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From The Quarterly Review.
nor would reporters be excluded from a dinner in which he vanquished all the company in quoting Shakespeare. The innermost details of Mr. Gladstone's life are known to the world. He cuts his trees, as he reads the lessons, in public; he is photographed with his grandchild on his knee, and his private table has few secrets for the curiosity of society. The whole life of the man is seen in its highest and in its most familiar aspects. Fierce indeed is the light which beats upon the daily doings of an English or American political leader. But it is different with a minister for foreign affairs, especially
MANY and various are the distinctions of statesmen. The greatest are those to whom genius and opportunity come in equal and harmonious measure. One in a short career of thirteen years adds a new nation to Europe, and dies in middle age. Another is the last combatant in a struggle of three centuries. Long after his work is completed he remains the arbiter of Europe. One, in a time of reaction, supplies the world-wise caution and the hand-to-mouth expedients for keeping Europe quiet and repressing agitation. He succeeds in staving off the coming in foreign countries. The imagination revolution, but leaves a name which is a cannot so easily penetrate into the circle byword to men of progress. Another is of his daily difficulties. He lives, or is the champion of little causes, and fights supposed to live, in an atmosphere of hopelessly on the losing side. He sup- treaties, alliances, European concerts, and ports particularism when the party of Asiatic intrigues. He speaks in teleunity is certain to triumph, and defends phones, writes in telegrams; his nod is a the weaker of two rivals against the inev-command, and his commands are transitable preponderance of the stronger. He lated into all the languages of the earth. may enjoy one moment of good fortune. When the Olympian comes forth from his A political arrangement framed as a com- armory, how is he to demean himself? He promise, but more enduring than the cir- cannot make speeches without telling secumstances which brought it to birth, calls crets, and in secrecy lies his power. He for some one to conclude it. The service- must be guarded at once against the able hand is ready. Without embarrass-hungry stock-jobber and the scheming ing traditions, or hampering enmities, the | dowager. He has only two resources adroit contriver brings just the proper frankness or frivolity. He may blurt out amount of wisdom, of pliancy, and of man- the deepest mysteries of state over his agement to his task. The champion of supper, dinner, or his pipe and porter, and expiring forces finds himself evoking one no one will believe him. Cavour is so aswhich by an accident endures. Beust was tute, they say, and Bismarck is so subtle not a Cavour, nor a Bismarck, nor a Met- that they are actors even in their shirtternich, but he will live as the creator of sleeves. Or if our chancellor cannot the Austro-Hungarian Empire. compass this grand style, the art which conceals the art, he may pose as the spoilt darling of society. He may fall back upon his little feet, his taste in cookery, his velleity for scandal, his capacity for small talk; he may be the only man on a sofa full of grandes dames and not whisper a secret; he may write foolish epigrams in a foreign language which make it difficult
It must always be a disputed question, how far a statesman's mien and bearing should correspond with his official character. For domestic politicians this question is nowadays settled by the circumstances of their lives. No Chatham of the present time secludes himself in the privacy of a sick-room, any more than he makes a speech in velvet and ruffles. to attach much importance to his dePitt would not be now ashamed of letting romping children black his face in public,
spatches. There remains a third course of taciturnity and solemnity which is unworthy of a great artist, and is more safely left to under secretaries and chargés d'af
• Memoirs of Friedrich Ferdinand, Count von Beust, written by himself. With an Introduction by Baron Henry de Worms, M.P. Two volumes. Lon-faires. The world admires the versatility
of the great man. No ordinary mind can
said to have been present at the battle of Leipzig. The courtyard of his father's farm was full of armed men, who were leading off the cows, and he saw the Bash
change at once from the combinations of
arrows at the windows. His grandmother
Frederick Ferdinand, Baron Beust, was born at Dresden on January 3, 1809. His family came from the mark of Brandenburg, where their ancestral seat, Büste, lies not very far from Schönhausen, the ancient home of the Bismarcks. On the day of his birth, he tells us, he was drunk. His father, in delight at his arrival, sent the nurse a dozen of hock more than a hundred years old. The nurse, a Wend who understood no German, thought the wine was for a bath, and used it for that purpose. The baby slept for twenty-four hours, and could eat no solid food for several years. Nevertheless it attained, after a life of hard work, to a good old age, seventy-seven years. His first years were spent in the decline of the first Napoleon, and as a child of four, he may be
took copious notes. After a year, he removed to Saxony, where society and beet drinking occupied more of his attention. The good seed, however, which had been sown at Göttingen was not wasted. Saalfeld's lectures on politics determined him to the diplomatic career.
