The Hamburger Nachrichten, a journal through which Prince Bismarck sometimes
gives information to the world, tells a curious story. It asserts that one at least of Prince Bismarck's resignations was a trick arranged between the Emperor and himself. Prussia had on one occasion been defeated in the Federal Council, and the Emperor suggested that if the Chan- cellor resigned, he could affirm that he could find no Minister to carry out the orders of the Council. The Prince complied, and the Councillors, aghast at the unpopularity such a catastrophe might bring on them, at once rescinded their vote. It is quite possible that other resignations were also arranged with the Emperor, in order to give him an excuse for accepting suggestions exceedingly distasteful to some of those who surrounded him, or to protect his own reputation for consistency. Continental statesmen rarely lose something of the feeling that they are playing parts in a theatre, and will invent little scenes of rupture and reconciliation just as they will invent little epigrams, to be assigned to persons who ought to have said them but did not. The practice must add something to the intellectual interest of their lives, and also to their contempt for mankind, who are so easily taken in. Prince Bismarck evidently does not perceive that it was a little unworthy of the Emperor, if :not of himself, to trick all his German allies.