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which have steadily tended to consolidate the Empire, and to enable it to surmount the difficulties by which it is threatened. En resumé it may be said that as regards internal policy, there is hardly room for speculation as to the course likely to be adopted by the Archduke should he become Emperor. But what of his external policy? It must, I think, be admitted that in this sphere his views seem more obscure and less definite. As I pointed out on a previous page, at one time, not so very long ago, the German Emperor supported the cabal of certain Archduchesses against Franz Ferdinand and his wife, its avowed object being to deprive them of their position. Consequently the Archduke regarded the German Imperial family with anything but friendly eyes. A striking instance of this hostility occurred in 1906, when the newspapers had announced that Franz Ferdinand was about to spend some days with his family at St. Moritz in Switzerland. On the eve of his departure he learnt that the German Crown Prince was also going to St. Moritz, and would be leaving Berlin on the same day that he was to leave Vienna. Accordingly the following paragraph appeared in the Austrian Press: "The German Crown Prince leaves Berlin to-day for St. Moritz where he will stay a week. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was to have gone to St. Moritz to-day, will delay his departure by a week."""
Ultimately the German Emperor became alarmed at the hostility of the
2 According to current gossip, the Archduke's irritation against the German Crown Prince had been stimulated by a trivial incident during that same year, 1906, when the Crown Prince, on returning from Gmunden, ordered lunch at the buffet at Veseli in Bohemia. The manager of the buffet, in honor of the occasion, spent 1200 francs in entertaining his royal guest, presenting the latter with a nominal bill for 120 francs, which however the Prince objected to as excessive, complained to the German Consul at Prague, and succeeded in getting the manager dismissed. The latter appealed to the Archduke, who secured his reinstatement.
Heir-Presumptive of Austria-Hungary towards the Hohenzollerns, and resolved coute que coute upon a reconciliation with which object he invited Franz Ferdinand to be his guest during the grand manoeuvres of the German army in Lorraine last autumn. Franz Ferdinand was more surprised than pleased by this overture which he met with marked reserve, and in the beginning of September it was freely stated in Vienna, in Berlin and in Munich that he would not go to Lorraine. His entourage were convinced that he would not participate in a demonstration on the soil of one of the annexed provinces, which was both inopportune and objectionable, and calculated to hurt the susceptibilities of France. But Wilhelm II., not to be denied, made an urgent appeal to the Emperor Francis Joseph to use his influence with his nephew, and the venerable monarch, incapable of denying anything to his tempestuous ally, earnestly endeavored to overcome the Archduke's objections. On September 10 it was announced that the Archduke had accepted the invitation of the German Emperor, to the great surprise of Court circles in Vienna. Baron von Aerenthal is believed to have backed the appeal of his Sovereign by the argument that at that particular moment the Dual Monarchy could not afford to exasperate William II. Franz Ferdinand's visit to the German manœuvres was short, and although the German Emperor was prodigal in his attentions and brimming over with amiability, it was thought that his guest remained an unwilling guest to the end, and that the relations between the two men never got beyond mere courtesy. It was, however, announced on September 30 that the German Emperor would shortly visit the Archduke at Eckartsau on the banks of the Danube, an indication of
more friendly relations than formerly between the two men.
The publication of the Imperial interview in the Daily Telegraph (October 28, 1908) made a painful impression on Franz Ferdinand who thought that William II.'s prestige must suffer severely at the very moment that for high political reasons he had sought a rapprochement. But events worked for the Kaiser, and the visit to Eckartsau in November cemented the friendship between guest and host, who was sensibly affected by the categorical undertakings of William II. to support Austria in the bold Balkan policy upon which she had embarked under the auspices of Baron von Aerenthal on the instigation of the Archduke. The reconciliation between Franz Ferdinand and the German Court was emphasized by the subsequent visit paid to the Heir-Presumptive and Princess Hohenberg at their Palace of Belvedere by the German Crown Prince during his stay in Vienna, already referred to.
