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the tributary nations of Austria, it became the paramount duty of the Chancellor of the Empire, to study the equilibrium of the European power, to repress by every means revolutionary opinions, and to exert his utmost efforts for the maintenance of general peace. Need we say
how marvellously M. de Metternich has succeeded in this object? He has been no less successful in others, not less vitally important to the security of the Austrian government; he has centralised and absorbed into the capital all the governing power. As regards public opinion, selfgovernment, and political aspirations, the subjects of Austria have been generally reduced to the state of automatons, although there is the free kingdom of Hungary before their eyes, tributary to the same power. In all the Austrian dominions, except that kingdom, the iron hand of habit rules and measures every thing beforehand; all is there compressed into limits which are insurmountable by the boldest ambition or the most powerful influence. On the cradle of every Austrian who is born might be traced the history of his future destinies.
M. de Metternich's system absorbs and pervades all the moral movements, and every branch of the administration of the country. Education is as universal as in the most liberal states, and its whole tendency is to place limits to action and boundaries to political thoughts. At the present day, the Viennese, like the Italians, seek compensation for the loss of intellectual vigour in a life of sensual pleasures and dissipation. They dream through their existence, and all thought and action is absorbed in inditing sonnets and epigrams-in attending masked balls and lyrical performances. The Austrian eats, drinks, laughs—and sleeps. Such a system may meet with much deprecation and hostility; but what an opinion does it not give of the talents of this new Richelieu, who has accomplished his object for more than a quarter of a century, in spite of the obstacles, at which we must now cast a rapid glance.
In 1815 liberalism was at a discount; the horrors of the French Revolution had been felt and execrated by all Europe, and the thinking portion of mankind was inclined to contemplate the fact presented by history almost in every page—that revolution has rarely produced any result tantamount to the sufferings it has entailed, and that free states offer scenes of continual violence, of bloodshed, and of tyranny so much the more grinding as the tyrants are many, and each party in its turn wreaks its vengeance. A fact of which Italy at its brightest period—that of its republics—and Spain, at the present day, offer two striking instances, out of innumerable others. But this general sentiment soon vanished; the whole German nation demanded a share in the political power it had reconquered with such glorious patriotism from the Briareus grasp of Napoleon. This feeling repressed, every university in Germany became the abode of fanatic mysterious societies, determined, as the last resource, to conquer liberty with the dagger. Kotzebue, the advocate of absolute government, fell a victim to a blow aimed at much higher personages. M. de Metternich immediately assembled the German powers at the conference of Carlsbad, and forced the adoption of measures to repress the revolutionary spirit in its strongholds—in journals, in pamphlets, and in universities. Āt Troppau, and Laybach, he no less energetically directed the endeavours of continental governments against the still more dangerous effervescence of young Italy, whose principles had pervaded Piedmont and Naples, and had proceeded to the most daring overt acts.
From this moment the great chancellor of the Austrian empire determined to wield the power of all the old dynasties of Europe against the repression of revolutionary spirit-after putting down the great insurrections in Italy so triumphant for the hour—at the Congress of Verona, he bound together all the allies of Austria to a general system of armed resistance to new fangled constitutions. To France was allotted the duty of crossing the Pyrenees, and sweeping away with its army, the liberals who had taken possession of the throne and government of Spain, leaving the idiot Ferdinand only the semblance of power and the name of king. At Verona, Prince Metternich, under whose presidency were assembled so many princes and great men, with the addition of new votaries of ambition, like Chateaubriand, for example—M. de Metternich, we repeat, from the immense success of his schemes, was perhaps, still more than at Vienna, the object of general esteem—and we might almost say of adoration, with the pope, the eccentric King of Naples, and the other Italian princes, whom he had rescued from thraldom.
There are many curious anecdotes, illustrative of this feeling. That vulgar original, the King of Naples, looked upon him as a demi-god. One day, before the eyes of his maccaronic majesty, the horses of the carriage in which Prince Metternich was seated, ran away, overturning the vehiele, breaking the shafts, and putting the prince in imminent peril
. M. de Metternich when disengaged from the vehicle, walked away as collected and unruffled, as if he had just finished his habitually elegant toilette. The first thing the King of Naples said when he sat down Dext the prince, at the daily grand banquet of the congress, was, “ How horridly frightened you must have been !
