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Title: Reminiscences of the King of Roumania
Author: Kremnitz, Mite
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *       *       *       *       *



  _F. Mándy Bucharest._      _Art Repro Co. London._














  INTRODUCTION                                       vii


  II. THE SUMMONS TO THE THRONE                       11

  III. STORM AND STRESS                               32

  IV. MARRIAGE AND HOME LIFE                          83

  V. FINANCIAL TROUBLES                              129

  VI. THE JEWISH QUESTION                            143

  VII. PEACEFUL DEVELOPMENT                          155

  VIII. THREATENING CLOUDS                           218

  IX. THE ARMY                                       250

  X. THE WAR WITH TURKEY                             265

  XI. THE BERLIN CONGRESS AND AFTER                  311

  EPILOGUE                                           355


    Volk und Knecht und Ueberwinder,
    Sie gestehn zu jeder Zeit;
    Höchstes Glück der Erdenkinder
    Sey nur die Persönlichkeit.

  GOETHE (_West-Oestlicher Divan_).

It is said to have been a chance occasion which gave the first
impetus towards the compilation of the German original[1] from which
these "Reminiscences of the King of Roumania have been re-edited and
abridged." One day an enterprising man of letters applied to one
who had followed the King's career for years with vivid interest:
"The public of a country extending from the Alps to the ocean is
eager to know something about Roumania and her Hohenzollern ruler."
The King, without whose consent little or nothing could have been
done, thought the matter over carefully; in fact, he weighed it in
his mind for several years before coming to a final decision. At
first his natural antipathy to being talked about--even in praise
(to criticism he had ever been indifferent)--made him reluctant
to provide printed matter for public comment. On the other hand,
he had long been most anxious that Roumania should attract more
public attention than the world had hitherto bestowed on her. In
an age of universal trade competition and self-advertisement, for
a country to be talked about possibly meant attracting capitalists
and opening up markets: things which might add materially to her
prosperity. With such possibilities in view, the King's own personal
taste or scruples were of secondary moment to him. So the idea
first suggested by a stranger gradually took shape in his mind, and
with it the desire to see placed before his own subjects a truthful
record of what had been achieved in Roumania in his own time. By
these means he hoped to give his people an instructive synopsis of
the difficulties which had been successfully overcome in the task of
creating practical institutions out of chaos.

  [1] "Aus dem Leben König Karls von Rumänien. Aufzeichnungen eines
  Augenzeugen." Stuttgart: Verlag der J. G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung.

As so often happens in such cases, the work grew beyond the limits
originally entertained. But the task was no easy one, and involved
the labour of several years. However, the result achieved is well
worth the trouble, for it is an historical document of exceptional
political interest, containing, among other material, important
letters from Prince Bismarck, the Emperor William, the Emperor
Frederick, the Czar of Russia, Queen Victoria, and Napoleon III.
It is, in fact, a piece of work which a politician must consult
unless he is to remain in the dark concerning much of moment in the
political history of our time, and particularly in the history of
the Eastern Question. "The Reminiscences of the King of Roumania"
constitute an important page in the story of European progress. Nor
is this all. They also contain a study in self-revelation which, so
far as it belongs to a regal character, is absolutely unique in its
completeness--even in an age so rich in sensational memoirs as our

The subject-matter deals with a period of over twenty-five years
in the life of a young European nation, in the course of which she
gained her independence and strove successfully to retain it, whilst
more than trebling her resources in peaceful work. In this eventful
period greater changes have taken place in the balance of power in
Europe than in many preceding centuries. A republic has replaced
a monarchy in France, and also on the other side of the Atlantic,
in Brazil, since the days when a young captain of a Prussian
guard regiment, a scion of the House of Hohenzollern, set himself
single-handed the Sisyphean task of establishing a constitutional
representative monarchy on a soil where hitherto periodical
conspiracies and revolts had run riot luxuriously. Just here,
however, our democratic age has witnessed the realisation of the
problem treated by Macchiavelli in "Il Principe"--the self-education
of a prince.

To-day, the man who thirty-three years ago came down the Danube as
a perfect stranger--practically alone, without tried councillors or
adherents--is to all intents and purposes the omnipotent ruler of a
country which owes its independence and present position entirely
to his statesmanship. Nor can there be much doubt that but for him
Roumania and the Lower Danube might be now little more than a name
to the rest of Europe--as, indeed, they were in the past.


King Charles of Roumania is the second son of the late Prince
Charles Anthony[2] of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen: the elder South
German Roman Catholic branch of the House of Hohenzollern, of
which the German Emperor is the chief. Until the year 1849 the
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens, whose dominions are situated between
Württemberg and Baden, near the spot where the Danube rises in the
Black Forest, possessed full sovereign rights as the head of one of
the independent principalities of the German Confederation. These
sovereign rights of his own and his descendants Prince Charles
Anthony formally and voluntarily ceded to Prussia on December 7,
1849. Of him we are credibly informed:

"Prince Charles Anthony lives in the history of the German people
as a man of liberal thought and high character, who of his own
free will gave up his sovereign prerogative for the sake of the
cause of German Unity. His memory is green in the hearts of his
children as the ideal of a father, who--for all his strictness and
discipline--was not feared, but ever loved and honoured, by his
family. He was always the best friend and adviser of his grown-up
sons." His letters to his son Charles, which are frequently quoted
in the present memoir, fully bear out this testimony to the Prince's
intimate, almost ideal, relationship with his children, as also to
the magnanimity with which he is universally credited.

  [2] This Prince always wrote his name Karl Anton, as a double name:
  hence the retention here.

Of the King's mother--Princess Josephine of Baden--we learn:
"Princess Josephine was deeply religious without being in the least
bigoted. Her unselfishness earned for her the love and devotion of
all those who knew her. As a wife and a mother her life was one of
exceptional harmony and happiness. The great deference which King
Charles has always shown to the other sex has its source in the
veneration which he felt for his mother."

Prince Charles was born on April 20, 1839, at the ancestral
castle of the Hohenzollerns at Sigmaringen on the Danube, then
ruled over by his grandfather, the reigning Prince Charles of
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The castle was not in those days the
treasury of art and history which it is at the present day. The
grandfatherly _régime_ was of a patriarchal, almost despotic kind:
every detail of household affairs was regulated with a view to
strict economy. Though, perhaps, unpleasant at times, all this
proved to be invaluable training for the young Prince, whose
ultimate destiny it was to rule over one of the most extravagant
peoples in Europe. Punctuality was strictly enforced: at nine
o'clock the old Prince wound up his watch as a sign that the day
was over, and at ten darkness and silence reigned supreme over the

Prince Charles was a delicate child, and was considered so
throughout his early manhood, though in reality his health and
bodily powers left little to be desired. The first happy years of
his childhood were passed at Sigmaringen and the summer residences
of Inzigkofen and Krauchenwies. This peaceful life was broken by
a visit in 1846 to his maternal grandmother, the Grand Duchess
Stéphanie of Baden. On this occasion Prince Charles attracted the
attention and interest of Mme. Hortense Cornu, the intimate friend
and confidant of Prince Louis Napoleon--later Napoleon III.

It cannot be said that the young Prince progressed very rapidly in
his studies; but though he learned slowly, his memory proved most
retentive. His naturally independent and strong character, moreover,
prevented him from adopting outside opinions too readily, and this
trait he retained in after years. For though as King of Roumania he
is ever willing to listen to the opinion of others, the decision
invariably remains in his own hands.

An exciting period supervened for the little South German
Principality with the year 1848, when the revolutionary wave forced
the old Prince to abdicate in favour of his son Prince Charles
Anthony. Owing to the action of a "Committee of Public Safety,"
the Hohenzollern family quitted Sigmaringen on September 27. This
the children used to call the "first flight" in contradistinction
to the "second," some seven months later. Though Prince Charles
Anthony succeeded in gaining the upper hand over the revolutionary
movement of '48, the trouble commenced again in 1849 owing to
the insurrection in the Grand Duchy of Baden. As soon as order
had been completely restored, Prince Charles Anthony carried out
his long-cherished plan of transferring the sovereignty of the
Hohenzollern Principality to the King of Prussia, and in a farewell
speech he declared his sole reason to be "the desire to promote
the unity, greatness, and power of the German people." The family
settled first at Neisse in Prussian Silesia, then at Düsseldorf,
as Prince Charles Anthony was appointed to the command of the
Fourteenth Military Division, while Prince Charles Anthony, and
later on also his brother Friedrich, were settled with their tutor
in Dresden, where Prince Charles spent seven years.

Before joining his parents at Düsseldorf, Prince Charles
successfully passed his ensign's examination, though he was entitled
as a Prince of the House of Hohenzollern to claim his commission
without submitting to this test. As a reward for his success he was
permitted to make a tour through Switzerland and Upper Italy before
being placed under his previously appointed military governor,
Captain von Hagens. This officer was a man in every way fitted to
instruct and prepare the young Prince for his career by developing
his powers of initiative and independence of action. In accordance
with his expressed wish, he was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the
Prussian Artillery of the Guard, but was not required to join his
corps until his studies were completed. A thorough knowledge of the
practical part of his profession was acquired at the fortress of
Jülich, followed, after a visit to the celebrated Krupp Works at
Essen, by a course of instruction at Berlin.

The betrothal of his sister, Princess Stéphanie, to King Pedro V.
of Portugal, in the autumn of 1857, was followed by her marriage by
proxy at Berlin on April 29, 1858, whilst another important family
event occurred in November of the same year. William, Prince of
Prussia (afterwards King William I., who had assumed the regency
during the illness of his brother the King, Frederick William IV.),
appointed Prince Charles Anthony, of Hohenzollern, to the Presidency
of the Prussian Ministry. His son Charles developed the greatest
interest in politics, and at that time unconsciously acquired a fund
of diplomatic knowledge and experience which was to stand him in
good stead in his future career.

In the midst of the gaieties of Berlin the Prince was deeply
affected by the melancholy news of the death of his sister Stéphanie
on July 17, 1859. Two years later the marriage of his brother
Leopold to the Infanta Antoinette of Portugal afforded him a welcome
opportunity of visiting the last resting-place of his dearly loved
sister near Lisbon. On his return from his journey, Prince Charles
requested to be transferred to an Hussar Regiment, as the artillery
did not appear at that time to take that place in public estimation
to which it was entitled. This application, however, was postponed
until his return from a long tour through the South of France,
Algiers, Gibraltar, Spain, and Paris. After a short stay at the
University of Bonn, Prince Charles again resumed military duty as
First Lieutenant in the Second Dragoon Guards stationed at Berlin,
where he speedily regained the position he had formerly held in
the society of the capital. The Royal Family, especially the Crown
Prince, welcomed their South German relative most warmly, and the
friendship thus created was subsequently more than equal to the test
of time and separation.

A second visit to the Imperial Court of France in 1863, this time
at the invitation of Napoleon III., was intended by the latter
to culminate in a betrothal to a Princess of his House, but the
project fell through, as the proposed conditions did not find
favour with the King of Prussia. Prince Charles was forced to
content himself with the consolation offered by King William, that
he would soon forget the fair lady amidst the scenes of war (in
Denmark). As orderly officer to his friend the Crown Prince of
Prussia, Prince Charles took part in the siege and assault of the
Düppel entrenchments, the capture of Fridericia, and the invasion
of Jütland. The experience he gained of war and camp-life during
this period was of inestimable benefit to the young soldier, who was
afterwards called upon to achieve the independence of Roumania on
the battlefields of Bulgaria.

The war of 1864 having come to an end, Prince Charles returned to
the somewhat dreary monotony of garrison life in Berlin. This not
unnaturally soon gave rise to a feeling of _ennui_ and a consequent
longing on his part for more absorbing work than that of mere
subordinate military routine. Nothing then indicated, however, that
in a short time he would step from such comparative obscurity to the
wide field of European politics by the acceptance of a hazardous,
though pre-eminently honourable, position of the utmost importance
in Eastern Europe--the throne of the United Principalities of
Wallachia and Moldavia, which, thanks to his untiring exertions and
devotion to duty, are now known as the Kingdom of Roumania.


In starting on his adventurous, not to say perilous, experiment,
Prince Charles already possessed plenty of valuable capital to draw
upon. In the first place, few princes to whose lot it has fallen to
sway the destinies of a nation have received an early training so
well adapted to their future vocation, or have been so auspiciously
endowed by nature with qualities which in this instance may fairly
be said to have been directly inherited from his parents. His early
and most impressionable years had been passed in the bosom of an
ideally happy and plain-living family, and this in itself was one
of the strongest of guarantees for harmonious development and for
future happiness in life. Both his father and mother had earnestly
striven to instil into their children the difference between the
outward aspect and the true inwardness of things--the very essence
of training for princes no less than for those of humbler rank. Also
we find the following significant reference to the Prince and his
feelings on the threshold of his career:

"The stiff and antiquated 'Junker' spirit which in those days
was so prevalent in Prussia and Berlin, and more particularly at
the Prussian Court, was most repugnant to him. His nature was
too simple, too genuine, for him to take kindly to this hollow
assumption, this clinging to old-fashioned empty formula. His
training had been too truly aristocratic for him not to be deeply
imbued with simplicity and spontaneity in all his impulses. His
instincts taught him to value the inwardness of things above their
outward appearance."

Nor was it long before he had ample opportunity of putting
these precepts into practice. Neither as Prince nor as King
has the Sovereign of Roumania ever permitted prosecution for
personal attacks upon himself. The crime of _lèse majesté_ has
no existence--or, to say the least, is in permanent abeyance--in

Anti-dynastic newspapers have for years persisted in their attacks
upon the King, his policy, and his person--sometimes in the most
audacious manner. Although his Ministers have from time to time
strenuously urged his Majesty to authorise the prosecution of these
offenders, he has never consented to this course. He even refused to
prosecute those who attacked his consort, holding that the Queen is
part of himself, and, like himself, must be above taking notice of
insults, and must bear the penalty of being misunderstood, or even
calumniated, and trust confidently to the unerring justice of time
for vindication.

The King's equable temperament has enabled him to take an even
higher flight. For let us not forget that it is possible to be
lenient, even forgiving, in the face of calumny, and yet to suffer
agonies of torture in the task of repressing our wounded feelings.
King Charles is said to have read many scurrilous pamphlets and
papers directed against him and his dynasty--for singularly
atrocious examples have been ready to his hand--and to have been
able sometimes even to discover a fund of humour in the more
fantastic perversions of truth which they contained.

Speaking of one of the most outrageous personal attacks ever
perpetrated upon him, he is reported to have said that such things
could not touch or affect him--that he stood beyond their reach.
Here the words employed by Goethe regarding his deceased friend
Schiller might well be applied:

    Und hinter ihm im wesenlosen Scheine
    Lag, was uns Alle bändigt: das Gemeine.

His absolute indifference towards calumny is doubtless due to his
conviction that time will do him justice--that a ruler must take his
own course, and that the final estimate is always that of posterity.


One who for years has lived in close contact with the Roumanian
royal family gives the following sympathetic and yet obviously
sincere description of the personal impression the King creates:

"King Charles had attained his fiftieth year when I saw him for
the first time. There is, perhaps, no other stage of life at which
a man is so truly his full self as just this particular age. The
physical development of a man of fifty is long completed, whereas
on the other hand he has not yet suffered any diminution of
strength or elasticity. His spiritual individuality is also ripe
and complete, in so far as any full, deep nature can ever be said
to have completed its development. It is only consonant with that
true nobility which precludes every effect borrowed or based on
calculation, that the first impression the King makes upon the
stranger is not a striking one: he is too distinguished to attract
attention; too genuine to create an effect for the eye of the many.
An artist might admire the handsome features; but the King lacks
the tall figure, the impressive mien which is the attribute of the
hero of romance, and which excites the enthusiasm of the crowd. On
the other hand, his slender figure of medium height is elegant and
well knit; his gait is energetic and graceful. His sea-blue eyes,
which lie deep beneath strong black eyebrows--meeting right across
his aquiline nose--now and then take a restless roving expression.
They are those of an eagle, a trite comparison which has often been
made before. Moreover, their keenness and their great reach of sight
justifies an affinity with the king of birds."

It is not generally known--but it is true, nevertheless--that the
King of Roumania is half French by descent. His grandmother on his
father's side was a Princess Murat, and his maternal grandmother,
as already mentioned, was a French lady well known to history as
Stéphanie Beauharnais, the adopted daughter of the first Napoleon,
and later, by her marriage, Princess Stéphanie of Baden. It is to
this combination in his ancestry that people have been wont to
ascribe some of the marked characteristics of the King. His personal
appearance--notably the fine clear-cut profile--undoubtedly recalls
the typical features of the old French nobility. Also the slight,
symmetrical, and graceful figure is rather French Beauharnais than
German Hohenzollern. His gift for repartee--_l'esprit du moment_,
as it is so aptly styled--is decidedly French; and perhaps not less
so his sanguine temperament, which has stood him in such good stead,
and encouraged him not to lose heart in the midst of his greatest
troubles, particularly years ago, when his subjects did not know
and value him as they do now. An abnormal capacity for work and an
absolute indifference towards every form of material enjoyment--or
gratification of the senses--have also singularly fitted him for
what posterity will probably deem to have been King Charles's most
striking vocation: that of the politician. And his success as a
politician is all the more remarkable, since his youthful training
as well as his early tastes were almost exclusively those of the
Prussian soldier. He even lacked the study of law and bureaucratic
administration, which are commonly held to be the necessary
groundwork of a political career. Yet not an atom of German
dreaminess is to be detected in him; nor aught of roughness: little
of the insensible hardness of iron; but rather something of the
fine temper of steel--the elasticity of a well-forged blade--which,
though it will show the slightest breath of damp, and bend at times,
yet flies back rigid to the straight line. Thus I am assured is
King Charles as a politician--not to be swayed or tampered with by
influences of any kind, the sober moderation of an independent
judgment has, in fact, never deserted him. It is also owing to a
felicitous temperament that he has always been able to encounter
opposition--even bitter enmity--without feeling its effect in a way
common to average mankind.

He had to begin by acquiring the difficult art of "taking people,"
and this--as the King himself admits--he only acquired gradually.
However, he possessed an inborn genius for the business of ruler.
By nature he is a practical realist whose insatiable appetite for
facts, _faits politiques_, crowds out most other interests. So he
quickly profited by experience, which, added to an independence of
judgment which he always possessed, has made him an opportunist
whose opportunity always means the welfare of his country. In
dealing with public questions he endeavours to start with the
Gladstonian open mind: _i.e._, by having no fixed opinion of his
own. He listens to all--forms his own opinion in doing so--and
invariably finishes by impressing and influencing others. He even
indirectly manipulates public opinion by constantly seeing and
conversing with a vast number of people. For in Roumania there is
no class favouritism so far as access to the monarch is concerned.
Anybody may be presented at Court, and on any Sunday afternoon all
are at liberty to call and see the King even without the formality
of an audience paper to fix an appointment.

Personal favouritism has never existed under him. In fact, so
thoroughly has he realised and carried into practice what he
considers to be his duty of personal impartiality, that he once
vouchsafed the following justification of an apparent harshness:
that a ruler must take up one and drop another as the interests of
the country require. In other words, he must not allow personal
feeling to sway him--whereas in private life he should never forsake
a friend. And yet withal King Charles is anxiously intent upon
avoiding personal responsibility--not from timidity, but from an
idea that it is irreconcilable with the dignity of a constitutional
king to put himself forward in this way. Thus not "Le Roi le veut,"
but rather "I hold it to be in the public interest that such and
such a thing should be done" is his habitual form of speech in
council with his Ministers.

One of the King's favourite aphorisms is singularly suggestive in
our talkative age: "It is not so much by what a prince _does_ as
by what he _says_ that he makes enemies!" Like all men of true
genius--or what the Germans call "geniale Naturen"--King Charles is
of simple, unaffected nature;[3] without a taint of the histrionic
in his composition, yet gifted with great reserve force of
self-repression, and rare powers of discernment and well-balanced

  [3] Lord Macaulay cites the Earl of Chatham in the following words
  as the exception to this invariable rule, thus: "He was an almost
  solitary instance of a man of real genius, and of brave, lofty, and
  commanding spirit, without simplicity of character."--(William Pitt,
  Earl of Chatham.) Macaulay's "Critical and Historical Essays."

With all the pride of a Hohenzoller, a sentiment which he never
relinquishes, and which, indeed, is a constant spur to regulate
his conduct by a high standard, he yet holds that nobody should
let a servant do for him what he can do for himself. Also, he has
ever felt an unaffected liking for people of humble station who
lead useful lives, and have raised themselves _honestly_ by their
own merit. In fact, the man who works--however lowly his sphere of
life--is nearer to his sympathies than one whose position gives him
an excuse for laziness. He instinctively dislikes the "loafer,"
whatever his birth. He admits as little that exalted position is
an excuse for a useless life as that it should be put forward to
excuse deviation from the principles of traditional morality. And
in this respect his own life, which has been singularly marked by
what the German language terms "Sittenreinheit," "purity of morals,"
offers an impressive justification for his intolerance upon this one
particular point.


It is said to be King Charles's earnest conviction that the maxims
he has striven to put into practice are the only possible ones
upon which a monarchy on a democratic basis can hope to exist in
our time. But here he is obviously attempting to award to principle
what, in this instance at least, must be largely due to the
intuitive gifts of an extraordinary personality. Maxims are all very
well so far as they go, but they did not go the whole length of the
way. Did not even Immanuel Kant himself admit that, during a long
experience as a tutor, he had never been able to put those precepts
successfully into practice upon which his work on "Pädagogik" is
founded? Also many of the difficulties successfully encountered
by the King of Roumania have been of such a nature as cut-and-dry
application of precepts or maxims would never have sufficed to
vanquish. Among these may be cited the acute crises which from time
to time have been the product of bitter party-warfare in Roumania.
Thus, during the Franco-German War, when the sympathies of the
Roumanian people were with the French to a man, his position was
one of extreme difficulty. The spiteful enmity he encountered in
those days taxed his endurance to its utmost limits, and even called
forth a threat of abdication. A weaker man would have left his
post. Again, in 1888, when a peasant rising brought about by party
intrigues seemed to threaten the results of many years' labour,
even experienced statesmen hinted that the Hohenzollern dynasty
might not last another six months. The King was advised to use
force and fire upon the rioters. This he declined to do. He simply
dismissed the Ministry from office, and called the Opposition into
power, and subsequent events proved that his decision was the right
one. But by far the greatest crisis of his reign, and at the same
time the greatest test of his nerve and political sagacity, was
furnished by the singularly difficult situation of Roumania during
the Russo-Turkish War of 1877: here, indeed, the very existence of
Roumania was at stake. The situation may be read between the lines
in the present volume.

The King, by virtue of a convention, had allowed the Russians to
march through Roumania, but the latter had declined an acceptable
alliance which the Roumanians wished for. When things in Bulgaria
went badly with the Russians, they wanted to call upon some bodies
of Roumanian troops which were stationed on the banks of the Danube.
The King, or, as he was then, Prince Charles, with the instinct
of the soldier--and in this case, moreover, of the far-sighted
politician--was burning to let Roumania take her share in the
struggle. But he was determined that she should only enter the
fray--if at all--as an independent belligerent power. So he held
back--and held back again, risking the grave danger which might
accrue to Roumania, and above all to himself, from ultimate Russian
resentment. In the meantime, the Russians were defeated in the
battles round Plevna; still he held back; not with a point-blank
refusal, but with a dilatory evasiveness which drove the Russians
nearly frantic. For, during those terrible months of July and August
1877, in which their soldiers were dying like flies, they could see
the whole Roumanian army standing ready mobilised, but motionless,
a few hours away to the north, on the Danube--immovable in the face
of all Muscovite appeals for assistance. At last the Russians were
obliged to accept Prince Charles's conditions, to agree to allow
him the independent command of all Roumanian troops, and to place
a large corps of Russian troops besides under his orders. Then,
indeed, the former Prussian lieutenant started within twenty-four
hours, after playing the Russians at their own game for four months,
and beating them at it to boot. Had Russia refused his demands, not
a single Roumanian would have entered upon that struggle in the
subsequent course of which their Sovereign covered himself with
renown. It was no part of his business as the ruler of Roumania
to seek military glory _per se_, although the instinct for such
was strong within the Hohenzoller. Also on the 11th September, the
battle of Grivitza--which was fought against his advice--saw him
at his post, and sixteen thousand Russians and Roumanians[4] were
killed and wounded under his command, probably a greater number
slain in open battle in one day than England has lost in all her
wars since the Crimea! Surely there was something of the heroic
here; and yet it could hardly weigh as an achievement when compared
with those Fabian tactics which preceded it, and the execution of
which, until the psychological moment came, called for nerves of
steel. Hardly ever has _la politique dilatoire_--of which Prince
Bismarck was such a master in his dealings with Benedetti--had an
apter exponent than King Charles on this eventful occasion. And its
results, although afterwards curtailed by the decision of the Berlin
Congress, secured the independence of Roumania and its creation as a

  [4] The Roumanians alone lost 2659 killed and wounded on that day.


King Charles is peculiarly German in his passionate love of nature.
At Sinaja--his summer residence--he looks after his trees with the
same solicitude which filled his great countryman, Prince Bismarck.
He spends his holidays by preference amid romantic scenery--at
Abbazia, on the blue Adriatic, or in Switzerland. He visits Ragatz
nearly every year, and thoroughly enjoys his stay among the bluff
Swiss burghers. It is impossible for him to conceal his identity
there; but he does his best to avoid the dreaded royalty-hunting
tourist of certain nationalities, and finds an endless fund
of amusement in the rough politeness of the inhabitants, with
their customary greeting: "_Herr König, beehren Sie uns bald
wieder_"--"Mr. King, pray honour us again with your visit."

He also loves to roam at will unknown among the venerable buildings
of towns, such as Vienna and Munich, to look at the picture and art
galleries, and gather ideas of the way to obtain for his own people
some of those treasures of culture which he admires in the great
centres of civilisation. He has even, at great personal sacrifice,
collected quite a respectable gallery of pictures at Bucharest and

If I have dwelt somewhat at length upon the King's personal
characteristics and his political methods, it has been in order to
assist the reader to appreciate what kind of man he is, and so the
more readily to understand cause and effect in estimating how the
apparently impossible grew into an accomplished fact. This seemed
to be all the more necessary as the "Reminiscences" themselves--far
more of a diary than a "Life"--are conceived in a spirit of rarely
dispassionate impartiality. The letters, in particular, addressed
to the King by his father--whilst they afford us a sympathetic
insight into a charming relationship between father and son--do
credit to the fearless spirit of the latter in publishing them; and
the frankness with which the most painful situations are placed on
record can scarcely fail to elicit the sympathy and respect of the
reader. In fact, the book contains passages which it would trouble
the self-love of many a man to publish. This it is, however, which
stamps it with the invaluable hall-mark of veracity, whilst, at
the same time, it leaves the reader full liberty to form his own





After the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula by the Turks, who were
intent on extending the Ottoman Empire even to the north of the
Danube, there was little left for the Roumanian Principalities
of Moldavia and Wallachia, deserted and abandoned to their fate
by the neighbouring Christian States, except to make the best
possible terms with the victorious followers of the Crescent. Each
Principality, therefore, concluded separate conventions with the
Sublime Porte, by means of which they aimed at domestic independence
in return for the payment of tribute and military service. These
conventions or capitulations were not infrequently violated by the
Turks as well as by the Roumanian Hospodars or Princes. Though
the rulers of Bucharest and Jassy were appointed and dismissed
at the pleasure of the Grand Seignior, the very existence of the
Principalities was due solely to the provisions of the treaties
above mentioned, by virtue of which they escaped incorporation
in the Ottoman Empire; nor were the nobility of Moldavia and
Wallachia forced to follow the example of their equals in Bosnia
and Herzegovina in embracing Islam, in order to maintain their
power over the Christian population. Still the Principalities of
the Danube did not entirely escape the ruin and misery which befell
Bulgaria and Roumelia; but, since the forms and outward appearance
of administrative independence remained, it was yet possible that
the Roumanian patriot might develop his country socially and
politically without threatening the immediate interests of the
Turkish Empire south of the Danube.

Chief amongst the difficulties which beset the regeneration of
Roumania was the rule of the Phanariotes,[5] to whom the Porte
had practically handed over the territories of the Lower Danube.
The dignity of Hospodar[6] was confined to members of the great
Phanariot families, who oppressed and misruled the whole country,
whilst the Greek nobles in their train not only monopolised all
offices and dignities, but even poisoned the national spirit
by their corrupt system. Even to-day Roumania suffers from the
after-effects of Levantine misrule, which blunted the public
conscience and confused all moral conceptions.

  [5] An oligarchy of Greek families in Turkey, from which a large
  proportion of high stations in the Turkish administration were

  [6] Hospodar: Old Slavonic term for Lord or Master applied to the
  reigning Princes in Wallachia and Moldavia.

Since the end of the eighteenth century the Danubian Principalities
have attracted the unenviable notice of Russia, whose objective,
Constantinople, is covered by them. In less than a century, from
1768 to 1854, these unfortunate countries suffered no less than six
Russian occupations, and as many reconquests by the Turks. It speaks
highly for the national spirit of the Roumanians that they should
have borne the miseries entailed by these wars without relapsing
into abject callousness and apathy; and that, on the contrary, the
memory of their former national independence should have continued
to gather fresh life, and that their wish to shake off the yoke of
their bondage, be it Russian or Turkish, should have grown stronger
with the lapse of time. The Hospodars, appointed by the Russians,
were hindered in every way by the Turks in their task of awakening
the national spirit and preparing the way for the regeneration of
their enslaved people. Besides this, many of these Hospodars were
prejudiced against the introduction of reforms which could only
endanger their own interests and positions. They were, therefore,
far more disposed to seek the protection of foreign States than to
rely upon the innate strength of the people they governed. Such were
the causes that hindered the development of the moral and material
resources of the Roumanian nation.

The ideas from time to time conceived by the rulers of Russia
for the unification of the Principalities were based solely on
selfish aims and considerations. Thus, for instance, a letter dated
September 10, 1782, from Catherine II., who gave the Russian Empire
its present shape and direction, to the Emperor Joseph II., shows
clearly that the state then proposed, consisting of Wallachia,
Moldavia and Bessarabia, was to be merely a Russian outpost,
governed by a Russian nominee, against the Ottoman Empire. Even in
this century (1834) Russia would have been prepared to further the
unification of the Principalities, if only they and the other Great
Powers had declared themselves content to accept a ruler drawn from
the Imperial House of Russia, or some closely allied prince. As,
however, this was not the case, the Russian project was laid aside
in favour of a policy of suppressing the national spirit by means
of the Czars influence as protector. The Sublime Porte, on the
other hand, was straining every nerve to maintain the prevailing
state of affairs. And finally, Austria, the third neighbour of the
Principalities, hesitated between its desire to gain possession
of the mouths of the Danube by annexing Wallachia and Moldavia,
and its disinclination to increase the number of its Roumanian
subjects by four or five millions, and thereby to strengthen those
incompatible elements beyond the limits of prudence. At the same
time Austria looked upon the interior development of Roumania with
an even more unfavourable eye than Russia, and it seemed as though
Moldavia and Wallachia, in spite of the ever increasing desire
of their inhabitants for union and for the development of their
resources, so long restrained, were condemned to remain for ever in
their lamentable condition by the jealousy of their three powerful

At length came the February Revolution of 1848 in Paris, the effects
of which were felt even in far Roumania. An insurrection arose in
Moldavia: the Hospodar was forced to abdicate; and a Provisional
Government, the _Lieutenance Princière_,[7] was formed at Bucharest,
and proceeded to frame a constitution embodying the freedom of
the Press, the abolition of serfdom and all the privileges of the
nobility. The earlier state of affairs was, however, restored on
September 25 of the same year by the combined action of the Russians
and the Turks, with the result that the Principalities for a time
lost even the last remnants of their former independence, and the
power of the Hospodars was hedged in with such narrow restrictions
by the Treaty of Balta Liman (May 1, 1849) that they could undertake
no initiative without the sanction of the Russian and Turkish
commissaries, under whose control they were placed.

  [7] The so-called _Lieutenance Princière_ was a kind of governorship
  or regency which was formed after Prince Kusa's fall, and consisted
  of the chiefs of all the recognised political parties.

The Crimean War brought with it emancipation from the Russian
protectorate, but although the situation was now improving, much
was still necessary before the Roumanians could regain their
domestic independence. A French protector had taken the place of
the Russian. The pressure, it is true, was by no means so severe,
nor was it felt so directly as formerly, yet the country perforce
suffered no inconsiderable damage, both moral and material, from the
half-voluntary, half-compulsory compliance with the wishes of the
French ruler. Napoleon wished to elevate Roumania, the "Latin sister
nation," into a French dependency, and thereby to make France the
decisive factor in the Oriental question. A willing tool was found
in the person of the new Hospodar of the now united Principalities,
and thenceforth everything was modelled upon French pattern.

An international Commission assembled in Bucharest in 1857, together
with a Divan convoked by an Imperial Firman for Moldavia and
Wallachia, to consider the question of the future position of the
Danubian Principalities. The deliberations of these two bodies,
however, resulted in nothing, as neither the Sublime Porte nor the
Great Powers were inclined to agree to the programme submitted
to them, the main features of which were: the union of the two
Principalities as a neutral, autonomous state under the hereditary
sovereignty of a prince of a European dynasty, and the introduction
of a constitution. A conference held at Paris, on the other hand,
decided that each Principality should elect a native Hospodar,
subject to the Sultan's confirmation.

The desire for national unity had, however, become so strong that
the newly elected legislative bodies of both countries rebelled
against the decision of the Great Powers, and elected Colonel
Alexander Kusa as their ruler in 1859. Personal union was thus
achieved, though the election of a foreign prince had, for the time
being, to be abandoned. Still Prince Kusa was required to pledge his
word to abdicate should an opportunity arrive for the closer union
of the two countries under the rule of a foreign prince.

Guided by the advice of the Great Powers, the Sultan confirmed the
election of Prince Kusa, but by means of _two_ Firmans, a diplomatic
sleight of hand, by which the _fait accompli_ of the irregular union
remained undisturbed, albeit unrecognised. Formal sanction to the
union was not conceded by the Sublime Porte until 1861. Prince Kusa,
whose private life was by no means above reproach, endeavoured to
fulfil in public the patriotic ambition of furthering his people's
progress. But Roumania at that period was not prepared for the
purely parliamentary form of government it had assumed, and the
well-meant reforms initiated by the Prince and the Chamber achieved
no immediate result. Prince Kusa, therefore, felt himself compelled
to abolish the Election Laws by a _coup d'état_, and to frame a
new one, which obtained the sanction of the Sublime Porte, and
eventually the approval of the majority of the nation.

The increased liberty of action gained by the Prince was utilised to
the full in formulating a series of necessary and excellent reforms;
he failed, however, to place the budget on a satisfactory footing,
and the finances remained in the same unfavourable condition as
before, whilst several of his measures were directly opposed to the
interests of certain factions and classes of the population. In
addition to these difficulties, scandals arose which were based only
too firmly upon the extremely lax life which Prince Kusa led, and a
conspiracy was formed for his overthrow which found a ready support
throughout the land. The Palace at Bucharest was surprised on the
night of February 22, 1866, by a band of armed men, who forced the
Prince to abdicate and quit the country. This accomplished, the
leaders of the various parties assembled and formed a Provisional
Government under the _Lieutenance Princière_, or regency, which
consisted of General N. Golesku, Colonel Haralambi and Lascar

The Chamber at once proceeded to elect a new ruler, and their first
choice fell upon the Count of Flanders, the younger brother of
the King of Belgium. Napoleon III., however, who was then still
able to play the arbitrator in the affairs of Europe, hinted that
the Count would be better advised to decline the proffered crown.
The Emperor's wish was acceded to, and, although the Provisional
Government for a time appeared to persist in the election of the
Count of Flanders, Roumania was ultimately forced to look for a
candidate whose election would not be opposed by any of the Great

The choice was difficult, if not impossible; for the Paris
Conference, which had reassembled in the meantime, had decided
against the union of the Principalities; and, unless Roumania could
attain its object semi-officially by the favour of the Great Powers,
the position was hopeless.

It was, indeed, a serious, not to say alarming, situation; for a
war between Prussia and Austria for the hegemony of Germany was
imminent, and threatened to lead to further complications in the
East. If the election were delayed until after the outbreak of
hostilities, one of the belligerent parties was certain to reject
the candidate whose election the other approved, whilst Russia
would take advantage of the interregnum to stir up the whole of
Roumania, especially Moldavia, against the union; for anything that
might tend to impede the Russian advance upon Constantinople could
not fail to evoke the most lively hostility in St. Petersburg. It
was, therefore, upon France and her Emperor that all the hopes of
the Roumanians reposed: with Napoleon on their side everything was
possible, without him nothing.

The leading Roumanian statesmen were well aware of the difficulties
in the way, and eventually fixed upon Prince Charles of Hohenzollern
as their candidate, for he was related to both the French and
Prussian dynasties, upon whose goodwill and support he might
confidently reckon. It was of the utmost importance, therefore, to
move him to accept their offer at once, and to obtain the sanction
of the nation by a _plébiscite_.



The Roumanian delegate, Joan Bratianu, arrived at Düsseldorf on
Good Friday 1866, to lay the offer of the Roumanian people before
Prince Charles and his father. In an audience granted by the latter
on the following day, March 31, Bratianu announced the intention of
the _Lieutenance Princière_, inspired by Napoleon III., to advance
Prince Charles Anthony's second son, Charles, as a candidate for
the throne of the Principalities. Bratianu succeeded in obtaining
a private interview with Prince Charles the same evening, in order
to acquaint the latter with the political situation, and to point
out the danger which must inevitably be incurred if the present
Provisional Government remained in power. Prince Charles replied
that he possessed courage enough to accept the offer, but feared
that he was not equal to the task, adding that nothing was known of
the intentions of the King of Prussia, without whose permission,
as chief of the family, he could not take so important a step. He
therefore declined for the moment to give any definite answer to the
proposals of the Roumanian Government. Bratianu returned to Paris,
after promising to take no immediate steps in the matter. Prince
Charles Anthony without delay addressed a memorial regarding this
offer to the King of Prussia, and clearly defined the circumstances
which had led to his taking this step. A similar communication was
forwarded to the President of the Prussian Ministry.

A few days later Prince Charles arrived in Berlin, and at once
visited the King, the Crown Prince, and Prince Frederick Charles, as
he reported in a letter to his father:

     "The King made no mention of the Roumanian question at the
     interview, but the Crown Prince, on the other hand, entered
     into a minute discussion with me, and did not appear to be
     at all against the idea. The only thing that displeased him
     was that the candidature was inspired by France, as he feared
     that the latter might demand a rectification of the frontier
     from Prussia in return for this good office. I replied that
     I did not consider that the Emperor Napoleon had thought of
     such a bargain, but had been induced to take the initiative
     in this matter by family feeling rather than by any selfish
     consideration. The Crown Prince, moreover, considered it a great
     honour that so difficult a task had been offered to a member
     of the House of Hohenzollern. Prince Frederick Charles also at
     once started upon a minute discussion of the Roumanian question.
     He seemed to be intimately acquainted with the issue, and
     volunteered the opinion that I was intended for better things
     than to rule tributary Principalities: he therefore advised me
     to decline the offer."

The following telegram, published in the Press, was handed to Prince
Charles as he was sitting with his comrades at the regimental

  "BUCHAREST, _13th April_.

     "The _Lieutenance Princière_ and Ministry have announced the
     candidature of Prince Charles of Hohenzollern as Prince of
     Roumania, under the title of Charles I., by means of placards at
     the street corners; it is rumoured that the Prince will arrive
     here shortly. The populace appeared delighted by the news."

The Prince at once visited Colonel von Rauch, who had been entrusted
with the delivery of Prince Charles Anthony's memorial to the King,
and learnt that an answer would be sent on April 16. The following
report was despatched to Prince Charles Anthony by his messenger on
the 14th: "I was commanded to attend their Majesties at the _Soirée
Musicale_ yesterday evening. The King took me into a side room
and expressed himself as follows: 'I have not yet replied to the
Prince, because I am still waiting for news from Paris, as the Porte
has declared its intention of recalling its ambassador from the
Conference if the election of a foreign prince is discussed.

"'Should the protecting States have regard to this declaration of
the Porte, the election of a Hohenzollern prince would be rendered
impossible; on the other hand, should the majority decide for a
foreign prince, and the coming Chamber in Bucharest follow their
example, the whole matter would enter upon a new phase. However,
that I may not keep the Prince waiting, I shall express my opinions
shortly as to the future acceptance or refusal of the Roumanian

The King of Prussia forwarded the following autograph letter to the
young Hohenzollern prince early the next morning:

     "Your father has, no doubt, imparted to you the enclosed
     (telegram from Bratianu). You will remain quite passive. Great
     obstacles have arisen, as Russia and the Porte are so far
     opposed to a foreign prince.


The telegram ran thus:

     "Five million Roumanians proclaim Prince Charles, the son of
     your Royal Highness, as their sovereign. Every church is open,
     and the voice of the clergy rises with that of the people in
     prayer to the Eternal, that their Elected may be blessed and
     rendered worthy of his ancestors and the trust reposed in him by
     the whole nation.


The long expected reply from the Prussian monarch arrived at
Düsseldorf on April 16. After discussing the probable moral and
material bonds of union which would unite Prussia and Roumania in
the event of the offer being accepted, the King continued:

     "The question is whether the position of your son and his
     descendants would really be as favourable as might otherwise be
     expected? For the present the ruler of Roumania will continue
     as a vassal of the Porte. Is this a dignified and acceptable
     position for a Hohenzollern? And though it may be expected
     that in future this position will be exchanged for that of an
     independent sovereignty, still the date of the realisation
     of this aim is very remote, and will probably be preceded by
     political convulsions through which the ruler of the Danubian
     Principalities might perhaps be unable to retain his position!
     With such an outlook, are not the present position and prospects
     of your son happier than the life which is offered him?

     "Even in the event of my consenting to the election of one of
     your sons to the throne of Roumania, is there any guarantee
     that this elective sovereignty, even if it becomes hereditary,
     will remain faithful to him who is now chosen? The past of
     these countries shows the contrary; and the experience of other
     States, ancient and well established, as well as newly created
     and elective empires, shows how uncertain such structures are in
     our times.

     "But, above all, we must take into consideration the attitude of
     the Powers represented at the Paris Conference to this question
     of election. Two questions still remain undecided: (_a_) Is
     there to be an union or not? (_b_) Is there to be a foreign
     Prince or not?

     "Russia and the Porte are against the union, but it appears that
     England will join the majority, and if she decides for the union
     the Porte will be obliged to submit.

     "In the same way both the former States are opposed to the
     election of a foreign Prince as the ruler of the Danubian
     Principalities. I have mentioned this attitude of the Porte, and
     yesterday we received a message from Russia to say that it was
     not disposed to agree to the project of your son's election,
     and that it will demand a resumption of the Conference. All
     these events prevent the hope of a simple solution. I must
     therefore urge you to consider these matters again. Even should
     Russia, against its will of course, consent to the election
     of a foreign Prince, it is to be expected that intrigue after
     intrigue will take place in Roumania between Russia and Austria.
     And since Austria will more willingly vote for such an election,
     Roumania would be forced to rely upon her as against Russia, and
     so the newly created country with its dynasty would be on the
     side of the chief opponent of Prussia, though the latter is to
     provide the Prince!

     "You will gather from what I have said that, from dynastic and
     political considerations, I do not consider this important
     question quite as _couleur de rose_ as you do. In any case we
     must await the news which the next few days will bring us from
     Bucharest, St. Petersburg, and Constantinople, and we must see
     whether the Paris Conference will reassemble immediately.

  "Your faithful Cousin and Friend,

     "P.S.--A note received to-day from the French Ambassador proves
     that the Emperor Napoleon is favourably inclined to the plan.
     This is very important. The position will only be tenable if
     Russia agrees, as she is influential in Roumania on account of
     her professing the same religion and owing to her geographical
     proximity and old associations. These constitute an influence
     against which a new Prince in a weak and divided country would
     not be able to contend for any length of time. If you are
     desirous of prosecuting this affair your son must, above all
     things, gain the consent of Russia. It is true that up to now
     the prospect of success is remote...."

Prince Charles Anthony replied, assuring the King that, although
the examples of such enterprises in Greece and Mexico had proved
disastrous, yet the complications which might arise from Roumania
were not likely to affect the prestige of Prussia, and he therefore
begged his Majesty not to refuse his consent so long as there was
a chance of arranging the matter. A most important interview then
took place between Count Bismarck and Prince Charles at the Berlin
residence of the former, who was at that time confined to his house
by illness.

Bismarck opened the conversation with the words: "I have requested
your Serene Highness to visit me, not in order to converse with
you as a statesman, but quite openly and freely as a friend and an
adviser, if I may use the expression. You have been unanimously
elected by a nation to rule over them; obey the summons. Proceed
at once to the country, to the government of which you have been

Prince Charles replied that this course was out of the question,
unless the King gave his permission, although he felt quite equal to
the task.

"All the more reason," replied the Count. "In this case you have
no need for the direct permission of the King. Ask the King for
leave--leave to travel abroad. The King (I know him well) will not
be slow to understand, and to see through your intention. You will,
moreover, remove the decision out of his hands, a most welcome
relief to him, as he is politically tied down. Once abroad, you
resign your commission and proceed to Paris, where you will ask the
Emperor for a private interview. You might then lay your intentions
before Napoleon, with the request that he will interest himself in
your affairs and promote them amongst the Powers. In my opinion this
is the only method of tackling the matter, if your Serene Highness
thinks at all of accepting the crown in question. On the other hand,
should this question come before the Paris Conference, it will not
take months merely, but even years to settle. The two Powers most
interested--Russia and the Porte--will protest emphatically against
your election; France, England, and Italy will be on your side,
whilst Austria will make every endeavour to ruin your candidature.
From Austria there is, however, not much to fear, as I propose to
give her occupation for some time to come!... As regards us, Prussia
is placed in the most difficult position of all: on account of her
political and geographical situation she has always held aloof from
the Eastern Question and has only striven to make her voice heard
in the Council of the Powers. In this particular case, however, I,
as Prussian Minister, should have to decide against you, however
hard it would be for me, for at the present moment I must not come
to a rupture with Russia, nor pledge our State interest for the
sake of family interest. By independent action on the part of your
Highness the King would escape this painful dilemma; and, although
he cannot give his consent as head of the family, I am convinced
that he will not be against this idea, which I would willingly
communicate to him if he would do me the honour of visiting me here.
When once your Serene Highness is in Roumania the question would
soon be solved; for when Europe is confronted by a _fait accompli_
the interested Powers will, it is true, protest, but the protest
will be only on paper, and the fact cannot be undone!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Prince then pointed out that Russia and Turkey might adopt
offensive measures, but Bismarck denied this possibility: "The
most disastrous contingencies, especially for Russia, might result
from forcible measures. I advise your Serene Highness to write
an autograph letter to the Czar of Russia before your departure,
saying that you see in Russia your most powerful protector, and
that with Russia you hope some day to solve the Eastern Question.
A matrimonial alliance also might be mooted, which would give you
great support in Russia."

In reply to a question as to the attitude of Prussia to a _fait
accompli_, Bismarck declared: "We shall not be able to avoid
recognising the fact and devoting our full interest to the matter.
Your courageous resolve is therefore certain to be received here
with applause."

The Prince then asked whether the Count advised him to accept the
crown, or whether it would be better to let the matter drop.

"If I had not been in favour of the course proposed, I should not
have permitted myself to express my views," was the reply. "I think
the solution of the question by a _fait accompli_ will be the
luckiest and most honourable for you. And even if you do not succeed
your position with regard to the House of Prussia would continue the
same. You would remain here and be able to look back with pleasure
to a _coup_ with which you could never reproach yourself. But if you
succeed, as I think you will, this solution would be of incalculable
value to you; you have been elected unanimously by the vote of the
nation in the fullest sense of the word; you follow this summons and
thereby from the commencement earn the full confidence of the whole

The Prince objected that he could not quite trust the _plébiscite_,
because it had been effected so quickly, but Bismarck replied:

"The surest guarantee can be given you by the deputation which will
shortly be sent to you, and which you must not receive on Prussian
territory; moreover, I should place myself in communication with the
Roumanian agent in Paris as soon as possible. I communicated this
idea _sous discrétion_ to the French Ambassador, Benedetti, after we
had learnt that Napoleon wished to hear our views, and he declares
that France will place a ship at your disposal to undertake the
journey to Roumania from Marseilles, but I think it would be better
to make use of the ordinary steamer in order to keep the matter
quite secret."

As in duty bound, Prince Charles proceeded to the Royal Palace after
this interview, to ascertain the King's views on the proposed course
of action. His Majesty did not share Count Bismarck's view and
thought that the Prince had better await the decision of the Paris
Conference, although, even should this be favourable, it would still
be unworthy a Prince of the House of Hohenzollern to place himself
under the suzerainty of the Sultan! To this Prince Charles replied
that, although he was ready to acknowledge the Turkish suzerainty
for a time, he reserved to himself the task of freeing his country
by force of arms, and of gaining perfect independence on the field
of battle. The King gave the Prince leave to proceed to Düsseldorf,
embraced him heartily, and bade him Godspeed!

Prince Bismarck sent for Colonel Rauch, who had played an important
part in the negotiations with the King, and informed him on April 23
that the Paris Conference had decided by five votes to three that
the Bucharest Chamber was to elect a native prince, and that France
had declared that she would not tolerate forcible measures either on
the part of Russia or of the Porte. The President of the Prussian
Ministry then repeated the advice he had given to Prince Charles,
viz., to accept the election at once, then proceed to Paris, and
thence to Bucharest with the support of Napoleon, and to write
at once to the Czar Alexander, hinting at the projected Russian
marriage. If Russia was won, everything would be won, and the
intervention by force of one or the other of the guaranteeing Powers
would be no longer to be feared. As regards the consent of the King,
which of course could not be given now, it would not be refused to
a final _fait accompli_. Prince Charles must decide for himself
whether he felt the power and decision to solve the problem in this
straightforward fashion; but it must be understood that no other
method offered any prospect, for the Powers would eventually agree
upon a native prince, and the Roumanians must submit. "I spoke," he
added, "to the Roumanian political agent in Paris, M. Balaceanu, in
a similar strain yesterday evening, and laid stress upon the fact
that the King cannot at present decide or accept the election of
Prince Charles, because political complications might be created

From Paris came the news that nothing would be more agreeable to
the Emperor and his Government than to see Prince Charles on the
throne of Roumania, but that nothing could be done in the face of
the decision of the Conference, and that the Prince's project of
a _fait accompli_ was so adventurous that the Emperor could not
promise his support. An interview was then arranged at the house
of Baroness Franque in Ramersdorf, with M. Balaceanu, who declared
that the intention of the Roumanian Government was to adhere to its
choice, and, if necessary, to carry on the government under the name
of Charles I. Roumania would allow herself neither to be bent nor

Two days later, on April 29, Colonel von Rauch returned from Berlin
with the royal answer to Prince Charles Anthony's second memorial,
which contained a repetition of the King's objections to the
acceptance of the offer, and still more to the _fait accompli_,
which was so warmly urged from Paris. The "_Memorial Diplomatique_"
of the 28th contained this suggestive phrase: "_... l'initiative de
la France n'a pour object que les faits à accomplir!_"

Prince Charles Anthony received M. Bratianu and Dr. Davila on May 1
at Düsseldorf. They came to announce the arrival of the deputation
with the verification of the _plébiscite_, and to inquire whether
or no Prince Charles intended to decline their offer definitely. It
was then decided to telegraph in cipher to Bucharest that the Prince
had decided to accept the offer, but only on condition that the King
should give his consent.

In answer to a telegram from Prince Charles Anthony, the King of
Prussia begged him to come to Berlin to discuss the question of
the _fait accompli_. The result of the interview was that the King
agreed to refrain from influencing the decision of Prince Charles
directly and to permit the _fait accompli_ to "take place." The
Prince was to resign his commission as a Prussian officer after
passing the Prussian frontier.

