which I got 
an insight into the modern spirit, then the consciousness of my 
want of knowledge came over me. Ah yes ! Of all the gains 
that have now been made in the matter of new discoveries in all 


provinces of knowledge, there was nothing at all taught in my 
youth or rather the reverse was taught so I must now, in 
spite of the streaks of grey on my temples, begin again at the 

The winter after Sylvia's birth we spent at Vienna in perfect 
quiet. Next spring we travelled to Italy. To travel and make 
acquaintance with the world was indeed a part of our new 
programme of life. We were independent and rich, and 
nothing hindered us from carrying it out. Small children are 
a little troublesome in travelling ; but if one can take about 
a sufficient train of bonnes and nurses, the thing can be done. 
I had taken into my establishment an old servant who had once 
been nurse to me and my sisters, and then had married an 
hotel steward, and now was left a widow. This " Mistress 
Anna " was worthy of my fullest confidence, and in her hands 
I could leave my little Sylvia at home with perfect security, 
at any time when we />., Frederick and I left our head- 
quarters for several days on some excursion. Rudolf would 
have been just as well seen after by Mr. Foster, his tutor ; but 
it often happened that we took the little eight-years-old boy 
with us. 

Happy, happy times ! Pity that I then neglected the red 
books so much ! It was exactly at this time that I might have 
entered so much that was beautiful, interesting and gay ; but I 
neglected it, and so the details of that year have mostly faded 
out of my recollection, and it is only in rough outline that I 
can now recall a picture of it. 

In the Protocol of Peace I did find an opportunity to make 
a gratifying entry. This was a leading article signed B. 
Desmoulins, in which the proposal was made to the French 
Government that it should put itself at the head of the 
European states by giving them the example of disarma- 
ment : 

In this way France will make herself sure of the alliance and of the 
honest friendship of all states, which will then have ceased to he afraid 
of France, while they would desire her sympathy. In this way the 



general disarmament would commence spontaneously the principle ol 
conquest would be given up for ever, and the confederation of states 
would quite naturally form a Court of International Law, which would 
be in a position to settle in the way of arbitration all disputes which 
could never be decided by war. In so acting, France would have gained 
over to her side the only real and only lasting power namely, right 
and would have opened for humanity, in the most glorious manner, a 
new era. (Opinion Nationals, July 25, 1868.) 

This article, of course, got no attention. 

In the winter of 1868-69 we went back to Paris, and this 
time, tor we wished lo make acquaintance with life, we plunged 
into t'ne "Great World". 

It was a rather tiring process ; but yet for a time it was very 
pleasant. In order to have some home, we had hired a small 
residence in the quarter of the Champs Elysees, whither we 
also could sometimes invite in turn our numerous acquain- 
tance, by whom we were invited every day to a party of some 
kind or other. Having been introduced by our ambassador 
at the Court of the Tuilleries, we were invited for the whole 
winter to the Mondays of the empress, and, besides this, the 
houses of all the ambassadors were open to us, as well as the 
salons of Princess Mathilde, the Duchess of Mouchy, Queen 
Isabella of Spain, and so on. We made the acquaintance also 
of many literary magnates, not of the greatest, however, I mean 
Victor Hugo, as he was living in exile, but we met Renan, 
Dumas pere et fits, Octave Feuillet, George Sand, Arsene 
Houssaye, and some others. At the house of the last named 
we also were present at a masked ball. When the author of 
the Grandes Dames gave one of his Venetian fetes in his 
splendid little hotel, on the Avenue Friedland, it was the 
custom that the real grandes dames should go there under the 
protection of their masks along with the " little ladies," well- 
known actresses and so forth, who were making their diamonds 
and their wit sparkle here. 

We were also very industrious visitors to the theatres. At 
least three times a week we spent our evenings either at the 
Italian opera, where Adelina Patti, just married to the Marquis 


de Caux, was enchanting the audience, or at the Theatn 
Francois, or even at one of the little boulevard theatres to see 
Hortensc Schneider as the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, or 
some of the other celebrities of operetta or vaudeville. 

It is wonderful, however, how, when one is once plunged 
into this whirl of splendour and entertainments, this little "great 
world" appears to one all of a sudden so terribly important; and 
the laws which prevail therein of elegance and chic (it was even 
then called chic) as laying on one a kind of solemnly undertaken 
duty. To take at the theatre a less distinguished place than a 
stage- box ; to appear in the Bois with a carriage whose equipage 
should not be faultless ; to go to a court ball without putting 
on a toilette of 2000 francs, "signed" by Worth ; to sit down 
to table (Madame la Baronne est servie), even if one had no 
guests, without having the finest dishes and the choicest wines 
served by the solemn mattre d'hotel in person and several 
lackeys, all these would have been serious offences. How easy, 
how very easy it becomes to one, when one is caught up in the 
machinery of such an existence as this, to spend all one's 
thoughts and feelings on this business, which is really devoid of 
all thought and feeling, and in doing this to forget to take any 
part in the progress of the real world outside, I mean the 
universe, or in the condition of one's own world within, I mean 
domestic bliss. This is what might perhaps have happened to 
me, but Frederick preserved me from it. He was not the man 
to allow himself to be torn away and smothered by the whirl- 
pool of Parisian "high-life". He did not forget, in the world in 
which we were moving, either the universe or our own hearth. 
An hour or two in the morning we still kept devoted to reading 
and domestic life ; and so we accomplished the great feat of 
enjoying happiness even in the midst of pleasure. 

For us Austrians there was much sympathy cherished at 
Paris. In political conversations there was often a talk about 
a Revanche de Sadowa, certainly in the sense that the injustice 
done to us two years before was to be made good again as if 
anything of that sort could make it good again. If blows are 


only to be wiped out by fresh blows, then surely the thing 
can never cease. It was just to my husband and me, because 
he had been in the army and had served the campaign in 
Bohemia, it was just to us that people thought they could say 
nothing more polite or more agreeable than a hopeful allusion 
to the Revanche de Sadowa which was in prospect, and which 
was already treated of as an historical event which would assure 
the European equilibrium, and was itself ensured by diplomatic 
arrangements. A slap to be administered to the Prussians on the 
next opportunity was a necessity in the school-discipline of 
the nations. Nothing tragical would come of the matter, only 
enough to check the arrogance of certain folks. Perhaps even 
the whip hanging up on the wall would be enough for this 
purpose; but if that arrogant fellow should try any of his saucy 
tricks he had received fair warning that it would come down 
upon him in the shape of the Revanche de Sadowa. 

We, of course, decisively put aside all such consolations. A 
former misfortune was not to be conjured away by a fresh 
misfortune, nor an old injustice to be atoned for by a new 
injustice. We assured our friends that we wished for nothing, 
except that we might never see the present peace broken again. 
This was also essentially the wish of Napoleon III. We had 
so much intercourse with persons whose position was quite 
close to the emperor, that we had plenty of opportunities of 
becoming acquainted with his political views, as he gave utter- 
ance to them in his confidential conversation. It was not only 
that he wished for peace at the moment he cherished the 
plan of proposing to the powers a general disarmament. But, 
for the moment, he did not feel his own domestic position in 
the country secure enough to carry this plan out. There was 
great discontent boiling and seething among the populace ; 
and in the circle immediately surrounding the throne there 
vas a party which laboured to represent to him that his throne 
could only be rendered secure by a successful foreign war just 
a little triumphal promenade to the Rhine, and the splendour 
and stability of the Napoleonic dynasty were secured. // faut 
faire grand, was the advice of his counsellors. That the war. 


which was in prospect the year before on the Luxembourg 
question, had come to nothing, and was displeasing to them ; 
the preparations on both sides had gone on so grandly, and 
then the matter had been adjourned. But in the long run 
a fight between France and Prussia was certainly inevitable. 
They were incessantly urging on further in this direction. But 
only a feeble echo of these matters came to us. One is 
accustomed to hear that sort of thing resounding in the 
journals, as regularly as the breakers on the shore. There is 
no occasion to fear a storm on that account. You listen quite 
tranquilly to the band which is playing its lively airs on the 
beach the breakers form only a soft unheeded bass accom- 
paniment to them. 

This brilliant way of life, only too overburdened with 
pleasure, reached its highest pitch in the spring months. At 
that time there were added long drives in the Bois in open 
carriages, numerous picture exhibitions, garden parties, horse- 
races, picnics, and with all this no fewer theatres, or visits, or 
dinner or evening parties, than in the depth of winter. We 
then began to long much for repose. In fact, this sort of life 
has never its true attraction, except when some flirtation or 
love affair is combined with it Girls who are in search of a 
husband, women who want a lover, or men who are in 
search of adventures, for these every new fete, where it is 
possible they may meet the object of their dream, possesses a 
new interest, but for Frederick and me ? That I was inflexibly 
true to my lord, that I nevet by a single glance gave any one 
the occasion to approach me with any audacious hopes, I may 
say, without any pride of virtue it was a mere matter of course. 
Whether, under different relations, I should also have resisted 
all the temptations to which, in such a whirl of pleasure, pretty 
young ladies are exposed, is more than I can say ; but when 
one carries in one's heart a love so deep and so full of bliss as 
I felt for my Frederick, one is surely armed against all danger. 
And as far as he was concerned, was he true to me ? I can 
only say, that I never felt any doubt about it 


When the summer had returned to the land, when the Grand 
Prix was over, and the different members of society began to 
quit Paris, some to Trouville or Dieppe, Biarritz or Vichy, 
others to Baden Baden, and a third set to their chateaux, 
Princess Mathilde to St. Gratien, and the court to Compiegne, 
then we were besieged with requests to select the same destina- 
tions for travel, and with invitations to country-houses ; but we 
went decidedly indisposed to prolong the campaign of luxury 
and pleasure which we had carried out in the winter, into a 
summer one also. I did not wish to return at once to Grumitz. 
I feared too much the reawakening of painful memories; 
besides, we should not have found there the solitude we 
desired, on account of our numerous rektions and neighbours. 
So we chose once more for our resting-place a quiet corner of 
Switzerland. We promised our friends in Paris that we would 
come back next winter, and went on our summer tour with the 
joy of schoolboys going for their holidays. 

Now succeeded a time of real refreshment. Long walks, 
long hours of study, long hours of play with the children, and 
no entries in the red volumes which last was a sign of freedom 
from care, and spiritual peace. 

Europe also seemed at that time tolerably free from care, and 
peaceful. At least no " black spots " were anywhere visible. 
One did not even hear any more talk about the famous 
Revanche de Sadowa. The greatest trouble which I expe- 
rienced at that time was caused by the universal obligation for 
defence which had been introduced a year before amongst us 
Austrians. That my Rudolf some time or other must become 
a soldier that was a thing I could not bear. And yet folks 
dream of freedom ! 

Frederick tried to comfort me. " A year of ' volunteering ' is 
not much." I shook my head. 

" Even if it were but a day ! No man ought to be compelled 
to take upon himself a certain office, which perhaps he hates, 
even for a single day ; for during that day he must make a 
show of the opposite of what he feels must pretend that he is 


doing joyfully what he really hates in short, he is obliged to 
lie, and I wanted to bring up my son to be true, before all 

"Then he ought to have been born one or two centuries 
later, my dearest," replied Frederick. " It is only the perfectly 
free man who can be perfectly true ; and we are still poorly off 
for both things freedom and truth in our days ; that becomes 
clearer and clearer to me the deeper I plunge into my studies." 

Now, in this retirement Frederick had twice the leisure for 
his work, and he set about it with true ardour. However 
happy and content we were with our life in this solitude, still 
we remained firm in our determination to spend next winter in 
Paris again. This time, however, it was not with the view of 
amusing ourselves, but in order to do something practical 
towards the fulfilment of the task of our lives. In this, it is 
true, we did not cherish any confidence that we should attain 
anything ; but when a man sees even the possibility of the 
shadow of a chance offered him to contribute anything towards 
a cause which he recognises as the holiest cause on earth, he 
feels it to be a duty which he cannot refuse, to try this chance. 
Now, in recapitulating, during our familiar talks, the recollec- 
tions of Paris, we had thought also of that plan of the Emperor 
Napoleon which had come to our ears by the communications 
of his confidants I mean the plan for proposing disarmament 
to the great powers. It was on this that we based our hopes 
and our projects. Frederick's researches had brought into his 
hand Sully's Memoirs^ in which the plan of Henry IV. for 
peace is described in all its details. We meant to convey an 
abstract of this to the Emperor of the French ; and at the same 
time to try, through our connections in Austria and Prussia, to 
prepare both these Governments for the propositions of the 
French Government I could set this on foot by the means of 
Minister To-be-sure, and Frederick had at Berlin a relative who 
was in an influential political position, and stood very well at 

In December, which was the time we meant to move to 


Paris, we were prevented Our treasure, our little Sylvia, fell 
ill. What anxious hours those were! Napoleon III. and 
i lenry IV. of course were then put in the background our 
child dying ! 

But she did not die. In two weeks all danger was over. 
Only the physician forbade us to travel during the worst of the 
winter's cold. So we put off our departure till March. 

This sickness and recovery, the danger and the preservation 
what a shock they had given our hearts 1 and how much 
though I thought that no longer possible they had brought them 
more near to each other still ! To tremble in unison before 
a horrid disaster one which each fears the more from seeing 
the other's despair, and to weep tears of joy in common when 
this disaster has been averted are things which have a most 
mighty influence in welding souls together. 

Forebodings ? No, there were none. If there had been 
Paris would not have made on me the cheerful impression of 
promised pleasure which it did on one sunny afternoon of 
March, 1870, on our arrival. One knows now what horrors 
were brooding over that city after a very short interval ; but 
not the faintest anticipation of trouble arose in my mind. 

