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vivid imagination, the mackintosh becomes a royal mantle, and the same fertile source produces a gold chain which never existed.
So much for the attire and the attitude which Freytag adduces in support of his theory. The evidence from the Prince's words is equally flimsy. Freytag represents the Crown Prince as admitting that the revival of the old Empire must be in some sense a new creation, yet discoursing eloquently upon the importance and dignity of the Imperial rule, and claiming for the King of Prussia, as Emperor in Germany, the heirship to the prestige and honours of a thousand years. What the Prince actually said, Freytag does not state. Presumably he urged the arguments which we have already stated were the motives of his advocacy of the idea. His remarks were interrupted by a monologue by Freytag, who prefers to devote three and a half pages to his own objections, which he afterwards admits to be futile, instead of recording the opinions of his interlocutor, which history has proved to be just. Much more was evidently urged by the Prince, for Freytag says, “This and the like were discussed at length. But while the purport of the rest of the conversation is omitted, the concluding observation is selected for permanent record. After listening patiently to Freytag's • long exposition' of his own views, the Prince at last broke out with some eagerness :
““ Listen! I was in Paris with my father during the Exhibition. While there, the Emperor Napoleon sent to say that as the Emperor of Russia had announced his intention of a visit, he wished the King to let him know what arrangements would be agreeable to the latter regarding the rank of his illustrious guests ; he, Napoleon, would arrange everything as my father wished. My father replied, “The Emperor must of course be first.' No Hohenzollern ought to say that. It must not apply to any Hohenzollern,” he concluded with vehemence.' These words, which we assume to be correctly reported, terminate the conversation. Whatever may be true of feminine postscripts, men are not in the habit of reserving their best reasons to the last. Yet this argument is selected by Freytag as the sole ground which existed in the Crown Prince's mind for his advocacy of the Empire. We have already tested the worth of Freytag's recollections of the Prince's attire. What are we to think of the value of his memory of the Prince's words, when he remembers only that portion of an admittedly protracted conversation which suits his purpose ? forward this arbitrarily selected argument as the one paramount consideration in his interlocutor's mind is scarcely fair play.
Such witnesses do not deserve, or receive, much credit in English courts of justice.
Few princes have been simpler in their personal tastes than the Crown Prince. In plain English, the etiquette, monotony, and restraint of Court life bored him. He disliked empty pomp and show; but he accepted the necessities of his position, and his love of art, together with the poetic vein which ran through his character, made him strive to infuse some elements of
grace, dignity, and meaning, into dull and fatiguing Court ceremonies. Freytag misunderstood the fastidious taste of a refined gentleman for littleness of mind. Totally without caste feeling, the Crown Prince was legitimately proud of his birth and lineage. He neither exaggerated, nor ignored, his métier as a Prince. On State occasions, when the outward impression is of importance, he detested imperfect or slovenly arrangements. It would be false to say that he depreciated ceremony. The truth is, that he thoroughly understood its value and significance as an emblem and a symbol. These facts are well known, and it is plain that Freytag feels the improbability of his theory. He can only give a semblance of likelihood to his version by representing the Crown Prince in a contemptible light. Unable to deny that the Prince originated the idea of the German Empire, and that he successfully pressed his plan on both King and Chancellor, he depreciates the motives by which the Prince was actuated. To attain this end, he maintains that the Imperial Crown sprang from a passion for Court millinery. For the same purpose, he advances a yet more monstrous proposition. He acknowledges that the Crown Prince was prepared to threaten the South German sovereigns, if they refused to play the parts in the Imperial pageant which this stickler for trifles assigned as their due. In other words, he suggests that the Crown Prince was ready to risk civil war, in order that he might exercise large powers of dealing out titles, orders, and titular distinctions. In this suggestion that the Crown Prince wished to compel the recalcitrant princes to accept the Empire, Freytag again endeavours to confirm the Bismarck Memorial of September 1888. The true facts are these. In a conversation between Bismarck and the Prince at Versailles in November 1870, the Chancellor explained the difficulties of the situation, and asked the Prince if he wished the South Germans to be threatened. The Diary records the Prince's answer.
• I reply, ja wohl ; there would be no danger in doing that; let us act firmly and imperiously, and you will see that I was right in asserting that you have not yet any proper consciousness of your power.' The Crown Prince believed that force would prove unnecessary. He argued, that, if the Kaiser were proclaimed by the majority of the German Sovereigns assembled at Versailles, and if a constitution were approved of such as would satisfy the just demands of the German people, Bavaria and Würtemburg could not resist the pressure. "If they threw themselves into the arms of Austria, an event which the Crown Prince well knew to be in the last degree improbable,—it is possible that he would have advocated compulsion. Such a policy is very different from that which both Bismarck and Freytag suggest to be the Crown Prince's meaning. It is reserved for the affectionate reverence of Freytag to add the injustice of a contemptible personal motive.