On the receipt of this news from Berlin, the Prince at once sent
for MM. Balaceanu and Bratianu, and on their arrival informed them
that he was prepared to set out for Roumania without delay. The
question then arose as to which route was to be taken, since Prussia
might declare war any day with Austria, whilst a sea journey _viâ_
Marseilles or Genoa risked a possible detention at Constantinople.
The Prince eventually decided on the shortest route, _viâ_
Vienna-Basiasch; but this plan had to be reconsidered, as owing to
an indiscretion the proposed itinerary became public.

The long expected mobilisation order of the Prussian Army was signed
by the King on May 9, and Prince Charles in consequence received an
order from his colonel to rejoin his regiment at once, from which,
however, he was exempted by the six weeks' leave granted by the
King himself. Balaceanu urged the Prince by letter not to delay his
departure, and reiterated his entreaties on behalf of the Roumanian
people, who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their chosen

The last day at home was Friday, May 11, 1866, and with it came
the inevitable anguish of parting with his dearly loved parents.
Repressing the emotions which might otherwise have betrayed the
pregnant measure he had undertaken, Prince Charles, clad for the
last time in the uniform of the Prussian Dragoons, rode down the
avenue towards Benrath Castle, where his eldest brother resided and
awaited him. Upon arriving there, he exchanged his uniform for mufti
and proceeded to the station with his sister, Princess Marie, who
accompanied him for the first few hours of his journey, and at Bonn
the Prince joined Councillor von Werner, with whom the momentous
journey was to be undertaken. Zurich was reached at two o'clock in
the afternoon, when the travellers broke their journey for the first
time in order to arrange the difficult question of passports. Von
Werner telegraphed to a Swiss official, whom Prince Charles Anthony
had already asked about the passes, to arrange a meeting at St.
Gallen, but as the official was not at home at the time, a delay of
twenty-four hours occurred, which Prince Charles spent in writing
to the Emperors of Russia and France and the Sultan of Turkey.

Baron von Mayenfisch and Lieutenant Linche, a Roumanian staff
officer, who both joined the party in Zurich, set out independently,
the former for Munich, the latter for Basiasch on the Danube. The
Prince and Von Werner occupied themselves with erasing the marking
of the Prince's linen and reducing the quantity of his baggage to
indispensable limits. The following day (May 14) found the Prince
and his companion at St. Gallen, where a passport was obtained
for the former under the name of "Karl Hettingen," travelling on
business to Odessa, and at the Prince's request a note was made
on this document of the fact that Herr Hettingen wore spectacles.
The acquisition of these passports, however, and the fact of his
travelling second-class, were not alone sufficient to overcome all
further difficulties and dangers, for on reaching Salzburg, on the
Austro-Bavarian frontier, on the 16th, a customs official gruffly
demanded the Prince's name, and he to his horror found that he had
forgotten it. Luckily Von Werner, with great presence of mind,
flung himself into the breach by insisting on paying duty for some
cigars, and so diverted the intruder's attention, whilst the Prince
refreshed his peccant memory with a glimpse at his passport. But
this was not all, for scarcely had this little manœuvre been
successfully carried out than several officers of the "King of
Belgium's" Regiment, with whom the Prince had served in 1864 in
Denmark, entered the waiting-room and caused him no little misgiving
lest he should be recognised. Here fortune, however, again favoured
him, and all passed off well, the travellers continuing their
journey as far as Vienna, which they found crowded with troops.
Pressburg, Pest, Szegedin and Temesvar found them still caged in
the dismal squalor of a dirty second-class carriage, and suffering
much discomfort from an icy wind which chilled them to the bone. The
tedious railway journey at length ended at Basiasch, from whence
they were to proceed down stream by steamer. The mobilisation of
the Austrian troops had, however, completely disorganised the river
service, and a most unwelcome delay of two days took place at this
unsavoury spot.

Joan Bratianu arrived from Paris in time to accompany his future
sovereign upon the last stage of his journey, but, as strict secrecy
was still imperative, he was compelled to treat the Prince as a
stranger. The Roumanian frontier was reached at last, and the boat
lay alongside the quay of Turnu Severin. As the Prince was about to
hurry on shore, the master of the steamboat stopped him to inquire
why he should land here when he wanted to go to Odessa. The Prince
replied that he only intended to spend a few minutes on shore,
and then hurried forward. As soon as he touched Roumanian soil,
Bratianu, hat in hand, requested his Prince to step into one of the
carriages waiting there. And as he did so he heard the captain's
voice exclaim: "By God, that must be the Prince of Hohenzollern!"

After the despatch of a couple of telegrams to the _Lieutenance
Princière_ and the Government, the Prince and Bratianu set out
for the capital in a carriage drawn by eight horses at a hand
gallop, which never slackened its headlong pace throughout the
ice-cold, misty night. At four o'clock they reached the river Jiu,
but lost some time there, as the ferry was not in working order.
At Krajowa, where the news of his arrival had brought together an
enormous and enthusiastic multitude, a right royal welcome awaited
the new Prince, and, escorted by two sections of Dorobanz Cavalry
(Militia hussars), he reached the prettily decorated town of
Slatina at noon, where a halt of a couple of hours was made before
proceeding to Piteschti. _En route_ the Prince overtook the 2nd
Line Regiment marching on Bucharest, and was greeted by them with
enthusiastic cheers. A numerous escort of cavaliers, amongst them
Dr. Davila, met the Prince outside Piteschti, where yet another
most enthusiastic reception was accorded him. General Golesku and
Jon Ghika, the President of the Ministry, were presented to the
Prince, who expressed his pleasure at greeting the first members
of the Government. The night was passed at Goleschti, where the
Prince entered upon his duties by signing a decree pardoning the
Metropolitan of Moldavia for his share in the Separatist riots
of April 15. Prince Charles rose early the following morning to
make all necessary arrangements for his triumphal entry into the
capital, where the inhabitants were waiting impatiently to do him
honour. The keys of the town were presented by the Burgomaster,
who also addressed a speech to the new ruler. The procession then
passed along the streets lined by soldiers of the Line and National
Guard, until they reached a house outside which a guard of honour
was posted. "What house is that?" asked the Prince in the innocence
of his heart. "That is the Palace," replied General Golesku with
embarrassment. Prince Charles thought he had misunderstood him, and
asked: "_Where_ is the Palace?" The General, still more embarrassed,
pointed in silence to the one-storeyed building.

At length the procession halted at the Metropolie, the Cathedral
of Bucharest, where the venerable Metropolitan received the Prince
and tendered him the Cross and Bible to kiss. After hearing the
_Te Deum_, the Prince, with his suite, proceeded to the Chamber,
which stands exactly opposite the Metropolie. Here he took the
oath to keep the laws, maintain the rights, and preserve the
integrity of Roumania.--"Jur de a pazi legile Romaniei, d'a mentine
drepturile sale si integritateā teritoriului!"[8] Then, after
replying in French to the address of the President of the Chamber,
Prince Charles repaired with his suite to the Palace to refresh
himself after the exertions of the day. The rooms, though small,
proved to have been tastefully furnished by Parisian upholsterers
during the government of Prince Kusa, but the view from the windows
was primitive indeed; on the one side stood an insignificant
guardhouse, whilst the other offered the national spectacle of a
gipsy encampment with its herd of swine wallowing in the gutters
of the main road--it could hardly be called a street. Such were
the surroundings amongst which the adventurous Hohenzollern Prince
commenced his new career!

  [8] Translation: "I swear to protect the laws of Roumania, to
  maintain her rights and the integrity of her soil."



The first Roumanian Ministry under the new _régime_ was composed
of members of all political parties, Conservatives and Liberals,
Moldavians and Wallachians, Right, Centre, and Left. Lascar
Catargui was appointed President of the Ministry, which, amongst
others, included Joan Bratianu (Finance), Petre Mavrogheni (Foreign
Affairs), General Prince[9] Jon Ghika (War), and Demeter Sturdza
(Public Works).

  [9] All titles and privileges of the Roumanian nobility were
  abolished by law with the exception of the title of Bey-Sadé (Prince
  or "Fürst") granted to the sons of former Hospodars.

The chief task of the new Government was to secure the recognition
of their new ruler by the Powers, but the telegrams from the
Roumanian agents abroad showed very plainly that the _fait accompli_
was only the first step towards the desired end. The initiative
of the Prince found favour, it is true, with Napoleon, but his
Minister, Drouyn de L'Huys, regarded his action as an insult to the
Paris Conference, whilst the Sultan refused to receive the letter
addressed to him by Prince Charles, and announced his intention of
applying to the Conference for sanction to occupy the Principalities
by armed force. To meet this possibility, the immediate mobilisation
of the Roumanian Army was decided upon by the Cabinet, and the
Prince seized an occasion for reviewing the troops on May 24. The
Turkish protest against the election was submitted to the Conference
on the following day, but the Powers decided that Turkey was
not entitled to occupy Roumanian territory without the previous
consent of the Powers, and also declared that they had broken off
official communications with the Prince's Government. As the news
from Constantinople became more and more threatening, a credit
of eight million francs was voted by the Roumanian Chamber for
warlike purposes, and orders were issued for the concentration of
the frontier battalions and Dorobanz Cavalry. The former, however,
mutinied and refused to leave their garrisons, whilst an inspection
of the arsenal showed that there was scarcely enough powder in the
magazines for more than a few rounds to each soldier.

The deputation sent to conciliate Russia met with a cold reception
from Prince Gortchakoff, who complained that France had been
consulted before the _fait accompli_. He further remonstrated
against the collection of Polish refugees on the Roumanian frontier.
On the other hand, he did not appear averse from an alliance between
Prince Charles and the Russian Imperial family. Bismarck received
the members of the deputation with cordiality, and recommended them
to assume an anti-Austrian attitude in the event of an insurrection
in Hungary. In the meantime, the Paris Conference declined to
appoint commissaries for the Principalities, as had been done
formerly under the Hospodars, and practically decided to leave
Roumania an open question.

The finances of the Principalities were completely disorganised, as
the Public Treasury was empty, the floating debt amounted to close
on seven millions sterling, and it seemed as though the year 1866
would indicate a deficit of another six millions. To complete the
financial ruin of the country, a proposal to create paper money was
set on foot, but was thrown out by the Chamber.

The chief measure laid before the Chamber was the draft of a new
Constitution. The Prince insisted upon an Upper and a Lower House as
well as upon an unconditional and absolute veto, whilst the Chamber
wished to grant a merely suspensive veto, such as is exercised by
the President of the United States of America. Owing in great part
to the efforts of Prince Charles, the report of the Committee upon
the Constitution was presented on June 28, when a series of heated
debates arose on the question of granting political rights to the
Roumanian Jews. The excitement spread rapidly throughout Bucharest,
and a riotous mob destroyed the newly erected synagogue. Thereupon,
the unpopular sections of the Constitution were hastily abandoned by
the Government in deference to the wishes of the Jews themselves. A
better fate, however, befell the veto question, which was decided
in favour of the Prince, and on July 11 the Constitution was
unanimously passed through the Chamber by ninety-one votes.

On the following day the Prince proceeded, with the same ceremonies
as before, to the Metropolie to attend the Te Deum before taking
the oath to the new Constitution in the Chamber. He then seized the
opportunity of reminding the representatives of the nation that
Roumania's chief object must be to remain neutral and on good terms
with the neighbouring Powers.

The Prince's daily routine at this period was calculated to tax to
the utmost even his abnormal energy and strength. After a ride in
the early morning, the correspondence of the day was gone through
before the Ministers were received. Then followed miscellaneous
audiences, and the inspection of some Government institution or
school in Bucharest. The organisation of the Ministries and Courts
of Justice was modelled on those of France: the hospitals, thanks
to the liberality of former Hospodars, were well endowed, and able
to treat patients free of charge. In many cases, however, the
hospital buildings were insanitary; the prisons were in the most
unsatisfactory condition, the food of the prisoners was of very
indifferent quality, while, last, but by no means least, among
the many points which demanded his close attention at this time,
was the question of barracks and military establishments. At six
o'clock the Prince dined with his household, and often some ten
or twelve guests of opposite political opinions were invited, in
order that he might become more closely acquainted with the views
of the various parties. As, however, punctuality was at that time a
custom more honoured in the breach than the observance in Bucharest,
it frequently happened that the Prince had to commence dinner
without one or other of his guests. After dinner Prince Charles
generally drove along the _chaussée_, which, enclosed on either
side by handsome gardens, formed the rendezvous of the fashion
of the capital. On other days the Prince rode to one or other of
the numerous monasteries and cloisters in the neighbourhood, such
as Cernika, the burial-place of the Metropolitans, Pasere and

Prince Jon Ghika returned from Constantinople on the 15th of July
with a draft of the conditions upon which the Porte was willing to
recognise Prince Charles. A Council of Ministers was assembled the
same evening to consider this project, which was then unanimously
rejected, and a counter-project was drawn up and discussed in
all its bearings on the 17th. The main features in dispute were
as follows: The Porte wished to retain the name of the "United
Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia," whilst the Ministry
were in favour of either "Roumania" or "The United Roumanian
Principalities." The Porte declared that the princely dignity must
continue to be elective, whilst the Roumanians in return demanded
the recognition of the right of hereditary succession and, in the
absence of a direct descendant of the Prince, his brother's family
was to succeed. In reply to the Turkish demand for military aid
in any war, the Ministry declared that Roumania would only render
assistance in a defensive war. The proposal of the Porte to send
an agent to protect Turkish interests in the Principalities was
rejected entirely, as was also the demand that Roumania should
neither coin money nor confer decorations.

Acting on his father's maxim, "A wise and an honest ruler must never
pursue a personal policy, but only a national one," Prince Charles
declined to countenance a rebellion in Hungary advocated at a
private interview by General Türr, the well-known Hungarian patriot
and agitator. A similar course was pursued with regard to a Servian
deputation, which assured the Prince that all the Eastern Christians
rested upon him their hopes of deliverance from the Turkish yoke.

The first Ministerial crisis occurred on July 25, 1866, owing
to the financial troubles and the disagreement existing between
the President and MM. Bratianu and Rossetti. The Prince confided
the task of forming the new Ministry to Jon Ghika, who had
proved himself an able and energetic diplomat in conducting the
negotiations with the Porte.

In the midst of these difficulties the sorrowful news of the death
of his brother Anthony, from wounds received at Königgrätz, reached
the Prince early on August 7. The sympathy which this family event
evoked amongst all classes of the Roumanian nation was the surest
proof of the affection and regard already inspired by their new
ruler. Ministers, municipal authorities, officers of the Army and
Militia, and all the notabilities of the country hastened to express
their sympathy with the Prince's family in the warmest manner.

The serious condition of the finances forced the Prince to diminish
the strength of the Army by 7000 men, although the attitude of the
Porte still rendered it advisable to concentrate all available
forces. Prince Charles also addressed the following letter to the
Emperor Napoleon to induce him to favour a Roumanian loan in Paris:

     "In accepting the throne of Roumania, I knew that the duties
     devolving on me were enormous: still I confess that the
     difficulties to be surmounted are even greater than I thought.

     "The most complete disorder in the finances as well as in all
     the branches of the Administration gives rise to difficulties
     against which I have to struggle every day, and which render my
     task extremely painful....

     "A greater power than that of man--the Divine--sends us fresh
     trials. The whole country, especially Moldavia, is threatened
     with a famine.... The only means of succouring the populace
     is by means of a loan.... Trusting, Sire, in the affectionate
     sentiments of your Majesty, I ask you for the aid of your
     all-powerful goodwill, because it is the knowledge of your
     Majesty's constant goodwill to the Roumanians and, I venture to
     say, to me personally, that has sustained me in the midst of the
     difficulties with which I have had to contend...."

     The Prince concluded with the words: "The happiness of the
     Roumanian nation has become the aim of my life: I have devoted
     to this mission all my time and all my aspirations."

Owing to the active support of France, the Sublime Porte declared
its willingness to concede certain points of the Roumanian
counter-project, such as the election of the Prince, the hereditary
succession in the Prince's family, and the establishment of the Army
at 30,000 men, but demanded in return the recognition of Roumania as
a _partie intégrale_ of the Ottoman Empire.

On August 21, Prince Charles set out on a journey through
Moldavia, accompanied by General Prince Ghika, Mavrogheni, and his
aides-de-camp. The route ran through Buseu, Fokschani, which was
devastated by cholera, and Ajud, where the long awaited rain first
fell on the dried-up country, then through Kaitz to Okna, where
the Prince inspected the great salt mines and the prison. The next
important halts were made at Botoschani, an almost wholly Jewish
town, and at the Moldavian capital, Jassy, romantically situated
on the banks of the Bachlui. The town is built in terraces on the
hillside, where the numerous domes and towers scattered amongst
the green trees lend it a most picturesque and almost oriental
appearance. The reception accorded to the Prince was brilliant and
hearty in the extreme, the only discordant note being the refusal
of the Rosnovanu family to share in the public rejoicings. It is,
however, pleasant to note that in later years this family sought to
show by every means how completely their opinions had changed.

Important and urgent news from Constantinople then forced the Prince
to bring his tour to an end, and Cotroceni, near Bucharest, was
reached on September 7, after some 920 miles had been traversed in
seventeen days by means of about 3000 post-horses. The result of
the journey was altogether favourable, for not only had the Prince
gained a clearer insight into the affairs of Moldavia, but the
Separatist faction had been considerably weakened by the intercourse
of Prince Charles with the leading men of the Principality.

The following day the Prince received the English and French
Consuls, who came to advocate compliance with the demands of the
Sublime Porte, which, though couched in far more moderate language,
still contained the disputed clauses of the former project. The
Ministry thereupon decided to send Ministers Stirbey and Sturdza to
Constantinople to negotiate better terms for Roumania.

The Prince received a letter from his father on September 14, 1866,
containing the following significant paragraph:

     "The political horizon is still very overcast; a war with France
     is unavoidable, although it will not take place this year. The
     'chauvinism' of the French Press is colossal, and the Emperor,
     who is personally inclined for peace, will probably have to give
     way to the pressure!..."

The news from Constantinople now became more favourable, as both
General Ignatieff and the Marquis de Moustier brought pressure to
bear on Ali Pacha in favour of Roumania. Moreover, the condition of
Crete, where an insurrection had broken out, aided and instigated
by Greece, was in itself a reason why the Porte should come to a
definite settlement with Roumania. Negotiations, however, suffered
further delays owing to the departure of the Marquis de Moustier
and the renewal of impossible demands by Ali Pacha, who was now
supported by England and France. The last named believed that
Prussian influence caused the Prince's reluctance to comply with
the Emperor Napoleon's advice and proceed to Constantinople before
receiving recognition by means of a firman, and the relations of
Roumania to France became consequently cooler. The whole affair
turned upon the words, "_partie intégrale de mon Empire_," which
the Roumanian Ministry refused at first to accept, but now sought
to modify by the addition of "_dans les limites fixées par les
capitulations et le Traité de Paris_." This addition was at last
agreed to by Ali Pacha, and the long struggle ended on October 20.
An exchange of letters, as recommended by the French Ambassador,
then took place between the Grand Vizier and Prince Charles, who
announced his intention of proceeding to Constantinople to receive
the firman from the hands of the Sultan.

The Prince granted an audience to the Consuls of the Powers on the
following day to receive the congratulations of their Governments
upon his recognition by the Porte before setting out on his journey
to Constantinople. At Rustchuk the Governor of the Danubian vilayet,
Midhat Pacha, received the Prince with the utmost ceremony. On
arriving at Varna Prince Charles embarked at once on the Imperial
steam yacht _Issedin_, which had brought Djemil Pacha and Memduh Bey
to escort him to the Golden Horn.

On his arrival at Constantinople the Prince landed at Beglerby,
where an imperial palace had been destined for his reception. Thence
the Prince, in the uniform of a Roumanian general, proceeded to
Dolma Bagdsche, where the Sultan came to the door of his cabinet
to welcome him. Next the sofa on which the Sultan was to sit a
chair was placed for the Prince, but he pushed it gently aside,
and as a Prince of Hohenzollern sat down next to his Suzerain.
The conversation which then ensued turned first upon the Prince's
journey, and afterwards on the state of affairs in Roumania. At
the conclusion of the audience the Sultan handed Prince Charles a
paper, which he laid on the table without looking at it, and then
asked for permission to present his suite, one of whom took charge
of the firman. The Sultan took a hearty leave of the Prince, who
then visited the Sublime Porte, where the Grand Vizier welcomed him
and presented to him the various Turkish great dignitaries of the
Ottoman Empire.

On October 26 Prince Charles received the Ambassadors of the Powers,
amongst their number Lord Lyons, who had been of material assistance
in obtaining the recognition of the Prince, but who was strongly
opposed to any slackening of the bonds between Turkey and the Vassal

The impression left in the Prince's mind by the magnificent
reception was that it was due more to his descent from the House of
Hohenzollern than to the fact that he was ruler of Roumania, for the
Hospodars had been treated merely as highly placed officials, and
as a symbol of their vassaldom were obliged to hold the Sultan's
stirrup as he mounted.

The second visit to the Sultan took place on October 28, and was
marked by the same heartiness as before. Prince Charles, on leaving
the Palace, _en route_ for a review specially ordered in his honour,
passed through the Marble Gates, which are generally opened for the
Sultan alone. The review took place in pouring rain on the heights
of Pancaldi, where six battalions, two cavalry regiments, and four
batteries were drawn up. Ali Pacha entertained the Prince at dinner
the same evening, when Prince Charles proposed the health of the
Sultan, and expressed the wishes he shared in common "with all
Roumanians" for the welfare of the Sultan and of the Turkish Empire.
In reply the Grand Vizier laid special stress upon the deep interest
his Imperial Majesty took in the Prince and "the Moldo-Wallachian
population." Ali Pacha subsequently offered the Prince a number
of Turkish orders of the various classes, adding that the patents
would be sent to him in blank every year, and might be granted as
the Prince thought fit. This offer was, however, declined, and
the permission of the Porte was obtained for the institution of a
medal for the Roumanian Army. After taking leave of the Sultan on
October 30, Prince Charles returned to Varna in the Imperial yacht
_Issedin_, arriving in Bucharest on November 2.

The impending elections now claimed the attention of Prince Charles,
who, in a letter to the President of the Ministry, declared that
"not even the shadow of influence" must be brought to bear on the
electors. The Government, however, misconstrued the expression of
this wish as a concession to the Liberal Opposition. The result of
the elections was a bitter disappointment to the Prince and his
advisers: one-third of the new Chamber was composed of partisans of
the ex-Prince Kusa and Separatists, a second of supporters of the
Government, and the third of Liberals. Not one of these parties,
therefore, could dispose of a decisive majority. The Chamber was
opened on November 27 by Prince Charles in person, who adjured the
Deputies to lay aside all jealousies and personal interests, and to
aid him in reorganising the country by "accepting the wholesome
principles of honesty, industry, and economy, which alone can raise
the civilisation, wealth, and power of the nation."

The failure of the crops in conjunction with famine and cholera had
added to the already heavy financial difficulties of the country.
The paper currency was at 30 per cent. discount, whilst the pay of
the Army and the officials remained in arrears. In spite of the
applause with which the Prince's speech was received, the Government
measures were obstructed at every turn by incessant intrigues in the

The following most interesting letter from the Prince's father,
bearing on the difficulties of Napoleon's position, was received on
December 24, 1866:

     "The position of France is at present most insecure. Napoleon's
     dynasty must struggle with four immense difficulties:

     "(1) The bitter resentment of the nation at Prussia's success in
     war. The Clericals do not cease to add fuel to this smouldering
     fire, and it will not be their fault if the national hatred does
     not break out into open flames. The Emperor is the most sober
     and reasonable of all Frenchmen, but it is quite possible that
     he may allow himself to be dragged into a war with Prussia in
     order to preserve his dynasty.

     "(2) The Roman question is one of equal importance. The
     withdrawal of the French force from Rome will either lead to the
     instantaneous downfall of the Papal State, which would cause
     an unbounded agitation by the very strong Ultramontane party
     in France against the Emperor, and entail the most serious
     consequences for him, or else the withdrawal of the troops
     will not lead to the fall of the Papal State--in which case a
     great bitterness would arise amongst all the Liberal circles of
     France, which see the chief obstacle to national progress in the
     effete government of the Pope.

     "Under any circumstances, the solution of this question is
     dangerous for the Emperor, especially as the Empress will
     materially hinder the settlement of the situation by her Spanish
     temperament and bigoted inclinations, just as she will probably
     achieve her unnecessary pilgrimage to Rome in spite of the
     Ministry, calculating on the domestic weakness of the Emperor.

     "(3) The Mexican affair is the first and most flagrant defeat
     of the French Government. It is no longer a secret that the
     withdrawal of the French troops from Mexico is the result of
     an earnest, even menacing pressure from North America. If this
     pressure should be ignored in Paris, the weak French force in
     Mexico would be exposed to a Sicilian vesper. The troops must
     therefore retire, and with them probably all Frenchmen settled
     in Mexico.

     "This is a terrible situation for the Emperor. He destroys
     his own creation, the throne of Maximilian, and so offers a
     most material _point d'appui_ to the powerful Opposition in
     France. In other words, this is a personal defeat of the Empire,
     than which none greater can be conceived! Either a war or a
     disgraceful peace with North America must follow, against which
     a war with Germany, contrived in order to flatter the French and
     wipe out the bad impression, will be the only means of salvation
     and safety. Many millions of French money will be lost over
     this business, and the shaken and impoverished families will
     continue to fan the fire of discontent. The Opposition, which
     was opposed to the Mexican expedition from the beginning, will
     now be justified in the eyes of the nation, and the prestige of
     the Empire will be materially injured.

     "(4) The bad condition of the French finances and a deficit
     increasing from year to year form another great danger. The
     French Court itself unfortunately does not set an example of
     wise economy, and is thereby morally responsible for the ever
     increasing immorality of the Administration....

     "The Oriental question, though theoretically dangerous, does not
     at first appear to be a source of real danger. Russia, indeed,
     might make it so, but England, Austria, Italy, France, and
     Prussia have a too substantial interest in the _status quo_ to
     exclude the hope that several years of peace will ensue so far
     as that is concerned....

     "There can be no doubt now that Bismarck is not only the man of
     the hour, but that he is also indispensable. Prussia has become
     a power of the first rank, and from henceforth must be taken
     into consideration.

     "The foreign policy of Prussia is firm, clear, decisive,
     and to the point. At home various elements of wavering and
     contradiction make their influence felt.

     "The annexed territories might already have become more
     Prussian, were not the fear of democracy so great in Berlin....
     The Chambers are willing, everything has been passed and
     sanctioned that the Government demanded--but unheard-of truths
     have been told, so much so that the feudal party has not quite
     the courage to glorify personal government beyond reasonable

     "The nation has obviously matured, politically speaking.
     Political extravagances have also decreased rather than
     increased in the army, owing to the consciousness of a
     gloriously ended war.

     "In Southern Germany public opinion is still continually
     excited, especially in Württemberg; Bavaria sways like a reed.
     Prince Hohenlohe Schillingsfürst[10] may become President of
     the Ministry in place of Pfordten; his appointment would be a
     sign in favour of Prussia. Baden's attitude is the most correct;
     there they would prefer the supremacy of Prussia to that of
     Bavaria and Württemberg.

       [10] The present German Chancellor [1899].

     "A proof of the want of earnestness in the unity of Southern
     Germany is afforded by the fact that Bavaria is improving its
     Podewils rifle, Württemberg adopts the Swiss arm, Baden the
     Prussian needle gun, and the Grand Duchy of Hesse retains the
     Minié! And yet everybody is complaining of the want of unity
     amongst politicians and soldiers...."

In reply to a letter from Napoleon III. Prince Charles explained the
chief difficulty of the situation thus:

     "The Panslavonic party seeks to produce complications in the
     East by all possible means. They have already been able to
     influence Greece; the Cretans have rebelled, and, strong in
     the aid of nationalities which they cannot call upon in vain,
     claim the assistance of Europe. Agitators under Greek names are
     busy amongst the Christian populations and fan their latent
     courage.... Emissaries endeavour to incite the population of
     Moldavia, and even our Chamber of Deputies is prepared to create
     difficulties for us.

     "If the interest and sympathy of the great Western Powers lead
     us to hope that the Eastern Question will be solved in our
     favour, we must confess that we are not yet ready to obtain
     advantage from the situation.... We must, therefore, expect
     everything from the support of our traditional protectors, and
     especially from the friendship of your Majesty. It appears to
     me, Sire, most desirable that France, England, and Prussia
     should from now come to an understanding on the matter of
     Eastern affairs. A close concert between these three Powers
     would be the surest guarantee of our national independence...."

Prince Charles received the following autograph letter from Queen
Victoria on February 13, 1867, _à propos_ of his recognition by the


     "I cannot possibly allow the formal answer to your letter to be
     despatched without adding at the same time a few lines to the
     brother of my dear and never-to-be-forgotten niece Stephanie and
     my dear nephew Leopold.

     "I also desire to offer my sincere congratulations on the happy
     solution of the difficulties with the Sultan, as well as my
     warmest wishes for your future and lasting happiness and welfare.

     "I shall always take the warmest interest in your success, and
     I do not doubt that you will continue faithful in the future
     to the principles of moderation and wisdom, which you have
     hitherto pursued.

  "I remain always your sincere cousin,

The condition of Crete and the consequent agitation in Greece formed
the chief topic of a letter addressed to Prince Charles by the King
of the Greeks. King George pointed out the difficulties caused by
the patriotic excitement of his people, whose longing for war was
so strong that they expected him to fight Turkey without money,
troops, ships, or allies. He could not appear in the streets without
being greeted with cries of "To Constantinople" from men and women
of all classes. It was the special misfortune of his people that
they thought every insurrection must bear golden fruit, because they
themselves had always gained some end by revolution.

The Cretans formed three distinct Corps which were kept supplied
with ammunition and recruits by Greek ships. This the Turkish fleet
was powerless to prevent, as it had no coal, and was therefore
forced to remain at anchor. The Greeks reckoned confidently upon an
insurrection in Thessaly and Epirus, though, of course, they were
well aware that Russia only fomented this movement in order that
the Turkish efforts to suppress it might indirectly strengthen the
Slav element by exciting sympathy in Eastern Europe. It was at this
time that the Russian Government announced that it did not aim at
the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, but only desired emancipation
and humane treatment for the Christian subjects of the Sultan, and
that it was awaiting a more favourable moment for the release from
the onerous conditions of the 1856 Treaty and the re-acquisition of
Bessarabia. The cession of Crete to Greece was, however, strongly
advocated by the Russian diplomatists.

A ministerial crisis in Roumania was brought to an end on March 5 by
the laconic motion: "The Chamber has no confidence in the Ministry!"
which was passed by a majority of three votes. Eventually a new
Ministry was formed under the presidency of Cretzulesku, a moderate
Conservative, and was on the whole well received by the Chamber.

A Roumanian statesman sent on a confidential mission to Vienna by
the Prince reported that the feeling of the Austrian Government
was now far more friendly than formerly, and that the questions of
extradition and commercial treaties, consular jurisdiction, and
the appointment of an accredited agent in Vienna would find more
favourable consideration with the Austrian statesmen.

A law was passed by the Chamber and promulgated in the official
_Moniteur_ conferring honorary citizenship on W. E. Gladstone, J.
A. Roebuck, Jules Michelet, Edgar Quinet, St. Marc Girardin, J. E.
Ubicini, and P. T. Bataillard, in recognition of their efforts on
behalf of the Balkan States.

About this time Prince Charles Anthony wrote his son an interesting
letter referring to the Luxemburg Question, which at that moment
threatened to cause a war between Prussia and France. The Prince
wrote as follows:

     "Once more we are on the threshold of great events--it is
     possible that a continental war may soon break out again, and
     equally possible that we may enjoy a lasting peace. This much
     at least is certain, Napoleon's star is sinking and France is
     seething and fermenting."

A letter from Paris aptly described the views of the French
Government on the subject of Roumania and Prince Charles.

     "The Prince is very popular, much loved and highly esteemed
     personally, but his Government (that of Ghika) is unpopular,
     wanting in initiative, foresight, and firmness, so that its
     position is not solid. Reforms make no progress, Russian
     intrigues have ample play, because the indecision of the
     Government and its want of energy throw doubt on its stability.
     Only to-day a diplomat remarked to me that the Russian party is
     getting the upper hand, that Russophile officers, such as a
     certain Solomon and others, have regained their influence and
     position, and that those who helped to elect the Prince are
     discouraged at seeing Russia, the eternal enemy of the country,
     in the ascendant."

After alluding to the project of a Russian marriage, the letter

     "The Prince will soon be convinced that Russian ambition will
     not give way to sentiment or family ties. It marches straight
     to its goal in spite of opposition, and yields to nothing but
     superior force."

Another letter from the same quarter addressed to the Prince
gives the following quaint definition of the faults of the German

     "The German is never sympathetic to foreign nations, he is
     deficient in charm, in grace. The North German is too stiff; the
     South German is too heavy ever to awaken feelings of sympathy.
     This is as true as that the earth turns on its axis. Even
     admitting that in diplomacy one may be ungrateful, nevertheless
     the punishment seldom fails, as witness Austria, which has paid
     heavily for its ingratitude. It is most imprudent to alienate
     yourself from France."

An application for permission to return to Roumania was received on
May 26, from the exiled Prince Kusa, who alleged that his presence
was required in a lawsuit affecting his private interests. Though
Prince Charles was inclined to grant this favour, the decision was
left to his Ministry, who opposed the project, as they had reason to
believe that Prince Kusa's presence might provoke troubles.

An unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Czar was made on June 7,
1867, when the Prince wrote to congratulate his Imperial Majesty on
his escape. The Czar replied as follows:

     "I thank your Highness for the sentiments which you have
     expressed in your letter of June 10, on an occasion when Divine
     Providence has deigned to manifest its protection so clearly.
     You are right in not doubting the affectionate interest which I
     feel for you, and the warm solicitude which I have not ceased
     to consecrate to the welfare of my Christian brethren in the
     united Principalities. The hopes which I entertain regarding
     them are particularly founded on the fact that a spirit of
     order and authority will prevail over the passions which have
     excited them only too deeply during these last days. It is for
     your Highness to establish these principles firmly, for without
     them no society can prosper; and I like to believe that you will
     display therein a firmness equal to the wisdom which you have
     shown since your accession to power.


The news that Omar Pacha had at last gained a signal victory over
the Cretan insurgents was of the greatest interest to Prince
Charles, who was well informed as to the general situation in that
quarter. Whilst the majority of the Powers had proposed as early
as April the cession of that island to Greece, France had gone
still further, and demanded the cession of Thessaly and Epirus as
well. Austria and Russia were, however, opposed to this, for though
Russia desired to weaken Turkey in every possible respect, it was
no part of her plan to help in strengthening Greece. In such cases
the diplomacy of the Turkish statesmen appears to lie in the art
of giving evasive answers and in skilfully playing off one Power
against the other.

The recently appointed Russian Ambassador to the Porte, General
Ignatieff, made use of the energetic demand of France on behalf of
Crete to persuade the Sublime Porte that the Western Powers were
the greatest enemies of Turkey, whilst Russia was her only true
friend and natural ally. His influence was, however, lessened by
the Sultan's unexpected invitation to visit the Paris Exhibition,
followed by another from England. Count Ignatieff was forced to
content himself with the sarcastic reflection that, though every
Court in Europe might in turn invite the Sultan, Russia would still
have the satisfaction of seeing him ruined financially.

Prince Charles proceeded to Giurgiu, on August 5, on his way to meet
the Sultan at Rustschuk, who was returning from Paris. The interview
with his suzerain lasted about half an hour, and Ali Pacha acted as
interpreter. The Sultan appeared in excellent spirits at the result
of his visit, and delighted with the reception he had met with on
his travels.

Owing to the continued hostility of France, especially as regarded
the Jewish Question, J. Bratianu was forced to resign his portfolio,
and a day later the entire Ministry followed him. The news of
this step spread consternation throughout the country, and threw
the greatest difficulties in the way of Stephen Golesku, who was
entrusted with the formation of the new Ministry. The Separatists
also seized upon this critical state of affairs to reproach the
Prince openly with having sacrificed his Minister to pressure
from abroad; indeed, the whole political situation appeared
most threatening. Influential persons in France were inciting
ex-Prince Kusa to agitate in Roumania: the Minister of Finance
wanted to resign because there were no funds for most necessary
expenses--_e.g._, the officers on the half-pay list had not received
their pay for two months; the open hostility of the Austrian
and French Press; the anti-dynastic and separatist movement in
Moldavia, fomented by Russia: all these contributed to increase the
difficulties which beset the path of the young ruler.

The state of affairs in Crete remained practically unaltered;
supported by Greece and Russia, the Cretans demanded nothing less
than incorporation with Greece, whilst England and France viewed
this proposal with disfavour. Ali Pacha, the Grand Vizier, was sent
to Crete with the most extensive powers to pacify the island; in
addition to other reforms, a Christian Governor-General was to be
appointed. A sudden change, however, took place in the views of the
Porte, for the Sultan at last recognised the futility of constantly
giving way to foreign interference, and determined to hold his own
by force of arms. No fewer than 80,000 men were to be despatched to
the island, though the season was by no means favourable to military

In the meantime a special session of the Roumanian Chamber was
convoked on November 6 to introduce reforms in the army, to confirm
certain railway concessions, and to vote the supplies without which
the administration had become impossible. In spite of the continued
hostility of France towards J. Bratianu, the Prince appointed that
statesman Minister of Finance. The Chamber was then dissolved by the
advice of the Ministry, who gave the following considerations as
their reasons:

The Chamber had been elected shortly after the accession of the
Prince, at a period when the nation scarcely knew what policy
their ruler intended to adopt, or, indeed, the details of the
new Constitution. The consequence of this ignorance was a wrong
application of the election laws--fully half the elections would
have been annulled had they been strictly investigated. It was
evident from the first that no Ministry could reckon upon a majority
in a House so equally divided, and so it happened that the Budget
could not be passed at the proper time. In February the factions had
combined so far as to defeat the Ministry, but the new majority was
again divided into three factions, and unable therefore to do its
duty. The Senate was dissolved for the same reasons.

A complete victory was scored by the Liberal Government at the
general election, both in the Chamber and the Senate. The speech
from the throne on January 15, 1868, congratulated the Deputies on
the peaceful course of the elections; and, after touching on the
Jewish Question, insisted upon the necessity of legislating for the
army, the Church, and finance, which all demanded their closest

Count Bismarck pointed out to the Prince that Russian support would
be of the greatest benefit to Roumania, an opinion shared by Prince
Charles Anthony, who remarked that Russia was either a powerful
friend or a dangerous enemy. The future of the Orient belonged to
Russia in the probable development of European affairs. "France will
continue to lose _prestige_; it is, therefore, only common sense to
step voluntarily into the Russian sphere of influence before one
is forced to do so, yet at the same time without falling out with

In a letter, which crossed the above, Prince Charles wrote:

     "The greatest danger for Roumania is a Franco-Russian Alliance.
     The former Power at present does its utmost to effect this.
     To-day France is forced to make friends of its enemies, for
     nobody sides with it. The whole Orient is against France....
     Italy will have need of Prussia, and Prussia of Italy, for they
     both have only evil to expect from France.... France has lost
     much ground here, and if we did not remember that she has done
     much good for Roumania, we should break with her entirely...."

A Treaty--purely "platonic," as the Prince termed it--was ratified
with Servia on February 2, 1868, to "guard the reciprocal interests
of the two countries ... and to develop the prosperity of the
countries in conformity with their legitimate and autonomous

The ill-will and pique of the French Government led to an official
request for information about the Bulgarian rebel bands, which were
reported to be assembling along the Danube preparatory to invading
Turkish territory, aided and abetted by the Roumanian Government.
These accusations, it must be confessed, were partly founded on
fact, for it was impossible to prevent the Roumanian nation from
testifying in a practical manner to its sympathy with its oppressed
neighbours. Besides this, many influential Bulgarian families had
sought refuge in Roumania from the pressure of Midhat Pacha's iron
hand. The wave of hatred and enmity of the Christian religion
which at the time appeared to sweep over the whole Turkish Empire
contributed materially to incite the Bulgarians in Roumania to
undertake reprisals in revenge of the outrages inflicted upon their
native country.

The following letter from Count Bismarck was received by Prince

  "BERLIN, _27th February, 1868_.

     "I had the honour to receive your Highness's gracious letter
     of the 27th inst., and make use to-day of the first secure
     opportunity of tendering your Highness my humble thanks for
     the gracious sentiments expressed therein. It will always be
     a pleasant duty, and the outcome of my personal attachment,
     to be of service to your Highness's interests here. I have
     endeavoured to show my devotion in the latest phase of politics
     by maintaining in London and Paris my conviction that the
     rumours about the warlike undertakings on your Highness's
     territory are malicious inventions. The origin of these reports
     appears to be a Belgian Consul, whom we had cause to complain
     of in Brussels. At the same time, it must be remembered that
     the rumours have been used in Paris to make your Highness
     feel that an _entente_ with Russia does not accord with the
     intentions of France. This does not affect the fact that every
     stable Government of Roumania has need of friendly relations
     with Russia as much and, indeed, owing to its geographical
     situation, even more than with any other of the European Powers.
     Your Highness must expect the reaction which will result from
     pursuing your own course. I do not doubt that the mission to St.
     Petersburg will result the more favourably, as the Bishop of
     Ismail succeeds in enlisting the active sympathy of his brethren
     and fellow priests in Petersburg, and in publicly fostering the
     impression that this has happened....

  "v. BISMARCK."

As foretold by Bismarck, the mission to St. Petersburg caused the
Paris Government to look upon Roumania as lost to France. Bratianu
was accused of having thrown himself into the arms of Russia,
backed by his large majority at the recent elections. Again and
again the young Prince was warned not to offend the French Emperor
by base ingratitude.

Prince Charles Anthony wrote to his son that "Bismarck's ...
observation that Roumania is the Belgium of South-Eastern Europe
is perfectly correct. Roumania, like Belgium, must not attempt
foreign politics, but must live on the best possible terms with her
neighbours: she will then share in the fruits which in due season
will fall from the tree of Europe. But she must not pluck them
herself, especially while they are unripe.... The situation of the
Jews, such as prevails on the Lower Danube, is an evil rash upon
the body of the State; but it is as impossible to solve this Jewish
Question with one blow as to drive a rash away at once. However, I
have complete confidence in your ability to use the right means.
The same applies to the dreaded declaration of independence. Such a
one-sided action would be the most colossal imprudence: the force
of circumstances and not the wish of the Roumanian nation will be
the operative factor." This sage counsel prevailed, although the
declaration of independence was strongly advocated by many of the
Prince's advisers.

In June 1868 the arrival of Prince Napoleon on a visit to the Prince
of Roumania was heartily welcomed by the whole nation, which was
glad of an opportunity of expressing her sympathy and regard for
France and the Imperial dynasty. Prince Napoleon, however, created
a very indifferent impression, for not even the utmost enthusiasm,
the deafening cheers, the showers of bouquets from the hands of fair
ladies, were able to move him from the passive and icy demeanour
which he displayed on his arrival. Although he had barely one word
to say to the many persons presented to him, his manner to Prince
Charles was very amiable, and he frequently repeated his offer of
assistance to the Prince. The conversation did not take a political
turn, with the exception of the one sentence: "Paris considers you
wholly in the Russian camp."

The greatest confusion still prevailed in Crete, where the
inhabitants persisted in their demand for union with Greece, and
even elected sixteen Deputies to represent the island in the
Athenian Chamber. This step, however, created a great difficulty for
the Greek Government, for if these Cretan Deputies were allowed to
sit, the censure of the European Powers would be incurred, whilst if
they were sent about their business the excitement of the populace
might easily precipitate a crisis.

The news of the assassination of Prince Michael of Servia, who had
always preserved the most friendly relations with Prince Charles,
was received on June 11, 1868, with consternation and sincere
regret by the Roumanian nation. Prince Milan Obrenowitch was
unanimously elected Prince of Servia, under a regency composed of
MM. Blagnavatz, Ristitch, and Gavrilovitch, by the Skuptchina on
July 5, 1868.

A band of one hundred and fifty Bulgarians assembled in Roumanian
territory and crossed the Danube on July 16 near Petroschani,
abetted by a farmer, who concealed their rifles on an island
in midstream. Aided by the Bulgarians south of the river, the
insurrection spread rapidly, until Midhat Pacha defeated the rebels
at Letzwitza. A proclamation of the provisional government of the
Balkans was found among them, calling the Bulgarians to shake off
the Turkish yoke and found a Bulgarian kingdom. With barbarous
severity Midhat Pacha thereupon ordered all prisoners to be executed
in their native villages as a deterrent to the remainder of the
population. The Roumanian Government was accused of fomenting the
insurrection, or at least of having taken no steps to prevent the
congregation of insurgents on Roumanian territory; but the real
culprits were proved to have been Russian instigators. Prince
Charles refers to the incident as follows, in a letter to his father:

     "The insurrection appears to be wholly suppressed for the
     present, and the few insurgents still remaining in Bulgaria
     have retired to the Balkans. How long the peace will remain
     undisturbed I cannot say; but the fact remains that the
     bitter feeling of the Bulgarians has reached its climax, and
     can only be compared to religious fanaticism. Numerous bands
     of insurgents are still on Roumanian territory, but we are
     forcing them to disperse. Much anxiety is caused by guarding our
     extended frontier."... "Public works have now come to the front:
     a law has been formulated and passed by the Chamber that each
     Roumanian shall work three days or pay for three days' labour in
     the year on the roads of the country. This measure was at first
     opposed, as it was considered a _corvée_, but we succeeded in
     refuting this argument.... I fully realise your advice, that my
     chief aim must be directed to the development of the material
     interests of the country. I should prefer to leave politics
     severely alone, and cut myself off from the rest of the world
     for some time to come, but the foreign Powers will not permit
     it. France in particular is attempting to throw difficulties
     in my way; the Marquis de Moustier desires at all costs to fix
     some quarrel on Roumania and to turn out my Ministry, which no
     longer inspires confidence in _France_; for this I am sorry;
     but, nevertheless, it will not induce me to dismiss a Ministry
     which possesses _my_ entire confidence. I forgot to mention
     that Bourée, _à propos_ of the Bulgarian incident, expressed
     the opinion: 'This circumstance must be utilised to demand the
     fall of the Roumanian Ministry.' I think it more important to
     change the Ministers in France than in Roumania--the events
     in Paris, in the Sorbonne, the Rochefort trial in consequence
     of the violent article in the _Lanterne_, &c., are ominous
     portents. The Second Empire is severely shaken, and can only
     be maintained by radical means if the fatal sentence '_il est
     trop tard_' is not to come true--as I am inclined to believe it
     will be. Sympathy with France has disappeared in the East, and
     she has only herself to thank if the Christian nations throw
     themselves into the arms of Russia. Turkish and French politics
     are identical here....

     "Many irregularities and embezzlements still occur in the
     various branches of the administration, but by no means in the
     same degree as formerly; a considerable period will probably
     elapse before this evil can be wholly remedied.... The juries
     are not always capable of fulfilling their task; they often
     sentence those who have been guilty of minor offences and
     acquit notorious criminals.... I am against Press prosecutions
     in Roumania, for what the papers write is valueless; I am in
     favour of unlimited freedom of the Press; it is decidedly less
     dangerous than limited freedom, the consequences of which are
     visible in France to-day."

Events in Spain now appeared to be reaching a critical period,
as Marshal Prim and Serrano were engaged in the task of selecting
a ruler for the vacant throne. Rumour pointed to the following as
possible candidates: The King of Portugal, the Hereditary Prince of
Hohenzollern, Prince Philip of Coburg, and the Duc de Montpensier.

In a letter to the Crown Prince of Prussia, thanking him for a
communication received through Colonel von Krenski,[11] Prince
Charles remarked:

     "The revolution in Spain came very much _à propos_, for France
     will now be forced to keep quiet. As an old acquaintance I
     deplore the fate of the poor Queen, but honestly confess it
     was no more than was to be expected. I should like to see an
     Orleans or Philip of Coburg ascend the Spanish throne, but on
     no account a regent put forward by Napoleon! If the Republic is
     victorious in Spain it will soon break out in France, and at the
     present time this would be a lesser danger for the development
     of Germany than the Napoleonic dynasty."

  [11] A Prussian officer, sent in October 1868 by the King of Prussia
  as military instructor to Roumania.

The repeated attacks of Austria, or rather of Count Beust, on
the Golesku Ministry and on Bratianu in particular, proved that
the retention of the latter might lead to the most serious
consequences. The nature of these attacks may be recognised from
the misstatements in the Austrian Red Book, which estimated the
number of needle-guns sold to Prince Charles at 50,000 instead of
10,000, whilst Roumania was termed an "arsenal" by Count Beust.
Shortly after the opening of the Chamber the Ministry resigned, and
Prince D. Ghika was entrusted with the formation of a new Ministry.
The most prominent member was M. Cogalniceanu, and the Ministry
was composed of statesmen belonging to every political party. In
a letter to the President Prince Charles praised his programme
as truly national, and expressed the hope that he would succeed
in effacing all differences of opinion and those intrigues so
prejudicial to the interests of the State.

On December 9, 1868, the following letter was received from Prince
Charles Anthony:

     "The candidature for the Spanish throne has hitherto been
     discussed only in newspapers; we have not ourselves heard a
     single word about it, and even should this project be placed
     more closely before us, I should never counsel the acceptance of
     this hazardous though dazzling position. Moreover, France would
     never be able to consent to the establishment of a Hohenzollern
     on the other side of the Pyrenees on account of our relations
     with Prussia; nay, it is already swollen with jealousy because
     a member of that house rules the Lower Danube....

     "Bismarck appears to me just now to possess rather less
     influence in Home questions.... In the Foreign Office, however,
     he continues undisturbed, although even there he has often to
     bow to the views of the King."

In a subsequent letter to his son congratulating him on the
excellent results of the change in the Ministry, Prince Charles
Anthony wrote:

     "England, which now possesses a new Ministry, must be managed
     with tact, for the independence of the Porte is the _corde
     sensible_ of both Tories and Whigs. If England is convinced that
     Roumania does not wish to emancipate herself, you will be able
     to reckon with confidence on England's sympathy and friendship
     for Roumania."

Since Greece on December 18 declined to accept the Turkish
ultimatum, all Greek subjects living in Turkey were informed that
they would have to leave the country in fourteen days' time, and
a Conference assembled in Paris for the purpose of adjusting the
differences of these two nations and preventing a war. Their efforts
were crowned with success, for Greece accepted the declaration of
the Conference on February 6, 1869.

Count Andrassy, the Hungarian statesman, endeavoured to convince the
Roumanian Government that its chief source of danger lay in Russia
and that the interests of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were centred
in a strong Roumania, which would be able to oppose a barrier to
the Panslavonic element. After offering his services in the way of
smoothing over the difficulties which had arisen between the two
States, Count Andrassy expressed the opinion that the best solution
of the Eastern Question would be a Confederation of the Eastern
nations and the creation of various independent States, "to make
the West understand that the question could be solved without the
influence and beyond the aspirations of Russia."

In reply to a letter of Prince Charles regarding the _entente
cordiale_ with Hungary, Prince Bismarck wrote on February 2, 1869,
as follows:

     "I consider it a very fortunate and cleverly managed turn of
     events that your Highness's relations to the Porte should have
     improved. I am convinced that if the Porte believes that it
     has nothing to fear for its possessions from the Roumanian
     Government, it will be a more useful and perhaps a more sincere
     friend to your Highness than the majority of the European
     Powers, who can hardly interfere with your Highness so long as
     you are on good terms with the Porte. Turkey has much less to
     fear from a strong government in Roumania which maintains peace
     and quiet--than from a weak and revolutionary state of affairs
     in the Principalities. I therefore consider, if your Highness
     will graciously permit me to give expression to my long and
     active political experience, that the first requirement of your
     Highness's policy is the establishment of your authority in the
     interior, and the maintenance of confidential relations with
     the Porte. The means by which such relations can be promoted
     by personal intercourse with influential men in Constantinople
     will doubtless be known to your Highness's agents there.
     The maintenance of your Highness's authority at home rests
     principally upon the maintenance of an absolutely reliable force
     of a couple of thousand men able to enforce obedience wherever
     they are assembled. The result of such obedience will then
     render possible a regular administration and a certain execution
     of the law. If your Highness achieves this result, the glory
     and practical success of your Government will be greater and
     more lasting than any extension of the Roumanian rule in the
     East could make it. The ideal for Roumania appears to me to be
     the title _de la Belgique des bouches du Danube_, and for your
     Highness the glory and the gratitude of Europe such as King
     Leopold left behind him. The Roumanians, as we judge them from
     this distance, are neither essentially warlike nor ambitious to
     rule other nations....

