In remembrance of your silver wedding a vase will be handed you which represents a grateful Borussia and which, fragile though the material of which it is composed may be, shall one day express even in every fragment what Prussia owes to you in its elevation to the height on which it now stands.
Your truly devoted grateful King
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BISMARCK TO EMPEROR WILLIAM I.
Varzin, August I, ’72.
Your Majesty greatly gladdened my wife and me by graciously evincing sympathy in our family festival, and will, we trust, be graciously pleased to accept our respectful thanks.
Your Majesty justly emphasizes happiness in the home as being among the chief blessings for which I have to thank God, but part of the happiness in my house, for my wife as well as for myself, comes from the consciousness of your Majesty’s satisfaction, and the exceedingly gracious and kindly words of appreciation which your Majesty’s letter contains are more beneficial to afflicted nerves than is all medical assistance. In looking back over my life I have such inexhaustible cause to thank God for His unmerited mercy, that I often fear everything will not go so well with me until the end. I recognize it as an especially happy dispensation that God has called me on earth to the service of a master whom I serve joyfully and with love, as the innate fidelity of the subject never has to fear, under your Majesty’s leadership, coming into conflict with a warm feeling for the honor and the welfare of the Fatherland. May God further give me strength to carry out the will so to serve your Majesty that I obtain the sovereign satisfaction, of which such a gracious testimony lies before me today in the form of the autograph letter of the 26th. The vase, which arrived in good time, is a truly monumental expression of Royal favor, and at the same time so substantial that I may hope not the “fragments” but the whole will be evidence to my descendants of the gracious sympathy evinced by your majesty on the occasion of our silver wedding.
The officers of the fifty-fourth regiment showed a kindly spirit of comradeship by sending their band from Colberg. Otherwise, as is usually the case in the country, we were confined to our family circle; only Motley, the former American Ambassador in London, a friend of my early youth, happened to be here on a visit. Besides her Majesty the Queen, his Majesty the King of Bavaria, and their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl and Friedrich Carl, and his Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, honored me with telegraphic congratulations.
In health I am becoming slowly better; I have, it is true, done no work whatever; but I hope to be able to report myself on duty in time for the Imperial visits.
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