Unfortunately for him the first orders sent to Billow by Gneisenau, chief of the staff, at midnight June 14-1 5, were written in so stilted and hazy a style that Billow did not consider any especial display of energy was required.
In his speech of the 13th of January 1903, in which he made the above admission, Count Billow also had to admit the failure of the Prussian policy.
The repressive efforts of the government, however, culminated in the bill, introduced in the session of 1907 by Prince Billow, providing for the compulsory expropriation of Polish landowners in favour of Germans.
A cautious and versatile diplomatist like Bernhard von Billow appears to be best adapted to the personal and political necessities of the present situation."
On the 6th of June 1905 Count Billow was raised to the rank of prince (Fiirst), on the occasion of the marriage of the crown prince.
As foreign secretary Herr von Billow was chiefly responsible for carrying out the policy of colonial expansion with which the emperor had identified himself, and in 1899, on bringing to a successful conclusion the negotiations by which the Caroline Islands were acquired by Germany, he was raised to the rank of count.
On the 13th of February 1902 he was presented with an address in a gold casket by the city corporation, and entertained at luncheon at the Mansion House, an honour not unconnected with the strong feeling recently aroused by his firm reply (at Birmingham, January II) to some remarks made by Count von Billow, the German chancellor, in the Reichstag (January 8), reflecting the offensive allegations current in Germany against the conduct of the army in South Africa.
Bernhard von Billow, after serving in the Franco-Prussian War, entered the Prussian civil service, and was then transferred to the diplomatic service.
In 1907 Prince Billow was made the subject of a disgraceful libel, which received more attention than it deserved because it coincided with the Harden-Moltke scandals; his character was, however,completely vindicated,and the libeller, a journalist named Brand, received a term of imprisonment.
Prince Billow assumed the official responsibility, and tendered his resignation to the emperor, which was not accepted; but the chancellor's explanation in the Reichstag on the 10th of November showed how keenly he felt his position.
Prince Billow married, on the 9th of January 1886, Maria Anna Zoe Rosalia Beccadelli di Bologna, Princess Camporeale, whose first marriage with Count Karl von Donhoff had been dissolved and declared null by the Holy See in 1884.
His father, Bernhard Ernst von Billow, is separately noticed above.
The appointment caused much surprise at the time, as Billow was little known outside diplomatic circles.
Count Billow, indeed, though, like Bismarck, a "realist," utilitarian and opportunist in his policy, made no effort to emulate the masterful independence of the great chancellor.
During his administration even the secretary of state for foreign affairs, Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, and afterwards Count von Billow, became the ordinary spokesman of the government, and in the management of other departments the want of a strong hand at the head of affairs was often missed.
Moved to support Billow; together they regained possession of Plancenoit, and once more the Charleroi road was swept by Prussian round shot.
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, first sketched in 1845, was completed in 1867 and first performed at Munich under the direction of Hans von Billow on the 21st of June 1868.
Instead of concentrating his force upon one bridge over the swampy and unfordable Dyle, Grouchy scattered it in attacks upon several; and when the emperor's despatch arrived, saying Billow was in sight, the marshal was powerless to move westward.
Its chief buildings are the citadel and many mosques, one of which is an ancient Byzantine basilica, originally a 1 Prince von Billow was credited with suggesting in his correspondence on the question of the Bundesrath that a tribunal of arbitration should be instituted to deal with all questions of capture.
These arguments were reinforced by an appeal of Prince Billow to the traditions of Bismarck, and in spite of a strenuous and weighty opposition, the bill with certain modifications passed by 143 votes to III in the Upper House, and was accepted by the Lower House on the I3th of March.
In spite of the election of the Reichstag by manhood suffrage, there existed, as Count Billow pointed out in 1904, no real parliamentary system in Germany, and owing to the economic, political, social and religious structure of the nation there could never be one.
His appeal to musicians was made in a threefold capacity, and we have, therefore, to deal with Liszt the unrivalled pianoforte virtuoso (1830 - r848); Liszt the conductor of the "music of the future " at Weimar, the teacher of Tausig, Billow and a host of lesser pianists, the eloquent writer on music and musicians, the champion of Berlioz and Wagner (1848-1861); and Liszt the prolific composer, who for some five-and-thirty years continued to put forth pianoforte pieces, songs, symphonic orchestral pieces, cantatas, masses, psalms and oratorios (1847-1882).
Together, these troops drove Billow out of Plancenoit, and forced him back towards the Paris wood.
To neutralize Billow when necessity arose, the emperor now detached Lobau together with the squadrons of Domon and Subervie.