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GIFT OF 
EVGENE MEYER,J& 






WILLIAM I. 



AND THE 



GEEMAN EMPIEE. 



WILLIAM I. 



AND THI<: 



GERMAN EMPIRE 



A Biographical and Historical Sketch. 



BY 



G. BAENETT SMITH, 
ii 

AUTHOR OF "POETS AND NOVELISTS,'* "LIFE OF HER MAJESTY 

THE QUEEN," "THE BIOGRAPHY OF MR. GLADSTONE," 

ETC. ETC. 



LONDON: 
SAMPSON LOW, MAESTON, SEAKLE, & EIVINGTON, 

St. Jlmtsimt's flnnse, 

FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, B.C. 

1887. 

[All rights reserved.] 






LONDON : 

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, 
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS. 









PREFACE. 



THE Emperor William is not only in himself a vigorous and 
striking personality, but he is the embodiment of that great 
German Power which is now the first factor in European 
politics. He is thus invested with a double interest, indivi- 
dual and national. In tracing his singularly fortunate and 
dramatic career in the following pages, I have therefore 
sought to combine with the personal narrative some account, 
first, of the Prussian Kingdom and people, and secondly, of 
the foundation and consolidation of the new German Empire. 
My information has been gathered from a variety of sources, 
as I have acknowledged in the body of the work. In the 
Appendix I have given a collection of Statistics from recent 
returns, which furnish a bird's eye view of the extent, growth, 
and present position of Germany. I have thus endeavoured 
to give a triple aspect to this sketch the biographical, the 
social and progressive, and the historical; and I shall be 
glad if in consequence it be found to possess a more than 
ephemeral value. 

G. B. S. 



256745 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

TAGS 

THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY ..... 1 



CHAPTER II. 
FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD ....... 15 

CHAPTER III. 
PRINCE OF PRUSSIA 24 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE PRINCE AS REGENT. ....... 38 

CHAPTER V. 
KING OF PRUSSIA ...,,,... 49 

CHAPTER VI. 
THE WAR WITH DENMARK 82 

CHAPTER VII. 
THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA ...... 92 

CHAPTER VIII. 
AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE 127 

CHAPTER IX. 

Tin; CLOUD GATHERING . . 1G3 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER X. 

PAGE 

THE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE 169 

CHAPTER XL 
FKOM SEDAN TO PARIS ........ 190 

CHAPTER XII. 
KING WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER ...... 210 

CHAPTER XIII. 
CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE ....... 229 

CHAPTER XIV. 
THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS 285 

CHAPTER XV. 
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS 327 

APPENDIX. 

STATISTICS OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE 341 



WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

CHAPTEE I. 

THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 

CARLYLE has deified the greatest of all the Kings of Prussia 
in a work whose literary vigour and intensity stand con- 
fessed. With a breadth and skill suggestive of the effects of 
Kemhrandt in art, he has painted a graphic and enduring 
portrait of the redoubtable Frederick, and one which no 
German writer has been able to rival. Whether the Prus- 
sian monarch was worthy of all the laudation of his English 
biographer is a debateable point. Carlyle's judgment was to 
some extent led captive because he saw in Frederick the last 
of the great kings ; but others will continue to hold that 
this mighty conqueror was but a composite god after all 
that if he was in part pure gold, he had feet of clay, and 
that the line once applied to a wholly different personage, 
' the wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind ' is equally applic- 
able to Frederick the Great. 

This sketch of the life of the German Emperor opens 
with some references to his illustrious ancestor, because 
there are not only points of similarity in their characters, 
but equally dramatic surprises in their respective careers. 
The Emperor William has not those literary gifts for which 
Frederick was distinguished, and which curiously enough led 
the latter to become an ardent admirer of French thought as 
exemplified in Voltaire and Maupertuis ; but he has many 



2 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

of the same personal qualities. The simplicity of his habits, 
his unostentatious demeanour, his strong understanding, his 
energy, and his personal courage, had all their counterparts 
in Frederick. The earlier ruler, moreover, witnessed during 
his life such an extension of Prussia as cannot be paralleled, 
except by the extension of the German nation in the time of 
the Emperor William. A century only separates the two 
men, but it is one of the most momentous centuries in the 
history of the human race. 

A rapid historical glance over this century as affecting 
Prussia, gives us at the same time the personal history of 
>the Emperor William's immediate progenitors. Frederick 
the Great, who had few of the higher aspirations of huma- 
nity, and whose love of everything French was in striking 
contrast to the Francophobia prevalent amongst so many of 
his countrymen in our own day, led two distinct lives. He 
was the man of letters and the man of action. In the former 
capacity he wrote a series of memoirs and histories which 
would have gained him some note had they not been the 
productions of a king. As a man of action and a soldier, he 
was swift, alert, judicious, and far-seeing, and he succeeded 
in building up one of the most powerful states of modern 
Europe. Dying in 1786, he left a splendid legacy to his 
successor and nephew, Frederick William II. But once 
more was observed that frequent occurrence in history, of 
talent being succeeded by incompetency, and strength by 
vacillation. The new monarch undertook wars which he 
was unable to carry through, and soon impoverished the 
well-filled Prussian treasury, turning the magnificent in- 
heritance of seventy million thalers which existed on his 
accession to a deficit of twenty-two million thalers, which 
negative legacy was the only thing he bequeathed to his 
unfortunate subjects. But not content with running down 
the prestige of the kingdom without, this king incurred 
great unpopularity at home by muzzling the press, intro- 
ducing oppressive legislative enactments, and in imitating 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 3 

our own Charles II. by lavishing his resources upon mis- 
tresses and favourites. Yet at the same time the domains 
of Prussia received an accession of 46,000 square miles of 
territory during his reign hy purchase and inheritance, and 
by that renewed infamy the second partition of Poland in 
1793. 

In 1797 Frederick William II. was gathered to his fathers 
where it would have been well if he had been gathered 
long before and great hopes were entertained of his son, 
Frederick William III., the father of the subject of our 
biography. Immediately upon his accession, he dismissed 
the idle and vicious favourites of his predecessor, and made a 
tour of the provinces of the kingdom, accompanied by his 
noble and beautiful young queen, Louisa of Mecklenburg- 
Strelitz. The King desired to improve the condition of his 
subjects, and to raise the financial status of Prussia, and 
for some time honestly worked for these objects. Could he 
have looked into the horoscope of the future, and seen some- 
thing of the sad misfortunes which awaited him in the course 
of only a few years, his courage might have been stimulated 
to action to avert these impending calamities ; but with that 
fatal weakness which has beset so many of the House of 
Brandenburg at critical moments, his will failed him, and he 
was unable to grapple with the difficulties of his position. 
While .the great European struggle with France was in 
progress, the King of Prussia endeavoured to maintain an 
attitude of neutrality, which made him unpopular with the 
other German princes. At length he concluded an alliance 
with France, which at first promised well, as it brought him 
the territories of Hildesheim, Paderborn, and Minister ; but 
the veil was soon lifted upon the treacherous character of 
Napoleon, and in 1805 Frederick William was compelled to 
enter into a compact with Kussia, whose object was to drive 
Napoleon out of Germany. By another turn in the diplo- 
matic wheel, however, Prussia agreed to the designs of 
France, and consented to receive the electorate of Hanover, 

B 2 



4 WILLIAM I. AND THE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

which naturally meant war with England. European com- 
plications became so threatening and unavoidable in 1806, 
that in response to the calls of his Queen and people, 
Frederick William declared war against France. The result 
was that by Napoleon's victories at Jena, Eylau, and Fried- 
land, the kingdom of Prussia was practically crumpled up. 
By the Treaty of Tilsit the King lost the greater part of his 
dominions. Queen Louisa vainly endeavoured to procure 
some modification of the humiliating conditions of peace ; 
and Napoleon's unmanly and insulting treatment of the 
hapless Queen is a serious stigma upon a character pretty 
well studded with heartless and offensive blots of this kind. 
The Prussians had to submit to the indignity of a French 
occupation of Berlin for three years. Then the King lost 
his high-minded and chivalrous Queen. For some time 
Frederick William was a tool in the hands of Napoleon ; but 
his spirit was not subdued, and his unremitting efforts at 
this period of his life to reorganize his enfeebled government 
by self-sacrifices of every kind, endeared him greatly to his 
people. He not only effected reforms of great moment in 
the administration, but established the University of Berlin. 
The sun of Napoleon now began to set, and after the battle of 
Leipsic, in which the allies were signally victorious, Prussia 
regained almost all her former possessions. Her bearing 
at Waterloo raised her prestige still higher. Frederick 
William accompanied the allies to Paris, and signed the 
treaty of peace. Now that the power of Napoleon was 
utterly destroyed, the King of Prussia began to devote 
himself to internal reforms. His best and greatest achieve- 
ment was the formation of the great commercial league 
known as the Zollvereinj which organized the German 
customs and duties upon one uniform basis. But while he 
sought to encourage trade and manufactures, Frederick - 
William remained a despot towards his people. He solemnly 
promised them a constitution, but repudiated his promise ; 
and it was only too manifest that he dreaded the progress of 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 5 

Liberal principles. Into political and religious questions 
generally lie carried the old spirit of absolutism as opposed 
to the spirit of enlightened constitutionalism. Dying in 
1840, the King left behind him, in the shape of a document 
addressed to his eldest son, a virtual condemnation of some 
of his own principles. ' Beware,' he said, ' of the love of 
innovation, now so general ; beware of impracticable theories, 
so many of which are now in vogue ; but, at the same time/ 
beware of an almost equally fatal, obstinate predilection for 
what is old ; for it is only by avoiding these two shoals that 
really useful changes proceed.' Then he indicated what to a 
large extent has been the policy of Prussia since his death : 
' The army is now in a remarkably good condition ; since its 
reorganization it has fulfilled my expectations ; as in war, 
so also in peace. May it never lose sight of its high des- 
tiny, but may the country likewise never forget what it 
owes to it. Do not neglect to provide for, as far as lies in 
your power, concord among all the European powers ; but, 
above all, may Prussia, Eussia, and Austria, never separate 
from each other. Their union is to be regarded as the 
keystone of the great European alliance.' 

The Prince Eoyal having closed the eyes of his father in 
death, was greeted by the Emperor of Eussia, his brother-in- 
law who was also present in the death-chamber of the 
King as Frederick William IY. The new monarch had 
received an unusually extensive and liberal education, and 
literature and the fine arts exercised a strong fascination 
over him all through his career. His reign opened with the 
concession of many minor reforms, but the hopes which the 
Prussians had built upon a larger and fuller liberty were 
doomed to be disappointed. Mr. Lowe observes, in his 
Life of Prince Bismarck, that the King ' had not been three 
months on the throne, when he bluntly told his subjects that 
he deemed a constitution unsuited to their wants, and meant 
to stick to the Zemstvo-like system still in force. What was 
worse, there was no reasoning with a sovereign, who, as the 



6 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Prince Consort of England fairly judged him, adopted mere 
subjective feelings and opinions as the motive principle of his 
actions and was as a " reed shaken by the wind." The truth 
is that Frederick William IV., an accomplished and amiable 
gentleman in many respects, was born to be a professor 
of the fine arts, or a teacher of rhetoric ; but it was a cruel 
freak of nature to make him a king of any kind whatever. 
Of all modern monarchs, he most resembled James I. of 
England ; but while not a bit less tenacious than the Stuart 
of the Divine-right doctrine, the Hohenzollern was even 
much more addicted to theology and the pedantry of the 
schools. Strauss, the acute author of the Life of Jesus, was 
one of those who satirized his crying frailties in this respect 
in a pamphlet entitled "Julian the Apostate; or, the 
Eomanticist on the throne of the Caesars." Frederick 
William IV., did not, it is true, like James I., tremble at the 
sight of a drawn sword ; but he had few soldierly instincts 
or sympathies, and therefore the army, that mainstay of an 
absolute monarch, soon came to return with interest the 
indifference of its chief. On the other hand, the King hated 
his bureaucracy, that other pillar of the Prussian State, for 
its rationalistic bent, and was in turn scorned by it for his 
ardent orthodoxy. The cruel disappointment, too, of all 
their dearest hopes had cooled the loyalty of the great mass 
of the people.' 

So, although the King was in some respects well-inten- 
tioned, and was of a chivalrous nature, he committed grave 
mistakes, and became embroiled with his subjects in such a 
manner as to endanger the stability of his throne. He was 
also vacillating in his foreign policy. Having encouraged 
the Duchies of Holstein and Schleswig in their revolt against 
Denmark, and sent troops to assist them, without rhyme or 
reason he abandoned their cause. Then, taking umbrage at 
the revolutionary character of the Frankfort Diet, he refused 
to accept the imperial crown which it offered him, though 
a united Germany had been the dream of his life. One 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 1 

writer, nevertheless, declares concerning this episode, that 
history has not on record a finer instance of self-sacrifice 
than the refusal of Frederick William to take advantage of 
the national passion for the purposes of his own ambition, 
and to ride on the wave of that enthusiasm, which he 
himself felt more than anyone, towards the prize of the 
Imperial Crown of Germany. Though it was the object of 
all his thoughts, that the German race should be united into 
one mighty monarchy, he felt that the primary title to sway 
that sceptre abode with the house of Hapsburg. So when 
the deputation from the Frankfort Assembly called upon 
him to offer him the crown of Charles V., he replied that he 
could not accept the offer unless it were confirmed by those 
whose rights as sovereign princes would be affected by it. 
His younger brother, the present Emperor, held slightly 
different views as to the natural supremacy of the Haps- 
burgs over the Hohenzollerns, though he too at first 
declined to take the title of Emperor. 

In 1847 Frederick William published a patent convoking 
all the Provincial States in an assembly in Berlin, and 
creating a House of Lords. But Europe was soon in the 
throes of a revolution, which spread to the Prussian capital* 
This popular movement was at first resolutely opposed by 
the King ; but when the people persisted in demanding the 
removal of the troops from the capital, and the populace 
stormed the arsenal, and seized on the palace of the King's 
brother who was then very obnoxious to the Liberals 
his Majesty was compelled to accede to their wishes. He 
found that he could only restore tranquillity to the capital 
by calling back the popular leaders to power, and publish- 
ing an amnesty. A futile war of constitutional assemblies 
ensued ; constitutions were framed and abandoned ; and 
when the revolutionary spirit had died away, the advanced 
members of the Assembly of 1848 were prosecuted and 
harshly treated. The religious and aristocratic parties 
regained their former ascendency at court, and political 



8 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

and religious liberty, as well as the freedom of the press, 
were largely curtailed. It is not surprising that under 
these circumstances the King became more unpopular than 
ever. His life was twice attempted once in 1847 by a 
dismissed burgomaster named Tschech, and again in 1850 
by an insane discharged soldier named Sefeloge. Nor was 
the King's name regarded with much favour abroad during 
the time of the Crimean War. Though pressed to declare 
himself on one side or the other, he wavered to such an 
extent as to offend both Kussia and the Allies, and ulti- 
mately he took no part with either. 

The fact was, there was little of the man of action in 
Frederick William IV. He found more pleasure in the 
pursuit of literature and the arts, and at his Court were to 
be met some of the finest spirits of the age Schelling and 
Tieck, Cornelius and Mendelssohn. In course of time the 
burden of the crown and the cares of State became too 
much for him. His health had suffered greatly during the 
critical period of 1847-48, and early in 1852 an affection 
of the brain became manifest. For some years he struggled 
on, but in 1857 he was struck down by an attack of 
apoplexy, from which he never recovered. It became 
apparent in the following year that a Eegency must be 
established. The King had married, in 1823, Elizabeth 
Louisa, daughter of the King of Bavaria, but as there was no 
issue, and, consequently, no son to appoint in the sovereign's 
place, the King's brother and heir presumptive to the 
throne, the present Emperor, was appointed Kegent. 

I must now trace the Emperor William's life up to the 
present juncture. William I., King of Prussia and Emperor 
of Germany, was the second son of Frederick William, 
Crown Prince of Prussia, and of Princess Louisa of Mecklen- 
burg-Strelitz, to whom reference has already been made. 
He was born on the 22nd of March, 1797, in the Palace at 
Berlin, then occupied by his father, and situate between the 
old palace of Frederick the Great, and the new palace, 



THE EMPERORS BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 9 

37, Under the Linden, now and for many years back occupied 
by the Emperor-King. At his baptism he received the 
names of Friedrich Ludvig Wilhelm. Amongst his nume- 
rous sponsors- were the Emperor and Empress of Eussia, the 
Prince and Princess of Orange, and the Landgraves of 
Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt. Only a few months 
after the Prince's birth, his father succeeded to the throne 
of Prussia. The times were very grave, and the young 
Prince grew up under the gloom engendered by the 
disastrous defeat of Jena, and the overshadowing power of 
Napoleon. It is curious to read that Prince William, who 
has lived to enter upon his tenth decade, was in his infancy 
a very delicate child, and that he was reared with difficulty. 
The care of him was entirely entrusted to persons of the 
gentler sex, and after a few years he repaid their watchful- 
ness and assiduity. When only five years of age, he was 
present, with his mother, at a public ceremony in the Town 
Hall of Coeln, a division of Berlin. At Christmas, 1803, he 
donned the uniform of the Kudorf regiment, subsequently 
known as the Zieten regiment, which has since attained a 
still wider celebrity as the ' Ked Hussars.' 

As is the custom with Prussian princes, the youthful 
William was early made familiar by personal experience 
with service in the army. Speaking of the Prince's formal 
presentation to the Queen in his new uniform, a recent 
writer, in a brief sketch of the German Monarch, states that 
' the Emperor still retains a lively remembrance of it, as 
well as of the keen delight he experienced at being per- 
mitted for the first time to wear uniform. The uniform 
itself was even gayer then than it is now scarlet dolman 
slashed with silver, white facings, dark blue and gold 
pelisse, fur busby and white plume, boots and breeches.' 
This fine ' arrangement ' in scarlet and white, and blue 
and gold, delighted the boy's heart, as did also the 
uniform of the Towarzcy Regiment the predecessors of 
the famous Uhlans which was presented to him a year 



10 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

later. From the age of seven, he was instructed in military 
exercises. 

As regards his secular studies, he was at one time under 
the charge of Privy Councillor Dellbruck, who was suc- 
ceeded by Professor Keimann. In the science of war he had 
the benefit of the tuition of Generals Yon Scharnhorst and 
Von Knesebeck. ' Yon Scharnhorst was one of the earliest 
and most sedulous advocates of the system of National 
Defence, the fundamental principle of which is compulsory 
man service, or, as its G-erman appellation (Allgemeinewehr- 
plichf) more correctly describes it, " a common obligation to 
take up arms." He doubtless imbued his august pupil with 
his own convictions ; for Prince William, when he became 
a member of the Army ^Reorganization Commission upon 
attaining his majority, energetically supported the adoption 
of the above principle into the Prussian army. His in- 
structor in law was the celebrated international jurist, 
De Savigny ; and he took lessons for nearly a year from 
Kauch the sculptor of the famous statue of Frederick the 
Great and from Schenkel, Berlin's greatest architect, in 
the plastic arts. As his taste for music, if he had any, was 
so latent as to be altogether undiscoverable, his judicious 
parents spared him the peine forte et dure of an appren- 
ticeship to counter-point, thorough bass, and five-finger 
exercises.' 

Prussia was soon at war with Buonaparte. The celebrated 
Kahel von Warnhagen repeatedly heard the lieutenants of 
the Guards in Berlin and Potsdam, boasting, with as much 
flippancy as infatuation : ' With the Austrians, it may have 
been easy work for Napoleon ; but just let him attack us 
Prussians, and he is sure to get more than he bargained for.' 
This was but another example of pride going before a fall, 
as the event proved. In 1806 the troops marched out of 
Berlin, and amongst those who watched them from the 
windows of the Palace was the youthful Prince William. 
Queen Louisa followed her husband to the headquarters of 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 11 

the Prussian army, and the young princes were left alone in 
Berlin. After the disastrous battle of Jena they were 
conveyed to Schwedt. At this place they were shortly joined 
by their mother, who burst into tears upon first greeting 
them. Some historians state that Her Majesty addressed 
her children in the following words, and as they were 
certainly used by the Queen at this time, the context would 
seem to show that they must have been spoken to the young 
Princes : ' You see my tears ; I am weeping for the de- 
struction of our army. It has not satisfied the expectation 
of the King. In one day an edifice has been destroyed 
which will take great men two centuries to rebuild. Prussia, 
its army, and its traditional glory are things of the past. 
Ah ! my children, you are not yet of that age when you can 
fully comprehend the great calamity that has befallen us. 
But after my death, and when you recall this unfortunate 
hour, do not content yourselves with merely shedding tears. 
Act ! Unite your powers ! Perhaps the guardian angel of 
Prussia will watch over you. Liberate your people from the 
disgrace and degradation they will have to endure. Conquer 
France and retrieve the glory of your ancestors, as your 
great-grandfather did at Fehrbellin, when he defeated the 
Swedes. Be men, and strive to be great generals. If you 
have not that ambition, then you are unworthy to be the 
descendants of Frederick the Great.' This high-souled 
Queen was indeed worthy to have brave sons. 

The Koyal family now moved about from place to place, 
and in January, 1807, we find them at Konigsberg, where the 
King also came for a few days. On the 1st of the above 
month Prince William entered the army. He was three 
months under the usual age of ten years, but he received his 
commission from his father, and within a year got his first 
promotion. His first two commissions were in fact dated 
respectively January 1st, and December 24th, 1807. He had 
evidently by this time greatly improved in health, as he 
went through all the drills, parades, and reviews customary 



12 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEfiMAN EMPIRE. 

with the First Guards. Of his character we have this 
glimpse, in a letter written on his eleventh birthday by his 
mother to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz : ' Our son 
William permit me, venerable grandpapa, to introduce your 
grandchildren to you in regular order will turn out, unless 
I be much mistaken, like his father ; simple, honest, and in- 
telligent. He resembles him most of all, but will not, I fancy, 
be so handsome.' One who was qualified to judge, while 
echoing to the full the maternal praises of the Prince, affirms 
that he turned out to be handsomer than any of the Hohen- 
zollerns, alive or dead. 

On the termination of the war, the fatal treaty of Tilsit 
was signed. Prussia not only lost all her possessions 
between the Khine and the Elbe, with the Old March and 
Magdeburg, but also the greater part of Poland. From the 
acquisitions between the Rhine and the Elbe, Napoleon 
formed the new Kingdom of Westphalia for his brother 
Jerome ; out of the Polish provinces, the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw, for the King of Saxony ; and by way of insulting 
while spoliating the King of Prussia, the instrument of peace 
expressly stated that the restoration of the other conquered 
countries, especially of the marches on the right side of the 
Elbe, of Silesia, Pomerania, old East Prussia, and West 
Prussia, was ' made only out of respect for His Majesty the 
Emperor of Russia. 1 

It was a painful time of sorrow and privation for the fallen 
family at Konigsberg. The Eoyal table was with difficulty 
supplied with the meanest food, and the King was so em- 
barrassed for money that he had to send the golden dinner- 
service of Frederick the Great to the mint. Yet the sons 
bore everything with a brave heart, and Prince William set 
himself to study the works of his great-uncle, the famous 
warrior-philosopher. In consequence of the proximity of 
the French, the Eoyal family removed from Konigsberg to 
Memel ; and at this place the Queen, who was almost pros- 
trate from mental and physical suffering, was attacked by 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTH AND ANCESTRY. 13 

typhus fever. But the enemy still came on, and this 
courageous woman insisted on leaving Memel, though it 
was winter and the weather was very inclement : 1 1 would 
rather render myself to God,' said the Queen, ' than fall into 
the hands of those men.' Her children also were ill, for the 
Crown Prince had been attacked with scarlet fever, and 
Prince William suffered at the same time from nervous fever. 
There was scarcely a gleam of hope anywhere, and the Queen 
wrote to her father, ' All is over with us, if not for ever, at 
least for the present. My hope is gone. We have slept too 
long under the laurels of Frederick the Great.' 

At length the foreign occupation of Berlin ceased, and 
the French left the city. The Prussian Koyal family re- 
turned thither on Christmas Eve, 1809, Prince William 
entering the capital with his parents by the Bernau gate. 
Time had brought, outwardly, at least, a spirit of partial 
resignation, for Queen Louisa, in writing to Madame Yon 
Berg, had said : ' I do not complain to live in the years of 
misfortune ; it will, I trust, chasten both me and my family.' 
Nevertheless, deep down in her heart was a feeling of despair 
and of hopeless grief. The King, too, was so depressed that 
he wanted to resign, feeling that God was working against 
him. In 1810, however, he was called upon to sustain the 
bitterest trial of all his beloved wife was stricken down 
with a fatal illness. Some time before, she had thus written 
to her father with prophetic insight concerning the future 
of Napoleon and her own life : 1 1 do not believe that the 
Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte is firm and secure on his 
throne, brilliant as it is, at this moment. Truth and justice 
alone stand firm and secure ; yet he is only politic, that is 
to say, worldly-wise, not acting in obedience to eternal 
laws, but according to circumstances such as he finds them. 
Besides this, he sullies his rule with many acts of injustice. 
He does not mean honestly to the good cause and to man- 
kind. In his unbounded ambition he cares only for self, 
and for his own personal interest. At the same time, he 



14 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

knows no moderation in anything ; and he who is not able 
to restrain himself must lose his balance and fall. I firmly 
believe in a God, and consequently in a moral order of the 
world, which I do not see realized in an ascendency of brute 
force. I therefore hope that the present evil times will be 
followed by better ones. It is quite evident that all that 
has been done, and is doing, is not to be permanent, nor 
to be considered as the best state of things, but a state of 
transition to a happier goal. This goal, however, seems to 
lie far off; we shall probably not see it reached, but die in 
the meanwhile. God's will be done ! ' 

Waterloo avenged Prussia, and Napoleon fell never to rise 
again ; but the already dying Queen did not live to see the 
re-creation of her country. She died at the castle of Hohen- 
zieritz, on the 19th of July, 1810, in the thirty-fifth year of 
her age. She passed away peacefully in the presence of the 
King and of her sister, the Princess of Solms. On examina- 
tion, the physicians found a polypus at her heart ; it was 
grief for the fatherland that had killed her. When her 
beloved Magdeburg was lost, she had exclaimed, ' that if she 
could lay open her heart, the name of that city would be 
found written upon it in indelible characters.' The King 
was crushed by this overwhelming sorrow. Days before his 
consort's death he had cried out in anguish : l Oh, if she 
were not mine she would live, but as she is mine she is sure 
to die ! ' The strong man fainted when he told his children 
of their irreparable loss, and the grief of the young Princes 
was touching to behold. 

When Napoleon heard of the death of the Queen whom he 
had insulted, he remarked: 'The King has lost his best 
minister.' But her spirit lived on, and began to infuse 
itself into the people. Liberation was approaching, though 
for the present Europe could only realize that God's hand 
was heavy upon the Prussian nation and its Sovereign. 



CHAPTEK II. 

FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD. 

PRUSSIA soon began her work of preparation for another 
struggle with the French Colossus. And the King, who 
had now only his country and his children to think of, rose 
up after his paroxysms of grief were over, and strained his 
eyes not without hope into the future. The whole nation was 
in a state of expectancy, awaiting the development of events 
which should again lift the Prussian standard from the dust. 
Amongst others who were hoping to be of service to the 
fatherland, and who were training themselves accordingly, 
was Prince William, now thirteen years of age. One of his 
tutors, in describing his Koyal pupil as he appeared at this 
time, wrote : ' At thirteen I found Prince William possessed 
of a sharp, practical understanding, a remarkable love of 
order, and a talent for drawing. He had a firm will, and a 
singularly earnest mind for his age.' The Prince received 
constant instruction in strategy, field-planning, fortification, 
and in military history. Under the direction of Major Yon 
Pirch he went through his military duties with infantry, 
cavalry, artillery, and engineers. That he was specially 
skilled in engineering is proved from a piece of field-work, 
whose whole details of construction he directed in 1811, 
when he was not yet fourteen years of age. 

Prince William was appointed First Lieutenant on the 
15th of May, 1812, and Captain on the ensuing 30th of 
October. He was now attached to his father's staff, and 
went to Frankfort-on-the-Main, where he took command of 
his company of the Guards. On the 22nd of January, 1813, 



16 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the King left Berlin, and set out for Breslau. He was 
accompanied by his children, and in his train were two 
famous men, Scharnhorst and Blucher, who both did much 
for the salvation of their country. There was an animated 
scene at Breslau, the windows of all the houses being filled 
with spectators ; the streets were thronged with marching 
troops, cannon, powder-waggons, and vehicles laden with 
arms of every description. The place was like a human sea, 
and every one felt that a new era was dawning. Frederick 
William issued a proclamation on the 3rd of February, 
calling upon the young men of the country voluntarily to 
arm for the protection of the Fatherland. Although it was 
not distinctly affirmed that the war was to be conducted 
against the French oppressor, all true hearts understood 
the Eoyal proclamation, and hailed the expected deliverance 
of Germany. At Kalisch, on the 27th, a treaty of alliance 
was concluded with Eussia, and the Emperor Alexander 
visited the King and the Prussian princes at Breslau. 

War against France was formally declared on the 27th of 
March, and before the close of the year, Napoleon found, to 
his cost, that the Prussia he had despised had mobilized a 
new army, and one as hopeful in spirit as it was strong in 
numbers. Scharnhorst had done his work of organization 
splendidly, and a cry went forth from thousands of Prussian 
lips for the expulsion of the French from German soil. 
Much to his chagrin, Prince William was not allowed to take 
part in the first campaign, chiefly owing to his delicate 
health. He was therefore not present at the battle of 
Gross-Gorschen, where the Prussian foot-guards suffered 
severely. When promotions were granted, and the young 
Prince received his commission as First Lieutenant, he said 
to his father, ' How can I feel worthy of it ? I who have 
been sitting by the fireside while my regiment has been 
marching through the fire.' The King replied, 'It was I 
who ordered it, and you shall lose nothing by my commands.' 
But after the power of Napoleon was first broken at Leipsic, 



FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD. 17 

;ind in response to repeated entreaties, the King granted 
permission to his impatient son to join the army. Accordingly, 
on the first day of the new year, 1814, the Prince crossed the 
Rhine at Mannheim, in the staff of his father. The allied 
army was commanded by Prince Schwarzenburg. It was 
on French territory, at Bar-sur-Aube, on the 27th of 
February, that Prince William received his ' baptism of 
fire,' and in this case there appears to have been no 
doubt either as to the martial ardour or courage of the 
recipient. * Under his father's eye,' we read in one account 
of the engagement, ' he charged the French with the Pskow 
Cuirassiers, riding on their right wing ; and as he was 
returning at an easy trot from that charge, in which the 
Russian horsemen suffered terribly, his father, the King, 
noticing an infantry regiment some distance off, heavily 
engaged with the enemy, turned to him and said, " Eide back 
and find out what regiment that is, and to what corps all those 
wounded belong." Turning his horse, Prince William drove 
in his spurs, and dashed back into the thick of the fray. The 
regiment (Kaluga Infantry) was clustered on the crest of a 
slope covered with vines, and was exchanging a murderous 
fire with a body of French Tirailleurs occupying the opposite 
slopes. Officers and men were falling fast, as Prince William 
rode up to the Colonel, and, saluting as though on parade, 
made the inquiries he had been ordered to make with perfect 
coolness. As soon as he had obtained all the desired details, 
he rode off at a canter, and, joining the King, verbally 
reported what he had learnt. His Majesty uttered no word of 
approval, or even of acknowledgment, though the whole Royal 
staff was pressing round the gallant lad in delighted admira- 
tion.' But the honours which deservedly followed the young 
soldier's brave conduct were not long delayed. The Emperor 
of Russia conferred upon Prince William the Cross of St. 
George, a much-prized distinction, and on the 10th of March 
the King of Prussia showed that he had not forgotten his 
son's services, by bestowing upon him the Iron Cross a 



18 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

decoration more highly-valued by Prussian soldiers than any 
other. On receiving the Iron Cross, Prince William said to 
his brother, the Crown Prince, ' Now I begin to understand 
why Colonel von Luck shook hands with me so warmly the 
other day, after I had made my report, and why all the 
other staff officers smiled so significantly.' But if the King 
had been sparing of his son's praise on the field/he despatched 
a glowing report to the home circle at Berlin, and the Prince's 
sister, Charlotte, afterwards Empress of Kussia, sent her bro- 
ther a letter of congratulation, in which she remarked, ' that 
all his sisters looked with pride on their brother William.' 

The war went all in favour of the Allies, and on the 31st 
of March, 1814, the King of Prussia and the Emperor of 
Russia made their triumphal entry into the French capital. 
Prince William accompanied his father, who took up his 
quarters at the Hotel Villeroi in the Eue de Bourbon. The 
Prince had now been promoted .to the rank of major for 
gallantry in the field. Frederick William remained in Paris 
for upwards of two months, and then, early in June, he came 
with the Emperor Alexander upon a visit to England, at the 
pressing invitation of the Prince Regent. They remained 
from the 7th to the 23rd of June, and there was little else 
but feasting and lionizing during the whole of that period. 
The King of Prussia and his two sons excited deep interest, 
but the greatest English honours were undoubtedly paid to 
bluff old Blucher. He was obliged to have recourse to even 
more stratagems than he had employed in the field to evade 
the myriad practical displays of enthusiasm of which he was 
the object. But he was mightily pleased with the British 
metropolis. * No, indeed,' he said, ' there is no city in the 
world like London.' When the University of Oxford made 
the King and the Emperor doctors, they also included 
Metternich and Blucher in the honours. Blucher character- 
istically remarked, 'You ought to make Gneisenau apothe- 
cary, for he has worked the pills for me : we two always go 
together.' The blunt marshal had a contempt for diplo- 



FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD. 19 

matists, whom he described as ' those rascally quill-drivers.' 
When peace was about to be signed, he told them to do their 
share of the work, adding, ' Ye will have to answer before 
God and man if our work is in vain, and has to be done over 
again.' He was just the sort of warrior to captivate British 
tars and soldiers. When he left England, 300,000 people 
collected to greet him at Portsmouth ; two sailors danced a 
hornpipe on the top of his carriage, and, on reaching his 
hotel, the gallant marshal drained a formidable and foaming 
tankard of beer ' To the health of the English nation.' 

If Paris and London were so enthusiastic, it may be 
imagined what Berlin was like when the victorious King 
entered it in August, accompanied by his sons and followed 
by his brave generals and army. The scene has never faded 
from the recollection of the German monarch, who then took 
part in it with no small share of pride and rejoicing. 

Early in the year 1815 Prince William was confirmed in 
the Eoyal Chapel at Charlottenburg. Not long afterwards 
Europe was again startled from its security by the intelli- 
gence that Napoleon had left Elba, and was once more in 
the field. Bliicher's first exclamation on hearing the news 
was, ' Well, here is a pretty kettle of fish ! ' He then called 
on the English Ambassador, and, l swore that, if he caught 
the rascal (Buonaparte), he would have him shot without any 
further ceremony.' The Allies were soon ready to engage 
their old foe, and Prince William, at the head of a battalion 
of Fusiliers of the First Kegiment of the Guard, was about 
to cross the French frontier, when news of the glorious 
victory of Waterloo arrived. Once more the allied sove- 
reigns entered Paris, and on this occasion the Emperors of 
Russia and Austria and the King of Prussia concluded that 
famous compact known in history as the Holy Alliance. 

A durable peace now ensued for Europe, and Prussia 
began the task of consolidating her power, under the 
direction of the King, assisted by the celebrated Stein, who 
occupied a position at this time equivalent to that now held 

c 2 



20 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

by Bismarck. Both were master-spirits in the art of con- 
struction and reorganization; and what Stein did for the 
State, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst did for the army. While 
this work was in progress, Prince William was not idle. In 
1817 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and took 
command of the First Battalion of the 1st Foot Guards. He 
was also elevated to the rank of a Privy Councillor. Accom- 
panying his sister Charlotte to St. Petersburg, where she 
was to espouse the Czarewitch Nicholas, he held the crown 
over her head during the marriage ceremony (according to 
Kussian custom), when the wedding took place on the 13th 
of July. The Prince was advanced to the rank of a Major- 
General on attaining his majority in 1818, and, so great was 
the King's confidence in him, that, during His Majesty's 
lengthened visit to Kussia shortly afterwards, he was en- 
trusted with the charge of the whole Prussian Military 
Department, 

The Prince's life from this time forward was a very active 
one. In addition to tours of military inspection made 
throughout the Prussian provinces, he was sent on frequent 
professional missions to Austria, Italy, Kussia, Belgium, 
Switzerland, &c. He was advanced to the rank of Lieut.- 
General, commanding a Corps d'Armee, and he took an 
active part in the work of the reorganization of the army. 
We obtain a pleasant glimpse of him in 1820 in the letters 
of Baron Bunsen. The King of Prussia and two of his sons, 
Prince William and Prince Charles, paid a visit to Kome in 
that year. The King himself was conducted by Niebuhr 
round the Eternal City, while Bunsen took charge of the 
two Princes. ' They are both very observant and intelligent,' 
writes Bunsen, 'the one twenty-three, the other twenty 
years of age, and at the same time patterns of engaging and 
yet dignified demeanour. Prince William, the elder of the 
two, is of a serious and manly character, which one cannot 
behold and perceive without feeling heartily devoted to him, 
and in all sincerity to hold him in high esteem.' On the 



FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD. 21 

accession of Czar Nicholas to the throne of Kussia in December, 
1825, Prince William was deputed to bear his father's con- 
gratulations to the Emperor and Empress, the latter being 
the King's daughter. 

The Prince did not escape the tender passion, and we hear 
of a bitter disappointment in love which for some years 
drove from his mind all thoughts of matrimony ; but, being 
on a visit to the Court of Saxe- Weimar in 1828, on the 
occasion of the betrothal of his brother, Prince Charles, to 
the Princess Mary, he saw for the first time the Princess 
Augusta, a handsome and cultivated girl of sixteen. She 
made a great impression upon him, just as he did amongst 
the frequenters of the Court, for Baron von Gagern wrote : 
' Prince William presents before all the most noble and most 
striking figure of the Court, at once simple, brave, jovial, 
and gallant, yet dignified in his bearing. He is much drawn 
by the attractions of the Princess Augusta.' The betrothal 
of the Prince and Princess followed in February, 1829, and 
the wedding ceremony was celebrated on the llth of June 
ensuing, in the Royal Palace at Berlin. Amongst the mag- 
nificent entertainments in honour of the occasion was a 
tourney called ' The Spell of the White Hose.' The bride- 
groom in silver armour held the lists in honour of his bride. 
The Prince's elder brother and the Emperor of Eussia were 
present, and these three illustrious personages, who were all 
of imposing stature, were affirmed to be the three handsomest 
gentlemen of their day. On the 18th of October, 1831, the 
Princess William gave birth to the present Crown Prince of 
Prussia, who received the names of Frederick William 
Nicholas Charles. 

The King of Prussia had four sons. The eldest, the 
Crown Prince, married Elizabeth of Bavaria, a Eoman 
Catholic, who did not change her religion ; Prince William, 
as stuted above, married Augusta of Weimar, who became 
the King's favourite daughter-in-law ; Prince Charles married 
in 1827 Mary of Weimar ; and Prince Albrecht married in 



22 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEBMAN EMPIRE. 

1830 Marianne, Princess of the Netherlands, from whom he 
was at first separated and in 1849 divorced. His Majesty 
had also three daughters : Charlotte Alexandra, the eldest, 
married in 1817 the Emperor Nicholas of Eussia ; the next, 
Alexandrina, married in 1822 the Hereditary Grand Duke of 
Schwerin ; and Louisa, the youngest, married in 1825 Prince 
Frederick of the Netherlands. \\ hen the last of his daughters, 
and one specially "beloved for her likeness to her mother, left 
the King, his loneliness was very great. After fifteen years 
of widowhood, being then in his fifty-fifth year, Frederick 
William married the Countess Augusta Harrach, a lady 
twenty-four years of age, whom he had met when drinking 
the waters at Toplitz. It was a morganatic marriage, and 
proved a very happy one. The King raised his bride to the 
rank of Princess of Liegnitz and Countess of Hohenzollern. 

In 1834 Prince William commanded a military deputation 
despatched by the King of Prussia to honour the unveiling 
of a monument to the deceased Emperor Alexander in St. 
Petersburg. A few months later, at a Prussian Court ball, 
the Prince was much struck by two youths of lofty stature, 
who were introduced to him by the Master of the Ceremonies, 
and he pleasantly remarked, 'Well, it seems that Justice 
now-a-days recruits her youngsters in conformity to the 
Guards' standard ! ' The youths were lawyers practising 
in the Berlin Courts, and the taller of the two was none 
other than Otto Augustus Leopold von Bismarck. This 
was the first glimpse which Kaiser and Chancellor had of 
each other. 

Frederick William III. had a tinge of superstition in his 
nature, and he had long entertained the conviction, and 
often given expression to it, that he should die in 1840. 
During his stay in Paris, in 1815, he had visited the 
notorious soothsayer, Mademoiselle Lenormand. It is stated 
that she prophesied the death of Napoleon to take place in 
1821, and that of the King of Prussia in 1840. As the 
former prophecy if it were really made, and it would seem 



FROM YOUTH TO MANHOOD. 23 

to have been so from the King's attitude actually came 
true, he could never shake off the feeling that the second 
would likewise. And indeed, at three o'clock in the after- 
noon of Whitsunday, the 7th of June, 1840, a day which 
had thus proved fatal to three of the rulers of Prussia 
Frederick William III. breathed his last in the palace of 
Berlin, beneath whose windows had assembled a large crowd 
of the middle and lower classes. 

Not long before the monarch's death, an incident occurred 
which testified to the strength of the military passion in 
the King's breast a passion which was certainly transmitted 
to his second son. As the King lay ill upon his couch, the 
bands of the various Guard regiments marched past the 
palace playing patriotic tunes with great gusto. Prince 
William, in subsequently reporting the day's proceedings 
to his father, apologized for the strength of the music, 
hoping that it had not distressed the sufferer. ' I liked it 
very well,' replied the King, ' it did not disturb me in the 
least. I was able to distinguish each company and squadron 
as they went by. I hope they followed one another in 
proper numerical order.' The Prince having set his mind 
at rest on this point, his Majesty added, ' I only saw the 
parade for a moment. Everything was as it should have 
been.' 

On the accession to the throne of his brother, Frederick 
William IV., Prince William became heir presumptive, and 
assumed, according to custom, the title of Prince of Prussia. 






24 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTER III. 

PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 

THE new King was not long in discovering that conflicting 
elements were at work in Prussia. The spirit of freedom 
had touched most European peoples, and its influence 
was felt to some extent already in Germany. The nation 
had formed high expectations of Frederick William IV., and 
was looking forward to sweeping Constitutional reforms. 
These hopes were doomed to he disappointed. The King 
reverted to the old policy of the Prussian sovereigns, and 
hecame enamoured as were his predecessors of absolutist ideas. 
For two years he pursued a course of duhiety and indecision, 
and in 1842 crossed over to England for a change of scene, 
leaving the Prince of Prussia as Eegent during his absence. 

In 1844 Prince William had an important interview with 
Baron Bunsen at Berlin, in reference to the impending Con- 
stitutional struggle. ' The Prince spoke with me more 
than an hour,' says Bunsen; 'in the first place ahout 
England, then on the great question the Constitution. I 
told him all that I had said to the King of facts that I had 
witnessed. Upon his question, what my opinion was? I 
requested time for consideration, as I had come hither to 
learn and to hear ; but so much I could perceive and openly 
declare, that it would be impossible longer to govern with 
Provincial Assemblies alone, it was as if the solar system 
should be furnished with centrifugal powers only. The 
Prince stated to me his own position relative to the great 
question, and to the King, with a clearness, precision, self- 
command, and openness which delighted me ! He is quite 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 25 

like his father; throughout a noble-minded Prince of 
Brandenburg of that house which has created Prussia.' 

In July, 1844, the Prince of Prussia visited England, with 
Bunsen as his guide. He was received by the Queen and 
Prince Albert at Windsor on the 31st of August. 'I like 
him very much,' Her Majesty writes the same day. ' He is 
extremely amiable, agreeable, and sensible ; cheerful and 
easy to get on with.' A later entry in her diary records : 
'He is very amusing, sensible, and frank. On all public 
questions he spoke most freely, mildly, and judiciously, and 
I think would make a steadier and safer king than the present. 
He was in ecstasy with the park and the trees, as he is with 
everything in England.' The Prussian Ambassador also 
stated that the Prince ' took an affection for England 
admired her greatness, which he perceives to be a con- 
sequence of her political and religious institutions.' But 
Sir Theodore Martin, in his Life of the Prince Consort, 
observes : ' The cry throughout Europe at this time was for 
Constitutional government upon the English model; but 
the Prince seems to have felt that a Constitution like ours, 
which had grown up with the growth of the nation, and 
owed its form, as well as its stability, to the fact that it was 
in harmony with the national culture and life and habits, 
was not a thing to be applied to the other nations of Europe, 
where none of the conditions were the same.' We further 
read that a very cordial and intimate relation was established 
between Prince Albert and the Prince of Prussia during 
this visit. ' Frank and sincere as both were by nature, and 
both watching with anxious interest the aspect of affairs on 
the Continent, which was already prophetic of coming storms, 
this was only to be expected. The friendship was cemented 
by personal intercourse during four subsequent visits of the 
Prince of Prussia to England in 1848, 1850, 1853, and 1856, 
and came to a happy climax in the marriage by which the reign- 
ing families of Prussia and England became united in 1858.' 

When 1848, the dread year of revolution, came, it found 



26 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the King of Prussia in the throes of discord and conflict 
with the people. Berlin consequently felt the force of the 
popular upheaval. While the King was by no means to be 
pitied, his brother, Prince William, incurred undeserved 
odium. 'Calumniated by his countrymen, forsaken by his 
friends, temporarily sacrificed upon the altar of expediency 
by his brother (for whom he entertained a personal affection 
as sincere as his loyalty towards his Sovereign was perfect), 
actually banished from his native land, in the service of 
which his whole life had been spent how profitably and 
efficaciously subsequent events triumphantly proved the 
Prince of Prussia was, for several months, a wretched, dis- 
appointed, all but broken-spirited man. But though com- 
pelled to retreat before the storm that swept over Prussia, 
and well-nigh uprooted the Monarchy to which he was heir- 
apparent, he never lost courage, or sacrificed an iota of his 
personal dignity. He took no notice of the accusations 
raised against him, nor of their later refutation, which was 
complete.' Amongst other charges levelled at him, it was 
said that he had commanded the slaughter of the people on 
the occasion of the first emeute in Berlin on the 13th of 
March, and that he was responsible for the ill-treatment of 
the prisoners taken by the troops during the disturbances 
of the 18th. Yet it was shown that four days before the 
first of the disturbances in the capital occurred, the Prince 
had ceased to be in command of the division of Guards 
garrisoning Berlin and Potsdam, and therefore could not 
have given the orders to the soldiery. He had been appointed 
to the General Governorship of the Ehine Provinces and 
Westphalia on the 9th of March, and had taken leave of his 
fellow-officers of the Guards. The officers of his staff, more- 
over, solemnly averred that, during the six days of his 
sojourn in Berlin, while the revolution was raging, he cate- 
gorically refused to give any order whatever, even on the 
most pressing occasion, and always replied, ' I have no orders 
to give.' 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 27 

But mobs never argue, and rightly or wrongly the in- 
surgents of Berlin had imbibed the idea that the Prince of 
Prussia was even more reactionary than the King. They 
attacked his house, breaking the windows, and the Prince's 
life was in jeopardy. His friends besought him to leave 
Berlin until the excitement had calmed down ; but he 
resolutely declined to do so, except under an express decree 
issued by the King. There was nothing for it but for 
Frederick William to issue such a decree ; and the Prince, 
who declined to quit Berlin so long as his flight might be 
construed into an act of fear, reluctantly left his native land 
for a time. Taking a steamer at Hamburg, he arrived in 
London on the 27th of March. All kinds of calumnies were 
still propagated against him, and long after he had taken up 
his abode in London the report was current in Berlin that 
he was on his way back from Warsaw with a Russian army 
to put down the national movement. Affairs in the Prussian 
capital became more settled when the King yielded to some 
of the demands of the democracy. His Majesty withdrew 
the troops from Berlin, the obnoxious Ministry went out of 
office, and a Parliamentary Government was promised, while 
the King agreed to place himself at the head of the move- 
ment for the unity of Germany. 

On reaching London the Prince of Prussia took up his 
residence in the house of the Prussian Ambassador, the 
Chevalier Bunsen. The following breakfast scene is related 
by Bunsen : ' F. had fetched an armchair and placed it in 
the centre of one side of the table; but the Prince put it 
away himself, and took another, saying : " One ought to be 
humble now, for thrones are shaking ; " then I sat on one 
side of him, and he desired Frances to take her place on 
the other. He related everything that came to his know- 
ledge of the late awful transactions; and, l6t reports be 
what they may, I cannot believe that he has had any share 
in occasioning the carnage that has taken place, but conclude 
that the general opinion condemning him has been the 



28 WILLIAM I. AND THE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

result of party spirit, and of long-settled notions as to what 
was likely to be his advice and opinion.' 

So great was the public excitement, however, that Prince 
Albert, writing on the 30th of March to Baron Stockmar, 
said : ' We cannot let the Prince of Prussia come now. He 
has made enemies because he is dreaded; but he is noble 
and honourable, and wholly devoted to the new movement 
for Germany. He looks at the business with the frank 
integrity of the soldier, and will stand gallantly by the 
post which has been entrusted to him.' During his stay in 
England, the Prince studied carefully the British Constitu- 
tion and our mode of government, and wherever he went he 
attracted admiration by his frank and manly bearing, and 
the uprightness and sincerity of his character. Although 
the Queen was not able to receive him as a State visitor, she 
saw him on more than one occasion, and he had also frequent 
interviews with Prince Albert, and with the leading states- 
men of the day Peel, Palmerston, and Kussell. The Duke 
of Wellington showed his feeling for the Prince by arraying 
himself in the full uniform of a Prussian General, and call- 
ing upon his Eoyal Highness at the Prussian Ambassador's. 
The Prince afterwards spent a week with the Duke at 
Strathfieldsaye. 

While in England, an opportunity was afforded the Prince 
of Prussia to make known his views on the question of Con- 
stitutional reforms and the reconstruction of Germany. Herr 
Dallmann, the historian, had prepared a paper entitled, ' A 
Draft Constitution for Prussia ; ' and this was read by the 
Prince, who found it substantially in accord with his own 
views. He wrote to Dallmann, to the effect that the prin- 
ciples upon which the proposed new Constitution was based, 
would ultimately bring about the unity of Germany. With 
regard to the Constitution of the Upper Chamber, however, 
he held that it would be impossible for the Sovereigns of 
Germany to sit at the same council-board with their subjects, 
as they would be in danger of being overruled in the dis- 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 29 

cussion of public affairs. He would prefer to see all members 
of the Boyal house installed in a separate chamber of princes, 
with which the King could hold communication before any 
mportant question was submitted to Parliament. He also 
dissented from the proposition that regular officers and 
staff-officers in the Landwehr should be nominated by the 
Sovereign, preferring that the selection of generals to com- 
mand the German army should rest with the King, while 
the selection of all other officers should be the preroga- 
tive of the minor States. Bunsen asked, as a commentary 
upon the Prince's letter, 'Is the Prince an Absolutist or a 
Keactionist? That he is always open-minded and honest 
nobody ever denied, not even his greatest enemies, whenever 
they were writing or speaking with any knowledge of the 
man.' The Prince of Prussia remained in England till the 
close of the month of May, when he returned to Berlin. 
Queen Victoria, writing to the King of the Belgians, re- 
marked : ' He was very sad at going. May God protect 
him ; he is very noble-minded and honest, and most cruelly 
wronged. He seemed to have great confidence in Albert, 
who cheered him, and gave him always the best advice.' 
To Madame Bunsen the Prince said on parting: 'In no 
other place or country could he have passed so well the 
period of distress and anxiety which he had gone through 
as here, having so much to interest and occupy his mind, 
both in the country and in the nation.' 

That the Prince of Prussia's political views had undergone 
some modification during his visit to England is clearly 
apparent from the following letter, written by him from 
Brussels on the 30th of May, to King Frederick William : ' I 
beg respectfully to inform your Majesty that, in accordance 
with the commands imparted to me, I have quitted London, 
and am at present on the Continent. I deem this a most 
opportune moment for giving renewed expression to the 
sentiments, already well-known to your Majesty, with which 
I return to my native country. I venture to hope that the 



30 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

free institutions, to found which still more firmly your 
Majesty has convoked the representatives of the people, will 
with God's gracious aid become more and more developed to 
the benefit of Prussia. I will devote all my powers sincerely 
and faithfully to this development, and look forward to the 
time when I shall accord to the Constitution, about to be 
promulgated after conscientious consultation between your 
Majesty and your people, such recognition as shall be pre- 
scribed to the Heir-Apparent by constitutional charter.' 

Nor is this the only evidence that he had resolved upon 
accepting the new situation. Replying to an address pre- 
sented to him soon after his return to Prussia, by the civil 
and military authorities at Wesel, he thus spoke : ' A clear 
conscience alone has enabled me to live through what has 
recently befallen me, and with a clear conscience I return to 
my fatherland. I have all the time hoped that the day of 
truth would dawn. At last it has dawned. Meanwhile 
much has been changed in our country. The King has 
willed that it should be so : the King's will is sacred to me ; 
I am the first of his subjects, and adhere to these new con- 
ditions with all my heart ; but justice, order, and law must 
govern, not anarchy against this last I will strive with my 
whole might. That is my calling in life.' Upon the prin- 
ciples here enunciated, he had been elected a Deputy for the 
District of Wirsitz to the first National Assembly. When 
he entered the House of Representatives for the first time, 
his appearance was the signal for loud cheering on the part 
of the Right, who rose to greet him, while the party of the 
Left kept their seats. The Speaker having announced that 
'the member for Wirsitz desired to speak on a personal matter/ 
the Prince rose and delivered a short but straightforward 
speech. He affirmed his readiness to devote his powers 
honestly and conscientiously to the maintenance of a consti- 
tutional Government, now that the King had thought fit to 
adopt that form of rule ; and he expressed the hope that the 
old Prussian motto would continue to guide the Legislative 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 31 

Body, ' With God, for King and Fatherland ! ' Then he left 
the Chamber amid a storm of cheers from the Conservatives, 
and sounds- of disapprobation from the Badicals. 

The constitutional question again led to an insurrection, 
the seat of which was this time in Baden. It may be ex- 
plained that the revolutionary movement of the previous 
year had compelled the German princes to sanction the 
election of a National Assembly, or general congress of 
representatives of the German people. The Assembly met 
at Frankfort in 1849, and selected the Archduke John of 
Austria, as Vicar of the Empire, to administer the affairs of 
the German nation generally. Prussia resented this choice. 
The Assembly next elected the King of Prussia hereditary 
Emperor of the Germans. Frederick William declined the 
Imperial Crown, as we saw in a previous chapter, because it 
was offered him by the people, and not by the princes. He 
was angry with the deputies for their previous conduct, and 
he now began to adhere more and more to those Absolutist 
ideas which the people fondly hoped had been abandoned. 
The draft of an Imperial Federal Constitution was promul- 
gated by Prussia, Hanover, and Saxony, but Austria and 
Bavaria refused to join in it. 

Popular disaffection arose in the Grand Duchy of Baden, 
and the crisis soon became acute. Provisional National 
Committees were formed in Baden itself, and also in the 
Palatinate, and the Bavarian Government declared the 
Palatinate to be in a state of insurrection. Prussia thereupon 
assisted the Confederated German States in putting down 
the revolution. The King appointed Prince William Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the army of operation in Baden and the 
Palatinate. He set out for the scene of action on the 10th 
of June, and as he was approaching Kreuznach from Mainz, 
he was fired at from the roadside. The Prince escaped 
uninjured, but the bullet intended for him wounded the 
leader and postillion of the second carriage. The assailant 
was captured, and put on trial for his life at Mainz, but the 



32 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

jury, which was anti-monarchical in its sentiments, acquitted 
him. 

The Prince of Prussia proclaimed the whole of the Grand 
Duchy of Baden to be in a state of war, and declared that all 
offenders against military law should be brought to a court- 
martial, and visited, if thought necessary, with capital pun- 
ishment. The insurgents, who were commanded by a Pole 
named Mieroslawski, sustained several severe defeats, and 
the rising was effectually quelled. At the close of his brief 
but decisive campaign the Prince of Prussia received the 
orders Pour la Merite, Grand Cross of Philip the Valorous, 
Grand Cross of Maximilian Joseph, and Grand Cross of 
Charles Frederick. Saxony, as well as Baden, felt the wave 
of disaffection, and a rebellion broke out at Dresden. Ob- 
stinate conflicts between the people and the military took 
place in the streets, but ultimately the revolt was quelled. 

Meanwhile, the constitutional discussions at Berlin con- 
tinued, and it was not until early in the year 1850 that 
success crowned the efforts to come to some understanding 
between King and people. At length after months of 
difficulty and disquietude, a new Constitution was published, 
on the 2nd of February. This instrument defined the powers 
of King and Parliament and the duties of the Ministers of 
the Crown. Although many modifications were subsequently 
made, it formed the basis of the Constitution as now by law 
established. A Kepresentative Chamber as well as a House 
of Peers was provided for, and a great advance was made in 
the direction of universal suffrage. It was true that outside 
of the Kingdom there was still cause for anxiety. Austria 
was chagrined at the alliance between Prussia, Hanover, and 
Saxony, which had resulted in the new German Constitution, 
and at one time war seemed imminent ; but the difficulties 
were satisfactorily adjusted, and the treaty of Olrnutz was 
concluded. 

Eeturning to the personal thread of our narrative, for his 
services in the pacification of Baden, the Prince of Prussia 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 33 

was appointed to the governorships of Ehineland and West- 
phalia. In 1850 he was despatched on a mission to St. 
Petersburg, and from thence he journeyed direct to London, 
in order to he present at the christening of Prince Arthur, 
one of whose sponsors he had consented to he. Another 
visit was paid to this country in 1853, when the Prince was 
present at the naval and military reviews at Spithead and 
Chobham respectively ; and on leaving England he proceeded 
to Vienna upon an inspecting mission connected with the 
Austrian contingent of the Federal army. In 1854 he was 
appointed Colonel-General of Infantry, advanced to the rank 
of Field-Marshal, and nominated governor of the Federal 
fortress of Mayence. This same year the Prince celebrated 
his silver wedding, and gave his consent to the betrothal of 
his onlv son Prince Frederick William now Crown Prince 
of Germany to the Princess Koyal of Great Britain. Lord 
Palmerston considered that such a union would unquestion- 
ably be to the interests of the two countries immediately 
concerned, and of Europe in general. In her Journal, the 
Queen gives the following interesting account of the be- 
trothal, under date September 29th, 1855 : ' Our dear 
Victoria was this day engaged to Prince Frederick William 
of Prussia, who had been on a visit to us since the 14th. He 
had already spoken to us, on the 20th, of his wishes ; but we 
were uncertain, on account of her extreme youth, whether he 
should speak to her himself, or wait till he came back again. 
However, we felt it was better he should do so, and during 
our ride up Craig-na-Ban this afternoon, he picked a piece 
of white heather (the emblem of " good luck ") which he gave 
to her ; and this enabled him to make an allusion to his 
hopes and wishes as they rode down Glen Dirnoch, which led 
to this happy conclusion.' Prince Albert wrote to Stockmar : 
' Prince Fritz William left us yesterday. Vicky has indeed 
behaved quite admirably, as well during the closer explana- 
tion on Saturday, as in the self-command which she displayed 
subsequently and at the parting. She manifested towards 



34: WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Fritz and ourselves the most child-like simplicity and 
candour and the hest feeling. The young people are ardently 
in love with one another, and the purity, innocence, and 
unselfishness of the young man have been on his part equally 
touching.' The Queen and Prince Albert were anxious to 
keep the engagement secret for a time, but knowledge of it 
oozed out, and the Times published an article referring to 
* the projected alliance in language as little considerate to the 
feelings of the Sovereign and her husband, or of the young 
people themselves, as it was insulting to the Prussian King 
and nation, and indeed, to all Germany.' Sir Theodore Martin 
affirms, in his Life of the Prince Consort, that the article was 
one of the worst of a series by which the leading journal had 
done its best to make England detested throughout Germany. 
The Crimean War had just broken out, and the relations 
between England and Prussia were of none too cordial a 
character, in consequence of the uncertain policy of the 
Prussian Court. The young Prince Frederick William and 
his father were strongly opposed to the principles of the 
party at Berlin, which had done its best to prostrate Prussia 
at the feet of the Emperor of Eussia. We learn from the 
work from which we have just quoted that the dominant 
influence of Kussian counsels was made clearly apparent by 
the dismissal from the Prussian King's service of all the 
men Bunsen, General Bonin and others who had made 
themselves obnoxious to the Czar by their known antagonism 
to his policy in Turkey. These changes were effected by the 
King without communication with the Crown Prince, his 
brother, to whom they were so distasteful, that he left 
Berlin for Baden-Baden, urging the necessities of his health 
as a reason. The King .of Prussia, who still professed the 
warmest friendship for England, felt that some explanation of 
his conduct was needed, and in a very lengthy letter to the 
Queen he endeavoured to justify his proceedings. Her 
Majesty, however, had felt his conduct deeply, and in the 
course of a trenchant reply, she said to the King : * If such 



PRINCE OF PHUSSIA. 35 

men as these a loving brother among them, a Prince noble 
and chivalrous to the core, and nearest to the throne have 
felt themselves constrained to part from you at a momentous 
crisis, this is a serious symptom, which may well give your 
Majesty occasion to take counsel with yourself, and to test 
with anxious care whether the hidden source of evils, past 
and present, may not perhaps be found in your Majesty's 
views.' 

But in addition to interposing other difficulties in the way 
of the Allies, King Frederick William, acting in concert with 
the Princes of the minor kingdoms of Germany, did his 
utmost to paralyze the action of Austria, which had shown a 
disposition to take an active part on the side of the Western 
Powers. While negotiations between France, England, and 
Austria were going forward, Prussia formally declared that, 
if Austria should enter the field against Eussia, she would 
consider herself absolved from the conditions of the defensive 
and offensive treaty which subsisted between Austria and her- 
self. As soon as this became known, the indignation roused 
against Prussia both in France and England, was so great, 
that Prince Albert considered it expedient to call the attention 
of the Prince of Prussia to the serious alienation between the 
countries likely to ensue from Prussia's perseverance in this 
line of policy. But nothing was done Prussia adhered to 
her foolish course, and France and England, with the aid of 
Victor Emmanuel, were left to engage the gigantic power of 
Eussia, and they succeeded ultimately in crushing her designs 
in the East ; but had the German Powers cordially supported 
the Allies, the Crimean War would happily have been brief 
and decisive. 

The Prince of Prussia presided in 1855 over the Military 
Commission, which decided upon the adoption of the needle- 
gun throughout the Prussian army. On the 1st of January, 
in the succeeding year, he celebrated his fifty years of 
military service, when the King conferred upon him the 
command of the 7th Hussars, and gave him a sword of 

D 2 



36 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

honour. The officers of the army, by whom the Prince was 
held in high esteem, presented him with a massive silver 
shield, and the veteran old warriors gave him a magnificent 
silver helmet. The Queen of England, moreover, sent him 
the insignia of the Bath, hy the hands of the gallant Sir 
Colin Camphell. 

While the Prince of Prussia was at Baden in 1857, he 
became acquainted with his future antagonist, Napoleon III. 
In the following autumn King Frederick William had a 
paralytic stroke, upon which softening of the brain 
supervened. He did not recover, and being the victim of a 
second stroke in October, on the 23rd of that month the 
Prince of Prussia, by royal decree issued from Sans Souci, 
was entrusted with the administration of the government for 
a period of three months. As the condition of the Sovereign 
became manifestly hopeless, the Prince was periodically 
confirmed in his office, but these provisional arrangements 
never extended beyond the time of three months originally 
fixed, until, as we shall see in the ensuing chapter, he became 
permanent Regent. 

The Princess Koyal of Great Britain was married to Prince 
Frederick William of Prussia on the 25th of January, 1858. 
The Prince of Prussia came over for the ceremony, which 
took place in the Chapel Koyal, St. James's. When the fair 
English girl went out to the land of her adoption, never had 
a Princess been received by the Prussians with as much 
enthusiasm as she. And their first impressions of her have 
only been confirmed and strengthened by the good and 
noble life she has since led amongst the people. 

In the month of August following the marriage, Queen 
Victoria and the Prince Consort went over to Germany to 
visit their daughter. At Aix-la-Chapelle the Royal travellers 
were received by the Prince of Prussia, who was their 
companion for the rest of the journey to Babelsburg. 
Dusseldorf, Potsdam, Herrenhausen, Madgeburg, Berlin, and 
other places were visited. At the small station of Wildpark, 



PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 37 

near Potsdam, the Queen and Prince found their daughter 
waiting for them, and embraces and tears of joy followed. 
The Koyal party were magnificently entertained during their 
stay by the Prince of Prussia and the Court circle, but they 
took up their residence at the house of their son-in-law and 
daughter. After a stay of nearly seven weeks in Germany, 
her Majesty and the Prince Consort returned to England 
with feelings of rejoicing over the happiness of their eldest 
child, and of thankfulness for the cordial understanding 
which existed between the courts of St. James's and Berlin. 



38 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTEK IV. 

THE PRINCE AS -REGENT. 

So long as the Prince of Prussia remained provisional Eegent 
only, the members of the Berlin cabinet were independent of 
his authority ; and, as on many questions of policy they were 
by no means agreed, a good deal of friction ensued. Even- 
tually, an end was put to a situation which the Prince felt 
to be irksome, for, on the 7th of October, 1858, he was 
formally appointed to the Kegency with full p >~vers. The 
King's decree ran that the Prince should act as Regent 
' until the moment the King should be again able to fulfil 
the duties of his Eoyal functions.' 

The Crown Prince assumed office on the 8th, and issued a 
series of orders in the official journal, indicating a policy in 
which the Constitution would be respected, and measures of 
useful reform promoted to meet the wants of the time. A 
meeting of the Prussian Chambers was convoked for the 
20th of October, and on that day the Kegent addressed them 
in a speech of much gravity, delivered with deep emotion. 
Having referred to the sad condition of the King, taking 
God to witness that his prayers never ceased for ( his 
brother's recovery, the Crown Prince went on to say : 

' 1 have taken upon myself the heavy load and responsi- 
bility of the Regency, and I have the firm will to continue to 
perform what the Constitution and the laws exact from me. 
I expect no less from you, gentlemen. Special messages will 
submit to you in the sitting of the two united Chambers the 
documents relating to the Eegency, and, on your request, 
every explanation which may be useful will be given to you. 



THE PRINCE AS REGENT. 39 

Gentlemen, the more serious the times are, in consequence of 
the illness of our King, the higher must we exalt the flag ot 
Prussia by the conscientious fulfilment of our duty, and by 
remaining united by a bond of mutual confidence. I conclude 
this solemn act by that shout which formerly so joyously 
responded through this Chamber " Long live the King ! " 

A joint committee of the two Chambers was elected, which 
agreed upon a report recommending the Chambers to declare 
the Kegency necessary. This report was adopted without 
dissentient voices by the Chambers, and on the 26th of 
October, the Kegent, after tl anking them for their unanimity, 
took the oath required by the constitution in the Weisse Saal, 
or White Hall of the Palace, in the presence of the members 
of both Houses. 

The policy of the new ruler of Prussia was foreshadowed 
in a formal address by the Prince. On the questions of 
religion and education, the Regent thus expressed himself: 
' In religion there had been many abuses, and both churches 
would be strenuously opposed if religion again were to be 
used as a political cloak. The Evangelical Church had re- 
turned to an orthodoxy which was not in harmony with her 
principles, and that orthodoxy had placed the greatest bar 
on Evangelical union. The Catholic Church had her rights 
constitutionally confirmed, but encroachments could no longer 
be suffered. The education of the State would be so devised 
that Prussia would be foremost in the intelligence of the 
world.' As to the all-important question of the Prussian 
army, the Regent observed : ' The army has created the 
greatness of Prussia, though both the army and the State 
suffered severely at one time from neglect. The war of 
emancipation has proved the capabilities of the Prussian 
arms, but the victories of the past must not dazzle us to 
blindly overlook the defects of the present. There are many 
things requiring alteration which money and time will effect, 
It would be a grave mistake to be satisfied with merely ;i 
cheap army reorganization, which could never realize the 



40 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

expectation of the country at a critical moment. Prussia 
should he respected, and to that end it was imperative that a 
powerful army should be maintained, so that when the 
supreme moment came, she could throw her full weight in 
the scale.' \Vith regard to Prussia's relations with other 
Powers, the Prince said: 'The world must learn to know 
that Prussia is always ready to protect her rights. A firm 
and, if necessary, energetic policy, developed with caution 
and prudence, will procure for Prussia that political respect 
and power which it would be impossible for her to gain by 
force of arms alone.' 

The Prince of Prussia's appointment as Regent was hailed 
with great satisfaction in England, and especially by the 
Prince Consort, who looked forward to the substitution of 
a liberal policy for the reactionary system under which 
Prussia had long been suffering. 

The fall of the Manteuffel Ministry, which represented the 
old aristocratic party in Prussia, was a necessary consequence 
of the change in the supreme direction of affairs. At first, 
indeed, Baron Manteuffel declined to resign, but his ministry 
was at an end when the Prince Eegent sent him an official 
announcement to the effect that he had summoned the Prince 
of Hohenzollern to Berlin, and charged him with the forma- 
tion of a ministry. Prince Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was a 
relative of the Eoyal family of Prussia, and was a lieut.- 
general in the army. He became head of the Ministry 
without a portfolio. Baron Schleinitz was appointed Foreign 
Minister; Herr Patow, Minister of Finance; Herr Flottwell, 
Minister of the Interior; General von Bonin, Minister of 
War ; Herr Bethmann-Hollweg, Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion; Herr von Massow, Minister of the Household; and 
Herr von Auerswald, a member of the Cabinet without office. 
All these names gave ' a strong guarantee for the infusion of a 
sounder and more liberal spirit into the future government 
of the country, while the appointment as Minister of War of 
General von Bonin, who had made himself obnoxious to the 



THE PRINCE AS REGENT. 41 

late government by his anti-Kussian policy, was hailed as an 
indication that the foreign policy of the country would no 
longer he unduly controlled by influence from St. Petersburg.' 
The Prince Consort was so delighted with these appoint- 
ments that on the 9th of November he thus wrote from 
Windsor Castle to the Prince of Prussia : ' Let me from my 
heart of hearts wish you joy of the brilliant solution of the 
second part of your great and difficult task. Your Ministry 
is, indeed, one of honourable men ; it will command respect 
both abroad and at home, and you will, and rightly, be 
applauded for the calm and resolute way in which you have 
managed to effect what justice and the best interests of your 
country seemed to you to enjoin. You will have had to 
encounter hostility from without as well as struggles within 
your own soul, and I can quite understand how much the 
conflict must have cost you. Still, at the same time, in your 
own convictions you doubtless found much to cheer and 
strengthen you, and the growth in self-reliance, of which you 
speak to me as the result of the success that has attended 
the line you took up in the affair of the Regency, cannot fail 
to be further augmented by this second success. Prince 
Hohenzollern has acted nobly and patriotically in under- 
taking the post of President of the Ministry, and you will 
have a true, a staunch, and an active friend in him.' 

Baron Stockmar was on a visit to Berlin at this time, and 
he was much impressed by the character of the Prince 
Eegent, and the injustice which had been done him in some 
quarters. ' I have had an opportunity,' he wrote to Prince 
Albert, ' of gaining a clearer insight into his nature, and 
found that he deserves much more regard, esteem, and 
confidence than the majority of the people about him have 
given him. On one occasion, when he expounded to me his 
views as to the policy of Prussia in regard to a neighbouring 
State, I found them so sound, so simple, so sincere and 
honourable, that I kissed his hand.' 

The Prince of Prussia's statement to his new Ministry, in 



42 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Council assembled, set forth his domestic and foreign policy 
in the clearest manner, and one which augured well for the 
future of Germany, and also of Europe. Yet he had a 
difficult task in reconciling the demands of the aristocratic 
party on the one hand, and those of the democrats on the 
other. But the Prince's guiding principle was that there 
could he no just conflict of interests between Sovereign and 
subjects, and he had demonstrated his faith in the nation by 
insisting that his Ministry should in no way interfere with 
the elections to the Chambers. The result of those elections 
gave an overwhelming majority to the Liberals, so that the 
Prince was amply justified in his trust of the people. 

Before the Italian War of 1859 broke out, the Prince of 
Prussia was anxious to know the views of England on the 
complications which had arisen, especially as France had 
made direct advances to Prussia, with the view of inducing 
her to hold aloof from Austria in any eventuality. In an 
able memorandum addressed to the Prince Consort, the 
Regent said : ' The pretext for a war in Italy is to be the 
form of government of the different States. But the true 
cause is Sardinia's desire for aggrandizement. And Govern- 
ments which are not concerned with the matter are asked 
to take part in it. Where is the statute of international law 
to be found, that teaches us to wage war against a State 
because we do not like its form of government ? Or are we 
compelled to aid the unjustifiable desire for aggrandizement 
of one State at the cost of another ? 

* There is also another reason which will drive Napoleon 
into war, viz., his opinion that a Napoleonide must break 
through the Treaties of 1815 whenever an opportunity for 
doing so arises. To this there is a simple answer, that all 
the other Governments are called upon to ensure the main- 
tenance of these treaties. If France be perfectly convinced 
of this, she will think twice before going to war. But, on 
the other hand, Austria must also be exhorted to desist from 
taking any provoking steps in Italy. "Whoever provokes 



THE PRINCE AS REGENT. 43 

war wantonly will not easily find allies ! " This is a standing 
phrase of mine with foreign diplomatists here ; it expresses 
my firm conviction. 

' Now the question arises for Prussia : What is she to do 
if France assists Italy in a conflict with Austria ? Public 
opinion has for the last four weeks expressed itself through- 
out Germany in such a decided manner against France in 
case of such an emergency, that one cannot shut one's eyes 
to the fact. And herewith Prussia's line of action would 
seem to be clearly marked out ; for the wars of the Revo- 
lution have shown us that, should the French arms be 
victorious, they would soon be turned against Germany and 
Prussia, if they had remained neutral and had quietly looked 
on at all the disasters of Austria. 

t But what would be our position if England should declare 
in favour of France, and thereby of Italy, in such a war ? 
And further, what are we to do, if Kussia should threaten to 
join such an Anglo-French alliance ? Would not such an 
alliance force a neutrality (though an armed one) upon 
Germany and Prussia? On the other hand, suppose that 
England and Eussia should remain neutral, and Austria be 
victorious against the Franco-Italian alliance, while Germany 
and therefore Prussia remained idle spectators, what would 
be the position of Prussia? How are we to escape the 
dangers of such alternatives ? This question I put to you.' 

The Prince Consort, in a reply which was approved by 
Lord Derby and Lord Malmesbury, enforced upon the Prince 
Eegent the importance of trusting, not to arrangements with 
other Powers, but to a frank and cordial understanding and 
sympathy with his own people. At the same time it was 
the one main essential thing for Prussia's safety and strength 
that her language should be loud and firm. 

