Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

" Not

Buol, described by Metternich as a knife envoy to persuade him to do so, at the with a sharp point without an edge, took request of Napoleon III. the place of Schwarzenberg, and perhaps The Crimean war was followed, at no contributed to the failure of the negotia- very long interval, by the war of Italy, tions. Shortly after this, Beust met Bis. It was, in Beust's view, a natural consemarck for the second time. He takes quence of the Treaty of Paris, which left pains to tell that he and Bismarck are not Russia too powerful, while it excited the to be considered rivals, but were in reality hopes of Italy and the ambition of France. excellent friends. He quotes Bismarck's Mr. Gladstone once said to Beust,“ The opinion of him as “his most unbiased and Crimean war was a great mistake.” amiable opponent,” but at the same time in the least," he replied; " but the Treaty he reminds us that Bismarck once said in of Paris was a great blunder.” Whilst a circle of friends, that in estimating his the storm was gathering between France enemies he first deducted their vanity, but and Austria, Beust was visiting Berlin, that when he did so with Beust, nothing Paris, and London, and had therefore a remained.

good opportunity of observing the state It is difficult in these memoirs to resist of public opinion. The Prussian governthe impression that Bismarck's observa. ment was not well disposed towards Austions had a basis of truth. In 1852 the tria, but they seemed inclined to assist emperor Nicholas of Russia came to her if France interfered actively on behalf Dresden, and Beust saw him for the first of Italy. At Paris, Beust did his best to time. With his magnificent appearance, assure the emperor that an attack upon his engaging manners, and large, blue, Austria would not be regarded with indifclear, and penetrating eye, he impressed ference by the States of the German ConBeust powerfully as a commanding per- federation. In London, Beust found Lord sonality. Beust gave him advice, which Derby and Lord Malmesbury favorably he believes would have prevented the disposed towards Austria, and although Crimean war, namely, to recognize the there was no chance of shaking England French emperor not only as Louis Na in her firm position of neutrality, yet be poleon, but as Napoleon III., and to call obtained an assurance that the ministry him mon bon frère. Unhappily, Nicholas would not be opposed to a demonstration was deaf to his su arguments. In of Pr

against ance. August, 1854, King Frederick Augustus The Duke of Saxe-Coburg was ready to was thrown out of his carriage in the advise Prussia to cross the Rhine, if Tyrol and killed, and was succeeded by France attacked Austria. Very different his brother John, the learned “Phila- were the opinions of Lord Palmerston lethes," whose simplicity of character and and the Liberal leaders. Their advent to charm of conversation once induced his power in the following month determined fellow-travellers to believe that he was unequivocally the attitude of England, indeed “le premier dentiste de l'Alle- whilst Beust was abashed by the out. magne." His accession was coincident spoken judgments of the prince consort, with the Crimean war, a conflict in which wbich, whether right or wrong, have been Saxony took no part. Beust is of opinion, fully justified by events. The prince dis. that if Count Buol had occupied Little played a deeply rooted hatred of Austria, Wallachia as soon as the Russians crossed and said that it would be a blessing to the Pruth, the war might have been Germany, if Austria was so far weakened averted. Schwarzenberg, he says, would that she should be no longer a rallying, have done so. Instead of this, Austria point for the smaller German States, and made a fatal blunder by allowing Sardinia if she could be driven altogether from the to take part in the war, with the object of Confederation. The Federal constitution gaining a footing at the Congress which he considered full of faults. Germany had would conclude it. Had there been an no sovereign to represent her abroad, or Austro-Russian war, it is probable that to command her armies; the only possible Bismarck would have succeeded in bring- solution was that the king of Prussia ing about a Prusso-Russian alliance. The should become German emperor. These emperor of Austria was so far personally opinions are the more remarkable, because inclined for war, that had not Sebastopol the prince consort did what he could to fallen when it did, he might have been avert the Italian war, and because he had drawn into it. The young emperor of a deep-rooted distrust of Napoleon III. Russia would not have made peace, even Austria lost whatever good opinion she after the fall of Sebastopol, had not Beust, might have commanded in Europe by reaccording to his statement, sent a Saxonfusing to enter a congress, by calling on

upon the

a

Sardinia to disarm, and by invading Sar- | moned the German princes to meet him dinian territory. Beust thinks that, in at Frankfort, in order to discuss the respite of this, if Austria had applied to the form of the Federal Constitution. The Federation, the smaller States would have invitation was warmly responded to, and been willing to assist her.

