« 上一页继续 »
tria nube .'" Austria grew in body, not in mind; she had the physical strength of a giant, and the Soui of an infant. The different nationalities of her people coexisted, but were stunted in their growth, and recognised no historical necessity of combination.
But this was not the only fault of Austria and the House of llapsburg. To the crimes of omission must yet be added those of commis■ion in Germany. The House of Hapsburg comprehended its mission in Central Europe as little as that on the confines of the two continents. Jealous of the petty princes of Germany, it yet never had the courage and power to subdue them. It sought possession, and not power; territory rather to divide among children, than national character and elevation. It traded away whole provinces of the German empire for family possessions in Italy, lost Switzerland by its tyranny, the northern provinces and the Alsace by inactivity and military blunders, and at last, from sheer impotency, was content to share its power with one of its rebellious vassals.* The best opportunity for Austria to consolidate the German empire into an hereditary instead of elective monarchy, was offered her in the Thirty Years' War; but even then, when a multitude of circumstances combined to favour her aspirations, she had not the moral courage to will it; but rather sought safety from herself in the assassination of her successful general, f "That the House of Hapsburg never had a mission to rule Germany," wrote Gentz, the secretary of Prince Metternich, in 1806, to Johannes Von Mcller, the historian, "appears to me evident, from the fact that it was never able to reduce Germany to an hereditary monarchy." The fact is, the House of Hapsburg bethought itself of its own hereditary possessions, and was always ready to sacrifice the interests of the elective crown of Germany to those of the members of its own family.
The French Revolution found Austria entirely unprepared for the crisis, and her repeated defeats sufficiently evinced that she was unable to resist the new ideas of the age; while, at the same time, she had not the courage to adopt and guide them. The battle of Austerlitz, and the subsequent battles of Auerstaedt and Jena, terminated the existence of the German empire; but the Austrian monarchy still continued as a separate European power.
The war of 1812, '13, '14, and '15, brought a new element into play; it was that of the roused nationality of the Germans. It was the enthusiasm of united Germany on which Austria herself was borne along, which drove
* Frederic of Prussia. f The Duke of Wallenstein.
Napoleon back across the Rhine ; it was "the power of liberal ideas in Germany," as the proud conqueror himself admitted, that lost his cause on the battle-fields of Leipsic and Hanau. But no sooner was the dnnger passed, than Austria and Prussia relapsed into their former state of torpor. Austria, at the Congress of Vienna, preferred to consolidate her own hereditary monarchy, to presiding over the destinies of regenerated Germany; and the Emperor Francis declared to the deputies of the Hanse Towns, that he had not yet made up his mind, whether he would accept his old office (!)—the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. For the purposes of military defence against France and her liberal ideas, the German confederation of Frankfort-on-the-Maine was formed, which deprived the smaller states of Germany of the means of entering into alliances with foreign powers: but nothing was done to secure the progress or consolidation of Germany herself. Austria and Prussia alternately were made to preside over the confederation ; twenty millions of Germans were left at the mercy of petty princes, and exposed to their rapacious extortions. To secure the attachment of these princes to the House of Hapsburg and Brandenburg, it was urged that they should form themselves into miniature constitutional monarchies, in order that their power should be broken by the antagonism of the people, and depend for its existence on the preponderance of Austria and Prussia as European powers. So fur the diplomacy of Metternich.
The revolution of 1830 exhibited the weakness of Germany to a lamentable extent; but the joint action of Austria and Prussia, together with the reactionary movements of Louis Philippe himself, preserved the peace of Europe. The last struggle was made by Poland against Russia. Had that struggle succeeded, the policy of Austria might possibly have changed; she might then have become a Sclavonic empire, instead of a Russian province. Metternich, at that time, felt some conservative compunctions. He saw that if Poland were crushed, it would be incorporated into the Russian Empire, and the old diplomate had a sincere dread and hatred of the Czar. But his dread of him was greater than his hatred; and thus he again consigned himself to inactivity, and awaited the progress of events. The utmost action to which the court of Vienna and its chancellor could be roused, was an offer of mediation despatched to Prince Paskewich before Warsaw. The Prince received the letter from the Austrian courier; but being in the act of arranging the storm on Praga, he invited the messenger to wait till ho should be at leisure to read it. Praga fell, and with it the devoted city of the Polish heroes. The mediation was then declined, as no longer necessary. Bat Russia did not forget the disposition of Austria, and determined to give her officious neighbour a taste of revolution in her turn.