The war was eventually circumscribed between France, 
Italy, and Austria ; Prussia and England remaining neutral. 
But Prussia placed her army on a war footing, and in closing 
the session of the Chambers on the 14th of May, the Prince 



44 WILLIAM I. AND THE OEltMAN EMPIRE. 

Regent thus alluded to the position that the country would 
maintain in the conflict which had then commenced 
' Prussia is determined to maintain the basis of European 
public right, and the balance of power in Europe. It is 
Prussia's right and duty to stand up for the security, the 
protection, and the national interests of Germany, and she 
will not resign the assertion of these her prerogatives. 
Prussia expects that all the German Confederate Powers will 
stand firmly by her side in the fulfilment of that mission, 
and trusts that her readiness to defend the common Father- 
land will merit their confidence.' After the war had pro- 
gressed for some time to the disadvantage of Austria, it was 
brought to a conclusion by the Peace of Villafranca. 

The army reforms which the Prince carried out during 
his Eegency were most thorough in character. They were 
strongly opposed by the Legislative body, but the Eegent 
insisted on carrying them through, feeling convinced that 
they were necessary for the future glory and safety of the 
country. The old general-service law of 1814 was rigidly 
enforced, and 60,000 instead of 40,000 men were called out 
annually for exercise. Not long after he came to the throne, 
four new regiments of guards, thirty-two of infantry, ten of 
cavalry, and five of artillery had been created ; the chasseur 
and engineers' companies were strengthened ; the artillery 
was reorganized, and the military train, as well as three new 
military academies and a non-commissioned officers' school, 
were all added to the existing army institutions of Prussia, 
thus giving her a martial strength which drew upon her the 
eyes of Europe. 

One of the German Emperor's biographers forcibly ob- 
serves that 'the Prince Eegent, as soon as he came into 
power, hastened to prepare his people for the long series of 
struggles which he foresaw to be inevitable, if Prussia were 
destined, under his guidance, to achieve her mission in 
Europe, viz., to take, and keep in such sort that it might 
never escape her, the leadership of Germany. To this end 



THE PRINCE AS REGENT. 45 

he drew the whole vigorous youth of the nation into the 
ranks of the army, and revived that warlike tone in Prussian 
feeling that had almost died out since the war of eman- 
cipation. This martial temper, once aroused, smoothed many 
difficulties from Prince William's path, after his accession 
to the throne, and may with truth be said to have ignited 
the enthusiasm which, hlown into a flame by Prussia's first 
successes in the field, burnt brightly and more brightly 
throughout the momentous period of transition inaugurated 
by the campaign of 1864, until, in the spring of 1866, it 
suddenly burst into a furious blaze, and, annihilating all 
that stood in its way, swept along with awful might, an 
irresistible torrent of roaring fire that consumed Prussia's 
" favourite foes " and Germany's ancient fetters in one grand 
and terrible conflagration.' 

The Congress of German Princes held at Baden-Baden in 
1860, strengthened Prince William in his resolve to push 
onward the work of the reorganization of the army. He was 
very solicitous for the future, and observed to his fellow- 
potentates : ' I consider it my duty to guard Germany and 
protect her frontiers, nor will I be deterred in the execu- 
tion of this, even though my apprehensions are not shared 
by my allies.' 

When the provinces of Savoy and Nice were annexed to 
France in 1860, the Prince Kegent of Prussia addressed a 
memorandum on the subject, dated Berlin, March 4th, to the 
Prince Consort. He denied that the annexation was in any 
way justified, and added : * No one is more interested in the 
question than Prussia and Germany, because of the left bank 
of the Ehine, which corresponds exactly to what the 
versants des Alpes, as a geographical protective line would 
be, in the event of an invasion by the Alpine passes. In 
this point of view we are therefore more interested, and 
bound to speak out against schemes of annexation of this 
kind, than all the other great Powers, so that an approval of 
them may not at some future day be cited against us as a 



46 WILLIAM /. AND THE GERMAN EMPIItE. 

precedent, and that you, too, may not by acquiescence now, 
have to take part some day in forcing upon us a surrender of 
the left bank of the Rhine. Another point to which Prussia 
could not assent is that of the recognition of non-interven- 
tion as a principle. ... In Italy the sovereigns have on 
their side rights secured to them by treaty, and all that the 
people desire is reasonable reforms, which unhappily the 
sovereigns have failed to grant at the right time. But they 
have not on their side any covenanted rights to such 
reforms. At the same time the probability is, that the 
failure of these sovereigns to grant reforms at the right time 
will result in their being deposed. Oh, that this example 
might open the eyes of many a German sovereign ! But, so 
far from its doing so, they grow blinder and blinder.' The 
far-seeing anticipations in this letter were destined to be 
realized in the South of Europe. Meanwhile, the cession of 
Savoy and Nice to France, having been decided upon, the 
Prince Consort wrote to Baron Stockmar : ' Russia gives her 
silent assent ; Austria intimates her delight that Sardinia is 
to have justice meted out to her according to her own code ; 
Prussia is, as usual, timorous and undecided ; and so one of 
the most perilous arrangements is brought about which 
Europe, and Prussia in particular, could by possibility have 
had to face ! ' 

Yenetia almost immediately afterwards became a subject 
of anxiety, it being apprehended that Sardinia, in order to 
regain it, unless restrained by France, would be impelled 
forward by the impetus which the national movement in 
Italy had received from the successes of the insurgents and 
the Garibaldian army in Sicily. Diplomatists were most 
anxious that Austria should not be forced into the field by 
an attack on Venetia, because that would certainly have 
involved other Powers in the conflict. The action of 
Prussia and Germany, therefore, became a matter of the 
gravest interest. The Emperor of Austria and the Prince 
Regent of Prussia met at Toplitz on the 25th of July, and 



THE PRINCE AS REGENT. 47 

the wildest speculations were soon afloat as to what had 
occurred. The British Government, however, were speedily 
made acquainted with the exact facts, through a letter 
addressed hy Prince William on the 29th to the Prince 
Consort. From this it appeared that there had been no 
written or even verbal engagement, but only a thorough 
discussion and communication of ideas. While the Emperor 
of Austria was anxious that Prussia and Germany should 
act in common in case of a common danger, he (the Empe- 
ror) had not the least intention of acting aggressively, and 
he proved to be right in his conjecture that there would be 
no attack upon Venetia that year. 

Another meeting of Sovereigns, on the 22nd of October, 
gave rise to all kinds of rumours throughout Europe. The 
Emperors of Eussia and Austria, and the Prince Eegent of 
Prussia, foregathered at Warsaw. Francis II., the despot of 
the Two Sicilies, fondly hoped that the result would be to 
put down the movement for Italian freedom, but, in this, 
happily, he was disappointed. Other conjectures asserted 
that there was a coalition of the northern Powers to secure a 
revision of the Treaty of Paris of 1856, to guarantee Austria 
from attack in Venetia or Hungary, and even to effect the 
isolation of England from the other European Powers. 
Again Prince William wrote to the Prince Consort, and 
assured him that the reports above referred to, as to what 
had taken place at Warsaw, were mere fables. It was 
agreed between Prussia and Austria, with regard to the 
subjects of conference which might be fitly settled in a 
congress, that England must be previously informed of 
everything before decisions were taken. The Prince Kegent 
declared that there was no mention of a treaty, nor of a 
revival of the Holy Alliance. ' The Sovereigns were unani- 
mous in their conviction of the danger arising out of the 
ambiguous policy of the Emperor Napoleon, and of the 
necessity of demanding guarantees from him in order to 
preserve the peace of Europe, to uphold the shaken founda- 



48 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

tions of public law, and to arrest the progress of a general 
revolution.' 

Prussia, however, did not relish England's recent policy 
in Italy, and she was especially angry with Lord John 
Kussell's despatch strongly approving of the means by 
which Italian freedom was being secured. Then the Times 
was engaged at this period in incessant attacks upon 
Prussia, and everything Prussian, so that a feeling of 
irritation was set up between England and Prussia, which 
did not die away until a considerable period had elapsed. 

While the Prince Regent was thus engaged in interna- 
tional diplomacy, that event occurred in Berlin which raised 
him to the actual sovereignty of the kingdom. On the 
2nd of January, 1861, Frederick William IY. expired at 
the palace of Sans Souci, The Princess Frederick William 
(now Crown Princess of Germany) had been suddenly 
summoned, on New Year's eve, to the death-bed of the King, 
and in a letter which she wrote to Queen Victoria, she 
described the last sad hours of the amiable and talented 
man, whose last days had been passed in intellectual gloom. 
His Majesty was interred in the Friedenskirche at Potsdam, 
on the 7th of January. 'Immediately behind the coffin 
came the royal standard, borne by General Wrangel, and 
followed by the King, leading the Queen Dowager. Her 
visible emotion was shared by every member of the Eoyal 
family, and by the throng of kings and princes, who had 
come to pay the last honours to one whose political faults 
were at that moment buried in the recollection of his kind 
heart and distinguished gifts.' 

The King is dead ! Long live the King ! Prussia had 
lost one sovereign, but in William I. she had gained a 
monarch stronger in will than most of her previous rulers, 
and one who was destined to lift the Prussian people and 
the German race to such a pinnacle of greatness as they 
had never hitherto achieved. 



CHAPTEK V. 

KING OF PRUSSIA. 

KING WILLIAM marked his accession to the throne by the 
publication of an amnesty for political offences, and this was 
accepted as a good augury by the Liberals. Their anticipa- 
tions of constitutional reforms, however, were not destined to 
be realized, for his Majesty soon manifested his intention of 
consolidating the throne and strengthening the army, rather 
than launching forth upon a career associated with popular 
progress. 

The Queen of England created the King of Prussia a 
Knight of the Garter, and Lord Breadalbane, at the head 
of a special mission, went over to Berlin with the insignia. 
The ceremony of the investiture took place on the 6th of 
March, amid circumstances of great state and splendour, in 
the White Saloon of the Palace at Berlin. The King thus 
wrote to the Prince Consort a few days afterwards: 'A 
thousand hearty thanks for the welcome lines with which 
you greeted me as a new brother of the Order through Lord 
Breadalbane, whom I was delighted to see on this festive 
and to me most gratifying errand. I cannot sufficiently 
express to you how happy the Queen has made me by the 
grant of the ancient and noble Order, to possess which is a 
real distinction. To you also I must express my thanks, as 
I cannot help thinking you have not been without some 
share in prompting her Majesty's determination. We have 
given the ceremonial as much state and solemnity as we 
could, and this was no more than the Queen's gracious act 
demanded. We flatter ourselves with the hope that those 

E 



50 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

who formed your mission have been thoroughly satisfied. I 
share your hope that this event may prove a new hond of 
friendship between us and our respective countries.' 

On the 14th of July the startling news was telegraphed 
to the English Court from Baden-Baden, that an attempt 
had been made to assassinate King William, by a young 
Leipzig student named Oscar Becker. His Majesty was 
taking an early morning walk in the Allee of Lichtenthal, 
when he met a young man, who appeared to manifest great 
satisfaction in seeing the most popular of German sovereigns 
a satisfaction which he exhibited by taking off his hat and 
bowing several times. The King presently met Count 
Flemming, and continued his walk in conversation with 
that nobleman. Soon afterwards a firearm was discharged 
close behind, and the King felt that he was struck by a 
bullet. Happily the missile first encountered the collar of 
the King's coat, which it penetrated, and then his cravat ; 
and by these its force was so much deadened that it inflicted 
no more than a severe contusion on the left side of His 
Majesty's neck. The wound did not bleed, but the King 
was for a short time stunned. Two shots were fired, accord- 
ing to one account. The assassin was immediately seized 
by the bystanders, and proved to be the same person who 
had shortly before saluted the King with such apparent 
cordiality. On the ground was found a pistol which had 
recently been discharged. 

Becker was a young man, twenty-two years of age, and 
came of a respectable family. At his lodgings, a second 
pistol was found. On his examination, the accused freely 
admitted that he had gone to Baden with the express design 
of killing the King, not because he had any hatred of kings 
in general, and still less of King William, whom on the 
contrary he greatly loved, but because he considered that 
his Majesty stood in the way of the unity of Germany, 
which would be promoted by cutting him off. He was 
tried at Bruchsal, and the proceedings were somewhat 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 51 

singular. Becker now denied all his previous statements. 
He asked why he should seek to kill King William, knowing 
that his son would be unable to do more for German unity ? 
He denied that he had any intention of killing the King ; and 
asserted that his sole motive was to alarm him, and so to cause 
a commotion in Germany, and then to kill himself. For this 
purpose he said he had loaded one pistol with powder only, 
which he intended to fire at the King, and the other with 
powder and ball, with which he intended to kill himself. 
He declared that when he found that the King was wounded 
he was utterly astonished, and could only account for the 
catastrophe by supposing either that he had taken with him 
from his lodgings the wrong pistol, or that he had, in his 
confusion of mind, loaded the same pistol first with powder 
and then with powder and ball. 

The prisoner at first treated the matter very lightly; 
afterwards he began to sob and faint, and then to exhibit 
excitement. He was a foolish youth, of weak mind, excited 
by the idea of the unity of Germany, but without any 
definite understanding of what it meant, how it was to be 
brought about, or what its consequences might be. He was 
found guilty, but as the execution of one who was only an 
imbecile would have given importance to a senseless and 
abortive act, he was placed in confinement. ' It is most 
extraordinary,' wrote Lord Palmerston to the Queen respect- 
ing the attempted assassination, ' that such an attempt 
should have been made, as it can scarcely be imagined that 
the King of Prussia can have a personal or political enemy 
in the world.' 

The King of Prussia visited the Emperor Napoleon at 
Compiegne on the 6th of October, and as the interviews 
of sovereigns always give rise to speculation, it was said 
of this meeting that its object was a close alliance between 
France and Prussia, with a detachment from England. The 
visit, however, was merely one of courtesy, in return for that 
paid by the Emperor of the French at Baden-Baden. Some 

E 2 



52 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

of the journals, nevertheless, asserted that the old question 
of rectifying the French frontier as settled in 1815 had 
been discussed by the two monarchs. Sir Theodore Martin 
observes respecting the interview : { The King of Prussia left 
Compiegne with a grateful consciousness of the admirable 
good taste and feeling shown by the Emperor in forbearing 
to entangle him in disagreeable discussions, not only upon 
this subject, but upon any of the other European problems 
whiclj. were at that moment waiting for solution. It was 
almost a matter of course that very varied accounts, some 
of them sufficiently disquieting, of what had passed at 
Compiegne should reach the English Government; but 
thanks to the same frank spirit, which, through the medium 
of the Prince Consort, had possessed them of the truth as to 
the interviews at Baden-Baden, at Toplitz, and at Warsaw, 
they were early made aware of the fact that nothing had 
occurred of the slightest significance in a political point of view. 
A magnificent spectacle was witnessed on the 18th of 
October, 1861, in the Church of the Castle of Konigsberg. 
The coronation of King William, an act which had been 
opposed by many leading men, took place amid great pomp. 
There had been no coronation in Prussia for one hundred 
and sixty years. Since the time of Frederick I., the 
provinces and guilds had paid their homage to each successive 
sovereign by deputation shortly after his accession ; and the 
Royal economists who occupied, one after another, the 
Prussian throne, had forborne from saddling their treasuries 
with coronation expenses, laying out in public works the 
sums thus saved to the exchequer. But the King deemed 
that, as his brother had, by granting a constitution to 
Prussia, parted with some of his hereditary privileges and 
Eoyal prerogatives, it would be highly desirable to impress 
the fact upon the Prussian people that kingship was not 
esteemed by its new representative as a mere honorary office, 
but as a great and momentous charge and a solemn responsi- 
bility, with all but unlimited functional powers. 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 53 

The spirit in which the King viewed the ceremony may be 
gathered from what he said in addressing the members of the 
Prussian Chambers the day before his coronation : ' The 
Rulers of Prussia receive their crown from God. This is the 
signification of the expression, " King, by the grace of God," 
and therein lies the sanctity of the Crown, which is in- 
violable.' So King William placed the crown upon his own 
head. After this, the most notable feature of the ceremony, 
it is interesting to read of another incident, which is thus 
described in a letter written by Lord Clarendon from Berlin, 
to Queen Victoria: 'Everything was conducted with the 
most perfect order the service not too long, the vocal 
music enchanting ; but the great attraction of the ceremony 
was the manner in which the Princess Eoyal did homage to 
the King. Lord Clarendon is at a loss for words to describe 
to your Majesty the exquisite grace and the intense emotion 
with which her Eoyal Highness gave effect to her feelings 
on the occasion. Many, and older as well as younger men 
than Lord Clarendon, who had not his interest in the 
Princess Royal, were quite as unable as himself to repress 
their emotion at that which was so touching, because so 
unaffected and sincere.' The Crown Princess herself, in 
writing to her mother, said : ' I should like to be able to 
describe yesterday's ceremony to you, but I cannot find 
words to tell you how fine and how touching it was. It 
really was a magnificent sight. The King looked so very 
handsome, and so noble with the crown on ; it seemed to 
suit him so exactly. The Queen, too, looked beautiful, and 
did all she had to do with such perfect grace, and looked so 
vornehm (distinguished). The moment when the King put 
the crown on the Queen's head was very touching. I think 
there was hardly a dry eye in the church.' 

But the King's enunciation of the Divine Right of Kings, 
and his further announcement that he entered into no 
obligation to regard the Diet as a Parliament, gave rise to 
much solicitude in England. The Prince Consort wrote to 



54 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Baron Stockmar : ' The speeches of the King of Prussia at 
Konigsberg have produced a bad impression here, and the 
theory of the Divine Eight of Kings (apart from being an 
absurdity in itself, and exploded here for the last two 
hundred years) is suitable neither to the position and 
vocation of Prussia, nor to those of the King. The difficulty 
of establishing united action between Prussia and England 
has been again infinitely augmented by this royal programme.' 

A curious and amusing accident occurred at King William's 
coronation. It appears that all the flags and standards of 
the Prussian army had been brought to Konigsberg, and set 
up provisionally in a room, the door of which faced the 
entrance to the King's apartments in the Schloss. As soon 
as their temporary adjustment had been completed, on the 
day before the ceremony, the room was vacated and the doors 
were locked, to prevent any unauthorised persons from 
meddling with the standards. A loud crash was suddenly 
heard within the room, and when the doors were opened it 
was found that the gigantic stand of colours had fallen to 
the ground, carrying with it all the emblematic honours of 
the army. The King smiled when he was informed of the 
circumstance, and said, ' Let the flags be set up again, and 
in the throne room itself this time. Perhaps it will be as 
well to say nothing about the accident, which, if they knew 
of it, might make a great many worthy people unnecessarily 
uncomfortable.' The incident was kept secret for some 
years, but when at length the knowledge of it oozed out, 
there were certain superstitious persons who declared it to 
be prophetic of the King's ultimate downfall. 

When the session of the Prussian Chambers was opened in 
January, 1862, the Deputies were addressed by the King, 
who, in a lengthy speech, reviewed the condition of public 
affairs. He congratulated them on the satisfactory state of 
the country and of the national finances, and announced a 
modification in the law concerning the obligation of military 
service. The constitutional movement in the Electorate of 



KINO OF PBUSSIA. 55 

Hesse was then the all-engrossing topic, and his Majesty 
said that the efforts of the Government were being directed 
towards the re-establishment of the constitution of 1831, 
with the modification of articles contrary to the federal laws. 
A vehement debate on the subject took place subsequently 
in the Chamber of Deputies. It was the object of the 
Liberal party to induce the Prussian Government to interfere 
and compel the Elector of Hesse to re-establish the con- 
stitution of 1831, which had been suppressed by the armed 
intervention of Austria in 1852. A resolution binding the 
Government to interfere was carried by a majority of 241 to 
58, and Prussia, in conjunction with other German States, 
addressed a note to Austria on the subject. 

The Prussian Ministry and the Lower Chamber being at 
variance, the King abruptly dissolved the Chambers on 
the llth of March, and appealed to the constituencies. 
The ground of the quarrel was this. The Chambers, 
being strongly opposed to any increase of the army, and 
wishing instead to reduce its numbers, demanded that the 
Ministry should submit the Budget for consideration, item 
by item ; this the Ministry refused, alleging that the state 
of Europe rendered such a measure inexpedient. A resolu- 
tion was carried against the Government by 171 votes to 
143, and the Ministry resigned. The King declined to 
accept their resignation, and dissolved the Chambers instead. 
But the Cabinet fell to pieces on the retirement of three of 
its most Liberal members, and a new one was formed under 
Prince Hohenlohe. The King issued a proclamation to the 
people on the 20th of March, to the effect that he should 
maintain the constitution and the rights of the crown, and 
that the weakening of the crown would be greatly injurious 
to the Fatherland. As touching foreign policy he should 
maintain without change the course he had hitherto pursued. 
In a second proclamation his Majesty stated that while he 
would consent to any savings which might be provisionally 
effected in the military budget, he must positively repeat his 



56 WILLIAM I. AND TEE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

former declarations that in the department of the military 
administration there could be no reductions which would 
endanger the strength and effectiveness of the army. 

The elections went strongly against the Ministry, and the 
King was greatly exasperated. Instead of opening the Diet 
in person, he deputed the Prime Minister to take his place. 
But, notwithstanding that the royal mouthpiece insisted 
upon the army reorganization measures being carried, the 
Chamber of Deputies voted an address to the King, in which 
they called upon him to grant, amongst other concessions, a 
reduction of taxation, and to interfere in the affairs of Hesse- 
Cassel. 

Matters had now come to a dead lock, and it is said that 
when the Ministry informed the King that it was impossible 
to carry on the Government in the face of the opposition of 
the Chamber, his Majesty exclaimed, ' If you still find it im- 
possible to pass the ^Reorganization Bill through the Chamber, 
tell me where I can find the man with courage enough to 
uphold it in defiance of the Deputies.' 

The man with the iron hand was soon forthcoming, and it 
proved to be none other than Herr von Bismarck, who in the 
course of the next generation was to become the most 
prominent figure in Europe. Otto von Bismarck-Schon- 
hausen came of a noble family. He was born at Schon- 
hausen, in one of the Elbe provinces, in 1815. At a very 
early period he showed a firmness of character more than 
ordinary. Having passed the studies prescribed for young 
men of his position, and adopted the profession of the law, he 
entered the army and served the allotted period. After that 
preliminary school of training, this descendant of blue-blooded 
Pomeranian squires was appointed member of the Diet of 
Saxe, and there became conspicuous for his vigorous and 
persistent denunciation of democracy and constitutionalism. 
In 1848 he maintained an expectant attitude, watching the 
revolutionary storm as it swept by. In 1851, when the 
popular movements had been crushed, and the democratic 



KINO OF PRUSSIA. 57 

elements broken up, Bismarck entered the diplomatic service. 
He was appointed to the Frankfort Legation, at that critical 
time one of the most important which a German statesman 
could occupy. He had not long held this position before he 
came to the conclusion that Austria was the deadly antagonist 
of Prussia, and that sooner or later there must be a struggle 
for the ascendency in Germany. Even in his efforts for the 
common Fatherland there was always present the desire to 
elevate the House of Hohenzollern, at the expense, and to the 
humiliation of the House of Hapsburg. In 1852 he was sent 
to Vienna, fwhere he successfully exerted his influence in 
driving Austria away from junction with the Zollverein. 
There had been nothing since the peace of 1815 which so 
helped forward the unity of Germany under the supremacy 
of Prussia as this great commercial convention. In 1859 
Bismarck was appointed to the Embassy at St. Petersburg, 
and three years later he was transferred to Paris, where he 
vas favourably received. He went over to London on a visit, 
nd was introduced, amongst other personages, to Mr. 
Jisraeli, who, however, regarded Bismarck's views upon the 
regeneration of Germany as the ' mere moonshine of a 
German baron.' But these views were realized to the full, 
and there were few of Bismarck's contemporaries in 1862 
who had the remotest idea of his resolute nature, and that 
indomitable will which, in militarism and politics, is the 
synonym for genius. 

Such was the man who was recalled from France to become 
the Parliament-tamer of Berlin. While enjoying the scenery 
of the Pyrenees in the middle of September, the future 
German Chancellor was overtaken by a telegram from King 
William summoning him to Berlin. With all haste Bismarck 
obeyed the summons, and arrived in Berlin on the 19th of 
September. ' Who in Heaven's name is Herr von Bismarck, 
that he should be placed in such a high station ? ' Such, 
says Mr. Lowe, was the question which most people in 
Prussia began to ask. The reply of the Liberal press was, 



58 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

1 Bismarck cest le coup d'etat ,' and lie was greeted with a 
storm of abuse, receiving such epithets as ' a swaggering 
Junker,' 'a hollow braggart,' 'a Napoleon-worshipper,' and 
' a town uprooter.' Junkerism, it may be mentioned, was the 
term applied to the reactionary Conservative landed gentry, 
who were the deadly enemies of reform. 

Bismarck soon put himself in evidence, and King William 
only smiled over the great unpopularity of his new Prime 
Minister. The monarch had perfect confidence in the man 
of his choice, and it is said that when a Eussian princess 
complimented the King upon an improvement in his looks, 
he pointed to Bismarck and said, ' Voila mon medecin ' 
' there is my physician.' 

Into the conflict with the Chambers the new minister threw 
himself with energy and spirit. There was no shrinking in 
him from the strongest measures when he considered them 
to be necessary. Only a few days after his accession to 
power, when speaking in the Budget Committee, he said : ' It 
is not by speechifying and majorities that the great questions 
of the time will have to be decided that was the mistake 
made in 1848 and 1849 but by blood and iron.' This now 
historic phrase represented the policy upon which Bismarck 
meant to proceed both in the treatment of constitutional 
questions and in the unification of Germany. The circum- 
stances which followed his accession to power led to a 
comparison between ' demented Bismarck and his ditto King, 
and Strafford and Charles I. versus our Long Parliament.' 
But Carlyle pointed out that the issues between King 
William and his Diet were very different ; they were l as like 
as Monmouth to Macedon, and no liker.' No fair standard of 
comparison could be instituted between Parliamentary life in 
England and that in the less free States of the Continent. 

1 Bismarck,' says a writer whom I have just quoted, ' had 
the conviction of a Luther, and, like a Luther, nothing could 
daunt or shake him.' But there is all the difference in the 
world between a Luther strongly denouncing the crying evils 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 59 

of a corrupt church, and a Bismarck riding rough-shod over 
the representatives of the Prussian people. ' In the Chamher 
dehates Bismarck was contemptuous but never angry, cutting 
and sarcastic without being coarse; and his social accom- 
plishments gave him a great advantage over his opponents, 
in whom over-education contrasted strongly with under- 
breeding. He was as cool under Parliamentary fire as the 
Duke of Wellington ever was under a hail of bullets ; and 
when the doctrinaires and the professors, who were the curse 
of the Chamber, were thundering against him about tyranny, 
revolution, impeachment, and all the rest of it, he would 
calmly sit down before them to write a chatty letter to his 
wife, or to thank his sister for a present of sausages and black 
puddings.' But the spirit of opposition in both parties soon 
degenerated into a habit of aggression, and from quarrelling 
about the constitution they began to wrangle about the rules 
of debate. Yet it must be said that the Ministers of whom 
Bismarck was chief were more tyrannical in spirit, and paid 
less regard to the authority of the Speaker, than any other 
members of the Prussian Diet. 

In the closing days of September the Chamber passed a 
vote adverse to the Government, whereupon Bismarck in- 
formed the Deputies that the Chamber, having rejected the 
charges for reorganizing the army, included by Government 
in the Budget for 1862, the Ministry must presume that 
the House would adopt a similar course with regard to the 
new items in the Budget for 1863. The King, therefore, 
had authorized him to withdraw the Budget for 1863 ; but 
it would be laid before the House in the following session, 
' with a bill supporting as a vital condition the reorganiza- 
tion of the army.' At the instigation of Ministers, a vote 
was procured in the Upper Chamber annulling the pro- 
ceedings of the Deputies. This the Lower House resented, 
and the session was closed by a message from the King. 
Bismarck read the message, which stated, without any cir- 
cumlocution, that ' the Budget for the year 1862, as decreed 



60 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

by the Lower Chamber, having been rejected by the Upper 
Chamber on the ground of insufficiency, the Government of 
his Majesty is under the necessity of carrying out the 
Budget as it was originally laid before the Lower House, 
without taking cognizance of the conditions prescribed by 
the Constitution.' 

This extremely arbitrary act must have spread dismay 
amongst the Deputies, pointing, as they no doubt felt it did, 
to a policy of future repression of the rights and liberties of 
the people. The King's action was equivalent to saying that 
taxes would be levied and the government carried on inde- 
pendently of Parliament ; and, indeed, for the remainder of 
the year this was the state of things. The views of the 
King on this momentous question were specifically formulated 
in his answer to an address drawn up and submitted to him 
by various deputations from the country. After recapitu- 
lating the course pursued by the Chamber of Deputies, his 
Majesty said : ' I wish to preserve the Constitution intact to 
my people ; but it is my indispensable mission, and my firm 
will also, to maintain intact the Crown inherited from my 
ancestors and its constitutional rights. This is necessary for 
the interests of my people. But to do this, or for the defence 
of the blessings I have already alluded to, a well-organized 
army is requisite, and not a self-styled national army, which 
ought, as a Prussian has not blushed to say, to stand behind 
the Parliament. I am firmly resolved not to sacrifice any- 
thing more of my hereditary rights. Say so to those who 
have delegated you. You now know, you now have heard my 
view of things. Let every one of you propagate them and 
support them in extended spheres. If this is done, matters 
will improve; for Almighty God has always watched over 
Prussia. He will continue to protect us. Is not Prussia's 
motto, " With God, for the king and the country " ? ' 

The constitutional struggle was renewed in 1863. The 
session of the Chambers was opened on the 14th of January, 
when Bismarck, as President of the Council, read the King's 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 61 

speech. This document reaffirmed the Eoyal policy of the 
previous year. The Government had acted as its own 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and Parliament, hut promised 
that, as soon as the accounts had heen finally balanced, it 
would move for the retrospective approbation of both Houses 
of Parliament for the expenses incurred. The speech also 
intimated that the position of Prussia relatively to the 
Federal Diet must be taken into consideration. During the 
debate on the Address in the Chamber of Deputies, Bismarck 
made a speech which caused intense dissatisfaction amongst 
the members. * Your decisions,' he said, ' are only to regulate 
the Budget as regards its total amount and its details. If 
you are to have the right to demand of the King the 
dismissal of ministers who do not enjoy your confidence; if, 
by your decisions with regard to the expenditure, you are to 
have the right to do away with the army reorganization ; if 
you had the right (as you constitutionally have it not, though 
claiming it in this Address) to control the relations between 
the executive power and its functionaries; if you had all 
these rights you would be de facto in possession of the 
complete power of government in this country. On the 
basis of these demands this Address reposes. By it the 
Koyal House of Hohenzollern is required to abdicate its 
constitutional rights of government in favour of the majority 
of this House.' 

A storm of contradiction here drowned the speaker's voice, 
and the President rang his bell. Bismarck, resuming, said, 
'It is the same thing in another form. You declare the 
Constitution violated so soon as the Crown and the Upper 
House do not do your will. You know as well as any one in 
Prussia that the Ministry acts in the name and according to 
the commands of his Majesty. The Prussian Ministry is in 
this respect quite different from the English. The latter, 
call it what you will, is only the Ministry of the Parliament, 
but we are the Ministers of the King.' The President of the 
Council proceeded to say that theoretically it was undeniable 



62 WILLIAM I, AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

that the Chamber had the right to reject the whole Budget, 
and thereby bring about the dismissal of all functionaries, 
the abandonment of the army reorganization, and many 
other things besides. But such a theory was incompatible 
with practice, and practically the like had not yet happened. 
' We closed the last session in the hope that you would return 
hither in a more conciliatory mood than that in which you 
departed. The Government have made great concessions ; it 
is now your turn to make concessions, and, unless you do so, 
we shall have difficulty in terminating the conflict.' 

But, instead of making concessions, the Deputies carried 
by 255 to 68 votes an Address to the King, in which 
they severely commented upon the unconstitutional mode in 
which the government was conducted. Amongst other 
things, the Address said : * Since last session Ministers 
have carried on the public administration against the Con- 
stitution and without a legal Budget. The supreme right of 
the representatives of the people has thereby been attacked. 
The country has been alarmed and has stood by its repre- 
sentatives. Abuses of the power of the Government are now 
taking place just as in the sad years preceding the Regency. 
Your Majesty recently declared that nobody should doubt 
your intention of maintaining the Constitution; but the 
Constitution has already been violated by the Ministers. 
Our position imposes on us the most urgent duty of solemnly 
declaring that peace at home and power abroad can only be 
restored by the return of the Government to a constitutional 
state of things.' 

The King was exceedingly wroth when he heard what had 
been done, and refused to receive the deputation appointed 
to carry up the Address. But he communicated a reply to 
the President of the Chamber, which was read in the House. 
His Majesty emphatically affirmed that the Government had 
not been guilty of violating the Constitution. With respect 
to the Budget, the Deputies had altered it until it became 
impracticable; and the Upper Chamber, in the exercise of 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 63 

its constitutional right, rejected it. It was rather a trans- 
gression of the constitutional powers of the Chamber of 
Deputies that that body persisted in regarding its one-sided 
decisions concerning the grant or refusal of the State ex- 
penditure as definitely binding on the Government. On the 
question of the right of the representatives of the people to 
grant expenditure, the King said : ' I also recognize that 
right, and will observe and guard it so far as it is founded 
on the Constitution. But I must call the attention of the 
House to the fact that, according to the Constitution, the 
members of both Houses of the Diet represent the whole 
people, and the Budget can be established only by law to 
wit, by a resolution agreed to by both Chambers, and ap- 
proved by me. If such agreement was not to be brought 
about, it was the duty of the Government, until such time as 
it should be arrived at, to carry on the administration with- 
out interruption. It would have acted unjustifiably if it had 
not done so.' 

This was carrying the constitutional war into the enemy's 
camp ; but although the voice was the voice of the King, 
the hand which wrote these lines was the hand of Bismarck. 
In conclusion the King observed : ' After I have, for a year 
past, proved, by a diminution of nearly four millions in the 
sums demanded from the people, as well as by ready acquies- 
cence in the practical wishes of its representatives, that my 
sole aim is to bring about a termination of the opposition 
which the measures of my Government have encountered, as 
well in great things as in small, I expect that the Chamber 
of Deputies will no longer disregard these proofs of a con- 
ciliatory disposition, and I now call upon it to testify on its 
part its desire to meet my patriotic and paternal views in such 
a manner as to render possible that work of agreement which 
is a necessity of my heart of my heart, whose only desire 
is to promote the welfare of the Prussian nation, and to main- 
tain for the country the position assigned to it by a glorious 
history, through the faithful union of King and people.' 



64 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEE MAN EMPIRE. 

A thoroughly Ministerial address was brought before the 
two Chambers, and the Upper House proved itself con- 
veniently subservient. Out of a total of 240 members 144 
absented themselves, and when the Address was put the 
remaining 96 supporters of the Government carried it ' unani- 
mously.' The King in his reply said ' it did his heart good ' 
to receive so loyal an address, and the Government was em- 
boldened to abide firmly by the view which it had taken up. 
The Polish question now intervened. Kussian Poland 
was during the whole of this year the theatre of a great 
patriotic revolt. It was carried out with Mieroslawski's 
assistance, and had the sanction of Mazzini. The resources 
of Kussia were taxed to the uttermost before the insurrection 
could be subdued; but her usually cruel and terribly re- 
pressive policy prevailed. Some exciting debates took place 
in the Prussian Chamber on the relations of Prussia towards 
Eussia and Poland. An intense feeling of indignation had 
been roused throughout Europe in consequence of a report 
that the Prussian Government had entered into a convention 
with Kussia to surrender to her the fugitive Poles who 
sought refuge in Prussia, and to permit Kussian troops to 
enter her territory for the purpose of seizing them. During 
a debate in the Lower Chamber on the 26th of February, 
Bismarck declared that the statements made with respect to 
the agreement with Kussia were incorrect ; but he refused to 
explain what the agreement was. According to contemporary 
reports, his speech was remarkable for the bold insolence 
with which he treated the Chamber and the authority of the 
Yice-President. Bismarck began by denouncing the suc- 
cessive interpellations with respect to the Prusso-Kussian 
convention ; and then referring to a suggestion by Deputy 
Unruh, that if the measures taken by the Government for 
the security of Prussian frontiers and interests were to lead 
to external complications, the means for the defence of the 
country should be refused to the King, he asked, ' Is not 
that saying to the foreigner, " Come hither ; the moment is 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 65 

favourable ? " The speaker was here interrupted by loud 
exclamations and contradictions ; but after he had proceeded 
again for a short time, the President told him that his 
language had nothing whatever to do with the question 
before the Chamber. 

Bismarck then became very angry, and said in his super- 
cilious way : ' I am not subject to the disciplinary influence 
of the Chamber. My only superior is his Majesty the King, 
and I have yet to learn that any legal or constitutional 
enactment has placed me under the discipline of the President 
of this House.' 

Vice-President Belirend : ( I have not deprived the Minister- 
President of the word, nor could I do so consistently with 
the Constitution. But, according to the regulations of this 
House, its President exercises disciplinary power so far as 
its four walls extend (loud applause), and that power will I 
exert.' 

Vo\i Bismarck: 'I do not speak here in virtue of your 
regulations, but in that of the authority deputed to me by 
the King. On the ground of the paragraph of the Constitu- 
tion, which prescribes that the Ministers must be allowed 
to speak, and must be heard as often as they demand it ' 
(interruption) ' you have no right to interrupt me. I must 
mark that view as an erroneous one, which the Government 
does not share. I was saying, then, the same Deputy Von 
Unruh who, in 1848, indelibly associated his name with the 
refusal of taxes ' (violent commotion arose in the Chamber, 
with cries of ' It is scandalous ! ' ' adjourn ! ' The President 
rang his bell continuously). 

The Yice-President threatened to adjourn, but ultimately 
Bismarck was allowed to conclude. This little scene throws 
a side-light upon the manner in which constitutional questions 
were debated between the Ministers and the Chamber. On 
the present occasion the Chamber of Deputies adopted, by 
246 to 57 votes, a resolution * That the interest of Prussia 
requires that the Government, in face of the insurrection 

F 



66 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

which has broken out in Poland, should not assist or favour 
either of the contending parties, or allow armed persons to 
touch the Prussian soil without at the same time disarming 
them.' 

Another iftiseemly episode occurred on the llth of May, 
when Bismarck behaved in so aggressive a manner, that he 
was peremptorily ordered by the President to be silent. 
This was a little too much for the Minister, who was high 
in the favour of his Sovereign ; so in a few days he brought 
down ' a most high message from his Majesty the King to 
read to the House.' This document was really a scolding 
for the Deputies. It was signed by the King and counter- 
signed by the Ministers, and it denounced the claim of the 
President of the Chamber of Deputies ' to subject our Ministers 
to disciplinary power, and to impose silence upon them.' An 
Address, in reply to this message, was drawn up and carried. 
It was presented to the King, who in his reply reasserted 
the privilege of Ministers, and thus marked his disapproba- 
tion of the course pursued by the Chamber. ' My Ministers 
possess my confidence ; their official acts have been done 
with my consent, and I thank them for their care to oppose 
the anti-constitutional attempt of the House to extend its 
power. By the co-operation which the House declares that 
it refuses to my Government, I can only understand that 
co-operation to which the House is entitled by the Con- 
stitution ; any other can neither be claimed by it, nor has 
been asked for by my Government. In presence of such a 
refusal, the real meaning of which, moreover, is made by the 
whole contents and tone of the Address, as well as by the 
demeanour of the House during the last four months, a 
further continuation of the present session can lead to no 
result. Neither as regards domestic affairs, nor with respect 
to foreign relations, would it be favourable to the interests 
of the country.' 

Bismarck was accordingly despatched to close the session 
of the Chambers, and this was done on the 27th of May, in 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 67 

the White Hall of the Palace. The Speech from the Throne, 
which was read by the Minister, recited that the Chamber of 
Deputies had placed itself in direct opposition to the Govern- 
ment, and, notwithstanding the answer of the King, had 
remained in a position adverse to an understanding. By its 
debates upon foreign politics the Chamber had endeavoured 
to paralyse the influence of the Government, and had thereby 
increased the excitement prevalent in the provinces bor- 
dering upon Poland. It had accepted misrepresentations of 
the opponents of Prussia, and aroused apprehensions of 
external dangers and entanglement in war, for which the 
existing relations to foreign Powers gave no well-founded 
cause. In its recent Address, moreover, the Chamber had 
altogether refused its co-operation with the Government. 
This rendered the close of its deliberations unavoidably 
necessary. The Government reserved to itself the power of 
determining the manner in which the unsettled financial 
measures should be brought to a conclusion, and hoped to 
come to a future understanding with the representatives of 
the people. 

The Bismarck Ministry proceeded to further high-handed 
measures, and on the 1st of June a Royal decree was issued 
authorizing the suppression of newspapers ' which per- 
sistently exhibited tendencies dangerous to the welfare of the 
State' thus striking at the Liberal press and the ex- 
clusion altogether of foreign journals for the same cause. 

The conduct of the Sovereign and his Ministers led to a 
temporary estrangement between King William and his son, 
the Crown Prince, whose views were shared by his wife, our 
Princess Eoyal. On the 31st of May, the Crown Prince 
addressed a letter to his father, which showed how keenly 
sensible the heir-apparent was of the unconstitutional course 
which his Eoyal parent was pursuing. The Prince thus 
wrote : ' Expressions you lately made use of in my presence 
regarding the possibility of forcing your measures upon the 
country oblige me to speak out on the subject. On dis- 

F 2 



68 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

missing the Auerswald Cabinet you told me that, being more 
Liberal than yourself, I had now got an opportunity for 
enacting the usual part of a Crown Prince, and throwing 
difficulties in the way of your Government. At that time I 
promised you to keep back and maintain silence, and offer no 
opposition. Intending to keep my promise, as I do, I yet 
feel it my duty to speak to you in private. I beseech you, 
my dearest father, not to invade the law in the way you 
hinted. Nobody is more fully aware than myself that to 
you an oath is a sacred thing, and not to be trifled with. 
But the position of a Sovereign in regard to his Ministers is 
sometimes very difficult. Skilled as they are in the lawyer's 
art, and expert at interpretation, they know how to repre- 
sent a measure as fair and necessary, and by degrees to 
force a Sovereign into a path very different from that he 
intended to tread.' 

Not very pleasant reading this, either for King or 
Minister'. One can, see the former twisting his moustachios 
in a paternal rage as he reads his son's virtual con- 
demnation of Ministers, and justification of the course 
pursued by the representatives of the people. But there 
must be a reply, of course, so the King wrote : ' You say you 
do not intend to offer any opposition. You. must not have 
been cautious, then. Opposition speeches of yours have got 
abroad and found their way to me. You have now an 
occasion for making amends by expressing yourself in a 
different way, by slighting the Progressists and courting the 
Conservatives. The decree of June 1, besides being in 
consonance with the Charter, and more particularly with 
clause 63, will be laid before the Landtag. The decree, so 
far from being the enormity you say, ought to have been 
introduced in the shape of a bill, even under the late Liberal 
Cabinet ; for it was on this condition only I sanctioned the 
law protecting printing offices against the supervision and 
interference of the police.' 

But the breach between the King and the Crown Prince 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 69 

widened. On the 3rd of June the latter lodged a formal 
protest against the decree affecting the press. It was 
addressed to Bismarck, with a request that he would com- 
municate it to the Cabinet. The Prince thus strongly 
expressed himself : ' I deem the proceedings of the Cabinet 
to be both illegal and injurious to the State and the dynasty. 
I declare the measure to have been taken without my 
wishing and knowing it, and I protest against any inferences 
and ascriptions to be possibly based upon my relation to the 
Council of State.' On the following day the Prince wrote 
again to the King, stating emphatically that the Charter had 
been evaded and set aside in the case of the decree on the 
press. At Dantzic, moreover, where he arrived on the 5th 
of June on a tour of military inspection, he returned an 
answer to an address from the municipality, the tone of 
which greatly offended the King. His Majesty wrote to his 
son, and demanded a disavowal of sentiments which he 
assumed must have been falsely reported. If not, and they 
were repeated, he threatened to recall him to Berlin and 
deprive him of his military command. 

The Prince thus courageously replied : * The address I 
delivered at Dantzic is the result of calm reflection. I long 
owed it to my conscience and my position, to profess, in the 
face of the world, an opinion the truth of which has forced 
itself upon me more fully from day to day. The hope only 
of being able after all to avoid placing myself in opposition 
to you stifled the monitions of my internal voice. But now, 
ignoring my different views, the Ministry have taken a step 
imperilling' my future and that of my children. I shall 
make as courageous a stand for my future as you, my dear 
father, are making for your own. I cannot retract anything 
I have said. All I can do is to keep quiet. Should you 
wish me to do so, I hereby lay at your feet my commission 
in the army and my seat in the Council of State. I beg you 
to appoint me a place of residence, or to permit me to select 
one myself, either in Prussia or abroad. If I am not allowed 



70 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

to speak my mind, I must naturally wish to dissever myself 
entirely from the sphere of politics.' 

Ultimately the storm hlew over, though not until it had 
greatly disturbed the Koyal Household and the Court, for 
the Crown Prince had his sympathizers as well as the King. 

A Koyal decree was published on the fourth of September, 
dissolving the Prussian Chambers. The Ministry regarded 
the situation as hopeless, knowing that the Deputies would 
never cease to oppose their arbitrary and unconstitutional 
measures. So they made a report to the King, upon which 
his Majesty promptly acted. 

The new Chambers met in December, and the Liberal 
party .was as strong as ever ; but circumstances occurred 
which seemed to open up a prospect of reconciliation 
between the Deputies and the Government. The death of 
the King of Denmark raised the question of the right of 
succession to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The 
Prussian Liberals enthusiastically espoused the cause of the 
Prince of Augustenburg, in opposition to that of Christian 
IX., the present King of Denmark. 

We shall presently trace the course of the Schleswig- 
Holstein difficulty, but in the meantime it may be stated 
that an Address to King William was drawn up in the 
Chamber of Deputies, the object of which was to set aside 
the Treaty of London entered into in May, 1852, with 
respect to the succession to the Danish Crown, and to compel 
the Prussian Government to recognize the Prince of Augus- 
tenburg as Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Now the Govern- 
ment had applied for a loan in order to be prepared for the 
possible necessity of war arising out of the complications in 
the Schleswig-Holstein question, but they refused to adopt 
the extreme course of withdrawing from a treaty which the 
King of Prussia had solemnly signed in 1852, and the 
Chamber was unwilling to grant the loan, except upon that 
condition. The Committee on the loan agreed to the Address 
by a majority of sixteen to five votes. The dissentients were 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 71 

anxious to refuse the ministerial demand altogether. Bis- 
marck hinted that a refusal of the loan by the Chamber 
would facilitate the course of the Government on other 
questions besides that of Schleswig-Holstein which was 
intended as a threat to intimidate the members into sub- 
mission by holding over their heads the probability of a 
prorogation or dissolution of the Chamber. Notwithstanding 
the threat, however, the proposal for the loan was ultimately 
rejected by the Chamber. 

In the struggle which now ensued between the gallant 
little state of Denmark and the powerful kingdom of Prussia, 
the sympathies of England were enlisted on the side of the 
weaker Power. It was felt that she had right on her side, 
and it was felt also that the antiquated pretensions which 
German jurists had raked up from the dust of her libraries 
were merely a cover to conceal the real object of Prussia, 
which was to obtain the strong harbour of Kiel as a port in 
which some German navy of the future might ride at 
anchor. 

The Danish Monarchy as we find from historical facts and 
statistics published at the time of this new struggle con- 
sisted of the Kingdom of Denmark Proper and the Duchies 
of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg. The Kingdom of 
Denmark and Schleswig formed together the original Danish 
realm, whilst Holstein and Lauenburg were German terri- 
tories which had been acquired since, and were known as the 
German Duchies of the King of Denmark, by right of which 
he sat as a member of the Germanic Confederation. The 
Duchy of Schleswig, or South Jutland, covered 3,530 English 
square miles, with 409,907 inhabitants, who belonged to 
three different nationalities, Danish, Frisian, and German, 
more than half being Danes. Schleswig was originally a 
part of the Danish province of Jutland, but in the year 1232 
it was detached and became a fief of the Danish Crown. In 
1459 it escheated to the Crown, but was maintained as a 
separate fief, and was soon afterwards divided between the 



WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

of the House of Oldenburg. 

guarantees from England, France, 
for the quiet possession of the duchy in 
future times. The whole dnehy was reincorporated into 
the Crown, and once more made an integral and insepar- 
able part of the Danish State, first by letters patent of 
August 22, 1721, and subsequently by the homage of the 




The Dnehy of Holstein comprised 3,280 English square 
mOes, with 544,419 inhabitants of purely German nationality. 
Though a fief of the German Empire until 1806, it had been 
in connection with Denmark ever since 1460, when it was 
acquired by King Christian L, on the occasion of the rever- 
sion of Schleswig, the last Duke haying possessed also 
Holstein. As in the case of Schleswig, so the descendants 
of Christian L divided Holstein amongst themselves; the 
Boyal branch obtaining the Gluckstadt division, the Gottorp 
branch the Kiel division, and the Sonderburg branch the 
Ploen division* The Danish kings, however, bought back 
the Ploen division, and regained in 1773 the Kiel division by 
a treaty of exchange with the then reigning Duke of Gottorp, 
who afterwards ascended the Russian throne. When the 
German Empire was dissolved Holstein was declared allodial, 
and became united to the body politic of the Danish Monarchy 
by letters patent of Sept. 9, 1806. The Duchy of Lauen- 
burg, which contained 402 English square miles, with 50,147 
inhabitants, was acquired in 1815, and was * for ever incor- 
porated into the Danish Monarchy/ by letters patent of 
Dec, 6, 1815, and the homage of the estates Oct. 2, 1816. 

It is important to note that the Act of Incorporation of 
1721, by which the Duchy of Schleswig was made an integral 
part of the Danish kingdom, established the succession for 
that duchy according to the Boyal law of Denmark. 
Nothing could be clearer or more emphatic than thi 
oath of allegiance for Schleswig, taken by the then Duke of 
Augustenburg and Schleswig ;-' I therefore promise 



KIXO OF PBUSSLL 73 



engage for myself, my heirs and successors, by these presents, 
and in virtue of them, that I and they will acknowledge and 
hold your Royal Majesty of Denmark, Norway, &c., as our 
only Sovereign Lord, will be to you and your Boyal hereditary 
successors in the Government seenmdwm temarem legis regix, 
true, fcithful and obedient So help me God and His Holy 
Word.' 

TVith so long a possession of these duchies on the part of 
Denmark, and with so dear a title, bow arose the dispute 
which was to wrench the duchies from the Danish Crown ? 
The quarrel began in 1848, when an insurrectionary party 
in the Danish Monarchy, known as the ScUeswig-Hobtein 
party, appealed to Germany for aid in ewtabfahing the 
of the two Duchies of Hoistein and ScUeswig, with a 
fjomfftttptJQf^) existence from the rest of tfr^ monarchy, 
insurrection was fostered by Germany, and after a prolonged 
struggle the Peace of Berlin of Jury 2, 1850, was signed, by 
vhich Germany withdrew from the war, and agreed to 
*cify the Duchy of Hoistein. Notwithstanding the con- 
elusion of :::- peace, hovsior, tbfl psonVi ii. 
open. At the request of Denmark, German 
into Hoistein, and occupied the duchy. But wben the 
country bad been pacified, Germany refused to withdraw her 
troops, and to reinstate the King of Denmark in his full 
sovereign authority in Hobtein and Laucdbng, the 
duchies which constituted the only German federal 
tori*? n&nead n the Dun* m*mu*v. 




upon assurances as to the Mure government of the terri- 
tories, and the conditions for reinstating the ^g of Denr 
mark in bis fall sovereign authority formed the avJgeet of 
Ike diplomatic correspondence of l^li On the 28th of 
January, 185% the King of Denmark issued a 
iteming 



74 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

regulation of the positions of the federal territories embraced 
in the Danish Monarchy. 

The dispute between Denmark and Germany was now 
regarded as settled, and the King of Denmark was reinstated 
in his full sovereign authority, both in Holstein and Lauen- 
burg. The Rigsraad, or Council of the Eealm, a general 
Legislative Assembly for the whole monarchy, was consti- 
tuted in 1855, and to this assembly, numbering 80 
members, Denmark Proper contributed 47 representatives ; 
Schleswig, 13 ; Holstein, 18 ; and Lauenburg, 2. In 1858, 
however, the Constitution of 1855 was abrogated as re- 
garded Holstein and Lauenburg, with the result that these 
duchies were put out of all constitutional union with 
the other parts of the Danish Monarchy. They were 
once more placed under the absolute authority of the 
Sovereign, with Assemblies having jurisdiction over local 
affairs. But difficulties arose owing to the pretensions of 
the Holstein Assembly, and these were temporarily adjusted 
by the mediation of Great Britain. Prussia and Austria 
declared themselves satisfied if Denmark would, for the 
present, confine the contributions of Holstein towards the 
general expenditure of the monarchy to the sums fixed by 
the normal budget of 1856. 

A very important step was taken by the Danish Govern- 
ment on the 30th of March, 1863. An ordinance or 
proclamation was issued, endeavouring to meet the require- 
ments of the Diet in respect to placing the Assembly of 
Holstein on an equal footing with the Eigsraad for Denmark 
Proper and Schleswig. It was decreed that no law should 
be valid in Holstein which had not obtained the sanction of 
the Assembly of that Duchy, and that no expenditure beyond 
the sums fixed by the normal budget of 1856 should be 
defrayed by Holstein, without the previous approval of the 
Holstein Assembly. And the Danish Government even 
agreed to abolish this limitation of the financial jurisdiction 
of the Holstein estates, if it should be objected to by the 



KINO OF PRUSSIA. 75 

Germanic Diet. This ordinance had momentous consequences. 
Although Denmark had thus given every evidence of her 
desire to act fairly by the Duchies, Germany was dissatisfied. 
She asserted that the proclamation was a violation of Federal 
rights, and that the Danish Government had torn in pieces 
the treaties of 1852. The Germanic Diet, by two decrees, 
demanded the repeal of the ordinance of March 30, under 
threat of ' a process of execution.' The Diet, in its decrees, 
did not confine itself to the affairs of Holstein and Lauen- 
burg, but expressly included the Danish crown-land Schles- 
wig, the alleged ground being a violation by Denmark of 
the agreements of 1851-2. 

Thus the whole subject of dispute was again opened up. 
Denmark asserted her rights, and received the sympathy of 
Sweden. Germany showed a spirit of aggression by wanting 
to compel the separation of Schleswig from all connection 
with Denmark Proper in respect of common affairs ; 
and unfortunately certain proposals which had been made 
)y the English Foreign Secretary in September, 1862, 
were used as an additional pretext by Germany for her 
interference. 

Europe was startled, on the 15th of November, by the 
announcement of the sudden death of the King of Denmark. 
His successor, Prince Christian, the father of the Princess 
of Wales, ascended the Danish throne as King Christian IX., 
but on the following day there appeared a proclamation of 
Frederick, Prince or Duke of Augustenburg, who as his father 
had abdicated his claims insisted on his right to be recognized 
as the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Strange to say, the 
father of this claimant to the Duchies, had, on the 30th of 
December, 1852, signed a renunciation in which he said, ' We 
promise for us and our family, by our princely word and honour, 
not to undertake anything whereby the tranquillity of his 
Majesty's dominions and lands might be disturbed, nor in any 
way to counteract the resolutions which his Majesty might 
have taken, or in future take, in reference to the arrangement of 



76 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

the succession to all the lands now united under his Majesty's 
sceptre, or to the eventual organization of the monarchy.' The 
Duke, moreover, had accepted from the Danish Government a 
sum of 3,500,000 dollars in compensation for the surrender 
of his claims. The Prussians, anxious to find some excuse 
for their interference, alleged that the money paid under this 
very clear compact was compensation merely for the loss of 
property, and not for the surrender of seignorial rights ; but ? 
owing to the part which the Duke of Augustenburg took in 
the rebellion of 1848, his whole estates became legally 
forfeited. Besides, there could be no two readings of his 
undertaking not to disturb the right of succession ' to all the 
lands then united under his Majesty's sceptre.' As King 
Frederick YII. was the last of his line, and had no issue, the 
Great Powers, in conjunction with the Crown of Denmark, 
had provided for the eventual succession to the throne by a 
solemn treaty. By this instrument, known as the Treaty of 
London, of May, 1852, the succession was secured by Christian 
IX., whose queen would, according to the lex regia, have been 
entitled, on the death of Frederick VII., to reign over Denmark 
Proper and Schleswig, but she ceded her rights to her husband. 
Touching Holstein-Gottorp, the legal heir to that duchy, after 
the Sovereigns of Denmark, was the Emperor of Kussia, but 
in June, 1851, he ceded his rights of inheritance to the present 
dynasty. The Treaty of London provided that Prince Christian 
of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, married to 
Louise, only daughter of the Landgravine of Hesse-Cassel, 
and named by King Frederick VII. as his successor, should 
be recognized by them, on the decease of Frederick, as King 
of Denmark. By the articles of the above treaty, the rights 
and reciprocal obligations of the King of Denmark and the 
Germanic Confederation concerning the Duchies of Holstein 
and Lauenburg established by the Federal Act of 1815, and 
the Federal right existing at the time of the treaty, were 
declared not to be altered by the said treaty. King Christian 
issued on the 6th of December, a proclamation to the inhabi- 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 77 

tants of Holstein, in which he stated that his claims had been 
recognized by the Powers, and that if necessary armed force 
would be employed in putting down any insurrectionary 
movements which had for their object the dismemberment 
of the Danish Monarchy. But the Frankfort Diet met, and 
resolved to administer government in the Duchies of 
Holstein and Lauenburg, without reference to the disputed 
right of succession. Federal Commissioners were appointed, 
and the Danish Government was summoned to withdraw its 
troops from the Duchies within seven days. Austria, 
Prussia, and Saxony further supplied soldiers to be in 
readiness to enter Holstein, in case resistance should be made 
by the Danes, and hostilities begin. The Prince of Augus- 
tenburg addressed a letter in support of his claims to the 
Emperor of the French, who, in a cautious reply, and one 
conceived in a waiting spirit, expressed the hope that the 
Prince's claims might be investigated by the German Diet, 
and that its decisions might be submitted to the Powers 
represented in the Convention of London. 

When the Federal Commissioners entered Holstein they 
were warmly greeted by the inhabitants, who were very 
hostile to the Danish rule. The Prince of Augustenburg 
made his appearance about the same time at Kiel, and was 
welcomed with enthusiasm as the rightful Duke of Schleswig- 
Holstein. Several of the German States, flagrantly setting 
aside the Treaty of .London which they had signed, now 
strenuously opposed the Danish right of succession. Mean- 
while the Government of Copenhagen withdrew the Pro- 
clamation of the 30th of March, which had been made the 
ostensible ground of Federal interference ; and the British 
Government endeavoured, but in vain, to induce the King to 
procure the repeal of the Constitution of November, by 
which the Germans alleged that Schleswig had, contrary to 
good faith, been incorporated with Denmark Proper. The 
year therefore closed with the Constitution of November in 
full force, and the Danish and German troops confronting 



78 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

each other on the opposite banks of the Eider, waiting for 
the signal which should inaugurate the conflict. 

Concurrently with the Schleswig-Holstein imbroglio, 
difficulties arose in connection with the Germanic Confede- 
ration. A congress of German sovereigns and princes met 
at Frankfort in the month of August to discuss a project for 
the reformation of the Bund. It was the Emperor of Austria 
who took the initiative, and he invited the other German 
potentates to deliberate with him upon a scheme of 
reform. The Emperor of Austria had a personal interview 
at Gastein with the King of Prussia, and tried to induce 
him to attend, but the King declined. Bismarck was also 
strongly against the scheme. However, nearly the whole 
of the other kingdoms, principalities, and free towns of 
Germany accepted the invitation, and Frankfort became the 
scene of such a gathering of kings and princes as had rarely 
been witnessed in Europe. 

The Emperor Francis Joseph opened the proceedings, and 
the Congress, disappointed at the non-representation of Prussia, 
sent the King a collective invitation by the hands of the King 
of Saxony. His Majesty declined this second invitation as 
decidedly as he had done the first, and Bismarck waxed 
extremely angry. ' I was so nervous and excited,' he after- 
wards said, ' when the King of Saxony came, that I could 
scarcely stand on my legs, and in closing the door of the 
adjutant's room I tore off the latch.' Writing to his wife, he 
remarked, ' I cannot leave the King on account of all this 
Frankfort " windbaggery." ' In his introductory address to 
the Congress, the Emperor of Austria thus indicated his 
proposed plan of reform : ' Being of opinion that the sphere 
of action of the Bund shall be enlarged, I propose that the 
Executive power shall be placed in the hands of a Directory, 
which shall have a Federal Council at its side. We require 
the periodical meeting of an assembly of deputies which shall 
have full power to participate in the legislation and in the 
control of the finances of the Bund. I propose that there shall 



KING OF PRUSSIA. 79 

be periodical meetings of the German Princes. By the intro- 
duction of an independent Federal Court a satisfactory 
guarantee is given for the proper administration of justice 
in Germany. In all these matters the principle of the 
equality of the several independent states will, as strictly 
as possible, be upheld. At the same time, due regard must 
be paid to their political influence and to the number 
of their inhabitants, in order that an effective executive 
power and a general representation in the Bund may be 
inseparably united.' 

The Emperor could not conceal his chagrin, however, that 
King William had declined his invitation. The same feeling 
thus found expression in the collective answer of the other 
sovereigns and princes to the speech of the Emperor as read 
by the King of Bavaria : ' I deeply share with your Majesty, 
and certainly all our dear confederates share it with me, the 
regret that we cannot yet salute his Majesty the King of 
Prussia among us. Let me firmly hope that at our next 
meeting this strong ring will complete the great chain of 
German power and grandeur.' 

There were thirty-five states in the German Confederation, 
and the only princes who had declined to take part in the 
Congress, were the King of Prussia, whose contingent to the 
Federal Army was 79,484 men, and the Prince of Lippe- 
Detmold, whose contingent was 691. 

Yet another effort was made to overcome the scruples of 
the King of Prussia, in an autograph letter from the Emperor 
Francis Joseph. King William, writing from Baden-Baden 
on the 20th "of August, replied as follows to this latest 
invitation : ' In my letter of the 4th inst. I expressed to your 
Majesty my readiness to co-operate in an improvement of the 
Federal Constitution, in accordance with the age, and, at the 
same time expressed the conviction that, if the intended aim 
was to be reached, such a work could not be commenced by a 
meeting of sovereigns without harmonious preparatory 
discussions ; and on this account I regret to be obliged to 



80 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

decline your Majesty's invitation to be present at the 
meeting at Frankfort on the 16th inst. 

' If I unwillingly repeat my declination of the invitation 
which in its form is so honourable to me, my conviction is 
still the same as that expressed in my explanation of the 4th 
inst. ; and I retain it the rather as I have yet received no official 
information of the basis of the propositions. -The information 
which has reached me by other means only strengthens me in 
the view to fix my determination only when, by business-like 
deliberations on the matter by my Council, the proposed changes 
in the Federal Constitution may be harmoniously discussed in 
their relations to the just power of Prussia and to the just 
interests of the nation. I owe it to my country and the cause 
of Germany to give no explanations which may bind me to my 
federal allies, before such discussion has taken place. With- 
out such, however, my participation in the discussions would be 
impracticable. This consideration will not restrain me from 
giving the same consideration to any communication which my 
federal allies may transmit to me, which I have always devoted 
to the development of the general interests of the country.' 

The King of Prussia was not to be caught, and Bismarck, 
in giving to the representative of Prussia at the Frankfort 
Diet the reasons why his Majesty declined to take part in 
the Congress, wrote, inter alia : ' Your Excellency will 
receive from the Ministry at Berlin the more detailed 
development of the views of the Government of the King 
upon our own plans of reform, and the actual propositions of 
Austria. For the moment, I restrict myself to declaring that 
these last, as we think, do not correspond to the position to 
which the Prussian Monarchy has a right, nor to the 
legitimate interests of the German people. Prussia would 
be renouncing the position which her power and her history 
have made for her among the whole of the European nations, 
and would risk making the forces of the country serve for 
purposes alien to the interests of the country, and for the 
determination of which we could not exercise the degree of 



KING OF PEUSSIA. 81 

influence and control to which we can with justice 
pretend/ 

The Prussian King and his Minister saw that the time was 
rapidly approaching which must decide the question of 
supremacy in Germany. The Emperor of Austria was 
regarded by many of the German princes as their natural 
head, but Herr Yon Bismarck took a very different view, and 
would not countenance any step which might seem to 
give a secondary position to Prussia. The rights of his 
country were not to be maintained or extended by a mere 
palaver like that at Frankfort. The Minister had other ends 
in view which would have been defeated had the Prussian 
eagle once but had its claws clipped by the Frankfort Con- 
gress. So Francis Joseph was left to ruminate over the new 
position he had created in German diplomacy. The Congress 
passed a great many articles and resolutions, but Bismarck 
knew that the sword was capable of cutting through any 
such paper settlements of German interests. 



82 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE WAB WITH DENMAKK. 

WHEN the year 1864 opened there was still some hope that 
war might be averted. England sympathized strongly with 
Denmark in regard to her difficulties with Prussia. Besides 
the natural feeling of interest and admiration she felt for 
a minor Power, which was in all but mortal conflict with a 
greater, England was moved by the fear that 'the dis- 
memberment of the Danish monarchy might lead to an 
undue and dangerous predominance of Prussia on the Baltic.' 
Moreover, there was a third consideration with Englishmen, 
and a strong one, albeit one only of national sentiment and 
affection. The Princess of Wales, the wife of our heir 
apparent, was a daughter of the King of Denmark, and 
she had already won all British hearts by her beauty, her 
gentle nature, and her winning manners. When, rightly or 
wrongly, the idea gained ground that her father was being 
unjustly treated by Prussia, the feelings of British sympathy 
with the Danish Sovereign were still further strengthened. 

The Prince of Augustenburg had been received at Kiel by 
the Commissioners who administered the Federal Government 
in Holstein ; and Denmark, acting under the advice of the 
British Government, withdrew from a province which she 
had neither the legal right to defend against the repre- 
sentatives of the Diet, nor the physical power to hold. It 
was matter of regret with many statesmen that Denmark 
did not act as judiciously in respect to Schleswig, by 
evacuating that duchy and accepting the comparatively 
moderate terms which were still offered by the Great Powers. 



TEE WAR WITH DENMARK. 83 

Austria and Germany, which in January were denounced by 
the German Liberals as enemies to the national cause, still 
recognized the rights of Christian IX. to the entire Danish 
monarchy, under the treaty of 1852. But demanding from 
Denmark the immediate repeal of the common constitution 
of the kingdom of Schleswig, they proposed to the Diet that 
in case of refusal the duchy should be occupied as a 
guarantee for the required concession. 

To the wonder of Europe, Austria and Prussia, notwith- 
standing their antagonistic interests, were now to be seen 
moving in concert in the Schleswig-Holstein question. The 
minor German States, acting under the guidance of the 
Saxon Minister, Baron Beust, clamoured for immediate war, 
and, for the first time since the creation of the confederacy, 
they outvoted Prussia and Austria in the Diet. This vote 
decided the two Great Powers upon asserting their political 
supremacy in Germany, and their united forces were speedily 
concentrated on the frontier of Schleswig. The troops 
crossed the Eider on the last day of January, and after a few 
skirmishes, the Danish soldiers evacuated the line of the 
Dannewerke, falling back upon the fortified position of 
Diippel, opposite the island of Alsen. The Austrian generals 
next proceeded to occupy the northern portion of Schleswig, 
and a part of Jutland ; while the Prussians, assisted by an 
Austrian contingent, laid siege to Diippel. 

Meanwhile the King of Prussia and Bismarck were fighting 
the Chamber of Deputies on the question of the supplies 
rendered necessary by the military movements undertaken 
by Prussia. As the Chamber persisted in its refusal to pass 
the bill which authorized the loan, the King peremptorily 
closed the session on the 25th of January. The Chamber 
had taken up a strong position in its previous conflicts with 
the King and the Ministry, but now it laid itself open to 
animadversion, inasmuch as while it urged upon the Govern- 
ment an armed interference in the affairs of the Duchies of 
Schleswig and Holstein, it persistently denied the Govern- 

G 2 



84 WILLIAM L AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

ment the means of carrying on its operations. The King's 
speech to the Deputies contained the following passages : 

' While the Upper House has expressed, in an address to 
the King, its confiding readiness to support the Crown in 
this serious question, the required consent to a loan has been 
refused by the Chamber of Deputies, and even the grant of 
those supplies has been withheld which Prussia, as a member 
of the German Confederation, is undoubtedly bound to con- 
tribute. . . . The inimical character of these resolutions, in 
which is expressed an endeavour to subject the foreign policy 
of the Government to unconstitutional coercion, is heightened 
by resolutions by which the majority of the House of Repre- 
sentatives side beforehand against the Prussian fatherland on 
the supposition, arbitrarily raised by them, of warlike 
complications between Prussia and other German States. 
Such conduct on the part of the House of Eepresentatives 
can only act in a pernicious manner on the strengthening 
and development of our constitutional condition, and we 
must for the present renounce hopes of an understanding. 
The Government of his Majesty must, however, consider 
itself bound, under all circumstances, to maintain with all its 
power, and in the full exercise of the royal rights, the 
preservation of the State, and the welfare and honour of 
Prussia. It is still firmly convinced that it will find sufficient 
and increasing support in the patriotic sentiments of the 
country.' 

Public opinion was divided upon the legal rights of 
Denmark, in regard to the two duchies Schleswig and 
Holstein. While it all surged in favour of Denmark, as 
regarded the former, the popular feeling in Holstein was 
almost unanimously in favour of Germany. A deputation 
from that duchy presented an address to the Federal Diet, 
in which, after stating that their fathers knew how to 
preserve German rights and German manners, German truth 
and German feeling, against all attacks, and that the people 
had risen as one man to offer homage to the Duke of 



THE WAR WITH DENMARK. 85 

Augustenburg as their rightful Sovereign, they called for 
justice to be done. The Danes, however, denied that there 
was any such thing as a Schleswig-Holstein crown, or even 
a Schleswig-Holstein State. In the Upper House at 
Copenhagen, Bishop Monrad, the President of the Council, 
elicited loud cheers when he said, ' The programme which 
we have to follow, simply, clearly, and without evasion is 
this not to allow a single German soldier to pass the Eider, 
without offering the best resistance in our power, and to use 
every effort to expel from Schleswig all who shall venture to 
intrude/ 

In acting thus confidently, Denmark relied upon the 
support of the Western Powers, believing that England and 
France would interfere to prevent the violation of the Treaty 
of London of 1852, to which they were parties, and which 
covenanted to secure to the Danish Crown all the dominions 
which then belonged to it. The Danes furthermore relied 
upon the strength of their fortifications called the Danne- 
werke, on the north side of the Eider. Field-Marshal von 
Wrangel commanded the Prussian forces which were 
assembled at Kiel, and on the 1st of February they marched 
out of the town and crossed the Schleswig frontier, occupying 
Gottorp, while the Danish troops retired at their approach. 
General de Meza commanded the Danish army, and he was 
summoned by Wrangel to evacuate the town of Schleswig, 
to which his answer simply was that he had orders to defend 
it. A severe conflict took place on the 2nd of February 
between the Danes and Germans, near Missunde, on the 
Schlei, upon which General de Meza had retired with 
the first division of his army. Unable to contend with 
the superior forces of the Germans, the Danes retreated 
northwards. Schleswig was evacuated, the Austrians 
occupied Flensburg, and the Prussians pushed on towards 
Diippel. 

Indignation at the abandonment of the Dannewerke broke 
out in Copenhagen, and the Commander-in-Chief was de- 



86 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

prived of his post. De Meza, however, with his greatly 
inferior forces, had no other option, and the Danish Eigsdag 
passed a vote of thanks to the army for the gallant spirit it had 
displayed in the unequal struggle. On the 7th of February, 
General Yon Wrangel issued a proclamation, in which he 
announced that Austrian and Prussian commissioners would 
administer the civil government of Schleswig, and ordered 
that the German language should be thenceforth used in all 
branches of the administration. But the smaller States of 
the Federal Diet now became dissatisfied with the mode in 
which Austria and Prussia were superseding the authority of 
the Diet in their conduct of the campaign. Those Powers, 
nevertheless, took little notice of the protests made against 
their action. 

The Danish army now concentrated itself at Fredericia, a 
fortress on the confines of Schleswig and Jutland, Diippel 
opposite to Alsen and in the little island of Alsen itself, 
which was held by 12,000 men. The siege of Diippel was 
undertaken by the Prussians, who brought all the resources 
of modern artillery against it. Line after line of the 
Danish defence was gradually taken, and on the 18th of 
April the last remaining bastions were stormed, and the 
Prussians became masters of the place. Fredericia was then 
abandoned by the Danes. The conduct of the Prussians in 
Jutland was most arbitrary and oppressive. Von Wrangel 
issued a proclamation in which he imposed a forced contri- 
bution upon the province of 96,000, ' in compensation for 
the damage to property caused to Prussian as well as to 
other German subjects by ships and cargoes captured by the 
Danes.' From the small town of Viborg, containing a 
population of less than 5000, a Prussian general demanded 
the immediate delivery of 19,600 Ibs. of bread, 30,000 Ibs. of 
oats, 380 Ibs. of roasted coffee, 2700 Ibs. of rice, 380 bottles 
of wine, 1200 bottles of brandy, 3000 cigars, 1300 Ibs. of 
tobacco, 25,000 Ibs. of hay, and 11,000 Ibs. of straw. This 
requisition was followed up by others equally exorbitant. 



THE WAR WITH DENMARK. 87 

In a naval engagement off Heligoland, the Danes for the 
first time gained an advantage over their opponents. 

England now endeavoured to avert the further prosecu- 
tion of the war by a conference of the Great Powers. 
Together with Denmark, she took her stand upon the pro- 
visions of the treaty of 1852 ; but Prussia at once threw that 
treaty to the winds, alleging that war had abrogated it, and 
that she was no longer bound by it. Austria was not quite 
so emphatic in her declarations, and the Federal Diet, after 
considerable difficulty, agreed to send a representative to the 
conference. The first meeting took place in London on the 
25th of April, and on strong representations being made by 
England, France, Eussia, and Sweden, it was agreed that 
hostilities should be suspended from the 12th of May to the 
12th of June. In the meantime Denmark was to raise her 
blockades. The plenipotentiaries of Austria and Prussia 
were asked to explain why their governments had occupied 
a large portion of the Danish territory, and what their 
future intentions were ; and the answer was given that the 
treaty of 1852 was no longer in force. The conference 
failed to come to an ^understanding upon the points in dis- 
pute, but a prolongation of the armistice was arranged, and it 
was agreed to continue the suspension of hostilities until the 
26th of June. Proposals were then made by England as to 
the boundary-line which was to separate Denmark from 
the duchies, but the Danish and German plenipotentiaries 
hopelessly disagreed upon this point, and the labours of the 
conference consequently came to an end with an abortive 
result. 

A new cabinet was formed at Copenhagen, and in opening 
the session of the Kigsraad on the 25th of June, the King 
expressed a hope that the sympathy of England would grow 
into active support. A few days afterwards hostilities were 
renewed. The Prussians crossed over to Alsen, and after a 
sharp engagement the Danish troops which came up were 
compelled to retreat with a loss in killed and wounded of 



88 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

nearly 3000 men. In the following month a quarrel arose 
between the Federal and Prussian troops, and the forcible 
occupation of Eendsburg by the latter led to much bad 
blood. The affair blew over after a strong resolution passed 
by the Saxon chambers. 

