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ing to the Throne, issued his first procla- ter capable of raising him above the rank mation (which had been written for him of a mere plodding organizer to that of an years before by the unfortunate Dr. Geffck- independent commander. It is, indeed, en) to “his people," and the next to his doubtful whether there will be any room army, his son William simply reversed for a Moltke (who was entirely responsible this order of address, and, in his own for the strategy both of 1866 and of 1870) words of burning devotion, spoke primari- beside the present Emperor, in the event ly to his army, and then to his navy. It of his ever baving to take the field. Cerwas his “people in arms" he first thougbt tainly, at least, he aspires to be his own of, and after that his citizen subjects ; Chief of the Staff as well as his own Chanand a very large proportion of the German cellor, and there is no one among those “ people in arms” is now the German who know him best that is prepared to navy, which is the object of as much solic- mock at his double ambition. itude and devotion on the part of the I was once discussing this subject with Emperor as his beloved army. As the a high official in Berlin, who had enjoyed Prussian army, the most perfect instru- exceptional opportunities of reading the ment of its kind the world had ever seen, character of the new Emperor ; and he was inherited a ready-made weapon by declared his honest opinion that, taking Frederick the Great from his father, so him all round, His Majesty was by far the William J. bequeathed to his grandson most capable and promising monarch who another equally new fighting machine had mounted the throne of Prussia since namely, the German navy, which, as I it was vacated by Frederick the Great. have always thought, is one of the most Some of his marginal notes on official astounding facts connected with the re- documents were truly striking in their founding of the Empire, seeing that this force and clearness, and in respect of fleet, which scarcely existed in embryo their indication of an ability to go straight after the French war, is now second to the to the root of a question throngh all enFrench navy among the fleets of the Con- cumbering side issues and obscurities. tinental Powers. William II. grew up His Majesty is not fond of reading rewith the building of this navy, of which ports ; but he is a willing listener, and, he was quick to grasp the significance, having a retentive memory, he prefers especially in an age when his countrymen oral dealings with his subordinates.' Nor (recovering from the colonial indifference do many of these subordinates find that that seized upon them after the death of they know very much more of a particular the Great Elector) were all beginning to subject than their Imperial master, who is grope about for further elbow-room be- as full of information about things in genyond the sea ; and of this movement for eral as he is eager to learn more. When creating a new Germany outre mer, thus Sir John Gorst and his fellow-delegates making the Fatherland a World Power as went to the Labor Conference in Berlin well as a Continental Power, he has con- they were quite taken aback by the Emstituted himself the ardent yet circum- peror's grasp of economic questions in all spect champion. The German fleet knows their details; and I remember the case of that its Kaiser has its interests just as an English officer who marvelled much at much at heart as those of the army, and His Majesty's acquaintance with the separepays this devotion by making him its rate history of certain British regiments. darling. For sea life, too, as well as for Similarly, an American attaché who had the naval traditions of England, he bears an interview with the Emperor came away an emulating fondness; and I am quite astounded at His Majesty's familiarity sure that, of all the compliments which with English naval nomenclature. It is have been paid him by foreign sovereigns, quite true, as the Scotch proverb has it, none ever filled him with half so much that “a king's caff [i.e., chaff; and you pride and pleasure as the Queen's appoint- can take it in the banter sense, if you inent of him to be an Admiral of her Fleet. like] is aye better than ither fouk's
But, with all this, his master passion is corn;" but, indeed, there is remarkably the army. William II. has inherited to little “caff" in the conversation of the the fall the military tastes and instincts of Emperor, who is always ready with an aphis grandfather, while to these he has posite fact, a well-reasoned opinion, or a added an originality and force of charac- rattling good joke-as when, in good
humored desire to cap the popular skits of the statesman with the courage and reon his mania for travelling, he is said to sourcefulness of the soldier, and who, have exclaimed, on hearing of the deposi- while maintaining intact abroad the power tion and departure for Europe of the Em- and position of Germany-which, under peror of Brazil :
Confound it all : I was his guidance, continues to be the main just going over to see him !” The story