There are those who maintain that this entente is purely political, that it was only effected for reasons of State, and was contrary to the personal sentiments of the Archduke, who, however, realized that the interests of AustriaHungary demanded close association with Germany. It is likewise affirmed that Franz Ferdinand only consented to "make it up" with the Hohenzollerns, whom he had cordially disliked, and who had disliked him, when it was demonstrated to him that British power was illusory. Who effected this conversion? I do not know. Possibly it was another of those German intrigues of which we have had such abundance of late years. The upshot is that for the time being the Archduke has abandoned his former prejudices, but we should bear in mind that he remains an ardent Catholic and an Austrian nationalist dreaming of a
greater Austria and that personally he is self-willed, determined, and anything but pliable. When he mounts the throne of the Hapsburgs, such a character cannot fail to be a considerable factor in international affairs. It might be interesting to speculate upon the probable relations of the future Austrian Emperor with the present German Emperor, the two men being so totally dissimilar; but time alone can solve the enigma. The future policy of the Dual Monarchy largely depends upon this relationship. The reconciliation of William II. with Franz Ferdinand should not make us forget their former hostility nor should we forget that the Archduke harbors
personal hatred towards either France or Great Britain. In fact he feels very much drawn towards both those countries-for France he has considerable sympathy, in spite of certain disquieting aspects of her internal policy, which naturally disturb his Catholic mind, and he thoroughly appreciates the loyalty of the French Government in foreign affairs, while he disapproves of the Bismarckian policy of Germany towards her neighbor. He is in favor of preserving the very friendly relations with England which have so long united the two reigning houses, as also the Governments of London and Vieuna, except for passing breezes. Such views scarcely accord with the vaulting ambition and passions of Germany, and they make all but the most dogmatic hesitate in forecasting the external policy of the future Emperor and King of AustriaHungary. Though a convinced German, Franz Ferdinand is a Catholic German who desires that the centre of German activity shall be Vienna rather than Berlin. Whereas the Emperor Francis Joseph has frequently subordinated Austro-Hungarian policy to the perilous impulses of his wayward neighbor, Franz Ferdinand is likely to
take a different view of the relative positions of the two Empires. For many years Austria has been the "brilliant second" of Germany, a rôle inacceptable to Franz Ferdinand, and, sooner or later, this capable and clearsighted Prince cannot fail to see that German Imperialism will either lead the Dual Monarchy to ruin or vassalage. Once he has grasped this fact, which is becoming ever more obvious to the intelligence of Austria and Hungary, it is not extravagant to anticipate that he will cease to regard the The National Review.
But Kitty did not go. While she was torn with doubts and scruples as to whether or not it might not be more advisable to break her promise to Stephen an important event took place. Mr. Raymond wrote to her father, making a formal proposal for the hand of Bess.
"It's the most preposterous thing I ever heard of," said Mr. Leslie, coming into the girls' sitting room. "I thought Raymond would have known better. He is just two years younger than myself-Two years! And he actually thinks I could consent to give him that child-that baby-why, she's not out of short frocks yet."
"I am," cried Bess, jumping up. "Oh, it's too bad; it really is too bad. The idea of his writing to you, Father! I dare say I'll never have a chance of another proposal and that he should go and spoil it all like this!"
Mr. Leslie gazed at her blankly; there were tears in her eyes.
"There's no need to be so much upset my dear," he said, mistaking the cause of her agitation. "Of course, I shall write at once-unless you would
compact between Bismarck Andrassy as an eternal political dogma outside which there is no prosperity or security for the Dual Monarchy.
Let us hope, in the interests of European peace, for a speedy awakening in Vienna, as the aggressive power of Germany depends upon the blind concurrence of Austria-Hungary.
Whatever may be the possible evolution of Austrian policy, it is the plain duty of France, England, and Russia to remain strong, as strength alone enables peoples to profit by events. André Méril.
prefer to do so," he added, his usual desire to shift a troublesome task on to other shoulders than his own rendering him for the moment oblivious of what was proper to the occasion.
"Of course I'll write," exclaimed Bess promptly. "But he is stupid-however I can tell him to come down and talk the matter over-that will be the best. I'll keep him in suspense a bit."
"No, no," said her father. "Far better to put the man out of pain at once."
"But I don't want to put him out of pain. I want him to be on tenterhooks till he comes down and meanwhile I can question my own heart."
Bess was beginning to enjoy herself. "Question your heart?" ejaculated Mr. Leslie, blinking at her. "You surely don't mean to say that you are thinking of accepting him.”
"I am thinking of it," returned his daughter. "I'm not quite sure whether I shall do it or not. He's a very nice man and I should feel very safe with him. It might be my duty. I shall just wait and pray for guidance," she added piously. "May I see his letter?"
Mr. Leslie drew an envelope from
his pocket and handed it to her. Then, after a pause, during which he had eyed his child with wondering dismay, he went out of the room, turning in the doorway to beg her hurriedly to be careful not to commit herself.
Bess nodded and drawing the letter from its cover read it carefully.
"Quite a nice document," she observed in a satisfied tone presently, "but it would have been much better if he said all those pretty things to me instead of to poor, dear Father. He never appreciated me, so of course he can't appreciate them."
"Bess," said Kitty, speaking for the first time, "you don't seriously intend to marry a man nearly thirty-five years older than yourself?"
"Is it as much as thirty-five!" returned Bess. "Well, you know, there's a proverb about it's being better to be an old man's darling than a young man's slave. Mr. Raymond is very nice and very kind and very, very rich, and fifty-two isn't really old-and perhaps nobody else may turn up. That is the point, you see. Our season in London was a desperate failure-no doubt about that. And who do we see here who are we likely to see? There's Teddy of course-Teddy does very well to play about with-but he hasn't a penny, and he'll probably be in love a dozen times before he mar ries anyhow. I come first on the list so I don't stand much chance, even if I did wait till he made a fortune."