The struggle with Denmark practically concluded with 
the capture of Alsen and the abandonment of Fredericia. 
As the Danes were left alone to pursue a very unequal war, 
they were at length compelled to yield and make overtures 
for a peace. Negotiations were accordingly opened at 
Vienna, between the plenipotentiaries of Austria, Prussia, 
and Denmark, for the purpose of settling the preliminaries 
between those Powers. On the 1st of August these pre- 
liminaries of peace were signed : by them the King of 
Denmark renounced all his rights to the Duchies of 
Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg, in favour of the King 
of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria, engaging also to 
recognize any arrangements those Powers might make in 
respect to the duchies. The frontier dispute was settled by 
mutual concessions. Debts contracted on account of the 
Danish monarchy were to be divided between the Kingdom 
of Denmark upon the one hand, and the ceded duchies upon 
the other, in proportion to the population of the two parts. 
But the loan contracted in England by the Danish Govern- 
ment in the month of December, 1863, was to remain at the 
charge of the Kingdom of Denmark ; and the repayment of 
the war expenses incurred by the Allied Powers was to be 
undertaken by the duchies. A treaty of peace, upon the 
basis thus laid down, was ultimately signed at Vienna on the 
1st of October. 

Bismarck, having now obtained all he wanted, wrote a 
very cool note to the Prussian Minister in London, to the 
effect that he hoped the British Government would not 
refuse to recognize the moderation and placability which had 
been displayed by the two German powers, Austria and 
Prussia. They did not wish, he said, to dismember the 



TEE WAR WITH DENMARK. 89 

ancient and venerable Danish monarchy, but to bring about 
a separation from it of parts with which a further union had 
become impossible through the force of circumstances and 
events. The Danish monarchy had received no wounds 
which could not be healed. 

This view of the crippling of Denmark was a little too 
cynical for the British Government ; and as England was 
directly challenged for her opinion, Earl Kussell gave 
expression to the grave dissatisfaction of his Government at 
the course pursued by the German Powers. His lordship 
wrote : ' Her Majesty's Government would have preferred a 
total silence, instead of the task of commenting on the 
conditions of peace. Challenged, however, by Herr Von 
Bismarck's invitation to admit the moderation and for- 
bearance of the great German Governments, Her Majesty's 
Government feel bound not to disguise their own sentiments 
upon these matters. Her Majesty's Government have, in- 
deed, from time to time, as events took place, repeatedly 
declared their opinion that the aggression of Austria and 
Prussia upon Denmark was unjust, and that the war as 
waged by Germany against Denmark had not for its ground- 
work either that justice or that necessity which are the only 
bases on which war ought to be undertaken. Considering 
the war, therefore, to have been wholly unnecessary on the 
part of Germany, they deeply lament that the advantages 
acquired by successful hostilities should have been used by 
Austria and Prussia to dismember the Danish monarchy, 
which it was the object of the treaty of 1852 to preserve 
entire. ... If it is said that force has decided this question, 
and that the superiority of the arms of Austria and Prussia 
over those of Denmark was incontestable, the assertion must 
be admitted. But in that case it is out of place to claim 
credit for equity and moderation.' 

Immediately after her victorious contest with Denmark, 
Prussia began to treat the smaller States of the German 
Diet with superciliousness and hauteur. They soon found 



90 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

that in egging on Prnssia and Austria to the very uneven 
conflict with Denmark, they had heen making a rod for their 
own hacks. 

Bismarck addressed a note, on the 13th of December, 
to the Prussian Ambassador at Munich, in which he openly 
manifested his contempt for any resolution which the Federal 
Diet might pass in opposition to the alleged rights and 
interests of Prussia. 

The man of iron had triumphed, and Denmark had heen 
the first to feel the weight of his oppressive hand. It was 
with sadness and deep emotion that the King of Denmark 
received a deputation who conveyed a farewell address from 
the inhabitants of Schleswig. * You have told me/ said his 
Majesty, with pathos and simple dignity in his reply, ' how 
bitterly yon grieve to be separated from Denmark and the 
Danish Koyal House, and I pray you to believe that it has 
also been most painful to me to be placed under the necessity 
of relinquishing the ancient Danish crown land of Schleswig, 
united for centuries with Denmark. Of all the cares and 
sorrows which have been heaped upon me during my brief 
rule, nothing has more depressed my mind, nothing weighed 
more deeply upon my heart, than the separation from the 
brave, faithful, and loyal Schleswigers, who have, upon so 
many difficult occasions, constantly given the most brilliant 
proofs of fidelity and devotion to Denmark and the Danish 
Eoyal House, and who have cherished no dearer or more zealous 
wish than to remain united with the kingdom under my 
sceptre. But, my friends, we must all bow to the will of 
Providence, and I will pray to the Almighty that He may 
give both to you and to me the requisite strength and 
endurance to bear the bitter pangs of separation. I thank 
yon heartily for your presence at this place, and will consider 
it as an additional proof of your devotion to me and the 
Danish Boyal House. *My best wishes for your future 
welfare will always be with yon. May God preserve and 
bless you all!' 



Eorml Hone may wefl regard 




find awe aolaee tfcorem the &ct that it 
King far Greece; and that the ffivstnm 
aTf lonaed UKVC fp^ren. to 

IB 



92 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 

FOR some time the relations between the two great German 
Powers, Austria and Prussia, were to remain of a friendly 
character. The Emperor Francis Joseph gave many proofs 
of his esteem and friendship for his royal brother of Prussia, 
and he decorated Bismarck with the order of St. Stephen. 
The Prussian Minister had already received from King 
William the coveted order of the Black Eagle, and not long 
afterwards he was created a Count. 

On the meeting of the Prussian Chambers in January, 
1865, Count Bismarck, in the debate on the speech from the 
throne, evolved further ideas upon constitutional questions 
which must have alarmed the Deputies. Constitutional rule 
he declared to be based on a compromise, especially in 
Prussia, where there were side by side three estates with 
equal powers. The Chamber of Deputies, by its resolution of 
September, 1862, had abandoned the path of compromise, and 
the existing Government, on its entry into office, had found 
a conflict already in progress. * The Chamber of Deputies,' 
observed the Minister, 'asks that this conflict should be 
ended by an alteration of the present organization of the 
army. This is impossible. As regards foreign policy, a 
premature statement of the intentions of the Government in 
reference to pending questions is also impossible. I can only 
state that the interests of the country will be maintained. 
The blood of our soldiers will not have been shed in vain. 
The public Press and the Chamber of Deputies have re- 
proached the Government with having entered into an 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 93 

alliance with Austria. On this question the future will throw 
a clearer light.' 

But the Ministerial oracle was dumb as regarded any 
further revelations. The Government was secretly working, 
but declined to unfold its plans. The Chamber of Deputies 
could only see a solution of the conflict with the King and 
his Ministers by a formal acknowledgment on the part of the 
Government of the constitutional right of the Chamber to 
vote the Budget, and an assurance that the military expenses 
of the country should be diminished as much as possible. 
The Minister of the Interior nevertheless replied that the 
King would not yield a single iota on the question of military 
reform, and the House must, therefore, select another test of 
the extent of its constitutional power namely, its right to 
vote the Budget. But the Upper House was staunch to the 
throne, and the King thanked it in warm terms for its loyal 
address. He attributed the success of the army to the fact 
that all its triumphs had been carried through and effected 
upon the one basis of the fear of God. As for those repre- 
sentatives with whom the Ministry was at loggerheads, he 
practically said : * I shall try to make peace with them ; but, 
if I cannot, then I shall do without them.' 

But the Deputies might well view the condition of the 
public finances with alarm, seeing that the Budget had 
increased since 1849 from 94,000,000 to 151,000,000 thalers, 
while the population had only risen from 16,300,000 to 
19,500,000 in the same period. The yield from the income- 
tax alone had gone up from 20,500,000 to 32,000,000 thalers. 

Bismarck now brought in a bill for the increase of the 
navy, and he was anxious for the Prussian Diet to declare 
that the acquisition of the port of Kiel was necessary. He 
was looking ahead, and, when questioned as to whether 
Austria would be compensated in the event of an increase of 
the power of Prussia in the duchies, he would not commit 
himself beyond saying that no proposal had either been made 
or accepted by which the rights of Prussia would be violated 



94 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

or her destinies influenced for a long period to come. As the 
Minister remained reticent, the Chamber continued hostile, 
and passed a resolution, declining to grant any loans to the 
Ministry, which had practically set aside the right of voting 
the Budget. Bismarck had claimed during the debate that 
Kiel and the entire duchies were owned by Prussia. He 
admitted that they were owned in common with the Kaiser, 
but affirmed that the share which Prussia had in the property 
would never be abandoned except on condition of Kiel 
Harbour being handed over to her for good. No votes of the 
Schleswig-Holstein estates, no proclamations of the Preten- 
ders would drive Prussia from the duchies ; she would stick 
to her programme, defending the justice and the necessity of 
it to the last man. 

Yet the Lower House not only refused a loan, it rejected 
also the bill brought in to legalize the increase of the army. 
Again the King closed the Chambers, Bismarck dissolving 
them in his name on the 17th of June. As he could not get 
a Budget from the Chamber, King William now resolved to 
become his own Budget-maker, and to act as though a 
representative constitution did not exist. A Eoyal decree 
was issued, in which his Majesty said: 'Not having succeeded 
in coming to an understanding with the Diet upon the bill 
for the Budget of the year 1865, I order, in accordance with 
the Eeport of the Ministry of State, dated the 4th of July, 
inst., that the estimate returned herewith, showing the ex- 
pected revenue and expenditure for the current year, shall 
serve as a regulation for the administration of the finances. 
I hereby at the same time place at the disposal of the 
Minister of Marine a sum not exceeding 500,000 thalers for 
the construction of heavy cast steel guns for the fleet, and 
the Ministers of Marine and Finance will have to account to 
me for the employment of this sum at the end of the year.' 

A further stage in German affairs was marked on the 14th 
of August, when an important convention between Prussia 
and Austria was signed at Gastein, by the respective 



TEE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 95 

Ministers of the two countries, Bismarck and Count Blome. 
The convention was afterwards signed at Salzburg by the 
King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria. It began by 
declaring that ' their Majesties, the King of Prussia and the 
Emperor of Austria, having become convinced that the co- 
dominion hitherto existing in the countries ceded by 
Denmark through the treaty of peace of the 30th of October, 
1864, leads to inconveniences which endanger, at the same 
time, the good understanding between their governments 
and also the interests of their duchies; their Majesties 
have, therefore, come to the determination no longer to 
exercise in common the rights accruing to them from article 
3 of the above-mentioned treaty, but to divide geographi- 
cally the exercise of the same until further agreement.' 
So, by the Gastein Treaty, the sovereignty of Schleswig 
now virtually centred in Prussia, and that of Holstein in 
Austria ; while, in consideration of the payment of two- 
and-a-half millions of Danish dollars, the Emperor Francis 
Joseph ceded to King William all his rights of co-pro- 
prietorship in the Duchy of Lauenburg. 

But this mutual arrangement, while pleasant enough to 
the two monarchs, drew forth strong protests from the 
Cabinets of Paris and London. M. Drouyn de Lhuys, the 
French Minister for Foreign Affairs, wrote : * Upon what 
principle does the Austro-Prussian combination rest? We 
regret to find no other foundation for it than force, no other 
justification than the reciprocal convenience of the co-sharers. 
This is a mode of dealing to which the Europe of to-day has 
become unaccustomed, and precedents for it must be sought 
for in the darkest ages of history. Violence and conquest 
pervert the notion of right and the conscience of nations/ 
In almost identical terms, Earl Kussell likewise wrote : 
' All rights, old or new, whether based upon a solemn 
agreement between sovereigns or on the clear and precise 
expression of the popular will, have been trodden under 
foot by the Gastein Convention, and the authority of force 



96 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

is the sole power which has been consulted and recognized. 
Violence and conquest, such are the only bases upon which 
the dividing Powers have established their Convention. 
Her Majesty's Government greatly deplores the disregard 
thus manifested for the principles of public law and the 
legitimate claim that a people may raise to be heard when 
their destiny is called into question.' 

When the Frankfort Diet assembled on the 24th of 
August, the Prussian and Austrian representatives laid 
before the Diet copies of the convention. But the smaller 
German States condemned the treaty, for it overthrew all 
the grounds on which the war with Denmark had been 
jmdertaken, while the only result of the spoliation of the 
northern kingdom was the aggrandizement of Prussia. 
Accordingly, a committee of delegates from the minor German 
States which met at Frankfort, issued a circular in which 
they affirmed that by the Gastein Convention the Govern- 
ments of Austria and Prussia had violated in the most 
flagrant manner the clearest principles of right, and es- 
pecially that of the duchies to settle their own future. 
The document further stated that the measures which 
it foresaw must follow the Convention, would, in addition 
to shaking the sentiment of right of the German people, 
probably annihilate for years the material and moral 
prosperity of the duchies, freed from the Danish yoke 
by German blood. 

General von Manteuffel was appointed Prussian Governor 
of Schleswig, and he issued a proclamation in which he made 
the following large assumptions on behalf of Prussia : ' By 
the Gastein Convention you are transferred to a separate 
administration under the authority of the King of Prussia. 
Government by Prussia signifies justice, public order, 
and the advancement of the general prosperity. In as- 
suming the Government, I promise to regard your interests, 
and expect obedience to his Majesty's commands.' Field- 
Marshal von Gablenz, the new Austrian Governor of 



TEE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 97 

Holstein, adopted a different tone. ' Holding aloof/ he 
said, ' from the exercise of any decided policy, I am inspired 
solely by the desire of remaining a stranger to all party 
intrigues, of striving incessantly to develop the prosperity 
of the country, and, strengthened hy the confidence of the 
population, of meeting the justly founded wishes of the 
people.' 

The King of Prussia now assumed, by Koyal proclamation, 
the title of Duke of Lauenburg. Shortly afterwards an 
important document was published to wit, the decision 
of a Commission which had been appointed by the Prussian 
Government to investigate the question of the legal rights 
involved in the dispute relative to the Duchies. The Com- 
mission, which included the Prussian Crown lawyers, re- 
ported that the King of Denmark was the rightful Sovereign 
of the ' entirety' of the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, 
Sonderburg, and Gliicksburg, and that the only pretence 
of title on the part of Prussia and Austria to those 
provinces, was the cession of them by the treaty of October, 
1864, which had been extorted from King Christian IX. at 
the point of the sword. Further, that the claim of Prince 
Frederick of Augustenburg was barred by the renunciation 
made by his father ' for himself and his heirs ' in December, 
1852. This was equivalent to saying that the only title of 
Prussia and Austria was derived from the right of conquest, 
because they had been victorious in a war unjustly provoked 
by themselves. The allies were not only thus condemned by 
the public opinion of Europe, but by a judicial body com- 
posed of Germans, whose decision was above suspicion. 

With the permission of King William, in October Bismarck 
had an interview with the Emperor Napoleon at Biarritz. 
The latter did not know what to make of his visitor, and 
asked Prosper Merimee if he was mad. But subsequently, 
in his Letters to an Unknown, Merimee said, ' Bismarck has 
quite won me ; as, indeed, he also captivated Napoleon 
himself by his frankness and the charm of his manners.' 



98 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

But politically the interview appears to have led to nothing 
definite. 

The Prussian Government did not go the right way to 
conciliate the people by forcibly interfering to prevent a 
banquet announced to be given by the citizens of Cologne 
to the Liberal members of the Chambers. "When the session 
opened on the 17th of January, 1866, Herr von Grabow, 
President of the Lower House, condemned this incident, 
and added that the Deputies were still waiting in vain for a 
settlement from Ministers of educational, trade, district, and 
principal affairs, based upon Liberal principles. The ad- 
ministration of the State was altogether devoid of Liberal 
principles, proof of which was afforded by the measures 
taken against Liberal newspapers, associations, and meetings, 
and Liberal officials and citizens. 

The Lower House boldly continued its opposition to the 
Ministry, and in February it voted by a large majority that 
the union of the Duchy of Lauenburg to the Crown of 
Prussia should not take place until it had been approved of 
by both the Chambers. This hostile and courageous attitude 
greatly displeased the King, and the session was abruptly 
closed on the 23rd of February, after an existence of only 
six weeks. Before the Chambers adjourned, Herr Gneist 
caustically and eloquently reviewed the history of the 
dispute between the Government and the Deputies, and 
observed, 'Let us hear no more of compromise. What we 
require is an atonement for the offence given to the public 
conscience an atonement for the violation of the laws of 
this people.' 

King William indicated his opinion of any interference 
with his sovereign rights in Schleswig, by issuing a procla- 
mation which declared that any Schleswiger signing an 
address or delivering a speech in favour of the Duke of 
Augustenburg would thenceforth be liable to be imprisoned 
for a period varying from three months to five years, while 
the actual attempt to abolish the Austro-Prussian sovereignty 



THE STRUG OLE WITH AUSTRIA. 99 

over the duchies, and hand over the country to any of the 
rival pretenders, rendered the offender liable to a penalty of 
from five to ten years' hard labour. What would such 
patriots as Pym and Hampden have done if they had been 
handed over without their consent to a new ruler, and had 
been forbidden even to discuss the supposed title and claims 
of their new sovereign ? 

Great events were impending that soon overshadowed 
the differences between King and Deputies. As in the case 
of individuals, Powers which have worked together for a 
common object are sure to quarrel in the long run, especially 
if their enterprises have been unjustifiable. Prussia and 
Austria, the whilom bosom friends, began to upbraid each 
other, the ostensible cause of the dispute being the occupa- 
tion of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Beneath the 
surface, however, was the deep-seated rivalry between the 
two Powers, each of which aspired to be master in Germany. 
As they were in the constant habit of giving checks to each 
other, much irritation ensued. Nor was Prussia alone 
causing concern to Austria; Italy was anxious to come 
to hostilities with the latter Power, and made active warlike 
preparations for a contest which she resolved should not 
long be delayed. Seeing what was before her in the Italian 
quarter, Austria increased her armaments, whereupon Prussia 
took umbrage at her proceedings, and asserted that the 
increase in the military strength of Austria was really a 
menace against herself. 

Count Bismarck now set to work in earnest, glad to get a 
pretext of any kind for falling out with Austria. He was 
resolved upon the exaltation of Prussia at any cost. In 
March the Berlin Government sent a circular despatch to 
the minor German States, pointing out the necessity of 
their coming to an immediate decision as to which of the 
two Powers they would side with in the struggle which the 
armaments going on in Austria seemed to render imminent. 
' It is urgent for Prussia to know if, and to what extent, she 

H 2 



100 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

may rely upon assistance in case she should be attacked hy 
Austria, or forced into war hy unmistakable menaces.' It 
was Bismarck's lot frequently to get the worst of the logic, 
and some of the States now replied hy referring him to the 
llth clause of the Federal Act, hy which war between 
German Governments, members of the Bund, was prohibited, 
and a pacific mode of settling disputes was provided. The 
Bavarian Government plainly said that any Federal State 
which declared war against another Federal State must be 
considered as having violated the Federal Constitution. 
The upshot was, that seventeen out of the thirty-three 
States which formed the Bund seceded from it ; and all the 
minor northern States, with the exception of the elder house 
of Keuss, took the part of Prussia. 

But Bismarck went on his way, and scored a strong point 
by making a secret treaty of alliance with Italy, according to 
which the two countries agreed to engage in war with Austria, 
though each on its own account. It did not seem a very manly 
way of fighting an enemy this one to cripple her in a certain 
quarter, and the other to keep her engaged in another. 
Allies fighting for a common cause is a different thing. 
But Italy engaged to declare war against Austria as soon as 
Prussia should have either declared war or committed an act 
of hostility. Prussia, on her part, agreed to continue the 
war until the mainland of Yenetia, with the exception of 
the fortresses and the city of Venice, either was in the hands 
of the Italians, or until Austria declared herself ready to 
cede it voluntarily ; and King Victor Emmanuel promised, 
on his part, not to lay down his arms until the Prussians 
should be in full and legal possession of the Elbe duchies. 

Now ensued a long correspondence between the Govern- 
ments of Austria and Prussia, each endeavouring to lay the 
blame upon the other of making hostile preparations in 
anticipation of a conflict, and each calling upon the other to 
disarm. We find the Emperor Francis Joseph expressing 
his sincere satisfaction at the announcement that Prussia 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 101 

had agreed to a simultaneous disarmament of the two 
Powers ; but as Italy was preparing for an attack upon 
Yenetia, of course Austria must look after herself in that 
quarter. To this Count Bismarck replied that Austria must 
disarm altogether, and that there was no ground for saying 
that Italy meditated an unprovoked attack upon the Empire, 
which was an astounding assertion in view of the provisions 
of the secret treaty between Prussia and Italy. 

The Austrian Emperor rejoined by issuing orders for placing 
the whole army upon a war footing, and for concentrating a 
portion of it on the Bohemian and Silesian frontiers. At 
the same time Count Mensdorff wrote to the Austrian 
Minister at Berlin to the effect, that it was ridiculous to say 
Italy meditated no attack upon Austria, when the forcible 
detachment of a part of the Austrian territory was the 
already announced programme of the Florence Government. 
If Austria was not to be allowed to make preparations for 
warding off this attack, then she must consider the negotia- 
tions for a simultaneous disarmament on the part of Prussia 
on the one side, and of Austria on the other, as being at an 
end. Austria had given solemn assurances, both at Berlin 
and at Frankfort, and Prussia could therefore have no 
reason to apprehend aggression on her part, while Germany 
could have no cause to fear that she would disturb the peace 
of the German Confederation. ' In Berlin,' said Count 
Mensdorff, i it cannot be unknown that we have not only to 
provide for the integrity of our own Empire, but also to 
protect the territory of the German Bund against an 
aggressive movement on the part of Italy ; and we therefore 
may and must, in the interests of Germany, seriously ask of 
Prussia whether she thinks the demand that the frontiers of 
Germany shall be left unguarded, compatible with the duties 
of a German Power.' 

Bismarck was not careful to answer this question ; but 
his policy had become very apparent a few days before, when 
a peremptory demand was made by the Prussian Government 



102 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

upon the Saxon Government to give an account of the 
reasons why the Saxon army had been strengthened ; and 
they were told that if the armaments were not at once 
discontinued, the Berlin Cabinet would take such measures 
as might appear to be necessary. But by way of reply to 
this threat, on the 5th of May a motion was made in the 
Federal Diet at Frankfort by the representative of Saxony, 
that the Bund, l in accordance with Article XI of the Act 
of Confederation, do summon Prussia to give a formal decla- 
ration that her intentions are of a pacific nature ; ' and this 
was carried by a majority of ten votes to five. 

Meanwhile a startling incident occurred at Berlin, which 
diverted for a moment the attention of Prussians from foreign 
affairs, while it at the same time testified to the feeling of 
hatred with which Count Bismarck was regarded by a portion 
of his own countrymen. On the afternoon of the 7th of May, 
as the First Minister was returning to his own residence 
from the Palace, and was passing down the central avenue 
of the Linden, two shots were fired at him. Bismarck 
turned round and grasped the wrist of the assassin with one 
hand, and his throat with the other ; but his assailant, 
though a very young man, struggled desperately, and man- 
aged to fire off three more bullets from a six-chambered 
revolver, two of which actually grazed the Minister's breast 
and shoulder. Notwithstanding a momentary feeling of 
weakness, Bismarck held on to his antagonist, and gripped 
him as in a vice ; and as a battalion of the Guards was by 
this time marching down the Linden, he handed him over to 
the soldiers, by whom he was taken off to prison. Bismarck 
went home and wrote an account of the affair to the King. 
Then he entered the drawing-room, where several guests had 
assembled for dinner, and very calmly confided to his wife 
the intelligence, ' They have shot at me, my child ; but don't 
fear ; there is no harm done. Let us now go in to dinner.' 
The family doctor afterwards declared that the Minister 
had been saved only by a miracle. The King came to 



THE STEUOQLE WITH AUSTRIA. 103 

offer his congratulations, and the day closed with popular 
rejoicings. 

The youth who made the attempt proved to be one 
Ferdinand Cohen, twenty-two years of age. ' He was the 
stepson of Karl Blind, a political exile from Baden, residing 
in London, and now well known in the literary circles of the 
metropolis. Cohen, who had adopted the name of Blind, 
was a youth of good education. He had espoused Kepublican 
principles, and journeyed from South Germany to Berlin 
with the set purpose of removing a man who was ' universally 
denounced as the oppressor of Prussian liberties, and the 
diaholic disturber of German peace.' 

Young Blind was executed, which from the Minister's 
point of view was perhaps not the wisest thing to do ; for 
Bismarck many years afterwards (May 9, 1884) complained 
in the Keichstag that the dead body of his would-be assassin 
* became the object of a cult ; that ladies of considerable 
name, whose husbands enjoyed a certain reputation in the 
scientific world, crowned it with laurels and flowers, and 
that this was tolerated by the police the mass of the 
ordinary officials, perhaps even some of the higher ones, 
being rather on his side.' By way of correcting certain 
erroneous inferences from the Chancellor's statement, how- 
ever, Herr Karl Blind thus wrote to the Times concerning 
his adopted son: 'The nobility of his character, and the 
patriotic nature of the motives which carried him away 
to the deed, were universally acknowledged at the time, even 
by political adversaries. His death was made the theme of 
a eulogistic poem by Marie Kurz, the wife of Hermann 
Kurz. His portrait, crowned with oak-leaves, was worn by 
many militiamen in the south on their helmets when they 
were called out for the war. With Nihilist ideas he had 
nothing whatever to do. His object was to prevent what 
the Imperial Chancellor in recent years himself has twice 
designated as a " war between brethren." I hold a number 
of letters of warmest sympathy, written in the days of 



104 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

deepest grief and sorrow, to my wife and myself, by men of 
political standing in Germany, of the moderate National 
Liberal, as well as of the Progressist and Democratic parties.' 

Keturning to the historical thread of our narrative, ' when 
the two giant brothers (Austria and Prussia) began to feel 
for their swords and shake their gauntleted fists at each 
other, Napoleon III., like another lago feigning horror at 
the brawl between Cassio and Koderigo, made a show of pro- 
posing that they should submit their quarrel to a European 
congress at Paris a proposal which, though accepted by 
Prussia, was virtually rejected by her rival ; but he had 
previously plied Bismarck with offers of an alliance against 
Austria, whereof the main objects were the cession of the 
Duchies to Prussia, of Yenetia to Italy, and of more than 
the left bank of the Ehine to France.' And as a comment 
upon modern sovereigns and their diplomatic wiles, it may 
be stated that while Napoleon was tempting Bismarck with 
offers of an alliance against Austria, he was at the same time 
secretly treating with Francis Joseph for the cession of 
Venetia in return for Silesia 'the province most proudly 
prized by Prussian king and people.' 

General Gablenz, the Austrian Governor of Holstein, con- 
voked an assembly of the States, to meet on the llth of 
June; but other events of moment intervened. The Prussian 
troops in Schleswig crossed the frontier on the 7th of May, 
to assert the right of Prussia to a joint occupation of the 
duchy ; and as the Austrians were not in sufficient force to 
offer any effectual resistance, they retired from Holstein. 
The Prussian Governor of Schleswig, General Manteuffel, 
then issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Holstein, 
in which he declared that the Provisional Government estab- 
lished there in September, 1865, was abolished, and appointed 
a Prussian President for the administration of the affairs of 
both the duchies Schleswig and Holstein. 

In vain did Austria protest against these acts, and accuse 
Prussia of a violation of the Gastein Convention. The 



TEE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 105 

Frankfort Diet passed a resolution, that the military commis- 
sion should watch that the ordinary Federal contingents in 
Federal garrisons should not be exceeded, the object being 
to prevent Prussia from reinforcing her proportion of the 
garrison in the important fortress of Mayence. The repre- 
sentative of Prussia, by way of retort, then announced in 
the Diet, that she would consider the imperative require- 
ments of her self-preservation as more important than her 
relations to a Confederation which, in its opposition to the 
supreme Federal laws, did not add to the security of the 
members of the Confederation, but rather endangered it. 

It was at this juncture that the other Great Powers of 
Europe endeavoured to avert the outbreak of hostilities by a 
conference ; and England, France, and Kussia invited 
Austria, Prussia, and Italy, and the German Diet, to send 
representatives to meet in Paris and settle the terms of 
peace. Prussia, Italy, and the Diet accepted this invitation, 
but Austria made it a condition to her assent, that the 
negotiations should exclude all pretensions on the part of 
any one of the Powers to obtain an aggrandizement of 
territory. This stipulation obviously pointed to the claim 
of Prussia upon the two Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, 
which she was not now in the least likely to abandon ; so 
the French Emperor declared that it was useless for the 
Powers to meet, and the proposed Conference fell through. 
Two persons, Napoleon and Bismarck, were delighted with 
this abortive result. Prussia had agreed to the Conference 
with reluctance, and when the despatch announcing the 
failure of the Congress was brought to Bismarck, he ex- 
claimed, ' Vive le Roi ! ' 

King William himself was much averse to this war in the 
outset. He was not only personally attached to the Emperor 
of Austria, but he did not like to be the first to break 
through the old German traditions. Those religious scru- 
ples, moreover, which have moved him at many stages in his 
history, intervened to make him shrink from incurring the 



106 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

responsibility of a European war. Then, protests and 
addresses poured in from all quarters, invoking a curse upon 
that Power which should be the first to cause a deadly strife 
between brethren. But Bismarck's iron will overcame all 
obstacles, and within six or seven days from the failure of 
the project for a Conference, Prussia withdrew from the 
Germanic Confederation, and by that step virtually declared 
war against Austria. 

The two great German Powers now made active pre- 
parations for meeting in the field. The Frankfort Diet 
decreed, on the 14th of June, that the forces of the different 
States, members of the Bund, should be mobilized. What 
Prussia did is thus paraphrased in graphic language by 
Mr. Lowe, in his Life of Prince Bismarck : ' " Look here, you 
ravenous and unreliable hawks," said Bismarck, on the day 
after the Prussian eagle had escaped from the discordant 
aviary at Frankfort ; " look here, you Kings of Saxony and 
Hanover, and you also, Elector of Hesse Cassel ! Your 
geographical facilities for dealing Prussia an open or secret 
blow are too great for us to remain in a day's doubt about 
your intentions. Therefore declare unto us before midnight 
your readiness to disarm and to accept our reform schemes, 
in return for our guarantee of your territorial and sovereign 
integrity, or your blood be upon your own heads ! " 

' "What were a Catholic and literary King John ruled by a 
diplomatic Dugald Dalgetty of a Beust, and a poor old blind 
King George boastful of his ancient lineage, and a whimsical 
tyrant of an Elector of Hesse, to say to a terribly imperative 
summons of this kind ? All three returned equivocal 
answers tantamount to " No ! " and in less than two days 
their capitals were in the grip of Prussian troops, the two 
kings fugitive from their dominions, and the Elector on his 
way to Stettin as a State prisoner ! Never had there been 
such prompt and splendid action since Frederick the Great, 
suspecting the designs of the Saxons, marched on Dresden 
and seized the proofs of their conspiracy with his foes ; or 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 107 

since Nelson sailed to Copenhagen and disabled the Danish 
fleet from serving the Corsican robber against the Mistress 
of the Seas.' 

Prince Frederick Charles, who commanded the Prussian 
troops in Saxony, upon entering that kingdom, issued from 
Gorlitz a proclamation to the inhabitants, in which he said : 
* We are not at war with the people and country of Saxony, 
but only with the Government, which, by its inveterate 
hostility, has forced us to take up arms.' Hesse-Cassel was 
overrun without any opposition. The Prussian force was 
divided into three main armies. Prince Frederick Charles 
commanded in Saxony and Bohemia, the Crown Prince 
operated in Silesia, and General Herwarth commanded the 
third army, called the army of the Elbe. 

In Yon Moltke Prussia now found the first strategist in 
Europe, as she had already found the first diplomatist in 
Bismarck. ' The confidence with which Bismarck had 
spoken and acted was to a great extent the result of his 
complete trust in the capability of the Prussian army, and of 
the soldier who was its mind and brain, to make good his 
actions and his words ; and now he drew back and watched, 
while Hellmuth von Moltke set all the wondrous machinery 
in harmonious motion by a gentle pressure of his finger, and 
while he pored over his map in the office of the Grand 
General Staff at Berlin, as at a pensive game of chess, and 
moved his military pawns by touch of electric wire. Never 
before had war been waged in this way ; never had any 
method of waging war been more swiftly, more surprisingly 
successful.' Nevertheless, at the opening of the campaign, 
there were not wanting those in Europe who thought that 
Austria might emerge victorious from the struggle. 

The Emperor of Austria issued a war manifesto to his 
people on the 17th of June. Beginning with a review of the 
course of events which led up to the brink of hostilities, he 
explained why he was compelled to draw the sword. ' While 
engaged in a work of peace, which was undertaken for the 



108 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEBMAN EMPIRE. 

purpose of laying the foundation for a Constitution which 
should augment the unity and power of the Empire, and at 
the same time secure to my several countries and peoples 
free internal development, my duties as a sovereign have 
obliged me to place my whole army under arms. On the 
frontiers of my empire, in the south and in the north, stand 
the armies of two enemies who have allied with the intention 
of breaking the power of Austria as a great European State. 
To neither of those enemies have I given cause for war. I 
call on an Omniscient God to bear witness that I have 
always considered it my first, my most sacred duty, to do all 
in my power to secure for my peoples the blessings of peace.' 

'One of the hostile Powers,' continued the Emperor, 
referring to Italy, ' requires no excuse. Having a longing to 
deprive me of parts of my Empire, a favourable opportunity 
is for him a sufficient cause for going to war. The nego- 
tiations with Prussia in respect to the Elbe duchies clearly 
proved that a settlement of the question in a way compatible 
with the dignity of Austria, and with the -rights and in- 
terests of Germany and the duchies, could not be brought' 
about, as Prussia was violent and intent on conquest. The 
negotiations were therefore broken off, the whole affair was 
referred to the Bund, and at the same time the legal 
representatives of Holstein were convoked. 

'The danger of war induced the three Powers France, 
England, and Russia to invite my Government to par- 
ticipate in general conferences, the object of which was to 
be the maintenance of peace. My Government, in accordance 
with my views, and, if possible, to secure the blessing of 
peace for my peoples, did not refuse to share in the con- 
ferences, but made their acceptance dependent on the 
confirmation of the supposition that the public law of 
Europe and the existing treaties were to form the basis of 
the attempt at mediation, and that the Powers represented 
would not seek to uphold special interests which could be 
prejudicial to the balance of power in Europe, and to the 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 109 

rights of Austria. The fact that the attempt to mediate 
failed because these natural suppositions were made, is a 
proof that the conferences could not have led to the main- 
tenance of peace. Recent events clearly prove that Prussia 
substitutes open violence for right and justice.' 

This able and now historic document next recapitulated 
the facts connected with the withdrawal of Prussia from the 
German Bund, and her employment of force against those 
sovereigns who had faithfully discharged their Federal 
duties. The Emperor's manifesto thus concluded : ' The 
most pernicious of wars a war of Germans against Germans 
has become inevitable, and I now summon before the 
tribunal of history before the tribunal of an eternal and 
all-powerful God those persons who have brought it about, 
and make them responsible for the misfortunes which may 
fall on individuals, families, districts, and countries. . . . We 
shall not be alone in the struggle which is about to take 
place. The princes and peoples of Germany know that 
liberty and independence are menaced by a Power which 
listens but to the dictates of egotism, and is under the 
influence of an ungovernable craving after aggrandizement ; 
and they also know that in Austria they have an upholder of 
the freedom, power, and integrity of the whole of the German 
Fatherland. We and our German brethren have taken up 
arms in defence of the most precious rights of nations. We 
have been forced so to do, and we neither can nor will disarm 
until the internal development of my Empire and of the 
German States, which are allied with it, has been secured, 
and also their power and influence in Europe. My hopes are 
not based on unity of purpose on power alone. I confide in 
an Almighty and a just God, whom my house from its very 
foundation has faithfully served a God who never forsakes 
those who righteously put their trust in Him. To Him I 
pray for assistance and success, and I call on my peoples to 
join me in that prayer.' 

If Prussia had her Moltke, Austria had her Benedek, a 



110 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

brilliant and an experienced soldier, and a man of high 
reputation. He was appointed Commander-in-chief of the 
Austrian army of the North, and distributed his forces along 
the frontier that separates Moravia from Saxony and Silesia. 
But his plans were differently laid from those of the Prussian 
strategist. Not anticipating the rapid movements of the 
enemy, General Benedek hoped to encounter his foes in 
detail, and to cut them off as they penetrated the passes and 
entered the Austrian territory at separate points. General 
von Moltke, on the contrary, had so constructed his plans 
that the three great German armies were all to converge 
upon a given point, which they actually did ; so that masterly 
strategy, aided by the terribly-destructive power of the new 
needle-gun, wrought havoc amongst the Austrians, and 
ultimately brought the war to an end in an incredibly short 
space of time. Days sufficed for military movements which, 
in past times, would have required months to execute. 

Prince Frederick Charles established himself with the 
First Prussian Army on the 22nd of June at Hirschfeld, a 
village near the frontier town of Zittau, which guards the 
passes leading from Friedland in Bohemia to Lusatia in 
Saxony. From this place he issued a proclamation, and on 
the following day the First Prussian Army crossed the 
Bohemian frontier in two columns, one marching by way of 
Gorlitz, and the other by Zittau. Several small skirmishes 
with the enemy took place, and on the 28th there was a 
severe battle at Miinchengratz. The Austrians, who were 
reinforced by the Saxons, fought well, but were finally driven 
back upon Gitschin. The Prussians still pressed them, and 
took up their position on the high ground in front of the 
town. 

Meanwhile the Second Prussian Army, under the command 
of the Crown Prince, by a strategic movement, which com- 
pletely deceived the Austrians, suddenly made its appearance 
at Nachod and Frantenau in Bohemia, having passed without 
opposition the frontier at Eeinerz and Landshut. The 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. Ill 

mountain defile leading to Nachod was occupied by the 
Austrians, but, after a short skirmish, they abandoned it on 
the 27th of June. The advance-guard of the Prussians, 
however, whose leading columns were under the command of 
General Steinmetz, was soon afterwards engaged by a strong 
Austrian force, and for the moment compelled to retreat; 
but the Crown Prince came to Steinmetz's aid, and, after a 
hotly-contested battle, the Austrians were ultimately de- 
feated with a loss of 4000 men. A second sanguinary battle 
was fought on the same day between the armies of the 
Crown Prince and the Austrian Field-Marshal Gablenz at 
Frantenau, when the soldiers of Francis Joseph were again 
defeated. The Prussians pushed forward as far as Skalitz, 
of which town they took possession. All through the contest 
the Prussian Generals understood each other's plans, which 
were carried out to a nicety ; but the course pursued by the 
Austrians was full of mistakes and strategic blunders. 
Archduke Leopold, for example, is said to have disobeyed 
the positive orders of his Commander-in-Chief, General 
Benedek, which were that he was not on any account to 
attack the Prussians when he confronted them at Skalitz, 
but to retire slowly until he could meet with more support. 
Benedek's object was to draw the enemy from their strong 
position on the rising ground above Skalitz, and to enable 
the Archduke to occupy the ridge opposite, the Prussians 
being thus inveigled into the valley beneath. But the 
Archduke, by some strange piece of infatuation, completely 
traversed these orders, and attacked the Prussians on the 
heights. The result was that he was driven back and 
pursued by the Prussians, who seized upon a formidable and 
advantageous position, from which subsequently they could 
not be dislodged. The Prussians were now very jubilant, 
and on the 1st of July the Crown Prince issued a general 
order, in which he recalled the successive incidents of the 
short but brilliant campaign. 

The Third Prussian Army, that of the Elbe, under General 



112 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Herwarth, after engaging the enemy near Turnau, and 
driving him back, effected a junction with the First Army 
under Prince Frederick Charles. This was near the town of 
Gitschin. Benedek, therefore, ordered Count Clam Gallas, 
with the First Austrian Corps d'Armee, to hold Gitschin 
while he himself took up a position at Dubenitz, in order to 
meet the army of the Crown Prince as it debouched from the 
passage of the Elbe. But Clam Gallas, also against his 
orders, it is stated, attacked the Prussians, with the result 
that he was driven out of his position, while the enemy 
captured Gitschin. General Benedek now found his left 
flank exposed, and ordered his army to fall back in the 
direction of Koniggratz. The Times' correspondent, de- 
scribing this new and perilous situation, wrote: 'Benedek, 
who had taken up a strong position with his centre near 
Dubenec, his left towards Miletin, and his right covered by 
the river and by Josephstadt, found himself in the twinkling 
of an eye placed in a position of the greatest danger. His 
left was " in the air." The Prussians were not only on his 
left, but in his rear ; and at the same time another great 
army was marching to effect its junction with them where 
he was altogether exposed. He instantly wheeled back his 
left and centre, and then, retiring his right, took up a line 
at Koniggratz at right angles to the line he had occupied to 
the west of Josephstadt.' But so serious was his danger, 
and so distrustful was Benedek of the moral of his troops, 
that, before the great battle was fought, he telegraphed to 
the Emperor of Austria,, ' Sire, you must make peace ! ' 

Peace was not made, and there was soon such a shock of 
arms as the battle-grounds of Europe have rarely witnessed. 
The King of Prussia entered Gitschin on the 2nd of July, 
and, on receiving a deputation from the authorities of the 
town, he thus addressed them : ' I carry on no war against 
your nation, but only against the armies opposed to me. If, 
however, the inhabitants will commit acts of hostility against 
my troops without any cause, I shall be forced to make 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 113 

reprisals. My troops are not savage hordes, and require 
simply the supplies necessary for subsistence. It must be 
your care to give them no cause for just complaint. Tell 
the inhabitants that I have not come to make war upon 
peaceable citizens, but to defend the honour of Prussia 
against insult/ 

On the following day, the 3rd of July, was fought the great 
battle of Koniggratz, as it was called by the Prussians, or 
Sadowa, as it was called by the Austrians. King William 
was received with wonderful enthusiasm by his troops, and he 
thus spoke of his reception in a letter to Queen Augusta : 
' The rejoicing which broke out here ' (he was at Langenhof 
on the Koniggratzer Chaussee) ' when the Guards caught sight 
of me is simply indescribable. The officers seized my hands 
to kiss them, which, for once in a way, I was obliged to permit, 
and so it went on all the time under fire, from one body of 
troops to another, ever forwards! and everywhere hurrahs 
without end ! ' 

The disposition of the Prussian army was as follows : The 
First Army, under Prince Frederick Charles, formed the 
centre ; the Elbe Army, under General Herwarth, the right ; 
and the Second Army, under the Crown Prince, the left wing. 
The 7th Division marched in front of the First Army, 
through Goritz, Czerknitz, and Sadowa, to effect a junction 
with the right wing of the Crown Prince. The 8th Division 
marched upon Milowitz, being destined to advance upon 
Koniggratz. The Second Army Corps was to operate against 
Donalitz, south of Sadowa. The Third Army Corps formed 
the reserve of the centre. The Elbe Army pushed forward 
from Smidar towards Nechanitz. The army of the Crown 
Prince was directed to march from Koniginhof in a straight 
line upon Koniggratz. The Austrian army was drawn up on 
a range of low hills between Smiritz and Nechanitz, and 
extended over a length of about nine miles, the centre 
occupying a hill on which was the village of Chlum or Klum, 
distinguished by a clump of trees. This was the key of the 

T 



114 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Austrian position. The Prussian army consisted of 256,000 
men, and against this General Benedek had nominally 
an army of 225,000 men ; but as a large deduction must be 
made for the baggage guards, the various escorts, the 
garrisons of Josephstadt and Koniggratz, the sick, and those 
tired by marching, and the killed, wounded, and prisoners in 
recent actions he had not more than 190,000 or 195,000 
soldiers actually at his command. 

The King of Prussia had determined to give his army a 
day's rest on the 3rd, intending to begin the supreme 
struggle on the 4th ; but at midnight of the 2nd of July, a 
Prussian reconnaissance revealed the fact, that the Austrians 
were preparing to attack. Accordingly a council was held 
between the King, Moltke, Bismarck, and Yon Koon, and it 
was decided to begin the attack with the dawn of day. The 
Prussian cavalry and horse artillery accordingly began to 
move at seven in the morning, and the Austrian guns opened 
upon them from a battery near the village of Sadowa. The 
battle which ensued has been described by many skilful 
writers, but from the accounts furnished by the corre- 
spondents of the Times we select one or two passages as 
being best descriptive of the crucial features of this 
memorable engagement. The military correspondent, who 
was present with the Prussians at the battle, wrote : 

' It was ten o'clock when Prince Frederick Charles sent 
General Stuhnapl to order the attack on Sadowa, Dohilnitz, 
and Mokrowens. The columns advanced, covered by 
skirmishers, and reached the river bank without much loss ; 
but from there they had to fight every inch of their way. 
The Austrian infantry held the bridges and villages in force, 
and fired fast upon them as they approached. The Prussians 
could advance but slowly along the narrow ways and against 
the defences of the houses, and the volleys sweeping through 
the ranks seemed to tear the soldiers down. The Prussians 
fired much more quickly than their opponents, but they could 
not see to take their aim ; the houses, trees, and smoke from 



TEE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 115 

the Austrian discharges, shrouded the villages. Sheltered by 
this, the Austrian Jagers fired blindly where they could tell 
by hearing that the attacking columns were, and the shots 
told tremendously on the Prussians in their close formations ; 
but the latter improved their positions, although slowly, and 
by dint of sheer courage and perseverance, for they lost men 
at every yard of their advance, and in some places almost 
paved the way with wounded. Then, to help the infantry, 
the Prussian artillery turned its fire, regardless of the enemy's 
batteries, on the villages, and made tremendous havoc 
amongst the houses. Mokrowens and Dohilnitz both caught 
fire, and the shells fell quickly and with fearful effect among 
the defenders of the flaming hamlets ; the Austrian guns also 
played upon the attacking infantry, but at this time these were 
sheltered from their fire by the houses and trees between. 

1 In and around the villages the fighting continued for 
nearly an hour ; then the Austrian infantry who had been 
there, driven out by a rush of the Prussians, retired, but only 
a little way up the slope into a line with their batteries. 
The wood above Sadowa was strongly held, and that between 
Sadowa and Benatek, teeming with riflemen, stood to bar the 
way of the 7th Division. But General Fransky, who com- 
mands this division, was not to be easily stopped, and he 
sent his infantry at the wood, and turned his artillery on the 
Austrian batteries. The 7th Division began firing into the 
trees, but found they could not make any impression, for the 
defenders were concealed, and musketry fire was useless 
against them. Then Fransky let them go, and they dashed 
in with the bayonet. The Austrians would not retire, but 
waited for the struggle ; and in the wood above Benatek was 
fought out one of the fiercest combats which the war has 
seen. The 27th Prussian regiment went in nearly 3000 
strong, with 90 officers, and came out on the further side 
with only two officers and between 300 and 400 men standing ; 
all the rest were killed or wounded. The other regiments 
of the division also suffered much, but not in the same 

i 2 



116 WILLIAM I. AND THE QEBMAN EMPIRE. 

proportion ; but the wood was carried. The Austrian line 
was now driven in on both flanks, but its commander formed 
a new line of battle a little higher up the hill, round Lipa, 
still holding the wood which lies above Sadowa.' 

Meanwhile, General Herwarth was fighting a desperate 
battle with the Saxon troops at Nechanitz, a village seven 
miles from Sadowa. Courageously did the Saxons meet the 
foe, but they were slowly driven backwards upon the main 
body of the Austrian army. The Prussians now endeavoured 
to carry the wood above the villages of Sadowa and Dohilnitz, 
a very important strategical point, but the Austrian batteries 
played upon them with murderous effect. The whole battle 
line of the Prussians could gain no more ground, and was 
obliged to fight hard to retain the position it had won. At 
one time it seemed as if it would be lost, for guns had been 
dismounted by the Austrian fire, and in the wooded ground 
the needle-gun had no fair field, and the infantry fight was 
very equal. Herwarth, too, seemed checked upon the right. 
The smoke of his musketry and artillery, which had hitherto 
been pushing forward steadily, stood still for a time. 
Fransky's men, cut to pieces, could not be sent forward to 
attack the Sadowa wood, for they would have exposed them- 
selves to be taken in rear by the artillery on the right of the 
Austrian line formed in front of Lipa. All the artillery was 
engaged except eight batteries, and these had to be retained 
in case of a reverse, for at one time the firing in the Sadowa 
wood, and of the Prussian artillery on the slope, seemed 
almost as if drawing back towards Bistritz. The First Army 
was certainly checked in its advance, if not actually being 
pushed back. 

The chances of victory were now exactly even for both 
armies, and the moment was critical. The Prussian Generals 
were waiting uneasily for the Crown Prince, and the position 
reminded the Times correspondent of the closing hours of 
the battle of Waterloo, when the Duke of Wellington so 
anxiously awaited the coming of Bliicher. But at half-past 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 117 

one in the afternoon the army of the Crown Prince emerged 
into view, and at once engaged the Austrian right. The 
Austrians failed to carry the village of Klum, and now found 
themselves exposed to a cross fire. What followed is thus 
described : ' Suddenly a spattering of musketry breaks out of 
the trees and houses of Klum right down on the Austrian 
gunners, and on the columns of infantry drawn up on the 
slopes below. The gunners fall on all sides their horses 
are disabled the firing increases in intensity the Prussians 
press on over the plateau : this is an awful catastrophe two 
columns of Austrians are led against the village ; but they 
cannot stand the fire, and after three attempts to carry it 
retreat, leaving the hill-side covered with the fallen. It is 
a terrible moment. The Prussians see their advantage ; 
they here enter into the very centre of the position. In 
vain the staff-officers fly to the reserves, and hasten to call 
back some of the artillery from the front. The dark blue 
regiments multiply on all sides, and from their edges roll 
perpetually sparkling musketry. Their guns hurry up, and 
from the slope take both the Austrians on the extreme right 
and the reserves in flank. They spread away to the woods 
near the Prague road, and fire into the rear of the Austrian 
gunners. 

'The lines of dark blue which came in sight from the 
right teemed from the vales below as if the earth yielded 
them. They filled the whole background of the awful 
picture, of which Klum was the centre. They pressed down 
on the left of the Prague road. In square, in column, 
deployed, or wheeling hither and thither everywhere pour- 
ing in showers of deadly precision penetrating the whole 
line of the Austrians still they could not force their stubborn 
enemy to fly. On all sides they met brave but unfortunate 
men ready to die if they could do no more. At the side of the 
Prague road the fight went on with incredible vehemence. 
The Austrians had still an immense force of artillery ; 
and although its concentrated fire swept the ground before 



118 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

it, its effect was lost in some degree by reason of the rising 
ground above, and at last by its divergence to so many 
points to answer the enemy's cannon. Chesta and Visa were 
now burning, so that from right to left the flames of ten 
villages, and the flashes of guns and musketry, contended 
with the sun, that pierced the clouds for the honour of 
illuminating the seas of steel and the fields of carnage. It 
was three o'clock. The efforts of the Austrians to occupy 
Klum and free their centre had failed ; their right was driven 
down in a helpless mass towards Koniggratz, quivering and 
palpitating as shot and shell tore through it. " Alles ist 
verloren ! " Artillery still thundered with a force and vio- 
lence which might have led a stranger to such scenes to 
think no enemy could withstand it. The Austrian cavalry 
still hung like white thunder-clouds on the flanks, and 
threatened the front of the Prussians, keeping them in 
square and solid columns. But already the trains were 
steaming away from Koniggratz, placing the Elbe and 
Adler between them and the enemy.' 

Thus was won for Prussia the great battle of Sadowa, or 
Koniggratz, which was to have an important effect in aggran- 
dizing one great State engaged at the expense of the other, 
and to make King William the paramount German Sovereign. 
Many interesting anecdotes are related of the bearing of the 
King of Prussia and his Generals during the deadly conflict. 
Writing to his wife after the battle, Bismarck said : ' On 
the ord the King exposed himself to danger all day, and it 
was very fortunate that I was with him, for all the caution- 
ings of others were of no effect. No one would have ventured 
to speak as I permitted myself to do the last time, and with 
success, too, when a whole mass of ten troopers and fifteen 
horses of the 6th Kegiment of Cuirassiers lay wallowing in 
their blood close to us, and the shells whirred in unpleasant 
proximity to the King. The worst, fortunately, did not go 
off. Still, I would rather it be so than that he should err 
on the side of caution. He was very enthusiastic about his 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 119 

troops, and rightly so, and did not appear to notice the shells 
that were whirring and bursting around him. He was just 
as quiet and comfortable as on the Kreuzberg (parade-ground 
at Berlin), and kept on finding battalions which he wanted 
to thank and say good-evening to, until we were once more 
under fire.' 

A writer in the Deutsche Revue for October, 1884, recalled 
a very interesting and characteristic incident of Sadowa: 
* At a critical point in the battle Bismarck met Moltke, and 
offered him a cigar. The strategist carefully selected the 
best weed in the Chancellor's case, and the latter took 
comfort, thinking to himself that if the General was still 
calm enough to make a choice of this kind, things could not 
be going so very bad with them after all.' Moltke, however, 
was just the man to be perfectly immovable and impassive 
when other men would be tremulous with excitement and 
shaking with fear. 

Again, in the course of conversation on one occasion, 
Bismarck thus spoke of the demeanour of King William on 
this memorable day : ' The attention of the King was wholly 
fixed on the progress of the battle, and he paid not the 
slightest heed to the shells that were whizzing thickly around 
him. To my repeated request that his Majesty might not 
so carelessly expose himself to so murderous a fire, he only 
answered : " The Commander-in-Chief must be where he 
ought to be." Later on, at the village of Lipa, when the 
King in person had ordered the cavalry to advance, and the 
shells were again falling round him, I ventured to renew 
my request, saying, " If your Majesty will take no care of 
your own person, have pity at least on your (poor) Minister- 
President, from whom your faithful J Russian people will 
again demand their King; and in the name of that people 
I entreat you to leave this dangerous spot." Then the King 
gave me his hand, with a " Well, then, Bismarck, let us ride 
on a little." So saying, his Majesty wheeled his black 
mare, and put her into as easy a canter as if he had been 



120 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

riding down the Linden to the Thiergarten. But for all 
that I felt very uneasy about him ; and so, edging up with 
my dark chestnut to Sadowa ' (the name given to the King's 
mare after the battle) 'I gave her a good (sly) kick from 
behind with the point of my boot; she made a bound 
forward, and the King looked round in astonishment. I 
think he saw what I had done, but he said nothing.' 

After the victory of Skalitz, the King had despatched an 
aide-de-camp to the Crown Prince's head-quarters with the 
order Pour le Merite for his Koyal Highness, as a recognition 
of his important services. So rapid were the movements of 
the Prince's army, however, that the decoration could not 
reach its destination before the battle of Sadowa. On the 
evening of that day the King met his brave son near the 
village of Streselitz, and after clasping him fondly in his 
arms, the King took the collar of the order from his own 
neck and flung it round that of his son. Both were unable 
to speak from emotion, and the King thus wrote concerning 
the incident : ' At last I came upon Fritz, with his staff. 
What a moment, after all we had gone through, and upon 
the evening of such a day ! I gave him the order Pour le 
Merite with my own hands, so that the tears ran down his 
cheeks for he had never received my telegram announcing 
the conferment. It was, therefore a complete surprise.' 

The battle of Sadowa cost Prussia 10,000 men in killed 
and wounded ; but Austria lost 40,000 men, including 18,000 
prisoners, 11 standards, and 174 guns. When he saw how 
the day had gone, General Benedek exclaimed, ' I have lost 
all except, alas ! my life.' 

As a result of this sanguinary engagement, General von 
Gablenz was sent from the Austrian lines to the Prussian 
head-quarters to propose an armistice. But the enemy 
decisively rejected this proposition, and the whole of the 
Prussian forces proceeded to advance, the army of Prince 
Frederick Charles making for Briinn, the capital of Moravia. 
The Crown Prince moved on Olmiitz, and General Herwarth, 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 121 

with the army of the Elbe, went westward in the direction 
of Iglau. The Emperor of Austria superseded General 
Benedek in his command, and appointed the Archduke 
Albert, who was then at the head of the Austrian army in 
Venetia, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the North. 
This was a severe blow to Benedek, upon whom the hand of 
fate weighed heavily. He had been more unfortunate than 
culpable, and the officers under him had committed serious 
blunders in defiance of his express orders. The rank and 
file of the Austrians had fought splendidly. 

Francis Joseph was in terrible straits, and saw that 
something must be done. His army in the north had been 
beaten by the Prussians, and could not recover itself, and 
his dominions were threatened with complete ruin. Add to 
this, that the second large portion of his armies was engaged 
in another critical struggle, that of endeavouring to hold 
Venetia against the Italians. It was at this juncture that 
the wily French monarch, Napoleon III., stepped in. He had 
done not a little, as we have seen, in the way of making 
overtures to both Prussia and Austria on previous occasions, 
and he now offered himself as arbitrator between them. 
Francis Joseph, in the hope of putting a stop to the Italian 
war, ceded Venetia to France, to be held in trust for Italy. 
This step would of course enable the Emperor of Austria to 
release his troops south of the Tyrol, and to despatch them 
against the Prussian forces which were marching onwards 
upon Vienna. Napoleon telegraphed to the King of Prussia, 
offering his mediation and proposing an armistice ; and his 
offer being accepted, an armistice of five days was arranged, 
to begin from the 22nd of July. 

But we must now go back a little, and glance at other 
ramifications of this brief but brilliant campaign against 
Austria and her supporters. As soon as war was declared 
the Hanoverian army was placed on a stronger footing, and 
it began its march from Gottingen against the Prussian 
forces. On the 27th of June the Hanoverians were attacked 



122 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

at Merschelen, on the left bank of the Unstrut. They 
fought gallantly, and claimed the victory, as they repulsed 
the enemy, though they were too much exhausted to follow 
up their success. But on the following day they were 
surrounded by a vastly superior force, and, finding them- 
selves cut off on all sides, were compelled to capitulate. On 
giving an undertaking not to serve against Prussia during 
the remainder of the campaign, they were treated with all 
the honours of war. 

The Emperor of Austria, after the defeat of Sadowa, 
issued this manifesto to his 'faithful peoples' of the 
Kingdom of Hungary : ' The hand of Providence weighs 
heavily upon us. In the conflict into which I have been 
drawn, not voluntarily, but through the force of circum- 
stances, every human calculation has been frustrated, save 
only the confidence I placed in the heroic bravery of my 
valiant army. The more grievous are the heavy losses 
by which the ranks of those brave men have been smitten ; 
and my paternal heart feels the bitterness of that grief with 
all the families affected. To put an end to the unequal 
contest to gain time and opportunity to fill up the voids 
occasioned by the campaign and to concentrate my forces 
against the hostile troops occupying the northern portion of 
my Empire, I have consented, with great sacrifices, to 
negotiations for the conclusion of an armistice. 

' I now turn confidently to the faithful peoples of my 
Kingdom of Hungary, and to that readiness to make 
sacrifices so repeatedly displayed in arduous times. The 
united exertions of my entire Empire must be set in motion, 
that the conclusion of the wished-for peace may be secured 
upon fair conditions. It is my profound belief that the 
warlike sons of Hungary, actuated by the feeling of 
hereditary fidelity, will voluntarily hasten under my 
banners, to the assistance of their kindred, and for the 
protection of their country, also immediately threatened 
by the events of war. Rally, therefore, in force to the 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 123 

defence of the invaded Empire ! Be worthy sons of your 
valiant forefathers, whose heroic deeds gained never-fading 
wreaths of laurel for the glory of the Hungarian name.' 

Three days later the Emperor issued another manifesto, in 
which, after referring to the heavy misfortune that had 
befallen the Army of the North, he announced that he 
had accepted Napoleon's offer of mediation. ' I am prepared 
to make peace upon honourable conditions, in order to put 
an end to the bloodshed and ravages of war. But I will 
never sanction a treaty of peace by which the fundamental 
conditions of Austria's position as a Great Power would 
be shaken. Sooner than that should be the case, I am 
resolved to carry on the war to the utmost extremity, and 
in this I am sure of my peoples' approval/ 

The Diet of Frankfort had become practically extinct 
owing to recent events, and on the 16th of July the 
Prussians occupied the city (from which the Bund had 
departed), and heavily requisitioned the inhabitants. The 
First Prussian Army entered Brunn, the capital of Moravia, 
on the 12th of July. The Crown Prince, with the Second 
Army, marched southwards, and the Army of the Elbe, by the 
morning of the 14th, was only about fifty miles from Vienna. 
Notwithstanding the negotiations for an armistice, on the 22nd 
of July, owing to some misunderstanding, an engagement 
took place between the troops of Prince Frederick Charles and 
the Austrians, in which the latter were once more severely 
worsted. This was the battle of Blumenau. With the 
object of capturing Presburg, General Fransky requested 
permission from Prince Frederick Charles to attack Blumenau. 
This was granted, and Fransky, with three Prussian divisions, 
set to work. The Austrians were surrounded, and the 
fighting became desperate. The combat was still pro- 
gressing furiously when an Austrian officer appeared with 
a flag of truce. Firing ceased on both sides, and the 
Austrians were then able to realize the deadly peril in 
which they were placed, for the Prussians had taken them 



124 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

in front and in rear. This was the last engagement of 
the campaign, and the armistice averted another scene of 
terrible slaughter. After a good deal of difficulty the corps 
under Benedek, and various other Austrian corps, reached 
positions of security on the Danube. The Emperor directed 
an immense entrenched camp to be constructed completely 
surrounding Vienna on the north side of the Danube, and 
the bulk of the army assembled at a short distance from the 
capital. 

But these and other precautions in view of the prosecution 
of the war happily proved unnecessary. Peace preliminaries 
between Austria and Prussia were signed at Nikolsburg on 
the 26th of July. Bismarck once more re-constructed the 
map of Germany, and Europe was anxious to know what 
would become of Saxony under the new arrangement. As 
Mr. Lowe observes, Bismarck ' was finally moved from his 
firm resolve to annex the Kingdom of Saxony, whose 
stubborn and intriguing opposition (under its Prime 
Minister, Herr von Beust) to his reform schemes had 
been one of the main causes of the war. But on the 
subject of Saxony, which had bled so freely for him on 
the field of Koniggratz, Francis Joseph was, or pretended 
to be, quite inexorable; and his protestations were sup- 
ported by the Emperor of the French, who had been 
personally implored by Beust to stand up for the King 
of Saxony in his hour of stress, as the King of Saxony, 
alone of all the German Princes, had stood by the Great 
Napoleon after his collapse at Leipzig a prayer with which 
Napoleon the Little was all the more willing to comply, as, 
under the mask of magnanimity, he would thus be able to 
thwart the ambitious and disquieting schemes of successful 
Prussia. As a matter of fact, Saxony was less essential to 
the territorial perfection of Prussia than Hanover and 
Hesse; and Bismarck wisely deemed it not worth the 
while to provoke a renewal of the conflict for the sake of 
this kingdom, provided its accession to the new con- 



THE STRUGGLE WITH AUSTRIA. 125 

federation of the North were secured. Kather, however, 
than yield on the latter point, he threatened to break off 
the peace negotiations ; and thus a compromise was effected 
which saved the sovereign integrity of Saxony, hut yet 
defeated her desire of throwing in her fate with the States of 
the South, under in all probability a French protectorate/ 

The treaty was definitively signed at Prague on the 
23rd of August. Apart from the question of Saxony, the 
territorial gains of Prussia under the treaty were very 
great. Before the war broke out, the Kingdom of Prussia 
consisted of the following nine provinces : Eastern Prussia, 
Western Prussia, The Grand Duchy of Posen or Polish 
Prussia, Silesia, Brandenburg, Pomerania, Saxon Prussia, 
Westphalia, and Khenish Prussia. The Treaty of Prague 
brought the following accessions to these territories : 
Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau, Hesse-Homburg, that part 
of Hesse-Darmstadt which lies to the north of the Maine, 
and the little principality of Hohenzollern, described as 
the cradle of the Prussian Eoyal House. The Duchies of 
Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg had been previously 
annexed. 

The last act in connection with the war was the ex- 
change of prisoners between Austria and Prussia on the 
27th of August. Some idea of the strength of the forces 
engaged in the conflict may be gathered from the ex- 
traordinary facts of this exchange. There were released on 
the Prussian side 523 Austrian officers, and 35,036 rank and 
file, while about 13,000 Austrian prisoners were still left 
behind in the Prussian hospitals. Austria only released 7 
Prussian officers, and 450 non-commissioned officers and men ; 
while about 120, severely wounded, remained behind in 
Austrian hands. The proportion of Austrians given up to 
Prussians was 83 to 1. Altogether, the loss of the Austrians, 
in killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing, was computed 
at about 90,000, and that of the Prussians at 21,989. 

Well might the King of Prussia and Count Bismarck 



126 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

congratulate themselves upon the results of the Bohemian 
campaign. But there was still important work before them 
not in the battle field, but in the Prussian Chambers. If 
the Prussian power was to be consolidated, it must be by the 
support of the people, and the strengthening of home 
interests. Much blood had been shed, and it was for the 
King and the nation to see that it had not been shed in 
vain. 



( 127 ) 



CHAPTEK VIII. 

AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 

AMID feelings of deep thankfulness and rejoicing in 
Berlin, the new session of the Prussian Chambers was 
opened by the King, in person, on the 5th of August. His 
Majesty was now more popular than ever with the people 
at large, and also with a considerable proportion of the 
Deputies. l The speech from the throne,' wrote an English 
correspondent, who was present at the inaugural ceremony, 
' did not disappoint the expectations raised by the promising 
state of politics. The King, who entered with the Crown 
Prince and other Princes of the House, received the pregnant 
manuscript from the hands of his Premier, and read it aloud 
with a firm and sonorous voice. His Majesty began by 
thanking God for the victory accorded to his arms. He 
hoped that the results of the campaign would redound to the 
permanent benefit of the country, and pave the way for the 
attainment of the national objects of Germany. Then 
passing to domestic affairs, he briefly commented upon the 
constitutional controversy that had been going on before the 
war, and accounting for the irregular military expenditure, 
by a reference to the necessities of the time, asked for a Bill 
of Indemnity. His Majesty's words sober and unpretending 
as ever were received with loud applause. As the royal 
speech, so the attitude of the House : business-like, and 
without the slightest tinge of an elation which might have 
been pardonable in the first flush of a brilliant success.' 

The passages in the King's speech relating to the Bill 
of Indemnity and the constitutional questions at issue 



128 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

between the Government and the Chambers, ran as follows : 
' An agreement with the representatives of the country, as 
to the settlement of the Budget, has not been able to be 
effected in the last few years. The State outlay incurred 
during this period is, therefore, destitute of that legal basis 
which, as I again acknowledge, the Budget can alone receive 
through the law. Article 99 of the Constitution ordains it 
annually to be agreed upon by my Government and the 
two Houses of the Diet. Although my Government has, 
nevertheless, carried on the Budget for several years without 
this legal basis, this has only been done after conscientious 
examination, and in the conviction, in accordance with duty, 
that the conduct of a settled administration, the fulfilment of 
legal obligations towards public creditors and officials, the 
maintenance of the army and of the State establishments, 
were questions vital to the interests of the State, and that 
the course adopted, therefore, became one of those inevitable 
necessities which, in the interest of the country, a Govern- 
ment cannot and must not hesitate to adopt. 

' I trust that recent events will in so far contribute to effect 
the indispensable understanding, that an indemnity for 
having carried on the administration without a law regulating 
the Budget application for which will be made to the 
representatives will readily be granted to my Government, 
and the hitherto existing conflict be therewith finally, and 
the more securely, brought to a conclusion ; as it may be 
expected that the political position of the Fatherland will 
admit an extension of the frontiers of the State, and the 
establishment of a united Federal army under the leadership 
of Prussia, the costs of which will be borne in equal pro- 
portion by all members of the confederation.' 

The whole tone and spirit of this address were in striking 
contrast to the messages which the irate monarch had been 
previously accustomed to send down to the Chambers by the 
hand of his iron-willed Minister. The King now spoke with 
every consideration for constitutional principles, and his 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 129 

speech from many points of view disarmed criticism. More- 
over, it is not so easy for men to fight against success, and 
the victorious King and an exalted Prussia formed an 
imposing spectacle which even recalcitrant Deputies could 
not resist. The Koyal speech, however, gave great umhrage 
to the French Emperor. It made no allusion to his medi- 
ation, nor any reference to Italy. There was a vague 
mention of the King's 'few but faithful allies/ and that 
was all. 

A Bill was brought forward for the incorporation of 
Hanover, Electoral Hesse, Nassau, and Frankfort with the 
Prussian Dominions, and after a discussion as to the date of 
its operation it became law. Next, a Bill of Indemnity, to 
save the Government from the consequences of having acted 
in violation of the law by collecting taxes which had not 
been voted by the Chambers, was introduced. It passed the 
Lower Chamber by the large majority of 230 against 
75 votes, and in the Upper House was accepted unani- 
mously. In the Chamber of Deputies, Count Eulenberg, 
Minister of the Interior, stated that by the adoption of the 
Bill the Government would be morally compelled to act in a 
friendly spirit towards the House. The indemnity was not 
an armistice with the Government; its adoption would be 
the preliminary to a real and lasting peace. Count Bismarck 
no doubt laughed in his sleeve at these Ministerial as- 
surances, for whenever occasion required it, as he or the 
Sovereign might think, the Government would have no 
scruple in again traversing the Constitution, Indemnity Bill 
or no Indemnity Bill notwithstanding. But for the time 
being he was delighted that the Legislative wheels moved so 
easily. All went exactly as he would have it to go. 

Nor did Bismarck and the other directors of the war go 
without reward in the shape of substantial current coin of 
the realm. Bismarck was not only made a Major-General, 
but received a money gift amounting to 60,000, English 
sterling ; General Eoon, the War Minister, received 45,000, 

K 



130 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

and Generals Moltke, Steinmetz, Yogel, Yon Falckenstein, 
and Herwarth von Bittenfeld, 30,000 each. 

On the day when the Treaty of Prague was signed 
though as yet he was unaware of that diplomatic act 
Thomas Carlyle wrote to a friend : ' That Germany is to 
stand on her feet henceforth, and not be dismembered on the 
highway; but face all manner of Napoleons, and hungry, 
sponging dogs, with clear steel in her hands and an honest 
purpose in her heart this seems to me the best news we or 
Europe have heard for the last forty years or more. May 
the heavens prosper it ! Many thanks also for Bismarck's 
photograph; he has a Koyal enough physiognomy, and I 
more and more believe him to be a highly considerable man ; 
perhaps the nearest approach to a Cromwell that is possible 
in these poor times.' 

When King William received an address from a Committee 
of the Lower House, he felt impelled to say something 
respecting the kings whose territories he had absorbed. 
1 Since the war,' remarked his Majesty, i I have been obliged 
to dispossess certain sovereigns, and annex their territories. 
I was born the son of a King, and taught to respect 
hereditary rights. If, in the present instance, I have never- 
theless profited by the fortune of war to extend my territory 
at the cost of other sovereigns, you will appreciate the 
imperative necessity of the step. We cannot permit hostile 
armies to be raised in our rear, or in localities intervening 
between our provinces. To preclude the recurrence of such 
an event was a duty imposed upon me by the law of self- 
preservation. I have acted for the good of the country, and 
I beg you to convey my sentiments to the House.' 

This was excellent special pleading in its way, and the 
King no doubt felt that some justification was necessary for 
the annexations. But Hanover was unquestionably harshly 
treated. She naturally did not like the idea of being 
completely gobbled up by Prussia, and in September, a 
deputation of Hanoverians had an interview with King 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 131 

William in Berlin. They presented an address, in which the 
King was earnestly entreated to preserve the independence 
of Hanover. It was urged that it was particularly hard 
upon a Prince whose dynasty had been connected with the 
country for nearly a thousand years, to dethrone him simply 
because he took a different view of the Federal law from 
Prussia, which view ultimately compelled him to take up 
arms in its defence. But his Majesty was inexorable. He 
had resolved on cutting the claws of the eagle of Hanover. 
After reviewing the circumstances of the war, he plainly told 
the deputation that there was no hope for them. ' We have 
frankly said to each other what we think, and I prefer that, 
because it holds out a hope of a better understanding in 
future. The most careful consideration, which has been 
painful because of my relationship to the House of Hanover, 
imposes annexation upon me as a duty. I owe it to my 
country, to compensate it for the immense sacrifice it has 
made, and therefore I am bound to render impossible in the 
future any recurrence of danger from the hostile attitude of 
Hanover.' It is astonishing what arbitrary actions become 
reconcilable to conscience under the name of duty. 

Prussia scored heavily all round in connection with this 
war and its after results. How Bismarck outwitted Napoleon 
is thus dramatically told by his biographer, from whom we 
have recently quoted : 

1 Bismarck had left Berlin on the 30th of June, and on the 
4th of August he returned with the King after an absence of 
little more than a month, with the draft of the Treaty of 
Prague, embodying the results of the war already referred 
to, in his pocket. Sitting in his cabinet two days after his 
arrival home, pondering proudly on the undreamt-of issue of 
the campaign and the jubilant acclamations which had 
greeted his return, he is aroused from his reverie by a knock 
at the door, and enter the Genius of Compensation in the 
shape of bland Monsieur Benedetti with the draft of a treaty 
in his hand. 

K 2 



132 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

' " Ah, Ion jour, votre Excellence, how can I serve you ? " 

1 " Well, to be brief, by restoring to France her Khine 
frontier of 1814." 

' " What ? Your Excellency must be mad ! ' 

' " No, indeed. ' My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep 
time and makes as healthful music.' The dynasty of my 
master were in danger if public opinion in France is not 
appeased by some such concession from Germany." 

' " Tell your Imperial master that a war (against us) in 
certain eventualities would be a war with revolutionary 
means, and that, amid revolutionary dangers, the German 
dynasty would be sure to fare much better than that of the 
Emperor Napoleon." 

' " No prevarication Mayence, or an immediate declaration 
of war." 

( tt y er y we ii ? then, let there be war," said Bismarck, who 
knew that the Southern States had already agreed to sign 
secret treaties, conferring the command of their several 
armies on the King of Prussia in the event of a national 
struggle. 

* And this, then, was the consideration which had induced 
Bismarck to let off the States of the South on such easy 
terms. At Nikolsburg he had put off French claims of com- 
pensation until after the conclusion of peace with Austria, 
and now he had devised means of defying them altogether. 
Now it was that Monsieur Benedetti bitterly experienced 
how bootless it is to shut the stable-door after the steed is 
stolen. He and his master had been completely duped.' 

We shall have more of M. Benedetti anon. For the 
present it is ours to note how the King of Prussia and his 
minister consolidated the kingdom, and put themselves into 
a state of preparedness. In the first place a bill was intro- 
duced into the Prussian Chambers and carried through, which 
provided for the annexation of the Duchies of Holstein and 
Schleswig, ' except a portion to be agreed upon hereafter by 
a contract with the Grand Duke of Oldenburg.' The 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 133 

Prussian Constitution was to come into force in the specified 
districts on the 1st of October, 1867. 