“Not at all,” answered the prince; "it is no merit of mine, but I am constitutionally inaccessible to fear.”
* Then,” added the king, “ it is as I thought; you are a supernatural being; fear is a thing which lays hold of me in the head, and then it works in my chest, and then lower, and ultimately the effects are violently medicinal.”
The pope was at a loss how to express to the prince his deep admiration and gratitude. Upon a certain occasion, his prime minister, that tasteful virtuoso, the Cardinal Albani, was announced by the groom of the chambers. M. de Metternich, whose mind was absorbed, courteously motioned him to a chair, and then dropped into a reverie. Whilst the good cardinal was pouring out his interminable string of Italian compliments, the prince's eyes were vacantly fixed upon his red stockings. He said nothing, and the prelate, becoming every moment more uncomfortable, and more exhausted in his speeches,
began to shift about his legs in distress at this inexplicable scrutiny of his pether man. At last the prince observed his embarrassment, and to explain politely his fixed gaze, observed that be craved the cardinal's pardon, but that from his earliest days, the colour of red had an unaccountable and mysterious attraction for him. “I really think,” added he, “ that if, when I was young, a prince, whose uniform was red, had offered to take me into his service, he might have tempted me from my Austrian allegiance."
At this speech, the cardinal's countenance grew radiant with joy, and he withdrew with a profusion of thanks and multiplied
expressions of delight which utterly puzzled the Prince Metternich. The riddle was
solved a fortnight afterwards. The cardinal returned triumphantly. “ Prince,” said he, "you may imagine that I did not permit what you told me at the last audience to drop ; his holiness is delighted at the opportunity afforded of expressing his gratitude for your invaluable services. In future you will have the right to dress in red—indeed, you are already cardinal in petto, and you will be proclaimed at the next conclave.
One may easily imagine the dismay of M. de Metternich at this overture-threatened with the ridicule of being made a cardinal in the nineteenth century, and that at the very time he was contemplating another marriage." Wedded life, in which he shows himself the liveliest and best-tempered of husbands, has always formed the greatest charm of M. de Metternich’s existence ; in the conjugal circle and endearments, he finds the necessary repose and probably the compensation for his labours and anxieties. This accounts for his having been thrice married. After the death of his first wife, he married, in 1827, Marie Antoinette, born Countess of Beilstein, who died 17th of January, 1829. He was ultimately united, in 1831, to Princess Melanie-Marie-Antoinette, born Countess of Zichy Ferraris, the sister of the amiable Count Emanuel Zichy, so long resident in England, and so popular in the higher circles of society. The present princess, by the right of her beauty and her rank, is the centre of fashion of the Austrian empire. Through her wit and her influence over the great statesman, she plays no mean part in the great diplomatic circle at Vienna ; and although, like all ladies who meddle in politics, somewhat inclined to the exaggeration of opinions and to partizanship, that influence is generally exerted with intelligence, amiability, and womanly feeling. The remainder of the career of Prince Metternich is wound
with events of great magnitude. The revolution in Greece and the settlement of its throne ; the battle of Navarino, to the exclusive profit of the most diplomatic of all powers, Russia ; the new revolution in France, which raised an illegitimate throne on revolutionary principles; the Hollando-Belgian question and its consequences; the outbreak in the papal dominions, which led the revolutionary King of France to give such proof of the power that made him, by sending an army to Ancona to antagonise that of Austria in Romagna ; the Turco-Egyptian question, which threatened the peace of Europe, and could only be settled once more to the exclusive advantage of Russia—all these questions deeply tried the political feelings and perspicacity of the great minister, who has so long ruled the fates of the Austrian empire.
