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should govern annexations, the same habits, the same national spirit, and the free will of the inhabitants. These paragraphs of the circular have been the subject of much comment, and have been understood to point to the Rhine and Belgium. No doubt, if circumstances permitted, France would wish to annex these territories, and the pamphlet of Mr. Pope Hennessey may possibly be a feeler with regard to the Rhine; but we must remember that Belgium exists under our guarantee, and the Rhine is an integral part of Prussia. In no case has Louis Napoleon acted unfaithfully to us, and in no part of the circular is there any menace to any foreign power. So long as things remain as they are there is no chance of aggression ; but should divisions ensue in Germany, and any wish to join France be manifested in the Rhine provinces, we can hardly believe that so national a sovereign as the Emperor would fail to profit by circumstances which may arise. One of the wisest and boldest parts of the circular is where he states the mission of France to be to aid and to direct the democratic movement now taking place in Europe, and thus to take away from “the revolution," i.e. the ultra-Liberal party, the prestige of the patronage with which they pretend to cover the cause of Liberty; and thus the great Powers which are sufficiently enlightened will keep in their hands the wise direction of the democratic movement which is now taking place in Europe. The adoption of the weapons which have proved so decisive of the fate of empires in the last few months, is announced as a matter of course to satisfy the alarms of the French people, but the details of the measure consequent upon this and the reorganisation of the army have not yet been announced. A feeler has, however, been put out by an article in the newspaper of M. Emile de Girardin, by which it would appear that a modification of the Landwehr system is to be adopted in France, which will furnish, in case of need, nearly one million of men instructed in military exercises. The allusion in the circular to one more of the great European difficulties having been resolved without any very considerable amount of disturbance, makes us naturally ask when all those thorny questions will be settled, which for the last fifty years have kept all the European nations in a state of armed truce. America has the advantage over us. Her difficulties were soon over, her enormous army could be immediately disbanded, her powerful fleet quickly laid up, and no heavy tax laid upon her industry to keep up armaments to watch her neighbours. Then the United States are one powerful state on the American continent, surrounded by weak ones; a very safe position, which the Monroe doctrine is intended to perpetuate. In Europe, however, we have had all sorts of difficulties, and a number of almost equally powerful States, having sources of disagreement among them, which could hardly have been settled by a peaceable solution. There were the Italian and the German questions, now happily disposed of, and there remains still the Eastern question, as one of first-class magnitude. There are signs that it is approaching maturity, and we must all heartily wish that such may be the case.

Until it is settled there can be no important diminution of military and naval armaments by the great Powers of Europe; and nearly three times the total produce of our present income-tax must be expended beyond what would otherwise be needed to keep up our land and sea forces. If this unfortunate question, then, were once resolved, what taxes might be remitted, what an improvement in the condition of our working classes, what progress in the payment of the national debt! Until this question VOI.. VI.



be settled, we must go on devoting our best energies to providing ourselves with the most murderous weapons, and, as a nation, sheathing ourselves with steel like a knight of the middle ages. What a lamentable and ridiculous result for the civilisation of the nineteenth century! Let us get out of our false position as fast as we can, and to do this we must promote to the utmost of our power the solution of the Eastern question ;—but warily, cautiously, longsightedly, remembering that the island England is the heart of the body politic; but that we have a distant empire, where our interests and our honour are deeply engaged, the safety of which must not be compromised by any arrangements which may be entered into.

The most fortunate man in Europe is probably at this moment the King of PRUSSIA. If the saying be true, that no man can be said to be fortunate until he dies, it may also be said with equal truth that it is only when a man is in the grave that we can say whether he has been unfortunate or not. Fortune is in truth a fickle goddess, who seldom favours those in old age who have not known how to win her in their youth; but this rule, too, is not without exceptions, as has been proved by the example of the King of Prussia.

This monarch, who is close upon seventy, has neither been fortunate in youth nor in manhood. He was brought up with excessive strictness and pedantry, and had to listen from his childhood upwards to the reproach that his elder brother, the late Frederick William IV., surpassed him in every kind of talent.

He threw himself with more industry than ability into military studies, commanded for thirty years at numberless parades, unceasingly busied himself with military details, often plagued both himself and his soldiers with very unnecessary matters, and knew so much about every regimental button of the whole of the Prussian army, that he at last thought himself a great general, and yearned after the moment in which he would be able to measure his strength and that of his army with some enemy, which he would have preferred to be France. He had taken part in the war of independence against Napoleon, but only in his youth, when he occupied a subordinate position which gave him no scope for the development of his military talents. He therefore wished for a great war, but long wished for it in vain. Instead of a war, the revolution of 1848 broke out. He could now only employ the military qualities which he had hoped to use against a foreign enemy, against the revolutionists who fought at the barricades in Berlin, but, whether he was seized with a sudden fit of tardiness, or was obliged to follow the orders of his royal brother, he allowed the people who attacked the palace to enter it, instead of defending it to the utmost, while he fled to London in order to avoid the unpopularity which was attached to his name.