Beust entered the Saxon Foreign Office in 1831, when Europe was quivering from the shock of the July Revolution. The system of Metternich was rudely shaken, although it was able to hold out for seventeen years longer. It is difficult to realize the terror with which the overthrow of the Bourbons was received throughout Europe. Calm-minded Germans, like Niebuhr, saw in it the return of 1789, and prophesied another Reign of Terror, and another Napoleon. During his first ten years of duty Beust served in Berlin and Paris; the first, the stronghold of legiti macy, more conservative than Vienna itself; the second, the centre of fashion and culture, where the salon had not yet become extinct, and the best female influence reigned supreme. He dined, before his departure, with the king at St. Cloud, where Louis Philippe kept up his reputation as a bourgeois monarch by carving at
his own table, and carving badly. Leav- considerable effect in the affairs of his ing Paris in 1841, he went to Munich, where he witnessed some of the last years of King Ludwig, a man of eccentric genius, more at home in the back kitchen of the Botticella in the Trastevere at Rome, than in the council chamber of his residenz. Beust describes his fall in 1847 brought about by his disastrous liaison with Lola Montes, and immortalized in the epigram of a provost of King's:
Thus spake Bavaria's scholar king,
"I've lost my throne, lost everything,
The great revolutionary storm of 1848 called Beust from London to Dresden. The war of the Sonderbund in Switzerland, in which the four forest cantons, together with Zug, Freiburg, and the Valais, were ranged against the others, and were secretly supported by France, Austria, and Prussia, was the first cause of the outbreak. When General Dufour had in less than a month crushed the seceding provinces, the courier sent to them by Guizot with advice and encouragement found the revolution at an end, and had to recross the Alps with his despatches unopened, the laughing-stock of Europe. The disgust thus aroused against Guizot, who, on the occupation of Cracow in December, 1846, had declared the treaties of Vienna to be at an end, and who now used these same treaties as a pretext for sup
It is more difficult to agree with him that Ludwig would have been elected German emperor in 1848. His fame as a dilettante and a Lothario would have obscured his reputation for patriotism and wisdom. At Munich Beust married a Catholic wife, and came almost immedi- porting the Jesuits, gave a death-blow to ately afterwards to England as resident minister. He tells us that the greatest part of his diplomatic career was spent in this country, and that he looks upon it as his second home. His heart always rejoiced at the sight of Dover, although he was fully conscious of the dreary monotony of English life, and the lack of amusement. Beust was well known in English society, and these pages may fall under the eyes of many who were personally acquainted with him. He was present at Sir Robert's Peel's victory on the Repeal | of the Corn Laws, and at his defeat on the Irish Coercion Bill. He found a strong party opposed to those views of the development of Germany, with which his name was to be closely identified. Prince Albert, who was then taking that place in the politics of England and Europe which was to become more and more predominant up to the time of his early death, was in favor of a united Germany under the supremacy of Prussia, in which Austria should play only a secondary part. The same views were held by Bunsen, the Prussian minister, and Prince Leiningen, the queen's half-brother. They were strengthened in the background by the opinion of Baron Stockmar, who, from an obscure position, contrived to produce a
the kingdom of July. Beust expresses a belief that, if Louis Philippe had shown his former energy of mind, and if the Duc d'Aumale and the Prince de Joinville had been in Paris, the revolution of February might have been averted, and Thiers have taken quietly the place of Guizot. It is seldom that such far-reaching phenomena can be hindered or modified by such slight causes. The flame spread rapidly over Italy, Germany, Poland, and Ireland. It seemed at first as if timely concessions in Germany could avert further mischief. The demands made, in the first instance, upon the Baden Estates for freedom of the press, trial by jury, and a national army, were met by the appointment of a Liberal minister. The example was followed in Würtemberg and Saxony, and Beust was asked by the king to lend the weight of his experience to the conduct of foreign affairs when the other departments of government were swayed by men who possessed more enthusiasm than knowledge. This compromise did not last long. The battle of the barricades, which, beginning on March 18th, raged for fourteen hours in the streets of Berlin, ended in the entire defeat of King Frederick William IV. He was forced to stand with bare head, his queen fainting
at his side, in the courtyard of the palace, | life of Beust is inseparable from the hiswhile the bodies of the insurgents who tory of his native country; for the last had fallen at the barricades were carried thirteen of them he swayed its destinies by in procession.
