Metternich - Memoirs of Prince Metternich - 1880 - Vol 01

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Memoirs of Prince Metternich ·

Metternich, Richard (Autor) · London 1880 ()

Herausgeber: RICHARD BENTLEY & SON · Verlag:  · (Ed)
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MEMOIRS
OF
PRINCE METTERNICH
EDITED BY
PRINCE RICHARD METTERNICH
THE PAPERS CLASSIFIED A.VD ARRANGED BY M. A. de KLISKOWSTROM
TRANSLATED BY MRS ALEXANDER NAPIER
LONDON
RICHARD BENTLEY & SON
1880


PDF-Version im Internet-Archiv

VOLUMES




EDITORS PREFACE.

IN bringing this work before the public, I do homage to the memory of my father.

It appears twenty years after the death of the Chancellor.

' Such a delay is necessary, in order that the writings which I leave behind me may become ripe for the use of the literary world.' Thus my father expressed him- self on different occasions, and without being bound by any testamentary directions, filial piety urges me to fulfil a duty which is also dictated by political con- siderations.

No restriction was placed upon the Editor as to the mode of dealing with the materials which my father, left, and I have chosen the form which seems to be indicated by the materials themselves.

In a memoir entitled 'My Political Testament, which the reader will find in its proper place in this work, the Chancellor explains in the following words the reasons of the silence he had maintained :

' I have made History, and have, therefore, not found time to write it. I did not regard myself capable of this double task, and after my retirement into private life, I was too advanced in years to devote


VI PREFACE.

myself to the task of writing history. Far removed from access to the State Archives necessary for such a work, I should have had only my memory to rely upon.

' I have recoiled from this task, and the history of my ministry, which lasted nearly thirty-nine years, must be derived from three sources :

'I. From, the Archives of the department over which I presided from the Battle of Wagram, in 1809' till March 13, 1848 :

' II. From a collection of documents which I leave behind me, under the title of " Materials for the History of my Time : "

'HI. From the letters and papers which I have written since my retirement into private life.

' The impartial historian who draws from these three sources will find abundant materials.

1 Neither self-love nor proneness to dogmatism have urged me to make known the views and sentiments by which the whole course of my life was governed. The feeling which inspires me rests on a regard for historical truth.'

Similar expressions used by my father will be found by the reader in many parts of this work. The motive which hindered Prince Metternich from writing a continuous history of his life and labours is every- where apparent ; as such an undertaking would, indeed, have amounted to writing the history of Europe during the first half of our century.

The reader must not expect from the Chancellor's son a history of this period, nor a picture of the terrible wars, or of the long era of peace which followed them, an era which, ambitious as it may sound, bears the name


PREFACE. Vii

of the illustrious Chancellor. But the world must accept from the son all he can give the Notes, Memoirs, and Correspondence which the Chancellor deposited in the archives of his family, and which he himself de- scribes as a collection to be used for the history of his life, with the expressed wish that they should be pub- lished for the use of the historian.

My task, therefore, has been to collect the papers left by my father, to classify them according to the nature of their subjects, following the chronological order, and to supplement them occasionally by reference to the Archives of the State. I have been guided in my work by the desire to throw light on the career of Prince Metternich, reproducing the papers with scru- pulous fidelity, without addition or alteration, and in this way I have been able to bring out the greatness of his character.

The natural divisions in the life and labours of Prince Metternich have led me to arrange the papers he has left in three sections, corresponding to the three following epochs :

The first, from 1793 to 1815, beginning with the birth of Metternich, and ending with the celebrated Congress at Vienna.

The second, from 1816 to 1848, includes a period of general peace, and ends with the Chancellor's retire- ment from political life.

The third, from 1848 to 1859, is a period of re- pose, lasting till the death of the Chancellor, which took place on June 11, 1859.

The fourth and last Part will consist of documents of a various nature, which are not easy to class in


viii PREFACE.

chronological order, but are more easily arranged ac- cording to their subjects.

It is the First Part which is now published in these two volumes, comprising the period from 1773 to 1815.

The work will be published simultaneously in Ger- man, French, and English. The documents left by Prince Metternich are written partly in German and partly in French.

In the accomplishment of my arduous task I have had the assistance of others, whose valuable help I most thankfully acknowledge. Amongst others I specially mention with gratitude His Excellency Baron Aldenburg, whose rare knowledge and great experience have never failed me. I am also under great obligations to the Government officials, to the directors and custodians of the State Archives, who placed their treasures at my disposal for the benefit of this work, but I have used their liberality merely to fill up gaps in the papers left by the Chancellor. To do more than this would have been to alter the character of my work.

Lastly, I must mention, as a true fellow-labourer in this great enterprise, my friend, Hofrath von Klinkow- strom. Entrusted with the sifting and arranging of the Chancellor's papers, he has given to this vast collection of documents the form under which they are now pre- sented to the public.

I now leave my father to speak. The reader shall, in this work, hear the voice which once made itself heard in all the Courts and Cabinets of Europe, and see the man who had the honour of leading for many years the Conservative party of the Austrian Empire.


PREFACE. ix

The reader shall hear, not another speaking of Metter- nich, but Metternich himself.

Now that more than a generation has passed over his quiet tomb, the image of the resolute defender of Conservative Principles appears still more imposing, and his own words will enable men to realise the power and the charm of his character. Even his enemies will be touched, and will regard with respect the great statesman as he once again passes before them.

Written on the 20th anniversary of the death of my father.

PRINCE RICHARD METTERNICH. PARIS : June 11, 1879.


EXPLANATORY.

I DEPOSIT this manuscript in the archives of my family, and I am led to do so by the following considerations :

My life belongs to the time in which it has passed.

That time is an epoch in the history of the world ; it was a period of transition ! In such periods the older edifice is already destroyed, though the new is not yet in existence ; it has to be reared, and the men of the time play the part of builders.

Architects present themselves on all sides : not one, however, is permitted to see the work concluded ; for that, the life of man is too short. Happy the man who can say of himself that he has not run counter to Eternal Laws. This testimony my conscience does not deny me.

I leave to those who come after me not a finished work, but a clue to guide them to the truth of what I intended and what I did not intend. Mindful of my duty to the State, I have inserted in this manuscript nothing belonging to its secrets ; but many things which ought to be known, and which ought not to remain in obscurity.

I have especially desired to render a last service, the greatest I can render, to the dead : to make known, as


Xii EXPLANATORY.

he was, the Emperor Francis I., who in his last will has conferred on me the title of his best friend.

My life was full of action in a time of rapidly moving events. This narrative shows that from my earliest youth to the thirty-sixth year of a laborious ministry, when I write these lines, I have not lived one hour to myself.

A spectator of the order of things before the Kevo- lution in French society, and an observer of or a parti- cipator in all the circumstances, which accompanied and followed the overthrow of that order, of all my con- temporaries I now stand alone on the lofty stage on which neither my will nor my inclination placed me.

I acknowledge, therefore, the right and the duty to point out to my descendants, the course by which alone the conscientious man can withstand the storms of time. This course I have indicated by the motto I have chosen as the symbol of my conviction, for myself and my de- scendants : ' TRUE STRENGTH LIES IN EIGHT ' ; save this, all is transitory.

The epoch which I have especially considered lies between 1810 and 1815 ; for that period was the most important in my life, as it was also in the history of the world. The direction was then given to the forms which things afterwards assumed. Proofs of this exist in the State Archives ; but they contain only the results, and contribute little towards throwing light on the pro- cess by which those results were brought about ; for in the years 1813, 1814 and 1815, the monarchs and the leaders of the Cabinets were mostly in the same locality.


EXPLANATORY. xiii

If ever and it is inevitable an account of my life be given to the world, the statement of the truth concerning myself will furnish my descendants with the means of contradicting false representations. Investiga- tion of the State Archives will also be required, containing as they do all that I did not think proper to include in this manuscript, and which I could not have included from want of time, even if a feeling of duty had not forbidden it.

The men who create History have not time to write it I at least had none.

I have called the period between the years 1810 and 1815 the most important, because it includes the epoch in which Napoleon's attempt to establish a new order of things was overthrown ; through which over- throw Europe fell under the natural consequences of the French Eevolution consequences which are only now beginning to develop themselves.

This manuscript is to remain in my family archives for ever, so far as that can be said of anything man intends. I permit it, however, to be used, according to time and circumstances, to fill up the defects in histo- rical narratives, or to correct those which are untrue, whether in regard to facts or in regard to my own person.

METTERNICH.

December 1844.


CONTENTS

FIRST BOOK.

MATERIALS FOR THE HISTORY OF MY PUBLIC LIFE

(1773-1815). AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

CHAPTER PAGE

I. APPRENTICESHIP 3

II. ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE 31

III. EMBASSY IN BERLIN 45

IV. As 'AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON . 63 V. BECOMES MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS . . . .103

VI. SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS 125

VII. BEFORE AND AFTER THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN . . . 145

VIII. HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES ....... 171

IX. THE DAWN OF PEACE , 249


SECOND BOOK. GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE 269

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON :

The Coronation of the Empress Josephine ..... 288 Napoleon's Reception of the Diplomatists after Tilsit . . . . 291


xvi CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON (continued).

PAGE

The Court at Fontainebleau 293

The Napoleonic Aristocracy . 295

Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenberg's . . . 298

On the Flight of the King of Holland . . . . . . 305

The Church of the Madeleine . 307

Napoleon's Opinion of Chateaubriand . . . . . 307

Napoleon's Family 308

The Manuscript of St. Helena 312

ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA , 314


THIRD BOOK.

COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS FROM THE FIRST PERIOD OF METTERNICITS LIFE (1773-1815).

PRELIMINARY REMARK BY THE EDITOR ...... 337

FROM THE TIME OF THE APPRENTICESHIP:

1793. Appeal to the Army ,..,.,. 339

1794. On the Necessity of a general Arming of the People on the

Frontiers of France 340

1797-1798. Letters from Metternich to his Wife from Rastadt

(3 to 53) 347

NOTBB BY THE EDITOR . . 379


BOOK I. MATERIALS FOR THE HISTORY OF MY PUBLIC LIFE.

17731815.


CHAPTER I. - APPRENTICESHIP.

VOL. I.


(17731800.)

Birth and childhood F. Simon University of Strasburg Coronation in

Frankfort 1790 Eulogius Schneider The lay-bishop of Strasburg

Archduke Francis Metternich's father Minister Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands University of Mayence French emigrants Vacation in

Brussels Lectures on Law Prof. Hofman Kotzebue NicolausVogt

Coronation of Emperor Francis II. in Frankfort 1792 Abbe Maury and Mirabeau Ball Coblentz Frederick William II. Campaign of 1792 General Dumouriez Occupation of Valenciennes Studies in the Nether- lands At London Notabilities met there Mechanism of Parliament Prince of Wales War between France and England Sailing of the Fleet from Portsmouth The naval victory at Ushant Visit to the interior of England Report of Metternich's imprisonment Landing in Holland First journey to Vienna Konigswart Marriage 1795 Aversion to public life Death of his father-in-law Studies in natural science Congress of Rastadt Return to Vienna Pozzo di Borgo Salon of the Prince de Ligne Salon Liechtenstein Salon Rombeck Thugut Re- mark of the Emperor Francis.

I WAS born at Coblentz in the year 1773, so that my youth coincided with that period which immediately preceded the social Revolution in France, and which served as an introduction to it. Brought up in my father's house with loving care, I grew up under the influences of the position in which I was born, the public station of my father in the Imperial service, the French social life, and the moral laxity which cha- racterised the smaller German States, before the storm burst forth which was soon afterwards to annihilate them.

At the time of my childhood the educational B 2


4 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

methods of Basedow and Campe were in vogue. My first tutor was an aged Piarist. When I was nine years old he died, and he was replaced by another priest, who taught me the Humaniora till my thirteenth year, when my father gave me another tutor. Friedrich Simon, born at Strasburg, and a Protestant, had been a teacher in Basedow's philanthropic institution at Dessau. He married a niece of Campe himself, and then, in con- nection with a Protestant clergyman, Schweighauser, established an educational institution in Alsace, and afterwards undertook the direction of a similar institu- tion at Neuwied on the Ehine.

Under the guidance of this tutor, I and my brother, who was a year and a half younger than myself, went through the studies of the Gymnasiums till the summer of the year 1788, when we were sent to the University of Strasburg.

This University at that time enjoyed great fame, and was much frequented by Germans, who went thither on account of the facilities it offered for acquiring the German and French languages. The year I went there the youthful Napoleon Bonaparte had just left ; he concluded his studies in the artillery regiment quar- tered at Strasburg. We had the same professors for mathematics and fencing, a circumstance which was only remembered by those masters when the little artillery officer became, step by step, a great general, First Consul, and afterwards Emperor. During my residence in Strasburg I never heard his name men- tioned.* Prince Maximilian of Zweibriicken, afterwards


  • In passing through Strasburg in 1808, 1 had a visit from my old fenc-

ing-master, Mons. Fustet. ' Is it not a strange thing,' said he to me, ' that it was my lot to give you fencing-lessons, just after I had given the like to Napoleon ? I hope that my two pupils, the Emperor of the French and the


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 5

the first King of Bavaria, was colonel of the royal Alsace regiment then quartered at Strasburg. My mother, (1) who was intimate with the parents of his wife, a princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, had recommended me to the care of this Prince. This charge he fulfilled in the most cordial manner, and throughout the whole life of this prince, relations of the utmost confidence existed between us, which were not without a certain influence on more than one public occasion.

I left the University of Strasburg in the year 1790, (2) at the time of the coronation of the Emperor Leopold at Frankfort, whither my father had summoned me. The French Eevolution was beginning. From that moment I was its close observer, and subsequently became its adversary ; and so I have ever remained, without having been once drawn into its whirlpool. I have known men whose characters had not sufficient strength to withstand the misleading glare of innova- tions and theories, and who have reproached me that neither my understanding nor my conscience could sustain themselves at the tribunal of reason and of right. The errors into which these men fell, I ascribe far more to weakness of judgment than to the influence of evil example.

Contingencies which might have drawn me into the vortex were certainly not wanting. Between the years 1787 and 1790 I was placed under the direction of a tutor upon whose name the curses of Alsace fell ; during the Eeign of Terror he was a member of the revolutionary tribunal, over which Eulogius Schneider, a recreant monk from the diocese of Cologne, presided ; and he shared in the responsibility of those streams of

Austrian Ambassador at Paris, will not take it into their heads to come to blows with each other.'


6 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

blood shed by that abhorred tribunal in that unhappy province. My religious teacher at Strasburg was Pro- fessor of Canon law at the university and after adopt- ing the civil constitution of the Clergy, had been elected Bishop of Strasburg. Afterwards he foreswore religion and the episcopate, and publicly burned the insignia of his office in a revolutionary orgy. I must do both these men the justice to state, that they never attempted to influence my opinions.

My tutor made himself notorious in Paris on that accursed day, August 10, 1792. It was he who pre- sided over the Council of Ten, which the bandits, known as ' The Marseillaise,' had appointed to conduct the operations of the day. In 1806 I found the same man in Paris again ; he was then teacher of the German language in the College Louis le Grand, but he after- wards lost that place, being, like all the Jacobins of that time, in disfavour with Napoleon. On the return of the Bourbons, the Duke of Orleans made him German teacher to his children.

The doctrines of the Jacobins and their appeal to the passions of the people, excited in me an aversion, which age and experience have only strengthened. I cherish the conviction that I never should have been at any time, or in the lowest position, accessible to the temptations to which I saw so great a number of my contemporaries yield. I must also admit that the example of the errors, to which an unveracious spirit and the excitement of passion may lead, was not lost upon me ; it influenced my own mind, and aided me to avoid the errors into which many fell, only because they had not had the same opportunities of beholding such enormities.

As I have already said, I went to Frankfort in the


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 7

year 1790, for the coronation of the Emperor Leopold, where my father was Austrian Ambassador. I was chosen by the Catholic Imperial Courts of the West- phalian Bench to be master of the ceremonies, and I had as colleague, for the Protestant section of the same Bench, Count Friedrich v. Solms-Laubach.

I had only then attained my seventeenth year, and was much flattered by this mark of confidence from so honourable a corporation, functions being assigned to me which, from their important character, seemed to require a man of riper years.

It was in Frankfort that I first came into personal contact with the Archduke, who became afterwards Emperor of Germany under the title of Francis II., and then Emperor of Austria under that of Francis I. He was five years older than I, and had just married his second wife, a Neapolitan princess. On the occasion of the coronation I also made the acquaintance of many eminent persons belonging to the Imperial court and to the best society of Vienna. Although the son of the Emperor's ambassador, I had never yet been in Austria. The only spot of hereditary property on which I had set my foot was the estate of Konigswart, where, in the year 1786, owing to the death of Frederic II., I had resided for a short time. In fact, this event recalled my father from his post of Plenipotentiary to the three Rhenish electorates.

The coronation of a Roman emperor at Frankfort was certainly one of the most impressive and splendid spectacles in the world. Everything, down to the most trifling details, spoke to the mind and heart through the force of tradition and the bringing together of so much splendour. Yet a painful feeling overshadowed the marvellous picture then presented by the city of


8 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Frankfort. A conflagration, which grew with each day, laid waste the neighbouring kingdom. Thoughtful men already saw the influence which this must, sooner or later, exercise beyond the boundaries of France. Emi- grants also began to pour into the heart of an empire which had for so many centuries served as a wall of defence against a movement whose origin must be sought for long before the outbreak of 1789 ; and this defensive power itself, too, was already in a condition of evident decay. My mind was then too young to be able to fathom the vicissitudes of that gloomy future ; absorbed in the present, I saw only, with all the force of youthful impressions, the contrast between the country contaminated by Jacobinism, and the country where human grandeur was united with a noble national spirit. Surrounded by a number of dull spectators, who called themselves the people, I had been present -at the plundering of the Stadthaus at Strasburg, per- petrated by a drunken mob, which considered itself the people. Now I found myself one of the guardians of public order in a Stadthaus, where so many impressive ceremonies had taken place, a"nd this at so short a distance from the great state now in conflagration. I repeat it, that I thought only of this contrast, full of faith in a future which, in my young dreams, was to seal the triumph of this mighty organisation over all weakness and error. I slept close to a volcano, without thinking of any eruption of lava !

It was towards the end of the residence of the Im- perial court in Frankfort that the Emperor Leopold II. conferred on my father the then very important position of Minister Plenipotentiary to the States-General of the Austrian Netherlands. This title, borrowed from the diplomatic career, incorrectly described the functions of


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 9

the office, the true attributes of which would have been better characterised, if he had been called Prime Minister of the States-General. The popular rising, in which such worthless men as the advocate Vandernoot and a priest of the name of Van Gupen had played so lament- able a part, had just been put down. Following the advice of Prince Kaunitz, who knew his calm wisdom and conciliatory character, my father had been chosen by the Emperor to carry out the moral pacification of those provinces, and this he succeeded in doing, assisted by the repeal of the reforms so unwisely attempted by the Emperor Joseph II.

From Frankfort I went to the University of Mayence, to study Law. My brother, from whom I had never yet been separated, had been, from 1787, placed with me under the care of a clerical tutor, who was an upright, discreet man, and a witness of the errors into which my Jacobin teacher had fallen. I had now concluded my nineteenth year, and, strictly speaking, had no longer a tutor, for my tutor became my friend and coun- sellor. My residence in Mayence was of the greatest use to me, and had a decided influence on my life. My time was divided between my studies and intercourse with a society as distinguished for intellectual superiority as for the social position of its members. At that time Mayence and Brussels were the rendezvous for French emigrants of the higher classes, whose exile was volun- tary, not forced as it soon afterwards became, and who had not as yet to struggle with poverty. In my intercourse with the elite of this society, I learned to know the defects of the old regime ; the occurrences, too, of each day taught me, into what crimes and absurdities a nation necessarily falls, when it undermines the foundations of the social edifice. I learned to esti-


10 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

mate the difficulty of erecting a society on new founda- tions, when the old are destroyed. In this way also I came to know the French ; I learned to understand them, and to be understood by them.

I spent the vacation in the bosom of my family at Brussels, whither my father had summoned me, that I might work in his department. The post of Minister to the States-General was, of all the places which the Emperor had to bestow, the most important, and at the same time, one of the most laborious. The minister united in his own person the chief direction of all the branches of a substantive government. A numerous diplomatic corps resided at Brussels, the minister, there- fore, found himself at the head of a political cabinet. The country had just passed through an internal crisis, the consequences of which were still felt in all direc- tions, so that my position gave me the opportunity to observe and study at the same time two countries, one of which was given up to the horrors of the Eevolution, whilst the other still showed fresh traces of what it had gone through. This position and the instruction I gained from it have not been lost on me in the long course of my public life.

With the scenes of devastation before me of which France was the theatre, my mind naturally turned towards every study which promised to be most useful in my future career. I felt that the Revolution would be the adversary I should have to fight, and therefore I set myself to study the enemy and know my way about his camp. I attended the lectures on Law, and came in contact with professors and students of all shades. As in all German universities, the spirit of innovation developed itself in Mayence. The progress of events in France inflamed this disposition. I was


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 11

surrounded by students, who named the lectures accord- ing to the Republican calendar ; and some professors, especially a certain Hofman, who at that time (1792) was head of one of the clubs at Mayence, made it their business to interlard their lectures with allusions to the emancipation of the human race, as it was so well begun by Marat and Robespierre. George Forster, the learned companion of the famous navigator James Cook in his voyages, then living there, gathered round him nume- rous acolytes of the Revolution. I visited at his house, and saw the effect of the seductive principles to which many youthful minds fell victim. Kotzebue, the dramatist, was also living at Mayence at that time ; he was then an ardent follower of a school which, twenty- five years later, turned their daggers against him.

From this epoch date the relations between me and the historian Nicolas Yogt, whose remains are buried on the Johannisberg. I attended his lectures on the History of the German Empire ; and whether he guessed how much help I should afterwards obtain from his lectures, or whether from the force of sympathy be- tween us, I always reckoned him among the number of my most zealous friends. Often have I recalled the saying with which he concluded a discussion between us on the subject of historical criticism : ' Your intellect and your heart are on the right road ; persevere therein also in practical life, the lessons of History will guide you. Your career, however long it may be, will not enable you to see the end of the conflagration which is destroying the great neighbouring kingdom. If you do not wish to expose yourself to reproaches, never leave the straight path. You will see many so-called great men pass by you with swift strides; let them pass, but do not deviate from your path. You will overtake


12 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

them, if only because you must meet them on their way back ! ' The good man was right.

In July 1792, I was present at the coronation of the Emperor Francis, and then performed the same duties as at that of his illustrious predecessor.

The appearance which Frankfort then presented was very different from that of this city two years earlier. France was now bowed beneath the Eeign of Terror. Events followed each other in quick succession. The comparison between what was going on in Frankfort and what was taking place in the neighbouring kingdom was too striking to escape notice, and could not but be painfully evident to the mind.

The light-heartedness which characterised the French emigrants assembled in the city for the corona- tion was in strong contrast with this impression. The princes of the royal family were all gathered together at Coblentz. All who fled from the Eevolution reckoned on their exile lasting for two months. Thoughtful men glanced at the Prussian army assembled on the Rhine, and at the war which had already broken out in Bel- gium, Austria, and France.

Among the personages who greatly attracted my attention in Frankfort, I may mention the Abbe Maury, who officiated here as Papal Nuncio, and Vicomte de Mirabeau, known by the sobriquet of Mirabeau-Ton- neau, the younger brother of the famous Mirabeau : a man of spirit and great courage, just as enthusiastic in his loyalty as his brother was revolutionary. In the Abbe Maury I did not recognise the fearless deputy of the National Assembly, and for this reason, doubtless, I was the less surprised to meet him a year afterwards as Cardinal and almoner to Princess Pauline Borghese, Napoleon's sister.


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 13

In regard to the circumstances, the pageant ano! ceremonies of this coronation were perhaps of a more imposing character than at the former. Prince Anton Esterhazy, the principal Ambassador of the Emperor, entrusted me in the most friendly manner with the direction of the banquet which he gave after the coro- nation. I opened the ball with the young Princess Louise of Mecklenberg, who afterwards, as Queen of Prussia, was distinguished for her beauty and noble qualities. She was two years younger than I. We had known each other from childhood, for these young Princesses of Mecklenberg, of whom one was Queen of Prussia and the other Queen of Hanover, were brought up at Darmstadt under the care of their grandmother, who was on intimate terms with my mother. The most friendly relations existed between us during the whole life of that princess.

When the coronation was over, the monarch and most of the German princes departed to Mayence, where the Elector held his court in great luxury, this court being at that time the most luxurious in Germany. The French princes had arrived, everything was ready for the beginning of the campaign. Great hopes were placed on the result, and certain victory was generally expected. The French emigrants thought the undertaking sure of success, and the only complaint they were heard to utter related to unavoidable delays in the assembling of the army. According to their idea, the despatch of a few battalions only was needed, in order that the white flag should immediately appear on all the towers of France.

No doubt these lofty delusions brought about the defeat which the Prussian army soon afterwards sus- tained.

From Mayence I went to Coblentz, to which place


'14 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

the French princes returned. The Prussian army had encamped near the village of Metternich, which lies a mile (German) distant from the town. There for the first time I came to know the Crown Prince of Prussia, who, after the death of King Frederick William II., mounted the throne.

Frederick William II. was the picture of a king. In stature he was almost a giant, and stout in propor- tion. In all assemblies he stood a head taller than the crowd. His manners were stately and pleasant. The emigrants were certain that he had only to show him- self on the frontiers, and the sans-culottes would lay down their arms. Frenchmen of that day did not at all comprehend the Eevolution ; and, indeed, I do not believe that, with a few exceptions, they ever succeeded in doing so. But this weakness is not the exclusive property of the French, for people in general do not even guess the true causes or the purpose of events which take place before their eyes.

Soon after this, the campaign commenced and dis- pelled all these dreams. Defective in organisation, and conducted by a man whose military reputation was founded simply on a flattering speech of Frederick II., it ended in a calamitous retreat. All that I afterwards was able to discover about this campaign left me no doubt whatever that, if the Duke of Brunswick, instead of losing time in Champagne, had marched straight to Paris, he would have effected an entrance into that city. What would have been the consequence of such a suc- cess, it is difficult to determine ; but for my part, I feel convinced that the Eevolution would not have been suppressed. Apart from the fact that the mili- tary power was too weak to maintain the first success, the evil had spread to an extent too vast to be re-


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 15 '

strained in its onward steps by merely military opera- tions, and Europe was the victim of so many illusions beyond the range of the Ee volution that moral reme- dies could not keep pace with the power of the sword. In the latter part of the summer I went to Brussels. The war was at its height. My university studies were interrupted in consequence of these events. I passed to and fro between Brussels and the army, sometimes with commissions from my father, sometimes to visit my friends. On one of these occasions, as I was returning to Brussels, an adjutant of the general in command came to inform my father that the com- mander of the French army, General Dumouriez, had just seized the commissaries of the Convention, and sent them to the Austrian outposts. I was deputed to receive them on their arrival at Brussels. I had many interviews with them in the prisons which were assigned to them, and heard their complaints against the general, whom they had been ordered to remove and imprison. Shortly after this, we saw General Dumouriez himself arrive in the Netherlands. The French Eeign of Terror destroyed its own commanders just as cartridges de- stroyed the soldiers. The execution of Louis XVI. and of Marie Antoinette had called forth beyond the con- fines of France, and especially in our army, a horror which soon passed into implacable hatred, and for some weeks our troops, in spite of the efforts of the officers, gave no quarter in battle. (3)

The campaign of the year 1793 concluded with the capture of Valenciennes. (4) I was present at almost all the operations of the siege, and had therefore the opportunity of observing war very closely ; and it is to be wished that all those who are called upon to take a leading part in the business of the State could


16 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

learn in the same school. In the course of my long public life I have often had reason to congratulate myself upon the experience thus gained.

I passed the winter of 1793-1794 in the Netherlands, continuing the studies of the service for which I was destined, and being employed in the business of the Cabi- net. Brussels was full of strangers, and the emigrants continued to dream of the end of their exile with a con- fidence which I was far from sharing.

Towards the end of the winter, Vicomte Desan- droins, chief treasurer of the Netherlands Government, was entrusted with a mission to the English Govern- ment. I accompanied him to London, and was there received by King George HI. with unusual kindness

V <-/

and affability. The relations between the Imperial Court and that of Great Britain were most confidential, and public feeling manifested itself in both countries with the same energy against the horrors of the French Eevolution, as indeed their interests seemed to be identical. I thus paid a visit to England under the happiest auspices, and my residence there brought me into contact with the most remarkable men of this great epoch. In this way I came to know William Pitt, Charles Fox, Burke, Sheridan, Charles Grey (afterwards Lord Grey), and many other personages, who then and afterwards played great parts on the theatre of public life. I frequented the sittings of Parliament as much as possible, and followed with particular attention the famous trial of Mr. Hastings. (5) I endeavoured to acquaint myself thoroughly with the mechanism of the Parliament, and this was not without use in my subse- quent career. I was then appointed Ambassador Extra- ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Emperor at the Hague. This circumstance, being known in


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 17

London, procured me admission to a sphere of society generally unapproachable for a young man of one-ancl- twenty. I came to know the Prince of Wales, after- wards Regent, then at last King, with the title of George IV. Our relations, begun at this time, lasted during the prince's whole life. Great dissensions at this period divided the Eoyal family of England. The Prince of Wales had taken up the side of the Opposition. My youth restrained me from expressing the profound disapproval which his conduct produced in me ; but I took one day the opportunity of saying a word to him on the subject, of which he reminded me thirty years afterwards, and added, ' You were very right then ! '

The Prince of Wales was one of the handsomest men I ever saw, and to an agreeable exterior he added the most charming manners. He possessed a sound intelligence, which alone preserved him from being corrupted by the bad society in which he moved with ease himself, without ever permitting the slightest want of respect in others. He took a great fancy to me, and was pleased, I think, at my reserve in a society which was not agreeable to me.

The war between France and England had meantime broken out, and the moment now drew near when the naval strength of the two powers was to be measured against each other. Several hundred merchant vessels, bound for the East and West Indies, waited in the roads at Spithead and St. Helen's for the opportunity to set sail. A great fleet of men-of-war was to protect the merchantmen from an attack, for which great naval preparations had been made in the harbour of Brest. I eagerly desired to see the sailing of the fleet. When the King heard of this, he was kind enough to order that everything should be done to facilitate the execu- VOL. i. C


18 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

tion of my purpose ; and one day when I waited on him, he told me he would let me know when to go to Portsmouth to be present at the departure of the fleet, and would give the necessary directions to Admiral Howe and the harbour-master to secure the gratifica- tion of my curiosity. Shortly afterwards his Majesty sent to inform me that the moment for my departure was come, and furnished with letters to the above- named officers, I travelled to Portsmouth. This town was so full of sightseers that, but for the attention of the naval officers, who had secured lodgings for me, no such accommodation would have been found. The day after my arrival I paid the harbour-master a visit, and went on board the admiral's ship, to present the letters with which I had been provided. The admiral received me with the greatest politeness, and assured me he would have me informed the moment the fleet was ready to sail.

I spent three days at Portsmouth, in visiting the different establishments in that town, and in the night of the third day I was awoke by the news, brought by an officer sent by Admiral Howe, that he had instructions to conduct me to the Isle of Wight. From the top of the hill behind Cowes, we could see the fleets leave the roads and join company on the other side of the island, on the south of which a vessel was stationed for my use, in order to convey me to the admiral's ship. We left Portsmouth immediately, and landed on the Isle of Wight in the early morning, reaching our point of observation about six o'clock in the morning. A fresh breeze sprang up, and this was the signal for the de- parture of more than four hundred ships. I consider this the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, I might say, indeed, the most beautiful that human eyes have


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 19

ever beheld ! At a signal from the admiral's ship the merchantmen unfurled their sails, the fleet for the West Indies turned to the west, the fleet for the East Indies passed to the east side of the island, each accompanied with a portion of the royal fleet. Hundreds of vessels and boats, filled with spectators, covered the two roads as far as the eye could reach, in the midst of which the great ships followed one another, in the same manner as we see great masses of troops moved on the parade ground. Four French men-of-war, coming from Toulon, with emigrants on board, hoisted the white flag and joined the English fleet. This circumstance, unparal- leled in the annals of history, gave a character to the occurrence which will never fade from the memory of those who witnessed it. In a few hours the two fleets met to the south of the island. As soon as my guide gave the signal for departure, we descended the hill and joined Admiral Howe on board the ' Queen Char- lotte.' I remained with the admiral, who loaded me with attentions, till the evening of May 30.

A despatch boat sent from the English fleet of observation before Brest brought the news that the French fleet had set sail and put out to sea. In spite of my earnest petitions to the admiral to allow me to remain to see the great events which were im- minent, he obliged me to leave him : ' The King told me,' said he, ' to let you see everything ; but I have to send you back alive, and cannot take upon myself to expose you to the dangers of a sea-fight.' With the greatest regret, therefore, I left the fleet, and went on board the vessel which the admiral was sending off to Portsmouth with his despatches to the Admiralty ; and after a few days' stay in Portsmouth, I returned to London. The city I found illuminated, and the people

C 2


20 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

filled with rapture at the news of the great naval victory of the 1st of June off Ushant. This news pre- ceded me by a few hours only. I remained in Lon- don two days ; and on the third I travelled back to Portsmouth, to see the arrival of the fleet with their prizes.

The admiral's ship, which I had left a few days before in the most perfect condition, was one of those which suffered the most severely. She had joined battle with the French admiral's ship, and presented the appearance of a ruin ; the greater part of her crew had been killed or disabled. Admiral Howe, who to my great joy escaped unhurt, returned covered with laurels.

I was to have returned to the Netherlands in the middle of summer, but the war prevented me ; and while waiting to see how events would turn out, I visited the interior of England. At the commencement of the autumn, as the enemy had entered the Netherlands, I embarked at Harwich to cross over to Helvoetsluys. We were overtaken by a heavy gale, which drove us into the roads of Dunquerque, just as that town was being bombarded by Sir Sidney Smith. I was exposed to a cross fire for more than two hours, and had only to thank a sudden change of wind for my escape from so dangerous a position. From this circumstance a report was started and disseminated by the newspapers of the day that I had been taken prisoner by the French. This false report reached the ears of my father, and he, with the commander-in-chief of the Austrian army, was just on the point of approaching the French Government with regard to my liberation, when he heard of my landing in Holland. I remained in this country so long as was necessary to enable me to visit the Hague, Amsterdam, and part of North


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 21

Holland, and from thence I repaired to the seat of go- vernment of the Netherlands on the Lower Khine, to which place it had retired.

In the beginning of October I travelled with my father to Vienna, and visited that capital for the first time. In the month of February of the same year Prince Kaunitz died, and the direction of foreign affairs was entrusted to Baron von Thugut. I had made his acquaintance in Brussels, where he passed several months with Count Mercy d'Argenteau, who lived in the Belgian capital after his return from his post of am- bassador in Paris. I have already mentioned that I had been chosen for the mission to the Hague ; but after the conquest of Holland by Pichegru's army, it did not suit me to take that post, and I waited the develop- ment of events, without impatience, but with a feeling of bitterness against the Revolution the consequences of which threatened the whole body of society. The left bank of the Rhine was occupied by the troops of the French Republic. Those were to blame for this blow who had so utterly mistaken the strength and extent of the Revolution. The greater part of our family estates lying on the left bank of the Rhine had been confiscated by the great nation ; it was necessary, there- fore, to turn to the estates we had in Bohemia, which had brought in but little to my father, or his predeces- sors during the last century, but which had now to be made the most of. My father sent me thither in order to carry out the necessary measures on the spot. I spent the months of November and December alone in Kb'nigs- wart, and occupied myself with the management of the affairs entrusted to me.

On my return to Vienna, I found my parents busy with a project for my marriage. Prince Ernst Kaunitz,


22 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

eldest son of the chancellor, had an only daughter ; he had become acquainted with me during my first short residence in Vienna. Preliminary conferences between the parents made the conclusion of the mar- riage dependent on the mutual inclinations of the young people. I was only one-and-twenty, and the thought of marrying so young had never occurred to me. It was soon evident to me that my parents much desired this marriage ; but as the Princess Kaunitz shortly afterwards had an illness, from which she only recovered in March 1795, I did not make the acquaintance of my bride-elect till the summer, and our betrothal was arranged to take place in the autumn of the same year.

Prince Ernst Kaunitz loved his daughter tenderly, and was determined not to part with her, so that I con- sented that we should live with him. The betrothal was celebrated on September 27, 1795, at Austerlitz, the place which ten years afterwards became so sadly famous.

I have already said that the public service presented no attractions for me. I had determined to remain in private life, and to devote my time to the cultivation of learning and science. At the time of which I speak fortune seemed to favour my inclinations, and I made a plan for myself, which I was not permitted to carry out.

I must also acquaint my readers with other causes which kept me aloof from public affairs. Still young, and placed in a position which allowed me to observe, from the highest point of view, the course of the greatest events, I found that they were not conducted as they ought to have been. ' Les affaires ce sont les hommes ; ' affairs are only the expression of the faculties or the


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 23

weaknesses of men, of their inclinations and their errors, their virtues and their vices. Inaccessible to prejudice, and seeking only the truth in everything, my modesty did not allow me to find fault with persons in power if I was not satisfied with what I saw ; on the contrary, I ascribed to the weakness of my own understanding and to my inexperience the feeling which forced me to disapprove of the course they had taken. But neither inclination nor duty led me to acquire the necessary experience. My particular vocation seemed to me to be the cultivation of knowledge, especially of the exact and physical Sciences, which suited my taste par- ticularly. I loved the fine arts too, so that nothing aroused in me any desire to put my freedom into fetters. The diplomatic career might certainly flatter my ambition, but during all my life I have never been accessible to this feeling.

In the autumn of 1797, death carried off my father- in-law. Home duties and study continued to be my occupation. I diligently attended lectures on Geology, Chemistry, and Physics ; then too, as afterwards, I fol- lowed with attention the progress of Medical Science. Man and his life seemed to me to be objects worthy of study. Vienna had for many years been rich in great physicians. Van Swieten and Stoll were dead ; the first professorial chair was filled by Peter Franck ; Quarin did honour to science by his extensive know- ledge ; Gall continued his lectures to a select audience ; Jacquin was continually making fresh advances in botany. I was happy in this scientific circle, and allowed the Eevolution to rage and rave without feeling any call to contend with it. It pleased Providence afterwards to rule quite otherwise.

The Congress of Rastadt drew me out of my re-


24 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

tirement. The Counts of the Westphalian * Collegium ' entrusted me with the care of their interests. I under- took the charge, more from a feeling of duty than in the hope of being able to serve a body whose existence was threatened, as was that of the German Empire itself. I remained in Eastadt till the middle of March 1799. As the dissolution of the Congress approached, I took my wife and daughter back to Vienna. A short time after my return to this capital, I learned the catas- trophe which signalised the end of a Congress which, from beginning to end, had been but a phantom. I had no opportunity at that time of seeing Bonaparte. He had left Eastadt two days before my father and I arrived. In their respective capacities of First Plenipo- tentiary of the Empire and of the French Eepublic, my father and Bonaparte had their apartments in the Palace of the city, separated only by the great saloon. (6)

Eeturning home, I again resumed my own manner of life and my accustomed employments. My stay in Eastadt only strengthened me in my opposition to a career which in no wise satisfied my mind and disposi- tion. The French Eevolution had reached and passed the climax of its barbarous follies ; the Eepublic was only the miserable dregs of it ; and a disunited Germany was paralysed by the peace which Prussia had sepa- rately concluded with France at Basle, and by the system of neutrality at any price, which the Princes of North Germany had adopted. Austria alone was in the field, and the war was badly carried on. Was there anything in such a situation to summon me to exchange my peaceful life for a life of activity constrained to move within limits conflicting with my spirit of inde- pendence and cramping my conscience ?

These feelings of mine might easily give the impres-


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800. 25

sion that my temper had become morose. But that would be a mistake. I was preserved from this weak- ness by my love for grave studies. I never shut myself up from the world ; my life was that of a man who sought exclusively good society ; this alone had any power of attraction for me. The day was usually given entirely up to business, and the evening was divided between work and recreation. I frequented those salons by preference in which I was sure to find plea- sant conversation, convinced that such conversation serves to sharpen the intellect, correct the judgment, and is a source of instruction to those who know how to keep it from degenerating into mere babbling.

At that time there were in Vienna several foreigners remarkable for their intellectual gifts ; among whom I may particularly mention Pozzo di Borgo, who after- wards played a great part in public affairs. He was at that time employed as a secret agent by the English Cabinet. I met him often in society. I remarked in him an extraordinary fluency combined with southern warmth in expressing his feelings. One salon, with which, how- ever, I had only a distant connection, was that of the Prince de Ligne's. The Prince himself was conspicuous for the peculiar quickness of his intellect ; and his salon was frequented by a very mixed company, of whom the greater part affected the reputation of wits, without being particularly intellectual. For many years the Prince had honoured me with especial kindness. During my residence in the Netherlands he had wished to bestow on me his second daughter in marriage, and used to call me his son-in-law, a name which he con- tinued to give me in joke as long as he lived. The conquest of the Netherlands brought the Prince and his family from Brussels to Vienna. By a strange caprice


26 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

of fortune, the Prince's daughter, who had been destined for me, married a Count Pallfy, who had been at one time engaged to marry the very daughter of Prince Kaunitz, who became my wife.

The house which I most frequented was that of the Princess Liechtenstein/ 7 * an aunt of my wife on the mother's side, and one of those five princesses who for many years were the intimate friends of the Emperor Joseph II. This small circle, known during the reign of this monarch by the name of * the Society of Princesses,' consisted of Princess Franz Liechtenstein, Princess Ernest Kaunitz and her sister, Princess Karl Liechtenstein, and the Princesses Kinsky and Clary. Of men, besides the Emperor Joseph, there were Marshal Lascy, Lord-in-waiting, Count, afterwards Prince, Rosen- berg, and the Prince de Ligne. After the death of the Emperor, this society was dispersed. The Princess Karl gathered around her the remains of this circle of all that Vienna possessed of persons distinguished for their agreeable manners. The Countess Rombec too, sister of Count Ludwig Cobenzl, then ambassador at St. Peters- burg, opened her salon ; which was much frequented by foreigners and especially by French emigrants.

I had arranged to pass the winter in the capital, and the summer months in the country, sometimes in Moravia on an estate belonging to my wife, sometimes in Bohemia on one belonging to my family. I had entirely withdrawn myself from public affairs, and in regard to them I was simply a spectator. The result of my observations was not favourable to the cause which all my life I have considered that of reason and right. From time to time I visited Baron Thugut, who in his capacity of Minister of Foreign Affairs conducted the affairs of the Imperial Chancellerie.


APPRENTICESHIP, 177-3 1800. 27

I have already mentioned onr previous acquaintance. I made no attempt to come into closer intimacy with him ; nothing urged me to it, for I wanted no place, and Baron Thugut had no relations, beyond his official duties, with anyone. I agreed with him in his prin ciples, but not with the manner in which he carried them out, and the results of his ministry have proved only too thoroughly that I was right.

Sometimes I waited on the Emperor, who let no opportunity slip of reproaching me with what he called my indolence. One day when I had been speaking of my views on this subject, he said to me, ' You live as I should be very happy to live in your place ! Hold yourself ready for my orders, that is all I expect of you for the present.'


CHAPTEE II. - ENTRANCE INTO POLITICAL LIFE.

ENTRANCE INTO POLITICAL LIFE. (18011803.)

Thugut's character and resignation Cobenzl Enters the public service Conversation with the Emperor As ambassador at Dresden Beginning of public life Leading motives Arrival at Dresden Mr. Elliot Dresden as a post of observation for the Northern courts Fabrication of diplomatic correspondence.

WITH the conclusion of the Peace of Luneville (1801) the weakness and vacillations of the Austrian Cabinet reached their height. During a conflict of ten years the policy of the Imperial court had raised a barrier, sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker, to the destruc- tive principles of all the Governments of France which had succeeded one another since 1792. But the oppo- sition so offered, betrayed only too much the utter want of consistency of plan. In this lay the great defect of the Cabinet, to whom also it has been ascribed, that the successes achieved one day were destroyed on the next. More than to all other causes, France owed her enor- mous successes to the inconsistent action of the ministries who conducted affairs from the death of the great statesman who for forty years presided over the cabinet of Vienna, but who, alas ! had latterly suffered from the infirmities of age. The views upon which the policy of Austria was always based could not be con- ceived more clearly than they were, but never was their execution more feebly carried out.

The ministry of Baron Thugut displays nothing but an unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. When he was at the height of his power, he was dis- trusted by two parties, each from its own standpoint, in exactly opposite directions. He was accused by the one of having sold himself to France ; others pretended that England had him in her pocket. It is to be deplored, both for his own sake and for Austria's, that no one has ventured to assert that Thugut had served the interests of his country and not his own.

Although we never attributed the political attitude of Thugut to foreign influence, it never occurred to us to trace it to treachery, which is always the most dangerous and generally a precarious means of success.

Sprung from a mean condition, the son of a mariner at Linz, Thugut was educated in the Oriental Academy, and trained for subordinate service in the state. Subtle and dexterous, he owed the success of his political career to these qualities, which, when supported by deep dis- simulation and a love of intrigue, pass only too easily for real talents.

He had invested the greater part of the property which he had acquired at Constantinople in the French funds, and without doubt it was anxiety for the preservation of this property which at the time of the outbreak of the Eevolution blinded him, or at least kept him inactive. Then it was that the suspicion arose in the English party that he had been gained over to France. When how- ever the Eeign of Terror destroyed every spark of hope of saving even the smallest portion of his property from the general bankruptcy, Thugut, less restrained, changed his policy ; hence it came about that the public, ob- serving this change, took up the idea that it had been brought about by English gold.

Not without talent, robed in the highest dignity of the state, living in the obscurity of retirement and yet with cold and calculating ambition interfering with all the branches of the government, Thugut was inacces- sible to bribery and corruption. The history of his ministry may be summed up in a series of miscalcula- tions, all of which contributed to support and advance the preponderance of France. (8)

In consequence of the Peace of Luneville Thugut retired from the public service. Count Cobenzl was recalled from St. Petersburg, and appointed to the direction of Foreign Affairs. The first Lord-in-waiting, Count, afterwards Prince, Trautmannsdorf, held the portfolio provisionally. The peace with France neces- sarily gave a new impulse to Austrian diplomacy.

The posts in London, Berlin, and St. Petersburg were already filled. There were ambassadors at Stock- holm, and some of the smaller courts of Germany and Italy. The Emperor felt it necessary to fill up the gaps which Thugut, according to the custom which he sometimes carried too far, had left open. Occupied solely with the war against the French Revolution, Thugut paid no attention to anything that did not seem to him immediately connected with that war. Hence it happened that he did not read and conse- quently did not answer the despatches of embassies of the second rank. When removed from the Ministry, a commission had to be appointed to open and place in the archives hundreds of the reports and letters sent from such embassies.

A few days after he had taken office, Count Traut- mannsdorf summoned me to him, and informed me that the Emperor, when he resolved to fill up the places mentioned above, had ordered him to give me the choice between the post at Dresden or Copenhagen, or to remain at home as Minister for Bohemia to the German Reichstag. I begged him to allow me to think over the matter, and betook myself to the Emperor. I laid before his Majesty openly my ideas as to my future life, and the talents I believed myself to possess, and those which I could not lay claim to. The Em- peror received my professions with his accustomed kindness ; but when he appealed to my patriotism, I yielded to his will. ' Your Majesty,' said I, ' desires that I should enter a sphere for which I believe I have no vocation ; I submit to your commands. I pray your Majesty never to doubt my will, but to distrust my capabilities. I will make the experiment, and your Majesty will permit me to retire from the service when, as I fear, the day comes that I shall not answer your expectations.' The Emperor answered with a smile : ' He who cherishes such fears is not in danger of injuring the public service. I promise you to be the first to tell you if I find you on the wrong road.'

I decided for the embassy in Dresden. Denmark seemed to me too remote, and it was repugnant to me to go to Eegensburg only to witness the obsequies of the noble German Empire. Dresden, on the contrary, one stage on the way to Berlin or St. Petersburg, I valued as a post of observation which might be made useful. Having been constrained to adopt this career, I desired at any rate to have the prospect of being useful. I could never do anything by halves ; once a diplomatist, I determined to be one thoroughly, and in the sense which I connected with diplomacy. Subsequent events showed that I reckoned rightly, for, the path once entered, events hurried me along it only too swiftly.

Here, at the commencement of the account of my public life, I propose to admit into the narrative only what relates to myself, or rather what may serve to fill up the gaps in the official correspondence ; for although the latter alone gives a true picture of the work of a statesman, yet in such documents many details find no place. I wish that those of my readers who may be in a position to have access to the Imperial archives may consult the documents of the time in connection with the present work ; and, drawing from this double source, they will more easily appreciate the great epoch during which destiny had laid upon me the difficult task of playing an active part on the world's stage. (9) But before I relate the many remarkable occurrences which have signalised my career, I will candidly state the principles on which the actions of my political life have been based. This statement will serve to clear up many points in the history of my time and explain my own actions.

That a public career was distasteful to me I have already mentioned. Convinced that everyone ought to be prepared to answer for the deeds of his own life ; penetrated by the consciousness of the enormous diffi- culties of propping up a society which was falling to pieces on every side ; disapproving, before the tribunal of my own conscience, of almost all the measures which I saw adopted for the salvation of the social body, undermined as it was, by the errors of the eighteenth century ; lastly, too diffident to believe that my mind was of so powerful a stamp that it could improve whatever it undertook : I had determined not to appear on a stage on which the independence of my character rebelled against playing a subordinate part, though I did not consider myself capable of taking the part of a reformer.

The care with which my education had been directed to the wide field of politics had early accustomed me to contemplate its vast extent. I soon remarked that my mode of thinking of the nature and dignity of this sphere was essentially different from the point of view from which all this was regarded by the enormous majority of those who are called to play great political parts. Here I may be allowed to propound the few principles to which I have always reduced the science commonly known by the name of Politics and Diplomacy.

Politics is the science of the vital interests of states. Since, however, an isolated state no longer exists, and is found only in the annals of the heathen world, or in the abstractions of so-called philosophers, we must always view the society of nations as the essential con- dition of the present world. Thus, then, each state, besides its separate interests, has also those which are common to it with other states. The great axioms of political science proceed from the knowledge of the true political interests of all states. In these general interests lies the guarantee of their existence, while individual interests to which the transitory political movements of the day assign a great importance, and the care of which constitutes political wisdom in the eyes of a restless and short-sighted policy, possess only a relative and secondary value. History teaches us that whenever the separate come into conflict with the general interests of a state, and the latter are neglected or mistaken in the zealous and extensive prosecution of the former, this is to be regarded as an exceptional or unhealthy condition, whose develop- ment or speedy amendment ultimately decides the destiny of the state, that is, its impending decline or its recuperative prosperity. That which characterises the modern world, and essentially distinguishes it from the ancient, is the tendency of nations to draw near to each other, and in some fashion to enter into a social league, which rests on the same basis with the great human society developed in the bosom of Christianity. This foundation consists of the precept of the Book of books, ' Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you.' This fundamental rule of every human fraternity, applied to the state, means in the political world reciprocity, and its effect is what in the language of diplomacy is called bons precedes, in other words, mutual consideration and honourable conduct. In the ancient world, policy isolated itself entirely, and ex- ercised the most absolute selfishness, without any other curb than that of prudence. The law of retaliation set up eternal barriers and founded eternal enmities between the societies of men ; and upon every page of ancient history is found the principle of mutual evil for evil. Modern history, on the other hand, exhibits the principle of the solidarity of nations and of the balance of power, and furnishes the spectacle of the combined endeavours of several states against the temporary pre- dominance of any one to impede the extension of this principle, and to constrain it to return to the common law. The establishment of international relations upon the basis of reciprocity, under the guarantee of respect for acquired rights, and the conscientious observance of plighted faith, constitutes, at the present day, the essence of politics, of which diplomacy is only the daily applica- tion. Between politics and diplomacy there exists, in my opinion, the same difference as between science and art. Just as men daily transgress the laws of civil society, nations only too often act in opposition to the eternal precepts which govern their alliance. The faults of men and the faults of states are subject to the same punishments ; their whole difference lies in the gravity of the offence, which is proportionate to the importance of the individuals.

When we master these truths, what becomes of a selfish policy, of the policy of fantasy, or of the policy of miserable greed, and especially what becomes of that which seeks profit apart from the simplest rules of right ; which mocks at the plighted word, and, in short, rests solely on the usurpations of force or craft ?

After this confession of faith, it may be conceived what I have always thought of politicians of the stamp or, if we will, of the authority of a Bichelieu, a Mazarin, a Talleyrand, a Canning, a Capo d'Istria, or a Haugwitz, and of many more or less famous names. Eesolved not to walk in their steps, and despairing of opening a path in harmony with my own conscience, I naturally preferred not to throw myself into those great political affairs, in which I had far more prospect of succumbing materially than of succeeding : I say materially, for I have never been afraid of failing morally. The man who enters public life has always at command a sure resource against this danger, that is retirement.

It was in January 1801 that I was made Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Elec- toral Court of Saxony. Peace had just been concluded between France and Austria at Luneville when I entered on my duties at Dresden, (10) towards the end of that year. Napoleon Bonaparte was First Consul of the French Eepublic, which now existed only in name. The German Empire visibly approached its dissolution. The Emperor Paul had died a violent death in the March of that year. Europe was in a state of extreme tension, the natural result of the uncertainty then hanging over the whole world. Dresden, and especially the Electoral court, like an oasis in the desert, formed a contrast to the universal agitation. To judge from this court alone, one might have believed the world was standing still. Everything there was ordered and arranged just as the last Augustus had left it to his successors. If etiquette, costume, and precise regulations could be a solid foundation for a kingdom, then Electoral Saxony would have been invulnerable. The costumes of the court, the gala days, and all its customs, were at that time what they had been in the middle of the eighteenth century. The French Eevolution, after overthrowing the old mon- archy, had reached the stage of Bonaparte's consulate, but at the Saxon court hoops had not yet been discarded !

The Elector, Frederick Augustus, was a prince of solid ability, and his government would have long re- mained a blessed memory to his quiet, and industrious country had not the storm which a few years later burst forth destroyed his mild and peaceful rule.

Dresden had always a numerous diplomatic corps. Among my colleagues, Mr. Elliot, the English ambassa- dor, was conspicuous for the originality and eccen- tricity of his character. The life of this diplomatist had been remarkable. As a young militia officer, he intro- duced himself into the great world in a very odd way. At the reviews at Potsdam a number of foreign officers gathered every year round King Frederick II. On these occasions this prince showed his partiality for the French, hence the Chamberlain, who had to present the foreigners at the Prussian court, introduced the French officers singly by name, while the English officers were all presented en bloc. At a reception of this kind, at which young Elliot was present, when the cham- berlain said to the king, ' I have the honour to present to your Majesty twelve Englishmen,' he was interrupted by Elliot, exclaiming in a loud voice, as he turned to leave the room, ' You are mistaken, Herr marschal ; there are only eleven.' Some years afterwards Elliot came as Ambassador Extraordinary to Berlin. Frederick had not forgotten the scene at Potsdam, and was little pleased by the appointment of Elliot, who had then only the rank of major. He determined to let his ill-humour with the London court and its representative be seen, and chose a Count Lusi for the post in London. Count Finkenstein was requested to notify this appointment to the English ambassador, which he did in the following words : ' The King has chosen Count Lusi, a major in his army, whose name may be known to you from the reputation he gained in the Seven Years' War. His Majesty flatters himself that your Court will be satisfied with this choice.' Elliot answered without hesitation : ' The King, your master, evidently could not have chosen anyone who would have better represented him.' With such manners as these, Mr. Elliot was not likely to make himself a favourite in Prussia.

Soon after Elliot was recalled from Berlin, and was appointed to Copenhagen, where he, on his own respon- sibility, declared war with Denmark, with the intention of freeing the King of Sweden from the danger to which he was exposed, by the taking of the fortress of Gothen- burg. By this stroke of genius he did indeed attain his object, but nevertheless lost, and certainly with good reason, his second post, and came to Dresden, where he had already been for some years English ambassador, when I arrived there.

By that time he had somewhat toned down, but he still possessed an extraordinary vivacity and this gained for him a position quite unusual in social life. A pleasanter man in society I have never known ; with a character of the same mould as that of the Prince de Ligne, he was in no respect inferior to him, nay, in many was his superior. I saw him very often during my residence in Dresden, and reckon my relations with him among my most pleasant memories. Having a numerous family, he was anxious to obtain a good position, and succeeded in getting the appointment of Governor of Barbadoes, which post he afterwards ex- changed for that of a Governor in India, and held the appointment till his death at a very advanced age.

The Dresden Embassy was interesting as a post of observation of the Northern courts, and thither I turned my eyes, and I can testify to the truth that in diplomacy no post is unimportant. I was careful to give my court exact intelligence of what I observed, without having recourse to the expedient for obtaining news resorted to by my friend Elliot, who when I asked him one day, how he contrived to have a letter to send to London every post-day (there were two in the week), replied : ' You will see no difficulty in the matter when I tell you my secret ; if anything comes to my know- ledge which may interest my government, I tell it ; if I do not know of anything, I invent my news, and con- tradict it by the next courier. You see I can never be at a loss for material for my correspondence.'

This joke was quite in Mr. Elliot's manner ; but it is not unusual to meet with diplomatic correspondence made up after the same recipe, not perhaps purposely invented, but from credulity. This failing arises from weakness of judgment and the want of a critical ex- amination of facts, which in no branch of the public service is more necessary than in a diplomatic career.*

  • For a note on Hugh Elliott, see end of ' Autobiography.'


CHAPTEE III. - EMBASSY IN BERLIN.

EMBASSY IN BERLIN. (18031805.)

Franco-Russian mediation Ochsenhausen Dthut in Berlin Queen Louisa Court of the royal family TIaugwitz, Hardenberg, Stein The di- plomatic corps Transition-period in Prussia Prince Louis Ferdinand Unhappy course of the year 1804 Preparations for war in Austria Count Cobenzl- -General Mack Close relations between Austria and Russia Archduke Anton in Berlin Dolgoruki and Alopaus The Russian army on the Prussian frontier A letter of the Emperor Alex- ander to the King of Prussia The King's remark on it Napoleon's in- cursion at Ansbach Conversation of Metternich with the King Negotiations for the entrance of Prussia into the alliance Ill-will of the Prussian negotiators Signing of the treaty of Potsdam Haugwitz's mission Battle of Ausierlitz The cross of the Order of St. Stephen given to Metternich Napoleon's sarcasm about Haugwitz Hanover joined with Prussia Dismissal of Haugwitz.

I REMAINED at Dresden as ambassador till 1803, when Count Stadion was appointed Ambassador in St. Peters- burg, and I succeeded him at Berlin.

In the same year the Franco-Russian mediation took place at Regensburg, in consequence of which Germany experienced a revolution which destroyed the last foun- dations of the old German Empire, and thus greatly ac- celerated the moment of its utter dissolution. During the whole negotiation my father remained in Regens- burg, to watch over the interests of his family. He received as compensation for the loss of his hereditary estates on the left bank of the Rhine, which had been confiscated by the French Republic, the Abbey of Ochsenhausen, and to this new possession I repaired in the course of the summer with my family.

The Emperor had raised Ochsenhausen to be a prin- cipality, as he had also raised the title of several other Counts of the Empire, in order to create new votes, and thus to supply the place in the Eeichstag of those votes which had been abolished by the secularisation of the ecclesiastical principalities. My father hoped that his love of the fatherland would find an opportunity in the immediate future of contributing to the strengthening of the Empire. I was so far from entertaining this hope, that I had, on the contrary, the firm conviction that the grand creation of Charlemagne was tending inevitably to its end. With its foundations utterly shattered by the process of mediatisation, the Empire even at that time no longer existed, and I saw its elements dissipated, and the impossibility of its cohesion. My presenti- ments were only too just : and events soon proved this.

When I left Ochsenhausen I went first to Vienna in order to prepare myself for my new mission, and then in December of the same year to Berlin.

My debut there was easy. I was received by King Frederick William III., and by the Queen as an old friend. The strict etiquette, by which the diplomatic corps was kept at the greatest possible distance from the Prussian court, was observed with regard to me only on those occasions when an exception made in my favour might have had the appearance of referring to my public position, and would therefore have mortified the whole diplomatic body. Eleven years had passed since I had seen the Queen ; I found her surrounded with a true halo of beauty and dignity.

Queen Louisa was endowed with the rarest qualities. She did not excel in what is commonly called esprit, but she possessed a refined tact and strength of mind, for the exercise of which in a few years she had only too many opportunities. It would be difficult to describe the dignity and grace of her bearing, or the impression of sweetness and tenderness her manners made.

The royal family were then divided into different households: in the King's were included the widows of Prince Henry and Prince Ferdinand, brothers of Frederick II. The Prince of Orange, husband of a sister of the reigning king, lived in Berlin; and the Princess, wife of Prince Anton Eadziwill, also enjoyed the honours of royalty. The Princes Ludwig and August, sons of Prince Ferdinand, had no separate household.

When I arrived in Berlin, Count Haugwitz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Baron, afterwards Prince, Har- denberg, exercised a great influence on politics. Frei- herr von Stein was Minister of Finance. Of these states- men I shall often have to speak.

In the diplomatic body there was no man of pre- eminent ability. M. de Laforest, who formerly acted as plenipotentiary in the conference at Kegensburg, filled the post of French Ambassador. Herr von Alopaus had been for many years the Russian Ambassador in Berlin, and Mr. Jackson represented England.

Prussia was then in a state of transition. Without attracting attention, this power raised itself from the state of torpor into which it fell through the Peace of Basle, and from the system of neutrality which made Prussia a mere spectator in the wars carried on by Austria and England, and partially by Russia against the French Revolution. A reaction was preparing in the mind of the nation, and especially in the army of Prussia, which aimed at making a stand against the progressive enlargement of the power of France, now become an empire. A crisis was at hand, produced by the prospect of a new war between Austria and France. By the greater part of the political prophets the camp at Boulogne was regarded as a preparation for a landing in England. Some better instructed ob- servers saw in this camp a French army held in readiness again to cross the Rhine and that was my opinion.*

Everything accordingly pointed to a renewal of the war. The Prussian cabinet, led by Count Haugwitz and Herr Lombard, dreaded the event ; not so the men of action in the army, at the head of whom Prince Louis Fer- dinand was specially conspicuous. These were urgent for war, and loudly declared for the interference of Prussia. Berlin was accordingly divided into two camps, which displayed no great tenderness for each other. And here I would say a few words about Prince Louis Ferdinand.

That prince possessed great qualities, which were enhanced still further by a brilliant exterior, a noble

  • In one of my longer conversations with Napoleon in the journey to

Cambray, whither I accompanied the Emperor in 1810, the conversation turned upon the great military preparations which he had made in the years 1803-1805 in Boulogne. I frankly confessed to him that even at that time I could not regard these offensive measures as directed against England. ' You were very right,' replied the Emperor, smiling ; ' never would I have heen such a fool as to make a descent upon England, unless indeed a revo- lution had taken place within that country. The army assembled at Bou- logne was always an army against Austria. I could not place it any- where else without giving offence, and being obliged to form it somewhere, I did so at Boulogne, where I could whilst collecting it also disquiet Eng- land. The very day of an insurrection in England, I should have sent over a detachment of my army to support the insurrection; I should not the less have fallen on you, for my forces were echelonned for that purpose. Thus you saw in 1805 how near Boulogne was to Vienna.'


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. v 49

bearing, and refined manners. Of quick apprehension and clear intellect, Prince Louis Ferdinand united in himself all that goes to make a remarkable man. Un- happily evil company had too much influence on his life. There were in him two different men : the one capable of everything great and noble ; the other, regardless of these gifts of nature. I had much to do with this prince, who even took a liking for me, but the defects which I have mentioned raised a barrier be- tween us. All my life I have had a horror of low com- pany, but the prince was surrounded with it. In political principles we agreed, but our tastes and our manner of life differed too much for any true confidence to be possible between us.

The year 1804 passed in that unhappy condition which is neither peace nor war. The heavens were covered with thunder-clouds, the first flash from which did not issue until 1805.

In Austria great preparations were being made for a campaign. Count Ludwig Cobenzl was Vice-Chan- cellor ; he and Count Colloredo, cabinet minister, were regarded as the leaders of the policy of the Empire. Count Colloredo was no great statesman ; Count Cobenzl, a candid, open-hearted man, had, in his capacity of the Emperor's ambassador at the court of Catherine II. lived for many years in confidential intercourse with her a favour which he shared with the Prince de Ligne, Count Segur, the French envoy, and other ex- cellent men, whom that princess liked to assemble around her. Although he shone in the salon, Cobenzl was not the man to lead a cabinet. Taught by the defeats of the earlier campaigns, and convinced by experience that the means applied in those campaigns were insufficient, and that Napoleon must be met by VOL. i. E


50 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

other generals than those who held the command in pre- ceding wars, the Emperor had singled out General Mack, who stood high in the estimation of the army. Events afterwards proved how unhappy this choice was. Mack possessed many estimable qualities, but he should .never have been raised to the post of supreme com- mand. His intelligence, industry, and perseverance fitted him for the place of Quartermaster-General : the task of commanding an army was beyond his powers.

At the approach of a war, in the preparation of which Napoleon had put forth all his strength, the ties between the Courts of Vienna and St. Petersburg, which the issue of the campaign of 1799 and the extra- vagances of Paul I. had greatly loosened, were drawn closer.

It was at the end of the year 1804 that I received the first communication respecting this great under- taking, in which the two courts were excessively anxious to gain the concurrence of Prussia. It was my task to smooth the way for this accession. (11)

This seemed to me difficult, on account of the known sentiments of the men at that time entrusted with the direction of Prussian policy. The more- decidedly the parties in Berlin were opposed to each other, the more difficult was it to make them see their true interests. The Emperor sent his brother the Archduke Antony to Berlin. His presence had no result. He returned to Vienna, leaving things as he found them. The Emperor Alexander then sent Prince Dolgoruki, one of the younger advisers whom he had gathered round him since he mounted the throne, a man full of fire and spirit, but of a nature nowise fitted for such a critical mission. As he had been instructed


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. 51

by his master to adhere to me in everything, I could influence his conduct, but not direct it. The Russian ambassador in Berlin, Herr von Alopaus, had filled that position for many years ; his relations with the most influential persons in the government were most confidential ; and yet the Emperor Alexander had no faith in his energy. I was therefore requested by that monarch to supply the deficiencies of his minister.

At last the Emperor Alexander, tired out by the continued evasiveness of the language used by the Prus- sian cabinet, decided on a most dangerous step. He would, in fact, force the King of Prussia to a decision, and at the same time weaken his strength by pushing on his own army to the frontier of East Prussia, where he halted. This military movement was in- tended to support the negotiations which were being carried on by the representatives of Russia and Austria. But the object was not attained ; the threat, on the contrary, rather increased the opposition. Under the influence of his different advisers, the King became more and more vacillating, and could not come to any resolution. Then there followed an interchange of letters between the two monarchs, which led to no definite result, and the Emperor Alexander, whose im- patience increased daily, was more and more inclined to take violent measures. I remember a singular cir- cumstance which occurred at this time, which I will not omit to mention.

I received the news one day that the Emperor Alexander was to strike a heavy blow. At a given hour a courier was to reach Herr von Alopaus with a communication to the King of Prussia to announce that the Russian army, without further delay, was to cross the frontier. The actual entry of the troops

E 2


52 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

was to take place simultaneously with the arrival of the notice. When I received this news, I found that the warning had come too late ; if I could have done so, I would have addressed to the Emperor Alexander the most urgent request that he would abstain from a course which certainly must end in throwing Prussia into the arms of France. It was on the eve of the catastrophe at Ulm when the Austrian forces were pushing on by forced marches to this point. Nothing promised success to the ill-considered step of the Emperor Alexander, especially if the character of Fred- erick William III. were considered. I could do nothing but await the event.

The Eussian courier was to arrive in the evening. At nine o'clock I went to the ambassador, who was detained at home by a slight indisposition. Under the most frivolous pretexts, I remained with him till nearly midnight ; then the sound of a carriage, which stopped at the door of his hotel, told me that the moment of the crisis had come. The arrival of a courier from the Eussian head-quarters was announced. Herr von Alopaus had the despatches brought to him, and imme- diately began to open them. We stood close to a desk, at which the aged ambassador was accustomed to stand and write.

In spite of his increasing years Herr von Alopaus was vivacious almost to the point of impetuosity. In placing the rather bulky despatches on the writing- desk some papers fell on the floor, which we picked up. Beside the folio sheets which dropped I had remarked distinctly a letter of small size, 'and in fact, from the other despatches this was seen to be a letter in the Emperor's own hand to the King of Prussia, of which a copy was enclosed. In this letter his Majesty informed


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. 53

the King that he had ordered his army to cross the Prussian frontier. The contents of these despatches threw Herr von Alopaus into the greatest excitement ; it would have had the same effect upon me, if I had not been prepared beforehand. He went off into very just remarks on the danger of the situation, and said at last : ' The die is cast ! nothing more remains to me but to do the bidding of the Emperor, and hand over the letter of his Imperial Majesty to the King.'

But the letter had vanished. In his sudden fright at not finding it, and thinking of the gravity of the complication which must arise from the non-execution of the orders he had received, Herr von Alopaus tried to ascribe the absence of the autograph itself to an act of forgetfulness in the sender. As for me, I certainly saw a sealed letter with my own eyes, and now it was not there ! For more than half an hour we sought under all the furniture without find- ing it ; Alopaus in an impulse of despair clasped his head with both hands, and at this moment the Em- peror's letter fell to the floor ; it had got into a fold in the sleeve of his dressing-gown !

The Kussians, however, did not cross the frontier then, as was intended. The Emperor Alexander thought better of it, and an attempt was made to overcome the vacillation of the King by a meeting of the two monarchs, at which the Emperor might influence him personally.

