Ancillon is so wisely aware of his position that he has refused a patent of nobility, and makes as little pretension as possible, so as to excite as little ill — will as he can; but he is a thorough absolutist in his politics, and showed it to-day. I amused myself by asking him how it happened that in the Staatszeitung,—the official paper,—this morning, a compliment to Von Raumer was omitted, when the whole of the rest of a speech of Lord John Russell, in which the compliment was contained, was translated and printed. He replied merely that he could not imagine; but everybody at table knew, as well as I did, that it was because the government does not like to have so liberal a man as Von Raumer so much distinguished. In the conversation that followed he was bitter upon the ‘Travels in England’;1 when I mentioned Humboldt, he gave him, too, en passant, a coup de langue, as I anticipated; abused Varnhagen's book, and his character of Gentz in particular; and, in short, was a thorough Tory all round. Of the ten persons at table, however, three or four of us were not at all of his mind, so that every now and then there came a little more vivacity into the conversation than might have been expected. . . . . On the whole, I did not like M. Ancillon. He did not strike me as possessing a mind of a high order, or as having an elevated or noble character. He may be a good man for every-day affairs, and get along well enough where no emergency requires boldness or a wide and wise circumspection, and he is certainly a most agreeable talker and makes admirable phrases; but that, I suspect, is all. Such as he is, however, much of the destiny of Prussia may be in his hands; for he has not only the confidence of the King, but owes his present place to the regard of his former pupil, the Prince Royal. And the destinies of Prussia are important, indeed, for all Germany and for all Europe. . . . The King has been on the throne almost forty years; he has done and suffered a great deal with his people and for his people, and they, on their side, have a great love for him, and a well-founded trust in his honesty, his regard for justice, his irreproachable private character, and his good intentions. While he lives, therefore, I think there will be no movement. But he is now sixty-six years old, and men are already anxiously inquiring whether his successor will not give them the representative forms enjoyed in Saxony, Bavaria, and elsewhere in Germany. And how can it be otherwise? The whole training of the Prussian people for above five-and-twenty years has been fitting
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