To one whose whole soul was weary of the spiritless West, and who was as sick of Europe as I then was, this fragment of the East which moved cheerfully and changingly before my eyes was a refreshing solace; my heart enjoyed at least a few drops of that draught which I had so often tasted in gloomy Hanoverian or Royal Prussian winter nights, and it is very possible that the foreigners saw in me how agreeable the sight of them was to me, and how gladly I would have spoken a kind word to them. It was also plain from the very depths of their eyes how much I pleased them, and they would also have willingly said something pleasant to me, and it was a vexation that neither understood the other’s language. At length a means occurred to me of expressing to them with a single word my friendly feelings, and, stretching forth my hands reverentially as if in loving greeting, I cried the name, “Mohammed!”
Joy suddenly flashed over the dark faces of the foreigners, and, folding their arms as reverentially in turn, as a cheerful greeting they exclaimed, “Bonaparte!”
* * * * *
By HEINRICH HEINE
TRANSLATED BY CHARLES GODFREY LELAND
PARIS, January 19, 1832.
The Temps remarks today that the Allgemeine Zeitung now publishes articles which are hostile to the royal family, and that the German censorship, which does not permit the least remark to be leveled at absolute kings, does not show the least mercy toward a citizen-king. The Temps is really the shrewdest and cleverest journal in the world! It attains its object with a few mild words much more readily than others with the most blustering polemics. Its crafty hint is well understood, and I know of at least one liberal writer who no longer considers it honorable to use, under the permission of the censorship, such inimical language of a citizen-king as would not be allowed when applied to an absolute monarch. But in return for that, let Louis Philippe do us one single favor—which is to remain a citizen-king; for it is because he is becoming every day more and more like an absolute king that we must complain of him. He is certainly perfectly honorable as a man, an estimable father of a family, a tender spouse and a good economist, but it is vexatious to see how he allows all the trees of liberty to be felled and stripped of their beautiful foliage that they may be sawed into beams to support the tottering house of Orleans. For that, and that only, the Liberal press blames him, and the spirits of truth, in order to make war on him, even condescend to lie. It is melancholy and lamentable that through such tactics even the family of the King must suffer, although its members are as innocent as they are amiable. As regards this, the German Liberal press, less witty but much kinder than its French elder sister, is guilty of no cruelties. “You should at least have pity on the King,” lately cried the good-tempered Journal des Debats. “Pity on Louis Philippe!” replied the Tribune. “This man asks for fifteen millions and our pity! Did he have pity on Italy, on Poland?”—et cetera.