as prime minister. A new outbreak was at hand. The National Assembly at Frankfort had great difficulty in determining the crucial questions of the constitution, what should be the limits of the new empire, and who should be the head of the State. It was at last settled that there should be an upper and a lower house elected by popular suffrage, and that the En-head of the State should bear the title of emperor of the Germans, which should be hereditary in his family. It was agreed that this post should be offered to the king of Prussia. It was obvious that this step would exclude Austria from the new empire. Indeed, no sooner was the decision of the Assembly announced, than the Austrian Diet which had been sitting at the archbishop's palace at Kremsier in Galicia was dissolved, and a public declaration was made that, in any future ar rangements, the Austrian Empire would remain one and indivisible. The Frankfort constitution was accepted by Baden and twenty-seven other governments, but was regarded with suspicion by Saxony, in company with Bavaria, Hanover, and Würtemberg. These south-German States were not ready to acquiesce in the exclusion of Austria, nor in the supremacy of Prussia. The Saxon Chambers were
The victory of the Liberals demanded new sacrifices, and Beust made way for the Radical Pfordten, and returned to London. He expresses a belief with characteristic optimism that, had he continued in office, he could have averted the storm. To the embassy at London was soon added that of Berlin, so that Beust, astride across the North Sea and the flats of gland and Germany, obtained from Lord Palmerston the nickname of "the Colossus of Rhodes." As Beust passed through Frankfort, on his way to Dresden and Berlin, the National Assembly which had been elected to draw up a constitution for Germany was sitting in the Church of St. Paul. He attended a meeting, at which he expected a discussion as to whether the Germany of the future should be a republic or a monarchy. No member was allowed to speak more than ten minutes, and if Beust had not decorated his hat with the national cockade of black, red, and gold, his diplomatic character would not have saved him from insult. He found Berlin, which even in our own days looks as if the soldiers had just captured it, in the hands of the civic guard without a uniform. Here he heard of the victories of Radetsky, the Austrian field-marshal, at
Custozza and Goito, and of the occupation ready to accept the coon; but, by
Beust's advice, the king
of Milan. On October 30th, 1848, Vienna was stormed by Windischgrätz, and sent. The immediate result of this was a week later Robert Blum, the child and the insurrection of May, 1949. Beust, darling of the people, the leader of the however, thinks that acceptance of the Left in the Frankfort Assembly, the im- constitution would not have prevented the passioned speaker in the Aula of Vienna, outbreak; and he instances the case of and the fearless combatant in the free Baden, which had to undergo for several corps, was shot as a rebel. Beust hap- weeks what Dresden suffered only for six pened to be in company with Bismarck days. The Saxon Parliament was dis for the first time, when the news of Blum's solved on April 30. On May 3 the popu execution arrived. He characterized it lace attacked the arsenal, to furnish themas a blunder, a verdict which experience selves with arms, but were driven back by has justified; but Bismarck said, either the soldiers. The citizens arrived; bar. with passing cynicism or in sober earnest :| ricades were erected in all the streets. "You are quite wrong; if I have an enemy On May 4 the king retired to the fortress in my power, I must destroy him." Beust of Königstein. A provisional government was not likely to forget this in after years. A few days later General Wrangel_entered Berlin without a struggle, the Parliament was dissolved, and the old condition of things was re-established. A reaction followed throughout the German States, and, carried back by the wave, Beust was again appointed minister for foreign affairs.