Berlin was alive with loyalty and excitement on the 20th 
of September, 1866, when the Prussian army made its tri- 
umphal entry into the city. The gallant and soldierly King 
rode first on horseback, and was accompanied by Count 
Bismarck and Generals Moltke, Koon, Yoigtsretz, and Blu- 
menthal. The correspondent of an English newspaper thus 
described the scene immediately before the brilliant cavalcade 
passed down the Linden : ' For my part I own I could spare 
but little attention for the King himself. A few yards 
further on there stood a group of horsemen. One was 
General von Eoon, the Minister of War, another was General 
Moltke, the soldier to whom more than any single person the 
conduct and conception of the campaign are due. On the 
extreme right, in the white uniform of a major-general of 
Landwehr Cuirassiers, a broad-shouldered, short-necked man 
sat mounted on a brown bay mare. Yery still and silent the 
rider sits, waiting patiently until the interview between the 
King and the civic authorities is concluded. The skin of his 
face is parchment-coloured, with dull leaden-hued blotches 
about the cheeks ; the eyes are bloodless ; the veins about the 
forehead are swollen ; the great heavy helmet presses upon 
the wrinkled brows ; the man looks as if he had risen from a 
sick-bed which he ought never to have left. That is Count 
Bisniarck-Schonhausen, Prime Minister of Prussia. Yesterday 
he was said to be well-nigh dying ; ugly rumours floated 
about the town ; his doctors declared that rest, absolute rest, 
was the only remedy upon which they could base their hopes 
of his recovery. But to-day it was important that the 
Premier should show himself. The iron will, which had 
never swerved, before any obstacle, was not to be daunted 
by physical pain or to be swayed by medical remonstrances. 
And so, to the astonishment of all those who knew how 
critical his state of health had been but a few hours before, 
Count Bismarck put on his uniform and rode out to-day to 



134 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

take his place in the royal cortege. Even now the man, who 
has made a united Germany a possibility, and has raised 
Prussia from the position of a second-rate Power to the 
highest rank among Continental empires, is but scantly 
honoured in his own country ; and the cheers with which he 
was greeted were tame compared with those which welcomed 
the generals who had been the instruments of the work his 
brain had planned. But to those, I think, who looked at all 
beyond the excitement of the day the true hero of that 
brilliant gathering was neither King nor Princes of the blood 
royal generals nor soldiers, but the sallow, livid-looking 
statesman, who was there in spite of racking pain and doctors' 
advice and the commonest caution, in order that his work 
might be completed to the end.' 

By way of marking the day with a white stone, an amnesty 
was proclaimed for all persons who had been convicted of 
high treason or other offences against the Crown, resistance 
to the State authorities, violation of public order, offences 
committed by the press in infringement of the Press Law of 
1851, and for infractions of the ordinance of the llth of 
March, 1851, regulating the right of public meetings. 

A Bill for determining the mode of election to the new 
German Parliament was passed by the Chamber of Deputies; 
and when, during the debate, Count Bismarck was taunted 
with having made very little use of the late Prussian victories, 
he replied that history would explain concurrent events, when 
it would be found that the Prussian Government had made 
even a daring use of the victories gained by the army. The 
new constitutional measure provided that every Prussian, 
who had completed his twenty-fifth year, should be an 
elector, and that there should be one deputy for each 100,000 
souls of the population as ascertained by the last census. 
Each deputy was to be elected for a distinct electoral district, 
and the right of election was to be exercised by personally 
depositing an unsigned voting-paper in a box to be provided 
for the purpose. Manhood suffrage was thus practically 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 135 

established, with the protection of the ballot. The Upper 
House adopted the new electoral law without alteration. 

An important Treaty of Confederation was now entered 
into between the Governments of Prussia, Saxe-Weimar, 
Oldenburg, Brunswick, Sachsen-Altenburg, Sachsen-Coburg- 
Gotha, Anhalt, Schwartzburg-Sondershausen, Schwartzburg- 
Eudolstadt, Waldeck, Keuss (of the younger line), Lippe, 
Schaumburg-Lippe, Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburg. These 
States embraced a population of about 2,000,000. Adding 
to this the 19,000,000 which constituted the Prussian 
monarchy before the war, with the 4,500,000 belonging to 
the annexed territories of Hanover, Electoral Hesse, Nassau, 
Frankfort, and the districts taken from Grand Ducal Hesse 
and Bavaria, the whole gave a population of about 25,000,000 
for the Northern Confederacy. Bismarck's scheme was 
realized by the treaty, for it was agreed that a Confederate 
Constitution should be adopted by a German Parliament, 
and that the troops of the Confederates were to be under the 
supreme command of the King of Prussia. It was further 
mutually agreed to maintain the independence and integrity 
of the contracting States, and to guarantee the defence of 
their territories. 

But while things were thus going well outside, the Finance 
Minister had some difficulty with the Lower Chamber. He 
asked for sixty million thalers, urging that a good many 
things remained to be settled, that Prussia must defend what 
she had acquired, and that she must always be able to take 
up arms for this purpose. ' The financial question is the 
chief point, and if the right moment be allowed to pass, the 
accomplishment of Prussia's aims may be deferred for years, 
and her very existence again endangered. Money must be at 
the disposal of the Government. We must have our hands 
upon our swords and our purses well filled ! ' The Deputies, 
however, would only vote forty million thalers, or two-thirds 
of the sum asked for, and with this the Government had to 
be content. 



136 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Count Bismarck made a very important speech in the 
Lower House in December, during a debate on the question 
of the union of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein with 
Prussia, and the cession of the northern part of Schleswig to 
Denmark. What was to be the attitude of Prussia if, on an 
appeal to the inhabitants, as proposed by France, they 
determined by a plebiscite in favour of such a re-annexation ? 
The Minister pointed out that war with France was not 
to the interest of Prussia, who had little to gain even by 
beating her. The Emperor Napoleon himself wisely recog- 
nized the fact, that peace and mutual confidence should 
prevail between the two neighbouring nations. But to 
maintain such relations with France, a strong and indepen- 
dent Prussia was alone competent. If this truth were not 
admitted by all subjects of Napoleon III., it was a consolation 
to know that his Cabinet at least thought differently, and 
Prussia had to deal with his Cabinet only. l Looking upon 
this vast country of Germany from the French point of 
view,' said Bismarck, ' the Emperor's Cabinet cannot but 
tell themselves that to combine it again with Austria into 
one political whole, and make it a realm of 75,000,000 
inhabitants, would be contrary to French interests. Even if 
France could make the Khine her boundary, she would be no 
match for so formidable a Power, were it ever established 
beside her. To France it is an advantage that Austria does 
not participate any longer in our common Germanic institu- 
tions, and that a State whose interests conflict with her own 
in Italy and in the East, cannot henceforth constitutionally 
rely upon our armed assistance in war. It is natural for 
France to prefer a neighbour of less overwhelming might, a 
neighbour in fact whom 35,000,000 or 38,000,000 of French 
are quite strong enough to ward off from their boundary 
line in defensive war. If France justly appreciates her own 
interests, she will as little allow the power of Prussia as that 
of Austria to be swept away.' 

There was a good deal of frank common sense in this 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 137 

presentment of the international relations of three of the 
leading European Powers towards each other ; and for a 
time Napoleon felt the weight of Bismarck's arguments. 
The question also of the cession of Northern Schleswig was 
allowed to sleep for the present. 

The King of Prussia closed the Legislature on the 9th of 
February, 1867, and in doing so thanked the Deputies for 
having brought his hopes to a fulfilment. By granting the 
indemnity for the financial administration carried on for 
several years without a Budget Law, they had held out the 
hand to a settlement of the dispute upon a matter of 
principle which had for years obstructed the co-operation of 
the Government with the representatives of the country. 
His Majesty recapitulated the many home blessings which 
had been secured during the expiring session. ' Assisted by 
agreement with the representatives of the country, my 
Government has been able to call into existence important 
facilities and improvements in all departments of public life. 
The preparatory steps towards abolishing the salt monopoly 
and the increase of judicial costs, the settlement of the 
relations of trading and innkeeping companies, the removal 
of the limitation of the rate of interest, the postal and 
commercial treaties, the conversion of the Pomeranian fiefs, 
the abolition of the Rhine navigation dues, the increase of the 
salaries of lower-class officials and of schoolmasters, together 
with the grant of the supplies for the construction and 
completion of important railways, will be hailed by large 
circles as grateful fruits of the session just completed.' 
So with a pat on the back from the head-master for being 
such good boys, and getting through their lessons, the 
Deputies were let out of school, and departed for their 
homes. 

An imposing ceremony shortly afterwards took place in 
the throne-room of the Eoyal palace at Berlin, for on the 
24th of February the first North German Parliament was 
opened by King William. The three hundred or so deputies 



138 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

of which this constituent assembly was composed had been 
returned from the various allied States, by universal suffrage. 
' The walls of the time-honoured apartment/ wrote an 
English correspondent, ' looked down upon a gathering such 
as had never before been witnessed there. There met men 
from the Prussian frontier, where the winter lasts seven 
months, with the more fortunate sons of the Ehine, whose 
climate has little experience of northern rigours. The 
Schleswiger, a genuine descendant of the Saxon, preferring 
to this day the homely idiom of his race to the literary 
language of the common Fatherland, shook hands with a 
Frank from Coburg, whose ancestors, under Charlemagne, 
combated and converted to Christianity the tribes of the 
German North. The Thuringian and Hessian from the 
central parts of the country, after long years of separation, 
associated again with the Pomeranian from the Baltic, and 
the Frisian, the Anglo-Saxon brother of the Englishman, 
from the North Sea. With the exception of two, the various 
branches of the German national family were all represented 
in the Hall ; and, though the absence of the missing ones was 
noted, and commented upon with regret, the hope of soon 
comprehending the Bavarians and Suabians in the goodly 
company beat strongly in many a loyal heart. When 
everything was ready, Count Bismarck, in his white cavalry 
uniform, repaired to the Koyal apartment to inform the 
King that the first Parliament of the North German Con- 
federacy was awaiting the Koyal presence. Then the Koyal 
train came into view, more solemn, more numerous, and 
more richly attired than any that has ever graced a similar 
display in Prussia.' 

The King was elated in spirits, and his face glowed with 
pleasure as with manly and truly regal bearing he moved 
towards the throne. He was not only the acknowledged 
head of a powerful confederacy, but the Sovereign of a 
kingdom which had now taken first rank in Europe. In his 
speech to the ' illustrious, noble, and honoured gentlemen of 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 139 

the North German Confederation,' he began as he always did, 
by expressing his firm reliance upon Divine Providence, 
which had led Prussia by paths she neither chose nor 
foresaw. But as the Emperor of Austria claimed to have 
been led by the same guiding Hand, and he had been 
hopelessly beaten, it was obvious that both could not be the 
chosen children of Providence at this juncture. Perhaps 
King William would have adopted the opinion of the Great 
Napoleon, that * God is always on the side of the big 
battalions.' He is more frequently, however, with those 
who are temporarily defeated and dispirited. However, be 
that as it may, the King of Prussia could certainly point to 
the astonishing success of the Prussian arms. 

But while something had been gained, more yet remained 
to be striven for by Germany. His Majesty, consequently, 
thus indicated in the Eoyal speech the work which was still 
left to be achieved : ' The point of supreme importance at 
present is not to neglect the favourable moment for laying 
the foundation of the building ; its more perfect completion 
can then safely remain entrusted to the subsequent com- 
bined co-operation of the German Sovereigns and races. The 
regulation of the national relations of the North German 
Confederation towards our brothers south of the Maine has 
been left by the Peace Treaties of last year to the voluntary 
agreement of both parties. Our hands will be openly and 
readily extended to bring about this understanding, as soon 
as the North German Confederation has advanced far enough 
in the settlement of its constitution, to be empowered to 
conclude treaties. The preservation of the Zollverein, the 
common promotion of trade, and a combined guarantee for 
the security of German territory, will form fundamental 
conditions of the understanding which it may be foreseen 
will be desired by both parties. 

' As the direction of the German mind generally is turned 
towards peace and its labours, the Confederate Association 
of the German States will mainly assume a defensive 



140 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

character. The German movement of recent years has 
borne no hostile tendency towards our neighbours, no 
striving after conquest, but has arisen solely from the 
necessity of affording the broad domains, from the Alps to 
the sea, the essential conditions of political progress, which 
the march of development in former centuries has impeded. 
The German races unite only for defence, not for attack; 
and that their brotherhood is also regarded in this light by 
neighbouring nations is proved by the friendly attitude of 
the mightiest European states, which see Germany, without 
apprehension and envy, take possession of those same ad- . 
vantages of a great political commonwealth which they 
themselves have already enjoyed for centuries. 

' It therefore now only depends upon us, upon our unity 
and our patriotism, to secure to the whole of Germany the 
guarantees of a future in which, free from the danger of 
again falling into dissension and weakness, she will be able 
to further, by her own decision, her constitutional develop- 
ment and prosperity, and to fulfil her peace-loving mission 
in the Council of Nations. I trust in God that posterity, 
looking back upon our common labours, will not say that 
the experience of former unsuccessful attempts has been 
useless to the German people ; but that, on the other hand, 
our children will thankfully regard this Parliament as the 
commencement of the unity, freedom, and power of the 
Germans. 

' Gentlemen, all Germany, even beyond the limits of our 
Confederation, anxiously awaits the decisions that may be 
arrived at here. May the dream of centuries, the yearning 
and striving of the latest generations, be realized by our 
common labours ! In the name of all the allied Govern- 
ments in the name of Germany, I confidently call upon you 
to help us to carry out rapidly and safely the great national 
task. And may the blessing of God, upon which everything 
depends, accompany and promote the patriotic work ! ' 

The Federal Assembly consisted of ten sections or parties, 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 141 

with the following distribution of strength : Conservatives, 
59 ; Free Conservatives, 40 ; Centre, 27 ; Federal Consti- 
tutionalists, 18 ; National Liberals, 79 ; Free Unionists, 18 ; 
Eadical Left, or Progressists, 19; Poles, 13; Danes, 2; and 
' Savages ' or Independents, 25 ; total, 297, which included 
deputies from the provinces annexed by Prussia. The 
balance of power was thus held by the National Liberals, a 
party which had sprung into being with the battle of 
Koniggratz. It was led by two men of marked ability, of 
whom Germany was destined to hear considerably more as 
time went on Herr von Bennigsen, a country squire from 
Hanover, and Dr. Edward Lasker, a Jewish lawyer from 
Posen. Lasker had sat amongst the Kadicals in the 
Prussian Chamber, but the striking events of 1866 had 
convinced him and many others that the best and truest 
course in the interests of Prussia, was to support the 
national policy of Count Bismarck. With the aid of the 
National Liberals, the objects of the Confederation pro- 
gressed most satisfactorily. 

A Bill was brought in to determine the constitution of the 
North German Confederation. This gave rise to prolonged 
debates, in the course of which Bismarck delivered an im- 
portant speech, begging the deputies not to allow the 
lessons of six hundred years to remain ignored. It would 
be well, he urged, to take to heart the teachings inculcated 
by the abortive attempts to secure unity made at Frankfort 
and Erfurt. The failure of those attempts plunged Ger- 
many into a state of uncertainty and dissatisfaction; which 
lasted no less than sixteen years, and had to be terminated 
as was manifest from the first by some such catastrophe 
as that experienced in 1866. 

But on the threshold of the deliberations, the Polish 
members of the united Parliament entered their protest 
against the incorporation of the former Polish territory into 
the North German Confederation. They were followed by 
other deputies, favourable to Denmark, who likewise brought 



142 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

forward a protest against the inclusion of North Schleswig. 
In reply to the Polish representatives, Bismarck asserted 
that the majority of the Prusso-Polish population were 
satisfied with their condition, especially the peasants, who 
had valiantly fought as Prussian soldiers against Denmark 
and Austria. It was only the nobility and clergy of Prussia 
who carried on political agitation. Then taking a firmer 
tone, the Minister added that the restoration of Poland was 
not to be thought of. Touching the Danish protest he said, 
1 The Emperor of Austria alone has the right, by virtue of 
the Austro-Prussian treaty, to require that a vote should be 
taken in North Schleswig to determine the future position of 
the Northern districts of that duchy. It is a matter of 
small importance for the power of the Prussian monarchy 
whether a few Schleswigers who speak Danish belong to 
Prussia or Denmark. The boundary line between the two 
countries will be drawn in conformity with the interests of 
Prussia. We do not intend to have to conquer Diippel 
afresh. The portion of Schleswig which will be ceded to 
Denmark will, at all events, be smaller than people in 
Copenhagen imagine ; and before this cession is made, an 
understanding is necessary with Austria with reference to 
certain financial questions relating to the Duchies. The 
completion of the North German Confederation cannot wait 
for the settlement of these questions/ 

This speech was Bismarckian all over. There is little 
consideration or none for smaller powers like Denmark, and 
every consideration for the interests of Prussia. So, when 
the deputies were discussing questions of taxation, military 
supplies, &c., he cut the matter short by saying, l Let us not 
differ on trifles, when greater things are at stake. We 
cannot now have everything we want, but something may be 
gained. Assist Germany to vault into the saddle, and trust 
her to ride alone.' Bismarck attained his object ; the 
North German Parliament framed its constitution, and in 
closing the session on the 17th of April, the King of 



AN INTEEREGNUM OF PEACE. 143 

Prussia congratulated the members on the patriotic earnest- 
ness with which they had accomplished their task. 

His Majesty opened an extraordinary session of the 
Prussian Chambers on the 29th of April. The Koyal speech 
noted, that the newly-formed confederation at present only 
included the States of North Germany, but an intimate 
national community would always unite them with the 
South German States. The firm relations which the 
Prussian Government concluded for offensive and defensive 
purposes with those States in the previous autumn, would 
have to be transferred to the enlarged North German 
commonwealth by special treaties. The object of the special 
session was the ratification by the Prussian Legislature of 
the new North German Constitution, and this having been 
achieved, the sittings were brought to a close on the 24th 
of June. 

A very grave international question arose this year, which 
spread disquietude throughout almost the whole of Europe. 
This w r as known as the Luxemburg question. France was 
terribly chagrined by the long course of aggrandisement 
which had marked the fortunes of Prussia, and Napoleon 
had for some time been looking for a means of enriching 
France, and thus strengthening his own position with the 
people. He at last believed he had found this set-off in 
proposals for the cession of the Duchy of Luxemburg, with 
its strong fortress, to France. The Emperor considered that 
it would be a great thing if he could secure this formidable 
barrier on his north-eastern frontier. Luxemburg be- 
longed to the King of Holland as Grand Duke, and it 
formed part of the German Federation which was broken up 
by the Prusso-Austrian war of 1866. The territory was 
guaranteed to the King of Holland in April, 1839, by a 
treaty concluded between Great Britain, Austria, France, 
Prussia, Russia, and the King of Holland as Grand Duke. 
The city of Luxemburg, as part of the German Confederation, 
had been garrisoned for some time past by Prussian troops ; 



144 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

and the view now taken by Louis Napoleon was that the 
fortress would no longer be a merely defensive position for 
Germany, but, garrisoned as it was by Prussians, it would 
occupy an offensive position towards France. 

The subject gave rise to many debates both in the French 
and North German Chambers. Count Bismarck, being 
questioned in the North German Parliament towards the 
close of March, said that it was necessary for Germany to 
take into account the just susceptibilities of France. Ad- 
mitting that Luxemburg was an independent State, which 
the King of Holland could dispose of as he liked, and 
admitting also that the inhabitants of the duchy experienced 
a strong repugnance to being incorporated with Germany, 
he insisted upon the influence which the desire of maintaining 
pacific and friendly relations with its powerful neighbour 
must exercise upon the duchy. 

The Emperor of the French had been greatly surprised by 
the publication of the secret treaties of alliance concluded in 
the preceding year between Prussia and the Southern States, 
and he now felt it high time to make a counter-move. This 
move was the taking over of Luxemburg by arrangement 
with the King of Holland. At first Bismarck inclined to 
favour the scheme, but it was only a diplomatic ruse to lead 
the French on ; and when the question was discussed in the 
German Parliament, it led to a great explosion of patriotic 
wrath. ' Let France pause and consider her course before 
she acts/ exclaimed Herr Bennigsen. ' Germany seeks no 
war ; but if France will not allow us to become a united 
country, we are ready to give her the most indubitable proof 
that the time of our domestic division is past, and that 
her attempts will be henceforth resisted by the entire 
nation.' 

In reply to an interpellation on the Luxemburg question, 
in the Prussian Chambers on the 1st of April, Bismarck 
briefly recounted the course of the diplomatic negotiations. 
The Prussian Government, he observed, did not adopt the 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 145 

opinion, that an arrangement had been entered into between 
Holland and France ; but it could not, on the other hand, 
assert that the contrary was the case. When asked by the 
King of Holland what course Prussia would adopt, in case 
His Majesty should in any way cede his rights over the 
Duchy, King William had declared that he would leave the 
responsibility of such a step to the King of Holland. Prussia 
would simply assure herself of the views entertained by the 
Powers which signed with her the Treaty of 1839, and by 
her Federal allies, as well as of the state of public opinion as 
represented by the North German Parliament. An offer on 
the part of Holland of her good offices to further negotiations 
between France and Prussia had been declined. 

France now felt called upon to give her version of the 
negotiations, and in the Corps Legislatif on the 8th of April, 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Marquis de Moustier, 
announced that he had received orders from his Imperial 
master to acquaint the Chamber with the actual position of 
the Luxemburg difficulty. The explanation was briefly to 
the effect, that the French Government had always considered 
the matter from three points of view, namely, as connected 
with the free consent of Holland, the loyal examination of 
the Treaties by the great Powers, and the consultation of the 
wishes of the inhabitants by means of universal suffrage. 
France was quite ready to examine the question in concert 
with the great Powers, and she therefore believed that peace 
could not be disturbed. 

This was a backing down on the part of the French 
Government. It really meant that France was not prepared 
for war ; and amidst much that was tortuous and sinister in 
the Emperor's policy at this juncture, it was certainly to his 
credit that he saw it would be suicidal on the part of France 
to force on an immediate war with Germany. Consequently, 
it was agreed to hold a Conference in London for the settle- 
ment of the Luxemburg question. The Conference met on 
the 7th of May, when there were present representatives of 

L 



146 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the following Powers England, France, Austria, Prussia, 
Russia, Holland, Italy, and Belgium. A Treaty was con- 
cluded on the llth, by which Prussia agreed to withdraw her 
garrison from Luxemburg, and to dismantle the fortress ; 
while the Powers guaranteed the complete neutrality of the 
Grand Duchy under the crown of Holland. On the other 
hand, in consideration of the political or territorial loss 
sustained by Germany as the result of the neutralization, it 
was agreed that Luxemburg should continue to be a member 
of the Zollverein ; and five years later a further bond of 
connection between it and the Fatherland was established, 
when the German Government acquired by treaty the ad- 
ministration of all the railways in the Grand Duchy. The 
treaty in connection with Luxemburg had a beneficial effect 
in many ways. It relieved France from the dangers 
attending a strong fortress upon her borders, and it gave to 
her northern frontier the guarantee of another neutralized 
State ; while it secured to the King Grand Duke complete 
independence, and gave fresh pledges for the strengthening 
of good relations and for the maintenance of the peace of 
Europe. Of course France had not secured the great prize 
she had been striving for, the cession of the Duchy ; but, 
failing that, it was certainly something to effect its complete 
neutralization. 

The King of Prussia visited Paris in June, arriving in that 
city on the 5th with Counts Bismarck and Moltke. The 
King's nephew, the Emperor of Kussia, was already there, 
and on the day after they had exchanged friendly greetings, 
an attempt was made to assassinate the Czar in the Bois de 
Boulogne by a young Pole, named Berezowski. Fortunately 
the attempt failed. There was a good deal of jubilant feeling 
between the visitors and their Parisian hosts, for it was a 
great festival of peace, signalized by the opening of the 
International Exhibition of Paris, a scheme which owed its 
origin to the French Emperor. The only distinguished 
potentate whose feelings were damped on the occasion was 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 147 

the Czar, and he naturally felt angry and chagrined that in 
a time of rejoicing, and while the guest of a foreign Sovereign, 
he should have been made the mark for an assassin's bullet. 

The North German Parliament was opened by the King 
of Prussia on the 10th of September. It was the first 
Parliament assembled on the basis of the Federal Consti- 
tution. Money, military, marine, and commercial bills of 
various kinds were promised in the Eoyal speech. In the 
subsequent sittings of the Confederation, the question arose 
as to the entrance of South Germany into the North German 
Bund. Count Bismarck stated that no pressure whatever 
would be exercised upon the Southern States. If South 
Germany should give it to be understood that it was her 
wish to be excluded from the Bund, no Federal Government, 
he observed, would be so wanting in self-respect as to oppose 
such a wish. But Parliament would not desire to force him 
to abandon a certain necessary reserve on the subject, as such 
a course would probably conduce to bring about objects 
entirely opposed to those which he had in view. 

The Northern Schleswig question again came up. 
Prompted by France, the Danish Cabinet asked the Berlin 
Government whether, in accordance with the Treaty of 
Prague, a plebiscite would now be taken in North Schleswig 
to determine its cession to Denmark or otherwise. 
Bismarck, who was always ready with a reply, pointed out 
that, before discussing the subject, Denmark must give 
Prussia guarantees for the protection of the German element 
in the ceded population, and agree to take over a propor- 
tionate share of the public debt of the Duchies. Denmark 
did not quite see this, and declined to push the matter 
further, so that Napoleon was again foiled in his efforts to 
discover some cause or other for international embroilment. 

A good deal of ill-feeling was created in the diplomatic 
circles of Berlin, by the meeting of the French and Austrian 
Emperors at Salzburg, in August ; Napoleon gave it out 
that his object was simply to pay a visit of condolence 

L 2 



148 WILLIAM L AND TEE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

to the Emperor Francis Joseph in consequence of the sadly 
tragic death of his brother Maximilian in Mexico ; but 
Bismarck did not accept this as exhaustive of the reasons 
for the Imperial meeting. So he indited a circular to the 
diplomatic agents of Prussia abroad, the tone of which was 
severely commented upon by the French press, and 
denounced as menacing and unfriendly towards France. 
He stated that the Prussian Government rejoiced that the 
domestic affairs of Germany had not been the object of 
political conversation at Salzburg. It had always been the 
aim of Germany to direct the stream of national development 
so as to fertilize, and not to destroy. They had avoided 
everything calculated to precipitate the national movement ; 
had endeavoured, not to irritate, but to calm and quiet. It 
was therefore to be hoped that their efforts in this direction 
would be successful, if foreign Powers were as careful to 
avoid all which might lead the Germans to apprehend plans 
of possible foreign interference, and which in consequence 
might arouse in them a sense of violated dignity and 
independence. Consequently, in the interest of the peaceful 
development of her own affairs, Germany received with the 
most lively satisfaction the disavowal of any intention to 
interfere with her internal policy. 

These references to possible foreign interference gave 
great annoyance to France, but the time was not yet ripe for 
a French march upon the Khine. 

King William opened the Prussian Chambers on the 15th 
of November, and in the course of his speech he thus alluded 
to the aspect of foreign affairs : ' The relations of my 
Government with foreign Powers have not undergone any 
change in consequence of the new conditions in which 
Prussia is placed in the midst of the North German Con- 
federation. With the friendly character of those relations 
the personal interviews with the majority of the reigning 
sovereigns in Germany and abroad, the opportunity for 
which was offered me last summer, perfectly harmonize. 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 149 

The peaceful object of the German movement is recognized 
and appreciated by all the Powers of Europe ; and the 
peaceful endeavours of the rulers are supported by the 
wishes of the peoples, to whom the increasing development and 
amalgamation of moral and material interests make peace 
a -necessity. The recent anxiety respecting a disturbance of 
peace in one part of Europe, where two great nations, both 
most amicably connected with us, appeared to be threatened 
by a serious complication, I may now look upon as having 
disappeared.' 

Soon after the opening of the Session, Dr. Lasker brought 
forward a bill, the object of which was to protect members 
of the Legislature from being prosecuted before the legal 
tribunals for the opinions they might express in the 
Chambers. As this was really a bill to secure liberty of 
speech, and as two deputies, Herr Franzel and Herr Twesten, 
had been prosecuted and convicted for speeches they had 
made in the Chamber, Bismarck did not like to oppose the 
measure out and out. He deprecated the length to which 
the prosecutions had been carried, but reminded the House 
that the accusations launched against the Cabinet for 
consecutive years had been so exceedingly offensive as to 
become unendurable to any but the low, mean, and cowardly. 
There was a marked difference between a spoken and a 
written insult ; oral accusations were quickly wafted away, 
but when printed they were communicated to millions, ' and 
he could not hinder their being cast up against him by any 
obscure scribbler who chose to do so.' He therefore proposed 
that the Deputies should be declared free to say what they 
liked, but that the reports in the public papers should be 
subject to the operation of the ordinary press laws. 

Ultimately, the first reading of the proposed bill was 
carried by a majority of twenty-one votes. 

Two of the Sovereigns whom the King of Prussia had 
dispossessed now began to give some trouble. From the 
pecuniary point of view, King William had behaved very 



150 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

handsomely to them. By way of compensating the King of 
Hanover for the loss of his crown, sixteen million thalers 
were voted to him out of the confiscated revenues of his 
kingdom, and the Elector of Hesse and the Duke of Nassau 
received the capital sum of eight and nine million thalers 
respectively. The Chamber opposed the grant to King 
George, hut Bismarck threatened to resign if the indem- 
nity were not voted, and the Deputies gave way. Then the 
King of Hanover, in his retirement near Vienna, began a 
series of active intrigues against Prussia. These did not long 
remain unknown to Bismarck, who was tolerably well aware 
of what was going forward in every Court in Europe. Yet in 
spite of this, Bismarck still supported the large indemnity to 
King George, assigning subsequently the following grounds 
for doing so : ' We were actuated by three several motives ; 
in the first place, we wished to spare the feelings of his former 
subjects, who apprehended that the ilast of an ancient 
dynasty might be exposed to pecuniary difficulties ; secondly, 
we wished to oblige those friendly Courts, England especially, 
who had addressed us in favour of the late Sovereign, and 
whom we had no wish to offend in a matter wherein our 
interests were not at stake ; thirdly, we had been assured by 
some of those Courts, that though King George could not be 
prevailed upon to sign a formal act of abdication, still the 
acceptance of our money would make him feel " bound in 
honour " to desist from active intrigues.' 

It soon became manifest, however, that the hope of King 
George's quietude was delusive. Whenever he had an 
opportunity he acted against the King of Prussia, and when 
war appeared probable, in consequence of the Luxemburg 
difficulty, a Hanoverian legion was formed for the purpose 
of fighting with France against Prussia. ' It was well 
known that King George was maintaining a treasonable 
correspondence with leading men in his late dominions. 
Through his agents he had enlisted some subjects of the 
King of Prussia, and caused others to desert. He had 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 151 

established journals to wage incessant war against the new 
order of things; he continued to support his legion in 
France, which cost him 300,000 thalers a year; a numer- 
ously-signed petition to the Emperor Napoleon, entreating 
him to liberate Hanover from the Prussian yoke, had been 
taken to Paris by a confidant of King George ; and on the 
occasion of his silver wedding at Hietzing, about a fortnight 
after the Prussian Chamber sanctioned the indemnity treaties, 
he indulged in most inflammatory language to a crowd of 
his previous subjects, who, at His Majesty's cost, had made 
a pilgrimage to see him, and drink to the restoration of his 
kingdom.' 

Under the circumstances, there was nothing for it but to 
impound the dethroned monarch's indemnity, and this King 
William proceeded to do. The same course was adopted 
towards the Elector of Hesse, who had likewise appealed to 
the rulers of Europe to win him back his throne. But as 
the indemnities were only sequestrated, and not yet actually 
confiscated, there was still opportunity for the King and the 
Elector to make their peace with Prussia, had they been 
inclined so to do. The dispossessed Sovereigns, however, 
proceeded to subsidize a number of journals, which attacked 
Prussia with singular malevolence, and endeavoured to pre- 
cipitate a war between France and Germany. It was in 
relation to these newspapers that Bismarck said : * There is 
nothing of the spy in my whole nature, but I think we shall 
deserve your thanks if we devote ourselves to the pursuit 
of wicked reptiles into their very holes, in order to see what 
they are about.' The means by which these journals were 
supported thus came to be known as the ' reptile fund.' 
But although the Prussian Minister felt compelled to act 
against King George, he was considerate towards the people 
of Hanover ; and he proposed to the Chambers to grant to 
Hanover the interest on a capital of twelve million thalers 
as a provincial fund for the administration and support of 
certain local institutions. This proposal was changed to an 



152 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

annual grant of half a million, and in that form was 
adopted. 

The Prussian Diet was closed by the King on the 29th of 
January, 1868. In his speech from the throne, His Majesty 
expressed his satisfaction that important measures had been 
passed, mainly by the joint action of the Government and the 
representatives of the country. He thanked both Chambers 
of the Diet for the readiness they had displayed in 
voting additional grants for the maintenance of the dignity 
of the Crown. The King then alluded to the measures which 
had been adopted to alleviate the distress in the province of 
East Prussia, and for the establishment of a provincial fund 
for Hanover. He also commended the unanimity of views 
displayed by the Chambers and the Government respecting 
the compensation treaties concluded with the former rulers 
of Hanover and Nassau. 

The Reichstag, or Parliament of North Germany, was 
opened on the 22nd of March. The King announced that the 
re-organization of the postal service was in an advanced stage, 
and that postal conventions had been concluded with the 
South German States, with Austria, Luxemburg, Norway, 
and the United States of America. A treaty had also been 
concluded with the United States to define the nationality 
of emigrants between the two countries, and thus to prevent 
causes of misunderstanding between countries so closely 
united by commercial interests and bonds of relationship. 
In domestic matters many reforms had been conceded, while 
others were in progress. All through this year the Prussian 
Government expressed an earnest desire for the preservation 
of peace in Europe. It was engaged with many matters of 
internal policy, to which the warlike spirit was directly and 
strongly opposed. On the 15th of September King William 
himself, in answer to an address from the rector of the 
University of Kiel on the peace question, expressed himself 
satisfactorily and unequivocally : ' As to the hope you ex- 
press/ he said, ' for the preservation of peace, no one can 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 153 

share it more sincerely than I do ; for it is a painful 
necessity for a Sovereign, who is responsible before the 
Almighty, to give the word for war. And yet there are 
circumstances in which a Prince neither can nor should 
avoid such responsibility. You yourselves have witnessed 
here, with your own eyes, evidence of the fact, that the 
necessity of a war may force itself upon a Prince as well as 
upon a nation. If there exists between us a link of con- 
fidence and friendliness, it is to war that we owe it. How- 
ever, I do not see in all Europe any circumstance menacing 
peace, and I say so confidently, in order to tranquillize you.' 

A new session of the Prussian Diet began on the 4th of 
November, and the King, in his opening speech, referred 
both to the subjects that would engage the attention of 
the Diet, and the various questions which had been satis- 
factorily adjusted since the last sittings. Many important 
benefits had been secured to Germany. By the conclusion 
of a revised Khine Navigation Act, a new international agree- 
ment had been obtained for the traffic upon one of the most 
important of rivers. Further, there was no apprehension of 
a return of the distress which had grievously afflicted a 
portion of the Prussian provinces during the past winter a 
result due to the excellent precautionary measures taken, 
and to the favourable harvest in every province of the 
monarchy. 

The relations of the Prussian Government with foreign 
Powers were in every direction friendly and satisfactory. 
The events in the Western Peninsula of Europe gave some 
little cause for anxiety, but there was every confidence that 
the Spanish nation would succeed in finding in the in- 
dependent formation of her national position a guarantee 
of her future prosperity and power. Something had been 
done towards realizing one of the dreams of civilization and 
humanity by the International Congress of Geneva, which 
had succeeded in completing and extending to the navies 
of the maritime Powers the principles already adopted for 



154 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the amelioration of the wounded in war. Altogether, the 
sentiments of the Sovereigns of Europe and the desire of 
the nations for peace, gave ground for the belief, that the 
advancing development of the general welfare would not 
only suffer no immediate material disturbance, but would also 
be freed from those obstructing and paralyzing effects which 
had only too often been created by groundless fears, and taken 
advantage of by the enemies of peace and public order. 

A personal episode relating to Baron Beust, the Austrian 
Prime Minister, caused some excitement in the Prussian 
Diet in December. For some time back the Austrian 
statesman had jealously watched the conduct and policy of 
his great Prussian rival. A severe attack having been made 
by one of the Prussian deputies upon Baron Beust, Count 
Bismarck rose and said : ' It is absolutely impossible for me 
to defend a foreign Minister without dilating on the policy 
of the State he serves a task I do not feel called upon to 
perform at this moment with regard to the Chancellor of 
the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Still, I may observe that 
I am ignorant of the existence of personal hostility to myself 
or this Government in if I may call him so my Austrian 
colleague. In former years I was on a friendly footing 
with him, and have no reason to suppose that a change 
has occurred. I should, therefore, deem myself bound to 
vindicate his conduct against what has fallen from a 
preceding speaker, had I not reasons for wishing to steer 
clear of the quicksands of international policy in to-day's 
debate. As to Austria's Liberalism, it consists in an army 
of 800,000 men, demanded and voted for a period of ten 
years, and some municipal arrangements introduced in 
Prussia fifty years ago. Even these Count Beust has 
taken care to render innocuous by a vigorous supervision 
on the part of the administrative authorities.' After de- 
livering himself of these sneers, Bismarck concluded with a 
comparison which evoked much laughter : ' Au reste, there 
is this similarity between Liberal Governments and the 



AN INTEEEEONUM OF PEACE. 155 

reigning beauties of the season, that the last out generally 
carries the day.' 

An important constitutional change was resolved upon in 
this sitting of the Diet. The Chamber of Deputies adopted 
a resolution, requesting the Government to take steps for 
causing the Prussian Ministry for Foreign Affairs to be 
amalgamated by the year 1870 with a concentrated Foreign 
Office for the North German Confederation. Count Bismarck, 
rising during the debate, said that confidential negotiations 
with the Federal allies had convinced him that he would 
be able to lay the necessary bill on the subject before the 
North German Parliament at its next meeting. 

There can be no question that the attitude of Austria at 
this juncture, and subsequently, did much to preserve the 
peace of Europe. With all our admiration for Bismarck as 
a strong man, we greatly doubt whether he would have 
adopted and maintained the same magnanimous attitude, 
had similar opportunities been placed within the grasp of 
Prussia after she had been humbled by a neighbouring 
Power. While Austria had lost her position in Germany, 
she still retained her sympathies towards her former Federal 
allies, though she would not side with Prussia in the 
Luxemburg difficulty. On the other hand, she did not 
attempt to profit by a war between France and Prussia, 
and her Government took care to prevent the Emperor 
Napoleon and the French Cabinet from expecting the co- 
operation of Austria in a conflict with Prussia. Impartial 
and neutral, her attitude, as we have observed, must have 
greatly contributed towards the maintenance of peace. Yet 
Austria had a difficult role to play, for she desired neither to 
exercise pressure upon Prussia to induce her to sacrifice 
German national interests, nor to lay herself open to the 
suspicion of confirming Prussia in her resistance, with a 
view of bringing about a conflict. She steered well between 
the international Scylla and Charybdis. 

The year 1869 opened with a continuance of these peace 



156 WILLIAM I. AND THE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

prospects. The North German Parliament assembled on the 
4th of March, and the King, in his speech from the throne, 
congratulated the Deputies on the unclouded state of Europe. 
A hill relative to the electoral law was promised, framed in 
accordance with Article 20 of the Constitution of the 
Confederation. It was intended to secure a uniform system 
of electoral procedure throughout the entire Confederation, 
and also to define the legal status of the Federal officials. 
The Budget of 1870 showed that an increase of the revenue 
was necessary. In regard to the postal arrangements between 
the Confederation and Foreign States, conventions had been 
concluded with the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and the 
Danubian Principalities. The organization of the Federal 
consular system was approaching completion. A consular 
convention concluded with Italy would regulate the re- 
spective powers of the consuls of both nations, thus ensuring 
uniformity in the conduct of the consular administration and 
the diplomatic representation abroad of North Germany. 
His Majesty observed that the first duty of the diplomatic 
agents abroad would be to secure the maintenance of peace 
between all nations who, like Germany, knew how to value 
its benefits. The fulfilment of that duty would be facilitated 
by the friendly terms existing between the North German 
Confederation and all Foreign Powers, and which were 
proved afresh by the peaceful solution of the difficulty 
that but lately threatened to disturb peace in the East. 
The negotiations and the result of the Paris Conference 
had proved the sincere endeavours of the European Powers 
to regard the blessings of peace as a valuable and common 
benefit, to be guarded by all as common property. Germany, 
having seen the success of this action, and having proved 
that it possessed both the will and the power to respect 
the independence of foreign States and to defend its own, 
was justified in trusting in the continuance of peace to 
disturb which neither Foreign Governments had the in- 
tention, nor the enemies of order the power. 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 157 

The Deputies got through their work amicably, and when 
they were dismissed on the 22nd of June, the Eoyal speech 
congratulated them on the completion of the first German 
conflict, which was a memorial both of German activity 
and sagacity. The unanimous co-operation of the Federal 
Governments with the national representatives in the 
common labouring for Germany's welfare, would reiterated 
the King with God's help, strengthen, as heretofore, the 
general confidence with which Germany, in fortifying herself 
at home, reckoned upon the preservation of peace abroad. 

But although on matters of public policy generally there 
was a good understanding between the Prussian Government 
and the Deputies, the financial question continued to be 
discussed with great animosity. The agitation continued 
after the closing of Parliament, and gained in strength upon 
the retirement of Count Bismarck for the summer on the 
ground of ill-health. In his absence, the administration was 
entrusted to Count Eulenberg and Yon Miiller, who were 
regarded as uncompromising reactionists. 

The Prussian Chambers met again on the 6th of October, 
and the King, who opened the session in person, said that an 
unavoidable deficit in the finances rendered an augmentation 
of the taxes necessary. ' The restoration and preservation 
of order in financial affairs is absolutely essential for the 
successful development of all the State institutions, and this 
cannot be delayed. The sacrifices demanded must not be 
eluded ; the longer they are postponed, the more oppressive 
they will be for the country. Convinced that you share 
these views, I rely confidently upon your not refusing your 
assent to the propositions of my Government.' The King 
then announced that reforms would be introduced and the 
income tax remodelled, in order to secure a more efficient 
working of the law. The Eastern provinces would be placed 
on a basis of self-government, and new laws would be sub- 
mitted with respect to public education. The speech con- 
cluded with an allusion to the success of the King's efforts to 



158 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

preserve peace and to maintain friendly relations with 
foreign Powers. 

But the propositions concerning the taxes met with much 
opposition. The Finance Minister, Yon der Heydt, finding 
that he was in danger of defeat, resigned, and was succeeded 
by Herr Camphausen, whose appointment strengthened the 
National Liberal element in Count Bismarck's Ministry. On 
October 30, the new Finance Minister explained his pro- 
gramme to the Diet, which he said was one to ' restore order 
in the administration of the finances, while the resources of 
the country should be spared as much as possible.' His 
proposed plan of consolidation, arranged to furnish means for 
covering a portion of the deficit, and to improve the method 
of paying the public debt, was passed by a large majority of 
the Diet in December. At the same time the Lower House 
adopted a resolution to extend the jurisdiction of the Fede- 
ration over the entire civil law. 

It is interesting to note that the national debt of Prussia, 
at the end of 1869, amounted to 442,639,372 thalers, 
184,471,491 of which were, however, railway debts. It was 
computed that the interest and sinking fund for the payment 
of the principal would, in 1870, require 28,648,600 thalers ; 
but 10,223,511 thalers of this sum belonged to the railways, 
and would be covered by their profits. Of the total national 
debt 377,925,827 thalers belonged to the old provinces; viz., 
211,225,925 thalers State debt bearing interest, 133,061,000 
thalers railway debt bearing interest, 2,553,902 thalers 
provincial debt bearing interest, 12,835,000 thalers interest- 
bearing notes, and 18,250,000 thalers bank-notes bearing no 
interest. The debts of the provinces united to the kingdom, 
in 1866, were as follows: Hanover, 21,096,291 thalers; 
Hesse, 15,249,950 thalers; Nassau, 20,158,755 thalers; 
Hesse-Homburg, 99,429 thalers ; Frankfort, 7,754,171 tha- 
lers; and Schleswig-Holstein, 354,948 thalers. A large 
portion of these debts, however, was for railways, and would 
be covered by their profits. 



AN INTEEEEGNUM OF PEACE. 159 

Towards the close of the year two incidents occurred 
which were of considerable interest in relation to Protestant 
Prussia and its monarch. King William, regarding himself 
as the guardian of Protestantism, issued the following decree 
touching a day of special prayer for the Church : ' The great 
movements which in our age are making themselves felt in 
the religious life "both of nations and individuals, and are 
pressing forward to a decision ; and the tasks they impose on 
the Protestant Church of our country are apparent to all, 
and admonish us to entreat the support of Almighty God. 
It is therefore my will that a day be set apart in the 
Protestant Churches of my country for special prayer, that 
God may pour out His blessing on the present important 
deliberations as to the constitution of our Church, and to 
implore Him to protect the Protestant Church from all 
dangers that threaten it ; and, to strengthen the ties which 
unite its members to each other and to the Church universal, 
I have appointed the 10th of November, the birthday of Dr. 
Martin Luther, for this purpose, and hereby commission the 
Minister and the highest ecclesiastical authorities of Prussia 
to make the necessary arrangements.' 

Early in the ensuing December, in receiving a deputation 
from the Brandenburg Synod, His Majesty said: 'I am much 
obliged to you for your kind and cordial wishes, and shall be 
happy to see you finish your work in peace. It is very 
necessary, indeed, that something should be done to quiet 
the excitement lately prevailing in matters ecclesiastical. 
The enemies of the Church are numerous in these days. In 
this I am not alluding to the Koman Catholics, but to those 
who have ceased to believe. What is to become of us if we 
have no faith in the Saviour, the Son of God ? If He is not 
the Son of God, His commands, as coming from a man only, 
must be subject to criticism. What is to become of us in 
such a case ? I can only repeat, that I wish to see you finish 
in peace the work in which you are engaged.' 
. At this time Rationalism was spreading rapidly on the one 



160 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

hand, while on the other the Pope was issuing a bull against 
heretics, and formulating the Infallibility policy which was 
shortly to see the light. 

During the interregnum of European peace which was 
now drawing to a close, Prussia had been perfecting her 
military organization, and we cannot do better than close 
this chapter by detailing her war strength, as it existed in 
1869. The Prussian Military Gazette stated that a million 
of soldiers could, at any moment, be placed under arms by a 
single telegram from Berlin. The Prussian troops consisted 
of 325 battalions of infantry, 268 squadrons of cavalry, 11 
regiments of artillery, with 1146 guns, and 12 battalions 
of engineers, making in all 410,000 soldiers. The Federal 
contingents were of the following strength : Saxony, 29 
battalions, 24 squadrons, 96 batteries, and 6 guns; Bruns- 
wick, 3 battalions, 4 squadrons, and 6 guns ; Mecklenburg- 
Strelitz, 1 battalion ; and Hesse Darmstadt, 10 battalions, 
8 squadrons, 24 guns, and one battalion of engineers 
total 53,000 men. But this force of 463,000 only 
represented the standing army of North Germany. In 
case of emergency, Prussia could also command the 
services of the troops of Baden, Wurtemberg, and Bavaria, 
and immediately order a levy of her reserve, consisting 
of 120 battalions of infantry, 76 squadrons of cavalry, 
240 guns, and 12 battalions of engineers ; or an army 
of 143,000 men. Then there was an additional force of 
200,000 men at her disposal for the occupation of towns 
and garrisons. Finally, the above numbers did not include 
the officers' military train, military labourers, nor special 
corps of any kind. 

With regard to her navy also, Prussia had made great 
strides, and, whereas not long before she had no fleet worth 
speaking of, the Prussian navy was now second to none in 
the Baltic Sea. Russia was jealous of the facility and the 
rapidity with which she turned out vessel after vessel, 
obviously intending to make good her pretensions to supre- 



AN INTERREGNUM OF PEACE. 161 

macy in the Baltic, where hitherto Kussia had ridden alone. 
In 1868 the Prussian and Kussian fleets cruised together; 
but when Count Bismarck proposed to do the same in 1869, 
Kussia indignantly refused. The Goloss of St. Petersburg 
thus gave vent to the feelings animating the Russian official 
mind : ' After seizing Kiel and the Bay of Jahde, Prussia has 
constructed in that bay the naval port of Keppens, and thus 
at once become a naval power and a dangerous rival to us in 
the Baltic. When the canal between the Baltic and the 
North Sea, the construction of which is already seriously 
contemplated at Berlin, is completed, the naval power of 
Prussia, which formerly only existed in the dreams of 
Prussian patriots, will become an accomplished fact.' The 
Goloss accused Prussia of false dealings in her relations with 
Russia, and added : * Our commercial legislation has been such 
that, if the Prussian Minister of Commerce had been asked 
for his advice, he could not have invented anything more 
advantageous for Prussian interests. The sliding scale of the 
customs tariffs which have been recently abolished, and the 
obstacles created by our bureaucracy, have drawn nearly all 
our northern maritime commerce into Prussian harbours. 
The Crimean War and the construction of the railway 
communication between our western provinces and Konigs- 
berg have made that port the head-quarters of our northern 
trade. Moreover, the mercantile marine of North Germany 
increases yearly, while merchant ships under the Russian flag 
are scarcely ever seen on foreign waters.' 

But the real sting of this remarkable article in the Goloss 
came in its closing sentence : ' If France does not think 
proper to put a stop to Prussian impetuosity, that Power will 
in a few years absorb the whole of Germany, or, in other 
words, become the arbiter of Europe/ Russia did not want 
to fight Prussia, and yet she wished to see her crippled 
because of her own interests. So, with a Mephistophelian 
smile, she threw out hints which she knew would make 
France wince and goad her into action perhaps. The very 

II 



162 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

ideas so frankly expressed in the Goloss article had been 
flitting through the mind of Napoleon for several years back. 
He knew how rapidly Prussia was pushing to the front, and 
that even now she might almost be called the mistress of 
Europe. How long was this to continue, while the war 
party in France chafed under the inactivity and irresolution 
of the Emperor ? It was destined to continue until just such 
time, and no longer, as Napoleon could find some good or bad 
pretext for war, and then the war flame was to burst out over 
Europe. 



( 163 ) 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE CLOUD GATHERING. 

BEFORE reciting the circumstances which led to one of the 
greatest wars of the century, several matters affecting 
Prussian history during the first half of the year 1870 
demand attention. Count Bismarck, who was almost over- 
whelmed by his Herculean labours, became on the 1st of 
January Foreign Minister, no longer of Prussia solely, but 
of the whole of the North German Confederation. As, in 
addition to this office, he also held the onerous post of 
Chancellor, two subordinates were appointed to assist him in 
the Chancellorship Herr von Thile, who transacted the 
minor details in the department of Foreign Affairs, and Herr 
von Delbriick, who assumed charge of those in the Home 
Department. 

The Federal Parliament was opened by the King on the 
12th of February. His Majesty announced that the Assembly 
would be called upon to extend and complete the institutions 
which had been agreed upon by the separate governments of 
the Confederation. In particular he adverted to the new 
penal code, that was to establish a uniform system of 
criminal procedure throughout North Germany, thereby 
greatly advancing the work of national unity. 

The question of the speedy admission of the Grand Duchy 
of Baden into the North German Bund was brought forward 
this session by the National Liberal party. Count Bismarck, 
whose views in favour of centralization were well known, 
caused considerable astonishment by opposing this measure. 
The opinion gained currency, that he was anxious for the 

M 2 



164 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

moment not to give ground of offence to France. He wanted 
the provocation to come from that quarter. So he told the 
Deputies that the adhesion of Baden was not yet desirable, 
and would tend to retard the natural progress of the South 
German States if precipitately carried out. The North 
German Confederation would reserve to itself the right of 
designating a more favourable moment for the reception of 
the Duchy as one of its members. But while he thus 
abstained from any territorial extension of the Bund, he used 
all diligence to make sure of the ground already gained. 
For example, a measure was passed to assimilate weights and 
measures throughout North Germany in connection with the 
intended assimilation of the coinage, and a copyright law 
was also passed. Further, a general penal code for North 
Germany was adopted before the close of the session. 

When the King of Prussia closed the Diet, he thankfully 
acknowledged the readiness shown by both Houses to assist 
the Government in its aims by the sanction of the proposed 
law of consolidation, which, he felt assured, would offer 
increased facilities for a more rapid amortization of the public 
debt. The Government had succeeded in establishing an 
equilibrium between the revenue and expenditure in the 
Budget for 1870, without being compelled to resort to 
onerous taxation. But the King expressed his grief and 
surprise that the comprehensive administrative reforms 
which had been submitted to the Diet for consideration and 
approval in the earlier part of the session had not been 
brought to a satisfactory conclusion the more so, as the 
wants of the country imperatively demanded those reforms, 
especially that of a change of the mortgage system. 

Upon the conclusion of the session, King William, accom- 
panied by Bismarck, left Berlin for Ems, on a visit to the 
Emperor of Russia. 

Internal difficulties now sprang up in Germany. An 
organization known as the Democratic Workmen's party, 
nicknamed the ' Honest ' party, suddenly acquired promin- 



THE CLOUD GATHERING. 165 

ence. It had its head-quarters at Stuttgart and Leipsic, 
and its main object was to break up Europe, and more 
especially Prussia and the North Grerman Confederation, into 
a number of small communistic republics. Its leaders were 
Bebel, a master-turner, and Liebknecht, a journalist. Then 
there was the Progressive Workmen's party, formerly led 
by Schultze Delitsch, who was not a socialist, but now by 
Hirsch and Dunker. Strikes were advocated, and the 
English trades-unions held up to admiration. A third party, 
and the most advanced of all, was that of the German 
Socialists, followers of Ferdinand Lassalle. This organization 
sought to secure for the labourer a share in the profits of all 
commercial and industrial undertakings ; and in order to 
obtain this, the Socialists demanded State assistance, en- 
couraged strikes, denounced all indirect taxation, and assailed 
the capitalists. After Lassalle's death the party split up into 
three sections, each of which was hostile to the others, and 
to the world at large. These various parties caused the 
bureaus at Berlin no little trouble and solicitude. 

But internal difficulties were soon to be overshadowed by 
events which were to draw upon France and Prussia the eyes 
of the whole civilized world. The close of June saw Europe 
in the enjoyment of profound peace, but there were subtle 
influences at work that were destined shortly to change 
the calm into a storm ; to cause the death of thousands of 
brave men ; and to blight and lay waste some of the most 
fertile, industrious, and prosperous provinces on the face of 
the earth. Yet, so late as the 30th of June, the Prime 
Minister of France, M. Emile Ollivier, officially declared in 
the Corps Legislatif that peace was more secure than ever. 
The false security which this assurance gave rise to was 
soon dispelled. Within two or three days the political 
horizon was menaced by a dark war-cloud, and in the 
course of a fortnight war was formally declared, with the 
sequence of one of the bloodiest conflicts witnessed in modern 
history. 



166 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

The ostensible causes of this war were wholly inadequate, 
and upon France lay the blame of provocation. The 
pretexts or grounds upon which she acted may be briefly 
stated. The Provisional Government of Spain, after several 
unsuccessful attempts to induce a foreign prince to accept 
the Spanish crown, resolved on the 4th of July to propose 
to the Cortes Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen 
as King of Spain. This news created great excitement in 
France, and suggestions of Bismarckian intrigues were rife, 
with an alleged design on the part of the Prussian monarch 
to plant a subservient relative on the southern frontier of 
France. On the 6th of July, two of the ministers, the 
Prime Minister and the Due de Gramont, declared in the 
Corps Legislatif that the candidacy of a Prince of the House 
of Hohenzollern, agreed upon without the knowledge of the 
French Government, would be injurious to the honour and 
the influence of the French nation. The Spanish Minister of 
Foreign Affairs hastened to assure France that the Prince 
was the free choice of the Spanish Government, and had been 
elected without previous negotiation with, or the co-operation 
of, any other European Power. France was profoundly 
indignant, however, and this explanation did not suffice. 
She demanded the formal withdrawal of the candidate, 
affirming that his occupancy of the Spanish throne was 
prejudicial to French interests. 

King William was at Ems, and M. Benedetti, the French 
Ambassador to the North German Confederation, personally 
requested His Majesty, on the 9th, to forbid Prince Leopold's 
acceptance of the Spanish crown. The King declined, 
stating he had no right to give orders to a Prince of Hohen- 
zollern who was of age. The King added that, beyond giving 
his personal sanction as head of the Hohenzollern family, he 
had had no hand in the candidature. After this interview 
the Prussian Government issued a circular despatch to its 
representatives in Germany to the effect, that the Govern- 
ment of Prussia had no part whatever in the selection of 



THE CLOUD GATHERING. 167 

Prince Leopold to the Spanish crown. The Prince himself, 
seeing the dangers which threatened Europe, of his own 
motion sent in his resignation on the 12th of July. 

Sanguine spirits now hoped that the difficulty would he 
got over, but they had reckoned without the war party in 
France. With singular recklessness and culpability, the 
Due de Gramont notified the Prussian Ambassador in Paris, 
Baron von Werther, that France was not satisfied, and that 
the King of Prussia himself must write to the Emperor 
Napoleon, excusing himself for having personally sanctioned 
Prince Leopold's candidature, take a definite part in its 
present withdrawal, and promise that under no circumstances 
should that candidature be renewed. Count Bismarck 
declined to lay these new and humiliating claims of France 
before the King. Accordingly, on the 13th of July, M. 
Benedetti forced himself into the presence of the King in a 
public walk at Ems, and renewed the propositions in an 
imperious manner. The King, with great indignation, 
refused to listen to the demands of the Ambassador, and 
turned upon his heel. The Ambassador was further notified 
by one of the adjutants of His Majesty that he would not 
grant another audience upon the matter. 

Next day Baron von Werther was recalled from Paris, and 
M. Benedetti from Ems. A mad war excitement now seized 
upon both nations, though there were not wanting far-seeing 
men among the French Left who inveighed against the 
injustice as well as the danger and impolicy of a war with 
Germany. King William returned to Berlin on the 15th, 
and was greeted with frantic enthusiasm. Addresses now 
poured in from all parts of Germany, and when the Federal 
Council of the North German Confederation met at Berlin, 
it unanimously recognized the necessity of energetically 
repelling ' the arrogance of France.' Orders were issued 
for the mobilization not only of the army of the North 
German Confederation, but also of the armies of those 
South German States which, according to treaty, were to be 



168 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

under the supreme command of the King of Prussia in the 
event of war. The South German States at once promised 
their aid, greatly to the surprise of France. In the French 
Corps Legislatif, M. Emile Ollivier speaking in the name 
of the Government demanded the arming of the Garde 
Mobile, with a grant of 500,000,000 francs for the land 
army, and 16,000,000 for the navy, all of which demands 
were at once granted. The Senate also passed the desired 
credit, and on Sunday, the 18th, went to St. Cloud to con- 
gratulate the Emperor on the decision arrived at. The 
Paris populace was strangely excited. On the Boulevards 
crowds assembled, singing the Marseillaise and ' Mourir 
pour la Patrie,' and shouting l Vive la Guerre ! ' ' A Berlin!' 
and l A las la Prusse ! ' 

Never did a nation rush so headlong upon its fate. 
Napoleon has been almost wholly blamed for the war, but, as 
he said after the crowning disaster of Sedan, he had no power 
to arrest the belligerent feeling. It is true the fever had 
seized upon the entire population, but the feeling ought 
never to have reached this height of frenzy ; and it would 
not have done so but for the Emperor's previous policy. 
Alarmed by the progress of Prussia, he had long sought an 
opportunity for humbling her, and in the fateful summer of 
1870, he rashly jumped to the conclusion that his destiny 
pointed him to Berlin. 



( 169 ) 



CHAPTER X. 

THE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE. 

THERE was little hope that the thunderbolts of war might be 
averted, but the English Government resolved to make a 
final effort. Our ambassador at Berlin, Lord Loftus, tendered 
an offer of mediation, but it was declined by Count Bismarck 
so long as France should not declare her readiness to accept 
the intervention of England. There was only one brief 
period when the French Ministry paused. It was when they 
found that there was no likelihood of Austria striking in on 
her own account, and avenging herself for the disaster of 
Sadowa. But the hesitation lasted only for a moment. The 
French people were bent upon war, quite as much so, it 
must be confessed, as the Emperor Napoleon himself. But 
French officialism was disgracefully at fault. When Marshal 
Leboeuf, the War Minister, was questioned by the Due de 
Gramont, he replied, ' Ready ? ay, more than ready ! ' The 
event proved that he spoke with fatal ignorance of the real 
state of things. And when the mobilization of the French 
army was undertaken, it brought to light grave facts which 
had not previously been suspected. The Due de Gramont 
subsequently said, ' I could easily have avoided the war in 
twenty ways.' The Prussian Government afterwards pub- 
lished Napoleon's correspondence, found at St. Cloud, and it 
showed that the imposing regiments of the army of the Rhine 
were actually destitute of the most necessary commissariat 
appliances. Invaluable days were frittered away, and 
nothing was ready. The Prussians carried through their 
mobilization with their accustomed accuracy and despatch ; 



170 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

and the Governments of Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and Baden 
unanimously sent in their adhesion to the cause of the King 
of Prussia. 

With regard to weapons, the French had for some time 
been trying to find a rival to the formidable needle-gun of 
the Prussians, and they believed they had discovered it in the 
chassepot, which was said to have given proof of its capacity 
to carry bullets to further ranges and to be more manageable 
by the holder, than the weapon which had won the campaign 
against Austria. Then the French had another powerful 
engine of death, the mitrailleuse. It was a small moveable 
cannon revolver, which could discharge from its various 
mouths between three and four hundred bullets in the space 
of one minute. With these weapons the French deemed 
themselves secure. 

The French army was disposed in a slightly curved line 
from Strasburg to the frontier of Luxemburg, thus extending 
over about 150 miles of country. There were seven corps, in 
addition to the Imperial Guard. Macmahon was at Strasburg 
with the 1 st corps ; De Failly with the 5th, near Saargemund ; 
Frossard with the 7th, opposite Saarbriick ; then came 
General 1'Amirault, with the 4th corps ; and last on the line 
Bazaine with the 3rd corps, stationed at Sierck, to the 
north of Thionville. The 7th corps, under General Douay, 
occupied Belfort, in the Upper Bhine Department ; the 
Imperial Guard was at Metz, under Bourbaki ; and Canrobert 
commanded the 6th corps, or the army of reserve, at Chalons. 

The formal declaration of war presented by France to 
Count Bismarck, rested upon the following basis : 1. The 
insult offered at Ems to M. Benedetti, the French Minister, 
and its approval by the Prussian Government. 2. The 
refusal of the King of Prussia to compel the withdrawal of 
Prince Leopold's name as a candidate for the Spanish throne ; 
and 3. The fact that the King persisted in giving the Prince 
liberty to accept the throne. As the Prince of Hohenzollern's 
candidature was no longer before Europe, the French were 



THE GEE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. 171 

virtually rushing upon a terrible war because of a fancied 
insult to M. Benedetti by the King of Prussia. 

Before the first blow was struck, yet one more attempt 
was made at mediation, the Pope writing . an identical letter 
to King William and the Emperor Napoleon. The King of 
Prussia thus replied : ' Most august Pontiff, I am not sur- 
prised, but profoundly moved, at the touching words traced 
by your hand. They cause the voice of God and of peace to 
be heard. How could my heart refuse to listen to so power- 
ful an appeal ? God witnesses that neither I nor my people 
devised or provoked war. Obeying the sacred duties which 
God imposes on sovereigns and nations, we take up the 
sword to defend the independence and honour of our country, 
ready to lay it down the moment those treasures are secure. 
If your Holiness could offer -me, from him who so un- 
expectedly declared war, assurances of sincerely pacific 
dispositions, and guarantees against a similar attempt upon 
the peace and tranquillity of Europe, it certainly will not be 
I who will refuse to receive them from your venerable hands, 
united as I am with you in bonds of Christian charity and 
sincere friendship.' As Napoleon did not give the assurances 
demanded, the Pope's mediatorial offer fell through. 

The French blundered in the very outset of the campaign. 
It had been the Emperor's intention to mass 150,000 men 
at Metz, 100,000 at Strasburg, and 50,000 at the camp at 
Chalons. Then to unite the two armies of Metz and Stras- 
burg, and at the head of 250,000 men to cross the Ehine at 
Maxau, leaving on his right the fortress of Kastadt. Next, 
the 50,000 men at Chalons, under the command of Canrobert, 
were to proceed to Metz to protect the rear of the army and 
guard the north-east frontier. Meanwhile the fleet, cruising 
in the Baltic, would have held a portion of the Prussian 
force in check, to guard against invasion from the coast. 
But these plans ignominiously broke down. Only 100,000 
men were ready for the army of Metz ; 40,000 only for that 
of Strasburg ; Canrobert's corps was divided, and neither 



172 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

cavalry nor artillery were ready. When the Emperor ordered 
the missing regiments to be pushed on, the reply came that 
Algeria, Paris, and Lyons could not be left without garrisons. 
The French fleet, which was the only thing ready, sailed for 
the Baltic ; but, as fortune or fate would have it, its services 
were not required. 

The Germans took the initiative in the field, and were 
somewhat surprised that they should have been called upon 
to do so, as they expected to have been anticipated by the 
French. The King of Prussia arrived at Mayence on the 
31st of July, accompanied by Generals Yon Moltke and Von 
Koon. His Majesty assumed the style of Commander-in- 
Chief, though the real head and moving spirit of the German 
hosts was that great strategical genius Yon Moltke. The 
Prussian forces were distributed in three armies ; the com- 
mand of the first army, forming the right wing of the entire 
force, was assigned to General von Steinmetz; that of the 
second, or centre army, to Prince Frederick Charles, ' the 
Eed Prince,' the King's nephew; and that of the third 
division, consisting of the armies of the south, to the Crown 
Prince. The whole of the three armies amounted in number 
to about 450,000 men. 

The first decisive movement began on the 2nd of August, 
when the French corps of General Frossard, numbering 
about 30,000 men, advanced from St. Avoid against Saar- 
bruck. In view of the Emperor and the Prince Imperial it 
shelled the open town, and the Prussian advanced post 
retired. The French occupied the heights, but not the town 
itself, and Napoleon telegraphed to the Empress : ' Louis 
has received the baptism of fire. He displayed an admirable 
sangfroid, and was in no way excited. He has preserved a 
ball which dropped close to him. There were soldiers who 
wept when they saw him so calm.' 

More serious business was soon to follow. After a German 
success at Wissemburg, in which General Abel Douay was 
killed, the great battle of Worth was fought on the 6th of 



THE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE. 173 

August. The Crown Prince was on his way towards the 
passes of the Vosges, when Marshal Macmahon intercepted 
his advance, taking up a strong position west of Worth. He 
had not, however, got his forces together in full strength, 
and before he could do so he was attacked by the Crown 
Prince's superior divisions. For fifteen hours the ground 
was desperately contested ; but although the French were 
reinforced by Failly's corps, they were ultimately defeated. 
Their loss in killed and wounded was estimated at 10,000, 
and amongst the dead were Generals Colson and Kaoul. 
Two eagles, thirty cannons, six mitrailleuses, 360,000 francs, 
and 8000 prisoners fell into the hands of the Germans. The 
German loss was about 4000 in killed and wounded. Out 
of Macmahon's army corps of 40,000 men, only 5000 were 
at length able to retrace their steps, broken and dispirited, 
towards Chalons. On the same day as the battle of Worth, 
a desperate fight occurred on the heights of Spicheren, near 
Saarbriick, between the advanced Guard of the 1st German 
Army, under General Goben, and the left wing of the French, 
under General Frossard. The French position was again 
strong, and the conflict went on for hours. General Stein- 
metz and Prince Frederick Charles came on the field towards 
the last, and the French were beaten back to Forbach, 
where they again made a gallant stand ; but in vain. The 
Germans took 2500 prisoners, and a vast quantity of war 
material. 

Disguise it .how the French might, their army of invasion 
had been beaten at all points. Paris had been buoyed up 
by false telegrams, one report actually announcing a great 
victory, with the capture of 25,000 prisoners, including the 
Crown Prince himself. When the truth became known, the 
rage and disappointment of the people found vent in loud 
execrations; and these feelings were not allayed by the 
following telegram from the Emperor : ' Marshal Macmahon 
has lost a battle. General Frossard, on the Saar, has been 
compelled to fall back. The retreat is being effected in good 



174 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEEMAN EMPIRE. 

order. Tout pent se retdblir.' But how was all to be put 
right ? 

The entire French army now fell back, and Macmahon, 
closely pursued by the Germans, retreated precipitately upon 
Nancy and Metz. Other corps followed his example, until 
the French occupied a new position along the line of the 
Moselle. Meanwhile, Paris was greatly moved. A procla- 
mation issued by the Empress Eugenie, who had been 
appointed Kegent, left no room to doubt that the French 
had suffered serious reverses. Paris was declared in a state 
of siege ; the Chambers immediately assembled, and a new 
Cabinet was appointed, with Count Palikao as President. 
The Senate and the Corps Legislatif agreed to an increase 
in the army, and a reorganization of the National Guard ; 
it was resolved to push on the war vigorously, and the war 
credit was raised to 1,000,000,000 francs. Marshal Bazaine 
was appointed to the supreme conduct of the war, in place 
of Leboeuf; nothing was said of the Emperor, and the 
command of the forces of Paris was entrusted to General 
Trochu, who, singularly enough, three years before, had 
lifted up his voice alone against the ill-prepared condition 
of the French army, and whose warning was now rapidly 
being verified. 

The German armies speedily effected a change of front to 
the right. The King of Prussia moved his head-quarters on 
the llth of August, establishing himself across the frontier 
at St. Avoid. On leaving Saarbruck he addressed the 
following proclamation in French to the French people 
1 We, William, King of Prussia, make known the following to 
the inhabitants of the French territories occupied by the 
German armies. The Emperor Napoleon having made, by 
land and by sea, an attack on the German nation, which 
desired and still desires to live in peace with the French 
people, I have assumed the command of the German armies 
to repel this aggression, and I have been led by military 
circumstances to cross the frontiers of France. I am waging 



THE QBE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. 175 

war against soldiers, not against French citizens. The latter 
consequently will continue to enjoy security for their persons 
and property so long as they themselves shall not hy hostile 
attempts against the German troops deprive me of the right 
of according them my protection. By special arrangements 
which will be duly made known to the public, the Generals 
commanding the different corps will determine the measures 
to be taken towards the communes or individuals that 
may place themselves in opposition to the usages of war. 
They will, in like manner, regulate all that concerns the 
requisitions which may be deemed necessary for the 
wants of the troops, and they will fix the rate of exchange 
between French and German currencies, in order to facilitate 
the individual transactions between the troops and the 
inhabitants.' 

The French now continued to retreat, and it was the 
object of Napoleon to fall back across the Meuse in the 
neighbourhood of Verdun, and to form at Chalons a junction 
with Macmahon and the new corps, thus being able to oppose 
the further advance of the Germans by an army of more than 
300,000 men. The German generals regarded it as a matter 
of supreme importance to prevent the concentration of the 
French at Chalons, and to that end to cut off the retreat of 
Bazaine. Accordingly, on the 14th of August, the German 
vanguard, belonging to the army of Steinmetz, came up with 
the three corps of Decaen, Frossard, and L'Amirault, near 
Courcelles, and a sharp contest ensued. Both sides fought 
well and equally claimed the victory, but in the end the 
Germans were the gainers ; for the French retired into Metz 
and the Prussians remained on the field of battle. Next day 
the army of the Moselle, under the command of Bazaine, left 
Metz, accompanied by the Emperor and the Prince Imperial, 
in order to retreat by way of Verdun to Chalons. On the 
16th, as their presence had become an obstruction to the 
army, Napoleon and his son left the troops, and started alone 
in a carriage upon the route to Chalons. They narrowly 



176 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

escaped being captured by the Prussians on the way, but at 
length reached their destination. 

On the 16th King William's head- quarters were fixed at 
Pont a Mousson, between Metz and Nancy. It was now the 
object of the Prussians to cut off the retreat of the French 
army on Verdun and Chalons. Several sanguinary en- 
gagements ensued, but they all ended to the advantage of 
the Prussians. On the day above-named, Tuesday the 
16th, a number of French divisions, with the Imperial 
Guard, were stopped on their march westwards near Mars- 
la-Tour by General Von Alvesleben with three Army Corps, 
subsequently reinforced by Prince Frederick Charles and 
another corps, and were driven back towards Metz after a 
battle lasting twelve hours. The French made another 
stand at Gravelotte on the 18th, but were again completely 
defeated. On this occasion the King of Prussia commanded 
his troops in person. These two battles were desperately 
contested. Gravelotte was the bloodiest battle of the 
whole campaign. The French had 112,000 men in action 
and reserve, with 540 guns ; the Germans had 211,000 men 
with 822 guns. Against this vastly superior force of the 
Germans the French had the advantage of position, but it 
was not sufficient against such overwhelming odds. The 
Germans suffered even worse than the enemy, for their loss 
amounted to one-seventh of the effective strength, and that 
of the French to one-eighth. Bismarck complained that the 
jealousy of some of the Prussian leaders was the cause of his 
side losing many of their men. Between the 14th and 18th 
of August, the French lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 
50,000 men. The German losses were likewise terribly 
severe. At Mars-la-Tour they amounted to 17,000 ; and at 
Gravelotte to a higher number still. Some regiments were 
completely decimated. The wife of a Prussian officer wrote, 
' The first regiment of Dragoon Guards went first under fire, 
and were so slaughtered that only 120 men were left ; the 
2nd Dragoons were taken to make up the number of the 1st, 



TEE GEE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. Ill 

and were in their turn cut down. The very flower of the 
Prussian nobility has perished. Our friends and familiar 
faces that we had met every year in society are all dead, and 
there is the saddest desolation.' This fearful havoc was 
caused by the French infantry, which had masked a line of 
mitrailleurs and concealed them from the advancing Prussians, 
opening out when charged, and thus leaving the foe exposed 
to the fire of the machines. Amongst the killed was Prince 
Salm-Salm, who was with the Emperor Maximilian in Mexico. 
The result of these fiercely contested engagements was that 
henceforth Bazaine's army was effectually sealed up in Metz ; 
it had entirely lost communication both with Paris and 
Macmahon. 

Late at night on the 18th of August, Bismarck penned 
this telegram to Queen Augusta, at the dictation of the King : 
* The French army in a very strong position westward of 
Metz, attacked, completely beaten after a battle of nine 
hours, cut off from its communication with Paris, and 
hurled back on Metz.' 

Dr. Busch gives the following graphic recital from Count 
Bismarck's own lips of his experiences on that awful day : 
1 The whole day I had nothing to eat but the soldiers' bread 
and fat bacon. Now we found some eggs five or six the 
others must have theirs boiled ; but I like them uncooked, 
so I got a couple of them, and broke them on the pommel 
of my sword, and was much refreshed. When it got light, I 
took the first warm food I had tasted for six- and- thirty 
hours ; it was only pea- sausage soup, which General Goeben 
gave me, but it tasted quite excellent. ... I had sent 
my horse to water, and stood in the dusk near a battery, 
which was firing. The French were silent, but when we 
thought their artillery was disabled, they were only concen- 
trating their guns and mitrailleuses for a last great push. 
Suddenly they began quite a fearful fire, with shells and 
suchlike an incessant cracking and rolling, whizzing and 
screaming in the air. We were separated from the King, 

K 



178 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

who had been sent back by Koon. I stayed by the battery, 
and thought to myself, " if we have to retreat, put yourself on 
the first gun-carriage you can find." We now expected that 
the French infantry would support the attack, when they 
might have taken me prisoner, unless the artillery carried 
me away with them. But the attack failed, and at last the 
horses returned, and I set off back to the King. We had 
gone out of the rain into the gutter, for where we had ridden 
to, the shells were falling thick, whereas before they had 
passed over our heads. Next morning we saw the deep holes 
they had ploughed in the ground. 

