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2 national policy for Prussia. Either in union | President of the Diet, Count Thun. The with Austria, or acting singly for herself, such Count, a "vornehmer Cavalier' with a sufa policy would have placed Prussia in the right ficient sense of his own superior rank, reposition for helping Germany to that power ceived the representative of Prussia with ichich belongs to her in Europe.'
scant ceremony, went on smoking his cigar Bismarck's evening solace, in his years of standing, and did not ask his visitor to sit independent membership, after days engross down. The new envoy showed himself-as ed with politics in the Chamber or the clubs, at all times—equal to the situation, drew out was—beer and tobacco. His Boswellian bio his cigar-case, and said with unruffled ease, grapher, in the Book of Count Bismarck,' May I ask your Excellency for a light?' who chronicles small beer not less punctually His Excellency was considerably taken aback (as becomes a good German) than greater Im höchsten Grade verblüfft—but gave matters
, tells us that towards evening Bis- Bismarck his light. The latter smoked his marck was wont to resort to Schwartz's beer-cigar, took his seat without ceremony, and house, at the corner of the Friedrich's and opened the conversation. * Leipziger Strassen, in Berlin-a house which It may not be an uninstructive subject of was then the chief rendezvous of the Con- consideration for Englishmen--why it was servative party. At that establishment the that, from the close of the Revolution year, • little dog and all’ was Conservative, and 1848, Prussian politics took a course so difnever failed to bark at any democratic in- ferent from that which our own constitutruder. One evening, however, either Spitz' tional history has led us to think the normal was off duty, or Bismarck had strayed into one. The organisation of the army, due to a less Conservative beer-house. He had no Frederick William I. and Frederick II., had sooner taken his seat than somebody at a begirt the throne with a military aristocracy neighbouring table permitted himself to say not been taken off that basis by the modern something very disparaging about some member of the Royal family. Bismarck reforms of the system. This has preserved thereupon reared himself up to his full that species of modern feudalism in the height and thundered at the offender— Prussian army which regards the obligation "Out of the room with you! If you are not of loyalty to the Crown as paramount to that out before I have drunk this glass out, I will of allegiance to any paper or parliamentary break it on your pate.'--An angry tumult constitution. And the course of events has arose upon this apostrophe, such as was cut out work for the army, the successful wont to arise upon Bismarck's daily Derbhei- performance of which has finally justified, ten in the Second Chamber. He went on, even in the eyes of Prussian popular polihowever, quietly drinking his beer, and when ticians, the stubborn adherence of the King he had finished it, was as good as his word and his Minister Bismarck to their measures in shying the beer-glass at the offender's head. for increasing its strength, taken in direct Deep silence ensued, and Bismarck called to defiance of decided parliamentary majorities the waiter, as if nothing had bappened, from 1862 to 1866. Count Bismarck has
Kellner, what's to pay for the broken been sometimes compared to Strafford; and glass ?' The coup de verre had succeeded, his position, during the first four years of his and the voice of the room was unanimous ministry, towards the Prussian Second Chamin a verdict of · Served right.'
ber, was not very dissimilar to that of the Les hommes se prennent par
chosen minister of Charles I. The difference says the French proverb. Such as above was that the Prussian Strafford had for his narrated—and it is not a solitary trait- master a steady single-minded soldier, and were the douceurs by which Bismarck dis- that he was able to achieve, as the first result armed opponents in. bis hot youth,' if that of his policy, an ascendancy of Prussia in description is applicable to a 'man between Germany, to the exclusion of Austria, at thirty and forty. Such traits almost justi- which every true Prussian had aspired as a fy Mr. Grant Dut’s remark that the ground-consummation devoutly to be wished. Now tone of Bismarck's character is üßpisi A
the ends of Strafford had been as much abstory less violent, but not less characteristic, horred as bis means by the antagonişts of is told of him on arriving at Frankfort, in 1851, to exercise his first political function * According to an earlier version of the anecunder his present royal master
, namely, that dote, Count Rechberg was the offending, party of Prussian representative at the Diet of the on whom Bismarck took his revenge, in the since dissolved German Confederation. In manner above mentioned, for some lack of due that capacity Bismarck visited the Austrian the later version given in the Book of Bis
ceremony in his reception. We have preferred
marck,' which, whether true or not, must at * Studies in European Politics,' p. 235. least be admitted to be ben trovato.
