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the personal acquaintance of all and sun- and when, therefore, the new Chanceldry his subordinates, who hail in him 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, bis winged words, bis witty sayings including the happy knack of making and historical reminiscences, bis 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 them, 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 topic, 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 bas no old scores to pay off, coolness in the roar of a battle, much less in while the Opposition cannot “ draw” bim 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 have 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 every now and then during the Bismarck ing him into explosions of temper and per. days compared unfavorably even with the 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 eral 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 most affable and conciliatory in his bearing 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 critical forbearance toward a man who may be regarded by the French as a diminube said to be almost wholly new to the office of enormous 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
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 hiin to feel and plan; and the French for the better; and this change has al. were forever discovering the reflection of ready made itself inarkedly felt, for one his mind and his feelings in the various thing, in the political life of the nation. journals that were in his official, semi.
official, and demi-semi-official service. tain friendly relationship with the greatest Sometimes by express authority, but natal Power in the world—and this while oftener still mistaking their master's humor freely recognizing the reasons which must for a warrant, those obsequious journals always restrain England from giving her would speak about France and her policy formal, hard-and-fast adhesion to the in a way which could not fail to irritate Triple Alliance. and alarm the equally sensitive and re- Frequently, since returning to England, vengeful Gauls, and thus it came to be I have been asked the question, “ Do you more the exception than the rule that the think Prince Bismarck will ever return to relationship of the two countries was not power ?” To this my answer has always suffering from the tension of a cantanker- been, “No : certainly not : never !" and ous Press feud. But all this, like the for the simple reason that he will never political life of Germany, has now changed he wanted, even if he were willing to for the better, and the change is due to come. The new Emperor and his new the fact that the new Chancellor has com- Chancellor have already shown the stuff of pletely discarded all the old journalistic which they are made, and proved that no Jack-in-the-box machinery of his prede- emergency with which they could not cessor. Unlike the Emperor, General cope is ever likely to arise. Amid what Caprivi does not bear a personal aversion conceivable circumstances, then, would from newspaper men.
On the contrary, the Emperor ask bis discarded Chancellor he speaks appreciatively of their profes- to resume office, even supposing that the sion; and when I had the honor of being personal breach between them, which was introduced to him, at his first parliamen- completed by the Bætticher incident and tary soirée, he regaled me, with marvellous its revelation of State-money transactions, freshness of memory, with genial anec- did not, after all, prove what it now apdotes about the characters and methods of pears to be—irreparable ? Bismarck will some English Correspondents whom he certainly never return to power, and it is had known during the Bohemian and the more than doubtful whether he will even French campaigns. But, being deter- return to Berlin to exercise his formal mined to give no handle for the charges of rights as a member of the Reichstag. abusing the power of the Press that were For, apart from other considerations, how continually urged against his predecessor, could he come back to the capital without he entertains no relationship, direct or in- calling on the Emperor ? and how could direct, with any journal save the official he do that with a due regard to his pride ? Reichsanzeiger, where anything appears It is not, indeed, to be doubted that which it concerns him to make public. Prince Bismarck has left the service of And as for the so-called “ Reptile Press the Emperor as definitively as Adam von Bureau”—that, I think, only now exists Schwarzenberg did that of the Great Elecin the diseased imaginations of those who tor, and his countrymen are quite resigned would fain draw upon its supposititious to the prospect. The Prince has done a store of ready subsidies, but cannot. For great and grand work in his time ; but this new departure the French as well as his day is over. He was a mighty fighter other nations are grateful to the new Ger- when in power ; but his was the epoch man Chancellor, who, for the rest, bas when fierce battling was wanted.