' The King had to go back farther, as I told him to do, 
after the officers had made representations to me. It was 
now night. The King said he was hungry, and what could 
he have to eat ? There was plenty to drink wine and bad 
rum from a sutler but not a morsel to eat but dry bread. 
At last, in the village, we got a few cutlets, just enough for 
the King, but not for anyone else, so I had to find out some- 
thing for myself. His Majesty wanted to sleep in the 
carriage, among dead horses and badly-wounded men. He 
afterwards found accommodation in a little public-house. 
The Chancellor had to look out somewhere else. The heir of 
one of the greatest German potentates (the young Hereditary 
Grand Duke of Mecklenburg) kept watch by our common 
carriage, that nothing should be stolen, and (General) 
Sheridan and I set off to find a sleeping place. We came to 
a house which was still burning, and that was too hot. I 
asked at another " full of wounded soldiers." In a third, 
also full of the wounded. In a fourth, just the same, but I 
was not to be denied this time. I looked up and saw a 
window which was dark. " What have you got up there ? " 
I asked. " More wounded soldiers." " That we shall see 
for ourselves." I went up and found three empty beds, with 
good and apparently fairly clean straw mattresses. Here 
we took up our night quarters, and I slept capitally.' 

Once more the Germans showed their great superiority in 



TEE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE. 179 

all that concerns the strategical aspects of war. They even 
carried on the conflict with still greater vigour and aggressive- 
ness than ever. Barrack huts were rapidly constructed round 
Metz, for which even doors and windows from the neigh- 
bouring villages were called into requisition as material. A 
telegraph was carried round the whole of the investing camp, 
and a railroad formed at a little distance from the works, to 
connect the lines of operations. All the officers were 
provided with maps of the country, on which the minutest 
details were carefully set down, even to the marking of 
trees, hedges, and watercourses. Meanwhile, since the 
battles of Wissemburg and Worth, the Crown Prince had 
received large reinforcements, and he now detached his 
Baden contingent to besiege Strasbourg, while some of his 
Bavarian troops proceeded to besiege Phalsbourg and other 
fortresses of the Vosges. The Prince himself, with his main 
army, marched westwards across Lorraine, took the town of 
Nancy without resistance, and crossed the Moselle ; then he 
turned northwards and had joined the direct road from Metz 
to Yerdun, at the time the armies of Steinmetz and Frederick 
Charles were occupied in pushing Bazaine back into Metz. 
These two armies were now left to beleaguer Metz, under 
the command of the Ked Prince, Steinmetz being removed 
from his leadership on the ground, as alleged, that he was 
too prodigal of life in conducting his military operations. 

The campaign which followed may soon be narrated, the 
details being gathered from the accounts of the special 
correspondents published at the time. The Crown Prince 
marched towards Chalons, and King William, following his 
movements, had his head-quarters at Bar-le-Duc on the 
24th of August. But the French camp at Chalons had 
broken up three days before, and Macmahon, with 180,000 
men, had begun what proved to be his fatal movement 
through Eheims to the north-east. His object was to join 
hands with Bazaine, and thus bring the united armies down 
on the rear of the Crown Prince, cutting him off from his 

N 2 



180 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

communications with Prince Frederick Charles and also with 
Germany, or else compelling him to retreat hastily, in fear 
of such a contingency. This Macmahon is said to have 
done in opposition to the Emperor's wish, hut in compliance 
with the orders of the Paris Kegency. 

These movements exactly suited Von Moltke, and fell in 
with the great strategical ruse he had practised upon the 
French. He had purposely encouraged the idea that the 
bulk of the German army was marching straight on Paris, 
and that a comparatively insignificant force only was left 
with Prince Frederick Charles before Metz. But Frederick 
Charles's army was already so strongly entrenched round 
Metz, that it was able to spare the 4th and 12th North 
German Corps and Prussian Guard to take shape as a 4th 
Army, 80,000 strong, which was confided to the command of 
the Crown Prince of Saxony, and designated the Army of 
the Meuse. This army now marched westward, to block the 
passage of the French down the valley of the Meuse, and to 
join the forces of the Crown Prince. As soon as he learnt 
of Macmahon's north-easterly march, the Crown Prince 
also struck northwards to Grand Pre and Yarennes. There 
was thus a race between the two armies, and the Germans 
again gained the advantage, owing to the bad organisation of 
their enemies. Macmahon lost several valuable days at 
Bethel as the result of commissariat difficulties. An impor- 
tant engagement took place at Beaumont on the 29th, when 
the French were surprised by two Prussian and a Bavarian 
corps, and driven into Mouzon ; and at Carignan, on the 
following day, they were again defeated, the Prussians 
entering the place and taking 23 guns and 3000 prisoners. 

Owing to masterly strategy, by the evening of the 31st 
the German armies had concentrated round Sedan. Mac- 
mahon was almost completely surrounded by an iron circle. 
Twelve hours' fighting had taken place, with the result that 
the French army, baffled and diminished, had been forced to 
take shelter under the walls. Macmahon was wounded, and 



THE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE. 181 

surrendered the chief command to General Ducrot ; but soon 
after General de Wimpffen arrived on the battle-field with 
an order from the Minister of War, appointing him com- 
mander-in-chief in case any accident should befall Marshal 
Macmahon. On September 1st, when the French were 
retreating on all sides, Wimpffen proposed to Napoleon, who 
in a fit of gloom and desperation had exposed himself reck- 
lessly in the thickest of the fight, to concentrate a large 
force in order to break through the enemy's lines at 
Carignan, and to save him from being made a prisoner ; but 
the Emperor refused to sacrifice the troops to save himself. 
Wimpffen, who recoiled at the idea of capitulation, then 
asked to resign, but this also Napoleon would not permit. 
Soon after five o'clock a French colonel left Sedan with a 
white flag. Firing suddenly ceased, and the news of the 
proposed capitulation, with the presence of Napoleon in the 
surrendering army, flashed like lightning through the 
German ranks. Frantic shouts rent the air: 'Victory, 
victory ! the Emperor is there ! ' 

King William meanwhile had sent Lieut.-Colonel Bronsart 
to Sedan to demand an unconditional surrender. The Emperor, 
in return, sent his adjutant, General Eeille, to the King 
with the following letter : ' My brother, since I have not 
been vouchsafed to meet death in the midst of my troops, I 
lay my sword at the feet of your Majesty.' The King said 
before opening the letter, ' But I demand as a first condition 
that the army lay down its arms ; ' then after a few minutes' 
conversation, he thus replied to the fallen sovereign : ' My 
brother, I accept your sword, and ask you to appoint some 
one with whom the negotiations concerning the capitulation 
of your army may be conducted.' Moltke as military 
and Bismarck as political commissioner, afterwards met 
Wimpffen at Donchery. Moltke demanded an unconditional 
surrender of the fortress and the whole army, but offered to 
liberate all generals and officers on their giving a written 
pledge not to take up arms again in the course of the war, 



182 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

nor to act in any other manner against the interests of 
Germany. Wimpffen declared that sooner than sign such a 
capitulation he would "blow up himself and the fortress. To 
which the saturnine Moltke responded, ' Yery well, then, if 
the capitulation be not signed hy nine o'clock to-morrow 
morning the bombardment will begin anew.' 

Early on the morning of September 2nd, the Emperor 
Napoleon left Sedan with the hope of getting more lenient 
conditions from King William; but Bismarck the astute 
waylaid him at Donchery and took him into a small house, 
where they discussed the capitulation. Moltke soon arrived, 
and was requested by Napoleon to present his wishes to the 
King. His Majesty, however, would only ratify the terms of 
capitulation as proposed by Moltke, and declined to see 
Napoleon until after the conclusion of the capitulation. 
WimpfFen was at last obliged to yield, and the capitulation 
was signed by him and Moltke. 

The first act in the Franco-Prussian drama was thus 
played out. Never had so dramatic a day dawned upon 
either of the sovereigns who formed its most conspicuous 
figures. For one, there was a still greater height of glory 
than any he had yet attained ; for the other, there was the 
loss of everything except life. The events which im- 
mediately culminated in the surrender of Sedan, as well 
as the particulars of the surrender itself, were very graphi- 
cally described in a letter written by King William himself 
to Queen Augusta at Berlin. No other account gives a 
better description of the events than this, and as it is also 
deeply interesting from the personal point of view, we 
shall give it entire. The letter, dated Yendresse, South 
of Sedan, September 3rd, is as follows : ' You will have 
learned through my three telegrams the whole extent of 
the great historical event which has just taken place. It 
is like a dream, even when one has seen it unroll itself hour 
by hour ; but when I consider that after one great successful 
war I could not expect anything more glorious during my 



THE ORE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. 183 

reign, and that I now see this act follow, destined to be 
famous in the history of the world, I bow before God, who 
alone has chosen my army and allies to carry it into 
execution, and has chosen us as the instruments of His 
will. It is only in this sense that I can conceive this 
work, and in all humility praise God's guidance and grace. 
I will now give you a picture of the battle and its results 
in a compressed form. On the evening of the 31st and the 
morning of the 1st, the army had reached its appointed 
positions round Sedan. The Bavarians held the left wing, 
near Bazeilles, on the Meuse ; next them the Saxons, towards 
Moncelle and Daigny ; the Guards still marching towards 
Givonne, the 5th and llth Corps towards St. Menges and 
Fleigneux. As the Meuse here makes a sharp bend, no 
corps had been posted from St. Menges to Donchery; but 
at the latter place there were Wurtemburgers, who covered 
the rear against sallies from Mezieres. Count Stolberg's 
cavalry division was in the plain of Donchery as right wing ; 
the rest of the Bavarians were in the front towards Sedan. 

' Notwithstanding a thick fog, the battle began at Bazeilles 
early in the morning, and a sharp action developed itself by 
degrees, in which it was necessary to take house by house. 
It lasted nearly all day, and Scholer's Erfurt division 
(Keserve 4th Corps) was obliged to assist. It was at eight 
o'clock, when I reached the front before Sedan, that the 
great battle commenced. A hot artillery action now began 
at all points. It lasted for hours, and during it we 
gradually gained ground. As the above-named villages were 
taken, very deep and wooded ravines made the advance of 
the infantry more difficult, and favoured the defence. The 
villages of Illy and Floing were taken, and the fiery circle 
drew gradually closer round Sedan. It was a grand sight 
from our position on a commanding height behind the 
above-mentioned battery, when we looked to the front 
beyond Pont Torey. The violent resistance of the enemy 
to slacken by degrees, which we could see by the 



184 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

broken battalions that were hurriedly retreating from the 
woods and villages. The cavalry endeavoured to attack 
several battalions of our 5th Corps, and the latter behaved 
admirably. The cavalry galloped through the interval 
between the battalions, and then returned the same way. 
This was repeated three times, so that the ground was 
covered with corpses and horses, all of which we could 
see very well from our position. I have not been able to 
learn the number of this brave regiment, as the retreat 
of the enemy was in many places a flight. The infantry, 
cavalry, and artillery rushed in a crowd into the town and 
its immediate environs, but no sign was given that the 
enemy contemplated extricating himself from his desperate 
situation by capitulation. No other course was left than 
to bombard the town with the heavy battery. In twenty 
minutes the town was burning in several places, which, 
with the numerous burning villages over the whole field, 
produced a terrible impression. 

' I accordingly ordered the firing to cease, and sent Lieut.- 
Colonel von Bronsart, of the general staff, with a flag of truce, 
to demand the capitulation of the army and the fortress. He 
was met by a Bavarian officer, who reported to me that a 
French parlementaire had announced himself at the gate. 
Colonel von Bronsart was admitted, and on his asking for the 
Commander-in-Chief, he was unexpectedly introduced into 
the presence of the Emperor, who wished to give him a 
letter for myself. When the Emperor asked what his 
message was, and received the answer, " to demand the 
surrender of the army and fortress," he replied that on 
this subject he must apply to General de Wimpffen, who 
had undertaken the command in place of the wounded 
General Macmahon, and that he would now send his 
Adjutant-General, Keille, with the letter to myself. 

' It was seven o'clock when Keille and Bronsart came to 
me, the latter a little in advance ; and it was first through 
him that I learnt with certainty the presence of the 



THE QBE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. 185 

Emperor. You may imagine the impression which this 
made upon all of us, hut particularly on myself. Keille 
sprang from his horse, and gave me the letter of the 
Emperor, adding that he had no other orders. Before I 
opened the letter, I said to him, "But I demand, as the 
first condition, that the army lay down its arms." The 
letter hegins thus " N^ayant pas pu mourir a la tete de 
mes troupes, je depose mon epee a votre Majeste" leaving all 
the rest to me. My answer was that I deplored the manner 
of our meeting, and begged that a plenipotentiary might 
be sent, with whom we might conclude the capitulation. 
After I had given the letter to General Keille, I spoke a 
few words with him as an old acquaintance, and so this 
act ended. I gave Moltke powers to negotiate, and directed 
Bismarck to remain behind in case political questions should 
arise. I then rode to my carriage and drove here, greeted 
everywhere along the road with the loud hurrahs of the 
trains that were marching up and singing the National 
Hymn. It was deeply touching. Candles were lighted 
everywhere, so that we were driven through an improvised 
illumination. I arrived here at eleven o'clock, and drank 
with those about me to the prosperity of an army which 
had accomplished such feats. 

* As on the morning of the 2nd I received no news from 
Moltke respecting negotiations for the capitulation, which 
were to take place in Donchery, I drove to the battle-field, 
according to agreement, at eight o'clock, and met Moltke, 
who was coming to obtain my consent to the proposed 
capitulation. He told me at the same time that the Emperor 
had left Sedan at five o'clock in the morning, and had come 
to Donchery, as he wished to speak with me. There was a 
chateau and park in the neighbourhood, and I chose that 
place for our meeting. At ten o'clock I reached the height 
before Sedan. Moltke and Bismarck appeared at twelve 
o'clock with the capitulation duly signed. At one o'clock I 
started again with Fritz (the Crown Prince), and, escorted 



186 WILLIAM I. AND THE QERMAN EMPIRE. 

by the cavalry and staff, I alighted before the chateau, where 
the Emperor came to meet me. The visit lasted a quarter 
of an hour. We were both much moved at seeing each 
other again under such circumstances. What my feelings 
were I had seen Napoleon only three years before at the 
summit of his power is more than I can describe. After 
this meeting, from half-past two to half-past seven o'clock, 
I rode past the whole army before Sedan. The reception 
given me by the troops, the meeting with the Guards, now 
decimated all these are things which I cannot describe to- 
day. 1 was much touched by so many proofs of love and 
devotion. Now, farewell! A heart deeply moved at the 
conclusion of such a letter. WILHELM.' 

The devotional and religious element in King William's 
communication to his wife, which extended even to his 
telegrams, caused much comment, generally of a good- 
humoured, rallying kind, in the French and English journals. 
The following quatrain was an amusing parody upon his 
characteristic telegrams : 

' By will Divine, my dear Augusta, 
We've had another awful buster ; 
Ten thousand Frenchmen sent below 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.' 

Yet there can be no doubt that the King was perfectly 
sincere in his expressions of gratitude to Almighty God. 
He holds strongly to the Lutheran faith; and it has 
been his custom, even from his youth, to trace the hand 
of the Divine in all the great and varied incidents of his 
career. 

The interview between the two sovereigns took place at 
the beautiful chateau of Bellevue, near Fresnoy, a few miles 
from Sedan. It is stated that the King and his Imperial 
captive retired into a conservatory leading from one of the 
saloons, and had a few minutes' earnest conversation, after 
which the Emperor spoke to the Crown Prince, and expressed 



TEE GREAT WAR WITH FRANCE. 187 

his sense of King William's kind and courteous manner. 
Napoleon's great anxiety seemed to be not to be exhibited 
to his own soldiers. On leaving, his course was altered, so 
as to avoid Sedan ; but, on the other hand, this exposed him 
to the painful humiliation of passing through the lines of 
the Prussian army. ' He was depressed,' wrote the King to 
Queen Augusta at Berlin, ' but dignified in his bearing, and 
resigned.' The Emperor had assigned to him as a residence 
the chateau of Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel, a palace formerly 
belonging to the Electors of Hesse-Cassel. On the way 
thither he had an interview with Prince Pierre Bona- 
parte at Jemelle. A small crowd gathered at Liege to 
see the deposed Sovereign; but they maintained perfect 
silence. Napoleon himself was very calm, and smoked a 
cigarette. 

By the capitulation of Sedan, about 83,000 men, inclusive 
of 4000 officers and over 50 generals, fell into the hands of 
the Germans. In the battles around Sedan, 25,000 men had 
been previously made prisoners, together with 25,000 more 
at the battle of Beaumont. There were also 44,000 wounded. 
The Germans captured, in addition, 70 mitrailleuses, 400 
cannon, 10,000 horses, and an immense amount of am- 
munition. The French prisoners were interned in the 
several German States. 

Rendered desperate by his position, Bazaine made a sortie 
from Metz at the very time the battle of Sedan was in 
progress. He endeavoured to break through the forces of 
Generals Manteuffel and Kummer, and was at first successful, 
expelling the Germans from several villages. But the 
arrival of the 9th German Army Corps and the 28th Brigade 
of Infantry enabled the Germans to re-establish themselves. 
They recaptured the lost positions, and drove the French 
back into the fortress. 

The news of the surrender at Sedan caused intense excite- 
ment and agitation in Paris. Crowds of people assembled on 
the Boulevards shouting ' Vive la lii'.puUique ! ' The Corps 



188 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Legislatif was hastily called together, and the Emperor was 
deposed. The National Guard and the Mobiles entered the 
Palace of the Tuileries. The Empress was prevailed upon to 
make her escape by a back door of the palace to the house of 
an American dentist, Mr. Evans, by whom she was escorted 
to Trouville, and consigned to the charge of an English 
gentleman, Sir John Burgoyne, who was just about to sail 
for England in his yacht. The vengeance of the Paris mob 
wreaked itself upon everything bearing the Napoleonic name 
or being in any way connected with the fallen dynasty. The 
Imperial correspondence in the bureau at the Tuileries was 
seized, and subsequently published. It proved that official 
corruption had long lain at the base of the Imperial regime, 
and this system, becoming at length absolutely indispensable, 
had * culminated in an utter negligence or betrayal of duty, 
truth, and honour by the very marshals and ministers whom 
Napoleon most trusted.' 

The people clamoured for the continuance of the war. 
Gambetta and the Eepublican leaders assembled at the Hotel 
de Ville, and constituted themselves a provisional Govern- 
ment. General Trochu was elected President and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Military forces, and the Government 
included Jules Favre, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gambetta, 
Cremieux, Simon, Keratry, Arago, and others. The new 
Government decreed the dissolution of the Corps Legislatif, 
and the suppression of the Senate. The Kepublic was 
proclaimed at Lyons, Bordeaux, Marseilles, and other 
provincial cities, and was everywhere enthusiastically 
welcomed. 

Thus perished the Second Empire, which only a few 
months before had seemed stable and impregnable. With 
the supreme disaster at Sedan, Napoleon's sun set for ever. 
Nothing more dramatic has been seen in modern history, and 
even his bitterest foes felt pity and compassion for the fallen 
Emperor. A broken-hearted man, the rest of his life was 
doomed to be passed in physical suffering and mental 



THE GEE AT WAR WITH FRANCE. 189 

anguish. The lesson taught by the career of the great 
Napoleon, of the mutability of human power and grandeur, 
had again been enforced by that of his relative, who, 
far from being Bonaparte's equal in genius, had aspired 
to something like his ambitious role of the arbiter of 
Europe. 



190 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTEK XI. 

PROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 

THOSE who regarded the war as the Emperor's war hoped it 
would conclude with the collapse of the Napoleonic dynasty, 
but the first manifesto of Jules Favre soon demonstrated 
that the French nation meant to reconquer its position if 
possible. On the other hand, in England and neutral States 
generally, there were many who thought that the Germans 
should have made overtures for peace, remaining content 
with an ample money indemnity for the sacrifices they had 
incurred in repelling the Imperial invader. But in reply 
to the French circular, Bismarck issued a counter manifesto 
to the foreign representatives of Germany, in which he stated 
that the demand for an armistice without any guarantees for 
the German conditions of peace could be founded only on 
the erroneous supposition that they were either indifferent 
to the interests of Germany, or assumed that she lacked 
military and political judgment. So long as France re- 
mained in possession of Strasburg and Metz, so long was .< 
its offensive power strategically stronger than Germany'sl 
defensive power, in all that concerned German territory on 
the left bank of the Ehine. Strasburg in the possession of 
France was always a gate wide open for attack on South 
Germany; whereas in the hands of Germany, Strasburg 
and Metz would obtain a defensive character. 

Bismarck was never lacking in reasons when he desired to 
obtain possession of territory or fortresses. He wanted now 
Strasburg and Metz for Germany, and the French were 
determined he should not have them. We can hardly blame 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 191 

them for this, for although the onus of war in the outset 
rested upon the French, it was scarcely to be marvelled at 
from their point of view that they should resist spoliation 
and dismemberment. 

Accordingly, both parties again took up the sword. 
France had still considerable numerical strength left. On 
the 13th of September General Trochu was able to review 
from 200,000 to 300,000 men of the National Guard and 
Mobiles. In addition there were in the provinces about 
190,000 men. But undoubtedly the best and only compact 
army was that shut up in Metz with Bazaine. It was nearly 
300,000 strong, and the French hoped every day to hear that 
it had succeeded in breaking through the Prussian lines. 
For some reason or other its leader had retired from the 
active command, which was now in the hands of Canrobert. 

The Crown Prince's army set forward on its march to 
Paris, and on the 5th of September King William made his 
entry into Eheims. On the 14th his head-quarters were at 
Chateau Thierry, and on the 20th at Ferrieres. After 
fighting several successful engagements, by the 19th the 
Germans had completely invested Paris. The besieging 
troops numbered from 200,000 to 230,000 men. Jules 
Favre desired an armistice in order to convoke a Constituent 
Assembly which could speak in the name of the people ; but 
as Bismarck demanded by way of preliminary the cession of 
Toul, Yerdun, and Strasburg, and as the French Minister 
had said 'not an inch of our territory, not a stone of our 
fortresses,' the proposition fell through. M. Thiers now made 
a voluntary tour of visits to the Courts of London, St. 
Petersburg, Vienna, and Florence, in the hope of inducing 
the several governments to use their efforts to bring about 
at least a pause in the operations of the war ; but his 
diplomatic mission proved unsuccessful. 

Paris was now cut off from the rest of the world, and the 
beautiful city was put in a state of preparation for the ex- 
pected bombardment. Some courageous persons who wished 



192 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

to leave did so by means of balloons, which were also used 
as a method of communication with the provinces. Mean- 
while many events were transpiring away from Paris, which 
caused deep regret and uneasiness in the French mind. 
Laon surrendered to the Germans on the 9th of September, 
Toul was taken on the 23rd, and on the 28th Strasburg 
capitulated, after being besieged for seven weeks. The rare 
and valuable old library of Strasburg was unfortunately 
destroyed. The districts of Lorraine and Alsace had now 
been entirely conquered, and were placed under the rule of 
German governors. 

On the 1st of October nearly a sixth part of the French soil 
was held by the invaders, whose numbers reached 650,000. 
Troops which had recently been engaged in besieging 
Strasburg and Toul were now despatched to invest Belfort, 
Schlettstadt, Neu Brisach, and Soissons. The King of Prussia 
moved his head-quarters to Versailles on the 5th. As he 
drove with a military escort into the famed quarters of the 
Lewises, he was regarded with mingled feelings of anger 
and curiosity by the French. Some, as they gazed, described 
him as that * old William,' and after acknowledging that he 
was a handsome man, added with the truly national shrug, 
* Nevertheless, I should have been very well content not to 
see the good King of Prussia at Versailles.' Amongst all the 
Princes and Generals who followed in the train of His 
Majesty, none excited so much interest as Moltke and 
Bismarck, the two pillars of his fortunes. The bombardment 
of Paris, which had been expected for some time, did not 
begin, so that the magnificent city was saved from the 
ravages of shot and shell ; the Germans had resolved to 
reduce it by famine instead of by fire. Outside the German 
lines there was a good deal of guerilla warfare, French 
peasants in some instances causing great provocation, which 
led to severe measures against the population on the part of 
the Germans. The reprisals, however, were in many instances 
cruel and indefensible. 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 193 

The French Provisional Government was established at 
Tours ; Gambetta, who was now the chief moving spirit of 
the people, left beleaguered Paris on the 7th of October by 
means of a balloon. This novel mode of conveyance nar- 
rowly escaped being riddled by the Prussian needle-guns, and 
subsequently it had a mishap near Amiens. The courageous 
amateur aeronaut, however, landed on terra firma with only 
a few bruises, and pushed on to Tours. His energy and 
activity infused into both Government and people new 
feelings of hopefulness. Gambetta became virtual Dictator 
of the nation, and his administration of the country and 
vigorous direction of the military operations excited 
universal admiration. Amongst others to whom he gave an 
important command was Garibaldi, but this appointment 
was far from pleasing to the Catholic party. In the second 
week of October, the French Army of the Loire was defeated 
by the 1st Bavarian corps under General Von der Tann. 
The Germans entered Orleans, and exacted from the Mayor 
a contribution of one million francs, which Bishop Dupanloup 
in vain endeavoured to get reduced. 

A greater disaster still was in store for the French, and 
one which filled the War Minister, Gambetta, and his com- 
patriots with grief and indignation. Bazaine began to feel 
that it was hopeless to think of holding Metz, when the pro- 
visioning of 173,000 men was no longer a possibility. This 
was his own explanation of his extraordinary conduct ; but 
he was openly accused of Imperialist intrigues, and of a 
desire to re-enact the part of General Monk. The French 
commander first offered through General Boyer to surrender 
his army, but not the fortress ; but this was peremptorily 
refused. 

Several fruitless efforts were now made to diminish 
the number of mouths to be fed by sending bodies of in- 
habitants to the Prussian lines, from which they were 
inexorably driven back again, and ultimately, on the 27th of 
October, the * virgin fortress ' of Lorraine surrendered. By 

o 



194 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

this capitulation, three Marshals of the Empire Bazaine, 
Leboauf, and Canrohert - more than 6000 officers, 173,000 
subalterns and private soldiers, 3000 guns, 53 eagles, and 
forty millions of francs in treasure, fell into the grasp of the 
victors. A capture of such magnitude was probably un- 
exampled in the annals of war. Up to this time it was 
estimated that the whole number of French prisoners taken 
by the German armies amounted to no less than four 
Marshals, 140 Generals, 10,000 other officers, and 323,000 
rank and file. The news of the capitulation excited the 
utmost rage and consternation inside the fortress. Some of 
the inhabitants wept like children, and others marched 
through the city inciting the people to fight in their own 
defence and to die rather than surrender. Cries were heard 
of ' Oh, poor Metz ! once the proudest of cities. What a 
misfortune ! What an unheard-of catastrophe ! We have 
been sold. All is lost! France is betrayed.' When 
Bazaine passed through Ars, on his way to Wilhelmshohe, in 
a close carriage, and escorted by soldiers, he was greeted by 
women of the village with exclamations of ' traitor ! ' 
1 coward ! ' ' thief ! ' &c., ' Where are our husbands whom 
you have betrayed ? Give us back our children whom you 
have sold ! ' They even broke the windows of the carriage, 
and the Marshal would have been lynched but for the 
intervention of the Prussians. 

By the terms of the capitulation all French officers were 
allowed to retain their swords, and all who pledged them- 
selves not to take up arms against Germany during the 
remainder of the war were exempted from captivity. When 
the Imperial Guard, the elite of the French army, marched 
out of Metz, and laid down their arms at Frascaty, they 
were received by the Prussian troops with respectful dignity, 
and not a note of exultation was heard. As soon as the 
surrender became known, it was said that no General would 
betray an army of 173,000 men to an army of 200,000, if he 
did not want to be betrayed. The officers had spent their 



FROM SEDAN TO PAEIS. 195 

time in Metz in discreditable amusements and luxury, 
leaving the soldiers to starve and grow mutinous. 

Thus, in less than four months, the second great French 
army, which was to have marched on Berlin, capitulated to the 
enemy. For his brilliant services in connection with the 
siege of Metz, Prince Frederick Charles was promoted by 
King William to the dignity of Field Marshal, and the same 
rank was conferred upon the Crown Prince for the very 
important victories he had won. This military dignity the 
highest known in Prussia had never before been conferred 
upon a Prince of the House of Prussia, and altogether, during 
the 230 years of the existence of the royal House of 
Brandenburg-Prussia, only upon sixty-two persons. General 
Moltke, who had just completed his seventieth year, received 
the title of Count. King William also issued this address to 
the united German forces under his command : ' Soldiers 
of the Confederate Armies ! when we took the field three 
months ago I expressed my confidence that God would be 
with our just cause. This confidence has been realized. I 
recall to you, Worth, Saarbriick, and the bloody battles 
before Metz, Sedan, Beaumont, and Strasburg ; each en- 
gagement was a victory for us. You are worthy of glory ; 
you have maintained all the virtues which especially 
distinguish soldiers. By the capitulation of Metz the last 
army of the enemy is destroyed. I take advantage of this 
moment to express my thanks to all of you, from the general 
to the soldier. Whatever the future may still bring to us, I 
look forward to it with calmness, because I know that with 
such soldiers victory cannot fail.' 

Gambetta charged Bazaine with treason in surrendering 
Metz ; but the latter indignantly denied the charge, 
and said that he had held out until he could hold out 
no longer, in consequence of sickness and hunger, and 
because so many of his soldiers had been placed hors de 
combat. In Paris the Belleville Kevolutionists demonstrated 
against the Government, but a plebiscite being taken of 

o 2 



196 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Paris on the 2nd of November, the Government were 
triumphantly supported by 557,996 votes against 62,638 
dissentients. 

It was fortunate for the Germans that Metz had fallen, 
for the troops round Paris were beginning to cry out for 
reinforcements. As 200,000 soldiers were now liberated, 
however, it became necessary both to strengthen the army 
before Paris, and to attack the concentrating forces of the 
enemy in other directions. Accordingly, Prince Frederick 
Charles and the Duke of Mecklenburg moved upon the 
capital; General Manteuffel, with the newly-constituted 
First Army, pushed westward through the denies of the 
Argonne into Picardy, and three corps marched to the 
south of Paris, to reinforce Yon der Tann and his Bavarians. 
The first real German reverse of the war took place on the 
9th and 10th of November, when General d'Aurelle de 
Paladines defeated Yon der Tann, with the loss of 10,000 
prisoners at Coulmiers, near Orleans. The French General 
did not know what to do with his victory, however, and 
he allowed the enemy to be strongly reinforced. Then 
on the 28th he vehemently attacked the left wing of 
Prince Frederick Charles at Beaume la Eolande, but was 
signally repulsed. The Germans, through the indecision of 
D'Aurelle, more than recovered their lost ground. On the 
4th of December the Ked Prince fell upon D'Aurelle's forces, 
and after severe fighting the Germans entered Orleans at 
midnight, the French being then in full retreat. 

Gambetta threatened to bring D'Aurelle before a military 
tribunal. But the General had been only in command of a 
1 scratch ' army, and he was determined not to capitulate 
to the Germans. He now resigned his command, and the 
War Minister appointed General Chanzy to succeed him 
with the western portion of the divided army, while 
General Bourbaki rallied the eastern portion at Bourges. 
The victory of Coulmiers had filled the capital with hope, 
and on the 29th of November the Second Army of Paris, 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 197 

under General Ducrot, began its offensive movements by a 
feigned sortie in the direction of L'Hay and Choisy le Koi. 
The real attack was opened on the following morning, when 
Ducrot advanced on the right bank of the Seine, near its 
juncture with the Marne. The French took the villages of 
Brie, Champigny, and Yilliers, but after a terrible amount 
of desperate fighting they were driven from these, and 
Ducrot retired under the walls of Paris. Meanwhile Prince 
Frederick Charles pushed on in the direction of Tours, and 
the Duke of Mecklenburg encountered General Chanzy, who 
managed for the most part to hold his own. The Pro- 
visional Government, being now insecure at Tours, moved 
to Bordeaux. 

Count Moltke having informed the Governor of Paris of 
the fall of Orleans, a special meeting of Ministers was 
called. Some were in favour of making overtures for peace, 
but General Trochu, by his eloquence and enthusiasm, in- 
fluenced the council to decide unanimously on the con- 
tinuance of the war. He affirmed that Paris could hold 
out until help came from the provinces, and that victories 
might follow reverses. It was hoped that General Faid- 
herbe would soon be able to relieve the capital, but he was 
engaged near Amiens with General Manteuffel's army. A 
severe battle was fought at Pont de Noyelle on the 29th of 
December, and both sides claimed the victory; but, so far 
from being able to help the beleaguered Parisians, Faidherbe 
had his own hands full. 

There was one other scene of operations, extending from 
the Yosges to the Jura, General Werder being in command 
of the Germans. A good deal of fighting took place, and 
a success achieved by Eicciotti Garibaldi at Chatillon made 
the invaders somewhat anxious as to their communications. 
General Garibaldi himself, with his army of volunteers, 
was at Autun, and, if he had no striking successes, he main- 
tained his position. But in the course of November and 
December the Germans captured the following fortified 



198 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

places Verdun, Neu Brisach, Thionville, La Fere, Phals- 
burg, and Montmedy. With these were taken 20,000 
prisoners. The French, notwithstanding, were more re- 
solute in defence of their soil than the enemy expected ; and 
as the war must now be carried through at all costs, a new 
levy of G-erman Landwehr, to the number of about 200,000 
men, was demanded from Germany and despatched across 
the Ehine in the middle of December. 

As Paris did not surrender, and a terrible frost had set 
in, the Germans at length resolved upon bombarding the 
city. Operations began on the 27th, when fire was opened 
from the powerful Krupp guns upon Mont Avron. The 
fort was soon silenced, and two days later the Germans 
occupied the position. The siege at once actively com- 
menced, Lieutenant-General Yon Kameke being appointed 
chief engineer by the German Commander-in-Chief. The 
besiegers were now in a favourable situation for the efficient 
bombardment of Forts Noisy, Eosny, and Nogent. 

Such was the condition of things before Paris at the 
close of the year. We must now retrace our steps, and 
take up the historical thread of our narrative, as regards 
Germany, where we left it on the declaration of war. The 
King of Prussia issued a decree on the 19th of July, reviving 
the military order of the Iron Cross. It was to be be- 
stowed without difference of rank or station, as a reward 
for merit gained either in actual conflict with the enemy, 
or at home in service connected with the defence of the 
honour and independence of the country. Another Eoyal 
decree related to the Voluntary Society for the care of the 
sick and wounded, together with the kindred brotherhoods 
of the knights of Malta and St. John. The French had 
their Central Committee in the Champs Elysees, and the 
English, though neutral in the war, rendered assistance to 
the sufferers in both armies out of the funds of the National 
Society for giving Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War. 
Queen Augusta and the Crown Princess assumed the head 



FEOM SEDAN TO PARIS. 199 

of the working institutions in Berlin, and superintended 
the preparation of material for the hospitals; and to com- 
memorate the victory of Sedan, King William sent an 
order for the foundation of an invalid institution for the 
sick and wounded in war, to be called after his name. 
The 27th of July was observed as a general Fast Day 
throughout Prussia, to implore God's blessing on the 
German Army. The King thus characteristically expressed 
himself in a proclamation issued to his people : ' My 
conscience acquits me of having provoked this war, and I 
am certain of the righteousness of our cause in the sight 
of God. The struggle before us is serious, and it will 
demand heavy sacrifices from my people and from all 
Germany. But I go forth to it looking to the Omniscient 
God, and imploring His Almighty support. From my 
youth upwards I have learnt to believe that all depends 
upon the help of a gracious God. In Him is my trust, and 
I beg my people to rest in the same assurance.' 

When the news of the fall of Sedan arrived in Berlin there 
was naturally a great popular demonstration. The statues 
of the national heroes on Unter den Linden were decorated 
with laurel leaves ; the city was dressed in flags ; and 
illuminations and fireworks closed the evening of the 3rd of 
September. Sunday, the 4th, was devoted to thanksgiving 
services, and on the 5th the Philharmonic Societies of Berlin 
serenaded the Queen with all the national songs in chorus. 
Luther's Eiri feste Burg ist unser Gott, the Wacht am Rhein, 
the Deutsches Vaterland, and l God save the King,' were all 
sung with great spirit and energy. The victory had also 
another effect, for it hastened on the work of German unity 
which the French had hoped to destroy. King William 
received addresses from all parts recommending the immedi- 
ate reunion of Northern and Southern Germany, as a measure 
which would make the nation free and strong, and enable it to 
bear with equanimity the ill-will of so many of its neighbours. 
Negotiations were now opened for the admission of Bavaria 



200 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

and Wurtemburg into the North German Bund, and many 
who were previously the bitter enemies of such a step now 
supported it. 

But one incident to mar the unanimity of German feeling 
upon the war caused great excitement towards the close of 
September. Dr. Jacoby, and several other prominent leaders 
of the Democratic party in Prussia, were arrested for their 
violent opposition to the continuance of the war, and the 
annexation of Alsace and Lorraine. They thought that 
German ends should have been satisfied with the victory of 
Sedan and the fall of Napoleon, and gave vent to their 
opinions at a public meeting at Konigsberg. 

General Vogel von Falkenstein, military Governor of the 
Prussian provinces on the Baltic Sea, had the Democrats 
incarcerated in the fortress of Loetzeln ; Dr. Jacoby pro- 
tested against his arrest, and in a letter addressed to Count 
Bismarck demanded his release. The latter not only refused 
to interfere, but wrote a letter of approval to Von Falkenstein. 
The arrests created so much bad feeling, however, that the 
Government were compelled to abandon their high tone; 
and King William personally communicated to General von 
Falkenstein his desire for the removal of all obstacles for the 
holding of public meetings, and for the non-enforcement of 
all penalties attached thereto by the provisoes of martial 
law. His Majesty also ordered the immediate release of the 
prisoners already arrested for violating these laws. 

Considerable difference of opinion undoubtedly existed in 
Germany as to the projected annexation of Alsace and 
Lorraine. The war party supported the annexation, alleging 
that the formidable military fortresses of Strasburg and Metz 
were necessary for the protection of the German frontier; 
others supported it because the inhabitants were German in 
race ; a third party thought the cession of Strasburg alone 
ought to content Germany ; while a fourth party objected to 
all annexation, as contrary to the wishes of the population 
concerned, and likely to lead to an enduring loqal hatred 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 201 

between nation and nation, besides being a source of embarrass- 
ment to Germany. Bismarck bimself felt tbe difficulties 
attending the proposed annexation, and for a time be gave no 
indications as to tbe policy be should adopt. He bad only 
as yet suggested part of tbe Prussian programme to tbe effect 
tbat France should cede Strasburg, Metz, and a strip of 
territory in connection with the latter citadel, so as to give 
it a communication with the German frontier. Moltke and 
the military authorities insisted upon this cession as being 
strategically necessary to the future safety of Germany 
against a sudden invasion like that of 1870. By way of 
making his position clear, Bismarck issued a circular on the 
1st of October to the North German embassies and legations 
at Foreign Courts. Keplying to Jules Favre's contention 
that Prussia would continue the war and reduce France to 
the condition of a second-rate Power, Bismarck said : * The 
cession of Strasburg, Metz, and tbe adjacent territory, 
alluded to by me as part of our programme, involves the 
diminution of French territory by an area almost equal to 
that gained by Savoy and Nice ; but the population of the 
territory we aspire to exceeds, it is true, that of Savoy and 
Nice by three quarters of a million. Now considering that 
France, according to the census of 1866, has 38,000,000 inha- 
bitants, and with Algeria, which latterly supplies an essential 
portion of her army, even 42,000,000, it is clear that a loss 
of 750,000 will not affect the position of France in regard to 
other Powers ; but, on the contrary, leaves this great empire 
in possession of the same abundant elements of power by 
which, in Oriental and Italian wars, it was capable of exer- 
cising so decisive an influence upon European destinies. 1 
There is no doubt that Bismarck rapidly educated the 
Germans to look for territorial acquisitions from France. 

The internal reconstruction of Germany was meanwhile 
proceeding apace. Conventions were signed with Baden, 
whose military contingent became a direct portion of the 
Federal Army ; with Hesse Darmstadt ; and with Wur- 



202 WILLIAM L AND THE GEEMAN EMPIRE. 

ternburg. Bavaria was allowed to retain her independent 
military administration ; but the organization and formation 
of her army were to be in conformity with the rules 
governing the Federal Army. 

The North German Parliament met on the 24th of 
November, and the King's speech (read in his absence) 
announced the new Constitution for a German Confederacy 
which had been agreed upon by the North German Con- 
federation and the Grand Duchies of Baden and Hesse 
Darmstadt, and which had been unanimously adopted by the 
Federal Council. The agreements with Bavaria and Wur- 
temburg would also be brought forward for ratification. 
The Federal treaties were adopted, and on the 10th of 
December a bill determining the amendments of the Con- 
stitution necessitated by the introduction of the words 
' Empire ' and ' Emperor ' was read three times and passed by 
188 ayes to 6 noes. An address was also voted to the King. 
A war credit of 100 million thalers was carried by 178 to 8 
votes ; but during the debate Herr Liebknecht caused much 
excitement by declaring that the policy of the Government 
was in no way national, or the German Austrians would not 
have been shut out, and he asserted that the war was against 
Eepublicanism, as proved by Bismarck's undeniable nego- 
tiations with the ex-Empress of the French. 

The King of Bavaria was the first potentate to suggest that 
the title of Emperor should be pressed upon King William. 
He wrote to the King of Saxony and the other German 
princes proposing that they should all urge on the King of 
Prussia to accept the reward of presidential rights in Germany 
together with the Imperial dignity. He also addressed King 
William himself on the subject, but the offer was in the 
outset declined. 

However, a change was effected in the King's view, as was 
apparent from the reply made by His Majesty to the deputa- 
tion which waited upon him at Versailles, on the 17th of 
December, from the North German Confederation. After 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 203 

thanking the deputation in his own name, and on behalf of 
the army and the country, the King said : ' The victorious 
German armies, among which you have sought me, have 
found in the self-sacrificing spirit of the country, in the 
loyal sympathy and ministering care of the people at home, 
and in its unanimity with the army, that encouragement which 
has supported them in the midst of battles and privations. 
The grant of the means for the continuation of the war 
which the Governments of the North German Confederation 
have asked for, in the session of the Diet that is just con- 
cluded, has given me a new proof that the nation is determined 
to exert all its energies to ensure that the great and painful 
sacrifices, which touch my heart as they do yours, shall not 
have been made in vain, and not to lay aside its arms until 
the German frontier shall have been secured against future 
attacks. 

' The North German Diet, whose greetings and congratula- 
tions you bring me, has been called upon before its close to 
co-operate by its decision in the work of the unification of 
Germany ; I feel grateful to it, for the readiness with which 
it has almost unanimously pronounced its assent to the 
treaties which will give an organic expression to the unity 
of the nation. The Diet, like the allied Governments, has 
assented to these treaties in the conviction that the common 
political life of the Germans will develop itself with the 
more beneficial results, inasmuch as the basis which has been 
obtained for it has been measured and offered by our South 
German allies of their own free choice, and in agreement 
with their own estimate of the national requirements. I 
hope that the representative assemblies of those States before 
which the treaties have still to be laid will follow the 
Government in the same path. 

' The summons addressed to me by His Majesty the King 
of Bavaria for re-establishing the imperial dignity of the 
ancient German Empire has moved me deeply. You, 
gentlemen, request me in the name of the North German 



204 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Diet, not to shrink from responding to this summons. I am 
glad to gather from your words the expression of the confi- 
dence and the wishes of the North German Diet ; but you 
are aware that in this question, touching such high interests 
and grand recollections of the German nation, it is not my 
own feelings, nor even my own judgment, which can deter- 
mine the decision. 

* It is only in the unanimous voice of the German princes 
and free cities, and the corresponding wish of the German 
nation and its representatives, that I can recognize that call 
of Providence which I can obey, and trust in God's blessing. 
It will be a source of satisfaction to you, as well as to myself, 
to know that I have received intelligence from his Majesty 
the King of Bavaria that the assent of all the German princes 
and free cities is secured, and that the official ratification may 
be shortly expected.' 

The new Constitution of Germany provided that the 
Emperor, as President of the German Bund, should have 
absolute power of declaring war when there might be danger 
of invasion, and of making peace under all circumstances. 
When there was no danger of invasion, the Emperor could 
only make war with the support of a majority in the Federal 
Council. Any proposed alteration in the Constitution could 
be vetoed if there were fourteen votes against it. The 
German armies in times of peace were to be under separate 
heads, the King of Bavaria having exclusive control over the 
Bavarian troops, but the Emperor over all others. The 
taxes of each State were still to be levied under their 
separate systems. The Diet, now to be called the German 
Parliament, was to be elected by a wide suffrage, the repre- 
sentation of every State being proportionate to its population. 
The Unionists regarded this Constitution as being very far 
short of the great national amalgamation which they desired ; 
but it was ratified by the Legislatures of the separate 
German States. 

A Eussian Note, issued by Prince Gortschakoff in Novem- 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 205 

ber, repudiated the treaty obligations of 1856, by which the 
Black Sea had been neutralized. It was at first thought 
that this pointed to a secret understanding with Prussia, but 
Mr. Odo Kussell drew from Count Bismarck an assurance 
that he had no knowledge whatever of the .document, and 
that he should be ready to accede to the proposal for a 
Conference. A second sensation was caused by a declaration 
on the part of Germany that the Federal Government no 
longer held itself bound to respect the neutrality of the 
Grand Duchy of Luxemburg in the execution of military 
operations. This was on the ground of the alleged violation 
of the duties of neutrality by the inhabitants of the Grand 
Duchy a charge which wass trenuously denied by the latter. 
The people and the Luxemburg Chamber protested against 
the action of Germany, and a popular address to the Grand 
Duke, the King of Holland, was got up and signed by 
43,773 persons in a few days. The Grand Duke was im- 
plored to save the country, and never to permit its destinies 
to be disposed of without a free vote of the population. 

Another question which deeply affected Germany in 1870 
was the promulgation of the doctrine of the Infallibility of 
the Pope. It was strongly opposed by Dr. Dollinger and 
others, who formed, in opposition to the decrees of the 
(Ecumenical Council, a new party in the Church, called by the 
name of the Old Catholics. But while the Pope proclaimed 
himself infallible, the doctrine found him collaterally weaker 
from the terrestrial point of view, for his temporal sovereignty 
came to an end this year. King Victor Emmanuel entered 
Kome, and the Eternal City became the capital of Italy. 

The year 1871 opened in gloom for the French, but with 
hopefulness on the part of the Germans that the war would 
soon be ended. On the first day of the new year there was 
enacted at Versailles, in the famous Hall of Mirrors, a scene 
which must have caused poignant anguish to every French 
heart. The victorious leader of the German hosts, King 
William of Prussia, gathered round him his companions in 



206 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

arms, who exchanged congratulations upon the downfall of 
French power and prestige. ' The apartments of the Eoyal 
palace,' wrote a correspondent, 'have been thrown open 
with something of royal pomp, and the Hohenzollerns have 
fairly taken possession of the quarters of the Bourbons. 
After a Lutheran service in the public chapel, with a splendid 
military band to assist, the King went over to the Gallerie 
des Glaces, where all the princes and officers were drawn up 
in a long line on one side, and where the King, after address- 
ing to them a few words in a loud voice words of thanks 
and of compliment on the great work of United Germany- 
wished them heartily a happy New Year.' The ceremonies 
of the day closed with a banquet, when the Duke of Baden, 
as the spokesman of the other German Princes, proposed the 
toast of ( King William the Victorious.' 

But the work of the Germans outside Paris was not very 
easy. A force 220,000 strong had not only to invest a city 
with 500,000 fighting men and a vast circuit of forts, but 
to oppose the three armies of relief, which considerably 
outnumbered the detachments opposed to them in the north 
by Manteuifel, in the east by Werder, and in the west by the 
Duke of Mecklenburg and Yon der Tann. Large draughts 
of men were being despatched from Germany, and the 
Germans themselves were now longing for the end of the 
war. Inside Paris, although good rations were given out, 
it was felt that a prolonged resistance was hopeless. The 
death rate was rapidly increasing, and now amounted to a 
total of 4000 per week. Even the favourite Trochu could no 
longer infuse courage into the inhabitants, and he was 
nonplussed what to do. On the 2nd of January Mezieres 
capitulated with 2000 prisoners, but as a set-off against this 
the Garibaldians defeated a German column near Dijon. 
The battle of Bapaume was fought between the respective 
forces under Faidherbe and Manteuffel, but the result was 
indecisive. The French were checked, nevertheless, in their 
attempt to advance to the relief of Paris. From the 7th to 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 207 

the 10th engagements took place both in the east, where the 
French forces iwere under General Bourbaki, and in the 
south where they were commanded by General Chanzy, but 
the French suffered defeat in both instances. On the 12th 
General Chanzy was again defeated at Le Mans by Prince 
Frederick Charles and the Duke of Mecklenburg, and the 
Germans occupied Le Mans. Twice General Bourbaki 
attacked General Werder south of Belfort, but although the 
French fought with great obstinacy and gallantry they were 
repulsed. King William wrote to Yon Werder as follows 
from Versailles : ' Your heroic three days' victorious defence 
of your position, in the rear of a besieged fortress, is one of 
the greatest feats of arms in all history. I express my royal 
thanks, my deepest acknowledgments, and bestow upon you 
the Grand Cross of the Ked Eagle, with the sword, as 
a proof of this acknowledgment. Your grateful King, 
Wilhelm.' 

A sortie from Paris, on a larger scale than any hitherto 
attempted, was made on the 19th of January. General 
Trochu himself led this movement. No fewer than 100,000 
men were engaged in it ; but it was felt afterwards that had 
this army been divided into twenty corps of 5000 each, 
and had these corps been directed at the same moment 
against twenty points held by the Germans, a signal triumph 
might possibly have been secured. As it was, the immense 
masses only offered a mark for the German artillery. The 
French troops also were utterly wanting in steadiness and 
discipline. Thousands of men were butchered, and the 
French were driven back into Paris. The German loss, in 
killed and wounded was estimated at 1300; that. of the 
French at 6000 or more, besides prisoners. Trochu requested 
an armistice of forty-eight hours, but this was peremptorily 
refused by Moltke. On the same day as the sortie, General 
von Goeben drove back the advanced divisions of General 
Faidherbe's army from Beauvais to St. Quentin, so that the 
advance of the French relieving force was effectually checked 



208 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

on the north, south, and west. Longwy capitulated on the 
25th, with 4000 prisoners and 200 guns. 

The French were everywhere overmatched, and had troubles 
likewise of their own to contend with in Paris. The news 
of the Tjarious disasters to the French forces without Paris, 
and the failure of the sortie from the city itself, greatly 
exasperated the Red Republicans. There had been an emeute 
on the 22nd, and although the Government succeeded in 
quelling it, Generals Trochu and Le Flo had been compelled 
to resign as a sop to the public discontent. General Yinoy 
was appointed Governor of Paris, and General Clement 
Thomas Commandant of the National Guard. But the end 
was approaching ; the week's death rate had risen to 4405 ; 
the rations of bread were reduced, and 8000 horses were sent 
to the shambles. An examination proved that the city was 
eight days nearer starvation than its rulers had calculated 
upon. 

Capitulation had become a necessity, and on the 27th 
M. Jules Favre and General Beaufort went to Versailles to 
settle the terms with Count Bismarck. An armistice was 
arranged, and on the 29th of January the Emperor William 
telegraphed as follows to the Empress at Berlin : 

' Last night an armistice for three weeks was signed. The 
troops of the line and the Mobiles will be interned in Paris 
as prisoners of war. The Garde Nationale Sedentaire under- 
takes the preservation of order. We occupy all the forts. 
Paris remains invested. It will be allowed to procure 
provisions as soon as the arms have been delivered up. A 
Constituent Assembly will be summoned to meet at Bordeaux 
in a fortnight. The armies in the field retain possession of the 
respective tracts of country occupied by them, with neutral 
zones intervening. This is the first blessed reward of 
patriotism, heroism, and heavy sacrifices. I thank God for 
this fresh mercy. May peace soon follow ! ' 

Jules Favre had many an earnest contention with Bismarck 
respecting the army, and at length the latter consented to 



FROM SEDAN TO PARIS. 209 

allow 12,000 men under General Vinoy to retain their arms, 
and serve as guardians of public order. The National Guard 
were also allowed to retain their arms, and act as a police 
force within the city. Paris was to pay a contribution of 
200,000,000 francs within a fortnight. The forts were 
to be surrendered, and prisoners exchanged at once. The 
city was soon relieved with provisions, the Germans sending 
in large quantities, and the London Belief Committee also 
despatching consignments. 

The news of the capitulation was received with great 
indignation at Bordeaux, and Gambetta, in an animated 
proclamation, declared that his policy was still the same, and 
that he was for war a outrance. The Paris Government 
condemned his action, however, and he resigned his post as 
War Minister after a sharp documentary conflict. New 
French elections were held, and the National Assembly was 
convened at Bordeaux. 

With the surrender of Paris all active fighting ceased. 
On the 13th of February Garibaldi resigned his command of 
the Army of the Yosges, and on the same day Belfort 
surrendered with the honours of war, this being the last 
military operation of the great Franco-German War of 
1870-71. Statistics recently compiled show that out of 
33,101 officers and 1,113,254 rank and file of the German 
army who entered France, no fewer than 98,233 were killed 
or wounded. The French losses were considerably greater 
than these, and they were destined to be still further increased 
by internal dissensions and the sanguinary reign of the 
Commune. 



210 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 



CHAPTER XII. 

KINO WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 

AFTER the consolidation of the North German States, 
followed by the great and glorious war with France, the King 
of Prussia could no longer contend against the unanimous 
feeling in favour of his assumption of the Imperial dignity. 
Accordingly, on the 18th of January, within the Hall of 
Mirrors in the palace of Versailles, he was proclaimed 
German Emperor in presence of all the princes associated 
with him, and surrounded by representatives of the different 
regiments. It was a grand and imposing spectacle, this 
coronation under the standards of the army before Paris. 
When the King entered the magnificent hall about noon, he 
walked with stately tread through the line of soldiers, him- 
self as fine and upright a figure as any to be seen there. 

Followed by his son, the Crown Prince, and the princes 
and generals of the Empire, he took up his place near the 
altar, and the group formed round him in a semicircle. The 
King wore a general's uniform, the Eiband of the Black 
Eagle and a number of orders, and he carried his helmet in 
his hand. A chorale having been sung, the Court preacher, 
Dr. Rogge, read the Lord's Prayer and a Litany, to which 
the responses were sung by the band and by the princes and 
the congregation. The twenty-first Psalm followed, after 
which the reverend chaplain delivered a discourse founded on 
the words, ' Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,' and addressed to 
France. Then was sung a hymn, after which the Lord's 
Prayer was again read, and the religious service concluded 
with a German chorale. 



KINO WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 211 

Bismarck, without whose services there would have been 
no united Germany and no Emperor, then stood forward at 
the King's command, and read this proclamation : ' We, 
William, by God's grace King of Prussia, hereby announce 
that the German Princes and Free Towns having addressed 
to us a unanimous call to renew and undertake with the 
re-establishment of the German Empire the dignity of 
Emperor, which now for sixty years has been in abeyance, 
and the requisite provisions having been inserted in the 
Constitution of the German Confederation, we regard it as a 
duty we owe to the entire Fatherland to comply with this 
call of the united German Princes and Free Towns, and to 
accept the dignity of Emperor. Accordingly, we and our 
successors to the Crown of Prussia henceforth shall use the 
Imperial title in all the relations and affairs of the German 
Empire, and we hope to God that it may be vouchsafed to 
the German nation to lead the Fatherland on to a blessed 
future, under the auspices of its ancient splendour. We 
undertake the Imperial dignity conscious of the duty to 
protect with German loyalty the rights of the Empire and 
its members, to preserve peace, to maintain the independence 
of Germany, and to strengthen the power of the people. We 
accept it in the hope that it will be granted to the German 
people to enjoy in lasting peace the reward of the arduous 
and heroic struggles within boundaries which will give to 
the Fatherland that security against renewed French attacks 
which it has lacked for centuries. May God grant to us and 
to our successors to the Imperial Crown, that we may be the 
defenders of the German Empire at all times ; not in martial 
conquests, but in works of peace in the sphere of national 
prosperity, freedom, and civilization.' 

Officers and soldiers listened eagerly to the proclamation, 
given in the clearest tones by the Chancellor, and when the 
reading had ended, the Grand Duke of Baden advanced, and 
exclaimed in German in a loud voice, ' Long live the German 
Emperor William ! ' The whole of the distinguished as- 

p 2 



212 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

gembly, numbering some six hundred souls, took up the cry 
as one man, and a military hand stationed under the windows 
of the Salle struck up the Prussian National Anthem. 
Meanwhile, the reverberation of the French Artillery added 
another kind of impressiveness to the scene. The Emperor 
and the Crown Prince embraced each other thrice, and the 
German Princes paid homage to the former as the Kaiser. 
With this the ceremony concluded. 

The Emperor William then received the deputations of 
officers from distant corps, and withdrew, accompanied by 
the Princes, Generals, and other illustrious personages. The 
deputations, with the rest of the guests, were entertained by 
the Emperor in the afternoon, previous to their leaving 
Versailles, at the Hotel de France. An order of the day, 
addressed by his Majesty to the army, made mention that on 
this day, ' memorable for me and my house, I take, with the 
consent of the German Princes, and the adhesion of all the 
German people, in addition to my rank as King of Prussia, 
that of German Emperor. Your bravery and endurance, 
which I again recognize to the fullest extent, have hastened 
the work of the unification of Germany a result which you 
have achieved by the expenditure of blood and lives. Let it 
always be remembered that the feeling of mutual friendship, 
bravery and obedience rendered the army great and vic- 
torious. Maintain this feeling; then will the Fatherland 
always regard you with pride as to-day, and you will always 
remain its strong arm.' The Upper House of the German 
Diet congratulated the King on his accession to the Imperial 
title. In his reply the Emperor said, ' May it be vouchsafed 
to me to lay for a united Germany the foundation stone of a 
glorious history, such as Prussia can show to-day after a 
period of seven hundred years.' The Emperor was anxious 
at all times to impress upon his subjects that this revival of 
the Empire was not merely a military revival ; he wished it 
to be accompanied by signs of internal prosperity, and the 
progress of commerce and the industrial arts. But to the 



KINO WILLIAM BECOMES KAISEE. 213 

world at large the new Germany was an empire built up by 
the sword, and none knew better than its builders that the 
sword must ever be kept ready to be unsheathed if the 
empire was to be maintained with lasting strength. 

There were great rejoicings in Berlin on the 27th of 
February over the acceptance of the peace preliminaries. 
These rejoicings were renewed on the 3rd of March, when 
the patriotic devotion of the Germans was made manifest, 
but with dignified moderation and a complete absence of 
electrical sentiment or enthusiasm. The crowd gathered in 
the streets of the Prussian capital was one of the most 
composed and orderly possible. There was no cheering, and 
no jokes of any kind were interchanged. * Like regiments 
marching along in regular array, people moved from street 
to street, steadily, industriously, but without any outward 
sign of emotion. Only when the Crown Princess and the 
other Princesses drove along to inspect the charming sight 
was enthusiasm kindled, which vented itself in deep and 
continuous cheers.' While the French would have thronged 
the boulevards, the theatres, and the dancing gardens under 
similar circumstances, the Germans flocked to the churches, 
which were crowded with earnest worshippers. 

The Treaty of Peace between France and Germany, con- 
cluded at Versailles on the 26th of February, was no doubt 
hard upon the former Power, though not so exacting as was 
at first feared. The negotiations were conducted in secret, 
and the plenipotentiaries on both sides were removed from 
all clanger of outside pressure. The surrender of Metz was 
the great stumbling-block, and it was stoutly opposed by 
the French negotiators until they saw that continued re- 
sistance would imperil the cause of peace, and lead to the 
immediate resumption of hostilities. The only modification 
the Germans made in the original severity of their terms 
though this was an important one was the restitution of 
the fortress of Belfort, commanding the passes in the Yosges. 
This was conceded as tin equivalent for permitting the, 



214 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

German army to march through Paris. The principal 
conditions of the Treaty were the cession of Alsace and 
German Lorraine, and the payment of a war indemnity of 
five milliards of francs, being 200,000,000 in English money. 
It was considered that these demands were as great as 
Europe would allow, and that they were not unlikely to create 
a permanent feeling of hatred between the two countries a 
foreboding which has unfortunately been realized. The 
boundary of the new frontier was described as commencing 
at the north-west portion of the Canton of Cattenom, 
towards the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, tending southward 
to Kezonville, south-eastward to St. Marie, and again south- 
ward to the Swiss frontier by way of St. Maurice, Giro- 
magny, and Delle. It was stipulated that the payment of 
one milliard of francs was to take place during 1871, and the 
remainder within three years from the ratification of the 
preliminaries. The third article provided for the gradual 
withdrawal of the German troops from France in proportion 
as the indemnity was paid or financial guarantees given. By 
a Convention subjoined to the Treaty it was provided that 
that part of the City of Paris in the interior of the enceinte 
comprehended between the Seine, the Eue de Faubourg St. 
Honore, and the Avenue des Ternes, should be occupied by 
German troops, the number of which should not exceed 
30,000 men. Access to that quarter was to be interdicted to 
the French troops, and to the armed National Guard, while 
the occupation lasted. 

When the terms had been finally arranged, the Emperor 
William, ' with a deeply moved heart and with gratitude to 
God,' telegraphed at once the result to Berlin, while the 
French executive gave instructions to all the prefects, and 
recommended them to inform military commanders of the 
fact. M. Thiers, who had been appointed head of the 
executive power in France, brought forward the terms of the 
Treaty in the National Assembly at Bordeaux, but by the 
time he had read through the first article he was so over- 



KING WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 215 

powered by his feelings, that he had to descend from the 
tribune and leave the hall. The details of the Treaty were 
then read by M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire. The terms of the 
Treaty were ratified by 546 votes to 107, and a resolution 
was subsequently passed, amid loud cheers, deposing 
Napoleon III. as the person ' responsible for all the misfor- 
tunes, the ruin, the invasion, and the dismemberment of 
France.' 

Great uneasiness prevailed respecting the projected entry 
of the German troops into Paris. A cry of vengeance against 
the Prussians arose in the Republican quarters, and it was 
feared that serious disturbances would ensue. But a pro- 
clamation by M. Thiers, appealing to the patriotism and 
self-restraint of the populace, and an order of the day by 
General Vinoy to the army, exercised a tranquillizing effect. 
It was resolved that the Bourse and the theatres should be 
closed ; that no newspapers should be issued ; and that the 
Germans should only find silence, emptiness, and mourning. 
Every possible precaution was taken to avoid a conflict. 

On the morning of the 1st of March, the German army, to 
the number of 30,000, entered the French capital. The first 
Uhlan appeared at the Arc de Triomphe about nine o'clock? 
and he must have been surprised that he preserved a whole 
skin. Then came the main body of the occupying troops, 
the 6th and llth Prussian corps, with about 11,000 Bava- 
rians who had previously been reviewed by the Emperor at 
Longchamps. The troops turned down the Avenue des 
Champs Elysees, and proceeded in the direction of the Place 
de la Concorde, their bands meanwhile playing the popular 
Wacld am Ehein. The Duke of Coburg, General Blumenthal, 
and their staffs rode at the head of the troops, followed by a 
squadron of Bavarian Hussars, with bright pennons of blue 
and white silk. Next came two batteries of Bavarian 
artillery, and then rifles and infantry. The Leib regiment 
attracted much attention. Its shattered companies were 
onfy a quarter of their original strength, and the flag of the 



216 WILLIAM L AND THE GEBMAN EMPIRE. 

regiment was hanging in ribbons from the stump of a broken 
staff. The Arc de Triomphe was closed, so that the troops 
could not march through. In passing by the closed arch, an 
officer's horse slipped and fell, and a crowd pressed round the 
dismounted rider. A comrade rode to his assistance amid 
the hisses of the onlookers ; one man was ridden over, and 
two or three horsemen charged along the pavement. This 
scattered the mob, which from that moment looked on in 
profound silence. The Bavarians occupied an hour and a 
half in their march, and they were brought up by the Duke 
of Mecklenburg. Bismarck himself, calmly smoking a cigar, 
surveyed the scene for a short time, and then rode off to join 
the Emperor and the Crown Prince at Versailles. 

The German soldiers began to leave Paris on the 3rd of 
March, and on that day the Emperor William telegraphed 
from Versailles to Berlin : ' I have just ratified the conclusion 
of peace, it having been accepted yesterday by the National 
Assembly in Bordeaux. Thus far is the great work complete, 
which by seven months' victorious battles has been achieved, 
thanks to the valour, devotion, and endurance of our in- 
comparable army in all its parts, and the willing sacrifices of 
the whole Fatherland. The Lord of Hosts has everywhere 
visibly blessed our enterprises, and therefore by His mercy 
has permitted this honourable peace to be achieved. To Him 
be the honour ; to the army and the Fatherland I render 
thanks from a heart deeply moved.' His Majesty's telegram 
was publicly read at Berlin amid salvoes of artillery and 
peals from the church bells. The city was illuminated, 
and an enthusiastic reception given to the Empress and 
Princesses. 

The Prussian head-quarters at Versailles finally broke up 
on the 7th of March. The Emperor William remained for a 
few days at Baron Eothschild's chateau at Ferrieres, but 
Count Bismarck returned straight to Germany. The Crown 
Prince reviewed the Northern Army at Rouen on the 12th, 
and then left for the Fatherland. The Crown Prince* of 



KINO WILLIAM BECOMES RAISER. 217 

Saxony was left in France at the head of the German army 
of occupation until a portion of the war indemnity had been 
paid. A grand public entry into Berlin was made on the 
16th, when the Emperor, the Crown Prince, Prince Frederick 
Charles, and Count Moltke, with the whole of the head- 
quarters staff, proceeded from the railway station to the 
Palace amid enthusiastic acclamations. 

The Emperor's seventy-fifth birthday was celebrated on 

the 22nd of March at Berlin with unusual splendour. A 

number of German Princes offered their congratulations in 

person, and the municipalities of Berlin, Breslau, and 

Charlottenburg presented addresses. At the close of his 

address the Burgomaster of Berlin said : ' The glorious 

sceptre of the Hohenstauffens is now transferred to the hand 

of the Hohenzollerns. We pray God to permit your 

Imperial and Royal Majesty long to enjoy the fruits of your 

exertions amid the love and reverence of the German people 

and the admiration of the world. May the German people 

be benefited for many years by the wisdom, firmness, and 

strength of him who has re-established the Empire ! May 

the Emperor, who has extended our frontiers, and added 

fresh laurels to our banners,*be destined alike to promote the 

blessings of peace, and to increase and develop our liberty, 

welfare, and culture. May God grant this ! ' After the 

Emperor had responded to the municipal addresses, the 

representatives of Austria, Spain, and Italy added their 

congratulations. The Emperor signalized the day by 

promotions amongst his most distinguished subjects. 

Bismarck was created a Prince ; Moltke was made a Field 

Marshal and presented with the Order of the Iron Cross ; 

Von Boon was raised to the rank of Count; and large 

dotations in land and money were subsequently accorded to 

these and other heroes of the war, as well as additional titles 

conferred upon the Princes of the Imperial House. 

The first United German Parliament assembled on the 
21st of March, and the session was one which caused an 



218 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

unusually severe strain upon Bismarck. The Ultramontane 
Deputies assumed a militant attitude and caused a great 
deal of trouble. The Emperor in his opening speech, after 
alluding to the accomplished work of German unity, pro- 
ceeded to say : ' In former times, Germany, misled by the 
policy which its rulers adopted from foreign traditions, 
imbibed the seeds of decay through interference in the life 
of other nations. The new Empire takes its birth from the 
self-subsisting spirit of the people itself, which, never taking 
up arms except for defence, is steadfastly devoted to the 
works of peace. In its intercourse with foreign nations, 
Germany demands for her citizens no greater consideration 
than what justice and civilization involve, and uninfluenced 
by liking or disliking, leaves it to every nation to find its 
own way to unity, to every State to determine for itself the 
form of its constitution. We trust that the days of inter- 
ference in the life of other nations will never, under any 
pretext or in any form, return.' This passage was a distinct 
intimation that Germany would not interfere on behalf of 
the Pope's temporal sovereignty. The Ultramontanes read 
it as such, and moved an amendment to the Address. Beaten 
upon this, they sought for other grounds on which to oppose 
the Government ; but Bismarck proved too strong for 
them, though the prolonged conflict was harassing to the 
Chancellor. 

The Bill for the Incorporation of Alsace and Lorraine was 
another question of a momentous and delicate character. 
Prince Bismarck knew that he must expect opposition, and 
by way of anticipating it, in a speech delivered on the 
3rd of May, he made some important revelations. ' Ten 
months ago,' he observed, ' no one in Germany desired war, 
but all were determined, if it should be forced upon us, to 
carry it through, and to obtain guarantees against a recur- 
rence of attacks by France. France, possessing Alsace, 
continually threatened Germany. On the 6th of August, 
1866, the French Ambassador handed me an ultimatum 



KINO WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 219 

demanding the cession of Mayence to France, and telling 
us, in the alternative, to expect an immediate declaration 
of war. It was only the illness of the Emperor Napoleon 
which then prevented its outbreak. During the late war 
neutral powers made mediatory proposals. In the first 
instance we were asked to content ourselves with the costs 
of the war, and the razing of a fortress. This did not 
satisfy us. It was necessary that the bulwark from which 
France could sally forth for attack should be pushed further 
back. Another proposal was to neutralize Alsace and 
Lorraine. But that neutral State would have possessed 
neither the power nor the will to preserve its neutrality in 
case of war. We were obliged to incorporate Alsace with 
the territory of Germany in order to ensure the peace of 
Europe. It is true the aversion of the population of Alsace 
and Lorraine is an obstacle to such a measure. Still, the 
population is thoroughly German, forming a sort of aris- 
tocracy in France by virtue of its noble and Teutonic 
qualities. We shall strive to win back to us this population, 
by means of Teutonic patience and love. We shall especially 
grant communal liberties. The Federal Council will care- 
fully examine all amendments proposed by the Keichstag. 
Let us work together with mutual confidence.' 

The Chancellor could not disguise the difficulties attending 
the incorporation, but with his usual indomitable spirit he 
resolved to overcome them. To do this he obtained per- 
mission to govern the annexed provinces as he chose, until 
the beginning of 1873 ; and he resolved to proceed by easy 
stages, gradually gaining the people over to look with 
complacency upon the German rule. The Bill for Incor- 
poration was finally adopted with only two dissentient votes, 
and it was provided that the sole and supreme control of 
the two provinces sjiould be vested in the Emperor of 
Germany and the Federal Council until the 1st of January, 
1873, when the Constitution of the German Empire was to 
be introduced. This was a triumph for Prince Bismarck, as 



220 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

it practically meant the Government of Alsace and Lorraine 
by the German Chancellor. 

The Poles once more demanded the separation of the 
Polish districts from the German Empire, a demand which 
drew a harsh and bitter speech from Bismarck. He told the 
Polish Deputies that they had no nationality, and that they 
had received no mandate either to represent the Polish 
people, or the Polish nationality. He did not share their 
fiction that the Polish rule was good or not bad. He could 
assure them that it was truly bad, and that therefore it 
would never return. The session ended with the Govern- 
ment as victorious in the Senate as it had been in the 
field. 

Peace being now thoroughly assured between France and 
Germany, on the 16th of June the Prussian troops made 
their triumphal entry into Berlin, amid demonstrations of 
great joy. Business was suspended, and 200,000 strangers 
were reported to have arrived in the city. The body of 
troops which entered numbered about 42,000, consisting of 
the Prussian Koyal Guards, and picked deputations from 
all the regiments of the German Federal and Allied Armies, 
infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Marshal von Wrangel, who 
was too old to take part in the war, led the cavalcade, and 
then came other generals and staff-officers. Next appeared 
the general officers who had served, like Falkenstein, as 
civil governors in the conquered territories ; and then rode the 
commanders of different army corps, and the illustrious men 
who commanded whole armies the Duke of Mecklenburg, 
the Crown Prince of Saxony, and Field-Marshal Steinmetz. 
Generals Manteuffel, Werder, Von der Tann, and Goeben, 
who had also commanded armies, were among the party of 
general officers preceding. 

Loud applause greeted the arrival of Bismarck, Moltke, 
and Eoon, and this was deepened and intensified as soon as 
the Emperor emerged into view. He was in his field 
uniform, and rode his favourite dark bay war-horse. Close 



KING WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 221 

behind him rode the Field Marshals of the Koyal House 
the Imperial Crown Prince on a chestnut horse, and Prince 
Frederick Charles on a bright bay charger. A bevy of 
princes succeeded, guests of the Emperor, with their personal 
staff, glittering in varied uniforms, and making a gallant 
show. Lastly came the under officers of various German 
nationalities, bearing the spoils of war, the eagles and the 
colours. The Emperor, having received an address from 
the Burgomaster of Berlin, proceeded to inaugurate the 
equestrian war statue of his father, King Frederick 
William III., in a square at right angles with the Opera 
Platz. At night the whole city presented the appearance 
of an illuminated fairyland. A solemn thanksgiving service 
was celebrated in all the churches on the following Sunday. 

There was an interchange of Imperial visits during the 
summer months of 1871 which attracted the attention of 
Europe. The Czar visited the Emperor William at Berlin in 
the first week of June, and a few days afterwards the 
Emperor went to Ems to meet the Czar. An interview 
between the Emperor William and the Emperor Francis 
Joseph took place at Ischl on the llth of August. The 
ostensible reason for the conference was a settlement of the 
dispute respecting the repudiation of certain railway bonds 
by the Roumanian Government. But Bismarck had another 
object in view. Accompanying his Imperial master he desired 
to have a personal interview with the Austrian Chancellor 
Count Beust, to see whether a joint representation could 
not be made to the Italian Government for the amelioration 
of the Pope's position at Home. The Old Catholic movement 
was in full force in Germany, and the Ultramontane element 
was very wroth with the Government on other grounds. 
Bismarck thought that by this little attention to the Pope 
matters might be somewhat smoothed over. Bismarck and 
Beust met at Gastein, but separated before the negotiations 
came to a definite issue. 

