Mr. John C. Wright to Mr. Seward.

No. 20.]

Sir: On the 17th instant the King, in person, closed the North German parliament. Enclosed will be found the speech in German and a translation of the same. That portion of the address relating to South Germany called forth hearty applause.

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I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


Illustrious, noble, and honorable members of the Parliament of the North German Confederation :

I see you again assembled around me, at the termination of your important labors, with a feeling of sincere satisfaction. The hopes I recently expressed from this place, in the name of the allied governments, have since then, through your aid, been brought to fulfilment. With patriotic earnestness yon have understood the greatness of your task, and have kept in view our common objects with voluntary self-restraint. For that reason we have succeeded in establishing upon a secure basis a constitution, the development of which we may confidently leave to the future. The federal authority is furnished with the attributes indispensable to, but also sufficient for, the prosperity and the power of the confederation. The individual states, while their future is guaranteed by the totality of the Bund, have retained their freedom of action in all departments wherein variety and development is admissible and salutary. To this popular representation is secured that co-operation in carrying out the great national objects which corresponds to the spirit of the existing constitutions of the countries and to the necessities of the governments to see their action supported by the agreement of the German people. All of us who have co-operated in carrying out the national task, the allied governments as well as the representatives of the people, have readily made the sacrifice of our views and our wishes, and we were able to do so in the conviction that these sacrifices were made for Germany and that they were worth our union. By this uni-versal readiness, coupled with the conciliation of and victory over opposing views, the guarantee is at the same time gained for that future fruitful development of the confederation, with the conclusion of which, also, the hopes common to us with our brethren in south Germany may have advanced nearer to their fulfilment.

The time has arrived when our German fatherland is able to uphold its peace, its rights, and its dignity by its own collective strength.

The national self-consciousness which has found elevated expression in the parliament has met with a powerful echo from all quarters of Germany None the less, however, are all the governments and peoples of Germany unanimous that the regained power of the nation has, above all, to uphold its significance by rendering secure the blessings of peace.

Honorable gentlemen, the great work in which we have been thought worthy by Providence [Page 581]to co-operate is approaching its completion. The popular representations of the individual states will not refuse their constitutional recognition to what you have created in community with their governments. The same spirit that has enabled the task to succeed here will also preside over their deliberations. Thus, then, the first parliament of the North German confederation may close its labors with the elevating consciousness that it is accompanied by the thanks of the fatherland, and that the work it has accomplished will, with the help of Providence, be fruitfully developed both in our time and in future generations. May God bestow his blessing on us and our dear fatherland.