In fighting the revolutionists of Baden he also won no laurels. The revolutionary army which had collected round the remnants of the Frankfort Parliament was, it is true, at length dispersed, but the Prussians, whose numbers were ten times those of the enemy, suffered reverses in this unequal contest which they would never have been exposed to under more skilful leadership, and the Prusian military tribunals acted with such severity against the vanquished under the presidency of the prince, that the latter is to this day cordially detested in the whole of Southern Germany, and especially in Baden.

At court in Berlin his position was also anything but a pleasant one. He had for years been on terms of merely formal courtesy with his brother, whose character was the very opposite of his own; and his position became utterly intolerable in consequence of the coldness which existed between his wife and the queen. He came more and more seldom to Berlin, where the Kreuzzeitung party intrigued against him at court unceasingly, and often in the coarsest way. The heir presumptive thus lived in a sort of exile; and the childless king, although he had long been sickly, would not die. At length he was attacked by a disease of the brain, which made it necessary to establish a regency, and from that time forward the life of the prince, now King William I., became a brighter one; for, thanks to the evil reputation which attached to his former opponents, the Kreuzzeitung men, in the whole country, he at length attained a certain popularity, and entered on the duties of the regency accompanied by the best wishes of the people.

King William is a man who cannot very well do without popularity; the first days of his regency were therefore perhaps the happiest he had known since he was a boy. Unfortunately his happiness was not of long duration. He could not agree with the Liberal party and the weak-minded Ministers with which it had provided him, and by degrees he fell into the power of those very Kreuzzeitung men who had embitttered his life when he was Crown Prince, and who at length pressed upon him Herr von Bismarck as Premier. It cost him a hard struggle before he could decide on such an appointment, and it gave him great pain to perceive that though he desired nothing more than to be honoured as the father of his people, he was no longer cheered by his Berliners in the streets ; but he was still impressed with the firm conviction that all he had done was for the good of his country.

Fortunate old man! that which he had aspired to for half a century has been given him towards the decline of his life : first, a little war against Denmark, and a short time after a great, unprecedently glorious and brilliant war against Austria, the formidable neighbour of Prussia in Germany. He has hailed his son and the princes of his house as victors on the battle-field of Königgrätz, where he himself nominally held the chief command; he has made Prussia the master of Germany and the powerful neighbour of France; he has (as he may himself honestly believe) been selected by God as the special instrument of his providence; he has proved to his people that he understands more about military matters than the Liberal deputies in the Chamber, who wished to baulk his plan for the organisation of his army; and he has finally entered his capital in triumph at the head of his victorious troops, in the midst of the enthusiastic rejoicings of the whole population, which is generally not over-disposed to make any very strong demonstrations of feeling. These are in truth moments of great happiness, such as few monarchs have enjoyed at so advanced an age.

The military solemnity was worthy of the occasion. When 208 guns, taken from the enemy in a few days, can be placed side by side as trophies, while the enemy cannot boast of a single gun won in battle from his adversary, the victory really requires no further ornament. But Berlin is rich in artists and the taste for art; the space between the Brandenburg-gate and the Castle is perhaps more suitable than any that can be found in the other capitals of Europe for holiday pomp; the troops richly deserved to have an unequalled reception; and so universal is the enthusiasm in the country in consequence of

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its increase of power that no unpleasant remembrance of the past, no anxious cares for the future, diminish the general exultation. Those two days were indeed such holidays as had perhaps not been seen since the triumphal processions of ancient Roi before it fell through the self-will of its Cæsars.

Similar rejoicings, though accompanied by less magnificence, celebrated the return of the troops to the other larger and smaller towns of the monarchy. These were no demonstrations got up to order, as often happens; no sham festivals prepared by the authorities, at which the people, always glad to see a show, collect in crowds, without thinking or feeling much about its object; they were real national holidays, at which wives could at length again embrace their long absent husbands, fathers their sons, sisters their brothers, and maidens their lovers. In such happy moments the severest of Catos does not think of what and who brought on the war, of broken treaties, violated rights, and diplomatic disputes, regarding the Power by whom this war was begun. Individual feelings are stronger than feelings of right, and those who are happy prefer to look before than behind. Notwithstanding this, it is remarkable that at most of the solemnities which have been celebrated in Prussia, during the last few days, Count Bismarck, the creator of the present situation, has been less honoured than might have been expected. If the Prussian people cannot shut out the fact that it has to thank the determination of this man above all for its brilliant successes on the fields of diplomacy and battle, its moral instinct yet recoils from burning too much incense before him. Prussia has not yet reached the stage of unconditional adoration for him; nor has it lost all remembrance, in the noise of victory and power, of the events of the last four years.

