Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

66

of the Treaty of Paris, the exclusion of nated as members of the national HungaRussian men-of-war from the waters of rian ministry, were summoned to Vienna the Black Sea. This last suggestion was for consultation, and the principles of the not adopted by the powers, and it was left compromise were discussed. Beustacted for Russia to violate this part of her obli- as a mediator. The decision led to the gations during the war of 1870. As a retirement of Belcredi on February 7, and small step towards the first object, the Beust was made prime minlster in his Turkish garrison was withdrawn from place. He placed Count Taaffe, then a Belgrade. Far more important was the young man, and now prime minister of compromise with Hungary, which forms Austria, at the Home Office, the portfolio to this day the fundamental law of the of police he kept for himself. dual empire. Austria, by tradition the The compromise with Hungary was by most feudal State in Europe, has been this time completed. Deák had come to forced into the lines of constitutional gov- Vienna, to hold a personal conference with ernment by her reverses. Something was the emperor. Hungary surrendered the effected by the revolution in 1848, more idea of a merely personal union, although by the loss of Lombardy in 1859, more it was strongly supported, and allowed still by the loss of Venetia and the defeat common action in diplomatic and military of Sadowa in 1866. The policy of Bel. affairs. The finances of Hungary and credi, the head of the ministry of Austria, the trans-Leithan and cis-Leithan counts which preceded that of Beust, parts of the empire, were kept distinct. was to organize the empire into five sub- Each half was represented by a delegation ordinate kingdoms under an absolute head. which, as a rule, would correspond in This system had no life in it, and could writing on common affairs. If once a difnot resist the shock of 1866. It was ference of opinion arose, which could not necessary to reconstruct the empire in be arranged in this way, the two delega. harmony with modern ideas, if it was to tions met and voted without discussion, exist at all. This could only be done by the emperor having a casting vote in the gratifying the wishes of Hungary for con- event of an equal division.

This new stitutional government. Beust found the constitution was announced to Hungary empire vacillating between advance and on February 17, ten days after the acces. retreat, he determined its continuance in sion of Beust to the premiership. It was the line of progress.

much more difficult to secure the consent The struggle for constitutional rights in of the German and Slavonic populations Hungary had been going on for a period to this arrangement. The Germans were of thirty years. Their most proininent in favor of unity, the Slavs, especially the advocate was Francis Deák, a statesman Bohemian Czechs, demanded the same whose wisdom, temper, and practical aims, autonomy for themselves as was conceded contrasted favorably with the wild enthu- to Hungary. The policy of the comprosiasm of other leaders. On November 19, mise had to run the gauntlet of the provin1866, the emperor asked the Hungarian cial Diets and of the Reichsrath." With Parliament to consider proposals for the some difficulty the majority of the Diets reform of the entire monarchy. It was were induced to consent, but those of indicated that a large autonomy would be Bohemia and Moravia threw themselves granted to Hungary, with a responsible into the arms of Russia, sent a deputation Hungarian ministry, and that imperial to St. Petersburg, and declaimed at public unity would be confined to the army and banquets against the overbearing tyranny foreign affairs, the management of customs of the Austrian government. The emand finance. Deák appeared willing to peror of Russia was sufficiently ill-advised accept the offer, but the Left, under Tisza, to receive the deputation in a private still held back. In the middle of Decem- audience, and the irritation thus aroused ber, Beust paid a visit to Pesth. He was has not been forgotten to the present day. careful to lay aside his tall silk hat and to The Reichsrath met on May 22; the wear a fur cap, which would not offend speech from the throne, entirely the comnational susceptibilities. Six years be- position of Beust, announced the complefore, strangers who did not adopt the tion of the compromise and asked for its round Hungarian cap were hooted in the approval. The address was voted unanistreets; and Lord Bloomfield, the English mously. The arrangement thus concluded ambassador at Vienna, who was dressed has proved to be a secure basis for the in the European style, was grossly in- prosperity of the Austrian Empire. It sulted. The result of the visit was that will however be seen that it arose so enAndrassy and Eötvös, who had been desig. I tirely out of the special circumstances of the time, and was so carefully adapted to completed by the solemn coronation of the a very exceptional state of things, that it emperor at Pesth. The procession inoved would be dangerous to deduce from it any across the bridge which separates the angeneral maxims as to the advantages or cient fortress of Buda from the more disadvantages of home rule.

