Puslapio vaizdai

dors, or seemed destined to honors such as appeared to await this one. The passionate devotion of the father was constant from the beginning. It lasted even after he had been deserted and betrayed by the mother, after the child had been estranged and turned into an Austrian prince.


MANY addresses were sent congratulating the Emperor on the birth of his child. The most important was that from the Paris chamber of commerce, and to this he made a reply which attracted general attention. Its substance was the assurance that the Continental system had told heavily against England, whose storehouses were glutted with colonial wares and her own products, for which no market could be found. Declaring himself the successor of Charles the Great, Napoleon promised to have a navy in four years, and in ten years to ruin England. He boasted of his success in producing sugar from beets, of his own great wealth, and of Austrian bankruptcy. There are three versions of this famous talk, and in one of them are the words: «I showed mercy to the Emperor of Russia at Tilsit in return for his promises of help; but if those promises are not kept, I will go, if need be, to Riga, to Moscow, to St. Petersburg.» The utterances are both imperial and imperious, typical of dictatorial self-sufficiency.

Three points in the address demand attention: the absence of all reference to French finance, the ignoring of the ecclesiastical situation, and the threat against Russia. Metternich reported that, although France was the richest country in the world, her treasury was empty. There were receipts of 900,000,000 francs in 1811, but a deficit of 54,000,000 was threatened, the appropriations for army and navy having been raised from 510,000,000 to 650,000,000. Determined to make each generation pay its own expenses, the Emperor increased the indirect taxes, and instituted a state monopoly in tobacco. But the summer had been one long drought, and Russia did not import French silks and wines to the usual amount, so that the year closed with an actual deficit of 48,000,000. The wealth referred to by the Emperor was his own. Since his incarceration at Savona, the Pope, having steadily refused to institute the bishops nominated by Napoleon, not only still persisted in this, but now took higher ground, forbidding the chapters of both Italy and France to elect the imperial nominees as vicars capitular.

This was a rupture of the Concordat, and pious Catholics were very uneasy lest such a declaration of war should heighten the Emperor's bellicose humor. A church council was summoned, and proving as subservient to the secular authority as the Jewish Sanhedrim had been, its representations brought Pius VII. to terms. It is impossible to determine whether the threat against Russia was really made as represented, or whether the address to the chamber of commerce has not been confused with the speech from the throne made to the legislature when it opened in June. But, in either case, all Europe was convinced at the close of March that Napoleon was contemplating war against Russia.

Yet his position was far from fixed. Moved by paternal tenderness, he appears to have considered the possibility of merely holding what he had gained in order to consolidate his splendid empire for his heir. The mass of his army was withdrawn from central Europe, his demands on Prussia were diminished, and the indemnity fixed; Spain he hoped to pacify, feeling sure that Great Britain was weary of the bloody warfare in the peninsula, since she had finally consented to exchange prisoners on his terms; and he never doubted that his arrangements on the North Sea coast would finally be acceptable to the inhabitants. The indications that he realized his true situation are, however, stronger. He could not pause; too long his motto had been, «More beyond.»>> Sometimes the expression « Emperor of the Continent» escaped his lips; and in March orders were issued to fit out two naval expeditions, one against Sicily and Egypt, one against Ireland. He is reported to have said: «They want to know where we are going, where I shall plant the new Pillars of Hercules. We will make an end of Europe, and then, as robbers fling themselves on others less bold, we will fling ourselves on India.»> About the same time the Bavarian minister, pleading for peace, received the retort: <<Three years more, and I am lord of the universe.» Mollien thought war inadvisable on account of the fiscal disorders. «On the contrary,» said Napoleon, «the finances are falling into disorder, and for that very reason need war.»>

England, though hard pressed, was still undaunted. The doubtful personage was the Czar of Muscovy. He was now thirty-two. Fourteen years earlier he had associated much with Czartoryski, when undergoing the training for his destined rôle of enlightened despot. This Polish youth had conversed at length

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torial boundaries were a menace to Russia's schemes of aggrandizement. His adhesion to Napoleon's commercial system had proved too high a price to pay for Finland; neither Moldavia nor Wallachia was yet secured, and Oldenburg was incorporated in France. The Franco-Austrian alliance was a menace to all the Czar's schemes for the Balkan Peninsula. Czartoryski was recalled, and found his friend with drawn features and haggard eyes, an evident prey to fright. Beaten at his own game and humiliated, the ambitious philosophermonarch found himself compelled either to break with France or to keep his promises.