We had already hired beforehand, through the agent, John 
Arthur, the same little palace in which we had lived last 
year, and at its door was waiting for us our maitre d 1 hotel of the 
previous year. As we drove across the Champs Elyse*es to 
reach our dwelling, it was just the hour for the Bois, and several 
of our old acquaintances met us and exchanged joyful recogni- 
tions. The numerous little barrows of violets which were dragged 
about the streets of Paris that year filled the air with the promise 
of spring; the sunbeams were sparkling and playing in rainbows 
on the fountains of the Rond-point, making little reflections on 
the carriage lamps and the harness of the many carriages. 
Amongst others, the beautiful empress was driving in a carriage 
harnessed a la Daumont. She passed us, and, recognising me, 
made a gesture of salutation. 


There are some special pictures or scenes which photograph 
or phonograph themselves on our memory, along with the 
feelings that accompany them, and some of the words that are 
spoken at them. " This Paris is truly lovely," cried Frederick 
at this point, and my feeling was a childish self-congratula- 
tion at the coming treat. Had I known what was coming to 
me, and to this whole city, now bathed in splendour and 
rejoicing ! 

This time we abstained from throwing ourselves, as we had 
done the year before, into the whirlpool of worldly amusements. 
We announced that we would not accept any dancing invitations, 
and kept ourselves apart from the great receptions. Even the 
theatre we did not visit so often only when some piece made 
a great impression and so it came about that we spent most 
evenings at home alone, or in the society of a few friends. 

As to our plans with regard to the idea of the emperor about 
disarmament, we got on but badly with them. Napoleon III. 
had not, indeed, given up his idea altogether, but the present 
time, it was said, was not at all suited for carrying it out. In 
the circle around the throne a conviction had grown up that 
that throne stood on no very firm footing a great discontent 
was boiling and seething among the people, in order to repress 
which all the police and censorship regulations were made more 
stringent, and the only consequence of this was greater discon- 
tent The only thing, said certain people, which could give 
renewed splendour and security to the dynasty would be a 
successful campaign. It is true there was no near prospect of 
this, but all mention of disarmament would be a total and 
complete mistake, for thereby the whole Bonaparte-nimbus 
would be destroyed, which was undoubtedly founded on the 
heritage of glory of the first Napoleon. We had also received no 
very cheering answers to our inquiries on these subjects from 
Prussia and Austria. There people had entered on an epoch 
of expansion of the " defensive forces " (the word " army " 
began to be unfashionable), and the word " disarmament " fell 
on this like a gross discord On the contrary, in order to obtain 


the blessings of peace, the "defensive power" must be 
increased the French were not to be trusted the Russians 
neither and the Italians, most certainly not they would fall 
on Triest and Trent at once, if they had the opportunity in 
short, the only thing to do was to nurse the Landwehr system 
with all the care possible. 

"The time is not ripe," said Frederick, on our receiving 
communications such as these, "and I must, I suppose, in 
reason give up the hope that I personally may be able to help 
in hastening the ripening of that time, or even see the fruits I 
long for blossoming. What I can contribute is mean enough. 
But from the hour that I saw that this thing, however mean, is 
my duty, it has in spite of all become the greatest thing of all 
to me, so I keep on." 

But if for the present the project of disarmament had been 
dropped, I had yet one comfort there was no war in sight. 
The war party which existed in the court and among the people, 
and whose opinion was that the dynasty must be " rebaptised 
in blood," and that another little taste of glory must be 
provided for the people, were obliged to renounce their plan 
of attack and their bewitching " little campaign on the Rhine 
frontier". For France possessed no allies; great drought 
prevailed in the country ; a dearth of forage was to be antici- 
pated ; the army horses had to be sold ; there was no " question " 
in agitation ; the contingent of recruits had been diminished by 
the legislative body; in short, so Ollivier declared from the 
tribune " the peace of Europe is assured ". 

Assured/ I rejoiced over the word. It was repeated in all 
the papers, and many thousands rejoiced with me. For what 
can there be better for the majority of men than assured peace ? 

How much, however, that security which was announced 
by a statesman on June 3, 1870, was worth we now all know. 
And even at the time we might have known this much, that 
assurances of that kind from statesmen, though the public 
always receives them again with the same innocent trust, really 
contain no guarantee literally none. The European situation 


shows DO question in agitation therefore peace is secure. 
What feeble logic! Questions may come into agitation any 
moment ; it is not till we have prepared some means against 
such a contingency other than war, that we can ever be secure 
againit war. 


We remain in Paris to get ready a new house. The " question * 
between France and Prussia. Candidature of Prince Hohen- 
zollern for the crown of Spain. The war rumours and the 
speeches in the Chamber become menacing. The Hohen- 
zollern candidature withdrawn. Further demands of 
France. Threatening debate in the French Chamber. 
War declared. Excitement and enthusiasm in Paris. 
With which side should we sympathise t The opposing 
manifestoes. We linger in Paris. Opinions about war 
of eminent French writers. Proclamations of the two 
armies. Secret history. 

PARIS society again dispersed in all directions. We, however, 
remained behind on business. For an extraordinarily advan- 
tageous bargain had been offered to us. Through the sudden 
departure of an American a little, half-finished hotel, in the 
Avenue de 1'Imperatrice, had had to be offered for sale, and 
at a price which did not amount to much more than the sum 
already expended on the decoration and furnishing of the thing 
itself. As we had already the intention of spending in future 
some months of each year in Paris, and as the purchase in 
question was also at the same time an excellent bargain, we 
closed with it. We wished to superintend the completion our- 
selves, and for this purpose stopped in Paris. The decoration 
of one's own nest is, besides, such a pleasurable task that we 
willingly endured the unpleasantness of staying in a city the 
whole summer. Besides, we had plenty of houses to which we 
could resort for company. The chateau of Princess Mathildt, 



St. Gratien, then CMteau Mouchy, and next Baron Rothschild's 
place, Ferrieres, and other summer residences besides of our 
acquaintance, were situated near Paris, and we arranged once 
or twice a week to pay a visit, now to one of them, now to 

It was, I recollect, in the salon of Princess Mathilde that I 
first heard of "the question" that was soon to come into 
" agitation ". 

The company was sitting, after dljtftner, on the terrace, 
looking on to the park. Who were all the people there ? I do 
not recollect them all now ; only two of the persons present 
remain in my memory, Taine and Renan. The conversation 
was a very lively one, and I recollect that it was Renan chiefly 
who led the talk, sparkling with esprit and witticisms. The author 
of the Vic de Jisus is an example that a man may be incredibly 
ugly and yet exercise an incredible fascination. 

Now the talk turned upon politics. A candidate had been 
sought for the crown of Spain. A prince of Hohenzollern was 
to receive the crown. I had scarcely been listening, for what 
could the throne of Spain or he who was to sit upon it have to 
do with me or all these nonchalant folks here? But then some 
one said : 

" A Hohenzollern ? France would not permit that !" 

The words cut me to the heart, for what did that " not per- 
mit" imply? When such an utterance comes from any country 
one sees with one's mind's eye the statue personifying that country 
as a gigantic virgin, her head thrown back in defiance, her hand 
on her sword. 

The conversation, however, soon turned to another subject. 
How full of tremendous results this question of the Spanish 
throne would be none of us yet suspected. I, of course, did not 
either. Only, that arrogant " France would not permit that " 
stuck in my memory like a discord, and along with it the whole 
scenery did so in which it was spoken. 

From that time the question of the Spanish throne became 
constantly more loud and more pressing. Every day the space 


became larger which it occupied in the newspapers and in 
conversations in the -salons, and I know that it bored me in the 
highest degree, this Hohenzollern candidature : soon there was 
nothing else spoken of. And it was spoken of in an offended 
tone, as if nothing more insulting to France could take place. 
Most people saw behind it a provocation to war on the part of 
Prussia. But it was clear, so it was said, that "France could 
not permit such a thing, so, if the Hohenzollerns persist in it, 
that is a simple challenge". I could not understand that; but 
in other respects I was free from anxiety. We received letters 
from Berlin, telling us from a well-instructed quarter that not 
the slightest importance was attached at court to the succession 
of a Hohenzollern to the Spanish crown. And, therefore, we 
were much more occupied with the work at our house than 
with politics. 

But gradually we became more attentive to the subject for 
all that. As, before the storm, a certain rustling of leaves goes 
through the forest, so, before war, a rustle of certain voices 
goes through the world. " Nous aurons la guerre nous 
aurons la guerre," was what resounded in the air of Paris. 
Then an unspeakable anxiety possessed me. Not for my own 
people for we, as Austrians, were at first out of the game. 
On the contrary, we might possibly have some " satisfaction " 
offered to us the well-known "revenge for Sadowa". But 
we had untaught ourselves the habit of looking at war from 
a national point of view ; and what war is from the point of 
view of humanity of the highest humanity is surely notorious. 
That is expressed in the following words which I heard spoken 
by Guy de Maupassant : 

" Quand je songe seulement a ce mot ' la guerre ' il me vient 
un effarement, comme si Ton me parlait de sorcellerie, d'inquisi- 
tion, d'une chose lontaine, finie, abominable, centre nature ". 

When the news arrived that the crown had been offered by 
Prim to Prince Leopold, the Duke of Grammont made a 
speech in Parliament, which was received with great approba- 
tion, to the following effect : 


" We do not meddle with the affairs of foreign nations, but 
we do not believe that respect for the rights of a neighbouring 
state binds us to permit a foreign power, by seating one of its 
own princes on the throne of Charles V., to destroy, to our 
detriment, the equilibrium which exists between the states of 
Europe (Oh that equilibrium ! What war-loving hypocrite 
invented that hollow phrase ?), and so bring into danger the 
interests, the honour of France ". 

I know a tale of George Sand named Gribouille. This 
Gribouille has the peculiarity, when rain is threatened, of 
plunging into the river, for fear of getting wet. Whenever I 
hear that war is contemplated in order to avert threatened 
dangers, I can never help thinking of Gribouille. A whole 
branch of Hohenzollerns might very well have seated them- 
selves on Charles V.'s throne, and many other thrones as well, 
without exposing the interests or the honour of France to one 
thousandth part of the damage that resulted to them from this 
bold " We cannot permit it ". 

" The case," the speaker continued, " will, as we most 
confidently believe, not occur. We reckon, in this regard, on 
the wisdom of the German and the friendship of the Spanish 
people. But if it should turn out otherwise, then^ gentlemen, 
we, strong in your support and that of the nation, shall 
know how to do our duty, without vacillation and without 
weakness." (Loud applause.) 

From that time began in the press the cry for war. It was 
Girardin in particular, who could not inflame his countrymen 
sufficiently to punish the unheard-of audacity contained in this 
candidature for the throne. It would be unworthy of the dignity 
of France not to interpose her veto upon it. Prussia, it is true, 
would not give in, for she is bent, mad as she is, on conjuring 
up war. Intoxicated by her success of 1866, she believes that 
she may extend her march of victory and robbery on the 
Rhine also ; but, thank God, we are ready to baulk all these 
appetites of the Pickelhaubers. And so it went on, in the 
same key. Napoleon III., it is true, as we found out through 


persons who were about him, still wished, as before, for the 
preservation of peace ; but most of the people of his entourage 
now thought that a war was inevitable that, since apart from 
all this there was discontent among the people with the 
Government, the best thing that could be done to secure the 
respect of the country, anxious as it was for glory, would be to 
carry out a successful war. " II faut faire grand." 

And now inquiries were made of all the European Cabinets 
about the situation. Each declared that they wished for 
peace. In Germany a manifesto was published, originating in 
popular articles signed by Liebknecht amongst others, wherein 
it was said " the mere thought of a war between Germany and 
France is a crime". 

Benedetti was sent with the charge of demanding from the 
King of Prussia that he would forbid Prince Leopold to assume 
the crown. King William was at that moment taking the 
waters at Ems. Benedetti went there, and got an audience on 

July 9- 

What would the result be ? I waited for the news with 

The answer of the king simply said that he could not 
forbid anything to a prince who had attained adult years. 

This answer sent the war party into triumphant joy. " There 
will you suffer that? Do they want to provoke us to the 
utmost? That the head of the house cannot command or 
forbid anything to one of its members ! Ridiculous ! It is 
clearly a made-up plot the Hohenzollerns want to get a footing 
in Spain, and then fall upon our country from the east and 
south at once. And are we to wait for that ? Are we to be 
content to take with humility the utter disregard of our protest ? 
Surely not. We know what honour, what patriotism, commands 
us to do." 

Ever louder and louder, ever more and more threatening 
sounded the storm-warnings. Then on July 12 came a piece 
of news which filled me with delight. Don Salusto Olozaga 
announced officially to the French Government that Prince 


Leopold of Hohenzollern, in order not to give any pretext for 
war, refused to assume the crown offered to him. 

Now, thank God, the entire " question " is thus simply put 
aside. The news was communicated to the Chamber at 1 2 at 
noon, and Ollivier declared that this put an end to the dispute. 
Yet, on the same day, troops and war material were forwarded 
to Metz (publicly said to be in pursuance of previous orders), 
and in the same sitting Clement Duvernois put the following 
question : 

"What securities have we that Prussia will not originate 
fresh complications, like this Spanish candidature? That 
should be provided against." 

There Gribouille comes up again. It may happen, perhaps, 
at some time, that a trifling rain may threaten to wet us ; so let 
us jump into the river at once ! 

And so Benedetti was despatched again to Ems ; this 
Jime to demand of the King of Prussia that he would 
forbid Prince Leopold once for all, and for all future time, to 
revive his candidature. What could follow such an attempt at 
dictating a course of action, which the party on whom the 
demand is made is not competent to carry out, except an 
impatient shrug of the shoulders ? Those who made the 
demand must have known as much. 

There was another memorable sitting on July 15. Ollivier 
demanded a credit of 500,000,000 frs. for the war. Thiers 
opposed it. Ollivier replied. He took on himself to justify 
before the bar of history what had been done. The King of 
Prussia had refused to receive the French envoy, and had 
notified this to the Government in a letter. The Left wanted 
to see this letter. The majority forbade, by clamour and by a 
counter-vote, the production of the document, which probably 
had no existence. This majority supported any demand made 
by the Government in favour of the war. This patriotic 
readiness for sacrifice, which would accept even ruin without 
hesitation, was of course again applauded becomingly with the 
usual ready-made turns of sentence, 


July 1 6. England made attempts to prevent the war. In 
vain. Ah ! if there had been an arbitration court established 
how easily and simply might such a trivial dispute have been 

July 19. The French chargb d'affaires in Berlin handed the 
Prussian Government the declaration of war. 