Our negotiations had taken this new phase, when Prince Dolgoruki was commissioned to deliver to the King another letter from the Emperor, in which he invited the King to the meeting already arranged, and repeated the threat of sending his troops through Prus- sian territory. Herr von Alopaus wrote to the minister


54 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

asking an audience, with the urgent request that, consi- dering the gravity of the case, Prince Dolgoruki and he should be admitted to the King, who was residing at Potsdam, as quickly as possible.

The same day Dolgoruki came to me. We agreed as to the language which he should hold with the King, while I assured him of my best support. ' I fear, how- ever,' said I to him as we parted, ' that the consequence of this pressure will be the alliance of Prussia with France.' The prince promised to inform me, imme- diately on his return from Potsdam, of all that had taken place.

Prince Dolgoruki and Herr von Alopaus came to me on October 6, and told me what had occurred. They had on that day handed to the King the Em- peror's letter. His Majesty read it, and declared with- out waiting a moment that he had offered the neutrality of Prussia to the belligerent powers, and that the moment one of those powers by violating his territory broke that neutrality, he considered himself at war with them. ' Eeturn to the Emperor, gentlemen,' con- tinued the King, ' and inform him of my unalterable decision. I will write him a letter to the same effect.' With this he dismissed the two ambassadors.

Hardly, however, had they left Potsdam than Baron Hardenberg, who happened to be at the palace, was sent after them to Berlin, to summon them back to the King. His Majesty had just received the news that Napoleon had invaded the neutral Prussian terri- tory at Anspach, in order to outflank the Austrian army concentrated at Ulm. The King said to his min- ister : ' Matters have taken another turn ; go at once to Prince Dolgoruki. He will take with him a letter, in which I will inform the Emperor that the frontiers of


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. 55

my kingdom are open to him.' Never, perhaps, have such important events come together in one decisive moment.

The King of Prussia's letter to the Emperor of Russia was taken to him. by Prince Dolgoruki, and the King invited me to come to him at Potsdam.

I had a long conversation with the King, which con- firmed me in my view of the danger of the steps taken by the Emperor Alexander in such grave circumstances. This prince, vehement and full of energy, impulsive, always in danger of acting rashly, and viewing things- from the standpoint of his pet ideas, had on coming to the throne surrounded himself with a council formed of persons of his own age, whom he honoured with the name of friends. Among these were Prince Adam Czar- toryski and Prince Dolgoruki. The former managed the affairs of the Foreign Office ; the latter was one of those general officers of whom his Majesty constantly took counsel. As I have said, he was gifted with a warm imagination, and influenced the Emperor more than any one else with the idea of binding the hands of the King Frederick William an enterprise which, from the character of that prince, must necessarily fail. The attitude of the King of Prussia was founded on strict neu- trality, and in this he acted in good faith. The violent measures of Napoleon and Alexander, similar in character and coincident in time, left the King only the choice which of two insults he should resent ; he chose with- out hesitation to pass by that which in form was the least injurious. Alexander had made known to the King, in a manner as peremptory as unusual, his deter- mination to violate the- neutrality of Prussia. Napoleon, on the contrary, admitted the neutrality of this power, and yet violated it. The King felt Napoleon's proceed- ing to be the more bitter insult. (12)


56 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Immediately after Alexander had received the King's letter, sent by Prince Dolgoruki, he set out on the road to Potsdam. The King invited the reigning Duke of Brunswick to come at once and begin the negotiations for the entry of Prussia into alliance with the two Im- perial courts. This negotiation was conducted, on the one hand, by the Emperor Alexander and myself; on the Prussian side by Count Haugwitz for the political part, and by the Duke of Brunswick, to whom the King had given the command of the army, for the military part. Prince Adam Czartoryski, then Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Emperor of Eussia, was the official repre- sentative of the Emperor ; but in reality, the Emperor himself conducted the negotiations. My relations with his Imperial Majesty date from this epoch, and they after- wards became most confidential.

From the first moment, the Emperor and I fell under the ill-wi]l of the Prussian negotiators. With ill-concealed anger, -they resorted to every imaginable pretext to protract the arrangements which, in face of the calamitous circumstances of the war on the Danube, grew more and more urgent. Certainly these events were of a kind to make the Prussian Cabinet thoughtful. Yet of all resolutions they took the very worst. When the breach with France took place, the King should either have again proclaimed his neutrality, at the risk of seeing it violated a second time by one or other of the belligerent powers, or he should, with the least possible delay, have joined his forces with the Allies, and have endeavoured by energetic action to restore the chances of war in their favour and his own. A calculation so simple did not enter the head of Count Haugwitz, and it found no response in the irresolute character of the Duke of Brunswick. The two Prussian


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. 57

negotiators made the worst possible choice, they decided for a system of vacillation.

At last the King made up his mind. A treaty of alliance between the three courts was signed at (13) Potsdam on November 5, and the Emperor Alexander went immediately to the head-quarters of the Emperor Francis.

Count Haugwitz, who could not evade .the completion of the treaty of alliance, left open a backdoor of escape. He caused the King to send him to Napoleon to inform him, on the part of the King, that the King had. decided to unite his forces with those of the two Imperial courts, in case the French army should not halt in its vic- torious career. The days necessary to carry out this step were duly calculated. At his departure, the Czar had given me full powers, and in his name also I was to watch over the strict fulfilment of the engagements just made. Without loss of time the Prussian army marched towards the Upper Danube.

Just at this time the war of 1805 entered its last phase. Count Haugwitz, having delayed his departure from Berlin more than eight days beyond the time agreed upon, did not find Napoleon at Vienna, and went to join him at Briinn. But, instead of executing his commission, he gave it the character of a simple act of politeness on the part of the King his master. Napoleon sent him back to Vienna. He was preparing to offer battle, to which the Emperor Alexander also was pressing forward. Napoleon found himself in a very dan- gerous position. The Archduke Charles was advancing by forced marches with the army of Italy through Styria ; the Prussian army was in movement towards Eegens- burg ; and, lastly, the news from Paris of the internal condition of France was of the most disquieting cha-


58 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

racter. If the allied armies, instead of offering battle at Austerlitz, had halted at a suitable distance, the French army would have been forced to fall back upon Vienna, and the Allies would then have been able again to take the offensive with vigour. Tyrol and even Upper Austria only waited for this to rise in one mass. Thus the chances of war were all in favour of the Allies, and never was position more grave than that of Napo- leon. The Emperor Francis himself tried every argu- ment to dissuade the Emperor Alexander from offering battle. It was, however, begun, and its results he before us in the Peace of Pressburg. (14)

The Emperor bestowed on me the order of the grand cross of St. Stephen, in recognition of the services which he condescended to see in my share in the conclusion of the league with Prussia. This league was, thanks to the attitude of Count Haugwitz, a fruitless one. (15) When he presented himself to the Emperor Napoleon after his entrance into Vienna, and offered him his congratulations on the victory, Napoleon asked him whether if the event had been different he would have spoken to him of the friendship of the King his master. Count Haugwitz took no notice of the sarcasm, and ne- gotiated for the union of the Electorate of Hanover with Prussia. (16) Napoleon gave, in fact, his consent to this, for, aiming as he did at the destruction of Ger- many, nothing could better serve his plans than a union of that character, which was a direct attack on the existence of the German Empire, and at the same time concealed within itself the germ of an irreparable breach between Prussia and Great Britain.

Vienna was the theatre of all these not very honour- able arrangements, which Count Haugwitz concealed from the King his master till his return to Berlin.


EMBASSY IN BERLIN, 18031805. 59

Tliis return lie delayed as long as possible, sometimes on the plea of health, sometimes pretending important business which he carefully kept under a veil of mys- tery. At last he made his appearance at Potsdam, and gave the King an account of his political industry, leaving to the King the choice between the ratification of the act concluded by Haugwitz mb spe rati, and the deposition of the negotiator. The King ratified the treaty, but dismissed Count Haugwitz from his office, which he conferred on Freiherr von Hardenberg. (17)


==CHAPTER IV. - AS AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, AS AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON. (1806-1809.) ==

Retirement of Oolloredo and Cobenzl Stadion appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs Mtternich appointed to St. Petersburg : goes, instead, to Paris Reasons for this change Conversation with the Emperor Francis Little instruction from the Archives Journey from Vienna Detention in Strasburg Arrival in Paris Beginning of public life there With Talleyrand First audience of Napoleon in St. -Cloud Jena, the summit of Napoleon's power The mistakes of Prussia Napo- leon's mistakes Bulletins The gloire nationale Napoleon's return from the banks of the Niemen (Memel) Dalberg's audience on taking leave Count Tolskoy Count Nesselrode Napoleon glances towards Spain Meeting of the monarchs at Erfurt Count Romanzow Metternich's passive attitude Lafayette Barrere The great audience of August 15, 1808 Champagny silenced Arrival at Vienna The Austrian position Conversation with the Emperor Francis Metternich's views on the war Napoleon's attitude Diplomatic relations with Austria broken off Metternich's departure prevented, and the reason for this The internal condition of France Wealth of the French marshals Napoleon's position Anti-warlike disposition of the great office-bearers and mar- shals of France Characteristics of Talleyrand, Fouche, and Cambaceres Metternich's departure from Paris as prisoner under escort Report of the battle of Aspern Visit to the Empress Josephine at Strasburg Arrival at Vienna Metternich's father, with the Archbishop of Vienna, Count Pergen, and Hardegg, appointed to Geiseln Conversation with Champagny Interned in the Villa of Griinberg General Savary's visit Departure for the place of exchange Contrary orders Napoleon's ex- cuses Night-quarters in Acs An Austrian battery fires at Metternich's carriage Return to Raab Exchanged at last Colonel Avy Recep- tion by the Emperor Francis Stadion's appointment Preparation for battle Retreat of the Austrian army Head-quarters in Znaitn.

THE consequences of the battle of Austerlitz made it impossible for those men who had undertaken the war of 1805 to remain in office. Count Colloredo, the cabinet


64 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

minister, and Count Cobenzl, the Vice-Chancellor of Courland State, resigned, and the Emperor appointed Count Stadion, his ambassador at St. Petersburg, to be Minister of Foreign Affairs. As the Emperor Alexander had wished me to be ambassador there, I was ordered to leave Berlin, and to repair to my new appointment, by way of Vienna. (18) At the beginning of April I reached that city, and presented myself to Count Stadion, who informed me that not St. Petersburg, but Paris, was to be my destination. Count Philip Cobenzl, who had been selected for the embassy in France, had been ob- jected to by Napoleon, who pointed out me as the representative of Austria most suitable to strengthen those relations he was now anxious to see established between the two Empires.

I afterwards learned that the reasons which actuated Napoleon on this occasion were the following: My French colleague in Berlin was M. de Laforest, before mentioned, a confidant of Prince Talleyrand. At the moment of extreme tension, just before the conclusion of the alliance between Austria, Eussia and Prussia, the position of M. de Laforest had become most difficult. It had, however, always been my habit not to mingle busi- ness affairs with personal matters, and so I endeavoured to maintain relations with my French colleague on a footing of frank courtesy. These relations continued during all the different phases of the affair. This did not escape the notice of Talleyrand, whose policy was not averse to the establishment of good relations be- tween France and Austria. The influence of Count Philip Cobenzl had become stale in Paris, a new man was wanted there : the choice fell on me.

This change in my destination, when I learned it, fell upon me like a thunder-bolt. I resigned the posi-


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 65

tion at St. Petersburg, with reluctance, for the personal relations in which I stood to the Emperor Alexander allowed me to hope that I might render service there to my monarch, and at the same time count on a sphere of action more suited to my views than that which awaited me in Paris, face to face with Napoleon. The task of representing Austria in France, immediately after the Peace of Pressburg, presented so many diffi- culties, that I feared I should not be adequate to them. The next day I waited on the Emperor Francis, and ventured to describe the embarrassment of my position. He received me with his usual kindness, praised me for my conduct in Berlin, and set before me the necessity of accommodating myself to what he called my destiny, with expressions which made it impossible for me to oppose his wishes.

I was thus placed in a position opposed to my in- clinations, but being determined always to subordinate them to a feeling of duty, I endeavoured to make clear to myself the line I ought to take. Napoleon seemed to me the incarnation of the Eevolution ; while in the Austrian Power which I had to represent at his court, I saw the surest guardian of the principles which alone guaranteed general peace and political equilibrium. When I looked at my task from this point of view, the great importance of the functions I had to perform rose before me. I did not, indeed, fear to go wrong, as so many had done, from a heated imagination or self-love, for I felt myself free from these failings ; but, on the other hand, I knew the many and dangerous rocks in my new position, and I resolved for the present, to keep my ambition within very modest bounds, and at least to prevent evil when I saw the impossibility of doing good.

I searched in the archives of the chancellery, but VOL. i. F


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found little to help me. The French Eevolution was not yet understood by the men whom fate had called on, to deal with this monstrous social catastrophe. The rapidity of the career of Napoleon had dazzled many spectators, and left them little time to weigh, im- partially and quietly, the conditions on which his exist- ence rested. I addressed myself to this task with pleasure, convinced as I was that the analysis of this personified product of the Eevolution must necessarily explain to me how this man, from so mean a start- ing-point, could have raised himself to such a height. Some saw in Napoleon only the great general ; some saw the ground of his elevation in his political talents ; while others regarded him merely as an adventurer favoured by fortune : all forgot that for the explanation of the astonishing success of this man, it was indispen- sable to connect his personal qualities with the circum- stances in which he lived.

I left Vienna in July 1806. When I arrived in Strasburg, I was not allowed to continue my journey ; the order had been given in Paris, but the pretext made use of by the local authorities was, that they could not allow me to continue my journey without a positive order. The true cause of this unjustifiable proceeding was, however, the presence of Herr Oubril in Paris, through whose assistance Napoleon hoped to arrive at an understanding with the Eussian court. Till this understanding, to which the Emperor Alexander after- wards refused his consent, was arrived at, the Emperor of the French seemed not to wish for my presence in Paris. If, indeed, I had been there, I should have used my influence to prevent that young and inexperienced negotiator from compromising himself in so painful a manner. When the negotiations with Herr Oubril


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18001809. 67

had once been concluded sub spe rati, I was allowed to continue my journey to Paris, where I arrived on August 4. The next day I went to the Prince of Benevento (Talleyrand), then Minister for Foreign Affairs, whom I did not as yet personally know. He received me with the greatest cordiality, showed himself inclined to closer relations between France and Austria, and boasted of the moderation which he had displayed during the negotiations of the Peace of Pressburg. As this assertion was well founded, I took up my own position, and ex- plained to him what the Emperor understood by friendly relations, which must not be confounded with sub- mission.

This was, in fact, the beginning of my public life. All that had gone before might have shown the inde- pendence of my character. As a man of principles, I could not and I would riot bend when it came to the point of defending them. Within a short space of time destiny had placed me face to face with the man who at this epoch ruled the affairs of the world ; I felt it my duty and I had the courage never to offer to mere cir- cumstance a sacrifice which I could not defend to my conscience both as a statesman and as a private in- dividual. This voice of conscience I followed ; and I do not think it was a good inspiration of Napoleon's, which called me to functions which gave me the oppor- tunity of appreciating his excellences, but also the possibility of discovering the faults which at last led him to ruin and freed Europe from the oppression under which it languished.

This study put means into my hand, the efficacy of which I had the opportunity of proving in a few years.

I presented myself to Napoleon, without delivering

F 2


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an address at the first audience I had at St. -Cloud, as was the custom of my colleagues. I confined myself to stating that as, in accordance with his own wishes, I had been chosen to represent the Emperor of Austria at his court, I should strive on every occasion to strengthen the good relations between the two empires on that basis upon which alone a lasting peace could be established between independent states. Napoleon answered me in the same simple style, and our subse- quent personal relations took their tone from this first meeting,

France at that time felt the need of order, and would easily have been led in that direction, if Napoleon's love of conquest had not forced it to a system which ulti- mately led him to his ruin. War with Prussia was imminent : yet Napoleon might have acted so as to avoid it. This he would not do ; and the consequences would have justified the choice made by Napoleon, had he not abused the victory.

In this Autobiography there will not be found a narrative of events belonging to diplomatic and military history ; materials for the history of the time must be drawn from the state archives of official correspondence. It does not belong to the plan I set before me to specify the mass of labours which in the long course of my public life I was able to achieve. The present work is intended only to communicate what concerns myself, or has reference to the tone of mind which the circum- stances of my time have produced in me, those of which I was a mere spectator and those in which I have myself played a part.

According to my opinion, Napoleon reached the summit of his power in the victory of Jena. If, in- stead of the destruction of Prussia, he had limited his


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 180(31809. 69

ambition to the weakening of that power, and had then annexed it to the Confederation of the Rhine, the enormous edifice which he had succeeded in erectin^

c

would have gained a foundation of strength and solidity, which the Peace of Tilsit did not gain for it ; indeed, the conditions of that peace were so hard and over- strained that it essentially contributed to its downfall/ 19 * The mistake which the Prussians made in 1805 in not uniting their strength with that of Austria and Russia, was renewed in the rising of 1806 ; and yet it was to this repeated mistake, that we owe the libera- tion of Europe from the yoke which Napoleon's love of conquest had imposed upon it. For King Frederick William III. the war of 1806 was not premeditated, but rather the effect of an agitation which he had not the strength to resist. Prince Louis Ferdinand and the feeble elite of the army were at the head of the agitation for war. The great mass of the army as well as of the people were under the spell of the neutrality which the King contrived to maintain after the Peace of Basle, and which, after the dissolution of the German Em- pire, had given Prussia a kind of protectorate over North Germany. This position was weak on the face of it, and although it nattered the short-sighted plans of such men as Count Haugwitz, Lombard, and General von Pfuel, it hindered everything like enthusiasm in the nation. When Napoleon, in 1805, in order to ensure the success of a strategic combination, ventured to violate the neutral Prussian territory, he showed how well he understood the condition of Prussia ; and cer- tainly the attitude of Count Haugwitz after the battle of Austerlitz was not calculated to give him a different impression of the energy of that power. I am con- vinced, therefore, that the political mistake committed


TO AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

by Napoleon, after his enormous successes during the whole campaign, was chiefly the consequence of the false idea he had formed of the thorough exhaustion of the Prussian power. When Napoleon had reduced this kingdom to the condition of the Peace of Tilsit, he believed that he could leave it to die a natural death ; and in his opinion the kingdoms of Westphalia and Saxony were the natural heirs of Prussia.

I took leave in the year 1810 to draw Napo- leon's attention to what I thought a mistake in his calculation. He did not contradict me, and added, ' I had taken it in hand, and must finish the work I had begun. You see, too, what Prussia is good for.' The events of a few years later than this prove that Napo- leon was not infallible in his calculations : they justified mine.

There are few chapters in the history of nations which exhibit such astonishing vicissitudes of fortune as the history of Prussia from the death of the great Frederick till the Peace of Tilsit. Eising in the course of four reigns from the position of an electorate to a power of the first rank, this monarchy, after the cam- paigns of 1806 and 1807, was shaken to its very found- ations. All seems contradiction in the annals of Prussia, and these annals comprise scarcely one century. In less than this period a barren and thinly populated country rose to a height of power which assigned to its rulers more than once the part of umpires in Europe, and this height of power it reached amid storms and agitations which threatened it at home and abroad. From the year 1740 there was not a moment when the Prussian army was not in active service. Its standing army, though out of all proportion to the number of the people, or the resources of the country, far from exhausting


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 71

these, on the contrary, raised the monarchy to a height of power not aspired to in the wildest dreams of its greatest princes. Frederick II. on his deathbed said to his young nephew that his successors would do more than he had done if they knew how to maintain his conquests. But, in fact, they doubled them. And this state did not grow and increase in the midst of less civilised nations. On the contrary, all its conquests were over those which surpassed it in wealth and power. The Eevolution, which since 1789 threatened to engulf the civilised world, contributed to the aggrandisement of Prussia. All the Powers that went to war with France exhausted themselves. Prussia alone drew ad- vantage from all circumstances ; and when she found herself with other states put down for the time, she went her own way with quiet steps and accommodated herself to the conqueror. Every campaign gave her a pretext for extending her influence ; every truce either confirmed an encroachment on a weak and timid neighbour, or contrived that such should voluntarily place itself under her banner ; lastly, every peace brought her a reward for exertions which she had nevertheless made only to serve her own purposes. Such were the consequences of the mighty impulse given to the country by the genius of her first kings.

The observations which my position in the French capital enabled me to make during the whole duration of the war of 1806 and 1807 were in absolute contra- diction to the reports industriously circulated by the organs of the Government on the condition of the country. I had the opportunity of convincing myself of the extreme care taken by the Emperor to magnify the effect of his victories. (20) The account of some pre- vious victory was spread through Paris previous to the


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officially prepared news of a defeat ; the members of the Government itself might act as if in the greatest anxiety, whilst the cannon of the Invalides thundered forth the news of a victory already known.

Napoleon, in making use of such petty means, had doubtless the double object of adding brilliancy to his successes, and of furnishing the means to his police of ascertaining the feelings of individuals. With respect to the first, he may have succeeded to a certain point, but not in regard to the latter. A stupor then reigned in Paris, produced by a sense of the weight which the Em- peror had laid upon all classes of society. With the ex- ception of agents provocateurs., no person of any influence would have ventured to express aloud any sentiment unpleasant to the Government; but after all the loud talkers are not really the persons to be feared. The im- pression made on the public of Paris by the news of a battle won by Napoleon was certainly not that of joy : it was satisfaction that France had escaped the conse- quences, and at seeing that her internal peace was not endangered. The Emperor might with good right say at that time La France c'est moil The revolutionary elements were only smothered. The country had not one friend in Europe, and an immeasurable feeling of unrest reigned amid the rejoicings for a victory of the French army, for everyone knew that these victories made new ones necessary to complete the work, the ultimate extent of which no one could foresee. The phrase gloire nationale, which in the Eestoration acted like magic, had not then the same effect. With a few exceptions, the nation would willingly have exchanged glory for safety. Under the Eestoration the appeal to la gloire was a weapon of the Bonapartist and revolu- tionary opposition ; under the Empire the opposition


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 73

was unanimous in its repudiation of a warlike ten- dency.

Intoxicated with victory, Napoleon returned from the banks of the Niemen to Paris. The first im- pression of the unrestrained idea of power of the insatiable conqueror was given to the diplomatic corps at the customary reception, when all the assembled re- presentatives of foreign powers had in turn to hear the unpleasant things from the mouth of the Emperor. (21) Sarcasm of every kind was interspersed with warlike menaces. I came off the best, although in the negotia- tions on the adjustment of the boundary between Aus- tria and the kingdom of Italy, which at that time came to a conclusion in the Convention of Fontainebleau, (2 ' 2) the feeling of Napoleon betrayed itself in a way any- thing but satisfactory to the wishes of Austria.

It was at this time that the Princes of the new Con- federation of the Rhine came to Paris, to do homage to their new master and to congratulate him on his fresh victories. At their head was the Prince Primate Frei- herr von Dalberg. Six weeks after the arrival of that Prince, I happened to have an audience of Napoleon at St. -Cloud. In the ante-room I met the Prince Primate, who had come to take leave of the Emperor. He was just speaking to me of the grand prospects of the Bund, of the thankfulness of all its members to the Emperor Napoleon, and of the high destiny to which the German Fatherland was called, when he was invited to enter the Emperor's closet. He remained about eight or ten minutes with the Emperor, then came my turn.

Napoleon excused himself that he had kept me waiting so long. I remarked that to me at least the time had passed quickly, that the audience of the Prince Primate had not seemed to me to be a long one,


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at any rate for a farewell audience. ' Well, what would you have ? ' said Napoleon smiling : ' this man is full of empty dreams. He torments me continually to arrange the constitution of what he calls the German Fatherland. He wants his Eegensburg, his Imperial court of supreme judicature with all the traditions of the old German Empire. He tried to speak again of these absurdities, but I cut him short. "Monsieur 1'Abbe," I said to him, " I will tell you my secret. In Germany the small people want to be protected against the great people ; the great wish to govern according to their own fancy ; now, as I only want from the federation men and money, and as it is the great people and not the small who can provide me with both, I leave the former alone in peace, and the second have only to settle themselves as best they may ! "

My personal relations with Napoleon soon assumed the same character which they had before he took the field. About that time General Count Peter Tolstoy arrived in France as ambassador from Eussia. (23) The Emperor Alexander had enjoined him to attach himself to me, and to follow my advice. Count Tolstoy had not before served in the diplomatic line, and from the turn of his mind and his exclusively military knowledge he never was successful in this career ; and in accepting the post of Ambassador in Paris he merely submitted to the will of the Emperor. The choice of the Emperor Alexander was, in my opinion, well suited to the position of affairs. As a zealous conservative, by nature and experience, the enemy of the system of conquest, this ' Ambassador against his will ' made no secret of his inclinations, and thereby gained the respect of men whose tendencies he had been directed to observe. Count Nesselrode, afterwards Vice-Chancellor of the


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 75

Russian Empire, filled the post of first Secretary of Legation under Count Tolstoy, and from this time date the relations of personal confidence between us which have been maintained through the varied phases of our public life.

After the Peace of Tilsit, the Emperor of the French turned his eyes on Spain. In order to secure the carry- ing out of his plans, he thought it necessary to cripple Russia, after conquering Austria and Prussia, in two successive wars, and covering the eastern frontier of his Empire by the Confederation of the Rhine. The undertaking had but too great success at Erfurt. The conference which took place there between Napoleon and Alexander was a snare for the Russian monarch. In reality, Napoleon's thoughts were directed neither against Turkey nor against Asia ; and if the hatred which he entertained for England led him to think for a moment of attacking her in her Indian possessions, this project existed only as an eventuality, dependent on the concurrence of circumstances as yet remote. Napoleon occupied himself rather with perfecting his Continental system, and with the expulsion of the Bour- bons from the throne of Spain. The extravagance of these gigantic schemes brought about the fall of Napo- leon a few years later, and the expedition against Spain, which beyond any doubt was a thoroughly mis- taken idea on his part, only accelerated the catastrophe.

Napoleon left Paris in August. History has under- taken to describe the events of which Spain was the theatre, and to record for posterity the reaction of those events on the destiny of Europe. They made a most lively impression upon the Austrian Cabinet ; and I felt them the more, from my knowledge of them in my official capacity. Desirous of leaving a position where


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I could not obtain the necessary information, I asked leave, during the absence of the Emperor from Paris, to go to Vienna in order to give them the news I pos- sessed, and learn some for myself. Leave being granted to me, I started on October 4, and arrived in Vienna on the 10th.

The meeting of the monarch s took place at Erfurt in September and October, 1808. (24) Thither General Baron Vincent was sent from Vienna, under the pretext of welcoming the two Emperors ; he had acted as am- bassador in Paris from the peace of 1805 till my arrival. His candid and loyal character, as well as the tendency of his mind, had won Napoleon's regard. The Emperor Francis could not have made a better choice for so critical a mission. Through him and my col- league Tolstoy, I was kept informed of what passed at Erfurt, and could not but foresee, that enormous com- plications were inevitable from the approach of two such great potentates as Napoleon and Alexander an approach which had no real basis, and was only a trap laid for the Eussian monarch on the part of the French Emperor. But the calculation was wrong, because Napoleon, when he speculated on deluding the Em- peror of Russia for a time, was quite mistaken as to the time necessary for accomplishing the overthrow of Spain.

The Chancellor, Count Romanzow, followed Napoleon to Paris, after his return from Erfurt r as closely as pos- sible/ 2 ^ Romanzow knew me from my earliest youth, for when he resided at Frankfort as Russian Ambas- sador to the Rhenish Courts, he was a colleague of my father. During his residence at Paris, Count Romanzow was extremely intimate with me, and anxiously en- deavoured to flatter the new ally of Russia. All that


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 77

Count Eomanzow did was in good faith, and I doubt not that he took this alliance to be quite sincere. I am sure that he only followed the guidance of his con- science, when he endeavoured to correct my ideas with regard to this new political phase. Count Eomanzow, a clever man, though of no deep intellect, was caught in the nets which Napoleon spread for him. Loaded by Napoleon with favours, he took all these attentions as genuine, and was at last so dazzled by them that in the course of a long conversation, I do not now remember on what subject, he thought to silence me with the fol- lowing words : ' I have Napoleon in my pocket ; do you think that I am going to let him go ? ' By a curious coincidence, it happened that I had just come from the Emperor, and my conversation with him had given me an impression which scarcely agreed with this. Napo- leon had, in fact, spoken to me of the Chancellor with extreme candour, and made no secret of his mean opinion of him as a statesman.

My position was a peculiar one. I was placed at the most prominent post for observing the movement of which the Emperor of the French was the centre. I represented at his court a great monarch, whose kingdom had yielded under the force of circumstances, but which was ready to rise on the first opportunity. I was penetrated with the feeling of danger to my country, if it entered on a new war with France with- out having more probable chances of success ; and I conceived that my task consisted in playing the part of a quiet and impartial spectator impartial, so far as this might be possible to a man of feeling, at an epoch when the world was passing through a social transformation. Nowhere was the conflict between the fermenting elements more vehement than in the great


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country in which I was living. Beyond the confines of France, Governments had no other care than to with- stand the political encroachments of the conqueror who had placed the Imperial crown on his head. The con- flict between the different systems of government really existed only in France. Eaised by the Eevolution to the summit of power, Napoleon endeavoured to prop up by monarchical institutions the throne he had made for himself. The destructive parties, having to do with a man equally great as a statesman and as a general, who knew his country and the spirit of the nation better than any who ever guided the destinies of France, were above all anxious to save from the wreck of their works all they could secure from the encroach- ments of the Imperial power. These efforts were impo- tent ; but they were not the less worthy of observation. My impartial attitude gained me the confidence of the most prominent men of different parties, beginning with Napoleon himself. One individual I must except. I never saw Lafayette. When the Emperor spoke to me of him, he did so with an expression of that con- tempt which he had for everyone whom he considered an ideologue. Among the most eager courtiers of the Empire might be seen the fiercest partisans of a Govern- ment which, after it had shed blood in streams, vanished like smoke under the Directory. Napoleon spoke of these men with the deepest scorn ; he said to me one day : ' These people were the perpetrators of impious deeds but a short time ago ; now I use them in building up my new social edifice. There are some good work- men among them ; the mischief is, that they all want to be architects. That is always the case with the French ; there is hardly one among them who does not think himself capable of governing the country I '


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 79

Among the dismal celebrities of a bloody epoch I will mention Barere, who gained the nickname of the Anacreon of the Guillotine. To my great surprise, this man one day desired an interview with me. I found in him the traces of that spurious refinement which was also a characteristic of Eobespierre. The reason of his coming was to ask a favour for one of his rela- tions. To judge from his physiognomy, one might have taken him for the most harmless creature in the world. I shall perhaps have to speak again of persons of the same stamp as Barere and Merlin de Thionville, whose reign ended with the Reign of Terror.

Napoleon's mind was full, as I have said before, of the overthrow of Spain. He was preparing to appear personally on the scene where the great drama was to be played. This might lead to contingencies for which the Vienna Cabinet must provide. The preparations made in Austria pointed to warlike designs. (26> Before he left Paris, Napoleon, wishing to insult Austria, chose for the purpose the ceremonious audience which he was accustomed to grant to the diplomatic body on his fete, August 15.*

These audiences took place immediately before the service, which the Emperor, accompanied by a great retinue, attended in the chapel at St. -Cloud. Just before noon the diplomatic corps was conducted to the audience- chamber. I took my usual place in the circle, having Count Tolstoy on my right, the rest of the diplomatic

  • Till the Concordat, no day had been set apart in the calendar for

Saint Napoleon. The Emperor of the French obtained the permission of Pope Pius VII., however, to have his festival on the day of the Assump- tion of the Virgin, As this day was kept as a great festival in consequence of the reconciliation with the Roman Court, the Emperor chose it in order that his fete might coincide with a religious festival observed throughout France.


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corps being arranged in a semicircle, in the centre of which was the Emperor. At such ceremonials the princes of his family were ranged behind him, then the cabinet ministers, the members of the court, and the adjutants.

After some minutes of unusual silence, Napoleon advanced towards me with great solemnity. He stopped two feet in front of me, and addressed me in a loud voice and pompous tone : ' Well, Sir Ambassador, what does the Emperor, your master, want does he intend to call me back to Vienna ? ' This address did not dis- concert me ; I answered him calmly, and in no less elevated tones. Our conversation the longer it lasted took on Napoleon's side more and more the character of a public manifestation, Napoleon raising his voice as he always did, when he had the double end in view of in- timidating the person he was addressing and of making an effect on the rest of his hearers. I did not alter my tone, and met his worthless arguments with the weapon of irony ; from time to time Napoleon appealed to Count Tolstoy as a witness ; but when he observed that the Count preserved an unbroken silence, he turned round, breaking off in the midst of a sentence, and strode to the chapel without completing the round of the circle. This scene lasted more than half an hour. The Empress Josephine and her train waited in the hall through which the Emperor had to pass, and no one could ex- plain the reason of the length of this so-called diplo- matic audience.

As soon as Napoleon had left the audience-chamber, all my colleagues thronged round me, to congratulate me on having, as they said, given the Emperor a lesson. A few hours afterwards I went to the Hotel of Count Champagny, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, who gave a great banquet in honour of the day. On my entrance


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 81

he said to me, he was ordered by his master, the Em- peror, to assure me, that the scene at the audience had nothing personal in it ; and that his master's intention had merely been to explain the position. I assured the minister that I too put the same construction on the inci- dent ; and, for my part, did not regret that the Emperor had given me the opportunity to explain before as- sembled Europe what the monarch whom I had the honour to represent wished and what he did not wish. ' Europe,' I continued, ' will be able to judge on which side reason and right are to be found.' Count Cham- pagny made no answer. (27)

In order to understand the moral view by which the Austrian cabinet was actuated, it will be enough to refer to the political relations existing in Europe. Under the weight of the unhappy issue of the war of 1805, Austria had collapsed. The Confederation of the Rhine, under the protection of the French Emperor, had taken the place of the German Empire ; and after the last war between France and Prussia the Princes of North Germany also had entered this Confederation. Tyrol had joined Bavaria, and the dukedom of Warsaw, under the supremacy of the King of Saxony, was pushed in between Austria and Russia. The Peace of Tilsit had destroyed the Prussian power, and from the confe- rence of Erfurt there had resulted an illusive alliance between Russia and France, the twofold object of which was the silent assent of the former power to the attacks of the latter, and the partition of the Ottoman Empire between the two, adjusted on the supposition of its im- pending fall.

Austria, therefore, was in a position in which she could not possibly maintain herself. The Imperial cabinet was not alone in this feeling. Napoleon was so VOL. i. G


82 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

convinced of it that he looked upon Austria as a prize in prospect for one of his new German allies. Not only then was a renewal of the war in the nature of things, but it was for our Empire an absolute condition of its existence. This question was to my mind settled. But the points which remained, and, in my view, required ripe consideration, were, the choice of the right moment for beginning the war, and the settling of the plan of operation.

Immediately after my arrival in Vienna, I went to Count Stadion, who at that time was Minister for Foreign Affairs. He gave me an insight into the posi- tion : I found that war was nearer than I had sup- posed when I left Paris. I explained to him my rea- sons for obtaining leave to come to Vienna, and gave him to understand that it would be impossible for me to be really useful to the important interests committed to my care, if I were not thoroughly initiated into the feeling of the Court. Count Stadion showed the liveliest satisfaction at coming to an understanding with me. The next day I waited on the Emperor. A conversa- tion of many hours gave me the impression that the Cabinet was more decided than the Emperor, not indeed in respect to the war in itself, for with good reason it was looked upon as unavoidable, but as to choosing the right moment. His Majesty charged me most urgently to make myself acquainted with the steps about to be taken, and to assist the cabinet with my advice.

Emboldened by this request and the extraordinary importance of the circumstances, I did not fail to explain the situation exactly as it was. (28) My statement con- sisted of the following elements :

The material preparations were nearly completed,


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 83

so that the army might, by the beginning of the year 1809, take the field. In this respect everything was secured, and that to a degree which the enemy, if he judged from the disasters of the campaign of 1805, could not expect.

It was not so with the moral side of this great un- dertaking. I can testify that the cabinet was subject to more than one illusion.

The change, made in the original plan of the cam- paign necessarily exercised an influence on the moral side of the undertaking, which was quite as worthy of being taken into account as the material operations, when the state of men's minds in Germany was con- sidered.* .........

As I received no instructions from Vienna, I could contribute little. Nothing could suit Napoleon better. He continued, after my return, to treat me with his customary kindness. (30) The passive part I had to play was a contrast to the excessive activity in the military preparations, of which I was condemned to be a mere spectator. If the Paris public judged from my rela- tions to the Court, it must have been very difficult for it to believe in the impending outbreak of a new war with Austria. Napoleon liked to surprise the Parisians, and to make known his wars only by the cannons fired from the Invalides to announce the success of the first battle. Willingly would I have hindered

O v

him from acting so now ; but this unhappily was not

'permitted to me ; for only by his unexpected departure

- from Paris in the night of the 14th of April, and by

the message I received from Count Champagny on the

15th, that he had orders from his master to give me my

  • On this gap in the manuscript, see Note 29.

G 2


84 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

passports, did I learn that peace was at an end ; the ^courier who ought to have brought nie the news had been detained at Chalons-sur-Marne. By another courier the Minister for Foreign Affairs assured me, in the name of the Emperor, that the safety of my family would be cared for, in case I did not take them 'with me, but wished 'to leave them in Paris.

When I had fixed my departure for the 19th, the Postmaster-General de Lavalette * refused me horses, under the pretence that they were required for the Em- peror's use. My repeated requests always met with the -same refusal ; and I was relieved from this state of un- certainty only by a letter from Count Champagny, which he sent to me from Munich on the 19th, in which he informed me that, the cause of the hindrances put in the ^way of my departure from Paris had been the arrest of the French agent and attache" in Vienna, and their being carried off to Hungary. At the same time he disclosed to me that till an exchange was made of the personnel of the embassy, I should not be allowed to leave 'Paris.

The measure, on the part of the Court of Vienna, was unusual, and also quite unnecessary ; it originated in fear, and might have compromised my personal safety : the French ambassador had already come back from Vienna. This was, in my eyes, a fresh example of the false estimate the Austrian cabinet made of Napoleon's character and attitude. I remained quietly in Paris, and can certify from my own observations, how exceedingly weary 'France was of the war. The news

  • One of the oldest adjutants of General Bonaparte. I had made his*

acquaintance at the Congress of Rastadt, at the beginning of which he was present. He it was whose wife, after the return of the Bourbons in 1816, aided him to escape out of prison when he was threatened with a fate like that of Marshal Ney and General Labedoyere.


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061800. 85

of the very important events which attended the open- ing of the campaign were received in Paris with a painful feeling, that already approached aversion to the conqueror. My life in society continued to be the same as before the rupture : indeed, I might even main- tain that the attentions of the public towards me rather increased.

As I have reached that point of my narrative when my office of Ambassador in France came to an end, {31) I think I may say a few words on the internal condition of the country, and on some of the most prominent in- dividuals of the time.

France felt the need of repose, and this feeling pre- vailed not only among the masses, but was shared by Napoleon's companions in arms. These individuals had been for the most part taken from the lower; ranks of the army, and raised to the height of military honour. They had become rich from foreign spoil and the calculated generosity of the Emperor, and now wished to enjoy what they had gained. Napoleon had made a bril- liant existence for them. (32) The Prince of Neufchatel (Berthier) had a yearly income of more than 1,200,000 francs : Marshal Davoust had property which brought in an income of a million : Massena, Augereau, and many other marshals and generals were equally wealthy. These men wished to enjoy their possessions, and objected to stake them on the chances of war.

Many in civil life had, like the generals, risen to great wealth. One source of riches, which during the wars of the Eevolution had existed for a class of specu- lative spirits, was exhausted. The war which Napoleon declared against the fraudulent army-contractors, and, the strict order which he had introduced into all deal- ings with the public money, reacted on this class,


86 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

already so numerous before Napoleon mounted the throne, and infused into them an aversion to the war- like policy, which formerly had the best wishes of themselves and those with whom they dealt. The nation, decimated by the annual levies, far from inter- esting itself in military operations carried on so far from the frontiers of France that even the names of the places where new victories were gained were un- known, cursed the conquests whose political value they were not capable of understanding. In a word, France was anxious for peace, and it was a great mistake of the European Courts at that time, that in their political ac- tion they did not take this fact into account. Napoleon was in power, but between the system followed by him and the feeling of the great country which he governed there was a repugnance of which the cabinets of Europe were not aware. It would have been wise if this had not been excluded from their calculations, which, in spite of all that the French manifestoes said on the subject, sprang only from the feeling of self- preservation in the European States. This remark explains my anxiety that, on the near approach of the war, the right course should be taken. The uni- versal error in Europe arose from the fact that the vast encroachments made by the violent ambition of one man were supposed to spring from a national move- ment in France itself. I should hardly myself have seen this so clearly if I had not been placed in so favourable a position for observation.

The Emperor enjoyed, in France, that popularity which will be always gained by a ruler who knows how to hold the reins of power with an equally firm and skilful hand. Napoleon's practical mind enabled him to understand the needs of a country where the social


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 87

edifice had to be rebuilt. Abroad a soldier, at home he was a legislator and most able administrator. There- fore the country lamented to see him and his work exposed to the chances of war. France was no longer inspired by a warlike spirit. The revolutionary parties alone, between 1792 and the beginning of the nine- teenth century, entertained the idea of war. This they did with the double object of employing beyond the frontier the army, which was always a danger when at home to this party, and of defending the frontiers against foreign invasion. Had Napoleon confined his plans to the preservation of what the Kepublic had conquered, he would have greatly increased his popularity ; his warlike temperament carried him much further. He was a born conqueror, legislator, and administrator, and he thought he could indulge all three inclinations at once. His undoubted genius furnished him with the means of doing so. The sentiment of the enormous majority of the nation would have been entirely with him if he had confined himself to the duties of govern- ment.

The greater part of the high officials shared in this national feeling. Among these were the Prince of Bene- vento (Talleyrand), Fouche, then Minister of Police, and a great number of marshals and generals. The moral power of the Emperor was too overpowering to be opposed openly, therefore intrigue was resorted to, and this was a means quite suited to the characters of the two first-named personages. During the time that I was ambassador, I had many opportunities of verifying this fact.

Talleyrand possessed unusual intellectual ability. My long-continued relations with him made me aware that his whole character more adapted him to destroy


88 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

than to create. A priest, his temperament led him to irreligious courses. Of noble birth, he pleaded for the uprooting of his class ; under the republican rule he foreswore the Republic ; under the Empire he was constantly inclined to conspire against the Emperor ; under the Bourbons, lastly, he laboured for the overthrow of the legitimate dynasty. To hinder any definite course from being taken for that Talley- rand was always ready. In the contrary direction, I could never discover equal ability. Napoleon so esti- mated him, and with justice. In one of our conver- sations which took place in consequence of one of the many withdrawals of Talleyrand from the Ministry, the Emperor said to me : ' If I want anything done, I do not employ the Prince of Benevento ; I turn to him when I want a thing not to be done which I wish to appear to want.' In private life, however, Talleyrand was as trustworthy as he was agreeable. (33)

Touch e" was a complete contrast to Talleyrand. (34) In consequence of the contradictory character of the two men, the word ' rivalry ' was not applicable to them. Their opposition was radical, for it had its source in difference of character. Fouche had been a priest, like Talley- rand, and had stained himself with blood and mire ; while Talleyrand lost himself in the theories of that school which called itself the English School. Fouche was an enemy to all theories ; he was a practical man, deterred by no obstacle. Thoroughly acquainted with the French mind, he went forward with the time, but always in extremes, convinced as he was that in this manner only an extreme end could be attained. Never had these two men any points of contact, unless their paths crossed in following out some conspiracy against the existing order of things. Napoleon knew both of


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 89

them, and made use of their talents, as well as their faults, whenever he thought they could be useful to favour his own views. At the time of which I speak, Fouche, as Minister of Police, had gained the confi- dence of the emigres, to whom Napoleon had re-opened the doors of France. He showed them all the services in his power, which seemed to bear the character of complete disinterestedness. Fouche foreboded the over- throw of the Emperor, and hence regarded the return of the Bourbons only as possible.

The man in whose talent for governing Napoleon had the most confidence was Cambaceres, and, there- fore, when he took the field beyond the frontiers of France, he left the business affairs in his hands. More than once Napoleon analysed to me the peculiarities of the Arch-Chancellor, as they appeared to him. I had not the opportunity myself of forming an opinion with regard to Cambaceres, for he lived in seclusion, and never left it but on occasions of great ceremonial. At the beginning of the Revolution he sat as advocate in the Parliament of Aix in Provence, the President of which was M. d'Aigrefeuille. The advocate made his fortune, the president was ruined. The two being friends, Cambaceres took him into his house. When his pro- tector was at the height of his power, D'Aigrefeuille filled the position of a servant. One day, when Cam- baceres was invested with the dignity of Archichancelier of the kingdom that fantastic imitation of the ceremo- nial of the old German Empire to which the title ' Durchlaucht ' (Serene Highness) was attached, D'Aigre- feuille addressed him for the first time with this title. ' When we are alone,' said Cambaceres to him, ' don't use these empty titles ; continue to treat me as a friend, and content yourself with calling me Monseigrieur.'


90 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

When Napoleon made the first batch of Counts and Barons, Cambaceres celebrated the event by a banquet, to which he invited the ambassadors and first officials of the kingdom. After dinner the newly ennobled came to pay their respects to him. As the new titles were announced, the reception-room was filled with laughter ; Cambaceres alone was imperturbable.

On May 16, Fouche" wrote to me that, in consequence of an order from the Emperor, he had to request me to go to Vienna, to be there exchanged for some of the personnel of the French embassy. He wished to know the day I thought I could start, which he begged me to hasten as much as possible, and added that an officer of gendarmes would escort me on my journey. I named the next day, but an inflammation in the eyes detained me in Paris till the 26th. I took with me all the officers of the embassy, and some Austrian travellers who had been detained in Paris, who, but for this oppo- tunity, might have found difficulty in leaving France. I left my family in the hotel of the embassy. The pro- gress made by the war and the siege of Vienna itself led me to prefer this course to the chances of a difficult journey. Besides, I knew the ground too well to be un- easy as to the welfare of those I left behind me in Paris.

At Chalons-sur-Marne, I met the first train of Aus- trian prisoners, among whom were many officers of my acquaintance. I hastened to hear the news from them, but I had none to give them in exchange, for I had been deprived of every source of information, except the French army bulletins, since the beginning of the cam- paign. In Luneville a report was current that the French had lost a decisive battle. In Strasburg I heard this confirmed, it referred to the battle of Aspern. The Empress Josephine was residing at the time in this city.


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 91

I had hardly alighted, when I received an invitation to go to her in the course of the evening. I found her in great anxiety as to the consequences the event might have. She told me of circumstances, which she had learned, which left me no doubt as to the importance of the defeat. They seemed so decisive and exact that Josephine did not doubt I should, on my arrival in Vienna, find the negotiations for peace already begun. The Empress went so far as to think I might meet Napoleon returning to France ! I mention this circum- stance, because it shows how little confidence as to the issue of this war was entertained in the very bosom of the family of Napoleon.

On June 5 I arrived at Vienna, and went to the Palais Esterhazy with Prince Paul, who was with me as my attache. I hastened to my father, whom I found quite overwhelmed by an order he had just received, to repair, with the Archbishop of Vienna and Counts Pergen and Hardegg, to France, as hostages for the payment of a contribution imposed on the city of Vienna. My father was determined to yield to force only, in which plan I encouraged him ; while, on the other hand, I took upon myself to dissuade Napoleon from so false a measure. For this purpose I went, by the permission of the Prince of Neufchatel, direct to the Emperor, and the so-called hostages remained in the capital without further molestation. Napoleon laid the blame on the Commissary-General.

The next morning I visited Champagny, in the Burg, where the Empress had rooms, while the Em- peror lived at Schonbrunn. The minister received me with honied phrases, in which a great feeling of anxiety was perceptible. In consequence of the battle of Aspern, the position of the French army was quite


92 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

altered. Public spirit was roused once more in Vienna. The precautions taken by the invading army were redoubled. The time teemed with the most important events, which were explained by the different parties each in their own manner. There was no confidence on the enemy's side. Champagny told me he had not been informed on what day the officers of the French embassy, who were to be sent in exchange, would be at the place appointed, and begged me to wait in patience for this moment. ' Think, meanwhile, on the possible issue of the impending drama : you will find the Emperor in good humour about it.' I answered, that in my position, as prisoner, I had nothing to do with business, and that I should await the arrangements respecting my person very quietly. Champagny invited me to dine with him on that day, and I found myself in the enemy's camp, in the capacity of an unconcerned spectator. Thus I had no opportunity to prepare my- self for what was reserved for me in the time just at hand.

On the morning of June 7, an adjutant of Count Andrassy, then Governor of Vienna, came to me to announce, in the name of the Emperor, that I could not remain in Vienna ; but that it was left to me to await the moment of my exchange in any place I preferred in the neighbourhood of the capital. I de- clared myself ready to obey the orders of the Emperor ; but I added, at the same time, that I was in reality not a prisoner, and that the more painful he made my position the more he would add to its injustice. I asked to be allowed to go to a country house belonging to my mother at Griinberg, a mile and a half from Vienna, close to the garden of Schonbrunn (35) This choice was accepted ; and thither I repaired on the morning of the


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 93

8th. The officer of gendarmes, who came with me from Paris, I took to live with me at Griinberg ; and as I would not have the officers of the embassy share my uncomfortable position, I took only my necessary ser- vants with me. During the whole time of my stay in this house I was careful to behave as a prisoner ; in spite of the fine speeches of my jailers, I did not go beyond the house.

Some days after my arrival in Griinberg, I heard the sound of a horse in the front of my house. I ran to the window and saw General Savary, who on seeing me made as if he had not known that I was living there, and jumping down from his horse, came in to see me. Savary was chief of the police at head- quarters, an office which he filled, also, when the Em- peror resided in Paris. Savary was at the head of one division of police whose business it was to control that which Fouche directed. The palaces inhabited by Napoleon were under the guardianship of a third body of police, at whose head was General Duroc.

General Savary did not hesitate to turn the conver- sation to politics, which he did apparently with can- dour, finding fault with the perpetual war, the dangers of which for France itself he recounted, whilst he dwelt on the necessity of obtaining a lasting foundation for peace. I allowed him to deliver himself of all his phrases without interrupting him ; and when he saw my calm- ness and quietness, he said to me, ' Why do you not use the opportunity of being in the Emperor's neighbour- hood to obtain a meeting with him ? You live two or three steps from one another, the gardens are close together : instead of taking the air in your own, go over into the Schonbrunn garden ; the Emperor will be de- lighted to see you.'


94 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

' The pleasure,' I answered, * would not be mutual ; still that consideration would not keep me back. But I shall not go out of this place till the day when I receive the order to do so. I can do nothing by halves. If I am a prisoner, I behave myself as a prisoner ; if I am free, I shall make use of my freedom ; but if I had my freedom at this moment, I should certainly not use it in order to go and walk with Napoleon in the garden belonging to the Emperor my master.'

  • You do not wish then to see the Emperor ? ' an-

swered Savary. ' You would find him in the best and most peaceful disposition. A conversation between you might have the happiest consequences. You would perhaps obtain for the Emperor Francis some most important suggestions. I hope you do not confuse a certain proclamation (36) with Napoleon's true feelings : those were words spoken to the winds.'

1 1 have nothing to say to your master, and nothing to hear from him,' said I to Savary. ' I am practically a prisoner, and prisoners of my kind consider them- selves, if they do their duty, as dead.'

On my making this declaration, Savary left me. I did not doubt but that he had been commissioned by Napoleon to sound me with regard to a meeting ; and if I had not had from the very beginning a presenti- ment that this was his purpose, a step made in this direction by the Minister of Foreign Affairs would have

  • / o

left me no doubt on the matter. On the second as well as the first occasion I refused the meeting, which would have been turned to account by Napoleon in a way which I had no right to allow to be done. It is evi- dent that, looking at the position of the two armies, Napoleon wished to avoid the risks of a new battle, after that of Aspern, and would have been well pleased


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 95

if he could have made use of me to induce the Im- perial Cabinet to take the initiative in the interests of a peaceful settlement.

At the place in which I was interned I received visits from the most distinguished men of Vienna ; I thus learned the real position of the two armies, and could not doubt that we were standing on the eve of an event the result of which would be decisive of the fate of the campaign. On the evening of June 17 Colonel Avy, a staff officer, came to me with a message from Marshal Berthier, that I was to go next morning to the place where the exchange was to be made, and that he was ordered to accompany me. I therefore left Griinberg on the 18th. In my escort I found the Attache* of the Parisian Embassy, Prince Paul Ester- hazy and Count Mier, and the Counsellor of Legation Floret. My cortege consisted of five carriages, which were escorted by fifty mounted Jagers. We passed the night at the house of Count Harrach at Bruck, on the Leitha. When we had arrived in Wieselburg on the 19th, Colonel Avy would not halt till he had received news of the arrival of the French employe at the out- posts. But when he learnt through an adjutant of the vice-King of Italy (Eugene Beauharnais) that the commandant of Komorn, General Davidovich, was quite uncertain on what day this agent would arrive, on account of the distance ; Avy declared that he had received orders to make the exchange on the 21st, and that if it were not accomplished, I must go back to Vienna, for he could not stay any longer at Wiesel- burg. In fact, on the evening of the same day, I had to return to the house at Griinberg. Napoleon imme- diately sent to apologise for what had taken place, by one of his adjutants, and to show me letters of the


96 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.


Commandant of Komorn and Chief of the Staff to the vice-King, as a proof that there was neither mistake nor ill will on his part.

On June 26, Col. Avy came with the news that the French employe would be on the 28th at Acs, one of the places declared neutral, for twenty-four hours, for the purpose of making the exchange. We set off together at daybreak the following day, and arrived at Eaab early on the 28th. On the way, I learned that Pressburg had been bombarded on the night of the 27th. After some hours' rest, we went, under an escort of fifty dragoons, to Acs, where I stopped with General Mont- brun, who commanded the outposts of the French army at this point. Opposite the place where, near to Gonyo, the high road runs along the banks of the Danube, an Austrian battery had been erected. The officer in command of it, when he saw a train of car- riages coming forward, guarded by a strong escort, thought it must be the retinue of the vice-King of Italy, and fired a volley at once. Although the zeal was mis- placed, I could not but do justice to the skill of our artillerymen. Of the first two shots, one went through the wheel of my carriage, the other passed two feet above the roof of it. Upon this, my escort left the high road, and took me as quickly as might be across the fields.

On the 29th, the employe not having arrived at the place of rendezvous, General Montbrun sent to Komorn to enquire after him. General Davidovich replied that M. Dodun would not be at the outposts for two or three days. On hearing this, Colonel Avy, on the 30th, took me back to Eaab, by Bony, in order to avoid the famous battery at Gonyo. On the morning of July 1, Colonel Avy was informed by Prince Eugene, the chief


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 97

of the staff, that the French employe had reached Ko- morn, and would be at Acs by the afternoon at two o'clock. We immediately went on our way again. While going backwards and forwards in this way, I saw a great movement take place in the French army. The bodies of troops which I met were marching towards Vienna. As no military event had taken place, I could only suppose that Napoleon was preparing to strike a blow.

On our arrival at Acs, at seven o'clock in the morn- ing, we found the mansion empty which had been the head-quarters of General Montbrun. The house-steward whom I questioned, told me that the place had been, vacated the evening before, and was now occupied only by a division of the Hungarian 'Aufstand.' When Colonel Avy received this news, he jumped out of my carriage, and ran to the officer in command of the escort, ' Give me the best horse you can spare ! ' I drew the Colonel back ; ' You forget,' said I to him, ' that our parts are exchanged. I have been under your protection ; now you are under mine, national law protects you ; you will not be made a prisoner.' At this moment an Austrian officer of the staff appeared with an escort, and informed us that the French employe was at the place appointed for carrying out the exchange. I re- quested Colonel Avy to halt the escort, and to follow me. W^e went to the place, where we found Dodun. I joined the Austrian, he the French corps. I never heard anything more of this diplomatist : Colonel Avy was killed in Spain in 1810 or 1811. His personal attention to me during the whole time of the perform- ance of his thankless task should be mentioned with praise.

In Komorn I met the Archduke Palatin, who took VOL. i. H


98 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

the command of the Hungarian ' Auf stand.' I learned from him that the Emperor Francis was waiting at Wolkersdorf with impatience till I could join him. I spent the night in Komorn, and reached Wolkersdorf on the evening of July 3.

The Emperor received me with the hearty kindness which he had already showed me so abundantly. He told me all that had happened since my departure from Vienna in the last days of the previous year. Quiet and firm as ever, he was yet penetrated with the diffi- culty of the situation, daily expecting an event decisive of the war. The movement which I had observed in the enemy's army corresponded with this expectation. His majesty informed me that he intended to keep me with him during the rest of the campaign.

After I left the Emperor, I hastened to Count Stadion, and found him quite overwhelmed and ready to give up the situation as lost. Count Stadion was one of those men of lively imagination and quick understanding, who are easily overcome by the impressions of the mo- ment. Men of this sort always incline to extremes ; for them there are no transitions, and since these never- theless do exist, when they come before them instead of knowing how to wait, they too often act at random. The minister acknowledged that the policy which I pro- pounded would have accomplished more, if it had been followed. Although I agreed with him on this point, I assured him that I ascribed the misfortunes which had fallen on our empire, and the extreme danger in which it was placed, not merely to any specified plan of opera- tions : the true causes were rather the unhappy choice of the moment for the rising, and the inaction of the army after the victory of May 22. (37) Count Stadion told me that he only waited the result of a battle on the left


AT THE COURT OF NAPOLEON, 18061809. 99

bank of the Danube to decide the question whether he should continue to serve or not a battle which the Archduke Charles was expecting, and which in fact ap- peared to be immediately impending, to judge from the preparations made by the French army to effect the passage of the Danube.

July 4 passed in preparations for a battle. I was with the Emperor when an envoy from the Archduke came to inform him of the operations of the enemy, and that his Imperial Highness was determined to await the event with resolution. ' Tell my brother,' answered the Emperor to the adjutant, ' that I am of opinion that the enemy should not be allowed to cross in force, and that it would be well to drive those who had crossed into the river.' This day there were only partial fights between the advanced troops. In the fol- lowing night, under a sharp cannonade, the French army left the island, and went along the Lobau and crossed that arm of the Danube, farther down the river at Orth and two other points.

On the morning of July 5, I joined the Emperor on the battle-field, on which the fate of the Empire was to be decided. The battle was soon general, and we did not return to Wolkersdorf till nightfall, amid the blazing buildings which covered the Marchfeld. When we re- paired to our post of observation in the grey of the early morning of the next day, we witnessed the apparently decisive result of the right wing of our army. About one o'clock in the afternoon, however, Count Colleredo, a general-adjutant of the Archduke's, came with the in- formation to the Emperor, that his Imperial Highness had ordered the retreat of the army. (38) Without losing his self-possession, the Emperor asked the messenger, whether the Archduke had only determined on the

H 2


100 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

retreat, or whether it had actually commenced. When the Emperor heard that the army was already in full retreat, he said to the adjutant, ' Very well ; ' and added, turning to me, ' We shall have much to retrieve.' His Majesty gave immediate orders to remove his head- quarters to Znaim. We remained some time on the heights which commanded the broad plain of the March- feld, in front of Wolkersdorf, and then began our march, which brought us to Ernstbrunn, where we passed the night. On the following day we continued our retreat to Znaim.

CHAPTEE V. - METTERNICH BECOMES MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

(1809.)

Undertakes the direction of the Department of Foreign Affair?, in the place of Count Stadion Conversation with the Emperor Francis Conversa- tion with Count Stadion With the Emperor at Komorn Truce of Znaim Peace negotiations Altenburg chosen for the purpose Met- ternich as Minister of State The Emperor Francis in Totis Prince John Liechtenstein Commander-in-Chief Archduke Carl at Teschen General Nugent, second Plenipotentiary for the Peace Negotiations Fruitlessness of the Conferences at Altenburg Prince John Liechten- stein sent to Vienna Metternich's thoughts Character of Johann Liechtenstein Breaking off of the negotiations at Altenburg Liech- tenstein with Napoleon His return to Totis History of the Vienna Peace Its ratification Metternicli enters on the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs Returns to Vienna, to the Palace of the Chancellor Reflections on the consequences of the rising of 1809 Principal features of the new position Prince Carl Schwarzenberg as Ambassador in Paris First news of Napoleon's desire to obtain the hand of Marie Louise Conversation with the Emperor Francis on this matter Answer of Marie Louise Decision of the Emperor Francis Importance of this event.

ON the morning of July 8, 1809, I was sent for by the Emperor. He received me with the following words : ' Count Stadion has just given in his resignation ; I commit the department of Foreign Affairs to you in his place.'

I begged his Majesty not to consider this appoint- ment as definite. ' Two reasons,' said I, ' move me to make this request : one is, that this is not a favourable moment for changing the ministry ; the other, to my mind no less important, that I do not consider myself


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fit for this post. Neither my inclination nor my talents, so far as I know them, qualify me for the high functions which your Majesty wishes to confide to me. This feeling is not based on the difficulties of the moment, but on the knowledge which I have of myself. I do not think myself capable of steering the vessel of the state in so great an Empire ; I do not wish to do as I have seen done by far more able men than I am. I should run the risk of advising badly, and my con- science does not allow me to bring this danger upon your Majesty and the state. Besides, the retirement of Count Stadion from the ministry on the second day after the battle of Wagram would have an importance as seeming to imply an abandonment by your Majesty of the cause for which you have already made so many sacrifices ; I should regard this step as a great mistake.' With the patience which never left him in the greatest crises and what monarch has gone through more than the Emperor Francis? with a strength of mind and firmness of character which comprise all the gifts most valuable for princes who are called to govern, the Emperor answered : ' What you say of Stadion's resignation under present circumstances is quite true ; but he has insisted, and I have accepted his resignation, because you cannot urge a man to remain in a posi- tion which he wishes to leave, when it calls upon him to administer important business. As to the difficulties which you raise about taking the office yourself, the same rule does not apply to you ; far from being deterred by the considerations you mention, I am confirmed by them in my choice. T am less afraid of men who doubt their own capacity than of those who think themselves fit for everything. I count on the know- ledge you have of the difficulties of the position, and on


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 105

your patriotism. Confer, then, with Count Stadion on the most suitable method of making the change of ministry ; and come back and inform me when you have agreed what to do.'

' I will do what your Majesty commands,' I replied ; ' still, I beg your Majesty to believe that my disinclina- tion has nothing to do with the present crisis, but rests on quite other grounds ; and in case Count Stadion will not on my representation remain in office, may I beg your Majesty to grant me a favour, namely, that your Majesty will promise to dismiss me on the day when your Majesty sees me going wrong ? '

' That I promise you,' answered the Emperor, * but I hope that this contingency will not occur to either of us.'

I went immediately to Count Stadion, whom I found immovable in his resolution to retire. Great determi- nation was one of the characteristic features of this minister : and if this quality had not been marred by a most dangerous precipitation, the war of 1809 would not have taken place under such auspices as it did. As I saw that my efforts to make him change his resolution were fruitless, I turned our conversation in a direction in which Count Stadion's high feeling did not allow me to fear a defeat. I appealed to his feeling of duty, and pointed out the consequences which his sudden resigna- tion must have. The result was that we, agreed to propose to the Emperor that he should order the Arch- duke Charles to continue the retreat of the army under Ids command towards Bohemia, and that Count Stadion should remain as minister with the Archduke. His Majesty should put himself at the head of the army in Hungary ; and I should accompany the Emperor, per- forming ad interim the functions of a Minister of Foreign


106 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Affairs in attendance on his person. Lastly, we agreed that the actual retirement of Count Stadion from the ministry should be delayed till the end of the war, on the issue of which it should depend. We went both together to the Emperor, who was satisfied with the arrangement.


I here avow with all sincerity that there was nothing in me to counterbalance the load of responsibility which was laid upon me but the feeling of duty. Free from the stimulus of ambition, as I have been all my life, I felt only the weight of the fetters which were to rob me of my personal freedom, and was, with more sensi- tiveness than was natural to me, weighed down under the influence of my new position.

Soon after this conclusion had been arrived at, the Emperor left Znaim, and I accompanied him to Hun- gary. We took the road over the Jablunka Pass, and went straight to Komorn. Count Stadion attached him- self to the Archduke Charles. I travelled from Znaim to Komorn in the Emperor's carriage, and I made use of the time to lay before his Majesty my view of the present position of affairs. From this prince's calm and just line of thought, from the impression made on me by his strong and candid mind, I was convinced that in all important questions my views would always be in harmony with his, and that his great qualities would ever insure me the support without which a minister, be his views ever so good, can make no certain plan and carry out no project with prospect of success. We examined the situation of the empire with thorough impartiality ; we reviewed the prospects which the war still presented, as well as those promised by a peace concluded under the most unhappy auspices.

Shortly after the arrival of the Emperor at Komorn


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 10 <

we received the details of the battle of Znaim, and the news of a truce between the two armies. At the same time there came to me a proposal from Count Cham- pagny, for the opening of negotiations for peace. (39)

I found the Emperor inclined to the reception of this offer, and I therefore settled with the French Minis- ter that our meeting should take place at the town of Altenburg, in the province of Wieselburg. On this occasion there arose a singular difficulty in a matter of form. I did not know what title to take in order to address my answer to Count Champagny in the third person. My name alone would be of no authority. I was no longer an ambassador, and not yet a minis- ter. I informed the Emperor of the difficulty, and he ruled that I should take the title of Minister of State.

As the town of Altenburg was chosen for the nego- tiations, and as it lay within the French line of demar- cation according to the Treaty of Znaim, it was declared neutral. The Emperor took up his abode at Totis, where soon afterwards Prince John Liechtenstein, com- mander-in-chief of the army, had his head-quarters. This prince had taken the command from Archduke Charles, who had gone back to Teschen. General Count Bubna held the office of military commissary with Napoleon. Since I was entrusted with the func- tions of Chief Plenipotentiary for the peace negotiations, I begged the Emperor to appoint an influential military officer as second Plenipotentiary. The choice fell on General Count Nugent, who during the campaign had acted as quartermaster-general to the corps commanded by the Archduke John.

The knowledge which I had gained of the men with whom I was to negotiate such important interests did


108 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

not allow me to consider the negotiation as a serious matter on Napoleon's part. He wanted to get his army into condition again, after the successes bought by such great sacrifices. He knew that the Austrian forces also needed to be recruited ; if he had not felt that a halt was needed in the operations, he would have followed up his advantage. I did not expect therefore anything more from the Altenburg Conference than that it would either lead to the renewal of hostilities or be concluded by a peace dictated by Napoleon in his usual manner. The instructions which I took with me to the place of meeting were of a simple nature. My task was limited to exposing the moral position, that the Emperor should be forced to a definite conclusion, whether it were in favour of concluding the war or of carrying it on.

Since I do not intend to enter here into the details of this pretended negotiation, (40) during which both armies were drawn up opposite each other, and only engaged in reinforcing themselves as much as possible, I will confine myself to mentioning one fact which charac- terised the political action of Napoleon and the servility of his agents.

I opened the negotiations with the request that they might be divided into formal sittings, conducted by Pro- tocols and into simple conversations without anything of the kind. Count Champagny said he was not autho- rised to use protocols, still he was ready to inform his master of my request. Although the distance was so short which separated the place from Napoleon's head- quarters at Schonbrunn, days passed by without any answer from him. When at last it came, it was in the negative. I now explained that I did not call the con- versations between Plenipotentiaries a negotiation, and that they could only prepare the way for such. In this


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 109

way the discussions went on for about fourteen days, when suddenly, in consequence of the arrival of a courier from Schonbrunn, Count Champagny sent me a note, in which he informed me that the Emperor, his master, having taken into consideration the advantages which would be gained by adopting the proposed form, not only agreed to the drawing up of Protocols, but also wished that the Protocols already prepared might be laid before me for approval, in order that the conferences with a view to peace already held might not be lost time. There were, in fact, a number of reports of conferences which were never held enclosed with the note of the French Pleni- potentiary. I answered Count Champagny, that I was not accustomed to make use of any other pen than my own in the expression of my thoughts on so grave an occa- sion, and should not condescend to put my signature to worthless documents ; but I was ready to consider the so-called Protocols as containing what had been said by the French Plenipotentiaries ; although with the em- phatic proviso, that my words therein should be replaced by authentic documents, which I was ready to supply. On this declaration Count Champagny withdrew his pro- posal. The false Protocols contained only reports which were written in a spirit which Napoleon permitted in order that, in the event of hostilities being renewed, their cha- racter might be changed into that of manifestoes. I asked Count Champagny how he could take upon himself to make me such a proposal, which the plainest common sense must know to be a futile and compromising at- tempt. He excused himself with the assurance that it was not he who had thought of it ; the pretended Protocols were dictated by Napoleon himself, and he must admit that he neither had said to me anything of the matter of the acts in question nor had heard any-


110 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

thing like it from my mouth. ' Napoleon,' I remarked to him, ' has the power of putting words into your mouth which your position prevents you perhaps from deny- ing ; but what he can do with you, he cannot do to me he may conquer kingdoms, but never my conscience ! '

Several days more passed in the inaction described, and my anticipations with regard to Napoleon's proceed- ings were verified.

Count Bubna, who, as already mentioned, was Mili- tary Commissary at Napoleon's head-quarters, was or- dered by him to request the Emperor Francis to send Prince John Liechtenstein to Vienna. ' The diplo- matists,' added Napoleon, ' do not know how to get through an affair like the present ; we soldiers under- stand one another better. Let the Emperor send Prince Liechstentein to me, and we will end the matter in four- and-twenty hours. I will tell him what I wish and what I desire from the Emperor ; and what I want he will grant me, because he is upright and wise. I desire not the destruction of Austria but its con- solidation. What I said against the Emperor Francis at the beginning of the war was nothing but a phrase ; such things are allowable before a battle, they vanish with the smoke of the cannon.'

