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Bismark at the Helm

HIS skepticism concerning the chances of the statesman in the stream of time was a recurrent theme. ``By himself the individual can create nothing; he can only wait until he hears God's footsteps resounding through events and then spring forward to grasp the hem of his mantle - that is all.'' In a person of other temperament this awareness of the smallness of man and the inadequacy of his best efforts would have ended in resignation and apathy. ... Bismarck was driven by a vital compulsion to seize the helm and steer. If man can do little, he has at least the moral duty to accomplish what he can.