Foreign News: Vivat Gustavus Rex!

Not so long ago the bitter-brilliant publicist Maximilian Harden went to a State Reception held at the Foreign Office of the German Republic. He skulked about. There were mountains of caviar sandwiches, sideboards snowy with ices, trays of brimming champagne goblets; and all the women had shaved and powdered under their armpits. These things put Publicist Harden into a towering, democratic rage.

Afterward he recorded his bitterest impression thus:

"Under the middle chandelier stands a stocky, pale gentleman in faultless evening attire. His bald head is a palish gray; his prominent eyeballs, framed in reddish half-closed lids, have a lustreless prismatic glint; a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!