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Volume I
by Andrew Dickson White
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An ample fund, said to be forty or fifty thousand dollars, had been brought together in Philadelphia for the erection of an equestrian statue to Washington, and it had been finally decided to intrust the commission to Professor Siemering, one of the most eminent of modern German sculptors. One day there came to me a letter from an American gentleman whom I had met occasionally many years before, asking me to furnish him with a full statement regarding Professor Siemering's works and reputation. As a result, I made inquiries among the leading authorities on modern art, and, everything being most favorable, I at last visited his studio, and found a large number of designs and models of works on which he was then engaged,—two or three being of the highest importance, among them the great war monument at Leipsic.

I also found that, although he had executed and was executing important works for various other parts of Germany, he had not yet put up any great permanent work in Berlin, though the designs of the admirable temporary statues and decorations on the return of the troops from the Franco-Prussian War to the metropolis had been intrusted largely to him.

These facts I stated to my correspondent in a letter, and in due time received an answer in substance as follows:

SIR: Your letter confirms me in the opinion I had formed. The intrusting of the great statue of Washington to a man like Siemering is a job and an outrage. It is clear that he is a mere pretender, since he has erected no statue as yet in Berlin. That statue of the Father of our Country ought to have been intrusted to native talent. I have a son fourteen years old who has already greatly distinguished himself. He has modeled a number of figures in butter and putty which all my friends think are most remarkable. I am satisfied that he could have produced a work which, by its originality and power, would have done honor to our country and to art. Yours very truly, —— ——.

Curious, too, was the following: One morning the mail brought me a large packet filled with little squares of cheap cotton cloth. I was greatly puzzled to know their purpose until, a few days later, there came a letter which, with changes of proper names, ran as follows:

PODUNK, ——, 1880.

SIR: We are going to have a fancy fair for the benefit of the —— Church in this town, and we are getting ready some autograph bed-quilts. I have sent you a package of small squares of cotton cloth, which please take to the Emperor William and his wife, also to Prince Bismarck and the other princes and leading persons of Germany, asking them to write their names on them and send them to me as soon as possible. Yours truly, —— ——.

P.S. Tell them to be sure to write their names in the middle of the pieces, for fear that their autographs may get sewed in.

My associations with the diplomatic corps I found especially pleasing. The dean, as regarded seniority, was the Italian ambassador, Count Delaunay, a man of large experience and kindly manners. He gave me various interesting reminiscences of his relations with Cavour, and said that when he was associated with the great Italian statesman, the latter was never able to get time for him, except at five o'clock in the morning, and that this was their usual hour of work.

Another very interesting person was the representative of Great Britain—Lord Odo Russell. He was full of interesting reminiscences of his life at Washington, at Rome, and at Versailles with Bismarck. As to Rome, he gave me interesting stories of Pope Pius IX, who, he said, was inclined to be jocose, and even to speak in a sportive way regarding exceedingly serious subjects.[14] As to Cavour, he thought him a greater man even than Bismarck; and this from a man so intimate with the German chancellor was a testimony of no small value.

[14] One of these reminiscences I have given elsewhere.

As to his recollections of Versailles, he was present at the proclamation of the Empire in the Galerie des Glaces, and described the scene to me very vividly.

His relations with Bismarck were very close, and the latter once paid him a compliment which sped far; saying that, as a rule, he distrusted an Englishman who spoke French very correctly, but that there was one exception— Lord Odo Russell.

At the risk of repeating a twice-told tale, I may refer here to his visit to Bismarck when the latter complained that he was bothered to death with bores who took his most precious time, and asked Lord Odo how he got rid of them. After making some reply, the latter asked Bismarck what plan he had adopted. To this the chancellor answered that he and Johanna (the princess) had hit upon a plan, which was that when she thought her husband had been bored long enough, she came in with a bottle and said, "Now, Otto, you know that it is time for you to take your medicine.'' Hardly were the words out of his mouth, when in came the princess with the bottle and repeated the very words which her husband had just given. Both burst into titanic laughter, and parted on the best of terms.

At court festivities, Lord Odo frequently became very weary, and as I was often in the same case, we from time to time went out of the main rooms together and sat down in some quiet nook for a talk. On one of these occasions, just after he had been made a peer with the title of Baron Ampthill, I said to him, "You must allow me to use my Yankee privilege of asking questions.'' On his assenting to this pleasantly, I asked, "Why is it that you are willing to give up the great historic name of Russell and take a name which no one ever heard of?'' He answered, "I have noticed that when men who have been long in the diplomatic service return to England, they become in many cases listless and melancholy, and wander about with no friends and nothing to do. They have been so long abroad that they are no longer in touch with leading men at home, and are therefore shelved. Entrance into the House of Lords gives a man something to do, with new friends and pleasing relations. As to the name, I would gladly have retained my own, but had no choice; in fact, when Lord John Russell was made an earl, his insisting on retaining his name was not especially liked. Various places on the Russell estates were submitted to me for my choice, and I took Ampthill.''

Alas! his plans came to nothing. He died at his post before his retirement to England.

Among those then connected with the British Embassy at Berlin, one of the most interesting was Colonel (now General) Lord Methuen, who, a few years since, took so honorable a part in the South African War. He was at that time a tall, awkward man, kindly, genial, who always reminded me of Thackeray's "Major Sugarplums.'' He had recently lost his wife, and was evidently in deep sorrow. One morning there came a curious bit of news regarding him. A few days before, walking in some remote part of the Thiergarten, he saw a working-man throw himself into the river, and instantly jumped into the icy stream after him, grappled him, pulled him out, laid him on the bank, and rapidly walked off. When news of it got out, he was taxed with it by various members of the diplomatic corps; but he awkwardly and blushingly pooh-poohed the whole matter.

One evening, not long afterward, I witnessed a very pleasant scene connected with this rescue. As we were all assembled at some minor festivity in the private palace on the Linden, the old Emperor sent for the colonel, and on his coming up, his Majesty took from his own coat a medal of honor for life-saving and attached it to the breast of Methuen, who received it in a very awkward yet manly fashion.

The French ambassador was the Count de St. Vallier, one of the most agreeable men I have ever met, who deserved all the more credit for his amiable qualities because he constantly exercised them despite the most wretched health. During his splendid dinners at the French Embassy, he simply toyed with a bit of bread, not daring to eat anything.

We were first thrown especially together by a representation in favor of the double standard of value, which, under instructions from our governments, we jointly made to the German Foreign Office, and after that our relations became very friendly. Whenever the Fourth of July or Washington's Birthday came round, he was sure to remember it and make a friendly call.

My liking for him once brought upon me one of the most embarrassing mishaps of my life. It was at Nice, and at the table d'hte of a great hotel on the Promenade des Anglais, where I was seated next a French countess who, though she had certainly passed her threescore years and ten, was still most agreeable. Day after day we chatted together, and all went well; but one evening, on our meeting at table as usual, she said, "I am told that you are the American minister at Berlin.'' I answered, "Yes, madam.'' She then said, "When I was a young woman, I was well acquainted with the mother of the present French ambassador there.'' At this I launched out into praises of Count St. Vallier, as well I might; speaking of the high regard felt for him at Berlin, the honors he had received from the German Government, and the liking for him among his colleagues. The countess listened in silence, and when I had finished turned severely upon me, saying, "Monsieur, up to this moment I have believed you an honest man; but now I really don't know what to think of you.'' Of course I was dumfounded, but presently the reason for the remark occurred to me, and I said, "Madam, M. de St. Vallier serves France. Whatever his private opinions may be, he no doubt feels it his duty to continue in the service of his country. It would certainly be a great pity if, at every change of government in France, every officer who did not agree with the new rgime should leave the diplomatic service or the military service or the naval service, thus injuring the interests of France perhaps most seriously. Suppose the Comte de Chambord should be called to the throne of France, what would you think of Orleanists and republicans who should immediately resign their places in the army, navy, and diplomatic service, thus embarrassing, perhaps fatally, the monarchy and the country?'' At this, to my horror, the lady went into hysterics, and began screaming. She cried out, "Oui, monsieur, il reviendra, Henri Cinq; il reviendra. Dieu est avec lui; il reviendra malgr tout,'' etc., etc., and finally she jumped up and rushed out of the room. The eyes of the whole table were turned upon us, and I fully expected that some gallant Frenchman would come up and challenge me for insulting a lady; but no one moved, and presently all went on with their dinners. The next day the countess again appeared at my side, amiable as ever, but during the remainder of my stay I kept far from every possible allusion to politics.