I was informed of the sending for Field-Marshal Prince Liechtenstein, through an adjutant who pre- ceded him, with the request to make known his arrival at Vienna. The Prince was close behind him, and stopped to see me at Altenburg. He brought me a letter from the Emperor Francis, telling me that this mission had no other object but to arrive at last at a knowledge of Napoleon's intentions ; the Field-Marshal had orders to listen to everything, but not to enter into a discussion on any subject. When the Prince had in-


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. Ill

formed me of the instructions he had received, I said to him, ' If I had been aware of your mission, rather than you should have passed the outposts of the French army I would have taken upon myself to request you to wait, till I had spoken to the Emperor. We are no longer in Altenbunr ; you are within reach of the hos-

<_^ O v

tile army, and must go on. But I tell you beforehand that of two things one will happen: either Napoleon will lead you to do something that will compromise our cause ; or he will prevent you from returning to your post. The army must have its commanders ; this Na- poleon knows, and lias drawn you away from it. He will either constrain the Emperor to conclude a peace which he ought not to conclude, or he will deprive him of the means of carrying on the war.' The Prince, who was much agitated by what I said, declared he was ready to go back to Totis. I showed him that he must perform the commission he had undertaken, but must make every effort not to depart from it.

I feel bound in conscience to give here some account of Prince John Liechtenstein, one of the noblest cha- racters of this sad time. He was a born soldier ; he had not the qualities which make a statesman. With overflowing zeal for what is right, gifted with unusual faculties of mind, and a courage proof against every trial ; a warm patriot, ready for any sacrifice, but with- out that balance which is necessary to learn the true value of men and things : he had already, in the year 1805, succumbed to the power which Napoleon was able to exercise in so high a 'degree upon those whom his interest required him to influence. Prince John saw in Napoleon only the mere soldier ; in this quality he thought he was his equal. He deceived himself, and could not escape from the craft of a man who


112 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

united in himself the most different qualities in the most extraordinary manner.

When the Field-Marshal had returned to Altenburg, I went to Count Champagny and informed him that as several days must pass without anything being done, I thought of going back to Totis, but that I was ready to return to Altenburg whenever the first news in consequence of the arrival of Prince Liechtenstein was received from Vienna at the French head-quarters. ' This news,' I continued, ' will, however, announce the breaking off of the Altenburg negotiations.' Count Champagny would not admit my pre-supposition. I hastened the next morning to the Emperor, and went to Totis to Count Stadion, who had arrived there from Bohemia a short time before.

I did not conceal my fears from the Emperor ; and was convinced that in sending for Prince Liechtenstein, the Emperor had yielded only from confidence in the engagements entered into by Napoleon, and in conse- quence of a cabinet council which had decided in favour of the attempt. Before his departure from Totis, Prince Liechtenstein had, in the fulfilment of the duties required of him, made all preparations for the re- sumption of hostilities. Therefore I had only to main- tain an observant and passive attitude ; Count Stadion had consented also, in case of a rupture, again to lead the Ministry.

On the day after my return to the Emperor, I re- ceived the notice from Count Champagny that Napoleon had just summoned him to Vienna ; in consequence of which, the Altenburg negotiation must be considered as broken off.

Several days passed without any news from Vienna. Prince Liechtenstein informed the Emperor of his plea-


METTERNICII BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 113

sant reception by Napoleon, with the addition that, nevertheless, Napoleon had refused to go into the sub- ject of his summons, and referred him rather to the Duke of Bassano (Maret), head of the personal cabinet of the Emperor.

I concluded from this that my other foreboding would shortly be fulfilled. From this time I directed all my attention to the preparations for war. The means we had at command were immense. The demon- strations of the Russian army on the Galician side gave me no uneasiness. I encouraged the Emperor only to look forward. The patience of the Emperor was ex- hausted ; his Majesty resolved on the recal of Prince Liechtenstein, and I was commissioned to make the necessary arrangements and preparations.

On October 14, towards evening, as I was walking along the road from Totis towards Vienna, I saw car- riages approaching, which I knew to be those of Prince John Liechtenstein. As soon as the Prince saw me, he stopped the carriage, jumped out, and said, 'I bring you peace, and my head too : the Emperor will dispose at his pleasure of both one and the other.'

This is what had happened in Vienna. Napoleon, as before mentioned, had declined to speak to Prince Liechtenstein himself on the matter for which he came, and had referred him to the Duke of Bassano. The Duke, for his part, declared to the Field -Marshal that he was not Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that he must wait the arrival of Count Champagny, whom the Emperor had appointed to carry on the negotiation. Prince Liechtenstein persisted in his protestation that he was not commissioned with any negotiation. The Duke of Bassano paid no regard to what he said. ' You will talk over the affair with Champagny,' said he, ' and VOL. i. I


114 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

easily come to an understanding with a man so pacific in his nature and so thoroughly acquainted with the Emperor's mind.' On the remark of the Field-Marshal that the place for peace negotiations was Altenburg, the Duke of Bassano replied that the Emperor, his master, had recalled his Plenipotentiary from that place, because it was not possible to carry on negotiations in two places ! Prince Liechtenstein on that declared he should leave Vienna at once. 'You cannot do that/ replied the duke : ' the Emperor would regard it as a sign of breaking the truce ; by doing so, you would compromise the fate of the army, and also of your country : and what is needed to avert from you so fear- ful a responsibility? A short delay, to learn what Napoleon thinks of proposing to the Emperor your master ! ' Finding himself in this dilemma, Prince Liech- tenstein decided on remaining.

After the arrival of Count Champagny, the con- ferences began, under the name of Preliminaries, which were concluded on the night of October 13 and 14 with the signing of a document which the French Minister called the 'Project for a Treaty of Peace,' to be brought before the Emperor of Austria. After signing this document, which Prince Liechtenstein thought had this and no other meaning, he returned home at 5 o'clock in the morning ; he had ordered his post-horses for 10 o'clock, when he suddenly at day- break heard the firing of cannons, and on asking what this firing meant, was told it announced the signing of peace in the capital of Austria. He wished to make Napoleon answer for this on the spot, but Napoleon had just left Schonbrunn with all his retinue !

This is the history of the Peace of Vienna of October 14, 1809, and is known to only a limited circle : (41) a


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 115

Treaty of Peace full of unworthy artifices, having no foundation in international rights.

The Emperor's decision under the circumstances could not be doubted. Without compromising himself and his Empire in the most dangerous manner, he could not reject the conclusion of a peace which had been already announced, amid the rejoicings of the people, in the capital and in more than a third part of the country still remaining to him. The Emperor ratified the treaty.

By this event the provisional character of the func- tions assigned to me at once terminated. I appeared now in the character of a Minister of Foreign Affairs ; and frankly admit that I took possession of the port- folio with more self-confidence than I had expected in the previous July. What had just taken place dis- closed a side of Napoleon to me which placed him far lower in my eyes ; and before my conscience the -cause I had to uphold rose in like measure.

At the end of November, I came with the Emperor back to Vienna, and alighted at the Chancellor's Palace. (42)

The conditions of the act of October 14 were loyally carried out in all directions. The places of the Empire occupied by the French forces and those of the Con- federation of the Rhine were vacated, and the war con- tribution discharged within the appointed time. The return of the Emperor to his capital was like a triumphal entry. The populace there, as in the pro- vinces, did not look beyond the present moment, satisfied with being relieved from the presence of an enemy who carried refinement, in making use of all the resources of the country, to the very highest degree. Napoleon, in the eyes of Europe, passed for an irresistible power, under the yoke of which all must bow. The feeling

i 2


116 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

of the masses was no longer to escape this fate, but to lighten the burden as much as possible. My thoughts, however, soared higher. Under the load of enormous responsibility, I found only two points on which it seemed possible to rest, the immovable strength of character of the Emperor Francis, and my own conscience.

The results of the rising of Austria in the year 1809 were most destructive for the Empire. The (so-called) Peace of Vienna had bound the kingdom with a circle of iron, deprived it of its communication with the Adriatic, and from Brody, the north-east point of junction with Eussia, to its south-east boundary adjoining the Otto- man Empire, encircled it with countries which were under the sceptre of Napoleon, or subject to his direct influence. The Empire accordingly lost all freedom of movement ; and the conqueror had done all that lay in his power to hinder any future development of strength, by a secret article in the Treaty of Peace, which limited the maximum of the Austrian forces to a hundred and fifty thousand men.

Called to the hard task of defending the political existence of the Empire under such adverse circum- stances, I compared the position of the European con- tinent and the peculiar situation of the Austrian States, and, weighing the evils which pressed upon each, care- fully watched for the preponderating influence.

I considered the Eevolution, as it burst forth in France in 1789, as the starting-point of all the misfor- tunes of Europe, and I clearly perceived that a military despotism, which found its highest expression in Napo- leon, was its inevitable result. If the wars occasioned by the Eevolution had preserved Germany and Austria from the infection of social theories, during the twenty years which had elapsed between 1789 and 1809


METTERNICH BECOMES FOEEIGN MINISTER. 117

for nations are averse to adopt as benefits those doc- trines which are presented to them by the force of arms I at the same time recognised in Napoleon him- self a barrier against the encroachments of anarchical theories in France and in those countries upon which lay the weight of his iron arm. Social questions, therefore, I placed in the background, but in the very first rank I placed the preservation of what remained of the Austrian Empire, even after its unsuccessful campaigns. That Napoleon, in his lust of power on the European continent, had already overstepped the limits of the possible of this I had not the slightest doubt. I fore- saw that neither he nor his undertakings would escape the consequences of rashness and extravagance. The when and the how I could not pretend to determine. Thus my reason pointed out to me the direction which I had to take in order not to interfere with the natural development of the situation, and to keep open for Austria the chances which the greatest of all powers, the power of circumstances, might offer sooner or later (under the strong government of its monarch) for the much-threatened prosperity of the Empire. As it was beyond everything necessary to await the development of events after the return of Napoleon to his capital, I made use of the leisure so gained to go to Vienna and make myself acquainted with the requirements of the departments which had been entrusted to me. I gave the Chancellery an inner organisation more fitted to the times ; in doing which I had before my mind the former organisation under Prince Kaunitz. (43)

In accordance with my proposal, the Emperor Francis had appointed Prince Schwarzenberg, Ambassador in France : a better choice could not have been made, as events proved.


118 AUTOBIOGKAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Neither before nor after the conclusion of the Vienna Peace had a single word been exchanged between Na- poleon and the Austrian Cabinet regarding the design of the Emperor of the French as to his marriage. We were aware of the negotiations with the Eussian Court, which Napoleon had entered into for a marriage with one of the Grand-Duchesses, and we also knew that Napoleon had decided to dissolve his marriage with the Empress Josephine, that marriage being without canonical authority. But we were so little aware of his intentions with regard to an Austrian Archduchess, that when the first indications of it came to us from the expressions of M. de Laborde, we regarded it as a fantas- tic dream, and only attributed a serious character to the matter when Napoleon himself, on the occasion of a ball, asked my wife, who had remained behind in Paris, to make known his intentions to me.

At a masked ball, at Cambaceres', to which my wife had received a very pressing invitation, a mask, in whom she immediately recognised Napoleon, took hold of her arm, and led her into a private room at the end of the suite of apartments. After some jokes of no importance, Napoleon asked her, whether she thought that the Arch- duchess Marie Louise would accept his hand, and whether the Emperor, her father, would agree to this alliance. My wife, very much surprised by this question, assured him that it was impossible for her to answer it. On that, Napoleon asked further whether she, in the place of the Archduchess, would bestow her hand upon him. My wife assured him she would refuse him. ' You are cruel ! ' said the Emperor to her ; ' write to your hus- band, and ask him what he thinks of the matter.' My wife refused to do this, and pointed out that Prince Schwarzenberg was the organ through which he should


METTERNICII BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 119

approach the Imperial Court. Neither did she delay to inform the Ambassador, who was present at the ball, of what had passed between her and the Emperor.

The following morning, Prince Eugene made his ap- pearance at Prince Schwarzenberg's, and in ' the name of the Emperor and with the knowledge of his mother, the Empress Josephine,' he made the same offer, which, the Ambassador explained, he could only receive ad referendum.

As soon as the courier brought me this news, I re- paired to the Emperor. ' Your Majesty,' said I, ' is here placed in a situation in which the Ruler and the Father can alone say Yes or No. One or the other must be spoken by you, for a doubtful or hesitating answer is not possible.'

The Emperor collected himself for a moment, and then asked me what I should do in his place.

' There are cases in the life of states as with private persons,' I answered, ' when a third person is not able to put himself in the place of another, on whom the responsibility of a decision rests. These cases are espe- cially those in which calculation alone is not suffi- cient to lead to a decision. Your Majesty is Ruler and Father to you alone it belongs to consider what is your duty.'

' I shall leave the decision in my daughter's hands,' cried the Emperor, warmly ; ' for I will never constrain her, and I desire, before I consult my duty as a monarch, to know what is her wish in the matter. Find the Arch- duchess, and let me know what she says to you. I will not myself speak to her on the subject, lest it should seem as if I wished to influence her decision.'

I went at once to the Archduchess Marie Louise, and laid the matter before her, without circumlocution


120 AUTOBIOGKAPHICAL MEMOIR.

or fine phrases, either for or against the proposal. The Archduchess listened with her usual calmness, and after a moment's reflection, asked me, ' What does my father wish ? '

  • The Emperor/ I replied, * has commissioned me to

interrogate your Imperial Highness as to your decision in a matter so important for the destiny of your whole life. Do not ask what the Emperor wishes : tell me what you wish.'

' 1 wish only what it is my duty to wish,' answered the Archduchess ; ' where the interest of the Empire is concerned that interest must be consulted, and not my will. Ask my father to consult his duty as a ruler, and to subordinate to that any interests connected with my person.'

When I reported this result of my mission to the Emperor, he said to me, with that perfect openness which was usual to him in the most difficult circum- stances, ' I am not surprised at what you tell me from my daughter ; I know she is too good for me to expect her to do otherwise. Whilst you have been with her I have been thinking how to decide. My consent to the marriage would secure to the Empire some years of political peace, which I can devote to the healing of its wounds. All my powers are devoted to the welfare of my people, I cannot, therefore, hesitate in my de- cision. Send a courier to Paris, and say, that I accept the offer for the hand of my daughter, but with the express reservation, that on neither side shall any con- dition be attached to it ; there are sacrifices which must not be contaminated with anything approaching to a bargain.'

This is the truth with regard to the marriage of Napoleon with the Archduchess Marie Louise. (44)


METTERNICH BECOMES FOREIGN MINISTER. 121

When Napoleon sounded Prince Schwarzenberg whether any concessions on his side would be agree- able to the Emperor, the Ambassador was in a position to express himself in the same sense as the Emperor himself had done.

One question which naturally had a great interest for the public was the divorce of Napoleon and Jose- phine. For the Church this question did not exist, and therefore not for the Emperor. Napoleon had con- tracted a civil marriage with the express understanding that the union could be dissolved ; in the eyes of the Church, therefore, it was not a valid marriage. Indeed, had it been otherwise, the scheme could not have been entertained for a moment. The dissolution of the first marriage, so called, had only, therefore, the value of a mere formality such as the French civil law required.

That this event, however, drew a line between the past and the present is quite evident. I felt myself called to direct my gravest attention to the future ; and I think that I fulfilled this duty to the best of my power.


CHAPTER VI. - SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS.

CHAPTER VI.

SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS. (1810.)

What was Napoleon's object in marrying: Marie Louise? Marshal Berthier acts the suitor for Napoleon Archduke Charles represents Napoleon in the ceremony at Vienna Departure of Marie Louise Metternich's mis- sion to Paris Visit to Compiegne First conversation of Metternich with Napoleon Residence in Paris Feeling in France about the marriage Prolongation of residence in Paris Representation by Metternich's Father in Vienna Journey to Cambrai Ball at Schwarzenberg's Close intercourse with the Court The European archives Napoleon's ideas about England The Turkish Question Beginning of differences with Russia Choice of a successor to the throne of Sweden Clearness of Napoleon's views with regard to Russia Audience to take leave Return to Vienna.

THE step which Napoleon had taken must have had a motive, and I now considered it my next and most im- portant task to discover and follow up the Emperor's reasons. Napoleon's union with the Austrian Imperial family was doubtless the result of some calculation. What could be its aim ?

Will the Imperial conqueror put his sword in its sheath and build up the future of France, and of his family, on the principles of internal order and external peace ?

Or does the soldier-Prince desire, with the help of Austria, to found a dynasty, and at the same time con- tinue his system of conquest ?

The answers to these questions would decide our action in the future. The first of these queries did


126 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

not seem to me, from the character of Napoleon, to be probable, the other rested on such impracticable sup- positions that I could not build on it with any certainty, however well it corresponded with the habits of that prince. I therefore decided to request the Emperor to allow me to go to Paris at the same time as the new Empress, and to remain there till I could discover the true state of the case. The Emperor agreed to my proposal, and forthwith I prepared to carry it out.

Marshal Berthier, on whom the title of Prince of Neufchatel and Wagram had been conferred, was sent to Vienna with the proposal for the hand of the Arch- duchess Marie Louise. Archduke Charles, entrusted with Napoleon's Procuration, represented the bridegroom at the altar, and the formal giving up of the Empress took place at Braunau, where she was received by the Queen of Naples, Napoleon's sister. The Austrian people took the event with that feeling which, after long wars and boundless sacrifices, greets every prospect of peace as a blessing ; they looked upon it as a pledge of peace. (45) Neither the Emperor nor I went so far in our hopes ; mine were limited to the obtaining of an interval of quiet for the recruiting of our resources for the pos- sibility of a necessary defence of the interests of the Empire.

In order not to take the same road as the Empress Marie Louise, who went by the south of Germany and Strasburg to Paris, I chose the road by Metz to Com- piegne, whither I had been invited by Napoleon. At that place I was joined by Prince Schwarzenberg and my wife, who had arrived there from Paris. The mem- bers of the Imperial family were all assembled in the palace which the Emperor had had prepared with the greatest magnificence to receive his new consort. At


SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS, 1810. 127

the moment when I arrived, Napoleon had just left it to meet the Empress : I was not, therefore, received by him till after their first meeting.

Napoleon welcomed me with visible signs of satisfac- tion. He expressed his gratification at the conclusion of the event which at this moment occupied him en- tirely; he touched on all the details of the course of the negotiation, and came back to the point, that we must omit nothing which could make the happy event of the moment as sweet and pleasant as possible. He spoke to me of an entire forgetfulness of the past, of a happy and peaceful epoch, at which we had now arrived, of the impossibility that anything should dis- turb the natural relations between us ; on which I ex- pressed the wish that during my residence in Paris I might venture to speak on many subjects of great importance for us, and of common utility for the two empires. (46)

The ecclesiastical details with respect to the affair of the divorce brought the conversation to the existing dispute with the Holy See, and I felt myself called upon not to refuse our good offices between Pope Pius VH. and Napoleon. That this step, in the main, led to no result does not prevent me from mentioning it here. (47)

Napoleon spoke too of the last war, and during this conversation many interesting admissions fell from him. ' If,' so he said among other things, ' in the month of September you had recommenced hostilities and beaten me, I should have been lost ; ' and when he saw that lie had said too much, he withdrew the word ' lost' and replaced it by ' in great difficulties.' But I would not let it pass, but assured him I held by his first expression, and this conviction had much strengthened me in my attitude at Altenburg. I thanked him per-


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sonally for having excused me at the time of the nego- tiations at Vienna, and assured him that I should never have concluded the last peace. ' Well, what would you have done then ? ' interrupted Napoleon.

' I would have made a far better peace, and one more in correspondence with our true strength ; if not, then war.'

' War ! ' said the Emperor, taking up the word ; ' then you would have done wrong : it would have been diffi- cult to drive me out of Vienna ; but a better peace than your negotiators at Schonbrunn succeeded in obtaining that I believe.'

Accounts had just arrived which announced that Napoleon's marriage was very ill received at St. Peters- burg. I was not at all surprised at this, though some- what disturbed ; for what we wished, I remarked, was simply peace and quiet, and it did not fall within our plans that Eussia should be involved.

' What do you mean by that ? ' asked Napoleon.

' Eussia is afraid,' I answered, ' and acts under the influence of fear : she is afraid of France, she fears our relations with France, and will quarrel out of sheer uneasiness and anxiety.'

' Do not be anxious,' interrupted Napoleon, ' if the Eussians try to commit themselves. I will act as if I did not understand them.' With that he expatiated at length on his relations with that Power, from which I saw that much wisdom and care on the side of Austria would be necessary to prevent a rupture with Eussia.

After a short stay in the Imperial Palace at Com- piegne, I betook myself to Paris, where the Emperor had placed the Hotel of Marshal Ney, with a complete household, at my disposal, which, however, I only used


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on very particular occasions. I did not wish to burden the court with my family, so I generally resided in the house in the Chaussee d'Antin, which my wife had occu- pied since my departure from Paris in 1809.

The Empress Marie Louise was received by the French public with the same feeling which the marriage had called forth in Austria. France was tired of war. After so many disastrous battles, conquerors and con- quered joined in longing and hoping for a final settle- ment. I saw proofs of this in all classes of the people, and more particularly in Napoleon's own family.

In the subsequent conversations which I had Avith the Emperor, he was warm in his declarations of good- will to Austria. As a special sign of his favour, Na- poleon proposed to Prince Schwarzenberg (then Aus- trian Ambassador in Paris) and me to abolish the mediatisation of our families, and to enrol them as sovereign members of the Ehenish Confederation, a proposal which we both, in consideration of our official position, declined in the most polite manner.

In my intercourse with the Emperor, we took up again the thread of the conversation, so to speak, where it had been broken off before the war. I had not come, however, to study the past, but to get a glimpse of the future ; and since I wished to do this as quickly as possible, I one day remarked to the Emperor that my stay in Paris could not be of much longer duration. ' Your Majesty,' said I to him, ' sent me as a prisoner to Austria : I come back to Paris a free man, but yet not free from difficult duties. Loaded as I am with an enormous responsibility, I have my duties in Vienna to fulfil. The Emperor Francis wished me to accom- pany his daughter into France ; I have come by his orders, but it must be evident to you that my wish VOL. I. K


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goes beyond this, and I would gladly find a guiding principle for my political action in a more remote future.'

' I understand you,' answered Napoleon : ' your wish corresponds with my own. Stay with us a few weeks, and you will leave us with satisfaction.'

These words might have led me to hope that my residence in Paris would not be much prolonged, but I knew Napoleon too well to build anything on a mere probability. Instead of four weeks, I was detained in Paris for quite half a year. On nry departure from Vienna the Emperor had confided the direction of the Chancellery to my father, Prince Francis George von Metternich. Since Paris was at that time the centre of affairs, my absence from Vienna could only cause any alteration in the carrying on of my department if my representative in the office deviated from my own views. With my father there could be no question of this ; and, seeing that no injury to public business would be connected with my distance from the capital, I kept to my determination not to leave Napoleon be- fore I had attained the true object of my journey to France. The sequence of this narrative will show that I gained my object.

In May, Napoleon conducted his wife to Brussels. The Emperor had invited me to accompany him to Cambrai, so that I was an eye-witness of the enthu- siasm with which the young Empress was everywhere received by the people. At St.-Quentin, Napoleon particularly wished that I should be present at an audience to which he had invited the authorities of the place. ' I wish to show you,' said he, ' how I am wont to speak to these people.' I saw that the Emperor was anxious that I should perceive how many-sided was his administrative knowledge.


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After our return from this journey, the festivities were continued which Paris had prepared for the new Empress. Chief of these was the ball that was given in honour of the marriage by Prince Schwarzenberg, and which terminated so fatally. (50)

I busied myself with negotiations for the execution of some decrees in the last Peace, (51) and brought them with ease to the solution we desired. Napoleon evi- dently wished to give us a proof of his good will ; and it was my business to draw from this feeling some advantage in favour of certain affairs of detail com- mitted to my care. (52)

But notwithstanding this, the great interest which had brought me to Paris was supreme in my thoughts, and served as a guiding star in all my actions. A veil was spread over the future of Europe, which I longed to raise ; to this end I must secure a freedom of action which would have been hampered by a closer intimacy with the conqueror.

Therefore I remained impenetrable to all the acts of attention which Napoleon knew how to heap on those from whom he desired some benefit. I did not withdraw from intercourse with the court : I had the freest access to it, of which, however, I only made use, in regard to the Empress Marie Louise, with the most careful reserve. In the subjoined notes * I

  • I. Conversation with Marie Louise at the Tuileries. About two months

after his marriage, Napoleon asked me why I never went to see the Empress Marie Louise, except on her reception days, or on other occasions of more or less ceremony. I replied that I knew of no reason for acting differently ; on the contrary, there were many reasons for acting as I had. If I went be- yond the usual routine, I should give rise to idle talk : people would tax me with conniving at some intrigue ; I should injure the Empress, and depart from my proper mission. ' Bah ! ' interrupted Napoleon, ' I wish you to see the Empress ; go to her to-morrow morning, I will tell her to expect you.'

The next morning 1 repaired to the Tuileries ; I found Napoleon

K 2


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have communicated some details connected with this

the Empress. The conversation ran on ordinary topics, when Napoleon said to me, ' I wish the Empress to speak openly to you, and confide to you what she thinks of her position. You are her friend ; she should have no secrets from you.' At the end of this speech Napoleon closed the door of the room, put the key in his pocket, and disappeared by another door. I enquired of the Empress what was the meaning of this scene : she addressed the same question to me. Seeing that she had not been prepared by Napoleon, I guessed that he wished to enable me to receive from the mouth of the Em- press herself satisfactory ideas of her domestic relations, in order that I might give a favourable account to her father, the Emperor. The Empress was of the same opinion. We were together for more than an hour, then Napoleon came back smiling. ' Well,' said he to us, ' have you had a good talk ? Has the Empress said much ill of me ? Has she laughed or wept ? I do not ask you to tell me. You two have secrets which do not concern a third person, even though that third person is the husband.'

We continued talking in the same tone of pleasant raillery, and I took my leave. On the following day Napoleon sought an opportunity of speak- ing to me. ' What did the Empress say to you yesterday,' said he. ( You said,' I replied, ' that our conversation should not be known to a third person : allow me to keep it a secret.' ' The Empress will have said,' inter- rupted Napoleon, ' that she is happy with me, that she has no complaint to make. I hope you will tell this to your Emperor, he will believe you sooner than anyone else.'

33. Counsel to be given to the Empress Marie Louise. In the course of the summer of the year 1810, Napoleon detained me one day, after his leve*e at St.-Oloud. When we were alone, he said to me, in an embarrassed tone, that I could do him a service.

' It concerns the Empress,' said he. ' She is young, without experience, and she does not know the ways of this country, nor the character of the French. I have placed the Duchess of Montebello in attendance on her. She is all one could wish, but is sometimes thoughtless. Yesterday, for example, walking in the park with the Empress, she presented to her one of her cousins. The Empress spoke to him, which was wrong ; if she allows young men, cousins and so forth, to be introduced to her, she will very soon become the prey of intriguers. Everyone in France has always some favour to ask. The Empress will be beset, and, without the power of doing good, she will be exposed to constant annoyance.' I said to Napoleon that I agreed with him, but could not understand why he had taken me into his confidence. ' It is,' said Napoleon, ' because I wish you to speak of this matter to the Empress.'

I expressed my surprise that he had not himself performed this duty. ' The advice,' said I, ' is good, it is wise, and the Empress is too right- minded not to appreciate it.' ' I prefer,' interrupted Napoleon, ' that you chould undertake this commission. The Empress is young, she might think I was going to be a severe husband ; you are her father's minister, and the


SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS, 1810. 133

which may serve to explain the character of Na- poleon.*

During his conversations with me, which lasted sometimes for hours, the Emperor Napoleon spoke with great openness of his plans for government and organisation with respect to France, and only touched on the domain of politics for the purpose of historical elucidation.

One of his favourite schemes at this time was the idea of collecting all the archives of Europe, in Paris. There should be, so he said to me, a grand edifice, erected on the Place between the Military School and the Inva- lides, constructed entirely of stone and iron, so as to be fire-proof. This building should contain all the archives of the European States. On my remarking that he must begin by getting possession of the archives before he arranged for their reception, Napoleon an- swered in the most frank manner, ' Why should I not have them ? Will not all the Powers hasten to send their archives to a place so perfectly safe? Without any doubt they will be inclined to do so in the double interests of safety and of science. Only think, your- self, of the immense advantages which history would derive from this ! Of course, each State must have the right of placing its documents under the care of keepers of its archives, who would live close to their papers. It would be free to each one to keep legal copies of them. What an immense advantage it would be to avoid distances ; one would only have to take

friend of her childhood ; what you say will have more effect upon her than anything I could say.'

  • The manuscript here breaks off suddenly. What follows is the text of

the ' clue to the explanation of my manner of thought and negotiation. 1 See Preliminary Remark to the Notes on p. 381. ED.


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two or three steps across a corridor, to draw from the historical treasures of France, Austria, Eome, &c.'

I could not restrain an incredulous smile, and begged him not to overlook the difficulties which this project would meet with from other States.

' Well,' rejoined Napoleon, ' see what narrow ideas the statesmen of Europe have, and do not know how to get rid of! I shall carry out my project ; the plans for the building are in preparation ! ' And with that he took me into his study, where he showed me a plan of Paris, on which the edifice in question was drawn. According to the ground plan, this palace of the ar- chives was to include eight inner courts.

Our other conversations on political questions bore the stamp of academical enquiries rather than the discus- sion of practical matters. On meeting again a man so richly gifted, it was most surprising to me to see what thoroughly erroneous ideas he had of England, her ma- terial resources and her moral character. He would not allow of contrary views, and sought the key to them in prejudices which he reprobated. That he would bring England to reason by means of the Continental blockade, this he regarded as a mathematical certainty. He knew the state of Germany exactly ; and on the internal rela- tions of Austria he expressed views which were far from being unsound.

However great the interest of learning the thoughts and views of this wonderful man on the most different subjects, this did not afford me any satisfactory hints in explanation of his plans for the immediate future. The victorious progress of the Eussian arms in Turkey gave me, however, a favourable opportunity of sound- ing Napoleon on the Turkish question. In repeated conversations on this subject, (53) Napoleon began to lift


SPECIAL MISSION TO PAULS, 1810. 135

the veil behind which his thoughts were concealed. Amongst other things, he said that he should not oppose the establishment of the Eussians in the Danu- bian Principalities, which, besides, were more Eussian than Turkish ; Erfurt prevented him from doing so. But this Eussian success will be the cause of an alliance between France and Austria : a political alliance grounded on common interests, far more important than a mere family connection, such as now existed between the two courts. An advance of the Eussians on the right bank of the Danube he would in no case put up with, nor with a Eussian protectorate over Servia. Belgrade belongs to Austria. ' You must try to take this place by stratagem, or get the Servians themselves to give it up to you. Begin by using it as a depot ; once there, they will not turn you out.'

In the month of September Napoleon first began to let out his views in our conversations.

It was at the time that, in consequence of the choice of the successor to the Swedish throne, and the constant increase of the prohibitions against trade and pressure on the Continental States, a tension in the relations with Eussia was everywhere apparent, and Napoleon's thoughts regarding his future attitude to this Northern Power began to take a definite shape, which crept out in his conversations with me.

He spoke of the anxieties and embarrassments which the choice of the new Crown Prince of Sweden had brought about. When I said that he must have fore- seen the result, which I held to be more a Franco-Eussian than a Swedish-Eussian complication in fact, it must have fallen in with his plans, for he could have pre- vented it, Napoleon assured me he had remained quite neutral, and had allowed the nation to choose. A French


136 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

marshal on the throne of Gustavus Adolphus would, besides, have been the finest trick anyone could have played on England. (54)

On September 20, under the pretext of the latest news from Turkey, Napoleon detained me in St.-Cloud. He expatiated on the possibility or probability of a peace between Turkey and Eussia. Then he came again to speak of the elevation of the Prince of Ponte Corvo as successor to the Swedish throne.

' I had news,' said the Emperor, ' from St. Peters- burg, which proved that this event was received there as a thing that must be ; it did not work well, but it was taken in silence.' Then he went on : ' I consider the Swedish affair as a more or less distant motive for war with Eussia. That it should not excite envy in the latter is impossible. I shall have war with Eussia on grounds which lie beyond human possibilities, because they are rooted in the case itself.'

' The time will soon approach and I am very far from hastening it either by my wishes or my deeds when hostilities will be inevitable. What part will you play then ? I speak to you of all these things not at all in an official manner, and still less with the intention of making a proposal to you, but simply as we talk over any circumstance foreign to both of us. On this occa- sion you must either unite with France or you must side with Eussia, and in the latter case you would remain neutral. The course last named will lead you to nothing, nor would it be the means of raising your- self ; and if you attempt a merely nominal neutrality, in order to join the strongest party after the battle, you will get small thanks from them and small profit for yourself out of such a course.'

'I consider,' continued Napoleon, ' that what now


SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS, 1810. 137

constitutes the Illyrian provinces is the most important district for Austria. These provinces once your own, and Dalmatia, would give you all possible points of egress which you are now without. I have the feeling that I humiliate and oppress you as long as I have these provinces. You must feel the same. There is, too, an ever-increasing germ of jealousy and ill-feeling between you and France. Will you one day refuse to confer with me for the exchange of an equal portion of Galicia for these provinces ? Whenever I find it necessary to make war with Russia, I should have a great and power- ful ally in a King of Poland. I shall not need your provinces, and you too will find this combination not less useful to you.'

I remarked to the Emperor that I could only speak on this subject with the full understanding that every- thing I might say should be considered as coming from the lips of a cosmopolitan, and not from the Austrian minister.

I divided the matter into two questions the re-esta- blishment of a kingdom of Poland, and the exchange of a part of Galicia for the Illyrian provinces.

' The first question,' I said to his Majesty, * is of a purely political nature. A kingdom of Poland is nothing more than the Duchy of Warsaw with another name and with the new boundaries for which it has striven ever since it was made. Whenever our Galician provinces are reduced in size more than they now are, our interest in the Polish question must surely diminish in the same proportion. But it seems to me impossible to approach a matter lightly which presents such many- sided political prospects, and would alter the position of the existing relations in Europe. The Illyrian provinces are most important to us from twenty points of view.


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Galicia has advantages on its side, for which it would be difficult to compensate. The revenue offered by Illyria is trifling, and hardly comes up to that of Galicia ; it has fewer men and less means of subsistence. Galicia has important boundary points for the common- monarchy. If ever the idea of such a combination is entertained by the Emperor, my master, the exchange can only take place under quite different topographical relations, and will meet with many and great difficul- ties.'

In a long statement, Napoleon then explained the advantages which Austria would obtain by regaining- possession of the Illyrian provinces, and, on the other hand, the great danger of Galicia to Austria in case of a successful war with Russia, which should lead to the incorporation of the Polish-Russian provinces in a Duchy of Warsaw, and must give it a great im- portance among the Powers.

' As for the revenues,' continued the Emperor, ' you have one means of compensation buy all the estates in Galicia : they supply the principal revenues of the country. It can never be a question of the Galicia of the first partition ; nothing would be easier than to fix the military boundaries in the north of Hungary.'

' Everything that I say to you,' said the Emperor, ' is entirely in confidence. I do not wish that anyone should know of it but the Emperor and you. I have never spoken of it to Champagny. If the war with Russia is avoided, I shall be quite content ; but in the contrary event, it is much better to look at the conse- quences beforehand. I always put the question very simply as to what concerns me, both to myself and to others. So, for example, I say to myself in the present case, If it suits Austria to join with France, then she


SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS, 1810. 139

can make more use of the Illyrian provinces irrespec- tive of their administrative advantages than of part of Galicia, the provinces of which are a cause of envy between the two Powers. If Austria's system inclines more to Eussia, then Galicia stands quite in the first rank politically, for it serves as a connecting link. I do not desire from you any active co-operation, because I have made up my mind not again to join any coalition. I have had enough of the trial I made of it in 1809. I should have made quite another war for you, if I had been alone. I have never reckoned much on the Rus- sians, but they have at any rate taken the place of fifty or sixty thousand Frenchmen, who would have treated you to quite another sort of war from the Russians.'

1 If I speak thus to you,' said Napoleon in conclud- ing his interesting and candid conversation, ' it is because I will not let slip the rare opportunity when a monarch can converse with the Foreign Minister of another Power, and offer a new point of view to another Govern- ment, without expecting an answer. I do not expect the least response to this, which I have wished to impart to you before your departure. The purchase of estates in Galicia will be a sufficient proof of what the Emperor Francis thinks on the matter.' (55)

I left St.-Cloud with the consciousness that I had at last obtained light. The- object of my stay in Paris was attained. I had an audience to take leave, (56) and returned to Vienna, where I arrived before the middle of October.

I found the Emperor Francis at Gratz in Styria. On his departure from the capital, he left a request for me to follow him to Gratz without loss of time. I re- mained four-and-twenty hours in Vienna, to obtain from my father information about a political incident which


140 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

had just taken place, and to which I shall return fur- ther on.

My report to the Emperor on the result of my observations in Paris consisted of the following re- marks :

' During the year 1811 the peace of the continent of Europe will not be destroyed by any fresh attack of Napoleon's.

' In the course of this year Napoleon will join his own forces, greatly strengthened, with those of his allies, in order to deal a great blow at Eussia.

4 Napoleon will begin the campaign in the spring of 1812.

' Therefore the Imperial government must employ the next year in improving the financial position in two ways : first, by lessening the quantity of paper - money ; next, in making important military improve- ments.

' The position to be taken by Austria in the year 1812 must be that of an armed neutrality. The fate of Napoleon's undertaking, in any case a very eccentric one, will give us the direction which we shall after- wards have to take. In a war between France and Russia, Austria must take a position on the flank which will ensure a decisive importance for her opinions during the war, and at the end of it.' (57)

The Emperor shared these views, and they led us, by ways apparently indirect, to the main object always before us ; and through all the varied circum- stances of the following year to that- policy the courageous development of which, at the right moment, was crowned by such decisive results.

Napoleon deceived himself greatly. First in his false reckoning was the conviction that the Emperor of


SPECIAL MISSION TO PARIS, 1810. 141

Russia would either not fight with France, or give way at the first victory, which Napoleon had no doubt of gaining. This idea showed ignorance of the Eussian monarch's character, and a disregard of the vast space at his command. By all this the Austrian cabinet was. made aware of its duty, namely, to be prepared for any- thing that might happen.

The incident which I mentioned as having occurred before my return to Vienna was, that the Emperor Alexander had sent his Adjutant Count Schuwalow to Vienna with a proposal to confer with the Imperial cabinet about possible events. I found a plan made out for a treaty of alliance in case of a new war with France, which was given me by my father. The project was rejccjted, as one not applicable to the cir- cumstances of the day, or at least not suited to the spirit of the times. I was bent on securing the free movement of Austria with foreign nations, and on the greatest possible resuscitation of her financial and mili- tary strength. Count Schuwalow at once returned to St. Petersburg, his mission being followed by no result. (58)

I thought it also a prudential duty to set our posi- tion as clearly as possible before the Prussian cabinet. The Prussian state was in the deepest decadence. The personal relations between King Frederick William III., Minister Hardenberg, and some other men trusted by the King, and myself, during the time that I was Am- bassador at Berlin, made it possible that my opinion would be favourably received at this court. I used the opportunity to place the true position of Austria and Prussia before them, and to advise the King to patience and the remedies which time and its vicissitudes would effect, with the moral certainty that the Emperor


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\ Francis would stand by him as a firm friend. The

King understood my words, and they led to a per- sonal relation between the two monarchs which sur- vived the storms that followed, and exercised a great influence, not only on the history of Prussia, but also of Europe.


CHAPTER VII. - BEFOKE AND AFTER THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN,

BEFORE AND AFTER THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN. (18111812.)

Principles of Finance Finance Minister, Count Wallis Minister of War, Count Bellegarde Hungarian Diet The Council of State Academy of Arts Dantzic, a place of importance for the Russian campaign Armament Armed neutrality of Austria Meeting of the Emperor Francis with Napoleon at Dresden Napoleon's ideas concerning the best form of Government in France Napoleon's illusion and plan of the war The elements of the Austrian military system Confidential under- standing between the Cabinets of Vienna and Berlin The termination of the Russian campaign Importance of the Austrian neutrality The armed mediation The Austrian auxiliary force in the Russian campaign Warlike prospects for 1813 The consequences of the armed mediation The return of Austria and Prussia to the basis of 1805 The German question The King of Saxony places himself under the Austrian pro- tection General preparation for war The Emperor Francis- The dis- position of the people The situation of Prussia Feeling in France ; in Germany ; in Austria Napoleon-haters The armies drawn up in posi- tion The moment arrives for the armed mediation of Austria.

HOWEVER bad was her condition, there seemed to be for Austria, in the domain of politics, a moment of repose ; but I could not look forward to the duration of this pause beyond the year 1811. This year must be made use of by our country for unremitting attention to the most important tasks. First of these was the question of the state finances. The proper adjustment of these to the circumstances of the time would be a most labo- rious undertaking. The wars between 1792 and 1809 had exhausted the sources of public prosperity ; the German part of the Empire was flooded with paper- VOL. i. L


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money ; Hungary, by law, still maintained a metallic standard, but nevertheless paid her subsidies, small as they were, in paper only, without any regard to its depreciation. It was impossible to have recourse to credit, for if foreign countries had had sufficient confi- dence in the resources of the Empire to stand by it in the way of credit, in spite of its precarious position, this assistance would have been cut off from us by Napo- leon, and by the ignorance which then reigned in the Continental states with respect to the system of credit.

The introduction, then, of a system of finance cor- responding to this condition was not feasible, and attention must be equally paid to providing for the absolute necessities of the present, and the prospective demands of the future. To fulfil these important ends, the finance operation proposed by Count Wallis, the Minister of Finance, was very well suited. Count Wallis would have raised this to the dignity of a system made for perpetuity. But the Emperor and I thought of it only as of a bridge, leading from an untenable to a ten- able condition, by the help of circumstances, the issue of which, however, was uncertain.

I must here mention one man, in whose knowledge of the situation, business dexterity, and devotion to the general good, the Emperor found a firm support, and I, assistance as enlightened as loyal, in the development of the fate of the Empire. This man was the then Presi- dent of the Ministry of War, Count Bellegarde. With a thorough knowledge of military matters, familiar with my turn of mind, and quite agreeing with my political views, he was anxious not only to maintain the Imperial forces, but to strengthen them to the utmost, for every imaginable contingency, while avoiding everything that would attract attention. He alone was thoroughly


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 147

acquainted with my views, and he knew how to raise himself, with me, above the illusions which assume the appearance of public opinion. He understood as well as I did the value of letting men talk.

The introduction of the new system of finance ne- cessitated the holding of a Hungarian Diet, without the co-operation of which this would not be possible. After much opposition, the Hungarian states passed the requi- site financial measures. As I shall afterwards have occasion to examine the state of Hungary more closely, I will in this place say nothing of its position at that time.

But what forced itself upon me was the imperative necessity of strengthening the central power. The Austrian monarchy is a composite whole, formed of se- parate districts which are historically or legally, from reasons of necessity or considerations of prudence, held together by having one common head. In a state like this, the idea of unity inseparable from the existence of an Empire requires to be matured and rightly defined, if it is not to become a mere personal union with all its attendant weaknesses. The existence of a moral body convoked to defend supreme sovereign power in the common head of the Empire, without at the same time restricting the exercise of the separate rights of the provinces, seemed to be the most appropriate means by which to assert the conception of Imperial unity.

A well-organised Council of State is considered by the impartial statesman to be such a body, and so it appeared to Prince Kaunitz. According to his pro- posal, the Empress Maria Theresa, in the year 1760, founded a Council of State of this kind. Sound as the idea was, the practical working of it was not free from defects. It seemed to me that one of the greatest of

Ir 2


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these mistakes was the admission of the heads of its dif- ferent departments (ministers there were none) into the Council of State, and the direction of this Council by a High Chancellor. Under the government of the Empe- ror Joseph n., the Council of State had been in many ways mismanaged, and even hindered in its action by a cabinet government in imitation of Frederick II. 's system of government.

The Council of State came forward prominently again in the reign of the Emperor Francis ; but soon after the death of Prince Kaunitz it fell actually into decay, a result caused chiefly by the setting aside of oral discussion, and the substitution of voting by papers. A later reorganisation was the work of some subordinate officials, who thought only of securing their own personal influence, so that the Emperor Francis was induced to dissolve it entirely in the year 1809. I devoted my whole attention to the creation of a new Council of State, in place of the old one. My intentions, and the proposals relative to them, aimed at associating with the Emperor a true Council of State, and, instead of coun- cillors working singly, to form one common deliberative body ; to give to the central power a more central spirit, so as to procure for the monarch, by a higher degree of tranquillity and security, greater facility for carrying on his own work. To the further course of this plan of organisation, which was to be carried on hand-in-hand with a revision of the institutions of the provincial states, I will return again. (59)

During this interval of peace I was made Curator of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, an unexpected and honourable appointment, which opened up to me an unfamiliar but most congenial sphere of activity, in which there was full scope for my strong consciousness


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 149

of duty, heightened as it was in this case by my inclina- tion. I began my functions as Curator of the Academy, and was anxious to infuse into the old statutes of the institution (with the co-operation of Sonnenfels) fresh strength and inner life, by reforms suited to the times ; and I endeavoured to invest it with outward brilliancy by the reception of foreign notabilities as honorary members. (60)

In political matters the year 1811 passed as I had foreseen. Napoleon advanced his forces as far as the Duchy of Warsaw, and made Dantzig a point d'appui for the supplies necessary for a great campaign. ' I have,' he said to me, in the year 1812, ' in Dantzig secured for myself a second Paris.' Eussia was also on her side preparing, and strove to end the war, in which she was involved with the Porte, as quickly as possible, whilst Napoleon was always endeavouring to add fresh fuel to its flames. In outward appearance Austria seemed to be in the enjoyment of profound peace, and was sup- posed to be exclusively occupied in healing the wounds which the last war had inflicted on the Empire. Prussia pined under the most unhappy depression, and endea- voured to stir up German feeling by means of the Tugendbund ; in South Germany, however, this had no success. The armies of the States belonging to the Ehenish Confederation prepared themselves to join the French Grande Armee, in the ranks of which there were already Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian contingents. The Continental prohibitions against trade steadily increased, and the granting of licences became a source of wealth to the French finances. Napoleon's power pressed heavily upon the whole Continent. It took the direction of a system of incorporation carried out by Imperial decrees. It was the eve of the catastrophe,


150 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

which to a quiet spectator had not, indeed, the feeling of a calm before the storm, but the sad aspect of a general humiliation of princes and people under the verdict of an inexorable fate.

The situation developed itself with the approach of the year 1812. (61) The moment for Austria's declaration with regard to the forthcoming war between France and Eussia had arrived. We declared for an armed neutrality. Napoleon demanded the contribution of an auxiliary army of thirty thousand men. The Emperor Francis granted this request, under the condition that the neutrality and inviolability of the Austrian territory should not be endangered by either of the belligerent Powers. All history has not recorded so strange a political situation, and it probably never will record a second example of the same kind. It was the result of circumstances, and a remarkable illustration of a period fantastic in every respect, and afflicted with every kind of abnormal condition. In the imposition of an auxiliary army from Austria Napoleon sought, not a material strengthening of his forces, for this did not seem to him to be necessary, but a moral guarantee for the restraint of the other part of the Austrian army within the boundaries of their own kingdom. The Emperor Alex- ander considered the closing of the Austrian territory as a useful defence for the southern provinces of the Kussian Empire. Both sides acknowledged the neu- trality of Austria, notwithstanding her contribution of an auxiliary army.

I was satisfied, for what I wished above all was to secure for Austria freedom in her political action when the moment came for decision with regard to the coming war.

When Napoleon, in the spring of 1812, went to


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 151

Dresden, to make from thence the last arrangements for the campaign against Eussia, he expressed a wish to meet there the Emperor Francis. The Emperor complied with his wish, and set out for Dresden accom- panied by the Empress and myself. The Empress Louisa was, it is well known, very bitter in her feeling against Napoleon. The manner of both Emperors was suited to their position, but cold. The daily contact into which I now came with Napoleon was a continuation of our intercourse at the time of my embassy to Paris, and my residence there in 1810. Our conversations sometimes lasted for hours, but we did not often touch upon politics. It was at this time that he explained to me his ideas on the best form of government for France. ' France,' he said to me, ' lends itself less to representa- tive forms than many other countries. In France talent is common enough ; but it is only talent, there is nothing beneath it which resembles character, and still less principle. Everyone runs after applause whether it comes from above or below, no matter : they want to be noticed and applauded. In the tribune they did nothing but make revolution, so I put them in order I dissolved them. I put a gag on the Corps Legislatif. Silence an assembly which, if it is anything, must be deliberative, and you discredit it. Therefore I had only to take the key from the door of the hall of assembly and put it in my pocket ; that shall be done with the Corps Legislatif. Nobody will think any more about it, for its "existence is already forgotten. I do not, however, desire absolute power : I wish for more tl>an mere forms. I wish for one thing entirely for the public, order and utility. I would give a new organi- sation to the Senate and to the Conseil d'Etat. The first will replace the upper chamber, the second that


152 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

of the Deputies. I shall continue to appoint senators to all the places. I shall have one-third of the Conseil dEtat elected by triple lists, the rest I shall nominate. In this assembly the budget will be made, and the laws elaborated. In this way I shall have a real represen- tation, for it will be entirely composed of men well accustomed to business. No mere tattlers, no ideologues, no false tinsel. Then France will be a well governed country, even under & faineant prince, and such princes there will be. The manner in which they are brought up is sufficient to make that certain.'

I took the liberty of asking why he had not carried out his project. The Senate had without this already lost its credit, and the legislative bodies were reduced to a sphere of action which pleased no one ; to which Napoleon answered :

' Everything has its season ; that for reform has not yet come. I must wait for two or three years, and who knows when the war will end which I am just beginning ? That will come after the peace.'

On the whole, I received from our confidential inter- course in Dresden the impression that if Napoleon, on the one hand, did not deceive himself about the greatness of the undertaking, and looked on his success as the keystone of an edifice which hovered before his mind as a Carlo vingian Empire under a Bonapartist dynasty ; on the other hand, his undertaking depended on the terrible chances of war, about which he indulged in the most dangerous delusion. *

As illustrating the reasons for my views, I will men- tion the following. Napoleon was convinced that the Eussian army would open the campaign by crossing the boundaries of their own country. The conviction ex- pressed by me that the Emperor Alexander would await


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 153

the attack of the French army and baffle it by a retreat, Napoleon opposed both on strategical grounds, and from Alexander's manner of thought and action, with which he imagined himself to be perfectly acquainted. All which reasons told more in favour of my views than his.

When the reports from the army, drawn up in the Duchy of Warsaw ready for action, deprived him of all hope that the Emperor Alexander would take the initiative, he explained to me his plan for the war with Kussia in the following words, which subsequent events have made memorable :

'My enterprise is one of those of which the solu- tion is to be found in patience. Victory will attend the most patient. I shall open the campaign by cross- ing the Memen. It will be concluded at Smolensk and Minsk. There I shall stop. I shall fortify these two points, and occupy myself at Wilna, where the chief head-quarters will be during the next winter, with the organisation of Lithuania, which burns with impatience to be delivered from the yoke of Eussia. I shall wait and see which of us tires first : I, of feeding my army at the expense of Eussia; or Alexander, of sustaining my army at the expense of his country. Perhaps I myself may pass the most inclement months of the winter at Paris.'

To my question what he would do in case the Em- peror Alexander did not vouchsafe to make peace be- cause of the occupation of Lithuania, Napoleon answered :

' In that case I should in the following year advance quite to the centre of the Empire, and I shall be patient in 1813 as I shall have been in 1812 ! The affair, as I have told you, is a question of time.'

That Napoleon's plan for the campaign of 1812 was


154 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

exactly the one which he mentioned to rne has become an historical fact ; the same may be said of the motives which induced him to undertake the expedition to Moscow.

The following conversation between us may serve to throw yet more light on Napoleon's ideas :

' I begin to be a little perplexed,' he said to me on another occasion, ' about the perfection of your military system, which you have heard me describe as worthy to serve as a model, and which, to my great regret; I cannot myself adopt, because th e military organisation of the two empires is not alike. You have composed the auxiliary corps under the command of Prince Schwarzeia- berg of the cadres of twenty regiments. Have you then forgotten in Austria that there is nothing in an army more valuable than these cadres ; why did you not make up the corps of five or six regiments, which would have sufficed for the number required ? '

' I am surprised,' I answered, ' that your Majesty addresses such a question to me. The Imperial army, which a secret article of the Treaty of Vienna fixes at a maximum of 150,000 men, is now composed principally of cadres ; for the Emperor, well aware of their value, has not, since the peace, diminished the number of regi- ments. He now puts at your disposal a part of what you have left him.'

' That does not prevent this from being a mistake,' interrupted Napoleon.

If Napoleon was right in his remark, yet we, for our part, were not wrong. Field-Marshal Count Belle- garde had composed the corps of Prince Schwarzen- berg of more cadres than was necessary. By the filling up of these cadres with soldiers, together with the army of observation stationed in Bohemia arid Galicia to


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 155

defend the neutrality, the whole forces of the Empire were ready for action, a measure which the Imperial Government could not have taken in any other way without exciting attention both at home and abroad.

The most confidential relations existed between the courts of Vienna and Berlin during the whole of Napo- leon's campaign. Whether the course we pursued was better than the one which Freiherr von Stein and his political friends were never tired of urging upon King William III., I must leave to be decided by the actual events of the years 1813-1814. The results would cer- tainly have been quite different if Austria had not taken so prudent an attitude in the last adventurous undertak- ing of the conqueror of the world. If we had listened to the urgent entreaties of the Prussian party, we should, without any means of defence, have seen Napo- leon on the battle-fields of our own exhausted territories, instead of on the icy steppes of Russia. At any rate, Austria's course has not run counter to the ways of fate. (62)

The campaign of 1812 was followed by conse- quences which even before it began I knew to be not only possible but most probable, on account of Napo- leon's erroneous views. But I am free to confess that neither I nor anyone else imagined that Napoleon would attempt in the first campaign the task so difficult in itself, and which he had mentioned to me as to be put off till 1813, in case of the longer duration of the war. If Napoleon's whole enterprise was fantastic the va banque of a gambler maddened by former gains the marching on Moscow by the French army, which was prevented from fighting by the continual retreating of the enemy to the heights of Smolensk, was a mistake. The only explanation of this is to be found in Napo-


156 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Icon's firm conviction that the Russian monarch would not and could not expose the second, indeed the most beautiful, city of his Empire to the occupation of the enemy.

The continuance of Austria's neutral attitude after the result of the war with Russia, could have no other meaning but a confession of a want of strength in the Empire. I need not say that this want of strength was very evident to the Emperor and myself. The question which arose between his Majesty and myself was not on this ground, but referred to the direction we should take in changing our passive attitude into an active one. The King of Prussia, who had not been neutral in the Franco- Russian war, but had taken an active part by sending a small force to join the ranks of the French army, en- tered into an alliance with Russia after the dissolution of the French army. Our position was quite different from that of the Prussian court. Stein and the Prussian Particularists or abstract Germanists, together with the Russian cabinet, urged on Austria the immediate decla- ration of war against France. We did not allow our- selves to be disturbed in our quiet course, and referred the two newly-allied Powers to the decision which would be made known by the Emperor at the right moment. The bases which we wished to give to the political posi- tion of our Empire, called upon by the vicissitude of things to decide the fate of the world, are expressed in the following short statement, laid before me by the Emperor Francis, which requires neither amplification nor explanation :

' The political position of the Imperial court is that of an armed neutrality. This position, if persevered in, would degrade the Austrian Power into a mere ne- gation. This could be changed only by a rapid transi-


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 157

tion, or by a course of moderation which secures to the Emperor free action in the future. Rapid transition would make Austria a member of the Northern alliance, or lead to a union with France : while the latter would be impossible, the former is open to us. The transition from neutrality to war lies in an armed mediation.'

The Emperor was in favour of the mediation. The most important considerations supported the moral and political advantages of this attitude.

In relating my conversations with Napoleon in the month of May 1812, 1 have already mentioned the cir- cumstance that Prince Schwarzenberg's army of thirty thousand men, consisted mostly of the cadres of the regi- ments. This corps formed the extreme right wing of the great French army. Napoleon had not required it to take part in the operations of the principal army during the short campaign in the interior of Eussia, for reasons which have been already mentioned. Prince Schwarzenberg, whose army corps had been reinforced by the Saxon contingent, had not, during the course of the campaign received any orders from Napoleon. He, therefore, had sustained no losses worth mentioning. After the retreat of the French army, Prince Schwarzen- berg led his corps to the north-west frontier of Ga- licia, where it was opposed to the corps of Prince Joseph Poniatowski, whose retreat had taken place in the same direction. Only a small portion of the Imperial army had been stationed, at the beginning of the Franco-Rus- sian war, to guard the neutral territory of the Empire in Bohemia. The greater part of the whole army was either in Galicia or near by, as an auxiliary corps or corps of observation. Galicia could not be denuded of troops so long as the Polish army in the southern part of the Grand-Duchy of Warsaw was under arms. There-


158 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

fore a rapid concentration of forces on the western fron- tier of the Empire was impossible, for in any case the formation of an army corresponding to the strength of the Empire, and adapted for a great war, would require time. We were convinced that Napoleon would use the winter to begin a new campaign in the year 1813. We could not prevent him from doing this ; therefore it was our duty to prepare to strike a decisive blow. We kept these circumstances in view, and the Cabinet avoided giving any diplomatic explanations as to its course of action in the immediate future. That the part which Austria must take in this future must be a most ener- getic one arose from the general situation of affairs and the geographical position of our country. When and how this was to be done was the problem we had to solve. Nobody could doubt that the Emperor Francis would strictly follow the voice of his conscience. The moment was too important for us to feel impelled to any definite expression. We kept back even our decision as to the mediation, till we were satisfied that the right moment had arrived. After the end of the campaign in Kussia, our forces could be reinforced and collected, and take up strategical positions, in a few months. These positions were to be taken up in Bohemia. In our rear we were hampered by the Polish force under Ponia- towski. The Imperial forces on the southern frontier also received the necessary reinforcements.

In this position of affairs, my task was limited to giving the Emperor a report on the situation in which we should find ourselves in consequence of an armed mediation. Accustomed, in all situations, to put clearly before me the aims in view and to allow the necessary time for their development I arrived at the results ex ? pressed in the following short .sentences : '...>


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 159

' The miscarrying of Napoleon's enterprise against Russia has altered Austria's position as well as that of the other Powers.'

  • The final solution of the fate of Europe will exhibit

itself by the Peace.'

' To bring this about is the true part and business of Austria.'

4 In what way can Peace be established a real Peace, not a mere truce in disguise, like all former treaties of Peace with the French Republic and with Napoleon ? '

  • Undoubtedly this can only be done by restricting

the power of France within such limits as give hopes of a lasting peace and establish a balance of power among the chief States.' *

Napoleon's power, always striving to extend itself, was broken by the miscarriage of his last undertaking. Was it destroyed? No. The campaigns of 1813 and 1814, indeed, even the short campaign of 1815, proved the contrary. We did not doubt that Napoleon would not consider his power destroyed by the failure of the last campaign, and here our supposition differed from that of his open adversaries. They desired the immedi- ate pursuit of the enemy. Of the practical considerations of whither and wherewith they did not think, and indeed considered it as loss of time to do so. My calmer judgment looked forward to a reasonable and successful termination, in comparison with which I thought nothing of a few lost months.

  • The notion of political equilibrium has been much attacked since the

General Peace (1814-1815), and the Imperial cabinet itself has been re- proached with having taken up such a mistaken idea. The idea, however, apprehended in its true meaning, is not the less the only true one. Rest without equilibrium is a fallacy. Absolute equilibrium cannot, it is true, be found in politics, but only in a measure which offers the greatest possible guarantees.


160 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

The attitude of Austria as a mediatory armed power, said I to myself, harmonises with the geographical po- sition of the empire, as well as with its forces, and will secure to the Emperor Francis the last word either in peace or war. Preparations to the greatest ex- tent possible must be made for the carrying on of the war. By thus gaining time the part to be played by the Emperor will become more safe.

Two questions of the utmost importance were im- mediately presented to my mind. The one concerned the boundaries of Austria and Prussia. In the first place, this boundary must be fixed, as well in the view of the opening of a new campaign between France and the two allied Powers already at war with her as in the view of the contingency of peace without resuming the contest. If the precaution of a previous arrangement of the territories of the allied Powers were not taken, the war would become one of conquest, and, in case of a speedy peace, that peace would be wanting in its very first principles. We took our position with respect to both kingdoms, not on the basis of extension of ter- ritories, but on the restoration of their status quo in the year 1803 or 1805. The Emperor decided to leave the choice between these two years to the King of Prussia.

The other no less important question was that of the quid faciendum with all those territories which had formed the old German Empire, and which, after its dissolution, were divided into four parts, of which three belonged to Austria, Prussia, and the states forming the Confederation of the Ehine, but the fourth consisted of the great German provinces which were incorporated as departments in France. A German central political body no longer existed. First of all, we had to con-


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 161

sider : Should and could such a body be called into life ?

It happened with this question as it is, has been, and will be with all important questions at all times. One may consider them from a calm and practical or from a passionate and hasty point of view. The Imperial cabinet took the first course. The German Empire of a thousand years was dissolved in 1805 and 1806, and indeed, strictly speaking, as much from the want of in- ward vitality as from external influences. If earlier defects had crippled the strength of the Empire, its con- tinuance had become a sheer impossibility by the re- sults of the Eegensburg mediation in the year 1803. Not only had the German Empire been extinguished in the year 1805, but the German name had disappeared from the map.

The question whether a German central political body should be called into life could only be answered in the affirmative, for all imaginable moral and political reasons combined to support this decision. The pro- blem remaining for the Imperial cabinet was therefore only how this was to be accomplished. To understand the disposition of the Imperial cabinet on this impor- tant point it is necessary to set clearly before us the state of things at that time, a state which had, under the impressions of later years and the party strifes which issued from them, been essentially transformed, but which at the time when we write this (1852) again confirms the correctness of our decision at that time.

In deciding the point, 'How can a German state be again admitted into the European corporation of states ? ' we considered these questions :

1. Can the old Holy Eoman Empire of the German nation be called into life again ?

VOL. I. M


162 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

This question we could only answer with a decided negative ; for Germany (the name itself had only a geo- graphical value) had lost the elements necessary to re- establish the old forms.

2. Could the fragments of the earlier Empire be gathered together into one united state ?

We answered this question in the negative, on ac- count of the following considerations :

The idea of a state must rest on the basis of a united sovereignty, whether that of a personal sovereign or of the sovereignty of the people. The personal sovereign may reign over several countries different in their pro- vincial laws and in their local internal administration. One sovereign people cannot rule over another. At that time we never thought of the latter ; it was left to time to introduce it into German territory. The question then was, and could only be, of absolute sovereignty resting on an Emperor, and against this there arose insuperable difficulties.

The Confederation of the Ehine had assigned to the princes of the confederate states the sovereign rights which in the Holy Eoman Empire belonged to the Em- peror and the Empire. These states should have been forced to restore them to the head of the state ; and the moral consequences of this constraint would have been but an addition to the fundamental evils of the former state of the empire, namely, to the unavoid- able collisions between the sovereign head and the supremacy of the separate states.

Would the King of Prussia have admitted the subor- dination of his sovereignty to that of the German Em- peror ? and would the Emperor of Austria, on his part, have accommodated himself to such a pretension ?

Of the re-establishment of a German Empire and a


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 163

united kingdom we gave up all idea, and considered only the formation of a German Confederation.

I thought that for the present the part of armed mediation did not require more than the establishment of these bases. There seemed to me to be a nearer prospect of war than of peace. I was convinced that the Powers had not, as they imagined in Berlin, an easy contest before them ; but that Napoleon's efforts would be most vigorous of this I was convinced, and therefore I exerted myself to develop the strength of our forces to the utmost. In this course lay salvation in the case of a war in which Austria would be called to strike the decisive blow. The means of attaining peace could only be discovered in the course of cir- cumstances, and this required time, which to anticipate, I have always considered a fault.

A political interlude now took place. The King of Saxony, driven from his states by the united Eussian and Prussian armies, put himself under the protection of Austria. He declared himself ready to join the Im- perial court in its political action. We accepted his adhesion, and advised the king to await the course of events quietly at Prague.

Napoleon devoted the winter of 1812-1813 to pre- parations for the campaign. This was done in Prussia, whilst new forces were sent to the Russian army from the interior of the kingdom. Austria, on her part, col- lected her apparently exhausted forces, and led them to their places of assembly in Bohemia, and to the southern and western frontiers which had been moved forward within the old territory.

The result corresponded with the skilful prepara- tions, which Count Bellegarde had made to ensure its attainment. In the states of the Confederation of the

M 2


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Ehine new soldiers were levied to fill up the numerous gaps which the campaign in Russia had made in their contingents. The whole of Europe was in arms, and waited in anxious expectation for the approaching events.

Firm in his convictions and quiet in his conscience, the Emperor Francis stood in the midst of a commotion the result of which it was impossible to foresee. What made the Emperor so secure was the strength of his principles, and the consciousness that he rested on a faithful people and a courageous army ; how strong these were the result has proved !

I should leave a gap in my picture if I did not say a word here on the feeling of the people in the different countries, and in different circles of society. With respect to the feeling of the people, very different ideas prevailed, according to the personal feeling and party spirit of the observer. I may describe the moral fea- tures of society, as it appeared to me, as follows :

There was a universal feeling of weariness and of the necessity of such a conclusion to the war, as would bring repose. The war had in its course of one-and- twenty years, covered with corpses many battle-fields, wasted whole kingdoms, overturned thrones, bowed beneath its yoke the republic of a hundred years, and as its final consequence seemed to have placed the fate of Europe in the hands of one man. This feeling, and the misery inseparable from it were universal, and were shared even by those whose opinions were gene- rally in opposition. Conqueror and conquered were both weary and anxious for repose, in which to enjoy their conquests or to secure what remained to them ; but the Prussian States formed a third and very different element in the general situation. The destinies of


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 165

Prussia differed from those of other states. If its dynasty had been destroyed by Napoleon, and replaced by another, it would so far have shared the fate of the French and Spanish Bourbons, the royal houses of Hanover, Hesse Cassel, Orange, and others. If, again, Napoleon had erased the name of Prussia from the map, the Prussian state would have shared the same fate as the German Empire, Holland, Piedmont, the States of the Church, and Tuscany. But Napoleon had ruled it otherwise with Prussia. The tyranny he exer- cised on it was unendurable, and he kept it in a state bordering on an impossible existence and final ex- tinction.

France was just as tired of never-ending wars as the countries which, since the unsuccessful campaign of 1792, had had to bear the hardships of the actual battle- fields, the devastation of their provinces, and the pay- ment of the contributions. Napoleon had, however, given back to France itself the internal peace which she had lost, and the country was grateful for this bene- fit, whilst French patriotism rejoiced in the brilliant successes of his armies.

The results of the war had produced very different effects on the German Governments and the various German races. Mixed together and intermingled by the ' Mediatisation ' of the year 1803, the feelings of the people of the various German races took quite different directions. The people of those German States whose territory had been enlarged by the Peace of Pressburg (1805) and the Peace of Vienna (1809) were contented with these and the protection of the conqueror of the world. North Germany, on the contrary, could not see any reason for satisfaction either in the union of the sea coasts with the French Empire, or in the establish-


166 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

ment of German States under members of the Bona- parte family in the place of their own princes.

The decided feeling of the different populations of the Austrian Imperial states was for the preservation of peace. Austria had borne the burden of all the former wars except that of 1806, which had ended so unfor- tunately for Prussia ; the inner strength of the Empire seemed to be exhausted, and the people to have lost all hope of regaining by force of arms what they had lost. In Austria, deserted since the peace of Basle (1795) and the later wars (1805 and 1809) by its German allies of the Confederation, the expression German feeling had no more meaning than a myth, especially in the high sense attached to it, since the catastrophe of Prussia and the northern German territories, by the upper strata of the populations of those countries.

A class not numerous but important from the posi- tion of the individuals composing it raised the banner of war in our country. This party only shared the feeling of hatred to the person of Napoleon with the people of the north of Germany, who called for free- dom from the yoke of the conqueror of the world. They took the name of ' Napoleon-haters ' ; their voices died away in space, and their efforts would never have had, even if the party had been stronger, any effect on the mind of the Emperor Francis, or on the voice of my political conscience. The monarch would not suffer a repetition of those trials which the Empire had gone through after the campaigns of 1805 and 1809 ; and had he been willing, I should not have been ready to join him.

We pursued the plan known only to ourselves in seeming quiet and under the protection of secrecy. (63) The extension of the armaments, and the grave prepara-


THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN OF 1812. 167

tions of every kind, were justified by the certainty, which increased every day, that Napoleon would commence a new campaign in Germany in 1813, and the whole people felt them to be measures necessary for the peace of Austria.

So passed the winter of 1812 to 1813. The bellige- rent powers, France and her allies on one side, Russia, Prussia, and Great Britain on the other, drew up their armies, in the beginning of spring, in strategic positions. From political as well as military considerations, we took up our position in Bohemia. The army collected there was placed under the command of Prince Schwarzen- berg. The Emperor left it to me to fix the moment which I thought most suitable to announce to the belligerent Powers that Austria had given up her neutrality, and to invite them to recognise her armed mediation as the most fitting attitude.

Napoleon's victories at Llitzen and Bautzen were the signs which told me that the hour had come.*

  • Oil the following chapter (Chap. VIII.) see Preliminary Remark to the

Notes on p. 381. ED.


CHAPTEE VIII. - ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES.

ON THE HISTOEY OP THE ALLIANCES. (18131814.)