outwitted dupe. As it turned out, Napoleon suggested a counter-proposition, promising «never to give help or assistance to any power, or to any internal rising whatsoever, looking to a restoration of the kingdom of Poland.» A few days after the arrival of his despatch at St. Petersburg came the news of the Austrian marriage. The Czar at once took into consideration his future course. To Prince Galitzin he wrote concerning the expediency of restoring Poland, with himself as king; but after dallying with the idea for a time, he told Czartoryski that he could not consider restoring the P'olish provinces already incorporated in Russia,

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but that he might accept the crown of the grand duchy of Warsaw, including Galicia. A secret emissary was then despatched to Vienna to sound Francis: Austria was to be indemnified amply for Galicia in the partition of Turkey. But Francis remained mute, and the fencing between Paris and St. Petersburg was renewed. A rejoinder to Napoleon's counter-project was laid on his desk, which contained the identical words used before, << that the kingdom of Poland shall never be restored.» This persistence infuriated the recipient; he dictated a smooth reply, began to rouse public opinion in favor of war, strengthened certain of his fortresses, and sought a closer rapprochement with Austria. The negotiations with Russia continued, Russia insisting on the obnoxious phrase, France repelling the insinuation it contained.

Meanwhile Metternich, confident that in the partition of Turkey better terms could be obtained for Austria from Napoleon than from Alexander, was doing his utmost to embitter their relations. There was a strong Russian party in Vienna which was in close touch with the numerous Poles in Warsaw who looked to Alexander for the restoration of their country's integrity. In both places there was much talk of the restoration of Poland, in Warsaw especially, and the phrase was constantly in the newspapers. Alexander's ambassador in Paris made urgent representations concerning «a persistent rumor that the Emperor intends to restore Poland.» Napoleon retorted in fury, and threatened war, but immediately wrote a soothing assurance that he was still true to the engagements of Tilsit. On July 1, while the lines were in the copyist's hands, there occurred the incident which many thought at the time changed the course of history. During a magnificent festival given by the Austrian ambassador, the decorations in an open court caught fire, and the conflagration spread, enveloping the entire embassy. All the important guests escaped unhurt except Kourakine, the Russian ambassador, who was so injured that he could no longer perform his official duties. Almost immediately Napoleon's humor seemed to change; he curtly dismissed the Russian chargé d'affaires, and ended the negotiation. It was when this news reached St. Petersburg that Alexander a second time offered Norway to Sweden.

The cause of Napoleon's abrupt manner was the news communicated by Metternich that the Russian army had advanced successfully to the Danube. On July 17 Francis requested

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his new son-in-law to join him in a protest against the aggressions of the Czar. Napoleon honorably refused thus to rupture the Tilsit alliance, but said significantly to Metternich, «If Russia quarrels with us she will lose Finland, Moldavia, and Wallachia »; adding that if the Czar, contrary to his engagement of 1808, should seize anything south of the Danube, then he himself would intervene on Austria's behalf. But all Europe seemed convinced that war was inevitable. In all the watering-places the talk was of nothing else. The Russian party in Vienna grew bolder; Pozzo di Borgo, Napoleon's lifelong foe, who had been temporarily under a cloud in Russia, appeared in Vienna in his Russian uniform, courted and oracular. A French interpreter on his way to Persia was stopped by him, and bribed to enter the Russian service. Kourakine, partly recovered, was leaving Paris for home. Through him Napoleon called the Czar's attention to all the facts, and at the same time orders were sent commanding Caulaincourt to end all negotiation, and the Poles were peremptorily enjoined to silence.

Something of Alexander's secret diplomacy must have leaked out, but he appeared unmoved. He was steadily preparing for war, strengthening his fortresses, and locating fortified camps in the district between the Dwina and the Dnieper. But his chief concern was with Poland. Relying on the Jesuit influence for support against the jailer of the Pope, he again took up his old scheme and wrote to Czartoryski. But that nobleman, after a long residence in his native land, had learned how strong was the conviction of his countrymen that Napoleon would give them a more complete autonomy than the Czar, and accordingly he gave a discouraging reply. Alexander was determined that the coming war should be defensive on his part, and immediately opened communications with England and Sweden concerning the Continental system. Finally, in the closing days of the year, he issued a ukase excluding wines, silks, and similar luxuries from France, but facilitating the entry of the colonial wares in which England dealt. This was an act of open hostility to his old ally, a declaration of commercial war. Prussia immediately made semi-official advances to the Czar, but they were repelled.