The Turkish ambassador, Sadoullah Bey, was a kindly gentleman who wandered about, as the French expressively say, "like a damnd soul.'' Something seemed to weigh upon him heavily and steadily. A more melancholy human being I have never seen, and it did not surprise me, a few years later, to be told that, after one of the palace revolutions at Constantinople, he had been executed for plotting the assassination of the Sultan.

The Russian ambassador, M. de Sabouroff, was a very agreeable man, and his rooms were made attractive by the wonderful collection of Tanagra statuettes which he had brought from Greece, where he had formerly been minister. In one matter he was especially helpful to me. One day I received from Washington a cipher despatch instructing me to exert all my influence to secure the release of Madame ——, who, though married to a former Russian secretary of legation, was the daughter of an American eminent in politics and diplomacy. The case was very serious. The Russian who had married this estimable lady had been concerned in various shady transactions, and, having left his wife and little children in Paris, had gone to Munich in the hope of covering up some doubtful matters which were coming to light. While on this errand he was seized and thrown into jail whereupon he telegraphed his wife to come to him. His idea, evidently, was that when she arrived she also would be imprisoned, and that her family would then feel forced to intervene with the money necessary to get them both out. The first part of the programme went as he had expected. His wife, on arriving in Munich, was at once thrown into prison, and began thence sending to the Secretary of State and to me the most distressing letters and telegrams. She had left her little children in Paris, and was in agony about them. With the aid of the Russian ambassador, who acknowledged that his compatriot was one of the worst wretches in existence, I obtained the release of the lady from prison after long negotiations. Unfortunately, I was obliged to secure that of her husband at the same time; but as he died not long afterward, he had no opportunity to do much more harm.

Of the ministers plenipotentiary, the chief was Baron Nothomb of Belgium, noted as the "Belgian father of constitutional liberty.'' He was a most interesting old man, especially devoted to the memory of my predecessor, Bancroft, and therefore very kind to me. Among the reminiscences which he seemed to enjoy giving me at his dinner-table were many regarding Talleyrand, whom he had personally known.

Still another friend among the ministers was M. de Rudhardt, who represented Bavaria. He and his wife were charming, and they little dreamed of the catastrophe awaiting them when he should cross Bismarck's path. The story of this I shall recount elsewhere.[15]

[15] See chapter on Bismarck.

Yet another good friend was Herr von Nostitz-Wallwitz, representative of Saxony, who was able, on one occasion, to render a real service to American education. Two or three young ladies, one of whom is now the admired head of one of the foremost American colleges for women, were studying at the University of Leipsic. I had given them letters to sundry professors there, and nothing could be better than the reports which reached me regarding their studies, conduct, and social standing. But one day came very distressing telegrams and letters, and, presently, the ladies themselves. A catastrophe had come. A decree had gone forth from the Saxon Government at Dresden expelling all women students from the university, and these countrywomen of mine begged me to do what I could for them. Remembering that my Saxon colleague was the brother of the prime minister of Saxony, I at once went to him. On my presenting the case, he at first expressed amazement at the idea of women being admitted to the lecture-rooms of a German university; but as I showed him sundry letters, especially those from Professors Georg Curtius and Ebers, regarding these fair students, his conservatism melted away and he presently entered heartily into my view, the result being that the decree was modified so that all lady students then in the university were allowed to remain until the close of their studies, but no new ones were to be admitted afterward. Happily, all this has been changed, and to that, as to nearly all other German universities, women are now freely admitted.

Very amusing at times were exhibitions of gentle sarcasm on the part of sundry old diplomatists. They had lived long, had seen the seamy side of public affairs, and had lost their illusions. One evening, at a ball given by the vice-chancellor of the empire which was extremely splendid and no less tedious, my attention was drawn to two of them. There had been some kind of absurd demonstration that day in one of the principal European parliaments, and coming upon my two colleagues, I alluded to it.

"Yes,'' said Baron Jauru of Brazil, "that comes of the greatest lie prevalent in our time—the theory that the majority of mankind are WISE; now it is an absolute fact which all history teaches, and to-day even more than ever, that all mankind are FOOLS.'' "What you say is true,'' replied M. de Quade, the Danish minister, "but it is not the WHOLE truth: constitutional government also goes on the theory that all mankind are GOOD; now it is an absolute fact that all mankind are bad, utterly BAD.'' "Yes,'' said Jauru, "I accept your amendment; mankind are fools and knaves.'' To this I demurred somewhat, and quoted Mr. Lincoln's remark, "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time; but you can't fool all the people all the time.''

This restored their good humor, and I left them smilingly pondering over this nugget of Western wisdom.

Interesting to me was the contrast between my two colleagues from the extreme Orient. Then and since at Berlin I have known the Japanese Minister Aoki. Like all other Japanese diplomatic representatives I have met, whether there or elsewhere, he was an exceedingly accomplished man: at the first dinner given me after my arrival in Berlin he made an admirable speech in German, and could have spoken just as fluently and accurately in French or English.

On the other hand, Li Fong Pao, the Chinese representative, was a mandarin who steadily wore his Chinese costume, pigtail and all, and who, though jolly, could speak only through an interpreter who was almost as difficult to understand as the minister himself.

Thus far it seems the general rule that whereas the Japanese, like civilized nations in general, train men carefully for foreign service in international law, modern languages, history, and the like, the Chinese, like ourselves, do little, if anything, of the kind. But I may add that recently there have been some symptoms of change on their part. One of the most admirable speeches during the Peace Conference at The Hague was made by a young and very attractive Chinese attach. It was in idiomatic French; nothing could be more admirable either as regarded matter or manner; and many of the older members of the conference came afterward to congratulate him upon it. The ability shown by the Chinese Minister Wu at Washington would also seem to indicate that China has learned something as to the best way of maintaining her interests abroad.

This suggests another incident. In the year 1880 the newspapers informed us that the wife of the Chinese minister at Berlin had just sailed from China to join her husband. The matter seemed to arouse general interest, and telegrams announced her arrival at Suez, then at Marseilles, then at Cologne, and finally at Berlin. On the evening of her arrival at court the diplomatic corps were assembled, awaiting her appearance. Presently the great doors swung wide, and in came the Chinese minister with his wife: he a stalwart mandarin in the full attire of his rank; she a gentle creature in an exceedingly pretty Chinese costume, tripping along on her little feet, and behind her a long array of secretaries, interpreters, and the like, many in Chinese attire, but some in European court costume. After all of us had been duly presented to the lady by his Chinese excellency, he brought her secretaries and presented them to his colleagues. Among these young diplomatists was a fine-looking man, evidently a European, in a superb court costume frogged and barred with gold lace. As my Chinese colleague introduced him to me in German, we continued in that language, when suddenly this secretary said to me in English, "Mr. White, I don't see why we should be talking in German; I was educated at Rochester University under your friend, President Anderson, and I come from Waterloo in Western New York.'' Had he dropped through the ceiling, I could hardly have been more surprised. Neither Waterloo, though a thriving little town upon the New York Central Railroad and not far from the city in which I have myself lived, nor even Rochester with all the added power of its excellent university, seemed adequate to develop a being so gorgeous. On questioning him, I found that, having been graduated in America, he had gone to China with certain missionaries, and had then been taken into the Chinese service. It gives me very great pleasure to say that at Berlin, St. Petersburg, and The Hague, where I have often met him since, he has proved to be a thoroughly intelligent and patriotic man. Faithful to China while not unmindful of the interests of the United States, in one matter he rendered a very great service to both countries.

But a diplomatic representative who has a taste for public affairs makes acquaintances outside the diplomatic corps, and is likely to find his relations with the ministers of the German crown and with members of the parliament very interesting. The character of German public men is deservedly high, and a diplomatist fit to represent his country should bring all his study and experience to bear in eliciting information likely to be useful to his country from these as well as from all other sorts and conditions of men. My own acquaintance among these was large. I find in my diaries accounts of conversations with such men as Bismarck, Camphausen, Delbrck, Windthorst, Bennigsen, George von Bunsen, Lasker, Treitschke, Gneist, and others; but to take them up one after the other would require far too much space, and I must be content to jot down what I received from them wherever, in the course of these reminiscences, it may seem pertinent.



