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say that the _Monitor of the Empire_ has not published them. "Let our
soldiers come to me," he proclaimed in the White Hall, to "overcome the
resistance of the enemies of the Fatherland, abroad as well as at home."

On the one hand, after the manner of the Middle Ages, he reveals to us
the ancient mysteries of the Cabal, on the other, as an up-to-date
emperor, he compels his brother Henry to become a sportsman like himself.
On occasion he will don the uniform of the Navy, interrupt a
post-captain's lecture, and throw overboard the so-called plan of
re-organisation, so as to substitute a new strategy of his own making for
the use of the German fleet.


So Field-Marshal von Moltke is dead at last. His place is already filled
by the Emperor, who is willing to be called his pupil, but a pupil equal
in the art of strategy to his master and a better soldier. The
remarkably peaceful death of Von Moltke only reminds me of the violent
deaths that he brought about. It was to him that we owed the bombardment
of Paris. Only yesterday, Marshal Canrobert said "he was our most
implacable foe, and in that capacity, we must continue to regard him with
hatred and contempt." Von Moltke himself was wont to say "when war is
necessary it is holy." He leaves behind him all the plans in readiness
for the next war.

William II, you may be sure, will proceed to depreciate the military work
of Von Moltke, just as he tries to depreciate his diplomatic and
parliamentary work. He has reached a pitch of infatuation unbelievable;
and is becoming, as I have said before, more and more of a Nero every
day. At the present moment he is instigating the construction of an
arena at Schildorn where spectacles after the ancient manner will be
given. These, according to William, are intended to afford instruction
to the masses as well as to the classes. A very fitting conclusion this,
to the fears which he has expressed about seeing the youth of the German
schools working too hard and overloading its memory. For the same
reason, no doubt, he has made Von Sedlitz Minister of Public
Instruction - it is an unfortunate name - an individual who has never been
to College, who has never studied at any University, and who only
attended school up to the age of twelve.

Now, it seems, William II is bored with the Palace of his forefathers.
For the next two years he is going to establish his Imperial Residence at
Potsdam; consequently all his ministers and high officials are compelled
to reside partly at Potsdam. His mania for change leads him to destroy
the historic character of the old castle; his scandalised architects have
been ordered to restore it in modern style. And Berlin, his faithful
Berlin, is abandoned. It is said that at a gala dinner the other day the
Emperor uttered these words: "The Empire has been made by the army, and
not by a parliamentary majority." But it is also said that Bismarck
observed to the Conservative Committee at Kiel: "It is best not to touch
things that are quiet, best to do nothing to create uneasiness, when
there is no reason for making changes. There are certain people who seem
singularly upset by the craving to work for the benefit of humanity." It
requires no special knowledge to interpret this sentence as a thinly
veiled criticism of the character of William II.



May 12, 1891. [8]

There is an attitude frequently adopted by William II, that German
socialists are in the habit of describing, as "the whipping after the
cake." He has now had the socialist deputies arrested, and he is
introducing throughout the country a system of espionage and
intimidation, which is only balanced to a certain extent by his fondness
for sending abroad a class of reptiles who go about preaching, writing
and imparting to others the doctrines which he endeavours to strangle at
birth in his own country. In spite of his brief flirtation with
socialism (in which he indulged merely to copy the man whom he opposes in
everything and cordially detests), William II has now come to persecute
it. One of his amiable jokes is to try and lead people to believe that
the order which he has given, for the dispositions of his troops on the
frontier _en échelon_, has no other object but to prevent Belgian
strikers, from coming into Germany. But can it be also to repel this
invasion of Belgian strikers that the entire German army now receives
orders just as if it were actually preparing to begin a campaign?

Sentinels of France, be on your guard!

It goes without saying that during the past fortnight we have had our
regular supply of speeches from William II. At Düsseldorf he said three
things.

The first, coming from the lips of a sovereign known all the world over
for his mania for change, is calculated to raise a smile -

"From the paths which I have set before me, I shall not swerve a single
inch."

The second was a threat -

"I trust that the sons of those who fought in 1870 will know how to
follow the example of their fathers."

