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may note therein that from the day when bruising ceased to serve the cause of Germanic reconstruction, the labors of the Iron Chancelor were comparable only to what might be looked for should Vulcan take upon himself the task of Apollo.
The second reason was more intimate. Bismarck had a Prussian contempt for all women, but for the Empress Frederic he had a particularly hostile feeling because she was not merely English but she took no pains to conceal her dislike of the Chancelor's brutal methods. He divined in her a political opponent no less than the representative of a superior set of social ideas. Already he had muzzled her husband, but he was yet to learn that brute force is a poor match against the sex par excellence. William II loved and honored his mother however much he might differ from her in matters of state. He no doubt had many a talk in which harsh words may have been exchanged. But in a family matter, however bitter, the Kaiser never for a moment permitted an outsider to want in respect for her imperial attributes. Now Bismarck not only showed a desire to be the Tycoon of Prussia as against a Wilhelm the Second Mikado; but he even went so far as to treat the mother of his Emperor as target for political inuendo in his officially inspired newspapers-he referred to her insultingly
as: Die Englaenderin; much as the mob of 1792 stigmatized Marie Antoinette as "l' Autrichienne"!
The great Chancelor like the great Napoleon neglected no means however base or however picayune if thereby he could harm an enemy; and in our time few engines of destruction are more easily guided than a press whose purpose is to make money and whose ink is tinctured with poison. Thus one of the noblest characters that ever sat upon a throne was in the press of her adopted country daily treated as a secret enemy and held up to the hatred of a Hun rabble.
And William II expelled Bismarck in the face of an amazed Europe and an alarmed Germany. It was however a step forced upon him by his minister's arrogance, and it proved what many had suspected, that the greatness of Bismarck reposed more upon brute force and craftiness than upon a broad foundation of spiritual equanimity. A great man is great no less in his home than in a public station. Washington was no less the Father of his country when retired on his Virginia plantation, than when receiv ing the surrender of a British army at Yorktown; Wellington remained great long after Waterloo and Jefferson Davis was no less beloved in his declining years, at Beauvoir, than when Commander-in-Chief of an army dedicated to the cause of an independent Confederacy of Southern States. But Bismarck in retire
ment shriveled from his former pompous proportions to a querulous and impotent seeker after office. He courted interviews in the newspapers he who formerly treated the press of his country as a bag of poison gas. He freely criticized those whom the Kaiser selected for high posts he who formerly prosecuted such as dared to discuss his own actions. But throughout these years of undignified retreat, William II never forgot what Bismarck had accomplished in the past for Prussian autocracy; he never failed to pay all possible honor to his former chief minister and when he died in 1898 I doubt if amongst the mourners was any one who more sincerely ap preciated past services than Germany's War Lord.
Bismarck had personally trained his Kaiser, when Prince, in the mysteries of diplomacy; and we must not be surprised if William learned good and bad from this very rugged and yet very wily instructor.
Germany was alarmed when Bismarck was dismissed, because a whole generation had been educated in a school for which Bismarck had selected the text books. William If however grew in popularity from day to day, for the reasons already indicated. He traveled incessantly; he knew his land and its people as no German ever had since Martin Luther. He came in personal contact with practically every man, woman
the avenues of that famous fortress, surrendered by Bazaine in 1870.
He had but to persist in this cheery mood and to mitigate some of the police methods-and-who knows but the great war might have been averted?
It was in 1894, if my memory serves; and he made a speech in honor of a Hohenzollern whose equestrian statue was to be unveiled in this very French city. Had the statue commemorated a great German scientist, or musician or poet, the insult might have been less; but this Hohenzollern was a General conspicuous even in Prussia for his brutality-especially towards his beautiful wife. It's hard for me to think of any act more ill-timed and more harmful to international kindliness than a glorification of the so-called Red Prince by the Kaiser in person. He addressed a vast crowd-largely composed of Germans with excursion tickets, but also many French drawn by curiosity. I had a seat amongst the favored, but preferred to study popular psychology and mixed in the crowd. It was for the Kaiser a splendid opportunity for some kind words, yet here is his peroration as I recall it-translating it from his very harsh German:
"German you are! German you ever have been! And German shall you remain forever! So help me God and my good sword!"
It was like a slap in the face when reconciliation