CHAPTER XXXI

MEN OF NOTE IN BERLIN AND ELSEWHERE—1879-1881

My acquaintance at Berlin extended into regions which few of my diplomatic colleagues explored, especially among members of the university faculty and various other persons eminent in science, literature, and art.

Writing these lines, I look back with admiration and affection upon three generations of Berlin professors: the first during my student days at the Prussian capital in 1855-1856, the second during my service as minister, 1879-1881, and the third during my term as ambassador 1897-1902.

The second of these generations seems to me the most remarkable of the three. It was a wonderful body of men. A few of them I had known during my stay in Berlin as a student; and of these, first in the order of time, Lepsius, the foremost Egyptologist of that period, whose lectures had greatly interested me, and whose kindly characteristics were the delight of all who knew him.

Ernst Curtius, the eminent Greek scholar and historian, was also very friendly. He was then in the midst of his studies upon the famous Pergamon statues, which, by skilful diplomacy, the German Government had obtained from the Turkish authorities in Asia Minor, and brought to the Berlin Museum. He was also absorbed in the excavations at Olympia, and above all in the sculptures found there. One night at court he was very melancholy, and on my trying to cheer him, he told me, in a heartbroken tone, that Bismarck had stopped the appropriations for the Olympia researches; but toward the end of the evening he again sought me, his face radiant, and with great glee told me that all was now right, that he had seen the Emperor, and that the noble old monarch had promised to provide for the excavations from his own purse.

Still another friend was Rudolf von Gneist, the most eminent authority of his time upon Roman law and the English constitution. He had acted, in behalf of the Emperor William, as umpire between the United States and Great Britain, with reference to the northwestern boundary, and had decided in our favor. In recognition of his labor, the American Government sent over a large collection of valuable books on American history, including various collections of published state papers; and the first duty I ever discharged as minister was to make a formal presentation of this mass of books to him. So began one of my most cherished connections.

Especially prized by me was a somewhat close acquaintance with the two most eminent professors of modern history then at the university—Von Sybel and Droysen. Each was a man of great ability. One day, after I had been reading Lanfrey's "Histoire de Napolon,'' which I then thought, and still think, one of the most eloquent and instructive books of the nineteenth century, Von Sybel happened to drop in, and I asked his opinion of it. He answered: "It does not deserve to be called a history; it is a rhapsody.'' Shortly after he had left, in came Droysen, and to him I put the same question, when he held up both hands and said: "Yes, there is a history indeed! That is a work of genius; it is one of the books which throw a bright light into a dark time: that book will live.''

Professor Hermann Grimm was then at the climax of his fame, and the gods of his idolatry were Goethe and Emerson; but apparently he did not resemble them in soaring above the petty comforts and vexations of life. Any one inviting him to dine was likely to receive an answer asking how the dining-room was lighted—whether by gas, oil, or wax; also how the lights were placed— whether high or low; and what the principal dishes were to be: and on the answer depended his acceptance or declination. Dining with him one night, I was fascinated by his wife; it seemed to me that I had never seen a woman of such wonderful and almost weird powers: there was something exquisitely beautiful in her manner and conversation; and, on my afterward speaking of this to another guest, he answered: "Why, of course; she is the daughter of Goethe's Bettina, to whom he wrote the 'Letters to a Child.' ''

Another historian was Treitshke, eminent also as a member of parliament—a man who exercised great power in various directions, and would have been delightful but for his deafness. A pistol might have been fired beside him, and he would never have known it. Wherever he was, he had with him a block of paper leaves and a pencil, by means of which he carried on conversation; in parliament he always had at his side a shorthand-writer who took down the debates for him.

Some of the most interesting information which I received regarding historical and current matters in Berlin was from the biologist Du Bois-Reymond. He was of Huguenot descent, but was perhaps the most anti-Gallic man in Germany. Discussing the results of the expulsion of the Huguenots under Louis XIV, the details he gave me were most instructive. Showing me the vast strength which the Huguenots transferred from France to Germany, he mentioned such men as the eminent lawyer Savigny, the great merchant Raven, and a multitude of other men of great distinction, who, like himself, had retained their French names; and he added very many prominent people of Huguenot descent who had changed their French names into German. He then referred to a similar advantage given to various other countries, and made a most powerful indictment against the intolerance for which France has been paying such an enormous price during more than two hundred years.

Interesting in another way were two men eminent in physical science—Helmholtz and Hoffmann. Meeting them one evening at a court festivity, I was told by Hoffmann of an experience of his in Scotland. He had arrived in Glasgow late on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning went to call on Professor Sir William Thomson, now Lord Kelvin. The door-bell was answered by a woman servant, of whom Hoffmann asked if Sir William was at home. To this the servant answered, "Sir, he most certainly is not.'' Hoffmann then asked, "Could you tell me where I might find him?'' She answered, "Sir, you will find him at church, where YOU ought to be.''

My acquaintance with university men was not confined to Berlin; at Leipsic, Halle, Giessen, Heidelberg, and elsewhere, I also found delightful professorial circles. In my favorite field, I was especially struck with the historian Oncken. As a lecturer he was perfect; and I have often advised American historical students to pass a semester, if not more, at Giessen, in order to study his presentation of historical subjects. As to manner, he was the best lecturer on history I heard in Germany; and, with the exception of Laboulaye at the Collge de France, Seelye at English Cambridge, and Goldwin Smith at Cornell, the best I ever heard anywhere.

Especially delightful were sundry men of letters. Of these I knew best Auerbach, whose delightful "Dorfgeschichten'' were then in full fame. He had been a warm personal friend of Bayard Taylor, and this friendship I inherited. Many were the walks and talks we took together in the Thiergarten, and he often lighted up my apartment with his sunny temper. But one day, as he came in, returning from his long vacation, I said to him: "So you have been having a great joy at the unveiling of the Spinoza statue at The Hague.'' "A great joy!'' he said. "Bewahre! far from it; it was wretched— miserable.'' I asked, "How could that be?'' He answered, "Renan, Kuno Fischer, and myself were invited to make addresses at the unveiling of the statue; but when we arrived at the spot, we found that the Dutch Calvinist domi- nies and the Jewish rabbis had each been preaching to their flocks that the judgments of Heaven would fall upon the city if the erection of a statue to such a monstrous atheist were permitted, and the authorities had to station troops to keep the mob from stoning us and pulling down the statue. Think of such a charge against the 'Gottbetrunkener Mensch,' who gave new proofs of God's existence, who saw God in everything!''

Another literary man whom I enjoyed meeting was Julius Rodenberg; his "Reminiscences of Berlin,'' which I have read since, seem to me the best of their kind.

I also came to know various artists, one of them being especially genial. Our first meeting was shortly after my arrival, at a large dinner, where, as the various guests were brought up to be introduced to the new American minister, there was finally presented a little, gentle, modest man as "Herr Knaus.'' I never dreamed of his being the foremost genre-painter in Europe; and, as one must say something, I said, "You are, perhaps, a relative of the famous painter.'' At this he blushed deeply, seemed greatly embarrassed, and said: "A painter I am; famous, I don't know. (Maler bin ich; berhmt, das weiss ich nicht.)'' So began a friendship which has lasted from that day to this. I saw the beginning, middle, and end of some of his most beautiful pictures, and, above all, of the "Hinter den Coulissen,'' which conveys a most remarkable philosophical and psychological lesson, showing how near mirth lies to tears. It is the most comic and most pathetic of pictures. I had hoped that it would go to America; but, after being exhibited to the delight of all parts of Germany, it was bought for the royal gallery at Dresden.

Very friendly also was Carl Becker. His "Coronation of Ulrich von Hutten,'' now at Cologne, of which he allowed me to have a copy taken, has always seemed to me an admirable piece of historical painting. In it there is a portrait of a surly cardinal-bishop; and once, during an evening at Becker's house, having noticed a study for this bishop's head, I referred to it, when he said: "Yes, that bishop is simply the sacristan of an old church in Venice, and certainly the most dignified ecclesiastic I have ever seen.'' The musical soires at Becker's beautiful apartments were among the delights of my stay both then and during my more recent embassy.

Very delightfully dwell in my memory, also, some evenings at the palace, when, after the main ceremonies were over, Knaus, Becker, and Auerbach wandered with me through the more distant apartments and galleries, pointing out the beauties and characteristics of various old portraits and pictures. In one long gallery lined with the portraits of brides who, during the last three centuries, had been brought into the family of Hohenzollern, we lingered long.