Declaration of war ! Three words, which can be pronounced 
quite calmly. But what is connected with them ? The 
beginning of an extra-political action, and thus, along with 
it, half-a-million sentences of death. 

This document also I entered in the red volumes. It runs 
thus : 

The Government of His Majesty the Emperor of the French could 
not regard the design of raising a Prussian prince to the throne of Spain 
otherwise than as an attack on the territorial security of France, and has 
therefore found itself compelled to request from His Majesty the King of 
Prussia the assurance that such a combination should never again occur 
with his consent. As His Majesty refuses any such assurance, and has, 
on the contrary, declared to our ambassador that he must reserve to 
himself the possibility of such an event, and inquire into the circumstances, 
the Imperial Government cannot help recognising in this declaration of 
the king an arriere-pensee, which, for France and for the European 
equilibrium . . . (There it comes again this famous equilibrium. Look 
at this shelf, and the precious china on it it is tottering ; the dishes may 
fall, so let us smash it down.) This declaration has assumed a still 
graver character from the communication which has been made to the 
Cabinet of the refusal to receive the emperor's ambassador, and to 
introduce, in common with him, a new method of solution. (So, by 
such things as these, by a more or less friendly conversation between 
rulers and diplomatists, the fate of nations may be decided.) In conse- 
quence of this the French Government has thought it its duty (1) without 
delay to think of the defence (Yes, yes, defence : never attack) of its 
outraged dignity and its outraged interests, and being determined to 
employ for that end all means which are offered by the position which 
has been imposed upon it, regards itself from this time forward as in 
a state of war with Prussia. 

State of war 1 Does the man think who puts these words on 
paper, on the green cloth of his writing-table, that he is plunging 
his pen in flames, in tears of blood, in the poison of plague ? 


And so the storm is unchained, this time on account of a 
king being sought for a vacant throne, and as the consequence 
of a negotiation undertaken between two monarchal Must 
Kant then be right in his first definitive condition for ever- 
lasting peace ? " The civil constitution in every state should 
be republican." To be sure, the effect of this article would be 
to remove many causes of war ; for history shows how many 
campaigns have been undertaken for dynastic questions, and 
the whole establishment of monarchical power rests assuredly 
on successful conduct of war still republics also are warlike. 
It is the spirit, the old savage spirit which lights up hatred, 
lust of plunder, and ambition of conquest hi peoples, whether 
governed in one form or another. 

I recollect what an altogether peculiar humour seized me 
at this time, when the Franco-German war was in preparation 
and then broke out. The stormy sultriness before, the 
howling tempest after its declaration. The whole population 
was in a fever, and who can keep himself aloof from such an 
epidemic ? Naturally, according to old custom, the beginning 
of the campaign was at once looked on as a triumphal proces- 
sion that is no more than patriotic duty. "A Berlin, a 
Berlin," was shouted through the streets and from the outside 
of the omnibusses the Marseillaise at every street corner, " Le 
jour de gloire est arrive* ". At every theatrical representation 
the first actress or singer, at the opera it was Marie Sass, had 
to come before the curtain in a Jeanne d'Arc costume, waving 
a lag, and sing this battle song, which was received by the 
audience standing, and in which they often joined. We also 
were among the spectators one evening, Frederick and I, and 
we also had to rise from our seats. I say " had to," not from 
any external pressure, for we could of course have withdrawn 
into the back of the box, but "had to," because we were 

"Look, Martha," Frederick explained to me, "a spark like 
that which runs from one man to another and makes this whole 
mass rise to one united and excited heart-beat, that is 


" What do you mean ? It is surely a song of hatred : 

That their unholy blood 
May sink into our furrows." 

" That is no matter, united hatred also is one form of love. 
Wherever two or more unite in one common feeling, they love 
each other. Let but a higher conception than that of the 
nation, i.e., of mankind and of humanity, once be seized as the 
general idea, and then " 

"Ah," I sighed, "when will that be?" 

"When? that is a very relative term. In regard to the 
duration of our life, never; in regard to that of our race, 

When war has broken out all the subjects of neutral states 
divide themselves into two camps, one takes the side of the 
one, the other of the opposite party ; it is like a great fluctua- 
ting wager, in which every one has a share. 

We too Frederick and I with which side should we sympa- 
thise, which wish to conquer ? As Austrians we should have 
been fully justified, " patriotically," in wishing to see our victor 
in the former war vanquished in this one. Besides, it is again 
natural that one should give the greater sympathy to those in 
whose midst one is living, and with whose feelings one is 
involuntarily infected ; and we were then surrounded by the 
French. Still, Frederick was of Prussian descent, and were 
we not more allied with the Germans, whose speech even was 
my own, than with their adversaries ? Besides, had not the 
declaration of war proceeded from the French, on such trifling 
grounds nay, not grounds, but pretexts ? And must we not 
conclude from that that the Prussian cause was the more just 
one, and that they were going into battle only as defenders, and 
in obedience to compulsion ? King William had ipoken with 
much justice in his speech from the throne on July 19 : 


The German and the French nations, both enjoying equally the 
blessings of Christian training and increasing prosperity, have been called 
to a more holy strife than the bloody one of arms. The rulers of France, 
however, have contrived to make profit for their own personal interests 
and passions out of the justifiable but irritable self-consciousness of our 
great neighbour by means of deliberate deception. 

The Emperor Napoleon, on his side, published the following 
proclamation : 

In view of the presumptuous pretensions of Prussia, we were obliged 
to make protests. These were treated with scorn. Transactions 1 
followed which showed their contempt for us. Our country has been 
deeply irritated at this, and at present the cry for war resounds from one 
end of France to the other. There remains nothing possible for us 
except to trust our fate to the arbitrament of arms. We are not njaking 
war on Germany, whose independence we respect. It is the object of 
our best wishes that the people composing the great German nationality 
should dispose freely of their own fate. As far as concerns ourselves, we 
desire to set up a state of things which will guarantee our security and 
make our future safe. We wish to obtain a lasting peace, founded on the 
true interests of tht r Copies. We wish for the termination of this 
miserable situation, in which all the nations are expending their resources 
in arming on all sides against each other. 

What a lesson! what a mighty lesson speaks from this 
writing, when compared with the events which ensued upon it ! 
This campaign, then, was undertaken by France in order to 

1 These transactions were described eighteen years later as follows : 
General Boulanger writes in his work on the campaign of 1870 : " After 
having obtained a legitimate satisfaction we wanted to impose a humi- 
liation on the King of Prussia ; and in doing so we went on to take a 
diplomatic attitude which was aggressive, nay, almost inconsistent. The 
formal renunciation of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern had been gained 
by us, and we had, besides, the assent of the King of Prussia to this 
renunciation. The reparation was sufficient, for it covered the respective 
domains of the interests of France, the rights of France, and the obli- 
gations of the chief of the house of Hohenzollern. We ought to have 
stopped there. Our Government pushed on farther. It wanted a cate- 
gorical engagement from King William for the future. By carrying our 
claims BO high it changed the object and ground of the strife. It 
converted it into a direct challenge to the sovereign of Prussia." 


attain security to attain lasting peace ? And what came of 
it? L'anrite terrible and lasting enmity enmity which still 
prevails. No; as with coal you cannot white-wash, as with 
assafbetida you cannot diffuse a sweet perfume, so neither with 
war can you make peace secure. This "miserable situation," to 
which Napoleon alludes, how much has it not changed for the 
worse since then 1 The emperor was in earnest, thoroughly in 
earnest about the scheme for setting on foot a European 
disarmament. I have it quite certainly from his nearest rela- 
tions ; but the war party put pressure on him coerced him 
and he yielded. And yet he could not refrain, even in the war 
proclamation, from harping on his favourite idea. Its carrying 
out was only to be deferred. "After the campaign" 
" after the victory," said he, to console himself. It turned out 

So, on which side were our sympathies ? If one has got to 
the point of detesting all war in and for itself, as was the case 
with Frederick and me, the genuine, pure, "passionate attach- 
ment " to either side can exist no more. One's only feeling is 
" Oh that it had never begun this campaign 1 Oh that it were 
only already over ! " 

I did not think that the existing war would last long, or have 
important consequences. Two or three battles won here and 
there, and then there would be parleys for certain, and the thing 
would be brought to an end. What were they really fighting 
for ? Literally for nothing. The whole thing was more of an 
armed promenade, undertaken by the French from love of 
knightly adventure, by the Germans from brave feelings of 
defensive duty. A few sabre-cuts would be exchanged, and 
the adversaries would shake hands again. Fool that I was ! 
As if the consequences of a war remained in any proportion to 
the causes which produced it. It is its course which determines 
its consequences. 

We should have been glad to leave Paris, for all the enthu- 
siasm which the whole population displayed produced the most 
painful effect on us. But the way eastward was barred for the 


present, and the business of our house-building detained us. 
In short, we stayed. We had hardly any society connections 
left Everybody that could anyhow do so had fled from Paris ; 
and even of those who remained, no one under present circum- 
stances even thought of issuing invitations. A few, however, 
of our acquaintances among the literary circles, who were still 
in the city, we did frequently visit. Just at this phase of the 
commencing war, it interested Frederick to make himself 
acquainted with the judgments and views then entertained by 
the master spirits of the time. There was an author, then quite 
young, who later on attained much fame, Guy de Maupassant, 
some of whose utterances, which penetrated into my soul, I 
entered in the red volumes : 

War if I only think of the word a horror comes over me, as if people 
were talking to me about witches, about the inquisition, about some far- 
away, overmastering, horrible, unnatural thing. War to fight each other, 
strangle, cut each other to pieces 1 And we have amongst us at this day, 
in our times, with our culture, with such an extension of science, with so 
high a grade of development as we believe ourselves to have attained we 
have schools, where people are taught to kill, to kill at a good distance, 
and a good round number at a time. What is wonderful is that the 
people do not rise up against it, that the whole of society does not revolt 
at the bare word war 1 

Every man who governs is just as much bound to avoid war as a ship's 
captain is bound to avoid shipwreck. If a captain has lost a ship he is 
brought before a court and tried, so that it may be known whether he has 
been guilty of negligence. Why should not a Government be put on 
its trial whenever a war has been declared ? If the people understood it, 
if they refused to allow themselves to be killed without cause, there would 
be an end of war. 

I had also an opportunity of reading a letter, written by 
Gustave Flaubert to George Sand in the early days of July, just 
after the outbreak of the war. Here it is : 

I am in despair at the stupidity of my countrymen. The incorrigible 
barbarity of men fills me with deep grief. This enthusiasm, which is 
inspired by no idea, makes me wish to die in order to see no more of it. 
These good Frenchmen wish to fight (i) because they believe themselves 


challenged by Prussia, (2) because savagery is the natural state of men, 
(3) because war has an element of mystery in it which is alluring to men. 
Are we coming to indiscriminate fighting ? I fear it. ... The horrible 
battles which are in preparation have no pretext whatever for them. It 
is the love of fighting for fighting's sake. I lament for the bridges and 
tunnels blown up. All this human labour gone to ruin. You will have 
seen that a gentleman recommended in the Chamber the plundering of 
the Grand Duchy of Baden. Oh that I could be with the Bedouins 1 

" Oh," cried I, as I read this letter, " that we could have been 
born 500 years later! that would be even better than the 

" Men will not want all that time to become reasonable," 
said Frederick confidently. 

The period of proclamations and general orders was now 

The old hum-drum tune again always, and always again the 
public carried away to give it support and enthusiasm ! There 
was joy over the victories guaranteed in the manifestoes, just 
as if they had been gained already. 

On July 28 Napoleon III. issued the following document 
from his headquarters at Metz. This also I entered in m\ 
book, not, indeed, because I shared in the admiration but from 
contempt for the everlasting sameness and hollowness of its 
phrase-mongering : 

We are defending the honour and the soil of our country. We shall 
conquer. Nothing is too much for the persevering exertions of the 
soldiers of Africa, the Crimea, China, Italy and Mexico. Once more you 
will show what a French army can do, which is on fire with the love of 
country. Whatever way we take out of our boundaries, we find 
there the glorious footsteps of our forefathers. We will show our- 
selves worthy of them. On our success depends the fate of Freedom and 
Civilisation. Soldiers! let every one do his duty, and the God of Battles 
will be with us. 

Of course, "k Dieu des Armies " could not be left out. That 
the leaders of defeated armies have said the same thing a 


hundred times over does not prevent the others from saying 
the same words at the beginning of every new campaign and 
awakening the same confidence by doing so. Is there anything 
more short and more weak than the memory of the people ? 

On July 31 King William quitted Berlin and left the follow- 
ing writing : 

In going to-day to the army, to fight along with it for honour and for 
the preservation of our noblest possessions, I leave an amnesty for all 
political offenders. My people know as well as I that the breach of 
treaty and hostile proceedings are not on our side. But as we have 
been provoked , we are determined, like our fathers, and in firm reliance 
on God, to brave the battle for the deliverance of our fatherland. 

Necessity of defence necessity of defence that is the only 
recognised way of killing, and so both parties cry out : " 1 am 
defending myself". Is not that a contradiction? Not alto- 
gether, for over both there presides a third power, the power 
of the conquering, ancient war-spirit. It is only against him 
that all should join in a defensive league. 