The story pillar of the European peace-has also may not be true ; but it is exceedingly managed to accelerate the healing process ben trovato, The passion of the Emperor of some of its own domestic sores, and for travelling—for showing himself off, as thus increase the contentment of his subit were, as well as garnering experience of jects. Courts and men and things—has procured These are splendid results which have for him the title of the “ Hadrian of the been achieved in the course of his first nineteenth century ;" but such is his voyage (so to speak) by the captain of manysidedness that his prototype must the ship of State (to repeat his own be sought for in the characters of several simile) ; but that captain, I think, would monarchs. It is this manysidedness of be the first to offer a hare of the merit his, this restless energy and ambition, of their accomplishment to his ever wise this habit of always keeping bimself en and watchful first-lieutenant, whom he evidence before the world, that has caused put into the place of his old discarded him to be as much talked about during pilot. And here it may at once be said his brief reign as if he had been cngaged that the success of General von Caprivi, in a war for the same period. When he as Inperial Chancellor, has so far been mounted the Throne three years ago he quite as striking and complete as that of was a mystery ; and now he is the leading his Sovereign. When he stepped into man of his time, with all eyes on the the shoes of Prince Bismarck, General watch for the fruits of his further devel Caprivi was to all intents and purposes opment. Like other men, he has fail- (politically speaking) a novus homo, and ings; but, as a monarch, he promises even inore of a mystery and a risk than fair to be a blessing to his people. Though his Imperial master ; but now bis reputaoutwardly a little histrionic, perhaps, in tion as a statesrnan is founded on a broad some things, he is at heart perfectly sin- and ever-widening basis. At the time of cere and penetrated with a living sense of his appointment, which excited general reality ; and his deep religious senti- surprise, it was well said of him by a ments, which have descended to him in Radical deputy that, if the question of a orthodox integrity from his grandfather, successor to Prince Bismarck had been leave him not the slightest ground for put to a plébiscite, not three votes in all doubting the doctrine of Kingship by the Germany would have been recorded for Grace of God—a doctrine, with regard to General Caprivi ; and this was not because himself, which he has repeatedly assever- people doubted him, but simply because ated and with ever-increasing emphasis. they did not know him. As that of a Feeling very strongly on all subjects, the man who had comported himself with Emperor entertains very pronounced likes bravery and distinction as a staff officer in and dislikes ; and even his most ardent ad the wars of 1866 and 1870, his name, of mirers will scarcely contend that he has course, was familiar to his countrymen, not already, by his self-willed and pecul- who had, moreover, received ample cause iar methods, produced personal bitterness, to be grateful to him for the silent yet disappointinent, and even disaffection, in effective services he bad rendered the Emcertain quarters. But such a result is pire as Chief of the Admiralty, in which only a further testimony to the strength capacity he labored unceasingly and suc. of his character ; and the nation at large cessfully for the increase of the fleet and only beholds in him a Sovereign of whom its adaptation to the latest requirements it is intensely proud-a Sovereign who, of naval progress. As the holder of this succeeding in his métier beyond all ex office, he had now and then spoken in the pectations, has belied the prophecies of Reichstag on technical topics appertaining many and falsified the fears of more, who to his Department, and he had always has hitherto committed no serious mistake spoken sensibly and well.
But no one either of omission or of commission, who had ever suspected that under the guise has shown that he combines the sagacity of this simple soldier-sailor there lurked
the making of a great, or at least a very of such a comparison I thus drew at the safe, statesman. The discovery was re- time of General Caprivi's appointment : served for the young Emperor, though it has been attributed to his grandfather, thing, he must be a man of great force of
If personal appearance is to count for any. with as much truth as once before induced character and will, combining in a high degree the riotously imaginative author of the the suaviter in modo with the fortiter in re, fable to palm off upon a credulous public blending sagacity with patience, resolution another pathetic picture of Prince Bis- with good humor, and German thoroughness
with Southern fire. The new German Chan. marck supplicating the implacable Em- cellor looks a typical Teuton of the hugest and press Frederick to intercede with her son most impressive type. He might very well for his retention in office. The discovery pass for a brother, or even a double, of Prince of General Caprivi was, I repeat, reserved Bismarck himself, the personal likeness befor the young Emperor; and the merit of În point, indeed, of stature and breadth of
tween the two men being most remarkable. the selection was all the greater as, shortly shoulders, General von Caprivi even has the after His Majesty's accession, the General advantage of the man he is going to succeed ; had resigned his high naval office, and but otherwise he is characterized by the same there was understood to be a sort of per- eyebrows, thick neck, solid square head,
massive jaw, heavy gray mustache and bushy sonal “ tiff” between the two. But the shrewd, penetrating glance, and general air Emperor is a man (and this is a trait which of blood and iron, tempered with the polished I forgot to include in his characterization) suavity of a nineteenth-century statesman. who never allows personal likes or dislikes A difference in the characters of the two men to interfere with the choice of his subor- might by some be discerned in their walk;
for, while Prince Bismarck treads sharply and dinates, and foremost among the qualities heavily like a trooper, the gait of General von which he has inherited from his grand- Caprivi has something in it of deliberation father is an unerring instinct for those and leisurely elegance, while not lacking who can best serve him and the State.