Then began also my friendship with Anton von Werner. He had been present at the proclamation of the Emperor William I in the great "Hall of Mirrors'' at Versailles, by express invitation, in order that he might prepare his famous painting of that historic scene. I asked him whether the inscription on the shield in the cornice of the Galerie des Glaces, "Passage du Rhin,'' which glorified one of the worst outrages committed by Louis XIV upon Germany, was really in the place where it is represented in his picture. He said that it was. It seemed a divine prophecy of retribution.

The greatest genius in all modern German art—Adolf Menzel—I came to know under rather curious circumstances. He was a little man, not more than four feet high, with an enormous head, as may be seen by his bust in the Berlin Museum. On being presented to him during an evening at court, I said to him: "Herr Professor, in America I am a teacher of history; and of all works I have ever seen on the history of Frederick the Great, your illustrations of Kugler's history have taught me most.'' This was strictly true; for there are no more striking works of genius in their kind than those engravings which throw a flood of light into that wonderful period. At this he invited me to visit his studio, which a few days later I did, and then had a remarkable exhibition of some of his most curious characteristics.

Entering the room, I saw, just at the right, a large picture, finely painted, representing a group of Frederick's generals, and in the midst of them Frederick himself, merely outlined in chalk. I said, "There is a picture nearly finished.'' Menzel answered, "No; it is not finished and never will be.'' I asked, "Why not?'' He said, "I don't deny that there is some good painting in it. But it is on the eve of the battle of Leuthen; it is the consultation of Frederick the Great with his generals just before that terrible battle; and men don't look like that just before a struggle in which the very existence of their country is at stake, and in which they know that most of them must lay down their lives.''

We then passed on to another. This represented the great Gens d'Armes Church at Berlin; at the side of it, piled on scaffoldings, were a number of coffins all decked with wreaths and flowers; and in the foreground a crowd of beholders wonderfully painted. All was finished except one little corner; and I said, "Here is one which you will finish.'' He said, "No; never. That represents the funeral of the Revolutionists killed here in the uprising of 1848. Up to this point''—and he put his finger on the unfinished corner—"I believed in it; but when I arrived at this point, I said to myself, 'No; nothing good can come out of that sort of thing; Germany is not to be made by street fights.' I shall never finish it.''

We passed on to another. This was finished. It represented the well-known scene of the great Frederick blundering in upon the Austrian bivouac at the castle of Lissa, when he narrowly escaped capture. I said to him, "There at least is a picture which is finished.'' "Yes,'' he said; "but the man who ordered it will never get it.'' I saw that there was a story involved, and asked, "How is that?'' He answered, "That picture was painted on the order of the Duke of Ratibor, who owns the castle. When it was finished he came to see it, but clearly thought it too quiet. What he wanted was evidently something in the big, melodramatic style. I said nothing; but meeting me a few days afterward, he said, 'Why don't you send me my picture?' 'No,' I said; 'Serene Highness, that picture is mine.' 'No, said he; 'you painted it for me; it is mine.' 'No,' said I; 'I shall keep it.' His Highness shall never have it.''

My principal recreation was in excursions to historical places. Old studies of German history had stimulated a taste for them, and it was a delight to leave Berlin on Saturday and stay in one of these towns over Sunday. Frequently my guide was Frederick Kapp, a thoughtful historian and one of the most charming of men.

A longer pilgrimage was made to the mystery-play at Oberammergau. There was an immense crowd; and, as usual, those in the open, in front of our box, were drenched with rain, as indeed were many of the players on the stage. I had "come to scoff, but remained to pray.'' There was one scene where I had expected a laugh— namely, where Jonah walks up out of the whale's belly. But when it arrived we all remained solemn. It was really impressive. We sat there from nine in the morning until half-past twelve, and then from half-past one until about half-past four, under a spell which banished fatigue. The main point was that the actors BELIEVED in what they represented; there was nothing in it like that vague, wearisome exhibition of "religiosity'' which, in spite of its wonderful overture, gave me, some years afterward, a painful disenchantment—the "Parsifal'' at Bayreuth.

At the close of the Passion Play, I sought out some of the principal actors, and found them kindly and interesting. To the Christus I gave a commission for a carved picture-frame, and this he afterward executed beautifully. With the Judas, who was by far the best actor in the whole performance, I became still better acquainted. Visiting his workshop, after ordering of him two carved statuettes I said to him: "You certainly ought to have a double salary, as the Judas had in the miracle-plays of the middle ages; this was thought due him on account of the injury done to his character by his taking that part.'' At this the Oberammergau Judas smiled pleasantly, and said: "No; I am content to share equally with the others; but the same feeling toward the Judas still exists''; and he then told me the following story: A few weeks before, while he was working at his carving-bench, the door of his workshop opened, and a peasant woman from the mountains came in, stood still, and gazed at him intently. On his asking her what she wanted, she replied: "I saw you in the play yesterday; I wished to look at you again; you look so like my husband. He is dead. HE, TOO, WAS A VERY BAD MAN.''

Occasionally, under leave of absence from the State Department, I was able to make more distant excursions, and first of all into France. The President during one of these visits was M. Grvy. Some years before I had heard him argue a case in court with much ability; but now, on my presentation to him at the palace of the lyse, he dwelt less ably on the relations of the United States with France, and soon fell upon the question of trade, saying, in rather a reproachful way, "Vous nous inondez de vos produits.'' To this I could only answer that this inundation of American products would surely be of mutual benefit to both nations, and he rather slowly assented.

Much more interesting to me was his minister of foreign affairs, Barthlemy-Saint-Hilaire, a scholar, a statesman, and a man of noble character. We talked first of my intended journey to the south of France; and on my telling him that I had sent my eldest son to travel there, for the reason that at Orange, Arles, Nmes, and the like, a better idea of Roman power can be obtained than in Italy itself, he launched out on that theme most instructively.

The conversation having turned toward politics, he spoke much of Bismarck and Moltke, pronouncing the name of the latter in one syllable. He said that Bismarck was very kind personally to Thiers during the terrible negotiations; that if Bismarck could have had his way he would have asked a larger indemnity,—say, seven milliards,—and would have left Alsace-Lorraine to France; that France would gladly have paid a much larger sum than five milliards if she could have retained Alsace- Lorraine; that Bismarck would have made concessions; but that "Molkt'' would not. He added that Bismarck told "Molkt'' that he—the latter—had, by insisting on territory, made peace too difficult. Saint-Hilaire dwelt long on the fearful legacy of standing armies left by the policy which Germany finally adopted, and evidently considered a great international war as approaching.[16]

[16] December, 1880.

Dining afterward at the Foreign Office with my old friend Millet, who was second in command there, I met various interesting Frenchmen, but was most of all pleased with M. Ribot. Having distinguished himself by philosophical studies and made a high reputation in the French parliament, he was naturally on his way to the commanding post in the ministry which he afterward obtained. His wife, an American, was especially attractive.

It is a thousand pities that a country possessing such men is so widely known to the world, not by these, but by novelists and dramatists largely retailing filth, journalists largely given to the invention of sensational lies, politicians largely obeying either atheistic demagogues or clerical intriguers; and all together acting like a swarm of obscene, tricky, mangy monkeys chattering, squealing, and tweaking one another's tails in a cage. Some of these monkeys I saw performing their antics in the National Assembly then sitting at Versailles; and it saddened me to see the nobler element in that assemblage thwarted by such featherbrained creatures.[16]

[16] December, 1880.

Another man of note, next whom I found myself at a dinner-party, was M. de Lesseps. I still believe him to have been a great and true man, despite the cloud of fraud which the misdeeds of others drew over his latter days. Among sundry comments on our country, he said that he had visited Salt Lake City, and thought a policy of force against the Mormons a mistake. In this I feel sure that he was right. Years ago I was convinced by Bishop Tuttle of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who had been stationed for some years at Salt Lake City, that a waiting policy, in which proper civilization can be brought to bear upon the Mormons, is the true course.

On the following Sunday I heard Pre Hyacinthe preach, as at several visits before; but the only thing at all memorable was a rather happy application of Voltaire's remark on the Holy Roman Empire, "Ni Saint, ni Empire, ni Romain.''