might have confirmed the friends of AusAfter the war was over, Beust made tria in the belief that she could yet be, another attempt to include Austria in the as of old, the leader of Germany. The Federation, by proposing that the Federal sumptuous processions, the banquet in the Diet should meet twice a year - in the Römer, the splendid fireworks, made a spring at Regensburg, under the presi- deep impression on Beust's mind, and dency of Austria, and in the autumn at convinced him how important was the Hamburg, under the presidency of Prus- position of Austria. But, in fact, the sia. There was also to be a representative meeting was two years too late. Prussia assembly of German Parliaments. The refused to attend — it is said after the king plan met with no success. Austria was of Prussia had given his word to the emdecidedly hostile, and Berlin, although peror at Gastein that he would be there ; very polite, was sarcastically cold. The and the Duke of Baden, a firm supporter settlement of the rivalry between Austria of Prussian interests, refused his consent and Prussia was to pass into stronger to the decision of the Congress. Nothing hands.

In September, 1862, Bismarck was effected, excepting a few reforms in became prime minister of Prussia, and posts, currency, and customs. Beust has rapidly put into action the schemes which something to tell us about the king of he had long been maturing for placing Prussia's refusal. King John of Saxony Prussia at the head of Germany. One of went to_Baden, to request the king to Bismarck's first steps was to join with come to Frankfort. Beúst went with him, Russia in an agreement to put down the and dined with Bismarck. Bismarck said, Polish insurrection of 1863. The Prus. “ You come to drag us down to perdition ; sian intervention did not take place, be- you will not succeed." The king, was cause there was a fear lest France might much put out at having so respectable a seize the opportunity to stir up a Euro person as the scholar monarch sent to pean war. Austria naturally threw herself fetch him. “If they had sent my son-inon the other side, and, in conjunction with law," he said, " I could have scolded him; France and England, sent a note to St. but they actually send me the venerable Petersburg, urging that a reasonable de king of Saxony. gree of freedom should be given to the A far more important matter was to Poles. Saxony, was invited with other bring the great dispute between Austria States to join in this intervention, but and Prussia to a conclusion. Frederick declined to do so. A similar reply was VII., king of Denmark, the last in male sent to the proposal of Napoleon Ill. for descent of the house of Holstein, died a European Congress- - a proposal which on November 14, 1863. His uncle, the was wrecked on the reluctance of England crown-prince Ferdinand, had died in the to throw the affairs of Europe and the previous June, and the family was now Treaties of 1815 into the melting-pot. represented by Louisa, Princess of Hesse Beust is of opinion that Austria again lost Cassel, who had married in May, 1842, an opportunity. She ought to have antici. Christian, Duke of Schleswig-Holsteinpated Prussia in assisting Russia in put. Sonderburg - Glücksburg. This Prince ting down the rebellion, and so earned a Christian had been by the protocol of debt of gratitude which would have been Warsaw, June 5, 1851, and the Treaty of useful to her in times of trouble. If this London of May 8, 1852, recognized as course was impossible, it would have been king of Denmark, including the duchies better to have joined England and France, of Schleswig-Holstein, on the failure of without reserve, in helping to establish an the Holstein line, whereas, according to independent Poland. The true policy the strict laws of inheritance, the crown was either to befriend Russia or to weaken should have passed to Frederick Christian her, so that she could be no longer for- Augustus, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, midable. As it was, Prussia treated the who represented the distantly related but Polish refugees with severity, while Aus- elder line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sondertria treated them with kindness, thus los- burg-Augustenburg. The provisions of ing the confidence of Russia which Prussia the Treaty of London were accepted by the acquired.