The third and last was meant for Bismarck -

"There is but one master, myself, and I will suffer none other beside me."

For the future William will only make his appearances accompanied by
heralds clad in the costumes of the Middle Ages, bodyguards drawn from
the nobility, surrounding the _summus episcopus_, pope and khalif of the
Protestant Church.

The extremely curious mixture which unceasingly permeates the character
of William II may be observed in the orders which he, the mystic, the
pious, has recently given to the chaplains of the Court, viz. that they
are never to preach in his presence for more than twenty minutes.
Naturally enough, the Prussian pastors are extremely indignant at the
cavalier way in which the _summus episcopus_ treats the Holy Word.



May 29, 1891. [9]

The business of a Sovereign is not a bed of roses, and causes of
discomfiture are just as frequent in the palaces of kings as in the
humblest cottages. William II has just had more than one experience of
this humiliating truth, but it must be admitted he fully deserves most of
the lessons he receives.

Instead of saying, as he used to say, "my august confederates and
myself," he has suddenly conceived the pretension that he and he alone is
the sole master in Germany. Accordingly the august confederates by
common consent, although invited by the Grand Marshal of the Palace,
Count Eulenberg, have refused to take part in the trifling folly of the
Golden Throne that William is having made for himself. Kings, Grand
Dukes and Senators of the Free Cities, all have unanimously declared that
they will never assist "in the erection of a throne which is the sign and
attribute of sovereignty."

But to continue the list: At Strelitz, a clergyman refused the request of
the Prussian colonel of the 89th Regiment to allow his church to be used
for a thanksgiving service in honour of the birth of William II, and
preached a sermon declaring that the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz,
and he alone, had the right to have a divine service and a sermon in
honour of his birthday.

And yet another instance: The Emperor has organised a regatta to be held
on Lake Wannsee on May 30 for all yachts and pleasure boats owned by
princes and by the German aristocracy. The Archduke, heir to the
Austrian Throne, has refused to honour the occasion with his presence.

The toast at Dusseldorf, "Myself the only Master," has been very
generally condemned; equally that which the Emperor addressed to the
students at Bonn, when he said to them "Let your jolly rapiers have full
play," or in other words, "Indulge to the top of your bent, and without
regard to the laws, in your orgies of brutality." People in Germany are
beginning to think that William reminds them a little too much of the
incoherencies of his great-uncle, Frederick William, who was undoubtedly
clever in all sorts of ways, but who died insane.

At the shipyards of Elbing, William II narrowly escaped being wounded by
the fall of the large mast of the ship _Kohlberg_, which had been sawn
through in several places. He has just had his coachman, Menzel,
arrested, who very nearly brought him to his death by driving him into a
lime tree in a _troika_ presented to him by the Tzar.

At present it is his wish that Holland and Belgium should receive him.
The Queen Regent and Leopold II (in spite of the latter's violent love
for Germany) are hesitating, by no means certain as to the welcome which
their peoples would extend to him. William II proposes to strike the
imagination of the Dutch, as he did that of the Belgians, and to make his
appearance before them, aboard his yacht, the _Hohenzollern_, which Dutch
vessels are to go to meet and escort. To make the thing complete (and it
may well be that the idea is germinating in his mind) it would only
require him to visit the fortifications on the Meuse. The _Berliner
Tageblatt_ in a long article informs us that the Emperor declares them to
be _perfect_. 'Tis a good word. . . .

When the Imperial traveller shall have exhausted all pretexts for rushing
about on this Continent, he will go to Africa. There is a _but_ about
this; it arises from the question whether he will be able to obtain from
his Ministers that they should ask the Reichstag or the Landtag for the
800,000 francs that he needs for the voyage, the Constitution forbidding
the King of Prussia to leave Europe. But what does the Constitution
matter to William II? He, the master, will put an end to it!



August 1, 1891. [10]

What are the qualities which have distinguished the Government of Germany
since the victories of Moltke? The patient tenacity of William I, and a
continuous policy of trickery raised by Bismarck to the level of genius.

