21 AUGUST 1886, Page 3

Centenaries, jubilees, and so forth, are becoming the great bores

of the age. We take up so much time in admiring ourselves for what some of us were exactly fifty, or a hundred, or some hundreds of years ago, that we have none left to do what it will be worth the while of our posterity to admire. In Berlin, on Tuesday, the city was entirely occupied with delight that the hundredth year had come round since the great Frederick died. He is not a hero after our heart, and Carlyle certainly was in straits when he pitched upon him as a hero of the true kind ; and yet there was something big in him. What mistakes, for instance, might not Prince Bismarck have avoided, if he had weighed well the great Frederick's wise remark to the Prince de Ligne, by way of explanation why he wished to get some honourable place for a Jansenist doctor (who rather bored him) : —" Mon Dieu ! What blockheads the present Jansenists are ! But France should not have extinguished that nursery of their genius, that Port Royal, extravagant as it was. Indeed, one ought to destroy nothing. Why have they destroyed, too, the depositaries of the graces of Rome and of Athens, those excel- lent Professors of the humanities, and perhaps of humanity, the ex-Jesuit Fathers? Education will be the loser by it. But as my brothers the Kings, most Catholic, most Christian, most faithful and Apostolic, have tumbled them out, I, most heretical, pick up as many as I can ; and perhaps one day I shall be courted for the sake of them by those who want them. I preserve the breed." There was a statesmanship larger than Prince Bismarck's in that boast.