great powers, and by Sweden, and also by The emperor of Austria, having given a several of the smaller German States, such constitution to his own dominions, sum- as Hanover, Saxony, and Würtemberg; but not by the German Diet. After the Schleswig-Holstein nearly brought about death of the hereditary prince, the title of a war between England and Germany. Prince Christian was acknowledged by According to Count Vitathum, it was pre. the Danish Parliament, which did not, vented by the firmness of the queen and however, bind the duchies, whereas it the Conservative leaders. Lord Palmerwas contested by the house of Augusten- ston, he says, was ready to go to any burg. Was then the new king of Den- length to defend a treaty of which he had mark to succeed to the duchies as well been the author. His plan was to attack as to the crown, and were these to be inte- the North Sea and Baltic provinces of gral parts of the Danish kingdom, as the Germany with half the English fleet, and Treaty of London had without doubt in- Trieste and Venice with the other half, to tended ? It would exceed our limits to subsidize Mazzini and Garibaldi against explain, even shortly, the complicated Austria in Italy, and Kossuth in Hungary: history of the Schleswig-Holstein ques. The queen is said twice to have refused tion. Suffice it to say, that Schleswig was the draft of a threatening speech from mainly Danish, Holstein entirely German. the throne, and only to have approved Indeed, the latter duchy was an integral the colorless words which were actually part of the German Empire, and had a spoken the day before the opening of Par. representative at the Diet. At the same liament. The war in Denmark continued time the two duchies had, by a long pre- beyond the limits which were at first ex. scription, been inseparably joined to- pected. The lines of Düppel, " a second gether, and attached great importance to Sebastopol," were attacked and stormed that union. Attempts had been made by on April 18th, the Prussians losing twelve the late king of Denmark to extirpate the hundred men, and the fate of the war was German element in Schleswig in a man- virtually decided. Beust does not defend ner which appeared to violate the consti- the action of the two German powers. tution, and this action had been resented in his opinion they were inconsistent in by the Diet. The Prince of Glücksburg attacking a monarch of their own creation, ascended the Danish throne as Christian and cowardly in assaulting a weaker State. IX., and under the pressure of Copenha- Denmark also was wrong in fighting, but gen confirmed the obnoxious constitution that, he says, was owing to Bismarck's unof his predecessors. The prince of Au- scrupulousness, who told him at Gastein gustenburg proclaimed himself Duke that in order to force the Danes into resist. Frederick VIII. of the united duchies of ance, he had made them believe that Schleswig and Holstein, and drew to him. England had promised her intervention in self the sympathies of the whole of Ger- the event of open hostilities, whereas she many. The popular song, “Schleswig- had done nothing of the kind. There is Holstein, sea-surrounded,” attained the little doubt, from subsequent events, that position of a national hymn. The Diet Austria was duped in a similar manner. took the side of the duke. Federal troops When an armed intervention was found crossed the Elbe, and occupied the duch- impossible a conference was held in Lodies of Holstein and Lauenburg, the Danes don, at which Austria and Russia conretiring before them and avoiding a con- sented to be present. Beust attended as flict.

the representative of the German Feder. Prussia and Austria then proceeded to ation, but did not arrive till after the first stronger measures. They demanded the sitting. He was not well received by abrogation of the Constitution of Novem- Lord Palmerston, who, on being introber, which put an end to that union be- duced to him by Mr. Murray, our minister tween Schleswig and Holstein which was at Dresden, took no notice of him, but regarded as the fundamental basis of the went on with his conversation. Beust Treaty of London. On the refusal of the never entered Cambridge House again. king of Denmark, the duchy of Holstein He attributes some of the English feeling was occupied by the allied armies in Feb. in favor of Denmark to the popularity of ruary, 1864. They crossed the Schlei, and the Princess of Wales, and says that thouapproached the Dannewerk, the great sands of people used to assemble very earthwork which runs from east to west day opposite Marlborough House to see along the south of Schleswig, which was her take her morning drive. The queen, evacuated by the Danes, who retreated to however, came to the rescue. Although the lines of Düppel, but did not succeed her Majesty was at that time living in the in completing this movement without an strictest retirement, Beust was invited to engagement