The German and Austrian Emperors, however, with their 



222 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

respective Chancellors, met again at Salzburg on the 6th of 
September. Europe wondered what these interviews meant, 
and all kinds of rumours were immediately set afloat. No 
formal league was concluded between the sovereigns, but the 
general results of the meeting became known, partly through 
Count Beust's circular to the diplomatic representatives of 
Austria, and partly through the statements of semi-official 
organs. From these it appeared that ' in the matter of the 
Roumanian railway bonds, the Austrian Government declined 
to act, alleging that it could not recognize the principle of 
State interposition to enforce the claims of private specula- 
tion, and had no desire to complicate its own relations with 
so near a neighbour as the Danubian Principality. With 
regard to the Pope, it was promised that Austrian influence 
should be exerted to further the course proposed by Bismarck- 
But the subject that probably lay nearer to the heart of both 
the negotiating parties than either of those just named, 
related to the rising tide of Socialism the great revolutionary 
element which was threatening all fixed institutions in 
Europe, and of which the history of France had lately dis- 
played so terrible a development. It is said that at this 
conference a resolution was taken to institute statistical 
inquiries on the same plan in both empires as to the nature, 
tendencies, and extent of the movement, to be followed up, 
if necessary, by a conference of special commissioners ; also 
that it was agreed to sound the other principal Continental 
governments as to their willingness to take part in the in- 
vestigation. For the rest, both interviews, that of Ischl and 
Gastein and that of Salzburg, resulted in a cordial under- 
standing between the two Emperors and their chief ministers. 
Francis Joseph acquiesced in the position which the Prussian 
sovereign had taken as leader of Germany, and William the 
First engaged not to tamper with the German provinces of 
the Austrian Empire. When the potentates and statesmen 
on both sides met and compared ideas, it was to recognize 
that for both Powers there existed a common policy which 



KINO WILLIAM BECOMES KAISEE. 223 

it was their interest to pursue, and which the popular instinct 
in both nations had already sanctioned.' 

The German Parliament met again at Berlin on the 16th 
of October. Public affairs wore a roseate hue, and the Em- 
peror's speech was conceived in a gratulatory vein. His 
Majesty announced that the session would be short, and that 
the principal task before the Parliament was the regulation 
of the Imperial Budget. The existing transitional budget 
would be extended to the coming year ; a gold coinage fitted 
for general circulation was to be established ; and with re- 
gard to France, while relying upon a steady pacification 
and consolidation, the Government considered it practicable 
to permit the immediate evacuation of those departments 
which, according to the terms of peace, was to have occurred 
in the following May. Touching upon the relations between 
Germany, Eussia, and Austria, the Emperor said : * I rejoice 
to think that the interviews which I had this summer with 
the Sovereigns of these Empires Sovereigns with whom I am 
personally on such intimate terms will, by strengthening 
public confidence in a pacific future, materially contribute to 
secure it to Europe. The German Empire and the Austro- 
Hungarian Imperial State are, by their geographical situation 
and history, absolutely compelled to entertain friendly and 
neighbourly relations towards each other. The obliteration 
of the memory of a struggle forced upon us, much against 
our will, by the dissensions of a thousand years, will give 
sincere satisfaction to the whole German people.' 

The controversy between the State and the Roman Catholic 
Church now passed into an acute stage ; Parliament had no 
sooner met, than a manifesto was addressed to the Emperor 
by the Archbishops of Cologne and Gnesen and eleven other 
prelates, complaining of various infractions of the agreement 
subsisting between the Eomish Church and the Prussian State 
by the Ministry of Public Worship and Education, and 
especially in the case of the Gymnasium of Braunsberg, 
where the Government had kept a religious teacher in office 



224 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

despite his open adherence to Old Catholic doctrines. A flash 
of the Emperor's fiery but well-controlled temper hurned in 
his reply. He told the bishops that he was surprised at their 
language, which was calculated to shake the confidence of 
his Catholic subjects ; and he was the more astonished, as 
the Pope had hitherto freely acknowledged the just treatment 
extended to the Church in Prussia. His Majesty denied that 
the Government had meddled with doctrinal controversies, 
or done more than its duty in seeking to avert the threatened 
conflict between Church and State. For himself, he could 
declare that whether his hopes of harmonious co-operation in 
promoting the interests of the new Empire were fulfilled or 
not, he would continue, as before, to grant to each community 
the fullest liberty consistent with the rights of others, and 
their equality before the law. 

The religious freedom thus accorded to the Old Catholics 
was very distasteful to the Catholic bishops, who retired 
reproved and crestfallen from the Imperial presence. But 
a further blow to the intolerance and bigotry of the prelates 
and their co-religionists was shortly dealt in the Parlia- 
ment itself. Yon Lutz, the Bavarian Minister, brought in a 
Bill making it penal for clergymen to abuse their office by 
political agitation in the pulpit. Though the measure was 
general in character, and applied to the clergy of all denomi- 
nations, it was specially aimed at the fanatical and aggressive 
Ultramontanes. In the Khenish Provinces, Bavaria, and 
elsewhere, the Koman Catholic priesthood had been in the 
habit, during the elections, of delivering political sermons to 
their congregations, describing in pathetic terms the situation 
of the Pope, and urging their hearers to elect Ultramontane 
candidates, whom they represented as ready to assist the 
Holy Father in his struggle. The abuse of the clerical office 
and the pressure exercised upon the people became so great 
that legislation was necessary. Some of the Bavarian clergy 
had threatened to excommunicate all who circulated an 
official document issued by the Government on the Old 



KING WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 225 

Catholic question. Nothing could be said for the Ultramon- 
tanist practices, and the bill was carried by a large majority. 

A new Imperial Coinage Bill passed into law in November, 
and a resolution was adopted for placing the civil and 
criminal law, and the judicial procedure and organization 
in the various Federal States, under the control of the 
Imperial Legislature. Although a Bill founded on this 
motion was passed by the Keichstag, it was rejected by the 
Federal Council on the ground that they had no right to 
sanction such fundamental changes without authority from 
the minor Parliaments. A very important measure carried 
this session, however, inaugurated a new arrangement re- 
garding the immovable War Fund, which was demanded in 
the interests of German unity. Prussia had long maintained 
as one of her special institutions a war reserve fund of 
thirty million thalers ; and as the result of the great political 
changes just accomplished, this arrangement was now to be 
extended to the whole empire. The War Treasury, instead 
of belonging to Prussia, was henceforth to be appropriated to 
the uses of all Germany ; and it was to be raised from thirty 
to forty million thalers. It was curiously provided that 
this sum was to be deposited in gold and silver in the cellars 
of some citadel, and, lying torpid without yielding interest, 
to wait for the moment when the alarm of war should 
call it into service. There was a long discussion over this 
buried treasure, but the Government proposals were adopted 
in the end. 

Socialism caused the rulers of Germany no small concern 
at this time. Bismarck knew that there was a good deal of 
discontent amongst the humbler classes, though in public 
he made light of the signs of this discontent. Herr Bebel, 
one of the Prussian deputies, gave utterance to the views of 
the Socialists in Parliament, and after remarking that what 
the Communists had done in Paris was but an outpost 
skirmish, which would be followed up some day by a great 
European battle, he said : ' War to the palaces, peace to the 

Q 



226 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

cottages, and death to luxurious idleness is, and ever will 
be, the watchword of the proletariat in all parts of the 
world.' Several strikes of workmen, notably in Berlin, 
occurred in the autumn; and, before the year closed, a 
meeting of working-men was convened in the capital by the 
Social Democratic Union. Its objects were to protest against 
the petty remunerations given to the landwehr and reserves, 
as compared with the munificent grants made to the Generals 
and other officers ; and to adopt some plan for greater in- 
dustrial co-operation among Berlin working-men. The Union 
had always protested against the continuance of the war 
after Sedan, and condemned the annexation of Alsace and 
Lorraine, except with the assent of the inhabitants. It now 
passed a resolution condemning the retention of French 
prisoners in German fortresses, seeing that peace had been 
concluded. As a counter-balancing movement to that of 
the workmen, when the manufacturers assembled for their 
annual autumn meeting at Leipsic, they took into considera- 
tion the interests of the capitalists, and sought to contrive 
measures for overcoming the hostility of the workmen. 
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the complaints of the Socialists, 
the commercial condition of the Empire was most prosperous. 
The war had not sensibly interfered with business, and taxes 
yielded as much in 1870 and 1871 as in the preceding and 
less-disturbed years a sure proof that the trade of the 
country was sound at heart. After the peace was concluded, 
commercial prosperity advanced ' by leaps and bounds,' and 
money was so plentiful that means could scarcely be found 
to employ it. 

Financially, the German Empire presented a remarkable 
spectacle. Its great political reforms had been achieved 
without the imposition of additional burdens upon the people. 
Even in the year 1870, with the war in full force, the in- 
come from the Customs and Excise fully came up to the 
estimates. For 1872 the outlook was very encouraging. 
The Empire was presumed to spend in the coming year 



KING WILLIAM BECOMES KAISER. 227 

110,500,000 thalers. This sum only represented the amount 
required for Federal purposes, and not the total of the 
German budgets. Then, in addition to the common outlay, 
there were the local budgets of the various States, computed 
at something like 260,000,000 thalers, making 370,500,000 
thalers for the grand total of the German public expenditure. 
The Federal outlay of 110,500,000 thalers was covered by 
the Customs and certain indirect taxes permanently handed 
over to the Imperial Exchequer, as well as by the direct 
contributions of the various States. These various items 
amounted to about 78,000,000, so that there remained 
32,500,000 thalers to be contributed by the treasuries of 
the various States. 

The Prussian Diet was opened by the King on November 22, 
and in the speech from the throne he drew a broad line of 
demarcation between the jurisdiction of the German Keich- 
stag and that of the Prussian Diet. While the maintenance 
of the national power and security, said His Majesty, be- 
longed to the German Empire, it was for the Prussian 
representatives more thoroughly to devote themselves to the 
healthy development of the internal institutions. During 
this session Herr Camphausen, the Minister of Finance, 
carried through propositions for the use of the reserve funds 
of the public treasury in paying off the public debt, for 
increasing the salaries of the public teachers, for making 
liberal grants for the encouragement of art and science, and 
for making a considerable reduction in the public debt. 

The year thus closed with happy omens both for Prussia 
and the newly-constituted Empire. Though there were 
some causes for internal solicitude, as is the case with all 
nations, the state of Germany in general was most satis- 
factory. As for the venerable Emperor himself, he had 
never been in better health or spirits. Physically, he could 
compete with the best of his subjects, as was proved in the 
month of December by his exploits in the Hanoverian forest 
of Gohrde, when with his own hand he brought down no 

Q 2 



228 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

fewer than twenty-one wild boars. Further, to increase his 
light-heartedness, and his sense of security over the future 
of Germany, he was well aware that in Bismarck and Moltke 
he had two buttresses which could not easily be shaken by 
adverse storms. The Empire was powerful, because peaceful, 
and it was advancing by rapid strides on the golden path of 
progress. Though, as we shall presently see, questions of 
moment were pressing forward for settlement, the German 
Government was quietly gathering strength to meet them. 



( 229 ) 



CHAPTEK XIII. 

CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 

THE German conflict with the Ultramontanes, of which 
there had been several premonitory symptoms, was waged 
with great vigour in 1872. The storm began in an un- 
looked-for and almost accidental manner. After transacting 
business one day with the Emperor, Bismarck went into the 
Prussian House of Deputies merely for a passing visit, 
when Dr. Windthorst, leader of the Catholic reactionary 
party, was on his legs. The Doctor made a speech com- 
plaining of the diminished advantages open to the Catholics 
in the State and in education ; and his observations, which 
were of a very biting character, put the Chancellor into a 
fury. 

Bismarck rose and delivered an impromptu reply, remark- 
able for its energy, its sarcasm, and its eloquence. It was 
received all through with continuous laughter and applause. 
A strange man for peace was this Windthorst, he intimated, 
whose own language displayed so total an absence of 
Christian gentleness. It was the tone and temper of the 
Centre party which made it impossible to give them a 
Catholic representative on the Ministerial Council. The 
head of that party had joined the Prussian body politic 
with repugnance and ill-will, and he had never shown by 
speech or action that he had overcome this repugnance, so 
that it was doubtful even now whether the new formation 
of the German Empire was pleasing or distasteful to him. 
Passing from the personal to the general aspect of the 
question, the Chancellor next made a dashing attack upon 



230 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the clerical party, which afterwards led to great re- 
criminations, followed by repressive legislation. 'When I 
returned from France to devote myself to home affairs,' he 
observed, ' the Clerical or Centre party, which had just been 
formed, seemed to me a party whose policy was directed 
against the predominance and unity of the State. I will 
not conceal from you that the Government had hoped to 
rely upon the assistance of the orthodox element in the 
people. I thought it had a right to expect that they, 
above all, would render unto Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's. Instead of this we find ourselves systematically 
withstood in the South, and most violently attacked in the 
papers and in speeches destined for the instruction of the 
lower classes. This conduct is the more extraordinary 
inasmuch as the Pope and the Prussian bishops of the 
Catholic Church, have repeatedly acknowledged the perfect 
liberty their co-religionists enjoy under our institutions. 
In their downright hostility, therefore, the Ultramontane 
party cannot be actuated by dissatisfaction at the position 
the Catholic Church holds, and indeed has long held among 
us. Unfortunately we are at no loss to account for their 
motives. When we find this party leaguing with Radicals 
of every shade of persuasion when we find them acting 
in concert with men whose extreme politics make them 
avowed enemies of the Prussian Constitutional Monarchy 
and of the German Imperial Commonwealth we need not 
wonder at their drifting into persistent opposition, and 
placing us in the painful position in which we now stand 
with regard to them.' 

The uncompromising views of the Government were not 
long in bearing fruit. A School Inspection Bill was brought 
forward in the House of Deputies, as the first definite move 
on the part of the Ministry. This measure provided that 
the supervision of all educational institutions, public and 
private, should be entrusted to the State; that all officers 
appointed as inspectors should be servants of the State, 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 231 

and in no way responsible to the various religious de- 
nominations. The reception of the Bill was a curious one. 
The Catholics of course were strongly against it, but 
singularly enough the stiff orthodox Protestants united 
with the Ultramontanes, and the Poles were hostile to it 
on national grounds, viewing it as a step in the process of 
Germanizing the Polish provinces. Prince Bismarck could 
therefore only rely upon the Liberal party, but he had the 
support of Liberals of all shades of opinion. 

The Court was very lukewarm about the measure, as both 
the King and the Queen were known to favour denomi- 
nationalism, and the only supporter Bismarck had in the 
Koyal circle was the Crown Prince. The Bill required 
careful piloting through the Chamber of Deputies. The 
Chancellor in the course of the debates again severely 
handled Windthorst, who had been rather growing per- 
sonally in Court favour. Then, towards the close of a 
memorable speech, and one which had a great effect upon 
the House, Bismarck put forth his own apologia. 'The 
previous speaker,' he said, * has reminded me of speeches I 
made twenty-three years ago in the year 1849. I could 
simply dispose of this charge with the remark that in a 
space of twenty-three years especially as they were the 
best years of a man's life I have learned something, and 
that in my case I, at least, am not infallible ! But I will 
go farther. Whatever professions I have made in regard 
to my Christian faith I now openly reiterate, and I will 
never hesitate to do so either at home or in public ; but it 
is this very Christian faith which makes it my duty to the 
country where I was born, and where a high function has 
been entrusted to me, to protect it against all attacks. 
When the foundations of the State were attacked by 
barricades and the [Republican party, I considered it my 
duty to stand at the breach; and if it should be attacked 
by other parties, whose duty it was and is rather to 
strengthen the State than to overthrow it, you will see me 



232 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

there at the breach also. Such is the conduct which 
Christianity and faith prescribe to me.' The speaker's 
vigorous pleading carried the Bill by a majority of 197 
to 171. 

Although the Emperor was not at first enthusiastic about 
this measure, he saw that its defeat would be a most 
damaging blow to the Government, and lead to a very un- 
settled state of affairs. He was consequently now anxious 
that it should become law. But if it passed the Deputies 
only by such a narrow margin of votes, what were its 
chances in the Upper House? Fortunately those chances 
were strengthened by the arrest of a youth of Polish descent 
on the charge of plotting and conspiring against the 
Chancellor. The case against him was trivial, but his 
examination revealed the important circumstance that he 
had been residing in the house of Canon de Kozmian, a 
Jesuit, and in the Canon's residence there were subsequently 
seized some important papers. When the School Inspection 
Bill came before the Upper House, Bismarck read out 
several passages from the confiscated correspondence, which 
were very damaging to Dr. Windthorst and Bishop Ketteler 
of Mayence, in regard to Ultramontane intrigues. The 
Chancellor went straight to the point in describing the 
aims and objects of the Roman Catholic party. He showed 
how utterly imcompatible those aims were with the interests 
and policy of the new Empire, and then read the following 
extract from a despatch by one of his diplomatic repre- 
sentatives abroad : ' The revenge for which people are 
panting in France is being prepared for by getting up re- 
ligious troubles in Germany. It is intended to cripple 
German unity by denominational discord, for which purpose 
the whole of the clergy are to be utilized under immediate 
orders from Eome. In connexion with the overthrow of 
German power, the Pope hopes to be able to re-establish 
his secular power in Italy.' 

The Prince next made a strong appeal to the Conservative 



CONSOLIDATING TEE EMPIRE. 233 

Opposition to support the Government. 'Nowhere has a 
government less interfered with the management of eccle- 
siastical concerns than in Prussia; nowhere have the two 
Christian denominations lived so long in such perfect 
concord. But we are now to he deprived of this invaluahle 
boon, and must guard against our adversaries carrying out 
their charitable intention. One of our weapons of defence is 
the School Inspection Bill. Need I point out who our 
enemies are ? While two Catholic Powers existed on our 
borders, each supposed to be stronger than Prussia, and 
more or less at the disposal of the Catholic Church, we were 
allowed to live in peace and quiet. Things changed after 
our victory of 1866, and the consequent ascendancy of the 
Protestant dynasty of Hohenzollern. And now that another 
Catholic Power has gone the same way, and we have 
acquired a might, which, with God's help, we mean to keep, 
our opponents are more embittered than ever, and make us 
the butt of their constant attacks.' 

The Chancellor was again victorious. His arguments, 
personal, religious, and political, prevailed with the Upper 
House, and the Bill was carried by 125 votes to 76. This 
was a much more brilliant triumph than the one achieved in 
the Lower House, for Bismarck had far greater odds against 
him. 

Very soon afterwards, there was an open quarrel between 
Germany and the Papacy. Prince Bismarck nominated 
the Cardinal Prince Hohenlohe as German ambassador at the 
Vatican. The appointment was variously viewed. The 
supporters of the Chancellor said that it was a proof of 
his liberality, and that he did not wish to show ill-will 
to the Catholics as a body. On the other hand, the 
Ultramontanes saw in the nomination a subtler purpose. 
Cardinal Hohenlohe was a Papist, but something more. He 
was a Liberal, a German Unionist, and an opponent of the 
Infallibility dogma. So it was held that Bismarck divined 
in such a prince of the Church a better instrument for 



234 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

counteracting Ultramontane intrigues, than any statesman 
chosen from the ranks of Protestantism. The Pope, however, 
refused to receive Prince Hohenlohe as German represen- 
tative at his Court. 

This led to a prolonged debate in the Keichstag, when, on 
the 14th of May, Prince Bismarck delivered an important 
speech. He said that the latest dogma as promulgated by 
the Holy See rendered it impossible to work in harmony 
with Borne. To restore peace among the religious denomi- 
nations, it appeared necessary to seek a solution of the 
difficulties by enacting a law for the empire securing com- 
plete liberty of conscience. The rejection of an envoy by 
a government to whom it was proposed to accredit him was 
not a frequent occurrence. It was not a courteous proceeding, 
and it had never before happened to Prince Bismarck during 
a diplomatic career lasting over twenty-one years. It 
pained him the more, inasmuch as Prince Hohenlohe appeared 
fitted to bring about a conciliatory feeling. The regret he 
felt would not, however, justify him in manifesting irrita- 
tion. Begard for the interests of the Catholic population of 
Germany, had determined him to nominate another envoy, 
however difficult it would be to find an equal to Cardinal 
Hohenlohe, and doubtful as he was of a substitute achieving 
good results. At a later stage of the discussion, Prince 
Bismarck declared emphatically that he should always reject 
any treaty with Borne in which the Papacy might claim that 
certain State laws should not be binding upon a portion of 
the subjects of the empire. 

A number of deputies were for striking out of the 
estimates the cost of an envoy to the Pope, but the Chan- 
cellor's view was adopted and the charge sanctioned by a 
large majority. 

The University of Strasburg was opened on the 1st of 
May with much ceremony. All Germany was profoundly 
interested in this matter, as it was expected that the 
University would greatly contribute to the revival of 



CONSOLIDATING TEE EMPIRE. 235 

German sentiments in Alsace and Lorraine. As the 
conquered provinces were not yet ripe, however, for the 
introduction of the Federal Constitution in its entirety, the 
Government introduced a Bill proposing to suspend it until 
January 1st, 1874. The Bill was opposed by the Catholic 
party and the party of progress, but, being supported by 
all other sections of the House, it was passed by a large 
majority. 

The Emperor William acted during this year as arbitrator 
in a dispute between Great Britain and the United States. 
The question arose out of the interpretation of a clause in 
the Washington treaty as to the American and Canadian 
boundaries, which involved the possession of the Island of 
San Juan, a territory somewhat larger than the Isle of 
Wight. The treaty provided that the boundary line should 
be continued to the middle of the channel which separates 
the continent from Vancouver's Island. The English 
reading of this gave San Juan to us, but the Americans 
maintained that the strait called De Haro, between San 
Juan and Vancouver, was really meant. By his award, the 
Emperor decided unreservedly in favour of the American 
claim. 

One of the most momentous debates which had yet been 
held in the German Parliament took place on the 15th of 
May. Several hundred petitions relating to the Jesuits were 
presented, some advocating their expulsion from the country, 
but the majority interceding on behalf of the Order. Bishop 
Monfang of Mayence opened the debate, defending the 
Jesuits, and he was supported by Herr Keichensperger, a 
member of the Supreme Court of Appeal at Berlin, and a 
cultured and accomplished historian. On the other side, the 
Government was urged to proceed against the Jesuits in the 
interests of peace by Privy Councillor Wagener, one of the 
leaders of the Conservative party; Prince Hohenlohe, late 
Bavarian Premier ; Herr Fischer, Burgomaster of Augsburg, 
who like the Prince was a Koman Catholic ; and the well- 



236 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

known Professor Gneist, of the University of Berlin. A 
report drawn up on the petitions stated that as a consequence 
of the pro-Papal tendencies until lately prevalent in the 
ministry, the number of convents had enormously increased. 
In 1864 there were only 69 ; in 1865 they had increased to 
243 ; in 1866 to 481 ; and in 1869 to 826. The number of 
persons shut up in these institutions had risen from 976 in 
1855 to something like 10,000 in 1869. 

In accordance with a resolution of the House, the Govern- 
ment introduced a Bill placing the Society of Jesus under 
police supervision, and giving the Federal Council power to 
remove its members from any part of Germany where their 
presence should appear inconsistent with the public interest. 
Subsequently, as modified and adopted by a majority of the 
Federal Council, including all but the Polish and Ultramon- 
tane sections, the measure enacted that all convents and 
other establishments of the Crder on German soil should be 
abolished ; that the same veto should extend to all other 
orders and religious societies connected with the Jesuits, 
leaving the Government to determine the nature of such 
societies ; and it conferred on the administrative authorities 
the right not literally of expelling German members of the 
Jesuit Crder, but of assigning them localities where alone 
they might reside. Foreign members of the Crder were to 
be expelled ; and the authority for carrying the law into 
execution was vested in a committee of the Federal Council. 

The Emperor William gave his sanction to the Act, and in 
consequence of these repeated collisions between the spiritual 
and temporal powers the following law was formally promul- 
gated on the 4th of July : ' We, William, by the grace of God, 
Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia, &c., in the name of 
the German Empire, with the assent of the Federal Council, 
and of the Parliament, ordain as follows : I. The Crder of 
the Society of Jesus, as well as the monastic orders of 
Congregations affiliated to the said Society, are excluded 
from the territory of the German Empire. The creation 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 237 

of establishments by them is forbidden. Establishments of 
theirs at present existing shall be suppressed within a period 
to be settled by the Federal Council, but not later than 
six months. II. The members of the Order of the Society 
of Jesus, or of Orders and Congregations affiliated, may, if 
aliens, be expelled from the territory of the Confederation. 
If they are natives, their residence in certain districts, or 
certain places, may be forbidden or prescribed to them. 
III. The Federal Council will take the measures necessary 
for securing the execution of this law. In faith of which 
we have set our hand and seal imperial.' 

The Pope and the Cardinals were exceedingly wroth at 
this action, though there is no doubt they would have taken 
similar steps themselves had the positions been reversed, for 
whenever they have had the power they have used it far more 
cruelly than Prussia for the suppression of religious opponents. 
Pius IX. employed extraordinary language in receiving an 
address from a German Ultramontane Society at Eome. 
' Let us hold out,' he said, ' but let us hold out firmly united, 
and confiding in the justice of God Almighty. Who knows 
whether a little stone may not soon separate itself from a 
mountain top, and, coming down unexpectedly, smash the 
feet of the Colossus.' The allusions to the stone and the 
mountain were manifestly vague, but there were persons 
who interpreted them as referring to disloyal plots and 
intrigues. 

A grand conference was held at Berlin early in September 
between the Emperors of Germany, Kussia, and Austria. 
The gathering was a most brilliant one, and the fetes 
splendid in the extreme. But all was not amusement, and 
the other European Powers were solicitous respecting this 
foregathering of powerful monarchs. While the potentates 
were discussing matters from their own points of view, the 
three Chancellors, Prince Bismarck, Prince Gortschakoff, and 
Count Andrassy, were likewise holding long and important 
.interviews. But all designs, save the wish to bring the three 



238 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GEHMAN EMPIRE. 

Sovereigns together, and so promote peace and good-will, 
were strongly repudiated. There were rumours of a Holy 
Alliance, and of a design to suppress all ' International ' 
movements and the like. But whatever the objects of the 
meeting, France and the Pope were by no means pleased over 
it. The former Power saw its hopes of a foreign alliance 
against Germany indefinitely postponed, while the Vatican 
and the Ultramontanes were compelled to renounce the pros- 
pect of an ally and protector even in the chief of the House 
of Hapsburg, 'the born defender of the Catholic Church/ 
Prince Bismarck, in his reply to a deputation of the 
magistrates of Berlin presenting him with the honorary 
diploma of citizenship remarked that by means of the festive 
events of the last few days, confidence in the endurance of 
peace, which was nearly as valuable as peace itself, would be 
strengthened. The high persons who had met in Berlin 
would not leave with disappointed expectations. The meet- 
ing had not been called forth by aggressive intentions against 
any Power, or in any direction whatsoever. The amicable 
personal interview of the Emperors would strengthen the 
confidence of friends in a lasting peace, and clearly show to 
enemies the difficulties they would have to encounter in 
order to disturb that peace. 

The Emperor William, after bidding farewell to his 
illustrious visitors, journeyed to Marienburg, the capital of 
West Prussia, to aid in celebrating the centenary of the first 
partition of Poland, when the province in question was 
restored to Prussia, of which it originally formed a part. A 
statue of Frederick the Great was to be erected to com- 
memorate the event, and his successor now laid the founda- 
tion-stone of the memorial near the magnificent old castle of 
Marienburg. Even here the ruler of Germany came upon a 
thorn in the person of the recalcitrant Bishop of Ermeland, 
who wrote to the Emperor desiring to pay his respects to 
him in person at the centenary gathering. The Emperor, 
who is nothing if not frank, replied to the effect that he 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 239 

should be very glad to see the Bishop if he would retract 
the offensive expressions in his correspondence with the 
Ecclesiastical Department of State, and declare himself 
willing to ohey the laws of the land to their fullest extent ; 
but if not, well he had better not go. The Bishop decided 
not to present himself before the Emperor. 

The suppression of the Jesuits was regarded by some as 
an impolitic step, and it certainly threw the Roman Catholic 
Church into a militant attitude. A union of German 
Catholics was organized at Mayence, with the avowed object 
of supporting the Church in its conflict with the Empire. 
The members of the union met at Fulda in September, and 
issued a memorial stating their grievances. They explicitly 
asserted that canon laws were more binding than those 
enacted by the secular power ; that the Church and not the 
State was rightfully supreme in ecclesiastical affairs, in 
education, and in marriage contracts; and they further 
upheld the episcopal right of excommunication. 

When the Prussian Chambers reassembled in October, 
there was a desperate Parliamentary conflict in the Upper 
House over the New Districts Administration Bill. This was 
a government measure for remodelling the administration of 
the Six Provinces of East Prussia. It proposed to abolish 
the last remnant of feudal government surviving in the 
Prussian kingdom. Heretofore, in the counties to which the 
Bill referred, the magistrates and county assemblies in 
whose functions it lay to make the roads, relieve the poor, 
and look after other matters of local interest had been 
exclusively composed of the proprietors of land and estates, 
who also had the privilege of nominating to all the petty 
magistracies of their districts. It was now proposed to admit 
a large number of townspeople and villagers to the County 
Assemblies, where these classes had formerly scarcely been 
seen; to create honorary officials, to be elected by these 
assemblies, to perform the functions of the police on the 
larger estates, as well as in the villages ; to bestow upon the 



240 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIBE. 

villages the right of choosing their municipal officers, and of 
combining with neighbouring villages for the better manage- 
ment of local matters ; and last, but not least, to empower the 
government officer at the head of the county though he 
should remain a nominee of the Crown and retain the right 
of interfering with the proceedings of the new election officers 
and authorities to officiate conjointly with a Board chosen 
by the County Assembly from the gentlemen of the district. 
These were great and important changes, practically vesting 
the right of self-government in the villages. 

The Bill passed the Lower House, as might naturally be 
expected, but in the Upper it was thrown out. Although the 
Emperor had himself intimated to Count Bruhl, Yice-President 
of the Upper Chamber, that he desired and expected it to pass, 
the peers rejected the Grovernment proposition by the enormous 
majority of 145 votes to 18. The feudal lords, whose long- 
standing but arbitrary rights were struck at by the Bill, were 
largely represented in the Upper Chamber, and they of course 
declined to vote for the extinction of their own power and 
influence. Eepresentative institutions and local self-govern- 
ment were very obnoxious to them ; and several speakers 
declared that to upset the rural life of the country was to 
introduce Republicanism at once into the nation. They held 
that the change was incompatible with the maintenance of 
the monarchy and the continued existence of the State. The 
vote in the Upper House brought on a constitutional crisis, 
and the Chambers were prorogued for twelve days. 

Bismarck was resolved upon "carrying the measure, for, 
although he had always been in sympathy with the aristocratic 
party, he held that this measure was absolutely essential to 
the more liberal requirements of a united Germany. Accord- 
ingly, when Parliament reopened, General von Boon rein- 
troduced the Bill amended in the Upper House, and stated 
that the Government were fully resolved on carrying it by 
every constitutional means at its disposal, thus pointing to a 
creation of new peers if necessary. This step was eventually 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 241 

found to be requisite, and twenty-five new peers were created. 
The Emperor, it is stated, only consented with reluctance to 
a revolutionary step with which his feelings and principles 
through all his career as King of Prussia had been so little in 
accordance ; but he felt that he must support his Chancellor 
in this matter. 

In answer to a communication addressed to him by a 
highly esteemed Conservative member of the Lower House, 
His Majesty wrote a wise and timely letter on the subject. 
He reminded the Deputy that the Conservatives had looked 
forward to the speedy downfall of the State as an inevitable 
consequence of the agrarian and municipal reform of 1808, and 
he expressed his conviction that the time had arrived when 
the work begun in those early days must be resumed and to 
a certain extent completed. The Administration had become 
too complicated an engine to be conducted by professional 
officials alone ; and the finances required to be lightened by 
the transfer of a portion of the public business to men not 
salaried by the State, and in a position to regard the honour 
of serving their country as their best reward. The Civil 
Service of Prussia was already 62,000 strong, and so badly 
paid that its members had a right to demand an increase of 
salary. As this demand could not any longer be refused, 
there was nothing left but to obviate the necessity of fresh 
offices being created as fast as had hitherto been done. 

This was one of the most progressive deliverances the 
Emperor had yet made, and it caused great gratification, 
especially to the Liberals. It also turned a great many Con- 
servative votes in the Upper House, and moderate counsels now 
prevailing, the measure was carried by 116 votes against 91. 
Prince Bismarck, who had for some time back contemplated 
the step, retired after this victory from the Premiership of 
the Prussian Cabinet, and was succeeded by Count von Boon, 
the senior Minister of State. The Imperial Chancellor, 
however, still retained the department of Foreign Affairs in 
the Prussian Ministry. 



242 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

A good many rumours set afloat at the close of 1872 to the 
effect that Bismarck's retirement from the Prussian Premier- 
ship was a triumph for the reactionary party, and that it 
signified a divergence of view between himself and the 
Emperor, were shown to be utterly unfounded on the first day 
of the New Year. The Sovereign wrote to his most trusty 
Chancellor a grateful letter, which was accompanied by the 
Order of the Black Eagle set in diamonds. Bismarck further 
tendered explanations in the Chamber of Deputies, denying 
that there were dissensions in the Ministry, and pointing out 
that the new Government was merely a continuation of his 
own. 

Meanwhile the contest with Kome waxed hotter and hotter. 
The Pope issued a Christmas Allocution so fierce in spirit 
that it would have brought him within the law had he been 
amenable to its jurisdiction. Things reached such a pass, 
that on the 9th of January, 1873, Dr. Falck, the Minister for 
Education, brought in four very important Bills, dealing 
with both the State-recognised religions, the Protestant or 
Evangelical, and the Catholic. Their objects were to protect 
the freedom of individual persons ; to ensure the training of 
a German national in contradistinction from an Ultramontane 
clergy ; and to guard the rights and independence of the 
clergy themselves as against their ecclesiastical superiors. 
Hitherto the Churches had been left free to govern themselves 
and to educate their own clergy. In the case of the Koman 
Catholics special seminaries had been instituted for the 
education of those destined for the priesthood from their 
youth upwards. All institutions of the kind now in existence 
were by the proposed law to be placed under rigorous State 
inspection, while it was forbidden to open any new ones. 
The State thus intended to take into its own hands the direct 
supervision of the education of the clergy ; and candidates 
for the priesthood would be required to attend the State 
Gymnasia and Universities, so that a portion at least of their 
training might be received among the laity. Before they 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 243 

could enter the clerical ranks they must pass State examina- 
tions in philosophy, history, German literature, and the 
classical languages. The State claimed a right of supervision 
over clerical appointments, and heavy fines were instituted 
for making appointments which might be unconditionally 
revoked. Ecclesiastical discipline was dealt with, and the real 
purport of the measures was to substitute a national or 
German for a foreign or Ultramontane clergy. A supreme 
Eoyal Court was to sit at Berlin, and deal with cases in- 
volving ecclesiastical discipline. These Bills were discussed 
with much fervour and at great length, but ultimately all 
of them were passed by both Houses. 

The German Diet opened on the 12th of March. In conse- 
quence of a report prepared by the Committee on Eeligious 
Orders, the German Federal Council decided to expel from 
the Empire the Monastic Orders of Kedemptorists and 
Lazarists, and the Congregations of the Holy Ghost and the 
Sacred Heart. This decision gave rise to a warm debate in the 
Diet, when Prince Bismarck said that he confidently appealed 
to the judgment of history to pronounce whether he had 
been guilty of slandering the Ultramontane leaders when he 
designated them as antagonists, as enemies of the Empire, 
and as instigators and leaders of the plots against the Empire 
and the Imperial Government. 

The Prussian Catholic bishops met at Fulda in April, and 
drew up a solemn protest against the new ecclesiastical 
laws. It was circulated amongst the clergy and the various 
dioceses, with the result that active resistance to the laws 
began to be offered. The State replied by instituting pro- 
secutions, and the most distinguished of those against whom 
criminal proceedings were taken was Ledochowski, Arch- 
bishop of Posen, who had systematically made appointments 
to benefices in defiance of the laws. He was condemned to 
a fine of 200 thalers, or four months' imprisonment ; but he 
still kept on the same course. 

Parliament passed in June the third reading of the Bill for 

B 2 



244 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the introduction of the Imperial Constitution into Alsace- 
Lorraine from the 1st of January, 1874. From that date the 
annexed provinces would be ruled as an integral part of 
Germany, and be entitled to send their representatives to 
the Keichstag. There was one question with respect to 
which the Emperor was greatly chagrined by the policy 
of the Diet. A Bill was brought forward for altering the or- 
ganization of the national army ; but when the House should 
have discussed it, the Deputies absented themselves. Even 
Bismarck shrank from rushing the Bill through under such 
circumstances, and the Emperor closed the session without 
its becoming law. A Press Bill, which contained several 
very stringent provisions, was also rejected by the Diet. 

Several Koyal and Imperial visits were exchanged this 
year. In April, the Emperor William went to St. Peters- 
burg, where he was sumptuously entertained; then the 
Shah of Persia and the King of Italy paid visits to Berlin, 
and between the Eastern monarch and the German Emperor 
a special treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation was 
concluded. In October, the Emperor visited Vienna, where 
he had an enthusiastic reception. On the memorable 
anniversary of Sedan, the 2nd of September, the monument 
of Victory was unveiled by the Emperor William, on the 
Konigsplatz, Berlin. ' The column of Victory unveiled 
to-day,' observed His Majesty, in a speech delivered at the 
memorial banquet, ' is a proof to the present and future 
generations of what self-sacrifice and perseverance can 
accomplish. In conjunction with our faithful allies in the 
last glorious war, we strode from victory to victory by the 
grace and bountiful will of God, until we attained to the 
Unity of Germany in the establishment of a new Empire. I 
drink, therefore, in gratitude to my heroic people, my 
illustrious allies, and our glorious army.' 

The conflict between the Government and the Ultramon- 
tanes continued all through the year, and in October great 
sensation was caused throughout Germany and all Europe 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 245 

by the publication of a correspondence between two august 
personages the Pope and the Emperor William. Writing 
on the 7th of August, 1873, the Pope charged the German 
Government with aiming more and more at the destruction 
of Catholicism. But he had heard that the Emperor did not 
approve the harshness of the measures adopted by the 
Government, and if that were the case, the measures com- 
plained of could have no other effect than that of under- 
mining His Majesty's own throne. Pio Nono added : ' I speak 
with frankness, for my banner is truth ; I speak in order to 
fulfil one of my duties, which consists in telling the truth to 
all, even to those who are not Catholics ; for every one who 
has been baptized belongs in some way or other, which 
to define more precisely would be here out of place belongs, 
I say, to the Pope.' 

The Emperor of Germany took some weeks to digest this 
extraordinary Epistle from the Eomans, and on the 3rd of 
September despatched this masterly reply to the Pope : 
' I am glad that your Holiness has, as in former times, done 
me the honour to write to me. I rejoice the more at this, 
since an opportunity is thereby afforded me of correcting 
errors which, as appears from the contents of the letter of 
your Holiness of the 7th of August, must have occurred in 
the communications you have received relative to German 
affairs. If the reports which are made to your Holiness 
respecting German questions only stated the truth, it would 
not be possible for your Holiness to entertain the supposition 
that my Government enters upon a path which I do not 
approve. According to the constitution of my States, such 
a case cannot happen, since the laws and Government 
measures in Prussia require my consent as Sovereign. To 
my deep sorrow, a portion of my Catholic subjects have 
organized for the past two years a political party which 
endeavours to disturb, by intrigues hostile to the State, the 
religious peace which has existed in Prussia for centuries. 
Leading Catholic priests have unfortunately not only 



246 WILLIAM I. AND THE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

approved this movement, but joined in it to the extent of 
open revolt against existing laws. 

' It will not have escaped the observation of your Holiness 
that similar indications manifest themselves at the present 
time in several European and some Transatlantic States. It 
is not my mission to investigate the causes by which the 
clergy and the faithful of one of the Christian denominations 
can be induced actively to assist the enemies of all law ; but 
it certainly is my mission to protect internal peace, and 
preserve the authority of the laws in the States whose 
government has been entrusted to me by God. I am 
conscious that I owe hereafter an account of the accomplish- 
ment of this, my Kingly duty. I shall maintain order and 
law in my States against all attacks as long as God gives 
me the power ; I am in duty bound to do it as a Christian 
monarch, even when to my sorrow I have to fulfil this royal 
duty against servants of a Church which I suppose acknow- 
ledges no less than the Evangelical Church that the com- 
mandment of obedience to secular authority is an emanation 
of the revealed will of God. Many of the priests in Prussia 
subject to your Holiness disown, to my regret, the Christian 
doctrine in this respect, and place my Government under 
the necessity, supported by the great majority of my loyal 
Catholic and Evangelical subjects, of extorting obedience to 
the law by worldly means. 

1 1 willingly entertain the hope that your Holiness, upon 
being informed of the true position of affairs, will use your 
authority to put an end to the agitation carried on amid 
deplorable distortion of the truth, and abuse of priestly 
authority. The religion of Jesus Christ has, as I attest to 
your Holiness before God, nothing to do with these intrigues, 
any more than has truth, to whose banner, invoked by your 
Holiness, I unreservedly subscribe. There is one more 
expression in the letter of your Holiness which I cannot pass 
over without contradiction, although it is not based upon 
the previous information, but upon the belief of your 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 247 

Holiness namely, the expression that every one who has 
received baptism belongs to the Pope. The Evangelical 
creed, which, as must be known to your Holiness, I, like my 
ancestors and the majority of my subjects, profess, does not 
permit us to accept in our relations to God any other 
mediator than our Lord Jesus Christ. This difference of 
belief does not prevent me from living in peace with those 
who do not share mine, and I offer your Holiness the 
expression of my personal devotion and esteem.' 

There can be no question as to who had the best of it in 
this epistolary warfare. The Emperor won the engagement, 
and the press supported his views, at the same time 
vigorously attacking the Pope and his advisers. His German 
Majesty received congratulatory addresses from all quarters, 
and the Government was requested strenuously to maintain 
its course of action. 

Amongst the numerous towns which sent up to the 
Emperor, Augsburg, in a remarkable address signed by 
Catholics and Protestants alike, expressed satisfaction and 
pride at the independent attitude of the nation's Sovereign. 
The Papal complaint that the Catholic religion was perse- 
cuted was declared to be a wanton perversion of the truth, 
and the Emperor was earnestly besought to continue to 
enforce the laws against the Ultramontanes. 

As the Emperor's letter came opportunely just before the 
elections to the Prussian and Imperial Diets, it had the effect 
of deciding many waverers in favour of the policy of the 
Sovereign and the Premier, while another cause for this was 
the closeness of the relations between France and the 
Vatican. To the Prussian Diet there were returned as 
moderate Liberals that is, those who were prepared to go 
all lengths with the Cabinet against the Papacy 178 mem- 
bers as compared with 116 in the previous Diet. Although 
the Ultramontanes gained some additional strength, yet as 
both the Liberals and moderate Conservatives might be 
expected to support the Ministry on most questions of 



248 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Church policy, it was computed that the Cabinet could rely 
on a working majority of 311 in a House of 432 members. 
Prince Bismarck returned to the post of Prussian Premier 
just before the Diet opened on the 12th of November. 

In the session now inaugurated another important measure, 
and one indicative of the signs of the times, was passed. This 
was a Bill sanctioning Civil marriage and Civil registration 
of births and deaths throughout the Prussian dominions. 
The Emperor held back for some time before giving his 
acquiescence to this measure ; but he at length perceived 
that it was a natural corollary to the previous ecclesiastical 
legislation. Marriage had hitherto been a religious act, and 
it had become a subject of difficulty during the ecclesiastical 
crisis ; the Ultramontane priests also declined to bury seceders 
in consecrated ground, and this had led in some cases to the 
interference of the police. The new proposals were adopted ; 
and when the Act became law, it proved even a more 
sweeping measure than had been anticipated. In order to be 
recognised by the Civil authorities, all marriages, births, and 
deaths would henceforward have to be registered by the 
magistrate. The functions of the registrar were made 
obligatory, while those of the clergy were left optional. 

On the 7th of December the Emperor, as King of Prussia, 
issued a very important decree intended to meet such cases 
as those of the recusant bishops. This decree enacted that 
throughout the Prussian dominions all Catholic bishops 
should, previous to receiving recognition from the State, 
take the following oath : ' I will be subject, true, obedient 
and devoted to His Majesty, carefully observe the laws of the 
State, and especially strive that the sentiments of honour 
and fidelity to the King, love of country, obedience to the 
laws, and all those virtues which denote at once the good 
subject and the Christian, shall be carefully cherished among 
the clergy and congregations entrusted to my episcopal 
guidance, and that I will not allow the clergy subject to 
me to teach or act in an opposing sense. In particular I 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 249 

promise to hold no communion or connexion within or with- 
out the country which may be dangerous to the public 
security.' The object of this new oath was to prevent 
co-operation with the Papal Court in any measures against 
Prussian policy ; but it also abrogated the clause in the old 
oath by which bishops had declared their submission to 
the laws, but reserved to themselves all rights with regard 
to their spiritual obligations. There was to be no conflict 
in future between spiritual duties and the law. 

Pius IX. became furious over the state of ecclesiastical 
affairs in Germany. In an Encyclical, he described the Old 
Catholics as ' wretched sons of perdition,' who had conspired 
against the Holy Ghost and the true successors of St. Peter, 
and he proceeded to excommunicate their newly-appointed 
head, Bishop Eeinkens. But the Old Catholics, as in ' The 
Jackdaw of Kheims,' went on their way, ' not a penny the 
worse for this terrible curse.' 

Two deaths of note occurred this year, which affected the 
Emperor not a little. King John of Saxony, a man of 
considerable culture, an able jurist, and a profound student 
of Dante, passed away in his seventy-second year. At one 
time his decease would have had more serious effects ; but the 
existence of Saxony was now almost sunk in the German 
Empire. The King was succeeded by the Crown Prince, 
Albert, who had greatly distinguished himself in the Franco- 
Prussian War. The second death was that of Elizabeth, 
Queen Dowager of Prussia, the widow of Frederick William 
IV. The Emperor felt the loss of his aged relative very 
keenly, for she had been a favourite with him. At the time 
of this melancholy occurrence, His Majesty himself was also 
somewhat seriously indisposed, but he was happily con- 
valescent in the course of a few weeks. 

The new year, 1874, was remarkable more for the energy 
and activity of the German Chancellor than for anything 
else. There was constant friction between himself and the 
Catholic party, and Prince Bismarck stood almost single- 



250 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

handed in the breach. Certainly, it was mainly his strong 
and overpowering personality which enabled him to gain his 
ends. The elections to the Imperial Diet, which took place 
early in the year, caused him some disappointment. The 
Centre or Ultramontane party increased in strength from 
sixty-two to about 100, so that altogether the opposition 
members numbered 170 as against some 4')0 supporters 
of the Grovernment. The National Liberals rose from 116 
to 150 members ; the party of progress gained four new 
members ; the Conservatives lost ground ; and the Liberal 
National party disappeared entirely, being absorbed in the 
other sections. 

Although both the Ultramontanes and the Social Democrats 
were opposed to the Chancellor's repressive ecclesiastical 
policy, it was supported as a necessity by nearly all the 
influential and liberal classes in Germany. Referring on 
one occasion to the ancient strife between Empire and Pope, 
when the latter was victorious, Bismarck had said, ' We will 
not go to Canossa ; ' and he now took up the legislation with 
regard to the Catholics at the point at which it was left in 
1873. It was necessary to supplement the Falck legislation 
by three additional Bills. The first simply explained certain 
terms which had been obscurely worded in the first laws, 
and had given rise to different interpretations in the law 
courts ; but the second and third devised very practical 
measures for the administration of dioceses which might 
happen to be deprived of their bishops. The legislation was 
timely, for before many weeks had elapsed no fewer than 
four out of the twelve Koman Catholic bishops of the 
Prussian Kingdom came to a rupture with the Government. 
Three of these dignitaries, Archbishop Ledochowski, the 
Archbishop of Cologne, and the Bishop of Treves were 
arrested and imprisoned for refusing to pay the fines imposed 
upon them for persistent contravention of the Falck Laws. 

But as the incarceration of prelates could not continue for 
ever, and as it was necessary to adopt Imperial as well as 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 251 

Prussian legislation to meet the difficulty, a Bill was sub- 
mitted to the Federal Council and the Keichstag, and passed 
during the spring session, to prevent the reassertion of their 
claims by offenders whose terms of imprisonment should be 
over. Such persons could be ordered by the administrative 
authorities of their several States to leave, or to take up 
their residence in certain districts. Should an offender still 
decline to conform to the law, the Government of his State 
should then be entitled to strip him of his right of citizen- 
ship, and to expel him from the territory of the German 
Empire. These provisions were to apply equally to persons 
who should have exercised the functions of an ecclesiastical 
office at variance with the law of the land, and had sentence 
pronounced against them for this offence by the proper 
court. The Imperial Diet passed this measure by the 
enormous majority of 257 votes to 95. Then came the 
Supplementary Falck Laws, which dealt with the question 
of appointments to vacant dioceses and parishes. It was 
decreed under certain conditions that Catholic congregations 
should be permitted to choose their own ministers, and thus 
to have a hand in the management of Church property. 
This appeared a very revolutionary change indeed to the 
Pope and the authorities of the Vatican. 

The Imperial Parliament met in February, when a new 
Army Bill was brought forward. It was chiefly a systematic 
codification of the existing statutes, rendered necessary by 
the adoption of the Prussian laws in the minor States. A 
new scale of payment to the soldiers being adopted rendered 
necessary an additional sum of 14,000,000 thalers for the 
ensuing year. There were also other extras, which brought 
up the Military Budget to 113,000,000 thalers. The Bill 
placed the effective force of the army at 401,659 men in time 
of peace, and Count Moltke, in defending these measures, made 
some allusions to the prospect of peace or war as regarded 
foreign countries, which were eagerly commented upon 
throughout Europe. He pointed out that France had 



252 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

introduced compulsory service, lasting in all twenty years, 
instead of twelve as in Germany. The French Government 
was in a position to embody 1,200,000 men into the active, and 
1,000,000 into the territorial army. After observing that 
Germany was pacifically disposed, but that the mildest of 
men might be dragged into a quarrel if he had a troublesome 
neighbour, Count Moltke said: 'If you wish for peace, be 
ready for war, and I believe that it is our duty, in the present 
condition of Europe, to declare either that we have no need 
of a strong army, or else to accord all that is necessary for 
maintaining it in full force.' 

There was considerable difficulty with this Bill, which 
the Emperor strongly desired to see passed. He dis- 
tinctly declined to accept certain compromises which were 
suggested, till at length Bismarck, foreseeing a complete 
deadlock, intervened. The Chancellor agreed to a suggestion 
made by Herr Bennigsen to the effect that the additional 
force required by the Government should be voted, but for 
seven years only and not for perpetuity. After much delay 
the Emperor at last yielded his assent to this, and the Bill 
was carried by a majority of eighty. 

The affairs of Alsace-Lorraine next occupied the attention 
of the Diet. On the 16th of February, the Deputies for 
those provinces solemnly entered the House, two by two, and 
proceeded to deposit with the Speaker a motion to the effect 
that the Frankfort Treaty of Peace having been concluded 
without the sanction of the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine, 
the opinion of the latter should be taken on the subject. A 
lengthy debate ensued, and one of the Alsatian Deputies, 
while agreeing that Germany was entitled to a war in- 
demnity from France, affirmed that the former had over- 
stepped the limits by which a civilised nation ought to 
be bound in annexing Alsace-Lorraine. The Bishop of 
Strasburg, however, rose and said that he and his co- 
religionists in Alsace and Lorraine had no wish to question 
the validity of a treaty concluded between two of the great 



CONSOLIDATING TEE EMPIRE. ' 253 

Powers of Europe. The motion was rejected by an over- 
whelming majority. Other antagonistic propositions were 
brought forward by the Alsatian Deputies, and at length, in 
consequence of their hostile attitude, the Government in- 
structed the Alsatian authorities to avail themselves of the 
license allowed them under the statutes, of preventing the 
circulation in the province of such French journals as should 
advocate revanche. 

Before the Imperial Diet was prorogued, a Press Law was 
passed, by which the police were to be deprived of the right 
of seizure previous to the condemnation of the indicted 
matter by the proper court of law. The clause declaring 
incitement to violate the laws a culpable offence was thrown 
out, as being too vaguely worded to appear safe. The 
practice of mentioning ' dummies ' as responsible editors was 
by common consent heartily condemned, and was to be 
henceforth liable to a heavy fine. Alsace and Lorraine, in 
consequence of the attitude of the French press, were to be 
excepted from the operation of the law. 

Prince Bismarck went to drink the waters at Kissingen in 
July, and while at that place he was the victim of an 
attempted assassination. His assailant was a young man 
named Kullmann, a journeyman cooper, ill-educated, and 
imbued with a fanatical hatred of the recent religious laws 
and their originator. At mid-day on the 13th, soon after the 
Chancellor had entered his carriage, and while he was in the 
act of saluting a person in the roadway, the latter drew a 
pistol from his pocket, and deliberately fired at the Prince. 
The bullet grazed the palm of the Chancellor's hand, just 
below the thumb. The coachman, fearing a second shot, 
struck the assassin across the face with the lash of his whip. 
The assailant then flung away the pistol and ran for his life. 
The Prince drove home perfectly calm and collected ; but the 
wound in the hand caused him much pain for months after- 
wards. Kullmann was arrested after a desperate effort to 
escape. Bismarck visited him in prison and questioned him 



254 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

as to the reason for the crime. The culprit said his motives 
were revenge and hatred in consequence of the Ecclesiastical 
Laws. He did not appear to have any accomplices ; hut 
he had heen incited to his reckless deed hy the tone of 
the Ultramontane press and pulpit, and confessed that his 
immediate motive was what he had heard of the persecution 
of the Archhishop of Posen. Kullmann was sentenced to 
fourteen years' imprisonment. 

Meanwhile, arrests of Roman Catholic priests for persistent 
infraction of the laws, and the sequestration of Church 
property, proceeded apace. In addition to the prelates pre- 
viously named, Bishop Martin of Paderhorn was arrested on 
August 4. Declining to resign his see, he was prosecuted 
and deposed hy the Government. Great manifestations of 
sympathy were shown him hy the Westphalian Ultramontanes, 
and thirty ladies, including the Countess Nesselrode and the 
Countess von Merveldt, presented an address to him. The 
ladies were tried for this hreach of the law, found guilty, 
and fined. Then came a demonstration of sympathy with 
these fair offenders from English Ultramontane ladies, in- 
cluding the Dowager Marchioness of Lothian and Lady 
Herbert of Lea, who went over to Minister to offer them 
their congratulations on ' suffering in the holy cause.' But 
the statesman with the iron hand went forward with his 
work. 

The Emperor William opened the autumn session of the 
German Parliament on October 26. His Majesty said that 
important legislative labours awaited the Deputies. There 
were Bills forthcoming to secure unity of judicial pro- 
cedure, and Bills for completing the Imperial military system. 
The most important of these, a measure for organising the 
Landsturm, was afterwards relegated to a committee. There 
was a Budget Bill for Alsace and Lorraine, and there were 
also measures, drawn up hy the Federal Council, rendering 
Civil marriage obligatory throughout the Empire. A treaty 
establishing a postal union with Switzerland had been signed 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 255 

at Berne. His Majesty, in concluding his speech, spoke of the 
friendly relations of the Empire with foreign Powers, and 
said that the pacific intentions of his Government enabled it 
to disregard all unjust suspicions against its policy. This 
was an allusion to the action of certain French statesmen 
who, while their Government was professedly friendly with 
Germany, endeavoured to stir up the journals against her. 

A very lively scene occurred in the Diet when the estimates 
came to be discussed for the Federal Council. The Chancellor 
having been bitterly attacked by the Bavarian Clerical 
Deputy, Dr. Joerg rose to reply, and replied to some purpose. 
After touching upon a recent intervention by Germany in 
Spain, as well as the relations she bore towards Kussia, Prince 
Bismarck said: 'The preceding speaker alluded to the attempt 
on my life at Kissingen and designated Kullmann as a mad- 
man. He was not a madman. You don't want to have 
anything in common with Kullmann ? That I comprehend ; 
but he clings tightly to your coat-tails nevertheless. I asked 
him myself, " Why did you wish to kill me, who had done 
nothing to you ? " He replied, " On account of the Church 
L;i\vs, and because you have insulted my fraction." I asked, 
" Which is your fraction ? " And he answered, " The Centre 
fraction." ' Here cheers and great tumult ensued. ' You may 
thrust Kullmann away/ cried the Prince, * but he nevertheless 
belongs to you.' 

This remark was received with thunders of applause by 
the Eight and Left ; but the Centre became wild with rage. 
1 Fie ! fie ! ' they shouted, which is considered a very insult- 
ing expression in the German Parliament, and the President 
called the offending Deputies to order. Then Prince Bismarck 
added : ' I have no right to censure such exclamations as 
have been uttered by members on the second centre bench ; 
but the expression Pfui (fie) is an expression of disgust and 
contempt. I am myself not a stranger to these feelings, 
but I am too polite to express them.' More uproar followed, 
with a passage at arms between Herr Windthorst and the 



256 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Chancellor, after which the House broke up in the midst of 
bitter recriminations. 

In consequence of the strained relations with the Vatican, 
the German Government resolved to suppress the post of 
envoy to the Pope. This led to another vehement debate, 
in the course of which the Catholic Deputies Joerg and 
Windthorst made a severe attack upon the foreign policy 
of Prince Bismarck. The Prince replied with equal energy, 
strongly censuring the Catholic party. The Chancellor's 
speech closed with these remarkable sentences : ' I am in 
possession of conclusive evidence proving that the war of 
1870 was the combined work of Borne and France ; that the 
(Ecumenical Council was cut short on account of the war ; 
and that very different votes would have been taken by the 
Council had the French been victorious. I know from the 
very best sources that the Emperor Napoleon was dragged 
into the war very much against his will by the Jesuitical 
influences rampant at his Court ; that he strove hard to 
resist those influences ; that in the eleventh hour he deter- 
mined to maintain peace ; that he stuck to this determina- 
tion for half an hour; and that he was ultimately over- 
powered by persons representing Borne.' This speech was 
received with great satisfaction by a vast majority of the 
Deputies and the nation ; and it is said that it produced a 
deeper and more lasting impression than any yet delivered 
by Prince Bismarck since the commencement of the conflict 
with the Church. 

A great State trial drew the eyes of all Europe to Berlin 
towards the close of the year. The person implicated 
was a scion of the aristocracy, Count Harry von Arnim, 
who had formerly been an intimate friend of the German 
Chancellor. He had long been in the diplomatic service of 
Prussia, and had held posts of the highest distinction. 
Before the war of 1870 he was stationed at Borne, and after 
the conflict was appointed German ambassador at Paris. 
The Count was summoned from the French capital on the 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 257 

ground that he had not only openly expressed his dissent 
from the policy of Bismarck, hut had even furnished to 
Austrian and Belgian journals articles attacking him. He 
was arrested on Octoher 4, and further charged with hav- 
ing abstracted documents which he received in his official 
character as German ambassador in Paris. 

The Count's trial began on the 9th of December in the 
City Court of Berlin. That tribunal found that on two 
heads of accusation that of withholding papers acknow- 
ledged to be in his possession, and that of carrying off 
papers belonging to the Foreign Office there was not 
evidence sufficient to make Count Arnim guilty on a criminal 
charge. But on the remaining count that of taking with 
him from Paris to Carlsbad a series of despatches about 
ecclesiastical matters, which he said were not suited for the 
perusal of his successor at the Embassy he was found 
guilty. The Court sentenced him to three months' imprison- 
ment ; but from this sentence both the Public Prosecutor 
and Count Arnim decided to appeal. The trial made it 
manifest that the Count had hoped, in concert with the 
Conservative and Catholic opponents of the Chancellor, to 
drive the latter from his high position, and to become his 
successor. 

At this juncture, much to the dismay of the Court and 
the nation, Bismarck resigned the post of Chancellor. He 
probably took this step with the view of showing how 
dependent upon him Germany and Prussia were ; and the 
trial had furnished additional evidence of his sagacity and 
powers of statesmanship. The immediate cause of his resig- 
nation was a vote of the Diet liberating one Majuncke, an 
Ultramontane Deputy, who had been imprisoned for State 
offences. The Chancellor said he could not act if the Liberal 
party made common cause against him with his opponents. 
The Emperor absolutely declined to receive his resignation, 
however, and the Crown Prince paid him a special visit as 
a distinct mark of confidence. The Liberal party returned 



258 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

to their allegiance, and voted the Secret Service Fund of 
the Foreign Office as an emphatic mark of their confidence 
in the Chancellor. Thus, though hated by some of the 
Deputies, and the subject of plots against his life from 
without, the close of the year witnessed Bismarck stronger 
than ever, and more necessary to the Emperor and the State. 

Progress was made with important legislation when the 
German Diet opened early in January, 1875. The Land- 
sturm Bill was adopted by 198 against 54 votes. The effect 
of this new military measure was to extend the limits of 
liability for active service to all able-bodied Germans from 
between seventeen and forty-two years of age. The latter 
limit had previously been thirty-five years. The character 
of the Landsturm was also changed. It was now placed 
under the military law, and secured the protection which 
the law of nations confers in time of war upon organized 
armies in opposition to freeshooters. The Bill also facilitated 
the partial mobilization of the force. In the Landsturm 
the Diet created again the second ban King William gave 
up in 1860 under the more popular name connected with 
the days of the War of Independence. When the law came 
into operation, it was calculated that the disposable force of 
the German Empire would be raised to 2,800,000 men. 

The Diet also passed a comprehensive measure extending 
the Civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages from 
Prussia to the whole Empire. This law made the services 
of the clergy superfluous in the three great domestic events 
of human life. Children could enter upon their career with- 
out having been baptized into any religious denomination 
whatsoever ; marriages might be solemnized without the 
consent of the clergy, which was sometimes difficult to 
obtain in Catholic districts ; and persons who* had no 
recognised Christian belief or creed might be buried in 
consecrated ground. The bill also abolished clerical juris- 
diction in suits for divorce, and it allowed Catholic priests, 
monks, and nuns to marry with impunity. Of course there 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 259 

was a great outcry in some quarters against what was 
termed ' godless ' legislation. 

The conflict between Empire and Papacy was again re- 
newed with all its old bitterness. The Pope issued an 
Encyclical declaring the Falck Laws to he invalid and con- 
trary to the Divine institution of the Church, and Bismarck 
replied by giving the Ultramontanes yet another stringent 
Falck measure. In March a Bill was brought before the 
Prussian Diet for withdrawing the State grants from Koman 
Catholic bishops. In justifying the action of the Govern- 
ment, Prince Bismarck said they were simply doing their 
duty in guarding the independence of the State and the 
nation against the oppression of Rome and the universal 
supremacy of the Order of Jesuits, and they were doing it 
with God for King and Fatherland. On the passing of the 
Bill, the Roman Catholic bishops presented a petition direct 
to the Emperor, attacking the ecclesiastical policy of the 
Chancellor. They appealed to the loyalty of the Catholics 
to the Prussian crown, and called upon his Majesty to deny 
his sanction to the proposed law. Again the bishops laid 
themselves open to an Imperial rebuff. Replying through his 
Ministers, the Emperor expressed astonishment and regret 
that the petitioners should assert it to be incompatible with 
Christian faith to comply with laws which in other States 
had been obeyed for centuries. The bishops were also told 
that they must have known that the measure to which they 
asked his Majesty to refuse his sanction could only have 
reached the Diet with his express consent. The grants 
would never have originally been made if the bishops and 
clergy had reserved to themselves the right to obey the laws 
of the State or not, as they thought fit, according to the 
Papal will. As to the confusion likely to be caused by the 
law, those prelates who in 1870, before the proclamation of 
the Vatican resolutions, saw that such confusion would arise 
from those resolutions, were reminded that by remaining 
true to the convictions they then expressed, they ini^lit have 

9 

o 



260 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

saved the Fatherland from the troubles which had since 
occurred. 

But the priests went on remonstrating and ministers went 
on prosecuting, and the policy of the latter continued to gain 
ground. The States Grant Bill was triumphantly carried, 
and the Pope had himself to thank chiefly for this result. 
His last Encyclical had heen couched in tones so insulting to 
Germany that many Catholic Deputies, as well as members 
of the Upper House, openly condemned the conduct of the 
Vatican. It was remarked by one good Catholic that the 
Encyclical even exceeded in arrogance the dogma of infalli- 
bility, and that the Pope demanded in it a concession for a 
direct railway from Berlin to Canossa ! 

More ecclesiastical measures succeeded. One was passed 
for repealing articles 15, 16, and 18 of the Constitution. The 
first of these articles related to the independent administra- 
tion of ecclesiastical affairs, and another to the unimpeded 
intercourse between religious associations and their superiors, 
while the other articles abolished the system by which 
appointments to clerical offices required the confirmation of 
the Government. The articles were obviously not in accor- 
dance with recent legislation, and therefore required to be 
repealed. The new Bill provided also that the legal position 
in the State of the Evangelical and Catholic Churches and 
other religious societies should be regulated in conformity 
with the new laws. Another Bill introduced struck at the 
alarming growth of Roman Catholic convents and religious 
establishments in Prussia. It was enacted that all religious 
orders and societies of the Catholic Church, having the 
character of Orders, should be excluded from the Prussian 
territory, and the establishment of branches of the same be 
prohibited, that existing branches should not be allowed to 
receive new members, and should be dissolved within six 
months, and that associations engaged in education might 
have the period within which they were to be dissolved ex- 
tended to four years. This law was defended on several 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 261 

grounds, one being that the members of the various religious 
societies were passive instruments merely in the hands of 
their superiors, who were thereby empowered to destroy the 
basis of society, of the State, of the family, and of individual 
property. Bismarck was certainly fighting the battle with 
thoroughness, being convinced that he could not stop half- 
way in grappling with the evils which threatened the State. 

Before the Prussian Diet closed it completed the work of 
district organization begun in a previous session. By an Act 
now carried through both Houses there was secured for 
Prussian citizens and corporations the right of appeal to 
independent judges, while the unity and impartiality of the 
proceedings was guaranteed through the institution of a 
supreme tribunal in Berlin. There would be a two-fold 
check upon arbitrary action on the part of the Government 
and its officials, through the prohibition of unlawful decrees, 
and through the superior judges, who would have power to 
rectify unlawful measures. The arbitrariness of bureaucratic 
action was thus rendered impossible under the new legis- 
lation. 

As a pleasant contrast to heated debates in the Chambers, 
we find Berlin quite beside itself in May on the occasion of a 
visit by the Emperor of Eussia to his Imperial uncle. The 
city was profusely decorated, and banquets and receptions 
were the order of the day. On the llth a grand review was 
held at Potsdam, when upwards of 5000 men were drawn up 
in line in presence of the two Emperors, all the Princes and 
Princesses, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, and Field 
Marshals von Moltke and von Manteuffel. The Emperor 
William led the first regiment of the Guards, and the Em- 
peror of Eussia rode at the head of the Alexandra Eegiment. 
As the review ended, the Emperor Alexander, placing himself 
again at the head of his regiment, ordered it, as a mark of 
homage, to present arms before the Emperor William, upon 
which that venerable potentate, overcome with emotion, 
pressed the hand of his Imperial guest. The two Sovereigns 



262 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

then embraced in presence of the thousands of assembled 
spectators, who burst into enthusiastic cheers. The Czar's 
visit closed on the 13th, when the Emperor William bade his 
nephew an affectionate farewell. 

This meeting of Sovereigns was not without its political 
significance. There was a war scare on in Europe, in conse- 
quence of the friction between Germany and France and a 
closer approximation between Austria and Italy. The Czar 
and Great Britain were most desirous to preserve peace, and 
the former journeyed to Berlin with that object. In this he 
was successful, for, on receiving the Diplomatic Body just 
before leaving the Prussian capital, the Emperor Alexander 
told the representatives of the Powers that peace was 
ensured. 

Several celebrations of deep interest to Germans took 
place in the summer and autumn. On the 18th of June, 
which was the second centenary anniversary of the battle of 
Fehrbellin, the foundation-stone of a monument to the 
' Great Elector,' Frederick William, was laid by his name- 
sake, the Imperial Crown Prince. 'May this stone,' said 
the Prince, * which we to-day deposit in the soil, and the 
monument to be erected on this spot, be a witness to remote 
posterity of the sentiment which has always united my 
House and our people ! The monument must remind us of a 
time when our State was still small and hardly known. By 
trust in God, and by always doing our duty towards our 
narrower and our larger country, we have now reached the 
point of having the destinies of Germany placed in our 
hands for the well-being and prosperity of the Fatherland.' 
Then, unsheathing his sword, the Prince exclaimed, ' With 
this feeling, I will call on you to cry, " Long live his Majesty 
the Emperor and King ! " 

The Emperor himself was present at Detmold, on the 
16th of August, when the heroic statue to Hermann, the 
first and ancient liberator of the German tribes, was un- 
veiled. The monument had been thirty-seven years in 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 263 

building, and Ernst von Bandel, the sculptor, who had 
planned the work as a student, had grown grey while he 
executed it. The Emperor warmly grasped the artist by 
the hand, and congratulated him upon his success, and he 
was given a seat with the Princes and Princesses. At night 
bonfires were made, which vividly lit up the colossal and 
noble figure of Hermann, who, with uplifted sword, looked 
upon the battlefield of nineteen centuries ago. Nor was 
Baron Stein, the maker of modern Prussia, forgotten. A 
statue in his honour was subsequently erected on the 
Dohnhofsplatz in Berlin. The Emperor was unable to be 
present from indisposition, and Count von Moltke, who 
performed the ceremony, gave the signal for cheering by 
exclaiming, ' Long live his Majesty the Emperor ! ' 

Keturning to European questions, that there was now no 
danger of a rupture between Germany and Italy was proved 
by a visit which the Emperor William paid to King Victor 
Emmanuel at Milan in October. On several occasions during 
this visit, asseverations of close friendship were made. At 
a grand banquet given by the King to the Emperor on 
the 19th, the latter said, in reply to the toast of his health, 
which had been most warmly received, ' I am deeply moved 
by the reception I have met with on the part of your 
Majesty, and in this beautiful country. I know that the 
sympathy existing between Germany and Italy, and the 
personal relations of friendship so happily subsisting between 
us, will continue to be a guarantee for the preservation of 
the peace of Europe. I feel a pleasure in hoping that these 
relations will always remain the same, and it is with this 
wish I drink the health of your Majesty.' 

In the autumn session of the German Diet the question 
was raised of a gradual European disarmament. Austria, 
France, and Italy had been sounded upon the subject. It 
was not intended to propose the dissolution of all standing 
armies, but merely to reduce the number of soldiers actually 
under arms, which, in proportion to the productive powers of 



264 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the several countries, had attained a fearful height. Nothing 
definite was done in connection with the subject; but it 
was obvious that the German Parliament was in favour of 
military curtailment, inasmuch as it persistently refused to 
sanction any augmentation of the military estimates, not- 
withstanding the urgent remonstrances of the Minister of 
War. By way of showing the expensiveness of the British 
army, we may mention that while the total army and navy 
estimates of Germany were only 20,000,000 for 1,700,000 
men, the estimates for the English army and navy were 
24,800,000 for 535,000 men. Austria, too, had precisely 
the same number of men as England, and her expenditure 
was only 10,800,000. The whole of the armies of Europe, 
when on a war footing, numbered 9,333,000 men, with the 
prodigious annual cost of 136,804,000. 

One of the most memorable incidents in 1876 was a visit 
which Queen Victoria paid to Germany. Her Majesty 
stopped at Coburg, where she had an interview with the 
Emperor William. The purpose of this visit was asserted to 
be the regulation of the succession to the throne of Saxe- 
Coburg, Prince Alfred (the Duke of Edinburgh) being 
prospective heir to the Duke, who had no children. While 
at Coburg, the Queen was also visited by the Crown Princess 
of Germany, with some of her children. 

Prince Bismarck moved for a second time this year against 
Count Harry Arnim, who had evaded his previous sentence 
by leaving the country. He was now tried in connection 
with the publication of a pamphlet entitled Pro Nihilo, 
which created a great sensation, and which contained alleged 
false statements against the Emperor and his Government. 
It further made known to the detriment of the State what 
was entrusted to the Count in official confidence. The 
Chancellor was more embittered than ever against his 
adversary. A more serious prosecution having now been in- 
stituted, the trial ended on October 12, when Count Arnim 
was found guilty by the High Court of State on the charges 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 265 

of betraying his country, offending the Emperor, and 
insulting Prince Bismarck and the Foreign Office. He was 
sentenced to five years' penal servitude a terrible sentence 
to a man in the Count's position. 

The German Parliament passed the Penal Code Amend- 
ment Bill this year, and finally completed the Judicial 
Law, by which considerable progress was made towards the 
desired end of national legal unity. Prince Bismarck also 
brought forward a daring proposition for the acquisition of 
all the German railways by the State ; but it was so strongly 
opposed by the Southern States, that the bill founded upon 
his motion had to be restricted to Prussia alone. 

The great event of the year 1877 was the Kusso-Turkish 
war ; but Germany was not involved in the conflict, and the 
year so far as she was concerned was one of comparative 
quietude and peace. The 1st of January being the seven- 
tieth anniversary of the beginning of the Emperor William's 
military career, his Majesty, in commemoration thereof, held 
a reception of the officers of the German army. The 
Crown Prince delivered an address to his Imperial father 
and Sovereign, and spoke of him as the type of all soldierly 
virtues, and the creator of the military organization which 
had consolidated Prussia and raised Germany to her former 
greatness. The German army was at once the defender of 
the Fatherland and guardian of freedom and unity. The 
organization introduced by the Emperor had enabled Prussia 
to fulfil its mission, and in the last terrible war it became 
the common property of the nation. 

The Emperor, who was visibly moved, thus replied : c If all 
the gentlemen, whose presence here to-day affords me especial 
pleasure, agree with the sentiments expressed by my son, 
I may esteem myself all the more happy, and I first tender 
you my thanks on that account. As I look back upon the 
day when I entered the army, I cannot but remember the 
state of affairs which then existed, and therefore from the 
moment when my father's hand led me into the army, and 



266 WILLIAM /. AND THE QERMAN EMPIRE. 

throughout my life, up to the pleasurable occasion afforded 
me to-day, my first thought has been to give humble thanks 
to the Arbiter of our destinies. My position has led to the 
greater part of my life being devoted to the army. My 
gratitude is consequently due to all those who have accom- 
panied me in my military career and seconded my efforts. 
I always remember them with pleasure. I have to thank 
the valour, devotion, and constancy of the army for the 
position which I now occupy. From Fehrbellin to the last 
gloriously-ended war, the deeds of the Brandenburg-Prussian 
army are enrolled imperishably in the annals of the world's 
history. Prussia has become what she is chiefly through 
the army. I beg those who represent the army in my 
presence to-day to convey to all in the ranks my personal 
thanks, which they well merit, as I have been able to 
convince myself for a long time past of the sentiments and 
spirit by which the army is animated a spirit which, in 
conjunction with that of the German troops, has been 
successful in creating a United Germany and a united 
army.' 

As the Emperor's remark that his own position and that 
of Prussia were largely due to the army was perfectly true, 
it is of interest to note here the invention of the Krupp 
gun, which was perfected at this time. It was a formidable 
affair, as the French or any others who might attack 
Germany could easily find out for themselves. By this gun 
Herr Krupp completely revolutionised the whole system of 
fortification and siege operations. It had a fixed shield to 
prevent recoil, and in this lay its novelty and advantage. 
As there was no recoil, the gun remained steady, and no 
fresh aim was required. The result was that the guns could 
be fired very rapidly, and an experiment demonstrated that 
sixty shots could be fired in fifteen minutes. 