either in verve or emphasis. “Sir," said Dr. Johnson, “knowledge is In many respects the two Chancellors of two kinds—what you know yourself, resemble each other ; but they differ in or what you know where to find." And more, and first of all in their manner of the remark might be adapted to the ser- life. Little, perhaps, did Bismarck think vice of kings. But if ever there was any when comparing, during the French war, personal“ tiff” between the Emperor and the simple unprotected way in which his Caprivi, that difference has now developed inaster King William moved about, with into mutual admiration and esteem of the the travelling cordons of police and spies most perfect and apparently enduring who always surrounded the suspicionkind. “ Er ist vornehm, klug, und mir haunted Napoleon, that it would one day ergeben—und was wollen Sie mehr?”– come to this with him also. When a i.e., “ The man is a gentleman, clever, man's life has been twice openly attempted and devoted to me, and what more do you and oftener than this conspired against in want ?” These were the words of the secret, he is not likely to neglect personal Emperor himself to one with whom he precautions ; and so it came about that fell talking about his new Chancellor ; and Prince Bismarck always had a special pothey are echoed by the whole nation, lice station in the grounds of his palace, which has watched the career of that and a private detective before his door. Chancellor with closeness, wonder, and He had altogether ceased going into genever-deepening satisfaction. For, ever eral society, and rarely or never appeared since, as Minister-President, he made his in the streets--save when he rode out for maiden speech in the Prussian Chamber, a canter in the Thiergarten. Latterly until the Imperial Parliament last closed there was something forced and unnatural its doors, he has reaped nothing but about his mode of life ; but the habits of golden opinions from all—from the Fed- his successor are simple, unsuspicious, and eral Sovereigns whom he has in turn vis. sociable in the highest degree. General ited, down to the Social Democrats who Caprivi entertains more freely and more abuse everything and every body.
promiscuously than his predecessor, and It is quite impossible to present any- scruples less to accept the invitations of thing like a portrait of the new Gerinan others. Berlin society and the official Chancellor withont comparing him with world feels that he is of, as well as among, his predecessor, and the hasty groundwork them. He has made a point of making
the personal acquaintance of all and sun- and when, therefore, the new Chanceldry his subordinates, who hail in bim a lor rises up to place his ideas before the chief that can exact discipline without Reichstag, one might almost fancy that domineering, and, while careful of his he was reciting from memory, with graceown dignity as Chancellor, he considerate ful elocutionary style that knows no stops toward their feelings as men. Although or stammering, a carefully written and not a married man,—and he has the repu. closely-reasoned paper.
It is a real treat tation of having been very shy of ladies to listen to him, and he never fails to (Damenscheu) ever since he was a young please even where he does not manage to lieutenant--the new Chancellor is as gen- persuade. Ile has a subtle power of tle and fastidious in his manners as if he blending diffidence with andacity, and had always lived under the refining influ. deference with authority ; and he is conence of women, and altogether his person tent to pay a disarming compliment where ality bears the impress of a polish which his predecessor would have delivered the is rarely acquired in German camps and cut downright or thrust direct. Prince barracks.
Bismarck piled up his matter and arguNor is this polish ever more conspicuous ment, and even fought his adversaries, by than when he stands up to address Pailia. the Cyclopean method ; but his successor ment—a duty in the performance of which affects a more advanced style of dialectiPrince Bismarck coinpared with him un cal architecture and of fence. Nor is be favorably. Certainly the Prince had his devoid of humor—without which, it is merits as a speaker-his personal weight, said, no man can be truly great-or of the spell of his name, bis obvious earnest- the lighter graces of the public speaker, ness, his winged words, bis witty sayings including the happy knack of making and historical reminiscences, his crushing memorable phrases, as when, in a debate power of repartee, his ardent loyalty, and on the East African question, he insisted his lofty sense of patriotism. But his on a policy of “ bullet and Bible” as the voice was bad, his manner awkward and best means of putting down the slavemasterful, his matter sometimes most dis- trade, though it is possible that this pretractingly arranged, and the construction scription had been suggested to him by of his sentences long and complicated ; his predecessor's immortal remedy of while, worst of all, it was next to impos “ blood and iron." This was the first sible for him to command his temper, and time—this “bullet and Bible” debatethe half of his speeches, in consequence, that General Caprivi, as Chancellor, adwere mere personal wranglings with party dressed the Reichstag; and I think I can. opponents. But none of these defects ap pot do better, for the sake of unity and pears in the parliamentary oratory of Gen- completeness, than quote my own deeral Caprivi, whom I take to be one of the scription, penned on the same day, of the very best speakers in the Reichstag—not, impression produced by the speech. perhaps, in the declamatory or Demosthenic sense, but as a suave and terse ex It was freely confessed, both by deputies positor, an insinuating and forcible advo- and journalists, that it was long since they
had been treated to such a speech from the cate, or a perspicacious and convincing place assigned to the Reichskanzler. It was,
The best writers in Germany indeed, a little masterpiece and model in its are—not its professional authors, but—its way. General von Caprivi has proved to-day professional soldiers—such of themn, at that he possesses the art of expressing his least, as enjoy a General Staff training
thoughts in a clear, temperate, convincing,
and graceful manner. He is firm without which teaches them the art of narration in being too emphatic, and can refute an adverits clearest, simplest, and therefore most sary withont offending him. He combines effective form, as any one may judge for soldierly bluntness with the suave adroitness himself by turning over the official history with the belief that his character is as simple
of the diplomatist, and impresses his hearers of Germany's great wars. It was Moltko
as it is sincere. He never stammers nor stops who founded this great modern school of for a word, and his periods, though spoken Gerinan prose-writers, and of Moltke's on the spur of the moment, are most perspicupupils General Caprivi is the chief. These
ous and rhythmical. The arrangement of his pupils were taught to speak as they write,
subject matter, too, is symmetry itself.
