The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 431 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06.
with his cortege rode directly through the middle of the avenue.  The trembling trees bowed toward him as he advanced, the sun-rays quivered, frightened, yet curious, through the green leaves, and in the blue heaven above there swam visibly a golden star.  The Emperor wore his unpretentious-green uniform and the little world-renowned hat.  He rode a white palfrey, which stepped with such calm pride, so confidently, so nobly—­had I then been Crown Prince of Prussia I would have envied that horse.  The Emperor sat carelessly, almost laxly, holding his rein with one hand, and with the other good-naturedly patting the neck of the horse.  It was a sunny marble hand, a mighty hand—­one of the pair which subdued the many headed monster of anarchy, and regulated the conflict of nations—­and it good-naturedly patted the neck of the horse.  Even the face had that hue which we find in the marble Greek and Roman busts, the traits were as nobly proportioned as those of the ancients, and on that countenance was plainly written “Thou shalt have no gods before me!” A smile, which warmed and tranquilized every heart, flitted over the lips—­and yet all knew that those lips needed but to whistle et la Prusse n’existait plus—­those lips needed but to whistle and the entire clergy would have stopped their ringing and singing—­those lips needed but to whistle, and the entire Holy Roman Empire would have danced.  And these lips smiled, and the eye too smiled.  It was an eye clear as heaven; it could read the hearts of men; it saw at a glance all things in the world at once, while we ordinary mortals see them only one by one, and then only their colored shadows.  The brow was not so clear, the phantoms of future battles were nestling there, and from time to time there was a quiver which swept over this brow, and those were the creative thoughts, the great seven-league-boots thoughts, wherewith the spirit of the Emperor strode invisibly over the world; and I believe that every one of those thoughts would have furnished a German author plentiful material to write about all the days of his life.

The Emperor rode calmly, straight through the middle of the avenue; no policeman stopped him; behind him proudly rode his cortege on snorting steeds and loaded with gold and ornaments.  The drums rolled, the trumpets pealed; near me crazy Aloysius spun round, and snarled the names of his generals; not far off bellowed the tipsy Gumpert, and the multitude cried with a thousand voices, “Es lebe der Kaiser!”—­Long live the Emperor!

IV

The Emperor is dead.  On a waste island in the Indian Sea lies his lonely grave, and he for whom the world was too narrow lies silently under a little hillock, where five weeping willows shake out their green hair, and a gentle little brook, murmuring sorrowfully, ripples by.  There is no inscription on his tomb; but Clio, with unerring style, has written thereon invisible words, which will resound, like ghostly tones, through the centuries.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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