     "If this conception meets with your Highness's approval,
     amicable relations with Hungary would arise spontaneously. I by
     no means advocate the cooling of the _entente_ with Russia; nor
     need it suffer through Roumania's friendly feeling for Hungary,
     if your Highness only succeeds in cultivating relations with the
     Czar and Chancellor in St. Petersburg, without employing the
     channel of excited and exciting consular agents. The Imperial
     Government itself is far more liberal and moderate than its
     agents in the East....

     "The present demands of all nations and most of the Governments
     of Europe are secure conditions of peace, and everything that
     your Highness may do to maintain these, if you announce at the
     same time that it is done for the sake of peace, will receive
     the applause of Europe, though at first the hired papers of the
     intriguers for war may decry your action. But if your Highness
     believes that there is no power to render innocuous those who
     for foreign money endanger the peace and the stability of your
     Highness's rule, I cannot divine the motives which persuade a
     scion of so illustrious a house as that of your Highness to
     persevere in so ungrateful a task...."

Prince Charles described the motives which led to the dissolution of
the Chamber as follows to his father:

     "The conflict between the Chamber and the Ministry--sought by
     the former in the appointment of General Macedonski to the
     command of the Bucharest Division--shows clearly how the Chamber
     endeavoured to prevent the consolidation of the present Ministry
     in the hope of undermining all authority. I considered this a
     great danger, and the greater the danger, the more rapidly and
     energetically must one intervene. Europe desires peace; and
     it is not for us, a little State, which has such an endless
     labour of development yet before it, and so much to do before
     it can become strong--it is not for us to seek and agitate for
     war. I hope that in the next Chamber the quiet and reasonable
     element of the country will be represented, for this alone can
     ensure its future. The election struggles will, however, be
     hotly contested, as the opposition will employ every means to
     victory. Two days before the dissolution of the Chamber I had a
     five hours' conversation with Bratianu.... He thought that the
     situation at home was most serious, and that a catastrophe was
     imminent. I replied that I feared nothing. '_Un Hohenzollern ne
     se laisse pas si facilement renverser comme un prince parvenu._'"

Amongst other rumours, that of an intended abdication gained
much credence at this time, whilst several letters were received
threatening assassination. Prince Charles declined to pay the least
heed to these menaces, and to show his confidence in his adopted
country rode long distances daily in all directions. It was only
natural that Prince Charles Anthony's paternal anxiety should be
aroused by the gloomy picture of the affairs of Roumania and their
effect on the Prince's health. He wrote:

     "I have seen Krenski and learnt from him much that is new and
     interesting, but find that he regards matters in too gloomy a
     light and views everything with ultra-Prussian eyes. It is a
     real calamity that the Prussians, despite their qualities of
     spirit, character, and knowledge, are frequently deficient in
     objective conception and judgment!

     "Krenski draws a gloomy picture of your situation, and I had to
     restrain him from painting the matter too darkly to your dear
     mother. You were looking ill, had no appetite, little sleep, and
     your exhaustion was patent to every one!...

     "I consider it absolutely necessary that you should come here
     as arranged in April. It is of the utmost importance for two
     reasons: first of all, it will give the lie to the current
     reports that you dare not leave the country for a moment owing
     to imminent dangers. It is politically most important that it
     should be seen that you can safely venture, in spite of all, to
     be absent for a short time. Secondly, you will never be able
     to think of marriage unless you take steps personally in the

     "There is no news at all. I do not know whether I shall be able
     to go to Berlin for the birthday. My foot is better, but it is
     not completely cured, and the greatest caution is necessary. It
     is depressing for me to feel myself an invalid when otherwise in
     perfect health.

     "After a spring-like winter we are now having a winter-like
     spring. It is to be hoped that April will bring us the
     inexpressible happiness of a reunion with you!"

Prince Charles replied to this letter as follows:

     "I hope you are not angry because I have not complied with your
     urgent invitation to come to Germany. I do not think it can be
     necessary to assure you how much my heart draws me to my deeply
     loved parents, my dearest possessions on earth. But he who
     assumes so great a responsibility as I have must not be ruled
     by his heart, but by his head. I fear Krenski has described the
     situation here in too gloomy a light--it is not so serious as
     he thinks. With patience, endurance, and energy everything can
     be attained, and I am convinced that I shall reach my appointed
     goal. It is true that during the time Krenski was here I had an
     enormous amount of work, little peace, and much annoyance. This,
     however, did not discourage me for a moment, whilst Krenski,
     who has much too soft a heart for a man and a soldier, often
     despaired. It was only natural that I should have no appetite
     or sleep, as the many wearisome tasks, without any distraction,
     exhausted and excited me. At present I am in excellent health,
     and await the result of the elections with calmness and less
     excitement than my _entourage_, for I know what I have to do, if
     it should come to a serious conflict. Most decidedly I shall not
     draw the shorter lot...."

The news of the death of the former Hospodar of Wallachia, Barbu
Stirbey, was received from Nice in April 1869. Only a few weeks
before he had written to the Prince, thanking him for some
photographs of his native country. "God will bless the labours of
your Highness and will grant you the glory of being the founder of
a new Roumania. Nobody knows better than I the difficulties in the
path of a Roumanian Prince who endeavours to attain what is right;
they will not discourage your Highness, though they may defer the
realisation of your hopes. To conquer all these difficulties at once
would be impossible...."

Prince Charles spent his thirtieth birthday (April 20, 1869) on a
tour in Moldavia, where he inspected the progress of the railways.
Thanks to the initiative of the Prince, the great bridge over the
Buseu, 550 yards long, had been completed, and communication between
the two great provinces was no longer exposed to interruption by
bad weather or floods. No less than five bridges in all had been
constructed for the line to Fokschani, and it was with the greatest
pleasure that the Prince noticed the expression of the gratitude of
Moldavia in the inscription on the triumphal arch at Bakau: "Welcome
to the founder of the Roumanian railways."

A report from Paris informed the Prince that an intrigue was on
foot there to instigate a revolution in Bucharest, and that this
project was also known at Vienna. A suitable pretender had been
sought for in the Roumanian capital, ever since the recall of the
French military mission, and a son of a former Hospodar was now said
to have been selected to replace Prince Charles. The alleged reason
for this Parisian intrigue was the complaint that since Bratianu's
resignation Prussia practically ruled the Principality through the
North German Consul-General.

It was, therefore, with the greatest joy that Prince Charles turned
from these sordid affairs and devoted himself for a time to his
elder brother Leopold. After a separation of a long and anxious
three years the brothers met on April 27, shortly before Easter,
at the capital of Moldavia, Jassy. Prince Leopold was thus able
to witness a striking episode, which occurred as the venerable
Metropolitan quitted the Church on Easter morning to announce, in
accordance with traditional custom, to all the world: "Christ is
risen." At the same moment Prince Charles stepped forward on the
daïs, before which some thirty convicts in chains stood waiting the
clemency of the Sovereign, and ordered their fetters to be struck
off to commemorate the holy hour. It was an affecting moment! The
clatter of the falling chains imparted a bitter-sweet tone of
gladness and sorrow amidst the universal rejoicings of the great
festival of the Eastern Church.

The visit of the Hereditary Prince was, however, spoilt by the
terrible downpour of rain, which prevented most of the festivities
in his honour. Many of the smaller bridges were carried away by
the floods, and on one occasion the Hohenzollern Princes were
in imminent danger of being swept away by a mountain torrent.
Prince Otto[12] of Bavaria passed through Bucharest on his way to
Constantinople; but, strangely enough, his arrival was announced
through the Consul-General of Austria and not by the North German
Consul. At a dinner given in his honour the Prince displayed great
amiability, but Prince Charles noticed with regret the great
melancholy with which Prince Otto's mind appeared to be surrounded.

  [12] The present invalid King of Bavaria.

Prince Leopold, accompanied by his brother, set out on his homeward
journey on June 7, and visited Kalafat, Turnu Severin, and Orsowa,
where a monument had been erected to commemorate the recovery of the
stolen crown of Hungary. After taking an affectionate farewell of
his brother, Prince Charles returned, lonely and rather downcast, to
his work in Bucharest.

Prince Ypsilanti, the Greek Ambassador at Paris, awaited the return
of the Prince to lay before him the draft of a treaty between
Roumania and Greece. The proposals aimed at nothing less than the
"complete independence of Roumania and the Greek provinces of
Turkey" by means of a combined action of the two rulers, which
was to take place six months after the necessary arrangements had
been settled. The numbers to be employed, and the support of an
insurrection in Bulgaria were also touched upon.

Prince Charles, however, adopted the same reserved attitude towards
these startling proposals as he had done on a previous occasion,
when Prince Ypsilanti, as early as May, brought a letter from the
King of Greece thanking Prince Charles for his sympathy in the late
crisis, and excusing the delay in replying.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have not hesitated to comply with the decision of the Paris
Conference on being confronted by the alternative, due to the
ill-will of Europe towards the heroic struggle in Crete, of either
allowing the insurrection to extend in that island without any
practical result, or of commencing a war with Turkey, which was
fraught with disadvantageous conditions for Greece." This bitter
decision would not have been in vain if it sufficed to prove to the
Christian nations of the East that they must first be strong enough
to achieve their rights by force before they could attempt to throw
off the Turkish yoke.

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Charles's reply ran thus:

     "You cannot doubt, Sire, that I share with all my heart the
     sentiments expressed in your letter, and sympathise with the
     painful impressions which you recall. The community of interests
     in politics and religion between Greece and Roumania, as well as
     the identity of their commercial interests in so many points,
     naturally imposes upon us the duty of endeavouring zealously on
     both sides to strengthen the bonds which already unite the two
     nations. This tendency will respond to my dearest wishes."



Early in the summer of 1869 Prince Charles received a very cordial
invitation to visit the Czar at Livadia in the Crimea. This mark
of regard was the more welcome as a project was on foot in St.
Petersburg for the abolition of consular jurisdiction in Roumania,
a measure which Prince Charles was most eager to see adopted.
In writing to his father he gratefully referred to this topic:
"Russia has very wisely taken the initiative in this most important
question, which will be unwelcome to France; but _tant mieux_,
for the French Cabinet is still very conservative, as it wishes
to keep in with Turkey. But why should it agree with Turkey only
about Roumania and not about Egypt? Why does it side _with_ England
in Roumania, and oppose England _à couteau tiré_ in Egypt? This
policy, in one word, is based upon interest--material interest. It
is, therefore, only politic to endeavour to attract French capital
for our great undertakings: I have already discussed this idea with
several people. England is, on the whole, neutral to Roumania, and
we have nothing to expect from that quarter. Its Eastern policy is
by no means favourable to the Christian nations."

The Ministry were empowered by a decree, signed on August 9, to
act as regents during the first absence of Prince Charles from
Roumania, and the Prince set out for the Crimea on August 14. After
a smooth sea passage Odessa was reached on the 16th, and the Prince
continued his journey to Sebastopol the following day on board the
imperial yacht _Kasbek_. The aspect of this once prosperous port was
melancholy in the extreme, and it almost seemed as if time had stood
still since the date of the terrible siege. All the large buildings
near the harbour, such as barracks and warehouses, remained in
the state in which the British and French shells had left them.
In riding round the south front of the fortress the Prince easily
recognised the approaches and parallels of the Allies: the Malakhoff
Tower had been so effectually bombarded that it was difficult to
believe how strong a work it had once been; the Redan, on the other
hand, which had cost England so many lives, was in comparatively
good condition.

Continuing his journey by carriage the next morning, Prince Charles
reached Livadia at five in the afternoon after a long and fatiguing
drive. The Czar received him with the greatest cordiality, and
remarked at once that the courteous attitude of the Prince was
enough to attract the animosity of the whole of Europe. The
conversation then turned upon the affairs of Roumania, about which
the Czar showed himself well informed on every point. Prince Charles
was then presented to the Czarina, a cousin of his mother, to the
Grand Duchess Marie, and later on to the Czarevitch and his wife, as
well as to the Grand Duke Alexis. Unfortunately the tropical heat
affected both the Czar and his guest to no slight degree, and the
pleasure of the meeting was thus materially discounted. As early
as August 22 Prince Charles was forced to bid his hospitable hosts
good-bye, that he might attend the Roumanian manœuvres before his
visit to his parents in Germany.

The fears, which had been openly expressed, for the safety of
Roumania during the Prince's absence proved to have been utterly
unfounded, for, though the papers, the _Romanul_ and the _Trajan_,
emulated each other in their attacks upon the dynasty, their
revolutionary efforts met with no response at all, and it was
therefore with a light heart that Prince Charles set out on
September 7 to rejoin his dearly loved parents in South Germany.
Before he quitted the territory of Roumania an amnesty was granted
for all political and Press offences, in order to show the Prince's
confidence that no intrigue was able to shake his hold upon the
hearts of his people.

The journey to the West, which was to exert so potent an influence
on the Prince's life, was broken first at Vienna, where the Emperor
of Austria had announced his intention of receiving the Roumanian
Prince. For the first time since the war of 1866 the Emperor wore
the ribbon of the Black Eagle, as a compliment to the house of
Hohenzollern. Prince Charles seized the opportunity of assuring his
Majesty that it would always be the policy of Roumania to stand on
the best terms with Austria. Count Beust, who ventured to remark
that the cost of the Roumanian Army was out of all proportion to its
Budget, received the apt retort that the arsenals were unfortunately
empty, a reference to the Count's statement that "Roumania was
simply a large arsenal." The reception accorded to the Prince
was so hearty that the Viennese Press expressed the opinion that
Prince Charles would later on have to answer to the Porte for his
assumption of sovereign bearing.

After a short stay in Munich, where he met Prince Hohenlohe
Schillingfürst [the present German Chancellor], Prince Charles
rejoined his parents on September 16, after a separation of more
than three years. The peace and quiet of home life, however, was
interrupted the very next day by the arrival of a delegate of the
Spanish Cortes, Don Eusebio di Salazar, who came to offer the
Hereditary Prince the Crown of Spain. The idea was by no means
new, for several papers had, in October 1868, mentioned the Prince
Leopold as a likely candidate on the ground that he was not only a
Catholic and the son-in-law of the King of Portugal, but the very
opposite of his "amiable brother, the Roumanian Prince Carol, by the
Grace of Bratianu." There was no lack of candidates for the vacant
throne. Napoleon favoured the aspirations of the Prince of Asturia,
the Empress Eugénie those of Don Carlos, and the Spanish Ambassador
in Paris those of the Duke of Genoa. Don Salazar mentioned that the
eyes of the Spanish nation had first turned towards Prince Charles,
who had shown such courage and talent in a similar position. The
Hereditary Prince declared that he would only consider the offer if
he was elected unanimously and without rivals.

On September 28 Prince Charles left the Weinburg for Baden, where
he was to meet the Prussian Royal Family. The Crown Prince urged
him to lay aside all other views, and to seek the hand of Princess
Elisabeth of Wied, whom he knew intimately, as one who would bring
the same devotion to the duties of her position as the Prince
himself. He concluded by offering to arrange a meeting, as if by
chance, at Darmstadt on the 13th, to which proposal Prince Charles
at once assented.

In the meantime, the Prince paid a promised visit to the French
Emperor, whom he found much altered in personal appearance since the
last time he had seen him in 1863. Napoleon received him with great
cordiality and presented him with the Grand Cross of the Legion of
Honour. Prince Charles was commissioned to inform King William of
the peaceful intentions of France, and of the Emperor's sincere
wish to remain on the best terms with Prussia. Napoleon declared
that no one could understand the difficulties of Prince Charles's
position better than he, for to rule a Latin race was no easy
matter. On hearing of the projected marriage, Napoleon expressed his
satisfaction, and added with emphasis: "The German princesses are so
well brought up!"

As the interview with Princess Elisabeth was to take place at
Cologne instead of Darmstadt, Prince Charles set out for the
former city on October 12. The meeting took place at the _Flora_,
where the Dowager Princess of Wied was dining with her daughter
before proceeding to Madame Schumann's concert. Prince Charles
and Princess Elisabeth, who had already met once or twice before
in Berlin society, walked a little ahead of the remainder of the
party, talking over old times in Berlin. Before the promenade
came to an end, Prince Charles had fallen sincerely in love with
Princess Elisabeth, and was resolved to risk all, and to ask for
her hand. A private interview with her mother the Princess of Wied
was arranged, and resulted in the Princess consenting to ascertain
her daughter's wishes. After a long quarter of an hour the answer
"Yes" was brought to the Prince, who at once hastened to receive the
reply from the lips of the young Princess herself. Affairs of State
of an urgent nature, however, prevented the Prince from obeying the
dictates of his heart and remaining in the company of his betrothed.

After an absence of forty-eight hours Prince Charles returned from
Paris to Neuwied, where the betrothal was celebrated on October 15,
1869. An enormous number of congratulatory telegrams were received
by the young couple, including messages from the King and Crown
Prince of Prussia and the Emperor Napoleon. The general impression
created by Prince Charles's choice was extremely favourable, as an
alliance with a reigning House would have evoked much jealousy and
intrigue. As the marriage was purely one of inclination this danger
was avoided; and the political neutrality of Roumania was by no
means affected.

Affairs of State demanded the speedy return of the Prince to the
land of his adoption, and the wedding-day was fixed for November
15. A numerous and distinguished company, including the Queen
of Prussia, accompanied by the Grand Duchess of Baden, attended
the ceremony at Neuwied, which was first celebrated in the
Roman Catholic Chapel and afterwards according to the rites of
the Protestant Church. The text of the sermon was aptly chosen,
as alluding to the difficulties and troubles which were to be
encountered in the far-off Eastern country: "Whither thou goest, I
will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be
my people, and thy God my God."

Only a few days remained before the stern call of duty summoned
the happy pair to their life-work in Roumania. The journey to the
Princess's new home in Bucharest was commenced on November 18. After
a short stay in Vienna the travellers reached Roumanian territory
on the 22nd. Every town through which they passed was profusely
decorated, and the enthusiasm of the Roumanian nation appeared to
surpass even that with which they had welcomed Prince Charles on
his accession. A hundred and one guns announced the arrival of
the Prince and Princess in Bucharest, and the town had put on all
its finery in honour of the occasion. After a _Te Deum_ had been
celebrated by the venerable Metropolitan Niphon, fifty happy couples
who had been married at the cost of the State defiled past their

The following day deputations from all parts of the country were
received in the throne-room, when the Princess wore for the first
time the diamond coronet presented by the people of Bucharest.

Princess Elisabeth at once commenced to take an active share in her
husband's labours, and visited with him the various charitable and
educational establishments in the capital. The innate generosity
and liberality of the Prince had, however, made such inroads upon
his purse, that many of their cherished designs had to be abandoned
for the time being for lack of funds. At this moment, however,
the most prominent members of the Chamber were on the point of
introducing a measure granting the Princess a yearly sum of £12,000,
but Prince Charles declined to accept this offer until the financial
situation of Roumania had improved. The Opposition at once seized
the opportunity of representing such a proposal as a "robbery," and
their organs vied with each other in the most violent and unworthy
attacks on the Prince and Princess. Some even lowered themselves
so far as to send the grossest of these attacks to the Princess in
registered letters! The violent scenes and the obstruction in the
Chamber left the Budget unvoted, and again placed the Ministry in
a most unenviable position, from which they were only released by
their resignation in February 1870.

The new Ministry under A. Golesku displayed its weakness from the
day of its formation. The Opposition openly used threats such
as: "This dynasty cannot be endured," "Golesku will be the last
of Prince Charles's Ministers," and declared that a "bloody
tragedy" would shortly be enacted in the streets of the capital.
A far-spreading conspiracy against the peace of the country made
itself the more felt, since there were no police worthy of the name;
the National Guard also was a source of real danger, whilst the
apathy of the Ministry permitted these evils to flourish unchecked.

The question of the Spanish throne appeared to have been
satisfactorily dismissed, to judge from a letter from Count
Bismarck: "The political horizon, seen from Berlin, appears at
present so unclouded that there is nothing of interest to report,
and I only hope that no unexpected event will render the lately
arisen hope of universal peace questionable." Eight days later,
on March 1, Prince Charles received the news that Don Salazar had
been despatched to Berlin to urge once more upon Prince Leopold
the acceptance of the Spanish crown, but both he and his father
felt disinclined to accept this offer, unless it was considered
absolutely necessary to the interests of the Prussian State.
Bismarck, on the other hand, warmly supported the offer of the
Spanish Regency, and pointed out to the King the benefits which
must ensue if an allied country lay upon the other side of France.
The commerce of Germany would also receive a great impetus if the
resources of Spain, with its enormous sea-board, were developed
under a Hohenzollern. King William, however, did not agree with
his Minister's opinion, and left the decision entirely in the hands
of Prince Leopold, whose chief objection appeared to be the number
of pretenders to the throne. The Crown Prince of Prussia had also
warned him that, though the Government might support him at first,
it was by no means certain that this support would be continued
afterwards! On March 16 Prince Leopold informed the King that he
felt compelled to decline the offer; but, as Bismarck still insisted
upon the throne being accepted by a Hohenzollern, his younger
brother, Prince Frederick, was recalled from Italy by telegram to
take the place of his brother. The young Prince, however, also
refused to accept the offered crown unless ordered to do so by the
King. Nevertheless, in spite of opposition, the Chancellor persisted
in declaring that the necessities of politics demanded that a
Hohenzollern Prince should accede to the wish of the Spanish Regency.

     "_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _March 20, 1870_.

     "I have been here [Berlin] for a fortnight on most important
     family business: nothing less was on the _tapis_ than the
     acceptance or refusal of the Spanish crown by Leopold, which was
     offered officially by the Spanish Government, though under the
     seal of a European State secret.

     "This question preoccupies everybody here. Bismarck wishes it
     to be accepted for dynastic and political reasons; whilst the
     King asks whether Leopold will willingly accept the summons. A
     very interesting and important council took place on the 15th,
     under the presidency of the King, the Crown Prince, ourselves,
     Bismarck, Roon, Moltke, Schleinitz, Thile, and Delbrück being
     present. The unanimous decision of the councillors was in
     favour of acceptance, as fulfilling a Prussian patriotic duty.
     For many reasons Leopold, after a long struggle, declined. But
     since Spain desires _avant tout_ a Catholic Hohenzollern, I have
     proposed Fritz in the event of his consenting. He is at present
     between Nice and Paris, but has not been reached or found by
     telegraph. We hope, however, to communicate with him shortly,
     and I hope that he will then allow himself to be persuaded.

     "But all this is in the future and the secret must be preserved
     for the present...."

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Charles Anthony informed his son of the course of events in a
letter dated from Berlin, April 22:

     "The Spanish Question has again brought me here; it is now
     approaching its decisive stage. After Leopold refused the offer
     for weighty reasons, the candidature of Fritz was seriously
     taken in hand. An immediate settlement was necessary, as
     pressure was brought to bear from Madrid; your brother,
     however, most decidedly declared that he could not undertake
     the task! The matter must therefore be allowed to drop, and
     an historical opportunity has thus been lost for the house of
     Hohenzollern, an incident which has never occurred before and
     which probably will never occur again.... If the King had given
     the _order_ at the last hour, Fritz would have obeyed; but as
     he was left free to decide, he resolved not to undertake the
     task.... The Spanish secret has been kept wonderfully well; and
     it is of the utmost importance that it should remain unknown in
     the future--at least so far as we are concerned. Olozaga[13] in
     Paris was not initiated. Serrano and Prim were the men who held
     the matter in their hands."

  [13] The Spanish Ambassador.

A month later Prince Charles Anthony wrote: "Bismarck is very
discontented with the failure of the Spanish combination. He is not
wrong! Still the matter is not yet completely given up. It still
hangs by a couple of threads, as weak as those of a spider's web!"

       *       *       *       *       *

To return, however, to the affairs of Roumania; Prince Charles
opened the new mint at Bucharest in March, when the first Roumanian
coins bearing a profile of the Prince and the inscription "Prince of
the Roumanians" were struck. The coins consisted of _Carols d'or_
in gold and one _leu_ (franc) in silver. Ali Pacha at once protested
formally against the illegal coinage with the Prince's likeness,
and refused to allow it to circulate in Turkey. Owing, however, to
the support of Austria and France, this difficulty was eventually
smoothed over satisfactorily.

Financial difficulties, coupled with the unsatisfactory reports on
the Roumanian railway concessions, led to the fall of the Golesku
Ministry in April. M. E. C. Jepureanu succeeded in forming a new
Cabinet, which received cordial support from abroad as well as at
home. The vexatious Jewish question and the very serious state
of the railway finances, for which the Opposition sought to make
the Prince personally responsible, were the chief of the many
difficulties of the Government.

The result of the general election was by no means as favourable as
the Prince had been led to expect, and a serious riot occurred at
Pitéschti. The troops were called out and ordered to fire upon the
mob, several of the soldiers having been wounded by stones. Similar
occurrences took place at Plojeschti, a regular hot-bed of seditious
intrigue, and the National Guard of that town had to be subsequently
disbanded for taking part in the political demonstrations.

The attention of Prince Charles was suddenly averted by a change
in his eldest brother's views with regard to the Spanish throne.
Prince Leopold had at last decided to accept the crown under certain
definite conditions, as he had become convinced of the great
services which he could thus render to his Fatherland. King William
at once gave his consent, and Don Salazar returned to Madrid on
June 23 with the news of Prince Leopold's readiness to accept the
crown. An unfortunate mistake in a cypher telegram caused the Cortes
to be prorogued from June 24 to October 31, and the election of
Prince Leopold was therefore delayed until late in the autumn, thus
offering ample opportunities to malcontents for the prosecution of
intrigues and agitations against the Hohenzollern candidature.

The _Agence Havas_ reported from Madrid on July 3 that the Spanish
Ministry had decided upon the candidature of the Hereditary Prince
of Hohenzollern, and that a deputation were already on their way
to the Prince. This news caused the greatest excitement throughout
Paris, and the French Ambassador at Berlin was commissioned to
express to the Foreign Office the "painful surprise" caused by these
tidings. The Prussian Secretary of State replied that the matter did
not concern the Prussian Government. The excitement of the Parisian
Press increased from hour to hour, whilst the Duc de Gramont, in an
interview with the Prussian Ambassador, declared that the Emperor
would never tolerate the candidature of a Hohenzollern Prince;
and M. Ollivier, who was also present, expressed the same opinion.
Gramont also openly accused Prince Charles of having induced his
brother to take this step, and remarked to M. Strat, the Roumanian
agent: "As soon as Prince Charles conspires against the interests
of France, it is only fair that we should do our best to overthrow
him, and we shall at once commence action in the event of a war
with Prussia, in order to satisfy public opinion, which has so
often reproached the Emperor with having sent a Hohenzollern to the

King William wrote to Prince Charles Anthony on the 10th, mentioning
that France was obviously bent upon war, and that he was as willing
to sanction Leopold's withdrawal as he had formerly been to assent
to his acceptance of the offered throne. Two days later the
Hereditary Prince withdrew his name by means of a telegram from his
father to Marshal Prim:

     "Having regard to the complicated interests which appear to
     oppose the candidature of my son Leopold for the Spanish throne,
     and the painful position which recent events have created for
     the Spanish people by offering them an alternative where their
     sense of liberty alone can guide them, and being convinced that
     under such circumstances their votes, on which my son counted
     in accepting the candidature, can neither be sincere nor
     spontaneous, I withdraw from the position in his name.


  "SIGMARINGEN, _July 12th, 1870_."

The unexpected and unheard-of demands which Benedetti was forced by
his Government to submit to King William at Ems shattered the last
hopes of peace, and France declared war against Prussia.

In spite of the nationality of their Prince, the Roumanian nation
sided entirely with France: "Wherever the banner of France waves,
there are our sympathies and interests." The Chamber demanded that
the Government should explain the policy it intended to adopt with
regard to the belligerent parties, but, though the Ministry adhered
to a strictly neutral attitude, a motion was passed to the effect
that the sympathies of Roumania would always be with the Latin race.

The Roumanian agent in Paris, M. Strat, telegraphed to know
whether, in the event of Russia taking part in the war, the
Roumanian Government would conclude a treaty with France or not! The
apparently peaceable intentions of Russia pointed to a treaty merely
on paper, notwithstanding which Roumania would reap advantages at
the conclusion of peace. Austria had been sounded on this question,
and approved of supporting Prince Charles.

The Roumanian Government replied: "If France categorically demands
from us the signature of a treaty to influence our attitude towards
Russia in the event of Oriental complications, you are empowered
to conclude such a treaty on the following basis: the Roumanian
Government is resolved to oppose any hostile movement of Russia
hand-in-hand with the Western Powers and Turkey. Mavrogheni has been
specially sent to England to negotiate to the same end. We can place
a well-equipped army of 30,000 men into the field."

The _Times_, on July 26, published a draft of a treaty drawn up
in 1867, in which France offered Prussia the union of the North
German Confederation with South Germany and a united Parliament in
return for the sacrifice of Belgium and Luxemburg. This epoch-making
announcement was confirmed by a despatch from Count Bismarck,
received on the 29th. Count Benedetti, in whose handwriting and on
whose paper this draft was written, maintained that he had merely
put down the Chancellors ideas, "as it were at his dictation," a
statement which caused the greatest surprise even in the French

The minor engagement at Saarbrücken, the "baptism by fire" of the
unfortunate Prince Imperial, was reported as a great French victory,
and greeted as such with unbounded enthusiasm by the inhabitants of
Bucharest. These rejoicings were, however, cut short by the news of
the German victories at Weissenburg, Wörth, and Spichern, when the
Imperial Army was forced to retreat on Metz. In consequence of these
disasters the Gramont-Ollivier Ministry was defeated, and a new
Cabinet formed under Count Palikao.

A most interesting letter from Prince Charles Anthony was received
at Bucharest on August 16:

     "I decidedly support Strat, for he has proved himself a devoted
     and faithful servant to you and to our family.

     "He arrived at Sigmaringen at a moment when the French
     Government was peculiarly exasperated. It was from him that I
     learnt the actual spirit and intention in Paris; it was due to
     him that I published Leopold's renunciation twenty-four hours
     earlier perhaps than I should have done without his urgent
     advice. In neutralising the French pretext for war, by making
     the renunciation public at the right moment, the Franco-Prussian
     War has, perhaps, become a _popular_, _i.e._, a _German_,
     war. Any delay on my part would have given the war a dynastic
     complexion, and the whole of Southern Germany would have left
     Prussia in the lurch.... Napoleon has brought about the unity of
     Germany in twenty-four hours."

The excitement in Roumania culminated in an attempted revolution
in that hot-bed of sedition, Plojeschti, on August 29, when the
militia barracks were stormed and a proclamation issued, deposing
Prince Charles and appointing General A. Golesku regent _ad
interim_. A deputy, Candianu Popesku, at the head of the mob,
entered the telegraph office and, revolver in hand, threatened to
shoot the clerks, unless they telegraphed the news of the deposition
of the Prince to the foreign countries and the larger towns of
Roumania. With admirable presence of mind the clerks reported the
occurrence to the Ministry at Bucharest instead of complying with
the insurgents' demands. A battalion of Rifles under Major Gorjan
was immediately despatched to the scene of the insurrection, which
they promptly quelled. Both General Golesku and J. Bratianu, who
appeared to be implicated in these affairs, were arrested at once,
but were soon released by order of Prince Charles, who expressed
his conviction that the insurgents had used their names without
any authorisation. On being arrested, Bratianu begged that his
papers might be left undisturbed, for, as he remarked with a smile,
he was "_too experienced a conspirator_" to retain possession
of compromising documents. Some twenty persons were arrested in
connection with this affair, though, as Prince Charles wrote to his
father, it seemed improbable that there was sufficient evidence to
convict them.

The news of a great battle fought near Sedan caused the wildest
excitement in Bucharest, and elaborate arrangements were made to
celebrate a French victory. Rumours were current that King William
had been taken prisoner with a force varying from 20,000 to 60,000
men, but a telegram announcing the voluntary surrender of the
Emperor seemed to point, at any rate, to an undecided action. When
the truth became known the greatest consternation prevailed in the
Roumanian capital, where, in spite of the earlier German victories,
the hope of the eventual success of the French arms had never been
quite relinquished. The crowning defeat of the Imperial Army was
followed by the flight of the Empress-Regent and the fall of the
Napoleonic dynasty.

The birth of a daughter, Marie, on September 8, at a moment when the
whole of Germany stood shoulder to shoulder against their foe, was
welcomed by the Prince and Princess as a happy omen for the future.
In accordance with the Constitution the child was baptised according
to the rites of the Orthodox Church in the church of Cotroceni, on
October 13, in the presence of the heads of the military and civil
departments. A salute of twenty-one guns announced the moment of the
ceremony to the capital.

The joyful news of the birth of a Princess was communicated to the
various Courts and to the deposed French Emperor, who replied as


     "I thank you for the letter which you have kindly written to
     inform me of the birth of Princess Marie. I shall always take a
     lively interest in all that contributes to your happiness; and
     I pray that family joys may sweeten the bitterness inseparable
     from power. I am much touched by the memories you have preserved
     of your visit to Paris, and I again assure you of the sentiments
     of sincere friendship with which I remain

  "Your most Serene Highness's cousin,

The call of duty, however, prevented Prince Charles from devoting as
much time as he otherwise would have done to his wife and daughter,
for the disquieting effects of the German victories upon French soil
were felt only too plainly in Roumania. The work on the railways,
too, had suffered in consequence of the war, whilst the exports of
grain had practically fallen to zero. Farmers and peasants were
unable to sell their produce except at ruinous prices, and were
wholly unable to pay their taxes. As the Prince had prophesied
six weeks before, the Plojeschti insurgents were all acquitted
by the jury. The Ministry wished to resign as a proof of their
disapprobation, but Prince Charles was unable to accede to their

The acquittal of those who had sought to overthrow the Government
confirmed the Prince in his intention to abdicate as soon as he
could assure himself that the country would not lapse into absolute
anarchy. He had already assured the representatives of the Great
Powers that the present state of affairs in Roumania could not and
_must not_ continue. Prince Charles, however, did not inform them
that he would not be beholden to any foreign intervention for his
future career, and that, in his father's words, he would relinquish
his self-imposed task if he could not "anchor his power solely and
exclusively in Roumania." He felt that it would be impossible for
him to govern the country after foreign intervention had taken place.

Prince Charles had taken a solemn oath to the Constitution, and
therefore could not depart from it, though Roumanian statesmen of
both parties had frequently represented to him that, when a choice
had to be made between a "sheet of paper and a country's ruin," one
must not hesitate to tear up the paper. It was, however, impossible
for Prince Charles to agree to this view, for the Constitution was
more to him than a piece of paper, even though it offered him no
means of securing the prosperity and development of the country.

In the meantime the action of Russia in declaring its intention of
disregarding the neutralisation of the Black Sea, decreed by the
Treaty of Paris in 1856, threatened to create yet another European
crisis. When the Note containing this information was handed to the
Grand Vizier, he at once asked whether M. de Stahl was bringing him
war. "On the contrary," replied the Ambassador, "I bring you eternal
peace." Before this General Ignatieff had endeavoured to persuade
the Turkish statesmen that, though the Western Powers endeavoured to
represent Russia as the evil genius of Turkey, she was in reality
the most sincere ally of the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan would never
be able to reckon on Germany, whose policy would always be selfish
and ambitious. Austria, too, was only intent on annexing Bosnia and
Herzegowina, whilst France, on the other hand, as soon as she had
recovered from her reverses, would, next to Russia, be the most
effective supporter of Turkey. The Sublime Porte was convinced that
Russia had obtained the consent of Germany, though Count Bismarck
had telegraphed that the Russian declaration had been a painful
surprise to him.

The Note created a storm of indignation in Austria and England,
which Bismarck increased still more by proposing the assembly of a
Conference in London to settle the vexed question.

After a long discussion with the President of the Ministry, Prince
Charles decided to explain the situation in Roumania to the
guaranteeing Powers. The wording of the document, however, caused
great difficulties, for, if the Prince declared his firm intention
of abdicating, the country would be exposed to the danger of
annexation, whereas the Prince wished above all things to preserve
the autonomy of the State, and to assure its future prosperity by
strengthening the hands of the Government. Prince Charles in these
letters expressed his regret that he was no longer able to curb the
passions of the various Roumanian parties, and therefore suggested
that the future of Roumania should be regulated by the proposed
Congress. Only a stable and a strong government could remedy the
internal and external evils of the country, which at present was in
the most deplorable condition, despite the wealth of its resources.
The letters for the sovereigns of the guaranteeing Powers were
handed to their representatives on December 7, except that addressed
to the Sultan, which was kept back until a reply was received from
the British Ambassador, who had been asked to present it to the
Sultan, to ensure the document being kept strictly secret.

These letters had hardly been despatched when the following telegram
was received from Count Bismarck by the Prussian Consul-General:

     "Advocate His Highness delaying any decision to appeal to the
     guaranteeing Powers until after the conclusion of peace. Any
     Roumanian complication would be doubly undesirable at present:
     the Prince could not even hope for our moral support."

Prince Charles replied that this advice had reached him too late,
and that complications in the East could not possibly arise, as
the documents in question were to be kept private. So far as he
was concerned personally his position was neither of service
to Roumania nor to Europe, whilst he himself was exposed to
contumely; he therefore could not much longer continue to bear the
responsibilities of government.

To crown the difficulties of the Prince's position information
reached him on December 18 that the railway contractor was unwilling
or unable to pay the coupon of the bonds due on January 1. The blow
was indeed a bitter one, for the thought that it was to him that
Roumania owed its railway system had always been one of comfort. It
suggested at least _one_ service which he had been able to render
his adopted country. Now that even this last consolation had been
taken from him, Prince Charles was still more firmly convinced that
he could not forsake Roumania in its day of peril, and that his
cherished plan of abdication must not take place until this serious
financial trouble had been settled.

It was during these dark days that he poured out his innermost
thoughts to his truest friend, his father: "When once this enormous
difficulty has been surmounted I shall be able to say that I have
stood the ordeal of fire; then the cruel sport will be finished;
then you will find me some spot where I can rest my weary head--some
quiet remote corner where one can entirely forget oneself for a
time. Switzerland would be the most welcome to me; there we might
blot out the hard separation of five years in your company, my
dearest parents. But for the present these are but pious wishes,
since I cannot to-day fix the moment of their fulfilment: may it not
be long in coming!"

The Chamber found worthy representatives--the chief instigators of
the recent insurrection--to convey the scandalously worded address
to the ruler who had never a thought save for the welfare and
prosperity of his country.

In reply to that passage of the Speech from the Throne referring to
the Plojeschti sedition--"A free government, that is, one which is
always in agitation, cannot maintain itself without laws _capable de
correction_"--the Chamber declared that "the best means to prevent
such occurrences in the future would be compliance with the wishes
of the people and respect for the law!" Prince Charles informed
his Ministers that he could not accept an address couched in such
terms, but eventually gave way to their prayers and entreaties
that he would not offer the Opposition such an opportunity for
attacking the dynasty. The ill-considered action of passionate and
reckless Deputies, they urged, would only gain an importance which
it otherwise would have lacked, from the fact of the Prince refusing
to acknowledge it.

A most interesting document, dated December 22, 1870, the
publication of which at a later period had so far-reaching an effect
on the Roumanian nation, contains the reasons which led Prince
Charles to confess himself beaten.

     "Nearly five years have now passed since I formed the bold
     resolution of placing myself at the head of this country, so
     richly endowed by Mother Nature, and yet, in other respects,
     so poor. On reviewing this period, so short in the life of a
     nation, so long in the existence of a man, I must confess that I
     have not been able to be of much use to this beautiful country.
     I often ask myself the question, 'At whose door does the fault
     lie--at mine, in being ignorant of the character of this nation,
     or at that of the nation, which will neither allow itself to be
     guided nor understand how to guide itself?'

     "My numerous journeys in all parts of the two Principalities,
     and my many-sided intercourse with all grades of society
     have almost convinced me that the real blame rests not on me
     personally, nor on the majority of the nation, but rather on
     those who have constituted themselves the leaders of the country
     which gave them birth. These men, the greater number of whom
     owe their social and political education to foreign countries,
     and have thereby only too thoroughly forgotten the condition
     of their own country, aim solely at transplanting to their
     Fatherland the ideas they have gained abroad by casting them
     into Utopian form, without having tested them. This unfortunate
     country, which formerly suffered so much oppression, has thus
     passed at one bound from a despotic government to a Liberal
     constitution such as no other nation in Europe possesses.

     "My experiences lead me to consider this the greater misfortune
     since the Roumanians can boast of none of the citizenly virtues
     which appertain to such a quasi-republican form of State.

     "Had I not taken to my heart this magnificent country, for
     which, under other circumstances, the richest future might have
     been foretold, I should have lost patience long ago; but I have
     now made one final effort which will perhaps cause me to appear
     unkind to my country in the eyes of the parties, as well as in
     those of the national Roumanian leaders, by putting all personal
     considerations behind me, and possibly by completely sacrificing
     my popularity; it would, however, have been an inexcusable
     neglect of duty to conceal this evil any longer, or to permit
     the country's future to be sacrificed to party intrigues. The
     man who has the courage to speak the truth and to call things
     by their right names will often get the worst of the bargain,
     and this in all probability will be my fate. Yet I gratefully
     recognise this difference, that I am at liberty to return to an
     independent life, free from care, to the joys of home and family
     in my native land, that powerful magnet which has never ceased
     to attract me in the heavy hours through which I have been

     "I regret with my whole heart that my good intentions have
     been so misconstrued and rewarded by ingratitude; but, since I
     share this fate with the majority of mortals, I shall learn to
     console myself and by degrees forget what once I aimed at, in
     intercourse with congenial spirits. I shall accept the address
     of the Chamber to-morrow, a masterpiece of Phanariot perfidy,
     the contents of which will reach you through the papers. The
     only circumstance which can justify my acceptance of a document
     in which a legislative body dares to speak to the Sovereign of
     conditional allegiance is the serious financial situation of the
     country, threatened as it is by bankruptcy. Just as in private
     life the disapproval of an action can only affect the agent, so
     in this case the entire responsibility falls on the shoulders of
     those who do not understand how to honour the Prince whom they
     have themselves chosen--a man dishonours himself when he does
     not know how to respect that which he has himself created.


A series of passionate debates, which at times threatened to end in
violence, resulted in a vote of no confidence in the Ministry on
December 24. Prince Jon Ghika succeeded in forming what must under
the circumstances be termed a strong Ministry, and declared that his
policy lay in effecting a compromise between the Prince, who had
lost all confidence in the country, and the representatives of the

The North German Consul-General handed the following letter from
Prince Bismarck to the Prince on January 19, 1871, dated from
Versailles, January 10:

     "... I cannot form an opinion of the internal conditions of
     Roumania, nor of the means at the disposal of your Highness for
     conquering the prevailing difficulties and establishing your
     government on a secure footing.

     "I must assume that the impediments, due to the character and
     previous history of the nation, almost prohibit an orderly
     existence for the State, since the noble intentions and the
     pure ideals which animate your Highness have hitherto failed to
     create institutions which would assist the execution of your
     plans. Your Highness alone can judge whether any hope still
     exists that these institutions may yet be created....

     "No matter what the causes are, nor how many misunderstandings
     and misrepresentations have contributed to the result, it is
     certain that the distrust of the Porte has not been allayed,
     and that it is still unconvinced that the union of the
     Principalities under the rule of your Highness is not dangerous
     to its suzerainty. Nor is it confident that the conditions,
     which might force your Highness to abdicate, will be more
     disquieting to the peace of the East than the present situation.

     "The English Government has never taken an interest in the
     Danube Principalities nor in the fortunes of your Highness
     personally, and the attitude of its representatives abroad does
     not at present appear to inspire confidence. Although I do not
     positively pre-suppose a hostile feeling in London, it may be
     accepted as certain that on this question England's policy will
     not greatly differ from that of the Sultan.

     "At this moment France, of course, need not be taken into
     consideration, except so far as there is a possibility of her
     opposing your Highness by intrigues and secret agitation in the
     hope of doing Prussia some ill-turn or injury....

     "I have for a long time cherished the hope that your Highness
     would find effectual support in St. Petersburg, and have
     therefore always recommended cordial relations with Russia.
     Even now I do not doubt the personal views of his Majesty
     the Czar, who, I am sure, retains the best and most friendly
     wishes for your person. But I have been regretfully forced to
     recognise, especially of late, that this personal good-will is
     out-weighed by the traditional conception of Russian policy,
     which is opposed to the union of the Principalities. The fact
     that your Highness must expect no support from Russia, not even
     in diplomacy, is in accordance with this traditional policy,
     whilst the hostile attitude towards your Highness in Vienna
     appears to me to lack any logical explanation, considered from
     the standpoint of Austro-Hungarian policy.

     "It is only natural that your Highness should look to the
     illustrious Head of your house, to Prussia and Germany. Your
     Highness is well aware of the views with which his Majesty the
     King regards your person, but you know also that the present
     military situation renders it impossible for Germany to
     intervene effectually in Eastern affairs under the circumstances
     we have been considering.

     "On reviewing all these considerations I can only arrive at
     the conclusion that your Highness cannot expect any outside
     assistance, but rather ill-will, and that your decisions must
     be based solely upon the means of support which are still left
     to you in your own country. If you expect a crisis, for the
     defeat of which you consider the better elements of the country
     insufficient, it appears to be a duty to yourself and to your
     house that your every decision should be really independent and
     voluntary, and should not seem to be forced upon you by foreign
     force; and the high and noble motives which guide your Highness
     should stand prominently forth.

     "It pains me to be able to give no other counsel to your
     Highness and to offer you no better hopes. But I know that your
     patriotic sympathy and hearty joy at the successes of our German
     army, and at the glory which surrounds the revered head of our
     King, will not be affected even by the painful experience your
     Highness has endured, and I conclude with the hope that your
     wishes for an honourable and safe peace may soon be fulfilled."

The letter addressed to the Sultan, which had been delayed until
an answer was received from the British Ambassador, was eventually
forwarded by the Prince with a voluntary explanation of the delay.
Ali Pacha in reply expressed the concern with which the Sultan had
heard of the critical situation of affairs in the Principalities.

At the same time Prince Charles was informed from a trustworthy
source that in Constantinople, as well as in other places, his
position was considered untenable. "The Government of Prince
Charles is universally recognised to have had its day, and the
representatives of the Powers here are more occupied in considering
what may happen after the departure of the Prince than in any
scheme for prolonging his rule. Sir H. Elliott goes furthest of
all, and already speaks of commissaries who must be sent to the
Principalities, and whose departure he wishes to take place at
once...." The same writer, Count Keyserling, also adjured the
Prince to hope for no outside aid. "The only choice, therefore,
lies between the continuance of the present _régime_, to which even
your Highness's worst foe could not advise you, and a separation
from a country and a nation which, oblivious of the fact that their
Prince has shown an almost superhuman devotion to his duties, have
sinned a thousand times against the person of their ruler, whom they
themselves elected, and to whom they took the oath of allegiance and

"The Grand Vizier asked me in a very significant manner: 'Do you
think that, after Prince Charles's experience, another Prince of a
reigning house could be found for Roumania?'--and then answered his
own question: 'Except, perhaps, Prince Napoleon, I can think of no
one; and we desire to have nothing at all to do with him--as little
as with a republic.'"

Prince Charles replied to Count Bismarck's letter on January 27,
1871, thanking him for the sympathy he had shown for the ruler of
Roumania, if not for the country itself, and assuring him of the
heartfelt interest and joy with which the recent military events
in France inspired him. He continued: "The situation here is
serious; for the present I can avail myself of the Party intrigues
to maintain my position as long as I consider it suitable and
advisable. I have to act like a ship's captain, who must remain
at his post day and night during a storm. The waves now sweep my
ship to the skies, now dash it down to the depths, but as surely
as God is my helper I will not let it be wrecked! To-day the crew
would willingly throw me overboard, but a few of them still possess
sufficient intelligence to know that I alone can steer them safely
into port.

"I will not lose sight of two points; I intend to bring my name
clean and unspotted out of this turmoil, but I will not heartlessly
and without a conscience leave _le déluge après moi_. This refers,
above all, to the finances, the desertion of which might be fraught
with grave danger both at home and abroad."

The letter already referred to, in which Prince Charles set forth
the reasons which led him to think of abdicating, was published in
the columns of the _Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung_, and created the
greatest excitement in Roumania. A discussion in the Chamber upon
the authenticity of this document took place on February 11, 1871,
when a Deputy, N. Blaramberg, declared that either the letter
was a forgery, or that the Prince was about to abdicate and leave
Roumania to the tender mercies of its enemies. "A Prince who quits
his country in its hour of danger may be compared to a deserter or a
traitor to the State!"

The President of the Ministry was unable to deny the authenticity
of the document, but assured the Chamber that the views contained
in it, if they were ever actually current, prevailed no longer.
Cogalniceanu then proposed the following counter-resolution:
"The Chamber, deeply moved by the explanations communicated by
the Ministry, expresses its devotion to the Throne and Dynasty,
guaranteed by the Constitution, and proceeds to the order of the day
with every confidence in the future of the country, and in the firm
resolve to adhere to the Constitution."

An infinitely more loyal tone prevailed in the Senate, where
the contents of Prince Charles's letter were also discussed. A
resolution was carried with only four dissentients to the effect
that the chief duty of the Senate lay in supporting the Sovereign
whom the nation had so enthusiastically elevated to the throne, and
that the consolidation of the dynasty was indissolubly bound up with
the peace, existence, and political development of the country.

The reports of the Roumanian agents abroad showed that, though the
Powers were unwilling to take any steps to support Prince Charles,
they were, nevertheless, anxious that his abdication should be
deferred for the present. The separation of the two Principalities,
each under a native ruler, would be acceptable to Russia, Austria,
and England, provided no anarchical _interregnum_ took place. The
Sublime Porte, accordingly, was anxious that the Prince should
remain at his post, until the question of his successors was
definitely settled. As the great German Chancellor remarked, it
appeared that the uncertain possibilities of a catastrophe on the
Lower Danube, coupled with the fear of further complications, had
resulted in a sort of repentance on the part of the Powers for the
intrigues against the consolidation of the Roumanian State. Austria
in particular now saw clearly that the mistrust with which Roumania
had always been regarded under Prince Charles, owing to the fear
that she was merely a tool in the hands of Prussia, was utterly

Prince Charles Anthony wrote to his sorely tried son:

     "The description of your position has gone to my heart; I have
     sorrowed and suffered with you.... I have always found that a
     healthy constitutionalism is the corrective for caprice, and
     the support of a strong Government, and that, where the system
     is honestly employed by both sides, it has always maintained
     itself; but where it is only used as a cloak for anarchical
     tendencies, it is noxious and confusing.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "It can never injure your personal reputation if you lay down
     a task you are unable to complete. You have shown the whole
     world your good intentions and your qualifications for governing
     Roumania. You did not force yourself upon the country, but
     were elected and summoned thither; you have founded great
     institutions, regenerated the army and created a new system of
     communications, and conferred innumerable benefits on the Church
     and the poor; you have protected the arts and sciences, and by
     your family happiness testified to the sanctity of marriage;
     liberality of all kinds has been supported by your purse--all
     this secures for you, if not at present, at least eventually, a
     blessed memory, and proves to your contemporaries, in the event
     of your abdication, that it was not the imaginary splendour of
     this veritable crown of thorns that blinded and deceived you,
     but that it was the shipwreck of your honest intentions and your
     thirst for useful labour that matured your decision and helped
     it to issue in act.

