III Berlin 7/II/95

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Berlin 7/II/95

Dearest Nicky

Egloffstein1 will, I hope, be able to bring over the whole heap of porcelain without any breakage. He is instructed to arrange the table so as it would be if you gave a dinner for 50; so that you should have the coup d'oeil of the whole affair. I hope that my manufacturer has done everything to fulfill your wishes and that the present may be useful to you both.

Since the sad weeks you had to go through have passed much has happened in Europe. You have lost an excellent old servant of your predecessors, old Giers,2 who was a very good fellow whom I much esteemed. France has changed par surprise her head and government3 and through the amnesty opened the doors to all the worst malefactors the former people with difficulty had managed to imprison. The impulse given to the Democrats and the Revolutionary party is also to be felt here. My Reichstag4 behaves as badly as it can, swinging backwards and forwards between the socialists egged on by the Jews, and the ultramontane Catholiks; both parties beeing soon fit to be hung all of them, as far as I can see.

In England the ministry5 is toddling on to its fall amidst universal derision! In short everywhere the "principe de la Monarchie" is called upon to show itself strong. That is why I am so glad at the capital speech6 you made other day to the deputations in response to some addresses for reform. It was very much to the point and made a deep impression everywhere.

For the opening of our Canal7 in the end of June I have invited all European Governments to send warships to Kiel, I hope your fleet will also be represented by a ship or two? With my respects to your Mamy and many compliments to Alix, I remain

Your most aff-ate friend

I. A Marshal of the Kaiser's Court, who conveyed Wilhelm's wedding present to the Czar.
2. Nicholas de Giers was Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs since 1882.
3. M. Casimir-Périer, President of the French Republic, resigned on January Isth, 1895, when the Dupuy Cabinet was overthrown by the Chamber. M. Félix Faure was elected President on January 17th, and on January 26th, M. Ribot formed a Cabinet which introduced and carried a bill giving amnesty to political offenders.
4. On December 6th, :894, at the first sitting in the new Reichstag building, six socialists refused to rise when the president called for three cheers for the Kaiser.
5. The Roseberry government fell on June 21st, 1895.
6. The historic speech made by the young Czar on January 29th, in reply to a deputation of the Zemstvos come to plead for reforms. Nicholas II. spoke of the reforms asked by the Zemstvos as "unrealizable dreams," concluding his speech with the memorable words, "I shall uphold the principle of autocracy tS firmly and unflinchingly as did my ever-lamented father."
7. The Kiel Canal was opened on June 21st, 1895.

Return to 'Willy-Nicky' Letters: Introduction, and Letters I-V (8 November 1894-10 July 1895)