The bad dream from which your Majesty awoke nervous and agitated can be realized only in so far that we shall still have many stormy and noisy parliamentary debates, which must unfortunately undermine the prestige of the Parliaments and seriously interfere with State business. Your Majesty’s presence at these debates is an impossibility; and I regard such scenes as we have lately witnessed in the Reichstag regrettable enough as a standard of our morals and our political education, perhaps also our political qualifications, but not as a misfortune in themselves: l’exces du mal en devient le remede.
Will your Majesty pardon, with your accustomed graciousness, these holiday reflections, which were suggested by your Majesty’s letter; for from yesterday till January 9th we have holidays and rest. BISMARCK.
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EMPEROR WILLIAM I. TO BISMARCK
Berlin, September 23, ’87.
You celebrate on September 23, my dear Prince, the day on which, twenty-five years ago, I called you into my Ministry of State, and shortly afterwards gave the Premiership into your hands. The distinguished services you had previously rendered to the Fatherland in the most varied and important positions justified me in conferring on you this highest post. The history of the last quarter of a century proves that I did not err in my choice!
A shining example of true patriotism, of untiring activity often to the utter disregard of your health, you have been indefatigable in keeping a close watch on what were frequently overwhelming difficulties in peace and war, and have used them to lead Prussia in honor and glory to a Position in the world’s history which had never been dreamed of! Such achievements have been performed that the twenty-fifth anniversary of September 23 must be celebrated with thanks to God for placing you at my side in order to execute His will on earth!
And I now once more impress these thanks on you, as I have so frequently expressed and manifested them hitherto!
From a heart filled with thankfulness I congratulate you on the celebration of such a day, and hope from my heart that your strength may long be preserved unimpaired, to be a blessing to the Crown and to the Fatherland! Your eternally grateful King and friend
P.S.—In memory of the past twenty-five years I am sending you a view of the building in which we have discussed and taken such weighty resolutions which it is to be hoped will redound to the honor and welfare of Prussia and of Germany.
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BISMARCK. TO EMPEROR WILLIAM I.
Friedrichsruh, September 26, ’87.