     "I already dream of a family life which would be the consolation
     of my old age. Looking backward to an eventful past, you would
     find the same spiritual compensation that I find in the peaceful
     life that lies before me, but with this difference, that a
     longer life than mine will be vouchsafed to you.... Krauchenwies
     offers a suitable and comfortable home, in forty minutes you can
     reach Sigmaringen.... If Krauchenwies does not suit you, you
     might live at Inzigkofen, and if not at Inzigkofen, then at one
     of the Hechingen manors, such as Lindich or Villa Eugenia...."

Yet even darker troubles lay before Prince Charles Anthony's
courageous son, in the defalcations of Dr. Strousberg in the matter
of the Roumanian railways. As the January coupon still remained
unpaid, the Prussian Government threatened to use pressure to force
the Roumanian Government to act in accordance with its guarantee.
Unfortunately the Principalities were absolutely unable to comply
with this demand, and indignant sentiments prevailed regarding
everything that was German. The passions excited amongst the
population of Bucharest culminated in an attack on the German colony
on the occasion of a banquet given in honour of the German Emperor's
birthday on March 22, 1871. A riotous mob quickly assembled, broke
the windows of the house, and attempted to force their way up to
the first floor. At nine o'clock Major Skina hastened to the Prince
and informed him that the demonstration, which had been started
half an hour previously by a few youths, had already attained
serious dimensions, that the windows were bombarded with stones,
and that the police remained entirely passive. The Prince at once
despatched his _aide-de-camp_ to find the President of the Ministry
and the Prefect of Police, but neither of them was to be found. The
excitement increased with every minute, until at length the mob,
having extinguished the street lamps, raised the cries: "To the
Palace!" and "Long live the Republic!"

General Solomon, the Commandant of Bucharest, now occupied the
streets with troops, in spite of the efforts of the President of the
Ministry, Jon Ghika, to prevent so violent a course. The mob obeyed
the order to disperse after having been in possession of the streets
for about two and a half hours.

Prince Charles received Consul-General von Radowitz the same night,
and, after expressing his regret at this disgraceful occurrence,
mentioned that he had already taken the first steps towards
replacing the guilty Ministers. At one A.M. next morning Jon Ghika
arrived at the Palace, and eventually succeeded in convincing the
Prince that the cause of the outrage was in no way to be attributed
to him. Prince Charles, however, demanded his resignation, and
informed him that he intended to summon the _Lieutenance Princière_
in the morning to resign the reins of government to them.

Accordingly at ten o'clock D. Sturdza was commissioned to summon
the members of the _Lieutenance Princière_ of 1866 to meet the
Prince at the Palace at half-past eleven. The Prince then informed
them of his intention to place the government in their hands, after
having held it for nearly five years.

Lascar Catargiu and N. Golesku--Colonel Haralambi was not in
Bucharest at that time--both adjured the Prince to abstain from a
step which they felt convinced would bring the greatest misfortune
upon Roumania. The State would lapse into complete anarchy after
such an action on the Prince's part, and they therefore respectfully
declined to accept the burden of such a responsibility. At length
the earnest entreaties of the two Roumanians gained the day, and
Prince Charles consented to reconsider his decision, if a strong and
loyal Ministry could be formed. Should this be impossible, or should
the Chamber decline to vote the Budget, he would at once leave the

A secret sitting of the Chamber took place the same afternoon,
when Lascar Catargiu informed the Deputies of the interview which
had taken place in the morning. A passionate debate ensued on the
question whether further negotiations with the head of the State
should be commenced or not. In spite of the windy utterances of the
leaders of the Extreme Democrats and Independents, it soon became
apparent that a comparatively large majority supported the dynasty.

Lascar Catargiu succeeded in forming a Ministry composed of men
who had already won their spurs in the arena of politics; but he
was unable to induce the Chamber to vote the Budget. The Chamber
was therefore dissolved forthwith, and with it the whole agitation
ceased. It had always been confined to the capital.

The following letter was received from the Emperor William on March
30, 1871:

     "Accept my heartiest thanks for your affectionate and welcome
     congratulations for the 22nd. This time, certainly, the day
     overflowed with feelings of gratitude towards Providence, which
     decreed that I, aided by my army and the self-sacrifice of my
     people, should achieve things, to expect or demand which at the
     commencement of this glorious but bloody war would have been
     presumption. The Almighty has guided and secured all, and we
     must rejoice that He has found us worthy to be His instruments.
     The foundations of a new German Empire have been laid, and the
     blood shed has been made into a mortar with which we may hope
     that a strong house will be built upon _this_ foundation, under
     the wise guidance of my successors.

  "With heartiest greetings to the Princess,
  "I remain, your faithful Cousin and Friend,

     "P.S.--I say nothing about your situation, and can only pray
     that the Lord may help you to choose whatever way is right and

In reply, Prince Charles expressed his grief that March 22, an
anniversary so dear to him, should have been troubled by such
an occurrence in Bucharest. "Nothing could have wounded me more
deeply than that this particular occasion should have been seized
for the outbreak of a long-smouldering intrigue.... Having regard
to the critical situation, especially that of the great and
calamitous financial question, I was forced to take extreme steps
to rally the better element from its apathy. I therefore summoned
the _Lieutenance_, from whose hands I had received the reins of
government in 1866, in order to return them their trust. Terrified
by this imminent danger, all the Conservative factions combined to
form the new Ministry. To-day it is a point of honour with me to
support with all my might those men, who are resolved to protect the
country against serious complications, and in conjunction with them
to carry out the necessary reforms. Should these prove unattainable
with the aid of such supporters, the country will be irretrievably

"It cannot be denied that the state of affairs is very serious, and
that the creation of a better state of things is beset with the
greatest difficulties: the future is hidden from me in impenetrable
darkness. But the greater the danger, the less must one's courage be
allowed to sink!"

Catargiu informed the Prince that an attempt was to be made on his
life during the evening service on Good Friday, and endeavoured to
persuade him not to proceed to the Metropolie. During the procession
the Ministers surrounded the Prince in order to protect his person,
but fortunately nothing occurred to disturb the ceremony.

Count Keyserling, who in many ways proved his sincere friendship and
admiration for the Prince, wrote as follows:

     "Prince Bismarck lays special stress on your Highness's
     maintaining the very best relations with the Porte at this
     moment. Ali Pacha, for his part, is inclined in your favour.
     Your Highness and the present Cabinet will be sincerely
     supported in Constantinople by the Austrians: England's
     attitude, on the other hand, is thoroughly ambiguous. Lord
     Granville has spoken to the Turkish Ambassador and Count Apponyi
     in London in a strain which suggests that one is listening to
     Mr. Green, the English Consul in Bucharest, holding forth upon
     his own financial interests."

The same view was held by Prince Charles Anthony:

     "I reserve my further views on the situation, because I have
     been unable to get any information about your own opinions. In
     any case, it was well to show the world by a last attempt that
     it was not from want of courage that the thought of abdication

     "You must hold out to the limits of possibility, and, when once
     they are reached, you must demand guarantees that a period of
     stability will then commence, for to allow oneself to be blown
     hither and thither like a frail reed, and to depend upon the
     _bon vouloir_ of each Ministry is no position for a Hohenzollern.

     "Under prevailing circumstances I can only give you one word
     of advice, and that is to lean upon Turkey: this Power has
     the greatest interest in the peace of Roumania--the interest
     of self-preservation--and she will inspire none of the other
     protecting States with distrust....

     "Nothing can be done in the Strousberg affair; an independent
     court of law alone can succeed in settling this impending
     financial difficulty. Moreover, this Strousberg question is only
     an empty pretext and means of agitation against you; the whole
     movement in Roumania is based upon hostility towards the German
     dynasty, and is the result of socialist-republican intrigue!"



Perhaps the chief amongst the many obstacles which beset the path
of Prince Charles in his task of raising Roumania from the depth
to which it had sunk was the very serious state of the national
finances. The effect of the previous drains upon the country's
resources, and the expense of keeping an army prepared to meet any
emergency, caused by the hostile attitude of Turkey, were thus
summed up by the Prince in July 1866.

"The worst wound of the country is at present its finances. We have
not a penny, in the literal sense of the word, and the Ministry,
in order to restore the equilibrium of the Budget, has to adopt
measures which will scarcely gain friends for us: the taxes have
to be raised; 30 per cent. of salaries and pensions, which have
not been paid for four months, have to be kept back. For my part,
I have surrendered another 12,000 ducats of my Civil List. Only a
loan can save us now; we are in communication with financiers, but
their conditions are more than hard. With patience we shall yet
escape from this calamity, but for the moment the situation is very
difficult. Retrenchment must be made, wherever possible."

It is interesting to note that, whilst the receipts amounted to
only 56,000,000 francs in the first year of the Prince's rule, they
reached the total of 180,000,000 in 1891, being thus more than
trebled in twenty-five years.

Though the financial situation was only slightly improved during
1867,[14] Prince Charles entered in the autumn of that year into
negotiations with the Austrian financier, Herr von Ofenheim, for the
construction of a railway from Suceava to Bucharest, passing through
Jassy and Galatz. These negotiations, commenced as far back as 1862,
had been allowed to drop; and Roumania had thus lost the favourable
moment for appealing to the British money market, which, moreover,
was never at any time favourable to the enterprise. However,
Ofenheim's Syndicate, which included three Englishmen (amongst them
Mr. T. Brassey), arranged for the construction of the line, which
was to be built by sections, commencing with 110 miles from Suceava
to Roman. How necessary railways were to the country is shown by the
fact that only a quarter of the corn and wood intended for export
that year could be moved by ship to its destination. Eventually the
Chamber confirmed the Ofenheim concession, voting 230,000 francs for
the first section, and a subsidy of 40,000 francs per kilometer.

  [14] The necessary expenditure was met in October 1867 by the issue
  of 10 and 12 per cent. Treasury bonds.

Ofenheim only undertook to carry out the northern half of the
concession, and ceded the southern portion to a Prussian syndicate,
of which the well-known financier, Strousberg, was Chairman. This
syndicate was granted a concession by the Roumanian Chamber on
October 2, 1868.

Unfortunately for the progress of the railways, the question soon
gave rise to heated debates in the Chamber. For example, on June 11,
1869, a great commotion was caused there by a charge brought against
the Syndicate that it had extended the line unduly by a ten-mile
curve at Barboschi (payment, it will be remembered, was to be made
according to the mileage). Nevertheless, in spite of all this petty
opposition, the Prince had the satisfaction of seeing the first
section of the Roumanian railways, connecting Bukowina and Moldavia,
completed on December 15, 1869, whilst no less than 130 miles of
much needed high roads were opened for traffic, chiefly on the
western frontier of Roumania.

As the payment for the railways was to be governed by the completed
mileage, the Finance Minister instructed the Roumanian Commissary
in Berlin, Privy Councillor Ambronn, to control his payments by
the certificates of the engineer, countersigned by the chief of the
newly created Technical Bureau. This evoked an immediate protest
from one of the concessionaries, Dr. Strousberg, who threatened to
appeal to the law courts against so unjustifiable a check on the
honesty of the contractors. Councillor Ambronn reported that he felt
unable to refuse payment, although the engineers' certificates were
not countersigned, and further, that the proceeds of the bonds were
deposited, partly in cash, partly in stocks bearing interest, at the
Berlin Kassenverein. This led to a Parliamentary inquiry into the
state of the funds entrusted to Councillor Ambronn, and later on to
a unanimous resolution by the Ministry relieving him of his duties.
Prince Charles, however, was of the opinion that this measure would
only damage the credit of the railways, and declared his willingness
to accept the responsibility for the railway construction which was
thus thrust upon him by the country.

However, a report from the special commissioner, Herr Steege, sent
to Berlin in the autumn of 1870, placed the affair in a different
light, as it was then discovered that the money realised by the sale
of the railway bonds (35,000,000 francs) had been placed in the
Joseph Jacques Bank without the consent of the Roumanian Government.
This incorrect procedure on the part of the Commissary placed the
Prince in a most unpleasant position; for, though he considered it
in no way desirable that the money should be left lying idle, he
had never intended that it should be invested in a private company,
and so exposed to every fluctuation of the market. M. Steege was
therefore appointed to relieve Councillor Ambronn of his duties in
connection with the railway funds.

It seemed that the climax of the railway dispute must have been
reached with December 18, when Strousberg informed the Government
that he was neither able nor willing to pay the coupon due on
January 1, and further maintained that this payment should be made
by the State, though, as a matter of fact, he had paid the July
coupon himself. The interest, it is true, was guaranteed by the
State, but the terms of the concession provided that the interest
should be paid by Strousberg _whilst the line was in course of

The entire weight of the blow fell on Prince Charles; the railways
were his pet idea, nay, even his consolation, as a passage in one of
his letters to his father shows. "I have at least done _something_
for my country--I have given it a railway!" But now even that
comfort had been taken away.

Prince Charles, however anxious he was at that time to escape from
his almost intolerable position in Roumania, felt that he could
not quit his adopted country until he had procured justice for
his people, and removed the slur which appeared to rest upon their

Early in March 1871 M. Sturdza thus described the financial
situation of the Principalities. The expenditure, but not the
receipts, of the State had increased threefold during the last
thirteen years; the public debt, which in Prussia amounted to 2
francs a head, reached a total of 7 francs in Roumania, whilst
34,000,000 out of the 84,000,000 francs received had to be devoted
to the payment of interest, thus leaving only 50,000,000 available
for expenditure. It was, therefore, scarcely a matter for surprise
that the Chamber should openly testify to the general indignation
felt by the nation, when the fresh burden of the interest on the
railway bonds was thrust upon the resources of the country. In their
wrath, however, the deputies forgot to be just, and threw the whole
blame on Prince Charles. Not a single voice was raised to point out
that the Prince himself suffered most from the painful situation
to which dishonesty and carelessness had brought the railways. He
could not be expected to know in detail all the requirements of such
concessions. The only just reproach which could be made against
him was the unconditional confidence which he, in his youthful
enthusiasm, had placed in Strousberg and Ambronn, from a desire
to procure the benefits of the railway for his country as soon as

The attacks turned chiefly on the circumstance that Ambronn had been
for a long time in the service of the Prince of Hohenzollern, though
this was rather a reason for excusing the Prince, who was surely
justified in employing a man whose honest administration had already
gained the confidence of his father.

As a way out of the difficulty Prince Charles thought that the State
should pay the January coupon and sue Strousberg for the amount,
in accordance with paragraph 7 of the concession. Unfortunately
the Treasury was empty, the Chamber would never consent to such a
measure, and to raise a loan was out of the question.

To crown the disaster an official intimation was received from
the Prussian Government that the coupon due must be paid by the
Roumanian State, as the bonds were only placed on the market owing
to the confidence inspired in the Roumanian State guarantee.

Pressure was brought to bear on Roumania by a Note maintaining the
rights of the German bondholders, addressed by Prince Bismarck to
the Sublime Porte as Suzerain of the Principalities. The Strousberg
affair thus threatened to become more a _question de force_ than a
_question de droit_. It appeared, moreover, that a lawsuit against
Strousberg was out of the question, as the bondholders, and not the
Roumanian Government, were the injured parties. Needless to say,
this opinion of the Prussian law-officers evoked great indignation
in Roumania.

Eventually, on January 2, 1872, the Chamber decided to offer the
bondholders two alternatives:

(_a_) To take over the rights and obligations of the first
concession, to complete the railways in three years with an annual
grant of nine millions towards the coupons; the payment of the last
year's interest, and the restitution of the deposit to be obtained
from Strousberg.

(_b_) To transfer all their rights to the Roumanian State, which
pledged itself to pay off the bonds (to be exchanged for State
papers) in forty-nine years' time by an annual payment of eleven

Three weeks later the Prince had the satisfaction of informing his
father that the vexed question appeared to be solved at last.

     "You can hardly imagine what I have lived through during the
     last weeks of the old year! Excitements, anxieties, and hopes
     changed with every day. Day after day passed without any result,
     or any hope of solving the unfortunate railway question: such a
     strain on the nerves might have caused the strongest man to give
     way. At first weeks passed before the matter reached the order
     of the day, then the preliminary debates lasted fully four days;
     the result was by no means certain the first two days, as the
     Opposition brought all its batteries into action. I breathed
     again on the evening of the fourth day, and the city also calmed
     down at once from its former feverish excitement. The agitators
     are afraid that the settlement of the railway question, which
     they had made a dynastic one, has robbed them of their last
     dangerous weapon....

     "The Opposition used Von Radowitz's declaration in
     Constantinople--that the Emperor was directly interested in an
     arrangement--with much skill and perfidy, drawing the deduction
     that the House of Hohenzollern was mixed up in this dirty
     business. It is much too hackneyed and ridiculous to be even
     annoyed about!"

The expense of the many reforms initiated by the Prince also
contributed to the chronic want of money. For instance, a report by
M. Jepureanu on June 9, 1874, showed the existence of a floating
debt of fifty-seven million francs, which was out of all proportion
to the resources of an agricultural country, where a failure of the
crops occurred about once in six years. It was further stated that
of late years, in spite of all the new taxation, the expenditure had
always exceeded the receipts.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _January 26th, 1875_.

"Only a few days ago I was confidently looking to the immediate
future, and hoped that the Roumanian railway system, which I had
achieved for the country after such severe struggles, would soon
be opened for traffic. I believed that this intolerable affair,
which has cost me several years of my life, was finally settled,
and looked forward to enjoying the fruits of my labour. But no!
To-day the railways are again the disturbing element. After
great effort I had achieved the stability and peace so necessary
for the development of the country: domestic affairs had become
consolidated, and abroad we enjoyed respect and confidence. All this
may again be at stake.

"... The Berlin Company must raise a loan of seventy-five million
francs to pay the debts incurred in construction; in so doing they
want our support, and ask for a law giving this loan preferential
rights in the annuities. This is, of course, out of the question,
as the former creditors must always have the first claim.... We do
not conceal the seriousness of the situation, the more so since the
German Government urgently requests us to give way to the entreaties
of the company, and so prevent a catastrophe which would principally
be felt by the shareholders. In the event of our inability to
regulate this affair the German Government would in future be
compelled to withhold the exercise of its benevolent interest in

"This threat is very serious, and we foresee its evil consequences."


"For several weeks we have been exclusively occupied with the
difficulties which the new loan for the completion of our railway
system causes both here and in Berlin. Animated with a lively wish
to bring this important affair to a satisfactory conclusion, my
Government has commissioned the Minister of Public Works, M. Th.
Rosetti, to proceed to Berlin, and to place himself in personal
communication with the railway company.

"I cannot conceal from your Serene Highness that the proposals
of the company, which must be settled by constitutional methods,
encounter no small difficulties, arising from the very nature of
the affair. Nevertheless, my Government has every wish to prepare a
solution which would be acceptable to both parties, and which could
be successfully promoted in the Chamber here. If we may hope for the
benevolent interest of your Highness in this delicate question, I do
not doubt that it will soon be solved. M. Rosetti is able to give
the necessary information should your Highness desire to enter more
fully into the question."

_From_ PRINCE BISMARCK, _March 1875_.

"I return my humblest thanks to your Highness for the gracious
letter which Minister Rosetti has handed to me. The knowledge and
personal amiability of the latter has made a favourable impression
on all circles here, and he has brought the negotiations to such a
point that their conclusion may be expected, provided the result
here gains the approbation of your Highness's Government. I myself
entertain the hope that such may be the case, the more willingly
since so large an amount of German capital is placed in no other
foreign enterprise, and the solidly assured future of the railways
must exert a decisive influence on the development of the rich
resources with which Roumania is blessed by nature. The protection
afforded to the enterprise by your Highness will contribute
materially to maintain and further public interest in Germany for
the welfare of Roumania."

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst these delicate negotiations were in progress, the question
of the right of Roumania to enter into commercial treaties was
brought to a close. The intimate relations of the Principalities to
Austria-Hungary rendered it desirable that the first treaty should
be concluded with that State, not without opposition in the Chamber,
and it was actually voted on July 10, 1875. "This international
act," the Prince wrote, "is of great importance, as it contains the
germ of Roumanian independence."

The Budget of 1876, which announced a deficit of 30,000,000 francs,
was received with a storm of indignation, and eventually led to the
fall of the Catargiu Ministry.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _April 26th, 1876_.

"The excitement here is very great; there are rumours of
conspiracies and revolutions; but all this cannot terrify me, for I
go straight ahead and do my duty. The condition of our finances, and
the serious situation in the East, does, however, make me anxious.
The former is the consequence of the latter; for months no money
has come into the country, and trade is completely at a standstill.
All our securities have fallen, railway and customs returns have
decreased, farmers cannot pay, and taxes are hard to collect.
Nevertheless, the engine of State must not be allowed to stop, and
we must pay the interest on our debts in order to maintain our
credit! All this has materially affected our finances, which were in
a satisfactory state."

_To_ THE SAME, _December 14th, 1876_.

"Neither the approach of the war, nor the probable passage of
foreign troops makes me really anxious: I am troubled rather by
the comfortless state of our finances, which have reached a stage
impregnated with danger for the immediate future. The State can
only maintain its credit at the greatest sacrifice, by paying the
coupons of the foreign debt with the little money remaining in the
country, and in addition it must raise sufficient to pay the army.

"Under these circumstances only a well-assured peace, or a war, can
be of any assistance; a long extension of this uncertainty will be
our ruin!"

_To_ THE SAME, _January 20th, 1877_.

"The money famine increases daily, and I cannot see how we are to be
helped out of our difficulty. Only the most necessary payments are
made. Even the Civil List has not been paid for months."

       *       *       *       *       *

The longed-for war, bringing with it the independence of Roumania,
arrived at last, and with it came perhaps the lowest point touched
by Roumanian finance. All payments were stopped both at home and
abroad, every tax was doubled, and 30,000,000 francs of paper money
were issued on the security of the Crown lands, to be redeemed at 10
per cent. above par. Such were the sacrifices which the Roumanian
nation offered at the shrine of patriotism and independence.



The first years of Prince Charles's rule were overcast by the shadow
thrown by that source of constant trouble in Eastern Europe, the
Jewish Question, and by the pro-Semitic agitation in the Western
Press. The bulk of the Jewish population of Roumania was settled in
the Province of Moldavia, where it held mortgages on the greater
part of the estates. In addition to this, as "universal providers"
they almost monopolised the trade in spirits, whilst the bulk of
the retail trade also lay in their hands. In times of famine and
scarcity they were always ready to lend money at exorbitant rates
to the heedless landowner and ignorant peasant, and thus acquired
a hold over them which could not be shaken off. The bitter hatred
with which the Moldavian population regarded their oppressors, and
the violence caused by that feeling, were powerless to prevent the
constant immigration of Jews from Poland and Southern Russia, where
they experienced a far harder lot than that which awaited them in
Roumania. That the anti-Semitic feeling was not wholly unjustifiable
is shown by the opinion of M. Desjardins, who had ample opportunity
of learning the rights and wrongs of the case. The French _savant_
declared that the Jews were not only aliens and strangers in
Roumania by their language, religion, and customs, but that they
actually desired to remain so. They refused to send their children
to the Roumanian schools, though entitled to do so free of expense,
and besides monopolising the whole retail trade of Moldavia, they
exerted a most evil influence on the progress of the country by
their usury. The peasant was forced to pay up to fifty per cent.
_per mensem_ on loans, as there were no other means of raising
money in times of scarcity. The Moldavian Jew was dirty and utterly
neglected, and could not from any point of view be considered a
desirable acquisition to the State.

The Jews of Eastern Europe in general, and of Roumania in
particular, have no intention, and, for the matter of that, no
inclination to stoop to handicraft or manufacture. The quicker
methods of getting money appeal to them more; and they are perfectly
content to live on the needs and necessities of the original
inhabitants of the land, though at the same time they bitterly
resent the feeling with which they and their methods of money-making
are regarded. The first outbursts of racial hatred during Prince
Charles's reign proved too strong for the good intentions of the
Government, nor was it to be expected that the Roumanian legislature
would grant the alien race further rights or further liberty than
Russia or even Austria felt inclined to do.

Crémieux, the well-known politician and founder of the _Alliance
Israélite_, interviewed the Prince on June 14, 1866, to try to
obtain an alteration in the laws enabling Jews to hold land in
Roumania, and, acting on the time-honoured maxim of _do ut des_,
offered in return for this privilege a loan of £1,000,000 at a low
rate of interest. The Prince informed him that the Government had
already remembered the condition of the Jews in the draft of the
Constitution, since the following paragraphs had been inserted:
"Creed is no impediment to naturalisation in Roumania," and "So
far as the Jews at present domiciled in Roumania are concerned, a
special law will provide for their gradual admission as naturalised
citizens." However, as soon as these proposals were laid before
the Chamber, a wave of dissent swept over Moldavia, where the
anti-dynastic party sought to create trouble by appealing to racial
hatred. They succeeded only too well, for a riotous mob destroyed
the recently completed synagogue at Bucharest in June 1866. The
obnoxious paragraphs of the Constitution were withdrawn owing to
the representations of the Jews themselves, who feared further
excesses, if the Government persisted in them. The foreign Press
eagerly seized the opportunity for spreading the report that, owing
to the weakness of the Government, the paragraphs had been withdrawn
in obedience to the wishes of the mob. The liberally minded Prince,
to show his displeasure at the action of a section of the populace,
and at the same time to prove his toleration in matters of religion,
subscribed 6,000 ducats from his own purse for the restoration of
the wrecked synagogue, but at the same time the Chamber, by passing
the clause: "Only Christians can become Roumanian citizens," denied
the Jews the possession of any political rights.

In April 1867 the Minister of the Interior, J. Bratianu, addressed
a circular to all prefects, ordering them to proceed against all
"vagabonds" in their districts; as, owing to the abolition of
passes, the number of paupers had increased to such an extent as to
add seriously to the already enormous difficulties of the Government
in feeding the starving inhabitants. England, France, and Austria
protested vigorously against this measure, which was chiefly
directed against immigrant Jews, and the Emperor Napoleon addressed
the following telegram to the Prince on this subject:

     "I must not leave your Highness in ignorance of the public
     feeling created here by the persecutions of which the Jews of
     Moldavia are said to be the victims. I cannot believe that the
     enlightened Government of your Highness authorises measures so
     opposed to humanity and civilisation.


To which the Prince replied at once:

     "Your Majesty may rest assured that I am not less solicitous for
     the Jewish inhabitants than your Majesty. The measures which the
     Government has thought necessary to take are not exceptional,
     and are a matter of common law. I shall, moreover, institute a
     severe inquiry to ascertain whether the subaltern officials have
     exceeded their instructions. Those guilty will be punished with
     all the rigour of the law.


All the laws against the Jews which had been passed in Moldavia
since 1804 were published in the official _Moniteur_ on May 28,
1867, to counteract the prejudice which the recent circular had
created. It was thus made clear that Jews had always been prohibited
from becoming tenants of farms, public-houses, and drinking-booths;
and that the sole motive of the Ministerial Circular was to remind
the prefects of the existence of these regulations, which had been
allowed to fall somewhat into abeyance.

Sir Moses Montefiore, the well-known British merchant and
philanthropist, who was touring through Roumania to investigate
personally the condition of the Jews, was presented to the Prince by
the British Consul on August 25, 1867. Sir Moses was able to inform
his Highness that he could not trace any persecution of the Jews in
Wallachia, and on his return to England declared, through the Press,
that the situation of his brethren in Roumania had been painted
in colours far too dark, and that there could be no question of
their ill-treatment, as both the Prince and his Ministers were very
tolerant, and had given him every assistance in eliciting the truth.

The Chamber, however, continued to persist in anti-Semitic
legislation, and a "free and independent party" of thirty-three
Moldavians introduced a measure on March 17, 1868, which contained
the following provisions: "Jews may only settle in urban districts
by permission of the town council, but on no condition, and for no
length of time, in the rural districts.

"They are not allowed to possess real property in towns or in the
country. Sales and purchases in their favour are null and void.

"They are also forbidden to become tenants of farms, vineyards,
public-houses, hotels, kilns, bridges, &c., or to manage the same,
and neither the State nor Communalities are to entrust them with
contracts.... They are not to sell food or liquor to Christians, but
only to Jews." Bratianu, whom the foreign Semitic Press hounded down
as a persecutor of the Jews, opposed this motion with the greatest
vigour, and openly broke with its proposers. He was in consequence
overwhelmed with contumely and reproaches, and was on one occasion
stoned by anti-Semitic mobs in Moldavia.

The Jewish Question was ably summed up by Prince Charles Anthony in
a letter to his son, received on May 21, 1868.

     "The Jewish question has reached a stage which attracts the
     rapt attention of the whole of Europe. It is a most unfortunate
     episode in the otherwise peaceful development of Roumanian
     internal economy, and is at the same time a great danger to the
     dynasty. I have already pointed out that all Jewish affairs
     are a '_noli me tangere_.' This fact is a symptom of European
     weakness; but, since it is a fact, it must be accepted; nothing
     can be done, as the whole Press of Europe is controlled by the
     Jewish financial powers. In one word, the moneyed Judaism is a
     Great Power, whose favour may have the most advantageous effect,
     but whose opposition is dangerous. From every side, from all
     corners and ends of the earth, a cry of horror arose in unison
     about the Bakau incident, and nothing, not even the official
     _dementia_, could mitigate or alleviate the impression created
     by these incidents. It seems to me that Bratianu has not shown
     sufficient energy in this question, and is inclined to stake too
     much on one card!"...

     "Innumerable petitions have reached me from all parts imploring
     my support in this unfortunate Jewish affair, especially from
     the _Alliance Israélite_ (Crémieux); Paris has made the most
     noise about it. This cannot be altered; and you have gained
     nothing but increased experience."

Advice on this difficult question was also tendered from a quarter
whence it was least expected. Fuad Pacha pointed out to the
Roumanian agent in Constantinople that the Principalities ought
to take Turkey as an example of tolerance in matters of religion,
for at Constantinople one might see Jews sitting side by side with
Mohammedans and Christians in the Council of State!

On September 12, 1869, Prince Charles received a deputation of
Jews on the occasion of his stay in Vienna. In reply to their
representations on behalf of their brethren in Roumania, Prince
Charles declared that the alleged persecution only existed in the
imagination of agitators, and that the condition of the Roumanian
Jews was by no means so miserable and abject as the European Press
was ready and anxious to believe.

At the same time, the anti-Semitic element in the Chamber sought
to overthrow the Ghika Ministry by accusing it of a tendency to
favour the Jews. The Minister of the Interior, Cogalniceanu, it
appeared, had recommended two Delegates of the _Alliance Israélite_
to the prefects of the districts, in order that they might have
every opportunity of knowing the country and its inhabitants. It
was also proved by statistics that the number of Jews in Moldavia
was steadily increasing, whilst the Roumanians were being forced
back by this constant stream of immigration. The measure of their
success and increasing influence was in direct proportion to the
corresponding weakness and poverty of the Christian tillers of the
soil. Cogalniceanu, however, showed that the Jews were not favoured
at the expense of the Roumanians, and that the Government had no
means of preventing Jewish immigration from Russia or Galicia. He
also pointed out that he had proposed to allow the Jews to settle
near the delta of the Danube; but, as that proposal had been
negatived, he could only suggest that the Chamber should formulate
some other measure.

Nearly three years later (May 1872) a petition from the Jews of
Eastern Prussia was laid before the German Reichstag, praying that
Germany would use its influence in putting a stop to the persecution
of Jews in Roumania. Dr. Miquel pointed out that, although he
sympathised deeply with the sufferers, it was necessary to proceed
with caution, as otherwise their situation might become even
worse, for no Government was ever so weak as that of Roumania, and
continual exhortations would only incite the inhabitants to further
outrages, which might eventually lead to animosity against their
German Prince. Von Bunsen supported Miquel's view and showed that
no persecutions had taken place between 1866 and 1872. Eventually a
resolution was carried, recognising the previous efforts on behalf
of the Jews, and requesting the Chancellor to do everything possible
to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.

England also took up the cudgels on behalf of the Jews, and
proposed to the various guaranteeing Powers to comply with the 46th
Article of the Treaty of Paris, and grant political rights to the
Jews. Prince Gortchakoff came to the assistance of Roumania, and
reminded the Western Powers that it was impossible to compare the
Jews of the Orient with those of the West. Russia had no intention
of interfering in the domestic affairs of another State, though
she would unite with the Powers in representing the matter to the
Roumanian Government. He therefore advised England to communicate
direct with the Roumanian Government before invoking the aid of the
other Powers.

A letter from the Prince to his father contained the following
passage about this difficulty:

     "My only fear is lest the Jews[15] should continue to agitate
     and petition the guaranteeing Powers for the concession of
     political rights to their brethren here, until the Powers at
     last comply with their wish, and force our hand. This would lead
     to the overthrow of the present, or, indeed, any other Ministry.

       [15] Shortly after this was written, a Jewish Congress
       assembled at Brussels with the avowed intention of obtaining
       political rights for the Jews of Roumania by pressure from

     "A few months ago the Jews here received some sympathy from
     certain circles, but since they have raised such a cry
     throughout Europe, and since the Jewish Press in every State has
     attacked this country in so unworthy a manner with the object
     of forcing the equality of the Jews upon us, the latter have
     nothing to expect here for the present...."

Another letter of Prince Charles also refers to this point:

     "The newspapers again accuse us of persecuting the Jews, because
     the recent licensing law forbids a Jew to keep a public-house in
     a village. This is a reasonable measure; and we are determined
     to repel any representations or interventions in this matter.
     One must know the villages of Moldavia to be able to judge the
     noxious influence exerted on the rural population by the Jew
     with his adulterated brandy. In Poland and Hungary the Jew is
     to this day forbidden to keep a village public-house--and very
     rightly too! On the other hand, it is a pity that Roumania has
     excluded Jews from holding licences for the sale of tobacco, as
     they will now become the most arrant smugglers."

Russia replied to the Note, addressed by England to the Great
Powers, referring to the persecution of the Moldavian Jews, with a
circular to its representatives abroad directing them to defend the
Roumanian measures.

The struggle so briefly touched upon in these pages affected the
welfare of Roumania in its young days very keenly, as the great
Jewish capitalists supported the demands of the Jewish population
for the franchise by refusing to aid the young State in its
financial troubles. Incalculable harm was done by the Press in
giving a too-ready credence to the alarming reports of wholesale
expulsion of Jewish families from Roumania and the confiscation of
their property. The anti-Roumanian feeling thus caused in England,
France, and in part of Germany was for many years a serious
stumbling-block to the development of the Danube Principalities.



The day selected by the Prince and Princess of Roumania for the
commencement of their tour through Moldavia--April 20, 1871--was
one of good omen for the result of that journey. Prince Charles was
anxious to reinstate the close and intimate relations which had
existed between him and his people before the recent agitation, as
well as to give the lie to the calumny that he no longer took an
interest in his subjects. The Princess, too, was eager to become
more closely acquainted with the beauties of her new country under
her husband's guidance. Unfortunately the pleasure of the trip
was marred by the constant downpour of rain, which laid half of
Jassy under water. But the Prince and Princess did not allow the
weather to interfere with their plans, and succeeded in visiting
every noteworthy place or institution. At their departure from
the Moldavian capital, as on their arrival, they received a most
enthusiastic ovation, to which Prince Charles replied that the
heartiness of their welcome everywhere had convinced him that the
lately dissolved Chamber had in no way expressed the sentiments of
the nation. The memory of the heartfelt sympathy accorded to the
dynasty in Jassy had, he added, given him fresh courage and energy
to devote to the high duties entrusted to him by the nation.

Prince Charles expressed the same views to the Ministry on his
return to Bucharest, and informed them that he had given up the
thought of abdication, as his tour through Moldavia had satisfied
him that the nation would be loyal to the Sovereign they had
elected, whilst condemning the revolutionary aims which had been the
source of the recent trouble. The marvellous change which had taken
place in the Roumanian situation in the short space of five weeks
did not fail of prompt recognition abroad. The Austrian Ambassador
at Constantinople remarked: "If Prince Charles succeeds in managing
Roumania with his own resources, and in rendering it governable,
it will be the greatest _tour de force_ I have witnessed in my
diplomatic career of more than half a century. It will be nothing
less than a conjuring trick!"

Prince Charles thus described the surprising change of situation
between March 22 and May 22:

     "Then there were revolts in the streets, breaking of windows,
     and an approaching abdication. Now there is rejoicing
     throughout the country, ovation after ovation, and a celebration
     of the anniversary of my accession in a more hearty and
     universal fashion than I have been accustomed to for a long
     time. Everything that was possible has been done to wipe out the
     memory of our bitter experiences of last winter, alike during
     our tour through Moldavia and on our return and on May 22....

     "Moldavia has recently been the arena of anarchical and
     separatist intrigues so wide in extent that no great success
     could be expected at the recent elections, the more so as a
     rumour had been spread throughout Moldavia that I had decided
     to turn my back on the country very shortly. Our tour effected
     a complete change. Towns like Galatz and Fokschani, which have
     sent anti-dynastic Deputies to the Chamber for four years in
     succession to advocate my deposition, have now elected men who
     openly declared themselves to be on the side of my dynasty
     during the most critical period. The elections throughout the
     country have resulted satisfactorily, and my Ministry can count
     upon a secure majority.... Tell voted against a foreign prince
     in 1866, as he was of opinion that such a ruler could neither
     become intimately acquainted with the country, nor would enjoy
     the same language or religion.... He informed me on entering
     the Ministry that no Prince had ever known the country better
     or respected the Church so much as I had done.... He says:
     'I think more of the happiness of the country than of its

     "General Solomon and Colonels Slaniceanu, Lupu, and Sefcari are
     thorough soldiers, who were all at their posts in the hour of
     danger and did their duty loyally. The army, moreover, behaved
     excellently at the critical time, which gave me great pleasure,
     as I have always given it special attention.

     "... I should like to be able to lengthen every day, for none
     suffices for my continuous work. Everything that is performed
     in silence by the chiefs of departments in other countries is
     here laid before me; no decision is arrived at without my being
     consulted. Every one wants an audience of the Prince to lay a
     grievance before him. But the more work I have the better I like
     it, and I by no means wish to complain."

Owing to the sudden illness of the Grand Vizier, Ali Pacha,
through overwork, and the prevailing centralisation of the Turkish
Government, all affairs of State came to a standstill for the time
being. The Sultan refused to appoint a substitute, and Ali Pacha
refused to resign: "I shall die, if needs be, but I shall die as
Grand Vizier!"

The Prince and Princess, with their little daughter, sought
protection from the climate of Cotroceni in the cloister of Sinaja
on August 2. The arrangements made for them were extremely
primitive: the small whitewashed rooms, or rather cells, were
connected only by a wooden verandah on the inside of the building,
round the inner court of the cloister. The magnificent view over
the mountain scenery, however, amply compensated for the lack of
comfort; whilst a heavy thunderstorm, with brilliant flashes of
lightning, cleared and cooled the atmosphere shortly after their
arrival. The weather that followed left nothing to be desired, and
the Prince spent the greater portion of each day in the company
of his wife and daughter in the glorious Carpathian woods under a
cloudless sky. The Princess of Wied arrived at Sinaja on August 31
to take part in the festivities of the first birthday of the little
Princess Marie, who, as her father reported with joy, "has already
two teeth, and will soon be able to run about."

Almost daily some expedition or picnic in the woods was arranged,
especially at that spot in the valley of the Pelesch where Prince
Charles thought of building a summer residence. This plan had,
however, to be given up, as the situation of the proposed house was
too much exposed to the violent winds which swept down the valley.

These happy days came to an end, only too soon, when on September
11 the Prince returned to Cotroceni, followed two days later by
the remainder of the family. The Princess of Wied was forced to
commence her journey home on October 28. The Prince and Princess
accompanied her a short distance on the Giurgiu line. Prince Charles
Anthony expressed his great joy at the favourable impression which
the Princess's mother had formed of their surroundings in Bucharest.
"Her impressions are generally favourable and, best of all, she has
gained an insight into your home life, which could not be happier.
That is of the greatest comfort to us, since other circumstances
remain unchanged.... Moreover, Princess Wied is satisfied with the
social elements, and has everywhere found receptivity for what is
nobler and better; a firm mortar alone is wanted to prevent the good
from dissolving and the evil from working to the surface...."

Prince Charles replied the same day: "Elisabeth has created her own
sphere of action; she frequently visits the schools and communicates
the remarks and observations made whilst the instruction is going
on personally to the _conseil permanent de l'instruction publique_.
By this method she has already succeeded in introducing several
minor improvements; in addition to this, she is translating some
school-books for children into Roumanian, with the aid of some young
ladies; and once a week she presides over the Society for the Poor,
which has done good work since its institution a year ago.... We are
all well. Little Marie is full of life, and runs from room to room.
When I have a minute to spare, I play with her. The dear child is
my greatest joy!"

Prince Charles and his family decided to celebrate the Christmas
festivities of 1871 according to the Eastern calendar, on December
24 (January 5). Prince Charles Anthony's Christmas letter contained
the following interesting allusion to German affairs:

     "On the whole everything is satisfactory in Germany. The
     Prussian officers sent to Württemberg and Baden find it
     difficult to grasp the situation of South Germany; but all is
     satisfactory, since necessity knows no law. Manteuffel plays a
     great part in France, and is endeavouring to traverse Bismarck's
     plans and intentions. But it is really of no importance;
     everything succeeds with us. Both Military Cabinet and
     Government of State go their own way, and yet finally effect a
     junction, because the National-Prussian principle outweighs all

     "May Thiers and the Republic long steer France! any so-called
     dynastic revolution would cause a war with Germany--not that we
     fear one, but we need peace and development."

The Chambers passed a law on January 5 by which Roumania undertook
to pay the coupons commencing from January 1, 1872, and all that
remained to end the matter was the consent of the Berlin Syndicate
to the proposed compromise.

On January 28, 1872, Prince Charles was able to inform his father
that the unfortunate dispute about the railways had at last been
settled: "A telegram has just been received from Berlin informing
us that the shareholders have accepted the first part of the law;
you can imagine our delight! The history of this suffering has now
reached its end--thirteen months of anxiety, excitement, and fears,
form a long episode!"


"My chief news to-day is that the condition of Elisabeth's health
renders a journey to the South an absolute necessity; she has never
quite recovered from the violent attacks of fever of last summer,
and in spite of all precautions has recently been ill again; this
might lead to serious consequences if often repeated. Since change
of air is the only really effective remedy, she will go to Italy,
and meet her Nassau relatives and Therese of Oldenburg in Rome
before Easter. Should the climate there not suit her, she will go
on to Naples. The two months' separation, which lies before us, is
indeed very hard, the harder for Elisabeth, since she must part
with both husband and child! It is satisfactory for me to know that
she will meet relations in Rome, whom she will be very glad to see
again. I must submit to the inevitable; but I shall feel my solitude
very much.

"We shall then spend the whole summer in Sinaja, where we shall
be more comfortable this time than we were last year. Abegg is at
present negotiating the purchase of some meadow and wood lands so
that we can build a country house on our own estate, and have a
refuge in the healthy mountain air from the fevers of the marshes....

"The following incident will show you the anti-German feeling here:
The Court of Appeal has acquitted the rioters of the 10th-22nd
March for want of evidence. Costa-Foru in consequence demanded the
removal of the judges, but I refused my consent, to avoid further
unpleasantness. He then laid a decree before me, which made the
President of the Court responsible for the acquittal and transferred
him as a punishment; this I signed. The result of this measure was
the resignation of a large number of the best judges both of the
first and second instance, a demonstration which has caused great
excitement and has been received with satisfaction. The gentry in
question are considered as _victimes de la Prusse_, and only a few
have the courage to agree with Costa-Foru. This is, of course, water
to the opposition mill, and the affair is exploited in every kind of

       *       *       *       *       *

In a long letter, received March 8, 1872, Prince Charles Anthony
minutely discussed the Prussian and Roumanian views about the
recently settled railway dispute, and devoted particular attention
to the attitude of Bismarck and the Imperial Government.

     "I do not believe that the writer of the reports you forwarded
     to me can take an active share in politics, since he gives so
     free a rein to his dislike towards Bismarck and Radowitz.

     "The German Empire to-day is a given factor, which the practical
     politician is forced to take into consideration. If you look
     back upon the scenes which took place nearly a year ago in
     Bucharest on the occasion of the Emperor's birthday, you cannot
     expect that Germany should meet the Roumanian population with
     much sympathy. Such incidents have a lasting and estranging
     influence. Moreover, the continual demonstration of the
     Roumanians in favour of France cannot but displease Germany,
     who has lost many thousands of her best sons in a war which was
     forced upon her against her will.

     "I am no blind eulogist of Bismarck, but he is indispensable to
     Germany and Prussia, and aims solely at great ends and means.

     "He steps courageously over every bound; just as he passed over
     us in the Spanish question, he has now proved the correctness
     of his views and his courage in the retirement of Mühler, and
     in insisting on the School Inspections Bill, which were both
     fundamentally _opposed_ to the King's wish and opinion. It is
     easy to understand that he must neglect you in striving for
     great political aims.

     "It is not _because_ you are a Hohenzollern, but _in spite_ of
     your being one, that no consideration could be paid to your name
     and race in the recent solution of the railway question.

     "I am convinced that, now that Roumania has regained her
     international position with glory, the relations with the German
     Empire will take a more peaceful form. At all events, the
     advances lie on the shoulders of the smaller and weaker State:
     that is the ordinary course of events in politics.

     "For that reason I dislike the following sentence in the report
     you sent me: 'Because certain capitalists are pleased to put
     their money into an industrial speculation, is it necessary
     that it should become a matter for the two Governments? If this
     principle is admitted, where will it lead?'

     "The participation, therefore, in a loan guaranteed by the State
     is called an 'industrial speculation'! Germany, accordingly,
     is peaceably to allow her subjects to suffer loss through the
     Roumanian State, and if she complains about such treatment,
     where should the complaint be addressed if not to the State,
     that is the Government, which does not act in accordance with
     its pledges? On the other hand, one might well ask: 'If this
     principle is admitted, where will it lead?...'

     "The importance of the names connected with the Strousberg
     Syndicate was by no means the reason for the decided steps that
     were taken in Berlin. The action was rather due to consideration
     for the many thousands of smaller men, who had confidently
     invested in the Roumanian bonds; the high rate of interest, it
     is true, was the chief inducement, but nobody imagined that his
     money was invested in a dishonest business.

     "I now come to the end of this long letter, in which I have
     spoken my mind so freely, but in which I hope you will only
     recognise a proof of my affectionate sincerity. I make no claim
     to be infallible, but I should like to impress upon you that the
     Teuton element to-day possesses the greatest vitality and the
     richest future, and that Roumania can only remain the master of
     her own future by a sensible union with it. Let society, the
     Press, and the general instinct of the nation be anti-German if
     they will--they must not, if they intend to put their feelings
     into practice, throw down the gage to the Teuton spirit."

Princess Elisabeth was forced to tear herself away from her husband
and daughter on March 12, to seek health under the cloudless sky of

At Trieste the Princess of Hohenzollern was awaiting her arrival in
order to accompany her to Rome, and, later on, to Naples, where the
King and Queen of Denmark, and the Prince and Princess of Wales,
with other Royal personages, were spending the Spring. The Prince
of Wales discussed politics earnestly with Princess Elisabeth, and
asked with which side Roumania would be ranged in the event of a
war. The Princess quickly replied: "With the strongest, of course!"

A very plain and straightforward letter was received from Prince
Bismarck on April 25, 1872, in reply to an explanation which Prince
Charles had sent him on the railway question.

     "Your Highness can have no cause to doubt my devotion to your
     person. I am sincerely pleased that your Highness has reason
     to look towards the future with greater confidence and a more
     joyful assurance. My former respectful letters will have
     shown your Highness how highly I rate the difficulties of
     your position, and I hope that your present hopes will not be

     "In the railway crisis, which is now, we hope, so fortunately
     ended, the Government of his Majesty could adopt no other
     attitude than that of guarding the rights and interests of
     German subjects. The appeal to the suzerain power of the Porte,
     which your Highness complains of, was necessary on account of
     the position of these German interests and the principles of
     international law; and only the blindness of the parties in
     Roumania could see in it any damage to the autonomy of the
     country as established by the conventions."

After alluding to the anti-German demonstrations in 1871 and the
acquittal of the rioters of March 22, Bismarck continued:

     "It is therefore a surprise to us to learn that, as your
     Highness remarks, the hope is cherished in Roumania that the
     autonomy may be extended by the mediation of Germany, and new
     rights acquired, and that by this means friendly relations may
     be re-established. I am afraid that public opinion in Germany
     will scarcely appreciate the reconquest of the favour of the
     Roumanian nation, since we may say to ourselves that we have
     neither desired nor brought about its loss. Your Highness knows
     how unconditionally you may reckon on the good will of H. M.
     the Emperor and King and of his Government, and that we all
     entertain the best wishes for the prosperity and welfare of your
     country; but at the same time your Highness has too clear an
     insight into the wants of your country not to recognise that the
     conditions of that prosperity and that welfare must be sought in
     the development of its internal politics, and in the faithful
     fulfilment of the obligations it has undertaken, and that the
     influence exerted in Europe by the German Empire may be of great
     use to the Roumanian nation, if the latter in any way responds
     to, or even acknowledges, the friendly feeling for Roumania
     which still exists here."


"My best thanks for the photographs; your child must have charming
and interesting features: she reminds one of both the families to
which her parents belong! The surroundings amused us, and we greatly
admired Elisabeth in the national costume. In spite of photographs,
however, I can hardly imagine my old friend Charles as a married man
and father with a child on his arm! It is an indescribable happiness
to be a father, and I can only too readily imagine how you spend
every free hour in the society of your child, and that you found the
little mite the only consolation for her mother's absence during
your first separation....

"When I reflect on the course of events in Germany, since the
Düppel assault first attracted the attention of the world to us
Prussians, it always seems to me as though I had listened with rapt
attention to a long history lesson--that I was called to witness
the reality appears a marvel. May our people in future preserve the
same becoming earnestness and humility which up to now they have not
laid aside in spite of all their successes! So long as that feeling
is not abandoned we show ourselves worthy of the deeds we have

"You will remember that the thought of a reconstitution of the
Empire as the finishing touch in the work of German unity has always
occupied me, and been among my sincerest wishes; truly, my aim was
directed at a peaceable and bloodless achievement of this fact, and
perhaps the same object might have been reached without a war.
But these are idle questions which can no longer be considered: we
have rather to look to a systematic and thorough completion of the
Empire, the external form of which is perhaps attained, but many
a year must pass before its southern component parts have quite
found their place in the new building. The peoples, especially that
portion which took active part in the war, are far more favourable
to the new situation than the Cabinets; I shall therefore not be at
all surprised if the next few years bring us some most disagreeable
conflicts of aim. The peculiarities of each separate country forming
the Empire will always be respected and interference with their
internal affairs must be avoided; I therefore do not at all like
the expression 'a uniform State.' But it is for that very reason
that earnest pains must be taken that perfect unity may be shown
in military, legal, and foreign-political fields, and that these
elements may become more and more firmly welded together.

"To my joy our neighbour States do not appear to view our union with
unfavourable eyes, and that is in itself a great deal--we shall
certainly not be loved by any of them. The revengeful feeling of
France is only natural and explicable, though much water will flow
between the banks of the Rhine before that feeling will issue in

"You would hardly recognise my children again. William[16] is
growing and is hard at work. Henry has become stronger than he was.
Charlotte does not seem to grow at all, yet she is pretty, like her
fair-haired sister. The youngest you do not know at all--they are
already very well-developed little atoms mentally."

  [16] The present German Emperor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Princess Elisabeth reached Genoa on her way home to Bucharest on
April 30. She had left Naples only a few days before a terrible
eruption of Vesuvius, accompanied with earthquakes, which caused
the death of some two hundred persons. At Vienna the Princess was
visited by the Emperor of Austria, Count Andrassy, and a number of
her relations. Prince Charles met the Princess near Orschowa and was
delighted to find her completely restored to health. Their entry
into Bucharest was greeted in every way as heartily as on their
return from Germany in 1869. The streets of the capital were so
densely packed by a most enthusiastic multitude that the carriage
could only proceed at a walk.

The following letter from the German Emperor was brought by M.