spend two days at Osborne. From that It is well known that the occupation of moment society was open to him. Beust found the queen thoroughly versed in all | tirely unworkable. Austria placed bethe intricacies of the Schleswig-Holstein tween two districts in the occupation of question, and determined to prevent any her rival was sure to be crushed out, and hostile action on the part of England. At any disputes which arose in the double the conference itself Lord Russell was so administration of the duchies would be ignorant of French that Lord Clarendon interpreted to her discredit. It would was obliged to be the real president. The have been better if Austria had listened general opinion is that the conference had to Beust's advice, and refused to share in no result. Beust, however, protests against the occupation without having received that view. Austria wished to maintain the mandate of the German Confederation. the arrangement of 1852, by which the The Federation itself was on its last duchies were placed under Denmark. legs. Austria who, beguiled by the ignis Beust insisted upon their being secured fatuus of her great ally, had assisted in to Duke Frederick. He believes that, if discrediting the Bund and covering it with that arrangement had been carried out, ridicule, returned to it in her extremity. the-war of 1866 would have been avoided. Pressed hard by the interference of PrusHe does not appear to be aware that he sia in Holstein, she proposed the mobili. was unconsciously playing into the hands zation of the Federal forces. The central of Bismarck, who had determined, long States supported the motion, but Prussia before, the course which events should declared that it was a violation of the Fedtake. The second duty of the conference eral constitution. Before this, Prussia was to determine where the frontier line had violated the constitution still more between Denmark and the duchies should glaringly, by making an alliance with Italy be drawn. France was strongly in favor on the condition of her attacking Austria. of settling this by a plébiscite, a view War was inevitable, and Saxony in comwhich was supported both by Beust and mon with her neighbors began to arm. It Bernstorff. It was resolutely opposed by is hardly worth while to discuss, with Austria, who was afraid lest the principle Beust, how far the disappearance of the of a popular vote might some day be ap. Federation was a loss to Germany. The plied to Italy. War broke out again, and substitution of a great State for a number the conference came to an end.

of smaller States belongs probably to that The submission of Denmark was fol. class of events which, except in point of lowed by the Treaty of Vienna, in which time, are independent of individual efforts. the Confederation was not represented. It may be doubted whether Germany at Saxony and Hanover were jostled out of the present day holds the rank in science, the way, Rendsburg, then garrisoned by literature, and art, which she held twenty them, being occupied by six thousand years ago. The smaller courts were cenPrussian troops under Prince Frederick tres of culture, and the absorption of the Charles, wben, by the intrigues of Bis- intellect of the nation in politics and commarck and the intervention of Austria, the merce has impoverished other channels Federal execution was determined to be at of activity. The earliest German railways, an end. Beust, either from temper or Beust tells us, were the creation of Bava. prudence, withdrew his troops by a cir- ria and Saxony. By the predominance of cuitous route through Hanover, Hesse, a single power the spirit of useful emula. and Bavaria. The king of Denmark sur- tion amongst independent sovereigns has rendered the duchies to the king of Prus. been checked, and war with Austria had sia and the emperor of Austria, while the in all probability been a part of Bismarck's Duke of Augustenburg and the German programme from the beginning. The Federation were left equally out in the king, on the other hand, only assented to cold. By the convention signed on Au- it after severe struggles and with a heavy gust 14th, 1864, Lauenburg was sold to heart. An attempt was made to secure Prussia by Austria for two millions and a the alliance of Saxony for Prussia, and half of Danish thalers, Austria was to she was asked to march her army into occupy Holstein, and Prussia Schleswig; Bohemia. King John and Beust refused, while Prussia was to have possession of and stood firm by the alliance with Austhe harbor of Kiel, with the right of forti- tria. Napoleon intervened with his usual fying it, and other privileges. When project of a congress, which Austria deBeust visited Gastein, just after the con. clined from fear of losing Venetia. The clusion of the convention, Bismarck said suggestion, however, gave time for the to him, “We have made a less combusti. belligerents to prepare themselves. ble arrangement with Austria." To any The signal was given by the dissolution observant eye the arrangement was en. of the Bund at Frankfort on June 14, 1866.