The revolution of Cracovia of 17th and 21st February, 1840, soon spread into Austrian Galicia, and crossing the Carpathian Mountains, planted the germ of insurrection in Hungary. The Magyars holding, in regard to Austria, pretty much the same position which Poland held to Russia, only unsubdued and undivided in their strength, had expressed their liveliest sympathy for the Poles from the commencement of the first revolution; and this new outbreak, and the dastardly means resorted to by Austria to suppress it, excited a bitterness of feeling, and a contempt for the Austrian government, which it became manifest would sooner or later prove destructive to the whole monarchy. It is well known that Austria, finding herself too weak to suppress the revolution of Galicia by military force, excited the peasantry to rovolt against their lords, and by a universal massacre, stilled the sentiment of independence, in the spirit of assassination and plunder. A universal cry of horror pervaded the monarchy at tho sight of these atrocious proceedings; but Austria heeded it not. The Hungarian nobles saw their own fate written on the wall. From that moment they prepared for their defence, and sacrificed the distinction of caste to the consolidation and homogeneity of their country. The peasants became proprietors in fee-simple; the feudal system gave way to the national elevation of a whole people.
The revolution of Cracovia found Russia Bo well prepared, that the tranquillity of her own Polish provinces was not disturbed for a single moment; nay more, Russia warned Austria to be prepared, and offered her then, as subsequently in the Hungarian struggle, a division of her army. Metternich declined the offer; hi* national pride went just far enough to prefer the employment of his own Polish Lazzaroni to the aid proffered by the Emperor of Russia. The murders and assassinations then committed under the sanction of the Austrian government, drove many Polish nobles of Galicia into
Russia, where they were hospitably received. Austria paid her butchers at the rate of ten florins a head! The charge was publicly made
at the time in the French Chamber, and remained uncontradicted, except by a few newspaper articles in the Vienna papers.
It was now clear that Galicia, with her four millions of people, was reduced to a conquered province, but Austrian dominion over her extended no further than the reach of Austrian bayonets. That province was now sympathizing
with Russia, rather than with the unnatural tyrant. If doomed to be crushed by despotism, the Poles preferred that which was coupled with unity of race, and with the prestige of a great destiny. On that side, then, Austria was undermined by her powerful Russian neighbour. Metternich saw it; but had not the energy to resist it. His puorile fears of liberty occupied him in Germany and Italy, and rendered him moro apprehensive of the mob of Paris, than of the powdered Tamerlan in St. Petersburg. He was now old and decrepit. The dissipations of his youth, which had onco nearly cost him his life, while minister to the French Republie,* had sapped his energy, and he was
s i i escaped with a sound drubbing, periodically re'
loath to change a policy which he had pursued with so much apparent success for the doubtful result of a new one. He saw the storm brewing, and felt that Austria would perish in it; but he counted the span of life still left him, and, satisfied that it would be spent before the revolutionary waves would dash his ship of state to pieces, he adopted the motto: "Apria mot It dtluge!"
Meanwhile Hungary woke to a sense of her power and consequence. She saw Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Galicia, every other province under the Austrian sceptre, wither and decay. She felt that herself must be infected before long, and resolved on achieving her national independence. By her ancient constitution, and the pragmatic sanction of Charles VI., the emperors of Austria were the hereditary kings of Hungary; but Hungary still existed as a separate kingdom, and was, as such, entitled to a separate government. It had been the studied plan of Austria not to Germanize Hungary (for herself was in too great a part composed of Sclavonic races to do so); but to merge the Hungarians gradually into Austrian tubjtcti. This course, more than any actual oppression, roused the national feelings of the Magyars, who, in turn, demanded every year greater concessions from the crown, as a means of preserving and fostering their separate national existence. The proceedings of the Diet were carried on in Latin; the Magyars insisted they should be carried on in the Hungarian language. The officers of state corresponded with each other in Latin or German; the Magyars substituted the Hungarian, and fostered the language by the institution of an academy of language and science, which exists to this day. They insisted on the right to officer their own regiments, and of substituting the Hungarian language for the German in the Hungarian army. The very inscriptions of coins were to be in Hungarian; while the splendid improvements of Pesth retained the rich Hungarian nobles during the winter in their own capital, instead of seeking dissipation, and finding political corruption, in the avenues to the court of Vienna. All these movements excited the jealousy and fear of Austria, as it was plain that Hungary was only hanging by a thread to the Austrian monarchy, which the first political event of any magnitudo might sever and divide for ever.