William II is a mind diseased, infatuated with itself. His actions are
dominated by pride, and all the most childish off-shoots of that
weakness, love of noise, of attitudes, of pomps and vanities and
jewellery; his mind is a thing of somersaults, and his will is subject to
capricious whims and sudden outbursts of temper.



August 11, 1891. [11]

May we not flatter ourselves that the torments of William II are now
beginning? He, who only yesterday proclaimed himself to be the
triumphant personification of the German Empire, is now compelled to
inaction as the result of a fall. Whilst the Great Tzar is received with
acclamation on board of the French _Marengo_, he goes awkwardly stumbling
about on the deck of his yacht.

The German Emperor composed for himself a prayer, which he is accustomed
to have said in his presence, and in which God is implored "to grant His
protection to the Emperor William, to give him health and inspiration for
the fulfilment of his mission _towards the nations_." To-day, reduced to
inactivity by his illness and by the consequences of his folly, he has
ample leisure to reflect on the psalm which he is so fond of singing,
with the mitre of the _summus episcopus_ on his head: "The kings of the
earth are the instruments of God."

Yes, Sire, they are instruments which God breaks as easily as He bends a
reed before the wind. He is pleased to humble the proud, and He reserves
defeat and death as the portion of the parricide.



August 29, 1891. [12]

Germany's luck is running out. . . .

The Emperor certainly lacks neither the youth nor the audacity to compel
fortune, but he drives her too hard, and ignores all her warnings. His
fall is a clear warning, which he appears to be quite unwilling to
notice; more mechanical than ever in his movements, he is now taking to
riding again. By his orders, his illness and even his fall are alike
contradicted. His reason for withdrawing himself so long from the gaze
of his adoring subjects is to let his beard grow, after the fashion of
Boulanger. But he hasn't wasted his time; his furious impatience under
activity has brought about a fresh attack.



September 11, 1891. [13]

William II makes every effort to keep the Triple Alliance on its legs (it
being as lame as himself) whilst he continues to give vent to his triple
_hoch!_ and resumes once more his rushing to and fro, so wearisome to his
faithful subjects, which compels the European Press to groan so loudly
that his pennon (Imperial in Austria, or Royal in Bavaria) waves madly
about his excited person. Meanwhile the Emperor Alexander III, calm in
the serenity of his nature, takes his rest in the pleasant retreat of
Fredensborg, where he finds contented virtues and the joys of family life.

It really looks as if a certain deviltry were at work against William II.
His splendid statecraft now revolves about questions of rye bread,
Russian geese, and American pork; he struggles amidst a mass of
difficulties more comic than sublime. He has imposed a system of rigid
protection in order to entangle his allies in a net of tariffs favourable
only to Germany, and now behold him, all of a sudden, removing the duties
off diseased pork, all for the profit of the McKinley Bill, the scourge
of Germany. Only the future can say what dangers await a policy of
fierce protection and dangerous favouritism. How much simpler and
cleverer it would have been to remove the duties on cereals! As far as
the people are concerned, cheap pork will never appeal to them as cheap
bread would have done. The progressive party had asked for both; the
satisfaction they have received appeases them for the moment, but the
socialists will still be able to say that William's Government takes off
the duties on foodstuffs that poison the people, and leaves them on those
which would afford them healthy nourishment.



September 27, 1891. [14]

William II has decidedly no luck when he puts the martial trumpet to his
lips. It was at Erfurt that he learned that the tribes of the Wa Héhé
had massacred Zalewski's expedition into East Africa. It is said that,
on hearing this news, the German Emperor, seized with one of those sudden
outbursts of rage which throw him into convulsions, swore to avenge in
torrents of blood the insult thus suffered by the ever-victorious banner
of Prussia. Are we, then, to see the Reichstag in its turn, like the
French and Italian Parliaments, wasting its millions and its men in
colonial adventures?

At Münich, William II has declared that the wretched condition of the
artillery in the Austrian army, the lack of cohesion in its infantry, and
the inexperience, not to say incapacity, of its officers, render it unfit
for war in the near future, and that no hope of its improvement is to be
entertained, so long as it shall have as its head a man so completely
worn out as Francis Joseph. Germany's armament is to be completely
changed and renewed, and it is even said that William will go down in
person to the Reichstag during the autumn session to demand the enormous
credits which the situation requires. The _Neue München Tageblatt_ has
been seized at Münich for having published an attack upon "the mania for
armaments and for military pomp which possesses William II, a mania which
is exhausting Germany and will leave her completely ruined after the next
war."



