Bismarck's Last Cigar

Grant and Bismarck, the one the European, and the other the American "man of blood and iron," were equally famous for their devotion to a good cigar. No caricaturist who drew Grant without a cigar in his mouth could hope to rise in his profession. Bismarck once told a group of visitors the following story: "The value of a good cigar," said he, proceeding to light an excellent Havana, is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting another. At Koniggratz I had only one cigar left in my pocket, which I carefully guarded during the whole of the battle, as a miser guards his treasure. I did not feel justified in using it. I painted in glowing colors in my mind the happy hour when I should enjoy it after the victory. But I had miscalculated my chances. A poor dragoon lay helpless, with both arms crushed, murmuring for something to refresh him. I felt in my pockets, and found that I had only gold which would be no use to him. But stay - I had still my treasured cigar! I lighted it for him, and placed it between his teeth. You should have seen the poor fellows grateful smile! I have never enjoyed a cigar so much as that one which I did not smoke."

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