Your most faithful v.B.
Berlin, Monday. (Postmark, August 28, ’49.)
My Darling,—I sit here in my corner room, two flights up, and survey the sky, full of nothing but little sunset-tinted lambs, as it appears, along the Taubenstrasse and over the tree-tops of Prinz Carl’s garden, while along Friedrichstrasse it is all golden and cloudless; the air damp and mild, too. I thought of you and of Venice, and this only I wanted to write to you. News has come today that Venice has surrendered at discretion; so we can go there again, and again see the tall white grenadiers. * * * I dined with Manteuffel today, yesterday with Prince Albert, of course, day before yesterday with Arnim, and then I took a ride with him of fourteen miles at a gallop—which suited me well, save for some muscular pains. In the Chamber we keep on doing nothing whatever; in the Upper House the German question, happily, has been brought forward again in very good speeches by Gerlach, Bethmann, and Stahl, and yet today the Camphausen proposition was adopted with all the votes against nineteen. With us, too, it is beginning to excite men’s tempers. The proposition is bad in its tendency, but its result insignificant even if it goes through with us, as is to be expected. Tant de bruit pour une omelette. The real decision will not be reached in our Chambers, but in diplomacy and on the battlefield, and all that we prate and resolve about it has no more value than the moonshine observations of a sentimental youth who builds air-castles and thinks that some unexpected event will make him a great man. Je m’en moque!—and the farce often bores me nearly to death, because I see no sensible object in this straw-threshing. Mother’s little letter gave me great pleasure, because, in the first place, I see that you are well, and then because she has her old joke with me, which is much pleasanter at a distance, as it does not lead to strife; and yet how I should like to quarrel with mammy once more! I am genuinely homesick to be quietly with you all in Schoenhausen. Have you received the ribbon for Aennchen?