Blood and Iron
¶ The words carved on Bismarck's tomb at his own request, "A Faithful German Servant of Emperor William I," show that however much other men were unable to comprehend the baffling Bismarckian character, the Iron Chancellor himself had no vain illusions.
¶ When he was 83 and about to die, the old man taking a final sweep of his long and turbulent life, asked himself solemnly: "How will I be known in time to come?"
¶ Fame replied: "You have been a great Prince; an invincible maker of Empire, you have held in your hand the globe of this earth; call yourself what you will, and I will write a sermon in brass on your tomb."
¶ But the Iron Chancellor, after mature reflection, decided that his entire career, with all its high lights and its deep shadows, could be expressed in four simple words, "A Faithful German Servant.