Then came the revolution of 1848 which, in an incredibly short time, convulsed the whole of
peated for several hours, for invading the private rights of • general of the republic, and was only rescued by the ingenuity of Josephine, who was gracious enough to require the general's immediate presence.
! Europe. Germany and Italy rose from the Rhine and the Alps to the sea-shore, claiming constitutional governments, in conformity with the spirit of the age and the progress of education of the human race. Austria and Prussia were revolutionized; but by far the most important event was the attempt of the Germans, by and with the consent of their princes, to establish a central German government, through a national German parliament. This was the period at which Hungary, if she had so desired it, could have attained her entire independence; but this was not the object of the Magyars. As a truly generous nation, their loyalty to the House of Hapsburg grew with the difficulties with which the emperor was now surrounded. They merely asked for a responsible ministry chosen from their own people, and literally overwhelmed Archduke Stephen, the Palatin of Hungary, with tokens of fidelity and devotion. Neither did tho Magyars show themselves incapable of appreciating and acting in accordance with the new state of things. They at once recognised the central German government, sent diplomatic agents to Frankfort-onthe-Maine, to welcome united Germany to her achievements, and declared themselves the fast friends of civilization and order. They invited their king, as emperor of Germany, to follow his historical mission, and attach himself warmly and faithfully to the German cause. Germany and Hungary united would have been able to defy Russia, and with her the whole train of Asiatic barbarism.
In proof of this, tho Deputy Gorovfi introduced the following resolution into tho Hungarian Diet: "The Union of Germany is to spread civilization eastward, and Hungary is bound to assist her. Mettcrnich's infamous policy has caused the intervention against liberty in Italy and Spain—he it was who co-operated with a power which is threatening the whole of civilized Europe. When France shall have consolidated her power, when social democracy shall have been spread over Spain, Portugal, and Italy, Germany and Hungary will spread it over the east. The House of Representatives therefore ought to recognise the intimate union of interests which exists between the Germans and the Magyars." Count Teleky Laszlo supported the resolution, and spoke as follows: "It is impossible not to support the resolution. I desire that, since the alliance between Germany and Hungary has been manifested by the rising of all the members of the German Parliament, we now acknowledge in the same solemn manner our obligation in regard to Germany." (Here the whole House of Deputies rose as one man.) The noble Count then proved that the Austrian ministry at Vienna did not comprehend tho
position of Germany, of Hungary, or its own. "It is plain," he said, "that the ministry in Vienna looks to St. Petersburg, and that it seeks an alliance with Russia. If Austria does not unite with Germany, she will become a subordinate ally of Russia, and at last one of her provinces."
These were the predictions of the Hungarians in March, 1848, and they prove that the nation fully comprehended its position; while at the same time it explains the sympathy for their cause in Germany, and the devotion to them manifested by the heroic population of Vienna.
The Emperor, at first, yielded to the just demands of the Hungarians—demands which they had a right to make in virtue of a constitution existing for more than three centuries: but in the midst of their successes and the successes of the liberal party in Germany, n counter revolution was meditated by a camarilla, at the head of which was the Bavarian Princess Sophia, sister-in-law to Emperor Ferdinand and mother of the present Emperor Francis Joseph I. The camarilla itself was, beside the Duchess, composed of the following persons,—Archduke Lewis of Austria, uncle to Emperor Ferdinand and grand uncle to the present Emperor Francis Joseph, Marshal Radetzki, the Ban Jellachich (the rumoured lover of the Duchess), Count Windischgratz, Count Stadion, the author of the new Austrian constitution and the author of the assassinations in Galicia, the false liberal Dr. Bach, Schmerling, the Austrian minister at the old Germanic Confederation in Frankfort-on-the-Maine, and Professors Endlicher and Hye. This camarilla has since recruited itself by new acquisitions, the most important of which is Marshal, then General, Baron Haynau.