The produced as favorable an impression on cra of combat has come to a close ; the the diplomatists of Berlin as upon the va- period of consolidation has dawned, and rious foreign statesmen (including Signor it is no disparagement to the great and imCrispi, M. de Giers, and Count Kalnoky) mortal man who created Germany to say whom he has already met, and who have that the further development of his task all been fascinated by his simplicity, sin- might now be better entrusted to other cerity, and straightforwardness. The bands. "Meine Herren,'' said General Czar, I bappen to know, was particularly Caprivi, some little while ago, to a circle pleased with his character ; and English- of parliamentary guests, * Wir gehen men, too, have every reason to extend to einer sehr langweiligen Zeit entgegen" him their confidence and sympathy, see- (i.e., “Gentlemen, we have very dull ing that he is second to none of his coun- times ahead of us”), meaning that the extrymen, including the Emperor, in the citing period of Germany's birth-throes ardor of his desire to establish and main- and precarious childhood had passed away ; that the ship of State had weathered the said, whose annals are dull; and fortunate storms and dangers of her early voyage, will be the Emperor and his new Chanand at last reached a broad expanse of cellor if they can manage to render the placid water, where the crew, freed from annals of Germany for the next few years their long struggle, might now turn their more dull than dramatic.- National Reattention to the cleaning and trimming of view. their vessel. Happy is the country, it is
THE GREAT WORK.
BY W. P. J.
A WRITER in the Daily News, for rea- and certain hope that some day he will sous of his own, entered a protest the produce the Great Work and be famous. other day against what he called the From gentlemen with a bent for adMagnum Opus theory. A man's friends monition, it must be said parenthetically, and acquaintance, he complained, were there is absolutely no way of escape. continually urging him to write a Great Delight your generation with occasional Work. It was in vain that the victim pro- verse or graceful essays full of scholarship tested that he did not want to write a and urbane wit, and you are sternly bidGreat Work ; or that he had written a den, or perhaps urged by way of flattering Great Work which nobody ever heard of ; expostulation, to leave such trifling and or that he could not live (in this mortal do something worthy of your abilities. state) by a Great Work, and must pro- Essay an epic and you are recommended duce things which would yield him his to content yourself with shorter flights. daily bread. He might have added that The three-volume novelist is reminded if he did write one, the very last to read it that bigness is not greatness. Masters of would be these same monitors.
the short story are exhorted to do someThat a man's female relations should thing more
“ important." One man hug the delusion that he was born for pleads modestly, that to earn his living he some high emprise and should persist in inust defer to the popular taste, and it is exhortation is, no doubt, in the order of hinted that he is selling his birthright for nature, But less prejudiced advisers a mess of potage. Another in the proud should know better. Certainly censors, consciousness of genius scorns to prostiwhose admonitions get uttered in print, tute his Muse, and he is soundly rated for should know better. Believe me, the not thinking first of his family and his man who has a Great Work in him does social obligations. You lead a life of litnot, save in very exceptional cases, re- crary leisure like Edward Fitzgerald, and quire to have the sides of his intent pricked you are reproved for giving the time to by the casual friend or the indolent irre- writing letters to your friends which ought sponsible reviewer. Once in a way, a to have been given to writing books for George Eliot may wait for the encourage- the publishers. You throw your soul into ment of a George Henry Lewes to turn poetry like Shelley's or novels like George from a Westminster Review to an Adam Sand's, and in the end the Olympian critic Bede. But in ninety-nine cases out of a serenely pronounces that nothing but your hundred it is true that, admonition or no private letters will live. admonition, a man does exactly what he But about this Magnum Opus. There has it in him to do. If a man is not a have been men no doubt, men of genius, Balzac, it is in vain that you will urge who have said to themselves deliberately, him to write a Comédie Humaine. If on “Go to, I will write a Great Work." the other hand he has a Comédie Humaine For example, there was Gibbon. Everyin him, he will go on writing rubbish for body remembers the passage where Gibbon ten years, in the teeth of parental remon- tells how the idea of his #history occurred strance and public neglect, sustained by to him. “ It was at Rome, on the 15th inward consciousness of power in the sure of October, 1764, as I sat musing amid
