Mr. John C. Wright to Mr. Seward.
Sir :* * * * * * *
Yesterday, the 24th, the King of Prussia in person opened the North German parliament.
The royal family, with the various princes and princesses, together with the ambassadors, ministers, &c, were present.
I herewith enclose you the speech in German delivered by his Majesty. The points in it are about as follows : The King said :
Important events have caused the assembling of delegates, and great hopes depend on your deliberations. For centuries the German race had vainly endeavored to make a starting point toward German unity, but had always failed, and would again if we did not recognize the cause which prevented our forefathers obtaining it.[Page 575]
Germany was once mighty, great and honored, because united and led by strong hands. She fell because divided. Robbed of her weight in Europe’s council, of her influence in her own destiny, she became dismembered, and was at once the battle-field of foreign powers.
The old spirit for unity among us has never ceased to show signs of vitality ; we have longed for the lost blessings, and the history of bur age is replete with endeavors to reunite our fatherland. I thank my allies for the readiness with which they have responded to the needs of our common country.
As inheritor of the Prussian crown, I feel strong in the conviction that the successes of Prussia have been only steps toward the restoration and elevation of German power and honor.
As soon as the deliberations of parliament shall have progressed sufficiently far to make treaties, &c, we will extend our hands cordially toward our southern brethren. As the tendency of the German spirit is always towards peace and labor, so will the allied German states bear essentially a defensive character. Only for defence, and not for attack, is the German race seeking to be united from the Alps to the sea.
At several points in the speech his Majesty was applauded. It has been warmly extolled by the Prussians and well received by the foreign ministers. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.