The elections to the German Keichstag again proved less 
favourable to the Government. In the previous Parliament 
they had an absolute majority of 100, but now it was reduced 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 267 

to 80. The Ultramontanes lost considerably at the polling 
booths, while there was a considerable Conservative reaction, 
as well as a notable growth in the Socialist vote. During 
the session a Bill was passed transferring the right to 
legislate for Alsace-Lorraine from the German to the Alsace 
Parliament. The Keichstag also decided that the seat of the 
Supreme Tribunal of Germany should be at Leipsic, and not 
at Berlin as desired by the Prussian Minister of Justice. 

Great rejoicings throughout Germany marked the Emperor's 
80th birthday, which occurred on the 22nd of March. From 
an early hour, as stated by the Times' correspondent in 
Berlin, congratulatory letters, bouquets, corn-flour wreaths, 
oak-leaf garlands, and other numerous gifts poured in at the 
Imperial Palace. Though there were many hundreds of 
written and telegraphic addresses, the Emperor opened them 
all with his own hand, and in many instances sent immediate 
telegraphic replies. By nine o'clock, all the windows of the 
Palace were adorned with birthday bouquets, and the 
Emperor now and then appeared behind the fragrant 
rampart to bow to the cheering multitude in the square. 
As usual on festive occasions, the ancient standard of the 
Holy Koman Empire floated over the Imperial Palace. The 
Crown Prince and Princess, with the Koyal children, waited 
upon their beloved father and grandfather to offer him their 
congratulations. They were succeeded by the Princes and 
Princesses of the blood, and after these illustrious personages 
came the Court, the Ambassadors, Ministers, Generals, 
Envoys, and Federal and Parliamentary deputations. 

The Emperor went to the old Palace at three o'clock, 
where the German Sovereigns, represented by the Grand 
Duke of Baden, the King of Saxony, the Grand Duke of 
Mecklenburg, and the Grand Duke of Saxe, were already 
assembled. His Majesty was presented with a huge oil 
painting, by Werner, commemorating King William's pro- 
clamation as German Emperor at Versailles on the 17th 
of January, 1871. In presenting this historical picture, 



268 WILLIAM L AND THE GEItMAN EMPIRE. 

which contains several hundred portraits, the King of Saxony 
said: 'The day on which your Majesty celehrates your 
eightieth "birthday, in unimpaired vigour and health, has been 
selected hy the German Sovereigns and Republics to express 
their joy at this happy event, and their attachment to your 
Imperial Majesty. This painting represents one of the most 
important occurrences in the history of Germany, and in the 
eventful life of your Imperial Majesty. It perpetuates the 
moment when your Majesty, complying with the expressed 
desire of the German Sovereigns and Republics, revived the 
Imperial dignity lost to our nation at a period of French 
usurpation. Your Majesty by this act sanctioned the result 
of our common struggles and victories. If we may add a 
wish, it is this: that your Majesty may reign in undisturbed 
peace for many years to come over the Empire re-established 
on the battlefield. May God grant it ! ' 

There were few Germans, official or otherwise, who did 
not celebrate this auspicious event. The various sections of 
the German Parliament dined together in amity, and all the 
Ministers received. Divine Service was held in the churches, 
and addresses delivered in all public and private schools. 
Every city and town in the Empire had its congratulatory 
celebrations. The Emperor scarcely knew what to give 
Prince Bismarck on this occasion, but he bestowed upon him 
and his heirs the hereditary title of Pomeranian Master of 
the Hunt. Dr. Lauer, his Majesty's physician, was created 
a Privy Councillor and granted the title of Excellency, 
which the Emperor jocularly told him years before should be 
his if he made him an octogenarian. The most interesting 
of the numerous presents received by the Emperor were an 
engraving and a book, the former executed by Prince Henry, 
and the latter bound by Prince Waldemar, the younger sons 
of the Crown Prince. It is a custom with the dynasty that 
each of its Princes should learn a craft. The Emperor, for 
example, is a glazier, and the Crown Prince a compositor. 

A few days after these rejoicings, there was another 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 269 

acute Chancellor crisis. Bismarck had had some difficulty 
with General Stosch, Chief of the Admiralty, and as the 
Prince was in ill-health, and had sustained more official 
friction than he could well bear, he tendered his resignation 
on the 1st of April, and asked for permission to retire 
immediately. A medical certificate was put in, showing that 
the Chancellor's continuance in office would be seriously 
prejudicial to his health, and might endanger his life. But 
the Emperor would not listen to Bismarck's resignation ; he 
would grant him four months' leave of absence instead ; and 
after much negotiation this settlement of the difficulty was 
agreed upon. The Prince retired until August; Herr 
Hofmann, President of the Imperial Chancery, took his place 
in the Department of Home Affairs ; Herr von Bulow went 
to the Department of Foreign Affairs ; and Herr Camphausen 
represented him in the Prussian Cabinet. 

The Emperor William paid a visit to his new dominions of 
Alsace and Lorraine in May, arriving at Strasburg on the 
1st. In reply to an address from the Alsace-Lorraine Com- 
mittee, he urged the wisdom of resignation. The middle 
classes were very enthusiastic in their reception of his 
Majesty ; but the upper and lower classes rather held aloof; 
nevertheless, the Kaiser expressed himself agreeably surprised 
at his cordial reception ; and it was said that nothing to be 
compared with the festive celebration was ever witnessed in 
Strasburg under the French regime. No expense was spared 
to make the Emperor's visit successful, and every facility was 
afforded to the peasantry to come into the capital and enjoy 
themselves. The cathedral was splendidly illuminated. 
Metz refused to be pacified, however; the Town Council 
would vote no money for the Emperor's reception, and as the 
cathedral was injured by the German illuminations, a sullen 
feeling was created amongst the inhabitants. 

The first week of the following September was called the 
' Kaiser week,' as it was given up to celebrations and 
festivities at Dusseldorf, Darmstadt, Cologne, &c. On the 



270 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

8th the Emperor arrived at Benrath Castle, the seat of the 
hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern, nine miles from Dusseldorf. 
On his way he visited the famous establishment of Krupp at 
Essen, where he witnessed the performances of the great 
hammer ' Fritz ' on a mass of glowing metal weighing 37J 
tons, which was to be the core of a thousand-pound cannon. 
An English correspondent wrote : 

* The Emperor attended the Sedan festival at Essen, dined 
at the villa of Herr Krupp, and afterwards conferred a 
decoration upon him. Monday was the day of the Kaiser 
parade, when all the world and his wife assembled at the in- 
spection field, a wide stretch of sand about three miles north 
of the town. The Emperor and Empress, Crown Prince and 
Princess, with their eldest daughter, Princes Carl, Frederick 
Charles, and Albert, Field Marshals Moltke and Manteuffel, 
the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg, Sachsen, Oldenburg, the 
Princes of Wied, Lippe, Schaumburg, &c., arrived at the 
field about ten o'clock. The Crown Princess was in the 
uniform of her Hussar regiment. There was a very large 
staff of foreign officers, from Great Britain, France, Austria, 
Italy, Eussia, Sweden, and a dusky Major from Japan. Our 
own country sent the largest contingent, consisting of Lord 
Airey, the Duke of Manchester, Colonels Wilkinson, Graham, 
&c. The troops inspected consisted of the Seventh Army 
Corps, eight regiments of infantry and one of rifles, the 
cuirassier regiment, two of Hussars, one of Lancers, and two 
batteries of field artillery, with a train battalion. They 
marched past first in companies, then in brigades, the 
artillery, according to German fashion, coming last. The 
marching of the infantry was said to be very good, and the 
cavalry seemed in excellent condition. Besides the regular 
troops, 18,000 in number, there were at least as many old 
soldiers on the field, with the flags and insignia of their 
Krieger-Vereine, who towards the close forgot all discipline 
and completely mobbed their old leader. During the week 
the Empress and Crown Prince have visited the studios of 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 271 

the principal artists, the picture galleries, and hospitals and 
public schools. And the army of regular troops was nothing 
in comparison with the invading host of enthusiastic Germans 
which has streamed into the town from every quarter. On 
the day of the Emperor's triumphal progress through the 
illuminated streets, it is reckoned that 300,000 strangers 
thronged the thoroughfares, and although trains were 
despatched in rapid succession throughout the night, daylight 
found thousands the next morning still in the streets. Such 
scenes were repeated below Cologne, then in Baden, and 
lastly at Darmstadt.' 

Though eighty years of age, the Emperor was as vigorous 
as many men at half his age, and he relaxed few of his 
ordinary occupations and amusements. In the autumn he 
went upon his usual shooting excursion into Silesia. A con- 
temporary observed that he ' usually arrives with the invited 
guests the evening before the ~battue, and proceeds to the 
hunting castle of Konigswusterhausen, where, after supper, 
during which the finest horn-music from Berlin is always 
played, the whole company assembles as a smoking college, 
in the same hall in which it was held at the time of Frederick 
William I. This hall, in the second storey of the castle, is 
decorated with stags' horns, and stuffed boars' heads, being 
trophies of animals killed by the Emperor William. It 
contains the same peculiar chairs and the long oaken table 
which were in use there 170 years ago. There the merry 
company relate amusing hunting stories, drink beer out of 
old earthenware mugs, and smoke Turkish tobacco out of 
long Dutch clay-pipes till a late hour, just as it was in the 
days of Frederick William I.' 

The Prussian Diet was considerably exercised in October 
and November owing to the non-fulfilment of the Government 
promises to complete the work of administrative reform 
throughout the provinces. Prince Bismarck had not returned 
to Berlin for the opening of the Diet, owing to differences 
with Ministers, it was believed, on certain Church questions. 



272 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

But several speakers of the Opposition declared that he never 
meant to carry out his promises in the former direction, and 
that administrative reform was a dead letter. The season 
closed leaving this and other matters, as well as the personnel 
of the Ministry, in a very unsatisfactory condition. 

On the 1 st of Novemher there passed away Field Marshal 
Count Wrangel, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. He 
was the oldest soldier in the Prussian service, and was 
familiarly known as ' Papa Wrangel.' He was present in the 
commencement of his career at the battle of Leipsic, and his 
last military service was in 1864, when he commanded at the 
beginning of the second Danish campaign, and was created a 
Count. When very ill, the old hero declined to keep his bed ; 
he would persist in lying on a sofa in full uniform, saying 
that a soldier must always hold himself in readiness to wait 
on his Sovereign, should he be summoned by him. It is such 
tough customers as Count Wrangel who are the strength of 
Prussia. The Emperor attended the old warrior's funeral 
obsequies in Berlin (though he was really buried at Stettin), 
following on foot a portion of the way. His participation in 
the procession was a very unusual mark of respect, as the 
etiquette is that Sovereigns should only follow Sovereigns or 
widows of Sovereigns. 

Socialism had long caused the German Government deep 
anxiety and concern, and in 1878 it became necessary to take 
some active steps for its suppression. The immediate cause 
for this was an attempted assassination of the Emperor. While 
driving along Unter den Linden on the llth of May, a man 
came up behind the carriage, and fired twice at the Emperor- 
The aged monarch was heard to exclaim, ' Is it possible that 
those shots are intended for me ? ' The assassin, who was 
now in the crowd, fired two more shots before he could be 
secured. He proved to be one Heinrich Max Hodel, a man 
of no importance, who had thought to foist himself into 
notoriety by his action. Hodel was brought to trial and 
executed. The German nation showed its joy over the 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 273 

Emperor's escape by numberless addresses of congratulation, 
and amongst the most gratifying of foreign messages was one 
from Marshal Macmahon, President of the French Eepublic. 

In consequence of the Hodel attempt, the Government 
introduced in the Eeichstag an Anti-Socialist Bill of a very 
stringent character. It was strongly opposed by Bismarck's 
own friends, the National Liberals, Herr Yon Bennigsen 
making a very effective onslaught upon it, and Dr. Lasker 
showing that, if passed, the Bill would either not work at all, 
or would have to be extended considerably beyond its present 
scope. The Government sustained a disastrous defeat, the 
bill being rejected by 251 to only 57 votes. The measure 
was withdrawn, and the Parliamentary session prematurely 
closed. 

But Bismarck soon found plenty of ground for a war 
against the Socialists. On the 2nd of June, which was 
Sunday, a far more serious attack than Hodel's was made upon 
the Emperor. The details were thus given in a notification 
issued by the Berlin Prefect of Police : ' As the Emperor 
was passing through the street Unter den Linden, at about 
three o'clock in the afternoon, two shots were fired from the 
second floor of the house No. 18, Unter den Linden, and His 
Majesty was struck in several places. The assassin is Karl 
Edouard Nobiling, a doctor of philology and an agriculturist ; 
he was born on April 10, 1848, at Kollno, near Birnbaum, 
has been living in Berlin during the last two years, and has 
resided at No. 18, Unter den Linden since the beginning of 
January last. Immediately after the deed was committed, 
the would-be assassin was seized, and is now under arrest. 
The two shots at the Emperor were fired by him from the 
window of a room on the second floor with a double-barrelled 
gun loaded with shot. On being arrested he inflicted severe 
wounds upon himself in the head, after first firing with a 
ready loaded revolver upon the persons who forced their way 
into his room. Nobiling confesses his crime, but absolutely 
refuses to make any statement as to the motives which 

T 



274 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

induced him to commit it. The Emperor, according to a 
bulletin which has been issued, is wounded by about thirty 
small shot in the face, head, both arms, and the back.' 

Unparalleled excitement prevailed in Berlin when the news 
spread from one quarter to another. The Emperor, who was 
alone, was driven back to the Palace and conveyed to bed, where 
a careful examination was made of his wounds. Some thirty 
grains of small shot were extracted, and then the operation 
was suspended, as the wounds caused the skin and muscles 
to swell. His Majesty was quite calm and composed through- 
out, and in the interval sent a message to the Shah of Persia 
regretting his inability to dine with him as previously 
arranged. It appears that Nobiling, who was a very young 
man, had been refused employment in the Ministry of 
Agriculture. He was a gentleman of a good military family, 
cultivated, and well to do, belonging to one of the darker 
Socialist sects. He died of his self-inflicted wounds. The 
Emperor gradually recovered, but during the time he was 
incapacitated the Crown Prince assumed the functions of 
Government, and discharged them during the Congress of 
Berlin, which was just about to assemble. When the 
Congress met to discuss the Eastern Question, England was 
represented by Lords Beaconsfield and Salisbury, and under 
the treaty which was concluded England acquired the island 
of Cyprus. 

Prince Bismarck, in consequence of Nobiling's attempt upon 
the life of the Emperor, obtained the consent of the Federal 
Council to dissolve Parliament. The new elections were held 
on the 30th of July, and the supplementary elections on 
August 17th. Every effort was made to defeat the Socialists, 
and although they polled larger numbers they returned fewer 
members. The following were the final returns : 60 German 
Imperialists, 50 Conservatives, 97 National Liberals, 99 
Ultramontanes, 25 Progressists, 15 Poles, 9 Guelphs, 9 Social 
Democrats, 3 South German Democrats, 4 Alsatian Autono- 
mists, 6 Alsatian Protesters, 1 Dane, and 19 Independents, 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 275 

most of whom, however, were in sympathy with the Liberals. 
The Conservatives largely increased their strength as com- 
pared with the last Parliament, while the Liberals were 
greatly weakened ; and the Socialists only returned nine 
members instead of their previous twelve. 

The Emperor's speech, which was read by deputy at the 
opening of the German Diet on the 9th of September, dealt 
chiefly with the attempts made upon His Majesty's life, and 
the Anti-Socialist bill prepared by the Government, which 
was shortly to be laid before the House. Hope was con- 
fidently expressed that the newly-elected Deputies would not 
refuse to grant the means of giving the peaceful development 
of the Empire the same security against attacks from within 
as it enjoyed against those from without ; that the spread of 
the pernicious Socialist movement would be arrested; and 
that those who had been led away by it might be brought 
back to the right path. When the Anti-Socialist Bill was 
introduced on the 10th, Count Stolberg, as spokesman for 
the Government, admitted that the measure was one of 
great severity, but added that half measures would only do 
harm. The Ultramontane party opposed the bill, and re- 
commended its reference to a select committee. Bebel, a 
Socialist member, delivered an able speech and denied that 
there was any connection between social democracy and the 
crimes of Hodel and Nobiling. Prince Bismarck vindi- 
cated himself from the reproach of having formerly courted 
the Socialists. Admitting his intimacy with Lassalle, he 
said that that prominent Socialist was deeply imbued with 
national and even with monarchical principles. 

The bill was ultimately referred to a committee of 21 
members. When the measure some time afterwards came 
back for its third reading it seemed to be in considerable 
danger. The Chancellor, however, flung himself into the 
breach, and asked the Deputies whether they were more 
afraid of him and of the Federal Government than of the 
Socialists; and he admitted that his aim went beyond the 

T 2 



276 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

present measure, for he wished to unite parties in order to 
form a bulwark against all tempests to which the empire was 
exposed. The bill passed by 221 votes to 149. By this 
measure it was left to the authorities to decide what Socialist 
and Communist doctrines were, who Socialist and Communist 
writers were, and to take the most peremptory measures for 
their suppression. The bill came into force immediately, and 
four clubs in Berlin and a large number of publications were 
at once suppressed by the police. In other places it was as 
promptly and rigorously enforced. 

The Emperor had so far recovered that on the 26th of 
September, together with the Empress and the Crown Prince, 
he attended the inauguration, at Cologne, of the monument to 
Frederick William III., the Emperor's father ; it was under 
this sovereign that the Ehine province was added to Prussia 
in 1815. After an absence of three months from the capital, 
His Majesty returned to Berlin on the 5th of December. 
Shortly before his arrival, the Minister of State notified, 
under the Anti-Socialist Act, that for one year no person 
suspected of designs on the public safety would be permitted 
to reside in Berlin, Chaiiottenburg, Potsdam, or the neigh- 
bourhood ; that the carrying of arms, except by soldiers or 
licensed persons, was prohibited ; that no explosive projectiles 
might be sold or carried ; and that ' permits ' to carry arms 
would*be granted only by the police. In resuming the reins 
of Government the Emperor issued an order publicly thank- 
ing the Crown Prince for the services he had rendered during 
six important months. Before the close of the year, 45 
incriminated newspapers and 171 associations had been 
suppressed, and 150 books and pamphlets prohibited. The 
difficulties of another character with the Papacy had not 
been adjusted, it having been found impossible as yet to 
establish a modus vivendi between the Eomish Church and 
the German Government. 

A painful sensation was created throughout Germany by 
the terrible collision which occurred on the 31st of May, 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 277 

between two German ironclads, the Grosser Kurfurst and the 
Konig Wilhelm. While advancing in two columns with 
another vessel up channel, the German squadron met two 
sailing vessels, to avoid which the Grosser Kurfurst had to 
give way, and consequently ported her helm. The Konig 
Wilhelm, which was steering parallel with the Grosser 
Kurfurst, endeavoured to pass one of the sailing vessels, hut 
finding there was not time, put her helm hard-a-port, and 
came into colision with the Grosser Kurfurst, which, having 
resumed her original course, was now lying right across the 
bows of the Konig Wilhelm. The latter vessel struck the 
other between the main and mizen masts, and inflicted such 
injuries upon her that she sank in about eight minutes, with 
all on board. Every possible assistance was rendered in 
saving the men, but the boats on one side of the Grosser 
Kurfurst had been swept away, and those on the other side 
could not be got at. The Folkestone fishing fleet, which 
was passing, rendered valuable service, and saved between 
eighty and ninety lives. Out of a total crew of 497, however, 
only 216 were rescued, and three afterwards died from 
exhaustion. The Konig Wilhelm made into Portsmouth 
Harbour. The Emperor and all the members of the Imperial 
family were much moved on learning this disastrous news, 
and instituted minute inquiries into the catastrophe. 

The Parliamentary history of the year 1879 was notable 
chiefly for two things an announcement by Prince Bismarck 
of a startling change of political view, and the collapse of 
the National Liberal party. The Chancellor exhibited a 
spirit of opportunism in the foreign relations of Germany, 
and a spirit of reaction in home politics. Alarmed by the 
spread of Socialism and Eationalism, he resolved to abandon 
the National Liberal party, which had been largely his own 
creation, and under which he had ruled for ten years past. 
The time had now come when he must choose between his 
old supporters and the work as he read it of preserving 
and consolidating the interests of the Empire. Several 



278 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

incidents precipitated a declaration on the Chancellor's part 
of his new departure. The German Eeichsrath unanimously 
refused permission to the Government to imprison two 
Socialist deputies who returned to Berlin after their 
expulsion ; the clerical and Conservative press rejoiced over 
the disintegration of the National Liberal party ; and three 
important members of the Government Herr Hobrecht, 
Minister of Finance, Dr. Falck, Minister of Public Worship, 
and Herr Friedenthal, Minister of Agriculture, tendered 
their resignation. Bismarck's acceptance of these resigna- 
tions was in itself significant, and on the 9th of July 
he openly announced his separation from the National 
Liberal party, and his adherence to the Clerical-Conservative 
coalition. The statement fell like a thunderbolt upon 
German and European Liberals, for it signified an abandon- 
ment of all progressive ideas affecting free trade, liberty of 
speech, education, liberty of the press, &c. Various reasons 
were given for this change of front, but Bismarck has 
been a statesman who could always look a long way ahead, 
and his real object now was to dissever himself from -any 
political party and to stand alone, putting forward as his 
one end and aim the superiority of Germany as a whole. 
When the elections came on in October, the National Liberals 
were scattered as chaff before the wind, losing no fewer than 
one hundred seats, and amongst the rejected was their able 
leader, Dr. Lasker. 

In the meantime the campaign against the Socialists was 
pushed vigorously forward. The measures of the Govern- 
ment were unquestionably hard and cruel in many instances, 
but they were successful far more successful than Kussia's 
repressive policy against Nihilism. It is said that when the 
Anti-Socialist Law finally passed, Bismarck chuckled and 
rubbed his hands, exclaiming, l Now for the pig sticking.' 
By the end of 1879 there had already been issued 457 
injunctions under the ''pig-sticking' law. Of these, 189 
were to clubs and societies ; 58 were to periodical publi- 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 279 

cations, and 210 to non-periodical publications. The 
liberty of the press and of speech in Parliament were both 
curtailed. 

The G-overnment now abandoned the policy of free trade, 
for the Chancellor professed to be guided by the interests 
of the country and not by abstract principles. At least that 
was his boast. At the close of February, speaking in the 
debate on the Commercial Treaty with Austria, Bismarck 
said that the necessity for protecting home industries must 
be considered in every such engagement, although he was 
not altogether opposed to commercial treaties. But he 
frankly added that l he had no wish to deny that he had 
changed his views in regard to commercial policy.' The 
Government in fact had reverted to the system of Protection. 
The Chancellor, having abandoned his old allies the Liberals, 
now relied upon the Agrarians, Protectionists, Ultramontanes 
and the Conservatives generally throughout Germany. 
Dr. Windthorst became a supporter of the Ministry, and an 
Ultramontane was elected Yice-President of the Eeichstag. 
No wonder that the clericals exulted over these things, 
asserting that after all the man of ' blood and iron* had 
taken his first step towards Canossa. As the result of 
Bismarck's volte-face the Corn Duties were passed by 226 to 
109, and a protective tariff and tariff law was passed in July, 
after a three months' debate, by 217 to 117 votes. 

At the ensuing Prussian elections the Government secured 
a great victory. The Conservatives of all shades returned 
numbered 170, or more than double their previous strength ; 
the Ultramontanes numbered 95, a gain of 6 ; National 
Liberals 97, a loss of 78 ; Liberals 17 ; Progressists 34, a 
loss of 34; Poles, 18; Danes, 2; Guelph, 1; Social 
Democrat, 1 ; and Christian Democrat, 1. As 217 was a 
majority of the whole House, the Conservatives only required 
the aid of fifty Ultramontane votes to command a working 
majority, and of this support they were practically assured. 
The Chancellor was again able to ride the storm, and to 



280 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

smile at the anger and opposition of those who cried, ' Away 
with him ! ' So far from going under, when confronted 
with apparently insuperable difficulties, ' he had reappeared 
on a higher vantage ground than ever, supported by the 
overwhelming majority of the German nation, and subse- 
quently indefinitely reinforced by the moral and political 
support of the Austrian Empire.' The minister had forsaken 
the KulturJcampf, but not before it had struck its roots 
deeply into the German soil. This Kulturkampf ' was the 
resultant of the spontaneous development of both German 
Protestant, and Catholic education, fostered and cherished by 
all the German powers great and small, ever since the battle 
of Jena. It was this general educational impulse which led 
without bloodshed to the consolidation of Germany. It was 
no sudden creation of Prince Bismarck's: generations of 
German statesmen and German patriots had prepared the 
instrument to his hands.' 

With regard to Germany's relations towards the Vatican, 
the accession of the new Pope Leo XIII. had been viewed 
with disfavour by the Ultramontanes but with com- 
placency by the German Government. Under no circum- 
stances would Bismarck relax his hostility to that party, 
which set at naught the supremacy of the civil authority, 
yet within proper limits he was far from being averse to 
the conclusion of a peace with Kome. But this was not yet 
in sight. 

One of the most important measures adopted by the 
German Parliament was that for finally regulating the 
Government of Alsace-Lorraine. The question had given 
rise to several discussions, and the Emperor was desirous of 
bringing the matter to a conclusion. After his satisfactory 
visit to the conquered provinces, His Majesty had written 
that ' it confirmed him in the belief that the intelligent efforts 
of the Government and the growing confidence of the popu- 
lation would soon join Alsace and Lorraine with Germany 
in indissoluble bonds.' Prince Bismarck brought forward 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 281 

the expected regulation bill on the 15th of May, It was 
adopted almost in its entirety, and passed on June 23 by a 
unanimous vote of all parties, except that of the French 
section. It was duly signed by the Emperor, and an 
Imperial decree was issued ordering that the law should go 
into operation on October 1st. By this measure Alsace- 
Lorraine remained an Imperial possession, and became virtu- 
ally a federal state, of which the Emperor of Germany as 
such, and not in his capacity of King of Prussia, is the ruler. 
The Emperor appoints a Stadtholder, who resides in Stras- 
burg, and may at any time be recalled. The Stadtholder does 
not exercise the functions of the Sovereign, but merely those 
which were hitherto exercised with regard to the Eeichsland 
by the Imperial Chancellor and by the Lord-Lieutenant of 
Alsace-Lorraine. A ministry was to be constituted, and the 
State was to have a representative in the Federal Council, 
but no vote. General E. F. von Manteuffel was appointed 
first Stadtholder of the Keichsland. 

The Emperor's speech from the throne at the opening of 
the Diet had made some references to the northern part of 
Schleswig. This had long been a vexed question, but a 
treaty between Austria and Prussia was now ratified which 
effected a settlement. Article V. of the treaty of Prague 
was altered to read ' His Majesty the Emperor of Austria 
transfers to His Majesty the King of Prussia all his rights to 
the Duchies Holstein and Schleswig acquired by the Peace 
of Vienna of October 30, 1864.' The provision that the 
Northern Districts of Schleswig should be ceded to Denmark 
if a vote of jthe people indicated their desire for this, was 
abolished. As the Emperor stated in his speech, his Govern- 
ment had failed in repeated attempts to settle the question 
with Denmark, and meanwhile the people affected by the 
promise were kept in uncertainty. The Schleswig-Holstein 
dispute was thus finally set at rest. 

The German Government at this time paid great attention 
to its navy, and by the Samoan treaty and other measures 



282 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

showed its intention to protect, and possibly to promote, the 
extension of German commerce, now rapidly and legitimately 
extending along the sea-board of the world. One incident 
in connection with the navy which brought up mournful 
recollections was the court martial apppointed to inquire into 
the cause of the Folkestone disaster to the Grosser Kurfurst. 
Kear- Admiral Batsch was sentenced to imprisonment in a 
fortress for six months, and Captain Klauser to one month, 
while i Captain Kuhne was acquitted. Admiral Batsch was 
afterwards pardoned by the Emperor. 

It is worthy of note that a universal Judicature Act was 
promulgated within three or four years of the Constitution 
of the German Empire. Other kingdoms and empires have 
failed to achieve such a vast legal reform in the course of 
centuries ; but in 1879 the twenty-seven States of which 
Germany is composed, together with a variety of legally 
independent provinces, saw put into force a universal and 
compulsory Imperial Judicature Act. And during the session 
which witnessed the passing of this Act, a second very 
important measure was carried for the acquisition of all the 
railways, under certain conditions, by the State. 

Many incidents of a personal interest, partly pleasurable 
and partly sad, occurred during the year in connection with 
the Emperor William and his family. On the 13th of March 
there was celebrated at Windsor the marriage of the Duke 
of Connaught with Princess Louise Marguerite of Prussia, 
daughter of Prince Frederick Charles. The Crown Prince 
represented the Emperor and Empress at the ceremony, 
which was attended by Her Majesty Queen Victoria and all 
the members of the Eoyal family. The ' Ked Prince ' gave 
his daughter away, the Prince of Wales produced the wedding- 
ring, and, after the nuptial knot had been tied, the Queen 
warmly embraced the bride. 

Only a few days subsequent to this joyous ceremony there 
was mourning in the German Imperial Court. Prince 
Waldemar of Prussia, third son of the Crown Prince, and 



CONSOLIDATING THE EMPIRE. 283 

grandson of Queen Victoria, died on March 27 at Berlin, in 
his eleventh year, of heart disease. The attack began on 
March 24, when the symptoms were apparently those of a 
slight attack of diphtheria. No grave apprehensions were 
entertained until the night of the 26th, when the Prince 
suddenly became worse, and he died at half-past three on 
the following morning. The young Prince was a great 
favourite with his Imperial grandfather. 

No little concern was caused by three several accidents 
which occurred to the Emperor himself during the year. 
On the 7th of March he was walking along a waxed floor in 
the palace at Berlin when he slipped down and slightly 
bruised himself. He passed a quiet night, and was able to 
transact business the next day. It subsequently transpired, 
however, that His Majesty lost consciousness for a few 
moments when he fell, and had to be assisted up by his 
attendants. The Emperor's medical advisers recommended 
him to spend a little time at Wiesbaden. On the 2nd of 
June, while walking in the Babelsburg Palace, he again 
slipped, and in his fall injured the knee-cap. For a third 
time, as he was leaving the theatre at Berlin on the 21st of 
December, he slipped on the staircase, and in falling again 
injured his knee. Notwithstanding his advanced age, thanks 
to a splendid constitution, His Majesty soon recovered from 
his injuries. 

The Emperor and Empress celebrated their golden wedding 
on the llth of June, on which occasion they received the 
representatives of all the European Courts. Public rejoicings 
were general throughout the Empire, and large sums of 
money were collected for the endowment of charitable insti- 
tutions in commemoration of the festival. Shortly before 
this event the Emperor had become a great-grandfather by 
the birth of the first child of the heir apparent to the Duchy 
of Saxe-Meiningen, who in 1878 was married to the eldest 
daughter of the Crown Prince of Prussia. 

Two meetings of Imperial Sovereigns took place in 1879. 



284 WILLIAM I. AND THE QERMAN EMPIEE. 

In June the Emperor of Austria visited the Emperor 
William at Gastein. For some time back there had been 
rumours of a still closer rapprochement between the two em- 
pires, and it Was now stated that the interview could only 
be taken to imply the strengthening of the bonds of amity 
between Germany and Austria. Kussian journalists were at 
this juncture waging a very bitter controversy with the 
German press. The St. Petersburg Gazette even advised the 
Eussian Government to ' leave the Bosphorus and the Danube 
for the present to their fate, and to tackle Prussia, the 
Imperial Chancellor having, in the matter of the Eastern 
question, wholly leaned to the side of the western Powers.' 

Kussian vituperation was seen to be groundless, however, 
in September, when the Emperors of Kussia and Germany 
had an interview at Alexandrowa, in Poland. The cordial 
relations subsisting between the two monarchs were now still 
further cemented ; and indeed for the moment no cloud was 
looming over the European horizon. Each Empire and State 
was busied with its normal duty of encouraging internal 
development and national progress. 



( 285 ) 



CHAPTER XIV. 



EUROPE has seldom gone long without ' wars or rumours of 
wars. 1 There are in every State men who delight to fan the 
flame of international discord, either for individual or na- 
tional purposes. It was natural, perhaps, that the great 
progress which Germany had made in the decade that ended 
with 1879, should have stirred feelings of jealousy amongst 
neighbouring Powers. Consequently, either Germany was 
always asserted to be contemplating mischief against other 
European States, or they were said to be conspiring against 
her. 

Although, therefore, the year 1880 opened in quietude, it 
was not long before another Eussian scare was exploited. 
The Northern Power was pointed to as the sole element of 
disturbance in Europe, and Prince Bismarck expressed his 
distrust of her. France was making advances to Eussia, and 
tot render these innocuous the German Chancellor cultivated 
cordial relations with the new Eadical French Ministry. The 
massing of Eussian troops in the Western provinces of the 
Czar's dominions, and the contemplated new fortifications, 
gave Germany some concern, so she gently sounded Austria 
as to whether this was the right thing to do. Then, too, 
France was rapidly perfecting her military organization, and 
the old saying of the great Napoleon was recalled, tha 
Europe would be either Eepublican or Cossack within fifty 
years of his time. When Eussia perceived that Bismarck 
was endeavouring to make friends elsewhere, great chagrin 
was expressed in St. Petersburg, where it had become an 



286 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

article of faith that Germany should adhere to her traditional 
policy of union with Russia. One thing was proved heyond 
question, that, whatever might be the cause, the Berlin 
Chancellor was now assiduously supporting the Austro- 
German alliance concluded in the previous year. 

The scare passed over, but ' it's an ill wind that blows 
nobody any good.' The military party at Berlin scored 
largely by the false rumours, for they enabled the Govern- 
ment to bring forward with some success their new Army 
Bill. This measure, by far the most important of the year, 
was early laid before the Federal Council. It provided that 
from April 1, 1881, the infantry was to be formed into 503 
battalions, the field artillery into 340 batteries, the foot 
artillerylnto 31 battalions, and the sappers and miners into 19. 
At the same time several new regiments were to be created 
viz., 11 infantry, 1 field artillery regiment, of 8 batteries, 32 
field batteries, 1 foot artillery, and 1 sapper regiment. The 
increase of the expenditure for the different German Govern- 
ments was calculated as follows: for Prussia, 12,773,896 
marks ; for Saxony, 1,822,000 marks ; for Wurtemburg, 
547,242 marks; and for Bavaria, 2,170,104 marks, giving a 
total of upwards of 17,000,000 marks. For the building of 
barracks, magazines, &c., a gross sum of 26,713,216 marks 
was asked, of which Prussia would contribute 20,172,266 
marks; Saxony, 3,220,400 marks; Wurtemberg, 428,050 
marks ; and Bavaria, 2,892,500 marks. The strength of the 
army in peace was to be fixed by the law from April 1, 1881, 
to March 31, 1888. The strength of the army had hitherto 
been 401,659, but the population of Germany having largely 
increased during the past seven years, the number of men 
under the imperial banners would be augmented in proportion. 

The Bill came before the Keichsrath on the 1st of March, 
when General Von Kameke, the Minister of War, was charged 
to pilot it through the House. The General said that the 
Government regarded it as its duty to maintain the relative 
strength of the German Army. Germany's neighbours 



TUB EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 287 

having considerably added to their military forces, there 
remained nothing but to follow suit. Germany was 'arming 
not for any immediate hostilities, but to maintain the balance 
of power. Count Moltke adduced arguments on similar lines 
in support of the bill. The Ultramontanes opposed the 
measure, but the National Liberals supported it, not to 
oblige the Government, but to ensure the safety of the 
country. The Bill was ultimately referred to a Committee of 
21 members, and before this Committee General Yon Kameke 
revealed the enormous strides made by France and Eussia 
towards a complete arming of the population; and he 
depicted lugubriously the unsatisfactory condition of the 
German forces. The bill came back with an amendment to 
the effect that the number of supplementary reserves of the 
first class required to join in the military manoeuvres should 
in time of peace be settled yearly with the Budget ; but in 
cases of urgency all such might be called out by Imperial 
order at any time for a period not exceeding eight weeks. 
Other amendments were proposed in the Keichstag, but the 
Minister of War declined to modify his demands, and the 
military septennate was voted by 186 against 96. On the 
third reading an amendment was adopted exempting the 
Catholic and Protestant clergy from serving in the reserves, 
and the bill finally passed by 186 votes to 128. 

Second only in importance to the Army Bill was a 
measure for the prolongation of the Anti-Socialist law of 
1878. The committee appointed by the Keichstag to report 
on the bill decided, by ten votes against three, to prolong its 
operation until September 30, 1884, instead of 1886 as 
proposed by the Government. When the time for the 
second reading came on in the Chamber, the Socialists 
resolved upon a protracted struggle ; but Ministers cut it 
short by passing a resolution combining the various Socialistic 
amendments. The second reading was carried, and the bill 
passed on May 4,by 191 to 94 votes. Herr Liebknecht de- 
livered a powerful speech against it on the third reading, and 



288 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

taunted the Government with Cavour's well-known maxim, 
that any bunglers could govern under a state of siege. 

Yet another resignation by Prince Bismarck of his office as 
Imperial Chancellor took place in April, in consequence 
of a vote come to in the Federal Council on the Imperial 
Stamp Duties Bill. Prussia, Bavaria, and Saxony had been 
outvoted by a combination of the smaller states under the 
leadership of Wurtemburg. The Emperor William, in a 
Cabinet order, whilst recognizing the difficulties of the 
Chancellor's position, declined to relieve him of his office, 
and called upon him to prepare proposals for bringing about 
a constitutional solution of such a conflict of duties as led 
to the recent resignation. On the 12th of May the German 
Federal Council adopted a resolution declaring receipts for 
post office orders and remittances liable to a stamp duty, 
thus reversing the previous vote which led to the resignation 
of Prince Bismarck. 

With regard to Germany's relations to the Vatican and 
the Eomish Church, no new laws were passed this year 
against tlie Catholics, but those on the Statute-book were 
enforced, gradually depriving the Ultramontanes in the 
Empire of their religious services, and punishing with 
rigour any attempt to supply their vacancies. Yet, though 
successful with his amendment of the Falck or May laws in 
this sense, Bismarck sustained several rebuffs during the 
session. Parliament rejected his proposed subvention to 
the Samoa Company a project to revive by national funds 
the bankrupt house of Godeffroy, of Hamburg, which had 
once monopolized the South Sea Trade ; and it also declined 
to allow the introduction of a tobacco monopoly, the 
Chancellor being unable to obtain the support of more than 
a third of the Eeichstag for his project. But Bismarck was 
enabled to show that he was fully alive to the pecuniary 
interests of the community at large, by passing a bill for the 
regulation of usury abuses. 

There was witnessed a disruption of the National Liberals 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 289 

during the recess, when Herr Lasker and a number of his 
friends formally seceded from the party. Shortly after this 
it was announced that Bismarck had been appointed Minister 
of Commerce. All kinds of rumours were afloat as the 
reasons for this step, but the first practical issue of it was 
the appointment by Koyal decree of a committee of trade 
on agriculture, whose function it was to examine all 
economical questions, and to report on the needs of the 
country. 

Towards the close of the year the Judenlietze movement, or 
persecution of the Jews, had passed into an advanced stage, 
and one which reflected scandalously upon Liberal Germany. 
In Berlin, the Orthodox clergy, under the leadership of 
Hofprediger Stocker, had done their utmost to embitter 
public feeling against the Jewish race ; and the movement 
was supported by the Ultramontane press, and even by the 
eminent historian Professor Yon Treitschke. The main 
argument used in justification was that the internal state 
of Germany, in view of its widespread Socialism and its 
external policy, produced a condition of things which 
rendered the preponderance of the Jewish element a source 
of danger. The census of 1871 showed that there were in 
Spain 6000 Jews, in Italy 40,000, in France and Great 
Britain 45,000 each, but in Germany 512,000. In Prussia 
alone the number had increased from 124,000 in 1816, to 
340,000 in 1875. The Jews replied to the charges against 
them, that if they possessed more influence in Germany 
than elsewhere, it was because their mental capacities 
enabled them there to obtain more marked distinction than 
elsewhere. Biots broke out in the autumn in the Prussian 
capital, occasionally caused by the Jews themselves, but 
more frequently by their Christian antagonists. When the 
Prussian Chambers assembled in October, a petition was 
laid before the Landtag, praying that the movement of the 
Jewish population should be the subject of police reports ; 
that only the lower places in the public service should be 

u 



290 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

accessible to its members ; and that restraints should be 
placed by the Government on the Jewish immigration. No 
practical issue resulted from the debate, but the Government 
announced their determination not to permit the question of 
the civil rights of citizens of any religious denomination to 
be interfered with. 

The Crown Prince represented his Imperial father on two 
very interesting occasions this year. On the 20th of April 
he opened with much pomp at Berlin an International 
Fishery Exhibition, which proved to be most successful and 
encouraging; and on the 9th of the following month he 
inaugurated an exhibition of manufactures, agriculture, 
forestry, and the fine arts at Diisseldorf. This was the 
largest exhibition of the kind ever held in Germany, and all 
the products were of exclusively German origin. 

The foreign relations of Germany were, without exception, 
of a friendly character. The Austrian alliance was especially 
strengthened during the year in consequence of a meeting 
of the two Emperors at Ischl on the 10th of August. 
Though the German Parliament frequently partook of the 
aspect of a bear-garden, nearly all parties were agreed upon 
one thing that a close alliance with Austria was most 
profitable for the interests of Germany. 

The Emperor William was the leading figure in a public 
ceremony in March, which must have called up many vivid 
recollections in his mind. On the llth of that month he 
unveiled a statue at Berlin to the memory of his brave and 
patriotic mother, the Queen Louisa, wife of King Frederick 
William III of Prussia. We have spoken of Queen Louisa 
in an earlier chapter of this work. Besides the Emperor, 
there were present at the unveiling the Queen's two other 
surviving children, Prince Charles of Prussia and the 
Dowager Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 

Another celebration of great and unusual interest took 
place on the 15th of October, when Cologne Cathedral was 
formally consecrated and opened. It had taken more than 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 291 

six centuries to complete this work. The foundation-stone 
was laid on the 14th of August, 1248, and actual building 
commenced in 1257. A portion of the building was con- 
secrated in 1322, but it was not until 1499 that the nave 
and aisles were covered with a temporary roof. In 1508 
the stained glass windows were inserted, but the work was 
now suspended for many generations. It was resumed in 
1823, and from that date to its completion 900,000 was 
expended upon the building, which cost altogether about 
2,000,000. Cologne towers are the loftiest of any edifice in 
the world, being upwards of 500 feet in height, and exceeding 
by nearly 20 feet the spire of St. Nicholas Church at Ham- 
burg, and by considerably more than that St. Peter's at 
Kome, Strasburg Cathedral, and the pyramid of Cheops. The 
Emperor William and the Empress, the Crown Prince and 
the Crown Princess, the King of Saxony, and several other 
German sovereigns were present at the opening of the 
cathedral, but the leaders of the Catholic party absented 
themselves. 

The first session of the German Parliament in 1881 
opened on the 15th of February. The Emperor's speech, 
which contained a direct appeal to working men, declared 
that the remedy for socialist excesses must be sought, not 
only in repression, but equally in a positive attempt to 
promote the welfare of the labouring classes. For this 
reason he hoped the working men's Accident Insurance Bill 
would be welcomed by the Parliament as a complement to 
the legislation against social democracy. In the same 
category he placed a bill to regulate the constitution of 
trade guilds by affording means for organizing the isolated 
powers of persons engaged in the same trade, thus raising 
their economic capacity and social and moral efficiency. 
The bill for providing biennial budgets would be again pre- 
sented for the consideration of Parliament, as the allied 
governments were still suffering from difficulties inseparable 
from the simultaneous sitting of the Imperial and Provincial 

u 2 



292 WILLIAM L AND THE OEEMAN EMPIRE. 

Parliaments. A stamp tax and a brewing tax were also 
announced. The Emperor viewed with great satisfaction 
the new financial policy of the empire, while the negotiations 
for treaties of commerce with neighbouring nations on 
the basis of the new customs policy were declared to be 
near a favourable termination. The relations with foreign 
nations were amicable and in consonance with the friendship 
which personally united the Emperor with neighbouring 
sovereigns. 

The Government programme was severely handled by the 
Deputies. A custom, which had long been growing with 
Prince Bismarck, of treating political rather as personal 
questions, had greatly exasperated them, and they also 
entertained strong objections of a general kind to the 
legislation proposed. The principal Government bills were 
either rejected or considerably altered. The tax bills and 
the proposition to establish biennial budgets and biennial 
Parliaments were thrown out, and the bill providing for a 
working men's accident insurance was remodelled. The 
brewery tax bill was rejected, and the stamp tax bill com- 
pletely transformed. To set against all these defeats, the 
Chancellor could only point to one triumph. The long- 
pending question of the entrance of Hamburg into the 
Zollverein was settled on June 15 by a majority of 10 i> to 
46, the Hamburg Municipal council accepting the convention 
as drawn up by the Government. 

The elections in October proved on the whole unfavourable 
to the Government. The Free Conservatives and Mixed 
Liberals lost largely, while the Secessional Liberals and 
Progressists gained to an equal extent. The new Parlia- 
ment was thus constituted: Centre, or Clericals, 110; Pro- 
gressists, 60 ; the Liberal Union or Secessionists, 48 ; the 
National Liberals, 45 ; the-German Imperial party, 27 ; the 
Popularists or South German Democrats, 7 ; the German 
Conservatives, 50 ; Poles, 18 ; Alsace-Lorrainers, 15 ; Social 
Democrats, 13 ; and Independents or Savages, 4. The most 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 293 

prominent advocates of the Chancellor's new financial policy 
were rejected, as was also Herr Stocker, the leader of the 
Judenhetze, notwithstanding the influence he possessed as 
chaplain to the Emperor. 

When the Diet met, Bismarck had the amazing courage 
to bring out his old bills, which were promptly sat upon and 
extinguished by the Chamber. Nothing could more con- 
clusively show the close relations between the Emperor and 
his Chancellor than a daring speech which the latter made 
in November. Herr Eichter, in opening an attack upon 
Bismarck's financial schemes, said there was no conflict 
between the Reichstag and the Crown : the object of the 
conflict was not the Emperor, but his chief counsellor. 
Bismarck sprang up and gave a most emphatic statement of 
his views, proving that he set the Emperor high above the 
Parliament. The Emperor, he said, constituted a strong 
element in the German system of government, as was shown 
by the fact that under the reign of the present sovereign's 
brother the government of Prussia was carried on according 
to entirely different principles from those which had now 
been adopted. The Emperor William's personal share in 
the Government was such an active one that he would not 
allow himself to be prohibited from speaking to his people 
before the elections. As for himself, he completely repre- 
sented the Emperor's policy. Germany was not to be 
governed after the English fashion. The conduct of affairs 
was in the hands of the Emperor, whose responsible adviser was 
the Chancellor, and he would continue to be so. In another 
speech the Prince observed that he considered the Govern- 
ment a better guarantee for the union of Germany than the 
Keichstag, which caused him many difficulties and greatly 
increased those already in existence. These bold views were 
clearly against the supremacy of the people in their own 
concerns. Bismarck merely looked upon Parliament as a 
body whose duty it was to register the acts framed by the 
Government with the sanction of the Emperor; but the 



294 WILLIAM L AND THE GEEMAN EMPIRE. 

House remained firm and declined to endorse the Chancellor's 
policy at command. 

In foreign affairs Germany was now unquestionably the 
leading European State. Nothing of importance was done 
by other Powers without her being thought of or consulted. 
The Emperor William met the Emperor Francis Joseph 
in August, and the Emperor of Kussia at Dantzic in Sep- 
tember; this latter meeting caused considerable comment, 
but the interview was merely one for the renewal of the 
good feeling hitherto existing between the two empires. In 
his speech from the throne on November 17 the Emperor of 
Germany declared that the meetings at Gastein and Dantzic 
were the expression of the close personal and political rela- 
tions between the sovereigns and their empires. l The 
confidence thus existing between the three imperial courts 
was a trustworthy guarantee of peace, which was the iden- 
tical aim of their policy.' 

The rising against the Jews became very serious in the 
provinces of Pomerania and West Prussia, and in the city 
of Berlin. The agitation in the capital' was led by many 
prominent men, chief amongst whom was the Court Chaplain 
Stocker. The students of the University of Berlin were 
also most rancorous in their hostility. Professor Virchow 
was amongst the few distinguished Germans who denounced 
the agitation. Petitions against the Jews poured into the 
German Parliament; but at length the movement attained to 
such a pitch of virulence that the Government were obliged 
to take energetic measures to abate the excitement and 
arrest the agitation. 

The marriage of the prospective heir to the German crown 
was celebrated with great pomp on the 27th of February, 
1881, in the Koyal Schloss at Berlin. The bridegroom was 
Frederick William Victor Albert, eldest son of the Crown 
Prince of Prussia and of Germany, grandson of the Emperor 
'William and of Queen Victoria, nephew in the fifth degree 
of Frederick the Great, and twenty-fifth lineal descendant 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 295 

of the valorous Conrad, cadet of Hohenzollern. The bride 
was Augusta Victoria, daughter of Duke Frederick of Schles- 
wig-Holstein. Germany regarded it as particularly happy 
that the daughter of the dispossessed Duke of Schleswig- 
Holstein should thus become the future Empress of Germany. 

Great sensation was caused early in January, 1882, by the 
introduction of the royal prerogative into the constitutional 
questions upon which Bismarck and the German Diet were 
at variance. The Emperor, as King of Prussia, issued a 
manifesto which made short work of the ideas of the 
Constitutionalists that Bismarck was sheltering himself 
behind his master, and that the King reigned but did not 
rule. The royal rescript declared that the Prussian Consti- 
tution of 1850 transferred a portion of the law-giving 
powers to the Legislature, but left the King the full power 
of initiation and approval. The policy of the Government 
was the King's policy, although it must be represented by 
Lis ministers ; his royal acts were his own, although the 
countersigning minister became responsible for them to the 
laws and the country. They expressed his will and pleasure, 
and should not be spoken of as emanating from the ministry 
but from the King himself. ' It is my will,' said his Majesty, 
'that both in Prussia and in the legislative bodies of the 
empire, there may be no doubt left as to my own constitutional 
right, and that of my successors, to personally conduct the 
policy of my Government ; and that the theory shall always be 
gainsaid that the inviolability of the King, which has always 
existed in Prussia, or the necessity of a responsible counter 
signature of my Government acts, deprives them of the 
character of royal and independent decisions.' 

But the real sting of the rescript was in its tail. In the 
concluding paragraph the King stated, or was made to state, 
that while he had no wish to restrict the freedom of elections, 
he would expect all officials to hold aloof from opposing 
Government candidates. It was actually added that ' the 
duty which, in their oaths of office, they swore to perform, 



296 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

extends to supporting the policy of the Government even 
at elections. 7 The rescript greatly discomposed the Deputies, 
some of whom imagined it to portend a coup d' etat. But 
Bismarck affirmed in the House that the publication of the 
manifesto did not mean any further restriction of the liberties 
of the people. 

Ecclesiastical legislation was a feature of the session, and it 
revealed a desire on Bismarck's part to come to a better under- 
standing with the Vatican. Dr. Windthorst brought forward 
a motion for the repeal of the law prohibiting the exercise of 
ecclesiastical functions without the authority of the Govern- 
ment. Though opposed by the Conservatives and National 
Liberals, the resolution was carried by a large majority. 
The Government remained neutral, owing, it was said, to 
their wish to secure the support of the Centre for a new 
Ecclesiastical Bill. By this bill the Government was to be 
empowered to restore to their sees the deposed bishops, and 
to dispense with the decrees which prevented foreign priests 
from exercising ecclesiastical functions in Prussia. When 
the bill was brought forward, on the motion of Dr. Windthorst, 
who said the Kulturkampf was now dead, it was referred to a 
committee. Coming back from thence, it ultimately passed 
without the clauses compelling Eoman Catholic bishops to 
notify each appointment of a clergyman in their respective 
dioceses to the secular authorities. This was a great 
concession to the Clerical party, and it was followed by the 
passing of a grant of 90,000 marks for the revival of a 
Prussian Mission at the Vatican. These were substantial 
departures from the Chancellor's old policy. 

Amongst the measures brought forward in the German 
Parliament was the Tobacco Monopoly Bill, which was 
described in the Emperor's speech as a measure of indirect 
taxation for increasing the revenue of the Empire. Had it 
passed, however, it would have had a much wider scope, as 
it must have vastly increased the power of the Imperial 
Government at the expense of the local governments of the 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 297 

various states forming the Empire. The Clericals opposed 
this tobacco monopoly, and so did the Socialists. Though 
the latter were in favour of State monopolies, they thought 
the landed interest should be taxed first. During the 
debate on the second reading, Prince Bismarck denied the 
allegation that the scheme would injure the interests of the 
workmen employed in the tobacco trade ; and he was of 
opinion that the interests of the working classes had been 
sacrificed to the Moloch of Free Trade, far more than they 
ever could be by the proposed monopoly. ' You may ask 
me,' he concluded, ' why I do not resign if you do not adopt 
this bill. My reply is that I remain out of personal 
consideration for the Emperor. When I saw him lying in 
his blood after Nobiling's attempt, I made a vow that I 
would never resign without his consent. The welfare of 
the country must mainly rest upon the dynasty, which will 
preserve the military and political unity of the Empire, and 
carry us through any difficulties which may fall on the 
country through the atrophy of faction/ Nearly every 
speaker of eminence in the House condemned the bill, 
which had previously been rejected by a special committee 
by 21 votes to 3. The House now rejected the first article 
of the bill by 276 to 43 votes ; but being willing to unite 
with the Chancellor in all measures necessary for the 
preservation of the Empire, that portion of the committee's 
report which expressed a want of confidence in the Chan- 
cellor's financial plans was rejected, and that directed 
specifically against the Tobacco Monopoly Bill only adopted 
by 155 to 150 votes. 

In the elections to the Diet which took place in October 
the Government were victorious. The Old Conservatives 
and the Free Conservatives gained seventeen seats, while the 
National Liberals lost eighteen. The Conservatives and 
Ultramontanes together had a considerable majority over all 
other sections in the new Prussian Parliament. The German 
Chancellor's foreign policy during 1882 was conceived in 



298 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the interests of peace. This was aided by the death of 
Gambetta and the removal of Bismarck's rival, Count 
Beust, from the Austro-Hungarian embassy at Paris, which 
diminished the probabilities of a French war of revenge. 
Desirous of avoiding all European complications, the Berlin 
Chancellor opposed the idea of an Anglo-French occupation 
of Egypt, which he feared might lead to a conflict like that 
which followed the Austro-Prussian occupation of Schleswig- 
Holstein. 

The Emperor William and Prince Bismarck were ex- 
tremely disappointed that the Reichstag made no progress 
with the Socialist laws in the session of 1883. Accordingly, 
on the 14th of April, His Majesty returned to the subject, 
and issued another rescript. He declared that he deemed it 
one of the first of his duties as Emperor to address his care 
and attention to the improvement of the condition of the 
labouring class, and again urged the Eeichstag to grant a 
biennial budget, out of consideration for his declining years, 
in order that the autumn session might be devoted to the 
plans of social reform which he had at heart, and the hope 
be fulfilled before his death of the development and realization 
throughout the Empire of the reforms begun by his father 
in the beginning of the century. The Emperor expressed 
his conviction that since the issue of the anti-socialist law, 
legislation should not be confined to police and penal 
measures, but should seek to remedy or alleviate the cause 
of evils combated in the penal code. He was gratified by 
the success of the first of his endeavours, in the remission of 
the two lowest grades of the class tax in Prussia, and hoped 
to see the accident insurance bill (presented in an amended 
form), with the supplementary project of sick funds under 
corporative administration, embodied in laws before the 
separation of the Keichstag. The attention of Parliament 
could then fce devoted in the ensuing winter session to a 
further proposal to provide for the maintenance of super- 
annuated and invalided labourers. 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 299 

But it was a case of piping unto the Deputies, and they 
would not dance. Although the Chancellor threw the 
whole weight of his restless energy into the legislative 
struggle, the indignant Liberal majority referred the pro- 
positions to the budget committee, which was practically 
shelving them. The only thing they did before separating 
in June was to vote the biennial budget, but as the fiscal 
year had ended it was not difficult to console themselves for 
this slight infraction of constitutional principle. 

The Socialist question was undoubtedly a matter of grave 
difficulty in Germany. Bismarck had thrown over the 
National Liberal party, by whose aid he had accomplished 
the unity of the Empire, and in order to gain other allies he 
had been obliged to make great concessions. His legislation 
for the labouring classes, his conciliation of the Vatican, 
and the amendment of the Falck laws, were all steps taken 
with the view of securing Ultramontane support for his 
Imperial financial policy, and for his measures for the 
nationalization of the Prussian railroads. It was necessary 
to pass some measures for the relief of the working classes, 
or they would revolt against the military system, and rush 
into still greater socialist excesses. The accident and 
sickness insurance bill which proposed that the Govern- 
ment should insure the workpeople, and the employers and 
communes provide the premiums was passed in almost its 
original shape. 

Some notable public changes now occurred. General von 
Kameke, the War Minister, retired owing to a difference 
with the Emperor. The Progressist deputies insisted that 
there should be no augmentation of military pensions unless 
the officers were made subject to direct taxation like 
civilians. Yon Kameke was willing to accept this com- 
promise, but the Emperor declined to listen to it. Baron 
von Stosch, the minister for the navy, retired because of a 
quarrel with the Chancellor, and the Emperor perpetuated 
an old anomaly by insisting upon a military man being 



300 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

appointed to the direction of the navy. Herr von Bennigsen, 
leader of the National Liberal party, unable longer to 
endure the overbearing conduct of Bismarck, resigned his 
seats in the Eeichstag and Prussian Landtag, and retired 
from political life. The other great Liberal leader, Lasker, 
had already retired. 

The Prussian Chamber passed a bill relaxing the Eccle- 
siastical May Laws. Although it fell short of the demands 
of the Vatican, it yielded so much that Bismarck was 
taunted with having made the pilgrimage to Canossa after 
all. This Belief Act enabled bishops to perform episcopal 
acts even out of their own dioceses, and to appoint vicars, 
chaplains, etc., in vacant parishes. The celebration of mass 
by priests not authorized by the Government was no longer 
a criminal offence, and the right of appeal to the Minister of 
Public Worship was granted. 

Germany concluded a commercial treaty with Spain, and 
also a copyright treaty with France. Her general relations 
with the latter Power required careful management, but the 
Chancellor was equal to the occasion. The attendance of 
King Alfonso of Spain, and King Milan of Servia, besides 
the King of Saxony, the Crown Prince of Portugal, and the 
Prince of Wales, as the guests of the Emperor William at 
the autumn manoeuvres in September, was among the indica- 
tions of the supreme influence of Bismarck, and the success 
of his peace policy in Europe. 

An imposing ceremony, in which the Emperor William 
was the central figure, took place early in the summer. On 
the 9th of June, accompanied by his son, the Crown Prince, 
and other members of his family, he laid the foundation 
stone of the new Houses of Parliament in Berlin. Prince 
Bismarck, the Secretaries of State, and other high officials, 
as well as many eminent political personages, attended the 
ceremony, which was of the most brilliant character. 

The Emperor unveiled the great national monument on 
the Niederwald, near Kudesheim, on the 28th of September. 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 301 

Eighty thousand persons were present at the celebration. 
The monument, which overlooks the Khine, was erected in 
commemoration of the victories over the French in 1870-71. 
It consists of a colossal statue, said to be an idealized 
portrait of the artist's daughter, and representing Germania 
as a woman in a girdle-bound robe, her left hand resting on 
the hilt of a drawn sword, and her right holding a laurel- 
wreathed Imperial crown. The bronze figure alone is about 
thirty-six feet in height, and with the pedestal and socket, 
measures about eighty feet. The artist was Johannes 
Schilling, of Dresden, and the founder of the statue, Von 
Miller of Munich. The total cost of the monument was 
estimated at 1,196,000 marks, part of which was raised by 
public subscription, and the rest from a Parliamentary 
grant. 

The National Liberal party, which had been disorganized 
by the retirement of its leader, Herr Yori Bennigsen, called 
a Convention at Berlin on the 18th of May, 1884. It was 
largely attended, and unanimously adopted a declaration, 
asserting the loyalty of the National Liberals to the 
Emperor, and their resolve to maintain, unimpaired, the 
constitutional rights of the representatives of the people, 
and pledging them to support the Accidents Insurance Bill 
and Anti-Socialist Bill. The Secessionists from the National 
Liberals, however, now united with the Progressists, and 
the combined party styled itself the ' German Liberals.' Its 
political programme was of the most advanced character, 
and it was strongly hostile to the Government, while the 
National Liberal party adhered to its former policy of 
promoting the unity and progress of the Empire by main- 
taining a conciliatory attitude towards Prince Bismarck, 
notwithstanding his anti-Liberal tendencies. The Chancellor 
assumed a friendly tone towards the latter party, but on 
several occasions vehemently attacked that of the new 
Liberals. He affirmed his conviction that it had no future, 
and declared that he would fight against it to his last 



302 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEBMAN EMPIRE. 

breath, such being his duty to his country and his 
Emperor. Bismarck's language was largely justified when 
the elections to the sixth German Parliament came on. 
The New Liberals sustained a disastrous defeat, their 
numbers falling from 104 to 63. But a further noteworthy 
feature of the elections was the great advance of the 
Socialists from 10 to 24 members. The Socialist vote 
generally had enormously increased. The Conservatives 
and National Liberals also gained considerably. 

Two Government bills, dealing with Socialism, were 
brought forward in the German Parliament early in 1884. 
The first provided for the prolongation of the law against 
Socialism for another two years, September 1884-86. The 
reasons assigned for this measure were, the continuance of 
the Socialist movement and its danger, as shown by recent 
criminal attacks on life and property in Germany and other 
civilized States ; the good effects produced by the law ; and 
the fact that the fears expressed that its powers might 
be abused had proved unfounded. The Chancellor spoke 
earnestly in favour of the bill, and as he also held out a 
threat of dissolution, the Government gained an unexpected 
victory, the bill passing by 189 to 157 votes. 

The second measure designed against the Socialists was 
the Explosives Bill. It was brought forward in consequence 
of a diabolical attempt made upon the life of the Emperor at 
the unveiling of the Niederwald monument in the pre- 
vious September. The knowledge of this attempt did not 
transpire until some time afterwards. The leader of the 
conspiracy in connection with this atrocious crime was a 
compositor named Keinsdorf. At the trial, which took 
place at Leipsic, Keinsdorf defended himself with much 
ability, and in an eloquent speech garnished with classical 
quotations, he argued in favour of the confiscation of 
private property, and the abolition of central Government. 
Eeinsdorf's chief accomplices were Kuchler, another com- 
positor, and Eupsch, a journeyman saddler. The latter 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 303 

confessed, while in prison, that he had, at Keinsdorfs 
instigation, placed a stone bottle containing dynamite in a 
drain running across the road by which the Emperor was to 
pass; but that he did not light the match, as he had 
intended from the first to frustrate the plan. The judges 
disbelieved his story, however, and sentenced Keinsdorf, 
Kiichler, and Kupsch to death. Two other prisoners were 
sentenced to ten years' penal servitude, while three more 
were acquitted. It was scarcely surprising after this 
Anarchist revelation that the Government should introduce 
their Explosives Bill, or that the Eeichstag should quickly 
pass it, as it did, on the 15th of May. The measure 
provided that the manufacture, sale, and possession of 
explosives, as well as their importation from abroad, should 
only be permitted if authorized by the police, and that the 
following offences should be punishable by penal servitude : 

1. Wilfully endangering, by means of explosives, life, 
person, or property, or ordering explosives with such intent, 
or under circumstances affording no proof of its having been 
intended that they should be employed for legal purposes. 

2. Inciting to the commission of the above crimes by 
delivering speeches before popular assemblages, by placard- 
ing notices, or by publishing pamphlets. It was further 
enacted that when the crimes above mentioned should have 
fatal consequences, they should be followed by the death 
punishment. 

A new Prussian States Council was established in June 
with the Crown Prince as President and Bismarck as Vice- 
President. It consisted of 71 members, 12 of whom were 
landed proprietors, 6 merchants and manufacturers, 4 
clerics, and 4 communal officials, the rest of the members 
being appointed by the King. The Council was to devote 
itself chiefly to matters of legislation, and was to have a 
consultative character. 

Prince Bismarck met with several serious reverses in 
Parliament. Although Government opposed a motion for 



304 WILLIAM I. AND THE GEBMAN EMPIRE. 

the payment of the Deputies, it was carried by 180 to 99. 
Herr Windthorst's bill for the repeal of the law empower- 
ing the Government to expel priests who had been guilty 
of illegal conduct was also carried, notwithstanding the 
Chancellor's urgent remonstrances. It passed its first and 
second reading by a majority of 217 to 93. A third defeat 
took place on the proposal to pay a salary of 20,000 marks 
for a second Director at the Foreign Office, which was 
rejected by 141 to 119 votes. This decision, however, was 
strongly condemned by the country, and the personal 
animus in it led to a strong reaction in favour of Bismarck. 

The Chancellor again turned his attention to colonial 
settlements, with a view of providing new markets for the 
products of German industry, and opening a vent for the 
superfluous energy which was too often spent in mischievous 
agitation. The question of protection to German subjects 
on the Congo and at Angra Pequena, gave rise to a long 
diplomatic correspondence between Germany and England, 
but at length Prince Bismarck made it clear that his 
Government had a right to protect German subjects at 
Angra Pequena. Steps were accordingly taken to define the 
exact rights of Great Britain and Germany respectively on 
the Congo. As usual, Bismarck, who was now generally 
known as the ' honest broker ' of Berlin, came in for the 
largest slice of the cake. Great Britain welcomed Germany 
as a neighbour in the district of Cape Colony, and as a 
further step in German colonization a convention was con- 
cluded between Germany and the Transvaal. 

The Emperor William received a pacific mission from 
Kussia this year, and there was another meeting between 
the Austrian and German Emperors at Ischl. The two 
Sovereigns subsequently held a conference, in September, 
with the Emperor of Kussia at Skirnievice, in Poland. A 
formal alliance was concluded between the three Emperors, 
and one of its chief features was an agreement to maintain 
the status quo in Europe. 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 305 

Prince Bismarck entered upon his seventieth year on 
the 1 st of April, and he took this opportunity of announcing 
that he intended to resign the Presidency of the Prussian 
Ministry, and the Portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Commerce 
in the Cabinet, retaining only the post of Imperial Chan- 
cellor. He had long been taking too much work upon 
himself, and his health at times appeared greatly shattered. 
On the ensuing 1st of September, being the thirteenth 
anniversary of Sedan, the Emperor conferred upon his 
Chancellor the highest military order in his gift. His 
Majesty, in presenting the order, thus spoke of Bismarck as 
a soldier : 

'To-day's anniversary, which recalls one of the most 
prominent events in the period of twenty-two years during 
which we have worked together, also reminds me that on 
this day, as well as during two wars, you stood by my side, 
not only as a highly-proved man of counsel, but also as a 
soldier, and that there is in Prussia an Order for Merit which 
you do not yet possess. It is true this Order has a special 
military meaning, but, nevertheless, you ought to have had 
it long ago, for truly at many a grievous time you have 
shown the highest courage of the soldier, and you have also 
thoroughly and completely proved at my side in two cam- 
paigns that, apart from everything else, you have the fullest 
claim to conspicuous military distinction. I will, therefore, 
now make up for what I have hitherto neglected, by con- 
ferring on you the accompanying Ordre pour le Merite, and 
that, too, with oaken leaves, in token that you ought to have 
had it long ago, and that you have repeatedly deserved it. 
Knowing, as I do, how much you are imbued with the spirit 
of a soldier, I hope it will gratify you to receive this Order, 
which several of your ancestors proudly wore ; as I, for my 
part, derive satisfaction from thus bestowing this well- 
merited soldier's reward on the man whom God in His 
gracious providence has placed at my side, and who has done 
such great things for the Fatherland. I shall, indeed, be 



306 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

most heartily glad to see you in the future wearing the 
Ordre pour le Merited 

The expulsion of the Poles from Prussian territory led to 
a good deal of ill-feeling between Germany and Austria and 
Eussia. When the latter Powers complained and asked for 
information, the former replied that the matter was one 
which concerned the internal affairs of Prussia only. The 
edict issued by the Government ordered all Poles who were 
not Prussian subjects to be expelled from the country, and 
this edict was carried out with great severity. The total 
number of persons banished exceeded 34,700, the majority 
of whom were Russian subjects. Most of them found a 
refuge in Austria, but others emigrated to America. No 
charge of disloyalty or conspiracy was made against them, 
neither were the poorest of them paupers. The edict was 
especially hard upon those thrifty workmen who had for 
years been members of mutual relief societies, and who had 
paid the necessary premiums to secure a provision in old 
age. They now lost their savings and were turned adrift to 
begin life anew. The question was discussed in the Prussian 
Diet on the 6th of May, 1885, when the Home Minister, 
Herr von Puttkamer, affirmed that the measure was dictated 
by State necessity, and that the Government could not 
tolerate the presence in Prussia of large numbers of Poles 
who were not Prussian subjects any more than it could that 
of Danes in Schleswig-Holstein or of Frenchmen in Alsace- 
Lorraine. The Polish element in the population had been 
growing largely in excess of that of the German, and the 
edict was necessary for the political security of the State 
and the maintenance of German nationality and German 
culture. The Minister's explanations were deemed very 
unsatisfactory, though no practical issue was raised upon 
them. 

At a later date, however, the subject came up again in the 
German Parliament, when the Imperial Government was 
requested to take steps to check the expulsion of Poles from 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 307 

the country. Prince Bismarck opposed to this a declaration 
from the throne which caused great excitement. The 
Chancellor was extremely wroth at the supposition that the 
Imperial Government could be called in to redress wrongs 
alleged to be committed by Prussia within her own terri- 
tories. 'There exists,' he said, 'no Government in the 
Empire entitled, under the control of the Eeichstag, to claim 
supervision, as this interpellation endeavours to do, of the 
exercise of the rights of Sovereignty enjoyed by the 
individual States of the Confederation, in so far as the right 
to exercise such supervision has not been conceded to the 
Empire.' The Emperor-King was therefore compelled to 
express to the Keichstag his conviction that ' the view 
adopted by the majority of deputies in supporting the inter- 
pellation in question is at variance with the German consti- 
tution,' and in case of any endeavour being made to carry 
the same into effect, he would ' maintain and defend against 
such endeavour the rights of each of the Federal Govern- 
ments, as recited in the Treaty of Confederation.' Bismarck 
concluded by entirely denying the competence of the German 
Parliament to call the Kings of Prussia and Bavaria, or the 
Grand Dukes of Baden and Hesse, to account for the way in 
which they exercised their Sovereign rights within their own 
particular dominions. He then strode from the Chamber, 
followed by the other members of the Federal Council. 

A debate on the question of Sunday labour gave Prince 
Bismarck the opportunity of delivering a singular speech, 
in which he ventilated his views upon the English Sabbath. 
The Ultramontanes and the Socialists having brought for- 
ward in the Eeichstag a Bill for the prohibition of Sunday 
labour, the Chancellor strongly opposed the scheme on 
economical and political grounds, and also in the interest 
of working-men themselves. Workmen who would thereby 
lose 14 per cent, of their wages would certainly be against 
such a measure, he said, which would also diminish by 
one-seventh the production of the country, and inflict a 

x 2 



308 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

heavy loss on the manufacturers. Moreover, a Sunday 
spent in pleasure was likely to be followed by a Monday 
spent in drink. The industrial prosperity of England and 
the United States was due to other causes than the Sunday 
holiday. 

* England/ continued the Prince, * would not enjoy so 
great an industrial superiority over Germany if her coal 
fields and her iron mines were not in close proximity to each 
other, and if she had not enjoyed the blessings of civilization 
long before Germany did. Even in the time of Shakspeare, 
about 300 years ago, there was a degree of prosperity, 
culture, and literary development in England far above 
what we possessed at that time in Germany. The Thirty 
Years' War had a retrograde effect on Germany more than 
on any other nation ; and I cannot admit that Englishmen 
are better Christians than the Germans. If the keeping 
of the Sunday had not been from time immemorial an 
English custom, I doubt very much if any Government or 
Parliament would now be strong enough to make it com- 
pulsory. For my part, the English Sunday has always 
produced an unpleasant impression upon me; I was glad 
when it was over, and judging by the way the Sunday was 
passed in England, I think Englishmen were so too. Here 
in our villages we are glad to see the people enjoying 
themselves in their Sunday best, and we thank God that 
we are not under the compulsion of the English Sunday. 
Some forty years I went to England for the first time, and 
I was so glad to land, after a bad passage, that I whistled 
a tune. "Please don't do that," said a fellow-passenger. 
" Why not ? " I inquired. " Because it is Sunday ! " ' 

There were some truths and some fallacies in this speech, 
but it was effectual in shelving the Bill, which was put 
off for inquiries. When the information sought for was 
forthcoming it was very largely antagonistic to the proposal. 

Two important financial measures became law in Prussia 
during the year. One provided for a graduated income- 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 309 

tax. There were seventeen different rates of the tax, com- 
mencing with a rate of about B^d. in the pound for 
incomes of from 80 to 90, and ending with a rate of l\d. 
in the pound for incomes of over 500 a year. Besides 
the usual allowances, relief was provided to the extent 
of half the rate originally imposed in special circum- 
stances, such as continued illness or misfortune. The 
second law was one relating to exchange duties. The 
fixed stamp introduced by the law of July, 1881, had not 
proved very productive, and the large profits of speculators 
on the various exchanges had remained untaxed. By the 
new law, purchases of stock, shares, foreign bank-notes, &c., 
were to be subject to a duty of one- tenth per cent., and 
purchases of goods at the various exchanges, if not pro- 
duced by one of the contracting parties, were to be taxed 
at the rate of one-fifth per cent. 

The Brunswick succession caused some excitement in 
1885, the Duke of Cumberland, only son of the King of 
Hanover, claiming the throne. As the Duke had long been 
at the head of the anti-Prussian party in Hanover, how- 
ever, the Federal Council decided against him, and the 
Brunswick Diet unanimously elected Prince Albrecht 
regent. 

The important post of Governor of Alsace-Lorraine 
became vacant by the death of Field Marshal von Man- 
teuffel. The Marshal had ruled benevolently and yet 
despotically, with the object of making Alsace-Lorraine 
the most German of German States. But he signally failed, 
and fifteen years of German rule had produced only distrust 
and discontent. The new Governor appointed was Prince 
Hohenlohe-Schillingfurst, German Ambassador in Paris, 
who had for nearly a quarter of a century taken a pro- 
minent part in German politics. 