She walked to the window and looked out, drumming on the pane.
"But Bess you don't-you can't-love Mr. Raymond?" faltered Kitty.
Bess turned round; the sunshine piercing through the mullioned window made a nimbus of her ruffled curls; her tone and attitude were in keeping with this sanctified effect.
"The companionship of the mind," she observed, "comes next to the companionship of the heart. In some
cases it is what is best for one. dare say my soul will be the gainer, Kitty dear. But I shall be better able to decide when he comes."
In answer to Mr. Raymond's proposal she composed a very pretty, diffident little letter, which, while it made no definite promise, did not debar her elderly admirer from hoping, and moreover gave him permission to pay his addresses in person.
"I'll tell him he'd better put up at the Crown, though," she observed. "We couldn't make him really comfortable here; besides, we might have too much of him," she added, with engaging candor.
Kitty came flying across the room. "Oh, Bess, tear up that letter, do! You can't even like him or you wouldn't talk of him like that."
"Don't take me up so," ejaculated Bess, wriggling out of her embrace. "I must have a little time to myself. I must be free from-from-his personal influence if I'm to keep my mind clear. It's an important decision, you know. There don't-don't worry me I really can't be worried" she added, with an unconscious and ridiculous imitation of her father's manner.
Kity forbore to press her further, but remained very anxious during the next few days. Her own personal doubts and fears were forgotten in her dread of an unwise decision on the part of her cherished little sister.
When Mr. Raymond arrived he was quick to note the nervous, almost suspicious, manner in which Kitty watched his advances, and in the course of the evening startled her by saying:
"I see that you are no ally of mine." "I don't quite admit that," returned she quickly, "it is only-oh, Mr. Raymond I can't help feeling that Bess is so young!"
"And I am so old," he added, half sadly. "Do you suppose I don't real
ize it? If it had not been for that, I should have spoken before you left London. I was much tempted to do so, but was held back by this very consideration. Yet on reflection-on calm reflection, I decided that it might not be altogether such a bad thing for her."
"Oh, how can you tell?" cried Kitty impulsively. "She can't know her own mind yet. Supposing she were to marry you now-before she was twenty she might discover that you were the wrong man."
"That would be very sad," agreed Mr. Raymond. "But, on the other hand, you see she might find out that I was the right one. I should try and make sure of that. I think I understand her perhaps better than any one else could. I should know how to-be forbearing. I think I could make her happy-I think-I think in time her nature would expand. It is a rich nature-full of possibilities. You will excuse me for saying that no one has as yet plumbed its depths."
Kitty was astonished and somewhat abashed. She had not as yet discovered that these depths existed.
"You have made a plaything of her," pursued the wooer, "she is well adapted for play, but, later on-with scope "
He stopped abruptly, for at that moment Bess, strolling across the room, seized Kitty's finger and described a rapid circle with it her lips moving inaudibly the while. Kitty jerked away her hand and rose.
"It is too late to play games now, and besides, Father wants me."
"How tiresome of you!" exclaimed Bess pouting. "I wanted to see if Mr. Raymond would guess. You can't have forgotten already?" she added, turning to him.
The door was already closing behind her sister, and Mr. Raymond quietly took possession of Bess's own hand.
"Yes, I guess," he said. "It is the left hand, isn't it? And you have been drawing a ring?"
"Oh, you're not going to speak now," cried Bess in alarm. "Don't do it now. I want you to approach very gently and give me lots of time. You mustn't take everything for granted like that-talking about rings already. Besides, I don't want you to propose in here I want it to be out-of-doors-in the garden-by moonlight, perhaps -that's how I should like it."
"You haven't thought of what I should like, have you?" said he. "It is very pretty play, Bess-but this is a serious matter for both of us."
Bess looked up at him with round solemn eyes and a pursed mouth; she was rather paler than usual.
"You must know me pretty well by this time," he went on, "and I think I know you. But one thing I don't know yet-could you learn to love me, Bess?"
Bess, becoming more and more serious, nodded without speaking.
"Ah, but wait a bit," he went on quickly. "I want you to realize what you are doing. You are scarcely more than a child, and yet-and yet from the moment you agree to be my wife you accept the responsibilities of a woman. I am too old for you-I know it-much too old-but I think I could make you happy. I will not insult you by talking of what I could give you-what I could do for you-in a material way, I mean, because I know you well enough to realize that such considerations would have no weight with you; but-"
"Mr. Raymond," said Bess, and then stopped short, breathing very quickly. Large tears were standing on her pink cheeks; all her little affectations had dropped from her. Suddenly, rushing past him, she flung herself in a corner of the sofa, burying her head in the cushions; he hurried after her in