12 JULY 1890, Page 25

The Crown Prince and the Imperial Crown. By Gustav Freytag.

Translated by George Duncan, M.A. (Bell an,d Sons.)—There are many interesting things in this volume besides the subject indicated by the title. There are the author's views, for instance, jotted down at the time, about the annexation of Alsace. He began by being adverse. He sees dangers, not the least being that" in the inevitable settlement of accounts with young Russia, an alliance between France and Russia would place us between the devil and the deep sea." But "the heart refuses to be tight- laced." Alsace ought to be German because the children are blue-eyed, not because the people wish it. "The educated classes are, on the whole, against us ; the majority of the people would patiently submit to a transfer to Germany." As to the question of the Empire, "for us North Germans, the old imperial power had lost all charm ; " but the Crown Prince had this ideal before him. Herr Freytag clearly thinks that the conception originated with him, and that Bismarck accepted it. On the Morier question he speaks, not very warmly indeed, but still in a way that acquits the envoy of any disloyal communications with Bazaine. The picture of the Crown Prince is singularly attractive, and the description of his devotion to his wife very touching. Herr Freytag speaks of her with profound appreciation, and fully recog- nises the great share she had in the development of her husband's character.