Prince Bismarck was once more occupied with important 
colonial questions. The Congo Conference concluded its 
labours in the month of February ; and it was decided that 



310 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

freedom of commerce should be established in the basin and 
mouths of the Congo, on the whole coast line between the 
Colony of Gaboon and the province of Angola, and in the 
countries between the Congo basin and the Indian Ocean 
subject, however, to the assent of their rulers. But difficulties 
next arose between Germany and England, with regard to 
the German acquisitions in the Cameroons and New Guinea. 
After a long correspondence between the Foreign Minister 
of Germany and the English Colonial Minister, these differ- 
ences, together with others arising out of German Protec- 
torates in various quarters, were satisfactorily adjusted. On 
the whole, German relations with Great Britain, and also 
with France, were of a pacific character. A serious dispute, 
however, arose between Germany and Spain out of the 
establishment of a German Protectorate over the Caroline 
Islands. Spain had claimed the suzerainty of these islands 
since the seventeenth century, but she had never been in 
actual possession of the territories. Germany now repudiated 
her claim, hoisted her own flag upon one of the islands, and 
placed all the group between the equator and 11 degrees 
north and 164 degrees east of Greenwich under German 
protection. Spain protested, and Bismarck feeling for once 
that he was wrong agreed to submit the matter to the Pope. 
The result was that by a protocol ultimately signed by the 
German and Spanish Governments, the Caroline Islands 
were left under the Sovereignty of Spain, while to Germany 
was granted the right of forming agricultural colonies in the 
islands, and she also obtained possession of certain coaling 
and naval stations. With regard to the Eastern Questions, 
both Asiatic and European, the German Chancellor still 
threw his influence into the scale of peace. 

The celebration of Prince Bismarck's seventieth birthday, 
which occurred on the 1st of April, 1885, was also the 
celebration of his fiftieth year of public life. The double 
event excited great enthusiasm through all Germany. Many 
valuable presents were made to him, but the most important 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 311 

was the gift of the purchase deeds of the ancestral estates 
of Schonhausen, which had been sold by the family when in 
difficulties, and were now repurchased for 150,000, raised 
by subscriptions throughout the Fatherland. Among the 
congratulations received by the Prince were an autograph 
letter from the Emperor of Germany, telegrams from the 
Emperors of Eussia and Austria, the Kings of Saxony, 
Bavaria, Sweden, Koumania, Siam, Wurtemburg, and Belgium, 
as well as 2100 letters and 3500 telegrams from various 
sources. 

The Emperor William, accompanied by the Crown Prince 
and other members of his family, went to the Chancellor's 
residence, and, affectionately embracing him with tears in 
his eyes, presented him with a reduced copy of Von Werner's 
famous painting of the ' Proclamation of the Empire at 
Versailles.' The Emperor's letter, referred to above, ran as 
follows : 

* My dear Prince, The German people having shown a warm 
desire to testify to you, on the occasion of your seventieth 
birthday, that the recollection of all you have done for the 
greatness of the Fatherland lives in so many grateful hearts, 
I, too, feel strongly impelled to tell you how deeply gratified 
I am that such a feeling of thankfulness and veneration for 
you moves the nation. I am rejoiced at this, for you have 
most richly earned the recognition, and my heart is warmed 
at seeing such sentiments manifested in so great a measure ; 
for it dignifies the nation in the present, and strengthens 
our hopes of its future, when it shows appreciation of the 
true and the great, and when it celebrates and honours its 
most meritorious men. To me, and to my house, it is an 
especial pleasure to take part in such a festival ; and by the 
accompanying picture, we wish to convey to you with what 
feelings of grateful recollection we do this, seeing that it 
calls to mind one of the greatest moments in the history of 
the House of Hohenzollern one which can never be thought 
of without at the same time recalling your merits. 



312 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

' You, my dear Prince, know how I shall always be animated 
towards you with feelings of the fullest confidence, of the 
most sincere affection, and the warmest gratitude. But, in 
saying this, I tell you nothing which I have not often enough 
already repeated to you, and methinks that this painting will 
enable your latest descendants to realise that your Kaiser 
and King, as well as his house, were well conscious of what 
they had to thank you for. With these sentiments and 
feelings, which will last beyond the grave, I end these lines. 
Your grateful, faithful, and devoted Kaiser and King, 
WILHELM/ 

In addition to the fame which Bismarck had acquired, one 
would think that even a less kingly appreciation than this 
would have kept him at his post many times when he was 
tempted to retire to his Pomeranian estates. 

The Prussian Parliament met in January, 1886, and 
almost immediately the Polish question was again raised. 
A motion approving the action of the Government was in- 
troduced by the National Liberals and Conservatives, by 
way of reply to the previous hostile interpellation of the 
Ultramontanes. Prince Bismarck, in an able speech lasting 
more than two hours, placed the whole question on the basis 
of international policy. He contended that the action of 
the Prussian Government towards the Poles since 1815 had 
been an uninterrupted series of blunders, culminating in 
the philanthropic ideas of 1848. The Polish rising in 1830 
first opened the eyes of the Prussian authorities to the true 
aspect of the question. Frederick William IV. hoped to 
win over the Poles by conciliation, but he was rudely 
awakened from his dream by the insurrections of 1846 and 
1848. The concession of certain constitutional privileges 
since had only increased the disaffection of the Poles, and 
accentuated their aversion to their German rulers. 

The Chancellor unfolded a plan for the acquisition of such 
Polish estates as might become free. He proposed to farm 
them out to Germans, provided that they pledged them- 



TEE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 313 

selves to remain German, and, above all things, to marry 
German wives. The estates would be allotted on leases, but 
the tenants would become proprietors of the soil in from 
twenty-five to fifty years. Polish soldiers and officials would 
at the same time be given an opportunity of availing them- 
selves of the advantages of German civilization by being 
posted for service in provinces far away from their homes. 
Bismarck then concluded with the following peroration, which 
created great excitement in the House : ' Gentlemen, the 
future is not wholly free from apprehensions. It is not 
foreign dangers that menace us, but it is impossible to work 
with such a majority as that in the Keichstag. We must aim 
at becoming stronger : we must show that we stand not on 
feet of clay, but of iron. We must find a means of becoming 
independent of the obstruction of the majority of the Keich- 
stag. I do not advocate such a step, but, if the Fatherland 
should be endangered, I should not hesitate to propose to 
the Emperor the necessary measures. The minister who 
will not risk his head to save the Fatherland, even against 
the will of the majority, is a coward. I will not allow the 
achievements of our army to perish by internal discord, 
which I will find the means of counteracting.' This was a 
bold speech, and it was followed by another in which the 
Chancellor compared the position of the Poles in Germany 
to that of the Parnellites in England. After protests from 
the Poles, the Kadicals, and the Centre party, the policy of 
the Prussian Government was approved by 234 votes, the 
Opposition minority having previously left the House. Bills 
were subsequently brought in and carried through, granting 
100,000,000 marks to the Government for German coloniza- 
tion in Polish districts and for transferring to the State the 
supervision in such districts of popular education. 

As a counter-move against Democratic Socialism the 
Chancellor introduced into the German Parliament the 
Spirit Monopoly Bill and the Socialist Bill. The Kadicals 
opposed the former bill because it strove to bring about an 



314 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

aristocratic socialism instead of that which was in favour 
with the working classes. Bismarck, in supporting the 
measure, let fall some ominous expressions. ' We do not 
know what may happen in France,' he said. ' We hope that 
peace will not he endangered for a long time, but, even at 
the risk of losing my reputation as a diplomatist and a 
statesman, I must confess that in the spring of 1870 I did 
not foresee or fear the war which came a few months 
later. If any such danger should again threaten us, I want 
Germany to he at the height of her power. We have had 
peace for fifteen years, but the nation is not yet fully pre- 
pared, and I hasten on these reforms in order that the 
Empire may really stand fast if war should come to test our 
firmness.' The House was not to be played upon through 
fear, however, and the Bill was rejected by 181 to 3 votes 
only. The second measure proposed to prolong the Socialist 
Law for five years. It was strongly attacked by Herr 
Bebel, who declared that the incessant pressure of the 
ruling classes was finally driving the lower orders to use 
force in self-defence. It was so in Belgium, and, if similar 
conditions existed in Germany, he would be the first to adopt 
similar measures to counteract them. Prince Bismarck 
replied in severe terms. He affirmed that Bebel's words 
contained a direct threat to assassinate the German Emperor 
if certain conditions existed in Germany, as to which he and 
his fellow-socialists were to decide whether they justified 
such assassination. After a good deal of recrimination the 
Continuance Laws against the Socialists were passed by a 
majority of 169 to 137, but they were only to continue for 
two years instead of five as proposed by the Government. 

Great excitement was caused in June by the news that 
King Louis II. of Bavaria had become insane, and that, 
while suffering from mental derangement, he had committed 
suicide in the Lake of Starnberg, dragging down with him 
to a watery grave his physician and attendant, Dr. Gudden. 
King Louis was popular with the lower classes, but his 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 315 

mania for building palaces and his refusal to perform the 
Koyal functions had caused great embarrassment to his 
ministers. As the King's brother, Prince Otto, was also 
suffering from mental derangement, the Eegency was as- 
sumed by Prince Luitpold, uncle of the late sovereign. 
Prince Luitpold was a supporter of the new regime in Ger- 
many, and was opposed to all Ultramontane measures, though 
a strong Catholic himself. The Emperor William at once 
accepted the Regent, whose mother, by the way, was a niece 
of Queen Louisa, the mother of the German Emperor. 

The difficulties with Eome, which for four years had 
caused great friction in Germany, were satisfactorily ad- 
justed in May of this year. A revision of the May Laws 
was carried by a majority of 260 to 108. Neither Bismarck 
nor the Pope could claim a complete triumph in regard to 
this legislation, for, although the Chancellor made consider- 
able concessions, he by no means surrendered the control of 
the Eoman Catholic Church in Prussia, while the Vatican 
had been obliged also greatly to abate its demands. Shortly 
before the Bill was introduced in the Prussian Parliament, 
the Pope had said in reply to an address from a party of 
German Catholics : i I believe that you may now look with 
confidence to the future. The Emperor William has assured 
me of his kind sentiments and of his determination to meet 
the wishes of his Catholic subjects.' Practically this new 
legislation abrogated all the provisions of the May Laws 
except that which gave the State control over the ecclesias- 
tical appointments of the Eoman Catholic Church in Prussia. 
This provision was conceded by the Pope whom Bismarck 
described as ' a wise, moderate, and pacific gentleman ' in 
return for the abandonment by the Prussian Government of 
various checks, such as those relating to State examinations 
of candidates for the priesthood, which had been described 
by the Chancellor as almost worthless, but which were 
regarded as very important at the Vatican. 

Germany over sea still continued to be a matter of much 



316 WILLIAM I. AND TEE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

concern with Prince Bismarck. His colonial policy was 
vigorous and adventurous, though he caused it to be known 
that the German flag would only go where German trade 
had already penetrated. Nevertheless, the naval expendi- 
ture greatly increased, for in addition to keeping ships at 
the six existing trans-oceanic naval stations, the German 
Government held in constant readiness a flying squadron, 
so as to be prepared for all emergencies. Other evidences 
of colonial enterprise were the founding of a seminary of 
Oriental languages in connection with the University of 
Berlin, and the grant of a Government subsidy to a line 
of German mail-steamers to Eastern Asia, with a branch 
service to Australia. 

An agreement was concluded between Prince Bismarck 
and Baron Courcel, the French Ambassador, as to the 
possessions of Germany and France respectively on the 
West Coast of Africa. Germany ceded to France all her 
rights of sovereignty or protectorate over the territories of 
the Campo River ; while France, on her part, recognized the 
German protectorate over the Togo country, and withdrew 
the claims arising from her relations with King Mensa to 
the territory of Porto Seguro. She further recognized the 
protectorate of Germany over Little Popo, and in both 
territories the French and German settlers were to be 
treated alike. With respect to the South Seas, Germany 
engaged not to do anything to prevent the occupation by 
France of islands in the immediate vicinity of the Society 
Islands or of the New Hebrides. Great Britain and 
Germany also came to an agreement as to the boundaries 
of their respective possessions in the Western Pacific, and a 
further settlement was concluded between the two Powers 
of the difficulties which had arisen on the West Coast of 
Africa. A convention was likewise concluded between 
Germany and Portugal as to South Western and Central 
Africa. 

European relations, however, became seriously strained. 



TEE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 317 

France had completed her powerful armaments, Kussia was 
assuming a threatening attitude, and Austria had grown 
lukewarm in her demeanour towards Germany. All this, 
of course, meant the fanning of the war spirit in Germany. 
Prince Bismarck decided to prepare for all eventualities 
by an increase of the German army. A Bill was accordingly 
brought forward in the Keichstag for raising the peace 
strength of the army which stood at 427,274 men by 
about 40,000 men, and for strengthening the artillery by 
twenty-four new batteries : the augmentation to take effect 
from the beginning of the ensuing financial year, namely 
April 1, 1887. The existing Septennate, which fixed the 
peace strength of the army, did not expire until 1888 ; but 
the Government represented that, although its relations 
with Foreign Powers were friendly, it was necessary in 
view of the recent augmentation of the armies of Kussia 
and France to establish an increased peace strength of the 
German army before the expiration of the Septennate. The 
Bill was opposed by the Liberals and the Centre, on the 
ground that there was no urgent necessity for it, but Count 
Moltke declared that Europe was ' bristling with arms/ and 
that the rejection of the measure would 'involve a very 
serious responsibility perhaps the misery of a hostile in- 
vasion.' The Count's speech made a profound impression, 
and the Bill was unanimously referred to a committee. This 
committee offered to grant the Crown 450,000 men for three 
years, instead of 468,000 for seven years; but the Govern- 
ment refused to accept any compromise, and the debate was 
consequently adjourned sine die. 

Prince Bismarck now sought to achieve his ends by 
diplomacy, and was once more successful. The Emperor 
William, in a letter to the Czar, appealed to him to help in 
maintaining peace at least during the few years remaining 
to him (the German Emperor) ; and Austria was given to 
understand that if she interfered with Kussian policy in 
Bulgaria she would receive no countenance from Germany. 



318 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

Shortly afterwards the European horizon became more 
peaceful. 

The year 1886 was a very busy one for the Emperor William 
personally, though he was now nearly completing his ninth 
decade. On the 3rd of January, the twenty-fifth anniversary 
of his accession to the throne of Prussia was celebrated with 
cordial feelings through the whole of Germany. At Berlin, 
this Silver Jubilee of his rule was observed with more public 
demonstrations than had been the aged Emperor's desire. 
He was borne onward, however, by the current of the people's 
will. In the Chapel of the Royal Schloss there was a brief 
religious ceremony, attended by the Emperor and Empress, 
his Majesty's sister, the Dowager Duchess of Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin, the Crown Prince and Princess, with other 
members of the Eoyal Family, Prince Bismarck, Count 
Moltke, and other notabilities, the Foreign Ambassadors and 
their wives, &c. The ceremony, which was very short, only 
lasted for half an hour. The religious service consisted 
mainly of the deeply pious * Now thank we all our God,' 
most effectively performed by a military band, and of a 
sermon by the chief Court preacher, Dr. Kogel, which par- 
took of a politico-historical character. 

The illustrious company then withdrew to the adjacent 
White Saloon, or Throne Eoom, where their Majesties re- 
ceived the congratulations of all those assembled. The 
ladies of the Diplomatic Corps first began to file past and to 
do obeisance. * The Empress sat out this tedious ceremony 
to the end,' wrote an English correspondent, ' but the Kaiser 
stood the whole time without even wincing, and without so 
much even as changing from one foot to the other. The 
Emperor gives his hand to most of the Ambassadresses of 
the great Powers, and has a kindly word to say to each. 
With the profound courtesies of these diplomatic dames he 
seems chivalrously pleased. But when, at the head of their 
husbands, Prince Bismarck paces up to the throne, the 
Emperor is very visibly affected. The Chancellor stoops 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 319 

low to press his lips to the hand of his beloved Kaiser, and 
the latter returns the compliment by embracing his mighty 
and devoted servant, and kissing him on either cheek. That 
was an incident which few who saw it will ever forget. But 
our attention is for the moment diverted from it by the 
Russian Ambassador, who now approaches the throne, and, 
after making what seems to be a little set speech, quietly 
presents to the Emperor a sealed missive, which doubtless 
contains the personal congratulations of his lord and master 
the Czar, with, perchance, a brotherly assurance that peace 
and order in the East of Europe are now secured, so far as 
the policy of his particular Government is concerned. After 
this the Emperor gives his hand to Baron de Courcel, as if 
to express his pleasure at the friendly relations between the 
Empire and the French Eepublic, and then his Majesty 
beckons the approach of Sir Edward Malet, with whom he 
speaks a few words, as also of Lord Wolseley, to whom he 
flatteringly extends his hand. This honour is not accorded 
to all, and a long string of various dignitaries flows past 
without receiving any special mark of Imperial favour. But 
the continuity of this mutely reverencing stream is at last 
broken again, when Moltke glides up with a grave but 
courtly grace. To him the Emperor makes haste to give his 
hand, which Moltke, like Bismarck, would fain press to 
his lips ; but his Majesty, with unmistakeable emotion, 
assumes himself the burden of gratitude, and embraces the 
great strategist in the same manner as he honoured his 
Chancellor. And again in the Throne Eoom there was a 
suppressed murmur of admiration of the mighty deeds which 
were recalled by this touching attachment of the Kaiser to 
the men who had done such great things for him and his 
House.' 

The Emperor was busily engaged all day, and in the 
evening attended the opera. The house rang with ' Hochs ! ' 
when he took his seat, and also on his departure after the 
performance. The way to the Palace was blocked with a 



320 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

dense and cheering multitude ; and Unter den Linden and 
the other main thoroughfares of Berlin were brilliantly 
illuminated. 

In the Prussian capital, on the 10th of June, the Emperor 
William unveiled the equestrian statue of his brother, 
Frederick William IV., which has been placed in front of the 
National Gallery. The ceremony was imposing, but essen- 
tially military in character. All the garrison regiments of 
Berlin were represented, and the principal State dignitaries 
were present. The Emperor and the members of his family 
occupied a pavilion which had been erected opposite the 
statue. In unveiling the memorial the Emperor saluted it 
thrice, and the troops presented arms. A Koyal salute was 
then fired, and all the bells of the city pealed forth. At 
the foot of the statue was the simple inscription, i To the 
memory of King Frederick William IV. King William.' 

The centenary of the death of Frederick the Great was 
celebrated on the 17th of August at Berlin, and in the 
chief cities of the Empire. But the most interesting public 
ceremonial was that at Potsdam, the cradle of the Prussian 
Army. The garrison church of the town, where the great 
Frederick still reposes, was hung with hundreds of conquered 
flags and standards. The Emperor William, surrounded by 
all the members of his family, his Generals, his Ministers, 
and deputations from the Potsdam regiments, attended 
service in the chapel. At its conclusion the Emperor rose, 
and, approaching the open vault containing the remains of 
his distinguished ancestor, deposited a large wreath of 
laurels on the coffin, his example being followed by the 
Crown Prince and the other members of the Imperial House. 
All the troops then defiled before the Emperor in the Castle 
Garden, his Majesty himself giving the words of command, 
and thrice, too, he saluted with his sword when the Crown 
Prince led past him the 1st Foot Guards, wearing the con- 
ical brass head-gear of Frederick's time. Next followed the 
most characteristic incident of the centenary. The Emperor 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 321 

drove off to Sans-Souci, and spent several minutes of silent 
and solitary devotion in the room where his heroic ancestor 
breathed his last a hundred years before, and within little 
more than a decade of his Majesty's own birth. What 
surprising events had intervened between the reigns of the 
two Prussian kings ! 

Alsace-Lorraine, under its new Governor, Prince Hohen- 
lohe, took a completely new departure in the year 1886. 
Although previously it had been bitterly hostile to the 
German rule, at the municipal elections of July the German 
party carried most of their candidates. At Metz their 
numbers in the Council were increased from four to twelve, 
and at Strasburg the * protest ' party could only elect nine 
members out of thirty-six. When the Emperor William 
visited Strasburg for the army manoeuvres in September he 
was extremely well received. His Majesty reviewed 38,000 
men on the Polygon outside the city, and the people were 
apparently much gratified by the Imperial visit, as well as 
strongly impressed by the martial bearing and admirable 
skill of the troops. The Emperor, on receiving the principal 
dignitaries of the city, assured the Bishop that he had 
offered his hand to help to restore religious peace to 
Germany, and he trusted the clergy would support him in 
that difficult task. He also expressed great satisfaction to 
the Burgomaster at the result of the recent municipal 
elections. His Majesty added that the people of Strasburg 
were quite as loyal as in the older provinces ; and he saw 
with great pleasure that though he had acceded with 
much hesitation to Prince Hohenlohe's urgent wish for the 
re-establishment of the Strasburg municipality his mis- 
givings had proved totally groundless. 

We have seen that the Emperor William was present at 
the formal opening of Cologne Cathedral, and an interesting 
incident which has recently occurred in connection with the 
Cathedral and the German Kaiser may be recalled here. A 
bell weighing nearly twenty-seven tons, the clapper itself 

Y 



322 WILLIAM L AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

being three quarters of a ton, has been placed in position 
in the Cathedral. The inauguration ceremony was carried 
out amidst great pomp, a solemn religious service forming 
part of the proceedings. The bell was constructed from 
twenty-two cannons taken from the French in the war of 
1870-71, and presented by the Emperor for that purpose. 
It bears an inscription recording that 'William, the most 
august Emperor of the Germans and King of the Prussians, 
mindful of the heavenly help granted to him whereby he 
conducted the late French war to a prosperous issue, and 
restored the German Empire, caused cannons taken from 
the French to be devoted to founding a bell to be hung in 
the wonderful Cathedral then approaching completion.' A 
likeness of St. Peter, the name-patron of the Church, is on 
the one side, beneath which is a quatrain in the style of 
the medieval concerts, praying that as devout hearts rise 
heavenward at hearing the sound of the bell, so may the 
door-keeper of heaven open wide the gates of the celestial 
mansion. On the opposite side is an inscription in German, 
the English of which runs as follows : 

'I am called the Emperor's bell; 
I proclaim the Emperor's honour; 
On the holy watch-tower I am placed. 
1 pray for the German Empire, 
That peace and protection 
God may ever grant to it.' 

This biographical and historical record cannot more fitly 
close than by some references to the ninetieth anniversary 
of the Emperor William's birth. Such an event is rare if 
not unparalleled in the history of sovereigns, and the 
celebrations which accompanied it were of a remarkable 
character. Not only Germany, but Germans all the world 
over, honoured the event by the most enthusiastic de- 
monstrations of loyalty. In Berlin, of course, the greatest 
interest naturally centred ; and amongst those who journeyed 
thither to present their congratulations to the Emperor in 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER YEARS. 323 

person, were the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of 
Austria, the King and Queen of Saxony, the King and 
Queen of Koumania, the Crown Princes of Denmark and 
Sweden, representatives of the Czar, the King of Italy, and 
other sovereigns, while even the far East rendered its tribute 
in the person of Prince Komatsu of Japan. The whole of 
this memorable day, March 22, 1887, was given up to 
commemorative processions, services, and banquets ; and the 
accounts furnished by the correspondents of English journals 
in the Prussian capitals show that the celebration was truly 
unique. Although the Kaiser had not gone to bed till past 
midnight, he was up and dressed at eight o'clock. The first 
to congratulate His Majesty, as in many years past, were 
his two faithful valets. When Engel, the keeper of the 
wardrobe, addressed his Imperial master, the Emperor re- 
plied, * It has been God's will that I should live to see this 
day. It was a favour I could scarcely hope for, but if it be 
God's will, I may, perhaps, even live to see one more birth- 
day.' All the royal servants received as keepsakes a medal 
with an inscription and the dates, ' 1797, 22nd March, 1887.' 
At half-past nine the Empress made her affectionate 
congratulations, and conducted her husband to a room in 
which quite a legion of birthday presents had been arranged. 
The whole palace wore the aspect of a flower garden ; and 
indeed all day long magnificent floral offerings continued to 
arrive from all parts of the Empire. 

When the Emperor appeared at the window of the Palace 
at ten o'clock, cries of ' Long live the Kaiser ! ' rent the air, 
and these were carried onwards and repeated by thousands 
who were not fortunate enough to see him, till the distant 
streets were filled with a hoarse roar, and the whole city 
seemed to ring with acclamations. Immediately in front of 
the Palace the loyal cries were repeated with renewed vigour 
every time the aged monarch showed himself, while as far 
as eye could reach the air was alive with fluttering handker- 
chiefs. Dressed in his parade uniform, with broad silver 

Y 2 



324 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

epaulettes and scarlet facings, the Emperor looked exceed- 
ingly well. No sign of treniulousness was apparent in the 
hand which he constantly waved in salutation to his subjects, 
and his figure was firm and upright. 

The distinguished visitors were received in the Emperor's 
apartments on the first floor of the palace, which were 
fragrant with exotics and spring flowers from the north and 
south of Europe. The Emperor's birthday table was in a 
room adjoining the reception chamber, and it groaned 
beneath its burden of mementoes, presented by the members 
of the Kaiser's family. Amongst these welcome offerings 
was a portrait of the Emperor's great-grandson, a noble and 
beautiful boy. There was also amongst other presents a 
General's sash, after the exact pattern of the sashes worn by 
Frederick the Great. Of presents by foreigners, one very 
tastefully arranged basket, sent by six little English girls at 
school in Berlin, attracted much attention. The Christian 
names of the girls were written on the cards, with the 
words, * To the dear Emperor,' and the following humane 
wish, ' Please make your people be kind to the poor horses 
that drag the bricks about.' 

Though the Emperor was strong and well the reception 
was very wisely not prolonged too much. It was a touching 
sight, and one rendered doubly interesting and memorable 
by the fact that the Kaiser profited by the opportunity 
to announce the formal betrothal of his grandson, Prince 
Henry, the Crown Prince's sailor son, to the Prince's cousin, 
Princess Irene of Hesse, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. 
Congratulations were, under the happy circumstances, of 
course given to the young pair, who were now looking out 
upon life, as their patriarchal grandparent looked back upon 
it. The Empress Augusta, though somewhat infirm, kept 
up bravely through the presentation ceremony, and leaned 
upon the arm of her grandson, Prince William, whose 
charming young wife led up her little sons to present their 
congratulations to their Imperial great-grandsire. As for 



THE EMPEROR'S LATER TEARS. 325 

the Emperor, he actively threaded his way about among the 
guests ; and ' the gaiety of his manner, the erectness of his 
gait, and the elasticity with which he stooped to kiss a lady's 
hand at parting, must all have tended to make his visitors 
doubt the fact that he had already lived a score of years 
beyond the Psalmist's allotted span of threescore years and 
ten.' 

The various Eoyal personages excited much interest as 
they were driven up to the Palace. ' Perhaps the greatest 
excitement was associated with the approach of Prince 
William. His Eoyal Highness rode in a State coach, 
splendidly decorated in green and gold, of the unwieldy 
shape of a century ago. Silver crowns surmounted the 
roof, and the six splendid Pomeranian browns that drew 
it were caparisoned in silver and pale blue. The German 
Crown Prince and the Princess Eoyal, with their two 
daughters, rode in a carriage and six, with liveries of 
purple, blue, and silver. Volleys of cheers greeted the 
appearance of this carriage. The Crown Princess was en- 
veloped in an ermine cloak, and smiled, with evident 
satisfaction, at the warmth with which they were welcomed. 
The Prince of Wales, who drove up in a splendid carriage 
and six, was heartily cheered by the people. The manner 
in which the Queen of Eoumania was greeted was also 
most enthusiastic, and when she bowed her acknow- 
ledgments in her own peculiarly graceful manner, the cheers 
were redoubled. It seemed as if the people were not only 
welcoming the Queen, but Carmen Sylvia, the poetess. 

'The reception was over, but the people still remained 
behind. They were rewarded for their patience, for a 
sudden stir among the people, succeeded by loud " Hochs ! " 
showed that something important was happening. A plain 
carriage and pair drove slowly up, in which was seated 
Prince Bismarck. A similar movement again ran through 
the crowd, and Count Yon Moltke appeared in a small open 
carriage, drawn by two spirited bays. They entered the 



326 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

Palace within a few minutes of each other, and when the 
Emperor appeared at the window they could be seen on 
each side of him in the background ; Prince Bismarck on 
his right, and Count Moltke on his left hand. It was a 
thrilling moment when these three men, who have accom- 
plished so much for the Empire in common, showed them- 
selves side by side. It is impossible to know what they 
said; but it is easy to imagine the thoughts which filled 
their hearts. As the great statesman and general drove 
away shortly afterwards there were signs of deep emotion 
on their faces.' 

Wherever the stranger turned in the Prussian capital 
on this memorable day, he saw nothing but patriotic 
crowds; the shops were filled with patriotic mottoes; 
patriotic banners hung from the outward walls; in the 
theatres, at night, the patriotic plays and prologues elicited 
the chief interest. Portraits and busts of the Emperor, sur- 
rounded by wreaths, were to be seen everywhere ; and above 
all the tumult of the day resounded the cheers for the 
nonagenarian monarch. Berlin had never witnessed such a 
scene; even the triumphal entry of the victorious German 
army in 1871 could not vie with it in enthusiasm. For 
days the rejoicings were maintained with an interest that 
never tired or grew faint. 

The celebration was more than a mere personal one it 
was the apotheosis of the G-erman nation. The central 
figure of the Emperor represented its strength, its 
grandeur, and its powers of endurance. German unity 
was at last complete in all its far-reaching and magnificent 
development; and could the spirit of Stein have looked 
down upon the scene, and contemplated the vast work 
which had been achieved, that master mind would have 
been abundantly satisfied. 



( 327 ) 



CHAPTER XV. 

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 

THE interest attaching to the great historical figures of the 
world is not all concentrated upon their public relations. 
Men are anxious to know something about the man as well 
as the ruler, nor is this curiosity injurious or unworthy. It 
is a matter which sensibly affects the meanest to know how 
the greatest wears that humanity which is common to both. 
How a monarch lives, what he does, and what are his traits 
of character, are points upon which we are all glad to learn 
something; for the same nature and passions are given to 
us all. Shakspeare has beautifully shown how the peasant 
and the king are one in the sight of Him who fashioned 
men in the same mould. 

The German Emperor has always set before himself a 
high ideal of conduct and morals. In accordance with one 
of the family statutes of the Hohenzollerns, every member 
of that House, before confirmation, is required to draw up 
and submit to his or her parents, sponsors, and religious 
instructors, a profession of faith, which shall demonstrate to 
those responsible for the moral training of the candidates, 
whether their vows have been duly kept and their duties 
and obligations fulfilled. Such a statement Prince William 
composed, at the age of eighteen, when preparing for con- 
firmation, and the document was ' equally remarkable for 
its pure doctrinal orthodoxy, devotional feeling, and vigorous 
literary style.' But in addition to this, the Prince drew 
up a supplementary manifesto, which he entitled 'Life 
Principles.' Of this manifesto which sets in a clear light 



328 WILLIAM /. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

the manly and robust moral character of the Prince the 
following free translation has been published : 

' With a thankful heart I acknowledge God's great bene- 
ficence in permitting that I should be born in an exalted 
station, because thereby I am better enabled to educate my 
soul and heart, and am put in possession of copious means 
wherewith to build up worthiness in myself. I rejoice in this 
station not on account of the distinction it confers upon 
me amongst men, nor on account of the enjoyments it places 
at my disposal, but because it enables me to achieve more 
than others. In humility I rejoice in my station, and am 
far from believing that God has intended, in this respect, to 
put me at an advantage over my fellow-men. I am equally 
far from considering myself better than anybody else on 
account of my exalted station. My Princely rank shall 
always serve to remind me of the greater obligations it 
imposes upon me, of the greater efforts it requires me 
to make, and of the greater temptations to which it 
exposes me. 

' I will never forget that a Prince is a man before God, 
only a man having his origin, as well as all the weaknesses 
and wants of human nature, in common with the humblest 
of the people ; that the laws prescribed for general observ- 
ance are also binding upon him ; and that he, like all the 
rest, will one day be judged for his behaviour. For all good 
things that may fall to my share, I will look up gratefully 
to God ; and in all misfortunes that may befall me, I will 
submit myself to God, in the firm conviction that He will 
always do what is best for me. I know what, as man and 
Prince alike, my duty is to true honour. I will never seek 
honour to myself in things illusory. My capacities belong 
to the world and to my Fatherland. I will therefore work 
unintermittently within the circle of activity prescribed to 
me, make the best use of my time, and do as much good as 
it may be in my power to do. 

*I will maintain and keep alive within me a sincere and 



PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 329 

hearty good will towards all men, even the most insigni- 
ficant for they are all my brethren. I will not domineer 
over anybody in virtue of my princely dignity, nor bring to 
bear upon any one the pressure of my princely prestige. 
When compelled to require any service at the hands of 
others, I will do so in a courteous and friendly manner, 
endeavouring, as far as in me lies, to render the fulfilment 
of their duties easy to them. But, in accordance with my 
own duty, I will do all I can to destroy the works of 
hypocrisy and malignity, to bring to scorn whatever is 
wicked and shameful, and to visit crime with its due 
measure of punishment ; no feelings of compassion shall 
hinder me therefrom. I will, however, be careful not to 
condemn the guiltless ; on the contrary, for me it shall ever 
be a labour of love to defend the innocent. 

' To the utmost of my ability I will be a helper and 
advocate of those unfortunates who may seek my aid, or of 
whose mishaps I may be informed especially of widows, 
orphans, aged people, men who have faithfully served the 
State, and those whom such men may have left behind them 
in poverty. Never will I forget the good that has been 
done to me by my fellow-men. Throughout my whole life 
I will continue to value those who have rendered me service. 

' For the King, my father, I entertain a respectful and 
tender affection. To live in such sort that I may be a joy 
to him will be my utmost endeavour. I yield the most 
punctilious obedience to his commands. And I entirely 
submit myself to the laws and constitution of the State. I 
will perform my service-duties with absolute exactitude, and 
whilst assiduously keeping my subordinates to their duty, 
will treat them amicably and kindly.' 

Few Princes of eighteen, or indeed men of any other age 
or station, have ever drawn up such a moral code for their 
guidance as this. What is much more noble, however, and 
more to the purpose, the Emperor has throughout his long 
career conscientiously endeavoured to fulfil its obligations. 



330 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

The sterling uprightness of his character found another 
strong verification in a memorandum which, as King of 
Prussia, he drew up and caused to be appended to an ordin- 
ance respecting officers' courts of honour. Many are the 
anecdotes told illustrative of the high value which the 
Emperor attaches to duty, but one very simple incident 
must suffice. A distinguished personage was once in con- 
versation with His Majesty when the guards came by. The 
Kaiser was most particular to fasten the top button of his 
uniform before showing himself to the soldiers, whereat the 
visitor marvelled greatly. He asked the Emperor why he 
should stand so much upon ceremony with men who saw 
him almost daily face to face. The Emperor replied, ' That 
is not the question at all: as the head of the Army, I am 
bound to show my soldiers an irreproachable example in the 
way of tenue. They have never seen me with my coat un- 
buttoned, and I do not intend that they ever shall. For, 
let me tell you, it is the one button left unbuttoned that is 
the ruin of an army ! ' The French paid dearly for this 
perfect soldierly form and preparedness on the part of the 
Germans during the war of 1870-71. 

The Emperor has always cared more for the substance of 
a thing than the appearance. This holds true in great 
things as well as in little. A good example was furnished 
at the time when he accepted the Imperial dignity. Those 
Sovereigns who were great sticklers for forms and cere- 
monies represented to His Majesty that only his Coronation 
was wanting to set the seal upon the New Empire and 
himself as Emperor. The Kaiser heard all they had to 
urge, and then replied : * I am very much obliged to you 
for attaching so much importance to my Coronation as 
German Emperor, although I do not share your views in 
that particular direction. However, if the German people 
make a point of it, I am quite ready to be crowned whenever 
and wherever the nation may please, provided the needful 
insignia are placed at my disposal for the ceremony. Per- 



PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 331 

sonally, I experience no desire to be crowned, and nothing 
is farther from my intention than to spend a single penny 
of my private means upon regalia. In a word, if Germany 
wants her Kaiser crowned, let her pay for his crown ; I 
certainly will not. Crowned or not crowned, I am what 
the voice of the nation has by acclamation pronounced 
me to be, and shall remain so, please God, as long as I 
live ! ' The sovereigns are still waiting for the Imperial 
Coronation. 

The uniform kindness of heart and forgiving disposition 
of the Kaiser are proverbial. It is said that in the past, 
the exercise of these qualities has sometimes been called for 
even in his relations with the Empress. Her Majesty is 
reported to have tried occasionally the fine and chivalrous 
temper of her husband, who is fourteen years her senior. 
The Emperor is a soldier, frank, open-hearted, and now and 
then somewhat impatient of the mere convenances of society ; 
but the Empress Augusta has little sympathy with military 
habits or the military life. She is a dilettante in literature, 
science, and the arts ; and she is reputed to have sometimes 
attempted to thwart the schemes of Bismarck, but in vain. 
Nevertheless, the Emperor's devotion to her has always 
been conspicuous, and his thoughts have gone out first to 
his wife when he has been fighting for the cause of Germany 
on the battlefield. 

When at Ems the Emperor has always delighted to 
mingle with ordinary folk and enter into conversation with 
them. He has borne his ninety summers lightly, and 
exhibited a freshness and energy which men two-thirds his 
age might envy. Under the colonnade at Ems, on the 
occasion of his last visit, His Majesty entered into con- 
versation with a number of ladies and gentlemen. Then he 
visited the goldsmiths' shops, and made large purchases, 
joking with the jewellers meanwhile. In one shop he took 
up an ornament, and when the jeweller pointed out what 
a fine piece of work it was, he remarked in reply, ' Yes, and 



332 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

it will be a fine price, no doubt. If you find a purchaser, 
I shall congratulate you.' ' I know who might buy it, 
your Majesty.' ' Who, then ? ' ' Your Majesty, yourself.' 
1 Can't be.' The Emperor is very partial to seals, of which 
he has a valuable collection. He now asked the price of 
one which pleased him. ' It costs a thousand marks, your 
Majesty.' ' That is too dear.' * Your Majesty will recollect 
that in the year 1882, you bought one that cost fifteen 
hundred marks.' The Emperor immediately remembered 
the fact, and replied, ' Yes, you are right ; but the handle 
was much larger.' As the Kaiser was walking in the 
colonnade, he observed a young cadet, and beckoning to 
him to come near, said, ' What do you mean to be, my son ? ' 
' A Field-Marshal, your Majesty.' The Emperor laughed, 
and remarked to his companions, ' He knows how to 
answer.' Like a venerable father, he wandered hither and 
thither, with a friendly v\ord for many of his subjects, and 
kind greetings for all. By his desire, some thirty officers 
and soldiers who were staying at Ems for the sake of the 
waters took up their station before the Emperor's lodging. 
His Majesty came among them, and kindly inquiring 
after their circumstances, and the cause of their stay at 
Ems, wished each separately a speedy recovery. This 
paternal interest in his subjects has done much to strengthen 
their affection for him. 

In his habits of life the Kaiser is extremely simple. 
When at home in the Palace at Berlin, he breakfasts every 
morning at half-past seven, invariably using coffee, with a 
large allowance of milk, and bread without butter. Should 
the weather permit, he takes walking exercise daily before 
luncheon, which is served at one o'clock. Boiled crab is 
a favourite dish at this meal, and is partaken of with great 
relish. Between luncheon and dinner, affairs of State are 
attended to for at least two hours, and sometimes longer. 
Then he rests until it is time to dress for dinner. The 
fixed hour for this is four o'clock. Every morning the 



PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 333 

chief cook submits the bill of fare for approval. It usually 
consists of five courses. The Kaiser has a decided pre- 
ference for plain food. He is liberal in the use of fruit, and 
drinks mineral water procured from a natural spring. A 
cup of tea, without bread or cake, is the only refreshment he 
takes between dinner and bedtime. He makes a point of 
resting for half an hour after breakfast and luncheon, and 
an hour after dinner. When there are guests invited to 
dinner they meet him in an ante-chamber, where a quarter 
of an hour is spent in chatting. He then leads the way to 
the dining-room. The invitations are always sent out at 
an early hour, and the seats discussed with the Court- 
Marshal. When there are no guests the Emperor dines 
with the Empress,- and the cook takes orders from her. 

In summer, while at Gastein or some other watering- 
place, the Emperor goes to the bath-room at half-past seven 
o'clock in the morning. He breakfasts at eight, and walks 
at ten, accompanied by a personal adjutant and special 
attendant. Luncheon is served at eleven o'clock, and 
between twelve and three he confers with the officers of 
the civil and military cabinets, who are in waiting. Dinner 
is served at four : it consists of soup, fish, boiled beef, two 
entrees, dessert, and fruit. All the members of the Imperial 
suite attend. At six o'clock he takes a carriage ride, makes 
a social call, and chats for an hour or longer. He is never 
out of bed later than ten o'clock. The Emperor takes 
considerable interest in sanitary science, and is very par- 
ticular in the matter of air and ventilation. Eiding to 
hounds has always been one of his favourite amusements ; 
and he is a splendid figure on horseback. It is not too 
much to say that such a simple life as is here sketched out, 
with its accompanying wise and wholesome regimen, would 
do much to prolong many an existence which is now cut 
short by luxury and indulgence. 

Some other traits of the Emperor may be mentioned. 
His firmness is well-known ; whenever he has made up his 



334 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

mind as to what is right to be done, his will is inflexible, 
and nothing would move him from his purpose. Constancy 
might well be his motto constancy in friendship, in truth, 
and in religion. He can, moreover, be very generous, as 
his personal treatment of the dispossessed King of Hanover 
testified ; the Emperor Napoleon also well knew this fact. 
He is humane too, and has always entered upon war with great 
reluctance. Bismarck, who upon this point is well qualified 
to speak, has said that there could not be a more humane 
man than his Imperial master. Strangely enough for one 
who has been concerned in so many wars, His Majesty is a 
lover of peace, and has repeatedly smoothed over difficulties 
which might easily have led to European conflicts. More 
than once he has declared that the blood of Germans shall 
only be shed to protect the honour and interests of the 
Fatherland. The Emperor's sincere and unaffected piety we 
have already had occasion to refer to in the course of this 
work. In all the great crises of his life, he has been 
strangely moved and influenced by it; but his faith has 
been of a robust nature, weakened by none of the grosser 
elements of superstition. 

It seems strange that one who has been equally noble, 
both as a man and as a sovereign, should have been a mark 
for the assassin's bullet. This very point was the subject 
of an interesting conversation between Prince Bismarck and 
General Grant shortly after Dr. Nobiling's attempt. The 
ex-President of the United States happened to be in Berlin 
at the time. General Grant having expressed his horror at 
the crime, and made an allusion to the Kaiser's venerable 
years, Bismarck replied with much emotion : ' Here you 
have an old man, one of the best men on earth, and yet 
they try to take his life. There never was a man of simpler, 
more magnanimous, and more humane character than the 
Emperor. He is totally different from those who are born 
to such a high position, or at least from many of them. 
You know that persons of his rank, princes by birth, are 



PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 335 

inclined to look upon themselves as something wholly differ- 
ent from other men, attaching but little value to the feelings 
and wishes of others. But the Emperor, on the contrary, 
is a man in all things. He has never in his life wronged 
any one, nor hurt any one's feelings, nor acted with severity. 
He is one of those men whose kindly disposition wins all 
hearts ; and he is always occupied with, and mindful of, the 
happiness and welfare of his subjects, and of those about 
him. It is impossible to imagine a finer, nobler, more 
amiable, and beneficent type of a nobleman, with all the 
high qualities of a sovereign and the virtues of a man. I 
should have thought that the Emperor could have passed 
through all his dominions alone without danger ; and now 
they seek to kill him.' 

The Chancellor further said : * In certain respects the 
Kaiser resembles his ancestor Frederick William, the father 
of Frederick the Great ; inasmuch as the old King had the 
same homely sort of character lived simply and retired, 
and led a true family life, possessing all republican virtues. 
And so it is with our Kaiser, who is in all things so repub- 
lican, that even the most incarnate democrat would admire 
him if his judgment were impartial.' General Grant observed 
that he did not see why a person who committed such a 
crime as Nobiling's, which not only imperilled the life of 
an aged sovereign, but filled the world with horror, should 
not be visited with the severest punishment. To this 
Bismarck responded: 'That is precisely my view; and my 
conviction on this head is so strong, that (among other 
reasons) I resigned the reins of power in Alsace so as not 
to have to exercise mercy in cases of capital punishment. 
It was impossible for me to force my conscience. Well, 
now, look at this aged nobleman, this Emperor of ours, 
whose subjects sought to murder him such is his largeness 
of heart, that he never will confirm a sentence of death. It 
is impossible to imagine anything more unique a monarch, 
whose clemency, so to speak, has abolished capital punish- 



336 WILLIAM I. AND THE GERMAN EMPIRE. 

ment, becoming himself on that very account the victim of 
a murder, or an attempt to murder ! That is a fact ; but 
in this respect I cannot agree with the Emperor; and in 
Alsace, where I as Chancellor had to countersign acts of 
mercy, I always inwardly rebelled against doing so. In 
Prussia that is the business of the Minister of Justice, but 
in Alsace it fell to me. I feel, as the French say, that we 
owe justice something, and that in the case of crimes like 
this they must be severely punished.' Grant and Bismarck 
were at one in thinking that such criminals should be 
destroyed, but the Emperor invariably leaned to mercy's 
side. 

It is a curious reflection that the greatest of all the 
European States should, in this the most active and advanced 
era in the world's history, be ruled by a nonagenarian 
monarch. He only succeeded to the throne of Prussia at 
sixty-four years of age, a period when most men begin to 
'shuffle off this mortal coil.' Yet he has lived more than 
a quarter of a century since then, and such a quarter of a 
century as has rarely been seen in the annals of any nation 
or people. Vast upheavals have taken place, and the map 
of Europe has been several times reconstructed, always to 
the greater glory and advantage of Prussia and the German 
race. Nothing more surprising in the way of territorial 
and historical changes could well be conceived. The life of 
the German Kaiser spans the whole momentous period from 
Jena to Sedan. 

The life of the Emperor William is the rampart of the 
peace of Europe. No other agent is so powerful in ensuring 
tranquillity. His Majesty hopes to be permitted to end 
his days in peace; and it would require very strong pro- 
vocation indeed to cause him once more to draw the sword. 
He is a pacific interposing force between Austria and Kussia, 
and exercises a modifying influence upon both those Powers. 
So long as the alliance between Germany and her Imperial 
neighbours lasts there will be no war. Of course, it needs 



PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 337 

but a slight thing to kindle the war flame in Europe ; but 
when so many Powers are armed to the teeth and ready for 
war, the responsibility is all the greater for the individual 
Power which casts the match into the powder. This is 
the one paramount, restraining consideration. 

What will be the future of Germany after the Emperor's 
death ? That is a question which has no doubt often caused 
deep solicitude to the Kaiser and his Chancellor. It cannot 
be forgotten that all the co-makers of Germany and not alone 
the Emperor William have, like their Imperial master, been 
growing old together. ' Sufficient unto the day is the evil 
thereof is a good maxim for individuals, but newly-formed 
Empires and States are to a great extent compelled to fore- 
cast the future. Time only can prove whether the new and 
younger race which, in the nature of things, must at no dis- 
tant date succeed to the Imperial inheritance in Germany, 
will be able to maintain it intact, and to deepen and 
strengthen the foundations of the Empire. Meanwhile, as 
the venerable Emperor approaches that ' bourne from whence 
no traveller returns,' the eyes of the whole civilized world 
follow him with kindly and wondering interest. Viewed in 
its relations to the German race and the German Empire, 
his career has been great and glorious beyond that of any 
contemporary sovereign ; and, notwithstanding the imper- 
fections which cling to all of human mould, when history 
comes to delineate his character it will depict him as a man 
amongst men, a king amongst kings, and a true father to 
his people. 



APPENDIX. 



z 2 



( 341 ) 



APPENDIX. 



STATISTICS OF THE GERMAN EMPIEE. 

IT will be of value, as well as interest, to add here certain 
facts and statistics concerning the Constitution, population, 
finances, &c., of the German Empire. This information is 
gleaned from recent official returns. 

The confederated States known as the German Empire, 
were formally united under the Emperor William on May 4, 
1871, when the constitution of the German Empire replaced 
the articles of confederation between the North German States, 
and the treaties by which the Grand Duchies of Baden and 
Hesse, and the kingdoms of Bavaria and Wiirtemburg, entered 
the League during the Franco-Prussian War. The Sovereign 
powers of the Empire are vested in the Prussian Crown and 
the Federal Council (Bundesrath), but the concurrence of the 
Reichstag (Parliament) is necessary to the exercise of certain 
functions. The Reichstag is elected by universal suffrage. It 
has certain rights of control over the acts of the Government. 
For example, to declare war (if not merely defensive) the 
Emperor must have the consent of the Federal Council, in 
which body, conjointly with the Reichstag, are vested the 
legislative functions of the Empire. The Federal Council 
represents the individual States, and the Reichstag the entire 
nation. The Federal Council consists of sixty-two members, 
who are appointed by the governments of the individual States 
for each session, while the members of the Reichstag, 397 in 
number, are elected by universal suffrage, under the ballot, for 
a term of three years. The Chancellor of the Empire (Prince 
Bismarck) presides over the Bundesrath, or Federal Council, 
and he has also the right to interpose in the deliberations of 
the Reichstag. The Emperor calls both bodies together 



342 APPENDIX. 

annually. All Imperial laws must be voted by a majority in 
both Houses, and the Emperor's assent, with the counter- 
signature of the Chancellor, are necessary to give them effect. 
Prussia and the other States, in addition to their joint Imperial 
relations, have of course a separate Constitution, Parliament, 
and Ministry of their own. 

The area of Germany is 211,149 square miles. The census 
of December 1, 1880, gave the total population of the Empire 
at 45,234,061, of whom 22,185,433 were males, and 23,048,628 
females. The number of foreigners scattered throughout 
Germany was only 275,856, of whom 117,547 were born in 
Austria-Hungary, 28,244 in Switzerland, 23,593 in Denmark, 
17,772 in the Netherlands, 17,393 in France, 15,107 in Eussia, 
11,155 in Great Britain and Ireland, 10,326 in the United 
States, and the remainder in various other countries. By 
December, 1885, the number of foreigners in Germany had 
made no perceptible increase, being then only 276,057. Ac- 
cording to an enumeration of the population of the Empire 
with reference to professions and employments, made on June 
5, 1882, the inhabitants of the Empire were thus distributed: 
Those engaged in agriculture, stock-raising, and gardening, 
18,838,653 ; forestry, hunting, and fishing, 384,593 ; mining 
industry and works of construction, 16,054,291 ; commerce and 
transportation, 4,529,780 ; labour for hire and domestic service, 
938,143; public service, ecclesiastical, and liberal professions, 
2,223,184 ; and those without profession or employment, 
2,245,257. As compared with the year 1871, the number of 
those engaged in agriculture had increased enormously, whilst 
those engaged in personal and domestic service had decreased 
in like proportion. The latest census of the German Empire, 
taken on December 1, 1885, gives the total area of the twenty- 
five States of the Empire at 211,149 English square miles (as 
stated above) and the total population at 46,852,680. 

At the time of the census of 1880, the population was thus 
divided as regards religious belief: Evangelical, 28,318,592; 
Catholic, 16,229,290; other Christians, 93,894; Jewish, 561,612; 
and those unassigned, 30,673. The Protestant element thus 
embraced 62 6 per cent, of the entire population. 

In 1881 there were 47,720 emigrants who renounced German 
nationality, as compared with 28,780 in 1880. With every 



APPENDIX. 343 

year since 1880, the number of emigrants from the German 
Empire has been very great. In 1881 the total number of 
emigrants reached 210,547; in 1882 it was 193,687; in 1883, 
166,119; in 1884, 143,586 ; and in 1885, 103,642. The total 
emigration from 1820 to the end of 1882 was nearly 4,000,000, 
of which number about 3,250,000 emigrated to the United 
States. 

The population of German cities containing upwards of 
100,000 inhabitants in 1880 was as follows: Berlin, 1,122,330; 
Hamburg, 285,859 (with suburbs 410,127); Breslau, 272,912; 
Munich, 230,023; Dresden, 220,818; Leipsic, 149,081; Cologne, 
144,772 ; Konigsberg, 140,909 ; Frankfort-on-the-Main, 136,819 
(including faubourgs, 164,697); Hanover, 122,843 (with Lin- 
den, 145,227); Stuttgart, 117,303; Bremen, 112,458; Dantzic, 
108,551 ; and Strasburg, 104,471. 

Education is compulsory throughout all the German States, 
and the elementary schools are supported by the Communes. 
It appeared from the returns of 1878, that all recruits of the 
army could read and write, though in Bavaria, and some other 
parts of South Germany, there was a small percentage whose 
education generally was backward. The Empire, however, will 
contrast favourably with other European States in the matter 
of education. In the universities of Munich, Miinster, Freiburg, 
and Wurtzburg, Eoman Catholic theology is taught, and in 
Bonn, Breslau, and Tubingen, both Catholic and Protestant ; 
all the other universities are of an exclusively Protestant 
character. In addition to students for degrees, there are non- 
matriculated students, who in Berlin always number con- 
siderably more than a thousand annually. 

With regard to the financial condition of the Empire, the 
Budget for the year 1884-5 which was voted July 2, 1883 
estimated the yield of the customs duties at 196,450,000 marks, 
the mark being equal to one shilling in English money. The 
excise duty on sugar was estimated at 46,865,000 marks ; on 
salt, 37,262,600 marks; on tobacco, 13,940,920 marks; on 
spirits, 35,925,900 marks; on malt, 15,791,000 marks; the net 
receipts of posts and telegraphs, 25,832,193 marks ; of railroads, 
16,690,600 marks; stamp duties, 19,436,680 marks; receipts of 
the invalid funds, 28,665,120 marks ; and surplus of the budget 
of 1882-83, 15,825,000 marks. The extraordinary receipts 



344 APPENDIX. 

were estimated as follows : From construction fund for forti- 
fications, 10,400,000 marks; for Parliament-house, 2,000,000; 
from loan for extraordinary purposes, 22,192,720 making a 
total of 34,592,720 marks. The above sums, together with 
receipts from minor sources amounting to 83,702,768 marks to 
be provided by the matricular quota shares of the States made 
up a total budget of 590,819,344 marks. This amount was to 
be appropriated as follows : Current expenditure, 544,327,866 
marks; extraordinary expenditure, 46,491,478 marks. The 
military administration absorbed no less than 339,872,490 
marks of the current, and 26,762,678 of the extraordinary 
expenditure. 

The German Budget for the year 1887-88 presented an 
estimated revenue and expenditure of 746,888,121 marks, the 
permanent expenditure being placed at 627,351,430 marks, and 
the non-recurring at 119,536,691 marks. The total estimated 
expenditure showed an increase of 53,554,816 marks over that 
of the previous year; and to meet the extraordinary ex- 
penditure of 1887-88 a loan of 66,000,000 marks would be 
necessary. 

The various loans authorized by the Eeichstag, and the dates 
of the laws authorizing them, were as follows : June 14, 1877, 
77,731,321 marks; June 14, 1878, 97,484,865 marks; March 13, 
1879, 68,021,071 marks ; October 13, 1880, 37,627,203 marks ; 
April 5 and December 12, 1881, 64,912,885 marks; February 
15, 1882, 29,674,405 marks; and July 2, 1883, 18,192,720 
marks. Of the amount authorized prior to April 1, 1882, 
there had been issued at that date 319,239,000 marks. The 
value of the bank-notes of the Empire in circulation at the 
same date was 153,164,210 marks. 

On October 1, 1886, the total funded debt was estimated to 
amount to 460,000,000 marks; and there was in addition an 
unfunded debt amounting to 137,527,800 marks. As a set-off 
against the debt of the Empire, there existed the following 
invested funds : the fund for -invalids, 514,360,717 marks ; 
the fortification fund, 30,950,600 marks; fund for Parliament 
buildings, 20,996,400 marks ; and a war treasure fund, 
120,000,000 marks. 

Touching the commerce of the Empire, the total value of the 
imports in 1881 was 2,961,000,000 marks; and the total exports 



APPENDIX. 345 

2,974,000,000 marks. The imports of cereals were 372,000,000, 
and the exports 96,000,000 marks ; the imports of fermented 
liquors, 43,000,000, and the exports 75,500,000; imports of 
live animals and animal products 330,000,000, and exports 
186,000,000. The exports of manufactured products were 
nearly 90,000,000 marks more than in 1880. In 1885 the 
total German imports amounted in value to 2,989,969,000 
marks, and the total exports to 2,915,257,000 marks. The 
strength of the German merchant marine on January 1, 1882, 
was as follows : Ordinary vessels, 4,509 ; tonnage, 1,194,407 ; 
crews, 39,109; steamers, 458; tonnage, 251,648; crews, 9,516. 

The iron industry, as investigated by the Iron and Steel 
Manufacturers' Association of Germany, gave some very re- 
markable results, which followed upon the introduction of 
protective duties. In January, 1879, 325 private firms and 
joint-stock companies employed 153,979 hands, and paid in 
wages 9,333,396 marks monthly ; in January, 1883, they gave 
employment to 206,150 labourers, an increase of 33'9 per cent., 
and paid in wages 14,754,350 marks monthly an increase of 57'2 
per cent. These statistics, however, were compiled by a protec- 
tive body, and they might be susceptible of modification now. 

The strength of the German Army on the peace footing, 
1886-7, is as follows: Officers, 18,143; rank and file, 427,274; 
horses, 81,773 ; guns, 1,374. The war strength of the army is 
(as regards rank and file), more than treble this number, being 
raised to 35,427 officers, 1,500,000 men, 312,731 horses, and 
2,500 guns. If to these figures be added the Landsturm and 
the one-year volunteers, the total war-strength of trained 
soldiers would be about 2,650,000 ; while with the addition of 
those not trained, on account of not being up to the standard at 
the time of drilling, the total available force of all classes would 
be 5,670,000. Every German is liable to service, and no sub- 
stitution is allowed. The strength of the German Navy on 
April 1, 1886, was as follows: Number of vessels, 98; guns, 
554; indicated horse-power, 162,405; crews, 17,472. 

In all parts of Germany, except the Mecklenburg States, 
complete free trade in land has been established, and all 
personal and material burdens removed that would interfere 
with the operation of this principle. In the West German 
States, small estates and peasant proprietorship are the rule, 



346 APPENDIX. 

but in the North large estates prevail. The land is very 
serviceable, for of the whole area of Germany 94 per cent, is 
classed as productive, and only 6 per cent, as unproductive. 
On the 5th of June, 1882, there were no fewer than 5,276,344 
separate agricultural enclosures, each cultivated by one house- 
hold. Corn crops, and hay and grass are the principal growths, 
though there is also a considerable produce from the vineyards. 
Forestry is an industry of great importance. The value of 
domestic animals in 1883 was 5,944,511,000 marks horses and 
cattle furnishing more than three-fourths of the whole. The 
iron industry in Germany is a large one. In 1883 there were 
335 works in operation, producing finished iron ; besides 75 steel 
works ; and a total of nearly 200,000 men were employed in 
the iron trades. With regard to shipping, on January 1, 1886, 
Germany had engaged in the foreign trade, 4,135 vessels; and 
on January 1, 1883, she had 18,372 ships engaged in the river, 
canal, and coast trade of the Empire, 2,460 of which had a 
tonnage of 150 and upwards. 

The railways of the Empire completed and open for public 
traffic in 1886 had a total length of 23,535 English miles ; of 
these lines 20,407 miles belonged to and were worked by the 
State, 422 miles were owned by private companies but were 
worked by the State, and the remainder were owned and 
worked by private companies. In a short time, however, all 
the railways will be absorbed by the State. 

The telegraphic and postal services of Germany have made 
great strides. In the year 1885 the total number of telegraphic 
despatches was 19,131,225, of which 13,622,250 were inland, 
and the remainder international. The length of telegraph lines 
in the Empire at the end of 1885 was 51,537 miles, and of 
telegraph wires 184,380 miles. The Imperial Post Office 
carried, in 1885, 815,689,030 letters, 243,871,890 post-cards, 
19,117,000 patterns, 224,382,000 stamped wrappers, 524,473,250 
newspapers, and 176,353,000 registered packets and money 
orders, &c., of the value of 18,296,431,600 marks. The total 
receipts from the post office and telegraphic services amounted 
in 1884-85 to 193,607,130 marks, and the total expenditure to 
168,976,045 marks. The number of post offices was 17,452, 
with 13,413 telegraphic stations at the end of 1885, and 93,845 
persons employed. 



APPENDIX. 347 

Germany extended her Empire in 1884 by taking under her 
protection certain portions of the West Coast of Africa. By a 
treaty concluded in 1886 the German East Africa Company 
acquired still further rights over territory exceeding in area 
100,000 square miles. Other territories annexed in 1885 were 
Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, New Guinea, 70,300 square miles in 
extent, the New Britain and other islands, now known as the 
Bismarck Archipelago, embracing an area of 18,150 square 
miles; and, in 1886, three islands in the Solomon Group, to 
the east of Bismarck Archipelago, with an area of 6,000 square 
miles. 



INDEX. 



Alexander, the Emperor, visits Berlin, 

261 
Alsace and Lorraine incorporated by 

Germany, 218 

the government regulated, 280 
Arnim, Count, prosecution of, 256 

further proceedings against, 264 
Augustenberg, proclamation by the 

Prince of, 75 

Austria, Emperor of, at Frankfort 
Congress, 78 

- War Manifesto by, 107 

his Manifesto to the Hungarians, 
122 

Austria and Prussia, hostile prepara- 
tions by, 100 
Austro-Prussian War, the, 106 

- battle of Sadowa, 114 

- effects of the, 124 

losses in the, 125 

Battle of Munchengratz, 110 

- Nachod, 111 

Frantenau, 111 

Sadowa or Koniggratz, 114 

Blumenau, 123 

Saarbruck, 172 

Wissemburg, 172 

Worth, 173 

Spicheren, 173 
Forbach, 173 

- Mars-la-Tour, 176 

Gravelotte, 17(5 
Rezonville, 176 



Battle of Beaumont, 180 

Carignan, 180 

Sedan, 181 

Orleans, 193 
Coulmiers, 196 

Beaume la Rolande, 196 

Pont de Noyelle, 197 

Bapaume, 206 

Le Mans, 207 

Belfort, 207 

Bavaria, suicide of the King of, 314 
Bazaine surrenders Metz, 193 

charged with treason, 195 

Becker, Oscar, attempts the life of the 

Emperor, 50 

his trial, 51 

Benedek, Marshal, Austrian com- 

mander-in-chief, 109 
Benedetti, M., interviews Bismarck, 

131 
forces himself upon the Emperor 

at Ems, 167 

Berlin, meeting of Emperors at, 237 
triumphal entry of the Prussian 

army into, 133 

rejoicings at the fall of Sedan, 199 

triumphal entry of the Emperor, 

220 

the university established, 4 

revolution in, 7 

Beust, Baron, and Bismarck, 154 
Bismarck, Prince, his first meeting with 

the Emperor, 22 
sketch of, 56 



350 



INDEX. 



Bismarck, appointed Prime Minister, 57 

his conflict with the Chambers, 58 

violent scene with the Deputies, 

65 

on Frankfort congress, 78 

dismembers the Danish mon- 
archy, 89 

created a Count, 92 

his financial and military mea- 
sures, 93, 94 

interview with Napoleon at 

Biarritz, 97 

seeks a quarrel with Austria, 

99 

concludes treaty of alliance of 

Italy, 100 

Blind's (Cohen) attempt to 

assassinate, 102 

rewards to, after the Prussian 

war, 129 

outwits Napoleon, 131 

described, 133 

on France and Austria, 136 

his official appointments, 163 

created a Prince, 217 

on Ultramontanism, 230 

his Apologia, 231 

quarrels with the Papacy, 233 

retires from Prussian premier- 
ship, 241 

. will not go to " Canossa," 250 

Kullmann's attempt to assassi- 
nate, 253 

. temporary retirement of, 269 

joins the clerical Conservatives, 

278 

his campaign against the Social- 
ists, 278 

abandons free trade, 279 

on the Emperor and Parliament, 

293 

opens new colonial settlements, 

304 

appears as the " honest broker," 

304 



Bismarck resigns the Presidency of the 

Prussian Cabinet, 305 
receives the ordre pour le merite, 

305 

on Sunday labour, 307 

celebrates his seventieth birthday, 

310 
congratulated by the Emperor, 

311 

on the Polish difficulty, 312 

on Socialism, 314 

his Colonial policy, 316 

interview with General Grant, 

334 

his views of the Emperor, 335 

Blind, Ferdinand, attempts to assassi- 
nate Bismarck, 102 

his character, 103 

Bliicher in London, 18 

and Napoleon, 19 

Brunswick succession, the, 309 
Bunsen, Baron, on the German E mperor, 

20 



Carlyle and Frederick the Great, 1 
Catholic bishops prosecuted, 243 

sympathy with, 254 

Chancellors, meeting of German and 

Austrian, 222 
Christian IX. of Denmark, his accession, 

75 
farewell to his Schleswig subjects, 

90 
Cologne Cathedral opened, 290 

- the great bell of, 321 
Crown Princess of Germany at King 

William's coronation, 53 
on Bismarck and Germany, 130 



Denmark and Prussia, 71 

England's sympathy with, 82 

fails in the struggle with Austria 

and Prussia, 88 



INDEX. 



351 



England mediates on behalf of Den- 
mark, 87 

Eugenie's, Empress, escape from 
Paris after Sedan, 188 

European armies, cost of, 264 

Franco-German war, origin of the, 166 

the claims of France refused, 167 

excitement in Paris, 168 
conflict begins, 169 

disposition of the French army, 

170 
French blunders in, 171 

the Prussian forces, 172 
French defeats, 172-3 

Paris declared in a state of siege, 

174 
proclamation of King William, 

174 
Napoleon leaves the French 

army, 175 

battles of Mars la Tour, Grave- 
lotte, Eezonville, 176 

Metz, siege of, 179 

surrender of Sedan, 187 

indignation in Paris, 187 

continuation of, 191 

the French desire an armistice, 
191 

the war continued, 193 

engagements round Paris, 196 

- French success at Coulmiers, 
196 
fall of Orleans, 196 

bombardment of Paris, 198 
battles round the city, 207 

great sortie from Paris, 207 

capitulation of the capital, 208 

Treaty of Versailles, 213 

entry of the Germans into Paris, 

215 
Frankfort Assembly and the Imperial 

Crown, the, 7 

congress of, 78 

Diet, meeting of, 96 



Frankfort Diet, extinction of, 123 
Frederick Charles, Prince, besieges 

Metz, 180 
commands the armies in Saxony 

and Bohemia, 107 
created a Field Marshal, 195 
Frederick the Great, 1 

his characteristics, 2 

his centenary celebrated, 320 

Frederick William II., 2 

his foolish policy, 2 

Frederick William III., 3 

his alliances with France and 

Eussia, 3 

loses part of his dominions, 4 

his despotism, 4 

superstition of, 22 

death of, 23 

Frederick William IV., 5 

a scholar but no king, 6 

difficulties with his subjects, 6 

refuses the Imperial crown, 6 

his life twice attempted, 8 

vacillating policy during the 

Crimean war, 34 

death of, 48 

Frederick William, Crown Prince of 

Germany, bora, 21 
betrothal to the Princess Eoyal 

of Great Britain, 33 

marriage, 36 

opposes his father's policy, 67 

correspondence with the Em- 
peror, 69 
in the Austrian war, 111 

at the battle of Sadowa, 117-119 

in the Franco-German War, 179 

marches towards Paris, 191 

is created a Field Marshal, 195 

Frederick William Victor Albert, 

marriage of, 294 
French Eepublic proclaimed, the, 188 

Gablenz, Marshal von, appointed Gov- 
ernor of Holstein, 96 



352 



INDEX. 



Gambetta, dictator of France, 193 

Gastein convention, the, 94 

protested against by France and 

England, 95 
Geneva, International Congress at, 

153 

German armaments, strength of, 160 
German embassy to the Pope sup- 
pressed, 256 

German Houses of Parliament, 300 
German ironclads, collision between, 

276 
German Parliament, North, meeting of 

the first, 137 

King William's speech to, 138 

the first united, 217 

and the Jesuits, 235 

German States, treaty of confederation 

between, 135 
Germany, democratic feeling in, 164 

arrests of democrats, 200 

Bismarck on annexations to, 201 

internal reconstruction of, 201 

new constitution of, 204 

gains after the war with France, 

213 
- the Catholic difficulty in, 223 

Imperial coinage bill, 225 

financial position of, 226 

school inspection bill, 230 

districts administration bill, 239 

religious legislation for, 242 

civil marriage bill passed, 248 

new army bill, 251 

press law carried, 253 

organization of the Landsturm, 

258 
new laws on births, deaths, and 

marriages, 258 

ecclesiastical measures, 260 

the anti-Socialist Bill, 275 

collapse of the national Liberals, 

277 

and the Samoan Treaty, 281 

universal judicature Act, 282 



Germany, the new Army Bill, 286 
anti-Socialist law, 287 

ecclesiastical legislation, 296 

the Tobacco Monopoly Bill, 296 

the Workmen's Insurance Bill, 

299 

the Explosives Bill, 302 

the graduated income tax, 309 

colonial developments of, 309 

the difficulties with Eome ad- 
justed, 315 

proposed increase of the army, 

317 

the future of the Empire, 337 

statistics of the E mpire, 341 

constitution of the Empire, 341 

area and population, 342 

emigration, 342 

education, 343 

financial condition, 343 

Imperial Budget 344 

loans, 344 

public debt, 344 

commerce, 344 

the iron industry, 345 

the army, 345 

land laws, 345 

railways and postal service, 346 

colonial extension, 347 

Grant, General, on the Emperor 

William, 334 
Great Elector, monument to the, 262 



Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, scene in the, 

205 

Imperial ceremony in, 210 

Hamburg enters the Zollverein, 292 
Hanover, Prussian annexation of, 130 
the King of, his intrigues against 

Prussia, 150 
Hermann, statue to the liberator, 

262 
Herwarth, General, in the Austrian 

war, 116 



INDEX. 



353 



Hohenlohe, Prince, forms a cabinet, 55 
Governor of Alsace Lorraine, 321 

Infallibility dogma, the, 205 
Ischl, meeting of emperors at, 304 

Jesuits expelled from Germany, 236 

Jews, persecution of the, 289 

agitation against, in Berlin, 294 

Krupp gun, invention of the, 266 

Lauenburg, duchy of, united to 

Prussia, 97 
Leopold, Archduke, disobeys Benedek's 

orders, 111 

London treaty of 1852, 76 
Louisa, Queen of Prussia (mother of 

the Emperor), 3 
Napoleon's insulting treatment 

of, 4 

her lofty spirit, 11 

her estimate of Napoleon, 13 

death, 14 

Luxemburg question, the, 143 
attitude of France, on, 145 

MacMahon, his errors hi the Franco- 
Prussian war, 179, 180 

Manteuflel, General von, appointed 
Governor of Schleswig, 96 

death of, 309 

Metz, siege of, 179 

surrender of, 193 

King William on the capitulation 

of, 195 

Moltke, the great strategist, 107 

coolness at Sadowa, 119 

and the French surrender at 

Sedan, 181 

created a Field Marshal, 217 

Napoleon III. mediates between 

Austria and Prussia, 121 
at Saarbriiek, 172 



Napoleon III. surrenders at Sedan, 181 

end of his empire, 188 

National Liberals, convention of, 301 

Paris, capitulation of, 208 

Poland, Russian, revolution in, 64 

Poles expelled from Prussian territory, 
306 

Pope, the, and the Franco-Prussian 
war, 171 

Prague, Treaty of, 125 

Prince Consort's letter to the Prince of 
Prussia, 41 

Prussia after Leipsic, 4 

and Waterloo, 4 

at war with Bonaparte, 10 

territorial gains from Austria,125 

electoral reforms in, 134 

national debt of, 158 

increases her navy, 160 

Prussian Constitution of 1850 promul- 
gated, 32 

Prussian States council formed, 303 

Prussian Chamber of Deputies, scene in 
the, 61 

Eoman Catholic controversy in Ger- 
many, 223 

Russia and the Black Sea, 204 
Russian war scare, 285 

Salzburg, imperial meeting at, 147 
Saxony, death of the King of, 249 
Scharnhorst advocates national de- 
fence, 10 

Schleswig-Holstein, 73 
Sedan, capitulation of, 181 

French losses at, 187 

Skirnievice, alliance of emperors at, 

304 

Socialism, spread of German, 225 
Strasburg university opened, 234 

Tilsit, Treaty of, 4 
provisions of, 12 



354 



INDEX. 



Treaty of Kalisch between Kussia anc 
Prussia, 16 

Ultramontanes, German conflict with 
229 

Versailles, Treaty of, 213 

William I., the German Emperor, 1 

compared with Frederick the 

Great, 1, 2 

his birth, 8 

enters the army, 9 

his education, 10 

his first commission, 11 

his early character, 12 

at Breslau, 16 

his " baptism of fire," 17 

rewarded for bravery, 17 

first visits England, 18 

marriage to Princess Augusta of 

Saxe- Weimar, 21 

first meeting with Bismarck, 22 

becomes Prince of Prussia, 23 

interview with Bunsen, 24 

visits Queen Victoria and Prince 

Albert, 25 

leaves Berlin in 1848, 26 

accusations against, 26, 27 

on constitutional reforms, 28 

elected to the National Assembly, 

30 

suppresses the revolt in Baden, 32 

celebrates his fifty years of mili- 
tary service, 35 

appointed Regent, 38 

exposition of his policy, 39 

on the Italian war of 1859, 42 

inaugurates army reforms, 44 

on the French annexation of Savoy 

and Nice, 45 

meeting with the Emperors of 

Austria and Russia, 46, 47 

created a Knight of the Garter, 49 

attempted assassination of, 50 



William I., the German Emperor* 

visits Napoleon III. at Compiegne 

51 

coronation of, 52 

curious incident at his coronation, 

54 
reproves the Chamber of Deputies, 

63 
estrangement with the Crown 

Prince, 67 
declines to attend Congress of 

Frankfort, 79 

at the battle of Sadowa, 114-118 

speech after Austrian war, 127 

visits Paris, 146 

on Prussian finances, 157 

and Protestantism, 159 

and the Franco-Prussian war, 174 

demeanour on the battle-field, 177 

and Napoleon at Sedan, 181 

letter to Queen Augusta on the 

Prussian victories, 182 

his meeting with Napoleon, 186 

at Versailles, 192 

accepts the Imperial dignity, 202 

assumes the title of Kaiser, 210 
proclaimed at Versailles, 211 

celebration of his seventy-fifth 
birthday, 217 

meets Francis Joseph at Ischl, 221 

on the Catholic controversy, 224 
arbitrates between England and 



the United States, 235 

correspondence with the Pope, 

245 

on the Ultramontane conflict, 295 

visits Victor Emmanuel, 263 

seventieth anniversary of his mili- 
tary career, 265 

his eightieth birthday, 267 

visits Alsace and Lorraine, 269 

at Essen, 270 

his relaxations in Silesia, 271 

Hodel attempts to assassinate, 272 

Nobiling's attempt upon, 273 



INDEX. 



355 



William I., the German Emperor, 
inaugurates his father's monument, 
276 

accidents to, 283 

his golden wedding celebrated, 283 

appeals to the working-classes, 291 
on his constitutionaPrights, 295 

on the Socialist laws, 298 

unveils the great national monu- 
ment/ 300 

on Bismarck, 305 

his silver Jubilee as King of 
Prussia, 318 

unveils the statue of Frederick 
William IV., 320 



William I, the German Emperor, 

visits Alsace-Lorraine, 321 
his ninetieth anniversary cele- 
brated, 322 

his religious faith, 327 

attachment to duty, 330/ 

contempt for forms, 330 

general characteristics, 331 

habits of life, 332 

his visits to Gastein, 333 

his life a security for peace, 336 

Wrangel, death of Field-Marshal, 272 



Zollverein established, the, 4 



THE END. 



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