The only fact that Freytag alleges in proof of his extraordinary proposition is the conversation of the 11th of August, 1870. The capacity to conceive, and the resolution which executes, a great political plan are not generally signs of weakness. Freytag therefore strives to make his estimate of the Prince's aims and character consistent with the millinery theory. This is the purpose of the rest of the volume. But the Freytag of 1870 rises from his own pages to condemn the Freytag of 1889. Scattered up and down the first part of the · Reminiscences'
are passages in which he contradicts his depreciatory estimate. These passages bear the stamp of first-hand impressions. In tone and feeling, they are totally different from the laboured disparagement with which he daubs out the features of his first attractive sketch. The Freytag of 1870 testifies to the striking personality of the Crown Prince, the enthusiasm he created among the troops, the effect he produced upon the people of the Palatinate by the unique combination of aristocratic courtesy with unaffected simplicity.' He expatiates with enthusiasm on his personal charm, his depth and purity of feeling, his frankness, sincerity, and warmth of affection. He records his manly strength, his warm genial manner, his diligence and fidelity to duty. He dwells upon bis intense humanity, his solicitude, and kindly consideration for others. He cannot himself_resist the magnetic influence of his presence; and when the Prince unconsciously laid his arm upon my shoulder, I thought within myself I would be faithful to him for the whole of his future life. He expresses his delight, that it was to the Crown Prince himself and his combined army that the honourable task was assigned of demonstrating before Europe the superior military efficiency of the German troops.' But these first-hand impressions of 1870 are worked up under widely different feelings by the Freytag of 1889. The strong lines of the original picture are
softened down, and the portrait is presented of a lover of Court finery, incurably haughty in temperament, perilously cosmopolitan in sympathies, subjected to foreign influences, dominated by his wife, a flatterer of the people, yet ignorant of their real wants, without creative power, without industry, without military capacity. The Freytag of 1889 follows humbly in the track of the Reptile Press, and recapitulates their charges with the docility of a pupil.
This unfavourable picture is mainly presented in that portion of the volume which is called After the War.' Here Freytag speaks, as we have already said, without authority. On an average he did not see the Crown Prince once a year; he received no letters from him of a confidential character. His opinion is therefore of scarcely greater value than the estimate which a biographer, who has access only to the daily newspapers, might form of some public personage. Freytag represents the Crown Prince as a man prematurely aged, weakened in health, power of will, energy, and business capacity. The reverse was the truth. The Crown Prince returned from the war matured in judgment, and strengthened in character. It is only natural that this should be so. On the other hand, the Prince was certainly a graver and a sadder man after 1870 than before. The reasons are obvious. The internal policy of the Empire, repressive and reactionary as it was, met with his strong disapproval. He regarded it as in the highest degree injurious to the free development of German national life. He was strongly opposed to the disastrous Cultur-Kampf,' to manhood suffrage, to the Protectionist policy, to the appropriation of the Guelf Fund for the corruption of the press, and, above all, to the Socialist legislation. But, both by family convention and State regulation, the constitutional position of the Heir Apparent is one of iron dependence upon the Sovereign. Kaiser Wilhelm was not the man to hand over the reins of government to his son. He had, moreover, implicit confidence in Prince Bismarck, and the latter brooked no rival. If the Crown Prince had actively intervened in political affairs, he must have either promoted a policy of which he disapproved, or placed himself in opposition to his father. To adopt the first course was impossible to him; to lead a party against the Government was equally out of the question. Political self-effacement was his public and his filial duty. As years passed by, he felt that his hopes of a free united German Empire were daily growing more difficult of realization. The Conservative and National Liberal parties, which formed the Cartel, or • Bismarck sans phrase,' party, made the Chancellor omnipotent. Not only was he compelled by his position to remain aloof
from public life, but he saw that his son and successor was daily brought under autocratic, absolutist, reactionary influences, and impregnated with political sentiments which differed widely from his own. It is no exaggeration to say that, mentally, the last few years of his life were one long, silent martyrdom. But such self-repression, consistently maintained for years, argues rather the strongest resolution than weakness. It was only possible in a man who was upheld by a lofty sense of public and private duty. Throughout the whole of this trying period he remained at his post, always industrious, always studying the wants and aspirations of Germany, carefully maturing his own political plans and projects. So far from being deficient, as Freytag asserts, in creative energy, he was overflowing with ideas, which he was prepared to execute when his opportunity arrived. But the position of enforced inactivity was in the last degree trying. His fits of depression were frequent, and he was accustomed, with the frankness which always characterized his intercourse with his intimates, to give outspoken expression to his momentary despondency. At such moments he may have said, and in fact did say, that he should never live to ascend the throne. But Freytag's statement, that he ever thought of abdicating in favour of his successor, is absolutely fictitious.
The Crown Prince's non-intervention in political life was, as we have said, a public and a private duty. The resolution, with which he persevered in this course, gave the highest proof of his determination. On the other hand, Freytag attributes the life that he led after the war to loss of energy. Tried by the test of facts, which explanation is the more probable ?
As Inspector of the South German Army Corps, the Crown Prince discharged his military functions with punctuality and diligence. Freytag admits that he exercised a beneficent influence both on officers and men. But the work was really confined to an annual inspection. As Protector of Museums and Picture Galleries, a larger, though still an inadequate, sphere of activity was open to him. Under his management, the Old Museum was enriched, as again Freytag admits, by the purchase of well-selected representative pictures, by collections of prints, by the marbles of Pergamos, and by a remarkable gallery of casts. The excavations at Olympia are a standing memorial of his zeal for Art. The foundation of the Museum of Industrial Art was the work of the Crown Prince and Princess. Had he lived longer than he did, the buildings on Museum Island, for which he had plans prepared, would have been widely extended. He keenly interested himself in the promotion of the welfare of the industrial classes. Here, too, Freytag