modern city. Beust rode just before the The fate of Austria having been de emperor. On reaching the other, the cided at Sadowa, Bismarck now began to crowd shouted “Eljen Beust so vigorprepare himself for the inevitable strug. ously that the minister's horse reared and gle against France. The treaties which nearly threw him ; a similar homage was Prussia concluded with the south-German offered by the assembled Parliament at States naturally excited the jealousy of the suggestion of Deák. The emperor, so Austria. Offensive and defensive 'alli- far from being jealous, sent for Beust, and ances had been formed between Prussia said to him: “No Austrian minister has on the one hand, and Bavaria, Hesse, ever been received in Hungary as you Würtemberg, and Baden on the other, so have been. I am heartily delighted at early as August, 1866, but they were not it.” Before Beust left Pesth he had been made public until the spring of 1867. created chancellor of the empire. Beust signalizes them as masterpieces of One of the first questions with which treachery. They certainly produced this Beust had to deal in his task of liberalizeffect, that when shortly afterwards the ing the conservative institutions of the Bavarian Count Tauffkirchen came to ask empire, was that of the Concordat, the Austria in Bismarck's name to join an relations between the State and the alliance with the rest of Germany, and Church. The principal points were those with Russia, at the price of guaranteeing of mixed marriages, the withdrawal of the German provinces of Austria, he was education from the Church, and the faciltreated with contempt. This same year ities for changing from one religion to was signalized by the Great Exhibition in another. These matters were discussed Paris, which was the culminating point of in the Chambers in the middle of July. the second empire. In the midst of the At the end of September twenty-five bishfestivities, the execution of the emperor ops and archbishops of the cis-Leithan Maximilian in Mexico fell like the crack provinces presented an address to the of doom. As the catastrophe approached, emperor, calling upon him to support the Napoleon began to look about more ear-Concordat. Beust drew up the emperor's nestly for allies, and this was one of the reply, which administered a mild rebuke reasons for the meeting of the two em to the bishops. Baron Hübner, who was perors at Salzburg Other reasons were devoted to the Papal views, was recalled the desire of Napoleon to atone in some from Rome, and the necessary laws were degree for the catastrophe of Querataro, eventually passed. and the advice of Beust that Francis Jo- Still more important were the changes seph should not go to Paris except to in the Constitution of February, 1861, return a visit previously paid. The day which the new state of things demanded. was bright and lovely, the empress Eu- It was necessary to satisfy a number of génie was charming even beyond her demands which were out of harmony with wont, and strove by the simplicity of her the traditions of Austrian government. attire to yield the palm of beauty to her The equality of citizens before the law, cousin of Austria. 'Beust tells us for the accessibility of every one to office, the first time what business was actually trans- principles of laisser faire and laisser acted at the meeting: Both sides were to passer, freedom of the press, of associa. avoid interference in the affairs of Ger- tion, and of correspondence, freedom of many, Austria attempting to gain the conscience and religion, independence of sympathy of the southern States by con- judges, -all these matters called for setstitutional reforms; it was agreed that, if tlement by legislation which might proRussia again crossed the Pruth, Austria duce the most bitter controversy. They should occupy Wallachia and should be were, however, happily decided by Beust's supported by France, also that a concilia: honesty, vigor, and resource.