It is not easy to estimate Napoleon's responsibility for what had happened and was about to happen. He was persistently domineering, contemptuous of national feeling and dynastic politics, over-confident in the

unswerving devotion of France, inflexible in his policy of territorial aggrandizement, ruthless in applying his infantile conceptions of finance and political economy, and pitiless in his own self-seeking. On the other hand, Alexander, having received Prussia's autonomy as his price, had proved an untrustworthy ally from the outset. Having seized Finland, he evaded the Continental system, and in the latest war between France and Austria had actually wooed the latter's favor. Procrastinating in the marriage affair, he displayed an insulting mistrust concerning Poland, and finally declared diplomatic war by his overtures to England and his secret tampering with Austria. This latter power had done its utmost to bring on a conflict, hoping to find her account in the dissensions of the two empires; and Sweden, under Bernadotte, was ready to do anything to strengthen the hands of Alexander and escape from French protection. On April 2, 1811, Napoleon admitted that war was inevitable. «It is all a scene in an opera,» he wrote, «and the English control the machinery.» A week later he notified Alexander that he was aware of the movement of Russian troops toward Poland, and declared that he, too, was preparing. Lauriston was sent to replace the too pacific Caulaincourt at St. Petersburg, and Champagny was replaced in the foreign office by the fiery Maret.

There was much to be done before the actual outbreak of hostilities. Prussia, with a new vigor born of self-denial, education, and passionate patriotism; Sweden, restless and uneasy under the yoke of Napoleonic supremacy; Denmark, friendly, but independent in her quasi-autonomy; the United States, chafing under the restriction of her commerce; Turkey, sick to death, but then as now pivotal in all European politics-the relation of all these powers to the coming conflict must be prearranged. The impending struggle was to be between two insatiate despotisms, one Western and modern, the other Oriental and theocratic. Napoleon dimly grasped the tendency of his own career; as Goethe said, «He lives entirely in the ideal, but can never consciously grasp it.» Unconsciously, too, Alexander the Great had fought for the extension of Greek culture; Cæsar, to destroy the stifling institutions of a worn-out system; Charles the Great, to realize the «city of God» on earth. Napoleon was fighting for nationality, individual liberty, popular sovereignty; had he been told so, he would have wondered what the words could mean.

English history is the story of her struggles

for nationality, for religious, civil, and political liberty, and for mercantile ascendancy. Her inborn longings for the highest civilization were not inconsistent with her grim determination to resist a system that stood on the Continent for progress, but which she had come to believe meant national ruin for her.

In January, 1812, Wellington stormed Ciudad Rodrigo; on April 6 Badajoz fell. Qn April 18 Napoleon offered terms of peace, Spain to be kept intact under Joseph, Portugal to be restored to the house of Braganza, Sicily to remain under Ferdinand, and Naples under Murat. Considering all the circumstances, the offer was worthy of consideration; but the English cabinet refused it. The possibility of peace with Great Britain being thus extinguished, Napoleon considered what course he should pursue toward the other Protestant land, which felt itself to be still struggling for life. Some well-informed persons asserted that at first the Emperor contemplated destroying the Hohenzollern power utterly. If so, he quickly dismissed the idea as involving unnecessary risk. With the reforms of Stein and Hardenberg successfully accomplished, with her educational system completed and her army reorganized, with her people electrified at last into true patriotism, Prussia was again a redoubtable power. Her influence permeated all Germany, and the secret associations which ramified everywhere labored for German unity, their members already dreaming of the Jura, Vosges, and Ardennes as the western frontier of their fatherland. At first Frederick William made overtures to the Czar, offering an army of 100,000 men. Alexander, desiring a purely defensive war, was cold; but late in 1811 he agreed, in case of an attack on Prussia, to advance as far as the Vistula, if possible.» Meantime Austria at first contemplated neutrality, but abandoned the policy when convinced that, whichever side should be victorious, Prussia would be dismembered. Francis saw Alexander's continued successes on the Danube with growing anxiety, and, learning that Napoleon would put 400,000 men into the field, determined that France must win. Accordingly, in March, 1812, a treaty was executed, which put 30,000 Austrian troops under Napoleon's personal command, and stipulated for Austria's enlargement by Galicia, Illyria, and even Silesia, under certain contingencies. During these negotiations Frederick William had learned how stupendous Napoleon's preparations were, and, with some hesitancy, he finally sent Scharnhorst to sound Austria. The result was determinative, and on February

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