November 12, 1891. [15]

The unfortunate Constitution of the German Empire, like the Emperor
himself, doesn't know which way to turn. Legislation, administration,
the army; the universities, the Church and the administration of justice:
everything is being passed through a sieve, and transformed, first in
order that it may retransform itself and then become more readily
accessible to the rising generation. Anything that savours of a ripe age
is extremely displeasing to William II. Ripeness is a thing which he
disdains to acquire. All that is youthful finds favour in his eyes, with
the sole exception of a class of youth with which he is disposed to deal
severely, viz. the _souteneurs_. Against them the _summus episcopus_ is
extremely wroth. Here the virtue of chaste Germany is at stake, and he
proposes to cauterise the disease with a red-hot iron. For the future,
the scandalous discussion of these things will be forbidden to the Press,
and thus, even if private morals continue the same, public morality will
not be offended. Hypocrisy, at least, will be saved.

There is much talk at Vienna of a plan whispered at headquarters in
Berlin, which has to do with converting the capital of Austria into an
entrenched camp, so that an army driven back from the Austro-Russian
frontiers might there be re-formed. William means to throw Austria
against Russia, and to take his precautions in case of defeat,
precautions which would at the same time, safeguard the rear of the
German Empire.



November 29, 1891.

Germany is becoming uneasy; she has heard the rustling of the wings of
defeat. Accustomed to victory, she is suffering, as rich people suffer
under the least of privations. Bankruptcies, one after another, are
spreading ruin in Berlin. Bismarck and William, united in a very
touching manner on this subject, conceived the idea of bringing about
Russia's financial ruin, and of importing into the Prussian capital the
vitality of the Paris market. The fall in Russian securities was unlucky
for the German Bank, and all the scrip that the Berlin Bourse so greedily
devoured, for the sole purpose of preventing Paris from getting it, does
not seem to have been easily digested. The middle class is suffering
from the bad condition of the market, and the increase of taxation; the
lower classes are hungry.

Impassive in his majesty, the Emperor contemplates himself upon the
throne. Now you will find him copying Louis XIV and writing in the
golden book of the city of Münich _Regis volontas suprema lex_. And
again he will imitate St. Louis, but not finding any oak tree within his
reach, he administers justice on the public highway, as in the
Skinkel-Platz. He is having his own statue made of marble, to be placed
alongside of his throne. Great Heavens! If some day, this were to be
for him the avenging Commander's statue! [16]

But no, it cannot be, for has he not been converted? Is he not the
_summus episcopus_, who conducts the service in person? Has he not
composed psalms? Could anybody be more pious, a more resolute foe of
those vices which he pursues with such energy? Could any one be more
determined to be a pillar of the Church? In his interviews with the
delegates of the synod of the United Prussian Church, has not the
_summus_ said that the Reformation drew its strength from the hearts of
princes? True, you may say, that this does not sound very like a humble
Christian; but then humility had never anything to do with William.

At the administration of the oath to new recruits, after having held
forth to them on the subject of the hardships at the beginning of a
soldier's life, he added, "It shall be your reward when you have learnt
your trade, to manoeuvre before me."



December 13, 1891. [17]

The nations of Europe desire peace, and it has been so often proved to
them that they also desire it, who have been accused of furbishing their
weapons unceasingly, that it would be dangerous even for William II to
seem to be preparing for war, or rather that, having made ready for it,
he should be working to let it loose. And so it comes to pass that the
fire-eating Emperor and King of Prussia himself is compelled to play the
part of a bleating sheep "admiring his reflection in the crystal stream,"
and that he cannot even have recourse to the expedient, now exhausted, to
make it appear that either France or Russia are ravening wolves in search
of adventure. But the rôle of a sheep sits badly on William, and the
_mot d'ordre_, which he dictates is so evidently opposed to the condition
of affairs for which he is responsible, that Messrs. Kalnoky and Caprivi,
in spite of their appearance of rotund good nature, have shown distinct
signs of intractable irritation.