The objec. tory line of conduct should be adopted tions of the emperor were towards the Porte. There was thus no Before the close of the year the comproalliance, and such common action as was mise between Hungary and Austria was agreed upon between the emperors, was finally arranged, and a citizen ministry directed against Prussia and Russia. had come into power, of which three only

Two months earlier, the work of Beust bore aristocratic names. Herbst, thé in the pacification of Hungary had been leader of the opposition, was gratified by

overcome. a

office. On Christmas eve Beust was said apologetically, “I cannot protect you allowed to lay down his premiership, and against the love of the people.” On the with Becke and John became a minister other hand Beust hints that, at this time, for the new United Empire of Austria- his life was in danger from the passions Hungary.

of the opposite party. The three great The year 1868 was for Europe little “confessional laws," as they are called, more than an armed neutrality. All eyes received the imperial assent on May 25. were turned towards the two rival pow- They had reference to the laws of mar. ers, France and Prussia, whose feverish riage, to the relations between the school declarations of peace only increased the and the Church, and to freedom of conforebodings of war. Austria was more science, and the conflicting rights of diffortunate than her neighbors. The liberal ferent religions. administration introduced and fostered by The autonomny given to Hungary gave Beust, had done more to develop the re- rise to similar demands for home rule, sources of Austria than the most sanguine both among the Czechs and the Poles. could have expected; she was rapidly These two cases were somewhat different. attaining an equilibrium in her finances, The Czech leaders demanded a separate and she was blessed by two very prosper. parliament and government for the three ous harvests in a season of universal provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Si. dearth, which spread from the Neva to lesia, the last named being almost entirely Algiers. The honeymoon between the German. Neither Beust nor the emperor newly married powers which composed was willing to change the dual constituthe Austrian monarchy, was equally tion of the empire, which had scarcely had bright and peaceful. The delegations of time to get into working order, into a fedthe two countries met for the first time at eral constitution of a far more complicated Vienna, and have met alternately at Vi- nature. He told Rieger and Palacky, the enna or Pesth in every succeeding year. Czech leaders at Prague, that although he The disputes, however, about the Concor- wished to treat all nationalities with fairdat were a set-off against the general ness, his first duty was to the constitution. satisfaction. Count Crivelli, who had been The Galicians, on the other hand, desired sent to replace Hübner at Rome, had, a complete separation from Austria, in oraccording to Beust, been converted before der that they might become part of an his departure by some Ultramontane la independent Poland. This was the more dies, and being sent to curse the pope, unreasonable, as in Galicia the Ruthenian blessed him entirely. The most exciting population is in a majority over the Polmoment in Vienna was on March 21, 1868, ish. The Galicians apparently were supwhen the decisive vote was taken in the ported in some degree by the sympathies Herrenhaus of the Reichsrath. The of Hungary, perhaps from a common hastreets were thronged, and the parliament tred to Russia. It was intended that the house was beset by dense crowds of peo- emperor should visit Galicia, but the jourple. In the evening, Beust went out to ney was given up when it was known how smoke a cigar in the streets. He was extravagant the demands of the Diet recognized in the Square of St. Stephen, would probably be, and that the visit was and his name was taken up by thousands likely to be offensive to Alexander II. of voices. Carried into an adjoining Indeed there was a chance that Francis hotel, he was nearly crushed to death in Joseph might have been saluted by the the confusion. A man embraced his people as king of Poland. At the close knees and cried, “ You have liberated us of the year, Beust received a recognition from the fetters of the Concordat.” “I from the emperor for his services in the beg you,” said Beust in reply, “to liberate title of count. my legs.

He jumped into a passing car- The year 1869 was occupied by Prussia riage, the crowd swarmned over the box in preparation for the inevitable struggle, and the steps. The procession, after whilst France and Austria were engaged stopping at the houses of the nuncio and with internal difficulties, which averted the archbishop, arrived at Beust's resi. their eyes for a time fro foreign affairs. dence in the Ballplatz. As the crowd still France turned naturally towards Austria followed, Beust stepped on the lowest as a possible ally, and Prussia, although step of the staircase and told them that, unable to make a formal alliance with while he thanked them for their sympa- Austria, was desirous of securing her neuthies, such demonstrations could only in- trality. An agreement was made with jure the cause which they had at heart. Prussia for mutual disarmament. Queen Count Taaffe, the minister of police, | Augusta of Prussia, “a political sister of

a

66

[ocr errors]

