nothing more than a Tiefenbacher, a popular German expression for a hesitating, pretentious, indolent general. The diplomatic ability of M. Thiers did not impress him as much as might have been expected. "He came to me as a negotiator when he had not gumption enough for a horse-dealer." The prince found it easy to worm secrets out of him, and managed to make him tell that Paris had only provisions for a month more. It would be interesting to know what was the occasion to which the prince was referring. It is very difficult to find any interview which could have been in his mind except one of those that took place in the October of 1870. If the secret was then wormed out of M. Thiers, the secret had at least the diplomatic merit of not being true, as the provisions of Paris lasted more than three months after October. When, again, the prince says that M. Thiers was far too sentimental to bargain well, he might have recollected that it was in deference to the passionate appeals of M. Thiers that Belfort was given up to France. M. Thiers may not have had the supreme ability of a judicious horse-dealer, but when he was negotiating with Prince Bismarck he was not in the position of a man who wants to sell or buy a horse. The prince had got the horse of M. Thiers, and all that M. Thiers could do was to buy his own horse back as cheaply as its possessor by violence would permit. Contemporary Frenchmen will, however, not mind much what the prince has chosen to say about M. Thiers or the emperor. Their amusement or indignation will be reserved for the prince's withering remarks about M. Jules Favre. Of course Bismarck thought Jules Favre foolishly and despicably sentimental. But a Frenchman does not mind being thought sentimental by a German. That he feels acutely and shows his feelings openly is to a Frenchman part of his natural superiority. M. Jules Favre would not lose anything of his own respect or of the respect of others if all the world knew that he cried when outbargained by a German horse-dealer. On the contrary, M. Jules Favre has always been proud, and his friends have been proud with him, that he shed bitter, scalding tears when the cession of Metz and Strasburg was broached. He swears he cried, and M. Jules Simon, as a friend and an historian, knows that he cried. But the prince cruelly digs him a blow that will come to him like a fatal stab. He says that M. Jules Favre did, indeed, try to cry, but that he could not manage it. The tears would not flow, and so the scenic effect was spoilt, although M. Jules Favre had prepared for it with the utmost care by painting his face white. There is scarcely anything in history more grimly comic than the scene which is thus suggested. Very possibly the prince only saw what his cynicism allowed him to see. He may have been so tickled with the supposed spectacle of a rival diplomatist having powdered or painted his face to the proper agony tint, and not being able to blubber when the expected moment for blubbering arrived, that he may have been blind to tears that were really shed and to a face of its natural hue. But nothing will diminish the delight of the Conservative journals of France in the story as Prince Bismarck has chosen to tell it.
His own countrymen, however, are judged with the same severity, and stung with the same shafts of ridicule. The main impression which his intercourse with the most eminent of them seems to have left on him is that they were chiefly eminent as bores. Nothing can be more graphic or amusing than his description of the great Humboldt prosing on with a eulogy of some unknown French luminary, while General Gerlach snored on a stool, the queen was lost in the contemplation of her embroidery, and the king occupied himself with turning over a book of engravings. The prince boasts that he possesses in the highest perfection the art of standing bores when anything is to be gained by standing them, and that in his younger days he won the confidence and affection of Metternich by simply entreating him to go on and on when he had once begun to maunder. The habitual prolixity, however, of Prussian ambassadors not only tried but exhausted his patience. He complained to his confidant with much bitterness of the endless piles of perfectly useless correspondence with which Count Von der Goltz and Count Bernstorff used to inundate the Foreign Office. According to Prince Bismarck, the former diplomatist had not an idea in his head, except such as were inspired by his infatuation for the successive queens in whose courts he lived; and yet Von der Goltz sent him reams of paper about nothing, and was only outstripped by Count Bernstorff in the profuseness of a correspondence which the prince thought valueless. He owned that Arnim was intelligent, but his perpetual vacillations irritated a chief who always had clear opinions, and was always sure that his clear opinions were right. The prince himself always went to work in the shortest way. He recounts how the