The Schemes of the Kaiser eBook

Juliette Adam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 203 pages of information about The Schemes of the Kaiser.

Heaven be praised, hatred of the Hohenzollerns is not yet dead in France!  If it be true that the corpse of an enemy always smells sweet, the person of a living enemy must always remain hateful.

Before we discuss the possibility of the King of Prussia visiting Paris, however, let us wait until M. Carnot has been to Berlin.

January 29, 1891. [2]

The nearer we approach to 1900, the less desire have I to be up-to-date.  I persist in the belief that the solution of the problems of European policy in which France is concerned, would have been more readily attainable by an old fashioned fidelity to the memory of our misfortunes than by scorning to learn by our experience.

Certain well-meaning, end-of-the century sceptics may be able lightly to throw off that past in which they have (or believe they have) lost nothing, whilst we of the “mid-century” are borne down under its heavy burden.  These people neglect no occasion to advise us to forget and they do it gracefully, lightly showing us how much more modern it is to crown oneself with roses than to continue to wear tragically our trailing garments of affliction and mourning.

I should be inclined to judge with more painful severity those witty writers who advise us to light-hearted friendship with Bismarck the “great German,” with William the “sympathetic Emperor”, with Richard Wagner “the highest expression of historical poetry and musical art,” those men who prepared and who perpetuate Prussia’s victories—­I should judge them differently, I say, were it not that I remember my former anger against the young decadents and the older roues in the last days of the Empire.

All of them used to make mock of patriotism in a jargon mixed with slang which greatly disturbed the minds of worthy folk, who became half ashamed at harbouring, in spite of themselves, the ridiculous emotions “of another age.”

But these same decadents and roues, after a period of initiation somewhat longer than that which falls to the lot of ordinary mortals, behaved very gallantly in the Terrible Year.

True, in order to convince them that they had been wrong in regarding the theft of Schleswig-Holstein as a trifle, wrong in applauding the victory of Sadowa, and declaring that each war was the last, it required such disasters, that not one of us can evoke without trembling the memory of those events, whose lurid light served to open the eyes of the blindest.

“Understand this,” Nefftzer was wont to insist (before 1870), “we can never wish that Prussia should be victorious without running the risk of bringing about our own defeat; we must not yield to any of her allurements nor even smile at any of her wiles.”

If the people of Paris applaud Wagner, he who believed himself to be the genius of victorious Germany personified, it can only be in truth that Paris has forgotten.  And in that case, there will only be left, of those who rightly remember, but a few mothers, a few widows, a few old campaigners and your humble servant!

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The Schemes of the Kaiser from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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