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Meanwhile, it is in the power of private associations to underdertake the establishment of asylums for voluntary patients, which, judging by American experience, can be made completely self-supporting The difficulty lies in the necessity of personal restraint, and the interference with personal liberty in a country like this. But where self-restraint ends, legal restraint begins. A man who cannot take care of himself is justly an object for the protection of the law. The families, the prevention of crime, and the security of the patient himself, absolutely demand that in some cases an habitual drunkard should be placed by some judicial authority where he can be best taken care of and cured. At present, even the worst cases of insane delusions, arising from delirium tremens, do not suffice to detain a patient, or to prevent him from consummating his own ruin.
In bringing to a close these observations upon drunkenness, we cannot but feel that the subject demands the earnest and thoughtful consideration of all classes in the community. It is more than a mere question of national morals or of the deterioration of our national reputation—both considerations of the first moment-for there is much reason to fear that our great commercial pre-eminence may itself be endangered by the habitual dissipations of large classes of our population, We are happy to be reassured by Mr. Thomas Brassey that he does not share the opinions of those alarmists who fear that the day of England's commercial glory is departed, for he still has the highest opinion of the industry, common-sense, and many solid qualities of the British workman. But if the greatly increased prosperity of the operative classes should lead to an increased profligacy-involving, as it usually does, the loss of one day in six of productive labour, the derangement of industrial operations, and the imperfection of the work produced—then we may justly apprehend that our vast industries may be thrown into foreign hands, and the weight of the calamity will fall with the most disastrous effect upon the workmen themselves.
hospital for inebriates, where all persons of this class taken up for drunkenness are to be first treated for inebriety, till they are suf-. ficiently recovered for the warden or manager to determine their status.
ART. V. - Um Szepter und Kronen. Zeitroman von
GREGOR SAMAROW. Zweite Auflage. 4 Bde. Stuttgart :
1873. Tus His romance of the times' has made a considerable noise in
the diplomatic and fashionable circles of Germany. It is certainly an extraordinary production. As a novel it may be said to be utterly without value: such merit as there is in the work consists in its political scenes and in its sketches of eminent political personages. In one respect the book is certainly without a parallel among modern literary productions: no publication of our time contains within its covers so many royal personages. The author appears to have more or less acquaintance with the courts in which the action of his story is carried on; and they are tolerably numerous, being those of Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, and Hanover; he appears also to have considerable personal knowledge of the statesmen and diplomatists whom he portrays. In one chapter he will set the reader in the middle of the court Kife of Vienna, and in the next in that of Berlin, or in that of Paris; and he puts his political actors on the stage and sets them in action as adroitly as if they were so many marionnettes of which he was the wirepuller. Not often is it given to the ordinary reader to be so plentifully supplied with the discourse of royal and other illustrious persons in political crises of great intensity; and he who peruses these pages may, indeed, say
• Multa modis simulacra videt volitantia miris,
Colloquio. The mystery of this familiarity of the author with royal and diplomatic life is intelligible enough, if the report be true that the name on the cover is a mere nom de plume, and that the real author is Herr Meding, the private secretary of the exKing of Hanover, who himself figures as one of the personages of his volumes.
As the work is long and in some parts very dull, it will probably never be translated, and few English readers will care, perhaps, to go through it; we shall therefore depart from our ordinary practice in the copiousness of our extracts. Our object is not so much to write a critical article on the volume as to give our readers a notion of its contents; leaving the author responsible for his facts, and for his fidelity to his representations of so many of the most conspicuous characters of our time.
As for the romance portion of the work, it may be left out of account altogether. There are two love-stories in it, one of which passes in Hanover, and the other in Vienna ; but they are both very dreary insipid portions of the performance, having nothing to do with each other, and no contact with the action of the political characters. The love-making and the war- and peace-making are carried on in entirely different planes, and all the chapters which are mere creations of fiction might be removed from the volume with advantage. The deities who are directing the destinies of the world here are farther removed from all possibility of interesting themselves about the doings of inferior personages than are the gods of Olympus in classic epic poems. Even Jupiter and Juno took some interest in the loves of Dido and Æneas.
Of the taste of the author as a romance-writer, the choice of one of the leading incidents in one of the love-stories is a sufficient instance: a lady tries to revenge herself on her rival by inoculating her with virus from the wound of a wounded man in a hospital ; this is a completely German invention, and outdoes in repulsiveness one of the leading incidents in one of Jean Paul's novels, where a lover, in pleading passionately to his mistress by moonlight, lays his hand somewhat roughly on her arm, and the lady sinks down in a swoon and becomes covered with blood. Her lover had undone the ligature which had been placed on her arm that morning after an operation of phlebotomy!
If, however, the term light literature is not a misnomer altogether as applied to Germany, one may say that light literature there, altogether, is a thing to be wondered at. Never did any nation, we imagine, claiming to possess anything like the same amount of culture, fail so utterly in the light and graceful; the elegant, the refined, the witty productions of literature. The number of good novels in Germany may almost be counted on the fingers, while the Germans have never produced a single good comedy; their comedies, when not whining sentimentalities, resemble dull and clumsy farces; and as for their farces, they are more painful to witness than their comedies; while their comic papers, such as the Kladderadatsch,' and the · Fliegende * Blätter, are pitiful products of wit and humour.
Confining our translations, therefore, to the political portions of the work, we commence with a portion of the opening chapter.
