Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the Last of the Kaisers

Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the Last of the Kaisers

Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the Last of the Kaisers

Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the Last of the Kaisers

Excerpt

This book is a portrait of William the Second-- no more: it presents neither his epoch, nor the whole story of his life.

That it is too soon for such a delineation can scarcely be maintained; in the seven years since his abdication the pace of events, the overthrow of accepted forms of government, have brought to light a greater quantity of relevant documents than seven decades would hitherto have afforded us. In these years, some twenty volumes of German memoirs, together with the remarkable series of German Foreign Office Papers, have laid bare the greater part of what had been kept secret until now. To the illumination thus obtained, even the solitary missing link--a volume from Prince Billow's pen--could add but little.

Of William the Second, then, we know in these days not too little, but too much. His chronicler must forget the full extent of his own knowledge--the details seen and heard by him, as a contemporary; he must sacrifice a hundred anecdotes of which historians in the future will assuredly make use. For fairness' sake, at any rate, we here design to let no adversary of the Emperor bear witness, but to construct our portrait wholly from his own deeds and words, together with the reports of those who stood in close relation to him, and who give strikingly similar answers to the psychical questions involved. In the following pages . . .

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