Introduction After the battle of Bautzen to the war manifesto of Austria- Journey to Gitschin Meeting with Nesselrode Napoleon's attempt to enter into direct negotiations with the two belligerent monarchs Meet- ing of Metternich with the Emperor Alexander in Opocno Invitation of Bassano to an interview of Metternich with Napoleon in Dresden Regu- lation of the institutions for the Austrian army Metternich's departure for Dresden Famous conversation with Napoleon himself Character of Maret Question of lengthening the truce Second conversation of Metternich with Napoleon in the Marcolini Garden Convention of June 30 Return to Gitschin Conference in Prague War manifesto War breaks out Stipulations of Teplitz Administration of the con- quered German territory The King of Saxony in Leipzig Residence in Frankfort Residence in Freiburg and Basle Residence in Langres Congress of Chatillon Council of war in Bar-sur-Aube Residence in Dijon Arrival in Paris Entry of Louis XVIII. into Paris, and the condition of France after the return of the Bourbons.

INTRODUCTION.

SINCE we intend the present work for publication, we feel bound to say something on the object we have in view. One of the most important epochs of our time was in- disputably that in which the overthrow of the French Empire and the return of the house of Bourbon to its old inheritance took place.

Many particulars of this enormous revolution have been given in various Memoirs. Its true history is not yet written, and although we make no pretension to take this severe task upon ourselves, we cannot banish the feeling that the true history of this epoch can never


172 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

be set forth with exactitude without the help of the materials given in the present work.

This conviction does not rest on any personal con- siderations ; and to show on what it is founded we only need to mention the following circumstances.

History is built up of two distinct parts. One of these, the public or notorious part, consists of facts. The other part is that which is secret. It consists of the negotiations between the Courts, and includes the mo- tives and causes of events. The first part, which we call secret, sooner or later loses this peculiarity. The official and confidential communications remain in the archives, and the day comes when they are picked up out of the dust.

This, however, cannot be the case with the history of the Alliance in the years 1813, 1814, and 1815.

By a coincidence which was not only singular at the time, but without example in the annals of history, the chief personages in the great drama found themselves together in the very same place. The Emperors of Austria and of Eussia, the King of Prussia, and their three cabinets, were really never separated. The leader of the English cabinet had also generally been with his colleagues of Austria, Eussia, and Prussia. At the Con- gress of Vienna most of the Princes who now form the German Confederation were also present at the nego- tiations. Since, therefore, the European potentates and their ministers were in the same place, the forms of diplomatic business had to adapt themselves to circum- stances. The most difficult affairs, and the arrangements most complicated in their nature, were, so to speak, negotiated from one room to another ; no sending of couriers, no written negotiations, no medium between the Courts : all these tilings, so necessary in ordinary


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 173

times, had disappeared. Many a business which under any other circumstances would have required a long time for arrangement was concluded in the course of a forenoon. This state of things had two results : the first and the happiest was the success of the vast undertakings ; the second, and it may be lamented, was this, that now the courts concerned are without any written accounts of the course of the most im- portant negotiations.

Necessity always produces new forms. So it was with those observed by the cabinets during their meet- ings at the negotiations. The most important affairs were always discussed in confidential conversations be- tween the three monarchs, as well as between the heads of the cabinets. Only when the matter had reached a certain stage of ripeness did the ministers come to- gether for regular conferences, carried on with Protocols. A mere glance at these Protocols suffices to show that they contain no discussions. Where they are anything more than the mere formula of the point agreed upon, they give single statements, which show the shades of meaning in the opinions of the different persons who joined in them : shades which, however, never stood in the way of a general conclusion. Two new forms in diplomacy date from this time : that of giving Memoirs, as additions to the Protocols, and that of simple Proto- cols, with the form and value of proper conventions. It is to be wished that this mode had been retained, for it undoubtedly affords the greatest ease, and is on that very account the most suitable for the handling of great political affairs.

While asserting the fact that the diplomatic archives of the courts most concerned contain no documents relating to some of the most important negotiations


174 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

of the years 1813, 1814, and 1815, we must except those of England and France at the time of the Vienna Congress. Lord Castlereagh and the Plenipotentiaries of England and France have constantly corresponded with their Governments.

It is therefore with the conviction that it will be otherwise almost impossible that the history of this extremely important period should be based on sure foundations, that we have determined to put together the present materials ; but we have also been influenced by another feeling, and this we will confess with the utmost candour.

Fewmonarchs have conferred more honour on their throne than the Emperor Francis. His people knew his value as a man. A true father to his subjects, uniting in himself all the virtues of private life, he was not honoured so much as he ought to have been by many of his contemporaries in regard to the qualities which distinguished him as a sovereign. Of pure morals and simple manners, averse to every kind of parade, he disdained even the distinctions which dazzle the crowd and often make Princes appear what they are not. In everything loving and seeking only the truth, firm in his principles and just in his opinions, this Monarch nevertheless often played what seemed to his contem- poraries a subordinate part, exactly at those times when the extraordinary results were due only to his energy, his determination, and his virtues. The materials which we shall leave to an impartial posterity will not contra- dict this assertion.

It remains to us, however unwilling we may be, to say a word with regard to ourselves. The part which we have personally played in the events of our time has not been by our own choice, but imposed by a feel-


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 175

ing of duty. Free from every ambition, but that of honestly fulfilling the tasks which, owing to a variety of circumstances, were laid upon us even from the very commencement of our ministry, we have never left the path which seemed to us to be the right one. Unmoved by the errors of our time errors which always lead society to the abyss we have had the happiness in a time full of dangers to serve the cause of peace and the welfare of nations, which never will be advanced by political revolutions.

In the reports and lampoons of the time, a certain significance has been always attached to our name, in which we have not been able to recognise ourselves. It belongs to posterity to judge us according to our deeds ; and in order to put it in a position to perform this im- portant office, we have thought proper to give here the true grounds on which a right judgment can be formed.

At the moment when we write these lines (1829) the historian is not yet born who will describe the numerous events of the first ten years of the nineteenth century. Contemporaries cannot reasonably do more than collect materials for those who, at a subsequent period, will be called upon to write the true history of the past with that calmness and impartiality which are always wanting to those who have taken an active part in the events.

We ascribe, therefore, to our undertaking no other value than that of a collection of materials for the history of a certain portion of our time.

We have still to mention the plan of our work.

It is, as we said, not the history of the years 1813, 1814, and 1815 which we undertake to write, nor even regular Memoirs. We wish nothing more than to indi- cate, with unvarnished truth, the great causes and


176 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

motives of the events. We desire to trace back known facts to their true causes, and to show the connecting links which are necessary for the right understanding of events. We shall be quite content if we can attain this object.


After the Battle of Bautzen till the Austrian War Manifesto, 1813.

On May 29th, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I received a courier from Dresden, who brought me the news of the loss of the battle at Bautzen. I went immediately to Laxenburg, where the Emperor was staying. I had made my choice. The point was this to prevent Napoleon's onward march, and to remove all uncertainty as to the decision of the Emperor from the minds of the Emperor Alexander and King Frederick William. The Eussian army was much demoralised ; it had but one wish to get back into its own territory. The Emperor Alexander had indeed resolved to carry on the war ; but the will of the army might at last have got the better of his intentions. The Allied armies had decided to retreat towards Silesia. This manoeuvre, well-planned from a military point of view, clearly showed the intention of the Emperor Alexander, who desired to drive Austria into a corner and oblige her to join the Alliance. If Austria showed that she was not inclined to take part in the war against Napoleon, this would ^ive the Eussian monarch the excuse to cross

D

the Warta, and conclude the war.

The head-quarters of Prince Schwarzenberg were then in Prague, while his army was beginning to assemble round that city : the advanced posts occupied the dis-


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 177

tricts of Saaz and Leitmeritz. Count Bubna had arrived at Napoleon's head-quarters.

I was convinced that if we joined in the war without having assembled sufficient forces to be able to keep the field, independently of the ill-organised and demo- ralised Russian army, and of the Prussian army, which existed only in name, everything would be staked upon the loss of one single battle. It was necessary, there- fore, to prevent Napoleon from carrying out his usual system of leaving an army of observation before the Allied armies, and himself turning to Bohemia to deal a great blow at us, the effect of which it would be impos- sible to foresee in the present depressed state of the great majority of our men.

I proposed to the Emperor that he should go in a few days to a point almost exactly between Dresden and the head-quarters of the Allied monarchs. We looked out on the map for such a place, and Gitschin seemed to us the right spot. His Majesty decided to start the next day but one, while I immediately despatched couriers to Dresden and Silesia. The first conveyed instructions to Count Bubna to press on Napoleon the acceptation of the mediation of Austria, which had been offered to him. The other carried the news that the Emperor would shortly join the army. It seemed to me that these measures, or rather the mere fact of the Emperor's arrival at head-quarters, must exercise a decisive effect ; and it was so.

The Emperor left Vienna with a very small retinue on June 1, at five o'clock in the morning. (64) The day after, near Czaslau, we met Count Nesselrode, who had been sent by the Emperor Alexander in order to urge Austria to a rapid decision. He brought me a copy of the truce concluded at Poischewitz. VOL. i. N


178 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

The Emperor Francis despatched Count Nesselrode with the following short instructions : ' Go back, and tell the Emperor, your master, and the King of Prussia, that you met me on my way to the head-quarters of my army in Bohemia. I beg the Emperor to choose a point on the frontiers of Bohemia and Silesia, to which I can send my Minister for Foreign Affairs, in order to make him fully acquainted with my decision.'

Through Count Bubna proposals of mediation had been sent to Dresden. <65) Napoleon, in the hope of being again able to beat the Eusso-Prussian army, and reckon- ing on the effect which a fresh defeat must produce on the two monarchs and their armies, as well as on Aus- tria, had received the proposals of our Ambassador coldly and proudly. It was to be expected, therefore, that after the victory of Bautzen he would be more in- clined to enter "into negotiations ; and this was actually the case when he, according to his usual system, put him- self into direct communication with the Allied monarchs.

Adjutant Flahault was despatched to the spot as Commissary of Demarcation ; and Napoleon could count on his implicit devotion. He had flattered himself that lie could influence the Emperor Alexander both by the choice of the negotiator (Caulaincourt) and by the power which he imagined he continued to exercise over the mind of this monarch. He deceived him- self. The attempt had no other result but to let the monarchs perceive that Napoleon was striving once more to strengthen his tottering position by means of deceitful negotiations, in which he sought only to pre- vent the formation of a Quadruple Alliance, and gain the necessary time to, replace the men he had lost by the forced marches of his army, and by the battles of Liitzen and Bautzen. The Emperor Alexander and King Fred-


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18181814. 179

erick William informed the Emperor Francis of their firm determination not to entertain the proposals for a negotiation ; at the same time they expressed to his Majesty their thorough confidence in his loyalty and enlightened principles.

On June 3, we reached Gitschin. I at once ac- quainted the Duke of Bassano of the arrival of the Emperor at head-quarters. At the same time I de- manded a personal interview, to inform him that his Majesty had quite determined to give the proposals for a mediation the necessary authority. I was convinced that the answer of the French minister would be an evasive one ; and this was the case. I, however, needed such a refusal as a suitable pretext for a meeting with the Emperor Alexander, which I begged for on the very same day that I received the answer from Bassano. Opocno was the place chosen for the rendezvous ; I had chosen it on account of its proximity to the frontier, and being so retired a spot. In order not to be there at the same time, the Emperor Francis pretended to have business in Gitschin. June 16 I started, and arrived the following day at Opocno, where 1 found the Em- peror Alexander, who had already been there for some hours. The Grand-Duchess Katharine, the Emperor Alexander's sister, who at this time was staying in Prague, had also arrived. In attendance on the Em- peror Alexander was Count Nesselrode and several adjutants. Count Stadion and Herr von Lebzeltern, in consequence of the instructions they had received, had already repaired thither.

I went immediately to the Emperor Alexander. From the communication I had already had with Count Nes- selrode in Czaslau, I was generally acquainted with that monarch's feelings both about the affairs and with

"N 2


180 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

regard to myself. I had learned to know the Emperor Alexander during the Berlin negotiations of 1805, and at that time he showed me many attentions. By his express desire I was to have gone to St. Petersburg as Am- bassador in the year 1806. The relations which I had with his ambassador in Paris in the years 1807 and 1808 confirmed his former inclination for me ; and not till Count Eomanzow went to Paris, in consequence of the Erfurt conferences, was there any estrangement between the Emperor Alexander and myself, when it arose from the views of that minister being at variance with mine. The marriage of the Archduchess Marie Louise, and the absolutely necessary refusal of the Austrian Cabinet to enter into a secret treaty with Eussia in the year 1811, did the rest. The Emperor Alexander did not allow of any graduations in the behaviour of another, because he knew none in his own political conduct, as he was always going backwards and forwards from one extreme to another, in the most opposite directions; he therefore suspected me of being altogether on the side of France, and of nourishing great prejudices against Eussia. At this first meeting, then, I had to be prepared to combat the personal bias, always so powerful with the Emperor, as well as all the difficulties presented by the political and military attitude of Austria.

I went to meet the Emperor with the greatest frankness. I did not at once attack his prejudices, but made no secret of my conviction that the only sheet- anchor for the Allies lay in an unbounded confidence in that Power which, without a thorough knowledge of the character of the Emperor Francis, as well as of the principles and projects of his cabinet, might easily be suspected. I assured him, at the same time, that nothing could turn us aside from the position which we


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 181

had taken up for the good of Europe, whose preserver we desired to be.

The Emperor Alexander begged me not to doubt his confidence, but said that he could only see the ruin of the cause in every measure which did not there and then proclaim the true intention of Austria.

As I could not and would not give up the project in which alone I saw safety, I explained to the Emperor that I was ready to lay the whole plan before him, but must not raise any false hope that we could ever give it up, or even make any substantial change in it. I in- sisted on the absolute necessity of the mediation of Austria, the formal acknowledgment of which I desired to obtain from him.

' What will become of our cause ? ' asked the Em- peror, ' if Napoleon accepts the mediation ? '

' If he declines,' I answered, ' the truce will come to an end, and you will find us among the number of your allies ; if he accepts, the negotiations will most cer- tainly show Napoleon to be neither wise nor just, and then the result will be the same. In any case, we shall have gained the necessary time to bring our armies into such positions that we need not again fear a sepa- rate attack on any one of them, and from which, we may ourselves take the offensive.'

This first conversation lasted over two hours, and we separated without coming to any conclusion. How- ever, a short time afterwards, I had a proof that the Emperor could no longer shut out from himself the clear facts, though his natural distrust had not yet quite disappeared. The next day I succeeded in gaining him entirely over to the project which I had advised. I asked him to send an able officer to Prince Schwarzen- berg, at head-quarters, which from this time were


182 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

to be with the Emperor Francis., This officer should be commissioned to inform us of the condition and position of the Allied armies. At the same time, he was to be under the orders of the commander-in-chief, and to co-operate with him in the plan of operations with reference to the alternatives before mentioned.

The Emperor Alexander seemed exceedingly well pleased : he considered this to be a guarantee of our intentions. The good spirit which Count Nesselrode constantly showed in the management of his depart- ment, and the support given by Prince Wolkonski, one of the Emperor Alexander's staff, and Count Tolstoy, greatly facilitated the attainment of my object. Tolstoy, at that time, had the ear of his master, and indulged in a freedom of speech which subsequently brought him into disfavour. On June 20 I parted from the Emperor Alexander, who was quite pleased with our prospects, and able to look calmly at the chances for the future. (66)

To enliven the Emperor Alexander's leisure, two cavalry regiments had been brought to Opocno, which were manoeuvred by his Majesty during the two days for which the Emperor prolonged his stay after my departure.

I went straight back to Gitschin, where I found a very pressing invitation from the Duke of Bassano to go to Dresden. Napoleon had heard of my meeting with the Emperor Alexander, and from that moment desired to arrange one for himself. This step, which I had foreseen, was a proof to me that Napoleon did not feel strong enough to break with us openly. I begged the Emperor to allow me to accept the in- vitation ; and immediately informed the Eusso-Prussian cabinet assembled at Keichenbach, in Silesia, of the


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 183

matter. I saw on their side much dejection. In my position, the strongest which ever a minister took, I was only anxious to convince the two cabinets that the future welfare of Europe depended on the line of con- duct followed by Austria. Since, in the course of my official career, I have never derived support except from the resources of my country and the strength of mind and firm principles of the Emperor Francis, I was far from fearing the great responsibility heaped upon me by an attitude which has ended in raising our position, and in the triumph of the common cause.

The Emperor arranged with Prince Schwarzenberg and myself all that could accelerate the marching and arrival of our troops. His Majesty issued the most vigorous orders. Great as was this monarch's constant care for his provinces, such a consideration had now no place in his reckoning. His thoughts were fixed only on the great work that was laid upon him. It con- cerned the salvation of the world, and in this enormous benefit his people would find their compensation. All supplies which were likely to fall into the hands of the enemy were removed from the theatre of war ; the most suitable places were fortified ; the lines of Prague were closed, for this place was intended for a fortress. They began to lay tetes de pont on the Elbe and Moldau ; enormous magazines were established for the use of the Austrian and Allied armies, which were to be summoned to Bohemia ; a general conscription was begun of provisions and everything else that could be made useful in the war. The spirit of the people answered the expectations of the monarch ; it rose as they gained confidence in the measures of the Govern- ment. The east and north part of Bohemia had now the appearance of a great camp.


184 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

I travelled from Gitschin on June 24, arrived the next day at Dresden, and went to Count Bubna. Napo- leon was just then absent from Dresden, and returned in the evening of the day of my arrival. I therefore did not receive Napoleon's invitation to go to him till the next day, the 26th. His head-quarters were at the Marcolini Garden, near the Elster meadows. He had not the courage to live in the town ; more than twenty thousand men of his troops were assembled in Fried- richstadt, and about this suburb.

The position of Napoleon with regard to the army and the French people was at that time a very critical one. The nation, formerly split up into several different parties, had now only two the party of the Revolu- tionists and the party of the Bourbon Royalists. The first of these consisted of the immense number of indi- viduals whose fate was bound up with the Government, or who relied on it for their positions, their professions, or their property, which was mostly derived from the nation. The first party lamented the precarious posi- tion in which Napoleon's love of conquest had placed their interests ; the latter, not yet daring to raise their heads, waited with anxiety to see the result of the new campaign, for which the nation had just made new and enormous efforts.

The French army sighed for peace. The generals, without exception, had little confidence in the issue of a war which was more than unequal when the Russians and Prussians entered into the new alliance. The hatred of the German races could hardly be longer restrained by the efforts of the Governments of the Confederation of the Rhine, and when the attitude of this Government itself began to be somewhat equivocal, Europe looked all the more anxiously at Austria.


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 185

The appearance of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs at Napoleon's head-quarters could, under such circumstances, only be regarded by the leaders of the French army as decisive in its results. I was received in Dresden with this feeling. It would be difficult to describe the expression of painful anxiety shown on the faces of the crowd of men in uniform, who were as- sembled in the waiting-rooms of the Emperor. The Prince of Neufch&tel (Berthier) said to me in a low voice, ' Do not forget that Europe requires peace, and especially France, which will have nothing but peace.' Not seeing myself called upon to answer this, I at once entered the Emperor's reception-room.

Napoleon waited for me, standing in the middle of the room with his sword at his side and his hat under his arm. He came up to me in a studied manner, and inquired after the health of the Emperor. His counte- nance then soon clouded over, and he spoke, standing in front of me, as follows :

' So you, too, want war ; well, you shall have it. I have annihilated the Prussian army at Llitzen ; I have beaten the Eussians at Bautzen ; now you wish your turn to come. Be it so ; the rendezvous shall be in Vienna. Men are incorrigible : experience is lost upon you. Three times have I replaced the Emperor Francis on his throne. I have promised always to live in peace with him ; I have married his daughter. At the time I said to myself you are perpetrating a folly ; but it was done, and to-day I repent of it ! '

This introduction doubled my feeling of the strength of my position. I felt myself, at this crisis, the repre- sentative of all European society. If I may say so Napoleon seemed to me small !

' Peace and war,' I answered, ' lie in your Majesty's


186 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR

hands. The Emperor, my master, has duties to fulfil, before which all other considerations fall into the back- ground. The fate of Europe, her future and yours, all lie in your hands. Between Europe and the aims you have hitherto pursued there is absolute contradiction. The world requires peace. In order to secure this peace, you must reduce your power within bounds compatible with the general tranquillity, or you will fall in the con- test. To-day you can yet conclude peace ; to-morrow it may be too late. The Emperor, my master, in these negotiations is only guided by the voice of conscience ; it is for you, Sire, now to take counsel of yours.'

' Well now, what do they want me to do ? ' said Napoleon, sharply ; * do they want me to degrade my- self? Never ! I shall know how to die ; but I shall not yield one handbreadth of soil. Your sovereigns, born to the throne, may be beaten twenty times, and still go back to their palaces ; that cannot I the child of fortune ; my reign will not outlast the day when I have ceased to be strong, and therefore to be feared. I have committed one great fault in forgetting what this army has cost me the most splendid army that ever existed. I may defy man, but not the elements ; the cold has ruined me. In one night I lost thirty thousand horses. I have lost everything, except honour and the consciousness of what I owe to a, brave people who, after such enormous misfortunes^ have given me fresh proofs of their devotion and their conviction that I alone can rule them. I have- made up for the losses of the past year ; only look at the army, after the battles I have just won ! I will hold a review before you!'

'And it is that very army,' I answered, 'which desires peace ! '


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 1ST

' Not the army,' interrupted Napoleon, hastily. ' No ! my generals wish for peace. I have no more generals. The cold of Moscow has demoralised them. I have seen the boldest cry like children. They were physically and morally broken. A fortnight ago I might have concluded peace ; to-day I can do so no longer. I have won two fights, I shall not conclude peace.'

' In all that your Majesty has just said to me,' I re- marked, ' I see a fresh proof that Europe and your Majesty cannot come to an understanding. Your peace is never more than a truce. Misfortune, like success, hurries you to war. The moment has arrived when you and Europe both throw down the gauntlet ; you will take it up you and Europe ; and it will not be Europe that will be defeated.'

' You think to conquer me by a coalition, then,' continued Napoleon ; ' but how many are there of you Allies four, five, six, twenty ? The more you are, so much the better for me. I take up the challenge. But I can assure you,' he continued, with a forced laugh, ' that in next October we shall meet in Vienna ; then it will be seen what has become of your good friends, the Eussians and Prussians. Do you count on Germany? See what it did in the year 1809 ! To hold the people there in check, my soldiers are sufficient ; and for the faith of the princes, my security is the fear they have of you. Declare your neutrality, and hold to it, then I will consent to the negotiations in Prague. Will you have an armed neutrality ? Be it so ! Send three hundred thousand men to Bohemia ; the word of the Emperor is sufficient, that he will not make war against me, before the negotiation is ended.'

' The Emperor,' answered I, ' has offered the Powers


188 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

his mediation, not his neutrality. Russia and Prussia have accepted the mediation : it is for you. to declare yourself to-day. If you will accept what I have just proposed, we will fix a time for the duration of the negotiations. If you refuse it, the Emperor, my gra- cious master, will consider himself free to make what decisions and take up what attitude he chooses. The situation is critical.: the army must live ; very soon there will be two hundred and fifty thousand men in Bohemia ; they may stay there a few weeks, but they cannot remain for months in quarters.' *

Here Napoleon again interrupted me, to go into a long digression on the possible strength of our army. According to hie calculation, we could at the most send seventy-five thousand men to take the field in Bohemia. He based these calculations on the normal condition of the population of the country, on the supposed losses in the last wars, and on our rules for conscription. I expressed my astonishment at the incorrectness of the information he had obtained, when it would have been so easy for him to obtain fuller and more correct statistics.

' I will pledge myself,' I declared to him, ' to give you an exact list of your battalions ; and should your Majesty not be as well informed on the strength of the Austrian army ? '

'I am so ; ' said Napoleon, ' I possess most minute information respecting the army, and am certain I do not deceive myself as to its effectiveness. M. de Nar- bonne,' he continued, ' sent a number of spies into the field, and his information includes the very drummers of your army my head-quarters have done the same ; but I know better than anyone the value to be placed on such information. My calculations rest on mathe-


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 189

matical grounds, and are therefore reliable ; in fact, no one has more than he can have.' *

Napoleon took me into his study, and showed me the lists of our forces as they were daily sent to him. We examined this with great particularity, and almost regiment for regiment. Our discussion on this subject lasted more than an hour.

On returning into the reception-room, he did not speak again on political subjects, and I might have thought that he wished to draw my attention a,way from the object of my mission, if a former experience had not taught me that such digressions were natural to him. He spoke of the whole of his operations in Eussia, and expatiated at length and with the pettiest details about his last return to France. It was clear to me from all this that he was constantly endeavour- ing to show that his defeat of 1812 was entirely owing to the time of year, and that his moral position in France had never been firmer than it was in conse- quence of this same event. ' It was a hard test,' he said to me, ' but I have stood it perfectly well.'

After I had listened to him for more than half an hour, I interrupted him with the remark, that in what he had just told me I saw strong proof of the necessity of putting an end to so uncertain a fate. ' Fortune,' I said, ' may play you false a second time, as it did in 1812. In ordinary times armies are formed of only a small part of the population, to-day it is the whole people that you have called to arms. Is not your present army anticipated by a generation ? I have seen your soldiers : they are mere children.

  • Tlie number of Napoleon's illusions since the commencement of the last

campaign, with respect to the forces of his adversaries, is a most remarkable circumstance, and one which can be corroborated by more than one proof.


190 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Your Majesty has the feeling that you are absolutely necessary to the nation : but is not the nation also necessary to you? And if this juvenile army that you levied but yesterday should be swept away, what then?'

When Napoleon heard these words he was over- come with rage, he turned pale, and his features were distorted. ' You are no soldier,' said he, ' and you do not know what goes on in the mind of a soldier. I was brought up in the field, and a man such as I am does not concern himself much about the lives of a million of men.' * With this exclamation he threw his hat, which he had held in his hand, into the corner of the room. I remained quite quiet, leaning against the edge of a console between the two windows, and said, deeply moved by what I had just heard, ' Why have you chosen to say this to me within these four walls ; open the doors, and let your words sound from one end of France to the other. The cause which I represent will not lose thereby.'

Napoleon recovered himself, and with calmer tones said to me the following words, no less remarkable than the former : ' The French cannot complain of me ; to spare them, I have sacrificed the Germans and the Poles. I have lost in the campaign of Moscow three hundred thousand men, and there were not more than thirty thousand Frenchmen among them.'

4 You forget, sire,' I exclaimed, ' that you are speak- ing to a German.'

Napoleon walked up and down the room, and at the second turn he picked up his hat from the floor. Then he began to speak of his marriage. ' So I have

  • I do not dare to make use here of the much worse expressions employed

by Napoleon.


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 191

perpetrated a very stupid piece of folly in marrying an Archduchess of Austria.'

' Since your Majesty desires to know my opinion,' I answered, ' I will candidly say that Napoleon the conqueror made a mistake.'

' The Emperor Francis will then dethrone his daugh- ter?'

' The Emperor,' I replied, ' knows nothing but his duty, and he will fulfil it. Whatever the fate of his daughter may be, the Emperor "Francis is in the first place a monarch, and the interests of his people will always take the first place in his calculations.'

' Well,' interrupted Napoleon, * what you say does not astonish me : everything confirms my idea that I have made an inexcusable mistake. When I married an Archduchess I tried to weld the new with the old, Gothic prejudices with the institutions of my century : I deceived myself, and I, this day, feel the whole extent of my error. It may cost me my throne, but I will bury the world beneath its ruins.'

The conversation had lasted till half-past eight o'clock in the evening. It was already quite dark. No one had ventured to come into the room. Not one pause of silence interrupted this animated discussion, in which I can count no less than six moments in which my words had the weight of a formal declaration of war. I have no intention of reproducing here all that Napoleon said during this long interview. I have only dwelt upon the most striking points in it which bear directly on the object of my mission. We wandered far away from it twenty times ; * those who have known

  • The account of his campaign of 1812 alone took up several hours of our

conversation ; many other things quite foreign to the object of my mission occupied his attention for a long time.


192 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Napoleon, and transacted business with him, will not be surprised at that.

When Napoleon dismissed me, his tone had be- come calm and quiet. I could no longer distinguish his features. He accompanied me to the door of the reception-room. Holding the handle of the fold- ing-door, he said to me, ' We shall see one another again ! '

' At your pleasure, Sire,' was my answer, ' but I have no hope of attaining the object of my mission.'

' Well, now,' said Napoleon, touching me on the shoulder, ' do you know what will happen ? You will not make war on me ? '

' You are lost, Sire,' I said, quickly ; * I had the pre- sentiment of it when I came ; now, in going, I have the certainty.'

In the anterooms I found the same generals whom I had seen on entering. They crowded round me to read in my face the impression of the nearly nine hours' con- versation. I did not stop, and I do not think I satisfied their curiosity.

Berthier accompanied me to my carriage. He seized a moment when no one was near to ask me whether I had been satisfied with the Emperor. 'Yes,' 1 answered, ' he has explained everything to me ; it is all over with the man.' (67)

I heard afterwards that the same evening, at bed- time, Napoleon said to some one about him, * I have had a long conversation with Metternich. He held out bravely ; thirteen times did I throw him the gauntlet, and thirteen times did he pick it up. But the glove will remain in my hands at last.' I have every reason to believe that none of those about him were satisfied with this speech. Napoleon's most devoted courtiers


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 193

began to doubt his infallibility. In their eyes, as in the eyes of Europe, his star began to pale.

One man only could not break away from the greatest devotion and fascination which perhaps history has ever portrayed : that man was Maret (Duke of Bas- sano),who continued to live in an ideal region which he himself had made, and of which the genius of Napoleon was the centre ; the world has very greatly to thank him for its deliverance. At that time he was detested in the army. The incomprehensible operation of Napo- leon against Moscow had enabled him to assume a mili- tary position ; all the reports of the heads of the differ- ent corps d'armee which were cut off from direct com- munication with the Emperor were sent to him. The help he was able to give them was not to be despised. He disposed of all the material resources of Lithuania, and the remains of those of the Grand-Duchy of War- saw. It was less a question of fighting than of sustain- ing life ; from this time Maret believed himself almighty, and thought his position could only be made greater by the genius of his leader. I had no difficulty in disco- vering this when I had a conversation with him the day after my long interview with Napoleon. I found him in my drawing-room at eight o'clock in the morning, waiting for me. When I saw that he only thought of paraphrasing Napoleon's words, I contented myself with telling him how that I was about to send him an official note with the proposal for the Austrian Me- diation, and informed him that my time was precious, my departure to Bohemia having been fixed for the next day but one.

I had left the head-quarters at the moment when our different army corps were busy assembling. The flower of the Austrian army numbered, in arms of

VOL. i.


194 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

all descriptions hardly men. I wished to

ascertain a certain point which would greatly affect the issue of the war ; my conversation with Napoleon himself had raised the doubt in my mind whether it would not be desirable to gain some weeks' delay, in order to bring our ordre de bataille to its greatest pos- sible completeness. Before the night was over, I des- patched a -courier to Prince Schwarzenberg with the two following questions :

' "V^ould a prolongation of the armistice between the French and the Allies be useful for the purpose I have just hinted at?'

' What would be the most useful and consequently the only allowable extreme length of such a prolonga- tion?'

I begged the Prince to give me an immediate and decisive answer, and allowed six-and-thirty hours for the return of the courier. The adjutant whom I had sent came back, in two-and-thirty hours, with a letter from Prince Schwarzenberg, containing only the few words, ' My army would in twenty days add to its strength seventy-five thousand men : I should consider the possibility of obtaining this extension a happy cir- cumstance, the twenty-first day would be a burden to me.'

From this moment my efforts were all to obtain the twenty days. It was not an easy matter, for Napoleon must have been making very much the same calcula- tion as ourselves. How were two suspicious monarchs to be brought to accept this delay : one of whom knew his very existence to be bound up in Austria's decision, and the other of whom was obliged to strike some great

D t>

blow in order to keep his dissatisfied and beaten army in obedience ; and how, finally, should the impossibility


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 195

in which the Kusso-Prussian army was placed be overcome, of living in a province stripped of everything, and how were the wants of this army to be supplied from the resources of Bohemia and Moravia without our being exposed to the danger that Napoleon would ter- minate the whole affair by a sudden attack on Bohemia, or demand of us that we should come to the help of Saxony, which was still more exhausted than Silesia? I put these difficulties distinctly before me, and I sought and found the means to remove them.

The three days following the conversation with Napoleon I was in constant communication with the French Emperor, the Duke of Bassano, the marshals and the generals. In our conversations Napoleon did not again approach the object of my mission, but referred me to Bassano, who again declared himself without instructions, and recommended me to wait patiently ; while the heads of the army expressed themselves more urgently and more anxiously in favour of peace.

In the evening of the last day of my stay in Dresden, I received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs a written Projet d* arrangement, which had nothing in common with my demands, and which, therefore, I immediately answered by saying that I should start from Dresden without delay.

I fixed my departure for seven o'clock the next morning, and ordered the post-horses for that hour. A few minutes before the time I received a note from Bas- sano, which only contained the intimation that the Em- peror wished to speak with me before my departure, and that he would receive me at eight o'clock in my travelling dress.

I had the horses taken out of my travelling carriage, and gave notice that the time of my departure was post-

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ported, and I repaired at the appointed hour to the Mar- colini Garden, where I met Napoleon walking. Here a conversation took place which it is hardly possible to describe. Napoleon's first words were : ' So you are pretending to be offended what for ? ' I answered shortly that my duty required me not to lose useless time in Dresden.

Napoleon then went over the text of the Projet d 'arrangement, which had been sent me by his minister, and concluded by rejecting it. ' Perhaps we shall under- stand one another better, you and I come into my room, and let us come to some agreement.'

When we had got into his private room, Napoleon asked me whether there would be any objection to the presence of Bassano ; in a negotiation there should be a Protocol writer, and this part should be entrusted to his minister. He rang the bell and sent for the Duke of Bassano, who soon appeared.

We sat down at a little table, on which the minister had placed the necessary writing materials. ' Formulate the articles,' said Napoleon to me, ' as you wish them to be.'

I limited my demands to the following declarations, in a few words :

1. The Emperor of the French accepts the armed mediation of the Emperor of Austria.

2. The Plenipotentiaries of the belligerent Powers will meet the mediating Court at a Conference to be held at Prague on the tenth of July.

3. The tenth of August shall be fixed as the last day of the negotiations.

4. All warlike operations to be discontinued till that day.

After this statement of my demands, Napoleon said :


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 197

' Put the articles upon paper ; I will add my ap- proval.'

Never, surely, was so great a business settled in so short a time !

After Bassano and I had signed the act, and Napo- leon had confirmed and accepted it by countersigning it, he said to me : ' He who wills a thing must also will the means to bring it about. In respect of the fourth article only, there is a little difficulty to be removed. My truce with the Russians and Prussians ends in the middle of July ; it must therefore be prolonged to the 10th of August, a day of ominous import. Can you take it on yourself to prolong the existing truce ? ' .

I replied that I had no power to do this ; but that I was prepared, on the part of the two allied monarchs, under the pressure of circumstances, to guarantee the prolongation of the truce ; upon this condition, I ex- pressed myself in the following terms :

' In order to maintain the armed territorial neutrality, the Emperor Francis has prohibited the exportation of all provisions from Bohemia and Moravia since the cam- paign of 1813. The Eussian and Prussian forces so closely concentrated in Upper Silesia cannot maintain their present position beyond the existing truce (July 20), unless the necessary help be granted to enable them to meet the prolongation. But we have just heard the declaration from your Majesty that " he who wills a thing must also will the means to bring it about." For the Emperor of Austria the means exist only and solely in the removal of the prohibition which applies to the exportation of provisions in Silesia as well as on the Saxon frontier. Will your Majesty give me the assurance that the removing of the prohibition on the Silesian, Bohemian, and Moravian frontiers


198 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

will not be considered as a breach of the Austrian neutrality ? '

' Without the least hesitation ! ' answered the Em- peror.

An hour after this last conversation I left Dresden.

After my return to Gitschin (July 1) all necessary arrangements were made for the commissariat of the Eussian and Prussian forces in Silesia, and for the rein- forcement of our own forces in Bohemia, for which purpose it was necessary to include the army then on the Polish frontiers. At the same time Poniatowsky demanded a passage through the Austrian neutral terri- tory, in the direction of Saxony. The Emperor granted this demand. I, for my part, made preparations for the meeting of the Plenipotentiaries of the belligerent Powers in Prague, under the mediation of Austria ; and the Emperor left the head-quarters and went to Brandeis, to be near the place where the negotiations were to be carried on.

The Plenipotentiaries of Eussia and Prussia made their appearance in Prague at the appointed hour. Count Narbonne, French Ambassador at the Imperial court, who had been appointed second Plenipotentiary to Napoleon, had also arrived punctually. The Duke of Vicenza (Caulaincourt), Napoleon's first Plenipotentiary, was the only one behind his time. When he appeared, after the hour appointed for opening the negotiations, he came up to me at once. On my request that he would hand me his credentials, he explained that he awaited their arrival, but was nevertheless ready to take part in the conferences. I answered him that I should not open the conference before the delivery of the credentials. He begged me not to insist upon this mere formality. I replied again, that I could not do this ;


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814.

on the contrary, I considered it my duty to avoid every meeting which could have the appearance of a confer- ence till the arrival of the credentials of the French Plenipotentiaries. ' The Emperor, your master,' I said to him, ' knows too well the necessary formalities, to have neglected to furnish his Plenipotentiaries with their cre- dentials unintentionally.' Caulaincourt persisted that it was not so, and could not be so. ' The Emperor would not,' he said, ' have chosen me to carry out any under- hand proceeding. He knows that I should never have accepted a mission under such auspices.' I explained again the firm determination of myself and the other Plenipotentiaries not to enter on any conferences with- out the strict observation of diplomatic forms ; all the less since there were still differences between the Allied courts and Napoleon with regard to the kind of the negotiations which they should adopt. Only a fortnight remained open until August 10, which was fixed as the last day for the negotiations. They passed without the letters for the French Plenipotentiaries arriving, and therefore without any approach to the subjects about which the negotiation was to have been held.

I had the passports prepared for Count Narbonne in his capacity of Ambassador at the Imperial court, and I put the finishing touch to the Emperor's war mani- festo. These documents I despatched as the clock struck twelve on the night of August 10. Then I had the beacons lighted, which had been prepared from Prague to the Silesian frontier, as a sign of the breach of the negotiations, and the right of the Allied armies to cross the Silesian frontier.

In the course of the morning of August 12 a courier from Dresden arrived at Prague, who brought the let- ters to the French Plenipotentiaries. The Duke of


200 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Vicenza and Count Narbonne then came to me. I told them it would be no longer possible to make use of these letters ; the die was cast, and the fate of Europe was once more left to the decision of arms.

But this time the cards were mixed differently, and events proved that fortune and chance had their limits.

Stipulations of Teplitz.

The attitude to be taken by Austria was clearly shown when the last prospect of a peaceful under- standing between the Powers vanished. The mediation, which was like a bridge from one bank of a stream to the other, whether the bank to be attained was peace or war, was at an end, and that not by the fault of the mediating Power, nor of the Powers at war with Napoleon. Our proper place was, therefore, on the side of the Allies. To take this position rightly the basis of an enlarged alliance must be first arranged.

I will here give in a few words the views and feelings which the Emperor and I, in the most perfect harmony, laid down as invariable rules for our guidance in the immediate as well as the more remote future.

The object we must keep before us was the re- establishment of a state of peace, firmly based on the principles of order. As the means to attain this, I pointed out to the Emperor :

1. The removal of the idea of conquest from the Alliance by the return of France, Austria, and Prussia to their former territorial limits.

2. The consideration of the international differences between consummated conquests and via facti incorpor- ations of territory, without formal renunciation by their former possessors in favour of the conqueror. The


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 201

last-named must be immediately and unconditionally restored to their former possessors, whilst the first must, as countries delivered from the dominion of France by the Allied Powers, be considered common property, and reserved for the future disposal of those Powers.

The countries which were included in the category of via facti incorporations were :

a) The possessions of the House of Hanover ;

b) That part of the States of the Church not mentioned in the Peace of Tolentino ;

c) The possessions of the King of Sardinia on the continent ;

d) The possessions of the House of Orange in Germany ; and,

e) The possessions of the Electorate of Hesse.

3. The adjournment of all negotiations regarding the disposal of the countries which would form the common property of the Alliance till peace is con- cluded ; and the reference of their final destination to a European Congress to be held after the Peace.

The three measures just named, besides their own innate value, presented the incalculable advantage of preserving the great enterprise from discord amongst the Allies.

With these we considered another object of the highest importance : the question of quid faciendum with the German territories. The points already else- where mentioned, which arose between the Emperor and myself on the question, determined us to give up the idea of a restoration of the old Empire, and to keep to the form of a Confederation.

That this determination would meet with opponents from different and quite opposite quarters was to be


202 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

expected, and we did not deceive ourselves in the matter. We were well aware that many desires for conquest would have to be checked, many individual interests would have to be restrained. All considera- tions of this kind were subordinate to the aim and intention of the Emperor Francis, to secure to Europe and his own Empire the blessings of political peace for as many years as possible. Party spirit was not to be considered in an undertaking of this magnitude, and we did not concern ourselves about it.

After the battle of Llitzen, the King of Saxony had, in consequence of Napoleon's threat of dethroning him, broken off his alliance with Austria, and returned from Prague to Dresden. If this step, which was explained by the condition of Saxony, cost the King half of his country, the other half owed its existence as an inde- pendent state to the monarch so richly endowed with virtue, but so hardly pressed by destiny ; and at any rate it was only Austria who could complain of the breach of faith.

After the campaign of 1812, so unfortunate for Napoleon and his allies, the King of Bavaria took steps to obtain an understanding with Austria. We entered into this, not only for the sake of the reinforcements of our armies which would result to the Alliance from the accession of Bavaria in case of a continuation of the war, but also to secure our plan for the establishment of a German Confederation.

After the dissolution of the Congress of Prague (which had never been a living power), the Monarchs of Austria, Kussia, and Prussia, with the leaders of their cabinets, met at Teplitz, where Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg had his head-quarters. Negotiations as to the establishment and securing of fixed bases for the


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 203

Quadruple Alliance, and for the conduct of the war, were the tasks of the Allied cabinets. We pointed out, as the foundation, as far as we were concerned, the three points alluded to above, as well as the conditio sine qua non of Austria joining the Alliance. For the greatest possible security of the military operations, we demanded further the union of the forces of the three continental Powers under the command of Field- Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg, and the division of the operations of the war into campaigns, with definite objects.

We appointed for the first campaign the time from the commencement of the war to the arrival of the united armies at the Rhine, where the three monarchs, with their cabinets and chief generals, would have to arrange the beginning and limitation of a new cam- paign. According to my conviction, we could not ask more, neither could it be less. The result proved that I was right. The elements of which the three Allied armies consisted were essentially different.

The Austrian army burned with a passionate desire to revenge the numerous defeats which they had sus- tained in the course of the long wars of the Revolution. But accustomed always to obedience and strict disci- pline, they waited in patience till the order should reach them.

Two feelings appeared in the Russian army which, though they arose from the same source, differed much in their effects. It was filled with a proud conscious- ness (which, with the Russians, easily degenerates into swagger) founded on the campaign of 1812, and a decided antipathy to seek new battles in distant coun- tries, when they saw an easy and certain conquest close at hand, and that Poland could be brought beneath the


204 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

sceptre of their Emperor, without their requiring to make any further sacrifices. It is more than probable that Marshal Kutusow, if he had been still alive, would have opposed in the most determined manner his master's order to cross the Oder.

The Prussian army only thought of taking revenge for a long and unsupportable pressure. This army, hastily collected from thoroughly national elements, long prepared and instructed by the Tugendbund, con- tained many battalions of fanatic volunteers, fanatic as so many of the students and professors, literati and poets were at that time, and burned with a desire to break forth at once into a war of extermination.

In this picture the portraits of the Princes and their generals must not be omitted.

The Emperor Francis, ripened by nature in the school of experience, ever dispassionate in his. conclusions, never withholding a calm judgment, always acknow- ledged and respected the reasons for and against every- thing : holding his army well in hand, this monarch was always raised above inferior ends and the play of passion.

The Emperor of Eussia was animated by a noble ambition, but he well knew that he did not possess the qualities necessary for a commander-in-chief. Deter- mined, on the one hand, to carry out the great work of restoration, but full of respect for the feeling of his people and his army, which he knew not to be inclined for the enterprise, he was most anxious to secure suc- cess by rapid and decisive operations.

The King of Prussia, calm in the midst of a highly

' excited people, and by nature little inclined to believe

in easily gained victories, even where his army thought

them certain, was a severe critic of all plans (without


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 205

himself bringing forward any) for the intended ope- rations.

But if there were essential differences between the characters of the monarchs, those between the com- manders of the three armies were no less evident.

The chief qualities requisite for a great general were as obviously possessed by Prince Schwarzenberg as they were wanting in General Barclay de Tolly.

General Bliicher, was a man of overflowing courage and energy, but impartial history will deny him many, other qualities, without which a general cannot inspire lasting confidence. He was, however, the true repre- sentative of the national spirit of the time, and the King could not have given his army a better head.

Behind the scenes moved two very different men. General Jomini had deserted the flag of the French army, and had just enlisted under that of Eussia. General Moreau had been summoned by the Emperor Alexander, and had reached him at Prague. Mistrusting his own military talent, this monarch had formed of these men a sort of secret council, and indulged the idea that with their help he could take upon himself the chief command of the Allied armies. This plan was, however, soon abandoned.

The Emperor of Austria urged that the chief command should be given to Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg, and the Emperor Alexander gave his consent.

The ill-timed attack on Dresden was made at the request of the Emperor Alexander, against the wish of the Command er-in-Chief. The great head-quarters were removed from Tephtz to Komotau, and the Allied armies crossed the Saxon frontier. The Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia followed this opera-


206 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

tion ; the Emperor Francis, who was opposed to it, re- mained at Teplitz.

A few days after the frontier was crossed by the Allied army, I received an urgent request from the Emperor of Russia that I would go to him. This I did, and met the Emperor in Saxon Altenburg.

The Emperor declared to me that affairs could not go on longer as they were, and that a new arrangement must be made in place of that agreed on at Teplitz. To my question, what change was to be made, the Emperor replied that he had decided to entrust the con- duct of the war to General Moreau. He did not, how- ever, conceal from himself that General Moreau, being a Frenchman, would not obtain the confidence of the Allied armies ; that he, the Emperor, therefore, would take the title of Generalissimo, but that, knowing his own want of the necessary qualities, he would always follow the advice of the general, whom he would always keep at his side as his lieutenant. The appointment of General Moreau, the Emperor thought, would soon be justified in the eyes of the army by new successes ; and the very difficulty which was thought to exclude him from the position intended for him, would in itself have a great effect upon the French army. He was certain that the mere name of Moreau, at the head of the Allies, would have a magical effect upon the enemy's army.

I at once declared that if his Imperial Majesty meant to insist on this arrangement, the Emperor, my master, would withdraw from the Alliance. With equal decision I withstood the expectations which the Emperor Alex- ander connected with the appearance of General Moreau in the ranks of the Allies, for, according to my sincere convictions convictions, too, grounded on an intimate


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 207

knowledge of the French character the effect would be the very opposite, and would be seen only in the in- creased animosity of the French army.

After a long pause, during which he seemed lost in profound thought, the Emperor at last broke silence, saying, ' Well and good, we will postpone the question, but I make you responsible for all the mischief which may arise from it.'

Two days after this, General Moreau was mortally wounded by the side of the Emperor Alexander. When he met me the next day, he said to me, ' God has uttered His judgment : He was of your opinion ! '

There was one view which vehement politicians like Von Stein and others were never able to appre- ciate, but which was constantly before the Imperial cabinets : namely, that to secure the triumph of the Alliance so far as this was in the power of the leaders of the mighty undertaking, they had to consider not only the enemy, but also the Allies. If the agreement of mem- bers of an alliance upon a common object, and the sacrifices which it demands, is a problem difficult to be resolved in ordinary political alliances, this was pre- eminently the case in the impending war, in the waging of which Powers were leagued together whose posi- tions, geographical and political, were as different from each other as were their actual relations to the common enemy. How profoundly different were the situations of England, of Eussia, of Prussia, of Austria, and of the Princes of the Confederation of the Ehine, who owed all the growth of their power to the wars of Napoleon ! In league with these there was one element essentially different from all the others the Swedish element, under Bernadotte, then Crown Prince, afterwards Charles John, King of Sweden.


208 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

It does not admit of a doubt that the Crown Prince had personal designs on the throne of France. Even if his operations in the campaigns of 1813 and 1814 did not furnish the actual proof of the existence of this pre- tension, the words spoken by him would be equivalent to a confession. When he perceived at Zerbst the pe- culiar courtesy of the Swedish soldiers to the French prisoners-of-war, it is reported that he said to the people about him : ' It is inconceivable with what gentleness the Swedish soldier tends the French prisoners ; what instinct ! ' And on another occasion, after the battle of Grossbeeren, when an adjutant of the Prussian General Bulow brought the news of victory to Bernadotte, as he was riding along the road, accompanied by General Pozzo di Borgo, who was acting as Eussian Commissary, Ber- nadotte cried out enthusiastically : ' La France au plus digne I ' ' Grands Dieuxj answered Pozzo, ' la France est a moi.' The Crown Prince was silent.

An account of the military operations of the Allied armies does not fall in with the plan of this work, I will, therefore, touch upon these only in a summary way, remarking at the same time that the mysterious attitude of Napoleon, after the defeat, at Kulm, of the corps under command of Vandamme, which had forced its way into Bohemia, reversed the position of things, and that Prince Schwarzenberg availed himself of that favourable moment to carry out his first plan of opera- tion, which culminated in the battle of Leipsic.* By

  • On the 18th of October, 1813, at eleven o'clock in the morning, I went, in

attendance on the three monarchs, to the place chosen by Pripce Schwarzen- berg as the most suitable point for himself and the monarchs to watch the battle ; and I did not leave this point of observation till the end of that bloody day, about six o'clock in the evening, when I returned with them. The monarchs required no report of the victory, for they were themselves spectators of it from a point commanding a view of the whole vast extent


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 209

the event, rightly designated by universal consent as the Battle of the Nations, the power of Napoleon beyond the frontiers of his own empire was crushed ; and in order to terminate the first campaign of the Allied Powers, nothing more was now required but to clear the Ger- man provinces between the Pleiss and the Ehine of the French forces.

Administration of the Conquered German Countries.

The revolutionary spirit which in 1807 had dis- guised itself under the cloak of Prussian patriotism, and afterwards in Teutonic colours, was, in the years 1812 and 1813, introduced into the councils of the Emperor of Eussia by Baron Stein, General Gneisenau, and other Prussian and German fugitives. One need only look at some of the Eussian proclamations in the campaign of 1812 to remove all doubt on this subject. The same spirit prevailed in the negotiations between Eussia and Prussia in Kalisch. The immediate interests of the two Powers were, however, not left out of sight. They promised to help each other in the conquest of the Duchy of Warsaw for Eussia, and of the Kingdom of Saxony for Prussia.

of the battle-field. The fate of this decisive day (not reckoning on acci- dents which may happen on any battle-field) was evident even by twelve o'clock at noon. The position taken by the French forces after the first morning hours was, and could only be, entirely a defensive one, for the pur- pose of covering their retreat over the river, which made a retreat to the west of Leipsic more difficult. An attack on Schb'nefeld, the farthest point on the outposts, and its capture by the Russian Guards, had no effect in deciding the event of the day, which had, as we before said, been certain for many hours. The arrangements of the Oommander-in-Chief were there- fore concerned only with the pursuit of the enemy, and the taking possession of the town of Leipsic on the following morning.

Knowing the religious feeling of the three monarchs, we may be sure that they ascribed the victory of the day to the Disposer of events, with truly thankful hearts ; but that, on the news of the victory of October 18, they fell down on their knees, on the hill from which they had watched the battle, is only a poetic embellishment.

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The conventions made on this subject between the two monarchs placed them afterwards in a false position in the carrying out of the great work of the political resto- ration of Europe, and they were the source of many and great difficulties between those two courts and that of Austria.

Von Stein was selected by the Emperor Alexander, after the retreat of Napoleon in 1812, to be the director of the future fate of Germany. His influence in the deliberations at Kalisch was very marked, and it made itself felt till the second Peace of Paris in 1815. But it was in Leipsic that the Emperor of Eussia first intro- duced him to the Austrian Cabinet.

After the entrance of the Allies into that town, October 19, the Emperor Alexander sent for me on the 20th to inform me of the necessity of putting Von Stein at the head of the administration of the Ger- man countries already conquered or expected to be so. This administration had really become necessary, in consequence of the agreement, made in Teplitz, for the provisional destination of these conquests. As I had long known the perversity of Von Stein's character, I strongly protested against his being chosen. The Em- peror Francis personally supported my endeavours, but they were ineffectual. The Emperor of Eussia in- formed me at last that he had given his word to Stein, and that it was impossible to break it, without exposing himself to the reproach of great weakness. It was, therefore, necessary to yield the point. The committee of arrangement was appointed, under the presidency of Von Stein ; but I acquainted the Eussian monarch with my opinion of the deplorable consequences to Germany from the appointment of a man who was under the immediate guidance of the revolutionary


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 211

party. Events proved that my prediction was well founded. The administration, of which the internal arrangement was made at Leipsic, became the support and engine of that party, and to its immediate influence may be chiefly ascribed the revolutionary turn which the public spirit of Germany took at a later period. This administration was composed of the leaders of the popular party at that time, and this it was which organ- ised the revolution that would certainly have broken out in Germany but for the vigorous efforts of the Allied courts for the safety of themselves and their peoples. It is sufficient to mention Jahn, Arndt, even Gb'rres, and many others, to remove all doubt on the matter.

The King of Saxony in Leipsic.

At the entrance of the Allied monarchs into Leipsic (October 19, 1813), the King of Saxony stood at the window of his hotel to see them pass. None of the monarchs turned to look at him.

The three monarchs met to consider the fate of this Prince. We wished to appoint Prague as his place of residence for the present. The Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia had already determined to send him to Berlin. We agreed that the monarchs should not see the King, and I was charged to announce his fate to him. I went to the King's palace, and was admitted without delay. The King awaited me standing in his reception-room, and received me with friendliness. I executed my mission with as much delicacy as possible. The King listened, not without emotion, but with an expression of thorough resignation. He said some words and tried to make me understand that his position was of such a kind that no other attitude had been possible

P 2


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for him. I answered that, in my capacity of leader of the cabinet, I felt it to be my duty to point out to him that all his misfortunes were the consequence of his first mistake of refusing the hand we had stretched out to save him and his country. The King offered me his sword. I f explained to him that I did not consider my- self authorised to receive it.

During our conversation the Queen of Saxony entered the room. When she heard the object of my visit, she betrayed the greatest agitation. She reproached me bitterly that I myself had opposed Napoleon's cause, which she called the cause of God. I answered her quietly that I had not come to the King to argue this matter with her. The King immediately departed for Berlin and Freienwalde.

Residence in Frankfort.

Frankfort was, from its situation, the place where the future operations had to be arranged. Up to this time the monarchs had only followed the movements of the army after the battle of Leipsic. The only diplo- matic action between October 18 and November 6, the day of the Emperor of Austria's arrival in Frankfort, was the Peace which I signed at Fulda, on November 2, with the King of Wurtemberg. The Princes of the Confederation of the Khine had sent plenipotentiaries in great haste to Frankfort, in order to join in the conference with the Allies. The united Cabinets ap- pointed Plenipotentiaries for the business of signing the different documents. These Plenipotentiaries were, for Austria Baron Binder, for Russia Herr von Anstett, and . for Prussia Baron von Humboldt. They signed in one day twenty-two treaties.

The great political question was to fix the course of


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 213

a new campaign. Germany was evacuated : of French military there were only the garrisons of some fortresses on the Oder and the Elbe. The Allied armies, every- where victorious, were now still further reinforced by the German contingents. The object of the war of 1813 was attained Napoleon was repulsed and driven back over the Ehine. What was to be done in the next year ? This was what we had to decide.

On the following points we were all agreed :

1. To carry the war beyond the Ehine into the interior of France.

2. By this proceeding to strike a blow at the very existence of the Emperor Napoleon which might be decisive in its consequences.

3. To wait to see what effect the misfortunes of the two last campaigns and the invasion of the French ter- ritory would have on the mind of the nation ; further

4. It was resolved, at my suggestion, that if once the heights of the Vosges and the Ardennes were occu- pied, a plan must be made for the military operations which would amount to a third campaign, deciding the future fate of France, and therefore also the triumph of the Quadruple Alliance. The most important motives decided me to this course. They will be seen more clearly in the sketch I shall afterwards give of the ' Kesidence in Langres.'

But, before crossing the Rhine, some resolutions must be taken on both moral and military grounds. It was not an easy undertaking.

The Emperor of Russia, prepossessed by revolution- ary ideas, surrounded by men like Laharpe, Stein, and Jomini, entertained plans whicli would have led the world to ruin. The Russian army remained quiet, and thought its object gained. If Marshal Kutusow had been


214 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

still living, it would not have left the Oder. The Prus- sian army ruled the cabinet ; it thirsted only for revenge. Bliicher and the Free Corps thought only of the destruc- tion and plundering of Paris. The revolutionary seed, which had borne so much fruit in Prussia since 1808, grew and flourished on this extensive field. Men like Arndt, Jahn, and others, who distinguished themselves so deplorably, had all appointments in the army at Frankfort, or about the ministers.

The efforts of the Emperor of Austria were directed to good ends only ; and the task fell on me, in these difficult circumstances, to clear the way for events, and prevent evil designs from neutralising the really good, and bringing about a situation which would only too easily have involved the future of society itself.

I proposed, in the first place, to issue a manifesto to the French people, in the name of the Allied monarchs, to enlighten the French nation on the motives and ob- jects of the invasion.

Being thoroughly acquainted with the public feeling in France, I felt certain that in the appeal mention should be made of the Ehine, the Alps, and the Pyre- nees as the natural boundaries of France, thus offering a bait which would be taken by all, and flattering the vanity instead of embittering the feelings of the nation. Intending to separate Napoleon still more from the nation, and at the same time to act on the mind of the army, I proposed further to join with the idea of natural boundaries the offer of an immediate negotiation. As the Emperor Francis sanctioned my intention, I laid it before their Majesties of Eussia and Prussia. Both of them feared that Napoleon, trusting to the chances of the future, might by accepting the proposal with quick and energetic decision, put an end to the affair. I used


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 215

all my powers of persuasion on the two monarch s to lead them to share my conviction that Napoleon would never voluntarily take such a decision. The substance of the proclamation was decided on, and it was left to me to fill up the details.

Baron St.-Aignan, the French Ambassador at the ducal court of Saxony, had been taken prisoner in Gotha, and brought to Bohemia by the troops of the Allies. I proposed to make amends for a proceeding so contrary to all international rights, and to take ad- vantage of his being summoned to Frankfort, to let the Emperor Napoleon know of our projected plan. Baron St.-Aignan was summoned, and I had a long conversation with him, in the presence of Count Nesselrode and Lord Aberdeen, and we then allowed him to depart imme- diately for Paris. At the same time twenty thousand copies of the proclamation were printed and sent, by all possible means, across the Ehine and all over France. Afterwards I heard from the Prince of Neufchatel that the first of the proclamations which was posted up in Paris was brought by Savary, then Minister of Police, to the Emperor Napoleon, who, on reading it, said : ' No one but Metternich can have concocted this document ; talking of the Rhine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees is a thorough piece of cunning. It could only enter into the head of a man who knows France as well as he does.'

Napoleon had made a proposal for the renewal of the negotiations for the conclusion of peace. On the side of Prussia, the feeling was decidedly against any such negotiations. The Emperor Alexander inclined to the opinion of the Austrian Cabinet, that the way should never be closed against peaceful tendencies, even in the hottest fight. The Emperor Francis believed in the sincerity of Napoleon's mood ; but I was convinced


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of the contrary. It seemed to me that an acceptable end of the war could not be intended by the man who had, as it were, burned his ships behind him ; but I thought it the duty of the Powers at least to hear the conditions with which Napoleon was prepared to come forward.

The three courts answered the proposals of Napo- leon with the calm consciousness of strength, and de- clared themselves ready for a meeting of deputies in Mannheim ; but refused to listen to any hints for the suspension of warlike operations. My prediction that the idea of peace was far from Napoleon proved to be right. He never carried out the meeting in Mann- heim.

The question was now to arrange the plans for the military operations, and this presented great difficulties.

Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg proposed a general attack on three lines of operation : namely, the right wing of the great army, consisting of the Prussian forces, under the command of General Bluchcr, should cross the Rhine between Mayence and Cologne, advance towards the Netherlands, and take the direction to Lothringen and the slopes of the Ardennes. The centre of the army, composed of Austrian and Eussian troops, should cross the Enine between Mannheim and Basle, and lead the chief line of operations of the Austrian army through Switzerland. A corps of the latter, under the command of General Bubna, would have to march out of Italy by the Simplon Pass, to occupy La Vallee, to take Geneva and Lyons, and thus to form the extreme outer left wing.

The impatience of the Prussian army, and its wish to get to Paris as soon as possible, even if it went alone, de- cided Marshal Bliicher to propose an operation directed


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 217

towards Verdun, like the one which ended so unfortu- nately in 1792. Supported by the Russian and Austrian forces, he did not fear similar misfortunes, whilst this operation would really have brought him to Paris by the shortest route.

A subordinate circumstance, but one of the kind which had already so often influenced the Emperor of Russia, determined his Imperial Majesty to propose a modified plan, between those of the Austrian and Prussian generals. This proposal was grounded on the desire that the neutrality of Switzerland should be respected, and presupposed a general and simultaneous movement of the Allied armies, to cross the Rhine in several places between Altbreisach and Cologne. The secret of this plan was as follows :

Laharpe, Jomini, and other Swiss revolutionaries, had urged vehemently on the Emperor Alexander what they called respect for Helvetian neutrality. Several considerations had led them to this wish. Laharpe and the Vaudois feared a return to the old order of things, as a consequence of which the new Cantons might lose their political existence. Whereas by preserving their political existence, they hoped to succeed in transform- ing the old Cantons into an entirely democratic system. Lastly, Laharpe and his friends wished to keep Switzer- land, whatever might happen, open as an asylum for the revolutionaries of France, and of all other countries oc- cupied, or which might be occupied, by the Allies. The Emperor of Russia had committed himself to them by certain engagements ; but they set other springs in motion to make their cause certain. They suggested the despatch of a deputation to Frankfort to require the confirmation of the neutrality. The Emperor of Russia, without giving any decided promises, such as he had


218 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

given to some of his intimate friends, did not, however, fail to dismiss the deputation with a confident hope that the neutrality of Switzerland would not be violated. But there was another circumstance which had a much more decisive effect upon the attitude of the Emperor.

A lady, formerly governess of the Grand-Duchess Marie of Weimar, a Vaudois who had been sent by the Cantons to Frankfort to implore the support of her Imperial Highness, had been listened to by the Princess. The Emperor Alexander, on his side, had promised his sister that he would never allow the Allied armies to enter Switzerland. He even empowered her to mention this promise in a letter which the Grand-Duchess wrote to her former governess, and which the Grand-Duchess expressly allowed her to show in confidence to her friends at Lausanne.

Several days were lost in mere councils of war between the leaders of the different armies. Each of them defended his own plan of operation ; and all rational arguments supported the plan of Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg, which had the more to say for itself as the preliminary preparations, made by me in Switzerland, could leave us no doubt that the sound part of the Swiss people would give a good reception to the Austrian army, which was the only one that could enter Switzerland, and would welcome them as liberators. When the Emperor of Russia had lost all hope of bringing the Austrian and Prussian generals over to his plan, one evening about ten o'clock he sent to me Prince Demeter Wolkonski, chief of the staff, with an invitation to come to him without delay.

Introduced into the closet of his Imperial Majesty, I found the generals of the three armies assembled there. The Emperor at once began, and said to me


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 219

that the council of war, after fruitless endeavours to agree about the plan of impending operations, had come to the resolution of referring the decision to a third person, and that his the Emperor's choice had fallen upon me. Although not in doubt what I should do, I nevertheless asked to be informed of the discussion which had taken place. The Emperor then undertook to explain to me the different plans of operation.

I began by insisting on the analogy of the views of his Imperial Majesty with those of the Austrian commander, and on the strong grounds which existed for the choice of Switzerland as a basis of operation. The Emperor, although he allowed me to unfold all the military and political grounds which I brought forward in the support of my advice, at last expressed himself to this effect : that, although he did not deny the cogency of my arguments, he could never agree to the violation of the neutrality of Switzerland. I replied to the Emperor that such a measure would as little fall in with my views ; but the most important grounds per- mitted me to assume it as a certainty that whenever we appeared on the soil of the Confederation we should be received as friends and liberators. His Majesty replied to me that special grounds and considerations, which perhaps applied only to himself, would always restrain him from exposing himself to the danger, or even the possibility, of meeting with opposition from the Cantons. Ultimately the Emperor consented that if we should succeed in obtaining permission from the Swiss to make use of the bridge at Basle, to this he would make no objection. Upon this concession, I advanced a step further, and, without rejecting it, I expressed my con- viction that the permission to pass through the whole territory of the Confederation would encounter no


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more opposition than would the permission to cross the one bridge, by which the partisans of the pretended neutrality would consider it just as much violated. 1 concluded the discussion by deciding in favour of the plan of Prince Schwarzenberg, with due consideration for the wishes of his Majesty the Emperor Alexander, especially in paying all possible respect to the Swiss Confederation.

Residence in Freiburg and Basle.

During the negotiations in Frankfort I had taken every possible step to obtain permission for the entrance of the Imperial troops into Switzerland. Baron Leb- zeltern was in Zurich at the Bundesdirectorium, Count Senfft in Berne. Prince Schwarzenberg had put him- self into immediate communication with the military chiefs of the Swiss contingents. There could be no doubt that the army would be well received in Switzer- land, and that at their first appearance the troops of the Eepublic would join them.

Since Marshal Bliicher's plan of operations was set aside, the head-quarters of the Russian and Austrian army were removed to Brisgau.

Prince Schwarzenberg had hastened on several days before the departure of their Majesties, and fixed on Lorrach for their head-quarters. When I was in Frankfort, I received a letter from him, in which he informed me of the impossibility of his putting off crossing the Rhine beyond the end of the year, because the means were wanting to support the numerous forces drawn up from Schaffhausen to the heights of Freiburg. At the same time he let me know that, in concert with the Swiss generals, he had made arrangements to cross the Rhine from Schaffhausen to Basle at all


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 221

the necessary points. I presented myself to take the orders of the Emperor, and set out without delay to Freiburg, authorised by his Majesty to make all ar- rangements for carrying out the operation with the commander-in-chief.

The Emperor of Eussia had left Frankfort two days earlier, and was in Carlsruhe with the family of the Empress. I made my arrangements so that I had to pass this town at two o'clock in the morning. The Emperor Francis followed me five -and -twenty hours later. Immediately on my arrival in Freiburg, I found the last news required for the final arrangement of my diplomatic plan, which was designed to support the military plan of the field-marshal. The same night I sent to Baron Lebzeltern in Zurich a courier with the sketch of the official note, which was to be delivered to the Diet assembled in that town. Prince Schwarzen- berg ordered the crossing of the Ehine ; and on the arrival of the Emperor in Freiburg, I was so fortunate as to be able to inform him that the troops of the Confederation had joined those of his Majesty, and that the latter had everywhere met with the most favourable reception.

There still remained the difficulty of informing his Majesty the Emperor of Eussia that the event had really been accomplished which he had pronounced to be impossible. The Emperor Francis instructed me to execute this commission on the following day, when the arrival of his ally was expected.

On December 22 the Emperor went to meet the Eussian monarch two miles outside the town. I ac- companied his Majesty. At the moment of the meeting of the two monarchs, the Emperor Alexander addressed me with the question whether there was any news. I


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replied that I could not answer his question till we had arrived at the hotel. The Emperor Francis accom- panied the Emperor of Eussia to his apartments, and then left him. The latter asked me to come into his private room : c Your Majesty,' I said, ' has addressed a question to me which it was impossible for me to answer in the presence of so many persons. I am not yet certain how your Majesty will take what I have to tell you, even here between ourselves. The Austrian army crossed the Rhine, the night before last, at several points between Schaffhausen and Basle.'

The Emperor was very much agitated by this news ; when he had collected himself, he asked how the army had been received. ' Amid cheers for the Alliance, your Majesty. The Confederate troops in a body have joined our flag, and the people came in crowds from all sides to bring provisions to the army, for which we paid in ready money.'

I could easily read in the Emperor's features the conflicting feelings which this news excited. After a longer pause, he took my hand and said : ' Success crowns the undertaking : it remains for success to justify what you have done. As one of the Allied monarchs I have nothing more to say to you ; but as a man I declare to you that you have grieved me in a way that you can never repair.'

I remained quiet, and replied to his Majesty that my conscience did not reproach me, because his glory was as dear to me as the great cause which was his as well as that of all Europe.

' You do not know how you have grieved me,' said the Emperor hastily. ' You do not know the peculiar circumstances of my position.'

' I know them,' I replied, ' and I believe I know


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 223

them fully. It is not for you to reproach me, your Majesty. The regret is much more on my side. Why did your Majesty not let me know what I ought to have known, even if it were only to oppose it? Your Majesty would have been spared many griefs, and your friend the Emperor also.'

' The thing is done,' said the Emperor quietly ; ' it is good from a military point of view, so then let per- sonal considerations yield to the common good. Let us go straight on to the end in view, and talk no more about it.'

And, in fact, we did not talk any more about it, and the Emperor Alexander never mentioned the subject to the Emperor Francis.

The military arrangements for carrying out the operations were quickly made. The Emperor of Eussia asked as a favour that his guard, which formed the head of the Russian columns, might pass the bridge of Basle on the Greek New Year's Day (January 13, 1814). His wish was granted, although the general operation suffered some useless delay in consequence.

Our stay in Basle had nothing remarkable in it but the arrival of Lord Castlereagh. It was here that a few hours' conversation sufficed to lay the foundation of a good feeling between this upright and enlightened statesman and myself, which the following eventful years cemented and enlarged.