mercy," as she called herself, did some- | travel ; and it would have been undignithing to calm the relations between the fied for the emperor to have paid a visit two countries, and a visit from the crown- at Florence, so that Beust was sent to prince to Vienna did a little more on the convey his excuses. The king wore an same side. At the same time, Beust was old jacket, and had a hat under his arm. as strong as ever against an Austro-Prus. He had an imposing military appearance, sian alliance. “ Austria-Hungary,” he and he was dignified in manner, but somesaid, “is now undergoing a process of times coarse in expression. He said, regeneration. We know no other policy " After all the emperor has done, he may than that of friendship for those who sym- dispose of my place, of my life. I will pathize with that process; but we cannot give him five hundred thousand men the entertain the same feeling for those who day he wishes for them.”

“ Italy,” he are cold or indifferent to it.” Unfortu- continued, “listens when I speak. Vicnately, the tone of the Prussian press left tor Emmanuel was probably a greater no doubt into which category the victor statesman than the world will ever give of Sadowa would fall.

him credit for being. Sovereigns, as a Beust characterizes 1869 as a year of rule, leave no memoirs behind them, and panoramic views. His duties took him their correspondence is too private to be from Vienna to Constantinople ; from made the basis of narratives. It is pos. Cairo to Lausanne. In Croatia, and the sible that Cavour has received much of Militär Gränze, he was able to assist in the praise for the creation of new Italy, the settlement of the burning dispute be- which is due to his sovereign. Such was tween dualism and home rule. At Ouchy certainly the opinion of Count Vitzthum. he did something to improve the relations Beust rejoined the emperor at Trieste, between Austria and Russia, by conversa to hear that affairs in Vienna had not gone tions with Prince Gortschakoff. He went on smoothly during his absence. The in the suite of the emperor on an eastern citizen ministry had quarrelled in a mantour of six weeks. At Constantinople he ner which did not encourage a favorable pleaded the claim of the Roumanians to expectation of such experiments in the independence, but only with the result future. The reasons for these dissensions that Ali Pasha said to him, “Why don't were the efforts of the Czechs, the Sloveyou take the duchies? We will cede nians, and the Galicians to obtain various them with all our hearts.” It was now forms of self-government. Differences of too late; but Beust is inclined to regret race were accentuated by differences of that it was not done earlier. He found language and religion. Any one who that Abdul Aziz was an accomplished mu- looks at an Austrian bank-note printed in sician, and an original composer. Gen- a dozen different languages will see that it eral Ignatieff, whom he met also on the requires a very great mixture of firmness Bosporus, and who has not left behind and compromise to weld such conflicting him a reputation for veracity, generally elements into a State which can hold its began his narratives with the words, own between the threatening rivalries of “ Vous savez que mon grand défaut est de Russia and Prussia, of the Slav and the toujours dire la vérité.” Amid the splen- Teuton. dor and expense of the imperial reception, The war of 1870 brings us to one of the Beust was told that the Turkish govern- most obscure, and at the same time most ment officials had received no pay for important, epochs of Beust's eighteen months. Passing to Athens, he There is no doubt that France, in the admired the strong and acute judgment of anticipation of a war with Prussia, had King George of Greece. When the em- looked forward to the more or less active peror first caught sight of Jerusalem, he co-operation of Austria. The Duc de dismounted and kissed the ground; inside Grammont accused Beust afterwards of the gates he walked on foot, and his first something like treachery. He was said care was to worship at the Holy Sepul- to have given promises which he had not chre. Beust was the first person since redeemed. We have not at present suffi. King Solomon to drive in a carriage from cient evidence before us to know the whole Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

truth about the negotiations, but Beust's Beust had to leave Egypt before the own statements, and the correspondence emperor, in order to pay a visit to the which he has published, describe a very king of Italy. It had been intended that natural state of things from which misunthe present and former possessors of the derstandings might easily have arisen. Milanese should have met at Brindisi. It may well be imagined that neither AusThe king, however, was ill, and could not | tria nor Beust was very well disposed to

career.

