Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/28

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8
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

brutality which was needed in dealing with the Turkish character. I have emphasized his Prussian qualities; yet Wangenheim was a Prussian not by birth but by development; he was a native of Thüringen, and, together with all the push, ambition, and overbearing traits of the Prussian, he had some of the softer characteristics which we associate with Southern Germany. He had one conspicuous quality which is not Prussian at all—that is, tact; and, as a rule, he succeeded in keeping his less-agreeable tendencies under the surface and showing only his more ingratiating side. He dominated not so much by brute strength as by a mixture of force and amiability; externally he was not a bully; his manner was more insinuating than coercive; he won by persuasiveness, not by the mailed fist, but we who knew him well understood that back of all his gentleness there lurked a terrific, remorseless, and definite ambition. Yet the impression left was not one of brutality, but of excessive animal spirits and good nature. Indeed, Wangenheim had in combination the jovial enthusiasm of a college student, the rapacity of a Prussian official, and the happy-go-lucky qualities of a man of the world. I still recall the picture of this huge figure of a man, sitting at the piano, improvising on some beautiful classic theme—and then suddenly starting to pound out uproarious German drinking songs or popular melodies. I still see him jumping on his horse at the polo grounds, spurring the splendid animal to its speediest efforts—the horse never making sufficient speed, however, to satisfy the ambitious sportsman. Indeed, in all his activities, grave or gay, Wangenheim displayed this same restless spirit of the chase. Whether he was flirting with the Greek ladies at Pera, or