Along with the above manifestoes, I find in my red volumes 
an entry, with the singular title written over it : " If Ollivier had 
married Meyerbeer's daughter would the war have broken out ? " 
This is how the matter stood. Amongst our Parisian acquain- 
tance there was a literary man named Alexander Weill, and it 
was he who threw out the above question, while he told us the 
following story : 

" Meyerbeer was looking out for a man of talent for his second 
daughter, and his choice fell on my friend Emile Ollivier. 
Ollivier was a widower. He had married for his first wife the 
daughter of Liszt, whom the renowned pianist had by the 
Countess d'Agoult (Daniel Stern), with whom he long lived as 
his wife. The marriage was very happy, and Ollivier had the 
reputation of a virtuous husband. He possessed no fortune, 
but as a speaker and statesman he was already famous. 
Meyerbeer wanted to make his personal acquaintance, and to 
this end I gave, in April, 1864, a great ball, which was attended 


by most of the celebrities of art and science, and where, ol 
course, Ollivier, who had been informed by me of Meyerbeer's 
purpose, played the first part. He pleased Meyerbeer. The 
matter was not easy to bring to a head. Meyerbeer knew the 
independent originality of his second daughter, who would 
never marry any other husband than one of her own choice. 
It was arranged that Ollivier should pay a visit to Baden, and 
there be introduced as if by chance to the young lady. When 
Meyerbeer died suddenly a fortnight after this ball, it was 
Ollivier, if you recollect, who pronounced his iloge and funeral 
oration at the Northern Railway Station. Now, I affirm, nay 
I am certain of it, that if Ollivier had married Me)erbeer's 
daughter, the war between France and Germany would not 
have broken out. Look how plausible my proofs are. In the 
first place, Meyerbeer, who hated the empire to the point of 
contempt, would never have permitted his daughter's husband 
to become a minister of the emperor. It is well known that, 
if Ollivier had threatened the Chamber to give in his resigna- 
tion sooner than declare war, the Chamber would never have 
declared war. The present war is the work of three back- 
stairs confidants and secret ministers of the empress, named, 
Jerome David, Paul de Cassagnac, and the Due de Grammont. 
The empress, excited by the Pope, whose religious puppet she 
is, would have this war, as to the success of which she never 
doubted, in order to ensure her son's succession. She said : 
'C'est ma guerre a moi et a mon fils,' and the three above-named 
papal 'anabaptists' were her secret tools to force the emperor, 
who did not want any war, and the Chamber into war by false 
and secret despatches from Germany." 

" And this is what is called diplomacy 1 " I interrupted with a 

" Listen further," pursued Alexander Weill. " Ollivier said to 
me on July 15, when I met him on the Place de la Concorde : 
1 Peace is assured, or I resign '. Whence came it then that this 
same man, a few days later, instead of resigning, declared wai 
himself, ' d'un cosur tiger,' as he said in the Chamber ? " 


* With a light heart ! n I cried, shuddering again. 

11 There is a secret in this that I can throw light upon. The 
emperor, for whom money had never any other value than to 
purchase love or friendship with it (he believes, like Jugurtha 
in Rome, that all in France, men and women, have their price), 
has the custom, when he takes a minister who is not rich, of 
binding him more closely to himself by a present of a million 
francs. Dam alone, who told me this secret, declined this 
present 'Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes*. And he alone, 
being unfettered, sent in his resignation. As long as the 
emperor hesitated, Ollivier, being bound to his master by this 
chain of gold, declared himself neutral rather inclined to 
peace. But as soon as the emperor had been overborne by 
his wife and her three ultramontane anabaptists, Ollivier 
declared for war, and gave it lively utterance, with light heart, 
* and with full pockets'." 1 

1 Bridie hervorragender Manner aa Alexander Waill Zurich. 


First days of the war in Paris. Constant reverses of the French 
arms. Fall of Metz. Paris turned into a fortress. The 
Prussians expelled from Paris. Surrender of the Emperor 
Napoleon and his army at Sedan. Proclamation of the 
Republic. Futile negotiations for peace. We determine to 
quit Paris. This is prevented by my illness. When 1 
recover the winter has set in, and Paris has long been 
beleaguered. Fall of Strasbourg. Paris bombarded. The 
proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles. Dream* 
of release and future happiness suddenly interrupted by tht 
arrest and execution of my husband by the Communards. 

" OH monsieur ! Oh madame ! What happiness ! What 
great news ! " With these words Frederick's valet rushed into 
our room one day, and the cook after him. It was the day of 

" What is it ? " 

" A telegram has been posted up at the Bourse. We have 
conquered. The King of Prussia's army is as good as annihi- 
lated. The city is adorning itself with tricolour flags. There 
will be an illumination to-night." 

But in the course of the afternoon it turned out that the 
news was false a Bourse trick. Ollivier made a speech to the 
crowd from his balcony. Well, so much the better ; at least 
one would not be obliged to illuminate. These joyful tidings 
of " armies annihilated " /.*., of numberless lives torn asunder, 
and hearts broken awoke again in me too the same wish as 
Flaubert'i " Oh that I were with the Bedouins 1 M 



On August 7, news of a catastrophe. The emperoi 
hastened from St. Cloud to the theatre of war. The enemy 
had penetrated into the country. The newspapers could not 
give expression hot enough to their rage at the " invasion ". 
The cry " A Berlin," as it seemed to me, pointed to an intended 
invasion ; but in that there was nothing to cause anger. But 
that these eastern barbarians should venture to make an 
incursion into beautiful, God- beloved France that was sheer 
savagery and sin. That must be stopped, and quickly too. 

The Minister of War ad interim published a decree that all 
citizens fit for service, from the age of thirty to forty, who did 
not belong to the National Guard, should be immediately 
enrolled in that body. A Ministry of the Defence of the 
Country was formed. The war loan of 500 millions, which had 
been voted, was raised to 1000. It is quite refreshing to see 
how freely people always offer up the money and the lives of 
others. A trifling financial unpleasantness, to be sure, was 
soon perceptible to the public. If one wanted to change bank 
notes one had to pay the money-changer ten per cent. There 
was not gold at hand to meet all the notes which the Bank of 
France was authorised to issue. 

And now, victory after victory on the German side. 

The physiognomy of the city of Paris and its inhabitants 
altered. Instead of its proud, magnificent, resplendent mood, 
came confusion and savage indignation. The feeling spread 
ever wider and wider that a horde of Vandals had descended 
on to the land something terrible, unheard of, like some 
cloud of locusts, or some such natural portent. That they 
had themselves brought this plague on themselves by their 
declaration of war that they had considered such a declara- 
tion indispensable, in order that no Hohenzollern, even in the 
distant future, should even conceive the idea of succeeding to 
the Spanish throne all that they had forgotten. Hideous 
tales were circulated about the enemy. " The Uhlans ! the 
Uhlans 1 " These words had a fantastically-demoniacal sound, 
as if one bad said " the horde of savages ", In the imagination 


of the people this kind of troops assumed a demoniacal 
shape. Wherever a bold stroke was executed by the German 
cavalry, it was attributed to the Uhlans a kind of half-men, 
getting no pay, and therefore bound to live on their plunder. 
Along with the rumours of terror arose rumours also of triumph. 
To tell lies about successes is one of the duties of Chauvinism. 
Of course, because courage must be kept up. The command, 
to tell truth, like so many other commands, loses its obligation 
in war time. Frederick dictated to me the following passage out 
of the newspaper Le Volontaire for my red book : 

Up to the i6th of August, the Germans have lost already 144,000 men. 
The rest are almost starving. The last reserves are coming up from 
Germany " la landwehr et la landsturm ". Old men of sixty, with 
Bint muskets, with an enormous tobacco pouch on their right side and 
a still larger schnaps-flask on their left, a long clay pipe in their mouth ; 
stooping under the weight of the knapsack (on the top of which there 
must not be omitted the coffee mill and the elder tea inside), are crawling 
along, coughing and blowing their noses, from the right to the left bank of 
the Rhine, cursing those who have torn them from the embraces of their 
grandchildren, to lead them on to certain death. " As to the news of 
victory, brought from German sources," it was said in the French 
newspapers, "they are the usual Prussian lies." 

On August 20 Count Palikao announced in the Chamber 
that three army corps which had coalesced against Bazaine 
had been thrown into the quarries at Jaumont (Bravo ! Bravo !). 
It is true that no one knew what quarries these were, or where 
they were ; nor did any one explain how they could contain 
three army corps; but the joyous message went round from 

mouth to mouth. " Have you heard ? In the quarries " 

" Oh yes ! Of Jaumont." No one uttered a doubt or ques- 
tion. It was as if everybody had been born at Jaumont, and 
knew these army-swallowing quarries as well as his own pocket. 
About this time the rumour also prevailed that the King of 
Prussia had gone mad from despair at the condition of his 

Nothing but monstrous things were heard of. The excite- 


ment, the fever, of the populace increased hourly. The war 
" Ici-bas " had ceased to be regarded as an armed promenade. 
It was felt that the forces which had been let loose were now 
bringing something terrible on the world. Nothing was spoken 
of but armies annihilated, princes driven mad, diabolical hordes, 
war to the knife. I listened to it thundering and growling. It 
was the storm of rage and despair that was rising. The battle 
at Bazeilles near Metz was described, and it was stated 
that inhuman cruelties had been committed there by the 

"Do you believe that?" I asked Frederick. "Do you 
believe that of the gentle Bavarians?" 

" It is quite possible. Bavarian or Turco, German, French, 
or Indian, the warrior who is defending his own life, and lifting 
up his arm to kill another, has ceased for the time to be 
' human '. What has been awakened in him and stirred up 
with all possible force is nothing else than bestiality." 

Metz fallen ! The news resounded in the city like some 
strange and overpowering cry of terror. To me the news of 
the taking of a fortress was a message which brought rather a 
relief ; for I thought, " Well, that is decisive ". And it was only 
for this, that the bloody game might be over, it was for this, 
only this that I longed. But no, there was nothing decisive 
in it more fortresses remained. After a defeat all that is to 
be done is to pick yourself up again, and strike out again at 
them twice as hard. The chance of arms may change at any 
time. Ah yes ! The advantage may be now on this side, now 
on that. It is only woe that is certain death that is certain 
to be on both. 

Trochu felt himself called upon to arouse the spirit of the 
populace by a new proclamation, and in it appealed to an 
old motto of Bretagne, " With God's help for our fatherland ". 
That did not sound new to me. I had met with something 
like it before in other proclamations. It did not fail to have 


its effect. The people were inspirited. Now, the thing was to 
turn Paris into a fortress. 

Paris a fortress ! I could not take in the idea. The city 
which V. Hugo called "la ville-lumierf" which is the point 
of attraction for the whole world of civilisation, riches, the 
pursuit of art, and the enjoyment of life the point from 
which radiate splendour, fashions, esprit this city is now to 
be " fortified " /'.<;., become the point at which hostile attacks 
are to be aimed ; the target for shot ; to close itself against all 
intercourse, and expose itself to the danger of being set in flames 
by bombardment, or starved by famine ! And that is done 
by these people, dt gaieti de casur, in the spirit of self- 
sacrifice, with joyous emulation, as if it was a question of 
carrying out the most useful, the most noble work ! The work 
was proceeded with in feverish haste. Ramparts had to be 
erected on which troops could be placed, and shot holes cut in 
them ; also trenches dug outside the gates, drawbridges 
erected, covering works repaired, canals bridged over, and 
protected by breastworks, powder magazines built, and a flotilla 
of gunboats placed on the Seine. What a fever of activity ! 
What expenditure of exertion and industry ! What gigantic 
expense in labour and money ! How exhilarating and 
ennobling all that would have been, if it had been expended 
on works of public utility ; but for the purpose of working 
mischief, of annihilation a purpose which is not even one's 
own, but only a move on the strategic chess-board it is incon- 
ceivable ! 

In order to be able to stand a siege, which might possibly be 
a long one, the city was provisioned. Up to the present time, 
according to all experience, no such thing as an impregnable 
fortification has been known, capitulation is always only a 
question of time. And yet fortresses have always been erected 
anew, and provisioned anew with necessaries, in spite of the 
mathematical impossibility of protecting oneself against the 
duration of a blockade. 

The measures taken were on a great scale. Mills were 


erected, and cattle parks laid out, and yet at last the moment 
must come when the corn will give out and the meat be con- 
sumed. But people do not carry their thoughts so far by that 
time the enemy will be driven back over the frontier, or 
annihilated in the country. Now the whole people are joining 
the army of the fatherland. Every one offers himself for the 
service, or is pressed into it ; and all the firemen in the country 
were called in to join the garrison of Paris. There might be fires 
in the provinces, but what of that ? Such little accidents disap- 
pear when a national "disaster" is in question. On Aug. 17, 
60,000 firemen had already been enrolled in the capital. The 
sailors too were called in, and new troops of soldiers were 
formed every day under various names vo/ontaires, kdaireurs, 


Events followed each other in ever-hastening movement. 
But now only military events. Everything else was suspended. 
Nothing else was any more thought of around us except " mort 
aux Prussians ". A storm of savage hatred collected : it had 
not yet broken out, but one heard it rumble. In all official 
proclamations, in all the street cries, in all public transactions, 
the conclusion was always "mort aux Prussiens". All these 
troops, regular and irregular, these munitions, these work- 
people pressing to the fortifications with their tools and 
barrows, these transports for weapons, everything that one 
sees and hears means, in its every form and tone, in all its 
lightning and bluster, in all its flame and rage, " mort aux 
Prussians". Or in other words, and then indeed it sounds like 
a cry of love and warms even the softest hearts, it means "pour 
la patrie" but in essence it is the same. 