I found Lord Castlereagh not quite thoroughly in- formed of the r.eal state of affairs on the Continent. His straightforward feeling, free from all prejudice and prepossession, and his justice and benevolence gave him a quick insight into the truth of things. I soon saw that his ideas about the reconstruction of France in a manner compatible with the general interests of Europe


224 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

did not materially differ from mine. Thus the resi- dence in Basle was merely a preparation for the political scene which was soon inaugurated in Lang res.

Residence in Langres.

Langres, the crowning point of the Vosges where they overlook the plains of France, and the heights of the Ardennes, were fixed on by the Frankfort decrees as the strategic line where the third operation was to begin. We entered Langres on January 25, 1814, and the following days were occupied with negotiations of the greatest importance. These would remain unknown to the world for ever if I did not record them here.

As the monarchs and their cabinets were here together, no protocols were drawn up, so that no written trace exists of proceedings which had the most impor- tant consequences. The correspondence of Lord Castle- reagh with his cabinet may contain some fragments, but it cannot give the complete course, for the principal questions were only discussed between the Emperor of Eussia and myself.

Soon after the arrival of the monarchs in Langres, I was informed by the sagacious and far-seeing men of the cabinet of the Emperor Alexander that this monarch was much agitated at the necessity of coming to a con- clusion with respect to the future form of government to be established in France, which indeed was the most ir.iportant of all questions. The overthrow of Napoleon seemed to be inevitable. The attempt to come to a treaty of peace which should maintain him on the throne had been unsuccessful from his own fault, and would in no way have attained the objects of the great Alliance the object, namely, of establishing a state of peace based on the due consideration of the relations


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 225

of the Powers to each other, and promising as much durability as can be expected from any political crea- tion.

Every peace with Napoleon which would have thrown him back to the old boundaries of France, and which would have deprived him of districts that had been conquered before he came to power, would only have been a ridiculous armistice, and would at once have been repelled by him. There remained, therefore, only three possibilities : the recall of the Bourbons ; a regency till the majority of Napoleon's son ; the nomination of a third person to the throne of Trance.

Everything just rights as well as reason, the interest of France as well as the general interest of Europe spoke in favour of the first course. The Emperor of Austria did not for a moment doubt this. The same thing cannot be said of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia. The revolutionary spirits who surrounded this monarch, and who at that time exercised a pernicious and only too decisive influence on the tendencies of his mind, had laboured for a long time in a direction opposed to the legitimate claims of the Bourbon family. They ceased not to represent its return as a vain under- taking. The Emperor was convinced of this. Diffi- culties easy to be conceived were raised against the accession to the throne of Napoleon's son, then a little child. The man who was at once suggested for the third of the supposed cases was the Crown Prince of Sweden. The intrigues of himself and of his friends had not been without their effects. His previous life and career rendered him accessible to the revolutionary party ; and there is no doubt that Laharpe himself would have raised him to the throne had not his tho- roughly republican feeling and sentiment preferred a VOL. i. Q


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return <to that constitution which best corresponded with his mode of thinking.

I allowed the first days to pass ; they were devoted to purely military arrangements. The exaggerated zeal of the Prussian generals needed to be restrained. We at last settled on the plan which promised most success against the resistance to be expected from Napoleon's genius when driven to its last defences. It was re- solved that the Austrian army and the greater part of the Eussian and Prussian Guards should form one great army. Another was formed by the Prussian army, re- inforced by two Eussian corps. The object of all the operations was to be Paris. The line of operation of Prince Schwarzenberg was to be in the direction of the Seine that of General Blucher the direction of the Marne. If Napoleon offered battle to one or other of the armies, -the one attacked was not to accept the challenge, but to wait till the Allies came to its help. The corps under the command of General Bubna, should take Lyons, and keep in check and beat the army opposed to him under Augereau.

When these dispositions were determined on, I was sent for, one evening, by the Emperor of Eussia. He began the conversation with the explanation of the chief reasons which had prevented him from sooner expres- sing his thoughts to the Allies regarding the future government of France. He imparted to me his par- ticular wish, for these same reasons, to learn on the very spot itself the true feeling of the French nation. ' It is against the Bourbons,' said the Emperor to me ; ' and to bring these back to a throne which they had not known how to keep would be to expose France, and eventually all Europe, to another Eevolution, of which no one can foretell the consequences. To choose a new


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 227

ruler is a very difficult undertaking for a foreigner. My resolution, therefore, is taken. The operations against Paris must be continued with vigour ; we must take possession of the city. On the approach of this event, which will crown the military successes of the Alliance, it will be necessary to issue a Proclamation to the French people, declaring our determination to have nothing to do with the choice of a form of government, or the selection of a ruler. At the same time we must summon the original assemblies, and demand that a proper number of deputies should be sent to Paris to decide both these points in the name of the nation/

I did not think it prudent directly to oppose a scheme which apparently was not merely the Emperor's own idea. As it was most important to me to learn the details of this plan, I only expressed my doubt whether its results would ever answer the expectations of his Majesty. ' Bonaparte,' I observed to the Emperor, ' has mastered the Revolution ; the plan of calling the nation to deliberate on questions concerning the foundation of the social edifice of France, and thereby causing, as it were, a second Convention, would unchain the Revolution again, and that can never be the object of the Alliance, nor the meaning of their deliberations.'

The Emperor replied, with vivacity, that my obser- vations would be correct if the rnonarchs did not hold in their hands the measures by which revolutionary evils could be restrained. ' We are in France,' he con- tinued, ' and our armies are numerous : they will inti- midate the agitators. The deputies of the nation will only have to give their opinion on two questions namely, the form of government and the selection of a ruler. The Republic is at an end. It has fallen by its own excesses. The Prince w T hom the nation will give to itself

Q2


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will have less difficulty in establishing his authority. The authority of Napoleon is broken, and no one will have anything more to do with it. A more essential point will be to direct the assembly aright. I have in readi- ness, the man most suitable for this, most fitted for an affair, which would perhaps be impossible to a novice. We entrust the direction of this matter to Laharpe.'

I thought this the right moment to attack the question.

' This plan,' I replied, ' will never be accepted by the Emperor, my master ; and if he should give way, I should immediately lay my resignation at his feet. The carrying out of this plan would cause France and the whole of Europe years of confusion and sorrow. If M. Laharpe thinks himself able to answer for the result, he is mistaken ; and I speak only of the material dis- advantages, for what will become of Europe even from the mere starting of the principle on which the idea rests ? The confidence which your Majesty has just shown me by giving me an insight into your views on the most important question of the day,' I continued, ' demands from me the most perfect candour. What I am now going to say to you, your Majesty, is what the Emperor Francis thinks. Napoleon's power is broken, and will not rise again. This is the fate of the power of a usurper when a crisis arrives. When the overthrow of the Empire comes, there will be only the Bourbons to take possession again of their undying rights. They will do it by the power of events and the wish of the nation ; about which, in my opinion, there can be no doubt. The Emperor Francis will never favour any other dynasty.'

The Emperor Alexander dismissed me with the charge to report our conversation to my master. It was


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 229

midnight. On my return, I found at my house, Count Nesselrode and General Pozzo di Borgo. They knew that I had spent the evening with the Emperor Alex- ander. I trusted them sufficiently to inform them of the subject of our conversation. They were both much agitated, and begged me never to relax my opposition to ideas which they judged as I did, both from a con- sideration of their real meaning and the source from which alone they could have sprung.

I was authorised by the Emperor Francis to go so far as to threaten the immediate withdrawal of his army.

The following evening, I went again to the Emperor of Eussia. I had heard during the day that he was much excited, but did not speak to any of his ministers on the subject of our conversation of the preceding day. His Majesty enquired from me what were the views of the Emperor of Austria on this subject.

' To answer your Majesty in a few words,' I replied, 4 1 can only repeat what I said yesterday. The Emperor is against any appeal to the nation to a people who would be in the false position of deliberating in face of seven hundred thousand foreign bavonets. The Em-

o /

peror does not see either, what could be the subject of deliberation the legitimate King is there.'

The Emperor Alexander composed himself, and said, ' I do not insist on my idea against the wish of my allies : I have spoken according to my conscience ; time will do the rest ; it will also teach us who was right.'

Seeing the Emperor in such a favourable mood, I gave my thoughts full course, and showed him the dangers which would have been inseparable from a plan which would have left no choice between breaking up the Alliance just when its efforts were about to be


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crowned with success, and undermining the foundations of social order and throwing Europe into confusions worse than those which attended the first outbreak of the Eevolution. The Emperor followed my argument step by step, and combated what was most opposed to his ideas ; but we parted good friends.

I should not have described this circumstance so fully, if ignorant persons from party spirit had not, in the important question of the internal arrangement of France, attributed to the Emperor Francis and his cabinet views and intentions which had no foundation whatever, thus placing the attitude of Austria and her allies in a light quite opposed to truth. The feeling which guided Austria was well considered, and was free from ambitious or sanguinary feelings, and entirely devoted to the great task of attaining and securing a state of peace for the European continent resting on solid grounds. This was the direction in which the cabinet thought and acted in its political course, as well as in the operations of the war.

The rest of our stay in Langres was devoted to ar- ranging the military operations. It was beyond doubt that, at any rate at first, Napoleon would limit his defence to the approaches to Paris, and that therefore the campaign would open on the Aube.

The news which came to us from those parts of the country behind the Allied armies, as well as from other parts of France, as to the feelings of the nation, were confirmed by the observations which we ourselves were able to make concerning this important question, at the place where the head-quarters were stationed. The prevailing feeling of the people consisted in the wish for an early conclusion of the operations, and by far the larger majority was for the return of the Bourbons.


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 231

The political question was discussed no more by the Emperor of Russia and his allies. The course of events shows how useful it would have been if a regular-' plan for our future attitude had been made at the right time, resting on the principle of a restoration of the legitimate power. The advantage, however, of having removed for the moment so fatal an idea was* too - great not to be very satisfactory. The attempt to go farther would have miscarried, and would have endangered the necessary harmony between the Powers, which in the very midst of France itself were occupied in an under- taking still liable to all the chances of war.

There was no danger that the nation might wish the maintenance of the Imperial government. Our care was limited to a successful termination of the war, and the final result of the great undertaking we committed to a Power higher than that of men.

Congress of Chatillon.

Few negotiations of the year 1814 were better known to the public than those of Chatillon. The acts of the Congress have been given to the public, and discussed by the historians of all parties. The following is the truth with regard to the spirit which guided the ca- binets in this juncture.

The four Allied Powers, harmonious as their pro- ceedings appeared, were nevertheless divided in their secret views about many points of high and decided importance.

The Emperor of Austria had directed his thoughts and wishes only to a state of things which enabled him to hope that the political peace of Europe would be secured by a return to the balance of power and


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political equilibrium which had been entirely destroyed by the French conquests during the Eevolution and the Empire. At the time we are speaking of namely, after the concentration of the operations between the Seine and Marne the overthrow of the French Empire was beyond doubt for every politician who did not give himself up to illusions. The return of the Bourbons and the reduction of France to her old boundaries seemed to the Emperor Francis and his cabinet the only tenable propositions, since they alone would gua- rantee a peace founded on legitimacy. Austria was, on this fundamental point, in perfect harmony with the British Government.

The ideas of the Emperor Alexander, as we have seen, hovered sometimes in the mists of a vague liberal- ism, and at other times were the result of personal or accidental influences.

Prussia was filled with thoughts of conquest and with a thirst for the revenge of all her sorrows of the last few years, which was perhaps natural. The King and Prince Hardenberg agreed much better with our views and those of the English as to the dynasty to be placed on the French throne, than with the exaggerated ideas of the Emperor of Eussia.

Napoleon now felt that it was quite necessary to make use of the last chances of obtaining a peaceful adjustment.

My own feeling in pressing the opening of formal negotiations was only the continuation of that which had directed my calculations and my political attitude since the beginning of the year 1813. I had so thorough a knowledge of the inclination of the mass of the French people, of the feeling of the Army, and also of the direction of Napoleon's mind, that I saw only


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 233

great advantages from these attempts at negotiation, without any fear that an untimely settlement would delay the return to a better order of things.

I therefore used my influence to carry out the declarations which had been made by the Powers in Frankfort since the beginning of the year. In this matter I was greatly assisted by the perfect agreement of Lord Castlereagh's views with my own.

I brought about the appointment of Count Stadion as Plenipotentiary of Austria. The other cabinets fol- lowed this example, and their leaders remained in the head-quarters of the monarchs ; with the exception only of Lord Castlereagh, who could not give up to another so important a matter as the representation of Great Britain at the Congress where the foundations of a general peace were to be arranged.

It soon appeared that Napoleon, notwithstanding the enormous difficulties of his position, did not seriously think of peace.

He gave a proof of how easily his hopes revived again, by the extraordinary importance which he at- tributed to the trifling success of the skirmish of Montereau. The day after this fight, he wrote a letter to the Emperor of Austria quite in the tone as if written after one of his former great victories. Among other things, he was weak enough to give in this letter a calculation of the losses of the Allies on the day of the battle of Montereau which, in vain-glorious boast- ing, far surpassed- the fabulous accounts of his ' war- bulletins.'

The course of military events put an end to the conferences at Chatillon.


234 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.


The Council of War at Bar-sur-VAube.

The great Austrian army had, in consequence of the battle of Montereau, become separated from Bliicher's army. Obliged to evacuate Troyes and to retreat to Bar-sur-1'Aube, the three monarchs held a conference at which, besides their Majesties and their ministers, several generals of the Allied armies assisted. The military measures to be taken were there discussed with great animation.

The King of Prussia insisted most energetically that the three armies should unite and make an immediate attack upon Paris. The Emperor Francis, Prince Schwarzenberg, and I defended the opposite proposal. The plan which we had hitherto followed so success- fully seemed too good to be hastily renounced. Its object was to avoid risking the fate of the campaign on the chance of one general battle, but gradually to ex- haust Napoleon's strength. This plan, though slow in its operation, seemed certain of success. Events have proved this to be the case. A subordinate motive con- tributed to the urgency of the Prussian party. The army of Marshal Bliicher was already on the road to Paris all their desire was to be the first to occupy Paris. This army and its leaders were so exasperated that even the latter did not shrink from the idea of abandoning Paris to the fury of the soldiers, whom it would have been impossible to restrain in the first moment of their success. Such a consideration could not be left out of our reckoning, and if prudence had not restrained us from venturing the fate of the cam- paign on one great battle, as Napoleon so much desired, the intentions of the Prussians with regard to Paris,


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 235

which were no secret from anyone, would alone have been sufficient to prevent us from yielding.

The discussion was animated, and was led by the King of Prussia with some heat. The Emperor Alexander hesitated to favour either one side or the other. Only in consequence of an energetic declaration of the Emperor Francis, which I supported with perfect openness, and with all my might, did the Eussian monarch agree to Austria's views. He offered to take the office of secretary, and I dictated to him the points agreed upon as follows :

1. No battle is to be fought near Bar-sur-1' Aube.

2. Bliicher shall continue his separate movement.

3. The great army shall continue its march by Chaumont and Langres.

4. The continuation of this movement will depend on circumstances.

5. To inform Bllicher of the movements decided on for the great army, and that Wintzingerode and Billow are to be at his command.

6. To give the necessary orders to Wintzingerode and Btilow.

7. To give to Bllicher a certain latitude in his movements, provided always that military prudence be observed.

The council of war separated, but the Prussian party were very much out of humour.

As I have no intention of entering into the details of military operations, I shall here limit myself to those circumstances which have a political bearing. The battle which Prince Schwarzenberg accepted near Arcis proved to be a mere skirmish with the outposts, for Napoleon broke it off as soon as he had convinced himself that both the Austrian and Prussian armies


236 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

would take part in the fight. To his astonishment the commander-in-chief saw, from the heights behind Arcis, the French army in full retreat, eastwards.

The Emperor of Austria remained behind in Bar- sur-1'Aube with the intention of leaving it for Arcis, if a battle should take place. His Majesty had all the ministers with him, except Count Nesselrode.

In the meantime arrived an adjutant, Count Paar, sent to head- quarters by Prince Schwarzenberg. He brought the new arrangements for the generals in command. Prince Schwarzenberg, having crossed the Aube, and made certain that Napoleon was continuing his march eastwards, proposed to the Emperor of Eussia and the King of Prussia to attack Paris with the united forces of the Allies. But by this movement the Austrian army and part of the Eussian were in danger of being cut off from their line of operations. Napoleon might have two plans. He might either attack the rearguard of the army near Nancy, or the fortified places to the east, and, reinforced by their occupation, he might begin a new war at some place between the Ehine and the invading army.

The Field-Marshal informed the Emperor that if this operation was successful, he would take the city of Paris, and remain there if .unsuccessful, he would retire upon Belgium. He begged his Majesty at the same time to make the necessary arrangements, and to inform the military commissariat of the dangers which threatened them. Count Paar brought the order to the chief officer of the Eussian commissariat, who had remained in Bar-sur-1'Aube, to repair immediately to the Eussian head-quarters. The first thought of the Emperor was to go himself to head-quarters without loss of time ; but by a simple calculation it was soon


OX THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 237

seen that this was not feasible. At the time of Count Paar's arrival the army was already a day's march on the way to Paris, and therefore the Emperor could only have reached the head-quarters at the third halting- place, while the country between was open to French stragglers. His Majesty was obliged, with great regret, to await the course of events. I considered for a lono-

c

time whether I should run the risk of attempting to reach the head-quarters myself. The impossibility of securing the necessary change of horses for making a three days' march without delay, prevented me from carrying out my washes. Count Paar had taken the precaution of securing beforehand the change of horses required for his own journey. He arrived safely at head-quarters, and carried with him the full consent of the Emperor to the Field-Marshal's plan.

The chief of the Russian commissariat was seized the day after his departure by some French cavalry, who had attacked the rear of the great Allied army. In the course of the same night we received, at 2 o'clock A.M., the news that Napoleon had gone eastwards as far as St.-Dizier, and that on receipt of the news of the bold movement against Paris he had turned into the road to Bar-sur-1'Aube. This movement showed that Napoleon's eccentric march had no other object but to cause the commander of the Austrian army to retreat, by threatening his connecting line of operations. Napoleon was mistaken ; and when he heard of the march of the army to Paris, he exclaimed, ' A fine move ! I should not have expected it from a general of the Coalition.'

Preparations were immediately made for departure from Bar-sur-1'Aube, and at 4 o'clock in the morning the Emperor and his ministers set out for Dijon, with the


238 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

small escort of a few battalions who were on their march to join the great army, and one of which had happened to arrive in Bar the night before. This march brought us nearer to the army of the hereditary Prince of Hesse-Homburg, some troops of which were now in Dijon.

Stay in Dijon.

As the Emperor did not wish to be long on the road, he posted from Chatillon to Dijon. We made the last part of the way in two post-chaises, among a popula- tion who were greatly astonished at the arrival of his Imperial Majesty, and at the confidence which allowed us to come among them without escort. The impres- sion made by this unexpected arrival of the Emperor in Dijon was the same as it had been on the road. We arrived at 4 o'clock in the morning in Dijon, and the Emperor alighted at the palace of the Prefecture. We were obliged to mention the Emperor's name to gain admittance. In a few hours the populace rushed into the open space before the Prefecture, and a great Eoyalist agitation took place. His Majesty called upon the different parties to keep quiet, and forbade every kind of reaction. These orders were strictly followed.

Some days after our arrival in the town, Baron Wessenberg arrived, who had fallen into the hands of General Pire, on his return from an embassy to England.

The country to the west of Dijon was unsafe ; General Allix commanded there a corps of mobilised National Guards. Some troops collected from different directions and, united with those who had left Bar with us, sufficed to guard our stay in Dijon, where we remained till we received the news of the capitulation of Paris. Nearly at the same time with this news the


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 239

Duke of Cadore (Champagny) was announced to deliver a communication from Napoleon to the Emperor. I did not see him, because his Majesty had ordered me to start for Paris without delay. This mission had no success.

The news of the capitulation of Paris caused a great sensation in Dijon. The courtyard of the hotel where I lived was soon filled with thousands of men. A deputation came to ask me whether it was permitted to set up the royal colours. His Majesty gave his consent, and I communicated it to the assembled public. Shortly afterwards the royal flag waved in Dijon. I departed in company with Lord Castlereagh and Chan- cellor Hardenberg.

Arrival in Paris.

I arrived in Paris on April 10. A few minutes afterwards I went to the Emperor Alexander. He had taken up his abode in the hotel of Prince Talleyrand. His Majesty informed me of his communications with Napoleon since the entrance of the Allied armies into Paris, and of the presence of the Marshals Ney and Macdonald, Napoleon's plenipotentiaries, in Paris, for the conclusion of a treaty with the Allies, in which he renounced the throne of France, and accepted the sovereignty of the island of Elba.

I expressed my astonishment at the last point of this agreement. I represented to him how many un- pleasantnesses would arise from an arrangement by which a residence was chosen for the dethroned Em- peror so near to the country he had formerly governed. It was easy to support my apprehensions by considera- tions arising from Napoleon's character, and others which were made evident by the force of circumstances.


240 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

The Emperor of Russia met my argument with reasons which did him great credit, but were little suited to tranquillise me as to my predictions. One of his argu- ments was that without insult the word of a soldier and a sovereign could not be doubted. I declared to his Majesty that I did not feel authorised to take upon myself a decision of such great consequence for the future repose of France and of Europe without having received the commands of the Emperor, my master. ' This cannot now be done,' replied the Em - peror Alexander warmly. * In the expectation of your arrival, and of Lord Castlereagh's, I have put off the signature of the treaty for several days ; this must be brought to a conclusion in the course of the evening ; the marshals must deliver the act to Napoleon this very night. If the signing of this act is not completed, hostilities will begin again to-morrow, and God knows what the result may be. Napoleon is at the head of his army at Fontainebleau, and it is not unknown to him that the act is approved by myself and the King of Prussia; I cannot take back my word. On the other hand, I cannot force you to sign the document which has been already drawn up, and which Nesselrode will lay before you ; but you will incur a very he.avy responsibility if you do not sign.' I told his Majesty that before I resolved what was to be done, I wished to consult with Prince Schwarzenberg and Lord Castle- reagh.

After this consultation, I returned to the Emperor Alexander. I said to him, ' The negotiation between your Majesty, the King of Prussia, and Napoleon has gone too far for my opposition to stop it. Prince Schwarzenberg has taken part in the preliminary dis- cussions ; the conference in which this treaty is to be


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 241

signed has actually met. I will go to it, and there place my name to a treaty which in less than two years will bring us back again to the battle-field.'

Events proved that I had made a mistake of only a year. The treaty was signed in the course of that evening.

The terms of this treaty have been very variously judged, and it could not be otherwise. The truth is, that a display of magnanimity was in this case out of place, and the facility with which the Emperor Alex ander surrendered himself to the force of illusions had the same effect on his side as the pressure of circum- stances had in compelling the Emperor Napoleon to sign it. I shall always consider the conference between the Plenipotentiaries which preceded the signing of the convention as the most remarkable scene of my public life. The articles were determined on, except in some unimportant deviations in the composition, at the very opening of the sitting. I did not conceal from my col- leagues the impression which the investing of Napoleon with the island of Elba made upon me. There was not one of them who did not share it, and the lan- guage of Napoleon's two plenipotentiaries differed little from our own. The feelings which they expressed on this subject were perfectly correct and free from all il- lusions. On my return from the conference, I despatched a courier to the Emperor Francis, who at once left Dijon and set out for Paris, where the hotel of the Prin- cess Borghese had been prepared for his reception.

Commissioners of the Allies accompanied Napoleon to his new destination. The Imperial General vori Koller, who acted in this capacity in the name of Austria, on one occasion, by his presence of mind and courage, saved Napoleon from dangers which threatened VOL, i. B


242 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

his life in the midst of the hot-blooded country-people of Provence.

The monarchs placed the Empress Marie Louise and the King of Rome under the protection of her father. Marie Louise went to Schonbrunn.

Entrance of Louis XVIII. into Paris, and the condition of France after the return of the Bourbons.

On May 4 King Louis XVIII. made his entrance into Paris. I had placed myself, with Prince Schwarzen- berg, at a window in the Rue Montmartre to see the procession go by. It made a most painful impression upon me. A contrast prevailed between the gloomy countenances of the Imperial Guard who preceded and followed the royal carriage, and that of the King beam- ing with studied affability, which seemed to reflect the general feeling of the country. The attitude of the crowd in the streets completed the picture in this respect. The most opposite feelings were depicted in their faces, and found their expression in the cry ' Vive le Roi ' from the side of the Royalists, and the sullen silence of the enemies of the monarchy. I could almost have thought that the King was too eager to respond with his movement of salutation to so mixed a manifes- tation of feeling.

The three monarchs went immediately to pay their visits to the King, and immediately afterwards I pre- sented myself at the Tuileries. The King received me in his closet. In the course of conversation I could not help remarking to him that in this same room, sit- ting at the same writing table, surrounded by the same articles of furniture, I had passed many hours with Napoleon. ' Your Majesty,' I said to the King, ' seems, however, to be quite at home here.'


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 243

' It must be allowed/ answered the King, ' that Napoleon was a very good tenant ; he made everything most comfortable ; he has arranged everything ex- cellently for me.'

I spent two hours with his Majesty, and left the King without having at all the satisfactory impression which I ought to have had with regard to the future of France. We talked over the maps which had just been published, of the difficulties which, according to my views, had to be faced in carrying them out, of the mood of the public, &c. I therefore had the oppor- tunity of convincing myself that the King had decided views on all those subjects which differed from my own in more than one point of importance.

Time has, more indeed than I could have desired, verified the views which I even then held to be correct.

The question whether the return of the Bourbon family to France was according to the wish of the country has received very different replies. I do not hesitate to affirm that it was accepted most willingly by the enormous majority of the people, and the cause of this feeling lay so deep in the nature of the case that it could not be otherwise.*

France has gone through the phases of social Revo- lution in a comparatively very short time. These phases, between the years 1789 and 1814, may be

  • During 1 my stay in Paris in 1825, when I was summoned thither by

a domestic affliction, I was received by King Charles X. After dinner we spoke much of the past, and lively recollections, called forth by the very rooms in which we stood, rushed into my mind. ' I remember,' I remarked among other things to the King, ' that in 1810 in this very salon I was sitting with Napoleon, and that, when we came to speak of the Bourbons, Napoleon said to me : " Do you know why Louis XVIII. is not sitting opposite to you? It is only because it is I who am sitting here. No other person could maintain his position ; and if ever I disappear in consequence of a catastrophe, no one but a Bourbon could sit here.'"

K 2


244 AUTOBIOGKAPHICAL MEMOIR.

divided into three epochs : the first, from 1789 to 1792, was the epoch of the overthrow of centuries of ancient institutions and the creation of a Eepublic modelled after the illusive ideas of the eighteenth century ; the second, from 1792 to 1804, was the attempt at a Ee- publican government ; and lastly, the Empire, between the years 1804 and 1814, has fulfilled the end which Napoleon's vast genius proposed to itself, and the king- dom of France is once more established on a monarchical foundation.

With the exception of a handful of incorrigible enthusiasts, the republican form of government had few supporters in the country; they had disappeared, first in consequence of the Eeign of Terror, which had raised itself on the ruins of the throne, the old institutions and everything which had outlasted the governments of Louis XIII. and XIV., and the moral decay and the governmental disorders of the Eegency and the time of Louis XV., and then the depravity and weakness of the Directorate. The form of government which Na- poleon had introduced was agreeable to all France, but it was weary of wars of which it could see no end. The return of the Bourbons was not longed for in the sense which the Eoyalists attributed to this feeling, and the Eoyalist party itself had much diminished dur- ing the course of five-and-twenty years. It was longed for by the friends of public order and political peace that is, by the great majority of the nation, which in all times and- in all countries ever places first in their cal- culations the true interests of the Fatherland.

Therefore the real difficulties of the monarchy on the reappearance of the government did not lie in the public feeling, but in the line of conduct which it had taken. The return to what was called ' the old Regime '


ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALLIANCES, 18131814. 245

was impossible, because nothing was left of it but the remembrance of the causes of its decay. Neither had the Bourbons ever thought of it, and even the name was at no time anything more than a brand wherewith to terrify the masses.*

  • Here ends the manuscript ' On the History of the Alliances.' The

following chapter is taken from the text of the ' Guide.' ED.


CHAPTER IX. THE DAWN OF PEACE.


249


CHAPTER IX.

THE DAWN OF PEACE.

Character of the first Peace of Paris Journey to England Return to Vienna German Confederation Congress of Vienna Napoleon's flight from Elba Retrospect on the Congress of Vienna Episode of the Hundred Days Project for elevating the King of Rome to the throne of France The Battle of Waterloo Bonapartism Louis XVIII. The second Peace of Paris Origin of the Holy Alliance Austria Want of a name for the Empire Coronation of the Emperor Austria renounces the Austrian Netherlands and Vorlands A moral Pentarchy.

I SHOULD exceed the limits I have proposed to myself in the present work, if I were to enter into the details of the negotiations which preceded the Peace of May 30. 1814.

The Peace itself bore the stamp of the moderation of the monarchs and their cabinets a moderation which did not arise from weakness, but from the resolve to secure a lasting peace to Europe. The situation was one of those when, for the attainment of an object, it is more dangerous to do too much than too little.

Only a calculation resting on firm foundations can secure the success of an undertaking. It had been proved that the peace to be concluded with France could only be looked at either as a revenge on the country, or as establishing the greatest possible political equilibrium between the Powers. That the Emperor Francis prepared, in perfect harmony with my convic- tion, to bring about the solution of the problem in the latter direction, had been proved by the conditions under which Austria entered the Alliance. The rejec-


250 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

tion of the system of conquest, and the establishment of the system of restitution and equivalents in the forming of kingdoms and states, remove all doubt on this point.

I was beforehand well aware that the Imperial cabinet would, from this manner of looking at the whole question, come into conflict with all kinds of political swindlers and with the separate interests of single governments, but I did not allow my course to be altered thereby. Just as the entrance of Austria into the Quadruple Alliance had formed the foundation for the Peace of Paris, that peace formed the foundation for the settlement of the difficult problem by the Vienna Congress.

After the signature of the Paris Peace, I went with the Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia to England, taking with me the excuses of the Emperor Francis to the Prince Eegent. I also received myself a personal invitation from the Prince Eegent. Twenty years had elapsed since I had first visited that country, and made the acquaintance of the then Prince of Wales. I wished to see England again, to behold with my own eyes the impression which the changes in the political situation on the Continent must have made there, and at the same time to confer with the English Cabinet on the negotiations preliminary to the Congress of Vienna.

After an absence of several months, I arrived again in Vienna on July 18. The moral impression made on me by the mood in which I found the country was not elevating, but so far satisfactory that it convinced me that the political line which I followed was right, in reference to the position of our own empire as well as to the securing of a long general peace. Austria was endur- ing the after-pains of a two-and- twenty years' war, and


THE DAWX OF PEACE. 251

felt her very existence in danger. The people of Austria, always calm and reasonable, had imagined that the union of the Emperor's daughter with Napoleon would have been a pledge of peace, and they yielded reluc- tantly to the fate of a new war. The result to be ex- pected from this war seemed to the populace to be nothing more than a second edition of the former peace in rather a different form.

What a striking contrast was there in the situation of Prussia as compared with that of Austria ! Only a dreamer could put them on the same level, and to the dreamers I have never belonged. The domain which opened the widest field for men of this class at the be- ginning of the Congress was Germany, and with this conviction I looked continually in that direction during the weeks preceding the opening of the Congress.

I have already mentioned the saying of the Emperor that a German political body must be called into exist- ence in the form of a Confederation, and have asserted that this had practically the value of a conditio sine qua non as to the first entrance of Austria into the Alliance. The direction I had to follow was therefore clearly pointed out. The only question was, the choice of means for the attainment of the end. This matter was made extremely difficult by the Powers which opposed it. In the first rank stood the separatist efforts of Prussia ; then the dread of the German princes of any limitation of their sovereign rights ; and, lastly, the aspirations which had emerged in North Germany and the Rhine Provinces since 1806 aspirations which showed themselves partly in decided democratic ten- dencies, and partly can only be described as ' deutsch- thumelnde Geliiste ' (predilections for German nation- ality and principles). In the conflict which arose, the


252 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

aristocratic tendencies blended with the democratic in the mind of Freiherr von Stein played a peculiar and prominent part. Among all these parties the latter, however, was the most divided, both with regard to end and means. To the dictates of party I paid no other attention than to be conscious of their existence, and to redouble our efforts to keep our own path clear.

I summoned the few officials of the time of the Empire to a consultation upon German questions, but I was soon convinced that I could find in them the aid only of mere antiquarianism. I determined, therefore, to take my stand immovably upon the general principles of the Confederation, and to relegate its more special provisions to the German deputies at the Congress.

This Congress was opened on November 3, 1814, by a simple unpretending conference not at all corre- sponding to the expectations of a public greedy for ' spectacle.' *

The Plenipotentiaries of the different states and countries begged me to undertake the direction of the negotiations. I undertook that office in the conviction that the questions to be submitted to the Congress could only be settled if brought forward in systematic order, everything unnecessary being rigorously rejected, with a clear apprehension of everything that time and circumstances demanded. I submitted a scheme for the order of proceeding, which embraced

(a) The consultations of the members of the Quad- ruple Alliance and of France, under the designation of the ' Comite des cinq Puissances'

  • The public had taken it into its head that the meetings of the Pleni-

potentiaries at the Congress would be held in the great Ball-room of the Imperial Palace, and that the public would be admitted to the galleries which run round it.


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 253

(b) The meetings of the Plenipotentiaries of these five Powers with the Plenipotentiaries of Spain, Portu- gal, and Sweden, under the designation of the ' Assem- blee des Jiuit Coursj and their connection with the representatives of the other states.

(c] The institution of a commission to be formed from the Plenipotentiaries of the German states, spe- cially devoted to the regulation of German affairs.

This form was accepted ; and under its protection the grave matters submitted to the assembly were brought to a solution.

The history of the Congress is written in its Acts and in its results, and has no place in these pages. It has experienced the destiny of all remarkable events, it has not escaped the criticism of the prejudiced, or the censure of the superficial ; and, in order to estimate the importance of its transactions, the consideration may suffice that from this Congress the foundations of the political peace which has subsisted for eight-and- thirty years have proceeded, and that its most important decrees have been able not only to defy the storms which arose in the intermediate period, but even to sur- vive the revolutions of the year 1848.*

The news received on March 7, 1815, that Napoleon had left the island of Elba contributed much to the acceleration of the negotiations just begun in the Con- gress, and especially to a more speedy agreement of the German courts with regard to the Acts of Confedera-

  • The mot of Field-Marshal the Prince de Ligne, ' le Congres danse mats ne

marche pas,' has gone the round of the newspapers. During the Congress a number of crowned heads with numerous retinues and a crowd of tourists assembled within the walls of Vienna. To provide social recreation for them was one of the duties of the Imperial Court ; that these festivities had no connection with the labours of the Congress, and did not interfere with them, is proved by the short duration of the Congress, which accomplished its work in five months.


254 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

tion. The course of the affair was as follows, and the decision for war was taken in almost as short a time as I shall require for describing it.

I received the first news of Napoleon having left Elba in the following manner. A conference between the Plenipotentiaries of the five Powers took place in my house on the night of March 6, and lasted till three o'clock in the morning. Since the Cabinets had met in Vienna, I had given my servant orders that if a courier arrived at night he was not to awake me. In spite of this order, the servant brought me at six o'clock in the morning a despatch, sent by courier, and marked urgent When I saw on the envelope the words ' from the Consul-general at Genoa,' having been only two hours in bed, I laid the despatch unopened on the nearest table, and turned round again to sleep. Once disturbed, however, sleep would not come again. About half-past seven I resolved to open the despatch. It contained the information in six lines : ' The English Commissary, Campbell, has just appeared in the har- bour, to inquire whether Napoleon has been seen in Genoa, as he has disappeared from the island of Elba ; this question being answered in the negative, the Eng- lish ship has again put out to sea.'

I was dressed in a few minutes, and before eight o'clock I was with the Emperor. He read the despatch, and said to me quietly and calmly, as he always did on great occasions : ' Napoleon seems to wish to play the adventurer : that is his concern ; ours is to secure to the world that peace which he has disturbed for years. Go without delay to the Emperor of Eussia and the King of Prussia, and tell them that I am ready to order my army to march back to France. I do not doubt but that both monarchs will agree with me.'


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 255

At a quarter-past eight I was with the Emperor Alexander, who dismissed me with the same words as the Emperor Francis had used. At half-past eight I received a similar declaration from the mouth of King Frederic William III. At nine o'clock I was at my house again, where I had directed Field-Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg to meet me. At ten o'clock the minis- ters of the four Powers came at my request. At the same hour adjutants were already on their way, in all directions, to order the armies to halt who were return- ing home.

Thus war was decided on in less than an hour. When the ministers assembled at my house, the event was unknown to them. Talleyrand was the first to enter. I gave him the despatch from Genoa to read. He remained calm, and the following laconic conversa- tion took place between us :

Talleyrand. ' Do you know where Napoleon is going ? '

Metternich. ' The despatch does not say anything about it.'

Talleyrand. ' He will embark somewhere on the coast of Italy, and throw himself into Switzerland.'

Metternich. ' He will go straight to Paris.'

This is the history in its full simplicity.

One great stumbling-block in the arrangement of the German territorial questions at the Vienna Congress proved to be the agreement made at Kalisch between the Emperor of Kussia and the King of Prussia with regard to the incorporation of the kingdom of Saxony with the Prussian monarchy. When at last the Powers had come to an agreement between themselves about this important question, the consent of the King of Saxony not having been yet received, the news arrived in Vienna


256 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

of Napoleon's escape. The Congress commissioned the Duke of Wellington, Prince Talleyrand, and myself to gain the consent of King Frederick Augustus, who was at that time in Presburg. We repaired to the much- harassed Prince, and concluded the business in a few hours.

As a circumstance very characteristic of the time, I will mention that the Duke of Wellington, on the day of our return to Vienna, was present at a review at Pres- burg of a regiment of cuirassiers, which was going to the Rhine, whose march through Vienna on their way to Hungary the Duke had also seen.

In looking back, quite impartially, on the results of the Congress now concluded, I may be allowed to say a few words.

The peculiar characteristic of the French Revolu- tion, from its very beginning, was that it was thoroughly social. Its political character, of which Napoleon was the highest expression, was at first foreign to it. Napo- leon in endeavouring to restore France to internal order, knew no bounds to his love of power.

The unexpected opposition he met with in his enter- prise against Russia, on which he had not calculated, but which the force of circumstances opposed to his erroneous plans, had caused an agreement among the Powers which did not exist in the earlier wars with the Republic and the French Empire, and which Napo- leon had thought unattainable.

That the fatal result to Napoleon of the campaign in Russia did not deceive the Emperor Francis as to the difficulty of attaining for the Continent a secure political peace, events have shewn. That the political rebuilding required after Napoleon's fall would be a most difficult task was evident to the Emperor and


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 257

myself. In our views and feelings, the rejection of all undertakings founded merely on sentiment predominated so strongly as to give to the work whose forerunners were the victories of the Alliance, and whose result was the Peace of Paris, the same impress of quiet deliberation, which had marked our course in the pre- liminary period.

There was no doubt that if the Congress confined itself to the limits of calm calculation, it would be ex- posed to great opposition. The longest time of political peace which Europe has ever enjoyed would, how- ever, suffice to tranquillise the conscience of the great monarch and his assistant, even if the work of the Congress itself had not remained triumphantly fire- proof in the years 1848 and 1849 !

The history of the Hundred Days was but an episode, in illustration of which I will relate only the following incident :

When Napoleon, after his return to Paris, restored to Fouche his former position as Minister of Police, the latter followed exactly in the footsteps of his old course of action, which was a strange mixture of abject sub- jection to the views of the Emperor and of rebellion against them. Fouche, who undeniably had great in- sight into the position of Napoleon and of France, as well as that of the great Powers, and who saw no pros- pect of final victory in the return of Napoleon to the French Imperial throne, sent to me at Vienna a secret agent, with a proposal, addressed to the Emperor Francis, to proclaim the King of Rome Emperor, and accompanied also with a request addressed to myself to despatch a commissioner to Basle, to come to an arrangement for the carrying out of the project. How abhorrent such a step as this would be to the Emperor VOL. i. S


258 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

Francis, on this the French Minister of Police alone could entertain any delusion. The Emperor com- manded me at once to communicate the proposal to the Emperor Alexander and King Frederick William, and to leave it to their judgment, not whether the idea should be entertained, but whether a confidential agent should be despatched to obtain information with respect to the proposal. Both monarchs advised this step. I commissioned an official of my department to undertake this business, informed him of the secret password, and bade him hear everything and say nothing. The agents met at an appointed hour, and after a short time sepa- rated because neither had anything to communicate to the other. It afterwards came out that Napoleon had been informed of the step of his Minister of Police, and instead of a representative of Fouche's, had sent to Basle an agent of his own. This history has found its way into the memoirs of the time, and originated a report of an understanding between Napoleon and the Emperor Francis. Thus is history written !

The battle of Waterloo gave the finishing stroke to the destiny of Napoleon. Even if this battle had not resulted in the success due to the iron resolution of the English General and the courageous assistance of Field-Marshal Bliicher, the cause of Napoleon would nevertheless have been irretrievably lost. The Austrian and Eussian armies together, with the contingent of the German Confederation, moving towards the Ehine, would have spread over France. The power which she before possessed under the Empire was completely broken in consequence of the destructive concessions which Na- poleon in the course of the Hundred Days was con- strained to make. Bonapartism lived only in the army and with some adherents among the civilians. The


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 259

country sighed for peace in 1815 as it had sighed for it in preceding years. If the character of Louis XVIII. had been different, the house of Bourbon would have lasted longer than it did. My feeling in this respect was not the product of a later time : I held it after the first return of Louis XVIII. and briefly expressed it to the King himself in these words : Votre Majete croit fonder la Monarchic : Elle se trompe, c'est la Revolution qu'Elle prend en sous-ceuvre !

I took the liberty of reminding the King of this remark, after his second return. Louis XVIII. was gifted with much power of mind, which, however, took rather a theoretical than a practical direction. He ascended the throne in 1814, still under the influence of those views which had caused him to play the part of president of a section of the Assemblee des Notables. To these he had added some ideas, gathered, during his emigration, from the ecole anglaise, of the same kind as those which since Montesquieu's time had perplexed so many minds in France.

The second Peace of Paris was the complement of the first, and differed from it only in this, that the Powers desired to give to the country a lesson, by taking away some places on the frontier, by restoring to fo- reign countries the art-treasures seized in the wars of the Eevolution, by imposing a contribution, and by the temporary occupation of some of the departments, in order to secure internal peace and the safety of the ancient throne of France.

During the negotiations of the second Peace of Paris, the Emperor Alexander desired me to come to him, that he might impart to me that he was occupied with a great undertaking, about which he wished especially to consult the Emperor Francis. ' There are things,' said

s 2


260 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

the Emperor, ' which feelings must decide, and feelings are under the influence of personal position and situa- tion. These have a commanding influence on indivi- duals. If it was a matter of business, I should ask you for your advice, but the present, matter is of such a kind that not the ministers but only the monarchs are capable of deciding it. Tell the Emperor Francis that I wish to speak to him on a subject on which I can explain myself only to him. It will then be in his power to take counsel of you, my dear Prince.'

After a lapse of some days, I was summoned by the Emperor Francis, who told me that early on that day he had called upon the Emperor Alexander in conse- quence of a request from him for a personal interview on a most important subject. ' You will learn,' said his Majesty, 'what the subject is from this document, which he committed to my careful consideration. You know I do not like to express myself on a subject which I have not thoroughly examined. I have therefore taken this paper, which is written in the Emperor Alexander's own hand, and reserved to myself the power of express- ing an opinion upon it. Read and examine it, and tell ine your opinion of the document, which does not please me at all ; it has indeed excited the most grave re- flections in my mind.'

No very severe examination was required on my part to see that the paper was nothing more than a philanthropic aspiration clothed in a religious garb, which supplied no material for a treaty between the monarchs, and which contained many phrases that might even have given occasion to religious misconstructions.

On the projected treaty, therefore, my views coin- cided with those of the Emperor Francis ; and as the Emperor Alexander had told the Emperor Francis that


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 261

the document was to be shown to the King of Prussia, his Majesty ordered me to go to the King and ask his opinion of it. I found the King also agreed with the Emperor Francis, except that he hesitated to reject the views of the Russian monarch entirely. However, we came to an agreement as to the impossibility of execut- ing the document without some absolutely necessary changes in the text. Even to this the Emperor Francis did not quite agree.

In consequence of this, I was charged by both mon- archs to go to the Emperor Alexander as their common representative. In a conversation of several hours, I succeeded, not without great difficulty, in persuading the author of the necessity of changing several sentences and omitting some passages entirely.

I gave his Majesty, my Imperial master, an account of the objections which I had made without reserve about this, at any rate, useless scheme, and of my pre- diction of the malicious interpretation which I felt cer- tain it would not escape.

The Emperor Francis, although he did not approve the project even when modified, agreed to sign it, for reasons which I for my part could not oppose.

This is the history of the ' Holy Alliance,' which even in the partial feeling of its originator had no other object than that of a moral demonstration, whilst in the eyes of the other persons concerned the document had no such meaning, and therefore does not deserve the interpretation which was afterwards put on it by party spirit

The most unanswerable proof of the correctness of this statement exists in the circumstance that never afterwards did it happen that the ' Holy Alliance ' was made mention of between the cabinets, nor indeed


262 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

could it have been mentioned. Only the parties hostile to the monarchs used it as a weapon for the calumnia- tion of the purest intentions of their opponents.

The ' Holy Alliance ' was not an institution to keep down the rights of the people, to promote absolutism or any other tyranny. It was only the overflow of the pietistic feeling of the Emperor Alexander, and the application of Christian principles to politics.

From a union of religious and political-liberal ideas the ' Holy Alliance ' was developed under the influence of Frau von Kriidener and Monsieur Bergasse. No one is so well acquainted as I am with the circumstances of this ' loud-sounding nothing.'

In conclusion, I may be allowed to throw a passing glance over the Austrian Monarchy, and to give in a few lines the picture of a country which to foreigners has always had the character of a terra incognita.

The kingdom, which only since 1806 has taken the name of the Austrian Empire, is like no other either in its origin or its maturity. To the Ostmark of the Empire many other districts have been added under the House of Hapsburg, which were formerly separated from each other by history or nationality. These have brought to this dynasty in the course of generations a great pos- session, not, with few exceptions, by way of conquest, but by hereditary succession, contracts of marriage, and voluntary submission with reservation of individual rights. That these rights and reservations were gene- rally maintained by the rulers, when they were not forfeited by single portions of the Empire, is a truth which the party spirit and political strife of foreigners may attack but can never destroy. If this may be maintained in general of the rulers of the House of Hapsburg, the reign of the Emperor Joseph H. is an


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 263

exception in the history of Austria, the consequences of which, so far from answering the expectations of that monarch, have led the kingdom and the government into difficulties in exact opposition to his intentions.

From the singular formation of the whole kingdom, united under a succession of rulers unbroken for cen- turies, arose the extraordinary want of a name for this whole a want which is shown by its appellation of the 'House of Hapsburg,' or the 'House of Austria.' This case is unique in the history of states, for in no other country has the name of the ruling family been used instead of the name of the country in ordinary, and still less in diplomatic, usage. Not until 1806, at the same time with the extinction of the German Imperial dignity, did the Emperor Francis give to his Empire the name of the ' Empire of Austria,' which appellation was not chosen arbitrarily, but was a necessity, and gave the appearance as if the parts were united to the whole and to each other only by a personal union.

The coronation of the Emperor should form the keystone of the new edifice. This design was executed in the Patent of 1806, but, from the circumstances of the times, not carried into effect. Subsequently there were two moments when this omission might have been repaired : first, the General Peace ; secondly, at the accession of the first successor to the Founder of the Austrian Empire. Both times I raised my voice in favour of the coronation. According to my views, deputations from all parts of the monarchy should assist at the coronation, thus performing an act of common homage to the common head of the State, whilst they should receive the assurance of the maintenance of the constitutional rights of each country.

The Empire of Austria, without being a federal


264 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR.

state, had yet the advantage and the disadvantage of a federal constitution. If the head of the house was in the modern sense of the word absolute, this notion was re- stricted in its sovereign power, according to the different constitutions of the several countries whose crowns he united on his own head. That this position was a most peculiar one cannot be doubted ; and it is no less certain that it would have been untenable, if it had not been founded on the most important of motives namely, the interest of the different parts of the Empire in being united. These facts, which were clearly seen by the Emperor and myself, exercised a decided influ- ence on the reconstruction of the Empire in the years 1813 to 1815.

The union of the former Austrian Netherlands and of the districts known under the name of the Austrian Vorlande with the Austrian Empire would, in the years just mentioned, not only not have been objected to, but the re-union of Belgium with the Empire was even desired by the Allied Powers on natural political grounds. We rejected it, in consequence of a consideration, not refer- ring to our Empire alone, but to the great work of peace. We wished to remove our country from direct contact with France, and thus put an end to the wars which had been in consequence of this contact perpetually occurring between the two neighbouring empires. For France is the country where innovations of all kinds are most easily introduced, but where old accustomed im- pressions last the longest. From this latter reason, the altered situation of Austria and France, after the return of the old dynasty to the French throne, was not noticed either by the public or even in the cabinet, and there was in many minds the same idea of wars between France and Austria as if the geographical position of the two


THE DAWN OF PEACE. 265

countries was the same as in the times of Francis I. and Louis XIV.

The Act of Congress had placed the possessions of the kingdom and the states on firm foundations. The four Powers which had so successfully driven back France into her old boundaries, admitted the French crown into their alliance replaced in its former rights. From the Quadruple Alliance, dissolved in consequence of its political end being attained, arose the moral Pentarchy, whose power was afterwards established, limited, and regulated in the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Thus the foundations of a lasting Peace were secured as far as possible.


NOTE to page 41.

Hugh Elliot, son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, had a commission given him in 1762, when he was only ten years old. This scandal s pointedly alluded to in the ' North Briton,' Nos. 43 and 45. In 1771, when he wished to take active service, the ratification of the appointment was refused, though the rank of captain appears to have been granted to him. He was appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands in 1809, and in 1814 recalled and made Governor of Madras. He died in 1830. His brother Gilbert, first Earl Minto, was Governor-General of India. TR.


BOOK II


GALLEEY OF CELEBEATED CONTEMPORARIES.


NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. A PORTRAIT

BT

PRINCE METTERNICH, 1820.


AMONG individuals by their position independent of this extraordinary man, there are few who have had so many points of contact and such direct relations with him as I have had.

In the different phases of these relations, my opinion of Napoleon has never varied. I have seen and studied him in the moments of his greatest success ; I have seen and followed him in those of his decline ; and though he may have attempted to induce me to form wrong con- clusions about him as it was often his interest to do he has never succeeded. I may then flatter myself with having seized the essential traits of his character, and with having formed an impartial judgment with respect to it, while the great majority of his contempo- raries have seen as it were through a prism only the brilliant sides and the defective or evil sides of a man whom the force of circumstances and great personal qualities raised to a height of power unexampled in modern history.

Endeavouring with a rare sagacity and an indefatig- able perseverance to make the most of what half a


270 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

century of events seemed to have prepared in his favour ; animated by a spirit of domination as active as clearsighted; skilful in appreciating every advantage which the circumstances of the moment offered to his ambition ; knowing how to turn to his own advantage with remarkable skill the faults and weaknesses of others, Bonaparte was left alone on the battle-field where blind passions and furious factions had raged and disputed for ten years. Having at last confiscated to his own advantage the whole Eevolution, he seemed to me from that time to be the indivisible point on which all observations should be centred, and my ap- pointment as Ambassador in France furnished me with peculiar facilities, which I have been careful not to neglect.

The judgment is often influenced by first impres- sions. I had never seen Napoleon till the audience which he gave me at St.-Cloud, when I delivered my credentials. I found him standing in the middle of one of the rooms, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and six other members of the Court. He wore the Guard's uniform, and had his hat on his head. This latter cir- cumstance, improper in any case, for the audience was not a public one, struck me as misplaced pretension, showing the parvenu ; I even hesitated for a moment, whether I too should not cover. However, I delivered a short speech, the concise and exact style of which differed essentially from that which had come into use in the new Court of France.

His attitude seemed to me to show constraint and even embarrassment. His short, broad figure, negligent dress, and marked endeavour to make an imposing effect, combined to weaken in me the feeling of gran- deur naturally attached to the idea of a man before


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 271

whom the world trembled. This impression has never been entirely effaced from my mind : it was present with me in the most important interviews which I have had with Napoleon, at different epochs in his career. Possibly it helped to show me the man as he was, be- hind the masks with which he knew how to cover him- self. In his freaks, in his fits of passion, in his brusque interpellations, I saw prepared scenes, studied and cal- culated to produce a certain effect on the person to whom he was speaking.

In my relations with Napoleon, relations which from the beginning I endeavoured to make frequent and con- fidential, what at first struck me most was the re- markable perspicuity and grand simplicity of his mind and its processes. Conversation with him always had a charm for me, difficult to define. Seizing the essential point of subjects, stripping them of useless accessories, developing his thought and never ceasing to elaborate it till he had made it perfectly clear and conclusive, always finding the fitting word for the thing, or invent- ing one where the usage of the language had not created it, his conversation was ever full of interest. He did not converse, he talked ; by the wealth of his ideas and the facility of his elocution, he was able to lead the conversation, and one of his habitual ex- pressions was, ' I see what you want ; you wish to come to such or such a point ; well, let us go straight to it.'

Yet he did not fail to listen to the remarks and objections which were addressed to him ; he accepted them, questioned them, or opposed them, without losing the tone or overstepping the bounds of a business dis- cussion ; and I have never felt the least difficulty in say- ing to him what I believed to be the truth, even when

O '

it was not likely to please him.


272 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

Whilst in his conceptions all was clear and precise, in what required action he knew neither difficulty nor uncertainty. Ordinary rules did not embarrass him at all. In practice, as in discussion, he went straight to the end in view without being delayed by considera- tions which he treated as secondary, and of which he perhaps too often disdained the importance. The most direct line to the object he desired to reach was that which he chose by preference, and which he followed to the end, while nothing could entice him to deviate from it ; but then, being no slave to his plans, he knew how to give them up or modify them the moment that his point of view changed, or new combinations gave him the means of attaining it more effectually by a different path.

He had little scientific knowledge, although his parti- sans encouraged the belief that he was a profound mathe- matician. His knowledge of mathematical science would not have raised him above the level of any officer destined, as he was himself, for the Artillery ; but his natural abilities supplied the want of knowledge. He became a legislator and administrator, as he became a great soldier, by following his own instinct. The turn of his mind always led him towards the positive ; he disliked vague ideas, and hated equally the dreams of visionaries and the abstraction of idealists, and treated as mere nonsense everything that was not clearly and practically presented to him. He valued only those sciences which can be controlled and verified by the senses or which rest on observation and experience. He had the greatest contempt for the false philosophy and the false philanthropy of the eighteenth century. Among the chief teachers of these doctrines, Voltaire was the special object of his aversion, and he even went


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 273

so far as to attack, whenever he had the opportunity, the general opinion as to his literary power.

Napoleon was not irreligious in the ordinary sense of the word. He would not admit that there had ever existed a genuine atheist ; he condemned Deism as the result of rash speculation. A Christian and a Catholic, he recognised in religion alone the right to govern human societies. He looked on Christianity as the basis of all real civilisation ; and considered Catholicism as the form of worship most favourable to the mainten- ance of order and the true tranquillity of the moral world ; Protestantism as a source of trouble and dis- agreements. Personally indifferent to religious prac- tices, he respected them too much to permit the slightest ridicule of those who followed them. It is possible that religion was, with him, more the result of an enlightened policy than an affair of sentiment ; but whatever might have been the secret of his heart, he took care never to betray it. His opinions of men were concentrated in one idea which, unhappily for him, had in his mind gained the force of an axiom. He was per- suaded that no man, called to appear in public life, or even only engaged in the active pursuits of life, was guided or could be guided by any other motive than that of interest. He did not deny the existence of virtue and honour ; but he maintained that neither of these sentiments had ever been the chief guide of any but those whom he called dreamers, and to whom, by this title, he, in his own mind, denied the existence of the requisite faculty for taking a successful part in the affairs of society. I had long arguments with him on an assertion which my conviction repelled, and of which I endeavoured to show him the fallacy, at any VOL. i. T


274 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

rate, to the extent to which he applied it, but I never succeeded in moving him on this point.*

He was gifted with a particular tact for recognising those men who could be useful to him. He discovered in them very quickly the side by which he could best attach them to his interest. Never forgetting, however, to seek the guarantee of their fidelity in a calculation of interest, he took care to join their fortune to his own, involving them in such a way as to cut off the possibility of retreat to other engagements. He had, above all, studied the national character of the French, and the history of his life proved that he had under- stood it rightly. He privately regarded the Parisians as children, and often compared Paris to the opera. Having reproached him one day with the palpable falsehoods which formed the chief part of his bulletins, he said to me with a smile, ' They are not written for

  • This allusion to Napoleon's habit of attributing all human actions to un-

worthy motives recalls the opinion which Montaigne has expressed on the celebrated historian Guicciardini. The following passage might be applied, word for word, to Napoleon ; ' I have remarked that of all the many acts and deeds, of all the many movements and courses, on which he passed his opinion, he does not attribute a single one to virtue, religion, and conscience ; as if these things were quite extinct in the world ; and of all actions, however good they may seem to be, he attributes the motive to some bad reason, or the gaining of some advantage. It is impossible to imagine that, amongst the infinite number of actions of which he judges, there should not be one pro- duced by the voice of reason ; corruption cannot have seized men so univer- sally that not one escapes the contagion. This leads me to fear that there may be something wrong in his judgment ; and it may chance that he has estimated others by himself.' (Essays, I. it. c. 6). I think I have read somewhere that Napoleon had a great opinion of Guicciardini. Certainly he greatly admired Macchiavelli. But there was this important difference between Guicciardini and Macchiavelli, although both were truly the offspring of the age : the one was content to paint the general depravity of his contemporaries in the hideous colours of truth, without seeming to applaud them ; whilst the other is a most zealous and impudent panegyrist : all that has been done to absolve Macchiavelli from this reproach is only a tissue of evil sophisms. lie was the man of his time, and that is all that can be said in his excuse.


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 275

you ; the Parisians believe everything, and I might tell them a great deal more which they would not refuse to accept.'

It frequently happened that he turned his conversa- tion into historical discussions. These discussions gen- erally revealed his imperfect knowledge of facts, but an extreme sagacity in appreciating causes and fore- seeing consequences. Thus he guessed more than he knew, and, while lending to persons and events the colour of his own mind, he explained them in an in- genious manner. As he always made use of the same quotations, he must have drawn from a very few books, and those principally abridgments, the most salient points of ancient history and the history of France. He, however, charged his memory with a collection of names and facts sufficiently copious to impose on those whose studies had been still less thorough than his own. His heroes were Alexander, Cassar, and, above all, Charlemagne. He was singularly occupied with his claim to be the successor of Charlemagne by right and title. He would lose himself in interminable discussions with me in endeavouring to sustain this paradox by the feeblest reasoning. Apparently it was my quality of Austrian Ambassador which I had to thank for his obstinacy on this point.

One thing which he always regretted extremely was, that he could not invoke the principle of Legitimacy as the basis of his power. Few men have been so pro- foundly conscious as he was that authority deprived of this foundation is precarious and fragile, and open to attack. He never lost an opportunity of anxiously protesting against those who imagined that he occupied the throne as a usurper. ' The throne of France,' he said to me once, 'was vacant. Louis XVI. had

T 2


276 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

not been able to maintain himself. If I had been in his place, the Kevolution notwithstanding the im- mense progress it had made in men's minds in the pre- ceding reign would never have been consummated. The King overthrown, the Republic was master of the soil of France. It is that which I have replaced. The old throne of France is buried under its rubbish ; I had to found a new one. The Bourbons could not reign over this creation. My strength lies in my fortune : I am new, like the Empire ; there is, therefore, a perfect homogeneity between the Empire and myself.'

However, I have often thought that Napoleon, by talking in this way, merely sought to study the opinion of others or to confuse it, and the direct advance which he made to Louis XVIIL in 1804 seemed to confirm this suspicion. Speaking to me one day of this ad- vance, he said : ' Monsieur's reply was grand ; it was full of fine traditions. There is something in legiti- mate rights which appeals to more than the mere mind. If Monsieur had consulted his mind only, he would have arranged with me, and I should have made for him a magnificent future.'

He was also much impressed with the idea of deriving the origin of supreme authority from the Divinity. He said to me one day at Compiegne, shortly after his marriage with the Archduchess, * I see that the Empress, in writing to her father, addresses her letter to His Sacred and Imperial Majesty. Is this title customary with you ? ' I told him that it was, from the tradition of the old German Empire, which bore the title of the Holy Empire, and because it was also at- tached to the Apostolic crown of Hungary. Napoleon then replied, in a grave tone : ' It is a fine custom, and a good expression. Power comes from God, and it is


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 277

that alone which places it beyond the attacks of men. Hence I shall adopt the title some day.'

He laid great stress on his aristocratic birth and the

o

antiquity of his family. He has more than once en- deavoured to explain to me that envy and calumny alone could throw any doubt on the nobility of his birth. ' I am placed,' he said to me, ' in a singular position. There are genealogists who would date my family from the Deluge, and there are people who pre- tend that I am of plebeian birth. The truth lies between these two. The Bonapartes are a good Corsican family, little known, for we have hardly ever left our island, but much better than many of the coxcombs who take upon themselves to vilify us.'

Napoleon looked upon himself as a being isolated from the rest of the world, made to govern it, and to direct every one according to his own will. He had no other regard for men than a foreman in a manufactory feels for his workpeople.* The person to whom he was most attached was Duroc. ' He loves me as a dog loves his master,' was the expression he used in speak- ing to me about him. Berthier's feeling for him he compared to that of a child's nurse. These comparisons, far from being opposed to his theory of the motives which actuate men, were the natural consequence of it, for where he met with sentiments which he could not explain simply by interest, he attributed them to a kind of instinct.

  • Marshal Lannes was mortally wounded at the battle of Aspern. The

bulletins of the French army related the occurrence, and gave the very words the Marshal had used. This is what Napoleon said to me about it : ' You have read the sentence I put into Lannes' mouth ? he never thought of it ! When the Marshal pronounced my name, they came to tell me, and immediately I declared he must be dead. Lannes hated me cor- dially. He spoke my name as atheists do the name of God, when they come to die. Laiines having called for me, I looked upon his case as hopeless.'


278 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

Much has been said of Napoleon's superstition, and almost as much of his want of personal bravery. Both of these accusations rest either on false ideas or mis- taken observations. Napoleon believed in fortune, and who has made the trial of it that he has ? He liked to boast of his good star ; he was very glad that the com- mon herd did not object to believe him to be a privi- leged being ; but he did not deceive himself about him- self : and, what is more, he did not care to grant too large a share to fortune in considering his elevation. I have often heard him say : ' They call me lucky, be- cause I am able ; it is weak men who accuse the strong of good fortune.'

I will here mention an anecdote which shows to what an extent he relied on his innate energy and vigour of mind. Among the paradoxes which he liked to maintain on questions of medicine and physiology (sub- jects for which he had a natural predilection), he as- serted that death is often only the effect of an absence of energetic will in the individual. One day at St.- Cloud, he had had a dangerous fall (he had been thrown out of a carriage on to a great block of stone, nar- rowly escaping severe injury to his stomach) ;* the next day, when I inquired how he was, he replied very gravely : ' I yesterday completed my experiences on the power of the will ; when I was struck in the stomach I felt my life going ; I had only just time to say to myself that I did not wisli to diQ, and I live ! Anyone else in my place would have died.' If this is to be called superstition, it must, at any rate, be granted that it is

  • I could almost imagine that this accident may have assisted to develop

the germ of the malady to which Napoleon succumbed at St. Helena, and I am surprised that this has not been already remarked. It is true, however, that he has often told me that this malady was hereditary in his family.


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 279

very different from that which had been attributed to him.

It is the same with his courage. He was most tena- cious of life ; but, since so vast a number of destinies were bound up with his, it was doubtless allowable in him to see something more in it than the pitiful exist- ence of an individual. He did not, therefore, think himself called upon to expose ' Caesar and his fortune ' simply to prove his courage. Other great commanders have thought and acted as he did. If he had not that stimulus which makes break-neck daring, that is cer- tainly not a reason for accusing him of cowardice, as some of his enemies have not hesitated to do. The his- tory of his campaigns suffices to prove that he was always at the place, dangerous or not, which was proper for the head of a great army.

In private life, without being amiable, he was good- natured, and even carried indulgence to the point of weakness. A good son and good kinsman, with those little peculiarities that are met with more particularly in the family interiors of the Italian bourgeoisie, he allowed the extravagant courses of some of his relations without using sufficient strength of will to stop them, even when it would have been clearly to his interest to do so. His sisters, in particular, got from him, everything that they wanted.

Neither of his wives had ever anything to complain of from Napoleon's personal manners. Although the fact is well known already, a saying of the Arch- duchesse Marie Louise will put it in a new light. ' I am sure,' she said to me some time after her marriage, ' that they think a great deal about me in Vienna, and that the general opinion is that I live a life of daily suffering. So true, is it that truth is often not probable.


280 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

I have no fear of Napoleon, but I begin to think that he is afraid of me.'

Simple and even easy as he was in private life, he showed himself to little advantage in the great world. It is difficult to imagine anything more awkward than Napoleon's manner in a drawing-room. The pains which he took to correct the faults of his nature and education only served to make his deficiencies more evident. I am satisfied that he would have made great sacrifices to add to his height and give dignity to his appearance, which became more common in proportion as his embonpoint increased. He walked by preference on tiptoe. His costumes were studied to form a con- trast by comparison with the circle which surrounded him, either by their extreme simplicity or by their ex- treme magnificence. It is certain that he made Talma come to teach him particular attitudes. He showed much favour to this actor, and his affection was greatly founded on the likeness which really existed between them. He liked very much to see Talma on the stage ; it might be said, in fact, that he saw himself repro- duced. Out of his mouth there never came one graceful or even a well-turned speech to a woman, although the effort to make one was often expressed on his face and in the sound of his voice. He spoke to ladies only of their dress, of which he declared himself a severe judge, or perhaps of the number of their chil- dren, and one of his usual questions was if they had nursed their children themselves, a question which he commonly made in terms seldom used in good society, He sometimes tried to inflict upon them questions on the private relations of society, which gave to his conver- sations more the character of misplaced admonitions misplaced at least as to the choice of place and manner


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 281

than that of polite drawing-room conversations. This want of savoir-vivre more than once exposed him to repartees which he was not able to return. His feeling against women who mixed in politics or affairs almost amounted to hatred.*

In order to judge of this extraordinary man, we must follow him upon the grand theatre for which he was born. Fortune had no doubt done much for Napo- leon ; but by the force of his character, the activity and lucidity of his mind, and by his genius for the great combinations of military science, he had risen to the level of the position which she had destined for him. Having but one passion, that of power, he never lost either his time or his means on those objects which might have diverted him from his aim. Master of himself, he soon became master of men and events. In whatever time he had appeared he would have played a prominent part. But the epoch when he first entered on his career was particularly fitted to facilitate his elevation. Surrounded by individuals who, in the midst of a world in ruins, walked at random without any fixed guidance, given up to all kinds of ambition and greed, he alone was able to form a plan, hold

  • Madame de Stael applied to me in 1810, to obtain for her from Napo-

leon permission to live in Paris. Everybody knew the extraordinary value she placed on this favour, of which I need not attempt to discover the motives. I had no reason to take any particular interest in the request of Madame de Stael ; I knew, too, that my assistance would not be of much use to her. An opportunity, however, occurred, when I was able to make known to Napoleon the request of this celebrated woman. ' I do not want Madame de Stael in Paris,' he said to me, ' and I have good reasons for saying so.' I replied that it might be so, but it was no less certain that by this way of treating a lady he gave her a distinction which, without that, she might not, perhaps, have. 'If Madame de Stael,' Napoleon replied, ' would be or could be either a royalist or a republican, I should have nothing to say against her ; but she is a machine in motion which will make a disturbance in the salons. It is only in France that such a woman is to be feared, and I will not agree to it.'


282 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

it fast, and conduct it to its conclusion. It was in the course of the second campaign in Italy that he con- ceived the one which was to carry him to the summit of power. ' When I was young,' he said to me ; ' I was revolutionary from ignorance and ambition. At the age of reason, I have followed its counsels and my own instinct, and I crushed the Eevolution.'

He was so accustomed to think of himself as neces- sary for the maintenance of the system he had created that at last he no longer understood how the world could go on without him. I have no doubt that he spoke from a deep and thorough conviction when, in our conversation at Dresden in 1813, he said to me these very words : ' I shall perish, perhaps ; but in my fall I shall drag down thrones, and with them the whole of society ! '

The prodigious successes of which his life was full had doubtless ended by blinding him ; but up to the time of the campaign of 1812, when he for the first time succumbed under the weight of illusions, he never lost sight of the profound calculations by which he had so often conquered. Even after the disaster of Moscow, we have seen him defend himself with as much coolness as energy, and the campaign of 1814 was certainly that in which he displayed most military talent, and that with much reduced means. I have never been among those and their number was considerable who thought that after the events of 1814 and 1815, he tried to create a new career, by descending to the part of an adventurer, and by giving in to the most romantic projects. His character and the turn of his mind made him despise all that was petty. Like great gamblers, instead of being pleased with the chances of a petty game, they would have filled him with disgust.


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 283

The question has often been asked, Whether Napo- leon was radically good or bad ? It has always seemed to me that these epithets, as they are generally understood, are not applicable to a character such as his. Constantly occupied with one sole object, given up day and night to the task of holding the helm of an empire which, by progressive encroachments, had finished by including the interests of a great part of Europe, he never re- coiled from fear of the wounds he might cause, nor even from the immense amount of individual suffering inseparable from the execution of his projects. As a war-chariot crushes everything which it meets on its way, Napoleon thought of nothing but to advance. He took no notice of those who had not been on their guard ; he was sometimes tempted to accuse them of stupidity. Unmoved by anything which was out of his path, he did not concern himself with it for good or evil. He could sympathise with family troubles, he was indifferent to political calamities.