     "I have to thank you for two letters, one for March 22 handed
     me by your father, and the other by the bearer of this letter.
     Let me first thank you heartily for your loyal wishes on my
     birthday; since recent events took place that day has certainly
     gained more prominence than formerly, but it also reminds us to
     return thanks to Him who set us so unexpected a task, and who
     gave us strength to execute it. The feelings expressed to me on
     March 22 are in this respect of value and joy to me, since it
     is assuredly of God's mercy that one is selected to execute His
     will on earth on behalf of a nation and its army.

     "Your last letter gave me an occasion only yesterday to speak
     with your Minister, as I am suffering from an injured knee and
     cannot dress myself well. We discussed the Strousberg affair,
     which appears to be favourably settled on the whole, but which
     has had a very susceptible and aggravating effect at times. The
     Jewish question was then discussed. It is a hard task to have
     to side with a race of men whose character I know only too well
     from the Russian Poles. Although in the most examples the guilt
     of the Jews, according to your own Government's showing, was not
     at all as heinous as it appeared at first, still the punishment
     was severe, and some show of mercy would certainly be advisable;
     on the other hand, it must be regretted that the repression of
     riots and Jew-baiting was not employed quickly or effectually
     enough. This, of course, again creates the impression abroad
     that the internal politics of Roumania are not yet stable, and
     you will never eradicate this impression until you have created
     a well-organised and disciplined army, able to enforce obedience
     to the orders of the Government, not by strength of numbers, but
     by quality. I expressed this opinion years ago to you through
     Colonel Krenski, and I regret that you still do not grasp this
     point--_i.e._, that you still place more value on the quantity
     of your forces than in their quality.

     "I realise the difficulty of your task, but it is absolutely
     necessary if Europe is to gain confidence in your Government
     through the prevalence of order and security in Roumania.

     "I am indeed sorry that your wife's health made a separation
     necessary, but it was certainly high time to overcome the fever:
     nothing undermines the health more than lingering ill-health; I
     therefore hope the best from the Princess's change of air!

     "Farewell, and preserve a friendly memory of your very sincere


The Roumanian Court moved to Sinaja on May 29, 1872, where the
fresh mountain air completely restored the Prince and his family to
robust health. The Prince wrote the following description of a great
bear-hunt to his father:

     "I went bear-hunting a week ago. Three hundred beaters with
     drums and trumpets, the sound of which re-echoed tenfold in
     the rocky valleys, and close on thirty hunters, who completed
     a circle of several miles, and secured our quarry. Two drives
     were arranged, each of which lasted from two and a half to three

     "After leaving Sinaja about five o'clock I climbed the first
     summit, Furnica, which I reached at seven. It was just here that
     a large she-bear had killed several sheep three days before,
     and devoured them at a short distance from the shepherds, who
     looked on trembling. I posted myself at this point behind a rock
     overlooking two deep ravines. The drive then began, accompanied
     by the penetrating cries of the beaters, who descended the
     slopes on all sides in an unbroken chain. Suddenly the sky
     clouded over and a terrible storm broke, so that you could not
     see ten paces before you. As nothing was to be seen after a wait
     of two hours we sought refuge in a hut; in a short space of time
     the weather cleared up, and the pretty Prachova valley lay at
     our feet bathed in the brightest sunshine.

     "This change in the weather encouraged Elisabeth and her ladies
     to leave Pojani Zapului, whither she had driven that morning,
     and proceed to meet me with the luncheon. After I had sat three
     hours in the hut waiting for the bear, or rather the luncheon,
     the latter arrived about noon, and we sat down to it together
     on a greensward; the hunters and beaters, the Dorobanzi and
     their horses camped round about us. All the groups were
     indescribably picturesque; in the background the bare rock
     summits of the Kairaman, Omul, &c., appeared like veritable
     ghosts. At two o'clock we again descended to Pojana Zapului,
     a little village at the entrance of the _valea babei_, the
     rendezvous of the bears. I separated from Elisabeth here, and
     climbed down into this haunted valley, where we came across a
     primeval wood. Again I found a position which overlooked two
     ravines. The greatest bear-hunter of the neighbourhood was close
     to me, and assured me that I should catch sight of some bears.
     I waited patiently for close on three hours behind a decayed
     tree; the cries of the beaters had long since died away, single
     shots were heard in the distance, a portion of the beaters had
     finished their task, and still nothing was to be seen. I laid
     my rifle aside discontentedly, but the huntsman whispered to
     me to have patience for another half-hour. I took up my rifle,
     and ten minutes had barely sped when I heard a loud rustling,
     stones rolled down the sides of the ravine, and two young bears
     crossed our field of sight, and one after the other descended
     the slope, breaking the rotten boughs with their broad paws. The
     distance was not great, and I could easily have put a bullet
     into one of them if boughs and tree-trunks had not impeded my
     aim. I therefore quitted my position, and climbed down a little
     way to get a free field of fire, but the huntsman had in the
     meantime reached the edge of the ravine and killed one of the
     bears with his first shot; the other would certainly not have
     escaped him if he had had a double-barrelled rifle. The great
     excitement now commenced, as the she-bear, which had already
     been fired on by the beaters higher up, was expected to arrive,
     but no one could say whether she had been wounded, or whether
     her cubs had preceded her. The circle of beaters and hunters
     now drew closer in, the _matador_ of the hunters placed himself
     close by my side, and drew my attention to the danger of an
     attack by so savage an animal. We waited half an hour for the
     decisive moment; unfortunately the she-bear did not turn up, and
     the hunters declared it probable that she had been wounded and
     had hidden herself in some rocky crevice, as otherwise we should
     certainly have had a shot at her.

     "On the way home we witnessed another interesting scene. At
     least thirty large golden eagles had assembled round a carcase
     on the far side of a ravine, but the distance was far beyond our
     range. I fired at one which was hovering over my head, but only
     hit one of his feathers, which fluttered to the ground. The shot
     frightened the interesting inhabitants of the mountains from
     their meal, and they flew in all directions between the rocky
     spurs, where we were able to follow them with the naked eye for
     a long time."

The same letter also contained a most interesting picture of the
situation of Roumania, both at home and abroad.

     "Since my last letter to you on April 30 many things have
     improved here, and every day shows more and more the advantages
     of a firm Government, which alone can secure progress and
     increase the prosperity of the country. The loyal and frank
     attitude of Catargiu's Ministry has practically crippled the
     intrigues of the parties, the more so since they have no burning
     question to exploit. The Opposition Press, it is true, is not
     ashamed to publish the grossest calumnies about the Government,
     or to prophesy that the fate of King Otto or the Emperor
     Maximilian will befall me unless I dismiss the Ministry soon!
     Fortunately their sallies are so violent that no one places
     any belief in their screed. As affairs stand at present only
     some external crisis can affect the resignation of the Cabinet;
     luckily it is in such favour with the Great Powers that even
     this anxiety disappears.... It is the immediate duty of my
     Government to maintain order at all costs, and to aim during the
     coming session at putting an end to the abuse of liberty, which
     only damages and discredits us in the eyes of foreign countries.
     As Roumania is the spoilt child of Europe and has been permitted
     to do so much, it knows nothing of reflection or fear. It is
     like an unbroken foal, which is imbued with liberty, and
     ignores every danger. Guizot says: 'There are times when nations
     are swayed by their desires beyond all else, and others where
     they act solely in accordance with their fears. According as the
     one or the other of these dispositions prevails, nations are
     intent on liberty or security for preference. It is the first
     degree in the art of government to distinguish between those
     sentiments.' To Roumania liberty is more than security: she only
     knows her own desires, and is fearless. I have not, therefore,
     been deceived hitherto about her sentiments, which in the eyes
     of the French statesman is the height of statescraft. For my
     part I consider that I have committed an error and that I should
     have achieved more if I had sometimes gone against the desires
     of the nation!

     "As a matter of fact, I have from the commencement devoted my
     whole energy to the development of the material welfare of these
     richly endowed countries. My groundwork was the execution of
     the net of roads and railways. This is the national-Roumanian
     policy which I have so far pursued, and which I shall continue
     in the future. Perhaps this is the very reason of the great
     wrath of those to whom the existence of Roumania is a thorn in
     the flesh. The enmity to which it is exposed by a paid Press is
     therefore well founded, for even a small country which makes
     material progress daily may in time become a factor with which
     perhaps the world may be forced to reckon. I have observed two
     currents in the policy of Austria-Hungary regarding us: the
     official circles appear at present to favour the stability and
     peaceful development of Roumania, whilst others--I know not
     how to define them: clerical, financial, Jewish--show their
     animosity by an incessant paper-warfare against the country. The
     Austrian and Hungarian papers compete with each other in this
     rivalry. What lasts too long ends by becoming tedious, and one
     may hope that the world will some day have had enough of this
     tangled web of printed lies. It may also be that much of this
     arrogance is based on Stock Exchange speculations. The Jewish
     _haute finance_ has declared that it will not embark upon any
     business with "Jew-devouring" Roumania, and will oppose with
     all its might any of the country's aims. In the meantime we
     have concluded a tobacco monopoly with a great Hungarian Jewish
     house, and obtained an unexpected bid of 8,000,000 francs a
     year, a brilliant piece of business for both parties."

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _August 31st, 1872_.

"Our stay at Sinaja, which, if the weather holds good, we shall
prolong for another four weeks, suits us excellently. The life here
is pleasant and unconstrained; every day brings fresh interests. A
bevy of young girls adds much liveliness to our circle; in addition
to the lately appointed maid of honour, Mlle. Valeanu, we recently
had seven young ladies to dinner, with a dance and round games in
the evening. Even nonsense refreshes the mind, and it was a real
benefit to us all to let ourselves go. We made Costa-Foru dance
and D. Ghika played with us. This is a very different matter from
sitting head over ears in work. Until to-day it would have been
impossible to accuse me of playing with my present and former
Ministers, and hence it is a real satisfaction to me to have done
so in Sinaja. Moreover, our stay here is of great benefit to us in
many ways: it brings us into closer contact with people than would
be possible in the city, where everything is red tape; we have also
had the pleasant experience that, in spite of the difficulty of
communication, everybody seems delighted to come here. We have had
numerous visitors even from Moldavia....

"On September 8 our little Marie will be two years old, but she
might easily pass for three, for her mental and physical development
is far more mature than that of most children of two years old. You
ought to see my little daughter now, my dear parents. You would
certainly take as great a pleasure in her as we do ourselves; she
already speaks three languages--Roumanian, German, and, above all,
English; is very independent, runs about alone, calls everybody
by his proper name, and on Sundays goes to the chapel of the
Monastery, where she keeps quite quiet during the service. Her
character is amiable and gentle; she obeys every order, and gives up
all her little possessions with pleasure."

       *       *       *       *       *

The birthday of the little Princess was celebrated in the same way
as the year before, with the ceremony of breaking a cake over her
little fair head, and with serenades, and fireworks. The childlike
grace and charm with which her Serene Highness accepted the homage
captivated all hearts.

_To the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _October 8th, 1872_.

"We have been permitted, after many storms, to spend a quiet and
happy summer, admiring nature and art, and visited by people of
all kinds and of all nationalities--mutable and merry, despite
the stillness of the cloister surrounded by giant mountains.
Even a few Englishmen put in an appearance, and I gave them the
heartier welcome for the hope that they will now spread healthier
ideas about Oriental countries amongst their fellow countrymen.
Unfortunately the shade of Palmerston still moves amongst England's
diplomatists, and her inhabitants are more Turkish than the Turks
themselves, which fact you will be able to estimate correctly, as
you are acquainted with Turkish rule. I have said this to all who
came, and I hope that the Foreign Office will acquire a more just
appreciation, particularly of the territories of the Danube."

_From the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _October 28th, 1872_.

"We fared very well during the summer; my wife and I and our two
youngest children enjoyed the Alps in Berchtesgaden and Salzburg, a
region which we find extraordinarily attractive.

"There, as in the whole of South Germany, where later on I inspected
troops, a reception was prepared for me as hearty and brilliant as
any in the old Mother Country. The feeling of cohesion amongst all
German races since the re-establishment of the German Empire has
spread in those parts extraordinarily, broadly, and quickly. All
feel themselves elevated and strengthened; they see themselves as
members of a nation which commands a respect such as the former
thirty Fatherlands could never have commanded. The enemies of
our union, against whom we struggle, cannot prevail in face of
this political power, but they will leave no means of damaging it
untried. Only we must not make a mistake in our choice of weapons,
for otherwise we shall make martyrs of our opponents, and shall reap
neither thanks nor advantage."

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _November 26th, 1872_.

"The burning question in the new German Empire is the Church. This
question is making a great stir and embittering family life; it
undoubtedly points to future danger, since the Ultramontane Party
will use it as a lever to intrigue against the new German Empire and
the Protestant Emperor. Simply to oppose Germany, France is highly
in favour of Rome and everything connected with it, and so she is
enlisting the sympathies of our Ultras, who believe, or wish to have
it believed, that France is the only sanctuary of Catholicism, and
that Prussia's policy is universal evangelisation. This tendency in
France is at present a means of agitation, inspired by revenge and
not by the glorification of the Church.

"The boundaries between the powers of the State and the Church are
to be regulated by legislation in Berlin. This problem may possibly
be solved in theory, but never in practice. When my opinion was
asked, I advised the Emperor to decide each concrete case with the
utmost rigour, but never to embark upon disputes about theoretical
dogmas--history teaches that in such struggles the State invariably
comes off the worst. The introduction of civil marriage, the
separation of the schools from the Church, and the establishment of
State examinations for the clergy are alone excepted from this. The
Church must be left to herself; the State has nothing to do with
dogmas, which depend entirely upon the conscience of Catholics.

"You have no idea of the agitation which these questions are
causing just now, or of the prevailing misconceptions.

"It is well that the Jesuit law is, so to speak, an already
surmounted vantage-point; but those who expect improvement from it
are mistaken; the greater part of the Catholic priesthood of to-day
has been educated by the Jesuits. The whole struggle is grievous.

"If the contending parties had long ago arrived at an understanding,
particularly in the time of King Frederick William IV., that
the Throne and the Altar are two irreconcilable conceptions, it
might have been possible to regulate their relation without the
intervention of force. But that ruler's absolutist tendencies sought
and found in the absolutism of Rome an alliance which is still a
heavy burden upon our national development.

"You will certainly have followed the debates on the
'_Kreisordnung_' in the Upper House with interest. To myself it is
a brilliant satisfaction for the wrongs suffered in 1859 and 1860;
what I then prophesied has happened to-day--the Upper House is an
institution whose entire composition stands in urgent need of reform.

"The situation in Bavaria and Württemberg, especially in the
dynastic spheres, is scarcely yet intelligible. Particularism is as
obstinate as possible. The unification of the Empire from a military
point of view is proceeding smoothly, and will not recede; but the
minor Sovereigns take it very ill that they are to be mediatised in
a military and diplomatic sense at once...."

       *       *       *       *       *

The unexpected news of the death of Napoleon III. was received at
Bucharest on January 10, 1873. Prince Charles and the Roumanian
nation were deeply moved by this sad event, for the dead Emperor
had been the champion and protector of the national existence of
Roumania in its darkest days. Throughout the whole land memorial
services were held, though the Metropolitan at first objected on
the ground that the late Emperor was not a member of the Orthodox
Church. The universal expression of sympathy with the widowed
Empress and the Prince Imperial created a certain friction with the
Republican Government, and the Foreign Minister reminded M. Strat
that the Roumanians ought not to forget that, after all, "it was to
France, and not the Emperor, that gratitude was due"! M. Thiers, the
President, also expressed his vexation that the Roumanian Chambers
should have sent messages of condolence to the Prince Imperial as
well as to the Empress, since the former had never had anything
to do with Roumania. This measure was considered to indicate that
Roumania held the French Republic "_nul et non avenu_." M. Thiers
concluded with the remark: "If I had acted strictly in accordance
with the rules of international custom, I should have recalled all
my agents and broken off all communication with you!" M. Strat was
able, however, to convince the President that Roumania had only
paid a debt of gratitude to a benefactor, and had no intention of
insulting France.

The situation in Paris at the commencement of 1873 was described by
M. Strat as "the same struggles, the same defiance in every camp,
and the same uncertainty about the future as in the past." A sort
of armistice existed between M. Thiers and the Majority of the
National Assembly, who were anxious to foist a King upon France,
whilst the adherents of the Republic were divided into two camps.
"Those who desire a moderate and conservative republic do nothing
to bring it to pass, and those who wish for a _régime_ on the
lines of Gambetta & Co. do everything in their power to render it
permanently impossible." Gambetta's school, which unfortunately had
made proselytes throughout the whole of Europe, aimed at "governing
by inane discourses, banquets, harangues, demonstrations in the
streets, and all the customary trappings of a vulgar democracy."
Hampered by all these conflicting elements, M. Thiers was confronted
by the task of maintaining order, paying milliards, and raising
the commerce of the country. He would only secure peace with the
National Assembly if he gave it complete liberty "to play upon that
instrument which they call universal suffrage."

On February 13 King Amadeo of Spain announced in a special message
to the Cortes that he had laid the crown aside, under the conviction
that the incessant struggles of the parties were frustrating all
his efforts for the peace and happiness of his country. The Cortes,
by a large majority, proclaimed the Republic _pour l'éternité_,
and elected as their President a well-known and thorough-going
Republican, Senor Fiqueras. And so the saying of Napoleon III.,
that a Latin race is almost ungovernable, received a melancholy
confirmation, which was only partly refuted by the Prince Charles's
unquestioned success in ruling the "Latin sister-nation." Public
opinion was only now beginning to realise the great merit of the
Prince in achieving, by patience, abnegation, and perseverance, a
stable Government, which only a few years before had appeared to be
an aim Utopian and altogether beyond realisation to all those who
were acquainted with the people and the affairs of Roumania.

Prince Charles was invited by the Emperor of Austria to attend the
Vienna Exhibition, where Roumanian commerce was to be represented
by exhibits of tobacco, wool, silk, wood, salt and other minerals.
There were scarcely any manufactures, but the Prince was confident
that they would soon follow in the track of the railways.

The Princess, whose health had not been at all satisfactory, and her
little daughter, set out on a visit to the Princess of Wied on May
31, 1873. Little Marie soon became accustomed to the motion of the
yacht, and took the greatest interest in her first long journey.
Neuwied was reached safely, and the first news which Prince Charles
received on June 23 in Vienna was that they were delighted to be
home, and that the German Crown Prince had given them a most hearty

Prince Charles received the same treatment at Vienna, where he
found his brother, the Hereditary Prince Leopold, awaiting him. He
could not fail to notice that the reception accorded to him in 1873
was far more cordial than that in 1869, and he found, too, that
his labours and sacrifices during the last four years had at last
received due recognition in the Press.

Count Andrassy had a long and important interview with Prince
Charles on June 25, when the Prince mentioned his project of
declaring Roumania an independent State, because the relations with
the Porte only led to constant friction, and were prejudicial to the
welfare of his country. Moreover, a free Roumania, he held, would
be a better friend to Turkey than it could possibly be under the
existing circumstances. Count Andrassy pointed out that Roumania, as
an independent State, would be exposed to danger from outside, while
at present her safety was guaranteed by conventions and treaties. At
the same time he gave emphatic denial to the rumour that Austria
had any intention of annexing Roumanian territory. "We should be
acting against our own interests, were we to increase the number of
our discontented Roumanian subjects, and extend our frontier against
Russia." Prince Charles replied that it would always be his aim to
remain strictly neutral between his two all-powerful neighbours,
Austria and Russia.

The Roumanian section in the exhibition was altogether successful;
the centre of attraction was a portrait by an American painter,
Healy, of the Prince in cavalry uniform, and of the Princess in
national costume. The many-coloured carpets and woven silks also
received great commendation, as well as the wines of the country.

The Prince quitted Vienna on July 1 by the train which carried
the German Empress back to Germany. The Empress expressed herself
greatly pleased at the reception accorded her by the Austrian
capital, especially by the amiability of the Emperor Francis Joseph.
After a short stay at Neuwied Prince Charles proceeded to Ems to
see the Czar before the latter left for Russia, and to congratulate
him in person upon the approaching marriage of the Grand Duchess
Marie to the Duke of Edinburgh. A couple of days later the Prince
and Princess again visited Ems, this time to see the German Emperor,
_en route_ for Imnau, where they expected to rejoin the Princess of
Wied. The Emperor William welcomed his Roumanian guests with the
utmost cordiality and affection, and declared himself delighted with
the improved relations of the Prince to the Austro-Hungarian State.
He again pointed out to his young cousin the necessity of paying
particular attention to his army, and reminded him that a small but
well-disciplined force was far superior to a more numerous though
less highly trained army.

An amusing adventure happened to the Prince and Princess on their
way to Imnau at Giessen, where they had the misfortune to miss their
train, and were forced to spend the night at a small hotel near
the railway station, without either luggage or sufficient money to
pay for their railway-tickets. As they desired to preserve their
incognito, they determined to make use of their "honest looks" to
induce the hotel-keeper to advance the necessary sum of money. This
hope, it is pleasant to note, was not cherished in vain, and Imnau
was reached on July 8. The Prince's parents remained at Hechingen,
which lies only a short distance from Imnau, but met every day
either at one place or the other, so that Prince Charles Anthony's
favourite wish was at last fulfilled. In this peaceful fashion a
month passed only too quickly, and, after a couple of days spent
at Krauchenwies the wanderers returned to Sinaja on August 28,
touching Vienna _en route_, so that the Princess might also have an
opportunity of visiting the exhibition.

The affairs of Roumania were absolutely uneventful, and the efforts
of the Prince, warmly supported by the Ministry, made satisfactory
progress towards the attainment of the high ideal which Prince
Charles had kept before him ever since he first took up his
arduous task. In a letter written to his parents at Christmas the
Prince remarked: "Roumania has never witnessed so peaceful or, in
many respects, so happy a year as 1873. The general progress is
excellent, and the good understanding between the Government and the
Chambers still continues."

The early part of 1874 was darkened by the illness of Princess
Elisabeth, who was seized by a contagious disease whilst supervising
the distribution of gifts to the poor children of Bucharest.
Fortunately the trouble abated in time to enable the Princess to
enjoy the visit of her brother-in-law, Prince Frederick. Princess
Marie, too, was not spared by the epidemic, and for a few days her
condition caused the gravest anxiety to her parents.

_From the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _March 21st, 1874_.

"You will certainly have followed with sympathy the course of the
lamentable religio-political struggle between our Government and the
Papal Curia. I am sorry that it should have occurred; but I foresaw
it, as the custom, established these thirty years, of giving way to
the demands of Rome rather than maintaining a firm position could
not possibly continue. I think, perhaps, a different sequence in the
legislature might have been observed; but since the struggle has
been undertaken we must carry it through. Austria, very opportunely
for us, is beginning to adopt a similar attitude.

"I am sorry that there should be a current report that the
Government wishes to attack the Catholic Church and its dogmas for
their own sake. Every one who is capable of calm deliberation must
know that nothing is further from our thoughts."

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _April 7th, 1874_.

"I write to you oppressed by care and anxiety on account of our dear
child, who is suffering from scarlet fever. On Saturday she was
quite well, and drove out with us in the warm spring weather; early
on Sunday she complained of not being well. Her malady increased
towards midday, and was accompanied by sickness. Towards evening
she became very restless and feverish, and Dr. Theodori recognised
the symptoms of a dangerous illness. The poor child passed a very
bad night, moaning and sleepless, whilst we watched by her bedside;
at 2 A.M. her skin became deep red, and her temperature rose
considerably. Theodori came at eight o'clock and pronounced it to
be scarlet fever. At noon her whole body was burning with heat, and
her head was affected. The doctor then informed me that the illness
was so dangerous that he should like another opinion. A consultation
took place the same evening in the sick-room, to which the local
medical authorities were summoned. They did not conceal her serious
condition from us, and declared that her age added to their anxiety.

"Another bad night was passed, but the fever was less intense the
following morning; there was no question of sleep. We do not lose
our courage, and trust in God, who will not abandon us in the hour
of our trouble...."

       *       *       *       *       *

After a slight improvement on the 8th the condition of the child
became so alarming at midnight that her parents, who had not left
her side till eleven P.M., were again summoned to her bed. They
found their little daughter gasping for breath. The hastily summoned
physicians declared the condition of their patient to be hopeless.
As she lay in the lap of her English nurse, the child's strength
seemed to ebb with every minute, and as the first rays of the rising
sun touched the windows of the room, the despairing parents were
kneeling by the lifeless body of their only child. Only a short time
could be given them to be near her; the little coffin was closed,
and carried by the grief-stricken father out of the death-chamber. A
long procession accompanied the body of the little Princess to the
Church of Cotroceni, where it was to remain until the morrow, which
was Good Friday. At two o'clock the last sad rites of the Orthodox
Church were celebrated in the presence of an enormous concourse of
sympathetic representatives of every class of society.


"We have just received the unexpected and afflicting news of the
terrible misfortune that has befallen you. May God's grace be with
you and grant you strength to bear the desperate sorrow, the burden
of which we know from our own experience! In thought I put myself in
your frame of mind, and realise that you must both be numbed with
grief at seeing your sweet child lifeless before you, and at knowing
that you can never again see a light in her dear eyes, never again a
smile on her face!

"These are hours in which, in spite of all Christian principles, one
still asks: why need it have been? And certainly it is hard to say:
'Thy will be done!'

"I wrote this text on the tomb of my son Sigismund, your god-child,
because I know of no other consolation: and yet I cannot conquer
that pain to-day, though many years have already passed, and though
God has given me a large family. Time does certainly blunt the
keenest edge of a parent's anguish, but it does not remove the
burden, which remains a companion for life....

"Your grief is also ours, and you are both the object of our
anxiety and our prayers; for that my wife is at one with me in
these thoughts of sympathy you know as well as that these lines are
for poor Elisabeth no less than for you. God be with you, and be
merciful to you!"

       *       *       *       *       *

In the following letter, addressed to the President of the Ministry,
Prince Charles endeavoured to thank his people for their sympathy.

     "The Almighty has summoned our only and dearly loved child from
     this world of trouble.

     "If a proof of my country's devotion had been needed, it could
     not have been shown in a more affecting manner than in these
     days of sorrow, when the sense of the sincere sympathy of all
     has been our chief consolation in distress.

     "And so I desire to assure my country that just as it has
     supported me by its affection in the hardest moment of my life,
     so I shall endeavour to repay in good measure the kindness which
     it has manifested towards me.

     "The sweetest memory which our lost daughter has left us as an
     inestimable treasure is her boundless love for the country in
     which she was born, a love so strong that despite her tender
     age she felt the pangs of home sickness during her first stay

     "Our child's faith and the language which she spoke have assumed
     a new sanctity in our eyes, for every Roumanian word will from
     henceforth be to us the echo of that voice which we shall never
     again hear on earth.

     "Though the dearest and most intimate bond of our family circle
     has been severed, a still stronger tie unites us now with our
     greater family, the Roumanian nation, which joins with us in
     mourning the loss of our and their child.

     "It is a sacred duty with the Princess and myself to express
     to one and all, from the depth of our sorely tried hearts, our
     cordial gratitude, together with the hope that all will unite
     with us in prayer that the Almighty may grant us strength and
     patience in the trial which He, the Father of All, has in His
     inscrutable wisdom sent to us."

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _April 15th, 1874_.

"What terrible news! Though yesterday we awaited your telegram not
without anxiety, still we were reassured towards evening. As long as
I live I shall not forget to-day's awakening--I opened the telegram
without agitation--speechless, and with the keenest heartache, I
read it again and again. For a long time I could not believe in the
possibility of the destruction of your domestic happiness. God's
ways are inscrutable! He has for only too short a time entrusted
to you a being whom He loved so much that he could not but recall
her to Him. These lines are not meant to console you, for at such
moments there can be no consolation: they are only to remind us all
that we must humbly submit, come what may!"


"We established ourselves here (Cotroceni) yesterday, and we hope to
find more peace and a little consolation for our sorrowing hearts,
since we shall now be close to the resting-place of our loved child.
The palace in the capital seemed so empty and melancholy to us that
we awaited with impatience the day when we could leave it. But we
shall feel our loss bitterly even here. Our daily walk is to her
grave, where we sit and talk over the legacy of rich and manifold
memories left us by our dear child. The whole country mourns for
little Marie; this you know, and will have seen from our newspapers;
many expressions of sympathy have also reached us from abroad. The
German Emperor wrote me a very kind letter in which he shows his
true kindness of heart. I also received a letter from the King
of Italy, and Elisabeth one from the Queen of England, which was
couched in very warm and affectionate terms. The Empress Eugénie
also telegraphed her sympathy with me.

"... Elisabeth's nerves are so shaken that the greatest care is
necessary. I must confess to you that I am often anxious myself, and
am much depressed by pain, sorrow, and apprehension. I get but very
little sleep at night, and have repeatedly heard my poor Elisabeth
cry out in her dreams: 'Dead, dead!' This cry of pain is each time a
fresh stab in my wounded heart!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst Princess Elisabeth sought to conquer her grief by distraction
in translating Roumanian legends and fairy tales, Prince Charles's
time was claimed by affairs of State. Great Britain, in pursuit of
its Turkophile policy, wished to accredit its new agent, Mr. Vivian,
with a letter in which mention was made of the "good relations
which exist between England and the Sublime Porte and the territory
governed by your Highness." The Roumanian Government declined to
receive this communication, but the incident was eventually settled
by an exchange of Notes between the English Consul-General and the
Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Vivian had a private audience on
May 4 with the Prince, who expressed his opinion very plainly on the
Oriental policy of England.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _May 26th, 1874_.

"We are impatiently awaiting Leopold's arrival, which is promised
for Monday. The Prince of Servia will have left us by then; he has
truly Oriental ideas of hospitality! We hold aloof from all public
entertainments in his honour, and only invite him now and again to
dinner or tea. Every time he comes to Cotroceni he brings a wreath,
which he places, either with his own hand or by another's, on the
grave of our child. He is a very pleasant, bright, and handsome man,
an excellent talker; he is by nature gifted with understanding,
but is deficient in higher culture. His visit here is making a
great impression in Constantinople, which he quitted in anger.
The Servians are now on a worse footing with Turkey than we are,
since they have been refused Swornik. After voting us addresses of
condolence _in corpore_ the Chambers are endeavouring to overthrow
the Ministry and to form a coalition."

       *       *       *       *       *

On June 7 a law was passed providing for the allotment of land
in Bessarabia to the Bulgarians expelled from the right bank
of the river. This measure was warmly advocated by the Russian
Consul-General, but Prince Charles, mindful of Russia's declaration
in 1871, was disquieted by the discovery that the Russian Government
had not surrendered its hopes of the reacquisition of Bessarabia.

After a short stay in the pleasant groves of breezy Sinaja the
journey to Franzensbad was commenced on July 15 in the company of
the Hereditary Prince. The Princess of Hohenzollern arrived a few
days later alone, Prince Charles Anthony's infirmities keeping him
practically a prisoner in his room. Prince Charles was delighted to
find that his mother's health was unaffected by her exertions: "We
are inexpressibly happy to have her here, but reproach ourselves for
having taken her from you, and we are grieved that you should remain
alone at Krauchenwies. We fully appreciate the sacrifice you have
made for us, and thank you with all our hearts.

"The Empress had been so kind as to inquire from the Queen of
England what watering-place would suit us best. The latter replied
by telegraph that her physician, Sir W. Jenner, recommended
Eastbourne for Elisabeth 'and her husband.'

"When ladies of so high degree look after a watering-place for us,
we ought certainly to reap the full benefit from our stay! We shall,
therefore, probably go to Eastbourne or Hastings.

"One day is very much like another, and we live solely according
to the '_Kur_.'... These places in Bohemia are fortunately so
accustomed to Royal visitors that a Queen and an Oriental Prince
create very little stir."[17]

  [17] The Queen of Saxony [his cousin] was staying at Marienbad.

After paying a flying visit to the German Emperor at Eger the
Prince and Princess arrived in London on August 19. The Marchioness
of Lorne came to express the Queen's regret at her inability to
receive the travellers, as she was about to set out for Scotland.
The Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh welcomed
Prince Charles and his wife with warm sympathy. The young Duchess of
Edinburgh had changed greatly since the first time Prince Charles
saw her at Livadia in 1869. Then she left the impression of a
charming child, but now she appeared with all the character of a
young mother.

During their three weeks' stay at St. Leonard's the Prince and
Princess made many excursions to Brighton, Oxford, Woolwich,
Chislehurst, and the neighbouring country seats of the nobility.
The visit to Oxford, with Professor Max Müller as _cicerone_,
was of especial interest to the Prince, who was much impressed
by the ancient University, with its glorious colleges. By the
courtesy of the Secretary of War, Gathorne Hardy, Prince Charles
was able to make a minute inspection of the Woolwich Arsenal. The
Prince was astonished to find that the heaviest naval guns for the
British fleet were still built on the muzzle-loading principle,
and endeavoured, without much success, to convince his guide,
Major-General Simmons, of the advantages of the breechloading

Several very pleasant hours were spent at Lord Brassey's castle and
on board his yacht. Lord Brassey had visited Roumania on several
occasions, as he was interested in the Offenheim railway concession,
and was, therefore, no stranger to the Prince. A couple of visits
were also paid to Holmebury House to Lady Mary Anne Alford and her
brother, Mr. Leveson-Gower, whose brother, Lord Granville, had
formerly been in communication with Roumania as Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs.


"We shall commemorate in quiet and grief the birthday of our dear
daughter on the 8th of September. She was the light of our home
life. Now this anniversary will only teach us, as each year comes
round, that this earthly life, with all its pleasures and sorrows,
is but the preparation for a better life, and that, therefore, we
must not cling too much to the things of this world. England by
no means seems full of this sentiment. I believe that in no other
country has materialism gone to such a length as here. People
live solely to enjoy their lives--_et voilà tout_. Commerce and
industry, therefore, flourish, which bring in money, and money is
the essential requisite for English comfort!

"I discussed the social condition of England with Max Müller, and
derived much benefit from the insight into the situation here which
I owe to him.

"Roumania is a _terra incognita_ here, and the sympathy with Turkey
is so great that it is useless to struggle against this folly.
Nevertheless, I have placed myself in communication with several
influential Englishmen.

"In spite of the cutting cold winds, we continue our sea-bathing,
and derive much benefit from it...."

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord Derby, in reply to a letter from Prince Charles, who expressed
his regret at not having met the Foreign Secretary in London,
professed his deep concern at being unable to pay the Prince a visit
before his departure from England.

On the way home Prince Charles visited the Oriental Congress in
London, where representatives of all Eastern nations were assembled.
Amongst others, the Prince made the acquaintance of Sir Henry
Rawlinson, the decipherer of the cuneiform inscriptions; of Léon
Rosnez, the learned exponent of Semitic languages; of Sir Henry
Bartle Frere; of Sir John Lubbock and Charles Kingsley. The majority
of these were presented to Prince Charles at a Mansion House banquet
given in honour of the Oriental Congress. The quaint ceremonies, the
ancient costumes of the civic dignitaries, the luxury and wealth of
the table appointments, and the excellent music discoursed during
the dinner all contributed to attract the Prince's attention and

The homeward journey lay through Paris, where the ruins of the
Tuileries awakened melancholy reflections; Strassburg, which still
bore plain traces of siege, to the Weinburg where Prince Charles
Anthony was feverishly awaiting their arrival. The meeting was most
affecting, and the memories awakened by the deep mourning of his
children almost overcame the aged Prince, whose bodily infirmities
were increasing with every year. The stay at the Weinburg ended on
October 8. Prince Charles Anthony's bodily suffering, though borne
with heroic courage, threw a melancholy shadow over the otherwise
happy home life of the Hohenzollern family.

With their return to Sinaja the grief of the unfortunate parents was
constantly aroused by the absence of their dear one from the rooms
which once were enlivened by her presence; the very gloom of the
weather seemed to encourage this melancholy mood.

_From the_ GERMAN EMPEROR, _September 26th, 1874_.

"I was very pleased to make the acquaintance of the bearer of
these lines (the Roumanian Minister of War) and to see him at our
manœuvres, which appeared to interest him greatly. My best
thanks to you for the letter he brought me. I think it most natural
that your journey this time should have been undertaken solely on
account of the health of both of you, and that, moreover, your mood
was not such as to care to make any visits except in the narrowest
family circle. Let us hope that another time you will give us the
pleasure and joy of seeing you here. In any case I am happy to have
spoken with you, though only for a short time in Eger.

  "With a thousand greetings to your wife,
  "Your sincere Cousin,

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _November 28th_.

"We quitted Sinaja three weeks ago with heavy hearts to return to
Bucharest. The weather remained beautiful until a week ago, and
our longing for the mountains was increased; the more so as the
empty rooms of the Palace can never appear lively. We endeavour to
distract ourselves as much as possible and invite people to dinner
every day, but nothing can make us forget the dear voice of our
child, which we miss everywhere and at all times.

"I opened the Chamber yesterday. My speech was short, and touched
only on practical questions.

"The question of the commercial treaties is on the high road to an
immediate solution, the only difficulties are matters of detail.
We are now negotiating with Austria-Hungary, whose interest it
is to enter on closer relations with us both politically and
commercially. Even now the Porte cannot grow resigned to a defeat
which is due to its own lack of skill. England, France, and Italy
will have no course left but to adopt the same line as the three
other Great Powers; their representatives here are quite willing
to influence their Governments in our favour. We have every reason
to be satisfied with our Diplomatic Corps; France and England, in
particular, have sent us amiable and experienced men, who have
already travelled throughout the country, and can judge of our
circumstances with intelligence. They have both pleaded for the
commercial conventions in their reports."

       *       *       *       *       *

A most interesting and important report on the condition of the
Servian forces in 1874 was received on January 9, 1875. M. Sturdza
prefaced his remarks by insisting upon the extreme difficulty
of ascertaining the truth about Servia: Chauvinism and love of
exaggeration conspired to keep strangers in the dark. He had,
however, been able to discover enough to prove that the Servian
troops were, strictly speaking, no army at all. Both quality and
quantity left much to be desired, whilst the standing force of
5000 men was hardly sufficient to keep order in the interior. The
permanent force of cavalry amounted to but one solitary squadron,
whilst only one battery was armed with modern guns. The fortresses
were in an indefensible condition, as their sole armament consisted
of the guns which the Turks had left there. The Territorial Army
was of still less value than the standing army. Without officers
and without equipment or proper arms it in no way deserved serious
consideration. The political situation of Servia also gave rise to
considerable doubt as to the stability of Prince Milan's Government.
The Press constantly urged the Croats, Slavonians, and Hungarian
Servians to rebel against Austria. Prince Milan had flouted Germany
by his openly expressed sympathy with France, whilst England's
favour had been lost by the anti-Turkish policy of the Ministry.
Russia, Servia's best friend, had supported the Ministry, until
it applied to the French Ambassador in Constantinople for his
assistance in the Swornik question. Count Ignatiew was so much
exasperated by this step that he counselled the Porte to resist the
demands for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from that fortress.

The attitude of the populace of Montenegro and Herzegowina towards
Turkey threatened most serious complications in January 1875. The
massacres of Christians at Podgoritza late in 1874 still remained
unpunished, though the instigators had already been sentenced by
Turkish Courts. Representations to the Sublime Porte resulted in the
preposterous demand that the Montenegrins, who had been the cause
of the disturbance, should be tried by a Turkish Court before the
sentences on the Ottoman officials were carried out. Eventually
the Ambassadors of the Powers succeeded in persuading the Porte to
abandon this claim.

Prince Milan's popularity had suffered greatly by his favouritism
and caprice, whilst his Ministry seemed to aim either at forcing him
to abdicate, or at least at putting such difficulties in his way
that the Powers would be forced to intervene, and thus effect his
fall. His long stay in Paris in 1874, together with his unbounded
extravagance, gave rise to most unfavourable comment. "It is
asserted that the Prince's debts now amount to the whole of his
private fortune. Bills of exchange arrive every day from abroad and
cannot be paid. His landed property in Wallachia will be invaded.
Expedients for borrowing from all sides are seen at the Palace. Many
people here, even peasants, are owed money. The civil list has been
spent six months in advance."


"... I only now realise the magnitude of the work your Highness has
undertaken, a work which demands the highest form of heroism, the
heroism of patience! To sow without the hope of enjoying the harvest
demands a degree of faith such as is not common in the present day.
If I were younger, I would enthusiastically offer my services to
the warden of European culture on the Danube, and would leave him no
peace until the schools and universities had become the pride of his
people and an example to the whole world. Guns are wanted; railways
are wanted; but, above all, schools are wanted; they are the most
sacred duty of all! It is often hard to love or to benefit our
neighbours, but we can all love and benefit our own posterity. When
the Budget of Love (education) is as high as the Budget of Hatred
(war), the Eastern Marches will be under the protection of Europe
even without treaties.

"Public opinion in England remains unaltered--the arrival of a
telegram from the Danube makes us tremble in every limb. Two reasons
for this are apparent. Humanity is the slave of phrase, and the
phrase, 'integrity of the Ottoman Empire,' is as much a matter of
course to the English as 'Britannia rules the waves.' Such phrases
have a firmer hold on English policy than on French or German. The
Turkish funds form the second reason...."

       *       *       *       *       *

On February 14, 1875, Prince Charles received the Spanish
Ambassador, who came to announce the accession of Alfonso De Borbon
y Borbone "by the Grace of God and the National Will King of Spain."
Don Gherardi was received with every honour usual on such occasions
at the European Courts. Though this step of the King of Spain was
entirely due to his personal relations to the Roumanian Court, and
not to any political motive, it nevertheless caused much excitement
in diplomatic circles, as it was practically tantamount to the
recognition of the independence of Roumania. The Sublime Porte at
once demanded satisfaction from Spain, and declared that Turkey
would not recognise the new kingdom until such satisfaction had been


"One of the most ridiculous and narrow-minded of political interests
is the unbounded importance attached to the Spanish notification to
Bucharest, which is treated as seriously as though the whole Eastern
Question depended upon it. The English papers, followed by those of
Berlin, never tire of discussing this matter from every point of
view. It is truly ridiculous, but, on the other hand, discloses the
still prevailing aversion from your emancipation."

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _March 19th, 1875_.

"We lost all communication with abroad and the interior for a
whole month in consequence of heavy snowstorms. Many accidents and
considerable losses have occurred which will be more severely felt
here, where misfortunes, as well as prosperity, are ascribed to the
Government, than elsewhere. It is hard to realise the sufferings
of the poor peasants: famine and typhus raged in several villages;
and it was impossible to send them help! No one dared to go out of
doors on account of the multitude of wolves which infested every
locality in search of food. According to official reports, these
brutes have devoured a number of human beings and cattle, whilst the
bears have done equal damage on the mountains! The total suspension
of railway traffic has caused a most unwelcome loss of 3,000,000
francs to the State at a moment when the deficit had been covered
with difficulty. Trade also has suffered materially, as all business
was interrupted; the Exchequer has had no money for the last ten
days, as no remittances arrived from the districts--and all payments
had to be suspended in consequence! All this had a serious effect on
every one; discontent and ill-humour prevail everywhere!...

"The slowness of the present thaw will, it is to be hoped, prevent
larger inundations; the streets in town, however, are in an
incredible state; locomotion is only possible in sleighs--which are
in imminent danger of being capsized. This happened to us last week,
but we escaped unhurt. Elisabeth was delighted at the adventure, but
I am ashamed at having been upset in my capital! Our hound, Mentor,
was so terrified by this accident that he refused to get into the
sleigh again, and went home on foot....

"Russia and Germany have declared themselves willing to negotiate
commercial and consular conventions with us. England regrets that
she has not been able to frustrate the _fait accompli_, but,
nevertheless, makes a _bonne mine à mauvais jeu_. Yet she could
not help inciting the Sublime Porte, by her very anti-Roumanian
representative in Constantinople, to issue the ridiculous protest
about the Spanish notification. This was an ill turn to Turkey,
as an innocent affair was expanded into a _cause célèbre_.... The
expenditure of 5,000,000 francs (for warlike purposes) produces
not a little disquiet, and has set England against us; and yet
England is one of the keenest competitors for the contract! Very

       *       *       *       *       *

On March 28, 1875, the Chambers legislative period of four years
came to an end. Not only was it the first time that one and the same
Chamber had sat for the full term, but it was also the first time
that the same Ministry had both opened and closed the Chamber, an
achievement which speaks volumes for the progress and development of
the Principalities during this period.

Prince Charles accepted the presidency of the Bucharest Jockey
Club, founded by Mr. Vivian, the English Consul-General, in April
1875. At a banquet on April 18 the Prince expressed the hope that
the foundation of the Club would be beneficial to horse-breeding in
Roumania, and restore the industry to the position it held in the
time of Frederick the Great, who procured part of his remounts from


"My life is so quiet and lonely that my connection with the outer
world is actually based on confidential letters and the newspapers

"Nevertheless, I am very well posted, and am daily better able to
appreciate that one sees, hears, and judges all the more clearly for
being more concentrated and quiet. Unfortunately I cannot say that
the policy of the young German Empire satisfies me at present.

"The demand on the Italian Government about the Papal Guarantee law
appears to me to be out of place. Difficulties increase every day in
the religious-political field, and it does not seem clear how we are
to get out of it without entrenching on matters of Catholic belief.
I certainly am no Ultramontane; but my objective sense of justice
revolts against our tactics, groping wholly in the dark against
a power which possesses an unparalleled spiritual influence. Our
alliances at present are more of a personal nature than based upon
mutual interests. Fortunately the universal desire for peace has
now gained the upper hand everywhere.

"Everything seems to be going well and quietly with you; it is to be
hoped that the elections will not cause too great excitement in the
country. However, you are already more or less accustomed to these
agitations: and with _sangfroid_ one may regulate much which at
first appears to be overwhelming."

       *       *       *       *       *

As a matter of fact, with the exception of a couple of student
demonstrations in Bucharest, the elections took place in perfect
peace and order, and resulted again in a large majority for the
Conservative Government. The Opposition, it is true, attempted to
prove that the Ministry had influenced the elections, and twelve
Liberal judges of the first instance resigned as a protest.

One of the first duties of the new Chamber was the election of a
successor to the venerable Niphon, the Metropolitan of Bucharest,
who died suddenly on May 17, 1875, at the age of eighty-four.
The body, in accordance with a strange old custom, was seated
on the archiepiscopal throne in the Metropolie, dressed in full
canonicals--a picture of peaceful and spiritual dignity. Countless
numbers of orthodox believers thronged the church to kiss the
Metropolitan's hand for the last time. All through the night priests
chanted before the altar, whilst high and low, rich and poor,
passed in one long line before the dead Prince of the Church.

Owing to the great heat it was found impossible to comply with the
custom of carrying the seated corpse to the monastery of Cernica.
Four priests therefore held the chair on a hearse open on all four
sides, and thus bore the venerated priest to the burial-place of his
predecessors. Many of the spectators threw themselves to the ground
as the procession passed them.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _June 21st, 1875_.

"I write to you to-day with painful emotion, after an escape from
a great danger.... The railway journey to Giurgiu, when I was
accompanied by a number of senators and deputies, as well as the
return journey as far as Filaret, passed uneventfully; at the
last-named station the train crossed over to the loop line. The
engine had the tender in front.

"I looked out of the window and noticed that the train was moving
on to a line at Dealu-Spirei, where a ballast train was already
standing. I sat down quickly and said to those who were with me in
the saloon-carriage: 'Sit down, there is going to be a collision!'
At the moment a violent shock took place, throwing my companions
on to the floor; I was thrown in my armchair against the table
opposite. A second shock threw me backwards, breaking the chair;
my sword was bent round my knee and probably caused the contusion,
but unquestionably saved my leg. Every one hastened to help me, but
I got up unaided and said a few reassuring words. We had all blows
about the head; Davila was bleeding....

"The tender and the engine were both derailed and ran into the sand.
Three carriages of the ballast train were destroyed and a couple
of our carriages were much damaged.... We were about one mile from
Cotroceni, and walked there in spite of the heat.... Fortunately
Elisabeth first heard what had happened from my own lips!"


"God has clearly protected you! You can imagine the tremendous play
that imagination possesses when so great a distance divides us....

"I know from experience how tedious injuries to the shin bone are;
on reckoning up my own threefold experiences of that kind I find
that I spent a good six months' time on the _chaise longue_!...

"I prefer to be silent about our policy--it is most unpleasant
for us that the Czar of Russia should be hailed on all sides as
the apostle of peace. Radowitz is said to have conducted himself
passionately and without tact: his immediate transfer to Athens is
discussed. I congratulate you on your successful elections; it is
quite clear that the longing for material development has gained the
upper hand over the empty aims of the dreamers!"

_From_ THE SAME.

"The excitement over the Church struggle is beginning to abate.

"The blunders of the Government and the Ultramontane party mutually
set each other off. It is a pity that they are not confined to one
side, for then the crisis would be hastened to the general benefit.

"I had an opportunity of going thoroughly into these questions with
the Emperor during his visit here. He is inclined to a conciliatory
attitude, but is not sufficiently informed. I have made him
understand much, for which he was grateful, and which he is the
readier to believe since I adhere to the basis of the May laws, but
condemn the petty method of carrying them out. The Emperor was full
of touching sympathy with us, asked minutely after you, and was very
well pleased with the course of your policy."



During the month of August 1875, the situation in Eastern Europe
suddenly assumed a threatening aspect, through the outbreak of an
armed insurrection against the Turkish rule in Herzegowina, actively
supported by Servia, Montenegro, and Bosnia, and countenanced
(at any rate in secret) by Russia. The Servians were foremost in
clamouring for war, hoping by the prowess of their own army in the
field of battle and the assistance of Austria and Russia to shake
off finally the hated rule of the Sultan.

The oppressed and persecuted Christians of the north-western portion
of the Balkan peninsula had watched the steady progress and constant
development of their brethren in Croatia, Servia, and Montenegro
with curious eyes, whilst they themselves were still groaning under
the heavy Ottoman yoke. Nor, indeed, was this feeling of despair
and exasperation confined to the Christian inhabitants alone, for
the Bosnian Mohammedans, who had hitherto fought for the Sultan
and whose ancestors, in order to retain their possessions, had
embraced Islam, now joined the Christian insurgents in aiming at
the separation of Bosnia and Herzegowina from the Ottoman Empire.
The secret debates in the Servian Skuptschina resulted in the
presentation of two addresses to Prince Milan, one advocating
the proclamation of peace to be published, the other offering
him 3,000,000 ducats and an army of 40,000 men to support the
rebellion--to be kept secret. Montenegro was only waiting for a
signal from Servia before commencing open hostilities.

The manifesto of the insurgents demanded the autonomy of Bosnia and
Herzegowina under a Christian ruler; in return for this they pledged
themselves to recognise the suzerainty of the Porte and to pay
tribute in the same way as the other vassal States of the Ottoman
Empire. An attempt by the Great Powers to maintain peace through the
mediation of their consuls failed owing to the insurgents refusing
to place any confidence in the execution of the reforms promised by
the Porte.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _October 3rd, 1875_.

"The disturbances in the Balkan peninsula, though apparently quieted
for the moment, are still far from settlement. The insurrection is
making great secret progress and gathering force like an avalanche.
As the original motive was neither a political nor a national one,
but merely a rebellion against oppressive taxation from which the
Christian peasant hoped to free himself by force of arms, peace will
not be restored until radical reforms put an end to the misrule of
the Pachas. Oriental Christians are thoroughly tired of Turkish
misgovernment, and but for the _entente_ of the Northern Powers
serious complications would long ago have arisen. As it is, they
are only delayed; they certainly are not entirely done away with.
Diplomacy is incapable of solving the Eastern Question; the East
alone can solve it on the field of battle by a combination of the
nations directly interested! Our present policy is to await the
advantage of events; the financial ruin of Turkey will then aid us

"In Servia everything is topsy-turvy, and the end will be either
a war or a revolution. In any case serious times are coming for
us, and no one knows when a clear insight into this muddle will be
obtained. For my own part, I want to gain time in order to regulate
various questions of economy, such as the re-purchase of the
railways; I should also like to increase the military strength of my
country. Our new arms will not be delivered before spring."