'It was the ninth evening-hour of a dark April evening of the year 1866. A Berlin droschke, on the trot peculiar to this mode of conveyance, drove up the Wilhelmsstrasse, and stopped before the ample door, illuminated with two gas lamps, of the house No. 76—the Ministry VOL. CXXXVII. NO. CCLXXX.
of Foreign Affairs. The ground floor of this long two-storied house was clearly lighted, and one could, if one looked keenly through the green curtains of the windows, see into several office-rooms, which, in spite of the advanced hour of the evening, were filled with zealouslyindustrious employés. The windows of the first story exhibited partially also a faint illumination.
* From the droschke which stopped before this house a man descended, of middle stature, in a dark paletot and black hat. He approached the gas lamp in order to find the money necessary for payment in his portemonnaie, and, after having settled the reckoning with the numbered Automedon, ruang smartly at the bell near the door. The door thereupon opened almost immediately, and the person who sought admittance stepped into the broad entrance-way, at whose extremity the stairs for ascent into the interior of the house were to be found, between two huge lions in repose. On one side of the entrance, at more than a man's height from the ground, a window was opened which led into a porter's lodge, and thereat appeared a porter's head, with that indifferent look which is peculiar to the door-keepers of great houses.
· The door-keeper looked inquiringly at the person who was coming in.
"He, however, only turned his face hastily to the window, and went on in a quiet, indifferent pace to the stairs.
'In the clear light, which during this movement fell on the countenance of the visitor, the features made visible were of a man of about sixty years of age, of healthy complexion though a little yellow. The sharp, lively, dark eye had a piercing, penetrating, but at the same time quiet
, benevolent, and friendly sparkle through the glasses of his golden spectacles. A sharply-cut, fine nose, bent with a slight curve down to the small, firmly-closed, beardless mouth, under which an energeticallyrounded chin finished off this peculiar physiognomy, which one would hardly forget if one had but seen it once.
“Scarcely had the look of that eye under the rims of the golden spectacles shot up to the porter's lodge than the face of the porter changed its physiognomy as though by a magic touch.
* The indifferent, superior, condescending expression disappeared all of a sudden; the face arranged itself, so speak, in dutiful folds; and the possessor of the head hurried to the door of his lodge leading to the staircase, where, in a rigid attitude which allowed one to recognise the military man of long service, he remained standing opposite the new arrival, who meanwhile had ascended as far as the steps leading to the vestibule of the ground floor.
"“ Is the Herr Minister-President at home?” asked the visitor lightly, and with that peculiar superior friendliness which, equally removed from the civility of a petitioner and the forced nonchalance of the parrent, characterises the man who is accustomed to move in a securely natural manner on the heights of existence.
*** Zu Befehl, Excellenz," answered the porter, in the tone of dutiful announcement.
6“Now, and how do you get on ? Ever stout and vigorous at your work ?” said the arrival in a friendly way.
** Most submissive thanks for your Excellency's gracious inquiry, I get on pretty well. Truly one gets a little less strong: everybody is not so firm as your Excellency."
““Well, well, we all get older and go towards our end. Keep yourself brave. God be with you !
With these friendly and heartily-spoken words, the serious man with the golden spectacles mounted up the broad stairs to the first story, while the old porter looked after him reverentially and pleased, and then returned to his lodge.
The visitor found in the ante-chamber above the domestic of the Herr von Bismarck-Schönhausen, and was by him įmmediately introduced, through the great, dimly-lighted ante-room, to the cabinet of the Minister-President, where the domestic opened the doors with an announcement addressed to his master—" Excellenz von Manteuffel !”
Herr von Bismarck sat before a large writing-table in the middle of the room covered with rolls and papers, and lighted by a tall lamp with a dark globe. On the other side of the table there was an armchair, in which the Minister was wont to invite his visitors to sit down.
• At the announcement of his domestic, Herr von Bismarck arose and stepped towards his visitor, while Herr von Manteuffel embraced the room with a single glance of his sharp eye, and then, with an almost unobservable half-melancholy smile, seized the proffered hand of the Minister-President.
. It was a characteristic picture of deep significance—this standing opposite to each other of these two men. Here, in this second-atom of the present, the past, and the future, old and new Prussia touched each other. Both persons felt something of this impression: they stood for an instant mute and opposite to each other.
“We have already given a description of Herr von Manteuffel on his entry into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It remains only for us to -add that the removal of his hat disclosed hair of light grey, grown thin and close cut. He stood quietly there, with his right hand in that of Herr von Bismarck, while he held his hat in the soft white fingers of his left hand. His features preserved firmly their stereotyped calm ; the mouth was almost hermetically closed, and a defensive reserve impressed its stamp on the whole bearing of the earnest man as he stood.
* Herr von Bismarck towered above his companion as he stood by him by nearly a head. His mighty form testified in its bearing that he was accustomed to wear the military uniform. His solidly-formed, strongly-marked countenance spoke in its deep traits of a mighty, passionate, inner life; his grey, clear, piercing eye directed itself steadily and straightly, with cold and bold glance, on the circumstance which he wished to observe; and beneath the high and broad forehead, bald to the roof of his head, there were to be divined thoughts working in elementary formative power, and constrained by an iron will into logical sequence.
This interview between Manteuffel and Bismarck had been arranged previously in order that the latter might have advan