the ruins of the Capitol, while the bare- an old barbarous German dialect, which footed friars were singing vespers in the he was ignorant of and not disposed to temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing grapple with. By way of contrast he had the decline and fall of the city first started in his mind's eye a history of the Repubto my mind.” And everybody knows to lic of Florence under the House of the what good purpose he devoted himself to Medici ;-singular
and singular carrying out the conception into superb events, the Medicis four times expelled accomplishment But for our present and as often recalled, and the Genius of purpose, the interesting thing about Gib- Freedom reluctantly yielding to the army bon's case is, that he had made up his of Charles V.; the character and fate of extremely well-regulated mind to write a Savonarola, and the revival of arts and great work of some sort, long before he letters in Italy. At this point in his search had a glimmering of what the great work for subjects came his foreign tour and the was to be. Then with equal deliberation sojourn in Rome, during which, as we he set about choosing a subject. Already have seen, his true subject was revealed to in 1761, then at the age of twenty-five, he him in a flash. had passed in review a number of subjects I have dwelt on Gibbon's case, partly for a large historical composition, and had to show the kind of mind which may at length selected the expedition of Charles dream of great works without imputation VIII. of France into Italy. After this he of fatuity ; partly to show my own cansuccessively chose and rejected the Cru- dor. Because it undoubtedly is a genuine sade of Richard Ceur de Lion, the Bar- case to support the theory of the Magons' Wars against John and Henry III., num Opus. Here was a youth with no the history of Edward the Black Prince, notion what the work was to be, but posthe lives and comparisons of Henry V. sessed with a fixed idea that it was to be and the Emperor Titus, the life of Sir a Great Work. And the Decline and Philip Sidney, and the life of the Mar- Fall of the Roman Empire is a great quise of Montrose. At length he seemed work ; of that there can be no possible to have fixed on Sir Walter Raleigh for shadow of doubt. his hero ; he was attracted by his eventful Then again there is Bacon. There is a story varied by the characters of the soldier tradition that at sixteen, or thereabouts, and the sailor, the courtier and the histo- young Francis Bacon had already deterrian Romantic subjects all of them, and mined to revolutionize the whole frame of so far not a hint of predilection for the human thought. That is no uncommon period and subject which were to make determination to come to at the age of him immortal. The next choice sixteen. What is less common is that at equally wide of his final mark, the history sixty people should be able to persuade namely of the Liberty of the Swiss, of even themselves that they have done it. that independence which a brave people Least common of all is it for them to be rescued from the Honse of Austria, de- able to persuade anybody else of that. fended against a Dauphin of France, and Whether the story of Bacon be true or finally sealed. From such a theme, so apocryphal, at any rate at the age of full of public spirit, of military glory, of thirty-one, which is not old as we count examples of virtue, of lessons of govern- oldness now, he wrote to his uncle, Lord ment, the dullest stranger would catch fire ; Burleigh, calmly informing him that he what might not himself hope, whose tal- had taken all knowledge to be his provents, whatsoever they might be, would be ince. How Lord Burleigh must have inflamed with the zeal of patriotism. For nodded ! Yet in due course there did Switzerland was Gibbon's fatherland by veritably come the Instauratio Mugna, the adoption ; it was the true alma mater to greatest birth of time ! one who found the breasts of Oxford dry ; Or to come to our own less spacious and finally it was the country of Mlle. age, consider the magnificence of fixed reCurchod, ihe heroine and victim of the solve with which Mr. Herbert Spencer anfamous love story in one sentence of the nounced already in a prospectus of 1860 iconoclastic historian, - who sighed as a the whole mighty scheme of his System lover and obeyed as a son." This subject of Philosophy.
This subject of Philosophy. It was to be gradually was rejected because the sources were in- unfolded in five great treatises, cach with accessible, fast locked in the obscurity of its contents already mapped out under NEW SERIES.
VOL. LIV., No: 5. 38