At the salon of Madame Edmond Adam, eminent as a writer of review articles and as a hater of everything Teutonic, I was presented to a crowd of literary men who, though at that moment striking the stars with their lofty heads, have since dropped into oblivion. Among these I especially remember mile de Girardin, editor, spouter, intriguer—the "Grand mile,'' who boasted that he invented and presented to the French people a new idea every day. This futile activity of his always seemed to me best expressed in the American simile: "Busy as a bee in a tar-barrel.'' There was, indeed, one thing to his credit: he had somehow inspired his former wife, the gifted Delphine Gay, with a belief in his greatness; and a pretty story was current illustrating this. During the revolution of 1848, various men of note, calling on Madame Girardin, expressed alarm at the progress of that most foolish of overturns, when she said, with an air of great solemnity, and pointing upward, "Gentlemen, there is one above who watches over France. (Il y a un l-haut qui veille sur la France.)'' All were greatly impressed by this evidence of sublime faith, until the context showed that it was not the Almighty in whom she put her trust, but the great mile, whose study was just above her parlor.

This reminds me that, during my student days at Paris, I attended the funeral of this gifted lady, and in the crowd of well-known persons present noticed especially Alexandre Dumas. He was very tall and large, with an African head, thick lips, and bushy, crisp hair. He evidently intended to be seen. His good-natured vanity was as undisguised as when his famous son said of him in his presence, "My father is so vain that he is capable of standing in livery behind his own carriage to make people think he sports a negro footman.''

Going southward, I stopped at Bourges, and was fascinated by the amazing stonework of the crypt. How the mediaeval cathedral-builders were able to accomplish such intricate work with the means at their command is still one of the great mysteries. There is to-day in the United States no group of workmen who could execute anything approaching this work, to say nothing of such pieces as the vaulting of Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster or of King's College Chapel at Cambridge.

Thence we went to the Church of Brou, near Lyons— exquisitely beautiful, and filled with monuments even more inspiring than the church itself. But it was entirely evident, from a look at the church and its surroundings, that Matthew Arnold had written his charming poem without ever visiting the place. Going thence to Nice, we stopped at Turin; and at the grave of Silvio Pellico there came back to me vivid memories of his little book, which had seemed to make life better worth living.

At Genoa a decision had to be made. A mass of letters of introduction to leading Italians had been given me, and I longed to make their acquaintance; but I was weary, and suddenly decided to turn aside and go upon the Riviera, where we settled for our vacation at Nice. There we found various interesting people, more especially those belonging to the American colony and to the ship-of-war Trenton, then lying at Villefranche, near by. Shortly after our arrival, Lieutenant Emery of the navy called, bearing an invitation to the ship from Admiral Howell, who was in command at that station; and, a day or two later, on arriving in the harbor, though I saw a long-boat dressed out very finely, evidently awaiting somebody, and suspected that it was intended for me, I quietly evaded the whole business by joining a party of Americans in a steam-launch, so that I had been on board some little time before the admiral realized the omission in his programme. As a result, in order to quiet his conscientious and patriotic feelings, I came again a day or two afterward, was conveyed to the frigate with the regulation pomp, and received the salutes due an American minister. My stay on the ship was delightful; but, though the admiral most kindly urged me to revisit him, I could never again gather courage to cause so much trouble and make so much noise.

Most interesting to me of all the persons in Nice at that time was a young American about fourteen years of age, who seemed to me one of the brightest and noblest and most promising youths I had ever seen. Alas! how many hopes were disappointed in his death not long afterward! The boy was young Leland Stanford. The aspirations of his father and mother were bound up in him, and the great university at Palo Alto is perhaps the finest monument ever dedicated by parents to a child.

During another of these yearly absences in Italy, I met various interesting men, and, among these, at Florence the syndic Ubaldino Peruzzi, a descendant of the great Peruzzis of the middle ages, and one of the last surviving associates of Cavour. He was an admirable talker; but of all he said I was most pleased with the tribute which he paid to the American minister at Rome, Judge Stallo of Cincinnati. He declared that at a recent conference of statesmen and diplomatists, Judge Stallo had carried off all the honors— speaking with ease, as might be necessary, in Italian, French, and English, and finally drawing up a protocol in Latin.

At Florence also I made an acquaintance which has ever since been a source of great pleasure to me—that of Professor Villari, senator of the kingdom, historian of Florence, and biographer of Savonarola. So began a friendship which has increased the delights of many Florentine visits since those days—a friendship not only with him, but with his gifted and charming wife.

This reminds me that at Rome the name of the eminent professor once brought upon me a curious reproof.

I had met at various times, in the Eternal City and elsewhere, a rising young professor and officer of Harvard University; and, being one morning in Loescher's famous book-shop on the Corso, with a large number of purchases about me, this gentleman came in and, looking them over, was pleased to approve several of them. Presently, on showing him a volume just published and saying, "There is the new volume of Villari's history,'' I pronounced the name of the author with the accent on the first syllable, as any one acquainted with him knows that it ought to be pronounced. At this the excellent professor took the book, but seemed to have something on his mind; and, having glanced through it, he at last said, rather solemnly, "Yes; VillAri''—accenting strongly the second syllable—"is an admirable writer.'' I accepted his correction meekly and made no reply. A thing so trivial would not be worth remembering were it not one of those evidences, which professors from other institutions in our country have not infrequently experienced, of a "certain condescension'' in sundry men who do honor to one or two of our oldest and greatest universities.

Of all people at Rome I was most impressed by Marco Minghetti. A conversation with him I have given in another chapter.

Reminiscences of that first official life of mine at Berlin center, first of all, in Bismarck, and then in the two great rulers who have since passed away—the old hero, Emperor William I, and that embodiment of all qualities which any man could ask for in a monarch, the crown prince who afterward became the Emperor Frederick III.

Both were kindly, but the latter was especially winning. At different times I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him on various subjects; but perhaps the most interesting of these interviews was one which took place when it became my duty to conduct him through the American exhibit in the International Fisheries Exhibition at Berlin.

He had taken great interest in developing the fisheries along the northern coast of Germany, and this exhibition was the result. One day he sent the vice-chancellor of the empire to ask me whether it was not possible to secure an exhibit from the United States, and especially the loan of our wonderful collections from the Smithsonian Institution and from the Fisheries Institution of Wood's Holl {sic}. To do this was difficult. Before my arrival an attempt had been made and failed. Word had come from persons high in authority at Washington that Congress could not be induced to make the large appropriation required, and that sending over the collections was out of the question. I promised to do what I could; and, remembering that Fernando Wood of New York was chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means in the House, and that Governor Seymour, then living in retirement near Utica, was his old political associate, and especially interested in re- stocking the waters of New York State with fish, I sent the ex-governor a statement of the whole case, and urged him to present it fully to Mr. Wood. Then I wrote in the same vein to Senator Conkling, and, to my great satisfaction, carried the day. The appropriation was made by Congress; and the collections were sent over under the control of Mr. Brown Goode of the Smithsonian, perhaps the most admirable man who could have been chosen out of the whole world for that purpose. The prince was greatly delighted with all he saw, showed remarkable intelligence in his questions, and, thanks to Mr. Goode's assistance, he received satisfactory answers. The result was that the American exhibit took the great prize—the silver- gilt vase offered by the Emperor William, which is now in the National Museum at Washington.

The prince showed a real interest in everything of importance in our country. I remember his asking me regarding the Brooklyn Bridge—how it could possibly be sustained without guy-ropes. Of course it was easy to show him that while in the first of our great suspension- bridges—that at Niagara—guy-ropes were admissible, at Brooklyn they were not: since ships of war as well as merchant vessels of the largest size must pass beneath it; and I could only add that Roebling, who built it, was a man of such skill and forethought that undoubtedly, with the weight he was putting into it and the system of trusses he was placing upon it, no guy-ropes would be needed.

On many occasions the prince showed thoughtful kindness to members of my family as well as to myself, and the news of his death gave me real sorrow. It was a vast loss to his country; no modern monarch has shown so striking a likeness to Marcus Aurelius.

Hardly less hearty and kindly was the Emperor then reigning—William I. Naturally enough, he remembered, above all who had preceded me, Mr. Bancroft. His first question at court generally was, "How goes it with your predecessor? (Wie geht es mit Ihrem Vorgnger?)'' and I always knew that by my "predecessor'' he meant Bancroft. When I once told him that Mr. Bancroft, who was not far from the old Kaiser's age, had bought a new horse and was riding assiduously every day, the old monarch laughed heartily and dwelt on his recollections of my predecessor, with his long white beard, riding through the Thiergarten.

