§723

19th century:

§723 The fall of Bismarck against William II (1890): V-64.

 

V-64:

The assemblies for the rest of the great number,

Domestically and abroad his counsel revoked:

Near the Autumn Gennes, Nice of the shadow

In the countries and towns the contraband chief.

 

(Les assemblés par repoz du grand nombre,

Par terre & mer conseil contremandé:

Pres de l'Antomne Gennes, Nice de l'ombre

Par champs & villes le chef contrebandé.)

 

NOTES: 

The assemblies for the rest [welfare] of the great number [= the working men], Domestically and abroad: « William II and the fall of Bismarck. Frederick died on the 15th of June, 1888, and his eldest son, Emperor William II (born 27th January, 1859), ascended the throne. The first year of the new reign was uneventful. He spent much time on journeys, visiting the chief courts of Europe, and he seemed to desire to preserve close friendship with other nations, especially with Russia and Great Britain. Changes were made in the higher posts of the army and civil service, and Moltke resigned the office of chief of the staff, which for thirty years he had held with such great distinction. The beginning of the year 1890 brought a decisive event. The period of the Reichstag elected in 1887 expired, and the new elections, the first for a quinquennial period, would take place. The chief matter for decision was the fate of the socialist law; this expired September 30th, 1890. The government at the end of 1889 introduced a new law, which was altered in some minor matters and which was to be permanent. The conservatives were prepared to vote for it; the radicals and Centre opposed it; the decision rested with the national liberals and they were willing to accept it on condition that the clause was omitted which allowed the state governments to exclude individuals from districts in which the state of siege had been proclaimed. The final division took place on February 25th, 1890. An amendment had been carried omitting this clause, and the national liberals therefore voted for the bill in its amended form. The conservatives were ready to vote as the government wished; if Bismarck was content with the amended bill, they would vote for it, and it would be carried; no instructions were sent to the party; they therefore voted against the bill and it was lost. The house was immediately dissolved. It was to have been expected that, as in 1878, the government would appeal to the country to return a conservative majority willing to vote for a strong law against the socialists. Instead of this, the emperor, who was much interested in social reform, published two proclamations. In one addressed to the chancellor he declared his intention, as emperor, of bettering the lot of the working classes; for this purpose he proposed to call an international congress to consider the possibility of meeting the requirements and wishes of the working men [The assemblies for the rest of the great number, abroad]; in the other, which he issued as king of Prussia, he declared that the regulation of the time and conditions of labour was the duty of the state, and the council of state was to be summoned to discuss this and kindred questions [The assemblies for the rest of the great number, Domestically]. Bismarck, who was less hopeful than the emperor and did not approve of this policy, was thereby prevented from influencing the elections as he would have wished to do [his counsel revoked]; the coalition parties, in consequence, suffered severe loss; socialists, Centre, and radicals gained numerous seats.» (HH, XV, p.543-545)

Near the Autumn Gennes [Embarrassment (Gennes = gêne = trouble) of Bismarck in his later years (aged 74 in 1890: near the Autumn)], Nice [Victory] of the shadow [the Emperor thus far under his omnipotent chancellor]: « A few days after the election Bismarck was dismissed from office. The difference of opinion between him and the emperor was not confined to social reform; beyond this was the more serious question as to whether the chancellor or the emperor was to direct the course of the government. The emperor, who, as Bismarck said, intended to be his own chancellor, required Bismarck to draw up a decree reversing a cabinet order of Frederick William IV, which gave the Prussian minister-president the right of being the sole means of communication between the other ministers and the king. This Bismarck refused to do, and he was therefore ordered to send in his resignation.» (HH, XV, p.545)

In the countries and towns the contraband chief: « Bismarck in retirement. After his retirement he resided at Friedrichsruh, near Hamburg, a house on his Lauenburg estates [In the countries and towns]. His criticisms of the government, given sometimes in conversation, sometimes in the columns of the Hamburger Nachrichten, caused an open breach between him and the emperor; and Caprivi, in a circular despatch, which was afterwards published, warned all German envoys that no real importance must be attached to what he said. A short time after his fall, Bismarck illustrated his absorbing interest in politics by a pretty parable. One of his guests at breakfast having asked him why he, the prince, had so entirely given up his passionate love for the chase, he replied: “ As to passions, they resemble the trout in my pond: one eats up the other, until there remains only one fat old trout. Thus gradually my passionate love for politics has devoured all other passions.” Just as on this occasion, and as he had done in the Hamburger Nachrichten after the issue of the Caprivi order, so Bismarck also expressed himself to the delegations which from all parts of Germany came to Friedrichsruh to do him homage. Thus, for instance, on the 14th of June, to a deputation of the united moderate parties of Düsseldorf which presented him with an address, he said that, though retired from public life after a career of forty years in office, he was not able to forego his interest in politics, to which he had sacrificed all other inclinations and connections. At the same time nothing was further from his thoughts than the wish to influence anew the march of politics. Much more bitterly did he express himself on the 22nd of July, 1890, to a correspondent of the Novoya Vremya: " They are bestowing upon me in my lifetime the honours due to the dead. They are burying me like Marlborough. They desire not merely that Marlborough should not come back, but also that he may actually die or at least remain silent for the rest of his days. I must admit that to this end they give me every assistance, and none either of my political friends or of my numerous acquaintances puts temptation in my way by his visits. They cry ‘ Halt! ’ to me, they shun me like one infected with the plague, afraid as they are to compromise themselves by visiting me; and only my wife from time to time receives visits from her acquaintances. They cannot prevent me from thinking, but they would like me not to give expression to my thoughts, and were such a thing possible, they would long ago have put a muzzle on me.''… He died on the 3lst of July, 1898.» (HH, XV, p.545-546)

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We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 219 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§949).

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