From February, 1849, to August 19, 1866. seventeen years and a half-the
was formed, with a Liberal, Tzchirner, at its head. The movement rapidly changed its character, and the red flag was substituted for the German tricolor. Beust passes over this episode lightly, but tells us that he went to Berlin for assistance to suppress the rising. The Prussian troops made their appearance on May 6, but took three days in conquering the barricades. The old Opera House, and part of the Zwinger Palace, were burnt down. Hap
pily, the "San Sisto" of Raphael did not | pflug, nothing daunted, pronounced Hesse fall a victim to the flames. On the even- to be in a state of siege. The officials ing of May 9 the great barricade at the and the people maintained a passive reentrance of the old market was carried, the insurrection was at an end, and the insurgents had to provide for their personal safety. Among the fugitives was Richard Wagner, who had been conductor at the Dresden Opera House. He took refuge in Switzerland and France, and Beust was able, some years later, to allow him to return to Dresden.
sistance. The electoral court removed from Cassel to Wilhelmsbad. When a military dictatorship, established under General von Haynau, attempted severe measures, nearly the whole of the officers in the Hessian army resigned their commissions. The three monarchs who met at Bregenz in October, 1850, the emperor of Austria, and the kings of Bavaria and Immediately after the insurrection Beust Würtemberg, determined to put down this went to Berlin, to prepare that amended disturbance. An imperial execution was form of the Frankfort constitution, which ordered, and an army of Austrians and was known as the League of the Three Bavarians entered Hesse. Prussia, proKings. It was mainly the work of Gen- testing against this outrage, occupied eral von Radowitz, who represented Prus- Cassel, and the armies of the two great sia. The three kings were the monarchs German powers were ranged opposite to of Prussia, Saxony, and Hanover; Austria each other at Fulda. The thunder-cloud and Bavaria would have nothing to do was dissipated just as it was about to with it. The principal alterations were burst. The Hessian officials were comthat the new federal State was to be con-pelled to give in, by billeting soldiers on fined to those countries which accepted them. A conference was held at Olmütz the constitution, and that the emperor of in November, which determined that the Germans was changed into the president of a Board of Princes, each having a vote. In other respects the constitution received a more conservative character than before. It was understood that the presidency was to be in the hands of Prussia. The antagonism between the two leading States of Germany nearly led to war. The conflict, which eventually broke out in 1866, was nearly ripe for explosion sixteen years earlier. The Chambers, called into existence by the League of the Beust received the news with a counThree Kings, met at Erfurt in March, tenance which made his doctor think that 1850. Austria, as an answer to the chal- he had got the jaundice. He felt like a lenge, summoned a plenary assembly of man who loses a game of whist by his the German Diet to meet at Frankfort in partner's bad play. According to the auSeptember. Thus two governing bodies, thority of Prince Bismarck and the present each claiming to be supreme in Germany, emperor of Germany, Prussia was quite were ranged in opposition; the Board of unprepared, and the Austrians might have Princes, under Prussia, Saxony, and Han- occupied Berlin. In Beust's opinion, the over, and the Diet, under Austria, Bavaria, war of 1850 would have been shorter than and Würtemberg. Two burning questions that of 1866, and Prussia would have been awaited the solution of both assemblies; defeated, and would not have lost a single the war between Denmark and the duch-village. One of the reasons for hesitation ies in Schleswig-Holstein, and the constitutional struggles in electoral Hesse.
Austria and Prussia should act together, both in Hesse and in Schleswig-Holstein, for the restoration of peace. Strangely enough, the compromise was regarded as a humiliation of both parties. Prussia was forced to carry out the measures of a government opposed to her in principles and politics, and Austria lost the opportunity of dealing a fatal blow to Prussia, and placing herself, once for all, at the head of Germany.
was undoubtedly the youth of the emperor of Austria, who had just come to the Hassenpflug, the prime minister of this throne with a policy of peace and progress. little province, was posing as a Strafford The conferences of Olmütz were conin miniature. The Chambers refused sup- tinued at Dresden by Schwarzenberg and ply until the budget was laid before them. Manteuffel, under the eye of Beust. They were dissolved, and new Chambers Their object was to find some means of elected, which pursued the same course. reconciling the views of Austria and The collection of imposts was ordered by Prussia, as to the organization of German edict. The officers of the customs refused unity. They led to no result. Beust to recognize a command which violated himself was in favor of what was called the constitution, and the law courts ceased the Cursus, that is, the alternate presito enforce the use of stamps. Hassen-dency of the two great powers.. Count