two Germanic empires combined are in reality only a remnant of what the Great Empire used to be. They do not occupy more than half its territory. They are hemmed in on all sides. Countries like Belgium and Holland and Switzerland, have weakened the position of the race, by seceding from the mother-country. Belgium and Holland, and the latter more especially, have developed separate languages and nationalities and they have become complete strangers to the old country, so that separation is complete, not only politically, but in almost every sense which could have formed a tangible tie.
And yet, though shorn of many of its best and most energetic elements, — the energy of Holland in the ióth and I7th centuries wasquite phenomenal and enabled the United Provinces, with a population of barely a million and a half, to play a leading role in Europe — after the terrible ordeals of the thirtyand seven years'wars, after the Napoleonic upheavals, Germany led by Prussia, having overcome her military rivals in quick succession,became the leading power on the European continent after 1870!
There was, indeed, no disaster, no terror, no wholesale murder or devastion so appalling but Prussia's energy overcame them all. She never showed her spirit better than in adversity.