I asked Frederick : " You are of Prussian extraction, how 
does all this unfriendly feeling, which is now finding loud 
expression, affect you ? " 

"You said the same to me before, in 1866, and I answered 
you then as I do to-day, that I suffer from these expressions of 



hatred not as the subject of any country, but as a man. If 1 
judge of the opinions of the people here from a national point 
of view I cannot but think them right, they call it la haine 
sacree de Pennemi, and that motive forms an important element 
in warlike patriotism. They are now occupied with this one 
thought, to liberate their country from a hostile invasion. That 
it is themselves who provoked this invasion by declaring war, 
they have forgotten. Indeed it was not they who did it, but 
their Government, which they believed on its word ; and now 
they lose no time over reproaches or reflections, as to who 
called down this misfortune on them : it has come, and all their 
force, all their enthusiasm must be spent on turning it aside 
again, or else uniting with unthinking self-sacrifice in a common 
ruin. Trust me, there is much noble capacity for love in us 
children of men, the pity only is that we lavish it on the old- 
world tracks of hatred. . . . And on the other side, the hated 
ones, the invaders, ' the red-haired eastern barbarians,' what are 
they doing ? They were the challenged ; and they are pressing 
forward into the country of those who threatened to overrun 
theirs ' A Berlin, b Berlin ', Do not you recollect how this 
cry kept pealing through the whole city, even down from the 
roofs of omnibusses ? " 

"And now these are marching *Nath Paris 1 . Why do the 
shouters of 'A Berlin' attribute that as a crime to them ? " 

" Because there cannot be any logic or justice in that national 
sentiment whose foundation is the assumption that we are 
ourselves, that is the first, and the others are barbarians. And 
this forward march of the Germans from victory to victory 
strikes me with admiration. I have been a soldier also, and 1 
know with what a magical power victory fastens on the mind, 
what pride, what joy are contained in it. It is in any case the 
aim, the reward for all the sacrifices made, for the renunciation 
of rest and happiness, for the risk of life." 

11 But then why do not the conquered adversaries, since they 
too are soldiers, and know what fame accompanies victory, why 
do they not admire their conquerors ? Why is it never said in 


an account of a battle by the losing party : ' The enemy has 
obtained a glorious victory ' ? '* 

" I repeat, because the war spirit and patriotic egotism are 
the denial of all justice? 

So it came about I can see it from all our conversations 
entered in the red books in those days that we did not and 
could not think of anything at that time except the result of 
the present national duel. 

Our happiness, our poor happiness, we had it, but we dared 
not enjoy it. Yes, we possessed everything that might have 
procured for us a heaven of delight on earth boundless love, 
riches, rank, the charming, growing boy Rudolf, our heart's 
idol Sylvia, independence, ardent interest in the world of mind ; 
but before all this a curtain had fallen. How dared we, how 
could we taste of our joys while around us every one was 
suffering and trembling, shrieking and raving ? It was as if one 
should set oneself to enjoy oneself heartily on board a storm- 
tossed vessel. 

"A theatrical fellow, this Trochu," Frederick told me 
it was on August 25. " Such a coup de theatre has been played 
off to-day ! You will never guess it." 

" The women called out for military service ? " I guessed. 

" Well, it does concern the women ; but they are not called 
out. On the contrary." 

"Then are the sutlers discharged? or the Sisters of 

" You have not guessed it yet, either. There is something 
of dismissal in it to be sure, and as to sutlers, too, in the 
sense that these ladies minister the cup of pleasure, and in a 
sense the ladies dismissed are merciful too ; but in short, without 
more riddles, the demimonde is exiled." 

"And the Minister of War has taken that step? What 
connection ? w 

" I cannot see any either. But the people are in ecstasies 
over the regulation. In fact they are always glad when any- 
thing happens. From every new order they expect a change, 


like many sick folks who greet every medicine which is given 
them as possibly a panacea. When vice is driven out of the 
city so think the pious who knows whether Heaven, now 
evidently angry, will not again extend its protection over the 
inhabitants ? And now, when people are preparing for the 
serious time of the siege, with all its privations, what have these 
silly, wasteful women of pleasure to do here ? And so most 
people, excluding those concerned, think the regulation a 
proper, moral, and besides, a patriotic one, since a great 
number of these women are foreigners, English, Southerners, 
nay even Germans, some of whom may perhaps be spies. No, 
no; there is only room in the city now for her own children, 
and only for her virtuous children ! " 

On August 28 occurred something still worse. Another 
banishment. All Germans had to quit Paris within three days. 

The poison, the deadly, long-abiding poison, which lay in 
this regulation those who wrote the decree possibly had not 
in any way suspected. The hatred of Germans was awakened 
by it. For how long a time even after the war, this misfortune 
was to go on bearing its terrible fruit, I know at this day. From 
that time forward, France and Germany, those two great, 
flourishing, magnificent countries, were no longer two nations 
whose armies had fought out a chivalrous conflict ; hatred for 
the whole of the opposed nation pervaded the entire people. 
Enmity was erected into an institution which was not restricted 
to the duration of the war, but ensured its continuance as 
" hereditary enmity," even to future generations. 

Exiled. Obliged to leave the city within three days. 1 had 
occasion to see how hardly, how inhumanly hardly, this com 
mand pressed on many worthy, harmless families. Among the 
business people who were supplying us with goods for the 
decoration of our house, several were Germans one a carriage- 
builder, one an upholsterer, one an art-furniture manufacturer 
settled from ten to twenty years in Paris, where they had 
got their domestic hearth, where they had allied themselves in 
marriage with Parisians, where they had the whole of then 


business connection ; and now they had to go out, out in three 
days shut up their house, leave all that was dear and familiar 
to them, lose their fortune, their customers, their inheritance. 
The poor creatures came running to us in consternation, and 
told us of the misery that had fallen on them. Even the work 
which they were on the point of delivering to us had to be 
put aside, and the workshops closed. Wringing their hands and 
with tears in their eyes, they complained of their sufferings to 
us. "I have an old father an invalid," said one, " and my wife 
is looking for her confinement any day ; and now we must go 
in three days ! " "I have not a sou in the house," another 
complained ; " all my customers who owe me money will be in 
no hurry to meet their obligations. A week hence I should 
have completed a large order which would have made me 
comfortably off, and now I must leave all in confusion ! " 

And why, why was all this misery brought on these poor 
people ? Because they belonged to a nation whose army did 
its duty successfully, or because (to go further back in the chain 
of causes) a Hohenzollern might possibly have allowed it to 
enter into his mind to assume the Spanish throne if offered to 
him? No; this "because," too, has not arrived at the 
ultimate reason. All this is only the pretext not the cause of 
that war. 

Sedan t " The Emperor Napoleon has given up his sword. 9 * 
The news overwhelmed us. Now there had really occurred 
a great, an historical catastrophe. The French army beaten, its 
leader checkmated. Then the game was over, WOP triumphantly 
by Germany. " Over ! over 1 " I shouted. " If there were 
people who have the right to call themselves citizens of the 
world they might illuminate their windows to-day. If we had 
temples of Humanity yet, Te Deums would have to be sung 
in them on this occasion the butchery is over ! " 

" Do not rejoice too soon, my darling," said Frederick in a 
warning tone. ** This war has now for some time lost the 


character of a game fought out on the chess-board of the battle- 
field. The whole nation is joining in the fight. For *** army 
annihilated ten others will start out of the earth." 

" But would that be just ? It is only German soldiers who 
have forced themselves into the country not the German 
people and so they ought only to oppose them with French 

" How you keep on appealing to justice and reason, you 
unreasonable creature, in dealing with a madman t France is 
mad with pain and rage ; and from the point of view of loss 
of country, her pain is pious, her rage justifiable. Whatever 
desperate thing she may do now is inspired, not by personal 
self-seeking, but by the highest spirit of sacrifice. If only the 
time were come when the powers of virtue, which is the 
essential thing that binds men together, were diverted from the 
work of destruction and devoted to the work of felicity 1 But 
this unholy war has again thrown us back a long distance from 
that goal." 

" No, no ! I hope the war is over now." 

" If it were so (and I despair of it) there would be sown 
the seeds of future wars, and it could only be the seed of 
hatred which is contained in this expulsion of the Germans. 
Such a thing as that has an effect far beyond the present 

September 4. Another act of violence, an outbreak of passion, 
and, at the same time, a remedy tried for the salvation of the 
country the emperor is deposed. France proclaims herself 
a republic. Whatever Napoleon III. and his army may have 
done matters not. Mistakes, treachery, cowardice, all these 
faults have been committed by individuals, the emperor and 
his generals ; but France has not committed them, she is not 
answerable for it. When the throne was overturned, the leaves 
in France's history, on which Metz and Sedan were inscribed, 
were simply torn out of the book. From this time the country 
itself would carry on the war, if, at least, Germany dared to 
continue this infamous invasion. 


"But how if Napoleon had conquered?" I asked, when 
Frederick communicated this to me. 

" Oh, then, France would have taken his victory and his 
glory as the country's victory and glory. 1 * 

"Is that just?" 

"Cannot you get out of the habit of putting that 
question ? n 

I had soon to see my hopes, that the catastrophe of Sedan 
would put an end to the campaign, vanish. All around us 
seemed as warlike as ever. The air was laden with savage 
rage and hot lust of vengeance. Rage against the enemy, and 
almost as much against the fallen dynasty. The scandalous 
talk, the pamphlets which now poured down against the 
emperor, the empress, and the unfortunate generals ; the 
contempt, the slanders, the insults, the jests it was disgusting. 
In this way the uncultured masses thought they could lay the 
whole burden of the defeats of the country on the shoulders of 
one or two persons, and, now that these persons were down, 
pelted them with dung and stones. And this was the 
beginning of the time when the country was to show that she 
was invincible ! 

The preparations for intrenching Paris were carried on 
zealously. The buildings in the fighting area of the chief 
enceinte were abandoned or taken down entirely. The suburbs 
became deserts. Troops of men kept coming from outside 
into the city with all their belongings. Oh, those sorrowful 
trains of carts and pack horses, and laden men, who were 
trailing the ruins of their desolated hearths through the 
streets ! I had already seen the same thing once in Bohemia, 
when the poor country folk were flying from the enemy ; and 
now I had to look on the same picture of wretchedness in the 
joyous, brilliant capital of the world. There were the same 
frightened, sorrowful visages, the same weariness and haste, 
the same woe. 

At last, God be praised, once more a good piece of news 1 
On the proposal of a mediation on the part of England, a 


meeting was arranged at Ferrieres between Jules Favre and 
Bismarck. Now surely they would succeed in coming to an 
agreement in making peace 1 

On the contrary, it was not till now that the extent of the gulf 
was seen. For sowe little time before this there had been 
some talk in the German papers of the annexation of Alsace and 
Lorraine. A desire was shown to incorporate once more the 
land which had formerly been German. The historical argu- 
ment for the claim on these provinces appearing only partially 
sustainable, the strategic argument was brought forward to 
support it "indispensable as a fortress in future wars which may 
be expected ". And it is well known, of course, that the strategic 
grounds are the weightiest, the most impregnable ; and that in 
comparison with them a moral ground can only reckon as 
secondary. On the other hand, the war game had been lost 
by France ; was it not fair that the prize should fall to the 
winners ? In case they had won, would not the French have 
seized the Rhine provinces ? If the result of a war is not to 
have for its consequence an extension of territory for one side 
or the other, what good would it be to make war at all ? 

Meantime the victorious army made no halt in its onward 
march. The Germans were already before the gates of Paris. 
The cession of Alsace and Lorraine was officially demanded j 
to which came the well-known reply : " Not an inch of our 
territory, not a stone of our fortresses " (" Pas un pouce pas 
une pierre "). 

Yes, yes thousands of lives, but not an inch of ground. 
That is the rooted idea of the patriotic spirit. " They wish to 
humble us," cried the French patriots. " No 1 sooner shall 
exasperated Paris bury itself under its own ruins ! " 

Away ! away ! was now our resolution. Why should we 
stay in a beleaguered foreign city without any necessity ; why 
live among people full of no other thoughts than those of hate 
and vengeance, who looked at us with sidelong glances and 
often with clenched fists, when they heard us talking German F 
It is true, we could no longer leave Paris, or leave France, 


without difficulty. One had in all directions to pass over war 
districts, the railway traffic was frequently suspended for 
private travellers. To leave our new building in the lurch was 
unpleasant, but this was of no consequence, for our stay was 
impossible. In fact we had already stayed far too long. 
The events which I had experienced recently had shaken me so 
much that my nerves had suffered grievously from it. I was 
seized often with shivering, and once or twice also with crying 

Our boxes were all ready packed, and everything prepared 
for departure, when I had another attack, and this time so 
violent that I had to be carried to bed. The physician who 
was sent for said that either a nervous fever or even an inflam- 
mation of the brain was commencing, and for the present it was 
not to be thought of to expose me to the fatigues of travelling. 

I lay in bed for long, long weeks. Only a very dreamy 
recollection of that whole time remains with me. And strangely 
enough, a pleasant recollection. I was, it is true, very ill, and 
everything in the place where I resided was unceasingly mourn- 
ful and terrible ; and yet when I look back on it it was a 
singularly joyful time. Yes, joy, perfectly intense joy, such as 
children are in the habit of feeling. The cerebral affection 
which I was suffering, and which brought with it an almost 
continuous absence, or at least only half-presence of conscious- 
ness, caused all thoughts and judgments, all reflections and 
deliberations, to vanish out of my head, and there remained 
only a vague enjoyment of existence, just like that which 
children experience, as I said just now, and especially those 
children who are tenderly watched over. There was no want 
of tender watching for me. My husband, thoughtful and 
loving and untiring, was with me day and night. He brought 
the children also often to my bedside. How much my Rudolf 
had to tell me ! For the most part I did not understand it, 
but his beloved voice sounded to me like music, and the 
babbling of our little Sylvia, our heart's idol, how sweetly that 
began to charm me i Then there were a hundred little jokes 


and intelligences between Frederick and me about the tricks of 
our little daughter. What these jokes were about I have quite 
forgotten, but I know that I laughed and enjoyed myself quite 
unrestrainedly. Each one of the customary jests seemed to 
me the height of wit, and the oftener repeated the more witty 
and more precious ; and with what delight did I not swallow 
the draughts given me for every day at a given hour I took a 
glass of lemonade. Such nectar I have never tasted during 
my whole life of health ; and how entirely refreshing was a 
medicine with opium in it, whose softly soothing action, 
putting me into a conscious slumber, sent a thrill of happy 
calm through my soul. I knew all the while that my beloved 
husband was by my side, protecting me and watching over me 
as his heart's dearest treasure. Of the war, which was raging at 
my door, I had now hardly any cognisance ; and if, for all that, 
some remembrance of it flashed on me sometimes, I looked on 
it as something situated as far away and as completely without 
any concern for me, as if it was being played out in China or 
on another planet. My world was here, in this sick-room, or 
rather in this chamber of recovery ; for I felt myself getting 
better, and all tended to happiness. 