but an army
Popery and prerogative, who carried all be- | State, and not only of the duty owing to the fore them in the Long Parliament; and where- State, but the honour of belonging to it. The as, in England, Parliament was thus predes war of 1866 had already given our South-Gertined to success in its struggle with the mans much to think of; the present war, it is Crown-in Prussia the Crown was predes- judgments. They must see that, if they have
to be hoped, will complete the maturing of their tined to success in its struggle with Parlia- lent their arms to the struggle, the Prussians ment, because, in the latter case, that struggle have found the head for it. They must feel was finally seen by all parties to have had that, with all their good will and good heart, for its object what had long been the object with all their vigour and manhood, they could of Prussian popular ambition—an ambition, yet have achieved nothing against the French. it may be added, which was the natural off- An extended State-system, exclusively put tospring of the very conditions of Prussian gether of South-German elements, might indeed national existence. Prussia,' wrote a Hano
form a full-fed, full-juiced but a puffy and
unwieldy body. While, on the other hand, verian statesman, about the beginning of elements exclusively North-German would go the present century, * is not a country which to the making of a firm and athletic but a possesses an army,
posses- spare and dry one. Prussia will contribute to ses a country. The Prussian Government,' our future German State her strong bones and says a French writer, M. Cherbuliez, sets stiff muscles, which South-Germany will fill its Chambers at defiance, because in Prussia and round with her richer flesh and blood. there is nothing really solid in the shape of without detriment could dispense with the
And now, imagine, if you can, that the one institutions but the administration and the other-doubt, if you dare, that both are desarmy. In a pamphlet recently published, tined to develop in union to a full-grown State ascribed to one of the leaders of the old and nation!' Prussian Conservative party, Von Gerlach, it is observed, “The soul of Prussia is Prus
In the last number of the Revue des sian royalty, and that royalty is essentially before the siege of Paris, M. Ernest Renan,
Deux Mondes' which reached this country military and feudal. The events of 1866 in an article entitled La France et l'Allehave proved that there was nothing really popular amongst us but the King and the magne-observed with perfect truth of the army.'
present Chancellor of the North German In the interesting correspondence lately birth to the Prussian Junker or Squires' party,
Confederation, that, though he belongs by published between Strauss and Renan, in in the Parliamentary ranks of which he first which each asserts the cause of his country with ardour so well tempered as to make us came to the front, he has shown since in think they both originally mistook their ro- political action that he is by no means wedded cation in devoting themselves to polemics indissolubly to the prejudices of that party. instead of politics, Dr. Strauss, after confess- His policy-so soon as he distinctly formed ing that, with his South-German compatriots
a policy of his own*—had two objects: first, generally, he is by no means particularly fond of the Prussians, goes on, nevertheless, * Sir Alexander Malet, in his instructive to ascribe to them political and military Confederation in 1866," has the following obser
volume on The Overthrow of the Germanic points of superiority, which render Prussian vations on Bismarck's earlier politics :leadership, unpopular as it is, still indispen- • There is little doubt that the earliest aspirasable to Germany :
tions of M. de Bismarck, when chosen by his
sovereign to represent Prussia in the Diet, were 'One thing,' he says, “must be conceded to limited to establishing parity between the two the North-German-to the Prussian especial. great German courts, and that he would have ly-he is superior to the South-German as a
been well satisfied with alternation in the presipolitical animal. This superiority he owes
dency of the Diet, and such a division of influ
ence in the Confederation as that nominal partly to the nature of his country, which,
When, poor in natural resources, compels to labour equality would have carried with it
however, the Prussian statesman found that rather than allures to enjoyment, partly to his Austria would abate no iota of her pretensions, history—a history of hard schooling under and that her influence in the Diet was generally princes of stern energy-but above all to the preponderant; when, further, his clear insight general obligation to military service.
into the future saw only one mode of attaining • This obligation renders the State, and the his ends, and that the destinies his patriotism con. duty owing to the State, ever present to the ceived for his own country could no otherwise be minds of every class of the population. Every accomplished than by the humiliation of her rival, son growing up, every year bringing round the he at once threw himself into the task with all
M. de Bismarck's regular season of military exercises, reminds the energy of his nature. every family in the most direct manner of the whole soul glowed with the passionate resolve to
expel Austria from Germany. It was not in his
nature to hesitate as to means ; and neither moral * Rehberg.
nor material obstacles diverted him from his object. † Deutschland am Neujalır, 1870.' In fact, he entered on the contest unencumbered
to expel Austria from the Germanic body; ister's temper and character that the situasecondly, to rally round Prussia those mem- tion, when it had become strained beyond bers of that body which the events of history pacific arbitrament, was at once seen and had dispersed >
accepted, and the quarrel was fought out "Did M. de Bismarck see farther?'-asks M.
