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THE PRELUDE

TO THE ARNIM TRIAL.

FIRST PART.

“Il faut en tout dialogue et discours qu'on puisse dire: De quoi vous plaignez-vous ? "-Pascal.

66

That trick of State was a deep envious one!”

Henry VIII.

DLL

LONDON:

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY.

1876.

240.e. bit

614

PRINTED BY TAYLOR AND Co., LITTLE QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.

PREFACE.

SOME delay has occurred in the publication of these pages through deference to objections on the part of several persons who entertained doubts as to its opportuneness.

These objections were principally made by members of the former Conservative party, who relied upon Prince Bismarck's seceding from the National-Liberal Party and once more seeking support among the Conservatives.

Those gentlemen maintained that the negotiations with Herren von Blankenburg and Wagner, the endeavours of Herr von Wedell-Malchow, the occurrences at the election in Lauenburg, and various other matters of smaller notoriety left no room for doubting the sincerity of the Imperial Chancellor; his antipathy to the leaders of the National-Liberal party being, they said, a well-known fact. To many the sentiments had been communicated which the Imperial Chancellor, at the conclusion of a dinner party, had expressed against Lasker to several members of the Conservative party. It was likewise patent that the attacks of Prince Putbus on Lasker resulted from the Imperial Chancellor's own prompting; and it was equally a fact that the Imperial Chancellor had in confidential circles stigmatised the famous May Laws as an act of folly.

It is of course possible that Prince Bismarck may once more join the Conservative party. His contemporaries have witnessed the readiness with which he changes front, and kicks from under his feet the ladder he has climbed. Neither must it be denied that the Imperial Chancellor is still capable, maybe, of rallying around himself the remnants of the Conservative party and of putting to account their votes against the Liberals.

But in case the Conservative party should only be possessed of vitality when its whole programme is summed up in the name of Bismarck, when its political cultus is ņaught but Pan-Bismarckism, it will do well to resist all attempts at resuscitation, and once and for ever to abdicate. Of such things as the Conservative party was at one time anxious to secure nothing can now be saved. To protect property against the revolution no specific Conservative party is needed.

The only worthy task left perchance, for the Conservative party to accomplish would be the reconquering of liberty.

To think of doing this under the leadership of “Duke” Bismarck would be absurd.

We cannot therefore allow ourselves to be deterred from the publication of this book out of consideration for the immature and inane aspirations of certain persons of Conservative proclivities.

Another reason entitled to notice, and which, as such, has consequently added to the delay, had reference to Count Arnim himself:

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“The publication of the book would injure him; the pending decision of the Supreme Court would be less favourable to him should the Imperial Chancellor feel aggrieved by its production; moreover, truth would assert itself even were nothing done to unveil it."

This argumentation, after long and mature cogitation, also proved absolutely incomprehensible. The Supreme Tribunal has to decide whether the Stadtgericht (Magistrates' Court) of Berlin had or had not jurisdiction, and whether or not thirteen documents were, in a legal sense, public documents.

Its learned conceptions regarding these questions cannot possibly be modified by the fact that matters

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