Prince Bismarck’s Mysterious Visitor
Theosophist, May, 1884
La France in an article headed “Chronique Allemande” says about Prince Bismarck:
“There is no doubt that he works hard, while undergoing treatment at Kissingen; but it is not religious politics that takes up his time. Although not a single caller is admitted, still a very mysterious visitor comes to him every day. This visitor is a tall, dried-up, old man with grim face and clothed in the fashion of the country people of Bavaria, namely wearing, as they all do, silver pieces in place of coat buttons. Certain knowing gossips say that this peasant comes from Pasing, near Munich, that his name is Huber, and that he is nothing more or less than a magician or wizard.”
This account, coming as it does from a French source admittedly unfriendly to Prince Bismarck, would appear, at first sight, to have for its object to throw a slur on the Chancellor, and charge him with superstition and credulity. But if we turn to the German Journal Psychische Studien published at Leipzig, we find another article headed “Gambetta and Bismarck in their relation to Psychism.” It shows that several years before Gambetta’s death he was dining at the house of a friend, when after dinner the lady of the house proposed a bit of fortune-telling by cards, an amusement that was smilingly accepted. When it was Gambetta’s turn to have his fortune told, the lady became suddenly serious. “Do you know,” she said, “that you are threatened by a great danger which comes to you through a woman?” “You are perhaps right,” replied Gambetta, “my mother was already told before my birth, that she would have a son who would occupy a high position in France, but who would be killed by the hand of a woman.”
According to the same journal Prince Bismarck is a sensitive. Ideas come to him and keep him awake, when he would prefer to sleep. Who knows but Professor William Carpenter may yet show that the victories in France were but a result of Bismarck’s unconscious cerebration. Hesekiel tells a ghost story which occurred in Bismarck’s castle in Schönhausen; the Chancellor himself saw the ghost and never denied it. He also expressed on a certain occasion his belief in mystic numbers and lucky and unlucky days, and when on the 14th of October, 1870, General Bayer opened negotiations with him in regard to the surrender of Bazaine, Bismarck put off the transaction of that serious business, privately giving the reason for it that it was an unlucky day.
Shall we draw the conclusion that these great men are ignorant and superstitious, or that they, perhaps, have higher developed intuitions than the ordinary rabble?