Pleasant to me was the last interview, on the presentation of my letter of recall. It was at Babelsberg, the Emperor's country-seat at Potsdam; and he detained me long, talking over a multitude of subjects in a way which showed much kindly feeling. Among other things, he asked where my family had been staying through the summer. My answer was that we had been at a hotel near the park or palace of Wilhelmshhe above Cassel; and that we all agreed that he had been very magnanimous in assigning to the Emperor Napoleon III so splendid a prison and such beautiful surroundings. To this he answered quite earnestly, "Yes; and he was very grateful for it, and wrote me to say so; but, after all, that is by no means the finest palace in Germany.'' To this I answered, "Your Majesty is entirely right; that I saw on visiting the palace of Wrzburg.'' At this he laughed heartily, and said, "Yes, I see that you understand it; those old prince-bishops knew how to live.'' As a matter of fact, various prince-bishops in the eighteenth century impoverished their realms in building just such imitations of Versailles as that sumptuous Wrzburg Palace.

He then asked me, "On what ship do you go to America?'' and I answered, "On the finest ship in your Majesty's merchant navy—the Elbe.'' He then asked me something about the ship; and when I had told him how beautifully it was equipped,—it being the first of the larger ships of the North German Lloyd,—he answered, "Yes; what is now doing in the way of shipbuilding is wonderful. I received a letter from my son, the crown prince, this morning, on that very subject. He is at Osborne, and has just visited a great English iron-clad man-of-war. It is wonderful; but it cost a million pounds sterling.'' At this he raised his voice, and, throwing up both hands, said very earnestly, "We can't stand it; we can't stand it.''

After this and much other pleasant chat, he put out his hand and said, "Auf Wiedersehen''; and so we parted, each to take his own way into eternity.

The other farewells to me were also gratifying. The German press was very kindly in its references to my departure; and just before I left Berlin a dinner was given me in the great hall of the Kaiserhof by leading men in parliamentary, professional, literary, and artistic circles. Kindly speeches were made by Gneist, Camphausen, Delbrck, George von Bunsen, and others—all forming a treasure in my memory which, as long as life lasts, I can never lose.



CHAPTER XXXII

MY RECOLLECTIONS OF BISMARCK—1879-1881

My first glimpse of Bismarck was obtained during one of my journeys through middle Germany, about the time, I think, of the Franco-Prussian War. Arriving at the Kissingen junction, we found a crowd gathered outside the barriers, and all gazing at a railway-carriage about to be attached to our train. Looking toward this, I recognized the face and form of the great North-German statesman. He was in the prime of life—sturdy, hearty, and happy in the presence of his wife and children. The people at the station evidently knew what was needed; for hardly had he arrived when waiters appeared, bearing salvers covered with huge mugs of foaming beer. Thereupon Bismarck took two of the mugs in immediate succession; poured their contents down his throat, evidently with great gusto; and a burly peasant just back of me, unable longer to restrain his admiration, soliloquized in a deep, slow, guttural, reverberating rumble: "A-a-a-ber er sieht sehr-r-r gut aus.'' So it struck me also; the waters of Kissingen had evidently restored the great man, and he looked like a Titan ready for battle.

My personal intercourse with him began in 1879, when, as chancellor of the German Empire, he received me as minister of the United States. On my entering his workroom, he rose; and it seemed to me that I had never seen another man so towering save Abraham Lincoln. On either side of him were his two big, black dogs, the Reichshunde; and, as he put out his hand with a pleasant smile, they seemed to join kindly in the welcome.

His first remark was that I seemed a young man to undertake the duties of a minister, to which I made the trite reply that time would speedily cure that defect. The conversation then ran, for a time, upon commonplace subjects, but finally struck matters of interest to both our countries.

There were then, as ever since, a great number of troublesome questions between the two nations, and among them those relating to Germans who, having gone over to the United States just at the military age, had lived there merely long enough to acquire citizenship, and had then hastened back to Germany to enjoy the privileges of both countries without discharging the duties of either. These persons had done great harm to the interests of bona-fide German-Americans, and Bismarck evidently had an intense dislike for them. This he showed then and afterward; but his tendencies to severity toward them were tempted {sic} by the minister of foreign affairs, Von Blow, one of the most reasonable men in public business with whom I have ever had to do, and father of the present chancellor, who greatly resembles him.

But Bismarck's feeling against the men who had acquired American citizenship for the purpose of evading their duties in both countries did not prevent his taking a great interest in Germans who had settled in the United States and, while becoming good Americans, had preserved an interest in the Fatherland. He spoke of these, with a large, kindly feeling, as constituting a bond between the two nations. Among other things, he remarked that Germans living in the United States become more tractable than in the land of their birth; that revolutionists thus become moderates, and radicals conservatives; that the word Einigkeit (union) had always a charm for them; that it had worked both ways upon them for good, the union of States in America leading them to prize the union of states in Germany, and the evils of disunion in Germany, which had been so long and painful, leading them to abhor disunion in America.

The conversation then fell into ordinary channels, and I took leave after another hearty shake of the hand and various kind assurances. A few days later came an invitation to dinner with him; and I prized this all the more because it was not to be an official, but a family dinner, and was to include a few of his most intimate friends in the ministry and the parliament. On the invitation it was stated that evening dress was not to be worn; and on my arrival, accompanied by Herr von Schltzer, at that time the German minister in Washington, I found all the guests arrayed in simple afternoon costume. The table had a patriarchal character. At the head sat the prince; at his side, in the next seat but one, his wife; while between them was the seat assigned me, so that I enjoyed to the full the conversation of both. The other seats at the head of the table were occupied by various guests; and then, scattered along down, were members of the family and some personages in the chancery who stood nearest the chief. The conversation was led by him, and soon took a turn especially interesting. He asked me whether there had ever been a serious effort to make New York the permanent capital of the nation. I answered that there had not; that both New York and Philadelphia were, for a short period at the beginning of our national history, provisional capitals; but that there was a deep-seated idea that the permanent capital should not be a commercial metropolis, and that unquestionably the placing of it at Washington was decided, not merely by the central position of that city, but also by the fact that it was an artificial town, never likely to be a great business center; and I cited Thomas Jefferson's saying, "Great cities are great sores.'' He answered that in this our founders showed wisdom; that the French were making a bad mistake in bringing their national legislature back from Versailles to Paris; that the construction of the human body furnishes a good hint for arrangements in the body politic; that, as the human brain is held in a strong inclosure, and at a distance from the parts of the body which are most active physically, so the brain of the nation should be protected with the greatest care, and should not be placed in the midst of a great, turbulent metropolis. To this I assented, but said that during my attendance at sessions of the French legislative bodies, both in my old days at Paris and more recently at Versailles, it seemed to me that their main defects are those of their qualities; that one of the most frequent occupations of their members is teasing one another, and that when they tease one another they are wonderfully witty; that in the American Congress and in the British Parliament members are more slow to catch a subtle comment or scathing witticism; that the members of American and British assemblies are more like large grains of cannon- powder, through which ignition extends slowly, so that there comes no sudden explosion; whereas in the French Assembly the members are more like minute, bright grains of rifle-powder, which all take fire at the same moment, with instant detonation, and explosions sometimes disastrous. He assented to this, but insisted that the curse of French assemblies had been the tyranny of city mobs, and especially of mobs in the galleries of their assemblies; that the worst fault possible in any deliberative body is speaking to the galleries; that a gallery mob is sure to get between the members and the country, and virtually screen off from the assembly the interests of the country. To this I most heartily assented.

I may say here that there had not then been fully developed in our country that monstrous absurdity which we have seen in these last few years—national conventions of the two parties trying to deliberate in the midst of audiences of twelve or fifteen thousand people; a vast mob in the galleries, often noisy, and sometimes hysterical, frequently seeking to throw the delegates off their bearings, to outclamor them, and to force nominations upon them.

A little later, as we discussed certain recent books, I re- ferred to Jules Simon's work on Thiers's administration. Bismarck said that Thiers, in the treaty negotiations at Versailles, impressed him strongly; that he was a patriot; that he seemed at that time like a Roman among Byzantines.

This statement astonished me. If ever there existed a man at the opposite pole from Bismarck, Thiers was certainly that man. I had studied him as a historian, observed him as a statesman, and conversed with him as a social being; and he had always seemed, and still seems, to me the most noxious of all the greater architects of ruin that France produced during the latter half of the nineteenth century—and that is saying much. His policy was to discredit every government which he found existing, in order that its ruins might serve him as a pedestal; and, while he certainly showed great skill in mitigating the calamities which he did so much to cause, his whole career was damning.