"Matters are progressing slowly but surely in the Empire. The
German nation adheres to the Emperor and the Empire, whilst many
Cabinets only yield to force of circumstances. In South Germany the
Württemberg Army Corps has been able to assimilate our principles so
thoroughly that it is almost on the level of a Prussian Corps. The
Bavarians, too, are very industrious, and take great pains to bring
their army organisation up to our standard, in spite of certain
hostile elements whose aim it is to frustrate this object, and who
have succeeded in preventing Prussian instructors from being sent
there, and Bavarian soldiers from coming to us to learn their work,
which Württemberg has done for the last eight years.

"I found your dear father as full of mental vigour as ever, but,
unfortunately, quite unable to walk; on the other hand, he possesses
remarkable skill in managing his invalid chair, in which he moves
about the room without any assistance! Your mother, brother, and
sister seemed happy and in good health, and the family circle was
uncommonly merry. A water-colour in your mother's room greatly
interested me; it represents you handing the insignia of his
office to a Metropolitan, and you look like a Father of the Church
yourself. It seems to me that in your part of the world a ruler has
more influence in the appointment of the high dignitaries of the
Church than here--a truly enviable state of affairs....

"I am enjoying these warm autumn days in peace and quiet, after
having drained the cup of inspections to the dregs. I am always
willing to fulfil my duties, but there are limits, especially when
one is no longer as young as one was. I had to attend manœuvres
in Württemberg, Bavaria, Silesia, and Mecklenburg, and as these
countries do not exactly lie close together, I dashed from one to
the other by rail, like a state messenger. Victoria and I spent six
enjoyable weeks in the spring in gorgeous Italy, just in time to
reassure the apprehensive political amateurs who were excited by
absurd rumours of war.

"William[18] is in the first form at the Cassel Gymnasium. We think
that the next two years, while he is growing up, will be beneficial
to his development; he likes being there. Henry really seems to be
taken with the idea of a sailor's life; we shall therefore soon have
to prepare him for this career."

  [18] The present German Emperor.

       *       *       *       *       *

The declaration of the agents of the guaranteeing Powers that they
would not protect Servia from invasion unless the aggressive policy
of the Ristitch Ministry was abandoned led to the fall of the
Ministry towards the end of September. This event was regretted by
none except the adherents of the _Red_ Party, who, however, retained
the reins of power. A saying current at the time made the following
striking comparison: "Servia is peopled with Ministers, like

_To the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _October 22nd, 1875_.

"Your kind letter was a source of real joy to me. God's best gift
to humanity is loyalty; and I think He must have given you a double
measure. That we, who are separated from all our loved ones for
life, are doubly rejoiced to find ourselves remembered, I need
not tell you, nor that your sympathy with our eternal regret has
comforted us. At this moment we are suffering an unexpected and
uncommon trial; Elisabeth felt an ever increasing difficulty in
walking this summer, which we attributed to malaria, dampness, and
a tendency to rheumatism. For the last few days she has remained in
bed, lame in both feet. I need not tell you how great is our terror
after the experiences of both our families! The affair, however, has
now taken a turn for the better....

"I was greatly interested by what you wrote about your children:
so intelligent and simple an education must certainly make them
thorough in every way. I find it hard to think of you surrounded by
such big sons....

"Great excitement prevails just now in Servia; I think the young
Prince is either steering towards a war or a revolution! It is true
at present he is enjoying his honeymoon with his pretty wife,
who is closely related to all the great families of Moldavia. The
Servians would certainly have preferred to see their ambition
satisfied by the choice of a 'real Princess' as a consort for the

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _November 27th, 1875_.

"... So long as the suzerainty was merely an empty form, restricted
to the payment of tribute or to impediments in affairs of treaties,
mints, and orders, Europe was justified in declining to hear our
complaints; but from the moment that our dependence on the Porte
hinders our economical development, hampers our financial reforms,
and damages our credit, we can reasonably demand that a sharp
political line of demarcation be drawn between an Empire which
is incapable of any reform and a flourishing young State which
has given Europe material guarantees during the last few years!
I recently had a conversation on the subject with the Austrian
representative, who admitted that this was the correct view of
the situation, but that a precipitate step might compromise the
excellent position which Roumania occupies to-day. I replied that,
before all else, I desired the preservation of peace, in order
to gain time for the execution of all necessary reforms, the
re-acquisition of the railways, and the construction of connecting
lines, and that it was the business of the Great Powers to secure
us a position which corresponded to the interest and dignity of the

"Unfortunately the result of this Eastern tangle cannot be foreseen.
Do the three great Northern Powers really desire peace? And will
they ever succeed in restoring peace? There are too many factors
to be taken into consideration; Turkey seems to have been given up
at last (in the public opinion of Europe); even the English are
being forced to accustom themselves slowly to this idea, which will
certainly cost them much. When once considerations for the Porte are
abandoned, the solution of the Eastern Question, which frightens
the diplomats of Europe, will be materially simplified. Roumania
is destined to become the Belgium of the Lower Danube; why do the
Cabinet hesitate to declare this? We can wait; but, as far as Europe
is concerned, it would be a guarantee of peace in the East.

"I opened the Chambers to-day with a short and powerful speech from
the throne, which I am sure will make no unfavourable impression
in Europe. The disturbances in Herzegowina could not be passed
over in silence, but were mentioned with such caution that public
opinion cannot be disquieted. Our relations with the Turks are
strained: they will not grant us even the smallest concession; they
actually refuse to concede us the name Roumania; all this is to
their own disadvantage.... Greece has begun to stir; deputations
from Thessaly, Epirus, and Crete have appeared in Athens, and their
proposals have been very favourably received. The aggrandisement of
Greece is the only salvation for that unfortunate country."

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _December 1875_.

"The Eastern Question will shortly be solved; what could only have
been expected to happen in the course of years will have already
come to pass. The chief point is that France and England have at
length begun to realise that the 'sick man' can no longer be helped.
Turkey perishes through the financial ruin she has brought upon
herself! For the distant observer it is interesting to note that
the eyes of all are turned towards Roumania, whose moderation is
highly appreciated everywhere. This moderation is the only means by
which Europe can be prepared for the approaching independence of
your country--an independence which must be founded on the belief
of its necessity, and when it comes, must come as a surprise to
nobody. I congratulate you on your political reserve and on the
art of waiting, the exercise of which you seem to have mastered in
opposition to the character of the Roumanian nation. Precipitate
action would be a great mistake, and could not be excused, even
were the peace of the country at stake; the whole of Europe would
discountenance Roumania if she were to arouse a Continental war....

"I would willingly send the Crown Prince an extract from your
letter, but I must tell you that he has at present no influence
either on home or on foreign policy, the direction of which lies
exclusively in the hands of the Chancellor.

"In this Eastern Question Germany only occupies the third place
after Russia and Austria; but, when the decisive moment for weighing
the respective interests of those two States arrives, you will find
that Germany has reserved for herself the option of placing her
weight on that side of the balance which seems most advantageous to
the development of the German Empire...."

       *       *       *       *       *

The projected reforms, which were to place Christians and
Mohammedans on an equal footing--on paper--were published by the
Sublime Porte in December, but failed to awaken much appreciation
either abroad or at home, where the financial crisis assumed
threatening proportions. The Sultan's mind was at this time
apparently occupied chiefly by the idea that he had been bewitched,
and by constant demands for money, regardless of the fact that his
troops were dying by thousands from cold and hunger in Herzegowina,
and that the salaries of all officials remained months in arrear.

In spite of the so-called _entente_ of the Powers, a strong rivalry
was noticeable between Russia and Austria, especially with regard to
the eventual attitude of Roumania.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _February 8th, 1876_.

"The Austrian representative inquires what we shall do in the event
of Russian troops occupying the country; the Russian sounds us
to find out whether we repose any confidence in Austria-Hungary;
but both adjure us not to act hastily. They desire peace, because
they grudge each other the solution of the Eastern Question, and
because neither is prepared for war. It cannot be denied that we are
suffering from this indecision, and are exposed to every possible
danger. So much is certain, that Russia is concentrating troops on
the Moldavian frontier, and that General Ignatieff declared to the
Turkish Ministers in the presence of my representative, Prince Jean
Ghika, that his Government would seize the Danube Principalities as
a pledge as soon as the Turks occupied Servia and Montenegro! It is,
of course notorious that you cannot weigh every word of the Russian
Ambassador in Constantinople in a goldsmith's scales; yet we must
not ignore these heedless comments.... We are resolved to repel with
armed force any occupation, no matter from which side it comes. We
naturally cannot hold out against a Great Power, yet we shall be
able to preserve our standing point without, as formerly, meeting
the army of occupation as our saviours....

"Matters are not progressing favourably in Servia. The population
of that portion of the East has fixed its eyes on Montenegro, which
enjoys great authority amongst the Slavs, and great respect from the
Turks. Prince Nicholas, with whom I am on the best terms, is treated
with especial consideration and leniency by Russia and Austria, a
thing which unfortunately cannot be said of the young Milan."

       *       *       *       *       *

On April 6, 1876, Prince Milan sent his uncle, M. Catargiu, to
inform Prince Charles that he had decided on war with Turkey, and
hoped that Roumania would not remain content with the _rôle_ of
a passive spectator, as it was to the interest of both countries
to free themselves from the Turkish suzerainty. Prince Charles,
however, did not abandon the strict reserve with which he had
hitherto received similar communications.

The startling news of a deficit of 30,000,000 francs, at a time when
the political situation rendered an increased expenditure on the
army essential, led on April 11, 1876, to the fall of the Catargiu
Ministry, which for five eventful and, on the whole, prosperous
years had assisted Prince Charles in the consolidation of the
Principalities. General Floresku was entrusted with the formation
of the new Cabinet, which, as it included two other generals,
was promptly dubbed the "Cabinet of Generals" by the Opposition
Press. Strange to say, the life of this _quasi_-military government
depended on the votes of the eight bishops, as the supporters of the
Government disposed of thirty-seven, and the Opposition thirty-four
votes in the Senate.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _April 26th, 1876_.

"The greatest excitement prevails here, and there are rumours of
conspiracies and revolutions, which do not, however, daunt me. I go
straight ahead and do my duty. My chief anxieties are the condition
of our finances and the serious situation in the East.... Servia is
in a state of great agitation, and is driving with all sails set
towards war. I warned Prince Milan not to expose his throne and
country to danger by a hasty step; but he declared that he could no
longer master the current, and had to choose between a war and a
revolution! Quite recently I called upon him to delay taking action,
and informed him that he must not reckon on Roumania, which would
observe the strictest neutrality. He received this exhortation in a
very bad humour."

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet another step towards the coming war was the outbreak of a
revolution in Bulgaria, where a petition had been circulating
for several weeks to induce the Sultan to convert that Vilayet
into a constitutional kingdom. A _manifesto_ was issued by the
secret National Government of Bulgaria in Bucharest, calling all
Bulgarians to arms, as the hour of their liberation had arrived.
This _manifesto_ was published broadcast throughout the Bulgarian
Vilayet, and met with enthusiastic response everywhere.

In the meantime, the "Cabinet of Generals" was forced to resign
owing to its inherent weakness, and a "Ministry of Conciliation," as
Prince Charles termed it, was formed by M. Jepureanu on May 8, 1876.

Prince Charles welcomed the two Vice-Presidents of the Senate,
Prince Jon Ghika and Demeter Sturdza, whom he had not seen for more
than five years, with a few friendly words on the presentation
of an address from the Senate on May 14. A few days later the
Prince expressed his regret to M. Sturdza that he, whom he had
always trusted, should have adopted during the past five years an
anti-dynastic policy in personal opposition to the Sovereign. The
Roumanian statesman replied that the only excuse he could offer was
that he had misunderstood the Prince's motives, and thought that he
had allowed himself to be induced by the views of _one_ party to
measures which would be of no benefit to the country.

_From the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _May 22nd, 1876_.

"Ever since your last letter reached my hands the rapt attention
of Europe has been fixed on Stamboul and the seething Turkish
provinces. This state of affairs reminds me of the time before 1864,
when every conversation about the solution of the Schleswig-Holstein
Question ended thus: 'Let us wish the Danish King long life, that
the conflict may be delayed as long as possible.' But Frederick
VII. died suddenly, and misfortune was at the doors. The situation
to-day is the more favourable in that none of the Great Powers have
any longing to fight, because, God knows, enough blood has been
shed these last few years. So far as we Germans are concerned, the
Eastern Question possesses no immediate interest for us: our only
care is the protection of our countrymen, on whose account our
iron-clad squadron is now manœuvring."

       *       *       *       *       *

A revolution in the palace at Constantinople resulted in the
deposition of Abdul Aziz in favour of Murad V. on May 30, 1876; but,
though the accession of the new Sovereign brought with it plenty of
promises of reform, the situation remained as threatening as before.
Almost every day fresh reports of unheard-of cruelties and massacres
were received from Bulgaria, where _bashi-bazouks_ were suppressing
the insurrection with barbarous severity.

The attitude of England now engrossed the attention of Prince
Charles, as the following extracts will show:

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _June 9th, 1876_.

"The most noteworthy incident of the present day is the energetic
awakening of England, which has suddenly assumed, so to speak,
a position 'on guard,' and, relinquishing its passive attitude,
is commencing an aggressive policy against Russia. Should this
positive attitude of England secure the peace of the world, she will
deserve the highest appreciation; but whether the future position
of Roumania will be bettered by it is quite another question! The
disclosure of the Russian aims, contained in Ignatieff's proposals
(if, indeed, they are the least true), is very curious, and the gain
to Roumania by its elevation to a kingdom is very problematical. The
connection with the Porte is by no means as heavy a burden as the
supremacy of Russia!"

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _June 24th, 1876_.

"The situation in Constantinople remains unaltered by the
change of rulers or the assassination[19] of the Ministers. The
system of corruption is so deeply rooted in every branch of the
Turkish administration that no Government will ever succeed
in exterminating it. The proposed reforms are and will remain
empty promises, which gain no credit either with Mohammedans or
Christians. The insurrections will, therefore, even in the most
favourable circumstances, continue to exist until the Ottoman Empire
is shaken to its foundations, if it is not overthrown entirely.
Smaller States will then arise, which will possess a more or less
protracted vitality.

  [19] A fanatic forced his way into the Turkish Council Chamber on
  June 15 and killed two Ministers--Hussein Avni and Reschid, besides
  wounding the Minister of Marine.

"England has at last gauged the situation correctly: Lord Derby's
declaration in the Upper House, maintaining that the Treaty of Paris
only guarantees the integrity of Turkey from attacks from abroad,
but that none of the signatory Powers can intervene between the
Porte and the Tributary States, is most significant. If all the
Great Powers were to adopt this--the only correct point of view--the
Oriental conflict would be localised, and we should thus avoid
serious complications. The vassal States and the various Provinces
must be allowed to break their horns. If they succeed in emerging
victorious from the struggle with their suzerain, _tant mieux_! If
not, they do not deserve to be independent countries.

"The Servians will not wait for the 'green-table' decisions of
diplomacy: they will decide their fate themselves. Bulgaria is in a
state of great agitation; revolutionary committees have been formed
everywhere to incite the populace to throw off the Turkish yoke. We
are saddled with the thankless task of impeding the communications
of the committees here with those in Bulgaria, and with preventing
the invasion of Turkey by armed bands. We had repeatedly to act with
energy, and arrest the leaders with their troops; they were, of
course, liberated in a couple of days, but their weapons were seized.

"... Servia is ready for war, and inquiring what will be the
attitude of Roumania in the event of Turkish warships steaming up
the Danube? The Servians, moreover, are not on the best of terms
with Roumania owing to our strictly neutral attitude. Germany,
on the other hand, is convinced that the Turks, in spite of the
condition of their finances, are still capable of considerable
military efforts, and will annihilate the Servians in a war; and she
has, through the medium of her agent, congratulated the Roumanian
Government on its attitude...."

       *       *       *       *       *

The insurgents in Herzegowina proclaimed the Prince of Montenegro
as their ruler, whilst the Bosnians placed themselves under Prince
Milan, who now forwarded a _quasi-ultimatum_ to the Porte, demanding
the incorporation of Bosnia in the Principality of Servia under
the suzerainty of Turkey. Roumania seized the opportunity of
reminding the Sublime Porte of certain disputes which still remained
unsettled, in spite of the loyalty shown by the Prince's Government
to the conventions. The following seven points were then submitted
to the Porte:

(1) The recognition of Roumania's individuality as a State.

(2) The addition of the Roumanian Agent to the Diplomatic Corps in

(3) The regulation of the position of Roumanians in Turkey, and the
recognition of Roumanian consular jurisdiction over them.

(4) The recognition of the inviolability of Roumanian territory.

(5) The conclusion of extradition, commercial, and postal
conventions between Turkey and Roumania.

(6) The recognition of Roumanian passports.

(7) The definition of the Roumanian frontier at the Delta of the

Servia declared war on June 30, 1876, followed a couple of days
later by Montenegro. The Servian forces amounted to 56,000 men,
concentrated on the line Alexinatz and Deligrad, whilst Prince
Nicholas mustered 24,000 men, in addition to 4000 insurgents from
Herzegowina. The Turkish force consisted of 97,000 men, divided
into four columns, under Suleiman, Mehemed, Achmed and Osman
Pachas, the commander-in-chief being Abdul Kerim. The fortune of
war did not favour the Servian insurgents under the Russian General
Tschernaiew, who were beaten near Babinaglawa on July 9, and
eventually forced to fall back behind the Servian frontier. The
Montenegrin troops, however, defeated Selim Pacha on the 16th and
17th July, and compelled Moukhtar Pacha to retire on Trebinje on the
29th. The course of the war showed that the Servians had completely
over-estimated both their military spirit and their material
resources for war, and they were only saved from annihilation by the
intervention of the Powers on their behalf in obtaining an armistice
for fourteen days, from September 16 to October 1.

In Roumania, in the meantime, a most inopportune attack was made on
the late Conservative Government by the Radicals, who demanded a
full inquiry into the causes of the deficit, and the prosecution of
twelve former Ministers for the three following offences:

(1) Violation of the Constitution and public liberty.

(2) Extravagance in the expenditure of public money.

(3) Abuse of power when in office.

The debates in the Chambers proved conclusively that the Ministry
was no longer able to stem the tide of party passion; and on M.
Jepureanu handing in the resignation of the Cabinet on August 4,
1876, M. Bratianu was entrusted with the formation of the new
Liberal Cabinet.

The reports of the _Daily News_ about the "Bulgarian Horrors,"
confirmed by Mr. Baring's report, caused a complete revolution in
the Turkophile sympathies of Great Britain. Mr. Baring stated
that fifty-four Bulgarian villages had been burnt down, and about
10,000 people massacred; no less than 2500 corpses were counted in
Batak alone. The English Secretary, however, pointed out that the
Bulgarians had also committed intolerable outrages on the Mohammedan
population, and took considerable pains to expose Russian intrigues
in the Vilayet.

Yet another change of rulers took place in Constantinople on August
31, 1876, when Abdul Hamid succeeded his brother, who was no longer
responsible for his actions. The new potentate wisely adopted many
economies, and endeavoured successfully to gain popularity with the

The situation, however, became more and more serious, and a
suggestion was received from St. Petersburg that the Roumanian
Government should be sounded as to its attitude towards a
Russo-Turkish war. An evasive answer was sent, to the effect that,
whilst Roumania hoped for the continuance of peace, her sympathies
were with the Bulgarians and all Christians who suffered under the
Turkish rule; the Principalities would always value the friendship
of Russia.

M. Cantacuzino, the Roumanian Agent in Russia, reported that
influential circles in Russia were antagonistic to Roumania,
because she had not taken up a decided attitude towards the present
struggle. The whole of Russia, with the exception of the Czar
himself, was intent on war. Prince Charles decided at once to send
Bratianu and Col. Slaniceanu (Minister of War) to Livadia, where
the Czar, the Czarewitch, Prince Gortchakoff, and the Minister of
War, Miliutin, had assembled. On arrival at Livadia, M. Bratianu was
immediately pounced upon by Count Ignatieff to explain to him the
absolute necessity of an agreement regulating the passage of the
Russian army through Roumania.

Prince Gortschakow also referred to this question, and suggested
a non-political military convention between the two countries.
Bratianu replied that no difficulties would ensue if the war met
with the approval of the guaranteeing Powers, but that this consent
must be clearly and definitely expressed. The Russian Chancellor met
this opposition with the threat of treating Moldavia and Wallachia
as integral parts of the Ottoman Empire, and therefore liable to
invasion without further parley. Bratianu, by no means disconcerted,
represented that Russia could hardly commence the liberation of the
Turkish Christians by defeating a Christian army, and declared that
the Roumanian forces would oppose the passage of the Prut by an
invading force.

On parting, Prince Gortchakoff remarked: "We shall soon come to
terms if war ensues; and Roumania can only gain by it!" To this
Bratianu replied that a complete understanding would be in the
interests of _both_ States; and that he would willingly enter upon
negotiations to that effect.

The opinions of the Roumanian Ministers were divided on this point;
Bratianu considered an understanding with Russia to be the best
policy, D. Sturdza advocated the strictest neutrality, whilst
Jonesku, the Foreign Minister, urged close adherence to Great

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _October 16th, 1876_.

"I heard to-day of the mobilisation of the Roumanian army and
its concentration in Northern Moldavia! What is to be understood
by that? Is the march of the Russians through the country to be
opposed; or will Roumania side with Russia? All this is not clear to
me! The pusillanimous policy of England has completely entangled the
whole Turkish-Christian Question. Austria-Hungary is crippled by its
dualism, the German Empire is shrouded in aristocratic silence, and
only Russia perseveres with an iron persistence in her far-reaching

       *       *       *       *       *

In reply to an _ultimatum_ presented by General Ignatieff, the
Sublime Porte conceded an armistice of two months, commencing
on November 1, to apply to the Servian and Montenegrin forces
alike. Prince Milan's troops, under the command of Tschernaiew,
had suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the Turkish
troops, and were again saved from annihilation only by the direct
intervention of Russia.

_From the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _November 18th_.

"... I received the following from Prince Bismarck: 'The situation
of the Prince is serious, although I am not convinced that Russia
will proceed to war, if nobody endeavours to restrain her from doing

"'In the event of war, I do not think Prince Charles ought to
resist the Russian proposals too seriously, nor throw himself into
their arms. It would be best if he shielded himself behind his duty
towards the Porte, and then yielded to force, which will probably be
applied from the North long before Turkey assumes the offensive.

"'He must not allow himself to be led away by ambition, but must
adhere to the treaties: his resources are not sufficient in the
face of two such armies to secure him the respect of the victor, if
he employs his forces. So long as he adheres to the treaties, he
can always appeal to Europe. That will always be a claim, though
not perhaps an indisputable one; still it will carry great weight
should the Russian campaign prove unfortunate eventually. I offer my
opinion here as if I were a Roumanian, and not a German Minister,
solely on account of my personal interest for his Highness!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Six Russian Army Corps were mobilised and placed under the command
of the Grand Duke Nicholas, as the Army of the South, on November
14, 1876. A circular note to the Powers assigned as the reason
for this step the futility of all diplomatic efforts to protect
the Christians of Turkey from the attacks of the Mohammedans. The
Czar, though desirous of peace, had therefore mobilised a portion
of his army, in order to obtain guarantees for the execution of the
principles proposed by Europe.

M. de Nelidow arrived at Bucharest from Constantinople on November
28, to negotiate with the Roumanian Government about the passage
of the Russian army, and the possible part which Roumania was to
play in the war with Turkey. The presence of the Russian agent was
naturally kept absolutely secret. Curiously enough, a Turkish agent,
Ali Bey, arrived on the same day to arrange a combination with
Roumania against Russia. Prince Charles declined to meet either of
these messengers, and instructed his Ministers to adopt a reserved
attitude, and to refer both to the Treaty of Paris.

Dem. Bratianu was sent to Constantinople in November to put the
Roumanian demands before the Conference which had assembled there,
and to endeavour to arrange a peaceful settlement. The Roumanian
demands were: the recognition of their neutrality; the regulation of
their attitude in the event of a war between Turkey and one of the
Guaranteeing Powers; and the cession to Roumania of a part of the
Delta of the Danube.

The efforts of the Conference to avoid the war came to a definite
end on January 19, 1877, when the Turkish Government declined every
proposal of the Conference as being opposed to the "integrity,
independence, and dignity of the Empire."

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _January 20th, 1877_.

"The hour of danger is approaching, and Roumania will shortly be
the scene of great political and military events, which Europe
will follow not without agitation. In any case our position will
be difficult, as we shall be drawn into the complication whether
we wish it or no. Politicians here are much more anxious about the
result of a Russo-Turkish conflict and the future of Roumania than
I am, as I have marked out my path from the beginning:[20] _to
conclude a military convention with Russia, and, if necessary, to
fight with Russia against the Turks_. It is true that opinion here
is much divided on this subject, and that every effort is being
made _to separate us from Russia. There are Powers that demand that
we should protest against the entry of the Russians, and that we
should retire our army to Little Wallachia!_ You can imagine how I
received such a suggestion! Andrassy, with whom I am on friendly
terms, is acquainted with my views on this subject, and is not much
edified by them. The conflict with the Porte which the Constitution
has forced upon us was very welcome to me; Midhat is endeavouring
to allay it by every means; but since we demand more to-day than he
has the courage to give us, it is still an open question. The Turks
are concentrating considerable forces in Bulgaria, and are arming
the Danubian fortresses, which are in a miserable condition, with
feverish haste; the heavy guns are being brought up from the arsenal
at Constantinople and mounted in the forts, with much expenditure of
trouble, labour and money. All sorts of rumours are spread abroad
about the unsatisfactory condition of the Russian army, but my
information shows that it is ready for action, and certainly equal
to its opponent.... It is much to be regretted that Servia can take
no part in the war; it is only with the greatest exertion that a
corps of 15,000 men can be assembled, and they would assuredly show
no enthusiasm."

  [20] All words in italics are written in ciphered French in the

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _January 22nd, 1877_.

"On looking back over recent events the conviction is borne in upon
me that the fear which the Russian Colossus inspires in Europe,
coupled with the natural differences in the interests of the
Powers, have been the causes of the pitiful end of the Congresses
which started with such a flourish of trumpets. Had Europe been
united and less timorous, it might have intervened and begun those
Conferences at the time of the Servian War, instead of a whole
year later. Turkey could hardly have resisted if a pressure of all
the Powers had been applied at that time even without Russia, and
she would have conceded more than she can now afford to do after
her unquestionable successes in the Servian War and the complete
change in her interior economy. So much is certain after a long
and anxious period that the Conferences have resulted in a fiasco,
and that this fiasco has materially raised and strengthened the
_morale_ and authority of the Porte.... Roumania will be most deeply
affected by such a war, as the Russian base of operations can only
be Roumania; there is no other at her disposal. Resistance to Russia
is out of the question; you must therefore endeavour to reap the
greatest possible benefits from this impossibility. The material
advantages develop spontaneously, for the acquisition of money and
the increased value of all country produce will assume enormous
dimensions; the political benefits are, however, more difficult to
formulate. The permission to march through Roumanian territory, and
the establishment there of all that an army on an active footing
requires, is already half a declaration of war from Roumania to
Turkey. The latter, however, must recognise that Roumania cannot
prevent the entry of two or three hundred thousand Russians; the
only question that remains is whether Roumania will co-operate with
the advance of the Russian army and cross the Danube. I should
consider this most unwise, for in doing so Roumania will place
herself between two stools. If the Turks preserve their proverbial
powers of resistance, and so protract the war to an indefinite and
costly length, we have no guarantee that the Russians would not
conclude peace with the Turks in one way or another and abandon
Roumania, who would then be overwhelmed by Turkish malevolence.

"It is more than probable that both sides will soon become exhausted
in a localised war; the only question is, which of the two will give
in first. Russia's eyes will always be fixed on her own interests,
never on those of Roumania; and, since there is no such thing as
gratitude in politics, I recommend you to exercise the utmost

"Europe will not interest itself in a defeated and fallen
Roumania--it will only have regard for a free country which is
not tied down by treaties. Prudence and moderation are therefore
necessary at so critical a period, which will either prove to be a
wholesome era of transition for your country, or will bear the seeds
of its annihilation."

The efforts of the Russian diplomats in Constantinople now appeared
to be confined to delaying the advance of the Russian army until
a more favourable season of the year should have arrived. Prince
Charles Anthony thus sketched the possible results of the coming war
in a letter to his son dated March 1, 1877:

     "Russia will hardly gain great triumphs--a few military
     successes may be achieved, but certainly none of any political
     importance. The army and the Slav element must content
     themselves with a small modicum of glory, whilst the Czar
     Alexander may think himself lucky in returning to peaceful and
     normal circumstances, and in having mastered a movement which
     is of the greatest danger to Russia. The only tangible result
     of the whole Russian initiative will, perhaps, be that the
     suzerainty of the Porte over Roumania is transferred to Russia.

     "Roumania would thereby be supported by a stronger and more
     stable Power, with, perhaps, more freedom at home and abroad,
     but would certainly not achieve her longed-for recognition as an
     independent and equal State.

     "The forms of the suzerainty would perhaps be more equable and
     more pleasant, but the dependence, though tolerable, would
     always be felt.

     "This would merely be an exchange of _rôles_. Europe would then
     admire Russia's moderation, and would doubtless concede every
     demand made along the lines I have suggested. The sacrifice of
     Roumania would thus be a message of peace, on which would hinge
     the return to the universal _entente_."

A final attempt to settle the Eastern Question by means of the
London Protocol met with as little success as the efforts of the
Conference; and the Russo-Roumanian Convention was signed on April
16, 1877, by Baron Stuart on behalf of the Czar, and M. Cogalniceanu
on behalf of Prince Charles. The following were the chief articles
of the Convention:

(1) The Russian army to be granted a free passage through Roumania,
the Russian Government paying all expenses connected therewith.

(2) The Government of the Czar pledges itself to maintain and
protect the actual integrity and political rights of Roumania.

(3) The special regulations as to the march of the Russian troops to
form the subject of a special treaty.

(4) The Roumanian Government to obtain the ratification required by
the Constitution, and to proceed at once to the execution of the
stipulations of the treaty.

The Turkish reinforcements of the forces at Rustchuk and Schumla
caused the greatest excitement in Bucharest, indeed in the whole
of Roumania. Public opinion, influenced perhaps by the recent
failure of the Servian army in the field, declined to place any
confidence in the military efficiency of the Roumanian troops. The
incessant and exaggerated rumours of Turkish raids and passages
of the Danube created something like a panic in the capital, and
several over-anxious inhabitants quitted the country rather than run
the risk of experiencing the horrors of a Turkish invasion. Prince
Charles, however, had every trust and confidence in the ability of
his army to prevent the Turks from crossing the Danube.



By no means the least of the Prince's tasks was the reorganisation
and training of the Roumanian army, which at the time of his
accession was in the most deplorable condition. Moulded on the
pattern of the French army of 1859, and trained by a French _mission
militaire_, it reproduced many of the defects of the army, which
failed so utterly in 1870, and yet missed those qualities which
saved the Imperial army of France from dishonour in the field.
The young Prince was fully aware of the potent influence for good
that a well-disciplined army exerts upon the welfare of a nation,
and determined from the first to employ the highest moral and
material resources of his country to establish an army which, if
not formidable in numbers, should at least be worthy of respect in
point of quality. His nine years' service in the Prussian artillery
and cavalry had given him a thorough knowledge of the minutiæ of
military routine and discipline, whilst his active service on the
staff of the Crown Prince in 1864, and his familiar intercourse
with the leaders of the Prussian army had helped to train him in
the art of command. Prince Charles realised that a weak State like
Roumania, surrounded by its powerful neighbours, Russia, Austria,
and Turkey, must place its army, on a thoroughly satisfactory
footing, unless it were content to play the unsatisfactory part of
being forced to side, possibly against its will, with whatever State
was first to mobilise its forces, whilst its very weakness might
be the cause of a war. The safety and welfare of Roumania, he was
firmly convinced, rested on a sound military constitution, by means
of which its independence would some day be achieved on the field
of battle. No pains, therefore, and no exertions were too great to
devote to the training of his troops, who soon learnt to look up to
him as their example in all that a soldier should be. His absolute
impartiality and justice, his care for their well-being, and his
knowledge of every detail of warfare, made him as popular with his
officers as with his men.

From the outset Prince Charles endeavoured to mould the spirit of
his officers on that to which he had been accustomed in Prussia.
Shortly after his accession, he received a round robin from the
officers of the army, desiring that those officers who had taken
part in the Revolution of February 23, 1866, should be dismissed
from the army. Prince Charles received the deputation in the Palace
and addressed them as follows:

     "I have accepted your address, first, because I respect the
     feeling which has dictated this step; and secondly, that I might
     have an occasion of informing you of my views upon military
     honour and the duties of a soldier.

     "An address is apt to assume the appearance of moral pressure,
     such as no soldier can be permitted to exercise over the supreme
     head of the army.

     "The soldier's oath demands absolute obedience. Neither the
     acts of the head of the army, nor the motives which lead to
     them, admit of criticism; politics must have no influence on the
     soldier, whose sole duty it is to defend with his last breath
     his Sovereign and his country against every enemy.

     "I am fully convinced that you share my views, and recognise
     that your action is from every military standpoint inadmissible.
     It is on that account that I desire you to trust to my military
     judgment, and to leave to me to act in all that concerns the
     army according to my own conviction and sense of duty.

     "At the same time, I repeat, I appreciate the honourable feeling
     on which this address is based; but I also again urge that I
     demand at all times devotion and unreserved obedience from each
     one of you.

     "I have been and am still a soldier by inclination; and it is
     for that reason, as well as on account of the importance to
     the country of a well-disciplined army, that one of my most
     cherished aims will be to secure for it the position to which
     it has every right to aspire. I shall endeavour to become well
     acquainted with the army and its leaders, that I may be able to
     decide according to merit and justice, by utterly rejecting all
     party or personal interest.

     "Reckon confidently on this promise, and remember that I have
     come to create a future, and not to rely upon the precedents
     of a past which I ignore, and of which I would even prefer to
     remain ignorant."

The spirit of insubordination was even more rife amongst the
National Guard, as the following incident will show. Prince
Charles ordered the National Guard of Bucharest to assemble at the
parade-ground of Cotroceni on July 2, 1866. The President of the
Ministry reported to the Prince the day before that the National
Guard would refuse to muster as ordered, as a rumour had gained
currency that they were to be disarmed on account of their party
tendencies. They intended, therefore, to parade before the Chamber,
and invoke the protection of the Deputies against such a step.
The Prince, however, refused to change his order, and insisted
upon its execution. On arriving at Cotroceni the following day,
he found that only a couple of hundred men had assembled there.
An aide-de-camp was at once despatched to Bucharest to enforce
the order, whilst Prince Charles set himself at the head of those
present and marched with bands playing into the capital. Companies
then appeared from all sides, until some three thousand men were
collected on the Theatre Square. The Guard then marched past and
cheered their Sovereign again and again, though their behaviour had
given him every reason to consider them an element of danger rather
than of safety to the State.

The projected army reforms were hampered at every turn by the want
of money; on one occasion the Prince was even obliged to advance
money out of his private purse for the purchase of two batteries of
rifled guns from Krupp's factory.

The strength of the army, which the Sublime Porte had limited to
30,000 men, was to be organised into a standing force of 20,000 with
a reserve of 10,000 men; whilst a Militia of 30,000 and a Landsturm
of 50,000 were to be instituted. Every Roumanian who was fit for
service was liable to serve from the ages of twenty to forty in one
or the other category. Though the total number of men available thus
amounted to over 100,000, the great bulk remained untrained, and of
very little value for service in the field. The frequent reviews and
inspections which Prince Charles initiated proved that the troops
lacked cohesion, and their officers the ability to lead their men in
accordance with the principles of modern warfare.

The first attempt at practical and systematic manœuvres for the
Roumanian troops took place near Cotroceni on October 14 and 15,
1867, when the garrison of Bucharest, consisting of five battalions,
three batteries of four guns each, and one regiment of cavalry,
practised the three phases of an engagement. The operations were
directed by the Prince in person, who also bivouacked with his
troops after a march of about twenty-two miles. The march back to
Bucharest the following day gave an opportunity for skirmishing and
manœuvring. Before entering the town Prince Charles assembled
the superior officers, and pointed out the great want of training
displayed, and how much remained to be done before the army could be
fit to take the field; he did not, however, forget to mention that
the officers had hitherto had but little opportunity to practise
themselves in leading their men, and none at all in handling a force
of the three arms at manœuvres.

On the occasion of these first manœuvres a number of officers
received special promotion, but considerable excitement was caused
by this step, as two of them were not on the best of terms with
the Ministry. The Minister of War also complained that his opinion
was not asked before the promotions took place. Prince Charles,
however, exercised the right of promotion intentionally in order to
make good several cases of injustice which had arisen from party
feeling. The effect of this independent action on the army was
excellent, as it was clearly seen that from henceforth the army
would not be affected by the influence of the political party of the

The rifle selected by Prince Charles for the rearmament of his
infantry was the celebrated needle-gun of Prussia, 5000 of which
were to be delivered in March 1868, to be followed by another 15,000
during the course of the year. The ready aid offered by King William
to Prince Charles was promptly recognised by the Roumanians: "The
Prussians have sent us their best, whilst the French send us what
they have cast off."

Even in the matter of uniform the Prince insisted rather on utility
than show. The heavy gold lace of the officers was abolished; the
infantry received blue tunics (the artillery brown tunics), grey
trousers, and greatcoats; the cavalry were clothed as Hussars
instead of as Lancers.

The degrading corporal punishment of the bastinado was abolished
by a letter from Prince Charles to the Minister of War, dated May
21, 1868, and published in the official _Moniteur_. Prince Charles
retorted to the increasing interference of the foreign Powers in
Roumanian affairs with a redoubled zeal for the improvement of his
army, and hoped to raise the feeling of military honour among his
troops by abolishing so barbarous a punishment.

Another organisation for the army was passed by the Chamber on June
13, 1868, according to which the following five classes were to be
created for the defence of the country:

(1) The Standing Army and its Reserve.

(2) The Active Militia (Dorobanz and Frontier Battalions).

(3) The Sedentary Militia.

(4) The Citizen Guard, and

(5) The Landsturm.

Service in the first category was to consist of three years with the
colours and four in the reserve; only a third of the second category
was to serve with the colours whilst the remainder were allowed
furloughs; the third class only were called upon during a war; the
fourth was of no military importance, as it was formed from the
census classes, and permitted to elect its own officers; while the
fifth comprised the whole male population from the age of seventeen
to fifty not included in the former categories. This important
increase in the armed strength of the nation was achieved at the
trifling cost of £192,000, the total vote for the army amounting to

The 8th Infantry Regiment was raised on August 18, 1868, when the
existing Line Regiments received their 3rd battalions, and no less
than thirty-three Militia battalions were also to be organised. One
hundred and fifty non-commissioned officers were promoted to fill
the vacancies caused by this increase to the army.

A tradition had arisen in Roumania that the Minister of War was
ex-officio Commander-in-Chief of the army, and this led to the
political fluctuations and struggles being transplanted to the army
itself. Prince Charles, therefore, appointed a civilian, Bratianu,
Minister of War, to show that the Command in Chief was vested in the
person of the Sovereign, thereby enabling the army to devote itself
to its work of preparation for war without becoming involved in the
politics of the day.

Lieut.-Colonel von Krenski, of the Prussian army, arrived on October
8, 1868, to assist the Prince in his work of reorganisation; this
step caused the greatest excitement in French official circles,
where the absurd rumour gained ground that 6000 Prussian soldiers
had found their way into Roumania in disguise! The French _mission
militaire_, under Colonel Lamy, was thereupon withdrawn, and a
formal crusade against Colonel Krenski, the "representative of this
foreign policy," was set in motion. On his return to Berlin the
gallant Colonel was greeted with the pointed remark from his General
that his mission to Bucharest had caused more correspondence than
all the North German forces put together!

Prince Charles determined to establish a standing camp of
instruction for his troops, and finally settled on Furceni, in
Moldavia, on the left bank of the Seret, where plenty of wood for
huts was available. The regiments moved into camp in succession,
commencing in April 1869. In a letter to his father the Prince
alludes to his camp life as follows: "I am fairly well satisfied
with my stay in camp. The troops are capitally housed in the
barracks they have built themselves. The situation is fairly
healthy, as proved by the number of sick--200 out of 12,000 men;
whilst at Bucharest the proportion is 230 to 3000. Those troops
whose barracks are not completed remain under canvas. On my
arrival I found seven Line Regiments, four Rifle and two Engineer
battalions, the 2nd Artillery Regiment, one squadron of gendarmes,
and two of Dorobanz Cavalry, in addition to the Train, Sanitary, and
Supply Departments. I inspected a regiment every day, and lunched
with the officers of the various corps.... Both officers and men
like the camp, and the prevailing spirit is excellent. I promise
myself favourable results from camp life, especially with regard to
discipline and _esprit de corps_."... On his return from Livadia
the Prince attended the manœuvres before closing the camp, and
noticed a very marked progress, especially on the occasion of the
passage of the river Seret being forced.

The following year, 1870, Prince Charles demanded an even higher
standard of efficiency at his inspections, as the troops had
had ample time to become acquainted with their new drill and
regulations. Though the spirit of the regulars and militia left
little to be desired, the National Guard repeatedly proved their
worthlessness and want of reliability, especially during the
excitement of elections at Plojeschti, where the local National
Guard had to be disbanded.

Some slight changes in organisation took place in April 1871,
when the term of service with the colours was increased to four
years. The Dorobanz and Frontier units were now formed into a
Territorial Army, the infantry of which was now termed "Dorobanzi,"
and the cavalry "Calaraschi," the cavalry of the Line being named
"Roschiori." The Fire Brigades, hitherto organised in companies
and battalions, now formed part of the Territorial Army, and were
trained as gunners.

Prince Charles made the acquaintance of Colonel Charles Gordon, who
was then a member of the European Commission, on April 20, 1872.
The conversation turned chiefly on military matters, particularly
the great strategical value of Galatz, which Gordon declared could
easily be made into a strong fortress, as its position between the
Danube, the Prut, and the Seret would only render necessary works
against the approaches from the north. Colonel Gordon created a
most favourable impression upon the Prince, who showed the greatest
interest in his many war services in the Crimea and in China.

A Roumanian military decoration for long and loyal service for
officers was founded in June 1872, in silver for eighteen, and in
gold for twenty-five years' service. The oval medal was to be worn
with a blue ribbon, bordered with yellow. A similar medal in silver,
to which a pension of 300 francs was added, was struck for the
benefit of non-commissioned officers who had served as such with
credit for twelve years.

Late in September 1872, 11,000 men were assembled in a bivouac at
Baneassa, north of Bucharest, to take part in manœuvres near
Tirgoveschte. A series of engagements was practised over a deeply
intersected and wooded country, and gave the artillery in particular
an opportunity of distinguishing itself. At the close of the
exercises Prince Charles presented the first medals for good conduct
to a number of deserving non-commissioned officers.

In reply to the Prince's inquiry as to the best method of spending
the 8,000,000 francs voted by the Chamber for either barracks or
fortifications, Count von Moltke replied, in the spring of 1874,
that he could not understand the Roumanian desire for a large
standing army, as a peace strength of 10,000 men, to be increased
to 25,000 men in war, would be ample, as their only task was
to maintain order at home. Roumania was in the happy situation
of not requiring an army at all, and could employ the vast sums
which military establishments required elsewhere in furthering the
progress of the country. "How happy should we be, if we were not
forced to keep up so large an army, and could employ the hundreds of
millions for other purposes!" He declared, on the other hand, that
a Landwehr system would be of excellent service in educating and
disciplining the nation.

A longer report from the General Staff advocated the contrary view:
"In the event of a war with Turkey it would appear most suitable for
the Roumanian army to concentrate at Bucharest or near the Danube,
to oppose invasion at that point, and to stop or delay the hostile

"Turkey will make use of the Varna-Rustchuk railway to effect the
concentration of her forces, and will attempt to cross the Danube
near Rustchuk, making Bucharest her first objective.... If the
Roumanian army is assembled at the commencement of the war in a
fortified camp near the Carpathians instead of near the Danube, it
might easily happen that the enemy would seize the opportunity of
raiding the exposed capital....

"It would be better to avoid delusion and the expenditure of large
sums on projects from which the country can expect neither safety
nor utility. The army is the support of the State, and in Roumania,
where so many possibilities have to be considered, the training and
care of the army is of paramount importance."

The manœuvres of 1874 were attended by Russian, Austrian,
Prussian, Servian, Dutch, and English officers. The First Division
was to force the passage of the Buseu River and occupy the town of
Buseu, which the Second Division was to defend. The leading of the
troops on the first day, however, was not very satisfactory, and
Prince Charles was forced to speak very plainly at the _critique_.
But the operations of the following days gave great satisfaction,
and Colonel Asis Bey remarked to Colonel Morris: "This is serious.
I had not expected so much!" At the conclusion of the manœuvres
Prince Charles presented thirty-two colours and standards to various
regiments, and afterwards reviewed the troops. Colonel Morris,
in replying to a toast given at a gala-dinner the same evening,
remarked: "All that I have seen of this young army has filled me
with astonishment, and I shall report to my Government how Roumania
has progressed." Prince Charles wrote his father the following
account of the incident: "I thanked him for his praises, and said
that, coming from the mouth of an Englishman, they possessed
especial value, as his countrymen were in absolute ignorance of the
state of our affairs.... The Turk remarked to the Englishman that it
would be best to give Roumania her independence, and to conclude a
treaty of alliance with it. Most significant!"

The threatening situation in Eastern Europe in October 1876 led
to a partial concentration of the Roumanian army in anticipation
of the mobilisation order, which it was felt could not be long
delayed. Four Divisions were made up to their war strength to take
part in manœuvres, and at the same time to be ready to meet any
eventuality. A report from the Minister of War showed that only
25,000 Peabody rifles with insufficient ammunition were available.
Prince Charles wisely insisted that the First and Second Division
should be armed with this rifle, and the Third and Fourth should
receive the now practically obsolete needle-gun. The greatest
activity prevailed in the War Office, and eight new Dorobanz
Regiments of two battalions each were raised at once.

The unceasing care with which Prince Charles had watched the
training of his army in peace was to bear its fruit in the great
war which now ensued. The Roumanian troops proved that, though they
lacked the glorious traditions of the older armies, they were fully
their equals in discipline, courage, and endurance; and they more
than justified the confidence which their Prince placed in them.



The long-expected declaration of war between Russia and Turkey
took place on April 23, 1877, accompanied by a proclamation to
the Roumanian nation from the Grand Duke Nicholas, announcing his
intention of entering their territory in the hope of finding the
same welcome as in the former wars. A special sitting of the Chamber
assembled on the 26th of the same month to confirm the Convention
with Russia; and a council of war held the same evening decided
to occupy the line of the Sabar, to reinforce the troops on the
Danube, and to garrison Calafat, as the precipitate advance of the
Russians, coupled with the assent of the Chamber to the Convention,
rendered Roumania liable to a Turkish invasion. The question now to
be solved was whether the Roumanian army under Prince Charles was to
take an active share in the campaign, and, if so, on what terms. It
was, however, eventually decided to remain passive for the present,
though the Grand Duke seemed anxious to draw Prince Charles into
co-operation with the Russian army. The mobilised Roumanian troops
were organised as follows, under the supreme command of Prince
Charles, with Colonel Slaniceanu as Chief of his Staff:


     First Division, Colonel Cerchez: 2 brigades, 1 cavalry brigade,
     3 batteries.

     Second Division, Colonel Logadi: 2 brigades, 1 cavalry brigade,
     3 batteries.

     Corps Artillery--6 batteries.

SECOND ARMY CORPS: General Radovici.

     Third Division, Colonel Angelesbu: 2 brigades, 1 cavalry
     brigade, 3 batteries.

     Fourth Division, General Manu: 2 brigades, 1 cavalry brigade, 3

     Corps Artillery--6 batteries.

The total strength of the army amounted to 50,000 men with 180 guns,
with a reserve of about 70,000 men of the National Guard and Militia.

An important resolution, adopted by the Chamber on May 11, 1877,
declared that a state of war existed with Turkey, and expressed
confidence in the justice of the Powers, authorising the Government
to use every endeavour to obtain the recognition of Roumanian
independence at the close of the war. The desire of the Russian
Commander-in-Chief for the assistance of the Roumanian army
found frequent expression even in these days. At an interview at
Plojeschti the Grand Duke demanded active support from Prince
Charles, as he felt convinced that his own force was not sufficient
to cope with its task, and added that at the first council of war
he had asked for reinforcements amounting to another three or four
Army Corps. The least he expected was that Prince Charles would hold
the left bank of the Danube until the Russians had finished their
strategical deployment.

Prince Charles replied that he intended to keep his troops under
his own command, but that the Russians would be benefited by having
their right flank secured. The Roumanian garrisons of Oltenitza and
Giurgiu would not retire until relieved by Russian troops. At the
same time he declared himself anxious to take an active part in the
war, but only on condition that his proposals were agreed to.

The Grand Duke returned the Prince's visit on the following day, May
15, accompanied by his son and a numerous suite, which included M.
de Nelidow, who had conducted the negotiations with Roumania, and
was now in charge of the diplomatic correspondence at headquarters.

In reply to an inquiry in the Chamber on May 21, Cogalniceanu
declared that Roumania was practically independent, as Europe would
not force her to return to her former bondage. It was then decided
by a large majority to create an order, "The Star of Roumania," as
the first act of Roumanian independence. This order consists of five
classes--viz., Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, and Grand
Cross,--whose members wear a star of eight rays depending from a
crown and surcharged with a cross in blue enamel, which displays the
eagle of Wallachia. The ribbon is red, bordered with blue, and the
motto runs: _In fide salus_.

Prince Charles Anthony entirely agreed with his son's attitude
towards Russia, and stigmatised the mooted co-operation, with its
inevitable subordination and incorporation in the Russian army, as a
"political _felo de se_."

"The _possibility of a Russian defeat_," he wrote, "no matter how
improbable, must also be considered: an untouched reserve on this
side of the Danube, which could only consist of the Roumanian army
intact, would in that case possess an immense importance!"

Prince Charles, accompanied by his Staff, set out on the 27th
to inspect his troops at Crajowa and Calafat, and found them in
excellent order and discipline. At 7 P.M. the Prince ordered the
bombardment of Widin to commence, and a lively cannonade ensued,
during which three Turkish shells exploded in the immediate
neighbourhood of the Prince. The _sangfroid_ of their ruler did
not fail to arouse a feeling of appreciation in the Roumanian
nation, who on his return greeted him everywhere with indescribable

The Czar in the meantime declared that, if the Roumanian Government
wished to take part in the campaign, it must do so at its own
expense and risk, and must, moreover, place the army under the
command of the Grand Duke. "Russia has _no need_ of the support of
the Roumanian army. The force which has been put into the field
against Turkey _is more than sufficient_ to achieve the high object
which the Czar had in view in commencing the present war."

Prince Charles attended a council of war at the Russian headquarters
in Plojeschti on June 1, 1877, and, whilst discussing the advance
into Bulgaria, casually pointed out the strategic importance of the
junction of the roads at Plevna. The Grand Duke urged the Prince to
cross the Danube near Widin as soon as possible, but Prince Charles
was unable to comply with this request until the material necessary
for bridges had been collected.

The Czar arrived at Plojeschti a few days later with a suite of
over 700 persons, amongst them Prince Alexander of Battenberg, then
a subaltern in the Hessian Dragoons. In a private interview with
Prince Charles the Czar expressed his intention of lending Roumania,
which already owed so much to Russia, a helping hand, but declined
to enter into the vexed question of Roumanian co-operation in the
war. A curious incident occurred during the Czar's return visit to
Bucharest, when a large bouquet, thrown from a house, fell close by
his carriage. The Czar started back, fearing a bomb, and only the
ready tact of Princess Elisabeth covered his confusion.