It was the same with the instruments he made use of. Disinterested generosity he had none ; he only dis- pensed his favours and kindnesses in proportion to the value he put on the utility of those who received them. He treated others as he thought himself treated by them. He accepted all services, without scrutinising either the motives, the opinions, or the antecedents of those who offered them to him, except to make use of them for his own purposes.

Napoleon had two aspects. As a private man, he was easy tempered and tractable, without being either good or bad. In his public capacity he admitted no sentiment ; he wasnever influenced either by affection or by hatred. He crushed or removed his enemies, without thinking of anything but the necessity or advi-


284 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

sability of getting rid of them. This object gained, he forgot them entirely and injured them no more.

Many useless attempts have been made, and much learning vainly expended in order to compare Napoleon to such or such of his predecessors in the career of conquest and political revolution. The mania for paral- lels has been a real evil for history ; it has cast a false light on the most remarkable characters, and has often quite distorted the point of view from which they ought to be regarded. It is impossible to judge of a man when separated from the setting in which he was placed, and the circumstances which combined to act upon him. If nature, even, were pleased to create two individuals absolutely alike, their development in periods and situa- tions which admit of no analogy would necessarily efface the first resemblance and confuse the unskilful painter who wishes to reproduce it. The true historian, he who is aware of the infinitely varied elements whicli ought to enter into the composition of his pictures, will gladly give up the vain idea of comparing Napoleon, either to the heroes of antiquity, the barbarian con- querors of the Middle Ages, a great king of the last century, or a usurper of the stamp of. Cromwell. None of these chance resemblances can offer any new light for the instruction of posterity ; but they inevitably falsify the truth of history.

Napoleon's system of conquests was, too, of a quite peculiar character. The object of the universal domi- nation to which he aspired was not the concentration of an enormous region in the immediate hands of the government, but the establishing of a central supremacy over the states of Europe, after the ideal disfigured and exaggerated in the Empire of Charlemagne. If mo- mentary considerations made him abandon this system,


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 285

if they led him to appropriate or to incorporate with French territory countries which for his own interests lie ought not to have touched, these measures so in- jurious to the strength of his power, far from advanc- ing the development of the great plan which he had really in his mind, only served to overturn and destroy it. This plan would have been extended to the Church. He wished to make Paris the seat of Catholicism, and to detach the Pope from all temporal interests, while assuring to him the spiritual supremacy under the segis of Imperial France.

In these political and military combinations, Napo- leon did not fail to reckon largely on the weakness and errors of his adversaries. It must be confessed that a long experience only too well justified him in following this principle. But it is also certain that he abused it, and that the habit of despising the means and capa- bilities of his adversaries was one of the principal causes of his downfall. The Alliance of 1813 destroyed him, because he was never able to persuade himself, that the members of a coalition could remain united and persevere in a given course of action.

The opinion of the world is still divided, and per- haps will always be, on the question, Whether Napoleon did in fact deserve to be called a great man ? It would be impossible to dispute the great qualities of one who, rising from obscurity, has become in a few years the strongest and most powerful of his contemporaries. But strength, power, and superiority are more or less relative terms. To appreciate properly the degree of genius which has been required for a man to dominate his age, it is necessary to have the measure of that age. This is the point from which opinions with regard to Napoleon diverge so essentially. If the era of the


286 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

Eevolution was, as its admirers think, the most brilliant, the most glorious epoch of modern history, Napoleon, who has been able to take the first place in it, and to keep it for fifteen years, was, certainly, one of the greatest men who have ever appeared. If, on the con- trary, he has only had to move like a meteor above the mists of a general dissolution ; if he has found nothing around him but the debris of a social condition ruined by the excess of false civilisation ; if he has only had to combat a resistance weakened by universal lassitude, feeble rivalries, ignoble passions, in fact, adversaries everywhere disunited and paralysed by their disagree- ments, the splendour of his success diminishes with the facility with which he obtained it. Now, as in our opinion, this was really the state of things, we are in no danger of exaggerating the idea of Napoleon's gran- deur, though acknowledging that there was something extraordinary and imposing in his career.

The vast edifice which he had constructed was exclu- sively the work of his hands, and he was himself the key- stone of the arch. But this gigantic construction was essentially wanting in its foundation ; the materials of which it was composed were nothing but the ruins of other buildings ; some were rotten from decay, others had never possessed any consistency from their very beginning. The keystone of the arch has been with- drawn, and the whole edifice has fallen in.

Such is, in a few words, the history of the French Empire. Conceived and created by Napoleon, it only existed in him ; and with him it was extinguished.*

  • In the last months of the year 1853, two works appeared which,

though not of equal importance, have a peculiar value for enabling us to form an opinion of the character of Napoleon. These works are the Memoirs of King Joseph (of Naples and Spain), and the History of Napoleon at St. Helena, from the papers left by Sir Hudson Lowe. In these two


PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. 287

works the inind and character of the man are pourtrayed in situations the most opposite. In one he is the conqueror of the world : in the other a pri- soner on an island in the ocean. To both these works Napoleon contributed not merely the matter, but he appears in them as the author as well as the subject of the history. AVhat result does the impartial observer de- rive from the study of these works ? Certainly not an exalted estimate of the man who had for many years the destiny of human society in his hands.

As far as I am personally concerned, these books revealed nothing' new, and did not even serve to correct the judgment forced upon me by long immediate contact such contact as never existed between Napoleon and any other person not a Frenchman. His rare intellectual gifts, his strength of will and his weaknesses I always regarded without prejudice in the liglit of truth, and I have depicted, under strong control but yet fearlessly, not only myself but Napoleon in the most decisive moments.

These latest historical performances are all that have come from the pen of Napoleon's companion at St. Helena, and greatly originate with Napoleon himself, setting before us, not the portrait of the man as he was, but as he wished to represent himself to the world.


288


CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON.

BY

PRINCE METTERNICH.


The Coronation of the Empress Josephine.

SHORTLY after his retirement from the ministry, Cardinal Oonsalvi related to me the following fact with regard to the invalidity of the Emperor Napoleon's marriage with the Empress Josephine.

The Emperor Napoleon had invited the Pope to come to Paris to crown him alone. There was no question of the coronation of the Empress Josephine in the long negotiations which took place with the object of overcoming the repugnance of his Holiness to make this journey ; they did not even mention this princess to him when he was actually in Paris, till the evening before the coronation.

His Holiness begged repeatedly to be informed of the details and ceremonial of the fete ; but they avoided giving him the least idea of it, alleging frivolous pre- texts which irritated the Pope so much that he declared lie would not officiate at this solemn occasion if he was not informed some days beforehand of the part he was to take, and the form of the oath which was to be repeated. Then they promised to satisfy him, but by


THE CORONATION OF THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE. 289

constant delays the communication he desired was not made till the evening before the day fixed for the coronation, and announced to the nation in the public papers.

The Holy Father perceived to his great surprise that it was intended to crown the Empress at the same time as Napoleon.

The Pope was undecided as to the part he ought to take : on one side, he had no proof of the validity of the Emperor's marriage, which was contracted at a time when that sacrament was only considered as a civil contract ; on the other, how could he hesitate to cele- brate the coronation the next day, when it had been publicly announced to the nation? A refusal on his part would have exposed him to humiliation, for Napo- leon could have been crowned by the Archbishop of Paris or Cardinal Fesch, and the Pope would have been condemned to a situation which the eclat of his journey would have made the more ignominious ; besides Napo- leon's dissatisfaction would doubtless have rendered abortive the real object which induced the Holy Father to take this journey. He would have run the risk of obtaining no advantage from a step which could not at this time have been agreeable to the Catholic Powers or the Christian world. He had received repeated assurances that the articles inserted by the French Government at the conclusion of the Concordat, by the request of his Holiness, should be reformed and recast, and that arrangements should be made in ecclesiastical affairs and in favour of the French clergy. These con- siderations, important for the Sovereign Pontiff, had outweighed the censure which he did not conceal from himself must be incurred by a journey about which he had been long reproached. The Holy Father, never- VOL. I. U


290 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

theless, constrained by the sentiment of duty, declared that he would not appear at the august ceremony, and that he would sacrifice all his interests if he did not receive direct proofs of the validity of the marriage between the Emperor and the Empress Josephine.

In the meantime, two or three French bishops, whom Cardinal Consalvi named to me, came to present their homage to the Holy Father ; he communicated to them the cause of the agitation and disquiet which his coun- tenance betrayed. The bishops reassured him, and gave him details of the marriage of Napoleon with Josephine, and the sacramental bond by which they were united. The Holy Father, quite taken in, crowned them the next day; and it was not till several days after the ceremony that he learned that his credulity had been abused. He was inclined to speak out with vehemence, but was constrained by the consideration that he would draw general condemnation on himself if he informed the public that he had consecrated and crowned the Empress without first being sure of the tie which united this Princess to Napoleon, and that he had, so to speak, sanctioned a concubinage. He felt that the dissimulation and deceit which had been practised did not excuse him, and that he would be taxed with weakness ; he took, therefore, the part of silence, but never ceased to make the strongest remonstrances to Napoleon, and to persuade him to repair a wrong for which the Pope has never forgiven him.

The hot discussions arising from the misfortunes of the Pope commenced shortly afterwards, and this con- fidential communication was made to me at a moment when bitterness and animosity had brought affairs to a point when all conciliation became impossible, and it was given to me as an additional proof that the griev-


RECEPTION OF THE DIPLOMATISTS BY NAPOLEON. 291

ances of the Pope were of old standing, and were both many and great.

This circumstance was known only to the three Cardinals ; they were shocked at the unjustifiable per- fidy of the bishops, but they also charged the Holy Father with having shown a little too much credulity

<_j *t

on the occasion.

Reception of the Diplomatist* after Napoleon's Return from Tilsit, 1807.

The Emperor, at the diplomatic audience of August 2, appearing to be in a very good humour, it was very generally whispered that since his arrival at Paris his manners had much changed, and that probably the Corps Diplomatique would not be again exposed to the insults to which it was too well known he often obliged them to submit. The following sketch will show how far this expectation was well founded :

The Emperor, according to custom, began his round by the Cardinal Legate, but did not speak to him ; he came straight up to me, and conversed very pleasantly on different subjects. He asked after his Imperial Majesty ; spoke of his stay at Baden, &c. When he came to the Prince de Masserano, he said to him,

  • I understand that the King of Spain has been ill : that

will not have hindered him from hunting as usual twice a day.'

Then, addressing the Minister of Denmark, So you have allowed the Baltic to be violated. We laid down the principle that^you were to be its guardians.' The Baron de Dreger having replied in rather a long speech, which I could not understand, the Emperor replied, ' The thing will, I hope, now be arranged/

U 2


292 GALLERY OF. CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES. " t

To General Armstrong, Minister of the United States, he said (in French), ' Have you learned French yet ? ' This Minister neither spoke nor understood any language but English.

When the Emperor, in returning for he always went twice round the circle approached him again, the General turned his head to avoid the grammatical dis- cussion which he probably feared.

After a long speech to the Ambassador of Portugal, lie ended by saying, ' That cannot continue ; we must have peace or war.'

In returning, he talked again with me, and ended the circle by the following tirade, addressed in Italian to the Nunci :, ' You are bad Christians, you people at Rome ; you leave fifteen episcopal sees vacant, and then this pretension of making all the Bishops in the Italian kingdom go to Rome for investiture! The Emperor Joseph has already opposed it ; how could they sup- pose that I should consent at the present moment ? If Jesus Christ had instituted the pilgrimage to Rome, as Mahomet did that to Mecca, everyone would go ; but where do you find that written? And why should you exact from the Archbishop of Milan what you do not require from the Archbishop of Paris or of Vienna ? ' The Nuncio wished to put in a word. ' The Holy Father,' interrupted (the Emperor, ' is a good man, but none of the people about him have any head. Now, if lie gives up all sovereign power, and confines himself to spiritual power like Saint Peter, then the Bishops can be allowed to go there ; but I shall never allow my subjects to do fealty and homage to a foreign Prince/ The Nuncio again seemed to wish to speak. ' Every- thino" which is done there is without common sense,'

c

rejoined the Emperor ; and becoming more and more


THE COURT AT FONTAINEBLEAU, 3807. 293

excited, lie ended by saying, 'Well, I shall be obliged to put you in order, and then I shall crush you so that you will be utterly ruined.' With this speech he bowed his adieus to the circle, and the Diplomatic Corps took their departure.

The Court at Fontainebleau, 1807.

The aspect of the Court at Fontainebleau could not but offer many objects of curiosity to an impartial ob- server.

This Court sometimes endeavoured to go back to the old forms, and sometimes rejected them as beneath the dignity of the moment. The Emperor hunted forty miserable deer which had been brought from Hanover and other parts of Germany to refill a forest twenty leagues round, because the kings too had their fixed days for hunting. He did not really care for the sport, except for the violent exercise, which suited his health ; and, besides, he merely went at full speed, right and left, through the forest, without regularly following the hunt. In this matter he was the despair of Marshal Berthier, who, as Master of the Hounds, wished to esta- blish order in his department... The number of horses and equipages being quite insufficient, no one, except the foreign Princes, was admitted to these parties.

Three times a week there was a play at the Court. The actors of the Comedie Francaise received a thou- sand crowns for each representation ; this rate is the same as that of the old time.. The other evenings were divided between-trre Courts of the Queen of Holland, the King of Westphalia, tlue Grand-Duchess of Berg, and the Princess de Bade., The Empress held her Court on Sundays. The diplomatic body was only received from time to time by the Princes, and they chose for this the


2^4 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

time when the Emperor was absent ; neither I nor any of my colleagues had as yet seen him, except at a dis- tance.

The Secretaries of State of France and of Italy, and the two ministers for the exterior and interior, were established at Fontainebleau, and kept open house for all foreigners. It would be difficult to give an idea of the prodigious expenses of the Court and of the ministers ; the chateau had been dilapidated, and the fur- niture sold ; now all is repaired, and while every corner of Paris, and all the principal towns of France, are full of new buildings, millions are spent for objects of pure luxury or mere fancy. On the fourteenth of this month there were fetes in honour of the marriage of Prince Jerome with the Princess of Wurtemberg. On this same occasion, at Paris, they gave the ' Triumph of Trajan,' a grand opera which had been preparing for several months.

The marriage of the Due d'Arenberg and that of the Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen with Mesdemoiselles Tascher and Bonafoux the first a niece of the Empress, and the second a niece of Prince Murat, whose name she now bears were to have taken place the same day, but they have just been put off for one or two weeks. It does not look as if the first were to obtain the title of Imperial Highness, as the family of her future husband have flattered themselves. Monsignor the Grand-Duke of Wurzburg, and the Prince Primates of Nassau and Waldeck, are staying at the chateau. The first receives all the honours and respect due to his rank, and his Imperial Highness continues to gain the good opinions of everyone.


THE NAPOLEONIC ARISTOCRACY. 295

The Napoleonic Aristocracy, 1808.

The Emperor Napoleon employed the last moments of his stay in Paris in unfolding his vast plan of orga- nisation. The Moniteurs of March 14 and 16 contained all the arrangements concerning the execution of his plan. We are continually to see titles given to numbers of individuals ; all the members of the Legion of Honour taking the title of Chevalier, there will be some of these in the ranks of the army and in the artists' studios.

The bestowal of these titles is a great object of interest to a foreign observer. Napoleon's genius has seized new opportunities for connecting with his person, with his succession, with the extent of his conquests, even private interest, that most powerful motive, espe- cially with individuals who have already experienced the Imperial favour, or desire to do so. He now dis- poses of the immense mass of domains which he had reserved to himself in the arrangements which followed the last war. A few examples will no doubt suffice for the calculation of the remainder of the favours about to be distributed. Marshal Ney told me himself that the leases of the different dotations in landed property which he had received in Italy, in Poland, and which were just announced to him in Westphalia and Hanover, amounted to five hundred thousand livres yearly. Alto- gether, his appointments, the Legion of Honour, and what he got under various titles from the coffers of the State, amounted to-three hundred thousand francs. He assured me that his revenues were far from the maxi- mum granted to many of his companions.

The Arch-Chancellor Cambace'res received a dotation of one hundred and fifty thousand francs ad perpetuum from the revenues of Parma, of which he took the title


296 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

of Duke. The arch-treasurer Lebrun, while taking the title of Due de Plaisance, received a like revenue. MM. de Segur, de Champagny, and Maret, have each received between fifty and a hundred thousand francs a year from land in Westphalia and in Hanover. It is supposed that the ducal title is reserved for them, as well as for MM. Duroc, Coulaincourt, Savary, etc. etc. The latter found in his office just as he was about to re- turn to St. Petersburg a cheque for five hundred thou- sand francs from the public treasury. Every general who returned here from the army, received one, two, or three thousand louis, .to amuse himself with for a few days in Paris ; and this was given as the ground on which the Vice-Constable distributed the gratuity. The Imperial Guard has received a particular mark of the favour of the Sovereign, who has just allotted to all his officers a pension transmissible to their descendants in the direct line, namely, 500 francs to the sub-lieu- tenants, 1,000 to the lieutenants, 2,000 to the captains, and so on.

If the great point of attaching a great number of citizens of the Empire to his person and dynasty was one evident motive of these immense concessions, there are others which cannot escape the attention of the enlightened observer. The law which prevents the new nobility from selling to a foreigner, without special authority, the dotations they receive, clearly serves to unite these individuals in defence of their territories. The Imperial supremacy not only extends to the banks of the Vistula ; Napoleon has diminished the power and the means of the sovereigns, who rule the pro- vinces of the great empire under his protection, by depriving them of a great mass of their revenues. He increased his own power by placing this wealth in


THE NAPOLEONIC ARISTOCRACY. 21)7

the hands of French subjects, who, with this title, find themselves among the richest proprietors of the States of the Confederation. Twenty millions will flow every year into the interior of France ; the new nobility will throw them into the channels of industry, and this con- sideration alone gives a balance of twenty millions in favour of the Empire. Whether France exports more for a similar sum in the countries under her influence, or whether it comes to her from other causes, the fact is and will remain the same as to the result ; the landed estates, too, w r ill maintain a very high value, if. little by little, the titled possessors are allowed to sell to foreigners, and to increase their property in France itself, a slow operation which will never pass beyond the hands of the government, and which some happy chances for the new dynasty will no doubt accelerate, whilst it can be arrested the moment the least danger threatens the existing order of tilings.

The old noblesse seems also to be favoured in the distribution of the new titles. This measure must greatly influence the views of the Emperor. Nothing could more effectively extinguish the old claims than their finding a new existence. The ashes of the house of Montmorency preserved in a cinerary urn since 1789 will be scattered to the winds in 1808. MM. Montmorency, de Mortemart and others are mentioned as likely to receive dotations and titles.

The only nominations to titles of nobility, besides those included in^ttre last message to the Senate, have been just given to military men. Nearly all the marshals are made Dukes.

Augereau takes the title of Due de Castiglione, Mas- sena that of Eivoli, Ney that of d'Elchingen, Davoust that of Auerstadt, etc. etc. Marshal Duroc takes the


298 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

title of Due de Friuli ; Coulaincourt that of Vicenza ; Colonel Arrighi, a cousin of the Emperor, that of Padua ; Junot that of Abrantes. It should be observed that the real Marquis d'Abrantes is expected here some day, soon, with a deputation from Portugal, of which M. de Lima will be one.

The ministers will be mostly dukes ; and all the titles have immense dotations. Nearly all the generals of brigade have received 10,000 livres annually in per- petuity ; the colonels between 2,000 and 8,000. And, lastly, every passion was set in motion by a man who knew but one. Europe has been chased and hunted down, and la curee is being enacted on her carcase at the present moment ; ambition, vanity, cupidity, all the passions are put in movement as accessories of the great work of destruction. Many will be satisfied by it, but not all ; some bait will be necessary for the rest : this bait will be sought in every direction, and history offers too many examples of the success of the system of dividing the best of the spoil among the collaborateurs to have escaped the attention of Napoleon.

Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenberg's, in Paris, July 1, 1810. From a Report sent to the Emperor Francis.

Your Majesty's Ambassador had fixed July 1 to give fete to their Imperial Majesties on the occasion of their marriage. All the arrangements were made with as much taste as magnificence. The programme * enclosed

  • Programme de la Fete. Un groupe de musique plac<5 dans la cour

d'konneur jouera des fanfares et autres airs choisis a 1'arriv^e de Leurs Majeste"s, de la famille impe'riale, des grands dignitaires, &c.

Les musiciens du concert seront place's dans 1'orchestre a sept heures.

Le concert ne commencera que lorsque les dames invitees seront arrive'es, et continuera jusqu'a I'arrive'e de Leurs Majesty's.


THE FATAL BALL AT PRINCE SCHWARZENBERG'S. 299

gives only a poor idea of the intention of the whole, or of the perfection with which the details were carried out.

The Emperor arrived at the gates of Paris at a quarter to ten. Their Majesties changed their carriages there, and were received by the Ambassador, at the door of his hotel, about ten o'clock. The Emperor wore the ribbon of St.-Etienne over his coat. He had ordered that all persons decorated with Austrian orders should wear them. Those who had French orders wore them under their coats.

Their Majesties, after having walked round the gardens, and seen a charming ballet which was danced on a lawn in the garden of the Luxembourg, went through a great gallery newly constructed along the

Lorsque Leurs MajesttSs entreront dans la galerie, 1'orchestre jouera une fanfare.

Leurs Majeste"s, conduites par son Excellence, traverseront la salle de concert et passeront dans lejardin; Elles s'arreteront un instant devant le temple d'Apollon : les Muses qui 1'entourent extScuteront un chceur.

Leurs Majeste's passeront par Faille de la cascade ; une harmonie place's dans la grotte souterraine s'y fera entendre.

De la Leurs Majeste's iront sous le berceau de vigne, qui sera orne de chiffres, de fleurs, de guirlandes et de glaces. Au fond sera eleve" un vaste buffet. En passant sous ce berceau, Leurs Majestes y entendront des con- certs de musique vocaie et inutrumentale, 1'un allemand et 1'autre francais plus un solo d'un instrument nonime" glass-cord (instrument nouveau invente" par Franklin).

En continuant a circuler dans le jardin, Leurs Majeste's arriveront en face d'un temple d<5die a la Renomme'e. Trois figurantes qui seront au faite repre"senteront : la Victoire, Olio, Muse de 1'histoire, et, au milieu, la Re- nomme'e. Les trompettes y executeront des fanfares et on y chantera un ckceur. Devant ce monument brillamment illumine" seront des trepieds, ou Ton brulera des parfumsr^

Leurs Majestes se rendront au pavilion imperial, sur une estrade ou il y aura des sieges pour elles et Leur famille.

Ici s'ex^cutera une fete de chateau, suivie du feu d'artifice.

Apres le feu, Leurs Majestes et Leur suite rentreront dans le salon d'honneur, et tout le monde se rendra par la galerie dans la salle de bal.

Leurs Majestes, apres avoir pris des glaces, se rendront dans ladite salle.

Apres le bal, festin dans le temple de la Renomme'e.


SOO GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

facade of the hotel to a ball-room made to hold 1,200 to 1,500 persons. The ball was opened by a quadrille. This quadrille finished, the Emperor came down from the raised part of the ball-room in order to walk round, according to his custom. Her Majesty the Empress, the Queen of Westphalia, the Queen of Naples, and the Vice-Queen of Italy remained in their places on this same .platform. All at once a garland took fire in the gallery, and set fire to some of the draperies. The Emperor was only a few steps from the spot. Many persons tried to pull down the part that was burning ; their efforts set the draperies in motion, and may have helped to extend the flames ; at last the con- flagration became general.

I was at the foot of the platform: I ascended the steps, in order to warn her Majesty the Empress of the accident ; begging her to follow me when I thought the right moment had arrived. The Emperor, who was with Prince Schwarzenberg, was, so to speak, forced by him to retire ; he crossed the ball-room, rejoined the Empress, and all four went out together. The Prince of Schwarzenberg did not leave their Majesties till, having crossed the gardens, they entered their car- riages.

Seeing the Emperor and his august consort in safety, I wished to return to the ball-room. It was all on fire ; I met the crowd hastening, towards me ; I got to the top of the steps that led to the ball-room; I saw the Queen of Westphalia, who was fainting ; I seized hold of her, and carried her far enough to be out of all danger, when I left her to some persons about the Court.

The Queen of Naples, the Viceroy and the Vice- Queen of Italy, six months enceinte, had remained on


THE FATAL BALL AT PRINCE SCIIWARZEXBKKG'S. 301

the platform, reassured by the coolness of the Viceroy. The first of these Princesses wanted to try and get away by the great door by which the Emperor and Empress had escaped ; she was soon so surrounded by the crowd that, being quite behind, she would inevi- tably have been caught by the fire, as many other persons were, but for the help of Monsignor the Arch- duke Grand-Due and Marshal Moncey, who seized her and got her out. The Viceroy, seeing the lustres in the ball-room fall, and consequently not being able to get across the room, took his wife into the house by a small door which he discovered near by. No acci- dent, therefore, happened to the Imperial family, who, following the example of the Emperor and Empress, showed the greatest calmness and courage.

Her Majesty the Empress was not alarmed for a moment ; and I am happy to be able to assure your Majesty that this frightful accident has not had the least ill effect upon her.

I have the honour to enclose, with this report, the Moniteur of to-day, which gives a detailed account of the event. It would be difficult to add anything to it. I had, however, another account written out to be inserted in the Gazette de Vienna. It seemed to me 'that we ought to pay a just tribute to the manner in which the Emperor behaved on this occasion.

He conducted his august consort only as far as the place where, in coming, they had changed carriages. He put her intoThe coach which had brought theni from St.-Cloud, and returned himself to the Ambas- sador's house. Present everywhere, giving orders both to save the house from the fire, and to guard its interior from the effects of disorder, directing, ordering every- thing, he remained there, for more than two hours,


302 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

exposed sometimes to a heavy rain which came on, sometimes to the effects of the heat and smoke. He was alone, without any guard whatever, and evidently anxious to prevent any false interpretation of an event the sad character of which would not deter ill-natured people from turning it to account.

Many persons, who had been kept back or thrown down, were grievously injured by the flames. Prince Kourakin fell on the burning steps of the ball-room, and was only saved by a man who pulled him out by the legs. He had all his hair and the skin of his forehead, his hands, and his legs burned. The doctors do not think him dangerously injured. Madame la Princesse de la Ley en (mere) received injuries which seem to be mortal, both from being thrown down by the crowd and from burns. The wife of the Consul of Eussia, Labensky, struck by a lustre in its fall and frightfully burned, died yesterday in the course of the day.

Amongst the persons most injured must be men- tioned the second daughter of Prince Joseph Schwarzen- berg ; the Prefect of Istria and his wife ; General Tou- sard and his wife ; Madame de la Force, and at least a dozen others more or less dangerously wounded. About twenty persons were slightly injured ; but one victim, who cannot be sufficiently deplored, and who perished from following the greatest of all sentiments, that of a mother trying to help her children, the Prin- cess Pauline de Schwarzenberg, wife of Prince Joseph, fills all hearts.

Placed at the lower end of the ball-room, by the side of Madame de Metternich, near the Imperial plat- form, these two mothers threw themselves into the ' Anglaise,' which was then being danced, in order to get hold of their daughters who happily placed near


THE FATAL BALL AT PRINCE SCHWARZENBERG'S. 303

the door into the garden were saved by this accident from all danger. Madame de Metternich was dragged by the crowd into the garden, where she was imme- diately joined by her daughter and the eldest daughter of Princess de Schwarzenberg. That Princess perceiving her youngest daughter at some way off at the side of the great ball-room ran up to her, and carried her off; but the mother was soon thrown into the garden and separated from her child, who fell down insensible in a corner. The mother ran about weeping, and asking everyone if they had not seen her children. In the garden she had spoken to the King of Westphalia, to Minister Eegnaud, and two or three other persons ; and we waited till four o'clock in the morning, in the most frightful anxiety about her, all efforts to find her having been useless up to that time. As she had been seen in the garden, there was no suspicion that she had been burnt. Covered with diamonds, she might have been seized and plundered by thieves, on the suppo- sition that she had ventured alone into the street. The Emperor himself directed a search, all the houses in the neighbourhood being visited. It was not till five o'clock that, in moving the heaps of cinders and ruins of the ball-room, a dead body was discovered, entirely burnt, in a little recess which there was in the imperial plat- form at the end of the ball-room. Doctor Gall was the first to recognise it as the body of Princess Pauline de Schwarzenberg r -and the inquest held by the Prefect of police confirmed the melancholy fact. It is only to be explained by the circumstance that the Princess, know- ing the localities thoroughly, certain that the daughter she had been leading was left behind, and not being able to reach the door by which the crowd was going out, had returned to the ball-room by the interior of the


30*4 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

house, that she had wished to cross the room to get to the little door by which the Viceroy had escaped, but that, suffocated by the smoke or by the intense heat, or perhaps crushed by the fall of the roof, which first fell in at this part of the ball-room, she perished only a few steps from this same door, and a little behind the spot where the Imperial family had been placed.

I was the more inclined to this supposition as, after 1 laving put the Queen of Westphalia in safety, wishing once more to penetrate into the ball-room, and stopped by the crowd going out, I took the same road to get to , the back of the ball-room and satisfy myself that no one was there. I did not meet a single person. When I came to the door of the ball-room, which com- municated with the rest of the house, I was stopped for a moment by the general conflagration of all the walls and of the ceiling. The lustres had fallen ; the part of the roof on my right, where they after- wards found the body of the Princess, had fallen in ; the one over my head was still firm. I made some steps forward, and convinced myself that the ball-room was perfectly empty. All this building fell in two or three minutes afterwards. The Princess must have preceded me by only a very few minutes.

The second daughter of Prince Joseph de Schwarzen- berg, the same who was separated from her mother, was saved by a Frenchman. She was badly burnt, but they hope to save her.

Such is the true account of an event which will be misrepresented in twenty ways ; but which obliges me to pay a tribute of just praise to your Majesty's Ambas- sador, who carried himself with a calm, a courage, and a dignity beyond all expression. Occupied with the personal safety of the Sovereigns, he forgot his own


THE FLIGHT OF THE KING OF HOLLAND. 305

frightful position. The employes of the Embassy, the Austrians in Paris, the couriers employed by the cabinet, rescued from the flames, at the peril of their lives, all those whom they were able to help, and many belonging to the French Court showed no less calmness and courage. At the moment when the fire was at its worst, the firemen being deficient, the preservation of the house, which began to burn in every direction, was entirely due to the efforts of persons in the company.

On the Flight of the King of Holland. From a Report to the Emperor Francis, Paris, July 28, 1810.

It was by a courier sent to Paris by the Saxon Cabi- net that the Emperor Napoleon was informed of the arrival of the King of Holland at Teplitz.

I saw the Emperor the same day, and when his Majesty told me of the news he had just received, I felt all the more authorised to express myself plainly on the subject, as the evening before his Majesty had talked freely with me about his brother's proceedings. I said to the Emperor that I knew I should be doing your Imperial Majesty a service if I could inform you of the wishes of the head of the family in this respect, as I was certain that my Court would wish neither to fail in showing respect to a Prince of the Imperial family of France, nor to appear too attentive to him who had taken refuge with them. I added that I should be glad to know whether tie-would prefer that the King should be treated as a French Prince, or simply as a traveller.

The Emperor seemed pleased with the attention, and said that, the King having taken a private name, it appeared to him that he had no right to expect to be treated as a Eoyal personage. The Emperor ex- pressed his satisfaction at his coming to us, and did not VOL. i. X


306 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

conceal that he had feared he would cross the seas, and that if he had gone to Eussia it would hardly have pleased him better. I observed to the Emperor that, in coming to us, the King, no doubt, felt as if he were not leaving the family ; and in what followed, the Emperor returned twenty times to this idea, which seemed to flatter him so much.

He went into many details of the inconsistency of the King's conduct, which he had publicly blamed in the article in the Moniteur of December 22. It cannot be denied that the King was really placed in a very false position ; he had only the choice between acting the part of Napoleon's brother or that of a despoiled Sovereign ; he must by choosing the former avoid a com- plication and yield to force ; if he followed the second, he must imitate the Prince of Brazil, and put himself at the head of the Colonies. This is the opinion of the public ; and this public, too, is still ignorant that he had made the amende honorable at Dresden, which might very well cause the supposition that outward evils had been added to moral misfortunes. The Emperor has lodged the Prince Eoyal at St. -Cloud ; but he is not the less anxious to justify the principles advanced in the above-mentioned article of the Moniteur, the reading of which has caused a sensation among those occupied with public affairs difficult to describe.

The Emperor of Austria has commanded that no notice is to be taken of the King's stay. This measure is perfectly in accordance with the wishes of the Em- peror of the French. I think, however, I ought to lay before your Majesty my conviction that, while leaving the King the strictest incognito, it would not be amiss to order the local authorities to show him particular attention. The Emperor will be pleased if the King


NAPOLEON'S OPINION OF CHATEAUBRIAND. 307

on his return expresses himself gratified with his stay, and he thinks a great deal of these forms of mere courtesy. The Emperor, indeed, is more influenced by these little matters than it is possible to imagine.

The Church of La Madeleine.

Napoleon talking one day with M. Mole about the edifices being constructed in Paris, the latter asked him when the Church of the Madeleine was to be thouo-ht of.

o

' Well,' asked the Emperor, ' what do you wish me to do with it ? ' M. Mole replied that he had understood that his Majesty intended it for a temple de la Gloire. ' That is what people think,' said Napoleon ; ' but I intend it for an expiatory monument for the murder of Louis XVI. ; the moment, however, for me to announce this has not yet arrived.'

A similar project was carried out a few years after- wards by Louis XVIII.

Napoleon's Opinion of Chateaubriand.

The following anecdote will serve to throw lio-ht on the claim made by M. de Chateaubriand and his friends of having been able to resist the seductive power which Napoleon knew how to exercise on his opponents :

One day the Emperor of the French was passing in review the remarkable men of the time, and he said to me, ' There are men, and France unhappily abounds in them, who think themselves fit for everything, because they have one quality or one talent. Amongst these men is Chateaubriand, who joins the opposition, because I will not employ him. This man is a reasoner in the clouds, but gifted with great dialectic power. If he would use his talent in the line marked out for him, he might be useful. But he will not comply with this,


308 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

and he is, therefore, good for nothing. It is necessary either to be able to guide one's self, or to submit to orders. He can neither do one nor the other : therefore I cannot employ him. He has offered himself to me twenty times ; but as it was to make me bend to his imagination, which always leads to errors, and not to obey me, I declined his services that is to say, I de- clined to serve him.'

Napoleon's Family.

Napoleon had a great weakness for his family. There is no doubt that many of the changes of Sove- reigns were due to the covetousness of his brothers and sisters.

All the members of this too numerous family were not, however, equally ambitious. Napoleon's mother cared for nothing but money. Neither her turn of mind, nor her tastes inclined her towards social eleva- tion. She had an immense income ; and, without the precise orders of her son, she would not have dreamed of doing anything but invest it. When her children turned her extreme economy to ridicule, she said ,to them, ' You don't know what you do ; the world will not always go on in this way, and if ever you come back on my hands, you will be glad enough of what I have done to-day.'

In 1814, Madame Laatitia had amassed a large sum of money, which she hid in a corner covered by the portrait of her late husband. The fact and the place where the treasure was hid being mentioned to Napo- leon, he went to his mother's house, and took away the money. She must have taken from France a for- tune of nearly six millions of francs.

I did not know either Joseph or Lucien Bonaparte


NAPOLEON'S FAMILY. 309

personally ; I cannot, therefore, give any opinion about them. Napoleon thought well of Lucien's mind, but he never ceased accusing him of uncontrolled and mis- directed ambition.

In an interview that Lucien had with his brother at Milan, he offered as a pledge of reconciliation a declara- tion by his wife, given of her own accord, that she would be no obstacle to her husband's fortune. The Emperor, after one of their conferences, said to the persons collected in the ante-room, 'Lucien will not give up his rubbish ; he wants to prove to me that he has a hard head ; I will show him that mine is harder than his.' From that time there was no question of a re- conciliation. It is, in fact, known that, while agreeing to leave his wife, he insisted on the recognition of his children. His conduct in 1815 enables one to judge of the severity of his republican principles.

Napoleon has often described Joseph to me as a man gentle in mind and temper, but incapable of under- taking a career which required much vigour.

Louis was like a stranger in the family. Injustice alone could find anything: to blame in his moral cha- racter.

Jerome was clever ; but the depravity of his man- ners, absurd vanity, and mania for imitating his brother in everything, covered him with ridicule.

Two of Napoleon's sisters were remarkable from character ; the third from her great beauty.

Elisa, the eldest of the sisters older, also, than Napoleon, had a masculine mind, and both in character and appearance closely resembled her brother. Ambi- tion was her ruling passion ; and if the low extraction of her husband, Baciocchi, and his entire want of in- tellectual faculties, had not prevented it, there is no


310 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

doubt that this branch of the family would have been raised to a very high position. Of the three sisters, she had, however, the least power over Napoleon, who feared and resisted her.

Caroline joined to a pleasant exterior uncommon powers of mind. She had carefully studied the charac- ter of her brother, and did not deceive herself as to his defects, or the danger to himself of the excess of his ambition and love of power. She also knew per- fectly the weak side of her husband, and she would have guided him had it been possible for anyone to guide him.

Murat was nothing but a soldier ; but a soldier of the Kevolution, and gifted with a certain instinct for domination, which I have constantly seen to be the apanage of Jacobins. Caroline exercised great power over the mind of her brother, and it was she who cemented the family bonds. Her desire was to create for herself and her family a position as inde- pendent as possible of Napoleon independent even of the ehances of his fortune a fortune which she thought endangered by every act of violence resulting from his insatiable ambition.

Pauline was as handsome as it is possible to be ; she was in love with herself, and her only occupation was pleasure. Of amiable character and extreme good- nature, Napoleon entertained a. different sentiment for her from that with which he regarded the rest of his family. ' Pauline,' he has often told me, ' Pauline never asks me for anything.' The Princess Borghese, on her side, used to say, ' I do not care for crowns ; if I had wished for one, I should have had it ; but I left that taste to my relations.' She had a veneration for Napo-r leon which almost amounted to worship.


NAPOLEON'S FAMILY. 311

Josephine long held an empire over Napoleon ; she was gifted with a character of extreme benevolence and a quite peculiar social tact. Her mind was narrow, but in a good direction. Her excessive taste for expense often led to painful explanations between her and her husband. It would be unjust to attribute any of Napoleon's ambitious flights to her influence. Without doubt, she would, if she could, have put spokes in the wheel of the chariot on which, however, she had, in the early days of his fortune, directly assisted to place the future Emperor.

Endowed with more intellect and a much larger ambition, Josephine's daughter Hortense always played a part in Napoleon's career. Napoleon loved her, and his kindness to her was the constant cause of jealousy between her and her sisters-in-law. More than one embarrassment in the personal situation of Napoleon, and even in the progress of affairs, was due to this cause.

Cardinal Fesch was a curious compound of bigotry and ambition. A sincere devotee, he yet was not far from believing Napoleon to be an instrument of heaven and a being almost supernatural. He thought his reign was written in the book of destiny, and looked on his flights of ambition as so many decrees of God.

Napoleon knew all the individual peculiarities of his family ; and did not conceal from himself that he had been much to blame in giving way to the love of power and insatiable covetousness of some among them.

He said to me one day in 1810, on the occasion of a long conversation in which he had just given me the history of his life : ' I have clouded and obstructed my career by placing my relations on thrones. We learn as we go, and I now see that the fundamental


312 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

principle of ancient monarchies, of keeping the princes of the reigning house in constant and real dependence on the throne, is wise and necessary. My relations have done me more harm than I have done them good ; and if I had to begin again, my brothers and sisters should have nothing more than a palace in Paris, and a few millions to spend in idleness. The fine arts and charity should be their domains, and not kingdoms which some do not know how to guide, and others commit me by carrying their imitation to the point of parody.

Napoleon took care to place near each of his brothers and relations a man whom he could trust. The fortune of M. Decazes sprang out of the post which he occupied as secretary to Madame Laetitia.

The Manuscript from St. Helena.

At the time when it appeared the Manuscript of St. Helena made a great impression upon Europe.

This pamphlet was generally regarded as a pre- cursor of the Memoirs which Napoleon was thought to be writing in his place of exile. One consideration only strikes one namely, the peculiarity of the fact that the author has, in a short abridgment, given the resume of a work which he was preparing to publish in extenso, and that in this abridgment he puts forth a number of sen- timents and ideas of which the reproduction certainly formed the essential part of the work itself. This argument is, however, weakened by the consideration of the advantage which Napoleon might think he found in keeping the mind of Europe occupied with him and his thoughts; as well as by the boldness of the views expressed, and their agreement with the antecedents of his life.

Opinions were, however, soon divided with respect


THE MANUSCRIPT FROM ST. HELENA. 313

to this pamphlet ; and if there were no serious doubt raised on the nature of its contents, which were univer- sally attributed to Bonaparte himself, some thought that it emanated directly from St. Helena, others only took it to be a compilation of the opinions and views of Napo- leon on the principal acts of his political life, drawn up by some person who, formerly, had had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the expression of his thoughts and views.

But to put together the thoughts of a third person, in a style so individual, it is necessary to suppose the author to be gifted with a very peculiar talent. The report soon spread that the work was conceived and executed by Madame de Stael. Madame de Stael, for her part, attributed it to Benjamin Constant, from whom she was at this time separated by some disagreement. Afterwards it came to be known that the author was the Marquis Lullin de Chateauvieux a man in society, whom no one had suspected of being able to hold a pen.


314


ALEXANDER L, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. A POKTKAIT

BY

PRINCE METTERNIOH (1829).


To draw a picture of the Emperor Alexander is a most difficult undertaking.

Napoleon expressed his opinion of this prince in a manner the most apt and striking. In one of our con- versations, in the year 1810, he asked me whether I knew the Emperor of Eussia intimately. I answered that I had had no personal interview with him, except at the time of his residence in Berlin, in 1805. ' Well,' replied Napoleon, ' the course of events may bring you and this Prince together again ; the Emperor Alexander is an attractive person, quite the man to exercise a singular spell over those with whom he comes in con- tact. If I were given to yielding to mere impressions, I could like him with all my heart. With so many intellectual advantages and dazzling qualities, there is something in him for which I have no name, and which I cannot better express than by saying that there is always something wanting in him. The most singular thing is, that one cannot foresee, in any given case or special affair, what will be wanting, because that which is wanting changes perpetually.'

In foreseeing that the course of events would bring


ALEXAXDEPx I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 315

me into close contact with the Emperor Alexander, Napoleon had spoken prophetically, without believing, assuredly, that the fulfilment of his prediction was so near as it really was. Three years afterwards, I was in the most intimate relations with the Emperor ofEussia. These relations lasted for thirteen years in a constant interchange of real confidence, of more or less expressed coldness, and of personal and open disagreements. Each of these phases has enabled me to see the correctness of Napoleon's judgment.

Relations so lasting and yet so variable have given me an opportunity of forming an exact idea of the character of this monarch. t

For my part, I cannot better give the impressions I received than by summing them up in this sen- tence ; that Alexander's character showed a peculiar mixture of masculine virtues and feminine weaknesses.

The Emperor Alexander certainly possessed mind, but his mind, refined and keen as it was, had no depth ; he was as easily led astray by an excess of distrust as by an inclination to erroneous theories. His judgment was always influenced by fanciful ideas ; he seized upon them as if by sudden inspiration, and with the greatest eagerness ; and they soon gained weight enough to rule him, and make the subjection of his will an easy matter to their originators.

Such ideas soon came to be regarded by him as sys- tems ; quick as his mind was, even to an extraordinary versatility, these systems did not assimilate, they fol- lowed one another in rapid succession. Devoted to the system whose turn it was, he arrived :at the exact opposite by intermediate steps, of which he was not aware, and nothing remained of the convictions with which he had been penetrated but the remembrance


316 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

of the obligations under which they had placed him to different individuals. Hence arose the number of in- surmountable embarrassments which were always pres- sing on the mind and heart of the Emperor ; and the frequent favours bestowed on men and things quite opposite to one another ; hence the difficulty to most spectators of understanding his attitude, who was not in a position to penetrate into the true causes of such strange appearances.

The Emperor Alexander's life was worn out between devotion to certain systems and disappointment in their results ; the feelings prompted by both moods were spontaneous and vigorous and, strange as it may sound, their course showed a certain periodicity, of which I shall afterwards give pertinent examples.

He was a man of his word, entering with facility into the obligations of the ideas for the moment para- mount ; he knew how to avoid with delicacy those who might lead him in an opposite direction ; but since his mind, from taking up systems so easily, was constantly undergoing changes, this very regard for his given word placed his conscience, as well as his whole attitude, in a situation as painful to himself as injurious to the public cause.

Many contemporaries have wrongly ascribed to Alexander the' possession of a restless ambition. In his character there was neither sufficient strength for true ambition, nor sufficient weakness for mere vanity. He acted generally from conviction, and if he seemed now and then somewhat full of pretension, this was connected more with the little victories of a man of the world than with his success as the ruler of a great empire.

His youth passed in a time which is unequalled in the annals of Eussia. The government of Catherine


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 31 7

gave him the example of a brilliant despotism ; in that of Paul, he was himself several times nearly a victim to a despotism mean even in its very choice of forms. It suffices to know what Eussia was under these two governments, to conceive that a mind like Alexander's would find there neither models for imitation nor men to advise him.

La Harpe was entrusted by Catherine II. with the first education of Alexander. It is, therefore, not sur- prising that wrong ideas of liberalism and philanthropy long dominated the pupil of such a master ; or that such a wonderful mixture as the lessons of a liberal mentor with the practice of the Eussian government must lead his judgment and his action in a wrong direc- tion, far, indeed, beyond the limits in which experience could help him.

The method of education followed by La Harpe was far more suited to fill the mind of his pupil with doc- trines wrong in themselves, and ridiculous in their appli- cation, than to enrich it with positive knowledge. Con- vinced, no doubt, that the empire which his pupil would one day be called on to govern was not sufficiently ad- vanced in civilisation to bear immediately the practice of these doctrines, he thought of preparing in the future autocrat a mighty lever, to secure the upheaval of other countries which he considered more ripe for the purpose, and especially his own fatherland, Switzerland. The part of a philanthropic monarch appeared to Alexander the one which would secure to him the palm of certain glory a glory which was easy to gain by a monarch who was removed from the dangers with which other thrones and the old institutions of Central Europe were surrounded.

Simple in his enjoyments, cool in temperament, with


318 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

many tastes which were, if I may say so, somewhat plebeian, Alexander was too easily guided not to be taken advantage of by such leaders.

A long observation of the moral peculiarities of this monarch and of his political course led me to discover, what I have called above, the periodicity of his thoughts. This periodicity followed a measure of about five years. I do not know how to express this observation more exactly.

The Emperor seized an idea, and followed it out quickly. It grew in his mind for about two years, till it came to be regarded by him as a system. In the course of the third year he remained faithful to the system he had adopted and learned to love, listened with real fervour to its promoters, and was inaccessible to any calculation as to its worth or dangerous conse- quences. In the fourth year the sight of those conse- quences began to calm down his fervour ; the fifth year showed an unseemly mixture of the old and nearly ex- tinct system with the new idea. This new idea was often diametrically opposite to the one he had just left. To prove this remark, I will give the following his- torical facts.

My first connection with the Emperor Alexander took place at the time of my embassy to Berlin in 1805. I found him then liberal in the largest sense of the word, and a bitter enemy of Bonaparte, he loaded him in his double quality of despot and conqueror with execrations. In the year 1807 a great change came over his mode of thinking. In 1808 his personal feel- ings even inclined towards the Emperor of the French. The year 1812 brought a new change in his mood : even if Napoleon had not made war on Eussia, Alexander's feelings for him would nevertheless have died away.


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 319

The old ideas of philanthropy and free-thinking had not only regained the power over his mind, but they even took fire from the spirit of the time. In 1814 they had reached their highest point. In 1815 they had already given way to religious mysticism. In the year 1817, this new turn of mind underwent a great change ; and in 1818, I found the Emperor a zealous champion of monarchic and conservative principles, a declared enemy of every revolutionary tendency, and already on his way to return to religious mysticism. He followed this direction till 1823. Then the embar- rassments arose which his own counsellors had pre- pared for him by their policy in the affairs in Greece, and he was able everywhere to see the increase of revolutionary principles, whose germs he. in his blind- ness, had himself scattered in his own empire in past years. All these painful circumstances caused a visible languor in his mind and feelings. A great weariness of life began to show itself in him. His body, apparently so active, suffered under these moral influences. It was during his residence in Verona towards the end of the year 1822, that Alexander confided to the Emperor Francis, his sure presentiment that his life would not be of long duration. The evil made rapid steps, and in 1825, Alexander died of thorough weariness of life.

There is no doubt that amongst the causes which contributed to shorten his days was that bitter conflict of feelings caused by the prospect of a trial of conspirators, the principal culprits among whom might reproach the Emperor with having been the cause of their error.

By giving this picture of the very peculiar perso- nality of this prince, about whom the world would other- wise with difficulty form a right judgment, I believe I supply the key to many apparently insoluble problems.


320 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

All the constancy of the Emperor Alexander's affec- tions seemed concentrated in the feeling which he had for the Emperor Francis. The particulars which I can supply in this respect will fill up this sketch of the monarch's character, and also throw some light on his relations to me.

The two Emperors were for the first time in per- sonal contact on the battle-fields of Moravia in the autumn of the year 1805. The misfortune which the bad arrangements of the Austrian generals brought about at the beginning of the single campaign of this war was completed by the Eussian generals at its close. The Emperor Alexander, young and without any experience of war, lent his ear to high-flown and quite unpractical plans, rather than to the calm and prudent advice which suited the vigorous understand- ing of the Emperor Francis. Everything which this monarch had foreseen and predicted to his ally was fulfilled in sad succession. This fact was always present to the mind of the Emperor Alexander, and laid the first foundation of that close and complete confidence which he never afterwards ceased to bestow on his friend.

Many subsequent political events made it impossible that tliis feeling on the part of his Imperial Majesty should always be expressed : but in reality it always existed. The events of the years 1814 and 1815 gave rise to direct and continuous relations between the two monarchs, which at last grew into a sincere hearty personal friendship.

A friendship which has stood every trial, and which nothing could shake, in spite of the most important political interests, and, strangest of all, a thorough dif- ference in the personality of the two friends, is a prob-


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 321

lem which can only be solved by a true insight into the character of the two monarchs.

The Emperor Francis united in himself the most valuable positive qualities. His calmness, impartiality, soundness of judgment, and unvarying and tranquil temper inspired Alexander with a feeling of devotion which almost resembled the veneration of a child. This feeling was afterwards heightened by a colouring quite peculiar to the mind of this prince. It was reli- gious. The Emperor Alexander considered his friend as a monarch after the will of God, as the representa- tive of God's will, and of godly wisdom, and almost worshipped him. On several occasions, when the Emperor Francis directly opposed the personal inclina- tions of Alexander, the opinion of the wise monarch sufficed to arrest the decisions of Alexander, and to decide him either to relinquish or change them.

The devotion of the Emperor Alexander to the Emperor Francis continued to the end of his life to be one of his predominant sentiments.

In everything relating to private life Alexander fol- lowed the most pure and simple tastes, bearing, how- ever, the stamp of distinguished elegance. With the sciences he did not concern himself, and I never saw in him a leaning to any of them. Amongst the fine arts, he cared only for architecture. His short sight and slight deafness did not allow him to devote himself to the cultivation of those arts the full enjoy- ment of which depends on the perfection of senses which were partially denied to him. He liked work belonging to the Cabinet, provided it did not go beyond political affairs or military details. He had an evident dislike to merely administrative subjects ; and if he ever took part in them, it could only be that he was in-

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322 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

fluenced by the political theories which then attracted his mind. The history of the administration of his empire during the whole of his reign proves how power- ful and how hurtful those influences were.

To the outlines of this sketch I will add some illus- trations taken from my intercourse with the Emperor. They will not be without value as forming a standpoint from which to consider the history of the time, and they will also serve to confirm the opinion I have expressed as to the mind and character of this prince.

I shall begin by making the general statement that nothing could be so little in harmony as the direction of the Emperor's mind and my own. Our tastes also with the exception of a certain agreement in the choice of our social relations were exactly opposite, and probably nothing would have led to a lasting and often intimate connection but our overwhelming interest in the questions which were impending.

I have already said that my first direct relations with the Emperor took place rn Berlin in the year 1805. Alexander had come to this city to represent in person the cause and interests of the Austro-Eussian alliance. Association in the same cause easily brings two men together, whatever may be the difference of their positions.

The Emperor was accustomed to handle the great political questions himself, thus being as he was fond of saying his own minister, and from that time we entered into close and subsequently even into familiar relations.

Peace was concluded at the end of the same year between Austria and France, and since Count Stadion, then Ambassador at St. Petersburg, had accepted the direction of foreign affairs at home, Alexander wished


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 323

me to represent Austria at his court. A singular con- catenation of circumstances led to my nomination as Austrian Ambassador in France. When I again met the Emperor, on the Bohemian frontier, seven years later, I found him apparently reserved towards me. The reasons for this I have explained in another part of these Memoirs.- With the charming kindness and cor- diality peculiar to him, the Emperor seemed to reproach me with infidelity in my friendship. The conclusion of the alliance dispersed these clouds ; but a real intimacy in our personal relations began to revive only after the unhappy result of the first military undertaking of the Allies against Dresden. The efforts which I had vainly made in harmony with the Emperor Francis and Field- Marshal Prince Schwarzenberg to avoid this operation, the frankness of my declaration on this subject to the Emperor Alexander, perhaps also the fulfilment of my predictions, laid the foundation of an increased inti- macy.

In spite of the decided opposition of our views on many subjects and notwithstanding many important circumstances, and the discomfort which might so natu- rally have arisen, nothing disturbed our intimate and daily relations in the course of the campaign relations, indeed, of a kind rarely occurring between the Sove- reign of one great empire and the head of the cabinet of another.

During the whole time of the war operations I spent the evenings with his Imperial Majesty. We re- mained alone together from eight or nine in the evening till midnight in unrestrained conversation, which in- cluded the most different subjects in private life as well as the great moral and political questions and the affairs of the day. Thorough frankness in our interchange of

T2


324 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

opinions about every tiling gave to this intercourse the charm of perfect ease.

I never concealed the truth from the Emperor, either about himself or anything else which had, in my eyes, the high value of a principle. Only too often I had to combat some favourite idea of his, which he maintained with great emphasis ; our discussions were sometimes very animated the narrative of our stay in Langres is a proof of this. Yet our intercourse never suffered from this, but was long continued and maintained with the same frankness and heartiness.

Whilst we were staying in Paris in 1814 I had many discussions with Alexander as to the principles which Louis XVLLT. ought to follow. As the Em- peror Alexander was at that time enthusiastic for liberal ideas, our opinions were often in direct opposi- tion about what would be most likely to contribute to the establishment of internal peace in France under the government of the Bourbons.

After the Peace of Paris I went to England at the same time as the Emperor of Kussia and the King of Prussia. Whilst we stayed in that country my personal relations with the Emperor preserved the same character of intimacy. Considerable differences between Alex-j ander and George IV., then Prince Regent, often placed me in a difficult position. Being kindly regarded by both princes and a confidant of their daily and personal troubles, my efforts were necessarily directed to pre- vent their mutual irritation from growing into a serious dissension. The Emperor, in truth, was always in the wrong : his sensitiveness was constantly kept alive by the Grand-Duchess Katherine, who had been in Eng- land some weeks before the arrival of her brother. The conduct at that time of this Princess, who was


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 320

gifted with very estimable qualities of mind and heart, has always been a problem to me. No doubt, one of the motives of her journey was to break off the mar- riage agreed upon between the Prince of Orange and the heiress to the English throne, and to place her own sister on the throne of Holland. But this object, which indeed she attained, will not account for all which was strange and unpleasant in her behaviour, nor for the conduct to which she persuaded the Emperor Alex- ander.

I may here give an anecdote which will throw some light on the often strange and inexplicable character of the Emperor Alexander's mind.

His Imperial Majesty liked to flatter the most dis- tinguished persons belonging to the English Opposition. One day he asked Lord Grey to lay before him a work on the formation of an Opposition in Eussia. After the audience, Lord Grey called on me, to ask an explana- tion of a caprice as unintelligible in its object as unprac- tical in its execution, ' Does the Emperor intend to in- troduce a Parliament into his country ? If he really means to do so and I should take good care not to advise it he need not concern himself about an Oppo- sition, it would certainly not be wanting.'

It was the Vienna Congress which brought a change in my relations with the Emperor.

The creation of a kingdom of Poland which should include under the Eussian sceptre the whole district of the Duchy of Warsaw, and the surrender of the king- dom of Saxony to Prussia, had been agreed upon at the negotiations in Kalisch, between the Emperor Alexan- der and King William III. This was known to us. The incorporation of Saxony with Prussia was contrary to the Emperor of Austria's fixed principles, and would


326 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

also cause much lamentable irritation between his em- pire and Prussia. The Emperor Francis being deter- mined, at the very outset, to oppose this proposition firmly, he, however, thought it prudent to delay all discussion on the subject till after the conclusion of the Peace with France : reserving it till the Congress, which was to regulate the reconstruction of the different Powers of Europe.

This important question had somewhat disturbed the relations of the two courts. Each of them hesitated to speak of it. Thus several weeks passed, even after the meeting of the Congress, without the question being mentioned on either side. The first approaches to the subject were made by the Emperor Alexander to Lord Castlereagh. The latter informed me immediately, and I advised a decided refusal. Some days after- wards the Emperor spoke himself to me about it. I found him a little embarrassed. My decided answer met with only a feeble resistance, and he at last .expressed a wish that I should speak to the Prussian Chancellor myself on the matter. The very day of my .conversa- tion with his Imperial Majesty, Prince Hardenberg made a communication to me on the point, which he supported by a written one. My verbal and written ex- planations were the same as I had already given to the Emperor. Prince Hardenberg found all his calculations crossed, and himself placed in a painful position. The Prussian Chancellor considered the affair lost, in conse- quence of my informing him of the slight importance which the Emperor Alexander had seemed to attach to the question of the incorporation of Saxony in his con- versation with me. Perhaps, too, he had misunderstood my words from being slightly deaf and very nervous ; and he therefore felt himself obliged to appeal to the


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 327

Emperor himself, who in his turn may have felt hurt by some misrepresentation of my words.

This affair gave rise to the most extraordinary and hasty conduct on the part of the Emperor Alexander. The day after my explanation with the Prussian Chan- cellor, the Emperor, my master, sent for me at a very early hour. His Majesty informed me that the Empe- ror Alexander had just left him after a very animated conversation in which that prince, thinking himself per- sonally offended by me, had told his Majesty his deci- sion to challenge me to a duel. The Emperor added that he had endeavoured to point out to Alexander how very strange such a proceeding would appear ; but, seeing that his remonstrances were without success, he had told him at last that if he persisted in his design, he would certainly find me ready to obey the challenge, which, though my reason would no doubt condemn, my honour would command me to accept. His Majesty told me at last that he had most vigorously urged the Emperor to have a third explanation with me before giving the challenge, to which Alexander at last agreed.

I declared to his Imperial Majesty that I should await with tranquillity the further steps of the Emperor of Russia, and had hardly returned to my house when Count Ozarowsky, one of Alexander's Adjutants-General, was announced. He told me that he was charged by his Imperial master to call upon me to declare to the Prussian Chancellor that I had been mistaken in what I had told him about my conversation with the Empe- ror Alexander. I begged the adjutant to tell his Impe- rial master that I should never recall one word of the correctness of which I was certain ; but that, if Prince Hardenberg had misunderstood me, and had therefore


328 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED COIN'TEMPORARIES.

repeated my words incorrectly, I should be ready to remove the mistake. Count Ozarowsky retired. A few moments afterward his Imperial Majesty sent word to me that he would not appear at the ball in my house, to which all the Princes and all the members of the Con- gress were invited for that very day.

The same day I saw the Eussian ministers, and informed Count Nesselrode of what had happened. He said he had not received any instructions from the Em- peror with regard to this affair. The conferences went on as if no difficulties at all had been raised, and their result was that half of Saxony remained to its King.

This strange incident caused no disturbance in the course of the important discussions of the Congress. Even the open friendship which existed between the two Imperial courts did not suffer any injury from it ; but this was not the case with regard to the personal relations between the Emperor of Eussia and myself. Alexander, who went a great deal into society, liked especially certain more intimate circles, which I, too, used to visit. Thus hardly a day passed without my meeting him. We did not take any notice of each other. The peculiarity of this conduct before the crowd of spectators who at that time frequented the salons of Vienna was gradually effaced by custom. The mem- bers of the Imperial Eussian family were present as usual at the balls and parties at my house. The Empe- ror only appeared amongst us no more. The public grew accustomed to the idea that the Emperor was out of humour with me ; but since business affairs did not suffer, even the restless curiosity of diplomatists could find nothing to gratify it in a state of things in itself so odd. I often received hints to take some steps to approach his Majesty, but I thought it best to leave


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 329

the return to the natural order of things to be effected by time.

This disagreement lasted, in fact, till the moment when a great event changed the prospects of the whole of Europe.

The first news of Napoleon's leaving the island of Elba reached me on the sixth of March, at six o'clock in the morning, by an express sent from the Austrian Consul-General from Genoa. The report gave nothing but the simple announcement of the fact. I repaired immediately to the Emperor, my master. His Imperial Majesty commanded me to take the news without delay to the Emperor of Eussia and the King of Prussia. It was the first time for nearly three months that I had presented myself to the first of these monarchs. He received me at once. I told him the news of the great event in execution of the wishes of the Emperor, my master. The Emperor Alexander expressed himself with calmness and dignity, in the same manner as his august ally. We did not require much time to delibe- rate about the measures that had to be taken. The decision was prompt and decided.

Having settled this subject, the Emperor said to me : ' We have still to adjust a personal difference. We are both Christians, and our sacred law commands us to forgive offences. Let us embrace, and let everything be forgotten.'

I replied to the Emperor that I, on my part, had nothing to forgive, but only to forget painful occur- rences ; that, according to all justice, his Imperial Ma- jesty must be in the same condition ; that I therefore did not accept the forgiveness, but agreed to forget.

The Emperor embraced me, and dismissed me with the request that I would be his friend once more.


330 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

In our subsequent frequent relations no mention was ever made of our former disagreement. Our inter- course soon returned to its former intimacy. This was maintained during our meetings in 1815, and again at Aix-la-;Chapelle in 1818.

I have still to mention a circumstance which oc- curred in 1822, which, perhaps, throws more light than any other on the character of Alexander.

About six weeks after the meeting in Verona, I went to see the Emperor one evening, to talk over the affairs of the day. I found him in a state of great excitement, and hastened to enquire the cause. ' I am in a strange position,' said his Imperial Majesty. ' I feel compelled to speak to you on a subject which I think most im- portant, and I am at a loss how to do it.' I answered that I could well understand that some important affair occupied his thoughts, but that I could not see how, if he wished to speak to me about it, he could have the least difficulty in doing so.

' It is,' replied the Emperor, ' because the subject does not concern the ordinary domain of politics : it regards us personally, and I fear lest you should not exactly understand what I mean.' It was only after a real effort that the Emperor was able to address me in the following memorable words : ' People wish to separate us, and to tear asunder those bonds which unite us ; I consider these bonds sacred, for they unite us for the general good. You desire the Peace of the world, and I have no other ambition but to maintain it. The enemies of Europe's peace are right in this, and in regard to the strength of the resistance which our agreement opposes to their malicious plans. They desire to remove this hindrance in any way possible, and, conscious that they will not succeed by open means,


ALEXANDER I., EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 331

they resort to indirect methods. I am overwhelmed with reproaches for having relinquished my independ- ence, and allowed myself to be guided by you.'

I answered the Emperor warmly, that what he had done me the honour to say was not new to me, and that I did not hesitate to return his confidence by a confession which would only confirm the truth of what he had just said. ' You are accused, Sire, of giving yourself up entirely to my advice ; and, on the other hand, I am accused of sacrificing the interests of my country to my relations to your Majesty. One accusation is of as much value as the other. The conscience of your Majesty is as pure as mine. We serve one and the same cause, and this cause is that of Eussia and of Austria, as well as of society in general. I have long been the butt of the various parties, and I consider the cordial relations of our two courts as a bulwark, which alone can withstand the inroads of a general confusion. On the other hand, you will judge from the extreme reserve of my attitude what importance I attach to the preservation of this intimacy. Does your Majesty wish anything altered in this respect ? '

'I expected this from you,' interrupted the Em- peror. ' If I have felt some difficulty in confessing the embarrassments in my position, it is not because I am not perfectly resolved to defy them ; what I feared was, that you might begin to hesitate.'

We then went into many details of the intrigues of one party, of which there were many disciples in Eus- sia, even in the circle immediately surrounding the Emperor.

At the end of our long conversation he made me promise formally ' not to be intimidated by any rumour, but to remain faithful to the most intimate alliance with


332 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

him,' and he begged me ' to accept from him the not less formal promise of the inviolable constancy of his trust in me.'

To loosen the harmony which united the two Em- perors and their cabinets had been the design of some persons in this faction, as well as of some ambitious men, and of the many Eussian courtiers who thought little and desired much. In direct connection with the Liberalism of the day, these men followed its impulse and became its tools, when they, in their blind self- conceit, imagined themselves its leaders. An alliance having no other object but the protection of true political freedom, which was founded on regard for the real independence of States, and desired only public peace and the removal of all desire for conquest and disturbance, such an alliance was not likely to suit the crowd of sophists and self-seekers.

The insurrection in Greece was afterwards provoked by these men. According to the calculations of the agitators, this was to act as a wedge to separate the Powers, and especially the two Imperial Courts ; and as a means of dissolving the alliance. These calcula- tions were correct, but they were fulfilled in a sense which was quite unexpected. The monarch who, in his own kingdom, had worked so much into the hands of the Eevolutionists, succumbed mentally and bodily in the fight. The Emperor Alexander died of weariness of life. Seeing himself deceived in all his calculations, under the necessity of himself striking at a class of his own subjects who had been led astray and instigated by men and principles whom he himself had long sup- ported, his heart broke, and the events which clouded the accession of his successor remained a proof of the troubles which embittered the last moments of Alexander.


ALEXANDER L, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA. 333

The true historian will find it difficult to judge aright the character of this Prince. So many sharp contradictions will pass before him that his mind will with difficulty gain the firm standpoint so necessary for those who feel it their noble task to write history.

The mind and heart of this Prince included such opposite moral qualities that the strength of character which he possessed was not sufficient to maintain the balance of his different inclinations.

Every part of his life was marked by errors and mistakes sufficient to bring exposure to himself and the public cause. Always carried away by enthusiasm, and always changeable in the direction of his mind, Alex- ander never enjoyed one moment of real repose. He had valuable qualities : his disposition was noble, and his word was sacred. These advantages were counter- balanced by great deficiencies.

Had he been born in ordinary society, his qualities would not have attracted notice ; but on the throne it is otherwise. If he had been the Euler of any other country but Russia, neither his faults nor his virtues would have been so apparent. Alexander much needed support ; his mind and heart needed to be led and guided. Whilst every Prince has difficulty in finding really unselfish servants, independent enough in cha- racter and position to rise to the part of a friend, an Emperor of Eussia is in a position less favourable to do so than any other monarch.

The reign of Alexander, we must not forget, oc- curred in a time overflowing with numberless difficul- ties for the heads of all governments ; and if this could be said of all Princes of that time, it was particularly the case with Alexander.

Before his time, the germ of a false civilisation had


334 GALLERY OF CELEBRATED CONTEMPORARIES.

been sown on the soil of his vast Empire, which, despoti- cally governed and in want of every real institution, contained a mass of people sunk in complete dark- ness. This germ Paul I. would fain have smothered. To his short reign followed that of Alexander. Well- known Revolutionists, after having guided his education, exercised an evil influence on the mind of the young monarch. Alexander, without experience and full of vain theories, caused evil where he only intended good. He deceived himself, and the discovery of his errors brought him to the grave.

A mind subject to such changes must be considered frail and sensitive ; a strong mind it cannot be.


BOOK III.


A COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS FROM THE FIRST TERIOD OF METTEKNICH'S LIFE.

17731815.


PRELIMINARY REMARK OF THE EDITOR.


THE abundance of materials for the Third Book does not allow us to embrace in the First Volume the whole collection of papers up to 1815 : they will be continued in the Second. We mention this here because the arrangement is made only from typographical con- siderations.

The essays and letters, the despatches and memoirs, mostly from Metternich's own hand, are all numbered, and are also in chronological order : their connection with the Autobiographical Memoir, which they are in- tended to complete and elucidate, is made more evident by the addition of titles pointing out to what part of it they refer.

We conclude the First Volume with the papers referring to the ' Apprenticeship,' and commence the Second with those which refer to ' Metternich's Entrance into Public Life ; ' this seeming the most suitable divi- sion of the Third Book, for here a new phase of Metter- nich's life begins, his action as a statesman comes to the front, and gives to all he wrote a specially political character.

The restless activity of Metternich's pen, first while

Envoy to Dresden and Berlin, then as Ambassador in

Paris, and lastly as Minister of Foreign Affairs, has left

such an enormous mass of materials that it was no easy

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338 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

task, in selecting the documents to be published, to hit the right mean between the wants of the general reader and the demands of the earnest student of History, who would deem nothing uninteresting which came from the hand of so important an historical character as Metternich.

The documents chosen are, from their constitution and objects, to be considered neither as additions to the Autobiography, nor as so-called ' pieces justiftca- tives.' In many of these will be found no direct con- nection with the Autobiography, except the common object of explaining Metternich's actions, and of filling up the picture of his life. We have abstained, on prin- ciple, from all explanatory remarks on the different papers ; neither connecting them by any sort of bio- graphical thread, nor offering a critical review of the whole. To have attempted this would have involved the Editor in the danger of departing from the point of view he had chosen, and drawing him into a province he would neither himself enter nor permit another to do so. He was determined that the Chancellor's opinions should appear before the public in no other light than their own. The absence of all connecting remarks will not be regretted. It will rather prove an advantage, that no apologies for the Chancellor, no criticism of his adversaries, no extraneous opinions, should weaken the impression made by hearing Metternich's policy from Metternich's own mouth.