Prussia. One had not forgotten the de- | only engagement which has been taken is feat of Sadowa, and the persistent efforts that of not making terms with a third of Prussia to place herself at the head of power without informing France, and also Germany. The other would long remom- that if Russia were to assist Prussia Ausber that he was dismissed from his post tria would declare war. In a war between in Saxony, as a peace-offering to Bis- France and Prussia alone Austria would marck, and would rejoice that his new remain neutral, unless it were decidedly position at Vienna was likely to afford her interest to act otherwise. Further, him an opportunity of avenging himself. the question of the Hohenzollern canPrussia had more than once exerted her-didature was not a sufficient cause for self to make an alliance with Austria, but war, unless France is anxious to make it had no price to offer for it. At the same so. Even if Austria were willing to detime, Austria was not likely to enter any fend France against a wanton attack, she combination which would pledge her to an cannot consent to follow her in any direcoffensive war against her rival. During tion in which her policy might lead her. the years 1868 and 1869, constant commu- This despatch, which is a very long one, nications, partly verbal and partly written, is explicit enough, and, if presented at the had gone on between Paris and Vienna, time it was written, would have left no between Rouher and Beust. According doubt as to the attitude of Austria. But to Beust, they had resulted in very little; Grammont replies that he never saw or in nothing more than a mutual promise heard of the despatch until the moment not to make an alliance with a third party when Beust produced it three years afterwithout consulting the other, and a guar. wards, that it was never communicated to antee from France to assist Austria if she the French government, and, indeed, that were attacked by Prussia. No doubt, there are expressions in subsequent deNapoleon would have liked a similar en spatches which are inconsistent with its gagement from Austria of a defensive having been so communicated. It looks alliance; but, however much may have as if the despatch was composed to be been hinted at or suggested, none was referred to afterwards, or to figure in a actually given. We may accept the evi- red-book, and not as a serious item in dence of the Duc de Grammont on two a difficult and confidential negotiation. points; first, that whilst he was ambas- Whatever were the intentions of Beust or sador at Vienna he was never properly of Austria, they were frustrated by the informed by Beust that the French gov. rapidity of the German advance.' The ernment must have no illusions, and that | Austrian army could not in any case be if they went to war Austria would not fol. mobilized before the first week in Seplow. Secondly, that Count Vitzthum was tember, and on September 2nd Napoleon sent to Paris shortly before the outbreak surrendered at Sedan. of the war, and that when he returned to After Sedan, when the government of Vienna after the completion of his mis- the national defence was formed, M. sion, Beust wrote to authorize Prince Thiers made the tour of Europe to induce Metternich to inform Napoleon and his the great powers to take the part of his minister that Austria, “faithful to the en- country. He first visited London, then gagements contained in the letters which Vienna, and then St. Petersburg; returnhad passed between the two sovereigns, ing again to Vienna before he went on to considers the cause of France as her own, Florence. His journey had something of and will contribute to the success of her the heroic, much of the pitiable, a little of arms within the limits of the possible.”. the ridiculous. “Tears, idle: tears, I know

How could these promises be carried not what they mean!” wrote: an: English into effect, if Austria was never to draw statesman on his London visit.. He re. the sword ? On the evening of the same ceived everywhere fair words, but no day Prince Metternich wrote to Gram- promises. Beust undertook to procure mont, to say that it would not be possible the collective mediation of the neutral for Austria to enter upon a campaign powers, but with no result. He is of opin. before the beginning of September. In ion that this would have been a wise and answer to these and similar accusations, humane course. But Russia and Italy Beust quotes a despatch sent to Prince would have nothing to do with it, while Metternich on July 11, 1870, in which he England, he says, was kept quiet by a expresses an anxiety that the French will mission from Minghetti, the Italian :minnot cherish the illusion that Austria can ister, to Mr. Gladstone. 'Those who remove a step beyond her promises, or be member the state of feeling in England at yond the limit of her vital interests. The the time will believe that no such influ

3110

LIVING AGE.

VOL. LX.

« ElőzőTovább »