To happiness ? No. With recovery, understanding came 
back too, and the perception of the horrors that surrounded 
us. We were in a beleaguered, famishing, freezing, miserable 
city. The war was still raging on. 

The winter had come in the meantime icy cold. I now, 
for the first time, learned all that had taken place during my 
long unconsciousness. The capital of " the brotherland/' 
Strasbourg the "lovely," the "true German," the city 
"German to its core," had been bombarded, its library 
destroyed. One hundred and ninety-three thousand seven 
hundred and twenty-two shots had been poured into the town 
four or five a minute. 

Strasbourg was taken. 


The country fell into wild despair such a despair as issues 
in raving madness. People began to hunt in Nostradamus to 
find prophecies for the present events, and new seers began to 
put out fresh predictions. Still worse, possessed folks came 
forward. It was like falling back into a ghost-night of the middle 
ages, lighted by the fire of hell. " Oh that I could be among 
the Bedouins ! " cried Gustave Flaubert. " Oh that I could be 
back in the half-conscious dreamland of my illness," cried I, 
weeping. I was well again now, and had to hear and compre- 
hend all the terrible things that were going on around us. 
Then began again the entries in the red books, and I have lit 
on the following notes : 

December I. Trochu has established himself on the heights of 

December i. Obstinate fight around Brie and Champigny. 

December 5. The cold is becoming constantly more powerful. Oh ! 
the trembling, bleeding, wretched wights, who are lying out there in the 
snow, and dying. Even here in the city, there is terrible suffering from 
cold. Business has fallen to nothing. There is no firing to be had. 
What would not many an one give if there were only two little pieces of 
wood to be had even the certainty of the throne of Spain 1 

December 21. Sortie out of Paris. 

December 25. A small detachment of Prussian cavalry was saluted 
with musket shot (that is a patriotic duty) from the houses of the villages 
of Troo and Souge. General Kraatz commanded the punishment of the 
villages (that is a commander's duty) and had them burnt. " Set them 
on fire," was the word of command, and the men, probably gentle, 
good-natured fellows, obeyed (that is the soldier's duty), and set fire 
to them. The flames burst up to heaven, and the poor homesteads 
fell crashing, on man, wife, and child on flying, weeping, roaring, 
burning men and beasts. 

What a joyous, happy, holy Christmas night I 

Is Paris to be starved out, or bombarded as well ? 

Against the last supposition the civilised conscience revolts. 
To bombard this ville-lumitre, this point of attraction of 
all nations, this brilliant home of the arts bombard it with 


its irreplaceable riches and treasures, like the first fort that 
comes to hand 1 It is not to be thought of. The whole neutral 
press (as I found out afterwards) protested against it. On 
the other hand, the press of the war party in Berlin was favour- 
able to it : that would be the only way to bring the war to a 
close and to conquer the city on the Seine, what glory ! 
Besides, it was just these protests which determined certain 
circles at Versailles to seize this strategic weapon ; and, after all. 
a bombardment is nothing. And so it came about that on 
December 28 I was writing in shaking characters : <4 Here it is 
another heavy stroke a pause and again " 

I wrote no further, but I well remember the feelings of that 
day. In those words : " Here it is," there lay, along with the 
terror, a kind of freedom, a relief, a cessation of the nervous 
expectation that had by that time become well nigh insufferable. 
What one had been for so long partly expecting and fearing, 
partly thinking hardly humanly possible, is now come. We 
were sitting at dejefiner a la fourchette, i.e., we were taking 
bread and coffee food was getting scarce already Frederick, 
Rudolf, the tutor and I when the first stroke resounded. All 
of us raised our heads and exchanged glances. Is that it ? 
But no. It may have been a house door slamming, or some- 
thing of that sort. Now all was quiet. We resumed the talk 
that had been interrupted, without saying anything about the 
thought which that sound had caused. Then, after two or 
three minutes it came again. Frederick started up. " That 
is the bombardment," he said, and hurried to the window. 
I followed him. A hubbub came in from the street. Groups 
had formed ; the people were standing and listening, or were 
exchanging excited words. 

Now our valet de chambre came rushing into the room, and 
at the same time a fresh salvo resounded. 

" Oh monsieur et madame c'est le bombardment." 

And now all the other men and maids, down to the kitchen- 
maid, came pushing into the room. In such catastrophies in 
the exigencies of war, fire, or water, all distinctions of society 


fall away, and those threatened all cluster together. All feel 
equal before danger much more than before the law much 
more than before Death, which in its burial ceremonies knows 
so much of distinction of rank. " Cest le bombardment, c'est le 
bombardment.'' Every one who came into the room uttered 
the same cry. 

It was horrible, and yet I recollect quite well what I felt a 
sort of admiring shudder, a kind of satisfaction at such a 
mighty experience to be present at a situation so freighted 
with destiny and not to fear the danger to my own life in it. 
My pulses beat, and I felt what shall I call it ? the pride 
of courage. 

The thing was on the whole less terrible than it had seemed 
at the first instant. No flaming buildings, no crowds shrieking 
with terror, no bombshells whizzing continually through the 
air ; but only always this heavy, far-off thunder, with long and 
still longer intervals between. One came after a time to get 
almost accustomed to it. The Parisians chose as objects for 
a walk those points where the cannon music was best heard. 
Here and there a bomb would fall in the street and burst ; but 
how rarely did it occur to any given person to happen to be 
near ? It is true that many shells did fall which carried death, 
but in the city of a million men these cases were heard of in 
the same scattered way in which at other times one is accustomed 
to see in one's newspaper various cases of accident, without its 
coming specially near to oneself. "A bricklayer fell from a 
scaffold four storeys high," or "A genteelly dressed female 
threw herself over the balustrades of the bridge into the 
river," and so forth. The real grief, the real terror of the 
populace, was not for the bombardment, but hunger, cold, and 
starvation. But one such account of the death-dealing shot 
gave me a deep shock. It came in the form of a black- 
bordered mourning-card sent to the house : 

Monsieur and Madame R inform you of the death of their two 

children, Frangois aged eight, and Amelie aged four, who were struck by 
a bomb coming through the window. Your silent sympathy is requested. 


Silent sympathy ! I gave a loud shriek as I read the paper. 
A thought a picture flashing before my inner eye with lightning 
clearness, showed me the whole of the woe which lay in this 
simple mourning-notice. I saw our two children, Rudolf and 
Sylvia no ! I could not pursue the thought ! 

The tidings which one got were scanty. All communication 
by post was, of course, cut off. It was by carrier pigeons and 
balloons only that we had intercourse with the world outside. 
The rumours that cropped up everywhere were of the most 
contradictory nature. Victorious sallies were announced, or 
the information was spread that the enemy was on the point 
of storming Paris, with a view of setting it on fire in all corners, 
and levelling it to the ground, or it was asseverated that sooner 
than allow one German to get within the walls, the comman- 
dants of the forts would blow up themselves and the whole of 
Paris into the air. It was related that the whole population of 
the country, especially of the south (le midi se leve), were 
falling on the besiegers' rear, in order to cut off their retreat, 
and annihilate them to the last man. 

Along with the false news, some true intelligence also came 
to us some whose truth was proved afterwards. Such as 
about a panic that broke out on the road of Grand Luce near 
Mans, in which horrible deeds took place soldiers getting 
beyond control, throwing the wounded out of the railway 
carriages that were all standing ready, and taking their places 

It became more difficult every day to get food. The supply 
of meat was exhausted; there had for a long time now 
been no longer any beeves or sheep in the cattle parks that 
had been formed ; all the horses also were soon eaten up, and 
then the period began when the dogs and cats, the rats and 
mice, and finally the beasts in the Jardin des Plantes also, even 
the poor elephant, who was such a favourite, had to serve as 
food. Bread could now be hardly procured. The people had 
to stand in rows for hours after hours in front of the bakers' 
shops in order to get their little ration, and still most of thtm 


had to go empty away. Exhaustion and sickness made Death's 
harvest a rich one. Whilst ordinarily noo died in a week, 
the death-list of Paris in these times rose to between 4000 and 
5000 weekly. That is, there were every day between 400 and 
500 unnatural deaths that is to say, murders. For if the 
murderer is not an individual man, but an impersonal thing, 
viz. t war, it is not any the less murder. Whose is the responsi- 
bility? Does it not lie on those parliamentary swaggerers, 
who in their provocative speeches declared with proud self- 
assumption as that Girardin did in the sitting of July 15 
that they " took on themselves the responsibility for this war 
in the face of history " ? Could, then, any man's shoulders be 
sufficiently strong to bear such a load of guilt ? Surely not. 
But no one thinks of taking such boasters at their word. 

One day it was about January 20 Frederick came into 
my room, with an excited look, on his return from a walk in 
the city. 

"Take your diary in hand, my busy little historian," he 
called out to me. "To-day a mighty despatch has come." 
And he threw himself into a chair. 

"Which of my books?" I asked. " The Protocol oj 
Peace ?" 

Frederick shook his head. 

" Oh that will be out of use for long. The war, which is 
now being fought out, is of too powerful a nature not to 
proceed to its end, and give rise to renewed war. On the side 
of the vanquished it has scattered such a plenty of the seeds of 
hatred and revenge, that a future harvest of war must grow out 
of them ; and on the other side, it has brought such magnificent 
and bewildering successes to the victors, that for them an 
equally great seed-time of warlike pride must grow out of it." 

11 What, then, has happened of such importance ? " 
* "King William has been proclaimed German Emperor in 
Versailles. There is now one Germany one single empire 
and a mighty empire too. That forms a new chapter in what 
is called the history of the world. And you may think for 


yourself, how, from the birth of this empire, which is the 
product of war, that trade will be held high in honour. It is, 
therefore, from this time, the two continental states most 
advanced in civilisation which will chiefly nourish the war 
spirit the one, in order to return the blow it has received, 
the other, in order to keep the position it has conquered 
amongst the powers from hatred on that side, from love on 
this on that side from lust of revenge, on this from gratitude 
it comes to the same thing. Shut your Protocol of Peace 
for a long time henceforth we shall abide under the blood- 
and-iron sign of Mars." 

"German Emperor 1" I cried, "that really is grand;" and 
I got him to tell me the particulars of this event. 

"I cannot help, Frederick," I said, "being pleased at this 
news. The whole work of slaughter has not then been for 
nothing, if a great new empire has grown out of it." 

" But from a French point of view it has been for less than 
nothing. And we two must have surely the right of looking at 
this war, not from one side the German side only. Not 
only as men, but even from the narrow national conception, 
we should have the right to bewail the successes of our enemies 
and conquerors in 1866. However I agree with you that the 
union of dismembered Germany, which has now been attained, 
is a fine thing that this agreement of the rest of the German 
princes to give the Imperial Crown to the old victor, has 
something inspiring, something admirable about it. The only 
pity is that this union did not arise from a peaceful, but from 
a warlike exploit. How was it then that there was not enough 
love of country, enough popular power in Germany, even 
though Napoleon III. had never sent the challenge of July 19, 
to form, of their own will, that entity on which their national 
pride is now to rest * one single people of brothers ' ? Now 
they will be jubilant the poet's wish is fulfilled. That only 
four short years ago all were at daggers drawn with each other, 
that for Hanoverians, Saxons, Frankforters, Nassauers, there 
was no name more hateful than 'Prussians,' will luckily be 


forgotten. In place of this, however, the hatred of Germans 
in this country, how it will ripen from this time ! " 

I shuddered. " The mere word, hatred " I began. 

u Is hateful to you ? You are right. As long as this feeling 
is not banished and outlawed, so long is there no humane 
humanity. Religious hatred is conquered, but national hatred 
forms still part of civil education. And yet there is only 
one ennobling, cheering feeling on this earth, and that is 
Love. We could say something about that, Martha, could 
we not?" I leaned my head on his shoulder, and looked 
up at him, while he tenderly stroked the hair off my forehead. 

"We know," he went on, "how sweet it is that so much 
love should reside in our hearts for our little ones, for all the 
brothers and sisters of the Great Family of Man, whom one 
would so gladly aye, so gladly spare the pain that threatens 
them. But they will not " 

" No, no, Frederick. My heart is not yet so comprehensive. 
I cannot love all the haters." 

" You can, however, pity them ? " 

And so we talked on a long while in this strain. I still 
know it all so exactly, because at that time I often along with 
the events of the war entered also fragments of our conversa- 
tion which bore upon them into the red volumes. On that 
day we talked again once more about the future ; Paris would 
now capitulate, the war would be over, and then we could be 
happy with a safe conscience. Then we recapitulated all the 
guarantees of our happiness. During the eight years of our 
married life there had never been a harsh or unfriendly word 
between us we had passed through so many sorrows and 
joys together and so our love, our unity, was of such a solid 
kind, that no diminution of it was any longer to be feared. 
On the contrary, we should only be ever more intimately 
joined together, every new experience in common would at the 
same time result in a new tie. When we had become a pair 
of white-haired old folks, with what joy should we look back 
oo the untroubled past, and what a softly glowing evening of 



life would then lie before us ! This picture of the happy old 
couple, into which we should then have turned, I had set 
before myself so often and so livelily, that it became quite 
clearly stamped on my mind, and even reproduced itself in 
dreams, as if it had really happened, with various details- 
Frederick in a velvet skull-cap, and with a pair of gardening 
shears I have no notion why, for he had never shown any 
love for gardening, and there had yet been no talk of any 
skull-cap I with a very coquettishly arranged black lace 
mantilla over my silvery hair, and as a surrounding for 
all this a corner of the park warmly lighted by the setting 
summer sun ; and friendly looks and words smilingly exchanged 

the while. " Do you know now " " Do you recollect that 

time when w 

Many of the previous pages have I written with shuddering 
and with self-compulsion. It was not without inward horror 
that I could describe the scenes through which I passed in my 
journey to Bohemia, and the cholera week at Grumitz. I have 
done it in order to obey my sense of duty. Beloved lips once 
gave me the solemn command : " In case I die before you, 
you must take my task in hand and labour for the work of 
Peace ". If this binding injunction had not been laid on me, 
I could never have so far prevailed over myself as to tear open 
the agonised wounds of my reminiscences so unsparingly. 