• mit Blut und Eisen'-to borrow his own Renan. "Did his necessarily limited range of expression. But the seeds of that quarrel view as a practical man allow him to anticipate had been sowing for centuries_ever since, that one day Prussia would be absorbed by in fact, the days of the Great Elector; and Germany—that one day Prussia would vanish even if war between Austria and Prussia in her own victory, as Rome ceased to exist had been avoided in 1866, situations strained as a ruling city from the day when she had ac- to the very verge of war would have recurred not, for M. de Bismarck hitherto has not sub again and again, till the two rival forces mitted himself, and perhaps never will submit would have met at last in armed conflict, as himself to analysis.'
they did in that year, to decide which of the
two should constitute the armed force of M. Renan's question is in some sort an- Germany for all time within present human swered by the following passage of a letter of Von Bismarck from St. Petersburg, in
prevision. 1859, when he was Prussian Ambassador Germany, which has apparently come to an
That dualism of power and influence in there :
end, had formed the main source of the 'I shall be happy to see the word German whole recent action of Austria and Prussia instead of the word Prussian inscribed on our in German politics, from the abortive Ausflag, when we shall be bound together in a trian attempt at a new scheme of Confederacloser and more purposelike manner with our tion in 1863, to the formation (excluding countrymen, but the word loses its charm Austria) of the North German Confederawhen abused, as at present, by application to tion of 1865. The intervening episode of the Confederate nexus now existing. I dis- Prussian and Austrian participation in the cern in our present federal relations a source of Prussian weakness, which sooner or later Federal execution' on Denmark in 1864, we shall have to heal ferro et igni, if we do was prompted on both sides by the same not betimes, at the favourable season under motive of rivalry, no idea of German right take its cure. He says in the same letter, or European interest having anything to do The result of my eight years' official experi- with it. This was abupdantly proved, as reence at Frankfort (as representative of Prussia garded the successful partner in that operaat the Bund) has been that the subsisting fed. tion, by Prussia at last resting her title to eral arrangements form a fetter for Prussia at all times oppressive, at critieal times perilous the territory, wrung by treaty from Dento her very existence, without securing to her mark, on the transfer of the Danish title to any of those equivalent advantages which that territory; whereas the “Schleswig-HolAustria derives from them in the infinitely stein'war had been commenced on the Gergreater measure of independent individual man popular plea that Denmark had no movement which they afford her.'
title to hold, nor, therefore, to cede that "When two men ride on one horse,' says territory. What the astute Prussian Ministhe proverb, one must ride behind. Šo ter himself had thought, at a previous long as Prussia remained content to ride be- period, of that German popular plea for the hind Austria in the old German Confedera- repeated raids on Denmark, had been extion, as she had remained content to do pressed by him sixteen years before, in a throughout the whole period of the ascend- speech he made in 1848, in the character of ancy of the policy of immobility of the an independent member of the Prussian Selate Prince Metternich, peace was preserved cond Chamber, when he stigmatised the between the two great Powers of Germany. first armed attack on Holstein, in that year, So soon as Prussia resolved (or Von Bis- as 'a most unjust, frivolous, and pernicious marck resolved for her) not to ride behind, enterprise, undertaken to support a revolution so soon war in Germany, which might be without legitimnate motive.' In 1852 Von Bistermed civil war, became imminent, and Von marck accepted from the late King of DenBismarck had long not obscurely indicated mark, the Grand Cross of the Order of the that he should be prepared to face it. It Dannebrog, conferred in recognition of his may be regarded as due to that daring Min- activity in the pacification of the Danish
duchies. At that latter epoch, Von Bisby scruples of any kind. To raise Prussia to the marck was acting as the representative of political status which he thought his country Prussia at the Frankfort Diet. To do him . ought to hold was his religion. He entered the justice he has never pretended any special path of action with the fervour of a Mahomet enforcing a rival faith, and, like Mahomet, suc sympathy with the popular pretexts on which
the last invasion of Denmark was perpetrat
ed. * He struck into it on the part of | imperativeness and, I may add, the reasonablePrussia to take it out of the hands of the ness of those conditions was so self-evident, Middle States and Austria; to get posses- that better views had, in a very short time, sion of the oyster, and leave the other claim- made the most gratifying progress.' ants the shells. Why Austria made herself As Austria would not accept Prussian also an accomplice in the Danish raid, can hegemony in Germany, so France would not only be explained on the motive assigned | accept German ascendancy in Europe withwith little of decent reserve by her own di-out an appeal to the God of Battles. We plomatists. Forsooth Austria could not speak of France, as France was lately repreafford to forfeit her share of German popu- i sented, not only by the Imperial Governlarity, by refusing to lead the march of the i ment, but by the parliamentary and extraminor German States, on the much-besung parliamentary organs of popular opposition. Schleswig-Holstein !' And, above all, she Five years back few would have singled felt herself as usual bound' in American out Count Bismarck as the Sphinx destined phrase) to prevent Prussia from acquiring to devour an empire that could not read his an accession of territory—which Prussia has riddle. Napoleon III, had hitherto been acquired in spite of her.