389


APPRENTICESHIP, 17731800.

1793. Appeal to the Army.

The Sketch of an Appeal to the Imperial Army, composed in my youthful zeal in 1793. (See note 4.)


1. Soldiers ! Your courage, your bravery needs not to be inflamed ; redouble then your zeal and passionate desire to avenge the hideous- crime, MARIA THERESA'S blood, upon the monsters who make war upon you.

MARIA ANTONIA OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE. Innocence have they slaughtered on the scaffold, the place of malefactors -..

Euin fall on the heads of these impious murderers, murderers of their kings and of their Fatherland.

The blood of your immortal THERESA, the blood of AUSTRIA herself, spilled upon a scaffold !..!

Listen ! that blood calls you to Vengeance. Heaven and Earth cry out for Vengeance, even to death !

Brave defenders of your lawful monarchs, rest not until that cry is accomplished !.


z z


340 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.


1794.

On the Necessity of a general Arming of the People on the Frontiers of France, by a Friend of Universal Peace.

An anonymous pamphlet, by Count Clemens von Metternich, printed August 1794. (Note 4.)

2. The French Revolution has reached that stage from which it seenis to threaten ruin to all the States of Europe. The spread of general anarchy is its aim, and its means are enormous. Four years of internal disorder and three of war with the great Powers did not diminish it. Without money, without a settled form of government, without a disciplined army, without unity, the 'Revolution established itself in no class of the people within the realm, but rather threatened foreign countries. The conflagration was thought distant and unimportant when suddenly people awoke.

A general cry for help sounded through all king- doms, men rushed to arms, and insignificant armies were despatched. The disasters of the first campaign spread terror more vigorous means were seen to be necessary, and surprise was everywhere felt at the strength of the so-called farce of Liberty.

Brilliant was the beginning of the year 1793. Army fought against army, and the history of this month of March will always be distinguished in military annals. The French army, everywhere beaten, almost destroyed, fled to the frontier, and found safety only behind the numerous fortresses which formed the bulwarks of the ruined Empire. The tyrants of the Convention were struck with terror, and commanded the nation to pre- pare for a general rising. The population was divided


NECESSITY OF A GENERAL ARMING. 341

into so-called requisitions ; those who refused fell by the guillotine. Immediately the French people flocked in swarms to the frontiers ; old men and children, willing or unwilling, timid or brave, all fought in the same ranks. Mobs attacked armies, and small forces had to stand against enormous masses. Thousands fell on one side, and thousands replaced them ; hundreds fell on the other, and their places remained empty. Incom- prehensible it is that the armies of the Allies could resist, but less so to him who knows the universal bra- very of Austrian troops. Actions occurred almost daily, and marches and counter-marches more toilsome still wore out the physical strength of the soldier. The campaign was nearly over ; the Austrian, English, and Dutch armies in the Netherlands made themselves secure in the newly-acquired places. The united Aus- trian and Prussian army retired across the Ehine ; the Spanish army crossed the frontier, and even Italy was threatened by an; attack. In this state of things the combined armies took, up their winter quarters, and Kepublican masses nearly everywhere kept the field. The astonishment was general at the small success and the great loss of troops, in this year which began so brilliantly for the ca.use of humanity. Men reflected on the causes of this unhappy event. The amplest re- sources in> money and troops had been applied, and no frontier was protected after a two years' war. Astonish- ment at the strength of an ever-encroaching anarchy, with a consciousness of weakness in themselves, possessed most minds. Insufficient execution of plans, the great diffi- culty of self-defence, the impossibility of restoring repose in France, was evident to everyone, except the Powers. There remained but one single resource, not perhaps easy, but certain in its execution. Two campaigns had


342 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

taught what may be expected when armies have to contend against a whole people in arms, and the fear of neighbouring nations daily increased. The Austrian Netherlands, scarcely escaped from the yoke of France, knew better than any other country the crushing weight of anarchy, and was prepared for self-defence. A ge- neral arming of the people was proposed, and weapons and ammunition were actually distributed in some threatened districts of the province of Elanders. The peasant took them with joy, he who possessed goods took them for their preservation, and he who possessed nothing [desired -to follow the general impulse. The newly-made army was distributed among the troops, and small bands constantly braved the inevitable dangers of war. A medal given at the right moment raised the first zeal * to enthusiasm, and peasants accompanied in crowds the military patrols going to a distance. The aversion which narrow minds felt at the first movement of this resource, which promised everything, is incon- ceivable. A bugbear was held up before the eyes of the monarchs, and this decisive measure of the -Go- vernment of the Netherlands was prohibited. At the beginning of this year, the Emperor resolved himself to take the command of the army in the Netherlands. The campaign opened late, and began by the taking of a fortress, but alas! the sequence did not correspond with the beginning daily the number of enemies increased,

  • A young man, who had specially distinguished himself in the defence

of Tenipleuvre, in West Flanders, received this medal from the hands of Major d'Aspre. The honour of the public mark of personal bravery, the magnificence of the ceremony with which it was presented, all raised the delight of the people to the highest pitch. Every peasant desired to become a hero. Everyone wished to wear the red-and-white ribbon in his button-hole. The next day, more volunteers presented themselves for the most dangerous patrols than were wanted. Princes ! With what small means can you not attain the greatest ends !


NECESSITY OF A GENERAL ARMING. 343

and daily the armies of the Powers diminished. Attacks on the left wing necessitated immediate and considerable reinforcements from the right, and in a few days a similar danger threatened the other wing. The army, almost wearied out by marches, scarcely rested a mo- ment, scarcely enjoyed a victory when fresh efforts were required in consequence of new attacks on the place they had but just left. The Emperor quitted the army, returned to his kingdom, and with him fled the hope of the whole nation. Every day afterwards was marked by some action, affairs looked more threatening, and it became more probable that many thousand men would be lost, large sums of money, and, eventually, even the Netherlands.

It will be incomprehensible to posterity that even such brave armies could so long withstand the masses, and equally incomprehensible how unwillingly, at last, the only means available under the desperate circum- stances was adopted, of arming masses against masses. Now the multitude was asked for assistance, and excuse was made for the long delay by showing confidence in their strength. But the attempt was too late ; and it will ever disgrace the memory of those who stopped this salutary measure at the right moment, and sur- rendered one of the most flourishing countries to a second, perhaps a perpetual, anarchy, and by cowardice or folly hurried on the ruin of the whole of Europe. Great and extraordinary evils can only be stemmed by great and extraordinary means ; great was the danger to all members of society from the beginning of the French Revolution ; the dullest minds could see from its first commencement the consequences which must result for centuries ; but what were the means to prevent its further spread ? Armies of the


344 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICITS FIRST PERIOD.

different Powers, divided by political interests : armies suitable only for the decision of little quarrels on these depended the fate of future generations. The sacrifice of some thousands never terrifies an oligarchic govern- ment : that of some hundreds is a considerable loss for armies which have alone to bear the enormous burden of both offensive and defensive warfare, and can expect help only from the most remote regions. In this man- ner the belligerent Powers were shedding their blood since the first declaration of war, which was the conse- quence of a feeling of their own strength and of the necessity of occupying a people in revolution on their frontiers.*

The National Assembly, profoundly acquainted witli all cabinets, knew the small preparations of the scarcely united courts, and rightly estimated their weak means of self-defence. Enormous armies were to cross the frontiers from all sides, and the undertaking could not fail. Part of Italy, Germany, and the whole Nether- lands were quickly covered with a vile mob, gathered from every quarter, whose strength was in its numbers. Certainly the attempt would have failed in its birth had a similar mass, supported by the bravery of disciplined armies, been opposed to this attack. Men of that numer- ous class who consider the present war like any other, and the Revolution in its commencement mere child's play, and who regard the general conflagration with the true cold-bloodedness of a physician, exclaim

4 What ? arm the people ? put arms in the hands of the mob? You are, then, resolved on your own de- struction ! '

True a few years ago, but false at the present mo-

  • This reason will always hinder the Convention from entering into any

peace negotiations.


NECESSITY OF A GENERAL ARMING. 34")

inent. And what madman would advise the armino- of

o

the mob ? Never is the difference between the real people and the mob more evident than at times when the former have to defend their property against the attacks of the latter. The people is everywhere against the introduction of the new principles : the mob is for them. The existence of the first and much larger class depends on general peace, and the other only desires disorder. The people finds its salvation in self- defence, in defence of its property, be it ever so small ; the mob, who have nothing to lose but everything to gain in disorder, is found only in cities ; in the country a hundred different works and services occupy men where they owe their existence entirely to the yeo- man, and therefore entirely depend upon him.

In a general arming of the people I do not, there- fore, understand the class of the unoccupied, so dangerous to the state, men who possess nothing, and are constantly ready for a revolt, and who have extraordinarily in- creased in recent times, especially in great cities. Let us give, or, rather, let us permit, the citizen and the yeo- man to take arms to help to avert a danger which is so threatening. Who would refuse to defend his property, his money and possessions, his wife and children ? * Who would not gladly join with victorious armies? Let there be-but a few happy successes, and insurmount- able barriers would soon be raised against the progress of the enemy.

The present war has for some time taken the same course as the first attempts at the migration of nations.

  • A truth which fairly answers another objection of the diplomatists above

mentioned. ' What would our newly-armed people do against the French, accustomed to war as they are ? ' they ask. They would do what a free people fighting for themselves and their property can always do against men who are forced to fight by some tyrant they detest.


34G DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICIl'S FIRST PERIOD.

Enormous masses attack smaller armies, are constantly beaten, yet always invincible. Death and desolation open the way to them. Atrocities of every kind are performed with more than the cruelty of Vandals, Too narrow appear their boundaries to a people dying of hunger in a country formerly so blooming. Destruction of all monuments and works of art, and subjugation of the nations, present a striking resemblance to the deeds of the Northern hordes of the fifth and sixth centuries. The breaking up of all manners and customs make them still more dangerous. The cause of the first mi- gration of nations was either the supplanting by neigh- bouring peoples, or the desire to exchange a gloomy sky for brighter climates.

Innovations in morality, the overthrow of the most sacred duties, the introduction of the horrors of a Revo- lution never lay in its purpose. The object of the second is the dissolution of all social ties, the destruction of all principles, and the spoliation of all property. Italy fell by its indifference from the highest stage of cultivation to the most dreadful barbarism ; indifference threatens Europe with the same fate.

Eulers of nations ! and Nations .! bound so closely together by mutual interest, ye are drawing daily nearer to the end of your peace. Few moments remain to you ; then perhaps you will repent too late of the time lost in shameful inactivity. This moment decides your fate and that of your descendants. The example of three useless campaigns teaches you the necessity of applying stronger measures to avert the threatening danger so close at hand. Make use of these means which have hitherto supported the enemy. Fathers of families, possessors of property fight in the same rank with the brave defenders of your Fatherland and of your provinces !


FRAGMENTS FROM METTEKNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 347

If you are united the rapacious hordes will flee from you, and the well-intentioned of all nations will join you. To you then Europe will owe her preservation, and whole generations their peace.


17.97. From Rastadt.

Fragments from Metternich's private Letters to his Wife, in the years 1797 and 1798. (Note 7.)

Arrival in Rastadt Bonaparte's departure residence in the castle. 4. MM. Treilhard and Bonnier opening of a theatre. 5. Dinner with Cohenzl Citoyen Perret. 6. First visit from Treilhard and Bonnier. 7. Confusion of affairs secularisation. 8. The French deputies decline the invitation to dine with Oobenzl ! 9. Merveldt goes to Vienna. 10. Visit to Carlsruhe. 11. Characteristics of the French deputies. 12. The epide- mic among cats. 13. Visit to Strasburg. 14. Characteristics of the French Comedy. 15. Progress of affairs JNapoleon expected. 10. Uneasiness in Vienna on account of the non-arrival of Napoleon block- ade of Mayence thoughts of a landing in England. 18. Bonaparte still expected. 19. Midnight mass with the Piarists. .20. General satis- faction with F. G. Metternich's manner of conducting the negotiations. 21. Entrance of the French into Basle. 22. Bonaparte expected at Ras- tadt. 24. Ball at Rastadt. 25. Bonaparte supposed to be occupied in planning an attack on England. 26. Metternich plays at an Amateur Concert monotonous life at Rastadt. 27. Opening of the Congress. 29. Opera and Comedy. 31. Supper with the Opera Singers. 32. France for, Austria against, secularisation. 33. Metternich likely to return to Vienna in the month of May. 34. Passion-week. 35. Feeling of the people of Alsace. 36. Anecdote of a colony of French Emigres. 38. At Frankfort. 39. Bernadotte at Vienna. 41. Return to Rastadt. 43. Miserable theatre. 44. Bonaparte's return certain. 46. Bonaparte's journey from Paris to Toulon a critical moment. 48. Treilhard named Director of the Republic Bernadotte's departure. 50. Dinner with Cobenzl. 52-53. Madame de Metternich's journey to Rastadt.

Count Metternich to his wife, the Countess Eleanor.

3. Rastadt, December 2, 1797. I am just out of the carriage, and my first anxiety is to announce to you our safe arrival at the place of our destination.


348 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

Bonaparte sets out to-night for Paris, and he will not return here for eight or ten days ; the other depu- ties are all there, and we begin work to-morrow.

The chateau is superb ; it had been much injured by the French, but great efforts have been made to put it in order again. We occupy* that part of it which was inhabited by Prince Eugene during the last Peace of Eastadt, and Bonaparte the part which was then occupied by Marshal de Villars. We have the French play in the chateau itself, which is very con- venient. Everything is horribly dear ; to give you an instance, I will only mention that for one supper of six very indifferent dishes, just like those you get from a cook-shop, they made us pay fifty-five florins at Cannstadt.

4. December 3. I told you yesterday that Bona- parte set out for Paris a few hours- after our arrival. He leaves us only MM. Treilhard and Bonnier.-!* They are quartered opposite my windows, which look into the courtyard ; they have a great many people in their suite. Bonaparte himself never goes out without seven or eight aides-de-camp all very well dressed, and he with all the seams of his uniform embroidered. The entrance to my father's apartment is the s-ame as that used by the French. It is a very large hall ; on one side are our people, and on the other all the citoyens, servants, hussars, and couriers, of whom there are at least a score, in little laced jackets, &c. &c.. My father occupies the chief apartment, which they have arranged


  • The writer of this letter accompanied his father, who was Imperial

Plenipotentiary to the Rastadt Congress. ED.

t Bonnier d'Arco, sprung from a noble Italian family, born 1742. Treil- hard, properly John Count de Treiliard, bom 1742. French Ministers at the Rastadt Congress. E<


I-'IIAGMENTS FJIOM METTERNICIl'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 34'J

in great liaste to render it habitable, and the rest of the house is swallowed up by the French.

The French deputies are invisible : they do not leave their rooms ; and Bonnier is so afraid that anyone should enter his, that he has had all the doors bricked up that lead out of his quarters, leaving only one open to go in and out at himself, and this he bolts when he is alone. All their servants look like porters, and the masters themselves are dressed in a vulgar way, dress coats and pantaloons, not as we should be in the morning.

They are working hard to arrange the theatre for the Strasburg troupe ; they will also give some enter- tainments and balls, but as the Ambassadors can scarcely be expected to dance, I believe it will only be necessary to walk about, and I suspect they will not do anything else. Rastadt is nearly full of deputies and envoys of all kinds. There are, however, still some apartments to be let at a very high figure, or rather not to be let, for strangers, who might be tempted to come, would die of ennui.

5. December 5. I have just come from a half French dinner at M. de Cobenzl's.* We found ourselves with an aide-de-camp of General Bonaparte's, and Citizen Ferret, Secretary to the Legation. The first is a small crea- ture, indifferent enough, and the second, a good-looking young man, who speaks German perfectly, and who has studied at Jena and Leipsic, the same who attended the negotiations at Udine. They were all very polite, giving the full titles, &c. I shall dine with Treilhard and Bon- nier : so confess that I am in good company. Alas ! I do not think so. I think I see the nucleus of the men

  • John Ludwig Count Cohens!, Imperial Plenipotentiary for the King-

dom of Hungary and Bohemia at the Congress of Kastadt. ED.


350 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

of September, and those of the guillotine, and I in- wardly shudder.

6. December 6. The French deputies Treilhard and Bonnier have this morning paid their first visit to my father, and I leave you to go with him to return it. I gain nothing by it, but still it is necessary. They were very polite, better got up than usual, in blue frock coats, shoes, and stockings, &c., without any national colour, neither cockade nor scarf.

7. December 7. Our affairs are still in such confu- sion that their issue is not ascertained, but it cannot be otherwise than terrible for the Empire. Whatever it is, we must bear it. Our private affairs, I believe, will prosper in the way I explained to you before my de- parture for Eastadt ; and I am convinced that taken individually we shall lose nothing, we shall, perhaps, even gain ; but I cannot bear the idea of seeing my home in the hands of these rogues, and, on the other hand, the secularisations so little fall in with my views that nothing but the certainty that what is not given to us as compensation will only go to increase the patri- mony of some one else makes me catch at this last resource. Say nothing to anyone ; I do not wish to be quoted ; but according to my way of seeing things, everything is gone to the devil ; and the time is come when everyone must save from the wreck what he can.

8. December 9. This is the second time that I have been going to dine with the French deputies, and at the last moment they have sent excuses to M. de CobenzL I declare that in all my life I never saw such ill-condi- tioned animals. They see no one, are sealed up in their apartments, and are more savage than white bears. Good God ! how this nation is changed ! To extreme


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERXICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 351

neatness, and that elegance which one could hardly imitate, has succeeded the greatest slovenliness ; the most perfect amiability is replaced by a dull sinister air, which I can only fully describe by calling it Revolu- tionary! Among all those whom we have here, I have not found one amiable, or even supportable, except a certain Ferret, Secretary of the Legation of Bonaparte, the same of whom I told you some days ago. He is a very good-looking young man, well informed, and speaks German as if he had never left the Empire. You can form no idea what a pack of wretches they are here. All these fellows have coarse muddy shoes, great blue pantaloons, a vest of blue or of all colours, peasants' handkerchiefs, either silk or cotton, round the neck, the hair long, black, and dirty, and the hideous head crowned by an enormous hat with a great red feather. One would die of fright, I believe, if one met the best clothed of them in a wood. They have a sullen air, and seem more discontented with themselves than with anyone else.

9. Merveldt* will deliver this letter to you, my dear. He goes to Vienna, and will not return : his work is finished. I wish it were the same with the great busi- ness ; but that becomes worse every day. Bonaparte will take vigorous measures on his arrival, I have no doubt, but all possible data prove to me that the affair both on our side and on that of the French was ill- considered. But certainly the Empire has gone to the devil. . . .

I send you a programme of our theatre, which will open to-morrow ; it is the troupe from Strasburg which has had the happy idea of coming. I believe that in the end we shall die of ennui ; I pass my evenings

  • Max. Count Merveldt, Major-General, came to Rastadt for the conclu-

sion of the Military Convention of December 1, 1797.


352 DOCUMENTS FliOM METTERN1CIFS FIRST FERIOD.

in playing macao, or some other game of chance at my Aunt Eeinach's ; or play with dice, &c. M. de Cobenzl or I make a fortune with a ducat. I sup fre- quently at the Count de Sickingen's,* who sees his col- leagues every evening, the deputies, the Counts, and some other men. I should laugh at it all, if the general affairs were going better.

10. December 11. I have been to Carlsruhe ; we returned very late, and, by no fault of mine, have missed the post. It is five good leagues from here to Carlsruhe : the road is charming in summer, bordered by an avenue of superb poplars ; the country is beautiful, but there is nothing pleasant about it at this time of year. It did nothing but rain, and we could scarcely get on at all. The arrival of my father was announced in the evening ; and the court was put in fiocchi ; the Mar- shals, grand chamberlains, &c., came to meet him at the door of his carriage ; the Margrave himself received him in the first hall. I was very much pleased with the court ; the Margrave is a good old man, of very line appearance, and extremely polite ; he has three sons, who were all present ; the hereditary Princess, mother of the Grand-Duchess Alexandra and of the Queen of Sweden, seems a pleasant person : he has three daughters remaining, two of them quite small, and an older one who is not at all pretty. The Duchess of Deux-Ponts, who is also one of his daughters, is good- looking, but they say she is not nearly so pretty as the Queen. I have seen the portrait of the King of Sweden, which is said to be not the least flattered, and which is charming. The hereditary Princess could not speak kindly enough to me, and I believe myself she is a little

. * Count Sickin^en, the representative of the Swabian Counts at the Uojatrress of Rastadt.


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICirS PRIVATE LETTERS. 353

in love. We had very good clieer ; the court is well arranged, and I am convinced that you would be well pleased with all the individuals who compose it. We left directly after dinner ; but the night and the roads were so against any speed in our progress that it took us three hours and a half to return to Eastadt, making me lose the first play at the French Theatre, which

is just opened We shall have

the Opera Comique for a fortnight, and the singers alternately with the Comedie, who in the meantime play at Strasburg. Bonaparte has promised the Director to bring him some of the best actors from Paris, and I hope he will keep his word.

11. December 12. The French deputies are toler- ably old men. Bonaparte's suite is composed of young men ; he himself was twenty-eight years old in June, and is older than any of his aides-de-camp or secre- taries ; he is expected to return to Eastadt in a week. Everyone about him is extremely cold towards the deputies ; they say that he himself treats them with great haughtiness. Treilhard is very polite ; he came yesterday to our box at the theatre, giving us all our titles, conversing well like all the old advocates. All who belong to the Corps Diplomatique wear blue frock coats, with yellow buttons, on which is the figure of Liberty and the inscription of Liberte, Egalite. The mili- tary are always in uniform, and are very well appointed. . . . . I am a little reconciled to the theatre. There are some very pretty subjects, and above all the women are dressed most perfectly. They have new dresses, really charming, and as all the properties have changed masters, the actresses have no end of diamonds. The costume of the actors is incredible, and one is inclined to take them all for caricatures. An enormous tuft of VOL. i. A A


354 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

hair curled round the head, leaving the ears uncovered, and two long locks of hair which fall on the shoulders, are the peculiarities of the perruque worn by fashion- able gentlemen. A monstrous cravat covers the chin and half the mouth ; two enormous earrings appear at the sides. A frock coat, short and as loose as a sack, a small waistcoat, and shoes well cut down and of the shape of slippers, complete this charming costume. It appears that fair perruques are the most in vogue : they are all fair, men and women, almost flaxen. The pieces they give us are good, and do not refer to the Kevo- lution at all. From the cockade one would not suppose any differences of opinion : all the roles have their cock- ade, in fact, Crispin, Scapin, the old cavalier all have those cursed colours, which, besides the evil they have already done, now destroy all illusion.

12. December 13. My father is too much occupied to think of the details of the house ; he is no longer in a state to be sole representative, and the dignity of his office even will suffer. Our baggage arrived to-day ; they are busy unpacking, and the house will be open immediately.

You have no idea of the noise which the epidemic at Vienna among cats has made here. Every letter which has arrived for some days speaks of it, and the Viennese are already reproached for not being able to think of anything else at a time so interesting as the present.*

13. December 15. I leave to-night for Strasburg.

  • Private letters of this period mention that the epidemic among cats,

which then broke out in Vienna, was considered a sign of the approach of the Plague. This fear, originally limited to a few anxious persons, soon grew to be a unirersal terror among the people in consequence of a false re^ port that the Plague had appeared in Galicia, and already spread to Bohe- mia, though called by another name.


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERXICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 355

I seize this opportunity because there is less to do here than if Bonaparte had come, and I wish to be able to stay there at least two days to see everything. You cannot think how curious I am to see once more the places I have known so well both before and since the commencement of the Eevolution, and which I am told are changed entirely.

14. December 17. You are waiting for details of Strasburg, my dear ; alas ! you will not have them, and for the best of all reasons, I have not been there. An accident prevented me from carrying out my plan, which I must now leave till another time. Bonaparte left Paris yesterday, and is expected here next Tuesday. I am just out from the first dinner we have given, my father having opened his house to-day ; the French deputies ought to have been here, but they are re- ceiving company themselves. Ferret and Lavalette, the one secretary to Bonaparte's Legation, and the other his aide-de-camp, and M. Eosenstiel, secretary to the French Mission, were all that we had, besides those who are here belonging to the Emperor and the Envoy of Mayence. Aime * gave us a very good repast, and things are beginning to be got into order. Do not be uneasy about the finances, everything is going on smoothly.

The Comedie Franqaise, which we have now had for several days, is very good. There is a Mdlle. Legrand and a Mdlle. Delile of the Odeon at Paris, who are both very good. The former is very much like Madame Spettel, Sardellen-Konigin, so much so that a certain person would not be able to contain himself if he were here. They give us this evening Un pas de trois de sabotiers, which is translated in the programme Em

  • Count Franz Georg von Metternich's cook.

A A 2


356 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERXICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

Tritt von drei Holzschuhtragern. I could not help burst- ing with laughter when I read it.

15. December 19. Our affairs here go on as well -as the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves permit. I pity you, my dear, being at Vienna ; you will hear all the events criticised and talked over in the most insupportable manner ; people will always concern themselves with your interests and those of the persons connected with you ; but I can only recommend you to preserve the utmost calmness and tranquillity. Events are so extraordinary in themselves, the military movements which the French are constantly making with respect to the Empire are so inexplicable to the ignorant, that I can imagine all Vienna in combustion. On twenty different sides one hears of the dissolution of the Congress ; the fact is, that it is not possible to calculate its duration it has really only just commenced ; but our private interests will be perfectly safe.

We expect Bonaparte to return to-morrow ; they have prepared a fete for him as he passes through Strasburg, without knowing if he intends to stay there. I will write and tell you all the particulars of his con- versations when he has once arrived ; they will be more interesting than those of the ministers who are here one of whom speaks the most beautiful Gascon, and the other, Bonnier, says nothing. We do not know yet if Madame Bonaparte accompanies or follows Bona- parte.

16. December 21. Bonaparte has not yet returned ; the Directory detains him still in Paris, but we expect him from one moment to another, without knowing exactly when he will arrive. His absence, which ap- pears to make you and all Vienna uneasy, has nothing to do with present affairs : he would not have much to


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERXICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 357

do even if lie were here, for a Congress of the Empire is very different from a negotiation between two Powers ; here there are so many different interests at stake, so many heads to put into one cap, that in spite of the greatest desire one cannot get on more quickly than we do. There is no part of the country where the Empire is less understood than at Vienna, nor w^here they have more mistaken ideas about it. I already seem to hear you saying twenty times over, Ja, ivenn's so ist, when, on my return to Vienna, I show you things in a very different light from that in which you and your society have been accustomed to see them, and I wish to- heaven that time had already come.

The secretary of the Legation and Bonaparte's aide-de-camp have interrupted me. They are very good fellows, and I often see them ; up to the present time they are the only people with whom one can associate. Good God ! how extraordinary the times and the events are. Seven months ago everyone fled before these men, and now there they are under the- same roof, and often in the same room with us.

17. December 22. I have absolutely nothing new to* tell you ; you have no idea how barren is a sojourn in Rastadt for newsmongers ; the great affairs would not interest you in their details, and there is nothing else to relate. All days are alike r I dine either with my father or with M. de Cobenzl ; they are the only people who keep house. I spend all my morning in writing, I do the same after dinner, and in the evening I gene- rally go to the theatre, which is excellent. They give only good pieces, which never refer to the Ee volution. I sup three or four times a week with M. de Sickingen ; I either pass my evening at Madame de Reinach's, or I come home after the- theatre and write again, often till


358 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICII'S FIRST PERIOD.

two or three o'clock in the morning. You see that this is a very uniform and very simple manner of living, so uniform that I cannot write you anything new. I enclose an invitation to dine with the Frenchmen, which you will find quite in the old-fashioned style. Treilhard is in general very polite, and a striking contrast to his colleague, who is what we should call the quintessence of a clown. Even a Parisian journal, the Courrier du Jour, in yesterday's number, censures his cool and vulgar air, and with perfect reason. They are still ignorant of the day of Bonaparte's arrival. The French, mean- time, are progressing on all sides ; they have blockaded Mayence, and taken possession of the Bishopric of Basle, which makes the Swiss very uneasy, seeing them actually in the midst of their country, which promises to become as revolutionary as Italy. Heaven knows where it will stop ; but there is certainly no reason why the rest of Europe should not be shaken to its foundations by forty millions of men aiming at the same mark. All they dream of in France at this moment is a descent on England. The wildest projects are formed, and it appears to me that those that are the least so are quite impossible. A certain man Tillorier thinks of going over in a balloon ; another, named Gamier, proposes elastic skates ; a third pretends to have in- vented a species of boat to pass under the water without being seen ; and the fourth, the most foolish of all, would have guns made to carry fifty miles which shall destroy England from French batteries. You may think these are the plans of some madmen not at all ; these are the project-makers of the day. They say that Bonaparte received in one day two thousand pro- jects, plans, and letters, directly he arrived in Paris. 18. December 24. We are always in expectation of


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 359

Bonaparte's arrival. The Paris newspapers announce his departure in almost every one of their numbers ; they expected him at Strasburg the day before yesterday, and he has not yet arrived there. In the meantime Mayence is gone to the devil, and on all the left bank everybody must cross himself; many people do not believe it yet, but for myself I made the sacrifice long ago, and come what will, I shall be astonished at nothing.

19. December 25. I have just come from Treil- hard, who has given us his first dinner. We had very good cheer ; I do not know who cooked it, for three days ago he asked Aime if he would prepare a dinner for him be that as it may, it was very well appointed. Good wine and good cheer see to what the religion of this regenerated nation is reduced : they know no other God than their stomach, and no enjoy- ment but that of their senses. Doubtless this is Christ- mas Day, but they know it only as the 5th Mvose. I have been to a midnight mass at the Piaristes with my father and the Count de Lehrbach.* I do not believe that a single member of the French embassy, either master or servant, has dreamt of attending mass. We were rather less than twenty at dinner ; first, naturally, all their suite, then ourselves, and some of the envoys. The dinner passed off very well ; they talked much and eat much this is the best I can say for it.

20. December 27. What Merveldt said to you of the duration of the Congress is quite vague. I defy anyone to tell how long it will last, but as it has only just com- menced, judge for yourself if it can be finished in a month. The French, who refuse to receive the creden-

  • Konrad Ludwig von Lehrbach, Minister for the Austrian Circle at the

Rastadt Congress, he afterwards represented also Hungary and Bohemia. ED.


360 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

tials of the Deputation of the Empire in their present form, have obliged the latter to procure new ones. It is absolutely impossible that they can arrive for five or six weeks. So you see how it is. My father is the only one who deals with them, their full powers being exchanged for his. Everyone is very much pleased with him and his mode of dealing, and I have no doubt the court will be equally satisfied.

21. December 31. The French have entered Basle, and under the pretext of occupying only the houses which belong to the Bishop, and which they have de-- clared to be their property, and not to violate the neu- trality, they have sent there several thousand unarmed men. This is the first step against the liberty of the Swiss, and you will see that in a few months the whole of that fine country will be a prey to revolution. Of what horrible augury is this unheard-of infringement of people's rights for all the countries near the whirl- pool ! The Eevolution will have carried away in its torrent nearly fifty millions of men in less than seventy years, and where will it stop ? I pity these poor Swiss ; but they are lost, and we shall have the Eevolution in all the frontiers of Tyrol. The French yesterday en- tered Mayence.

1798.

22. Rastadt, January 1. Bonaparte is expected on Saturday or Sunday. I do not know whether to be glad' at his arrival or not. I am afraid that he will not decide' very quickly ; his expedition to England torments him, not that I believe it will ever succeed, and he wants his hands free. They still say that his wife will accompany him.

23. January 6. Our affairs go steadily on ; they?


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICII'S PRIVATE LETTERS.

will move more quickly when once Bonaparte has arrived. There w T ill be the devil to pay when once the machine is set agoing. The left bank of the Rhine is irretrievably lost ; but I have well-founded hopes of being successful in the matter of our indemnities. I have broken the ice ; I had a conversation of .an hour with Treilhard, and the result was so curious that I have sent by the same courier a report to Thugut,* who will, I hope, give me some credit. My position, as deputy of the Counts, is an inestimable advantage to me. It gives me the opportunity of acting by and for myself, and I swear to you that I never lose a minute nor an occasion. My project of an indemnity on the right - bank has been accepted by the French the more easily inasmuch as they had conceived the same idea them- selves some time ago. My father conciliates himself with everybody ; you have no idea how general the satisfaction with him is ; and how everybody does hinr justice. No post could have suited him better, and no man could have better filled the post ; he comes out from every difficult question with infinite honour and. advantage. I do not enter into the detail of affairs ; I will explain everything to you by word of mouth when I return to Vienna ; but be happy and contented. Mi- nisters are arriving here from all parts of the universe. We have Cisalpine Envoys, Ligurian, Dutch, Swiss, &c.; many people and especially at Vienna, where they only know what passes within a circle of three leagues, be- lieve that the Congress of Eastadt is nothing but a farce : everything is already arranged say our great politi- cians ; you may remember that I always said the con- trary. The. fate of the whole world is being deckled here, and from the Peace of Eastadt only will date that

  • Johann Amadeus von Thugut, Minister of Foreign Affairs. ED. ,- t


of) 2 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

of Europe, if this stormy age permits it to have any. All that I foresaw has come to pass : each Power seeks to regain something of what it has lost by preventing a third from aggrandising itself; all the political elements are in combustion, and the end is known to nobody.

24. January 9. The day before yesterday we had a ball in the hall of the theatre; we are to have another to-day. There is not under the canopy of heaven a more wearisome thing than a ball at Eastadt ; there are nearly a hundred men, almost all ministers and depu- ties, and eight or ten women, half of them more than fifty years old. It is only for want of something better to do that one ever goes to them.

25. January 13. Bonaparte has not arrived yet. I do not know to what to attribute the causes of this delay ; some say that business about this descent on England occupies him very much; others suppose that Ite wishes to wait the arrival of the full powers of the deputies of the Empire ; and a third party believe that his omnipotence has much decreased now he is no longer surrounded by all his army and a crowd of aides-de-camp and admirers. It is certain that Bona- parte is the creature of Barras, and that Eewbell,* who is no friend of the latter, has much more power at this moment. Time will explain the mystery, but there is no doubt of his return ; only the time is not fixed, and I am annoyed not to see him before my departure. La Comedie goes on playing in the meantime as if he were here, and all goes on as usual.

26. January 16. The new full powers for the deputies of the Empire have arrived; the negotiation, which up to this time has been managed by iny father

  • Barras and Rewbell, well-known members of the National Conven-

tion.


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 363

alone, will go on now with the Deputation, and affairs will be much more exciting. I shall be charged with very interesting despatches for Vienna, and I shall be able to tell you much more on my return than I can at present. The bomb is in the air ; it will burst ; happy those who are not struck by it ! You have no idea of the despair which reigns on the left bank of the Rhine; the inhabitants have been hoping that they would become Germans again, but their hopes sink day by day, and give place to the most profound grief; cer- tainly the lot of the proprietors is very sad, and if ever the being a State of the Empire were valuable, it is so at this moment. I have gathered together a number of data on the internal state of this unhappy country, and I believe I have heard enough from people of all parties to be perfectly well informed of all that is passing there. I do not enter into any details ; I shall enjoy telling you everything myself, and I do not wish to trust to paper what I can tell you so much better by word of mouth.

We had a concert yesterday, at which I played a good deal. One of the Envoys of the Empire has a young man here with him who has a very considerable talent for the violin, and who will be a perfect master of it, if he applies himself; we arranged a concert for him with some amateurs, and the public paid a small sum for admission. The music was well chosen, and the concert perfect, so that everyone was astonished. I conducted the orchestra in the symphonies and the con- certed pieces, and I played a quartett with the hero of the evening and two amateurs, which was so good that everyone talks of it to-day. It was about the pleasant- est evening I have passed in Rastadt, for I like extremely to play music.


364 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

. 27. January 19. The Congress was opened this morning as splendidly as possible. My father was at the deputation, and communicated the first proposition- of the French, which was nothing less than the keeping qf the left bank. We have known this a long time, and you can say that this is the proposition, if you see that it is no mystery at Vienna. You know that it is not well to be the first to tell anything. . . I am waiting for the despatches I am to take with me, which prevents me from fixing the day of my departure ; but believe me, and expect me at Vienna before the end of the month.

28. January 21. This is the last letter which you will receive from me, my dear ; perhaps I shall arrive at the same time as this does. I am really to go on Tuesday the 23rd ; it will take me nearly six days to make the journey, and I shall embrace you on the 29th or 30th of this month.

The news I told you some days ago that the French had occupied Basle is false ; what is more astonishing is that the French themselves had spread this report here. One of them told me himself. So there is the first un- truth I have written to you from Eastadt.

29. March 19. Here I am once more in this miserable Rastadt, two hundred leagues from you and our dear little children. I arrived yesterday evening ; no one expected me, and I fell like a bombshell in my mother's room, who had just coine from the theatre. My journey was very agreeable. . . Rastadt is always the same.

30. March 20. I had supper yesterday with the Frenchmen ; there were very few people, and I retired to rest in good time. . . We have the opera still for a few days more, and then we shall have the comedy to-. ttike its place. I find no change ; the same characters*


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERMCH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 3G5

and the same pieces, with the exception of a few novel- ties which the director w r ill give for me before their de- parture. I shall pay my visits to-day, to be perfectly correct.

31. March 24, Yesterday we had supper at M. de Cobenzl's, with all the actors of the opera. There were no ladies, except Mdlle. Hyacinthe. They have all gone to-day for good ; La Comedie will take their place, and after Easter a new opera company is coming, which we do not know at all. You have no idea how sorry all these people are to be obliged to return to France ; they wished to remain always at Rastadt, or to find some place in Germany ; they feel themselves so free here, people can do what they like, and, above all, everyone is so polite. What a regeneration is this !

Fair perruques are still the fashion ; you have no idea of the number that are sold in Eastadt. Hair is so scarce in France that they have already begun to get it from Eussia and Sweden. Madame de Palffy would get a fortune for life with her head, if she were in the mind to be shaved regularly, and if this rage for fair hair continued. The French are still exercising the most frightful persecutions on all the Belgian emigres ; the ambassador of your friend Vanderlist, and several other Braban9ons, is in prison at Brussels ; he will be in despair, and with reason. It is all the more annoying because the papers he had with him have been seized, and sent to Paris. It seems to be decided that Bona- parte will not return to Eastadt, notwithstanding all that people say.

32. March 27. Our affairs are going on as well as they can, considering the feebleness and inaction of the Princes and States of the Empire ; the French lay down the law, and that Avith an arrogance and certainty of


366 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

success incredible to those who do not know the secret supporters and authors of all our evils. They declare strongly for secularisation. The Court of Vienna, which knows all the inconveniences, is very much opposed to it ; and I am daily confirmed in my opinion that they will end by adopting the middle course, which will be the happiest for the. persons concerned. The arrival of the next courier from Vienna will partly decide this question, and considerably advance the negotiation which has languished for some time.

The non-arrival of Bonaparte is now certain ; all his people have gone to rejoin him at Paris, and Ferret and Lavalette go to-day. They believe that the expedi- tion against England is very near, and that they will soon be embarked on this enterprise the most sad and dangerous of all ; they are all in despair ; and Pitt would be more tranquil about the result, if he could only calculate the danger by the zeal of the troops destined to fight against England : all of them have made their wills..

33. March 31. How I shall thank Heaven when once I am with you again. I will leave you no more. I will devote all my cares and all my leisure to you and my dear children. That time is not very far off, I hope. I have come back to my old idea of the month of May : it is impossible for me to return in April. The Congress must first be over, which cannot yet be foreseen ; but rely upon me, in the month of May I will be with you, let affairs go as they may ; besides, the conclusion will be about that time, or will be so near that my pre- sence here will not be the least use, and you cannot doubt that when once there is no urgent necessity to stay, I shall know no other care than that of returning to you. I shall dine on Tuesday with Treilhard, and,


FRAGMENTS FROM MKTTERXICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 367

as you like knick-knacks, I send you his card of in- vitation ; you will see that he gives me a title which does not belong to me.

34. April 2. Our affairs here go on slowly. I wish they had no further to go, and that we were all safe at home. I cannot express to you the pleasure it will give me to get back to Vienna, in the most lovely season of the year, to our little garden, of which I am so fond, with you and all whom I love ; you shall be very gay ; and we will not be separated again. We shall give parties to amuse you, and we will spend some months in the country. . .

Holy Week occupies us here, much as it does in Vienna. I am going to take the Sacrament the day after to-morrow. I will pray for my dear little wife and children ; do the same for me. The theatre is open to-morrow ; but the Catholic and Protestant Legations of all countries have given the word not to go to it during Holy Week, and consequently only the French and some strangers were at the representation yesterday. The former wished them not to omit any day, but everybody opposed that. One should not lose the opportunity of setting a good example at, a time when the whole world, so to speak, only furnishes bad ones, and those destructive of social order and individual happiness.

35. April 5. You have no idea of the number of poor peasants and inhabitants of Alsace who cross the Ehine daily to be present at Divine service during Holy Week. To-day being very fine, I was walking about midday on the bank of the Rhine ; I saw a number of men and women re-embarking sadly in a . boat. I ac- costed them and asked whence they came, and where they were going. ' Alas ! my good sir,' said an old man


'368 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

to me, ' you are very happy to be able to remain on the right bank ; one is quiet there, but we must return to our unhappy country, where everything is upside down.' I asked him why he had come to this side. ' We cross the Rhine on the great Feast Days,' said he to me, ' to pray to God. There is nothing with us, the church is closed ; in the evening our schoolmaster says the Cha- pelet, everyone in the village attends, and that is all our Divine service. They dare not ring the bells ; but at midday the bell is hit several times as if the hour struck, so that we may know the hour of the Angelus.' I asked him if the Mayor would object to this infringe- ment of the laws. * The Mayor,' replied he, ' is a good man ; he is also forbidden to receive emigres, but our village is full of them ; he tells us always to hide them, and not to let. him know of it, so as not to involve him and get him into trouble.' I informed myself on all matters one could talk about to the peasants ; they assured me that they pay double what they did in the hardest times of the old regime, and if the thing does not end soon they will pack up their things and go. Fine regeneration and fine liberty ! Everyone jeers or weeps when the word ' liberty ' is pronounced, or ' equality,' at which they mock still more ; and yet with so many conditions against them, these folks make laws for the world, and for us, above all, they make some every day.

36. April 7. I dined yesterday with Treilhard ; we had in the middle of the table a sort of pyramid, made en croquants, with enormous tri-coloured flags ; I declare I quite lost my appetite at the sight of these execrable colours. The dinner itself was very good ; he has taken possession of Bonaparte's apartments, npw that it is quite certain he will not return.

A newspaper which I saw to-day contains an anec-


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 369

dote good enough to be repeated to you. A Portuguese vessel going round the world to make discoveries, prin- cipally in the Southern Seas, came upon an island up to that time unknown. They put in, and were very much astonished at being received there by Frenchmen. Three hundred emigres, the greater number of them naval officers, had formed a colony ; flying from the disasters of the Ee volution, they had quitted France at its very beginning, taking their wives and children, and all things necessary, &c. ; they landed on this island, chose a part where nature was very bountiful, and where nothing was wanting but cattle. The Portu- guese made a present of some to the colony, who lead a patriarchal life, and do not regret in the least what they have left behind. What a resource in these civil disturbances ! If ever we were obliged to fly, we could do the same, and one need not be unhappy in a delicious country, under a pleasant sky, with all one's friends and relations. I am sure this history is like a pleasant dream : it is not, however, the less true ; it is men- tioned in the official account of this voyage, which I intend to get from Paris.

37. April 11. I seize this opportunity to give you for once a succinct account of our affairs here. You know that the left bank of the Ehine is ceded by the deputies of the Empire ; you know, too, that the prin- ciple of secularisation for the indemnification of the states is also adopted ; my father has not yet in the name of the Emperor acquiesced in these two propositions, but it cannot be avoided, and no doubt the first courier will bring us news of the Imperial ratification. We are sure to lose all we have on the left bank ; the French declare openly their intention of regarding these do- mains as national property, and of indemnifying us on VOL. i. B B


370 DOCUMENTS FEOM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

the right bank for what we have lost on the left. The difficulty now is to know what portion Heaven destines for us. I have my eye on an estate which has every advantage, and I have every reason to believe that it will fall to our share. Be that as it may, we can be perfectly easy about our future.

You see, then, that the two principal points are settled, and without doubt they are the most difficult to digest. Do not worry yourself about the duration of the Congress and that confounded business : it may end very soon, or drag on for some time, according to the course they take.

38. Frankfort, April 19. Here I am at Frankfort, and very well pleased to find myself where I have not been for five years. I could not describe to you the various feelings which pass through my mind ; my exist- ence, my country, my position, all are changed in this time, though it is not so very long ; and the objects that surround me are the only things which remain the same. An irresistible longing, most powerful and most sweet, draws me towards you and my children, of all which I had nothing five years ago ; you did not exist, at least for me, and the poor children could not boast of being much. During my last sojourn at Frankfort, I thought of Vienna much as you would think of Naples or St. Petersburg ; I was to have stayed there three weeks, and there I am for life. All this is very well, and I would not give up these advantages for the treasure of the universe ; but there are other changes which pain me beyond expression. As I draw near my home, I feel more keenly its loss ; I am surrounded here by persons whom I once knew happy and pros- perous ; the greater number of them have now nothing, and a miserable cockade takes the place of all the


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 371

advantages of the past. The inhabitants of the left bank are all obliged to wear the cockade even when travelling, so much so that the people in the streets, who are, in fact, merchants of Mayence, Cologne, &c., look like so many Frenchmen. The French^ army has its outposts about a league from the town ; the soldiers may walk there as much as they like, and you may be sure they take advantage of the privilege.

The fair is splendid for purchasers : much merchan- dise, much display, and very little business. All the merchants complain of losses which they suffer daily.

The theatre is good ; I went yesterday to an opera which was much better than our German operas at Vienna, though that is not saying much. I dined yester- day with Bethmann ; I shall dine to-day with Count de Schlick, and I shall go after dinner to see the Elector of Cologne. He has become enormous : he is stouter than Schreibers,* which is saying a good deal.

39. Frankfort, April 22. I have just received the news of the loth and 14th from Vienna. f I am ignorant of the details : twenty letters have arrived which all contradict each other about the principal facts. I am very impatient for an explanation, especially from you, my dear ; I cannot rest till I know how you are, and if you have been much alarmed, the scene of the event being so near you ; and to think that I was not with you ! I hope PepiJ has been helpful to you; he has enough coolness and love for you to have kept the little

  • Dr. Schreibers was pkysiciarf to Ccmntess Metternich.

f This refers to an act of provocation on the part of the French Ambas- sador, then in Vienna, Bernadotte, who on April 13 exhibited the tri-co- louredflag on his hotel in Wallnerstrasse, only a few houses distant from the one in which Countess Metternich lived, thereby causing a very tumultuous counter-demonstration on the part of the populace.

J Count Joseph Metteruich, the only brother of Metternich.

B B -2


372 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

family in order. I think I see you running to the little ones at the first alarm ; it was the first thought which struck me. Thank Heaven we had not let the house to the Ambassador : there is no depending on these men. I suspend judgment on the affair itself until I know more about it, but it is sure to be annoying in one way or another. If the French are the abettors and in- stigators, I foresee nothing but war ; if not, the thing may be arranged. What a time and what a future ! I shall stay here two or three days longer, and then return to Rastadt, unless I receive letters which oblige me to return sooner. This event in any case will hasten the negotiations : it may break them off, or they may begin with new vigour, and finish once for all.

40. Frankfort, April 24. I have seen some one who came yesterday from Eastadt ; the news of the scene at the Ambassador's had made a terrible sensation there. I think the conduct of the court was perfect, and only fools could have wished it otherwise. Bernadotte's conduct is inexcusable, and he is generally blamed by the French, of whom there are a great many in these parts. We are waiting with impatience the arrival of news from Paris, to know what will be the resolution of the Directory ; it cannot be otherwise than favourable to us.

41. Rastadt, April 30. I arrived from Frankfort some hours ago. ... I found everything very quiet here ; Bernadotte located in the chdteau opposite to me. He has not paid a visit to my father and M. de Lehrbach, who have not seen him. I met him a moment ago : he seemed rather ashamed, and with good reason. The Directory pretends to disapprove of the insolent steps which it has- allowed ; they have shocked the whole French army, as I heard from many of the officers at Frankfort. I look


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upon this event as rather happy, for it will show the weakness of the French Government and the strength of ours, to which it is dictating, especially at a time when they are uneasy about the detestable success of the elec- tions in the greater number of the departments.

42. May 4. I work all day : I am overwhelmed with demands and requests from my constituents; everyone thinks only of indemnifying himself, and this is the most important moment of the crisis. To make it worse, I have been obliged to allow my secretary to go away for a time, his wife is so ill that it would have been cruelty to prevent him, and I -am left alone with this mass of papers. In a little while I shall be able to turn round ; my demands will be presented to the Deputation ; I shall have done my duty and will occupy myself only with the thought of rejoin- ing you. This is all my ambition, it is that to which all my wishes tend, which bounds all my desires, and nothing shall prevent me executing what I long for more than anything in the world.

43. May 5. We have such a detestable theatre here now that we can hardly go to it. All the good actors have returned to Paris, or do not play ; they are waiting for some fresh ones who take a long time to come, and the thing is beneath criticism. Walking is our only resource, and it is really one in this splendid country. I am astonished at the difference which I found between the season at Frankfort and Rastadt; everything here is a month in advance.

44. May 8. It appears to me impossible that affairs should not be decided sooner than people think. The arrival of M. de Cobenzl is expected every moment, and the return of Bonaparte is certain. The question of how they will end is more difficult to solve.


374 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

45. May 12. You cover me with reproaches which both amuse and vex me. You wish me to tell you about a hundred thousand things, not one of which is known at Eastadt, and which all issue from the empty brain of some Foreign Office politician. They tell you that Bonaparte has been at Eastadt for some time : there is not a word of truth in it ; we have been expecting him for a week or rather more ; the French courier, going to announce to him the arrival of M. de Cobenzl, only passed by the day before yesterday. They tell you that Treilhard is appointed Ambassador to Vienna : it is not so ; we are perfectly ignorant who is going there ; and there is a great probability that Treilhard will be appointed Director. The elections are to take place between the 20th and 30th Floreal, this is the 24th, so in a few days we shall know who it is. There are only two competitors, the old Bishop of Autun (Tal- leyrand) and Treilhard ; everyone thinks the latter will carry the day. They tell you that a great number of couriers arrive from Eastadt and Paris : there is not one by whom I do not send a few lines for you, my dear, so do not believe what they say. You know how they lie ; and believe me if anything interesting occurs, I shall always be the first to tell you of it that is, if I possibly can.

46. May 15. Bonaparte has left Paris for Toulon, to which place a courier has been sent telling him that M. de Cobenzl awaits him at Eastadt ; all this has the appearance of some trick, and there is as much reason to bet for as against the arrival of Bonaparte. In that case it would be seen if the Directory sends another in his place ; if not M. de Cobenzl will not remain here, but will return to Vienna ; Treilhard also goes to Paris in a few days ; he has been elected to the Council of


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 375

the Ancients, and has already received 263 votes for the Directory, who cannot do without him. It is not known who will succeed him in the post at Rastadt. You see that at this moment the crisis is very in- teresting.

47. May 17. It is now certain that Bonaparte will not come (this is between ourselves), and it is believed that Francis de Neufchateau, the Director now going out, will replace both him and Treilhard. One will gain by the change, for this man is said to be very mild and temperate ; we shall see what he will do, and if he can help to accelerate the business. I shall soon know, and as soon as he has -set forth his views and his measures, I shall see about the means of rejoin- ing you.

48. May 19. Treilhard has been appointed Direc- tor of the Republic. The courier who brought this news arrived the day before yesterday, whilst we were at the theatre ; the radiant face of the new king, and the congratulations of his colleagues and friends, told us at once what had happened ; he packed up yester- day, and departed this morning at four o'clock to take possession of his new place. You can conceive the effect the event has had at the seat of the Congress ; all the underlings and flatterers crowded round him to tender homage. He received no one this morning. I went to see him after dinner yesterday, and took a most tender leave of the illustrious personage. It is not yet known who will replace him. We expect the Abbe Sieyes * here this evening or to-morrow ; he is on his way to Berlin, where he is appointed Ambassador. Bernadotte left here yesterday for Strasburg with all

  • Abbe Sieyes, appointed Member of the Directory in the place of

Rewbell, was afterwards sent to Berlin as Ambassador. ED.


376 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

his suite ; he would not stop here, not wishing to accept the command of the Fifth Military Division, which had been offered to him on his retirement from the diplo- matic career the Government being as discontented with him as he is with the Government. This is the latest news, and with it I commence my letter. . . .

49. May 26. Jean Debry, a furious Jacobin, has been appointed by the Directory to replace Treilhard. We shall have a nice business with him. Francis de Neufchateau has been since yesterday at Seltz, a small village on the other side of the Ehine, about a league from here, where he will wait till the conferences with M. de Cobenzl begin.

50. June 3. I dined to-day with Count Cobenzl at Seltz ; there were no strangers, except Francis de Neufchateau, MM. Geoffroy and Gallois, and the Com- mandant at Seltz. I am very well satisfied with the tone of these gentlemen ; Francis de Neufchateau is very courteous, mild, and amiable ; he is a man of letters, and he gives one that impression. I could hardly believe I was in France ; the Sunday is kept as it is here, no one was working, and one of the gentle- men told me he had attended high mass that morning. They pay all possible honour to M. de Cobenzl. He has two grenadiers and two mounted soldiers before the door of his house. I cannot tell you how extraordinary all this appeared to me ; I could not believe my eyes at table, where I saw nothing but Frenchmen, both civil and military, and French soldiers to guard us. Francis de Neufchateau is always in ministerial costume, which in my opinion is very ugly. A black coat, with an enormous round collar (ein Pekeschkragen\ of bright orange gros de Tours, a vest of the same stuff and colour, embroidered in black, breeches of the same, and half


FRAGMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S PRIVATE LETTERS. 377

boots, a large sword, and a hat a la Henri IV., with enormous plumes.

I go to-morrow morning to Strasburg, and return on Wednesday ; I shall be glad to see again a number of old acquaintances who have been inviting me for some time.

51. June 17. Jean Debry has been here for some days with wife and children, arms and baggage ; we are still waiting for a third French Envoy. There is no end to this.

52. June 18. If you leave on the 25th, as you told me, this letter will not find you, and I am writing it at a risk. You seem to be uneasy and tormented by un- certainty, between the inconvenience and the desire of taking little Mary with you ; I am sorry for you, for I know how uncomfortable such a state is. The journey is long, but many people take their children with them ; everyone takes them from Vienna to the other side of Bohemia, for instance, and my opinion is that fifty or sixty leagues more make very little difference. I can only commend you all to the paternal care of the best of Fathers ; God will protect you, as my good children deserve. He will watch over you all the way and bring you to my arms in safety. All is ready for your recep- tion, and I will do everything I can to make your stay here more supportable ; Eastadt will acquire charms for me from the moment of your arrival. I shall go to meet you as far as Ulm ; after consideration, I think it is the place which will suit me best. You can go very comfortably in one day from Munich to Augsburg ; it will not take the whole day, but it is necessary to sleep there, because of getting a bed. It will take you another day to get to Ulm ; I will meet you there ; we will go


378 DOCUMENTS FROM METTERNICH'S FIRST PERIOD.

the next day as far as Cannstadt, and the following day will bring us very comfortably to Rastadt.

53. June 26. Salut a ma bonne petite femme sur terre d' Empire. You are now at Munich, twenty-eight posts nearer to me. I shall leave here on the evening of Sunday, July 1, for Ulm, where I will wait for you. Nothing shall prevent my departure, except a letter from you telling me you have put off yours from Vienna.*

  • This letter is the last from Rastadt, where Count Metternich, with

his wife and child, remained till March, 1790. He left the place of Con- gress before the conclusion of the negotiations. Of the three French Am- bassadors, who on their departure from Rastadt, met with so frightfully tragic a fate, no trace is left in these papers, except a few unimportant lines to Count Metternich, written by Robefjot, as follows :

' I was not able to receive M. le Comte de Metternich this morning,, because the French Legation had met at my house. If he has anything to communicate to me, I beg him to inform me, or to tell me the hour it will suit him to see me. I beg him to accept, &c., &c.

' ROBEKJOT.'

' 10 Nivose, an VII. (Dec. 30, 1798).'


NOTES BY THE EDITOR.


NOTES BY THE EDITOR.


THE autobiographical memoir is made up of two, or more pro- perly of three, component parts or fragments, which, however, fit in so well together that, by simple arrangement, portions of the original text form a perfect whole for the first part of Metternich's life that is, from the year 1773 to 1815. These component parts are :

A. Materials for the History of my Public Life. A me- moir written by the Prince-Chancellor for his family ar- chives in the year 1 844. This breaks off suddenly at the year 1810 (see pages 1-133). To this is joined as continuation

B. Guide to explain my Manner of Thought and Action during the Course of my Ministry from 1809 to 1848. A memoir (which may be considered a continuation of the ' Ma- terials ') also prepared for the family archives in the year 1852, left unfinished in the year 1844, and which is simply joined to that fragment with the mere omission of repetitions of facts already known (see pages 133-167, and pages 249 to end).

C. On the History of the 'Alliances, 1813 to 1815. A manu- script of Metternich's of the year 1829, which was originally in- tended for publication, but never actually published. Although not quite complete (the year 1815 is wanting), this Paper is much fuller, in the important years 1813 and 1814, than the corresponding portion of the ' Ghiide,' which has induced us to use it in the place of the latter, and to incorporate it with the autobiographical memoir as the eighth chapter with its original title, together with an introduction which shows the


382 NOTES.

reasons which decided the author to publish a special history of the short but critical period from 1813 to 1815 (see pages 171-245). Notes by the Editor show the beginning and end of the different parts of the autobiography.

Note 1, page 5.

Maria Beatrix Countess von Kagenegg, born December 8, 1755; died November 23, 1828; married, January 9, 1771, Franz Greorg Count of the Empire and afterwards Prince von Metteraich-Winneburg-Ochsenhausen, mother of the auto- biographer.

Note 2, page 5.

We cannot refrain from giving a letter from Franz Greorg Metternich to his son, written in the year 1785, which remarks on the handwriting of Clement, who was then twelve years oldj and which is very characteristic from the critical and prophetic exhortations of the writer. The letter is dated from Mayence, April 9, 1785, and is as follows: 'Your two letters, my dear Clement, have reached me safely. I am very much pleased with the care that you take of dear Mamma's health ; and that you are thoughtful enough to inform me about it. It shows a good and grateful heart to think chiefly of what children have to do from respect to their parents, and the consequences are always blessed. I am also much pleased with the style of the letter and your handwriting. But in the first I wish you to avoid repetitions of thoughts and expressions, and in the latter I desire that you will use larger characters. Time always makes them smaller, and as your writing is already so very small, it will one day become illegible ; and that would be a pity, for I hope that Clement will write what will be well worth reading.' In a subsequent letter, at the time when young Metternich was at the University, Franz Greorg von Metternich advised his son to carry on his correspondence with him in German, and gave him good counsel as to his behaviour at the University. He wrote from Coblenz, December 30, 1790 : 'For a German it is always particularly necessary, not only to speak and write his mother tongue, but to do so with that excellence which cor- responds with a thorough education, and a perfection of Ian-


NOTES. 383

guage which will raise him above the crowd. Much reading and writing acts on the powers of the mind, and in order to practise these, I shall continue our correspondence in German, dear Clement, whilst you can carry it on in French with your mother I recommend to you and your brother particu- larly to devote yourselves during your stay at the University to the higher sciences with the greatest diligence, and to gain regard and respect by correct and polite behaviour. I have already had letters speaking much in your favour. You must therefore try to keep up this good reputation, for everything depends on that.'

Note 3, page 15.

About this time Metternich made his first attempt at author- ship. First, an ' Appeal to the Army,' on the occasion of the execution of Marie Antoinette an appeal glowing with a spirit of noble retribution, of which we are ignorant whether it ever left the author's writing-desk, or is to be considered as a mere exercise in patriotic style by a youth of twenty. Then soon afterwards, in the year 1794, a pamphlet which appeared under the title ' On the Necessity of a General Arming of the Popula- tion on the Frontiers of France,' by a Friend of Public Order ; the anonymous author of which was Metternich himself, as he avows in the printed copy before us. These two pieces begin, as Nos. 1 and 2, the * Collection of Papers ' contained in the third book, for the completion and explanation of the first period of Metternich's Life. The papers composing the third book are marked with continuous numbers to facilitate quotation.

Note 4, page 15.

General-Lieutenant Count Ferraris (born 1726, died 1807), grandfather of Metternich's third wife, Melanie Countess Zichy- Ferraris, distinguished himself at the siege of Valenciennes.

Note 5, page 16.

The Hastings trial, so called after Warren Hastings, Go- vernor-General of Bengal, who was at that time decried as a tyrant, and against whom Burke, in 1787, brought an indict-


384 NOTES.

ment which filled 460 pages. This monster trial, which has become famous by the eloquence shown by Pitt and Fox pro et contra, began February 13, 1788, and ended April 23, 1795, with the acquittal of Hastings on all the twenty-two articles of accusation.

Note 6, page 24.

We fill up the desultory notices on Eastadt by portions of Metternich's letters to his wife, then staying at Vienna. The correspondence ' from Eastadt ' only gives a description of the life there (Nos. 3-53). The reader who does not expect poli- tical disclosures will be interested in the details, particularly regarding the Plenipotentiaries of the French Eepublic.

Note 7, page 26.

The Princess Carl Liechtenstein (born Princess Oettingen- Spielberg) is the same lady fragments of whose letters Adam Wolf has published in the work * Princess Eleonore Liechtenstein/ In the fourth chapter of that work he describes more fully the ' Salon of the five Princesses ' here mentioned.

Note 8, page 33.

The opinions here expressed of Thugut are doubtless taken from an essay already composed by Metternich when he was Ambassador at Berlin in 1806, and are so far remarkable that they show the feeling which then prevailed among the most intelli- gent of his contemporaries and colleagues. It was reserved to modern historical investigation, not only to clear his private character from many careless imputations, but also to do more justice to his diplomatic qualities. Compare Vivenot's work,, Thugut,' &c.

Note 9, page 35.

The collection of documents owes its existence chiefly to the Chancellor's wish here expressed. The third book of this work contains that part of the collection which refers to the years before 1815. Even if incomplete in comparison with treasures.


NOTES. 385

of the State Archives, this collection of documents gives an insight into the important events of the time, and enables the reader to estimate more properly the works of the autobio- grapher.

Note 10, page 38.

The first document of the newly appointed Ambassador at the Electoral court at Dresden was the ' Instruction ' which Count Metternich composed for his own use, and wrote down with his own hand. Besides being remarkable on that account, the contents of the ' Instruction ' have a general historical interest, as they contain a review of the whole position of Europe at that time. The voluminous character of this document has decided us to omit historical facts generally known, and to confine ourselves to an abridgment, under the title of ' Metternich's Entrance into the Imperial Service' (No. 54). The document immediately following, * End of the Dresden Embassy ' (No. 55), gives the conclusion of his three years' official residence there.

Note 11, page 50.

The great undertaking which Prussia was invited to join consisted in a secret treaty, which had been concluded in Vienna on November 6, 1804, between Austria and Russia, with the intention of protecting themselves against the pre- dominant influence of France. To smooth the way for Prussia to join the Austro-Russian coalition was Metternich's chief work in Berlin ; and therefore the documents in the third book from the time of the Berlin embassy refer chiefly to this subject. On the commencement of Metternich's action in this direction, the documents ' Metternich's First Steps in Pre- paration for Prussia's joining in the Coalition' (Nos. 56-61), also ' Wintzingerode's Mission to Berlin ' (Nos. 62-64), give fuller details.

Note 12, page 55.

' The Imminent March of Russian Troops through Prussian Territory ' (Nos. 65,66), and ' The Inroad of the French at Ans- toach ' (Nos. 67-73), relate to the events here mentioned. VOL. I. C C


386 NOTES.

Note 13, page 57.

See * First Meeting of Metternich with the Emperor Alexander in Berlin ' (Nos. 74, 75).

Note 14, page 58.

See ' The Potsdam Treaty of Alliance ' (Nos. 76-80). See t The Battle of Austerlitz ' (Nos. 83-85), and in connection with this the paper ' On the French Army Bulletins, and the Necessity of publishing a Newspaper' (Nos. 81, 82), and the

  • Impression made by the Peace of Presburg ' (Nos. 88, 89).

Note 15, page 58. See ' The Haugwitz Mission ' (Nos. 86, 87).

Note 16, page 58.

See ' The Change in Prussian Politics after Austerlitz ' (Nos. 90, 91).

Note 17, page 59.

See l The Prussian-French Alliance ' (Nos. 92-94).

Note 18, page 64.

On the occasion of Metternich's appointment from Berlin to St. Petersburg, a St. Petersburg newspaper, VAbeille du Nord, contained (in No. 23) the following announcement: 'Vienna, March 12, 1806. Count Clement de Metternich- Winneburg has just arrived here. He has been appointed Minister Plenipotentiary of the Emperor of Austria at Berlin, and is a young man of great talent, who has a great future be- fore him. He possesses everything necessary to ensure success.'

Note 19, page 69. See The Tilsit Treaty of Peace ' (No. 95).

Note 20, page 71.

Of the way in which Napoleon understood how to influence public opinion and guide it in his own favour we have already


NOTES. 387

seen some examples. The reader will find more on this point in the section on ' Army Bulletins and the Necessity for the Pub- lication of a Newspaper' (Nos. 81, 82). How strongly Metter- nich saw the necessity of something to counteract Napoleon's move is to be seen in the despatch to Count Stadion, ( On the Necessity of Influencing the Press' (No. 110). It is interesting to know what Napoleon himself said of the journalists. At the beginning of December, 1809, the news went the round of the papers that Metternich was recalled from Paris and transferred to St. Petersburg. This was contradicted in the Journal de I'Empire some days before Napoleon's return to Paris by some lines written in the police style. At the first audience of the Diplomatic Corps Napoleon took the opportunity to approach Metternich, saying, 'I hope that the journals have not been correct in their information concerning you.' When Metter- nich remarked that probably his court knew as little as he did himself of such a change, Napoleon answered, 'I beg you to believe that personally I should be extremely sorry for your departure, but these wretched journalists form a state within the state.' And when Metternich, smiling, said that in that case it must be very difficult to keep order and discipline amongst these people, the Emperor said, ' More than that, they often try to lay down the law to me myself.'

Note 21, page 73.

See ' The Keception of the Diplomatists after Napoleon's Eeturn from Tilsit,' in the ' Contributions to the Portrait of Napoleon ' (page 291).

Note 22, page 73. See The Treaty of Fontainebleau ' (Nos. 96-98).

Note 23, page 74.

See ' Arrival of the Russian Ambassador Tolstoy in Paris ' (No. 100). Concerning the report spread, at that time, of Napoleon's divorce from Josephine and alliance with a Russian. Grand-Duchess see Nos. 101, 102.

C C 2


388 NOTES.

Note 24, page 76.

Further particulars are contained in the section * The Meet- ing of the Monarchs at Erfurt' (Nos. 118-121), and see also

  • The Question of the Recognition of the Kings of Spain and

Naples' (Nos. 122-124), and 'Napoleon's Keturn from Erfurt ' (No. 126).

Note 25, page 76. See ' Romanzow's Mission to Paris ' (Nos. 134-136).

Note 26, page 79.

See ' First Indications of Napoleon's Warlike Views against Austria' (Nos. 108, 109), and 'The Clamour at Austria's Pre- parations for War ' (Nos. 111-113). The despatches of Metter- nich, contained under the last title to Count Stadion, mention a correspondence which had arisen between the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Ambassador in Paris namely, the letters of Champagny, dated Bayonne, July 16, Toulouse, July 27, and Bordeaux, July 30, and Metternich's answers, dated Paris, July 22 and August 3. This exchange of letters is amongst the collection of writings which, by Napoleon's order, were brought before the Senate at Paris, during the session, April 15, 1809, as a proof of the hostile attitude of Austria, and which, April 24 of the same year, were published by the Moniteur as an appendix to the account given by Minister Champagny to the Emperor Napoleon, and thereby brought into general notice. We therefore omit giving these diffuse writings, and limit ourselves to a short analysis of their contents, which will render the despatches more easily under- stood.

The occasion of this correspondence was several special occurrences with which the French charged the Austrian Government, and in which she saw a want of peaceable inten- tions. Thus, amongst other things, the arrest of the Polish Lieutenant Young in Gralicia ; the provisioning of the English fleet at Trieste ; the purchase of the prizes brought in by English cruisers to Lussin ; the admission of American ships into the harbour of Trieste ; the warlike speeches made in the


NOTES. 389

coffeehouses of Marienbad, Franzensbad, and Carlsbad, &c. ; but above all, the rumours of extraordinary movements of troops in Bohemia and Gralicia, and the calling out of the town and country militias at different places of the Empire of all this Champagny desired an explanation, and Metternich gave it in the same sense as that of the despatches to Stadion, of course only as far as iie himself was instructed.

Note 27, page 81.

The following memoirs give fuller details : ' The famous Audience with Napoleon, August 15, 1808 ' (Nos. 114, 115), and

  • Special Audience of Metternich with Napoleon' (Nos. 116,

117).

Note 28, page 82.

See ' On the Eventualities of a War ' (Nos. 127, 128) two me- moirs written by Metternich during his residence in Vienna. A third memoir, presented at the same time as the two others, we have omitted here, because it does not give any explanations of Metternich's actions or of the situation, and because the communications referring to Tolstoy are known already from other documents.