Now, however, I have come to an event, which I will relate, 
but which I will not, nor can I describe. 

No I cannot, I cannot 1 

I have tried ten half-written torn pages are lying on the 
floor by the side of my writing-table but a heart-pang seized 
me ; my thoughts froze up, or got into wild entanglement in 
my brain, and I had to throw the pen aside and weep, bitter 
hot tears, with cries like a child. 

Now a few hours afterwards I resume my pen. But as to 
describing the particulars of the next event, as to relating 


what I felt when it happened, I must give that up the thing 
itself is sufficient 

Frederick my own one was, in consequence of a letter from 
Berlin that was found in his house, suspected of espionage 
was surrounded by a mob of fanatics, crying : " A mort a mort 
le Prussten" dragged before a tribunal of patriots, and on 
February i, 1871, shot by order of a court-martial. 


Serious mental illness, consequent on my husband's death. This 
recurs occasionally. Conclusion of my diary. Additions 
to "The Protocol of Peace" . Progress of the Peace movement. 
Mr. Hodgson Pratt*! letter. The Emperor Frederick's 
manifesto. / write the last word of my autobiography. 
My grandson's christening. My daughter's engagement. 
Rudolfs speech at the christening." Hail to the Future I " 

WHEN for the first time I came to myself again peace had been 
concluded and the Commune was over. I had been in bed 
for a month ill, nursed by my faithful Mrs. Anna, without any 
consciousness of being alive. And what the illness was I know 
not to the present day. The people about me called it con- 
siderately " typhus," but I believe that it was simply madness. 
So much I darkly recall, that the last interval had been filled 
with imaginations of crackling shots and blazing conflagrations ; 
probably the events which were spoken of in my presence 
mingled in my phantasy with the truth, the battles, that is, 
between the Versaillese and the Communards, and the 
incendiary fires of the Petroleuses. TMt, when I recovered 
my reason and with it the knowledge of my deep misery, I did 
not do myself some harm, or the pang did not ' ._, probably 
was due to my possession of my children. Through them I 
could, for them I was forced, to live. Even before my illness, 
on the very day when that terrible thing broke over me, Rudolf 
kept me alive. I was shrieking aloud, on my knees, while 1 
repeated: "Did Die I I must diet" Then two arms 



embraced me, and a praying, painfully solemn, lovely boy's face 
was looking at me " Mother 1 " 

Up to that time I had never been called by my boy anything 
but " Mamma ". His using at this moment, for the first time, 
the word " Mother " said to me, in those two syllables : "You 
are not alone ; you have a son who shares your pain, who loves 
and honours you above all things, who has no one in this world 
except you. Do not abandon your child, Mother 1 " 

I pressed the dear creature to my heart, and to show him 
that I had understood him, 1 too faltered out : " My son, my 

At the same time 1 recollected my girl, his girl, and my 

: resolution to live was fixed. But the pain was too intolerable. 

, I fell into intellectual darkness; and not at this time only. For 
the space of years, at ever-increasing intervals, I remained 
subject to recurring attacks of abstraction, of which afterwards 
in the state of health absolutely no recollection remained to 
me. Now for several years I have been free from them. Free, 
that is, from the insensibility of my spirit pangs, but not from 
conscious attacks of the bitterest pain of soul. Eighteen years 
have gone since the ist of February, 1871, but the deep 
resentment and the deep mourning, which the tragedy of that 
day awoke in me, no time can remove, even should I live a 
hundred years. Even though in these later times the days 
come ever more frequently in which I, absorbed in the events 
of the present, do not think about the misery of the past, in 
which I even sympathise so livelily with the joy of my children 

"* as to feel myself also filled with something like joy in my life, 
yet no night passes, no, not one, in which my wretchedness 
does not seize on me. That is something quite peculiar, some- 
thing I cr- u -^ly describe, and which only those will under- 
stand who have experienced something similar themselves. It 
appears to me like a kind of double life of the soul. Although 
the single consciousness in the waking condition can some- 

V times be so taken possession of by the things of the outer 
world that it from time to time forgets, yet in the depths of my 


personality there is a second consciousness still which always 
retains that awful recollection with the same true pain ; and 
that self, when the other has gone to sleep, asserts itself, and 
rouses the other up, as it were, to share its pain with it. Every 
night, and it must be at the same hour, I wake with an 
indescribable feeling of pain. My heart contracts painfully, and 
I feel as if forced to weep bitter tears and utter sighs of agony. 
This lasts a few seconds, without my awakened self quite 
knowing why the other unhappy self is so unhappy. The next 
stage after this is a compassion embracing the whole world, and 
a sigh, full of the most painful pity: "Oh you poor, poor men ! " 
And then I see next shrieking shapes which are being torn to 
pieces by a rain of murderous shot, and then I recollect that 
my dearest love too was so torn in pieces. 

But in my dreams, wonderful to relate, I never knew anything 
of my loss. Thus it happened often that I was speaking to 
Frederick and conversing with him as during his life. Whole 
scenes from the past were represented, but never any sad ones, 
our meeting again after Schleswig-Holstein, our jokes over 
Sylvia's cradle, our walking tours in Switzerland, our hours of 
study over favourite books, and occasionally that same picture 
in the evening light, where my white-haired husband with his 
garden-shears was pruning the rose-branches, and was saying 
with a smile to me : " Are we not a happy old couple ? " 

I have never put off my mourning, not even at my son's 
wedding. When any one has loved, possessed, and lost such 
a husband, and lost him as I did, her love " must be stronger 
than death," her passion for vengeance can never cool. 
But whom does this anger threaten ? On whom would I 
execute vengeance ? The men who did the deed were not in 
fault. The only guilty party is the spirit of war, and it is on 
this that my work of persecution, all too weak as it is, must be 

My son Rudolf agrees with my views, though this of course 
does not prevent him from going through his military exercises 
every year, and could not prevent him, either, from marching to 


the frontier, if the European war, which is always hanging over 
our heads, should break out. And then, perhaps, I shall have 
once more to see how all that is dearest to me in the world has 
to be sacrificed on the altar of Moloch, how a hearth blessed 
with love, and which is the sign to my old age of all its rest and 
peace, has to be laid in ruins. Shall I have to see all this once 
more, and then once more to fall into irrecoverable madness, 
or shall I yet behold the triumph of justice and humanity, 
which now, at this very moment, is striving for accomplish- 
ment in widely extended associations and in all strata of 
society ? 

The red volumes, my diary, contain no further entries. 
Under the date February i, 1871, I marked a great cross, and 
so closed the history of my life also. Only the so-called 
Protocol^ a blue volume which Frederick began along with me 
and in which we described the phases of the idea of peace, 
hns been since that time enriched with a few notes. 

In the first years which succeeded the Franco-German war, I 
had few opportunities, even apart from my diseased condition 
of mind, for marking any tidings of peace. The two most 
influential nations on the Continent were revelling in thoughts 
of war ; the one proudly looking back on the victories she had 
gained, the other longingly expecting her impending revenge. 
The current of these feelings gradually began to subside. On 
this side of the Rhine the statues of Germania were a little less 
shouted over, and on that side those of Strasbourg decked with 
fewer mourning-wreaths. Then, after ten years, the voice of 
the servants of peace might again be heard. It was Bluntschli, 
the great professor of international law, the same with whom 
my lost one had put himself in communication, who set to 
work to obtain the views of various dignitaries and Govern- 
ments on the subject of national peace. And then the silent 
" thinker-out of battles " let fall the well-known expression : 
" Everlasting peace is a dream, and not a pretty dream 
either ". 

" Oh, of course," I wrote at the time in my blue book, beside 

424 i-A* fcowN vouk 

Moltke's words, " if Luther had asked the Pope what he thought 
of the revolt from Rome, the answer he would have received 
would not have been very favourable to the Reformation." 
To-day there is hardly any one left who has not dreamed 
this dream, or who would not confess its beauty. And there 
are watchers too; watchers conspicuous enough, who are 
longing to awake mankind out of the long sleep of savagery, 
and energetically and with a single eye to their object collecting 
themselves for the purpose of planting the white flag. Their 
battle-cry is, " War on War," their watchword, the only word 
which can have power to deliver from ruin Europe armed against 
herself is, "Lay down your arms". In all places, in England and 
France, in Italy, in the northern countries, in Germany, in 
Switzerland, in America, associations have been formed, whose 
object is, through the compulsion of public opinion, through 
the commanding pressure of the people's will, to move the 
Governments to submit their differences in future to an 
Arbitration Court, appointed by themselves, and so once for all 
to enthrone justice in place of brute force. That this is no 
dream, no " enthusiasm," is proved by the facts that the 
questions of the Alabama, the Caroline Islands, and several 
others have already been settled in this manner. And it is not 
only people without power or position, like the poor black- 
smith of a former time, who are now co-operating in this work of 
peace ; no, members of parliament, bishops, professors, senators, 
ministers are inscribed on the lists. I know all this (which is 
unknown to most people), because I have kept in communica- 
tion with all those persons, with whom Frederick established 
relations in the pursuit of his noble aim. What I found out, 
by means of these persons, about the successes and the designs 
)fof the peace societies has been duly entered in The Protocol oj 
Peace. The last of these entries is the following letter which 
the president of the International Arbitration and Peace 
Association, having its headquarters in London, wrote me in 
answer to an inquiry bearing on this subject : 


"LONDON, 41 OUTER TEMPLE, July, 1889. 

" Madam, You have honoured me by inquiring as to the 
actual position of the great question to which you have devoted 
your life. Here is my answer : At no time, perhaps, in the 
history of the world has the cause of peace and good-will been 
more hopeful. It seems that, at last, the long night of death 
and destruction will pass away ; and we who are on the moun- 
tain-top of humanity think that we see the first streaks of the 
dawn of the kingdom of Heaven upon earth. It may seem 
strange that we should say this at a moment when the world 
has never seen so many armed men and such frightful engines 
of destruction ready for their accursed work ; but when things 
are at their worst they begin to mend. Indeed, the very 
ruin which these armies are bringing in their train produces 
universal consternation ; and soon the oppressed peoples must 
rise and with one voice say to their rulers : 'Save us, and save 
our children from the famine which awaits us, if these things 
continue ; save civilisation and all the triumphs which the 
efforts of wise and great men have accomplished in its name ; 
save the world from a return to barbarism, rapine and terror ! ' 

" 'What indications,' do you ask, 'are there of such a dawn 
of a better day?' Well, let me ask in reply, is not the recent 
meeting at Paris of the representatives of one hundred 
societies for the declaration of international concord, for the 
substitution of a state of law and justice for that of force and 
wrong, an event unparalleled in history? Have we not seen 
men of many nations assembled on this occasion and 
elaborating, with enthusiasm and unanimity, practical schemes 
for this great end? Have we not seen, for the first time in 
history, a Congress of Representatives of the parliaments of 
free nations declaring in favour of treaties being signed by all 
civilised states, whereby they shall bind themselves to defer 
their differences to the arbitrament of equity, pronounced by an 
authorised tribunal instead of a resort to wholesale murder ? 


11 Moreover, these representatives have pledged themselves to 
meet every year in some city of Europe, in order to consider 
every case of misunderstanding or conflict, and to exercise their 
influence upon Governments in the cause of just and pacific 
settlements. Surely, the most hopeless pessimist must admit 
that these are signs of a future when war shall be regarded as 
the most foolish and most criminal blot upon man's record ? 

"Dear madam, accept the expression of my profound esteem. 
" Yours truly, 


There is also to be found in the blue book the manifesto of 
a prince, dated March, 1888, a manifesto from which at last, 
breaking with old usage, instead of a warlike a peaceful spirit 
shines forth. But the noble one, who left these words to his 
people, the dying one, who with the last effort of his strength 
grasped the sceptre which he would have swayed as if it had 
been a palm branch, remained helplessly chained to his bed of 
pain, and aftei a short interval all was over. 

" Mother, will you not put your mourning off for the day 
after to-morrow ? " 

Rudolf came into my room with these words to-day. For 
the christening of his first-born son is fixed for the day after 

" No, my dear," I replied. 

" But think ; at such a festival you surely will not be mournful. 
Why then keep the outer signs of mourning ? " 

" And you will not be superstitious, and fear that the black 
dress of the grandmother will bring bad luck to the child ?" 

" Oh no ; but it does not harmonise with the surrounding 
gaiety. Have you then sworn an oath ? " 

" No ; it is only a firm resolution. But a resolution linked 
to such a memory you know my meaning that it partakes of 
the inviolability of an oath." 


My son bowed his head, and did not urge me further. 

"1 have interrupted you in what you were about you 
were writing ? " 

Yes my autobiography. God be praised, it is at an end. 
That was the last chapter." 

' ' But how can you bring your history to an end ? For you 
are still alive, and will live many years yet many happy years 
amongst us, mother. Surely with the birth of my little 
Frederick, whom I will bring up to adore his grandmamma, a 
new chapter must be opening for you." 

"You are a good child, dear Rudolf. I should be un- 
thankful if I did not take pride and joy in you ; and just as 
much joy does my and his beautiful Sylvia give me. Oh 
yes ! I am reserved for a blessed old age. A quiet evening ! 
But still, the history of the day is over when the sun has set, is it 
not ? " 

He concurred with a silent look of compassion. 

" Yes, the word ' Finis ' at the end of my biography i? 
correct. When I made the resolve to write it, I also deter- 
mined to break off at February i, 1871. Only in the case of 
your being torn from me also by war, which might indeed so 
easily have happened ; but by good luck you were not of 
age for service at the time of the Bosnian campaign only 
in that case would I have been forced to prolong my book. 
Still, even as it is, it was pain enough to write it." 

" And possibly, too, it may be painful to read it," remarked 
Rudolf, turning over the leaves of the MS. 

" I hope so. If that pain should only awake in a few hearts 
an energetic hatred against the source of all the misery here 
described, I shall not have put myself to the torture in vain." 

