Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 127.djvu/761

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THE DILEMMA.

749

little variety of "lions," one gets tired, like that discriminating Athenian, of hearing them perpetually called "the divine," and of meeting their busts at every turn. It must be admitted that the Germans are forward enough to do honour to intellect. The Weimar living celebrity at present is Liszt, the musical composer, who gets quite as much worship as the grand-duke. One day in Leipzig I saw a crowd such as in England one would have seen only at the heels of the Tipton Slasher or the Dorking Pet, and on investigating the cause, found that Liszt had come over for a few hours, and was being what Mr. Weller called "twigged" by the admiring crowd.

At night the Kaiser went in state to the opera, where a piece composed for the occasion, and in adoration of Weimar's two divinities, was produced. There was a very pretty dream in it, displaying, in tableaux, the creations of the two great geniuses, the scene being laid in the grounds at Tiefurt, where Schiller used to recite his plays, and also to see them acted in the open air, this being one of the rural enjoyments of Charles Augustus and his grand-duchess. It was of course a most brilliant soirée: everything went off well, and the reception of the emperor was as enthusiastic as could be. I observed that when he first appeared, and had had some seconds of acclaim and deafening plaudits, he seemed to think the lion might have too great a share, and turning fairly round took hold of the Grand-Duke of Saxe-Weimar and almost pushed him to the front, when he also got a strong offering of that incense of which Mr. Lowe thought that he and his middle-aged friends were so cruelly defrauded in the autumn of 1873. The Kaiser seemed a little tired, and no wonder; but the theatre there does not encroach upon one's night-rest. It was all over soon after nine; and the great people took their way to the palace through crowds of people, and again along illuminated streets.

Twice again I saw the highly popular imperator, — once while he was on his way for a country drive in a hackney carriage, with a forage-cap on his head this time instead of his helmet, — and once while he was on his way to the railway in state. I suppose Weimar never before had so grand a gala. The visit seemed to make everybody happy; and probably the empress, who is a Weimar princess, had her full share of the pleasure. One is never quite contented. I should have been glad if Bismark and Von Moltke had been of the party, and I could have borne another sight of the crown-prince. When I last saw him he had the empress Eugenie on his arm, as you know.

The day after the emperor's departure I left Weimar, of which little place I desire to speak in the kindest terms. Its park is charming, and its environs delightful for summer visitors. I do hope, however, that before I pay it another visit, German science may have found out the method and the expediency of trapping drains; for villainous smells, entirely preventible, do abound in that celebrated little town to a degree which you would think no civilized people could tolerate.

These presents are to be despatched to you from Leipzig, a city whose first appearance has impressed me very pleasantly, but of which I as yet know very little. The great battle-field close to the city I have made out, and the awful bridge over the Elster. These regions, where the great Napoleon reached the beginning of his end, are, of course, full of interest, and will be worth examination. I think, too, I may spend a few sunshiny hours on the charming boulevards — fortifications no longer — of this very prepossessing city. How can I do justice — but justice suggests mercy, and I will have done. Another time, perhaps, you may know what it is that I cannot do justice to. Meanwhile, dear editor, rest assured of the distinguished consideration and hearty good wishes of

A Wandering Englishman.




From Blackwood's Magazine.

THE DILEMMA.

CHAPTER XXXV.
(continued.)


For a few minutes the regiment remained unmolested, drawn up on the bare plain; but presently fire was opened on it from a couple of heavy guns posted behind a gap in the town-wall. After a round or two the enemy got the range, and a shot crashing through the line killed a couple of men and horses, front and rear rank. Kirke thereon sent Yorke to the brigadier to propose that he should retire into the cover of the grove; but a message came back that it was the general's order to hold the ground in advance of the grove, and keep the enemy from making a counter-attack across the front of the line.