By his "History of the French Revolution'' he revived the worst of the Revolution legend, and especially the deification of destructiveness; by his "History of the Consulate and of the Empire,'' and his translation of the body of Napoleon to France, he effectively revived the Napoleonic legend. The Queen of the French, when escaping from the Tuileries in 1848, was entirely right in reproaching him with undermining the constitutional monarchy of 1830; and no man did more than he to arouse and maintain the anti-German spirit which led to the Franco-Prussian War.

By his writings, speeches, and intrigues he aided in upsetting, not only the rule of the Bourbons in 1830, but the rule of Louis Philippe in 1848, the Second Republic in 1851, and the Second Empire in 1870; and, had he lived, he would doubtless have done the same by the present Republic.

Louis Blanc, a revolutionist of another bad sort—so common in France—who can ruin but NOT restore, once said to me that Thiers's "greatest power lay in his voicing average, unthinking, popular folly; so that after one of his speeches every fool in France would cry out with delight, "Mais, voil mon opinion!''

Doubtless Bismarck was impressed, for the time being, by Thiers's skill in negotiation; but it is perfectly evident, from the recollections of various officials since published, that his usual opinion of Thiers was not at all indicated by his remark above cited.

Later the conversation fell upon travel; and, as he spoke of his experiences in various parts of Europe, I recommended America to him as a new field of observation—alluding playfully to the city named after him, and suggesting that he take his family with him upon a large steamer, and, after seeing the more interesting things in the United States, pass on around the world, calling at the Samoan Islands, on which I had recently heard him speak in parliament. After some humorous objections to this plan, he said that early in life he had a great passion for travel, but that upon his father's death he was obliged to devote himself to getting his estate in order; that ever since that time his political duties had prevented his traveling much; and that now he had lost the love of wandering, and in place of it had gained a desire to settle down in the midst of his family.

He spoke English so perfectly that I asked him how much time he had spent in England. He said, "Very little—in fact, only two or three days.'' He had made but two short visits, one of them many years ago,—I think he said in 1842,—the other during the exposition of 1862. He seemed much struck with the beauty of England, and said that if his lot had been cast there he would have been very happy as an English country gentleman; that he could not understand how Englishmen are so prone to live outside of their own country. He spoke of various Englishmen, and referred to Lord Dufferin, who had dined with him the day before, as one of the most abstemious men he had ever seen, drinking only a little claret and water. Upon my speaking of the great improvement which I had noted in England during the last quarter of a century, so that the whole country was becoming more and more like a garden, he said that such a statement was hardly likely to please thinking Englishmen; that they could hardly be glad that England should become more and more like a garden; "for,'' he said, "feeding a great nation from a garden is like provisioning an army with plum cake.''

He then dwelt on the fact that Great Britain had become more and more dependent for her daily bread on other countries, and especially on the United States.

The conversation next turned to the management of estates, and he remarked, in a bluff, hearty way, that his father had desired him to become a clergyman; that there was a pastor's living, worth, if I remember rightly, about fifteen hundred thalers a year, which his father thought should be kept in the family. This led to some amusing conversation between him and the princess on what his life would have been under such circumstances, ending by his saying jocosely to her, "You probably think that if I had become a pastor I would have been a better man.'' To which she answered that this she would not say; that it would not be polite. "But,'' she continued, "I will say this: that you would have been a happier man.''

He referred to some of my predecessors, speaking very kindly of Bayard Taylor and George Bancroft; but both he and the princess dwelt especially upon their relations with Motley. The prince told me of their life together at Gttingen and at Berlin, and of Motley's visits since, when he always became Bismarck's guest. The princess said that there was one subject on which it was always a delight to tease Motley—his suppressed novel "Merrymount''; that Motley defended himself ingeniously in various ways until, at his last visit, being pressed hard, he declared that the whole thing was a mere myth; that he had never written any such novel.

The dinner being ended, our assembly was adjourned to the terrace at the back of the chancellor's palace, looking out upon the park in which he was wont to take his famous midnight walks. Coffee and cigars were brought, but for Bismarck a pipe with a long wooden stem and a large porcelain bowl. It was a massive affair; and, in a jocose, apologetic way, he said that, although others might smoke cigars and cigarettes, he clung to the pipe—and in spite of the fact that, at the Philadelphia Exposition, as he had heard, a great German pipe was hung among tomahawks, scalping-knives, and other relics of barbarism. From time to time a servant refilled his pipe, while he discoursed upon various subjects—first upon the condition of America and of Germany; then upon South American matters, and of the struggle between Chile and other powers. He showed great respect for the Chileans, and thought that they manifested really sterling qualities.

He spoke of ship-building, and showed, as it seemed to me, rather a close knowledge of the main points involved. He referred to the superiority of Russian ships, the wood used being more suitable than that generally found elsewhere. As to American ships, he thought they were built, as a rule, of inferior woods, and that their reputation had suffered in consequence.

The conversation again falling upon public men, a reference of mine to Gladstone did not elicit anything like a hearty response; but the mention of Disraeli seemed to arouse a cordial feeling.

Among the guests was Lothar Bucher, whom Bismarck, in earlier days, would have hanged if he had caught him, but who had now become the chancellor's most confidential agent; and, as we came out together, Bucher said: "Well, what do you think of him?'' My answer was: "He seems even a greater man than I had expected.'' "Yes,'' said Bucher; "and I am one of those who have suffered much and long to make him possible.'' I said: "The result is worth it, is it not?'' "Yes,'' was the reply; "infinitely more than worth it.''

My next visit was of a very peculiar sort. One day there arrived at the legation Mr. William D. Kelly of Pennsylvania, anxious, above all things, to have a talk with Bismarck, especially upon the tariff and the double monetary standard, both of which were just then burning questions. I told Mr. Kelly that it was much easier to present him to the Emperor than to the chancellor, but that we would see what could be done. Thereupon I wrote a note telling Bismarck who Mr. Kelly was—the senior member of the House of Representatives by term of service, the leading champion therein of protection and of the double standard of value; that he was very anxious to discuss these subjects with leading German authorities; and that, knowing the prince's interest in them, it had seemed to me that he might not be sorry to meet Mr. Kelly for a brief interview. To this I received a hearty response: "By all means bring Mr. Kelly over at four o'clock.'' At four o'clock, then, we appeared at the palace, and were received immediately and cordially. When we were seated the prince said: "I am very sorry; but the new Prussian ministry is to meet here in twenty minutes, and I must preside over it.'' The meaning of this was clear, and the conversation began at once, I effacing myself in order to enjoy it more fully. In a few seconds they were in the thick of the tariff question; and, as both were high protectionists, they got along admirably. Soon rose the question of the double standard in coinage; and on this, too, they agreed. Notable was the denunciation by the chancellor of those who differed from him; he seemed to feel that, as captain of the political forces of the empire, he was entitled to the allegiance of all honest members of parliament, and on all questions. The discussion ran through various interesting phases, when, noticing that the members of the Prussian ministry were gathering in the next room, I rose to go; whereupon the prince, who seemed greatly interested both in the presentation of his own views and those of Mr. Kelly, said: "No, no; let them wait.'' The new ministers therefore waited, the argument on the tariff and the double standard being more vigorously prosecuted than ever. After fifteen or twenty minutes more, I rose again; but Bismarck said: "No, no; there's no hurry; let's go and take a walk.'' On this we rose and went into the garden. As we stopped for an instant to enable him to take down his military cap, I noticed two large photographs with autographs beneath them,—one of Lord Beaconsfield, and the other of King Victor Emmanuel,—and, as I glanced at the latter, I noticed an inscription beneath it:

Al mio caro cugino Bismarck. VITTORIO EMANUELE.

Bismarck, seeing me look at it, said: "He calls me 'cousin' because he has given me his Order of the Annunciata.'' This remark for a moment surprised me. It was hard for me to conceive that the greatest man in Europe could care whether he was entitled to wear the Annunciata ribbon or not, or whether any king called him "cousin'' or not. He seemed, for a moment, to descend to a somewhat lower plane than that upon which he had been standing; but, as we came out into the open and walked up and down the avenues in the park, he resumed his discussion of greater things. During this, he went at considerable length into the causes which led to the partial demonetization of silver in the empire; whereupon Mr. Kelly, interrupting him, said: "But, prince, if you fully believed in using both the precious metals, why did you allow the demonetization of silver?'' "Well,'' said Bismarck, "I had a great many things to think of in those days, and as everybody said that Camphausen and —— were great financiers, and that they understood all about these questions, I allowed them to go on; but I soon learned, as our peasants say of those who try to impose upon their neighbors, that they had nothing but hot water in their dinner-pots, after all.'' He then went on discussing the mistakes of those and other gentlemen before he himself had put his hand to the work and reversed their policy. There were curious allusions to various individuals whose ideas had not suited him, most of them humorous, but some sarcastic. At last, after a walk of about twenty minutes, bearing in mind the ministers who had been so long waiting for their chief, I insisted that we must go; whereupon the prince conducted us to the gate, and most cordially took leave of us.