" Do you not fear one thing ? Its purpose may be seen, 
and people so be put out of humour with it." 

"That can only happen with a purpose which is perceived, 
but which the author has tried cunningly to conceal. Mine, 
however, lies exposed to the light it is announced in plain 
words at the first glance on the title-page." 


July, 1889. The christening came off yesterday. It was 
turned into a festival promising twofold happiness : for my 
daughter Sylvia, the godmother of her little nephew, and his 
godfather, whom we had long cherished secretly in our 
hearts Count Anton Delnitzky took this opportunity to 
announce their engagement. 

And thus I am surrounded on all hands with happy relations, 
by means of my children. Rudolf, who has six years since 
come into possession of the Dotzky estate, and has been for 
four years married to Beatrix nie Griesbach, who had been 
intended for him since childhood the most lovely creature 
that can be imagined sees now his most ardent wish fulfilled 
by the birth of an heir. In short, an enviable, brilliant 

The christening guests assembled at a dinner in the summer- 
house. The glass doors were left open, and the air of the 
summer noon streamed in, laden with the scent of the roses. 

Next me, in our circle, sat Countess Lori Griesbach, 
Beatrix's mother. She was now a widow. Her husband fell 
in the Bosnian expedition. She did not take her loss very 
deeply to heart. In no case would she wear continual mourn- 
ing. On the contrary, this time she had put on garnet-red 
brocade, with brilliant jewels. She had remained just as 
superficial as she was in her youth. Questions of toilette, one 
or two fashionable French or English romances, and society 
chatter that was always sufficient to fill her horizon. Even 
coquetting she had not entirely given up. She no longer had 
designs on young folks, but older personages endowed with 
high rank or high position were not safe from her appetite for 
conquest. At this time, as it seemed to me, Minister To-be-sure 
was her mark. The latter had, besides, changed his name 
and so we called him now Minister T'other-side, from his new 

"I must make a confession to you," Lori said to me as 1 
clinked my glass with hers to the health of the baby. " On 
this solemn occasion when we have been christening the 


grandson of each of us, I must unburden my conscience 
before you. I was quite seriously in love with your husband." 

" That you have often confessed to me, dear Lori." 

" But he always remained quite indifferent" 

" That, too, I knew." 

11 Well, you had a husband true as steel, Martha. I could 
not say as much for mine. But none the less for that, I was 
very sorry about Griesbach. Well, he died a glorious death ; 
that is one comfort. A widow's life is truly a tedious one ; 
especially as one grows older. As long as there are treats, and 
people to pay court to you, widowhood is not devoid of 
. . . but now I assure you, one is quite melancholy all 
alone. With you the case is rather different. You live with 
your son ; but I am not at all anxious to live with Beatrix. 
And she, too, is not anxious for it. The mother-in-law in the 
house does not do well ; for after all one likes to be mistress 
at home. Servants certainly are a plague that is very true 
still one can at least give them their orders. You will hardly 
believe me, but I should not feel very much averse to marrying 
again. A marriage of reason, of course, and with some 
sedate " 

" Minister, or something of that sort," I interposed smiling. 

" Oh, you sly creature ! You have seen through me again ! 
But just look there 1 Do you not notice how Toni Delnitzky 
is talking to your Sylvia ? It is really quite compromising." 

Don't trouble yourself. Godfather and godmother made 
it up between them on their way from church. Sylvia has 
confided it to me. To-morrow the young man will come to 
me to ask her hand." 

" What do you say ? Well, you are to be congratulated. 
The handsome Toni may no doubt have been a little gay from 
time to time ; but they are all that that cannot be otherwise 
and when one thinks what a good match " 

14 My Sylvia has never thought of that She loves him." 

"Well, so much the better; that is a fine addition to a 


" An addition ? It is all in all." 

One of the guests an imperial and royal colonel on the 
retired list tapped his glass and : " Oh dear, a toast," most 
of them probably thought, as they broke off their separate talk, 
and, sighing, set themselves to listen to the speaker ; and it 
was something to sigh for. The unhappy man stuck in his 
speech three times, and his choice of a wish to offer to us was 
not less unfortunate. The infant was congratulated on being 
born at a time when the country was about soon to employ the 
services of her sons, and : " May he one day use his sword 
gloriously, as his maternal great-grandfather and as his paternal 
grandfather did ; and may he himself bring up many sons who 
in their turn may do honour to their father and their ancestors, 
and like so many of those who have fallen their ancestors 
ancestors for the honour of the land of their ancestors their 

ancestors and the ancestors of their ancestors conquer or 

In a word, the health of Frederick Dotzky ! " 

The glasses clinked, but the speech had not warmed us. 
That this being, only just come into life, should already be 
entered on the death-roll of future battles did not make a 
pleasant impression on us. 

To drive away this painful picture, one of those present felt 
prompted to hazard the comforting remark that present 
conjunctures guaranteed a long peace that the triple 

On this the general conversation was luckily brought back 
to the domain of politics, and Minister T'other-side took the 

"In reality" (Lori Griesbach was hanging on his words), "it 
is clear that the defensive power which we have attained is 
something tremendous, and must deter all peace-breakers. The 
law of the Landsturm, which binds all citizens fit for service 
from nineteen to forty-two years of age, and those who have been 
officers even up to sixty years, to military service, enables us at 
the first summons to put 4,800,000 soldiers in the field at once. 
On the other side, it is not to be denied that the increased 


demands which are contemplated by the war-ministry press 
heavily on the people, and that the measures necessitated by 
these demands, to secure the necessary readiness of the country 
for war, act in the opposite way on the regulation of the 
finances ; but, on the other side, it is exhilarating to see with 
what joyful, self-sacrificing patriotism the representatives of the 
people always and in all places vote the increased burdens 
which the ministry of war demands. They recognise the 
necessity admitted by all enlightened politicians, and condi- 
tioned by the increase in the defensive forces of the neighbouring 
states, and by the political situation, for subordinating all other 
considerations to the iron compulsion of military develop- 

" A live leading article," said some one half aloud. 

"T'other-side," however, went on : 

" And all the more, because it is in this way that a security 
will undoubtedly be taken for the maintenance of peace. For 
while we, in obedience to traditional patriotism, emulate the 
steady increase of the defensive power of our neighbours, in order 
to secure our own borders, we are fulfilling an exalted duty, and 
are in hopes to banish also far away all the dangers which may 
threaten us from any side ; and therefore I raise my glass in 
honour of that principle which, as I know, is so dear to the heart 
of our friend, the Baroness Martha a principle which the 
signatories of the League of Peace of Central Europe also prize 
highly and I ask you to join with me in drinking : ' Long 
live peace ! and may its blessings be right long preserved 
to us!'" 

" I will not drink to that,'' I said. " An armed peace is no 
benefit ; and war ought to be avoided, not for a long time, but 
for ever. If one were making a sea voyage, the assurance would 
not suffice that it would be * right long ' before the ship struck 
on a rock. The honourable captain should aim at this that 
the whole voyage shall be got over prosperously." 

Dr. Bresser, who was still our best home friend, came to 
my aid. 


"In reality, your excellence, can you trust to the honest 
and sincere desire for peace of men who are soldiers from 
passionate enthusiasm ? who will not hear of anything which 
endangers war viz., disarmaments, leagues of states, arbitra- 
tion courts ? And could the delight in arsenals and fortresses 
and manoeuvres and so forth persist, if these things were 
looked on merely as what they are held out as being mere 
scarecrows? So that the whole money expended on their 
erection is spent only in order that they may never be used? 
The peoples are to be obliged to give up all their money to 
make fortifications on their frontiers with a view of kissing 
hands to each other across those frontiers ? The army is thus 
to be brought down to the level of a mere gendarmerie for the 
maintenance of peace, and 'the most exalted War-lord' is to 
preside merely over a crowd of perpetual shunners of war ? 
No ; behind this mask, the si vis pacem mask, glances of 
understanding wink at each other, and the deputies who vote 
every war-budget wink at the same time." 

" The representatives of the people ? " broke in the Minister. 
" Surely the spirit of sacrifice is worthy of nothing but praise, 
which in threatening seasons they never fail to show, and 
which finds cheering expression in the unanimous acceptance 
of the appropriate laws." 

" Forgive me, your excellence. I should like to call out to 
those unanimous voters, one ofter the other, ' Your " Yes " 
will rob that mother of her only child. Yours will put that 
poor fellow's eyes out. Yours will set fire to a collection of 
books which cannot be replaced. Yours will dash out the 
brains of a poet who would have been the glory of your 
country. But you have all voted " yes " to this, just in order 
not to appear cowards, as if the only thing one had to fear in 
giving assent was what regards oneself. Is then human egotism 
so great that this is the only motive which can be suggested for 
opposing war ? Well, I grant you egotism is great : for each 
one of you prefers to hound on a hundred thousand men to 
destruction rather than that you should expose your dear self 


even to the suspicion of having ever experienced one single 
paroxysm of fear .' ' 

" I hope, my good doctor," said the colonel dryly, " that 
you may never become a deputy ; the whole house would hiss 
you down." 

" Well, to expose myself to the risk of that would suffice for 
a proof that I am not a coward. It is swimming against the 
stream which requires the strength of steel." 

" But suppose the moment of danger should come, and we 
should be found unprepared ? " 

" Let such a condition of justice be instituted as would 
make the occurrence of ' the moment of danger ' an impossi 
bility. For what such a moment might be, colonel, no one 
can at present form any clear conception. With the dreadful 
ness of the science of warlike implements which we have already 
attained, and which is constantly advancing, with the enormous 
proportions of the powers engaged in the contest, the next war 
will in reality be no mere ' moment of danger '. But there is really 
no word for it. A time of gigantic misery aid and nursing 
out of the question sanitary reforms and the arrangements for 
provisioning will appear as mere irony in face of the demands 
upon them. The next war, about which people talk so glibly 
and so indifferently, will not be a gain for one side and loss 
for the other, but ruin for all. Who amongst us here votes 
lor this ' moment of danger ' ? " 

" Not I, to be sure," said the Minister, " and not you either, 
dear doctor ; but men in general, and not our Government 
I will be surety for them but the other states." 

"What right have you to think other men worse and 
more unreasonable than you or I ? Now I will tell you 
a little story : 

" Before the closed gate of a beautiful garden stood a crowd 
of men, one thousand and one in number, looking in very 
longingly. The gatekeeper had orders to let the people in, in 
case the majority among them wished for admission. He 
called one of them to him, ' Tell me only speak honestly 



do you wish to come in ? ' 'Oh yes, to be sure I do ; but 
the other thousand, I am certain, do not.' The careful gate- 
keeper wrote this answer in his notebook. Then he called up 
a second. He said the same. Again the other entered in the 
' Yes ' column the number i, and in the ' No ' column the 
number 1000. And so it went on up to the last man. Then 
he added up the figures. The result was one thousand and 
one ' Yes ' ; over a million ' No '. So the gate remained shut, 
for the ' Noes ' had a crushing majority ; and that proceeded 
from the fact that every one considered himself obliged to 
answer for the others too, instead of for himself only." 

" To be sure," began the Minister thoughtfully ; and again 
Lori Griesbach turned her eyes on him with admiration. " To 
be sure, it would be a fine thing if a unanimous vote in favour 
of laying down one's arms could be brought about ; but, on 
the other side, what Government would dare to make the 
beginning? To be sure, there is nothing so desirable as 
concord ; but, on the other side, how can lasting concord be 
thought possible so long as human passions, separate interests, 
and so forth, still continue?" 

" I beg your pardon," said my son Rudolf, now taking the 
word. " Forty millions of inhabitants in a state form one 
whole. Then why not several hundred millions ? Can this 
be susceptible of logical and mathematical proof, that so long 
as human passions, separate interests, and so forth, still 
continue, it is indeed possible for forty millions of people to 
renounce the right to go to war with each other about them ; 
nay, three states, like the present triple alliance, may ally 
themselves together, and form a ' League of Peace ' ; but five 
states cannot do it, and must not do it. Truly, truly, our 
world of to-day gives itself out as wondrous wise, and laughs 
at the savages ; and yet in many things we also cannot count 
up to five." 

Some voices made themselves heard : "What?" "Savages?" 
" That about us, with our over-refined culture ? * "At the end 
of the nineteenth century?" 


Rudolf stood up. 

"Yes; savages. I will not recall the word. And so long 
as we cling to the past we shall remain savages. But we are 
already standing at the gate of a new period. Glances are 
directed forwards. All are pressing on strongly towards 
another, a higher form. Savagery, with its idols and its 
weapons there are many who are already edging away gradually 
from it. If even we may be nearer to barbarism than most 
people believe, we are also perhaps nearer to our ennoblement 
than most people hope. The prince or statesman is perhaps 
already alive who is to bring to perfection the exploit which 
will live in all future history as the most glorious and most 
enlightened of all exploits that which will carry universal 
disarmament. We have placed our feet already on the 
threshold of an age in which manhood is to raise itself into 
humanity to the nobility of humanity, as Frederick Tilling used 
to say. Mother, I drink this glass now to the memory of your 
unforgotten, loved, and trusted one, to whom I too owe every- 
thing, all I think and all I am ; and from that glass (and he threw 
it against the wall, where it shattered to pieces) shall no other 
drop ever be drunk again ; and to-day, at my new-born child's 
christening, shall no other toast be proposed than this ' Hail 
to the future ! ' To fulfil its tasks shall we clothe ourselves in 
steel ? No. Shall we endeavour to show ourselves worthy 
of our fathers' fathers, as the old phrase goes ? No. But of our 
grandsons' grandsons. Mother," said he, breaking off, " you 
are weeping. What is the matter with you ? What do you 
see there ? " 

My gaze had been directed to the open glass door. The 
rays of the setting sun had thrown a halo of tremulous gold 
round a rose-bush, and from this, rising up in life-like clearness, 
was my dream-picture. I saw the garden-shears glitter, the 
white hair shine. He smiled at me as he said, " Are we not 
a happy old couple ? " 

Ah, woe is me I 



01NOH01 JO