The first object of the camarilla was to put down the liberal movement in Hungary; but, above all things, to destroy the separate national existence of that country. The Hungarians, ss a separate nation, might not be willing to aid in the subjugation of Italy—they might, in a popular movement, side with Germany against Austria proper;—and above all things, they might join the Poles in a last death-struggle for liberty and independence. With a view, then, to break down the Magyar nationality, and to provincialize so important a portion of the monarchy, the now Austrian constitution was framed by Count Stadion, and promulgated. This had a double aim. First, by granting a constitution by his own free voice and pleasure, the Emperor did not recognise the right of the people to demand it. The new constitution T»as not a concession to the demands of the people, joined to their power to onforce them; but a royal gift, which ingratitude on the part of his subjects might induce the Emperor, by
the same free will and power, to revoke. The second end to be attained was the destruction of the constitution of Hungary proper, and her assimilation to the Sclavonic and other provinces of the empire.
Those who had matured that plan had no idea that it could be executed peaceably. They understood the fiery character of the Magyar race too well to expect a quiet submission on their part to a eharte pctrogfe of a prince of Hapsburg. Hence the necessity of bringing the Ban Jellachich into the movement. He was the third officer of the Hungarian crown; and feuds between the Sclavonic tribes and the Magyars had been entertained for a long while not only by the government of Austria, but by that of Russia. The Croatians and Sclavonians sympathize with the Russians, not only from consanguinity, but also in part, at least, from religion. In many of the villages in the Bannat, the peasants were in a habit of praying on Sundays for "their Czar," the head of their church, who, in return for their loyalty, gave them the money to build Greek churches to worship God and the head of their church, according to the dictates of their priesthood. Many loyal Magyars were opposed to this proceeding, and frequent had been the conflicts between the loyal subjects of the two emperors. Sound policy would have required the Emperor of Austria to favour the Magyars; but he could never rise to a statesmanlike consideration of his monarchy. The question with him was simply which of his subjects were least disposed to insist on a liberal form of government; and finding the Croats and Sclavonians the least civilized population of Austria, he, or rather the camarilla, conceived the thought of making the Ban Jellachich the pillar of the new Austrian empire. By taking this step Austria has committed an act of high treason, not only against liberty and the political progress of the age, but against religion and civilization. She, the outpost of civilization, planted by Charlemagne as a tower of strength against the inroad of Asiatic barbarians, has herself conspired with those very barbarians, and their kindred nations, to crush the superior civilization and progress of her educated people. She basely betrayed Germany, Italy, Hungary, to the savages in epaulettes.
But the camarilla had not the courage openly to hoist the flag of despotism. This was only done in Italy by Radetzki, a native of Galicia, who, whatever may be said of his cruelty, was only a fair representative of Austrian views on civil and military government. He is, beyond a doubt, the best general in the Austrian army ;—a faithful adherent to the imperial house, and all its fortunes, and in his private relations, a man of strict probity. The flogging
protect his faithful subjects. This aid was promised; but in the mean time every encouragement given to the Croatian insurgents. Deputations were then sent to Vienna to ascertain the true position of the Emperor and King; but the latter had in the mean time fled to Inspruck. Ho fled not from the Hungarians; but from his own guilty conscience. The camarilla fled with him. The Hungarian deputies followed their King; Count Lewis Batbhyany, President of the Council, among them.
Emperor Ferdinand was a religious man, • The colours of Austria.
and comprehended the solemn engagement of an oath. He issued under his own hand a proclamation, dated Inspruck, 10th June, 1848, to his "faithful Croatinns and Sclavonians," in which occurred the following sentences.
"We, the King of Hungary, Croatia, Dalmatia, and Sclavonia, we, whose person is sacred, tell you Croatians and Sclavonians that the law, too, is sacred, and must be respected. We have sicorn by the living God, to maintain the integrity of Out Hungarian Crown, the Constitution, and the Laws, and to cause others to maintain and obey them. We shall keep our royal oath," &c.
Again. "The Ban Jellachich is accused with