Note 29, page 83.

Here a whole sheet is wanting in the manuscript. By its loss the discussion on the unfortunate issue of the cam- paign of 1809 is unfortunately interrupted. But we can guess what the missing sheet contained by reading an essay written in Metternich's own hand under the title ' Historical Eemarks on the Letter of General Grriinne to Prince de Ligne, September 27 and 28.' We read there : * The preparations for the war were now resolved upon, and an element was added to them by the rising of popular feeling which had occurred in North Germany since the defeat of Prussia in 1806. How illusive this assistance was, events have proved. That the call- ing forth of this feeling would, on the other hand, be attended with constant danger, the cabinet of that time did not see. At the head of the undertaking were the brother of Count Philip Stadion (Imperial Ambassador at the Royal Imperial


390 NOTES.

court), Hormayer, and some other persons possessed with the ideas of Stein and Scharnhorst. I filled at that time the post of Imperial Ambassador in France. The cabinet was not open and candid to me, as it ought to have been. I therefore did not hide my feelings about the enterprise, and insisted on being recalled to Vienna, which took place in November of the year 1808. Having on this occasion gained a knowledge of the military plans, I told the Emperor and Count Stadion the doubts which the Archduke Charles and I had on the success of the popular rising. I showed the wrong estimation of the number and strength of the forces which Napoleon would be able to send against us, in spite of the failure of the plans he had founded on a conviction of the easy subjection of Spain. I declared the trust which the cabinet put in Prussian and Russian help to be illusive, and I also rejected the idea of energetic support from the Grerman popular feeling which had been evoked in North Germany, and which, in case of an un- fortunate beginning of the war, would turn, not against Napo- leon, but against Austria.' Thus Count Metternich writes in the essay mentioned above. Besides, the Autobiography men- tions again (page 116), the unfavourable issue of the Austrian rising in 1809, a circumstance which makes ^the gap in the manuscript somewhat less important.

The following may serve as an explanation why the original military plan, which is mentioned a few lines before the unfor- tunate gap in the manuscript, was altered. With reference to the chief army, which was to operate in Grermany under the command of the Archduke Charles, the opinions amongst the principal members of the staff of the Archduke were divided as to the plan that should be followed. One opinion was that Bohemia should be the place of issue ; that the army should break off to Baireuth, defeat singly the French dispersed in Saxony, Franconia, and the Upper Palatine, and, by their sudden appearance and quick success, move the Grerman peoples to a general rising. This bold plan, which was to lead the Austrians through Baireuth and Wiirzburg till under the gates of Mayence, and bring them by the shortest way to the Rhine, was advanced by Greneral Mayer. The second plan, more modest but apparently more sure of success, consisted in taking


NOTES. 391

the ordinary road along the Danube, where the French naturally would advance because of the facility of the communication, to oppose them on this road with the whole chief force, and defeat them before they were strong enough in number to make the victory questionable. This was Count Griinne's plan. When the Emperor Francis suddenly recalled Mayer, Griinne's plan was adopted, but, being accepted too late, it could be only partially carried out, and one part of the army was obliged to break out from Bohemia.

Note 30, page 83.

See ' Metternich's Return to Paris ' (No. 129), and ' Napo- leon's Return from Spain ' (Nos. 130-132).

Note 31, page 85.

See 'The Last Despatches of the Austrian Ambassador in Paris' (Nos. 141-144). On Metternich's work and action as Austrian Ambassador at the Court of Napoleon, we find in the collection of documents, besides the papers already mentioned, the follow- ing, to which, since the text of the autobiography gave us no opportunity of doing so, we draw the attention of the reader here, at the conclusion of Metternich's embassy. These papers are : ' Napoleon's War with Portugal, and the Continental Embargo' (No. 99); 'Napoleon's Plans for the Partition of Turkey' (Nos, 103-106); 'Necessity of an Austro-Russian Alliance' (No. 107); 'The Peace between England and the Porte '(No. 137); 'The Causes of Napoleon's Delay of the War' (No. 138); and ' On the Question of Guarantees' (Nos. 139, 140).

Note 32, page 85.

See ' The Aristocracy created by Napoleon,' amongst the characteristic contributions to the portrait of Napoleon (page 295).

Note 33, page 88.

To obtain a better idea of Talleyrand, and his position in France, we recommend to the reader the following papers


392 NOTES.

amongst the collections of the third book : * Talleyrand's Posi- tion ' (No. 125); Talleyrand in Disgrace ' (No. 133); and the memoir already mentioned * On the Eventualities of a War ' (No. 127).

Note 34, page 88.

The memoir mentioned in the preceding note (No. 127) contains also interesting details on Fouche.

Note 35, page 92.

The country house here mentioned still exists, and bears now, as it did at that time, on its chief front the Greek inscrip- tion XAIPE (Salve).

Note 36, page 94.

Probably this refers to the proclamation which Napoleon issued to his army at the occupation of Vienna, in which the princes of the house of Lorraine are mentioned in the most shameful manner. (Bourrienne, 'Memoires contemporains,' vol. viii. p. 191.)

Note 37, page 98.

Military history has since shown that the inaction of the Austrian army after the victory of Aspern was only a necessary consequence of the exhaustion of the troops after the great battle and the enormous marches which preceded it ; and is also explained by the want of munition and the loss of the pontoons which took place at Eegensburg, as well as the great reinforcements which Napoleon received a few days after Aspern.

Note 38, page 99.

We gather from the above authority that Napoleon took advantage of the non-appearance of the corps of the Archduke John which had been hourly expected for four and twenty hours to outflank our left wing, about noon, with a superior force ; indeed, at that time he was stronger by a third.

Note 39, page 107.

We place under the title of ' Antecedents of Altenburg,' chosen by the author himself, a collection of the Keports of


NOTES. 393

Metternich to the Emperor Francis, together with the Em- peror's decree which had to serve at the same time as an in- struction for the negotiation of the peace. Apart from their intrinsic merit, these reports are of special interest, inasmuch as they are the first papers of the new minister now in imme- diate intercourse with his monarch (Nos. 145-148). Of the feelings which actuated Metternich in entering upon his new and difficult position some extracts from letters of that time will inform us.

He writes to his mother from Komorn, July 25, 1809 : ' You have good reason to pity me in my position, and you are far from knowing it thoroughly. Count Stadion, in an ex- tremely generous and noble impulse, had given in his resigna- tion to the Emperor, when at Znaim. He thinks that in a negotiation his presence may do more harm than good to the Ministry. His Majesty at once appointed me to fill his place, which I have only accepted with many conditions. For one thing, I should be very sorry to see such a servant as M. Stadion lost to the state ; for another, I do not feel that I have moral strength to guide the ship in a sense which is as much opposed to my principles as to my feelings. All that I have, at the moment, engaged myself to do is, not to leave the Em- peror, who deserves, under all possible relations, all the happi- ness of which he has so little. I am charged with the depart- ment of Foreign Affairs near his person. M. de Stadion, who still keeps the title of Minister of this department, remains at the quarters of the Archduke. I do not wish on any account to appear at the head of the department at the time of a negotiation. If I can persuade Stadion to keep his position, I shall be the happiest man in the world but I despair of doing so. Pray do not breathe a word of all this to anyone, neither to Stadion's family nor to anyone else ; the negotiation itself would suffer by it.

  • You may imagine, my dear mother, that the position in

which I find myself is the most complicated one possible. Three months' interruption have made affairs seem strange to me. I am placed between the affairs of the past and the tasks of the present day; to arrange a negotiation like the present one alone, without any aid whatever, is a terrible task, at a crisis


394 NOTES.

such as has never been before. I speak of negotiation ; I would not speak to you of capitulation I would leave that to some one else even if we had not these means. You will shortly see an army of 250,000 men, troops of the line, support my ne- gotiation, and these 250,000 men form the finest army in the world. Add to this all the insurrection) the descent of 25,000 to 30,000 English on the Weser a descent actually made and you will not deny the material means of negotiation. If we had but a quarter of the moral means ! (rood God, where are we going ? '

Then again on August 1, 1809,;he writes:

  • It is true that it is not we who hang back, it is true that

it is we who desire peace, but it must be a peace which shall rid us of the necessity of watching our safety every hour of the day and night, which shall allow us to enjoy the blessings of peace to disarm, to flatter ourselves with the possibility of remaining quiet for a time. Again, if we do not wish to undergo certain death in six months, if we do not wish to throw the monarchy out of the window, and that window one from which the leap would be equivalent to the Emperor's last re- source, we must not desire it. If Napoleon desires the destruc- tion of Austria at any rate it is better to fight him with 300,000 men, than with 50,000. Here you have a resume of our policy, which it seems to me is simple and clear. I have the pleasure of reading every now and then articles about my- self, worthy of the second or third year of the Republic. Do not vex or distress yourself about them, dear mother : I know what they mean by taking this line. I receive much atten- tion, more than I deserve, except for my attachment to my master, and my desire to do right. I shall be the happiest man in the world when I have only to take care of my fields and the education of my children ; but meantime I shall go my way so directly, I shall follow the dictates of niy conscience so implicitly, that nothing will stop my path.'

Note 40, page 108.

Some notices of the stay in Altenburg, and life in Altenburg, will not be without interest, and these we take from Metter- nich's letters to his mother. He writes from thence :


NOTES. 39 &

' Auyu*t 17. You see, my dear mother, that I have arrived at the place of my destination. Altenburg is a little town of the existence of which you are no doubt ignorant. It is situ- ated between Vienna and Kaab, a stage and a half from Pres- burg. We are almost alone here. M. de Champagny, general Nugent, myself, our employes, and two French generals, a few French officers, and some provincial officials, these are our only social resources. The place is healthy, and, in this respect, in- finitely preferable to Kaab, which was at one time proposed as the place of the negotiations. I have with me here Paul Esterhazy, Floret, Hope, and some other employes of the department. When we left Znaim I sent Mier to Prague. I have since written to him to come nearer to us. We divide our day between work and eating ; we have no other kind of recreation ; the word pleasure has, I should think, never been pronounced at Altenburg, and I am not enough of an innovator to intro- duce it.

  • August 23. I am extremely busy, first because, my work

being here, and having all the department of Foreign Affairs in my charge, at a distance from the Emperor, I have three times the trouble that I should have if I were with him. What could be finished in half an hour's verbal conversation costs me five or six hours of writing. Our mode of life is regular and uni- form. I work from eight o'clock in the morning till one o'clock. We confer from one to four or five. I work again from five to seven. We dine at half-past seven o'clock, and I send off my courier at twelve or one. It would be difficult to say how and when we shall finish. I shall not be surprised at the result ; I have seen as much good will in the adverse party as with us. In fact, my dear mother, you must be ready for everything, for I can answer for nothing.

' September 3. We are much occupied with our difficult business. I do not believe that anyone can tell the result of a negotiation which in one way or other will decide the fate of Europe and of Austria. It is certainly only possible to work with a very firm, decided will in an affair of this kind, when the eyes of all the world, and of generations present and to come, are fixed upon us ; when one false step may bring down this venerable edifice, still so strong and so much threatened, so


396 NOTES.

great and yet so small. It is assuredly no easy thing to satisfy one's conscience and sense of responsibility. But if ever the day comes when I am afraid, I shall do nothing but make mis- takes. I now occupy a position which the love of good alone has given me strength not to fly from. I hesitated a long time, and at last said to myself that I was nothing, and that the cause was everything and I think it right to do what I can.'

Note l,page 114.

The accounts of contemporaries, even of those most closely connected with him, vary extremely as to the exact date of Na- poleon's departure from Schonbrunn. Thus the French Minister, Champagny, who conducted the peace negotiations at Schon- brunn, in a letter to Bourrienne, quoted in his * Memoirs,' makes Napoleon go to Munich on October 17. Whilst in a secret memoir of the time, written by the Austrian Minister, Count Stadion (published by Klinkowstrom in his ' Extracts from the Old Eegisters of the State '), October 16 is mentioned as the day of Napoleon's journey. Thiers in his * Histoire du Consulat et de PEmpire' makes his journey take place in the night of October 15-16 ; whilst in the ' Correspondance de 1'Empereur Napoleon ' several letters are given as written at Schonbrunn, and dated October 16 (?). According to Metternich's account, Napoleon, on the day of the proclamation of peace, had already left Schonbrunn. But the expression * left ' still leaves something undecided that is, whether Napoleon had actually departed, or was only temporarily absent, as for hunting, inspecting troops, &c., &c. But in any case the correctness of the actions them- selves would be in no wise altered. For very probably Liech- tenstein had returned to Totis immediately after the projected peace was signed, on his important and urgent mission. It is also almost certain that Napoleon at the moment when he ordered the guns to be fired was engaged with Liechtenstein's energetic protest, and it can hardly be doubted that if Napoleon resorted to this ruse, it was because he was glad to get out of the way of an unpleasant interview with the Austrian General. There was certainly a shade of mystery over these peace nego- tiatons, as is shown by the following expression of Metternich's (Oct. 26, 1809), when in writing to his wife from Totis he says,


NOTES. 397

  • What absurdities and follies have taken place ! You cannot

understand it, and no one can understand it who has not the key and there are perhaps not two persons in the world who have it besides myself.'

Note 42, page, 115.

On his arrival at Vienna, Metternich wrote to his wife:

' Vienna, November 28, 1809.

  • I arrived here to-day, a few hours after the Emperor ; I

have therefore not seen the extreme enthusiasm which met him everywhere on the road ; he was literally carried into the house. It is no slight matter to be Minister for Foreign Affairs for Aus- tria in 1809. But the Emperor is so perfect in his way of treating me, he honours me with so thorough a confidence, that I should be the most ungrateful man in the world if I were not entirely devoted to his service. I have done a great deal already, but there is still a terrible amount to be done. What things have passed round me for some years, what events and occurrences in which I have been called on to play a first part ! And I of all people, who would have been so happy if in a quiet but independent way I could have followed my own tastes, so different from the frightful agitation by which I constantly find myself surrounded ! '

Note 43, page 117.

See 'Organisation of a Secret Department' (No. 149). Metternich writes to his wife about this from Totis :

' November 14, 1809.

' I have just reorganised the office ; I have given it a shape more suited to the times ; I shall do three times the work, and with less time to do it in than many others, or any of my pre- decessors had. I have to a great extent put things back to the footing of the department as it was under your grand- father.'

Note 44, page 120.

The third book contains papers relating to this under the title ' The Marriage of Napoleon with Marie Louise ' (Nos. 150-


398 NOTES.

155), of which some have been already published in Heifer's excellent work, ' Marie Louise.'

Note 45, page 126.

The happy impression made by the marriage of Marie Louise, in Vienna, is described by Metternich in a letter to his wife, as follows :

( All Vienna is occupied with the question of the marriage : it would be difficult to give an idea of the excitement this has caused in the mind of the public, and the extreme popularity of the thing. If I were the saviour of the world, I could not receive more congratulations nor more homage on the part which it is thought I must have taken. In the promotions which will take place I shall have the Toison. If it comes to me just now, it will not be very much apropos, but it is no less certain that it required circumstances both very extraordinary and quite unexpected to bring me to a position far beyond what I desired I who never have had any ambition. The fetes here will be very fine, and although they have had to send all over the world for necessary things, all is here at last. I sent the programme to Paris. Schwarzenberg will have shown it to you. The new Empress will please at Paris, and ought to please, from her goodness, her great sweetness, and simplicity. Rather plain than handsome in face, she has a very fine figure, and when she is a little " arrangee" dressed, etc., she will do very well. I have begged her, as soon as she arrives, to take a dancing-master, and not to dance till she can do so thoroughly well. She has a great wish to please, and with that desire people do please.'

Note 46, page 127.

For a further account of Metternich's meeting with Napo- leon, see ' Metternich's Arrival in Paris, and his Conversation with Napoleon in Compiegne' (Nos. 156, 157).

Notes 47-49, page 127.

See the documents relating to this entitled ' Metternich as a Mediator between Pius VII. and Napoleon ' (Nos. 158-164).


NOTES. 399


Note 50, page 131.

See ' Napoleon at the Fatal Ball at Prince Schwarzenberg's ' (' Grallery of Famous Contemporaries,' page 298).

Note 51, page 131.

Under the ' Negotiations for the Execution of certain Ar- rangements in the last Peace ' are two conventions, both of which were concluded under the immediate direction of Met- ternich : one of these refers to the trade of Austria, and the erection of depots on the Adriatic coasts ; the other to the sequestration of estates in the former German Empire (No. 172).

Note 52, page 131.

Concerning Metternich's anxiety for the destruction of the false Vienna bank-notes, see Nos. 165-167 ; and the negotiation of an Austrian loan under Napoleon's auspices (No. 171).

Note 53, page 134.

The reader will find further details in the paper ' On Kus- sia's Kelations with France (No. 168), and the Danubian Principalities and Servia' (Nos. 169, 170).

Note 54, page 136.

See ' Metternich's Conversation with Napoleon on the Swedish Throne' (Nos. 173, 174). '

Note 55, page 139.

On this highly interesting conversation of September 20, the collection of documents contains a sketch written by Met- ternich in German for the Emperor Francis, under the fresh impression of the occurrence. This sketch follows the text of the Autobiography so exactly that it was not necessary to repeat the document in the collection of the third book.


400 NOTES.

Note 56, page 139.

See ( Metternich's Farewell Audience with Napoleon (No. 175).

Note 57, page 140.

Metternich's account to the Emperor Francis seems to have been a verbal one, for the written report was not made by Metternich till January 19, 1811. See l Keport on the Kesults of the Paris Mission ' (No. 177).

Note 58, page 141. See ' Schouvalow's Treaty of Alliance ' (No. 176).

Note 59, page 148.

See ' On the Organisation of an Imperial Council in Austria r (No. 183).

Note 60, page 149.

Metternich's introduction to the Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna, as its newly elected Curator, took place January 10, 1811. On this occasion the President Sonnenfels who was also newly elected, addressed the new Curator, in the name of the whole academy, as follows :

' The solemn moment when your Excellency enters on the executive administration of Art, as I think I may call it, jus- tifies the Academy in great expectations. The destiny of the Arts, their growth and perfection, the encouragement and support of promising talent, the respect and esteem of the finished artist, the improvement of all branches of art industry, in short, the glory and prosperity which flow back to the nation from the culture of artists, are given into your hands. We are certain that our confidence is not misplaced, but that we shall soon feel the effects of your vigorous action.'

To this Metternich replied :

' I use with pleasure the first moment in which I enter the Academy of Fine Arts to thank you most heartily for the trust you have reposed in me. We are henceforth united in one great aim for the good of the whole nation. Vast is the domain of Art ! All parts of the national industry are connected with


NOTES. 401

it ; every onward step is a gain for the whole. The Arts must prosper under the government of the best of monarchs ; in the Austrian Empire every advantage is united artists, amateurs, encouragement, material. On us, gentlemen, much depends. Most justly should we be reproached for the slightest neglect. Nothing is more susceptible than Art : it either advances to the highest perfection or sinks down instantaneously to nothing. Let it be our effort to nourish this vigorous life, to guide this advancement to our advantage' (Beobachter, January 17, 1811, No. 15). A year later, February, 1812, on the festival for the birthday of the Emperor Francis, the new statutes of the Aca- demy were proclaimed in a solemn manner. Metternich on this occasion delivered his great speech containing an historical retrospect of former results, and an allusion to future fields for action in the domain of Art. This speech is to be found com- plete in the third book (No. 184). On this solemn occasion proclamation was also made of the foreign notabilities of Art and Science who had been made honorary members ; amongst them were W. Humboldt in Berlin, Bottinger in Dresden, Kaphael Morghen in Florence, Thorwaldsen in Rome, Schelling in Munich, David and Gerard in Paris, Kohler in St. Peters- burg, Danneker in Stuttgart ; Groethe also in Weimar had been appointed an honorary member. The letter in which he thanked Metternich for this honour, dated Weimar, March 16, 1812, runs as follows : * That your Excellency, presiding over the most important and urgent affairs, takes also an interest in Science and Art, could not be unknown even to me at this dis- tance ; moreover, I was informed of it long ago, and silently rejoiced in it for the general good. But I could hardly have believed that I should have the happiness to present the heartiest thanks to your Excellency for the extension of a great favour to my person. When we devote our lives to special spheres of action, and attain a certain facility in them, we certainly wish to exercise them, and therewith to be useful to- others ; and how can this be better and more certainly done than when we surround ourselves with men well tried in such departments, and associate ourselves with their advantages, which can only be attained by a number all working for the same object? Thus each individual is encouraged, and what

VOL. i. D D


402 NOTES.

human idleness, unfavourable circumstances, ill-will might have lulled to sleep, contracted, or even injured, is stimulated and roused to action. Great, therefore, are your Excellency's merits in endeavouring to create, renew, preserve, extend and animate such unions by the patronage of the court. I shall not fail to return my heartiest thanks to the Royal Imperial Academy of the Fine Arts, although words fail me to express how delighted I am that in so flattering a manner, and on such a brilliant occasion, they have been good enough to think of me, and thus marked a new epoch in my life. I cannot but see here the influence of your Excellency, and the high honour you have done me by announcing this beautiful gift yourself. I must not insist with many words on the high value I place on these favourable regards, which I only wish I could respond to in some manner by action.'

Note 61, page 150.

  • The Position and Attitude of Austria in the Impending War

with France and Russia.' Four reports by Metternich to the Emperor Francis (Nos. 178-182).

During this time of serious negotiation, which rendered the intercourse of the monarch and his minister more and more intimate, a little occurrence happened which, though not of a political character, we will not leave unmentioned, because it helps to show the character of the Emperor Francis. One might feel inclined to laugh at the pedantic strictness of the Emperor on this occasion, if his maintenance of legal equality did not give a certain dignity to the trifling incident. Met- ternich's report, June 25, 1812, runs as follows : ' The President of the Exchequer refuses the order for importation, which I wanted for a little barrel of French wine that has been lying waiting for me in Ulm for months, because the quantity of the wine is not given in Eimer' (a measure), 'but only in weight, 456 pounds (about four Eimers). I can say nothing in answer to this objection, but that it can be easily removed. The second objection, however, is of another kind. The Presi- dent of the Exchequer refers to an Imperial order by which one person has every year the privilege of importing one Eimer and a half only of foreign wine. I consider that one of the


NOTES. 403

troublesome duties of my office is the entertainment of the corps diplomatique, and foreigners. Now one Eimer and a half of foreign wine is just as good as none at all, and I do not be- lieve that it would answer the purpose of my entertainments or be at all in good taste, if I were no longer able to give foreign wine to that very class of guests which is accustomed only to foreign wines. I dare all the more openly express this asser- tion, as in the case in question my private interest is quite opposed to the sacrifices which, however, I have never shunned if required for the honour or welfare of the Imperial service. My most humble request, therefore, is that your Majesty may please either to give me a decided order to give no more foreign wines in future, or that your Majesty may have the grace to send an order to the President of the Exchequer, which, might run as follows :

' " To the, President of the Exchequer.

' " Dear Count Stadion, my Minister of Foreign Affairs has most humbly represented to me that he might be exempted by the Exchequer from the general decree concerning the foreign wines necessary for his entertainments the decree according to which a single person is only allowed to receive the annual quantity of one Eimer and a half of these wines. Since these requirements arise from the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, you have to act in future with regard to him according to the rules that existed before the above decree." '

In answer to this the Emperor himself wrote from Stra- konitz, July 9, 1812:

' No exception can be made to the order I gave concerning the importation of foreign wines, and to the limitation ordered in general, and you have to follow out this arrangement as strictly as any of my subjects. FRANCIS.'

As is to be seen, the influence of the minister, which was already very powerful at that time over his monarch, was restricted by firm and insurmountable barriers, which must not be left unconsidered in judging Metternich's course of action. On the other hand, the relation of this minister to the Emperor Francis, especially in all private matters, may be called if it is allowed to use this expression that of a patri-

D D 2


404 NOTES.

archal heartiness. Another little occurrence from the year 1811, which concerns Metternich's domestic life, proves this, and may find a place here. The Emperor Francis, namely, had promised, on the occasion of the expected confinement of Metternich's wife, to act as godfather if the child should be a son. But a daughter came into the world. Metternich reports on this to the Emperor:

  • Vienna, June 18, 1811. Your Majesty! I was prevented

from undertaking the journey to Baden to-day, as I had intended, because of my wife's most difficult and dangerous confinement. I shall try to set out on my journey to-morrow evening, or at the latest early the day after to-morrow, accord- ing as I get on with the despatches for Petersburg. Since my wife has given birth to a daughter, I can only lay at your Majesty's feet the most humble and hearty thanks for the gracious condescension with which your Majesty designed to take the place of a godfather if the case had been otherwise. I should have been extremely happy to give to your Majesty in a second son another faithful and active servant. Now my hopes are limited to my only son, who certainly will never forget the double duty towards your Majesty and your most illustrious house.'

To this the Emperor himself replied :

' I hope that your wife's health has not suffered, and regret that I have not the opportunity of acting as godfather, as I promised you. I count on your educating your son to be as clever and skilful a statesman as you are yourself. FRANCIS.'

It does not become us to dwell on the fact that Prince Victor, Metternich's firstborn son, who is mentioned here, an- swered these expectations. He died in the prime of life (1828), a faithful servant of his Emperor and master, loved and re- spected by all who knew him, and deeply deplored by those who had the opportunity of seeing and estimating the rich mental gifts of the young diplomatist. The daughter who was then born received in baptism the name of Leontine, married (1835) Count Moritz von Sand, died 1861, and was the mother of Princess Pauline, the wife of the editor.


NOTES. 405

Note 62, page 155.

On the occasion of the outbreak of the Kusso-Franco war Oentz wrote, July 24th, 1812, to Count Metternich as follows :

  • All that your Excellency has foreseen for eight months and

longer has now, as it seems, completely come to pass. All your calculations are justified. But even the evil which may arise for us and for the world from the present occurrences was included in your calculations, and whoever is even slightly acquainted with former negotiations, must acknowledge that your Excellency has done the very best to prevent that evil.' Besides, there is in Metternich's handwriting the following note of the year 1851 :

4 The evil that is mentioned here, was the providential begin- ning of Napoleon's end ! That I have helped forward this as much as lay in my power history will testify. Have I been

able to supply the help necessary to complete the work of

deliverance ? '

Note 63, page 166.

April 21, 1813, Metternich writes to Nesselrode: <I will not delay the departure of the present courier. I beg you, however, to remain my friend, and, above all, continue to con- fide in me. If Napoleon will be foolish enough to fight, let us endeavour not to meet with a reverse, which I feel to be only too possible.

' One battle lost for Napoleon, and all Germany will be under arms.'

Note 64, page 177.

It is interesting to hear how Grentz, a short time before he was ordered to Bohemia, speaks in a letter to Metternich of the general feeling in consequence of the sudden departure of the Emperor Francis, accompanied by Metternich, to Gritschin, and of the apprehensions and hopes which this unexpected event excited in the provinces. At the same time, the rather desponding feelings of the letter- writer contrast well with the energy and foresight of the Emperor Francis and his minister. The letter is dated from Vienna, June 5 :

' It [public judgment] does really no longer exist. The great mass of silly people that is to say, of those who are


406 NOTES.

perfectly ignorant of affairs becomes stupefied and crushed by problems which are daily more unintelligible to them ; and those who have a voice in the matter do not ask of a new measure, whether it be good or bad, but only how far it suits their ideas. The same thing happened on the occasion of the journey to Gritschin. The many have nothing to say about it, because the whole is a riddle. The two extreme parties disapprove of it. Those who like the war see nothing in it but disgraceful negotiations of peace, dangerous meet- ings with Napoleon or his ministers, mystifications, loss of time, vain pretences, or irresolution. The timid think it the immediate signal for war, and give us to understand (as far as this may be done now-a-days entre gens de bonne compagnie) that those who brought on war by this journey will one day have to answer for it. Your Excellency knows I am thankful to say that I do not belong to either of these parties. I owe it to my intercourse with you, and only to this, that I am at present on a height where at least none of the common illusions can reach me. But the air that blows on this height is never- theless heavy with cares and doubts ; and at the end of the most fatiguing and anxious meditations on the dreadful ques- tions of the present, I nearly always content myself with prais- ing heaven that I have not to decide them. When I hear men talk like Langenau, Nugent (whose judgment on military matters is not to be despised), Wartensleben, even Marveldt, and others of this kind, I often feel inclined to believe that it only requires a courageous resolution to cut asunder the whole knot with one stroke ; that the mere advancing of an Austrian army would throw Napoleon into such embarrassment that hardly an outlet would be left to him ; he would see that his present operation had again been mad, and his present position in reference to that of the Allies and the Austrian power so dangerous that if these two were to act together only for a week a miracle alone would save him. If, however, I think,, on the other hand, what men of similar feelings have said three or four months ago about the alternate advantages and dis- advantages under which the campaign began for the Allies and for Napoleon, and how all this has been knocked down by the events of a single month ; if I represent to myself Napoleon's


NOTES. 407

enormous military superiority, and how nobody can calculate beforehand whether he with his skill would not find a remedy even for the most dangerous combinations ; if I think of the Kussia-Prussian army, as we now fully know it, and of the Aus- trian army, as it will be in all probability, and necessarily must be with its innate defects ; if the dreadful case appears before my imagination that he might by one of his violent movements suddenly scatter the united forces, and then pursue and destroy each part separately and what could then be done or hoped ? it seems to me sometimes that I should heartily embrace even a moderate peace.'

Full of this thought of peace, and on the supposition that the question of war or peace was still an open one, Gfentz expresses his wishes and convictions a few days later, in a letter to Metternich, dated from Koniggratz, June 10: ' My wishes are entirely directed to a solution of the great problem of the moment by negotiations, and not by war. Be- sides various reasons for these wishes which I have, or at least ought to have, in common with others, one quite particular one determines me, which I can confide only to your Excellency and to a few congenial spirits. I think better of the Austrian army, without comparison, than of all other armies, and there- fore would rejoice if the glory were to fall to her share to give a happy end to this crisis. But Grod forgive me ! I love you even more than the Austrian army, and no gained battle would, therefore, give me the joy which I should feel in a peace brought on by your merit and your skill, if, according to my judgment, it were but honourable and judicious. Happily my best and most mature convictions agree perfectly with this my secret wish. First, I deny altogether that it is a question here of the entire political and moral existence of our state, to be or twt to be, whatever the great phrases are. Austria is in no immediate danger of life, however things may go, and the prophecies one hears from so many sides, as if the ruin of the state were inevitable if this or the other were not done, I count simply amongst the blank firing by which they try now to frighten, or even confuse, the G-overnment. Napoleon's power is essentially shaken and undermined, not perhaps by the Kussian campaign or since the Kussian campaign : a build-


408 NOTES.

ing that has no foundation at all sinks from the moment it is erected. Already at the time of the Peace of Tilsit, which was certainly the most brilliant in Napoleon's career and the most dreadful for Europe, the signs of approaching ruin mani- fested themselves to clear eyes and intrepid natures. In the war of 1809 they became more evident. The campaign of 1812 and its consequences have disclosed this now to nearly every- one. If Napoleon which I should consider a great evil pre- served in a peace concluded now even the whole former extent of his dominion, Austria, nevertheless, would maintain her position, invulnerable, and destined to outlive the ephemeral power of Napoleon for centuries. If, on the other hand which may heaven prevent! the war were to have an unfortunate issue, we should still be certain of an undisturbed continuance, and should only be the poorer from the loss of those who were uselessly sacrificed. For the situation is now of a kind that Napoleon, even after a battle gained against our army, cannot penetrate our country without exposing himself to the utmost danger. To keep to this point of view seems important to me, because it gives the greatest freedom to our calculations and consultations in all directions ; whereas the fatal " to be or not to be " confounds, aggravates, and embitters them without any ne- cessity. To-day the question is only in what way, whether by war or peace, Austria has the most hope of hastening the over- throw of a predominant power destined to inevitable ruin by its own defects. Every peace which does not put an end to all direct or indirect dominion (influence would be to say too much) of France on this side of the Khine, and at least in East and Middle Italy, is an incomplete one, and only a provisional peace ; for no balance can ever be established as long as those conditions at least are not fulfilled. Every peace which does not fulfil them, on whatever base it may be concluded, is only to be considered as a truce. After this the chief question will be, Is there more probability that the (inevitable in itself) ruin of the French power will be pro- moted by an advantageous truce, or by Austria's immediate participation in the war ? My answer would be, The results of the war may be greater, but those of the truce are more cer- tain. That we should attain by war advantages of the first


NOTES. 409

rank, a better truce than negotiations could give, perhaps even a real peace, is in any case very doubtful, from all that we know of the powers, the faculties, and the former fate of those who then would become our allies for alone we could not execute it. On the other hand, every advantage which we gain by the peace that is to say, by the truce is so far always a gain for future measures and enterprises, and what strength we, and those who share our interests, still possess, will be reserved for these future enterprises : a consideration which is of no little weight. The question of more or less in the conditions of peace we should now obtain has here to be considered, but the chief consideration remains always the same. If we can bring about the dissolution of the Duchy of War- saw, the re-establishment of Prussia (which, according to my opinion, will be brought about, not only by some enlargement of territory, but also by the repossession of Magdeburg and the liberty of Hamburg), and, finally, the restitution of some countries that have been taken away from us the Illyrian Provinces at least I think this a very happy truce and agree to it. But if even we only succeed in inducing Napoleon to renovate Poland, I say autant de gagne ! But now I leave it to greater arithmeticians than I am to decide if, after the rules of a reasonable probability, more is to be expected from a war; and when they say "yes," I vote immediately for war. Thus only I judge the task ; all the rest is chimera or idle discourse. Moreover, very much is gained by peace what- ever the conditions may be if for the future Austria, Russia, and Prussia remain closely united. And since Austria has spoken, so frankly, so wisely, so grandly, and even so plainly, to Napoleon with regard to his entire political system, that she can never draw back in this respect, such an alliance, if she does not forfeit it by rough awkwardness, or by petulant mistakes, is quite suited to the present situation. Some time ago I mentioned these ideas to somebody whom your Excel- lency and I equally esteem, and I heard, to my inexpressible satisfaction, that you also had turned your attention to them, which circumstance would be to me the greatest guarantee of their fitness. But the greatest and most important point is gained, and irrevocably gained. The world and Napoleon know


410 NOTES.

that the Austrian cabinet considers the present state of Europe a state not to be depended upon, contrary to all ideas of order, quiet- ness, and justice, and therefore quite unbearable. This is of more importance than six provinces snatched away from French supremacy. Concerning public opinion, I have become, though not yet quite composed, yet I must candidly confess it much more indifferent, in consequence of the quiet and free meditations of the last three days, than I may have seemed to- your Excellency in my last letter. Everything considered, I feel a far greater desire to rule or reform public opinion than to accept its laws. This opinion must not remain as it is now, lest a still worse preponderating influence than the French arise from it. There must be once more belief and obedience, with much less talking, or there can be no more governing. The evil has become colossal, and threatens us with radical dissolution. We sneer at it too often, we detest it too much, we are much too indifferent as to the brawlers and agitators ; their nonsense amuses us, and when they become more serious it irritates or vexes us, at the most, but the way that it injures, corrupts, and discredits Governments is less felt by statesmen than by attentive and well-informed observers. I have studied this thoroughly, though I should tremble if I were asked to name effective remedies for this deadly disease. It has attained its height in the upper classes ; there it has destroyed all social intercourse and erected a spurious tribunal, before which not a single measure of Govern- rnent can stand. I often say to these people : But, ladies and gentlemen, do we know this better than Government? Are we better informed than the Emperor ? Have we more means of information than his ministers ? But they all think, " yes, yes ! " and go on teaching their world, and

Hoc fonte derivata clades In patriam populosque fluxit.

These considerations of course lessen the weight which the judgment of the public ought otherwise to have, and by degrees it has gone so far that a measure seems to me suspicious if I see it protected by the public.'

It is not known whether an answer was given to these two letters ; at any rate we do not possess it. We may easily guess


NOTES. 411

what Metternich thought of the remarks of the intelligent and clever aulic councillor from the following remark made by him : ' Grentz was always inclined to describe matters in the most decided colours, and to pass from the extreme of hope to that of despair. Everything belonging to military operations was beyond his power of comprehension ; he even shunned the consideration of such operations, as if shot could fall on the field of thought.' These words we find written in Metternich's own hand, on a memoir of Grentz of that period. They give us, too, a glimpse of the relations of Metternich and Grentz, as to which a wrong idea formerly obtained. But the latest his- torical literature affords more light on this, and these remarks show how little Grentz knew of the intentions of Metternich, however well the latter was able to value the talents of this extraordinary man, and to make use of his masterly pen in legal matters at deliberations of the Congress.

Note 65, page 178.

The propositions of mediation which Bubna had to deliver to Napoleon were : 1. Abolition of the political existence of the Duchy of Warsaw and the application of his present re- sources to the strengthening of the intermediary powers. 2. The restoration of the Illyrian Provinces to Austria, with a good frontier towards Italy. 3. The renunciation by France of the provinces in Grermany beyond the Ehine. There are no remarks on Bubna's mission in Metternich's legacy of documents. To supplement this want by documents from the State Archives seemed unnecessary, since the material that is there has only lately been used in Onken's work 'Austria and Prussia in the War of Deliverance,' from which also we take the above three points of mediation. The Austrian State Archives being opened to Onken for literary purposes explains the circumstance that many documents which we have taken out of our own legacy of writings are identical with his pub- lications a circumstance which we mention here in general without pointing it out in every single case. For this very reason we are induced to draw the attention of the reader to this parallel work, feeling at the same time happy to be able publicly to express our thanks to its author in acknowledgment


412 NOTES.

of his helpful labours ; and especially grateful to him as one of the first who, without apologetic colouring, but also without the prejudices which have too much influenced even Austrian historians, has searched wisely and faithfully to discover Met- ternich's line of action during one of the most brilliant parts of the Chancellor's life.

Note 66, page 182.

Within the two following days, Grentz, who had gone to Opocno, had a very interesting conversation with the Emperor Alexander, of which he wrote to Metternich on June 22, 1813 : ' I found the Emperor on the whole just, reasonable, and pleasant ; much excited, however, at certain turns of the con- versation. I could see that the idea of withdrawing from the war, without the attainment of the great end with which he had been flattered, pierced his very soul, and that he (such is his feeling) would give a kingdom if he could stir up Austria to seize her arms without any attempt at peace. Yet he seems to see that it would be utter insanity to continue the war with- out Austria's concurrence. At the beginning of the conver- sation I confined myself to bringing to his notice the different standpoints from which Russia, Austria, and Prussia must con- sider and negotiate these affairs. I reasoned thus : For Prussia the war is a war of necessity and almost of despair ; for Russia it is half a case of honour, half a political calculation ; for Aus- tria it is a war of purer calculation, founded, not on common interests and selfish aims, but on the highest and largest con- siderations for the present and the future. . . .

' I then begged to explain to him what possibly appeared to him, in many instances, as indecision and weakness. " Austria," I said, " has full right to retort, ' If M. de Metternich were your Majesty's minister, and consequently situated as a minister of your Majesty's now is, your Majesty would perhaps find in him one of the warmest advocates of the war.' As Aus- trian Minister he must look on things differently, and your Majesty is too just and too noble not to acknowledge this." By this representation I apparently gained much ground. My discourse was founded on the following argu-

  • ments. Two great, enormous results are already won : one,


NOTES. 41 3

the close union and faithful understanding between the two principal German Powers and Eussia, the other, " the state of permanent protestation against all system of invasion, and the preponderance of these three Powers, whatever may be the temporary issue of the crisis." To maintain and preserve these two immense advantages would be now, in my opinion, the fun- damental law of all anti-Napoleonic policy, and an almost un- failing basis for the establishment of the balance of power and general order in Europe. I said further : " If his Majesty the Emperor of Austria would to-day do me the honour to consult me on the part to be taken in case Russia and Prussia are im- movably decided for the continuation of the war, I should say : Rather war even if your Majesty should not approve it than a course which would again separate us from Russia and Prussia. But, if your Majesty asks me my advice in case of Austria thinking she had strong motives for avoiding war, I should not hesitate to say : Rather peace whatever repugnance it may inspire in your Majesty than to separate yourself again from Austria." He seemed much struck with this reasoning, listened (as he always does to what I say) with great attention, and an- swered : " That is very true ; that is very fine ; see what it is to speak as a statesman ! Union is necessary beyond everything ! "" etc. etc. Your Excellency was the subject of a great part of our conversation. The Emperor freely acknowledged that people had endeavoured to prejudice him against your political principles and political character (he allowed it to be seen that this had been the case with Romanzow), and hence he had long felt some mistrust. This, however, had been quite effaced by much which had occurred during the last few months, and especially by his late conversation with you, and he now firmly believes that your Excellency had done and would do all that you possibly could.'

Note 67, page 192.

The account of the occurrence in the Marcolini Palace at Dresden is word for word the same as the one given by Metter- nich of his conversation with Napoleon, in the year 1820, since published in Helfert's ' Marie Louise.' It is evident that Met- ternich, in the later account of the ' History of the Alliances *


414 NOTES.

(in the year 1829), made use of his earlier manuscript (of the year 1820), but in this he has corrected some little chrono- logical errors. For instance, in this June 22 is mentioned as the day of the journey from Gritschin, and June 23 as the day of the conversation with Napoleon ; whereas the first took place on June 24, the last on the 26th. The correctness of these dates is now settled beyond doubt by their agreement with the statements in a report which Metternich sent to the Emperor Francis the very same evening as the conversation with Napoleon. This report, written under the immediate impression of the great and momentous event, will be found in the third book (Nos. 185, 186). From this document not merely the dates will be rectified, but also many other errors.

Note 68, page 198.

On the documents exchanged at Brandeis between the Em- peror Francis and Metternich, see ' Metternich's Instruction for the Conference in Prague' (Nos. 187, 188). At that time Met- ternich wrote on the question ' Peace or War ? ' the following letter to his father at Prague : ' Shall we have war or no ? Before April 10 no one can answer that question, and when I say no one, I include Napoleon. But, happen what may, I shall have done my duty ; and if I exhaust all the chances of peace, it is not the less sure that war will be made with chances of success far beyond what you can imagine. It is necessary to be at the centre of affairs, to be situated as I am, to see all that passes everywhere, to know the resources on one side and the lack of them on the other ; in a word, one must be at the very focus itself in order to form a just idea of the true posi- tion of things. Never was there one more complicated, and never has a part been played by any Power comparable to ours. We are so completely the centre of everything that every word I do not speak of negotiations passes through us. Napo- leon is placed so peculiarly that wherever he knocks he receives for answer, " Gro and ask the Austrian Cabinet." It is possible that Caulaincourt may arrive to-night. All that is nothing ; Prague is for the public, and all that is done out of Prague is the real thing.'


NOTES. 415

Note G9,page 199.

On the celebrated manifesto of war of 1813, of which, as everyone knows, Grentz is the author, the latter expresses himself, in a letter to Metternich, September 4, 1813, in the following terms : ' The manifesto could, and should, have only one merit, that of exhibiting the political administration of the last three years as a whole, and of making the character of it clear to the intelligent part of our contemporaries. When Ancillon wrote to me, " Vous avez parle corame le ministere autrichien a agi; voila votre plus bel 6loge" this was the first balm of comfort to my heart. When I afterwards heard that the manifesto was regarded as a sheet of glass, through which that political system (which, indeed, I had not devised, and which to have apprehended was glory enough for me) was seen exactly as it was when Frederick Schlegel himself wrote to me, " Now I understand and feel that the course of events must have been just as it was ; that nothing, yea nothing, <;ould have been otherwise " then I began to feel a satisfac- tion and joy with myself such a,s I had not known since 1806, when, as was felt at that time, my measures were somewhat successful. For my triumph can only consist in this, that I help to make our triumph the true triumph, the triumph of which language is only the weak reflection, and which the world and posterity will feel and acknowledge glorious.

Note 70, page 203.

With what feelings of confidence the heart of Metternich was animated we have a convincing proof in a letter which he addressed to his former tutor, Abbe Hohn, at this time Pastor at Tajax, in Moravia, dated Teplitz, October 3, 1813 : * I thank you, dear Abbe, for your last letter. Certain of your sympathy in all great events, and equally certain of the friendly interest which you take in my political welfare, I may ask you, with confidence, to be quite easy : I have begun a great work ; I have slowly advanced. All our powers must be concentrated. We must wait our opportunity. We must have moral right on our side in order to carry us through materially. Heaven has blessed our undertaking ; heaven helps us because we help ourselves, and


416 NOTES.

in a short time it will be with French tyranny as with the cedar of Lebanon. The springs of Napoleon's power are broken. The gigantic edifice totters to its ruin ; without an army, even the best general cannot make war : and the army of Napoleon is no longer an army. Our strength is threefold augmented, our resources are renovated and invigorated ; his are old and shattered : we go slowly because we will go surely. We wish for no temporary action: we aspire to a thorough cure. No heroic, but sure measures ; and I, if Grod give me life and health, will carry on the work to a successful end : on this point have no fear. The worst is past. It is now a question of perseverance and determination to follow the straight path, and we have this perseverance and this determination.'

Some days before this Metternich wrote to his father : 1 Our affairs are going on well, and that upon a very large scale. Europe will be saved, and I flatter myself that in the end no little merit will be attributed to me. (rod has en- dowed me with patience and strength. For some years my political course has been the same, and a great power like Austria ought to conquer all obstacles, if it is well directed, and above all if its progress is uniform and always towards the same end. It was not without a purpose that I desired, before undertaking the great work, thoroughly to know my enemy and our strength. I know the first better than any- one in Europe, and I have brought the last to a point which none would have believed it capable of attaining after so many years of defeats and misfortune. It only remains to find the moment when it will be possible to undertake the thing without excessive risk. I have prepared this time by the armi- stice of June 4, and I have attained it by the boldest blow possible, by a prolongation of the armistice of twenty days, which I have taken upon myself to stipulate in the name of the Powers, without saying a word to them ; for, with their knowledge, the thing would be impossible. The results have proved that my calculations were just. The Eussian and Prus- sian armies have come in time to cover the north of Bohemia, and fix the chief attention of Napoleon on the left bank of the Elbe. Bliicher and the Prince Eoyal have had time to be ready ; they have remained far enough off to oblige Napoleon to-


NOTES. 417

divide his forces into three parts. He has been everywhere beaten, and one cannot but estimate his loss, since the opening of the campaign, at more than 150,000 men, and 300 guns. His army is entirely demoralised. His men are dying of hunger and fatigue. Ours are in the best state, and animated with a rare spirit. I saw, two days ago, battalions crying out in im- patience at not seeing the French army come down from the mountains. We are about to become vigorous once more, and Grod will crown the end of this holy enterprise. Napoleon has no more reserves, and we have one of more than 200,000 men. Benningsen's army has just formed in line. Those of Labanoff and de Tolstoy are approaching the Oder. We shall have more fresh men, at the end of each month, than we can lose. All Prussia is under arms, and all Germany will be so.' Metter- nich wrote to his daughter Mary, from Teplitz, October 1, 1813 : ' Everything shows that the hour has struck, and that my mission of putting an end to so many evils is brought to a point by Heaven's decree. Napoleon thinks of me continually, of this I am certain ; I must appear to him like a sort of con- science personified. I told him everything and predicted everything at Dresden ; he would not believe me, and the Latin proverb, " Quos deus vult perdere dementat " you can make Victor translate it is verified anew.'

Note 71, page 206.

In a memoir of that time it is dated November 11, 1813, and has not to our knowledge ever been published Gfentz de- votes to the men who had brought about the great results of the battle of Leipzig the following words of acknowledgment : ' The plan of campaign which was not, as was said, the work of General Moreau although, at the moment of the arrival of this general at Prague, this plan had already received his last sanction was planned with much intelligence and executed with much precision and vigour. Prince Schwarzenberg, never having commanded great armies, could not at first inspire the absolute confidence which is only given to a successful career. Besides, he was a man of great modesty and of extreme gentle- ness and simplicity. When, in the month of September, it was seen that he would risk nothing, but waited for the propitious VOL. I. E E


418 NOTES.

moment, anxious people and timid frondeurs already began to condemn his prudence, and to speak of him as of a general unequal to the task imposed upon him. These charges he gloriously revenged. Everyone acknowledges now that he was exactly the man required to moderate the passions of some, control the jealousies of others, and to bring into one scheme the views and plans of three sovereigns and half a dozen generals supported like Barclay, Wittgenstein, Benningsen, Kleist, &c., by a-long and brilliant reputation. The wisdom and firmness with which Prince Schwarzenberg followed his operations, with- out ever yielding to the clamours of the multitude, or the im- portunities of the great, is another victory, and the true found- ation of all the others. The eclat of the services performed by this general greatly reflected on Prince Metternich, who had the merit of having designated Prince Schwarzenberg for the com- mand, and of supporting him against malcontents and de- tractors. But for M. de Metternich, Prince Schwarzenberg would not have accepted or kept the chief command ; so that the same minister who has been the soul of all the political com- binations, has also directly insured the success of the military operations. He has even followed personally all the movements of the army, and is always found at the side of Prince Schwarz- enberg during action. After these, the first place as to military merit must undoubtedly be assigned to the veteran Bliicher. The plan of operation made by the chief of his staff, General Gneisenau, was a chef-d'oeuvre, and the execution of this plan in all its details, from Breslau to Leipzig, was the most ingenious, the most learned, and the most brilliant of the campaign. One cannot be as satisfied with the Prince Eoyal of Sweden. The general opinion is that the splendid move- ments which led to and followed the battle of Dennewitz, and the different passages of the Elbe, were rather the work of some excellent Prussian and Eussian Generals, such as Billow, Tauenzien, Czerniczeff, and Tettenborn, who were under his orders, than of him'self.'

Note 72, page 208.

On the brilliant success of the enterprise, Metternich writes to his father, from Frankfort, on November 17, 1813, as


NOTES. 419

follows : * I can assure you an end more glorious than all that we shall have intended. Heaven has crowned our efforts far beyond what appears to the eyes of the public. One must be initiated, as I am, into the details of the interior of France, see it as closely as I do, to be able to place oneself exactly at the true point between fear and hope, truth and illusion. I have the sweet happiness of seeing that the Emperor recognises that my zeal for his service has not been without success ; he feels that he owes to me part of the happiness which he now enjoys after twenty years of misfortune. He tells me so ; and I speak only the truth when I reply by expressing my firm conviction that he, by his firmness and by that precious quality of which he might hardly have been thought susceptible by his con- fidence, has saved Europe : and Austria would never have saved herself without Europe. I know that this last truth will be considered toute vulgaire : everyone is wise after the blow ; even those who have preached that nothing should be done, or taken quite an opposite side, will make out that they have fore- told all that has happened. As for me, I content myself with feeling that I have not deceived myself as to my means of action, and that is a great thing to say in 1813.'

Of the time of the residence of the Allied Monarchs in Frankfort, Metternich tells a very characteristic anecdote of the Emperor Francis, which we will not withhold from the reader. 'In the year 1812,' writes Metternich, 'the Prince Primate von Dalberg had founded an order called the Order of Union (^Eintracht). When we came to Frankfort, after the battle of Leipzig, one of the Knights of this new order presented himself to the Emperor of Austria to receive his Majesty's consent to wear the order. " If you are not ashamed," remarked the Emperor Francis, " it is perfectly indifferent to me whether you wear it or not." '

Note 73, page 214.

In the famous and ever-memorable declaration from Frank- fort of December 1, which is erroneously ascribed to the pen of Grentz, the Allied Powers, confirmed to the French Em- pire an extension of territory such as France never had under its Kings. ' The Powers confirm to the French Empire an

E E 2


420 NOTES.

extent of territory such as France has never had under the ancient Kings, for a brave nation does not lose its rank because it has in its turn sustained reverses, in the course of an obsti- nate and bloody struggle, in which it has fought with its usual bravery.' This mode of expression is only to be rightly under- stood in connection with the proposals of mediation by the Allies brought by St. Aignan to Napoleon, in which mention is made of the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Rhine, as the natural boundaries of France.


Note 74, page 222.

On the reception of our troops in Switzerland, as well as on the impression made by the publications from Metternich's pen, we take a private letter of the Prince's, written at Fribourg, De- cember 26, 1813. ' The Swiss have received us wonderfully ; we are in full march towards the interior of France, and such a conference as that which took place yesterday at my house, to regulate the manner of administrating the departments that we already partly occupy and are going to occupy, is a very pleasant thing. You will see in the papers a note which I have addressed by Lebzeltern and Capo d'Istria to the Landamman of Switzer- land, and you will see that if we know how to act well, we also know how to talk well. I have kept up a general conversation with Europe for some time, and it is a difficult matter. What pleases me is that I always see the pieces which come from my pen are those which the public like the best. I am certain that my little proclamation to the French and this note to the Swiss will be generally approved.'

Note 75, page 234.

In the collection of documents left by Metternich is an original pencil sketch, in the hand of the Emperor Alexander, a fac-simile of which we give in this work. The heading of the Protocol of the Conference, held at Bar-sur-1'Aube, February 25, 1814, of which this autograph of Alexander's is the enclo- sure, is written by Metternich, as follows :


NOTES. 421

Presents :

Sa Majeste Imperiale 1'Empereur d'Autriche.

Sa Majeste Imperiale 1'Empereur de Eussie.

Sa Majeste le Hoi de Prusse.

Son Altesse le Prince de Schwarzenberg, Marechal des armees de Sa Majeste Imperiale et Koyale Apostolique, General- en-chef des armees alliees.

Son Altesse le Prince de Metternich, Ministre des affaires etrangeres d'Autriche.

Son Excellence Mylord Viscount Castlereagh, principal Se- cretaire d'Etat de Sa Majeste Britannique pour le departement des affaires etrangeres.

Son Excellence le Comte de Nesselrode, Secretaire d'Etat de Sa Majeste 1'Empereur de Russie.

Son Excellence le Baron de Hardenberg, Chancelier d'Etat de Prusse.

Son Excellence le Comte de Radetzky, Quartier-Maitre general de 1'armee autrichienne.

Son Excellence le Prince Wolkonsky, Chef de 1'Etat-major general de Sa Majeste 1'Empereur de toutes les Russies.

Monsieur le General de Diebitsch, Quartier-Maitre general de 1'armee russe.

Monsieur le General de Knesebeck, Aide-de-camp general de Sa Majeste le Roi de Prusse.

Le protocole a ete tenu par Sa Majeste 1'Empereur de Russie, dont 1'original ci inclus.

En foi de quoi j'ai signe le present acte.

LE PRINCE DE METTERNICH.

Note 76, page 241.

See ' The Abdication of Napoleon and the arrival of Comte d'Artois in Paris.' Two reports by Metternich to the Emperor Francis, with a letter in answer by the latter (Nos. 189-191).

Note 77, page 250.

After the conclusion of the first Paris peace, the Emperor Francis sent a royal letter to the famous Field-marshal Prince Carl Schwarzenberg. We give the rough copy as a very


422 NOTES.

characteristic fac-simile of Metternich's handwriting and that of Emperor Francis, who has corrected it.

Note 78, page 250.

The return of Metternich to Vienna was celebrated by a serenade arranged by Count Palffy, in front of the Chancellor's palace. The combined musical forces of the Court Theatre and the Vienna Theatre performed the overture from Beethoven's

  • Prometheus.' Baier on the flute and Spohr on the violin

displayed their brilliant talents in select pieces. At the end of the festivities, a Cantata was sung, for which Dr. Veith had com- posed the words and Kinsky the music. The substance of this successful Cantata consisted, as Der Wanderer, from which we take this, announces : ' In recognition of the merits of the celebrated statesman, whose wise calculations and steadfast per- severance, strengthened by the choice and confidence of his Emperor, effected a result, by earnest prudence, modera- tion and wisdom, which a year ago would have been regarded as the most fantastic of wishes. Of that statesman who, un- concerned with the outcries of the impatient crowd, knew how, with wise caution, to delay the appeal to arms until certain of the implacability of the enemy, and till he was also convinced that with the now completed armaments of the Empire, the game of war might be begun and perfected with power and vigour. Hence the general and hearty applause which the public paid to all those passages of the Cantata which celebrated these im- mortal deeds.' This Cantata was composed by Johann Em- anuel Veith, at that time a very young Doctor of Medicine, but who afterwards became celebrated as a poet, and then as dis- tinguished as a theologian as he had been as a physician.

Note 79, page 252.

The political antagonism between the national and progres- sive views of Freiherr von Stein and the conservative prin- ciples of Metternich displays itself in this paper wherever mention is made of Von Stein ; the reader, however, receives no hint on the personal relation of these two statesmen. A letter of Metternich to Freiherr von Gfagern, of the year 1833 y


NOTES. 423

throws some light on this point ; and is also in many respects of great interest. Metternich writes : ' Your friend (Stein) hated me ; this was inevitable from his character. He was one of those men who are well described by the English word " im- pressionable." For my own part, I never hated Stein, and the hatred of individuals is a weakness which exercises no influence upon my practical life, and with the late Baron von Stein I never had other than business relations. In these we had indeed difficulty in agreeing, for where the objects which we pursued did not stand in contradiction, we constantly differed in our choice of means. No one reverenced more than I did the distinguished gifts of heart and mind of Freiherr von Stein. I very much doubt whether he ever formed anything like a true opinion of my character. If he ever deemed me worthy of the trouble of investigating what the man and his views might be (an undertaking which I constantly made my duty), he never understood me, and consequently sought me where I was not to be found. The influence of each of us on the progress of events between 1812 and 1820 furnishes a proof of this. His letters to you after the year 1830 prove to me that their author, after the July of that year, had taken up ground on which we might easily have met : should we ever again have separated ? I scarcely think it. It was with Stein as with men of much mobility of character. They easily surrender themselves, even in the most important cases, to the influence of mere impressions, and by these men, accordingly, illusions are often taken for truth until the force of things un- looses knots with a heavy hand.' Among the papers left by Metternich there are only three letters of Stein, two of the year 1810 and one of the year 1830. The former letters belong to the time when Stein, banished by Napoleon from Prussia, had found an asylum in Austria, and relate to his wish to exchange his residence in Briinn for that in Prague, which was at once granted at Metternich's request, and brought forth the most hearty thanks from Stein. The letter of 1830 is far more important, because it shows how free Metter- nich's conduct towards his political opponent was from any poli- tical prepossession. Stein's letter contains the most convincing roof of this.


424 NOTES.

1 The formal and positive denial which your Excellency has given to the calumnious assertion of M. de Bourrienne, the ex- pressions of indignation with which it is accompanied, com- pletely destroy the impression which the whining and cunning phrases of that author might make on even those readers the most disposed to believe evil and the most ignorant of the cir- cumstances of the time and the character of the persons. It concerned me especially that this effect should be produced, because the " Memoires de Bourrienne " will remain an historical source for future generations, and because my contemporaries, who could judge me with knowledge of the case, are disappear- ing in rapid succession. Your Excellency has granted your attention to an object of such great interest for me, at a time when your feelings have been so cruelly tried by the loss of the dearest objects of your affection, and when the political situa- tion of Europe demands all your attention and vigour of mind. I beg, then, that your Excellency will believe that I know how to appreciate your goodness,' &c. &c.

Note 80, page 253.

For the filling up of the history of the Vienna Congress, the reader will make use of the Memoir by Friedrich Grentz, left among Metternich's papers, and illustrated by some remarks of the Chancellor's which show the work in its true light, and

it the same time guarantee the accuracy of the account as a

whole. See The Vienna Congress ' (Nos. 192-194).

Note SI, page 253.

At the grand festivities which took place during the Vienna Congress, a peace festival was held at Villa Metternich, to which all the monarchs, the reigning princes, and notabili- ties of the time were invited. We here give the programme of the fete, composed by the inspector-general of the Koyal Academy of Music.


NOTES. 425

Programme de la * Fete de la Paix ' pour etre executee dans les jardins de Son Excellence le Prince Metternich aupres

de Vienne.

1. Salle pour la reception de Leurs Majestes les Empereurs, le Eoi de Prusse, les Imperatrices et Reines, et autres Princes et Princesses, invitees. 2. Ballon enlevant dans les airs un soleil d'artifice forme de lances a feu avec les armes des sou- verains, au bruit des trompettes et tambours, pour annoncer le commencement de la fete. 3. Depart des souverains, precedes de deux directeurs de la fete qui indiqueraient la marche et la promenade dans les jardins, les pauses et repos necessaires pour faire jouif des points de vue, des scenes, des trophees, des danses, des differentes musiques vocales et instru- mentales, solos, duos, trios, masques dans les bosquets aux tem- ples de Mars, d'Apollon et de Minerve. Apres cette prome- nade, qui demande beaucoup de soins et d'ordre, pour que personne ne precede Leurs Majestes et nejnasque ces tableaux mouvants, il faudra conduire les souverains au grand amphi- theatre. 4. Grand amphitheatre qui fera face a la pelouse. 5. Pelouse qui servira de theatre. Trois temples decoreront ce vaste theatre : le plus considerable occupera le milieu et sera dedie a la Paix; les deux autres, places a quelque intervalle, au- ront pour inscription ' Aux Arts,' ' A I* Industrie.' Derriere ces deux temples, on apercevra une partie des fortifications et des habitants de deux grandes villes. La pantomime suivante s'executera au feu d'artifice. Scene I re . La Discorde, es- cortee de divinites infernales et trainee sur un char attele de trois chevaux noirs, parcourt le theatre en secouant ses torches ; elle va d'une fille a 1'autre et disperse sur sa route les groupes des peuples qui fuient devant elle ; des troupes de diverses nations s'attaquent ; le siege des villes commence ; des pelotons de ca- valerie se chargent, 1'infanterie se mele, les chefs se defient au combat singulier ; le bombardement des villes continue, les creneaux des remparts sont renverses, les tours s'ecroulent. un incendie general embrase les maisons, les femmes se sauvent emportant leurs enfants et vont se refugier dans les temples. Un bruit de victoire se fait entendre, des chants plus doux viennent frapper 1'oreille, 1'esperance renait; le temple de la


426 NOTES.

Paix, ferme jusqu'alors, s'ouvre de nouveau: les divers habi- tants sortent des asiles ou ils s'etaient refugies et ferment des groupes. Ensuite, une marche generale ou chaque nation est represented par un officier general monte sur un char tire par deux chevaux blancs et portant des drapeaux et attributs caracteristiques de chaque Puissance. Ce cortege,, entourant un autel eleve a la Paix, entonnera les chants de la Concorde et prononcera un serment d'alliance. Pen- dant ce temps des feux de joie, tires des deux villes, couronnent ce tableau et terminent la pantomime. Pendant cette pantomime, il faut servir le souper sur nombre de tables rondes qui contiennent dix a douze couverts. Celles des Puissances auraient fort bon effet si 1'on dressait les tables sur des caisses de tres-grands Grangers dont le tronc passerait an centre des tables : rien n'est plus aise en faisant la table de deux morceaux. 6. Apres le souper, bal general dans tous les appartements.

  • Note 82, page 255.

On the disagreement which took place between the Emperor Alexander and Prince Metternich on this question, the reader will find further particulars in the portrait of the Emperor Alex- ander in the 'Cfallery of Celebrated Contemporaries,' page 314.. How decided was the attitude of the Emperor Francis in this Prusso-Saxon controversy is shown by the sentence which the Emperor Francis, in answer to a short question of Metternich's, wrote with his own hand on a slip of paper : * I have declared to the King of Prussia that I will never consent that Saxony shall be entirely united to his kingdom, and I have offered myself as mediator between Prussia and the King of Saxony.'

Note 83, page 256.

In consequence of the renewal of the war with Napoleon, Metternich went to join the Emperor Francis at his head-quar- ters at Heidelberg. During this journey, which took him to Paris, the interesting private correspondence occurs which we have given, and amongst them a letter to Talleyrand and two letters to the Empress Marie Louise ; the other seven are on family matters. See 'Journey to Paris' (Nos. 197-207).


NOTES. 427

Note 84, page 258.

Metternich's secret agent was Freiherr von Ottenfels, then Court Secretary at the Chancery of State. He was ordered to go, under the incognito of ' Henri Werner,' to Basle, and there, at the hotel ' The Three Kings,' to meet the confidant of Fouche, Instead of the latter, an agent sent by Napoleon appeared in the person of M. Fleury. At a second interview the mystifica- tion was so evident that the negotiation was broken off. The interesting instruction for Ottenfels, which the reader will find under the head of ' Mission of Ottenfels to Basle,' plainly proves that nothing like an agreement existed between the Emperor Francis and Napoleon (Nos. 206-209). Metternich's opinion of the way in which this subject was treated by history cannot refer to Thiers's ' Histoire du Consulat et de 1'Empire,' the fourteenth volume of which, where this is mentioned, did not appear till 1861, consequently after Metternich's death. In that work the incident is related pretty accurately, which is perhaps to be explained from the circumstance that Thiers got his information at the right source namely, from Met- ternich himself. During Metternich's latter years, Thiers had put to him a great number of questions which at his re- quest Metternich answered by letter. Amongst these is the following : ' The mission of M. Werner (Ottenfels) to Basle is certain : what was its object and importance ? ' This point is important, for this mission had serious consequences, by setting Napoleon at variance with Fouche. Metternich's answer to this letter of Thiers, which bears date May 1859, is not in the collection of writings left by Metternich.

Note 85, page 263.

The very short description of the peculiarity of the Austrian Imperial state allowed the author to give but a slight notice of the time of the Government of Joseph II. We therefore give here the opinion of Metternich on that monarch more in detail. It is taken from a paper written in 1839.

The short government of Francis II. bore the stamp of a purely personal government, and was guided by the influence of the philosophical spirit of the eighteenth century, which appeared no less from the independent decrees of this monarch than


428 NOTES.

the counsels of the men who surrounded his person. In the reign of Maria Theresa the soil was still wanting for the spread of philosophical theories. Their subsequent rise is to be explained, first, from the character of the heir to the throne, but it was also excited by the example of Frederick II. and Catherine II., although those monarchs in reality only played with these philosophical tendencies. From the moment of his accession to the throne the Emperor Joseph II. took quite another direction from what the philosophers of the eighteenth century and the revolutionists of the nineteenth cen- tury intended. His thoughts were all directed to the strengthen- ing of the central power, which he endeavoured to support by the centralisation of the administration of the Empire and by the Grermanisation of the different races. To attain this purpose, the Emperor surrounded himself with counsellors, out of whom he formed a cabinet, a form of government after the model of Frederick II., and the men whom he called to this position were all still further advanced in the philosophical ideas of the century than their Imperial master !

The government of Joseph II. may be divided into three periods. The first, from 1780 to the end of 1783, may well be called a period filled with unsuccessful attempts ; the second, which likewise lasted three years, was devoted to useful reforms of government ; the third period comprehended the war with the Porte, which was badly conducted and had been un- dertaken more for the advantage of Russia than in the true interests of Austria. The last year of Joseph II.'s life is marked by the withdrawal of the decrees which clashed with the constitutional rights of the separate countries, which decrees had excited the population in the Netherlands, and had incurred the danger of an insurrection at a time when political peace Avas already seriously threatened by the outbreak of the French Revolution.

Great as was the influence of Joseph II.'s government on liis successors, certainly the greatest consequences were pro- duced by the period when the revocation of the encroachments on the old Hungarian constitution took place. This revoca- t ion had the effect of a real change of constitution because, by decrees of the Diet in 1790-91 (which at the Emperor Francis's


NOTES. 429

accession were still confirmed by those of the year 1792), a new legislation took the place of the old.

The Emperor Joseph, by carrying out his ideas of Ger- f iit/iit.isation and centralisation in Hungary, also injured the national feeling and the constitution of the country, excited the Magyar feeling and caused a desire for separation in the Hungarian people. We will not inquire whether the under- taking would have had more prospect of success if the Emperor Joseph, instead of pursuing his aim now in a direct, now in an indirect, manner, had gone straight on without hesitation. If instead of giving up the ceremony of coronation, which, accord- ing to the spirit of the constitution and the customs of the country, has a legal signification, he had taken the initiative in revising the existing constitution ; and, lastly, had appeared openly, instead of hiding his idea of reform with scruples as to the coronation-oath, and brought his projects of improve- ment before the Diet thus he would have opened a vast field for useful reforms, in the real interest of the country. It suffices to point out, on the one hand, the failure of the system followed by Joseph II., and on the other, to emphasise the troubles which the Emperor has left to his successors on the throne of Hungary in consequence of this very proceeding, and especially by his change of opinion. The first acts of Joseph II.'s government gained the approbation of all innova- tors, an approbation which was preserved to this monarch for acts of a later period of his reign, which had nothing in common with his former revolutionary directions, because the people who had applauded him before would not own to themselves that the Emperor Joseph II. had deserted them. The greater part of the concessions which he made to the spirit of the age were maintained for a short time only. Amongst other things, the liberty of the press lasted only a few months. The same may be said of the abolition of capital punishment, when chas- tisement was inflicted to which death seemed preferable.

The moral consequences of so many unsuccessful attempts, and some organic laws of undeniable value, remain to us from the time of Joseph. The kingdom of Bohemia, where these laws were applied more vigorously than in other countries of the monarchy, owes to them the height to which she has risen in


430 NOTES.

various directions in consequence of the regulations of the dif- ferent branches of administration and industry. But it is especially the army into which the reign of Joseph II. brought life, under the direction of Field-Marshal Lascy, which the Imperial army has shown most brilliantly on every occasion, so that Napoleon himself called its organisation the best possible. These and other arrangements will always throw a favourable light on a monarch who, though involved in many errors, was yet animated by a creative and reforming spirit. None of his mistakes were rooted in revolutionary ideas, which only those will not acknowledge who see something meritorious in that very circumstance.

Joseph II. was guided by autocratic principles. He wished to unite in his hand all the elements of power, and to this end he would remove all obstacles which the singular constitutions of the country, and the variety of the nationalities of his empire, put in his way. Free and liberal in his words, he was not so in his deeds, and certainly not so in the sense of modern liberalism. A friend of order, he sought the means of strengthening it by a government free from every troublesome fetter. Joseph II. was certainly more an organiser than a legislator.

Note 86, page 265.

The continuation of the Autobiographical Notices will follow in the Second Part of this work those of the time from 1816 to March 1848.


END OF THE FIRST VOLUME


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