As for the Count himself, it must be said to his honour that there is a remarkable change in his conduct towards the Chamber. Since the world has bowed down before his successes, and in its often only too extravagant praises of his genius seemed to have done its utmost to make him haughty and arrogant, he appears before the representatives of the people with far more moderation and modesty than before. His object is unmistakably to foster the harmony which has lately sprung up between them and the Government in order to be able to show to foreign powers a Prussia united on all sides. He is not nearly so intoxicated with victory as the masses, and thinks of the possible conflicts which Prussia may yet have to endure before she consolidates her power and realises his ultimate aim, namely, her dominion over the whole of Germany. He is, therefore, only consistent from his own point of view when he asks the Chamber for supplies, in order that Prussia might be armed against all eventualities, both militarily and financially. He requires that from 30,000,000 to 40,000,000 of thalers may be always lying in the treasury at the disposal of the Government, and evidently looks upon this perpetu as equally important with the king's new reserve battalions. From his own point of view he is undoubtedly right. At the same time no Minister has ever asked in time of peace for a more important vote of confidence, and it will be difficult to find an instance in the history of Constitutional States where a free representative assembly has agreed to such a demand. It means nothing less than asking for the most unconditional support to the future policy of the Government, and for the restoration of the Chamber to such a position that the Government might be able to conduct its foreign policy and wage war on its own account, and against the will of the Chamber. To this, however, Count



Bismarck replied that such confidence is necessary in order to steer Prussia clear of the dangers which still threaten her, and that the ministry had shown itself worthy of this degree of confidence by its acts. He urged the House to consider the Bill from a political stand-point, and place the Government in a position to defend what had been gained. He maintained that the spirit of conciliation had not yet entered the Imperial Court of Vienna with the conclusion of peace; that the Eastern question might lead to serious European difficulties; and that in time of danger, with the money-market in an unfavourable condition, the Government would not be able to raise a loan. Should no such circumstances arise, no money would be expended by the Government without the approval of the House. He concluded by appealing once more to the House to trust the Government, and by declaring that the Ministry accepted the compromise as proposed by Mr. Michaelis' amendment. This amendment was passed on the 25th instant by a large majority, and thus the danger of another interminable conflict between the Government and the Chamber has been removed.

Count Bismarck does not show himself so yielding to the King of Saxony as he does to the Chamber. Notwithstanding the high protection which the latter has obtained from the Austrian and French Courts, he will in the end have to accept the terms offered him by Prussia. In some subordinate matters probably some concessions will be made to him (thus, perhaps, he will be allowed to keep a small detachment of his troops as a guard for his palace in Dresden); but this will make no difference in the main point, and the nominally independent king will practically become a vassal of Prussia, when his army has sworn allegiance to King William I., and the diplomatic representation of his country has passed into Prussian hands. There is already talk of increasing the Saxon army under the leadership of Prussia, of nearly doubling the present military budget, and of organising the army after the Prussian model. If it is further considered that Dresden will be converted into a fortress, it will not be too much to say that the King of Saxony will henceforward be far more like a prisoner of war than an independent monarch; and if we take away the shadow of sovereignty which is left to him, he is but little better off than the sovereigns of Hanover, Cassel, and Nassau, whose territories have been declared forfeit; and as regards any hopes he may have for the future, we really, now that matters have arrived at their present state, have no wish that such hopes may be realised. As the development of Germany proceeds, the King of Saxony will have to be satisfied if in a few years he is permitted, like the Elector of Hesse Cassel, to reside as a wealthy private gentleman in one of his palaces.

There is as little that is definite and satisfactory to report from Austria now as there was a fortnight ago. No ray of light has yet penetrated the chaos which prevails there. While the state of siege is still maintained at Vienna, the Czechs have shown by their recent abominable persecutions of the Jews at Prague, that they are more fitted for the times of Ziska than for our modern civilisation; and the conduct of the Magyars at Pesth proves that they are determined to take every advantage of the difficulties of the Hofburg at Vienna. The withdrawal of Count Esterhazy from the government, in which he had no ostensible place, but was only thereby enabled to exercise with greater effect his prejudicial influence, may doubtless be looked upon as the sign of a liberal tendency; but beyond this nothing tangible has as yet occurred, and the dis

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