the great propounder of enigmas in recent When Austria appealed to the vote of the European politics. Every one was attent to Frankfort Diet, to frustrate the aforesaid hearken to that which Louis the Silent purpose of Prussian acquisition of Danish thought fit to utter at rare intervals. He territory, Prussia, under Count Bismarck's thinks reticence is his talent,' Count Bisgovernment, at once treated that vote as a marck is reported to have said in 1865 to a casus belli, seceded from the Confederation, Spanish retired statesman, sojourning like and made her short and decisive campaign himself at Biarritz. The reverse of reticence of Sadowa. And thus the old Austro-Prus- certainly is the talent of the North German sian dualism came to its tragic termination. Chancellor. To know distinctly what he is
* In the life of nations, as of individuals,' driving at, and to drive straight at it, when writes Strauss to Renan, in the correspon- circumstances appear favourable, is a main dence already cited, conjunctures take place, element of his power-a species of straightin which the very thing long wished for is forwardness not by any means excluding realised in so strange a shape, that we do simulation or dissimulation, as there may
be not recognise—nay, turn from it with dis occasion for either, but decidedly excluding gust and anger.'
all superfluous subtleties and aimless irre
solutions. To know how to meet Count "Thus was it with the Prusso-Austrian war of 1866 and its results. It achieved for us
Bismarck on some ground of common inGermans that which we had long wished for, terest and common policy, might haply have but not in the way we wished, and therefore been for Napoleon III., any time these last repelled the sympathies of a great part of the five years, to know how to have preserved German people from its accomplishment. We France from humiliation, and himself from had wished to bring about the union of Ger- overthrow. It must be no ordinary man many by pacific evolution from the idea --the who has held what may be termed joint will of the people—from the calm deliberations of the best men amongst that people. But command with the late Ruler of France over we now saw the way paved to it by the action such tremendous issues for the weal or woe of material force—by "blood and iron.” We of two great nations. M. Thiers is reported had wished to include all German races under to have said, on some occasion, · The Second one imperial Constitution, but now not only Empire has produced two great Ministers— the Germans in Austria but also in the South Count Cavour and Count Bismarck.' ern Middle States, are left out. It required time for the German idealism, and for the Ger-leon III. failed at last in much the same en
It might be interesting to seek why Napoman self-will also to become reconciled with the real conditions of the problem ; but the terprise as that in which Count Bismarck suc
ceeded-in twisting parliaments round his * We translate the following passage from finger, and carrying through political revoVarnhagen Von Ense’s ‘Tagebücher' (vol. xiii. lutions mit Blut und Eisen. But first ocp. 428) :- What Austria and Prussia seek at the the question-Has Count Bismarck hands of Denmark is not more regard to the succeeded where Napoleon III. has failed! Germanism of Schleswig-Holstein-they don't The first eight or ten years of the Second care much about that. Ministry at Copenhagen is democratic-Danish ; French Empire seemed a signal success, and they want a reactionary one-that is, the root of if Count Bismarck's ministry should last as the matter!' This was written in 1857, under long as Napoleon III.'s reign, his policy has · Frederick Williain IV. Count Bismarck, five or six years later, founded his first remonstrances
ample time before it for equal eventual failto the Danish Government explicitly on its too ure. It is undeniable, however, that the democratic character.