The next day the Saxon army, consisting envoy, left Paris just before Beust arrived. of thirty thousand men and seventy-five Napoleon was in a condition of bodily and guns, was ready for action. The costly mental prostration. He could only mut. treasures which attract so many sightseers ter, “ I am not ready for war," and it was to Dresden were packed up and stored in in vain that Beust urged upon him that a fireproof vaults at Munich. _The Saxon demonstration was all that was required. army joined the Austrian in Bohemia, not Beust's retirement from the Saxon minin consequence of any special treaty, but istry might have seemed the inglorious as an act of federal duty. Saxony was end of an unsuccessful career.

For sevordered by Prussia to place her army upon enteen years he had been the most promi. a peace footing, and to assent to the call. nent champion of a policy which was ing of a German parliament by Prussia. thoroughly worsted. He had supported If she submitted, her sovereign rights and the cause, first of the smaller German the territory would be guaranteed ; if not, States, and then of Austria. He had seen she would be treated as an enemy. The Austria driven from the headship of Geroffer was finally declined, and the news many, and preparing to retire from Vienna reached Frankfort on the day of the dis- to Pesth, while Prussia was triumphant solution of the Bund. The king and the with the German States at her feet. To royal princes joined the army, the queen his great surprise, he found himself almost and the princesses went up the Elbe to immediately in a more proininent position Aussig. "The queen dowager remained than before, foreign minister of the second behind, and used her efforts to preserve State in Germany, with the opportunity of the beautiful gardens and parks for which carrying out a policy which would immor. Dresden is so renowned. Beust's private talize his name. He had been regarded villa at Laubegast, on the road between by the Austrians as the author of their Dresden and Pillnitz, was broken into by misfortunes, and wrote from their capital the Prussian soldiers. All the wine was to a friend in Saxony: “ Tomorrow I leave drunk, the furniture destroyed, and the Vienna. I will shake the dust off

my servants, men and women, ill-treated. His feet. I will not return there in a hurry." name was familiar to the army as the A week later, he received at Gastein the sturdiest opponent of the Prussian alli- offer of the ministry of foreign affairs.

The attitude of Bavaria was less By Beust's wish, the appointinent was decided than that of Saxony. Beust did kept secret until the peace between Sax. his best to persuade Prince Charles of ony and Prussia was finally concluded. Bavaria to march into Bohemia. If he He was sworn into office by Count BelIrad done so, the left flank of the Austrians credi, who received him with scant comwould have been covered and the battle fort, telling him that his appointment of Königgrätz would not have been lost. would be unpopular because he was a The Saxon court was obliged to retire to foreigner, a German, and a Protestant, and Vienna ; the Austrian capital was reached that he hoped Beust would not drag Ausat two in the morning of July 4. The tria into another war. A diplomat at Paris railway station was brilliantly lighted and said of him, "Il a enterré la Saxe, il a decorated with flowers. The emperor enterré la confédération, il va enterrer met his guests with a face as white as his l'Autriche.". In the five years during uniform. He told them of the terrible which he held office he was able to disapdisaster of Sadowa on the day before. point these expectations.

The defeat of Austria brought about The questions which first demanded the close of Beust's Saxon career. He Beust's attention in his new office were was nominated to represent his country in those of the East and of Hungary. His the negotiations for peace which followed views on the relations between Austria the Treaty of Prague between Austria and and Turkey were expressed in an imporPrussia. 'Bismarck refused to receive him tant despatch, written to Prince Metter. at Berlin, and he therefore tendered his nich at Paris on January 1, 1867. It resignation, which was accepted. The marked a new era in the treatment of king took leave of him with every mark of Eastern affairs. Its object was to claim personal affection. Before he finally left for the great powers generally, and espethe Saxon service, Beust was sent by the cially for Austria, an interest in the Chris. emperor of Austria on a secret mission to tian populations which would ensure their Napoleon 111., to induce him to intervene protection, and would take away from in favor of the conquered country. Un Russia the monopoly of their defence, and fortunately Bismarck had been beforehand at the same time to gratify Russia by with him, and Prince Reuss, the Prussian | abrogating the most humiliating condition

ance.

« ElőzőTovább »