People have been asking what can be the meaning of all these pacific
assurances, so hopelessly at variance with everything that one sees and
knows, at a moment when the Monarch of Berlin is furious at the visit of
the Tzar to Kronstadt? Well, the truth is out, and it is M. de Kalnoky
who, by proxy, shall reveal it to you.

"The reception at Kronstadt and its consequences have effected no change
in the situation." There you have the secret. It is necessary to prove
that the diplomacy of the Triple Alliance has not been checked at any
point or in any way; that the "excellent impression," to quote the words
of M. de Caprivi, left in Russia by the visit of William II did not allow
the Tzar any alternative; he was compelled to show attention to some
other country than Germany. Moreover, the appearance of Alexander III on
the _Marengo_ was nothing more than a simple desire for a sea trip;
France, going like Mohammed to the mountain, bore in her flanks nothing
larger than a mouse. Finally, that Peace never having been threatened by
the Loyal League of Peace, there could be no possible reason left to
France and Russia for wanting to defend it, etc., etc.

William II is working hard to control and direct the diplomacy of the
Triple Alliance. Nevertheless, all his scaffolding work is liable to
sudden collapse, overthrown by the most insignificant of events.
Regarding his speech to the recruits, the German Press has pluckily
voiced its condemnation by the public. It is impossible to deny that his
observations on that occasion were a perfect masterpiece of
self-glorification. This is what he said -

"You have just taken the oath of fidelity to myself. From this day
forward there exists for you one order and one order only, that of my
majesty. Henceforth you have only one enemy, mine, and should it be
necessary for me some day (which God forbid) to order you to shoot your
own parents, yes, to fire on your own brothers and sisters, fathers and
mothers, on that day remember your oath."

Those who wish to form an accurate idea of William's loquacity and
self-conceit should read a few passages, selected haphazard from "The
Voice of the Lord upon the waters," a sermon by His Majesty, the
Emperor-King, for use in polar voyages. There they will find a strange
hotch-potch of all sorts of ideas, religious, political and heathen, all
half digested. But the dominant note in the sermons preached by William
II lies in his tendency to diminish the Infinite, to hold it within the
measure of his own mind, to bring down God to his own stature. All his
comparisons tend to show God as an Emperor, built in the image in which
William sees himself. When he draws you a picture, in which he brings
God face to face with himself, there is about him a certain splendour of
pride, something in his utterance that suggests an Imperial Lucifer. But
beyond these relations between God and the German Emperor, his utterances
reveal nothing beyond commonplace self-conceit. In his perpetual and
personal contact with the Divinity, William's morality becomes more
exacting than even that of God Himself towards His saints, who have long
enjoyed His sanction to sin seven times a day. William II will not allow
of a single sin. Everywhere and in everything he must interfere. Well
may his subjects say, who have just received their catechism: "He is on
heaven, on earth, and within us."



January 1, 1892. [18]

I, who have so long been devoted to the Franco-Russian Alliance, have
followed with acute distress the intrigues of Bismarck in Bulgaria
(intrigues of which the _Nouvelle Revue_ revealed one proof in the
letters of Prince Ferdinand of Coburg to the Countess of Flanders). I
have known that William, in spite of his actual dislike for the
proceedings of his ex-Chancellor, is pleased to approve the impertinences
of a Stamboulof. Nevertheless, I confess I am seized with anxiety at
seeing France enter into diplomatic proceedings with the so-called
Government of Bulgaria. It is very often more dignified to despise and
ignore the enterprises of certain people, then to endeavour to obtain
satisfaction from them. There are certain complicated circumstances in
which the manifestation of a sense of honour or loyalty becomes a
weakness: at all costs one should avoid being led into it.

The Emperor of Germany possesses a special talent for adding new
complications to a difficult situation, so as to render it impossible of
solution. He has now so completely tangled up the parliamentary skein,
that in a little while it will be impossible for Parliament to govern.
Can one conceive of a majority of the Chamber rallying around the
Catholic centre, or the socialists, for the same reason, increasing in


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