An important conversation took place between Prince Charles and
Gortchakoff, who definitely expressed the opinion that, though the
Delta of the Danube was essential for the development of Roumania,
Russia wants one of its arms, the Kilia. The Prince declared that
his first object was to preserve the integrity of his country, and
that any extension of the frontier after the war would be only
a secondary consideration. Gortchakoff appeared to be firmly of
opinion that the war would be short and glorious. He could not,
therefore, agree with the openly expressed wish of the Headquarters
Staff for the co-operation of the Roumanian army.[21] The reports of
the first engagements did not, however, fully bear out this belief;
for, though successful at other points, the Russians were beaten in
Asia at Bajaset, and were forced to withdraw from that town, whilst
Mukhtar Pacha compelled General Tergukassoff to retire to Igdir.

  [21] The Grand Duke, on hearing of this conversation, declared that
  diplomatists were much too eager to interfere in affairs which did
  not concern them.

"_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _June 11th, 1877_.

"At last the situation has somewhat cleared, and the presence of
the Czar under existing conditions may possibly be an important
starting-point for future developments. The declaration of
independence is perfectly justified; it is a _fait accompli_, which
must, in any case, be reckoned with hereafter. At the time this
declaration took place, four weeks ago, I feared a considerable
increase of the complications already existing, and could hardly
become reconciled to it. However, I always remembered that your
course of action must be based on motives of which we must be
ignorant. Your wisdom in seizing the right moment is again
confirmed. The foreign Press, although extremely surprised, has
become more or less reconciled to the altered situation, and even
the English papers have bridled themselves with decency....

"In my opinion the material military successes of the Russians will
be in Asia; the moral successes in Europe; and the conception of a
moral victory is so elastic that I see no reason why the war should
be prolonged beyond reasonable limits.

"The creation of a united State--Roumania-Bulgaria--of course
with the freedom of the Danube to the sea, would be a magnificent
creative idea, only the deep-seated difference of the nationalities
gives rise to weighty considerations."

       *       *       *       *       *

On June 28, 1877, the Grand Duke arrived at Simnitza, where the
Fourteenth Division had collected a number of boats preparatory to
effecting a crossing, aided by a vigorous cannonade the day before
along the whole line of the Danube. The Volhynian Regiment embarked
at 2 A.M. in absolute silence, and had barely landed when an alarm
shot was fired. A short engagement terminated in the retreat of the
Turkish force, and, in spite of hostile fire from the artillery,
General Dragomirow succeeded in assembling the whole of his Division
on the farther bank of the river, with the loss of about 30 officers
and 700 men. The construction of a bridge was commenced from both
banks simultaneously, though several sections were destroyed by a
sudden storm. The bridge at Braila remained intact, and was crossed
by Prince Charles on foot the following day.

Notwithstanding the fact that Roumania had so far taken but a
small share in the campaign, Prince Charles was able to supply the
Russian headquarters with trustworthy information about the enemy's
movements, especially with regard to the garrison of Widin, under
Osman Pacha, who was now reported to be on the march to Rahova
with fifteen battalions and two batteries. Though an advanced
party of Cossacks seized Plevna on July 8, they were unable to
retain possession of that town, a couple of Turkish battalions from
Nikopoli forcing them to retire on the following day.

Prince Charles now quitted Schimnik to rejoin his headquarters at
Pojana, near Calafat, where he was better able to superintend the
movements of his army. In a letter to the Princess he alludes to the
Russian estimate of his army as follows: "The Russians do not want
to recognise the services we have rendered them; Grand Duke Nicholas
has sent a long report to the Czar, dealing with the course of
events from the beginning of the war to the crossing of the Danube,
and does not give a single word to the Roumanian army. 'The only
thing,' he says about the country, 'is that the Roumanian railways
are indifferent.' That may be so; but without our indifferent
railways, and without the Roumanian troops, the Russians would not
be in Bulgaria by now."

On July 13 General Gourko succeeded in crossing the Hainkioi Pass,
after encountering very great difficulties on the narrow mountain
paths. The guns barely managed to keep up with the columns. On the
other hand, serious news was received from Plevna on July 20, for,
though the Russians succeeded in occupying Lowtscha, General von
Schilder-Schuldner was forced to beat a speedy retreat halfway to
Nikopoli, screened by his cavalry, leaving the Turks in possession
of Plevna. The Russian headquarters now requested that the Roumanian
army might occupy Nikopoli and take charge of the prisoners of war,
but Prince Charles declined to accede to this without some definite
agreement about the employment of his troops. The attitude of the
Russian diplomats now appeared to suffer considerable change, so
far as the employment of the Roumanian army was concerned. Prince
Gortchakoff permitted himself to remark to the Princess, with marked
sarcasm: "_Toujours pas de blessés Roumains!_" to which she readily
replied: "_Non, Dieu merci, nous n'avons que très peu jusqu'à

The Prince wrote as follows to his consort:

     "Yesterday, General Sefcari, commissioned by the Grand Duke
     Nicholas, arrived here to inform me that the defeat of the
     Russians at Plevna was caused by us: '_Dites au Prince que
     les Roumains sont cause que nous avons été battus à Plevna!_'
     The Russian headquarters maintain that a portion of General
     Krüdener's troops were retained at Nikopoli because we had
     refused to occupy that fortress and guard and transport the
     Turkish prisoners. This is true; I always mean to refuse such
     police duties; my army is too good for that. On the other hand,
     I have declared my willingness to occupy Nikopoli and advance
     with the Russians against the 35,000 to 45,000 Turks at Plevna.
     This offer does not find favour with the Russians, as they do
     not wish to share a victory with us...."

Roumanian troops, however, proceeded at once to garrison Nikopoli,
where the Roumanian flag was hoisted on July 29, and a message was
sent to the Grand Duke demanding a separate base of operations in
Bulgaria, and the undivided command of the Roumanian army as the
only condition which Prince Charles could accept.

A report was received at 4 P.M. on the 31st that the Russians had
suffered a severe defeat at Plevna, and were retiring panic-stricken
on Sistow; this was confirmed at 9 P.M. by the following despatch in

  "WEDNESDAY, _July 19-31, 1877_, 3.35 P.M.
  "Headquarters of the Roumanian Army.

     "The Turks having assembled in great force at Plevna are
     crushing us. Beg you to join, make a demonstration, and, if
     possible, cross the Danube, as you wish. This demonstration
     between Jiul and Corabia is indispensable to facilitate my


Prince Charles replied that the Fourth Division would hold Nikopoli,
and that the Third would occupy the position quitted by the Fourth;
the want of torpedoes would prevent the passage of the river, as a
Turkish monitor was stationed near Rahova. The headquarters of the
Prince were now transferred to Corabia, where the bridge was to be
constructed, and a fresh _ordre de bataille_ drawn up in accordance
with the altered conditions:

The First Corps, consisting of three infantry brigades, one cavalry
brigade, and six batteries was to form a general reserve.

The Second Corps suffered no alteration.

The Corps of Observation, under General Lupu, consisting of two
Divisions with six batteries and two cavalry regiments, remained at

The Russian advance, in the meantime, had come to a complete
standstill, whilst some forty battalions and 200 guns under General
Sotow awaited the arrival of six further Divisions before attempting
to drive Osman Pacha away from his entrenched position at Plevna. A
prolonged series of despatches now passed between the Russian and
Roumanian Headquarters with reference to the bridge over the Danube.
If the latter was constructed at Nikopoli, the army would probably
be merged in that of the Grand Duke, whilst at Magura it would
secure independent action, at the same time cutting off Osman's
communications with Sofia and the East.

The impatience of the Grand Duke at the repeated delays led to the
following despatch from Colonel Gherghel, attached to his Staff, on
August 16:

     "By order of H.I.H. the Grand Duke Nicholas I have the honour
     to communicate to your Highness that H.I.H. desires the Third
     Roumanian Division to cross the Danube at once at Nikopoli to
     unite with the Fourth. H.I.H. will visit the two Divisions as
     soon as they are concentrated."

Prince Charles refused to allow the Third Division to cross, as
he had no intention of allowing his army to be incorporated with
the Russian. This burning question of the command was, however,
satisfactorily settled by the 25th, when the passage commenced at
Corabia opposite Magura. Prince Charles crossed the Danube on the
20th, and arrived at the Imperial Headquarters at Gornija Studena at
half-past seven in the evening, where he was heartily welcomed by
the Czar and the Grand Duke Nicholas. The latter at once inquired
whether he intended to command his Corps in person, and received a
reply in the affirmative. The Grand Duke then objected that this
decision would give rise to difficulties, as Prince Charles could
not be placed under the command of a Russian General. The Prince
retorted that that was certainly out of the question, but ten
Russian Generals might easily be placed under _his_ command.

Whilst Prince Charles was resting from the fatigues of his journey,
the Grand Duke entered his tent, and on behalf of the Czar offered
him the command of the Russian troops before Plevna, which the
Prince, after some hesitation, accepted. A council of war was held
the following day at ten o'clock under the shade of a large tree to
discuss the future plans of operation, when it was decided that,
after the passage of the Roumanian army, the bridge at Corabia
should be broken up and transferred to Nikopoli, where it would be
of further use to the Russian army. Prince Charles maintained that
Osman was stronger than the Russians supposed, and that for the
present it was useless to resume the offensive.

As Prince Charles returned to Sistow, a terrible picture of the
horrors of war presented itself to his eyes. Long columns of
"ladder" wagons, laden with wounded soldiers from the desperate
struggles for the Shipka Pass, encountered the supply columns
bringing up food and ammunition. The most terrible confusion arose,
as neither column could pass the other. The groans and shrieks of
the wounded under a burning sun increased every minute, and it was
only with the greatest difficulty that the Prince's escort could
force its way through the disorganised mass.

From Corabia Prince Charles bade farewell to his wife in a letter
dated September 1st, 1877, which frankly recognised the importance
of the task which lay before him:

     "The command before Plevna is no easy matter: it will cost many
     a bloody battle before the Turks are conquered; nay, it may
     be questioned whether we shall succeed in this struggle! But I
     could not refuse the Emperor's offer, although I should have
     preferred my army to fight in its own sphere of operations. Now
     my troops will form the right wing, the Russian Ninth Corps
     the centre, and the Fourth the left wing. The Roumanian troops
     will cross our bridge over the Danube to-day. I shall review
     them first and then set out for Turnu-Magurele to proceed _viâ_
     Nikopoli to my headquarters at Poradim (27 miles from Nikopoli)."

Prince Charles found his new headquarters at Poradim a long
straggling Bulgarian village about four and a half miles from the
Turkish line of entrenchments round Plevna. Only one house at the
entrance to the village seemed fit to live in, but at the best it
was but a poor apology for a house. Half ruined, without doors or
windows, it offered every opportunity for a study of the discomforts
of campaigning. Here, as elsewhere, the noisome odour of corruption,
caused by the hundreds of unburied carcases of horses and other
animals, made the air terrible to breathe.

The following morning the Prince found the troops of the Russian
Fourth Corps greatly reduced in strength, as their effective
strength present for duty only amounted to from 12,000 to 14,000
men for twenty-one battalions. On inspecting the outposts on the
heights of Grivitza, Raditschewo, and Tutschenitza, the Prince
realised to the full the strategical importance of Plevna, and also
the immense difficulties in attacking the Turkish entrenchments.
Osman Pacha's communications with Suleiman Pacha were seriously
affected by the capture of Lowtcha by Prince Imeritinski and General
Skobeleff on September 6, and it then became possible to attack
Plevna from the south as well.

A General Order was drafted by the Prince and his Staff with a view
to the attack on the position, which was so warmly urged by the
Grand Duke and his Staff, but which was to be postponed for the

The troops now under the command of Prince Charles amounted to 107
battalions, 74 squadrons, and 442 guns. Total, 75,000 men and 8000

The Grand Duke Nicholas, whose temperament had suffered much
during the last few weeks, declared bluntly: "_Il faut attaquer
absolument_," to all the representations of the Prince, who was
firmly convinced that Plevna could not be taken before the arrival
of the expected Russian reinforcements. The Grand Duke, on the other
hand, was afraid that, unless Plevna was taken at once, Suleiman
Pacha would effect a junction with Osman, and thus outnumber the
Russian force.

The preliminary bombardment of Plevna by 146 guns commenced on
September 7, and continued throughout the night. Little or no damage
was done by this cannonade, to which the Turkish guns only replied
from time to time. Fire was again opened the following morning with
226 guns, chiefly concentrated against the Grivitza redoubt.

About noon Prince Charles noticed that the guns of his Fourth
Division were forced to retire before the fire of a Turkish
redan some 900 yards to their front. The 13th Dorobanz Regiment,
supported by the 1st Battalion of the 5th Line Regiment and a
section of artillery, were ordered to take the redan. The attack was
successfully carried out with a loss of two officers and 112 men
wounded and 20 killed, about the same time that General Skobeleff
gained possession of the Green Hill.

A council of war on September 10 decided to undertake a general
attack along the whole line at 3 P.M. the following day. The only
dissentient vote was that of Prince Charles, who thought that the
four days' bombardment had produced too little effect, but he gave
way to the opinion of the majority.

At eleven o'clock on the momentous morning of September 11 a hot
musketry fire was heard on the left flank, but owing to the thick
mist the cause could not be ascertained at once, and it was not
until 1 P.M. that Prince Charles received a report that General
Skobeleff had already been hotly engaged for the last two hours,
suffering severe losses. In the meantime the mist had lifted, and
at 3 P.M. the attacking columns moved in good order against the
entrenchments. After suffering terrible losses, the columns were
obliged to fall back, leaving innumerable corpses to mark the line
of their advance. Twice the Roumanian infantry reached the ditch
of the death-dealing Grivitza redoubt; twice, despite the utmost
gallantry, they were forced back. Prince Charles could no longer
watch this desperate struggle without taking share in it, and
galloped down from his post of observation to the spot where the
survivors of his gallant troops stood. Animated by the presence and
the praises of their leader, the soldiers demanded to be led once
more against the hitherto impregnable redoubt.

It is nearly half-past five o'clock; the Prince is going to join the
Emperor Alexander, with whom is the Grand Duke Nicholas, in order
to report to him on the state of affairs. The latter recognised him
from a distance, and met him with the anxious query, "How are things
going?" The Prince could only reply that the attack had miscarried,
although he had still hope that the first Grivitza redoubt may
be taken. Whilst he is still conversing with the Emperor, who is
very much affected, an officer of Cossacks rides up at full gallop
with the news that Turkish cavalry has broken out of Plevna and
is advancing along the Grivitza road! Everybody present implores
the Emperor to retire immediately from his point of observation,
and to return for safety to his headquarters. The Emperor cedes
to the general wish and returns to Raditschewo, accompanied by a
large military escort--a sad spectacle for those who were present.
The thunder of artillery, the rattling of musketry continue apace
although the day is drawing to a close. The Prince is still without
any news concerning the result of the attack on the Grivitza
redoubt, which he had ordered to be made. A battalion is drawn from
the reserve for the protection of the Grand Duke and the Prince. A
huge fire is lit, round which their Highnesses sit down with their
staff. Everybody is more or less overcome by the excitement of the
day, and conversation is at a standstill. Suddenly at nine o'clock
a horseman appears on the scene. He brings the unexpected, and yet
so anxiously longed-for news, that at half-past seven o'clock the
Roumanians, by a last effort, had taken the Grivitza redoubt, and
captured a Turkish flag and three cannon. Whilst at the same time
four Russian battalions successfully advanced on the works from
the south; but a second redoubt, constructed in rear of the first,
proved too strong to be assaulted; thus the Russians were held in

The news of this success, which had been delayed owing to the
officer having lost his way in the dark, acts like magic upon those
present. The Prince immediately sends the joyful tidings to the

General Skobeleff, whose independent advance was much criticised
at headquarters, succeeded in taking two redoubts on the Green
Hill, and demanded immediate support for his decimated force. This,
however, could not be granted, owing to the distance (ten miles)
from the reserve and the danger of the troops losing their way
across country by night. The thunder of the guns and the rattle
of musketry continued throughout the night, and only ceased at
daybreak. The losses sustained proved to be enormous--16,000 killed
and wounded, amongst them 2600 Roumanians.

A council of war, held the second day after the battle, in the
absence of Prince Charles, decided to summon General von Todleben,
the ever famous defender of Sebastopol, with the whole of the
Imperial Guard; to desist from further assaults until their arrival,
and to entrench the positions gained. A few votes (amongst others
that of the Grand Duke) were even given for the withdrawal of the
whole army behind the line of the Osma. The total want of initiative
shown by General Krylow, who commanded the centre, led to his
removal from the command of the Fourth Russian Corps, which was then
given to General Pomeranzew. Prince Charles assembled his generals
in the great battery near Raditschewo, and gave them orders to
shorten the line enclosing Plevna; the counter-entrenchments which
were ordered suffered considerable delay, however, as the Russian
troops carried no entrenching tools.

The second Grivitza redoubt was attacked by the Roumanians on
the 18th, but Prince Charles, who personally superintended the
attack, was compelled to recall his brave troops, as the Turkish
fire inflicted annihilating losses on the assaulting columns, who,
nevertheless, succeeded in reaching the ditch of the redoubt. The
losses amounted to 20 officers and 583 men killed and wounded within
two hours.

General von Todleben arrived before Plevna on September 30, and at a
council of war at once expressed the opinion that the Turkish army
could only be forced to surrender by means of a blockade. Plevna
must be completely surrounded before a blockade could be enforced,
and at least two more Corps were needed for this purpose. A Cavalry
Corps under General Gourko was formed to operate on the far bank of
the Wid, and to prevent Turkish supply columns from entering Plevna
on that side.

The Prince thus described the state of affairs in a letter to
Princess Elisabeth, dated October 5th, 1877:

     "The Imperial Headquarters Staff have at last realised the
     situation, and a large army is now to be concentrated here:
     several divisions of infantry, in addition to the Imperial Guard!

     "All these troops will be placed under my command, a
     distinction which cannot be over-estimated from a military
     and political point of view. General Todleben is appointed as
     my second-in-command, with Prince Imeritinski as Chief of my
     Staff: they are both pleased at being under my command, the
     latter, indeed, had before applied for the post, whilst the
     former told me that he was happy to serve under a German Prince,
     and especially under a Hohenzollern. I replied that I felt
     complimented at having the celebrated defender of Sebastopol at
     my side, and that I regarded him as my military preceptor from
     whom I had much to learn. We are already excellent friends, and
     understand each other perfectly. I told him candidly what I
     thought about the attack of September 11th and the course to be
     pursued now, and had the satisfaction of hearing from him that
     my proposals were absolutely correct then, and are so still."

A curious incident is related in his next letter:

     "Yesterday evening at nine o'clock (October 8), as I was at work
     with General Todleben and Prince Imeritinski, the aide-de-camp
     on duty rushed into the room to report that an alarm had been
     given along the whole line: large watch-fires were seen and
     guns were heard in the distance! The two squadrons of my escort
     saddled at once, and aides-de-camp and orderlies galloped up
     from all sides. I did not allow myself to be disquieted, and
     declared at once that it was a false alarm, for the night was
     so dark, the weather so terrible, and the roads so impassable
     from the downpour of rain, that it was impossible for the enemy
     to adopt the offensive. Several officers, who had been sent
     out, soon returned with the news that the Rifle Brigade of the
     Guard had lost their way, and had called for guides. Count
     Woronzow, the Chief of Staff of the Guard, at once rode to meet
     the troops; but small detachments of the Brigade wandered about
     the whole night, and did not assemble until this morning, stiff
     with cold and wet. The fires, which had appeared so large in the
     mist, were only those of our own bivouacs.... I am now rather
     more comfortably furnished; since the last few days I have
     managed to obtain windows and doors, straw mats on the floor,
     and had the roof repaired, so that the rain no longer falls into
     my bedroom....

     "The weather has been terrible for the last eight days, and the
     troops have suffered much in consequence: their boots simply
     rot on their feet in the melting snow: many have lost limbs
     through frost-bite, and the hospital tents are not sufficient
     to receive all the sick--more than 2000 men in the Army of the

     "... I visited the Roumanian troops in the trenches, where
     they are standing knee-deep in mud and water! The breastworks
     have fallen in in many places, so that they are exposed to the
     musketry of the Turks, and many men have been wounded during the
     last few days."

The sufferings of the troops were still further increased by
the destruction of the bridges over the Danube, and to the
discomforts of cold and wet was added the terror of starvation.
A number of disputes occurred between the Russian and Roumanian
foraging-parties, which culminated one day in a party of Russians
being marched past the Prince's quarters as prisoners!

The second Grivitza redoubt was taken, after a first unsuccessful
attempt, by the Roumanians on October 19, but the Turkish reserves
eventually forced them to retire, with a loss of 300 killed and 707
wounded. The Russians, however, succeeded in gaining possession of
the great redoubt at Gornji-Dubnik under cover of night on the 24th,
and thereby completed the investment of Plevna, from which Osman
could now only escape by forcing his way through the lines of the

The course of the investment proved uneventful until November 10,
when General Skobeleff took the Green Hill by a night attack, with
the comparatively trifling loss of 200 men. This important point
commands the town of Plevna, and its capture could not fail to
hasten the end of the siege. Every attempt, especially by means of
night attacks, was made by the Turks to drive the Russians out of
this position, but each attempt was defeated by the stern valour
of Skobeleff's veterans. In reply to the Grand Duke's summons to
surrender, Osman Pacha sent the proud and soldierly answer that
he had not yet exhausted all his means, and therefore could not
capitulate: that his honour as a soldier required him to hold out to
the last.

The whole Russo-Roumanian line investing Plevna was now divided
into six sections under separate commanders. The first and largest,
consisting of some thirty field works connected by shelter-trenches,
extended for nine and a half miles from the right bank of the
Wid to the Griwitza redoubt, the second ran from thence to the
Plevna-Rustchuk road, the third to the Tutschenitza Ravine, and the
fourth to Krtuschab, the fifth to the line of the Wid, and the sixth
completed the circle to the west of that river.

The difficulties of his position were thus described by Prince
Charles, November 17, 1877:

     "The command here is no easy task, for the General Staff often
     alter the dispositions, and the Imperial headquarters interfere
     directly on every occasion, thereby causing confusion. This has,
     however, been amended after some representations, and we are now
     left alone. The expression, 'under my immediate command,' in my
     last General Order, marks the altered conditions, and prevents
     any direct interference. It sometimes looks to me as though the
     Russians found me in the way!...

     "A few days ago I visited the Roumanian right wing opposite
     Oponetz, and ordered a heavy bombardment to be commenced against
     the redoubts. The Turks did not reply, which proves that their
     ammunition is running short; our outposts then advanced and
     occupied the nearest heights without resistance. We only lost
     two men. Plevna can only hold out for another fortnight at the
     most; we expect Osman to attempt to break through any day, which
     will be the sign that his supply of food has come to an end. The
     position held by Skobeleff is continually attacked by the Turks,
     especially at night; they hope to find there a means of escape.
     Skobeleff has been slightly wounded twice; it is a miracle that
     he has not met his death, for he is always in the thick of the

A Roumanian detachment, under Colonel Slaniceanu, after a hot
engagement took the Turkish works at Rahova, with a loss of over
300 men, on November 20, and two Turkish guns and 140 ammunition
carts fell into the hands of the victor. This success was followed
up by the occupation of Tzibar Palanka and Rasgrad-Mahala, whence an
attempt was to be made on Lom-Palanka.

Another period of stormy weather followed December 5 and increased
the already enormous difficulties of supply by carrying away
nineteen pontoons of the bridge at Nikopoli. The roads became quite
impassable; hundreds of horses succumbed to privation and overwork,
and lay rotting by the roadside.

The long expected attempt of Osman Pacha to break through the lines
of investment took place on December 10. A report was received the
night before that the Turks were bridging the Wid, followed at
half-past eight the next morning by the news that the besieged were
commencing a sally. On hearing that the Roumanians had occupied the
second Grivitza redoubt, Prince Charles at once repaired to that
vantage-point, and eventually to the heights commanding Bukowa. At
half-past eleven Prince Charles reported to the Czar by telegraph:
"The battle on the other side of the Wid has come to a standstill.
I can clearly distinguish the three lines, the Turks being caught
between two fires. The first prisoners are now on their way to me."

The reports which subsequently reached Prince Charles showed that
the course of the action was as follows:

     The Turks commenced a hot fire from the guns posted near the
     Wid at half-past seven, just as the thick morning mist lifted;
     several columns then crossed the river by the stone bridge and
     that constructed near Opanetz, and attacked the redoubt near
     Gornji-Netropol with such vigour that the 9th Russian Grenadiers
     were forced to retire, leaving eight guns in the redoubt. The
     next redoubt was also taken at the first rush, as the reserves
     had no time to reinforce the first line. The two Russian
     Grenadier Divisions, however, prevented any further progress
     of the attacking columns, though they were unable to regain
     possession of the lost redoubts. At ten o'clock the advance of
     the Roumanians against the enemy's right flank caused the Turks
     to form front to that direction as well. The struggle continued
     till noon, by which time the Turkish troops were completely
     surrounded, and their commander, wounded in the left leg by a
     splinter of a shell, then decided to surrender, as his force
     could neither advance on Sofia nor retire to Plevna.

     A white flag was hoisted on a cottage not far from the bridge
     over the Wid about 1 P.M., and a staff officer was despatched to
     find the commander of the nearest body of troops. A Roumanian
     officer, Colonel Cerchez, was the fortunate man to receive
     the message that Osman Pacha wished to see him. The Turkish
     Commander-in-Chief was having his wound dressed when Colonel
     Cerchez reached the cottage. He declined, however, to receive
     Osman's sword, as he had no authority to do so, and sent for
     General Ganetzki. On the arrival of the Russian General, Osman
     was forced to surrender unconditionally, as his situation was
     absolutely hopeless. No less than 40,000 men and seventy-seven
     guns thus fell into the hands of the victors.

An indescribable scene of confusion presented itself to the
eyes of Prince Charles, who, on hearing of the surrender of the
Turkish commander, proceeded to the bridge over the Wid, where the
decisive struggle had taken place. Russian and Roumanian Corps
alternated with long columns of prisoners and fugitives from Plevna;
thousands of carts, waggons, and horses, laden with the wretched
goods and chattels of the Mohammedan population, blocks the Sofia
road. A carriage, surrounded by Roumanian troopers, was suddenly
encountered, and proved to contain no less a person than Osman
Pacha, accompanied by Tahir Pacha, the Chief of Staff, and Tewfik
Pacha, the Chief Engineer. "The Turkish Commander is a man of middle
height and thick-set figure; his large melancholy eyes lend his
face a most attractive expression, and his whole manner is quiet,
dignified, and sympathetic." Prince Charles shook hands with him,
and expressed his admiration at the heroic defence of Plevna. The
Grand Duke Nicholas, who arrived at this moment, also expressed
his admiration of this feat of arms, and ordered the distinguished
prisoner to be treated with the utmost attention. Prince Charles
subsequently returned through Plevna to Poradim to report the course
of events to the Czar. The following day the Czar, after attending
a _Te Deum_ in the open air in celebration of the victory, sent for
Osman Pacha, who had not yet quitted the vicinity of Plevna. The
Turkish General was received by his Imperial Majesty in the presence
of the Grand Duke Nicholas and Prince Charles. After paying tribute
to the heroic courage with which Plevna had been defended, the Czar
returned Osman's sword as a mark of esteem, a compliment which the
latter briefly acknowledged with true Oriental courtesy.

It was decided by a council of war to reinforce General Gourko,
so that the projected advance on Sofia might proceed at once, and
Prince Charles's offer to observe Widin with two Divisions, whilst
a third escorted the prisoners of war to the Russian frontier, was
gratefully accepted, since demands for reinforcements were received
daily from all parts of the theatre of war.

Prince Charles took leave of the army investing Plevna with the
following order:


     "Your endurance and your heroic struggle have been crowned with
     success. Plevna, which the enemy believed to be impregnable and
     capable of preventing the victorious advance of his Majesty the
     Czar; Plevna, which has cost the Christian forces so much noble
     blood; Plevna has fallen!

     "The aim of the investing army, the command of which his
     Imperial Majesty was pleased to entrust to me, has now been
     fulfilled, and this order conveys to the Imperial Russian
     troops, which I had the honour to command, my farewell greeting,
     and at the same time my gratitude for the self-sacrificing
     devotion which has been accorded to me by the whole army from
     general to private.

     "You have fought under the eyes of your august Czar and your
     chivalrous Commander-in-Chief, H.I.H. the Grand Duke Nicholas.
     They have both been witnesses of your heroic courage, and there
     is no need for me to add my praise to theirs.

     "You have set a shining example of valour and the highest
     military virtues to my young Roumanian army. The glorious
     Imperial army has become united with my troops by an
     irrefragable bond of friendship, and I hope that you will
     preserve the same friendly remembrance of your Roumanian
     brothers-in-arms as they will of you.

     "I lay down my command with regret, and it is my most fervent
     wish on taking leave of you that in your future struggles for
     our holy cause you may achieve as glorious successes as in the

     "Therefore let us join once more before we part in that joyous
     exclamation which springs from your hearts: Long life to his
     Majesty the Czar!"

The Emperor Alexander sent the following official letter to Prince
Charles, dated 1/13 December, 1877:

     "After a resistance of five months, the combined efforts of our
     allied troops have been crowned with complete success. The army
     of Osman Pacha has laid down its arms and Plevna has fallen.
     Desirous of consecrating the memory of this great success, and
     the personal part your Highness has had in it, I take pleasure
     in conferring on your Highness on this occasion my Order of St.
     Andreas with swords. I beg your Highness to accept the insignia
     as a mark of my sincere affection, the expression of which I


On December 5, the Grand Duke Nicholas issued an Order of the Day in
which occurs the following passage:

     "... In prescribing the dissolution of the corps in question I
     consider I ought to express my sincere gratitude to its chief,
     his Highness Prince Charles of Roumania, who, since August 17,
     has commanded the allied troops forming in the first instance
     the Army of the West, and later on the Corps of Investment.
     Thanks to his exceptional activity his Highness was able to
     establish the most complete cohesion between the Russian and
     Roumanian troops, to form them into one homogeneous body, and to
     direct their efforts in conformity with my prescriptions towards
     the final aim which has so brilliantly crowned the common task
     (_l'œuvre commune_)...."

His Imperial Highness forwarded this document to Prince Charles,
together with a letter which contained a warm tribute to Prince
Charles and the Roumanian army:

"The brilliant results which have just been obtained before Plevna
are in a great measure due to the co-operation of the brave
Roumanian army, as well as to the impulse which the allied troops
received from their immediate commander, whose activity, courage,
and devotion to his soldierly duties they admired and strove to

Amongst the many compliments which were showered on the Commander of
the Army of Investment, none was more deeply appreciated than the
following despatch from the German Emperor:


     "I have followed your operations and noted the valour of your
     troops with the greatest interest. I cannot express too warmly
     my pleasure at this success; and I permit myself to confer on
     you herewith my military Order--_Pour le Mérite_. As you are
     aware of the value placed on this Order by my army, you will
     no doubt appreciate its bestowal. How many dangers, exertions,
     and privations you must have shared with your troops before
     you could at last celebrate a glorious triumph by the fall of
     Plevna! God be with you in the future.


After an absence of four eventful months Prince Charles set out
on December 22, a bitterly cold day, for Nikopoli _en route_ for
Bucharest. The roadsides offered a terrible picture of the horrors
of war. Almost every step was marked by the corpse of some Turkish
prisoner or Russian invalid who had succumbed to the bitter cold.
One incident became engraved indelibly upon the Prince's mind. A
little group of Turks appeared to be talking round the fragment
of a wheel at some slight distance from the road, but on closer
inspection they were found to be all frozen to death over their last
fire. Even the streets of Nikopoli were not free from these ghastly
milestones, and the Prince's thoughts involuntarily turned to the
story of Napoleon's retreat from Russia. The unfortunate Turkish
prisoners, to the number of 11,000, were herded together in the
ditch of the fort exposed to the bitter cold (22° R.) without even a
vestige of warm clothing. Small wonder that the Prince, who could do
nothing to alleviate their sufferings, hastened to cross the Danube,
beyond the reach of their groans and supplications.

As only a few of the pontoons had managed to resist the pressure of
the ice, Prince Charles was forced to cross the Danube by means of a
small steamboat, which took an hour to reach the Roumanian bank. His
first action on reaching Turnu-Magurele was directed to alleviating
the miseries of the wounded and the unfortunate prisoners, to which
merciful work he devoted Christmas Day of 1877.

A welcome letter from his father was received here:

     "Roumania must now maintain its vitality by the development of
     its independence, and prove practically to the Powers that it
     has become an essential member of the European States.

     "I have followed the successes of your brave troops with
     undiminished attention. Their organisation has justified
     itself, the spirit of the officers is the result of your
     training. Their achievements have everywhere been such as one
     could hardly expect from veteran troops. This attainment of an
     object persistently pursued must be the highest reward for your
     self-sacrificing efforts, and is at the same time a triumph over
     the public opinion of Europe, which has never had much sympathy
     with the Roumanian State and its army.

     "At the present it is impossible to foresee what will happen
     after the fall of Plevna. I do not believe in the prophecies
     of the Press regarding an expected peace, for Russia cannot
     possibly content herself with the result of Plevna. She must
     set right the mistaken beginning of the whole campaign against
     Turkey, which rested upon false calculations and disparagement
     of the enemy. These events, however, have been fortunate for
     Roumania, for the insufficiency of the Russian means of war was
     the very reason why the support of the Roumanian army became
     a necessity. It seems almost the work of Providence that such
     tasks and efforts in the theatre of war should have fallen to
     the lot of the Roumanians as to place them on a footing of
     equality in the eyes of Russia and Europe....

     "As soon as the military difficulties have been conquered,
     political troubles will accumulate to a still greater degree.
     The Triple Alliance must now prove its strength, for, if it is
     firmly united, the decision of European affairs will lie in its
     hands alone...."

Princess Elisabeth awaited her husband, from whom she had been
separated for four long and anxious months, at Titu, from whence
they reached Bucharest at one o'clock. The whole population of the
capital turned out to do honour to their ruler, who had shared their
dangers and their troubles, and who had achieved the independence of
his adopted country sword in hand.

The day closed with a magnificent torchlight procession under the
windows of the palace, after which Prince Charles and his wife drove
through the brilliantly illuminated streets.

Whilst Prince Charles had been manfully engaged in the field, the
Princess had made it her special care to look after "her" wounded,
as she termed them, and it was therefore with a special pleasure
that the Prince learnt that the merciful efforts of his wife had
been recognised and appreciated by the Czarina, who sent a special
messenger to Princess Elisabeth with the Order of St. Catherine in
brilliants, on the occasion of her birthday (December 29).

A telegram from the Turkish Minister of War, Reuf Pacha, addressed
to the Grand Duke Nicholas at _Bucharest_, informed the Russian
Commander that the Porte had empowered Mehemed Ali to negotiate
an armistice. Although Prince Charles thought that the Russians
would hardly desist from their victorious advance, he nevertheless
telegraphed to the Grand Duke, requesting that Roumania should
participate in the negotiations with which her interests were
so closely connected. Colonel Arion was sent to the Russian
headquarters to act on behalf of the Prince in the approaching
negotiations for an armistice. His instructions were, briefly, to

(1) The occupation of the Danubian fortresses by Roumanian troops
until the conclusion of peace.

(2) The recognition of Roumania's independence.

(3) The dismantling of the Turkish fortresses on the Danube from
Adakaleh in the west to the mouth of the river.

(4) The transfer to Roumania of all the mouths of the Danube.

(5) A war indemnity of 100,000,000 francs and the occupation of
Nikopoli, Rahova, Lom-Palanka, and Widin until payment in full.

In the event of the Roumanian plenipotentiary not taking part in the
negotiations, Colonel Arion was instructed to protest against every
clause affecting Roumania which was agreed to in his absence, and
to declare the same null and void. A large indemnity was demanded,
because it was intended to cover the heavy expenses and losses
incurred through the war.

The difficulties which Roumania seemed likely to encounter at the
conclusion of peace are thus alluded to by Prince Charles in a
letter to the German Crown Prince, January 14, 1878:

     "The newspapers are full of rumours that the Russians intend to
     resume possession of the Bessarabian districts, incorporated in
     Roumania by the Treaty of Paris. I cannot believe this, seeing
     that we have rendered them great service at a most critical
     moment. Moreover, such a rectification of the frontier would
     most decidedly be against the interests of Germany and Austria,
     who must prevent the mouths of the Danube from falling into the
     hands of a great Power.

     "The Second Article of the treaty regulating the passage
     of the Russian army through Roumania lays it down that the
     Government of his Majesty the Czar pledges itself to maintain
     and defend the former integrity of Roumania. Though it cannot be
     believed that this formal engagement is to be violated, still
     great anxiety prevails here, especially as the Russian Press
     constantly refers to this topic."

Minister Cogalniceanu also forwarded a Note to the Russian Agent in
Bucharest, laying stress on the fact that Roumania had proclaimed
its independence by declaring war with the Porte direct, and that
the army had crossed the Danube at the invitation of the Russian
Government as well as of the Headquarters Staff. The independent
character which Roumania assumed during the war could not,
therefore, be cast aside when, at the conclusion of hostilities, the
work of diplomacy commenced. The Roumanian Government accordingly
claimed the right and the duty of taking part in the negotiations,
just as the army had shared the heat and the burden of the fighting.
On January 29, however, Prince Ghika reported by telegraph from St.
Petersburg that the Czar and his Chancellor had formally notified
him of the intention of the Russian Government to regain possession
of the Roumanian portion of Bessarabia, whilst Roumania was to be
indemnified by the Delta of the Danube and the Dobrutscha as far as
Kustendje. The motive assigned was that the territory in question
was not ceded to Roumania but to Moldavia, and had been separated
from Russia by a treaty of which scarcely a single provision
remained in force. Moreover, the national dignity and honour of
Russia demanded the re-acquisition of this district. General
Ignatieff, it was said, would be sent to Bucharest to negotiate
direct with Prince Charles and his Government. In reply to all
Ghika's remonstrances, Gortchakoff retorted: "Whatever arguments you
employ, they cannot modify our decision, which is unalterable. You
are opposed by a political necessity."

General Ignatieff arrived at Bucharest on January 31, 1878, and
presented the following almost threatening letter from Prince
Gortchakoff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

     "His Majesty the Czar considers that the time has arrived to
     elucidate certain questions which I have already discussed in
     general terms with your Excellency regarding the future peace.
     It is essential that there should be no misunderstanding on this

     "It is with a view to avoiding such misunderstandings that
     my august master is sending his aide-de-camp, General Count
     Ignatieff, to Bucharest. He will explain to you the views of
     the Imperial Cabinet, with the general tendency of which your
     Excellency is already acquainted. You know that we desire to
     do everything for Roumania that is possible in the field of
     diplomacy. But your Excellency knows also that we have interests
     and rights to guard which we cannot forego. What we expect from
     the Roumanian Government is a just and rational appreciation
     of its situation and ours. This is the way in which the
     traditions which unite Roumania to Russia may be perpetuated and
     consolidated. Your country owes its past to us, and I believe
     that it will also find in us its most solid support in the
     future. I reckon on the keen intelligence of your Excellency
     and of the President of the Council to see to it that high
     and statesmanlike views shall prevail over party passions at
     a moment which may be decisive for the relations between our

Count Ignatieff did not mention the proposed cession of Bessarabia
to Prince Charles until the latter questioned him on this point.
The Prince then declared his inability to accede to this exchange,
which he felt convinced did not emanate from the Czar, but from his
Majesty's political _entourage_. The Russian envoy subsequently
touched upon the possibility of Prince Charles being elected to
the throne of Bulgaria, and even asked what would be his attitude
should such an offer be made. The Prince, needless to say, answered
evasively, and at once turned the conversation.

The Roumanian Agent in Paris reported on the 25th that neither
M. Waddington, Lord Lyons, nor Prince Hohenlohe were informed of
the Russian demands on Bessarabia, and that he had come to the
conviction that the question of the proposed cession excited very
little interest amongst the Powers, whilst not even Germany was
expected to protest against the action of Russia.

The papers relating to the recent diplomatic correspondence were
laid before a secret sitting of the Chamber and the Senate on
February 4. Amidst the greatest excitement, the representatives
of the nation declared that Roumania would preserve the integrity
of its territory to the last, with armed force if necessary. A
resolution embodying the claims of Roumania to the consideration of
Russia, and referring to the guarantee of the Powers, as well as
to the promise contained in the Convention of March 4, 1877, was
adopted unanimously by the Chamber and by a large majority in the

A critical period now arrived with the news that the English Lower
House had voted £6,000,000 sterling for military preparations,
whilst the advance of the British fleet to the entrance of the
Dardanelles led to the Russian occupation of several entrenchments
within the neutral zone before Constantinople. Owing to the
threatening attitude of England, delays took place in the treaty
of peace, and Russia threatened to occupy Constantinople. The
English Ambassador at Vienna remarked to the Roumanian Agent
that his Government had no information about the Russian claims
to Bessarabia, and pointed out that this question was of a very
delicate nature, because Russia appeared to lay special stress
on the retrocession of the districts, and also because of the
unwillingness of other States to interfere between allies.

Cogalniceanu laid two important Notes before the Prince on February
14, 1878, referring to the independence of Roumania, and addressed
to the Powers and the Sublime Porte. The first Note referred to
a former one of June 3, proclaiming independence, and at the same
time requesting the Powers to abstain from recognising it until the
decisive moment arrived. This had now occurred, and Roumania hoped
that the Powers would now welcome her as worthy of admission to the
great European family, seeing that she had sealed her independence
with the sword. The Note concluded with the request that a Roumanian
delegate might attend the approaching conference. The second Note,
addressed to Constantinople, expressed a desire to resume friendly
relations with the Porte, and referred briefly to the reasons which
led Roumania to take part in the war. The voluntary recognition
of the accomplished independence would create a firmer and more
valuable bond of union between Turkey and Roumania than that which
now belonged to the past.

The preliminaries of the peace were signed at Adrianople on January
31, 1878, when the following conditions were agreed to:

(1) Bulgaria to be formed into an autonomous tributary principality
under a Christian Government.

(2) The independence of Montenegro to be recognised.

(3) Roumania and Servia to be independent and to receive an increase
of territory.

(4) Bosnia and Herzegovina to be granted an autonomous

(5) Russia to be indemnified for the expense and losses caused by
the war.

Prince Bismarck, speaking of the Eastern Question in the Reichstag,
said the preliminaries of peace in no way affected the interests
of Germany, and that there was no cause to exchange the part of a
spectator for that of an actor. The question of the Dardanelles
alone was of great importance, for "the water ways, the straits,
as well as the Danube from the Black Sea northwards, must remain
open to German commerce." Germany, declared the Chancellor, would
not adopt the attitude of an arbitrator, but that of an "honest
broker," who had every intention of doing business (_i.e._, in
effecting a lasting peace). The German Empire would never sacrifice
the friendship with Russia, which had been proved through past
generations, in order to obtain the vain credit of playing the judge
in Europe!

The attitude to be adopted by Prince Charles was thus sketched out
by his father:

     "The offered portion of the unproductive Dobrutscha is, indeed,
     no compensation for the cession of Bessarabia, but will,
     nevertheless, be acceptable if Küstendje forms part of the
     bargain. Indeed, the acquisition of this Black Sea port may
     perhaps be of the greatest importance to the future of the
     flourishing commerce of Roumania. The _conditio sine quâ non_
     for the incorporation of the district on the right bank must be
     the dismantling of the Danubian fortresses, for an autonomous
     Bulgaria has no need for fortified protection on its northern
     frontier, whilst they might, even under changed circumstances,
     prove a danger to Roumania, as they would become so many
     sally-ports in time of war."

The virgin fortress of Widin, which had been invested by three
Roumanian Divisions, was handed over by Isset Pacha on February 24,
when the Turkish garrison marched out with all the honours of war.
An enormous quantity of munitions of war was found in the magazines,
but the supplies of food appeared to be almost exhausted. A day
later the rock fortress of Belgradjik was also handed over to the
Roumanians with the same ceremonies.

The following laconic telegram from the Grand Duke Nicholas was
handed to Prince Charles on March 3, 1878:

     "It is with great pleasure that I inform you that the peace has
     just been signed."



The feelings of consternation and bitter resentment evoked by the
publication of the Treaty of San Stefano soon found expression in
the Roumanian Chamber, where the action of the Russian Government
was criticised in scathing terms, and in the Press, whose comments
on the situation were little calculated to restrain the popular
indignation. The Minister of the Exterior telegraphed to the various
Roumanian diplomatic agents abroad that the Government felt itself
compelled to protest against a treaty, every article of which was
either directly or indirectly opposed to the interests of Roumania.
Prince Charles, on the other hand, was convinced of the futility of
all protests, and the impossibility of retaining Bessarabia, and was
therefore chiefly concerned in checking the growing hostility of the
Roumanian nation towards their all-powerful neighbour. At the same
time no effort was spared to secure the representation of Roumania
at the impending European Congress, and M. Bratianu, the President
of the Ministry, was despatched for this purpose to Vienna and
Berlin with letters from the Prince himself.

Though the general disposition towards Roumania on the part of
the Great Powers was that of lukewarm platonic sympathy, a ray of
hope was at one time afforded by the warlike attitude of England,
who would only agree to a Congress empowered to consider the whole
of the Treaty of San Stefano. General Ignatieff traversed Europe
in order to effect an understanding between the several Cabinets.
Prince Charles Anthony, however, warned his son that "the loss of
the Bessarabian region must now be regarded as inevitable, and the
only consolation is that the sympathy of public opinion generally is
accorded to you and to your country."

During the absence of Bratianu, Prince Gortchakoff transmitted to
the Roumanian Agent in St. Petersburg a threat which had fallen from
the mouth of the Czar himself: that if Roumania protested against
Article VIII. of the Treaty (which defined the route of the Russian
troops through Roumania), he, the Czar, would disarm the Roumanian
army. Prince Charles at once caused the following reply to be
forwarded: "The Roumanian army, which fought so gallantly before
Plevna under the eyes of the Czar, may be annihilated, but will
never be disarmed!"

The situation was critical, since the Russian army practically
occupied the Principality, and the flimsiest pretexts were employed
to increase the number of troops in and round Bucharest. The
threats of Prince Gortchakoff were discussed throughout Europe,
even in the English Parliament. At length Prince Charles was
forced to prepare for the worst, and to make arrangements to
remove his troops and Government to Little Wallachia. The tension
between Russia and Roumania was still further increased at this
period by a remarkable incident. On the conclusion of the peace,
Prince Charles had forwarded a congratulatory letter to the Czar
through the Consul-General at Bucharest, and was therefore greatly
surprised to learn from Prince Alexander of Battenberg that the
Czar was complaining at not having received his congratulations.
It was then discovered that the Imperial aide-de-camp, to whom the
letter had been entrusted, had been seriously ill at Vienna, and
the unfortunate delay of six weeks was thus accounted for. The Czar
telegraphed as follows immediately the letter reached his hands
(April 8, 1878):

     "Your kind letter of the 21st February did not reach me until
     to-day. I thank you sincerely for it, and offer the same prayers
     as yourself that the peace may become firm and lasting. My
     feelings and my friendship for you and Princess Elisabeth will
     remain unaltered; but I cannot but regret the attitude of those
     who are at the head of your Government, and who have brought
     about a situation which is entirely antagonistic to the real
     interests of Roumania."

A letter expressed the Czar's views still more forcibly:

     "... The painful relations created by the measures of your
     Ministers cannot alter my affectionate interest and friendship
     for you. I regret having been obliged to indicate the measures
     which their course of action may eventually force me to adopt.
     You cannot doubt how pleased I should be to be able to avoid
     this, for it is not in such a light that I should care to see
     our traditionally amicable relations placed, cemented as they
     are by our brotherhood in arms; and I am certain that you
     yourself share my sentiments. I understand the desire of your
     Government to regulate by a special arrangement the relations
     which an extension of the stay of my army on the Danube will
     necessitate. But the peace is not yet finally concluded, and
     our conventions have therefore not ceased to hold good. You
     certainly understand, moreover, that it is impossible for me to
     allow the least uncertainty to hover over the communications
     and supplies of my troops. A friendly arrangement between our
     two Governments might easily regulate matters in view of the
     new situation, which would follow a definite peace. I am quite
     willing to lend myself to this measure, and I have therefore
     ordered a special official to proceed to Bucharest, who will
     be instructed to discuss the same with your Ministers. I shall
     be delighted to see an _entente_ established, and I believe
     that this will be more in the interests of Roumania than the
     existing tension of our relations. I hope that you will bring
     your support to bear upon the issue, and you may rest assured of


Prince Charles thus describes the situation in a letter to his

     "The East is confronted by a new crisis from which, thanks to
     its energetic attitude, my country will not emerge the loser.
     The Treaty of San Stefano is the work of Ignatieff.... I rejoice
     at the resolute attitude of England.... I asked several Russian
     Generals, who paid their respects to me to-day, what was the
     meaning of the movements of the troops in the country, and they
     told me that several Divisions were preparing to return to
     Russia: the army was longing for peace, and was thoroughly tired
     of the war."...

Nevertheless, the disquiet caused by the movements of the Russian
troops did not disappear, although they were declared to be only
directed against Austria.

As Prince Charles had foreseen, Roumania had little active support
to expect from the Great Powers. Prince Bismarck informed M.
Bratianu, who had been received with assurances of friendship
both at Vienna and Berlin, that Bessarabia was the _sine quâ
non_ for Russia, and he therefore advised Roumania to come to an
understanding with that Power before the assembly of the Congress,
by voluntarily surrendering the three Pruth districts. Roumania
might then obtain much, very much indeed, as compensation from the
great Empire. Prince Charles considered this course practicable, but
Bratianu was in favour of holding out until the last moment. Lord
Salisbury, on the other hand, assured the Roumanian Agent in Paris
that Prince Charles might count upon England's effectual support in
peace and in war, though this promise lost much of its value by the
addition that more important questions than the fate of Bessarabia
existed for England, and, provided these were settled amicably, war
would not be declared for the sake of Roumania.

The British armaments, which included the movement of Indian troops
to the Mediterranean garrisons, continued to increase until May,
when Count Schuwaloff's mission at last secured the assembly of the
Congress. In the meantime, Prince Charles inspected his forces in
Little Wallachia. The Russians and Roumanians at no great distance
from the capital were dangerously near to one another, and the
Roumanian Chamber voted increased supplies for war material on its
own initiative. The whole of Roumania was anxious to make every
possible sacrifice in defence of the national honour.

Two dastardly attempts on the life of the venerable German Emperor
evoked feelings of the deepest indignation throughout the world.
Prince Charles telegraphed as follows on behalf of both himself and
his consort:

     "We cannot find words in which to express our consternation and
     grief at the execrable deed which has again endangered your
     Majesty's life. We thank God that the wound is not serious, and
     hope that the certain knowledge that you are surrounded by the
     deep love of many millions will help your Majesty out of the
     bitterness of these hours."

The Congress was at length opened by Prince Bismarck at Berlin
on June 13, 1878, after Count Schuwaloff had succeeded in making
terms with England, whereby Russia was allowed to annex Bessarabia
and Batoum in return for the division of Bulgaria. In appointing
Bratianu and Cogalniceanu as Roumanian delegates, Prince Charles
again reminded them that, since Bessarabia must be considered
as lost to Roumania, they must endeavour to obtain the greatest
possible territorial compensation on the right bank of the Danube,
possibly even as far as the line Rustchuk-Varna. The Roumanian
delegates were, however, not permitted to attend the sittings of the
Congress until after the representatives of the Powers had decided
to sanction the annexation of Bessarabia by Russia. Yet another
severe blow was destined to fall on Roumania, and by the hand,
too, of a formerly friendly power, France. Before the independence
of Roumania was recognised, all restrictions upon the political
and civil rights of all creeds, imposed by the Constitution, were
to be removed; in other words, the Roumanian Jews were to be
admitted to the franchise. All the entreaties and representations
of the Roumanian delegates were in vain; even Lord Beaconsfield,
in a private audience, contented himself with the remark that "in
politics ingratitude is often the reward of the greatest services."

As a matter of fact, the resolutions of the Congress left Roumania
in a worse plight than before the war. Even the most advanced
Liberals, who had formerly championed the Jewish cause, were
exasperated at having this measure thrust upon them by the Foreign
Powers as a condition, before their independence, honourably
achieved with blood and steel upon the field of glory, could be
recognised. Moreover, the compensation offered, the Delta of the
Danube and the Dobrudscha as far as the line Silistria-Mangalia, so
far from being appreciated, was actually opposed with vigour by a
large section of the nation.