As we left the place, I said to Mr. Kelly, knowing that he sometimes wrote letters for publication: "Of course, in whatever you may write to America, you will be careful not to mention names of persons.'' "Certainly,'' he said; "that, of course, I shall never think of doing.'' But alas for his good resolutions! In his zeal for protection and the double standard, all were forgotten. About a fortnight later there came back by cable a full statement regarding his interview, the names all given, and Bismarck's references to his colleagues brought out vividly. The result was that a large portion of the German press was indignant that Bismarck should have spoken in such a manner to a foreigner regarding Germans of such eminence, who had been his trusted colleagues, and who had rendered to the country very great services; so that, for some days, the "Affaire Kelly'' made large demands upon public attention. It had hardly subsided when there came notice to me from the State Department at Washington that a very eminent American financier was about to be sent to Berlin; and I was instructed to secure for him an audience with the chancellor, in order that some arrangements might be arrived at regarding the double standard of value. I must confess that, in view of the "Affaire Kelly,'' these instructions chilled me. Fortunately, Bismarck was just then taking his usual cure at Kissingen, during which he always refused to consider any matter of business; but, on his return to Berlin, I sent him a note requesting an audience for this special American representative. This brought a very kind answer expressing regret that the chancellor was so pressed with arrears of business that he desired to be excused; but that the minister of finance and various other members of the cabinet had been instructed to receive the American agent and to communicate with him to the fullest extent. That was all very well, but there were my instructions; and I felt obliged to write again, making a more earnest request. Thereupon came an answer that settled the question: the chancellor regretted that he was too much overwhelmed with work to meet the gentleman; but said that he would gladly see the American minister at any time, and must, for the present, be excused from meeting any unaccredited persons.

Of course, after that there was nothing to be said; and the special American agent was obliged to content himself with what he could obtain in interviews with various ministers.

Mr. Kelly urged, as his excuse for publishing personal details in his letters, that it was essential that the whole world should know just what the great chancellor had said on so important a subject. As it turned out, Mr. Kelly's zeal defeated his purpose; for, had the special agent been enabled to discuss the matter with the chancellor, there is little doubt that Germany would have at least endeavored to establish a permanent double standard of value.

Each year, during my stay, Bismarck gave a dinner to the diplomatic corps on the Emperor's birthday. The table was set then, as now, in the great hall of the chancellor's palace—the hall in which the Conference of Berlin was held after the Russo-Turkish War. The culminating point of each dinner was near its close, when the chancellor rose, and, after a brief speech in French, proposed the health of the heads of all the states there represented. This was followed by a toast to the health of the Emperor, given by the senior member of the diplomatic corps, and shortly after came an adjournment for coffee and cigars. One thing was, at first sight, somewhat startling; for, as Bismarck arose to propose the toast, the big black head of a Danish dog appeared upon the table on either side of him; but the bearing of the dogs was so solemn that they really detracted nothing from the dignity of the occasion.

In the smoking-room the guests were wont to gather in squads, as many of them as possible in the immediate neighborhood of our host. During one of these assemblages he asked me to explain the great success of Carl Schurz in America. My answer was that, before the Lincoln presidential campaign, in which Schurz took so large a part, slavery was always discussed either from a constitutional or a philanthropic point of view, orators seeking to show either that it was at variance with the fundamental principles of our government or an offense against humanity; but that Schurz discussed it in a new way, and mainly from the philosophic point of view, showing, not merely its hostility to American ideas of liberty and the wrong it did to the slaves, but, more especially, the injury it wrought upon the country at large, and, above all, upon the slave States themselves; and that, in treating all public questions, he was philosophic, eloquent, and evidently sincere. Bismarck heard what I had to say, and then answered: "As a German, I am proud of Carl Schurz.'' This was indeed a confession; for it is certain that, if Bismarck could have had his way with Carl Schurz in 1848 or 1849, he would have hanged him.

The chancellor's discussions at such times were frequently of a humorous sort. He seemed, most of all, to delight in lively reminiscences of various public men in Europe. Nothing could be more cordial and hearty than his bearing; but that he could take a different tone was found out by one of my colleagues shortly after my arrival. This colleague was Herr von Rudhardt, the diplomatic and parliamentary representative of Bavaria. I remember him well as a large, genial man; and the beauty and cordial manner of his wife attracted general admiration. One day this gentleman made a speech or cast a vote which displeased Bismarck, and shortly afterward went to one of the chancellor's parliamentary receptions. As he, with his wife leaning on his arm, approached his host, the latter broke out into a storm of reproaches, denouncing the minister's conduct, and threatening to complain of it to his royal master. Thereupon the diplomatist simply bowed, made no answer, returned home at once, and sent his resignation to his government. All the efforts of the Emperor William were unable to appease him, and he was shortly afterward sent to St. Petersburg as minister at that court. But the scene which separated him from Berlin seemed to give him a fatal shock; he shortly afterward lost his reason, and at last accounts was living in an insane asylum.

On another occasion I had an opportunity to see how the chancellor, so kind in his general dealings with men whom he liked, could act toward those who crossed his path.

Being one evening at a reception given by the Duke of Ratibor, president of the Prussian House of Lords, he said to me: "I saw you this afternoon in the diplomatic box. Our proceedings must have seemed very stupid.'' I answered that they had interested me much. On this he put his lips to my ear and whispered: "Come to-morrow at the same hour, and you will hear something of real interest.'' Of course, when the time arrived, I was in my seat, wondering what the matter of interest could be. Soon I began to suspect that the duke had made some mistake, for business seemed following the ordinary routine; but presently a bill was brought in by one of the leading Prussian ministers, a member of one of the most eminent families in Germany, a man of the most attractive manners, and greatly in favor with the Emperor William and the crown prince, afterward the Emperor Frederick. The bill was understood to give a slight extension of suffrage in the choice of certain leading elected officials. The question being asked by some one on the floor whether the head of the ministry, Prince Bismarck, approved the bill, this leading minister, who had introduced it, answered in the affirmative, and said that, though Prince Bismarck had been kept away by illness from the sessions in which it had been discussed, he had again and again shown that he was not opposed to it, and there could be no question on the subject. At this a member rose and solemnly denied the correctness of this statement; declared that he was in possession of information to the very opposite effect; and then read a paper, claiming to emanate directly from the chancellor himself, to the effect that he had nothing whatever to do with the bill and disapproved it. Upon Bismarck's colleagues in the ministry, who thought that his silence had given consent, this came like a thunderbolt; and those who had especially advocated the measure saw at once that they had fallen into a trap. The general opinion was that the illness of the chancellor had been a stratagem; that his sudden disclaimer, after his leading colleagues had thus committed themselves, was intended to drive them from the ministry; and that he was determined to prevent the minister who had most strongly supported the bill from securing popularity by it. This minister, then, and the other members of the cabinet at once resigned, giving place to men whom the chancellor did not consider so likely to run counter to his ideas and interests.

Indeed, it must be confessed that the great statesman not infrequently showed the defects of his qualities. As one out of many cases may be cited his treatment of Eduard Lasker. This statesman during several years rendered really important services. Though an Israelite, he showed none of the grasping propensities so often ascribed to his race. He seemed to care nothing for wealth or show, lived very simply, and devoted himself to the public good as he understood it. Many capitalists, bankers, and promoters involved in the financial scandals which followed the Franco-Prussian War were of his race; but this made no difference with him: in his great onslaught on the colossal scoundrelism of that time, he attacked Jew and Gentile alike; and he deserved well of his country for aiding to cleanse it of all that fraud and folly. On a multitude of other questions, too, he had been very serviceable to the nation and to Bismarck; but, toward the end of his career, he had, from time to time, opposed some of the chancellor's measures, and this seemed to turn the latter completely against him.

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