main object which Count Bismarck's policy
has effected, had been the main object of ( istry, during which he represented what German popular aspirations for a whole gen- might be called His Majesty's Opposition to eration. That object is unity of national | his Second Chamber, he stood upon his unorganisation and national force. The Prus- doubting and determined confidence in the sian Minister's past successes and present tenableness of his position as the King's ascendancy are chiefly owing to the clearness Minister—no matter against what majority with which his eight years' embassy to Frank- of the popular Chamber. If that Chamber fort led him to discern that object, and the would not pass the military budget—why, boldness and decision for which his accession they were only one power out of three whose to power gave scope in pursuing it. "Quand concurrence was required for its passing, and on sait ce qu'on veut, et qu'on le veut vite et thus there was no more reason why the bien,' says a French historian,* .on l'obtient Crown and the Upper House should give toujourg'-always with the proviso that what way to the Second Chamber, than that the one wills shall lie in the direction of the latter should come to some terms of compronatural course of events, and shall take due mise with the two other co-ordinate powers. account of the nature of men and things. If the President of the Chamber took upon
Von Bismarck had soon surmounted as a him to call the King's Minister to order, the speaker the stammering hesitation of his King's Minister refused to recognise the first parliamentary appearances; but he never President's right to do so. It is an edifying acquired that even, uninterrupted flow of example of German phlegm and German
ds which generally indicates no high pres- longanimity, that this strained state of relasure of thought or passion forcing its way tions between the legislative and executive to utterance. In the marshalling of his powers could go on for four years without topics there is not much parade of parlia- terminating in some more violent situation mentary logic-still less much display, smelor total rupture. All the talents in the ling of the lamp, of parliamentary rhetoric. | Lower Chamber were firing away as incesWhat is chiefly perceptible in Von Bismarck's santly at the King's Minister as the Paris speeches, from first to last, is the speaker's forts have been doing lately at the Prussian ever-present sense of the logic of the situa- | positions, and the Minister was opposing an tion. It was this which sustained him during imperturbable front to all their verbal artilhis four years' struggle with parliamentary lery, and telling them with cutting concisemajorities--it was this which he probably ness, and often happy humour, leurs vérités succeeded in conveying some sympathetic in return. After the conflict had terminated, sense of, even to those majorities. When in consequence of the events of 1866, in the the King's Government,' he said on one occa sort of compromise which he had declared sion (the refusal of a vote of 6000 thalers by throughout could be its only possible termithe Chamber of Deputies to defray the charge nation, we find Count Bismarck, in the newly of a military envoy at St. Petersburg) 'shows convoked · Reichstag' of the North German itself obstinate apparently for a trifle, in an Confederation, in 1867, quietly replying as exceptional case of this kind, you may be follows to an old antagonist in the Prussian assured tbat, after mature examination, and Chamber (Duncker) who again met him in following the dictates of its duty, it could the new arena with the old topics: * not do otherwise than maintain this post, | and refuse to consent to its suppression.' 'Since the last speaker has expressed a cerOn another occasion (the discussion of the tain degree of surprise that I should have spent affairs of the Danish Duchies) Von Bismarck
perhaps the best years of my public life in
combating the parliamentary right of discusstold the Chamber—'For the last year and a
ing the Budget, I will just remind him that it half, if we could have openly declared the may not be quite certain that the army, which object at which we were aiming, I believe, I gained last year's battles, would have possessed gentlemen, you would not have met us with the organisation by which it gained them, if, in so much opposition. ... If you were better the autumn of the year 1862 (the date of Von initiated in the technical part of diplomatic
Bismarck's accession to power), no one had affairs, it would not happen to you to put
been found ready to undertake the conduct of such pressure upon us as to reduce the Ministry to the alternative either of seeming by
* There is a story told, characteristic of Count its silence to admit the justice of your cen
Bismarck's shrewd humour, on occasion of the
first meeting of the newly constituted North sures, or, in refuting them, of expressing German Diet. The British Ambassador at Beropenly what, for political reasons, were bet- lin having expressed some surprise to him that ter left to be understood.'
there should be so many 'Particularists' in that In the first period of Von Bismarck's Min-| Assembly, Count Bismarck's answer was,- Oh
you don't know the Germans: if every German
had money enough, every German would keep a * Mignet.
| Particular King all to himself.”