Again, the nerve of General von Caprivi is as well as to write as they speak—the ne simply perfect. He was as cool to-day, when plus ultra of the dual art of expression ; facing for the first time the representatives of
the German people and making to them his With the accession of General Caprivi to maiden speech as Chancellor on a most mo. office this life has lost much of its previous mentous topio, as we may suppose him to have been twenty years ago when calmly con
stress and storminess : the new Chancellor fronting the French with the 10th Army Corps has acted like oil on the troubled waters (Hanoverian) on the banks of the Loire. He of Parliamentary warfare. Unlike Bisis not the man who would be likely to lose his marck, he has no old scores to pay off, coolness in the roar of a battle, much less in while the Opposition cannot “ draw” him the excitement of a popular assembly. There are several members of the Reichstag, men
as it conld his predecessor. Ever since like Eugene Richter, Herr Bamberger, and the old Chancellor went there bave been others, who derived much of their notoriety no “scenes' in the Reichstag, which and importance from the fact that they had a knack of irritating Prince Bismarck and goad days compared unfavorably even with the
every now and then during the Bismarck sonal recriminations. But I am very much French Chamber when Paul de Cassagnac mistaken if such orators do not lose sadly in fell into his tantrums, or with the House prestige under a Chancellor whom they will of Commons when the Irish Members were neither be able to anger nor offend. Gen; in the ascendant. There is now very oral von Caprivi has been too long accustomed as a soldier to control himself in commanding much less party friction in the Parliamenothers to lose his temper in dealing with å tary life of Germany--a result which is fractious Parliamentary Opposition. But, due, in a great measure, to the change of indeed, of this fractious spirit there is as yet Chancellors ;-but the benefits of this little sign, as the new Chancellor himself is change are not exclusively confined to the making the Reichstag feel that he is both in domestic life of the Empire. it and of it, and not so very much above it, Several years before the fall of Biswhile the House on its part is animated by marck some writer of note, I remember, sentiments of personal consideration and asserted that the death of the Prince would be said to be almost wholly new to the office of be regarded by the French as a diminnenormous responsibility which he has so tion of Germany's préstige equivalent, at courageously yet modestly assumed.
least, to the loss of half a dozen Army
Corps. But at the Prince's official death His power of continuous work is quite — which was practically tantamount to his equal to, if not, indeed, greater than, that natural demise--it was just the other way of his predecessor ; and since taking about. I confess that, of all the circumoffice he has applied himself strenuously, stances connected with the retirement of without the intermission of a single holi- the old Chancellor, nothing surprised and day, to the mastering of all the questions- puzzled me half so much as the peculiar ranging from colonial politics and the attitude of the French, in whose PressCulturkampf to factory and workshop leg- the Patriotic League part of it, at leastislation and commercial treaties--that have one would have expected to find howls of come before Parliament ; nor is it too exultation, accompanied by a bursting much to say that, in the treatment of all forth anew of the latent spirit of revengethose subjects this soldier-bred and sexa- fulness, now that at last Bismarck was out genarian Chancellor has displayed a faculty of the way and France's fancied opporof rapid assimilation which has won him tunity come. But as a matter of fact general respect and admiration. His there was little or nothing of the kind, judgment is as sound as his knowledge is and ever since the dismissal from his post comprehensive ; but the strength of his of one of the chief signatories of the convictions does not debar him from Treaty of Frankfort the journalistic arinisbeing deferential to the opinion of others, tice between the two nations bas only been while his good taste and tact are perfect. seriously broken by the storm which was Not that he aims at pursuing a general evoked by the unfortunate visit of the policy different from that of his prede- Empress Frederick to Paris. Here it is cessor. On the contrary,“ der Kurs not a question of what Prince Bismarck bleibt der alte," as the Emperor said : in reality felt toward and planned against “the ship's course is the same as before.” France, but of what the French believed But its sailing tactics are altered a little him to feel and plan ; and the French for the better ; and this change has al. were forever discovering the reflection of ready made itself markedly felt, for one his mind and his feelings in the variona thing, in the political life of the nation. journals that were in his official, semi