But from the moment that, at Verona, Prince Metternich had managed to carry out completely his principles of government, and crush the revolutionary hydra within the immense territories he governs ; his whole thoughts have been absorbed in confirming the ascendency of his system at home. He has refrained from all active interposition, and all aristocratic crusades ; his instructions to all the diplomatic representatives of his cabinet have been to refrain from such active intermeddling with dangerous questions as might involve Austria in warlike dernonstrations. All his efforts have been directed to the retardation of every active measure in European politics ; and at home and abroad he has been content to triumph by the vis inertiæ of his system. He is convinced that all the mushroom governments and constitutions must either sink exhausted by their own efforts into nothingness, or assume that absolute form of government and that responsible action towards other pations, which will harmonize with his views, and make them seek on bended knees the favour of the great aristocratic empire, which seeks no aggrandisement, eschews all military interference, and thus becomes, as long as it lasts, the natural judge and arbiter in the great contentions of European politics.
Nothing can exceed the contempt of M. de Metternich for the princes improvisés and the upstart politicians of the day. When the present King of Portugal, who was previously a lieutenant in the Austrian service, was married to Doña Maria, his father came to announce the event to the Austrian chancellor, who had not been officially informed of the young officer's departure for Lisbon.
"I am happy," observed the prince, “to hear of your son's promotion and marriage ; but I hope he got the formal consent of his colonel.” (In Austria, and generally in Germany, young
without the consent of their commanding officer.)
M. de Metternich reads even to the smallest journal and ephemeral publication of Europe, and is au fait of every on dit of European society. A whole volume might be filled by the witty observations and persiflage which he has addressed to the presuming journalists and small political men of France, who have readily obtained access to his presence, and have returned home full of admiration of his French esprit, without even having discovered that they had been the objects of his ridicule.* Such is the pre-eminence of this great statesman, in all the attributes of the human mind, whether the most serious or the most playful. His superiority in the latter qualifications is highly curious and interesting. In the more important point of view his biography is but the history of Europe for the last forty years. As it is impossible to embrace so large a field in so limited a space, and in so rapid a review, we hope we shall stånd excused to our readers for the baldness of our narrative the approaching occultation of so great a star in the political firmament of Europe will, however, we hope, impart some interest to this very incomplete memoir.
That small-minded feuilletonist of ephemeral essays, Jules Janin, encouraged to presumption by the easy affability of the great minister, ventured to play off a joke on him, which Prince Metternich never forgave. On being politely requested by the prince, to add his name to the list of autographs of distinguished persons who visited him, Jules Janin wrote on a piece of paper, “Reçu de M. le Prince de Metternich, six bouteilles de vin de Johannisberg." The Austrian minister sent the audacious scribbler the present which princes in vain have longed for; but Jules Janin reaped nothing besides from his joke than the cool contempt of the aristocratic Metternich, on whose politeness he had so meanly presumed.
THE PROPOSAL-A GAMBLER'S FATE--CARLOTTA'S STORY-THE
Thou subtle, perjured, false, disloyal man!
Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
«« WHILE Susan was assisting me to dress, Carlotta entered my chamber, and inquired, “Had I recovered from the alarm of last night ?'
“• You look pale, mademoiselle,' she continued ; these scenes are new to you. To me such occurrences are not unusual.'
“I looked at her as she spoke, and the expression of her face told that sleep had been to her a stranger. The eye was lustreless--the features had a disturbed character, and bold as the spirit was, it could not prevent the care-worn countenance from disclosing the secret of the heart.' “ • Know you, Carlotta, what occasioned last night's alarm?'
No, lady. The blame, whether right or wrong, has been laid upon the fellows who were left watching in the garden. They steadily deny the charge, but none believe them. Good frequently springs from evil; and, in the present instance, the Ranger to-night will have the garden to himself, for the watch kept there has, by the earl's orders, been discontinued. You will be presently summoned to the breakfast-room. Observe what
passes, and take care that nothing which may transpire shall hurry you into any display of feeling which might lead your enemies to suspect
you are not in utter ignorance not only of all that has passed, but all that is designed. I will come to you when the visiters are otherwise engaged—and the disclosure I was about to make last night shall be freely given when we are safe from interruption.'
“A knock at the door, which Carlotta had secured, announced that Susan had come to attend me.