The Prince's position was doubly difficult: himself the most
tolerant of mortals, he viewed all attempts at persecution with the
sternest disfavour; as a ruler, he could not close his eyes to the
inevitable result of the emancipation of the Moldavian Jews, who
would then have gained possession of the greater part of the heavily
mortgaged estates in that district. Whatever happened, it seemed
as though the enormous sacrifices which Roumania had borne had
failed to secure any adequate recompense; whilst, on the other hand,
England had received Cyprus, and Austria was to administer Bosnia
and Herzegovina. Bratianu, therefore, was only too correct when he
reported from Berlin: "Prince Bismarck alone was straightforward
with us from the commencement when he told us Bessarabia was lost.
He was sincere, for it would have been to his interest if we had
come to an understanding with Russia direct! All the other Great
Powers were interested in supporting our resistance, for they were
then able, by sacrificing us in the end, to obtain more concessions
for themselves from Russia."

Prince Charles wrote to his father on August 4, 1878:

     "The struggles which Roumania has had to endure during the last
     few months, and has yet to endure, are, beyond all comparison,
     more serious than those at Plevna and Widin. To issue victorious
     from them will be far more honourable to my country than the
     laurels gathered on the battlefields of Bulgaria! It is pitiful
     that Europe should force a young and energetic State, which
     has shown its power and vitality in a bloody war, to cede a
     province. The Berlin Congress might return to Russia what the
     Treaty of Paris took away, but it wounds us deeply that our
     independence, achieved on the battlefield, should be made
     contingent upon the cession of Bessarabia, and much patience and
     moderation are necessary to allow such a course to be adopted.
     We shall, however, show the Powers that we know how to extricate
     ourselves with honour from the worst situations.

     "As soon as the Articles referring to Roumania became known, the
     greatest consternation arose, and even the most peaceful of the
     people declared they would rather not acquire independence at
     such a price. I convened a Council of Ministers and conferred
     with a few political leaders, advising the greatest care, since
     a hasty step might bring the country into extreme danger. Europe
     has need of peace and insists on it; it will not, therefore, be
     content with half measures, but will execute the resolutions of
     the Congress by force. After their first anger had been subdued,
     people here became more reasonable, and recognised that it was
     impossible to resist the whole of Europe.

     "We closed the Chambers, and decided to allow the Russian
     occupation of Bessarabia to approach. We shall then avoid any
     record in writing, withdraw our officials, and admit a _fait
     accompli_. When this painful affair has once come to an end, we
     must find a _modus vivendi_ with Russia, in order to be able
     to regulate a multitude of details without hindrance. All this
     will, however, be effected by the Administration; Crown and
     Chamber are not to take any part therein.

     "The territory on the right bank of the Danube is not given
     to us in exchange for Bessarabia; we take it simply as a war
     indemnity, and because Europe gives it to us. We have thus
     gained very much both morally and materially, and no one can
     refuse us their respect. The districts promised us by the
     Congress have a great future, and in a few years I hope to
     raise them to a flourishing condition. Their inhabitants think
     themselves fortunate in being connected with Roumania, and have
     already sent me many addresses, to which, up to the present, I
     have not replied.

     "Küstendje is a beautiful port, and, like the railway to
     Tschernavoda, was constructed by an English company. A few good
     hotels and installations have been made there for sea bathing.
     The situation is healthy."

About this period the Prince received the following letter from
Prince Charles Anthony of Hohenzollern:

     "The whole strength of the nation must now be concentrated on
     the acquisition of the Dobrudscha and the economic and political
     tasks which have arisen there.... A reconciliation with Russia
     may perhaps prove the most urgent duty of self-preservation."

On the anniversary of Grivitza Prince Charles addressed a cordial
telegram to the Czar, receiving in turn a very hearty reply.

After the army had been placed on a peace footing, and the
Russian troops had quitted the country, Prince Charles devoted
himself to the task of carrying out the conditions imposed
by the Berlin Congress. Since Article VII. of the Roumanian
Constitution stipulates that only Christians can become citizens,
a _Constituante_ had to be convened at Bucharest, in the hope
that the alteration of the Constitution would secure the necessary
two-thirds majority.

The Ministry decided about this time to request Prince Charles to
assume the title of Royal Highness, as being more suitable to the
ruler of a country which surpassed many a European kingdom in point
of area and population. The Powers immediately recognised the new
title, whilst Prince Charles Anthony was of opinion that it would
have been better to follow the example of Belgium, and assume the
royal dignity forthwith.

Towards the end of September the Chambers assembled to recognise the
Treaty of Berlin, which, after many violent speeches, they managed
to do just one day before the cession of Bessarabia, the resolution
being worded as follows:

     "The Chamber of Deputies has taken cognisance of the
     dispositions made by the Treaty of Berlin regarding Roumania.
     Compelled by the decision of the Powers, and in order not to be
     an obstacle to the consolidation of peace, the Chamber empowers
     the Government to comply with the universal wish of Europe by
     recalling the civil and military authorities from Bessarabia,
     and taking possession of the Dobrudscha, the Danube Delta, and
     the Serpents' Island. The other questions will be settled by
     constitutional methods."

The Russian occupation of Bessarabia passed off uneventfully; the
Roumanian officials retired without a word, and Prince Charles was
spared the pain of signing his name to any document in connection
with the cession. A marked contrast to this was afforded by the
Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which encountered
violent resistance, and was accompanied by much bloodshed.

A couple of days after the withdrawal from Bessarabia, the triumphal
entry of the Roumanian army into Bucharest took place, and the
striking unanimity with which the dignified bearing of the Prince
and his subjects was recognised both at home and abroad afforded
Prince Charles much consolation during this critical period.

_From the_ GERMAN CROWN PRINCE, _October 19th, 1878_.

"You know that you were much in my thoughts during the Congress
and afterwards, in the midst of that truly difficult period of
negotiations about the cession of Bessarabia. But I purposely
refrained from writing to you, because I did not know how I was to
express myself in view of such events.

"I was convinced that you would estimate the circumstances
correctly, and be able to take matters as they are. The exchange of
territory, however, hit you doubly hard, since only too many were
anxious to throw suspicion on you for being an _immigrant_ wanting
in 'patriotic feeling.' Thank Heaven, the representatives of your
country appear to have submitted with the necessary resignation,
so that you have been relieved of a real trouble. May Roumania
now speedily realise all the advantages which may still be drawn
from the Dobrudscha, though it offers but little, and may the
construction of bridges, canals, and ports mark a new era in your
rule. If such undertakings succeed, a true substitute will have
been found for all you have given up, and one day the advantage may
perhaps be on your side. This is my heart's desire.

"Russia's conduct, after the manful service you did for that
colossal Empire, meets with censure on all sides. I do not
understand the importance which they attach to that piece of land.
But they have scarcely got their way, when Russia begins to stir
up a question about Afghanistan, which again threatens the peace,
though for the present only in Asia! As if enough blood had not been
shed already. It is to be hoped that the good Ameer will listen to
reason, but the general tension is nevertheless very great."

       *       *       *       *       *

Referring to the events of the last summer, the attempted
assassination of the Emperor William I., and his own Regency, the
Crown Prince remarks:

     "My best thanks, though late, for your welcome and sympathetic
     letter in June. You felt with us what a heavy blow had fallen
     on us all, and rejoiced with us over the recovery of the dear
     Emperor, whom I found wonderfully well at Cassel and Baden. His
     freshness and mobility, his memory and spirits are completely
     restored. Yet those who see him daily, say that mental exertion
     still tires him easily, and that he is therefore very willing to
     avoid it. His resumption of official duties is thus postponed
     still further, so that I shall probably not be free from this
     burden until December on his return from Wiesbaden to Berlin!...

     "A few days ago we bade farewell to Henry for two years. Seldom
     has a separation fallen so heavily on my heart as this. He
     proceeds round Cape Horn _viâ_ Rio, and will then join his
     station in Japan.

     "William has just returned from England and Scotland; he met
     Charlotte and Bernard in Paris, where they amused themselves
     immensely in the strictest incognito....

     "My wife and I are tolerably well in spite of these troublous
     times, which in less than half a year have brought me a Peace
     Congress, marriages, special legislation, dissolution of the
     Imperial Diet, elections, and the execution of a death sentence.
     In all these events I see God's will that I should taste of
     everything that still is set before me. But it is not easy to
     exercise the rights and bear _all_ the burdens of a monarch to
     the best of one's ability and conscience without taking the sole

     "To-morrow the Imperial Diet concludes its deliberations;
     let us hope that the law against social democracy marks the
     commencement of a radical cure, by means of which this evil may
     be overcome. It will, however, cost us much pains before we can
     rid ourselves of this abortion, which has increased with such
     incredible rapidity since the teaching of this unhealthy society
     finds a ready market, and the attempted assassinations, which
     will now multiply still more, show the direction taken by a
     misunderstood application...."

_From_ PRINCE ALEXANDER OF BATTENBERG, _October 20th, '78_.

"You can imagine how I have followed the march of political events.
The consequence of the unhappy Peace of Berlin will probably be
that we, _i.e._, the Russians, shall soon have to draw sword again.
Should we then be comrades in arms once more? Probably not!

"What do you think of Dondukow's doings? Here in Jugenheim I am
too far away to be able to form an opinion, and the papers contain
nothing but lies; the events in Bulgaria interest me greatly, as
_secret inquiries continue to reach me from time to time_."

       *       *       *       *       *

The first ambassador to the Roumanian Court, Count Hoyos, was
sent by Austria, an example soon followed by Turkey, and later on
by Russia, who raised the rank of its representative first from
Consul-General to Resident Minister, and then to Ambassador. In
return, the Diplomatic Agents of Roumania in Vienna, St. Petersburg,
and Constantinople were created Ambassadors. A very friendly
understanding with Turkey was now initiated, and proved to be of
great advantage to Roumania during the transactions of the Frontier
Commission, which was presided over by the former State. In strict
accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin, the frontier
line was fixed close to the gates of Silistria, in spite of the
immediate protests of the Russian Commissary, who succeeded in
delaying a final settlement for a period of years.

On November 26, 1878, the Roumanians proceeded to take possession of
the Dobrudscha, and were received with the greatest enthusiasm, to
the surprise of the Austrian Emperor, whose experience in Bosnia had
led him to advise Prince Charles not to garrison the Dobrudscha with
less than a Division.

The first anniversary of Plevna was marked by the issue of a
stirring Army Order by Prince Charles, who also exchanged warm
congratulations by telegraph with the Czar and the Archduke Nicholas.

Rumours in the Press pointed to the probable selection of Prince
Alexander of Battenberg for the newly created throne of Bulgaria,
whilst the selection of Prince Charles also received public support.
In reply to his Ministers, who considered that his candidature was
desirable, Prince Charles remarked that the moment for such a step
had passed. Not _against_, but only _with_ the aid of Russia could
such a candidature succeed!

Although the Chamber and Senate at first supported the speedy
convocation of a _Constituante_, months elapsed before the
three readings took place in the Chamber before proceeding to a
dissolution to allow the elections to take place.

The third reading did not take place till April 5, 1879, after
Prince Bismarck had in a somewhat threatening manner requested
to be informed when the Jewish question was to be settled. This
question was transmitted through Austria-Hungary, the Roumanian
representative in Berlin being passed over!

In addition to this pressing question of the Jewish franchise, the
old trouble about the re-purchase of the Strousberg Railway Line
was raised by Germany, which roundly declared that her attitude in
future depended on this measure being carried out.

The Prince of Roumania wrote to Prince Charles Anthony:

     "Although we wish to acquire the railway lines, we nevertheless
     feel hurt at this pressure. The Jewish question, and the
     purchase of the railways are two such important problems that
     they can hardly be grappled with simultaneously. Bleichröder's
     influence is evident in both affairs.

     "Our relations with Russia are no better, though Schuwaloff said
     to my Ambassador: 'I admit that we have committed many blunders
     with regard to you, but remember that you have done the same
     with us. We have no reason to quarrel; on the contrary, at such
     a time we ought to be on the best footing.'

     "We have little hope that the question of the Dobrudscha
     frontier will be decided to our advantage, since Germany is
     quite on the side of Russia. Bismarck is the man who deters
     those Powers which are not yet in diplomatic connection with us.
     The proposal to recognise Servia proceeded from Berlin to the
     other Powers, with the remark that a distinction must be made
     between one country that fulfils its obligations and another
     that seeks to avoid them!"

Prince Charles Anthony had already written as follows to his son in
February 1879:

     "In spite of the completed cession of Bessarabia, Russia still
     appears to be hostile to you, and the remainder of Europe,
     including the German Empire, does not take up a resolute
     attitude against that Power. Every step taken by Roumania,
     conscious of her achieved independence, is hindered and opposed!
     It would be desirable to put an end to your ominous Jewish
     question, if only to remove every pretext from the Powers."

Again, a few months later:

     "There is nothing left for you but to carry through the Jewish
     question a _tout prix_, in spite of all the antipathies of the
     populace, and regardless of the mischievous nature of the whole

The whole country, Moldavia in particular, was in a state of the
greatest excitement, and on no occasion were the elections so
largely participated in as those which preceded this Revising
Chamber. Prince Charles, accompanied by the Crown Prince of Sweden,
made a tour through Moldavia before the elections took place.
The National festival, the 10th-22nd May, was celebrated with
particularity and fervour in 1879. The Roumanian army presented a
sword of honour to their sovereign, inscribed with the names of the
victorious actions and the following dedication: "To the victorious
leader in the War of 1877-78, from his grateful Army," and "Virtus
Romana rediviva."

The opening of the Revising Chamber was but the prelude to a summer
of violent political struggles, which kept the national feelings at
a dangerously high pitch of excitement. The Ministry would not lay
definite proposals before the Chambers, but seemed anxious to allow
the nation to take the lead in this vital question, whilst a strong
current of public feeling advocated opposition to the demands of the
Berlin Treaty.


"In the event of an unsatisfactory solution, they are determined
in Berlin to intervene by means of a Collective Note which will
dictate to us what rights we are to concede to the Jews. Such a
step would, of course, arouse national excitement, and only further
increase resistance; but this might become a great danger to the
country apart from the humiliation which it includes. The question
is whether execution would follow intervention, and what shape the
execution would take? Italy contents itself with the removal of
Article VII. of the Constitution, and likewise England, with the
naturalisation of a few Jews. Waddington, however, demands a radical
solution, and Berlin insists on the re-purchase of the railways
under the conditions imposed by her bankers. The German Chancellor
is opposed to us, and all the goodwill of the Emperor is of no

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Bismarck informed the Roumanian Government through Count
Andrassy that he placed no confidence in their good faith, and
that, in his opinion, Roumania was still a dependent State. In
the event of her resisting the resolutions of the Berlin Congress
he intended to treat with the Suzerain at Constantinople! Count
Andrassy in vain represented the difficulty of the Roumanian
situation, for Prince Bismarck was armed with the argument that he
considered the honour of the German Empire pledged in this matter,
whilst England proposed a Collective Note to be executed by the
Austrian Cabinet. Yet, despite the threatening aspect of affairs,
the Roumanian Chambers became more and more obstinate, and refused
to hasten a solution of the constitutional questions involved.

The marriage of the Prince's youngest brother, Frederick, with
Princess Louise of Thurn and Paris, took place at Regensburg in June
1879, and the German Emperor and Empress celebrated their golden
wedding at Berlin. The same month, however, brought the terrible
news of the death of the unfortunate Prince Imperial, who had
volunteered for service with the British troops acting against the
Zulus. In reply to Prince Charles' letter of sympathy the Empress
Eugenie wrote:

  "CHISLEHURST, _August 19th, 1879_.

     "You recall to me the days of happiness, and by recurring to the
     present you share my illimitable grief.

     "Everything has fallen from me, and only two tombs are left of
     all I loved. I rest near them, and here my isolation seems less
     great. I have known both extremes and the want of stability
     of human fortunes. We are wrong in not always fixing our eyes
     beyond this life on that one where nothing changes, and where we
     shall rejoin those whom we love to all eternity.

     "I beg that you will thank the Princess for the sympathy which
     my recent and overwhelming misfortune has elicited from in her.


The death of the German Crown Prince's third son, Waldemar, at the
early age of eleven, gave occasion to the following letter:

  "POTSDAM, _July 27th, 1879_.

     "Your kind and sympathetic letter, no less than Elisabeth's
     deeply touching verses, were very welcome to my poor wife and
     myself. You both feel with and for us, for God decreed a like
     trouble for you, and even though your fate was much harder,
     still we all have to bear the heavy destiny of surviving our

     "We endeavour to bear God's decree with resignation, but we
     cannot even now become reconciled to the loss of another son
     from the happy circle of our family, a son, too, who justified
     our highest hopes, and already displayed character at an early
     age. It is so difficult to accustom ourselves to everyday life
     without our most dearly loved child, for every step reminds us
     that he will never appear again, and that we must learn to live
     without our companion.

     "... Our life, which, moreover, has never been a tranquil one,
     had already become gloomy by the moving incidents of last year;
     with this sorrow it has lost what remaining joy it still had to
     offer us, and we can only gather satisfaction from the execution
     of our tasks and duties.

     "You very rightly lay stress upon the fact that such grief
     causes us more than ever to sympathise with others in their
     sorrow and to seek their society. Many other things are first
     apparent to us in our time of mourning, and it is certainly
     through the medium of this chastening that we are to be prepared
     for a higher calling, which appears dark and mysterious to
     dwellers on earth. It is not for us to inquire 'Why?' and yet
     we do so; we are but human beings, to whom the work of Divine
     justice is hidden here, but will be made clear to us _there_."

The chivalrous Prince Alexander of Battenberg, who had been elected
Prince of Bulgaria, experienced the greatest difficulties in taking
over the reins of government, as the following letter shows:

     "I am now passing through the same stage as you did last year:
     devoted with my whole heart to the Czar Alexander, I am anxious
     to do nothing that can be called anti-Russian. Unfortunately
     the Russian officials have acted with the utmost want of tact;
     confusion prevails in every office, and peculation, thanks to
     Dondukow's decrees, is all but sanctioned. I am daily confronted
     with the painful alternative of having to decide either to
     assent to the Russian demands or to be accused in Russia of
     ingratitude and of 'injuring the most sacred feelings of the
     Bulgarians.' My situation is truly terrible; I reject everything
     opposed to my conscience, and therefore have to write daily to
     the Czar in order to obtain a hearing before the calumnies of
     the Russian officials shall have had time to reach him. I will
     tell you everything shortly on the occasion of my visit."

_From_ ALEXANDER PRINCE OF BULGARIA, _August 22nd, 1879_.

"A thousand thanks for your long and kind letter, the conferring
of your Grand Cross, and the geniality with which you welcomed my
Envoy. I have, it is true, never doubted your friendship, but to see
it once more confirmed in this handsome fashion has nevertheless
made me very happy. I shall reply to Elisabeth's kind letter direct.

"Unfortunately I cannot pay you a visit before October, for I have
so much to do that I cannot quit the country. All my Ministers
are a little anxious, and I myself have more or less to decide

"The solitude here is very great, but as at present I am busy
from morning to night I feel it the less. The idea of marriage is
antipathetic to me: I feel that I have no right to bring a wife to
this lonely spot; moreover, I do not want to bind myself, in order
that, in the event of affairs turning out badly, my convictions
may not be influenced by any external consideration. Everything
will depend upon the first National Assembly. It is not easy to be
Dondukow's heir.

"With my whole heart I sympathise with you regarding the Jewish
question. What a fatal thing it is for us all that the Great Powers
have declared themselves Masters of the World!

"Although hostile to the Treaty of Berlin, I have nevertheless
given it my complete adherence in my new position. I have conceived
my mission from the European standpoint as far as possible, and
allow the same law to apply to all. Consequently I sought to help
the Mohammedans as much as possible, but utilised the moment to
introduce universal service; if the Mohammedans want to enjoy the
advantages of all subjects, they must also bear the disadvantages.
I am in everything the opposite of my predecessors; I shall make
fewer speeches, but work more, and the final result will, it is to
be hoped, justify me.

"If only the frontiers at least were settled! So long as this is not
the case there will be no peace in the country. (I do not thereby
mean Arab-Tabia, but the South and West, where disturbances always
take place.) Everything beyond this must be delivered verbally.

  "With many hearty greetings,
  "Your sincere

       *       *       *       *       *

During the course of the summer the unhappy Jewish question became
"in truth a gigantic struggle," as Prince Charles informed his

     "Whilst the country considers me the defender of the rights of
     the Jews, the Foreign Powers complain that I do not champion
     them with sufficient energy. This reproach, however, affects
     me very little. There is only one path which can lead me to my
     goal, and that is laid down by the Constitution."

Owing to this struggle a modification of the Ministry became
necessary towards the end of July, and M. Sturdza was sent to Berlin
to lay the difficulties of the situation before Prince Bismarck,
whilst Prince Charles Anthony turned to the aged Emperor William.

_From_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _July 24th, 1879_.

"Only a few words to-day to tell you that we saw the Emperor
(William) in the Mainau the day before yesterday. He asked me to
come to his room after dinner, when I at last found an opportunity
of discussing Roumanian affairs and of commending you to his care.
I can now tell you that I was greatly surprised and pleased with
the Emperor's opinions, even though I must regretfully limit this
favourable impression by the fact that the Emperor has certainly not
been kept _au courant_ with the situation. He at first ascribed the
whole blame to England, who is urging the Jewish question with the
greatest want of consideration, and from whose policy Germany cannot
dissociate herself.

"When I proved that the exact opposite was the case, and compared
the constantly progressive moderation of England with the harsh
attitude of Germany, which never has regard to circumstances, the
Emperor was highly astonished; he would not believe it at all, and
said that the Jewish question was entirely antipathetic to him;
that he was acquainted with similar circumstances in Poland and
Russia; and that, if he had not been suffering from his wounds
during the Berlin Congress, he would never have consented to the
present extension of this question. In brief, I am convinced that
the Imperial Chancellor did not consult the Emperor in this matter
at all, or at least did not report it to him fully."

       *       *       *       *       *

A few days later Prince Charles Anthony forwarded to his son a copy
of a letter to the Empress, written by the Emperor at Gastein, July
25, 1879:

     "With regard to Roumania I have, as you know, from the outset
     most strongly disapproved of the resolution of the Congress
     concerning the Jewish question, though only after the blow had
     fallen, since I was not at the head of affairs.

     "Since then I have, of course, only had to support the strict
     execution of the resolutions of the Congress, but I have
     demanded at every opportunity that no pressure be used in
     this matter, for I know by experience what the Jews are in
     those regions--starting with Posen, Poland, Lithuania, and
     Volhynia--and the Roumanian Jews are said to be even worse! The
     whole Jewish question there has been championed so violently by
     England. Lord Odo Russell confessed as much to me in answer to
     my representations, indicating at the same time by a gesture his
     disagreement with them.

     "I explained the attitude which I have adopted with regard to
     the Jewish question (on which the recognition of my cousin as an
     independent Sovereign depends) to the Prince of Hohenzollern,
     when he excitedly complained of the extreme severity of our
     note. I added, however, that I was not acquainted with the note
     in question. On my making inquiry, the latest document for
     Bucharest was only yesterday laid before me. It states that the
     Powers would be satisfied by the annulment of the restrictive
     article of the Roumanian Constitution being recognised as a
     principle, leaving the decision as to the method of carrying it
     into effect to a later date, when the Ministry and Chamber have
     come to an agreement. When once this method has been accepted,
     nothing will impede the recognition of the Prince. I commission
     you to communicate this most exactly in Krauchenwies, and also
     add that I think that Charles of Roumania and his Ministry,
     which has just been changed, should accept this method; the
     Chambers will then have to practise self-restraint.

     "You will remember that I always took the part of the Roumanian
     Government, whenever difficulties arose between Christians and
     Jews, whilst England invariably took the opposite side, because
     she sees a refined Rothschild in _every_ Jew."

Whilst the German Emperor thus roundly declared his interest in
the Roumanian Sovereign, his Chancellor proved no less sympathetic
towards M. Sturdza, at an interview which took place at Kissingen.
Prince Bismarck admitted that the Berlin Congress had set Roumania
a hard task, but remarked that the resolutions must be executed
in their entirety. Germany was only demanding what France and
Italy also wished in the matter of the Jews, of whom there were a
large number crowded together in certain portions of the country.
The Roumanians must open the war upon economic ground: work and
save, found banks, &c. The Empire was anxious to maintain friendly
relations with Roumania, although the latter had until recently
treated Germany somewhat cavalierly. The sympathy of the Roumanian
nation with France, though perhaps only natural, had in the end
annoyed Germany, and it was never wise to annoy anybody, least of
all one who happened to be powerful. In order to ameliorate the
existing relations, it was necessary that the railway question
should disappear.

"One must be acquainted with the commencement of this affair in
order to realise its importance. No one can be blamed for it,
neither we nor Roumania: the affair exists, and we must get rid of
it with profit to both parties.

"Our interest is considerable, since about one hundred million marks
are invested there. These moneys must be rescued from a precarious
situation, in which it has often been the duty of the State to
defend them, and on each occasion this has strained the relations
between the two States.

"This railway affair commenced with Dr. Strousberg, who dragged
the Silesian magnates into it, and with them all their friends
and dependents were in turn involved. To-day we find amongst the
bondholders of the Roumanian Railway Company, lords and ladies,
lackeys of the great houses, and even cabdrivers--in a word, almost
the whole of Berlin. Indeed, more than that, the King himself had to
intervene to save a few of the Silesian magnates, when Strousberg
could carry on no longer! He then applied to Bleichröder, who was,
however, rich enough not to need to address himself to so involved a
question. Nevertheless, he did so because he was asked, and also on
account of the credit which it brought him. He has taken the matter
in hand, and we are bound to support him. But the King has done even
more than this. He has had to assist the great Silesian nobles out
of his privy purse. It is, therefore, easy to understand that every
one is anxious to escape from this painful situation. You must,
therefore, solve these two questions in order to enter the ranks of
the Independent States. An independent Roumania will throw a heavy
weight into the balance of Oriental questions.... Roumania has an
area of 2500 square miles (German) and 6,000,000 inhabitants. It
might have 10,000,000; and how powerful it would be then."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Jews were admitted to the franchise on October 18, 1879, by
an alteration of Article VII. of the Constitution, and over 900
Jews who had served with the colours in 1877-78 were immediately
admitted to the rights of citizenship. Though the situation at
one period became so critical that the German Empress sent a
"quite confidential" warning that delay was fraught with danger,
the demands of Germany in the matter of the railway purchase were
satisfied three months later, and the independence of the Roumanian
State was in consequence fully recognised by all the European Powers.

_To_ PRINCE CHARLES ANTHONY, _February 11th, 1880_.

"Sandro[22] is in despair about the doings of the Panslavists, who
are making his task uncommonly difficult; had he only Bulgarians
to deal with, he would get on easily enough.... He is determined
to speak openly to the Czar Alexander about the Panslavonic and
Nihilist agitation in Sofia. He returns to his capital at the end of
March, when the newly elected National Assembly will be opened; it
is not much better than the former. So long as the Czar Alexander
lives he will personally exert a favourable influence in Bulgaria,
but when he dies everything will be changed. I told Sandro, who has
much confidence in me, that if he possesses enough strength to live
down this period of suffering, he will be richly rewarded for his
patience and endurance. But few, perhaps, have the patience that I
had, and still have."

  [22] Prince Alexander of Bulgaria.

During the stay of the Prince of Bulgaria in St. Petersburg an
attempt was made by Nihilists to blow up the Winter Palace, but
it failed owing to a mere chance. Prince Alexander of Hesse, the
father of the Prince of Bulgaria, reached St. Petersburg later than
was expected, and so caused the dinner to be postponed to a later
hour. The explosion, which destroyed the dining-room, took place,
therefore, whilst their Majesties were in an antechamber.

The English elections in March displaced the Conservative Ministry
and summoned Gladstone to the head of the Government. About the same
time Prince Charles despatched the President of the Ministry to
Berlin, to hand the insignia of the Star of Roumania to the Emperor
William, the Crown Prince, and Prince Bismarck. The last-named
suggested that Roumania had claims to become a kingdom, but the
opinion in Vienna was in favour of delaying this step.


"Your relations towards Russia will grow exceptionally difficult;
for, no matter how great the confidence one may place in the
magnanimity of the Czar, the less can one trust his Government,
looking impartially at the actions of their agents, who are actively
propagating the views of the Panslavists in all directions, and are
finally making it seem impossible for the Government to disavow and
abandon their countrymen who have gone to such lengths. One would
really think that Russia was large enough already, and that she
had enough to do at home, and might leave her neighbours in peace.
Bulgaria seems to me like a Russian province, which is only waiting
for a hint to allow itself to be incorporated; and Battenberg, even
though he possessed ever so much foresight and determination, will
hardly be able to steer against the Russian stream.

"Our _rapprochement_ and understanding with Austria last autumn was,
no doubt, under the circumstances, a correct step, and has given the
Czar's Empire something to think about. If we could only succeed in
preventing France from forming the ardently desired alliance with
Russia--which has probably been postponed for some time--we might
then see favourable guarantees for peace everywhere. No one wants
war, because all have much to do at home, and have enough to think
over in the consequences of the last bloody war. Above all things,
we Germans do not wish for war, since we gained far more by the last
than we ever dared to hope for, and we anticipate no advantage from
any extension.

"Permit me to inform you and dear Elisabeth that the premature hints
of the Press regarding the betrothal of my eldest son, William, to
Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, eldest daughter of the late Fritz
of Schleswig-Holstein-Augustenburg, are quite true. Mutual and
deep-seated inclination has brought the two together, and this
fulfils the sincere wish of my wife and myself to greet as our
daughter-in-law a Princess so distinguished by gifts of spirit,
heart, and temperament, as well as by dignified grace. God grant
that this union of hearts may one day be a blessing to the Empire."

_From the_ GERMAN EMPEROR, _March 5th, 1880_.[23]

  [23] Accompanying the Order of the Black Eagle.


"At last we have arrived at the goal of our long-cherished wishes.
It has cost many a hard and bitter struggle before we could see you
standing independent before the world! May the proverb come true
which says, 'Slow but sure.'

"I have never concealed the sympathy which I have always cherished
for you alike personally and as a Hohenzollern; but when many are
striving to the same goal and each goes his own way, time and
sacrifices are required until they are at length all gathered
together! So I too have had to temporise in order to recognise you
at last before the world.

"May God give His blessing to your now independent Government and
bless you, your consort, and your country!

  "Your sincere Cousin and Friend,

_From_ PRINCE BISMARCK, _May 20th, 1880_.

"I share your Royal Highness's regret that the acquisitions
resulting from the peace, apart from the dissolution of the
relations to the Porte, were not in proportion with the achievements
and valour of your Royal Highness's army; but, having regard to the
dignity and weight of the Powers by which Roumania is surrounded,
and also to the difficulty of securing a _modus vivendi_ amongst
them, which would give us peace for the time being, I do not know
of any possible means by which greater advantages could have been
obtained for Roumania.

"The difficulty of the historical situation is that on the far bank
of the Danube there are no national _points d'appui_ to strengthen
Roumania, and, on the other side, the population belongs to the two
great neighbouring Empires. To live in peace with these is necessary
for the consolidation of affairs, and to select at least one of them
as a certain ally will always be the object of Roumanian policy.
In this historical situation the acquisition of the Dobrudscha
was a _pis-aller_, whose favourable aspect--the possession of the
sea-coast--will increase in value during the further development of
your resources."

       *       *       *       *       *

In reply to his father, who urged him to fulfil his promise to
return home after an absence of six years, Prince Charles wrote:

     "The still incomplete negotiations about the Arab-Tabia question
     will unfortunately cause a slight delay in our departure for
     abroad. The reason why the Powers delay so long in completing
     a matter which has reached its last stage is unintelligible.
     In order partly to give way to Russia, they intend to grant
     Bulgaria a territorial compensation. An exchange of notes has
     arisen on this point, and we have directed our Ambassadors
     to express the expectation that the frontier defined by the
     International Commission will be adhered to. However, in the end
     it will be Roumania _qui payera les pots cassés_--_i.e._, they
     will give us with one hand what they take away with the other!"

On July 29, 1880, the frontier was definitely fixed and sanctioned
by the Powers, and though Roumania did not acquire all she had
fought for, she nevertheless retained Arab-Tabia.

At length, on August 10, the Prince and his consort quitted Roumania
to enjoy a well-earned rest in Germany. On passing through Ischl,
Prince Charles was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the 6th Infantry
Regiment by the Emperor of Austria. The Prince then rejoined his
dearly loved parents at the Weinburg, and Princess Elisabeth
proceeded to visit her mother. Visits were then paid to the Courts
of Dresden and Berlin, where the Roumanian sovereigns received a
hearty welcome. The German Emperor also appointed the Prince to the
Colonelcy of one of his regiments--the 1st Hanoverian Dragoons (No.

The beautiful autumn months at the Weinburg passed only too quickly,
for the cares of State demanded the return of the Prince about the
middle of October. After attending the Roumanian manœuvres near
Bucharest and Jassy, Prince Charles paid a visit to Rustchuk, where
he was greeted with the greatest enthusiasm as the liberator of

The important question of the succession to the Roumanian throne
had been fully discussed during Prince Charles's visit to Germany,
with the result that the constitutional right of succession of the
Prince's brothers and their heirs was officially recognised by the
princely House of Hohenzollern. This was effected by the exchange
of letters, which were laid before the Chambers as soon as they
assembled. A hearty vote of thanks rewarded the royal couple for
their disinterested solicitude for the welfare of the State.

The anniversary of Plevna was marked by a pleasant incident--the
presentation of a piece of statuary to Princess Elisabeth by the
wives of the officers of the Roumanian army. The Princess herself
was represented nursing a wounded soldier as an emblem of her noble
activity during the terrible period of the war of 1877-78.

Early in 1881 the Roumanian Ambassador in Berlin reported that the
representatives of the Powers had all expressed their opinion that
the time had come for Roumania to be created a kingdom. The Ministry
wished to delay this solemn act till the day of the National
Festival, May 22, but the ceremony was precipitated by an unforeseen
event. On March 13, Czar Alexander fell a victim to a Nihilist
plot, and the Roumanian Opposition seized the occasion to accuse
the Liberals of aiming at Republican and Anti-dynastic ideals. To
refute this calumny effectually, the Liberal Ministry proposed
the elevation of the Roumanian Principality into the "Kingdom of
Roumania," amidst the enthusiastic plaudits of Chamber and Senate.
After the motion had been unanimously carried, the legislative
bodies proceeded to the Palace, where Prince Charles attached his
signature to the document in their presence with the following words:

     "This is a grand and solemn moment, in which the representatives
     of the nation approach me with a unanimous resolution of the
     legislative bodies. Herewith begins a new page in the volume
     of Roumanian national life; here, too, ends a period full of
     struggle and difficulties, but full also of virile effort and
     heroic deeds. At this moment I repeat what I have so often
     said before: the wish of the nation is the guide and goal of
     my life. I have ruled this land for fifteen years; I have been
     surrounded by the love and confidence of the nation; this love
     and confidence have made the good days even brighter, and have
     strengthened and confirmed me during those which were evil. I
     was therefore proud to be Prince, and that title has been dear
     to me, round which the past has entwined glory and strength.

     "But Roumania thinks that it would be more in keeping with her
     position to proclaim herself a kingdom. I therefore accept
     the kingly title, not for myself personally, but for the
     aggrandisement of my country, and to fulfil the long-cherished
     wish of every Roumanian. This title will not in any way alter
     the close bond which unites me to the nation by all that we have
     fought for and experienced together.

     "May the first King of Roumania enjoy the same love that
     has supported the last Prince through all his troubles! The
     affection of this noble and brave nation, to whom I have devoted
     my whole existence, is more to me than all the greatness and
     brilliancy of a crown."

This sudden and unexpected fulfilment of a long-cherished hope
aroused the greatest enthusiasm in every class of Roumanian society.
The recognition of the new kingdom by the Great Powers followed very
shortly, the reception of the news by the Emperor William being
especially cordial. Prince Charles Anthony wrote:

     "The unanimity with which the kingly crown has been offered you
     is the surest foundation of your new and hard-won stability."

The coronation of King Charles took place at Bucharest on May 10-22,
1881. In accordance with his wish, the royal crown of Roumania
was fashioned of steel from a Turkish gun captured at Plevna, as
a remembrance to all time of the achievements on the battlefields
of Bulgaria, and of the fact that the new kingdom was not bound or
hampered by old traditions, but looked forward to a great future
springing from a vigorous beginning.

The golden crown for the Queen was also fashioned in Roumania from
a simple design, without jewels or ornaments. These crowns were
consecrated by the Metropolitan in the presence of their Majesties,
the Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern and his two sons, Ferdinand
and Charles, and the ceremony was attended by delegates from every
district in the kingdom, as well as by all corporations and other

After this the crowns were carried in an unending coronation
procession to the royal palace, where King Charles took the crown
into his hands with these words:

     "I assume with pride this crown, wrought from a cannon sprinkled
     with the blood of our heroes, and consecrated by the Church;
     I accept it as a symbol of the independence and power of


Though the years which followed 1881 have lacked the laurels of
the battlefield and the intensity of the struggle for independence
which characterised the earlier portion of Roumanian history under
King Charles, they are no less remarkable for continuous and patient
progress in the development of the resources of the kingdom. Herein,
as in sterner matters, the King has borne the heat and burden of the
day; no one knew better that independence was but another milestone
on the road to the ideal Roumania; that the regeneration of a nation
that had passed through such vicissitudes could only follow the
unwearying labour of many years; and that to this end the force of
example--the art of leading men, not the knack of driving them--is
of paramount importance. As sovereign of an independent State, King
Charles felt that he had at last secured a firm basis from which
the latent force of his country might be fully developed. That
these efforts have not been fruitless is proved by the increase of
the Roumanian Budget, despite the saying, _mensonge en chiffres_;
for in twenty-five years, from 1866 to 1891, the revenue increased
more than threefold (from 56,000,000frs. in 1866 to 180,000,000frs.
in 1891). It was indeed fortunate for Roumania that King Charles
was endowed with qualities which enabled him to appreciate the
difficulties of peaceful development in the same way as he had met
the dangers of war. It seemed to him now that his work had at last
commenced in earnest; his clear eye detected every shortcoming,
though at the same time the future promised much to his gifted and
industrious people. A great navigable river and the neighbouring
sea offered elements for a greatly increased commerce, whilst the
inexhaustible treasures of the soil, coal and iron, fulfilled the
necessary industrial conditions.

In Roumanian politics, the Liberals remained in office till 1888
under Jon Bratianu, and aimed at a rigid centralisation of the
Administration, whilst endeavouring to draw an increasing circle of
the population into the arena of politics. The Conservatives, on the
other hand, could only see the danger of extending Parliamentary
influence through so politically immature a nation; but up to 1891
they were unable to realise their ideals; indeed, they barely
succeeded in obtaining the permanency of the judges. Between these
two extremes lay the sphere of duty of the constitutional monarch,
the one stable element amid the fluctuations of the contending
parties. The unwavering loyalty and devotion of the representatives
of the nation to their Sovereign have been inspired by the qualities
with which nature has so richly endowed King Charles. Resolution,
energy, a knowledge of human character, readiness to acknowledge and
appreciate true individuality--a freshness of mind that the driest
of routine work is powerless to dull, and a magnanimous indulgence
that is able to forgive if not forget--these are the traits of
character which never fail to exert their influence over all who
come into contact with the King.

The foreign policy of the kingdom has constantly had one aim and
object in view--to find support and aid from the great Teutonic
Powers, though at times it seemed as if the religious tradition
of the nation or the sympathy for the Latin sister nation were
about to force the real interests of Roumania into the background.
As a German prince, King Charles had recognised the supremacy of
Prussia, and never doubted the power and force of the Teuton genius.
The year 1883 marked a decided advance in the friendly relations
of Roumania with Austria and Germany, though the former had been
estranged by the dispute about the Danube, and an outburst of
Roumanian Chauvinism on the unveiling of a monument to the Moldavian
Prince Stephen the Great, pointing to Bukowina and Siebenbürgen
as Roumanian provinces. On the whole, King Charles's policy has
been successful, though loyal friendship has had much to bear from
Germany's want of consideration in dealing with the Jews and the
railways, as well as from Austria-Hungary, whose harsh measures
against the Roumanians of Siebenbürgen have forced many of the
"brethren from over the hills" to seek shelter in Roumania.

A visit to Berlin in 1883 to act as godfather to Prince
William's[24] second son afforded King Charles an opportunity of
explaining the position of Roumania in European questions. The King
also succeeded in convincing the Emperor of Austria that, though it
was impossible to forbid a nation to cherish political aspirations,
yet these sentiments had never entered into the schemes of the
Roumanian statesmen.

  [24] The present German Emperor.

From the geographical situation of the kingdom it was only natural
that the army should continue to receive the greatest attention
from the King, who has never forgotten its willingness to follow
where he led. King Charles does not content himself with merely
watching the training of his troops at the annual manœuvres, but
keeps constant touch with every detail that may tend to promote the
efficiency and standard of his army. Nor have the rival claims of
education been neglected by either King Charles or his consort, who
are indefatigable in their efforts for the welfare of the national

The frequent change of Ministers was, however, prejudicial,
since the various measures which they introduced were not
long-lived--indeed, in some instances were never put into execution!
Nevertheless, the tendency to foster this valuable aid to true
culture lost none of its force. King Charles devotes an annual
sum to the Academy to assist in the production of an etymological
dictionary in order to aid the study of the beautiful Roumanian

The last link in the chain which bound the National Church to the
Patriarchate of Constantinople was broken as long ago as 1882;
the holy oil was consecrated in Roumania, and at last in 1885 the
Patriarch of Constantinople recognised the independence of the
Roumanian Church.

As early as 1881, twelve years after the first railway had been
constructed by foreign hands, Roumanian engineers completed the
first section of the State Railway from Buseu to Marascheschti, the
want of which had made itself felt so bitterly in 1877. Even in the
earliest days of his reign King Charles discussed with Ali Pacha the
construction of a bridge over the Danube.

At that date negotiations were entered into for a bridge between
Giurgiu and Rustchuk, whilst after the Treaty of Berlin it was
proposed to connect the two banks of the Danube below Silistria.
Though this project was discussed by the Chambers in 1883, it was
not till the autumn of 1890 that matters had progressed sufficiently
to allow King Charles to lay the foundation-stone of the railway
bridge at Feteschti, which was to unite the Dobrudscha to the mother
country, and complete the iron chain between the North and Black

King Charles has been a zealous builder; and, thanks to him,
Roumania can boast of many a notable pile in Bucharest, Jassy,
Crajowa, and elsewhere. Most noteworthy of all is the Royal Castle
of Pelesch in the peaceful valley of Prahova. Built in the style
of German Renaissance, it reveals the artistic ideal of its royal
builder so far as stone and mortar can mirror the individuality of a
man. Unlike so many castles, it is perfectly homogeneous; in a word,
Castle Pelesch is the product of King Charles's artistic taste and
indomitable will.

The death of Prince Charles Anthony on June 2, 1885, was a bitter
blow to the King, who lost in him not only a devoted parent and
friend, but a counsellor whose sage advice had sustained and
strengthened him in many a dark hour. The passing away of the
first German Emperor, followed too soon by that of his successor,
Frederick III., was a great sorrow to King Charles, who was deeply
attached to the devoted friends of his early youth, whose loyal
friendship had never wavered for an instant.

It was, therefore, a great solace to the royal pair to welcome
Prince Ferdinand, the second son of the King's eldest brother, to
Roumania as heir-apparent in 1889. Prince Ferdinand had already
entered the Roumanian army as a subaltern in 1886.

The history of the other States of the Balkan Peninsula during these
years is by no means so happy as that of Roumania. Prince Alexander
of Bulgaria was forced by shameful intrigues to quit his adopted
country within a year of a successful campaign with Servia, whose
ruler also abdicated in favour of his son after endless and painful

The present German Emperor has ably summed up the great work to
which the scion of the Hohenzollern House has devoted his life, in a
letter to King Charles, in May 1891.

     "Five and twenty years have elapsed since your Majesty was first
     summoned to undertake the government of the Roumanian State, and
     a decade will have passed on the 22nd of this month since that
     memorable day on which your Majesty was able, after a regency
     victorious in war and proved in peace, to receive a royal crown
     for Roumania and your illustrious house from God's altar by
     the unanimous desire of the Roumanian nation. Thanks to your
     Majesty's wise and vigorous rule over a richly endowed and sober
     nation, Roumania has become an equal and respected member of the
     Council of the Nations, and under your Majesty's sceptre every
     Roumanian can rejoice in the proud consciousness of belonging to
     a State which, as warden of an old-world civilisation, enjoys
     the sympathetic goodwill of all civilised nations.

     "Since our Houses are so closely connected, it is my heart's
     desire to express my warm congratulations to your Majesty on
     this joyful occasion, and also the hope that, as the bonds of
     our personal friendship, so also the firm political relations
     of Roumania to the German Empire, may be preserved in time to
     come such as they have been for past years under the enlightened
     government of your Majesty.

     "Your Majesty will place me under an obligation by laying my
     sincere congratulations before her Majesty the Queen, who has
     earned undying honour by your side in cultivating Art and the
     Ideal as well as in the formation of the Roumanian nation."


  Abdul Aziz deposed, 232.

  Abdul Hamid, 238.

  Ali Pacha, 42, 116, 158.

  _Alliance Israelite_, 145, 151.

  Alphonso, King of Spain, 209.

  Amadeo, King of Spain, 187.

  Ambronn, Councillor, 131, 134.

  Andrassy, Count, 71, 188.

    Command of, 258;
    insubordination, 253;
    manœuvres, 255, 261, 263;
    mutiny, 33;
    organisation, 257.

  Battenberg, Prince Alexander of, 313, 327;
    letter, 336;
    elected, 335;
    abdicates, 361.

  Bavaria, Prince Otto of, 80.

  Berlin Congress, 317.

  Bessarabia, 199, 317, 324.

  Beust, Count, 70, 86.

  Bismarck, Prince:
    Conversation with Prince Charles, 18;
      Col. Bauch, 23;
      Bratianu, 316;
      Sturdza, 341;
      letters on Russia, 63;
      Roumania, 73, 113, 168;
      railways, 139, 167;
      result of the war, 348;
      "honest broker," 309.

  Bratianu, 11, 28, 312, 318, 356.

    Riots, 35, 122;
    Jockey Club, 212;
    Commission, 6.

  Bulgarian Massacres, 238;
    raid, 66;
    throne, 329.

  Charles Anthony, Prince:
    Character, xi.;
    letters on France, 46;
      Germany, 49, 164, 185, 338;
      Spanish Throne, 79, 93, 94, 101;
      abdication of Prince Charles, 120;
      railways, 138, 165;
      Jewish Question, 149;
      Church Question, 214, 217;
      Eastern Question, 226, 233, 243;
      war of 1877, 270;
      result of the war, 298;
      Dobrudscha, 309;
    death, 360.

  Cogalniceanu Jewish Question, 151;
    Russian Treaty, 249.

  Cotroceni, 158, 197.

  Crèmieux, 145.

  Crete, insurrection, 52, 57, 59, 65.

  Crimean War, result of, 6.

  Czar Alexander, letter, 56;
    on Roumania, 315;
    in Bucharest, 270;
    assassinated, 351.

  Danube, Commission, 260;
    crossing of, 272.

  Denmark, war with, xvi.

  Dobrudscha, 309, 330, 360.

  Dondukof-Korsakoff, Prince (Governor-general of Bulgaria in
        1878), 327.

  England, visit to, 201;
    attitude of, 71, 233;
    and Russia, 307, 315.

  Eugénie, Empress, letter, 333.

  Ferdinand, Prince, 361.

  Feteschti, bridge at, 360.

  Flanders, Count of, 9.

  France, ill-feeling of, 58, 62, 67, 79.

  Franco-Russian Alliance, 61.

  Furceni Camp, 258.

  Gladstone, W. E., 53.

  Gordon, Charles, 260.

  Gornji-Dubnik, 289.

  Gortchakoff, Prince, 33;
    Jewish Question, 153;
    before the war of '77, 239;
    confidence of, 270;
    on Bessarabia, 304;
    threats of, 312.

  Greece, draft treaty, 81.

  Grivitza Redoubt, xxviii, 284, 289.

  Hagens, Captain, xiv.

  Hohenlohe, Prince, 49, 86.

  Hospodars, 1.

  Hungary, agitation in relations with, 70, 140, 357.

  Ignatieff, General, 57, 106, 305.

  Imeritinski, Prince, 286.

  Jewish persecution, 148;
    denied, 153;
    financiers, 179;
    emancipation, 318, 344;
    congress, 153.

  Journey to Roumania, 27.

  Krenski, Colonel von, 69, 76, 258.

  Kusa, Prince, 7, 9.

  _Lieutenance Princière_, 5, 9.

  Livadia, visit to, 83.

  Marie, Princess, birth, 103, 180;
    illness and death, 192.

    Catargiu, 32;
    Ghika, 38;
    Cretzulesku, 53;
    Golesku, 58;
    D. Ghika, 70;
    Golesku, 91;
    Lepureanu, 96;
    Ghika, 113;
    Catargiu, 125;
    Floresku, 229;
    Lepureanu, 231;
    Bratianu, 237.

  Miquel, Dr., 151.

  Moldavia, journey through, 40, 78, 155.

  Moltke, Count, 261.

  Montefiore, Sir M., 148.

  Montenegro, 237.

  Müller, Max, 202; letter, 208.

  Murad, Sultan, 232.

  Napoleon III., visit to, xvi., 88;
    letter on Jewish Question, 147;
    death, 185.

  Napoleon, Prince, visit to Bucharest, 88.

  Nelidow, M., 242, 267.

  Nicholas, Grand Duke, telegram, 275;
    urges attack, 280.

  Nikopoli bridge, 291.

  Omar Pacha, 57.

  Osman Pacha, 272, 291, 293.

  Paris Conference, 9.

  Pelesch, Castle, 159, 360.

  Phanariotes, 2.

  Piteschti riot, 96.

  Plevna, 269;
    first action, 273;
    second action, 275;
    bombardment, 281.

  Plojeschti riots, 96, 102;
    Russian headquarters, 269.

  Poradim Roumanian headquarters, 279.

  Portugal, visit to, xv.

  Prussia, Crown Prince of:
    Letters on Germany, 169, 182, 192, 220, 325;
    Eastern Question, 232, 241;
    Russia, 324, 347;
    death of Princess Marie, 194;
    of Prince Waldemar, 324.

  Radowitz, Consul-General, 113, 123.

    Ofenheim concession, 130;
    Strousberg, 131;
    payment stopped, 108;
    repurchased, 329;
    collision, 215.

  Rauch, Colonel, 13, 23, 24.

  "Roumania, Star of," instituted, 268.

  Schools, 160.

    Prince Michael, 65;
    Prince Milan, 199;
    extravagance, 208;
    war with Turkey, 229-237.

  Sinaja, 158.

  Spain, candidature for throne of, 69, 92, 97, 99.

  Skobeleff, General, 281, 284, 289, 291.

  Strousberg, Dr., 181, 135, 342.

  Sturdza, M.:
    Report on Servia, 206;
    conversation with Bismarck, 341;
    mission to Turkey, 41;
    to Berlin, 338.

  Todleben, General, 285.

  Treaty of Balta Liman, 6;
    with Servia, 61;
    of San Stefano, 311.

  Turkey, journey to, 43;
    war declared, 265.

  Victoria, Queen, 51.

  Vienna Exhibition, 189.

  Wales, Prince of, 167.

  Werner, Councillor von, 26.

  Widin, bombardment of, 268.

  Wied, Princess Elizabeth of, 87, 88;
    marriage, 90.

  William I., Emperor:
    letter on Roumania, 15;
    Jewish Question, 172, 341.

  William II., Emperor, letter, 361.

  Ypsilanti, Prince, 71.


London & Edinburgh

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